Indiana, The Hoosier State Wednesday, Apr 20 2011 

Indiana

My Dad was born in Indiana, so this plate always reminds me of him. Its unmarked, so I have no idea who created it, but its an awesome example of a state commemorative plate.

First off, a “Hoosier” is basically just someone from Indiana – that’s the short version. If you want the long version, go here or if you want the holy cow! version, check here.

The plate’s center is dominated by this great state map, peppered with little icons, that remind the viewer that this is an important state. It also serves to impart little bits of the state’s culture.

State map

One of my favorite images on the plate is the burly farmer, toiling under the cloudy Indiana sky to bring food to our tables.

Farm Products

Just below our friend the farmer is the Geroge Rogers Clark Memorial Shrine (or as its known today, George Rogers Clark National Historical Park). Mr. Clark was quite the interesting American Revolutionary War figure.

GRC Memorial Shrine

The plate is rounded out nicely with images of The University of Notre Dame, The World’s Largest Steel Mill & Lake Shakamak.

University of Notre Dame

Steel Mill

Lake Shakamak

I’ve only been to Indiana once and I never left the Indianapolis airport, but this plate certainly makes it look like a nice place to visit. Next time, I’ll leave the airport.

Puerto Rico Tuesday, Apr 19 2011 

Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico plate is a favorite of mine because of the riot of color on its face and because I know so little about Puerto Rico, its even slightly educational! How awesome is that? So let’s learn a bit about Puerto Rico together, shall we?

El Morro

El Morro or Port San Juan Light, is a lighthouse built atop the walls of Fort San Felipe del Morro in Old San Juan. It was the first lighthouse built in Puerto Rico. The lighthouse was damaged by American artillery fire during the Spanish American war, but was rebuilt in 1908.

Playa De Luquillo

The bit of art here that represents Playa de Luquillo doesn’t nearly do this place justice.  I like the way this looks much better. This beach is a big favorite with tourists.

Playa De Luquillo

Plaza de Colon

Plaza de Colón (Columbus square) was renamed in 1893 to honor Christopher Columbus on the 400th anniversary of his discovery of Puerto Rico. Bronze tablets at the pedestal of the Columbus statue record important episodes in the explorer’s life.

The other points of interest seem pretty self-explanatory: The University of Puerto Rico, The International Airport and the Capital building are all represented in full color. Once again, its the vibrant, exotic colors that make this plate one of my favorites.

Oh, I’d love to be an Oscar Mayer wiener… Tuesday, Apr 19 2011 

Technically, this post doesn’t have anything to do with plates. True, I was in the process of dragging a good friend off to go plate hunting, but then this happened and I just had to share it. So it is about plates, sort of, but not really.

Is that the Wienermobile? OMG!

Now, what does any rational adult over the age of 45 do when they see the Wienermobile? I have no idea, but what I did was jump out of the car and run over to one of the young “Hotdoggers” (the nickname given to Wienermobile drivers)  and begin asking excitedly for a “wiener whistle”.  For those of you who have never been fortunate enough to acquire one of your own, this is a wiener whistle:

Behold! The Wiener Whistle

It’s basically a tiny replica of the Wienermobile and tweets shrilly when used. Get 10 or 15 little kids together with these things and its guaranteed good times.

Naturally, this close encounter of the hot dog kind got me to thinking about the old Oscar Mayer wiener song and so my poor friend was forced to suffer through a few rounds of the classic little ditty. Fortunately, our friend the Internet has preserved the whole thing for our viewing pleasure:

I also came across this interesting video, which is basically Jerry Ringlien, who worked in Oscar Mayer’s advertising department, discussing the story behind the wildly popular commercial:

So, no plate to offer up right now – the wiener whistle will have to suffice.