Besides our Coffee Art®, we are creating other art and involved in other activities. On this page you will find out more about our inspiration and other ways of creating art.
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March 28, 2007
My brother Chris got tickets for us to see the Blue Man Group this evening. I have always wanted to see them live and now we finally had the chance. It was really good for the most part. When the Blue Men really got into their groove, it was really enjoyable. There were a few lulls in between that was made up of some filler. But, I guess they need to pace themselves over the entire concert.
Chris scored us some great seats! Row A, seats 1,2 & 3. We were right there next to the stage and up high enough to see everything.
Opening for the Blue Men was DJ Mike Relm. I didn't know what to expect, but he really rocked. He spun music along with scenes from movies and he did it quite well. Relm spun a good mix of songs that I really like over several genres. But, he earned major props from me closed his set with Led Zeppelin's 'Immigrant Song' I old Angel earlier in his set that he was playing music just for me and I told her that he is going to play the Immigrant Song. Sure enough, the wails of Robert Plant filled the arena Angel couldn't believe it! For those who know me, this is my theme song and you should really check our this link.
March 27, 2007
We received an e-mail from Angel's brother, Rusty, who is currently in Iraq. He wanted to let me know that Mr. Gnome was doing well. He sent us this photo of him on the ladder to enter the jet. Rusty and Mr. Gnome only have a couple of weeks left in Iraq and it will be good to have them home soon! We miss them!
I really hope that Mr. Gnome gets to go up in one of these jets and has his photo taken. That would be the ride of his life!
As you can see, he is really eager to fly with the Bulldogs. Keep your fingers crossed!
March 17 , 2007
Today was St. Patrick's Day and before the huge parade, we did some shopping. We saw a crowd gather in front of FAO Schwarz and decided to investigate. Soon the life-sized toy soldiers announce the opening of the store and the trumpet sounds. We walk in and the employees line both sides of the aisle and applaud as we enter. How could you not smile?! It was a great and unexpected reception.
Then after shopping, we watched a little of the parade and then we headed to the airport. It was a bright and sunny day, but when we arrive to the airport, they notify that our flight and all other domestic flights were cancelled. It was a total shock and the storm from yesterday really caused havoc getting into and out of NYC. Our flight was not scheduled until Monday night, two days away! We just wanted to get home, so we had a couple of extra days in NYC.
March 15 , 2007
This is the whole reason why we are here in NYC. We were invited by Starbucks to help celebrate their National Coffee Break. At the event, we demonstrated our Coffee Art® and visited with fellow coffee lovers. The event was a great success with hundreds of people showing up. We had a wonderful time and we were excited to be invited by Starbucks for this event!
March 14 , 2007
Today we started up in Times Square. My brother and parents were taking a bus tour around. After they were done with their bus tour, my mother and Chris had tickets to 'Phantom of the Opera" and my Dad wanted to check out Ellis Island. We thought that we would like to go along to Ellis Island.In the midst of all the people in Times Square, we didn't think we could find him. We called and in a sea of people, we were able to spot the giant among men.
We took the subway down to Battery Park and bought ferry tickets. It was our first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty and that is where the majority of the ferry passengers left to visit. For time constraints, the passengers were allowed to only visit Liberty Island or Ellis Island. We continued on to Ellis Island.
My Dad had done research and found that his grandmother, my great-grandmother, arrived to the United States via Ellis Island. We first stopped off for lunch. The cafeteria was under renovation and the selection was not good at all. It was easily the worst meal we had while we were in New York. But we soon forgot about lunch when we went to the research center. Soon, we find information about my great-grandmother. My Dad was very excited and we found information about her arrival, what ship she sailed on, and her manifest list. It was well worth the trip to learn more about this historic passage.
March 13 , 2007
Today we had won tickets to attend the taping of the Late Show with David Letterman. My brother won tickets for me and him, and Angel won tickets for herself and me.
We have been big fans of the Late Show for a long time and it was great to finally see in person.
Before the show, my parent and Chris had lunch at the famous Hello Deli and then we watched preparation of a skit that would take place later in the show.
We met up with them and we brought along a coffee painting of David Letterman. We presented the painting to the pages and told them that it was created with coffee and they were amazed. They said that they would bring it to him. It is titled, "Top Ten Uses for Coffee........#1. Painting!" We hope that he enjoys the coffee painting!
We waited in line for the show and the were waiting to be seated. Luckily, we were on the main floor and off to the side. During the show, the skit involving a taxi cab driver happened and he came in through the side door, right where we were sitting. The actor arrives through the door and Chris yells to me, "Shake his hand!" and II extend my hand and he shakes it! Then when the skit is over the camera pans over to the exit and all of us are shown on tv. It was a great time!
March 12 , 2007
Today we had a business meeting and after the meeting, we took a walk through Central Park. It was a nice day, much better than the cold weather that we were subjected to before we left. It was fun to walk through the park and to see the dogs. Even though we were only gone for a couple of days, we missed our little Gidget. But sensing our longing for the little girl, a Boston Terrier was right ahead of us. We stopped and talked to Herman and his mother for a brief moment. He was all happy and frisky. He made us smile.
For dinner, we thought that we would walk down to Little Italy and see if we could find something good to eat. On the way down, I knew the Scandinavian House was along the route and I have always wanted to check it out. Soon, we were there and we walk in. The front desk had a pamphlet saying 'Finnish-American Music Seminar.' We asked what it was about, and the gentleman told us that managers and labels were there to talk about introducing Finnish music to the States. We were in shock! We mention to the gentleman that we are on the music committee for FinnFest 2008. He is happily surprised and told us that we could attend the panel. We walk in and listen to two forums on Nordic music. After words, there was a fantastic Scandinavian spread and wine. We chatted with several band managers about our festival that we are involved with and made some contacts.
After dinner, we hopped aboard a charter bus to the Knitting Factory where four Finnish bands were playing tonight. Angel and I look at each other and we couldn't have planned anything like this if we tried. We had no idea that this was going on and it was all such great happenstance.
The first band we saw was KTU (KTU (Pohjonen, Gunn, Mastelotto). It was truly a unique experience. The lead was on accordion and seemed like he was in a hypnotic trance. He would belt out gibberish, kind of like a Gremlin. It was intriguing and definitely caught our attention. It was nothing that we have heard before.
The next band we saw was 22-Pistepirkko (22-Pistepirkko) They were also a good band, and rocked out.
Lodger (Lodger)was another band that played at the Knitting Factory and they were quite good as well.
It was quite the day and we still couldn't believe that we stumbled upon this gem of an event. Over the week we talked to several New Yorkers about this and they said that things like this happen all the time.
March 11 , 2007
Today was our first full day in New York City. It is the first time that either one of us have been to the Big Apple. It is a family vacation of sorts, my parents and my brother, Chris, are accompanying us. After getting up at 3am yesterday to catch our way-too-early flight, it was nice to sleep in a bit before we checked out the sites.
We stayed in mid-town Manhattan, in a great central location. Our first stop of the day was just a few blocks away to Rockefeller Center.
It was Sunday and NBC was filming their NHL on NBC coverage. One of the broadcasters was former NHL star and University of Minnesota Duluth hockey star, Brett Hull. My mother happened to bring along a bright yellow plastic UMD shopping bag. She waved it and my Dad yelled "Hey Brett, UMD!" and Brett Hull looked up and smiled at us. He got a kick out of that, probably didn't think that he would see former UMD alums in the crowd today!
After harassing Hull, we thought that it would be fun to do some ice skating. We were all together but we couldn't find my Dad. We went down the stairs to check on ice skate rental, and there he was, getting some skates. I hadn't skated with my Dad since I was a little boy, and this will be a lot of fun. So, my Dad, Chris, Angel and myself skated around and around Rockefeller. Since NBC was broadcasting live from there, we appeared on television a few times. Angel's mom said that she could see my Dad quite easily. Being 6'4", he is easy to spot in a crowd. It was a beautiful day and it was really a lot of fun to spend time with family in such a unique place.
Skating was a lot of fun and the time just flew by, it had been years since I skated last. Angel skated one other time this year, out on the massive ice field of Lake Superior.
After skating, we signed up for a tour of Radio City. It was interesting and was tour offered quite a few insights. It was amazing to hear how many different functions the stage was capable of handling. From full Nativity scenes with camels, skating rinks and large swimming pools, Radio City could host just about any event. One of the highlights was standing on stage and looking out into the expansive audience.
After the Radio City tour, it was nearing dusk and it was good timing to take the elevator to the Top of the Rock. It was our first real look to the island of Manhattan. Building after building, tower after tower, It is quite the city.
We enjoyed watching the sun set and the city lights turning on.
It was my brother Chris' first time to NYC as well. He was looking forward to seeing the site and checking out the entertainment.
March 1 , 2007
The other night we had our FinnFest winter event called Laskiaistiistai which means, "Sliding Tuesday" in Finnish. It was a really good time and a good crowd showed up.
“Laskiaistiistai” is part of an old tradition, celebrated in Finland as a fun family event in February. On the Tuesday of Laskiainen, the Finns enjoy fun outdoor festivities, sledding down the slopes and hills with different sliding tools, skiing, skating and tossing snowballs. After the outdoor fun, Finns enjoy food and hot beverages, featuring pea soup (Hernekeitto) and special coffee bread (Laskiaispulla), decorated with whip cream and jam. The origin of the Laskiaistiistai event is equivalent to the international celebration of Shrove Tuesday, also called “The Tuesday of Carnival", "Fat Tuesday" or "Mardi Gras.”
I made a short film from the event and it can be viewed here.
Up close with a Blue Man
Mike Relm rocks!
Mr. Gnome getting to ready to fly.
Mr. Gnome right on the nose
Mr. Gnome on a wing and a prayer
FAO Schwarz opening with blazing trumpets!
Coffee Artists™on Broadway with our National Coffee Break painting.
Statue of Liberty
Me and my Dad at Ellis Island
Coffee Art ® Portrait of David Letterman
Angel in Central Park
Angel at the Scandinavian House
KTU at the Knitting Factory
22-Pistepirkko at the Knitting Factory
Lodger at the Knitting Factory
In New York!
Brett Hull smiling at Angel
My Dad, Angel and Me skating at Rockefeller Center
The family at Rockefeller
Angel on stage at Radio City
Angel on Top of the Rock
New York Skyline
My brother Chris