Spring Break In South Dakota

I was very excited when planning this particular spring break vacation since it would be the first time since all of my kids were very young that we would be all together for a vacation. Why pick South Dakota for spring break? Excellent question. The answer is actually pretty simple, my oldest daughter could not afford to go anywhere so we decided to go be tourists in South Dakota so we could all be together once again. I have deep roots in South Dakota to say the very least. We will get into that later and in other posts as well since that is very interlaced in our vacation because itnwasnt just a vacation it was also a trip down memory lane for me as well. First and foremost our trip was to see our one and only granddaughter. If it hadn’t been for Skype and cell phones I very well would have missed the first 2 1/2 years of her life since the last time I saw her in person was the day of her birth.

So, every vacation begins with the trip, and since I don’t fly, we drive, everywhere. Speaking of which, a brief note, the odometer in my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder flipped 100k on our drive back into town. Anyhow, we left late in the afternoon on Friday 07 March 2014 to begin our 1345 mile trek to our hotel in Deadwood South Dakota. With a gas stops, restroom breaks, and eating breakfast in York Nebraska, we made it in just shy of 24 hours. Yes we drove straight through and yes I drove most of it myself. Since I am not a great passenger I don’t sleep in a moving car. But, a rest from the wheel for 1-2 hours is just as recharching for me personally. Watching the weather the days prior we knew it was going to be a chilly drive as we were headed into a cold front. But, nothing prepares one for 7 degrees with 40 mph winds when getting gas at 3 in the morning. That shit will wake your ass up in a hurry. Surprisingly, the weather at our destination was quite nice and real similar to what we left behind in Texas, minus the 87% humidity. Although, in my opinion, the weather went down hill from that point forward. All and all it was a pleasant drive up there and luckily, we were very lucky, there were no incidents. I will get into it more but the wife and I thought we would have time to gamble a bit (something we rarely do) since the Fairfield Inn was connected to Cadillac Jack’s Casino. Little did we know until checking in that we would get $25.00 per adult per day in Cadillac Cash to spend at the casino. And the room, it was a steal for us, we got upgraded to a $729.99 per night suite and still only had to pay the obligatory contracted $9.00 per night. Yes, we have friends (family) in the Marriot hotel business so it makes traveling great for us. So, moving on…….

After checking in we went to visit my daughter so we could all get something hot to eat for a late dinner. Have I ever mentioned that I was looking forward to my first hello hug from my granddaughter? It was way better than I could have ever imagined it to be. It was wonderful and I really didn’t want to let her go. But I did, I shared, didn’t want to, but I did it anyway. We ate, we colored, we talked, we planned,new reminissed, and the we said goodbyenfornthe night. I personally didn’t want it to end but when the baby says its time then its time. Since my daughter was working Sunday most of the day we decided to make it a “rest day”, stay close to the hotel, and just do a little sight seeing in Deadwood. See, one of the pitfalls of this room was that I this 45 minutes from my daughters house. We woke up late, around 9 or so, got showered, and grabbed the local map to do a little sight seeing. First stop was Mt. Moriah Cematary where Wild Bill and Calamatty Jane are buried. After which I showed everyone where Wild Bill was killed. I know the history of this area real well so I got to play tour guide most of the trip. Now, I don’t want to sound like I am complaining, because we did come to a touristy spot in the “off season”, but the amount of things and places that were “closed for the season to reopen mid-May” became a personal joke for our family on this vacation.

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So, let me give y’all a rundown of what we did or attempted to do each day. Now, for me the closures were no big deal since I have seen all of these things many times before. Deadwood was just that, dead. The casinos were open, some gift shops were open, but things like the Adam’s House, the wineries, and the majority of the tourist like gift shops were closed. We went to Mt. Rushmore, a national landmark, and 90% of the trail was closed. One could walk down under the noses but no further and had to turn around the way we came. We also drove through Keystone, figuring Mt. Rushmore was a bust, and all but one store was closed, not even a restaurant of any kind was open. No, there was not a contingent back up plan, who expects a national landmark and park to be closed. We also attempted to visit Custer State Park, the main route (the paved road) was closed off, diverting drivers off onto the back maintenance roads. On top of that, the buffalo we did see were mere specs when viewed through high powered binoculars. Now, that was disappointing. Then, we went to the biggest tourist trap in South Dakota, Wall Drug. Of course, the “Backyard” where all the really cool stuff hides, was closed.

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There was excitement however, one night we were at my daughter’s house where I cooked them a nice meal, well all of us, and when we left to go to the hotel it was only raining, but in the mountains it was snowing like a sonofabith,nso much that overnight we got over 8″, which is allot for this Texas boy. But, that is where experience pays off for me so it wasn’t as hairy as one might be thinking. The way luck was having it we decided to go for a drive to see ifnincould find the house in Black hawk that my parents finished building the summer of 1968 and where I lived until I was 6 when we moved to Texas. The answer is yes, I did find it, but that is a post in itself. On the way out of town, to return to Houston, we had plans to spend the night in Sioux Falls, my oldest daughter joined us because vacation wasn’t over quite yet. For the first time ever, all of my kids will see where my dad is buried, none of them have ever been there, and my son has always wanted to see his namesake. This will be a post of its own as well, just know it was the highlight of the entire trip. Since we had to leave via Mitchell South Dakota and my daughter had to drive through it to get back to Rapid City, we decided to visit the world’s only Corn Palace, surprise, open for business as well as everything else in the little town. We also took a short side drive to see the house my grandparents built in the 40’s and it is also where both of them are buried.

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Then that was it, the hardest part came, saying goodbye to everyone. That part sucked worse than I could have possibly ever imagined, to put it mildly. Afterwords we did indeed begin the trek home, a long quiet trip that consisted of me driving while drowning out my sorrows with music playing to the max in my headphones. The snow, wind, ice, and rain made sure I stayed awake for the entire trip. Other than that, it too was uneventful. So, there is my spring break vacation to South Dakota in a nutshell. Stick around in the very near future because I have many expanded stories to tell that were merely mentioned today.

The Blonde With The Hip Tattoo

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First of all I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the people who continuously support The Magic Weekend in my efforts to share the fantastic stories of your weekends. It has been fun to watch the evolution of this particular segment of The Sting Of The Scorpion. The unfortunate part of my role here is I have to weed through and moderate the flow of stories that hit my e-mail. I spend so much time reading that it cuts into my time I could be posting these stories and then throw in a little life, well you get where I’m going with this, it becomes a time issue for me. As well, many of the great stories come without picture proof and their candidacy automatically gets dropped out of the hat, which sucks, because some of them are really good. On the other extreme end of that is that I get e-mails with a butt-load of pictures, really good pictures, but have very little story if any. Now, I don’t know why people don’t reply back to me when I request more information but that is the way it happens, y’all send the first e-mail and forget all about it. Then we have the perfect combination of story and pictures which y’all will see today. Now, let it be known that there were more pictures and the use of those pictures were approved but due to the nature of the pictures they will not make it into this post. Y’all will understand why later I hope.

This weeks story comes from Jason, a University of Houston student with an undisclosed major, who has lived in the Houston area his whole life. For the most part he lived on the fringes of the city and when he got accepted to the University of Houston he moved into the city to cut down on his commute considerably. Where he lives puts him only 4 miles from school and also just a few miles from work. He states he works at a book re-sale shop in his off time to help offset the bills. On most days he makes his commute to UH on his bike but on days with really crappy weather he is forced to take the bus. As was the case a few Thursdays ago, typical Houston weather, the weather man said sunny and clear all day but rained most of the day. It’s like the weather has a mind of its own or the weatherman never looks out of his window, take your pick. So, let’s get started so everyone can see what his story has in store for us. Y’all can be the judge, does it have sex, jail, money, blood, or fame?

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I have read your blog for some time now, it used to be my dirty little secret that I would look at when I knew nobody was looking because I never knew what you might be showing, but I always knew I would be liking it. The Magic Weekend is one of my favorite sections because it’s true the real life just happens before our eyes without us having to do a thing in return. I realized that after what had happened to me over the last few weeks that I just might have something for your blog. A few Thursdays ago I was forced to ride the bus to class due to some really shitty weather. It wasn’t supposed to rain but of course being in Houston it did because the weather-men here suck ass. Nonetheless, I rode the bus to get to class instead of riding my bike. The bus was fairly packed, by packed I mean that the standing people had to hold on to other people standing in the aisle. I think the rain brought in the over-run of people because I have ridden the bus before and only a handful of people were riding. I’m lucky because my ride is really short. After a few stops the bus cleared out for the most part, the next stop being mine so I got my stuff together. As I was getting off the bus I looked down on one of the seats and noticed a nice cell phone. I looked around and didn’t see anybody around so I picked it up to give to the driver. The driver explained to me that he could not accept any lost items and if I wished to turn it in that I needed to do so at the campus police department. All I can think is this is great, now I get to babysit somebody’s phone until the afternoon because there is no time to go turn it in right away.

Almost immediately after getting into class the phone kept going off, call after call, text after text, and finally I just had to turn it off so there wasn’t any trouble with the instructor. I had a real heavy schedule that day so I was busy the entire day. My last class ran a little long and before I knew it I was in a rush to get to my part-time job. It was still raining so Instead of walking I went ahead and took the bus again. After getting lectured about timeliness and how there are thousands of kids who would like to have my job I was finally able to get to work. I have a simple job that takes hours every day. I sift through all the “bought” books to organize and place on the shelves. It’s time-consuming but it pays the bills for the most part. I worked a little overtime that day so I got out real late. The rain had stopped so I went ahead and walked home. After eating a late supper I decided to dig into my homework. As I emptied my bag the phone I found came tumbling out and I had my first “oh shit” moment of the night. When I went to turn it on I found that the battery was completed down so I plugged it in to my charger for a while so I could try to figure out who it belonged to. After a couple of hours of schoolwork, making it about 1am, I passed by the phone and noticed it was fully charged, so I unplugged it and decided to sit down and take a look. The damn phone had like 60 missed calls and just as many text messages. Whoever owns this phone is pretty busy with it. Once I went through the hundreds of contacts I found her contact information but the only thing it listed was her cell phone number. I looked through some of the texts to see who she texts the most because I was going to send that person a text letting them know to contact her with my information so I could get her phone back to her. I took a picture of the phone for “proof” and sent it to who was listed as “sister” in her contacts. I wrote “My name is Jason and I found this found which belongs to Ella on the bus this morning on the UH campus. Please contact her and forward her this number so I can get the phone back to her”. I sent the text from Ella’s phone with the above picture enclosed. I was expecting an immediate reply but it was just after 2am so I wasn’t holding my breath.

Out of both boredom and curiosity I started snooping in her phone a bit, just to be nosey while I waited. One of the first pictures I saw was of this blonde girl with a tattoo on her hip. I couldn’t tell if she was wearing a bikini or what it was. She seemed to be pointing at her hair, bed head would be my guess. There were hundreds of pictures of this particular tattooed girl on this phone. I began to wonder if this was Ella. Out of all of the pictures only a handful were of this girl with clothes on. Most of them were of her topless and many times bottomless. This was quite a bit to take in all at once. I hit the bed around 4am and went right to sleep, dreaming all night of the blonde girl with the hip tattoo. Who was she? That morning there was a text on Ella’s phone from contact “sister”. All it said was that she went to Ella’s apartment to tell her about her phone. She wasn’t home so she had to stick a note on her door. When Ella gets in contact with her then she will let me know. Okay, I will wait. A few days went by, 6 to be exact, and finally a text back from sister telling me that Ella will be calling me from this number when she gets over to her, please be looking out for it. For 2 more days there was nothing, I carried her phone everywhere I went, she got many texts and many calls, but not from the sister’s number. I was sitting out on my patio doing some homework when the phone rang, it was from the sister phone number. I answered it of course. An angel’s voice asked me if I was for real and I really had her phone. I told her obviously because I am talking on it. We arranged for me to return it to her at a little pizza pub not to far from my apartment. I asked how I would know who she was and how would I recognize her from everybody else. She replied by telling me to go to the photos in her phone and look for the blonde girl with the tattoo on her hip. I didn’t tell her that we had been fucking in my mind for more than a week now because I was already in lust with the blonde girl with the hip tattoo.

I got to the pizza pub right on time. I waited around a bit and finally I saw her walk through the door. She looked amazing in person. I walked up to Ella and introduced myself. Then, being sneaky, I said she looked allot like the girl I have seen on her phone but could she prove it by showing me the tattoo on her hip. She took my arm and led me to a booth, sat me down, and she remained standing in front of me. She looked around a bit, waited for two people to pass us by, then slowly unbuttoned her jeans, slid them down a bit, and exposed the tattoo. Then she asked if I was satisfied. I guess that will do. She sat down next to me, really close, and I handed her the phone. She asked me to hold on a minute and let her check texts and messages because she really wanted to talk to me. Which was fine with me because I was somewhat mesmerized with her every movement. She took all of 3 or 4 minutes and she was done, now it was my turn I guess. She took ahold of my hand with both of hers and asked what she could do to repay my patience and kindness. Tell the truth, a payment option never crossed my mind so I had to tell her to let me think on it for a bit, let’s eat something and that should give me time to think. Then, I hatched my plan, I told her that “if” she could cook that I would like a home cooked meal in my apartment. She told me that she thinks that can be arranged and we set the date for this past Saturday. I gave her my address and phone number and we parted ways right there. I watched her walk out the door, it was just like in the movies, hot girl walking out the door with the lights coming through the glass to illuminate her shape as she disappears into it. I needed to get home, I needed to clean up my pig pen because there was no way she was going to see it like it was, and I only had two days. I don’t think I have actually cleaned my apartment once in the 2 1/2 years I have lived there. Tells you allot about my lack of social life and entertaining.

Shortly after 8pm Saturday evening there is a light knock on my door. I tried to move slow to not give away my anticipation but I nearly tripped over the end table getting to it as fast as I did. I opened the door and Ella stood before me, as beautiful as I remember her to be. She asked if it would be okay if we had one more for dinner because her sister really wanted to meet me as well. Before I could nod, or comment, or move, her sister walked up to the door. Holy fuck! They are twins! I must have had a stupid shit eating grin on my face because the two of them just giggled as the walked by me. After I picked my jaw up off the floor I turned to close the door. They were both carrying grocery bags so I’m thinking this ought to be one hell of a dinner they were going to be preparing. I was instructed to remain in the living room and to never come into the kitchen unless I was called. All I can think now is that they are serial killers and they are making me a poisonous last meal. As much as my imagination was running away from me I was able to remain focused, for the most part. After about an hour I was instructed to have a seat at the kitchen table (sadly it is a folding card table, but I have 3 chairs) and remain with my eyes closed until told otherwise. I could hear them moving around me, I could smell their perfume beginning to mix in with the smells of something I was guessing to be Italian, and they both continuously brushed me or set a hand on my shoulder as they moved by. One of them placed a napkin very gently, but firmly on my lap for me. I heard them take their seats, one on either side of me, and I heard the magic words, “open your eyes now please”. Talk about an amazing first view after opening my eyes, both of them were sitting extremely close to me on both side and both of them were completely naked, oh, and , yea, I was right, they had prepared lasagna. Wow, I mean it is hard to put into words what I was feeling. And the kicker, they both have the identical tattoo but on opposite hips, how weird is that. No wonder I didn’t know there were pictures of both of them when I thought I was only looking at one of them. They served all three of us, we had wine as well, and we sat there and ate. They both were in charge of conversation and we talked about really nothing but I was enjoying the conversation 100%. When the meal was done, they cleared the table, told me to go have a seat, and they went to the kitchen where I could hear them doing dishes. I know, right, bonus!

They both came out and sat on both sides of me on the couch. I asked what was going on, not that I minded, but this all seems way to good to be true. Grace, the “sister” started by saying she knows I went through all the pictures on Ella’s phone so I have already seen both of them naked multiple times so they just wanted to skip all the formalities. They did say that there was nothing sexual going on here and there would not be anything sexual going to happen, not yet. So, we sat there into the wee hours of the morning talking, drinking wine, and getting to know each other, just the 3 of us. They volunteered to take as many pictures as I wanted just as long as I promised they would never make it onto the internet, ever. I agreed. Then, they got dressed and that was it, they were gone. I knew I had to send this story to you the next morning but I had one problem, no pictures. Problem solved, I called Ella and Grace and they sent me a number of pictures which I am forwarding to you, so I hope some of them at least will be used. And that’s it, hopefully the three of us will remain “friends” and keep in close contact.”

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Two of the pictures to be exact were usable here for this story. However, I didn’t mind Jason sharing all the rest as well. So, let’s review the criteria. Was there sex? No, but there was nudity. Was there jail? No. Was there blood? No. Was there fame? No. Was there money? Not exactly, but there was a reward and in my book that counts in this category. I look forward to any follow up there may be because if there is I’m sure it will be pretty interesting to say the very least. I hope y’all enjoyed Jason’s story and will return to see more. Which makes me want to ask all of y’all, what did y’all do this weekend? Sex? Jail? Blood? Money? or Fame? E-mail The Sting Of The Scorpion with your fantastic tale and be sure to include many pictures, because without pictures it’s probably bullshit anyway.

Observations In Weekend Ramblings

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I spend quite a bit of my time in my shop doing different things that need to be done. I don’t think I have ever shown any pictures of where I do so much. I had run to the hardware store to get a few things I thought I would be using Saturday. When I came back my attention was drawn to my driveway. I wondered to myself when it started looking so bad. Why it looks so bad I can answer because I drive allot of heavy stuff across it on a regular basis. I never thought I would be needing to re-do the driveway anytime soon. I have had repairs to it done earlier this year because my truck was wider than the drive in spots. I made the mistake of getting by with what I needed versus spending the money and getting what I wanted. Why do we do that? I actually took the picture to send to my wife to let her know I was going to get quotes to have the drive redone. She replied with whatever I want to do is fine with her and she doesn’t see any problem with the way it is. But, when it was a gravel road she hated it and now that the asphalt is getting tore up she is fine with it. This is an area where we always disagree and probably always will. Sadly I let this conversation with my wife distract me from what I was actually on my way to do. It happens on occasion, I see things I want to get done, they get put on the “list” and sooner or later might get done. I try to keep my list in check but there are times it gets blown out of proportion. The purpose of this particular weekend was to just relax, stay off my foot, and continue to recover. But, eventhough my wife and kids were out-of-town I just couldn’t sit still and do absolutely nothing, it’s not who I am and it’s pretty much impossible for me to be still.

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When I got out to my shop I was reminded again that I need some kind of pad around the building because it gets a little messy getting in and out at times. Trust me, it’s on the list. This weekend was no different, we got a fair share of rain. Luckily for me, the ground around the building drains pretty well and really fast. Maybe that is why it is always on the back burner. I figure I will probably take the time to grade it out and do it all in gravel sometime this winter. I could do it now but my clutch foot is still full of stitches. I found it was sort of a mistake to drive something with a clutch when I took my truck in for an oil change before running errands to get what I needed. I never knew how much I depended on being able to use my left foot. It’s a challenge to drive but also a challenge to walk. Forget picking anything up heavier than a pillow as I found out. Maybe I should have just planted my but on the couch in front of the television this weekend. There’s time for that later. I’m here now. I’ve returned from the hardware store. I have what I need now and it is time to focus and get it done.

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At the beginning of the summer I was given some re-claimed cypress planks from an old house that was torn down a few miles from here. I accepted the wood as payment for helping out doing a bit of tractor work for the guy doing the demolition. He got his truck stuck and he had walked to the back of my property and noticed I was down by the creek and asked me to help him out. There wasn’t much of the cypress wood to salvage but there was enough, I found, after cleaning it all up, to make two doors. This picture does no justice to the size of them since each one of them are 36″ x 84″. They were actually purpose-built, I had the full intention of using them here on my building to replace both of the single person entrance doors which are metal. However, as I get them done I wonder if it is what I really want to do with them. Do they deserve to be more than just shop entrance doors? I took the picture and sent it to my wife for her opinion and she asked me what in the hell I was doing working and why I wasn’t resting. That wasn’t the answer I was looking for but it was the answer I received. So, there they sat for the remainder of the day, staring at me in a way that I could feel the doors asking me if I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do then why did I do it. Valid question I guess, even if it was from the doors. Perhaps the fumes were getting to me. They aren’t finished yet anyway because I don’t want to completely finish them until I know what they will be used for. Maybe I can just cut my losses of indecision and just sell them, I’ve done it before, made things for the house and decided that it wasn’t what I was looking for. I have began to ask myself why I do it in the first place. Still waiting on the answer by the way.

I spent the rest of the day straightening up my shop, putting things away, and sweeping the floor for the most part. I tried not to move anything because I really don’t want to muck up my foot after 2 1/2 weeks of nursing it back to health. All I know is the sutures come out Wednesday morning if the surgeon “feels” they are ready to come out.  Anyway, I happened across some boxes I had put out in the shop over a year ago that should have made it into the attic but ended up in the corner instead. It goes to show I get sidetracked very easily. There was no need to look into the boxes because I knew what was in them. Fortunately they weigh about 100 pounds a piece so they get to stay where I found them. I piddled around in the shop for the remainder of the day. Around dark-thirty I get a text from my wife letting me know they where home and that the gate was stuck open again. So, I closed up shop, jumped on my ATV, and headed up to the gate to see what was up. As I suspected, the linkage had become undone again. I guess it is time to go ahead and replace it this time instead of the band-aid repairs I have been giving it over the last year. Quite honestly I had completely forgot about having it fixed since I personally haven’t had problems with it. But, I had to do another band-aid fix this time and will mess with taking it off tomorrow to have a new one made at the place I bought it from originally. On my trek back up to the house I decided to skip going down to the shop to put my tools up. As I rode up the asphalt drive it hit me again that I didn’t put on my list to get a quote for the replacement of it. Pretty soon I think I need to chuck the list in a bucket and set it on fire. I don’t know why I do lists anymore because I don’t follow what I can’t keep up with. Well, I figure that sooner or later it will all be done. When I get to the house I was informed that I need to light the grill, which was good because I was beginning to wonder what was dinner.

And, by the way, I have decided to sell the doors. I decided this while I was cooking and thinking I was not looking forward to doing a swap out. I will put them up on craigslist later. Meanwhile, if anyone is interested just shoot me an e-mail. Price? the price will completely be based on who is wanting to buy them. Amazing how a little smoke can clear the clouded mind!