Sunday, August 29, 2010

Checking in on Elsie (and others)

Discovering that we had an open weekend on the calendar, Madame X and I made the 90-minute drive to check in on our youngest granddaughter, 2-month-old (plus) Elsie. Coincidentally, her parents were home, too.

On top of that, we visited our younger son (not pictured). It's been less than a month since he relocated to the same city where Elsie and her parents live.

Pop even squeezed in a nap before the drive home. It was a fun, relaxing day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And add a week

Stolen from her parents' blog: Here's granddaughter Elsie at 8 weeks.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Picture perfect

I was going to blog about a strange radio commercial I heard today. It was encouraging people to donate their old cars to the blind. Now, why would a blind person need a car -- even an old one?

Instead of going into all that here, I'm posting a photo of my youngest granddaughter, Elsie Rose, who a few days ago turned 7 weeks old. (I lifted the photo from her parents' blog.)

And, yes, I know that people donate they cars to an organization that uses money from the cars to help the blind. But the commercial struck me as odd just the same.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Time of the season

Entry in running log for Aug. 10: "Used flashlight 1st time this season."

Yes, our supply of daylight is getting shorter, and at 5:25 am today there was not quite enough of it for me to feel safe. Runner-tripping sidewalk cracks have a way of sneaking up on you in pre-dawn Dubuque.

So, barring any significant realignment of the solar system, my flashlight will be my companion on these early jaunts until sometime in mid-April 2011.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Two concerts in three nights

As mentioned here a couple of days ago, we vacationed in Leadville, Colo., where we happened to take in two concerts to benefit the Community Outreach Program of a local church, St. George's Episcopal.

Legendary Judy Collins played the historic Tabor Opera House on Friday night (July 30). She opened the first of two sets with "Both Sides Now," closed the second set with "Send in the Clowns," and for her final encore number chose the classic "Over the Rainbow."

I didn't try to capture video with my point-and-shoot camera from the second row of the balcony. So here's a recent video of her opening number with the arrangement she played in Leadville.

The Tabor was built in 1880 (as the local mining boom was taking off), making it 10 years older than Dubuque's Grand Opera House. Unfortunately, the Tabor is not in such good repair, especially compared to the recently restored Grand.

Two nights later, on Sunday (Aug. 1) Madame X and I were at St. George's, where we heard an all-woman (except for the bassist) San Francisco-based band, Blame Sally, play to a full house (er, church) of about 100. The women of Blame Sally have a soft spot for Leadville, and they did the Sunday night gig on their way to larger venues in Colorado. Here's one of their videos.

When it was all said and done, and meaning no disrespect to a music legend, I think I enjoyed the Blame Sally evening better.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Vacationing -- at minus-600 feet

One of the more interesting events on my summer vacation was touring the Hopemore Mine, just outside the former boom town of Leadville, Colo.

Leadville is 10,124 feet above sea level, making it the highest incorporated community in North America. It's our favorite vacation spot. I've lost track of how many times we've vacationed there the past 20-plus years; my best guess is eight.

Since our previous visit, Bob Calder, owner of the gold (and other precious metals) mine, received permits to allow tours. The excursion took us 600 feet below the earth's surface. I'm not a fan of tight spaces, but I felt less worried about being 60 stories down than I thought I would. I guess there is a certain point where you just have to leave it in the hands of the Higher Being.

My brother-in-law, his three boys, my son-in-law and yours truly survived what was a fascinating experience.