2015 Road Trip Photos #39: Scout’s Honor

Scout Finch!

Jean Louise Finch might gladly welcome you, but she’s busy reading.

By the time we finished our exhausting tour of the U.S.S. Alabama on Day 5, rush hour was on and we were still over two hours away from our hotel. We had one more stop on our itinerary that I was tempted to cut because it required a sizable digression off I-65 and I figured all the businesses would be closed by the time we arrived. Getting to our hotel in Montgomery before nightfall would’ve been a plus, but unlikely regardless of whether or not we stopped on the way. On the other hand, it’s not as though we’re in the area all the time and will have multiple opportunities to drop in. The more attractions we postpone to some other future theoretical vacation, the more of those attractions we’ll probably never see.

So by a unanimous vote of 2-0 we threw scheduling comfort to the wind, temporarily abandoned the interstate, and drove the 30-odd miles out of our way to a brief stopover in Monroeville, hometown of author Harper Lee. You may remember her name from headlines last year.

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Six Plates, No Bowl: Our First Time with Tapas

Solomillo con Cabrales!

Solomillo con Cabrales! Tiny yet fantastic. And this wasn’t even our favorite course.

Each year my wife Anne and I have indulged our own special Super Bowl tradition: while the rest of the world is watching football and swapping snacks and beers with best friends and chatting about The Sports, the two of us have dinner at a fancy restaurant we’ve never tried before. Between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., anyplace without a large-screen TV is usually deserted and totally ours for the taking.

The last few years have also seen Super Bowl Sunday coincide with a local event called Devour Downtown, in which dozens of upscale establishments in downtown Indianapolis offer a limited-time sort of blue-plate special that allows plebes like us to come in and sample their cuisine from a specially selected discount menu. It’s still a bit pricier than five-dollar footlongs, but in our experience the quality has always been immeasurably higher, no matter where we’ve gone.

This year we decided to check out the wonderful world of tapas. First-timers, us.

Right this way for tonight’s specials!

Top 10 Most Shocking Surprises in Puppy Bowl XII

Puppy Bowl XII!It’s that time again! On Sunday 99% of America will be watching Super Bowl 50 and joking about how calling it “Super Bowl L” would’ve made the whole thing sound too Kryptonian. Meanwhile, we eclectic 1% have our own viewing plans: the twelfth annual Puppy Bowl! The geniuses at Animal Planet once again acknowledge that people like me exist and counterprogram for our tastes with a repeated two-hour pretend-competitive event in which a bunch of animals frolic and gambol with a bunch of other animals, and the announcer and referee each take turns making the worst puns of the year. Puppy Bowl is mostly a dog’s field, but other animals such as cats, hamsters, and even penguins have assumed roles at times in this increasingly diverse production.

As is our custom, we here at Midlife Crisis have dinner plans that night in an empty restaurant with no TV. Before our big date, rest assured we’ll be tuning in for Puppy Bowl XII even though we’ve convinced ourselves we already know what the showrunners are planning to unleash that’ll really shake up this year’s judgment-free dog show.

Right this way for the list!

The Springs in Fall — 2015 Photos #13: The Will Rogers Fan Site

Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun!

If you visit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs and read your brochure front-to-back, you’ll notice your admission includes an unusual mountainside bonus that requires some extra effort to check out. It’s nothing to do with animals, but it’s an interesting tangent in the Zoo’s historical and literal background even if you’re too young to know anything about actor/humorist Will Rogers. Ask your grandparents if they remember their parents ever mentioning him.

Right this way for a high tower tour!

Best CDs of 2015, According to an Old Guy Who Bought 7


I don’t get many musicians’ autographs, but when I do, it’s almost always in absentia. Alas.

It’s that time again! The annual entry where I look back at the previous year, marvel that I’m still buying new music at all, reaffirm my disinterest in digital, and boast how I’m one of twelve people nationwide still buying CDs. I don’t buy a lot of them, though. I rarely connect with the Top 40 acts that get all the social media attention. My favorite bands tend to be old and denied promotional push from their labels, assuming they still have a contract. I’m open to hearing new bands, but my styles of choice are narrowing over the years and I’m a lot less enamored nowadays of bratty whippersnappers who overestimate their own wisdom. Fortunately my finicky criteria don’t eliminate all musical acts.

The following list, then, comprises every CD I acquired in 2015 that was also released in 2015. On with the countdown, from least favorite to worthiest:

Right this way for those lucky-ish seven!

2015 Road Trip Photos #38: Battleship!

USS Alabama!

In game, you sink Battleship. In real life, battleship sink YOU.

After lunch, Day 5 saw us heading east along the Gulf Coast, back into the state of Alabama, slowly through the city of Mobile in congested traffic, and down to the shore of Mobile Bay, where they’ve docked the kind of enormous boat that would’ve been a big help against Jaws if it would’ve fit anywhere near Amity’s beaches.

Welcome aboard the U.S.S. Alabama.

Right this way for the scenic tour!


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