Weekly Photo Challenge – Heritage

Fargo, North Dakota.

This week, Ben Huberman asks us to “share a photo that channels a living tradition, whether it’s your own or someone else’s.” In that post, he shared an image of a Reconciliation Pole. The pole, a 55-foot (16 m) long totem that commemorates a sad time in North American history while at the same time honoring the Native American heritage. You can read the entire challenge post here. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 9 April 2017

Mandan, North Dakota.

For the week of April 3-8, the North Dakota Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) focused on our biennial Search and Rescue Evaluated Exercise. A large part of Civil Air Patrol’s mission focuses on Search and Rescue and Disaster Relief. As an Auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, our non-combatant role is in service to our state.  To be sure we reflect positively on the Air Force, we are asked to demonstrate our skills in a week-long exercise. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge – Security

Mandan, North Dakota.

This week, Krista asks us to feature something that signifies security. You can read Krista’s entire challenge post here. In the 19th Century, settlers traveled across the great plains territories and eventually settled in small communities throughout the upper midwest. Government troops provided security in forts built near these communities. Stockades, large fences, typically surrounded the forts and guard houses with high vantage points were constructed to provide an observation platform for the cavalry and foot soldiers to keep watch for Native Americans who weren’t always happy with their new neighbors. Continue reading

But I Digress… Always Vigilant



Fargo, North Dakota.

Since my first flights as a youth in the 1960s, I’ve been interested in aviation. Our family didn’t have a lot of money, certainly none to be wasted on expensive aviation fuel, but a couple of lucky occurrences got me in the air at no cost to me.

Throughout my careers in electronics and education, and with the demands of raising a family, aviation was on my back burner. There was the occasional air show and business related trips, but other than that, I didn’t indulge in any activity that got me into the proximity of an airport.

This digression is brought to you by Stephen Bentley. Last week, he gave us a Travel Tuesday tour of The Ruins at Bacolod on Negros Island in the Philippines. He asked if I would share something about my aviation activities for his blog at Expat in Bacolod. Back to my digression…

Then 1996 happened, and a local airport had a fly-in, the aviation equivalent of a classic car get-together. Continue reading

Turtle River State Park – Sunrise in the Park

turtleriversunrise-3Arvilla, North Dakota.

A short few weeks ago, I posted a gallery of photos from the Turtle River State Park, just 20 miles or so west of Grand Forks, North Dakota. You can review that gallery here. This trip was an overnighter as we wanted to catch both a sunrise and sunset in the park. As it turned out, the evening was cloudy, so no sunset pics graced that gallery. Continue reading

Merry Christmas on this Cellpic Sunday!


Fargo, North Dakota.

On this special Sunday, I want to wish you all a joyous holiday season and a happy and prosperous new year!

About the photo: This image was captured with a Samsung S6 cellphone. It is simply a photo of one of the ornaments on our Christmas tree. The rule for Cellpic Sunday is simple, the image must be captured and edited on a mobile device.

In honor of the holiday season, for those who celebrate Christmas, I leave you with the following treat.

Nat King Cole’s holiday anthem
And so I’m offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it’s been said many times
Many ways, Merry Christmas to you

John Steiner


German Folk Festival – Heritage Celebrations at a Park Near You

german_festival-1Fargo, North Dakota.

Ours is a country of immigrant descendents and celebrations of our grandparent’s national heritage are held every year throughout the United States. In the upper midwest, Norwegian and Germanic people are common and annual celebrations such as Norsk Hostfest and the German Folk Festival attract a wide variety of people interested in the culture and heritage of their ancestors. Continue reading