Monday, August 31, 2015

Rose Bowl veteran tackles Marschall Road

Tom Tiegen in Gophers cap. That's his machine in the back. It will soon grind up the road he's standing on.
They'll use it to refill the 24 inch deep trench it is making now.
Bewildered, the little old lady stopped her car in the middle of the construction zone. The man in the pickup truck edged up close behind her and honked his horn.
"Hey, hey!" the boss in the bright yellow safety vest snapped, pointing a finger directly at the man. "Take it easy!" he commanded, then stepped to the car and gently advised the confused lady on how she might best escape the tangle of orange cones.
Then it was the man's turn. By now quite sheepish, he meekly rolled down his window and admitted, "I get impatient in traffic." Completely in charge of the situation, the boss just nodded to him. "You should allow more time when there's construction," he advised, matter-of-factly.
The old quarterback still has it.
Tom Tiegen played three years for Murray Warmath's Minnesota Gophers, most notably on the storied 1962 Rose Bowl team that beat UCLA, 21-3. He had ben there the previous year too, when the Gophers lost to the Huskies.
He's covered a lot of ground since then, quite literally, with 50 years in the road construction business. He's now the proud owner of two mammoth recycling behemoths that were destroying Marschall Road this morning, grinding the worn bituminous and gravel and anything else into a reusable industrial mix.
No. 17 surrounded by team mates in this 1961
yearbook photo.
Trucked immediately, the recycled material already forms the base of a new roadbed not far away. The untouched roadway that Tom stood on this morning (above) will be ground up later and used to fill the void being created in Marschall Road today. Sort of musical chairs with asphalt and gravel.
When Tom spotted the Gopher cap worn by the guy standing by the roadway, idly taking it all in, he yanked the wheel on his big pickup, parked it, took off his hard hat and replaced it with a dusty Gophers cap. The two old Gophers grinned and bonded immediately, agreeing that this was absolutely going to be a great year for Minnesota.
People remember names like Bobby Bell, Carl Eller and Sandy Stephens, perhaps Tom Tiegen not so much. But his name is memorialized with theirs. They were all a team and they brought Minnesota glory in 1962.
The official Minnesota football rosters for 1960, 1961, 1962 all have pretty much the same line, this one is from 1962:

17  Teigen, Tom   QB   6-0   188   Sr.    Aberdeen, S.D.

No. 17 is still from Aberdeen, he's still in charge, still six feet tall. He may be a bit over his playing weight of 188, but this morning he sure looked ready to take on anything.
Marschall Road doesn't have a chance.
The Tiegen logo and "Aberdeen S.D." is branded on the side of this moving behemoth.

Watch the video.
If you'd like to see Tiegen Construction's "Tiger 2000" or  "Big DEEN the Recycling Machine from Aberdeen," click here to watch the video. You'll see a much younger Tom Tiegen, President, pitching this breakthrough recycling technology what looks like 20 years ago.
It's a fascinating road-building process you don't think about much.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Printing things in another dimension

The old printer trudged up the hill to where three bright-looking young men were bantering at the Stonebrooke No. 4 tee box. They were waiting for colleagues at the annual Stratysis Best Ball Golf Tournament. The company was hosting 18 foursomes in a charity event this day and the trio was serving as the welcoming party at No. 4. They had camp chairs and enough cold beer for a day of thirsty work.
Seeing no one coming in either direction in need of welcoming, the old printer nosed in. "What is Stratysis," he asked innocently, pointing at the logo on a golf shirt, and setting off an avalanche of conversation.
Gizmo was printed, not molded. It works.
Turns out, these fellows are printers too. But different. They print in three dimensions. The old printer had heard of such a thing, but never come this close to someone who could talk intelligently about it. He took advantage.
The Eden Prairie company has 3,000 employees and they can make some amazing things with printers. If you're as curious as the old man was, click here.
3D printers can put out body parts, cuckoo clocks, even a car. They explained in layman's terms how it is done, layering the data points over and over until they've built up a product. They provided an example of the work, an intricate gear mechanism embedded in a cell phone that actually spun about, as if doing something important. The assembly had been constructed from a program on a 3D printer, without benefit of human hands . . . including the Chinese.
The old printer thanked them for their hospitality and the parting gifts, then stepped down the hill. There would be much to wonder about on his walk today.
Just forty years ago, he mused, Johann Gutenberg would have made a good employee at the newspaper office, pressing ink on paper. On his first day, that clever German would have understood exactly how the local print shop worked, would probably have made a few improvements.
But this? Printing things in three dimensions?
So much to wonder about.
Not wanting to be left completely behind, he walked a little faster. You do what you can.

You can tell the Stratysis guys are actually engineers, not printers. How? Watch the way they line up their putts.

Friday, August 28, 2015

You can trust a man who sews his name to his shirt

Turning color, one drop at a time.
Don't you just love a man in a uniform?
When Jeff Engstrom worked those many years with Stan at the newspaper, he wore a different uniform: coat and tie. But he didn't  have a nameplate, which was fine, because everyone knew him anyway, as he sold comprehensive print advertising programs to his loyal list of clientele. He was very good at it.
He didn't rely at that time on first impressions as much as long-term relationships. That's different now, no one wants an ongoing relationship with their water softener guy. There's nothing like a uniform to help create that instant impression of competence.
Jeff and Stan had a reunion of sorts when our 15-year-old water softening system showed a few signs of wear and possible problems.
Jeff was invited to the house for a beer, an overdue bull session, and an inspection and testing of our well water supply. He is, after all, now a state-tested, certified, licensed and qualified Water Conditioning Journeyman. His license number is on his business card. You could look it up.
So before we popped the cap off a couple of Sam Adams Boston Lager and talked old times, Jeff got out his handy dandy water testing kit and took copious samples of our tap water, then ran them through a series of rigorous tests with something that looked sort of like a junior high chemistry set.
We were gratified with the results. Jeff said our water was pretty good. We have "22 grains of hard, trace of iron/FE, 7.5 ph and 375 TDS."
We don't understand any of that, of course, but that's what it says on the notes. We'll just rely on Jeff to interpret it.
You can trust a man in a uniform.

Big smile for the eye doctor

Our big girl is at the eye doctor this morning for her back-to-school checkup. Grandma was up bright and early to do the honors, so Mom could run her daycare business.
Her eyes are fine, 2020, the hardest part was keeping the eyes open after dilation. She's good to go for Fourth Grade on Sept. 9.
It's raining all morning so Emily had her boots on. Stylin' don't you think?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Oh Oh. Katie's at the fair.

Kathleen departed bright and early and grabbed the shuttle for Opening Day at the Great Get-together, the Minnesota State Fair. It's a Goldilocks Day, not too hot, not too cold, and she reports a big crowd at one of her all time favorite things to do.
That's all we've heard from her so far, except for the above. It arrived in the In-Box moments ago with no explanation whatsoever.
She does have money in her purse. . . but this item just doesn't go with any of our furniture.
We'll have to wait and see.
Meanwhile, Stan is closing up the sidewalk project this morning, then a tee time at noon with Hoi.
(She couldn't get the chair on the bus, could she? Nah.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"Will he get his teeth or fix our pipe?"

Join us now on Day Six with Stan's sister Sosie and her industrious husband, Bill the The Ever-patient One. The couple is restoring the Queen Anne fixer-upper that Bill inherited from Aunt Marilyn in Ohio. We've heard numerous tales of discovery, angst, irony and frustration and shared the joy of restoring the past. Today we received this report, and in case you've missed the others, it's a representative sample of what is going on out there in Ohio. You need to know that the chair glide mentioned in her story is one of those dandy power chair escalator things installed in a staircase to accommodate the elderly and/or infirm. Read on.

Sister Sosie, in her own words:
Monday was a day with the trades (arborist, plumber, builder, painter, dry walker, mason, and chair-glide installer).
First thing, we called for a plumber to fix the leaking cast-iron pipe from the upstairs bathroom. First plumber said not until sometime in Sept. Second plumber said they'd call back when they could schedule it. They haven't called back yet.
I then called Jason/Josh, the good brothers who did massive tree work in the front yard last year. We talked the overgrowth in the back yard, the Norway spruce, walnut tree, redbuds, lilac, and nasty honeysuckle. We agreed on work and bid and he will get it done.
The builder and painter arrived to talk re next year's work. The builder to repair covered front porch, replacing three sets of steps, railings, ceiling, and porch floor. On the back porch, replace back wall, windows, a door, and steps. Gutters. Painter to coordinate stripping all the Queen Anne lacy woodwork, remove leaded paint, and paint the whole thing. Scary bids to arrive soon. It's beautiful weather where we sit on the front porch and imagine how wonderful all will be someday.
Meanwhile neighbor Jay calls to me that he is going to New York, but has told his heating/AC guy Raimy to "come see your pipe." Ralph arrives to work with Bill in the cellar on repairing the crumbling limestone. Ralph approves of the how Bill hung 20 mesh panels over the weekend.
The builder and I finish discussion of design details and the confusing array of "things to do" is finally sliding into order. He leaves and Kevin arrives with Sheetrock for the back staircase. I return to my woodwork and all seems like we are moving forward.
Then Kevin discovers he really can't work around the chair glide on the back stair case after all. The crumbling plaster under the pink wallpaper must be removed, but even then, he can't... Kevin and I take a break and go next door, Kevin to snoop and me to find Raimy. Raimy comes back with me to look at the pipe. He says he will need his son to help as they need to strap the ten plus feet of heavy cast-iron to the wall etc. That pipe is attached to Zach's inheritance, a huge copper pipe that then runs all around the cellar. Raimy says $400, maybe Wednesday, and he leaves. I feel good about this as Raimy looks old and experienced and he says he's been a plumber since he was 14, retired in 2011 when there wasn't any work, started up again in January because there's so much work. He looks rather Jethro cuz he doesn't have four upper front teeth.
He said, "I've been so busy, I've cancelled a dentist appointment twice. I broke my teeth on the job and they have my plates ready, but I got to get this work done." I guess that's busy. Will he get his teeth or fix our pipe?
So Kevin had hung all the Sheetrock in the upper hall and staircase ceiling that he could and he couldn't do anything in the dining room until the pipe is fixed, so he left.
Bill and Ralph came up from the cellar to remove the chair glide out of the staircase. Here is how far they got, even with my help and a pulley and rope that Ralph had rigged up.

It is wedged in there. But upside down, I saw their 800 number and called them. Eventually they identified the chair and instructions for moving the chair off the chain case, which didn't matter cuz even with a crow bar and blocks, it wouldn't budge.
I suggested we take a break and made mango, pineapple, banana smoothies. They were really good. We sat on the patio that Ralph had poured a year ago and it was very pleasant.
I called the brother of the guy who installed the chair, but alas, the guy has MS, retired, and lives three hours away.
The next morning, Ralph and his helper arrived at eight. The helper is stronger than me, they got the upholstered part of the chair off and the door removed. Still it is stuck. Bill went to the hardware store and returned with a grinder and blade. Ralph and helper are mudding the walls in the cellar.
Next is to try to cut the solid steel metal glide. Wonder how Day 7 will go.
Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Concrete at 1 p.m.

Like clockwork, the first load of cement showed up, as promised, at 1 p.m. By 3 p.m., our apron and sidewalk was poured, troweled and a brush finish applied.
The project will be entirely finished by this time tomorrow, we're told. And so far, everything we've been told has happened.
"It's Miller Time." a mason said to the observer as he cleaned his tools. Really, he actually said that.

Concrete pour at 1 p.m.???

This used to be a 10 inch step, which always surprised our guests. The sidewalk had settled after 15 years, so
the 7.5 inch step required by building codes had disappeared. "Come over to our house. Watch that first step."
The secret to getting the step to stay is the hole drilled into the stoop, which, being part of the house, has not
settled. Rebar has been inserted into both holes and the concrete will stay put for the rest of our lives, or at least
until we don't care any more. Did someone say "Do it right the first time?" 
Jack and his hammer. 

They're setting a breakneck pace, two bobcats and a crew of six, tearing up (very carefully) the sidewalks and aprons on all eight units.
There are concrete saws, a compactor, sweeper, and even a man with a mall who comes down hard when a sidewalk crack won't come easy. Sort of like breaking a Saltine into two pieces for easier handling.
The chief says they've ordered a load of cement for 1 p.m. today and they will start with our curvy sidewalk, which has already been formed and staked with rebar inserted into holes drilled into our front stoop. The pour will include about four feet of concrete poured into the newly exposed concrete block that holds up the front edge of the garage floor.
It's a beautiful, noisy day and the neighbors are enjoying the spectacle. Birdie not so much.

Wes and Shirley and Colby at their morning observation post.

Sidewalk Surgeon

Out it goes. In the background, Shirley and Kathleen supervise.
Slowly, slowly, he inched the fork under the sidewalk, slipping past the sprinkler head, giving way to the flower bed. Pop! The 15-year-old sidewalk section loosened its grip on the soil. The operator took a new bite. Very impressive.
When we contracted to have sidewalks and garage aprons on eight homes in the cul-de-sac removed and replaced, we envisioned lots of noisy jackhammers and dust early in the morning, and the neighbors were warned.
Not so, so far. It's been more like being in a surgical suite as Craig Wierson Brick and Stone from Elko got to work right on time this morning.
We'll keep you posted on the progress, of course, but so far we are amazed. Our sidewalk has been removed in three pieces and nearly stacked in the waiting dumpster.
We're amazed, so far. And the lawn and sprinklers and flower beds are untouched.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Just think what he'll save on sushi

Veteran deep sea fisherman Hai Dang and his wing man, Kevin, rigged their lines off the coast of San Diego this weekend and hooked two prize yellow fin tuna. Two yellow tails got away. You shoulda seen 'em.
Until now, we thought Hai's jungle hat was just for gardening.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


The Endless Summer hydrangea didn't do much this year. Just a few blooms. It did produce some excitement this afternoon, however, with the appearance of this tree frog, a rarity in this neighborhood.

No shoes, no shoulders, no service

Our favorite fisherman, Gary the Green Heron, made himself as small and as still as possible this morning, patiently coiled and waiting for breakfast to swim by his island perch. The winds blustered and the temperatures dropped to the 50s and to make matters worse, breakfast was not being served at this time.
Eventually, he stalked off. He could have also shrugged his shoulders. . . if he had any.

Friday, August 21, 2015

From Phoenix

Our neighbor's boyhood pal showed up in the cul-de-sac tonight for a twilight ride with Lee. The bikers headed out on a beautiful evening, with the promise of a spectacular sunset, courtesy of a smokey haze in the atmosphere.
Lee's friend lives in Phoenix, but it's a bit crispy there right now, so he takes a 10-week hiatus to Minnesota, riding here on the hog. Sort of a reverse snowbird. Under the leather vest is a Beatles t-shirt, and he's sporting an Apple watch. Very cool dude, this friend of Lee's. A pleasure to meet him.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What is it?

Stan's sister Sosie is back at it, sorting, cleaning, organizing at Aunt Marilyn's Estate in Ohio. Among today's topics was this object of art. And Sosie knows exactly what it is. Do you? (Hint: Aunt Marilyn was not a champion golfer. . . as far as we know.)

Sosie writes:
Dear friends who appreciate old things with provenance,
Today we remove all things from the dining room before "Paint and Plaster Kevin" arrives in the morning. I pause now to share with you this celery jar in a tarnished, triple-plated silver holder.
How would I know what it is? Great Aunt Willella Shearer Kennedy (1886 to 1981) left a rolled-up note in the jar:
Celery jar
Given to Mother as a wedding present
Given to me Xmas 1940 by Mother -she said- "Choose something of mine."

In 133 years (Ella Baldwin married William Otway Shearer June 27, 1882), the jar has not broken. The gilded cut edge has not chipped. How much bubble wrap do I need????

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hey Katie! It's raining out here and we're wet and hungry!

We have received at least two inches of rain here in Shakopee and more is on the way. It's pouring out, we've been at the neighbor's house working the sump pump before it rises to the basement level. Rain cuts into dinner time at the bird feeder, because Katie brings it in to prevent mildew forming on the seeds.
Meanwhile, raindrops gather on the bracket and the finches flit in and out, causing some anxiety for Katie, who feels bad whenever any of God's creatures are hungry.
Soon the rain will pass, and the feeder will reappear. Promise.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Some assembly required

After (We hope)
Built in eastern Canada, the spiffy wall bed and storage towers were loaded on a truck near Quebec a couple weeks ago and shipped 3,000 miles across the country. The pallet of boxes has now been delivered to the garage at our winter apartment in southern California. There it sits, awaiting our November arrival. We tracked the purchase across the border, then from state to state until if finally arrived at a trucking center in San Bernardino. 
Costco had a killer August sale that we couldn't ignore, so we had to buy it now.

The fold-up wall bed (Sometimes called a Murphy Bed) should allow for lots of space for day time activities. But first it needs to be assembled. Here's hoping our experience with IKEA products qualifies us to put this puzzle together. On-line commenters warn that it won't be that easy to do. We'll see.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Wedding in the Woods

It's a risky business.
An outdoor wedding in northern Minnesota. You take your chances.  Joe and Heather rolled the dice and came up sevens last night. The hot humid Saturday afternoon cooled down to an acceptable level, the wind calmed after gusting away some table settings, the shade trees blocked the sun over the audience exactly in time for the service, the mosquitoes never showed up and the thunderstorm held off until way past midnight.
It was a wonderful evening in the woods. Classic. Memorable. Enjoyable. Perfect.
We got up this morning for an early walk through Deerwood to see if anything was still around since we lived here 65 years ago.  We found the city hall, auditorium and library building on Forest Street. The sturdy edifice was constructed from handsplit stones in 1936 and still looks as solid as, well, a rock. Looks like it will be good for many, many years.
We wish even better for Joe and Heather.

On the guest list: Tasha, Jennifer, Stan and Kathleen

Saturday, August 15, 2015

We're here! Let the fun begin...

House is gone, lot for sale?
We've checked into the Country Inn Suites in beautiful downtown Deerwood, Minnesota, got the wifi secret password from the clerk, but do you know what? Nobody in town has every heard of the Rolfsruds. Ok. It has been 65 years since Mom and Dad abandoned their tiny home out on County Road 133 near its intersection with 10 and moved away to Alexandria, but wouldn't you think?
There's not a trace of the old homestead with its stone fireplace, we drove by to see, and found nothing but a vacant lot with the familiar topography. Was there a fire? Where did everything go? Is the lot for sale? Gentle breezes blowing through the shady pines, a northern comfort on this hot day, gave up no secrets.
Down below is the little lake, here are the weedy remains of a driveway, the overgrown trees the big girls played beneath with their little brother and new sister.
The babysitter lived here, about 300 yards from our house.
There's a dock way across the little lake where somebody now has a summer home. Dad had a rustic cabin and typewriter there, struggling to write his early work, commuting there in a little red row boat. When it got cold, he retreated to a shed beside the garage that also had the bunnies mother was raising along with the kids.
But it's all gone now, just the memories.
Four miles away they're starting some new memories, new beginnings at the outdoor marriage of Joe and Heather. We drove by this afternoon, there's a huge tent set for dinner and a bunch of white chairs optimistically placed under the blue sky where they will plight their troth.
Festivities start at 5 p.m., enough left now for nap and a peek at the PGA.

Dad rowed across this lake to a rustic cabin on the far shore.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Keeping up with the Kasichs

The International Falls retired publisher is enjoying his summer at his home on Rainy Lake. Fishing is good, the beer is cold and he's finished replacing the dock that was taken out by record floods.  Readers may recall the ambitious dock build Wayne Kasich completed this spring, thanks to a lot of determination, elbow grease and help from his no good brother-in-law. The big lake, with its big weather, requires a brawny docking system, no lightweights here.
Wayne's work may be done, but the neighbor is just getting started. He apparently has no local relatives who work for beer, he's hired out the project. Here's Wayne's brief report, filed, we assume, from a chaise on his back yard with a cold one at hand.

"Our neighbor's hired dock builders showed up a few weeks ago. Last evening they boarded their barge and headed up the lake to get the fifth load of rock for the cribs. It's an hour run up and two hours back (or three beers). Unloading takes about three hours.
"We figured a guy could buy a new extended-cab pickup truck with what the rebuilt dock will cost. Insurance doesn't cover docks in this country."

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Yes, there truly is a Metropolitan Mosquito Control District

Counting the larvae.
The tall government agent was deep in the reeds this morning, feverishly sampling the waters, looking for clues, working her scoop back and forth, protected only by a pair of sturdy hip waders.
A paid killer with her command vehicle and bucket.
Metropolitan Mosquito Control at your service.
Aha! Larvae. Mosquito larvae. Tons of them, ready to hatch into vile blood suckers. The agent quickly returned to her Mobile Mosquito Control Lab, opened the latch on a steel cabinet and sorted through the ammunition. Soluble pellets mostly -- to be dropped into the water, making it inhabitable for a mosquito hatch without ruining the quality of the water itself.
This has been a good year for mosquitoes in Minnesota. By that we mean we haven't been bitten as many times this year, compared to the number of times we've been bitten in past years.
The agent agreed, said others had told her the same thing. We congratulated her and thanked her for her important work. She nodded with a smile, then quickly returned to her deadly business, disappearing into the dense habitat.
Who was that Everyday Hero? We didn't even get her name.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Oui! Hoi's rear end spanked again

He just got the shattered rear window replaced on his beautiful new Ford Explorer. Then he returned to the shop for a faulty lift gate. Today a 19-year-old driver rear-ended Hoi Tong at an estimated speed of 10 to 15 mph, so it is back to the repair shop for a new bumper and tail pipe. Hoi is okay, just understandably quite perturbed by this string of events centered on the rear end of his new SUV.
Bad things happen in threes, and Hoi hopes it is all over for now.
We hope so too, but we're not sure he can count that faulty lift gate as a mishap. So be very careful out there, Hoi.

Now that's a big bad wolf, for sure

Got an email from a Mary Pat today. She's tracking down information about a huge wolf skin that hangs in a western North Dakota museum. Apparently a wolf killed a ranch hand back in 1915 and was shot and skinned for its trouble and a large bounty paid by the government. She's wondering if it is the same wolf, because her relatives may be involved.
Don't know about any of this, but Mary Pat thought we might, talking smart the way we do about North Dakota stuff, and with our roots growing out of McKenzie County soil and all, who could blame her. And she also wondered if Dad had covered the wolf kill in any of his books. (He didn't, and we told her so.)
Anyway, here's her inquiry. You may enjoy reading it and might even be able to help her.

My name is Mary Pat Martell Jones. My grandfather and his uncles were early pioneers in McKenzie County. My grandfather C F Martell, Franklin, arrived in 1908 and his uncle Andrew Nohle in 1881 and George Nohle in 1891.
I have been gathering family history for over 30 years and there's a number of items in the museum in Alexander from our family. One of the items is a wolf skin from a wolf shot in 1915. (The tag says by George Nohle although we don't think that is true)
What I have been told is, my grandfather used to cut hair for people including the hair of a rancher nearby. That rancher shot the wolf displayed in the museum.  The ranger needed help collecting the bounty and my grandfather assisted him and asked for the skin in return.  The bounty was said to be "large." The wolf was nine feet from his nose tip to end of tail.
According to the book, "Called to the Prairie," from the journals of Richard Jahn, a ranch hand was killed by a wolf in January 1916. At first I was wondering if these two wolves were the same, (the years were close),  but a local historian Dennis Johnson doesn't think so. Anyway, he mentioned books by Erling Rolfsrud and thought there was something about a wolf in one of  them. Upon searching for that I came to your website.
I was wondering if you have any information about the wolves in McKenzie County in 1915? If you might know who that rancher was? If there was any information about / relating to these stories, and if there was information on how much the bounties were. I'm also always interested  in any information about  / or relating to Martell and the Nohles. (there was also a Martell brother, Ernest in ND for a time)
A lot of the info I personally have is on the website

Thank you for any help you might be able to give,
Mary Pat

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Back-to-School Jacket for Maxwell

Model Father
Can you keep a secret? Our grandson Maxwell gets this new jacket this fall. Kathleen found just the thing for our BMOC -- going to be a junior at Hamline University. We hope he likes these threads, we know he favors dark, hooded stuff.
Hoi (Max's Dad) and Stan played a round of golf at Creeksbend this afternoon, so Kathleen had Dad model it when they got back -- so you could see it now before Max does. Maxwell, 21 on Oct. 3, is a tad taller than his Dad already so it looks like the new jacket is going to fit him.
Earlier this summer, Max got three new tailored suits: navy, gray and olive. He's polishing the resume… and his shoes.
"He looks really good," his Dad says. "The ladies are going to fall over when they see him in the navy suit." (Don't mention to anyone that Dad said this.)
Meanwhile, Birdie got a haircut today so we also took this selfie with Stan's new camera.
Hoi will deliver the jacket when the fall winds blow. In the meantime, mum's the word.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Then they ate cake. . .

Stan's camera broke tonight, so Kim, who had just finished preparing a huge dinner, filled in with her camera phone.
Kathleen got cut out of this one, but her cake made it.
Our Kim Seaton whipped up a teriyaki barbecue chicken Birthday dinner for eight after work today, complete with fabulous side dishes, then made this photo of her satisfied guests. She and Virg hosted family members and birthday girl Laurie Hartmann tonight, Kathleen added a four-decker birthday cake.
Virg and Kim recently returned from a summer drive through the West and regaled their guests with tales of their adventures. . . from Wall Drug through Mesa Verde. . . via treacherous mountain roads.
In other news, Cherice has a new job at Byerly's, completed some training today. Aaron and Amber  intend to enjoy another raspberry malt in the Dairy Pavilion at the upcoming State Fair.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Raise your hand if you're a movie star!

Gary Lindstam, left, appeared in "Airport," the 1970 flick starring Burt Lancaster and Dean Martin. John Gerken, upper right, appeared in "Grand Prix," the 1966 movie starring James Garner. Sorta.
Tonight's Abbey Point dinner conversation revealed heretofore unexplored brushes with immortality. Remarkably, our neighborhood is represented to this very day (or late night) on the Silver Screen.
Gary, a retired airline captain for Northwest Airlines, saw a notice at the Minneapolis airport seeking extras for the filming of "Airport" and he jumped at the chance for greatness. After deductions for the Screen Actors Guild and lunch, he netted $5 for his appearance in a crowd scene and got a glimpse of Dean Martin. His madras shirt is visible . . . whenever you watch the movie. . . for about 2.5 seconds.
John Gerken was stationed in Europe during the filming of Grand Prix. He was touring France, driving a VW on some back country roads and unknowingly blundered onto a by-way being used for the famed auto race. He glimpsed James Garner. You can see John's skinny elbow sticking out a car window in the final cut of "Grand Prix."
He was paid nothing.
Wes Anderson, at right, did not make the movies, but raised his hand anyway. He claims a dramatic role in his high school senior class play, "Little Women."