Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Birthday Party for Lois: 5

Again, I don't recall this person's name.   But, I liked his smile and his beard!

As I was working on posts, my friend Oleg called and we chatted about my photography.  When Oleg talks, I usually listen.  He had some nice things to say about my "eye" for the portraits.  But, he had a single comment that finally made sense to me.   He points out that I still need to better control my lighting. 

I look at this photo and see a very happy, smiling, contented face.   Oleg sees that...and also the sunny glare on the top of the forehead. 

It is an excellent comment.  And, it is something I need to work on.  It is, however, a bit difficult when I don't have a studio and can't control the lighting.  In this case, however, I COULD have asked the gentleman to move into a shaded spot.

Thanks Oleg.  I really do appreciate watching you work and learning.   And, to the gentleman above, my sincere thanks!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Birthday Party for Lois: 4

I don't recall this gentleman's name.  But, he had a great smile, a great time, and a wonderful attitude.

And, that was before we broke out the good stuff!  :)

My sincere thanks.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Birthday Party for Lois: 3

A Guitarist!

I occasionally play a little guitar.  And, it was a delight to find someone who liked the same style as me.  I let him play my guitar.  And, that is like REALLY being nice!

And, of course, his lovely wife!

My sincere thanks to you both!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Birthday Party for Lois: 2

Lois had been in a small jazz band for several years.   After a while, it was too much for her and she gave it up.

The gentleman below was the keyboardist for the band.  

And, his lovely wife!

But, it got better than bringing the band back for food.  Ohhhh yesss....they brought instruments!  And, Lois sang for the first time in 7 years.

Not bad for no practicing!   Lois was......THRILLED.  She had no idea.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Birthday Party: For Lois: 1

I have known Lois for a long time.   I believe we met over 20 years ago.   She retired from teaching about 15 years ago.   And, this summer, she turned 80 yrs old. 

With the exception of a rescue dog, she lives alone.  She has family and friends, of course.   Some are near.  Some, not.

She is also in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's.  She knows it.  And, we, and others, have chipped in to help her keep her place.....for as long as she can.

This summer, we threw her one hell of a birthday party.

The guests in the next few posts, are mostly unknown to me.   Lois knew them.  And, that's all that matters.

Meet Ron. 

Ron and Lois were close friends for years.   Age and some illness has kept Ron in the care of others now.   But, his son brought him to the party.  I thought it was a marvelous thing.  Seeing them hug one another again, was one of the nicest things I have ever seen.

I don't think there was a dry eye in the house.

Thanks Ron.  It was an honor having you join us.   And, I know Lois loved it.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Spoon and Cherry: Walker Sculpture Garden

The Spoon and Cherry has been a fixture of the Twin Cities parks for a long time.  I decided to visit the Pride Festival on a Saturday.  But, I had to bring my daughter to the airport at some ungodly hour.  And, people were just filtering into the Loring Park area.
So, I decided to kill some time and visit the Walker Sculpture Garden.  

It was nice and quiet.  And, I think I got some good photos!

If you are curious, yes, that's water flowing out of the top of the stem.   A nice, cool spray!

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Backyard: Open Shutter, B Mode

One night, before it got pretty dark, I decided to drag out the tripod and do some open shutter work.  The setting on the camera is for "B" mode.  This represents "Bulb" and means that the shutter will stay open as long as I depress the button.

The results are largely trial and error.  So, I took 3 different shots.  This was the longest, at about 12 seconds.

It helped to have a full moon behind the house.  So, you can see the chimney, roof line and solar lights. 

I think I will do more of this, as long as the mosquitos don't eat me alive. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers!

The Bombers have a new stadium!  Well, it isn't exactly new.  But, it is only one year old and it looks fantastic. I had a chance to get in and get a short tour before the first game this season.

Canadian football is quite a bit different.  There is a LOT of movement in the backfield (I know there is a joke there someplace).  And, I think the field is larger than the NFL.

But, the stadium was awesome.   Outdoors....the way football is meant to be played. 

And, there is always a spot for a refreshment to warm up.

Do these seats look like the same ones from the old, and now deceased, Metrodome?

Actually, they look a LOT like the seats in Target Field!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Assiniboine Park...and Easter Island? NOPE...Mayan!

I am not quite certain how this statue fit with the rest of the park.  It was in a greenhouse.  And, Lord knows that in Winnipeg, you NEED a greenhouse!!

I suspect it was part of the tropical theme.  

And, I liked it.  I want to get one for my backyard garden.   I think this was about 8' tall.   Perfect.  It will give the neighbors something to talk about.   AGAIN.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Assiniboine Park: Wrapping up Winnie the Pooh

I found this to be most delightful.  It is the postage stamp of Winnie the Pooh. And, it is one of the most rare stamps in the Winnie the Pooh set. 

There are a lot of reasons to go to Winnipeg.  I find it a beautiful city and I love the proximity to the wilderness, the forests, etc. 

But, if you have kids or grandkids, take them to see the beginnings of Winnie the Pooh.  I still find it fascinating that a simple story originating from an orphaned bear cub, touches so many lives in the most kind and gentle of ways.

It was marvelous.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Assiniboine Park: Winnie the Pooh

Milne needed an illustrator for his Winnie the Pooh books.  And, he met a man named Shepard about 1923.   Shepard was born in St. John's Wood, London.   He showed promise at drawing and enrolled in the Heatherleys School of Fine Arts in Chelsea.  By 1906, Shepard had become a successful illustrator and had produced work for Aesop's Fables, David Copperfield, and Tom Brown's School days, as well as an illustration for Punch.  Punch is a magazine that started publishing cartoons in 1841!!!  And, Winnie the Pooh was actually first published there, but under a different name.

Shepard served in WWI and was awarded the Military Cross for his service.  He continued to submit drawings for Punch throughout the war.  And, he was named their lead cartoonist in 1945. 

Shepard was recommended to Milne in 1923.   Milne was so taken by his work, that he arranged for Shepard to have a share of the royalties of the book.

It was a perfect match, don't you think?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Assiniboine Park: Winnie the Pooh: Christopher Robin and the Original Toys

Below is Milne, the author of the Winnie the Pooh books and his son, Christopher Robin. 

An old photograph of Christopher Robin with his Winnie the Pooh.

And, the entire collection of toys.   The real stuffed toys are still on exhibit in New York at the History and Social Science Library.

For all the hatred and fighting in the world that makes the news.  This is truly touching.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Assiniboine Park: Winnie the Pooh: The Beginnings

I was stunned to learn that Winnie the Pooh has its roots in Winnipeg!  There is an entire gallery devoted to this childhood classic.

I had a wonderful time there.

Here is the story!
Here are the only two surviving photographs, to my knowledge, of Lieutenant Harry Colebourn and the Winnie, the Pooh.

I personally thought this was one of the coolest exhibits I have seen.  It is amazing that a simple story of a bear...and Christopher Robin....could touch so many millions of people.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Assiniboine Park: Old Peaceful and New Movement

I stopped on my wandering and took this photo because it reminded me a bit of a Japanese garden.  It was very peaceful and calm.   And, I could have sat here for a while.

And, a few minutes later, I stepped into a modern glass structure.  Much different feeling.  And, this had lights hanging around the beams for evening events.

It was nice.  But, I preferred the structure above.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Assiniboine Park: The Musician and the Artist

On June 6th, 1921, William Alloway presented a check for $100,000 to establish the Winnipeg Foundation.   It was Canada's first community foundation.   Many others have contributed over the years.   And, that foundation helped establish the Assiniboine park and zoo.   And, it help fund artwork. 

And, I liked the detail of the lute player.  That is one manly mustache!

I believe the figure below is Mr. Alloway. 

The park is beautiful and peaceful. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Assiniboine Park: Flowers and Memorials

I thought the tulips were lovely, spreading through an open field. 

And, someone had left a memorial.  There was no note.   It was left to those who wandered by to contemplate its meaning and purpose.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Assiniboine Park: Bears!

There were several statues of bears in one of the areas of the park.  In my youth, 100 years ago, I guided trips into the Quetico Provincial Forests and the BWCA.  I ran into my share of bears,

including some up-close-and-personal encounters.   After the encounters, most often at night, sleep was a bit hard to come by.

The adults are something to be wary of.   But, the cubs are just darn cute.  I have seen something like the above in the wild.   Keeping a safe distance was hard.  It was fun to get closer and listen to them.  But, mama wasn't so happy about that.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Winnipeg: Assiniboine Park: Time and Meaning

All I can say is, "very cool." 

I wonder about who first came up with the idea of a sun dial.  And, how they thought about time, in terms of numbers.   We think, "10:00 AM".  What did someone 800 yrs ago think?

And, why did they care about "time" as we think of it?


Friday, August 8, 2014

Winnipeg: Assiniboine Park: 1

The Assiniboine Park is a beautiful area in the city.  It includes the zoo (which I did not visit).  Instead, I spent most of the day wandering the park and taking photos.

I particularly like the various statues and artwork throughout the park.

This piece caught my attention.  It was originally on the façade of the Canadian Pacific Railways Royal Alexandra Hotel. Built in 1906, this piece stood over the main entrance.  It was one of the finest hotels in Western Canada.

I wonder if it will fit over my front door. 


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Winnipeg: The Forks: Shopping

As I was walking back to the hotel, I stopped in the shops.  It was just about dusk and the lighting was very nice.

I like this building a lot.  I think it is colorful and welcoming.

I hope to get back there soon. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Winnipeg: The Forks: History

The Forks is a meeting place.  This confluence of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers has been a central hub of life for thousands of years. 

For the early natives and settlers, it offered a life with incredible opportunity and hardship.  It is difficult to imagine how people survived here during the winter without some of the modern conveniences!

This park is a memorial to all those whose lives passed through here and who helped form Winnipeg.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Winnipeg: The Forks: Sculpture

One night after a later dinner with co-workers, I went for a walk in The Forks to do a few photos. They have some wonderful, and a bit strange, tall sculptures around a circular bricked area.  And, below each of the sculptures, is a bronze plaque talking about what each means. 

I thought is was delightful, mystical, and a bit whimsical. 

It is a lovely place and very peaceful and quiet.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Winnipeg Bar: The Prairie 360

The décor at the Prairie 360 is interesting.  It is a curious mix of the prairie and urban motif.   I liked it a lot.  And, I wonder how those deer got stuck in the walls up 28 floors!

It was definitely a manly bar!


Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Winnipeg Bar: Prairie 360

I was about the only one in the bar.  It was about time to close.  But, I had heard of this place from co-workers and decided to walk over to it to get a view of the city.

Meet Jason, the MOST knowledgeable bartender about whiskey's I have ever met.

And, his well stocked bar!

Thanks Jason.  You were most helpful, insightful, and willing to offer tips to select a whiskey for my taste.  It was a delightful evening!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mom

It is my mothers 82nd birthday.   The extended family is gathering around.

Yup......that's her happy face! 

Happy Birthday, Mom!