Wacky Travel News

Fake Sputnik Capsule – Berlin

Wacky Travel News that’s out of this world – (as is the totally inappropriate commentary that follows.

October 12, 2017 Edition

Lizzie Borden house is on the market                                                                                    Fox News
For a cool $850,000, you can live under the same roof where Lizzie Borden – yes, that Lizzie Borden – lived after she was acquitted of brutally murdering her father and stepmother in Massachusetts.
The 4,000-square-foot Fall River mansion, called Maplecroft — since very huge homes tend to get their own names — has 8 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and 6 fireplaces.
Listings for the home, which, understandably, has been something of a tourist attraction, boast that it has touches that reflect the Borden history.
This is not, however, where Lizzie Borden’s once-alleged crime – with an axe – occurred. The murders, which happened in 1892 and for whom no one was ever convicted, took place a few miles from the mansion.
Borden and her sister, Emma, inherited most of their father’s wealth – some $10 million at today’s rate – after his death. The sisters bought the mansion in 1894 with money from their father’s estate, and named it Maplecroft.
They lived quite lavishly, employing live-in housekeepers, and a coachman, among others.
Townspeople kept their distance from Lizzie Borden. Emma Borden moved out eventually, leaving her sister to live at Maplecroft with the staff.
Maplecroft was bought in 2014 by Kristee Bates of Texas, a murder-mystery buff, who plunked down $500,000.
Bates considered turning the Queen Anne Victorian into a bed and breakfast, museum and events center, according to the Boston Globe.
She also painstakingly set out to restore details of the home to reflect the period in which the Borden family lived in it. But the plans never came to fruition, the Globe reported.
Lizzie Borden lived there under the name “Lizbeth A. Borden” until she died in 1927 after contracting pneumonia.
And the house where the murders happened? That is now the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum, also in Fall River.
For those who really want to immerse themselves in the Lizzie Borden experience, it features the $247-per-night “Lizzie and Emma Suite.”

WOEFULTOURIST says, “Seems a whole lot of money to pay for a house where the diabolical murder didn’t even take place.”


Mystery smell suggested to be local landfill                                                                           Posted: Sep 21, 2017
MADSION, Wis. – The mystery smell in Madison’s Elvehjem neighborhood has been potentially identified to be permeating from the local landfill due to this summer’s unusual weather, according to Alder Denise DeMarb. 
The smell was reported on by Channel3000 on Aug. 15, by members of the community complaining that the area smelt like garbage, especially early in the morning and at night. 
Public Health Madison & Dane County and the Dane County Solid Waste Division, in cooperation with several other groups, responded by developing an online survey to investigate the type of odor, frequency of the smell and duration of exposures, a release from DeMarb said. 
The survey was shared with the community through social media and resulted in more than 1,000 responses, according to the release. 
The continuing investigation suggests the landfill may be the source of at least some of the odor. The release suggests that the smell may have been enhanced by Dane County’s wet summer this year combined with the recent weather pattern of cool and calm nights. 
The Solid Waste Division is addressing concerns about the smell by placing additional cover over areas of the landfill to limit gas emissions, installing multiple misting systems to disperse odor neutralizers and installing additional gas collection wells to capture and destruct landfill gasses. They are also working with experts to help prevent an event like this from happening in the future, according to the release. 
While the smell has led to symptoms of headaches, stress and affected quality of life, the smell is not expected to increase the risk of disease, according to the release. 

WOERFULTOURIST says, “Since Health officials refuse to be pinned down to anything specific, they are even considering that the smell may be due to nothing more than a particularly stinky pair of socks on a clothesline in the neighborhood.”


After 66 million years, creature wins state dinosaur honor                                          Associated Press•September 24, 2017
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — It took about 66 million years, but a duck-billed creature has finally won recognition as California’s state dinosaur.
Gov. Jerry Brown announced Saturday the signing of a bill making Augustynolophus (Aw-gus-tin-o-lo-fus) morrisi the official dinosaur of the Golden State.
Fossilized remains of the duckbilled creature that lived anywhere from 100 million to 66 million years ago have been found only in California.
Several other states and Washington, D.C., also have official dinosaurs.
California has more than 30 state insignia including a state lichen — lace lichen — and a state fabric, denim.

WOEFULTOURIST says, “He bets that the fight for the California state lichen must have been a highly contentious one.”

Posted in General Travel | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Wacky Travel News

Trevi Fountain – Rome

Trevi Fountain, close up. It’s next to impossible to get a picture of the whole thing.


WOEFULTOURIST had his 3 coins in hand as he walked down the meandering alley towards the Trevi Fountain ready to make his wishes.

He had heard glowing reports of the place.

He had read wonderful reviews.

Still he had to see it for himself to determine if it was actually as good as the hype.

And by golly, it was.

Sort of.

The fountain itself was a masterpiece.  An amazing sculpture in marble that ran the full length of a city block in width, and half a block in length.

Truly magnificent.

But the location was another story, altogether.

WOEFULTOURIST tries not to be too hypocritical, but sometimes he just can’t help it.

The fact is, for WOEFULTOURIST, the Trevi Fountain would have more enjoyable if there weren’t so many other tourists there spoiling the view.

Want to get close to the water in order to drop in a coin and make a wish?

Take a number, because the place is mobbed all of the time.

And not just with lovers, romantics and other fools.

There were plenty of unsavory looking types who seemed more interested in the coins you threw into the fountain, than the wishes you had attached to them.

But the real problem, as in all real estate, is location, location, location.

For all of its grandeur, the Trevi Fountain is like trying to put ten pounds of potatoes into a five pound sack.

Or a weight challenged woman shoo-horning herself into a pair of screaming, spandex pants.

WOEFULTOURIST is sad to report that as beautiful as the fountain itself is, it simply is in the wrong location to do it justice.

The scale is all wrong.

Like when you take your three foot tall Godzilla monster and attack legions of two inch tall soldiers.

Yeah the destruction is fun, but the proportions don’t make any sense.

The fact of the matter is that the Trevi Fountain doesn’t fit into the neighborhood that it’s in.

It’s too darned big for its own good.

So WOEFULTOURIST is presenting a petition to the Senators of Rome.  Therein he proposes that in order to do justice to the absolute brilliance of the Trevi Fountain, that they move it from its present site to a larger more open plaza where it won’t overwhelm the space and there’s more room for souvenir stalls to make a mint selling Trevi Fountain chatchkis of all types.

Sure, there are probably purists out there who say that the Fountain’s faults are part of its fabulousness.

Well WOEFULTOURIST knows that only people who enjoy sitting in the front row of movie theatres and craning their heads skyward, can possibly enjoy the Trevi Fountain where it currently is.

And when they do move it to larger grounds, WOEFULTOURIST hopes that they don’t tell the other tourists where it is so that he can enjoy an unabated view of the fountain, without all the riffraff getting in the way.

Posted in Rome | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Trevi Fountain – Rome

Wacky Travel News

Fake Sputnik Capsule – Berlin

Wacky Travel News that’s out of this world – (as is the totally inappropriate commentary that follows.

October 10, 2017 Edition

New Alaska highway stripes are crooked, paint staining cars.                                    Associated Press•September 25, 2017
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — New yellow painted highway lines in the Alaska’s Panhandle city of Ketchikan are crooked and the paint that’s been used by state transportation officials has stained cars, officials said.
Among those affected was Ketchikan Gateway Borough Mayor David Landis, whose car ended up with yellow paint on it.
“You come to expect having highway striping like that to be straight and have orderly looking lines and be professionally applied,” Landis said. “Something was clearly wrong with the equipment or the operation of that equipment to have so many things wrong all at once.”
The problems emerged after the state Department of Transportation tried out a new line painting system on the Tongass Highway, The Ketchikan Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/2fqSsIe ) Saturday.
Department spokeswoman Meadow Bailey said the paint is “not drying as quickly as it should due to humidity in southeast Alaska.”
Bob Sivertson, a Ketchikan city council member, called it the poorest line painting work he’s seen.
Bailey said the state will not repaint the yellow lines.
She said people with cars that got paint on them should have the vehicles pressure washed.
If the car washes don’t work, she recommended spraying WD-40 lubricant on areas stained with yellow paint. The lubricant should be left on cars for up to two hours before washing them.
And if that does not work, she said, they should put a “liberal coating of Vaseline” on the car areas stained yellow. It should be left on the cars overnight before getting the vehicles pressure washed, Bailey said.

WOEFULTOURIST says, “Crooked highway stripes – yet another reason why you have to be tough to live in Alaska.”


North Korea Hates Trump But Loves to Insult Him                                                           Julia Glum / Newsweek / September 23, 2017
Say what you will about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but the man has a great vocabulary.
Kim fired back at U.S. President Donald Trump in a strongly worded, first-person statement on Thursday after Trump gave a United Nations speech vowing to destroy Pyongyang. In his remarks, Kim called Trump a “mentally deranged dotard,” using a term for a person in “a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness.”
Merriam-Webster lookups for “dotard” skyrocketed immediately after Kim’s statement, and the hashtag #DotardTrump was still trending on Twitter Friday morning. Ouch.
It’s not the first time North Korea has come up with a nasty insult for a world leader. In 2014, in the middle of a disagreement over the James Franco/Seth Rogen movie The Interview, an official in Pyongyang railed against Barack Obama for being “reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest.” Earlier this month, a North Korean statement said UN Ambassador Nikki Haley was a “political prostitute.”
Kim’s favorite target in recent months, however, has been Trump. Here’s a quick rundown of some of North Korea’s greatest attacks on the U.S. president:
•  In Thursday’s statement, Kim said Trump is “surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.”
•  He also said “a frightened dog barks louder” than Trump spoke in his UN speech.
•  After Trump began calling Kim “Rocket Man,” Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho told reporters that he felt sorry for the president’s aides.
•  In August, after the tycoon threatened North Korea with “fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which the world has never seen before,” General Kim Rak Gyom made fun of Trump’s frequent golf trips and intelligence. The general said the president, “on the golf links,” was “failing to grasp the ongoing grave situation.”
•  In the same statement, the general also said Trump was “a guy bereft of reason.”
•  The state-run Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, wrote last month that Trump shares “weird articles of his ego-driven thoughts in his Twitter” and “spouts rubbish to make his assistants have a hard time.”
•  The ruling party’s newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, condemned “that mad guy Trump’s unrestrained war-inciting tongue-lashing.”
•  In June, after American hostage Otto Warmbier died after being released from North Korea, the same outlet warned that “following psychopath Trump … will only lead to disaster.”
•  In May, after Trump said he would consider meeting with Kim, government mouthpiece the Minju Choson said the Trump administration’s knowledge about North Korea “is only at the elementary student level.”
Don’t feel too bad for Trump—the mocking isn’t one-sided. In addition to his new “Rocket Man” nickname for Kim, the president once described the dictator as “a total nutjob.”
Sticks and stones, guys, sticks and stones.

WOEFULTOURIST says, “Who kew that the North Koreans and Americans had so much in common.”


Saudi Women Allowed into Sports Stadium for First Time                                            Tom Porter / Newsweek / September 24, 2017
Saudi Arabia is celebrating the 87th anniversary of its founding this weekend, and on Saturday it allowed women into the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh for the first time for a special pageant operetta.
“It is the first time I have come to the stadium and I feel like more of a Saudi citizen. Now I can go everywhere in my country,” 25-year-old Sultana told Reuters, green and white flags painted on both cheeks as she entered the complex with her girlfriends. 
“God willing, tomorrow women will be permitted bigger and better things like driving and travel.”
Several thousand families entered the stadium – where top football matches are held – through a separate gate from single men. They cheered, flashed peace signs and waved green Saudi flags.
An unveiled woman and several girls joined performers onstage for the pageant, which celebrated the country’s history, and featured featured a laser show, horses, camels and hundreds of men dancing with swords and drums.
Saudi Arabia adheres to Wahabbism, an austere form of Islam that prohibits the sexes mixing at public events such as sporting occasions or at cinemas.
In recent years there has been an easing of restrictions on women’s participation in fields such as education and the law, and in 2015 the first women were elected to municipal councils in the country.

WOEFULTOURIST says, “Unfortunately, since all of the bathrooms are men only, the women had to hold it in until the end of the match.”


Posted in General Travel | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Wacky Travel News

WOEFUL-economics – US

Ooh, look there’s a sale at Harbor Freight. Time to buy some big boy toys.


WOEFULTOURIST can’t help himself – so please give what you can.

Everything is appreciated.

Cash is encouraged.

When it comes to everyday things, WOEFULTOURIST just can’t help but look for bargains.

After all a penny saved is a penny earmarked for some tax loophole for the rich ten percenters, to help them get through tough times of their own making where they bit off more than they could chew, then got a government bailout for a whole new set of dentures.

So he scours thru the Sunday papers (yes, they still have newspapers in America:  real ones with comics;  and unreal ones without) for coupons on items he may, or may not need.

But since it’s a bargain, being on sale and all, what was an un-needed item, suddenly becomes a necessity to life itself.

Such is the power of a bargain.

It elevates the unnecessary to the gotta have.

And when WOEFULTOURIST sets his sights on a gotta have item, illusions to the contrary, he’s going to get it, regardless of the cost involved.

That is because sales have the uncanny (plastic wrap will be fine) ability to cause retinal dysfunction – resulting in the eye seeing only the savings of the item in question, not the overall cost.

It’s like a blind spot develops.

And only upon returning home with bundles of bargains, does the questioning other half berate him for purchasing the over-hyped, under-utilized, over-priced items in question.

Somehow, in America, it is a physical impossibility, when shopping and spying a “sale” sign, to see anything other than the sale price and deduce that it must be a bargain simply because it is on sale.

Nevertheless, it does not prevent WOEFULTOURIST from proudly announcing, after a successful shopping for bargain adventure, that he saved a hundred dollars shopping because he purchased something he didn’t need because it was a hundred dollars off of its previous, un-sale price.

So in WOEFUL-Economic terms, he didn’t waste three hundred dollars on the purchase of something he didn’t need; he saved three hundred dollars by shopping wisely.

That’s a six hundred dollar swing.

Heck, in no time he’ll have enough money saved up to purchase that houseboat he never really wanted, or needed, but since it will inevitably be on sale when he happens to notice it, will be a bargain that he just won’t be able to pass up.

So won’t.

The whole, “moving it from where it is to a lake that he doesn’t have” part of things is just a trivial detail that he doesn’t have to spend any quality time worrying about, given that it’s just a trivial detail.

The curious (and by curious he means weird, strange, and/or totally bizarre) aspect of American bargain hunting is that for the daily, basic home goods Americans will go our of their way to find the best deals.

Or at least the ones that are on sale.

However, when it comes to big ticket items, there is little, to no thought process involved .

Whether it’s a big screen tv, or a new car makes no difference.

Whether it’s a new house, or a new computer makes no difference.

Whether it’s a washing machine, or a new couch, no difference.

In those big ticket item situations, we don’t research anything.

We don’t compare manufacturers.

We don’t check out online ratings of devices.

What do we do?

We buy on impulse.

It’s a knee jerk reaction for us.

We need it.

We want it.

We’ll get it.

With only one criterion involved.

It’s gotta be a bargain.

So as long as there’s a “sale” sign in front of it, we’ll get it.

And afterwards we’ll proudly announce to anyone who will listen, “I just saved thousands on my latest purchase of an overpriced device that was on sale.

WOEFUL-economics being what it isn’t.











Posted in General Travel | Comments Off on WOEFUL-economics – US

Jersey Travel, Possibly Tourism

A Jersey rest area for trucks only. Passenger cars will be crushed by an 18 wheeler.


Having traveled the miles of byways and highways.

Having taken the  Bergen Line to the Jersey Coast Line then doubling back to hop on the Trenton train for no particular reason at all.

Having flown in and out of Newark Liberty International Airport.

WOEFULTOURIST can proudly state that the state of Jersey definitely loves the traveler.

And they make it so easy and convenient for them to get around, even without Alexa shouting at them to turn “now”.

For example, in the central part of the state, all you need to know is Route 18.

That is because the great road planners at the state decided that Route 18 should be the end all, do all, be all of roads.

Which is why at various parts of its existence, it is called Route 18 North, South, East, or West.

Only slightly less confusing than the Brunswicks (North, South, East, or New).

So to get where you want to go in central Jersey, just look for Rt. 18 and if you take it far enough and long enough, you’ll manage to hit all the major points on the compass.

As well as a whole lot of traffic.

But the Jersey road planners are working on that as we speak.

Because the only thing more certain than death and taxes, is that there will always be construction delays somewhere on the Garden State Parkway. 

Hey, if you want nice views and free flowing traffic then move to Montana.

You want tolls, now you’re talking Jersey.

Because when it comes to  spending millions to put toll booths where no one really wants them, then spending millions more to remove them, nobody does it better.

WOEFULTOURIST would be lax (and we all know how he hates to take that even if it does make him regular) if he didn’t point out that Jersey is also committed to commuter trains. 

After all, where else but Jersey would the Governor quash a much needed and overly priced train tunnel project to New Yort City, but keep the highway toll increases that were passed specifically to fund the tunnel project, in place.

It’s that kind of fiscal shell game which allows WOEFLTOURIST to take great pride, and afford total allegiance to his home state – please help him, God.

Lest truckers feel they are being left by the wayside, WOEFULTOURIST would like to point out that Jersey is the only state that he knows of, that provides, free of charge to the user (not the taxpayer) non-spacious, non-facility availbility, truck only rest areas.  That’s right, no cars need apply.

If you do, you’ll be ticketed, towed and shamed on social media to no end.

That’s because Jersey cares about your safety and money and does what it can to ensure that you have lots of the first, and little of the second.

Just another feather in the cap of Jersey politicians and planners who leave most stones

overturned (usually in the middle of the roadway), close traffic lanes the extra mile, and

show a total lack of real concern when train commuters are stuck for hours in un-air 

conditioned trains in mid summer because the drawbridge crossing the Hackensack River

got stuck in the open position again,; or  chunks of concrete fell from the tunnel ceiling

leading into Penn Station, NYC (see new tunnel project quashed by Governor, above).

It’s just the Jersey way of letting commuters, business people and visitors of all ages

know, that Jersey is where they want to travel to.

So do.

Because as Governor Kean so keenly noted, “Jersey and you – perfect together.”

Posted in General Travel | Comments Off on Jersey Travel, Possibly Tourism