Saturday, September 30, 2006

Twin Cities Marathon predictions - 20/200

Marla Runyan has Stargart's disease. Her vision is 20/200 and she lacks a focal point. She has been legally blind for 25 years. I share some of the same vision problems, with one fortunate exception. I have one focal point in my left eye (I also have Glaucoma, so there has been other vision loss).
But that is where the similarities end. Marla has run a 31 minute 10K, and a 2 hour 27 minute marathon. I pick her as the female winner, and I will even pick a time since the weather is going to be wonderful. Marla wins: 2 hours and 26 minutes.
The media choice is Mubarak Hussein 41, returning champion (from Albaquerque). The local paper says he is running marathons like a man half his age. Note: It would be better if he was running marathons like a 30 year old.
I will go with Jason Lehmkuhle, local favorite, just to be a loyal local. Winning time: 2 hours 15 minutes.
Of course my vision isn't the best.
Note to runners: The last uphill 5 miles is the warmest part of the race too.

Friday, September 29, 2006

We Buy Ugly Pumpkins

Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.
No need to carve it up, this one is ugly enough.
See it at the Cottagewood General Store, Deephaven.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.
Can you find the green ones?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Twin Cities Marathon approaches!

I have written about it before. The autumn leaves fall from the trees and the runners disappear from the trails as well - the Twin Cities Marathon approaches. I still believe that the reason I am still running fairly well at 53, uninjured, is because I have never run a marathon. That is just me.
Runners in training
Running the trail the other day on an "out and back" I encountered another runner who shouted to me; "Only a week to go". He was telling me that his slow pace was intentional, and that all of his vital bodily strength was now being conserved for use in the local big one. The Twin Cities Marathon. Brave soul!
The media has given less and less coverage to this run over the event's 25 year history. It is difficult to cover a marathon, and appeals to few. And frankly, the times have been miserable - last year's winning time was very slow by any standard, and the winner (Mubarak Hussein- 41) was un-challenged. I take that back, his time as a Master's Champion was remarkable. Still the average overall finishing time has sky rocketed.
I promise "Minnetonkascenes" coverage of the TC Marathon. Photos of interest at my various vantage points. That should garner a few fans!
I respect these runners, and I cheer them on. I will watch in the chilly morning, drink coffee and take photos. I will chat with "team members" along the way who wait for their runner to pass by.
Although the drama is self inflicted, it is sincere. I envy them a little, but I know what is good for me.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Crossroads 101& Minnetonka Boulevard

Cement barriers and flourescent orange striped barriers.

The Crossroads
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.
Everyday one must watch carefully to see if you are driving in a lane for turning, or if you will meet traffic head on. The rules are subject to change. Construction contractors have erected "Vote Yes" signs along the roadside.
Estimated completion of this project is in 2007 ( from the Hennepin County construction web site).

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sorry, this is not a winning game piece.

Wake up. The red cow is laughing with delight. She is wearing ear rings made of Swiss cheese. With a bit of remorseless joy she tells you the bad news.
Laughing Morning news
Now have a cup of coffee.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

In Defense of Spinach.

Avoiding E. Coli
Popeye's Song

I'm Popeye the Sailor Man,
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.
I'm strong to the finich
Cause I eats me spinach.
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.
I'm one tough Gazookus
Which hates all Palookas
Wot ain't on the up and square.
I biffs 'em and buffs 'em
And always out roughs 'em
But none of 'em gets nowhere.
If anyone dares to risk my "Fisk",
It's "Boff" an' it's "Wham" un'erstan'?
So keep "Good Be-hav-or"
That's your one life saver
With Popeye the Sailor Man.
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man,
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.
I'm strong to the finich
Cause I eats me spinach.
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.

Note: Popeye prefers his spinach from a can.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Wayzata Beach

Wayzata Beach,September morning

Only a few cofee drinkers walking along the Wayzata beachfront. I am one of them. Over at the Wayzata Yacht club the lots are filled with cars, and the sailors are readying for a windy, fine sailing Friday.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mist on Carson's Bay

Mist on Carson's Bay
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.
Wednesday morning on Carson's Bay. This bay was named after Kit Carson's brother, Elijah Carson.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Whew, about to slip down! - Mining Songs.

What has happened to good old mining disaster songs? Once a staple of popular culture, the tragic mining song is gone, with no replacement to be found. To fill this void lets revisit a few:
1. The Buoys -Song Lyrics from the 70s

"Trapped in a mine that had caved in
And everyone knows the only ones left
Were Joe and me and Tim
When they broke through to pull us free
The only ones left to tell the tale
Were Joe and me
Timothy, Timothy, where on earth did you go?
Timothy, Timothy, God why don't I know?'
- Answer: You blacked out and don't remember eating him, its a suppressed memory thing.

2. Working In A Coal Mine - by Lee Dorsey
Goin down, down, down, down. Lord he is soooo tired. How long can this go on?
A lot of questions in these songs. A fabulous song.

3. 1941 New York Coal Mining Disisater - The Beegees 1967

"Have you seen my wife Mr. Jones?
Do you know what its like on the outside?
Don't go talking too loud, you'll cause a landslide, Mr Jones."
- Again with the questions!
This was their first top 10 hit. They sounded like the Beatles, and the record was in close proximity on the record shelves.

4. Big John - BIG BAD JOHN. - Jimmy Dean

Then came that rumble way down in the ground
And the smoke and gas belched out of the mine
Everybody knew it way the end of the line for Big John
(Big John Big John) Big Bad John (Big John)
Now they never reopened that worthless pit
They just placed a marbled stand in front of it
These few words're written on that stand
At the bottom of this mine lies a big big man Big John
(Big John Big John) Big Bad John

And today you can buy Jimmy's sausage, original or maple flavored straight from the freezer case.

5. A Coal Miner's Daughter - Loretta Lynn

Well, I was born a coal miner's daughter
In a cabin on a hill in Butcher Holler
We were poor but we had love
That's the one thing my Daddy made sure of
He shoveled coal to make a poor man's dollar

Only a coal miner's daughter could rhyme Daughter and holler. No questions here.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Lake Minnetonka Weekend -Apple Days and James J. Hill Days

Apple Days, September 9th - Excelsior 8am-4pm
James J Hill Days, Wayzata - September 8-10th

Apple Days in Excelsior will herald in the Autumn Season. It is a an event established in the 1930s that has been re-established in the last 20 years. Events include boat rides, Golden Apple Treasure Hunt, boat rides and streets brimming with antiques, apples from the Aboretum, food vendors (Yes, Biella's too!) arts and crafts.
Apple Days

I am of Swiss heritage so I will include here a brief outake from one of the most famous "Apple Tales" of all. William Tell and his famous life and death archery shot ordered by the governor in the Swiss Canton of Uri:

"Shoot, father, I am not afraid. You cannot miss."
"Ping!" went the bowstring. The arrow seemed to sing through the frosty air, and, a second later, the silence was broken by cheer after cheer. The apple lay upon the ground pierced right through the centre.
One man sprang forward and cut the rope with which Walter (William Tell’s son) was bound to the tree; another picked up the apple and ran with it to Gessler (the cruel Governor). But Tell stood still, his bow clutched in his hand, his body bent forward, his eyes wild and staring, as if he were trying to follow the flight of the arrow. Yet he saw nothing, heard nothing.
"He has really done it!" exclaimed Gessler in astonishment, as he turned the apple round and round in his hand. "Who would have thought it? Right in the centre,too."

Google and read the full story, it is very good!

Further Note on James J. Hill
The ghost of James J. Hill will haunt the Wayzata area this weekend. The Canadian born “Empire Builder’ will haunt in exile from St. Paul where he is now a “Spirit non grata”. Current Mayor Chris Coleman has derided the St. Paul founding father James J. Hill, referring to him as a “robber baron” in a recent speech. Robber Barons were men who amassed fortunes on PUBLIC FUNDS and largesse.

This From A History of Wealth In America:

“Among the great railroad tycoons, certain are remembered for the great systems they built; Cyrus K. Holiday for his Santa Fe, John Murray Forbes for the Burlington. Others became famous for the wealth they accumulated : the Vanderbilts, Russell Sage and John Insley Blair. There were those enriched by alleged privateering on government funds; the Pacific Quartett and the Credit Mobilier ring. And some idealistic souls like Charles Francis Adams, who almost seemed lost among the sharks.
Some successfully built profitable local roads into large regional systems without government support: Hill in the Northwest, Plant and Walters in the South East.

Note the last line.

Back to the festivals:
Finally - I suggest going to both events, they are not overly large and only a few miles apart.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sunny backlit September

Sunny backlit September
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Piglets at the birthing barn

My State Fair

Friday September 1

The Doom and gloom weather forecasters were wrong. The predicted “cloudy, overcast, with intermittent rain" turned out to be in actuality - 80 degrees and sunny with a slight breeze. The overblown “Ernesto-mania” had spread into our local weather ‘personalities’ group psyche.
My trip to the Minnesota State Fair left me with but a few mundane cultural observations:

• Decreasing tattoos and piercings- the tattoos are fading, leaving the 'marked' trend-dated.
• Cleavage abounds!
• Rented rascals (motorized carts) were everywhere - some exhibited “rascal rage”.
• Baggy black pants with lots of zippers.
• We were disappointed at our timing at the “Birthing Barn”. My wife wanted to see more baby animals, and perhaps there were at other times, Friday was day 9 of the Fair.
• Realism, photorealism, & representionalsm was the choice of the judges at the Art Gallery. More photography.
I have no overwhelming favorite... judging is a mix of the judge's personal tastes and social politics.
• I watched a nutritionally challenged middle age man drop a corn dog in the dirt, then pick it up and continue to eat it. Frankly - I might do the same, if I were to buy a corn dog.