Monday, June 30, 2014

Friends Make Work so much more Enjoyable

Meet Matt!

I have known Matt for a number of years.  And, he always has that smile!   He works as a sales person for one of the vendors I throw money at.   No wonder he's smiling!!!

Seriously, Matt is knowledgeable about the work they do and very supportive of his customers.  It is ALWAYS a pleasure crossing paths with Matt.

Thanks Bud!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Charlie Brown and Schroeder

I was returning to the conference from business lunch and had to stop for a few photos.  I really like the statues the Peanuts gang around the city.

Even though I was tired, old Charlie Brown had a smile for me.  Of course, how can you not smile when you have a dog loving you up.

Or, how can you not smile, watching someone do what they love.

My sincere thanks to Charles Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts cartoon strip.  If you are curious, Charles ran a cartoon strip called Li'l Folks in the St. Paul Pioneer Press from 1947-1950.  And, it was here that the name Charlie Brown first appeared. 

Well done, Charles.  Well done.

Friday, June 27, 2014

When it was My Turn to Speak

Yeh....getting the lunch speaking slot is a tough gig.

Next year, I am so not preparing.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Business Acquaintence

One of the things I like most about attending the local security conference, is the chance to touch base with so many delightful, dedicated, and smart people that I have met over the years.

Meet Paul!

I've known Paul for 10+ years.  And, he always has that same contagious smile!

Thanks Paul!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Support Team at Excel Energy

Meet Mary!

She was assisting various groups at the security conference.   When I asked to take her photo, she was most gracious!   And, when I asked what I could write about her, she said, "OHHHH.....I know!  I saw the Beatles in 1964 at Met Stadium!" 

Now, that is just plain cool.

Thanks Mary!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

K9 Units

I recently attended a security seminar in St. Paul and was pleased to see a K9 unit that was present.  

Meet the fine representatives of the St. Paul Police's K9 units.   While I am keenly aware that police officers have no expectations of privacy in the performance of their duties, I was polite and asked to take the photos. 

I was very concerned about the dog being nervous.  And, he was a bit.  

The officer below spoke about the K9 program, the costs, how long it takes to train a dog, and other "compliance" testing they do.

My sincere thanks to all three officers! 


Monday, June 23, 2014

The Nursery: Testing a New Lens

I had acquired a new lens that I wanted to test out.    What do you think?

More DoF flexibility is very nice.

Not a great lens for macro work.  But, you can get close!

I just like cacti.  They have evolved to live in the harshest of climates.

Depth of field and macro images are always a struggle to balance.   I gave up some get more DoF. 

I don't think it will work for macro.  I have other choices for that.

Still, a good place to test it out.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Travelers Meeting Travelers

As I have mentioned, I travel to Atlanta a fair amount.   And, staying at a hotel, it is easy to meet other travelers.

Meet Patrick and Don from California!

They were shooting pool and I noticed the shoes.  Hard to miss those shoes!

They were in Atlanta for business meetings.   We had a great conversation.  And, there was conversation about #Jeff@reebok.  I still don't know the story!

My sincere thanks gentlemen!


Friday, June 20, 2014

Customers at the Nursery!

Meet Carmen

And, meet her daughter, Melissa!

They were working on a small Easter garden for a table center piece.   They both love working with plants and creating art with them.  Melissa is also gearing up for a wedding in September to a man she's known since high school!

Good luck and fortune to you both!  My sincere thanks!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Plants: Creative and Healing

Meet Renee!

She is an employee at the nursery I frequent.   Well, I don't frequent it THAT much.  But, this day, she was working with customers to create small themed Easter gardens.  

She said she lives a charmed live working with plants and people and loves being creative. 

My sincere thanks Renee!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bob FM: The Morning Crew

Meet Jon

Meet Ashley

And, meet Geoff!

The Bob FM radio station was "on the air live" this spring at one of the local nurseries.  They were most delightful and engaging.  And, they were giving away discounts on various purchases at the nursery.  

My sincere thanks to you all.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

This So Reminds Me of Girls I Dated in High School

Sure, give me those big, sad eyes.

OK....I will scratch your tummy.

I am a sucker for a soft tummy.

Monday, June 16, 2014

One Smart Dog

I had the occasion to visit my daughter a few months ago.  They have a new pup.   This was my first visit back after they got the dog.  And, I must say, she is smart.  

I threw the ball.   Now, the game begins.  Nope, I am NOT bringing it back to you.

Try and get me.

She kept a good eye on me and deftly moved around the fence and bushes, keeping a safe distance and guarding her treasure.

I was planning on running her little legs off and tiring her out.  But, she turned the tables on me.  I needed a nap after chasing her around the bushes!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Atlanta Area: A Great Bar and Bartender!

I travel for business.   And, I occasionally get to the Atlanta area.  While there, the stars aligned and I was able to meet Borepatch (see the link on the sidebar).   We hit this delightful bar that was empty when we walked in.

Meet our fantastic bartender:  Fred at the Mac McGee's Irish pub in Roswell!

He was well stocked!

And, he offered a flight of different whiskey's.  If memory serves me correctly, Borepatch posted about them, as well.

He knew his whiskey!.  And, he knew how to tend bar.  I asked him if he had 2-Gingers and his reply was, "No...but, I once had a ginger and a brunette." 

 Now, that's a bartender!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Atlanta: Podiatrist Convention

When I travel to Atlanta, I often stay at the same hotel.  Just a creature of habit, I guess.  This particular evening, the bar was crowded.   But, one gentleman was sitting at a larger table by himself.  So, I asked to join him.

Meet my table-mate!

He was here for the podiatrist convention.  He wasn't local to the area.  But, he enjoyed coming down to this convention and meeting new people.

We had a lovely conversation. 

My sincere thanks!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Even South Dakota was There!!

Meet Pam, from South Dakota!

She was there talking about tourism in S. Dakota.  If memory serves me correction, we talked about camping around Sturgis during motorcycle week.  I seem to recall doing that once!

Thanks Pam!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Architectural Landscape Design: Fire, Water, and Wine

Meet Laura and Tony from Architectural Landscape Design.

They had something that caught my eye!  Think...outdoor patio table, with a propane tank that is burning the propane as it bubbles through a small glass tank of water.   And, of course, the wine glass really set it off!

It was actually quite stunning and marvelously creative!

Thanks Laura and Tony!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Another Inventor!

Meet Erin!

She was representing an interesting product for smaller the "Bloombagz!

This is a small, re-usable containers for plants both indoors and outdoors, are made from re-cycled materials and allow the root structure to breath. 

Thanks Erin! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

An Inventor!

In early March, I went to a small home and garden show in St. Paul.  It was filled with people who were passionate about their inventions or about some product they were representing.

Meet Bruce!  He is the inventor of the LidSkid!

The LidSkid is small device that holds the lid for a crockpot!  Simple...and brilliant!

Thanks Bruce!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Curling: Wrapping Up the Fun

Meet Claude.

Claude was my most gracious host.  I am not even sure I bought my own drinks that night!  And, we had some wonderful conversations about politics, Obama Care, the US deficit spending, the Canadian perspective on US politics, and even gun control.    Talk about an interesting evening!!

My sincere thanks for your gracious hospitality. 


Friday, June 6, 2014

After the Curling Match: More Fun

Meet Brian!

Brian must really enjoy curling.  He curls with this league...a men's league, and another mixed league.  So, during curling season, he is on the ice three times a week! 

And meet Maurice!

He an his lovely wife Annette play in a stick curling league as well.  And, they are very active in tournaments, too.

Look at those smiles!  And that was before we had drinks!  How can you not have fun with these guys!!

My sincere thanks!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

After the Game: Time for Fun and Conversation

Meet: Jan (and down below, her better half, Dan!)

Jan sat upstairs and chatted with me for a while when the game began.  She and Dan have curled in this league for years.  But, she was sidelined with an injury!  I was most pleased she was there to help me figure out the scoring and some of the terminology.

And, meet Dan (yes...that's the Dan who is the other half of Jan!)

I really enjoyed meeting Dan.   He was funny, smart, and gracious.   And, he looks just like someone I know back in the states.  It took me a while to think who it was.  I told him he has an identical twin!

My sincere thanks to you both!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Curling Action: Sighting it In.

I am actually pleased with this photo.  The lighting was challenging and this was some distance away.  

Claude is in process of throwing.  And, Angie and Annette are preparing to follow the rock and sweep, if necessary. 

Sweeping can ALSO modify the path of the rock.  It is quite possible to curl the stone with a slight turn of the wrist when releasing it....OR, with the help of the sweepers!.  So, the strategy portion of the game was fun to observe!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Curling Action: One of the Team

I had a wonderful time with the Canadian friends who let me join them for a night of curling.

Meet Annette!

Annette also plays in a stick curling league!  With stick curling, you have only two people on a team.  And, the rules about sweeping are a bit different. 

It is a relatively new sport in which the rocks are handled with a curling stick from a standing or sitting position.  The benefit is that this allows a larger group of people to play competitively.  Think curling from a wheelchair (yes...on the ice!) or if you have some other back or knee problems. 

I thought she had a wonderful smile!  She is having fun!

Here she is, scoping out the competition.

And, concentrating on the throw!

Well done, Annette!   My sincere thanks!