And Then Came Christmas!




Not surprisingly, this was the supervisor’s favorite Christmas present.  It should be noted that Tom was one of the two voted most likely to win a Nobel Prize by his high school class (of around 700) – the other was the 6’2″ (?) female valedictorian.  (Oh, was that grandson bragging again?  Please excuse me!  😉 )

There is no reciprocity. Men love women, women love children, children 
love hamsters.  ~ Alice Thomas Ellis

There was no mad rush to wake early on Christmas morning to see what Santa had left.  In fact, the circadian rhythms in the household varied such that on most days as I was getting up, I would say goodnight to Tom, who would just be turning in!  The supervisor usually awakens a couple hours after me, Jami a couple hours after her mom, then Danny a couple hours after Jami, and then we would hope that Tom would be up before the sun set.  In other words, the presents were not torn asunder until the afternoon.


[Our friend Roy dispatched various items from his new retirement home of Hawaii – thanks again, Roy-san!]


[Tom prepared for the festivities with his touch-screen gizmo.  All I know is it’s not an iPad, but I think you can use it to order stuff from the Horsehead Nebula.]


[Mom kibitzes.]


[Danny got the first present – I think we cut the deck or something.]


[Tom shoots the “opening” with his gizmo.]


[Every guy’s dream present.]


[J was next.]


[What’s in here?]


[We can hardly wait?]


[“Rock of the Dead”?  All those now in Rock and Roll heaven . . .]



[Finally, befitting the season, a red and green toupee!]


[Who has more fun at Christmas than grandpa?  (Or was it just a case of getting nuts for the “nut”?)]


[We’re all major Kurt Vonnegut fans.  Of course, the kids are from his home town of Indianapolis.  This is the most recent book about him, So It Goes.  Those familiar with Vonnegut know he often illustrated his stories.  This cover is my favorite of his illustrations – it’s entitled Sphincter.  If the kids ask, I leave it to your discretion.]


[I have no idea what this depicts.  More importantly, Tom did.]


[Little did he know at the time . . .]


[It was a re-gift from grandpa and grandma – a winter overshoe that could come in handy at the Harn.]


[Oh boy, first my grandson then . . .]


[(And from another angle.)]


[Then my daughter!  🙂 ]


[She’s so creative!  😉 ]


[He turns 51 this week.]


[The ponytail that came with hat matched his natural hair beautifully!  🙂 ]


[From the kids, for our holiday workout routine.]


[From Uncle Mo and Aunt Toody!]


[And mine from Uncle Mo and Aunt Toody!]


[Aren’t we running running out of presents yet?]


[Ain’t we got fun?]




[Or why someone in his field could win a Nobel Prize some day.]


[Another creation . . .]


[Another year closer.]


[What could this be for grandpa?]

Well, from Jami:

Then we opened presents – seemed like a lot of presents for us all too… I was glad to find that the quilt I made for Tom was a big hit.  Tom was so surprised and Mom was actually tearing up.  It’s calledLiberal Democrat’ and when I told them I made it a size to take to the hockey games to pad their butts they protested saying this was a quilt for hanging on the wall!  Imagine that.  I should have been more careful with my stitches!!  I’m sure he’ll send photos sometime with his blog.  Mom and I were both pretty crafty as we made scarves and she made me beautiful yarn wrapped hangers.

Liberal names on the quilt:  Walter Cronkite, Amy Klobuchar, Ed Asner, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Hubert Humphrey, Jimmy Carter, Bill & Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, George McGovern, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Diane Feinstein, Al Gore, Paul Wellstone, Mark Dayton, Joe Biden, Barbra Streisand, Dennis Kucinich, Rachel Maddow, Molly Ivins, Paul Krugman, Ellen DeGeneres, Ted Kennedy, Jane Fonda, Bruce Springstein, Robert Reich, Garrison Keillor, John Mellencamp, Barbara Boxer, James Carville, Jon Stewart, Nancy Pelosi, Al Franken, Barney Frank, Bill Maher, W. Kamau Bell, Paul Begala, John & Natalia Obert, Thomas Paine, Tom & Ruth Obert, Chevy Chase.





[Yeah, the supervisor did tear up a bit.  🙂 ]


[Thanks, Jami, we love it!]


[I remember a time when I got along quite nicely with only one chin?]


[If it’s Christmas, can golf season be far behind?]


[Did I get a picture of that?]


[For the Harn.]


[Mine since the mid-50’s, meaning it’s older than most of my underwear.]


[The kids are big hockey fans.  The Indianapolis Ice are a team at the equivalent level of what our Alexandria Blizzard used to be.  The kids volunteered to house players.  This player (and below) was their favorite.  Kyle (forgotten his last name) now plays at such a level he gets a hockey card!]



[And besides Jess Lourey, we introduced the kids to another local favorite, a signed CD from Anthony Miltich.]


[Knit hangers from Mom.]


[Checking the stockings.]


[The supervisor displays the scarves she and Jami were crocheting during the week.]


[Well, let me check the computer (she still doesn’t realize).]


[Displaying the lees from the last glass from a bottle of 20-year old wine.]


[And below, if you can’t read it, drink it or eat it, we either don’t need it or already have it!  😉 ]



[The game they played.  Of course I was already in bed, but it sounded really naughty!]


[Tom knows to be good to his grandparents! ;-0 ]


 [And I decided it was time to finally hand down some of my old “ornaments.”]


[The ever popular doughnut seeds.]


[Snowman poop.]

And, at last:


[The supervisor responded to hints . . .]


[ . . . or I said something really funny!  🙂 ]

In other news:

In “This is Your Christmas Card,” I wasn’t sure of the date of a certain family photo.  Well, it was 1964 – I found the Chistmas letter from funny, funny Dad:

Christmas '64 

High school classmate Sara Smith Sevey forwarded the following article about Vince Dinino, former Alex band director:


The article:

And from Vince:


As you know from my earlier correspondence your father was such an important person and personal Press Agent for me and the Alex Bands when we lived in Alex from 1948-55.

I was so glad when he was finally made the Editor of the paper in Alex and then going to Harvard with the whole tribe started him on his way to Washington political adventures after his great success in Minnesota!

You should also know that Senator Amy Klobuchar is the daughter of Jim K.  And Jim was a younger classmate of mine years ago in Ely, Minnesota!

I still treasure all those great times in Ely and Alex!!!

Enjoy your “Publications”!  ~ Vince


[Basketball Dan, a regular blog protagonist, checked in from his holiday location in Amsterdam!]

A sign the apocalypse is upon us:


Sit down…. OK, now I can tell you I went to the girls b’ball tourney sat night.   Hopkins beat Osseo  88 to 43  🙂 ~ HQ

Editorial:  This is a sure sign that something has to change!  The HQ had never expressed the slightest interest in sports until . . . she became a grandmother.  In this day and age, that means she must spend all her free time at every softball, baseball, football, basketball, hockey, et al, venue within a five-state radius.  And that is bringing about the demise of . . . GOLF!!  The HQ used to golf – and you know all you other grandparents used to as well.  Remember when you could go outside in the summer and spend hours communing with nature?  Doesn’t happen anymore, does it?  I think of our local golf club – we have a population of 30,000 here in the summer and can’t maintain a membership of 250.  That’s preposterous.  Grandparents, it’s time to fight for the right to enjoy your own sports!  ~  A Super Fan (????)  😉

2013, New Years Day 017

[The HQ appeared, as a fan, at the Lake Minnetonka Polar Plunge over the weekend.  When asked why she and Will didn’t participate (it was only two below zero), she replied:

Either one of us in a swim suit….. UGH….. talk about indecent exposure…. Blah

When advised, well then don’t wear one: 

Fashion police alert

2013, New Years Day 013

And as I may have mentioned somewhere herein, the supervisor and I were victims of that stomach flu? virus? disease? that’s been going around here, and all over the country.  We still haven’t recovered.  Thus, we were not able to celebrate the supervisor’s New Year’s Day birthday this year – unless you call moaning on the couch celebrating!  We’ll make up for it as soon as we can.  Fortunately, Beryl just sent us a photo from happier times – my 65th this summer.  🙂



[Jami read December Dread in one day, chuckling all the way through.  When she wanted to read the first of the series, April Fool (we told her), she said she couldn’t find it our “library.”  After much searching and teeth gnashing, we finally figured out May Day was the first book!  Oy!  And we heard from Beryl, I am loving the book you sent me December DreadThe author is a cross between Sue Graftoni and Janet Evonovich, my 2 favorite authors.  Thanks for much for introducing me.]



[Destined to become a valuable collector’s item.  Of course, I’ll be long gone by then!  😦  (To cover the address label, I used the back of an ATCC business card – 1st thing I ran across of appropriate size! )]


[And we’ll leave you with the full moon from the day after Christmas.]

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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1 Response to And Then Came Christmas!

  1. Jami says:

    Should I be concerned that the 100% Stud boxers for Danny were from his mother-in-law???
    Nah, I was too busy enjoying “December Dread” and the FABULOUS Mocha coffee from Roy – Hawaiians sure know how to grow good coffee!!! Thanks, Roy!

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