Monday, August 22, 2016

PokemonGo through the eyes of a novice.

After a weekend of random iphone incidents with Museum guests wandering seemingly aimlessly and blindly through the Museum without lifting eyes to the stunning displays, I had promised myself to expostulate the merits of PokemonGo here in our blog. 

Those of you unfamiliar with the term PokemonGo, it is a game you download to your phone, based on the ever popular classic role playing game developed in Japan in 1996.

This new version is an interactive, location based reality game played on your phone.

Here in the Museum, our first big rush of players happened on Wednesday, July 27th.  The day of the Sublime w/ Rome, Dirty Heads, Tribal Seeds and Bleeker Concert.  4 bands in one night all here early in the day to enjoy Ironstone and play PokemonGo. 

Between the bands and the stage crews, we had a constant flow of iphone engrossed figures checking into the Pokestops to stock up.
When I inquired as to what in heaven's name were they doing, I was deluged with excited exclamations of the importance of Ironstone, the variety of pokestops and the existence of two towers right here at Ironstone!  What?!?  But don't you know it's NOT REAL!  Look at the 44 pound gold piece!  Check out the meteorite slabs, how about that prehistoric cave bear?  LOOK UP!

Throughout the next few weeks, we witnessed a growing number of visitors with eyes glued to their phones. My immediate reaction was to clear all below eye level displays and post bright colored signs in attempts to avoid head on collisions with static posts and walls. This is ridiculous! I have to write something!  I kept muttering under my breath, "but it's not REAL, can't they see that?", "Oh Wait, no they can't cause its not on the screen!".

With a sigh of relief, most did take a moment up from the phone to examine the gold. Some even wandered through the store and checked out some of the art and jewelry. Take a deep breath ... 

Then came the first bend in my thought process... a family trio came in to the Museum, father, son and grandfather. Father & son were glued to their respective phones while grandfather browsed through the museum and shop. I approached him in my anti-pokemon mode, and asked if the other two were going to stop and look up.  His reply was "eventually ... want to know something?" 

Without waiting for my replay, he continued with a story of a household of strangers, father in front of a TV or off with friends and a son in his room on his computer with friends. Both in their own worlds, very much apart. Then along came PokemonGo..

Grandfather explained to me how the game has brought them together into the same world.  They now travel, the three of them, to places he never imagined they would visit, conferring on their captures, the sights they see and the fun they are having. 

Time to start my research ... 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

24 hours of lemons car rally coming through!

24 hours of lemons car rally coming through!  What a hoot.  With a toy in hand, each team is charging in for a photo shoot with the Gold Crystalline. As if Pokemon Go weren't enough, now we have a parking lot of clunkers and laughter.  And yes, some are also playing PokemonGo as well.  

As explained to me, signups are online, cars can't cost more than $500 and they earn points for photos of their "mascot" at designated side stops as well as a whole list of extra point items.  You really must check out their website. Pretty fun group.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Chris Young Concert Sunday night

Here we are already half way through our summer concert series. As they say, time flies when you're having fun!  And what a great season it has been so far. Off with a bang with Darius Rucker, Dan & Shay and Michael Ray.  Rocking the house.  Goo Goo Dolls, Collective Soul and Tribe Society had a great showing.. New to the venue this year were sounds and setup of Sublime with Rome, Dirty Heads, Tribal Seeds and Bleeker.  No reserve chairs on this concert. Everyone was on their feet and danc'n.  Despite the heat, opening bands put on a wonderful show.  However, contrary to popular belief, this was NOT a popcorn crowd.  Now, the brownies from the food court were a great hit I hear....
And last week Train with the English Beat.  Again, standing crowd only danc'n the night away, and, they love popcorn! We love the popcorn lov'n crowds.

Tomorrow night comes Chris Young, Jon Pardi & Tyler Rich.  Country swinging. Great people watching night too. Lots of wanna be cowgirls in sharp looking cowboy boots and hats. And the guys not looking too bad either.  Bring your sketch books, its gonna be a fun night.  It is going to be a warm one, so if you haven't got your ticket yet, I would recommend getting a reserved seat. This way you won't have to rush out in the heat of the afternoon to snag a good spot on the lawn. Mosy on in after the rush, hang back in the food court with friends and move into your seats at your leisure, no problemo.

Did I mention that the Dirty Heads, Tribal Seeds and Bleeker introduced us to Pokeymon Go?  Yep, seems Ironstone is a hot spot for you pokeymon hunters.  Many of the band members are adament gamers and showed us here in the Museum what they found here. More on that later. 

See you tomorrow at the Chris Young Concert!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Spring Obsession 2017

2017 will mark the 20th Anniversary of Ironstone's Spring Obsession event.  Quite a wonderful history to this event.

Begun 1998, we were looking for a fun way to celebrate our Symphony Obsession Wine, Ironstone's number one best seller world wide.  Back then, the newest release came out right around spring time, perfect for a fun Spring Event.  Marketing joined in the planning and found many of the restaurants throughout the United States and Canada serving Ironstone's Obsession had outstanding chefs creating entres or deserts that were made with Obsession wine or paired with the wine.

Our first few years of the event included an International Chef Competition.  Chef's from all over the US and Canada submitted recipes for a main entree and or desert that was made with or paired with Ironstone's Obsession.  The two winning chefs were flown to Murphys for the Irish Days weekend where they presented free cooking demonstrations both Saturday and Sunday of the event.  That Saturday evening was an amazing Gala Dinner featuring the winning entree and winning desert, with both Chef's in attendance.  Ironstone's own executive chef prepared all the remaining dishes, all paired with the Obsession wine.  

Also as part of the Spring Obsession event we began an art competition with two divisions. The Open Division featured any subject matter - any media, excluding photography and digitally enhanced images.  (We plan on creating a photo exhibit in the near future.) Open Division awards cash prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd prizes selected by some of Northern California's premier artists, educators and Fine Arts Museum Directors.

The Theme Division has featured daffodils with the winner featured on a limited edition poster that promotes the Obsession Wine. These posters feature the winning image and the winning artists name and are distributed by our marketing department throughout the US and abroad where Ironstone's Obsession wine is sold.  This winner is selected by the Kautz Family themselves and includes a cash award.

Past years, the Art Show featured a small reception for the artists on the Friday before opening weekend.  Always a fun intimate gathering in the early years, that recepting began to outgrow the Friday night spot and eventually took over the Saturday limelight when the Chef's competition was discontinuted.

Now one of the premier Art Competitions in Northern California, Ironstone's Spring Obsession Art Show is moving into it's 20th year in 2017!. 

Here at Ironstone, we are planning for a fun and exciting weekend of Fine Art and Artists!  Keep an eye here on this blog and on our Webpage for the official Art Prospectus / Entry Form which will be published for you to download.  Should be out early September.