Thursday, January 29, 2015

Detective work

I found some more photos to try and narrow the date of yesterday's photo. Notice Sylvi's hair style in each.

Summer of 1954. The kids at Uncle Mark's near New Richmond.

Christmas, 1954.

May 30, 1955. Group picture in Webster, Wisconsin, at Art Johnson's place.

EDIT:  Added photo of Christmas, 1954.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


It's January and I had some fun looking at old photos again. Some of them were pretty small, but scanning them in allows me to make them bigger and my photo editor allows them to be restored, in a way, to better see what's portrayed.

I love this photo, even though Santini has her eyes closed. The clothes hanging on the line, Uncle John on the side, the wagon and the shirt that the Moohoo kid is wearing are nice elements. Both kids have a piece of paper in their hands, Report cards? I know about where it was taken - Grandpa's farm, but I'm not sure what year.

There are four kids in this photo. I think that I'm the one most obscured. Any idea what year this was?  I don't remember that car.  A Pontiac?

Who are the kids? What year was it taken? Notice the cast on the Moohoo kid.  I think it was taken in Ericson's yard.  What kind of car is sitting behind them?  NCW thinks it's a Chrysler product.  The one across the alley, I think, is a Studebaker.

Monday, January 26, 2015


It's his birthday again. 106. My dad in Coleraine in about 1955. Dating these pictures any more accurately than that is beyond me today.  I think the trike behind him belonged to Mr. Moohoo.  The bulge in his shirt pocket was probably a pack of Raleigh's, his eventual undoing.

A photo in Minneapolis sometime around 1975. About 20 years later.

He's been gone now nearly 39 years. I still remember his birthday, but there's nowhere to send a card. This is as good as I can do in that area. Happy birthday to the old guy.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Two things

First thing. NCW and I went for an early afternoon walk. The sun was shining and the temperature about 28º. A nice day in these parts. When we walked by Billy's on Grand, a local watering hole, I noticed the entrance to the joint. Glass cubes perhaps. I looked again. They looked like ice. I asked, partly to myself, "Is that ice?" A guy standing inside nodded. "It's ice," he indicated with his nod. I don't know how they made the ice cubes, but they're a bit of decoration that wouldn't work in many places in the country. They don't work here that often either, but January is different. The bar also had some big blocks of ice, suitable for ice carving, standing in the patio area. I think this has to do with the Winter Carnival which is about to begin here. Maybe the Crashed Ice downhill race. I'd still like to know how they made the cubes.

The ice cubes hanging from cords form a doorway to the outdoor patio drinking area. NCW for scale.

Second thing. Grapenuts cubed. Real Grapenuts, dried grapes (raisins), grape juice; walnuts, almond milk. This just doesn't fit on the cooking blog, but it makes a fine breakfast.

Tennis tonight at Wooddale, mixed doubles with Jerry and the hard core girls.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


It was -11º this morning at eight o'clock and it looked like another day of cabin fever. But by one p.m. the world had warmed to about +10º and, with the sun shining, it seemed like I should see how Como Lake was doing. NCW was off to do some loan insuring, so I set out to have a trek around the city lake. I wasn't completely alone. There were a couple of other walkers and two guys doing some winter running. The wind was a bit brisk, but I have clothes for such inclement conditions and frigid adventure. I did notice that the city fathers have put up quite a number of "Thin Ice" signs to try to keep the unwary off the ice. I'm sure that most of the lake has fairly thick ice. It's been cold enough to insure that, but there is an aeration system on the lake that keeps parts of the ice thin. In fact, there was an area near the pavilion that had open water. I guess all those signs made sense.

As I finished about three quarters of the circuit, I met a young woman in a wheel chair pushing herself around the lake with her dog, a Labador, I think. She was otherwise alone. The path was plowed and clear, but it was 10º and it's a mile and a half around the lake. I asked, "How's it going?" as I met her and she responded, "Good," in a spritely voice. I went on by, thinking that she was brave and really darned hardcore.

When NCW got back from the office, we went for another walk, over to St. Clair and through Linwood Park. It was a little warmer by then, about 12º, and still invigorating. At about 4:30 the sun went down in the southwest. It's a cold sunset, but it was pretty. We haven't seen the sun set much in a month or so because of the prevalent cloudy conditions. It was nice to see the sky light up in reds and yellows and oranges before the darkness fell.

We were in Pengilly Saturday until yesterday afternoon and it was really bitter cold there; -15º yesterday, and -18º this morning. I'm glad to be back in the relatively tropical saintly city.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


It's Santini and JB's fiftieth wedding anniversary and I have one photo of the occasion. It's not as clear or as good as the ones seen here.  I'm not sure who took the photo, but I was there, and so was Mr Moohoo.

Not many marriages last this long and it's a testament to longevity and ability to adjust to one's partner's idiosyncrasies. Nice. I wish you many more happy years.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Cold spell continues

On a day this cold it's nice to have a nice indoor activity like blogging to fall back on. The windchill stayed below -15º all day, but the raw temperature got up to 0º at about noon. I was outside three times and well bundled each time. First time was to finish the shoveling and to clean up the ridge left by the snow plow behind the garage. And the wind blown snow ridges along the sidewalk. It was brisk. But it was sunny and the sky was blue for the first time in a long time, so I took a few photos. They are a bit bleak, but for those who are pining for weather related misery stories, they may fill the bill.

The second time was around noon when the light was more direct and I thought I could get some better photos. I walked a block to the neighborhood school, one incidentally that was in session. The playground at Linwood School - or whatever the school district is calling this building this year - was empty. I suspect that with a windchill as low as today's value, not many of the school children wanted to come out and play.  The swings stand unused for the day.

The third and last time was at about four when NCW and I went out for some "exercise." It took longer than the walk to get fully girded against the chill, and we only went around one city block. Did I say that it was brisk?

The conversation went like this:
Me, "Cold."
NCW, "Yup."
Me, again, "Yup!"
[Repeat several times.]

Tennis last night was canceled by the hardcore girls.  The roads were clogged with car crashes and cars that had slid off the road.  Normal travel was not possible on most Twin Cities freeways.  I stayed home with NCW and had BLT's for dinner.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Snow falls and January continues

The weather is almost always a talking point in Minnesota in the five months or so when it's winter. Today is no exception. It wasn't so cold, but the snow began to fall this morning and made the roads slippery and not much fun to drive on. The sidewalks weren't any better. They're shoveled now, at least by my house, but the snow'll be blowing around and I'll probably shovel again before the day is completely done.

I took a few photos just to show how hard the snow was coming down.

It's snowing when facing north, too. It was an all day snowfall which is just now giving up and changing over to a brisk wind.  Notice that the orange bladed shovel remains at the ready.  Eli, the wooden headed giraffe, is in the window, but indiscernible through the flakes.

Besides the shoveling, I managed a walk to Grand Avenue with NCW, and later on I'm planning to smack some tennis balls at Wooddale Tennis. I broke a racket string last Saturday and I'm getting the racket back, restrung, tonight. It's an old racket - at least 12 year old technology - but one of the pros at Wooddale keeps telling me that it's one of the best models ever made. I'll be glad to have it back. I played with my back-up racket yesterday and it just didn't feel the same. The results were okay, but there is a certain aesthetic that must be attained.

January must be endured.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Wind chill

It was below zero this morning when I awoke, and still below zero when I went out to shovel the inch or so of new snow off the sidewalks. But the sun was shining. It's been AWOL for most of the month and it was nice to see it again, even if it means that the air is below zero. I went out and took a few photos of the morning sun on the newly fallen snow. As you can perhaps tell, the local rabbits were there before me.

I had a little exercise this afternoon. NCW and I had a trek up to Grand Avenue to see how the cold was affecting the area, and to visit a couple of shops - well mostly to warm up before we trekked home again. Ten Thousand Villages was cool - they have handmade items from third world nations that they sell for sort of high prices. But we were just looking. Then we stopped at Cook's - a kitchen supply store - and looked at overpriced pots, pans and other kitchen paraphernalia. They have nice kitchen gadgets, knives and oven thermometers, etc. We warmed up and then walked the four or five blocks home.

Did I say it was cold today? The school systems in Minneapolis and, I think, St Paul are closing school tomorrow because of the cold. There's supposed to be a wind chill of -35º tomorrow. That's kind of wimpy. I remember walking to school on the Iron Range in the fifties when it was -40º real temperature, and the walk was uphill both ways. Down Hunter's Hill, through Longyear Park and past Trout Lake. And I had inadequate footwear. Maybe I was barefooted.

Our new kitchen shades came and they were installed yesterday. They look like they will fit the place nicely. Eli, the giraffe with a wooden heart, stands and guards the back yard. PP came for dinner and noticed the silhouette of the giraffe on the shades from the outside in the gathering darkness. She said it looked cool. Maybe I'll try to capture that feeling in a photo. Watch for it.

A new year for blogging. I think I'll try to be a bit more regular this year. It's kind of fun.