Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dean Kamen Has A New Project

You may recognize the name Dean Kamen as the inventor of the iBot, the wheelchair that stands up and works on gyros to place paraplegics in a standup position as well as doing things like climbing stairs. He is also the inventor of the Segway.

Mr. Kamen has never found a project he did not like to try and solve. He owns more than four hundred American and International patents on various things from medical devices to now a water purification product that could save millions of lives!

Now, at 63, Dean Kamen is working on what may be his biggest problem! He is certainly not slowing down just because of his age, and is truly a lifelong learner and teacher.

I just read an incredible article that was originally published in June 2014 in Popular Science magazine and is now available at this website:

It is an informative read and the numbers are staggering about what our world can be if we simply had clean water!

To think over one billion people, that is almost one-seventh of the world's population, does not have access to clean drinking water on a daily basis. I had heard about Kaymen's most recent adventure in a news story on the radio on my way to acupuncture yesterday.

After doing a little research on Dean Kamen and knowing him from his past adventures, I found this article. According to the article, “Fifty percent of all the people in the developing world suffer from waterborne pathogens,” he says. “We’d empty half the beds in all the hospitals in the world if we just gave people clean water.” The Slingshot won’t be the solution for all of those people, Kamen says, but he sees no reason not to strive for that.

It seems the product has been in development as far back as 2004, but is only now coming to fruition. The thing I like about the project and its implementation is the involvement of Deka Research and Development (Kamen's company) and his partnership with Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola was on board from the very beginning after Kamen gave his pitch back in 2004.

The device is known as the Slingshot after the mythical slingshot, which with David slew Goliath. He is literally trying to rid the world of people getting sick and dying from drinking water. If you are reading this, chances are your water is safe. Imagine being able to hook one of these Slingshots up to a hose and getting clean water from contaminated water filled with all kinds of waterborne impurities!

Here is a Slingshot, which appears at the end of the article:

As always, click on the image to make it larger:

The article explains much better than I can how the Slingshot works.

Like many inventors before him Dean Kamen sees a problem and then finds a solution. I am fascinated with people like that! He is a modern day Thomas Edison or Nikola Tesla.

Imagine if we could empty hospitals by one half and save millions of lives every year simply by giving people good, clean water!

I look forward to your comments.



Friday, January 16, 2015

The NFL's Final Four Is Sunday

If you are not aware and do not follow football, this post is not for you. If you are a football fan and watched Ohio State beat up on Oregon Monday night for the NCAA first-ever, bona fide playoff National Championship, this Sunday you will find the two teams who will be making the trip to the Super Bowl.

This weekend we move up a level to the NFL and the really huge money and egos. It will be interesting to see what controversies come this weekend because certainly there will be one or more game changing calls that will determine somebody getting more millions of dollars then somebody else.

The first game between the Green Bay Packers and last year's winner, Seattle Seahawks starts at 2 PM central time. That is for the National Conference Championship. The winner of that game will play the winner of the 5 PM game, which finds the Indianapolis Colts take on the New England Patriots.

I guess they had to move the times back an hour for the beginning of each game to get in an extra hour of analysis and commercials before the games start. I am sure there will be several human interest stories and heartwarming commercials sprinkled in between so many people telling us what is going to happen in each game. Call me cynical, but I can do without all of the pregame analysis and prognostications.

The winners on Sunday will win the right to represent their conference in Super Bowl XLIX. That is 49 for you non-Greek number experts. Personally, I liked Super Bowl XL.

They will get their respective conference championship trophies after their win on Sunday; but the real prize is the Lombardi Trophy which is named after the famed Green Bay and Washington coach, Vince Lombardi pictured here:

It is the ultimate symbol of superiority in America's classic example of testosterone run amok.

For you people who do not like football because of the injuries and the toll it takes on its players, I completely understand your perspective and find it offensive. However, despite an instant in time of football changing my life forever, I still love to watch good football games on any level.

It disgusts me every time I see a player get hurt. Unfortunately, it happens far too often and I am not going to make this post a commentary on my feelings of how dangerous the game is.

The thing that does bother me about football and all professional sports is the gambling that goes on with the television sports shows. I understand a lot of money changes hands legally and illegally in Nevada and New Jersey. I am not naïve enough to think it does not go on illegally around the country, but it does disgust me how gambling is promoted on such a wide basis via television and social media. 

With all that being said, my favorites for this Sunday are Seattle over Green Bay and New England over Indianapolis. I have my reasons, and that is a much longer explanation to add to this already long post. Suffice it to say I already have my Super Bowl favorite picked out as well.

As always, I look forward to your comments.



Friday, January 9, 2015

Ohio State Versus Oregon

Finally, we are going to crown a National Champion in NCAA Division 1 College Football, in the first ever playoff system in college football.

Until this season, there has been polls that determined who was the champion. There is always been a controversy over who the exact champion really was. This season that all changed under the NCAA and college football has a true class system.

Ohio State, Oregon, Alabama and Florida State were decided to play in the playoffs on New Year's Day. All year long many as the best conference in the country considered the SEC or Southeastern Conference hands down! Alabama ended up as the number one seed in the tournament. Florida State, from the Atlantic Coast Conference, was seeded three. Oregon was the number two seed and Ohio State was the fourth to be invited to the playoffs.

For those of you that are avid college football fans this is all old news to you. However, for those of you who do not spend a lot of time watching and following big-time football I will do my best in explaining what has happened to this point in the process.

In the 2013 football season, Florida State was named the mythical National Champion. I say mythical because there was no way other than the Associated Press polls and the coaches’ polls determine the champion with a voting process. Many people were upset with that process, so this year it was finally determined it was time to have a playoff in place.

All year long, the analysts and prognosticators deemed Alabama as the best team in the country with Florida State a close second. They each won their respective divisions in the Southeast Conference and were thought by many to play in Monday night's game for the national championship.

Something happened to that expected game on New Year's Day. Somebody forgot to tell the Ohio State and Oregon football teams they were simply window dressing and play toys for the eventual big game between Alabama and Florida State.

Understand the Big Ten Conference and Pac 12 Conference were considered inferior by all of those people who were "in the know" so to speak. In fact, the Big Ten and Pac 12 proved to the nation football was played in other areas of the country besides just the South and Southwest.

As a long time Big Ten fan, it is fun for me to see the two teams playing for the national championship come from the West Coast and the Midwest.

I am split in my decision about who I want to see win Monday night's game. On one hand, I want to see Ohio State, another Big Ten team win. On the other hand, Oregon has never won a national championship and I would like to see them win this too. Either way, I am happy to see how so many of the experts pick a team outside the SEC.

I am especially glad to see Florida State not in the championship because of the behavior many of their players exhibited as they left the field after losing to Oregon on New Year's Day in the Rose Bowl.

If you did not see it, it is customary for players from both sides come together at midfield, shake hands and congratulate each other on a hard-fought game. Remember, Florida State won the championship last year and had won twenty-nine straight games. I believe that ties and NCAA record for third longest winning streak in NCAA football history.

Many Florida State players walked off the field in a blatant, classless act of defiance that can only be called what it is, classless, as a bunch of spoiled, arrogant little boys walked off the field without showing any respect to a much better Oregon team that had just beaten them 59-20 in a route that was fun to watch!

Ohio State had a rougher time with Alabama. However, in the end, Ohio State beat the Crimson Tide 42-35 in what was a classic college football game with a fantastic finish!

If your team won or lost and you have someone to root for in Monday night's game, I only hope it turns out to be a classic! I will be watching.

I look forward to your comments.



Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Top 10 Photos for 2014

It is that time of year again when everyone talks about their Top 10 of the year. I want to post my 10 favorite photographs of 2014. There are many to choose from and they come from different places. Several have already been posted on this blog, others come from friends who have sent me old photographs from days gone by and others come from my Facebook page. Suffice it to say they come from a variety of sources.

I want to start with my all-time favorite photograph, which was sent by me to a friend in an email. Many of you who have known me for a long time know this photograph very well. After this first one, they are in no order as far as favorites are concerned.

This photograph was taken in our driveway/basketball court about the middle of August 1971. It was taken about three weeks before my accident and my little sister, Tammy's third birthday. The dogs belonged to my brother, Rick and they were Pepe and Chief.

Like I wrote earlier, the rest of these pictures are in no particular order:

I was not quite two years old and getting ready to chase Grandpa Smith's pigs. As mom was known to do, she would take several pictures before and during her children and grandchildren were about to get in trouble! In the next picture in this series, I am chasing the pigs around the yard! Notice my uncle Terry leaning on a baseball bat in front of the hog house. He was about five years old and probably should have stopped me but I believe knowing him, he thought it would be more fun to watch me get in trouble!

The next photograph was taken when I was about four. It is now my Profile photograph on my Facebook page:

Of course it is a clip-on bow tie! It was taken at Montgomery Wards in Brookings, South Dakota.

This next photograph was taken when we lived in Revillo, South Dakota when I was three or four years old. These next two photographs are taken from my Mike's Photos Album on my Facebook page. I probably would not have broken my neck had I been wearing a facemask like that:

This photograph was taken of my father when he took the job at Worthington State Junior College in 1968. He was only 34 years old and had taken the leap from high school coaching to his junior college coaching career. He was hired as the second counselor along with Bruce Traphagan, and the track and cross country coach. He spent eight years in Worthington before he transferred to Rochester Community College where he spent seventeen years as a coach and teacher. I really like this picture!

This next picture was taken several years ago at a middle school about fifty miles outside of Minneapolis: I like the expressions on the students' faces and especially the teacher. I was having fun with the boy just to my right with the light shirt and dark ring around the collar:

That picture was one of my Cover Photos on my Facebook page in 2014.

This photograph was just taken by my cousin, Mike Bailey, after he hung several photographs in various spots throughout my apartment. First of all, let me tell you a little history about these photos. The wagon on the left was at my grandmother and step grandfather Grieme's farm located on the edge of White, South Dakota. It was taken many years ago and has significant value to me. I took this photo close to thirty years ago. The pig feeder trough going up into the wagon was a wood shop project of dad's when he was in high school! I am especially fond of it because it is all gone now and could never be repeated.

The barn on the right was located across the road from mom and dad's house outside Rochester. I woke up one morning and saw a dense fog over the valley. I had tried to take that photo several times in bright sunlight and never caught it like I wanted it. That morning, I called mom and dad in and they got me out of bed before the fog lifted so I could get that shot.

That photograph won second place at the Sister Kenny Art Show for photography one year and is hanging in houses and businesses from the East Coast to the West Coast. I am very proud of that photograph and the fact mom and dad got me up so quickly so I could get down to shoot that barn. It is another photograph that can never be repeated because the barn is gone and a new house is sitting there now.

This next picture was taken by my friend, Dave Heidtke, on my way into my home away from home nineteen or twenty afternoons or evenings every winter at Williams Arena, the home of our Golden Gophers! Watching the Gophers is what keeps me in Minnesota during these long, cold, winters! I have had season tickets since I was a student at the University of Minnesota in the mid-70's!

This next photograph was also on my Facebook Profile for several months in 2014. It was taken in 1975 for an article in the Worthington Daily Globe entitled "You Never Get Used To It" and was about me getting used to my accident four years after I got hurt. I have titled it "Angry Mike" and some people do not believe I looked angry!

What do you think; do I look angry?

Let me end this 2014 pictorial on a high note: I know I started this out with pictures from 2014. I have always said, "Learn the rules, then break some." I am going to break one of my rules and put in a photograph from my first New Year's in 1956:

What do you think? Do I look a little angry in this one too? We were living on Larson's farm and I was cold. I was upset because I wanted to get warmed up and mom had to take a picture of me bringing in the New Year with a toilet paper sash that was written 1956 in lipstick. I promise I will be much warmer this year bringing in the new year sleeping on my 90° waterbed!

There are many more photographs I could have included in this post; however, there is just not room for all of them. I am going to break my rule one more time and include one of my favorites from the year that my first friend in Worthington sent me as he was cleaning out an archive of decades of photographs. In the summer of 1974, my sister, Kathleen and Tom Wallace took the train to Berkeley to  ride back with me for my summer vacation. Tom sent me three photographs he found in his archives. I want to share this one with you because it is a classic photograph from 1974, and it needs to be on this list!

California dreamin' at its best, 1974! The two women on my lift were personal care attendants. We dropped them off because they wanted to go back east. They wanted to go someplace like Reno or Fresno, you know, back east!

One more comment: to enlarge all of the pictures, simply click on the photo.

Happy New Year everyone. May you all have a great 2015!

I welcome your comments.

Until next year,



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

'Tis The Season Of Giving

Everyone knows what time of the year it is, and we all know it is better to give than to receive. We all know how crowded those malls can be between now and whenever family and friends get together to exchange gifts.

Today, I am giving you an opportunity to save yourself from that horrendous horde of humanity and do a little online shopping. As most of you know, I wrote, "I Still Believe In Tomorrow" in 2012 and have been selling it online from my website, at speeches, conferences, schools and libraries ever since.

One small social service company ordered an ebook version for each one of their employees off my website after my presentation.

Please let me remind you what a great gift the book is to put on that new electronic device you are giving that special someone! They will be pleased to open that new iPad, Kindle, Android, laptop or computer complete with a nice, short, inspirational book already loaded and ready for reading as that tryptophan-induced nap starts to kick in!

They will be so excited and enthralled by reading my words; it will keep the effects of that nap at bay!  Well, maybe not, but they can finish the book after the nap.

Or, you can order the paperback version off my website at and surprise them with a nice gift to put in their pile of new socks and other goodies.

If you live in the Twin Cities area and would like an autographed copy or copies, I have plenty of copies here I would be willing to personally sign them to the intended receiver with a special note made just to that person. There is still plenty of time to get that done so you desire.

If you are not familiar with my book, here is the cover:

Click on the image to make it larger:

Since this is an unabashed plea for holiday gifts, I want to implore you exactly how important this book can be to someone's life. Let me leave you with a quote from a reader I received a few months ago:

"I look up to you. Your speech was tremendous and I loved the book!"

She was in a workshop I did and I had an opportunity to speak with her after my keynote.

As if I have not made myself perfectly clear yet, I will make one more plea. The book makes a great gift for someone on your list and if you have not already read it, I believe you would like to read it as well.

It never hurts to give you that special gift either.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, office party and any other celebration this holiday season. Drive safely and remember to keep your hands on the wheel and not on that cell phone!

I look forward to your comments.



Friday, December 12, 2014

Merry Christmas!

It is hard to believe another year has come and gone and it is time to put out the annual Christmas lights. Some entire neighborhoods get the Christmas spirit and go all out trying to outdo their neighbors.

In one Christmas past, I have put out my annual online Christmas card complete with a contest about which set of Christmas lights people liked best. One year I put out three sets of lights with two of them very extravagantly organized to loud, well-organized spectacular music. I got another one the other day on my Facebook page, but decided not to show that and have another battle over my dueling light shows.

As I understand it, these light shows were often very destructive to entire neighborhoods, as people would get into traffic jams as they drove through neighborhoods videotaping the light shows. According to one report, there was more than one accident caused by distracted drivers and disgruntled neighbors.

I can only imagine what it must be like for neighbors who live next door to these over-the-top displays of one upmanship trying to make a bigger and better show of a waste of electricity!

As my little survey turned out, the people who responded most favorably to my display of lights gave this example as the winner!

Click on the image to make it larger:

From my understanding of the description when I got these lights several years ago, a man's wife was harassing him to put up the Christmas lights. Finally, after much consternation he decided to hang the lights the way he wanted to. I wonder if that couple is still married?

The great author, Maya Angelou once stated, "I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."

I am guessing she is as much of an expert as anybody and how can you argue with Maya Angelou?

Please consider this my annual Christmas Card, Happy Kwanzaa Card, Happy Hanukkah Card or whatever religion you follow, that is if you do follow one at all, and enjoy the next few weeks right on through New Year's Day with your loved ones and special people doing holiday activities.

I would not want to make a certain Fox broadcaster angry with me an excuse me of assaulting Christmas! Notice I did not even type his name, as I do not believe he is worth it! I know that is not in keeping with the holiday spirit, but he is just one man who lives in a world of his own!

As always, I look forward to your comments.



P.S. Click on the Christmas Lights label at the end of this post and you can see my contestants from 2008. There were three good comments on that post worth reading as well.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What Is In A Name?

Have you ever thought about where names of automobile companies, insurance companies, retail stores or any other business get their names?

There is a commercial running for Dodge automobiles telling us the Dodge brothers worked for Ford Motor Company for 10 years before leaving and forming Dodge one hundred years ago in 1914. They felt the assembly line as Henry Ford was running it was not the way to go.

That got me thinking about where companies get their names. We know Henry Ford filed bankruptcy twice before he started his enormously successful Ford Motor Company. He made the assembly line run exceptionally well to make the Model T.

After a quick Google search, I found more information about Horace and John Dodge and their initial work in manufacturing a ball bearing for bicycles. The two brothers worked for a number of companies before the owner of Oldsmobile came knocking on their door seeking their advice and offering them a job. His name was Ransom Eli Olds.

Now we know where the name Oldsmobile came from. Horace and John Dodge were known in the automobile industry as very creative, industrious and hard-working young men. When Mr. Olds found out about these two young men, he hired them to design hundreds of engines, transmissions and axles for him over the next several years. It was Ransom Olds who started the first assembly line building automobiles in 1902. In 1903 Oldsmobile was manufacturing 30% of the automobiles made in the United States.

In 1872, in a completely different industry, Charles Alfred Pillsbury formed the company along with his uncle, John S. Pillsbury where they processed grain and had built a flour mill on the Mississippi River to transport their small grain and flour all the way down the Mississippi River. I think it is safe to say Pillsbury is known pretty much worldwide.

Pillsbury competed with General Mills, another Minneapolis-based company until 2001 when General Mills bought out Pillsbury. However, antitrust laws forced the companies to diverge and get rid of some of the Pillsbury products. General Mills kept the rights to refrigerated and frozen Pillsbury products, while dry baking products and frosting are now sold by Smucker under license.

We have all heard the Smucker's commercial which goes something like, " ... with a name like Smucker's, it has to be good."  James Monroe Smucker founded his company in 1897.

The list of people who have named their companies after themselves goes on and on. I am sure you would recognize more of them if I were to go on and list other industries. However, I think you get my point. I would like to hear companies in your part of the woods that were started by people and named after them. There are regional companies around the country, national companies and international businesses that do business around the world.

If you live in Minneapolis, and you go to the Macy's store in downtown Minneapolis, remember that used to be Dayton's.

Where would we be if the Mayo brothers had been named Johnson, Peterson or Anderson? The most famous medical clinic in the world would be called the Johnson Brothers Clinic. It just does not have the same ring.

I look forward to your comments and names that fit my little survey.



Sunday, November 30, 2014

Is Another Canal Necessary?

I have always contended I never know where my inspiration will come for my next post. This is another classic example! I saw an article on about building a new canal connecting the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea across Nicaragua, and it struck my interest. 

I started reading about the pluses and minuses of building a canal that is a 173-mile artificial waterway — which is three and one-half times the length of the Panama Canal. There are many advantages and disadvantages on both sides of building such an enormous project through dense rain forests, wetlands and Lake Nicaragua.

Without going into a lot of the details, suffice it to say, it is a very controversial project that is scheduled to start next month!

Here is a map of the proposed canal:

Click on the image to make it larger: has another great article on the Panama Canal, its rich history and the expansion that was started in 2007 and will bring it to a point where it will handle most of the large ships going through the proposed Nicaraguan Canal. That project will be finished in 2015. The new Panama Canal will have more locks, deeper and wider navigational channels.

The thing that struck me about building an all-new canal through Nicaragua, besides the environmental effect, is the area is a large hurricane area, which is prone to dramatic hurricanes, which could cause significant damage at any time! 

Like every project of any size it all boils down to money! When the United States turned over complete control of the Panama Canal to Panama in 1999, all of the tolls went with it. It is a significant amount of money each ship must pay to travel through the canal. Tolls for the largest ships can run $450,000! One can only imagine what the cargo on that ship must be worth.

I am positive that kind of money could help Nicaragua, which is one of the, if not the poorest country in Central America. It is an interesting dilemma.

Personally, I believe we should stay with the current Panama Canal with its new updates that will allow most mega ships through.

One last interesting fact I got from the article: "Some 52,000,000 gallons of fresh water are used each time I ship makes a trip through the Panama Canal. The water comes from Gatun Lake, which was formed during the canals construction by damning the Charges River. Within area of more than 163 square miles, Gatun Lake was once the world's largest man-made lake."

As always, I look forward to your comments.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to post this tonight before my annual dosage of tryptophan kicks in sometime during the Eagles-Cowboys game. I did a little research on the origin of our Thanksgiving holiday and found a video on the History Channel which revealed some interesting facts:

Starting in 1621 when the pilgrims shared their successful harvest with their Indian "hosts" it was not celebrated as a single feast but rather a three-day festival complete with contests, entertainment and other activities of the day.

The Indians brought five deer, so venison was definitely on the menu. Turkey was not. They also did not have pumpkin pie or potatoes, which had not been introduced to New England yet.

The pilgrims did not plan on creating an annual tradition and so it was not held for many years. In 1789, President George Washington declared it a national holiday for Thursday, November 26, 1789.

It did not become a national holiday until the 19th century when Sara Josefha Hale, more famous for writing, "Mary Had a Little Lamb" decided to re-create the menu from the first celebration back in the 17th century. She made her own substitutions with certain items and waged an almost thirty-year campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.

In 1863, during the heart of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday a national holiday. It stayed that way until 1939 when President Franklin Roosevelt moved the holiday up one week to give depression era retailers an extra week for Christmas shopping.

The bill was widely criticized and in 1941 FDR moved the holiday back one week to its present location of the fourth Thursday of November.

As always, click on the image to make it larger:

It was not until 1989 when President George H.W. Bush gave the first presidential pardon of a turkey. That tradition remains today and every president since then has pardoned one or two turkeys on every Thanksgiving.

This year President Obama pardoned two turkeys. The video also stated the pardoned turkeys are given to a farm near Washington where they live out their remaining days in Turkey Heaven.

There, probably more information about our beloved Thanksgiving holiday than you ever wanted to know.

Now, I am off to Walmart to wait for their 6 PM opening on Black Friday! If you believe that, I have some land I will sell you in Canada that is full of black gold or better known as tar sand oil!

I look forward to your comments.



P.S. If you are one of those Black Friday shoppers who just cannot wait for the giant retailers to open up, be patient, courteous and think about what you are doing when you could be home buying all those important commodities online?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

I Enjoy Watching A Skilled Craftsman At Work

Many of you know my cousin, Michael Patrick Bailey. He has a lifetime of picture framing and hanging experience. He came over last night and hung seventeen photographs, my 1955 calendar and one small poster! They had been in storage since I moved out of my house in 2011!

He did a yeoman's job in only two hours time! He hung photographs in several different places and I only had to supervise on a few occasions!

Mike hung a collage centered on a photograph that is one of Tom Wallace's favorite photographs of a high school basketball game between Luverne and Jasper in the District 8 tournament in 1973 in Worthington! Tom as been shooting since high school and has shot me on many occasions. He is now on staff at the Minneapolis StarTribune newspaper. The fun thing about Tom is he was the first person I met when I started school in Worthington partway through my eighth grade year. We have remained friends ever sense, and he has recently told me he wants to upgrade my profile photograph.

Jim Brandenburg mentored Tom when they worked for the Worthington Daily Globe. Yes, that Jim Brandenburg! It does not get any better than Jim for a photography mentor!

The irony in this picture is it features one of my favorite people and Mike Bailey's brother-in-law, Tom Brakke, boxing out his opponent and waiting to grab one of his many rebounds! His photograph is surrounded by smaller photographs of me as a baby on my first New Year's Eve and my second birthday photograph. The next photograph up the left side is a unique photograph my aunt, Dorothy Fish took of a picture of George Washington's profile on Mount Rushmore! Moving around is a photograph I took of a woman many years ago after she had been at a professional modeling studio that day, so she was all made up and it remains one of my favorite photographs.

Along the top are pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge, which was taken by a friend of mine from way back in the dorm when I attended the University of California at Berkeley, Mike Ross. Next to that is a time-lapse shot I took of downtown Chicago that is rather unique. Moving down the right side are pictures of two little boys that had some inquisitive looks on their face when I shot them one day many years ago out at Valley Fair. Moving down the right side of the collage are two pictures of my favorite building to shoot, the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis. I must confess, Mike Ross took one of those as well.

Mike also put three concept photos on the other wall I took of the IDS Center.

In my bedroom, he hung three photographs from when I went downhill skiing in Winter Park, Colorado in 1980. He also hung my calendar from April 1955! It was a rather racy photograph at the time as the seductress on the calendar has a quote that reads, "Tell me more!"

It is often said, "The time to buy an antique is when you see it." That was the case with my calendar girl. When I saw it in an antique mall and it had January, February and March torn off, showing April. I had to buy it!

Mike was operating a framing shop at the time and I asked him to put my calendar in a period frame. He hit it perfectly!

There was one more sign Mike put up for me last night. He hung it by my front door where I will read it once again like I did in my house for many years. It reads, "HELP WANTED" on the first line and underneath it in slightly smaller letters it reads, "NO IRISH NEED APPLY"!

The irony in that simple sign is it was made by the Boston Sign Company on September 11, 1915! I had that hanging in my house by my door and have not been able to get most of these pieces hanging on the walls because there just was no room in an eight hundred square foot apartment!

I hang it by my door to remind me how my Irish immigrants were treated in the late 19th century and the early 20th century! It seems timelier today when we are discussing the immigrants and the situation about letting them continue to build our workforce! There was a time when Boston did not embrace the Celtics like they do today! It seems every minority group has taken its fair share of lack of being welcome in this country that is built on immigrants! I believe everyone should read the words at the base of the Statue of Liberty!

I still have more pieces I want to hang and Mike will be back to do that after the Thanksgiving holiday trip to be with his extended family. He has assured me he will not wait as long to hang the next batch of photographs as he did in this one!

I apologize for not getting any of the pictures up on this post. However, if you were ever at my house and saw photographs by my friends listed above and me, you know what his photographs I am talking about.

I promise I will post another photograph once Mike gets some of my other pieces up and show you what my apartment is starting to look like! We simply did not have a phone or camera to take photographs of Mike's work.

I look forward to your comments.