Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Turn Off Your Mind. . .

Now here’s a nice post to break my blogging hiatus, from St. Cloud music blogger Echoes in the Wind:

One of the exercises into the hypothetical that bloggers and other music fans will on occasion break into is wrestling with the question: What if the Beatles had released The Beatles (more commonly known as “The White Album”) as a single LP instead of two? Which of the thirty songs on the album stay and which are trimmed to get down to forty or so minutes of music?

On a related note, I’ve meant to blog about M and her affection for the Beatles. She has several Beatles albums (humor an old man – they are albums, not CDs) on her IPod. As with most people and their IPods, she usually sings along with whatever’s playing in her head. I love it when she sings along with Tomorrow Never Knows, the song that closes out Revolver. “Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream. . .”

I’ve always disliked Tomorrow Never Knows. I believe Paul McCartney said of this tune something like, “who knew you could write a song using one chord – but John did.” In the past I used to skip over the song, but M’s appreciation of the song has lead me to rethink this “tuneless” piece. When I hear it now, I don’t skip it, but let it run – though I haven’t begun to sing along. Not yet.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Happy Kids

Here are two photos from a series snapped by the sister-in-law, SDMoose. These were taken at the cabin during our post 4th of July visit with the relatives from Indiana.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bring Your Child to Work

Yesterday was a crazy day. Due to a Summer Camp snafu (I'll spare you the details), the Dude accompanied me to work. While killing time at my desk he drew this family picture. I erased some of the identifying information - but you get the idea. Family members are listed by name and age, with a picture showing what they are good at.

Other highlights of the day - the Dude was very impressed with the conference call phone we used in our first meeting, "That phone was so cool!!"

The first meeting was very interesting. As I was presenting something (speaking into the cool conference phone), I saw him writing something on his paper. I assumed he was drawing or writing a story. Turns out he was taking notes! Next, he got up and walked over to me and handed the note to me. The note read, "What will you do if the product doesn't sell?" He then started to whisper, "Ask it, ask it!". I was able to get him to sit down, but had to warn him afterwards that I didn't need him to pass me notes during meetings.

Hmm - what will we do if the product doesn't sell?

Happy Campers

The Dude and I enjoyed our second year at Camp Akela. I realize now I should have brought a "real" camera rather than relying on my BlackBerry, but I was able to squeeze off a couple of cute shots. Above we see the Dude at the front of the canoe. It was an exciting year because to get the canoe he had to pass the top level swimming test. Last year he didn't even dare try the "big test" so we were confined to a row boat. This year it was "canoe or bust" and he made it!

Stormy weather blew up late Saturday afternoon and we all had to retreat to the lodge where I snapped this shot in the basement where we watched the counselors put on skits to entertain us while we waited for the storms to pass.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Braces and Brother

Here's M sporting her new braces. She requested both purple and blue.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Portland 2.0

I had some spare time in the afternoon, so I headed over to the Oregon Historical Society. Told them my wife works at the Minnesota Historical Society. Information like that is good for $1 off the price of admission.

I spent too much time at the Historical Society, so I was unable to see the Art Museum, but the outdoor sculpture is open 24x7. Here's a coyote and his friend.

It's my last night in this fair city. It's a beautiful place. The natives say it's warmer than usual, but what strikes me is the lack of humidity. This place is bone dry. I can take mid 80s when it's desert dry.

My boss stood me up for dinner, so I dined alone at Pinocchio. The steak was very good, but the little beet salad I had before the entree was excellent. Maybe you have more time to appreciate the beets when you dine alone. Or maybe I was just starving after 7 hours without food on top of 2 hours of walking around downtown Portland. (FYI - lunch at Burgerville - fresh, local, and sustainable fast food. The fresh Raspberry Shake was wonderful, mmmm.)

Final shot - another attempt at artsy digital photos on the Blackberry camera.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Portland, OR

[Looking up from Southpark Seafood Grill & Wine Bar, where we ate last night, and where I left my colleagues for the evening.]

I'm spending a few days in Portland for work, staffing a "booth" if you can call it that -- at the annual meeting of the American Association of Law Librarians. It was a long day today, with many hours spent standing around talking to people.

Joined colleagues for a nice dinner out at Jake's. The evening ended with a gentleman at the table next to us having some sort of medical emergency, so we quickly vacated to give the emergency personnel some room to work.

[The scene outside Jake's Famous Crawfish Restaurant.]

[Next stop?]

I have retired to my room - but my more energetic and youthful colleagues are out on the town.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Pause that Refreshes

Crazy morning - won't go into details. Sought relief at the local Dunn Brothers with a donut and iced-coffee. Not sure if it's working yet.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Early Morning Wake-up Call

I guess I can't complain. It's good to live in a city with a very responsive fire department. When Roseville responds to a house fire, everyone turns out. So it was at 5:55 am today when at least 7 different fire trucks responded to a house fire about one block away. With only the birds to compete with for noise, the sirens got my attention. I quickly awoke and couldn't go back to sleep. The Hobbled Wife said I better run over and check it out. She promptly fell back to sleep.

I didn't stick around to talk to anyone, but all I could see was that the fire crews had set up those big powerful fans in the front door and were blowing a lot of smoke out. They hadn't brought in any hose and didn't seem to be fighting a fire. Don't know if it hadn't really ignited, or they were able to dowse it quickly by the time I got there.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Beatles Days

[The Quarrymen, with John Lennon in center, checked shirt, July 6, 1957.]

A colleague asked if I celebrated Ringo Starr’s birthday. Alas, I did not, yet I was keenly aware that yesterday was Ringo’s 68th birthday. I countered by asking my colleague whether he celebrated the other great Beatle anniversary this week?

July 6, 1957, the day John Lennon met Paul McCartney. Everyone (OK – probably just Beatles geeks) knows the story. John had a band, the Quarrymen. Paul loved music but was not in a band. John’s band was playing at some village fete (or church fete). When I first really dug into the Beatles history – about age 15 or so – I always wondered what the hell a fete was. Ivan Vaughn, mutual friend of John and Paul agrees to introduce the two. 15 year old Paul bikes over from Allerton (the biking pre-Beatle – how quaint) to catch the show. Between shows, Paul shows John how to play – and proves he knows all the words to the song – Twenty Flight Rock (link - by Minnesota’s own Eddie Cochran). Remembering the lyrics to songs (even Beatles songs) proved difficult for Lennon throughout his career. Other stories have Paul showing John how to actually tune a guitar. Either way, John was impressed and one week later asks Paul to join the band. The rest is history.

Found a good article in a recent edition of the Liverpool Echo about the fateful meeting, including some interesting detail about former Quarrymen, and the guy who took the one iconic picture that day.

Back to Ringo – Hmm – I’ve just noticed that with my “summer short” haircut, I seem to sporting the same look as Ringo. If I grew a my facial hair, then all I’d need would be the nose. You may think it odd, but there is something comforting to know I have my very own Beatles hair-cut – albeit he’s a 68 year old beatle. Happy Belated Birthday Ringo – Peace and Love.

Monday, July 07, 2008

4th of July Report

I’m recovering from a busy 4th of July weekend. We had lots of fun at the cabin (and farm) with family and friends. Due to increased population density in the cabin, the Hobbled Runner spent two nights out-of-doors in his new tent (a Father’s Day gift from the kids). Sleeping under the stars was a lot of fun, but it took a while to settle down on the night of the 4th as it sounded like we were in a war zone. Given our close proximity to North Dakota, many had made a run for the border to secure real fireworks. While I have no interest in spending hundreds of dollars to buy stuff that you are going to turn around and blow up in a few hours –I’m glad others do. Thanks, we all appreciated the show.

On the night of the 4th, I slept in the tent with M and the Dude, stretching the limits of this 2 to 3 person tent. The highlight of that night was M waking me up at 4:30 with tooth in hand. She had lost a tooth, and her mouth was all bloody. I ran to the house for water and paper towels. After a few minutes with her head sticking out the tent door, spitting bloody water into the grass, we all settled down for a few more hours.

On the second night, it was just the Dude and I. More room to turn over, but the ground was just has hard and lumpy.

Highlights of the weekend (besides the tenting): Lots of fun with the little cousin, I-Man; playing with the Kentucky cousins; the maiden voyage on the new (to us) hand-me-down boat; breaking both cables in the boat lift – but not at the same time; M learning to kayak, and making a very nice recovery from rolling it while attempting some sharp maneuvers; oh – and the Dude perfecting his lawn mowing techniques. I’m probably crazy to let him ride the thing, but he does a pretty nice job. We insist he stick to the flat open spaces, no fancy maneuvers around trees or buildings and no mowing the slopes. He’s only 8 and weighs about 60 pounds. Next year – the job’s his for good!

The 4th of July would have been my Dad’s 84th birthday. I no longer believe that we shoot fireworks to celebrate his birthday – as he told us when we were little kids, but I never hear fireworks without forgetting that story. Happy Birthday Dad.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Crazy Day

Ugh - crazy day at work. Time for a garden break. Some garden pictures taken this morning.

Giving credit where credit is due: I only take the pictures, I have nothing to do with garden maintenance. The Hobbled Wife keeps all these looking so nice.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Mmmm- Pumpkin

The picture above of contrails, snapped this morning from our driveway before departing for work, is only intended as window-dressing on this post. It has nothing whatsoever to do with nutrition generally or pumpkins specifically.

Hmmm? Or should I say MMMM – canned pumpkin. Never thought of using it in anything besides pie. This list of the 11 best foods you aren't eating opens up whole new vistas for me – and the Dude actually likes pumpkin. Hooray – one more vegetable to the list of kid approved vegetables.

11. Canned pumpkin: A low-calorie vegetable that is high in fiber and immune-stimulating vitamin A; fills you up on very few calories. How to eat: Mix with a little butter, cinnamon and nutmeg.