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Much to my surprise... today really shaped up to be a good day...
Early on I made a trip to the hardware store to buy some screws and as part of my change got a 1958 silver quarter, the metal of which is worth about $2.
What were these screws for? My air-conditioners (yes, plural (20,000 BTU combined baby!)), something I wouldn't be able to install on my own very easily, let alone with my hands being problematic and lucky for me, my old college buddy Dan (tdaxp) was coming up for a visit to day so I decided to put him to work and in return I made him fall in love with the Xbox 360 and the game Oblivion (something I'm borrowing from a friend and not very fond of).
Funny thing though... he thanked me for the exposure to my setup... only I don't know why I should be thanked as I basically encouraged him to spend a good chunk of change. Personally... I am quite angry with the man who was there when I bought my xbox, hdtv, car stereo, sub woofers and amp, and deer rifle (separate events) as he caused me to spend a great deal of money (Bad Chad, bad!) and am surprised that I'm getting off so easy from Dan... or perhaps I'll hear about it from Lady of tdaxp... that is of course unless Dan utilizes the 48-Hour Rule.
If anything I wish to thank him for the visit as well as the lunch and beer he bought, but also for the assistance with the AC's... which likely not be turned off until late August (excluding power outages).
While he was here we also went out to lunch at the Hillside Resort, a nice little place off of Lake Madison that he'd never been to before.
I also got some major props for my weight loss (more on that on Thursday).
Later in the day after a walk to go see our old stomping grounds of Dakota State University, he felt a need for a beer and of the 5 bars that make up the '4 corners' region of Madison, only one was open... and much to my surprise it was not so much a bar as it was a rather nice restaurant that I will have to try at one point (stupid diet).
To top it all off... I learned about one of the key arguments made by Justice Kennedy in the recent decision where the partial birth abortion ban was upheld... the potential side effects from regret after an (partial-birth) abortion being reason enough to allow the banning of partial birth abortions.
Agree with the ruling or not... all have got to agree that it is at least an interesting bit of linking.
Aside from getting to see a friend I haven't for a few months and hear some good news from his world related to his upcoming trip to China. That's right... he's agreed to side with Taiwan on the proposed torch route. Sadly he didn't go for my idea last year of running around Tiananmen Square with his girlfriend (aka Lady of tdaxp) with one of them dressed as a tank... something about it being treason for her.
One of the few perks of not having a full time job is you've got plenty of time to watch tv... and right now I've got the joint news conference between President Bush and Japans Prime Minister.
Why is this blog worthy? For a good 5 minutes the Japanese PM was talking, the voice of the translator was at exactly the same volume as the PM's.
The result? Neither could be understood.
It took a minute to start up the Media Center and have it start recording FNC and sadly by the time that happened, they'd gotten to the Q&A portion of the news conference and FNC had fixed the volume issue.
Crud, it would have made a lovely YouTube clip.
Am I the only one who thinks that it's cheating for someone to get help when working on a crossword puzzle?
I just got a call from my mom, "I know you can help me with this one... 'Enterprise crewman', 4 letters, ends in 'u' "
The answer... Sulu.
But again... isn't that cheating? You should see the help she tries to get from me when I'm visiting her house with the laptop.
One of the perks of my part time training job is access to free software such as Windows Vista and Office 2007... after all, if I'm going to ever train people on such things I'd better know them myself pretty well... and at long last I got around to installing Office 2007 Enterprise and much to my surprise, it has blogging support.
So far it's a heck of a lot better than w.bloggar (which hasn't been updated to support Google's new API) and doesn't suck as much as Bloggers online WYSIWYG editor.
This is part two of my "typing a whole bunch of nonsense to test out how well my hands are working post" Please forgive any out of the ordinary nonsensical rantings that may be found here.
Despite having grown up traveling to Mitchell, SD to visit grandparents as well as beginning college in 1999 in Madison, SD and living there fulltime since 2003... up until last week when I went to Rapid City, SD to teach a class, the furthest west I'd ever been in this state was Huron (which is only a few miles further west than Mitchell).
Pathetic to say the least.
While out there I did make it a point to make some of the necessary stops and one of the key ones was seen on my way back home on Saturday after a long week, that stop, Wall Drug where I found a cashier and said "I'm sorry... but I have to ask the horrible questions... where is the free ice water? And where are the signs?"
She laughed and said "Those aren't the horrible questions, the horrible question I get all of the time is 'this is it?'"
The short version of Wall Drug is that back in 1931, a gentleman by the name of Ted Hustead purchased the drug store in Wall, South Dakota and in an effort to drive business from the local interstate, his wife had the brilliant idea of putting a sign along the road, "Free Ice Water."
The plan worked, brilliantly, and as a result Wall Drug is now a tourist destination that has a variety of stores within... a diner, western wear, traditional tourist/novelty items (ie shirts, hats, shot glasses, spoons, etc)... and still a fully stocked drug store.
If it wasn't for Wall Drug, the town of wall likely would have died long ago like so many other South Dakota towns have and continue to do... and for all of those tourists who say 'this is it?' I would just remind them of the signs they saw... most of them told you exactly what there was to see/get... free ice water.
Another stop I made while out west was to Mt Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial, two sights I'd only seen in pictures previously and had to see for myself... if for no other reason than to take some pictures of the Channel 9 Guy in front of them.
Being a person who has come to know the east river side of South Dakota pretty well, I found the west river area to be strange and confusing... the land isn't flat you see, there are all these hills... and mountains... roads go up and down at strange times and sometimes quite sharply... not the slow and graceful assents and descents that east river folks are accustomed to.
Most puzzling... was the level of green.
Growing up in Minneapolis I came to know green pretty well... you couldn't get away from huge numbers of trees and a buddy said that when he moved to Phoenix, all of the green was something ended up missing.
Similar comments were heard several years ago when a friend visited MN with me and she was shocked to see just how much green there was.
East River we have plenty of green as well... only most of it is agriculture or shelterbelts around farm houses... west river though I was shocked by the number of trees made up the Black Hills as well as puzzled by the sort as I hadn't seen any like em in years:
In the midst's of a discussion on the VTech massacre, one blogger (who will not be linked to her) advocated the killing of Michelle Malkin by saying:
And later updated the post to make things sound a little more sarcastic, jaded sarcasm he called it.
Only one problem, even sarcastically advocating/wishing the death of another person tends to be a no no in our culture.
To add insult to injury, he further amended his post several times to try to explain his actions:
Funny thing about this is in a later post he is critical of a couple of other writers (1) (2) who asks the question of why no one in the classrooms rushed the shooter. A reasonable question that I think many have also wondered... only to the blogger who wished for harm against Michelle Malkin he said:
Ok... he's made a case for a standard, but shouldn't that also apply to him? Or are jokingly advocating someone's death not bad? Are these comments also acceptable in his eyes?
Oh right... they are all jokes aren't they? Funny... I thought what Don Imus said was a joke as well. Granted, it was a very bad one and in poor taste... but tell me then, what is the difference between Don Imus and this gentleman? Why are his poor jokes and comments in good taste while those of Don Imus and Michelle Malkin are not?
Seriously, if there's something I'm missing here I'd love to know what it is.
As entertaining this season of 24 has been... it seems to be getting a little repetitive and borrowing from previous seasons and last night I was beginning to wonder if they were going to copy a bit from the Tom Clancy book Executive Orders... I figured the scene would go something like this:
President Palmer: "Jack... I cannot express the gratitude of this nation or my own personal gratitude for your having saved this nation from certain destruction yet again... in recognition of this, made possible by the recent resignation of the Vice President"
Jack Bauer: "Mr. President... I... WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR! Put down your weapon! Chloe... I need a favor... Get Down! Tell me where the bomb is or I will kill your son. When I'm finished with you, you're gonna wish that you felt this good again...
In the next scene we see Jack Bauer sworn in as Vice President, only to see yet another terrorist attack strike down President Palmer, causing Jack to almost immediately be sworn in as President... only to see the recently resigned Vice President jump into the room and proclaim: "Haha! This is all wrong for you see... I didn't actually resign... after all, if I did, where is my letter of resignation? All that you will find is a small pile of ash in the garbage can of the Oval Office... I mean um... I'm really the President."
Such a twist would be only slightly more ridiculous than the current season has been... and probably about as entertaining as we would once again get to see Jack Bauer this time save the world single handedly... this time why while using Air Force Once to fly around the Los Angelis area rather than wasting all of that time on surface streets... almost makes me wonder how many air strips there are in the area that could accommodate an 747 and a presidential motorcade.
While pitching this idea to a friend and checking a couple of tidbits to see how well my memory was, I learned that the Tom Clancy book Without Remorse is currently being made into a movie with Joaquin Phoenix playing Jack Bauer like badass John Clark.
I have no doubt that some may think the casting a good choice... however I am not one of them and when I think about it a single line hybrid line comes to mind:
What they did to you Pammy... It vexes me. I'm terribly vexed.