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I enjoy idiomatic expressions. One of my favorite, that I do not personally hear enough in day to day conversations is:
“a dog’s breakfast”
The Cambridge Dictionary defines the term as: something or someone that looks extremely messy, or something that is very badly done.
Equally interesting is where the term came from. The Phrase Finder says: This is a 19th century phrase. The origin is uncertain, although most of the earliest uses of it originate from England. An early example was printed in the London journal The Referee, November 1878 in a review of a play:
There is enough material for fourteen comedies crammed into its three acts, and the good things are flung together in a heap like a dog’s breakfast.
The allusion in this metaphorical expression is to the omnivorous nature of dogs and the messy variety of things they might eat given the opportunity. This is not to be confused with ‘ a dog’s dinner’ which has a related but significantly different meaning. [Dressed or displayed in an ostentatiously smart manner.]
Just goes to show that much can change between breakfast and dinner.
I think very little good comes from social media. When I started teaching, one of the great pieces of advice I got was to get off social media. It is certainly nice using the time you spend on places like Facebook to be more productive.
All that being said, I am going to try Mastodon for a bit.
I participated in a CW QRP event! Why not? It was actually a pretty good time.
The event: The Zombie Shuffle
The whole purpose is just to have fun. They are not looking for speed racer code operators and everyone is welcome.
The exchange is the best:
(2) your states
(3) a Zombie number, which is east to get. Or you can just use your area code.
(4) your Zombie name. This is the best part. You can just pick your own Zombie name being as creative as you want.
I had a total of 13 contacts (that’s pretty spooky in and of itself). Some of the fun names I worked were: Grim, Creepy, Gorigor, The Thing, Itt (as in Cousin Itt), Elvis, and Booger.
Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming. Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota.
Sunday, July 24th – Left Devils Tower. Bits of rain. Easy drive on I-90. Stopped in Deadwood, South Dakota at Family Dollar for bread and ice. They had neither. Arrived at the Mount Rushmore KOA – that place is like a circus. Dropped the trailer and headed to Mount Rushmore.
Was able to squeeze in a 3pm and 3:30pm ranger program. Helped us understand why the memorial was built and how. The girls finished their Junior Ranger books.
It was pretty emotional for me to complete our last “park” of the trip.
… what a Summer!
Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota. Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming.
Friday, July 22nd – Toured Wind Cave. Once we entered the cave and started to descend, Emily was scared at first but then was ok. After the tour, the girls finished up their Junior Ranger books and received their badges for Wind Cave.
The day started getting hot. The expectation was temps into the upper 90s. I had gotten a prime parking spot in front of the Wind Cave Visitors Center which allowed me to connect to their wifi. I used the wifi connection to make reservations at the Devils Tower KOA. The heat made me want to camp at a location where we could make use of our air conditioner.
We left the Elk Mountain Campground around 1pm. Elk Mountain Campground is a good place to camp if the weather had been a bit more cooperative. I was disappointed in the lack of any substantial Ranger-led evening program.
It was a nice drive in a northeast direction through a national forest to I-90 where we were only on I-90 to go up one exit. Checked into Devils Tower KOA (located immediately outside the monument) and had some food across the street at the trading post. Ended up getting a pull-thru site next to another ham (KF5SA). He has an HF station mounted inside his trailer.
Quick trip up to the visitors center to get Junior Ranger books (from Ranger Erin Cahill). Attended evening program at the campground amphitheater which was blown out by bad weather into the picnic area.
Tuesday, July 19th – Coulter Bay Village, Grand Teton National Park.
Took showers at the facilities here at Colter Bay. Not as nice as Canyon or Grant Village. Ate breakfast at the full restaurant across from the marina. Dropped Christa off at the airport.
Road our bikes to the Colter Bay Visitors Center; saw a documentary about the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone at the Colter Bay Visitors Center. Shopped at the bookstore and bought a Sibley’s book on trees, a book by the Muries and a National Park book.
After lunch we attended a program by D.G. House, a Native American artist, who talked about “ledger art“. She was a very dynamic speaker and spoke to the clash of civilizations between the American Indian and the expanding United States.
Had ice cream from the General Store (a recommended daily activity).
Power went out. Everywhere. Heard over the Ranger frequency that it was a major power outage in Idaho. Started to read the book by the Muries.
Hot dogs for dinner. Attend the 7pm amphitheater program about bears (Ranger JJ, Steve Martin look alike). We then decided to go out and look for wildlife. After striking out at Oxbow Bend and Willow Flats, a tip from the ranger frequency led us near Pilgrim Creek where we saw a black bear bounding between the tree line and meadow.
Wednesday, July 13th – Grant Village, Yellowstone National Park. 9:30am Overlook Hike lead by Ranger Miles Augur. We left from West Thumb and started hiking up into the hills overlooking Yellowstone Lake. We ended up hiking through a group of about 8 elk. Perhaps the most amazing experience of the entire Summer.
Trip to Old Faithful General Store to restock. Not a great selection, but not many other alternatives.
Canyon Village, Grant Village, Yellowstone National Park
Monday, July 11th – I have been regularly using my VX-8GR handheld to listen to the local NOAA weather radio station. The weather forecast last night was pretty grim. Temperatures dropping. Snow. Snow? In July? Yes. I decided to spend Sunday night packing up. Sarah helped me put the bikes on the station wagon. We put away the folding chairs and rolled up the awning. I had really been enjoying our campsite at Canyon (J200). The Canyon campground is huge. The camping sites are nice – lots of trees and separated at a good distance. Quiet. Canyon also has laundry facilities and showers. Both worked out well. They even have over sized washers and dryers for sleeping bags and comforters. But it was time to move. We’d been here over a week.
We woke up to light snow. It wasn’t really sticking to the ground but the temps were way down. We broke down the remainder of camp and head out. We made use of the campground’s dump station and then made the short drive out down to Grant Village. They have a full-service gas station were I was able to fill up my propane canister. After it was filled, I kept smelling gas. I didn’t know if the canister was leaking or I had some type of line leak. Eventually the smell dissipated.
While I enjoyed Canyon campground, Canyon Village is too busy. Lots of people, lots of craziness. Grant Village is the opposite. The campground is not as nice. Less trees. Sites are a bit closer together. But the village part is low key. Much less people. The visitors center at Grant is not as fancy as the one at Canyon. But the ranger programs at Grant Village were a lot more personal. There is a book shop at the visitors center. A daily ranger program on the back deck, one down near the water, and one at their amphitheater.
Grant also has a very large general store (just a bit smaller than the one at Fishing Bridge). Attached the store is a counter-service eatery with your standard fare (although they make an effort to have healthy choices). The eatery includes ice cream, served by the scoop. My favorite was called Moose Tracks. There are also two restaurants. One is somewhat fancy and requires reservations. The other is right on the lake and serves an Asian fusion menu. Emily acquired a liking for potstickers. Both the girls became intrigued with chopsticks.
Did I mention the ranger programs? We attended a few on the back porch of the visitors center. There were others that took place down by the lake that where meant for young families. Always great topics. Then we would go to the evening programs at the amphitheater. Fairly quickly, all the rangers at Grant Village began to get to know Sarah and Emily. Both really enjoyed participating in the programs – raising their hands to answer questions. My favorite evening program was about the history of the US Army running Yellowstone.
Backporch ranger program with Ranger Miles about bison.
Movie in the visitors center on the Yellowstone forest fire.
Ranger program near the lake was about bears and bear cubs.
Evening program with Ranger Miles about the history of wolves in Yellowstone.
We got to know the rangers so well, we knew all of them by name:
Thank you Rangers!
Friday, July 8th – Canyon Village, Yellowstone National Park.
Day trip to Cody, Wyoming. We got on the road later than we should have. We took the road out of the east entrance to Yellowstone. I had never been on this road before. The east entrance appeared to be a good way to pull a travel trailer into the park, but probably not out. The trip was about 90 miles and took around two and half hours.
The big attraction in Cody is the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. You can’t swing a dead cat west of the Missouri River without hitting something connected to Buffalo Bill. But the Buffalo Bill Center is the place to go to learn about ol’ Bill. We got here a too late to take advantage of everything there is to see. This is definitely on the list to return to see again. I honesty think you could spend two days seeing it all.