Posts Tagged ‘hot’

“The Monkeys! They Are Coming!”

Food for thought? Nope, lice for dinner.

No, not Micky, Davy, Peter and Mike. That’s the ♫Hey, hey we’re the Monkees♫ and a 50-year old reference to boot. The monkeys I’m referring to are the macaque monkeys whose habitat includes Snow Monkey Park in the thermal springs resort area of the Japanese Alps where the 1998 Winter Olympics were held. One doesn’t usually associate monkeys with Japan – especially Snow Monkeys luxuriating in hot tubs – but having heard tale of these Asiatic monkeys (a prehensile tail one presumes), my inquisitive nature drew me to their habitat. I guess in some sense I was Curious David.

 

The Journey to Snow Monkey Park 

“So what if they say I look like Nick Offerman.”

My lovely wife Karin (who I’m very grateful to call a willing cohabitant) and I decided we’d visit Japan. At least partially, because at 6’4”, I wanted to go someplace where I’d feel even taller. This may seem a peculiar criterion to some, but I’ve always enjoyed looming and/or towering and it’s much easier to tower in the Land of the Not Quite Risen People than it is here in the States.

In researching our journey I discovered we’d have to fly to Japan because the land bridge I’d planned on using to walk across the Bering Isthmus had vanished into the sea some 15,000 years ago. I have got to keep up on geologic events – even though many of them move at a glacial pace. Still, how did I miss that? So although this discovery was a setback, at least I now had my Berings Strait. As tour director and planning engine, Karin already knew this, but was wise enough to give me a long enough leash whereby I’d exhaust myself in frivolous research and then happily surrender to her well-planned itinerary. We flew non-stop from KLAX to RJAA (Tokyo) in only 11 hours. But with feedings, movies and pee breaks, it went by like 38 hours. Read the rest of this entry »

Pie-rotechnics

McDonald's Apple Pie filling circa. 1978.

McDonald’s Apple Pie filling circa. 1978.

Remember those insanely hot, deep-fried apple pies McDonald’s used to sell? The ones whose scalding apple lava filling was pumped directly from deep within the Earth’s core into the pie? Well I still have one I bought in 1978. And I plan on eating it just as soon as it cools down.  

McDonald’s claimed these pies were, “Just like momma used to bake.©” And it’s true, if momma had a PhD in Thermodynamics and a nuclear particle accelerator to heat the thing to the plasma state, just below the gaseous state. Let me put it this way: These are the only pies ever made that had a half-life. MacDonald’s offered them in two flame-throwing fillings: Apple McMagma and (during the St. Patrick’s holiday) Shamrock Napalm. As mentioned, I purchased my pie in 1978 for 45 cents and the return on investment has been phenomenal. Just by setting it in my furnace, I’ve managed to heat my entire house with it for over 40 years. The only downside has been the loss of all my hair. Read the rest of this entry »