Thursday, September 28, 2006

Top 5 South Dakota Attractions

This is a fun feature I plan to run every Thursday. I'll take a category and try to rate the Top 5. I'll mostly do South Dakota categories, but it won't be limited to just SD stuff.

Today's Top 5 is South Dakota Attractions.

Honorable Mention - Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

I had originally wanted to put this on the list, but it's only a week-long event as opposed to the others which are year-long attractions. But still, I wanted to acknowledge Sturgis as an important SD attraction.

5.) Wind Cave National Park

Out of all the places in the world, you'd never think of South Dakota as having a big, underground cave.

This place is cool. It's one of the only places in the world where you can find boxwork calcite formations.

4.) Wall Drug

My family went on many trips to the Black Hills while I was growing up. The goal of the trips was to see Mt. Rushmore, but I almost looked forward to some of the stops along the way even more. I still have fond memories of the animatronic Cowboy Orchestra.

3.) Badlands National Park

Growing up in the relatively flat southeastern part of the state, I've always had a fondness for places that aren't flat. So it comes as no surprise that one of my other favorite parts of trips to Mt. Rushmore were going through the Badlands. I swear, I could stare at that terrain forever.

2.) The Corn Palace

I have to admit that, when I was a kid, I thought the Corn Palace was silly. I don't know why, I just didn't like it. But it certainly is a unique attraction. So much so, that it averages 500,000 visitors a year. And I love that they use it concerts and other community events. Now that I'm grown up (kind of), I appreciate this landmark as one of South Dakota's treasures.

1.) Mount Rushmore

Was there ever a doubt about which attraction would be #1? Millions of people from all of the country and world come to Rushmore every year to pay homage to America's greatest presidents.

Is it weird that most of our major attractions are on the western end of the state?

Anyway, these are my picks for Top 5. Do you agree? Disagree? Care to suggest new categories for future columns? Don't be afraid to let me know!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Todd Epp's New Job

I just wanted to congratulate Todd Epp on his new job as legal and communications consultant for the South Dakotans Against Discrimination campaign. Todd's a great guy and that's a great cause.

The "New" Argus Leader

Starting today, the Argus Leader is going through a format change. They're making a lot of changes to the paper to supposedly bring it into the "digital age." How exactly do you bring a printed newspaper into the "digital age?" Are we now going to get floppy disks tossed on our front porches or would they send us a CD every day like AOL?

Some of the changes are pretty good. I'm looking forward to the Voices section. And I like that the first section is going to be much more focused on local news. And some of their ideas for online, interactive content sounds interesting.

But there are many things I'm not sure I like about this change. The first thing for me is moving the weather page. It was so handy to have in right on page 2. Then there's the Life section. They're turning it into a magazine-like thing. I don't like that idea. The paper usually comes with a lot of magazine-like things in the form of ads and USA Weekend and other things that I throw away. I'd prefer the Life section to match the other sections, but I'll give this a shot.

Another concern I have is just how much content they plan to leave for the website. I'd rather not see stories that say, at the end, "go online for more on this story." Many people aren't online, especially older people. My parents use the internet only for the basics like e-mail, Google and doing taxes. If they have a choice, they'd sooner stop subscribing to the Argus rather than be forced to read content online. So I just hope they're keeping that in mind when they do this.

We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Distractions... I Suck at Blogging

Is it really September? Wow.

I had such big plans for what I would do with this blog during the summer. I wanted to talk about important issue South Dakota would be facing in November. I had hoped to Spotlight some local people I support who are running for the legislature. I wanted to really get into a discussion on homosexuality and Christian faith. And I wanted to start Haggard Entertainment articles on movies, TV, music, video games, comic books, restaurants, internet culture and more.

I ended up being a lot busier than I thought I would be and I kept getting distracted from my plans. There was the Canton financial issues in June. Then I had a personal distraction in July. And I was out of town a lot in August. Not to mention traveling west river every other weekend to help my sister. And I spent way too much time fiddling with the blog layout.

And looking over my archives, a lot of things fell by the wayside. Anyone remember my Haggard Hero of the Week posts? I haven't done one on months. And at the beginning of June I started what I thought was a series of posts about "Taking Back Family Values" and it ended up being just like the movie "History of the World Part 1" since neither had a Part 2.

So what now? Well, my first step is to set up a schedule of weekly features so I'll have at least one new post each weekday. Like I can do the Haggard Hero posts on Fridays or something. I can't do much about distractions, but the schedule should help me keep on track if anything happens.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Amendment E Discussion on KSOO Tomorrow

I was listening to KSOO's Viewpoint University, as I often like to do, and the list of Thursday's guests was very interesting to me.

They will be interviewing Diana Miller, from the No on Amendment E group. It's scheduled for 5 PM Central time.

I can't wait to hear them pick apart JAIL and talk about how horrible this amendment would be for the people of our state. Everybody should tune in. It'll be fun!