Archive for September 2009

Old Market Blues

Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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“What are you guys doing this weekend?” said our friends the Graves when they called.
“Nothing much,” we replied.
“For our anniversary, our kids got us a free night’s stay at the Ameristar in Omaha,” they said, “Wanna go along?”
“Well sure,” we said. “That was mighty nice of your kids to spring for two rooms!”
“Ummmm, they didn’t actually…just the one,”
“I know, I know..just kiddin. Of course we’d like to go.”
So at 8 O’clock Sunday morning they pulled into our driveway..we loaded up an overnight bag and pointed their Nissan South with plans to hit Omaha’s Old Market area in time for lunch at a sports bar and watch the Vikings/San Francisco game.
It took forever to get there…more about that later.
Denny has a GPS system which he figured would help us navigate around Omaha. The problem is, you have to have a destination programmed in for the thing to work and we weren’t sure where in Old Market we were going. Finally we came up with an address that sounded like it was in the historic district and, sure enough, the female voice of the GPS started yelling..telling us where to go.
“Doesn’t that thing have a volume control?” I asked? “She’s really getting on my nerves.” But she guided is to a very nice place; perfect for what we were after with plenty of parking spots nearby. Old Market in Omaha..nice area but watch where you park.What we didn’t find out until much later is that those spots aren’t for out-of-town schlubs like us and even though it was Sunday and the lot was empty..we were presented with a yellow envelope on the windshield and a 20 dollar fine…60 bucks if you don’t pay within two weeks and after that, warrants will be issued and we could wind up cooling our heels in the Omaha hoosegow for awhile.
There was a time when local police would cut people with out of state plates some slack..issuing a warning or friendly reminder to that an ordinance was violated..please don’t do it again.
Not any more. 
Plus, why do business places that are closed on the weekends insist that their parking lots be off limits to visitors and shoppers?
Oil stains on the asphalt?
Anyway, we weren’t about to let this pathetic “Welcome to Old Market” incident ruin our day..so we ordered some food and beverages and settled-in to watch the game.
Now, all four of us have been Vikings’ fans since day one and earned the right to rag on them when they play poorly as well as cheer when they do well. There wasn’t a whole lot to cheer about Sunday..especially with General Robert E. Lee now commanding the Federal forces. So, after Mr. Favre dances over the line of scrimmage and the Vikings fail to mount an effective offense and are forced to punt with a couple minutes to go and no timeouts..we got up and…..YES IT’S TRUE.. paid our bill and left.
That’s when we discovered the parking ticket.
“You drive, Doug,” said Denny. “I’ll program the GPS for the Ameristar Casino.” 
The car radio was on low and I thought I heard the announcer say something about a miracle in Minnesota but then that dadblamed automotronic voice started blasting out directions and I couldn’t hear. Suddenly,  both Linda and Joanie’s phones started ringing at the same time. It was our daughters calling to say, “WOW..did you see that comeback by Favre ? Never seen anything like it.”
That’s right…we missed it. We’d given up on our team and walked out before the game was over. The former rebel general about to launch the game winning throw.
I suppose people will now accuse us of  being fair weather fans but it’s just that we’ve  built up emotional calluses from years of watching the Vikings BLOW games..not stage any highlight- reel comebacks.
Oh well, it’s not like we haven’t seen those last two minutes replayed and analyzed a couple hundred times since then. But I think we’ll watch until the bitter end this next week to see if General Lee is really now one of us when it’s his old soldiers he’s up against.
Oh yeah, about the road to Omaha. Don’t be in a hurry to get there….for the next several years!
It’s not much of a stretch to say that fully half of I-29 is under construction.
There’s no chance it’ll be done by this winter either..much of the old highway is just now being torn up.
By the way, the record for longest road construction project in history still belongs to Sioux City where the orange barrels and concrete barriers have been in place since President Eisenhower was in office.

Lord of the Flies

Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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If the commenter in my last blog was repulsed by references to phlegm ..wait till he (or she) gets a load of this.
Linda and I are at war; not with each other..but with a devilish little foe that invaded our home while we were gone for ten days.
Behold the enemy!
 
Okay, I admit that this picture has been enlarged a gazillion times..but multiply him (or her) by a couple hundred and you can see we are vastly outnumbered in this battle.
The Google says they are fruit flies. At least I hope that’s it rather than the other possibilities such as Drain Flies, Blow Flies, Picture Wing Flies or Fungus Gnats.
Apparently they thrive around unrefrigerated fruit sitting out on the counter..or vegetables like potatoes or onions that are kept in the kitchen or pantry. They also could be feasting on and breeding around bits of food stuck in the disposal..the drain pipe or garbage can. Yuck!
These little buggers are too small and illusive to effectively be eliminated with pesticides or a conventional fly swatter so I’ve been desperately trying other means.
I’m sure the neighbors or anybody who drives by at night and looks into our windows must think I’m practicing some sort of Spanish Flamenco dance as I prance around the house clapping my hands when in fact I’m in air to air combat with fruit flies who gleefully dodge in and out of my sights avoiding my poor attempts to crush them in my mitts.
Oh, they’re good alright..but my persistence occasionally pays off when I look down to discover a speck on my palm that, upon closer examination and much to my surprise, are the pulverized remains of my worthy opponent.
I actually managed to snatch two this afternoon. As proof, I took this photo of their mangled bodies through a magnifying glass.
WARNING: MIGHT NOT BE SUITABLE FOR SENSITIVE VIEWERS.
 
The trouble is..even if I get really good at killing fruit flies mano en buggo..maybe become an ace..there are still way too many of them so I’m bringing out the big gun..which in this case is a homemade trap. Make a paper funnel and place it in a glass containing a little orange juice or cider vinegar or chunk of fruit. Then put it where the little pests are most predominant.
Tape the funnel and make sure it’s tight around the glass. They apparently can get in but can’t get back out.I just checked and, so far, no fly has taken the bait but I’m sure it will work because I read about it on the internet and if it’s written down it must be true.I’ll let you know.
 

Hacking and Wheezing and Coughing Oh My!

Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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 I’m sitting here coughing like a bunch of teenage boys getting their first sports physical.
A cold that began prior to our vacation and which I thought was finally going away has returned with a vengeance. Linda is sick too only her affliction presents itself with sneezing, watery eyes, a runny nose and a voice that sounds like Lucille Balls’ did in her later years.I’m also sneezing..sometimes double sneezes which is a sure sign that something’s not right because I’m a single sneezer. Linda, on the other hand, never gets a gesundheit from me after just one sneeze because she’s always good for two or more and I don’t have time to waste blessing her after every one.
I have the kind of cold that manufactures tiny droplets of feathery phlegm which lodges halfway down the windpipe causing a tickling sensation to which my body instinctively and uncontrollably begins hacking to bring it up. The coughing gets so intense at times that my ribs ache. When the source of the agitation finally does come free it is quickly replaced by another starting the whole annoying process all over.
It was particularly difficult and uncomfortable Monday morning at the dentist’s office where I spent two hours in the chair having some much needed work done.  For most of the time my compulsion to cough was held in check. A good thing too because my nose was covered with the nitrous gas hose blowing full blast and my mouth was jacked open and a rubber dam put in place while the doctor drilled and drilled away at a defective molar. Somehow between being high on the gas and listening to Fox sports on the headsets, my attention was diverted away from the desire to free the phlegm building up in my esophagus. But towards the end, I could hold it no more and began to cough..or try to cough. “Hang on Doug..we’re just about done,” Dr. Graber said..seeing that I was turning a funny shade of crimson.
Well, I survived and have six more weeks to shake this consarned cold before returning to the dentist’s office for round two.
On another topic..we got some great news while we were up in Canada. Our grandson, Michael Hout..a junior at Washington High..was selected to be on the American Legion East baseball team!   Being chosen to play on either of the two Legion teams in Sioux Falls is as good as it gets for a boy who loves baseball and, believe me, few love that game more..or are better at playing it than Michael Douglas. (I lobbied hard to have him named after me. His parents relented..but just for the middle name.)
Mike is a pretty quiet kid who is a good student and very good at other sports but baseball is his passion..something we’ve known since attending his first T-Ball game. He structures his life and exercise regimen toward making himself a better player..especially when its his turn in the pitching rotation.Grandson Michael on the mound. In one of the games I saw, he struck out 9 and pitched a shutout.
In two years playing high school ball and on the VFW East team, Mike has developed into a terrific southpaw pitcher who, while he may not be overpowering with speed, can confuse and frustrate hitters with his stuff and sucker many of them into swinging and missing at his low and away pitches which he throws with regularity and are nearly impossible to hit.Winding up for the low and away curve ball that batters reach for but can’t find.His prowess on the mound  is what caught the eye of Legion East coaches which means, I suppose, he won’t be playing other positions as much next year and we won’t get to see him demonstrate his skills at the plate. But he’s fine with that and thrilled for the chance to move up another rung on the baseball ladder. He’s already eyeing colleges known for their baseball programs and then, who knows? The Twins could always use a good left hander with a killer curve ball.

Au Revoir Canada

Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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And, just like that..it’s over. 10 days romping around some of the most beautiful places on earth and we’re about to board an airplane and return to the reality of a world where bills are due, a lawn is in desperate need of mowing, there’s laundry to do and we have doctor and dentist appointments to keep.But, if the truth be told, we’re also sort of anxious to be home again; to pick clothes out of the closet and dresser drawers instead of a suitcase..to meet up with good friends..to get back on a familiar schedule that’s more in tune with our natural comfort zone. It has been a grand and glorious week and a half, though. We have met some terrific people, including Julia, our Australian-accented tour guide who has managed to rally all 46 of us each day with good humor, respect, incredible knowledge, a ceaseless enthusiasm and desire to please. That’s her on the left.
Along the way, we have learned that Canadians appear to be pretty happy with their health care system but many, especially baby-boomers, still don’t like the government mandated metric system.
They’re anal about the environment; convinced that global warming is to blame for just about every negative occurrence from fewer grizzly bears and salmon to shrinking glaciers. They insist that Indians be called “First Nation” people..not Indians or native Canadians. They don’t bother with paper money below a fiver. As a result you run around with a pocketful of loonies and toonies. (One and two dollar coins.) Even though very few people in the western provinces speak French, the government insists that every public sign be printed in both English and French. But as I mentioned in an earlier blog, Canadians we encountered were genuinely Midwest-type-nice; helpful and good natured. Not a one of them ended their sentences with the stereotypical “eh?”   Be advised, though, if you plan a trip up here, be sure and have your passport up to date. The days of crossing the border without one are long gone.
I’ve written here before about how I’m willing to wait for a movie to come out on rental rather than pay through the nose to sit in a theater full of noisy, cell phone texting, food chompin’ disrespectful clods. But Linda and I will make an exception this weekend because my nephew, Jayden Lund, is starring in the new Matt Damon movie, “The Informant” which opens Friday.  Actually Jay may not have a starring role..but he is prominently featured in several scenes. We’re so happy that Hollywood is starting to recognize Jay’s tremendous talent and hope this is just the beginning of several more significant parts in movies and television. To see a clip of Jay with Matt click here.He’s the big guy to Matt’s right.Well, there’s the announcement that our plane is boarding.  I used to love flying..now..not so much and will be glad when the wheels touch down in Sioux Falls this evening. Back to eating Nutrisystem dehydrated delicacies instead of medallions of beef with a lovely reduced red wine sauce, glazed new potatoes and buttered asparagus spears.   

All Aboard!

Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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I’m just going to admit this right up front: I simply don’t have enough adjectives to describe what Linda and I along with 44 other Kelolanders have experienced over the last several days on our Railroading In The Rockies Tour.
Sunday morning found us boarding the Rocky  Mountaineer Train for our two day journey from Vancouver to Banff. 
I’m guessing the experience wasn’t unlike a ride on the Orient Express..or the old Zephyrs in the United States that used to provide the ultimate in food, service and comfort while zipping along to their destination. But none of them provided the scenic wonders we’ve beheld. 
Some of our group chose to spend several hundred dollars more to ride in the Gold Leaf cars..which has glass domed ceilings and offers more amenities including gourmet dining and red carpet hotel accommodations. 
Most of us, though, rode the red leaf car and were still pretty pampered with a seemingly never ending supply of delicious food, beverages and expert commentary from our personal attendant, Gerri. 
I burned up a couple sets of camera batteries taking pictures on the first day out which led us through the high desert country of British Columbia overnighting in the city of Kamloops..population about 90 thousand.
All the Canadians we’ve encountered have been so doggone nice that you don’t even get mad when they charge three and a half dollars for a bottle of water or four fifty for gasoline..or seven dollars for a mixed drink.
The difference between our dollar and theirs isn’t much anymore but the prices our Canadian neighbors charge for just about everything is pretty nuts. 
I have so many pictures of our rail journey ready to astound anyone who views them..but then we arrived in Banff; the most beautiful town I’ve ever been in since we left Victoria and the scenery got even better. Banff is surrounded by mountains so majestic as to defy description.
I remember being here as a kid and even though my young mind was preoccupied with girls and rock and roll, I was taken aback by this Technicolor town with snow capped peaks in every direction.
One of those directions was toward Lake Louise..north of Banff about 30 miles.
I was anxious to see how much it had changed..if at all..since my parents and brothers were here 50 years ago. 
The views of the lake and surrounding mountains were just as I remembered; jaw droppingly beautiful.
You can still climb the same path my brothers and I did so long ago that takes you up to a little tea house at the 75 hundred foot level. I didn’t make that hike this time.
The Chateau Lake Louise has been added on to since my last visit. 
I remember my mom sort of wishing she could go inside to see what it was like..but, since we weren’t hotel guests, she wouldn’t of course.
I thought about that today as our group strolled passed the beautiful flowers and into the magnificent lodge where a lovely harpist greeted us with song and we dined on a four star buffet lunch.
From Lake Louise, we traveled up the ice field parkway past glacier-laden peaks that soar to dizzying heights until we reached the Athabasca Glacier at the Columbia ice field where we boarded specially designed snow traversing people carriers that took us right out ON the glacier itself where we could actually get out and stroll around on ice that’s a thousand years old and a thousand feet thick. 
Again..I have no words to adequately describe this experience except to say that I have honestly gotten choked up many times up at the grandeur of it all. 
Perhaps in a later blog, I’ll add a few more photos and try to do a better job explaining the fantastic time we’ve had and the awesome things we’ve seen on this tour.
And there are still two days to go.

Butchart Gardens And Vancouver

Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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Lord, my tootsies are tired. I haven’t walked this much since….well, I’ve never walked this much. But it’s not like I can’t use the exercise.
We’re having a wee of a time, though, and seeing some incredible things…including Butchart Gardens on the island of Victoria, BC. 
I admit that the idea of strolling around for three hours amongst fifty acres of flowers wasn’t high on my “must-do” list..but it was stunning and an unforgettable experience.
Butchart Gardens was started over 100 years ago by the wife of a wealthy Portland cement magnate. When a limestone quarry had been worked out, she embarked on her own reclamation project..accepting the challenge that nothing could be made to grow there. How wrong they were. Today, Butchart Gardens attracts over a million visitors a year.
I can’t remember how many thousands of plant and flower carpet the grounds.
There’s also a lot of statuary..including a bronze wart hog thingy. You’re supposed to rub it’s snout for good luck. Linda and I both did before we realized that snout is probably loaded with…isn’t this ironic?…swine flu germs. Suddenly, I feel a little fever coming on.
Nope..there, it’s gone..and so are we..across the Strait of Georgia aboard a humungous ferry ship..arriving in Vancouver Canada’s third largest city and home to a couple million people..many of them are filthy rich big wigs from Hong Kong who left 12 years ago ..scared about what would happen when the British Commonwealth turned the city back over to the Chinese. As a result, Vancouver’s skyline has changed dramatically as these wealthy refugees started building high rise condos everywhere. A lot of the locals hate the changes and I must agree that these tall dwellings all look pretty much the same..kind of like the projects in New York and Chicago except most of these sell for well over a million dollars a unit..twice that much if there’s a harbor view.
The views, though, are pretty spectacular and should impress all those who come here for the 2010 Winter Olympics in February.
Today, we visited another market district..more amazing aromas from all sorts of ethnic cafes and food stands.
After making the rounds, Linda and I found a nice little bar where we sat and sipped a couple of screwdrivers and people watched for an hour.  
I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of this white guy with long blond dreds trying to charm the young lady. Linda thought he might be a crack dealer. Why? I said.
Did you see the back of his pants?
My gosh..our trip is half over already.
Tomorrow..we board the train and just sit back and watch the Canadian Rockies pass by our big picture window.
No more walking and the rail car attendant will serve us a screwdriver right at our seat.

Greetings from Victoria

Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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At the risk of boring you to tears like when a relative drags out the home movies..I’m going to post a few pictures from our tour and offer a comment or two…so bear with me. We are currently in Victoria..one of the most beautiful cities we’ve ever seen.
We ferried across from Port Angeles, Washington  aboard the ship CoHo.It’s pretty roomy too. Over a hundred cars and our tour bus fit comfortable below.A rather foggy rainy crossing but it had cleared by the time we reached the other side.That’s my dentist, Denny Graber and his wife, Ruth boarding the bus in the bowles of the boat.The sun always shines sometime during the day in Victoria providing a flourishing environmen for flowers. There are thousands of hanging baskets around town. Some of the prettiest are fueled with birth control pills dissolved in their water..at least that’s what our local guide says.Okay..most of us on this tour qualify for the senior discount at Century theaters but two of our most seasoned travelers are also two of  the most fun. That’s Ruth on the right..she’s 86…9 years younger than Doris on the left. We spotted them sitting in the lobby this afternoon and asked how their day had been. Both had been hoofing it around town. We’re a couple of streetwalkers Doris laughed.I’m having fits trying to get these pictures and my comments posted and don’t know quite what’s wrong but hope to get it sorted out with a phone call to Landon at Kelo tomorrow. Also on the trip I somehow managed to knock my eyeglasses out of whack and needed a fix which I found at a place here in Victoria’s downtown called Iris. Two very attractive young ladies..one with a French accent, managed to get my bows straigntened..no jokes please.. They wouldnt accept any money so I took their picture and promised to mention their kindness on the blog. Of course it was the only picture that didn’t turn out. But here’s a shot of their business cards.Sorry girls..thanks again.Heading to Buchart Gardens and Van Couver tomorrow.

We’re Off To See The Wizard

Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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Greetings from the Emerald City. Yes we made it to Seattle on the first leg of our Holiday Vacations journey through the great North American North West.  But our adventure had a rather auspicious start.
“It’s 3:30 a.m.….my god, we’re late!”                                                  
That was how I awoke Tuesday morning.Linda’s voice pierced the darkness when she discovered that she’d somehow managed to push the snooze alarm and drift back off to dream land leaving us dangerously close to being left behind on our own “Doug and Linda Lund- hosted tour of the Canadian Rockies.
It’s not her fault that we overslept, of course.  I’d planned to stay awake all night but gave in to the sleep monster..dozing off around 2:30.
It turned out to be no big deal. We managed to put our final packing preparations into panic mode and, thanks to our daughter’s running a couple of red lights taking us to the airport,  we arrived in plenty of time to meet and greet the other forty folks taking the tour with us.
I haven’t flown in a few years so I was a little worried that I might not be able to get the seat belt fastened around my ample abdomen..but, to my pleasant surprise, (and, perhaps 10 days of Nutrisystem meals) I had room to spare. Flying in coach, though, is still exercise in overcoming claustrophobia. The seats are way too cramped, especially for a big guy, and any airline frills that used to make the flying experience memorable, like a  friendly smile and a free sandwich have long since given way to the bottom line of today’s no-frill attitudes in the name of efficiency and profitablity.
Our journey to Seattle was pretty uneventful…aside from the guy wearing a turban sitting a few seats in front of us. Sorry to profile but it seems odd that we have to strip down to our socks and endure random searches that defy common sense, while those who practice the same religion as the terrorists of 9-11, can don their headgear without question.There was also a bit of excitment as one of our tour members suffered some sort of siezure shortly after take-off from Minneapolis which brought a call over the intercom asking if there was a doctor aboard. Paramedics were waiting at the airport after we landed  in Seattle and took her off for a check-up but it turns out she was given the okay to continue the tourA few of our fellow sojourners in the Seattle airport waiting for our motor coach ride.Linda and I have hosted a couple of these excursions over the years and you’d be surprised at how much fun we old geezers have when the restraints of living in South Dakota get a little tight and are cast off for a few days. Everybody seems to loosen up a little bit. Keep in mind that most of us are conservative Lutherans anyway so it’s not a big leap off the deep end but it IS fun to see folks like the 95 year old lady(she doesn’t look a day over 80) from Rapid City slammin’ back a few red wines and sharing memories from the days of bootleg booze and prohibition-era speak-easys.
The last time I was in Seattle was in 1962.
My folks piled my two brothers and me into our 58 ford station wagon with the police interceptor v/8 engine and headed to Washington state for the big event. Relatives who lived in Seattle had invited our bunch to stay with them for a few days to see the fair. It was an unforgettable vacation. Most memorable was riding to the top of the newly constructed Space Needle which is about all that still remains from the fair. We got to drive right next to it  today on our way to Pike Market..a place that’s hard to describe. It’s a farmer’s market ..and a fish market gone wild. Acres of shops, restaurants and weird street entertainers that dazzle a South Dakota flatlander’s mind and make sipping a cup of strong Seattle coffee while people-watching..the highlight of the trip so far.
It was such a nice day here that even the oftentimes elusive Mount Rainer was in full reveal mode.
Tomorrow, we catch a ferry boat to Victoria.
Bags need to be out by 6:30 A.M.
I hope Linda doesn’t sleep through the alarm again.Kidding…I’m just kidding!

My Fair Gigs Are All Gone

Posted: Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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I wrapped up my Mogen’s Heroes summer tour with a performance at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron this past week.
I retired from playing in the band several years ago but for some reason, John Mogen keeps inviting me back to sing with the guys at their fair gigs; The Sioux Empire, Turner County, Brown County and the State Fair in Huron.
It’s still great fun..especially when the Tri-State Neighbor farm magazine sponsors us and my old pal Jim Woster gets up to sing with the Heroes too. His rendition of “The Auctioneer” song always brings the house (or tent) down.Okay, here’s a rare back-of-the-stage view of a Mogen’s Heroes’ performance. That’s John Mogen either blessing the audience or completing a Liberace-type arpeggio. Jim Woster is challenging the crowd to have him sing the Auctioneer Song at light speed. Drummer, Bill Hoffman (who outsings us all) prefers a folding chair to a drum stool. Denny Gale is one of the most talented guitarists I know and can actually play as fast as Jim can sing.
 
I know a lot of people are worried that because of the recession, dwindling attendance and a huge budget cut this year, the State Fair might not survive to celebrate its Quasquicentennial (125th anniversary) next year.
To be honest, I didn’t even walk around the midway but driving onto the fairgrounds, it sure looked like every available parking spot, for both campers and cars, was occupied. The turnout for both of our shows was very good  and I understand there are more vendors than ever this season..so, I’m hoping for the best. Huron could certainly use some good economic news.
 
Regardless, the State Fair always presents opportunities for a guy with a camera. Here are a few of the photos I snapped on my visit.I couldn’t find either Fred or LaMont but, from the looks of their new red pickup, business must have picked up from the days of their TV show. While I was on stage singing, I heard what I thought was a heckler hollering "BAAAAAAD" from outside the tent. When I went to confront this music critic I discovered it was actually coming from a a sheep who was not too happy about being sheared right down to its skin. That’s Heather Larson of Wessington Springs driving the clippers.  I asked why she was cutting so close. "Ya gotta crop ‘em tight," she said, " so the judges can clearly see the sheep’s body definition without any wool in the way.""Working with these little guys so much..do they sort of become like pets?" I asked."Not really. These are market lambs so they won’t be around long.""You mean this little fella will soon be a chop on somebody’s plate served up with mint jelly and mashed potatoes?" I said."I’m afraid so," she said.Seems kind of a shame, I suppose, especially after such a nice haircut."I don’t imagine you ever bother naming these animals," I said."No, but you can if you want to." Heather said."Okay..how about Chislic?""Yummm..sounds good to me."Sort of ironic that some of Chislic’s kinfolk might have been served up just across the street as delicious chunks of deep fried mutton. By the way if any of you have lost an apostrophe..I found a couple misplaced ones at this Indian Taco stand.Well, next week, Linda and I, along with 50 or so other Keloland fun seekers, will be heading off on our Railroading Through the Rockies tour. I plan to do lots of blogging along the way.Wouldn’t you know it…my laptop computer was attacked by a virus worse than the swine flu on Thursday.It was so severely infected that our teriffic I.T. guy at Keloland, Landon Rae,  had to finally end up wiping the hard-drive clean which is no small task. I am deeply in his debt.Why oh why are there evil computer hackers out there whose sole purpose in life is to make other people’s lives miserable by dreaming up and launching these computer crippling viruses?They deserve a special kind of punishment.I wonder how they’d taste cubed up and deep fried.Bon Voyage!  

Fraternizing With The Enemy

Posted: Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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It was finally chilly enough the other day that I decided to wear one of my Minnesota Vikings sweatshirts (I have two) as I ran a few errands around town.
I obviously wasn’t thinking because it was like walking around with a blinking billboard saying “Ask me about Brett Favre.”  Ugh.
 “Well..how’d you like your new boy out there the other night? He sure can do them handoffs can’t he? heh, heh, heh.”
“Looks like your guy, Mr. Fahv-ray still likes to play dirty. You see that knee-busting illegal block he threw?”
Those were just a few of the comments I heard.
The truth is..it’s sort of like when the United States welcomed former Nazi rocket genius, Wernher Von Braun, after World War II because of what he could do…and DID do.. for the U.S. space program..including the successful moon landing in 1969.  After Apollo 11, nobody remembered Von Braun’s V-2 rocket program which reined terror over allied cities during the war.
 
No..No, I’m not calling Brett Favre a Nazi..I’m just saying that, for some of us, embracing a former enemy takes time. Once the former Packer launches a few successful passes to the intended receivers and is able to unify our talented team..I’ll try erase all the years he fought for the opposing side.
Doug, Doug..it’s only a game..it’s only a game.
 
I’ll tell you who I am rooting for with my whole heart again this year: my grandson, Tucker Smith who had a stellar Saturday night in the West Central Trojans’ victory over Harrisburg. 
I’ve never known anyone who loves football as much as he nor works as hard to be good at it than #21.
 
Then, there’s the other loyalty that I’ve kinda had forced on me; Nebraska Cornhusker Football. My daughter works for the University and my granddaughter is a 2nd year student and a member of the marching band. 
I’ve never had any real strong feelings  about Nebraska football..other than marveling at how the fans are well..REALLY fanatic!  A case in point is my old friend, Mark Nelsen of Maximum Promotions. His loyalty and fanaticism has led to the making of a giant “Go Big Red” banner measuring 60 feet by 80 feet which will be unveiled at Cornhusker home games.
As for me..I’ve decided to buy an old van and add a few decorations to show my support for the Huskers.
What do ya think?
 
Just kidding.  I actually took this picture in a Lincoln, Nebraska parking lot.
I’m not sure if I can even get tickets to a home game.