Feb 082015

Dear WordPress Blog

Well it’s been a while since we had a new roof put on our house in October 2012!!! For much of the past several years my “blogging” has been carried out on Facebook where it’s so easy to write a quick status, link up a couple of photos and post it, or to create a photo album in iPhoto and then post that directly to Facebook.

Saturday 7 Feb 2015 saw us on what is becoming a familiar drive – the 3 hours to Chicago O’Hare airport to fly away somewhere – it’s much cheaper to do this than to fly out of Grand Rapids. This time we’re off to Salt Lake City for research in the Family History Library and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 2015 conference being held in association with RootsTech put on by Family Search (the genealogy and family history part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints).

Having left home with about 12″ of snow covering the ground, it was somewhat surprising to see much of the middle of the country devoid of snow – even the mountains around Salt Lake City only have snow on their upper reaches – not a good scene if they were trying to run a Winter Olympics here right now.

Upon arrival, picked up a rental car so we’d have a car for Sunday to be “bloody tourists” and headed off to the Radisson Hotel. Got checked in there and met up with Australian genealogist and blogger Jill Ball and headed out for dinner. The Red Iguana gets great reviews so we walked the mile or so (downhill) to there only to find it was standing room only out on the footpath of people waiting to get in – wait time at least an hour. So we caught the Trax back into town and went to the Blue Lemon for a delicious very reasonably priced meal.

Next up is Sunday. We’re going in the aforementioned rental car to head out of town, on a couple of trips – up in to the mountains to the south to the Timpaganos Caves area and then to Antelope Island – the “island” you can drive to that’s out in the Salt Lake. Stay Tuned!

Sep 272010

ArtPrize hit Grand Rapids last year (2009) as a new idea from Rick Devos. Artists were invited to display their artwork at various venues in downtown Grand Rapids. Some were indoors, hosted in various businesses and others were outdoors. It was a huge success, although Lisa and I didn’t quite realise what it was about until it was over and the winner had taken away their $250,000 prize, AND sold the winning piece to the Devos family.

This year we vowed to be more active and so we spent Saturday afternoon wandering around downtown Grand Rapids with thousands of other people taking in some of the exhibits.

A few of my favourite works are here, and then a more complete photo gallery is below.

Simply Salvage by Brent Ahmicasaube in collaboration with Tad Caswell

Simply Salvage by Brent Ahmicasaube in collaboration with Tad Caswell

Interactive Barcode Portraits by Scott Blake

Interactive Barcode Portraits by Scott Blake

Play Me I'm Yours - Street Pianos by Luke Jerram

Play Me I’m Yours – Street Pianos by Luke Jerram

Paper Migration by Richard Shipps

Paper Migration by Richard Shipps

Svelata Admirers

Svelata Admirers

Continue reading »

Aug 222010

Amid much publicity and hoopla, Grand Rapids became home to what had been billed as “the world’s largest inflatable water slide” over the weekend of 21 & 22 August 2010. This community event was organised by Rob Bliss and was free, with the costs of setting it up apparently covered by various sponsors. Thanks to Susan Dmytrusz who happened to be standing near the top when we got there for our turn, to whom I gave a card with my eMail address on it and asked her if she’d mind taking a couple of pictures of us and then eMailing them to me – Thanks Susan!!!! (I hadn’t taken my camera as I couldn’t think of anything to do with it while going on the slide).

The Slide - Looking Uphill from the Middle

The Slide - Looking Uphill from the Middle

The Slide - Looking Downhill from the Middle

The Slide - Looking Downhill from the Middle

Things got off to a slow start on Saturday, with the start delayed from 9 AM to 2 PM for technical, and weather reasons, and once running things seemed slower than expected. People were waiting up to 6 hours for their ride. One of the bottlenecks was the tubes needed for sliding – a “chain gang” was in place to return them from bottom to top, as can be seen in the two pictures above, but the reality was that people walking up the hill were actually travelling faster than the mis-thrown, dropped tubes were.

Lisa and I decided to head down earlyish on Sunday morning to see if we could get a ride with a shorter wait time. We got there right about starting time of 0800, only to find things already behind schedule. We had to line up below the bottom of the slide on Lyon Street, in what turned out to be very nearly a 4 hour wait.

Lined up waiting our Turn

Lined up waiting our Turn

Thanks to Nathan Vandenbroek for taking the above photo on his cell phone and eMailing it to me.

As we slowly made our way up Lyon Street to the start, the slide ran, then stopped for repairs, was delayed waiting the return from the bottom of the needed sliding tubes, etc etc

A description of the mornings events might have gone something like this…

Waiting, chatting, waiting, idle chatter, waiting, “why don’t they do it this way”, waiting, waiting shuffling slowly up Lyon St, waiting, “oh the sun has come out” waiting, waiting….



$10 Tee shirt

Been There Done That 🙂

A photo gallery with a few more images is below.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 10:19 pm
Jul 052010

The Camaro Superfest 2010 was held July 2, 3 and 4 at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and (on Friday afternoon) at Michigan International Speedway. Lisa and I, along with friend Kristie, her 3 kids and her parents went to take a look at the cars on Saturday.

A Circular View of the Camaro Superfest

A panorama made by joining 15 photos together

Pre-event registration had 155 Camaros registered, from 1968 through to 2010. Needless to say I took LOTS of pictures!!!!! Some of the better ones are immediately here, and then more in the photogallery below.

The Red Line

Not far in from the entrance - a line up of red Camaros - 2010 models in front, and a couple of the earlier ones up to 2002 bhind.

Under the Tree

White 69ish Camaro and Black 2010 Camaro in the shade.

Burnt Orange

This 1970s Camaro was an amazing orange colour.

A photogallery with a lot more photos follows: Continue reading »

Jul 052010

The Camaro Superfest 2010 was in Ypsilanti on July 2, 3 and 4. July 3 was also the Ypsilanti July 4th Parade, which went right by Riverside Park where the Camaro Superfest was being held. So we got there in time to see most of the parade before going down to see the more than 150 Camaros.

I guess it wasn’t quite what I was expecting – too many politicians “on the stump”, and not enough celebration of America’s history I thought, but we did manage to make our own Red, White and Blue…

The Red...

Brenden after eating a red candy.

...the White and the Blue

Roger after eating a blue candy.

A number of different groups were handing out promotional bubbles – the bottles all seemed to have a sticker on them for some politician or religious group or school…

Goldie Blowing Bubbles

Kristy blowing the bubbles while Lisa looks on.

Continue reading »

May 082010

May 7-8 2010 was the Byron Center 24 Hour Relay for Life. It was also the weekend for Roger and Lisa to host Dinner Club. So we decided to combine the 2 events and have Dinner Club at the Relay for Life – a great plan, except of course one can’t control the weather 🙁

The Forecast

The Forecast

So we held what was probably one of the wettest, coldest Dinner Clubs held.

The Serving

The Serving - Main Course - Lamburgers

The Relay for Life also wasn’t so pleasant..

Survivor's Parade - it's raining...

Survivor's Parade - it's raining...

A photo gallery with a few more photos follows…

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 8:19 am
May 012010

As a fundraiser for the Relay for Life Event for the American Cancer Society, some of the staff at Byron Center United Bank arranged a Murder Mystery Dinner. Around 100 people were treated to a FANTASTIC dinner prepared by Courtney’s Mum and her band of helpers, and then entertained by “GT Productions” who presented “Jack Spade and the Silk Stocking Murder” – an interactive murder where YOU are the sleuth.

The cast of the Murder Mystery - MJ Gottricks, Rita Gottricks, Father Mike, Javier Montoya (or is he????) Jack Spade, Sister Mary Rose of Sharon and Nurse Jenny, along with Courtney and Jennifer who organised the evening.

The cast of the Murder Mystery - MJ Gottricks, Rita Gottricks, Father Mike, Javier Montoya (or is he????) Jack Spade, Sister Mary Rose of Sharon and Nurse Jenny, along with Courtney and Jennifer who organised the evening.

They put on a great story, acting out various elements of it as they moved around the room, showing us hopefully enough that we’d be able to figure the Means, Opportunity and Motive behind what happened. A photogallery follows.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 8:26 am
Apr 242010

Saturday April 24 was “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” in Grand Rapids. A grey drizzly day as it turned out. Fortunately not really raining. The event started this year in Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids (the green arrow on this map) and wandered around a little before heading up Ottawa Ave, past Calder Plaza where we had started in previous years, across the Grand River, back south on the River Bank walk, past the Fish Ladder, Gerald R Ford Presidential Museum before crossing the river again to finish back at Rosa Parks Circle.

Roger was all in pink again this year.

The Finish Line - Lisa and Roger at the Start/Finish Line.

The Finish Line - Lisa and Roger at the Start/Finish Line.

More photos are below…

Continue reading »

Mar 102010

Tuesday 9 March 2010 was the day of the Spaghetti Dinner at First Christian Reformed Church in Byron Center. This was to raise funds for the “Relay for Life” that is coming up on 7-8 May 2010.

There was spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, bread sticks and Pavlova. There was also a Bake Sale table selling a variety of cookies, cup cakes, and of course ANZAC Biscuits.

It was fairly successful – we made nearly $500 from it, so that will be a great start on the Friends Team fund raising effort for Relay for Life this year.

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