Softball Sections Begin . . .

May 25

Cards – 10, Little Falls – 0

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[Game day was gray, gloomy, and windy – so what else is new?  Captains, coaches, and umpires met at home plate in spite of it all.  The section’s No. 2-seeded Cardinals were hosting the 7th-seeded Little Falls Flyers (Flyers, because that’s where Charles Lindbergh was from, don’cha know).]

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[Sophomore Kendra Hardy (13) took the mound (well, flat) for the Cards.]

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[Junior Calley Richardson (15) patrols centerfield with aplomb.]

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[Leading off for the Cards, senior shortstop Emma Ziegler (4) . . . ]

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[Zig attempted to bunt for a hit but they got her by a whisker (or its equivalent).]

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[At No. 2, junior 2nd baseman Allison O’Kane (9) . . . ]

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[Who promptly . . . ]

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[Lined a single to right – yeah, I know, the chain link won the focus battle here.]

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[Batting 3rd, senior 1st baseman Ellie Ronning (12) . . . ]

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[Who also singled.  We always say she will keep her batting average hovering around .600 as long as she doesn’t go into any 2-for-4 slumps.]

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[Batting cleanup, the aforementioned Calley who just got under one a bit.]

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[And then Kendra looking to help her own cause.]

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[Nope, don’t care for that one.]

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[Or that one either!]

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[Whoa, what was that remark about whiskers?]

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[We didn’t score in the first, but in the 2nd junior Taylor Breitkreutz, who I have reason to suspect was playing righfield . . . ]

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[Scorched, as all good hockey defenseman do, as single to left.]

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[Junior catcher Jamie Lanoue (18) butted Taylor to 2nd (I think?) and was safe herself.]

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[Sophomore leftfielder Sydney Christenson (2) kept the ball rolling (so to speak).]

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[And Taylor scored the 1st run . . . ]

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[Followed in by Jamie . . . ]

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[Hey, I got a sequence . . . ]

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[That stayed in focus!]

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[I must have missed some at bats here, because here’s Calley again?  Those quick naps are refreshing.]

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[And senior 3rd baseman McKenzie Revering (14), who I some how missed the first time through the lineup . . . ]

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[Rev had two hits for the day.]

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[Back to Kendra . . . ]

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[Power to the opposite field.]

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[This must be Taylor again, who also had two hits on the day . . . ]

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[And then she (I’m just going by the white helmet) scored again, as the hits kept coming.]

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[As Zig steps to the plate.]

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[There’s contact . . . ]

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[I’m no longer sure where we are now in the grand scheme of things, but the Cards scored 5 runs in the 2nd and 3 runs in the 3rd making the outcome only dependent on the final score.]

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[Allison ducks under one but she, like her fellow hockey defensemen Rev and Taylor, also had two hits on the day.]

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[And this may be hit No. 2. as she drives it toward right . . . ]

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[Follow through running.]

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[Ms. Ronning ended the day 3 – 4, as the shortstop snared her liner in her final at bat. This one looks like her double to right center.]

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[And thar she goes!]

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[Another run, though lost in the aura of the chain link.]

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[That’s better – is it Allison?]

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[It is here, I believe scoring on Ellie’s double.]

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[Then Calley . . . ]

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[Must have fouled one . . . ]

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[Then this looks like . . . ]

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[Her double . . . ]

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[To left.]

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[And Taylor . . . ]

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[Rev’s on 2nd . . . ]

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[Knock me in!]

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[Jamie?  Is that you?]

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[A lot of fans watching the game on the JV field . . . in their winter finery!  Osakis v. Bertha-Hewitt went extra innings at 3 – 3 – then B-W scored 2 in the top of the inning . . . ]

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[But Osakis came back to win with 3 in the bottom of the inning.]

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[Getting down to the nitty-gritty.  The Cards have an 8-run lead, two more runs from the 5th inning on will end the game by the 10-run rule.  Here’s Sydney, who had a nice game with two hits including a triple, 2 RBI’s, and 2 runs scored.]

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[Zig going for the bunt single again.]

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[This is Ellie’s line out . . . ]

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[To short.]

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[I guess 3 for 4 is still a pretty decent day.]

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[Gotta have strength up the middle – so here’s Zig at shortstop where her defense is a real asset.]

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[Calley hits one to left . . . ]

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[Maybe this one was the double?]

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[Is that you Rev?]

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[A prelude to . . . ]

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[Kendra’s up in the bottom of the 6th with a runner on . . . ]

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[I said to Brad sitting next to me, “Two-run homer, Cards win 10-0.”]

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[And she did it!!  I knew she had power, but I didn’t realize until later that was her first homer of the year.  Cards win and move on.]

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If you’re dating a softball player, raise your hand.  If you’re not, raise your standards. ~ Unknown

Up Next:  Memorial Day weekend

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Oh, Canada! (Day 3)

May 6

Montreal Sail Away

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[Well, the trip was for a cruise, after all.  But first we had to awake from our Airbnb loft.  I awoke first, as always, and shortly thereafter I found my spot usurped by Reetz as the sisters enjoyed some final shut eye together.  Aren’t they cute?]

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[Reetz’s abandoned bed.]

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[We schlepped our luggage down the 57 steps, and walked the 3 – 4 blocks to dock Alexandra where we were to pick up a shuttle ride to where we would actually be boarding the ship.  As fate would have it, no sooner did we begin our hike than the heavens opened up again.  Fortunately when we arrived at Alexandra a shuttle was waiting.  We arrived at the ship waaaaay too early – it was still belatedly unloading passengers from the inbound cruise.  We joined other waiting-to-board passengers in a large tent waiting area and tried to recover from our latest drenching.  We chatted with native Canadians who had to marvel how we Americans endure our bizarre health care system.  You just have to consider it all part of the grand adventure.]

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[Hey, we made it!   We’re now on the good ship Veendam.]

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[From our room . . . ]

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[And our room!  Our travel agent, the HQ, had advised us shortly before the trip began that we could do an upgrade.  Because we were three again, the offer was reasonable and readily accepted.  But now we will be forever spoiled!  The room had two phones, for Pete’s sake.]

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[The girls even had a makeup room . . .]

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[And a bar and fridge and fruit and goodies and champagne . . . ]


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[And mirrored walls made the place seem even bigger . . . ]

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[Let’s see how the trip is doing . . . ]

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[This was our private balcony . . . ]

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[Not too shabby . . . ]

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[And a passing view from the balcony . . . ]

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[Back in the comfort of our suite, a word that really didn’t do the place justice!]

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[The loo . . . ]

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[You could see yourself from every angle in the makeup room – uffda!]

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[And these last two in-room photos are by the server . . . ]

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[If you go back to the ship schematics above, we were in room 022 on Deck 10, the Navigation Deck.  Maybe it was all this that inspired us to post the previous posting to this one?]

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[Good-bye Olympic Park . . . ]

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[The ship chaperones . . . ]

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[Our neighbors are leaning out enjoying their champagne.  Then we never saw them again?]

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[Good-bye, tugs!]

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[Good-bye, Mount Royal.]

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[Big port!]

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[Bigger port!]

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[Good-bye, Montreal!]

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[Hello, Neptune Lounge!  Again, revisting the ship’s schematics, you will note that this lounge was across the hall from our suite . . . and available only to passengers in such suites (something about “unwashed masses” – just kidding!).]


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[Food, beverage, library, TV, and spirits on the honor system.]

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[The ominous skies continue – and remained with us the whole trip.]

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[Our lovely patio – this was the only time the entire trip the weather permitted us such use.]

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[Finally, moving away from urbanity . . . ]

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[Heading to Quebec . . . ]

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[When we noticed this almost alive sandbar . . . ]

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[Smothered in water fowl . . . ]

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[I don’t recall why, but no fine dining photos to end the day?]

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In Montreal spring is like an autopsy.  Everyone wants to see the inside of the frozen mammoth.  Girls rip off their sleeves and the flesh is sweet and white, like wood under green bark.  From the streets a sexual manifesto rises like an inflating tire, “the winter has not killed us again!”  ~  Leonard Cohen

Up Next:  Softball sections.

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Chez Obert

May 26

The Super and I have reached that point in life when it’s time to downsize . . . like to pup tent.  All too often now when we store something, we can never find it again (like the inhouse cordless phone?) – there are just to many places to hide stuff in a house this size. So, yes, this is an attempt at marketing the ole homestead.  Somehow seems fitting that it’s the 900th blog post, a nice round number?


Road side, facing west

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Looking west

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Northwest corner

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Lake side, facing east over Lake Darling

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Lake side overlooking Lake Darling

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“Covered” stairway to the lake

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Stained and molded concrete patio 

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Great room deck

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View from great room deck

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From ‘sunroom’ deck

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Interior – Upper Level

Great room

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Kitchen and dining

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Great room overlooking the lake

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Great room looking west over a 6-acre horse pasture

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Great room

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Full bath

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‘Sunroom’ from the great room

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Great room from the ‘sunroom’

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Master bedroom

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Master bath

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Interior – Lower Level

Great room

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Front door exiting west to road side

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Walk-in closet

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View to lake

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Full bath

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[The crafting/laundry and utility rooms are currently being used as ‘storage areas.’]

Blasts From The Past

Now that you’ve seen the house, built 16 years ago, you can see it still looks brand new . . . except older.












And the views . . . oy, the views!








It’s a funny thing coming home.  Nothing changes.  Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same.  You realize what’s changed is you.  ~  F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Oh, Canada! (Day 2)

May 5


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[So, I hear you say, what’s the deal with the brochure?  The story begins.  When we first arrived in Canada, we had no idea that eastern Ontario and all of Quebec Province had been experiencing flooding like no one up there could ever recall.  The area was, and had been, stuck in a constant rain weather pattern.  Of course, we in the States have been preoccupied with other matters.  We had prearranged a Gray Line tour our first full day in the city – always the best way to get an overview if you’re just going to be in a place for a day or two.  Gray Line would pick up customers at their hotels . . . but we were at an Airbnb, would they pick us up?  The Biddies’ phones did not work in Canada (who knew?), so we tried to get the info by e-mail – but time was of the essence.  We knew there was a Sheraton a few blocks away – we had gone there the night before to use their ATM (apparently if you are in  foreign country they prefer that you use their currency). We walked to the Sheraton in the morning, in the rain, hoping to find out if the Gray Line picked up there.  As luck would have it, a Gray Line shuttle arrived just as we did.  We hopped aboard for the trip from oldtown to downtown to their main tour terminal.  And now the brochure.  We had an hour to kill, so folks suggested we cross the street to Nickels for breakfast.  We did not know at the time, but Nickels is famous for the original Montreal smoked meat sandwich.  A loyal blog follower advised us before the trip that we had to get a smoked meat sandwich in Montreal.  We would, later.  But for now, it was time to board the bus and give my Antioch College hat a place of honor.]

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[The bus turned the corner . . . and there through the rain soaked windows was Dunns. We had been advised that Dunns was also a great place for a smoked meat sandwich.   And after “developing” the photo, discovered that it was also convenient to an XXX Massage, apparently recommended after a smoked meat sandwich?]

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[Dorchester Square, the heart of downtown.]

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[Still along the Square (I believe) with glances up the street to Mount Royal in the distance.]

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[A city street (as opposed to a rural meadow?).]

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[Notre-Dame Basilica]

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[The bus dropped us at the foot of the hill, about a two block walk to the Basilica. Fortunately the rain kept us cool, if wet.]

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[The Biddies pause out front for a photo op.  I struggled to keep the camera dry as best as I could.]

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[It took twice as long to finish the interior construction as it did for the outside.  Our guide advised us the interior was quite spectacular.  He was right.  If you have followed this blog you know we have featured about every cathedral in Europe to the point where the Super cried out, “No more churches!”  But this one has a real WOW factor.  Amazing.]

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[Let’s listen in about the place.]

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[Back outside, from the front stairs, our bus will be waiting at the bottom of the street on right . . . ]

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[But first we hied to our left to check out a couple of unique looking statues . . . ]

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[Why yes, I was getting rather drenched doing this . . . ]

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[The Old Brewery Mission is the largest resource for homeless men in Quebec and for homeless women in Canada (Wikipedia).]

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[Now back on the bus, Chateau Ramezay Museum and Historic Site in Old Montreal.]

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[Nelson’s Column erected in 1809 in Place Jacques-Cartier, dedicated to the memory of Admiral Horatio Nelson, following his death at the Battle of Trafalgar.  Montreal’s pillar stands as the second-oldest “Nelson’s Column” in the world, after the Nelson Monument in Glasgow.  It is also the city’s oldest monument and is the oldest war monument in Canada. (Wikipedia)]

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[Didn’t know this . . . Montreal is 375 years old this year.  And Canada is 150 years old this year.  Lots of celebrating going on!]

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[A really old colonial era building.  So old, in fact, even Mr. Google couldn’t find it?  But I know our guide told us something about it?]

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[Love these cobblestone pedestrian-friendly streets.]

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[Another old building . . . ]

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[Maybe we could look it up from the street sign?  Hey, we were on St. Paul.]

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[Cirque du Soleil, on the river]

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[The original dock from which we would have boarded our ship . . . high water prevented such.]

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[There’s Mount Royal again . . . ]

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[And a reminder, rivers can flood . . . ]

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[This one just a mere 131 years ago.]

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[Back in our neighborhood.  Our place was just around the corner from the last red awning on the right.]

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[Place Jacque-Cartier, our perpendicular crossing boulevard with Nelson’s Column at the top of the hill.]

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[Buildings along our street, Rue St. Paul . . . ]


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[Victoria Bridge, I suspect . . . ]

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[As we head toward . . . ]

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[Olympic Village, from 1976.  The Olympic Stadium is getting an upgrade.]

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[In the village . . . ]

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[A statue of Jackie Robinson.  I’m sure you’ll remember when the Dodgers called him up to the majors, he was playing in Montreal . . . ]

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[A better clear day photo on loan from the internet.]


[Remember, we’re shooting all these Olympic photos through the bus windows as merrily we rolled along.]

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[The movie theater, Star Cite.]

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[Maurice Richard Arena, for hockey during the Olympics.]

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[And there’s Maurice, a/k/a, The Rocket, now.]

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[Do you recognize this place yet?]

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[Saputo Stadium, for soccer]

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[Olympic Village, now senior housing]

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[Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral.]

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[What the sign says, and in its neighborhood is . . . ]

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[The first view of St. Joseph’s Oratory, the largest church in Canada . . . ]

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[This was from outside the bus – we pulled into the parking lot just for this photo op.]

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[And now we’re on the way to . . . ]

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[Mount Royal, the city’s overlook]

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[Our view of the city is unfortunately . . . soggy!]

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[Nonetheless, we were all happy to be here!]

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[A rather famous university, respected worldwide.  It was hard to get a feel for the campus driving through what essentially seemed like a residential neighborhood and looking through rain-soaked bus windows.]

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[Back downtown at the end of our bus tour, Underground Montreal (RESO) – I had no idea! This place is huge – 20 miles of corridors with shops, restaurants, hotels, banks, etc., all designed to keep the 500,000 people a day who visit the place out of the Montreal weather.]

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[And here’s three Underground photos by the Super . . . ]

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[And whom amongst us doesn’t enjoy a good cookie?  Certainly not The Biddies!]

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[Back out on the street . . . eh, voila!  Reuben’s was also a place we were told had great smoked meat sandwiches.]

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[So down we went into Reuben’s.  And here’s what happens when an older person attempts a selfie.]

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[When in Canada – Reetz and I split this.  Quite tasty.]

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[And here it is, a Montreal smoked meat sandwch!]

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[The very same sandwich from the Super’s vantage . . . ]

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[Having seen the photos, we were sure one sandwich be enough to feed the three of us.]

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[Dig in, girls!]

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[We very much enjoyed the sandwich, and it was enough for all of us . . . and left room for dessert!]

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[I think Reetz is having one of those special moments!]

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[The Super’s portion was abetted with a bit of the grape.]

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[Reuben’s gets a thumbs-up from another satisfied customer.]

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[I believe she may have been some sort of queen or something.  We had hoped to walk all the way “home” from downtown to oldtown, or as far as we could, in the Underground. But the best laid plans . . . we thought we had hit a dead end and came out to a still rainy day and walked the rest of the way (well over a mile) with an intermittent stop at a McDonald’s to get out of the rain and have a coffee (my first experience at touch pad ordering – uffda!)]

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[After drying out “home,” it was then time to go out and get wet again looking for fine dining.  This time along the river on Rue de la Commune and past the crowds heading for Cirque du Soleil.]

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[Somewhere along events of the day, Reetz ran into folks who were going to be on our cruise and they recommended a restaurant along here with great fish and chips.  We think we found it.  It was a real hot spot.  The hostess said we could have this table if we were out by 9:00 as it was reserved.  We promised.]

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[We ordered two as we figured that would be enough for the three of us.  Our server concurred.  It was very good – still we couldn’t finish off both of them.]

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[Then excitement at the bar caught my eye.  The bartender was stacking glasses . . . ]

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[Then poured some spirits over it . . . ]

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[Then set it on fire!!  I had to find out about it.  They said it’s called a Russian Roulette.]

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[Gaspar Taverne . . . another three thumbs up!  Then home to bed.  We would be boarding the ship on the morrow.]

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You know what’s nice about Montreal? Not only is it a beautiful city, but you have Cuban cigars.  ~ Jamie Farr

Up Next:  Softball?  Canada?

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The Last Softball Game . . .

Of the regular season, May 19

So, we interrupt our regularly scheduled cruise reports to bring you at no additional expense, Senior Night

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[We had terrific teams in all sports this spring. But thanks to the two worst weather months in recorded history I have so far only made it to one and a half softball games. OK, there were some scheduling conflicts and trips involved with that too.  On the morning of this game against the Willmar Cardinals, we actually had a SUNrise.  They have been few far between this spring.  Once again digital could not capture the incredible orange sky.]

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[The house is for sale, BTW.  Are you looking for 151′ of lakeshore on the Chain?]

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[I arrived at the ballpark and shot the school as the back drop to the JV field.]

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[The game.  Shortstop Emma Ziegler led off – she had always batted 2nd in previous games covering the team.  Zig’s a switch-hitter – if she’s batting lefty, she’ll likely try to bunt for a hit . . . ]

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[As she does here.]

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[Batting 2nd is 2nd baseman Allison O’Kane.  She has been moved back to her old position after catching in at least the 1st game I covered.]

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[Batting 3rd and hitting about .600 is 1st baseman Ellie Ronning.]

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[I should point out here that Zig was out on a one-hopper to the pitcher; Allison singled (and stole 2nd as you see her here); and Ellie grounded out here.]

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[Centerfielder Calley Richardson batting 4th singled; then with 2 outs 3rd baseman McKenzie Revering (14 below) lined the first pitch into leftcenter for a double, driving in two runs . . . ]

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[On 2nd after her double.]

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[This appears to be leftfielder Sydney Christenson (2) with a grounder to short.]

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[And there’s a clear view of the number “2.”]

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[And somehow we’re back to Allison again.  The only reason I may have missed a few batters is because my hands were frozen to the camera.  Did I mention fans at the game were wearing parkas and were wrapped in blankets?  I think it was warmer in February?]

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[And back to Ms. Ronning who looked at a couple of pitches she didn’t particularly care for before she lined a single to right.]

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[Then Calley, who I missed on the first go round.]

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[She had 3 hits so this must have been one of them taking it the other way.]

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[Then pitcher Kendra Hardy dodged a couple of inside pitches.]

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[Then took a swat at one more to her liking.]

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[Back to Zig, who I believe grounded  single up the middle here.]

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[Rounding 3rd and heading for home is a brown-eyed handsome girl . . . ]

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[OK, I’ve used that before – but it’s a great lyric from a great song, John Fogarty’s Centerfield.]

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[Allison gets good “metal” on one.]

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[One of my better sports shots if I do say so myself.  But it’s luck.  At least 1/3 of my softball photos are out of focus as result of having to shoot through chain link.  So here’s Ellie, in full extension, and the guys standing next to me (including Rev’s dad) said it’s out of here (she has hit 2 grand slams in one game earlier) . . . ]

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[1st base coach Mitch Loch thought the same, but the wind knocked it down so Ellie had to settle for a mere double and probably a couple more RBI’s.]

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[Then Calley drove her in.]

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[Next was Rev, and since the game was 3 days ago I don’t recall what she did here?]

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[Then Kendra hit and almost identical shot as Ellie’s to left field for a double.]

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[Then finishing with Sydney . . . ]

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[I left then to meet the Super at AAAA – always something going on, eh?  The final score was 12 – 2.  Our Cardinals are seeded 2nd in the sections and host Little Falls on Thursday.]

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If softball was any easier, they’d call it baseball. ~  Jennie Finch (below)


Up Next:  Likely Canada

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Oh, Canada! (Day 1, eh?*)

May 4


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[*  I have been to Canada many times, but this would be my first time in the Land Up Over east of Toronto.  In all those times, including this one, I have never heard a Canadian utter “eh.”  Thus, it will be retired from subsequent postings.  This trip would also be my first time, on the ground, in the Atlantic Time Zone, featuring PEI, Sydney, and Halifax.]

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[I’m jumping the gun a bit here as we would not board the Holland America cruise ship Veendam for a couple more days as we intrepid travelers, The Biddies and I, wanted some quality time on our own in this city of first impression.]

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[This is Old Montreal where we would spend two nights in an Airbnb loft.]

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[But first, we had to get there.  Leaving MSP with the City of Minneapolis in the background.  Little did we know at the time this would be our last glimpse of sunshine for a while.]

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[Why this shot?  Because no matter where you go, there you are . . . ]

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[Except when uttered by Spicey.  ]

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[Taxiing by Fort Snelling, Minnesota’s only defense against a hostile world.]

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[And we’re airborne (not to be confused with the dietary supplement of the same name).]

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[In the picture center, just this side of the Mississippi River hard by the Washington Avenue Bridge is the West Bank of the University of Minnesota.  One of the two taller buildings (I can’t remember which any more) is the Social Science Tower, where I spent most of my latter student years obtaining a geography degree so I could ultimately blog about visiting lands beyond the horizon.]

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[There’s where the Golden Gophers play football, TCF Bank Stadium, a/k/a, “The Bank,” and the rest of the East Bank campus.]

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[And here’s where the Vikings play football, U. S. Bank Stadium.  Are you noticing a trend?  There are ominous rumors that naming rights may be sold for venerable U of M facilities, Williams Arena for basketball and Mariucci Arena for hockey – no doubt some BANKS are interested.]

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[This is the city.  Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (To be read in the Jack Webb Dragnet opening monotone.)]

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[And now you know why DeLaSalle high school’s nickname is the Islanders.  That is Nicollet Island.]

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[Flying away from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.]

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[To the really big lakes, so big they’re called Great.]

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[Looks like lakes abound in Quebec Province as well as me thinks we’re approaching Montreal.]

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[Nope, not here.  I’m told Montreal has four airports and our destination is Trudeau.]

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[That has every appearance of being the St. Lawrence River.]

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[And there’s our destination city.  The “hill” on the near right side is Mount Royal, believed to  be the source of the city’s name.]

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[It has an urban population of almost 2 million with a little over 4 million in the greater metropolitan area; second in size to Toronto in Canada.]

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[This was our first view of our “home” street – it was love at first sight!]

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[Just peeking around the corner from our loft is the river.]

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[And looking up the hill away from the river.  Did I mention I love this place?]

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[Across the street from our loft.]

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[Now this could have started the trip on a really sour note.  The rainy weather was predicted for the entire trip . . . and then this is where we were staying.  Reetz looks a tad forlorn as we realize we were on the 4th floor, no elevators, with 57 stairs to climb with all this luggage!  Not good for people with already several years of Medicare coverage under their belts.  Fortunately, our Algerian taxi driver from the airport sensed we had issues and schlepped a couple of bags up for us.  Whatta guy!]

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[We eventually got ourselves and the luggage up to the room, which while in a great location with a nice view, was basically furnished as an early 60’s dorm room.  And The Biddies’ sleuthing soon revealed that while the place looked neat, it wasn’t very clean. Airbnb subsequently received a nasty report.  Oh, and the open window was such on arrival – it was broken and had to be pulled closed by hand.]

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[But this was our view . . . ]

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[As was this, and we loved the neighborhood.]

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[Doing the check list . . . ]

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[No chairs, other than around the table.  The TV was on a table assembled with saw horses.  The a/c didn’t work – lucky we didn’t need it.  And the beds weren’t made and the linens were still in the dryer.]

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[But hey, let’s get out on the street and look for some fine dining.  It looked like we were surrounded by such.]

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[Stroll the cobble stone streets, checking the menus . . . ]

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[And alighted here – it was late so we had the full attention of staff still on duty.]

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[Vino and social media check]

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[The issues of the day were being settled.]

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[Greek salad . . . uh, huh.]

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[Margherita pizza!!]

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[Spaghetti bolognese for Reetz . . . love it, can’t eat it, gives my shirts the measles.]

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[And from the other side of the table.]

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[Where we ate, customers well satisfied . . . I even got a compliment on my French (well, a couple of limited sentences).]

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[On the walk back home, few people realize I was the original model in these ads and still receive trademark royalties . . . ]

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[I tried to get the girls to model with the feminine attire.  They refused.]

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A Canadian is ” someone who could make love in a canoe.”  ~  Pierre Berton

Up Next:  Well, it was a 12-day trip.

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The Day After the May Day Blizzard . . . Softball

May 2

Because it’s been a while, the roster again . . .

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[The Rocori Spartans were in warm-up drills when we arrived.  Beautiful at game time – hard to believe we had just survived the “blizzard” from the day before.]

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[Cardinal captains and Coach Albers meet the Spartan contingent at home plate.  I believe they usual discuss apres game dining options.]

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[The stealth photographer]

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[And now the player introductions . . . ]

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[Some times a player would come out when a name was called . . . ]

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[Some times nobody came out?]

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[The season has been replete with cancellations, postpones, and moves to neutral sites, such a Kissimmee, Florida, so I have only seen one game so far . . . ]

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[Thus, I do not know all the players by face (or facial expression) . . . ]

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[And though I do know many . . . ]

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[It would not be fair to just introduce the ones I know . . . ]

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[So you figure it out.]

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[Our pitcher here is sophomore Kendra Hardy (13) . . . ]

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[I believe we are still experimenting with pitching by committee . . . ]

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[Kendra did fine for the first several innings . . . ]

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[Comin’ right atcha!]

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[Senior McKenzie Revering at 3rd . . . ]

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[Senior Ellie Ronning (12) at 1st . . . ]

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[Leading off for the Cardinals, junior catcher Allison O’Kane (9).]

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[As a good leadoff hitter, she walked.]

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[Senior shortstop Emma Ziegler (4) then sacrificed Allison to 2nd.]

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[Then Ms. Ronning . . . ]

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[Are you sure that was a strike?]

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[No, the ump was not getting ready to strike her; he was merely calling a strike

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[The swing!]

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[Then she struck out?  Ellie is our best hitter and I don’t recall ever seeing her strike out before.  That’s when I had an idea this Rocori team was going to be tough.  Oh, and the up was not trying to grab her, he was trying to grab a ruffed grouse that has just flown through.]

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[With Allison still at 2nd, I believe junior centerfielder Calley Richardson (15) then walked . . . ]

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[Then Rev lined a first pitch single to left . . . ]

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[An RBI, a first bump from Coach Mitch Loch, and the Cards were up 1 – 0.]

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[I believe the Rocori pitcher then struck out the next two batters.]

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[And now for the rest of the story.  The Spartan pitcher, senior Megan Gavin, is a real power pitcher, and she probably averages two strike outs per inning.  The Cards didn’t put the ball in play that much.  When I got home, I looked up the conference standings – Rocori is in first place and are undefeated on the season.]

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[Though in her 2nd at bat, Ellie, likely still smarting from her 1st inning strike out, laced a single to right.]

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[Here Calley takes a rip at a high outside pitch.  Our 1 – 0 to nothing lead held up until the top of the 3rd, then the Spartans took a 2 – 1 lead on a two-run homer.  A couple innings later, the Card got a little sloppy fielding and the Spartans blooped in 3 or 4 seeing-eye hits, and it was a 7 – 1.]

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[A photo of the “deuces wild” scoreboard – meaning a lot of 2’s on it.  Brad and I left in the bottom of the 5th.  As old people, both of us were worried about things we couldn’t find when we got to the game and wanted to check on them – Brad found his smart phone in the car, I found my back-up camera battery and 10-punch fan pass when I got home.  The final score was 11 – 2.]

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Sometimes the only thing fair in life, is a ball hit between 1st and 3rd.  ~  Anonymous

Up Next:  Reporting from somewhere on the St. Lawrence River.

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