Sunday, September 26, 2010

Alpaca Day

Madame X and I went to Alpaca Day 2010 at Irish Meadows Alpaca Farm, near LaMotte, Iowa, about 15 minutes from Dubuque Regional Airport. We took along our oldest granddaughter.

We were somewhat familiar with alpacas. Madame X attended this event last fall (when the Telegraph Herald produced this video), and in the summer of 2009 we visited an alpaca farm in Maine. Alpaca fiber is incredibly soft.

Co-owners Mike and Julie Delaney were friendly and accommodating hosts at their open house. We walked the grounds, poking in various barns, including one built in 1860. And Mike brought out a baby alpaca for our granddaughter to meet.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

An author to behold

My Sunday afternoon included taking part in a local authors book fair at the newly renovated Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque.

Sales for me were nonexistent slow, so I had time to catch up with Telegraph Herald freelance columnist and full-time writer Robert Byrne, compiler of a book of quotations, "The 2,548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said," and the collection of his brief essays from the TH, "Behold My Shorts."

That's Bob on the left.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Berwanger name crops up amid Reggie Bush controversy

The name of Jay Berwanger, subject of my current biography project, is hitting the papers and Internet a little more than usual lately, thanks to the the current Reggie Bush controversy. Should Bush return his Heisman trophy -- or should the Heisman committee rescind the award?

Gordon White, writing in The Pilot, of Southern Pines, N.C., tells some Berwanger history in light of It's largely accurate, though the "coward" reference is a bit out of context. Berwanger was usually the most hard-nosed player on the field.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Running with the senator

Trophy winners: Madame X and Sen. Grassley

Three members of our family competed in the Mississippi Valley Running Association's 33rd annual Dubuque Benefit Classic on Labor Day morning.

We all ran the the 5-kilometer race (3.1 miles). The morning's festivities included a half-marathon (13.1 miles).

Among the several hundred runners was U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley. He turns 77 next week, and finished third in the men's 70-and-older division of the 5k.

For those of you keeping score at home, the Coopers collected three trophies: Madame X, first; Older Daughter, first; and yours truly, second.

Next race? Probably on Thanksgiving at the Turkey Trot -- 80 days away.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Brisk end to 'Jazz' season

The "Dubuque ... And All That Jazz" series suffered its worst summer ever weather-wise in 2010. One of its four Friday evenings of live music, food and adult beverages was effectively washed out, and a couple others went on as scheduled but under less-than-ideal conditions.

Gray, cool and breezy weather marked the final session Friday night. Attendance was off by at least half (maybe two-thirds), but Madame X and I enjoyed the evening nonetheless, catching up with friends and acquaintances and enjoying Andrew Jr. Boy Jones. (We even bought one of his CDs, "Gettin' Real.")

Another highlight was spending some time there with our oldest two granddaughters (and their parents, of course).