That was the punchline to a Bloom County comic I read many years ago. It always cracks me up...which makes no sense, really. Actually, it's been so long since I read it, I might have it wrong. But I'm laughing!

Well, I promised a run-down of my trip to Scandinavia, so I guess I should do one. Not now, of course, but soon. It's too hot today. The sun is beating down on my baseball hat. The air is getting hot, my beer is getting flat.

I did have fun in Denmark, though! I'd recommend it to anyone! The people are very friendly and nice. I was a bit worried that there'd be a lot of anti-american sentiment, but there really wasn't. My paranoid misconceptions are always wrong. I need to update them, I guess.

They have a nice zoo in Copenhagen. I got to see a Tasmanian Devil, of which (acording to the sign) there are very few outside of Australia and New Zealand. (I always heard that area was called Australasia, but no one ever uses that term anymore. Has it fallen into disfavor? Why wasn't I told?!) Everyone I told about it said, "Oh? Yeah, I saw one once when I was in New Zealand/Australia." Why's everyone got to be a hater? :( I guess I need to go to that area next. I think they all speak English there (Australia, at least...)

The zoo was nice, but sad. It's my wife rubbing off on me. She doesn't like zoos, because captive animals aren't happy not in their native environment. This is probably true, but it does make it easier to see lots of animals. The animals seemed well treated at this zoo, though. Don't get me wrong. But, caged animals are sort of sad. :(

It was also interesting seeing a couple of the exhibits, if only because they really hit me with the fact that I was in a foreign country. The opossum was very popular with the kids I saw at the zoo. This is funny to me, since I can't throw a rock outside without hitting at least 3 possums around here. The armadillo exhibit was the same way. Kind of least to me.

They also have (in Copenhagen) a little place called the Museum Erotica, but the less said about that, the better. I will say that, for those of you who are interested, that you can purchase your own copy of "One Night in Paris" starring (?) Paris Hilton from the gift shop area. I don't know why you would, but you can.

I will also say this about that particular museum: Were there no razors in the 1970's? Was there a wax shortage?! *shudder*

Stockholm, Sweden wasn't as good, to me. I think it was more that there wasn't a lot of time there (2 days), and it was all churches and palaces and architechture. I hate to sound like a freak (which I am, really, but I don't want to seem so), but the works of man have nothing on the works of nature to me. Give me a tiny moss clinging to a barren rock face over any palace or church. That's what I like.

Work survived without me...somehow. ;) I guess I'm not as irreplacable as I hoped. Oh well.

I tried to eat a vast variety of new and different foods, but I couldn't do one thing in particular. Every breakfast meal had a big bowl of pickled herring, which I could never pull the trigger on at that particular time (I did try some later in the evening. Yum!) How can you eat cold fish in the morning?! That was just too different for me.

Well, I should run. Bye!

Oh, the song of the day (getting back to business) will be "Boten Anna" by Basshunter. It was the song I heard most in Copenhagen, and the only one I got the title to. It was catchy. Kind of a dance song in tempo. Sung entirely in Danish. :)

Four Replies to 20-IX-2006 or Man, those Samoans sure are a surly bunch.

Jackie Mason | September 23, 2006
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Scott Hardie | September 23, 2006
Welcome back, Aaron.

Hater speaking: How do we know whether animals are happy or unhappy in zoos or performing tricks? And if the goal isn't their happiness, then why would it matter? But yeah, I can see that making the afternoon into a bummer.

Louie Anderson summed up zoos for me by pretending to look at an exhibit. "Australian deer." Shrugs. Turns to the next exhibit. "New Zealand deer." Shrugs. Looks back at the first exhibit with a furrowed brow. "That's the same damn deer!"

Amy Austin | September 26, 2006
I'm sorry, I read "Scandinavia" and all of a sudden the song of *my* day was "Knowing Me, Knowing You" (ABBA). I didn't hear anything else after that.

Amy Austin | September 26, 2006

There is a relatively new concept in zoo-keeping: the open zoo. That is, a zoo which is set-up to as closely imitate the animals' natural environs as possible, using natural and psychological barriers to "enclose" exhibits, etc. It's actually quite a different zoo experience, as I learned on the Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo -- incredible!

Also, on killer whales... I'll never forget my very first at-sea trip in the Navy -- leaving WA state through the Strait of San Juan de Fuca... a pod of orcas coasting by portside... FANTASTIC! I can't tell you how much more exhilirating it was to see them in their natural setting like that... it was AMAZING. And I have been to SeaWorld many, many times. This is a memory that I treasure above every Shamu show I've ever seen -- and the only "trick" was swimming, just like dolphins in the wild also do. Simply breath-taking. Up until that point, I never really got the whole "whale watching" thing... but after that, I surely did.


Aaron Shurtleff uses this area as a dumping ground for his random thoughts... Read more »

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