Category: Arts & Entertainment

July 4th on Lake Minnetonka

Since living in the US, July 4th has become one of my favorite holidays. I love the atmosphere, the camaraderie (which, as a Brit, both amuses and delights me to be a part of), and the firecracker celebrations that you can fp3 online kaufen. I first experienced the Independence Day celebrations over the Charles River in Boston in 1993. Now I am treated with the parties of Lake Minnetonka each year. Below are my 3 highlights from 2010 which I am excited to revisit this year.

  1. The Firecracker Run (10K), Excelsior, MN.

My first 10K since returning to running a few months earlier. In fact, it was my first race ever in the US. Although I tried to treat it as a simple training run in preparation for my August half-marathon, the nerves still got the better of me and kept me awake the night before! It was the perfect race to re-start my running craze though – a small, local affair; a beautiful course and enough of a crowd to keep up the motivation. Although being July 4th, the weather conditions were not ideal for running – we began in rain and finished in high heat and humidity. My target was to finish the race in under 1 hour – a chip time of 57:11 left me comfortably inside that. I was all pumped up ready to begin the July 4th celebrations on a high!

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  1. The kids’ red, white, and blue bike parade.

Many children, my own included, like to parade their bikes, spruced up with red, white, and blue to honor this special day. I met my family as I traveled back from the race. Proudly wearing my newly earned race shirt, still pink-faced, with achy legs, high on endorphins. Their enthusiasm and excitement paralleled my own as they set off (at speed) with their friends and neighbors to parade their creations past local residents who obligingly cheered as they cycled by. The cheers were as enthusiastic on the fifth lap as they had been on the first! Now we were all pumped up ready to bring on the fireworks!

  1. Excelsior Firecracker display.

Following a traditional Minnesota grill gathering with friends, we loaded two families onto the boat. Each one of us as excited as the next for our first experience of the firework display from the water. Sharing drinks and appetizers, we gently made our way over to a suitable spot to anchor up in anticipation of the show. We watched and waited as other boats gradually made their way over, filling the bay with families, party-goers, couples; anyone who wanted to share this moment from the lake. Occasional mini-displays nearby whet the appetite prior to the main event. Around 10 pm, The Excelsior Commons fireworks began and the sky really began to sparkle. The calm waters lit up with each explosion treating revelers to a 360-degree display culminating in a mass of color and bangs. The lake sprang back into life as the hundreds of boats left the bay, their occupants enjoying the balmy evening and a night-cap as they journeyed back to the empty docks. The children cuddled up under hoodies and blankets, snuggled into the warmth of their parents as their eyelids grew heavier, drawing a close to the drama of July 4th, 2010.

“Google Me:The Movie”

Technology has become such an intricate part of our lives. We find ourselves checking emails, researching information, watching videos and sometimes gathering advice on the many websites available through the world-wide web. It seems however, that no other internet research tool has made an impact as GOOGLE. Webster’s Dictionary has even added the word as a verb officially making it a part of the English Language. The definition of Google is to look up, to investigate, to explore.

Now, one man Jim Killeen has taken this phenomenon and turned it into a documentary which is currently in production. According to webpronews.com, Mr. Killeen is working on this documentary which traces his story from the day he “Googled” his own name. The information goes on to describe how the filmmaker begins traveling to meet “himself” in many different cities, towns, professions and circumstances. One of the interesting stories was of a Jim Killeen from Tucson, Arizona who was found dead in his home after three weeks of being missing. This story catapults the filmmaker into an investigation and takes him on a journey that includes psychics and a wife that is praying for his “resurrection.”

Googling oneself could be seen as vain, or self serving but how many of us have not wondered and perhaps gone through with putting our name in that little rectangular search box to see what the results would be. I know I have done it a few times myself and have been surprised and amazed at where I’ve shown up. What makes Jim Killeen’s concept interesting in the age of technology is that when he finds his namesakes, he takes it a step further and connects with all his other selves. They say that technology has made things impersonal and created a society of unconnected people but this exercise illustrated by Jim Killeen through film shows that technology can help us find ourselves in many different ways as we search to understand our own journey. There is something inate in all of us that makes us want to find our ROOTS or connect with like minded or similar individuals. Just look at the numbers on AC, a community of content producers sharing their art and establishing networks that might not have ordinarily been possible without technology.

From a marketing perspective, Jim Killeen scores big! What a concept to use this worldwide tool and cinematography as a means of branding one’s own name. You can bet your bottom dollar that by the time this movie hits the big screen it will have established a cult following, creating huge audiences EVERYWHERE. This project is truly an interesting commentary on society and how technology has transformed our lives. It is also pure marketing genius that will be referenced in theory and practice for years to come. Right now, I’m thinking D***, I wish I’d thought about it first! Since I didn’t, I will give kudos to Jim Killeen and congratulate him because “Google Me” is sure to establish him as a household name.

The next question remains, is GOOGLE affiliated with this film? According to a Google spokesperson, they are in no way affiliated with the film but they have heard about it and have blessed the endeavor by giving Mr. Killen permission to use their name. They also worked with Mr. Killeen to explain aspects of what goes into making the search engine such a powerful effective tool.

Personally, I could not wait to see what the documentary looked like so I immediately did a google search to find out if there was a trailer out there. I also wanted to make sure that my information was correct. Well all sources where correct because there it was! When I hit the link and arrived at on the homepage, I was immediately greeted with the filmmaker’s full name in the search box, and a quote below that read: “It all started when I Googled my own name…”