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What a day. It's been four years since the kids and I went to the State Fair, and it was good to get together and do it again. Melody's new boyfriend Scott came with us, and we took the Sportage to Fort Snelling, caught the rail from there to the Metrodome, and the Route 960 state fair special from there to the fair.

Interminable description of the day's events follows...
Somewhat disoriented by not entering via the pedestrian bridge we'd used in years past, it took our little band about half an hour of purposeless wandering before we finally found breakfast-like objects being served at Ace's Atomic Subs. After that we wandered over to the Visitor's Center, where I picked up a huge potholder and a discount book, which easily paid for itself as I ate my way across the Fairgrounds.

Actually, I was pretty moderate in my food intake. I had the veggie fries, a pronto pup, some ice cream at Empire Commons (it's still the best in the state, Culver's not excepted) , an Orange Julius-like smoothie-type drink, a Gizmo sandwich (Italian sausage, hamburger, special sauce and mozzarella in a poor boy bun), some pizza toast, and finally a wild-rice & beef burger. All of this was washed down with massive quantities of Diet Coke and some iced tea (with toxins in lieu of sugar), since I never did find the joint with the sugar-free lemonade. I was tempted by several other things in my peregrinations, but since I'd already decided not to eat my way across the State Fair I walked on by instead of chowing down on brownies, french fries, mini-doughnuts, and similar fare.

So what did I do with most of my time at the fair? Well, we got there around 9:30-10 AM after getting a late start from home (poor Jamie, who thought we were supposed to meet at 7 instead of 8, wound up hanging out by the Metrodome for about ninety minutes until we showed up) and it took us another 90 minutes or so to eat breakfast, saunter on over to the Visitor Center, buy and eat veggie fries, swing by the Republican booth -for some Bush buttons- and then the WCCO Radio booth, for the traditional plastic bag to carry all the swag in. I was surprised to hear the Twins pre-game show and asked the 'CCO staffer manning the booth what the deal was - turns out there was a Gopher football game Saturday night that pushed the Twins back to an 11 AM start. The Twins get no respect, I tell you.

Jamie and I then headed over to the Empire Commons, where we sampled beef, stared at Princess Kay getting immortalized (?) in butter, bought some "got milk?" swag (and alerted Melody to the presence of cheap shades, since she had forgotten hers) and finally escaped after filling out some drawing entries and eating our ice cream. We then ambled over to the WWTC booth, where I bought a mug after being sorrowfully informed that they had no Northern Alliance Radio Network T-shirts in sizes larger than XL...and no sizes other than XL, for that matter. Ah well. I then rested my butt and my leg for three hours as I watched the Northern Alliance radio show, emceed by Mitch Berg and featuring local bloggers Captain Ed, King Bananian, and John Hinderaker (better known as Hindrocket from Powerline). Brian (Saint Paul of (Fraters Libertas) manned the microphone in the street and somehow escaped abuse at the hands of Goldie the Gopher. The show featured guest appearances by Senator Norm Coleman and Congressman Mark Kennedy, and was most excellent with a lot of spirited cheering from the crowd, many of whom wore "Bush/Cheney '04" or "Minnesotans for Bush" buttons; there was only one incident of heckling, with an older woman flourishing some sort of anti-Bush bumpersticker and hollering something brief, incoherent and inaudible at Mitch before taking off. Much discussion of the convention was heard; many bloggers (including yours truly) were introduced and given a minute or two of airtime to promote their blogs; both Garrison Keillor's deranged tirade against Republicans and the AP's outright lying about a Bush rally in Wisconsin were roasted and toasted as well.

It was a fun three hours, followed by an adjournment to the beer garden where I jokingly asked the question that serves as the title to this post. On being greeted by the answer "Yes!", I sat down to drink pop and talk shop with Captain Ed and the lederhosen-clad Scott. Ed is doing right well by this blog thing, attracting traffic on an Instapundit-like scale and easily covering his (newly increased) $36/month bandwidth bill through his ads, but then he deserves his good fortune as he has worked hard and done much research before laying down his excellent posts on the Swift Boat Vets and the media/Kerry reaction, to name but one of his more famous accomplishments. It was a good conversation, over too soon as always.

After that, Jamie and I wandered off towards the Technology Building, where there was a lot of interesting high-tech stuff to be seen and some 3M freebies that we didn't think were worth waiting in line for. About that time, Melody called to let us know she'd had enough of the crowds and the heat and the dirt and wanted to go home. So we wandered back down that way via the Skyride and did some desultory face-stuffing on our way back over to the Horticulture Building where Scott and Melody were waiting on the lawn.

All in all a day well-spent with much fun being had.