Saturday, August 12, 2017

Harness Races at the Illinois State Fair

We went to the Illinois State Fair.


There were little bits of evidence of the State of Illinois' dire financial situation here and there.




















I was trying to expand our horizons a little and do something we don't usually do. I had the impression that I've seen every last inch of this fair so when I saw this Harness Racing sign I was excited to take a little peek.


It was all the excitement of normal horse racing only.. slower.










We didn't hang out with the governor like last year, but it was still pretty fun.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Saturday, August 05, 2017

A Family Reunion and Beating Nervous Prostration

There was a family reunion in Springfield, Illinois today and I thought it might be a hoot to attend.






Different branches of my family owned both a pharmacy and a grocery, so there are lots of fun artifacts from those businesses floating around.


There was even a little silent auction of family heirlooms where I picked up a cool little thing. It costs at least 50 cents to cure syphilitic sores these days. Inflation!


My favorite part was all of the old photos people brought to show.






Thankfully the family pharmacy existed during the hilarious shyster patent medicine period of American history. These days if impure blood is causing you mercury poisoning, tumors, pimples, chronic rheumatism, loss of appetite, female weakness, and nervous prostration you have to take more than one medicine. SAD! Just yesterday I had a bad case of scald head and I had to just walk it off.


No erysipelas or catarrh on this chick's watch. I mostly just like looking up old timey diseases.


One amusing part of the whole thing was that a girl from my class at Illinois College was in attendance that I didn't know that I was related to. I'm glad to report that there are no additional embarrassing details to this particular story.


Back at the house my mom dredged up some old pictures of her own.




My long lost chubby Asian sister.


A couple of members of our STL crew invested in these bar passports, which get you free drinks at a variety of bars in town. It was an especially fun excuse to go to some new places.


One such place was ShiSha Restaurant & Lounge, which was a hookah bar with a predominantly African American clientele. I'd never even heard of this place before.


I want to say this is at the Gramophone.


Someone fatty always has the idea to eat at a dirty diner after a few drinks. Good place to arm wrestle though.






Mike Talayna's Juke Box Restaurant is my favorite place to see 45 disco balls in one sitting.


Well at this point all of the bars had closed and yet another great idea, I assume from one of the girls,  involved going a strip club in fabulous East Metro.  Larry Flynt's Hustler Club seemed like the place to take my classy crew.


I ended up befriending a couple of country dudes who invited us to sit in their VIP area and drink their bottle of Crown Royal. Zoe is seen pictured here before getting into some sort of argument with a stripper in the ladies restroom.


And that's the story of how I went to a family reunion, cured my want of vitality,  and visited a strip club all in the same glorious day.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Left New Zealand and Went Home. Sad!

We were now being forced to leave the magical land of New Zealand and return to the Hobbit-holes of our urban Shire, St. Louis, Missouri.


One last whimsically named product. Looks like here they call cough drops "throaties". I can't handle this culture shock.


We dropped off the rental car and Lydia called to yell at her phone company a few times.


Haere Ra to you as well.


Then I did what I do best, got us unlimited food and booze at the Emperor Lounge at Auckland Airport.


Sweet sweet free internet was also there in abundance.


Zoe and I share an affinity for the bubbly.


Airlines and airport lounges are a great opportunity to sample local products.


I think we arrived right at the cusp of breakfast/lunch. So I ate both.




Beer and cereal is my secret to growing up big and strong. Beer is sort of like cereal without all of that annoying chewing work people are always expecting me to do.








This picture sucks but there was a really cool glass sculpture above this bar that was made out of beer bottles.




We landed in Brisbane, Australia for what may be the 9th time on this trip. When we realized that they were going to make us go through airport security again we had to stop, drink all the beers we'd jammed into our bags in Auckland, then proceed. 

A guy with a family walked by while we were downing these beers in an airport hallway and said "nice place for a Speights isn't it?" I couldn't tell if he was being funny or not. 

Also Speights is a beer brand. That was an important detail for understanding the previous story. I guess read it again now that you know?

Was it funnier the second time? Let me know in the comments.




Speaking of Brisbane, do you remember when we first landed here there was a ton of fog and we got some good shots from the plane? 


Well I posted it on Twitter and the locals took a liking to it.


It even made it on a local news website, ABC.


Around this time the group started complaining "John you haven't gotten us into an exclusive airport lounge for free in about 3 hours what's the deal?" And I was like "Shazaam!"


I made it rain at Brisbane's Plaza Premium Lounge this time. We stayed here and ate and ate for seriously 6 or 7 hours.






This place had friggin cake pops.


Curry!






The flight attendants on Virgin Australia were polite enough I guess but all very stern. I've been on a couple of flights in my day so I know all the "put on your seatbelt" crap that they care about so I just do it then we don't have to talk. Well I was getting yelled at multiple times per flight by these women. One didn't want me to have my usb phone cord plugged in during takeoff. Who the hell cares?!

I got yelled at for taking this gif, in fact. I just think that maybe if they were a little nicer they wouldn't still be virgins. At some point it's time for a little self-reflection.








I don't care how many times I see it, the earth from a plane window is fascinating.


Artist's rendition of me makin' them lounge doors open for my crew.








It was discovered that a treat had survived the trip home and it was promptly devoured.


One of the fun things about being gone a while is the mountain of mail waiting for you. This time it contained a couple of new credit cards for each of us. Time to start working on earning our next trip!