Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Curling again

Yesterday was a really nice fall day, although tomorrow promises one of those OOTND in THOD days. I took a jaunt over to Fort Snelling State Park to look for wildlife and to test my stamina a little. The Mendota Bridge was looking impressive so I snapped off a photo as I walked beneath it. It's a giant bridge. And it was a nice long trek in the great out of doors.

As I walked along the Minnesota River I encountered wildlife. Two deer were munching on some succulent leaves. This one, the buck, pretty much ignored my presence. I guess it's not yet deer season or they would have been skittish. I don't think that they have a deer season in the park, if my memory serves.

There was curling tonight at SPCC. The three of us - Curt was sick - forced a team of four young guys to extra ends. Gino had executed a last rock draw to the house to get us to overtime. The young guys beat us on a fortunate shot on the last stone and we went home. The victors (them) sweep the ice after the game, so it was a nearly perfect end to a fun game. It was a nice job from Gino and Wireless to keep us in the game.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Last Photo from Holland

Santini has declared summer in Michigan to be done, finished, completed. This is the last photo that I took in the land of Wolverines. It's the young'uns doing the boogie on the beach and having a whale of a time. The Princess was a pretty good catalyst for fooling around.

I was able to play some tennis yesterday with the old guys. They have not lost their tenacity and their reluctance to lose a set. Tennis Dennis, with his new hip and a steady partner beat my partner and me 7-6 in about an hour and fifteen minutes. It was a nice way to be welcomed back.

A quote from rom the Strib:
"I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization." Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

A story about monkeys:
Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $5 each. The villagers seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them.
The man bought thousands at $5 and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort.
He further announced that he would now buy at $10. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms.
The offer increased to $15 each and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it.
The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50. However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now buy on his behalf.
In the man’s absence, the assistant told the villagers “Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $45 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.”
The villagers rounded up with all their savings and bought all the monkeys. Then they never again saw the man nor his assistant, only monkeys everywhere!
And THAT ladies and gentleman is how the stock market works…

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Some fun

It was a rainy day yesterday, but it finally stopped and we took a journey to Tunnel Park again. First a photo of a mom and her daughter looking to be having a good time. We were at the top of the dune and most of the area was deserted. The rest of the journeyers were in the background somewhere, but they are pictured below.

After we took photos we went to the store and bought food to fix. Santini and I figured out how to make sweet potato pie, and the Prairie Princess contibuted pie crust. It was my first shot at this delicacy and it was sublime. I plan to repeat this particular endeavor.
Time flashes by when you are having a good time. The weather guys promise reasonable weather, so we're going to continue with the fun.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tunnel Park

The train trip to Lower Michigan was pretty smooth. We arrived on time and only slightly over budget. We were met at the station in Holland by the SLOs, OSLO and Santini. At dusk tonight we learned that sunsets on the fresh water ocean have moved south. But they are still stikingly beautiful. The predominant color today was orange, as opposed to a more rddish pink in August. The princess added scale and a certain something to the photo.

The winner of Friday's Chuck-a-puck (above) went with us to Hemlock Park today as we attempted to find a prairie setting to her liking. We managed to find big and little blue stem grasses as well as a raft of tree species in the forest nearby - oaks, maples, beeches, white and red pines, and all lending some color to a beautiful autumn afternoon.

We also had a trek to Tunnel Park just north of here on the beach. I had a run down the dune and so did the youngsters in attendance, PP, TJ, and Nikki.. I took a picture by the tunnel to prove that we were actually there. Unlike our August visits to this park, we were very nearly alone. But then, who goes to the beach in October in Michigan?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The maple tree is climbable

The maple tree in the backyard is big enough to be climbed. This is the same tree as seen on my previous blog entry. The monkey like character in the tree is the Prairie Princess, who has finished her job in Glyndon and returned to the big city. She was taking a break from examining her plantings in the prairie garden in the backyard. Last night she moved into her new apartment with Wireless across the river in near Lake Harriet.

I played three sets of tennis tonight at Wooddale with Jerry and the hardcore girls. On the way home I stopped at Yang's to get chicken lomein. I didn't have to order. The woman behind the counter wrote down my name and the food I always order and told me it would be ready in five minutes. And it was. I'm still a regular on Thursday nights.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sixty Six

My backyard maple tree is getting colorful. I snapped this photo during breakfast as the sun was starting to reach its upper leaves. In other news. the ash trees are again giving up their yellowed leaves without much struggle. They are the quitters of the tree world.

I managed to get in another three sets of pretty good tennis early this afternoon at Fort Snelling. The courts at that time of day on Tuesday are mainly populated by the geezer set, of which I am a member. I was subbing for a guy who still works, but the tennis was good - lots of long points and tactical shots - and no one got hurt. The Fort Snelling facility is a good place to play. It's a bubble and thus subject to lack of warmth in the really cold months, but the courts are good, wide and well maintained. They also have a very visible youth program with a lot of ten to 13 year-olds, many of them minorities, coming in the afternoon to learn the sport.

The Prairie Princess is home from Glyndon and is interviewing for another Nature Conservancy job tomorrow. She. Herb and I went to Pad Thai to celebrate her return and the passage of another Tousan year. That's some good eatin'.

In biking news. Lance Armstrong agreed to ride in next year's Giro d'Italia and suggested that that the Italian race will be the main target of his comeback year. Not the Tour de France?? "Say it ain't so, Joe."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Suited to party

Here's something you won't see very often - Herb in full regalia. He dressed up for a party and I had to record his finery for posterity. You can see his high school graduation picture in the background and several other photos of him and the princess from other times.

It was a very nice day. One of the nicest days in the history of days [credit to Mr Moohoo for the phrase]. I played inside tennis at Wooddale with some of the geezers. It was my third day in a row and the quality of my play was down a little, but my minor maladies didn't flare up much. We managed to fit three sets into about 90 minutes. It seems a shame to play inside on a day like this, but in October almost any weather can arrive on any given day, and often without much warning. I managed to spend a little time outside - surveying the mass of green tomatoes that still hang off the tomato plants just outside my back door. I've noticed that the squirrels have finally discovered the low hanging fruit and are taking advantage of the availability of food to get ready for the coming [shudder] winter. They are leaving plenty for my autumn feast of fried green tomatoes.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ten ten

I stop at Yang's Chinese food emporium nearly every Thursday night after playing mixed doubles at Wooddale. I almost always get their tasty chicken lomein. I have become something of a regular and they now know my order before I order it. The last time I was there I noticed an item in the St Paul fish wrap that seemed to indicate that the sculpture at Phalen Park, that I previously posted as one of the Minnesota Rocks, had been somehow damaged. I suspected vandalism and resolved to check it out during the daylight hours. I went there to see it and, as the photo shows, the sculpture seems to be doing quite well. But it gave me an excuse to walk along the lake and check out the park land and the state of the changing leaves.

The maples are beginning to get serious about changing colors. It has been cold enough to discourage the production of the green chlorophyll and only the sugars remain in the leaves. It hasn't actually frozen here yet, but it has been cold enough to get me to turn on the heat plant in the basement.

The stock market roils and 401k's are halved as this October passes. There is an election in a few weeks and the TV channels have been purchased by politicos to try to slime their opponents. And the Prairie Princess will be coming back to the Cities next week from her job in Glyndon. It's October.