Archive for the ‘ Holiday ’ Category

Now That’s Intensity

"I'm an excellent driver" -- The Rainman
If only Junior could be this focused when he’s driving ol’ number 88…

Snow Photos

We didn’t get outside much on Christmas Day, but here are some shots of the snow that we were able to capture between Wii races and meals.

Apple Valley Ninja

Jesse tests out her Ninja Reflexes on the Wii.

I Give You …. The Bird

A feast for all the senses

A feast for all the senses

I cooked the bird a little differently this year. I made a glaze with bourbon (of course), dried cranberries, brown sugar and butter. It was delicious and very moist. Just had some simple sides with it — corn, mashed potatoes with sour cream and garlic, and french rolls. Jesse, the vegetarian, ate the sides with an Amy’s roasted veggie lasagna. After we sleep off the big meal, we’ll have some apple pie.

Merry Christmas, Winos!

You can keep your handbell choirs and choruses of angels. This is what I call Christmas music.

This is why I love the South. Well, this and cheese grits with hot peppers.

This is why I love the South. Well, this and cheese grits with hot peppers.

Halloween 2009

Jesse (right) and her BFF Allie all dressed up for Halloween. I think they were supposed to be The Go Gos. Hah

Jesse (right) and her BFF Allie all dressed up for Halloween. I'm not sure, but I think they were supposed to be The Go Gos. Hah

Would you like fries with that?

Would you like fries with that?

Halloween 2009 was a blast. Both girls hung out with friends (Katie at work at Papa Murphys and then at the movies to see, believe it or not, Saw VI; Jesse trick-or-treating with a gang of suburban hoodlums then to a friend’s party in Burnsville).

I was left to man the front door with a bowl of candy — sort of like handing a plate of brains to a zombie. We had about 50 kids total, 3 or 4 big clumps, then the occasional group of 2 or 3. Kept me hopping for a couple of hours as I tried to watch Hostel II on the DVR.

Jesse and Allie did a great job making each other into goth girls. I dared them to wear their outfits to school on Monday, but so far, no takers on that dare. Jesse also helped her sister dress up as Wendy, from the hamburger joint, at the last minute before she headed off to work at the pizza shop. She did a great job whipping together a costume filled with irony for her sister in just 30 minutes. She has the Halloween touch all right.

We dropped by Papa Murphys for one of their over-advertised jack-o-lantern pizzas, which Katie made for us. Wish I had a picture. I defy you to make a jack-o-lantern out of the pizza we received. It was tasty, though.

Hope everyone had a fun holiday and didn’t get too sick on all that candy.

Last Day of the 2009 Fair

Pucker up!

Pucker up!

Katie, Art and one of our cousins....

Katie, Art and one of our cousins....

We spent Labor Day at the Minnesota State Fair. Jesse, Laurie and I had already been once this year, but Katie had not. She wanted to have a deep-fried turkey sandwich, a chocolate malt from the Dairy Building and a tub of Sweet Martha’s cookies. Hmmm, all of the attactions she wanted to see revolved around food. What is it they say about the acorn and the tree?

We also spent a lot of time in the animal buildings – mostly the poultry house, laughing at all the weird chickens. Later in the day, we met up with @garciasn and the Budget Nazi for a cold Summit (being that they were out of the Summit beer on a stick, we settled for pints of our faves – an EPA early in the day, and a Red Ale with Bill). Click here for Bill’s write-up.

We strolled around the Grandstand looking at junk and visited our friends at the Swarm booth (Swarm it up!), where the girls got some souvenirs. Because we just don’t have enough Swarm gear already.

Came home just before supper, then thought we’d try Ramy’s Pizza in Apple Valley, after hearing everybody rave about it. The pizzas were pretty good (we had a cheese, a pepperoni and onion and a thin-crust Margherita, the way god intended). Katie had chicken Alfredo and said it could have had more Alfredo flavor.

Some more pix from our day at the fair:

Attention: Grandparents

2009-katie-bday-08I have been slow to upload the photos from your granddaughter’s 17th birthday extravaganza. Here they are. Katie had about a dozen of her closest friends over for cake, presents and a sleepover. We loaded everyone in the cars at midnight for the premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. We had a blast. Hope you enjoy the pix.

Elvis is King!

Elvis Costello and the Imposters

Elvis Costello and the Imposters

Unbelievable show this evening by Elvis Costello at Taste of Minnesota. He dug deep into his archive for hits from just about every album. Highlights were “Radio Sweetheart” (with Van Morrison’s “Jackie Wilson Says” thrown into the middle), “(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea,” “Monkey to Man,” a hopping new tune called “Sulphur To Sugarcane” a truly amazing “Watching the Detectives,” and the phenomenal encore of “Alison” and “What’s So Funny (‘Bout Peace, Love and Understanding)?”

elvis-1We got to the festival early in the afternoon to watch The Vogues, which got rained out halfway through. Walked around looking at junk for sale, checked out Uncle Chunk’s show, then settled in for a short set by new talent Kate Voegele. Nice voice and easy on the eyes. Not a bad combination. Ate some overpriced fair food at the booths before the big event. Had a pretty good vantage point right in the center, just outside the paid seats. Elvis kept beckoning the crowd to come inside the barricades and sit in the paid seats, but the security bruisers kept taking ’em down and hauling ’em out when they tried.

While Elvis played, I kept remembering Mary Kay Lambert’s pool party in Virginia Beach back in 1978. I went into her house and took the record that was playing off the turntable (I think it was Frampton Comes Alive) and I put on My Aim is True, which I had just plunked own a cool $4.99 for at the record store. There were many shouts of protests, until Elvis revved into “Welcome to the Working Week,” followed by “Miracle Man.” By the time we got to the end of side 1, people were jumping. They had to hear side 2 of this record that sounded like nothing we had ever heard before. As you can see, Elvis and I go back a ways.

Tonight, Elvis was in fine form, both in voice and guitar-playing. He rocked for close to two hours, barely pausing between songs. When you have more than three decades of hits and you’re still making new, relevant music, it’s a real race to get through your catalog in one two-hour show.

This will have to go down as one of my top 10 concerts of all time. Yes, I enjoyed it that much. Sorry, Jeni, you missed a great one.

Kate Voegele, my new favorite singer.

Kate Voegele, my new favorite singer.