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Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta’

If Airlines Sold Paint…


picture of paint cans

Last week in a post called The Rules of the Air I listed some laws of air travel, both written and unwritten. Yesterday we drove our daughter Megan and grandson Drew to Atlanta for their flight home. It was bizarre to receive a call from Megan letting us know they were safely back in Detroit while we were still driving back to Greenville!

One of the biggest mysteries of air travel is the pricing of tickets. I have heard that the passengers on any one flight would be shocked to learn what the other passengers had paid to occupy seats in the same section. Thinking about this, I remembered something I sent out by e-mail a number of years ago.

Buying paint from a hardware store...

Customer: Hi! How much is your paint?

Clerk: We have regular quality for $12 a gallon and premium for $18. How many gallons would you like?

Customer: Five gallons of regular quality, please.

Clerk: Great. That will be $60 plus tax.

From an airline...

Customer: Hi! How much is your paint?

Clerk: Well, sir, that all depends.

Customer: Depends on what?

Clerk: Actually, a lot of things.

Customer: How about giving me an average price?

Clerk: Wow, that's too hard a question. The lowest price is $9 a gallon, and we have 150 different prices up to $200 a gallon.

Customer: What's the difference in the paint?

Clerk: Oh, there isn't any difference; it's all the same paint.

Customer: Well, then, I'd like some of that $9 paint.

Clerk: Well, first I need to ask you a few questions. When do you intend to use it?

Customer: I want to paint tomorrow, on my day off.

Clerk: Sir, the paint for tomorrow is $200 paint.

Customer: What? When would I have to paint in order to get $9 version?

Clerk: That would be in three weeks, but you will also have to agree to start painting before Friday of that week and continue painting until at least Sunday.

Customer: You've got to be kidding!

Clerk: Sir, we don't kid around here. Of course, I'll have to check to see if we have any of that paint available before I can sell it to you.

Customer: What do you mean, check to see if you can sell it to me? You have shelves full of that stuff; I can see it right there.

Clerk: Just because you can see it doesn't mean that we have it. It may be the same paint, but we sell only a certain number of gallons on any given weekend. Oh, and by the way, the price just went up to $12.

Customer: You mean the price went up while we were talking?

Clerk: Yes, sir, you see, we change prices and rules thousands of times a day, and since you haven't actually walked out of the store with your paint yet, we just decided to change. Unless you want the same thing to happen again, I would suggest you get on with your purchase. How many gallons do you want?

Customer: I don't know exactly. Maybe five gallons. Maybe I should buy six gallons just to make sure I have enough.

Clerk: Oh no, sir, you can't do that. If you buy the paint and then don't use it, you will be liable for penalties and possible confiscation of the paint you already have.

Customer: What?

Clerk: That's right. We can sell you enough paint to do your kitchen, bathroom, hall, and north bedroom, but if you stop painting before you do the other bedroom, you will be in violation of our tariffs.

Customer: But what does it matter to you whether I use all of the paint? I already paid you for it!

Clerk: Sir, there's no point in getting upset; that's just the way it is. We make plans based upon the idea that you will use all the paint, and when you don't, it just causes us all sorts of problems.

Customer: This is crazy! I suppose something terrible will happen if I don't keep painting until Saturday night?

Clerk: Yes, sir, it will.

Customer: Well, that does it! I am going somewhere else to buy paint!

Clerk: That won't do you any good, sir. We all have the same rules. Thanks for flying – I mean painting – with our airline!

Printed with permission. ©Alan H. Hess, 1998. All rights reserved.

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Have you ever compared prices with other passengers or found out what someone else paid to take the same flight with you? I'm sure learning something like that could be a cause for either gloating or pouting.

quotation...

"A powerful person's whole being rests on air, and God is in charge of the airflow." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Heard on an airplane, "Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."


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King Tut’s Cats


picture of Tut banner

Last week I told a little about our visit to the King Tut Exhibition in Atlanta, focusing mainly on the Atlanta part of the experience. I needed more time to gather my thoughts as to what to write about what we saw at the exhibition. Today I'm ready to share more about the exhibit itself, with a different focus yet. We were not permitted to take pictures in the exhibit, and so I had to do some searching to find some online that I could use in this post.

I enjoy learning about history, but I must admit that history classes or classes with a heavy emphasis on history were always among my least favorites in high school and college. I enjoyed learning about how life was, how people interacted, and about how historical events unfolded, but I simply could not get all the names and dates down and retain them for testing purposes. I guess my mind gravitated more to the social and cultural side of history.

That being said, you might imagine why I found the King Tut exhibition fascinating. To be sure, there were all kinds of names and dates for which I was thankful not to be held responsible - I even commented in front of a table of all the lineages how thankful I was not to be a professor of Egyptian history! But greater yet for me were the artifacts and the explanations of why those artifacts were there.

I was amazed to see how advanced they were, even hundreds of years B.C., although the use of B.C.E. ("Before the Common Era") was ubiquitous in the exhibit. They even had stone toilet seats! (Today's Chinese society could take some lessons from the ancient Egyptians!) Here is a picture of some of the artifacts found in King Tut's tomb:

picture of artifacts from King Tut's tomb

It was interesting to see simple things like stools, tables, and chests similar to what we might have today. The styles and ornamentation were different, of course, but still some of the basic forms and functions were the same as today's. In addition to common, everyday objects, though, we saw beautiful and intricate jewelry, like this pectoral with a scarab:

picture of pectoral with scarab

Many objects from King Tut's tomb are not allowed in displays outside of Egypt, like his mummy itself. Here's a picture of it:

picture of Tut mummy

picture of Tut coffinette

We saw an interesting object called the Canopic Coffinette of Tutankhamun. It's a miniature coffin (about 16 inches long) that was used to store Tut's liver. We saw the coffinette, but not the liver which undoubtedly had to stay in Egypt. A picture of the coffinette is on the right.

Those of you who know my wife Becka and me or who have been a reader for long know that we are cat people. (Ever wonder what the little =^..^= =^..^= is when I sign off my blog posts? It's to represent our two cats.) Something that we noticed in the Tut exhibit was how often we saw representations of members of the cat family, be it lions, panthers, or even house cats. Here's a picture of one of the chairs:

picture of Tut chair

If you look closely, you will see that the feet of the chair are feline feet, something common to many pieces of his furniture. Here's a picture of a bed where the cat motif is less subtle:

picture of Tut bed

Here's a picture of a statue of King Tut on the back of a panther:

picture of Tut on panther

picture of running black cat

From what I found online, Egyptians domesticated cats about 4,000 years ago. The first domesticated cats in Egypt were more than likely used for warding off snakes and chasing rodents. Egyptians treated cats very well, almost considering them as spiritual intermediaries. The Egyptian cat was considered a sacred animal, apparently having the run of the place. Actual mummies of cats were buried by the thousands in special cemeteries. Additionally mummified cats have been found in various Pharaohs' tombs. Here's a picture of some cat mummies:

picture of cat mummies

Ancient Egyptians used bronze statues of cats in their temples to communicate with the gods. Inscriptions surviving on some of these statues reveal the different types of requests made to the gods by the person dedicating the statue, such as a long life or good health.

In the exhibit there were many statues of sphinxes. According to Wikipedia, a sphinx is a zoomorphic mythological figure which is depicted as a recumbent lion with a human head, but occasionally as a lion with the head of a falcon, hawk, or ram. Here's a picture of a sphinx statue similar to the ones we saw at the Tut exhibit:

picture of sphinx statue

With their great love for morphs, the ancient Egyptians would just go crazy over what we can do today with images. Here are several pictures I received recently that are morphs of members of the feline family with other animals - puts a whole new twist on "what do you get when you cross an X with an X?"

a sphinx-like panther-ape

picture of morphed animals

a polar-tiger

picture of morphed animals

a kanga-lion

picture of morphed animals

a cat-squirrel

picture of morphed animals

That poor creature would have to be conflicted, knowing how much our cat Adelaide hates squirrels!

If you would like to learn more about the history of the finding of King Tut's tomb, here's a link to a site with lots of history and pictures - http://www.crystalinks.com/tutstomb.html

quotation...

"Don't put your eggs in the basket of temporal kingdoms." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Thousands of years ago, cats were worshiped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.


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Atlanta! Tut Tut!


It must be Christmas vacation because we took a day-trip to Atlanta! Last year it was to visit the Georgia Aquarium - here's a link to that post - http://blog.ivman.com/the-atlanta-aquarium This year it was to visit the King Tut exhibition.

picture of King Tut banner

The exhibition was quite interesting and held some amazing artifacts. I plan to do another blog post about it next week. Today I'm just going to post one of my favorite reads about the city of Atlanta.

Guide to ATLANTA, GEORGIA (pronunciation is: lan-uh, JAW-jah)

picture of Atlanta

This is for anyone who lives in Atlanta, who has ever lived in Atlanta, has ever visited Atlanta, ever plans to visit Atlanta, knows anyone who already lives in Atlanta or knows anyone who has ever heard of Atlanta, Georgia.

Atlanta is composed mostly of one way streets. The only way to get out of downtown Atlanta is to turn around and start over when you reach Greenville, South Carolina.

All directions start with, "Go down Peachtree ... " and include the phrase, "When you see the Waffle House...." except in Cobb County where all directions begin with, "Go to the Big Chicken."

Peachtree Street has no beginning and no end and is not to be confused with Peachtree Circle, Peachtree Place, Peachtree Lane, Peachtree Road, Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree Run, Peachtree Trace, Peachtree Avenue, Peachtree Commons, Peachtree Hills, Peachtree Battle, Peachtree Corners, Old Peachtree, West Peachtree, Peachtree-Dunwoody, Peachtree-Chamblee, or Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

Atlantans know only their way to work and their way home. If you ask anyone for directions, they will always send you down Peachtree.

Atlantans do not believe in turn signals. You will never see a native signal at a stop light, to change lanes, or to merge. Never.

Atlanta is the home of Coca-Cola. That's all they drink there, so don't ask for any other soft drink ... unless it's made by Coca Cola. And even then, it's all still "Coke."

Gate One at the Airport is 32 miles away from the Main Concourse, so wear sneakers and pack a lunch. The doors on the trains in the airport do not reopen like an elevator if you stick your hand out. And they hurt.

It's impossible to go around a block and wind up on the street you started on.

The Chamber of Commerce calls it a "scenic drive" and has posted signs to that effect so that out-of-towners don't feel lost ... they're just on a "scenic drive."

The 8 a.m. rush hour is from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. The 5:00 p.m. rush hour is from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning and lasts through 2:00 a.m. Saturday.

Reversible lanes are not understood by anybody, especially those who live in Atlanta. Stay out of these lanes unless you are looking for a head-on collision.

Outside of the perimeter, "Sir" and "Ma'am" are used by the person speaking to you if there's a remote possibility that you're at least 30 minutes older than they are. In the suburbs, "Sugar" is a more common form of address than "Miss." So is "Sweetpea." "Honey" is always used by Waffle House waitresses.

Ponce de Leon Avenue can only be pronounced by a native, so do not attempt the Spanish pronunciation. People will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you. (The Atlanta pronunciation is "pahnss duh LEE-on.")

The falling of one rain drop causes all drivers immediately to forget all traffic rules; so will daylight savings time, a girl applying eye shadow in the next car, or a flat tire three lanes over.

If a single snowflake falls the city is paralyzed for three days and it's on all the channels as a news flash every 15 minutes for a week. If there is a remote chance of snow, all the grocery stores will be sold out of not only milk, bread, and eggs (like all other true Southerners, Atlantans must sit around the house eating French toast during threats of snow), but also bottled water and toilet paper. And if it does snow, people will be on the corner selling "I survived the blizzard of 2 - - -" T-shirts.

If you're standing on a corner and a MARTA bus stops, you're expected to get on and go somewhere.

It is always Smog Alert Day.

Construction on Peachtree Street is a way of life, and a permanent form of entertainment, especially when a water line is tapped and Atlanta's version of Old Faithful erupts.

Construction crews aren't doing their job properly unless they close down all lanes except one during rush hour.

Never buy a ladder or mattress in Atlanta. Just go to one of the interstates, and you will soon find one in the middle of the road.

Atlanta's traffic is the friendliest around. The commuters spend hours mingling with each other twice a day. In fact, Atlanta's traffic is rated number one in the country. You will often see people parked beside the road and engaged in lively discussions.

Atlantans are very proud of our race track, known as Road Atlanta. It winds throughout the city on the Interstates, hence its name. Actually, I-285, the loop that encircles Atlanta and has a posted speed limit of 55 mph (but you have to maintain 80 mph just to keep from getting run over), is known to truckers as "The Watermelon 500."

Don't believe the directional markers on highways. I-285 is marked "East" and "West" but you may be going "North" or "South". The locals identify the direction by referring to the "Inner Loop" and the "Outer Loop". If you travel on Hwy 92 North, you will actually be going southeast.

Georgia 400 is the southern equivalent of the German Autobahn. You will rarely see a semi-truck on GA-400, because even the truck drivers are intimidated by the oversized-SUV-wielding housewives racing home after a grueling day at the salon or the tennis match to meet their children at the school bus coming home from their college prep preschools.

The pollen count is off the national scale for unhealthy, which starts at 120. Atlanta is usually in the 2,000 to 4,000 range. All roads, vehicles, houses, etc. are yellow from March 28th to July 15th. If you have any allergies, you will die there.

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Before ending this post, I want to share a picture I took in the souvenir shop at the end of our tour of the King Tut exhibit. The souvenirs ranged from cheesy little cheap trinkets to expensive items, all based on things we'd seen in the exhibit. One of the items that caught my eye was this:

picture of King Tut tissue box cover

It's a lovely tissue box cover!

Becka's blog is one week old, and my wife has already had almost 300 unique visitors. If you haven't stopped by to check it out yet, I hope you will soon.

Have a great weekend!

quotation...

"You have to prize respectability less and rescue more because that's what the Lord Jesus is all about." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

You can say what you want about the South, but you don't seem to hear of anyone retiring and moving to the North!


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Senior Personals


today's instant vacation...

My wife and I have long since gotten over the initial sting of when we first started being offered seniors discounts. What bothered me when I was offered a discount for the first time, I wasn't yet old enough to be eligible! (So what does that tell you?!) Now we actually ask if we're eligible! Quite the reversal, huh? Today's iv is a couple of my favorite bits of senior humor.

The 84-Year-Old Bride

A local news station was interviewing an 84-year-old woman because she had just gotten married for the fourth time.

The interviewer asked her questions about her life, about what it felt like to be marrying again at 84, and then about her new husband's occupation.

"He's a funeral director," she answered.

"Interesting," thought the newsman. He then asked her if she wouldn't mind telling him a little about her first three husbands and what they did for a living.

She paused for a few moments, needing time to reflect on all those years. After a short time, a smile came to her face and she answered proudly, explaining that she first married a banker when she was in her early 20s, then a circus ringmaster when in her 40s, later on a preacher when in her 60s, and now, in her 80s, a funeral director.

The interviewer looked at her, quite astonished, and asked why she had married four men with such diverse careers.

"That's easy, son," she smiled. "I married one for the money, ... two for the show, ... three to get ready, ... and four to go!"

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This is Rob again. We actually learned recently that a long-time friend, a widower, will be getting married in August. This octagenarian met his wife-to-be on eHarmony.com! Neither of them is living in what are typically thought of as places where retirees choose to live, where these senior romances seem to abound. Here's the second bit of senior humor:

In Florida and Arizona (where retirees abound), the personal ads have become rather long-in-the-tooth. Here is a sampling:

FOXY LADY: Fashion-conscious, blue-haired beauty, slim, 5' 4" (used to be 5' 6"), searching for sharp-looking, smart-dressing man. Matching white shoes and belt a plus.

LONG-TERM COMMITMENT: Recent widow who has just buried fourth husband looking for someone to round out a six-unit plot. Dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath not a problem.

SERENITY NOW: I am into solitude, long walks, sunrises, the ocean, and meditation. If you are the silent type, let's get together, take our hearing aids out, and enjoy quiet times.

WINNING SMILE: Active grandmother with original teeth seeking a dedicated flosser to share rare steaks, corn on the cob, and caramel candy.

GROOVY: I still like to cruise in my Camaro on Saturday nights. If you were a groovy chick, or are now a groovy hen, let's get together and listen to my boss collection of eight-track tapes.

MEMORIES: I can usually remember Monday through Thursday. If you can remember Friday, Saturday and Sunday, let's put our two heads together.

MINT CONDITION: Male, 1932, high mileage, good condition, some hair, many new parts including hip, knee, cornea, valves. Doesn't run, but walks well.

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Our latest reminder of being seniors was yesterday at the World of Coca Cola in Atlanta, where 55+ is considered "senior." My wife and I spent the day in Atlanta yesterday to see friends who were visiting from France. They lived in Greenville in the mid 1990s and we got to know them well. The last time we were in France with a team of students in 2001, these friends came to see us one weekend in Rouen. We had a wonderful time together, renewing our ties with them. A new Atlanta experience for us, in addition to being in Atlanta in the summer and having the temps be in the mid 80s with low humidity, was getting all over the place on MARTA. It got us very close to everywhere we wanted to go - including to a bus stop right across the street from one of our Atlanta favorites the Dekalb Farmers Market. The MARTA workers were extremely friendly and helpful - several even spoke French to us! What more could you want for an eight dollar, all-day pass?

Back to the World of Coca Cola for a second.... The new museum has some neat new features, but we still prefer the old Coke Museum. Do any of you who have visited both the old Coke museum and this new one share our opinion?

quotation...

"Bad people don't become good people by rules." - J. D. Crowley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Senior pick-up line... A well dressed gentleman in his mid-eighties enters a local diner. When he spots an immaculately groomed lady in her mid-seventies seated at the lunch counter, he goes directly to the counter and sits down on the stool beside her. He looks at her slyly and says, "Say, do I eat here often?"


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The Georgia Aquarium


My wife and I have been wanting to go to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta ever since it opened two years ago. We decided that that was something we wanted to do during our Christmas break this year. As we talked about it, we decided that yesterday would be the perfect day for us to go there since it was a weekday and would be before most schools would be out for Christmas break. We went to their website and bought our tickets in advance.

On our way to the Atlanta area we stopped at one of our favorite places along I-85 in Georgia - the Mayfield dairy visitor center in Braselton, GA - get off at exit 129 and follow the signs. We both enjoyed a favorite - a scoop of turtle tracks ice cream. The folks at Mayfield had decorated their cow outside for the season...

Our plan for visiting the aquarium could not have been better. We sat in the car in the parking structure and ate the lunch we'd brought along since Becka had seen online that the food prices in the aquarium's food court were too high for our tastes. After eating we walked to the building and arrived 20 minutes before the entry time we had signed up for, but no problem. There was no line outside at all and we were able to go in early. There were plenty of people there, but it was by no means crowded at all. Bliss! As I share some photos we took, I apologize for the quality of some - I was trying to do them without flash (sometimes mandatorially and sometimes optionally). But since it took longer for the pictures to take, either my subjects moved or I moved the camera slightly, both of which motions altered the clarity.

Throughout the day I just kept praising God again and again for His creation! It was wonderful to see such a huge display of the infinite creativity of the Lord in the creatures He made to inhabit this planet with us!

The first exhibit we visited was the Ocean Voyager exhibit. What a great way to get started! The observation window in that exhibit is the second largest viewing window in the world at 23 feet tall by 61 feet wide and the acrylic window is 2 feet thick! The scene behind the window is amazing with schools of beautiful fish, several kinds of stingrays, enormous goliath grouper and several kinds of sharks, including hammerhead sharks and zebra sharks. The tank itself - the size of an American football field and containing 6.3 million gallons of water - was built to be large enough to house whale sharks, the largest known fish in the world. Below is a picture of one of their whale sharks...

On one of our visits back to that exhibit, we were fortunate to be there at the whale shark's feeding time. The whale shark would be no threat to people since the opening of its throat is the size of a quarter. That kind of shark is a filter feeder, sucking in large amounts of water to filter out the krill and other creatures small enough for it to swallow. There's also a 100-foot-long underwater tunnel through which you can walk and see the inhabitants of that tanks swim all around you and above you.

Each of the other four exhibits was interesting and unique, bringing to our inspection creatures from all over the world. The creatures we saw were extremely varied and fascinating. We saw horseshoe crabs, shrimp, Amazonian tropical fish, sea stars, African black-footed penguins, sea anemones, Australian leafy sea dragons, a giant Pacific octopus, seahorses, Japanese spider crabs, California sea lions, sea otters, and on and on I could go.

I'd like to share with you some of the things we found the most amazing or amusing. We saw some odd little creatures called garden eels. They live in little holes they've dug for themselves in the sand. They are about 16 inches long, but the most we ever saw was about the 6 inches that peeked out when no fish were nearby. Here's the best shot I could get of the garden eels...

Other strange creatures we saw were the jelly fish. The colors and their movements were really cool....

The loggerhead turtles were really fun to watch and kind of made me think of the turtle tracks ice cream at Mayfield's dairy...

We thoroughly enjoyed watching the antics of their five Asian small-clawed river otters. They moved about so quickly that I really had a struggle to get a clear shot of any of them. Here's my best shot...

Another really cool observation window was the one for the beluga whales. (BELUGA! for those of you who remember the "Bulbous Bouffant" thing that was popular a could of years ago.) The aquarium has three belugas - one male and two females (a mother and her daughter.) Here's a picture of the three beluga whales...

We enjoyed watching them for a long time - it was just so soothing! They can swim upside down. Here's a shot of Nico, the male, swimming upside down.

Nico seemed to enjoy swimming near the front of the tank where people were watching. The guides told us that the creatures inside could see us, just as we could see them. Here's a shot I took of my wife Becka watching Nico...

Our advice to anyone who's thinking about going there and has never been before:

1. Forget the 4-D show, unless you've never seen a 3-D show before. It was cute, but it was a cartoon, rather than real sea creatures. There was another "dimension" to the show that made it 4-D, but since the place is already expensive enough, it's not a necessary part of a positive visit to the Atlanta Aquarium.

2. Don't take any child younger than about 7 or 8. We saw a number of children younger than that thoroughly not enjoying themselves. Children under 3 are free, but really don't take much of it in at all and can be downright annoying to those who are trying to enjoy their experiences. (Read: we saw and heard plenty of crabby babies and toddlers, and the only crabs should be those inside the acrylic. 🙂 And children 3 to 8 really don't know enough to fully appreciate what they're seeing, unless your (grand)child is a prodigy, of course....

3. A good starting time for your visit would be at noon or maybe 12:30. That way, you could eat your lunch before going in, yet still have plenty of time to visit all afternoon.

We ended our Atlanta experience by eating dinner at the cafeteria at the Dekalb Farmers Market and shopping for some great produce and specialty items before heading back to Greenville.

picture of Dekalb

What a pleasant day! We'd do it again in a heartbeat! We'd love to hear that this has inspired some of you to go visit it too.


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