Thursday, August 1, 2019

Through the Keyhole - August 2019

Through the Keyhole
Take a break from your day...

Not your typical company OR newsletter
Can you guess the location?
"As the capital and largest city of its country, this place is one of the oldest cities in the world.  The earliest human presence is somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.  That's really old."

Send your guess HERE

Dog Days Baby!
Well another month has passed and a new one is upon us.  August officially welcomes in the "dog days of summer" and that means we still have a few weeks until the fall begins and school is back in session (sorry kids).  However, there are still some great things to experience this month as the summer calendar winds down.

To be clear, I am not all that excited about summer coming to a close so I am going to make sure this edition of "Through the Keyhole" keeps its focus on all things "Verano".

Here are some things that are right here in the good old USA to do this month:

1) The world's longest yard sale August 1-4

Part flea market, part yard sale, and fully American, the World's Longest Yard Sale extends 690 miles from Alabama to Michigan—you'll also find the sale in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia. Headquartered along Highway 127 near Jamestown, Tennessee, the sale has brought together thousands of vendors and even more shoppers since 1987. It starts on the first Thursday in August and extends through the weekend.

2) Sturgis Motorcycle Rally August 2 -11

Join half a million people and head to Sturgis in the Black Hills of South Dakota for a two-wheeling road trip this August. A yearly event since 1938, the country's oldest and largest gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts celebrates biker culture with tattoo and beard contests, community rides, and motorcycle races. This leather-optional event gives you plenty to do, whether you ride or not, with a 5K for the health-conscious and a pub crawl for those who want to party. Plus there's live music and a Street Food Throw Down where over 100 vendors compete to be "The Best of the Best."

3) Elvis Week August 9-22

The annual Elvis Week at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, celebrates the life and legacy of "the King" with tribute artists competing for the title of Ultimate Elvis; pilgrimage tours to Elvis Presley's birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi; a Mississippi Delta Blues Tour; an auction of Elvis memorabilia at Graceland; and fittingly, a dance party. Live music performances, talks, meet-and-greets, and good eats round out the schedule of events.

4) Little League Baseball World Series August 15 - 25

Up-and-coming young ballplayers aged 10 to 12 from around the globe travel to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, each August to show off their skills in the Little League Baseball World Series. Regional U.S. teams face off against teams from Asia-Pacific, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe-Africa, Japan, Latin America, and Mexico regions.

5) Iowa State Fair August 8-18

State fairs take place across the U.S. throughout summer and fall, but Iowa's may well deliver the ultimate country experience. For 11 days every August since 1854, the Iowa State Fairgrounds has hosted more than 1 million visitors looking for carnival thrills, 4H action, fried food, and quirky memorabilia. Headliner music performances at the Grandstand over the years have included Sonny and Cher, the Beach Boys, Johnny Cash, and the Oak Ridge Boys.
Guess the Location Game

Last month the winner of the guess the location game was Jon Bredehoeft who guessed the right answer.  I appreciate all of the participation.  THANKS FOR PLAYING!
Firenze \ Florence - ITALY
"This famous city has been featured here before and considered the birthplace of the Renaissance. However, this picturesque town is historic, beautiful and very cultural (except if you saw the Jersey Shore film here...)"
Florence or Firenze as they say in Italy, is a really old and interesting city.  Home to Michelangelo's "David" and many other great works of art.  The city is one of the most beautiful in the world as the architecture is stunning.  One could spend days just wandering the streets and stopping along the way for a bite to eat at one of many cafes and restaurants.  
During ancient history, Florence was once a Roman city and then developed into a thriving medieval commune. It is hailed as the birthplace of the Renaissance movement, and throughout the 12th, 15th and 16th centuries, was one of the most important cities of the world. Notable residents of Florence included Machiavelli, Lorenzo Medici, Dante, Michelangelo, Donatello, Galileo and Raphael.
Today, tourism is undoubtedly a major part of the economy of Florence and an average of 13 million people visit the city each year. Aside from tourism, Florence has a major industrial sector and is a producer of such goods as furniture, rubber, chemicals and food. Industrial districts such as Prato-Pistoria have historically exported high-quality goods such as Vespa scooters. If you are looking for a dose of culture and want to see fantastic buildings such as the Duomo, Florence will not disappoint.

Some of the best things to do in Florence:

Florence Cathedral
Possibly the most celebrated cathedral in the world, the Duomo as it is simply known in Florence is the jewel of the city.
It was initially constructed in 1436, but the astonishing front facade wasn’t completed until the 19th century.
Located in the center of the old city, the Duomo stands out for miles and creates an imposing sight amongst the other medieval buildings.
The exterior and front facade of the Cathedral are monumental – covered in white marble and red, pink and green polychrome designs; the colour and style is breathtaking.
Furthermore, an immense dome sits at the read of the cathedral and can be accessed via a series of steps.
Although the interior of the cathedral is quite bare in contrast, it still speaks of grandeur and has several interesting pieces such as the large clock face and the magnificent Last Judgement fresco that covers the underside of the dome.
Giotto’s Campanile
Image result for Giotto’s Campanile
Many people believe that Giotto’s Campanile is connected to the Duomo however it is a separate building in its own right.
This structure is a true masterpiece of Gothic architecture and is one of the most renowned designs in the city.
Split into five distinct levels, the exterior of the tower features polychrome marble decoration that is also present on the Duomo in brilliant green and pink colours.
Constructed in 1334 through to 1359, the building was designed by the famous artist Giotto, but finished by Talenti who added the last levels after Giotto died 1343. A plethora of sculptures, artwork and decorated panels cover the tower and it is a true masterpiece of Renaissance art.
Aside from the decoration, you can also climb the 414 steps in the tower for fantastic views of Florence and the Duomo.
Ponte Vecchio
Florence is full of famous buildings and the Ponte Vecchio is an extremely famous and old bridge.
Spanning the river Arno, the Vecchio Bridge is noted for the number of shops that are built into the sides of the bridge, its decorated history and the plethora of shops that line the main walkway.
History records date the bridge as early as 996 but its true origin is unclear.
Walk onto this fantastic structure and look at the various shops and vendors – You will find jewellers, art dealers and souvenir shops.
Once at the midpoint, the bridge opens up and you are rewarded with fantastic views down the river Arno.
Aside from walking on the bridge itself also walk along the Corridoio Vasariano to see the exterior of the Ponte Vecchio and its marvellous house-like attachments.

Piazza della Signoria
Secondly only to the Piazza del Duomo, the Piazza della Signoria is just as important and contains a myriad of buildings and classical art.
The square is located to the south of the Piazza del Duomo and is easily accessible due to its central location.
The main structure of the Piazza is the magnificent Pallazo Vecchio with its huge clock tower and fantastic statues of David and Hercules.
To the left of the palace is the wonderful fountain of Neptune, and to the right is the Loggia dei Lanzi which contains some beautiful Renaissance sculptures including Perseus, Menelaus and Hercules.
Finally, a grand statue of Cosimo Medici stands near the fountain of Neptune, and a host of high-end shops line the buildings.

Statue of David
Statue of David
Possibly the most renowned and well-known sculptures in the world (not just because of his genitals), the Statue of David is a magnificent piece of renaissance art created by the legendary artist Michelangelo.
This statue depicts the biblical hero David who was said to be the first King of Israel and it is renowned due to its fantastic detail and unwavering accuracy of depicting the human form.
The original statue can be found in the Galleria dell’Accademia and a replica stands proudly at the entrance of the Palazzo Vecchio.

Boboli Gardens

Connected to the Palazzo Pitti, the Boboli Gardens are immense and beautiful.
Covering an area of 45,000 square meters, the gardens are some of the largest in Florence and are a true delight to walk through.
Created in the 16th century, the Boboli Gardens feature a myriad of different sections including a main lawn with a fountain and obelisk, a selection of worldly trees, plants and flowers, and several large ponds complete with water features.
If you want to escape the city, you can find solace in this wonderful place and enjoy the beautiful designs and natural specimens.
More pics of Florence...

10 Important things to know before going (6 min.)
Florence in 4K ultra HD
Top foods to eat when in Florence

Sturgis - whoa.
Not sure I have to go after looking at this video...pretty much says it all.

Spherical Fireworks - REALLY COOL (64 seconds)
Amazing.  Truly.  Amazing.

Intentional Walk? Think Again.
Watch this kid reach for this ball...

Top Gun 2: Maverick (TRAILER)
Coming out next summer.  Tom has still got it.

Airbus has an UBER and it's in the sky
I saw this at the EAA airshow in Oshkosh in July.  I actually think it has got a better shot than autonomous driving (on roads).

EPIC Tree Fails..
These you may have seen but still...UGH.

Best Lawyer Story of the Year
This actually took place in Charlotte, North Carolina.

A lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars and insured them against, among other things, fire.

Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars, the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company.

In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost 'in a series of small fires'.

The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason, that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion.

The lawyer sued and WON!

Delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The judge stated nevertheless, that the lawyer held a policy from the company, in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable, and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be unacceptable "fire" and was obligated to pay the claim.

Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for his loss of the cigars that perished in the "fires".


After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine.

This true story won First Place in last year’s Criminal Lawyers Award contest.

Wife Carrying Contest
This thing is creepy but could be useful in taking over the human race...

What a difference a century makes...
1910 FORD

Here are some statistics for the year 1910:

The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
Fuel for this car was only sold in drug stores.
Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!
The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.
The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME.
Ninety percent of all Physicians had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND by the government as 'substandard.'
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

The five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars.
The population of Las Vegas Nevada was only 30!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet.
There was no Mother's or Father's Day.
Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write and only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.
There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. (but almost everyone had a gun!).

Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.

Chocolate farts? Hmmm.
Science and technology have come a long way in a pretty short time. Fifty years ago we were able to successfully send men to the moon, thirty years ago scientists successfully cloned a mammal for the first time, and in this last decade we’ve seen the creation of self-driving cars. At one point in history things like intelligent robots and hoverboards were distant sci-fi imaginings, but now they’re starting to become a reality. It makes you wonder, what’s next? What other incredible innovations are on the horizon?

Floating cities?


How about, uhh, pills that make your farts smell good?

Too bad FATHER'S DAY has passed (pun intended)...

Article and place to purchase HERE.

Being a Dad...

Just for (Summer) Fun

Many requests for more sundresses...

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken
Here’s one of our healthy meal staples that we cook all the time. It’s full of flavor, only 200 calories, and has only five ingredients.

It has all the flavors of bruschetta but without the bread…or the carbs. My kids will eat it too so it must be a winner.

  • 4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato dressing divided
  • 2 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil leaves
  1. Place a large sheet of heavy-duty foil over half of grill grate; heat grill to medium heat. Meanwhile, place chicken in resealable plastic bag. Add 1/4 cup dressing and seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with dressing. Refrigerate 10 minutes (I marinate it all day if I remember in time). Remove chicken from bag; discard bag and dressing.
  2. Grill chicken on uncovered side of grill for about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/4 dressing, tomatoes, cheese and basil.
  3. Turn the chicken over and place cooked-side up, on foil on the grill. Top with tomato mixture. Close lid. Grill 8 minutes or until chicken is done.
  4. *Sometimes we add a splash of balsamic vinegar to give it a bit more zip.
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