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Archive for the ‘dancing’ Category

bad day memeWe all have bad days. It happens. Today is a bad day for me. I knew it was going to be. But, instead of dwelling on it, I’m making an effort to fill my day with as much joy as possible. Dancing brings me joy. Not MY dancing so much, although I do enjoy hoofing it occasionally. But watching really good dancers do their thing. That brings me joy. (more…)

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Folks, we all know there’s a lot of negativity floating around the world today. It’s everywhere and social media is a super powered magnet for anyone to state their biased opinions without showing their faces to another human being. It’s cowardly if you think about it. (more…)

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lady working outExercise is not my favorite activity. I know it’s a necessary evil and I know there are great benefits to be had from daily partaking in this event. But, I don’t like it. Over the years I’ve tried to find a form of exercise that I enjoy. (more…)

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woman-riding-bikeHow often have you heard the expression: It’s just like riding a bike? Something you used to do – and overall, do well – then you stop doing it, then you do it again. The concept is that you can just pick up right where you left off and still know how to do it. Like riding a bike. Right? Wrong. (more…)

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disney-memeBy now it’s no secret that I’m a Disney freak. Yes, that’s right, I love all things Disney. I never get tired of visiting the parks, reading the blog sites, flipping through the glossy magazines, watching the movies, wearing the t-shirts, all of it. (more…)

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A big shout out to everyone who’s graduating or knows someone who’s graduating. Congratulations!! Graduating, be it from high school, college, or Kindergarten, is a huge deal. It’s a progression from one thing to something bigger and better. The commencement of a new chapter in the lives of those fortunate enough to have completed requirements necessary to advance.

Not to be a downer, but here’s a little secret to graduates everywhere: School never ends. As Kid President says, “We are all students and we are all teachers.”

And, because I love him so much, and I cannot relay information the way he can, here’s a message from Kid President to graduates of life. Enjoy!

Now get out there and dance!

How about you readers, what have you learned today? What lesson do you want to pass along to others? What’s the greatest piece of advice you can give for anyone graduating into the next phase of their life? Inquiring minds want to know.

Take care and don’t forget to be awesome.

Word of the Day: Olla

Fun fact about me: I have graduated from 4 different schools.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, May 2015. Video courtesy YouTube (Soul Pancake).

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from the amazing Kid President and quite frankly, I’ve missed him. His optimism is infectious and with today being the first Monday in May, I feel the need to share some positive reinforcement with you all.

We are all teachers and we are all students and therefore can learn something from this very important pep talk. Enjoy!

So dear readers, go forth into the world looking for the awesome and don’t forget to get your learn on!

I’d love to hear your positive reinforcement mantra, so please leave it in the comments below. How do you make the world awesome?

Word of the day: Klaxon

Fun fact about me: Like Donny and Marie, I’m a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, May 2015. Video courtesy Kid President and YouTube.

This is a test: [jansenschmidt.com] (http://www.jansenschmidt.com)

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So, the all-the-rage Christmas gift this past year was apparently the Fitbit or it’s cousin the Jawbone. If you’re unfamiliar with these little devices, they are designed to help you keep track of your healthy habits. Or so they tout. Personally, I don’t get it, but I’ve noticed a lot more people in my zumba class with these little babies strapped to their wrists.

Photo courtesy Google images.

Photo courtesy Google images.

Now, if you are a lover of these technological devices, and they are “working” for you, please don’t be offended by this post. I love that you’re working on getting or staying healthy. For me, they seem like a gimmick.

First of all, the only people I see wearing these things look like this:

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

If you look like this, you are already are a fit bit of feminie loveliness. You are already doing all of the right things and you don’t need a fancy schmancy device to let you know it. Just carry on you well-toned beautiful women. I love and hate you all.

The number one problem I see right off the bat with a device like this is – you have to remember to put the thing on. That’s going to mess up quite a few people.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Assuming you remember to strap it on, it’s my understanding that these thingeys tell you the amount of steps you’ve taken. I’m not sure why that’s important. I mean, let’s face it, if I’ve had my ass in a chair all day writing, or in the sofa watching TV or reading, I can pretty much guarantee you that I haven’t taken more than about 16 steps, and those were undoubtedly to the refrigerator for a snack. I really don’t need a device to keep track of that or to remind me of my lethargy. Likewise, if I’ve been working out or jogging I can say, with some certainty based on how much my muscles are screaming and the amount of sweat pouring off my weary body, that I have experienced a good work-out. I don’t really care how many steps I’ve taken; I feel good that I’ve worked out.

The next problem is that these devices don’t hold you accountable. I mean if you set a goal to take 5,000 steps every day, nothing happens if you fall short. If I wear the thing all day and then check my stats when I get home and I’ve only taken 1,100 steps and my goal was 5,000, am I going to go run 16 miles to make up the deficit? Hell no! I’m just going to say, “screw it, I’ll walk more tomorrow,” and go to bed.

Photo courtesy Google images

Photo courtesy Google images

Now, what would be really helpful is if those little wristbands thingeys had pre-recorded messages. What would be exceptionally motivating is for a really annoying voice, like Gilbert Godfry or someone equally nasally and whiny, to say something like, “get moving lard ass,” every time I sat in one place for more than about 10 minutes. Or, “you’re slowing down fatso,” when I switch the treadmill from jog to walk. That would be motivating. However, I do see a potential problem with this, especially if you’re working out at a gym or other public place. You would not want that thing going off and have somebody other than yourself thinking it was directed at them. No sirree, I would not want some Rambo over in free weights to come over and konk me on the head with a 200 pound barbell because my Fitbit offended him.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Although . . . if he looked like that guy . . . maybe a visit wouldn’t be so bad. Hmmmm.

But I digress. Maybe instead of a pre-recorded message, a squirt of pepper spray to the face every hour could be used. I mean nothing would get me moving faster than pepper spray in my face. Think of the amount of steps you’d take with that crap on your skin. You couldn’t run to the shower fast enough and you’d be dancing a jig the whole time you were in there. Or, every so often a shock treatment like a taser blast could go off to remind you to get up and drink some water. That would get me hopping out of my chair for sure.

That’s right, these puppies supposedly will keep track of how much water I’ve drank during the day. Hmmm. Is that necessary? If I fill my glass 4 times then I can pretty much rely on the fact that I’ve had 4 glasses of water that day. And, taking this one step farther, if I know that my glass is 20 ounces, and I fill it 4 times, then I’ve had – say it with me – 80 ounces of water that day. No device required. And how does that thing distinguish between water and gatorade, or soda, or . . . oh I don’t know . . . wine? ‘Cuz, if it measured wine in-take I’d pretty much meet my quota every single day.

And, supposedly, they keep track of your sleeping habits (again – if you remember to wear them). At the risk of sounding redundant, what is the point of this? If I wake up at 3:00 in the morning and lay there awake for 2 hours, my clock will give me the same information as that little plastic strap on my wrist. I don’t need a device to let me know that I was awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night. Contrarily, if I wake up refreshed, having slept straight through the night, I don’t need to check my wrist to see how I’ve slept. This “feature,” makes no sense to me.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

I’m thinking a much better electronic device to invest in to ensure good health is one that requires you to solve a trigonometry problem before you can open the cookie jar.  Or do 20 jumping jacks before the refrigerator door will open. I’m thinking that would successfully solve this problem:

Photo courtesy Google images.

Photo courtesy Google images.

How about your dear readers, do you have a Fitbit, Jawbone or similar device? Do you like it? What gadgets would be helpful in your life to keep you fit and healthy?

Fun fact about me: I am not really into fancy techy gadgets.

Word of the Day: Vugh (alternate spelling)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, January 2015. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

So if you’ve been following my blog for the past few weeks, you’ve heard me share some of my adventures from my recent cruise to Alaska. What you did not get a taste of in those previous posts, was the, let’s call it the more colorful side of our shore excursions.

Oh, I know there was the photo of me kicking up my heels on stage in a way too short can-can number at the Days of ’98 show in Skagway, but that was nothing my friends, compared to some of the other “activities” I participated in. Read on if you dare.

As the title of this post suggests, there was a wee bit ‘o beer drinking pert near every day. Suffice it to say, I love a good frosty brew. And where might this beer drinking be happening you ask? I’ll tell you. At some of Alaska’s most famous, or perhaps it’s infamous, saloons.

I’m talking, of course, about the Red Dog Saloon in Juneau, Alaska

Red Dog Saloon, Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

Red Dog Saloon, Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

and the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway, Alaska.

Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

Oh, there’s a reason why there’s “red” in the title.  Ever heard of the red light district?

Original red light from the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

Original red light from the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

That’s right, every good old westen cowboy and mining town had one and I got to explore, up close and personal, one of “those” establishments.

Let’s start with my beer drinking visit to the Red Dog. The Red Dog Saloon originated during Juneau’s mining heyday, providing dancing and “enternainment.” In the early days “Ragtime Hattie,” played the piano in her white gloves and silver dollar halter top.  Use your imagination and conjure up a picture of that beauty if you will.

During the territorial days, Gordie Kanouse would meet tour boats on his mule, wearing a sign that said, “Follow my ass to the Red Dog Saloon.” Had I been around in those days, I probably would have followed.

Here’s what the Red Dog looks like today

Red Dog Saloon, Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

Red Dog Saloon, Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

 

Red Dog Saloon, Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

Red Dog Saloon, Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

Red Dog Saloon, Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

Red Dog Saloon, Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

and here’s an idea of what types of refreshment you can order from the menu.

The menu at Juneau's Red Dog Saloon. Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

The menu at Juneau’s Red Dog Saloon. Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

That’s right, you can get “shit” to fit any budget and a Duck Fart is the saloon favorite along with savory eats, such as: Klondike ribs, Motherlode burger, Iditarod Dip, Ninilchik wrap and The Nunivak, an Alaskan reindeer sausage topped with grilled onions on a sourdough Hoagie roll.

What you don’t see from my photos, is how many tables are crammed together around a miniscule stage where locals sing, tell tall tales and share some of Juneau’s mining day history. You can’t help but make friends with everybody since you’re basically at one big smushed together table.

Oh, and the sawdust on the floor. You don’t see that in these pictures either.

Okay, now on to the Red Onion. I’m not really sure why the “onion” part of the title is there, but there is no doubt about the “red” portion. After lunching on some good old fashioned comfort food (hamburgers and fries) and chasing it down with – that’s right – a dark ale, my sweetie pie and I paid our fee and ventured upstairs for the brothel tour. It should be noted that my husband was not keen on taking the tour until our waitress persuaded him.

My darling with our waitress at the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode (taken with waitress's permission, but not necessarily husband's), September 2014.

My darling with our waitress at the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode (taken with waitress’s permission, but not necessarily husband’s), September 2014.

Before we take a look at the photos, I think it’s important for ya’ll to know how this “getting upstairs” process used to work. You see, if a gentleman wanted to spend some time – and by time I mean 15 minutes – with a “lady,” he put in his request with the barkeep downstairs. Behind the bar was a case displaying cloth dolls with varying hair colors, much like these pictures hanging over the bar today.

The bar with original diamond mirrors at The Red Onion Saloon in Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

The bar with original diamond mirrors at The Red Onion Saloon in Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

The customer could request a specific girl/doll, a girl with a specific hair color, or, depending on the urgency of his need, any girl available. If the dolls in the case were standing up, the matching girl was available for “visitors.” If the desired doll was laying down . . . well . . . you get the picture.

When the gentleman’s 15 minutes was up, the upstairs “bouncer,” would enter the room, demand payment for another 15 minutes, or boot his ass out the door. When a “lady,” was finished with her customer, she’d drop the payment – in this case gold nuggets – down a copper tube. The barkeep downstairs would hear the rattling in the pipes, count the gold that fell through the tube into his waiting box behind the bar, then stand the doll back up, thus making her once again available. If the gentleman had short-changed the girl for his 15 minutes, he was stopped by another “bouncer,” at the bottom of the stairs from whence he has just descended. Pretty cool system right?

So let’s head upstairs, cuz I know this is what you’ve all been waiting for.

The staircase and "beckoning window" leading to the "rooms." Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

The staircase and “beckoning window” leading to the “rooms.” Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

On our tour we got to see one of the holes in the floor where the girls dropped the gold nuggets in addition to some other really, kind of cool, things. I didn’t get a good picture of the hole in the floor, but here is a photo of what all of the walls and the ceilings upstairs looked like. Yes, those are “hot wires,” that provided electric lighting. I don’t know about you, but I probably wouldn’t put paper on my ceiling and then lay hot wires across it, but that’s just me.

Original papered walls and ceiling and electric lighting system. Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Original papered walls and ceiling and electric lighting system. Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Here’s the hallway separating three rooms on one side and three rooms on the other.

Upstaris at The Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

Upstaris at The Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

While not the original, here is a photo of the replicas of what the available dolls would have looked like. These dolls have china heads; the original dolls were cloth with yarn hair, which was ripped off and replaced with a different color, one appropriate to the new girl’s hair color (how thrifty). You see girls would come and go faster than gold nuggets so it was important to have interchangeable hair color for whatever new girl might come through the doors looking for “work.”

The "dolls." Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

The “dolls.” Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

Here’s a “working girl’s” room (believe me this bed was barely big enough for a Barbie doll). There were about 8 of us on the tour and only half of us could be in this room at one time.

One of the "cribs" at The Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

One of the “cribs” at The Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

Here’s the “madam’s” room, complete with a much bigger, almost a twin-sized, bed. Notice the fancier wallpaper and bedspread. Whether or not she owned furs was anybody’s guess.

The "madam's" room. Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

The “madam’s” room. Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

Oh, and here are photos of some “lovely” garments worn by the “dolls.” This first one is pretty sexy, huh?

"Working girl" attire. Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

“Working girl” attire. Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

"Working girl" attire. Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

“Working girl” attire. Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

"Working girl" attire. Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

“Working girl” attire. Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode, September 2014.

So there you have it my friends, my adventures into the “colorful” history of Alaska. What did you think of the tour? But more importantly, what do you think of the “doll” system? Don’t be bashful, he was a dwarf. Tell me what you think. Would you have taken the brothel tour? Do you enjoy a good glass of beer?

As always, thanks for visiting today. I look foward to your comments.

Fun fact about me: This is not the first brothel tour I’ve taken.

Word of the Day: Lidar.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, November 2014. Unless otherwise stated, original photos by P. Rickrode.

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San Francisco is not known for it’s sunny days or bikini-riddled beaches. In fact, most days, it’s socked in with fog and you’re lucky if you get a tiny glimpse of the famous Golden Gate Bridge. But, the locals are blessed with a few really warm days every year around the autumnal equinox.

Such was our experience on day one of our 11-day voyage to Alaska. We arrived at the bustling pier with suitcases bursting at the seams and anticipation oozing from our pores.

Once onboard the Star Princess we made our way to the upper decks and breathed in the sea air. We had an amazing view of Alcatraz.

Alcatraz Island. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Alcatraz Island. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

The Golden Gate Bridge to the west – our destination

Golden Gate Bridge. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Golden Gate Bridge. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

and the new Bay Bridge and Treasure Island from whence we had just come to the east.

Bay Bridge. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Bay Bridge. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Before long, the band struck up a lively sail away tune, eager cruisers boggied on the Lido deck as bartenders hustled to concoct icy perfection in silver shakers. And then, the captain blew that awesome horn. BON VOYAGE!

I sipped on a Desperado, an amazing mixture of Dos Equis and Don Julio, whilst we inched away from the pier, waving at the tourists arriving back from a day of exploration on Alcatraz Island. We glided past sailors basking in the warm sunshine on the bows of their sleek white boats and and shiny playful seals barking from the wooden planks of the marina.

Pier 35 at the wharf in San Francisco. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Pier 35 at the wharf in San Francisco. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

As the city slid past us on the port side, we inched ever closer to the orange monolithic columns of the most famous bridge in California, dwarfing the whale watching vessels coming back to port.

Golden Gate Bridge. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Golden Gate Bridge. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

We chugged under the massive steel structure and into the looming fog bank on the other side.

The under belly of the Goldene Gate Bridge. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

The under belly of the Golden Gate Bridge. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

The last dregs of sunlight gleamed off the magnificent towers and swooping spans of the bridge as we steadily made our way toward the open sea.

P. Rickrode and the Golden Gate Bridge. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014.

P. Rickrode and the Golden Gate Bridge. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014.

We were off. Day one!

Stay tuned for port one in Alaska.  Totem poles and all you can eat crab at Ketchikan!!

Have you ever been to San Francisco? Have you ever sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge? What impressive venture have your embarked upon lately. I love it when you share your experiences.

Word of the Day: Gas maser

Fun fact about me: I have never seen a walrus (except in pictures).

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, October 2014. Original photos by P. Rickrode.

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