Saturday, November 22, 2008

The 'Butt Bandit' has been caught...

Residents and shop owners in Valentine, Nebraska can now rest easy at night knowing the 'Butt Bandit' has been busted. FoxNews reports that "Authorities said they've arrested a suspect in the rash of so-called "Butt Bandit" vandalism cases.
County Attorney Eric Scott said a 35-year-old man was arrested early Wednesday morning. Formal charges have not yet been filed. Some vandal had been skipping from one building to another at night, pressing his naked buttocks, groin or both on windows.
Store owners, church workers and school janitors have had to wash lotion and petroleum jelly off the windows he selects.
Local residents found some humor in the strange brand of graffiti and had dubbed the vandal the "Butt Bandit."
Valentine Police Chief Ben McBride called it "the weirdest case I've ever seen.""

3 comments:

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Shinade said...

Oh my please forgive me my old friend. It has been way too long since my last visit.

I was away for five months and then sick for two when I returned home.

And now just this past week I had PC problems.

I know this article shouldn't and truly isn't funny...but, I admit that it did give me a little chuckle.

Oh me I am awful I know I am!!

I hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving!!:-)

Anonymous said...

The Free State landscape gladdens my heart, no matter what my mood. When I am here I feel that nothing can shut me in, that my thoughts can roam as far as the horizons." - Nelson Mandela

Clarens has a reputation among city-folk, the bandied brochure descriptions “tranquil”, “picturesque” and “artists’ mecca” among others enticing many away from the hustle of Jo’burg, including Mandela.

A mere three hours drive from South Africa’s headline city, and four from coastal Durban, this little town in the high and dry Free State of South Africa, nestled in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains near Lesotho, attracts plenty of national, as well as international visitors, and somehow manages to accommodate the hordes in its string of quaint and purpose-built B&Bs and farm cottages.

Now pushing its centenary, Clarens was established in 1912, with farmland having been divided and sold for housing. It was as a tribute to the former-President Paul Kruger’s influence in the area that the town acquired its name. After six “burghers” (citizens) from the Transvaal were murdered in the Eastern Free State during the Basotho War of 1865-66, Kruger raised a commando of burghers to finally defeat the Basotho at the Battle of Naauwpoortnek. Some 34 years later Kruger was to leave South Africa as a voluntary exile during the second Anglo-Boer war of 1899-1902, seeing out his years in the Swiss town of Clarens.

The monument to the six burghers stands today in Clarens’ central President’s Square. Around the square jostle cafés, galleries, gift shops and restaurants. And just one street back, on the dirt track of Church Street are some real gems if you are feeling like whiling away some time in the day or are looking for a gastronomic treat: the Bibliophile Book Store, complete with Mezzaluna Cheese Deli, and Clementine’s Restaurant.

If the prospect of an aperitif at a well-stocked little bar with tenderly cooked steak or perfectly grilled fish at your candle-lit table, followed by imaginative desserts such as crème chocolat or butternut cheese cake, whets your appetite then don’t be put off by the green corrugated visage of Clementines.

Heading out of the town centre there is plenty to do and see before you hit the hills and mountains. Some quick highlights, if you’re strapped for time, include viewing Mushroom Rock a few kilometers along the Fouriesburg road (Fouriesburg is a little farming town with traditional local sandstone buildings topped with corrugated roofs); glancing at Surrender Hill, scene of the Free Staters’ surrender to the British during the Anglo-Boer war; climbing or viewing Titanic Rock in Naauwpoort, which stands majestically above Clarens and was so named, also in 1912, after the ‘unsinkable’ ship, Titanic.
There are also plenty of well-stocked trout dams for those who are tickled by fly-fishing plus horse-riding, 4x4 and mountain-bike trails and an assortment of accommodation which can be booked through the local tourist information office. If warm welcomes, friendly hosts and communal dining (complete with DSTV backdrop) are your style, then Caledon Gardens (see http://www.caledongardens.com) on the Fouriesburg road offers newly re-refurbished and re-opened accommodation in-house or in terraced units.

And if you are kicking your heels for a day, a drive east through 11,600 hectares of Golden Gate Highlands National Park and then south to the Royal Natal National Park offers spectacular scenery and walks.

Golden Gate is so named because of the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the park's sandstone cliffs, especially on the imposing Brandwag rock. Hiking trails and maps can be found at the Protea Hotel Mountain Resort inside the park, although there are several places of interest, such as the ‘Vultures’ Restaurant’, (a vulture feeding programme, littered with bones, skulls and carcasses for the macabre) dotted along the road.
There is also plenty to spot along the way, according to the official blurb, including, “…black wildebeest, eland, blesbok, oribi, springbok and Burchell's zebra - and birds, including the rare bearded vulture (lammergeier) and the equally rare bald ibis, which breed on the ledges in the sandstone cliffs. Ribbokkop, the highest point in the park, reveals a breathtaking tapestry of red, yellow and purple hues as its warm shades merge with the cool mountain shadows towards evening…” although the seemingly frequent mists (in the summer rainy season) may cloud your views somewhat.
There is some local confusion as to whether the Basotho Cultural Village is still in the Qwaqwa National Park, just to the east of Golden Gate, or whether Qwaqwa is now part of Golden Gate, the amalgamation of which began in March 2004. Either way, if you fancy a guided tour of a Basotho village stop the car and take a four-hour tour, experiencing traditionally-made beer, tasting life of the men-folk, sampling the home of a first, second or third wife and even partaking in a hearty meal in the sandstone amphitheatre.

The drive south past Witsieshoek and Phuthaditjhaba to the Sentinel car park is well worthwhile. And even more so if you have your hiking books: the walk/climb up the infamous chain ladder to the top of the Drakensberg Amphitheatre, which borders the Free State, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Lesotho, affords stunning views (or none if the weather is inclement) of the 850m Tugela Falls. It’s best to leave several hours to complete the walk, enjoy the views and to build up courage to scale and descend the chain ladder which is just that – a chain ladder (or rather your choice of two) hanging precariously from a sheer rock face. And once you reach the top, your legs a-trembling, there’s another chain ladder to face.
If you fancy leaving a day to complete the walk, and it can take the best part of a day at a slightly gentle pace, Witsieshoek Mountain Resort offers accommodation and meals and boasts to be the highest resort in South Africa at 2,286 metres. However, don’t be too choosey about the warmth and dryness of the rooms, or if your steak appears as chops or your ‘soft-boiled egg, please’ arrives fried. Hey, it’s nice to be asked. And the resort does have a cosy bar, which is always a blessing after a hard walk.
If you fancy travelling into another country, you can slip over the border to Lesotho and visit the Liphofung Cave, a large overhang in the Clarens sandstone, originally used by the San people, or the Ts’ehlanyane National Park which is deep in the front range of the Maluti mountains and protects over 5,600 hectares of extremely rugged mountain terrain as well as one of the very few indigenous woodlands in Lesotho