Monday, August 31, 2015

Northern Spark: Refugees

Meet Anna,

She was helping set up an exhibit in the Mill Ruins.  The exhibit depicted life inside refugee tents in the Middle East.

Below are photographs taken of children and families who live in the camps.

While a very few of the tents were large and spacious, most were not.  The photos were wonderful and touching.

Thanks Anna!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Northern Spark

Northern Spark is an art exhibition that takes place from a Saturday evening to a Sunday morning, at about sunrise.

I was there a couple of years ago when it was held in St. Paul.  Last year there were huge storms that moved through.  And, I elected to stay home and dry!

But, this year, the weather was good.  So, off I went.

Below are some of the mill ruins along the Mississippi River.   One exhibit was there, just to the left of the image.

A lot of photographers take images of the Stone Arch Bridge.  But, they take them from the other side where they can see the Minneapolis skyline all lit up.  

I confess to being quite amazed at stone arches.  They are visually stunning.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Winnipeg Fringe Festival

How could a photographer resist taking these photos!   I saw them walking across the park and was heading that direction.  I waited patiently as they got something to eat and then asked if I could take their photos.

They were most accommodating!

I believe there was a play called "The Bird Cage.  But, I am not certain.  It could have been a club.  

My sincere thanks!  And, I was just thinking...lime green doesn't go with anything I have!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Stopping for a Beer

It was pretty warm the afternoon I was walking around Winnipeg.  Fortunately, they have something called "pubs" there where you can get "beer". 

It was MOST refreshing.  And, it helped to sit in some air conditioned comfort, too!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Artwork on the Walk

This artwork along my walk depicts the agricultural base for the Winnipeg area. 

There is a huge dependence on wheat!  I thought the colors depicting the leaves falling added a nice touch.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Giant Canadian Dandelions

 Giant dandelions!

Many photographers take photos of dandelions when they go to seed.  These were the biggest ones I have ever seen.  I think they were 4-5" across!


Monday, August 24, 2015

The Side of a Building in Saint Boniface

I took this photo once before and it was probably in my blog.  But, if I recall, it was cold and I didn't take a lot of time to set up the camera properly.

I like this photo a lot more.  The color is vibrant.  I hate the damn parking sign.  But, it was there.  

I have started paying more attention to the sides of buildings.  WOW...that is a really weird thing to say, actually!  How about....the sides of buildings with paintings on them?  Yeh...a bit better.

I like them.   But, they need to be vibrant.  They need to catch your eye.   The red did it for me.

Well done!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Louis Riel

I have been to the Festival du Voyageur a couple of winters ago.   I was lucky and hit the weather at a good time.  Last winter....not lucky.   And, I decided staying in and having a glass of wine by a nice warm fire was preferable to being in -40F and trying to say I was having fun.

BUT, the Festival honors Louis Riel.    From Wikipedia:

Louis David Riel (English /ˈl rˈɛl/, French pronunciation: ​[lwi ʁjɛl]; 22 October 1844 – 16 November 1885) was a Canadian politician, a founder of the province of Manitoba, and a political and spiritual leader of the Métis people of the Canadian prairies.[1] He led two resistance movements against the Canadian government and its first post-Confederation prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Riel sought to preserve Métis rights and culture as their homelands in the Northwest came progressively under the Canadian sphere of influence. He is regarded by many today as a Canadian folk hero.[2]
The first resistance was the Red River Rebellion of 1869–1870.[3] The provisional government established by Riel ultimately negotiated the terms under which the modern province of Manitoba entered the Canadian Confederation.[4] Riel was forced into exile in the United States due to the controversial execution of Thomas Scott during the rebellion.[5] Despite this, he is frequently referred to as the "Father of Manitoba".[6] While a fugitive, he was elected three times to the Canadian House of Commons, although he never assumed his seat. During these years, he was frustrated by having to remain in exile despite his growing belief that he was a divinely chosen leader and prophet, a belief which would later resurface and influence his actions. He married in 1881 while in exile in Montana, and fathered three children.
Riel returned to what is now the province of Saskatchewan to represent Métis grievances to the Canadian government. This resistance escalated into a military confrontation known as the North-West Rebellion of 1885. It ended in his arrest, trial, and execution on a charge of high treason. Riel was viewed sympathetically in Francophone regions of Canada, and his execution had a lasting influence on relations between the province of Quebec and English-speaking Canada.[7] Whether seen as a Father of Confederation or a traitor, he remains one of the most complex, controversial, and ultimately tragic figures in the history of Canada.[8]

I do have to state that anyone who views themselves as "divinely chosen" makes me really nervous.   It can give rise to all manner of horrible behaviors.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Saint Boniface Cathedral: Part 2

I like the old stonework.   It is actually pretty amazing that someone figure out how to make a circle in stone!

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Saint Boniface Cathedral

I have seen this "circle" from my hotel room ever since my first visit to Winnipeg.  And, I have long wondered what it was.  I found out on my walk!

It is the Saint Boniface Cathedral.  More specifically, it is the facade of the first Saint Boniface Cathedral.  From Wiki:

19th-century origins

The first church on the site was founded by Fr. Norbert Provencher, a priest and future bishop, who ordered its construction in 1818 in the form of a small log chapel. In 1832 Bishop Provencher built the first cathedral but on December 14, 1860, a fire destroyed the first building. In 1862, Bishop Alexandre Antonin Taché rebuilt the cathedral in stone.

20th century rebuilding

By 1900, St. Boniface was the fifth largest city in the West and needed a larger cathedral. Local contractors Senecal and Smith were engaged to build a new cathedral to plans by Montreal architect Jean-Omer Marchand. On August 15, 1906, Monsignor Louis-Philippe Adélard Langevin dedicated the cathedral, which became one of the most imposing churches in Western Canada.[1]
On July 22, 1968, the 1906 cathedral was damaged in a fire, destroying many features including the rose window. Only the facade, sacristy, and the walls of the old church remained.
In 1972, a new smaller cathedral, designed by Étienne Gaboury and Denis Lussier, was built behind the 1906 façade.[1]
The Institute for stained glass in Canada has documented the stained glass at St Boniface Cathedral.[2]

The newer cathedral is in the background.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Sign

I just liked this sign.  It was written on a mirror at a restaurant in Saint Boniface.  I tried to stand as high as I could to get rid of the darker reflection at the top.  But, this was the best I could do.   I didn't think they would want me standing on a chair in the middle of the restaurant!

As I looked at it this morning, I wondered....why are the "W" and the "S" capitalized?    One of life's mysteries that will never be solved, I guess.  I may need to go back there for another photo.  And, I will be checking the capitalization.  Not that it bothers me or anything.

AGAIN people, an attempt at humor.  Work with me!  I didn't say it was good, ya know! 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Canadian Museum of Human Rights

I have been very interested in seeing the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.  It opened about a year ago.  The general idea is that some of the worst abuses of human beings are depicted in the lower levels of the museum.  And, better human rights behaviors, etc are depicted as you get higher in the building.

I can't wait to see the inside.

But, the architecture is very interesting.  

Don't worry, once I get inside, there will be a lot of photos!   I just need a nice cold, winter day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Exploring Winnipeg: A Fountain

I like fountains.   I am always intrigued by the vision of the artist in creating them.  Why is it structured in a certain way?  How does the water flow?   What sound does it make?

This was adjacent to the Cool Garden flags and just before the Esplanade Riel bridge.  I liked it.  It was a bit large for my living room, though.  OK..that was humor with me.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Walking Through Winnipeg: The Cool Gardens

After a long day, I decided to take the camera and go for a walk.  It was time to relax, get some exercise, and see more of Winnipeg.

I walked behind the Museum of Human Rights (which I have yet to visit) and was about to cross a bridge to Saint Boniface, the very French area of Winnipeg, when I encountered a sea of blue flags.

I actually had no idea what this was about, but, I liked it.

It turns out, this is the Citizen Garden and is one of eight public art installations in Cool Gardens, an international design exhibit in Winnipeg.  

There are 2015 small blue flags with a photograph of a person and what that person thinks is "cool".

With a light breeze, it was visually appealing and interesting.

Thanks for the very cool idea, Winnipeg!

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Grand Stick

Meet Leo!

Leo plays the "Grand Stick".  I had never heard of this instrument.  It was amazing.  I heard him playing at the Palm Room at the Fort Garry hotel on one of my trips.  And, I took time to visit with him and learn about this instrument.

It consists of 12 strings with the base strings in the middle and moving towards the left (as you look at it).  The left hand reaches around to play the strings nearest the body.  The right hand plays the 6 strings furthest away.

There isn't a body, such as what a guitar or violin has, that vibrates and shapes the sound.  This is all electronic.  And, you don't pluck the strings like a guitar.  You press them down like a piano.

It was the most amazing thing I have seen and heard in a long time.  It was beautiful.

To see more of Leo, check out this video here.

Thanks Leo. It was amazing.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Secure Disposal of Computer Hard Drives

Sometimes, it is just fun to shoot them.

Then, get a bucket of river water and throw them in the bucket for a few months.  It may not be sufficient for government computers or the IRS (pay attention Lois).  But, that should do it for my stuff.  BTW, the dent in the very center of the drive was at 15' and did not penetrate the drive motor.  I was pretty surprised. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Science Museum: The Space Shuttle

If you were willing to wait long enough, you could stand inside a simulation of a space shuttle.  It was actually pretty interesting.  You stood on a platform with a railing.  And, the entire cylinder slowly rotated around.   It played interesting tricks with your visual orientation. 

And I believe that was the Suez Canal below us!

Of course, you need to try on a space suit.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Science Museum: The Tornado

Having lived through more than a few tornadoes in my time, it was fascinating to see a much smaller display at the science museum. 

It was a bit tricky getting the photos without people's heads in the way.   But, you get the idea. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Carvings: Art, History, and Story

While in Winnipeg, I saw these carved, wooden panels.  They were stunning.  The photos do not do them justice.  There were 3 or 4 in total and they told the story of the area.  The earliest panels were of native peoples and their folklore.

Note the Viking ship in the upper left corner of this panel.

The history was ripe with people who immigrated, seeking out things that were familiar.  Many from Scandinavia settled near Lake Winnipeg and put to sail on the lake, fishing as they had in the old country.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Winnipeg Train Station

I often can't get my work done in time on a Friday to catch a flight back to MN that evening.  So, I often go for a walk after dinner to see the city.

The train station in Winnipeg isn't far from the hotel.   And, I loved the dome.

Winnipeg was a huge city 100+ yrs ago.  It was the gateway to western Canada.   Thousands of people went through this station.

I loved seeing the large black and white photos from the early 1900's of Canadian immigrants arriving at their new homes.   On my last trip, just below the window below, was a room where about 100 new immigrants were welcomed as Canadian citizens.   

I think of my grandfather and the journey he took, at age 16, through Ellis Island.  It takes something to leave all you know and go to another country.

I really like this building and what it stands for. 

Friday, August 7, 2015


These are a few of the planes that were on display.  I must admit to a passion for some of the early planes.  They were amazing.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Air Show Spectators

Meet Judy and Amanda!

They had decided a trip to the air show was a great idea.   It was delightful watching their excitement as they walked around the planes.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Remembrance: Dogtags

This display was on a memorial at the air show. 

It is strange that just a corner of a hanger can suddenly become something akin to holy ground by placing just a few objects there.   But, it moving.  And people, including me, paused, knowing the sacrifices that so many have made.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Meet an Author: Fighting for Delphine

Meet Lee, the author of Fighting for Delphine

She noticed a man in her church who was a quiet member.   Always polite and soft spoken.   And, sad.

She finally asked him his story.  Below is his photo during WWII.   He was stationed in France in the Army.  And, he met a girl named Delphine.   He was called to move out.  After the war, he went back to look for her.  He never found her.  It was a love.....that was lost.

He is in his 90's now and was not able to attend the airshow due to health reasons.

 This is a must read.

Thank you Lee!

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Co-Pilot

Meet Jack!

I liked Jack a lot. He has a wonderful sense of humor.   He had been the co-pilot and gunner of a three man crew during the Korean War.

 Below are photos of him during the war.   The one he pointed out to me was the one in the center.  It was him getting out of his plane after 50 missions.  He didn't have to go back.

Well done Jack.  Well done.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Happy Birthday, Mom

My mom is 83 today.

Happy birthday, Mom.  You had three kids, each 14.5 months apart.  That you survived us was a miracle.  I've heard.......that I was a bit of a challenge.   Could it be true?  If so, probably not as much of a challenge as my brother and sister!   Seriously!

 Taken at brunch this morning. 

Happy birthday Mom.