Thursday, April 30, 2009

If Objects Could Speak

Thanks, Dan for the link!  I love a simple, unadorned piece like this that speaks from the gut.  Or the coin slot.  
The Lost Tribes of New York City from Carolyn London on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

More Weekend Stuff, My Sore Back

This weekend was partially clean-up weekend, with Saturday's leaf-raking and leaf-hauling-away, but it also got the house cleaner, the kitchen wall finished, some herbs planted, some rhubarb moved, some flowers planted, and some visiting done. Not to mention the schoolwork that always comes with Saturday and Sunday. Closing in on the end of the semester, the beginning of summer!

We're waiting to see if peonies we moved last fall with survive the migration. The rain Saturday night(over one inch, I think) should help. Good thing we got the raking done (mostly) on Saturday!

John + Deana Endures

Our special pumpkin from last fall is still sending out its feeble and fading reminder, grown into it last summer and being proclaimed last fall from our front doorstep. Say on, pumpkin! Say on!

Saturday Snow

Saturday morning we woke to snow covering the ground, but only lightly, and by the time I went out with the camera, the only snow left was this on the windshield of the pickup.

Later we went to the new Moose abode and tore out some carpet that looks good enough for the rental house. We brought that home, rolled it up, and stored it away for a project to be completed later.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Portrait of the Bard?

This photo, from the Washington Post, shows a controversial portrait of William Shakespeare, which some think is the only portrait of him done during his lifetime.  I like the wry smile and the knowing, engaged look in his eyes.  That should be him!  

But some think the whole thing is bogus.  WS would have appreciated the controvery, I suspect.  

Monday, April 20, 2009

Earbud, a poem by Bill Holm

I subscribe to the American Life in Poetry email offerings, poems selected by Ted Kooser for inclusion in newspapers weekly around the country.  Sometimes it's necessary to share.  It's by Bill Holm, a poet from Minnesota who recently died, leaving a big Norwegian hole in the world of poetry.    Kooser says he and Holm shared a reluctance to embrace new technologies.  


Earbud--a tiny marble sheathed in foam
to wear like an interior earring so you
can enjoy private noises wherever you go,
protected from any sudden silence.
Only check your batteries, then copy
a thousand secret songs and stories
on the tiny pod you carry in your pocket.
You are safe now from other noises made
by other people, other machines, by chance,
noises you have not chosen as your own.
To get your attention, I touch your arm
to show you the tornado or the polar bear.
Sometimes I catch you humming or talking to the air
as if to a shrunken lover waiting in your ear.

Blackberry Fruit Smoothies

Walter might look like he's anticipating a taste of these beautiful fruit smoothies that made part of our noontime meal Sunday, but he's not getting any. Blackberries, strawberries, pineapple, juice, ice, and a kick-ass blender. Yum.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tri-ing My Best

My colleague Bob Warren took this picture of me gutting out the finish of the Community Center Triathlon held on Saturday morning. I was hoping for a nicer day; it was cool enough, but the wind was more than necessary.

The event went well, and I got a little more experience on the whole triathlon gig. The swim was different, with a "serpentine" method of doing the six laps moving from one lane to another, all the swimmers in one line. I had the joy of tagging someone in the pool to pass them, though the same guy, in my age group, went on to smoke out of the transition area on his bike while I was still lacing my shoes on. Gotta work on that transition. I finished second in my age group to him, Mark Stearns. He was excellent on the bike, where the ride north was into the wind, so the return trip was a quick one. The run alwas starts a little stiff after 35 minutes on the bike, but I got the kinks out and enjoyed passing some folks along the way. I was 27th overall, with about 124 finishers, 65 men and 59 women. My overall time was 58:59. First overall was Jason Crisp, who finished in 43:01, over three minutes ahead of the second-place guy, Eric Olson of Sioux Falls.

My times: Swim (6 laps)--6:23, Transition to bike--2:11, Bike (9 miles)--33:46, Transition to run--0:27 (no bike shoes to change), and Run (2.25 miles)--16:14. For the run, that figures to a 7:12 pace, not bad for this old-timer.

I didn't do the race last year, but I did the year before that, and the previous year as well. Dunno what my times were then.

At the end of the day, it was time to lay down the gauntlet and enter the Twin Cities Marathon once again. So I'm now in training for that little joyful experience. Enter soon if you're planning to run it; it fills quickly.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Vacations from Hell

By Vacations from Hell, I don't mean the kind where you leave the fiery depths behind to lounge on a beach; I mean the kind of vacation imagined by someone tortured for too long by someone with a burning prod.

You might find yourself squinching and squirming as you watch the attending slide show. Thanks to S-I-L DB for the link! Enjoy best if you make it full-screen!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Update

The long weekend (with Friday and Monday both off) lent itself to all kinds of activities.  Easter services for one, a visit from brother Jess and son Sid on their way to Bemidji, a quick trip to Sioux Falls on Monday, attending the film "I Love You, Man," doing my taxes, celebrating Anna's 3rd birthday, grading some papers, and having a great Easter dinner with the in-laws.  

And more!  What am I forgetting?  

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Myxin' with the Quality

Lynn Ryan sends out this invitation for a shindig in my honor for getting a book published in China.  If you want to see a copy, you'll have to come to the event!  It's Tax Day!  Let's eat cake!  

"Beloved?"  Lynn, who have you been talking to?  

I Heard Mr. Young Sing About It

Back in about 1982-83, I got my only chance to see Neil Young on tour, down in Denver, and although it was good, fun, cool, rockin', and rollin', it wasn't the Neil Young I wanted to see.  He's a guy who's taken many forms, from the hipster folkie in the 60's and 70's to the "Neil and the Shocking Pinks" and "Trans"-Neil from the 80's, when I saw him.  He was alone, with some computerized gizmos that he could set up to sound like a band was there with him playing the songs from "Trans," his techno-flavored album.  

He's on the road again, playing down in Omaha and in Denver this month and all over Canada, his home country.  

I won't see him, but he's back at his best self, singing songs that matter and rockin' on.  

Check out the cool website and videos, some of it promoting his new work:

Monday, April 06, 2009

Notes from the Malt Shop in the Sky

We weathered the storm on Saturday night for the performance, with 120 people or so braving the blizzard to come out and see our final Grease! performance. In all we had good crowds, with packed houses the first two nights. After Saturday's performance, it was pictures and tearing down the set, so the night was long, and time came to hang up the suit, put away the silver shoes, and stop walking around the house singing "Beauty School Drop-Out" under my breath.

Great performances, and a welcome change of pace in terms of interacting with students.

Here's me and Todd after Friday night's performance, yukking it up.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Shaved and Dyed, Ready for Singing

Last night was the big opening night of the DSU production of Grease! It seemed to go well, though not without a few hitches. We had a great and responsive crowd, and we're looking forward to tonight, when we'll do it all again.