The Spot Coffee Shop

The Spot Coffee Shop
The Spot Coffee Shop in Owensboro

Friday, May 18, 2018

GinZa Japanese and Asian Bistro in Owensboro

My sister talked me into trying GinZa Japanese and Asian Bistro in Owensboro.  How can I put this nicely....  my sister isn't exactly an expert on...  well, anything.  Her recommendation doesn't go very far in my books.

I have to say though....  She got this one right.

The owner is a vet (you should at least give this place a try to support a military guy).  Also, a lot of the staff came over from Japan to contribute to what is going on at GinZa.  The owner did come over to talk to us, and he said they are trying for something very authentic.

So, I had hibachi shrimp, rice and vegetables.  That, WITH a small salad was $6.50.  Seriously, I am not making that up.  Even with their lunch portions, I couldn't finish it all.  I DID also have some egg soup that was very tasty (another person in our party gave me theirs).

My sister got some sushi (I am not a sushi person) and she said it was very nice.  Also, I think I heard that they are going to be doing a $12.99 all you can eat sushi deal on Wednesdays.

Anyway, we really liked this place and what they are doing.  Plus, it is a very good value.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

PizzAroma Owensboro

I wanted to briefly tip my hat to PizzAroma in Owensboro, easily one of my all time favorite businesses in town.

This was the first time I had been to the current location at Wesleyan Park Plaza.  I used to go to the one that was on Carter, but I noticed that it is a new business now.  I like the current location, because it is in the old Noble Romans' Pizza shop.  I spent a lot of time there in high school.  LOVED that place too!

PizzAroma has great food and all of my friends and family love this place.

They had half off appetizers while we were there, so I tried their wings.  I love those too!  BUT I always come here for the pizza!

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Spot Coffee Owensboro KY

I wanted to mention the Spot Coffee Shop in Owensboro again!  I absolutely love this place!

I had a great brownie while I was there recently.  I had some nice coffee too.

The Spot is located in the old strip mall by Owensboro Christian Church (the old Lincoln Mall).  This is a very convenient location for me, and I pass right by it anytime I come to or leave town.

The Spot is funky too, and has a very artsy local vibe.  They sell some CDs by local bands, and art by local artists.  The Spot is scrappy, and very DIY.

I know I have talked to several in Owensboro who were unaware that a new coffee shop was around!  I hate that, and I hope more people realize that the Spot is here!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Toyminator in Owensboro KY

I am sure I have mentioned my old pal Rick Phelps around here before.  He buys and sells old toys mostly from his space inside of The Consumer's Mall in Owensboro. 

Rick (he calls himself the "Toyminator") finds and deals a lot of cool stuff, mostly vintage to modern toys.  He has helped me find a few hard to find pieces for my cowboys and Indians collection.

Also, he is a recently retired high school art teacher!  He loves making big, over the top statues himself, and he has MANY displayed at his booths at The Consumer's Mall. 

If you are in Owensboro, you should stop by to check out his cool art pieces, and to get a good deal on a favorite toy you remember from childhood.

Here are some more photos of Rick's work:
Check out his HUGE Incredible Hulk Statue, and here are some pics I took of various statues around Owensboro back in 2010.  His Superman Statue, and Darth Vader cut out can be seen in the photos, but they are no longer on display in Owensboro.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Driving around Owensboro

So, I grew up in Owensboro, and spent my first 18 or so years there.  I do love getting back when I can, and I feel like I don't get there enough.  I do consider the hours that I get to spend there very valuable.  I am lucky that both of my parents are still living, and they live near Owensboro.

I will say that the drive gets longer every time I make it.....  and I have driven back and forth between Owensboro and Lexington/Berea probably hundreds of time.

Still, it is a treat getting to spend time in my home town, but I am really getting to a point where I am noticing changes.  My favorite hang outs in Owensboro weren't even there when I left.  I love the coffee shops in town.  Even though the Crème just celebrated it's TENTH ANNIVERSARY, it is still very new to me. 

I love the fact that where the old Noble Romans used to be (in front of K-Mart), there is now a PizzAroma.  AND I liked the fact that there was a coffee shop there at one point in between the two businesses occupying the building.

Parrish has totally changed.  I drove by there, and I simply did not recognize any of the businesses.  I drove by the old Kuester's Hardware too.  I am glad that, even though it has been a long time, the sign is still up!

There is the new, rebuilt McDonalds in town now.  I stopped by there briefly.  It is a pleasant place for fast food.

Oh, and I always get some burgoo and mutton at Old Hickory when I am in town.  They are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year!

When I am in the area, the thing I enjoy doing the most is simply driving around out in the country.  Some of the roads are pretty skinny, and my car can detect when you cross a center line, or hug the middle of the road.  I do both of those things on some of those curvy rural roads.  My car will literally suggest that I take a break if I do too much of that.  I do appreciate the suggestion when it pops up.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli

I picked up "Auschwitz:  A Doctor's Eyewitness Account" by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli recently.  I have read a lot on Auschwitz and related topics, and it always makes me, understandably, very sad.

This book is a very unique one concerning Auschwitz, as it is written by a Jewish prisoner Dr. Nyiszli, who would end up assisting his Nazi captors in their dissecting of prisoners.

One might give the author somewhat of a pass in his collaboration with the Nazis.  In some ways, he didn't have much of a choice when it came to refusing to do what they demanded.  He was very much at their mercy.

The late (and controversial) Bruno Bettelheim criticizes the author in his forward for being too passive.  He provides a very thoughtful passage on what exactly influences prisoners to literally walk into a gas chamber to their own death.  In his discussion, he brings up the fact that Nyiszli described his compliance with the Nazis by continuing to call himself a doctor.  "How Dr. Nyiszli fooled himself can be seen, for example, in his repeatedly referring to his work as a doctor, though he worked as the assistant of a vicious criminal."

After reading the intro, I did not want to believe that a Jewish doctor in a concentration camp could be so passive, even to save himself....  but he was.

In defense of the author, he was in an exceptionally desperate situation, AND, I am glad that he decided to write such an honest account of what he did, and what he personally witnessed.

The book is a nearly unbelievable read.  Nyiszli does provide an eye witness account of the inhumane acts at Auschwitz.  He describes the heartless things he saw, including the murders.  And he describes his own story and involvement.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Secret Life: The Lies and Scandals of President Grover Cleveland by Charles Lachman

I picked up Charles Lachman's VERY well done book on Grover Cleveland, "A Secret Life:  The Lies and Scandals of President Grover Cleveland" not to long ago.  For a large book, it is actually a very easy and interesting read.

This book is an odd one too.  It does cover a very dark part of President Cleveland's past, and it covers it from the side of the lady who accuses Cleveland of raping her (the alleged crime occurs before Cleveland finds himself on a national stage).  A child is born, and things go down hill from there for Cleveland... and for the mom.

Lachman covers a lot about Cleveland and his career.  The author says that there are other, more definitive biographies out there on Cleveland, but this would be a great book for anyone wanting a good, general overview of Cleveland's life.  He also covers all of the major players involved in the President's career, including information about what happened to the mother of the illegitimate child, and the child himself.

Also, I think the author gives a fair account of the rest of Cleveland's life from a pretty unbiased perspective.  Charles Lachman is obviously digging up some dirt on the subject of the book (the book's title includes the phrase, "Lies and Scandals of President Grover Cleveland"), but I felt that he was otherwise mostly just giving the facts of the life of a president.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Squire Boone Caverns in Mauckport Indiana

We visited Squire Boone Caverns in Mauckport Indiana after seeing Marengo Cave.  They are less than an hour drive apart.  For the record, Indiana Caverns is very close to this area too.  Squire Boone Caverns ended up being the third of four caves we saw while on the Indiana Cave Trail.

Of the caves we saw, the facilities at this one were the most rustic.  The gift shop/ticket area was in an older cabin.  The cave itself is part of a pioneer village.  On the day we went, the other buildings were not open.

We went inside of the ticket office to buy our tickets. 

Unfortunately, the next tour was a little over an hour away.  That was fine though, it gave us some time to at least peek in the windows of the buildings.  There is a very relaxing little pond nearby too.  We went there and watched some fish.

There was a goat and pig in a fenced in area too.  I love goats, and I felt a bit honored when this horned guy took a small bite out of a paper sack I was holding.  Nothing was damaged.

We did meet for our tour, and several other people had come around to join us.  We had a nice little group for our time in the cave.

As we walked to the entrance we saw zip liners over head.  That seems to be a popular thing in this area.

Our guide walked us to a interestingly constructed door for getting into the cave.  A door, with a bat wing on it, was the entrance to the cave.

I would call this cave a very exciting cave for a smaller one.  There is a lot going on here.  A lot of motion.  A lot of water runs through here.  They do use some beautiful blue lighting to enhance it, but it is really cool to see.

So there are some great little waterfalls.  There is also a waterfall you get to walk over (there is a bridge over it) that is very interesting.

There are holes and small bodies of water.  Our guide pointed out how it is hard to tell some holes from the reflective pools of water.

Towards the end of our tour, we came to a coffin containing the remains of Squire Boone.  He had been buried on the property until 1973.  He was brought in to inside of the cave to protect his remains from relic hunters.

Our guide told us about Squire and his brother Daniel.  It was interesting hearing a little bit about the discoverer of the cave, and it was interesting getting to see his now final resting place. 

Going into the cave required going down a spiral staircase.  Well, going out required a similar spiral staircase going up.  I think I counted around 70 steps.  This was a bit of a "don't look down situation".

They did not do any sort of souvenir photo here.

This was another fun cave to visit on the Indiana Cave Trail!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Marengo Cave in Marengo Indiana

Marengo Cave in Marengo Indiana ended up being the second (of four) caves that we visited recently on the Indiana Cave Trail.  All of these caves are pretty much in the southern part of the state and they are very accessible from Kentucky.

We started out driving around 7 in the morning to make it to Marengo by the time they opened at 9.

We got there right as they opened, and a few other small groups were hanging out, getting ready to buy tickets. 

At Marengo Cave, they do have two different tours that you can take.  The main one is the Dripstone Trail Tour.  This one is a mile, and is about an hour long.  The other tour is the Crystal Palace Tour.  This one takes 40 minutes and is shorter.

They have a combo ticket for both.  We had a $2 coupon too (most of the caves have coupons for the other caves on the trail).  So, the combo ticket actually isn't much more than the Dripstone ticket.  If you like spending time in caves, you might as well do both.

I could think of reasons to just do one of the tours though.  I think either tour would be fine for an older person, or for someone not wanting to do too strenuous of a cave tour.

After we bought our tickets, we looked around the well maintained and stocked gift shop.  Like other caves, they had several cool relics on display in cases.  I love seeing the old souvenirs that were sold in the early days of the show cave's existence.  I also like seeing relics discovered in or around the cave.  I was most impressed with some print blocks used in printing postcards.

We had a great, energetic young guide (and I did not catch her name) for our Dripstone tour, which started around 9:30.  We left from the gift shop, then made our way through a brief trail in a wooded area.  After a few minutes, we made our way to the cave entrance, which we passed on our way to the ticket/gift shop area earlier.

We were shown many formations, and we were told about the basics that you get on any cave tour (the differences between stalactites and stalagmites, total darkness, etc)

We were told about the discovery of Marengo Cave.  Two young siblings basically found it on a neighbors property in 1883.  After telling the neighbor about it (they were going to keep it a secret, but that didn't last long) the neighbor opened it up almost immediately for tours.

At the beginning of our tour, our guide pointed out a white crystal like formation on the ceiling.  It is rare, and they have placed a see through covering over it.

I would say the cave itself  is a bit more cramped than other caves.  It is closed in at places.  It is not a terribly claustrophobic type situation, but you feel like the formations are closer to you than at other caves.

One very memorable area is the Penny Ceiling room.  Mud is on the ceiling, and you are encouraged to throw pennies up, as they may stick.  You could see where many were indeed sticking.  Our guide told us that they do clean them off, and donate them to charity.

Another interesting story about Marengo involves a robbery!  A former employee literally came in and robbed a tour ironically under the penny ceiling.  This happened in the early 80s and the criminal was caught.

They do take a souvenir photo at one point, in front of a formation that looks like an elephant, or a mummy, depending on how you look at it.

As our first trip through the cave ended, another guide came down to start the other tour.  We, along with several others from our tour, were able to simply jump onto this tour without leaving the cave.  It seemed that they kind of time this out with their tours.

Physically, there was no overlap between the two tours.  You were getting to see an entirely different section on each of the tours.  They still covered the cave tour basics (total darkness, stalactites and stalagmites....  you get it).  They also took another souvenir photo in this section too.

After spending nearly 2 hours underground, our tours were over, and we made our way back to the gift shop.

I did pick up my usual patch, postcards, hiking stick medallion, etc.  AND, the cave photos were a very reasonable $10 each, or both for $17.  We bought both of ours, and again, I am glad to see so many caves doing these photos actually INSIDE of the cave!  Also, $10 is very reasonable for a nice souvenir photo.

Next, we walked through a nature trail by the building, and we found the original sink hole entrance where the two children first peeked into the cave.  It is a short walk, and a nice marker notes the area.

After our tours we enjoyed a picnic lunch at one of the picnic tables on the property, next to a very big wind chime.  It was relaxing.

As we visit various caves on our trips, I am really realizing that each one is truly unique.  They all have their own distinct features...  and personalities.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Vincennes, Indiana

"The Old Northwest's most historic grounds.  In the year 1702, Francois Morgan de Vincenne, an officer in the service of the King of France, built a fort here on the very spot where the Clark Memorial and the historic old cathedral stand.  This Old North-west was under French rule until the treaty of Paris in 1763, which ended the French and Indian War and gave control to the British until 1779, when it was captured by Clark and his little army.  Vincennes offers many of the historic showplaces of the nation.".  There is no date on this postcard.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Red Roaster Coffee and Eatery in Madison Indiana

We did find the very cool coffee shop, the Red Roaster in Madison Indiana.

We didn't have as much time to hang out in Madison as I would have liked, but we were able to stop here for a bit.

They had good coffee, friendly staff, and just a nice vibe.

I love their cool logo too!