I present you two distinct choices!
How you vote to spend the next ten minutes of your life will decide the fate of your day, your week, your month, your year, your life, our country, our democracy ... nay ... life on Planet Earth! As we know it!
In FACT! Your vote will literally decide the future of HYPERBOLE!
Vote once my friend, and vote wisely.
Repeat after me:
I, <insert your name here>, being of sound mind and body, hereby choose to spend the next ten minutes of my life:
A. Fretting about the Tumultuous Train of Presidential Pandemic Pandemonium barreling into the station that is our nation, at full speed and with no brakes!
B. Curling-up into the deep, warm trance of a voyage on the TourAlong Train, rolling along ... with soothing rhythm ... on tracks kissed by the morning dew.
Sane people, like you, correctly voted for choice B! And to celebrate your success, pour yourself a big ol' cup of your favorite pandemic beverage, take a satisfying sip, relax, and close your eyes. Your TourAlong choo-choo train has arrived ...
In this edition, we conquer an Oregon volcano, relax lakeside in Montana, and explore Washington's Olympic National Park!
Best of all, it's presented in the ever popular picture-n-caption format for easy reading!
All aboard! Woo! WOOOOOOO!
Just when we began to feel comfortable gloating about our skilled alpinism and superior ability to acclimatize to the rarefied air, some guy (let's call him Jean-Claude) swooshed by.
You see, SOME PEOPLE have to show off. Jean-Claude scaled Bachelor hauling his skis and boots with him, and THEN took the easy way down. What a wimp.
Just as wimpy were the people who JOGGED to the summit for "fun." Get a life, LOSERS!
Looks can be deceiving. Pictured here, Natalie's impressive multitasking talent is on display at Montana's Flathead Lake. How many simultaneous actions is she engaged in? Can you tell?
It's time to head to the dining car to refresh your pandemic beverage and grab a nutritious snack (I suggest Cheetos, the Dangerously Cheesy snack) and then find the seat reserved exclusively for you in the TourAlong Train's first-class cabin!
Before starting an Olympic-sized adventure on the TourAlong Train, you need an Olympic-sized meal ... prepared by Chef Simon!
This adventure's Welcome Dinner featured Katsudon and SPAM Musubi. Katsudon? I don't care what that is because SPAM Musubi features SPAM!* Made of a bed of sticky rice, a thin but potent layer of wasabi, and SPAM—all wrapped in that odd seaweed stuff—SPAM Musubi is to die for! GO SPAM!
And KUDOS to Chef Simon!
*Oddly enough, Wikipedia classifies SPAM as food! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_(food))
Every good adventure begins by leaving a port. On this trip, it's the port of Seattle! Home of a software company we love to hate, a turbo-charged caffeinated coffee shop, an unbelievably massive consumer products shipping company, and quite possibly the best band around ... Death Cab for Cutie!
*A special thank you to Natalie's dad and mom, Elwyn and Dixie Johnson, for inspiring this Olympic National Park TourAlong.
The four cabooses that make up this train may be stationary today, but they represent a long history of the Olympic Line extending from Discovery Bay to Port Angeles, transporting timber from the Pacific Northwest's forests to Seattle. These cars have had a varied life since the line's retirement ... and their current life? Welcome to Discovery Bay Cannibis! I'm pretty sure patrons of this "Canniboose" go on a wide variety of highly adventurous and colorful trips daily!
Salmon are pretty amazing fish. They can fly AND they taste great! My preference? That they filet and BBQ themselves as they fly ... into my mouth! We witnessed them engaging in their final journey as they flew upstream into incredibly tall and fast-moving cascades at the Sol Duc River Salmon Cascades. Flying into my mouth is SO much easier.
- Petroleum jelly
- The non-SPAM stuff included in a can of SPAM
- Whale snot
- The BLOB!
- The stuff used in head cheese that makes the other gross parts of head cheese stick together
- The stuff that fills your eyeballs
Our nine-day trip to the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park ended at Long Beach where we met up with lifelong friends, Hal and Mindi Logan. After playing the dice game Farkle many times via video chats since March, it was a breath of fresh air to meet in person amidst our collective reality of pandemic living and all of the joys of quarantines. On this day, though it was misty, there was no wind, which technically qualifies the day as "Sunny!" on the Washington coast!
Well there you have it! The TourAlong Train is rolling back into the station and it's time to gather your luggage and prepare to disembark. Thanks for coming along with us to a new spot. Will we return? Yes, we will! Olympic National Park is EPIC!
I hope this respite let you forget—at least for the past 10 minutes—about the Tumultuous Train of Presidential Pandemic Pandemonium we've been so thoroughly entertained by this year. Where THAT train wreck ends up is anyone's guess. As for me? I'm going to stick to making sure the TourAlong Train stays on track ... and that you're along for the ride.
There's more TourAlong news on the way!
Until then ~ Ciao!
You can now return safely to the world of HYPERBOLE!
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No perch is too high or too fraught with danger for the intrepid photographer! Simon snapped this photo of me shooting surf and mist at Dungeness Spit near Sequim.
And now, it's time for another brief episode of FUN WITH NUMBERS!
This time, it's with AMAZON MUSIC!
We recently purchased an Amazon Echo Dot. You know, the fun little hockey puck device that surveilles everything you say in exchange for playing Amazon Music? Well, did you also know Amazon Music comes with 6 millions songs for free but if you pay Jeff Bezos $7.99 a month you get 60 million songs?
That's so AWESOME! Thank you Jeff!
But let's dig deeper via a math word problem, shall we?
OK! Here we go!
If an average song lasts four minutes, and you have 60 million to listen to, how long would it take to listen to all of them sequentially if you're riding on a train that left Seattle on a sunny Sunday at noon and arrived in New York City the following Friday at 1:00 p.m.? (Hint: Remember to take into account the four-hour time zone difference, the Daylight Saving Time charade we continue to put up with, and the fact that it's never sunny at noon on a Sunday in Seattle!).
And the answer is?
456 YEARS! (really, do the math)
I think I'll stick with six million songs for free! That's only 45.6 years of nonstop listening. I'd better get to work!
Stay safe... ~ Todd