Sunday, June 20, 2021

A thrill ride that's a bit more than what Disney offers


The Daily Mail had an article about a new tourism startup in Florida that is going to offer balloon rides.

Very HIGH balloon rides.

The article does not mention the ticket price.

Space tourism startup test flies its gigantic balloon 20 miles over Florida that is on track to carry explorers to the stratosphere in 2024

Congratulations to the new addition of the Woz family


Caroline Wozniacki has moved on from winning tennis titles to being a mother.  Congratulations to the family on their new addition.

'Family of three!' Caroline Wozniacki reveals she has given birth to a baby girl named Olivia - her first child with NBA star husband David Lee - and posts first picture with their daughter

Highway 41 crosses some bridges

Now that the Highway 41 Streetview trek has left Oshkosh, the next scenic highlights are lakes and waterways in the Fox River / Lake Winnebago system.   So let's take a look at the next set of views.

Approach to the Lake Butte des Morts bridge. Lake Butte des Morts is a relatively small lake west of Lake Winnebago, connected via the Fox River to Lake Winnebago, and also connected the bifurcated Lake Winneconne and Lake Poygan. Weirdly and confusingly, there are two Fox Rivers in this region; this is where the Upper Fox River flows into Lake Winnebago. The Lower Fox River flows out of the lake further to the north, and flows to Green Bay (an extension of Lake Michigan).

On the Lake Butte des Morts bridge. This is actually looking north on the southbound side, because the northbound Streetview was partially blocked by a couple of big trucks.

The Valley Popcorn Company (Fox Valley, that is).

This is the Neenah-Menasha area; and that's the Menasha Corporation headquarters.

Next, a closer look at the famous domicile of Neenah, Wisconsin.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Room with a view? Actually ...


While hotels and resorts may advertise rooms with a view (usually of something scenic), in this case, it's a view into a room.  And it's a very inviting view, courtesy of model Myriam Danna.

What an absolute ass


I speak in the title of this post, as one might easily surmise, of the accursed current Senate minority leader and enemy to U.S democracy, Mitch McConnell.   Why do I say this now (noting that I have said many deservedly derogatory words about Miserable Mitchy in the past)? 

This is why:

Mitch McConnell says he will BLOCK any Biden Supreme Court nomination during the 2024 election year if he becomes Senate majority leader

Mitch probably knows that this is not the way the Founding Fathers envisioned the democratic institution of the American government operating.

But he doesn't care.
"Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday if he has the Senate majority he'll block President Joe Biden's Supreme Court nominees in 2024, the year of the next presidential election.

'I think it's highly unlikely - in fact, no, I don't think either party, if it were different from the president, would confirm a Supreme Court nominee in the middle of an election,' McConnell said on Hugh Hewitt's radio show."

Yet McConnell is clearly stretching the meaning of "in the middle of an election", as he did with Merrick Garland.  And he clearly didn't have a problem completing the nomination and voting on a SCOTUS judge while the last election for President was actually underway (early voting had already started).

Ass is a gentle word for what Mitch is.


Did you ever wonder where Anne Boleyn is buried?


Suddenly, for no apparent reason, I did.  Now, Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII, has a very nice place of eternal repose, which Henry picked for her.  It's in Peterborough Cathedral (link goes to a video), which is about 70 miles north of London.

Mary Queen of Scots used to be there too (which you'll see in the video), but now she lies in Westminster Abbey in a very fancy tomb.

But... this isn't about them. It's about Anne Boleyn, who was the 2nd wife of Henry VIII, and known as Anne of a Thousand Days, because that's about how long she had the title of Queen.  She got enough done then, though, as she was the mother of Elizabeth I.

As you may well know, Anne was beheaded after Henry moved on, still seeking a male heir.  She was accused of things she probably didn't do, but still, the King made those decisions.  But after her execution, what happened?  Well, she was quietly and quickly interred at the Royal Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula, which is not very far from the Tower of London, where the execution took place.

More about that here:  Where is Anne Boleyn buried?

This article indicates that it isn't certain Anne is under the decorative plaque that supposedly marks her grave.  At least she's close to it.

There are other notables in this chapel, foremost among them Thomas More, and also Lady Jane Grey, who was queen for a much shorter time than Anne Boleyn.   Also, Anne's marker is next to one for Catherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife, not quite as famous as Anne, and also with a shorter reign which ended the same way.

The plaques:

Here is the Royal Chapel.  In front of it is a recently-installed memorial fountain dedicated to all of those unfortunate souls who were executed at the Tower.

The memorial fountain:


Lighthouse of the Week, June 13-19, 2021: Butler Flats, New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA


I'm never sure how to find a lighthouse for Lighthouse of the Week. So this week I typed in "flat lighthouse" in the search box, and the search returned a number of lighthouses on flats (shallow shoals in the water, of course).  These tend to occur in rivers and near harbors.

So, my choice was the Butler Flats lighthouse, outside New Bedford, Massachusetts.   This is where, geographically.  It's a "sparkplug" lighthouse, on a platform projecting from the water surface.

Here's a bit of information about it:

It was established and built in 1898, and automated in 1978.  It was equipped with a 5th-order Fresnel lens, but now it has an LED light.  The tower is 53 feet high.  The lighthouse is now privately owned.

More information from New England Lighthouses:

Butler Flats Lighthouse

Butler Flats Lighthouse History

Lighthouse FriendsButler Flats, MA

There's also a Butler Flats Double IPA (beer).

Pictures of the lighthouse (and the beer label).