Saturday, January 31, 2015

From the Wild West: The Prescott Trading Company

I recently had a trip to Arizona for a few days.  It was nice to get out of the cold.  And, it was lovely to meet such delightful and charming people in the Phoenix, Prescott, and Jerome areas.

Meet Julie, from the Prescott Trading Company.  We bonded almost immediately because she has family back in MN and, therefore, understands the "native tongue" of  Scandinavian Minnesotans "uff da".

She reminisced about taking her 90 year old grandmother in a hot rod through Long Prairie few years ago.  

Thanks Julie for the photo and delightful conversation.   I hope you get back to MN one of these days!


Friday, January 30, 2015

Just Hanging Around

From my office window on a sunny, and reasonably warm, October day.

I am not sure that is the job for me.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

An Aspiring Model!

Meet Paige!

My photographer friend, Oleg, introduced us.  And, we happened to be in somewhat close proximity to one another.  So, she agreed to let me do a few photos.

I like this photo a lot.  It was windy and very sunny.  But, we managed to find some shade to eliminate the harsh light.  I expect Paige will be featured on more of Oleg's work in the near future!

Thanks Paige!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

People in the Business: Friends

Meet CL!

I have known CL via the business world for a few years.  I was most pleased when she was willing to let me take her photograph.

I like CL a lot.  She is smart and knows her products.  And, she is always a good source of information about what is happening, who players are, etc in the market.

Thanks CL!


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Twin Cities Gun Owners and Carry Forum: Women Run Business for Women

Twin Cities Gun Owners and Carry Forum: Damsels in Distress
I was very pleased to see so many businesses run by, and catering to, women.  This was Damsel in Distress and they sell a variety of gear that women could put in a car or purse. 

Meet Kelli!

And, here are a few lovely items available for sale.

Below is a very handy device to use as a key chain.  And, it fits nicely in your hand.  It is most useful for hitting something really hard with it.  It will break glass.  Or, someone's temple!

Stun gun, anyone?

Emergency car kit!

Well done. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Twin Cities Gun Owners and Carry Forum: Specialists

Meet Shelly and Dustin!

They run a company called Element Arms where they specialize in AR's. 

Since I am somewhat of a neophyte about such things, I may need to pay them a visit and find out more!

My sincere thanks to you both!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Pistol Packin Mama's: Clothing and more for Women Shooters!

I LOVED the t-shirts!
If you want to find out more about them, check out Pistol Packin Mamas here!

Not only do they offer very cool, and funny, t-shirts.  They sell handbags that are also conceal carry purses, holsters, hats, gun mats, other shirts and jewelry. 

But, they ALSO do home themed parties so that women can get other women together, with their friends, and discuss shooting and self protection.

And....they ALSO offer range classes in various skill levels. 

This is very much focused on getting more women involved in shooting. 

I thought it was marvelous!

Meet Kennedy and Kelsey!  They were doing a great job manning the booth!

Check out their delightful t shirts!

 Excellent!  Thanks Kennedy and Kelsey!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Twin Cities Gun Owners and Carry Forum: Key People!

If you are curious about who started and helps support the TCGO's group, meet:

Kevin (but he goes by "Deuce") and Steve!

They were doing a great job manning the booth and talking to people as they walked by.   If anyone is interested in joining the group, below is a photo of their card!

And, meet Shellie!  She is actually one of the founders of the group!  

Finally, they have these cards available for citizens who carry weapons and encounter businesses with "No Guns Allowed" signs in the front of their store.

I have to admit, I like the cards a lot.

Shellie, Deuce, and Steve, it was a pleasure meeting you!  I hope we can cross paths again soon.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Twin Cities Gun Owners and Carry Forum: Ranges!

One of the biggest problems that occurred as more citizens began carrying weapons was where they could shoot!

Meet Jeanine and Dave!

They were at the Minnesota Carry Day and Safety Education Expo to showcase the Osseo Gun Club!  This wasn't open at the time.  But, below shows the blue prints of the indoor range.  They are now open and if you want to stop in and send a few rounds down range, they can be found at 32 4th Street, Osseo, MN

VERY nice!

I do need to swing by and check it out!

Thanks Jeanine and Dave!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Twin Cities Gun Owners and Carry Forum: The Support of Law Enforcement

Initially, I think (and this is just my opinion so the facts could be totally something else!) many police officers didn't support the citizen carry movement.  And, over the years, I have had a number of conversations with law enforcement with officers on both sides of the discussion.

One of the most interesting was with an officer who frequents my coffee shop.   He was sitting at a table alone, waiting for other officers to stop in.  He had seen me there many times.  So, I asked if I could sit and chat for a minute.

He said, "Sure".  I asked him what he thought.  And, it was very simple and clear.  He said, "I don't have any issues with it.  I know that if I get into trouble, some citizen who is carrying may be able to help me."  And, he was right.

So, I was very pleased to see law enforcement represented!

Meet Don, the Deputy Chief of Sherburne County.

And, meet Joel, one of his deputies!

Joel doesn't lean that way.  That was me with the camera.  Sorry Joel!

They were also handing out gun safety literature.  Below is a coloring book!

My sincere thanks, officers.   Keep safe out there.   And know that there are many gun owners who have your back.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gathering of the Twin Cities Gun Owners And Carry Forum (TCGO's): Flashlights

While there are many "hot" topics in the US that can get people up in arms (no pun intended....yet).   One of the hottest is the issue of gun ownership and citizens carrying weapons.

The TCGO's group goes to different establishments during the year to:
  • Support their business (think of restaurants and coffee shops)
  • Provide education for those who want to learn more
I first met them at a coffee shop near my home about a year ago.  When I saw the sign on the patio, I knew I had to come back and meet a few new people!

This fall, I noticed they had another gathering planned near my home.  So, this time I brought my camera with the intent of getting some photos for the blog.

Meet Brian and his daughter Christine!  They run a business selling tactical flashlights. 

For more information about a wide variety of flashlights, check out House of Lumens.

I must admit to being interested in flashlights.  I carry a small one in my bag when I travel and it has come in handy a few times.  I really should pick up a GOOD, well made and durable flashlight.

I will be checking them out soon!

Thanks Brian and Christine!


Monday, January 19, 2015

Traveling and Encountering Art: The Detroit Airport

I travel occasionally for business.  It is easy to just rush from Point A to Point B and not be aware of what is around you.   This was my second trip through the Detroit airport in a few months.  I hadn't been through Detroit in a long time.  A lot had changed.  But, if you haven't been there, think of a VERY long rectangular room.  VERY long.   The gateway to baggage and through security is in the middle.

This fountain was in the middle.

Timed to go off and spout water in different patterns, I have to admit I smiled when I saw it.  Maybe there is something about water that just makes you want to be a kid, again.  I know there were constantly people stopping by and looking at it.  

The first time through, I didn't have my camera.  When I realized I would be going through Detroit again in a few months, I brought the camera fully intending to get a few photographs of the fountain.

I really like it.  I wonder if it will fit in my living room. 

To whomever put it in the Detroit airport....well done!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

Dance Caravan: Waiting Their Turn...and On Stage

This group was waiting their turn.   They were obviously enjoying watching one of the troupe dance.

And Jennifer was up!

 Thanks Jennifer!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ramsey Days: Entertainment with Dance Carivan

I was a bit surprised to see these gentlemen at Ramsey Days.  Not that there was anything wrong with them, of course.  But, they were supporting drummers for Dance Caravan, a dance school specializing in middle eastern, belly dancing.   I just didn't realize there was such a school in the area!
No wonder they are smiling.

Thanks guys!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ramsey Days: Attendees

Meet Elissa...and Lady!

Elissa was enjoying the crowds, festivities, and food.  And, Lady was enjoying being carried.

Cute little dog there, Elissa!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ramsey Days: Food with Wells Catering!

Meet George!

George has been in the catering and restaurant business for a long time.   And, I have used his services more than once!  I was glad to see his tent up and that he was out servicing food.   Guess which tent I went to?

Thanks George!   VERY good, as always!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ramsey Days: Candidates For Office

You can't have a city celebration without someone stumping for office.

The first booth I got to was for Wayne Buchholz, a former Marine.

Meet Heidi!

She is a constituent of the area and has known and followed Wayne for some time.   She was tending his booth and fielding questions.

Thanks Heidi!

On a much later note, Wayne was not successful in the election in nearly November.   Maybe next time!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Manitoba Legislative Building Tour: The Mural

On the south wall of the rotunda hangs a large mural by Frank Brangwyn. Frank, a Brit, was a famous muralist at the time.  The actual mural was being re-touched when I was there.  

So, these are images of a much smaller copy. And, when I took the photo, I did not use a flash.  So the images are a bit difficult to see.   However, there is a tremendous amount of symbolism in the mural. 
It initially appears to be a scene from WWI.  Clearly the Doughboys are in front.  On the left, helmeted soldiers dig trenches.  On the right a group of soldiers eat and drink.  And, in the center, a man in a tattered robe (perhaps a wounded soldier?) is helped along by another soldier.

But, if you look closely above the man in the tatterred robe , there is a faint image of the Madonna and Child.  With that perspective, the wounded soldier could be Jesus, and the fallen tree behind him represents the cross.  This could easily be a representation of the Passion of Christ.  
Additionally, others have suggested what you are seeing is also a representation of the Masonic Lodge initiation ceremony.
I hope to get back there to see the restored painting! 


Friday, January 9, 2015

The Manitoba Legislative Building: Continued

The gentleman below was from the area and he was assisting the slender gentleman on the second photo with notes, photos, questions, etc.  The second gentleman was preparing a large article or special on the architecture of the building.  

I really like the profile in the photo below.  And, the gentleman was most helpful to me during the tour by giving me a few positioning tips and pointing out things others may be missing.

I didn't get a chance to visit with this gentleman.  He was quite busy taking notes and talking to the photographer who was accompanying him.

But, I am anxious to see his book/article/special, etc.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Manitoba Legislative Building Tour

The tour group!

They were on the main level looking down to the Pool of the Black Star (see below).  The photo of the Pool of the Black Star is not mine.   You can find it on the Wikipedia site.  But, I wanted you to see it.  The tour actually ended in this room.  And, if you stood in the center of the Black Star and spoke, your words carried throughout the building. Everyone on the tour had a chance to try it out!

I suspect the design of the room helped bounce the sound around and then upwards to the rotunda (see below and yes, that photo is mine).   I wanted to get the rotunda photo from directly below.  But, when we got to the Pool of the Black Star, it was too crowded.  So, the photo of the rotunda was taken from the main level.  Hence, the slight angle.

I would sincerely like to go back and do a few more photos.  It was a stunning building.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Traveling for Business: Winnipeg Things to Do!

I really don't like hanging around the hotel room when I travel.  But, often that is the best of several other alternatives.  If I went out and drank at the bar, I would soon be feeling lousy and missing work.   And, it just isn't healthy!

So, I often eat alone and just head back to the room to watch TV and/or work. 

Unless you have delightful co-workers who suggest fun things to do:  Such as go on a tour of the Manitoba Legislative Building!

Frank Albo spent years studying this building, learning the history of how it was built and the various symbols that are placed in recurring themes about the building.  He wrote "The Hermetic Code" where we points out the various Masonic "secrets" and symbols.   By pure chance, he was giving a tour one night I was there.  And, a few of my co-workers invited me to attend!

This was in the lobby before the tour started. 

And, I liked this photo showing the archway into the rotunda.

I was fascinated with the history of the building and was surprised at the number of symbols that were hidden in plain site.   Unless one were a Mason, the symbols would not be noticeable.  Apparently, with the exception of one person, everyone who worked on the building was a Mason.

For more information about this incredible building, see here.

The buffalo, of course, is a symbol of strength and power.   It was part of a matched set, one on each side of the staircase.