A Day Of Tomorrows

Before I begin, a quick apology once again. I don’t intend to be this sporadic with my posts, I really don’t. Uh, maybe things will be better in November? I don’t know. Sorry all the same. I’ll try harder in future.

So, A Day of Tomorrows. A little bit of terrible word play to start us off. You’re welcome.

What am I talking about? Well, of course the biggest tomorrow is the actual tomorrow to today. Unless you’re in Australia or Asia (aren’t timezones fun?!), then it is today, and this whole tomorrow thing is lost. Damn. But for everybody else (in America and Europe anyway) tomorrow is the 31st of October, aka Halloween, and this makes sense!

(Got there eventually didn’t I? See, isn’t the title totally worth it?)

Ah yes, tomorrow is that magical time of the year when Americans celebrate and everybody else just gets on with their lives. Isn’t it fantastic?

After 21 Halloweens where I’ve done either nothing or next to nothing (I’ve went trick or treating twice, I think), this year I’m actually going to make an effort, mainly because I’m now in the country that loves Halloween more than it loves some family members, and I’d certainly be outcast forever if I didn’t. Okay, probably outcast. Hmm, possibly then, possibly rejected from society? All right, it is highly unlikely that I will be struck out. But still, it is not worth the risk.

It is going to be strange. Normally Effort and I don’t often go together (I prefer to settle in with Lazy), but as Vanna loves Halloween, what choice do I have? I’m expected to join in. I tried arguing (“can I not just go as an Englishman? I’ll be the only one there!”) that it goes against my culture, but she played the ‘wife card’ on me which, as all husbands know, is more or less applicable for, well, everything. Something to watch out for, future grooms.

So I’m dressing up as well. In fact, I have two different costumes, one for Friday night and another for Saturday night (seriously, Halloween is like a second Christmas in the States). One is a couple costume that I have no idea what is going to turn out like (it involves face paint…), and the other is a half-assed superhero costume. If you need more than one guess to work out which superhero it is, then you should be ashamed of yourself.

(Even if you don’t know me, you should know. And no, not Batman)

How about some pictures of the costumes? Or at least some more details? Not yet, sorry. I’ll provide both after the event. Why not this weekend? Well, Vanna and I are going up to Bemidji tomorrow to ‘party up’ with her friends there (I’m going to be the cool guy in the corner shouting ‘party up’ to everybody) and won’t be home until Sunday.  I plan to bring my camera so hopefully there will be some decent pictures by the time we head home. The full (well, abridged) story will then follow once I’m home and I’ve sobered up (Tuesday maybe?).

Now you probably think that Halloween is the most exciting date in our calendar. But you’d be wrong! So wrong! Even more exhilarating than the day I wear makeup (ugh), is November 28th, which happens to be exactly four weeks tomorrow.

(Now do you get the title? Another tomorrow! Told you it was worth it.)

The day after Thanksgiving (another new holiday experience for me), Vanna and I (along with her cousin Britt) will be going to see In This Moment and Starset (they are both bands, old folks/my dad) at Myth (a club, I believe) in St Paul!

Super, super pumped up for that. In This Moment and Starset (who you may recall from the Trivium gig in March) are two of our favourite bands, so we can’t wait for that. The fact they are touring together is fantastic (once we saw ITM’s Black Widow Tour was going to Minnesota we were interested; once we saw Starset were involved we were incredibly interested), so yeah, definitely excited to see them play. The fact they are at a venue less than five miles away from Vanna’s grandparents is just an added bonus.

There are two other bands with, but I haven’t listened to either yet so I’m not sure whether I’ll like them or not. I just hope Starset get a better reception than they did last time they were in MN. Given their recent upsurge in popularity (I think ‘My Demons’ was the longest number one in 2014 on Loudwire radio) and the fact they aren’t supporting a heavy metal band should mean the crowd are more receptive to their presence. Either way, I’ll be wearing my Starset T-Shirt to show my support.  Thanks to this blog, I was once on the sixth row of google images for the band, so maybe the band will recognize me. If not, I have a mildly interesting fact to tell them if I manage to speak to them afterwards. Better than just saying ‘thank you’, right?

(I’ll talk more about the bands, their respective albums – Starset’s I have owned for a while but forgot to talk about, while ITM’s comes out in a few weeks – and the gig closer to the event. So excited!)

And finally, there is something potentially even more thrilling than Halloween and the gig. How could there be, I hear you ask. What could be better than wearing makeup without judgement (urgh) and a concert involving two of your favourite bands, I hear you exclaim.

Well, people, there is one thing even greater than those two things: an Xbox One. After weeks, months, years of waiting, I might be on the cusp of owning one. Nothing guaranteed, but maybe, just maybe, I’ll have bought an Xbox One sometime next week. How fantastic is that? I know it doesn’t quite fit with the ‘tomorrow’ theme, but it is worth mentioning, no?

Will update you on any developments. Hopefully it’ll happen soon.

Speak to you later,

Alex

Auction Number 3! Oh, And Swans!

Originally posted on Even More Photography On The Citadel:

Hello all,

So I went to another auction yesterday. This one was a consignment auction up at Reinhardt’s estate in Palisade. Though it wasn’t one of their biggest consignment auctions,  it was on a larger scale than the two I’ve been to previously, which was exciting.

How big? Well, it started at 8am (we arrived shortly after the hour mark) and ended sometime after 5pm (we were there for the finale too; that is 7 hours standing around!) with the different auction circuits going on more or less throughout…so yeah, there was definitely a lot of stuff there. It was pretty big.

Highlights? Well there was plenty of cool things to look at…guns, antiques, toy cars…all sorts. Plus about thirty or forty vehicles (cars, trucks, farm vehicles tractors, ATVs etc) that went for sale.  Most of them went for four figures as well, which was pretty interesting to watch.

Oh…

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Here Comes The Rain…

Hello all,

What have I been up? Editing, editing and more editing. Occasionally gaming, sleeping and eating also. But mostly editing.

*sigh*

But hey, if writing a book was easy, everybody would do it.

In other news…

The weather is pretty miserable here at the moment. Rain mostly, predicted storms this week. Oh joy. The trees are nearly devoid of leaves (and the ones still hanging are an unhappy brown) and the undergrowth is either dead or dying. Not a good sign, people. Halfway through October and Autumn is already almost done. Not good. I don’t want winter!

(though if I can’t go anywhere or do anything, I might knuckle down harder with the book…so that is something)

After today, I can no longer drive in Minnesota (or anywhere for that matter) because the DMV did not accept my UK Birth Certificate as an acceptable form of identification. Until I reapply, I am off the road.

When can I try again? Well, the only I.D. they’ll accept (along with my passport) is a visa so there isn’t anything I can do until my visa is (hopefully) approved. We received a receipt from the processing center place in Chicago last week so our case must now be in a pile on someone’s desk. How long before the next interview is scheduled? No idea, but I doubt I’ll be driving again this year. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

*sigh*

Oh, and you’re probably wondering how the auction last Saturday (4th October) went. It was okay, I suppose. A little disappointing; we didn’t buy anything (well Becky did, but nothing too interesting) and ended up leaving early because it was too cold to stand around outside for hours. Nice place but yeah…boring. I wanted to take pictures but my hands were so numb I couldn’t. I did manage to get a few near the end but they’re not exactly the most exciting of pictures…

After a few hours, most of the people had gone. Not the most happening of places. Stupid cold weather.
Foood! Was almost worth exposing my hands for. Almost.

Ah well. Maybe next time, right? There is another one this Sunday so maybe that’ll be better. If I go, I’ll make sure to bring my camera AND a warm coat.  If I’m not freezing to death, I might be more willing to take pictures. No guarantees though. Even without the camera, the people at the auction give me shifty looks. I’m the outsider. Don’t want to make it worse by asking them to pose for a photo. But uh, we’ll see what happens.

Aaaaand that’s about it really. As I said, I haven’t been up to much. Maybe this week will be different. If not, I’ll just make something up. “I saw a UFO today!” Something like that. Even if it was a lie, it would be good click-bait.

Anyway, I’ll speak to you later. Hope you all had a great Monday,

Alex

P.S. I found a couple more pictures of Anya hidden on my camera. Enjoy!

We’ve really bonded this past month.
And to think she once shredded my hand up…
Best. Picture. Ever!

Uh…What Day Is It Again?

Originally posted on Even More Photography On The Citadel:

Thursday? Thursday? Oh man.

I’m sorry for the silence folks! I’ve been so busy editing my book, I, uh, forgot about you. Similar to last week, but since Sunday I have been working for hours (not getting anywhere fast, mind, but I keep going)…so I haven’t had much time to do…well, anything. Hell, it is 5pm here and I still haven’t brushed my teeth. Shocking, I know.

Anyway, I do apologize. A few more hardcore days and I should then hopefully return to a normal schedule. Once I do, I’ll get back to you with what’s been going on here since we last spoke (not a lot obviously, but I’ll tell you all about it anyway).

Until then, here are some blurry mobile phone pictures I took of Anya earlier this afternoon. We’ve become rather inseparable of late. It would be cute but she has a tendency to get in…

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Another Day, Another Auction

Got to be honest; when I said I wanted to go to another auction, I didn’t expect to be going back less than a week later, but today Becky is taking me to an auction in Pequot Lakes!

What is for sale? No idea. Will we get anything? No idea. Will it be fun? I sure hope so!

Going to the auction does mean I’ll miss today’s football (my regular routine is to wake up at 6:30 to watch all the matches) but eh, if one of us manages to pick up something cool it will be worth it (Chelsea, my team, play tomorrow anyway).

Pretty cold this morning; looks like I need to start wearing my hoodies again. Gusty cold winds mostly, but snow is rumoured too. So much for Autumn, huh? Oh joy. But hey, no mosquitoes!

*sigh*

Anyway I should go. I will have my camera today, so if there is a picture opportunity I’ll be ready for it. Who knows what I’ll see?

Keep you posted,

Alex

Bargains, Deals And Auctions!

(okay, there was only one auction but sometimes you gotta run with the plural in the title. I know, I’m terrible for sensationalism)

Hello all,

Apologies about the blog silence. It has been a busy few days for me. Nothing special; just editing the first draft of my book (well, the first 1/4 of what I’ve written anyway). But because each chapter takes so long to go through and makes me hate everything and anything to do with writing (it is so easy to get despondent; you spend hours tweaking sentences and paragraphs you’ve already done and by the end of the day have nothing ‘new’ to show for it), I haven’t really had the energy to blog afterwards.  But because I’ve cleverly decided to post this before I start the editing process, I’m at least good for today.

SO, let’s rewind back to Friday. Vanna went to a rummage sale at a church in Nisswa. Because I was in bed (I wasn’t going to wait outside her work for 3 hours, especially not if it meant waking up at 5am) I wasn’t able to partake in her spending splurge (for about twenty dollars she bought a shop load of stuff). I was, of course, expected to help with the haulage. That’s how marriage works, people.

But it wasn’t all bad. Though the chair (heavy) and the sofa (heavier) that Vanna bought for a combined $15 weren’t the easiest things to carry (it was sweaty, sweaty work), they were definitely worth the effort; while Vanna’s sister Sierra finally has a couch for her place, I now have a cool gaming chair!

Here’s the chair. It reclines…electronically. Oh yeah. That is how my life works these days, folks.

Boom! As you can see by the junk to the right, I have claimed this chair.

What else did Vanna get? Unimportant! Time to talk about the auction I went to on Saturday!

(Okay, I can’t remember what else she got. A suitcase, a vase…stuff like that. Hey, I was carrying the chair!)

As Vanna was working a longer shift, Becky and Brian invited me to the auction in Merrifield (a few miles south of where we live). A builder’s yard company (not sure of the correct term but they had all sorts of equipment and machinery) had closed (voluntarily, I gather) and everything on the property (aside from the buildings) was put up for auction. As I had never went to an auction before, I thought I’d tag along.

It was a fun experience. Though most the stuff (tools, chairs, miscellaneous garden items etc) went for a pittance, it was interesting to see the bigger items – cars, trucks, tractors, snowmobiles – go for three and four figure sums (still cheap, but the bidding wars were always exciting). Even the smaller deals had a level of intrigue to them; there is something amusing about seeing people give the  ‘uh, too much for me‘ face when the price was below twenty bucks.

Biggest shocker of the day? An old fish house (which needed a new door and floor) went for $700. Not sure how that happened.

Best deal of the day? A lot of bargains but a mint condition tractor for $2600 was pretty nifty.

Weirdest buy of the day? Some cheap nasty plastic pinwheels went for $25! When most people shirked at $5 tool sets, for those to go at five times the price was ridiculous.

Sadly I didn’t do much bidding or take any pictures of the event (though I reckon an auction has to be experienced first hand to get the full effect, especially in regards to the auctioneer’s cadence) BUT Becky did buy me this cool stein for $5 (expensive I know)!

Right side (I think?)
Left side…
And finally the centre view.

The auction was definitely a good experience for me and I’m glad I went (I’d go again too! Though maybe next time with some cash). I have never been interested in second-hand goods before, but this weekend has proved (to me, anyway) that ‘new’ isn’t everything. Rummage sales (this chair is a beast!) and auctions can be a great way to find a bargain. So long as it isn’t broken or ruined in some way, what’s the problem? I suppose that’s the moral of this story.

Right, I better start editing. Speak to you later,

Alex

 

Gone Fishin…I’m Back With Fish (…And Photos!)

Originally posted on Even More Photography On The Citadel:

You’ll be glad to hear I had a good time fishing yesterday. Even though neither of us were very successful in our efforts to catch…well, anything, it was a fun experience. I enjoyed it, and that’s all that matters, right?

So, what happened? Read on to find out!

(oh, and there are pictures too!)

8am-9am: Becky picked me up around half 7. We got to her house and prepped for the trip; got the boat ready, made sandwiches etc.

9am-12pm: Headed along the Mississippi to Little Rabbit Lake. Becky caught and put back over a dozen fish (mostly sunfish that were too small to eat) while I also managed to reel in a couple of sunfish that were too small to keep. There were a lot of bites but the fish sucked off the bait before we could hook them. Stupid fish.

12pm-1pm: In the next thirty minutes, I was…

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An expression of my love for gaming and writing

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