Sunday, October 31, 2010


There were Halloween parties all over last night. PP dressed up as a pirate and went off to celebrate. She had a parrot and a jug of rum - very much like a pirate. The parrot was not a real parrot, not even an ex-parrot.

And then today before the Vikings football game, I went for a walk on a very nice, but crisp day. There were several cyclists on the street, and as I got close to the House of Hope on Summit Avenue, I encountered a familiar face on a bike, dressed for the weather, putting in some miles on a late October Day. We chatted a while and he continued on his way down Summit Avenue. It seems odd that we haven't crossed paths earlier this summer when he has biked in the area, but it is a pretty big town.

Election day on Tuesday. Vote early and often.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mounds Park Meanderings

I don't get to Mounds Park very often it seems, but it does have a nice high level view of the Mississippi as it meanders through the Capitol City. Today was a nice day, especially for this late in October, so after a satisfying session of Saturday morning tennis, I took a trip there to see if there had been any changes. A couple of years ago I had a series of photos featuring "Minnesota Rocks" - sculptures done in Minnesota stone by established sculptors that are located around the city. This is one of two in Mounds Park - "The Sacred Dish" by Dewey Goodwin, an Ojibwe Native American from Bemidji.

I wandered around the top of the bluff for a while, taking in the crisp fall air and enjoying the view of the river. The Mississippi flows through an industrial area here, including passing the St Paul Downtown Airport. I'm fairly close to the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, too, which is at the base of the bluff.

As I mentioned, tennis went pretty well. I'm using my old Nike shoes, but they are not going to last much longer unless I locate some ShoeGoo to patch up the hole in the left toe area. The usual Saturday crew was in attendance and we had a couple of close sets, but this time I felt like I was balanced and hitting the ball pretty well. Now I have a couple of days off to rest and decide who I'm going to vote for in the election on Tuesday.

I hear that the Stewart-Colbert rally in Washington D.C. drew over 200,000 people to the activities. I don't know if was politics or comedy, or perhaps just a nice day, but the rally was a success. I hope some sanity returns to public discourse.

I have a new recipe for Asian Slaw, purloined from the InnerTubes, but easy and pretty tasty. I was looking for a good pasta salad when I found the recipe. There is some pasta in this (crushed ramen noodles), but also almonds and sunflower seed kernels. I may post it on the cooking blog the next time I make it - when I have photos. Unky Herb and PP can attest to its level of deliciousness.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nineteen Eighty-three

I must report that I switched back to my old, battered tennis shoes for today's tennis activities and the results were much better. For whatever reason, I played somewhat better. The old shoes were Nike's, and after the match, I came home and found the exact same shoe for sale on the Internet and bought a new pair. They'll be here next week sometime, probably after the election on Tuesday.

It's a big week. Halloween on Sunday and then Tuesday election. Talk about a scary season.

I'm still scanning slides. A little at a time helps to maintain my eyesight. The task is pretty simple, but I have to do some editing on almost all of the slides. These are from late spring on 1983, about the time of PP's baptism.

This is Unky Herb in his Superman phase. It was a long phase and he was joined in it by his good friend and neighbor, Andy. I think they both wanted to be Superman. For a while I pretended to be the real Superman, but Andy was onto me almost right away. He told me that "Superman doesn't have a mustache." My response, "Yes, I do," was less than convincing. Herb even had a cape in his Superman PJ's. This is his day time attire.

And this, a small group including the prairie princess as a baby with her Uncle Gino and Aunt BB. This was a few short weeks before "Wireless" was born.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Land hurricane disrobes my maple tree

This week we had a large wind storm that some of the more grandiosely inclined weather creatures have named a land hurricane. I guess there was record low barometric pressure for Minnesota and it was low enough that, had we been at sea, it would have been a level 3 hurricane. We had some big winds blow through and about seven inches of snow fell to earth near Duluth. Here we just had strong gusts of wind. In my backyard there used to be a maple tree with a lot of beautiful orange leaves. Now it looks like this. I guess summer is over.

I did get outside some today. It was cold enough for gloves, the first necessary use of gloves for the season. I guess the first hard frost is arriving over night tonight. October 29 is a latish date for the first frost. There will, of course be many more.

The project to scan old slides continues. Most of the slides are mostly interesting to me and so I'm not likely to put them all up on the blog, but some are of more general interest. Tonight, a pair of photos of infants who have appeared as adults on this blog. The first is Unky Herb from April of 1980, in the Minneapolis hospital where he was born.

The second is the Prairie Princess in the same Minneapolis hospital where Herb was born and where she also made her arrival. This was April, 1983. A long time ago.

The tennis wars continue. I seem to be in a slump. Maybe it's age related, but I'm blaming the new Adidas tennis shoes that I've been wearing the last week or so. They are fancy shoes with a six month guarantee on the soles. But because the soles have to last that long without being worn through on the toes or heels, they seem to have an unusual thickness of rubber - and thus they are a tad heavier than my old Nikes. And for some reason, I'm feeling a little out of balance when I hit some shots, and my usual fancy footwork is leaden. Tonight at Wooddale with Jerry and the hardcore girls, my side went down 1-6, 6-2, 6-2. Then I went to Yang's for Singapore Rice Noodles to share with the Prairie Princess.

I'm buying some cheap Nikes tomorrow and hoping that that fixes the shoe problem Otherwise it's age related and I'm not ready to admit that yet (a la Brett Favre)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Diamonds and Rust, mostly rust

That Judas Priest cover of "Diamonds and Rust" on the Moohoo blog keeps running through my brain.  I recommend it for its novel appeal.

When it's this windy and you have 37 trays of slides, and you're a retired guy, you, too, might spend most of the day scanning in the slides and arranging them into a semblance of order. I think that the ones I'm posting today are in sequence.  The boxes have dates written on them and the individual slides have the date of development stamped on them.

This is from the summer of 1978.  I think the place is a well used lake resort near Grand Rapids.  These people are currently Michiganders.

This is is stamped September, 1978.  Maybe it was taken in August, but the box says it was taken in a medium sized city in Illinois.   I think that's correct.  A girl (OSLO) and her dog.  Brownie?  Duke?

This is also September, 1978, in the same medium sized city.  Notice the monogramed top on Santini.

Also in 1978. The slide is stamped October, and was taken in this very house. Mr Mohoo in his salad days and in need of a shave.

This was taken very near to April 5, 1980. The baby is my son, who in these pages and on occasion in Michigan, goes by the alias, Unky Herb. He's sleeping peacefully in the photo, an activity that usually happened during the day, so that we could have quality time together in the middle of the night.  I think we borrowed the bassinet for the first few weeks of his time here.

This slide scanner is working well enough for my purposes. I have used iPhoto software to enhance every one of them, but I am pleased with the results. I have about thirty boxes to get to, but there is no hurry and the winter in these parts seems interminable.

["Time, you thief..."  from Leigh Hunt's "Jenny Kissed Me"]

Sunday, October 24, 2010

About those boxes of slides

The scanner started me down this path. I haven't seen these photos in a decade or more and now I'm using them on my blog. They may mean something to some of my regular readers. I'm scanning 1974 events and happenings today. The boxes have photos up until 1987.

This is one of the few photos of me playing tennis. It was the Hamline alumni tennis tournament at the old courts before they were improved. I'm using one of those T2000 tennis rackets that Jimmy Connors used and made popular. The slide was a little dark, but I was able to get it presentable using the magic of iPhoto. In the summer of 1974 I was 31 years old, just a year older than my own son today. PP said something like, "nice shorts, Tousan," when she saw the image.

Time, you thief.

A photo of Tom Miller on the occasion of Andy's high school graduation. There are some photos here of a very young Andy, too, which may get an airing the next marginal photography day. Dad was 65 when the photo was snapped - just three years younger than I am. [Insert another curse at Father Time here].

Other than photos there was actually other action today. The USTA mixed doubles team that I am a part of had its first match today at Wooddale. Jerry is the captain and he put me and a new woman on the team, Kathy, in the number one doubles spot, a dubious honor - we played their supposed best team. This is an open age team, so the folks we played were youngish (while I'm geezerish), but we gave it a run. We won a set but lost in the third set tiebreaker - a ten pointer - 11-9. The scores 4-6, 6-0, 1-0. I kiddingly accused Jerry of "throwing us under the bus" to get our other teams an easier match - sandbagging, it's called, but he reminded me that we only lost by two points, the thinnest of margins. The other two doubles teams won, so the team as a whole is now 1-0 in the league.

The Vikings were not so lucky losing in Green Bay 28-24 in Sunday Night Football. It was a fun game to watch with that Favre guy doing his usual Favre stuff.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thirty-six boxes of slides

A few days ago, I was asked to supply a few old family photos for a school project. I found that the photos were actually on 35mm slides and that I hadn't looked at those slides for maybe ten years. I have about 36 boxes of the slides, each box holding about 100 slides. I want to digitize quite a few of them for my own use and actually to have them available when I want to look at them. They are historical documents in a sense and help me remember where I've been and how I came to be this senior tennis playing retired guy. I went to Best Buy and asked the camera guy what to use for this project and they recommended an ION scanner for slides and 35mm negatives. It comes with an SD memory card and also a USB connection to a computer, so I bought one.

I've been scanning slides today, because the weather is kind of iffy and I'm done with my morning tennis match. These are from the middle 1970's, a time I well remember, but a few years before the birth of Unky Herb and the Prairie Princess. I scanned about twenty slides onto the SD memory card and transferred them to my Apple laptop. I also sent a few to my niece, Nicole, who was the requester of the original photos. Thanks, Nicole, for the inspiration.

This is the Boyd family from 1976, I think in Fort Wayne, Indiana - John, Sylvi, Johnny and Nancy. All have changed in the 34 years since the photo, but the slide is still in good shape. Photos are a kind of cheap time machine.

And Santini from the same trip - 1976. I didn't remember the photo, but I remember the person and a bit about the trip. I think it was Thanksgiving.

This is a slightly older photo. The date on the slide said October, 1973. Gino was coaching a kid's football team and I was trying to help out. I took some photos and I think I may have a super 8 mm film from the time, probably somewhere in my basement.

The scanner did a passable job with the scan, but it was necessary to tweak the images, using some of the features of Apple's iPhoto software. I had to lighten the exposure and mess with the color a bit, but I'm reasonably satisfied with the results.

The morning tennis at Wooddale did not go my way today. Bob and I lost two sets to Jerry and Pat, 6-7, 5-7. It was pretty good tennis and even, but I was a little off my game and a little fatigued from tennis four of the last five days. Pat and Jerry took it to us. And what they say is true. You cannot win them all.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The sun was shining

I took a walk in Como Park this afternoon. It may be the last nice week of the season, and maybe not, but I wanted to spend some time in the outdoors. I had to play tennis later in the evening so I didn't want to do anything too strenuous, just a decent walkabout. I also needed a picture or two to put up on this blog.

The reflection in the pool outside the Conservatory was pretty, and I couldn't pass it by.

And the topiary and the vertical garden (or whatever it's called) are very popular places to take wedding photos in the summer months. There hasn't been a hard freeze yet so the plants are still active and still in place. I know that some of the plants are those known as hens and chicks. Someone puts in a lot of work to keep this display healthy and attractive.

And yet another of the trees in the park. This is an oak and they are turning colors now, a while after the ash trees have dropped all their leaves, the quitters. The oaks are in various stages of their change process, but this one is doing just fine, thank you.

All this in anticipation of about 90 minutes of mixed doubles at Wooddale. The tennis was pretty competitive and some long points ensued. The scores 7-5, 6-3 got us to the 90 requisite minutes. The USTA team tennis starts this weekend. I'm playing mixed doubles again on the team that I played on a year ago. There are some new players and a nucleus of players back, but as in life, this team is in a state of flux.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Another Bean Salad

It was a nice brisk October day, a nice day for a walk outside and for creating yet another bean salad. The bean salad may have been the highlight of the day. It has been a couple of weeks since my last one, and I was getting hungry for those chewy garbanzos. Again I added just a few pieces of carrot to jazz up the color.

The afternoon walkabout turned out to be a trip to Hamline. I had an email from them lately that advertised a soccer game, and I decided to watch a little collegiate athletic action. My very short collegiate soccer career was composed of a couple of games as a goal keeper for the club team that functioned as Hamline's entry in unofficial conference play in 1965. Dave Streeter, a friend and a very good soccer player from New England, organized the team and needed a guy who could catch a ball to be keeper and he asked me to play. I played a couple of games before I was forced to quit because I broke my wrist in a intramural touch football game. I remember especially a game at Macalester against a team made up almost exclusively, as I remember it, of foreign students. Guys who could actually play.

So today I watched the Hamline (in white) women play the Northwestern college women. Here they are lined up for the National anthem. They always play the Star Spangled Banner before athletic contests these days, but usually not tennis matches that I've attended, at least. When I left the game near halftime the score was 1-0 for the visitors.

While I was roaming around the campus after the game, I ran into an employee of the university, whom I recognized immediately, Dr. BB. She was on her way into Drew Hall, the dormitory that I lived in for four years almost 45 years ago.

There were some orange tinged maple trees in the parking area near Drew, so I included this shot in the spirit of the autumn season. Still no hard freeze in the city.

We (the geezers) played tennis outside for two hours yesterday, and we are scheduled to do it again tomorrow at Marie Park. It's been an amazing run of good weather. I know we'll pay for this with some truly abysmal weather in January.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Apple orchard

After early morning tennis at Wooddale, where the two sets went to 7-6, 5-7, it occurred to me that the weather was just too nice to spend much time inside. The princess was here and she was agreeable to a trip to an apple orchard and a chance to buy some local produce. The afternoon was sunny and warm - 67 degrees on my auto's thermometer - and the sky was October blue. We drove to Aamodt's Apple Farm just north of highway 36 on the way to Stillwater. Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for the Aamodts, we weren't the only people with the same idea today.

We had a stroll among the apple trees. It is amazing how many apples end up on the ground and apparently wasted. This tree had more apples on the ground than I could down in a month. I don't know the economics of the business, but it seems like a lot of profit was left on the ground.

I guess they make up for the waste by keeping their prices high enough. We bought some honey crisp apples, some apple butter and some honey. I felt good about contributing to the local economy and I have fresh apples for a week or so.

And the Halloween season is clearly on its way. There are a lot of attractively decorated homes in the area, and there are still two weeks until the holiday. Even in bad economic times people like to scare the kiddies on Halloween.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Unky Herb and I visited Wild River State Park a while ago and he sent me some photos from the trek around the park. This is the tousan (me) amid some red tinged sumac. I like the photo because the light is such that the wrinkles on my face are not very prominent. This getting old is not for sissies, and also not for the vain.

A nice October day today. Not as nice as last week and the weekend, but for October, one must be thankful.

There was tennis at Wooddale. It was as even a match as one can expect and there were a lot of those enjoyable long, competitive points. It was mixed doubles with one of the hardcore girls, Barb, and a sub, Linda, because Becky had family business to attend to. And Jerry. We played to a tie breaker in the first set before losing. So 6-7, and we were up 4-3 when we gave up the court for fresher players. Ten games apiece.  I was playing with new tennis shoes that I bought today, because all the old pairs in my closet have a hole worn through the toe on the right foot. Even with the new shoes we lost, but there were no blisters to report.  One more thing to be thankful for.

The ash trees in front of the house have given up their leaves. Just like last year the ashes have exposed themselves as quitters. The oaks, stalwarts of the tree family are just now getting around to changing colors, but the cowardly ash quitters are all done. Unfortunately, St Paul has identified the Emerald ash borer in the city, and they are silently, but fairly surely, killing the ash trees. In another five years or so the ashes will be gone, replaced with some more robust species, perhaps maples.

And I guess I'm old enough to start using Roman numerals for my age, and have been for a while.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Even the oaks are getting into the act

I had my once every other year eye exam this morning. So far, no change to the long distance vision, but I still need help in the short range - reading distance. The doctor recommended that I continue using Walgreens as my supplier of eye glasses.

I took my medicated and very light sensitive eyes to Crosby Park to look for orange and red, maybe darkish yellow leaves to add to my photo collection. There was some wind, but Crosby is down below the bluffs and the wind was blowing over the top today. The recently flooded trails are not yet open to bike traffic, and some are still too muddy for walking without fouling one's shoes. The high water from last week is coming down, but at its own sweet rate. I found some oak trees who are joining the color parade. Oaks don't usually turn orange, but I was satisfied with the reds developing in the leaves.

There were some maples, still resplendent in orange. This one was in the woods a bit up stream from the Watergate Marina off Shepherd Road.

It was another 70-ish day in the middle of October - a bonus day - a reward for good behavior, or just blind luck, perhaps the positive side of global warming. I know we're going to pay for this nice stretch of Indian Summer, but not for at least another week.

No tennis today, but I'll be outside again tomorrow, tennis racket in hand, bashing the fuzz off some Wilson tennis balls.  Use it or lose it.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Forty years ago in Houston, Texas.

About sixty years ago near Webster, Wisconsin.

A horse, Tommy, Santini, and T. Tousan backing up the youthful Mr. Moohoo (center).

Happy Birthday, Wander Gene.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I'm trying red leaves today

Another spectacular day in the middle of October. There have been so many orange colored leaves pictured here lately, that I though I'd try to find something of the red persuasion. What is available in red seems to be sumac and some sort of ivy that grows in and among the leaves of trees that it inhabits. That's what the first one pictured here is. It was in Como Park in one of the more wooded areas of the park.

And sumac. One can always count on sumac for some bright red coloration. This, too, from Como Park, very near the soccer fields, soccer fields that were being used for lacrosse practice this afternoon when I visited. Many Twin Cities residents were out walking in the park partaking of a very nice day, and one of the last nice weekends of the season - whichever one that is.

Today is 10/10/10 - the tenth of October and Brett Favre's 41st birthday. X/X/X in Roman numerals - although I don't think that Brett is Roman, or even Italian.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

John Lennon would be 70 today.

The quest for orange or grapefruit colored leaves continues. It is out of hand. Today, I've switched to closer shots of leaves in the requisite color.

A single maple leaf caught against a arbor vidae evergreen caught my eye as I walked towards Grand Avenue. I went home to get my camera. It's a nice representative of the category orangey colored leaves.

And this tree - another maple - seen against a blue, blue sky. It's the maple in my own back yard. This has been one nice weekend, and it promises to continue. Now if the Twins could win just one game in New York, it would make the weekend much better.

The tennis competition continued inside this morning at Wooddale. It seemed too nice a day to play inside, but we had reserved the courts and it was still just 8:30 and 61 degrees, so we played. It was Jerry, Pat, Bob and me. Early morning tennis is a challenge. Getting warmed up, getting the creaks out of the old bones is always harder that hour of the day. Eventually all the parts seemed to work well enough together and competition began. We played a close set to a tie breaker, 7-6, then managed another 5 games before the next batch of Saturday morning tennis ball bashers showed up and took the court. I was happy to have played and actually was playing pretty well about the time we quit.

It's John and Sean Lennon's joint birthday today. Sean is 35. John was 40 when he was murdered in NYC in 1980. Time, that old river, keeps on flowing, doesn't it?

And what's with this Contador guy? Doper? Misunderstood Spaniard?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fishing by the falls

On a warm October afternoon, it seemed right to go to Minnehaha Park and enjoy the weather and the colorful foliage. The temperature reached 86 in St Paul, 23 degrees above the average for the date and a new record for October 8 in these parts. I walked around the creek, through Waubun picnic area, past the Minnesota Veterans Home, over the bridge above Minnehaha Creek and back to the falls. Many of the maples are showing their best stuff this week.

There were lots of people out, playing hooky from work or school, taking in one of the nicest October days of this year. There was some guy fishing in the pool just below the falls. I've not seen anyone fish there before, but he was intent on his task. He looks a little Asian, I think it's the hat, and it makes the whole scene seem a little off kilter. His presence also allows the scale of the falls to be felt.

Another of the classic spots at the falls - the statue of Hiawatha and Minnehaha - looks different with the fall leaves and the afternoon sun. There was also a weeding in the park this afternoon and the wedding party were having photos taken nearby. They were well dressed and attractive and I almost thought I should have included them in one of the shots. But I didn't. Instead, Longfellow's Native American royalty was the focus.

The weekend is expected by the weather guys to continue this run of well above normal warmth for October. The guy in the Strib called this month Augtober - August in October.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My maple tree

While I was at Wooddale, trying to get used to playing inside again, the Twins (Twinkies?) were getting run over by the Yankees again. Two games at the new Target Field and two losses to the Broadway bullies. To advance to the next round the Twins will have to win three games in a row - possible but not likely.

Tennis was fun. We played three sets of pretty close tennis. I was pretty much off my game after yesterday's session in the sun and wind. It should be easier inside, but tonight it took a full set to get used to the lack of wind and sun. It's an odd game sometimes. Then I went to Yang's for Singapore Rice Noodles.

I have a maple tree in my back yard that seems to be trying to turn orange or grapefruit colored. It was easy enough to get this photo, and it's pretty representative of trees in St Paul this week.

The superb run of weather is expected to continue into the weekend - 80 degrees tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

American League Playoffs begin in Minneapolis

It seems more like September than October, but whichever month it is, today was nice; a good day to play some tennis. I'm posting another photo of the Marie Park tennis courts, the principal site of my summer tennis activities. I took the picture after we had finished two close sets of play. Tennis Dennis and I played against Bill and Dr. Bill. It took about two hours to get through the two sets. There was some wind, and the sun was an obstacle to good vision on lobs and serves - especially in the first set.  But we were outside in 70 degree weather.  Life is good.

My search for an orange or grapefruit colored tree was easily satisfied with this maple at Marie Park. It seems that most of the nicest trees this year are in parks or on boulevards in residential neighborhoods. The whole state has bright colored leaves on trees. I guess that's a good reason to love October.

The Twins are playing the Yankees in the playoffs tonight at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. For some reason this baseball season has been more interesting than many for the last 25 years - maybe because I got an early start by catching a spring training game in Port Charlotte this spring - the Rays and the Orioles. I'll probably watch tonight.

An interesting factoid: Both John Lennon and his son, Sean, were born on October 9th - many years apart, obviously.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, Larry and Ray

Larry Fine of the Three Stooges and Ray Kroc of the Golden Arches were born on this day in 1902, 118 years ago.  Somehow an apt occurrence.  Happy Birthday, boys.

I ventured over to the Minneapolis Rose Garden to see if there were flowers and perhaps some large trees with red or orange tinged leaves. It was a nice day and I spent some time in the garden. The roses are past prime, but still blooming. There is a fountain, still in operation, probably until the hard freeze lands. I spent some time viewing gargoyles in France in May, and I recognized a relative, but probably just a demon of some ilk, in the fountain.

There is a sun dial in the garden.  I haven't seen many sun dials in use around the city, but this one is still available to tell the time and I think still as accurate as it was whenever it was installed - batteries not included.  It was about noon when the photo was snapped, and I guess that when sundials were the time piece of choice, accuracy within about an hour was probably good enough.  It's also good enough for a retired guy.

There was also a unique bench in the park.  It seems to be a two person bench and for two people who are lounging, rather than sitting, near each other.  It's a nice setting for a bench, but a little off the beaten track.  It may not be getting the love it deserves.  It's a nice addition to the collection of park benches seen here and elsewhere on the inner tubes.

I found a nice big tree.  A willow, I think, but it hasn't begun to turn yellow or brown, or whatever willow trees do, but it's a nice tree and green is a nice color, too.  PP would call it a grandfather tree.

A nice October day on a week that the weather creatures say will be very, very nice.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I had a flu shot this morning

After the nice nurse lady stuck the needle full of killed flu virus in my arm I was free to walk around in the great outdoors. It was a very nice October day, so I went to see if I could find an orange-leafed tree. They are not as easy to find as I thought they might be. Maybe a little later in the fall after the first real hard frost. I did find this little oak tree in Como Park and it's going to have to represent the class of orange tinged vegetation.

Computers and the internet (inter tubes?) are pretty powerful. I looked at my photos of the marathon from Sunday and was able to read some of the bib numbers from the people in the frame. I was able to find the marathon results web page and found the names and home towns of some of the runners and their finishing times. The guys in the earliest photos finished in about 3 hours and 22 minutes - a pretty good time. One woman in one of my "other" photos (not posted) finished 9th in her class - women over 50. Not an important fact, but the process was an interesting diversion.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunny Sunday in St Paul

So much to do on a brisk October day. The Twin Cities marathon runs down Summit Avenue about four blocks from here. I decided to go look at the event and maybe get some photos. The Governor's Mansion is about 24 miles from the start and that's the general location of my viewing. It was about 11:20 when I got there, about 3 hours 15 minutes into the race. The people I saw were in no danger of winning the race - the men's winner was about 2:14 for the 26.2 miles - but they were quite good runners. I stayed until after 12 and the runners were still good and they were still coming in groups and a pretty steady stream. There was a water station by the mansion - it's in the first photo. I didn't see any people that I knew, but the bulk of the people going by mile 24 looked determined to finish, and they're likely going to sleep well tonight.

The back view as other runners went by going east towards the capitol.  House of Hope Church is in the background.

This afternoon I remembered that I hadn't been down to the river to see the crest of the fall flood. I went to Harriet Island and later to downtown St Paul to get some perspective on the water level.  The benches on Harriet Island that I featured a couple of days ago are now isolated in flood water and the ducks are hanging around feeding from the bottom.  The Mississippi river in the background is likely to stay out of its banks for another week or so.

The view from the middle of the Wabasha Street bridge shows Raspberry Island. The areas where PP planted native grasses earlier this year are at the far end of the island - where the trees are partially submerged.  I think it is safe to guess that replanting will be necessary.

No frost here yet. The tomato plants are still alive and safe for another week or so.