Saturday, June 30, 2007

Tasty Minnesota

The geezer gang and I played two hours of tennis at Marie Park at 8:30 this morning. Not much of note to report except that I was having a bad day at the office. It has passed and by tomorrow I won't remember it at all.

The only biking on this the last day of June was an evening meander down to the Mississippi to see if I could see and hear the Taste of Minnesota (ToMn) festivities on Harriet Island. I got fairly close on my side of the river before I ran into the inevitable "Path Closed" sign near Upper Landing Park. I'm not sure why they close the biking and pedestrian paths across the river from Harriet Island, but they do it every year for ToMn. The ToMn is a big pigout for Minnesotans. A lot of restaurants have booths to sell their wares in a sort of prelude to the State Fair - and then they have fireworks. It lasts until the Fourth of July or about six days. So I took a picture across the Mighty Miss and meandered home.

The backyard tomatoes haven't made an appearance in this blog in nine days. They are growing quite fast and little tiny green fruit have appeared. And the zucchini is going to soon block out the sun. I look forward to eating luscious, red, locally grown "love apples" - as tomatoes were once called - and pretty soon.

And some scanner fun from about 1971. It is the Tousan with his competition orange Fiat in the driveway of the Santini residence in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Santini children were the small loud ones (SLOs) of their time. Once again: tempus fugit.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Ugly, But Functional

A nice day in June. I remained somewhat knackered and since my biking goal for the month has been attained (no bad falls), I took a rest day to water the crunchy lawn, wash my dirty laundry, and indulge in some photo scanning. I made a trip to the Friday Farmer's Market at St. Luke's and bought locally grown, aggresively priced veggies - tomatoes, cukes, and broccoli from farmers of a variety of ethnicities. There will be tennis tomorrow in the morning with the gang of geezers.

This is another ugly building that I'm entering in my own contest. It's ugly but functional. It's the route from Pierce Butler Road over the railroad tracks to St. Paul's Energy Park. One can ride across the bridge and take the back and forth switch-back to get down to ground level and continue on to Como Park. It fits the stereotype for structures near the railroad - rundown and rusty. I've used this route many times in the last few years. One's speed on the structure is severely limited by the sudden and extreme turns, but it keeps one off Lexington Parkway.

I scanned this old photo from 1961, partly as a gift to MM who commented on the Tousan's blog (and who is in the photo), and partly to try to figure out who was in it and where it was taken. I think I know almost everyone, and I'm pretty sure where it was shot. Suggestions of identities and location -> comment box.

Wimby update. Milagros Sequers is eliminated by Queen Serena 6-1, 6-0. Serena has too much power for the youngster from Venezuela. Matina Hingis also was eliminated today. Roger Federer took down Marat Safin in three sets. See ESPN for scores.

KG is still a T'Wolf.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Nokomis on a Cloudy Day

There was not enough blue sky to make a Dutchman's britches, but it was a cool and liveable day. So, after about an hour of tennis practice in the morning, I had lunch and rode over to Minneapolis, the City of Lakes. It's a bike friendly city with plenty of trails and visually pleasing destinations. The map in the photo shows the lakes closer to St. Paul, just a short distance over the Ford Bridge and past Minnehaha Falls: Nokomis and Hiawatha. Nokomis was Hiawatha's grandmother in Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha" and she was the one to raise him after the death of his mother, Wenonah, in childbirth. Lake Hiawatha is just north of Lake Nokomis. Gitchi Gumee, where Hiawatha was raised is reputed to be Lake Superior. His lover was the beautiful Minnehaha. You can look it up.

This is the Minneapolis skyline across Lake Nokomis looking north. You can make out the IDS tower and other landmarks.

I rode home the long way through Hidden Falls Park and Crosby Farm. It was a cool enough day, but the 21 miles spells k-n-a-c-k-e-r-e-d for Tennis Tousan.

UH bought Papa Murphy's takeout pizza for dinner. Mushrooms, black olives, and artichoke hearts. Yum. Yum.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Ride to Como Park

I couldn't help myself this morning. It was too nice. I went for a meandering bike ride to Como Park and stopped along the way to snap off some photos. I hoped to see some wild life and, failing that, perhaps some vermin. So I have a picture of some Como geese that I encountered. So. Wildlife? Vermin? You decide.

I rode around Como Lake and the breeze was light and pleasant. I stopped near the native grass restoration and a crooked stone bridge and took another picture with the Trek. Then I rode to the Conservatory where there was a lot of foot traffic, a lot of people came out to see the flora and fauna available there and at the zoo. They have a garden they call "The Enchanted Garden" near the Conservatory that is filled with beautiful flowers and begins to attract butterflies (or flutterbys, as KS used to call them) later in the summer.

I rode over to Hamline to see how the flowers are there. The Hamline gardens are nice, nicer than most of Como's gardens. There I ran across this Snoopy sculpture from one of the Peanuts themed ceramics in St Paul from a couple of years ago. It's by the Klas Center where I have visited several times. I wonder if this was here when Kagami Sensei was an undergraduate at HU.

It was a nice ride of just over 11 miles.

Tonight I played some tennis with the normal gang at Marie Park. The myriad injuries of the last few weeks have healed enough for everyone to show up. There was some wind, but it was a pleasant evening and we played three good and interesting sets. Amiable sets with very little swearing.

Wimby continues. Milagros Sequera, my favorite Venezualan netster, won her second round match in three sets and now has another opportunity(?) to play Serena Williams, the same Serena who beat her at Roland Garros last month. Maybe she'll do better, although Serena is still my pick for Queen of Wimbledon.

Incidentally, it was Wednesday morning and Unky H. (UH?) and I talked with the one in the Orient via iChat. She is still doing fine and having some fun, but also is looking forward to some Michigan good times later in the summer. She was looking mahvelous.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ninety Three

It was hot and humid in the great outdoors, and I needed a rest day from all the tennis yesterday. The heat index was reputed to be over a hundred, and it rained in a squally sort of way this afternoon. Today's photo is an attempt to assuage the heat gods with a vision of falling snow. I hope that it works. It's the tousan trying to get into his garage while the Herbster snaps off a photo, and not that long ago.

I filled some of my time at the scanner, loaded ancient images into modern computer memory to be stored off on disk surfaces in internet land, and on my own hard disk. This one is from about 1925, I'd guess, maybe taken at Ricardo's Ranchero, although the location is not in my memory. I messed with the image with my friend iPhoto and I think that it is better, but still imperfect (see Marvin's nose.) There are no dogs in the shot, but a nice looking home made doll is sitting on the bench.

Wimbledon continues. Milagros Sequera won her first round match, 6-2, 6-3, and was not interviewed for television. She next plays Aussie Samantha Stosur in the second round. The biggest upset of the day was Tim Henman over the 25 seed, Carlos Moya in five sets.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tennis All Day

After being a sloth for a couple of days, today in the heat I played 5 sets of tennis, and was on the winning side twice. I played at 9 am at Visitation High School and again at 5 at Marie Park. I consider that to be enough exercise for today. I may get on the bike again tomorrow, if I feel up to it.

This photo is left over from the Mpls. rose garden trip. The sentiment engraved on the stone is a good one and it appears that most days in the last week counted. That old Trek that I got from Mr. Moohoo several years ago, just before the first of our family TRAMs, is a real trooper. I'm thinking about having him bronzed.

More scanner magic. I scanned this old photo into the computer today. The original is about 2X3 inches and the people in the photo are hard to see without magnification. It was taken in the early 1950's I think. The scanner and iPhoto got me to this enhanced version of the photo. The question for logicians out there: who was the photographer? I think I know, but there is no guarantee that my logic is correct.

I know the names of everyone in the photo except for the puppy in the foreground and I'm guessing that his name is Tippy.

I received via email some very nice old black and white photos from Santini. The wedding shot from 1940 was especially nice and I expect to see it sometime on her blog. The couple were obviously happy and seemed overjoyed with their selection of life partners. Tom and Lillie.

Wimby started today. Both Serena and Roger advanced to the second round.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sweet Solstice Saturday

The longest Saturday of the year and this tiger lily bloomed in the backyard in celebration. I used the macro setting on the digital camera to get the fine focus. I learned some more about the camera.

Unky Herb has a new look. He went to the barber as normal and came back as Bruce Willis. I like the effect. He needs some sun exposure to touch up the color, but it's an interesting change.

The neighborhood was filled with early evening walkers and people watering the pavement, an activity not solely practiced in Michigan. A very pleasant day, one to remember when December comes to howl.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wimby Warning

It was cloudy and threatened to rain most of the day. At Adam's workplace in Edina there was a serious downpour. I was ready to rest from my trek to the roses. I pumped up my bicycle tires to 70 pounds, and the Matrix tires to 32 psi. And I had a walk around Como Park today. I'm using a couple of photos from my files with a theme, far-fetched, but a theme..

Pictures of two representative Norwegians in St Paul.

This is Leif Erikson, the great Viking explorer in statue form on the premises of the state capitol. He never actually made it this far west, not even to Kensington, but there are a lot of people who were willing to pay for this sculpture and have it erected in St Paul.

This depicts Lillie Anderson on Wabasha Street in St Paul, sometime in the late 1930's. This picture appeared in the Dispatch, one of our local newspapers at the time and Lillie got a copy of the photo somehow. On the back of the photo, in her handwriting: "hidden[?] camera picture taken of me walking down Wabasha St. Taken by a Dispatch cameraman. I was whistling and I didn't even notice he was there. Aren't I the funniest looking thing you ever saw. Must be about 6 weeks ago." I've been on Wabasha, but I don't recognize the spot pictured. There have been lots of changes in the last 80 years.

The tennis tournament at Wimbledon begins on Monday. Milagros Sequera is again entered and will start against the blond German Julia Schruff. Roger Federer seeded first and is going for his fifth consecutive championship. Justine Henin is seeded number one among the women. My predictions for this Wimby; Federer in men's singles, Serena Williams as your women's champion.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Ride for the Summer Solstice

You can't take a picture of the solstice. Rather, I can't take a picture of a solstice. Maybe you can.

The weather map threatened afternoon storms and the morning was pleasant, so I struck out for a long ride. I haven't been to most of the lake area in Minneapolis this year and it's just across the Ford Bridge. It's a nice ride past Minnehaha Falls, Lake Hiawatha, Lake Nakomis, along Minnehaha Creek to Lake Harriet and up the shore to the Minneapolis Rose Garden. Ah, Roses, the queen of flowers. There were gardeners tending the flowers and strollers enjoying the sights. They have about a brazillion different varieties of rose and they bloom most of the summer and lend their aroma to the area.

There is also a nice fountain in the park. There are brass turtles spewing water into the pools, and roses all around. I snapped the picture, drank some agua and turned for home. I beat the storms by at least six hours.

It was a 24 mile round trip, a two bottle trek, and after yesterday's three sets of tennis, I am plum knackered. I found my locally growing, organic tomato plants waiting for a tenth day photo. They are doing very well and a couple of tiny green tomatoes are forming on its branches. As the monkey said when the train ran over its tail, "it won't be long now." I can almost taste the luscious red goodness.

I found on the internet that Minnesota Rocks number 13," Wave" which was sited at Mounds Park was vandalized a while ago and was removed from the park. Someone didn't like its artistry. This explains why I didn't find that one.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Solstice tomorrow

The early evening got hot, about 93 at 5 pm, but I was committed to some tennis. Doubles again at Marie Park. It wasn't super tennis, but interesting and at times, frustrating. It was nice to be outside because the sky became quite interesting. After tennis I drove to the West St. Paul side of the High Bridge and took a few pictures of the sky. It's a good vantage point to see the big sky and this photo is representative, but not as dramatic as the sky was earlier on. So it goes.

I looked for the Lake Phalen Minnesota Rock in the cool of the morning, but it was not to be found. It was reputed to be by the picnic pavilion. Not there. There are three of the 15 that have yet to be planted, in my opinion.

I'm going to look for a solstice picture for tomorrow. That should be a challenge.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Garden of Poetry

It was a very windy day again today. After a bout of scanner mania, I decided to have a walk around Lake Phalen and try to locate the Minnesota Rock that is reputed to be sited there. It was a nice walk around the lake, but very windy on the eastern shore, nearly powerful enough to blow a biker off the trail. The park board has been doing a nice job of restoring native plants on the shore line of the lake. The project also seems to have cut down the population of urban geese that used to be a scourge on the city's park land. A scourge that once gave life to a jovial tribute to a Beach Boys hit, "A Little Goose Poop." [Deuce Coupe].

This photo is from a uniquely named park near Thomas and Snelling, "The Garden of Poetry." It may belong to Hamline University, because they seem to own an adjoining building. It is fenced and there don't seem to be any easy access points to the park, and, though it is green and well-watered, there were no people in the park to enjoy the grass and flowers. I like the name and hope they are growing a lot of poetry there, perhaps blank verse.

Adam is nearly recovered from his fall down, but has not yet remounted his bike. It will take a few more days.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Windy afternoon of tennis

With apologies to Santini: "If you don't play tennis in the wind, you don't play tennis." I spent a couple of hours and a lot of energy trying to hit tennis balls in the sweetspot, when they didn't really want to be hit in the sweetspot. Three sets with the gang of geezers: 6-1, 7-5, 7-6, if my memory serves me, which it doesn't always. In the third set we spent about 5 minutes trying to recall the previous three points so that we could tell if the score was 15-30 or luv-40. We finally agreed on luv-40, but I'm still not sure if that was right. I was just happy to quit and not have to deal with lobs that curved a half court in the air and another quarter court before you could hit it. Gusts were reputed to be reaching 30 mph.

I'm uploading a photo of myself to establish a url so the blogger software will be able to find this photo. This may or not be permanent. It may be amusing.

An image from the Sculpture Garden of Wireless's office in downtown Minneapolis, the IDS Tower. The Garden is just north of Walker Art Center across the street from Loring Park. Herb has a photo that may even be better, because he has a cherry in his. No chocolate.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tousan's Tousan

A father's father in 1945 with his two oldest children, Tommy and Jimmy. I suspect that it was taken in Hovland on the north shore of the big lake, but just a hunch. The old guy would be 98 this year. Doesn't he look like a logging truck driver.

The traditional Father's Day at the Sculpture Garden yielded this photo of the Lion King (LK??) and the Spoonbridge and Cherry. We missed the smiling countenance of the wanderer, KS, last seen in the Orient.

There is no biking today. The trip to the Spoon and a walk around the Garden and Loring Park in the heat was enough today. The wind is coming on strong, too, which discourages tennis ball slamming and riding of velocipedes.

Happy Father's Day to you who read this, and who are fathers.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Nick Initials

Despite feeling a fatigue hangover from yesterday's bicycling, I ventured out to play some more tennis with the Gang of Geezers. I brought along my barn broom to sweep the puddles from the courts. This is an activity with which I am very familiar having swept innumerable tennis courts over the ages. The tennis from the boys was low key, but close, and no one got hurt. An ideal outcome for this group. After 2.5 hours: 5-7, 7-5, 5-7.

I note here the contents of a recent comment from Kagami Sensei expressing some dissatisfaction with her new nick initials - KK - citing a possible confusion with the Klan and their unpleasantness. I propose to switch to the equally brief set of letters "KS" to stand for Kagami Sensei (and also Kansas, as in "KS is beautiful this time of year.")

The first picture of the Minnesota Rocks sculpture had a single sentinel. The second and closest to the camera sentinel has been recently installed near the Ford bridge. The work's called "Sentinels" by Juergen Zaun, a German sculptor. This photo includes both figures.

1985. Whose legs in the background? Where was this photo taken? Where have all the flowers gone?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Spurs sweep

I heard the forecast calling for the 5th straight day of 90's, so I, too, took a morning ride. I finished at 11:58 am. It was fairly pleasant and I haven't been to Fort Snelling on the bike for a long time. I went over the 35E bridge on the way, and, on the bridge, took the picture of a rock-filled barge as it passed in front of the Lilydale Yacht Club. My camera battery gave up the ghost there, so the remainder of the ride was pretty much photo free. The path down into Fort Snelling Park, where the entrance to Pike Island exists, was closed, the sign said, so I took the alternate path along the highway to Minnehaha Falls and the Ford bridge and then up Jefferson towards home. I ran into a pipe smoking biker on the way, a rare breed in these parts, and almost guffawed. He had his own ozone advisory area that he was carrying around with him. An odd piece of behavior for someone biking to stay healthy. I finished the ride with 15.75 miles.

The farmer's market was open by St Luke's Chuch at 1:15, so I stopped to see what they were selling this early in the season. Some guy had tomatoes. He said that he planted them in the ground in February. "They looked fabulous." And there was zucchini and cukes, and snap peas. And lots of onions. I bought tomatoes and zukes.

More scanner fun. You have to love this technology. This is the 1959 issue of GHS tennis team. They don't look much like tennis players except they wield tennis rackets and most are wearing tennis shoes of the day. Name the players and win a "brand new car." (just a match box car, sorry.) If you get the racket makes, there is an old Wilson racket here I'll let you have. There are no Bouchards in the picture, but maybe a Sobczak.

I discovered through google that only gray squirrels are considered vermin in many areas of the country. The red ones are the nice squirrels. This smacks of racism and should be stamped out. Do this google command "squirrels are vermin" for the definitive proof.

San Antonio wins NBA crown in four straight games over Lebron James.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Unbroken Adam

Unky Herb went to the doctor and was x-rayed. There is no apparent break in the bone, just a bad bruise and pain. The doc again recommended 4 ibu's whenever the pain came back (does it go away?). No biking for him for a while. The result of the fall in photo form:

It was a morning for the iChat with KK (Kagami Kid). She has another blog entry on Xanga, so there is not too much to add to that (see link in my permanent links). She has a reserved seat for the good old USA and is looking forward to the three Michigan B's - beach, blueberries, and blading - and the usual good times. Plus some time in Minnesota with friends and family, and some practice with her primary language - English.

Hot. Hot. Hot. Hot. Four days in a row over 90. I went to a movie, one of very few times in my life when I have gone to a film alone. It was air conditioned and there was one other person in the theatre. It doen't matter what was showing.

Minnesota Rocks (number 5 on the web site map) is in Hamline Park at Snelling and Thomas. "Cajibracan" was created by Peter Morales of St Paul. I drove to the park yesterday in the heat of the day and the rock was in the advertized location.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Adam Fall Down

It seems like a bad karma day in lotus land. First, Santini has a flat for the first time in 2500 miles or so, then Adam falls off his bike and injures his elbow. He was on lunch break at work and his front wheel got caught in a crack and down he crashed. He landed on his right elbow and it started to swell up at work. He called me and I drove over to pick him up (and his bike). Once home, he went to the doctor to get X-rays. More bad karma. The x-ray technician wasn't there so he has to go back in the morning. They gave him a sling and advice - take 3-4 ibuprofens before bed. He's trying to get some sleep without disturbing the limb. Other than his elbow and grease on his leg, he is fine. So is the Trek.

I had tennis scheduled tonight. It started out as a hot night, but cooled off enough to be pretty much ideal. I played at Somerset Country Club on clay. I haven't played on the dirt for quite a while and it was a treat. The tennis was competitive, but friendly, and we played three close sets, changing partners for each set: 9-7, 6-4, 4-6. And then the sun was getting dim, so we swept the court and I came home for veggie burgers, guacamole, and sweet red cherries. Yum. I earned my big appetite.

So, a couple of days ago I threatened to post a photo of the most ugly structure I've seen on rides lately. This one is pretty ugly. It's an old abandoned structure down by the big river on Randolph Avenue. It used to be functional - about a century ago. Are there uglier buildings anywhere?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tennis History

This is supposed to be a tennis related blog. Thus a photo of a bunch of tennis players. Tennis Tousan is in the photo and he has a very inadequate tennis racket. It was 1960 and technology had not yet produced the T2000, much less the Wilson k SixOne, but the pictured racket was inadequate even for 1960. It was replaced the following year and by 1961 the future Tousan was playing with a Bancroft racket (if my memory can be trusted) that would develop a decided warp, but would be adequate for that level of competition. The warp was the result of not properly using a tennis racket press (a device that has lost favor in the era of titanium and liquid metal). The use of the racket required hitting the ball with the concave side of the racket, so there was an adjustment before most strokes. Shots from the convex side were always an adventure.

The inadequate racket in the picture is my first tennis racket, a gift from Grandma Sylvia Melissa sometime in the 50's. The photo is taken at the tennis courts a half block from home that also served as a skating rink in the winter. The spring thaw was hastened by the tennis team shoveling the slushy ice off the concrete to be able to get in some early season practice.

The coach of the team, the young fellow at the far end of the photo, was Paul Bouchard, only six years older than his seniors. Can anyone name the other fellows in the photo, all geezers now? A can of new tennis balls to whomever gets them all.

1960 Greenway High School tennis team.

It was another hot day in the city by the river. I searched for Minnesota Rocks on foot. A walk around Como Park failed to reveal number 7 in the series, supposedly very near the "rain garden" at Midway Parkway and Hamline. Pshaw.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Monday. Today is starting to feel like summer. I saw a 91 degree reading pass by on a web site purporting to represent St Paul. I was still knackered from tennis in a steam bath at Reed Sweatt tennis emporium last evening. The name of the joint seems to fit the environment there. I loafed until 2:30 and then hit tennis balls with Dennis at Marie Park. No biking today.

So I'm borrowing Mr Moohoo's concept. I have three tomato plants and a zucchini planted in the back yard against the house. I took a picture of their current size and civility and will update with shots later in the summer as they take over the backyard and the house. There are two large size tomatoes, heirlooms, if you will, and a volunteer cherry tomato (I think), progeny of last year's crop. I had just watered the green darlings before the photo. I'm thinking that there will be tomato sauce and juice galore by September. I'll be eating locally.

More scanner fun. This photo has been in my possession for quite a while and shows a selection of the Norwegian (and some Swede) carriers of the family DNA. There are most of the Anderson children with their cousin's - Jake's kids. Only Dorothy is missing. Lillie is 24, the same age as Kagami and Wireless this year. Note her fancy dress material. I had always thought that Nils Olai looked like he was sleeping or perhaps downcast in the photo. Today I scanned it in and had a look at the photo in big magnification. He is staring fairly intently and clearly at the camera. Instead of a tired old man, I saw an aged, blue-eyed tiger. Have a look.

A front yard full of Hansons and Andersons from 1937 at 50th anniversary of Nils Olai and Jacobine Hanson's Wedding. It was taken somewhere north of Webster, Wisconsin.

An enlargement of our tigerish hero and forebear.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tennis Tonight

It was indoor tennis tonight, rather than a nice relaxing bike ride. I played mixed doubles in the USTA league at the Reed Sweatt Tennis Center, pictured below. I know it as the Nicollet Tennis Center in Minneapolis. We played a father and daughter team, who were pretty good. It was exciting, but my play was mediocre and we lost 6-7, 6-4, 0-1. We don't play the third set, but rather engage in a 10 point tie breaker (first team to 10 and ahead by 2). We had set points in the first set and 3 match points in the tie breaker and still came up short. So it goes.

Roger Federer had a bad day, too, losing to Rafael Nadal 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. It was Nadal's third straight victory at Roland Garros.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Other Paris

I find that the Minnesota Rocks number 9 that I pictured yesterday is more likely number 8 by Lazarus Takawira of Zimbabwe. The place I found it was really the Lower Landing Park. Lourdes Cue's art work is still missing. Sorry. The search will continue. As a bonus I include "St Paul Portasaurus" from the same area of the Lower Landing Park, to replace in our hearts the Grand Avenue dino recently vandalized. They are a promotional campaign by the Science Museum of Minnesota.

I played three sets of tennis doubles this morning at Marie Park. It was a beautiful and calm morning. Calm meaning very little wind. Wilson felt heavy and unresponsive in warm-ups, but he was up to the task and performed admirably 6-1, 6-1, 6-4 with an assortment of partners. Tomorrow's schedule includes a USTA 8.0 Mixed Doubles league match at Nicollet Tennis Center.

In honor of a day when both Kagami-Sensei and Ms. Wireless have blogged on xanga and the 24th birthday of Wireless, I offer the following image from 1985, when we were just getting to know these people. You will note that the 5 year-old super hero is Unky Herb of "Maybe I'm a Lion" video fame. Note the giant legos.

Justine Henin, the Belgian mighty mite won her third consecutive Roland Garros women's single title over Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 6-2, good for 1 million euros. Tomorrow at 8 am CDT the match of unbeatables begins: Nadal against Federer. I continue to endorse Raffy.

The blogger known as Carl Ponanz (only by himself - his name is Ponutz) stopped by for some tea and to look over some old photos that he had recently acquired. We took the opportunity to discuss the old days and some of the weirdness of the world. He also promised to be more diligent in his postings to his blog.

San Antonio Spurs against Lebron James tonight in Game 2.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Paris Hilton Back in Jail

If you don't ride in the wind, you don't ride against the wind. Down wind is better and down by the river it seemed to be coming from the north - the way home. I went back to Upper Landing Park looking for this Minnesota Rock sculpted by Lourdes Cue. She's from Mexico City, but moved to Minnesota in 1992. The location described on the web page for this stone is quite misleading, but I continued my ride along the ribbon-like park towards Mounds Park and came upon the modified rock very near the river. Persistence once again pays off. The bridge in the background is the Lafayette Bridge.

I rode upwind and uphill home in time for lunch and a chance to mow de lawn. I thought about looking for a new photo theme, too. There are quite a few ugly structures on the way to downtown, and I think I can find an uglier building than any of this blog's readers. I have a couple in the can already. 12.5 miles today.

The scanner has opened up new possibilities for posting, too. I have some photos that haven't been seen much lately that are likely to turn up here, too. See what shows up towards the bottom of this page.

Roger Federer over N. Davydenko of Russia 7-5, 7-6, 7-6. and will meet Rafael Nadal, who beat Serbian N. Djokovic 7-5, 6-4, 6-2, in the finals of Roland Garros on Sunday. I'll be watching. Both guys are unbeatable. Tomorrow's women's final pits Justine Henin against the pretty 19 year-old Ana Ivanovic of Serbia. I think Henin has the edge going for her third straight singles title in Paris, France.

Photo Quiz. When was this photo taken? Where? Who is the babe? Prize for correct answers is a pint of fresh blueberries.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Digital Scanner for Photos

Too windy to bike or smack tennis balls. There were tornado warnings in various parts of the state, too. I took another day off.

With all this talk about scanners, I decided to try the scanner, too. Mine is a HP PSC 1610 attached to Herb's Mac. This scanner is also a copier and a printer. It worked pretty well and was user friendly enough to get the job done. The image is smaller than what comes from my digital camera, but the software has done some automatic cropping because the photo was 4x6 on a 8 and 1/2 by 11 scanner bed. The photo is the giant "Spoonbridge and Cherry" at the Walker Art Center's Sculpture Garden taken about 4 years ago, a favorite subject of mine on Father's Day. It also seems to have assumed the position of Minneapolis city symbol.

It was a decent enough day to search for Minnesota Rocks sculptures. This one is in Mounds Park which overlooks the Mississippi Valley on the east side of St Paul. The park contains burial mounds of the Indian tribes that lived in this area for centuries and also this new sculpture (it is still surrounded by yellow tape). It is called "Sacred Bowl" by Duane Goodwin of Bemidji, Minnesota. The other Minnesota Rock sculpture which was supposed to be in the area escaped my search and may not actually be installed yet.

Ana Ivanovic of Serbia beat Sharapova 6-2, 6-1 and is in the finals against Justine Henin at Roland Garros on Saturday.

Crab sushi for lunch today. Yum.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Indoor Tennis

It was windy and wet outside tonight, so we took our tennis inside at Wooddale. It was what I call semi mixed doubles - Curt and I against Becky and Jerry for three sets. It was very even, because Becky is very competitive and was playing well, and everyone thought it was a good idea to win. 4-6, 4-6, 7-6. We won the consolation set at the end. Jerry and Becky have been playing together for quite a while and won doubles tournaments the last two weekends, so it's fun to try to beat them. But not very easy.

The English teacher, now plying her trade in Ogaki, has her tickets reserved and the dates of her visit to the home club start July 24 and continue until August 14. She plans time in Minnesota and Michigan. Her tennis date with Kenji, the Japanese-Brazilian she's been seeing has not yet occurred. She did find time and yen to buy a racket in Japan. I looked at it over the iChat link and pronounced it pretty good. Her second job is going well, too. She is being a waitress in the "Lifestyle Cafe" and talking English and Japanese on alternating days. She's using the job partly to improve her Japanese and the owner hired her to improve his English. Everyone is happy.

This photo depicts another set of DNA carriers for this blogger. These are recently arrived Norwegians about 1908 in northern Wisconsin - the Nils Olai Hansen family, Aminda. Jacobine, Jacob, Nils Olai, Hansine. Nils exhibits a very full beard, don't you think?

I am hoping for some good weather tomorrow and a chance to spend some time outside. Maybe a bike ride.

Anaheim 6, Ottawa 2 and the Stanley Cup goes to California (for the first time). Scott Niedermayer was MVP of the playoffs. His fourth Stanley Cup

Nadal and Federer continued their march to the final match at Roland Garros that everyone seems to want to see. Both seem unbeatable, but one will have to yield. The men's finals are Sunday.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Old Photos

Since we seem to have changed to old photos. This is the oldest so far and is an oversize photo in my possession that hasn't been seen by many eyes in many a year. It contains a couple of good looking gentlemen wearing very stylish hats and looking stern, who carrried the family DNA around for a good long time. Thanks, boys.

November, 1912. County Board and County Officers of Burnett County on Courthouse steps in Grantsburg, Wisconsin. Town of Rusk George E. Miller, Town of Scott G. L. Miller, etc. etc.

George Eugene Miller (8/28/1875-1/26/1937) He is on the left. This picture taken when he was 37.

G. L. Miller (3/28/1848-3/15/1920) He is on the left center. This picture taken when he was 64.

I used my digital camera and its macro focus setting for getting these photos into the blog. Thanks to Santini.

I rode down to Upper Landing Park and Chestnut to try to find another Minnesota Rocks sculpture. I scrounged around for quite a while, and although there are a lot of Minnesota stones and some sculptures in the area, I was unable to identify a sculpture that fit the description and of recent installation. I gave up and rode home, photoless. It was a cool and clear day. Very fresh. 12 miles.

Serena lost to Justine Henin 6-4, 6-3. The last American is eliminated.

It was a beautiful afternoon so Wilson and I hit some tennis balls with another retired gentleman for about an hour at St Clair playground tennis courts. I hadn't struck a yellow tennis ball since Saturday morning and it felt really satisfying.

Monday, June 4, 2007

More Rocks

The English Sensei is doing her reservations for home trip from Ogaki. We iChatted this morning getting the arrangements set up and all looks good. That iChat tool is great. Good times ahead in August.

The scheduled tennis for today was wiped out by wind and rain, but by about eight o'clock tonight the weather was fine again and it was a beautiful evening. Biking failed to break out.

Minnesota Rocks number 11 is sited in Boyd Park on Selby and Farrington very near the Cathedral. This sculpture is called "Distant Memory" by Atsuo Okamoto, a Japanese sculptor. The juxtaposition of a Japanese guy with Boyd Park makes me think of Kagami Sensei in Dutch country.

Raphael Nadal beat Lleyton Hewitt today in Paris 6-3, 6-1, 7-6. I watched a lot of the match on ESPN2. He looks very tough and the only guy who seems to have a chance to beat him is Roger Federer. The draw is now into the quarter finals. Tomorrow's big match is Serena Williams against Justine Henin, the two-time defending champion.