I was watching a TV show the other day, and one of the characters said, “I’ve got good news and bad news. Which would you like to hear first?” They (obviously) chose the bad news. Duh. Does anybody ever pick the good news first? I’m the kind of guy who likes to end on a high note. When I’m eating dinner (or breakfast, or lunch), I save the best bite for last. I will save the crispiest cheese skirt, the juiciest bite of meat, or the maraschino cherry for the very end. I think that’s a universally human experience, but I could be wrong. Please enlighten me: are you a good news first or bad news first person?
I’m currently reading one of the most disturbing books I have ever come across. Even more so because it’s non-fiction: Midnight in Chernobyl. There’s a popular HBO miniseries based on the book, but my understanding is that the pay-TV version mixes fact and fiction. I wanted the real skinny, so I “checked out” the book from the library (90 percent of the books I read are on my Kindle, so this involves the Libby app (far superior to Overdrive IMHO) and a Wi-Fi connection) and dove in. It’s a weighty read, chock full of nuclear physics early on, but holy shit…once you get to the actual explosion in Reactor 4, it’s un-put-downable. So terrifying, in fact, that the first night I started reading it, I had dreams about fires and radiation and nuclear fallout.
Fun stuff, lemme tell ya.
But it’s fascinating. I’m only 20 percent in—like I said, this bugger is a long read—but totally hooked. Out of curiosity, I Googled Chernobyl (spoiler alerts be damned!) and learned that there is a bustling tourism trade involving illicit trips to the exclusion zone. Tourists venture into Pripyat (now a ghost town) and other cities that were evacuated in 1986 and, no shit, post selfies on Instagram. ‘Tis true; I’ve seen them. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Part of me applauds their bravado, the way they thumb their noses at Iodine-131 and other radioactive isotopes; another part of me thinks they’re fucking nuts. It’s a fallout zone, for god’s sake. Seriously?!
Nuclear energy is scary stuff. The fact that we haven’t managed to obliterate the human species while messing around with this stuff is nothing short of a miracle.
Yesterday, I went on a “content blitz” to Keystone with two coworkers. This was a great excuse to get out of the office and spend the day visiting businesses in the tourist town closest to Mount Rushmore, all in an attempt to drum up ideas for blog posts and social media campaigns. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I’ve got the best job ever.
Our day included iced caramel macchiatos; a successful putt at the Holy Terror miniature golf course; a visit to the National Presidential Wax Museum; a delicious lunch at Ruby House; a tour of the Big Thunder Gold Mine; and a drink at BaRLees before heading home. Granted, I took a solo trip to Keystone last month, but this was even better. We had an actual agenda, and the company paid for everything. Minus the t-shirt and chainsaw sculpture I bought, but whatevs. The best part is, we’re going to be doing these content blitzes every month, visiting various communities throughout the Black Hills to gather ideas for blog posts and promote local businesses.
The wax museum was probably my favorite stop. I’d never been to one before, and quite frankly, I was blown away by the realistic sculptures. It was impressive how they created not just figurines, but entire tableaus. And they weren’t all presidential figures.
It was such a fun day!
The only downside? One day out and about is one day less to work on my assignments, and things have been super busy lately. I’m not complaining; with so many people furloughed or laid off, too much work is better than the alternative.
But I’m thankful it’s the weekend. Tara and I are going exploring. It should be fun!