Friday, February 27, 2009

A Driveway Duel

looking out
I had shoveled 10 inches of heavy snow from my 60 foot driveway and was nearing the place where the driveway joins the street. This is the place where a large pile of hard snow accumulates from plows clearing the snow from ours, and a nearby street. The "hump" is my final challenge.
The plow has not been by yet to make its substantial contribution.
I prepare to clear the mini-mountain when I notice I am being watched. Across the street a dark, hulking snowplow stands idling, like the mysterious deisel from the movie "Duel". But now I am Dennis Weaver. The truck waits silently for me to clear the drive, its the engine idling ominously.
I try to out-wait the unseen driver.
I wait, yet the snowplow doesn't move.
After 10 minutes I decide that I am being a bit paranoid, - surely it is merely on a break. The truck is no sadist...
I grab my shovel and grunt and toss the crusty pile of snow away to clear an outlet to the street, and then with sore back, I head indoors.
From my front window I watch as the plow fires up and begins to resume plowing. He has to clear a corner, and gathers steam and a large pile of snow and as he passes my house. Rumbling by the truck deposits a large wall of snow across the end of my driveway.
I slouch. I have lost the duel.

(this happened years ago during a tremendous blizzard)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

After bad peanuts

After bad peanuts
After eating bad Peanuts, Snoopy flew into a psychedelic goober induced painting spree. Here the hound is seen recuperating at Frattaloni's Hardware in Minnetonka.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Locust Hills private trail

Locust Hills private trail

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Sunday afternoon excursion to Spasso

Leaded window
We arrived at Spasso on a crisp Sunday afternoon, between the brunch and
the evening shifts. The wait staff was recovering from the morning crowd,
new servers and staff filtered in. My unkempt look and casual attire usually gets me a seat near the restrooms, but they were kind. Spasso is located on a busy corner, and has windows facing rushing Minnetonka/ Highway 101 traffic.
My wife and I sat at a quiet, dimly lit booth. I look better in this lighting...
We ordered a simple Caesar Salad (named after Caesar's Palace, not the Roman office), and a 12" Meatza - Pizza.
We also sampled the Wild Mushroom and Rissotto croquettes with a creamy gorgonzola
sauce as an appetizer (great for 2 @ $5.) Creamy and as our server said " a great comfort food" God bless the inventor of the cow that makes gorgonzolla.
Wild Mushroom and Rissotto/GorgonzollaThese were marvelous and my wife
badgered me to learn how to make these. Why, I thought when you can get
them here?
The salad was fresh and simply prepared. The Pizza was classic Italian,
fire roasted - pepperoni, sausage, a bit of cheese and a lovely marinara sauce. Simple
food and quality ingredients. It was a fine Sunday afternoon.
Chef Damian
Executive chef Damien visited and chatted with us, he confessed to be
camera weary. Spasso has gotten a lot of attention lately, with journalistic crews in Spasso more than once the past week.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A double golden glow. The Carlson Towers

Carson Towers - Minnetonka
Carson Towers - up front & personal
I like to think of the towers as gateways to the Lake Minnetonka area, with slight nautical qualities. They surely function as orientation landmarks as motorists stream down Highways 394, 494 and 169.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009



Girl on a Swing - For Xelma Pitzl, 1928 - 2009

Girl on a swing, swing high
(R. Miranda)

Gerry & The Pacemakers - 1966
I stand out of sight
And watch as the light from the sun
Shines through her hair

From yonder she came
I don't know her name (original lyrics)
Still I love that girl on a swing

Girl on a swing, swing high
Girl on a swing, swing low
Take all the hate from the world that we're in
Girl on a swing, swing high
Girl on a swing, swing low
And you can cast all your troubles to the wind

She comes with the light
Then goes with the night
My heart just yearns
But then comes the dawn
And she returns

Girl on a swing, swing high
Girl on a swing, swing low
Take all the hate from the world that we're in
Girl on a swing, swing high
Girl on a swing, swing low
And you can cast all your troubles to the wind
Xelma 1928-2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

St. Valentines Day 1929

Happy Valentine's Day
A reporter told Al Capone that he would have to kill a lot of people to rid Chicago of his rival "Bugsy" Malone. Al replied: " I'll send flowers".
The crime was never solved, or better stated, it was never prosecuted. On a February evening in 1929 2 vehicles paid the Malone Liquor Warehouse in North Chicago a visit, where they line up eight men with little resistance, and then proceeded to fill them with led. One Malone gang member survived... but after he recovered he admitted to the police: "I'll never talk".

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Li Po - under a Minnetonka Moon

the back woods
Quiet Night Thoughts

Before my bed
there is bright moonlight
So that it seems
Like frost on the ground:

Lifting my head
I watch the bright moon,
Lowering my head
I dream that I'm home.

Li Po

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Excel Boat Club Docks

St Alban's Bay
New docks are being layed in St. Alban's Bay, just off Minnetonka Boulevard in Excelsior.
My mind wanders...
I have always wondered who 'St. Alban' was... so many things bear his name, so I checked out the Catholic Church encyclopedia web site. St. Alban was England's first Saint - martyred by the Roman Emperor Decius around 250-1 AD. St. Alban posed as a priest to allow a fugitive priest to escape capture. The unhappy Roman governor decided that he either Alban abandon the Christian faith or suffer the consequenses... After a speedy trial he was flogged and beheaded.
He was just edged out in the voting for England's patron saint by St. George (Dragon slaying was very high profile).
The Saint Alban's Cathedral at his burial site is spectacular.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Wayzata Chili Open Feb 7... and more!

The Wayzata chili open - an early morning shot.
From The Wayzata Chamber (In all caps, no less!):
Chef Dave's Chili
This is a fine chili made from Chef Dave's secret recipe - from Hawaii no less. I may encourage Dave to enter this chili, which violates all my dearly held chili principles - suchs as the use of kidney beans, fresh tomatoes and ground beef.
It was 1850 and Texas was an independent country. Records of a Texas millionaire and chili lover (Everette DeGolyer) claim chili recipies were found from this time period. The Lone Star State claims Chili as an authentic Texas dish for cowboys and gold seekers headed for the gold fields of California. Some say "no tomaotes", some say "no beans" but all agree that chili has peppers.
Chilly peppers!
Here is our "Texas on the tundra"... the Wayzata Chilly Open - and of course there is also golf. You will notice the novice Chilly Open golfers, they'll have the plaid pants and use white golf balls. I plan on a warm day and a photo bonanza.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Random Scenes from St. Bonifacious

A Distant St. Bonifacious
I drive along County Road 92 to the Ox Yoke Stables andoccasionally to run the Luce Line Trail. St. Boni, a 19th century German stoneworkers community is a favorite of mine. The cemetary is complete with tombstones written in the Old German gothic type and a main street with hand written signs for Karoake night at the pub. Then, of course there is "Mud Lake".
Sue,  first ride on Rainy
The author says "Hay!"
St. Boni pasture.