The Natural World

November 12, 2014 § 2 Comments

City lake, suggestions of nature.

Roy G. Biv: Indigo

October 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

What best defines indigo? Bluish-purple? Purplish-blue? I don’t quite know. A search on Google pulls up multiple hues of each. Ultimately, I chose to use Crayola’s definition as a guide.

Most of the photos were taken today throughout St. Paul and on Minneapolis’s Franklin Avenue.

Roy G. Biv: Blue

October 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

It’s been blue skies for days, but when the color blue rolls around on Roy G. Biv week, the clouds seep in and give me gray. But do not fret, possums, for blue prospers in places other than the heavens. Enjoy.

Roy G. Biv: Green

October 12, 2014 § 2 Comments

A pristine sky today, but, alas, blue isn’t featured until tomorrow. Instead, it’s Green Day, and that color is still prevalent in the trees and grass and elsewhere despite the oncoming approach of winter.

All pictures were taken today (as always) and in St. Paul.

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And one more — couldn’t resist posting this photo taken in Dayton’s Bluff. All the colors represented — red, orange, yellow, green, blue. violet, and I’m sure indigo’s in there somewhere.

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Did It

October 5, 2014 § 2 Comments

It was a chilly race, but I had a great time and loved the experience of running the Twin Cities 10 Mile this morning. It’s been a race I’ve wanted to do for years, and it finally became a reality.

I had a smile plastered on my face for the last mile. The runners, volunteers, race organizers and friends and family who came out to watch got me through it. I couldn’t have done it without them.

My time was perfect for me. A 9:27 pace, which was at least 30 seconds faster than I was able to do three months ago and a minute faster than last winter/spring. Legs are a little sore tonight, but hoping that a good rest these next several weeks helps.

A few photos from the day — from the start, the finish, and the marathon. It really is one of the most beautiful races in the country. So glad I had the chance to experience my city in this new (to me) way.

Spin the Ice Bucket

August 22, 2014 § 3 Comments

To a certain extent, I embrace the enthusiasm around the ice bucket challenge, which is the current strategy for raising money for ALS research. Last night I was challenged by a close, charitable friend who gives back in so many ways, and at first I felt compelled to follow through with it.

But, after much deliberation, I’ve decided to take a different path.

My thoughts on the challenge run the gamut. It seems a bit backward — getting doused in ice water to avoid having to donate — but I know the premise is sincere and creating a great deal of awareness and money for a good cause. My guess (and hope) is that those who are dumping cold water over their heads are still contributing what they can to ALS or another worthy charity.

For the record, I’m not opposed to a rendezvous with a bucket of ice water. As a runner, I regularly submerge my lower limbs in five-minute ice baths, so I’m covered when it comes to subjecting myself to extreme discomfort.

I just feel the need to approach the challenge my way.

So here’s my spin on the whole shebang, and all I can do is suggest we each take some time in these waning days of summer to do some or all of the following:

  1. Challenge yourself. If that’s dumping ice water over your head, go for it. If it’s quitting a job that makes you miserable or attempting to learn a new skill or asking out that cute man or woman you see at the weekly tractor pull, do it.
  2. Use that energy generated in step #1 and pay it forward. Remember that charitable giving isn’t always about money. Your time and skills are valuable too. Find a way to give back. Sign up to volunteer at a local nursing home; cook a meal for the homeless or families at a Ronald McDonald house; teach disadvantaged kids how to play tennis; or reach out to an ailing, down-and-out, or depressed friend and remind him that he is important and loved and necessary. It all counts.
  3. Donate some money to ALS or another worthy cause that resonates with you. It doesn’t have to be $100, and you don’t have to do it in 24 hours. Just give what you can preferably before summer ends and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

I came up with the above plan at 3 a.m., and with the exception of a long nap, I spent the rest of the morning following through on my Spin the Ice Bucket challenge:

  1. I’ve been saying for years that I want to write a book of essays or short stories. I avoid it for too many reasons, mainly fear of rejection and inadequacy. It’s time to move forward. The revision of existing material and creation of new started today. And my goal is to continue the habit every day for at least a month (a year would be best, but you have to start somewhere).
  2. Energized by my writing challenge, I signed up this morning to volunteer with a local arts organization that I’ve been meaning to contact all year. I’m not sure what my responsibilities will be yet, but I’m willing to do whatever is asked of me.
  3. Finally, I donated $20 each to five charities I feel are worthy for countless reasons — ALS Association, Alexis Verzal Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital at Madonna, a local food shelf (North St. Paul Area Food Shelf), a local humane society (Animal Humane Society), and a local arts organization (Coffee House Press). There are many others I would also choose — Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, Planned Parenthood, Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society, MinnPost, WNYC, Minnesota Public Radio, Rain Taxi, Women’s Prison Book Project, and Springboard for the Arts, just to name a few.

I challenge my Facebook friends, handful of Twitter followers, and loyal blog followers to do any or all of the steps above and share your efforts with your communities. Remind charitable and nonprofit organizations why we value and need them and let’s continue to find creative and constructive ways to bring awareness to their causes and support their missions.

I’d love to hear what you do. This isn’t meant to dissuade you from the ALS challenge but merely to take it a step further. Be a non-conformist. Do something original that makes a difference, and please share your experiences here and/or through other social media.

Ice bucket

Ramblings

May 4, 2014 § 8 Comments

Magnolias, my grandma’s favorite, are about to hit prime time. Blooms from two trees caught my attention yesterday:

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I’m neither a Star Wars nor a sci-fi fan, but it’s plausible that many take “May the 4th be with you” day seriously, as noted by the swarm of little boys swinging foam light sabers at each other outside the neighborhood bookstore.

The costumed characters were likely brought in for (and subsequently ignored by) the kids, but the adults were certainly star struck, posing for selfies with people dressed in long robes or metal armor. I saw one character twirling his gold sword like a baton next to someone’s nice car. I wish my parents had been in town. Mom would have kept a close watch on those shenanigans. And in the event it would have been my parents’ car parked there, I guarantee she would have been on Dad’s case to move it before Luke Skywalker scratched the paint.

Then there was this dude cozying up to the ladies.

Storm Troopers need love, too

Storm Troopers need love too

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Balloons, bark, bees, and buds:

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What I’m looking forward to (and hoping for) this spring/summer:

Northern Spark, lilacs, Lowertown Farmer’s Market, writing more and better, advanced photography, traveling to the ends of the state and the country (perhaps the world), a post-injury 5k or 10k, an August wedding reception at a pizza joint, sandals, trail runs, the people I’ve yet to meet, a better serve, publication somewhere (anywhere), a new swimsuit and furniture, framed photographs and artwork, blonde highlights, a faster bike, Saint Dinette, Hopper Drawing and Open Field at the Walker, simplifying, giving up Facebook for a spell, Heyday, hosting a brunch with a DIY Bellini cocktail bar, writing my congresspeople on a range of issues, a break from my blog (or the implementation of an improved version), doing something no one expects of me

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Other random photos from the weekend:

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