Sunday, August 24, 2014

First Twins game

It was the first Twins game that NCW's friend, Lorrie, had attended in person at the new Target Field.  And she's a big fan of the local nine.  NCW treated her good friend to a night game against the Detroit Tigers last night for Lorrie's 83rd birthday. We tried to get Bert Blyleven to do his "Circle me, Bert" deal on Fox North with a sign enumerating the particulars of the event. We (mostly NCW) spent a couple of hours constructing a sign that we thought might catch the eye of the Twins broadcaster. It's a nice sign, but the effort, apparently, came up short. But it was worth the effort, and I have some cute photos to show for the time spent.

We went to Fort Snelling to park and ride the Blue Line light rail to the ball park. We wanted to get there early to get some of that fine ball park cuisine, so we arrived at a few minutes to six for a 7:10 start time. There had been an afternoon game, a rain out make up game, as part of a double header, but most of the Twins' regulars started and played the whole game. We tried to find a good walleye sandwich when we arrived, but I guess our ticket didn't get us to the right quality of eatery and we settled for brats and Polish sausage with sauerkraut. Who doesn't love a little sauerkraut on grilled sausage? Then I took a pre-game photo of the longtime friends displaying the sign.

The first pitch of the game was obstructed by a great bear of a man, so I took a shot of the second pitch. Trevor May is pitching to Torii Hunter.

It was a good game on a really pleasant evening. The ball park had 25,000 seats filled of a capacity of 39,000+, so it was pretty well attended considering that the State Fair is in session, the Vikings had a preseason game, and the Lynx had a playoff game. And the Twins' record is 58-71.  We stayed for the whole nine innings and the Twins scored six, but lost 8-6 to the Tigers. Lorrie was happy with the experience.

The Blue Line got us to the car and home by about midnight. The Twins are still in last place in their division.

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 17, 2014

There was a wedding in the family yesterday. I didn't blog then because I was really busy all day and well into the evening. Adam, my son, buddy, friend and sometime protector married his beautiful girl friend, Ying. The wedding was planned for the Rose Garden at the Arboretum, but a storm came through and forced it inside to the Tea Room. The Buddhist ceremony went off as planned and it was interesting and touching to watch, especially when they recited their vows. They chose the words themselves and they were meaningful and genuine. They made a beautiful couple as they posed for their photos for the professional photographer later. I took some shots myself.

The wedding party went outside after the ceremony for some photos. Adam and Ying are the bride and groom in the center of the photo. Drew, also known by PP as Secondary Bro, is wiping the moisture from the top of Adam's head.

One of my favorite shots of the day shows PP testing out the costumes for the photo booth at the place where the reception took place while she was helping decorating for the event. It clearly shows a sense of adventure in this young woman, I think.

Another favorite is the photo of the groom and his cousin, Nancy, and her daughter, Nikki, doing some decorating for the reception at Pinstripes in Edina.  They were clearly having a great time.

The reception itself went off well. The friends and family were treated to fine food and some entertaining games, and indeed some speeches by some friends and family. I spoke first, followed by Ying's mom, Laibin, (in Chinese), then a good friend of Ying's. I was a bit nervous about the talk in advance, worrying about being too emotional. But it went off well, and I didn't have to resort to my phony Norwegian accent to stay in a stable state. I talked about Adam and his childhood and welcomed Ying to my family, calling her my new daughter, and telling her that she has a new sister and a couple of new moms, too. I guess my favorite part was the end of the talk. I quoted from a poem that Adam wrote at age 10, one that was included in my 1990 Christmas letter and I include it here.  It contains, I think, a certain amount of foreshadowing.

Feeling the Wonders of Life

I am healed by flying through the clouds.
I am healed by playing with the stars that shine in the night sky.
I am healed by my Mom and Dad that help me through life.
I am healed by the sun in the sky.
I am healed by sleeping close to a Tiger.

And then I said:

I think and I hope that he's found his tiger.  Because Ying was born in the year of the tiger, she may very well be that tiger.

 Two memorable parts of the evening were the first dance of Adam and Ying, an event that they practiced for quite a bit and which turned out to be a graceful piece of choreography; and the salsa dance that Takeshi and Kelsey did in the middle of the evening, an athletic and graceful performance that was magical to watch.

So Adam is a married guy now. He and his wife are off to honeymoon in Hawaii, while the rest of the old people take this opportunity for a few days of recuperation.

Monday, August 4, 2014

My friend, Rob

He's been working on a house in my neighborhood. As it turns out, it's my house. I came back yesterday from a long drive back from a nice place on a dune near Lake Michigan. I found this waiting. Progress has been attained and continues to go forward.  Cabinets have materialized.

Another angle.  Lighting not quite as good.

I was gone long enough to miss almost two weeks of tennis with the gang of geezers. I played today and they failed to grant me any slack. It took nine games and more than a set before I won a game. Granted it was doubles and maybe my partner could have carried me a bit while my tennis wits returned. It was nice, however, to smack a few forehands, and nice to see the old gang of mine again. No one made fun of me.

Bill, one of the gang, told me about last Wednesday when the Mendota Heights police officer was shot on Dodd Road. The boys were playing tennis at the time and there was a lot of excitement for a couple of hours that afternoon. There were helicopters in the air overhead, visible at the courts where the gang was playing. There were sirens and apparently every police car in the area was in use, looking for the perp. They found him and shot up his car, but he somehow survived the capture. The police show no pity to anyone who shoots one of their own.  The St Paul paper called him a career criminal.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The best day on PP's lake

The summer vacation is beginning to wind down. It was the best day of the stay here. The sun was out and the sky was clear. There was even a decent sunset as the day ended. PP spent the day at the beach on the paddle board, paddling, doing yoga and various other athletic moves. She's out there in the lake riding the board and communing with her lake.

The paddle boarder up close and personal.

We walked the beach, NCW and I, about half way to the state park pier. Not a death march, but perhaps a near death march. Then lunch and a neighborhood walk with Santini while Mr and Mrs Smith were out on their bikes. The paddler paddled and then trekked to the pier with Mrs. Smith. Vittles from Great Wall followed by a last walk to the summit of the dune at Tunnel Park. And a walk along the beach back to Santini's dune.

There has been an all day party next door at the Gatsby's. There have been caterers, guests and blue umbrellas on the beach. They are California people, I hear. It's been fun to watch the rich at play. I think Daisy Buchanan is over there somewhere.

The last sunset of this trip. Tomorrow, the road.

Friday, August 1, 2014

August arrives on time

The Tunnel Park amble group was enlarged yesterday by the much anticipated overlap. Most of the amblers stopped at the summit of the Tunnel Park dune and posed for this photo. The sun was going down, but anonymously behind a bank of clouds. It was, however, nice to get in another trek to the park and, for me, another run down the dune.

An interesting sunset from last night, when there actually was a sunset. The reflection across the water is interrupted by a boat going back to port. The photo was taken from the Santini deck.

We walked to the park again tonight, but the sun was even less cooperative. The cloud bank was too thick and the sunset non-existent. PP and I ran down the dune again. She seems to like to run next to me, so as to catch me if I happen to stumble and fall. So I lope rather than sprint and I am much less likely to do a face plant.