If It’s Monday, It Must Be a Blizzard (. . . and Music)!


[Monday mornings are for garbage pick-up.  For at least the last four, they have followed weekend weather events that have created logistical difficulties in reaching the end of the driveway.  At times, the supervisor has had to call the fire and rescue squad to find out what happened to me.  This morning she was to “capture” me hauling “the can” (as opposed to “my can”) down to the end of the driveway.  Technical difficulties apparently were responsible for the lack of such photo.  But here I am on the return trip, knowing we would have to be plowed out for the 2nd time this year, and for only the 4th time in 12 winters here!  Yesterday, on St. Paddy’s Day, it was minus 2 degrees (17 below wind chill) – last year it was 80 on St. Paddy’s Day!  As a trained (well, educated) geographer, this is the perfect example of a continental climate.  We will be approaching record low temperatures for each of the next 3 days, with below zero temperatures each day.  Nothing above 30 degrees listed for the next week.  This is late March – we’re putting the Christmas decorations back up.]


[Here it is!  The debut the 4-county area has been waiting for.  Barb Grover had her book signing for Alexandria at the Runestone Museum on Thursday.  The book can be ordered through the museum . . . or Cherry Street Books, where there will be a book signing on Saturday, March 23, from noon – 2:00 pm .]


[Later on Thursday was the annual Student Showcase at Discovery Middle School.  The students display all variety of interesting stuff – from music, to the arts, to science . . .  And the supervisor and I (well, me) messed up.  As a past board member of the Education Foundation, I should have known we couldn’t give the showcase adequate coverage in one hour.  We could have spent the whole afternoon there, but this was a prelude to the Salty Dogs at SAWA.]

showcase '13-1

showcase '13-2

showcase '13-3

[Hey, and don’t forget your donations to the Foundation!  🙂  ]


[Contrary to public opinion, I was term-limited off the board – and not dismissed for cause!  (Well, that I know of?)]


[Student art work in the entry area.  I’m ashamed to think I’m a photographer.]



[Then we had to go check the displays on projects for which the Foundation gave grants this past year.  The young man showed us an example of differential gearing (at least that’s what I thought he said) using the Lego models they created.  The young lady did the same for “worm” gearing.  I had no idea what they were talking about.]


[Blocked by the Bensons, but I’m sure they’d be delighted to tell you all about e-books.]


[Blocked by Pat!  The displays were too popular.]


[“Seeds of Change.”  A biggie with the supervisor – included in-kitchen composting.]


[“Click – You Got It!”  Sounds like something this “correspondent” should be looking into!]


[Lots of stuff.]


[The supervisor checks into more stuff.]


[Even more stuff.  I’m not sure what was going on here, but every so often high-pitched shrieks would emerge from the group?]


[Back out in the hall.]



[The supervisor admires the “Handscapes”!  😉 ]


[As you’ll recall, our gymnasts did great at state!]

Oh, we have no photographic evidence of this, but Minnesota’s-own, Fred de Sam Lazaro of PBS fame, addressed the opening session of senior college on Tuesday.  He gave a terrific presentation on his specialty, underreported news of the world.  And on Wednesday, the Citizens Climate Lobby sponsored a morning-long Farm & Soil Conference at the ATCC.  As one who is loathe to get either hot or dirty (why I prefer winter), I have to admit to really enjoying the science of the presentations.  Thanks again to Jeanne Johnson for organizing the event and getting an interesting group of speakers.


[On Saturday, Harper’s Chord made their winery debut.  Again, the weather was iffy – particularly for Jill coming from Little Falls (who admitted to getting lost) and Roger and Paul coming from St. Cloud.  But maybe because of pent up cabin fever, the place was SRO for at least the first couple hours of their performance.  “Weakie” Annen, with Viv and Angie in tow, was there for the 1st hour as he wanted to visit with Jill, a fellow New Ulmer . . . New Ulmite? . . . New Ulmian?  The group will be back at the winery on May 25th – do you think they’ll be able to perform outside by then?]

From left to right (and then with videos interspersed):


[Roger Fink]


[Jill Moore]


[Paul Drinkwine]

Video:  “Godspeed” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmnIIzRwRA0


“Amie”: – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bD18Ft7IZXo


“My Love Will Keep”: – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmlbfLBmlUI


“Come on Up to the House”: – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6-rcYLwFwc


“Natural Bridge”: – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2sjaJBJByk


[Fellow music Super Fans, Nancy and Tom Keene.  They didn’t know at the time, they were about to become famous!  😉  But I’d just found out Nancy grew up on Lake Victoria, adjacent to the Heights, and was a classmate of youngest brother Cam.]


[Sunday was the 8th annual St. Paddy’s Day stop-and-chat-and sing with Skilly & Duff, and Annie.  And we were reminded we have literally watched Sami Steidl (20 now?), on the left, and Lily Satterlee (now a seasoned 14!), on the right, grow up with this event as they have performed every year to the delight of those who, like myself, drove all over Alex trying to find that one parking spot that didn’t involve stepping out on to glaze ice!]


[They got to perform on the set of Lucky Stiff, the next play in mid-April.]


[The instruments – awaiting the arrival of their keepers.]


[From the left:  I’m sorry, I don’t recall the fiddler from Willmar, then Annie, Bruce, and Mikko.]


[The youngsters (which would now exclude Sami in the back):  Lily, singer, from Sauk Centre; and the Swelstads, dancers from Battle Lake, Mary, Anna, Jack, and Christina.]


[From the Echo.]


[The impresario.]


[Sami’s able to play again but will have surgery on her wrist in the fall.  She plans to learn the mandolin while she heals so she won’t go crazy!  😉  ]

Readers respond to “Winter”:

Oops…sent the send button too soon.  I understand this is the worst March ever due to the ice and snow.  Hang in there.  A few minutes ago I was watching Good Morning America in bed and wouldn’t ya’ know the weatherman shows a TV clip of the blizzard in Alex.  I hope my friends in Alex have their fridge full of food. I understand the ice and snow.  ~ Crazy Dave

Left for FL today, and although we had some snow flurries thru NY/NJ are now in via where it’s 67 [Sarasota].  ~  Rosie

Wow!  Do I love Florida!!!!!!!! ~ Mary

Had a long talk with [name deleted for reasons of national security] last night.  She is marooned in her home. Scared of the ice too since she has taken some bad falls over the years. Is really sick of the cold, snow and ice. Do you guys have those cleat-like attachments to wear over your boots? I wouldn’t leave home without them. ~ Gretch

You’ve convinced me!!  ‘Tis good to be in the mountains of Arizona!!  Today it’s 71 at noon.  Played golf Wed and Fri with temps in the mid 70’s.  Don’t own a snow shovel.  The only ice I’m currently dealing with is in my Vodka Tonic and the only problem that presents is ensuring I don’t run out (of either ice, vodka or tonic)…. Life is good.   ~ Larry

Tom, this is the Bumpster in AZ . I’m glad to be missing that sh– it is very warm, here 85 is about average. Getting close to the end 2 wks left.  Keep up your good work.  See ya at the Y. ~ Mike

Dad is here for a few weeks.  He’s enjoying temps in the 70’s and 80’s. You know you guys COULD come and visit any time you wanted!  ~ Professor Doctor Colonel

Beautiful snow scenes, and Tom you really look like a real dyed in the wool Arctic snow shovel man.  What a terrific way to exercise.  See you in the summer.  Enjoy the beauty.  ~ Jo

Well, well, well.  I noticed in your latest that you refer to the supervisor as RUTHIE!!  At first I thought it was probably just a typo but upon further consideration I figured that the cold feet and warm body might have been a factor after walking on ice in 4 feet of snow.  ~ Harry

How to deal with all this snow . . . DRINK MORE WINE!!!! ~  Carlos Creek Winery


[Apologies to beautiful Lake Darling.  After schlepping the garbage can to the end of the driveway, I was delighted to see that the Tribune had been delivered.  Unfortunately, probably because of white-out conditions, the Trib was placed in the wrong box – the one for junk advertising.  I didn’t realize there was junk mail in the bottom.  When I pulled out the Trib, advertising crap started blowing all over the neighborhood – and therefore out onto the lake (?).  The supevisor thought it funny as I struggled through the over-ice snow drifts in 40 mph winds trying to hold on to my dignity and whatever was left of the paper.  Hey, Alex made Good Morning America today with “film” of the blizzard!]


[In daylight, the lonely vigil of the garbage can.]

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “alexandriacardinals.wordpress.com,” 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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