Friday, October 20, 2017

Minnesota State Fair: A Personality

Meet Barry ZeVan, the Weather Man

I recognized Barry right away.  He was a local weather man for Channel 11 here in Minneapolis in the 1980's.  Before that, he did the weather for Channel 7 in Washington DC.  He is an actor and writer and is best known for The Best of Hollywood (1998), Television: The First Fifty Years (1999) and Hiding Victoria (2006).

It was a delight chatting with you, Barry.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Minnesota State Fair

I love going through the grandstand shops!  You meet the funniest people!

They were selling sweets!   And they were having a great time interacting with the crowds!

Thanks ladies!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Minnesota State Fair

 Meet Bessy.

Yes indeed. we are the fair.  I really believe urban dwellers don't understand or appreciate the ag life.  4Hr's get attached to their animals.  And, often at the end of the fair, they are auctioned off.

It's hard work.   Often unappreciated.   But, those who farm love the land...take pride in their work.  

Well done to all the farmers and those who support farmers.  Without you, we would be hungry.   Without you, a lot of the world would be hungry.   

And that is not lost on me.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Minnesota State Fair: Operation Sight and Soul

Meet the members of Operation Sight and Soul.  This organization consists of veterans from WWII, Korea and Viet Nam.  Many are dealing with health or mental issues.  

The organization gets them out of the homes or care facilities, gets them together with their peers, and they sing. 

It was a delight listening to them.   They clearly enjoyed the time together.   And, the guitarist was wonderful, as well.

My sincere thanks to all of the men and women who served.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Minnesota State Fair: In the Grandstand

I always like going through the Grandstand at the fair.  There you will see all kinds of people engaged in the free market, selling slicers, dicers, license plate art, furniture, massage chairs and god know what else.

I loved seeing the booth that was selling artwork, jewelry and t shirts out of guitars and items to do with guitars.  There was a lot of jewelry made out of guitar strings.  

I didn't get this gentleman's name.  But, he had the right personality for selling guitar stuff!

And, I did chuckle at this t shirt.  For those who don't get it:  the Gsus is a G chord with an added 4th.  In this case, a C.

Very creative!

Thanks for visiting and letting me get a few photos!

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Minnesota State Fair: Scarecrows in the 4H Building

4H is a program designed to help youth learn and appreciate their rural heritage.  Besides caring for farm animals, there are a number of creative and craft things that 4H'rs do.

There was a very creative section on homemade scarecrows.   I rather liked these.

I have no idea if it actually works.  But, I did chuckle at it, and many of the others.

Well done!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Minnesota State Fair: Urban Boat Builders!

Urban Boat Builders is a non-profit organization that teachers inner city kids how to build boats, canoes, and kayaks, out of wood.

They did some beautiful work. They were giving away a beautiful canvas kayak.  I entered.  But, I wasn't successful. 

However, I am planning on attending their fund raiser later this week to do photos.

Nicely done, all.  

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Minnesota State Fair: The Versa Slicer!

I love watching people hawk their wares.   It is a time honored tradition.  And, watching it in person isn't any different than watching it on TV.  Except, I can get a beer when I want a lot easier at home.

People who do this are well practiced.   They have the routine down.  They know every step, every word, to help draw in potential customers and get them to part with some cash.

I have to admit, the Versa Slicer was pretty cool.  It was possible to slice and dice anything!  

Check one out!  

Thank you, Sir!  I didn't get your name.  You were making the sales pitch.  So, I didn't want to disturb you.   But, it was fun watching you work!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Minnesota State Fair: The Shooting Gallery

I remember being a kid and looking at the fair's shooting gallery.   Almost every kid I knew liked to shoot at something.  We all asked our parents for BB guns.   And, it was a big deal when we got one.   Maybe this is one of the reasons I like the Christmas Story so much.  Ralphy is me...and almost every little boy.

But, shooting galleries have changed.  We used to shoot BB's with compressed air.  Now, we can do it with laser beams!  Hit the bulls eye and you get some motion out of the target.

I loved the old west saloon theme.   So did some of those trying their luck.

And, we need someone to keep order.  Meet Keith!

Thanks Keith.   You did a great job keeping the line moving and helping those who didn't have an experience with BB guns in their youth. 

It was a pleasure meeting you.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Minnesota State Fair: Deer Stands!

I like going to the fair.  It's true, not a lot changes from year to year.  But, it is a nice place to walk around and people watch.  And, you get to see what people are selling.

Meet Lisa!

She and her husband sell deer stands. They've been at the fair for 6 years now.   They are Packer fans, of course.  But, we won't hold that against them!

For those of you who think this is a stand for a person to walk up and order a deer or two, to go, you would be wrong.

This is an example of a deer stand.   Raised platform.  Nice, strong, stair/ladder with guard rails and a side railing, a bit camo and plenty of glass to look out and see the deer approaching.

So, yes, if you were wondering, this is for hunters to stay inside, out of the wind, rain, or snow during deer hunting.  The windows open.  The hunter stays nice and dry, and can shoot from inside.

I wish I would have had one of these when I was a kid to use as a fort.  They were AWESOME!

Thanks Lisa.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Minnesota State Fair: Ice Cream!

Meet Jerry!

Jerry has been selling ice cream at various state and county fairs for a while.  And, he loves meeting the people and getting a smile out of the kids...and some adults!  He is from Phoenix but gets to travel all over the US.

Nice meeting you, Jerry!  Good ice cream, too!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Assiniboine Park: Sculpture and Music

I loved the concert in the park, surrounded by flowers, sculpture, and plenty of sunshine.

It was a lovely sound of light jazz, with just a single guitar player (very good, I might add) and a vocalist.

The sounds carried beautifully throughout the park.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Assiniboine Zoo: The Snowy Owl.

I have a deep fondness for owls.  I think they are quite amazing.   I've seen Great Horned Owls and Great Greys.  But, this was the first Snowy Owl.

They are beautiful.    

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Summer Flowers in Winnipeg

I happened to be in Winnipeg for a wedding this summer.   And, my hosts were kind enough to take me to the Assiniboine Park and Zoo. 

These flowers were huge!  I am not sure what they are.  So, if you know, feel free to drop a note and let me know!

Monday, September 25, 2017

A Fair Day at the Arboretum

Meet TR!

He makes jewelry.  I liked his work a lot.   He even had a few Norwegian Viking pieces that were quite appealing! 

Check out his work here

Thanks TR!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Z Art

Meet the husband, of Tammy!

He was minding the booth while Tammy got something to eat.  

I rather liked the greeting card line!

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Arboretum: Edible Garden Art

Meet Jules!

He creates artwork out of seeds for the birds! 

I really liked it.  This is a great idea for bird watchers!

Thanks Jules

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Arboretum: Visitors in the Park

I didn't get this couple's name.  They knew someone I was with and we ended up chatting with them for a while.

They were having a lovely time.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Arboretum: Music in the Park

Meet Nick!

 He had been hired to provide some lovely music in the park. 
 I've done some music in the park myself.   It can be fun.   It can be a disaster, depending on weather, humidity, the crowd, harley's going by.

 But, it was a good day for music!

Thanks Nick!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Mount Rushmore: Working Models

Gutzon needed smaller models during the carving processes.  And, over the years, he changed the models, as rock formations and cracks became more obvious.  These were in the visitor center and were about 2.5 feet high. 

I was most impressed with the very simplistic, and brilliant plumb bob and protractor method for converting measurements on the models to the mountain.   Essentially, using a protractor with a plumb bob on the model, measurements could be taken, and converted to the correct scale on the mountain.  It's brilliant.  And, it's been around for centuries.

Someone just needs to be lowered over the measure the distance to the eye...or bridge of the nose, etc.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Mount Rushmore: Just Hanging Around

To get an idea of how Mount Rushmore was crafted, take a look at the artist, Gutzon Borglum in the image below.  He has been lowered over the edge to survey the work.  This is a photo I took of the large photo in the Mount Rushmore visitor gallery.  But, if you don't like heights, this will still get to you.    This is the same harness that the carvers used while lifting heavy drilling equipment.

Taken today, park rangers survey the monument and look for cracks, wear, etc that need to be fixed.   The harnesses are much better today.  But, I am still not sure I would want that job.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Mount Rushmore: The Workers

I was pleased to see the workers, the stone cutters, were honored at the monument.  These are the men and women that risked their lives every day.

Most of the people who carved Mount Rushmore were locals.  Over the 14 years of the carving, almost 400 workers had touched the monument.

A typical day began at 7:30 AM.  But, before they could start, they had to climb over 700 steps, to the top of the mountain.   From the top, they were lowered over the side in swing seats while carrying heavy drilling tools and blasting equipment. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Mount Rushmore: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt.

The four presidents on Mount Rushmore were chosen by the sculptor to highlight the founding, growth, preservation and development of the US. 

George Washington is there to symbolize the struggle for independence and the birth of the our nation.

Thomas Jefferson represents the territorial expansion of the US. 

Abraham Lincoln represents the permanent union and the equality of all citizens. 
And Teddy Roosevelt is there to represent the role of the US in the 20th century.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Mount Rushmore: The Faces

I have been traveling for about a week and decided to take the longer route home.  Mount Rushmore isn't exactly easy to get to.   The little town of Keystone manages to handle several million visitors a year.   And, certainly the surrounding community owes a lot to the tourist revenue generated by visitors.

Putting all of that aside, I was honored to have been standing here on Sept 11th this year.  I got there early.   It was quiet.  It was a moment of reverence.  And, the 15-20 people already there knew we were standing, paying homage not only to four amazing presidents, but to a country that, despite all it's faults, has done amazing things for the world. 

Millions have been fed.   Two world wars, costing millions of lives, were fought on different continents, with the blood of our men and women being shed.  

As I said, it was a moment of reverence.

Take some time.   Drive there.   See the beautiful country.   And be amazed at the many spoken languages that you will hear.  In the hour I spent there, I heard Japanese, Russian, German, Italian, and a good number of American dialects. 

Sometimes it is important to remember the good things that were done.   

Monday, September 11, 2017

Sept 11 16 Years Ago

There is no photo for today's post.   It is just a stark reminder of the attack that took nearly 3,000 innocent lives.  I remember it vividly.

Be safe my friends.   Never forget the vile and horrible acts that were done by religious zealots.  Never forget the attacks that continue, to this day,  here and in other parts of the world by other zealots.

Friday, September 8, 2017

PRIDE 2017: The Roller Derby

Meet Glory!

She was with the NorthStar Roller Derby.   And, she was there to ensure people knew about their sport, the schedule, and to encourage people to attend!

I have seen some very cool photos taken at roller derby matches. I may need to check this out!

Thanks Glory!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

PRIDE 2017: An Anonymous Musician

This piano is sitting under a shelter and small building in Loring Park, downtown Minneapolis.  This is where the PRIDE festival is held.

This gentlemen just walked up and started playing. 

It was fantastic.

Nicely done!
Thank you, Sir!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

PRIDE 2017

I didn't get this gentlemen's name.   But, I thought he looked awesome walking his dog with the boa around the dog!  The dog seemed to be having a lovely time and fit right in!

Thank you, Sir!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

PRIDE 2017: US Unity Flag

Meet Christy and Amy

They were selling US Unity Flags.  

This is what they looked like.

Thanks ladies!