Featuring personal photos of the Lake Minnetonka Area and things of interest to the author.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Death & A Pack of Cigarettes Circa 1894
I finished my 4 mile run hard, stopping just short of the Cottagewood General Store. It was 1994, late October, and the weather was unusually warm. As I walked past the front of the store (sweating from heat, exertion and the dead calm that envelopes a resting runner) I encountered an old man. He was wearing a blue and red flannel shirt, and seemed rough and ornery. “Could you give me a cigarette?” He asked. I thought to myself - “Hey! I am not a likely candidate for a smoke, buddy”, but I politely I just said no. He jerked back and grumbled.
I strolled slowly and rested, then turned to walk the final 2 blocks to my home on Park Avenue. Thinking about the old man I looked back - but he was gone.
*** *** ***
A Friday night in October 1894. There was a banging on the door of the Cottagewood General Store. It was 9:30 pm and the owner was resting in the upstairs apartment. He bundled up and came down to meet the noisy visitor. “ Open up!” The scroungy old prospector shouted. “Let me in I need cigarettes”.
The shop owner was sleepy and suspicious. “We’re closed” and he pointed to the sign: CLOSED.
The angry old man pulled out a 38 revolver and shot the shop owner squarely, dealing him a mortal wound. He then broke into the store to steal the cigarettes he wanted so badly. He was never seen again.
- It isn''t much, but it is true.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Odd Things Learned on the Way to writing a post.
False starts abound on my latest attempt to write a Halloween article. I will get a Halloween special out this weekend. Here are a few totally disjointed facts I have learned:
1. Standard 8 sided Stop signs were yellow until 1954, when they became red. Most movies depicting the 20s, 30s, 40s and even early 50s show this wrong.
2. The fax machine was invented and patented in 1844 - before the telephone. They used telegraph lines to transmit them and faxes were used via phone lines commonly in the late 1890s.
3. My previously mentioned song "Sukiyaki" ,1962, was the greatest selling Japanese language song in history.
4. The Duchess of Milan never paid for her portrait "Mona Lisa", so Da Vinci carried it with his belongings his whole life. "He just made me look way too fat" She said.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Sunday, October 23, 2005
My Camera Is Down and Can't Get Up
* The chefs are French,
* The police are English,
* The lovers are Italian,
* The mechanics are German,
* ...and everything is organized by the Swiss(including having a backup digital camera).
* The chefs are English,
* The police are German,
* The lovers are Swiss,
* The mechanics are Italian,
* ...and everything is organized by the French - and the cameras are manufactured by Peugeot.
Note: I gave away my backup, and a new, much nicer camera should arrive very soon (I ordered it on the net).
My "Be prepared motto" has been shaken - but I still have my Pentax 35mm SLR.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Ghosts On Minnetonka for Halloween
I saw dark shadowy figures by the lake tonight. Was it James J. Hill pensively pacing along the Wayzata lakefront train line, figuring out ways to infuriate the Wayzata Town Council? Was it Frank Lloyd Wright (my uncle worked with him by the way) trying to build another structurally flawed house? Or...was it Art Garfunkel trying to find a back up hit to "2nd Avenue"... no, he's still alive. Maybe it was just a Paul Newmanlike apparition trying to put a little more zing into his organic dressing.
We need more shadows around here. - We need more ghosts by Lake Minnetonka. Ghosts with gravitas. St. Paul has F. Scott Fitzgerald haunting the Commodore Hotel - Martini anyone? Waverly is proud as punch of the ghost of Hubert Humphrey. Judy Garland can still be heard clicking her heals together to get the heck out Grand Rapids. Minnesota Public Radio has the ghost of GarrisonKeilor on weekly.
But the Lake grows quiet.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Tonka Toys Not Found On Vikings Tour Boat
The Hennepin County Sheriff confirmed Friday that the "toys" found strewn about the Al and Alma Cruise Boats were not the famous Tonka Toys so loved by children. He declined any further discussion regarding the "toys" found.
Tonka Toys were first manufactured in 1947 by Mound Metal Crafting (a company locatd by Lake Minnetonka- thus the name Tonka) to appeal to children of the true baby boom generation; Soldiers beginning families after returning from WWII. - This original demographic breakdown has been expanded into meaninglessness.... but I digress. The original "Big Dump Truck" sold out the 35,000 production run in 3 months.
I have been reading the history of Tonka Toys, and it really is quite interesting and sad. It is now a subsidiary of Hasbro with no manufacturing in the United States. - More to come.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Autumn is a better word than Fall
The boats are pulled off the lake and are bundled into storage for the winter. Docks are taken in. Canoes are removed from racks. Still, the water will not freeze and the ice will not settle in. The lake slips into a dormant stage, a quiet time that is free of boats, jet skis, snowmobilers, ice fishermmen and cross country skiers.
The Vikings On Minnetonka - UPDATE - Again
Tuesday morning news:
It is reported that notable, but unnamed, Minnesota Vikings Players (the “queens” as we endeeringly call them) are being investigated for “lude and disordery conduct”. It seems that unnamed players hired call girls for a Minnetonka Cruise Boat as the entertainment. First off, let me say this: This is done all the time. I have seen the ladies boarding the boats at Excelsior Bay. I have seen the independant contractors working the ice houses in February. Quickly and finally; I have come a long way to say this: As football players the Vikings couldn’t buy a score. Now, they have found a way.
A Mound (a township abuttting Lake Minnetonka) resident began the string of events when she called the Mound Police. She watched a limosine service stop in front of her house and 7 Vikings players piled out and proceeded to urinate on her front lawn. When she complained to them, they simply blew her off. "It is only water" said one.
They proceeded to go to Al and Almas Lake Cruise and Catering service where what has been described as a 70 person orgy occurred. Steven Doyle, Attorney for "Al and Alma's" states that their crew was "shocked and in fear" by the activities of the Vikings on Al and Almas 2 tour boats. The tawdry details will surely surface in the alphabet news, but it is basically rich jerks with too much money and pathetic taste.
Remember-these guys have a 1 and 3 record. Allow me to clarify that. They have barely eeked out 1 victory over The New Orleans Saints, a team that had just been displaced by Katrina and had played a tough game only 4 days earlier. - New Orleans lost this week to the previously winless Green Bay Packers 52-3.
Relax: Decorum will return to this blog. Autumn colors photos will be posted this weekend.
Monday, October 10, 2005
We have a Doggie Down!
Mardi (on Minnetokonka) , our 14 1/2 yr. old standard poodle took a slip on our hardwood floor, and is now struggling to walk. As dogs and people get old, falls can be dire signs. I do not need to belabor the point . I have seen it too often.
I have administered buffered aspirin, covered the floor with throw rugs (thus the name), and I am a practiced Poodle carrier. I think she will recover - this time. Winter may be tough.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Friday, October 07, 2005
Movie Remake Hybrids for better box office results
This post may be short lived- it may not make it past the editor (me) for the whole day Friday.
Hollywood is bent on subjecting us to some of the lamest remake efforts ever. Charlie's Angles, Bewitched, Dukes of Hazzard, I Dream Of Jeanie, The Amytiville Horror etc. All of them insufferable. I suggest combinations of past successes for more creative high concept plots.
1. Close Encounters On Golden Pond
- during their golden years and old couple discover a stranded “grey” living in their root cellar. It asks for a phone, and a billion minutes.
2. Gone With the Wind Our Blazing Saddles.
- Scarlet O'Hara rebuilds Terra and raises crops of Pinto Beans.
3. The Scent of a Taxi Driver
- DeNiro in his ultimate role. 'New car smell' spray sales soar.
4. The Nutty, Psycho Professor
- James Woods plays a professor who converts the Bates Hotel into a co-ed dorm.
5. Das Boot is Swept Away
- a German U-Boat is assigned it’s first female commander. This one should have social a consciousness bent.
6. The Field of Dreams and Nightmares on Elm Street
- Freddie K is obsessed with making crop circles.
7. Car 54 Where Are You -Serpico?
- witness protection can’t stop Serpico from surfacing as a small town cop with whacky results.
8. The Last Animal House on the Left .
- Toga! Toga! To-gahhhhhhhhh! .
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Looking Back He Saw No One.
Mbarak Hussein kept looking back over his shoulder the last mile. Usually this movement is the death rattle of a fatigued runner, sending competitors in for the kill. Mbarak, (40) was running a very conservative race, and he was suprised to see no one in view down the long tree lined final stretch of Summit Avenue. At 40 years of age one hears footsteps. Any pressure at all from another runner would surely have dropped the final time below 2:18, but somewhere along the hills on River Road & Summit Ave. the die was cast. And die they did. Hussein won in 2 hours and 18 minute and 28 seconds outpacing the nearest runner by 2 minutes.
I was missled by the petit figure and cap pulled downover her eyes. I mistook the leading woman - Nichole Aishe - for Joan Benoit, who came in 11th place. Now I have a crush on 2 women runners - (should I say that it is boyish?) . Nichole's winning time was a modest 2 hours and 40 minutes. Neither male or female times were fast, and I was struck by the vast empty spaces between runners, well into the mid 3 hour times. I must admit I was a little motivated to return to running. I was not motivated enough to stay and watch our Governor finish.
The grey fall day gave the marathon a restrained, almost melancholy feel. A retro marathon. In sympathy the radio played 'Sukiyaki' as I headed home on I94. Back to running the streets and clay surfaced trails by lake Minnetonka.