Monday, February 25, 2013

Back to the Land of Snow and Ice

But, oh my, it was glorious while it lasted...
They have the most amazing thing in Florida: it's called 'sunshine' - I can't recommend it enough.  
And, as if that weren't enough, they have stuff like this just sitting around doing nothing:

I spent many happy hours gawking at flowers and trees and leaves and birds.  Knowing that my future holds something similar will get me through the last chunk of winter up here. 

And the 1300 Mile Beer Run wrapup -
I wrapped the bottles in bubble wrap and taped them with electrical tape, then rolled them up in t-shirts and packed them into a hard-sided suitcase.  It had to go as checked luggage (because why on earth would they let us on the plane with bottles of beer in our carry-on luggage?  We might enjoy the flight or something...), so I turned my suitcase over to the nice man at Jet Blue and hoped for the best.
On arrival, I opened the suitcase, holding my breath.  The security people had obviously searched it, because they had retaped all my packing efforts with their own tape that said "Hey, yo, we been touching your stuff."  But I do have to say that they had taken extreme care with the beer - the bubble wrap had been rewrapped and taped very conscientiously with an eye to protecting the bottles.  Go Vermont TSA!!
And, for the record, the source for the magical beer is this brewery.  I figured I wouldn't mention the name if the beer turned out to be a big 'meh', but it was received with big grins and thumbs up by the connoisseurs I was making this beer run for.  (And the folk I met at the brewery were extremely nice, too!  Go visit!)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Step One Complete, or Our Heroine Prepares to Embark on a 1300 Mile Beer Run

Vacation!  Florida!  Sunshine!  It's almost within my grasp.  I'm flying out this weekend for a lovely week without snow or ice or -30 temps.  They tell me that that kind of world actually exists - I can hardly wait!  And a chance to see my daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren, beloved all.  We're talking bliss.
So a week or so ago, I got an email from my daughter.  Turns out we live practically on top of a microbrewery that has crazy award-winning beer.  Beer that is completely unavailable in Florida.  Could I be talked into a quest for said beer?
Well, hey, quest is my middle name.  The brewery is in Greensboro Bend - a place I've never been to before.  Naturally, I asked Madman about the town, knowing he knew how to get there, as I pulled up Google maps.
"How are you planning to go?" he asked.
I studied my options for a moment.  There were three ways to get there.  None of them good.  There's no direct route.  One way, I have to go way south and cut north; another involves going way north and cutting south.  The most direct way goes up and over Stannard Mountain, which I have driven once in high summer and would never ever ever attempt in winter.  Not without a dogsled and enough provisions to last till June.
"Well, which way am I least likely to get lost?"
Laugh if you will, but this is always a consideration when I go somewhere for the first time.  Or even the second or third time.  I have no sense of direction.  None.  Zero.  If it's possible to have a negative sense of direction, that would be me.  I have memorized routes to the places I go, and if I deviate AT ALL from the route, I end up lost.  As in miles-from-home-and-all-the-signs-are-in-a-foreign-language lost.  Because once I'm lost, any attempt to correct just makes it worse.  (Like the time I was in Portsmouth, NH, and wanted to just cross the highway from one shopping center to another.  I ended up lost somewhere in Maine.  I'm serious.  All I wanted to do was cross the road.)
After much discussion, I printed off my directions, and Wednesday after work, I set out.  And even though I think I was on squirrel trails for part of the journey, I did not get lost.  And I only almost missed one turn.  (The roads around Greensboro are very confusing.  There are a lot of "Y" intersections (both upper and lower case) and all the road names change at each intersection.  Some roads are only a mile long, and only exist to connect one "Y" to another.)
So, against all odds, I actually found the brewery, purchased beer, and found my way home again.  Without ending up in Canada.  Or Oz.
Florida, here I come. 
Luckily the plane doesn't require me to navigate...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Just like the Big Kids

My blog has recently been targeted by a massive spamming campaign.  You know the kind - the phony compliments in badly translated English, followed by a link to some goofy spammy web page.  (Like, genital warts?  Seriously?  Is there big money in genital warts?  And is the money in the curing or the causing?  Though I'm not curious enough to actually click on the link...

A few of my favorites from my last post (and keep in mind that my last post was about snot and a knitting pattern):

Thanks so much for giving everyone remarkably pleasant possiblity to read in detail from here. It is usually so superb plus packed with a great time for me personally and my office co-workers to visit the blog at a minimum three times weekly to learn the newest issues you have. And of course, I am usually satisfied concerning the thoughts served by you. Selected two ideas in this post are essentially the simplest I've ever had.  And visit my website "Spam spammity spam spam spam"
Those two ideas were snot and Frost.  Just sayin.

If some one desires expert view about blogging afterward i suggest
him/her to pay a quick visit this blog, Keep up the fastidious job.
Here is my website ... "Spam spam spam with a side of spam"

Fastidious job.  I'll do my best.

 I would like to express some thanks to you for bailing me out of this matter. As a result of exploring through the the web and getting views which are not productive, I believed my entire life was over. Living minus the approaches to the issues you've solved through this guideline is a critical case, as well as ones which may have negatively damaged my career if I hadn't encountered your blog. Your good mastery and kindness in dealing with a lot of things was precious. I don't know what I would've done if I hadn't encountered such a stuff like this. I am able to at this moment relish my future. Thanks for your time very much for this expert and amazing guide. I will not be reluctant to suggest your blog post to anyone who requires direction on this area. "I got more spam than anybody spam spam spam"
 I'm so glad that my snot generating prowess has given you the will to live.  I always try to use my powers for good.

And this one is somehow my very favorite:
I drop a comment each time I appreciate a article on a site or I have something to contribute to the discussion. It's triggered by the sincerness displayed in the post I looked at. And after this article "Still here. Really.". I was actually excited enough to post a leave a responsea response :-) I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you usually do not mind. Could it be just me or do a few of these remarks appear as if they are coming from brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are writing on other sites, I'd like to keep up with you. Could you make a list all of your communal sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?
Also see my web page - Spam spam spam with a side of spam and more spam on top and served on a huge pile of spam

I don't know if it's the quirky misspellings or the writer's excitement at leaving "a responsea response" or the gratuitous insult to my readers that makes this one stand out.  Or could it be the request for any other venue I might have, in order to follow me and spam me even harder?  Whatever.  This one is just hard to beat.

I can hardly wait to open my email tomorrow!