June 24th, 2009


vacation day 2: habitat, arena tour

yesterday I worked at the habitat for humanity site. it was exciting, I learned how to mud and sand and mud and sand some more. my hands hurt today. my feet and legs and hips hurt too. I think construction is a more rewarding workout than jogging... I might take it up instead. one of my fb friends said she might join me thursday morning which could be nice. I think we'll be moving on to exterior painting, so I'll have to sunscreen up like a crazy person, but it'll work out.

In the evening I went out a tour of the new downtown arena with SWE. a few years ago we had this big election to raise sales tax and buy an arena... I voted no. Which reminds me... I have a personal rule now on elections where I'm not totally sure which way to vote, and that's to vote for the side that looks like it has less funding. the arena was one of those... it was big commerce and organizations taking out billboards and radio ads vs. homemade signs saying we needed to spend money on other important things. but it passed, so we mowed down some neat old buildings south of douglas to build the Intrust Bank Arena.

Construction-wise it's impressive and I liked the tour. They didn't allow photos (photos do exist... here), but we got to walk all around places we'll never see again. Dressing rooms hot pink walls, huge locker rooms for sports events, the kitchen with gigantic freezers. The entryway has giant concrete columns and the limestone is from nearby Kansas towns. There's a bar & grill area at one end on the second level where you're suddenly in a world of brick archways, it feels cozy. We went into the private club-level rooms, and up onto the catwalk to go across the top of the arena. Yes, I'm hyper afraid of heights but it was a solid floor, not the grid kind you can see through, so that makes a world of difference. While we were there, the sounds of seats being bolted in was constant. Hundreds of rows. Seats are about 60% in I'd say, and guys are just working their way around. I bet it feels endless.

It's hard to tell if these construction guys are sick of giving tours or not. They said they give quite a few. I sure got jumped on when I started asking questions about the no photo policy... I was just curious if they were trying to keep stuff about the arena secret, or if photos slow down a tour. It seems we'll never know. I've been a tour guide at my work before. It's interesting... when you're showing off places that you don't personally go every day, it's fun. When you get streams of people coming in interrupting you... it varies. I'm always proud of what I do but sometimes it's hard to make people understand. The worst is bored high school kids, you want to get them really interested in engineering and tell them your job is cool but they're so jaded and hard to get through to. The big thing I was usually asked to show people was test benches, because we have setups for our avionics that replicate the cockpit setup and anybody can stand there and push buttons and have fun... high school kids are not as impressed as they should be.

Don't ask me why I'm awake before 6, by the way. It just happened. I'm trying to go back to sleep. I threw the guinea pigs an empty toilet paper roll, watched them chew on it, and now I'm looking at two very zonked-out piggies. I should be like that right now. My schedule is never quite right.

spacefem's Appalachian hiking twitter roundup

Is it wrong to spend too much time reading people's one-line shots at a vulnerable man? Probably. But I can't help it, and there are just too many good ones to re-tweet, I have to start a collection of the gold. Mark Sanford messed up, is in a bad spot, all that... but it wouldn't be so bad if he wasn't so pro "family values" that he felt the need to define marriage for the rest of the world. When we let these guys define marriage, it goes downhill... as we've seen today! So what can we do? Make fun of him. Here are my favorites:

@PeaceNerd Do Republicans oppose gay marriage because of the gay part, or the monogamy part?

@JeffParsonsDC Don't cry for me Appalachia, the truth is... I never hiked you.

@JasenComstock Sanford showed Miss Argentina his Resurgent Republican Pole.

@amansbach oh, mark sanford, what will you possibly do next to help improve south carolina's image as the best state ever?

@DougBenson Anybody up for some naked hiking in Argentina?

@sluggahjells Sanford didn't want stimulus, ran away from stimulus, to go to Argentina, to GET STIMULUS???

@Keithj Thanks a lot Gov Sanford. Now there is no way my wife will ever let me hike the AT.

@apetite Gov. Sanford from South Carolina: "marriage should only be between a man, a woman, and another woman from Argentina."

@martybeckerman D.C. Metro employees are relieved -- Gov. Sanford had the worst train wreck of the week

@TimotheosOK i wonder how many repubs were just happy that Sanford cheated with a woman...

@thinkhammer Sanford scandal is just one more example of a South Carolina job going to a foreigner.