Monday, February 4, 2019

Through the Keyhole - February 2019

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

Not your typical company OR newsletter
Can you guess the location?
"This far away tropical destination is home to rare tortoises, oddly shaped rock formations and is mostly visited by Europeans who pay in rupees.  Can you guess the location?"

Send your guess HERE

OH Snap! That was C O L D...
I'm not even being melodramatic...  That was the coldest I have ever remembered in the history of my history.  For the last two days the office was closed and everyone was working remotely.  For the brief moments that I was outside (walking the dog, trying the frozen cup of water into the air trick) I was SHOCKED at how fast the inside of my nostrils froze and how painful the air felt on my face.  It was also kind of hard to breathe.  I have been very thankful for a warm home and cannot imagine what it would be like to be an animal just trying to survive.  Not to mention the homeless... Ugh.

And just like Chicago (where if you don't like the weather, wait a minute it will change), this weekend we are supposed to reach 53 degrees.  That's a 76 degree difference between our low of 23 below and the new high set to arrive on Monday.  The last time it was this cold was supposedly on Christmas in 1985.  That I don't remember but this one I am sure to hang onto for a while.

Tomorrow is groundhog day.  Who cares.

February is national get the hell out of town month (I made that up) so if you have the time and a little money, GET OUT!  Some suggestions:
Las Vegas is always a good, quick option from Chicago
Park City, Utah is a short plane trip away and you'll be on the slopes in the afternoon...
The Wisconsin Dells are a short ride away and there are waterparks to escape the outdoors.  Also, even if you are a little body conscious, you'll feel better about yourself once you get there.  Trust me.
Miami Beach, FL  This may be the opposite of the Dells as the people are fit and the food is not fried...
February is also the month we celebrate Valentine's day, President's day and Random Act of Kindness day.  All Hallmark Holidays.  Silly.

On Sunday we have a national past time in watching the Super Bowl.  There will be parties and get togethers all over the nation where we will eat highly caloric food and have some drinks with friends and family.

The Super Bowl used to be a time when we saw new, highly inventive television commercials.  Not anymore in my opinion. They leak out most of them before the game on YouTube and that really takes the fun out of it.  There are always a few clever ones but nothing really mind blowing.

This year, there are 86 slots for commercials.  Yes, 86 slots.  I am not sure how one could stay tuned into a game with that many commercials in it.  Oh wait, there's gambling.

Not only can you bet on the point spread, which guy will be the first one to score a touchdown, but you can bet on so many other things.  At these prop bets are hilarious.  Here are some examples to keep you in the game:
  • Coin toss
  • How long will the anthem be?
  • Will a player take a knee during the anthem?
  • What will Gladys Knight wear? (skirt, dress or gown)
  • How many plays will Tony Romo correctly predict?
  • Will a fan burst onto the field of play?
  • How many times will the camera show Gisele?
  • How many times will the announcers mention / show Sean McVay in College?
  • Total Donald Trump tweets on February 3rd
  • Who will the MVP mention first in his acceptance speech?
So you see, there are lots of ways to have fun this Super Bowl Sunday.  All I know is that I will be at a party with good food, good people and a football game.  Have fun!
Boiling water thrown into the air during sub-zero climate.  SLOW MOTION
Guess the Location Game

Last month the winner of the guess the location game was Mark Costa who guessed the right answer.  I appreciate all of the participation.  THANKS FOR PLAYING!
Madrid, Spain - Keyhole Answer
"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..."
They don't speak your grandmother's Spanish in Madrid (that's a joke). Today, modern Castilian Spanish is spoken in central and northern Spain, most notably in Castile, Madrid and Salamanca. The regions that speak Castilian Spanish are proud of their accent, because it is regarded as the best kind of Spanish that one can speak. I will say that the Spanish are very proud and it is true they believe to be superior Spanish speakers.  After all, the language is named after them...

Madrid is the capital of Spain and the largest municipality in both the Community of Madrid and Spain as a whole. The city has almost 3.2 million inhabitants and a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.5 million. It is the third-largest city in the European Union, smaller than only London and Berlin, and its monocentric metropolitan area is the third-largest in the EU, smaller only than those of London and Paris.  Its elevation is about 2200ft. above sea level with warm summers and cool winters.

Madrid is a city so full of life and culture that it’s hard to do justice to it in a few paragraphs. Artistically the city holds its own against any in Europe, with the of the best art museums on the continent where renaissance masterworks and seminal 20th-century pieces are waiting to captivate you.

Take in all the historic sights and get the background on the Spanish Empire that spanned the globe in the 16th and 17th-centuries. There are also countless little things that make Madrid memorable, whether that’s a café con leche in a stately square, drinks at a rooftop bar or a wander through the Retiro or Casa de Campo on a sunny day.

The Prado

Absolutely essential, the Prado is one of the best and most popular art museums in the world.
There’s an overwhelming collection of masterpieces by renaissance and baroque masters.
Spain is represented by Velázquez and El Greco, the low countries by Rembrandt, Brueghel, van Dyck and Rubens, while Titian, Caravaggio, Botticelli and Tintoretto form the Italian contingent.

Of the many must-see works are Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights and David with Head of Goliath by Caravaggio.

The artist with most works hanging at the Prado is the Spanish Romantic Goya, whose 14 Black Paintings are a Spanish cultural reference point.

Retiro Park

Madrid’s green heart and full of elegant gardens, the Retiro is just a few steps east from the Prado and was a royal property up to the end of the 19th century when it was opened to the public.

If you’re visiting with little ones, paddling on the Grand Pond next to the monument of Alfonso XII is a fun option on a sunny afternoon.

The iron and glass pavilion built to house the Philippine Exhibition in 1887 is magnificent and growing in the pond in front of it are bald cypresses, strange swamp trees that turn  a lovely golden brown in summer.

The oldest tree in the city is close by: It’s a Montezuma Cypress planted in 1633 and ringed by an iron fence.
Royal Palace
Built in the mid-1700s for King Philip V the Royal Palace is on the site of Madrid’s Moorish Alcázar fortress-palace, which burned down in 1734. It’s the largest royal palace in western Europe, and has a blend of baroque and neoclassical styles.

You have to go inside for the full experience because the royal collections and frescoes are sublime.
There are works by Goya, Caravaggio and Velázquez, as well as stunning displays of watches, tapestries, porcelain and silverware.

You can see the only string quartet of Stradivarius instruments in the world, and the Royal Armoury that includes the personal weapons used by Charles V in the 16th Century.

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.

Gran Via (pictured in the clue)
If you’d like to get a sense of the city,  a walk along the Gran Vía is a superb place to start.

It’s Madrid’s entertainment, shopping and cultural nerve centre, a buzzing avenue often full of life until dawn.  By day it throngs with shoppers stopping by the many malls, high-street stores like H&M and Zara and luxury boutiques.

In the evenings there are couples arm-in-arm, stepping out to the cinema or a musical.  And after dark the street pulses with many of Madrid’s top nightclubs.

Sights to spot as you stroll include the vast Telefónica Building, built in 1928 and an early example of a skyscraper.

There are so many things to do in Madrid and these are just a few suggestions to start.
Things get going late in Madrid.  Everything is late in Madrid.
This couple picked up and moved to Europe.  See this chapter in their lives...
Check this out.
"Steam Fog" over Lake Michigan
80's Memes
Using a car WITHOUT a car... BLACKBIRD
This might be one of the coolest things I have seen in technology.  This "car" can be any type, color, make or model.  Take a look.
The customer is NEVER wrong?
Be Nice At the Gym
This post is PROOF that there are still some good people in the world...
Impossible Burger 2.0
A vegan and a meat eater go sample the new burger...
The Impossible Burger has been making headlines for a couple of years now as a plant-based substitute to burgers that promises to look, taste and even "bleed" like the real deal. Today at CES, Impossible Foods is ready to unveil what is essentially Impossible Burger 2.0. According to the company, the new burger has no gluten and tastes closer to real meat than ever before.

One of the reasons for this is that the new Impossible Burger 2.0 is made with soy protein instead of wheat protein. This, according to the company, gives it a "meaty chew and versatile texture" that'll make it ideal not just as a burger, but also as a main ingredient in any ground meat dish -- think stews, chili, dumplings, meatballs and more. It has as much bioavailable iron and protein as the same size serving of ground beef, with 14 grams of fat and 240 calories per quarter-pound patty.
Full article HERE
Casey Neistat goes out to White Castle to test the impossible burger 2.0
World Landmarks
Ice Golf FAIL
This guy should have probably taken a mulligan.
So you wanna build a Snowman.
Technically, you're NOT wrong.
SUPER BOWL Slow Cooker Sweet Heat Kielbasa Dip
This is a very easy dip to make.  However, you need 4-5 hours for it to turn into molten love.  Try it out.  It's low calorie (lie), low fat (lie), and delicious (not a lie).
1.5 lbs kielbasa, diced small (skin removed)
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup apricot preserves
4-5 jalapenos, diced, seeds and stems removed
2 tablespoons hot sauce, or to taste
Salt, to taste
Bread, chips, or pretzels to serve
Combine kielbasa, cheeses, mayonnaise, preserves, jalapenos, and hot sauce in a slow cooker and stir to combine.

Cover and cook on low until cheese is entirely melted, stirring occasionally, about 4-5 hours.

Taste and add salt and additional hot sauce as desired. Stir well. Switch to “warm” setting until ready to serve.

Serve with French bread, chips, or pretzels.
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