24 December 2011

It is Christmas once again

Well, the holidays have a way of sneaking up on you and trying to pull you into the pit that is not the holiday itself but the Bizzaro holiday world. You know what I mean- the stress inducing things, the unrest, the traffic, the crowds. Really if somebody was searching for holiday cheer they'd be totally missing it.
But today I bring you the thing I like about Christmas- the music. Sure you get sick of it after a while. Some of it is like Skittles- I can't eat too many of those before all fruitiness is ruined for weeks.
Here's some songs I enjoyed this holiday season:

Josh Wilson's "Noel" or "Jesus is Alive"

Josh is a multi-instrumentalist but this arrangement on piano is simple but elegant. The song does speak to the reason I celebrate this time of year- the birth of Christ. Josh please come to Fargo
Next a gem from Bebo Norman I unearthed.

Released back in  2008, I have only heard this tune once on the radio. And I have only found it once online. This Joy to the World arrangement is fresh and new and kinda blue grass-esque.

Finally, I have "Offering", the Christmas version by Paul Baloche. The recording below includes Paul and some of his friends - I think they are his friends, including the guy named Lincoln and the UK's Vicky Beeching (I think she has a PhD but that is besides the point). Good song.

What about the songs I don't like as much- well I have a list of those and no videos:
Oh By Gosh, By Golly - pure holiday sacchrine
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer - there is no peace in this song
12 Days of Christmas - it is an acquired taste
Deck the Halls by 10th Avenue North- the song got way overplayed this year. I only want to hear it once a year. The acoustic version is pretty good.
2000 Decembers Ago by Joy Williams - again another song which was overplayed. Fine song but it annoyed me after a while

I'll end on a high note. Johnny Cash and his superstar lineup do "Children Go Where I Send Thee"

18 November 2011

Ugly Online Ads Ride Again

I have been on a hiatus of sorts after getting married. I am mostly internetless except for the Twitterverse. (@suspect_bill)
Now we are rushing towards the holidays and so I bring you a few uglies from the last few months.

TrendMicro joins the fray with this one which may be photoshopped a bit to give the gal a bit more shock and awe. I am unsure why she is so shocked or is portraying a "Nooo Face." I guess is that a virus infiltrated her computer and sent gritty e-mails to all her business contacts.

Columbia Sportswear brings us an entry of a woman with a similar reaction but a bit more provactive. It seems to suggest that this lady has been thrown out naked in the cold with only the jacket to keep her warm. Her stance also seems to suggest she may be going into labor- or perhaps she has already been in labor and gave birth to the jacket.

 The RealAge people really knew that this type of ad would draw many to their services to determine just how old you really are or is it how tired you are. But at a quick glance I would be greatly confounded as to what information this sleep deprived lady would like us to find out.

I wonder if these ads will ever get people to find the solution to not sleeping is actually not looking for these ads. This one is rather unusual albeit somewhat related to the product. But what's with the giant ear protection? If I needed to fall asleep I would never use that pair.

This one is truly ugly and obviously unrelated to mortgages. And why is the trick so ridiculously easy? It is probably easier to wear an ugly shirt and do a little dance than pay off your mortgage in half the time. And just what is in the background of that photo?

Our final entry is indeed in the ugly category up to the neck. This wild woman appears to have picked up some nasty skin disease that I doubt the best wrinkle creams will be able to clear up. She may have had to fight her way out of captivity. But of course it is nothing a good photoshop bath can clear up- that is if we can catch her.

12 October 2011

Gumby, Google, Clokey and Hastings. Oh My!

This title sounds like a band from the 70s.
However, Google has a great interactive doodle today in honor of Art Clokey, creator of green guy Gumby.
Clokey would have been 90 today, but he passed away last year.
But did you know that the Gumby came from my hometown of Hastings, MN!
Indeed I thought this odd too when I saw this fact on a map of Hastings that has hung in the family home for years. Clokey was Californian and seemed to have no connections wtih the North Star State, so I thought this incredulous.
I did a little digging and then found my answer in an article in the Star Tribune from October 20th, 2003.  Dick Parker and Heron Marquez Estrada did a the hard work and re-discovered that Echo Plastics of Hastings manufactured millions of Gumby and Pokey toys up to about 1971.
So I guess Minnesota can claim the green guy and his red pony after all. Perhaps the state quarter would have been more collectible if it had Gumby and Pokey on it.

[I did find a possible Minnesota connection for Clokey, although it may be thin, but I am sure GK would agree with it. Clokey and his wife made films for the Lutheran church, specifically the Davey and Goliath series. Now, most of the world knows Minnesota is home to a myriad of Lutherans- so that is Art Clokey's connection to Minnesota I surmise.]

28 September 2011

The nuptials of Bill and Anna or Royce4 + 1: Part 3

Guest blogger Cindy concludes her charming account of the Royce4 and MFB conjugal.

Sometimes the time went swiftly and other moments dragged on. But then suddenly it was time to take the MFB from hiding to her place of prominence. When it was time to get ready to greet her, I saw the Groom nearly jog to his place and look steadfastly ahead. It is hard to describe an honest look of joy so deep it touches the soul. The aisle walk was only a moment, but a lifetime of emotion flooded through the room. I was so proud of the Groom in that moment has he received the hand of his MFB.

The ceremony was like any other and like no other. There were vows and rings, but also there was such wonderful music! And the Groom and his MFB took the stage to play together---their voices so uniquely matched as if designed as such---and their looks toward each other like Johnny Cash and his June. Not a dry eye in the house then. The Groom and his MFB said their vows with such confidence! And in true form of this Groom, there was a theatrical object lesson as part of the rite. Three ropes forming into one to represent a lasting covenant. For two people who honestly value commitment and love their God wholeheartedly, there was no better tribute.

Soon---a kiss, a cheer, a specially decorated car, some photos and off to the festivities! The crowd went wild when the couple strolled in and off went the cowbells oh so frequently. But alas, weddings are for kissing. And food and cake and dancing! The food was very impressive and the cake, like the couple, so uniquely wonderful. The DJ to beat all DJs entertained the kids and the grownups alike. It was quite joyous to see the Groom and his MFB cut a rug with the group. Sometimes I don’t know that they realized other people were there. At one point I thought I saw a glimpse of their future.

The night wrapped up as quickly as it began. I cried more seeing them go out the door to live their lives (after one last ring of the cowbell!) than I did all of the weekend before. But my dear friends and those close to the Groom and his MFB helped me stay focused on the task at hand. And just like I gave my word to the MFB, we stayed until the last twinkle light came down and I loaded pork chops and glass jars into the cars belonging to those Nordic farm-raised brothers.

To my best friend the Groom and to his most beautiful bride and my oft missed roommate his MFB, I love you more than you could know. Thank you for allowing me such a high honor of witnessing your nuptials from such a close vantage point. I rejoice with you!

27 September 2011

The nuptials of Bill and Anna or Royce4 + 1: Part 2 (electric boogaloo)

Guest blogger Cindy continues the story of the Royce4+MFB wedding.

The next morning I was off to the hairstylist and then to the sports store for a cowbell. Turns out they only sell them when the marathon is upon us, so I was out of luck. But the customer service at that giant Fargo sports conglomerate is top notch, and they suggested, why not run over to Fleet Farm and pick up some cowbells as such as used by real cows? I said, My! Why not?! (I had remembered the Groom had made a wish for cowbells at his reception clear---in the way he makes things clear, mind you--- in the past.) So I and the writer/music director the Groom thinks highly of dashed for the cowbell emporium. And off to the show we went.

Upon my arrival, so began GroomWatch. The Groom is a traditional man, you see, and chose to see his fair MFB first only at the most important moment, as she walks down the aisle. But all of us were preparing for the big event in the same relatively small space, so it took some creativity. I was proud to serve the MFB, as were many others, by being on occasional GroomWatch. I also had the honor of being near for the important outdoor bridal photographs. The most enjoyable part of the day was the fact that the wind was so fierce that when we took the MFB outside for photos her veil blew straight up in the air! She looked like she might be 10 feet tall. It was pretty incredible.
As the hour approached, I often checked on the groom to see what he was thinking. I found him to be at varying stages of nerves and calm. I suppose the frequent checking was maybe unnecessary because the Groom had his own entourage, but even if for selfish reasons I had to see him at a few vital points. Now I suppose I know he was just counting the minutes for the sweet dream of being joined with his MFB to finally come true.

The nuptials of Bill and Anna or Royce4 + 1: Part 1

It has been a busy few months and the blog has been rather sparse with content. But I have good excuses.
I got married.
Yep, tied to the knot too, although it should be more likely entwining the rope.
But that is all I will write for now. Instead I will enlist the aid of a guest blogger to fill in the details of the momentous day. You've heard from her before when we wondered about the underwear recall a pastor had down south. We'll be seeing this in parts.
So without further adieu, here's Cindy.

I had the distinct pleasure of witnessing a beautiful nuptial recently. It was that of the author of this blog. I know he would rarely say anything kind about himself, so I have offered this guest post to provide a revue. Most often when the author refers to “a friend”, that’s me. I thought I would offer because I had a front row seat.

Overall the weekend was full of surprises. My role was one in the background and yet nearby, so I was able to witness nearly all of the important happenings first hand. Some of my personal favorite highlights included a borrowed shirt, a surprise live radio show, cowbells and GroomWatch.

The Groom and his MFB (Mostly Finnish Bride) have a very supportive circle of friends and family. I was especially impressed with her Nordic farm-raised brothers hauling tables, chairs and various other heavy articles while we decorated the reception area. I also had the blessing of meeting Royce 3, who is intensely similar to Royce4. I got a hearty chuckle out of the resemblance, yes in appearance, but so much more in personality.
We moved on to a rehearsal that was chaotic, intense and emotional.  I could see then that it was beginning to get real for the Groom and his MFB.  They were both tense and joyfully blushing.  Meanwhile myself and a few friends I had stashed backstage were anxiously awaiting the perfect time to break onto the scene and start a surprise radio show written by a fabulously talented writer and music director I know the Groom thinks highly of.  We were frantically texting each other with the latest updates and soon they were right outside the door.  The chef at the rehearsal dinner was in on the deal and helped them make their entrance.  I couldn’t bear to look at the Groom and MFB during the moments the surprise show was playing…though afterward I had a good moment with the MFB.  I received reports that the Groom even shed a tear, though I’m not sure if he was touched, laughing, or just embarrassed that we are his friends!  Nevertheless after all of the business of the night I thought for certain we would all cry like babies the next day so I made immediately for the 24 hour superstore and purchased handkerchiefs for the big day.

27 August 2011

10 years onward

 This month celebrates a decade in the Go for me. And likewise it is also the 10 year anniversary of Harvest Community Church- one the big reasons I found my way up here.
Let me recount the early days of my time here and especially related to this church I aided in starting.
Things were not going well in the Twin Cities where I worked- they could not afford to keep me on board. Well that opened a few possibilities. I accepted the invitation to join a group of U of M Morris grads in pioneering a new church in Fargo, North Dakota.

I took a summer training course in Morris and then moved up to Fargo- with no job and little money. I was pretty distressed and took up running.
The first meeting of the church was in an apartment a few blocks away from where I now work. I eventually ended up living in the apartment but that was after the church changed locales- first to NDSU then to the basement of the Black Building. Harvest stayed in the Black Building spot for a few years. It wasn't the greatest space but was workable. The photo with the chairs and the guitar player is from the Black Building days. There was this lip in the front of the room which was at about 6'2" and made being up front awkward.
We wanted to get out of the basement since it provided little visual presence in the community. We found a spot a few blocks away at 608 Main Ave. After cleaning and painting we moved into the vastly larger space.
Over the years there has been plenty of remodeling. The storefront was redone and the metal awning removed; new carpet installed; lobby furniture added; and finally newer and comfortable chairs.
Of course I am glossing over plenty of history. We have done outreaches into the community, to the homeless shelter and the Perry Center. We also are involved with world missions in numerous places around the world including Kenya, Russia, and Ireland. I recall one summer when about 80% of the members were involved in some world mission project.
Then are some memorable things I recall- the police coming to investigate a noise complaint on Sunday morning, over 8 Christmas "Radio Show" programs produced, sending our first full time missionary out, Albert Svenddal visiting and playing his lap steel one Sunday, moving the credenza, and making videos starring Nathan and Aric and the elders.
But most of all I recall all the relationships that have come about through Harvest. There is nothing like a going out with a troupe from Harvest after church or staying in and having smorgasbord. If there is anything Harvest is good at is being authentic.
Now just 3 of the original 13 are left but don't let that dismay you. That's rather atypical- usually no originals remain after 5 years.
So have we learned anything in 10 years? I am sure we have. It think it may be something we had not set out to learn in the first place. Perseverance.
Sure there have been setbacks and challenges. We came into the community with virtually no connections. And then we discovered those least expected connections. We are still learning- learning to lean on Jesus and abide in him. The good things won't just appear because of some nifty gimmick but because we cultivate the presence of God in the community. Likewise, the Master Gardener is tending and pruning us so that we may be fruitful.

26 August 2011

Ugly Online Ads in paradise

Now another installment of my look at ugly online ads that are on the 'nets. Now that campaign season is underway anything that attractions the disgruntled citizen is sure to be fair game. And official Obama ads are cropping up right next to the ugly ones. Albeit the real Obama ads are fairly clean cut stuff usually tempting the viewer by asking them to "join the team" or "Obama needs your help." For some reason the opposing candidates don't get into that stuff. Perhaps if Tim Pawlenty begged for help in an online ad he would not have returned home sad and morose.
Well, here is an interesting riff on one we saw not too long ago. It is the super hero first lady but not she has become even more super by having a rotating light on her noggin. It must have been the illustrator's day off at the ad agency. Joe decided he knew how to make another ad by using his photoshop skills.
Viola! Emergency Super First Lady. And all it required was a few clicks. 

 Not more home loans! I thought home ownership was in the tank. Not in California where there are magic beans which allow you to grow money on vines and make a delicious shiraz.
Not sure what this ad is suggesting about the citizens of California- are they usually in a drug induced stupor when thinking about paying off their homes. Bonus- it is an old guy. And a new model. I have not seen this fellow before.

 Poor kid. He must have been terrified that his visage would be published like this on the Internet. Is he remorseful? Is this even a mug shot?
Well, I can find the criminal record online. But wait- it costs money and I sure am  not going be throwing that kind of ching out the window looking for this dude whose only crime may have been jaywalking. Crying won't change the crime, boy!
Fact: you can find more interesting mug shots online without taking out your wallet.
Finally the cure the skin doctor was afraid to tell you about.
Is it really about becoming an egg sucker? How in the world does that affect your skin? Maybe it is more protein or something.
I wonder if its a duck egg?
Quackery just keeps shilling these adds to us.

15 August 2011

Angels overhead

The Blue Angels were in town this weekend but leading up to their performance at the Fargo Air Show they practiced in the skies above. They screeched over my workplace numerous times. I actually had a pretty good view from my upper windows. It was hard to photograph a decent show since they zoomed by with lightning speed. But let me tell you, they came pretty close. It seemed we could hit them with a rock if they were not moving so fast.

04 August 2011

Sweetie, our friendly neighborhood cat

Today we will miss one more cat.
Sweetie, an appreciative feline, who battled on despite he fading health will be well remember not only for age - she was nearing 20 years - but for being a fixture amongst our community. 
Sweetie kept us entertained with her antics especially when it came to computers.

 Even though popular by most people's standards, Sweetie shunned further popularizing her fame. She had no phone nor blog, and posted no tweets or Facebook status updates but instead left us with a myriad of memories and experiences. I guess if she did have Twitter it would probably say- "Hungry, need food!" most of the time. Sweetie would have had tons of friends on Facebook. And her blog would probably be about gourmet cat food and Catherine's room mates.

Today I memorialize Sweetie who lived all 9 lives to the fullest and made life just a bit more bearable for many. Through many close calls this past year we stuck near you and you made it through.
Now I say goodbye one final time.
You're a good cat. Meow.

01 August 2011

Not another Ugly Online Ads post

An now another exciting installment of Ugly Online Ads. In our last post we were seeing the Obamavertment making a comeback and the old also getting more ads. Well we got a little more of that and then some.
Our first is a scary looking lady. I think this was used to sell a miracle wrinkle cream or perhaps a sleep reducing program. I think it may do better as an advertisement for a Star Trek convention. The make-up job on this lady reminds me of some alien that Captain Kirk romanced.

Next we got an old guy and an ad invoking the powers of the chief executive of the United States. The thing about this ad that I can't capture for this blog is when you hover over it the old guy begins to turn into a line drawn version. Makes it rather eery and odd further creating the disconnection to the object of the advertisement but drawing us to the ad because of its sheer weirdness.

Our final ad a friend brought to my attention last week. It was on Yahoo for a day or so and I haven't seen it since. Ugly- yeah. Creative-definitely. So here is the premise for this ad- a mostly naked running out of shape bespectacled guy (wearing what look like the iconic New Balance 990 series) with his privates tactfully covered by ad copy. The guy looks a bit like the Jared from Subway fame or some guy from Freaks and Geeks. It catches your attention because as you load your page the running guy streaks through the page. Clicking on "Follow this Guy" takes you on a pseudo journey of the guy running through some fake web pages and grabbing some of the items on the pages until he gets to the actually ad sponsored website home page. It is actually kind of a hoot.  

28 July 2011

Fargo Marathon 2011 - the beards ride into July

It has been a sparse July. Not much time to post things with much going on in my wonderfully delicious life.
But here we bring you Marathon in July- more Fargo Marathon beard spottings.

Below we have a very real Colorado goatee surrounded by a multitude of women. The Colorado goatee is also bold enough to sport a head band
Next we got a rare specimen of the almost ducktail. It is a bit blurry since I almost missed this guy. Some may classify this as the common short boxed beard but the slight point at the chin puts it in the ducktail category.

Next a traditional goatee or is it? It might be an attempted balbo. He certainly takes headbanding to a new level.

Here we have the envious chin curtain. Mr. Red Shirt is certainly impressed since this guy goes on to pass him up and leave him in the dust all because of the beard. We also get a bonus shirtless man and a dew rag enthusiast.
Now finally, the old dutch, and a red one with a yellow headband to boot. [Also next to him is a thin chin curtain. Must be a beard running be club because they have similar shirts.] He might have mustache hiding under the nose but this one takes the cake for best beard of the race. It appears he is posing for the camera and saying "this beard will carry me to the finish so get a good look cause I am shaving the second I cross the finish."

27 July 2011

Something Smokey

Well, soon this dungary wearing, shovel toting bear will be 67.
I thought he was older.
Anyways, look like his terminology has changed a bit from forest fires to wildfires. The change probably recognizes all those wildfires of not which have been in the news this past decade. CNN did not give much if any press time to any forest fires I am aware. Although the 2 overlap and may as well just be considered the same thing.
It also looks like they a putting the blame for these conflagerations squarely on humankind. Looks like the excuse that the fireflies started it won't go over well.
Well in honor the fire prevention bear you can read Smokey's story in this PDF file -http://www.smokeybear.com/resources/Smokey-Story.pdf 

It seems to me there is another fire prevention mascot. A dalmation in a rain coat or something. I remember this character from the State Fair parade. The dog and Smokey would have separate floats. The dalmation rode on some kind of fire truck. Did a little research on the internets and I find his name is Sparky. He has a website for kids- sparky.org
I am surprised to see that Sparky is 60 years old this year- not sure if that is dog years or people years.
You can read his whimsical story here- http://sparky.org/book/index.html 
Plus he has a pretty active Facebook page. He also branched out into general safety rather than just the kind related to fire.
Smokey and Sparky teamed up in the 1990s to do some fire safety spots.

10 July 2011

An Explosion of Ugly Online Ads

 It was a pretty sparse blog in June, but here comes July with an explosion. An explosion of Ugly Online Ads!

Our first specimen today is the return of the Obamavertment. Since the guy who has name like his was killed the Prez's credibility for ads has risen. Of cource I am not sure this one has a hidden political statement in it. The man looks rather disinterested in the reduction that the President supposedly has made. His response sort of sounds like "Meh. More reductions. What's new?"
Mr. Disinterest is pretty well dressed for one of these ads. I would suspect he may have been a college administrator in another life.
Next in line is Mudman. Scary new ad hero. Watch out during campaign season, this guy will be throwing himself around freely.
And speaking of super heroes, looks as if somebody wants to give Mrs. President a cut of the online ad biz with this resemblance. I have seen Mr. Obama as a super hero but his spouse is rarely depicted. Anyways, she looks like a smart super hero since she reads books, wears a mortarboard, wears glasses, and a magic amulet. She is sure to outwit the villains or perhaps someone looking for money to go to school in Minnesota. If only she had scissor to cut the big increases in tuition that are being  predicted in Minnesota. I wonder if there will ever be a college crash- i.e. the value of an education at a particular college goes so out of proportion that it prices itself out of existence.
Nothing like a little Americana mixed with an old guy to get you clicking through. I almost thought the ad was for "Free Feral Tax Filing"- the tax upon those living wildly outside of town.
Anti-wrinkle cream ad are prime  opportunities to employ our senior citizens. Here this women looks like she need more than the anti-wrinkle discovery. She need a few cups of black coffee at  least.

These are awful. I just saw it last week. The babies look rather creepy, especially that one on the bottom with the square head. Needless to say, your future baby will always look ugly with this app.

Finally, this has got to be the ugliest use of a female I have seen thus far. I am not sure what they were aiming for with the model. It looks like a bad make-up year or perhaps an outcast from Braveheart. She looks a little bit uncivilized but the 80s big earring does her in. This is another Obamavertment where is suggests our President will lower your mortgage. The lady is probably yelling in victory after stalking her evening prey.
"I have food and now my house payments will get smaller. Yabba dabba!"

28 June 2011

The Real Sauna

I promised many months ago that I would show you the authentic sauna that my MFG's father built. And I am hoping to build my Finnish readership.
This sauna is quite spacious. It think it can hold 5 quite comfortably.  It is heated by a wood stove.

You can see the interior above and note the corner part of the kiuas (see the rocks)
It does not have running water so one needs to bring pails of water out from the house.
It is a reinvigorating experience.

24 June 2011

Kicked by the Kek: Beginning the trail

A few weeks ago I decided to do some backpacking and ended up backpacking in the BWCA. Yeah, no canoe, I hiked out to the lakes on the Kekekabic Trail, a unforeseen challenge.
The Kek, as it is known to some, sprang up back in the 1930s for fire suppression in Superior National Forest.  It fell into disuse until some Boy Scouts cleared it out in 1949.
Back in 1949 a Boy Scout said of this trail:
The Kekekabic Trail is one of the toughest,
meanest rabbit tracks in North America. The
trail struggles its way through swamps, around
cliffs, up the sides of bluffs, and across rocky
ridges. It is choked with nightmarish patches of
clinging brush. It is blocked with tangles of windfalls
and standing timber... It is the kind of trail
that would break the heart of a man who didn’t
have what it takes to go into the wilderness and
try and ‘smooth it.’”
He was right! Of course smoothing the wilderness is not politically correct anymore nor even of the leave no trace ethic.
The trail again fell into disrepair in the 1970s and was nearly abandoned until a club was formed to maintain it about 1989. They clear the Kek and other wilderness trail every year.
I decided to give a shot since I had planned to do years ago and felt this was as good a time as any to go. I made my way up to Ely and purchased the required permit. Most of the trail is in the BWCA and in fact went near some of the lakes I had been to last fall on my solo canoe trip.
After getting some needed supplies (like a thicker thermal shirt- it was cold!) and stopping through the International Wolf Center, I drove out to the trail head. With a heave-ho I loaded the pack on my pack and progressed down the path. Early on there is one scenic  overlook. From it you can see Disappointment Peak. I was attempting to get to that peak last fall but the darkness stopped my adventure.
The trail is full of felled trees, rocks, roots, and ruts. It gets steep in places and it others it is flat and rolling. Another section near the start must have been cleared recently because it looked empty and eerily out of place with a forest all around. I saw not a soul on the trail and hardly any wildlife, although I could now identify wolf scat and wolves must have been around, somewhere.
I hiked and hiked until it got dark and I needed to figure where there was campsite. Hardly any place off the trail seemed capable of being a campsite. The trail in darkness got me confused. I wandered around in a circle when another trail intersected. Finally I found a spot, which was so under my nose I don't know how I overlooked it. I believe it may be the campsite near the east side of the Becoosin & Benezie Loop.

22 June 2011

Vrooming along again

Well, there haven't been any updates for weeks. Pitful, I know.
But here's what happened in short summary since Memorial Day.
1. Went on my adventure hiking trip on the North Country Trail in 2 different locations. One near Remer, MN and the other in the BWCA on The Kek. The whole Kekekabic Trail is enough for another post so I'll not drop the details here. To say the least, that trail kicked my butt.
2. The following weekend involved traveling to 3 different locales. I went to a wedding in Mo-town and then watched a triathlon in Buffalo. My MFG was competing in it. I should post stuff on that later. It was really cool.
3. I forgot what happened the following weekend. I remember seeing my MFG and shopping.
4. The next weekend was the annual pilgrimage to the car show with the Green Hornet, the family's 1951 Pontiac Chieftain. I went down on Thursday and had to return on Saturday because I needed to do music the next day. It was a long weekend that ended with some time at the Texas Roadhouse and talking about Willie Nelson. Below is a new and improved 1957 Chevy from the car show.
5. To top it all off, work has been very busy the last 2 months. Hardly a moment goes by without something needing to be archived or updated or transferred.
Well that's it for now. I know there are more marathon beards and probably a car show report and eventually the Kek story and perhaps I'll finish up the bike trip from last year.

30 May 2011

On Memorial Day 2011

The poppy has been a popular symbol used around Memorial Day in the States and in the UK and perhaps elsewhere.
The VFW distributes them yearly. I don't know if they are sold or what. I haven't seen that many around my neck of the woods for years. I have an old one I keep on hand. The VFW website explains it.

Although all veterans are often honored on this holiday, it was originally for those men and women who died in the Civil War. I think I mentioned this in last years Memorial Day post.
The poppy symbol, however, is from WWI, a war my great uncle served in. I am told he had to alter his age in order to enlist. Eventually he did such a good job the Government asked him back for WWII. I believe he was a boiler maker of some kind. I think he was in the Pacific during WWII.

Now a poem:
Remember now the smoke and grime
Battering and bellowing towards the line
Stand did they, when came their time
Refusing to relinquish but for Liberty to shine.
These things were done, not without thought
But for Freedom's kinsmen, they put in their lot.
And for now we recall their heroic charge
To look, to hear, to understand-
O brothers, sisters, remember now.

27 May 2011

Fargo Marathon 2011: The after buzz

Well it is pretty done and dusted in Fargo now a whole week after all the excitement happened. I have run, biked, or walked most of the southern portion of the marathon route and have found almost all the GU leftovers. The rest of the GU will probalby blow away.

Here's an article about the men's winner- Luke Watson. The writer likes to point it out that he beat a Kenyan. Actually 2 Kenyans if my race media guide is correct.
I was surprised to see that Watson also calls Stillwater MN home. Well he graduated from Stillwater and I believe moved to PA to do doctoral work at Penn State. Another unknown fact was Watson was a friend and roommate of Ryan Shay at Notre Dame- a distance runner who died after suffering what is believed to be a heart attack while running in the US Olympic marathon trials in 2007. Watson also has a brother, Jake, who is a pretty good runner too (he ran a sub-4 mile.)
Watson only appears to have taken on the marathon recently (last 3 years) since a lot of the other races I see he ran were more mid-distance (10K, 3000M, 5000M).

Here's a runner's  report of the marathon.
Another blog with pictures from the Moorhead side of the river.
And yet another marathon recap
And another runner reports his experience
And there are many more. This is incredible. There weren't that many blog entries about the marathon last year.

Of course more Fargo Marathon beard coverage will be coming next week. Have a grand Holiday.

26 May 2011

Looking for Ugly Online Ads

After a slight lull in the action the Ugly Ads are...still coming. It's been a busy month and all but I've come across a few we can dissect here.
Since the Osama raid, Obama's popularity has risen although this ad does not invoke the name it only refers to a President- perhaps the bank's president did this.
This photo shopped picture is pretty ugly. Of course the fake eyes really does this one in as well has the mushed mouth.
Grandma is going to gag since she can't sleep. But this new shocking secret is sure the help- it's on the internet so it must work.

I can't believe the President wants to be associated with these adverts. This guy is downright creepy. Looks like he might work in the dungeon of terror or the a haunted house. In fact he does not look quite real. Looks as if he is made of wax.

Believe me, the only reason for these mugs is to get someone to looks and perhaps click. Getting your attention is the game advertisers are playing on the nets. So that's why all the those "amazing secret" type texts and invoking the President's approval.