Sunday, October 28, 2007

SPEBSQSA, Inc. or Barbershop Harmony Society

SPEBSQSA stood for Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America. But it's more than quartets. It's much more.

Betty and I spent the weekend in beautiful Rochester, MN, attending the Land O' Lakes 2007 District Fall Convention and Contest of the Barbershop Harmony Society . She and I have been attending spring and fall contests for over 10 years and have enjoyed every minute of it. It's our regular twice-a-year getaway.

I wasn't able to take any photos during the contest. There are copyright issues and it's really important not to do anything to distract contestants while they are singing.

Friday night there were 22 quartets competing. The top 10 came back Saturday night for the final contest to earn the right to go to the international competition which will be held in Nashville next summer.

Saturday during the day 17 choruses competed for the same honor: competing at International.

Friday evening's contest was followed by the ADC (Association District Quartet Champions) show. Every year, quartets are invited to perform on a 5-year anniversary. This year 1967-1997 quartets appeared plus the 2005 and 2006 district champions. I took a few photos during this show. It's hard to get good color and they move around a lot so bear with the fuzzy yellowy colors.

This first photo is of Downstate Express, 2004 Seniors Champion and 1982 District Champions. Here their bass singer, Gary Rogness, wears a "tiger" face complete with fur while singing "Hold that Tiger" and all the while complaining loudly that it's a "stoopid" song. It is a favorite among those who've heard them and funny to all.

The Happiness Emporium were International Champions in 1975. They have a wide range of music, from comedy to gospel.

Jackpot won District in 1997.

Voices Only won the District Championship last year, 2006. Young, energetic, friendly. Great performers.

And for those of you who have read my blog because I knit, here's a photo of my Panda Cotton (and Bamboo) sock (Fall Herbs colorway). The pattern is Perriwinkle. They are a little loose so I need to see what I can do to make them smaller. The label says machine wash in cool so maybe warmer water will shrink them up a bit.

The last photo is my newest project, Monkey Socks, made of Knit Picks Felici Superwash Wool, Hummingbird colorway. I've started them with #3 needles but since I did the previous socks on #3 I'm thinking I ought to frog back and use #2 needles to make them fit better. Can't decide yet. It's time for bed.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Alpaca Farm Tour 2007

Every fall the Alpaca farmers in Minnesota put on a farm tour that can cover a LOT of miles. Betty, Ann, and I drove north first, then west of the Cities.
The first 3 photos are at the same farm. There was a little yarn here but I was saving my purchase for "Ruby" yarn from Hollyhock farm.

These boys are guarding their flock. The owners were not home. I'd especially wanted to visit this farm as they were very friendly people and we'd found some lovely specialty alpaca yarn that had been spun with some sparkly stuff. But nobody was home. I was glad the dogs were tied.

This barn had lots of yarn, some of it even almost the right color of brown like Ruby. But still I waited. You see, if you buy yarn or roving from the same animal, it will always match.

Gramps looked cute greating everyone from his bench.

This black and white face intrigued me.

This is Ricky. He is a very inquisitive and friendly animal. He seemed to want to sniff everyone who came into his barn. His nose and mouth are very soft. I watched children feeding dandelions to the alpaca and they were very gentle as they took the leaves. Ricky even let me scratch his neck.

When I grow up, I'd like a Ricky.

By the way, Hollyhock Farm had sold Ruby. They had photos of her with her brand new baby. They did not have any yarn from her. Neither Ann, Betty, nor I came home with any new purchases. That has to be a first. But we all know our stashes are pretty healthy at the moment.

We finished with dinner at Texas Roadhouse on Main Street in Coon Rapids. Thanks for driving, Betty.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Finished Tenderloin

My September 22 blog entry discussed the end-of-summer and a final dinner party at the campground. Since David actually read that blog, he sent a photo of the finished, cooked, resting-for-a-few-minutes beef tenderloin.

Also, since I'm still sick, I don't want to spend much time sitting here at the computer. So here it is. It was really delicious.

Thanks again, David.