Anniversary Picnic 2021 – New Month, New Day, New Location

Greetings, and Good News - the Pandemic is receding from view each and every day.  That means we get to meet in person for the first time since February of 2020.  What better way to kick off some semblance of OK than to have our Anniversary Picnic!

Back in March we decided to leave a little more time for recovery, so we postponed the meeting from June to July.  Since Saturdays in summer get busy, we put the picnic on Sunday, July 11th.  And we are still meeting at West Bush Lake Park but we have a different shelter this time.  It's the same park, just one shelter to the South.  Click on the map image for a larger view.

What to look forward to:

  • A very short business meeting
  • Actual People in 3-D
  • The smells of good grilling
  • And a few games, perhaps involving PEEPS

We'll also be setting up a virtual camera and speaker so you can visit if you just can't make it to Bloomington.

NLC “Light Dawns”

Mark Uecker is a good friend and supporter of the Nokomis, in addition to being a member.  The National Lutheran Choir is very important to Mark, and you can imagine how hard this COVID year has been on the entire organization.

Here is the information from the NLC about "Light Dawns", their spring celebration and replacement for the Benefit Gala.

Beer over Zoom? Here’s the result

After the last meeting we had our first (and hopefully final) Zoom-Remote Journey to Nowhere Beer Tasting.   Seven households provided 14 different brews, with quite the variety.  The gallery shows you what we had on hand.

The adventure began with collecting all the beer and figuring a way to conceal it from view.  Contact brand Shelf Liner worked well, in case you ever need to cover your can. (wait, that sounds wrong somehow).  Hand them all back out in a box of 14, and the contest was on.  There were 5 rounds with 2 or three beers, two semi-finals and a champion choice.

After about 45 minutes of tasting, the winners were

First Place New Glarus Spotted Cow Ale, provided by the Patzmans
Second Place Lupulin Javatized Coffee Stout, provided by Phill Goldman and Lynne Tauer
Bad Beer Board, for the drink with the lowest score Brew Dr Blood Orange and Ginger Kombucha, provided by Emma Frazee

Thanks to everyone who purchased and provided drinks for tasting.  I had a lot of fun figuring how to do something we've done more than a dozen times before while still being safe and healthy.  That's the first time healthy has been used in association with drinking 14 beers.   It was fun, and I hope we don't have to do the remote tasting again - it's more fun in person.

  • Phill


The entire tasting list:

1 Kona Big Wave Golden Ale, from Jim and Pam
2 New Glarus Spotted Cow Ale, from the Patzmans
3 Indeed Pistachio Cream Ale, from the Hills
4 Summit Extra Pale Ale, from Jack L
5 Central Waters Laid Back New England IPA, from Ben S
6 New Glarus Moon Man Pale Ale, from the Patzmans
7 Ska Brewing Modus Hoperandi IPA, from Rich P
8 Heineken Alcohol Free, from the Hills
9 Indeed Mexican Honey Imperial Lager, from Phill and Lynne
10 Sam Adams Sam '76 Lager,  from Karen and Mark
11 Miller High Life, from Mary P
12 Brew Dr Blood Orange and Ginger Kombucha, from Emma Frazee
13 Lupulin Javatized Coffee Stout, from Phill and Lynne
14 New Belgium Voodoo Ranger IPA, from Mark and Karen



Kona Big Wave Golden Ale

Changing emails? You can handle it!

Is your email address changing?  Please keep your address up to date in the Nokomis' web page too.  You can handle it yourself.  Log in to the site, click on the My USSNOKOMIS button on the main page, then Manage My Subscriptions.  You can change your email address there, and it takes effect immediately.  Now you don't have to wonder if your email is right, you can check it right there too!

Como Zoo’s Wine Event, Bouquets is Next Week

Last year, the last in-person thing I did was volunteer at the winter fundraiser, Bouquets.  It's an event full of good food and drink, beautiful warmth and scenery in the middle of winter.  Normally the ticket sales are limited by the size of the Conservatory, but not this year.

Visit to see all the options, from a free-will donation Live presentation at 7PM, to a few tastier box with wine, beer, and food samples.  Lynne and I will be there in spirit(s), consider joining us. Tickets are available online, and all proceeds benefit Como Friends, the charitable arm of the Como Zoo and Conservatory to fund educational programs and Zoo improvements.

Slainte Mhath!


How would you have done in the Scavenger Hunt?

We held the first online Scavenger Hunt after the last Nokomis meeting.  There were 20 clues or questions in the 30 minute hunt;  if you knew the answer you got points; if you brought the answer to the screen you got even more points.  How would you have done?

Here's the clues. Some are Trek related, some are not.

  1. What is yours but is always used by others more than by you?
  2. Some take me in the morning, some at night. But when I'm taken I don't go anywhere.
  3. I have eyes but cannot see. With great power comes my great responsibility.
  4. The more I dry, the wetter I become
  5. Just one of me you can have not, because if you have one you have a lot.
  6. What starts with a T, ends in a T, and is full of it?
  7. What has teeth but cannot eat?
  8. I make something black and blue, and Red all over? Who am I?
  9. King or Queen I may not be,  but your measure is what I see
  10. I rise to the occasion when put on the spot, you'll know who I am and who I am not. Who am I?
  11. I have ring, but I have no finger.
  12. I am full of holes but still hold water.
  13. One sheet, two sheet, three sheet, four - some use less, some use more
  14. I have a face but never frown, I have hands but do not wave. I answer one question with many different answers.
  15. I have not flesh, feather, or bone, yet I have fingers and thumbs of my own
  16. Forward I am heavy, backward I am not.
  17. I can be held in your left hand but not your right. You give a thumbs up when you get this one.
  18. Sometimes I'm portable, sometimes I ain't. When interacting with mice I am called quaint.
  19. I appear ones in every minute, twice in every moment, not once in a thousand years?
  20. I cannot be burned in a fire nor drowned in water.  I'm an enemy of one and friend to the other.

I'll post the answers in next week's newsletter.  Good Luck!

PayPal and Venmo and Post (Oh Myyyy!)

Now there are more and more options for paying for things these days, and we're doing our best to allow as many as we can.    Log in to the web page for details about each.

  • Cash is classic, checks are just as good.  You can hand them over or mail them in.  Address information is visible when you log in.
  • PayPal started as a payment clearing house for buying things on the Internet, like stuff on Ebay.  You can use your PayPal account if you have one.
  • PayPal is also our clearing house for credit cards.  They've branched out now to being more of a full service merchant service, so they take credit cards, bank transfers, and a host of other services.
  • Venmo is strictly person to person, using mobile device apps to keep it simple and well-protected.  You'll need to have a Venmo account of your own to send money to us that way.

The Nokomis is set to use all of these.  Log in to see our contact info.

More inside...

A New Year, a few New Spins

With the start of a New Year, let's try some new ways to do some traditional after-meeting events.  Here's two that are coming almost right away.

Scavenger Hunt - We've done a few of them, hunting around the Mall of America for the answers to cryptic clues.  In January we'll spin it just a little differently.  After the regular business meeting, I'll send you all an email with the clues, and the answers should be something you have at home. Don't worry, we're not gonna make you take a picture with a mannequin (who has that?) but we might ask for a picture of one. We'll keep it to half an hour to find as many things as you can, and we'll do a quick grade online.  Care to try? Come to the January meeting

Beer Tasting Rabble- For 5 years in a row we headed out to new brew places on the road to try new places and new flavors.  We've also brought them together for tasting contest - so here's the spin.  At the February meeting I'll ask for who wants to participate.  We'll need to know how many at that time so we know how many households need beer samples.  Yep, we're gonna do it at home.  Sometime in late February I'll drive around and pick up all the samples and 'obscure' them from view with paint or something.  They'll be numbered so we can all try and grade them at the same time.  Just think: Lots of samples to taste, and no possibility of having too much to drive.  Interested?  Come to the February meeting to find out how it all works.

I expect we'll still be at home in March and just about ready to chew the furniture.  A little distraction might help, and with luck we'll all be together sometime in the summer.


Phill Goldman

Next Meeting: One Week Later than you’d Expect

Are you expecting information about a Zoom meeting on the 12th of September?  Well, you'd be the only one there.  We moved the meeting from the 12th to the 19th before we knew bowling would be impossible.  The bowling ended but the move remained.

Be sure to tune in to the September 19th meeting for a few big items

  • The Board proposes a calendar for the upcoming 12-14 months, see what's on it and propose fun stuff if you can!
  • Hear about the Blood Drive and when the next ones might be
  • Did someone say Discovery Season 3?
  • No Bowling
  • Lower Decks and Trek Yet to Come.

More? You bet.  Be sure to mark your tricorders with the right date and time.

We only wish 2020 was hindsight.

I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I'm ready to start a new year and put 2020 in the rear view mirror.  Let's start having some fun.  A couple of months ago I'd asked you for ideas we can do online as a group, assuming we still need to meet with some spacing.   Which one of these seem like they might be fun?

  • Online scavenger hunt - fill a list of items from stuff you have right there at home (note: Living in a Target store might be cheating).
  • ZOOM Murder Mystery - everyone has roles to play, hints and info to give.  It uses the best of Zoom to let the group play out the mystery, and breakout rooms for those 'private' conversations.
  • Comedy Shows - there are some great shows online for a fraction of the in-person prices - we pick one and all attend remotely.  I saw one that lets you bring a group that are 'sitting together' in a breakout group at the show.  I attended one with dozens of attendees visible and hundreds on the attendee list.
  • Take a virtual tour of someplace we could never go as a group - The Grand Canyon, Philadephia Museum of Art - let's see what we can find

Got more ideas?  I've seen virtual bowling, watching baseball games as a group - time for some creativity!!!  We'll talk at the next meeting!