Quest Complete! Dann +6 XP get!

For those of you who have never seen The Man Who Knew Too Little, starring Bill Murray, this post will seem silly. To those who have, read on. On my way through Iowa I made it a point of stopping in Des Moines purely to get a photograph. Murray's character in the film, Wallace Ritchie, allegedly works at a Blockbuster Video in Des Moines, and states so rather emphatically and humorously. Hence, I had to get a picture at Blockbuster Video, Des Moines, Iowa. And here it is.
And here is business card proof.


Life in OKC, '08

Yesterday I drove from Hutchinson, Kansas, down to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In total I think I drove about 4 hours or so. Not bad. The main reason I decided on Oklahoma City was to see the memorial for the 1995 bombing. In addition to that memorial, it turns out OKC has a fantastic downtown public library, from which I am now posting. I can get a 2.5MB/sec Wifi connection here. Here we see the city skyline.The memorial. This pond is maybe a quarter inch deep. The arch at the far end reads 9:01 and the arch directly behind the camera read 9:03, the minutes before and after the 9:02 blast.
Metal chairs are erected across the pool, one for each of the 168 victims. The chairs rest on transparent cubes...
...which are illuminated at night, giving the chairs a floating, ethereal feel.
Unrelated to the memorial is this rather clever piece of advertising.
Oklahoma City marks the first time that I actually used the couch in my van for sleeping. Every other night I've been indoors on someone's couch or another comfortable horizontal piece of furniture. I'd like to report that my couch can be described as "suitable for sleeping on". Also experienced in my van was something that scientists are calling "too damn hot with too few windows".

More on this at 10.


Waterloo, IA, '08

The highlight of hanging out in Waterloo was spending all of Wednesday participating in flood cleanup with Samaritans Purse Disaster Relief. We set out at 7:30 am and were home by 6pm. The majority of the day (all but about an hour) was spent at this little house. I cut and removed drywall from the first floor until lunch, and the entire afternoon was spent washing and bleaching the walls of the basement, upon which quite a bit of sediment had built. The day ended with myself and two others removing soaked insulation and cleaning mica and gravel sediment out of a cubby hole.
The view of most of the appliances removed.
The sediment and insulation we removed.
My buddy Steve and I after a hard days work.
Another highlight of my stop was rediscovering Lite-Brite. Originally selling for $6.99 (without lightbulb), this is one of those toys that always seemed a staple at any host family's house at which I stayed while traveling during my early elementary years.
This is apparently supposed to look like Mr. Potatohead, the policeman.

I also went put-putting at 9pm one evening with Steve, who trounced me.

On to Des Moines!