Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Northern Spark: Wrapping Up and Heading Out

As I found my way back to the beginning of the evenings journey, I saw the following:

Apparently you can don a mask and take on the persona of your favorite wrestling character...and get your photo taken!

I didn't don a mask.  I keep those at home in the event a Power Ranger needs to come out of retirement.    Now, there is a story there.   Perhaps it will be told sometime.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Northern Spark: Classical Music

I do not know the woman below.  But, she was located in a somewhat quiet corner with this marvelous harpsichord.

She was playing classical music...Bach, I believe.  It was simply beautiful.
Thank you.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Northern Spark: Twins?

I really liked the two women below.  I was certain they were twins. 

Meet Joanna and Sassa!

They are NOT twins.  But, they are sisters.  Joanna is working and Sassa, is four years younger and is still in college.

I liked both photographs and couldn't decide which one was better.  How about a poll?  Any votes?

My sincere thanks to you both.  You were most delightful and charming!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Northern Spark: Another Photographer

A lot of people were wandering around with cameras.  But, the woman below had a map and a notebook.  She was obviously on a mission...a task...that was more formal than mine.

Meet Olga, from Belarus!

She had just graduated from St. Thomas with a degree in art history and had been hired to document Northern Spark.  It was the start of her career as a free lance photographer!

She was having trouble disconnecting a mount from her tripod and collapsing it.   I volunteered to exchange for a photo or two.  I liked the first photo a lot.  There was a slight breeze and I liked the movement of her hair.   But, she wanted to try a few more!

Thanks Olga!  You were a good sport and a lovely model!  Good luck with your career!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Northern Spark: Shovels and Piles of Sand

OK....My father was a general contractor.  And, he believed in teaching us how to build things.  By a strange coincidence, that also kept me off the streets at night and out of trouble.  So, I know the business end of a shovel VERY well. 

This exhibit consisted of a couple of piles of sand with people, with shovels, moving the sand from one pile to another....and back.  The key was they were moving VERY VERY VERY VERY slowly.  Did I say SLOWLY?

I had to resist the impulse to grab a shovel and move at least one pile to show them how it was done.  I think it may have been a parody (that is a very big word for a guy like me) of a union job.  :)   Well, maybe not. 

I seriously had to leave or I would have grabbed a shovel.   Seriously.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Northern Spark: Audience Participation

I was pleased to see something for the masses to do besides just look at the various artist exhibits.  So, you could pick up a hula hoop and give it a try.

Now, my folks got me one of these 100 years ago when I was a kid.  And, I could do it easily.
The scene looked a bit like 100 people having seizures all at the same time. 
But, it was fun to watch...and try!

I hate to announce this, but I no long retain that skill set. 
But, she's got it!

My sincere thanks to the wonderful people willing to try!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Northern Spark: Riley again and the Trebuchet!

I learned about the Northern Spark event at the May Day festival when I ran into Riley.  He was building small scale trebuchets that were simply awesome!  He mentioned that he would be there with some larger scale models. 

It was VERY fun to run into him again!   He had built (I know I will get this wrong, but it is what I remember!):  a working model of the Foshe Trebuchet!  This is significant to those from the area because the Foshe Tower was, for a long time, a tallest building in Minneapolis.

Take a look at Riley and his masterpiece!

Here he is pulling the trebuchet down and fastening it.

I liked this image.  This is the Foshe Tower!!!   How cool is that. 

I had hoped this would turn out a bit better.  But, here the trebuchet has launched a color filled balloon into the air with the attempt of hitting a large target about 100 yards away.  The color filled balloons also had a small light inside.  You can just make out the red light about 1.5" above the top of the trebuchet and at 1:00 o-clock.

It was fun to watch.  It was a warm night.  And, Kelly was working hard!   I think he was scheduled to run the Foshe Trebuchet for 8 hours or so. 

AWESOME job, Riley!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Northern Spark: Minnesota Original!

I must be living under a rock or something.  When I saw the sign, MN Original, I had no idea what it meant.  Of course, it could be that I have been a bit busy, of late.

Meet Elle!

She works at Twin Cities public television and she was there as part of a media sponsor!

To find out more about MN Originals, please check out their web site!

Thanks Elle!   LOVE the smile and passion about your job!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Northern Spark: Models

I was getting ready to wrap up my evening.  I knew I wasn't able to stay up much past midnight.  I am, like 147 yrs old.  About 11:45 PM I started walking back and ran into a group of lovely women, some in very traditional dress.

Meet  Lalita:  She was wearing a Thai dress.  This was one of her first modeling gigs.  I thought she was lovely and graceful.  I spoke briefly with her step-father while I was taking the photos and promised to send him the images once I had them downloaded.  He was happy to get them!

She comes from a family that lost members through both the Japanese invation and from Mao's purges. 

Lalita immigrated here when she was 6.  She graduated with honors from HS and is now in college. 

These were some of the lovely ladies that were modeling with her.

Thank you, ladies!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Northern Spark: Participants Continued!

Meet Katie!

She was standing slightly behind the stage and listening to the music when I asked to take her photograph.  When I asked her what I could say about her, she gave me perhaps the most entertaining and off the wall answer I have had yet.  She said, "I love talking about the 1066 Battle of Hasting".  When I asked why, she didn't hesitate to talk about the players, what was at stake, why it was important.....ALL while the White Sidewalls were playing away!

Thanks Katie!  You win the prize (whatever that is) for the most interesting answer in a LONG time!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Northern Spark: A Host and Sponsor

Meet Carrie!

I took two photos of Carrie.   I actually thought she closed her eyes on the first one.  So, I stepped in a bit closer and got the second shot.

I actually like both of them.

She works for the Ordway and was here to host the sock hop!

Thanks Carrie!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Northern Spark: Musicians:2

Meet Mayda:

She and her band had just finished playing when I first walked in.   As the White Sidewalls were setting up, I had a chance to visit with her behind the stage.

She was most gracious with her time and permitted a photograph.

I was surprised over the last few days when Mayda showed up on the local news.  She is traveling to S. Korea soon to play.  While there, she hopes to find her birth parents and siblings. 

When she returns, she is already thinking of a new album!

Thanks Mayda!   Travel safely.  And, good luck finding that which you seek.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Northern Spark: A Participant

I liked the woman below.   She had this lovely smile and was having a wonderful time listening to the White Sidewalls.

Meet Toni!

When I asked what I could say about her, she said that her 8 word autobiography was, "One husband short of being a cat lady."  There is a story there, I suspect!


Thanks Toni!   I thoroughly enjoyed our brief, and VERY noisy, visit!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Northern Spark: The Sock Hop

The truth be told, I never attended a sock hop.  I was always shy and reserve.   The thought of asking a young lady to dance made me apoplectic.  But, it was really fun to watch the band get into it..and the people move to the music.

My sincere thanks to the White Sidewalls!

I was told that the band moves around a lot with choreographed actions.  So, getting too close would be a problem.  They suggested I stay behind.  

It was quite fun watching!

Thanks again to Bobby and Hound Dog!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Northern Spark: The White Sidewalls: 2

Meet Hound Dog, the founder of the White Sidewalls

I was very fortunate that I got a photo of him without his trademark sun glasses!

And, I might add, he was very gracious with me as a photographer.  We chatted about me being on stage to do some photos.  He provide some suggestions and gave me permission!
Tomorrow's post...the band in action!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Northern Spark: The White Sidewalls: 1

I saw the gentleman below and liked his smile.

Meet Bobby!

He also had a pretty cool shirt.   It was about this time, that I realized he was in the band that was scheduled to play next!  The White Sidewalls!

The White Sidewalls have been around for nearly 40 years.  Bobby has been on the piano with them for 3.

Thanks Bobby!

And, thanks for introducing me to the rest of the band!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Northern Spark: Innocent By-Standers!

Even innocent by-standers were not safe from my camera lens!

Meet Anne and Rand!

They were sitting quietly in a very crowded, loud, and warm room.  But, they were gracious enough to let me get a quick photo.  I believe they were hoping for some folk rock!  I know I was.

My sincere thanks to you both!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Northern Spark: Writers and Critics

Meet Lindsey.

I liked Lindsey as she walked by me.  She was obviously having fun as she took in all of the activity.  And, I really liked the necklace and red hair!  She is a published writer and poet as well as a freelance critic.

It was a good thing I didn't have more time or I would have recited the only poem I know.   It would not have impressed her.

Thanks Lindsey!   It was my pleasure meeting you.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Northern Spark: Musicians and Set Up!

I actually have no idea who these guys are.   They were busy setting up for a band...I think.  But, they were having a great time.

So, here they are!  It was horribly noisy there and they were very busy.  I didn't ask for their names.

Thank you gentlemen for the time!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Northern Spark: And Local Law Enforcement

I liked this guy instantly.  I mean, look at that face!   He was having a great time and was most gracious when I asked to take his photo.

Meet Henry!

What I liked about Henry was that he was a mounted police officer.  He was wearing his riding boots.  I had to ask about his horse (named Cowboy).  It turns out that Cowboy was taking the night off.  Henry, however, was not.

Thanks Henry.  I appreciated your helpful directions and willingness to let me get a couple of shots.  I really do like this image.   You have a great smile!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Northern Spark: Flying Bats and Cute Ladies!

Just after the trio of dark and mysterious women left me mesmerized.....I turned to see a giant, flying bat.  Well, it was a large bat and flew when someone peddled the bicycle that was firmly rooted to the ground via gravity.  But, the wings moved up and down when you peddled.  I so need this.

For some reason, a LOT of very attractive women found the bat interesting.   I should have hung around the bat all night.

But, these two lovely ladies were kind enough to let me get a photo of them under the bat.   Meet Phonic and Emma.   OK..I could have an auto spelling correction there.  I am NOT sure it is Phonic.   My apologies if that isn't right.  But, after the three mysterious women 2 minutes before..and these two...I was a little distracted!!

They said they are in constant evolution.   Aren't we all.

My sincere thanks to you both!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Northern Spark: Dancers

OK...these three caught my eye. Dark and mysterious, they never made a sound.  

Meet three of the women (there could be more, I have no idea) from the Women of Dark Carnival.

I believe they are part of, in some way, a Flamenco Dancing troupe in St. Paul.  I did like how they moved...cough, cough....oh yes I did.  But, that is the point, I suspect!

My sincere thanks to you all!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Northern Spark: Music in the Streets: 2

Just across the street from Dave was James Dean Hall.  I thought he looked very familiar.  And, I realized I have photographed him twice last year!  I first saw him at the Pride festival and then at the Bearded Lady Motorcycle show.

He had a distinctly different sound blending rock and blues.   I chuckled a bit when he told me his name was James Dean.  He dug through this things and brought out a small book, a collection of his musings, and gave it to me.

This was my favorite:   "All the characters I run into on my travels....We are all just a bunch of characters.  Big, small, short, tall, kind, mean, happy, sad, colorful, dull....So many characters and they just keep coming."

Indeed they do, James....Indeed they do.  Check his music out.

Thank you, Sir!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Northern Spark: Music in the Streets: 1

The Northern Spark event was held on June 8th, from 8:58 PM-5:26 AM.   That's sunrise.  I got there just as it was starting.  I knew I would never make the entire night.  I need my beauty sleep.  Just ask those who know me.

As I got near the event, I heard some great Jazz music.   It didn't take me long to find Dave, on the street corner, playing away.

It is very cool to watch a musician just play.  While I was there, there was no signing.  Just him, playing.

Dave came in from Chicago to play.    If you are interested in hearing him, check out Dave's website.

Thanks Dave!  It was awesome!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4th, 2013

I typically do not address political issues in my blog.  I sincerely believe we are JUST PEOPLE...and I try hard to focus only on that.  Further, I do not believe I can add anything to the wonderful words others may posted this day.  Others are more eloquent, knowledgeable, and certainly smarter than I.

But, I am angry.   And, I know our country is in trouble.   Our founders came from lands ruled by monarchs.  They knew the danger of a strong, unchecked government.   For that reason, they framed the Constitution of the United States and three branches of government.  Each branch would hold the power to keep the others in check.  The last line of defense would be the courts where laws would be challenged that violate the constitution.

For over more than 200 years, good men and women died for that Constitution.  They died for the freedom to live their lives, and the lives of their children and children's children, in peace as they saw fit.

Today the US places more people in jail, per capita, than any other nation.  This is freedom?   What the hell happened?  We see school officials working with local law enforcement and filing charges again students who assert free speech.   I recall campus protests from my youth against a war.   I recall innocent, unarmed students gunned down at Kent State.  It was important enough for me to make a pilgrimage there and stand where innocent blood was shed. When did standing up for your Constitutional rights become against the law?  What the hell happened?

We see an executive branch of the government with secret courts that stand outside the law.  Hell, we have an Attorney General of the US who openly ignores the law.  Transparency?   Do not insult me with such rhetoric.   The government has lied to the American people.  Key members of the government have lied to Congress during sworn testimony.  The executive branch spies on citizens.  When the government reason for such spying echoes that of the Stasi, something is seriously wrong.  We have lost FREEDOM.  We have LOST what thousands of good men and women died to protect.  

I watch the news today of Egypt and am amazed at the actions of people who are fed up.  What is the spark that ignites into chaos?  What is the spark that ignites into action?   In my youth, it was the slaughter of the innocents at Kent State.

What will it be tomorrow?  What will it be here?

I grieve for America.   I grieve for those that died for freedom only have it taken away by politicians who have no concept of what the constitution means.  I grieve for America because the courts have become politicized to the point where even the basics of the constitution are lost. 

This day....this important day...remember the basics of the US Constitution.  That document was radical for its day.  And, it remains one of the most radical, documents ever written to support freedom. People wrote it from their hearts and histories.  

Read it.  Good, brave people died for it.   Do NOT give it up lightly.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Time for a few Artsy Photos of my Own!

Sometimes I get the urge to get a bit artsy.  So, while no portraits of people, I did find these interesting.

They appear to be hand-crafted light bulbs with a visible filament. 


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

An Artist...a bit more

I really liked the variety of Mark's work.  

See below for a few more examples.

Doesn't everyone need a smile to start and end their day?

Thanks Mark!