Earlier this week I got the opportunity to go out and poke around with my camera. I celebrated a birthday (yes, I still have those) and was given the evening to go play with my camera and enjoy a Paradiso meal with my wife.
It's that time of year where things are taking on the dull browns of late fall and early winter. I had a hard time finding things to point my camera at given the narrow window of time between getting off work and the sunset, but did find this contraption. I'll file it under my "dunno what it is, but it looks antique" category.
My mom was over to visit and sent my little boy PJ into the office, where I was loading my iPod, with a card and this message:
Hearing my little boy wish me a Happy Birthday for the very first time is the only present I will ever need. Next year, his little brother will be able to talk and give me that blessing all over again!
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Our family took our annual trip to Papa's Pumpkin Patch tonight. I got a few really neat photos, but this was more about our little boys than playing with my camera. Most of my pics are actually of my family, as it should be! I did, however, spend a little time on this little clock kiosk. That's the quandary.
I don't know which of these shots I like more! The first one had the nice background of fall leaves. This one has the warm light of the setting sun, plus the weather vane is visible. I don't know which I like better, so I thought I'd show you both.
In the "almost too cool for words" department, here's my boy PJ walking hand-in-hand with his cousin Vanessa, one of his best friends. We met up with her and her family briefly before taking off and letting our two little guys investigate the pumpkins and the rest of the patch.
If you haven't gone to Papa's Pumpkin Patch yet, you really should! It's bigger every year, and really cool to run around. There are plenty of good photos to be had, too...even if you don't have the two cutest little boys in the Bismarck-Mandan area like I do.
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These first-class train tickets from the 1870s show that people have always had a problem with the proper spelling of our fair city. Bismarck sprang to life in 1872 and got its current name a year later, so it's a reasonable conclusion that the name has been a source of misspellings ever since. How many times is misspelled on your mail?
I posted about this truck a long time ago, and I remember seeing Cass Clay trucks at the facility in Mandan with the same error. Then there were the ill-fated phone books of about ten years ago, which I believe were Yellow Book products. Oops.
What would Otto von Bismarck think? After all, our capital city was originally named Edwinton but later renamed after Herr Chancellor in order to attract German immigrants (and investment in the railroad).
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I posted a while back about this trail, located east of Midwest Motor Express. The land is marked with No Trespassing signs, but permission is given to those who wish to use the trail if they sign a waiver form in the office of the trucking company.
Apparently the City of Bismarck once again that someone having fun within their domain could not be tolerated, and went after Midwest Motor Express. They claimed that MME was operating a "racetrack" in violation of City Ordinance 14-02-03.
This trail obviously falls within the definition of a recreational trail, not a race track, and thankfully the court saw this as well. John Roswick of MME emailed me the court's decision in PDF format. He has given me permission to link to the PDF, since it's a matter of public record: click here to view.
I suppose I'm still smarting from what the City did back when they redid Sertoma Park. The sandbars used to be filled with people having a good time, and the road through Sertoma was a common place to see people cruising around during the summer. Parking was ample, and people would park along the road to walk to the sandbar. There were football and volleyball games, sunbathing, swimming, and tons of other activities on the sandbars. Then the City came along. I have no doubts that busting up all the activity on the sandbars was a reason for the park's new configuration, and the new Sertoma Park made getting to the sandbar a hassle. Thus all those pesky kids and their fun-havin' were forced to go somewhere else. And they did.
This also brings up the issue of the City trying to flex its muscles outside of the normal city limits. I don't know if MME currently resides in city limits, but in North Dakota the cities have say in what goes on for miles outside their legal boundaries! How a county resident can get hassled by representatives of a city government in which he has NO representation or right to vote is beyond me. Hopefully there won't be a long line of people like MME, who is simply trying to serve a segment of community, who get hassled by government policy-pushers looking to flex their political muscle.
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One of the denizens of the Big Cat Exhibit at the Dakota Zoo was peeking above the window frame during a recent trip I took with my boys. This picture could have a more menacing tone if it included my little boy just a foot or two back from the window! I do actually have one framed that way.
The cats were lined up along the windows and fence because it was just about dinner time for them. No, not because my two little boys and I were on the other side of the glass. The zoo staff were running around on their golf carts, delivering chow. These cats heard things banging around over at the bear exhibit, and I'm guessing they have been conditioned to expect their meat soon after.
Zoo hours are already cut dramatically, to only a few hours a day on a select few days. Gates are open from 1pm to 5pm, Friday through Sunday, weather permitting. I still haven't seen the snow leopards. Time's a-wasting!
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