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Category: ‘The Road Less Traveled’

Dog Days of Summer

Posted: August 18th, 2010 by

Dog days of summer . . . . . "Houndog" Flickr photo by jitze

There appears to be a lot of myths about the ‘dog days’ of summer, but the most relevant one is that it refers to anything that is slow, lazy or languishing, which makes sense because when it’s this hot no one wants to do anything, although if your tempted to brave 85+ degree temperatures, here are some ideas to cool off.

An old fashioned movie theater still showing movies in Doylestown, PA. Flickr photo by Gail548

Go to a movie matinee.  Not only will you sit in the comfort of a darkened air-conditioned room, you’ll also be entertained at the same time.  And, don’t forget the popcorn; plenty of butter, please.

Better yet, why not splash around in one of those fun for the whole family water parks popping up all over the place.  Many county recreation departments have built water parks as part of their overall recreation program, and there are plenty of private coporations that have built water parks with lots of features like ocean-like waves, tubes and body slides.  Although some water parks might be a feature at a hotel or resort, most offer day passes so you don’t necessarily have to check in to splash around.

Splish and Splash Water Park at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys in South Korea - Flickr photo by familymwr

For instance, if you went to the Americana Conference Resort and Spa in Niagara Falls (Ontario), Canada, you could purchase a 4-hour day pass (plenty of time to get pruned fingers and toes) and splash around in their Waves Indoor Waterpark, or if your a member of the military, then you might enjoy the Splish and Splash Water Park at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys in South Korea.

Water Mountain at Denver's Elitch Gardens - Flickr photo by ishrona

How about a water mountain – found in the waterpark, a key attraction at Elitch Garden Amusement Park in Denver, Colorado . . . . and, although not a typical water park, Millenium Park in Chicago, Illinois offers a fun way to cool off.

Here are some cool names associated with waterparks:  Rain Fortress, Ocean Commotion Wavepool, Lazy River, Mountain Screamer, Southern Pipeline, Water Trampoline, Geyser Fountain, the Big Splash, Flowrider Surfing, Tidal Wave, Frantic Atlantic, Splashtacular Place, Mon Tsunami wave pool, Soak Zone, Lake Harmony, Thunder Run Tube Slide, Boogie Bear Surf, Vortex and Spin Cycle, Master Blaster, Rio Rapids, Splash Attack and so on.  I’m getting the ‘chills’ just thinking about all these wet cool places . . .

Millenium Park Fun in the Water (Chicago) - Flickr photo by metaxin

Want help in locating some great watering holes?  Visit this site for a map that will point you to a cooling off place near you.


Aarons 499: Where else But at Talladega Superspeedway!

Posted: April 12th, 2010 by

Talladega Superspeedway is “over-the-top excitement – on and off the track,” so says the folks at www.nascar.com.

Talladega, AL Flickr photo by Pamarama73

Construction began on the 2,000 acre site now known as the Talladega Superspeedway, on May 23, 1968, on what was once termed soybean farming land.  And ever since that first race in September 1969, the track has surpassed “every initial expectation in terms of sheer size, speed and competition.”  Talladega has been known for setting precedents (the first 500 miles were run without an incident); establishing records and developing careers (with names like Brickhouse, who was the first winner of a NASCAR Cup Race at Talladega; Pete Hamilton, who won the first two major events and David Pearson becoming the first three-time winner at Talladega).  This list goes on and on, including Buddy Baker, Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison, Bill Elliott for his world stock-car record when he posted a speed of 212.809 mph; and Dale Earnhardt who posted 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup victories at Talladega over the years.  We also can’t forget Dale Earnhardt Jr., who followed in his father’s footsteps to victory lane.

The 2.66 mile long track with four lanes is banked at 33 degrees at each end, with an 18 degree banking in the tri-oval.  This set-up, along with the 4,000 foot long backstretch has produced some of the fastest and most competitive racing in history where speeds have reached in the excess of 220 mph in competition.

There is so much more to the Talladega Speedway than what we’ve presented here, and you can find it all at: http://www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/This-Is-Talladega/History.aspx

Mark your calendars – Sunday, April 25th when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway for the first time in 2010.

February: Not Just the Shortest Month of the Year

Posted: February 24th, 2010 by

 A lot of great things happen in the month of February, even though it is the shortest month of the year. Although this is not a Leap Year, when we think of February that thought often does come to mind. A few other notable events that occur this month are Black History Month, Valentines Day, the beginning of Lent, Presidents Day, and American Heart Month. Although not always in February, this is the Year of the Tiger, and the Chinese New Year Day is on February 14th.

 While some were hoping for an early spring this year, it appeared that February 1st was not a good start for many because weather prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and therefore a prediction of six more weeks of winter was made. Were you aware however that there are more (prognosticator) ground hogs out there? Did they too predict six more weeks of winter? General Beauregard Lee, who resides at the Yellow River Game Ranch located near Atlanta, Georgia, did not see his shadow. We presume this means the Daffodils will be blooming a little earlier this year. So who are those other groundhogs, and how did this all start? The tradition began in Germany where it was said if a hibernating animal (such as a groundhog) saw its shadow, the Christian holiday of Candlemas, winter would last for another six weeks. By the way, Buckeye Chuck and Staten Island Chuck (Buckeye is a cousin of Punxsutawney Phil), did not see their shadows, so the folks in Ohio and New York (respectively) are jumping for joy. Folks in Wisconsin say that Jimmy the Ground hog is usually 80% right, so his predication of an early spring in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin is good news!