While Sarah and I are driving around the West and the Rockies on our way to Madison, my parents have generously agreed to take care of Ira in South Dakota.  So, I've been navigating the regulatory and logistical hurdles necessary to ship a living cold-blooded animal that is about five inches in length and weighs about one pound to South Dakota.  This is not a trivial operation, I assure you.  In fact, it might be easier to ship paint or some other reasonably toxic chemical than a cold-blooded animal (unattended) on a domestic airline.  So far, I've spoken to the airline, the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks department, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture's Animal Industry Board, and the pet shop where Ira was originally purchased.  After all those calls, however, I almost have all the information I need.  Two more calls to the airline, one call and a visit to a vet, and some trips to procure the proper shipping container for Ira and I'll be about fifty-percent completed with the Ira Shipping Project.  When the Ira Shipping Project is completed, I'm planning on invading Europe via a beach landing.  The logistics of that will seems alsmost trivial after shipping a live tortoise.  Just kidding.  Anyway, eleven hours of airline travel in June and Ira will be living the high life in South Dakota.  South Dakota in July will be much more to his liking than the nighttime temperatures at places like Lassen National Volcanic Park, Crater Lake, Glacier National Park, and the like.