October 2 – Getting Groceries

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On Saturday or Sunday morning, I usually go to the grocery store. Both Cub and HyVee are open 24 hours. I love shopping at 6:00 AM when I pretty much have the store to myself. On the way home this morning, I happened to notice ground fog in a park. Fog and a pending sunrise seemed like something worth checking out. I tossed the groceries into the house (figuratively) and hustled back to the park. Good idea, bad execution. Nothing really worked. As long as I was out, why not try the little lake down the street? Good decision!  A wonderful mix of sunrise, a bit of fall color and still water. I hope this is the first of many fall pictures. I wonder if I put the ice cream away?

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October 1 – My Saturday

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On nice Fall Saturdays, some guys hunt, fish, play golf. Me? I hang out at a high school with a couple hundred bright, articulate and generally well dressed kids. About one-quarter of my Saturdays from October to March will be at debate and speech tournaments. The debate season kicked off today. This is a picture of our tournament at Eastview. Remember this picture in February. I will try to take one at our speech tournament. Where there are several hundred debaters, our speech tournament has over 1,000 participants! It is quite a sight. My task today was judge training. I help Eastview parents learn about judging a round of debate. People also have the chance to shadow me in a real round. Always looking for judges. Let me know if you are interested 🙂

September 30 – Foggy Friday

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There is frequently morning fog in the Minnesota River Valley, it always seems to disappear before I get to downtown. So when the radio said fog this morning, I didn’t pay much attention. Around 7:30 I turned around from my desk to see that the top of downtown had disappeared. Photo op! Kind of interesting how fog alters the look of downtown. I like how the sun is trying its best to shine on the Capella Tower. It is a little tricky navigating downtown sidewalks while staring up at buildings and everyone else is hustling to get to work.

September 29 – Not Enough Patience 


I am in Alexandria for a conference today. It is beautiful, fall colors getting ready to burst. As I was looking for a spot to show this, a monarch butterfly landed next to me. I have not seen one in some time. A monarch with wings fully spread would be a good picture. So I stood and waited…and waited. While it didn’t fly away, I got no help posing. If this was a stare down, I blinked. Still pretty from the side.

September 28 – Big Yellow Taxi

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Random music rant. Why is the song called “Big Yellow Taxi”? (I prefer Counting Crows to Joni Mitchell BTW.) Those words don’t come up until the end of the song! Anyway, downtown Minneapolis has become the extension of this song. The parking lots that paved paradise are being torn up and built on. This lot is next to the Library. Some downtown trivia – the Sheraton Ritz Hotel was on this block until 1990. This hole will become more housing. A lot more housing. Sing with me – “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know where to park when it’s gone. They took the paved parking lot and made it a housing spot.”

September 27 – “Block” Party

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Nurses in the Allina system are on strike.Today, the strike showed up in front of my office building. More accurately, in front of the Radisson hotel that is part of the building. Evidently, a member of the Allina board of directors was meeting at the hotel. It seemed like a combination of rally and party. I mostly heard singing to music. It’s loud when you can make out “We’re Not Going To Take It” from the 19th floor! This party blocked 7th Street for almost one hour. Rush hour traffic in downtown is tough on a good day. Shut down an important street and not much moves. Shutting down streets seems to be part of the protest playbook. Clearly, you bring attention to your cause. I can’t figure out if the value of this attention outweighs the costs of seriously irritating the people affected by the shutdown. Glad I don’t have to do that math. I got to work ahead of the party. Another benefit of being an early riser!

September 26 – Lady and the Trump 


Some pictures just don’t need many words. Either it speaks for itself or you should interpret it yourself. This is such a picture. A great fit with this day. The show starts at 8:00 tonight. I can’t tell if it is a comedy or a tragedy.