Monday, January 7, 2019

Through the Keyhole - January 2019

JAN 2019
Through the Keyhole
Take a break from your day...

Not your typical company OR newsletter

Can you guess the location?
"At the geographic center of its home peninsula, this capital city has many great monuments.  It is a lively metropolis with many pubs, cafes, discotheques and nightclubs open late into the night.  Don't be surprised if you get into a traffic jam at four in the morning as the people you meet at that time are not necessarily going to work..."

Send your guess HERE

The year 2019 has arrived...WOW

Welcome to 2019...  I remember thinking when I was a young kid how far away that year sounded.  I figured by now we'd be living more like the Jetson's than we do.  For those of you who don't know who the Jetson's are, they were a cartoon family who lived in the future.  They had videophones, robots, drones, 3D printed food, smartwatches, treadmills for dogs, and jetpacks.  Wait a second - we have all that stuff and it only took about 56 years to make it happen.

Truthfully, it is amazing the things human beings can do today.  Some of the new technology is quite scary.  From artificial intelligence to robots, talking alarm clocks, flat screen TVs and video chats, we have certainly come a long way.  We don't have flying car yet but semi-autonomous ones for sure.

As the new year begins, many people make resolutions.  To quit some bad habit, to exercising more or simply to better oneself.  Not to be too depressing but statistically speaking most of us (about 80%) will give up on their new years resolution by February 1.  Here are some ideas of things that are attainable...
  • Exercise more often
  • Use your time better (it's called time management)
  • Save more money
  • Learn a new language
  • Manage your stress better (see number 1 above)
  • Learn how to code
  • Be nicer to people
  • Travel more
Speaking of travel, here are some great places to go in January (of any year).

Park City, Utah


Cape Town, South Africa



Most people don't have the time in January to travel and if you have children, it is no easy task to get away.  However, the cool thing is that Chicago is also a great place to spend time in January.  Even though the average high this month is 30 degrees and we usually get around 11 inches of snow, layering up the clothes and heading downtown isn't a bad idea.

Mid-winter guests at downtown hotels often enjoy lower rates and dining establishments offer prix-fixe menus to entice foodies.  You can also join the rest of Chicago by going ice skating at the "bean" or "ribbon".
You also may wish to visit Chicago's biggest and best indoor winter playground, Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier that runs through January 8th.

If you are a Cub fan, the Convention is on from January 12-14 and if you love the Sox, their fest is January 26-28.

So Happy New Year to all of you and may you have a healthy and prosperous 2019.  

Guess the Location Game

Last month the winner of the guess the location game was Michael Daugherty who guessed the right answer.  I appreciate all of the participation.  THANKS FOR PLAYING!

Santorini - Keyhole Answer

"This crescent shaped island sits atop of what remained after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements there.  Cousteau looked for the lost city of Atlantis there and the whole cluster of islands is still an active volcano with its crater under the sea."

Santorini is the supermodel of the Greek islands, a head-turner whose face is instantly recognisable around the world: multicoloured cliffs soar out of a sea-drowned caldera, topped by drifts of whitewashed buildings. With its reputation for dazzling panoramas, romantic sunsets and volcanic-sand beaches, it’s hardly surprising the island features on so many travellers’ bucket lists.

There’s no denying the uniqueness of this destination or its huge allure – Santorini hosts 1.5 million tourists annually. Here’s all you need to know if you’re planning to join that crowd.

Volcanic history

Part of the Cyclades island group, Santorini (officially known as Thira, a name that encompasses the volcanic islets within Santorini’s orbit) sits in the Aegean Sea, roughly halfway between Athens and Crete.
The island is shaped like a wonky croissant, and the neighbouring islets hint at the fact that Santorini was once circular; it was known as Strongili (the Round One). Thousands of years ago a colossal volcanic eruption caused the centre of Strongili to sink, leaving a caldera (or crater) with towering cliffs along the east side – now Santorini’s trademark landscape.

Caldera-edge settlements

Santorini’s commercial development is focused on the caldera-edge clifftops in the island’s west, with large clusters of whitewashed buildings nesting at dizzying heights, spilling down cliffsides and offering gasp-inducing views from land or sea.

Fira, the island’s busy capital, sprawls north into villages called Firostefani (about a 15-minute walk from Fira) and Imerovigli (the highest point of the caldera edge, about a half-hour walk from Fira). A path running through these villages is lined with upmarket hotels, restaurant terraces and endless photo opportunities.

These three conjoined settlements draw most visitors, together with the stunning and quite exclusive village of Oia in Santorini’s north. There’s a growing number of hotels in the island’s south, offering caldera views to the north and northeast. Akrotiri’s views come cheaper than Oia’s, but it’s a fair way from the action of Fira.
Away from the caldera edge
Santorini’s east coast is lesser known than the celebrated, elevated west coast. Here, the caldera-edge heights have sloped down to sea level, and volcanic-sand beaches and resorts offer a very different drawcard. East-coast resorts such as Kamari and Perissa have a more traditional (and more affordable) island-holiday appeal: sunlounger-filled beaches, water sports, bars and taverna-lined promenades.

The east coast’s beaches are lined with black sand; on the south coast, there’s a string of beaches famed for their multicoloured sand – dramatic Red Beach is a traveller favorite.

The island’s interior is dotted with vineyards and traditional villages that let you see beyond the tourist hustle. Make a stop in Pyrgos for great eats and a wander through charming backstreets.

What to do
The obvious activity is to walk the caldera edge and admire the views. Walks in and around Fira are spectacular, particularly heading north to Firostefani and Imerovigli along the caldera-edge pathway. Keep walking and you’ll eventually reach Oia, but be aware that this is no small undertaking and the trail beyond Imerovigli can be rough. It’s about 9km in all, and a good three- to four-hours’ walk in one direction.

Santorini’s lauded wines are its crisp dry whites and the amber-coloured, unfortified dessert wine known as Vinsanto. Both are made from the indigenous grape variety, assyrtiko. About a dozen local vineyards host tastings (usually with a small charge) and some offer food, with scenery and local produce combining to great effect. Start your investigations at the large, slick SantoWines.

Santorini’s intrigue reaches deep into the past, with the fascinating site of Akrotiri displaying a Minoan city destroyed by the volcanic eruption of 1613 BC. In Fira, the impressive Museum of Prehistoric Thera helps piece together the story of ancient Akrotiri.

Nature’s handiwork is on display from any waterfront seat come sundown, but prime sunset-viewing is in Oia, where thousands of tourists flock to admire (and applaud) nightfall.

Take the plunge: at your hotel’s infinity pool or your suite’s private plunge pool, from the edge of a boat on a caldera cruise or on a black-sand beach on the east coast.

Any tour your heart desires can be organised – there are dozens of agencies ready to help with winery visits, archaeology tours, sunset-watching and more. The most popular option is a cruise, and the classic itinerary takes in the caldera’s volcanic islands of Nea Kameni and Palia Kameni, including a stop at the former’s crater and the latter’s hot springs.

Sure, there are views that stop you in your tracks and great glimpses into how A-listers travel. But away from Santorini travel headlines there’s plenty to explore, from a gorgeous open-air cinema to a cool microbrewery, wine caverns adorned with artworks, and cooking demonstrations and classes which celebrate Santorini’s growing foodie culture.

Hilarious Punishment for Package Thieves...

You will laugh out loud at this...



Odd Combinations that actually taste good

Ice Cubes in your Hamburger?

In an interview with Fox News, MasterChef judge Graham Elliot revealed that his trick for making better burgers is pressing a small ice cube into the middle of the patty before grilling it.
Yep. An ice cube.
"Make your patties, then put your little ice cube in there and then when you grill it, it keeps it moist and keeps it from getting dried out," Elliot told Fox News.
The ice cube will prevent the burgers from overcooking and add a bit of extra moisture to the beef — something that's especially helpful if you're grilling rather large patties.
What you're gonna do is take a ball of ground beef, gently press a little ice cube in the center, and form the beef around it so it's sealed. (Just imagine a regular burger patty with a little bulge in the center. That's what we're going for here.)
And if you're worried about the ice cubes making your burgers cold or wet — don't! The ice melts pretty quickly so no one will even know they were there.

So the next time you grill up some burgers, try pressing an ice cube right into the raw patty before grilling it.


Old Pics

Funny Sounding Words

Expensive Fails...

Short video of some funny stuff...

Luckiest people in the world...

They all survived but this is really hair raising...

Extreme Landings

Not sure I would want to be on any of these flights.  Good Pilots...

Oh Johnny...

Little Johnny was in the kitchen playing with his toy train as his father cooked dinner.
Little Johnny stopped the train and said, ''All you damn a**holes who want to get off, get the hell off. All those who want to get on, get the hell on!''
''Little Johnny!'' exclaimed his father. ''I can't believe you are using that language! You should be ashamed of yourself! I want you to go to your room and don't come back until you have thought about what you've done!''
So Little Johnny goes to his room and comes back an hour or so later.
He resumes playing with his train, only this time when he stops it he says, ''All of you ladies and gentlemen who want to get off, you may now get off, and those who want to get on, you may now also get on.

And as for those of you who have a problem with the hour delay, talk to the a**hole in the kitchen!''

Crown Roast of Pork with Mushroom Dressing

It looks so elegant that everyone thinks I really fussed when I serve this roast. But it's actually so easy! The biggest challenge is to remember to order the crown roast from the meat department ahead of time.
  • 1 pork loin crown roast (10 to 12 ribs, about 6 to 8 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 3 cups cubed day-old bread
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 cup whole fresh cranberries, optional

Preheat oven to 350°. Place roast, rib ends up, in a shallow roasting pan; sprinkle with seasoned salt. Cover rib ends with foil. Bake, uncovered, for 1-1/4 hours.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and celery; saute until tender. Stir in bread cubes, salt and pepper. Spoon around roast. Brush sides of roast with preserves. Bake until thermometers inserted into meat between ribs reads 145°, 45-60 minutes. Remove foil; let meat stand 10 minutes before slicing.
  • If desired, thread cranberries on a 20-in. string or thread. Transfer roast to a serving platter. Loop cranberry string in and out of rib ends. Slice between ribs to serve.

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