Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Eve: 2014

Easy does it tonight, everyone.  And, if you are drinking, find a sober ride home.  Let's wind up 2014 fully intact.   And, let's not start 2015 off with any tragedies.
There are people, and others, that depend upon you. 

So be safe everyone.

And, as I finish 2014, I want to thank those who follow my blog.   I know it isn't the most interesting blog in the world.  And, I don't say anything remarkable.   But I have tried to remain true to the blog's purpose: To remind me, and you, that we are all just people.   We have similar dreams for a better world.  We have similar hopes for our children. We may disagree about those dreams and how to achieve them.   But, we have a lot of common ground, too.

For those of you who have been gracious enough to let me take your photo, I want to extend my sincere thanks.  You get me out of my shell.  You help me be creative.  And, you help me bring the message forward that, we are all, Just People.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Game Fair 2014: K9 Water Fun

These dogs LOVED the water.  They couldn't wait to run and jump in.
Of course, they had a job to do.  Get the duck and bring it back.

Do NOT be sidetracked by any weird people standing on the dock taking your photo.

And, once on dry land, a quick shake!

Deliver the duck.  A job well done!  And, of course, the next question is, "when do I get to go again!!!"


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Friday, December 26, 2014

Game Fair 2014: TQW Calls

Meet the TQW Duck Calls team!

And, here is some of their handiwork!

I love the woodwork and grain.   Very nice!

Thanks guys!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

The grandkids are finally in bed.   I think they are beside themselves with anticipation.

The evening is still.

The lights are dim, but they highlight and surround various scenes.

And, the chaos of tomorrow morning lies in wait. 

It is exhausting.   But, when Papa read stories tonight before bed time.  And, when Papa asks each one, in turn, "who loves you?".   Papa can only smile when each says, "Papa".

Tonight and tomorrow, keep safe and warm.   Remember, this day is not about what you want.   It is about giving to others.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve: 2014

The Christmas village is up.   No snow this year.  So, we didn't put up the white cotton to mimic the snow.   Good thing, I sort of hate that.  But, what do you expect from a curmudgeon?

But, everyone is safely home after a long journey. The Christmas lights are on.   The presents are wrapped and ready.   The Grandkids didn't nap at all on the journey.  They were excited to see Papa.

May you all have a wonderful Christmas Eve.  Enjoy the preparation for the celebration to come.  Enjoy what you have.   Many have much less.  MUCH less.

Keep safe.  Keep warm.  And, love those around you even when you don't want to. Be gentle.  We are, like a rare gift, often fragile.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Game Fair 2014: A Key Organizer

Meet Chuck!

Events like the annual Game Fair take a lot of planning.  And, it takes a large group of people to pull it off smoothly.  Chuck is one of the key members of the Game Fair planning group.

Nicely done!

Thanks Chuck.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Game Fair: Cigars and Scotch, Anyone?

Meet Paul!

He runs a store featuring premium cigars.  You can check it out here.

I must confess that I rather like the smell of a cigar now and then.  But, it isn't my thing to smoke them.

But, he had a nice selection!

He is also sponsoring a group that gets together to smoke cigars AND drink scotch.   Now...that may catch my fancy!

Thanks Paul!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Game Fair 2014: Television Celebrities! Minnesota Bound

Meet Ron Schara!
Normally I don't put in anyone's last name.  However, if the person is well known in either a political or media field, I don't mind.  
Ron is host of Minnesota Bound, an outdoors television show.   His show features 30 minute episodes of fishing or hunting around the area, talking to guides, cooking, etc. 
Check out the Minnesota Bound web site.

And, meet Ron's daughter, Laura!  Ron has brought her into the show. She is sitting with Raven, the star of the show!

The former Raven has passed away.  But, the current Raven was one of her pups. And, she has become one of the most famous, and loved, dogs in Minnesota. 
It is certainly nice to cross paths with Ron and Laura. They are both delightful and charming. But, crossing paths with a black lab who loves everyone is a real treat! 

My thanks to Ron, Laura, and especially Raven! 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Game Fair 2014: Puppies!

I know this is hard to make out.  But, think about 8-12 puppies all cuddled together taking a nap.

Here is another bunch.  Nap time!

Or, if you prefer the loner.  

They are cute.  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Game Fair 2014: More Dogs.

How can you resist this face?

Meet Ozzi.

Available for licking your face and loving you up.  OK...he isn't available.  Someone else already has him and he is already proficient at being loved up. 

In case you are wondering, he is a
a dog.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Game Fair 2014: Volunteers Teaching Firearms Safety

Meet Willie!

And meet Ron!

Between them, they have 30+ years of volunteering, assisting new shooters with safety and accuracy.
In this booth, they were using .177 caliber pellet guns.   The shooters are provided eye protection and Hi-Viz targets.
Ammo!  Note, this is not a bullet.   The .177 caliber is an air gun. There is no gun powder and loud noise when it fires.  However, it is quite powerful!

And, the target.  

This was primarily used by kids who wanted to try their skill under safe conditions.  I was going to try, but didn't want some 8 yr old to do better than me!

Thanks Guys!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Game Fair 2014: Capable Partners

Meet Darrell from Capable Partners!

Capable partners matches volunteers to assist those who may need physical assistance to get out hunting or fishing.

Volunteers register and note the areas of outdoor activities for which they are willing to assist. In short, the apply.

They even have a magazine!

I thought this was a marvelous idea.  


Monday, December 15, 2014

Game Fair 2014: Products to Improve Safety



His company reps a variety of products associated with outdoor safety.  This is an integrated vest/harness that attaches in a tree.  If you fall out of the tree, the hardness locks automatically (something like a seatbelt locking when in an accident).  The idea is to reduce the possibility of injury from falls.

One sure fire way to not fall out of a tree, at least at my age, is not get up in the tree in the first place.   But, for those younger hunters out there, this could prevent a serious injury.

Thanks Corey! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Game Fair 2014: Having Fun with Bows and Arrows

Meet Nancy!

Her job was to stay and keep track of the bows and arrows for the kids as well as the more "grown-up bows and arrows that the serious hunters brought in.  She had one other critically important job that day....she was blowing up the balloons for the kids to shoot!

This was the back of the trailer where the adults could check their bows and wander around the show until it was their turn to compete.  
Nancy was doing a great job ensuring they were safe!

Thanks Nancy.  I am sure your husband (who runs Rapids Archery) appreciated you willingness to sit there! 


Friday, December 12, 2014

Game Fair: Playing the Role

Meet Doug from the Twin Cities Muzzle Loaders

This group plays a wonderful role showcasing some of earliest firearms that made it into North America.  They sponsor shooting contests!  I think I need to find one of those and bring the camera.  The photos could be awesome with the flash of the powder and smoke from the barrels.

Thanks Doug!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Game Fair 2014: Furniture

Meet Mike from Viking Log Furniture!

If you are looking for some incredible furniture for a cabin or a special man cave, look no further.  This was stunningly beautiful.

Here it is a bit closer. 

It was a stunning work of art.  

Thanks Mike!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Game Fair 2014: The Dogs were the Main Attraction.

Wherever you walked, someone had pups for sale.  And, they were CUTE.

How can you resist that?

And, there was plenty of water.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Game Fair 2014: 3D Colorized Topog Maps!

Meet ???????  I don't know!

But, she was part of the company that produced this beautiful maps.  They had stock maps you could purchase.   But, they also did customized maps of your own property. 

Check out Northwoods Mapping, LLC out of Bemidji, MN!  Or, see their website here

 I thought it was an incredible idea.  And, they were beautifully done!

My sincere thanks!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Game Fair 2014: Rough Grouse!

Meet Terry and Lynnea!

If memory serves me correctly, that is one proud grandfather out with his granddaughter!  They were at the Rough Grouse booth supporting habitat improvement.
Lovely meeting both of you!