These graphics were designed to show the difference between fonts, fontbats and dingbats for those who are designing their own photo books. Keep in mind that in print, funky and fun fonts or bats do not always translate well. The Happy Birthday creative font PartybyTom may not print well due to the tiny lines of the streamers.
This beautiful trail, like all wonderful trails, leads through thick mountain pines, redwoods and towering rocks. This is the trail that leads to Nevada Falls in Yosemite National Park in California.
I needed to create this image for a project I was doing. In addition, the photo has been framed in an old Polaroid style frame using a border of 50x50x50x150.
Photo by Julie L. Cleveland - Towerline Speedway employees Lindsay (left) and Desi (right), show us how to race the S track while having the most fun.
Sometimes, the kid in you gets the best of you, or so it would seem when you go back home for a visit. At least, that is what happened the last time I went back home to visit for my grandmother's 99th birthday.
As it turned out, it was my mother who decided to revert back to childhood spills and giggles and take me with her.
Mom mentioned we should go go-cart racing when I came back to visit. Now, mind you, we have never gone go-cart racing together before, so it was not as if we were reliving a thrilling annual tradition. As a matter of fact, I cannot remember my mother EVER saying she went go-cart racing in the past. Dad, yes, mom, no.
Under the guise of keeping me entertained while visiting, mom decided we should go racing. Truth be known, both of us have a lead foot, which appears to have been inherited from my 99 year old grandmother. I had the opportunity to "follow" grandma over the Pekin Bridge one afternoon several years ago. We had to floor it to keep up. She had to give up driving, but speeding was not the reason, but only because no one clocked her.
My own personal lead foot was given an additional bonus by having a speedboat father.
So, off we go.
Mom had been watching the reopening of Towerline Speedway in Pekin, Illinois for a while and kept thinking that was the place for her.
Towerline Speedway, owned and operated by Brian and Kendra Schwark, had been under re-opening status for most of the year. The Schwarks took over the speedway in the fall of 2011 and opened up in May of 2012.
The Schwarks are no strangers to the track, Brian raced a rail in Havana and Kendra was his support crew. With racing in their blood, it only seems natural that they would open the speedway back up again. After all, Brian went past the speedway every day on his way to work and thought it would be a great business to have.
As it turns out, it is a great speedway.
We raced the S in a couple reasonably powered go-carts that were both fun and nimble around the turns.
The cars were comfortable and the staff was great in helping mom and I get into the cars and get off the line. As it turns out, a friend from my 4-H days, Kelly, was the one helping us into our cars. Nothing like two women past middle age climbing into a car that sits two inches off the ground. I will worry about getting back out later.
Mom and I took off and it only took a turn to get comfortable with the car and I was off and racing against no one. Just enjoying being a kid and having a great time skipping around tires until I came up on my mom. I was about to pass my MOM!
The first time around, I tiptoed around the inside and was careful to not run into her, the second time I lapped her was not as thoughtful. Sorry, mom, but you were in my line. And as Earnhardt used to say, "that's racin'".
For four minutes, I drove as fast as I could around the track while trying not to run over my mother. Not that she was doing badly, she was just enjoying a drive around the track.
The four minutes was a fast blast and mom decided she was not done, so she took an extra lap while the rest of us watched her and waved, "Hi, Mrs. Carson!" Everyone was having a great time and the staff was so much fun. Kendra is a riot and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.
We will go back to take a few more spins around the track and I do believe my niece, Lauren, is going to go back to visit my folks. My mom was talking about going racing again, only taking Lauren with her this time.
Towerline Speedway is more than one S track. They have a wonderful small oval track for kids, a bounce house, another smaller track for little kids and a goofy golf course, which looked like loads of fun! They also have a snack bar and a small arcade inside for those who do not like the wind in their hair.
They are the perfect place for church groups, birthday parties, family gatherings and a great weekend of fun. They are open limited hours, so please call before heading out.
You can contact them at:
1422 Towerline Road
Pekin, Il 61554
Waxing nostalgia, I ended up at the opening of Dark Shadows over the weekend.
I remember the original Dark Shadows when it was on every afternoon after school. I think I only watched one season of the soap opera and was not quite that interested in going doe eyed over Quentin, nor was I that interested in the story line. The music was what I enjoyed.
I also was a bit amused by Barnabas as a vampire.
Between the old Bela Lugosi vampires and The Munsters, the thought of Barnabas being remotely frightening was laughable. Never mind that later on when Stephen King assaulted me with 'Salem's Lot I was scared silly and every slight noise was positively a floating freak of a vampire outside my window.
We won't even talk about the silly glittery vampires that stalk the woods in Forks, Oregon.
No, when we think of vampires, we think of Keifer Sutherland in Lost Boys. Now, that was a vampire. Although, Quentin Tarantino gave us a freaky vampires in From Dusk Til Dawn.
I confess that I have never seen the Anne Rice vampires, which includes the Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise blood suckers.
The movie version of Dark Shadows was too silly to pass up, I recently saw The Three Stooges too, so I headed to the movies to enjoy a fun tale with an outstanding cast.
With Depp and Burton teaming up again, it had to be a rocking good time. According to Michelle Pfeiffer, she had to beg Burton to let her play the part. Plus, I adore Helena Bonham Carter who I found so much fun in the Harry Potter movies, and then as an outstanding actress in The King's Speech. Since then I have seen her in a few movies, although I have not seen her in Wonderland.
The movie may have told the tale of the original soap opera, but since I was not that interested in the soap opera, I cannot say for certain. All I can say for certain is that this version of Dark Shadows was a lot of fun and almost as entertaining as I thought it would be.
Depp was not given as many humorous lines as I would have liked; he was adorable as Captain Jack Sparrow and I expected those types of lines from him. However, he appeared to actually be enjoying himself, as was the rest of the cast.
If there was any animosity amongst the cast at all, it was never visible and all participants gave entertaining performances. The minute I recognized Chloe Moretz was almost as the movie was ending, but it was a pleasant surprise. She has grown up tremendously since I saw her in Kick Ass, which was NOT a role for a little girl, but she still gave a fantastic performance as Hit Girl, playing the daughter of Nicholas Cage, a.k.a. Big Daddy. If it had not been for the way she held her mouth, I would never have recognized her. If you see Kick Ass, you will realize she wore a mask for most of the movie and all you saw was her mouth.
She also went unrecognized by me as the granddaughter, Isabelle in the movie Hugo. Hugo is another fun and fantastic movie filled with visual delights and great acting by Chloe Moretz and Asa Butterflied. Hugo was a Scorsese hit winning 5 Oscars and boasting 37 nominations across several film award presentations.
The family that Barnabas Collins finds when he is finally released from the coffin that holds him prisoner is not as dysfunctional as Burton would lead us to believe. We have seen the Connors on Rosanne; those are dysfunctional folks. The Collins clan is merely despondent over their lack of fortune and excess of bad luck.
Villains abound and the curse of the witch is never far from the family. The chase is on and Barnabas is up to the challenge of restoration of the family fortune. The family battles good versus evil.
There were a few hanging ends that really were never wrapped up, but they were overlooked by other veering plot lines. Like, what about Lara?
There was only one really semi-weak character/actor in the whole mix and he was not a real player in the scheme of things. Other than actually being the father of David played by Gulliver McGrath, Johnny Lee Miller as Roger Collins was totally unnecessary and a very weak character.
All in all, it was a fun movie and a perfect way to slip away for a couple hours.
By the way, what is it with all vampires being named Collins? Did Ms Stephanie Myers steal a name from an old forgotten soap opera?