Postcard Recreation Project – Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace

Today we are going to focus on the birthplace of (for now) the most famous person to ever come from Boone. The former First Lady Mamie Doud Eisenhower. Her birthplace is one of only two birthplaces of First Ladies that have been made historic sites. The other is the birthplace of Abigail Adams. I don’t imagine there will be many more in the future, since most people are born in hospitals these days, but you never know.

I do want to mention that the controversy surrounding the birthplace from a few years ago is over. The people that wanted to sell the Birthplace and/or turn it into a bed & breakfast have all been fired or purged from the Boone Historical Society. It will open again, when the pandemic has subsided. That is all I wish to say about that sad chapter of this historic site’s history at this time.

Here is a little bit about Mamie Doud Eisenhower from the Boone County Historical Society’s website:

Mamie Geneva Doud, named, in part, after the popular song, Lovely Lake Geneva, was born November 14, 1896 at 718 Carroll Street in Boone, Iowa, the second of four daughters born to Elivera Mathilde Carlson and John Sheldon Doud. She grew up to become the wife of the 34th President of the United States, Dwight David Eisenhower.

When Mamie was nine months old, the Douds moved to Cedar Rapids, where John Doud became a buyer for the T. M. Sinclair Co. By 1905, after making a fortune in the meat-packing industry, John Doud—at age 36—partially retired and moved his family to Colorado, settling first in Pueblo, then in Colorado Springs, and finally in Denver. The Douds spent winter vacations at their second home in San Antonio, Texas.

In October 1915, soon after completing her education at the Wolcott School for Girls, a finishing school in Denver, Colorado, 18-year-old Mamie met 24-year-old Dwight David Eisenhower in San Antonio at the home of friends. Dwight, called “Ike”, was a newly-commissioned Second Lieutenant in the United States Army stationed at nearby Fort Sam Houston. Mutually enamored, the two young people dated and quickly became engaged—on Valentine’s Day—and were married on July 1, 1916 at the Doud home in Denver, when Mamie was 19 and Ike was 25.

The Eisenhowers entertained an unprecedented number of heads of state and leaders of foreign governments. As First Lady, Mamie was noted for her outgoing manner, her love of pretty clothes, jewelry, and her obvious pride in husband and home. She was named one of the twelve best-dressed women in the country by the New York Dress Institute every year that she was First Lady. The “Mamie Look” involved a full-skirted dress, charm bracelets, pearls, little hats, and bobbed, banged hair that was a modified version of the Dior’s postwar “New Look”. Her style included both high- and low-end items and she symbolized the ideal 1950s wife and mother.

Mamie never lost contact with her mother’s Boone family, the Carlsons. Throughout the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, the Eisenhowers regularly visited Boone, especially during Ike’s presidency and after his retirement. Mamie was also quite active with her favorite charities, served on the boards of three colleges, and performed other civic duties.

After Ike’s death in 1969, Mamie continued to visit Boone, making her last trip in 1977, two years before her death. She suffered a stroke on September 25, 1979 and was rushed to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where her husband had died a decade before. She remained in the hospital, and on October 31st, announced to her granddaughter, Mary Jean, that she would die the next day. She died in her sleep very early the morning of November 1,1979, at the age of 82. Mamie was buried beside her husband on the grounds of the Dwight David Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kansas.

Now that you know a little more about Mamie, here is some information about the Birthplace itself, also from the Boone County Historical Society website:

Built in the 1880s, Mamie’s birthplace received national attention on November 2, 1954 when the DeShon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Boone, Iowa, placed a bronze marker on a stone in front of her home. After Mamie received the coveted Iowa Award in Boone in 1970 from Governor Robert D. Ray, local interest in preserving her birthplace grew, and a group of concerned Boone citizens formed the Boone Committee for Preservation of Historic Landmarks, Inc. (Trust Committee) to look into saving the house, and started raising funds for that purpose. This home was the only remaining Iowa birthplace of the wife of a U.S. President; Herbert Hoover’s wife’s birthplace in Waterloo, Iowa was torn down in 1926.

The birthplace had been purchased in 1962 by the adjacent First Baptist Church, for possible future expansion; renovations were then made so it could be a rental property. In 1974 the Church’s plans for an expansion were finalized, and the Church offered the house to the Trust Committee as a gift for preservation, provided it was moved from its original location. A formal acceptance ceremony involving several Boone civic leaders was held on March 17, 1975 in the parlor of the First Presbyterian Church in Boone. During the ceremony, the officers of the Trust Committee accepted the house as a gift from the First Baptist Church. The property across the street, where the home was to be moved, was gifted by Warren Kruck. The additions and renovations made previously to the house were removed and on September 15, 1975, Mamie’s Birthplace was moved across the street to the west, to 709 Carroll Street.

Restoration plans were drawn up by Iowa architect William J. Wagner of Des Moines, who was noted for his work in the preservation of historic Iowa homes and buildings. Five years of extensive restoration were done, including the restoration of a summer kitchen and carriage house. With Mamie’s aid, the Trust Committee arranged with the History Colorado Museum in Denver, Colorado for the loan of the original bedroom furniture from the home, used when Mamie was born. In addition, Mamie and her sister, Mrs. G. Gordon Moore of Washington, D.C., plus their uncle, Joel Carlson of Boone, donated many family heirlooms for the home, including a chair, Bible, piano, and settee owned by Mamie’s parents.

Miss Lois E. Dell of Des Moines chaired the committee that collected books for the library. Rugs, curtains, and wallpaper reflecting the 1890s period were found and purchased for the interior. Many organizations raised funds for, and contributed to, the restoration of the birthplace. The Iowa American Legion contributed $500 to the restoration and passed a resolution (see below) urging all Iowans to assist financially to the project. The Boone County American Legion and Auxiliary contributed a flag pole and flag. The Boone Women’s Club raised money for the landscaping. The two Boone Questors Clubs contributed substantially, and the Boone Soroptomist Club held a tour of homes project in the spring of 1977 to raise money.

Displays about the Eisenhowers can be found in the museum and reference library in the basement, including books, documents, photographs, and artifacts pertaining to the Doud and Eisenhower families, plus local history and information about the restoration project. The carriage house, erected in 1982, contains the Chrysler Windsor Sedan given to the Carlsons by the Eisenhowers in 1948, and Mamie’s 1962 Plymouth Valiant.

Mamie’s Birthplace was dedicated and opened for tours on June 22, 1980, with members of the Eisenhower family and Bob Hope attending. The home is one of only two First Ladies’ birthplaces in the United States to have been restored; the other is the birthplace of Abigail Adams in Massachusetts.

Before we get to the postcards, I want to share some of the pictures my Dad took of the dedication of the Mamie Doud Eisenhower birthplace. Unfortunately I scanned these almost 10 years ago and not with a very good resolution, but despite their size, they are fascinating:

Now that you know about the place, here are the postcards I recreated for the Mamie Eisenhower Birthplace:

Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace Photo Postcard - Original
Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace Photo Postcard – Original

Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace Photo Postcard - Redux
Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace Photo Postcard – Redux

Birthplace of Mamie Doud Eisenhower - Original
Birthplace of Mamie Doud Eisenhower – Original

Birthplace of Mamie Doud Eisenhower - Redux
Birthplace of Mamie Doud Eisenhower – Redux

Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace - Modern Interpretation
Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace – Modern Interpretation

One last story, looking at the pictures of the dedication of The Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace I am reminded of a story Teresa recently told me about our Dad. Apparently way back in the day, they used to bring a small submarine to Don Williams Park and give submarine trips around the lake.

Dad really wanted to Teresa to go on this submarine trip, but she refused and he became angry at her. She went on to talk about how he always wanted her to shake hands with people that were at the dedication to the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace. Like Governor Ray and Bob Hope. When she didn’t want to do it, this also made him mad.

This is how I know I’m like my Dad in some ways. Just her telling me the story that she had a chance to take a submarine ride around Don Williams Lake and it turned it down started to make me angry. And how could you pass up a chance to shake hands with Bob Hope! But I digress.

The next set of postcards that will get mailed to your inbox will involve a look at Boone from up high!

21 thoughts on “Postcard Recreation Project – Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace”

  1. Wouldn’t/shouldn’t the birthplace make up about 50% of the focus of the Boone Historical Society? There is plenty of other history, but that’s such a focus of the town. I’d also assume it would be on a national or state registry and would be hard to just unload? Anyway.

    Those photos of your father’s are amazing. That had to be just everyone in Boone there – that’s fantastic. I assume it was early 80s/late 70s? It’s fascinating!

    I get angry with the kids when they don’t want to do things that I find fascinating/once-in-a-lifetime. Can you imagine riding a sub around Don Williams Lake? Think of all of the golf balls you’d see! That would be amazing!

  2. Yeah, I think the problem it that most of the people who know or care who Mamie Doud Eisenhower was are dying off and business is drying up. I do think it is hard for that to compare with all the railroad history and the local railroad museum.

    They do have 3 museums, but the Kate Shelley Museum has been closed for years and has fallen into disrepair. I hope that they someday restore that. At least make it presentable again. At one time there was a fundraiser thermometer sign up, like they were going to raise money for it, but that is gone now. Probably a victim of the Birthplace Kerfuffle.

    It got pretty nasty. The side that ultimately lost, kicked a bunch of decades long members out and hired armed guards to be at the meetings.

    Also, I’ve been doing some research on National Registry of Historic Places. It doesn’t seem to provide that much protection for buildings, but mostly tax breaks for the owners. At least that is what my nominal research seems to be trending.

    The submarine story is almost too good to be true. I wish there were pictures of it out there somewhere. I don’t think I’ve come across any in my Dad’s collection. But he was probably so pissed at Teresa he didn’t take any pictures at all.

    Her description of it, is that it was a real small sub that could only hold the pilot and one other person. Preferably a small other person.

    I don’t think I could ever serve on a submarine in the Navy, but I’d definitely take a small sub around Don Williams.

    The pictures of the dedication are from 1982.

  3. That’s a good call on the railroad museum. It’s been about six years since we went, but that one is good, and it’s definitely Boone’s self identity now. You’re right, I don’t know a lot of people who are going on trips to see Ike’s birthplace, let alone his wife’s. I didn’t really think of that. Man, I barely even remember the Kate Shelley Museum. I know we went on a fourth grade trip when I was in Webster City to that and on a train ride. I think we maybe did again in fifth when I was at Grand.

    Armed guards? That’s insane. I mean – I guess it’s probably me, I can’t think of anything besides my family for which I’d hire armed guards. Maybe that makes me a waffler, I don’t know. That’s shameful that there isn’t more protection on monuments – although, like you pointed out with Mamie, that’s sort of something that we don’t care about as much anymore nationally. We have our “bullet point monuments” (mostly out east), and the rest is seen as a place you could put a Wal-Mart, instead.

    I explained the submarine to Jon, and he was baffled. He said, “It would be filthy under there; you couldn’t see anything!” To which I said, “And?!” That would be an amazing time!

  4. I think I’ve only been in the railroad museum once since it opened. But I remember it being pretty nice. Although I freely confess to not being a museum person generally. Despite loving history, I’m just not much into museums. Although, I do love historic sites. So I’m not sure what that is about.

    The Kate Shelley Museum is in really sad shape. I’ve actually been there quite a few times in recent months. A couple times to walk the trail to the remains of the bridge. Once to take picture of the remains of the tunnel.

    To be honest, it probably isn’t economically viable to keep it going, but it should be restored and taken care of and yeah, you can open it up a few times a year for field trips. But just looking around the remains, it is kind of sad, because it looks like there were some nice things there that have fallen into disrepair.

    I think the idea of the National Register of Historic Places is to provide encouragement to keep these places in existence via tax breaks and access to grants.

    Here is some boring legal stuff:

    §60.2 Effects of listing under Federal law.
    The National Register is an authoritative guide to be used by Federal, State, and local governments, private groups and citizens to identify the Nation’s cultural resources and to indicate what properties should be considered for protection from destruction or impairment. Listing of private property on the National Register does not prohibit under Federal law or regulation any actions which may otherwise be taken by the property owner with respect to the property.

    (a) The National Register was designed to be and is administered as a planning tool. Federal agencies undertaking a project having an effect on a listed or eligible property must provide the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation a reasonable opportunity to comment pursuant to section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended. The Council has adopted procedures concerning, inter alia, their commenting responsibility in 36 CFR part 800. Having complied with this procedural requirement the Federal agency may adopt any course of action it believes is appropriate. While the Advisory Council comments must be taken into account and integrated into the decisionmaking process, program decisions rest with the agency implementing the undertaking.

    (b) Listing in the National Register also makes property owners eligible to be considered for Federal grants-in-aid for historic preservation.

    (c) If a property is listed in the National Register, certain provisions of the Tax Reform Act of 1976 as amended by the Revenue Act of 1978 and the Tax Treatment Extension Act of 1980 may apply. These provisions encourage the preservation of depreciable historic structures by allowing favorable tax treatments for rehabilitation, and discourage destruction of historic buildings by eliminating certain otherwise available Federal tax provisions both for demolition of historic structures and for new construction on the site of demolished historic buildings. Owners of historic buildings may benefit from the investment tax credit provisions of the Revenue Act of 1978. The Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 generally replaces the rehabilitation tax incentives under these laws beginning January 1, 1982 with a 25% investment tax credit for rehabilitations of historic commercial, industrial and residential buildings. This can be combined with a 15-year cost recovery period for the adjusted basis of the historic building. Historic buildings with certified rehabilitations receive additional tax savings by their exemption from any requirement to reduce the basis of the building by the amount of the credit. The denial of accelerated depreciation for a building built on the site of a demolished historic building is repealed effective January 1, 1982. The Tax Treatment Extension Act of 1980 includes provisions regarding charitable contributions for conservation purposes of partial interests in historically important land areas or structures.

    If you get your building listed, you have to pay for your own bronze plaque, which seems disappointing.

    “Many sites listed in the National Register arrange for a commemorative plaque. Unfortunately the National Register of Historic Places does not issue plaques as a result of listing; rather we leave it up to the individual owners if they are interested in having one. If you do not have a local trophy/plaque store that you prefer, we know of several companies that advertise in Preservation Magazine that offer the type of plaques that you may be interested in. We recommend that you contact your State historic preservation office to see if they have a preferred plaque style or wording.”

    But you can destroy that thing if you want:

    “What are the restrictions, rules, regulations for historic property owners?

    Under Federal Law, the listing of a property in the National Register places no restrictions on what a non-federal owner may do with their property up to and including destruction, unless the property is involved in a project that receives Federal assistance, usually funding or licensing/permitting.”

    Yeah, the armed guard thing is crazy and I think when it was going on, I didn’t realize how insane those stories sound. And all this reminds, me: I need to send in my form to join the Boone County Historical Society.

    I mean, he isn’t wrong, that you wouldn’t be able to see much, but he is also wrong in that he has completely missed the point.

  5. I like art museums better than historical ones, much better, I think. The Iowa Historical Museum is fine, the kids enjoy it – but it’s sort of vacuum-sealed. It’s hard to get historical context when you’ve taken the history out of its element and put it into a museum. Art is easier with that – you just collect individual pieces, and hopefully do a themed display. Historical sites give much more of the context, or at least allow you to use your imagination.

    That’s really too bad about the Kate Shelley Museum. It seems like every child in central Iowa should go on the train and to the museum at least once for school. It’s way better than the cardiff giant at the Fort Museum in Ft Dodge. Kids respond way better to things that spark the imagination, like a train ride would.

    That’s bizarre. I get the tax breaks/grants, but that’s a bummer that it doesn’t actually protect the areas themselves. I agree, it’s also a pretty crappy deal that you have to get your own bronze plaque – it seems like there should be a group doing that, having ceremonies and such. In my idealized version in my head of how historical landmarks should be, I guess. Isn’t part of the premise of the Goonies that they’re trying to get the house declared a landmark to protect it? It’s been years since I’ve seen it (we keep waiting a little bit longer to show it to the kids, as there are some parts that would for sure scare Charlie), so I may be wrong. That’s probably where I got the idea, if I’m not making that up.

  6. Art Museums are definitely superior to history museums to visit. I do love a good art museum. Or even an average sculpture garden. I do like things like Living History Farms though. Nothing of historical significance happened there, but I like the interactive aspects of it. It is more experiencing history than looking at artifacts.

    If you get a chance when you visit Jon’s brother, I recommend Franconia. It is one of the coolest sculpture gardens. It isn’t that close to the Twin Cities, but it isn’t that far either.

    But slow your roll, if you think it is okay to badmouth the Cardiff Giant in this house. That is my boy:

    Cardiff Giant Road Trip

    Definitely breaking museum rules in this picture.

    What would be truly great, would be a train ride out into the country and then the kids have to dig up their own Cardiff Giant. And then compare its raw sexual energy to the raw sexual energy to the town sign of Arcadia.

    This is your second GOONIES reference in a month. You clearly need to sit down and watch it again. There are lots of state and local lists that historical properties can get on that offer way more preservation protection for properties. Perhaps it is one of those lists that the Goonies were trying to get on.

    The bronze plaque is definitely a disappointment. The plaque definitely needs a ceremony, where they small a bottle of champagne against it to christen the plaque. The only known good use for champagne.

  7. A work friend and I are tentatively (pending the state of COVID and the world) booked to go to Paris in late September. The tickets and AirBnB can be moved up to the week before if need be. I was super excited to hit ALL the art museums – but she does not care about art even a little. I talked her into the Louvre just long enough to see the Mona Lisa, and then I talked her into the Musee D’Orsay (which has Starry Night, Whistler’s Mother, some of Monet’s Water Lilies series, etc. – more modern stuff). I think we’ll get about two hours there. No Picasso museum, no full Monet series at Musee Orangerie… I’m legit bummed. No Rodan museum with The Thinker. It’s a legit bummer – I remember in high school, when we went to DC, there was one afternoon when we had about five or six different activities from which we could choose. Going to Smithsonian History Museum, I think the Supreme Court chambers, something sports-related (most likely baseball in DC, I’d guess?), a couple other things, and then the National Art Gallery was in there. Jen, Liv, Kris, and I all chose the National Art Gallery, if I remember correctly – there was a Picasso exhibit there on his blue period (my favorite). While I still need to make it to Supreme Court chambers, I’m so glad we picked it. It was truly amazing. I agree on LHF – I like that you get to do stuff and learn stuff. It’s not just looking at some old clay pots or anything, you actually get to enjoy yourself.

    I’m just looking at the Franconia website, and their sculpture garden is amazing. We will FOR SURE put that on the list. The last few summers, we’ve offered the kids to do a birthday party with their friends, or a small trip as a family. Alice picked Minneapolis the summer before this past one (where we did nothing outside the house), and we went to the Bakken Museum at that time – I’d say it’s sort of a creepy version of a children’s museum, which made it fascinating? We need to go up again if the world is better to visit Jim, so that sounds like a perfect stop. The kids have gotten into looking at our PAC sculptures around town, so I think they’d enjoy that a lot!

    I didn’t know you had such a love for the Cardiff Giant! I remember having to go in there multiple times as a child and it was a touch unsettling when you’re, like, 7 and looking at a big stone peen. You got IN there! That would be pretty amusing to have kids do a whole archaeological dig for their own giant. I don’t know if Arcadia can hold up to that lazily reclining piece of man meat.

    I really do need to watch it again. I don’t know what’s up with the Goonies references. One time someone pointed out Frank’s slight resemblance to Sloth in the eyebrow region (they both have really hooded eyebrows), and it stuck with me. I bet that is what Goonies was trying to do – that would make way more sense.

    Holy crap, does champagne suck. It really, really is awful – as is pretty well all wine. But champagne holds this special place in tasting like absolute crap, and making your sinuses feel strangely terrible to boot. I did tell Jon that, if I make it to France in September, I’ll try and bring home a bottle of actual champagne and I’ll try a small sip to see if it’s better (I really hate drinking). But I just don’t see how that’s possible.

  8. Angie: I don’t have any work friends.

    Angie a few weeks later: I’m going to Paris with my work friend.

    I don’t know if I have a work friend I would go to Paris with. I think the farthest I’ve travelled with a friend from work is Orlando. And Orlando is one of the worst cities I’ve ever been to, so I would recommend that trip for anybody. Just a rotting wasteland of tourist traps and poor city management. Plus Iowa State got smashed by Notre Dame.

    Of course, I’ve never been to Europe. Or across the pond like you jetsetters call it. The only pond I’ve ever been across is the Turtle Pond at McHose Park.

    Of all the places you are going to miss, I wouldn’t sweat going to the Rodin Museum to see “The Thinker”. I mean, it is possible that it is amazing, but there is more than one “The Thinker”. In fact one of them was at the Iowa State museum a few years back. I went to see it when it was here. If I remember the story correctly, he basically made molds in 3 different sizes. So he made several copies of it. So you can definitely see it in the States, as you jetsetters call it.

    But maybe there is something that is special about the one at his museum and it is tragic.

    I hear the thing that shocks most people about the Mona Lisa is that it is actually very small and most people aren’t prepared for that psychologically. I would love to go to the Louvre and definitely the Picasso museum. If I was in France, I’d definitely want to visit Monet’s garden in Giverny. Probably even more than I would want to see his paintings. That is the way I roll though.

    Since you have decided to body shame the poor Cardiff Giant, you should be warned that there is a giant penis sculpture at Franconia. At least 30 feet tall. Yeah, we jumped the barrier. To get up close with the Giant. I’m sure there are cameras in there now and now way we would get away with that now. Lucky for us, we went on a day when we were literally the only people that showed up to the museum that day.

    Jesse told me a couple weeks back that Frank is getting divorced. Not sure of all the details, but he might be moving to Boone to setup shop.

    I’m not sure I’m familiar with the Bakken Museum, but maybe some day Nora and Jonah will want to go to it. But if you want to check out something strange and not very far off the Interstate, I can also recommend Sam’s Foto Park. I believe it is $10 to use a cell phone camera and $50 to use a real camera. But free to just look around. It is a truly great collection of oddities. It is just short of Lakeville and requires a small amount of back tracking. But you can see it from the interstate. In fact, guarantee that you have.

    Champagne tastes like you mixed vinegar with carbonated water. It is such trash. Although when I did drink the only wine I ever found that I remotely enjoyed was Riesling. Which makes me pretty soft to the wine drinkers of the world. I mean that and Mad Dog 20/20.

    In Washington, it probably wasn’t baseball, cause the Expos didn’t move there until a few years ago. Unless maybe there was a minor league team there. I need to get to DC this year. Before the inevitable coup.

  9. That DOES appear a little incongruent! 😀 What’s odd is that I wouldn’t consider this coworker one of my good or best friends, but we are able to be compatible for long periods of time. If that makes sense. I disagree with her on a lot of things in life, but we have similar motivations and stuff. We’ll see if this is a dumpster fire. Orlando IS garbage – we went for the kids and I went for the mine, but it’s hot and stinky and commercial. But we tried mofongo at a little Puerto Rican restaurant there, so it wasn’t a total waste (in addition to the joy of the children).

    Do you have any interest in international travel? Jon and I are supposed to go to Curacao at some point for our 15th anniversary – we have to keep pushing out the reservations. It’s off of the cost of Venezuela near Aruba – I’m not a big fan of traveling to South America, but this is sort of my way to do it. Europe is sort of my jam – I don’t like big bugs that can give me dengue much, and don’t want to have to strain my water through a tube (Curacao is one of the few places with a salinization plant, which is why I picked it – also they had stuff to do besides just sit on a freaking beach). My big desire is England, though, so Jon is all in on that. He’d also like to see The Netherlands, since he’s so Dutch.

    That’s awesome to know about the Rodin Museum. “The Thinker” is really his main contribution, so I don’t really need to just see one artist like that (unless Picasso). I would love, love to go to Giverny and see the garden. We’re sort of stuck to Paris and maybe just out of town on the train to Versailles. I know this sounds silly, but I watched a Jay-Z video filmed in the Louvre where he and Beyonce stand in front of the Mona Lisa to sort of research it, and it is TINY. Super tiny. It’s got so much detail, I guess we make it bigger in our imaginations? I will see if I can find “The Thinker” here.

    30 feet of penis sculpture? Charlie’s going to be INCREDIBLY amused by this. Maybe that’s how I get him on board with a sculpture garden. I’ll likely make some ridiculous jokes – I hope we can get photos with it. I need to see my 3-ft son by a 30-foot penis.

    Frank is? Wow, I thought they were so solid. The kids have to be close to graduating, don’t they? I guess he’s finally unloading that house he’s been trying to escape for decades. (Steve saved us from buying it.)

    The Bakken is pretty cool! I remember your post about Sam’s Foto Park – I’m all in! I’ll make a list. I love travel planning lists. I love weird stuff so very much – that’s pretty well how my living room is decorated.

    Champagne is totally vinegar water, that’s really accurate. And it jacks up your sinuses in addition to the foul taste. About the only wine I’ve found that I can palate at all is a moscato – it basically just tastes like juice. But I still don’t really like it. In Italy, one place gave Mom and I a digestivo for free because I got along with our waitress well – I drank mine out of politeness (Mom made a show of hating it), and it was AWFUL. It was like if black licorice turned bad. Which, it’s already the Fonz of the candy world. I don’t understand why people drink things that taste bad – which covers about 99% of alcohol (for SURE beer).

    I didn’t know that there weren’t any baseball teams there then! I don’t follow pro sports incredibly closely, to be honest. Jon does, I mostly stick to ISU. I loved DC – Jon and some of his buddies are hoping to get there a year from this summer (if this summer is impossible). There are a couple of mega-Masons in their group, so they can get all kinds of secret tours and stuff. Which sounds like a thing that would be interesting, even if I didn’t care about the content of the history.

  10. The absolute worst that can happen on a trip to Paris is that you guys are kidnapped and sold into white slavery. Liam Neeson will come and save you, but only one of you will make it. The one that is closer to Liam Neeson. I hope for your sake, you are pretty close with Liam Neeson.

    On a totally unrelated note. Another Paris movie to consider is TAKEN.

    I will say 2 positive things about the tourist hellscape that is Orlando. We also had one good dining experience. The best Brazilian Steakhouse I’ve ever been to. But I don’t remember the name, because I hope to never go to Orlando again. If Iowa State goes to that bowl game again, I’ll probably sit it out. The other positive thing is that I got to hold an alligator.

    I guess I have interest in international travel. But I’ve never made it a priority I guess. The only foreign countries I’ve been to are Mexico, Canada, fake Haiti, Jamaica, and Grand Cayman. I would love to go to Europe. England would probably be my preferred because of the language issue. But also because Scotland would also be high on my list. But after that Paris and Italy and Greece would probably be next on my list. As far as Europe goes. Israel would be my number one overall.

    Man, you have to get over your thing with bugs. Other than mosquitos. Mosquitos suck. What else is there to do besides lay on a beach? I’m hoping for volcano.

    The Netherlands would be cool as well. I’d go there mostly to eat pastries, spit them out, and ask people, “Have you ever been to Pella, Iowa? This is better in Pella.” Or perhaps, get one of those Simpson FTD shirts. I really want to be the American tourist that everybody hates. But at least if you go now, you can be honest about being an American. Because two years ago, I would 100% have pretended to be Canadian if I left the United States.

    Honestly, the The Netherlands would be cool. But I do think the Dutch Letter is the most overrated pastry in the world.

    I think it stems from rarely seeing masterpieces is person. So you don’t have any context of how big it is. One masterpiece I have seen in person that is amazingly small is AMERICAN GOTHIC. One masterpiece that is bigger than necessary. Anything by Jackson Pollock.

    I think my number one artist museum is Van Gogh. That is in Amsterdam. He would be my #1 artist. Picasso #2. In fact, think I’ll watch LUST FOR LIFE later today. Been too long.

    as you can see the 30 foot was a big or an exaggeration, but it is definitely over 30 cubic feet.

    Yeah. Frank is getting out that house. Barb gets the house in the settlement. So I guess that is a win for him. I definitely wouldn’t want to live that close to the railroad tracks. Or near that intersection. Or on that road. And that house is very oddly shaped. But it did have a hot tub. I assume it still does.

    Been thinking heavily of getting an inflatable hot tub lately. Hot tubs are on my mind.

    Sam’s Foto Park is definitely a collection of the bizarre. So it should be right up your alley.

    Your mom making a scene? I don’t believe it. Tell me more…

    I’m not even going to comment on the Mason thing.

  11. 30 feet is close enough. “Daunting” is an appropriate adjective to describe it. “Oppressively large,” maybe. I do really enjoy the name and the idea. And that a little town in Minnesota decided to buy it, which is amazing and off-brand for most of the Midwest.

    I’ve never seen Taken – but I do know that it is one of those movies where Liam Neeson is a badass who doesn’t let someone get kidnapped. I’m not a real rom-com kind of gal, but every year I have to watch “Love Actually” at Christmastime, and I find Mr. Neeson delightful. I’ll send him a letter right now telling him that, just to grease the wheels before Paris – get a leg up. Isn’t that Angelina Jolie/Johnny Depp “The Tourist” also in Paris? I might stick to Audrey Hepburn for a while.

    I remember getting off of the airplane in Orlando the first time I went there for the Mine, and remarking to myself how it must be what it’s like to walk around in an armpit. It’s just hot and vaguely stinky, and fairly unenjoyable. We thought hard about taking the kids to one of those Gator Parks, but C$ was still about 4 at the time, and that seemed like he’d end up being one of those kids on the news. We may get dragged into taking them again in the next few years, so we can try now. He’s calmER (not calm overall). I may ask Jesse for the name of that Brazilian Steakhouse joint, as you don’t remember the name.

    I remember that you went on the cruise – I bet that’s an amazing memory, and I hope you have a ton of great pictures of it. I hope it’s okay to ask about the act of going on a cruise itself from an empirical standpoint – if not, please skip these next few questions, as the last thing I want to be is insensitive. Were you bored on the boat? We’ve looked at cruises, but I don’t sit still well on vacation, is my only problem. If you were going to visit Alaska, or a place with large bugs, would you take a cruise or just fly there?

    I’ve got to buy a bunch of DEET bug spray, because apparently mosquitoes are a huge thing in Curacao, and they can carry dengue and a little bit of malaria. Neither of which I am seeking. So – good question. When Jon and I first wanted to pick a destination for our 15th, I suggested Vancouver or Iceland or something, and he wanted to just lie on a beach. I had a few basic rules:

    – I don’t want to die in a hurricane
    – I want to be able to drink the water without getting dysentery
    – I need to be able to do something besides just sit on a beach (partially because that gets boring quick, and partially because I am white as a ghost and that will suck for me)

    Curacao is part of the ABC Islands, along with Aruba and Bonaire. (I sort of wanted to go to Bonaire just so I could say I was the fresh prince of Bonaire.) It is not super-affected by hurricanes, as it is so close to Venezuela. They have a really good water salinization plant, so the CDC rates their water as safe. And most importantly – they have a ton of history. They were on the bad end of the Dutch slave triangle, unfortunately, so there’s a museum about that. (But it’s a museum, so I hope it is good). They have aloe vera and ostrich plantations, they make blue Curacao alcohol, they have a ton of scuba diving and snorkel lessons. They have a rock-star aquarium and semi-sub experiences. So I’ve told Jon that, if we DO something in the mornings, we can be boring and lay around in the afternoons. We’ve struck a deal, whenever that trip happens.

    I love England, so that’s my bucket list country. The only reason I didn’t hit it first is just because I’m going with people interested in (co-worker/Paris) or already going to (Mom/Italy) other places. Amsterdam isn’t super far from the UK – of all of the places to bang out in one trip, you’d probably be able to hit those two! Oh my gosh, Mom and I were theoretically going to get to have an overnight layover in the Netherlands the first time we want, and literally the only thing I wanted to do while there was hit the Van Gogh museum. I’m excited to get to see Starry Night and his self-portrait in Paris. Would you stick around in Amsterdam, or go around the country? Jon is very Dutch, but I honestly don’t know a ton about the rest of the country (other than the affinity for dry pastries) other than Amsterdam. And even my information about there is pretty limited to the Van Gogh museum, the Red Light district, and weed.

    I’ve never seen American Gothic – isn’t it in Chicago? It’s so detailed to not be huge. Yeah, Pollack really liked you to see the enormity of his mediocrity. I saw the Vitruvian Man in Venice last time I went to Italy – it’s usually in a vault, but they were doing a special show of it. It was amazing, but really just on about an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper, just a little larger than that. Many of the blue period works we saw from Picasso were way bigger than I expected. OH – Caravaggio. Italy is lousy with Caravaggios, and he’s an artist I love – his are all big, more like the size of a traditional painting we see.

    Man, I bet he’s happy to be unloading that place. We drove by not too long ago, and it looked desperately in need of repair. It’s SO close to the train tracks. And it was so oddly shaped that it needed two different furnaces, if I remember correctly – but only one of the furnaces worked, so he just didn’t use that area off to the east when you come in? And there was stuff everywhere.

    A hot tub would be delightful. I wouldn’t even mind a big jetted tub in the bathroom (although I’ve heard they are terrible to clean). We had a hot tub fully outdoors at our last house, it came with it – it’s a lot of upkeep, which was a pain for us since we couldn’t use it a ton with Charlie being so small. But I’d LOVE one now. Do I remember – does your place have a screened in porch? That would be perfect for a hot tub. I’ve never used a hot tub when it’s cold out, but I bet that would be a blast – especially if you don’t have to shovel ten inches of snow off it first.

    Have I never told you about all of the trip going to Italy with her? We need to have a lunch time at House of Chen sometime when it’s safe to, and I need to update you on the whole thing. I’ve rarely been so frustrated – but I guess the good news is that she just let me plan the entire thing. And navigate. And talk. It was a lot.

  12. The one thing about Franconia. It isn’t owned by the town. It is privately owned. So a daunting penis sculpture didn’t have to pass muster with some kind of art commission. I would say that Franconia is kind of an artist community. They might even be socialists. Here’s hoping!

    Once every January Liam Neeson releases an absolutely terrible action movie. TAKEN is the only one that is any good. Unfortunately, TAKEN 2 is not good, and TAKEN 3 just pisses you off. You being me. THE TOURIST is set in Italy. Also, not a very good movie.

    Two of the people I went with LOVE Orlando. They go all the time. Well used to go all the time. The big surprise of that trip was finding out that wife on that trip was pregnant. That being pregnant ended up being with twins. They aren’t going to Orlando for awhile. But they do love the whatever studios has a theme park down there. I still love them despite that.

    We didn’t make it to anything as sweet as a gator park. We held alligators at a miniature golf course. And it was everything I dreamed it would be.

    You don’t think 4 is old enough to fight off a gator? I knew you were over-protective, but come on! What are you trying to raise? A kid with all their fingers? Boring.

    I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed going on a cruise. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. There are so many things to do on the boat that it is hard to be bored. Plus virtually every day, you dock, so you go out and explore a new place. So you aren’t even all the boat most days.

    I would love to go to Iceland. It is basically a photographers dream location. But I can confess, I do also enjoy lying on a beach. But being on a vacation and getting hit by a hurricane, I have to admit that actually intrigues me. I’ll be a little disappointed if I experience California without an earthquake.

    I don’t really love cities all that much, so I would be tempted to visit more of the country. Talking Amsterdam here. I would need to find at least one giant-ass tulip field. I would definitely visit the Red Light District. The photography possibilities there would be amazing! One of the parts of the pandemic that has been frustrating for me is the lack of street photography opportunities. It bums me out.

    I think American Gothic is in Chicago. I saw it while it was at the Des Moines Art Center. I do really love the Des Moines Art Center. It is a really good museum and it is FREE! And of course, I’ve also been to the house that is the background for American Gothic. Will probably go there again sometime. Especially when I hit that county for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT.

    I do have a screened in porch. I don’t know that the inflatable hot tub is in the cards, but I have researched them a little bit. They are very affordable and last a lot longer than I expected. Although, I recently purchased two more lenses, so that might have been my “hot tub money”. Maybe some day.

    I also miss House of Chen. You’ve told me some of the story of your trip to Italy with your mom. But I’m sure not all of it.

  13. There is DEFINITELY a whole ordeal with penises passing the mustard with a government commission. Not necessarily that the commission itself wants to censor them, but that they get a ton of blowback if they don’t. (Sorry, that phrasing didn’t pan out great.) I guess we had some statue with one form of genitalia or another implied before I got on the commission 4+ years ago, and we STILL have people complain about it when we run booths at different events. People’s memories are long when it comes to being faux-offended. I love artist communities – we’re trying to help fund a co-op type of thing at the Octagon. It’s become a little complicated, but I think it would be awesome for Ames.

    Being pregnant in Orlando sounds even worse than a regular trip. Finding out you were pregnant in Orlando sounds like the perfect way to make a bummer of a memory. We know a couple where, he wanted to go to Universal and go through all of the Harry Potter rides, but his wife was going to be 8 months pregnant at the time. Rather than move their trip they’d planned until she could ride those… he made her come with and just stand in the lines with him, then go wait for him outside. (He’s pretty sexist, btw – old coworker of Jon’s.) I just can’t imagine choosing to go without kids.

    That’s good to know about cruises! Especially about the docking every day. I was assuming that there were something like four or five day stints where you had nothing to do at any point, and I would definitely get stir-crazy.

    I think Iceland would be amazing. I was researching itineraries for going around the entire island, all of the best spots to visit. Jon did not desire going and being cold on vacation, which I guess I can understand. But I think it has just amazing sites that are entirely unique. I’ll do SOME beach time. I just have a whole agenda of other things that we need to do! Even at the resort we’ve got booked – they’ve got beaches where you can snorkel, the whole island has a coral reef, angelfish, dolphins, even barracuda. So I think I can likely keep fairly busy, hopefully – we’ll see then, I suppose. You can get tan on a beach lounger! Rather than just beet red. Jon got me a knock-off underwater GoPro type of thing that I can attach to the snorkel, so I’m hoping to figure that out and take it with me.

    I think the windows and such in the Red Light District would be fascinating to see – I’ve heard they’re very elaborate. I’m going to guess people would be less excited for one to do street photography (of themselves, anyway) there, however!

    I didn’t know it was in Des Moines at the Art Center ever! I will watch for that, I’d love to see American Gothic. I was bummed that I missed getting the kids to that big tunnel exhibit last year or the year before. at the DMAC. I’ve only been once, but it’s been some time. I have never been to the farm where he painted it – I need to go, and take the kids. I know they’d really enjoy it. Charlie has a lot of interest in art, which makes me happy. He’s sat and looked at pop art with me for some time before.

  14. Here is an idea. Perhaps it is why I’m not on such committees. You should take a male nude model with you on these events. They aren’t front and center. They are sitting in the back in a robe. Then when one of those people comes up to complain, you kindly say,

    “Oh, you have to talk to our art penis curator.”

    Then the guy takes off the robe and takes their complaint buck naked.

    Yeah. Randi found out she was pregnant 2 days before we left for Orlando. A nice 20 hour road trip with her throwing up in the back seat every so often. She was obviously miserable, but never complained once.

    Universal Dad sounds like an awesome guy. I have a feeling he is a Little League Dad. If you don’t know what that is, you can ask Jesse.

    As far as getting tan. Yeah, I next to never put on sunscreen. But I did on a cruise. I never burned, but I’m sure I would have.

    I’ll be excited to see how your underwater camera works out. I’d love to use my underwater camera in that type of circumstance. Having an underwater camera in Iowa is pretty useless. There isn’t much to see underwater, even if you could see something underwater. Which you rarely can.

    The Red Light District. I don’t know why people would be like that. I mean, stopping weird. I’d take a selfie and send the pictures to all my past Pastors with the caption, “I’m being look Jesus! Hanging out with prostitutes!”

    It does make me wonder if there are photography rules around there. But I doubt there are.

    If you go the American Gothic house while they are open, they have costumes for you to wear, so you don’t have to bring your own. Perfect picture opp for your kids!!

    The little museum is pretty cool. They have all sorts of different parodies of it on display. One of the favorite places I’ve ever visited in Iowa.

  15. This would be amazing, and I have so many notes. I also would like to note that I read an article on Atlas Obscura that, somewhere in Italy or something, they have an entire secret museum filled with all of the art penises (penii?) that they curated right off of statues during the weiner-shaming phase when they chiseled them off. Perhaps I could work out some system to borrow some of those.

    Morning sickness in a car is terrible. Because not only do you feel terrible due to hormones, but now you get some added motion sickness thrown in there (even if you aren’t usually affected). When I got hospitalized with the boy for hyperemesis, they had me on Dramamine in addition to my prescription stuff in an effort to try and help that – so Randi is a SAINT. That would be just awful. And your end result being Orlando.

    I need to mess around with it and figure out how to use it – maybe try it out in the shower or something while facing the faucet? I have no idea. I’ll see how that pans out.

    Yeah, I figure just lean into where you are if you’re in the Red Light District. If you’re going to chill with pros, and I guess smoke all the weed while doing it, just own it! I am guessing there are probably more people going to the District for tourism purposes than to frequent an establishment, anyway, so they’re probably taking selfies!

    That’s AMAZING. Okay, I’m for sure putting that on the list for day trips when we are able to go to museums and such again. That’s a pretty amazing photo, by the way. I wonder if I could talk my children into the outfits – it’s worth a shot.

  16. “This would be amazing, and I have so many notes. I also would like to note that I read an article on Atlas Obscura that, somewhere in Italy or something, they have an entire secret museum filled with all of the art penises (penii?) that they curated right off of statues during the weiner-shaming phase when they chiseled them off. Perhaps I could work out some system to borrow some of those.”

    I’m just going to say this once, keep your hands of the Cardiff Giant! He has enough problems, living in Fort Dodge and Cooperstown and allegedly The Living History Farms.

    You can certainly use the underwater camera in the shower, but maybe a better test would just filling a tub or sink full of water? Every once in a while, I like to throw mine into the pond at the Boone County Hospital. The stream that runs through McHose Park is pretty good too because the water is pretty clear there. However, there isn’t exactly much to see there. The creeks in Ledges are clear enough to use it too. Although, obviously, this time of year, it is too cold and frozen over. I’ve used an underwater camera at the pond at Rancho Augustin. I haven’t used my current one. Putting that on my list of things to do after the pandemic is over. It has been a couple of years since I’ve been out to Rancho Augustin. Plus Micky has fish food out there, so he can attract them to the shore.

    One thing I don’t like about my underwater camera is that with video and timelapse, the focus won’t adjust. Once it is set, it stays that way. Which means you almost have to physically take the pictures. You can’t just set it and forget it. Which is fine, for say taking pictures of fish, but not so swell of trying to take underwater pictures of snapping turtles.

    As for Randi, I’ll add that she ended up having twins. I imagine that makes the pregnancy even harder. But being a man, I don’t know. Maybe it makes it easier. Kind of halves the work. I’ll let you check my math on that.

    I just read an article (okay saw the headline and didn’t read the article) that Amsterdam is looking at moving the Red Light District because they don’t want it in a place that is so tourist heavy. Yeah, like the tourists aren’t just going to follow it.

    I don’t understand why your kids have a choice. They wear those costumes or they walk home.

  17. The post you put this comment on is now closed for Comments:

    “I will say that I haven’t listened to a ton of Herb. Less than I should, for sure – I’ve thrown some into some of my eclectic playlists for variety. I need to listen more than just surface level. I have been trying to branch out the past couple of years – I usually stick to hip-hop, indie, classic rock, jazz/blues/soul (those are each separate, I do realize), and some of the new rock. I have really gotten into 70s/early 80s punk, 80s alternative, etc., etc. – stuff I didn’t really listen to before. I still don’t listen to a lot of pop unless the kids want it. Which is far too often, but we’ve convinced Charlie to listen to good stuff for the most part. Work in progress.

    Jon got me a great new turntable a year ago for Christmas. I have an old one that I could give you as a holdover that doesn’t link up to any external speakers, if you’d like – it’s one of those suitcase ones. I wanted it to actually sound good, which is why he upgraded me. I love it connected to our soundbar and such.

    So, I’ve got Clarice marked to record on YouTubeTV, and I’ll try it, as I like that universe… but I’ve read that it’s gotten just wildly mediocre critic reviews. Is it on your radar, are you going to watch it? It’s also on CBS, so there’s that additional strike against it. You’re correct – Mads as Hannibal could be really difficult to understand. I usually used subtitles when I watched, also because there was a fair amount of background sound and mumbling. I don’t think Hannibal ever really was supposed to have much of an accent in the books, so that was a little off – he was just supposed to sound very proper and civilized, I thought, and could adapt to whatever language he was speaking? I may be incorrect, though, and he may have had a European accent.

    Holy cow, Cedar Rapids is just offensive smelling. It’s honestly impressive how it never smells good. We drove through to go see Grandpa in the Quad Cities (which don’t smell great), and I’d forgotten how it smelled simultaneously like wet dog, feet, and Fruit Loops at the same time.

    So I’m throwing it over here, just to give this quick response:

    I can’t say I really listen to Herb Alpert much either, but I seem to feel like his music was played a lot in the grocery stores of my youth. I can’t promise that, but it feels right.

    I appreciate the turntable offer, but yeah, the new one really needs to hook into my receiver. I’ll pass at this time, but might circle around again in the future and see if the off still stands.

    It has been awhile, but Hannibal was an immigrant right? I don’t know if he was in the books, but I feel like there was an episode where he was a young buck in some eastern European country. This comment is filled with my feelings and no facts. I’m slowly becoming a Republican!

    I think Sioux City is the worst smelling city in Iowa. Cedar Rapids is second. Clinton is third.

  18. You won’t see me running up to Ft Dodge with a chisel and a wine bag anytime soon. The Giant is safe from me! Although, now this is going to appear in Google searches, so… it’s out there in the ether now.

    I was thinking about a bathtub or a sink, too – I just want to make sure that I also know how to use it when it’s attached to my snorkel mask. That’s good info on it not working constantly – ours has a remote that is (for some reason) not waterproof, so I’m going to have to figure out a system where I can keep that in a baggie or something before we eventually go. I’ll also keep in mind that info about the focus – I don’t have any autofocus, either, so that’s definitely going to be an issue. I figure that any underwater photos I can get on the trip will certainly be a bonus. I’ll give some creeks and such a shot – it would help to have some experience under my belt!

    High hCG levels have a ton to do with increased symptoms of nausea, morning sickness, and the tendency toward hyperemesis in the early stages. I always had hCG levels consistent with those carrying twins, so I can say for certain that she had to be experiencing a ton more issues than people with average-range levels. Randi had to be just miserable. And being HOT (as Orlando almost always is) just contributes a ton.

    Right, because people going to the Red Light District don’t have Google Maps on their phone or anything. Surely they’ll just give up and not google the new address. Like my children would do if I kicked them out of the car for not wearing the Grant Wood costumes.

  19. For sure I think it would be a much, much better idea to have something that links up to your receiver. The old turntable was one that we’d gotten when we wanted to wade in, not certain how much we’d listen to albums. I love it so much, so we stepped it up! I have an Audio-Technica now that I really enjoy.

    Hannibal was an immigrant! He was Lithuanian. (Man, that “Hannibal Rising” book is terrible.) I believe he orated to the Gallery in Florence in perfect Italian, right? I definitely get why they would have gone for Mads Mikkelsen – he did a great job with it, other than it being a little hard to understand occasionally.

    I think that is a very legitimate top 3. I’ve never been to Clinton, despite having known many people from there. I’ve heard enough bad things about it that I just avoided it.

  20. I’m sure you probably have time that you might be able to be able to test in a swimming pool too. If you have easy access to a swimming pool. I only have limited access to swimming pools.

    But just because mine doesn’t have continuous autofocus while video is recording doesn’t mean that yours won’t. Usually with underwater videography that isn’t really that big of a deal. Most of my underwater photography is of the variety of setting time lapse and then throwing the camera into a steam and hoping for the best. Usually results in about 1 in 250 pictures being worth anything. I haven’t really had a chance to use it in a deep enough body of water that was clear and that I could get into with it.

    Something that might seal the deal with the kids and the costumes is that they don’t have to change clothes. The costumes they have just go over their existing clothes. There are no sides. Plus, remind them that the couple in the picture are brother and sister. Not husband and wife. If that doesn’t work, you can feel free to use the morality tale that is my sister and my dad and the Don Williams submarine.

    “Amsterdam’s famous city center red light district’s days could be numbered. Amsterdam’s mayor has proposed closing down city center brothels and relocating the area’s nearly 200 workers.

    The local government is proposing moving sex workers to a purpose-built “erotic center” outside of the heart of the city, but the union for red light district window workers, Red Light United, says most women don’t want to leave the city center. Amsterdam’s red light district occupies a collection of narrow streets in the heart of the city near the central train station.

    Officials have been pushing changes in the red light district for years, and they say tourists behaving badly are partly to blame. The Dutch capital last year banned city center red light district tours, part of an effort to recast its hedonistic image and to discourage tourists from gawking. Some sex workers in Amsterdam have taken to posting signs asking visitors not to take their photos.

    “This is about a reset of Amsterdam as a visitor city,” Dennis Boutkan, a Dutch Labour Party representative, told The Guardian. “Tourists are welcome to enjoy the beauty and freedom of the city, but not at any cost.”

    Dutch officials also are considering banning tourists from its world famous coffee shops, which have long been a destination for marijuana smokers from around the world. An estimated 166 coffee shops remain in Amsterdam, according to CNN.”

    As they say in Indianola… FTD!

    When I was looking for a new turntable, it seemed that Audio-Technica was the main brand producing them. I had this list of things I was going to purchase. 2 new monitors. Check. Monitor calibrator. Nope. Turntable. Nope. New projector screen. Nope. 2 more new monitors. Nope. However, I have purchased 4 new lenses in that time frame. Probably lots of other things I’m forgetting as well.

    Jesse is from Clinton, so I have been there several times. Although, to be fair, almost every river city stinks. The Quad Cities. Counciltucky. The only one that doesn’t seems to be Dubuque.

    I will give Clarice a try. CBS doesn’t have a great track record with shows in my history. But we’ll see. It is on real CBS right? Not some weird CBS streaming service?

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