Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An Interesting Job Listing on Craigslist

As seen on Craigslist...

Chisago County Sheriff (Center City, MN)

Reply to: jglassel@yahoo.com [?]
Date: 2009-02-09, 5:55PM CST

Wanted-One competent individual to lead the Chisago County Sheriff's Department. Good pay and benefits.

Good Old Boy Politicans need not apply. Chisago County needs a strong individual capable of providing Public Safety on a budget. Don't expect a jail to be named in your honor as Law Enforcement in Chisago County has nearly bankrupted the local citizenry.

This is an elected position which will require facing current Chisago County Sheriff Todd Rivard in the 2010 general election. I can provide positive name recognition throughout the County, but you will have to provide "boots on the ground."

Must relocate to Chisago County before October, 2010.

Your mission, should you accept it, is to run the drug dealers out of Chisago County and develop a comprehensive plan to eliminate deaths from drunken drivers in Chisago County. In doing so, you may let some jaywalkers off the hook.

Must be willing to ticket and jail County Commissioners arrested for drunk driving. It is not required to investigate the political enemies of those board members that support the new jail, nor are you required to cover up harrassment and stalking charges levied against a county commissioner.

Must gain control over the 911 call center to assure tapes are not lost.

You may not run up the score against the poor or collude with the county attorney and judges in an attempt to coerce the taxpayers into building a new jail.

My name is Jonathan P. Glassel. I publish the South County Epitaph. We are the "Last Word in Local News."

Serious inquiries only. Email jglassel@yahoo.com

Location: Center City, MN
Compensation: 100K Salary and percs equals a million dollars per term!
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Hate Sandcastles

Just a funny pic floating around on the interwebs...

And a funny pic a friend sent of her daugher a while back...

Free Image Hosting at ImageShack.us

You think these two wee ones are meant for each other?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Knit-Out & Crochet 2009

Saturday morning I picked up my friend Ingrid and we headed off to the Knit-Out & Crochet Show put on the by the Yarn Council of America at the Mall of America. Our first clue that the mall was busy were the clogged up exits from the freeway. I'm not a mall person by nature, but have been to the Mall of America on several occasions. We were impressed that a yarn show could attract this many people.

We drove around parking lot after parking lot never finding an open spot. We'd spy cars back out only to have some other car waiting with their blinkers on to get into that space. Tried the outer lots, tried the ramp and finally ended up parking far back into a large open field on the north side of the mall and hiked in. Even after all that, we were still looking forward to the show. Although, I have to admit, if Ingrid were not along, I would've left after the 20 minute search in the parking ramp.

We walked in and found the beginning of the Knit-Out which had a couple of demo's going on. We stopped and watched for a bit but all seats were taken and they were well into the demo. We picked up a map of the booth locations and started in.

The first thing we noticed is the huge amount of shoppers carrying multiple bags. We both commented that if the economists would come here, they might change their story about an ailing retail market. We waited in line for the first few booths and then were herded through to look at the sample projects with no time to stop and talk or ask questions. Most all booths had flyers and free patterns. The Patons booth gave out a nice bag with two skeins of yarn, patterns and a crochet hook. Clover gave out free lighted knitting needles. After visiting a booth we would find an opening of the river of shoppers walking by and make our way to the next booth.

It was apparent that the majority of the mall population was not there for the Knit-Out show. It was also apparent that parents of teenage daughters should go wash their girls mouths out with soap right now. I've never heard such foul language as what was coming out of those girls mouths. And loud. It wasn't just one group, but several. There were also several groups young men of 10 and more strong standing around like columns in the mall. They wouldn't move but at least were not shouting expletives at each other as we walked by.

The booths had lots of interesting samples of projects and I would've loved to stop and talk more with Fran Ortmeyer at the Clover booth. She is a blogger and the communications director for the company. But, as with all the booths, if you stopped to chat, you were holding up 20+ people behind you.

I'm glad we went but only return if was held at a different location. This show screams for a convention center room rather than a public mall. Canterbury Downs would be a great spot for this type of show. It's not like people could just stop by the booths while they were shopping. If you had a family of four and were shopping, would you herd the family through a line to see a booth you were vaguely interested in?

I've written a letter to the Yarn Council of America and will send copies to the sponsors that had booths at the show. But, until they move the show, I'll say "been there, done that" when it comes back in town next year.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


We recently had a new cat show up at our place. He and Rico are learning to co-exist but Big Cat has not learned that Rico's goal in life is to make things run so he can chase them. He is a herding dog after all. Big Cat fits his name - he is the largest cat I have ever seen. He isn't fat, just big. He's a neutered male, super lovey and is a gray tiger stripe but his black stripes are very wide. I know there's a name for the coloring but can't recall. I'll get a picture of him soon.

I was outside and kept hearing two cats meowing. One of them was our cat Crash, who as soon as I started calling "kitty, kitty, kitty", came running to me. But there was still one cat meowing. I happened to look up and low and behold, there was Big Cat, on top of the roof of our round barn. See the photo of the barn up in the header? Just above the big doorway, there is an old ladder nailed to the steep part of the roof. And where that ends, just to the right, there is a hole in the roof. That's where Big Cat was sitting. I can't imagine how the heck he got up there.

I told hubby last night and he left the office after a little while. About 10 minutes later he comes back with Big Cat in his arms. He had taken the big aluminum ladder, propped it up next to the barn by the old wooden ladder and coaxed Big Cat down. Super guy cat rescuer heart stealer. Big Cat was very appreciative, and so was balou.

Then, this morning, we were sleeping in late and I woke up to hubby touching the end of my nose. "Good morning, whatchya doin?" I asked. He said, "I've just been looking at how pretty you are." Heart melts, then I said, "What a nice way to be woken up on Valentines Day." And then he said, "Oh yeah! I forgot, it's Valentines Day isn't it?" Better than any old Hallmark and bouquet of flowers. I am a very lucky girl indeed.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Random Thoughts #4

• Friday the 13th is a lucky day in the balou househould. The hubby and I first met on a Friday the 13th one June long ago.

• Haiku for Lexi (my great-niece):
Girl with sharp scissors
Clip, clip, clip, hide strands
fast trip to salon

• Lexi's Dad (my niece's husband) is on his way home from an 18 month tour in Iraq. I'm so happy their little family will be reunited again. I wish that he never goes back again. Two times is enough already.

• Going to a yarn show with my friend tomorrow at the Mall of America. Willing to deal with the crowds for some free yarny goodness. I hear they hand out some great stuff. I'm all about the free things right now.

• OK balou, you can stop buying groceries and toilet paper. Even though hubby is jobless right now, you will have food and tp for months. It's enough already!

• I watched the movie "Chocolat" again last night. I always like the quote made by the preacher in the film: "We can't go around measuring our goodness by what we don't do, by what we deny ourselves, by what we resist, and who we exclude. I think we've got to measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create, and who we include."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Pepsi Logo

Lawrence Yang of San Francisco posted an interesting illustration of what he thinks of when he sees the new Pepsi logo. Hilarious!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Worth the Work

The hubby and I have been volunteers with the Hudson Hot Air Affair for eight years. We initially volunteered to learn the ropes of what it takes to put on a hot air balloon rally. We had toyed with the idea of holding a balloon rally for the public at our farm. We were going to call it the "Round Barn Rally." We had one meeting on it and realized the huge liability and risk we would have to expose our home to and that idea was put to rest.

Our duties as Hot Air Affair volunteers have evolved over the years. John is usually a pilot in the event but this year we opted to keep the balloon parked for the winter. So John was put in charge of the scoring committee. The balloons participate in a "Hare & Hound" game where the lead balloon lands, the scoring committee lays out a 100 foot fabric X and the other balloons try to throw 4 oz. bean bags with streamers as close to the target center as possible. The scoring committee then is responsible for measuring and reporting the scoring results. The closest this year was 5'9" from center. It takes piloting skill and a bit of luck to get that close.

The bulk of my duties take place before the event. I do a lot of graphic design work; update logos, design the brochure and this year my button design ended up on the t-shirts as well. I also designed and update their website, hudsonhotairaffair.com. My other responsibility is coordinating the Minnesota Kite Society to come to the Hot Air Affair. They sell kites and fly some beauties in the air on Saturday of the event.

One of my other jobs is assembling the pilot manual. It's a folder with instructions, maps, itinerary, forms, official regulations and such. It's a bear and I'm usually in a big panic Thursday before the event putting it all together. Hubby got to experience my fervor first hand this year. It was not pretty but he was a trooper helping out with everything.

Every year I get stressed out and wonder if it is worth it. But then something like this happens...

Friday night is the Hot Air Affair torchlight parade in downtown Hudson. I've spent the last few years on the sidelines enjoying the parade as a spectator with friends. We started watching and an older man stood beside us to watch the parade. He had a young man with him. He started talking with me and asking about the parade. He learned quickly that he found the right person to ask questions; an event volunteer and the wife of a hot air balloon pilot. I felt bad neglecting my friends but I do enjoy talking to newcomers about the event and hot air ballooning.

He and his grandson had traveled across the state of Wisconsin from Milwaukee for the event after seeing an article on the Hot Air Affair in the Milwaukee Journal. We had a fun conversation about the Hot Air Affair, ballooning, the 1920's (which was the event theme) and his hobby of model trains. I gave him some hints of fun things to do over the weekend and when the parade was over, we parted ways. I kept an eye out for he and his grandson over the weekend but didn't see them.

On Sunday mornings after the balloon launch, we always have a breakfast and awards ceremony for the pilots, sponsors and crew. I had walked up to get some orange juice and there they were, in line to have breakfast. I wondered how they came to be at the breakfast which isn't open to the public. Turns out they took my advice and volunteered to be balloon crew. One of the people that was going to ride in the balloon decided to give up their spot for the Milwaukee man's mentally handicapped grandson. I got goosebumps. That's what this event is all about. Helping people like them take home memories they will cherish for a lifetime.

Hot Air Affair Mass Ascension: 2.8.09

30 balloons launched Sunday morning at the Hudson Hot Air Affair. I was lucky enough to be able to walk around the launch field and shoot photos. It was beautiful!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Hot Air Affair

It's that time of year again. The Hudson Hot Air Affair is this coming weekend. The town of Hudson, Wisconsin is abuzz with activity all weekend. Some of the outdoor activities (yes, it's cold but we dress warm) include a parade, pond hockey on the river, volleyball tournament in the snow, smooshboarding (4 people strapped to one pair of ski-like wooden planks racing another group of the same), a kite fly and of course hot air balloon launches if the weather cooperates with us. The unique shops downtown have sales and the school where the center of activity takes place has an art & craft sale. On Saturday night, there is a balloon glow at the school. If the winds are calm, 30+ balloons inflate and light up the night sky. It is a sight to behold when they all light up their burners at the same time.

The hub and I have been volunteering for the Hudson Hot Air Affair for 8 years now. It's an organizational feat to pull this event off every year. There are a few key players coordinating and a whole lot of volunteers pitching in to make it happen. I take care of the majority of their graphic design needs and coordinate the Minnesota Kite Society kite fly. The hub has been involved with the ballooning duties including flying the event in past years and one year he was the balloonmeister (the main poo-pah of the balloonists). We have the balloon parked this winter so will enjoy being spectators when we are not on duty.

It's a fun outing if you're in the Minneapolis/St. Paul/West Central Wisconsin area. There are no admissions for the different events, parking is free and it is all kid friendly. There's a full schedule and info at their website, hudsonhotairaffair.com.