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Archive for August, 2005

Photo-A-Day #145 08/31/05

Posted by BenSpark on August 31, 2005

This was a granite scuplture that was in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota airport. I wanted a photo when I landed on Monday, but ended up not having the camera ready, so I got it today. It is titled Monarch of the Plains.

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Photo-A-Day #144 08/30/05

Posted by BenSpark on August 30, 2005

I ran down from Brookings to Sioux City Iowa to Rooster’s Harley-Davidson to pick up a pin. Parked outside was this very elaborate trike. It was named the Joker. Pretty sweet.

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An evening of Grimm entertainment…

Posted by BenSpark on August 30, 2005

Tonight I went to see the movie The Brothers Grimm. A very good movie. There was humor, heart and some amazing sets. The fantasy world of the Grimm Fairy Tales came alive in stunning detail. Matt Damon and Heath Ledger were great as Will and Jacob Grimm respectively. They were very convincing as brothers and very fun to watch. If you haven’t seen it yet get out there and see The Brothers Grimm.

Also does anyone have any idea why you would possibly need GPS on a golf cart on a golf course. As I was driving to Brookings I heard an advertisement for a golf course that touted their golf carts with GPS. Huh? That makes no sense to me, anyone have a theory as to why that might be needed?

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Photo-A-Day #143 08/29/05

Posted by BenSpark on August 30, 2005

Photo Hosted at Buzznet.com

Tonight I ate here with Dan, John and Jessica. We agreed that we should have one of these back home. I think it would do well alongside a Chinese Buffet. It even had wireless access so you could have meetings there as well.

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South Dakota, I can color in another State on the Map..

Posted by BenSpark on August 29, 2005

I am in South Dakota today. I started out from Boston this morning at 7:50am EST. I got to Sioux Falls, SD at 2:00pm CST. I got to the airport early enough where I got on a standby flight to Chicago. It is a good thing too because if I ended up on the flight I was scheduled for I would have been too late for my connecting flight.

While I was waiting for the flight to Chicago I noticed a young woman in a FEMA jumpsuit with a Beautiful Black German Shepard named Taboo. I didn’t get a chance to talk to her and I should have tried but it didn’t work out. I wanted to chat with her and meet Taboo because rescue dogs fascinate me since I read the Iris Johansen Books (Specifically The Search and The Killing Game) and Virginia Lanier Books. It was fascinating to see Taboo interact with the people in the airport. He was too, especially with two twin Japanese boys. I was so interested in finding out more about the team that I googled FEMA and Taboo and lo and behold I found the INDIANA TASK FORCE 1 CANINE URBAN RESPONSE TEAM Did you know that you can help the search and rescue teams with donations of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. The dogs and trainers need to go and be tested and sometimes they need to fly to get to their locations. If you would like to help them out please go to the INDIANA TASK FORCE 1 CANINE URBAN RESPONSE TEAM or another search and rescue unit in your area. The FEMA website only features New York search and rescue dogs. Good luck to Jen and Taboo on their search and rescue mission. They are most likely headed down to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Katrina may or may not have an affect on my travel this week. We shall see.

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Photo-A-Day #142 08/28/05

Posted by BenSpark on August 28, 2005

Photo Hosted at Buzznet.com

Happy Birthday Shelby!

My baby sister is now 27!

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Photo-A-Day #141 08/27/05

Posted by BenSpark on August 27, 2005

Spent the day on the beach, lots of boats on the water. Read alot more of A Salty Piece of Land. I’m really enjoying that book. Great beach reading material.

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Friday Afternoon Softball Game

Posted by BenSpark on August 27, 2005

Yesterday my division of the company, Marketing, had a softball game over at Houghton Pond (Part of the Blue Hills Reservation.). There were two baseball diamonds there. We were playing on field #2. So we gathered up all the coolers, bats, balls and gloves and trekked out to the field to play. There were two teams, the blue and the white. I was on the blue team. We didn’t start that strong but we pulled together as the innings went on. Oh we didn’t win but it really wasn’t about winning anyway it was about having a good time. I started out in right field. Joanne played right center, Bob played left center, and Rick played left field. The infield had Sue as catcher, Hirsch as pitcher, David at first, Stephanie at second, Mike at short stop and Steve at third, Verena and Lynne were on my team too and they switched off into the infield. The white team had some power hitters with Scott, Ken, John, Mike, Micah, Jeff and Damien, Pam, Pam, Siohban & junior cheeleader Caroline, Jen, and John. Yeah they all pretty much got hits, and many of them cranked ‘em out to the outfield. Our scorekeepers and observers and cheerleaders were Melissa, Bill, Jaye, Christine, Julia & Russ, Traci, Susanne and Ruth. John’s wife Chris came with his two kids Colin and Jocelyn. They had a lot of fun running the bases after the game.

Hirsch pitched for two innings and then he asked me to pitch. Now I stay out in the outfield because I figure I can do the least amount of damage to the team by being out in right field against an entire team of right-handed players. Nothing coming my way so nothing to screw up. It all stems from not being a very good player in little league. I got to pitch once in little league and ended up getting a line drive to the head. Or maybe it was the throw from the catcher. Well, either way I wasn’t the pitcher for very long. So back out to deep, deep roving right field. The one thing I could do as a kid was throw the ball from the outfield to the infield without a cut off man, and pretty accurately too. But I digress.

My first inning as pitcher went very well, we got three fairly quick outs and I was very surprised at my pitching and fielding ability. The team did well at their next at bat and then we were back out on the field again. This time I didn’t pitch as well, but we made it through the inning relatively unscathed. At my next at bat I hit a pretty good one that dropped out into center field untouched. I got on first and as the rest of the team got up to the plate I was able to make my way around the bases. Coming off of second and rounding third I went too far off the field and twisted my ankle. Rolled it pretty good too. So I was out for the remainder of the game.

The blue team did not win but not for lack of trying, we had a lot of heart and made some nice plays but in the end the white team just had some more powerful hitters. After the game we got a group picture and then headed to the Blue Hills Sports Bar. Allison met me there, we each had a drink and then headed to the Cape. We just missed Peter as he was heading into the parking lot. I jumped out and chatted with him for a bit, maybe next time Peter.

The ride to the Cape was a very smooth one with very little traffic to speak of. We got off the highway and went through Buzzard’s Bay and stopped at the Lobster Pot for dinner. The Lobster Pot has been featured on the Phantom Gourmet a number of times. Allison and I love the Phantom Gourmet, but liked it better when Billy Costa was on it. So we watch his show TV Diner as often as we watch the Phantom Gourmet. Not sure exactly when it is on but we always seem to catch it when we are in New Hampshire.

After a delicious seafood platter and a stuffie (Stuffed Quahog for those not in the know) we continued on to the Cape house and when we got there we had a nice conversation with Sr. Bernadette, Fr. Felix and Jerry. These folks are regular guests who have been staying at the guest house for over 20 years of so. They are the only folks who still come up each year. Then it was an early bedtime for us. Got a full day of beach time ahead of us.

This morning I cropped all the photos from the softball game but wasn’t able to find the wireless high speed signal like I did last time I was down, so the pictures probably won’t be going up till I get home. Uploading 40 pictures through dialup is no fun. But I will upload the group shot. The pictures are going on my Buzznet account. I’ve created a new Gallery for them.

Company Softball Game

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Wedding Business…

Posted by BenSpark on August 26, 2005

Allison and I have been working very hard on getting some materials together for the wedding. We’ve been listening to music for the reception, and for a special surprise to our guests. I’ve been combing through pictures and music for that surprise as well. And before yesterday I would have told you there was no way I would have gotten things together for that surprise. I really want to talk about it, but cannot. And it is killing me that I can’t talk too much about it. Because it is really fun. But we have 77 days to wait, so be patient.

The invitations are coming along. We’ve got most of the addressing done, many parts of the invitation printed. We just have to print one more section and then put everything together and get them out the door.

So there hasn’t been much to report on recently. The wedding plans have been keeping us very, very busy.

This weekend and next we will be at the Cape. Looking forward to some good weather and relaxation. Hopefully we will get a chance to do some kayaking while we are there.

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Photo-A-Day #140 08/26/05

Posted by BenSpark on August 26, 2005

Practical jokes in the office. One of my co-workers came in to find their desk covered in stuffed animals. He was not that amused.

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