Aviously

Because, aviously…

Springfield, Massachusetts has a grouping of five museums, all located around one central Dr. Seuss themed sculpture garden (more on that at a later date), with one entry that gets you into all of them. These five are:

  • Springfield Science Museum
  • Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History
  • George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum
  • Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts
  • The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum

I’ll start today with a quick peek into the first one, the Springfield Science Museum, which for reference is very similar to the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, as seen in Night at the Museum:

  • R.E. Phelon African Hall – Ramps will guide you thru this two-story exhibit, which features many mounted animals
  • Dinosaur Hall – The life-size T-Rex is the main thing you’ll notice here, in what has become a go-to for most museums
  • Earth Hall – Minerals from around the world, as well as some that are local to the area
  • Solutia Live Animal Center – A little aquarium nestled into the museum, showing off some of the local animals, as well as creatures from around the world
  • Special Exhibits – This space was filled with the Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog exhibit, which is a “paws-on” experience for children
  • Seymour Planetarium – Take in a show exploring the universe in the oldest operating planetarium in the US

This is a great spot to start your trip around the five museums, and has a lot of things for all ages!

Joel McHale had a Netflix run of a fresh show every week for 13 weeks, which started here. And then when it finished they extended it by six episodes, to be binge released at one time…which is risky for a “weekly style” show since its content becomes more dated.

And with them being released this week, Joel makes it work, crossing the line and bringing up all of these issues, referencing the binge, that the next episode is only 31 seconds away, and even pointing out things that will happen in other episodes, in case you don’t watch them in order.

Regular guest appearances by Producer/Director Paul Feig, and a guest per episode including Gillian Jacobs (promoting Love and Ibiza), Joe Manganiello, and Jack Black.

There are also custom songs for each credit scene, by Eli Braden, with one of them sung by his son, and the final episode performed live including other sideshow acts.

Ben and Jerry’s has their original factory located in Waterbury, Vermont, and is a giant tourist trap, and really not worth visiting unless you happen to be in town already.

The tour itself will run you $4, which is basically paying for the free sample, and features the following:

  • A video in their moovie theater showing how the company was formed and the expansion since. But once that part of the movie is done (about 30% of it so far), they launch into the things Ben and Jerry are passionate about: Liberal politics. And spend the rest of the movie pushing their agendas onto everyone who is now suddenly unwillingly sitting there.
  • You then walk out onto an overlook, from which you can see all the machines that are involved in the ice cream making process (but no pictures allowed on this tour!).
    These machines do everything from mixing the milk and cream, to blending together flavors, and putting them into their containers, before sealing it all up and sending it out the door.
  • Free tasting. At the end they give you a single scoop free sample of a random flavor, before sending you on your way!

After the tour you can go for a walk behind the building, and see their giant tanks that store the milk, cream, and sugar before they hit the factory floor.

And lastly, you can head to the Flavor Graveyard, the final resting place of flavors that didn’t quite make it, or the limited edition runs. Some of these, like Sugar Plum, seemed great on paper, but tasted horrible…and on its tombstone reads:

It swirled in our heads,
It danced in our dreams,
It proved not to be though,
The best of ice creams.

One of the reasons I got a PlayStation, besides to play MLB The Show, was to finally try out one of the most storied franchises on gaming systems: God of War.

One of my biggest issues while starting the most recent edition of the game is that I had no idea what was going on. There’s no intro video to catch you up, and I even bought the Guide, hoping for something in there, and not an ounce of knowledge was gleaned…so I knew that Kratos was a God, and that’s about it.
(Although I’m told by people that when you play all the way thru it will fill in all the questions I have…but I’m impatient.)

The game is beautifully drawn, and a complete work of art, as you can see from the PushSquare screengrabs below.

Despite not knowing what was going on for a lot of it, the story is intriguing, as we follow a classic father-son journey into the real world, on a quest to deliver his mothers ashes to their final resting place.

We do what we please. No excuses.

While this game wasn’t for me, it just isn’t my style or genre, I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an adventure with a really long story.

Rock of Ages quarry, located in Graniteville, Vermont, is a popular maker of tombstones and monuments, and a great stop if you are driving thru Vermont.

The quarry has a few different things to see:

  • Quarry – The main part of this facility is the tour that takes you up into the mountain, to overlook the quarry, where they work on extracting the rock from the mountain. They use diamond saws and water jets to cut thru it, taking out large squares to take away by truck.
    If you look at the picture below, you can see three bodies of water, all in different states of use. On the bottom left you have a fully used and dirtied body of water. On the right side, you have bright white water, which is where they are currently working out of. And finally, in the back, you have a fresh pond that they haven’t tapped into yet.
  • Plant – The plant is where you can take the self-guided factory tour, and this is the area where they work on the materials, doing everything from sawing and sandblasting, to polishing and precision cutting.
  • Bowling Alley – Nestled in the bushes outside the factory and gift shop is quartz bowling alley, with rubber bowling balls. You’ve never seen a ball roll so smoothly over a surface, as it heads down towards the pins at the end.

The end of the world is near, and 1,600 years after King Arthur, Lancelot, and Merlin, the last knight of the round table has been crowned, in the form of Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), and Optimus Prime has gone rogue while trying to fix his home planet of Cybertron, with Quintessa.

I’m gonna rely on physics and mathematics to save the planet, not mysticism, fairies, and some hobgoblins.

This movie is definitely not as bad as a lot of people made it out to be. Action packed, and not a lot else, at times during Transformers fight scenes it feels like a video game.
A decent story, and the typical male/female flirt dynamic that you see in every movie these days, between Cade and Viviane (Laura Haddock).

Like all these series’, they introduce the really annoying character, this time in the form of Cogman (Jim Carter), who is equally funny and annoying, and a butler to Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins). Meanwhile, Izabella (Isabela Moner) and Sqweeks are an interesting add.

You’re small, and you are ugly. No one’s gonna see you coming. — Story of my life.

Other big names showing up in this movie, in person or in voice, are Steve Buscemi, John Goodman, Stanley Tucci, Tony Hale, Josh Duhamel, and John Turturro.

I do find it a bit funny that they give some background to Bumblebee in this movie, as they prepare for his solo movie with Hailee Steinfeld, at the end of this year.

This movie is solid for an action movie, getting a 7 out of 10.

The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory, located in Shelburne, VT is the home to one of the more famous Teddy Bears, and this walkthrough gives you a brief history of the bear, and the making of each one.

The original one made by John Sortino was stiff, and not cuddly. But he wanted to make them movable, so he added in joints.

They show the full swatch of fur, which they then lay down the stencils on, and cut out all their little parts. With all the extra space, they make tiny bear buttons, that go over your pin for the tour.

The factory makes approximately 750 bears a day, each sewn shut by hand after they are jointed and stuffed.

When you get ideas of what you want your bear to look like, with custom clothing or writing on their paws, all you gotta do is contact them, and they can work to make anything happen.

All their bears have a lifetime guarantee, regardless if they were run over by a lawnmower or eaten by a dog, and when they get sent into the hospital, they get put on an appropriate honey IV drip.

This tour is geared for kids, but fun for adults too!

I recently signed up for SiriusXM Radio, and it really does change the way I listen to radio…and it’s given me a lot of great laughs with their comedy lineups.

While my vehicle doesn’t have a physical XM Radio, I was able to sign up for it as a “Streaming Only” version, which works on a computer or mobile device.

Because I don’t have an actual radio, the plan is missing some of the channel options, but here are some features (as per my plan):

  • Channel selection is fantastic, including (but not limited to):
    • Music – Top songs in all genres and from all decades…and channels that are specific to artists (or songs similar to them), such as Garth Brooks, Dave Matthews, and U2
    • Comedy – Comedy Central, Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy, Kevin Hart, all have their own themed channels, as well as some random standup channels
    • Sports – Designated Channels just for ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, Soccer, PGA, and home play-by-play for most sports…other plans have ones for NASCAR and MLB
    • News – Full news coverage from Fox News/CNN/MSNBC, business from Fox Business/CNBC/Bloomberg, World News from the BBC, and even a Fox News Specific Channel just for SiriusXM “Headlines 24/7”
    • Howard Stern – Not my cup of tea, but channels dedicated just for him
  • It runs on 4G, so if you are in the mountains and lose signal…
  • Random invitations to exclusive events, such as U2 at The Apollo, or a private Shawn Mendes event!

I got a great deal for my first six months, well worth the trial!

Downtown Montreal is a flash to an old French city, as you walk the cobblestone streets and explore the markets.

Some of the highlights of the downtown area include City Hall and the famous Notre-Dame Basilica.

Meanwhile, you can wander down to the old port, where things really start to get fun. At the edge of it all is a clock tower, with a little door in the side, and 192 steps to the top. Once ships pass this tower, they have officially entered the Port of Montreal.
Among the things you can see out there (if you peak just under the bridge) is a Six Flags, and just a great view of the Saint Lawrence river.

As for the entertainment in the port, there’s a slew of things to do, from ziplines to an aerial course, and a giant Ferris Wheel that creates a great view.

And finally, there is a Montreal Science Centre, which until the middle of September has a DreamWorks Animation exhibit, showing an adventure from sketch to screen.

Elle Evans (Joey King), a cute Selena Gomez looking girl, and Lee Flynn (Joel Courtney) were friends from the minute that they were born together in the same hospital at the same minute. But she’s had a crush on his brother Noah (Jacob Elordi) since she first learned what that was…except not hitting on relatives is Rule #9 of their friendship.

But not only can she not date him, it seems like Noah is what’s always standing in the way of her other dates, threatening them off from what he sees as his “little sister”.

But when Lee and Elle propose a Kissing Booth for the school carnival fundraiser, can she convince Noah to be one of the kissers? And will Elle finally get her first kiss? Or will she mess up and lose both Lee and Noah in the process?

Netflix has been on a roll with these romantic-comedies, doing really well with them, as I’ve previously talked about with When We First Met and Set It Up, and this one will get an 8 out of 10.

%d bloggers like this: