Work Sucks. Play is Fun.

Yep, we’ve been on vacation. We went to see a band Friday night. Saturday I helped out with a Toy Run (see for photos if you want) — we raised nearly $2,000 for children’s charities, and donated a TON of toys. Sunday Dagmar and I had roasted beastie and slept.

Monday we went to Sioux Falls, where we toured the monument to the U.S.S. South Dakota, went to the Great Plains Zoo, and then to the Butterfly House. (We came home early, unfortunately. Our little goddaughter had some sort of accident and was taken to the hospital in Sioux City. We zipped down the interstate at 90 miles per hour, but by the time we got about five miles outside Sioux City we learned they’d released the tot and sent everyone home, so the injury must not have been too terrible, thankfully.)

Tuesday we went for a nice 20-25 mile bicycle trip. Sioux City and South Sioux City have some nice bicycle trails! Fun to ride! Then it rained.

Today we’re going to take the motorcycle to Minnesota. Thursday we’re off to the Omaha Zoo. Friday we’re going to go downtown, sip a few frosty beverages and watch my buddy’s band play outside in the street that afternoon/early evening. Saturday it’s off on the motorcycle to a rally in a neighboring village with our tent. Sunday and Monday are hangover days…

Here are some photos — I’ll try to add in some new photos every day, so if you’re into looking at other people’s vacation pictures, be sure to check in daily.

Michael Vick vs. Morality

I saw the Falcons play Monday night. I had eaten a fine dinner of leftover roast beast and was happily snoring on the couch, TV muttering to itself in the corner, book on my chest, cat on my feet, when the thought “it’s Monday night and there’s football on TV” flitted through my dreams. Without opening my eyes I slowly came to awareness and started paying attention to the TV. Yep, the game is on.

I slowly creaked one overfed eyeball open and let its gaze fall upon the flickering screen. This is what went through my mind: “Hmmm… The Cincinnati Bengals are playing. Who else… Oh! The Atlanta Ignorant Thugs.”

I know, I know… It’s not right to participate in “guilt by association.” Simply because the star of the Atlanta Falcons, Michael Vick, turned out to be a lying thug who participated in illegal gambling, dog fighting, and (to be redundant) animal cruelty does NOT mean that the entire team is full of lying, gambling, dog-fighting thugs.

But coming out of a deep sleep and seeing their logo on the TV, my first thought was “ignorant thugs.” And that’s too bad. Michael Vick has tainted the entire team.

NFL pundits are already talking about Mr. Vick making a return to the National Football League in the 2009 season, after he’s completed his year in jail. The funny thing about that is that Mr. Vick has not yet been sentenced. The talking heads on TV are assuming that the judge will give Mr. Vick the lightest possible jail sentence, that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will allow Mr. Vick to return in spite of numerous player conduct violations, and that a team will actually hire Mr. Vick.

I hope this doesn’t happen. I hope Mr. Vick never plays again. It may sound cruel, but I want Mr. Vick to take responsibility for his actions.

Oh, sure, he held a press conference before pleading guilty to the charges and he said he was going to “grow up,” and that he “takes full responsibility” for what he did… But he also said, “everyone makes mistakes,” and claims to have found God in the last couple weeks. Mr. Vick strongly implied that since he’s now found God all of a sudden, we should all forget about all the bad things he’s done in the past. After all, Jesus forgave me — shouldn’t you?

Will God forgive you for using His name as a means to gain a lenient prison sentence? Everyone who gets caught doing something bad simply holds a press conference and tells everyone “I’ve let God into my life now, and everything’s all better now,” and we all nod, smile, and take his handcuffs off. (A few months ago, I saw a Republican legislator from the south, I forget his name, hold a press conference after being caught cheating on his wife. “It’s between me, my God, and my wife,” he said. “God has forgiven me, and so has my wife, so it’s none of your business.” To be honest, I think he’s right. But that same congressman voted early on to impeach then-President William J. Clinton for indiscretions with a chubby intern… Now that it’s HIS turn under the limelight of public scrutiny it’s a different story, though. We’re supposed to look away.) I feel Mr. Vick’s use of God in his press conference simply means that he wants to shuck the responsibility for his heinous actions off onto God.

But, the single reason I feel Mr. Vick should NOT be allowed back into the NFL is that he lied.

Way back in April or May, when this whole dogfighting thing started making headlines, both the owner of the Atlanta Falcons and the League Commissioner called Mr. Vick on the carpet and asked him point-blank if he was involved. Mr. Vick gave them a flat “no.” He categorically denied any involvement in any wrongdoing at all. He said that he did not violate team policy, or the NFL’s player conduct policy, and said he didn’t break the law.

At that point he had the chance to be a stand-up guy. He had the chance to take responsibility. He had the chance to make amends, and he blew it. Instead of being a man, he lied like a little boy and hoped to get away with it.

Charlie Don’t Surf

Normally I don’t listen to the lyrics of a song. They just get in the way of the bassline for the most part… But this song caught my attention. “Charlie Don’t Surf” by the Clash. (I’m assuming the song was inspired by the quote in Apocalypse Now.)

Charlie don’t surf and we think he should
Charlie don’t surf and you know that it ain’t no good
Charlie don’t surf for his hamburger Momma
Charlie’s gonna be a napalm star

Everybody wants to rule the world
Must be something we get from birth
One truth is we never learn
Satellites will make space burn

We’ve been told to keep the strangers out
We don’t like them starting to hang around
We don’t like them all over town
Across the world we are going to blow them down


The reign of the super powers must be over
So many armies can’t free the earth
Soon the rock will roll over
Africa is choking on their Coca Cola

It’s a one a way street in a one horse town
One way people starting to brag around
You can laugh, put them down
These one way people gonna blow us down


Charlie don’t surf he’ll never learn
Charlie don’t surf though he’s got a gun
Charlie don’t surf think that he should
Charlie don’t surf we really think he should
Charlie don’t surf

Charlie don’t surf and we think he should
Charlie don’t surf and you know that it ain’t no good
Charlie don’t surf for his hamburger Momma
Charlie don’t surf

Several lines get my attention — “Africa is choking on their Coca-Cola” is pretty good. Why are we exporting our culture to peoples who don’t particularly want it? I’ll leave the references to Vietnam alone… “These one way people gonna blow us down” seems vaguely prophetic.

I just think it’s an interesting song. The tune is good, too — catchy!

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4 thoughts on “VACATION

  1. Leonesse

    A few comments…

    Did anyone notice the camel has an extra foot pad on his stomach?

    And the tortoises… oh, how I love tortoises. If you have ever owned one you know that they have the greatest dispositions. I would never have thought they would have such personalities, though. We have one that was friendly and would mosey up for a scratch under the head, one that was indifferent to scratching, but would run (in tortoise running) up to us for his veggie dinner, and one grumpy one that would actually stop in his tracks, give you a dirty look, turn his head, then (slowly) the rest of him, lift his tail and saunter away like we just pissed him off royally when we came into view. The friendly one would scratch at the back door to be let in and out. They are amazing.

  2. Leonesse

    Egads, I said ‘we have’ like we still have them. We ‘had’ them but left them in the warmer climes with a friend who built them a deluxe condo in the dirt.

    Also, I love that one pic of Dagmar. Her eyes are simply stunning! The rest she seems to be hiding behind phallic objects. ???


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