Saturday, November 28, 2009

Little Thanksgiving Visitors

Do you think gender behavior is preset? Tsarina Zoe, looking pretty in pink, loves to hold court and wave at her adoring public. When she is out and about she waves and says hi to everyone. Roman is also social, but takes to playing with trucks and tractors quite naturally. Notice he has put a little stuffed animal in the driver seat of the tractor.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Redux Redo All Over Again

In case you have turkey leftovers, here are some suggestions. I wrote this two years ago.


by Jane Celeste the Pest

Leftover turkey, this we treasure
Chop it, slice it, guess- don’t measure
Take a handful of turkey pieces
Add veggies or some cheeses
With rice or noodles—it surely pleases.

Turkey chili can be quite spicy
Served up with cornbread, would be nice, eh?
Turkey sausages-- very hardy
Turkey meatballs—for your party.

Stuff some peppers with the turkey
Dehydrate slowly – make some jerky
Top a pizza, stuff some pitas
Serve them up with margaritas.

Turkey soup will warm you up
On colder days just drink a cup
Try turkey tacos, make some hash
Use the leftovers, save some cash.

Quesadillas, enchiladas,
Tetrazzini, manicottas
Turkey omelettes, turkey stew
Many choices, what to do?

Minnesotans, feed the group
Making “hot dish” with canned soup
Add cream of mushroom and some peas
Dinner's ready. It's a breeze.

The Real Spirit of Thanksgiving

I am spending part of the day volunteering at an organization that packages food for the hungry. They send dehydrated, high nutrient packets to starving children abroad.
My cousins extended family has spent the day after Thanksgiving volunteering for years. The past couple years they have included me and cousins from other families. They own a charter coach company and we all travel to the site together. Great cause and great fun spending time with each other. This is also a much nicer way to spend today than fighting crowds of shoppers on Black Friday.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Bird is Looking Good

We have 30 lbs of turkey roasting in the oven and I hope everyone who accepted our invitation shows up hungry. No, I didn't find a 30# turkey. We have a 22 & another breast cooking. Plan to have leftovers and send some home with the family.

It's Not Turkey Day, You Turkeys!

It is Thanksgiving Day. Time to be thankful. Have an attitude of gratitude. Even if you have troubles in your life this year, everyone has something they can be thankful for.
Calling this day "Turkey Day" is shortsighted. It is like not acknowledging the reason for Christmas.
Thanksgiving began with those pilgrims thanking the almighty for surviving. They celebrated with the Native Americans who had helped them survive by hunting and gathering. It is good the origins of this day go that far back. They ate turkey, cranberries and probably lobster. They were in New England and that is what was available. If they had been in Minnesota we might be dining on wild rice and venison. If Thankgiving had started in our generation, we might be eating Big Macs. Of course that would have meant a lot less time spent in preparation and clean up.

I initially titled this blog article, "It's Not Turkey Day, You Turkies". It didn't look right, so I asked my husband how to spell turkeys. He said, "turkey's". Oh, that darn apostrophe is problematic. I laughed. Sorry, Jon. Not good to disrespect your mate, especially when I am punctuationally challenged myself. I had to revert to using the dictionary which corrected my spelling. Plural of turkey is turkeys, not turkies.
I gleaned new knowledge from my spellchecking. Under word history is states: "The bird commonly known as the turkey and familiar as the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving feast is a native of the New World. It acquired the name of an Old World country as a result of two different mistakes. The name turkey, or turkey cock, was originally applied to an African bird now know as the guinea fowl, which was believed to have originated in Turkey. When the Europeans came upon the American turkey, they thought it was the same bird as the African guinea fowl, and so gave it the name turkey, although the two species are quite distinct."

Turkey is as American as apple pie even if it has the name of a Muslim country.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thinking of Rainy Nights in Georgia and Gladys Knight

It's November 25th, one day before our national day of Thanksgiving. It is 2 AM and I have been awake for an hour. Somewhere people are thinking of turning in for the night. I am contemplating what I can do to get ready for tomorrow's feast that doesn't wake my husband. Vacuuming would be inappropriate. Maybe I am ready for a Roomba. I won't do a load of laundry because he too rises at ridiculously early hours and wouldn't want to shower when the washer is altering the water pressure.

We rushed the season and have Christmas lights decorating three small spruce trees on our deck. I left the lights on last evening and now there is a gentle rain falling. Snow was predicted and would have made lighted evergreens look pretty at night, but it looks like Georgia around here. The grass is still green and my pansies refuse to quit blooming. I placed a spruce tree top in a pot of pansies and noted I have never put Christmas decorations in with blooming flowers in late November in Minnesota. We will defer buying any oceanside property in Florida in case Al Gore is right. This weather is not normal. Locals are not complaining unless they sell snowblowers or own a ski hill.

The other day Jon and I reminisced about the first year we spent Christmas Eve away from our families. At 19 he was stationed at Ft. Benning, GA and assigned guard duty on Christmas Eve. Just like the song, it was a rainy night in Georgia. Thankfully we will see all of our kids and grandkids at Thanksgiving and on Christmas Eve. Our thoughts and prayers are with the many who will miss soldiers stationed away from home. The lucky ones will be in Georgia. May the Good Lord look after the rest.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Let's Hear it For the Good Guys

In an era of overpaid, ego-inflated professional athletes, Minnesotans have some outstanding players who are good role models for kids.
Yesterday Joe Mauer, catcher for the division winning Twins, was named American league MVP for 2009. Joe is a St. Paul boy who is not only a team player but an asset to the community.
My new favorite Viking is Sydney Rice. His star is rising and I read an online bio about his modest upbringing. He has learned character and credits his mom for his success. We haven't seen his name in the local papers for public misbehavior like many Vikings from recent years. Watch out Randy Moss. Sydney looks like he has talent like yoursssss.
I don't think we can claim Brett Favre. He will always belong to the Packers, but we are lucky to have this 40 yr old who doesn't play like a 40 yr old quarterback. Brett is having an awesome year and has inspired this team to play like a team. He is another player who doesn't make headlines by nightclubbing, driving drunk or running over policemen. Gotta love him. Purple hope is alive for a Super ending of the season. Of course the downside is that the Vikings management will come with their hands out at the end of the year if they win. They want a new stadium. Maybe we need a player who can inspire sports owners to value the legacy of a stadium with some history.
For now, congratulations Joe, Sydney and Brett.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Another Career Choice

We saw the one woman play "Late Nite Catechism" a few years ago at the Ordway Theatre in St. Paul. A traditionally habited nun (actor) teaches Catholic catechism. Think "Nunsense". The performance is very audience interactive and light-hearted. Sister singles out audience members who are chewing gum or talking while she is on stage and fines them or brings a little attention to their behavior. It is funny. Even those deprived of a sister school education get it but if you have that background you will identify and be amused. It isn't mean, but a memory jogger.

For the holiday season the Ordway has a version called "Sister's Christmas Catechism". While I have no acting experience, this is why I think I am qualified to play the role:

1. 15 years of Catholic schooling.

2. Regional Baltimore Catechism (quizzing) Champ in 1959.

3. My self-published childhood memoir is titled, "Sisters". Okay, it is really about my sister Carolyn and me.

4. I have a vintage wooden ruler.

5. My memory of long-ago is better than my recent memory. I still remember Sr. Geneva in 5th & 6th grade although I have had the grace to forgive her. I also remember some of the nice ones.

6. I have the full habit and am not afraid to wear it in public. (See blog from April. Jon and I went as sister and Father to a party.)

Now spit out that gum, sit up straight and listen up!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Turkey Stories I Lifted From the Net without a Net

True Stories From The Butterball Turkey Hotline
(where people call to get advice how to cook a turkey from the experts)

* Thanksgiving Dinner on the run. A woman called 1-800-323-4848 to find out how long it would take to roast her turkey. To answer the question, the Talk-Line home economist asked how much the bird weighed. The woman responded, "I don't know, it's still running around outside."

* Tofu turkey? No matter how you slice it, Thanksgiving just isn't Thanksgiving without turkey. A restaurant owner in California wanted to know how to roast a turkey for a vegetarian menu

* Then there's the time a lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store, but couldn't find one big enough for her family. She asked a stock boy, "Do these turkeys get any bigger?" The stock boy replied, "No ma'am, they're dead."

Name This Man

You probably can't name this man. Our news coverage yesterday focused on Oprah. While that was happening, this man, Herman Van Rompuy was elected President of the 500,000,000 European Union. Listen up.

Thought For the Day

Will the Iman excommunicate an observant Muslim who gets Swine Flu? Will they be shunned?

Just curious.

Career Change

I've had my first cuppa coffee and perused the morning paper. I skimmed the "Daily Briefing" section not stopping to follow-up on these headlines:
Boy, 14, Charged With School Threats
Rape Suspect, 26, Found Unfit For Trial
A 5th Surrenders in Sidewalk Assaults
Two More Charged in Port-a-Potty Fire.

I admit I was tempted to read about the port-a-potty fire. Reading the other stories is a depressing way to start your day. Too much bad news makes one paranoid and feeling hopeless.
I did read the business pages. The article, "Americans saving more but earning less as interest rates fall" caught my eye. I can relate to this. The portion of my IRA in cash reserves just sits there. It barely goes up, but it doesn't plummet either. Americans seeking financial security may as well be keeping their money in a mattress.
The next story sparked my interest. "Stillwater's Central Bank makes fourth acquisition". A locally chartered bank took over a failing Fort Myers bank and now has $61 million of their assets. That convinced me. I want to get a bank charter. I want to take over someone's $61 million. I would even have a safe place to keep the $$$--an acquired bank. I may not get much interest but would be quite content with the $61,000,000.00
Minnesotans like me have been following the legal woes of two local rascals, Tom Petters and Denny Hecker. Their questionable business practices have gotten them in trouble but not before they lived like rich Saudi princes for decades.
Time for the little guy to prosper. Acquire a bank. Apparently it is legal. It is also legal to become a financial guru on Wall Street and get a nice stocking stuffer check at year's end even if you drive the company into the ground.
This is America. Land of opportunity. You just need to think big. If you want to stay out of jail, don't be like the two Carroll, Iowa "Sharpie Bandits" who drew masks on their faces with permanent black marker. The police had no trouble finding them and must have snickered when the two posed for mug shots in their "masks".

Friday, November 20, 2009

Yes, There is a No in November

October weather in Minnesota was miserable. It was cold, gray and dreary. We had about a dozen flurries or light snowfalls. Indian summer became just a warm memory or years past. Tough Minnesotans hunkered down for a lllooonnngggg winter.
Then came November, AKA the new October. It warmed up. The sun came out. Life was good again. This is the second warmest November on record. There is hope because winter didn't start Oct 1st.
I failed to heed the first clue that this was going to be a topsy-turvey season. My calendar hanging on the frig has no month of November. It goes from October to December. No November on the calendar and we had no November weather. Next year when I buy a calendar I may rip out December too. Do you think that would work?

Wacko Story

Today's tale is true. It is a tale that took thirty years to complete.
In 1979 my husband was seriously depressed. He was initially treated by his family doctor for depression. Then he was referred to a psychiatrist named Dr. Pepper. At that time there was a well known TV commercial for Dr.Pepper soft drink. The actor in the commercial danced, jumped and clicked his heels in the air and sang, "I'm a pepper, you're a pepper, wouldn't you like to be a pepper, too?" I can hear it in my head. We thought the real Dr. Pepper who was a very distinguished older psychiatrist was probably not amused by the jingle.

A few years later my mother in-law died and my father in-law struggled with depression. He eventually was hospitalized and treated in a unit for seniors. His assigned psychiatrist? Dr. Pepper. The same Dr. Pepper.
Last Sunday my daughter noticed a bump on grandbaby Roman's scalp. The nurse helpline advises having him checked out in the morning. His own pediatrician wasn't available and dad Mike said he was seen by a Dr. Pepper. No, not the same Dr.Pepper.
Three generations of family seen by Dr. Pepper. I guess "I'm a pepper, you're a pepper" is true. They all left happier, too.
I Googled Dr. Pepper and found a bottling museum (pictured above) in Waco, TX.
If you want to hear the jingle, search You tube. Fair warning. You won't be able to get it out of your head.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Food Fights

When I was a kid I remember our small town gas stations engaging in price wars on petrol. Most of my youth the price was predictable 24 cents/gal as a cut rate station. Big name national brands might be a cent or two more. Every now and then someone would drop the price to attract customers. That set off a retaliatory response and the other stations who didn't want to lose business matched or outdid them. During these price wars the price of gas might drop to 18cents/gal. Customers were thrilled but station managers weren't making a profit and eventually quit undercutting each other.
We have a similar situation every year around the Thanksgiving at grocery chains. Knowing that if they can tempt you with a cheap turkey price you will also buy other treats, the price of turkeys bottoms out.
I missed the first wave of competitive pricing because I have just a small freezer and didn't want to go without ice cream and a spare loaf of bread for three weeks. This week when I shopped there were no giveaway prices until yesterday. Jon spotted a circular with the morning paper advertising 40cent/lb birds. Off I went. They didn't have 40cent turkeys. The price now was 37cents. Another store had advertised 37 cents and they matched it. I am not sure you can even transport a turkey from the grower for that price.
I would feel sorry for the farmer who raised the poultry but it was probably grown on a factory farm with a couple hundred thousand other birds. My conscience started to bother me yesterday when I read how turkeys are grown. It all starts with artificial insemination. Turkeys are even denied a natural start. Then they are genetically modified to produce large breasted birds who are too top heavy to maintain their balance and walk. They don't get proper exercise. They don't peck for bugs in the farmyard. They are forced to grow up too fast. Wait, doesn't this sound like the way we are raising our young women? Doesn't our culture expose them to influences that cause them to mature too quickly? Doesn't our culture favor big chests regardless of the impact? Aren't our kids discouraged from playing in the yard and being healthy?
We are a lot like those turkeys. It might be time to slow down and return to some of our old values. Get some sunshine. Play outside. To hell with artificially enlarged chests acquired because that is what someone else likes. We are missing out on the flavor of a natural life.

Snicker of the Day

I'm not a twitterer or a texter, but even I know what LOL means. It is shorthand for laughing out loud. Heard a funny story on the radio yesterday. The storyteller knew a clergywoman who signed LOL to notes of sympathy or encouragement she sent. She thought it meant "lots of love" and was mortified to learn the common meaning.
The story left me LOL.

Palin Tology

Sarah Palin's book is out and people are standing in lines overnight to get an autographed copy and a peek at the author. She has strong admirers and equally ardent detractors.
I watched her on Oprah and thought she handled herself well. I still don't understand her resignation as Alaskan governor. There are lots of things about politics I don't understand. Love her or not, she is making waves. ??Rogue waves?

During the campaign Sarah Palin referred to herself as a "maverick". I thought that word might be in the title of her book. No. The title is "Going Rogue". Something about that didn't sound quit right. I checked a dictionary definition of ROGUE. Here is is.
Rogue: "1. An unprincipled, deceitful and unreliable person, a scoundrel or rascal.
2. One who is playfully mischievous; a scamp.
3. A wandering beggar, a vagrant.
4. A vicious and solitary animal especially an elephant that has separated
itself from it's herd.
5. An organaism, especially a plant, that shows an undesirable variation
a standard." Webster's New College Dictionary
Many of those definitions seem to have a negative connotation, don't they? Are the McCain campaign politicos working with her publisher to discredit her?
Maybe she should have stuck with "maverick" for a title word. One of the definitions of maverick: An independently minded person who refuses to abide by the dictates of or resists adherence to a particular group.
If she didn't want maverick, even audacity would have been better than rogue.
Audacity definition: Willingness to take risks, a boldness or unrestrained impudence.
Oh, I guess that word was already taken.
I don't think the 2012 election is going to be any less contentious than the last one.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Norseman He's Not

Sports story in this morning's paper speculating if the Vikings would be as effective if they had gotten a certain player they wanted to sign. The guy who did fill the wide receiver position is working out well. The guy they didn't sign went with the Seattle Seahawks. His name is T. J. Houshmandzadeh. I don't expect Vikings jerseys to have names like Ole or Thor, although that would be appropriate, but how would they have fit Houshmandzadeh on the back of one of those shirts? This guy must give shirtmakers nightmares. Bet fans have given him a nickname.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Squirrely Life

We used to do battle with the squirrels who raided our bird feeders. There are legends of what those leaping rodents will do for a little bird seed. We usually lost. Last year my husband moved the feeder. It hangs by wire from the overhang. I can refill it by cranking open a window. We can see the birds from the great room and our baby grandkids love the birdies.
Only once or twice have the squirrels made the leap to eat at that trough. They can get to it but must endure an approximately 8ft. drop to leave. Probably not worth it. In gratitude for them staying away from the feeder,I started leaving treats for them on the deck railing-- stale peanuts, dry bread, cornmeal muffins etc.
Squirrels may be pesty but one has to admire their industry. They are always busy "squirreling away" food for winter. Our neighbor has a walnut and an apple tree. It is fun watching them scamper up a tree with a whole apple or walnut in the mouth. Recently we began noticing solitary apples by the sliding door on the deck. I tossed them only to find another the next day. I was puzzled why they would bother to fetch an apple only to leave it. Next I wondered if they were feeding me in gratitude for me feeding them? Think Disney movie or St. Francis.
Last week Jon hauled my "Garden Angel" terra cotta 3ft. statue up onto the deck. I will decorate it seasonally and she now wears a stocking cap and scarf. After I dressed her, a squirrel came by and stopped to look. He climbed around and looked from every angle. Now he is leaving apples by the statue. Must be a religious squirrel.
True story.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Flu By Any Other Name... And How Do You Spell Relief?

Cute story. Yesterday a friend said her senior mom thought the H1N1 flu ( formerly and occasionally known as the "Swine Flu") was pronounced "Hinie" flu. I guess she thought it was spelled H-i-n-i-. Hiney. Hinie. Wonder what grandma thought the symptoms were.
Our oldest grandson had the H1N1 a couple weeks ago. Our oldest granddaughter is currently afflicted. The school she attends is on a year round schedule with scattered week long breaks in the schedule. Her symptoms started the first day of break ruining her "vacation". Get well quick, sweetie.
Tuesday I thought I had succumbed to the virus. It started with a deep productive cough and progressed to muscle aches, fever and chills. My eyes and hair hurt. I had a headache. I cuddled up in two sweatshirts with a comforter. I had Jon turn up the thermostat and made a list of things I had done for friend Bill's funeral luncheon on Friday in case I perished. I felt bad. That night my friend Pam called and I told her I might not make it to the funeral. She said, "In Jesus name, be healed." Wednesday morning I woke up feeling 98% better. Still a little cough, but amazingly better. Thank you, Jesus.

Water, Water, Everywhere.....

I still love the song by REM, "Man on the Moon". Our kids were big REM fans and I heard their CDs when they were growing up. Yes, I believe they put a man on the moon. I also think it is a bad time to spend billions more to do it again right now.

I "grew up" dancing cheek to "Moon River", so I wasn't surprised when NASA announced they had found water on the moon. There is a river there, right?

Moon water. Imagine what that bottled product could sell for in an exclusive restaurant. I drink water out of a bottle for convenience. It is portable and better for you than other bottled sodas. I am amused when waitstaff in an upscale restaurant offer more elite bottled waters and give you a "look" if you say tap water is fine.
I am my mom's daughter and won't pay $6 for a drink of water unless of course it would be Moon Water. Neither will I pay $20 for a designer water bottle. I am too cheap.

We live in Stillwater, Mn and a clever local entrepreneur has bottled and sells "Still H20". Our municipal water supply comes from deep artisian wells so that is better than some nationally branded waters which come from the tap.

Recent campaigns have been to limit using bottled water because of the amount of plastic trash. It is also a huge expense if you calculate how much per gallon we spend on bottled H2O. Filter your own if you don't trust the well or tap.

I wonder why the ecologically sensitive have never come up with a brand called "Green Water"? Maybe, not.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Salute to Veterans

We need more than one day to thank the men and women who defend our country, but today is set aside as Veterans Day. Along with our gratitude goes our prayers that you will be kept safe and your families will be supported and loved during your long absenses. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another Pork Barrel Project

Hey, anyone out there tired of hearing about Swine Flu?
H1N1 immunizations are still in short supply in this area. My daughter's clinic had 120,000 phone calls to schedule an appt. for a shot a couple weeks ago. The demand exceeded the supply.
Last night my friend Pam stopped in after work. She is a physical therapist in a nursing home and was told health care workers in her facility could go to our clinic and get their vaccine. When she got there, the line was around the block with parents bringing in young children. Lots of concern. Too much hype by media I think. It is easy for me to say this because I haven't known anyone who got desparately sick or died although a 43 yr old healthy woman in a town six miles downriver died last week from it.
I am going to relax and eventually I will get the shot or the flu or neither. Many with youngsters are more concerned. They would chose the shot.
Yesterday's news left me scratching my head. They want to immunize pigs here so they won't get the flu from people. Seems a bit strange when they can't even meet the needs of the people, but this is the government deciding. Hope the birds don't start getting this or Avian Flu or we will have an even longer wait if they have to immunize all of them.

Just Honk


Sunday, November 8, 2009


Yesterday was the deer hunting season opener. It is November and it should be cold. It was in the mid sixties. Hunters prefer a little snow to track the deer. We don't have any. October's snow melted. It has been balmy this month. When it is cooler the deer move around. Bucks have amorous thoughts and are out looking for love and hunters can spot them.
There is also a problem of what to wear hunting. If you don't want to be the hunted, you wear warm blaze orange clothing. (That wardrobe is only good for hunting. You wouldn't wear it to work, church or on a date.) What do you do when it is 67 and it is too hot to wear cold weather hunting clothes? Maybe Fleet Farm had a special on orange tee shirts last week.
Men and many women look forward to their annual fall hunting adventure. I'd guess they still went to the woods. Maybe some of them did what this couple in the video did. Go with the flow.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

This Might Make You Smile or Frown or Just Scratch Your Head

My new favorite song. It replaces, "My baby thinks my tractor is sexy."

St. Croix Bridge Video

Link to animated video about the proposed new St.Croix bridge from Stillwater to Wisconsin.

Friday, November 6, 2009

And the Winner Is.......??

Minneapolis completed their municipal elections Tuesday. With low voter turnout, it was easy to determine the mayor was re-elected. They used the new ballot with ranked choices. Use your ballot to chose your first, second and third choices. They called it ranked voting or IRV aka instant runoff voting. The instant part is overstated. Results are not instant unless there is a clear cut winner. Winners of other races will be revealed in six weeks after the hand count is completed.

We don't get much of a break between elections. The Minneapolis mayor's re-election was announced on Wednesday and on Thursday he announced he was filing to be a candidate in the state's gubernatorial election of 2010. Does that make sense?
There were already 20 candidates running for governor. May as well have one more.

The state Independent Party which gave us former Governor Ventura said it has not found a credible candidate to run for governor. Does a candidate really have to be credible? That quality didn't dampen the spirits of one guy who ran for Mayor of St. Paul. His platform was to bring back the bus routes and fare prices of 1970. Go back to the good old days. He didn't win. That might be our loss but who knows for sure. The idea of candidacy is to find an issue that inspires voters.

The other night we watched a PBS program of Bill Cosby receiving the Mark Twain award at the Kennedy Center. Many comedians and famous people shared stories about Bill. Dick Gregory was on the program. I remember when he was a comedian but they introduced him as an activist and former presidential candidate. It gave me an idea. My 50th high school reunion is coming up in a few years. Wouldn't that be nice if I were introduced as a "former gubernatorial candidate"? It would even look good chiseled on my tombstone. You could put me in the section of the cemetery by Harold Stassen, perennial Minnesota presidential candidate of years ago.

I'm throwing my hat in the ring. My platform is; bring back the price of a Doctors visit to 1970 rates. Who wouldn't like that except, of course, the doctors. It would stop a lot of political fighting in this country and let congress figure out how to get our money back from Wall Street and Detroit automakers.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bridge to Somewhere

Bridge seen at bottom of photo is existing 1930's Stillwater lift bridge. At top of picture is photoshopped proposed new river crossing. (new crossing not a new river)
We went to a community presentation on the proposed St. Croix bridge last evening. They showed animated videos of what the completed project will look like. When and if the new bridge is built, it will be part of a loop biking/hiking trail between bordering Wisconsin and Minnesota. The old lift bridge will remain as a pedestrian / bicycle bridge. The new span will have bike lanes and foot crossing lanes. It looks beautiful.
This morning I mused with a proposed start date lf 2014 I may not be in any shape to do the bike loop ride. Jon reminded me optimistically it may not be done for another seven years and I might not even be able to walk the loop. That sure puts things in perspective. We had a dear friend die today and it makes you even more aware that you are standing in that queue. This dear man was a believer and knew exactly where he was going after this life. Nice to have that assurance. Nice to have that bridge to somewhere better that doesn't depend on availability of federal funding. Enjoy your new life, Bill. We will miss you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Blog Early, Blog Often

I know, I know. Too much blogging. Indulge me for one more time, please. I had to write about voting early and voting often. It is legal in Minneapolis where IRV is being introduced.

Today is municipal election day in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Minneapolis is introducing a new balloting system. I can't determine a legitimate reason for this but they say it eliminates a primary election and saves money. We will see.

Voters will use a paper ballot that must be counted by hand. They cannot use machines to count with the new method. It is called Ranked Choice Voting. Pick you first, second, and third candidate choice. Here is the first problem. Who has three candidates in a race that they like?

When election judges in Florida and then Ohio were challenged on their determinations in the 2000 and 2004 presidential races, why do we want to make this more complicated? Imagine tallying columns of 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices and being mindful of hanging chads etc. Remember this is a state that didn't settle the 2008 Senate race for nine months. Factor in that Minneapolis has a large number of newly emigrated English is a second language citizens and we may be in for quite an interesting election.

On the positive side, while every group is financially challenged in 2009, candidates will doubtlessly save money on election night victory celebrations. It was announced we won't have the election results until some time in mid December. You heard me right---December.

Maybe Minneapolis should just have a big Tea Party and vote by aye or nay. That would simplify things. Well, Minneapolis is a pretty liberal-politiced town. Make that a Koffee Klutch.

Chairs Don't Drive Drunk, People Do

Last week I blogged about our locally famous DWI chair. A Proctor, MN guy was arrested trying to drive home from a bar after a few beers. His motorized (formerly known as La-Z Boy) recliner hit a parked car. Cops confiscated the chair and put it on eBay.
When a crime is committed police may confiscate property used by the criminal. When a drug dealer is driving a flashy Escalade or Corvette, later you may see an undercover man-in-blue pulling you over for a traffic violation while driving that vehicle.
Apparently none of the Proctor police wanted to drive the Motorized "La-Z Boy" recliner while on duty. Proctor is in northern Minnesota where it gets very cold and the chair didn't have a heater. They put it up for sale on eBay. The bids were due to close soon and had exceeded $40,000. Today I heard they took it off the market due to trademark infringement. La-Z Boy must be defending their good name. You can almost hear the weeping from city officials in Proctor. $40,000 would go a long way in a small towns law enforcement budget.
La-Z Boy, have a heart. I was pretty impressed with the customized chair. Was there a problem with too many people trying to buy one like it from you directly? The furniture market is in the crapper due to a sour economy. Perhaps you should lighten up and offer to sell some special order chairs at a discount. Think of the profit if you could produce one for $10,000 and cut out the middle man. Just remind people that chairs don't drive drunk. People Do. Use it responsibly.

Word Games

I picked the Family Circle artwork off the net gratis. We have been good customers in past years. Our daughter Mary collected Family Circus cartoon books when she was a kid. We still have them for her to give Zoe & Roman when they are big enough not to eat them.

I looked for an image about dictionaries this morning after I read our grandbabies blog and left a comment. I am always amused by the words you have to retype so the computer knows you aren't another computer. The letters are twisted and the words are nonsense. At least I always assumed they were nonsense. Today I questioned whether or not they were real words. One was tremsum & the other anutshi. Just because they aren't familiar to me doesn't mean they aren't definable words.
Years ago we were introduced to the word game, Dictionary. You need paper, pencils, a dictionary and a quoram of people with a good sense of humor. Players take turns looking up words in the dictionary that no one at the table can define. If it is your turn you write the selected word and correct definition on a piece of paper. Everyone else concocts a daffynition and writes that. Then all the slips are read and you vote which you think is correct. Object: fool the most people and get points. Downside. You hear a new word and never learn the real definition because you only remember the funny ones. I still remember some incorrect word definitions from past years. Ex. Llamasary: a place where you keep llamas. Nope. Look it up yourself but chances are you will always think it is a place to keep llamas.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I love pansies with their many colors and cute faces. They are cool weather hardy but don't bloom when the temperatures escalate. Ours have bloomed continually since spring. They didn't wilt in July or August. They are still blooming and we have had multiple frosts.
We devote more time to weather reporting in our state than other areas of the country. California may be an exception but they have to keep track of droughts, flash floods, mudslides, earthquakes and wildfires.
Maybe because we have to tolerate such extremes we fixate on weather. After the TV people tell us the 5 day forecast, they often do long range predictioins about how miserable we will be in a few months. Yesterday they were talking about the return of the White Bear Lake ice fishing contest. We have already had a taste of snow. Just enough to remind us that even the pansies aren't tough enough to stay outdoors blooming forever in Minnesnowta.
Calling someone a pansy is a disparaging remark. It signifies wimpiness. Although these flowers don't like very warm weather, they are tough. Tough like our Vikings who managed to beat the Green Bay Packers yesterday. They are not pansies this year either..

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Robbin the Hood

I'm enjoying such a nice, leisurely Sunday morning. Plenty of time to read the Sunday paper before church and even get dinner in the crockpot. I am thankful. Thankful to the government which has given me an extra hour of time. Time. Earlier sunrises. Leisure. Aren't we lucky. Oh. OH. They took an hour away last spring and just gave it back. It was MY time. They just decided how it would be metered out and used by the people. Kind of like taxes. The government giveth and the government taketh away or viceaversa.

Little Visitors

Those awesome Jack-O-lanterns are the work of Aunt Jannie and Uncle Gordon. Picture taken when the little visitors stopped by their house yesterday. The awesome punkins are Zoe & Roman aka Tigger & Miss Ladybug.