Thursday, July 21, 2011

Look what came in the mail

While in Ottawa I met the nicest people from New York. This husband and wife team work at Cornell University. He does something with a software system called Fedora and she is in nursing. We hit it off quickly. (I'm fairly lucky in this regard. I meet nice people everywhere I go. Maybe, because I strike up conversations with anybody and everybody I meet, sit next to on the bus/airport shuttle/airplane or stand in line at a tourist trap. I'm sure they are annoyed).

After we gave our presentations and the conference was over we all went out to dinner. While Dan stuck with a regular beer and I my usual red wine, Pat went for something a little more exotic. Or exotic for me. I'd never seen a small carafe of lime juice accompanying a very large beer before. I've seen lime wedges with beer before but never a carafe. It seemed like overkill. Then again, look at the size of that beer. I doubt if a tiny lime wedge would have done it justice.

I was intrigued enough to take a photo but than I am intrigued enough with a common daisy to take a photo. Pat is very much enjoying it. And, I very much enjoyed taking Pat's picture. Isn't she beautiful? Love the smile. I should paint her. 

After dinner Dan and Pat decided to walk me back to my hotel. It was a fairly long walk and I wasn't sure why they wanted to, it wasn't like it wasn't still daylight out and the streets of Ottawa were still peopled enough to be safe and it's not like I don't walk alone down a lot of crazy streets (Bourbon St. to name one) but I guess they just wanted the walk after our big meal but it was super nice of them and we got to know each other a little better. So much so that I want a reason to go up to Cornell. Not for work. For fun.

As we walked along we talked about some of the things, places, and people we had seen while in Ottawa. We started talking about what was the quintessential tourist geegaw that must be purchase when you travel to any given place, i.e.:

Washington DC = a Washington monument statue (extra value in this item since it is not only a memento of your trip but a phallic symbol. You know he was the father of our country)
New Orleans, LA = a voodoo doll or something anything with a fleur-de-lis.
Ottawa (and I imagine most places in Canada) = a beaver dress as a mounty.
Phoenix, AZ = anything with a saguaro cactus on it.

The list goes on but you get the picture.

They started telling me that in Ithaca, NY you have to get something with a moose. A plush animal, plate, spoon, etc. But, the thing that caught my attention was this:

A moose bottle opener. 
I had to have one. 

Pat was kind enough to stick one in the mail for me. It arrived yesterday. Isn't it great? JR was most pleased. 

Now, the question is what do I send back to her?
What screams TEXAS to you? 
A Texas star?
A cowboy?
I'm hoping to find a bottle opener fashioned like longhorn cattle where the horns are the bottle opener part. Wouldn't that be awesome?

To show our appreciation we will be heading to the "Made in Texas" store at the dreaded mall to find something equally nice. 

Is there something in your area that is quintessential? 
Has it been made into a bottle opener?
If so, will you send it to me? I think this would make a great Christmas gift for JR. I'll reimburse.
Let me know in the comments section and don't forget your email if I don't already have it. I'll even take things from Australia and Ireland (Mumme and Vince) as long as the shipping isn't outrageous. 



  1. Oh my gosh,what an interesting thing to think about. I have no idea what screams NC, but then again, I don't really want to stay here so it doesn't matter. ;)

    Love that moose bottle opener!! Your new friend sounds so sweet!

  2. Must it be functional? If not, perhaps one of those huge, ostentatious belt-buckles.

  3. Blue: she is sweet.

    Jan: did you know that they have those ostentatious belt-buckles with bottle openers built-in? How cool is that?

  4. How cool is that!? The best thing about Florida is something I'll be handing over in October so I think you're covered there. :-)

  5. When someone says 'Texas' I think of cowboy hats, cowboy boots & belt buckles the size of a salad plate, or larger.

  6. Hmmm, Texas quintessentialism. How 'bout an armadillo? Or an oil derrick? Either one would make a cool bottle opener. A windfarm wind mill made into a bottle opener would just look stupid.

  7. Quintessential? Hmm, my province is well known, in certain circles for our exceptional marijuana, but I don't think anybody has made that into a bottle opener.

    Speaking of 'in the mail,' IT should be arriving any day.

  8. I've seen that coy moose somewhere before.
    Still you'd have to wonder at the innocence of the person that developed the idea that the back end of a moose might be a place you'd find good beer at all. Were Bud to ship it, I say it wasn't so far off the target. This on the not eating yellow snow nor drinking yellow beer maxim. ;)

  9. Glad you found some new (great) friends! You strike me as the friendly type, not the "friendly, goes home with strangers" type, but nice friendly. Gah, I'm going to stop talking.

    I thought the moose was a Jesus statue at first glance, like it better as a moose. I'm not sure what screams FL besides oranges or gators... or women killing their two year olds and getting away with it.

  10. Lots of Texas things come to mind. For a bottle opener I would think a marshal star would work. Interesting collection--bottle openers. I collect shot glasses from places we've visited. Not so unusual but fun to look at and remember. I will look for a bottle opener with something that says Rhode Island (not literally) and let you know.