It’s Me Again (Part 6)

January 28

If you want an interesting party, combine cocktails and a fresh box of crayons for everyone. ~ Robert Fulghum

Still in the midst of my big catch up campaign . . .

So tonight I’m going to party like it’s 1999. ~ Prince

January 1

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Ruthie, Happy Birthday to you . . .

January 2

What fire could ever equal the sunshine of a winter’s day? ~ Henry David Thoreau

Winter kept us warm, covering Earth in forgetful show. ~ T. S. Eliot

Snowing is an attempt of God to make the dirty world look clean. ~ Mehmet Murat Ildan

I like the cold weather. It means you get work done. ~ Noam Chomsky

The first fall of snow is not only an event but it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up to find yourself in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, where is it to be found? ~ J.B. Priestly

How many lessons of faith and beauty we should lose, if there were no winter in our year! ~ Thomas Wentworth Higginson

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. ~ Albert Camus

[A visit to our old home on Lake Darling . . . ]

[S]ummer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever. ~ George R.R. Martin

Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality. ~ Andy Goldsworthy

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant . . . ~ Anne Bradstreet

Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside . . . ~ Thomas De Quincey

Only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself. ~ Ruth Stout

[Hello, dear!]

People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy. ~ Anton Chekhov

[Lake Louise]

And if you think my winter is too cold, You don’t deserve my spring. ~ Erin Hanson

Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost. ~ Erol Ozan

January 3

The hospital of the future will start in people’s homes. ~ Liz Kendall

[Another trip to St. Cloud Hospital where my ancient gameboy still serves . . . ]

It’s ludicrous that someone can be fired from their job, refused care at a hospital or denied housing because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. ~ John Fetterman

[After the hospital visit, we rushed home and wolfed down a Culver’s burger basket . . . ]

January 4

I was just thinking, if it is really religion with these nudist colonies, they sure must turn atheists in the wintertime. ~ Will Rogers

[The parking lot at Luke Lakebar seems to have worked out to be a great place for beautiful winter photos . . . ]

If winter helps you curl up and more that makes it one of the best of the seasons. ~ Murray Pura

One kind word can warm three winter months. ~ Japanese Proverb

January 5

Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops. ~ Kurt Vonnegut

[Christmas for Jami and Danny . . . ]

Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us. ~ Boris Pasternak

She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit. ~ W. Somerset Maugham

If I were given the opportunity to present a gift to the next generation, it would be the ability for each individual to learn to laugh at himself. ~ Charles M. Schulz

[Mom was laughing when she found their gift at Grape Stomp . . . ]

January 6

I haven’t been able to slam-dunk the basketball for the past five years. Or, for the thirty-eight years before that, either. ~ Dave Barry

[I haven’t been able to cover much high school sports this year. This night was not that fun. The Alex boys basketball team is very good (top 5 in the state in class AAA), but they were taking on a rebuilding St. Cloud Apollo team. This scoreboard shot is the halftime score of the JV game . . . ]

He makes plays you can’t coach, and he makes plays that look like he’s never been coached. ~ Bill Self

[And, unfortunately, the final score . . . ]

All I know is, as long as I led the Southeastern Conference in scoring, my grades would be fine. ~ Charles Barkley

[Our Cards warming up . . . ]

I have had some bad shooting games, but that doesn’t stop me from getting the ball to my teammates. ~ Jason Kidd

[The corridor for team introductions . . . ]

UK and Louisville are in the commonwealth of Kentucky, where basketball is an optional box for religious affiliation. ~ Dana O’Neill, ESPN

[The school contracts with the Amazing Mr. Ripley to take the official photographs . . . ]

I hope he comes out for basketball. ~ Kansas Coach Phog Allen, when told that Wilt Chamberlain had decided to go to Kansas

[Cardinal 6’9″ junior center Grayson Grove . . . ]

Nobody roots for Goliath. ~ Wilt Chamberlain

[And he greets the referees, requesting protection from excessive hacking . . . ]

The NBA is like a small sorority. We’re like brothers. ~ Rashad Lewis

I always like to get transfers, especially from the Pac-10. They already have their cars paid for. ~ Jerry Tarkanian

[Grayson wins the opening tip . . . ]

I wouldn’t bank on it. I would still say, right now, he’s probably doubtful, but that could become questionable. But I don’t think it’s probable. ~ Bill Self

Jeremy Lin may be the first person with an economics degree from Harvard who is doing something positive with his life. ~ Andy Borowitz

Sorry, when I said I have the stamina of an NBA player in bed I meant I take 10 timeouts in the final 2 minutes. ~ Terry F

Yeah, Ernie, it’s called defense, I mean, I wouldn’t know anything about it personally, but I’ve heard about it through the grapevine. ~ Charles Barkley

[Grayson blocks a shot from the corner . . . ]

I’d watch basketball more often if one player from each team had to carry a pool noodle at all times. ~ Zachary?

When I dunk, I put something on it. I want the ball to hit the floor before I do. ~ Darryl Dawkins

[Grayson . . . ]

Kentucky has several potential first-round picks who have impressed scouts by dribbling into five defenders and committing extremely athletic turnovers. ~ Michael Rosenberg

[Senior Jaxon Schoenrock shoots a free throw . . . ]

They shot the ball well early. What comes out of the microwave hot doesn’t always stay hot. I know because I eat bagels in the morning. ~ Shaquille O’Neal

[Grayson goes airborne at the spot on the floor where magically gravity does not exist . . . ]

The Badgers will try to slow it down against Syracuse. The Badgers run less than $50 panty hose. ~ Rick Reilly

[Supersubs waiting to check in: Dawson Roderick, 6’1″ junior, and Jacob Balcome, 6’6″ senior . . . ]

True: When Austin Peay University had a player named Fly Williams, the students would chant, “The Fly is open! Let’s go Peay!”

[The above mentioned Jacob on the line . . . ]

Great players are willing to give up their own personal achievements for the achievement of the group. It enhances everybody. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

[Cardinals on defense: Freshman Mason Witt (33) with Dawson Roderick behind . . . ]

Winning is overrated. The only time it is really important is in surgery and war. ~ Al McGuire

[Halftime . . . ]

This year, we plan to run and shoot. Next season we hope to run and score. ~ Billy Tubbs

[Another dunk by Grayson . . . ]

The only difference between a good shot and a bad shot is if it goes in or not. ~ Charles Barkley

[Final score assuaged somewhat by running time over the last 8 minutes . . . ]

January 7

In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

[On to the Runestone Community Center for girls hockey against Maple Grove . . . ]

It’s a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water. ~ Franklin P. Jones

[The Cards scored first against the highly-ranked metro area school . . . ]

I’ve never been ice skating, ever. I’m traumatized by the idea of it. ~ Sebastian Stan

[And then we scored again . . . ]

I had a hard time with that hockey. I hadn’t grown up skating, so that was my biggest challenge. We worked on it and worked on it. But then when we first shot it, it was so hard for me. ~ Woody Harrelson

[Celebrating the goal . . . ]

My dad became a soap opera actor, and I was an extra in a skating rink scene on the soap. I didn’t audition. It was nepotism all the way. ~ Jennifer Aniston

[Faceoff in the Maple Grove end . . . ]

I want kids to enjoy skating and I think it’s a great workout. ~ Oksana Baiul

[Things were looking great for the Cards . . . ]

I was really a spoiled brat when I was a kid skating. Meals are cooked for you, you are driven to the rink, they make costumes for you. Your parents sit around and watch admiringly while you skate. You don’t have to think about anything but skating. You’re just plain spoiled. ~ Dorothy Hamill

[They scored on a tipped shot with 5 seconds left on the period . . . ]

When I was skating you had to participate in every thing. ~ Eric Heiden

[Where the ‘boys on the rail’ used to stand . . . ]

As soon as I was introduced to ice speed skating, I was instantly hooked. I never thought about pursuing skating professionally; I just enjoyed doing it. ~ Shani Davis

[Zambonied ice . . . ]

All the suits I buy have to be tailored, no matter what. But it’s not just because of my height; it’s because I’ve been skating for so long. My waist is very small, but my legs are just huge. ~ Apolo Ohno

[2nd period faceoff with Lauren Maras for the Cards. She will further pursue hockey at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire . . . ]

But I never really thought that I would be extraordinarily successful at skating, it’s just something that happened, you know. ~ Scott Hamilton

[Freshman Lillian Dutton (26) . . . ]

Male figure skating is different than female figure skating; we’re not America’s sweetheart. ~ Scott Hamilton

[Sophomore Julia Doherty on the draw, senior Aubrey Porter (23) on the point . . . ]

[Maple Grove scored to tie the game . . . ]

I would recommend anybody who gets a chance to see short track skating, make it a point to go out there when Apolo is skating because you won’t see anybody better. ~ Eric Heiden

[The Cards scored again to take a 3 – 2 lead . . . ]

My dad worked several jobs to pay for my expense in skating. ~ Nancy Kerrigan

[So, two goals in the first two minutes of the period . . . ]


The skill set for hockey is so specific to skating and if you haven’t been skating as a kid it’s impossible to play – and I wasn’t a skater. ~ Liev Schreiber

[Then inexplicably the roof caved in the Cards, and I shall bother you no further . . . ]

January 10

Basketball is a full-court game, so every drill must be done full court. ~ Bobby Knight

[Cardinal girls warming up to host the Moorhead Spuds . . . ]

He’s a skilled player. He’s like a unicorn. ~ Kevin Durant 

[Hadley Thul, the Cards 6’2″ do everything sophomore . . . ]

Passing is your best weapon against man-to-man. Dribble penetration is your best weapon against zone. ~ Bobby Knight

[I sent (Coach) Wendy Kohler a note that the Spuds had a size advantage at every position – including coach!]

Friends can come and go, but banners hang forever. ~ Kobe Bryant

We’re going to start asking people to go to bars and do some stuff. A little street cred would help us. ~ Gregg Popovich 

Toronto, to me, is a clean New York. ~ Charles Barkley

Toronto, to me, is a clean New York. ~ Charles Barkley

We’re losing games but our basketball has not been bad basketball it’s been ‘not good enough to win’ basketball. ~ George Karl

[The introductions corridor . . . ]

[Point guard 5’7″ sophomore Allie Haabala (33), is introduced . . . ]

Basketball is a beautiful game when the five players on the court play with one heartbeat. ~ Dean Smith

[Hadley wins the opening tap . . . ]

You can’t teach the beast. It’s either in you or it isn’t. You can’t just go to the store and buy a six-pack of beast. ~ Kevin Garnett

[Hadley on the line . . . ]

If you don’t want to get hacked then work on your ******* free throws. ~ Kevin Durant

[Hadley on the line (she gets there a lot) . . . ]

I needed a way out of poverty. My kids don’t. ~ LeBron James

[MaCee Linow (21) on the line . . . ]

I don’t even understand the word happy. Happy is a stupid word. It really is. It makes no sense. ~ Gregg Popovich

[I believe that’s senior Ella Steussy (1), 5’6″, defending someone of equivalent height . . . ]

Winning is more related to good defense than good offense. ~ Dr. Jack Ramsay

[Kaia Emter, 5’7″ junior, on defense . . . ]

A tough day at the office is even tougher when your office contains spectator seating. ~ Nik Posa

[The Cards are prepping to make some serious noise in the postseason . . . ]

Looking forward to following our basketball teams for the rest of the season. ~ Me

Kids are great. That’s one of the best things about our business, all the kids you get to meet. It’s a shame they have to grow up to be regular people and come to the games and call you names. ~ Charles Barkley

Up Next: Even still more in catch up mode . . .

It’s Me Again (Part 5)

January 26

Snow brings a special quality with it—the power to stop life as you know it dead in its tracks. ~ Nancy Hatch Woodward

Still in full catch up mode . . .

It was the kind of snow that brought children running out their doors, made them turn their faces skyward, and spin in circles with their arms outstretched. ~ Eowyn Ivey

December 22

It snowed last year too: I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea. ~ Dylan Thomas

[Snow dunes, snow drifts, and sun dogs. May the forces be with you . . . ]

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~ Charles Dickens

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. There’ll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, and caroling out in the snow. ~ Andy Williams

Thank goodness for the first snow. It was a reminder–no matter how old you became and how much you’d seen–things could still be new if you were willing to believe they still mattered. ~ Candace Bushnell

Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people’s legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world. ~ Sarah Addison Allen

They watched the snow fall and fall and fall until they thought that they were the ones falling. ~ Ann Patchett.

December 24 (a/k/a Christmas Eve)

Did you ever notice that life seems to follow certain patterns? Like I noticed that every year around this time, I hear Christmas music. ~ Tom Sims

[We had planned on cruising around South America over the holidays, but . . . stuff happens. Ruthie could not stay home then without putting up a tree, which she did on this day. Laddie (here) and Guinie were so appreciative . . . ]

We build statues out of snow, and weep to see them melt. ~ Walter Scott

[An unwrapped kitty under the tree . . . ]

A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky, unbidden, and seems like a thing of wonder. ~ Susan Orlean

I just want to be rich enough to buy enough ornaments to cover more than one side of the tree. ~ Charlotte Christmas

[Two unwrapped kitties under the tree?]

It’s that special time of year when your whole family gathers together in one place to look at their cellphones. ~ Jimmy Kimmel

[The Super and I indulged in our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. In later years champagne also entered the picture . . . ]

Christmas is always a problem to the man who has to convince his kids that there is a Santa Claus, and his wife that there isn’t. ~ Evan Esar

[Who let him in?]

They watched the snow fall and fall and fall until they thought that they were the ones falling. ~ Ann Patchett.

[Air temp: minus 12; windchill: minus 35. Still the Saturday morning doughnut and peanut brittle run continued unabated!]

Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty. ~ Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

The most delightful advantage of being bald—one can hear snowflakes. ~ R. G. Daniels

I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all really. Maybe it just needs a little love ~ ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’

There’s nothing cozier than a Christmas tree all lit up. ~ Jenny Han

I hate the radio this time of year because they play ‘All I want For Christmas Is You’ like, every other song. And that’s just not enough. ~ Bridger Winegar

[Why yes, Thurston Howell III did indeed drop by for a taste of Christmas Eve bubbly . . . ]

Christmas, here again. Let us raise a loving cup; Peace on earth, goodwill to men, and make them do the washing up. ~ Wendy Cope

December 25 (a/k/a Christmas)

We build statues out of snow, and weep to see them melt. ~ Walter Scott

[And so this is Christmas . . . ]

The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches. ~ e.e. cummings

Advice is like the snow. The softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon and the deeper it sinks into the mind. ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Cats are connoisseurs of comfort. ~ James Herriot

Pets, like their owners, tend to expand a little over the Christmas period. ~ Fanny Wright

One good thing about Christmas shopping is it toughens you for the January sales. ~ Grace Kriley

[Guinie prepares to pounce . . . ]

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats. ~ Albert Schweitzer

[While Laddie is still opening his presents . . . ]

If you see a sign that says ‘Peep Show’, that doesn’t mean they’re letting you look at presents before Christmas. ~ Father Christmas in Elf

We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space. ~ Dave Barry

[Holiday thoughts abound as I reach for the champagne adjacent to Christmas dinner . . . ]

One can never have enough socks. Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books. ~ Professor Dumbledore

[Christmas can be quite exhausting, what with opening presents and all . . . ]

I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending. ~ Fred Rogers

[And Happy Birthday to niece Jessica, a birthday she shares with Jimmy Buffett, Sissy Spacek, Karl Rove, Annie Lennox, and the guy for whom the holiday is named. This photo was two days after her birthday . . . in 1992. Now she has two young’uns of her own and remains a true blue George Mason Patriots basketball fan . . . ]

December 27

A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running. ~ Groucho Marx

[After yet another appointment at St. Cloud Hospital, we stopped here for lunch on the way home . . . ]

I just got out of the hospital. I was in a speed-reading accident. I hit a bookmark. ~ Steven Wright

[We split a Reuben and onion rings and read the “Geezer Gazette” . . . ]

December 31 (a/k/a, New Year’s Eve)

There’s just something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody else has walked on. ~ Carol Rifka Brunt

December is the toughest month of the year. Others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, October, August, and February. ~ Mark Twain

I’ll own it’s cold for such a fall of snow. ~ Robert Frost

How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, In the icy air of night! ~ Edgar Allan Poe

Winter is not a season, it’s a celebration. ~ Anamika Mishra

[Why yes, we did go to a holiday party last night. Of course, not until midnight – 8:30 was late enough. When we got home the neighbors across the lake were partying on the ice . . . ]

Good parties create a temporary youthfulness. ~ Mason Cooley

If you want an interesting party, combine cocktails and a fresh box of crayons for everyone. ~ Robert Fulghum

Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. ~ Mark Twain

Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to. ~ Bill Vaughn

Out with the old, in with the new’ is a fitting expression for a holiday that is based on vomiting. ~ Andy Borowitz

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one. ~ Brad Paisley

[This was also Ruthie’s sister Rita’s 80th birthday . . . ]

He who breaks a resolution is a weakling; He who makes one is a fool. ~ F.M. Knowles

No one ever regarded the first of January with indifference. ~ Charles Lamb

Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance. ~ Yoko Ono

Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring out the false, ring in the true. ~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Up Next: Still more catching up . . .

It’s Me Again (Part 4)

January 24

Merry Christmas, Nearly Everybody! ~ Ogden Nash

Still in catch up mode after the unexplained outage.

The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. ~ Benjamin Franklin

December 18

You create a community with music, not just at concerts but by talking about it with your friends. ~ David Byrne

[The annual high school orchestra and choirs concert is always the best show we see every year . . . ]

When concerts start at eight o’clock, the wife pushes the husband to go to the concert, where some promptly fall asleep! ~ Vladimir Horowitz

[We invited Karin and Dave Berg, our usual fellow music lovers, to join us. As first time attendees they thoroughly enjoyed the performance. The kids always dazzle us . . . ]

My job in this life is to give people spiritual ecstasy through music. In my concerts people cry, laugh, dance. If they climaxed spiritually, I did my job. I did it decently and honestly. ~ Carlos Santana

It’s a great privilege and a highlight for choir and orchestra members to perform for audiences in live concerts. ~ Mack Wilberg

[Maestro Brad Lambrecht takes the stage . . . ]

All my concerts had no sounds in them; they were completely silent. People had to make up their own music in their minds! ~ Yoko One

The way I feel today, as long as my health is good and I can handle myself well and people still come to my concerts, still buy my CDs, I’ll keep playing until I feel like I can’t. ~ B. B. King

The three great moments of my life had to be the concerts of Ellington in 1938, Dizzy in ’48, and Ella in ’52. ~ Boris Vian

I love going to concerts, so that whole environment is something that intrigues me anyway. ~ Gary Cole

I say what’s in my heart, and I do it in my concerts. ~ Rita Coolidge

Do you know how many concerts I’ve done in my whole life, in more than 35 years of performing? Sixty-four. ~ Carly Simon

His last 2 shows in the U.S. were in Chicago and St. Louis. I don’t know what made me go on the trip with him, but I’m so very glad I did. They were two of the finest concerts I’ve ever seen. ~ Nancy Sinatra

It was really strange for me when I started to play concerts in America where the audiences were all sitting down. ~ Van Morrison

We do a lot of light classical programming with that, too… obviously… a lot of Tchaikovsky music, Grieg, things like that which have become less classical with classical concerts. ~ Skitch Henderson

If you’ve never been to one of my concerts. I want you to know that it is OK to scream and yell. ~ Donna Summer

IT’S ALL ABOUT EATING

December 19

Siblings: children of the same parents, each of whom is perfectly normal until they get together. ~ Sam Levenson

[For festivities sake, a Christmas present from sister Gretch . . . ]

It is better to act and repent than not to act and regret. ~ Niccolo Machiavelli

[Dining at Longtrees Woodfire Grille after Community Ed movie, “Lost in Paris,” at Grand Arbor. The beauty that is a chicken pot pie . . . ]

I long for a day of judgment when the plotlines of our lives will be neatly tied, and all puzzles explained, and the meaning of events made clear. We take to fiction, I suppose, because no such thing is going to happen. ~ Fay Weldon

[The beauty that is poutine, the Canadian national dish, with Ruthie; while Paul also enjoys chicken pot pie . . . ]

Millions long for immortality, who don’t know what to do with themselves in a rainy Sunday afternoon. ~ Susan Ertz

[The beauty that is popovers and Swedish meatballs with Judy; and a giant mound of meat with Dwaine . . . ]

December 20

The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet. ~ William Gibson

[And yet another in a series of continuing attendances at the Garden Bar on 6th for Tuesday Nightclub . . . ]

December 21

‘Twas the Wednesday before Christmas, time is becoming a blur; for the sake of fine dining, we four attended The Lure; we shared firecracker cauliflower, but came in our own cars; we had a great time, but smoked no cigars. ~ Me

This crisp winter air is full of it. ~ John Burroughs

To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold. ~ Aristotle

There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people. ~ Bill Bowerman

There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. ~ John Ruskin

Up Next: Even more old stuff . . .

“Ole Arn”: A Life & Times

January 22

Someone has a good eye for some great photos — not you as I remember. ~ Bob Gilbert, retired Federal bureaucrat shriveling up in Sun City Grand, 12-2011

We’ve lost another long time friend. Bob “Ole Arn” Gilbert died this month making him the second lost member of the five guys who golfed together every Sunday morning for 25 years or so in the Washington, D.C. area. Arn retired to Arizona before we retired to Minnesota 21 years ago, so we haven’t had the opportunity to get together much since the “old days”. This photo was from his visit to Alexandria in 2009 . . .

One of things I like about looking at pictures when you’re young and also meeting back with old friends you haven’t seen in a long time is, for me, it’s a glimpse of who I was. ~ Lea Thompson

Robert John Gilbert – Bob – passed away peacefully January 6, 2023. Born June 22, 1940. Grew up Melrose, MA – aka “Hockey Town”. Through pond skating at a young age, his love for hockey was firmly established. Proud member of the Greater Boston League Hockey Championship team. Voted to All-Star team as a stalwart defenseman. After high school, worked in insurance industry, but chose to enter the Army Reserve Program. Went on to work for Blue Cross/ Blue Shield in computer sciences and later went on to become government administrator for Federal Home Loan Bank Board. At the conclusion of his career, he and his wife, Diane, moved to AZ; building their dream home in Surprise. After her demise, Bob chose to move to Sun City West. Bob is survived by his devoted son and daughter in law, Casey and Shannon Gilbert, his loving daughter, Erin Gilbert, and his dedicated sister Elizabeth (Betty) Gilbert, her supportive life partner, John (Jake) Keough, and his most cherished grandchildren, Calvin, Katey and Megan. Bob was a kind and generous man who lived life to the fullest. Forever Loved and Forever Missed. Service in his honor: Saturday, January 21 @ 10a – Camino Del Sol: 13738 W. Camino Del Sol, Sun City West, AZ 85375 In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make a contribution to Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation.

Arnold Palmer is the biggest crowd pleaser since the invention of the portable sanitary facility. ~ Bob Hope

[Ole Arn got his nickname from being the oldest guy in our golf group, just like Arnie Palmer late in his career . . . ]

Fan the sinking flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship; and pass the rosy wine. ~ Charles Dickens

[I can’t remember the date (among many things I can’t remember), but it was fine dining by the group w/spouses at a fine restaurant (can’t remember the name) in Tysons Corner, Virginia . . . ]

Golf, the ultimate avoidance activity, a game so nonsensically difficult, so pointless, so irrational, so time-consuming, golf, could only possibly stand for Get-Out-Leave-Family. ~ Jerry Seinfeld

[The boys: Dan Funkhouser (Danny), Jim Brown (JB), Bob Gilbert (Ole Arn), me, Mark Brown (Marcus, also JB’s brother) . . . ]

Golf is a game that needlessly prolongs the lives of some of our most useless citizens. ~ Bob Hope

President Eisenhower has given up golf for painting. It takes fewer strokes. ~ Bob Hope

Marriage: a friendship recognized by the police. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

[The significant others: Ruth Ann (JB), Ruthie (me), and Diane (Ole Arn)]

To like and dislike the same things, that is what makes a solid friendship. ~ Sallust

[Jack (I believe, and believe was Danny’s cousin), Danny, Me, and Arn somewhere in West By God Virginia, as I recall, on a date lost in the ethers of time . . . ]

Friendship is a wildly underrated medication. ~ Anna Deavere Smith

[I believe here Arn is explaing the principles of String Theory to Danny . . . ]

I’ll stick to finding the funny in the ordinary because my life is pretty ordinary and so are the lives of my friends—and my friends are hilarious. ~ Issa Rae

[I believe this was at a Department of Labor (DOL) golf tournament of uncertain date. What I learned from that experience was to never again volunteer to run a golf tournament. (JB, Arn, Danny, and DOL buddy, Lyle Brown)]

The ball retriever is not long enough to get my putter out of the tree. ~ Brian Weiss

[Playing with the boys, I shot the best 9-hole score of my life. The scorecard appears to be from Herndon Golf Club in Virginia . . . ]

The shortest distance between any two points on a golf course is a straight line that passes directly through the center of a very large tree. ~ Confucius

Nonchalant putts count the same as chalant putt. ~ Henry Beard

[And this is at Goose Creek Golf Course in Leesburg, Virginia, our principal course over the years . . . ]

If you really want to get better at golf, go back and take it up at a much earlier age. ~ Tom Mulligan

[In later years we determined we were entitled to a fancy lunch a week or so before Christmas. We’d go to work and then sneak out of the office for the rest of the day at an appropriate time. This appears to be from the Capital Grille on Pennsylvania Avenue in 1992, lurking in the middle distance is the Department of Labor building . . . ]

There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends. ~ Sylvia Plath

A good friend will always stab you in the front. ~ Oscar Wilde

[Arn was a source of endless entertainment for the boys. As noted in his obituary, he played hockey which yielded lifelong knee pain. I believe he had several operations to no avail. He did not display any maladies when he walked, but he always had to ride when we golfed. He would seek chiropractors, acupuncturists, bee stingers, sensory deprivation tank treatments, et al. And each such adventure came with a funny story . . . ]

When your shot has to carry over a water hazard, you can either hit one more club or two more balls. ~ Henry Beard

[The next year, 1993, we fine dined at the Willard Hotel, which at the time was not known as a meeting place for insurrectionists . . . ]

You should always throw a club ahead of you so that you don’t have to walk any extra distance to get it. ~ Tommy Bolt

[This was fine dining old gentlemen style – leather chairs, wood paneled walls, post-dining cognacs and cigars. What’s not to like?]

Doing those president jokes and golf shit. It scares me. ~ Eddie Murphy

[A well-stocked bar, suitable for the distinguished gentlemen of taste . . . ]

Shall we repair to the smoking room? ~ Danny

Ruthie & I visited Diane and Bob in Arizona

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupeery

[This occurred some time between our retirement and Arn’s visit to Minnesota, meaning between 2001 and 2009. I noticed immediately they did not need a Toro to mow their lawn . . . ]

[How Arn met Diane was another story of unique singularity. Arn was the first (and only) person I know to have used an In Seach Of (ISO) dating site. He used the ISO section of either the Washington Post or the Washingtonian Magazine. After posting his ad, he was astonished that every day (for weeks) he would receive dozens of responses in the mail. Washington has long been noted as lonely town because so many single people arrive from all over the world for government or government contractor jobs. Initially, he could reject a significant portion of them as being GU (geographically undesirable). For all the rest he was always amazed that respondees (often sending pictures) were attractive, in professional positions, and making good money. He was like a kid in a candy store. His arrangements (and I don’t know if it was kind of standard) were to meet the prospects for high tea. Apparently that meant it wasn’t really a date and no follow up was necessary. He said he met several very nice women on these occasions. Then he met Diane, and that sealed the deal . . . ]

Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected. ~ Charles Lamb

[We remember their wedding was in 1992, because they had an artist there doing caricatures . . . ]

The rules of survival never change, whether you’re in a desert or in an arena. ~ Bear Grylls

A desert is a place without expectation. ~ Nadine Gordimer

Sadly, it’s much easier to create a desert than a forest. ~ James Lovelock

[The highlight of desert mornings – when the coyotes check out the neighborhood . . . ]

Ole Arn visited us in Minnesota in 2009

Any celebration meal to which guests are invited, be they family or friends, should be an occasion for generous hospitality. ~ Julian Baggini

[With grandson Tommy, who was staying with us at the time, we picked Arn up at MSP in July 2009. He came alone as he and Diane had tried a few times before only to have to cancel because of Diane’s severe health issues. This time she told Arn he should go by himself . . . ]

Ultimately, what we’re trying to do for our customers or our guests is create magical travel experiences. ~ Nathan Blecharczyk

[A special treat for Arn before heading up to Alexandria. Our friends Kathy and Will Skadsberg offered a cruise on Lake Minnetonka. Here Arn meets Kathy I believe at the Wayzata pier . . . ]

To buy very good wine nowadays requires only money. To serve it to your guests is a sign of fatigue. ~ William F. Buckley, Jr.

[Will ready to pilot the boat . . . ]

The number of guests at dinner should not be less than the number of the Graces nor exceed that of the Muses, i.e., it should begin with three and stop at nine. ~ Marcus Terentius Varro

[Hail, hail, the gangs all here . . . ]

My only regret in life is that I didn’t drink enough Champagne. ~ Robert Noecker

[Lord Fletcher’s on Lake Minnetonka, where people go to see and be seen . . . ]

Give me wine to wash me clean of the weather-stains of cares. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing makes the future look so rosy as to contemplate it through a glass of Chambertin. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book? ~ David Attenborough

[Tommy on the left; believe it’s Skadberg’s grandson Will on the right . . . ]

Our people, though capable of strong and durable feeling, were not demonstrative in their affection at any time, least of all in the presence of guests or strangers. ~ Charles Eastman

[Will explaining to Arn the finer points of evading game wardens on the water . . . ]

Never have children, only grandchildren. ~ Gore Vidal

[Thus, the grandchild . . . ]

It’s okay if you finish cooking something easy after your guests arrive – some dishes must be prepared a la minute, as chefs say. Just remember to keep talking. ~ Ted Allen

[Kathy was running the figures to make sure we had enough gas to get back to shore . . . ]

I like when guests come over early and we chop veggies and talk and play music. ~ John Stamos

Of the many guests we welcomed to the Mickey Mouse Club, my absolute favorites were the Lennon Sisters. ~ Annette Funicello

[Arn and Kathy discuss possible escape routes from the game wardens . . . ]

I can certainly see that you know your wine. Most of the guests who stay here wouldn’t know the difference between Bordeaux and Claret. ~ Basil Fawlty

[Yup, I think we nailed it. ~ Kathy]

Age is just a number. It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine. ~ Joan Collins

[Navigating a channel . . . ]

Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle. ~ Paul Coelho

[As we begin to close our tour of Lake Minnetonka . . . ]

Penicillin cures, but wine makes people happy. ~ Alexander Fleming

[Lady of the Lakes tour boat . . . ]

How inappropriate it is to call this planet Earth, when clearly it is Sea. ~ Arthur C. Clarke

There is no better tool or equipment you can have on board than a well-trained crew. ~ Larry Pardey

Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit. ~ Brooks Atkinson

When your life is moving too fast and you find yourself in chaos, introduce yourself to each color of the sunset. ~ Christy Ann Martine

[A shout again to Kath & Will for the ride . . . ]

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. ~ Ernest Hemingway

You get the feeling that many of my guests feel that the French language gives them entry into a more cultivated, more intelligent world, more highly civilised too, with rules. ~ Bernard Pivot

[We’re in Alexandria now, at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center on beautiful Lake Darling . . . ]

I’m a fan of creating the mood and vibe with flowers, candles, and music. I love making my guests feel like it’s not formal and they can relax in my home. ~ Karen Elson

In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take. ~ Lewis Carroll

A gourmet meal without a glass of wine just seems tragic to me somehow. ~ Kathy Mattea

[Lunching in Arrowwood overlooking Lake Darling . . . ]

You can. You should. And if you are brave enough to start, you will. ~ Stephen King

[Visting the famed Darling-Carlos Bridge. Here looking south over Lake Darling . . . ]

Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages. ~ Louis Pasteur

[Little Darling to be specific . . . ]

Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together. ~ Elizabeth Taylor

[Then crossed the roadway to look north over Lake Carlos . . . ]

I feel that when you take the responsibility to host something, it is your job to make sure that all your guests are taken care of equally. ~ Yolands Hadid

[In our home on Lake Darling with Ruthie and Tom admiring some kind of fish . . . ]

Wine is bottled poetry. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

[Of course, no trip to Alexandria is complete without a visit to Big Ole . . . ]

I love everything that’s old, – old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine. ~ Oliver Goldsmith

Age appears best in four things: old wood to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read. ~ Francis Bacon

In the end we’re all Jerry Springer Show guests, really, we just haven’t been on the show. ~ Marilyn Manson

[A highlight for anyone, Arn as well, was a visit to a place that advertised both bait and fresh fudge . . . ]

Decor sets the stage for any party, and it also gives a great indication to your guests as to how much effort you’ve put into hosting them within your home. ~ Rachel Hollis

[Unfortunately, Three Havens General Store has gone the way of the Great Awk . . . ]

Either give me more wine or leave me alone. ~ Rumi, circa 1200’s

[I will always remember this as one of the great days of my life. As hosts, we wanted to show our out-of-state guest the excitement that is Alexandria, Minnesota. We went to Carlos Creek Winery where Arn ordered a libation . . . ]

When it’s a live performance, anything can happen. ~ Rene Angelil

[The winery has a small outside performance stage where musicians play whenever the weather is amenable. As I recall, on this day the scheduled performers could not make it. Apparently a call went out to some locals who started to show up one at a time. People from the area will recognize Tom Mulder, Erik Schultz, Al Lieffort, Bruce Kelly and Annie O’Flynn. As I told them all later, they were all really on their A-games. The music was great and Arn kept looking around saying, “I can’t believe it. There’s nobody here to hear this!”]

Nothing beats a live performance. Nothing. ~ Jonathan Demme

The adrenaline of a live performance is unlike anything in film or theater. I can see why it’s so addictive. ~ Gwyneth Paltrow

[Annie sitting with Arn so he doesn’t get over excited . . . ]

One of the things I love about music is live performance. ~ Yo-Yo Ma

[The Grammy winners on that day: Tom, Al, Bruce, Erik, and Annie . . . ]

Retirement means no pressure, no stress, no heartache… unless you play golf. ~ Gene Perret

[Then it was time to take Ole Arn out to the Alexandria Golf Club, always as beautifully maintained as it appears here. This is Arn teeing off on Hole No. 4 . . . ]

She [Michelle Wie] could be adopted by Britney Spears and be better off. I want my 16-year-old daughter to have an enormous phone bill, a case of the giggles and to be pissed off at me for killing her first three boyfriends. I do not want her out on Tour under that kind of pressure. ~ David Feherty

[Arn lining up his second shot in the 6th hole, the course and the day both gorgeous . . . ]

It [Jim Furyk’s swing] looks like a one armed man trying to wrestle a snake in a phone booth. ~ David Feherty

[And he hits it, somewhere in the direction of the hole . . . ]

Watching Phil Mickelson play golf is like watching a drunk chasing a balloon near the edge of a cliff. ~ David Feherty

[Arn teeing off on No. 7, the par 3 with the Minnesota green . . . ]

A cocktail done right can really show your guests that you care. ~ Danny Meyer

[A tour of beautiful Lake Darling on our pontoon, the Moby Obie . . . ]

Elephants and grandchildren never forget. ~ Andy Rooney

[With Tommy at the helm . . . ]

So long, Arn. It’s been good to know you . . .

[And Grandma Ruthie just enjoying the ride . . . ]

[We rated his visit a ’10’!]

Are we going to be friends forever?’ asked Piglet. ‘Even longer,’ Pooh answered.“ ~ A.A. Milne

Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected. ~ Charles Lamb

Arn, it was a pleasure to have known you. ~ Me

It’s Me Again (Part 3)

January 12

We are all shitty little snowflakes dancing in the universe. ~ Lewis Black

People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy. ~ Anton Chekhov

December was cold and snowy. Appropriately, we only did a couple things a day.

[This will also be the last photo of the post . . . ]

No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place. ~ Zen Proverb

December 12

I meet people at book signings. My record now, for signing, is ten and a half hours in one sitting. ~ David Sedaris

[Although we have been Facebook and email friends with Jess Lourey for many years (begining with her early Murder-By-Month mystery novels), we hadn’t been together in person for a few years. This get together was at Cherry Street Books (after they had been at the library) and was great fun. She thinks “The Quarry Girls” is her best book yet. After reading it, I had to agree with her . . . ]

I’ve learned at the book signings that everyone has obstacles. ~ Greg Louganis

[We had never met Sarah Stonich before but had a nice visit with her as well. We bought her novel “Vacationland” as an introduction to her work . . . ]

I meet people on the street or at book signings and they tend to treat me as if they know me, as if we’re connected. It’s great. ~ Judy Blume

[The authors discussed their books, how they write, their publishers, and all kinds of stuff related . . . ]

I’ve had people turn up to book signings with knives, with guns. ~ Patricia Cornwell

There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people’s book and write your own. ~ Albert Einstein

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. ~ Ray Bradbury

[Jess was next off the Costa Rica for I believe 5 months to write in the total absence of snow . . . ]

December 12

Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through snow. ~ Jeff Valdez

[I awoke in the middle of the night and discovered their penthouse bedroom . . . ]

Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people’s legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world. ~ Sarah Addison Allen

[Get back here, sis. I don’t want to get cold. ~ Laddie]

I know now, I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person. ~ Sylvia Plath

[The weather was such we felt we did not need to appoint a special prosecutor to determine the construction of a pot of chili was a necessity . . . ]

December 14

The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches. ~ E.E. Cummings

A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky unbidden and seems like a thing of wonder. ~ Susan Orlean

This crisp winter air is full of it. ~ John Burroughs

[Why yes, some degree of the usual Wednesday night fine dining group eventually appeared . . . ]

December 15

To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold. ~ Aristotle

[And the snow kept rolling in . . . ]

You can’t get too much winter in the winter. ~ Robert Frost

There’s just something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody else has walked on. ~ Carol Rifka Brunt

Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories. ~ Deborah Kerr

They say that there can never be two snowflakes that are exactly alike, but has anyone checked lately? ~ Terry Pratchett

I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas. It brings people together whilst time stands still. ~ Rachel Cohn

The most delightful advantage of being bald—one can hear snowflakes. ~ R. G. Daniels

It’s Christmas time in the city . . . ~ Jay Livingston & Ray Evans

December 17

The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer. ~ Vita Sackville-West

[This was one full day. Saturday mornings, as now even Al Jazeera has picked up on, are for doughnut runs to Roers Family Bakery, and neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this courier from the swift completion of my appointed rounds . . . ]

February is for curmudgeons, whinge-bags, and misanthropes. You can’t begrudge us one month of the year or blame us for being even crabbier, it’s so short. There is nothing good about it, which is why it’s so great. ~ Lionel Shriver

[Big Ole stands tall, still in his summer shorts (or tunic, whatever) . . . ]

It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it. ~ John Burroughs

Summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever. ~ George R.R. Martin

[Broadway, Alexandria’s main street, at c. 6:15 am . . . ]

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. And since we’ve no place to go, Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! ~ Sammy Cahn

Despite all I have seen and experienced, I still get the same simple thrill out of glimpsing a tiny patch of snow. ~ Edmund Hillary

The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole. ~ Oscar Wilde

[Roers Family Bakery, home of the plain old-fashioned doughnut . . . ]

Mmm… donuts. ~ Homer Simpson

[Said doughnuts safely arrived at home . . . ]

Onward we climb. The upper slope is a crust of friable lava. It crunches like peanut brittle beneath our steps. ~ David Quammen

[Roers also produces peanut brittle during the holiday season – a special treat for me . . . ]

It’s cold and cruel to begin with, but it’s somehow beautiful, and you miss it when it’s not there. And if you hold it in your hands close enough and long enough, it changes. It melts. ~ Bex-chan

[At Carlos Creek Winery for an afternoon of music with Elsa Lee . . . ]

Are ye the ghosts of fallen leaves, O flakes of snow, For which, through naked trees, the winds A-mourning go? ~ John Banister Tabb

[The summer time performance area . . . ]

And so, I’m offering this simple phrase to kids from one to 92. Although it’s been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you. ~ The Christmas Song 

[The Super taking her “missing you at” Facebook photo of Elsa . . . ]

Holidays are joyful, there’s always something new. But ev’ryday’s a holiday, when I’m near to you. ~ Merry Christmas, Darling

Christmas Eve will find me, where the lovelight gleams. I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams. ~ I’ll be Home for Christmas

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know. Where the treetops glisten and children listen, to hear sleigh bells in the snow. ~ White Christmas

Oh the fire is slowly dying. And, my dear, were still good-bye-ing. But as long as you love me so, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. ~ Let it Snow

Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Let your heart be light. From now on your troubles will be out of sight. ~ Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Rocking around the Christmas tree, have a happy holiday. Everyone dancing merrily, in a new old-fashioned way. ~ Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

Good tidings we bring to you and your kin. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. ~ We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening. A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight. Walking in a winter wonderland. ~ Winter Wonderland

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different. ~ J.B. Priestley

May the force be with you . . . ~ Obi-Wan Kenobi

[Wine barrel Christmas tree . . . ]

It takes a snowflake two hours to fall from cloud to earth. Can’t you just see its slow, peaceful decent? ~ Amy Krouse Rosenthal 

If snow melts down to water, does it still remember being snow? ~ Jennifer McMahon

[And finishing along the street where we live . . . ]

The snow was endless, a heavy blanket on the outdoors; it had a way about it. A beauty. But I knew that, like many things, beauty could be deceiving. ~ Cambria Hebert

Lights from across the bay twinkled in the night and Christmas carols played softly in the background. She wished for snow to fall to add to the season. ~ Sharon Brubaker

To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold. ~ Aristotle

Morning comes whether you set an alarm clock or not. ~ Ursala K. Le Quin

Life is infinitely stranger than anything the mind of man could invent. ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. ~ James Baldwin

The worst part of success is trying to find someone who is happy for you. ~ Bette Midler

Up Next: Still more of the same . . .

It’s Me Again (Part 2)

January 9

Christmas: It’s the only religious holiday that’s also a federal holiday. That way, Christians can go to their services, and everyone else can sit at home and reflect on the true meaning of the separation of church and state. ~ Samantha Bee

Catching up on a few things that happened during the holiday season. The highlight of which was the multiple trips to St. Cloud Hospital for cardiac care – I have now visited St. Cloud Hospital more times than the local hospital (and then only as a visitor) in 21 years of local residency. ~ Me

‘White Christmas’ is the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ of Christmas songs. ~ Stewart Stafford

December 4

Christmas is a box of tree ornaments that have become part of the family. ~ Charles M. Schulz

[Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra with “That Song Called Life”. I need the full symphony photo to begin with for Facebook display purposes . . . ]

I was Christmas shopping and ran into a guy on the street. I noticed his watch and said that it runs slow. He said, ‘So does the guy I stole it from.’ ~ David Letterman

[Brad Lambrecht with his pre-concert Maestro’s notes . . . ]

[With the concert soloist, Clint Sevcik, also on stage . . . ]

We celebrate the birth of one who told us to give everything to the poor by giving each other motorized tie racks. ~ Bill McKibben

It’s always consoling to know that today’s Christmas gifts are tomorrow’s garage sales. ~ Milton Berle

[The crowd was still filtering in . . . ]

 Christmas is such a carefree, low-pressure time—that’s one of the things I love about it. ~ Stephen King

[Greetings from the PAC . . . ]

Sending Christmas cards is a good way to let your friends and family know that you think they’re worth the price of a stamp. ~ Melanie White

[Thank you, Lee, a classmate in Senior College . . . ]

Dear Jesus: For Christmas this year I’d like to try following your teachings without having one of your followers call me a socialist. ~ John Fugelsang

[Well-known patrons on the other side of the PAC . . . ]

The ideal Christmas gift is money, but the trouble is you can’t charge it. ~ Bill Vaughan

[After the concert we came out into the atrium area where we heard some wild cheering. There was a younger boys basketball tournament going on and those not playing were watching the Vikings beat the Jets . . . ]

The office Christmas party is a great opportunity to catch up with people you haven’t seen for 20 minutes. ~ Julius Sharpe

[We were hoping to see the high school carolers but opted out after cookies and cider . . . ]

December 6

I bought my brother some gift wrap for Christmas. I took it to the Gift Wrap department and told them to wrap it, but in a different print so he would know when to stop unwrapping. ~ Steven Wright

[Tuesday Nightclub at the Garden Bar on 6th . . . ]

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. ~ Maya Angelou

[Joined on this august occasion (in December) by Annie O’Flynn onb the accordion . . . ]

Let’s be naughty and save Santa the trip. ~ Gary Allan

[We seem to often appear simultaneously at the same venues . . . ]

My wife, like many women, actually likes wrapping things. If she gives you a gift that requires batteries, she wraps the batteries separately, which to me is very close to being a symptom of mental illness. ~ Dave Barry

[Ramen, a personal favorite of mine at the Garden Bar . . . ]

Nothing says holidays like a cheese log. ~ Ellen Degeneres

[That looks really good – have to make an appearance here again soon . . . ]

December 7

The hard soil and four months of snow make the inhabitants of the northern temperate zone wiser and abler than his fellow who enjoys the fixed smile of the tropics. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The very fact of snow is such an amazement. ~ Roger Ebert

Let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway. ~ Elsa from Frozen

The wind crooned softly as it dusted the snow against the windows, wrapping them in a thick and fluffy cotton blanket. ~ Soheir Khashoggi

Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers. ~ Kahlil Gibran

It snowed last year too: I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea. ~ Dylan Thomas

December 8

No one looks at your hands to see how much they shake when you are interviewed to be a surgeon. The physical skills required are no greater than for writing cursive script. If an operation requires so much skill only a few surgeons can do it, you modify the operation to make it simpler. ~ Atul Gawande

[On the way to St. Cloud Hospital (an hour and a half trip) at O-dark-thirty to have the debris in my right carotid artery removed . . . ]

You can teach somebody how to be a brain surgeon, but you cannot teach them how to walk on a stage and make people laugh. ~ Ron White

[On the outskirts of St. Cloud with the skyline of St. Joseph in the distance . . . ]

I wanted to be a brain surgeon, but I had a bad habit of dropping things. ~ Gilbert Gottfried

[Temperature one degree above zero . . . ]

I do know that detachment is important. A surgeon can’t be weeping into the open wound. ~ Randa Haines

[At the hospital, on the banks of the Mississippi River . . . ]

December 9

I met the surgeon general – he offered me a cigarette. ~ Rodney Dangerfield

[The view from my hospital window. Ruthie stayed in the decorated building on the far side of the street . . . ]

She got her looks from her father. He’s a plastic surgeon. ~ Groucho Marx

[Still alive and but not kicking (that would involve oethopedics). Many thanks again to Dr. Ojo and his team, and to all the others involved from pre-op to post-op. A very professional operation . . . ]

I’ve got nothing against plastic surgery at all. I know lots of people, young and old, who’ve had it. The point about good surgery is you can’t see it. The important thing is not to go crazy – and not to go to a bad surgeon. ~ Suki Waterhouse

[Thank goodness Nimoy (“live long and prosper”) was here for caregiving when we got home!  The PA’s said I could go to the girls b’ball game that night, but the supervisor said I couldn’t.  Will be walking Monday though . . . ]

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!’ ~ Dave Barry

Merry Christmas to EVERYONE, including the Radical Left Marxists that are trying to destroy our Country, the Federal Bureau of Investigation that is illegally coercing & paying Social and LameStream Media to push for a mentally disabled Democrat over the Brilliant, Clairvoyant, and USA LOVING Donald J. Trump. ~ Oy

Up Next: Still catching up . . .

It’s Me Again (Part 1)

January 9

There’s a lot more to life than how fat or thin you are. ~ Kirstie Alley

I’ve been lost in the wilderness since the middle of the last month (though some would say it’s been much longer than that). I awoke one morning and logged onto this blog only to discover that WordPress said it had been deleted! This began a multi-week exchange of emails (over a hundred) with WordPress trying to figure out what happened and how to fix it. I finally lost all patience with trying to deal with the “techies” and asked Ruthie is she could take over. After several more days of email exchanges it appears to be back. Ruthie had to have the patience of Job to accomplish this feat (and you thought I didn’t know my Biblical figures). Job later became the inspiration for the great rock and roll hit song, Get a Job by the Silhouettes (the best lyrics ever). So, now I have some catching up to do. ~ Me

But in Indiana it’s not like New York where everyone’s like, ‘We’re from New York and we’re the best’ or ‘We’re from Texas and we like things big’ it’s more like ‘We’re from Indiana and we’re gonna move.” ~ Jim Gaffigan (Did the Super hit me yet?)

November 30

I watch a lot of TV, I drink a lot of coffee, but you know what’s really addictive? Heroin. ~ Jim Gaffigan

[Ruthie’s holiday decor – sweet and simple . . . ]

Pie can’t compete with cake. Put candles in a cake, it’s a birthday cake. Put candles in a pie, and somebody’s drunk in the kitchen. ~ Jim Gaffigan

[The usual suspects gather for Wednesday night fine dining at Lure Lakebar . . . ]

I come from a very big family . . . nine parents. ~ Jim Gaffigan

Ever eat so much you feel sick? Isn’t that the best? ~ Jim Gaffigan

[Must wear their locator ankle bracelets whenever they leave the house . . . ]

I’m not a strict vegetarian. I do eat beef and pork. And chicken. But not fish ’cause that’s disgusting! How do you know when fish goes bad? It smells like fish either way! ‘Hey this smells like a dumpster, lets eat it!’ ~ Jim Gaffigan

It is a little embarassing when someone catches you watching the Food Network…”What are you watching?” “Uh, the Food Network…” “Well, why are you pants off?” “I like food…a lot. ~ Jim Gaffigan

December 2

There are really only two plays: Romeo and Juliet and put the darn ball in the basket. ~ Abe Lemmons

[As the high school basketball season begins, a momentary look back at Ella Grove from the 2020 state tournament as she blazed the trail for brother Grayson to become the next Cardinal star. The next day COVID shut down everything . . . ]

I’m blind, bald, and pale. I’m like a gigantic recessive gene. ~ Jim Gaffigan

[This was a prelude for the whole month when so many games were weather postponed . . . ]

[The first game of the year in a snow storm . . . ]

LeBron James still gets criticism. Jesus still gets criticized. ~ D’Angelo Russell

[The Cardinals were hosting Benilde-St. Margaret’s (BSM), a great opening game between two teams ranked in the top 10 in the class AAA state rankings. Here’s some action from the JV game . . . ]

He makes plays you can’t coach, and he makes plays that look like he’s never been coached. ~ Bill Self

[Still the JV’s . . . ]

All I know is, as long as I led the Southeastern Conference in scoring, my grades would be fine. ~ Charles Barkley

[Like the front row at LA Laker games, the local celebrities . . . ]

You got to believe in yourself. Hell, I believe I’m the best-looking guy in the world, and I might be right. ~ Charles Barkley

[The JV has not lost a game since the 2018-19 season . . . ]

I always laugh when people ask me about rebounding techniques. I’ve got a technique. It’s called just go get the damn ball. ~ Charles Barkley

[The varsity came out for warmups. Chase Thompson (3) is a 6’7″ sophomore who is also the quarterback for the football team; Bralyn Steffensmeier (11) is a junior who has taken over the point guard position from his brother Carter who graduated last year . . . ]

Yeah, Ernie, it’s called defense, I mean, I wouldn’t know anything about it personally, but I’ve heard about it through the grapevine. ~ Charles Barkley

[Our senior captains are Trevin Hoepner (0) and Jaxon Schoenrock (4) with 6’9″ junior center Grayson Grove (2). The aforementioned Ella Grove was at the game on support of her little brother . . . ]

Don’t call me son, unless you’re going to include me in your will. (When Adolph Rupp called him, “Son.”) ~ Al McGuire

A team should be an extension of a coach’s personality. My teams are arrogant and obnoxious. ~ Al McGuire

[It’s likely that Grayson will be favored to win all center jumps this year . . . ]

Our guys took Shop and Advanced Shop. Shop is when you make a chair. Advanced Shop is when you paint it. ~ Al McGuire

I think everyone should go to college and get a degree and then spend six months as a bartender and six months as a cab driver. Then they would really be educated. ~ Al McGuire

When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team. ~ George Raveling

[Schoenrock inbounds the ball as Thompson cuts to the basket . . . ]

 I hate it. It looks like a stickup at 7-Eleven. Five guys standing there with their hands in the air. ~ Norm Sloan, commenting on zone defense.

[Grayson is an excellent free throw shooter . . . ]

They shot the ball well early. What comes out of the microwave hot doesn’t always stay hot. I know because I eat bagels in the morning. ~ Shaquille O’Neal

[As is Jaxon . . . ]

This year, we plan to run and shoot. Next season we hope to run and score. ~ Billy Tubbs

[Dawson Roderick (35) is a junior with an all around game as the usual 6th man . . . ]

Our offense is like the Pythagorean Theorem. There is no answer. ~ Shaquille O’Neal

[Chase is another good shooter . . . ]

You can say something to popes, presidents and kings, but you can’t talk to officials. In the next war, they ought to give everyone a whistle. ~ Abe Lemmons

[Chase with a lefthanded tip . . . ]

If you meet the Buddha in the lane, feed him the ball. ~ Phil Jackson

[And then attempting a block in the lane . . . ]

In my prime, I could’ve handled Michael Jordan. Of course, he would have only been 12 years old. ~ Jerry Sloan

[Grayson at the line in the 2d half . . . ]

This is basketball, not figure skating. You don’t get extra points for the degree of difficulty. ~ Bobby Hurley

[This was a well played game by two very good teams. The score never deviated by more than a couple baskets either way. Now, a month later, BSM is undefeated and the Cardinals haven’t lost since this game . . . ]

December 3

Actually, the reason I look like this is because my father was from Sweden and my mother was Elton John. ~ Jim Gaffigan

[Maybe even better than the Post Office, doughnuts must be delivered every Saturday morning regardless of the weather . . . ]

I was a multi-millionaire from playing hockey. Then I got divorced, and now I am a millionaire. ~ Bobby Hull

Every day is a great day for hockey. ~ Mario Lemieux

[The boys hockey team hosted Orono the day after the basketball game . . . ]

Hockey captures the essence of Canadian experience in the New World. In a land so inescapably and inhospitably cold, hockey is the chance of life, and an affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter we are alive. ~ Stephen Leacock

I tried to talk my daughter out of going with a hockey player but, he’s a good kid. He asked me if he could marry Carrie before he asked her. I said: You want to what? I thought he was just going to ask for more ice time. ~ Phil Esposito

High sticking, tripping, slashing, spearing, charging, hooking, fighting, unsportsmanlike conduct, interference, roughing……everything else is just figure skating. ~ Scotty Bowman

[Both teams scored in the first minute of the game . . . ]

I hate when people litter. ~ Joe Thornton

[It got worse after the that. Basketball star Grayson Grove and classmates were in attendance . . . ]

Welcome, newcomers. The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances. I got a lot of problems with you people and now you’re gonna hear about it. ~ Frank Costanza

[And then it was on to a holiday concert at the high school that evening . . . ]

At the Festivus dinner you gather your family around and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year. ~ Frank Costanza

When George was growing up his father hated all the commercial religious aspects of Christmas, so he made up his own holiday. ~ Jerry Seinfeld

And is there a tree?” (Kramer). “No. Instead there’s a pole. Requires no decoration. I find tinsel distracting.” ~ Frank Costanza

George, Festivus is your heritage. It’s part of who you are. ~ Frank Costanza

And now as Festivus rolls on, we come to the feats of strength. ~ Frank Contanza

[These guys were really good and very entertaining . . . ]

They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway (on Broadway). ~ The Drifters

[On the way home from the concert, downtown Alexandria . . . ]

Last season he was a Pixie dust spreader on the Tilt-A-Whirl. ~ Cousin Eddy

There’s always somebody older, richer, more desperate than you. ~ Kirstie Alley

Get a Job ~ The Silhouettes:

Yip-yip-yip-yip-yip-yip, bmm
Sha-na-na-na, sha-na-na-na-na, ahh-do
Sha-na-na-na, sha-na-na-na-na, ahh-do
Sha-na-na-na, sha-na-na-na-na, ahh-do
Sha-na-na-na, sha-na-na-na-na
Ahh, yip-yip-yip-yip-yip-yip-yip-yip
Mum-mum-mum-mum-mum-mum, get a job
Sha-na-na-na, sha-na-na-na-na

Up Next: More of the stuff that happened over the last month . . .

Happy Holidays *

December 13

I wished for peace on Earth, goodwill towards men (and women), and several indictments for you know who. ~ Me

[Photo credit: Deb Trumm]

It’s time for the annual Christmas blog, the screed that’s always way too long as it attempts to reflect upon the things that occupied our time over the past 12 months. For the first time in two years we traveled beyond the boundaries of Minnesota, in both instances in conjunction with Ruthie’s Indiana University alumni status. Otherwise we seemed to find enough things to do in the more immediate geographic area. Then shortly after my 75th birthday, I decided I should have a stress test included with my annual physical exam. No particular reason other than it was an age milestone for someone who has had a surprisingly healthy life to date. Well, the stress test led to further tests indicating I had a carotid artery blockage and would need a triple bypass around the heart. As someone who had never had any surgeries before, I was moving quickly into the big leagues of modern medicine. I have since successfully had the carotid artery unplugged and will likely have the bypass surgery in the near future. In the meantime, with the usual apologies to Dave Barry, we bring you 2022, the year in review . . .

It’s the holiday season, so whoop de doo, and be of good cheer, ‘cuz SCOTUS was named, fun bunch of the year. ~ Me

*

January

Sharks are as tough as those football fans who take their shirts off during games in Chicago in January, only more intelligent. ~ Dave Barry

[Apparently nothing of note happened this month. We probably just sat around the house happy not to be masked at home . . . ]

February

Without Valentine’s Day, February would be well, January. ~ Jim Gaffigan

The humble baguette — the crunchy ambassador for French baking around the world — is being added to the U.N.’s list of intangible cultural heritage as a cherished tradition to be preserved by humanity. ~ Strib 12-1-22

[You’ll notice not much happened the first two months of the year with no thanks to COVID. So, friend Dave Anderson stopped in one day and taught us how to bake bread . . . ]

March

March 4th, the only day that’s also a sentence. ~ John Green

[A frequent expression of general application in this year of pandemic, politics, and SCOTUS . . . ]

Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and receipts for all major purchases. ~ Bridger Winegar

[As friends once again were able to gather for Wednesday Night Fine Dining at the Lure (a carryover from summer fine dining at the golf club) . . . ]

The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces. ~ Will Rogers

[The smiling happy faces of attendees at our Community Education movies at the theatre in Grand Arbor, alternating semi-monthly between foreign films and documentaries. It’s really hard to learn a new language every month!]

My ability to turn good news into anxiety is rivaled only by my ability to turn anxiety into chin acne. ~ Tina Fey

[Vaccinations on a regular basis – this one the second COVID booster (we got #3 in September) . . . ]

April

April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks, “Go!” ~ Christopher Morley

[We had never been to Lakes Area Theatre at its new location. Thoroughly enjoyed this play – then never got back to the theatre because there’s always just too much to do in the greater Alexandria metropolitan area . . . ]

Accept who you are. Unless you’re a serial killer. ~ Ellen DeGeneres

[You almost feel like part of the cast here . . . ]

The only thing I like better than talking about food is eating. ~ John Walters

[The Fat Boys Walking Club noshed together at the Alexandria Golf Club, just because . . . ]

I believe it’s a cook’s moral obligation to add more butter given the chance. ~ Michael Ruhlman

[The Boys of ’65 monthly luncheon date this month took place at the Nutcracker Cafe (with a Christmas theme) in Starbuck on the western edge of Lake Minnewaska. How can you pass on the luncheon special when it’s a beef commercial?]

A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into. ~ George Orwell

[The map plotted with all the restaurants we have dined at in this capacity . . . ]

I don’t believe in astrology; I’m a Sagittarius and we’re skeptical. ~ Arthur C. Clarke

[The table at which we scarfed down the commercial . . . ]

Don’t send funny greeting cards on birthdays or at Christmas. Save them for funerals, when their cheery effect is needed. ~ P. J. O’Rourke

[The Garden Bar in downtown Alex set up for Tuesday Nightclub . . . ]

If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried. ~ Steven Wright

[Said Tuesday Nightclub, the humanity attached to the above instruments . . . ]

If I studied all my life, I couldn’t think up half the number of funny things passed in one session of congress. ~ Will Rogers

[At Carlos Creek Winery with people who obviously enjoy wine (and/or a brewski) . . . ]

I think it’s always funny when somebody thinks you’re going to do something super sexy and then you don’t. ~ Olivia Munn

[As we’re inside, the weather outside still must be frightful . . . ]

There’s nothing simpler than avoiding people you don’t like. Avoiding one’s friends, that’s the real test. ~ Dowager Countess Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith), Downton Abbey

[Wednesday Night Fine Dining at the Lure with most of the usual suspects . . . ]

May

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, and summer’s lease hath all too short a date. ~ William Shakespeare

[Run for the Roses fund raising event at the winery for Theatre L’Homme Dieu . . . ]

Turns out you have a really fun time if you go to work every day and focus on being silly and funny and happy! ~ Hannah Murray

[The stable halves of the Boys of ’65 at the Lure . . . ]

I actually think of being funny as an odd turn of mind, like a mild disability, some weird way of looking at the world that you can’t get rid of. ~ Calvin Trillin

[The Boys of ’65, absent their above stabilizers . . . ]

A funny thing happened to me on the way to the White House. ~ Adlai Stevenson

[Maestro Brad Lambrecht of the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra addressing classicial music fans at the Legacy of the Lakes Museum . . . ]

I’m a classic example of all humorists – only funny when I’m working. ~ Peter Sellers

[Ruthie with BAT at the winery. Always a good time when he and Brenda come to town from Flora-Bama . . . ]

They’re great girls. They’re very funny, they’re very smart, they’re fun to be with. They’re very lively, as I think people can tell. And you know, they’re very confident girls. ~ Laura Bush

[Winery babes . . . ]

Stan Fields: “Describe your perfect date.” Cheryl: “That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25. Because it’s not too hot and not too cold. All you need is a light jacket.” ~ Stan Fields (William Shatner) and Cheryl Frasier (Heather Burns), Miss Congeniality

[Uncorked, but semi-corked for foot traveling through the wilds of the winery . . . ]

The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat. ~ Lily Tomlin

[One of two times this spring when we had to round up the babies and head to the basement under a tornado warning . . . ]

June

The castle grounds were gleaming in the sunlight as though freshly painted; the cloudless sky smiled at itself in the smoothly sparkling lake, the satin-green lawns rippled occasionally in a gentle breeze: June had arrived. ~ J.K. Rowling

[The Salty Dogs were playing here . . . ]

I don’t really need to be dirty to be funny. ~ Jimmy Kimmel

[Said Salty Dogs . . . ]

It’s hard to be funny when you have to be clean. ~ Mae West

[We were sitting too close to get them all in one shot . . . ]

To err is human, but to really foul things up you need a computer. ~ Paul R. Ehrlich

[This was our trip to Indiana University (IU), Bloomington, Indiana, for Mini-U – looks like everybody graduated after one week! See if you can spot Ruthie and me . . .

I gave a funny speech at my wife’s birthday party, and I’m thinking, ‘Hey, I’ve still got it.’ ~ Larry David

[In Biddle Hotel, our on campus lodging . . . ]

[Said Biddle Hotel with Ruthie and Rita, The Biddies . . . ]

If you think you have it tough, read history books. ~ Bill Maher

[In a courtyard of the Memorial Union, where our classes were held . . . ]

Coach: How’s a beer sound, Norm? Norm: I don’t know, I usually finish before they get a word in. ~ Coach (Nicholas Colasanto) and Norm (George Wendt), Cheers

[Janko’s Little Zagreb restaurant in downtown Bloomington, Indiana, with friends, family, and fans . . . ]

I drink to make other people more interesting. ~ Ernest Hemingway

[The Mini-U wrap up . . . ]

You’re only as good as your last haircut. ~ Fran Leibowitz

[The Super, on the right, entering Theatre L’Homme Dieu . . . ]

July

Every July, I look forward to taping a Christmas show – in July in Nashville. In 98-degree weather. I love it. ~ Larry the Cable Guy

[I had never read the book. It became a must under the onus of SCOTUS . . . ]

Anyone who says that money cannot buy happiness has clearly never spent their money on pizza. ~ Andrew W.K.

[A lovely afternoon at Rolling Forks Vineyards up on the hill overlooking Lake Minnewaska . . . ]

Chaos in the midst of chaos isn’t funny, but chaos in the midst of order is. ~ Steve Martin

[The new patio at Theatre L’Homme Dieu . . . ]

There’s nothing wrong with you that an expensive operation can’t prolong. ~ Surgeon (Graham Chapman), Monty Python’s Flying Circus

[Our first venture to Gathered Oaks for outdoor music with Josie (who will be Dr. Josie in a couple years) . . . ]

Usher: Bride or groom? Wedding guest: It should be perfectly obvious I’m neither! ~ Four Weddings and a Funeral

[Sunday morning breakfasts at the Alexandria Golf Course, a treat all summer . . . ]

Truth hurts. Maybe not as much as jumping on a bicycle with a seat missing, but it hurts. ~ Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen), Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. And if you do have to say it, make it really funny so I can screenshot it and save it for later. ~ Sabrina Carpenter

[Good heavens, back on the Theatre L’Homme Dieu patio again . . . ]

It’s funny the way most people love the dead. Once you are dead, you are made for life. ~ Jimi Hendrix

[Tuesday Nightclub at the Garden Bar . . . ]

Yes, I believe blue material is funny, but if that’s all you’ve got, you’re dead in the water. It’s not good. ~ Howard Stern

[Ditto . . . ]

They say Yogi Berra is funny. Well, he has a lovely wife and family, a beautiful home, money in the bank, and he plays golf with millionaires. What’s funny about that? ~ Casey Stengel

[Ditto, in art . . . ]

[RIP Mel Lamar, mentor to Tuesday Nightclub . . . ]

I always arrive late at the office, but I make up for it by leaving early. ~ Charles Lamb

[Beautiful Anthony Miltich on a beautiful day with beautiful Lake Le Homme Dieu in the background at the beautiful Lure Lakebar patio . . . ]

It’s funny because it’s funny. ~ David Spade

You know you’ve reached middle age when you’re cautioned to slow down by your doctor, instead of by the police. ~ Joan Rivers

[A night, with selfie, at Theatre L’Homme Dieu . . . ]

Trying is the first step toward failure. ~ Homer Simpson

[The Boys of ’65 back in action . . . ]

[Self explanatory, i.e., requires no further introduction . . . ]

This is our table. ~ The Super

[Said Summer Soiree . . . ]

Money is not the most important thing in the world. Love is. Fortunately, I love money. ~ Jackie Mason

[It’s always nice when the theatre’s board president (backgound) and executive director (with bottle) pour for you . . . ]

I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that! ~ Tom Lehrer

[Be careful waving your number around at an auction!]

If you find it hard to laugh at yourself, I would be happy to do it for you. ~ Groucho Marx

[Holding down the fort at the Soiree. Incidentally, soiree is the French word for prepare to spend some money . . . ]

I’ve always found it easier to be funny than to be serious. ~ Molly Ivins

Let me entertain you and we’ll have a really good time. ~ The Super

[The Super is not averse to tracking down the bare-chested guys . . . ]

When humor can be made to alternate with melancholy, one has a success, but when the same things are funny and melancholic at the same time, it’s just wonderful. ~ Francois Truffaut

[Our next Indiana University related road trip. We were going to IU’s summer camp, Camp Brosius, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, and had to show we were COVID free . . . ]

Certainly there are things in life that money can’t buy, but it’s very funny – Did you ever try buying them without money? ~ Ogden Nash

[Before entering camp, we like to tour the Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin . . . ]

August

The month of August had turned into a griddle where the days just lay there and sizzled. ~ Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

[Ruthie at Camp Brosius with former Hoosier basketball star John Laskowski . . . ]

Tell me I’m beautiful, it’s nothing. Tell me I’m intellectual – I know it. Tell me I’m funny, and it’s the greatest compliment in the world anyone could give me. ~ Julie Newmar

[Our screen porch in Rappaport, our cabin at camp, where one and all met to discuss world events, play cards, hang laundry, and drink adult beverages . . . ]

If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on somebody else’s path. ~ Joseph Campbell

[Being of advanced ages, we now rent a golf cart to haul our posteriors up and down from the lodging area to the lake front and dining hall. Otherwise, it’s like 70-something stairs . . . ]

The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed. ~ Eminem

[And yes, it’s a camp – we have field trips!]

I want to live my life, not record it. ~ Jackie Kennedy

[For one night at camp, all kids are taken away and adults enjoy fine dining together in the mess hall . . . ]

Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it. ~ Sai Baba

[This was “Clue,” a self-production by Theatre L’Homme Dieu. It was a hit all week!]

Due to budget cuts the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off. ~ Aaron Paul

Life must be lived as play. ~ Plato

However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. ~ Stephen Hawking

[Alexandria Golf Club, just because. I haven’t played golf since 2015, but I continue to eat here. One must maintain one’s priorities . . . ]

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. ~ Plato

[A beautiful afternoon with the Cheese Bots at Rolling Forks Vineyards overlooking Lake Minnewaska . . . ]

Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to. ~ Bill Vaughan

[The usual suspects cheering on the Cheese Bots . . . ]

Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen. ~ Mark Twain

[Tuesday Nightclub – yup, they’re regulars on the schedule . . . ]

September

But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. ~ Stephen King

[Happy Birthday to me. It’s a beautiful day, let’s go for a ride!]

I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize. ~ Steven Wright

[In Battle Lake, Minnesota, the setting for Jess Lourey’s Murder-by-Month novels. Here I’m being straddled by Chief Wenonga, the heart throb of the novels’ protagonist . . . ]

Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be. ~ Grandma Moses

[The Nonfiction Book Club, accentuated by wining and dining and occasionally wandering off topic . . . ]

Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

[Ruthie displays her new Norwegian vimple . . . ]

I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering. ~ Steven Wright

[Celebrating another successful season at Theatre L’Homme Dieu . . . ]

There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. ~ Oscar Wilde

[At Theatre L’Homme Dieu, women hold up three quarters of the sky . . . ]

Life is hard. Then you die. Then they throw dirt in your face. Then the worms eat you. Be grateful it happens in that order. ~ David Gerrold

[The Cheese Bots at Rolling Forks Vineyards . . . ]

Life is like a trumpet – if you don’t put anything into it, you don’t get anything out of it. ~ William Christopher Handy

[Tuesday Nightclub joined by Annie O’Flynn on the accordion . . . ]

I’m trying to elevate small talk to medium talk. ~ Larry David

[High school classmate, Tom Kiehne, in town from Austin, Texas, for his induction into the Alexandria Education Foundation Hall of Fame, visits with Anne Riggs, our high school French teacher, at the Garden Bar. And yes, that’s Anne’s husband Bill on the trumpet in the above photo . . . ]

How sweet it is! ~ Jackie Gleason

[And here’s Tom with his Hall of Fame plaque (not to be confused with the plaque that was subsequently removed from my carotid artery) . . . ]

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

[Party on . . . ]

That it will never come again is what makes life sweet. ~ Emily Dickinson

[Tom with his fellow HOF inductees . . . ]

We are all here for a spell, get all the good laughs you can. ~ Will Rogers

If I wasn’t a golfer, I would still be miserable – but not as miserable. ~ Larry David

[When I did golf, when we got to the 9th tee at the AGC I could see Lisa Grimes giving lessons in the practice area. I’d keep her swing tempo in her head and play beyond my abilities for the rest of the round . . . ]

Life’s more amusing than we thought. ~ Andrew Lang

[Hall of Fame inductees lead the homecoming parade . . . ]

Life well spent is long. ~ Leonardo da Vinci

[Tom wanted the whole weekend experience, so we went to the homecoming football game. We left at the half and thus missed Alexandria’s sophomore placekicker, Daniel Jackson, kick a 52-yard field goal, the 3rd longest in state high school history . . . ]

October

The clear light that belongs to October was making the landscape radiant. ~ Florence Bone

[Tom and Pam left for home the morning after the homecoming game . . . ]

I think I’ve discovered the secret of life – you just hang around until you get used to it. ~ Charles M. Schulz

[Ruthie’s sister Rita in a cool little upgraded room in the Garden Bar . . . ]

I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive. ~ Joseph Campbell

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around. ~ Willie Nelson

[Taking Rita to the MSP airport for her trip home. A fresh snowfall highlighted our stop at the Weaver Road rest area before we hit the Twin Cities beltway . . . ]

The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination. ~ Carl Rogers

[After dropping Rita at the airport, the Super and I went to the Como Park Conservatory in St. Paul before heading back to Aex . . . ]

Life is like a roller coaster, live it, be happy, enjoy life. ~ Avril Lavigne

[Inside the conservatory . . . ]

I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken. ~ H. Kyle Seale

[Has been reported as wondering about the origins of feather dusters and autoharps . . . ]

If someone else is paying for it, food just tastes a lot better. ~ Gilbert Gottfried

[On the drive home, we’d hoped to nosh at Krewe, a cajun/creole restaurant in St. Joseph. Krewe was not open, but we found Bello Cucina just around the corner . . . ]

I wish I were dumber so I could be more certain about my opinions. It looks fun. ~ Scott Adams

[There used to be several Bello Cucinas in west central Minnesota. This one in St. Joe is the last one standing. The owner said he can’t find chefs or staff to reopen others. I noted there is lots of staff waiting at the southern border. He sadly nodded . . . ]

What’s another word for Thesaurus? ~ Steven Wright

A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere. ~ Groucho Marx

[We were at the winery for the Cropdusters . . . ]

Love means having to say you’re sorry every fifteen minutes. ~ John Lennon

[Unbelievably, it appears we’re at the winery?]

Out with the old, in with the new’ is a fitting expression for a holiday that is based on vomiting. ~ Andy Borowitz

[The Fat Boys Walking Club wandered into a trail tunnel and discovered graffiti has been replaced by “Alexandria” by high school kids . . . ]

New Year’s Resolution: to tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time. ~ James Agate

[The Lure is back in play for the Wednesday Night Fine Dining Club . . . ]

My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I’m right. ~ Ashleigh Brilliant

[After another trip to St. Cloud Hospital we finally hit Krewe when it was open for lunch . . . ]

Everyone has a purpose in life. Perhaps yours is watching television. ~ David Letterman

[And subsequently brought home goodies from the bakery associated with Krewe . . . ]

There may be aliens in our Milky Way galaxy, and there are billions of other galaxies. The probability is almost certain that there is life somewhere in space. ~ Buzz Aldrin

[A picture perfect late October day . . . ]

I don’t expect to live forever, but I do intend to hang on as long as possible. ~ Isaac Asimov

November

Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree. ~ Emily Brontë

[The detritus from the Wednesday Night Fine Dining Club sends the proprietors ISO Japanese soccer fans . . . ]

Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Life is a lot like jazz… it’s best when you improvise. ~ George Gershwin

[Tuesday Nightclub were joined by Chuck Wencl on saxophone at the Garden Bar . . . ]

Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me. ~ Carl Sandburg

[Coming out of the Lure, as the Super was walking toward our car, I thought “Currier & Ives” Christmas card . . . ]

Art is the proper task of life. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Life is really simple, but men insist on making it complicated. ~ Confucius

[American Association of University Women meeting for Project Bookshelf at the Garden Bar . . . ]

Every time something pops in my head, I think twice about it and I do it anyway. ~ Gilbert Gottfried

[It’s great to be back at the Runestone Community Center to cover high school hockey . . . ]

Life is something to do when you can’t get to sleep. ~ Fran Lebowitz

[The 6:00 am Saturday doughnut run come hell or below zero windchills . . . ]

Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache. ~ Mae West

[Elsa Lee performing at the winery . . . ]

I did not climb to the top of the food chain to eat carrots. ~ Ron White

[The beef commercial luncheon special at Charlie’s Cafe in Freeport, Minnesota . . . ]

The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy. ~ Helen Hayes

[The usual suspects gather at the winery for an afternoon with Elsa Lee . . . ]

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving, a Wednesday to be sure; to keep fine dining going, four attended The Lure; we shared firecracker cauliflower, but had our own drinks; we had a good time, as surely me thinks. ~ Me

December

Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. ~ Helen Keller

[First home basketball game of the year; first for me in a couple of years. May as well toss in a blizzard to get there!]

Its too early. I never eat December snowflakes. I always wait until January. ~ Lucy (Charlie Brown Christmas)

The only rule is don’t be boring and dress cute wherever you go. Life is too short to blend in. ~ Paris Hilton

[There was still danger involved in procuring the Saturday morning doughnuts. I woke the Super for this happy presentation . . . ]

[Another self explanatory . . . ]

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. ~ Pablo Picasso

[A wonderful concert enjoyed by all . . . ]

Life is too short to worry about anything. You had better enjoy it because the next day promises nothing. ~ Eric Davis

May you live all the days of your life. ~ Jonathan Swift

[The Christmas lights on Broadway . . . ]

Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students. ~ Solomon Ortiz

[The season opener for the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra (CLSO) with Maestro Brad Lambrecht presenting his pre-concert maestro’s notes . . . ]

Music is the soundtrack of your life. ~ Dick Clark

[The CLSO . . . ]

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made. ~ Groucho Marx

[Well, hello again to Tuesday Nightclub . . . ]

Life is like a wheel. Sooner or later, it always come around to where you started again. ~ Stephen King

[The day a one inch snow forecast turned into a Christmasy six . . . ]

Simply enjoy life and the great pleasures that come with it. ~ Karolina Kurkova

Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans. ~ Jacques Yves Cousteau

Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why. ~ Eddie Cantor

[On the way to St. Cloud Hospital as the sun was rising with the “skyline” of St. Joseph in the distance . . . ]

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. ~ Immanuel Kant

[The exterior temperature was a balmy one degree . . . ]

Life, if well lived, is long enough. ~ Lucius Anneus Seneca

[St. Cloud Hospital is on the banks of the Mississippi River . . . ]

Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things. ~ Kenneth Branagh

[The view from my hospital window. Ruthie spent the night in the lit up building across the street, designed to house families of patients . . . ]

Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act. ~ Truman Capote

[Dr. Ojo and staff at St. Cloud Hospital successfully performed a Carotid Endarterectomy. In recovery, they do ask if you’ve passed gas yet. A rite of passage. Nimoy (live long and prosper) was there to comfort me at home . . . ]

See, life is a journey and every chapter is very interesting. ~ Zeenat Aman

[A book signing at Cherry Street Books with Jess Lourey and Sara Stonach, both Minnesota based authors . . . ]

My life needs editing. ~ Mort Sahl

[This is the first time we met Sarah, and we had a nice chat . . . ]

Enjoy life… that’s what we’re here for. ~ David Faustino

[Jess has been a rather longtime friend now though we actually don’t see her much because she lives in Minneapolis and is quite the world traveler . . . ]

In life, as in art, the beautiful moves in curves. ~ Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

[With my irregular sleep schedule since the surgery, I awoke very early one morning to find the babies all snuggled together . . . ]

Tonight’s December thirty-first, something is about to burst… Hark, it’s midnight, children dear. Duck! Here comes another year! ~ Ogden Nash

[With four days of snow forecast, it was time to make the first pot of chili of the season . . . ]

In Memoriam

We said our final goodbyes to two original members of the Fat Boys Walking Club . . .

[Paul “Rock” Fieldhammer died in Arizona on March 24 at the age of 79 . . . ]

[Bob “Weakie” Annen died on May 3 at the age of 84 . . . ]

[We said our final goodbyes to Merill Kiehne on July 11 at the age of 101. Merill was the last of the parental units for the Boys of ’65 . . . ]

[Grandson Tom lost his other grandpa, Ed Andrews of Noblesville, Indiana, on October 19 at the age of 86 . . . ]

[The photo above and the three below were taken on a family visit to our home on Lake Darling in 2004 . . . ]

[With Tom’s Grandma Fran at Carlos Creek Winery with Joey Dee and the Starliters . . . ]

[Ed was an avid golfer . . . ]

[Tom got a hug from grandpa on his graduation from Purdue in 2016 . . . ]

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. ~ George Washington Carver

Weekend Update

December 5

I like reality. It tastes like bread. ~ Jean Anouilh

Well, stuff just keeps happening . . . ~ Me

Aging can be fun if you lay back and enjoy it. ~ Clint Eastwood

Here is bread, which strengthens man’s heart, and therefore is called the staff of Life. ~ Matthew Henry

November 26

Anytime a person goes into a delicatessen and orders a pastrami on white bread, somewhere a Jew dies. ~ Milton Berle

[Four coeds at a kegger in the Grand Hall?]

I judge a restaurant by the bread and by the coffee. ~ Burt Lancaster

[We went to the winery to see Elsa Lee. We were met by throngs of thousands for a Christmas market. We had to park on the field up the hill. Elsa was performing in the Grand Hall where all the crafts and stuff were on display. We settled in with Jeff James in the wine tasting building because there were tables and chairs . . .]

String theory envisions a multiverse in which our universe is one slice of bread in a big cosmic loaf. The other slices would be displaced from ours in some extra dimension of space. ~ Brian Greene

[We wanted to spend to some time with our “close personal friends,” who just happen to span three generations. Elsa Lee on the keyboard in the background is the same age as our grandson . . . ]

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. ~ Nelson Mandela

[And the “perfessor’s” (she is one at Alexandria College) dad is the same age as me . . . ]

The human soul needs actual beauty more than bread. ~ D. H. Lawrence

[I told her I was sending this picture to her dad showing her with 8 glasses of wine. She thought it “the greatest picture ever” (that may be a paraphrase) . . . ]

If you have extraordinary bread and extraordinary butter, it’s hard to beat bread and butter. ~ Jacques Pepin

[Karin, Deb, and Ruthie reprised their well-choreographed “put bread in his jar and say man what are you doing here” during Jeff’s rendition of Piano Man . . . ]

A slutty girl is like the first piece of bread in a loaf, everybody touches it but nobody wants it. ~ Proverbs

My grandmother told me that her father used to ask her a riddle: What must you break apart in order to bring a family close together? Bread, of course. ~ Jodi Picoult

Let me warn you, if you start chasing after views, you’ll be left without bread and without views. ~ Nikolai Gogol

If the poor overweight jogger only knew how far he had to run to work off the calories in a crust of bread he might find it better in terms of pound per mile to go to a massage parlor. ~ Christiaan Barnard

Of course cake is not bread. Is this why Americans are fat? You confuse cake with bread? ~ Steve Adams

It is impossible to think of any good meal, no matter how plain or elegant, without soup or bread in it. ~ M.F.K. Fisher

Life is not worth living if I cannot have pasta or bread again. ~ Monica Seles

With the bread eaten, the company breaks up. ~ Miguel de Cervantes

November 30

There is not a woman born who desires to eat the bread of dependence. ~ Susan B. Anthony

[The Super’s Christmas decor . . . ]

Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesmen it really seems to mean that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf. ~ G. K. Chesterton

[What fell out of my mouth costs more than all the TV’s in our house combined – as did, almost, putting it back in . . . ]

I try to eat healthily, but I love fried food and bad things. Give me a plate of bread, some oil and salt and I’m happy. But you can’t eat like this all the time. ~ Penelope Cruz

[Stopped at Cherry Street Books. This is the construction across the street – where the city fire occurred. Felt sorry for the guys working on the roof – 40 mph winds with a feels like temperature well below zero that day . . . ]

Breaking bread together is an opportunity for nourishment on so many levels. ~ Jen Schmidt

[Finally weary of Thanksgiving leftovers, the Wednesday night fine dining group regrouped at The Lure in awesome numbers . . . ]

If though tastest a crust of bread, tho tastest all the stars and all the heavens. ~ Robert Browning

If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him – the people who give you their food give you their heart. ~ Cesar Chavez