• Tag Archives 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.

  • Grounded

    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.

  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • Living in Alien Land

    Winter                                        Waxing Cold Moon

    The NFC championship game  is today.  You know where I’ll be.  Yup.  Right there in the chair, cheering on the Vikes.  After dispassionately reading all the match-up analysis and carefully considering all the key information, I still believe the Vikes win a close one.  Adrian Peterson dominates the running game.  We keep Drew Brees and his high flyers off the field.  Favre connects with Rice twice, Shiancoe once, Berrian once and Peterson goes in for one.  Jared Allen and Ray Edwards keep Brees out of his rhythm and don’t allow deep balls.  Vikes 35.  Saints 28.

    I had a strange dream last night.  Somehow I got a job working in a financial company, investment company, something like that.  Our financial planner, RJ Devick, worked there.  I did some work that needed to be turned in by a specific time, but couldn’t find either a phone or the work.  Borrowed RJ’s phone, still couldn’t find the work.

    All the while Izzy, the famous Hawai’ian singer, sang background music, “Living in an alien land.”  This was to the tune of his protest song, “Living in a sovereign Land.”

    I went out for a while, came back to the office (music still playing) and I had red rock dust on a sweatshirt and I realized I had way under dressed for work.  I couldn’t go back in.  I went out to get the Celica and it had one of those tiny spares on it–though in this case it was very large and shredded.

    I’m still working on this one.  Guess I recalled it after my Jung tribute.

    Might have been related to some reading I did in a journal from 1991, written as I separated from the Presbytery and started writing.  Some of it made my teeth clench.  I planned and planned, struggled this way and that, but had trouble finding a new  way, even though what I wrote there made clear the ministry had never been the way.  A hard time even though I was breaking free, or, maybe, a hard time because I was breaking free.  There would be another ten years of on again off again angst as I wrote, got rejected, failed to market my work, felt like a failure, was a failure.

    Then, somewhere in my 50’s I began to realize I had broken through into the life this Self came into the world to live.  It’s not a flashy or big life–as I wanted at times before–it’s a life devoted to family, beauty, the earth, creativity and knowledge.

    And, at least for this evening–the Vikings.

  • Another Warm January Day

    Winter                             Waxing Cold Moon

    It’s 52 today here in Denver, sun shining, blue sky with a few cirrus clouds nearby and some cumulus off in the distance.  The Rockies have snow caps and grace the western horizon with a view that makes any nature lovers heart race.  This is a great state from an outdoors perspective.

    Today Ruth and I hop on the shuttle and go to the stock show.  Again.  Third day in a row.  We’re gonna see the super dogs.

    I read an ESPN article that analyzes New Orleans vs. the Vikes the same way I do.  We match up very well against them.  If our defense, especially Jared Allen and Ray Edwards throw Brees out of his rythm, and if Peterson can smash the Saints center, we should go on to the Super Bowl.  I believe those things will happen.

  • Today: Miss Rodeo Utah

    Wmter               Waxing Cold Moon

    Though I chose the Cold Moon name for this full moon, Colorado isn’t.  Cold that is.  Here in the Mile High City the temperature yesterday was 58. Confusing to this northern boy who had on too much clothing.

    At Smashburger yesterday, I sat waiting on my hot dog.  Smashburger is a new franchise, at least to me.  They fry their burgers.  Which seems like gilding the lily, so I went for the hot dog.  They fried the bun.  Anyhow, while waiting I got that on vacation feeling, an unfamiliar place in unfamiliar weather. It was a surprise because I consider these family visits just that, not vacation.

    Jon thinks the Vikes are gonna get clobbered.  I can see why he thinks that, but I prefer to see the  8-0 at home record and the last six quarters of their play.  The Saints picked up where they were just before they lost three in a row.  I don’t see why we can’t.

    My second breakfast here at the Marriot.  Seems hotels have gone the way of the airline industry.  No more free breakfast. Now it’s buffet with a price tag.  Still, I’m a captive audience since I want to come back up to the room and write.  This morning I dined near Miss Rodeo Utah.  A blond-haired beauty with teal colored cowboy boots and real tight jeans.  And, you guessed it, a big belt buckle.

  • Vikes Still Alive

    Winter                      Waning Moon of Long Nights

    It’s now week 2 of the NFL playoff season and the Vikes are still in it.  Of course, they backed into a bye for this weekend as number 2 seed in the NFC.  Next week we’ll play the Dallas Cowboys.  The Cowboys have had a hot quarterback, a surging defense and late season mo’.  We have one game momentum from thrashing the hapless second half of the season Giants.  I don’t know the teams at the matchup level, nor do I pretend to understand the fickle notion of momentum.  I know, in a game when we click on all cylinders, we can play with anybody.  I hope we have three such games left.

    In this next week there is this and that to get done before I leave for Denver and the Great Western Stock Show.  This:  make supershuttle reservations and rent a car, that:  buy light bulbs, a surge protector, new watch batteries.  Get groceries and such squared away for Kate while I’m gone.  That kind of thing.