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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Geeze, I Don't Wanna Go Back to Work...

And just what have I been up to, you may ask...


Wednesday... Dagmar and I day-tripped on the bike to a few parks after work. We found a spectacular view of the Little Sioux River in Stone Park we never knew existed...



Thursday... We took the bike to Bronson, a little town near Sioux City that has a tradition of welcoming bikers into the town on Thursdays. Quite the event, lemme tell ya!



Friday... A nice bike trip to LeMars. This is the lake in front of which we got married.



Saturday... A party at a friend's house (we didn't take the bike). He had a beer garden and everything.



Saturday Night... After the beer garden experience, we went to the Chesterfield and saw New Monsoon. Way cool band! They even had a conga-bongo player and everything...



Sunday... Sunday was hangover day for the hippie. No photo available.


Monday... Dagmar and I took the bike west to Ponca, NE, where we found a really neat state park. They have LOTS of stuff to do.



Monday Afternoon... We found an overlook of the Missouri River, complete with a small native prairie. Lotsa pretty flowers.



Tuesday... We took the bike east to Ida Grove. If you click on the photo, you can see my beloved Austrian bride in the background... (It's the only way I can get a picture of her - I have to pretend to be taking a photo of something else...)


They have a neat Veterans Memorial park in Ida Grove, complete with a 1969 105mm artillery piece. They have a helicopter, too. I didn't look at that.




Random Observations...

Have you ever met your friends in real life?

We taped last Wednesday's edition of "Good Morning America." Charlie Gibson was moved to the nightly news after nineteen years of hosting GMA, you know. I sat in the dining room this evening, playing with my photos on the computer, half watching the tape of the show. Dagmar was sitting on the couch, just around the corner where I couldn't see her. After a while I found that I wasn't getting much done with my photos, and I was, indeed, actively watching the show. In fact, I was getting kinda misty-eyed over the whole thing. I like Charlie Gibson. I was happy my wife was sitting such that she couldn't see me surreptitiously wiping my eyes... Then I heard a great gasp, followed by a sob and a muffled wail. "Vhat am I goink to do without my Charlie?" cried my wife.

Evidently I wasn't the only one getting misty...

It got me wondering... We've never met Mr. Gibson. Why does his leaving a morning news show affect us so? Well, it feels like we've met him... I'd like to think that if we ever did meet him in person he'd be a friendly guy. You know, I've seen Mr. Gibson MUCH more often than I've seen my closest friends. And, you know, now that I think of it, I haven't seen some of my friends in WAY too long.

It's odd that I have a network of cyber-friends that I communicate with on a regular basis - none of whom I've met in real life. My "real life" friends are the ones I never talk to these days... I'm getting uncomfortably close to being four decades elderly, and I consider myself to be fairly well balanced. What is going to happen to those in our society that are now just hitting their twenties? They've been raised with text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail and blogs. Will they be able to maintain a network of "real life" friends at all? Or will we in time become a society of people who don't know their neighbors? Will that be a bad thing?

I realize this is not a new thought. But... Is our increasing isolation causing some problems of which we're not aware? Allergies are increasing. Could this be due to kids socializing via modem rather than playground? Are we losing regionalism? Does the phrase "Midwestern work ethic" mean anything any more? Are we losing things like "soda, cola, sody-pop" and "maidrights, loosemeats, taverns?" I've noticed that accents are starting to blur together in some areas. I used to be able to tell the difference between central Iowans and western Iowans simply by the way they said "wash." I can't any more. Now all I hear, accent-wise, is "American English" (the most common), "Learning English" and "Thug," the latter prevalent in my neighborhood.

We're blending. Dunno if it's good or bad.


Politically Speaking...

Ann Coulter was caught plagiarizing in her new book. Then people went back and found that she'd plagiarised some of her articles, too. source The thing that scares me is that it means there's someone else out there with whacked-out logic like Ms. Coulter's. That really does scare me. She's a hate-monger.

Rush Limbaugh, a right-wing radio host who regularly lambasts liberals for a perceived lack of moral values, was caught with a bottle of illegal Viagra. source Mr. Limbaugh has been in treatment for prescription drug abuse himself, so he should be familiar with the laws of prescription drugs. But what really gets me is that he is NOT married. Why the Viagra, then? To be honest, it's none of my business whom Mr. Limbaugh sleeps with - but it irks me that he preaches morality (source) whilst performing immoral acts himself. So, if he feels it's fine to poke his nose in other people's business, he should be prepared to get poked at himself.

Iowa's Fifth District elected Mr. Steve King a few years back to represent us. Boy, did he turn out to be an embarrassment... The man is getting money from sneaky places, he's advocating good old-fashioned cock-fighting, won't authorize money to help disaster victims but wants to spend money drilling in wildlife reserves instead... The man seriously wants the U.S. government to give HIM a contract to build a wall between the United States and Mexico - ostensibly to keep illegal immigration down, of course, but if Mr. King himself happens to make a few million dollars per mile off the deal, who's to know...? The more I learn about this man, the dirtier I feel. You can read more about him at www.kingwatch.org. I encourage everyone to do their own research, of course, but I highly recommend voting against Mr. King as soon as possible, if not sooner.

I heard today (and have not done any research to authenticate) that United States President G. Walker Bush has dismantled the task force dedicated to finding September 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. The government no longer sees bin Laden as a danger to the United States. But I still have to take MY shoes off to get on an airplane, and they're still listening to MY phone calls and looking at MY bank records and peeking into MY Internet search records...
'Tain't right.

It is my opinion that the government is no longer representing the people, nor are they working for the good of the people. Things are falling apart. We NEED to change things come election day. Just my opinion.

1 Comments:

Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

Beautiful post; I'm envious.

As to King, you're right: the guy is clearly an incompetent wackjob. The good thing about Iowa, though, and this is where you guys lead the nation hands-down, is that you have non-partisan districting, which in turn means that someone like King can't take his re-election for granted.

:-), StS

10:34 AM  

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