A Awesome Art Museum, Traveling, and Poker! (SD-ND) “DAY 66” – 9/8/10

September 9, 2010 - 12:13 pm - (SD-ND) “DAY 66”

Since I wrote my post last night, this morning was easy as pie.  All I had to do was check out of Dakota Sioux by noon (late check-out) and then drive back north (75 miles) to Dakota Magic (N.D).

But... then I thought, I am here in Watertown, S.D., I might as well go check out the town before I go and... run a few errands I have to take of (oil change, toiletries, etc..).

Also I have to find a new Rooster card protector, I lost the one I got in Chicago at The Lincoln Park Zoo.  So before I left my room, I called the zoo gift shop (in Chi.) and they told me, they think Target carries the same rooster figurine that they have.

I hope they are right... but if not, they said they can mail me one.  The problem... there always is... I don’t know where I’ll be to receive it until I get to Seattle, WA (Oct. 17) where I’m staying with and old roommate (Casey James!!! Fitch) and that’s just to long of a wait... my trip could be over by then! 😉

Watertown, South Dakota
Obviously, with the new information I just received... I was going straight to Target.  Also, at Target I can get the other stuff I need (Tums, band-aids, etc...).

On my way there, I realized that there are casinos everywhere in this town!  I’m serious, every 2 blocks or so (on their main street) was a casino.  Not a big casino, but a room with slots was in every gas station, bar, liquor store.

It was like a mini-Vegas without all girls, fun, and lights!  So I guess... it was nothing like Vegas except for the slot machines everywhere you went! LOL 🙂

But for real, I saw at least 6 different places with-in a two mile stretch of road.

I arrived at Target and immediately asked about the Rooster figurine.  The lady who I asked, told me they stopped carrying it but there was a store with-in a mile (Runnings) that might have what I’m looking for.  Nice!  I hope she’s right.

I bought the things I needed, but I also made an impulse buy.  I bought a t-shirt for a friend of mine in Arizona, Kevin Gassman (The Gass).  F.Y.I - I used to live with Gass (in AZ) and the shirt I found was just perfect for him, so I had to get it.  And, I got myself a t-shirt as well... Give a Hoot... Don’t Pollute!

Runnings Farm & Fleet
After I left Target, I went straight to Runnings.  Now, I’m for NJ (as you all know by now) so I had no idea what a Runnings was???  They don’t have them back home... 😉

I pulled up to the store and saw the sign... Runnings Farm & Fleet.  Huh?  I don’t even know what a fleet is???  Hopefully... it’s French for Rooster figurines!  LOL 🙂

I walked around the store and the best way to describe it is... it’s a mix between a Walmart, Home Depot, and redneck outlet.  But I’m from NJ... this could be like a Macy’s to South Dakota folk...

Anyway, after looking around for a bit, I found the area of the store I needed to be in.  They had a ton of farm animal figurines.  The problem... they didn’t have the one I wanted.

What they did have... was a sleeve of farm animals (12 at a time) and inside was a rooster.  It only cost $6 so it was way worth for me.  I didn’t know it then.. but Rooster inside is rubbery instead of hard plastic.

He’s kinda weak looking instead of the proud strong Rooster I used to have protecting my cards!

I couldn’t live with such a frail Rooster representing me, so I called the zoo back and ordered three roosters that will be sent to my Mom’s house in NJ.  (She’ll have to overnight them to me somewhere?.)

But in the meantime... this rooster will have to do.  Prove me wrong... I’m counting on ya buddy!

Oil Change
I was about to leave town and head to North Dakota but remembered I needed an oil change.  I’ve driven about 5,000 miles, it was time.  So, I drove around town looking for the best deal.  (Every dollar I save can be used for something else. ;))

I know oil changes can be found for about $20 (in NJ), but I have had hard time finding one in the Mid-West.  Ya see, I looked in Milwaukee, then Minnesota, and know here but the best I found is for $24 ( Goodyear).

Well... I thought about it and... it’s only a $4 difference from NJ prices, I’m here already, and they can take me immediately, so I had it done.

As I was paying, I started to talk with Natalie (lady working there) and she told me that since I was in


Watertown, I had to go see the Terry Redlin Art Museum.  Terry who?, I responded.

She then explained that he was from Watertown and is one of the best painters of landscapes in the world!  Also, that it was a free exhibit!  Ahhh... those words are music to my ears... 🙂  That’s all I needed to hear as I headed to museum (2 miles away).

Terry Redlin Art Museum
Now, I had no idea what I was about to see or what the place would look like.

Honestly, I really thought I would laughing later at how some South Dakota lady sent me to a run down barn where some hilly billy had a few pictures up in crayon!

Well... I couldn’t have been more wrong!  As I approached, the landscape was beautifully kept, the sign out front was professional, and the overall appearance was extremely serene.

I entered the building and was immediately awestruck by the painting on the wall.  They were unbelievable!  I started to take a picture of one when a museum employee told me I couldn’t take any in the building.

Yeah, like that will happen. 😉  Enjoy the 100 pictures I took on the picture page.

The were three levels to this museum with over 150 of his paintings.  There were pictures from his

You can see me

early years as an artist, sketches of some work he did, and then all the painting that made him a world renowned artist.

Plainly put... this guy is like Bob Ross (a happy little tree... just a touch of Van dyke brown... etc.) but much much better!  No offense, Bob Ross (although you passed)... I did love your show!

As I walked around enjoying this guys’ paintings, I couldn’t believe I never heard of him.  These are some of the best paintings I have ever seen.  The details are so sharp, the colors are vivid, and most of the painting are so alive yet tranquil.

Listen to me... like I’m some kind of art connoisseur all of a sudden cause I saw one guys exhibition in South Dakota. 😉  But the truth is... the eyes don’t lie... look at these pictures of the painting I took!

Each picture is better than the next.  I personally enjoy paintings of the snow during the holidays.  It’s just so relaxing for me.  Not that you care. 😉

Anyway, I walked around for about an hour when I thought I would have been there for 5 minutes and left laughing.  I was just staring at picture after picture in amazement.

I’ll say it now... If I ever have a nice place of my own and some money... I will have one of his painting over my fire place in my den area.  That is a fact!

It was about 3:30 pm by now, so I said good-bye to Terry Redlin and hit the road for Dakota Magic (N.D.).

F.Y.I - Terry Redlin is 73 years old and still lives in Watertown, S.D.  He retired from painting in 2007.

Traveling Back to North Dakota (75 miles)
The highway was less than a mile from the Art Museum, so it was an easy drive back to Dakota Magic.  Along the road, I saw a billboard that made me think about for a trip for minute to myself.

It said on two billboards (although as you approach it looks one), Be Grateful   Smile.  So I thought about it for a second and smiled the whole drive back to North Dakota.  Thank you Billboard!

I pulled into Dakota Magic around 4:30 pm and went to the front desk to get comped room for the night (2 nights).  As I walking up... I heard “Rooster!  You’re back already.”  It was the lady working the desk (Misty).  I love this place!

I put my things in the room and immediately went to the poker room.  When I walked in the room... I was greeted in the same manner... “Rooster, back so soon.”  “Glad see ya back Rooster.” “ What??? couldn’t get enough of North Dakota Rooster?” Etc...

I felt like I was at home except nobody was from Jersey, everybody there was over 60, and the food isn’t as good.  Well... after reading what I just wrote... It’s nothing like home but they are hospitable, friendly, and most importantly... I enjoy being here!

It was 5:30 pm when I got sat into a $2 - $10 spread limit dealers choice game (only Hold’em or Omaha Hi-lo here) with $200 in chips.  I had my new Rooster card protector on the table as all the players noticed it and commented (I didn’t have it last week).

F.Y.I. - I knew almost all the players at the table already and how they play cards.  This round of poker will be easier for me because I know who’s loose and who’s only playing the nuts!

There was a tournament starting at 6:30, so the game was only gonna last for 45 more minutes.  Pretty much the whole room (and then some) enters the tourney so the cash game restarts up as people get knocked out.  I cashed out at 6:15 pm up $33.

Tonight's tournament is a $15 buy in, Omaha Hi-lo ($5 re-buys).  For $15 you get 300 in tournament chips but when you get to the table you can buy up to 1,500 more in chips for $25 ($5 per 300 chips).  There is also one add-on for $10 after the first break.

Whew!  That is a mouthful.  I bought in for $15, plus $20 more in chips when I got to the table (additional 1,200).   Oh yeah, last detail.. 30 people were entered.

OK, on to the tourney.  I played OK I guess... who knows in Omaha?  With 4 cards in your hand... almost anything can come out.  It’s way more of a crap shoot to me then Texas Hold’em is.

Unbelievable Scene At My Table
Anyway, my table was a like a scene directly out of a stupid comedy (movie) for it was so ridiculous.  If I wasn’t there to see it for myself, I would never believe it!

OK... here we go... let me try explain what I witnessed before my eyes for over 2 hours.  The table and poker room for that matter is mostly older people who are cowboys (men) - homemakers (women), everybody there knows everybody else.


There are what you would consider typical Mid-West people.  The men are macho and polite, the women are ladylike and pleasant.  This has been the type of people I have been playing with here for over a week.

So there I am seated at the table with all the old-timers waiting for our first hand when the player who was playing in seat one arrived... Dun.. dun.. dun..

Now... I’m not a homophobe, a gay basher, or anything like that but... this was the gayest guy in North Dakota by a country mile!  I didn’t care that he was gay and... obviously gay at that, but he didn’t know how to play poker.  Any type of poker!  Especially Omaha!

Shane- Ohh.. Ewuu.. Ahh..

He kept talking about his hand while the hand was in progress.  I mean he’d say, I have (A, 6, 4, 2,) is that any good?  And after each card, no matter what it was... he’s make a grunt or groan or Oh....  Every card or every hand!

I told him that can’t do that during the hand at least 5 times and the dealer told him even more times than that.  But.. he just couldn’t control his little gay self! 😉

The old men around the table we seated in disbelief at what they were witnessing.  They were looking around at each other like a scene from Borat!  It was so funny, it was crazy!

Here are a few quotes from the guy (Shane) who was in seat one.  He lost a hand to old lady (he had nothing though) then he said.. “Oh.. you fartknocker!” , “Can I color these up? - tourney chips)” , He was singing at the table in a high pitched voice..” I’m going to Devil’s Lake, I’m going to Devil’s Lake.”

I don’t know much... but I’m sure all these Mid-West religious old-timers think he’s going somewhere where the Devil is. 😉

Then, a waitress walked up as he shouted “Cocktails!”.  I started to laugh aloud as one of the old men couldn’t take it anymore and got up from the table for minute. He said ”This is unreal!” as he stormed off.

The thing was... it wasn’t that he was gayest dude they had ever seen, although he was. 😉  It was that he had no idea how to play as he was slowing up the game, giving away cards he had, along with a hostof other poker no-no’s at the table.


When his drink arrived... it couldn’t have been more perfect!  It was a red drink, with a ton of cherries on it, covered in whip cream.  I couldn’t make this up if I tried.  🙂

I got a picture of him drinking it at the table but it was after he slurped off the whip cream in front of the whole table!  Again... I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

Back to tourney, although this distraction lasted the whole time.

Tournament Continued
Anyway... I made through the first break and bought the extra $10 worth of chips. (I’m in for $45 total.)  I played real good cards but got knocked out 11 people left.  The guy who beat me hit a one outer to knock me out.

Again, it was a Omaha hand and they had to hard to explain with all the outs and possibilities but basically he hit the only card in the deck on the river that could have beat me.

Cash Game
The game was again 2-10 spread limit, dealers choice.  I’m not gonna write a whole play by play of the evening but it was my second best poker night of the trip.  I guess the frail Rooster worked out just perfect! 🙂

I won $400 and played until 1 am.  I did need it!  Nice!  I’m back up over the $2 grand I started with and I’m on Day 66!  Woo Hoo!

Thanks for reading!


Comments (5)

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  1. DAD says:

    Good Job Rooster,and you too, Dave. Happy New Year.
    Love Jill & Dad

  2. bennervous says:

    I guess Shane will be your date this coming Saturday night??

  3. Matt says:

    1. I love bob ross as his kick ass paintings and soothing voice put me to sleep as well as invigorated throughout my childhood. 2. whip cream and cherries? whata peter puffer as you shoulda told him he was as you flopped the REAL nuts on the table and collected all his money!

  4. Gene says:

    Don’t kid us. You found that guy at Runnings and you offered him $20 to spice up the table and distract your opponents.

  5. Natalie says:


    I am glad you enjoyed the Terry Redlin art and I did not lead you astray. I enjoyed chatting with you that day and it has been fun to read abourt your adventures. Good Luck to you.

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