Snow Happens!

January 2

OK, this photo is from 2016. Back in the days when we, and others, were healthy and not concerned about entering public places without a mask. And besides, Karin and Dave have decided in their infinite wisdom that Palm Desert is a better place to spend the winter holidays. We’ll keep the home fires burning, providing child care for the babies, and get out and about on the days it appears likely all four tires and both feet have a reasonable chance of maintaining an upright position . . .

Snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night will always fill my heart with sweet clarity. ~ Novala Takemoto

December 27

[This has been a real stretch of winter weather. Likely more than 20 inches of snow over the last 10 days of December; multiple double digit degrees below zero temperature days, something we haven’t had for several years (it seems) . . . ]

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 Heber

Life isn’t finding shelter in the storm. It’s about learning to dance in the rain. ~  Sherrilyn Kenyon

Blow, blow, thou winter wind, thou art not so unkind as man’s ingratitude. ~ William Shakespeare.

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

A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water. ~ Carl Reiner

[There will be a further explanation of this further on down the line . . . ]

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

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. ~  Andy Williams

And the sky, is a hazy shade of winter. ~  Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel

[Guinie will normally bolt out the door before we can block her. On this day, something held her back . . . ]

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. ~ Sammy Cahn

The light made the snowballs look yellow. Or at least I hoped that was the cause. ~  Gary D. Schmidt

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

Soon the snow would come. Then the log house would be almost buried in snowdrifts, and the lake and the stream would freeze. ~  Laura Ingalls Wilder 

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. ~ Albert Einstein

The snow began to fall again, drifting against the windows, politely begging entrance and then falling with disappointment to the ground. ~  Jamie McGuire


I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early. ~ Yogi Berra

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. ~ Zig Ziglar

I’m bored’ is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say ‘I’m bored.’ ~  Louis C.K.

There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want. ~ Bill Watterson

[And that evening, a sun dog arrived . . . ]

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. ~ Jack London

I have a simple philosophy: Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full. Scratch where it itches. ~ Alice Roosevelt Longworth

I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong. ~ Benjamin Franklin

December 29

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day. ~ Robert Frost

My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far I’ve finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already. ~  Dave Barry

If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. ~ Yogi Berra

[The one block of 9th Avenue between Nokomis and Maple Streets on the north side of Noonan’s Park . . . ]

[The pond with the duck house on the south side abutting 10th Avenue . . . ]

[Said duck house . . . ]

No matter where you go, there you are. ~ Little Mayo Johnson (or Buckaroo Banzai)

[From the circle at the south end of Maple Street . . . ]

[And Maple Street T’s at the house at the end on 6th Avenue . . . ]

Geez, would you think asking for a snowmobile suit on a day when it’s 14 degrees below zero would be asking for too much? ~ Big Ole

Friendship is like peeing on yourself: everyone can see it, but only you get the warm feeling that it brings. ~  Robert Bloch

Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger. ~  Franklin P. Jones

[Home, Sweet, Home . . . ]

[I have often walked down this street before . . . ]

[Knowing I’m on the street where I live . . . ]

[Designer footwear from the Super, an interholiday present. She has never been fond of my propensity to walk around unshod in the house – something about uncouthness? But I always tell her it’s the best way to recognize when your floors need cleaning . . . ]

December 31

New Years’ Eve

[A bottle of bubbly, and goodies from Ruthie’s sister Rita . . . ]

It’s okay to look at the past and the future. Just don’t stare. ~ Lisa Lieberman-Wang

[Yet another two person party in the era of COVID . . . ]

January 1

New Year’s Day

The Super’s birthday! She finally accepted the week long gift I had been sending her – my cold! Fortunately, she had in-house staff to keep an eye on her. Yes, I’ve had a cold for a week. Just an unnecessary accouterment to my other long time malady – sciatica. (Oh, and you know when you bite the inside of your cheek? Don’t get me started!) So, I had been undergoing treatments for my sciatica when my chiropractor had to leave the game for . . . back surgery. It was three weeks before he made it back to work (early). In the interim my back pain kept getting worse to the point of turning snow shoveling over to the Super (and with a note from my chiropractor not to shovel snow (wink, wink, nod, nod, say no more)). Then the coughing from my cold gave me a rib cage muscle strain. I’m going in for a complete chassis overall in the spring.

[Locals will remember Jerry Van Kempen. Jerry’s dad was a chiropractor in Long Prairie. He said his dad always gave a snow shovel to his customers (er, patients) for Christmas – always assured future business . . . ]

Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever you were gonna do anyway. ~  Robert Downey Jr.

The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept. ~  George Carlin

I figured something out. The future is unpredictable. ~  John Green

Life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television. ~ Woody Allen

[Broadway in downtown Alexandria – the holiday decorations will be coming down soon . . . ]

We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know. ~  W. H. Auden

The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. ~ Bertrand Russell

There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do. ~ Amy Poehler

Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition. ~ Marilyn Monroe

The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been. ~  Madeleine L’Engle

[Above and below, Kincaid Cemetery on the way home . . . ]

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

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? ~ Scott Adams

You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it. ~ Robin Williams

The best things in life are actually really expensive. ~ Unknown

[So, two sick people decided to have a Jewish New Year’s celebration by getting Chinese carry out. I went to Great Hunan and picked up two large containers of hot & sour soup!]

The end! (We appear to be in recovery.)

You can’t experience simple joys when you’re living life with your hair on fire. ~  Emily Ley

Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others. ~  Groucho Marx

Up Next: Health dependent . . .

So This Is Christmas

December 26

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

We had a Raclette Christmas dinner this year. Our first encounter with this meal took place in an alpine ski area of Europe 24 years ago. Hence, the following two photos . . .

We dined under the tutelage of our hostess, the divine Madame Jeannette (center, standing).  She was a hoot.  This may have been the day Carine arrived (thus, in Chatel), or it may have been in La Chapelle-d’Abondance.  The same may be said of the following photo. Both are dated April 9, 1997, which seems odd since they are obviously two separate venues. BTW, as I recall Carine (on Madame Jeannette’s right) arrived from Paris to be an au pair for Walter’s (on the left) and Michelle’s (taking the picture) children while we vacationed in Chatel, France . . .

But I suspect that it was with Madame Jeannette that we experienced the marvel of a raclette dinner.  “raclette dinner party is a twist on fondue that can be a crowd-pleaser for birthdays, holidays, showers, and many other special occasions.  Raclette is a type of cheese from Switzerland that is prepared with vegetables on a special grill” ( L-r: Roel, Michelle, Walter, Ruthie, me, with Carine in front . . .

December 21

[First, we got some snow . . . ]

There’s just something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special. ~ Carol Rifka Brunt

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

[Later waiting for the snow plow to arrive . . . ]

December 22

[On Wednesdays in summer we dine at the Alexandria Golf Club; in winter we dine at the Lure Lakebar with a view of Lake Le Homme Dieu . . . ]

A cannibal is a person who walks into a restaurant and orders a waiter. ~  Morey Amsterdam

In a restaurant, choose a table near a waiter. ~ Jewish Proverb

Festivus (December 23)

Festivus, Sir. And, uh, I was afraid that I would be persecuted for my beliefs. They drove my family out of Bayside, Sir! ~ George Costanza

[“The Boys of ’65” had planned for a road trip today (the original date last week was weathered out). Bradley, no doubt rightly, expressed concerns about the ubiquitousness of omicron. So, for now, we passed on “Bear Trap” in Sauk Centre and returned to the tried and true “Lure Lakebar” in Alex. Mayo reported the roadways between Burnsville and Alexandria to be high and dry. We’re holding out hopes for a road trip in late January. We held the table for four hours, as usual, and thus despite the fact that today was the commencement of longer days ahead it would be dark before Mayo arrived home. We indulged in the usual fare – I believe Mayo set a record by downing four Cokes which made us question his ability to make it home nonstop. Of note, we all question why we all hurt all the time in every part of our bodies and decided that four Cokes may not be the antidote for that. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and to all a good night . . . ]

The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going. ~  George Carlin

Oh, no, Sir. Festivus is all too real. And… I could prove it – if I had to. ~ George Costanza

[Yes, we were here the previous night and that’s still Lake Le Homme Dieu . . . ]

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 

When you first entered the restaurant, I thought you were handsome… and then, of course, you spoke. ~ Helen Hunt

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

Christmas Eve

[I made chili in the morning because it’s a state law that one do so when it’s cold and snowing . . . ]

[We had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner – grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup – then we opened presents for which we spared every expense, then we watched the classic, family-friendly, Christmas movies – “Bad Santa” and “Die Hard”.]

Eating at fast food outlets and other restaurants is simply a manifestation of the commodification of time coupled with the relatively low value many Americans have placed on the food they eat. ~ Andrew F. Smith

The age of your children is a key factor in how quickly you are served in a restaurant. We once had a waiter in Canada who said, ‘Could I get you your check?’ and we answered, ‘How about the menu first?’ ~ Erma Bombeck

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. ~ Robert Wells, Mel Torme

I’m in favor of liberalizing immigration because of the effect it would have on restaurants. I’d let just about everybody in except the English. ~ Calvin Trillin

If men are God’s gift to women, then God must really love gag gifts. ~  Maya Angelou

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

I made a terrible mistake last Christmas. My wife made me swear that I wouldn’t give her a fancy gift. And I didn’t. ~ Milton Berle

A Christmas tree—the perfect gift for a guy. The plant is already dead. ~ Jay Leno

Last Christmas, I got the worst gift a guy ever gave me. He gave me a lottery ticket… what’s the guy even thinking there. “Here you go… nothing! Merry Christmas! It’s nothing! ~ Norm Macdonald

The most popular Valentine’s Day gift is chocolate. In the 1800’s, doctors told their patients to eat chocolate to get over a broken heart. They also thought if you’re going to be alone, who cares if you get fat. ~ Craig Ferguson

Christmas Day

[Christmas morning, 2021! Yes, we’ve had a bit of a thaw recently, but hang on to your shorts, kiddies – we are forecast to receive significant snowfall over the next five days!]

[Later we went to see “West Side Story” for a little noontime diversion. We drove through a blinding snow storm to get there – visibility less than two blocks. What’s Christmas without a little fun . . . and danger?]

[This is what was happening from Big Ole cam while we were at the movie . . . ]

[The snow had stopped by the time we came out of the theater . . . ]

[A youngster on the far side of Lake H2Obert was out building a snowman . . . ]

[Readying for the aforementioned Raclette Christmas dinner . . . ]

[This is our electric Raclette table grill . . . ]

[And then the Super noted Snowshoe Guy was walking by . . . ]

[We’ve seen him every winter – but this was the first time this year . . . ]

Avoid restaurants with names that are improbable descriptions, such as the Purple Goose, the Blue Kangaroo or the Quilted Orangutan. ~ Calvin Trillin

[That’s Guinie above, Laddie below. When Ruthie first put the grill on the counter, we turned our backs, and Laddie jumped up and layed down on it. Uffda! I’ve heard Raclette does not mix well with cat hair . . . ]

[Champagne (OK, Prosecco) popped and poured . . . ]

[One can put anything one wants on the grill . . . ]

[And here’s the cheese for which the whole meal is named . . . ]

Come unto me, all ye that labor in the stomach, and I will restore you. ~ M. Boulanger, 1765, Motto over door of first restaurant

[The grill top is filling up, and the Super has prepared her little under-the-grill pans with potatoes, broccoli, and Raclette . . . ]

[And the steak strips are placed on top; you can see the four handles of the Raclette pans sticking out under the grill. The heat from the burner underneath melts the cheese over the potatoes and broccoli . . . ]

[I’ve pulled a pan out from underneath, the cheese nicely melted . . . ]

Bon appetit!

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

People who love to eat are always the best people. ~ Julia Child

The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook. ~ Julia Child

December 26

[The snowplow guy came to clear the driveway about 5:00 am . . . ]

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

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

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

Nothing burns like the cold. ~ George R. R. Martin

Up Next: A new year ahead . . .

Holiday Stuff II

December 17

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

A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight walking in a winter wonderland. ~ Richard Bernard Smith

Ladies and gentlemen, here is your 2021-22 Alexandria Cardinals boys basketball team, currently off to a 5 – 0 season start and acting like they would like to make up for finishing one game short of being state champions last year. Let’s hope the pandemic doesn’t throw a monkey wrench into the affair – unlike college, high school athletes unfortunately can’t be granted another year of eligibility.

[The babies were certainly excited about the basketball game as they opted to preview the preliminary activities from on high . . . ]

Cats can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause most inconvenience. ~ Pam Brown

The problem with cats is that they get the same exact look whether they see a moth or an ax-murderer. ~ Paula Poundstone

There is, incidentally, no way of talking about cats that enables one to come off as a sane person. ~ Dan Greenberg

Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you later. ~ Mary Bly

After scolding one’s cat one looks into its face and is seized by the ugly suspicion that it understood every word. And has filed it for reference. ~ Charlotte Gray

Cats know what “No, No, No!” means. They just won’t acknowledge that they do! ~ Me

[And then it was on to AAHS for the boys basketball game vs. St. Cloud Tech . . . ]

[It’s semester (or quarter) break at the University of Minnesota, so Treyton Thompson, current Gopher and ex-Cardinal, was home for the holidays and decided to drop in on the activities . . .

[Treyton is a freshman at the U and scored his first varsity point in their last game . . . ]

[Of course Tech players didn’t mind sharing shooting practice with him . . . ]

[At 6’11”, he prefers to play an outside game . . . ]

[The JV (in white here), which was undefeated last year (which the head coach said never happens anywhere), has also started off this season undefeated and has some nice players . . . ]

[And on the JV team is Treyton’s little brother, 6’4″ freshman Chase (41), who has an all-around game and may get some varsity playing time this year . . . ]

[Another impressive win . . . ]

[When the Tech varsity took floor, it looked like a college team (check out the heights). Coach Witt said at season’s start that Tech and Sauk Rapids would be our stiffest conference competition . . . ]

[Tech warming up . . . ]

[The Cardinals warming up – we would definitely be at height a disadvantage . . . ]

[And for the starting lineups . . . ]

[Which will be captured by the Amazing Mr. Ripley . . . ]

[Carter Steffensmeier (0), 6′ senior guard . . . ]

[Myles Sansted (11), 6’1″ senior guard . . . ]

[Kristen Hoskins (21), 5’10” senior guard . . . ]

[Steffensmeier and Sansted would combine for more than 40 points in the game . . . ]

[Erik Hedstrom (22), 6’5″ senior forward . . . ]

[Grayson Grove (33), 6’8″ sophomore center . . . ]

Headmasters have powers at their disposal with which Prime Ministers have never yet been invested. ~ Winston Churchill

[Anatomy of the jump ball . . . ]

[OK, we had a one inch height advantage at center with Grayson because their 6’9″ player doesn’t start . . . ]

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught. ~ Oscar Wilde

The human brain is special. It starts working as soon as you get up and it doesn’t stop until you get to school. ~ Milton Berle

The Founding Fathers in their wisdom decided that children were an unnatural strain on parents. So they provided jails called schools, equipped with tortures called an education. ~ John Updike

[Grayson won the tip . . . ]

In grade school I was smart, but I didn’t have any friends. In high school, I quit being smart and started having friends. ~ David Spade

No wonder the teacher knows so much; she has the book. ~ Edgar Watson Howe

Education costs money, but then so does ignorance. ~ Claus Moser

My school days were the happiest days of my life; which should give you some indication of the misery I’ve endured over the past twenty-five years. ~ Paul Merton

My father wanted me to have all the educational opportunities he never had, so he sent me to a girls school. ~ Jack Herbert

My school was so tough the school newspaper had an obituary section. ~ Norm Crosby

[The three Tigers in this shot were all pretty good players; of course, so were the four Cardinals in the shot . . . ]

[Myles Sansted shooting free throws. Unfortunately, the camera decided to focus on the student cheering section . . . ]

[He’s in focus here – he makes all his free throws, BTW . . . ]

[An example of the Cardinals in-your-face defense . . . ]

[If the opponent passes the ball to either corner, that player is immediately double-teamed, here by Carteer and Grayson, and has to dial 9-1-1 . . . ]

[Grayson makes it tough getting the ball to the interior . . . ]

[No. 30 (6’6″) for the Tigers did bag a couple of 3’s . . . ]

[A major Cardinal strength is depth, necessary for the all court pressing. Here Elijah Vandeveer (45), 6’4″ senior sinks a free throw . . . ]

[Good game so far – nothing settled at the half . . . ]

[And Treyton joins the half time half court shot extravaganza . . . ]

[The Cards came out in the second half on fire and quickly established a comfortable lead they would maintain the rest of the game . . . ]

[A Card strength is picking off passes and taking the ball in for fast break layups . . . ]

[Grayson popped a 3 from this corner at some point in the game . . . ]

[A time out called by the Tigers – judging by the reaction of the Cardinal bench we had just been on another scoring run . . . ]

[It was still a tad early but the student section started the chant of “start the bus”. . . ]

[Carter shooting free throws, Wyatt Odland (13), 6′ senior guard, started last year but still gets plenty of playing time . . . ]

[Jaxon Schoenrock (4), 6’4″ junior, povides defensive pressure off the bench . . . ]

[Grayson shooting free throws; Peter Sansted (12) (yup, Myles’ twin brother), 6’1″ senior in the lane . . . ]

[The sophomore is learning fast, schmoozing with the ref . . . ]

[OK, let’s wrap up this puppy . . . ]

[A big time win – but we have to be aware we may have to beat them two more times to win the section . . . ]

December 18

[And the next morning a Christmas snow came to Noonan’s Park . . . ]

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

Blow, blow, thou winter wind, thou art not so unkind as man’s ingratitude. ~ William Shakespeare

Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood. ~ Andy Goldsworthy

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

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

[And ending on Maple Street, my favorite Christmas street, particularly in the early evening when the old-fashion globe street lights come on . . . ]

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

A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water. ~ Carl Reiner

Up Next: There’s a girls basketball game tonight . . .

The Christmas Concert

December 19

Here’s the plan: We do everything, all the traditions, and we do it grander than anyone ever dreamed! Here are the houselights, which will require extra generators so we don’t smash the power grid, the holiday music CDs that will need waterproof outdoor concert speakers, the train set with extra boxes of tracks to connect all the rooms of the house, the toys where we forget the batteries, several gingerbread house kits we’ll combine to form a mansion, DVDs of all the classic Christmas specials to run nonstop, mistletoe for all the doorways, the manger scene with a little Jesus that glows in the dark to emphasize the Holy Spirit third of the Trinity because he’s the shy one who gets the least press, and all the presents we’ll wrap together and give each other as Secret Santa. ~ Tim Dorsey

I am sure my music has a taste of codfish in it. ~ Edvard Grieg

[The morning of the concert . . . ]

[Still the morning of the concert . . . ]

Again, and always, the best show in town every year. The combined high school orchestra and choirs Christmas concert. Kudos to Brad Lambrecht’s orchestra and Steve Deitz’s choirs in his final Christmas concert!

[The Super and I making our entrance at the Alexandria Area High School’s Performing Arts Center . . . ]

It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland, though there were no reindeer. But there were cats. ~ Dylan Thomas

[The Super made sure nobody beat us to our seats!]

Christmas: the only time of year you can sit in front of a dead tree eating candy out of socks. ~ Anonymous

There is a remarkable breakdown of taste and intelligence at Christmastime. Mature, responsible grown men wear neckties made of holly leaves and drink alcoholic beverages with raw egg yolks and cottage cheese in them. ~ P. J. O’Rourke

I love the excess of Christmas. The shopping season that begins in September, the bad pop star recordings of Christmas carols, the decorations that don’t know when to come down. ~ Mo Rocca

[The Super from the second deck . . . ]

[Maestro Brad Lambrecht addresses his charges . . . ]

[Household hint: Each photo coincides with the songs listed in the program. If you want to check that, however, please do not stick you arm out the window unless you are signaling a turn . . . ]

How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, His precepts! ~ Benjamin Franklin

I know exactly what Einstein meant when he said, “Dancers are the athletes of God.” You three look like angels. I can’t wait to see you dancing in the Christmas concert. ~ Kirsty Murray

[Choir maestro Steve Deitz addresses his charges. After an extensive search of YouTube upon returning home, I could find no versions of “African Noel” as terrific as the one presented here (a Deitz arrangement?) . . . ]

I wrapped my Christmas presents early this year, but I used the wrong paper. See, the paper I used said ‘Happy Birthday’ on it. I didn’t want to waste it so I just wrote ‘Jesus’ on it. ~ Demetri Martin

Santa knows physics: of all colors, red light penetrates fog best. That’s why Benny the Blue-nosed reindeer never got the gig. ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin. ~ Albert Einstein

Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie. ~ John Milton

Without music, life would be a mistake. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

My voice is small but disagreeable. ~ George Gershwin

Where words fail, music speaks. ~ Hans Christian Andersen

Ladies and gentlemen, the internationally renowned Alexandria Area High School carolers! ~ Me

Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory. ~ Oscar Wilde

Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without. ~ Confucius

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. ~ Aldous Huxley

[Any concert in the greater Alexandria Metropolitan Statistical Area is not valid unless Randy Morken is on the keyboard . . . ]

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. ~ Victor Hugo

Music is the universal language of mankind. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. ~ Albert Einstein

There is no truer truth obtainable by man than that which comes of music. ~ Robert Browning

A tenor is not a man, but a disease. ~ Hans von Bülow (with apologies to the local Tenor)

What’s great about an office Christmas party is that it uncovers and reveals parts of your personality that you didn’t see coming. ~ Will Speck

I write as a sow piddles. ~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Music is the shorthand of emotion. ~ Leo Tolstoy

To me, there is nothing like the excitement and unique experience of a live orchestra playing. ~ Carmine Coppola

The first time I sang in the church choir; two hundred people changed their religion. ~ Fred Allen

The flute is not an instrument that has a good moral effect. ~ Aristotle

Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them. ~ Richard Strauss

Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is. ~ Mae West

Rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul. ~ Plato

I walked inside Macy’s and faced the pathetic spectacle of a department store full of shoppers, none of whom were shopping for themselves. Without the instant gratification of a self-aimed purchase, everyone walked around in the tactical stupor of the financially obligated. ~ Rachel Cohn

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. ~ Maya Angelou

Don’t give me books for Christmas; I already have a book. ~ Jean Harlow

[I judged this young man to be quite good . . . ]

Thanks be to all! ~ Me

Bad news, bad news, I heard you’re packin’ to leave . . . ~ Paul Simon

What fun! Does it come with a beverage? ~ Me

[A standing ovation from the assembled masses. And proof positive that people do indeed live in Minnesota year round . . . ]

So then, how was the concert? ~ Laddie and Guinie

I was the editor of the school newspaper and in drama club and choir, so I was not a popular girl in the traditional sense, but I think I was known for being relatively scathing. ~ Tina Fey

I’d rather do community service than sit and write a load of Christmas cards. ~ Paul O’Grady

Up Next: More stuff . . .

Holiday Stuff

December 17

There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.  ~  Oscar Levant

All generalizations are false, including this one.  ~  Mark Twain

[This photo was adopted for the sole purpose of being the display picture for the Facebook posting . . . ]

December 8

The comedy has had to get so good because the news has got so bad. ~ John Fugelsang

[The Super and I have decided that we’re just to exhausted to shop for and wrap Christmas gifts for each other. So, having already made our disbursements to all our favorite charities, we decided to just make further disbursements to our favorite establishments of fine dining. Wednesdays are half-priced bottles of wine night at the Lure. Ta-da! Guess what we ordered on this night . . . ]

For a single woman, preparing for company means wiping the lipstick off the milk carton. ~ Elayne Boosler

You know you’re getting fat when you step on the dog’s tail and he dies. ~ Elayne Boosler

December 10

I am thankful that all the people in the world who absolutely, positively, know what God wants, usually kill mostly each other. ~ Elayne Boosler

[The annual get-together at Arrowwood for Those Who Stay Behind. The current and past members, with spouses, of the senior men’s golf league at Alexandria Golf Club. Those not in attendance have already fled below the Mason-Dixon Line, usually at the first sighting of a snow flake . . . ]

I’ve always said we got married because there was nothing on TV. ~ Bette Midler

[All photos herein were taken by the Super with her phone camera. I failed miserably in my reporting duties by bringing my snapshot camera for convenience only to find its battery was dead . . . ]

Guys wake up at your place and they expect breakfast. They don’t eat bagels and M&M’s in the morning. They want things like toast. I say, ‘I don’t have these recipes.’ ~ Elayne Boosler

When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It’s a whole different way of thinking. ~ Elayne Boosler

I read books that say if you want to keep sex hot you tell a person what you want. How do you tell ’em you want somebody else? ~ Elayne Boosler

Pigs are smarter than dogs, and both are smarter than Congress. ~ Elayne Boosler

Only two groups of people intimidate me absolutely: salespeople and the French. ~ Bette Midler

Would it be indecent to ask the grandparents to stay at a hotel? ~ Audrey Griswold.

Look, Charlie, let’s face it. We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It’s run by a big eastern syndicate, you know. ~ Lucy Van Pelt

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

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

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

[By the end of the evening, my perfectly comfortable Bjorn’s (age unknown) had come to the end of their useful lifespan . . . ]

December 11

Political comedy, when done right, is a delivery system for truth. ~ John Fugelsang

[The next day we repaired to Carlos Creek Winery winery for another afternoon with Elsa Lee and friends . . . ]

[And a wine barrel Christmas tree . . . ]

[The prince and princess of Ashby arrive for the festivities . . . ]

Would be cool to wake up one day and there’s just a huge, new, unexpected bit of incredibly good news. ~ Chris Hayes

Lead me not into temptation; I can find the way myself.  ~  Rita Mae Brown

I want it all – and I would like it delivered. ~ Better Midler

[The divine Ms. Lee . . . ]

I’m working my way toward divinity. ~ Bette Midler

To all those saying that Dolly Parton should have been Time’s “Person of the Year,” count me in! ~ Dan Rather

I was the biggest George Harrison fanatic in the world. He was raised Catholic; my parents are both ex-clergy, so I was raised Catholic, and I admired how he used his faith. ~ John Fugelsang

Men in power always seem to get involved in sex scandals, but women don’t even have a word for ‘male bimbo.’ Except maybe ‘senator. ~ Elayne Boosler

People want sex education out of the schools. They believe sex education causes promiscuity. Hey, I took algebra, but I never do math. ~ Elayne Boosler

This holiday season, no matter what your religion is, please take a moment to reflect on why it’s better than all the other ones. ~ Guy Endore Kaiser

Jesus was a peaceful radical and non-violent revolutionary who hung around with lepers, prostitutes and criminals and was anti-capitalism, anti-wealth, anti-public prayer and anti-death penalty, but who never once was remotely anti-gay. ~ John Fugelsang

We’re kicking off our fun, old-fashioned family Christmas by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select the most important of Christmas symbols. ~ Clark Griswold.

Now I’m an old Christmas tree, the roots of which have died. They just come along and while the little needles fall off me replace them with medallions. ~ Orson Welles

There’s no experience quite like cutting your own live Christmas tree out of your neighbor’s yard. ~ Dan Florence

[Every time Elsa sings Elton John’s “Border Song”, Ruthie rushes to put ‘bread” in her jar . . . ]

I don’t know what I believe. I guess that makes me a Christmas Tree Agnostic. ~ Stephanie Perkins

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.  ~  Mae West

My brother is gay and my parents don’t care, as long as he marries a doctor. ~ Elayne Boosler

Education is my next big thing. When music and art were taken out of the schools, I went berserk! ~ Bette Midler

[Coming and going to the winery, one usually must cross the Darling-Carlos Bridge. On this day, while crossing, looking south one would see an ice covered Lake Darling . . . ]

Some people look like frozen lakes; break the ice, there you will see a lively world! ~ Mehmet Murat Ildan

[Looking north, one would see a Lake Carlos with open water – and full of lots and noisy waterfowl . . . ]

No matter how bad things get, it’s impossible not to love someone who made you toast. Once you’ve been through that crusty surface to the soft underneath and tasted the warm, salty butter you’ll last forever. ~ Nigel Slater

It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.  ~  Gore Vidal

I’ll travel the sub-zero tundra; I’ll brave glaciers and frozen lakes; And that’s just the tip of the iceberg; I’ll do whatever it takes; To change. ~ Owl City

The true business of the philosopher, though not flattering to his vanity, is merely to ascertain, arrange and condense the facts. ~ John Leslie

During the warm season (August 8 and 9), Maine is a true vacation paradise, offering visitors a chance to jump into crystal-clear mountain lakes and see if they can get back out again before their bodily tissue is frozen as solid as a supermarket turkey. ~ Dave Barry

Up Next: Basketball and stuff . . .

Happy Holidays *

(* including Christmas)

December 13

Christmas and the New Year are actually two holidays. So there is a plural, which in the English language, necessitates the use of ‘s.’ I suppose you could say ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Happy New Year,’ but you probably have sh*t to do. ~ Jon Stewart

I celebrate everyone’s religious holidays. if it’s good enough for the righteous, it’s good enough for the self-righteous, I always say. ~ Bette Midler

On most holidays, you’ll find me in Mexico. Actually, on most holidays you won’t find me. I’m at a beach, and it’s wonderful. ~ Kyrsten Sinema

To all those gathered in celebration today, Merry Christmas. ~ Barack Obama

There is a theme to our Christmas “card” this year. See if you can guess what it is?

I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays. ~ Henny Youngman

So, this is indeed the ‘New Norm.’ The only way we world travelers left home this year was by ZOOM. Our longest physical movement away from hearth and home was to St. Cloud – one-hour to the southeast. That’s where we got the first two of three COVID vaccinations. We got the booster and flu shot locally. We still had Senior College, but by ZOOM. We had book club outside (for the most part). Our annual week in Camp Brosius, Wisconsin, was cancelled again, but we were able to enjoy the 100th Resorters Golf Tournament at home. We got new kitchen and bathroom floors, a hot water heater, and two new toilets. We went to school board meetings (to show the flag). A school board election was the biggest election of the year. Our only out-of-town visitors for the year were Jami and Danny twice, Cam & Rog, and Cam with Uncle Tom, Aunt Mary Kay (from Arizona) and Cousin Beth. That was it.

[And we continue with family, Danny and Jami . . . ]

[Gretchen, Ruthie’s sister-in-law . . . ]

[Mohamed, our brother-in-law . . . ]

[Chris, Tom’s brother . . . ]

[Cam, Tom’s other brother . . . ]

[Karen, our sister-in-law, on the right . . . ]

I’m Muslim the way many of my Jewish friends are Jewish: I avoid pork, and I take the big holidays off. ~ Aasif Mandvi

White folks were so strange. ~ Maya Angelou (“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”)

[Two reasons for not having one this year: Guinie and Laddie . . . ]

[Jessi, our niece . . . ]

[A school teacher in Virginia (the state) in her GMU hoodie . . . ]

[Kadie, our niece . . . ]

[A school teacher in Virginia (the state), front row center . . . ]

[Sophie, our niece, gives COVID vaccinations in Atlanta . . . ]

Always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise they won’t come to yours. ~ Yogi Berra

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. ~ Douglas Adams

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no use being a damn fool about it. ~ W.C. Fields

I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don’t know the answer. ~ Douglas Adams

Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. ~ Donald Trump

I’m sorry, if you were right, I’d agree with you. ~ Robin Williams

President Barack Obama poses for a selfie with Bill Nye, left, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson in the Blue Room prior to the White House Student Film Festival, Feb. 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

[Barb, our cousin, with her mom, Shirley . . . ]

[Herb, our cousin . . . ]

Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it. ~  E. B. White

A woman is like a teabag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. ~ George Carlin

The great joy of doing ‘The Daily Show’ for me is that I get to sit on the fence between cultures. I am commenting on the absurdity of both sides as an outsider and insider. Sometimes I’m playing the brown guy, and sometimes I’m not, but the best stuff I do always goes back to being a brown kid in a white world. ~ Aasif Mandvi

[We still had Community Education movies, but with proper protocols . . . ]

[And the post-movie discussions (OK, this one was pre-pandemic).]

26 COPs, they have had decades of blah, blah, blah – and where has that got us? ~ Greta

[The class reunion boys still had our lunches . . . ]

If you try to fail and succeed, which have you done? ~ George Carlin

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

[The boys (and girls) were there for Merill’s 99th birthday last November . . . ]

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

A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money. ~ W.C. Fields

You can’t have everything. Where would you put it? ~ Steven Wright

[And for his 100th birthday this November . . . ]

Folks, I don’t trust children. They’re here to replace us. ~ Stephen Colbert

Our kids are not Jewish, and they’re not Catholic. They’re not Episcopalian. They’re not Buddhist. They’re not anything. We do all the holidays to keep the traditions and the culture going, but I truly don’t have a great feeling about any particular organized religion, and I don’t think it’s right to impose one on my kids. ~ Rhea Perlman

Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility. ~ James Thurber

[Though we never traveled far from home the entire year, Senator Sanders was ubiquitous.]

Christmas is a baby shower that went totally overboard. ~ Andy Borowitz

Marry an orphan: you’ll never have to spend boring holidays with the in-laws. ~ George Carlin

The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year’s Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you’re married to. ~ P. J. O’Rourke

Do you remember they were trying to take ‘Christmas’ out of Christmas? Do you remember? They didn’t want to let you say ‘Merry Christmas. ~ Donald Trump

[Well, actually we’re still living Groundhog Day . . . ]

A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing. ~ Emo Philips

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

[We were still able to enjoy music in the great outdoors . . . ]

‘The Christmas Song,’ by Nat King Cole, is not only a masterful performance; to me it just sounds like the holidays. I’ve never sung it, because Nat’s version is so perfect. I gotta leave it alone. ~ Harry Connick, Jr

Christmas sweaters are only acceptable as a cry for help. ~ Andy Borowitz

If sex is such a natural phenomenon, how come there are so many books on how to do it? ~ Bette Midler

For many years I enjoyed the pleasure of cruising on my yacht all summer long and these were my best holidays. In mid-May, we’d start in St Tropez. I’d collect my bikinis from my home there and then we’d go up to Cannes for the Film Festival, on to Monte Carlo for the Grand Prix and then to Italy. ~ Ivana Trump

I’ve come to view Jesus much the way I view Elvis. I love the guy but the fan clubs really freak me out. ~ John Fugelsang

As Elsa (above) learned: A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke. ~ Rudyard Kipling

[We dined outside whenever possible . . . ]

We are delivering millions of doses of a safe and effective vaccine that will soon end this terrible pandemic and save millions and millions of lives. ~ Donald Trump

[New friende were made . . . ]

[OK, I admit it. It was a concern . . . ]

[All max vaccinated and masked coming and going from the table . . . ]

I think we have enough separation . . .

Never eat more than you can lift. ~ Miss Piggy

Lisa, just because I don’t care, doesn’t mean I don’t understand. ~ Homer Simpson

I figure if people don’t want to make the distinction between a Muslim and a terrorist, then why should I make a distinction between good scared white people and racists? ~ Aasif Mandvi

A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold. ~ Ogden Nash

One thing I learned from drinking is that if you ever go Christmas caroling, you should go with a group of people. And also go in mid-December. ~ Louis C.K.

[We offer our profound thanks to Gerry, Sandra, Brian, and Jack who entertained us through the year of the lock down. Watching 12 seasons, 120 episodes, of “New Tricks”, twice!]

[Brother Cam’s feet. I have no further explanation other than he’s a Gamecock . . . ]

I wouldn’t say I invented tacky, but I definitely brought it to its present high popularity. ~ Bette Midler

[The Super thought the babies would enjoy this ornament hung in their new high rise condo. They found her “disarming” . . . ]

[And through it all, the Fat Boys kept walking . . . ]

Merry Christmas, nearly everybody! ~ Ogden Nash

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

Up Next: The actual holiday?

Follow the Bouncing Ball

December 11

There’s just something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special. ~ Carol Rifka Brunt

It’s basketball season. Time for reports on my first attended games of the season for the girls’ and boys’ teams.

Regarding the girls: “’We lost 100% of everything,’ Alexandria head coach Wendy Kohler said about the turnover from last season. The Cardinals had to replace the top eight leading scorers from last year’s team, as seven of them were seniors and the one returning player, Morgan Jones, suffered a season-ending injury.” (StarTribune, November 30.)

December 7

[Photo contributed by a 1965 Alexandria alumnus at the Hopkins gym where the young Cards lost a close game to Hill-Murray in the Breakdown Tipoff Classic . . . ]

[As the JV game was coming to an end, the varsity was getting ready to take the court. Senior Tessa McGrane, far left, appears to recognize my camera from the far side of the court . . . ]

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

[The Cards would lose on this night to a Willmar team that started five seniors. Age matters. Our young team was in foul trouble throughout but made it a close game . . . ]

[Julie and Wendy, a combination that has worked at least for this entire century . . . ]

Shooting is just like toenails. They may fall off occasionally, but you know they’ll always come back. ~ Charles Johnson

[Introductions beginning with freshman Hadley Thul (11) . . . ]

[Our leading scorer in the season so far with a future entirely ahead of her (as Yogi Berra might say) . . . ]

[Her foul trouble, however, kept her out of half this game . . . ]

[Another freshman starter, Chloe Scholl (15) . . . ]

Not only is there more to life than basketball, there’s a lot more to basketball than basketball. ~ Phil Jackson

[The aforementioned Morgan Jones, out for the season in civvies, greets the starters . . . ]

[The Three Freshman starters, as Allie Haabala (33) joins the group. Chloe was the star frosh in this game . . . ]

[Senior Lily Thul (35) . . . ]

[And aforementioned senior Tessa McGrane (5) rounds out the starting five . . . ]

Culver’s for burgers and malts after the game?

Tip-off Rules. The jumpers must wait until the ball reaches its highest point before it is touched. The jumpers cannot grab the ball; they must tip it. All other players must remain outside the center circle. All other players must remain still until the ball is tipped. (This was on the internets [sic] so it must be true.)

[Hadley is listed as 6’1″. She appears even taller than that. It seems quite likely she will not lose many tips this year for she has the hops of a good volleyball player as well . . . ]

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

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

Natural abilities are like natural plants; they need pruning by study. ~ Red Auerbach

The trouble with officials is they just don’t care who wins. ~ Tommy Canterbury

I keep both eyes on my man. The basket hasn’t moved on me yet. ~ Julius Erving

If you are going to take it to the bank, then you better cash it in. ~ Shannon Fish

Believe that the loose ball that you are chasing has your name written on it. ~ Mike Krzyzewski

To win, you’ve got to put the ball in the macramé. ~ Terry McGuire

[At the half . . . ]

[This team will keep getting better all year. They will be fun to watch . . . ]

December 9

I don’t discuss basketball. I dictate basketball. I’m not interested in philosophy classes. ~ Al McGuire

The boys were runners-up in the state tournament last season. And just the opposite of the girls’ team, four of the five starters from that team return and will be joined by players from last year’s undefeated JV team. They are quite aware that expectations are high . . .

Play the game with a smile. ~ Earl “The Pearl” Monroe

[Jerry-rigged roster because I forgot my program at the game . . . ]

0Carter SteffensmeierSr. • 6′ 0″ • 180 lbs
2Turner Haar5′ 8″ • 137 lbs
3Will HeydtSr. • 5′ 11″
4Jaxon SchoenrockJr. • 6′ 2″ • 165 lbs
11Myles SanstedSr. • 6′ 1″
12Peter SanstedSr. • 6′ 1″
13Wyatt OdlandSr. • 5′ 11″ • 205 lbs
14Bralyn SteffensmeierSo. • 5′ 1″ • 105 lbs
21Kristen HoskinsSr. • 5′ 9″ • 155 lbs
22Erik HedstromSr. • 6′ 6″ • 205 lbs
25Trevin HoepnerJr. 5’10”
32Zach Gundberg6′ 2″ • 185 lbs
33Grayson GroveSo. • 6′ 8″ • 185 lbs
35Dawson RoderickSo. • 6′ 1″ • 120 lbs
41Chase ThompsonFr. • 6′ 4″ • 185 lbs
42Elijah Vanderveer Sr. 6’5″
44Jacob BalcomeJr. • 6′ 5″

[At the half of the JV game – the future is looking good . . . ]

[Senior Elijah Vanderveer (42) greets the starters beginning with senior Myles Sansted (11) . . . ]

[Senior Carter Steffensmeier (0), also the football quarterback . . . ]

[Senior Kristen Hoskins (21), going to play football for the Gophers . . . ]

[Senior Erik Hedstrom (22) . . . ]

[Sophomore Grayson Grove (33) . . . ]

Culver’s for burgers and malts – I heard the girls will be there?

[Grayson, at 6’8″ and growing, seems likely, à la Hadley, to win most of his tip-offs . . . ]

Basketball is basketball. ~ Oscar Robertson

The idea is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponent believe that you might block every shot. ~ Bill Russell

When it’s played the way is supposed to be played, basketball happens in the air; flying, floating, elevated above the floor, levitating the way oppressed peoples of this earth imagine themselves in their dreams. ~ John Edgar Wideman

Life is an endless series of bounces, some as predictable as the rebound of a basketball, others as unpredictable as the rebound of a football. ~ Evan Esar

Old basketball players never die. They just sit in front of you at the movies. ~ David Young

You can’t play football alone, can’t play baseball alone, but you could take a basketball and find a hoop anywhere. ~ Bernard King

Basketball demands from each player the widest range of skills of any of the team sports. ~ Mike Huff

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

I never thought I’d lead the NBA in rebounding, but I got a lot of help from my team-mates – they did a lot of missing. ~ Moses Malone

We planted seeds for a harvest and it’s not out of the question that harvest could come this year. ~  Sam Hinkie 

[Erik Hedstrom led the team in scoring . . . ]

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

Dee-fense! Dee-fense! Dee-fense!!

[All night long, the Storm must have felt like the meat in a ham sandwich . . . ]

Men play basketball in in their underwear, which seems just right to me. ~ Anna Quinden

Our ceiling is through the roof. ~ Josh Smith

[The Cards put on a blistering display of defense, particularly in the 2nd half when they held the Storm to 15 points. And three of the Storm starters did not score at all in the game . . . ]

These are my new shoes. They’re good shoes. They won’t make you rich like me; they won’t make you rebound like me; they definitely won’t make you handsome like me. They’ll only make you have shoes like me. That’s it. ~ Charles Barkley

I knew it was time to retire when I was driving down the lane and got called for a three-second violation. ~ Johnny Kerr

Up Next: Likely involves eating and drinking . . .


December 4

Well, that’s your opinion, isn’t it? And I’m not about to waste my time trying to change it. ~ Lady Gaga

Under direct orders from the Supervisor to get cracking on the Christmas card blog, it’s time to clear the files. So, this was yesterday . . .

Love is like a brick. You can build a house, or you can sink a dead body. ~ Lady Gaga

[The drive down Broadway after the symphony. Photo by the Super with her phone camera . . . ]

[But earlier in the day I was at the Runestone Community Center for some high school girls hockey . . . ]

[No, these are not high school hockey players. They are U-8’s (meaning under age 8) who performed later between periods of the big girls game and were carbing up accordingly . . . ]

[The varsity coaching staff of McKenzie Revering, Head Coach Molly Arola, and Jeff Doherty. Julia Doherty (No. 7, freshman) is also on the bench – she was hurt two games ago and I’m not sure of her status. She is a Doherty, has a brother and sister who were previous stars for the Cardinals, so her presence on the ice is missed . . . ]

[And also missing for the Cards was Makenna Aure, certainly the Cards most dynamic player . . . ]

[And we have faceoff. I guess because of availability, the Cards JV started the day with a thrashing of Hutchinson’s JV, but we were playing Buffalo in the varsity game . . . ]

[The Cardinal youth at play here with sophomore Sophia Korynta (No. 22) and freshmen Cadence and Kennedy Ellison (Nos. 14 and 3, respectively) . . . ]

[Looks like an almost goal . . . ]

[The Cards got off the a slow start but began to take control. Even more so in the 2nd period, after which the shots on goal were 24 to 8 (I believe) and the Cards scored two goals . . . ]

[The aforementioned U-8’s took to the ice . . . ]

[Following the Cards 1st goal . . . . ]

[And the 2nd goal. The Cards may have come out in the 3rd period thinking the game was under control. Buffalo had other ideas and turned the momentum. The game ended in a 2 – 2 tie in overtime. The Cards let one get away . . . ]

[In the evening it was time for something completey different . . . ]

If you dont have any shadows you’re not in the light. ~ Lady Gaga

And now, I’m just trying to change the world, one sequin at a time. ~ Lady Gaga

[All in their places with bright shiny faces . . . ]

[Go back up to the program to read about Betsy Husby and what she was to accomplish in performing the Prokofiev piece. That’s Brad Lambrecht, also on stage, who gives Maestro notes prior to each symphony concert . . . ]

I’m obsessively opposed to the typical. ~ Lady Gaga

[This was the full orchestra’s first appearance in the Performing Arts Center since the pandemic began . . . ]

Once you kill a cow, you gotta make a burger. ~ Lady Gaga

[And then heading home in a snow storm. The CLSO’s executive director Sandy Susag noted in program introductions that their concerts have a tendency to take place during inclement weather. That, and the pandemic, had a deleterious effect on the crowd size . . . ]

[These are also photos taken by the Super as we drove home through downtown . . . ]

I want you to walk out of here tonight not loving me more, but loving yourselves more. ~ Lady Gaga

I’m a little bit naked, but that’s okay. ~ Lady Gaga

For being different, it’s easy. But to be unique, it’s a complicated thing. ~ Lady Gaga

Up Next: Christmas or maybe some preceding stuff . . .

Another Afternoon with Elsa

November 20

It takes a long time to grow young. ~ Pablo Picasso

As previously noted, Elsa Lee has had an every other weekend run at Carlos Creek Winery. We don’t mind. In fact, we are grateful. Nay, thanksgiving?

Women deserve to have more than twelve years between the ages of twenty eight and forty. ~ James Thurber

[Before the winery, we dropped by Cherry Street Books for a book signing by Jamie Stoudt, an author from Stillwater, MN . . . ]

[Specifically, to pick up Don’t Get Caught, the venue for which is Alexandria, Minnesota. Legal thriller readers will find ‘Don’t Get Caught’ a powerful story made all the more intriguing by its roots in a real crime that occurred in the Midwest. Jamie Stoudt loosely bases this story on these events, fictionalizing the narrative for added dramatic impact (Midwest Book Review).

[And then on to the winery with Elsa. Yup, it was time to move the action indoors . . . ]

I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious. ~ Steve Carrell

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. ~ Mark Twain

[Elsa was delighted to see that the teenyboppers in the crowd . . . ]

[Knew to flick their “Bics” and sway to Hallelujah . . . ]

Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow internet to see who they really are. ~ Will Ferrell

Breaking up is like knocking over a Coke machine. You can’t do it in one push; you got to rock it back and forth a few times, and then it goes over. ~ Jerry Seinfeld

I walk around like everything’s fine, but deep down, inside my shoe, my sock is sliding off. ~ Anonymous

There’s nothing wrong with you that an expensive operation can’t prolong. ~ Graham Chapman

Someone asked me, if I were stranded on a desert island what book would I bring: ‘How to Build a Boat.’ ~ Steven Wright

There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it. ~ Mindy Kaling

[As Elsa sang “Happy Birthday,” Ann discovered it was for the lady in red at the back table. Ann dropped by their table, out of nosiness, I suppose (homage to Townes Van Zandt), to get the poop. The whole table was from Thunder Bay (the border is open). Appreciative of her interest they sent her back to our table with a piece of birthday cheesecake . . . ]

Few women admit their age. Few men act theirs. ~ Anonymous

I believe in loyalty. When a woman reaches an age she likes, she should stick with it. ~ Eva Gabor

Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest. ~ Larry Lorenzoni

[So, Ruthie and Ann returned to the Thunder Bay table to thank them for the cheesecake . . . ]

Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life. ~ Kitty Collins

The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left. ~ Jerry M. Wright

Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you have not committed. ~ Anthony Powell

Truth hurts. Maybe not as much as jumping on a bicycle with a seat missing, but it hurts. ~ Leslie Nielsen

There are only three ages for women in Hollywood: babe, district attorney and ‘Driving Miss Daisy.’ ~ Goldie Hawn

Up Next: Wanna go to the dentist and chiropractor with me?

‘Tis a New Season

November 11

In school one learns to ask stupid questions of life. ~ Marty Rubin

As the fall sports programs wrap up their state championships, the winter sports seasons begin. First up, girls hockey with our Cardinals coming off last year’s state tournament appearance. A home game at the RCC against the St. Cloud Crush (a combination team of Tech and Apollo). The Cards lost some key seniors but introduced a new group of freshmen and sophomores . . .

Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It’s like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won’t fatten the dog. ~ Mark Twain

St. Cloud – 5, Alexandria – 3

[First up, the JV team (in home white) looking good in their opening game . . . ]

[Another new addition this year is assistant coach McKenzie Revering (center), a former Cardinal all-stater and last year’s captain of the University of Minnesota, Duluth, Huskies . . . ]

[As the JV game winds down, the varsity is anxious to hit the ice . . . ]

A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad. ~ Theodore Roosevelt.

In 300 BC Euclid invented geometry, and the grade F. ~ Unknown

[Post-game handshakes, a 1 – 0 win, with 46 shots-on-goal vs. 13?]

The science fair has long been a favorite educational tool in the American school system, and for a good reason: Your teachers hate you. ~ Dave Barry

[The varsity warms up . . . ]

[Returnees from last year, Ella Westlund (19), junior forward, and Jordan O’Kane (1), senior goalie, and Youth Hockey Hub Goalie of the Year for the 2020-2021 season . . . ]

Are you looking forward to the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, too?

[McKenzie Revering, Jeff Doherty, and Head Coach Molly Arola . . . ]

Every class is drama class when you’re in high school. ~ Timothy Bird

[Alexandria won the toss and elected to take the wind in the 3rd period . . . ]

[Ron Rebrovich at the PA mic, with daughter Lauren on the team and also a member of the state champion girls golf team . . . ]

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught. ~ Oscar Wilde

I had a terrible education. I attended a school for emotionally disturbed teachers. ~ Woody Allen.

[Hanley Block (28), senior, takes the opening face-off with Peyton Boesl (6), senior, and Kennedy Ellingson (3), freshman . . . ]

It’s easier to floss with barbed wire than admit you like someone in middle school. ~ Laurie Halse Anderson.

[Game 1 of the season was a learning process. We were way to sloppy in our own end leading to easy goals for the Crush . . . ]

November 19

Mound Westonka – 4, Alexandria – 2

[The JV had another stellar performance. Here Cadence Ellingson (14), freshman, rushes by . . . ]

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. ~ Will Durant

[Aubrie Porter (23), junior . . . ]

Education costs money, but then so does ignorance. ~ Claus Moser

[An oncoming rush by the Cards . . . ]

[Led to a goal . . . ]

School is a building which has four walls with tomorrow inside. ~ Lon Watters

[Coach Revering advises the team on the best taco salad and queso place in town . . . ]

If you think your teachers are tough, wait ‘til you get a boss. ~ Bill Gates

I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework. ~ Lily Tomlin

[Great game by the JV . . . ]

. . . if you want to know what society’s going to be like in 20 years, ask a kindergarten teacher. ~ Clifford Stoll

[The varsity game captains meet at center ice to find out where exactly is Mound Westonka?]

[Roger Riley reprises his longtime role singing the National Anthem at girls hockey games . . . ]

There are three things to remember when teaching: know your stuff; know whom you are stuffing; and then stuff them elegantly. ~ Lola May

All for one and one for all . . .

[And away we go . . . ]

A teacher’s job is to take a bunch of live wires and see that they are well-grounded. ~ Darwin D. Martin

November 23

Alexandria – 2, Moorhead – 1

[DMac (left) on the air for KXRA radio . . . ]

[The Amazing Mark Ripley back at his post as the official Cardinal photographer . . . ]

[The pre-game captains’ meeting but everybody already knew the way to Moorhead . . . ]

[The long white line . . . ]

[It was get a photo with your parents night. Here Makenna Aure (17), senior, with Hunter Sellnow (31), freshman, on deck . . . ]

[Ron, Lauren (15), senior, and Jana Rebrovich . . . ]

[The Anthem line up, played on this evening by the high school band . . . ]

Sunday is a teacher’s day of rest: the rest of the laundry, the rest of the housework, and grade the rest of the papers. ~ Heidi McDonald

As long as teachers give tests, there will always be prayer in schools. ~ Anonymous

In the school I went to, they asked a kid to prove the law of gravity and he threw the teacher out of the window. ~ Rodney Dangerfield

Teaching is the greatest act of optimism. ~ Colleen Wilcox

[The Cub Reporter, on the job (photo taken by the Amazing Mr. Ripley) . . . ]

[GOOOAAAALLLL! I believe this was the 2nd of the game for the Cards . . . ]

Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. ~ Hector Berlioz

[The view from the Cub Reporter seat. Kaci Trosvig (25), senior, is back after missing all of last year with an injury . . . ]

[Makenna Aure (17), senior, was one of 28 players in Minnesota’s CCM High Performance program . . . ]

Teachers are the only professionals who have to respond to bells every forty-five minutes and come out fighting. ~ Frank McCourt

I never did very well in math—I could never seem to persuade the teacher that I hadn’t meant my answers literally. ~  Calvin Trillin

[Coach Arola gave advice to inspire . . . ]

[At first glance, a goal by Ella Westlund (19) . . . ]

[But the refs didn’t think so . . . ]

[We (the fans) didn’t receive an explanation . . . ]

[The Cards had questions . . . ]

[Ms. Trosvig all by herself . . . ]

[A Spud break out . . . ]

Clean-up on Aisle 3 . . .

[Kennedy Ellingson (3) is a blur . . . ]

Smartness runs in my family. When I went to school I was so smart my teacher was in my class for five years. ~  Gracie Allen

She used to be a teacher but she has no class now. ~ Fred Allen

There are three good reasons to be a teacher – June, July and August. ~ Unknown

If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers. ~ Edgar W. Howe

[And we’re in the win column . . . ]

[Something to do with events of today . . . ]

No school without spectacular eccentrics and crazy hearts is worth attending. ~ Saul Bellow

School means work and work means death. Let’s all go take a nap. ~ Emma Shannon

Up Next: Stuff(ing?) . . .