I was actually early, as it was June 29th when I put together the July calendar. This month's photo choice was simple. Last year's Independence Day celebration at the capitol was a real treat, and I selected a photo from the hundreds I took as a good one to adorn this month's calendar.
Click here to download a printable calendar in PDF format (3mb).
If you have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed, you're good to go. It may take a little bit for the program to load, but the file should download reasonably quickly. Click on the icon below to download the free Adobe Reader if necessary.
When you print the PDF, fold along the lines and tape or staple at the bottom. You will then have a free-standing desk calendar with some of that famous July 4th display at the Capitol!
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Apparently this is what a "concert for peace" look like. Pretty vacant, isn't it? When I went to the park for the eagle statue pics (see previous post) I noticed some handmade signs declaring a "Free Concert for Peace" from 1:00 to 4:00 and a stage at the south end of the park. At this point they were about a half hour or so into the concert according to my watch, but it didn't look like anything was really going on. So maybe they weren't able to put a stop to war after all, really.
Don't get me wrong, I believe that the peaceniks have every right to their feelgood events, bumper stickers, and PEACE signs in their yards. That's what America is all about, and it's their right of expression. I just think they're horribly naive and have a tenuous grasp on reality, and that's my right as well.
Let's take Africa, for instance. Do you think the murdering thugs in Zimbabwe, Congo, or the Darfur region of Sudan care one iota what a bunch of pacifist liberals in the USA think? They're already murdering, raping, dismembering, and torturing their own people. Feelgood liberal attempts at "dialoguing" with someone like that will have little result. Not only are the people subject to violent oppression worldwide oblivious to the choice of bumper stickers affixed to your Prius, they're also unaffected by it.
Evil people understand only one thing: consequences for their actions. If all they have to fear is some finger-waving UN adviser or tie-dye wearing liberal peacenik, then there is no fear. Consequently, the violence goes on unhindered. All the concerts, awareness campaigns, and other such nonsense have zero effect outside the idealistic bubble that these folks have made for themselves.
I suppose this is the product of so much humanism, secular and otherwise. In order for a peacenik utopia to ever take form, there would have to be an inherent goodness in man. Guess what? It ain't there. And if you remove that item from these folks' ideological house of cards, the whole thing comes crashing down.
Well, I hope the folks at the concert had a good time. They sure had the right weather for it. I also hope nobody walked away with the illusion that this was actually "for peace." Even if they persuaded a hundred people at a concert like this, it wouldn't make a single difference; the only people whose hearts need to change are the murderous thugs all over this world, and you're not going to do that with a guitar.
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I was reminded of this statue when I saw that the movie Iron Eagle was on satellite a few days ago...you know, the one where the American fighter jets apparently carry five million rounds of ammo and ten thousand missiles? At least it seems that way, because they never seem to run out. Anyway, I digress. The last time I took any pictures of this big eagle, the weather wasn't as nice and I didn't have a wide enough lens. Both of those were remedied yesterday, so I climbed around for a few different angles. Given the position of the sun and the fact that I had errands to run, this one turned out to be my favorite. A little later in the day, a photo from beneath the eagle would be really cool. Another time, perhaps.
This statue is 20 years old this year. Although Eagles Park has been around seemingly forever, it's interesting to note that the statue that features so prominently (even from Washington Street a block away) is a relatively new fixture.
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Chances are if you spend any time around the parks, diamonds, or zoo here in Bismarck, you're going to see these little guys darting around. They especially like the grass at the Dakota Zoo, where they scavenge bits of food that fall out of reach of the animals. That's where I spotted this little guy.
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I always say, if you can't avoid 'em, use 'em. That in regard to the ubiquitous power lines that span the North Dakota prairie. I was all set up for a great sunset shot, but had to hoof it a little ways from the road because of the power lines running parallel to the road. Sometimes, however, they make a fine subject for a photograph. For instance, the shot above would probably be far less appealing to the eye without a foreground object to give it some perspective. I took this photo before hiking to the base of the tower so I could shoot northwest of it.
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