A Photographic Exhibit: Geneva’s Beautiful Fall Colors, Along with Something Kinda Ugly

For those of you who regularly follow this blog, you are certainly aware by now of my gift for fine photography, especially photos of the natural world. In this post, I exhibit a series of photos – and one video – that portray the stunning beauty of Geneva’s fall colors. But anyone with a cell phone can take a pretty picture of colorful leaves. In this exhibit, I aspire to take the art form to a whole ‘nuther level. As you will see, each picture contains beautiful fall colors, but the beauty is juxtaposed with a foreign object that is kinda ugly. And yet, the beauty of the natural colors prevail. In the art world, this is known as “art”. Continue reading

My father-in-law is really cool, and I love his place on Lake Superior’s North Shore

This post is dedicated to my father-in-law, who also happens to be one of this blog’s most avid followers. I first met Hal in 1981. In the 35 years that we’ve known each other, I feel like our bond has grown into more than a typical son-in-law / father-in-law relationship. We don’t see each other as often these days, but whenever we do, we always have fun conversations about current events, goings-on in the family, and other more routine matters (like how to make a good 7-Up and brandy). We enjoy cooking together (I shared my world-famous lasagna recipe with him!), taking walks in the state parks near his home, and sitting out on his porch – or better yet, down on the rocks along the shore.

Hal spends Minnesota’s warmer months at his home on the north shore of Lake Superior. I’ve probably been up to visit him a hundred times over the years, and I’ve never gotten used to how beautiful his place is. I was recently up at his home with his daughter (my sister-in-law) Ellen to help take care of a few things, and had the idea that it would be fun to write a brief post, trying to convey what it is I love so much about his place. Continue reading

My favorite Minnesota-based rock band, the Loons, rock the Twin Cities Marathon

[A note to SwissSojourner followers: I recently had cause to return to my home town of Minneapolis/Saint Paul for a few weeks. While visiting, I decided that although this blog has been exclusively devoted to my experiences here in Switzerland and its environs across Europe, from time to time I will break tradition and focus on other “non-European” topics or experiences that interest me. This post – and the one that will follow in a couple days – will be of particular interest to my family and friends back in Minnesota.]

Each year, the Twin Cities hosts what is billed as “the most beautiful urban marathon in the United States”. The marathon takes place in early October, when the fall colors in Minnesota are at their peak. Here is a photo I took of some of the runners with about 3 miles to go.

Twin Cities marathpn

These runners are jamming to the Loons at the 23-mile mark!

One of the neat things that the marathon sponsors do to support the runners is to select a number of musical bands, who volunteer their time, to play along the course’s final five miles. This year, my favorite local band, the Loons out of Eagan, Minnesota, were among the bands selected for the honor. Continue reading