Two and a Half Years . . .

October 13

. . . since the last time I was in the high school gymnasiums for sporting events. Inspired this time by the Cardinal volleyball team which has a 13 – 1 record and is ranked 7th in the state. The generic ‘we’ were hosting the Spuds from Moorhead. It drew the largest crowd for a match I can recall in a long time – some of the Fat Boys even showed up . . .

October 9

OK, now that I’ve drawn you in with a bit of sleight of hand, first we’re going share an afternoon with Erik Schultz at Carlos Creek Winery. He drew a big crowd of regulars and even some folks we ain’t seen for a while. It was lovely autumn day – we all stayed till they ‘turned out the lights.’ This is the Super’s “Missing U at . . . ” photo for FB . . .

[On the road to the winery, we keep waiting for these red maples to completely turn . . . ]

[An apparition appeared at the winery – it appeared to be the ghost of John Muir . . . ]

I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. ~ John Muir

It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf. ~ Walter Lippmann

Always make the audience suffer as much as possible. ~ Alfred Hitchcock

If I can go from burglar for the government to talk show host, you can go from entertainer to congressman. ~ G. Gordon Liddy

I’m a performer, comedian, entertainer, writer and director. ~ William Shatner (Editor’s note: . . . and now astronaut.)

Nearly everything I do is part of a master plan to make me the most important entertainer in the world. ~ Bobby Darin

[Andy’s folks!]

[Occasionally considered acceptable in public if they’ve taken their meds . . . ]

October 12

OK, now the volleyball part . . .

[The lineup. I generally remember the players from year-to-year, but it’s been 2 1/2 years . . . ]

[For the first time in recent memory, the team has several players of significant altitude above the gym floor . . . ]

[This is what I would call a significant crowd . . . ]

[These Cardinals are 5’11”, 6′, 6′, 6’1″, 6’2″, and 6’5″, which makes them significantly taller than the boys basketball team my senior year . . . ]

[Addie Boesl (9), 5’11” senior, who had relatives sitting next me (Nancy and Rich, if you’re keeping score at home) . . . ]

In ninth grade, I came up with a new form of rebellion. I hadn’t been getting good grades, but I decided to get all A’s without taking a book home. I didn’t go to math class, because I knew enough and had read ahead, and I placed within the top 10 people in the nation on an aptitude exam. ~ Bill Gates

But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret. ~ Ronald Reagan

I think we should bring up our children with much less pressure to compete and get ahead: no comparing one child with another, at home or in school; no grades. Let athletics be primarily for fun, and let them be organized by children and youths themselves. ~ Benjamin Spock

[We all thought Maddi Buysse (10), 6′ sophomore, was a very impressive spiker . . . ]

Girls are more academically powerful. They make the grades, they run the student activities, they are the valedictorians. ~ Christina Hoff Sommers

I was told that I had to give grades to the students, which I wasn’t particularly interested in doing. ~ Merce Cunningham

[This is the start of a series, a spike by the Spuds through an attempted block by the Cardinals:]

[The spiker for the Spuds is Annie Horan (2), a 6’1″ freshman . . . ]

[On the Cardinal side, we have a virtual clone in Hadley Thul (4), also a 6’1″ freshman . . . ]

I’d rather regret the risks that didn’t work out than the chances I didn’t take at all. ~ Simone Biles

Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back… play for her. ~  Mia Hamm

People would say, ‘Girls don’t play hockey. Girls don’t skate.’ I would say, ‘Watch this.’ ~ Hayley Wickenheiser

Being nervous is not something you should be ashamed of. Nervous means you care, you really want to do well. ~ Paula Creamer

The ultimate goal should be doing your best and enjoying it. ~ Peggy Fleming

Being a woman . . . is merely a good excuse not to play football. ~ Fran Lebowitz

I don’t believe for a second that weightlifting is a sport. They pick a thing up and put it back down. To me, that’s indecision. ~ Paula Poundstone

[Is it . . . ]

[OUT?]

Golf is an exercise in Scottish pointlessness for people who are no longer able to throw telephone poles at each other. ~ Florence King

[Miss Boesl, again . . . ]

[This is Cora Larson (8), 5’7″ senior, who in her spare time . . . ]

[Plays on the state champion Cardinal golf team . . .. ]

[Science, and spy agencies, have been baffled through the ages over what actually happens in a huddle?]

[Kiya Issendorf (2), 5’11” junior, started game 2 serving for 7 straight points . . . ]

[The aforementioned Hadley Thul. Hate to put this on anyone, but I suspect she is going to be a very good basketball player . . . ]

Somewhere in the contract of the male columnist it is written that once a year he must wax poetic and philosophic about baseball, making it sound like a cross between the Kirov and Zen Buddhism. ~ Anna Quindlen

[Ms. Larson, again . . . ]

‘Strictly Come Dancing is proper, serious, intelligent sport. Unlike football, which is some petty form of light entertainment. ~ Viv Groskop (Editor’s note: Yes, that is Senator Bill in the background in the red t-shirt.)

Ferries have stopped transporting live animals  to the Continent. This has made it very difficult for England football fans to get to away matches. ~ Jo Brand

[Game 2 is completed . . . ]

[The Cards were up 2 – 0 in games, but the Spuds threw a scare by winning game 3 . . . ]

Never limit yourself, never be satisfied, and smile… It’s free! ~ Jennie Finch 

[The game, and match, point . . . ]

[Meet you at the top . . . ]

[It drops in for the Cards . . . ]

[The Cards played their best in this final game and won the match 3 – 1.]

Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future. ~ Niels Bohr

Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children. ~ Sitting Bull

Up Next: More volleyball?

Lake Carlos State Park

October 3

Wild is the music of the autumnal winds amongst the faded woods. ~ William Wordsworth

We’re into the first week of October now. The temperature was in the mid-70’s under a bright blue sky making one wonder why would anyone want to live any where else? The trees are still a week or so away from full color, but it was pretty enough today. Seemed like a perfect day to drive eight miles straight north to our local state park . . .

If I were a bird, I would fly about the Earth seeking the successive autumns. ~ George Eliot.

[We drove into Lakeview Group Camp, where we spent an overnight with a group of friends a few years ago. We wandered around a bit, then walked the Hidden Lake Trail. The Super registered over 10,000 steps, so we got our walk in . . . ]

[On the way to the park, we took our usual route toward Carlos Creek Winery. This is a driveway along the way that is lined with red maples on both sides. Still waiting for full colors . . . ]

[Sights along Co. Rd. 34 . . . ]

[Co. Rd. 34 now heading north of the winery . . . ]

[The Super arrives at our parking spot with semi-Hidden Lake in the background . . . ]

[The cottage where we once overnighted . . . ]

[A Lake Carlos overlook . . . ]

[Looking south on Lake Carlos . . . ]

[The Carlos Marina on the NE side of the lake . . . ]

[Still in the Lakeview Group Camp . . . ]

[Baby bass basking in the clear water morning sun . . . ]

[And now hitting the trail . . . ]

[This tree surprisingly was still alive and full of “fun guys” . . . ]

[A fine example of modern art . . . ]

[Ditto . . . ]

[Where corn dogs are grown . . . ]

[On Co. Rd. 42, heading home . . . ]

[And that’s what it’s all about!]

Summer makes me drowsy. Autumn makes me sing. Winter’s pretty lousy, but I hate Spring. ~ Dorothy Parker

And all at once, summer collapsed into fall. ~ Oscar Wilde

Up Next: New toilets?

Homecoming ’21

September 26

Football teams represent cities and colleges and schools. The people have built great stadiums, and the game is culturally intertwined with our calendar. We don’t go back to college for the college. We go back for a football game, and, yes, we even call that ‘homecoming.’ ~ Frank Deford

This was our (the Super joined me) our first appearance at a live Cardinal athletic event since March 2019 with our girls basketball team at the state tournament in Williams Arena. We remember walking out of the arena, with our friend and Alex 1965 homecoming queen Kathy Skadsberg (we first watched the Hopkins girls team because her granddaughter started for them), thinking that all further games would be shut down that night. They were . . .

Before the Colts arrived in 1947, the best athlete in town was a woman duckpin bowler named Toots Barger. Football? The biggest games in Baltimore had been when Johns Hopkins took on Susquehanna or Franklin & Marshall at homecoming. ~ Frank Deford

September 24

So, the Super and I tried to get the booster vaccine this day at our clinic. We were told “no” (we’re still too young?). So, we checked with a local drug store and got an appointment for Monday. Apparently the medical underground leapt into action for our clinic called back and said they could give us the booster that afternoon! The whole city was so excited about that, they staged a big parade! Yes, this very afternoon!

[We missed the start of the parade, and thus the homecoming royalty, because we were getting the booster. For as some wag said when asked why he was wearing a mask, “It’s an IQ test” . . . ]

People crown kings and queens at homecoming parades all the time. We do a lot of things in our society that are simply symbolic. ~ Danny K. Davis

[“Da band” . . . ]

[Having a great season and just came off beating a previously unbeaten team . . . ]

[It’s become the parade of choice in Alexandria . . . ]

They say the neon (stop) lights are bright on Broadway . . . ~ Barry Mann / Cynthia Weil / Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller

If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade. That’s life. ~ Mike Ditka

I’m still passionately interested in what my fellow humans are up to. For me, a day spent monitoring the passing parade is a day well-spent. ~ Garry Trudeau

Campaign behavior for wives: Always be on time. Do as little talking as humanly possible. Lean back in the parade car so everybody can see the president. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

[Well known man-about-town, bon vivant, retired teacher, retired bartender, retired B&B owner . . . ]

I tell you, if you’re in the front row of the parade and you stop walking, pretty soon you’re back in the tuba section. And if you want to lead the parade you’ve got to keep moving. ~ Phil McGraw

[Girls swim and dive team (I read their sign) . . . ]

[The other side of their sign . . . ]

If you wait for inspiration you’ll be standing on the corner after the parade is a mile down the street. ~ Ben Nicholas

[It’s nice to see “the kids” come back . . . ]

Some of us are like a shovel brigade that follow a parade down Main Street cleaning up. ~ Donald T. Regan

[Wrestling team (I read their sign) . . . ]

[Nice float, cool signs, but I don’t know who there are?]

[Boys soccer – I seem to recall they “won” best float . . . ]

[They are having a terrific season as well . . . ]

We will always have STEM with us. Some things will drop out of the public eye and will go away, but there will always be science, engineering, and technology. And there will always, always be mathematics. ~ Katherine Johnson

Today’s advanced STEM graduate could be tomorrow’s world-class, world-changing scientist. ~ Todd Park

[Deserving extended coverage – Mu Alpha Theta, anyone?]

[The girls cross country team is always highly ranked in the state . . . ]

[Of course, the parents have issues . . . ]

[New shoes are needed constantly!]

[I think that was Beetlejuice . . . ]

In the subprime mortgage industry, bankers handed out iffy loans like candy at a parade because such loans meant revenue and, hence, bonuses for executives in the here-and-now. ~ Thomas Frank

It’s a good day when a goddess gets on the school-bus with you. ~ Barry Lyga

[The volleyball team has been outstanding . . . ]

Volleyball is not like a formula so we must give players some freedom. ~ Karch Kiraly

Every volleyball player is a little bit psychopath, there are no normal people who would want to voluntarily dedicate their life to this sport. ~ Plamen Konstantinov, Bulgarian Coach

Football combines two of the worst things in American life. It is violence punctuated by committee meetings. ~  George Will

[Check out the size of these players . . . ]

[Versus the size of these players . . . ]

[Having arrived at the game, purchased our $5.00 dinner of a pulled pork sandwich, bag o’ chips, and bottle of water, we prepared for the arrival of the football team. It was beautiful, mid-50’s, strong wind – the Super was frozen by game’s end . . . ]

Our Cards were physically over-matched (check the weight charts on the rosters) but gave it a great run. The Spuds were undefeated Class 5A state champs last year and are undefeated this year. I think the Spuds running backs were bigger than our linemen, and that size mismatch really wore us down in the 2nd half. I came away with a new appreciation for Cardinal quarterback, Carter Steffensmeier . . .

[The Cards take the field . . . ]

You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time. ~ Donald Rumsfeld

In football, everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team. ~ Jean-Paul Satre

[The kickoff. If there was one area where the Cardinals had a clear advantage over the Spuds, it was in the kicking game. The Cards have two good place kickers – Daniel Jackson on kickoffs, and Miles Sansted for field goals and PAT’s (he warmed up during the half kicking 50-yard FG’s). For punting, the Spuds always did pooch kicks, not wanting to give Kristen Hoskins a chance to return . . . ]

If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead. ~ Erma Bombeck

[The Cards scored first after a Spuds turnover . . . ]

We can’t run. We can’t pass. We can’t stop the run. We can’t stop the pass. We can’t kick. Other than that, we’re just not a very good football team right now. ~ Bruce Coslet

[The Cards could not run inside all game – our 200-pound linemen trying to block their 300-pound linemen . . . ]

You never lose a game if the opponent doesn’t score. ~ Darrell Royal

Football practice – – where men are men and necks are nothing. ~ Sam Taylor

It’s a no-win game for us. Although I suppose we can win by winning. ~ Gary Doherty

[Brain trust and players from the 2001 Cardinal team. Head coach Denny Kalpin on the left; Roger Johnson, member of the Fat Boys Walking Club, next to Kalpin . . . ]

I like football. I find its an exciting strategic game. Its a great way to avoid conversation with your family at Thanksgiving. ~ Craig Ferguson

[Yup, a wild and exciting 1st quarter . . . ]

[The 2001 team awaiting halftime ceremonies . . . ]

[The wild game continued . . . ]

[Kristen Hoskins had two long TD receptions in the half . . . ]

[The Spuds never kicked to him. Next year he’ll be a Gopher. They appear to need him immediately . . . ]

The beautiful moments of football might be rare, but it is not surprising that they get a disproportionately large share of the attention. ~ Stephen Mumford

[Although it was a halfback handoff on this play, the only way to Cards could martriculate the ball down the field on the ground was when QB Carter Steffensmeier ran keepers or if Hoskins ran sweeps (generally turning them back to go the opposite direction) . . . ]

Football: A sport that bears the same relation to education that bullfighting does to agriculture. ~ Elbert Hubbard

You have to play this game like somebody just hit your mother with a two-by-four. ~ Dan Birdwell

Football is, after all, a wonderful way to get rid of your aggressions without going to jail for it. ~ Heywood Hale Braun

I’m the football coach around here and don’t you remember it. ~ Bill Peterson.

[The hardest pass to complete is the receiver running parallel to and behind the line of scrimmage . . . ]

[Steffensmeier and Hoskins prove . . . ]

[Such is true. But these two did all they could to keep the Cards in the game . . . ]

I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid. ~ Terry Bradshaw

It’s ridiculous for a country to get all worked up about a game—except the Super Bowl, of course. Now that’s important. ~ Andy Rooney

It’s an unprecedented precedent. ~ Clark Carlisle.

[This play is a keeper touchdown by QB Steffensmeier (11) . . . ]

This helicopter flies overhead, probably taking pictures, and McMahon just moons it. He mooned the helicopter from the field. ~ William Perry.

We didn’t tackle well today but we made up for it by not blocking. ~ John McKay

The qualifications for a lineman are to be big and dumb. To be a back, you only have to be dumb. ~ Knute Rockne

I give the same halftime speech over and over. It works best when my players are better than the other coach’s players. ~ Chuck Mills

[Touchdown!]

[The Cardinal offensive linemen on this play weigh, respectively from the left: 245, 175, 213, and 185. The guy they were trying to block all game, No. 74, weighs 300 and will be playing for the Vikings some day . . . ]

[At the half, a very exciting game – the Cards were hanging in with big plays. The Spuds had a kickoff return for a TD and a pick-6 interception return . . . ]

[This also marked the 20th anniversary of the Cardinals great 2001 team. That was our first year in retirement back to Alex, so I thought this team was quite a treat.  We had several game breakers, almost any play could go all the way.  We went down to the game against Cretin-Durham Hall in St. Paul (we beat them in the tournament again the next year in Alex – they always had about 8 D1 players on their team).]

[Our QB, Keith Eckhoff (2nd from right), had a good basketball career at Concordia; our halfback, Brandon Strouth (in the middle, red jacket), started as the running back for North Dakota all 4 years; and wide receiver, Kyle Gearman (red jacket far right), starred at St. John’s, was recruited by Michigan State, got a try out with the Steelers, and worked summers at the AGC when “Weakie” was club president.]

Because homecoming came first, and there was the homecoming court. The five guys on homecoming court were disqualified from being in the prom court. So being prom king was being sixth most popular. ~ Andy Richter

[The “court” . . . ]

Remember that 1st game against Cretin-Durham Hall?

Remember that 2nd game against Cretin-Durham Hall?

Whadya have for breakfast this morning?

[I think we blocked 3 extra points and they missed on a 2-point attempt. The Cards had 2 long plays to begin the 2nd half but lost a fumble after the 2nd one. Moorhead controlled the rest of the game from then. It would have been interesting if we had scored on that 1st series if anything would have changed. Moorhead just wore us down with a big ground game and won 37 – 31 . . . ]

I never graduated from Iowa, but I was only there for two terms: Truman’s and Eisenhower’s. ~ Alex Karras

If you’re mad at your kid, you can either raise him to be a nose tackle or send him out to go play on the freeway. It’s about the same. ~ Bob Golic

Up Next: Definitely not the Gophers . . .

Grape Stomp ’21

September 22

The best kind of wine is that which is most pleasant to him who drinks it. ~ Pliny the Elder (Editor’s note: I’ve always preferred “the Elder” to “the Younger”)

The annual event at Carlos Creek Winery which marks the harvest season for grapes plucked to be stomped upon. This stomping action is the initial process of making wine because whole grapes do not fit in a wine bottle. If they were making quacamole, they would harvest avocados to be peeled, sliced and diced, and tread upon. But they don’t. They grow grapes. Thus a harvest season event entitled grape stomp seems appropriate. Further thus, I then should not have digressed . . .

More important than the food pairing is the person with whom you drink the wine. ~  Christian Moueix

September 17

[This a visual representatition of severe emotional distress (have bear spray available in his presence) – either that or it’s just someone trying to clear his adenoids . . . ]

[We began the Stomp with Anthony Miltich outside at the Marquette Stage . . . ]

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

[Time for a stroll around the property – to see what’s up, what’s down, what’s hot, and what’s cold . . . ]

[Why yes, it is a bit of a fair . . . ]

I have even written a book about Wine called The Grapes of Ralph. ~ Ralph Steadman

I’ve been into the habit of freezing white grapes and using them as a snack. Instead of eating peanuts or popcorn or something like that or pretzels, I just eat the white grapes. ~ Mike Ditka

It’s true, some wine improves with age. But only if the grapes were good in the first place. ~ Abigail Van Buren

Nuts don’t come in bunches. Only grapes do. ~ John Sanford

Grilling grapes may sound crazy, but the smoky, blistered char they get from a few minutes on the fire gives them a deep, winelike character. ~ Jonathan Miles

A hangover is the wrath of grapes. ~ Dorothy Parker

Men are like a fine wine. They all start out like grapes, and it’s our job to stomp on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into something you’d like to have dinner with. ~ Jill Shalvis

[Where the grape stomping occurs . . . ]

The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes. ~ William Shakespeare

Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried with fewer tensions and more tolerance. ~ Benjamin Franklin

I never ate of the grapes nor feared of the eruptions. ~ David O. Selznick

[Ain’t we got fun?]

Always keep a bottle of Champagne in the fridge for special occasions. Sometimes, the special occasion is that you’ve got a bottle of Champagne in the fridge. ~ Hester Browne

[The Super and Karin, following the script, run up to “put bread in my jar” for Anthony . . . ]

The grape gains its purple tinge by looking at another grape. ~ Juvenal

Beulah, peel me a grape. ~ Mae West

[A photo destined to forever be in demand by MOMA, the Louvre, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! The five greatest guitar players of all time assembled on this date at the Grape Stomp at Carlos Creek Winery on the outskirts of Alexandria, Minnesota . . . ]

[From l-r: Erik Schultz, Jeff James, Robb Justice, Dave Berg, and Anthony Miltich. This rarity is forecast likely to not happen again until the next passing of Halley’s Comet . . . ]

I will drink milk when cows eat grapes. ~  Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Fresh grapes and wine are perhaps the most luscious foods we mortals encounter during our sojourn here. ~ Jeff Cox

You know, when I was a kid, I always thought I’d grow up to be a hero. ~ Butch Cassidy

[Music and table mate, Karin, sought and obtained photographic revenge . . . ]

[The Super working on her “Missing U @ . . . ” photo for Anthony . . . ]

[And here it is . . . ]

[After three hours with Anthony, we went inside for further entertainment from Robb Justice . . . ]

Bring me wine, but wine which never grew in the belly of the grape. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who loves not women, wine, and song remains a fool his whole life long. ~ Martin Luther

What I do and what I dream include thee, as the wine must taste of its own grapes. ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

My goodness, everyone is planting grapes, even a neighbor with only five acres. ~ Doc Severinsen

The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people. ~ Cesar Chavez

[Have shown an increasing penchant for enjoying wine at live music events . . . ]

One of the disadvantages of wine is that it makes a man mistake words for thoughts. ~ Samuel Johnson

Wine … offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than possibly any other purely sensory thing which may be purchased. ~ Ernest Hemingway

I am certain that the good Lord never intended grapes to be made into grape jelly. ~ Fiorello H. La Guardia

[Going home after day one . . . ]

Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used. ~ William Shakespeare

The best Chateauneuf-du-Papes are among the most natural expressions of grapes, place and vintage. Chateauneuf-du-Pape vineyards are farmed organically or biodynamically, and the region’s abundant sunshine and frequent wind (called ‘le mistral’) practically preclude the need for treating the fields with herbicides or pesticides. ~ Robert M. Parker, Jr. (Editor’s note: Been there . . . )

September 19

[The last of three days of grape stomping . . . ]

[The Super did the “Missing U @ . . . ” photo above for Donny Brang, who was new to us . . . ]

[We found him quite enjoyable . . . ]

[Up next, the Salty Dogs. Guitar player Erik was the sound technician for the entire Stomp . . . ]

[Annie, Greg, Erik, and Tom . . . ]

Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Editor’s note: Beware of those whose names are longer than their quotes.)

Oh, my fellow men, do not defile your bodies with sinful foods. We have corn, we have apples bending down the branches with their weight, and grapes swelling on the vines. ~ Pythagoras

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

Be careful to trust a person who does not like wine. ~  Karl Marx

Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever. ~ Aristophanes

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

We are the Pros from Dover and we figure to crack this kid’s chest and get out to golf course before it gets dark. So you go find the gas-passer and you have him pre-medicate this patient. Then bring me the latest pictures on him. The ones we saw must be 48 hours old by now. Then call the kitchen and have them rustle us up some lunch. ~ Trapper John

Either give me more wine or leave me alone. ~ Rumi

[Doing her famous “Missing U @ . . . ” for Facebook . . . ]

[The result of the Super’s photo excursion above . . . ]

[After our usual table mates left to walk Gracie, we were joined by other Alexandria A-listers . . . ]

The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars. ~ Benjamin Franklin

[We partied on until the end of the show . . . ]

She gets to keep the chalet and the Rolls, I want the Montrachet. ~ Forbes Magazine

[When retired elementary school teachers cut loose . . . ]

Men are like wine – some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age. ~ Pope John XXIII

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

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

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

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

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

Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter, sermons and soda water the day after. ~ Lord Byron

In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage. ~ John Steinbeck

And Noah he often said to his wife when he sat down to dine, “I don’t care where the water goes if it doesn’t get into the wine. ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

Up Next: Remains to be seen . . . or thought of . . .

Recent Vintage (Part 2)

September 16

I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career. ~ Gloria Steinem

It was a long, long day. From two separate music venues, the latter with three different groups, with a book signing in between. And, the Super did another three hours garden prep at the theatre in the morning . . .

Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone? ~ James Thurber

September 11

[And now Quinie’s discovered how to attain the heights . . . ]

[Uffda! She does it all the time now . . . ]

[After the Super’s morning gardening adventures, it was off to Carlos Creek Winery for an afternoon session with Elsa Lee . . . ]

I quit therapy because my analyst was trying to help me behind my back. ~ Richard Lewis

I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends. ~ Walt Whitman

If at first you don’t succeed, find out if the loser gets anything. ~ William Lyon Phelps

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

[Discovered fellow friends of a famous local writer (also often seen at Cardinal athletic events) . . . ]

[Said famous local writer . . . ]

I am certain there is too much certainty in the world. ~ Michael Crichton

[Keep an eye out, Elsa will be playing the winery several times through the end of the year . . . ]

[Then we hot-footed it over to Cherry Street Books for the first book of another local writer . . . ]

[Then came the long day’s journey into night . . . ]

[Back to the theatre for even more fun and excitement . . . ]

[The natural garden the Super purged that morning . . . ]

So, where’s the Cannes Film Festival being held this year? ~ Christina Aguilera

But the soul of touring and the heart of it is basically every day is like putting up a circus tent. ~ Pat Benatar

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. ~ African proverb

It’s simple, if it jiggles, it’s fat. ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

[For the volunteer dining and subsequent music . . . ]

Here’s to all volunteers, those dedicated people who believe in all work and no-pay. ~ Robert Orben

[Step up to the table and sign in please . . . ]

[The theatre board president chefs under the watchful eye of a retired pharmacist . . . ]

[The fixin’s bar . . . ]

Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start. ~ Anthony Bourdain

There are three kinds of people: Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who say, ‘what happened?’ ~ Casey Stengel

Food is an important part of a balanced diet. ~ Fran Lebowitz

The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl. ~ Dave Barry

[The bar . . . ]

[Dave and Karin thought they had signed up for art painting class, but since their easel was facing the wrong direction their application was denied . . . ]

[Spoiler alert: We had only seen Chris Koza previously (at this year’s Resorters Golf Tournament) – all three performers (with their bands) were terrific!]

[Theatre executive director Nicole with Sidney, a season staff member, begin the festivities . . . ]

[Sidney was responsible for putting this show together for which she gets major kudos!]

[Joanna Schnedler, Executive Director, MN Music Coalition, on the Caravan du Nord program . . . ]

[Many thanks to her and this program . . . ]

[Leading off with Brianna Kocka . . . ]

[The ever present and irreplaceable Janet . . . ]

If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hairstyle. ~ Hillary Clinton

I was eating in a Chinese restaurant downtown. There was a dish called Mother and Child Reunion. It’s chicken and eggs. And I said, I gotta use that one. ~ Paul Simon

Weather forecast for tonight: dark. ~ George Carlin

My one regret in life is that I am not someone else. ~ Woody Allen

Instant gratification takes too long. ~ Carrie Fisher

Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing. ~ Robert Benchley

[Jillian Rae was up next . . . ]

What I am looking for is a blessing not in disguise. ~ Jerome K. Jerome

[Jillian was trained as classical violinist, but apparently plays all manner of instruments . . . ]

Do not worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older it will avoid you. ~ Joey Adams

[Apparently the official caravan photographer . . . ]

[Chris Koza joined her for a duet – in music lexicon, that’s two people singing together . . . ]

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

People always ask me, ‘Were you funny as a child?’ Well, no, I was an accountant. ~ Ellen DeGeneres

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. ~ Albert Einstein

When I eventually met Mr. Right I had no idea that his first name was Always. ~ Rita Rudner

[Chris Koza put the capper on the evening . . . ]

When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick. ~ George Burns

My father would take me to the playground, and put me on mood swings. ~ Jay London

I have an unfortunate personality. ~ Orson Welles

Every dogma has its day. ~ Anthony Burgess

Working with Julie Andrews is like getting hit over the head with a valentine. ~ Christopher Pummer

If at first you don’t succeed, blame your parents. ~ Marcelene Cox

[As the night was wearing down, it was time for a walkabout . . . ]

Someone told me that when they go to Vermont, they feel like they’re home. I’m that way at Saks. ~ Caroline Rhea

I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done. ~ Steven Wright

[The view from the president’s loge . . . ]

If you’re naturally kind, you attract a lot of people you don’t like. ~ William Feather

This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last. ~ Oscar Wilde

Expert: a man who makes three correct guesses consecutively. ~ Lawrence J. Peter

We’ll love you just the way you are if you’re perfect. ~ Alanis Morissette

I never said most of the things I said. ~ Yoig Berra

Progress might have been alright once, but it has gone on too long. ~ Ogden Nash

As far as I’m concerned, ‘whom’ is a word that was invented to make everyone sound like a butler. ~ Calvin Trillin

One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody’s listening. ~ Franklin P. Jones

[Winding down . . . ]

[And as we slowly drift off into the night . . . ]

[It’s time to say goodnight folks!]

What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch? ~ W. Clement Stone

Turn up the lights. I don’t want to go home in the dark. ~ O. Henry

Up Next: Grape Stomp this weekend; Homecoming next weekend. Oy!

Recent Vintage (Part 1)

September 16

All right everyone, line up alphabetically according to your height. ~ Casey Stengel

As we wander wobbling toward the solstice, it turned out to be one of those weeks that requires two part coverage . . .

Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid. ~ Hedy Lamarr

September 9

[We began the day with a full contingent of Fat Boys for our early morning walk . . . ]

Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die. ~ Mel Brooks

Only the mediocre are always at their best. ~ Jean Giraudoux

Such speculation is like staring into the hot white sun. You know the sun is there but you can’t see a thing. ~ Joyce Carol Oates

[The final event of the season was coming to Theatre L’Homme Dieu in two days. Time to go out and tend the gardens . . . ]

[Deb, Ruthie, I spent two hours laboring in the hot sun! OK, it was an Alexandria perfect 70 degrees making one appreciate even more farm laborers who do this 12 hours a day in 100 degree weather . . . ]

[The weeds are going fast . . . ]

[Their bodily remains . . . ]

[Two seasons have now been scheduled betwixt and between COVID . . . ]

I have tried to know absolutely nothing about a great many things, and I have succeeded fairly well. ~ Robert Benchley

What’s another word for Thesaurus? ~ Steven Wright

Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening. ~ Alexander Woollcott

I don’t have a bank account because I don’t know my mother’s maiden name. ~ Paul Poundstone

[After the morning walk and then gardening, my watch said “Goal 2x” . . . ]

[The artistic photo above courtesy of gardener Deb . . . ]

[For now we were at the Garden Bar on 6th for an evening of fun and excitement with Tuesday Night Club on a Thursday . . . ]

[That’s Terry, Jim, Bill, and Al – All-American names all . . . ]

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

Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before. ~ Mae West

[There are no photobombs comparable to those inflicted by Ralph . . . ]

The more bombers, the less room for doves of peace. ~ Nikita Khrushchev

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. ~ Mark Twain

Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter. ~ James A. Garfield

Money won’t buy happiness, but it will pay the salaries of a large research staff to study the problem. ~ Bill Vaughan

[And then I went for the “Deb effect” . . . ]

I don’t need you to remind me of my age. I have a bladder to do that for me. ~ Stephen Fry

[The Super and Karin, avid supporters of the local music (and wine) scene . . . ]

There are only three things women need in life: food, water, and compliments. ~ Chris Rock

[The Super attempts a “through the wine glass” shot while Ralph’s supervisor looks on bemusedly . . . ]

[Janet as photographer, and as the most ardent supporter of the arts in the 5-state area . . . ]

September 10

[Then it was on to Willy T’s at the Holiday Inn for an evening with Anthony . . . ]

[Little did we, or he, know his brother Tom from Otsego would be dropping by to assist. The entire Miltilch family seems to have been blessed with the music gene . . . ]

People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. ~ Isaac Asimov

I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. ~ Bertrand Russell

Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely. ~ P. J. O’Rourke

My definition of an intellectual is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger. ~ Billy Connolly

I distrust camels, and anyone else who can go a week without a drink. ~ Joe E. Lewis

I can resist everything except temptation. ~ Oscar Wilde

When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice. ~ Saul Bellow

[And then there’s football . . . ]

[Alex’s opening home game against Bemidji. We circled by the field on the way home from Willy T’s to see our Cardinals led 24 – 0 at halftime . . . ]

[We won 38 – 20 . . . ]

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company. ~ Mark Twain

I like a woman with a head on her shoulders. I hate necks. ~ Steve Martin

Up Next: Part 2

Happy Birthiday *

September 6

* Why yes, my birthday often does fall on the Labor Day holiday, hence it’s a ‘birthiday’ . . .

From our birthday, until we die, / Is but the winking of an eye. ~ Willliam Butler Yeats

You are only young once, but you can be immature for a lifetime. ~ John P. Grier

September 3

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come. ~ Wlliam Shakespeare

[The Music Club of Alexandria and Ashby took a 37-mile road to trip to Battle Lake to hear our friend Anthony Miltich perform at Stella’s, one of his favorite haunts (photo credit above to Deb Trumm) . . .

[Battle Lake is widely known to Jess Lourey fans as the locale for her murder-by-month mystery novels . . . ]

What’s so wrong with admiring from a distance? Mira’s quirky puppy love for Chief Wenonga, a well-muscled fiberglass statue in her Minnesota small town, might be a safer love pursuit than online dating. But when the 23-foot Chief goes missing from his cement base, Mira’s not the only citizen to be crushed. The town of Battle Lake is celebrating their statue’s 25th anniversary and no amount of blue, sugar-soaked popcorn balls at Wenonga Days can uplift their gloomy mood. (jessicalourey.com)

[The Super and Deb making their arrival on Battle Lake’s main street . . . ]

A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age. ~ Robert Frost

[Both here and next, the performer photographed his audience. From the left around: The Super, Birthday boy, John and Helen Etnier, Karin and Dave Berg, and Paul and Deb Trumm . . . ]

At twenty years of age, the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgement.  ~ Benjamin Franklin (Editor’s note: At seventy, the bathroom . . . )

[Anthony visits with the Super . . . ]

[While Deb captures the moment . . . ]

At twenty-one, so many things appear solid, permanent, untenable. ~ Orson Welles (Editor’s note: At 74, the rage against incontinence . . . ]

[Helen, Anthony, and Karin; oft mistaken for Tony Orlando and Dawn . . . ]

STELLA-A-A-A-A-A-A!!!

I intend to live forever — so far, so good! ~ Steven Wright

I remember when the candle shop burned down. Everyone stood around singing ‘Happy Birthday.’  ~ Steven Wright

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

[The Super’s Reuben . . . ]

[My pasta primavera . . . ]

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

Life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.  ~ The Beatles

Live long and prosper. ~ Mr. Spock

The first hundred years are the hardest.  ~ Wilson Mizner

[When his spotlights came on, it was almost a Biblical experience . . . ]

The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything. ~ Oscar Wildxe

There is still no cure for the common birthday.  ~ John Glenn

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. ~ Groucho Marx

Very early, I knew that the only object in life was to grow. ~ Margaret Fuller

What light through yonder window breaks?

[‘Yonder window’ on the back wall . . . ]

[Say goodnight, Stella . . . ]

[An artsy from Deb . . . ]

September 4

[Laddie joined me on my birthday morning to watch a replay of the Cardinals volleyball game. We won, in straight sets, to go to 4 – 0 on the season . . . ]

[The afternoon was spent at Carlos Creek Winery with Julie and Bruce as Patchouli . . . ]

Why party like it is 1999 when you can party like it is your birthday?  ~ Prince

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

Why is a birthday cake the only food you can blow on and spit on and everybody rushes to get a piece? ~ Bobby Kelton

I think all this talk about age is foolish. Every time I’m one year older, everyone else is too. ~ Glorida Swanson

Put candles in a cake, it’s a birthday cake. Put candles in a pie, and somebody’s drunk in the kitchen. ~ Jim Gaffigan (Editor’s note: I prefer birthday pie . . . )

Middle age is when a guy keeps turning off lights for economical rather than romantic reasons. ~ Eli Cass

Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words. ~ Plautus

My policy on cake is pro having it and pro eating it. ~ Boris Johnson

[After a set, the mechandise stand is the place to catch up on things . . . ]

[Attempting to “cover” Deb’s photo from the previous night . . . ]

The way I see it, you should live everyday like its your birthday. ~ Paris Hilton (Editor’s note: Who am I to disagree with Paris Hilton?)

What’s a soup kitchen? ~ Paris Hilton (Editor’s note: Well, there’s always that . . . )

You know you’re getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It’s like, ‘See if you can blow this out.’ ~ Jerry Seinfeld

Like many women my age, I am 28 years old. ~ Mary Smich

It was on my fifth birthday that Papa put his hand on my shoulder and said, ‘Remember, my son, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.’ ~ Sam Levenson

For my birthday I got a humidifier and a de-humidifier… I put them in the same room and let them fight it out. ~ Steven Wright

I binge when I’m happy. When everything is going really well, every day is like I’m at a birthday party. ~ Kirstie Alley (Editor’s note: Far be it from me to disagree with Kirstie Alley . . . )

[At the next break, a commingling of the music and book clubs . . . ]

[It’s kinda like the 7th inning stretch . . . ]

[So, I thought I’d wander around and see what the view was like from the mezzanine . . . ]

This is a wonderful way to celebrate an 80th birthday… I wanted to be 65 again, but they wouldn’t let me – Homeland Security. ~ Art Buchwald

We all have special numbers in our lives, and 4 is that for me. It’s the day I was born. My mother’s birthday, and a lot of my friends’ birthdays, are on the fourth; April 4 is my wedding date. ~ Beyonce (Editor’s note: She obviously knew I was born on a 4th . . . )

I have given myself a Tesla for my 60th birthday. ~ Stanley Druckenmiller (Editor’s note: Yo, Stanley! Over here! . . . )

I can put my legs behind my head and sing ‘Happy Birthday.’ ~ Emma Rossum (Editor’s note: I’d rather have a Tesla . . . )

Nobody is going to pretend that I am younger than I am. Apart from anything else, it is in the papers all the damn time – every time I have a birthday. ~ Laurence Olivier

[Thanks to Julie and Bruce for their birthday gift of three hours of great music . . . ]

[And then it was home for the unveiling of my birthday cards and presents . . . ]

[This was a present from my sister. Now I forgot where I put it . . . ]

Wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself. ~  Tom Wilson

I’m most comfortable in my birthday suit. ~ Amanda Seyfried

[The Super promoting a healthy diet . . . ]

September 5

[OK, Labor Day actually didn’t occur until the next day, but by then we were ready for a day of rest . . . ]

[We were eating lunch at the Alexandria Golf Club with Uncle Tom & Aunt Mary Kay from Scottsdale, and with their daughter Beth and my brother Cam from The Cities . . . ]

[We started on the patio as it was a beautiful day. But the club was down to one server (the summer help has all gone back to school) who had been worn to a nub the day before, so we moved up on to the deck. But after we got our food, the bees discovered that too. So we had to move inside where a good time was had by all . . . ]

Every man who possibly can should force himself to a holiday of a full month in a year, whether he feels like taking it or not. ~ William James

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

[Our four out of town guests toured the golf course. Everything is lush and green after 5 1/2 inches of rain in the last week . . . ]

[Mary Kay and Tom . . . ]

[Tom’s winning a Resorters flight 70 years ago was enough to garner access to the golf carts . . . ]

[It’s family photo time . . . ]

Being part of a family means smiling for photos. ~ Harry Morgan

I looked up my family tree and found out I was the sap. ~ Rodney Dangerfield

All the men in my family were bearded, and most of the women. ~ W.C. Fields

[Cam is a Gopher fan. His bubble is also slightly off center . . . ]

[This time we didn’t use Dave’s designated parking spot . . . ]

[But we couldn’t pass up the photo op . . . ]

[After lunch at the club, home to the shores of Lake H2Obert . . . ]

Fatherhood is great because you can ruin someone from scratch. ~ John Stewart

If you don’t believe in ghosts, you’ve never been to a family reunion. ~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city. ~ George Burns

[Bon voyage, as off they go in the rental Hoosier mobile . . . ]

Every age can be enchanting, provided you live within it. ~ Brigitte Bardot

I realized my family was funny, because nobody ever wanted to leave our house. ~ Anthony Anderson

Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home. ~ Phyllis Diller

Up Next: ????

2 Wineries and a Church

September 2

Through literacy you can begin to see the universe. Through music you can reach anybody. Between the two there is you, unstoppable. ~ Grace Slick

It’s hard to believe, but it had been three years since BAT last performed in Alex. And when he and Brenda showed up at Carlos Creek Winery, with all the old regulars there, it was like a reunion party . . .

I have terrible hearing trouble. I have unwittingly helped to invent and refine a type of music that makes its principal proponents deaf. ~ Pete Townshend

August 28

[The morning dawned looking like this . . . ]

[Somehow BAT went on as scheduled – outside from 1 – 4:00 – on a day in which we received a quite necessary 3 1/2 inches of rain. The rain stopped at about 12:30, and started up again shortly after 4:00 . . . ]

[Picking up as last we remembered him. Restringing his guitar before performance, and then going straight through from 1 – 4:00 in his bare feet . . . ]

[The Super’s “missing you at . . . ” shot for Facebook . . . ]

If you really love guitar, you’re going to spend every waking hour stroking the thing. ~ Frank Zappa.

My guitar is not a thing. It is an extension of myself. It is who I am. ~ Joan Jett.

[Once always on the road, BAT and Brenda settled in Flora-Bama a few years ago and now come to see us when they can . . . ]

I’m only myself when I have a guitar in my hands. ~ George Harrison.

I wanted to create music that was so different that my mother could tell from anyone else. ~ Les Paul

I wanted to connect my guitar to human emotions. ~ B. B. King

Everyone has their own sound, and if you’re heard enough, folks will come to recognize it… ~ Chet Atkins

Sometimes the nicest thing to do with a guitar is just look at it. ~ Thom Yorke

I would advise you to keep your overhead down; avoid a major drug habit; play everyday and take it in front of other people… ~ James Taylor

Playing guitar is a never-finished journey. ~ John Fogerty

As a guitarist, I’m usually able to play any sort of instrument – as long as it has strings… ~ Ramin Djawadi

Let me, entertain you . . . ~ BAT

[My camera equivalent of BAT playing the guitar backwards over his head . . . ]

[The Super takes a shot . . . ]

I just go where the guitar takes me. ~ Angus Young

[The regular crowd has settled in . . . ]

[The sun is shining, the temperature’s fine . . . ]

I sing a bit and play guitar. ~ Jesse Metcalfe

[Abandoned the kitties at home. They will never forget it . . . ]

I couldn’t find my rain hat . . .

[All available as a result of a county work release program . . . ]

[All have been approached for cameo appearances on “American Pickers” . . . ]

[All have discovered the true meaning of life in their latter years . . . ]

Rock guitarists usually do not wish to think trains of thought about anything but their own guitar playing during a long solo… ~ John Frusciante

[Thank you, BAT! Come back and visit us again soon . . . ]

August 29

[It was a beautiful late August day. The Super and I decided a ride in the convertible would be suitable for the conditions. We had never been to Rolling Forks Vineyard before (when you come to the “fork” in the road, take it) – and it would require driving beyond the city limits of Alexandria. The storms that hit the day before (surrounding BAT’s performance) produced a lot of fallen trees along the Lake Reno shoreline heading south on Highway 29 to Glenwood . . . ]

[Rolling Forks has been open for about a year now. It’s on the SE side of Lake Minnewaska. This view is looking directly north where if you could be elevated a tad higher you could see Alexandria about 23 miles distant . . . ]

[A view of some of the vineyards just below us . . . ]

[More grape vines directly ahead, with Lake Minnewaska (the 13th largest lake in the state) in the background . . . ]

[Zooming in on some vines . . . ]

[A bird of prey circled above . . . ]

[It was not a great crested grebe . . . ]

Wine is sunlight, held together by water. ~ Galileo Galilei

[The Super at our front row seats . . . ]

[We are on the edge of the prairie, at some altitiude above the lake. It was quite windy (somewhat akin to Ted Cruz) . . . ]

[This is a full service vineyard, with food, beer, tap beer, goodies and souvenirs . . . ]

[We hammed it up for our server . . . ]

[Of course, I had to ask “What’s the capital of Burkina Faso?” when she asked if we had any questions . . . ]

[We would soon venture out upon that grassy overlook . . . ]

[Said grassy overlook zoomed in upon . . . ]

[The back of the winery for outdoor seating and music . . . ]

[The view from the aforementioned grassy overlook . . . ]

[And we are thus closer upper to the lake . . . ]

[Looking west toward the Starbuck end of Minnewaska . . . ]