Thursday, September 30, 2010

UP Adventures

This past weekend my sister, Diana Mavis, and I shared our tenth year of exploring the U.P. together. This year we decided to visit the Porcupine Mountains. We didn't know it until this trip, but the Porcupine Mountains is the largest state park in Michigan. The park includes 59,000 acres of rivers, lakes and the largest virgin hardwood-hemlock forest in the United States.

One of the things we enjoy most together is taking pictures of nature in all its splendor. I'll share some of the photos that we took over the next several blog updates.

We made a few stops while driving west. The first was in Munising at the Michigan Nature Association Memorial Falls Park.

It was quite windy, especially earlier in the day. Here is a shot of the Lake Superior waves taken east of Marquette.

The next stop was just west of Marquette along the road that goes to Big Bay. We climbed up Sugarloaf Mountain. The view from the top is spectacular.

Along the trail up Sugarloaf, we spotted this tree with colonies of mushrooms.

The farther west we drove, the better were the fall colors.

We arrived at our cabin located a mile from the Porkies along Lake Superior just in time for sunset.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sarns Reunion

This is the last posting from my trip down state a couple of weeks ago. The main purpose for the trip was to attend the Sarns reunion. Dick Sarns developed one of the first heart-lung machines in 1960. He designed the innovative equipment to answer the needs of University of Michigan surgeons. Recently the University of Michigan announced the Dick Sarns Innovation Fellowship at its new Medical Innovation Center. A pioneer in biomedical engineering, Dick Sarns' groundbreaking technologies have improved surgical outcomes for millions of patients worldwide.

After 50 years, Sarns equipment is the most noted and widely used product of its kind. The Sarns' machine was used by Dr. Christian Barnard when he performed the first human heart transplant in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1967. In 1999 Terumo Corporation acquired Sarns Corporation from 3M, but Dick Sarns continues to develop new, life-transforming technologies at his latest venture, NuStep, Inc. Well over 100,000 people benefit from the NuStep recumbent cross-trainer every day. Some of the NuStep equipment can be seen in use during the Biggest Looser TV show.

I worked at Sarns from 1980 through 1987. There is no question that I could not be doing what I do now if it were not for the great opportunities that I had while working at Sarns. I had many positions there that included technical writing, market research, public relations, sales training, operating room simulator manager, and product manager. There were nearly 300 people at the reunion. The feeling in the room was mutual. We know now that it was truly a special experience working for Dick and Norma Sarns.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Trip Down State -- Post 2

While down state I visited my friend, Marsha. I love hanging out at her retreat-like home. Those of you who know me are aware that I love taking pictures of flowers. Her moon flowers were very cooperative. Here is a series of a moon flower opening.

She also has orchids and what I think she called butterfly flowers.

It was a year ago that I started sprinting toward the finish line to finish the book. Although I've been working on it for 3 years, most of the work was done beginning last September. As a result, I have not had much time off. It was great to go on a hike, go out to the movies, relax, cook a good dinner, and then watch a DVD movie.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Trip Down State

Last weekend I headed down state for several reasons. First I visited with my college friend, Steve. We played golf on Friday and then went out on his pontoon boat on Horsehead Lake, located east of Big Rapids. We stopped and went a shore at one spot so Steve could show me the interesting cannon. After the boat ride, we enjoyed a nice sunset.

While playing golf, we came across this cool snapping turtle. I didn't want to get too close so the zoom on my camera helped me get a good shot.

On Saturday, we drove separately down to Ann Arbor to go to the UofM football game. Here is a shot of the "cube" located behind the LSA building. The cube spins on its axes.

Then we headed over to the game to see the renovated stadium. I must admit that the renovations add a lot, in addition to the new seats. There are now areas to get out of inclement weather.

The UofM football stadium was originally financed by selling 3,000 bonds each costing $500. Those who purchased the bonds were guaranteed the opportunity to purchase season tickets, with seats guaranteed between the 30-yard lines. Fashioned after the Yale Bowl, 440 tons of reinforcing steel and 31,000 square feet of wire mesh went into the building of the 44-section, 72-row, 72,000-seat stadium at a cost of $950,000. The original seats consisted of 22 miles of California Redwood, and the 360 x 160 foot grass playing field included the planting of one four leaf clover.

Despite the grandeur of the new home, many journalists and fans questioned how the new stadium would affect Michigan’s home field advantage after having gone 88-14-2 at Ferry Field.

As the stadium neared completion, an addition of 10,000 temporary seats were added at the top of the stadium. On Oct. 1, 1927, Michigan played Ohio Wesleyan in the first game at Michigan Stadium. The game was a success as Michigan started the scoring on a 28-yard pass from Louis Gilbert to tight end Kip Taylor and prevailed easily, 33-0. The new stadium was dedicated three weeks later against Ohio State on Oct. 22, 1927. Though Michigan spoiled the dedication of Ohio Stadium five years earlier, the Wolverines blanked the Buckeyes 21-0 before a capacity crowd of 84,401 at Michigan Stadium.

Over the decades the capacity of UofM stadium was increased. The latest renovation was completed this year. In 2007 the University's Board of Regents approved a $226 million renovation and expansion project which included a replacement of some bleachers, widening of aisles and individual seats, installing hand rails, and the addition of a new press box, 83 luxury boxes, and 3,200 club seats. The first game in the renovated stadium was played on September 4, 2010 wherein 113,090 attended a game between Michigan and the Connecticut Huskies, setting yet another modern attendance record in college football history.

The first photo below was taken at the first game in 1927. The next photo of "The Big House" was taken in 1998. The final three photos are from this year. Michigan beat the University of Massachusetts 42-37.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

12 Mile Beach

I drove out into the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore last week. Some of the canopy over H58 west is now starting to re-fill and form.

I went camping out at 12 Mile Beach with friends, Denise, Marsha, and Jim. I must say that they were troopers. Marsha and Jim, especially, endured the 30-40 mph winds for six of the seven days they were camping. At least at campsite #1, there was a dune that blocked some of the wind.

Here are a couple of shots of Lake Superior from 12 Mile Beach as well as Sullivan's Landing, located 4 miles east of the campground.

I also drove over to check out the progress of the new road construction on H58. All but a mile is now paved. They are just finishing the new bridge over the Hurricane River. Here are a couple of shots of the new bridge. The project is supposed to be completed in the next few weeks.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Wisconsin photos plus Queensland Agates

Today's photo postings will include a variety of things. First is a picture of part of my booth at Art in the Park in Wausau, WI.

While staying with my sister, Sandra, we walked down to visit her neighbor. I had never seen soy beans up close. If you ask me there is a beauty regarding a healthy field of any crop. Apparently the farmers do not harvest the soybeans until they have a moisture level of 15%.

Sandra's neighbors had this pumpkin display.

Art in the Park sponsored a butterfly release. My sister, Sandra, paid the $1.00 fee to release this Monarch.

I received an email and a book order from my first Australian customer. John Nedwich sent me these pictures of some of the agates he found in Agate Creek, located in Queensland, Australia. Thanks, John, for allowing me to post these pictures. They are terrific agates.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wisconsin Farm Photos

Last weekend I exhibited my mineral art at an art show in Wausau, Wisconsin. My sister lives there and has recently purchased a house that is located out in the country. Although I now live in Grand Marais, which of course is a small town of 400 people, I have never really been around farm animals. I got a kick out of her neighbor's goats and miniature horse. I also enjoyed the cows that are in the pasture down the road. Apparently the cows have gotten to know my sister, Sandra, and her dog Joey. We called to the cows and they immediately ran over to greet us.