Monday, November 15, 2010

Maine Minutiae: A Story With a Valuable Lesson

This is the time of year where the weather is obviously cooler and outdoor activities like hiking become a welcome treat after a long, hot summer in states like Texas, Louisiana, Arizona, etc. Here in New England winter hasn't arrived yet and taking a hike into the woods is a great idea. Exploring in the woods, desert or mountains are a favorite past time of many, but they can become a tragedy for a few. Before setting out to enjoy the gifts God has given us, please remember two words: BE PREPARED!

I am bringing this up today for a very good reason. My good friend Bob at Texas Tweeties was almost one the tragedies of exploring. He and his better half, Ann, nearly became victims of their own passions - hiking and bird watching. I realize it sounds a bit odd that birding can end in tragedy, but it almost did for Bob and Ann, who are both in their 70's.

Here's the story in Bob's own words. Click the link, then come on back and I'll have another word or two about what happened.

I know that when the snow does fall here in Maine, many of you will go hiking or cross country skiing. You may have done either of those a hundred times and not had a problem the scope of Bob's. Please don't be over confident to the point of carelessness. Take all necessary precautions when you set off on your jaunt through the woods. It could save your life!

I am not writing this post to make fun of or ridicule Bob, quite the contrary. I would be heartbroken if something were to happen to him or his bride. I write this as a friendly reminder to all of us (me included) to take an extra few minute to be certain that we are prepared for any contingency. This website gives you some information for assembling a survival kit when you set off into the wild. In addition to that site, here's a "bing" search with a great deal of information on how to be ready for a possible emergency situation.

I hope that you'll find this article useful as a guide to make sure you are better-prepared for you outdoors activities.

Personal to Bob: I'm glad you and Ann are OK. I have a trip to Texas in store and you owe me a margarita or seven.  :)

***photo from hikingworld***

Texas Tidbits: What's That Name Again?

Kermit or Kermeet?
Howdy, y'all! I found the subject for today's Texas Tidbits like I find many of the posts for this blog - just goofin' around on the internet. But this post is unique. It's more about audio than the written word. let me 'splain.
I am a Native Texan and I have traveled to thousands of nooks and crannies all over the state. I have seen some of the weirdest names of towns you can imagine - Cut and Shoot, Gun Barrel City and Uncertain to name a few. I have also been to places where the name is pronounced completely different than the way it is spelled. Simple names like Colorado City. Easy, right? Not so fast there, diction breath. The correct (at least to the locals) way to pronounce Colorado City is Colla-ray-da City. Weird, huh? What about some other towns in Texas that present a similar dilemma? Mexia? Miami? Gruene? I am not going to give you those pronunciations. I ain't gonna leave you hangin' either.

This is where my Accidental Internet Discovery of the Day comes in. I found a site called Texas Tripper that has a bunch helpful information about Texas. It also has a pronunciation guide to help even the most seasoned Texan avoid those spoken faux pas. Click on the link and scroll down till you see the alphabet written in red letters. Click on a letter and a list of Texas towns whose name begins with that letter will be displayed. Then just hit the "play" button on the media player and a man's voice will give you the correct way to pronounce that city's name. I think it's pretty cool and as smart as I thought I was, I ain't. Give it a go and see how well you do and let me know in the comment section.

Good luck and I'll see you in Palacios !

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