Potpourri *

[*  Not an illegal drug, not a species of rutabaga, not a good name for a pet goldfish, but a place to put stuff that didn’t otherwise have a place.  This is some stuff that happened at home both before and after the longest cruise ever.]


[We had our first snow on Sunday.  Big, gloppy flakes came down in a couple separate interludes.  The ground turned white . . . momentarily.  Then it was gone.]

How did I get myself into this mess?  The following is a brief history:

Tom, I wasn’t sure if we have a commitment to lead the discussion for the “2001, A Space Odyssey” that is penciled in for March 3rd.  I suppose it would depend on if you are gallivanting across the globe at that time. I am checking to see if you are willing to do this film.  ~  Deb  [Editor’s response:  Yes (?)]

[Dec 3, 2008 (initially published in April 2009 in a different venue)]

This morning, over steaming cups of Caribou coffee, the AGC club president-elect tendered the position of editor-in-chief of the club newsletter, and I, rather foolishly, accepted.  He made this offer in full recognition of my total lack of professional credentials and extreme penchant for silliness [Dame Judi Dench (when 74) proclaimed ,”I get sillier as I get older.”  A great woman.].  I accepted in full recognition that the position doesn’t pay much – somewhat less than six figures – but I will have the opportunity to negotiate performance bonuses if I should ever be awarded a Pulitzer Prize or a Nobel Prize for Literature.  Maybe in anticipation of this prestigious offer, or more likely merely by coincidence, Ruthie is out purchasing a new camera even as I write.  Damn, there goes the possibility of ever again blaming it on the equipment (I will report more fully on this matter, in response to a previous request from Mrs. Wicken, upon receipt of said new camera).  I expect to do full investigative reporting on such issues as why do all old men have the same funny-looking swing and how do “mature” women play 18 holes of golf in less than two hours.  I also expect to do full features on club members, so start working on those exaggerated resumes right now!  The “publisher” has requested that this be fun.


[We begin by flying the wayback machine to July, where find Corky Krogstad expertly exiting the large bunker in front of the new hole No. 7 at the Alex Golf Club . . .]


[Now I had no particular reason for featuring Corky, though he is a fine fellow and a retired school principal, other than this photo with Katie Iverson . . .]


[And we’re featuring Katie because she was one of the cart vendors this summer (we featured Kaitlin Becker previously), is a past Cardinal athlete, and is older sister to oft blog-featured Shelby (last year’s hockey captain.]


[And is long as we’re in her neighborhood . . .]


[Another shout out to course gardener Steph Olson.]


[And wrapping up the golf season (?), card vendor Kiley Gorham.  Her dad grew up in Victoria Heights, her aunt was my high school classmate, and her uncle played golf for the first time with me (as I recall) and then went on to become the first native Alexandrian to win the Resorters.  🙂 ]


[Anthony Miltich was at the winery in August.  That’s not unusual – he’s part of the regular rotation.  But this was the first time we’d ever seen him on the keyboard (instead of guitar).]


[He’ll be back in the neighborhood soon – at the Evansville Arts Center on November 1 and at the winery on November 2.]


[At the end of last month, we went north of Itasca to visit son-in-law Danny, who was just wrapping up his second 6-week stint in Minnesota working on the “harn,” their retirement property.]


[Windows, a porch, and a breezeway are all new additions to the pole barn.]


[A cistern (to be put underground), a portable outdoor shower, and a portable storage facility.]


[The garage side.]


[Making a home in the barn, where they will live while they build their house.]


[The supervisor beams at Danny’s handiwork.]


[He’s making a rocket stove for heat.]


[Burn wood for one day, have heat for 3 or 4 days.]


[We did, when we left.]


[Lisa Lynn was back at SAWA again earlier this month.]

Lisa Lynn (October 5) “Don’t Know Why”:


Lisa Lynn’s “Make You Feel My Love”:




[The plight of the lonely golfer . . .]


[“Robo” marches down the 6th fairway at the AGC.]


[The 6th green.]


[The autumn leaves . . .]


[Harper’s Chord dropped by SAWA . . .]


[But it was too noisy that night . . .]


[To try for a video.  😦 ]


[Took the lake pump out . . .]


[One of the few treks down to the Moby Obie-absent lakeshore this year.]


[Then it was back to SAWA again . . .]


[The supervisor captured Components for . . .]


[Her Facebook page.]

Components (Oct 17) “Fields of Gold”:


On this night composed of Bill Engebretson (Glenwood) – drums, Dave Strom (Fergus Falls) – keyboard, vocals, Marty Sarlette (Melrose) – sax, and Erik  Vigesaa (Fergus Falls) – bass.


[New wine – we liked the label.  😉 ]


[The supervisor’s red maple on October 19 . . .]


[Well planted it ourselves . . . a few years ago.]


[That afternoon it was off to the winery for Applefest and Patchouli.  The supervisor gets her Facebook shot (Missing you at . . .).]


[This was Julie and Bruce’s . . .]


[Last performance in the Midwest . . .]


[Until next spring . . .]


[As they were about to embark on their annual seasonal relocation to Florida.  No videos again – too noisy.]


[Because we move to a new high school next year, last week the last football game ever was played at Citizens Field.   Though it was a tough year for the Cardinals, they closed 42 years on this field with a 21 – 14 win over Fergus Falls.  (Photo, and a darn good, on loan from the Echo.]


[Congrats again to the Cardinal girls’ soccer team for its undefeated in conference season.  They lost all-state goalie, Sarah Bruzek, early in the 2nd half to injury and were upset in section play.  And a reminder to the freshman goalie who took her place – you win as a team and you lose as a team.  You will help the team to many wins in the future. (Echo photo)]


[The conference champ volleyball team begins section playoffs at home on Friday.  (Echo photo)]


[“Weakie” hiding out somewhere in Stillwater three years ago.  He’s anxious for the girls’ hockey season to begin.  🙂 ]


[And finally, Lake Minnetonka on October 20 as captured by the HQ.  🙂 ]

The readers write (mostly about the cruise and those most flattering, of course):

Loved the pictures! It was fun traveling to il Bel Paese with you two! Tom I’m glad the Supervisor was there to make sure your trip was a success!  ~ Linda Z

Trying Cecil’s right now!  ~  Marnee’

Longest cruise ever.  ~  The Nanner

Some gorgeous photos.  You sure have your settings down close to perfect.  (Content…… ah….  a little touristy in places…… but still superb picture taking.!!)  ~  Tom Mc

Yes. We got home on Oct. 8th. As you know it takes 2-3 days to settle…sleep, mail etc. So now we are raring to go.  As far as the trip is concerned a river cruise is a brand new experience unlike ocean cruising. Summing it up in three words… It was TERRIFIC!! Sitting on the top deck as the boat sailed the rivers was awesome. The sights of vineyards, castles, churches, small villages were breathtaking. I recommend a river cruise to be tops on your bucket list when you decide on where to go on your next vacation.  ~  Crazy Dave

I can’t remember much about Pisa, other than the tower, but I love Florence and Rome! Thanks so much for sharing your photos – think I’ll save this so I can enjoy them again!  ~ Bonnie

Oh, thank you so much, Tom! Hey – where were you all when the beach/Ravi Shanker’s kids photos were taken? It looks like Greece – Santorini? I am not caught up on the travel blog yet, but I am saving it for when I have time to enjoy the whole trip with you! 🙂 peace ~ Lisa

Due to a lapse in funding, certain government activities have been suspended and I am unable to respond to your message at this time.  This email account will not be monitored.  ~ Libby (well, her auto reply)

Heh.  Thanks for the chuckle, Tom.  ~ Jon

A nice Sunday morning concert with a cup of Java.  Is there a Josie Nelson CD now?  ~ Marcus


Josie Nelson’s “Don’t Know Why”:



[Editor’s note:  If Josie (or Linda) read this, looks like I’m going to need three more autographed CD’s  🙂  Unfortunately, we’ll be out of town for your November 16 date at the winery.]

I was told that this is Big Ole’s grandfather Norbert. ~  Crazy Dave

When were in Istanbul the [Timber]Wolves were playing there.  ~ Uncle Tom

They haven’t erected the historic marker yet.  ~  Roooggggg

Abby left for Bemidji early this morning for a few days.  I will try to remember to ask her next time I talk to her.  Fun to see you two’!   You are very busy people!!   Never a dull moment!!!  ~ Martha

Latest post from “Lorraine of Arabia”!  ~ Ken

I’m sure your cruise was fantastic.  But Tom, on behalf of the Midwest you could have put on a tie.  ~  The Nanner

Nancy…if you don’t “reply to all” I won’t see your hilarious comments which make my day….including this one!!!  ~ Patty

I agree with Patty and I don’t even know Nancy.  (I do love her sense of humor.)  ~ Paul

She’s a hoot! Her incredible dry sense of humor…she can say more with two words than most people can with a paragraph…I have belly laughed so many times…  ~ Patty

Aw, I was just happy to see you two!! Xoxo  ~ Lisa

Nice photos. I would HATE to get dressed up on board to dine. For heaven’s sakes — it’s a VACATION and time to RELAX. I’m glad you bucked the system with your Hawaiian shirt — Roy would be proud.  ~ Gretchen

Maybe it was ok to see it in “the old days”—minus masses of other people!  Wow.  ~ MLT

Have been to Turkey 3 times — sensational.  Next time we convene — whenever that is — perhaps we can drink wine & talk Turkey.  Cheers till then.  ~ Tom Mc

PS:  A darn lovely picture of the two of you.

Hey, nice to hear from you! Have a great trip and we can compare notes when we return. My biggest excitement thus far has been riding a camel!…..and that is probably going to be the extent…..pretty conservative in this area so we cannot go anyplace by ourselves…… ~ Jeanne

Hi Tom, Thanks for sharing your great photos of the Grape Stomp.  We took the liberty of saving some of them to our personal gallery.  Look forward to seeing you and Ruth again in the future. Warm regards, Harper’s Chord

Latest (and last) note from Jeanne. She gets home next Friday. Guess I better wash some dishes and make the bed.  ~ Ken

Tom…you are priceless and “one of a kind”. You had me laughing out loud. I would have loved to have seen Henny Youngman’s live performance at the Ephesus Theatre. I understand that his famous line “take my wife…please” was said there first.  Keep ’em comin’ big boy.  BTW, nice hat!!!! (I wanted to say it first before Nancy did.)  ~ Crazy Dave

This is one of the nicest pictures that I have seen of both of you.  A good one for the grandkids to get a framed copy of.  ~ Fitz

I finished the book last week [“Tamarack County”]! He was here signing books at the Poison Pen bookstore. Your cruise must have been great. MK and I did that trip few years ago. We sailed on The Wind Star.  Take care.  ~ UncleTom

You both look wonderful; you should frame this one!  ~ Katy

You are the best reporter in all of West Central Douglas County.  ~ Paul

I made my usual 4 days (MTThF) of the first week (though Maria did not due to some physical malady) [re: The U.S. Tennis Open]….may be my last visit, due to the tiring hassle of the 2.5 hr commute each way and the continually increasing throngs that make it very hard to move between matches like I prefer to do.  Maybe I’ll have to take up globe-trotting like some of my 1-percenter friends.  ~ Basketball Dan

You guys look beautiful and happy!  ~ Jami

Dear Tommy, The cruise ship pictures took my breath away.    I’ve been in some gorgeous places (we had most fun in Venice, by the way), but the ship’s opulence — oh my goodness!  I’m so happy for you and hope that good health is now in progress.    Love, Aunt Pearl

Ick. Sorry. Air kisses?  ~ Lisa

Oh, I am loving this trip blog! Thank you SO much for sharing – I feel like I was there. Well, sort of. Ok, I’m just as jealous as can be that I wasn’t there with you – what a lovely trip this must have been, so happy for you both! Honest! 😉  ~ Lisa

This is worthy of a look!  I’ll have to take it in “chunks.”  ~ MLT

Welcome back.  We missed your e-mails..  Happy Birthday, Tom.  Larry had dinner with family last night at Zorbas.  Isn’t it wonderful to be one of the elder statesmen.  ~ Laura

Young and in love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  ~ Katy

Bore me with the details of the trip!! What line did you take? This is something on our list; I’m retiring in Jan. and moving to Crofton.  We really didn’t want to rush into anything J wanted to be sure he was the one!!  Look how cute we were!!  ~ Katy

LMAO!  ~ Fran

Thank you for covering the concert.  I have played with this great group several times but never with the audio and pictures that you have provided with this coverage. Your archive history will be so treasured by musicians in the future.  Just think of the value of your work to the 7th grade drummer who could be the next Buddy Rich. I have always enjoyed your coverage of the SAWA musicians.  ~ Bill

You are being a wimp. Medicare will pay for it and your doctor will say it is necessary. I had both eyes done years ago and the improvement was amazing. It is painless and easy.  ~  The Nanner

Displaying some of the Tom Obert charm again?  ~ Rosie

Thanks for the laugh, or should I say – thanks for letting me laugh at
your faux pas! I needed that today.  ~ Sue

Why do I want to kill myself every time I look at your pictures? I know you guys have a much more interesting life than I do, but looking at all those old people is such a downer. My problem, not yours.  I still love the pictures!  ~  The Nanner

That’s pretty funny!  ~ The Nanner

An exciting video from an afternoon at Elden’s:



[New high school visual status report from October 21 and from across the street at Grand Arbor.  BTW, in anticipation of increasing traffic in this area, traffic lights have been installed at the intersection of 34th and Pioneer Road, though not yet in operation.  This will now allow crossing of 34th without having to dodge high speed vehicles racing through in ever increasing numbers.]


[The entire athletic complex appears to be in place.]


[The football “stadium.”]


[The fields and the high school.]


[The high school.]


[The Alex class of ’65 met at Fat Daddy’s on Tuesday for our “48th reunion.”  We’re cutting edge that way.]


[Acknowledgement to Rosie.]

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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