Monday, July 31, 2006

The Muleskinners Blues - an old Appalachian Folk Song

Well, good morning, Captain!
Well, good morning to you.
Do you need another mule skinner
Down on your new mud run?
Ha, ha, hip, ee, ee.........

Well, I'm an old mule skinner,
From down Kentucky way,
And I can make any mule listen,
Or I won't accept your pay.
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,
Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, ha, ha,
Well hey, hey.

Little water boy, come here boy,
Bring that water bucket around
Ha, ha, ha,
If you don't like your job
Water boy, put that bucket down
Ha, ha, ha, ee, ee, ha, ha, ha

A Monday morning song. Somehow, in some way, this seems appropriate in the sweltering heat. The Fendermen from Madison, Wisconsin made a hit of it in 1960. Many others sang it before them with lyrical variations.

Hey waterboy! Bring the buck-buck-bucket round! Ha Ha!


Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Expect Delays.

Expect Delays.
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

12 Weeks old, Toonie experiences the summer heat

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Lake Depths - Notable Minnesota Lakes

I was recently asked the depth of Lake Minnetonka. Here are some DNR stats:

Lake Name, County, Maximum Depth

Lake Superior -- 1,290 feet
Ten Mile, Cass 209 feet
Lower LaSalle, Hubbard 204 feet
Loon Lake, Cook 202 feet
Rainy Lake, St. Louis 161 feet
Leech Lake, Cass 150 feet
Cass Lake, Beltrami / Cass 120 feet
Otter Tail, Otter Tail 120 feet
Minnetonka, Hennepin 113 feet
Vermillion, St. Louis 76 feet
Winnibigoshish, Cass 70 feet
Mille Lacs, Mille Lacs 42 feet
Upper Red Lake, Beltrami 18 feet

Dry Little Branch

Dry Little Branch
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.
Things are getting a little dry out there!

Sundown brings relief

sundown brings relief
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Evening At the End of Park Avenue

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Stolen in Excelsior

Stolen in Excelsior
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

This photo accompanied the sign, described in the following post.

Stolen - In Excelsior!

A letter sized, platic protected sign posted on a stake by the Excelsior Docks:


14ft. Thornes with 2003, 25HP short-shaft electric start Mercury outboard. The "59er" is a sceond generation boat. Bought new in 1959 by my father she has been sailing Lake Minnetonka for 46 summers. Cash reward for safe return."

Phone number and name was listed.
What self respecting fisherman could enjoy fishing from someone else's little family treasure? None.

Excelsior Bay 7am

Excelsior Bay 7am
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Confessions of a bad food critic.

I have gained new respect for food critics. Walk a mile in their Guccis. I tried to write a review of an evening at Biella’s in Excelsior and found myself at a shameless loss for adjectives & adverbs (as they apply to fine dining). “The single room bistro was sunwashed in a warm Medditterenean glow” might have been a better description. I wrote: “The dining room was kind-of yellow/orange”. The same ham handed approach continued as I describe the food.
So it happened I was reading City Pages the other day and food critic Dara Moskowitz really showed me how it was done.

This is Ms. Moskowitz, describing the onion rings at “Pops” of St. Paul:

“The first time I saw the onion rings at Pops, steam shot out of my ears in the manner of Wile E. Coyote, and small birds chirped around my head. After that the sky cracked open, a rainbow beamed down centrally on the plate and little faeries wearing iridescent robes rode down playing small harps and dancing ecstatically, placing their little golden sandles in a special way that I intuitively knew meant: Don’t drown with ketchup. I mean those were some onion rings! Two inches thick, pillowy and plush with golden batter as light as peony blossoms, crisp as fireworks and a rockets red glare. I bit into them, and the captured bubbles of batter tore away to reveal sweet, mild , gently carmelized strips of the noble vegetable in question.”

So you see, I have my task cut out for me. "Taste like chicken" will have to be removed from my culinary lexicon.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saturday morning cartoon.

Saturday morning cartoon.
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Tiger Lillies Abound

Tiger Lillies Abound
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Where is Mr Jimmy?

Minnetonka scenes is blogged regularly about the Rolling Stones visit to Excelsior.
Here is a local Stones expert's story, and what has become a popular local urban legend:

On 6/12/64, the Rolling Stones played a concert at Danceland in Excelsior, Minnesota during their first ever US tour. At the time they were a little-known band, performed poorly and drunkenly, and got booed off the stage.

During this visit (in fact, the next morning), Mick went into Bacon Drug Store, an Excelsior store with a soda fountain, to get a prescription filled. Jimmy Hutmaker, a.k.a. "Mr. Jimmy", a "local color" guy who had met Mick at the concert then night before, and who has some mental difficulties (although is pretty lucid most days--he still wanders the streets of Excelsior every day visiting with everyone he meets, he's now around 75), was in the store in line in front of Mick at the moment, ordering a cherry coke. Problem--they were out of cherry juice. So the guy behind the counter gave Mr. Jimmy a regular coke. Jimmy shrugged his shoulders, turned around to Mick, and commented that, "You can't always get what you want"--and a mega-hit was born.

This version of the song's origin is confirmed by both Mr. Jimmy and the pharmacist who made Jimmy the soda. The references in the song to Mr. Jimmy, Mick's prescription, a cherry coke, and others, are all believed to refer to this encounter. In fact, most people familiar with the story believe that there is no reference to Chelsea Drugstore in the song--it's just a misheard reference to Excelsior Drugstore (the middle two syllables of "Excelsior" sound a lot like "Chelsea", hence the misunderstanding).

--Bill Verkuilen
Brooklyn Park, MN

Minnetonkascenes says... "You can't always get what you want" was written much later (3 years). The Stones were still writing "Under my thumb' and "Tell me" when they played in Excelsior.

Where is Mr. Jimmy? I have not seen him lately.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Big Island Death explained

This from the July 9th Minneapolis Star Tribune:
AP) Minneapolis The Wisconsin man whose body was found in Lake Minnetonka was identified Saturday.

The Hennepin County medical examiner said Brent D. Herman, 22, of Chippewa Falls, was pronounced dead on a dock on Big Island in Orono about 12:45 p.m. Friday. An autopsy was scheduled for Sunday to determine the cause of death.

The medical examiner said no further information would be released for now.

That was then, this is now, July 17:
Monday the Hennepin County Coroner said the death was not a drowning, but from a cocaine overdose.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Grays Bay 6am and 88 degrees

The sun just broke through the morning clouds.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Hi Maintenance

The following photo was taken during a bike ride to the Carver Park Reserve. The boat was up on blocks for repairs.
Three old friends and I rode during the early morning hours on Sunday, through a warm patchy rain. The air was lightning charged and once, in Victoria, a bolt of lightning struck so close that the few remaining hairs on my head tingled with the electricity. Security alarms were set off in the local lumber yard.

Hi maintenance

Hi maintenance
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.
It's like a heat wave!

Burning Burning... I feel the temperature rising.

The power in Deephaven has gone out twice this week, and the temperature has only hit 92 degrees so far. This does not bode well for Minnetonka area residents where the forecast is for 100+ degrees over the weekend.
Steady there pilgrim.
During the first power outage during rush hour on Monday, Highway 7 clogged up and reverted to a primitive state - stop and go in all directions at semifores.
I personally am going into a Y2K survivalist mode for the next week; Extra gasoline, bottled water, batteries, canned soup, paper plates, solar calculator - and the whole camoflage thing. I also have a year's supply of aspirin.
Now, where did I put those water purification tablets?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Carson's Bay July 06

Carson's Bay July 06
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.
Windless and calm....

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Under the McGinty Bridge

Under the McGinty Bridge
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Train, Train!

Waiting For A Train

The tag on the bridge beam says "TRIPIN"
I rummaged around the train tracks underneath McGinty Bridge this morning... waiting for a train. I thought that a nice morning photo of a train at eye level would be intriguing, ...I thought. The train never came. So common in life.
I took inventory of the things left behind by other visitors:

Empty cans of:
Beamish Irish Stout
Budweiser Lite
Michelobe Lite
1 Doritos Package
"Grip to GO!" Plastic Milk container
Yopliat Tropical Original Peach Yogurt
Salon Selectives Shampoo
and one plastic bottle of Peppermint Schnapps

One pile of dirt and disposed drywall chunks.

You be the detective.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Pirates at the Excelsior dock!

Lite Sunday morning blather:

Pirates of the Caribbean has biggest Hollywood Opening in history - box office Mojo.

The movie reviewer said that Johnny Depp “steals the show” in the movie - Pirates of The Caribbean, Dead Man’s Chest.
Is this a meaningless Hollywood phrase “steals the show” or what? Can the billed star of a movie steal the show? I was just wondering. $55 million on opening day... that doesn't even cover Johnny's charges. Dead Man’s Chest is just another Hollywood summer sequel, the difference is that there is little competition in the theaters. Oh go ahead, see Superman Returns! Then maybe see the remake of "King Kong'. Both Hollywood mega bores.
"POTC, Dead Mans Chest"- I didn’t like the first "Pirates", but then I rarely find Hollywood summer comedies very funny. "Clan of the Cave Bear" - now that was funny!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Cottagewood 4th of July Celebrant

Deephavens First Female Officer- At the 4th of July Celebration

I had the pleasure of meeting Officer Bridget Joyce at the 4th of July parade in Cottagewood. She is Deephaven's first female police officer. She has been with the force for 2 years. She made me a "Jr.Police Officer" (this honor usually reserved for children) with my own peel-and-stick badge. - There were no donuts involved.
"Book em Danno!"

Officer Bridget

Officer Bridget
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A Hot Dog on the 4th!

A Hot Dog on the 4th!
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Another Dog on the 4th

This seem appropriate today. I love hot dogs.

1902 - The story is that the term "hog dog" was coined in 1902 during a Giants baseball game at the New York Polo grounds. On a cold April day, concessionaire Harry Mozley Stevens (1855-1934) was losing money trying to sell ice cream and ice-cold sodas. He sent his salesmen out to buy up all the dachshund sausages they could find, and an equal number of rolls. In less than an hour, his vendors were hawking hot dogs from portable hot water tanks while yelling, "They're red hot! Get your dachshund sausages while they're red hot!"
In the press box, sports cartoonist, T.A. "Tad" Dorgan (1877-1929), a newspaper cartoonist for the New York Evening Journal, was nearing his deadline and desperate for an idea. Hearing the vendors, he hastily drew a cartoon of a frankfurter with a tail, legs, and a head, so that it looked like a dachshund. Not sure how to spell the word "dachshund" he simply wrote "hot dog!" The cartoon was a sensation and the term hot dog was born.

According to the 1996 Maine Antique Digest

The 4th

The 4th
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

The 4th

The 4th
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A new family member- Toonie.