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Posts tagged Vikings

The Weekend

Lughnasa                                                 Full Harvest Moon

Kate’s out in Denver visiting the grandkids while Mark and I hold a visa watch, waiting for some word from the mysterious world of Saudi bureaucracy.

Yesterday I took a trip to Duluth to deliver 3 pounds of honey in payment for use of the image on this year’s Artemis Honey labels.  Kenspeckle Press provided the image through a friend of Mark Odegard, Rick Allen.

Mark turned this image into a beautiful 2011 label for Artemis Hives.  Thanks, Mark and Rick.

Today I moved books off a bookshelf, moved the bookshelf and repositioned a weight rack.  Later I broke ground for garlic planting and split the bulbs into cloves for planting tomorrow.

I also watched the Vikings.  How about those Vikings?  May be a short season for me.  I’m a fair weather fan.

Latin, groceries, planting garlic.  All await tomorrow.


Out into Winter Solstice Eve

Winter Solstice Eve                                      Full Winter Solstice Moon

Ode has the meeting tonight, a meeting brushed with snow that left 100 inches of powder in the Rockies.  Jon skied in knee deep powder on Saturday.  I’ll drive in 4-6 inches, not as remarkable, but, consider that we have roads and driveways added to temperature that will keep all this snow with us most likely until March.  Kate says there is a truck-type, looks like a dump truck, filled with bobcats or skip-loaders.  It melts the snow then pushes it out into holding ponds.  Makes sense to somebody, I guess.

This is a leave the red car at home driving event.  Until the driveway’s been plowed and grit laid down tomorrow morning I’m not moving that little front-drive car anywhere.  Though I will have to take it out for a meeting in Minneapolis at 11:30, lunch at Matt’s, home of the juicy lucy.  A juicy lucy, for those of you not familiar with it, is a cheeseburger with the cheese inside two burger patties.  It comes with a coupon for two visits to the cardiologist of your choice.

The dogs can go in the orchard for the winter.  I opened it this morning since there is nothing for them to dig out except bunny rabbits and mice.  That they can do to their heart’s content.

The Vikings game tonight will make travel near the U really, really bad.  Even though I’m off football now, I can see the irony in a cold-weather team playing their first game outside since the metropolitan stadium closed, exactly 50 years ago tonight.  Not only that, an untried Southern rookie will start the game tonight.  Hey, it doesn’t get a weirder than that.

Taking in the Whole Landscape

Fall                                          Waning Harvest Moon

Talked to Joseph, on his time, after his birthday, on mine still in the midst of it.  He’s flying a lot, now back to night flights.  He enjoys having just one thing on which to focus; after 2+ years of training and doing various pick-up jobs since his commissioning, the clarity of using his knowledge in a combat situation seems to justify all the effort he spent getting into the Air Force.  His life is so different from any I’ve known, so different from what most folks I know have known.  It could be a divide between us, but so far we’ve managed the strangeness together and that hasn’t happened.  He’s level headed and I’ve calmed down a lot since I was his age.  A lot.

I have a tour that will be a first for me this Thursday.  Landscapes, especially landscapes in the modern idiom.  Right now I’m leaning toward a historical and global perspective, maybe starting in China and Japan, using the Tibetan Mandala (a sacred cosmological landscape) and moving from there to the Hudson River School painter, Thomas Moran, then hitting Cezanne, Van Gogh, Braque and ending perhaps with Kandinsky.  It’s early yet and I’ve got a lot of ideas, few settled.  They also want some Native American material, so I might add George Morrison.  I suppose the Lakota ceremonial dress would work, too.  Teasing out possibilities.  I’ll write here about the tour when it gets more put together.

The Vikings.  Well.  I keep thinking, as do many, that at some point the team will jell and the offense will begin to look fearsome.  There are flashes, but no consistency.  The loss tonight in Green Bay was tough.  A close game and one that went down literally to the last play; still, a season of close games for a loss makes a lousy season.

After preaching this morning, I got, as I almost always do, a relaxation, a letting down into an easier place.  The Liberal Spirit was unlike anything I’ve done before, it was a leap to an edge of thought, a sort of experiment in arational thinking, going impressionistic instead of building careful blocks of thought leading to a conclusion.  It did stir the pot.

Bulbs, Bulbs, Bulbs

Fall                                                        Waxing Harvest Moon

Planted 60 pink daffodils on Sunday and just got several hundred tulips, daffodils and lilies by UPS today.  In between Latin and the Baroque I’m going to have find time to plant, and at a pretty good pace.

Vikings game is on rain delay, or I should say, lightning delay.  Will be interesting to see Moss and Favre with Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin.

I’m enjoying the flow of things to do and I feel much more comfortable now that I’ve talked to Joseph.  Eased the mind and the heart.   Gonna be an intellectually and physically productive fall.

As to the emotional and spiritual, we’ll have to see.


Lughnasa                               Waxing Back to School Moon

Finished digging the potatoes.  The crop seems smaller than last year’s, but I can’t tell for sure.  Still, we don’t eat potatoes often and we have enough to last us quite awhile.  Kate made an early autumn roast vegetable medley with onions, carrots, leaks, garlic, beets and one potato I pierced with the spading fork.  It was delicious.  So was the raspberry pie–of which we have two.  Our raspberry bushes have been exuberant.  We’ve still got leeks, greens, beets, carrots and squash in the ground.  Some of it will stay in the ground until the frost and freeze gets serious.  I made a mistake last year with the carrots and didn’t get them out before the ground froze.  They became organic matter for the soil.  We also left our entire potato crop out in our garage stair well.  When the temps dropped down, way down, the potatoes froze, then thawed.  Not good for potatoes.  We’re trying to not make those mistakes this year.  We’ll make new ones!

Working with Leslie today reminded me of the punch there is in ministry.  Yes, the institutional confines squeeze life out of faith, but the individuals, the people can put it back.  She asked me an interesting question.  We got to talking about Christianity and she wondered, “Do you miss it?”  I’m not sure anyone has asked just that question of me.  I don’t, not at a faith level.

I miss the thick web of relationships I once had there.  I miss the opportunity to do bible study.  That may sound strange, but higher criticism of the bible is a scholarly affair requiring history, language, knowledge of mythology and tradition, sensitivity to redactors (editors), an awareness of textual differences, as well as a knowledge of the bible as a whole.  I spent a lot of time learning biblical criticism and I enjoyed it.  Not much call for it in UU or humanist circles though.

By the time my nap finished it was too late to put the shims in the hives.  I hope there’s some clear, sunny time tomorrow.  Also need to put the feeder back on the package colony.

The Vikings.  Not sure.  Favre needs some better wide receivers, yes.  The defense played well.  Adrian Peterson did, too.  It felt as if we were outcoached the last two games.  Not sure about that, that’s a murky area to me, but something doesn’t feel quite right.

Good Job, Leslie

Lughnasa                                              Waxing Back to School Moon

Leslie did a great job this morning.  A creative approach with a candle passed among Grovelanders asking them first to identify a point where they performed ministry, then a time when they were hurt by ministry and finally a time when they were transformed by ministry.  There were tears, laughter, revelation and vulnerability.  Hats off to Leslie.

The vikings.  They may be saving me some time on Sundays.

Football, Piecing and Quilting

Lughnasa                                Waxing Artemis Moon

The Vikings.  I thought Tavaris Jackson looked like his old self, not good news for us.  Rosenfels looked better, not Favre better, but better than Tavaris.  Who is Garrett Mills?  He looked good.  So did Marko Mitchell.  Who?  I also like Toby Gearhart, a straight ahead bull of a runner and Jasper Brinkley, filling in for EJ Henderson.  Even Joe Webb looked sharp to me, not like the rough jewel the team has tagged him.

The defense looked good, the second and third string defenses.  What’s not to like?  Now if we could settle that Favre question.

Still trying to figure my passion (and, in spite of myself, that’s what it is) for football.  Yes, I like the athleticism, the leaping catches, the cannon armed throws, the grace of an Adrian Peterson and his speed, too.  Yes, I like the strategic part, though I confess I understand it not well at all.  There is something of the gladiatorial arena, the head-to-head competition between tough men.  I like that.

Indiana breeds basketballs fans and I was one for several years, then it faded away.  When my attention turned again to sports, I was in the upper Midwest among rabid Packer fans in Appleton, Wisconsin.  I got interested in football, but could never find a place in my heart for the Packers.  So, there’s a clue.  What is a place in my heart?

The Vikings have one in a way the Twins don’t, so it’s not only about location.  I don’t know, I may have to let it be.  Whisper words to Mary and let it be.  A mystery.

Kate and I got outside early again, more weeding.  I also got over half the leeks mounded a bit higher to encourage blanching.  Will finish them tomorrow.

The bulk of the rest of the time has involved setting up Kate’s long-armed quilter.  The activity most people call quilting is really piecing.  That’s the part where cloth patterns get sewn together and the top and back of the quilt take shape.  The actual quilting involved in quilting comes when the pieced front and the back get spliced together with a piece of batt in the middle.  The splicing together produces the swooping, often intricate lines of thread sewn when a long-arm quilter or a quilter working on a frame by hand sews the three elements:  front, back and batt together.

This means that most quilting is not done by the person who does the piecing–the person most people would think of as the quilter–but is done by someone who owns a long-armed quilter.  Kate will now be able to produce her quilts from piecing through quilting.

We’ve had to move several things around, up and downstairs, but we’re close to having it set up.  Exciting for her.

America the society is in fine shape! America the polity most certainly is not.

Winter                                   Waxing Cold Moon

OK.  The Cold Moon has finally risen on its namesake air temps.  8 this morning.  It’s a clear day after a small snowfall yesterday.

If I were to put my finger on one thing to account for the Viking’s loss Sunday, discounting the six turnovers, it would be the 12 men in the huddle call that put them out of field goal range with 28 seconds left.  That’s a coach thing.  In spite of a spectacular job of recruiting personnel, we have the best overall players at many positions–8 Vikes in the ProBowl–the on the field decision making by coaches still leaves something to be desired.  I don’t know what it is, but it seems apparent.

The Democrats need to grow some cojones and pass healthcare reform.  Whining because you’ve lost a super majority makes no sense.  They still have an 18 vote majority.  Use it or deserve to lose it.  We need leadership and decision making, not caviling and cajoling.

I read a very interesting analysis of our political system a few days back that jolted me.  Printed in the Atlantic it shows our system has big  problems, based largely on the shift of populations since the early days of the colonies:

How America Can Rise Again

“We are now 200-plus years past Jefferson’s wish for permanent revolution and nearly 30 past Olson’s warning, with that much more buildup of systemic plaque—and of structural distortions, too. When the U.S. Senate was created, the most populous state, Virginia, had 10 times as many people as the least populous, Delaware. Giving them the same two votes in the Senate was part of the intricate compromise over regional, economic, and slave-state/free-state interests that went into the Constitution. Now the most populous state, California, has 69 times as many people as the least populous, Wyoming, yet they have the same two votes in the Senate. A similarly inflexible business organization would still have a major Whale Oil Division; a military unit would be mainly fusiliers and cavalry. No one would propose such a system in a constitution written today, but without a revolution, it’s unchangeable. Similarly, since it takes 60 votes in the Senate to break a filibuster on controversial legislation, 41 votes is in effect a blocking minority. States that together hold about 12 percent of the U.S. population can provide that many Senate votes. This converts the Senate from the “saucer” George Washington called it, in which scalding ideas from the more temperamental House might “cool,” into a deep freeze and a dead weight.

The Senate’s then-famous “Gang of Six,” which controlled crucial aspects of last year’s proposed health-care legislation, came from states that together held about 3 percent of the total U.S. population; 97 percent of the public lives in states not included in that group. (Just to round this out, more than half of all Americans live in the 10 most populous states—which together account for 20 of the Senate’s 100 votes.) “The Senate is full of ‘rotten boroughs,'” said James Galbraith, of the University of Texas, referring to the underpopulated constituencies in Parliament before the British reforms of 1832. “We’d be better off with a House of Lords.”

The decades-long bipartisan conspiracy to gerrymander both state and federal electoral districts doesn’t help. More and more legislative seats are “safe” for one party or the other; fewer and fewer politicians have any reason to appeal to the center or to the other side. In a National Affairs article, “Who Killed California?,” Troy Senik pointed out that 153 state or federal positions in California were at stake in the 2004 election. Not a single one changed party. This was an early and extreme illustration of a national trend…

I started out this process uncertain; I ended up convinced. America the society is in fine shape! America the polity most certainly is not. Over the past half century, both parties have helped cause this predicament—Democrats by unintentionally giving governmental efforts a bad name in the 1960s and ’70s, Republicans by deliberately doing so from the Reagan era onward. At the moment, Republicans are objectively the more nihilistic, equating public anger with the sentiment that “their” America has been taken away and defining both political and substantive success as stopping the administration’s plans. As a partisan tactic, this could make sense; for the country, it’s one more sign of dysfunction, and of the near-impossibility of addressing problems that require truly public efforts to solve.”

Minnesota — Colorado

Winter                                     Waxing Cold Moon

Reading the story this morning in the paper, the Viking’s loss, was painful.  We outplayed them in every way, on their turf–except of course for those pesky points.  It was the turnovers that killed us.  Funny, I feel neither snake-bit nor unhappy.  Not even sad.

We have a gentle snow falling, small flakes.  We got maybe an inch overnight and the temperature has dropped to 20, cooler by 12 degrees than our high of 32 at midnight.  As for me, I’m glad it’s cooler, back to where the weather normally is at this time of year.

This trip to Denver held surprises for me, one of them my willingness to reconsider a move to Colorado at some undetermined point in the future.  If Joseph decides to settle there post-Air Force, that would probably do it for me.  The grandkids presence, seeing them grow and being able to support the family, that’s part, but as big a draw for me are the mountains, the variation in climate and terrain.  If matters shift for us, say we need to sell this house for any reason, well, that might be a trigger, too.

The factors holding me here remain the same:  friends, the land, the museum, personal history.  I’ve lived here since 1971, 39 years this September.  At 62 that’s almost two-thirds of my life.  These are strong ties and will not be easily broken, certainly not for Sun City or its equivalent, but for family and a new view of the natural world? Maybe.

The new novel keeps coming.  I’m up to 30,000 +  words, three chapters worth.  I’m aiming for 100,000 give or take.  It still feels fresh, new, better than other things I’ve written.

This is the week I have my first Latin tutoring session.  Gotta hit the books.  I’m also eager to get to writing Liberal II:  The Present.  Lots of ideas and material for that one.  Then, there’s that project about developing  your own sacred calendar.  Not to mention the first meeting of  the Sierra Club’s LegCom this Wednesday at 7:00 PM.  Plenty to do here.

Vikings Lose. And, It’s OK.

Winter                                   Waxing Cold Moon

And mighty Casey had struck out.  Vikes lose 31-28.

It was a good ride this year.

Brett Favre’s 40th year will go down in story and in record books, but I will remember him most for this last game.  It reminded me of Michael Jordan playing sick against Utah in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA championship.  Favre went out again and again after several terrible hits, at one time lying prone on a blue bench as the crowd screamed above him, the trainer taping his left ankle with a saran wrap like wrap then an ace-like bandage.  He went back out.  He led a touchdown drive which tied the game in the closing minutes.  He almost put us in position to kick the winning field goal but threw across the grain to a receiver on the left side of the field.  Interception with 13 seconds left.

In overtime the Saints moved the ball poorly, but got some good breaks and their second year kicker put a line drive through the goal posts and the Saints go to the Superbowl.

Yes, we had 6 turnovers, four fumbles and two interceptions.  In spite of them we battled to the end and I’m proud to say today that I’m a Viking fan.  They played hard, they played well.  I think they may have tried too hard in the end.

Even so, thanks guys, for an entertaining season.

I’m not a big sports fan, though the Vikings caught my attention wholeheartedly this year.  I can remember a few major stars:  Sandy Koufax, Maury Wills, Bob Cousy, Parnelli Jones, Jack Brabham, Magic Johnson, Kareem but the two stand outs for my money are Michael Jordan and Brett Favre.

When the whole Favre brouhaha got started, I said any wins we got with him would be tainted.  I was wrong.  He played as a Viking.  He played as a guy who loved the game.  He played at an exceptional level, too.  I’m glad I got to watch him this year, even if it turns out to be his last.

June 2017
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