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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy Trails To You, Dallas

It's hard to believe that my travel nurse job is almost over here in Dallas. I finish on the 26th, and my wife and I leave for Australia and New Zealand on 8/28. When we get back to the USA on October 1st, I will pick up 4 more shifts here in Dallas, then my wife and I (With Buddha the Bulldog in tow) will drive the 1,500 miles from Dallas to Wilmington, Delaware, in the Mid-Atlantic area of the US-almost exactly halfway between Washington DC and New York City.

It's been tough work, at times on the Spinal Cord Unit here at the Dallas VA Medical Center, but I will miss my co-workers on the night shift, and I will really miss the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I found the people in this area to be very friendly. There is just an unbelievable amount of good places to eat and drink in this place. For people looking for a place to visit during their stay in the US, I would give this area high marks.(But you have to visit my native Minnesota in the summer and fall, first!) This summer has been memorable in North Texas with an almost biblical drought and heat wave. (We had 41 straight days of 100 degree weather-37.7 degrees C) It's actually going to feel good to go from the heat of Dallas to the Southern Hemisphere winter and spring. (Bringing lots of layers-Under Armour is NOT just for rugby)

My wife and I have very much enjoyed our stay here in Dallas. But we are ready for the next adventures, as we take on another "trip of a lifetime" and look forward to discovering another area of the US.

Happy Trails, Dallas. It's been fun.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Leaving for Australia/New Zealand Two Weeks for Today...

It is hard to believe after all of the saving and planning that my wife and I leave for Australia and New Zealand two weeks from today. In honor of that, I found this clip from Australian Aboriginal group Yothu Yindi....

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tri-Nations 2011: Sharp Dress Rehearsal for the All Blacks

For the All Blacks, the Tri-Nations is a no-win proposition. Win, and the attitude is "So What?" They were expected to win, and they all ready have a bunch of these Tri Nations trophies gathering dust somewhere at NZRU Headquarters. The All Blacks have pretty much owned the Tri Nations series, yet any Kiwi rugby fan worth their salt is also very mindful of another scoreline: Rugby World Cup Trophies Won:

South Africa-2
New Zealand-1

The ghosts of 1987 hang heavy over All Black players and fans alike. I don't know if the New Zealand decision to emulate the white collars worn on the '87 team's jersey is a good one or not. To be honest, with these new type of high-tech rugby jerseys, I don't know how great they look. I think the basic Black design was just fine.(Hey, even England is going with a black second Jersey at RWC 2011)

After yesterday's beat-down at Eden Park, the All Blacks have looked very good-but we have seen this scenario numerous times in World Cup years.

The other thing that cannot be ruled out, with matches to play in Australia and South Africa, can the the All Blacks avoid any major injuries? We have already seen Welsh Fullback Morgan Stoddard break his leg against England on Saturday, dashing his Rugby World Cup dreams.

With 33 days before the start of Rugby World Cup 2011, I don't know if today's win over the Auld Enemy from across the Tasman really will calm the nerves of All Black fans, but at least it's a good dress rehearsal before these games really count.