Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

In-N-Out Burger at last. The last time I was at an In-N-Out Burger was probably with Phillip, of all people. So there I was in the drive through line, taking pictures to memorialize my visit. Blissfully unaware that I had read the blog Universe Today earlier today, I looked skyward into the overcast, and saw a blimp in front of the sun. It wasn’t moving. Looked again, and the neurons finally fired – eclipse! I shot some with my 35mm prime, but then parked and got out the big gun – 300mm of telephoto glass. And the overcast? My filter that made the pix possible was Mother Nature’s overcast – thanks mom on this Mother’s Day! Synchronicity at play.

The burger was good too – burp.

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Our Religious Science community has so many wonderful people, and here are just a few. As I transfer more into Photo Stream, I will add them as well. I merged these with the attendees who experienced Hairspray at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater January 24th, 2012. Yes I know, it was my birthday too, and having an audience of several hundred sing “Happy Birthday” to you provides a warm feeling to the recipients. As luck would have it, they missed my name, so I escaped, even though my OSC friends bellowed lustily for my inclusion. Maybe next year.


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Feel free to visit our site at: http://ourspiritualcenter.org/ to read, see, and hear what were about. Blessings.

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99%ers and related groups gathered in front of banks, government offices and venues like this one, the Minneapolis Convention Center. I was tasked with taking some pictures and some video for MoveOn.org, a group I’ve been associated with for some time now. It was a festive occasion wit4h a number of speeches, and lots of noise makers (the upturned plastic buckets finally got the best of me though). I submitted my work product via email to MoveOn and MNFairEconomy.org, the organizers at this site. Most of the focus was on the two CEO’s of US Bank and Wells Fargo. The horse and buggy took the caricature of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf down to their regional headquarters where the protest continued, sans me. {I came home to the news that Wells Fargo was found guilty of defrauding three Minnesota non-profits, and now owe them $45M. The judge’s statement was a real indictment of WFB practices. Oh well, so it goes. What a perfect weather day, spring is here at last!

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Although Hilltop Diner is now under new management, the food is still the same, especially the burgers (more on that in a bit). My family, now a three-pack, visits Hilltop on the date of her birthday. It was Jay’s fave family restaurant, and she always ordered – drum roll please – a burger. (It will serve everyone well to know that Jay considered a well-rounded meal to be, what else – Spaghettios!) For the past seven years we would show up, and set a plate for her: burger, plain, fries, and Diet Coke. After removing all the condiments that we requested be removed in the first place, we would then draw straws to see “who got The Job.” Bradley did The Job this year, and expertly spread the catsup edge-to-edge over one side of a bun. It was then up to me to “steal” one french fry, which I did with relish – pun intended. The past few years found Spencer in NYC of all places, and he bought her a bag of Peanut M&M’s. May has been our wait staff for most of these years, and -red faces here – she was the one who remembered the Diet Coke. Lord almighty, we would have never lived that down if we had forgotten.

I love my beautiful bride, no matter what her address is…and so it goes.

One of Jay’s legacies is her almost mystical recreation of dolls, into lifelike babies, called Reborns. Many women and girls in our extended family were given one to remember Jan by.

WeeBit at 15 years of age

WeeBit, when Jay brought her home, I considered a “dead kitten walking” although she didn’t walk much. Dehydrated, emaciated, small beyond belief, Jay sat with her in her arms at the bottom of the stairs for two weeks. She nursed her from a sure demise, into the wonderful cat she is. After WeeBit’s mom moved on, the cat-that-would-not-die, began following me, and she continues to do so today.

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First Chair, violin

Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra at Normandale Lutheran Church
L to R: Elizabeth, Mary, Vie, David, Debbra, Diana, Susan, Mary Ellen
Polina chats with conductor Dr Schrickel
“It’s a small world after all…”

March 25, 2012 found thirteen of us experiencing Minnesota’s own Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. The 80+ members are all volunteers (and all professional musicians I believe) and perform for donations only. What a high caliber, enthusiastic group they are! The program that day (taken from their website  http://www.msomn.org/SeasonPrograms/RussianMasterpieces/tabid/313/Default.aspx ):

Vincent Youmans/Dmitri Shostakovich – Tahiti Trot (Tea for Two)

Polina Nazaykinskaya – Winter Bells

Dmitri Shostakovich – Symphony #10 in E minor, op. 93

William Schrickel, conductor

 The composer Polina was hearing her composition Winter Bells performed for the first time. Dr Schrickel and she had a wonderful chat between the presentations. Under “it’s a small world” department, Polina and our fellow attendee, Gulya (Vie) lived not far apart in Russia. Afterwards we had dinner up the road, and all went home satisfied in more ways than one. Thanks to Diana for organizing these events for OSC.

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Uma got us pretty good seats at Target Center for a game between the Wolves and Cleveland Cavaliers – Cleveland being her home town (Parma actually). These two bottom dwellers pretended to play, with the Wolves doing a pretty good job of thinking about being anywhere else but in the arena. But, I had a good time, and even had a beer ($7 – thanks Uma!). It was good practice taking photos in challenging light conditions. Some of the shots didn’t come out, if you can that!

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When will I…?

As WCCO TV News asks: Good question. When will I leave – for points unknown? Anytime after Feb. 14. That’s when. Here’s the rub: I got stuff to do, oh boy, do I ever! For starters, my company GraveSite Groomers is between campaigns, so it would seem we have a lull in the action, Ha! Getting wholesalers, printings, database online and the home office ready for action, is taking time. Then there’s the tax issues, and I’m right up there with Mitt and his peeps, getting that straightened out. The homestead is coming along nicely, de-cluttering in progress. Of course, de-cluttering leads to four exit streams: trash, recycling, donations, and then there’s the “eBay Project.” My talented and creative wife amassed a great deal of arts and crafts material. Dolls and doll accessories, knitting and crocheting from skeins to machines to patterns, paints and paper, and more. Quite a bit of this treasure trove is being donated, especially the knitting & crochet items. But the dolls and the accessories are going on eBay, and that means inventory control, pictures, shipping boxes, bubble wrap, and yikes – those rascally peanuts!

The Outback is primed and ready. I’ve been collecting camping and traveling gear as the de-clutter goes on, and will take with me a modicum of self-sustaining articles: camp stove, mini-soft-sided cooler, roadside/emergency bags, sleeping bag. Yes, the Subaru can, in a pinch, convert the passenger side to a relatively comfortable sleeping accommodation. (Or so I’m told.) Then there’s 17 kilos of maps and Trip-tiks from AAA-Minneapolis (thanks to Susan, the back-roads Queen). I’ll endeavor the take the roads less traveled to be sure. That said, I’m a close to civilisation as the next GPS satellite or cell tower. My Garmin has proved it’s worth over and over, 5″ screen and resource locator, like motels, campgrounds, and points of interest. Internet and e-mail means plugging my G2 Smartphone into the Mac Book Pro and away we go! Three power points (cigarette lighters…) in the car will keep all my toys charged and ready for action. Three USB ports will channel your phone calls to my hands-free speakers, and keep the iPod touch available for podcasts and music not available through XM Radio. Connected.

Like I said, I will be away, far away at times, but as close as I need to be to track my travails – I mean travels – as I wend my way across our US of A.

When will I….? Soon, real soon.

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