If you monitor the sidebar, then you already know that I made a calendar for August. I simply didn't make a big deal out of it. Well, in case you missed it, you can get this free calendar while there's still plenty of August left.
On this month's calendar, I included a photo taken from the north end of Double Ditch Indian Village. It's a great place to take photos, and a lot of people know this. I've always had a special place in my heart for Double Ditch, and views like this are one reason why.
Click here to download a printable calendar in PDF format.
If you have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed, you're good to go. It may take a little bit for the program to load, but the file should download reasonably quickly. Click on the icon below to download the free Adobe Reader if necessary.
When you print the PDF, fold along the lines and tape or staple at the bottom. You will then have a free-standing desk calendar with one of the best sunset views in the Bismarck-Mandan area!
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No, I'm not talking about anything that Richard Hoaxland found on Mars' Cydonia region... this is simply evidence of someone putting some joy into their work, and it's sticking out of the side of the approach to the old Memorial Bridge.
You can see it as you approach it from east or west on the new bridge; simply look at the end of the beams holding up the approach to the old bridge on the Mandan side. What I figure is that it was necessary to cap the end of the old beam with concrete when they tore down part of the approach to make room for construction. When putting the concrete in place, I suppose a worker with a sense of humor added the smiley face.
Hat tip to Brucellosis for spotting this back the rest of us were still confined to the old bridge. He spotted it while on a walking tour of the bridge, and I've been waiting patiently to see it for myself. Thankfully it was still there once the new bridge opened; I'm not about to go trespassing. Now one can see it simply by driving by, but be careful! You don't want to have an accident while rubbernecking, do you?
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Last week I took my 35,000th photo with this camera. What more suitable way to chalk up such a milestone than by documenting a fun time playing with my son? I was feeding our 19 month old, PJ, while his little brother Jonathan, now almost 9 months old, played with his toys on the floor nearby. Little "Sparky," as Jonathan is often called, gets the honor of being the 35,000th picture.
I just got done spoon-feeding Jonathan tonight, as one does with such a little baby, and it reminded me of a story I heard this weekend.
Click on the dreaded Windows icon to hear two brief examples of consolation.
I know, I am no huge fan of Microsoft or Windows. If you have a Mac and want to listen to it, simply click here to download the components to play Windows Media files in the Quicktime Player on your Mac (free). I use them to listen to ASX, WMV, and WMA files on my liquid-cooled, quad-core G5 Mac at work. They are fantastic, and they are free.
Back to the audio. Touching stuff, huh? As a relatively new daddy I was floored by these two stories. They were spoken by a missionary to the Pacific who visited our church this weekend. I'd love to give him direct credit, but some of these guys take a risks being in the field, often political and sometimes physical. Putting their names on the Internet can sometimes cause unintended harm and I'd hate to do so.
Hopefully by electronically enabling you to hear this man's words, which moved me as I struggle to be a good daddy and provide my little boys with blessed memories, I can pass along some of that consolation he was talking about.
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This was one of the more eye-catching displays I caught during my brief romp around the Capital A'Fair today at the state capitol. I refer to it as the "Capitol A'Fair" with an o instead of an a because it's on the capitol grounds, but I suppose they could use an a because it's in the capital city.
Saturday was muggy as heck, and Sunday looked like it might have some rain in store, but it actually turned out to be a perfect day for perusing artwork at the capitol. Canopies lined the road surrounding the capitol mall, the food court occupied its familiar spot in the west lot, and turnout looked to be pretty good.
This was a really neat display: concrete molds of giant leaves, coated in a number of different finishes. Many were pearlescent, and some even glowed in the dark. The process is shown on the signs adorning the front table (right side of photo).
Kindred spirits Ron & Kathy Linton were there, featuring photography from the Black Hills. I met them last year, when Ron noticed I had the new Canon 10-22mm lens on my camera. He's since bought the same lens and really likes it. I took a few minutes to say hi and chat, but had to move on because of a Superbike race I wanted to catch this afternoon.
I didn't know that the A'Fair was happening this weekend. I suppose that's because I don't read the paper, rarely watch television, and don't spend much time around a radio. Thankfully I was able to make a quick trip up there this afternoon and look around, find a couple of neat sights to investigate, and enjoy an afternoon walking around the capitol grounds. Next time I'll try to find out about it earlier, so I don't have to skip the snow-cone stand in order to save time!
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That's right. As a big proponent of motorcycling in North Dakota, I'm pretty happy to say that a motorcycle closed the books on "civilian" travel over our beloved bridge. If I may digress for a moment, I'd like to point out that this bridge was scary/fun back on a motorcycle back when it had the metal deck! Not only could a rider look straight below and see the water, but the gridwork made motorcycle tires "swim" back and forth in a manner most discomforting at first. Digression aside, those fine folks in the picture above were blocking off public traffic on this bridge forever. Maybe they sensed that I am a former DOT employee, maybe they were just being polite...in any case, they allowed me to park my motorcycle off to the side and wait to be the last guy across.
Someone in a white Ford Thunderbird actually got in behind me after I took off across the bridge from the Bismarck side. At that point I thought I'd missed my chance to be the last person across the bridge, and resigned myself to simply being the last motorcycle across. But an idea struck as I reached the Mandan side: turn around. Not only did I want to take more pictures, but I had to get back to work! I'm very busy and didn't have a very long lunch break. So, when I got to the Mandan side, I did a quick U-turn and headed back. That made me the last motorcycle and last vehicle to cross.
This is what it looks like to have the Memorial Bridge all to yourself...that is, if you're on a customized Suzuki with a camera hanging around your neck. This will live on as my last view of the bridge I've known all my life, even when I was living in Montana as a kid and looked forward to the "humming bridge" when we'd come to Bismarck to visit family.
My sources tell me that someone called KFYR-TV after their newscast to complain that he was the last guy across. That would have to have been either the person behind me in the white car, or the last person to come across from the Mandan side (before I did my u-turn). In any case, nobody came across from the Bismarck side after the white car and I, and nobody came across from the Mandan side after I did. I know because I sat at the red light on the east end of the bridge for what seemed forever, since I was wearing leather riding gear and was very hot. Nobody came up behind me. Sorry, whoever you are...the reports are accurate.
Just as I got to drive on the Expressway Bridge shortly after it opened (I had my permit, my mom let me drive) I got to ride on this bridge right before it closed. I know, it's odd to be so sentimental about local landmarks...but what can I say? I love Bismarck-Mandan. I always have. That's why I started this website in the first place. I'm just thankful that I have a camera and can run around after things like this. It's cool to document Bismarck-Mandan history and provide a viewpoint for the record.
By the way, I noted again today that Brad Feldman seems to have the same sort of sentimentality for our town. I really like his Around Town segments on KX news, as well as his knack for local information. I could tell from the tone of his report on the bridge closing on tonight's news. It's cool to see someone who has a love of their community and what's going on here. Hopefully people who read my ramblings here will catch that sentimentality, then things like this bridge closing will seem a little more significant.
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