Well, it has arrived: it is our annual County Fair season here in Indiana. HERE is a link to our local fair, which is held just up the street from our house. You can go to the link all week long and see pictures from the event. Or, you could visit their Facebook page.
Our Rambler pic for the day represents one of the most popular events at the fair — the Demolition Derby. Here’s a mean AMC Eagle wrangling it out in the mud and trying to destroy his competitors before they destroy him. No wait, that’s the election this year. At any rate, if you come join us next Saturday (7/23), you can start out the day enjoying the Baby Contest, followed by viewing the 4-H exhibits, some fun on the Midway, and the always intriguing 4-H Llama Show. Hear a little Gospel Music in the “A” Tent, and then you’ll be ready to rock ‘n roll with the Demolition Derby drivers. That is, unless you want to do some Horseshoe Pitching.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to get over to the Dairy Association’s building for the best milkshakes you’ve ever had. Or maybe you’d prefer a Lemon Shake-Up, made by one of our town’s volunteer groups fresh each night. There will be corn on the cob and the Kiwanis will be cooking up tenderloins (our state sandwich), I’m sure, and of course there will be fried and sugary fair food galore that you can fill your stomach with before losing it on the Tilt-a-Whirl or some other godawful ride.
Tomorrow (Sunday) is when we crown the Fair Queen for 2016, as well as Little Miss and Mr. Johnson County, followed by fireworks after dark. On Thursday evening, some of our local TV news celebs will take part in the goat-milking contest. There will be free stages and tents with music, tractor pulls, farmer’s olympics, and all kinds of contests for the kids.
It all starts with the Fair Parade later today at 4:00 pm. The streets have been marked “no parking” and this afternoon we’ll see folks walking by the front porch carrying blankets and folding chairs moving to their favorite spots along the route. The kids are anticipating all the candy and goodies that will be thrown their way from the floats as they move toward the fairgrounds.
Ah, it’s a great time to live in the Midwest.
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The Fair is a great place to find new gadgets, tools, home improvement ideas and interesting new inventions to make our lives easier. Tents and fair buildings are full of people in booths hawking stuff everywhere, stuff we just can’t live without. Like the following…
When our friends Randy and Jill Thompson were on vacation recently, Randy saw this at the Atlantic Fisheries Museum in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia. As Randy says, “This is a tool America needs, especially in those areas where halibut are a problem (I’m thinking, ‘Halibut Gone Wild’).” Ladies and gentlemen, The Halibut Stunner.
Randy, I think the newer ones are made of an aluminum composite, except the pros still use wood.
It can be a real hassle to find a seat at the fair at the Kiwanis or Beef Growers tent when you want to grab a good meal. Never fear, you can sit anywhere you want with these fashionable, yet oh so practical Picnic Pants. When sitting cross-legged the material between one’s legs becomes taut, providing a table to eat from. The jeans are also equipped with pockets to hold drinks. Flattering, too!
I don’t know about you but one of my pet peeves is waiting for toast. A watched toaster never toasts, know what I mean? Finally, someone heard our cries! Mad genius Colin Furze has invented a knife that toasts the bread as you cut the bread! The knife uses a modified microwave transformer to run electrical current through the blade of a “knife,” which then heats bread to a crisp as it saws through. You may laugh, but I read about this in Popular Mechanics. That’s street cred. Thanks, Colin!!!
What’s a great gadget without a snake oil, infomercial salesman to pitch it! This is not only one of my favorite gadgets, but the video is lots of fun too. Ladies and gentlemen, you’ll never be able to live without it after seeing this — the Bug-A-Salt.
The big news of the week revolved around
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, the memorial for the fallen police officers in Dallas, yet more terror attacks, a new UK prime minister, a coup in Turkey, the Zika virus, Deflategate, c onflicts over the South China Sea, a new record setting performance in the MLB Home Run Derby?
No, this week it was all about Pokemon Go. According to USA Today:
If you have somehow managed to avoid the news for the last few days, the mobile game Pokémon Go has taken over the lives of many smartphone owners. It leverages the classic video game and TV series Pokémon by introducing augmented reality and GPS, bringing the quest to find these colorful creatures to life.
The game has grown so popular, its daily usage is above popular services such as Twitter, Netflix and Spotify, according to research firm SimilarWeb. People really like Pikachu, it seems.
The game has caused some problems and unique situations:
- Two men in California fell off a 90-foot cliff while playing and had to be taken to a local trauma center.
- Another man quit his job to become a full-time player.
- Tech experts say it has the potential to become a severe drag on mobile networks.
- It has caused a mad dash for a small place along the border of North and South Korea (DMZ) which is the only place it can be played by S. Koreans.
- The game has caused near stampedes in places like Central Park.
- 3 women playing Pokemon Go discovered a dead body in a San Diego park.
- The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has issued an official warning to people to be careful when playing.
- Police and fire departments have had to warn people not to call 911 or other numbers to get access to their stations.
- Here’s a whole list of dangerous situations people got into while playing, including entering the tiger enclosure at an Ohio zoo.
- Being stabbed didn’t stop this man from continuing to play.
Some public sites have posted notices, telling visitors that playing the game is not appropriate there. Among them: Arlington National Cemetery and the Holocaust Museum. In the same article, we read about Muslims worried about the sacred spaces in their mosques, the Israeli army banning its soldiers from using it, and Russian officials seeking to ban the app in their country.
Fun article in Atlas Obscura asking, “What do you call the corner store?”
- A convenience store? A mini-mart?
- A bodega?
- A packie?
- A party store?
- A dépanneur (or “dep” for short)
- An offy?
- A variety store?
- A milk bar? Dairy? Suprette?
- A pulperias?
- An Arabe du coin?
- A konbini?
There are more designations mentioned in the article. Read it and you’ll be the most fascinating conversationalist at the next BBQ. Hey, they might even ask you to run down to the mama shop for more drinks.
Southern Baptist pastor Perry Noble was asked to step down from his pastoral ministry at NewSpring Church last week because he admitted to having become an alcoholic and for other “unfortunate choices and decisions.”
“I ran to (alcohol) instead of Jesus, and I’m sorry,” he said in a video he released as a public statement. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to make it right. I’m checking into a treatment facility, and I’m going to work with some excellent people who will help me take my next steps.”
He also said understands the decision to remove him as senior pastor and Noble fully endorsed interim pastor Clayton King. “I still love my church. NewSpring is my church,” he said.
Noble encouraged people to continue to support the congregation and not criticize its leaders for the dismissal. “For those of you saying you’re not going back, that’s not the right thing to do.” Hundreds had launched a petition drive to have him reinstated.
According to an article in Christianity Today, “The church’s executive pastors met with Noble ‘over the course of several months’ to discuss their concerns about his dependence on alcohol, which eventually resulted in his removal.”
The article goes on to discuss how this event compares with what other churches have experienced with regard to pastors as well as parishioners dealing with alcohol and addiction problems.
I know our Ramblings are often silly distractions from the tough news and events of the week. But the past few weeks have been absolutely brutal, and it is entirely possible that there is more violence and trouble to come.
It truly does remind me in some ways of 1968, by far the craziest and scariest year in my lifetime. One of the reasons it became so frightening for people who lived then was the fact that it was all broadcast on TV. Scenes from the most unbelievable events came right into our living rooms.
The problem is exacerbated exponentially today, with our 24-hour news cycle and social media. This leads Katie Rogers in the New York Times to ask, “What is a constant cycle of violent news doing to us?”
Your assignment is to read her piece and then come back and tell us what you think it’s doing to you and to those around you.
And may your weekend be peaceful and safe.
As for me, I’m gonna go get a milkshake at the Dairy Association building.