Tuesday, February 28, 2012

While You Were Sleeping....

....or perhaps otherwise engaged, happenings and goings-on here on the big blue marble that might have escaped your attention.

Spring Break is right around the corner for college kids nationwide. Presuming you - a collegian - have more disposable income than did I when I was your age, you might be planning on spending your break on vacation. I spent mine working but enough about me. You and your friends might be thinking, "Hey a cruise is a relatively inexpensive way to enjoy a full-service, all-inclusive week of fun and sun!" I suppose the only chance of any college-age kid in America voicing precisely that thought would be if he/she wandered into real life off of the set of a Frankie/Annette movie. Anyway, I digress.

A cruise can be an enjoyable way to vacation. The Missus and I went on one a number of years ago and had a terrific time. I might suggest though that if a cruise is on your list of vacation possibilities in 2012 - whether you are a Spring Breaker or not - you consider NOT going on Carnival Cruise Lines. Thus far this year, Carnival has appeared to be equally inept at keeping its passengers safe whether they are on board or have gone ashore on a paid-for excursion. Things have been so rough this far this year that even the crew members are jumping ship....literally.

This year, the people who run Purdue University just might have some difficulty getting their kids to leave West Lafayette and go anywhere. Over in Lafayette, collegians of legal drinking age (and anyone else brave enough to venture into this particular establishment) can enjoy beer and wine with their meal....at the White Castle. Yes indeed. Nothing says "mismatch" quite like the visual imagery associated with someone drinking a nice Merlot while scarfing down a 20-pack of sliders. Yet in this particular White Castle since December 2011, a customer has been able to do just that. How are sales of vino going at the Home of the Slider? Some days better than others apparently.

And finally a random item that might appeal only to my fellow Garden Staters - if it even does to them. For any and all who thought that the old saw about prisoners making license plates was something drawn up in a Hollywood studio, take a gander at the license plate-making factory at Bayside State Prison in southern New Jersey. They crank out license plates at a rate of 1 Million annually.

One million license plates a year. Thankfully those of us who live in the State of Concrete Gardens are so infatuated with our vehicles to keep this shop dedicated exclusively to the production of license plates. One hates to think what all that machinery and all those tools would be utilized to make if not license plates. How many lunch trays could one state's hospitals and schools possibly use? Given that there is not a great deal of enthusiasm from the Whamo folks for metal Frisbees or other flying objects, but for the need to crank out these plates, this particular segment of the workforce would have a lot of idle time on their hands.

Now that the Ledger has confirmed where our license plates are produced, I opted to reverse my stance on vanity plates and I ordered a set for Skate. I wanted to ensure that the workmanship was top-notch and that my plates were manufactured with skill and love so I opted for a vanity plate near and dear to the heart of the person making it: NTGLTY.

They are supposed to arrive in four to six weeks. I hope like Hell that they are not hand-delivered.

-AK

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