Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Peach Pickin' at Eckert's

A visit to Eckert's Belleville Country Store & Farms was another one of those pesky activities that we just could never seem to find time for during the school year. Summer is a magical place where chocolate factory tours and peach trees are possible.

It's interesting that the vegetables were sold by volume but the fruits by weight.

When I heard the farm we'd be heading to was in Belleville, Illinois I did a quick flip through my mental contact book to think of anyone we knew in the area who'd like to join... Katie G came to mind and she was game. Hurray! We grabbed our pickin' boxes and headed over to the shuttle waiting area.

I thought the tractor pulling us in a trailer was pretty good country fun.

It was pretty sunny and I hadn't thought to bring a hat.

There were a lot of sweat bees around.

First we started picking some peaches. They were a bit hard so they weren't super exciting. I knew I could pick them now and then let them sit on the kitchen counter but I didn't want to wait that long! I'd say we took home like 10. You might say I'm pretty picky. Do you get it? It's a funny joke because I was there picking fruit but I was also very selective about which fruits I wanted. 

I'd say we ate about as much as we bought. I needed my box as a hat anyway.

Next we hopped on the next tractor that came by and then hit the blackberries. They were ripe so we grabbed more of these than peaches. The thing is, they are small so it took a lot more effort.

I thought it was fun how many different crops they had out there. This was what looked like a Christmas tree section.

Yay fruits and stuff!

Monday, July 11, 2016


Pokemon GO launched recently and has been awesome. I mean, the concept is awesome. So many people are trying to play it that the app itself has been performing pretty poorly under the strain. But the idea of making a game that involves augmented reality and encourages people to exercise is awesome.

The game's effect on parks has been especially amusing. You can totally tell who is playing and who isn't, and I've noticed packs of people playing in multiple parks. The demographics are interesting too. I feel like a lot of people playing it are our age where I might have guessed it would have been a bunch of little kids.

I exchanged numbers with a dude who I keep meeting outside my building who plays the game. I assume a couple of matching "Pokefriends 4 Life" tattoos aren't far off. Most games involve sitting alone indoors so I would say anything that gets people out and about is an improvement.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

The Stratosphere Las Vegas

I don't really recall why but we decided that today we were going to go to the Stratosphere Las Vegas, which is the Space Needle looking thing. It's on a bit of a sketchy part of Las Vegas Boulevard, about halfway between the strip and Fremont.

Justin is mostly a table game sort of guy so I was trying to tug him toward the slots a bit. As much fun as memorizing betting statistics is I'd rather just sit and watch Slimer throw money at the screen.

Once at the top of the Stratosphere we could see Trump International Hotel Las Vegas. Hopefully their business is suffering. 

They have the classic tall pointy building restaurant inside that slowly turns.

We saw a bungee jumper fly by one the windows. That was startling.

I make some of my most important product purchase decisions while washing my hands.

The next day on the flight back home I had the honor of helping an old man get his knee on his side of the airplane seat.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Beer Pong in Vegas

We started off with some more lounging by the pool. Turns out it's hot during the day in Vegas.

As this was Friday we decided it was time to hit the strip.

I find gambling to be fun in small amounts but I can't do it all day. It gets monotonous plus I'm not made of money. What I am made of though is sweet, sweet beer pong talent. Justin and I smashed some fools.

Good times were had.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Las Vegas Like a Local

Staying with Justin's dad in North Las Vegas afforded me the opportunity to see Vegas through the eyes of a local. On previous trips to Sin City I spent the majority of my time on the Strip in the giant fancy casinos and shows. Well this time I got to see some of the casinos that locals enjoy due to smaller crowds, lower prices, and even better odds on card games.

The pool at the house was funny because they had to put spiky chicken wire in the pool at a shallow point because pigeons would land in the water and drink it. There was a family of the birds squawking away overhead in a palm tree.

The Cannery was the nicest local casino that we went to. A few places we visited were real dives but this place was solid. Justin's dad was always flush with coupons so we had some sort of 2 for 1 steak dinners here.

 I took the opportunity to turn the claw tables on these lobsters in this "catch a lobster" machine. Turns out catching a live animal underwater is as hard as you might imagine.