2008 Dec 28 | Christmas in South Dakota

I was at the Denver airport from 10am to 7pm. I checked out all of the little pamphlets on things to do in Denver, thinking I might want to rent a car or take a cab somewhere, but nothing really popped out at me and being must-see, so I just sat at the airport and read.

The sign says "closed during inclement weather." I don't really consider it only being a little cold outside "inclement;" it has to be a blizzard or something to justify a word like that.

I bought these gummy fish at an airport store. I noticed how expensive they were for the amount, even considering airport prices, but I decided to splurge a bit, so I handed them to the clerk price-tag up to demonstrate that I knew the price and was willing to accept it. Apparently every single other person had said they didn't want them after hearing the price, though, because she still asked me if wanted them, and when I said "yes," she kept staring at me like she was waiting for me to come to my senses and change my mind.

"Trash only." But really, once you throw something away, doesn't it automatically become trash? I can't think of a single thing that couldn't potentially be classified as "trash," at least to the person throwing it away.

The Denver airport puts up paintings and photos and other pieces of artwork done by Colorado artists, and this was one of my favorites.

I was going to make a joke about how poinsettias are poisonous and therefore this is really a giant poison tree, but apparently that's just an urban legend, so there goes my witty observation.

Think of the power one man had: he made literally billions of his fellow humans have to remove their shoes every single time they fly. It's pretty hard for a single individual to impact that many people, even in this day and age.

These wheeled chairs have handles on the foot rests, and I can't for the life of me figure out how you would ever use them.

The smaller carriers at the Denver airport are down on their own in this little corridor at ground level. It's absolutely freezing there most of the time, though, so I avoid it until right before my flight boards.

This, on the other hand, is one of my favorite spots in that airport. It's one of the elevated areas, and it's pretty much always deserted except for the occasional airport employee taking a break.

I was going to get this book, but my love of Stephen King was overruled by my hatred of first-person narration.

An interesting group of things in this guy's bag.

Selby just loves Hank. They played their mouth-bitey game for hours on end.

Yes, duct-taping your pants into your boots might look a little weird, but when it prevents having snow packed in around your feet for a few hours, it's worth it.

Hunting pheasants.

How does Ron always find the snow that's only a few inches deep while I have to swim my way through the waist-high stuff?

A reminder of why it's good to wear layers: we were pretty much all pouring sweat and out of breath after this one.

Riding in the back of the pickup with the dogs. As a plus, though, Hank is big enough for Ron to use as a wind break.

Why you don't wear your nice jeans hunting: the inevitable blood stains.

Family picture with hunters and huntees.

Big family picture.

The state capital in Pierre.

One of the blue stones.

And one of the white hearts.

One of the chambers.

Denver from the air.

Even though I completely understand why they do it, it always annoys me when bartenders or waiters give me back lots of small bills to make a tip with.

Oh, how nice, the only flight that's delayed is mine. And it's delayed over five hours. On the night before New Year's Eve, when I was hoping to get extra sleep rather than only a few hours.

Next time I'm bringing a hex set so I can unscrew the arm rests between seats at the airport and lay down to rest.

I camped out right by the customer service desk. That way, if they cancelled the flight, I could be the first one to try to get re-routed.

This messed with my mind a bit.

The fox picture had one little area around the eye that changed when you changed your viewing direction, so it looked like the fox was winking at you. It's a rather unnerving thing to see when you're wandering around an airport at midnight half asleep.

Our plane eventually got in, but they gave us $50 travel vouchers and $9 meal vouchers for the trouble. The only thing place was open that late in the airport was McDonald's, though. I'm sure they loved it; $9 times quite a lot of people who wouldn't otherwise have eaten there is a lot of money.