Tag Archives: markeroni

Help Support Markeroni!

As you may know, Markeroni is one of my favorite hobbies. Because of it I’ve visited some fascinating new places and learned so much (not least of which how the Civil War was really the beards vs. the mustaches). I love hunting for historical markers. I even wrote a Squidoo article about it. Well, what you may not know is that this great site is run by two people on truly ancient computers, and they need your help to bring the site into the 21st century! Every little bit helps, even just spreading the word. Click here to learn more.

Snarfari Map Tutorial

I have become moderately famous among my fellow Markeroons for my snarf maps. So for their (and your) edification and entertainment, I have created a complete, step-by-step tutorial of how I make them. This is very probably not the smartest/fastest/bestest way of doing things, but it’s the way I do them, and that’s really all I know. Click here for the tutorial and happy snarfing!

2011 BookCrossing Convention Bonus Features – now on sale!

Bring home part of the convention with this exclusive DVD! Included:

Professionally edited by Eleanore Stasheff and featuring music by Binary Souls / Other Dimensions, this is one DVD you don’t want to miss!

Price Guide:

  • In person/at the convention: $2 cash or check
  • PayPal (USA; shipping included): $5
  • PayPal (int’l; shipping included): $8

The small print: PayPal prices include shipping. DVDs are only available in Region 1 format.  All orders placed before the convention will be shipped on Tuesday, April 19, 2011.  You do NOT have to be a BookCrosser to purchase (or enjoy) this DVD.




Please note: We are NOT making any money on this. Purchasing this DVD will not affect the fund meter on the convention website. If by some miracle we manage to cover our production costs, any profit will be given to those who so generously donated their time and resources. We are offering this one-of-a-kind feature because we love it and want to share it. We hope you love it too.


My sister suggested I write about how I got into Markeroni and what I like about snarfing*.

I think we can safely blame Cookie for this one. :) Actually, I’d known about Markeroni for years before joining, as its founder is a BookCrosser. As part of a BookCrossing-related fundraising effort, she ran a pretty good sale on her book, a travelogue about her solo motorcycle trip to the 2005 BookCrossing Convention in Fort Worth, Texas. In it she includes a few side trips to visit historical markers. In early 2009, Cookie joined the annual history release challenge and invited the rest of us to join her.

To be perfectly honest, I have no idea why I signed up. I didn’t participate in the release challenge and the kind of history printed on roadside signs doesn’t interest me much. Looking back, I suspect it was just another excuse to hang out with my buddies. It also opened up new wild release opportunities and excuses to visit new places – and a little friendly competition with a good friend.

These days I use it as a way to satisfy my wanderlust. I’ve been known to just pick a town and make a snarf map for it. Were it not for Markeroni I would have never thought to visit places like Waterford or the African American Civil War Museum. When I get a cabin fever my husband will actually suggest I go snarfing, because he knows that getting out of the house would be good for me, but only if I’m actually doing something. One of these days I want to combine Markeroni with SketchCrawl but I haven’t figured out how to make that work yet. Maybe I need somewhere with a bunch of markers within easy walking distance of each other. Maybe I’ll try it out when I’m in Asheville, North Carolina this autumn.

*Snarf, by the way, is a rather complicated word: as a noun, it means the actual visit to a historical landmark. As a verb, it is the act of hunting for these landmarks. My friends and I also refer to the landmark itself as a snarf.

Site Updates

I’ve been doing things to my site! No, really! And because I love lists, you get one:

  • Automatically updated alphabetical (by title) lists of the books and movies I’ve reviewed on this blog.
  • A handy-dandy contact form to the About page. Bracing myself for the influx of spam.
  • I joined Book Blogs, which I’ve discovered is pretty much the biggest book blogger group out there. And since I’ve finally accepted the fact that I am indeed a book blogger, I’ve decided to embrace it.
  • I signed up on Squidoo. Check out my lenses (articles) about Markeroni and Sine Fine Films.
  • I’m also now on Formspring. Ask me questions.

Mr. Peep Goes to Illinois

Howdy, Peep here. Recently my Markeroon melydia and I took a trip to central Illinois. (She calls me her mascot, but I’m the real brains in this outfit.) She was muttering something about visiting her parents or some such, but I know she really wanted to go so she could take pictures of me posing with historical markers. I overheard her telling her parents about a few signs she knew about, and they decided to take a little tour around town.

Peep by the cattails

Me by the cattails

We started by Parkland College, where we saw the Champaign County Worker’s Memorial and the Tribute to Olympic Athletes. (One wonders why the apostrophe is so positioned, since they are presumably honoring multiple workers, but hey, whatever. I’m just the talent.) The weather was gorgeous, and mely couldn’t resist taking a photo of me by the bed of cattails creek.

From there we struck out into the unknown. Though melydia only knew of one other marker in particular, her dad was surprisingly enthusiastic and came up with several possible spots to check. The first was the oldest bridge in Champaign

Old Bridge

Old Bridge

County, which unfortunately was missing its sign. It also seemed to be undergoing some construction. We found some rope, a computer speaker, and some car keys near by. Dad figured the rope could come in handy and Mom took the keys to return them to their owner (they had grocery store cards attached), but we left the speaker. I could have used it for my secret mascot rave parties, but melydia would hear none of it.

Me on the covered marker

Me on the covered marker

The one other marker melydia knew of in the area was by the county court house, which has evidently been undergoing construction for some time. We found the marker, but it was all covered up. Here’s a photo of me as proof of our visit; melydia’s parents said they would return later, after the construction was finished, to take a picture. We then planned to hit campus, but first Dad suggested we first stop by the Urbana Free Library. The plaque was too small to accommodate me, and melydia’s husband somehow managed to “forget” me when taking a picture of a beautiful new statue called “Slow and Steady”. Hmmph.

Slow and Steady

Slow and Steady

Campus was a wealth of markers. We started at the Hallene Gateway, which is basically the doorway of old University Hall, which burned down or something in 1938. Evidently this part of the building was found in some basement somewhere

Hallene Gateway

Hallene Gateway

and they decided to make a monument out of it. It was a good thing mely had the good sense to bring her parents, because she never would have thought to visit this gateway. Or the Morrow Plots, which is where we stopped next. The Morrow Plots are the country’s oldest experimental field, established in 1876. It had been plowed so many times the plants were growing in a little ravine.

From there we wandered around, looking for more markers. The University of Illinois had recently installed a number of markers to honor various scientific breakthroughs over the years. Melydia tried to obtain a listing, but it was unavailable due to the amount of vandalism. I don’t get that, personally. Street signs are one thing – they’re everywhere and relatively inexpensive to replace. But these are one-of-a-kind memorials. And more importantly, if there’s no marker, there’s nowhere for me to pose!

Multiphase Fluid Zzzzzz...

Multiphase Fluid Zzzzzz...

But it turned out not to matter much, as the markers were everywhere. Remember what I said about scientific breakthroughs? Yeah, it was Nerdtopia. Nerdvana, if you will. I fell asleep just reading the title of “Multiphase Fluid Dynamics,” but melydia seemed to know what it was talking about. (Nerd.) Thank goodness we stopped for ice cream after that, so I could take a rest from all this modeling. Being gorgeous can really work up an appetite. Melydia wouldn’t share, though. Something about “not having a mouth.” Whatever. She was just being selfish.

No ice cream for me!

No ice cream for me!

The family was getting pretty tuckered out by that point, so after a couple more snarfs on campus, we stopped by the Cattle Bank (also known as the oldest building in town) and the New Orpheum Theatre (now a children’s museum). One of the

City of Champaign Landmark?

City of Champaign Landmark?

signs on the Orpheum designated it as a “City of Champaign Landmark.” Melydia was curious if there was a list of these local landmarks, but her parents and husband were tired, and since Dad was driving, they went straight home.

I thought we were done with landmarks for the trip, and I would be stuffed in melydia’s purse for the rest of the visit, but I was wrong. Dad had one more marker up his sleeve. A couple days later, we drove out to a cornfield near the tiny village of Bellflower to see a bit of glacier rock (that is, a rock shaped by a glacier) memorializing the generous donation of the Flanigons to the Bellflower schools. After a quick trip through the long-closed Chanute Air Force Base for a quick peek at the old planes, we stopped at Hickory River for some

Bonus snarf!

Bonus snarf!

delicious barbecue. (At least I assume it was delicious. Once again, melydia wouldn’t let me have any. Oh well, I guess all great models have to watch their figures.)

So that was my trip to the midwest. I guess there was some other stuff too, like fireworks and s’mores and puzzles and stuff, but I was stuck in the purse for all that. This was just the important bits.

A Little Twist of Texas by Linda Raven Moore

A Little Twist of Texas by Linda Raven Moore: This is the true story of Moore’s month-long solo motorcycle trip from Silicon Valley, California, to Fort Worth, Texas. As with any adventure, things don’t turn out quite as planned but it’s a good read nonetheless, and perhaps made better for all the unexpected twists. This is different from most travel writing I’ve come across, in that Moore manages to be a tourist no matter where she goes. Her descriptions of all the Tinytowns and Nowheresvilles she encounters are as enchanting as if she were exploring Paris or Tokyo. Though there were parts where her seemingly limitless credulity got a little exasperating, it was refreshing to witness someone so enthusiastic about life and so unabashed in her wonder at the world around her. It was surprisingly inspiring and reminded me that the world is really only as mundane as you make it. It’s been a long time since a book touched me in this way. It makes me want to go on a journey of my own.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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