Took long enough...
Finally, Danny Rolling has met his maker
, as they say. The only thing one could wish for was that Florida had still been using "Old Sparky" at Starke, rather than the quieter lethal injection.
In Gainesville there is a wall along the main road near UF where students, locals do graffiti. There is one panel is that is never changed or painted over...one in rememberance of the students slain by Rolling.
The lonely, long drive through Starke's traffic light on the way to Jacksonville from Gainesville now has one less seriel killer haunting the path.
Gosh, I've been boring...
I'm finally getting the chance to catch up on reading others' blogs, checking out important sites like ESPN
and of course the obligatory Myspace (there's another cool word...obligatory...)...
and I stumbled back across my blog and I thought to myself, "I have absolutely nothing worthwhile and exciting going on to write about."
Nothing inspiring since a bunch of wacko women talked about their humanesque canines in the airport shuttle/train in Denver.
I've been busy with work...which has been a good thing and fun...so stuff has happened there, but I have a personal policy against really blogging about work unless it's something really not work-related, so there goes a lot of material. I did manage to spend 5 hours eating dinner at theTown Hall Brewery
with a couple of friends, enjoying the plethora of great seasonal beers they have out now. Wow - they are great. Highly recommend it. But that's about all of the excitement that I have had in my life in nearly two weeks.
Except something new came up while I was typing this...the possibility of going to Green Bay for a football game in December...how freaking cool would that be??? I hope that works out!!
I am resorting to a tired cop-out...one of those endless "questionaires." I don't think anyone will really learn anything about me from it, but it takes up space on the blog - so here you go!
Q: WHAT MADE YOU SMILE YESTERDAY?
A: A phone call from a friend.
Q: WHAT WERE YOU DOING AT 8 THIS MORNING?
A: Closing up a friend's apartment after walking his dog.
Q: WHAT WERE YOU DOING 15 MINUTES AGO?
A: Checking email
Q: SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN 1995?
A: Broke my foot. My mom told me "just ice it."
Q:LAST THING YOU SAID ALOUD?
A: "Oh, leave it with me, I'll take care of it."
Q: HOW MANY DIFFERENT THINGS DID YOU DRINK TODAY?
Q: WHAT COLOR IS YOUR TOOTHBRUSH?
A: White with sea foam green accents.
Q: WHAT IS OUT YOUR BACK DOOR?
Q: LAST THING YOU BOUGHT?
Q: LAST GIFT YOU RECEIVED FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY?
A: Digital camera!
Q: WHAT COLOR IS YOUR FRONT DOOR?
A: Of the building...glass. Of my apartment...brown.
Q: WHERE DO YOU KEEP YOUR CHANGE?
A: In a carnival glass bowl on my coffee table.
Q: WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE TODAY?
A: Partly cloudy, 40s
Q: BEST ICE CREAM FLAVOR?
A: Peppermint/Candy Cane around the holidays
Q: SOMETHING YOU ARE EXCITED ABOUT?
A: Tomorrow is FRIDAY
Q: LAST RAINBOW YOU SAW?
A: Over the summer.
Q: WHAT SIZE SHOE DO YOU WEAR?
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANY SISTERS?
A: Yes, one "little" sister.
Q: ARE YOU VERY RANDOM?
A: Depends on the moment...
Q: DO YOU WANT TO CUT YOUR HAIR?
A: Not right now.
Q: ARE YOU OVER THE AGE OF 25?
A: Oh gees. Yeah.
Q: DO YOU TALK A LOT?
A: Yes, but my job kinda makes me, too.
Q: DOES YOUR SCREEN NAME HAVE AN " X '' IN IT?
Q: DO YOU KNOW ANYONE NAMED STEVE?
A: My dad! And my boss' boss.
Q: DO YOU MAKE UP YOUR OWN WORDS?
A: When necessary.
Q: ARE YOU TICKLISH?
A: Unfortunately, yes.
Q: ARE YOU TYPICALLY A JEALOUS PERSON?
A: Nope, not at all.
Q: NAME A FRIEND WHOSE NAME STARTS WITH THE LETTER "L":
Q: NAME A FRIEND WHOSE NAME STARTS WITH AN "A":
Q: 4TH PERSON ON YOUR MISSED CALLS?
A: Mary G.
Q: WHAT DID THE LAST TEXT MESSAGE YOU RECEIVED SAY?
A: "Oh, it's going to be good!" (Referring to a dinner being cooked.)
Q: DO YOU CHEW ON YOUR STRAWS?
A: No, that drives me nuts.
Q: DO YOU HAVE CURLY HAIR?
A: Yeah, but I blow-dry it straight.
Q: WHAT IS THE NEXT CONCERT YOU'RE GOING TO?
A: No clue.
Q: WHO IS THE COOLEST PERSON IN YOUR LIFE?
Q: WHAT SAYING DO YOU SAY A LOT?
A: "That's cool."
Q: WHAT IS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
A: Coffee cake
Q: WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU SAID TO SOMEONE?
A: Wasn't this already asked w/ what's the last thing you said outloud?
Q: DO YOU WATCH TV?
A: Yeah, I do.
Q: DO YOU HAVE WORK TOMORROW?
A: Yep - but it's Friday!
Q: EVER BEEN HUNTING?
A: Yeah. Never shot anything, but have been with people who have!
Q: IS MARRIAGE IN YOUR FUTURE?
A: Who knows?! Definitely not in the near future.
Q: WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU SAID "I LOVE YOU" AND MEANT IT?
A: This morning.
Q: WHAT SHOULD YOU BE DOING RIGHT NOW?
A: Making phone calls.
Q: DO YOU HAVE A NICKNAME?
A: Shorter versions of my long name.
Q: DO YOU BELIEVE IN LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT?
Q: ARE YOU A HEAVY SLEEPER?
A: Yep - can sleep through everything except my alarm and my cell phone ringing.
Q: LAST TIME YOU USED A SKATEBOARD?
A: I don't think I ever have.
Q: BEST MOVIE YOU'VE SEEN IN THE PAST TWO WEEKS?
A. Hmmmm...I forget.
Q: WHAT KIND OF CELL PHONE DO YOU HAVE?
A: A Verizon LG with a bunch of numbers after.
Q: WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
A: Traffic on Snelling Ave. I'm waiting for the inevitable brakes squealing and fenders crashing.
Q: ARE YOU CURRENTLY DEPRESSED?
A: Not at all.
Q: WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
A: My family.
Q: DO YOU THINK ANYONE MISSES YOU RIGHT NOW?
A: They better!
Overheard at the Airport...
On the train from the security check-point to the gate, 5 women with very thick southern accents are discussing getting back home "finally."First one says
, "Allie is going to be pretty hyper. I'm tired."Second one
, "Benedryl, she'll be asleep and you can relax in peace!"First one,
"Haha, yeah. Well, Chloe and Allie do take children's tylenol and children's benedryl sometimes."Third one,
"How did you come up with the name 'Allie?'"First one
, "Oh, I don't know, I wanted to name it Zoe, but Zoe and Chloe together are too close and I wanted a 'Z' name, and if it had been a boy, I would have named it Zane."Second one
, "My mom's is named Sophie and mine is [something else I have since forgotten], but Mrs. Caldwell says Sophie doesn't look like a Sophie, she looks like [something else since forgotten]."Third one,
"I have one named 'Spot' and there's not a spot on her."Second one
, "[something about naming dogs]"
I kept listening...and sure enough, they were talking about their freaking dogs!! There were so many things wrong with the conversation in general, but mainly, is it really appropriate to drug your puppy when you get home? Wow.(Sidenote - our pilot just got on the microphone at the gate as we are all sitting here waiting. That's a first...he told us he got a good night's sleep last night, the length of our bus ride and that it's a good day for flying. Interesting.)
There is very little to say about the Miami vs. Florida International game yesterday
, other than the brawl was absolutely disgraceful. For as much as I hate the over-dramatization of tragedy, angst, etc., etc., in sports (and in life)
by news sources about stuff that doesn't really matter...the disgust and dismay with which news/sports anchors have reported this brawl is appropriate.
Last night a local sportscaster here in Denver said, "Neither team won the fight, although Miami did win the game." I suppose that is true.
I don't know if anyone saw the tape of the brawl, but it was a dirty fight - by any and all players involved. They didn't even fight clean, "like men" - they were swinging and pounding each other with helmets, stomping on each other with cleats, kicking others while down - moves like that. Only 13 players were ejected...and that is really tough to believe, especially since a player that clubbed another with his helmet stayed in the game! They stopped the game and sent everyone back to their locker rooms...and they should have looked at the tape and thrown out more players. Who cares how long it takes? Do it.
Probability of Miami or FIU taking appropriate action against these players, outside of whatever sanctions the NCAA imposes...my guess, slim to none. Class act institutions, that's for sure.
Today a couple of friends from Boulder spent the late afternoon and evening showing me around their stomping grounds. We went up through El Dorado Canyon, Flagstaff Mountain, and then to dinner in Boulder. What an absolutely beautiful place. It was a great time! Next year, I need to remember to plan to come out here to hike the trails and really check it out, because it is really breath-taking. Here are the pictures...there's not much more to say about it, I think they speak for themselves. Click on the pictures to see bigger versions, I loaded the full-sized versions this time in order to really show what was there. (And by the way, it took about 187 minutes to load these onto the blog. So you better appreciate them!)
This was in El Dorado Canyon - you can see the rock climbers up at the top - they are crazy. Definitely crazy. It's scary high up there...and sheer rock. Which I guess is why they call it "rock climbing."
This, and the next few, were all in El Dorado.
(This was the last of the El Dorado pictures...now we move to Flagstaff Mountain.)
This is a view of Colorado University from Flagstaff Mountain.
And a little closer zoom of the football stadium, where the CU Buffalo will lose to, uh, I mean play, Texas Tech tomorrow. Their marching band was in the pedestrian mall of Boulder getting fans fired up this evening by playing the fight song over and over and over and over. I think it's the only song they know, which is probably acceptable for a college marching band at football games.
"I am the queen of the world!" Look, my head is even with the clouds in the distance.
I just think this is gorgeous. Note the CU students with their PBR enjoying the beautiful Friday night up on Flagstaff Mountain.
Some cool trees up on the mountain.
The view down to Boulder from Flagstaff Mountain.
The biggest craze in footwear now are these Crocs
. The full Crocs are the most insane looking things in the world, but EVERYONE is wearing them for some reason. I don't get it. But The Mom and The Sis
have the flip-flop version
of the Crocs, and love them. From what I understand, The Sis may sleep in hers.
So since Boulder is the home of Crocs, I asked my friends where we could go to find them so that I could look for different colors of the flip-flops for The Mom and The Sis. We went into Pedestrian
, on Pearl Street in Boulder.
Sure enough, they had Crocs. In fact...an entire room dedicated to the walking sensation. It was an attack of a rainbow of rubber soles.
The Colorado U-themed Crocs:
And the rest of them...
Now, as I stated, I happen to think that the Crocs everyone buys are the most insane looking things in the world. I don't get why they are so popular. But everyone says, "Oh, they are sooooo comfortable!!" Yada, yada, yada. The Mom thinks her Croc flip-flops are the greatest invention. So my friend insists that I will get over my adversion to Crocs and get a pair since I'm in the birthplace of Crocs. I insist that won't happen.
Well, we get into the store and he is insistant that I try on a pair. Fortunately, Crocs are making an attempt to get cooler...and they have a couple of new styles...including a Mary Jane version that is a little slimmer and cuter than the normal ugly ones. So I give in and try them on. And unfortunately, actually like them. So I left Boulder with Crocs...so sad...
And my first foray into foot modeling...just like Judy Garland..."There's no place like home, there's no place like home..."
Travels with Stephey
, so this won't exactly be a John Steinbeck novel...but I thought it was a clever title...complete with the spelling and everything. A random rambling of some of the stuff I did today, and other thoughts that may or may not be related. Welcome to my Tuesday.
* As you may or may not have figured out, I'm in Colorado. This is monumental in my life for one major reason, it allows me to get in state #48 out of the continental US states. Through travel with my family and work and moving around, I had managed to get in every other state, many of them multiple times. Most of the states in this part of the country we got in when our family used to travel cross country in an RV for about a month at a time when I was younger. For some reason, my parents decided to drive AROUND Colorado every time we came out here. I have basically given them crap about that for a long time, now. And I will continue to give them crap about it because it probably stunted my educational growth or something. But at least I'm FINALLY here! Wahoo
* This afternoon I went down to Colorado Springs to see the sights. Of course it was overcast and cloudy. So when I went to see the beautiful natural sights, all of my pictures came out a little muted. I drove around Garden of the Gods
and went in the visitor center, despite the weather. The woman working there was originally from the Twin Cities area, which was funny. Her entire family still lives there, and she talked and talked and talked and talked about them. Fortunately, I wasn't in a rush. But here are pictures of the Garden of the Gods:
* Then I went to a cave, Cave of the Winds
. What a disappointment. My thought process was that it was cloudy out, and up in the mountains you can't see a darn thing with the fog/clouds. So going into a cave seemed to make sense. What a lame-a$$ cave. First of all, the tour guide was a total tool. Second of all, the cave was pathetic. I guess my standards are set unexpectedly high, having been to Mammoth Cave
and Carlsbad Caverns
when I was younger, hitting every state but Louisiana and Colorado (I got Louisiana in when I drove through it while moving to Texas...and then went there for a weekend while working in Texas...and then drove through it two more times in the next 4 months...now I have been there TOO many times...even got pulled over by a cop there)
. But even Howe Caverns
in NY was WAY better. Here are some pictures of the lame-o cave.
(You can't fool me, I don't think this was a naturally occurring formation in the cave. Gees.)
(Stalactites - formations that hang "tight" to the ceiling. These could be the weakest freaking stalactites I have ever seen. I have seen bigger icicles hanging off of a garage roof.)
(A stalagmite. Not quite as weak-a$$ as the stalactites...but still pretty weak. However, it is larger than other naturally occurring phallic-looking formations I have seen.)
* There was all of this talk about Joe Torre being fired and Lou Pinella being hired as the Yankees manager. Fortunately, it's all for naught and Torre will be back. I could deal with a new manager...I mean I got over Buck being sent packing in '95 or '96 (there was something about him I liked back then, now, I have no clue what it was). But I could not deal with Lou Pinella. Oh gosh. I can't stand him. I can not stand him in a boat, I can not stand him with a goat. On the bench, in the booth. I can not stand him, Steph I am. Phew.
* Seriously, FOX should not be allowed to broadcast MLB playoff games. It's like watching some HS TV shop that gets new technology and has to play with it all the time. My favorite is when they shoot the batter from a different angle other than with the center field camera and the green screen behind him that is designed for imposing ads shows up green instead of with an ad. That happens basically anytime they shoot from a different angle or when they show a replay using the center field camera and that angle wasn't shown live. It's funny to me. And maybe only to me. But that brings me to another point...one of the angles that FOX uses is that stupid in-the-dirt cam. Whether it's on the mound or near the plate or stuck on a base or whatever. I hate it. It shows me nothing other than making players look like giants. And it makes me nauseous, like I imagine I would feel while watching IMAX while I'm drunk. I'm waiting for the camera installed in the brim of the pitchers hat so we can watch his grubby fingers adjust his hat between every pitch while he waits for the sign from his catcher. They also put microphones on half of the players. And talk to managers or coaches between innings. I don't like that either - doesn't go with the flow of the game to me. Takes the mystery out of post-game press conferences sometimes.
* I attempted to stop at the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame to bring me home a cowboy...but, alas, they are only open on Thursday-Sunday. I was wondering why the parking lot was so empty.
What a great job. I may have to return. You know what they say, "Save a horse, ride a cowboy." Instead, I just got a picture of the statue outside. That's as good as it got.
MNF @ Mile High on ESPN
I went to Monday Night Football last night at Mile High...Broncos over Ravens, 13-3. Fun, even though I had to basically dress like an orange penguin.
Look at this place:
It was cold, wet, rainy - basically miserable - and it was an awesome night!
I love going to sporting events in other cities...especially in beautiful stadiums. I will admit, I waffled back and forth about whether to go tonight - it was cold, rainy and they were calling for snow. So I went to Target and got a cool fleece bucket hat with hidden ear flaps, a pair of gloves and a pair of mittens. I layered up and headed to the light rail station, jumped on board and got off at the stadium.
Here's how you get the orange penguin look I achieved above:
2 long-sleeve T-shirts
1 fleece vest
2 pairs of socks
1 thick Champion sweatshirt
1 Bauer hockey jacket
1 $7 Broncos rain poncho
Effective, eh? But I stayed (relatively) dry, and warm. In fact, I didn't start to get cold until the 4th quarter...and then it was only my feet! Of course, by the time I got home I couldn't feel them anymore and it took 20 minutes in a hot shower to thaw out! But it was worth it.
I got into the stadium and walked around...watched the ESPN pre-game show a little, and then walked around inside. Grabbed my brat and beer, and made a vow not to drink anything else other than that 1 beer - water, beer, soda, anything...because it was going to be tooooo cold and the lines would be toooooooo long! And then I walked around looking at all of the people in orange and blue. It was like a gator game that was just a few shades off.
MNF was worth it!!
The most important thing in the bathroom...
I'm in Denver, CO at a hotel right now. I wandered out amongst the city today for work, and then returned to my home-away-from-home, dropped off my bag and purse by the bed, hit "power" on the TV, and went into the bathroom.
Housekeeping had invaded my room after I departed today, organizing my stuff on the bathroom counter, much more neatly than I ever would on a soft white washcloth; remaking my bed, which I will promptly mess up by sitting on it; and restocking my little coffee maker, which I will unstock in the morning. Soon after establishing myself in the bathroom, I noticed that the toilet paper roll was missing. Yes, MIA.
Normally if you run out of toilet paper, there's an empty roll on the little bar. However, there was nothing. Not even a bar. There was this big gaping hole where a toilet paper bar covered in a cardboard roll and white paper should be. The bar was laying innocently on the sink, near my toothbrush. Without a roll of toilet paper to be seen anywhere.
Which left me with the infamous back-up - tissues. We all know how much this sucks. Tissues just aren't the same as toilet paper in this case...much the same way that toilet paper is not a good substitute for tissues. The lotion creeps you out (or maybe that's just me), they are either too thin or too thick, and they dissolve. But sometimes, there's nothing else to do.
So I used the substitute tissues, and went to the phone and dialed "0" for the hotel operator. "Front desk, how may I help you?" "Umm, can you send someone to my room with a roll of toilet paper, please? I think house keeping took mine and didn't replace it." "OK, I'll call house keeping right away." "Thank you."
I waited, and waited. I waited so long I had to go to the bathroom again. So I grabbed my key and wandered out into the hallway, hoping to run into housekeeping. Sure enough, I found her. I walked up and asked for a roll of toilet paper. She kinda looked at me funny since she had just cleaned my room. I said, "Well, there's no toilet paper on the roll." I was trying not to accuse her of stealing my toilet paper (although I did want to ask why she took away the half of a roll that was left...seems wasteful to me!)
, but she seemed to think it was weird that I wanted toilet paper.
I repeated that the roll was empty in my room, and she said, "Did you check the closet?" I looked at her like she was crazy and said, "No." Seriously - did I check the closet?? No, although I guess that is the first place I should always think to look for toilet paper when housekeeping steals my toilet paper. What kind of cruel joke is that? Like a sick treasure hunt?
Anyway, much to everyone's relief, I'm sure, I have toilet paper again. And I checked the closet, there is a spare roll in there, so I'll be ok the next time my toilet paper disappears.
Apple (not) picking
Saturday was a gorgeous, sunny day in Minnesota. It was the one day for two weeks that I was going to be home, and since it was a lovely fall day, I had the great idea to go apple picking and enjoy the season. I managed to convince a friend to go along, against his better judgement, it turned out.
We went to a local apple orchard and it was like Disney World...all of the bad things from Disney World, that is. Long traffic lines, rude parents with strollers, screaming kids, kids and adults not paying attention to where they are going and running into you. You get the picture...they were crawling around all over the place. I have to agree with my friend - the best part of the orchard was the fenced in portion where the kids were riding John Deere tricycles...he pointed out that they were caged in.
Despite the crowds we had one prospect for happiness at this apple orchard...picking our own apples. We headed out to the trees, and soon realized that we would not be able to reap the fruits of our labor, so to speak. This is the sight we saw under every tree:
Some people apparently gave up:
Someone did pick an apple, but must not have thoroughly enjoyed it:
I did finally find an apple on a tree, but it didn't pass inspection:
But finally, we did find a couple that seemed OK:
Of course, they were teeny tiny and barely lasted 4 bites, but they were apples picked off of a tree. Not really as satisfying as we had hoped...but I guess we decided to take what we could get...and escaped before any little people slobbered on us.
There seems to be a pattern...when you head to rural Minnesota and people find out you are going there, they all have suggestions for places to go and things to see. One friend recommended Alexandria and the Runestone
Museum (and had some ideas for Morris, too, unfortunately I got them too late),
told me that if I was going to Marshall I had to head down to see the wind turbines. Unfortunately he didn't know much more about them than they were on the way to Pipestone
and they were sorta near Marshall. So I did my own research, and during a break of a few hours, I set out on a mission. Actually, first, I nourished myself with a stop at A&W for a hot dog, fries and root beer, and THEN I set out on a mission.
My research found that Lake Benton
is the "Original Wind Power Capital of the Midwest." The chamber website claims: "We are conveniently located in southwest Minnesota on the crossroads of the nation, U.S. #75 (International Highway King of Trails) and U.S. #14 (Laura Ingall’
s Wilder Historic Highway)."
The 45 minute trip was to consist of 2 roads...a north-south road and an east-west road. The rules of rural Minnesota. 1 road to get you anywhere. The East-West road is U.S. #14 - part of the crossroads of the nation. I'm a little puzzled - Alexandria, MN is the birthplace of America, Stillwater, MN
is the birthplace of Minnesota, but the crossroads of the nation are in Lake Benton.
As I was approaching U.S. #14, I was just thinking about how I had basically only looked up directions to the town of Lake Benton - not to anything wind turbine-specific. But I figured, "How hard could they be to find?" My thoughts were shown to be correct, because the instant I turned West on U.S. #14 and looked up, I exclaimed out loud (yes, I was alone in my car),
This was the first sighting of windmills:
This was across the street, and I found it to be rather cool since it was an "old" windmill:
And then I approached the town of Tyler, one of the little towns just before Lake Benton. There was a cool turbine there that kinda reminded me of an airplane.
Actually, there were two of them, if you can see the second:
And then I got into Lake Benton. I drove up a dirt road to get closer to some of the turbines. They were really cool. It was a drive well-worth the time I could have spent chilling or napping in my hotel room!
Big Adventures in the "Birthplace of America"
If Big Ole's shield says it's so, then it must be, right?
Yeah, somehow I still don't buy it, even after spending $6 to see the proof.
A friend told me that since I was going to be in Alex, I had to go visit the Kensington Runestone Museum...the story behind it basically being that the vikings were here in the 1300s, a bunch of them were murdered, the survivors wrote it down on a rock and fled...and this made Alex the birthplace of America (because obviously the vikings founded the US, I guess). The rock is at this museum, in all of it's glory.
So I checked into my hotel around 1 or 2 in the afternoon, and went to the hotel's front desk and asked for directions to the museum. "The viking museum?" I think, "Is there more than 1 museum in this town???" But just say, "Yes." She says, "Turn left out of the hotel and go straight. You'll see it." (That's the basics of nearly all directions in rural Minnesota - take the only road until you get there.)
Sure enough, I came across Big Ole, who guards the parking lot for the Runestone Museum. Much to my relief, it was open...according to this sign:
The sign was especially funny because it was almost right outside the entrance to the museum, so if you couldn't find it without the assistance of the sign, you really didn't deserve to visit the museum.
I go inside and the chamber of commerce is also housed in the lobby of the museum, to the left as I walk in. Immediately, a woman dashes over to me from the chamber to ask if she can help me. I said, "I just want to see the museum." She said, "OK - you have to go over there to the gift shop." She points to a little glass-enclosed gift shop, and to a frantically waving and smiling lady, who calls me over. I walk into the little glass room and pay my $6 to see this museum. $6!!! The Smithsonian is free!!
The money-taker then says, "Oh, you'll have to start at the end, there is a woman's group meeting in the museum right now and they are right by the runestone...but they'll be done soon. So I'll take you the back way to the outside portion and then you can work backwards. Is that OK??" I agree to go through the museum backwards, and she takes me the back way to outside...through offices and changing rooms and a storage area - wow. A real behind the scenes tour of the Kensington Runestone Museum. It was....ummm...amazing?
I go outside and look at a bunch of fake "old" buildings at Fort Alexandria. But the cool thing was this caboose. I even got to go into it!!
Then I went in this big building with a replica scaled down viking ship. And tractors. And out board motors. I found that to be hiliarious. It sounds like the start to a bad joke: What do you get when you put a viking ship, a John Deere tractor and an outboard motor in a building? No, I don't know.
It was right after the outboard motors that I saw the hidden gem of the building and the museum. Santa's Sleigh. Yes, Santa's Sleigh is at the Kensington Runestone Museum in Alexandria, MN. They stole Santa's sleigh. It's not actually labeled as Santa's sleigh, but I think it's pretty obvious this is a cover-up. Alexandria may be the birthplace of America, but it's the deathbed of Christmas, apparently, as well.
This sign was on the door to the viking ship/tractor/outboard motor building. I didn't know what to think of it, so I just took a picture - which caused stares from the old couple that was walking into the potpourri building.
And as I walked around outside, I noticed that there was a civil warish-era cannon pointed at the viking ship and tractors...rather violent, I thought. I also suspected that there really weren't cannons like this in the days of the vikings ships...possibly in the days of John Deere tractors - but aren't people rather defenseless when they are riding tractors??
Then I finally got to go back inside. I took this picture just because it was funny to take a picture of a camera with a camera:
And then I saw IT. The Kensington Runestone in all of it's glory.
I know, it just leaves you speechless, doesn't it? And imagine, I was physically in the presence of the "document" that makes Alexandria the birthplace of America.
And then there was the video portion of the exhibit - where you get the history and all of that good stuff. Apparently, it is designed to be a romantic film, because there are only 2 seats in the entire room:
All in all, I have to say that I did have fun at the Kensington Runestone Museum. My $6 bought me 45 minutes of fun. And entertainment at watching a bunch of 50+ year old women in velvet pants suits conclude their meeting in the shadow of the Kensington Runestone. I wonder if that's how the invitations to the meeting read, "The next meeting of the Velvet Pants Suit Club will be held in the shadow of the Kensington Runestone, located in the Birthplace of America."