Author Archives: Karl

.All Trips / Central USA / Missouri / North America

Patriot Park at the College of the Ozarks, Missouri

00 College of the Ozarks War Memorial, Branson

College of the Ozarks is an interesting private college in Missouri that we’ve visited before. It being Memorial Day in the USA today, I thought it would be appropriate to feature the college’s war memorials.
Situated in a cluster at the periphery of the campus are several patriotic memorials that honor those who served and sacrificed to preserve American liberties.

The Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial honors Gold Star Families — those who have lost a loved one in war.  A reminder that freedom is not free.
The gentleman above is on his way to serve his country but stops to honor …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Car Culture / Central Canada / North America

“Pic of the Week”, April 21, 2023: Vintage Fire Trucks, Alberta

00 Fire Trucks, Bomber Command Museum

The Bomber Command Museum of Canada, housed in the small Alberta town of Nanton, includes in its varied collection two old fire trucks.  Both of these served on air force bases in Alberta in WW II, intended to protect the bases in case of emergencies.  Both are in excellent condition.
The larger is a 1942 Ford and the smaller is a 1943 Ford.  Rather lovely, aren’t they?
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos)

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

“Pic of the Week”, April 14, 2023: Trowbridge Falls, Thunder Bay

01 Towbridge Falls, Thunder Bay

A pretty spot for a picnic in northwestern Ontario is Trowbridge Falls.  The falls are in a conservation area on the Current River, and are nicely terraced.  In the summer people like to wade into the falls to sit down and cool off, and kids love playing in the water.  The flow is not too rapid and it’s a pretty safe  environment.  The water is surprisingly warm in the summertime.
There are hiking trails in the adjoining forest.  In the winter the trails around here are popular with cross-country skiers.
There is a campground adjoining the park and legend has it that the spot is haunted.  There are a lot of stories of unexplained mischief that have been ascribed to ghosts.  Not …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 7, 2023: Porta Nuova, Palermo

00 Porta Nuova, Palermo

This tall and impressive gate was built in the 15th century at a time when Palermo was surrounded by a city wall.  The gate was called “Porta dell’Aquila” (Gate of the Eagle) but the people of Palermo called it “Porta Nuova” (“New Gate“), and that name has stuck.  The gate was reconstructed in the 16th century to honor Holy Roman Emperor Charles V’s conquest of Tunis from the Ottoman Empire.  The gate was destroyed by a fire caused when lightening exploded a gunpowder store in the upper levels in 1667; an exact copy was reconstructed within 2 years.
Porta Nuova is close to two of Palermo’s most popular attractions, Palazzo dei Normanni and Capella Palatina, but …

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“Pic of the Week”, March 31, 2023: Extra! Extra! Read all about it!!

PA061243 – Copy

Situated in downtown Helena’s Walking Mall is a bronze statue of a newsboy, holding up a paper.  He’s shouting out a headline, his sleeves rolled up, with a typical newsboy’s cap on his head.  Our younger audience probably wouldn’t know that there was a time when people relied on newspapers to get their news — not their phone or laptop.
The statue is entitled “Extra! Extra!”.  It was sculpted by Becky Eiker in 1998 and was dedicated in July 1999.  It’s “A tribute to the faithful newsboys who sold their papers on these street corners, bringing the latest news to the people of Helena”.
“Extra Extra” is now one of Helena’s landmarks.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos)

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, March 31, 2023: Extra! Extra! Read all about it!!
.All Trips / Europe / Food / Italy

More Almond Art

01a Marzipan, Cafe Etoile D’or Catania

I’ve previously published a post on “The Art of the Almond, featuring some of the beautiful marzipan creations we came across in Venice.  While sorting through my photos from Sicily, I found a few more nice examples.
Marzipan is made of ground almonds (almond meal) mixed with a sweetener like sugar or honey.  Marzipan is molded into the shape of fruit and vegetables and colored accordingly, producing these beautiful creations.
As with many things in life, the illusion is better than reality.  In my opinion, these creations look better than they taste — too nice to eat.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos)

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“Pic of the Week”, March 24, 2023: Whiteshell River, Manitoba

06 Whiteshell River and Lone Island Lake (2)

Located in eastern Manitoba, in Whiteshell Provincial Park, this river was a special place to me as a boy and teenager.  It was here that our father often took us fishing in the late spring and early summer, especially to Lone Island Lake.  When I recently revisited the Whiteshell River, I’d forgotten how pretty the place is.
The river connects a series of lakes which become difficult to navigate in the late summer because wild rice grows in abundance.  It’s been decades since I saw natives harvest the rice, bending the stems over their canoes and then using a club to knock the rice grains loose onto a tarp.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos)

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, March 24, 2023: Whiteshell River, Manitoba
.All Trips / Europe / Italy

A Religious Procession in Palermo


Sometimes you encounter unexpected sights while rambling around the streets of a city.  While wandering Palermo in Sicily early one February afternoon, we came across this religious procession.  I don’t speak the language, so it was unclear to me what was being celebrated.  But the icons appear to be old and of an Orthodox nature.
After I took a few still photos, I switched to video mode and captured this amateur footage, to give you a feeling for what the experience was like.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos)

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