Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Stan, Steve and Virg Rolfsrud played the Bully Pulpit Golf Course in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park recently as part of the prestigious Golf Oil Tour. The signature hole is No. 15, described in glowing terms by Golf Digest, who picked the Bully Pulpit as the best new affordable course a couple years ago.
Stan brought along his $150 video camera and would have shaved had he known he'd get a closeup.
(Yes, Cuddles is actually a dog. Don't tell her parents that.)
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Robertson and Krueger are faithful winter-time golfing companions in Tucson, but they are Minnesotans during the summer. It was great seeing them again and, remarkably, great taking a couple dollars off them, as Robertson always insists on some kind of side game.
Today when I sat down to send Steve a note of gratitude for a lovely morning of golf, I found the following note in the inbox from a Mr. Krueger. It is an old joke, often retold, and it seems now as good a time as any to repeat it.
An American golfer playing in Ireland hooked his drive into the woods. Looking for his ball, he found a little Leprechaun flat on his back, a big bump on his head and the golfer's ball beside him. Horrified, the golfer got his water bottle from the cart and poured it over the little guy, reviving him.
'Arrgh! What happened?' the Leprechaun asked. 'Oh, I see. Well, ye got me fair and square. Ye get three wishes, so whaddya want?'
'Thank God, you're all right!' the golfer answers in relief. 'I don't want anything. I'm just glad you're okay, and I apologize. I really didn't mean to hit you.'
And the golfer walks off.
'What a nice guy,' the Leprechaun says to himself. 'But it was fair and square that he got me, and I have to do something for him. I'll give him the three things I would want - a great golf game, all the money he ever needs and a fantastic sex life.'
A year goes by (as it does in stories like this) and the American golfer is back. On the same hole, he again hits a bad drive into woods and the Leprechaun is there waiting for him.
'Twas me that made ye hit the ball here,' the little guy says. 'I just want to ask ye, how's yer golf game?'
'My game is fantastic!' the golfer answers. 'In fact, that's the first bad ball I've hit in a year! I'm an internationally famous golfer now.' He adds, 'By the way, it's good to see you're all right.'
'Oh, I'm fine now, thankee. I did that fer yer golf game, ya know. And tell me, how's yer money situation?'
'Why, it's just wonderful!' the golfer states. 'I win fortunes in golf. If I need cash, I just reach in my pocket and pull out $100 bills I didn't even know were there!'
'I did that fer ye also. And tell me, how's yer sex life?'
The golfer blushes, turns his head away in embarrassment, and says shyly, 'It's OK.'
'C'mon, c'mon now,' urged the Leprechaun, 'I'm wanting to know if I did good job. How many times a day?'
Blushing even more, the golfer looks around then whispers, 'Once, sometimes twice a week.'
'What?!?!' responds the Leprechaun in shock. 'That's all? Only once or twice a week?!'
'Well,' says the golfer, 'I figure that's not bad for a Catholic priest in a small parish.'
Friday, July 25, 2008
My great Aunt Annie Bartos lived with her twin Uncle Wencil until his death at 83 and then lived by herself until she died at 90 in 1983. She was a collector. One walked between boxes in her house. Among this treasure is a collection of about 700 postcards from about 1910 to 1924. It is my goal to share them with her descendants and with the world.
Click on: http://anniebartos.blogspot.com/
Thursday, July 24, 2008
This would be the first grandchild for Steve and Nancy Rolfsrud. Congratulations, Ford and Jen.
We will post the ultrasound pixs when Stan's email machine starts working again.
(Photos: Ford and Jen shared a laugh at Uncle Stan and Aunt Kathleen's with Missy Blethen and Emily last Christmas.)
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tractor envy gripped the Rolfsrud boys when they saw Ty Rolfsrud, 13, fifth generation Rolfsrud farmer, driving the John Deere of their dreams.
Envy came during this week's Golf Oil Tour, when the three sons of Beverly and Erling Rolfsrud putted golf balls into 54 North Dakota cups, then inspected the raw beginnings of a 55th hole to be drilled on their immigrant grandparents' homestead.
Grandmother and Grandfather Nils and Rebecca Rolfsrud were required to annually turn the soil on their desolate western North Dakota claim, or forfeit the land to the government. Their struggle has ended, but five generations later, Rolfsruds still work that same soil. This week the original homestead dirt was scuffed by 13-year-old Ty Rolfsrud, running a mammoth tractor that would dwarf the model driven by Erling and Beverly's boys when they tilled that soil 35 years ago as summer hired hands at the Rolfsrud farm. And, of course, the behemoth would have satisfied Grandma and Grandpa's original annual commitment in just a matter of minutes.
Video is 1 minute and 30 seconds.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
The ships come Aug. 1 - 3, just days before Sosie Shearer arrives from California for her week-long sojourn.
Despite soaring gas prices, tourists will flock up I-35 to see and tour the ships during their three day layover in the storied harbor. Hotels and motels are already sold out. It is part of Minnesota's low-key 150th anniversary celebration.
The Pride of Baltimore II, from its namesake city, and the U.S. Brig. Niagara of Erie, Pa., will stop in Duluth on their 10-city tour of the Great Lakes. These two War of 1812-style reconstructions will be joined by other maritime visitors for a three-day festival of music, entertainment and food with a focus on the maritime history of Duluth and the Great Lakes.
The third ship is the Schooner Madeline, a reconstruction of a Great Lakes vessel that sailed the upper Great Lakes 150 years ago.
The Pride of Baltimore II, with its working cannons, was commissioned in 1988. It succeeded the original Pride of Baltimore, which sank in a white squall off Puerto Rico in 1986, taking her captain and three crew members down with her.
The Niagara was also built in 1988. It has propulsion engines and modern navigation equipment, but without modern amenities. During the summer, Niagara is sailed by a crew of 16 professionals, supplemented by 20 trainees willing to live out of a duffel bag.
The ships will be in the Duluth Harbor Aug. 1-3. Public tours are scheduled. Visit http://www.decc.org/ or call 1-218-727-4344 for details.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Conditions leading up to the event were most ominous. Stan needs no weather channel. He reads the natural signs: the sky turned a sickly green and Kathleen, always in tune to this kind of thing, carried her new purse on her shoulder as she scurried about closing the windows.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
The upcoming Rolfsrud 55-Hole Golf Oil expedition to inspect the western reaches of North Dakota and research Mom's vague possibilities has gained intensity.
Here's the press account of the Mathistad strike:
ENID, Okla., July 9
Continental Resources, Inc. (NYSE: CLR - News) today announced initial results from its Mathistad 1-35H well completed in the Three Forks/Sanish formation in the North Dakota Bakken Shale area. The McKenzie County well, in which Continental has a 40% working interest, is the second that the Company has completed in the Three Forks/Sanish formation in North Dakota.
"The Mathistad 1-35H commenced production on July 4, 2008 and has flowed at an average rate of 1,095 barrels of crude oil equivalent per day, with 90 percent of production being crude oil and 10 percent natural gas," said Harold Hamm, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Continental Resources. "This is a second positive data point in our effort to determine whether the Three Forks/Sanish formation is a separate oil-producing reservoir not drained by a horizontal well completion in the Middle Bakken zone above it. If the Three Forks/Sanish proves to be a separate reservoir, it would add significant incremental reserves to the Bakken play."
On May 20, 2008 the Company reported that its first Three Forks/Sanish well, the Bice 1-29H, had flowed at an average rate of 693 barrels of crude oil equivalent per day in its initial week of production. The Mathistad 1-35H was drilled 23 miles north northwest of the Bice well. At the site of the Mathistad 1-35H, the top of the Three Forks/Sanish formation lies approximately 75 feet beneath the base of the Upper Bakken shale. Previous to the Bice and Mathistad wells, Continental typically completed its North Dakota Bakken wells with the well bore drilled approximately eight feet below the base of the Upper Bakken shale, in the Middle Bakken zone.
Continental is the largest leaseholder in the Bakken Shale play, with approximately 500,000 acres in North Dakota and Montana. The majority of its acreage runs north-to-south along the Nesson Anticline in North Dakota.
Here's a photograph taken near Robinson, No. Dak. in 1926, when Erling Rolfsrud was about 14 years old. Gasoline had been discovered in the town well the previous year. The Robinson Development Company formed to investigate oil prospects. A.C. Townley developed an oil drilling operation by 1926 but it ceased within several years without any major oil being discovered.
"The derrick shown is equipped with a 20 inch core drill. The bunk house, where about 200 people can be accommodated with sleeping quarters and the cook house where several hundred can be fed at one time are seen in the center and right of the picture. For many months several hundred people gathered weekly to listen to Townley's story at this camp."
Fargo Forum, March 4, 1926, p. 1.
This North Dakota episode is just another in a long list of disappointments that helps us to understand why Norwegians are the way they are.