Sunday, February 07, 2016
From $75,000 per minute to $4,500,000 for 30 seconds, Super Bowl commercials have definitely inflated in value in the past half century.
Plus, they've made us laugh and warmed our heart as we've learned about products ranging from cigarettes to sodas to cars to soap, to tasty munchies, to technology and, of course, fast foods.
It's been quite a run since that first Sunday when those of us from little 'ol Sandpoint proudly watched one of its first connections to the national scene with hometown football hero Jerry Kramer playing for the Green Bay Packers who defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10.
This morning I found a fascinating Chicago Tribune piece about evolution of Super Bowl ads and their pricetags.
I was planning to grab just a couple but got so caught up in the nostalgia that every time I viewed a commercial, I couldn't resist. Hard to pick a favorite but easy to say we've had some creative minds at work over the past 50 years.
Obviously, you may not want to view them all, but if they work on the blog, you can always come back whenever you need a commercial break from whatever you're doing on this Super Sunday.
Enjoy. May the best team and the best ad win!
Saturday, February 06, 2016
Well, the phone just rang.
"Are ya watching "Lucky Dog?" Linda Aavedal asked from the other end.
No, I had not remembered that Linda had told me at obedience training about the 7 a.m. Saturday morning show, which could be an entertaining and educational, especially for dog lovers.
"Turn it on," she said. "Channel 2."
So, this morning I'm watching the program for the first time and learning about Riley, who was "surrendered" to a shelter for being a supposedly untrainable dog.
And, ya know what? Liam is lying on the bed next to my computer, and he's watching in between napping.
Liam watches TV more than any dogs we've ever owned. And, since Liam seems to learn his disciplines without paying much attention at Doggie Obedience class, I"m figuring he may pick up some good tips this morning by watching Riley learn his lessons.
The trainer on the TV show thinks Riley's a pretty smart dog, and he's looking for a good setting for the young dog's future home.
He has visited a lady named Lisa who lives with her elderly dad. Lisa, who likes to go on road trips, is looking for a dog that likes to travel.
Oops, first challenge: Riley gets car sick, but soon his trainer figures out that a booster seat will help Riley keep his equilibrium.
So, with that challenge aside, the Brandon, the trainer, starts Riley on agility skills.
Two thirds of the way through the program, Liam must have gotten bored. He's left this room and has gone downstairs, maybe to do some more chewing. We had to stop at Yoke's last night after dinner to buy Liam a new leash.
I discovered late yesterday afternoon that one part of the leash had been chewed to within a quarter inch of the edge. One more time outside running with his buddies and it was definitely possible that Liam would suddenly be Free Liam.
We're not quite ready for that yet. So, he has a brand new blue leash, wider than the first one so I have more time to catch him chewing the leash into two pieces.
I'll probably be purchasing a new bed for Liam too. Thankfully he doesn't eat all the stuffing he chomps from the bed.
Oooh, back to Lucky Dog. Riley just finished with agility training and received his "dream collar." He received the collar for being a good dog, not a chewing dog.
Liam's back. Guess he wants to watch the meeting of Lisa and Riley at Riley's new home.
Lisa fell in love with him instantly. Now, Brandon is showing her Riley's talents at the agility training center, and Lisa has completely fallen for Riley.
The story definitely has a happy ending, which I'm sure happens on all "Lucky Dog" episodes. Thanks, Linda, for reminding me.
I enjoyed the show, and Liam did, sorta.
Tomorrow, we'll probably spend part of Super Sunday watching the Puppy Bowl. This year is the 12th time the show has offered an alternative for folks who don't want to watch football.
The 2016 Puppy Bowl contestants have been selected, and if you wish to pick your favorite, you can visit the following link:
In other news, relating to humans this morning, I want to send best wishes to my oldest brother Mike and his wife Mary who are celebrating 49 years of marriage today. Hats off to you two, and enjoy your day.
I can hear blasting up at Schweitzer where it looks like a great day ahead for skiers and boarders.
Looking like a great day all the way around AND a long one: Gonzaga doesn't play until 9 p.m. tonight, so we'll probably have to drink some extra coffee to stay awake long past our bed time.
Happy Saturday. GO, ZAGS!
Friday, February 05, 2016
A few inches of new snow yesterday morning dressed up the countryside. The overnight deposit required some plowing, blowing and shoveling but not too much extra work. With the new normal here at the Lovestead, Bill enjoyed having the time to plow.
The overnight drop just made things pretty, and best of all, it started melting by afternoon.
I took advantage of an opportunity to walk through our woods and fields and then on down the road to the Johnson's home (that would be Janice and Mark) for a pleasant
Two wagon wheels in their beautiful yard created lovely images with the fresh coating of snow.
With luck, we won't have a lot more snow, and it's looking like we may see a major melt-off in the next few days. That will take us to the point where my sisters and I will take off for a few days in the sun.
Having Bill home to take care of pets and the Lovestead and one of our brothers coming over to watch after Barbara and Laurie's animals will allow us to head off and enjoy the moments without worry.
This retirement stuff definitely has its benefits.
The weekend ahead looks like an action-packed one sports-wise. We'll attend the SHS girls' basketball game tomorrow afternoon and then come home for the late ZAGS game with Pepperdine.
And, of course, Sunday Super Bowl will provide a full day of entertainment. In keeping with tradition, the men among the two Love couples will take major responsibility with the menu. Bill and Willie usually come up with some pretty tasty offerings.
We don't have any favorites to win the Super Bowl this time. I think it would be nice for Peyton Manning and the region if the Broncos win, but from what I've seen of the Panthers, they are phenomenal.
It will be nice to watch a game and all its trappings with a neutral view and just appreciate the talent on the field.
February moves along, and, thanks to all the good times and fun projects (I'll start putting seeds in the pots after next weekend) ahead, we're quickly coming out of the winter doldrums.
Thursday, February 04, 2016
Most of today's photos were taken by my mother during the '40s, '50s and '60s. I'm not so sure who took the photo of Ardis.
Anyway, each photo, 'cept for those when I was pretty little, conjures up some wonderful trips to the past.
|Christmas Eve was especially fun for all of us when Batch Two came along. There was no shortage of toys in those presents under the tree. Jim, Harold and Laurie were having a fun time in this Christmas Eve photo circa 1964.|
|My older brothers, Kevin and Mike, in the good ol' days. We may have been living in our house on Euclid near the Sandpoint Events Center aka old high school when this photo was taken.|
|Twas a gathering at our North Boyer home when Harold's sister Wilma and her family came to town. Since she was married to Esther Lines' brother George, the Lines' (Esther and Bert) were always known as our shirttail relatives.|
|My mother took this picture when the LaPrath house burned down on what is now known as Woodland Drive. Nowadays, that spot serves as the parking lot for the popular Mickinnick hiking trail.|
Wednesday, February 03, 2016
Larinda Cook loves people. She also knows how to prepare a tasty, fulfilling and memorable sandwich.
I met Larinda yesterday after Bill and I had taken a drive through the Bearpaw and Snow Valley.
To get to the Bearpaw, one turns left off the Priest Lake highway a few miles north of Priest River at the Falls Inn.
When we turned off, I realized I'd never been to the Bearpaw, which is a beautiful area almost immediately suggesting a sense of being off the Beaten Track.
This place is also a snow belt. Snow Valley Road involves a short, scenic drive to a couple of farms.
Part of the route passes through impressive stands of trees accented by hundreds of white-capped stumps, remnants of a bygone era when the Humbird Lumber Co. had a ubiquitous presence throughout Bonner County.
After driving through this area dressed with a fresh layer of newfallen snow---even spending a few minutes in Washington---and passing a road to Mystic Lake, we turned around at the Bearpaw-Ojibway intersection.
On our way out of the Bearpaw, we decided to stop at the Falls Inn. Earlier, Bill had mentioned the sandwiches from one of his visits a few years back.
With doggie obedience class for Liam a couple of hours away, we decided one of those Falls Inn sandwiches would suffice for our dinner.
That's when we met Larinda who has deep roots in the Falls and Priest Lake area, including a mother and another relative who were some of the first women to ever work for the U.S. Forest Service in that area.
Larinda has been making sandwiches at the Falls Inn for most of 33 years. She told us they sold the restaurant/pub once but took it back when the buyer couldn't make payments.
She truly loves what she does because she's proudly a "people person." Larinda even invited me to step behind the bar to take a photo of the falls from Priest River which put on a dramatic show of power while rushing beneath her establishment.
That giant sandwich, made with smoked Virginia ham and the trimmings, did, indeed, suffice. I ate a third with sprouts and no onions, while Bill ate the other two thirds with onions and no sprouts.
I won't forget Larinda. We'll definitely go back to the Falls Inn for another sandwich and to once again greet her friendly, welcoming face.
For some baffling reason my daughter Annie thinks I should visit a rather unique museum next time I go to San Antonio.
Yesterday she sent me the link to a YouTube video featuring the about the place and its owner Barney.
Warning: this presentation could make you flush with emotion and smile with a sense of pleasant satisfaction.
Tuesday, February 02, 2016
I'm not exactly singing "Hallelujah's" this morning, but I am feeling a giant sense of relief.
Seems the 24-Hour "News Circus" and its abundance of ridiculous side shows do not influence ALL the minds in this country, and that realization to me on this "morning after" is a good thing.
Yay, to Iowa citizens, for not swallowing all the garbage we've seen dribbling out of the mouths of numerous political circus stars via cable news throughout the endless lead-up to yesterday's caucuses.
Before anyone gets irate about the comments above, please know that I am one of those voters who hasn't the slightest idea whose name will get my X in November. Seems from talking to friends, I'm not alone either.
I do know, however, that some candidates did get a taste of humble pie yesterday, and I'm glad.
Plus, I may not have to move to Ireland just yet. We'll see what the next few weeks and months bring. The option's always open.
That said, I shall move on to this Groundhog Day. Why are some declaring it a holiday?
Seems I've seen that characterization on TV and in several Facebook posts, with cautionary comments about being careful "while staying home from work or school on this holiday."
Is this a result of the 24-Hour News Circus where if you hear it often enough, it eventually becomes true?
Anyway, it looks like a fairly nice day here, and I think we North Idahoans don't pay much attention to whether or not the groundhog sees its shadow in Pennsylvania. We get what we get and live with it the best we can.
On this Groundhog Day, both Bill and I will be staying home and trying to be careful, but not because of a holiday. It's because of the new normal where Bill doesn't take off at the same time to go to work every morning.
And, since that's the case, and I know that he now has more time on his hands, I'm posting a video, which I saw on a Facebook friend's page yesterday.
My longtime horse friend, Leslie Jachetta of Priest River, has a deep-rooted interest in the video because of all her relatives who worked for Diamond Lumber Co. When I saw the word "amazing" used in reference to the video, I was hooked from start to finish.
After watching for about 14 minutes, all I could think was that Bill was gonna love this if he'd never seen it before.
Plus, I think anyone who has an interest in logging, which drove the economy in North Idaho during a major part of the Twentieth Century, would enjoy the production.
The video is pretty basic in its narration but very informative as it takes us back to the days when lumberjacks and those associated with the logging industry made up a large percentage of our work force.
As a lead-in to this video filmed by amateur photographer and diesel mechanic Ralph Morrow in the 1940s, I'm also including a couple of paragraphs from a story written by Michael Brodwater for the Spokesman-Review newspaper July, 25, 2010.
This isn’t about effects of modern logging but rather a time when axes, springboards, two-man cross saws, flumes, splash dams, steam boats/locomotives/donkeys and horses were used. By means of what we would call primitive equipment huge trees from old growth forests were harvested. Looking at historic photos, the logging of just one of the massive trees and transporting it to a far-off mill was a major undertaking. It seems that many who worked in the woods lived up to the legendary Paul Bunyan and his blue ox.
The many streams and lakes in the area were used for the transportation of logs because there were no roads. Getting the logs out of the mountains was accomplished by horse, flumes, or something called a splash dam. Flumes were built to send logs downhill like a water slide from a wooden dam upstream or creek. Horse-drawn logs were skidded to the staging area at the flume. They were then rolled onto the flume with a hand tool called a peevee. Water was released and the logs were sent one at a time to a lake or river. Either a mill was built there and the milled wood was barged out or the logs were tied together and towed down the lake by way of a steam powered tugboat which burned wood.
Logging was done this way along Indian Creek on Priest Lake. A 3-mile wooden flume with a dam 3 miles upstream was used to send logs down to a mill owned by Diamond Lumber Company. The mill is long gone and the land is now part of Priest Lake State Park and Indian Creek Campground. There is a short section of a replica of the flume displayed in the campground. But there are parts of the original flume scattered along the creek. Farther upstream, the dam still is recognizable. Up the east shore at Priest Lake and north of Indian Creek is the state park group camp. The buildings were and are still used as a dormitory and kitchen.
Hope you and Bill enjoy the film as much as I did.
Monday, February 01, 2016
|Mark Perry, Kathie Brown-Welch, Darlene Brown-Wager and Pat Perry. Not pictured and unable to attend the event in Richland are mom Carol Taylor and brother Mike Perry. All are Sandpoint High graduates.|
--------Caption from Facebook photo posted by Darlene Brown-Wager. . . .
Had a great evening with family celebrating my brother Mark Perry's induction into the Washington State HS Football Coaches Hall of Fame last night! In great company of coach Steve Graff and his son Mac Graff being honored with a scholarship! Congratulations to all!
---Darlene Brown Wager
Mark Perry and his siblings are all exemplary Sandpoint natives.
I knew them when they went through the high school and also met and appreciated his sisters, who were like big sisters to my then pre-school children, Willie and Annie, at Patti's Daycare.
Patti is Mark's mother-in-law. Darlene and Kathy's dad Wade served as Sandpoint's fire chief.
I'll refrain from giving too many details about the blue birthday cake Pat Perry and his buddy Gary Rench baked for me when they were sophomores in my English class. I will tell that it was not my birthday, but the cake was delicious.
Mark Perry, an outstanding athlete and student, graduated from SHS with my sister Laurie in 1979.
A few years ago, the entire family was able to attend another special ceremony when Mark was also inducted into the Washington State High School Wrestling coaches' Hall of Fame.
What wonderful and impressive honors for Mark, his family, Sandpoint High and the entire community.
To Mark, "We're from Sandpoint, couldn't be any prouder!"
Speaking of football and Sandpoint pride, it's Super Bowl week, but it's not just any Super Bowl week. This coming Sunday marks the special 50th special anniversary for the extravaganza.
And, there's a Sandpoint connection.
A Sandpoint High graduate played in the very first Super Bowl ever.
In case, anyone doesn't know, that would be Jerry Kramer, No. 64, a right guard and a place kicker for the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s.
Kramer distinguished himself many times over as one of the early NFL greats, including the famous block he executed for quarterback Bart Starr's sneak to the end zone that won the 1967 NFL Championship game.
He retired in 1968 and has since been an entrepreneur, a broadcaster, a successful author and a rancher, living in Southern Idaho.
No doubt this past year leading up to this Sunday's golden anniversary of the Super Bowl has been one filled with phenomenal and touching nostalgia, especially the experience Kramer had during a visit to Sandpoint last fall when he presented a golden football to his alma mater.
It's no secret that he and the community are disappointed that Kramer has not yet been selected for the NFL Hall of Fame. In spite of that, he remains a hometown hero to countless fans who have read his New York Times bestselling book, watched him play or had the opportunity to meet him in person.
One follower of Kramer sent me some information via Facebook yesterday. I don't know if I've had my head buried in the sand, but I was fascinated to learn that Jerry Kramer's NFL memorabilia is going up for auction later this month.
Fifty-seven items, including his Super Bowl championship ring (already $60,000 bid), his kicking shoe, letters from Vince Lombardi and Jackie Robinson, jerseys, signed programs, hand-written game plans, etc. are among the items on the auction bloc, via Heritage Auctions.
My Facebook friend also sent me a link to a You Tube overview of the auction, including an interview with Jerry Kramer, which explains why he plans to sell the collection.
So, with a big Super week ahead, enjoy this film segment about one of the original stars of the big games who has that Sandpoint connection.
And, to Jerry Kramer, "We're from Sandpoint, couldn't be any prouder."
Sunday, January 31, 2016
|Artwork of Edward Hopper on my 2016 cherished gift calendar from a dear friend.|
My least favorite month has come to an end for yet another year. I'm grateful, but my sentiment really has little to do with the fact that my least favorite month is almost over.
In fact, there's much more appreciation for all the reasons that hating January CAN top my list of problems.
It's really a pretty minimal concern---this annual disdain for the first of our new year's dozen months---in the grand scheme of things.
Actually, life for me, even during January, isn't all that bad, especially when I think of situations in this world that could be a whole lot worse than what I experience.
A quick inventory of the good and the great things in my life reminds me that my problems are relatively inconsequential, for I am blessed with home, family, animals, comforts, lovely surroundings, oodles of friends.
It's all good, but there's also the consideration of relativity.
What's bugging us on any given day is usually a big thing to us on that given day. It's central in our lives, and whatever the problem---perceived or real---- it forms an obstacle we must conquer in order to achieve the level of happiness which we perceive to be important.
This 2016 January has had it share of obstacles, with outside weather conditions and the responsibilities of the new pup often keeping me inside a lot more than my moods can handle.
The best part on today, however, is the feeling of satisfaction that I've weathered the storms both internal and external and that the future is looking good for when that calendar turns to a brand new month tomorrow.
At the end of January, our pup is getting to spend more time outside. He can go to the dog run or to his kennel, which means I can once again go for my daily walks without worrying about his safety. And, for me, that's a healthy and essential option.
Also, Bill has finally taken the step to cut back on his work schedule, and, believe it or not, we've actually done okay occupying our house at the same time for more hours than usual this past week.
It's been fun to watch him adjust to all extra time spent at home; plus, it's been enjoyable to have more conversation during the day----of the human kind.
As he gets into the retirement groove, I'm actually reliving some of the adjustments I made 14 years ago during the months after my own retirement----especially figuring out just what to do with that unscheduled time. The best thing: it's ours to choose as we wish.
I've told Bill about coffee-cult possibilities with men like him who have time on their hands, and I've started a list of "honey do's" for him to attend to now that he's spending more time on the home front. I have a feeling the shop will eventually become his man cave.
The best part is that we haven't really gotten on each other's nerves that much.
For us to do this well with Bill's transition into retirement DURING THE MONTH OF JANUARY bodes well for the future. I think we'll do okay with what is fast becoming our new normal.
So, having January ending opens the door in my mind to a better month, a shorter month, a month closer to spring, a month where seeds are sown and foundations are laid for the many months ahead when we once again go into high gear, wondering if there are enough hours in the day to achieve the "to do's" that must be done.
In essence, when January ends for me, it signals a time to close the hibernation door of winter blahs where we've had maybe too much slack time on our hands, providing us more opportunities to think about the miseries putting a damper on our daily moods.
So, with tomorrow, new doors open, and the "busyness" will rev up substantially, and eventually I'll probably be longing for some of those long hours of couch potato boredom.
Yup, it's all relative.
Enjoy the day and the fond farewell. Happy Sunday.
Saturday, January 30, 2016
A cup of convenience-store coffee, a camera and a snowy afternoon. Twas definitely a perfect combination for me as I drove away from Sand Creek Conoco yesterday, deciding which way to turn.
Oh yeah, I also bought one of those Reece’s wafer sticks and, as usual, thought wistfully of Mother.
Most of my afternoons almost three years ago involved stops at the Sand Creek Conoco for coffee and for two of those bars.
Then, it was off to Life Care to visit with Mother.
She enjoyed those candy bars as much as I did.
I found out later that my two sisters share a similar appreciation for them too. So, we women of the family must have all landed on the same sweet-tooth page.
These days, I don't stop at the convenience store on a regular basis, but when I do, I purchase the wafer stick.
Each bite satisfies my palate and helps me renew a pleasant and sweet memory of beloved figure in my life.
So, while enjoying the candy-coffee combo and heading toward the HWY 95, Schweitzer Cut-off intersection, I decided that on this day the Suburu would not go north on 95.
Instead it would take a roundabout route home through Selle farm country.
I hoped that maybe this half-rain, half-snow would turn to full blown picturesque snow out in the country.
Sure enough, my hope turned to reality as I headed east from Kootenai and eventually turned off HWY 200 onto Hickey Road.
Giant flakes by the thousands were dropping from the sky, creating images resembling those TV screens from back in the old days when one of the three local channels would go off the air.
We called it snow, and probably said some bad words.
Only difference between yesterday and yesteryear----that snow monopolized the screen, offering no hint of images hiding behind it like I was seeing in Oden and Selle.
My trip through the country with stops alongside some of the long established farms offered a lot more excitement on a day when staying indoors watching TV or reading a book probably was probably keeping most folks off the road.
And, that was good for me. I could go down the slightly hazardous roadways without much worry of seeing a perfect photo only to feel the pressure of a car creeping up behind me.
Many potential photos have escaped into oblivion, thanks to those rear-view mirror intruders having the sheer audacity of wanting to get down their country roads in a timely manner.
Yesterday, most of them stayed out of the elements, giving me pretty much a free licence to stop for a rural scene pretty much any time I wanted.
It was photographic heaven, 'cept for how fast the camera got wet whenever I'd poke it out a window or stand on the road to take pictures.
Though I had nobody on my rear bumper, I certainly did feel the pressure of grabbing those images as quickly as possible, lest I ruin my camera.
It was an outing that started off with thoughts of my mother, and the good times continued as I stopped at each scene, thinking about the wonderful history associated with the settings.
Some of those quick mental vignettes included a cast of Selle Valley rural legends, such as Lois and Jack Hickey, Bob and Bernice Wood, the Lockwoods, the Hart family and, of course, my dear neighbors, the Meserves.
I don't know the history behind all the barns or for the implement sitting next to the driveway at my friend Jacque's home. I do know, though, who owns the cows enjoying their afternoon meal in the snow---that would be some of the other Wood family.
The two horses staying out of the elements belong to my friend Leanna who spent several fall sessions working with my horses for a class she's taking. Leanna and I became acquainted when both of our mothers lived at The Bridge for Assisted Living.
I told her once that we have our mothers to thank for our friendship, which I value greatly.
My drive to our home took me on the Forest Siding Loop where the photo at the bottom was taken. I've ridden horses and my bike past that old cabin and have always wondered about the story it could tell.
Bet it's a fascinating tale, and if anyone who is reading today can share some facts on the cabin or any of the structures in these snowy scenes, please do so.
All in all, the trip, like so many I take during my brief afternoon breaks away from home, provided a bounty of simple, lasting gifts.
The experience cost me a few dollars' worth of gas, coffee and chocolate, I kinda figure the return on that investment of money and time is priceless for many, many reasons.
Happy Saturday. GO, ZAGS! Hope you enjoy the seeing photos as much as I did taking them.