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Small Talk: "I'll Take Non-Show Chat For $400, Alex."

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We were supposed to visit family in NOLA starting April 8. I had plenty of time to cancel our hotel without penalty. Southwest is giving us 12 months to use our tickets. Heaven help us all if that is not enough time.

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@Sharpie66, we were meant to spend three days on Orkney, with stops on Skye and Lewis and Harris on the way there, and stops in Aberdeen and Inverness on the way back.  A nice big loop around the highlands, beginning and ending in Edinburgh.

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Daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter were supposed to fly to Kansas to visit her father, and then come here a week later to visit me, but that's not happening.  They were to leave on April 4 and go home from here April 18.  Instead, they are both working from home, and granddaughter is home as their schools have closed.  They live in the UK, in Bournemouth.

I got to spend a few days in Scotland a few years ago.  We went to the Gathering in Braemar, and then spent a few days in Edinburgh.  Really good time!

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Since I had that flood in my condo & spent so much non-insurance money, I had decided I wouldn't go on a Road Trip this year. Good thing, because I would have had hotels booked by now and I ususally book the cheaper, "internet-only," non-refundable rate.

 

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I usually do the less expensive, no refund thing on travel too.  However, Expedia and other companies have been emailing me that they are allowing cancellations and changes without penalties, even if your booking would ordinarily be non-refundable or no cancellation.  A small sign of humanity and empathy in the midst of a lot of stress and confusion.

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@Prevailing Wind, I will miss your Road Trip almost as much (maybe more!) than you. I enjoy reading your recaps and taking the trip along with you. Well, make that after you. I'm guessing RBG is a bit bummed that she has to stay home as well. Give her a HIGH FIVE from Saber. Maybe she can rate a couple of your home-cooked meals.

Edited by saber5055 · Reason: I get RBG mixed up with the RGB color space.
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10 hours ago, Browncoat said:

we were meant to spend three days on Orkney, with stops on Skye and Lewis and Harris on the way there, and stops in Aberdeen and Inverness on the way back.  A nice big loop around the highlands, beginning and ending in Edinburgh.

Oh, I do hope you get to do it next year.  I've been to Edinburgh, Inverness, and Skye, and loved all of them, especially Edinburgh.

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@Bastet, I adore Edinburgh, too, and was looking forward to going over a couple of days early just to putz around there on my own before joining the tour.  This would have been my fifth trip to Scotland, and the last one was a tour very similar to this one -- just a few minor differences.  

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7 hours ago, saber5055 said:

@Prevailing Wind, I will miss your Road Trip almost as much (maybe more!) than you. I enjoy reading your recaps and taking the trip along with you. Well, make that after you. I'm guessing RGB is a bit bummed that she has to stay home as well. Give her a HIGH FIVE from Saber. Maybe she can rate a couple of your home-cooked meals.

I might take a long weekend or two & travel nearby. Ever since I learned of its existence, I want to go to Congaree National Park in South Carolina. But by the time I get out of Isolation and the world gets back to semi-normal, it'll be mosquito season - bad time to visit a swamp.

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23 minutes ago, Prevailing Wind said:

it'll be mosquito season - bad time to visit a swamp.

Just take your AVON SKIN SO SOFT. (Insert hysterical laughter.)

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I didn't detect vocal fry, but the up speak was driving me nuts!  That, and the part where Pluto sounds just a leeeetle too much like Elmo.  🙂 

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Pluto is totes adorbs!

and since I don’t have to listen for very long, the voice doesn’t bother me.🤗

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A NPR article I read said that Nancie Wight, Pluto's 2 legged companion, said ER doctors and nurses are loving Pluto's video, giving them a much needed smile.,

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On 3/31/2020 at 12:56 PM, saber5055 said:

Waiting for all the complaints about Pluto's vocal fry.

Nah...no vocal fry detected 😷

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Pluto's April 1 video was a back handed slap at cats saying he really didn't mean what he said that cats aren't really that important - they're really great, with the finish of April Fools!

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If anyone has been jonesing for some culture and wants to take a trip, The Guardian has generously gifted us with virtual tours of 10 of the world's best art and history museums. All are definitely worth the trip, and you don't even have to leave your couch. Or pay admission!

Here's the link.

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Because it's a jokey jokey Thursday ...

What's the difference between a hippo and a Zippo? One weighs a ton, one's a little lighter.

Mom: Timmy, do you think I'm a good mother? Son: My name's Paul.

Man to friend: We ate at the best restaurant last night, the food was delicious and the service was wonderful. Friend: What was the restaurant's name? Man: What's that flower that's red, smells great, has thorns on its stem? Friend: Rose? Man: Yes, rose! Hey Rose, what was the name of that restaurant we went to last night?

and finally:

How many flies does it take to screw in a light bulb? Well ... two.

Have a happy day everyone!

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We watched A Dog's Way Home this afternoon.  By near the end, I was a sobbing mess. 

Edited by zoey1996
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This morning a friend emailed and told me she is cleaning out old receipts and records from her filling cabinets. I replied that I admired her energy, and expected the piles on my desk to eventually spontaneously combust.

Just now I read my horoscope on The Onion. It made me LOL.

Sagittarius | Nov. 22 to Dec. 21. Your inability to be spontaneous is well known, which will leave people struggling to put a name to what happens when you combust without warning next Wednesday.

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Well kids, it's another jokey jokey Thursday.

Two snowmen were out in the field. The first one said to the second, "Yeah, I smell carrots too."

I went to the zoo yesterday, but it was so disappointing. All they had was one dog. It was a shih tzu.

I know, pickin's are a bit slim this week. No apologies.

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5 hours ago, ABay said:

Yes, I agree. What counts as Midwest depends on where you are. Just like upstate New York is one thing to people in downstate NY and another to the rest of New York state.

When I was in Connecticut last summer (Hartford), the front desk people at the hotel told me there is no New York State; it's ALL New York City.

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1 minute ago, Prevailing Wind said:

When I was in Connecticut last summer (Hartford), the front desk people at the hotel told me there is no New York State; it's ALL New York City.

In college, when classmates would ask where I was from and I replied, "Illinois," without fail every one of them would be all impressed and say, "Oh, Chicago!" I would reply, "No, the other end of the state, more toward Iowa." So I shortened it up by just saying I was from Iowa. Without fail, every one would crinkle up their noses and ask if they had electricity there, or indoor plumbing, and acted like I was diseased.

I went back to being from Chicago.

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19 minutes ago, saber5055 said:

In college, when classmates would ask where I was from and I replied, "Illinois," without fail every one of them would be all impressed and say, "Oh, Chicago!" I would reply, "No, the other end of the state, more toward Iowa." So I shortened it up by just saying I was from Iowa. Without fail, every one would crinkle up their noses and ask if they had electricity there, or indoor plumbing, and acted like I was diseased.

I went back to being from Chicago

On a related note...I went to Northern Illinois University (in DeKalb, about 70 miles west of Chicago). When classmates would ask where I was from, I would say "Chicago". They would say "Me too", so I'd ask where'd they go to school, what neighborhood, what were the major streets near where they were, etc. They'd answer things like "Evanston", "Coal City", "Naperville", etc. And I'd think "That's not Chicago! That's the suburbs". Eventually, when they'd ask where I was from, I'd say "Chicago. The city." and they'd accept that. 

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I totally get what you are saying @illdoc. Sounds like you are from "over by 'dere."

I've been to Northern many times. There are dogs shows twice a year at its Convocation Center. We always eat at a different DeKalb restaurant after we are done showing.

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21 hours ago, ABay said:

Just like upstate New York is one thing to people in downstate NY and another to the rest of New York state.

Coming from Long Island, and spending plenty of time in NYC, anything north of the Bronx was "upstate". 😉

 

16 hours ago, saber5055 said:

So I shortened it up by just saying I was from Iowa. Without fail, every one would crinkle up their noses and ask if they had electricity there, or indoor plumbing, and acted like I was diseased.

I went back to being from Chicago.

After I moved to Charlotte, I posted some photos of the city skyline, and a friend from Long Island remarked that he didn't realize it was such a built up place. I said "Yes, we have indoor plumbing and everything - but drive two hour to the mountains, if you hear banjo music, you better turn around!" 😝

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I grew up in Moscow, Idaho.  Not only did I have people from Boise (at a high school academic competition!) ask why I didn't have a Russian accent, not only do people constantly think that it is in the Midwest, but I've even had people ask if it's a state.  And then once you get past that, people ask the same stupid things about do we have horse and buggy, do we have internet, and so on.  The level of stupid out there is enormous.  Especially from East Coast people where there are Amish people--you know, the people who ACTUALLY aren't using any modern technology.

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3 hours ago, Ailianna said:

I grew up in Moscow, Idaho.

Home of the Appaloosa Horse Club! (My first horse was an Appaloosa.)

Joking aside, I agree that the level of stupid is all-over staggering out there. And they don't just live in the East, the Midwest is full of Amish too. Horse-and-buggy Amish even live in that foreign territory of ... OHIO!

Side note: I'd love to live in Idaho. I even know where it is, and I don't even care if it has indoor plumbing!

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I'm a native West Virginian, and my family has lived within the current state boundaries for more than 200 years. 

And yet. . . and yet. . . . Like all West Virginians, I have been asked dozens of times how close I live to Richmond. 

It's in another freaking state, people! We succeeded in seceding from those traitorous Virginians on June 20, 1863. We've been a separate state for more than 150 years, but there are a ton of Americans who don't even know that my state exists. (Fortunately, not Jeopardy fans!)

Strangely, when I've traveled in Europe and mention that I'm from West Virginia, the response is invariably a chorus of John Denver's Country Roads! 

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56 minutes ago, j5cochran said:

Strangely, when I've traveled in Europe and mention that I'm from West Virginia, the response is invariably a chorus of John Denver's Country Roads! 

Well, it IS almost heaven! I also suspect more Europeans than Americans know where West Virginia is located.

West Virginia is the only state I've been to where I could drive for an hour and travel maybe 15 miles as the crow flies. Lots of hairpin turns and switchbacks ... I'd see a road up ahead and think, hey, I was just on that road! I used to joke I spent a year driving in West Virginia one day.

Disclaimer: My best friend in college was from West Virginia. It's a beautiful state.

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20 hours ago, saber5055 said:

Home of the Appaloosa Horse Club! (My first horse was an Appaloosa.)

Joking aside, I agree that the level of stupid is all-over staggering out there. And they don't just live in the East, the Midwest is full of Amish too. Horse-and-buggy Amish even live in that foreign territory of ... OHIO!

Side note: I'd love to live in Idaho. I even know where it is, and I don't even care if it has indoor plumbing!

My mom worked at the Appaloosa Horse Club for a while when I was a kid!  And I think you'd like Idaho, as long as you can ignore all the bumper stickers that say "Welcome to Idaho.  Now Get the Hell Out."

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On 4/17/2020 at 7:47 PM, saber5055 said:

Side note: I'd love to live in Idaho. I even know where it is, and I don't even care if it has indoor plumbing!

I've lived in Idaho, and I didn't like it at all. A lot of that had to do with circumstances.  then hubby was in the Navy (ours), and was going to nuclear power school there.  Enlisted, low grade so low pay so no money to do anything.  Plus we were there in the winter, and lived in a trailer with minimal insulation.  Daughter was infant/toddler, and when hubs was on night shift and slept in the day, and it was too cold to take her outside so hard to keep her quiet.  One week, our trailer got down to mid-50's inside, when it was -29 or so outside.  By the time we moved to South Carolina in May, our day time temperature didn't get up to 70, and then in Charleston it didn't get below 70.  Quite an adjustment.

I attended Minneapolis, Kansas, high school, and on marching band trips, we had fun by making members of bands from other schools think we were from Minnesota.  

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1 hour ago, zoey1996 said:

I attended Minneapolis, Kansas, high school, and on marching band trips, we had fun by making members of bands from other schools think we were from Minnesota.  

"Congratulations to the Great State of Kansas on winning the Super Bowl."

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I used to live in California - in the San Francisco Bay Area. We've had a few out of state friends call up and say "hey, we'll be in LA on (during the week day). Want to meet up for dinner?" Then we'd have to gently explain that it would be at least an 8 hour drive just to get there. So, nope.

Some people, used to the small states in the east, just don't get how big (and long) California is.

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That reminds me of some years ago, my friend from Portugal was coming to New York City for some event. She figured on one day off, she would rent a car and drive to Hollywood/LA for the day, then come back to NYC that night.

It would be cool to go to Europe and get to step foot in multiple countries in one day. Because if it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium you know.

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3 minutes ago, saber5055 said:

That reminds me of some years ago, my friend from Portugal was coming to New York City for some event. She figured on one day off, she would rent a car and drive to Hollywood/LA for the day, then come back to NYC that night.

It would be cool to go to Europe and get to step foot in multiple countries in one day. Because if it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium you know.

Okay, you got me. That's a better story!

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1 minute ago, Clanstarling said:

Okay, you got me. That's a better story!

Well, I can forgive a European who has never been to North America before. American numbskulls ... not so much.

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Just as an aside, gas is 99 cents/gallon here right now. In the "Upper Midwest!"

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1 hour ago, saber5055 said:

Just as an aside, gas is 99 cents/gallon here right now. In the "Upper Midwest!"

Wow! I was excited to pay $1.39 (Northeast, we're always priced pretty high). 

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6 minutes ago, harrie said:

Wow! I was excited to pay $1.39 (Northeast, we're always priced pretty high). 

It was $1.07 last week. I'm hoping for 89 cents next week! Chicago area is $1.79-$1.84 so your NE price is very decent.

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On 4/15/2020 at 5:39 PM, saber5055 said:

I stand by Ohio NOT being in the Midwest, but I don't expect those West Coast writers to know all that much about our "flyover" states.

This completely flummoxes me! I am from Ohio, my family goes back countless generations there, and I've never heard of it being considered anything but the Midwest! As an adult I've gone on to live in 4 other states (Midwest and West) and same in all those places. The only other label is "back East", but that's not a region, it's just "anything east of here".

What do you consider Ohio, then?

A state I consider to be hard to classify is Pennsylvania. It straddles regions -- Philadelphia fits best with east coast, Pittsburgh is more midwestern/rust belt. It's its own thing. Maybe West Virginia, too.

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11 hours ago, snarktini said:

A state I consider to be hard to classify is Pennsylvania. It straddles regions -- Philadelphia fits best with east coast, Pittsburgh is more midwestern/rust belt. It's its own thing. Maybe West Virginia, too.

I group Pennsylvania with the mid-Atlantic states - also including NY, NJ, DE, MD, WV, and sort of VA.  I also group VA with the South, and went to school with plenty of Marylanders who considered themselves southern, so there's some fluidity there. 

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I think New York and New Jersey are Northeast. I live in Maryland - we are definitely mid-Atlantic. And so says MAAFS - the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists, which also includes Virginia.

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Culturally, Virginia's part of the South.  Geographically, it's mid-Atlantic.  Although, there are parts of Virginia that are farther west than about half of Ohio, so I guess Virginia's mid-west, too?  🙂 

And when I talk about Virginia here, I'm more or less excluding that swamp in the Northern part of the state.  That region defies description.

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1 hour ago, Browncoat said:

And when I talk about Virginia here, I'm more or less excluding that swamp in the Northern part of the state.

You mean that swamp that got drained in 2016?

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For people who are interested in things in the sky, tonight is the peak of the Lyrid meteor shower. Starts after 10:30 p.m. local time and continues until dawn. If you are lucky, you can see up to 100 "shooting stars" per hour. Look straight up in the night sky as they don't all come from the constellation Lyra. Viewing is best if you fully recline under (and on!) a blanket (to save your neck). I was out just a few minutes last night and saw three right away.

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Sadly, it is cloudy here, and there is quite a lot of light pollution to the northeast.  I couldn't see any last night/early this morning.  😞  

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