23 June 2009

The car show post of 2009

Once again made an appearance at Back to the Fifties at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. This behemoth of a show just keeps going. Over 11,000 cars from '63 and before cram into the grounds. Many are hot rods but still more are classics such as the one my family owns, The Green Hornet, a 1951 Pontiac Chieftain. The Pontiacs are quite a rare breed at this show. Mercurys are too as are Rolls Royces. Chevys and Fords dominate. In particular the Chevy Bell Air. Its literally on every block. That should be my movie for next year. Do a sampling of a block of cars and determine what percentage are Chevy Bell Airs.
It was a full weekend. On Sunday we finally got to Sonic in St. Paul. It wasn't quite what we expected in a drive in. I guess we were spoiled to have been in on the tail end of A&Ws twilight growing up. The menu seemed sparce. There were no tray holder things. But the food was good. No complaints here.
A&W still exists but not in the Drive In fashion. No I take that back. There are a few- on on the North End of St. Paul on Rice Street and Iron River, WI. The one in north Fargo was tranformed into a bank. It was sorry state of affairs up there when the root beer stopped flowing. With McDonalds next door and Taco Bell a block away- what was the Great Root Bear supposed to do. Sell out I guess. We still got an A&W on the south side. Not as big but fresh root beer.

Complete 2009 Photo Album.

17 June 2009

The foibles of leading worship

One of my other jobs I lead the music at a local church. Perhaps you know which one, but that is irrelevant. Well a multitude of things could go wrong on a Sunday morning. Things that went wrong for me include- broken projector, dead sound system, broken strings, children bum rushing the stage, and one concerning a song which I need to explain.
I decided to do a particular song. It was about a cross. I pulled the music for the musicians. Come time to perform it I soon discover the group does not have the same music as I do. I wade through it aimlessly with sporadic mismatching accompaniment. Fortunately, attendance was small enough and I didn't get the boot. In fact I am surprised no one even realized but myself and the other musicians.
The following are some worship leader nightmares.
I entitle the first one "Open the Door, Worship is Falling."

I've had a few people suspect that the above was staged. The following was not staged. What do you think? It gives reason to have the drummer far, far, away.

15 June 2009


I was downright ashamed of my team tonight. And we actually technically played very well. Unfortunately in the heat of battle some got bent out of shape and fair play slipped.
We started the match without an official which got things a bit heated by half. We were actually playing a fairly free flowing game without one. I think we may even have been leading at one time.
Second half begins and we obtain an official because the 1st half ended with some complaints. Then somewhere into the half the dissent begins to fly from my team (i.e. complaining and arguing calls.) Not really a good idea since the official was FIFA registered (a rarity in these parts) and FIFA had been proactive in the last few years in clamping down on dissent from the professional leagues down to the rec league. One of my teammates was ejected from the game and the field after using a slide tackle (not allowed in this league.)
I didn't even stepped foot on the pitch in the 2nd half. It was a nuclear meltdown and I did not want to be part.
They probably had valid grievances. I saw the game it did get a little physical at points.
However LAW 5 states-the referee's decision on the field is final and should not be disputed. Also some points of law 12 came into play.
We could have just overlooked the matter. Cooled off and not allow the team to look selfish and unfair. I've taken my hits in this sport but that's the risk and the challenge. Skill should speak more loudly on the field than our attitudes.

10 June 2009

Royce Files Digest 1

There has been plenty to blog about in the last 3 weeks but haven't had the time to write about it so I'll put stuff in a digest form. The topics in this digest include Marathon Post Mortem , Memorial Day Adventures, 48 Hour Film Project Concluding Remarks, Return to the Cache.

Marathon Post Mortem
I wrote a bit about it last month. Sondag provided additional commentary in the comments. After reflecting on the post marathon press and commentary it appears even great events face growing pains. The loop idea had mixed reviews although at first it seemed there was a lot of good comments. Traffic control and start line stuff could see some considerable improvements to benefit the swelling participants. There has been some debate concerning the 5k race- having it on Friday being one option bandied about. Apparently some 5k runners were unaware that their race started after the half and whole marathon began. An improvement in the food or a return to what has been offered in the past. As I said in a previous post- food was average to sub par.
Didn't make the Stillwater Marathon but it proved to be a rather slow jaunt. No elites decided to run it, I believe as, the results were pretty high. And yet again a women in headphones wins. Maybe this race will bring in some more competition next year.
I certainly couldn't make the Minneapolis Marathon (making a movie that weekend) but it seemed to come out with similar results as Stillwater - men's winner 2:42, women's winner 3:04. Perhaps I am wrong and these races are being used as warm ups for Grandma's, Twin Cities, Chicago, and Lewis & Clark (I add that one because I ran it once.)

Memorial Day Adventures
My adventures hinged on one thing - thinking a friend's graduation celebration was on Friday instead of Saturday.
Thursday after work I jolted down to the Sheyenne Grasslands. The region was still rife with scars from overland flooding. I found my way to the North Country Trail although by detour. The Sheyenne appeared to be more wetland on this trip. I hiked in for about an hour and heard birds, saw ducks, and had to cross over a flooded section. However, I made to my desired destination- train camp 2. I had mapped this location previously but never camped there until now. The railroad tracks are in the distance and the occasional train passes in the night, gently blowing its horn. No problems with cattle. A fairly uneventful stay. Although, as usual, poison ivy caught up with me later. It was only a mild case but I need to know how to identify this stuff more.
From the Grassland I immediately returned home and showered and quickly headed to Fergus Falls only to realize my folly. I mistook the date for the Graduation Celebration. I arrived at the home of my friend in rural Fergus Falls to see no one there. Realizing my mistake I at once reversed and drove into Fergus and then later to the DeLagoon Park to camp. I watched softball for much of the evening (as there were lighted ball fields all around the camp ground.)
The inaugural use of my $4 Eureka Timberline went without any problems. I bought the tent back in February at a 2nd hand store. It was only missing 2 pieces which I immediately bought.
I needed to air it out a bit but for a tent which appears to be over 20 years old it did fine. The Timberline is a classic. Not much has changed about it since it first arrived on the scene in the 70s.
The next day I explored Fergus on bike. It's a neat little big town. However, its quaint downtown was practically dead on Saturday afternoon.
In the evening I went to my friend's Graduation Celebration and met up with numerous other acquaintances, drank draft root beer, canoed, made some music around the bonfire, and finally drove down the interstate to Birch Lakes State Forest near Melrose.
It was quiet and somber when I arrived. From my experience, not may people know about the state forests. (That night would prove me wrong.) After assembling my pack I hiked into the woods to look for a good spot to camp. I attempted to find one well away from the established paths but in the dark that is pretty difficult. I eventually make camp for the night off an abandoned spur. Then the excitement began. I heard a dog in the distance and voices. It was well after midnight. Doesn't anybody sleep. The voices drew closer. I hoped I would not be discovered. This stressed me out. Then there was running and then what sounded like gun shots and then eventually a car horn. I kept still and eventually dosed off to sleep.
The next morning I saw how close I was to another trail which I did not notice. I wrote off that night to perhaps some group playing capture the flag or something. If a warden were around that evening I am sure it may not have happened as there is an established campground withing a half mile and has quiet hours.
I arrived in the Twin Cities in the late morn and did some shopping in Maple Grove and eventually made my way to Lehigh. Fortunate for me, my sister was having a get together at her home. They had the big projection screen out on which we eventually watched Futurama. We couldn't agree on a movie.
On Memorial Day, I didn't do much but wash clothes and plant some more seeds in the garden. My father and I watched the Memorial Day Concert on PBS and then my sister and her husband came over for dinner. After dinner I made the trek back to Go.
Overall quite a full weekend.

48 Hour Film Project

Team Testudo drew a holiday movie in the opening minutes of the project. The writers decided to do something a little atypical by presenting 3 separate vignettes.
Like last year, planning and team roles helped make it a successful foray. The holiday we decided to take on: Mother's Day.
We had more fancier equipment this year including lighting and an odd camera apparatus which I forget what to call it.
At the showing, we did not do so well. I have no clue why the first scenes where so washed out. We had measured the light for a half hour before we filmed the scene. It baffled the editors too because they did not see that during editing. It really was a distraction which broke up the flow of the scene unitentionally.
Needless to say, our movie- entitled Mother's Day- did not win any awards. We had a high concept which dipped into the dramatic and sci fi, with inclusions of irony. The audience did not resound with it and so too the judges. However, this movie was technically sound. It had production values. There were a few other movies which were not as humorous with quality production that did not get recognized either (Bishop, a Tale of Gene Harris I am talking about you)
The night seemed to be preoccupied with ghosts and horror and musicals mixed with them both. A team that I believe was made up of theater camp alums made off with the the deserved victory. Testudo could only look forward to the world premiere of Mary Weatherby- June 13 5PM at Bab's Coffee Shop. We spent about 5 months making it so 48 Hours was just practice I guess.

Return to the Cache

I finally updated the firmware on my Garmin Venture this week and decided to get back into geocaching. Only problem. I can't find any. I tried 4 so far and have been skunked each time. These microcaches are pretty difficult. There is supposed to be one on this bridge but I have been on the bridge 4 times and have yet to discover this find. If only my Nuvi had an App that did geocaching better.

Art of the Bargain 5

This week's bargain's cost absolutely nothing thanks to clean up week here in town. All of these items were found on the side of the road awaiting to be lugged away to a dump until I snatched them up.
Here's what is pictured- a green Samonsite shoulder bag that could be used as a carry on but had been put into service as a gig bag. I used it last weekend for the surprise Cornerstone appearance. 2 16mm Disney Films (Bear Trouble and The Tortoise and the Hare.) These are rare these days. I could have taken a 16mm projector but passed it up. My father has a projector that can show these. The board game Risk. This is the mid 70s version of the world domination game(aka cold war checkers.) It seems to have all the pieces and is in good condition.
Other stuff I found but not featured here: flower pots, a push shovel.

09 June 2009

Sven Goran Eriksson sighting

Of all the places you would expect to see Sven, Fargo is the least likely. However the former England, Manchester City, Mexico, Lazio, Benfica boss made an appearance at the downtown movie house during the 48 Hour Film Project. I am not sure why, but maybe it was the best way to avoid being hounded over his sad departure from the Mexico job a few months ago. Sven is the fellow on the right hand side in the yellow jacket. I have included another images for comparison. Sven has quite a reputation- some good and some bad. He did all right with the England squad and managed to get the Manchester City side to win both matches with rival Manchester United but he has never ascended to the success he had in Italy, Portugal, and Sweden. Today is jobless but perhaps heard of the good job forecast in the Dakotas and decided to pay a visit.
Actually it may be a good move if he joins up with a MLS side to avoid the squabbles of the press. Perhaps these backwaters would do him good.

On another note of seeing famous soccer managers, my roommate saw Egil Olsen while vacationing in Norway. Egil once managed the Iraqi team in addition to a succesful stint as Noway manager (a position he holds right now on an intrim basis).