17 August 2011

Second Week in August 2011

Monday at work was so busy I couldn't believe it. After work I met Maggie and we went over to Council Bluffs and saw Lee's new puppy. Well Lee wasn't there, but we didn't break in to meet her, Jillian showed her off.

Maggie models the very latest in puppy accessories.

Yes, she is about this adorable all the time.

Her name is Zonda (she wasn't named until Wednesday) and she is a 7-week-old Brindle Lab / Shepherd mix. She is very friendly and not too talkative, that's a good mix. When she finally fell asleep from all the playing, and Maggie and I left and went for a ride. I promptly got us lost on the east side of Council Bluffs. No fear, we found our way out and took the long way south to the Bellevue bridge. We grabbed some dinner from Imperial Palace (food good, service ... weird) and took it back to my place to eat. It was definitely more food than Maggie could eat, but I finished.

Tuesday morning I was pretty crabby at work, and then decided to take it out on myself running. At lunch I ran 3K in 20:01.9. At this pace I felt I could go farther, but I didn't want to push it much. I felt better, but then I got the tragic news that Kayleen had been killed in a car accident.

Kayleen was related to the Shannonites. She was 21. Although she was not someone who was in my inner circle of friends, I did like her and her sunshiney smile. I also (secretly) liked when my camera wandered off in her possession and came back to me with random pictures of flowers on it. The whole think made me pretty upset (for days) and has gotten me to reexamine the way I've been living my life. I ended up leaving work and going and hanging out with the Shannonites and other friends all afternoon and evening and we reminisced about Kayleen.

We took about four pictures at the same time as this, we couldn't coordinate whether we would both smile or look serious. This was the best of the group. I will miss you Kayleen!

Wednesday work began to slow down, and I managed to get caught up on work by the end of the day. I went home, wrote my blog, and the other shoe of the week dropped. I went for a late night walk my neighbor Frank, and he told me that his wedding was called off (this is on Facebook). Although this is not necessarily as devastating as the death of someone so young, it still hits pretty hard. I like both Frank and Lindsay, and was excited to have them living so near to us.

Thursday was also a day to stay home after work. By Friday, I was ready to go out. I went to the usual dance, and had a really good time. This was the third week with the new dance shoes, and I believe I danced much better with them this week than previous weeks. That combined with more energy left me feeling great. After the dance I came right home and went to sleep because I knew Saturday would be a busy, busy day.

Saturday I woke up, packed up, and headed off to the Iowa State Fair. We were meeting at the Hy-Vee at the Mall of the Bluffs in Council Bluffs to car pool. I went inside and bought a half dozen donuts for the group and went outside to wait for the group. Pretty soon there was Maggie, then Beth. Chris showed up, although I didn't know him until I just then. Then Kaleb's friend Julie, and finally Joe. Chris drove himself, Beth and Joe in another car, and myself and Julie with Maggie in her car. We got to Des Moines in fairly short order with only one stop. Parked downtown, and took a bus over to the fair.

First up at the fair, finding our tickets, I don't think the fair quite has electronic ticketing down yet. We finally found our tickets, and then headed in. We immediately headed over and get food, at fair prices, and I don't mean as in equitable. Maggie was the first to get food 'on a stick', cajun fried chicken, onions, and pickles. I think Beth would eat just about anything 'on a stick'. After lunch, the groups scattered.

First stop the model trains. I didn't like it was behind a plexiglass wall.
I did like the Werner Intermodal trailer(s).

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We then walked through and saw a large variety of animals.
It's one of my favorite parts of any fair.

At this point Maggie and I headed over to one of the side stages to meet Rae and Larry and see Jill and Scrappy's band, Exit 113. Joe was already there when we got there.

Jill recognizes her biggest Omaha fans!

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I danced to several songs with Rae and Maggie. Photo credit: Maggie

Maggie and I then walked the main strip, stopping only for a funnel cake.

By the time we walked to the other end, and through the midway
we were ready for a break.

Right about this moment. I looked up and saw Beth and Chris walking through the crowd right in front of us, since the listed Saturday attendance was 112,000+, so I had to see them at some point, not just coincidentally when we wanted to see them. We gathered them up and headed over to meet Joe and Julie at the prearranged meeting point, the butter sculpture contest.

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Three teams tried to create the best sculpture from a block of butter. Photo credit: Chris

It was a welcome break, and I may have slept for a few minutes. The sculpture contest was odd. The teams had 30 minutes to carve something out of butter, and evidently it is dangerous (people were bleeding), and there are no other rules. The winning team had preprinted letters that they used to attach to their 'sculpture' which didn't look like much at all. They got a $100, so I guess it worked. It was ride time after this, so we all headed over to the ride that we could all agree on, the giant slide.


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Julie, Maggie, and I went and saw more animals.
Joe and Beth headed to the midway for their own adventure.

We walked through the 4H craft displays, and then we were spent. We had to wait about fifteen minutes to get a bus back to the parking area, and then we headed back to Omaha. It was really nice to get some time to get to know Julie better. If you would like to see all my pictures from the Iowa State Fair, you can find them right here.

Once the three of us were back in Omaha, we all drove separately over to CJ's house for his celebration for getting his MBA. Julie and I had approximately the same idea when we got there ... eat. I did end up playing one game of Telestrations ... I must admit that this one was so raunchy that I may have been offended, which is so hard to do, so I just had to laugh at myself. I actually had another event to go to, a meteor shower party. Two things made me stop and rethink this plan. First, there was a huge, bright full moon that looked like it was going to swamp out any meteors, and more importantly, when 0030 rolled around I was just exhausted, so I headed home and to sleep.

Sunday 'morning' I went to church at 1230, then got busy with chores. In the afternoon I went for a walk with VK around Wehrspan Lake, and by around, I mean around. It was a long walk, so I had all kinds of time to hear about her trip to Norway. We then got dinner, and that was it for my week.

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