It’s Me Again (Part 8)

March 25

When people refer to ‘Back in the Day,’ it was a Wednesday. Just a little fun fact for you. ~ Dane Cook

So, what do you do in Alexandria during the winter? ~ Everybody

I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints – the sinners are much more fun. ~ Billy Joel

January 17

My goal in the classroom was always to make sure they were having so much fun that they didn’t realize they were learning. ~ Rick Riordan

[Senior College of West Central Minnesota, Winter 2023 Program at Alexandria College . . . ]

Standing up and teaching is grueling, but grueling fun. ~ Charles E. Young

[“From Primitive Religious Ritual to Contemporary Postmodern Performance: A Travelogue of Western Drama and Theatre” . . . ]

I get half a million just to show up at parties. My life is, like, really, really fun. ~ Paris Hilton

[Taught by Roger Schultz, Professor Emeritus of Theatre History and Dramatic Literature at Texas A&M University and 1963 high school graduate from Alexandria MN . . . ]

When you start recognising that you’re having fun, life can be delightful. ~ Jane Birkin

I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun. ~ Thomas A. Edison

[After college, it was then on to another night with Tuesday Nightclub at the Garden Bar on 6th. In this evening, Terry and Bill were joined by the ever popular Anthony Miltich . . . ]

All women do have a different sense of sexuality, or sense of fun, or sense of like what’s sexy or cool or tough. ~ Angelina Jolie

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

[The joys of eating Mediterranean zucchini . . . ]

Old guys can still do fun things. ~ George H. W. Bush

Most of the time I don’t have much fun. The rest of the time I don’t have any fun at all. ~ Woody Allen

I found out retirement means playing golf, or I don’t know what the hell it means. But to me, retirement means doing what you have fun doing. ~ Dick Van Dyke

[The hands tell the story – these are Terry’s . . . ]

Enjoy life. There’s plenty of time to be dead. ~ Hans Christian Andersen

I definitely believe in plastic surgery. I don’t want to be an old hag. There’s no fun in that. ~ Scarlett Johansson

[These are Anthony’s . . . ]

As long as you’re having fun, that’s the key. The moment it becomes a grind, it’s over. ~ Barry Gibb

Fame was thrilling only until it became grueling. Money was fun only until you ran out of things to buy. ~ Gloria Swanson

‘Sexy’ is being independent, being confident and having fun. ~ Mollie King

[These are Bill’s . . . ]

Of the seven deadly sins, only envy is no fun at all. ~ Joseph Epstein

January 18

It’s fun seeing my label on someone’s behind – I like that. ~ Calvin Klein

[The usual Wednesday night shindig at Lure Lakebar . . . ]

The prevailing system of management has crushed fun out of the workplace. ~ W. Edwards Deming

There is no such thing as fun for the whole family. ~ Jerry Seinfeld

January 19

Astronomy’s much more fun when you’re not an astronomer. ~ Brian May

[And the usual mini-class reunion with Mayo and Brad, when we’re all semi-healthy . . . ]

I love to go to the zoo. But not on Sunday. I don’t like to see the people making fun of the animals, when it should be the other way around. ~ Ernest Hemingway

[Here we’re at the Pike & Pint in Alex . . . ]

Poop humor is fun. If you do the toilet scenes well and commit to them, they can be really, really powerful. ~ Sandra Bullock

Enjoy today. It is one of the “good old days” you will miss in the future! ~ Etta Sawyerr

[And after senior college, dinner with Deb & Paul at D. Michael B’s . . . ]

The problem is when that fun stuff becomes the habit. And I think that’s what’s happened in our culture. Fast food has become the everyday meal. ~ Michelle Obama

January 20

Work is much more fun than fun. ~ Noel Coward

[An evening with Anthony at Willie T’s . . . ]

As a rock star, I have two instincts, I want to have fun, and I want to change the world. I have a chance to do both. ~ Bono

To complete my look, I like to add fun accessories such as a dainty necklace, bracelets and a ring. ~ Skai Jackson

College is the reward for surviving high school. Most people have great fun stories from college and nightmare stories from high school. ~ Judd Apatow

Setting a good example for your children takes all the fun out of middle age. ~ William Feather

I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli. ~ George H. W. Bush

January 21

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. ~ Dr. Seuss

[Wrapping it up with the Saturday morning doughnut run . . . ]

Someone once told me that I was 12 inside. The only thing 12-year-olds crave is more Lego. Lego is fun; it’s therapeutic. It’s a beautiful sensation when you click the pieces together. ~ James May

Fashion is all about happiness. It’s fun. It’s important. But it’s not medicine. ~ Donatella Versace

It’s kind of fun to be sexy. ~ Tea Leoni

Summer means happy times and good sunshine. It means going to the beach, going to Disneyland, having fun. ~ Brian Wilson

Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face. ~ Dave Barry

The Four Levels of Comedy: Make your friends laugh, Make strangers laugh, Get paid to make strangers laugh, and Make people talk like you because it’s so much fun. ~ Jerry Seinfeld

Get well cards have become so humorous that if you don’t get sick you’re missing half the fun. ~ Flip Wilson

There is no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do. ~ Jerome K. Jerome

Up Next: More of the same kind of “stuff” . . .

It’s Me Again (Part 7)

March 18

One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats. ~ Iris Murdoch

Hello! It’s been a while. From the time of the cardio stress test on September 29, 2022; to an angiogram at St. Cloud Hospital on October 20; to a meeting with cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Mellinger, in St. Cloud on October 28; to a meeting with vascular surgeon, Dr. Ojo, in St. Cloud on November 27; to carotid endarterectomy with Dr. Ojo on December 8; to an ultrasound procedure in St. Cloud on January 3, 2023; to a surgery video teleconference on January 5; to triple bypass surgery by Dr. Mellinger on January 30 – February 6; beginning cardio rehab on February 27, three days a week; to a coronary intervention by cardiologist, Dr. Kidd, in St. Cloud on March 8; I’ve been living the life of a full-time patient for over 5 months. In other words, the blog has basically been on hold while the blogger was on the injured reserve list. I think it’s finally “over” though rehab will likely last for another month or two . . .

During this time you will note I didn’t have the energy to hit the keyboard. Hence, a lot of this stuff is quite old and thus not really news. Sorry ’bout that . . .

I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s  nothing  trivial. ~ Irvin S. Cobb

January 11

Look around you. Soak up the atmosphere of things. That’s the purpose of life. ~ Collette

[The Wednesday night fine dining group at Lure Lakebar . . . ]

We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun. ~ Terry Jacks

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. ~ Dr. Seuss

It’s kind of fun to do the impossible. ~ Walt Disney

I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun. ~ Charles R. Swindoll

January 12

If you’re having fun, that’s when the best memories are built. ~ Simone Biles

[My non-snowbird entertainment generally consists of concerts, and the high school basketball and hockey games. Such activities were pretty much curtailed this winter. This was one of the girls basketball games I was able to make – but it was so long ago I have to check the calendar to see who we were playing . . . ]

At the end of the day, if I can say I had fun, it was a good day. ~ Simone Biles

[We were playing the Fergus Falls Otters . . . ]

I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. ~ Simone Biles

Stay healthy, have fun with it, and embrace all the moments. Because anything can happen. ~ Simone Biles

[The meeting at center court between the refs and the respective team captains to decide where to meet for the post game meal . . . ]

If they said, ‘Do five pull-ups,’ I would always want to do 10. ~ Simone Biles

[I watched enough streamed games this year to recognize, from 1-r, Camree Miller, Hadley Thul, MaCee Linow, and Kate Hennessy – 3 sophomores and a freshman, which pretty defines the whole team . . . ]

I was built this way for a reason, so I’m going to use it. ~ Simone Biles

[Known gender irrelevant basketball fans . . . ]

For me, I don’t think about size – I focus more on being powerful and confident. ~ Simone Biles

[Player introductions . . . ]

I feel like I’m small and mighty and pack a powerful punch, just like Tide PODS. ~ Simone Biles

[The Simone Biles quotes reflect recent discussions regarding this best athlete in the world . . . ]

I’m the first Simone Biles. ~ Simone Biles

[Hadley wins the opening tip . . . ]

I love a good Netflix binge! ~ Simone Biles

[Sophomore point guard Allie Haabala on defense . . . ]

Sometimes I hear the crowd cheering, and most of the time your body’s on auto pilot, so sometimes even after I do a floor routine, I’m like, ‘Did I really just do that?’ ~ Simone Biles

[Hadley and Allie on defense . . . ]

I think I’m teaching my teammates that they can still be successful while having fun and enjoying the moment rather than being a stone cold brick. ~ Simone Biles

[Ditto . . . ]

As athletes, we’re always going to have aches and pains, but when your teammates cheer you on, you don’t think about it. ~ Simone Biles

You can still be very good at what you do and have fun. ~ Simone Biles

[Senior Morgan Seesz heading back up court with Hadley after a change of possession . . . ]

The sport is called artistic gymnastics. So you do have to be a little bit of an actress. ~ Simone Biles

[Hadley looking all of 6’2″ . . . ]

I am like any typical teenager. ~ Simone Biles

[Shooting is a skill that keeps developing over time . . . ]

That’s what I love about how diverse our team is – we have such different body types, yet together, we build the best team there is. I think we’re stronger together than individually. ~ Simone Biles

[The Cardinals press on a regular basis and some times more often than that . . . ]

I didn’t get the high school opportunity, but it always worked out. ~ Simone Biles

[Hadley with an in-lane jumper . . . ]

It doesn’t even matter if I don’t win a self-gold – after every meet, I have pizza. Pepperoni pizza. ~ Simone Biles

[Morgan shooting a free throw . . . ]

One of my favorite things to do is compete for a crowd. It’s just really fun for me. ~ Simone Biles

[Waiting for the result of Hadley’s free throw . . . ]

At some point, I’ll have to go get a real job. ~ Simone Biles

[8th-grader McKinley Hoelscher (45) on defense . . . ]

I love competing. ~ Simone Biles

[McKinley launches a ‘3’ . . . ]

The floor exercise is a way to express your personality. ~ Simone Biles

[Playing well at the half . . . ]

The team comes first. ~ Simone Biles

[Chloe Scholl shoots a freebie . . . ]

And it’s like, everybody can say you’re good, but once you acknowledge it, it’s not cool anymore. And I want kids to learn that, yes, it’s okay to acknowledge that you’re good or even great at something. ~ Simone Biles

[Hadley up for a block . . . ]

The unexpected is usually what brings the unbelievable. ~ Simone Biles

[Fast start in the 2nd half . . . ]

We can push ourselves further. We always have more to give. ~ Simone Biles

[Morgan at the line . . . ]

Work hard in silence; let your success be the noise. ~ Simone Biles

[And McKinley . . . ]

It’s inspiring to young athletes that there are more records that can still be broken. ~ Simone Biles

I’m always trying to push myself to the limit to see what I can do. ~ Simone Biles

[Overwhelming victory . . . ]

January 14

It’s Saturday morning. The Christmas lights on Broadway are down. Though we’re still months away from being able to do the doughnut run in daylight, in shorts and tee shirt, standards must still be met. Did you know, the doughnut has been rated nature’s most perfect food? Such has been determined by surveys conducted by the National Institutes of Health, the Minnesota Vikings, and Guns & Ammo Magazine. Enjoy!

[The Saturday morning doughnut run has become a thing . . . ]

If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun. ~ Katharine Hepburn

[Roers Family Bakery . . . ]

I make bad decisions frequently. They’re fun. ~ SZA

[The classis plain old-fashioned . . . ]

People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing. ~ Dale Carnegie

Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun. ~ Randy Pausch

Up Next: Catching up with old stuff . . .

A Thank You Card

February 11

I was very blessed with a good body. Never got hurt. Never was in the hospital. The only time I was in the hospital was when I would get exhausted a little bit, and go in for a check-up or something. ~ Willie Mays

Recognizing not many (OK, none) would confuse my body with Mr. Mays’s, last summer I did reach the advanced age of 75 in surprisingly decent health. Suspecting that may not be necessarily true, I asked my local doctor, Joshua Eken, if I could get a stress test as part of my occasionally annual physical exam. I had concerns such as the morbidly obtuse BMI claiming I was morbidly obese. The fact I prefer pants with elastic waistbands should not lead to a conclusion that my animal doppelganger is a manatee. Nevertheless, it was what it was. So beginning sometime last October, I have made multiple trips to St. Cloud Hospital establishing a close personal relationship with the hospital’s CentraCare Heart and Vascular Center. Since then Dr. Clarence Ojo, and friends, have performed a successful carotid endarterectomy; Dr. Douglas Mellinger, and friends, have performed successful triple bypass surgery; and as I understand things, Dr. Stephen Kidd, and friends, will be installing a stent in the near future. Once that is completed, I will receive a 20-year warranty for parts and labor and can once again go about my business. This is my thanks to all, and an acknowledgment that St. Cloud Hospital more than meets its reputation for excellence when it comes to affairs of the heart.

Suffering is a part of the human condition and must be borne. But misery is a choice. ~ Cormac McCarthy

[Photo with man’s best friend . . . ]

October 18

Never eat at a place called ‘Moms’, but if the only other place in town has a sign that says ‘Eats’, go back to Moms. ~ W. C. Fields

[Among the first trips to St. Cloud for circulatory diagnosis and repair. We would try for lunch at Krewe or Bello Cucina in St. Joseph on the way home . . . ]

The best fame is a writer’s fame. It’s enough to get a table at a good restaurant, but not enough to get you interrupted when you eat. ~ Fran Lebowitz,

[Bello Cucina used to be located in several cities in western Minnesota, but it is now down to this one. The owner said he has difficulty finding chefs and staff. Doh!! . . . ]

The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human. ~ Aldous Huxley

October 19

I met a keen observer who gave me a tip: ‘If you run across a restaurant where you often see priests eating with priests, or sporting girls with sporting girls, you may be confident that it is good. Those are two classes of people who like to eat well and get their money’s worth.’ ~ A.J. Liebling

[The White Horse Restaurant in St. Cloud . . . ]

[Became the main hang out joint for Ruthie and her sister Rita while performing their oversight duties concerning my healthcare . . . ]

You can’t go wrong with pizza unless it’s terrible pizza. ~ Andy Kindler

October 20

But still they begin, Needles and pins, Because of all my pride, The tears I gotta hide, Oh, needles and pins, Needles and pins, Needles and pins ~ The Searchers

[An angiogram in St. Cloud Hospital, which showed my circulatory system to be not unlike the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area roadways after a snow storm . . . ]

When you’re confined to a hospital bed, there aren’t many appointments you can make. You await visits from friends and family members. You enjoy the coconut ice cream they smuggle in. You tolerate the erratic and invasive visits of doctors and nurses, hoping that one of them will bring you closer to going home. ~ Josh Gondelman

I make terrible jokes every time I go into a hospital. I think it’s a defence mechanism. ~ Sanjeev Bhaskar

I’ve been in the hospital once when I had my daughter, and, oh, when I broke my elbow, but other than that, I’ve been very fortunate. ~ Hillary Clinton

November 29

If beef is your idea of ‘real food for real people’, you’d better live real close to a real good hospital. ~ Neal Barnard

[Prepping Nimoy for months of convalescence ahead . . . ]

December 8

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

[On I-94 from Alexandria to St. Cloud in the wee small hours of the morning . . . ]

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

In America, there are two classes of travel: first class, and with children. ~ Robert Benchley

[Approaching St. Cloud, St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph in the distance . . . ]

I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say ~ Flannery O’Connor

[Joni James on Sirius XM at a balmy one degree . . . ]

Wise and humane management of the patient is the best safeguard against infection. ~ Florence Nightingale

[The St. Cloud Hospital parking ramp overlooks the Mississippi River . . . ]

Most patients enter a doctor’s office or hospital as if it were a Mayan temple, representing an ancient and mysterious culture with no language in common with the visitor. ~ Tom Brokaw

[It was at some point in my early visits when they came to take my vitals I ‘complained’ that in the last two years I had shrunk from 6 feet tall, to 5′ 11″, to 5′ 10″. I was ‘coached’ into a good reading – 5’10 15/16″, officially 5’11”. I got my inch back!]

[This is Dr. Clarence Ojo . . . ]

[And this is the plaque he removed from my right carotid artery. It has subsequently been sent to Svalbard to determine its chemical composition . . . ]

December 9

The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet, and the cause and prevention of disease. ~ Thomas A. Edison

[The overnight after surgery from my hospital window. Ruthie stayed at the Gorecki House on the far side of the street from the hospital . . . ]

I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end. ~ Margaret Thatcher

[Showing off my scar . . . ]

If I have done the public any service, it is due to my patient thought. ~ Isaac Newton

January 30

You know, 97 percent of the time, if you come into a hospital, everything goes well. But three percent of the time, we have major complications. ~ Atul Gawande

Being Mortal, Atul Gawande, p. 30

[And now the fun begins . . . ]

An educated patient is empowered; thus, more likely to become healthy. ~ Dean Ornish

[The early morning dog sled ride across Antarctica from Alexandria to St. Cloud Hospital . . . ]

This life is a hospital in which every patient is possessed with a desire to change his bed. ~ Charles Baudelaire

[With Carly Simon on the radio and an outdoor temperature of minus 8 . . . ]

I spent one night in the hospital in my life. I was past 75 when that occurred. ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

January 31

It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a hospital that it should do the sick no harm. ~ Florence Nightingale

[Ruthie could hardly wait for the red hair net photo . . . ]

How many desolate creatures on the earth have learnt the simple dues of fellowship and social comfort, in a hospital. ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

[Chatting with my heart surgeon, Dr. Douglas Mellinger, in pre-op. He opted for a more conservative hair net color. When local retired surgeon and guitar maker, Terry Kennedy, asked me how old Dr. Mellinger was, I said, “54.” Terry said, “Perfect [mix of youth and experience]” . . . ]

February 1

Keep in mind that if you take a tour through a hospital and look at every machine with on and off switch that is brought into the service of diagnosing the human condition, that machine is based on principles of physics discovered by a physicist in a machine designed by an engineer. ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

[I never knew I had so many orifices?]

As an emergency physician, I can tell you that the best health insurance in the world means nothing if patients can’t reach a hospital in their moment of need. ~ Leana S. Wen

[Lest you hadn’t noticed, my roommates are Nimoy (“Live long and prosper”) and Bloom County Bill the Cat . . . ]

I’m always fascinated by the dedicated monitors in a hospital. Non-standard cables, funny button shapes, odd LED colors, and lots of extra controls. ~ Brad Feld

Please pass the drowsy . . . ~ Me

I was in Congress for six months, and they put me on blood pressure medication. I flew helicopters in combat and I was fine, and I survived 13 months in recovery in the hospital… I got to Congress, and six months later I’m on blood pressure medication. Fourteen months later, they doubled the dosage! ~ Tammy Duckworth

[Displaying the four basic food groups. What I didn’t eat, I turned into a watercolor landscape . . . ]

The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. ~ Voltaire

[Sometime it’s hard to tell which is an “in” and which is an “out.”]

I have been told by hospital authorities that more copies of my works are left behind by departing patients than those of any other author. ~ Robert Benchley

[A nap is a nice prelude to the next finger prick . . . ]

There is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilized or even cured. The only solution known to science is to provide the patient with an isolation room, where he can endure the acute stages in private and where food can be poked in to him with a stick. ~ Robert A. Heinlein

[But doesn’t he look so lifelike?]

February 2

Prescription: A physician’s guess at what will best prolong the situation with least harm to the patient. ~ Ambrose Bierce

I found myself really unfulfilled by the answers that are traditionally offered to questions of why some people suffer and why others suffer so little. ~ John Green

I think I was able to survive five heart attacks because I never postponed going to the hospital when something didn’t feel right. ~ Dick Cheney

I can’t keep track of my hospital time. It all sort of blurs together. ~ Evel Knievel

I’m patient. ~ Michael Jordan

[Oh waiter, there’s a fly in my soup . . . ]

February 3

I’m strongly for a patient Bill of Rights. Decisions ought to be made by doctors, not accountants. ~ Chuck Schumer

[Room with a view – of the Mississippi River . . . ]

I sometimes wish I were suffering in a good cause, or risking my life for the good of others, instead of just being a gravely endangered patient. ~ Christopher Hitchens

To the patient, any operation is momentous. ~ Joe Murray

[One gains about 20 pounds in surgery, then one spends the next several days trying to get rid of it . . . ]

February 4

If you’re a doctor, what do you promise to do? First, do no harm. If your operating philosophy is do no harm, that’s not a call to imagination. Not only that, if I’m a patient, I don’t want your imagination. I want what works. ~ Jay S. Walker

[The aftermath – you will rightly be advised you will feel like you’re been hit by a bus . . . ]

You’ve never heard of an English lover. Only an English patient. ~ James D. Watson

[The idea behind going for a walk is that you will need the nimbleness to avoid the next bus . . . ]

February 5

For when the wine is in, the wit is out. ~ Thomas Becon

[Meanwhile, The Biddies escaped their caregiving responsibilities long enough to return to Alex for a wine pick up party at Carlos Creek Winery . . . ]

No poem was ever written by a drinker of water. ~ Horace

[Where they were entertained by Donny Brang . . . ]

The patient is not likely to recover who makes the doctor his heir. ~ Thomas Fuller

February 6

I had a patient once who dreamed she kept her husband in the deep freeze except for mating. Lots of men feel that way. ~ Robert Johnson

A person being patient with an insane person is my favorite thing in the world. ~ Bill Hader

[Home again, with Nimoy . . . ]

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

[The necessary biological corrections . . . ]

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

On Saturday, I was a surgeon in South Africa, very little known. On Monday, I was world renowned. ~ Christiaan Barnard

Caring for our seniors is perhaps the greatest responsibility we have. Those who walked before us have given so much and made possible the life we all enjoy. ~ Senator John Hoeven

[The Biddies, in all their glory, with Nimoy, Boone County Bill the Cat, and the autographed heart pillow . . . ]

It is not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it. ~ Lena Horne

A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything. ~ Irish proverb

Doctors diagnose, nurses heal, and caregivers make sense of it all. ~ Brett H. Lewis

February 7

People ask me a lot about the values I got from playing for the Cubs for so many years. The value I got out of it was patience. A lot of people these days are not very patient. ~ Ernie Banks

[A mere one week after surgery I still felt it necessary to show up at the Y with a bag of doughnuts for the Fat Boys Walking Club . . . ]

February 8

 Eating together is an occasion that humans have made into a peacemaking ritual. ~ Paul Theroux

[Maybe trying too fast to get back into the action, with the Wednesday Night Fine Dining group at Lure Lakebar . . . ]

If you watch a group of schoolchildren eating lunch together, you cannot help but notice how it is a comically Lilliputian version of the adult thing – the cocked eyebrows of conversation, the reaching for condiments, the shovelling of food into tiny mouths. ~ John Niven

 I have no desire to crow over anybody or to see anybody eating crow, figuratively or otherwise. We should all get together and make a country in which everybody can eat turkey whenever he pleases. ~ Harry S Truman

There is no sincerer love than the love of food. ~ George Bernard Shaw

[Alice Anderson’s famous Almond Cake celebrating my survival!]

February 9

Caregiving is a constant learning experience. ~ Vivian Frazier

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. ~ Maya Angelou

February 10

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ~ Hippocrates

[I cannot drive for a month; thus, the Super will have to chauffeur the Saturday morning doughnut runs . . . ]

Cards and letters . . .

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

I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants. ~ A. Whitney Brown

Up Next: There was still a lot of stuff in the cupboard before this all came up . . .

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


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 . . .