Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Through the Keyhole - March 2018

guess the location

MARCH 2018
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Through the Keyhole

Something to look forward to...Not your typical
company or newsletter.
Turn that RIVER GREEN...

This tradition has been going on for as long as I can remember.  I have never gone to see it in person but you see it on TV every year.  The dye only lasts about 5 hours so you have to be there on time to see it and catch the parade.  You may also remember that in 2016, the City dyed the river BLUE after the Cubs won the world series.  To my knowledge, that is the only other color that has been tried (and it was in no way as visible as the St. Patrick's Day green).

This month is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb.  However, it has been pretty mild so I am not sure it's very "lion-esque".  The one thing I can tell you is that if you don't like the weather in Chicago, wait a minute and it will change.  On March 21st we celebrate the beginning of spring and the vernal equinox.  The word equinox means "equal night" which captures the fact that we have 12 hours of light and darkness on this day.  Don't get too comfortable...we still have plenty of blah ahead of us. 

This month also is traditionally the time when we have spring break.  Whether having a 'staycation' or travelling, spring break gives us a little time with the family to relax, reset and get ready for the final stretch of the school year.  Have a great time!

Every major city in the world has a parade to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  The first parade honoring the feast of St. Patrick took place in New York City, not Dublin in 1762.  Take a look at some video of the 2017 parade here.
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And now for a new picture above- Can you guess where it is by looking "through the keyhole"?  "This spectacular coastal causeway has a unique polygonal landscape feature.  This 4th greatest natural wonder of the region features a giant's boot, a wishing chair and an 'organ' that looks straight out of minecraft.  This country is also home to wool sweaters, hand made crystal and lots of room temperature beer."  Can you guess the location?

Correct answers will be given recognition but half the fun is trying to figure it out.  The correct answer will be revealed in the subsequent issue.  Good luck and have fun.

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Valletta, Malta - Keyhole Answer

"You don't have to be a maltese falcon to know where these famous enclosed balconies are found.  This place was where parts of Game of Thrones and Gladiator were filmed. The old, historic structures make it ideal for Roman Empire settings."
Last month, Russell Racean won the location by guessing correctly.  His answer - "

The picture is from the island country of Malta, possibly city of Valletta.".  Great job!

Malta is an archipelago (that's a mouthful).  It is comprised of seven tiny islets.  Malta and Gozo are regularly inhabited, while the third biggest, Comino, features just one luxury vacation resort.  The remaining four are uninhabited.  Malta is one of the most isolated spots on the Mediterranean, but there is evidence to suggest that civilizations have been living in Malta since 5000 BC.

Pictured above are the famous Maltese balconies.  These balconies are a mystery as no one really knows why they became more of a norm than an oddity.  The country actually has a program that gives financial incentive to keep the wooden structures maintained and structurally integral.  That's why each is painted a vibrant color.  

Following 150 years as a British Colony, Malta gained its independence in 1964 and became a republic in 1974 and part of the European Union in 2004.

Malta sits south of Sicily and northeast of Tunisia.  It is one of Europe's smallest countries. Calypso cave is fabled to have been the cave Homer mentions in the Odyssey.  The official languages are English and Maltese (which sounds Arabic).  People drive on the left on these islands and the Blue Lagoon is the biggest attraction.  

Due to its unspoiled nature, quiet coastline, ancient artefacts and relative obscurity, Malta has been used as a film-location shoot for many huge Hollywood productions, from ‘Gladiator’ and ‘Troy’ to ‘Captain Philips’ and TV’s Game of Thrones.

And the biggest surprise of all – Valletta was the first ever planned city in Europe. The city was sketched out back in 1565 during the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.

Completed in just 15 years, it also holds a record as one of the quickest scaled cities in the world, and looks absolutely beautiful at sunset.

And no.  I have never been there...yet.








Fishing in a puddle
It was raining hard and a big puddle had formed in front of an Irish pub.

A man sat beside the puddle holding a stick with a string on the end and jiggled it up and down in the water. A curious gentleman asked what he was doing.

"Fishing," replied the man.

"Poor fool," thought the gentleman. So he invited the man to have a drink in the pub.

Feeling he should start some conversation while they were sipping their whisky, the gentleman asked, "And how many have you caught?"

"You're the eighth."

Gotta love State Workers
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A State truck went out with five men. At the repair site they found that they only had two shovels so they called the boss and asked him to send out three more shovels. The boss said that they were out of shovels and that they would have to lean on each other instead.

Święconka - Easter is coming...my annual post.

Święconka is the name for the traditional Polish Easter Basket.

When I was a kid, we used to go to our local parish (St. Francis of Assisi) on the west side of Chicago every Holy Saturday.  It was a Polish neighborhood and everyone came to get their baskets blessed.  This is what we would place in our basket and what it symbolized (very cool):
Maslo (Butter) - This dairy product is often shaped into a lamb (Baranek Wielkanocny) or a cross. This reminds us of the good will of Christ that we should have towards all things.

Babka (Easter Bread) -
A round or long loaf topped with a cross or a fish, symbolic of Jesus, who is the Bread of Life.

Chrzan (Horseradish)
- Symbolic of the Passion of Christ still in our minds.

Jajka (Eggs) and Pisanki (decorated with symbols of Easter, of life, of prosperity)
- Indicates new life and Christ's Resurrection from the tomb.

Kielbasa (Sausage)
- A sausage product, symbolic of God's favor and generosity.

Szynka (Ham)
- Symbolic of great joy and abundance. Some prefer lamb or veal. The lamb also reminds Christians that the Risen Christ is the "Lamb of God."

Slonina (Smoked Bacon)
- A symbol of the overabundance of God's mercy and generosity.

Sol (Salt)
- A necessary element in our physical life. Symbolic of prosperity and justice and to remind us that people are the flavor of the earth.

Ser (Cheese)
- Symbolic of the moderation Christians should have at all times.

- Represents Christ as the Light of the World.

Colorful Ribbons and Sprigs of Greenery
- are attached to the basket as signs of joy and new life in the season of spring and in celebration of the Resurrection.

Linen Cover
- drawn over the top of the basket which is ready for the priest's visit to the home or the trip to church where it is joined with the baskets of others to await the blessing. The food is then set aside and enjoyed on Easter Sunday.



"Mad Dog" Mattis REAL Quote of the month


“Powerpoint makes us STUPID.” 

Things that should be in use all over...
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A mute button on your microwave for late night snacking









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I know a lot of people were tired of watching all of the curling during the Olympics.  I personally LOVED it. The US Men won GOLD which has never been done before.  The final against Sweden was unbelievable and they had to win 6 in a row in order to win gold.  Way to go guys...


SpaceX Heavy Boosters Return to LAND (video)
And this one (amateur video). AMAZING! 

5 Days in MEXICO in 5 Minutes
Mexico has gotten a pretty bad rap in the media of late.  That is not the case for all parts of any country.  Take 5 minutes to watch the video and see what this vlogger thinks about MEXICO.

You Guys Silly? I'm still gonna send it!20
Larry Enticer is a sensation in Minnesota and on YouTube.  People also purchase t-shirts rooting for this daredevil...  Watch here (video)


Base Jumping INTO a PLANE (video)
Watch THIS.

Someone made a HEARSE out of a TESLA

Video HERE

Chinese Glass Bridge (video)
Watch THIS. Funny but terrifying.  Those pranksters are mean.

Hop in my TIME MACHINE...
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Dittos...Loved the smell.

Banana Cream Pie Day is March 2nd
1 (9-inch) graham cracker pie crust (pre-made)
2 ripe bananas
1 3/4 c cold milk
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant banana pudding mix
1/2 c frozen whipped topping, thawed (cool whip)

1) Slice 1 1/2 of the bananas and arrange in bottom of pie shell.
2) Pour cold milk into a medium bowl. Add pudding mix. With an electric mixer beat on lowest speed for 2 minutes.
3) Gently fold in 1/2 cup of the whipped topping; mix until well blended. Pour into pie shell.
4) Place in freezer and freeze at least 2 hours before serving.

Allow to thaw slightly before cutting slices.
Garnish with slices of the remaining banana and whipped topping or canned whipped cream if desired.

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