Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Excelsior Appliance

Excelsior Appliance
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Ken More passed away.

Lost In A Maze Of Voice Recognition

Monday our washing machine died. It was a quiet death, the repairman opened her lower unit, then simply closed her up an shook his head. “I am sorry, there is little I can do. The transmission is shot. I can keep her alive for a while, but the quality of life for a 20” top loader just wont be there. I recommend you simply pull the plug".

I paid the Excelsior Appliance repairman, considered my options, and told him I would make a decision and get back to him. Then I set out on a mission to find a new machine, and to bury the old machine.
I called SEARS, only to be lost in a maze of voice recognition options;

1. If you would like to upgrade your Discover Card say: “discover card zirconium”
2. If you would like to see Mr. Goodwrench after he gets out of prison say: “grease job”.
3. If you are in need of appliance warranty information say: “five point type”

And so on... none of the options applied to my simple situation.
Next I called ‘AZ’ Appliance Sales and Repair, who had a full page ad in the Yellow Pages. The nice young lady informed me that they now only repaired appliances. If you want a new one, call Home Depot.

I called another... with similar results.

So finally I called the Excelsior Appliance Store back and told them of my situation, size limitations, and time needs (My oldest dog needs constant cleaning up after). Within the hour Kathy, the young sales woman called me back with a list of options, costs and the time a new 20” top loader could be installed and the old machine removed. I was so relieved I gave them the immediate go-ahead. That was it.

Next morning I left the back door unlocked, and when I came home from work that evening it was installed and the old machine gone. Everything worked great. Only thing is, they forgot to bill me. I drove over to the store and paid them in person (The price by the way, was exceptional).

Monday, February 27, 2006

Tonka Bay -a stones throw away

Within eyesight of the location of the following ice house photo I could see the Tonka Bay water tower. Tonka Bay is a very small town on the land separating the upper and lower lakes. In one of it's most infamous historical moments, in 1922 the Hennepin County Sheriff arrested Frank Loydd Wright at his mistress's cottage for suspicion of a variety of wrong doings with immigration authorities, debts and other moral accusations. Sheriff Brown was accompanied by a crowd of reporters, bankers, and other policemen. Mr Wright was summarily cuffed and dragged to Hennepin County Jail, where he spent two days before being released without charges.
- At almost the same time as this the Andrew Sisters were spending their summers in nearby Mound.

Source: Tales From Tonka, by Ellen Wilson Meyer 1993 -- published by the Minnetonka Historical Society

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ice house on blocks

Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I Lost The Suit

My first real art show was at the Vorhees Gallery at Rutgers (Queens Campus) 1978. I was a poverty stricken grad student, but for some reason I was convinced that I needed to wear a 3 piece suit to my opening. The disco era and all. So I ventured to Barney's in NYC and bought a $350.00 3 piece French designer suit. Frankly, it was a beautifully cut suit, custom taylored, hand stitiched and all that. A perfect fit for me when I was 25 and weighed 130lbs. For years it rested in my closet, and every time I looked at it I remarked how really nice it was - I am sure it would cost a thousand today. Well today I packed it up and gave it away to ARC, a service for the mentally dissabled.
Remember -"Disco sucks"?, ...well it really didn't. You should be dancing-ya!

Along Old Market Road

Along Old Market Road
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Along Old Market Road

Along Old Market Road
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Monday, February 20, 2006

8 Below In the Excelsior Dock

The Excelsior Dock Movie Theater is as close to a retro movie going experience as I have had in years. The proximity to my home, and basic feeling of comfort keep me coming back. It is just what you would expect of a small town theater. The manager has acne. The trailers are often overdubbed with local business ads - yes you can have your kids shoes electroplated right in downtown Excelsior, and Susan's Chiropractic is well adjusted. The candy is often old, - my box of Dots were pre-mordial.
But the audience, to my surprise and assuarance is mostly quiet, and the screen in focus. Cell phones do not go off and they actually pull a burgundy curtain back at the beginning of the film. Well, in the end I enjoy the experience and leave with a gut filled with cheap candy and diet pop ready to discuss the film.
Now for the movie - a Disney Film for dog lovers called "8 Below". Don't expect high art, but then when do we expect high art? Not in todays "Shaggy Dog 2" world. I enjoyed the B film quality, and since we are Minnesotans we are acquainted with cold weather. We could relate to the cold crackling ice scenes and phony frost bit fingers. It is also kind of refreshing to sit in an audience of people sincerely sobbing.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Another Sunday Sunrise/Cottagewood

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Winter returns to Minnesota

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Now that you have found another key, what are you going to play?

Two months ago I purchased a new digital camera online. The manual was not included, but could be downloaded online - and who wouldn’t want to download a 300+ page manual and print it out? I wouldn’t, and I prefer to refer to hard copy. Finally, let me just say I am a dork. So I proceded to explore the features on my own, a hit an miss operation at best. Last week I discovered a whole realm of neat features that have really expanded my photographic cabilities (firesworks, editing, sports settings etc.). What a world.

My Other Camera Is No-Tech

My New Camera Is No-Tech
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

The little girl and the dog pictured will be my standard for photographic excellence. Remember, where there is fun, there's a snapshot.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Little Minnetonka History

Cottage Wood (yes originally 2 words)

Samuel Gale and Harlow Gale bought a small island in Lake Minnetonka in 1860. The sale price was $2.40. It was still a very good price, even for a very small island! They built a few cottages there and made them into summer homes. The island is just south of “Big Island”. The Gale brothers called it “Brightwood Island”, it is currently called Gale’s Island.

Later, In 1869 the Gales purchased 95 acres of land on a penninsula nearby. This is the section of Deephaven which is currently called “Cottagewood”. The parcels were divided and sold for $100 dollars per acre. The original parcels were actually large enough to have fronts facing the Lake, and opposite sides facing Carson’s Bay. The parcels are small now, crowding house upon house next to each other for some Lakefront.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Minnetonka - the fish within

Monday, February 06, 2006

No children on the playground.

I was attracted by the Christmas-like twinkling of police car lights. No sirens, just an array of orange and red lights jumping across the roofs of police cars. Three police cars, and one tow truck. There were no children in the playground on this cold February afternoon. Just a cheap car pushed against a blue plastic slide. No ambulences- not yet. The K-car was being removed from the playground. The driver was being removed from the scene.
On the radio I listened to Jerry Lee Lewis playing 1950s “jump” music... yes it was called jump music.

“Come along a baby a whole lot of shakin going on, Who's barn , what barn?"

Sunday, February 05, 2006

SUPERBOWL-The FUN and the Fury

I must post a pre-game (Superbowl 06) statement. In OVERTIME - STEELERS WIN.

I have been to Pittsburgh, my very best friend was a VP for the Melon Bank bank in the 80s, so i visited him. I love the Frick Gallery, but I also loved the Greek Food. I feel an affection towards Pittsburgh. Three rivers and all those bridges. It's an unpretentious town. So I cheer for Pittsburgh.

- SORRY; A personal note

As most know I have glaucoma. I am not an old man, but my daily eyedrops for glaucoma tell me that I am not a young one. None-the-less my eyes are very slowly failing. As an artist, this is not the best thing, but clarity comes in many ways. For my own vanity I will post my artwork, and I beg your indulgeance.

Friday, February 03, 2006

An old drawing

An old drawing
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Merge, 101 is Under Construction

101 Under Construction
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

An encampment of construction workers, dump trucks and mehanical cranes have been working on the expansion of Highway 101.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A ponderous snowfall

A ponderous snowfall
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.