Derrick Russell

 


SANDHILLS STATE PARK


After enjoying the fireworks on Friday I set off to see something I've wanted to check out since I was a little kid. The West Texas Sand Dunes. So I spent the weekend camping out at Monahans Sandhills State Park. It is about a half hour west of Odessa on I20 but it is like a whole other world. Within a mile of driving off the interstate you come across these giant several story tall sand dunes that look more at home in the Sahara than in West Texas. Not only is it one of the most picturesque places I've ever camped but it has nice amenities too. We had parking, a picnic bench, a cover for shade, a grill, plus water and electricity all just at our little campsite (and it only costs $14 to stay overnight!). You can hike for as long as want and even rent sleds to slide down the dunes. I've gone snow sledding up north many times but I don't think it even comes close to sledding down a giant sand dune. They have some great equestrian trails for horseback riding and a visitors center with a nice museum with the history of the dunes and a watching station where you can check out the local birds and wildlife getting water. Or can just sit, relax, crack a cold one, and watch the sand blow over the tops of dunes. It is just crazy to think that if the park service wasn't around to maintain everything everything that was built at the park center would be completely covered in sand in just a year or two.

I highly recommend Sandhills State Park for weekend excursions, and I'm glad I finally got to see the dunes with my own eyes after years first seeing them in an elementary school Texas History textbook.

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Locations : OdessaWest Texas




 

TIME FOR FIREWORKS!!!


For anybody who just can't wait until Independence Day night to see some fireworks, or just anybody who wants to kill some time while stuck in the office... here is a do it yourself fireworks game. Just click and watch the shinies go boom. You can even set up what kind and color of the fireworks. For the super lazy just click "random show" and watch without all the clicking. And check out actual Fireworks for free at the annual Star Spangled Salute in downtown Midland on the 4th!

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HAVE AN EXTRA $400,000? BUY A TOWN


Have you ever wanted to own your own town?  Well know you can!  A small unincorporated town in South Dakota is on sale for just $400,000!  The whole town consists of a bar, workshop, three trailers, single house, and 6.16 acres of wide open prairie.  And you don't become Mayor, or town council or anything like that... you straight up own it.  Like Mr. Potter in it's a wonderful life (but hopefully less evil). 

Here is a picture of it's thriving downtown according to Google street view:




The town is called Swett, South Dakota and its current owner Lance Benson (who along with his wife make up the towns only official population)  is selling it so he can focus on his traveling concession business.  The main attraction of the town is the bar "Swett Tavern" which is the only watering hole for miles and miles around and apparently attracts a rough crowd.  One of the regulars once described it with "you need a Bowie knife to get in this place and a chainsaw to get out."   Which is the best description of a bar I've ever heard.   Although apparently according the the local news, Benson has cleaned the bars image up a bit since he has owned it.  The bar as it looks today is in the photo at the top of the page. 

But the best part is the lady who is actually in charge of selling the town has had her number posted all over the internet, her name is Stacie and I won't post it but you can see all her contact info at this local papers website.  Now that this story has gone viral I hope she puts her phone on silent for a while.  But who knows with all the Oil Boom money flowing in West Texas... maybe somebody does want to buy a town just for kicks and giggles. 
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SOMEBODY RECREATED THAT FIRST KISS VIDEO WITH SLAPS


You remember that video that went crazy viral a month or two ago about strangers having their first kiss on camera? If you don't it's right here:

 

Then Jimmy Fallon of course remade it with puppies and kittens because of course he did:
 

But now the internet has taken the parody video to it's logical conclusion with strangers slapping each other for the first time on camera.  Not only is the video awkward and hilarious but it definitely has a whole Fight Club feel to it as the strangers get really into it.  But the best part, is that for no explained reason whatsoever, one of the strangers is Haley "I See Dead People" Osment... why? who knows.  Enjoy it and celebrate your secret violent fantasies. 

 
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THE FESTUS CHRONICLES - ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY


Every Wednesday Beth from Lone Star Sanctuary for Animals brings a pet in to Mike and Dana in the hopes they will get adopted.  Exactly one year ago she didn't have to try that hard because she brought in Festus the Bestus and I pretty much adopted him before he could could leave the studio.  Even though it doesn't even seem like a year (and really I'm only sure it is because I set the date on my phone as a yearly event)  I couldn't be happier with my best bud, and I couldn't be happier with Lone Star Sanctuary for bringing him into my life.  Festus had been abandoned out in the oil fields, luckily an oil field worker heard his cries and brought him to Lone Star.  Even though Lone Star was completely full, Festus was so small and pitiful at the time they couldn't turn him away.  They nursed him back to health and within a few weeks brought him into the studio, and the rest is history.  In fact through the power of the internet here is the video Mike made that day (he has since grown into his ears):

 

Adopt your own Festus at Lone star Sanctuary for Animals over at 4200 N. Fairgrounds Road in Midland.  They are open 1pm to 5pm every day except for Thursday.  And if you already have enough pets you can always volunteer!  Call (432) 683-7387 for more info. 

But enough words... how about some pictures! 

Here is Festus asking me what the heck is happening during Game of Thrones



Festus has Hetechromia aka one brown eye and one blue eye (try staring at that every night before bed)


Here is Festus straight up being Mufasa lording over his kingdom on our tiny patio



And here is Festus becoming a meme:
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