Thursday, May 31, 2007


The photo is St. Paul's figurine of the year - dinosaurs. This one is called "Twincitiesasaurus" and sits on Grand Avenue near Milton. After at least three years of "Peanuts" figures, we've gone to paleontology for this year.

I had a rest day from biking and from tennis. It was a beautiful day however, and I found time to mow the lawn and stroll the neighborhood.

Milagros means "miraculous" in Spanish but no miracles today. S. Williams defeats M. Sequera 6-0, 7-6 in Paris. My predicted favorites - Mauresmo and Nadal won and continue in the tournament.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


It was threatening to rain all day, and so it did, six games into a set at Marie Park, complete with thunder. So we quit and went home. The photo is of the courts at Marie Park across the pond, over the cat tails. Score was 3-3, then rain.

Roland Garros continues in Paris. All the US men are gone in the first round, including Roddick and Blake. The record 0-9, I think. The tourney has been rained on a lot, but they are used to rain and will likely finish on time. An interesting note, however. Today Venus Williams set a record for the fastest serve by a woman in a tournament - 128 mph - breaking Serena's record of 127 mph.

Serena will play Milagros tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wooden Art

It is raining as a most unsettled day comes to a close. No biking or tennis today. The photo is an elm tree that has been converted to a muscian playing a violin (or probably something else entirely). This one is on Holly Avenue, not far from Western. No title, no artist.

Herb and I went to a program of Tibetan dancers and singers, bookended by full throated Buddhist monks chanting in the language of Tibet. It was presented at the Children's Theater in Minneapolis. We went for the chanting. Stayed for the dumplings.

Milagros Sequera won her first round match 5-7, 6-3, 9-7 and will play the "bootylicious" Serena sometime after 11 am tomorrow on Phillipe Chatrier Stadium clay. It is probably the biggest match of her career.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Twins Win! Twins Win!

A Memorial Day well spent. I went to see the Twins play at the baggie in downtown Minneapolis with the Moohoo family. The Twins beat the Chisox 10-4 in what was the best game I have seen in over ten years. Details and box score in the Strib. I ate at the game. I had a Top Dog for $5.50 and a diet coke for $4.00 - the best dog I have had in years, too. Thanks to Wireless for the free corporate tickets close enough to see the action and safely behind a protective screen.

Photo below of the Moohoo family - Wireless, G.Z., and B. Babe - in front of the Metrodome after the game:

After the game I was able to rally for a ride on the Trek to the Minnesota Capitol and a look at the new WWII Memorial, just finished this year. I stopped by at the Viet Nam Memorial and found the names of the two guys I knew on the roll of the dead - Renny Huerd, from high school (GHS tennis team), and Jerry Smith, a Hamline grad. Both died in 1968. There were this year, again, quite a number of bouquets of flowers, and individual carnations and roses.

I rode back up John Ireland Boulevard, past the Cathedral and St Paul College. The bike ride was about seven miles in all.

It has been raining at Roland Garros, but Serena Williams is through to the second round, as is Venus. Milagros Sequera has begun to play the French woman, Virginia Razzano, to get to a match with the "bootylicious" Serena. Rozzano won the first set 7-5 and play will continue tomorrow. It is scheduled for 11 am on Court 1.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday before Memorial Day

The Indianapolis 500 is history and my five picks in the race were wrong again, as usual. Apparently the closest I got was my fifth choice, Ashley Judd, who will likely be sleeping with the champion.

I was able to squeeze in a short ride on the Trek, down to the Minnesota state capitol, about three miles distant. It was clear, nearly windless and about 68 degrees. As close to perfect as ever a Sunday was. I meandered on the ride, while your Unky Herb was out blistering the paths down along Old Man River. We left home and returned within minutes of each other and compared mileage totals at the end. He had twice the miles, but I had these photos and enough energy for ninety minutes of crushing forehands at St Clair playground with Tennis Dennis. It was a reasonable exchange. There is a sculpture park just across the street from the Sears store on Rice Street. It is the home of several imaginative sculptures of a variety of materials. The park is next to some apartment buildings that house a number of immigrants from Somalia, I think. One of the kids talked at me in his language as I left, but as I did in Japan last May, I could only smile and nod. I took the first photo near where the conversation took place.

Large, long-legged creature looming over Trekkie.

On Memorial Day for the last few years, I have biked down to the Capitol grounds to see the Minnesota memorials to the various wars that we've been afflicted with, most of them in my lifetime. On Memorial Day there are always a bunch of Viet Nam veterans at the memorial to that conflict, guys about my age and their families. They'll be there tomorrow. I guess it was my war. I never served in the conflict. I was one of the lucky ones. I'd like to thank any and all who did serve for their sacrifices, including those with their name on the wall pictured below. I am forever grateful that the names on the wall do not include any of my family or close friends.

Minnesota's Viet Nam War Memorial and the words of Archibald MacLeish:

As John Lennon wrote many years ago "All I am asking, is give peace a chance."

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Lady of Elm

When an elm tree dies in St Paul, and many have in the last few years, the trunk is often carved into a sculpture of some figure or another. Many are quite detailed and attractive. This one sits on Summit Avenue at the top Ramsey Hill. It's not titled and the artist is unknown.

Yesterday's photo was indeed Hidden Falls. The new car was won by lucky Unky Herb, who guessed where it was right away. I suggested that the car he won was the Corolla that I gave him about three years ago.

I played Saturday morning tennis at 8:45 at Saint Paul Academy. It consisted of several members of Eric Narvaez's USTA team and a couple of geezer stragglers. Tennis Dennis and me. It was a nice morning, some very brief sprinkles and 2+ sets of doubles. 3-6, 2-1, 6-0. I again learned that guys in their thirties have quicker reflexes than 60 somethings. And that slow and steady can often carry the day.

Unky Herb and I had a nice long hike down Summit to Western and back via Holly Avenue. The neighborhood is filled with 1900's charm and expensive properties. There were also several of those elm trees converted to sculpture.

The Roland Garros tournament main draw starts tomorrow in Paris. The excitement is palpable.

Friday, May 25, 2007

New Car

Name this location and win a new car!

A very excellent day in May. I didn't have time to bike, but I got in my daily dose of tennis - today at St. Clair Playground tennis courts. There was no wind, the sun mainly obscured by clouds and a temp of 67. Nice.

The last time I talked to the assistant English teacher, she told me that this blog is not funny enough. I tried to retell the G.W. Bush story about the three Brazilians that were killed in Afghanistan, an event that George thought was a terrible tragedy, but was forced to ask "How many are a brazillion?" - but we started to talk about rumbas and other dances of Brazil and the moment was lost.

I visited the Japanese Garden at Como park with my Unky Herb. It's a very nice Japanese style garden, including rocks, and trees and a series of pools filled with large, colorful carp. It's dedicated to St Paul's sister city relationship with Nagasaki, Japan, the place where the second Atomic bomb was used in anger. Herb spent a year and a half just outside of Hiroshima - the other place. It was a peaceful day, but Como was full of kids on field trips, and there was significant hurly-burly. It reminded me of Vonnegut for some reason. Maybe because Memorial Day is Monday.

The draw has been done at Roland Garros and the regular part of the event starts Saturday, although the qualifiers have been hacking away for almost a week. Rafael Nadal is seeded number 2 (behind Federer), but has a tough clay courter in the first round, Juan Del Potro of Argentina. Amelie Mauresmo is seeded 5th and meets Laura Granville in the first round. She is judged to have a fairly easy draw for the first week. My girl, Milagros Sequera, is unseeded (68th in the world WTA rankings) and first plays Virginia Razzano of France (61st in WTA rankings). If Milagros wins she'll likely meet the "bootylicious" Serena Williams in the second round. Not an auspiciously good draw.

Rubber side down.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bronze Eagle

In St. Paul, it rained almost all day, a soaking rain that the agricultural community would call a million dollar rain. So a day off for the most part - except for a long walk around the neighborhood, during a respite from the falling dollar bills.

It was a an iChat day with the Japanese wing of the family. The Kagami girl in Ogaki is doing well, making friends in her new school and will be visiting USA in August during her vacation from school. I look forward to her visit to our favorite lakeside inn. She has her own Xanga site which she updates occasionally (see link), but let it be known that she is learning that there is a large Brazilian immigrant community in Japan, who have a spicier life style reminiscent of Brazil itself. Dancers.

The Memorial Day weekend looms and the price of gas ranges from $2.97 (Sam's Club in Eagan) to $3.49 (Sinclair in Minnetonka) - range of $.52 in the metro area. There must be a story here. These prices are from

Tomorrow is the day that the main draw is made in Paris for the tennis tournament known as Roland Garros. We'll also know who is seeded into the draw as favorites. Mauresmo and Nadal will be near the top. Milagros Sequera, winner of St Paul Satellite Tournament at Fort Snelling in 2006, and ranked 68th in the world, may not be in the draw. She's from Venezuela and 26 years old, and the only player, possibly in the draw, that I have seen in person. I'll be watching tomorrow.

Where in St Paul is this bronze eagle statue?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It rains in Hell, too

It was a severe weather day in Minnesota, so I dredged up a photo from last May in Hokkaido where it also rained and looked extremely nasty. We had wind and thunder here, but no sulphur emanating from the ground. We are better off. The wild card there is that the place is the site of "onsens" - hot springs that are used for public steam bathing.

Jigokudani or "Hell Valley" is a spectacular, appropriately named valley, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, Japan, a hot spring resort in May, 2006.

Tomorrow is expected to be a pleasant day and I'll again venture forth to explore the city trails and tennis courts.

Preliminary matches for qualifiers have begun at Roland Garros. The real tournament begins Sunday in Paris.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hidden Falls

It was and continues to be very windy today in River City. I played some tennis in the wind to remind myself what a bad idea that is. The play was stroke practice at Sibley High School courts set on an open area where the wind was in command of all dimensions. But it was nice to be outside, windy or not. I'm taking a rest day from tennis tomorrow, to let it rain and to get stronger.

I managed to find my way to the Hidden Falls Minnesota Rocks sculptures today. And after living in St Paul most of the time since the fall of 1961 I actually saw Hidden Falls. I have many, many times ridden through Hidden Falls Regional Park, but never knew where the real falls stood. They are well hidden, but in a well known spot, because the area obviously is used extensively. There are stone trails, fire pits, and stairs of stones built by human hand and at great effort. I'll add a photo sometime in the future. I am embarrassed.

These are two more of the Minnesota Rocks public sculptures in St Paul. That's 4 of the 13 in St Paul. There is one in St Anthony Village and one in Vadnais Heights to track down, too.

Minnesota Rocks 3; by Salah Hammad of Egypt (untitled) on Mississippi River Boulevard near Hidden Falls:

Minnesota Rocks number 4; Sentinels by Juergan Zaun of Germany on Mississippi Boulevard near Ford Parkway:

Roger Federer stopped Nadal's clay court streak at 81 matches this weekend, so he may have become the favorite at Roland Garros. I'm sticking with my prediction that Nadal will win. And I'm starting to think that Serena Williams may be a "bootylicious" factor on the red clay. Time magazine has an article on her in the May 28 issue. I think that "bootylicious" is Serena's own term for her big babe tennis physique. It still seems fitting that Mauresmo should win the title in her own country. It's been a long drought for the home team there.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Cold returns

Too cold and wet to tool around on a bike. The sun came out for a while, but it stayed in the lower 60's here.

I played tennis in USTA mixed doubles league with Marcia as my partner at Wooddale. We were beaten fairly by a good team 4-6, 2-6. The female half of the other team was outstanding and both of the team were athletic and quick, and I'm used to playing with older guys who will make a mistake once in a while. Our team lost 2 matches to one, so we could have used a victory.

I add a photo of the tennis courts at Marie Park from one of the service lines.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saturday morning tennis

It was another glorious day in May. The gang of geezers gathered for competition at 8:30. It was mix and match of another variety today because we could only roust six of the usual suspects. There were some good points and fun was had by most. 6-3, 6-4, plus a half hour of practice.

The Herb was off on a trek to Chicago with compatriots, so I was able to catch a cat nap, and a cup of tea at T.K.'s in Mendota Heights.

At about five I set out to find number two on the Minnesota Rocks sculpture list. I had to pedal over the High Bridge against a significant wind and a long uphill incline to get to West St Paul and Cherokee Park, between Wyoming and Annapolis. There were quite a number of people in the park, including a tree climbing contest. It was fun to watch for about ten minutes while a guy equipped with ropes and steady resolve climbed a tall, old oak tree and rang bells far out at the end of branches - all the while he was being timed and perhaps judged on technique. The trucks in the parking areas were from tree trimming services from around the Twin Cities area. This appears to be a new sport, although it's maybe just new to me. I should have taken pictures.

Minnesota Rock Carving number 2:

Number two on the map of Minnesota Rocks Sculptures is "Peace Table" by Craig David, a St Paul sculptor. All of these sculptures are carved in Minnesota stone - granite, limestone, stromatolite. I bet the geologists at the DNR know all about this stuff. "Peace Table" is granite, I think.

Friday, May 18, 2007


On my bike journey, I came across one of the 13 new rock sculptures recently placed around St Paul by the Minnesota Rocks project done at St Paul College a couple of years ago. Unky Herb and I visited while the sculptures were being created. This one is called "Overlook" and resides at Prospect Boulevard and Strykker overlooking downtown St Paul. It was created by David Wyrick, a St. Paul artist with a studio in Lower Town Artist District. For more info:
I plan to track down the rest of them and may include photos as I find them. Two are on Mississippi River Boulevard, one at Como Park, another at Lake Phalen. A map of sculpture locations is on the linked page.

Mostly a tennis day today. I played for an hour plus at Marie Park, just ground strokes, net play, overheads, and some serves. It was about 80 degrees and windy, but a beautiful May day. There were a couple of young ladies there playing a plenty good level of tennis, but otherwise the park was empty. The French Open is nearly upon us - nine days out.

Gas is only $3.399 at the stations I observed. The gas suppliers are getting ready for the holiday drivers and the guaranteed income.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Harriet Island and St Paul

It was a beautiful day in St Paul today. A high of 71 degrees required time in the great outdoors. I rode across the Mississippi River on the Smith Avenue bridge and took this photo of downtown St Paul from a vantage point above the river valley. The foreground is Harriet Island. I spent quite a bit of time just roaming around West St Paul, then down Ohio (notice not up Ohio. I have not ever ridden up Ohio) then down Water Street along the river to Lilydale, across the 35E bridge and home (up Benhill Road) - 15 miles.

I also had an hour of hitting those yellow tennis balls at Sibley HS. It was very nice, little wind, and Wilson was comfortable in my grip.

I'm hoping that tomorrow will be as nice. In the meantime I'm getting ready for Roland Garros on May 27 - ten days hence. Allez Serena. (Rusty French, learned in high school from Paul Bouchard 46 years ago.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


The later lilacs - the Japanese version, in my own back yard - are under the direction of Wilson, my good friend and servant. They are fragrant and light lilac in color (as amazing as that sounds).

No bike ride today. The temperature got all the way up to 60 degrees, but by the time it got there I was at the Marie Park courts slamming forehands with the gang of geezers. There were eight of us participating in the strange kind of round robin that we've stumbled onto. We end up playing 24 games (unless there are tiebreakers) and change partners every fourth game. It was breezy, but I'm getting used to the conditions outside. The secret is to watch the ball very closely, all the way to the strings. Easily said.

I bought gas at $3.199.

The Target store on University is changing into a Super Target. I tried to stop there to pick up basics, but it is closed. When is it opening again?

Herb and I chatted with Ms Kagami Sensei on the internet this morning. She is likely going to be home in August. See the link to her blog.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Unky Herb Rides

Unky Herb rode the old blue Schwinn to work today - 15 miles each way. His regular bike is at Boehm's getting a tune up. The Schwinn is at least 10 years old and heavy and it was windy all day. It's nice to be 27 years old.

I planned some tennis playing today, but the wind was swirling, it was 59 degrees and Dennis wasn't up for it. So my activity of the day consisted of a morning walk over to Linwood Park to check on the native plant garden there, and to see if I could spot any black eyed susans in the places I had "disposed" of the seeds from Pster's garden. No sign yet.

This afternoon I drove over to Dodge Nature Center in Mendota Heights and walked around the premises. They have rescued raptors there, including an American Eagle with mean looking talons, and a couple of owls recovering from some injury or another. They were in cages so I was able to get pretty close. Very handsome birds. I hadn't ever been to Dodge before. It's pretty large, with a lot of walking trails, but not a place for cycles. It's about 5-6 miles away and the route there is bikeable. I should have biked today, since Herb proved the going was good enough, but it only got to 61 degrees today and I let it slide.

Gas was $3.249 at SuperAmerica on Grand Avenue. There was a gas buying boycott scheduled for today, but I haven't heard how it went or even if it had an effect. I, for one, put off any gas purchases until tomorrow.

Twelve days until Roland Garros. Excitement builds.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Wilson rebounds

I have no photos of Roland Garros (or of the tournament there which starts May 27), but I do have a snowy photo or two. It was taken March 16 of this year and I worried that spring would never spring. I was wrong to worry.

No bike ride today, but an hour and a half of tennis with "men of my own age" at Wooddale. It was too windy outside and a forecast of rain brought us inside. I was thankful, and the good Wilson performed well. 6-3, 7-5, 2-3 before time was up. I'm not sure what caused last night's mediocrity, but, as with most abilities, my level of play fluctuates. I'm blaming the change of surface and different lighting, but who knows?

It was 91 degrees on my car thermometer as I entered the Wooddale facility and 81 on the way home.

A nice Monday. I bought the new "Forever" stamps today to mail important items. They cost $.41, but will be accepted for first class mail forever. I may stock pile them for the next increase which I'm sure is imminent. Then on the way home I got two tomato plants at the local garden boutique to decorate the back yard. Adam says it's best for the environment to eat locally grown food, and nothing is so local as the back yard. I also have a volunteer cherry tomato from last year's crop. I'm licking my chops as I write. I love fresh tomatoes.

My French Open predictions: Men: Nadal, Women: Mauresmo. A Spaniard and a French woman.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

USTA mixed dubbs

Too tired to blog - and no new photo. The USTA mixed match went badly. 5-7, 3-6. Wilson was not comfortable in Nicollet Tennis Center, and I went back to my old racket for the second set with a decided lack of success.

Tomorrow is Monday and I must pay my real estate taxes by Tuesday.

Happy Mother's Day to the mothers out there.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Geezer Tennis

Not a biking day for Tousan. I did slam some tennis balls over the nets at Marie Park this a.m. with the Geezer Gang of Eight - a regular Saturday morning event. I think now that I may need a day of rest, like Santini. We played a kind of round robin scheme wherein you only have the same partner for 4 games and then the teams are shuffled. I didn't get to play with everyone, but we each played 24 games, not including tie breakers, so it was enough. There was much good natured ribbing of opponents amongst the geezers. Claims of bad calls, and good natured appreciation of well executed shots - both intentional and accidental.

This photo is from yesterday's ride at Crosby Farm along the big river. It shows that a forest exists in the middle of St Paul.

I puttered around in the back yard - planted some flowers and trimmed some bushes. The city has replaced some sod on the boulevard that was new last year as a result of the "improvement" project in my neighborhood. The sod failed over the winter, so they brought in new - but it looks a little dryer than one would expect for new sod. Long story for very little payoff - I watered the sod profusely this afternoon. The grass on the boulevard is at the mercy of the legion of dogs walked on this street who tend to visit as many trees as they can. This iteration of sod may fail, too.

I wander.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Trek to Old Man River

A beautiful day in this river city. It's easy to forget that the Mississippi runs through this city sometimes, but it does and along its banks for many miles there are forest and parks, and then there is downtown. I rode both sides of the river today - my first 20 mile ride of the year. This photo was taken in Hidden Falls Park - the east bank - as I rolled past the river. I had to scramble to get off the bike before the riverboat got too far upstream to be in the photo. I like the juxtaposition of trees, bike, river, and boat.

There were a lot of walking primates out and about with their canine companions. I crossed the 35E bridge past the old Lilydale Tennis Club and rode to Harriet Island to where the railroad tracks cross the bike path. The tracks were in use by a long string of freight cars, so I turned and rode back past the water front park, through the forested bike path, and home. The trip up Benhill Road at 19 miles took my breath away, but I got it back.

Leftover pizza for lunch. I played some tennis this afternoon: ground strokes and overheads. Now I may need a nap.

I'm considering a plan to plant new flowers in the back yard. The native grass garden planted by the good Kagami is thriving, although it's getting competition from quack grass and other weeds. I think there will be black eyed susans galore. I have come to the conclusion that the term "weed" is a social construct. One man's dandelion is another man's lilac.

Gas was $3.259 in Mendota Heights. A nice jump for those who profit from our addiction.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Trek to the eye doctor

I went to get my tri-annual eye check-up this morning. My eyes were dilated for most of the day, so my plans for physical activity were somewhat curtailed. It was too blame bright outside. I managed to get to Marie Park for some tennis ball smacking, but the bike (with its brand new, flat resistant tire) remained garaged. I have decided to favor any faithful readers with a photo of the disembodied Wilson hanging by his neck in the lilac bush in my back yard. Wilson seems peaceful, does he not? USTA mixed doubles league begins Sunday at Nicollet Tennis Center (or whatever they renamed it).

It was my first eye check in many a year wherein I left without a prescription. The good doc suggested that I kick up my magnification on my Walgreen glasses, but that my distance vision remained at 20/20. (I'll use the Kagami employee discount.) I attribute the good eyes to clean living and lots of organic carrots.

Plans for a vacation to the flatlands are beginning to take shape.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A beautiful Wednesday in May

It was a summer day in May. The temperature visited the 80's and the sky was blue, the sun widespread, and very little wind. I took the opportunity to play some tennis. Twice. With some napping in between. I did some practice hitting in the morning and then some doubles competition with some of the older gentlemen, some of the standard crowd. It was hot and sweaty and the competition fun.

We chatted with the girl who is currently in the orient. She seems set on her vacation visit to Minnesota and Michigan for the first week in August. The details will follow. She is doing well and, although her blog has been relatively silent lately, we know where she is and what she's up to. We look forward to her return.

Gas was $3.039 at the only station I noticed. The legislature is in session and the majority party - the Dems - is trying to add to the gas tax, so far without success.

There was no biking for me today. Other activities used my time and energy. Perhaps tomorrow. Adam took his bike to Boehm's to get a tune-up tonight, and he will bikeless for a week.

This is a field of yellow and purple flowers in the meadowed lowlands near Hidden Falls and very near the mighty Mississippi. Although beautiful to the eye, most know them as weeds - dandelions and creeping charlie. They do have their ugly phases, but they look pretty good here in a field of green grass. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, says I.

The lilacs are blooming around the neighborhood, and it smells marvelous.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Flat tire karma

The photo shows the new racket that I used again this morning - practice tennis ball hitting with Dennis - no competition, just a chance to groove those strokes that evaded me yesterday. I took the photo of the racket at Marie Park after the practice session. Notice the nice grouping and the utter lack of humanity. Pretty racket, n'est ce pas.

Then I went for a bike ride on the Trek after lunch. I was planning to revisit the Mississippi for photo ops, but went off on an adventure along the eastern side of 35E up to Marie and back along Victoria. It was a trail I had never used before and quite hilly. It even had one of those "ultra grade" signs. I was hoping for 15 miles or so, but the Trek threw a shoe - a flat front tire on the 6-7 year old tire. (Gino knows how old it is.) I had an opportunity(?) to walk about 2 miles home and took the opportunity to commune with nature and to question my karma level. I give myself 10 miles for the ride and so does the odometer. I showered and went to the Boehm Bike Boutique and bought a new tire and tube, installed on the old rim. I'm ready to rumble again. And may re-cycle.

Gas was $3.09 at a visible station on highway 13.

And I mowed my lawn for the first time of the year today. It looks much better without the gone to seed dandy-lions, all green and healthy. I watered the new Yew Bushes in front of the house, which I installed last week. They continue to live.

Life is good.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Windy, then it rained

It was windy yesterday, so there was no biking and no tennis. I thought about giving it a try yesterday, but the wind was strong enough to knock the branches off some big trees. There was a giant tornado in Kansas. So I walked over to Linwood Park for a while and later tromped around Como Park looking for places that would grow black-eyed susans.

Today was a tennis day. Doubles with the Geezers at Marie Park. My new racket felt heavy and lifeless and i was mediocre, at best. 2-6, 2-2 then downpour. We quit and I came home to eat some dinner. I think it was a tuna sandwich with cheese and a gala apple. Not a gourmet meal, but fast and filling.

So I need a picture:

A recent photo of the faithful Trek down by Old Muddy. The skyline of St Paul shows in the background. I may repeat this photo as the seasons progress, because I know where it is and it's a nice ride to get there.

Gas was $2.93 at stations I passed.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

It rains on Saturday sometimes

It's Saturday in Minnesota. And it rains. What can I say? I am inside, but spent about 90 minutes smacking tennis balls inside at Wooddale with the aging gentlemen that I often share the court with. We managed three sets with three different arrangements of combatants. 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 today. I was a little off my game, slow sometimes, which I attribute to the change of surface and lighting differences inside. But the new racket did its job when I was able to locate the sweet spot. A sweet red Wilson racket.

I have few recent tennis photos, so I'm posting a photo from this January in Florida with my high school tennis coach. He is a few years older than me, but still an active and effective player. The tennis we played was the first in about 40 years and an identical time since we had seen each other. Thanks to the internet and a little tool called 'google' used by Sylvi, I was able to relocate him. We had a great time, recalling triumphs of our "youths" and filling in the gaps in our histories, at his home near St Petersburg. Sylvi, who was one of his French student faves in high school was there, too.

My tennis schedule is pretty busy for next week. I'll be hitting with the geezer group a few times, and the USTA 8.0 mixed doubles league starts up on Sunday.

I'm also planning to do some biking next week when the rain ceases. I'll try to get some good photos of the trails by the Mississippi River and the vegetation that is again showing its beauty. The river is the dominant feature on many of my rides - it's about 2 miles down hill from here. That means, of course, that my ride home is dominated by a climb up Benhill Street.

Gas is $2.95. The war goes on. Visualize peace.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Bike on the tracks.

This is a photo of my last bike trek. Bike on the railroad track.

The First Day

It's Thursday and a very nice day in Minnesota. I played some tennis this morning with my new tennis racket. It's the first new racket that I've had in several years - a Wilson k SixOne in red (the only color that it comes in) with a 4 1/2 inch grip. I spent about three weeks trying out demos and I am happy with the choice.

I'm not sure what I'll be doing in this blog. I'm sure that it will be interesting to keep track of my biking treks and the tennis matches I participate in, but there are other areas of interest that I may comment on. I'll try to keep up to date on things for my adventuresome daughter working in Japan and my hardworking computer taming son. And more.

I am freshly retired (for about six months) from a long career in software development and I am learning how to be a gentleman of leisure.