Friday, October 31, 2014

St. Louis Halloween and the Sneaker Phone

I drove the long trek back to St. Louis for some Halloween fun with the crew.

Here I am telling a likely fantastic pig joke. What's a pig's favorite color? Mahogany.

Later in the weekend Seago and I introduced Margaret to the wonders of the Goodwill Outlet. You know how normal Goodwill is too expensive and the products are way too well organized? Well Goodwill Outlet has fixed both of those problems. Random junk is pushed out on the floor of a warehouse inside dumpsters on wheels. You dig through it and find treasures that then cost 79 cents a pound. It's a magical place. I bought the Seago household an additional wedding present in the form of this handsome shoe phone.

This commercial will answer all of the questions you must be asking yourself about the Sports Illustrated Sneaker Phone.

The stars aligned: the phone actually worked and Seago actually has a land-line in his apartment. What a merry, merry Halloween for us all.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Very Tasty Hermann Oktoberfest

We did a little road trip over to Hermann, Missouri for their month-long Oktoberfest celebration. Hermann is a very German little town known for its wineries. They have nice bed and breakfasts but Oktoberfest is super popular and everything was booked. We decided to camp out in the municipal park like hobos and were walking distance from downtown and the wineries.

We headed over to Stone Hill Winery first which was an excellent choice. As far as I'm aware it's the biggest of the area's wineries and it has a very generous free tasting offering.

Well we tasted and tasted while waiting for our friends Zeke, Angela, Seago, and Margaret from St. Louis to arrive. We tasted so many that we sometimes had to taste the same ones over again. It was a very difficult but important job.

After eating some German food at Stone Hill we did another wine tasting at a different place that actually cost to partake in and was pretty crowded. I did not approve. Then we went to Hermann's Tin Hill Brewery and tasted their beers. We played beer pong and my enemies tasted defeat. Hurray!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Scuba Graduation Day

After a long day of classroom study and two classes in the pool, we were ready to demonstrate our SCUBA skills down deep over 2 days at Beaver Lake in Arkansas.

It was kind of chilly out which made getting in the water initially uncomfortable. It made for some pretty nice fog over the lake views though.

Our deepest dive took us down to 42ish feet which felt pretty impressive. I had some problems getting my ears to pop at first (which needs to happen every couple of feet while descending to equalize pressure) but after that things went pretty well. There were multiple safety skills that we demonstrated such as sharing air and so forth. My least favorite trick was taking my mask off and putting it back on underwater then trying to blow all the water out of it with my nose. It's hard work.

There was a sunken boat or two underwater that was fun to swim around and explore. There were a couple of curious fish down there as well which was funny. The visibility wasn't great but it was a lot better than I was expecting. I figured it would be mud dark under there for some reason. Both the fish and the visibility will be multiples better in the ocean which makes me really excited to try my new skills!

I also saw beer cans and fish hooks and all the other crap that you would expect down there. That was kind of a magical realization. I always felt that when someone drops something off a boat that it just ceases to exist, but it just enters a different little underwater world. Very cool.

Back at home I made soup inside little pumpkins. It looked better than it tasted but was so hip and seasonal.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jimmy Carter, the Newest Member of Phi Alpha Literary Society

Phi Alpha Literary Society's great benefactor Rep. Paul Findley brought President Jimmy Carter to be the latest speaker at the annual Phi Alpha lecture series. I tried to contact the actives and finagle my way into the pre-speech meet and greet to no avail.

I was already in Springfield so making the quick trip over to Jacksonville was no big deal.

And so I had to wait for Jimbo's big speech in a giant line with all of the lowly non-Phi "normals". It was degrading.

I almost didn't even make it in the building. It was packed to the gills.

Honorary Phi and Billionaire Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor gave a little pre-speech, as did Paul Findley.

I made the July 2010 issue of the Illinois College Quarterly last time Habtoor was in town. It's not a huge thing.

President Carter gives Phi Alpha a good shout-out in the first minute of his speech.

On my drive back to Springfield I caught up with Carter's convoy. There were a bunch of cop cars in it so I was too afraid to pass it. I ended up just stalking them all way back to town. After the time I saw Obama I have now seen 2 out of 5 of currently living presidents. Whoop whoop! What a random and fun day!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Seago's Wedding

My friends Jeremy and Margaret had the misfortune of letting me con them into being the officiant at their wedding. I am proud to announce that I am now an ordained minister of The Church of the Latter-Day Dude. It was also a nice chance to go to St. Louis and visit all my buds.

I wore a suit jacket over that mermaid camo shirt I bought for the Indy 500 and the cowboy boots I bought in Joplin. Boom. I command your reverence!

The ceremony and the reception were both held at Soulard Station which is a nice little venue made from an old gas station. I was super nervous and we hadn't rehearsed at all so I fumbled my lines once or twice. No one seemed to notice much though so I'd call it a success. Instead of bubbles or rice the crowd had Nerf pistols and blasted all of us after the ceremony. That part was pretty cool.

The Seagos beginning their lifetime of shared abuse.

Zeke and Angela were there. Zeke's shoulder turned out to be a good place to rest a soggy pretzel.

I think an otherworldly creature was trying to contact me through window-glare but I ain't got time for that.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Neosho Fall Festival

There was yet another shindig on the Neosho square: The Neosho Fall Festival!

The coolest part in my opinion was the History Alley thing supported by the Newton County Historical Society. There were cool exhibits and goings on all around the museum(that we visited last month here).

Apparently flour used to come in fancy patterned bags that women would then make into quilts and other stuff.

A nice older gentleman spoke to me at length about his clock collection. It was interesting, plus I felt good that he felt good.

Funny kids photo opportunity.

This guy was showing us how to make a log cabin.

My favorite entry in the scarecrow contest.

Letting people flavor their own shaved ice seemed like a good idea until the local bee population got word.

The fire department was open for visitors.