Categories
Personal Life

My Dad Agrees to a Family Photo, With Conditions

Sometime within the last week, I bought flags for my mom, my dad, and myself. I did this because I wanted a family photo on the Fourth of July, since I realized there weren’t any photos of my dad on this blog.

I almost forgot about my planned photo opportunity this evening, but luckily remembered just as my dad was about to go upstairs to his bedroom. When my dad came outside this evening for the family photo, I told him where I wanted the photo—by a tree—but he started yelling loudly at me and saying he can’t go down that far in our yard.

My dad is in a walker and likes to stay at home in the kitchen, presumably because it’s hard for him to get around. (With that said, he always liked spending most of his time in the kitchen even when he wasn’t in a walker, which basically amounts to all my life.)

Back to the story, he said he needed to be in front of my mom’s flower garden. But not only that, he insisted that he rotate his walker such that a compost bin and his old SUV in our garage are my backdrop. Yet my parents got to have flowers as their backdrop. When I asked if we could rotate ourselves a different way—so that the compost bin and his old SUV in our garage are not by me—my dad started crying loudly. Interestingly, he stopped crying immediately after I let him get his way.

Indeed, I acquiesced, since I wanted a photo with the flags on the Fourth of July. The photo below, which was taken by me with my smartphone, is probably the one where the compost bin and garage show up the least (my head is blocking most of it).

My dad’s T-shirt reads, “RUNNING THE COUNTRY IS LIKE RIDING A BIKE,” which is apparently a reference to President Biden falling off his bike. Most of my dad’s shirts have a political message.

In other news, I’m eight months sober. No alcohol, no nicotine, no drugs. Also, a hard pass for Delta-9-THC, which became legal in Minnesota on July 1. If everyone else in my family followed suit, many of our problems would dissipate. #NQTD

Note: the backward flag was unintentional (at least on my part).

My family holding flags in our yard on the Fourth of July

UPDATE, 07/04/2022: Since I’m not one to end a holiday (or any day, really) on a bad note, here is a photograph of the grand finale of Chanhassen’s fireworks display at Lake Ann. I stood across the street from Paisley Park to get this photo. It’s where I was last year as well.

Chanhassen’s fireworks display at Lake Ann (I was standing across the street from Paisley Park)

UPDATE, 07/05/2022: I took a portrait of just my dad this morning. Now I have recent portraits of my mom, dad, grandpa, and grandma. Although I recently visited my grandparents’ house, my dad stayed home. This portrait was taken in the same place as the photo with the flags from yesterday evening. The lighting is harsh and could have been ameliorated by using fill flash, but I currently do not have a flash for my Canon camera. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to get one.

Portrait of my dad
Categories
Out and About

Chanhassen’s 2022 Fourth of July Celebration

My mom and I went to Chanhassen’s Fourth of July celebration two times today (it is free, after all). It was sprinkling the first time we went at about 2:30 p.m., but otherwise the weather was nice; the precipitation was over by the second time we went at about 6:45 p.m. The weather is significant because, for Independence Day, there will be heavy rain and a chance of thunderstorms.

All photos were taken with my smartphone.

Coin pusher game with a memento mori
Water Hogs
Break a Bottle
Prizes
Balloons
Tickets, ATM, and Ferris wheel
Fair food
Lemonade concession stand
More fair food
Goats in an enclosure
View from the Ferris wheel
Self-portrait from the top of the Ferris wheel. I also took photos of my mom and myself on the Ferris wheel last year.
Pirate’s Fury
Various stuffed animals for prizes (including pugs!)
Large crowd of people sitting at tables
Live music
Categories
Out and About

Who Makes Sunsets? Not the Government.

Who makes sunsets? My sources tell me it’s not the government.

But, tonight, I did get to experience my first nice sunset in a long time. Even though yesterday I posted about why smartphones are not replacements for professional cameras, I went on a walk this evening with only my smartphone for a camera.

I took these photos of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in the Twin Cities/Chanhassen, Minnesota. For the uninitiated, I have been photographing this entity since at least high school. It’s located right next to my neighborhood, and it’s been pretty neat getting to grow up next to it.

Pictured on the right is the Doppler radar
This is the building where they inflate the weather balloons. The dome on top houses the tracking antenna.
Pictured is the Doppler radar and the office building
Categories
Out and About

Carver County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Posse

I went to the grocery store Lunds & Byerlys in Chanhassen, Minnesota, at about 11 a.m. today. As I parked my car, I saw two people riding horses in the parking lot. Not wanting to miss a photo opportunity, I ran up to the equestrians. I presumed they were with the Carver County Sheriff’s Office and practicing for the Fourth of July (though I never bothered to ask what they were doing). I did, however, ask if they were police officers, and they said, “No,” but they did say they were volunteers for the Carver County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Posse. They then told me to send a photo to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office so they can post it, which I will do after I post this article.

On a related note, today is the 15th anniversary of the iPhone. See this article from the Associated Press to find out what some of their photographers from all over the world think of the iPhone. Note: It might not be what you expect! (They’ll stick with their professional cameras, but the smartphone still has its uses, such as for this photo I took of horses in a parking lot when I didn’t have my professional camera.)

Carver County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Posse at Lunds & Byerlys in Chanhassen, Minnesota
Categories
Out and About

Raquel & the Wildflowers in Chanhassen

Hailing from the Hudson Valley in New York (where I went to college for a few years), country-rock band Raquel & the Wildflowers put on a lively show in Chanhassen, Minnesota, this evening. This was the third concert in Chanhassen’s 2022 Summer Concert Series.

Raquel & the Wildflowers
Raquel & the Wildflowers
Raquel & the Wildflowers
Raquel & the Wildflowers
Raquel & the Wildflowers
Categories
Out and About

Craig Clark Band in Chanhassen

Local blues group the Craig Clark Band performed in Chanhassen, Minnesota, this evening as the second concert in Chanhassen’s 2022 Summer Concert Series.

Craig Clark Band
Craig Clark Band
Craig Clark Band
Craig Clark Band
Categories
Pug Life

It’s Meteorological Summer!

June 1 is the first day of meteorological summer, which is based on the temperature cycle. But some contend the first day of summer is actually June 20–22, the solstice, which is based on the position of Earth in relation to the Sun. In any case, today’s blue sky and fluffy clouds look like summer. I took these photos with my phone.

Song of the day: The Orb – Little Fluffy Clouds.

Headshot of Missy
Side profile of Pugsley
Categories
Personal Life

I Walked My First (Unofficial) Marathon

I walked 26.86 miles at a pace of 20:21 min./mile (data courtesy of Withings)

I just got back from the longest walk of my life. And my first marathon. In the headline, I say it was my first “unofficial” marathon because I was just walking on my own and not as part of an official event. Still, I trust the data from my Withings Pulse HR activity tracker (if anything, it underreports steps, since, in the past, I have worn a Withings and Garmin tracker at the same time to test the devices).

I did not plan this feat; rather, I decided to go for a marathon shortly after going on a walk today. I reasoned I could walk a marathon—and I was determined to do so—because I hadn’t walked in a week due to smoke from the wildfires in Canada. The weather also helped.

Hourly weather forecast for Chanhassen, Minnesota, on August 4, 2021 (image courtesy of the National Weather Service)

As the first screenshot illustrates, I started walking at 7:06 a.m. and walked for a total of 9 hours and 7 minutes. I did, of course, walk a little more than a half mile extra.

My psychology teacher from high school was also the cross country coach. I remember he once told our class that marathon runners are known to have problems finishing races. For example, I believe he said they can have diarrhea mid-race, due to the stress they put on their bodies. I did not have any problems. But, then again, I was just walking.

The closest I’ve come to my marathon today was when I walked 23.55 miles on August 27, 2020. As I say on Facebook, “I would’ve walked 26.2 miles for a full marathon, but I had eBay orders to ship.” That was a bit disappointing.

I would like to walk an official marathon someday (assuming that is something people do); but, for now, I’m content with my unofficial marathon.

Those “26.2” stickers just look so cool on a car’s rear window. Does it really matter if you were only walking? Who would know?

Categories
Out and About

Two Late July Days in ‘a Run for Hottest Day of the Year’

Today and tomorrow are in “a run for hottest day of the year,” according to the National Weather Service’s forecast office in the Twin Cities/Chanhassen, MN (which is located right next to my neighborhood).

I took this photo at 7:23 a.m.

The morning sky on one of the hottest days of the year

Categories
Out and About Personal Life

It Was a Frosty, Foggy Morning, and I Think I Have Hemorrhoids

I seem to have run into some bad luck this holiday season. First, on December 1, I start showing symptoms of COVID-19; then, on Christmas Eve, I get pain in my gums that lasts several days; and, finally, on New Year’s Day, I get what I think are most likely hemorrhoids. What did I do to deserve all this bad fortune? I thought I had been a good person.

OK, maybe I’m to blame. I did lose 35 pounds in a little over four months. Maybe now my body is fighting back.

I had been looking forward to being slim not just for the last four months but for at least the last four years. Now I’m at my goal weight (I will write a post about my weight-loss journey soon), but it came at a price.

Still, I didn’t let these afflictions keep me from getting some nice winter photos today. After all, that is why you clicked the link, isn’t it? No, I shouldn’t have said that; my hemorrhoids are probably why you’re here. Well, I will be video conferencing with a doctor in an hour, so I will fill you in on all the salacious details. No, they won’t be examining my derrière over video. At least I don’t think that’s how it works. (Note: I will post the update after the photos.)

I’m starting to ramble. Here are the photos.

Sign for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in the Twin Cities/Chanhassen, Minnesota
Trees with frost
Prairie with frost
The National Weather Service Forecast Office in the Twin Cities/Chanhassen, Minnesota

Update, 1/2/2021: I had my appointment with a physician assistant (not a medical doctor). We talked over the phone, rather than over video. Interestingly, I forgot to spend undue time making sure I had the right diagnosis, but I’m about 99 percent sure I have hemorrhoids. I’ve only had them one other time in my life—almost exactly 10 years ago—and the symptoms were the same as what I have now. I believe they went away within a week of using Preparation H, witch hazel, or a prescription (I don’t remember which).

The PA prescribed a medication, recommended fiber-rich foods, dispensed other home remedies and things to look out for, and generally answered my questions. I’m optimistic my pain will subside once I start implementing these treatments.

I’ll probably write at least one more update to this post once my body gets back to normal.