I Am Not a Crook

Years ago, I created a Google alert. Any time my name is mentioned on the internet, I get an email with a link to the article. I did this so long ago I’d actually forgotten all about it, so I was pretty surprised when I received an alert on Saturday. I clicked on the article and was devastated to learn that I had been charged with one count of burglary after a break-in at a bar and restaurant in Barnsley, England, in which cash and alcohol were stolen.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I like cash and alcohol, and I imagine England is a pretty nice country. But I’ve never been there, and in the words of Richard Milhous Nixon, I am not a crook. I was immediately offended. How dare this impostor sully my good name! I’m an honest, law-abiding citizen, just minding my own business. And now some lowly two-bit British wanker is trying to ruin my reputation by ruining his reputation. The nerve.

I hope this other Mark P. at least had the good taste to abscond with a quality whiskey. And I hope the Barnsley Magistrate Court throws the book at him. If the guy goes on a crime spree, I’m going to be getting an awful lot of Google alerts in my In Box, and I’d rather not deal with that!

On a more positive note, the flooring guys finally finished up with the installation. They laid down the baseboard trim and covered up their carpeting snafu with extra bamboo. Both of those look really good. Not so good? The gouges they left in the kitchen floor from dragging the fridge across it, but that’s another story.

Our first official houseguests arrive this Friday – Tara’s dad and his girlfriend. We tried to talk them into visiting any time other than during the Sturgis Rally, but their schedule is pretty full, so it was either now or later next year. Oh, well – they have been warned! We’re pretty excited to show off our new home regardless.

Last night, we had the pleasure of meeting up with a blogging friend. Jess and her husband, Joe, are in Rapid City for a couple of days and wanted to get together. We have been reading each other for something like eight years now, but they live in Wisconsin, so the odds of ever meeting in person were slim. Until we moved to South Dakota, that is!

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We had a really nice time and enjoyed their company immensely. They are down-to-earth Midwesterners through and through, very friendly and easygoing, with a penchant for good beer (they are from Wisconsin, after all) and corny jokes. We met at Thirsty’s for dinner and drinks, taking advantage of a warm summer evening to sit out on the patio, and chatted the hours away. Afterward, we ducked into Press Start, Rapid’s old-school video arcade, for some gaming. We really wanted to stay longer, but alas, it was a school night and work beckoned for me and Tara today. We didn’t want to stay up half the night and end up dragging the next day, but – irony alert! – we ended up staying up half the night when a spectacular line of severe thunderstorms rolled through around 1:30 in the morning. The nonstop lightning, heavy rain, and very strong winds made sleep impossible for a couple of hours.

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Not a great shot at all, but this was the view from our bedroom window at 2 a.m.

As Midwesterners, I’m sure Jess and Joe are used to this type of weather anyway.

Here are some pics from my work-sponsored hiking adventure last Thursday. Told you this was my dream job!

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