Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Perfect Timing

Lady luck was with me this morning as I dialed in to a local radio station in an attempt to qualify for a Hawaii trip give away. The radio jockey said he was looking for the third caller, and before he could finish his sentence, I was frantically dialing my phone.

I got through on the first attempt, and my name was added to the growing list of qualifiers. Here's the tweet they sent out announcing my qualification:

So I went in to work today feeling very lucky. But as it turned out, my luck was pretty insignificant compared to my good friend Jonathan.

Jonathan and I have worked together for many years, and as we were eating lunch today, I noticed the time was about 12:28. I knew that at 12:30 there would be another chance for someone to qualify for the Hawaii trip, so I encouraged Jonathan to give it a shot. Jonathan suggested we head out to the parking lot to listen for the signal to call in from one of our cars, but I knew there wouldn't be time to get there, so I suggested he just go ahead and make the call.

So, Jonathan pulled out his smart phone, entered the radio station's phone number, and dialed in. The phone immediately started ringing, and after only a couple rings, a voice from the other end answered by saying "congratulations, you're the 9th caller and the next qualifier for our Hawaii trip giveaway".

We were stunned, and we both began laughing uncontrollably. Jonathan's timing couldn't have been better. Here's the tweet they sent out after Jonathan qualified:

So, on April 13th, Jonathan and I and probably around 200 other qualifiers will be in a final drawing to determine who gets to go on the trip. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Marker Man

Over 25 years ago, a great man by the name of Bruce Blake took up an unusual hobby. Driven by a love of history, and of storytelling, Bruce began to research some of the local history of southeastern South Dakota, which he then recorded on roadside historical markers. That quarter century of effort has culminated in the placement of over 160 historical markers throughout Minnehaha County.

Pictured here are Alex and Nick with one of Bruce's historical markers. This one is located in downtown Sioux Falls right across the street from the Holiday Inn, formerly the site of Fort Dakota:

This marker has special meaning to my boys, since Bruce dedicated it in their honor by inscribing their  names on the reverse side.

I met Bruce in the early 1980's while he was dating my mother. He was there to see me off in 1982 when I departed for the Navy, and he has been there for me and my family ever since.

This is a shot of Bruce, myself and my Mom at my graduation from the University of South Dakota in 1993:

Bruce holding my son Nick shortly after his birth in 1997:

In 2010, Bruce was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame for his historical work and other contributions to the state of South Dakota:

This month, Bruce, or as some call him, Marker Man, will be publishing a 550 page book that documents his 25 years of historical work. The book will be called Twelve Thousand Years of Human History: As Recorded on Historical Markers in Minnehaha County, S.D.

We are so proud of Bruce and his accomplishments. But more than that, we are honored to have been a part of his life during this magnificent journey. Congratulations, Marker Man, we love you.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Academic Achievement Award

This past week, Alex was recognized twice for outstanding academic excellence.

The first ceremony was held in the high school auditorium, and it included only those students who had achieved a 5.0 or higher last semester. Pictured with Alex is Principal Dave Johnson:

The second award ceremony took place in the school gymnasium. This one included only the senior student athletes who had maintained a GPA of 4.0 or higher over each of the last 7 semesters. Alex's cumulative GPA as of the end of the last semester is 4.85.

I wish I could have achieved but a fraction of what this kid has in his first 18 years of life.

Congratulations my son, you make your Mom and your Dad very proud.