Thursday, June 27, 2013

AKA Road Trip: Boating in a Cave

After the ‘Vet museum, we had one final Kentucky adventure before are wheels were firmly pointed back to The Sticks.
As the day warmed up, our next stop became even more inviting.  We were visiting the “Lost River Cave” ( )  It is the only boat cave tour in Kentucky.
After a bit of a walk downhill along a paved path, we arrived at the cave entrance.  Just to the left of that small building is a large dance floor.  In the ‘30s some dude came up with the great idea of having the only ‘air conditioned’ dance club in Bowling Green.  Cavern Night Club was a hit.
(From here on, please excuse the quality of the photos.  Caves are dark and auto-focus has a hard time finding anything to focus on.  All the light I had was the exhibit lights and the spot light carried by our guide.)
Heading on down, one comes to the ‘dock’ where you board your boat.  (Photo taken as we pulled away.)
The boat. 
First obstacle… “Wishing Rock”.  It is a very low are of the ceiling that one must duck WAAAAY down in the boat to avoid bashing one’s head.  (IE – wishing you’d ducked lower).  Uf-da!! 
I took a few photos during the 20-ish minutes we were on the cave tour.
There were some nice formations.  Because of the openness of the cave and the river flowing thru it, the cave wasn’t as cool as we’d expected.  It was probably around 60*.  We didn’t put on our jackets. 
Supposedly, Jesse James hid in this cave after he robbed the bank at Russellville, KY.  Our guide quipped, “A friend and I figured up all the times Jesse James was supposed to have hidden in caves.  If they were true that man would have never seen the light of day!!”
One of the “blue holes” where the river comes to the surface. 
Here’s one of the residents of the park… watching the tourists watch him.  I’d never seen a white squirrel before.  Kind of a cute little tree rat…

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

50 'Charities' That Are The Worst in the US

Here's a report by the Tampa Bay Times that is very enlightening... and enraging.  They researched charities and made a list of the 50 worst 'charities'.  (A huge BRAVO to the Tampa Bay Times for this story!)

Charities that make up names very close to an honest well-known charity, such as number one on the list "Kids Wish Network", which is scamming off the good name of the Make-A-Wish Network. 

Here is the report:

And here is the link to the below list:



The 50 worst, ranked by money blown on soliciting costs

Totals from the latest 10 years of available federal tax filings
RankCharity nameTotal raised by solicitorsPaid to solicitors% spent on direct cash aid
1Kids Wish Network$127.8 million$109.8 million2.5%
2Cancer Fund of America$98.0 million$80.4 million0.9%
3Children's Wish Foundation International$96.8 million$63.6 million10.8%
4American Breast Cancer Foundation$80.8 million$59.8 million5.3%
5Firefighters Charitable Foundation$63.8 million$54.7 million8.4%
6Breast Cancer Relief Foundation$63.9 million$44.8 million2.2%
7International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO$57.2 million$41.4 million0.5%
8National Veterans Service Fund$70.2 million$36.9 million7.8%
9American Association of State Troopers$45.0 million$36.0 million8.6%
10Children's Cancer Fund of America$37.5 million$29.2 million5.3%
11Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation$34.7 million$27.6 million0.6%
12Youth Development Fund$29.7 million$24.5 million0.8%
13Committee For Missing Children$26.9 million$23.8 million0.8%
14Association for Firefighters and Paramedics$23.2 million$20.8 million3.1%
15Project Cure (Bradenton, FL)$51.5 million$20.4 million0.0%
16National Caregiving Foundation$22.3 million$18.1 million3.5%
17Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth$19.6 million$16.1 million0.0%
18United States Deputy Sheriffs' Association$23.1 million$15.9 million0.6%
19Vietnow National Headquarters$18.1 million$15.9 million2.9%
20Police Protective Fund$34.9 million$14.8 million0.8%
21National Cancer Coalition$41.5 million$14.0 million1.1%
22Woman To Woman Breast Cancer Foundation$14.5 million$13.7 million0.4%
23American Foundation For Disabled Children$16.4 million$13.4 million0.8%
24The Veterans Fund$15.7 million$12.9 million2.3%
25Heart Support of America$33.0 million$11.0 million3.4%
26Veterans Assistance Foundation$12.2 million$11.0 million10.5%
27Children's Charity Fund$14.3 million$10.5 million2.3%
28Wishing Well Foundation USA$12.4 million$9.8 million4.6%
29Defeat Diabetes Foundation$13.8 million$8.3 million0.1%
30Disabled Police Officers of America Inc.$10.3 million$8.1 million2.5%
31National Police Defense Foundation$9.9 million$7.8 million5.8%
32American Association of the Deaf & Blind$10.3 million$7.8 million0.1%
33Reserve Police Officers Association$8.7 million$7.7 million1.1%
34Optimal Medical Foundation$7.9 million$7.6 million1.0%
35Disabled Police and Sheriffs Foundation$9.0 million$7.6 million1.0%
36Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center$8.2 million$6.9 million0.1%
37Children's Leukemia Research Association$9.8 million$6.8 million11.1%
38United Breast Cancer Foundation$11.6 million$6.6 million6.3%
39Shiloh International Ministries$8.0 million$6.2 million1.3%
40Circle of Friends For American Veterans$7.8 million$5.7 million6.5%
41Find the Children$7.6 million$5.0 million5.7%
42Survivors and Victims Empowered$7.7 million$4.8 million0.0%
43Firefighters Assistance Fund$5.6 million$4.6 million3.2%
44Caring for Our Children Foundation$4.7 million$4.1 million1.6%
45National Narcotic Officers Associations Coalition$4.8 million$4.0 million0.0%
46American Foundation for Children With Aids$5.2 million$3.0 million0.0%
47Our American Veterans$2.6 million$2.3 million2.3%
48Roger Wyburn-Mason & Jack M Blount Foundation For Eradication of Rheumatoid Disease$8.4 million$1.8 million0.0%
49Firefighters Burn Fund$2.0 million$1.7 million1.5%
50Hope Cancer Fund$1.9 million$1.6 million0.5%

Monday, June 24, 2013

AKA Road Trip: Corvette Museum

On the final day of our ‘adventures in Kentucky Americana’ we were heading towards home.  But that doesn’t mean the adventure was over. 
Next stop…
The Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY.  (As you enter the museum they have a ‘green screen’ set-up for souvenir photographs.  They said this Corvette was the same as one in Transformers 2.)
Let the Corvette overload begin!
This gives you an idea how big the buildings are!  It’s over 115,000 sq. feet.  It’s a lot of walking.
Everything was a Corvette theme.  Everything…
Full of Corvette dreams.  (Don’t think so Babe…)
The car that started it all. 
I found this bit of trivia interesting.
TWO ’57 Vets!  (My favorite is on the right!)
Another very good year – 1962!
There were great mock-ups all over the museum. 
They had a lot about the racing aspect of Corvette.
One area was dedicated to experimental ‘Vets.  This is where the engineers had fun!
Not sure what this area is called.  It’s the ‘cone’ you can see from outside.  Seems it houses Corvettes that have been loaned to the museum.
Makes for a pretty cool display.
OK, if I were to have a ‘Vet it would have to be a lot like this one! 
It was rigged to drive the Alaskan Highway!  All 1138 gravelly, muddy miles of it. 
After several hours of looking at beautiful cars with “Do Not Touch” signs, we came to the ONE car you could touch… and even get into.
Himself is definitely NOT get one of these speed machines!
However, I think it looks pretty good on me…
Besides all the ‘grown-up’ displays, there was an area just for the little ones.  I bet Little Hoss would have a blast in there!
After our tour we decided to have lunch at the “Corvette CafĂ©”.  Looked cute… a ‘50s diner style.  But looks aren’t everything. 
I was very disappointed with my meal.  This is my “Patty Melt”.  That is a sandwich…not a melt.  Himself ordered one too.  It was supposed to come with grilled onions… but they had no onions.  Then they tried to charge us for what they offered to sub for the onions they didn’t have. 
Then when they finally got them out… they had decided to sprinkle the sandwich with Durkee fried onions.  Seriously people?
I sent mine back (I can’t eat onions and had ordered my non-existent grilled onions on the side so Himself could have them).  And this burned up pitiful little burger is what they sent out.  That and a ‘fruit cup’ (5 pieces of pineapple and cantaloupe in a condiment cup) cost $7.  ( I will give you that one of the waitresses gave us each a brownie as an apology for the meal).
My advice:  See the museum and eat at McDonalds!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

AKA Road Trip: Sunday Drive

After our Jurassic adventure, we were both hungry enough to eat a pterodactyl!  But we settled for another bit of Kentucky Americana…
… Kentucky Fried Chicken!  (You know, I’ve been by Corbin, KY – where the Colonel had his first restaurant - several times but have never stopped in.  I will have to fix that situation!)
For dessert we stopped at a fudge shop.  KENTUCKY fudge, of course!  Their bourbon fudge was better than we had up in Bardstown.  And they ship!  Oh no!  LOL
One down the road was a bit of pure Americana… the tourist trap souvenir shop!  I’ll have to admit tho; ‘Big Mike’ had some interesting stuff among the kitsch. 
Like his very own photo-op mosasaur. 
Glass slag is a staple of road side rock shops.  Big pieces…
…and small.  A lot of folks put them in aquariums.  
And there is always the roadside concrete yard.  This is one of the best I’ve ever seen.
Will it fit in Little Red?
We eventually made our way down to the town of Smiths Grove for some antiquing. 
At this shop we hit the jackpot.  Pony Express Antiques has a nice variety of items at good prices.
Cute stuff!  And the owner Bobbie is a fun person to chat with.
After a bit of shopping we headed home thru the Kentucky countryside.
Saw sights we expected, like rolling fields…
…and one we didn’t expect!  Good grief!  What happened to that?  It wasn’t being dismantled, it had collapsed.  Wow.
We attended evening church service at Cave City Baptist Church; a very warm and welcoming congregation. 
Then we headed out for supper.  Not from Kentucky, but good ol’ Americana anyway.  A&W root beer and burgers!
A tasty wrap-up to our third day of adventuring.  One more day to go…