Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014

Sunday, December 28, 2014. It warmed up a bit, so Christmas came with some grass visible: again.

Christmas Eve at Our Lady of Angels. They hadn't turned the tree lights on at this point. December 24, 2014.

Still Christmas Eve. As usual at this point in the Christmas season, the wise men haven't quite arrived. They're on the floor, to the left of the poinsettias. December 24, 2014.

Okay: Now the tree's lit. December 24, 2014.

Christmas lights. December 28, 2014.

That's it for this week. I'll be back with more, or less, next Sunday.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunshine, Frost, Snow: Christmas is Coming

Sunday, December 21, 2014. I'll say this for the climate here. It's not boring.

Wednesday afternoon: beautifully clear blue sky, sunlight on snow by the Coborn's parking lot. December 17, 2014.

Thursday afternoon: overcast, fog, hoarfrost decorating trees — and cars. Frosted branches in the trees were lovely, frosted roads: now so much. December 18, 2014.

We're into the fourth week of advent, and there's snow forecast for tomorrow and Tuesday. I'm pretty sure we'll have a "white Christmas."

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Winter Fog

Sunday, December 14, 2014. I've been under the weather this week, so there's just one picture.

Fog: all day. This picture's taken through my webcam, 9:55 this morning. December 14, 2014.

We had generous amounts of fog today: and there's still a winter weather advisory and dense fog advisory for quite a bit of central Minnesota. On the whole, I'm glad I stayed inside.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Little Rain, a Little Sleet, a Little Snow: Christmas is Coming

Sunday, December 7, 2014. There's a winter weather advisory out until midnight: a little freezing rain, a little sleet, a little snow. I'm sincerely glad I could stay inside for most of the day.

Holiday decorations are up on Main and Sinclair Lewis Avenue, near downtown. December 3, 2014.

The family has Christmas decorations up in the living room, Sauk Centre's garlands are in place over parts of Main and Sinclair Lewis Avenue: and I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep. See you next week.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Advent, 2014, Starts

Sunday, November 30, 2014. I see there's a Wind Chill Advisory for this area. I'm not surprised. A brisk northwest wind this morning let me know that winter is here as I went to church. It's more of the same tomorrow, only cooler.

Advent started today, some folks have Thanksgiving and Christmas yard decorations out, and the Knights of Columbus Nativity set gets lit up in a few days.

No photos this week. I've been been dealing with a 'nothing serious' bug: not enough to be worrisome, but quite sufficient to keep me inside except when really necessary. Next week should be better. That's the plan, anyway.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Yesterday's Post, Snow, Rain, and One Photo

Monday, November 24, 2014. These 'Sauk Centre Journal' entries generally get posted Sunday evening. I thought there was something I was forgetting last night: and I was right. Now, following the 'better late than never' principle, is yesterday's entry. Except not it's today. And by the time you see it, it may be tomorrow, or the day after.

Never mind. Here's the one photo I took last week:

Lake access between Sauk Centre's campground and lakeside park. November 19, 2014.

We had snow, or rain, depending on what time it was, yesterday. This morning it was definitely snow: not much, but enough to notice.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Farewell, Ungers; Hello Hillcrest Plaza

Sunday, November 16, 2014. Winter started this Monday, when about nine inches of snow fell. Since then, it's been below zero, Fahrenheit, several nights, and we've had a few 'cat track' snowfalls.

Snow, about 1:30 p.m. on Monday. November 10, 2014.

By Tuesday, we had about nine inches. November 11, 2014.

I was sorry to see a 'going out of business' sign in front of Unger's Furniture, downtown. That place has been a landmark here since the start of the 20th century. Looks like they couldn't pay off the estate taxes. (September 27, 2011)

I'll remember the 'good times,' including Unger's participation in the 2008 Sinclair Lewis Days parade. (July 19, 2008)

Ungers: a Sauk Centre fixture for 113 years, going out of business. November 12, 2014.

The Hillcrest Motel on south Main is now Hillcrest Plaza: rental office space. November 12, 2014.

Another change in town: the Hillcrest Motel on south Main is now Hillcrest Plaza, an office park.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Feeling Better — not Good, but Better

Sunday, November 9, 2014. I've still got "nothing serious." My immune system finally kicked in Thursday: fever, chills, the works. That's good news, since now maybe I'll be done with the bug: whatever it is.

I've heard that something like this has been going around town. I like to feel like part of the community - but could have done without this. Oh, well: as my Norwegian forebears might have said, "it could be worse;" and, now that I think about it, has been worse.

One of the advantages to logging the six-decades-plus that I have, is the opportunity to develop perspective. Enough of the philosophizing.

Thanksgiving is coming up, And - more importantly for me - Advent and Christmas. I'm looking forward to seeing more holiday decorations, when I get out and about again.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween, 2014: Missed it, Mostly

Sunday, November 2, 2014. We set the clocks back an hour overnight: so it's darker earlier now. We'll do the same thing in Spring, going the other way.

Happily, my computer checks the 'official' time for me, so the 'clock' at my desk is 'legal,' whether I pay attention or not.

I've been feeling under the weather this week: nothing serious, just enough to make me look forward to not feeling this way. That limited how much I got out and about: so I missed the Friday night/Halloween Mass at St. Alexius in West Union - I was looking forward to that.

Next week there should be more here. That's the plan, anyway.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Polka Mass and an Owl-O-Lantern

Sunday, October 26, 2014. Our Lady of Angels church had our yearly polka Mass today. I hope Nathan's Oldtime Band comes back next year.

Nathan's ... Band know their polka: and have the good sense to keep the tempo 'up.' They describe themselves as "Minnesota's youngest and most energetic polka/country band."

Before the polka Mass at Our Lady of Angels. October 26, 2014.

Halloween/All Hallows' Eve is this Friday. I'm looking forward to the trick-or-treaters.

An - owl-o-lantern? October 26, 2014.

Sunset. The sky lit up: just after I got back inside. October 26, 2014.

That sunset was mildly spectacular: right after I got inside and had the camera stowed. Oh, well: it's nice to know I've still got the old sense of timing.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ready for Autumn, Halloween, Thanksgiving

Sunday, October 19, 2014. Some trees are ready for winter. Their leaves have turned color and fallen. Late starters, like on the corner across from my home, are pretty near their peak.

South Ash Street. October 19, 2014.

Some folks have their Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations out. I haven't spotted any Christmas displays yet, though. The yearly chow mein supper ended with a bit left over. The church is selling what's left at a few dollars a quart. Next week, if I'm reading the calendar right, we've got the polka Mass: and now I'm done.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Autumn Colors and All That

Sunday, October 12, 2014. Previously-green trees started turning, so we've got a fresh set of autumn leaves.

South Ash Street. October 8, 2014.

Wildflowers, or weeds, by Sauk Lake: depending on your point of view. That's the band shell, in the background.  October 8, 2014.

A quiet backyard: ours. October 9, 2014.

Rummage sale across the street. October 10, 2014.

That's all for this week. Next week there'll be more: probably.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Autumn and — Ping Pool??

Sunday, October 5, 2014 Autumn is here. We've had rain and wind that blew most of the autumn color out of our trees.

My wife and kids may have invented a new game: ping pool? October 3, 2014.

Our granddaughter, son-in-law, and number two daughter, are visiting: which is a delightful distraction.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Outpost Mercantile and Autumn Colors

Sunday, September 28, 2014 There's a new(ish) business in town: Outpost Mercantile, near Lake Wobegon Trail and the Ding Dong Cafe. I gather that it's an eatery.

Seen from the north-northeast, their new sign doesn't stand out all that much. September 27, 2014.

Outpost Mercantile, seen from the west. September 27, 2014.

A little bit of 'everything:' the rear of Outpost Mercantile, someone's boat, and autumn foliage. September 27, 2014.

Fall colors, some trees still green, and lots of sunshine. September 28, 2014.

The corner of 9th Street South and Ash, this afternoon. September 28, 2014.

That's all I've got for now: see you next week.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tech Support: Real and Otherwise

Sunday, September 21, 2014 Oddly enough, yesterday's storms went by, mostly south of Sauk Centre, with nary an interruption of power. This afternoon, with little but cloudiness happening, power went out in our house: and stayed that way for what felt like fifteen or 20 minutes.

We may or may not get good fall colors this year. One tree near the north end of Ash Street is, as usual, getting a head start on one of its branches: but otherwise we're still reasonably green around here.

Help with computers, legitimate and otherwise, is in the Sauk Center Herald. That "Police warn of a computer scam" is the old 'tech support' scam, where someone calls a computer owner, talks the person into giving the caller remote access to the computer, and then demands money to get it "fixed."

That happened to someone here in Sauk Centre on September 11, and apparently it's been done elsewhere in the area. The computer owner wouldn't pay, and ended up with a virus getting installed.

I've gotten calls like that, myself: not often, and not recently. Happily, I'd read about that sort of scam: and knew enough about Microsoft to realize that their tech support staff wouldn't be calling me.

Before getting to a new business in town, these Wikipedia pages do a pretty good job of talking about common sense and today's tech: Technical support scam; Ransomware; Virus hoax.

From the Sauk Centre Herald. September 21, 2014.

"How safe is your computer from hackers" tells about Sauk PC Repair, a new business that's in the old Hillcrest Hotel Building on South Main. The folks there do quite a bit besides virus removal: like upgrades, making custom computers, and repairing laptops.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Green Grass and Autumn

Sunday, September 14, 2014 Trees and grass are still green, but it's cooler: feeling more like autumn.

The view through my webcam, 1:15 this afternoon. September 14, 2014.

That's about all I've got this week. Next week there should be more.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Community Mural

Sunday, September 7, 2014 It's rained, we've had clear skies, and the Community Mural is taking shape.

Sauk Centre's Community Mural: in progress. September 3, 2014.

I like the old red-and-white design: but the new mural looks pretty good, too. One more thing: school is back in session, so there's a lot of traffic outside, just before and just after.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day Weekend, Pea-Size Hail, and Another Internet Outage

Monday, September 1, 2014 Labor Day Weekend. I heard thunder after supper today. Then, right around 6:30, the lights went out. Power was back 15 or 20 minutes later: but this household's Internet connection was out until 8:30 pm.

The hail I saw was pea-sized: not particularly damaging, but enough to make me happy to be inside.

Aside from that, though, it's been a beautiful day.

Yesterday evening's storms were mostly south and east of us, heading for the Metro area. August 31, 2014.

We've been getting the house painted. August 31, 2014.

Clouds this evening, as the storm was moving on. That odd little streak toward the left of the photo is a drop of water coming off the roof. September 1, 201

The hail I saw was pea-sized. September 1, 2014.

After this evening's storm: more of that pea-size hail, a wet driveway, and feet. September 1, 2014.

School starts tomorrow: which is an academic point for someone my age, except as it involves family members.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Labor Day Sunday

Sunday, August 31, 2014. Labor Day Weekend. I'll be back tomorrow evening, for a short post. Today, I'm taking a break.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

No More Mead's

Sunday, August 24, 2014. I've got a few photos left to share, from the Stearns County Fair.

Stearns County Fair, Conservation building: the duck in the water pan is okay. He's got his head underwater, looking for food. July 30, 2014.

Stearns County Fair, the midway: near sunset. July 30, 2014.

Stearns County Fair, near the Bingo booth: a family having fun with a high striker. July 30, 2014.

Stearns County Fair, midway: on my way home. July 30, 2014.

Mead's department store, downtown, won't be there soon. I gather that the Mead's are selling the store: and that another outfit will open a similar outlet in the building. I may know more about it next week. Then again, maybe I won't.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Looking Ahead to School, Back at the Fair

Sunday, August 17, 2014. School starts September 2, according to the Sauk Centre Public Schools website. They've got the usual announcements about Fall sports, open house, and school supply lists.

Looking back at the Stearns County Fair, I have more photos to share.

Stearns County Fair, 4H building: photography. July 30, 2014.

Stearns County Fair, Conservation building: new bird enclosure. July 30, 2014.

Stearns County Fair, Conservation building: fish pool. July 30, 2014.

I like what they did in the Conservation building: replacing cubicles displaying various birds on the south wall with a sort of bird run. The only disadvantage I saw with the new arrangement is that it's a bit hard to tell which labels go with which birds. Maybe next year they'll have photos, or sketches, to help.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Garage Sales and Bowling

Sunday, August 10, 2014. Sauk Centre's bowling lanes are closing. The Sauk Centre Herald article quoted the owners as saying that there hasn't been enough use of their facility, since the recession started. It's not the end of bowling, of course: places are still open in other towns.

On a happier note, we haven't had as many mosquitoes this summer: which made the mild weather a lot more fun to be out in.

Marian Garden by Our Lady of the Angels Church. August 5, 2014.

Flowers, grass, and ivy in the garden. August 5, 2014.

Garage sales: part of summer. August 8, 2014.

Our household teamed up with another this summer, with two rummage/garage sales. These were the third and fourth we've done. They take more effort to set up and run than I might have thought: not that I did much of the work.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Stearns County Fair: Bingo, 4-H, and Aerospace

Sunday, August 3, 2014. Stearns County Fair started this week.

Stearns County Fair's midway. July 30, 2014.

Knights of Columbus Bingo booth. July 30, 2014.

4-H Exhibits cover a lot of ground. July 30, 2014.

The Aerospace 4-H category is one of my favorites. July 30, 2014.

There's more, including the end of Sauk Centre's bowling lanes: but that will wait until next week.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sinclair Lewis Days Parade is Done; Next Comes the Stears County Fair

Sunday, July 27, 2014. It got into the mid-70s today, rained a bit, punctuated with sunshine. Or maybe it was sunny punctuated by rain. Either way, it's been a pleasant day: not exactly typical for July, but this is Minnesota. Our climate has personality.

Stearns County Fair is coming up, starting Wednesday. The Knights of Columbus Bingo booth will start up sooner than we have in past years. I'm not sure why: apparently the Fair board told us that we would, and we're complying.

I've got quite a few photos of the Sinclair Lewis Days parade left. It's one of my favorite annual events here.

Sinclair Lewis Days parade: Some units fit on a small flatbed trailer.... July 19, 2014.

... others don't July 19, 2014.

Flowers in someone's front yard, and a small park. July 25, 2014.

Friday was more July-like. That sign is new since I moved to Sauk Centre: but it's not exactly new. July 25, 2014.

Thanks to the new schedule, I've got a different shift at the K. of C. Bingo booth. Since I'm retired, that's not a problem: can't say that I miss being locked into a nine-to-five routine.