Category Archives: Location

USA, Arizona, Flagstaff – Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

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(see my other Location related posts) – While on our 2019 Road Trip my wife and I took the time to drive up to the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. This is not in Flagstaff, Arizona but is only about 15 miles or 30 minutes north of the city (take U.S. 89 north for 12 miles (19km), turn right on the Sunset Crater – Wupatki Loop road and continue 2 miles (3km) to the visitor center).

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Sunset Crater is about 900 years old, yet it is still the youngest volcano on the Colorado Plateau. The cinder cone (shown above) of the crater now stands about 1000 feet above what was once just meadows and forest. As you can see in the photo above there is still a great deal of cinder from the volcano strewn about.

As you can see as well, there is still evidence of lava flow that resulted from the volcano.

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While there has been some regrowth in the past 900 years, the soil itself resists in many places. The parking lot at the base of the crater offers a few hiking paths. Some paved, but others wander over the rough terrain offering a closer view of the crater and the existing flora.

The day we visited the crater access to the park was free (National Parks has a few free days per year). Normally there is a $25 per vehicle charge. This was not as impressive as the Meteor Crater, but still worth the time to visit.


See my other Location & Food posts


 

USA, Nevada, Henderson – Hot n Juicy Crawfish

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(Read my other Food related posts) – We recently drove through Henderson, NV on our 2019 Road Trip. My wife and her brother love Hot n Juicy Crawfish. I have been there three times now and I enjoy their fried shrimp. My wife and her brother prefer ordering mildly cajun season boiled shrimp by the pound and digging in with both hands.

While they operate several different locations (13 at the time I write this post), I have only visited the Henderson, NV site at 9560 S. Eastern Ave. Henderson, NV 89123.

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As I mentioned before, I like their fried shrimp and their cajun fries.

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My wife and her brother also tried the regular Calamari and enjoyed that as an appetizer.

We have all enjoyed being a Hot n Juicy customer. If you like seafood, particularly spicy seafood, you will want to give Hot n Juicy a try.


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A Look Back at “John’s Notes” for July 2019

I have been seeing other Bloggers post a monthly review of what they have posted. I thought that I would give that a try. This is my second monthly summary and I will see how you, my readers react to it. You may see some posts listed more than once when they fit into multiple categories.

If you have an opinion one way or the other about my monthly summary, please give me your feedback.


What I’ve read and reviewed:

Believe it or not, publishing book reviews was how I started Blogging. My first review appeared in Spring 2014. Since then I have been able to complete more than 100 books each year and write a review of each.

  1. Book Review: “Alpha and Omega”
  2. Book Review: “Escape from Paris”
  3. Book Review: “Cursed”
  4. Book Reviews: “Templar Secrets”

The Mac and iOS

The second area I began posting about was Mac and iOS devices. I have posted a number of articles over the years. I also began a couple of years ago to publish a few Mac related Product Announcements. I have always felt that many simply don’t realize the breadth of the OS X software library.

macOS/iOS Apps, Reviews and Tech Tips:

  1. Expanded FREE iOS, tvOS AND macOS Software List for 06/2019

Product Announcements:

  1. macOS New app Release – PDFpen and PDFpenPro 11.1
  2. macOS New App Release – SheetPlanner 1.1
  3. macOS New app Release – Mail Archiver X 5.1
  4. macOS New App Release – Color Ray
  5. macOS New app Release – Hook 1.0
  6. macOS New app Release – Virtual TimeClock 19
  7. macOS New App Release – HoudahGeo 5.3
  8. macOS New App Release – SecuritySpy 5.0
  9. macOS New App Release – UI Browser 2.8.2
  10. macOS New App Release – Gonector 1.2.2
  11. macOS New app Release – Umbrella
  12. macOS New app Release – Commander One 2.0
  13. macOS New App Release – Mellel 4.2
  14. macOS New App Release – RailModeller Pro 6.1
  15. macOS New app Release – Mirror for Sharp TV
  16. macOS New App Release – GIPHY extension for Apple Mail
  17. macOS New App Release – Typinator 8.0
  18. macOS New App Release – Duplicate Finder for Mac 4.6.0
  19. macOS New App Release – PDF Studio 2019
  20. macOS New App Release – ChronoSync Express 1.3.1
  21. macOS New App Release – Application Wizard 4.0
  22. macOS New App Release – Mirror for TCL TV
  23. macOS New App Release – Graphic Inspector 2.4.3

Related to WWII:

I have always been interested in the WWII period of history. In the past year or so I have “raised the bar” so to speak and have begun to read, watch and visit WWII related sites.

If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest.

The  World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 320 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other sources with information on the World War II era in history.

The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

The “About WWII” page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

  1. Music of WWII: “Sentimental Journey”
  2. Book Review: “Escape from Paris”
  3. Music from WWII: “At Mail Call Today”
  4. Music of WWII: “I’ll Walk Beside You”
  5. Friday WWII Flix: “The Wackiest Ship in the Army”
  6. Music of WWII: “Der Fuehrer’s Face”
  7. Disney 1943 anti-Nazi Animated Short “Der Fuehrer’s Face”
  8. Limited to 35 mph?

Music:

  1. Music of WWII: “Sentimental Journey”
  2. Music from WWII: “At Mail Call Today”
  3. Music of WWII: “I’ll Walk Beside You”
  4. Music of WWII: “Der Fuehrer’s Face”
  5. Instrumental Music on YouTube: “With or Without You” by 2CELLOS

Automation, Robots, and Drones – Oh My!:

  1. An Indication that AI is Creating Jobs

Food & Locations:

  1. USA, Arizona, Winslow – Meteor Crater Natural Landmark
  2. USA, Texas, Georgetown – Galaxy Bakery & CoffeeHouse

Health and Coffee:

  1. Apps & Sites for the Best Coffee
  2. Coffee Seems to Combat the Onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

 


Miscellaneous:

  1. Texas Military Forces Museum – Hands-on​ History Night 2019
  2. Why Buy if You Can Borrow from Your Library?
  3. The Timelessness of July 4th
  4. Disney has Released Another Desktop/Mobile Device Wallpaper for the 4th

USA, Texas, Georgetown – Galaxy Bakery & CoffeeHouse

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(See my other dessert related posts) – A few days ago, friends, Michelle and Addy came to visit and they brought my wife and I each a Boston Cream Croissant. That taste of Galaxy Bakery was enough to send us up to Georgetown this morning.

The Galaxy Bakery & CoffeeHouse is located at 107 E 7th Street, Georgetown, Texas 78626 – just east of the square. The Galaxy is housed in one of the older buildings and you might just go past it. If you do though, you will be making a mistake.

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So what does the Galaxy have? Per their menu:

  • Full size and Mini CUPCAKES
  • GLUTEN FREE CUPCAKES  Available Fridays & Saturdays (or by the dozen upon request)
  • Full size and Mini CANNOLI – Chocolate, Confectioners Sugar, and Pistachio.
    CHEESECAKE – New York, Tuxedo, Chocolate, Raspberry White Chocolate, Peanut Butter
    Full size and mini CINNAMON ROLLS
  • COOKIES – Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Chunk, Cranberry Oatmeal Walnut, Peanut Butter, and Sugar.
  • CROISSANTS – Almond, Dutch Apple, Peach Cobbler, Cherry Cobbler, Chocolate, Ham & Swiss, Jalapeño Sausage & Cheddar, Raspberry, Sausage & Cheddar, Spinach & Feta, Jalapeño Popper, Boston Cream, Turkey Gouda, and Almond Joy.

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  • Full size and mini MUFFINS – Blueberry, Lemon Crunch, Maple Walnut, Raspberry.
  • Full size and mini PIES – Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Chocolate, Coconut, Galaxy-Pie, Key Lime, Lemon Meringue, Pecan, Pumpkin, Peach
  • Full size and mini SCONES – Almond, Blueberry, Cranberry Orange, Raspberry.

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The Galaxy also has a selection of coffees and bottled soft drinks. There are a few tables inside and more outside on their patio for when the weather is better. We sat inside and enjoyed Turkey Gouda Croissants, then shared a cupcake. Of course, we had to stop at the counter and order a few other items to take home with to enjoy later.

So far I have only tasted the Boston Cream and Turkey Gouda Croissants, along with one of their cupcakes (their website lists 47 different flavors – they rotate through them every two weeks) and one of their cookies. Everything I have tried so far has been very good.

Now that I have visited Galaxy Bakery, I am sure I will be back many times! If you are near the Williamson County Courthouse on the square in Georgetown, I recommend you take a few minutes to visit the Galaxy Bakery.


See my other Food and Location posts


 

USA, Utah, St. George – Black Bear Diner

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(See my other Food posts) – We went this morning to the Black Bear Diner in St. George, Utah for breakfast. This location is only one of the 124 diners that the chain has across 12 states. The first location opened in 1995 in Mount Shasta, California. The diner location we visited is at 1245 S Main St., St. George, UT 84770.

Even though there are over 100 locations, I had never heard of this diner chain before. I checked the location list and found that there are three in Texas, but sadly all are in the Houston area. With their expansion program hopefully, there will be one in the Austin area before too long.

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As you can see (pardon the poor photography) from the sign outside, one of the themes that run through the restaurant is bears.

The four of us had a variety of items for breakfast and we enjoyed them all. TripAdvisor gives the Diner a 4/5 rating, Yelp a 3.5/5,  and Zomato a 3.6/5.

One of the features of this chain is “all day breakfast”. They have a pretty extensive breakfast menu as well as a full list of items for lunch and dinner. A nice selection of dessert items is also available. I would certainly stop at one of these diners again.


See my other Food & Location articles


 

USA, Utah, St. George – Chuck-a-Rama

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(See my other Food posts) – We have been in St. George, Utah for a couple of days.

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Yesterday for a late lunch/early dinner we went to the Chuck-a-Rama location here. It is located at 127 Red Cliffs Dr, St. George, UT 84790-8631. The Chuck-a-Rama is an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant.

Chuck-a-Rama is a small (12 location) chain of restaurants across Utah and Idaho. The first location opened in Salt Lake City, Utah on September 6, 1966.

Their menu varies a bit from day to day, but they consistently have a salad bar, baked goods, a selection of meat items, side dishes, and desserts every day. Their full menu is available online.

I have eaten there a few times now and have found the food good. Certainly, I have never walked away hungry. You won’t find 5-star Michelin cuisine, but the food is reasonably good and plentiful. On TripAdvisor Chuck-a-Rama has a 4/5 rating while on YelpYelp it has a 3.5/5 rating and on Zomato it has a 3.4/5 rating.


See my other Food & Location articles


 

USA, Utah, St. George – Paúla’s Cazuela

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Food – We went to Paúla’s Cazuela Mexican restaurant last night for dinner. This restaurant had been around St. George, Utah for at least 20 years. The restaurant is located at 745 Ridgeview Dr, St. George, UT 84770-2679.

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This is your ‘typical’ Mexican food restaurant. Some of the family have been eating and enjoying Paúla’s for nearly 20 years.

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My wife and I shared mixed chicken and beef fajitas. We really enjoyed them. They came with plenty of grilled onions, bell pepper, and red peppers.

One of the draws to Paúla’s is the view. Those shots above were taken from the parking lot, but it is also visible from their patio. If you are looking for some good Mexican food and are in St. George, UT then you may want to give this a try. Paúla’s has a 3/5 rating on Tripadvisor and 3.2/5 on Zomato.


See my other Food & Location posts


 

Singapore, Singapore – Soufflé Restaurant

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(See my other Food posts) – A couple of weeks ago we went to a French restaurant here in Singapore, Soufflé. The restaurant is located at 5 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089591.

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Soufflé is not a very large place and as you would expect from the name, it specializes in preparing a variety of soufflés. I had an order of Soupe à l’Oignon (Classic French onion soup with grantinated cheese toasts) then a Roquefort Cheese (Freshly baked soufflé – with a hearty portion of Roquefort cheese) and a Mixed green salad lightly dressed with French vinaigrette as my dinner. I liked all of those choices. The others in our party tried a wide variety of items and they enjoyed them all. You can look over their full menu if you like. 

Then came the dessert soufflés. There are eight different “Sweet Soufflés” on the menu:

  1. Grand Marnier et Oranges Confites (Freshly baked soufflé with a generous dousing of Grand Marnier and candied orange Additional shot of Grand Marnier)
  2. A la Chartreuse (Freshly baked souffé with a generous dousing of Chartreuse; the popular French digestif made with over 100 plants and flowers)
  3. Valrhona Chocolat Noir et Glace Vanille (Freshly baked soufflé with Valrhona dark chocolate and vanilla ice cream)
  4. Framboises et Glace Vanille (Freshly baked soft soufflé with raspberries and vanilla ice cream)
  5. Caramel Beurre Salé, Glace Caramel (Freshly baked soufflé with salted caramel and salted caramel ice cream)
  6. Speculoos, Crème Speculoos (Freshly baked soufflé with speculoos spiced shortcrust biscuits accompanied by a speculoos cream)
  7. Soufflé Glacé Citron Vert (A tall fluffy zesty lime iced soufflé)
  8. Soufflé Glacé Fruits Confits (A tall fluffy iced soufflé laced with colorful candied fruit

 

There were six of us in the dinner party, so being the ‘crazy Americans’ that we are we ordered two of each! Well, actually three of the chocolate soufflé.

Out of this delicious list, I liked the chocolate, caramel, and lime soufflés the best. I got too involved in the enjoying the soufflés so I did not get photos of them all. As you can see though, they all look good.

I have to say that I much prefer eating at a restaurant with a good steak. This was an interesting dinner though and it was great to sample all of their dessert soufflés. If you like French cooking or soufflés, then you will enjoy this restaurant.


See my other Food & Location articles


 

Singapore, Singapore – Civilian War Memorial

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When I went out for a walk around Singapore the other day I passed by the Civilian War Memorial. The memorial was built in memory of the civilians killed on Singapore during the Japanese occupation of the island during World War II.

Work began on the memorial in 1963, but the 230 foot (70 meters) high quad pillars were not completed until early 1967. It was formally dedicated on February 15, 1967. The four identical pillars of the memorial represent the shared war experiences of the Chinese, Eurasian, Indian and Malay residents who suffered through the occupation together.

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An inscription is on the base of the memorial in the four major languages of Singapore – English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil. It reads: “Memorial to the civilian victims of the Japanese occupation 1942-1945”.

 

 

 

IMG_0620The memorial sets in a 4.5 acre War Memorial Park located near City Hall in the central business district.  Most of the civilians who died were of Chinese heritage during the Sook Ching massacre. How many actually died is still a matter of debate. Japanese reported that 6,000 died, but official estimates range between 25,000 and 50,000.

 


See my other articles on Locations 


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of mine of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 210 links to museums, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds with information on the World War II era in history.

The “World War II Timeline” page shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

Singapore, Singapore – Getting a Haircut

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Singapore – I have been back in Singapore now for almost two weeks and I very much needed a haircut. I walked over to the nearby Plaza Singapura as I knew there was a barbershop there.  This shop is just outside the Cold Storage grocery store we frequent there in the mall.

They advertise (see the sign at the bottom of the window) a ‘Korean Style’ haircut in 10 minutes for $10 SD. At the time I am writing this that is equivalent to about $7.34 USD. Far less than I am used to paying back in the States.

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The process to get a haircut here is different from at home. The first thing you do when you enter the shop is to go to the automated teller machine shown above, put in your money, and get a ticket. Once you have given one of the barbers your ticket they seat you for the haircut.

There was a bit of a language barrier but after a little pointing, pantomime, and broken English the barber finished the haircut. The outcome was not bad. Perhaps a little longer in the front than I would have liked, but I won’t hesitate to go back to that shop the next time I need a trim.

Last year I had a haircut in a shop in the Dhoby Ghaut MRT (subway) station adjacent to Plaza Singapura. They too had a machine issuing tickets. Their cost was $12 SD. The only real difference was the numbered seats for those waiting on a haircut. You took a seat in the available spot with the lowest number. As the barbers took a customer waiting to get their haircut from the #1 seat, those that remained would each scoot over to take a seat in the next lower numbered seat. An effective but different style of waiting in line.