Archive for September 2011

Bahstan and Haavahd

Posted: Friday, September 30, 2011 at 6:18 am
By: Doug Lund
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There’s a blue mood in Beantown again. The curse that had been lifted for a couple seasons, has descended and enveloped Boston Red Sox fans (which includes this whole city) as the Sox blew a huge division lead and have been eliminated from the Major League Baseball playoffs and a shot at another world title. The weather was pretty gloomy too as our group of fall foliage seekers took a day long tour of the city. Low clouds, fog and a little rain..but it was a day filled with history and education.

 

Our group getting an earful about "Old Ironsides" the U.S.S. Constitution.

Our group getting an earful about "Old Ironsides" the U.S.S. Constitution.

A walking tour of old Boston includes a visit to Paul Revere's House.

A walking tour of old Boston includes a visit to Paul Revere's House. The locals surprisingly don't have a real high regard for Paul. They point out that he really didn't get veryfar on his famous ride before being captured and in bragging to his captors a bout his bravado he accidentally gave away the patriot's positions.

Inside Old North Church where they  hung the lanters to warn of the British coming by land or sea (actually by river)

Inside the Old North Church where they hung the lanters to warn of the British coming by land or sea (actually by river)

A lot of Patriots and Puritans rest here in the second oldest burial ground in the country.

A lot of Patriots and Puritans rest here in the second oldest burial ground in the city. They weren't originally lined up in neat rows like this. Some time in the 19th century the tombstones were moved to make for easier maintanence. So now you don't know who you might be stepping on.

Linda tries the clam chawda at Quincy Market and found that it was good.

Linda tries the clam chowda at Quincy Market and found that it was good. I had the traditional New England dinner; chili dog, potato chips and a beer.

We toured the JFK Library and museum on the University of Massachusetts campus right next to Boston Harbor. It was very interesting. This is a shot of JFK's sailboat with the city of Boston in the background.

We toured the JFK Library and museum on the University of Massachusetts campus right next to Boston Harbor. It was very interesting. Lots of memorabilia from his presidency and several of Jackie's fancy dresses. This is a shot of JFK's sailboat with the city of Boston in the background.

 Today our driver points the coach North to New Hampshire..one of the few remaining states I’ve yet to visit. The sun is shining which should provide some spectacular vistas of what we’ve come to see; nature in all her autumn splendor. I’ll have my camera at the ready but I sure wish I’d have consulted with my photographer friend, Greg Latza, for a few pointers on how to best capture our colorful surroundings. I’ll bet the first thing he would suggest would be to shoot with something a little better than my 15 year old 4.0 pixel Kodak. Oh well, as Linda says about me; It’s much bigger than newer models but comfortably familiar and mostly reliable.

Ta Ta for now.

PS  On our lunch break in New Hampsire I discovered that my cell phone was missing. Used Linda’s phone  to call our Boston hotel.  They found it and are sending it home so I won’t have to worry about getting any calls for the next week or so.

Leafing for New England

Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 7:39 am
By: Doug Lund
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Don’t hate me.

fall foliageEven though I’m sitting here waiting for our ride to the airport for another ten day adventure hosting a Holiday Vacations tour group..this time to New England to look at all the pretty leaves. 45 Keloland TV viewers signed up for this trip which includes a lot more than observing Fall foliage; for example, we’ll be spending two nights in Boston..a city I’ve never been to and can’t wait to experience. We’ll visit all the famous spots around town including Quincy Market and the JFK library.  From Boston it’s north to famous Lake Winnipesaukee, a maple sugarhouse, Norman Rockwell’s studio, The Berkshires, a Shaker village and down to New York City. I’m anxious to visit New York without having to worry about driving and dealing with the traffic; just sit back relax and take in the sights. I haven’t been there since 9/11 and looking forward to seeing the memorial at ground zero. I’ve also never been to Ellis Island; a situation that will be remedied on this tour. Plus, we’ll be taking-in a Broadway Musical.

I mention all this not to gloat but to invite you along on one of these escapades.

As usual, whether you like it or not, I’ll be blogging away throughout our journey and sending lots of pictures so keep checking Lund a Large when you visit Keloland.com.

We do have one major challenge right at the outset and that’s managing to get our large group of people from one side of the Minneapolis airport to the other in less than an hour. Frankly, it will be good to get away from anything to do with Minneapolis for a few days; the Twins going for their 100th loss and the Vikings tearing into my chest and ripping out my heart for the last three Sundays.

Yes, Linda and I do know how fortunate we are to be able to travel like this. All I can say is “wish you were with us.”

Bon Voyage!

South Dakota’s Best All Around Artist

Posted: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm
By: Doug Lund
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I’ve interviewed a lot of really smart people over the years managing to bluff my way through most of them by avoiding questions that might expose my stupidity. One that comes to mind is the late Buckminster Fuller.

bucky

Fuller, who died in 1983, was an American engineer, author and inventor whose futuristic architectural designs, like the geodesic dome, captured the imagination of millions who revered him like a god. ( My friend, Richard Muller from South Dakota Public Broadcasting, was one of Fuller’s disciples and even constructed a geodesic dome for his home in Vermillion.)  “Bucky” as some called him, was lecturing at one of the colleges in Sioux Falls back in 1980 and I was assigned to catch up with him at the airport upon his arrival to town. What the heck am I going to ask this guy who not only was a MEMBER of Mensa, the high I.Q. society, but its second president? Shoot, I thought Mensa was the sign on the door of public restrooms in Italy.

Buckminster Fuller

Fortunately, Mr. Fuller’s handlers made sure I was provided with a news release and biography so as not to be totally in the dark. The interview went fine as I recall and can still see that old man’s eyes light up when talking about his futuristic concepts.

It’s got to be tough, though, for highly intelligent people to avoid being in a perpetual state of frustration because so few can actually comprehend their thoughts and ideas.

But I DO know  one creative genus from Spearfish, South Dakota, who has never given up trying to make the world see things from his perspective.

termes one

Dick Termes a gifted artist who puts a different spin on his creations. Instead of painting on a flat canvas or surface like everyone else, he paints on variably sized orbs that he calls “Termespheres.”  Not surprisingly, he was greatly influenced by Buckminster Fuller.

termes twoI first met Dick Termes about 25 years ago. He was showing some of his spheres at a gallery in downtown Sioux Falls so I grabbed a photographer and over we went. I found him amidst a galaxy of his creations suspended from the ceiling by strong fishing line and rotating on a central axis powered by electric motors.  I’d never seen anything like it and couldn’t stop staring at them. Equally impressive was Termes himself. He has a distinctive voice with a delightful Midwestern accent that provides the perfect narration for explaining how to see things from a six point perspective. I remember one of his spheres was like looking into the reflection of the ball on a brass bed. Others were like walking through a Roman palace.

Working out of his geodesic dome studio in the woods around Spearfish, Dick Termes has created hundreds of spheres in the time since our interview. In fact, I did another story with him at the Washington Pavilion shortly before I retired. His Termespheres are now highly sought after and can be found all over the world..including a large one spinning away in the Sioux Falls Convention Center hallway. Dick Termes has never lost his zeal for educating others on how to see things his way. Maybe best of all is that he delights in bringing his spheres to schools where kids can experience them first hand and marvel at the mathematics and geometry necessary to make them.  Here’s how he describes the process in a way that even I can understand.

 

“Imagine that you are standing inside a transparent ball suspended fifty feet above the Grand Canyon floor. You are higher than some canyon walls and lower than others. You have paints and a brush, and you begin to paint what you see on the inside surface of the ball. You paint the north face, then the east, south, and west. Finally, you paint everything visible above and below you. You move your globe to safe ground and step out to observe your paintings.
Walking around the sphere, you see that you have captured the entire three dimensional landscape. In fact, you’ve discovered the structure of your visual experience.”

Dick Termes may never be as well known as other South Dakota artists like Oscar Howe, Harvey Dunn or Terry Redlin but I think he’s a state treasure and from my 6 point perspective,  his works are every bit as magical and intriguing. If you’d like to see more of his Termespheres and listen to Dick describe them in his own words, check out his website by CLICKING HERE.

See you “around.”

Sheesh, What A Grouch

Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 12:23 pm
By: Doug Lund
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Well, that vow didn’t last very long.

I was determined not to fire up the furnace even though it was supposed to get a bit chilly overnight but when I stumbled into the kitchen this morning for my first cup of coffee, my toes curled under in self preservation mode as soon as I stepped off the carpeting onto the Pergo flooring which felt as though a Zamboni  had just passed over depositing a fresh coating of ice. There’s a huge dragonfly clinging to the kitchen window screen frozen in time like the residents of Pompeii right after Vesuvius blew.  But it wasn’t until after seeing my breath while getting the paper off the front porch in my jammies that I ran over to the thermostat and threw the switch to high HEAT.

Ahhh…..out from the same ducts that, for several months now, have been delivering life sustaining cool, conditioned air (a fat man’s refuge from the scorching heat and humidity that has been trying to kill me all summer) now comes a gentle warm breeze that will keep us alive until June.

Another thing that annoys me..besides hard freezes in mid-September..is the acceptance of the way our language is being misused and abused.  I’m not talking about swearing…although the prolific use of profanity on prime time television has become so commonplace today that I’m glad my mother isn’t around to hear it. What’s especially troubling is that while networks may still bleep some of the infamous George Carlin expletives, they’re now okay with letting actors or reality show characters freely blurt out offensive references to Jesus Christ and his Dad.  Why it’s almost as colorfully profane as the language favored by the group of young kids who gather each morning on the sidewalk just outside our window to wait for the school bus. They have a particular fondness for the F word which has been big on the profanity hit parade for generations because, no doubt, of its versatility as a noun, verb and adjective.

What got me thinking about this, though, was a headline in the Argus sports section this morning  which read “In football, watching FILM is part of the job.” Coaches and players haven’t watched actual “film” (strips of celluloid containing photographic images rolling through a projector onto a screen at 24 frames a second) in decades. Yet, even home movie buffs who capture life experiences on little digital camcorders small enough to fit into your pocket, often call it “filming.” It’s just easier, I suppose.

When I came along in the television business, we were still using actual film for news stories and when we switched to electronic news gathering in the mid seventies, it was drilled into our heads that we were not to make references to “film” any longer. It was “video” now and don’t you forget it.

Hemmingsen used to enjoy making new reporters squirm if they should ever make the rookie mistake of saying a politician was holding a “press” conference..or I’m going to a press conference at city hall.  “It’s ‘NEWS’ conference, kid,” he’d say. “We don’t use ‘presses’ in television. He was correct, of course, and many a young reporter, including me, never forgot that Hemmingsen dress- down lesson. But, alas, there weren’t enough Steve’s in the business to overthrow the antiquated reference nationwide and in Washington today they still have a “press” corps that requires a “press” pass to be in the “press” room even though major reporters these days are in broadcast news and wouldn’t know an actual press if one rolled over them.

But, as my former Keloland colleagues will attest, I’ve fought a losing battle for years trying to get reporters and producers to stop using certain words and phrases that aren’t remotely close to the way people actually talk. When, for example, did “impact” become a verb? (“The hail storm will likely impact the fall harvest.”) When did people stop disappearing and begin “going missing?”  

I could go on..but there, you see what happens when it gets down to the low 30’s in September? You get cranky and picky. It’s supposed to warm up this weekend but, by god it better not get too effing hot, that would impact my chances to play golf; a talent for which I used to have but lately has gone missing.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there are some foul mouthed kids I’ve gotta chase off my lawn.

A Decade of Remembrance

Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm
By: Doug Lund
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sept 11 logo

Much to my surprise, I have been watching many of the TV specials recounting the attacks on America ten years ago. Surprising because, until now, I just couldn’t bear to watch those planes slamming into the twin towers knowing that hundreds of people were suddenly obliterated from this earth..or worse yet, thousands more were to suffer the agony of being  trapped inside only to perish when the burning buildings collapsed into  enormous piles of twisted steel and dust.  I have even watched the rarely shown images of those facing death by fire making the incomprehensible decision to jump from the windows instead; some holding hands with co-workers as they fell so as not to die alone. I have made myself listen to the recordings of radio traffic between firefighters on their fatal mission into the World Trade Center to save others or watch interviews with victim’s family members as they recount their last desperate phone calls from loved ones in the doomed buildings or aircraft.

What’s changed?  

I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s the fact that we finally got bin Laden. Maybe it’s because a new World Trade Center at the same location is soaring skyward like a giant middle finger to the terrorists. Or perhaps it’s something as basic as “time heals all wounds.”  Sadly, though, just as I have found it easier to face the sad realities of that awful day, Americans in general have managed to drift away from the oneness that tragedy inspired. We’ve grown comfortable again with yelling and screaming at each other whether it be from a political podium or at a fellow motorist who doesn’t measure up to our driving standards. Greed and garishness are back in fashion; flag waving..not so much.

It seems to me that the best way to honor the memory of those who died on 9/11 would be to rekindle the feelings we had on 9/12; when we put aside our differences realizing our strength is in our unity and those who believe otherwise eventually learn that lesson the hard way.

On the day following the attacks, newspaper columnist, Leonard Pitts wrote a column which we recorded for the newscast that night on Keloland TV. I offer it up for you to see once again here..NOT because I’m the guy reading the report but because Pitts so brilliantly summed up the feelings of an entire nation with  his well chosen words that are equally as powerful today. click here

A Grand ‘Ol Time

Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 1:41 pm
By: Doug Lund
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fair gateHad a fine time at the South Dakota State Fair last week. I went to Huron to sing a few songs on the Freedom Stage with Mogen’s Heroes. A warm but fulfilling day..not only because the crowds were great but also had a chance to catch up with a couple old friends. Steve Hemmingsen read my blog and thought, what the hell, so he buttoned up his chateau on the shores of beautiful Lake Hendricks and pointed his pickup west and took a drive over to Huron for the afternoon. It was great to reminisce about all those years we represented Keloland at the fair handing out program schedules and autographing Keloland sun visors. Former governor, Harvey Wollman and his wife, Anne, were also in the audience and between shows, he came by in one of the fair’s oversize golf carts and offered Steve and I a lift to the beer garden under the grandstand. “I’ll buy you one,” he says. It was so much fun listening to Harvey and Steve talking politics between sips of an ice cold Budweiser. Too bad policy makers can’t just sit down over a cold one like that and hash things out with humor and insight rather than ranting the same tired old party line rhetoric on the public stage.

corn dog

I had been salivating for a state fair footlong corn dog for weeks but after a long wait to have one freshly made, the concoction handed to me by the young lady with a heavy Russian accent, was practically inedible. How do you screw up a corndog for cryin’ out loud? The batter tasted off and I’m convinced that all-beef wieners do not a good corn dog make. It was tough and chewy not plump and tender like the proper weenies made from lots of different parts from lots of different animals. So, it was truly painful, after shelling out seven dollars for that corn “dud” and a coke, for me to toss it into the trash after a few disappointing  bites for the flies to fight over.  I’ll be more selective in my choice of corn dog stands next time.

But my week DID end on a high note.

grand falls casinoEven though it’s located practically within spitting distance from my house, I hadn’t been to the new Grand Falls Casino yet. Linda took the kids there a couple of times when they were home a few weeks ago but, since I don’t do much gambling, I wasn’t in any big rush to see the place. Saturday night, though, the casino was featuring one of my favorite area bands, Something New, opening for The Grass Roots free in the show lounge. Linda, who loves to play those goofy cartoonish penny machines for hours on end or until her 20 is gone..was pleasantly surprised when I suggested we head out there. First off, the place is as nice as any in Vegas and the lounge stage is very impressive. Trouble is, there’s just not enough room for people to sit down and enjoy the entertainment. They were standing five deep trying to get a glimpse of The Grass Roots as they performed their hit songs.

My cousin Grouse and his wife, Sandy, went to the casino with us. They enjoy the slots too and have devised their own system by which they switch back and forth on the same machine so they can play longer on a limited amount of cash. I just don’t like the slots..especially those new ones in which you play 100 lines and hope enough pirates or pandas pop up on the screen indicating you may have won a few pennies. I used to play Blackjack until a lady dealer in Flandreau cleaned me out on a regular basis and pretty much soured me on the game.

When the band went on break, there wasn’t a whole lot for me to do other than head for the other lounge where I could sit and enjoy an overpriced distilled beverage and watch people passing by;  not a totally unpleasant experience. But when the band fired up again I returned  to the show lounge only to find all the seats taken. The only place I could sit down and still see the entertainment was on the corner at the end of a line of poker machines. Since they don’t like you occupying a stool without playing, I stuffed in a twenty and began pushing buttons as slowly as possible hoping to make it last for me to hear a whole set of music. I was barely paying attention when I looked down to see the machine had dealt me the ace, queen, jack and ten of hearts. I saved them..then closed my eyes and tentatively pushed the draw button. I squinted a little bit expecting disappointment but to my astonishment, there it was; the KING OF HEARTS giving me a ROYAL FLUSH.

Just like this only mine was in hearts

Just like this only mine was in hearts and my bet was in quarters

The next thing I know, bells are ringing, lights are flashing and the machine is totaling up quarters faster than a mafia accountant.  FOUR THOUSAND CREDITS…at a quarter a credit that’s a thousand dollars isn’t it??  I’ve been having some vivid dreams lately and was fully expecting to wake up as soon as I took the win ticket out of the slot. Nope. Maybe when I take it to the cashier; surely I’ll awaken when she starts peeling off ten one hundred dollar bills onto the marble counter in front of me ..Nope. The joy of winning a grand at the Grand was nearly surpassed by the reaction of Linda and my cousins..stunned at the irony of my dumb luck playing at “their” game.

I know the casino believes it’ll get the money back from me eventually but I’m determined to resist temptation and use it to pay bills or buy groceries.

Oh, wait..I see The Buckinghams will be playing the show lounge next month; wonder if my favorite machine over in the corner  will still be there.