Monday, July 4, 2022

The Jungle Reds Fourth of July QUIZ!


HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Happy Fourth of July, Reds and Readers, and we hope you are celebrating like mad. If you are in Canada, hooray, belated Happy  Canada Day. If you are elsewhere, happy anything you want it to be.

 

Because the Reds are all in the US, let’s talk about July 4 traditions. And I’ll make it easy… Here’s a quiz! (Very very critical questions.)

 

One: Hotdogs or hamburgers?

 

Tw:. If hotdogs, mustard, ketchup, relish, onions, sauerkraut? Or what combination? Oh, how about cheese?

 

Three: Does potato salad include vinegar or mayonnaise?

 

Four: Would you drink beer out of a bottle?

 

Five: Sparklers? Yes or No?

 

Six: If “yes” on sparklers, twirling or not twirling?

 

Seven: Have you ever set off a firecracker?

 

Eight: Watching Fourth of July festivities on TV. Yes or no?

 

Nine: Are you a fan of the national anthem? Just musically, not patriotically. (I just read a cool article about it, and it was fascinating.) Do you know the second verse?

 

Ten:: Apple pie or Strawberry shortcake?

 

I say:

 


One. Hotdogs or hamburgers? 

  >>Either one is fine with me. It depends on a lot of things. I would choose hamburgers, I guess. Cooked outside, goes without saying.

 

Two. If hotdogs, mustard, ketchup, relish, onions, sauerkraut? Or what combination? Oh, how about cheese?

  >>Mustard and relish. Ketchup does NOT go on hotdogs.

 

Three: Does potato salad include vinegar or mayonnaise?

>>Either one is fine, but wouldn’t vinegar be safer?

 

Four: Would you drink beer out of a bottle?

  >>I have, but I would prefer not to. I don’t love beer anyway, except at Fenway Park.

 

Five: Sparklers? Yes or No

  >>In my youth, but now, ah, seems dangerous.

 

Six: If yes on sparklers, twirling or not twirling?

  >>in my youth, definitely twirling. Two at a time. And throwing. Yikes.

 

Seven: Have you ever set off a firecracker?

  >>No. Nor have I ever been close to anyone who did.  Hmm.

 

Eight: Watching Fourth of July festivities on TV. Yes or no?

  >>Yes, I’m in Boston. What can I say.

 

Nine: Are you a fan of the national anthem? Just musically, not patriotically. (I just read a cool article about it, and it was fascinating.) 

  >>When it is sung properly, and when it’s clear the singer understands it, it’s amazing.  LOTS of points off for saying PAIR-OH-LUSS instead of perilous. (There’s no OH in there.)  And points off for changing the melody or trying to make it jazzy. I think it should make you cry, and I have heard it sung that way. Yes, I know the second verse.

 

Ten: Apple pie or Strawberry shortcake?

  >>May I have just plain strawberries?

 

How about you, Reds and readers? Copy and paste and answer!


DEBORAH CROMBIE:

 

One: Hotdogs or hamburgers?

Hamburgers. I've tried some gourmet hotdogs a couple of times this year and they were too salty to eat.

 

Two: If hotdogs, mustard, ketchup, relish, onions, sauerkraut? Or what combination? Oh, how about cheese?

 

Mustard and dill relish!! No cheese–that's weird.

 

Three: Does potato salad include vinegar or mayonnaise?

I prefer mayo, but not for a picnic.

 

Four: Would you drink beer out of a bottle?

I would if I drank beer! How about a cold cider?

 

Five: Sparklers? Yes or No?

I loved them as a kid. Now my first thought is "ouch." Sparkler burns really hurt.

 

Six: If “yes” on sparklers, twirling or not twirling?

Definitely twirling!

 

Seven: Have you ever set off a firecracker?

Nope. Not ever. And I wish no one else would. 

 

Eight: Watching Fourth of July festivities on TV. Yes or no?

Yes! Especially the fireworks on our big TV.

 

Nine: Are you a fan of the national anthem? Just musically, not patriotically. (I just read a cool article about it, and it was fascinating.) Do you know the second verse?

 

It can be chill inducing if it's sung well. No warbling!! And I do know the second verse.

 


Ten: Apple pie or Strawberry shortcake?

Strawberry shortcake! Yum. Now I'm hungry.

 

RHYS BOWEN

One: Hotdogs or hamburgers?

A 4th picnic is the only home I’d think of eating a hotdog 


Two: If hotdogs, mustard, ketchup, relish, onions, sauerkraut? Or what combination? Oh, how about cheese?

Mustard, relish, onions 

 

Three: Does potato salad include vinegar or mayonnaise?

I make a great potato salad with mayo and ranch dressing 

 

Four: Would you drink beer out of a bottle?

Never! I’m British! We don’t do such things 

 

Five: Sparklers? Yes or No?

I love looking at fireworks but they are banned in my part of the world. Fire danger

 

Six: If “yes” on sparklers, twirling or not twirling?

 

Seven: Have you ever set off a firecracker?

No!!!

 

Eight: Watching Fourth of July festivities on TV. Yes or no?

Probably not. The family is visiting 

 

Nine: Are you a fan of the national anthem? Just musically, not patriotically. (I just read a cool article about it, and it was fascinating.) Do you know the second verse?

I love when it’s sung well.   Not screeched by some pop singer. I cry as the flag is raised at the Olympics!

 

Ten: Apple pie or Strawberry shortcake?

Apple pie. With whipped cream. Yum

 

JENN McKINLAY: 

One:

Hotdogs 

 

Two: If hotdogs, mustard, ketchup, relish, onions. Stop there! Perfect.

 

Three: Does potato salad include vinegar or mayonnaise? Mayonnaise but more importantly sour cream and chives.

 

Four: Would you drink beer out of a bottle?

Of course, it’s a picnic.

 


Five: Sparklers? Yes or No?

Yes!

 

Six: If “yes” on sparklers, twirling or not twirling?

Twirling, please.

 

Seven: Have you ever set off a firecracker?

Yes. But not big ones. 

 

Eight: Watching Fourth of July festivities on TV. Yes or no?

No. We sit on the roof and watch the different fireworks shows from all over the Valley. 

 

Nine: Are you a fan of the national anthem? Just musically, not patriotically. (I just read a cool article about it, and it was fascinating.) Do you know the second verse?

Yes, I’m a fan. Mostly, because of the Olympics. There is something about hearing it playing while the flag is raised. Not sure I know the second verse, however.

 

Ten: Apple pie or Strawberry shortcake?

Strawberry shortcake! Apple pie is for winter!

 

LUCY BURDETTE


One: Hotdogs or hamburgers?

Either, could I have one of each please?

 

Two: If hotdogs, mustard, ketchup, relish, onions, sauerkraut? Or what combination? Oh, how about cheese?

Mustard and sauerkraut on the hotdog. Mustard, relish and cheese on the burger.

 

Three: Does potato salad include vinegar or mayonnaise?

 

I’ve been wanting to try a recipe for vinegar and now you’ve got my mouth watering…

 

Four: Would you drink beer out of a bottle?

 

Of course! I’ll sit with Jenn and guzzle…

 

Five: Sparklers? Yes or No?

 

Not really.

 

Six: If “yes” on sparklers, twirling or not twirling?

 

See above.

 

Seven: Have you ever set off a firecracker?

 

We used to do those little ash snakes as a kid, does that count?

 


Eight: Watching Fourth of July festivities on TV. Yes or no?

 

No. There are fireworks off the beach in downtown Madison so we find a way to watch at a distance.

 

Nine: Are you a fan of the national anthem? Just musically, not patriotically. (I just read a cool article about it, and it was fascinating.) Do you know the second verse?


I agree, if someone really nails it, I get cold chills!

 

Ten: Apple pie or Strawberry shortcake?

 

Shortcake for sure, with fresh strawberries, homemade biscuits, and homemade whipped cream!

 

HALLIE EPHRON: 

 

One: Hot dogs! All beef, not veggie please.

 

Two: Mustard, ketchup, relish, onions, sauerkraut?

ALL OF THE ABOVE. Hold the cheese. Ick.

 

Three:

potato salad needs vinegar AND mayonnaise?

 

Four: Beer from a bottle?

Why not?

 

Five, Six: Sparklers - holding them far from my face and squinting terrified.

 

Seven: HEAVENS NO to setting off a firecracker? You can lose and eye or a finger doing that.

 

Eight: No TV. And no crowds please. Just my quietish backyard.

 

Nine: No, I do not love the national anthem. 

 

Ten: Watermelon please (not cake or pie) followed by seed spitting contests.

 

 

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING

One: Hotdogs or hamburgers? 


One of each! It’s a holiday, baby, and my greatx9 grandfather Cornelius McEachron didn’t fight the British to limit my options.

 

Two: If hotdogs, mustard, ketchup, relish, onions, sauerkraut? Or what combination? Oh, how about cheese?   


Mustard in hotdogs, but occasionally I’ll do the traditional MKR combo. Love cheese on my backyard-grilled burgers. 

 

Three: Does potato salad include vinegar or mayonnaise? 


German potato salad has vinegar and sugar and I make that in the winter. American potato salad has mayo and hard=boiled eggs. My mother’s secret was a generous tablespoon of mustard powder in the mayo, and to sprinkle the top with paprika.

 


Four: Would you drink beer out of a bottle? 

There’s… another way to drink bottled beer?

 

Five: Sparklers? Yes or No? 

Yes!!!

 

Six: If “yes” on sparklers, twirling or not twirling? 

Twirling and dancing and racing around on the lawn.

 

Seven: Have you ever set off a firecracker? 

I have not. Maine only made firework sales legal eleven years ago, and we were never a family to bring illicit rocket bottles back from New Hampshire. Plus, dogs and firecrackers do not mix.

 

Eight: Watching Fourth of July festivities on TV. Yes or no? 

Traditionally, I’ve gone to a party on Munjoy Hill in Portland and then attended the free open-air PSO concert - absolutely the best 4th of July experience available. Sadly, none of that has happened in the past two years, and they’re not playing again this year, so I’ll enjoy watching “A Capitol Fourth” broadcasting from DC, with the National Symphony Orchestra playing on the Capitol lawn. I used to go when I lived in DC, and it brings so many pleasant memories back.  

 

Nine: Are you a fan of the national anthem? Just musically, not patriotically. (I just read a cool article about it, and it was fascinating.) Do you know the second verse?


So, my Grandmother Spencer’s maiden name was Key, and family lore has it we are descendents of Francis Scott Key. So I am naturally very enthused by our anthem. (And am now feeling guilty because I don’t have the second verse by heart.)

 

However, let’s be honest - there are a LOT of countries whose anthems are musically superior to ours. Maybe we should have gone for something other than an 18th century British pub song?

 

Ten: Apple pie or Strawberry shortcake?

I don’t think I’ve ever been offered apple pie in the summer! Strawberry shortcake with blueberries is the most popular Independence Day dessert in Maine.


HANK: SO much fun...and I wish you could all come over for a cookout and singing and sparkler twirling! If you are a twirler, and as you can see, the Reds are divided on that critical point..


How about about you, Readers? Copy and paste the questions at the top---and let us know what YOU think! Or..don't copy, and just tell us!

Hope you have a wonderful day!


Sunday, July 3, 2022

Invitation to Melt at Harry Potter World

 HALLIE EPHRON: As many of you know, I've read and reread the Harry Potter books (actually listened to the wonderful Jim Dale narrated audiobooks) over the past difficult year. So when my daughters asked if I wanted to fly to Orlando and visit Harry Potter World (at Universal Resort) with them and my two grandkids, and I was in. Big time! Feeling my clock ticking and all that. Now or never, as they say.

Never mind that I came home with Covid -- how can you NOT get it, standing in one of those humid underground lines waiting for an hour and a half to ride Hagrid's Motorbike (I rode in the sidecar while my daughter Molly manned the wheel).



Harry Potter world is not for the faint of heart or feeble of foot. This dragon atop one of the buildings in "Diagon Alley" belches flames down at you, once every quarter hour.


The lines are seriously long and springing for a pass to skip the line is SUPER expensive, even by come-on-it's-once-in-a-lifetime standards. Souvenirs abound - "wands" at $80 a pop (they do not work), and Hogwarts robes (yes people were wearing them in the 90-degree heat) are priced at about $150.

There is woefully little shade and very very few benches. No trams. And long distances (I clocked 8 miles in a day). So for anyone who's not up for serious sweat-walking, the only option is to rent a motorized wheelchair (aka "mobility scooters) @ $50/day. Which I'll be darned if I'll do. Maybe next time...

Bad enough finding myself lusting after and springing for $5 ICEEs. Which I'd have happily crawled into.


When Jerry and I used to take the kids to amusement parks, he did the round-and-round rides and I did the up-and-down rides. I'm happy to report that I STILL LOVE ROLLER COASTERS. And the two I went on at Harry Potter World were sublime. One had a bit where it went backwards -- WHEEEE! With lots of special effects along the way. Wait time for each: 1.5 hours. With fidgety grandchildren.

See Covid.


I love Harry Potter, so I did indeed love Harry Potter world. Not sorry I went, though I still have a Covid cough.

So is a theme park on your bucket list? Are you a fan of the round-and-round rides or the up-and-downs? And how long does it seem reasonable to wait for a truly thrilling ride in the sidecar of Hagrid's motorbike?

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Walks in the woods...

HALLIE EPHRON: Is it just in my neighborhood, but in the time of Covid are you seeing an awful lot of people just out walking your neighborhood. Individuals. Couples. Strollers and power walkers. Dogs and no-dogs. Relaxed and maskless. Tons of them. 

And I've been among them, getting my exercise the easy way now, before the summer heat and humidity turn a stroll into a trudge.

Here's my go-to walk around a nearby pond. Twice around is just right. What is it about water and sky that are so therapeutic?


And a month ago, the woods near us were teeming with Lady's Slippers which, after consulting the Internet, I discovered are orchids and not (as I'd heard) illegal to transplant. Though I did not succumb to that temptation to take any home with me. (Worse, in my book, than leaving your dog's poop (or poop bag) on the trail. )

Lady's slippers were up in abundance. Singlets.


And in bunches.



Almost always the cluster of them at the base of a mature tree, nestled in a tuffet of pine needles.

And then on the way through the woods near a pond south of us, here's what I found.


After researching it at "The Feather Atlas" on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Forensics Laboratory's web site, best guess is it's from the wing of a broad-winged hawk. The web site also reminds users that feathers are protected and not to be collected by feather-hungry hikers such as myself. (A reminder of the many birds that went extinct in the service of lady's hats.)

So have Covid precautions lured you more into the outdoors as they have me, and what have you savored in your travels?