oh wait it is December then  0

Posted on Friday, 22 December 2006 at 02:37 AM. About Rapid City.

Maybe I should just make this some kind of MIDWEST TRAVELOGUE, because it seems like that's the only time I remember to update. Or maybe not: the highlight of my drive back out to Rapid City this time was an hour spent behind a semi on the highway going 35 mph because the left lane was too icy to drive on.

I am back, fools! I have my camera and a new battery; I will take pictures and relay them to you via the box on the right. That says "pictures." Pay careful attention.

4 am coffee and biscuits  0

Posted on Saturday, 12 August 2006 at 01:14 PM. About Rapid City.

Of course, as soon as I made that last post my camera battery decided to terminate its batteriffic properties. So I will be borrowing a camera for the brief remainder of my stay. Things I missed taking pictures of:

o Dinosaur Hill on a beautiful, sunny day
o President James Madison holding a flower; later, President James Madison making a telephone call.
o A bunch of kids on unicycles hanging out at (and off of) metal Richard Nixon.
o This awesome show in a crowded pub featuring The Michael J. Parkinsons and Good Friday with local act Lost Boys and two of their derivative projects, Imaginary Girlfriends and Keyboards and Computer.
o DIVERSE PERSONAE. Who knew there were kids in this town under thirty who do things besides grind on each other to old Timberland cuts at Murphy's? Somehow I missed this in my five years away.

Anyway, I will get a camera and take some pictures, and post them for your enjoyment.

Home again  0

Posted on Friday, 11 August 2006 at 01:07 AM. About Rapid City.

Oh my gosh, I am back in Rapid City and updating my blog. I have my camera with me! I will get a new battery and post pictures!

In the meantime, if you have my telephone number and you are in Rapid City, give me a call and we will go for frybread or something.


The city sleeps  0

Posted on Tuesday, 22 November 2005 at 11:15 AM. About Rapid City.

Well, I made it back to Rapid City successfully. The city's changed quite a bit since I was last here in December. I was quite pleased to see the number of barbecue restaurants had risen significantly--shoot, there are more small businesses in general. There are more chain stores too, though; a second Wal-Mart is going in, along with an Olive Garden and a couple of yuppie deli-type things. And for some reason all the Mini Marts have changed over to the delightfully named Loaf 'n Jugs. But all in all, it seems like the town's on the way up--there are more things to do, more places to do them, and more people getting out of the house in general. HOMETOWN: REVIEWED AND FORWARDED FOR APPROVAL.

While I'm here, I'll probably be spending some time clicking through Chris L. Seebe'oh's website now that it is functioning again. I don't know where he finds stuff like the Ninja Bake Sale, but it is proof enough that his blogamarole is worth bookmarking.

Results  196

Posted on Friday, 18 November 2005 at 06:35 AM. About Ames. About Rapid City.

We ended up getting more ice than snow here. Between moving and buying a new car over the summer, I somehow lost all six of my ice scrapers and wound up being forty-five minutes late to my part-time job tonight because instead of driving to work I was standing outside in the cold, trying to dig a couple inches of ice off my car with my mittens. I don't think any of those countless episodes of MacGyver I watched as a kid rubbed off on me.

For the motherland crew: Tonight it will snow again here, on into the morning. I'm due to return to South Dakota this weekend, but I might have to put it off until Monday if we get dumped on. I'm coming back, though! My kid sister has been telling me all these crazy stories of how the town has changed, and how our high school is even more like a prison now than ever, so I figure I'd better come back and check things out. Shake things up a bit, maybe see if I run into any of my old friends or history teachers now that I'm old enough to patronize the taverns.

Speaking of prisons, former Rapid City state senator Alan Aker (emph. former) got a column in the Journal sometime while I was away. I don't know too much about the guy, except that I always voted against him for various reasons. I certainly didn't know he took seriously that Spiro Agnew line about how "there are people in our society who should be separated and discarded." But there it is in black and white. I'm sitting here scratching my head and trying to decide whether it was worth trading "what the rotten kids need is less coddling and attention" for "Joseph McCarthy was a great American hero."

But back here in Iowa, apparently campus celebrity/activist/student governor Drew Miller has some kind of blog. For months, every time I've gone to the Campustown coffee shop, Drew Miller has been there with his laptop, apparently filling out his intarweblog with news on local politics. Which surprises me, because the man is one of the hardest-working bachelors I know! I always just assumed he was just there trying to get on Facebook girls. Ah well.

Import/Export  76

Posted on Monday, 27 December 2004 at 02:00 AM. About Rapid City.

Just wrapping up a grand tour of four--count 'em--four days in Rapid City. It was good to be back amongst hillfolk, who are in the end my kind of people. Grizzled, maybe, sometimes, but we know how to take care of ourselves and, hence, each other.

That's about all, though. A Life Aquatic may be the only good movie in theaters right now--and that's assuming it is a good movie. I've heard differing accounts from various far-off locations that are actually showing it. Maybe there is hope for The Aviator, I don't know. It's not been a terribly good season for cinema.

OK for now. I'll probably be back in Iowa by the time you read this, so I'll update the thingie on the right side of the page accordingly and sign off.

Democracy Inaction  0

Posted on Tuesday, 12 October 2004 at 02:17 AM. About Iowa. About Rapid City.

I mentioned earlier a rant about the future of my old hometown. I still need to write that down.

Now, Rapid City is slowly decaying, but it keeps popping up in the news. One of South Dakota Public Broadcasting's reporters won a big-time award for its reporting--specifically, for this piece about contaminated water in the Black Hills. Nic and I are always talking about how much better SDPB is than, say, the local NPR affiliate, which doesn't actually have a news department, and it's nice to know our braggadocio is being regularly validated by the national news media.

The Rapid City Journal doesn't get quite as much critical acclaim--the Sioux Falls Gannet rag routinely beats the pants off them in the state awards show--but its political reporter Bill Harlan did a guest stint on the big NPR call-in show not too long ago. He even got hassled about the mess with the new 'voter ID law' that has the Native American tribes so infuriated. It was a nice segment.

But that's about all, really. I wish I could comment on the Daschle-Thune nonsense, or the fact that Larry Deidrich is still a jerk, but I am now a registered voter in Story County, Iowa, so I'm busy exploring the blotchy surface of Iowa politics. I think I might be voting for a Green candidate in September, and he might be my boss's nephew, and he might even be completely nuts. But what the hell? The incumbent has had his seat locked up for six years, and the challenger is little more than a stage prop. You can tell the people who vote straight-ticket Democrat every year, no questions asked, by looking for the "Art Small for Senate" lawn signs around town.

But OK for now.


Speaking of Bill Harlan: apparently he has so much time left over from TALKING TO POLITICIANS in his duties as a POLITICAL REPORTER that he helps run a South Dakota political 'blog. It--like most other editorial content generated by the paper he works for--is "right-leaning" and not of the highest quality. But then, I'm hardly one to talk, so! Snap.

I licked those damn robots, though.

Anyway, "Mount Blogmore" is a hell of a lot better than the one-trick pony we had before, so you might as well check it out.

Old business  1

Posted on Monday, 23 August 2004 at 02:15 AM. About Rapid City.

I'm back in Iowa now, and looking for a job. The trip to Rapid City was quality, and featured what was--in the spirit of other Internet gatherings--perhaps the first 'Fish-Up since I moved away, held at the peak of Little Devil's Tower near Harney Peak. That sounds cornball, OK, but Jesse, Joan and I--along with Mutual Friends 1, 2 and 3 (right)--did some hiking and hung out a while. Incriminating pictures exist; stay tuned.

Since returning to Iowa, I have done very little besides look for work and read, so there isn't much to write about for now. Between the ongoing Olympics in Athens and the upcoming Republican National Convention, the newspapers are pretty hard-up for controversy and it's hard to get worked up about things. I suppose there's always the Iowa Values Fund, the Grand Duchy's primary business development program... or rather there isn't, after a separation-of-powers lawsuit struck down the program; and there won't be unless the Democratic governor and the Republican state congressional leaders can work out some kind of agreement to reinstate the project. For the moment the Fund is an un-Funded mandate, with two million dollars remaining to cover fifty million dollars of financial commitments. It will run out of money within four weeks. Add a lame-duck governor and two hard-line congressional leaders who weren't crazy about this whole "economic development" business in the first place, and you have some interesting drama bubbling in what would otherwise be a vacant Capitol building down in Des Moines.

But so much for all that. I promised some words about the decay of my old hometown, and I'll get to them soon. For now, though, please enjoy the...

When I was in Rapid, I spent my scant spare time looking through the Forest Service's excellent Black Hills Trail Guide. Now that I'm back in Iowa, though, I'm finding myself spending far too much time on a site about life on another barren and featureless land: Antarctica. The site is called Big Dead Place, and it chronicles life at the McMurdo research station.

It's no Daily Show, of course, but that's why I've uploaded another good clip I've been sitting on for a month or so: Jon Stewart on talking points (AVI/XviD, 6MB). If you've never heard the term "media literacy" before, give that link a click and let a basic-cable fake-news show teach you a thing or two.

Pending notification  0

Posted on Saturday, 14 August 2004 at 06:49 PM. About Rapid City.

I'm back in Rapid City. Bikers in sweaters = CONFIRMED. Crazy local journalist slash 'blogger = also confirmed. It sounds like a hokey idea at first, but this is probably the most aggressive journalism the Rapid City Journal has ever done--or at least some of their better photography--so cut Bill Harlan some slack. The man is King of Dubious Honors, yes, but that doesn't necessarily mean he is doing a bad job of doing what he does with what little he has to do it with.


  • Find a good hiking trail in the Hills, see if Nik wants to come
  • Second try: see Alien vs. Predator (?!)
  • Call Grizzly to see which cheap Sturgis merchandise I should bring back to Iowa
  • Try some Fjord's Ice Cream
  • Write up crappy-intarweblog-rant inre: the rise and fall of Rapid City. It's been rolling around in my dome for a while now, but perhaps I should write it down before I forget it.

A Donald Rumsfeld classic (WMV, 8 MB) from March or so. It won't be up for too long, so get it while you can.

Standing by  0

Posted on Friday, 26 March 2004 at 03:26 AM. About Rapid City.

Another quick update; more personal stuff. Inre: turning 21, I went out, drank in moderate excess, and woke up the next morning feeling fine, except for a mild case of food poisoning. Saturday night began with a 12oz ribeye steak, cooked at a respectable brewery, and that was the only vice I paid for the next day, so to speak.

Now I'm back in Iowa, awash in poitics, metal processing and the same ol' funk. It turns out that you can indeed change people's ways by threatening them with a giant axe, but only while you have it at their throats. Jesus understood this... so did Mohammed, I suppose, even though he took a different approach. It's kill or be killed, this world of ours, even if you're immortal.

Anyway, bed-time. Friday night's action is a choice between experiencing a return visit of the irresistably sensual Old Time Relijun at the Practice Space downtown--that living room cum concert hall I've mentioned before--and listening to a talk by "an erotic sadomasochistic science fiction writer." I don't need alcohol, living in a place like this... but I can't say it doesn't help.

Status report  2

Posted on Saturday, 20 March 2004 at 02:48 AM. About Rapid City.

For the past week, I've been back in Rapid City, researching, brooding and making plans for the future. It's spring break in Iowa, but being broke, I had to settle for a "working holiday." To give you a feel for how it's gone, this is my agenda for Saturday:

  • 8 am: Wake up, shower, begin laundry, begin baking butterscotch cookie-loaf prepared last night.
  • 10 am: Drive to post office, mail Filthy American Care Package to physicist friend in France. Resume baking, attempt to construct a cake.
  • 11 am: Begin follow-up calls to people I haven't talked to in years, inviting them to 21st birthday bash. Suffer repeated rejections, go into quiet funk punctuated by rum and old ska music.
  • Noon: Lunch with family at Red Lobster between kid sister's soccer practice and Girl Scout meeting. Awkward silence.
  • 2 pm: More laundry and baking. Sneak away to Country General Store to buy large axe for "future use."
  • 3 pm: Review assembled research for manufacturing class project: "The Bicycle Fork: From Namibian Stip Mines To Your Crotch." Pack.
  • 5 pm: Attend kid sister's orchestra concert, sitting on phone books so as to see the stage over the fat women and their enormous video cameras.
  • 6:55 pm: Somehow be back at parents' house and ready to receive birthday guests. Quicky irradiate kitchen with microwave & tin foil to ensure everyone gets out alive.
  • 7:30 pm: Guests begin arriving. Cats have eaten the cake; kid sister's bird has somehow escaped his cage, is bathing in ice cream. Arrange hasty retreat.
  • 8:00 pm: Arrive at restaurant for steak and Guinness, night of half-remembered inebriation.

Sonic Wings 2I am nervous about tonight, because I need to be in Des Moines by 8 pm tomorrow. This is a soft target however; as long as I don't end up in Argentina with neither pants nor wallet, I will view the evening a success. And spring break, too; I have 50 pages of new research with me, another 50 pages waiting for me in Iowa and one kicking concert to attend tomorrow night. Everything is all right.

On Monday I will be back in my usual routine of sleeping through classes and devouring the New York Times, so in a few days I should more interesting words. If nothing else, I should have words about the collected writings of Hunter S. Thompson, which I am engaging in a frontal assault at the moment. For now, however, I remain... emo!

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