East River

Grandpa has turned Jackson into a farm kid!








A few photos from SD – West River






Something you don’t see in China….

This house is being moved. They just pick it up, put it on a truck, and take it to the new location. The highways are usually empty so there isn’t much of a problem with blocking the road.

Back home

Jon and I are back home. Here we are after the rehearsal dinner before Pete and Sara’s wedding.


I love the friendliness and quietness of South Dakota!  We were getting some new vinyl for Grandma’s Creta’s bathroom which is being remodeled, when I noticed this sign.

The hardware store is big, like many other places.  We were the only customers in there the whole time.  Just give a little shout and the friendly men will help you with whatever you need to find.

Lots and lots of home-building/remodeling materials.  It makes me excited to build a house when we get back to the US.

On the other side of the world

Last night, Jon and I were driving his dad’s big pickup truck down the empty highway underneath a sky full of stars, listening to country music.

I couldn’t help but think of what we might have been doing in Shanghai.  We’d be squished in the back of a taxi, veering around hundreds of other taxis underneath the city lights and skyscrapers, listening to the blaring of horns and some loud Chinese yabbering on the radio.

I’m pretty sure that not many people have “homes” both in a city of 22 million and outside of a town of 200.  Each of our homes has upsides and downsides.

More photos from flying

Some of my blog’s features weren’t working properly, but an upgrade fixed that.

Here are the rest of the photos I took when flying all around Howard in Jenny’s “Stinson Flying Station Wagon.”

Flying over the farm

When I was home, mom’s friend Jenny took me up in her airplane (and even let me fly!) Here are a couple of photos from the flight.  More to come tomorrow!

IMG_0454_smThe farm, seen from the East.

IMG_0431_smJason and Emily’s farm, from the South.

Ultrasounding cattle

This is probably my last post from South Dakota photos for a while! (Until October, anyway.)

When I was home, Jason and dad spent a couple days ultrasounding cattle. Not to check if they were pregnant, but to determine their back fat and marbling and the date they would be ready to sell.

favorite photos

Flowers Dad and I got mom for Mother’s Day and dad’s boot.  Dirty, cracked leather…  I like it!

Auto-steering tractor

Everytime I go home we have some fancy new-fangled thing. 
This new tractor has auto-steering.  It has a computer and GPS in it.  Dad needed to turn the tractor at the end of the row, get it about where he was supposed to start planting the next row, and the auto-steer took over.  It drove the tractor in a straight line until Dad took over to turn around.
This computer/GPS also keeps track of things like what variety of corn was planted, what time, which field it is, etc.  At harvest time, the computer is put in the combine, where it records moisture, bushels per acre of yield, etc.  Dad and Jason can now keep incredibily detailed track of everything about a field.

Planting Corn

Dad planting “Round-up Ready” corn.

birthday cake

This is the cake I made dad for his 60th birthday.  It’s a retro-colored cake.
(Really, the frosting was supposed to be white, but mom didn’t have any white shortening.  So it turned out yellow.  I decided to tint it slightly blue, but the blue combined with the yellow to make green.  So I kept adding blue until it wasn’t green.  Not exactly what I had in mind!)

photos from South Dakota

Here are some more photos from my trip home – one night we went to look at the cows and their new calves with Shannon and Chloe. Chloe kept saying “Hi Baby Cows!” in a super cute 3-year-old voice. 

The town, Vilas, is a few minutes west of Howard.  Yes, that is a population sign, and yes, it does say 19. 

When people in China say “I’m from a small city, only 2 million people” we can’t quite comprehend what is small about that.  I think our whole state has a population of 800,000, with a population density of 1 person per 1.7 square kilometers.

Toastmasters in China

I gave a speech at the District 78 Toastmasters Convention while I was at home.  Here is a link to it.

China has blocked Blogger, which I use to publish my blog.  Posting will be slim for a few weeks.  I can post via email, but then I can’t edit it.  Everyone seems to think the block will be lifted after the anniversary of a certain incident in Beijing involving a certain square.

I don’t think photos will come through either.  If there is no photo with this post, I can’t post photos and probably won’t post until the block is lifted, unless I just host the images on my own server…  Anyway, hopefully this test post works!

South Dakota

Multi-media Association

Last week we were officially presented with a sign saying Keyframe Shanghai is a member of the Shanghai Multi Media Association.

Our Keyframe Shanghai team.

News Release

We (Keyframe US) wrote a news release about the Suzhou project and it was picked up on the Animation World Network site.

Nice job Keyframe Shanghai!

Suzhou Skyscreen Grand Opening

On January 16th, the skyscreen in Suzhou opened. It’s not a Daktronics display, but Keyframe did a bunch of content for it. Here is our favorite piece.

View from the Macau Dak Shack

I wasn’t so impressed with the Dak Shack – beds like plywood and no hot water! Adam lives a couple blocks away so we showered there. Hot water is a luxury you take for granted. Also, none of the apartments here have heat. It’s only about 60 degrees F but it’s damp, so it feels pretty chilly.

Flat Stanley visits Dak Shanghai – Dec 1st

We took Flat Stanley with us to work one day.

Stanley with the company driver, Mr. Huang. Stanley thought the traffic was pretty crazy here!

Stanley at Starbucks – we used to get coffee their every morning. (We just bought an espresso machine.)

Stanley at Daktronics Shanghai.

November 12 – Whiskey Creek Grill

A while back, the SD Cattlemen’s Association was invited to a new restaurant in Mitchell, SD called Whiskey Creek Grill to “brand” their bar. That’s right, everyone brought in their branding iron and left their mark on the bar.

The “John Reisch” brand. It’s made of a lazy R and rocking J. (correct me if I am wrong, mom!)

After we get the crops in, everyone who helped gets invited to a Harvest Party. We had this year’s party at Whiskey Creek.

Tim explains how he made his wedding ring out of a quarter. (yes, made, as in hammered a lot to get it in the perfect shape.) He made his wife’s out of a nickel from her birth year!

Emily & mom making S’mores.

October 3rd – Geocaching

October 5th – Deadwood

October 5th – Wiener dog races

Deadwood was holding their annual Oktoberfest celebration that weekend. It included Wiener Dog races!

First there was a costume contest:

Then the race! There were several heats. Most of the dogs didn’t care too much about being the first to the other end – they were more interested in each other.

This guy won! He’d been in a few competitions before. His owner’s secret was to have a T-bone in his pocket, let him smell it right before the race, and hold it so the dog would race to the bone. It worked!

October 4th – Gambling in Deadwood

Before we moved to China, we went to Deadwood with Jon’s parents, brother and sister-in-law. We cashed in some hotel points for 3 king suites. We decided to do this again. Typically, I hate to gamble. I can’t even put in a whole roll of nickels before I get tired of throwing the money away. This time, I got lucky though!!

I’d put in just a few nickels when I hit it big! (OK, so it was about $40. But that’s a lot when you are betting 5 cents!) So, I cashed out just to hear the hundreds of nickels clinking out of the machine. The sound of winning!

This made me a bit braver to put in some more money. I still liked cashing out the best though. Jon also made some money playing black jack. Seriously, we came out over $100 ahead on gambling. That never happens. We decide how much money we are going to allow ourselves and when it’s gone, that’s the amount we traded for an evening of entertainment.

Whenever we go home, we buy a few dollars worth of scratch off lottery tickets. It helps pass the 6 hours it takes to drive from Jon’s parents house to my parent’s house. This time, we bought 6 tickets and 4 of those were winners! Most of them just covered the cost of the ticket, so nothing special. We really liked the design of the Crazy Cat tickets though – it reminded us of the paw-waving cat that you see in about every shop in China.


I’ve always loved getting mail. Today I got a package with a elephant stamp from Thailand. Something about the writing, elephant and baht made it seem quite exotic to me (hence worthy of a photo). Thanks Esther!

On our farm, the mailbox was located on the gravel road at the end of the driveway, which is typical in the midwest. I heard a story once that my cousin John had a girl from California visiting the farm. Apparently she had never been in such a desolate area (said sarcastically by me) because she said to John “You really get mail out here?”

To which he solemnly replied, “Actually, it’s just for looks. The Pony Express does come by once a week though.”

Replacement display

This is a display at the Sands Casino that is being replaced by a Daktronics HD 16 mm LED display. Right now they are removing the old one.

Bamboo scaffolding is used in all of the construction projects. Bamboo is extremely strong, but it is pretty unnerving to walk on it for the first few minutes because it gives. I didn’t have the best shoes on to be climbing the ladders with uneven steps, so I just went up a little bit. I understand now why all of the construction workers wear crocs or canvas shoes – they would grab the ladder better than the hard-soled steel toed boots I think they wear in the US.

Carefully lowering the old display piece by piece.

Dak Shanghai

On Friday, I was going to work as usual when my boss convinced me I should take the day off and go to Suzhou with Esther. (He was right! Thanks Dan.) We showed her around before going to the train station. She really liked the LED displays as a background – I have to agree, it looks pretty cool.

Visitors from the USA

A few weeks ago, we had 3 girls visit from the US. They were student reporters covering the Olympics. Quinn was from Brookings, so they ended up visiting Daktronics Shanghai for a morning. She is writing articles for the Brookings Register – here is the one that she mentioned us in.

She also has a blog of her own where she posted more about Dak Shanghai and some photos.


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