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...
WHATEVER OF THE RECENT PAST
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.