Looking back through my recent photos, I noted that I had neglected to mention one delightful woman we met back in Unity Village. Cheri Neal was sitting on this butterfly bench, and looked like she had sprouted wings! Turns out Cheri is a life coach with an amazing background. Not only has she completed three triathlons and three half marathons, but she also jumped out of three perfectly good airplanes (okay, with a parachute) and was Illinois’ first female snow plow operator! I was particularly impressed by Cheri’s friendly, positive and caring attitude. You can learn more about Cheri and her life coaching on her web site www.cherineal.com .
Another photo that I ran across was this house in Livingston, Montana, with an unusual decoration. I’m not sure what message (if any) the homeowner was trying to give, but it sure got my attention… I wonder what the homeowners association back in The Villages would say?
This next photo requires some explanation… it’s not of a lazy guy taking an afternoon snooze. Steve Henneford is a self-taught master carpenter who creates some of the most amazing furniture I’ve ever seen; many pieces are made of exotic materials like bubinga and lacewood. (I would have left the show with this exquisite rocker, but since we’re traveling in an RV, it just wasn’t practical; in retrospect, I should have purchased it and had it shipped home… Sigh.) We met Steve at the Event at Rebecca Farm, where several of his works were on display. Steve was a championship gymnast and Olympic contender, as was his wife Jeanine. They also run a highly regarded gymnastics school in Kalispell, Montana. You can see some of Steve’s beautifully hand-crafted furniture on his website, www.hennefordfinefurniture.com .
Mountain rivers are some of our favorite places. While in Glacier National Park, we hiked alongside McDonald Creek, at 25 miles the longest stream in the park. It’s a beautiful place, and once you’re away from the turistas near parking pullouts, it’s almost deserted.
This view of McDonald Creek looks downstream at the Lower Falls, where you can see the horizon line of the drop.
We also got in a couple of great mountain bike rides; here we see a cute young cyclist taking a break on Montana’s Whitefish Trail. She’s hardly glistening, while her partner below is breaking a sweat, but at least he’s upright and not face-planted in the dirt.
I started out this day in a long sleeve jersey because it was chilly (58-60F) but it warmed up quickly on the trail. I’m almost back to normal (if that’s even possible) after a spill back in June. 800 mg doses of Vitamin M (Motrin) also help.
This entry is mostly for guys. I’m not trying to be sexist, but really, in my humble opinion, women don’t generally appreciate beer. I’m not trying to start any on-line flaming arguments, but I will give you one example. There are only two meals that we both regularly enjoy with beer. My Lovely Bride likes a Corona with lime when we have Ty’s Famous Chicken Enchiladas or pizza. She doesn’t care much for IPAs, ambers or ales, so when we go out, she will order a Corona and I will order a Fat Tire, Alaskan Amber or a local craft beer. Recently we went out to a highly recommended pizza joint (which shall go unnamed) in Whitefish, Montana, which has several reputable craft breweries. After ordering our pizza, I ordered two beers; since the establishment in question (a moniker which actually should have been “a questionable establishment”) did not serve Corona (were they anti-Mexican beer, perhaps influenced by a brainless, draft-dodging presidential candidate? But I digress…), I ordered a local lager for My Lovely Bride and an IPA for myself. The bottles were served, and as I picked mine up, my astute tactile receptors sent a signal to my brain saying, “This bottle isn’t very cold!” I tasted my IPA, and while my taste buds gave it a favorable rating, it definitely wasn’t cold enough for my palate, even though I had spent two years in England with the Royal Navy, but 55-60 F English bitter is a totally different experience. MLB tasted hers, and said “It’s okay.” (This is not what I would call a rousing endorsement…) I went inside to the young woman at the counter and asked for cold versions of the two bottles in question. The conversation went like this:
“I’m afraid these beers are not cold enough to drink.”
“Gee, sorry, our cooler hasn’t been working very well. That’s as good as it gets.”
“Okay, I’d like a bucket of ice to cool them off.”
“Gee, sorry, we don’t have buckets.”
“How about a couple of freezing cold iced mugs?”
“Gee, sorry, all we have is plastic cups, and even if we had glasses or mugs, none of our coolers are cold enough to frost glass anyway.”
At this point I was about to say, “Gee, sorry, cancel my order, and we’ll go somewhere that knows what ‘service‘ means…” But (1) Suzanne has been trying to train me to be more loving, compassionate and tolerant, and (2) I had already paid the bill and left a generous gratuity; and (3) we were starving, so I said to myself, “Isn’t this interesting?” and “I would really prefer having cold beers instead of these insipidly warm excuses for beer.” So, I gently and lovingly said, “Okay, how about a couple of large cups of ice so I can immerse these unsatisfactorily warm beers into an ice bath to make them drinkable?”
“So, I guess we can do that.”
“No problem.” (This leads to another pet peeve to be discussed in the paragraph below…)
My Lovely Bride was more than amused by my travails, and took this photo of Your Faithful Correspondent in the act of icing down two bottles of warm beer in 16 oz. plastic cups. By the time our pizza (pretty decent, actually) arrived, the beers were almost drinkable… but I was still hot!
Finally, on to that other pet peeve… the use of the modern phrase “No problem” in place of the traditional “You’re welcome”. The use of this annoying phrase is so pervasive that any attempt on my part to convince millennials of its incivility would probably be met with blank looks and replies of “Whatever”, so I guess I will follow My Lovely Bride’s advice and just suck it up. Where are good English teachers when you really need them? Sigh…