Sunday, February 28, 2010

Farewell to Charles Stenvig

There is a short obituary in the St. Paul Pioneer Press this morning. Charles Stenvig, 82, dies in Phoenix, AZ. on February 22. Odd coincidence. We were in Phoenix on Feb 22. I can't let him pass without a tribute.
Charlie Stenvig was a colorful three term mayor of Minneapolis. In 1969, the year we moved into our first home near Lake Nokomis, we cringed when there was a murder on the north side of Nokomis. We thought we were buying in a safe, peaceful neighborhood. Charles Stenvig who was a Minneapolis cop also lived in our neighborhood and he was tired of murder and mayhem. He filed for office as an Independent and defeated the DFL and Republican candidates on a Law & Order platform.
If you don't realize how difficult that was, consider he is the last mayor of Minneapolis who isn't DFL. (DFL is unique to Minnesota: It is Democrat/ Farmer/ Labor or basically Democrat.)
The Stenvigs lived less than a mile from our house and the kids went to St. Kevins school with our kids. We saw them at kids games. I believe Todd was a friend of my nephew Peter.
Our Charlie had three terms as mayor and helped clean up the streets in Minneapolis. He was fiscally conservative and opposed building the new domed stadium. Charlie, I think we need your now. That inflatable heap they built against your advice is to be abandoned and they want a bigger, flashier stadium even if we can't afford it. Minneapolis is again in the news for murder and gansters.
Is there another independent out there who can step forward and fill those shoes?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Arizona Highways

My blog has been resting while we were on vacation in Arizona. We decided we could live without a laptop. Time to catch up.
We flew into Phoenix where old friends from New Hampshire met us. They were escaping too. The first couple days and the last day were in the mid 70's and sunny. The rest of the time was cooler than usual and we had several days of rain. The rain prompted the caucti to begin blooming and the dessert shrubs to green up. Lovely sight. Some of the dry rivers began to fill. Arizonians, who live in an arid land, were happy.

After lounging poolside restoring our Vitamin D levels a couple days, we took a roadtrip around the state. First adventure was driving on small highways to Prescott and up and over the mountains on switchback roads. The view changes quickly.
Snow covered evergreens at 6000 ft were pretty but snow wasn't what we wanted to see.
We found the little former gold & silver, and copper mining town of Jerome clinging to the side of the mountain as we came down. We ate lunch at a place called The Assylum, a former mental hospital. The town is now known more for selling art and jewelry to tourists, but a picturesque place.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Family Ties

On St. Patrick's Day, everyone is Irish. One can get caught up in the wearing of the green and the drinking of the beer and eating corned beef and cabbage even if that isn't very Irish. A tiny part of my DNA is Irish...1/16th.

Tonight we watched the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Olympics and I felt an affinity with the Canadians. I was proud of their success in showcasing their heritage to the world. Then an aha moment. I am also a little bit Canadian. My mom's family emigrated from France to Quebec and lived there two hundred years before coming to America. That is longer than the family has been in the USA.
Heh, I will celebrate my Canadian heritage with pride during the olympics.

We are close neighbors. Minnesota borders Canada and we can drive up to the border in about 4 and a half hours from our town. We went to Thunder Bay on our honeymoon.

About ten years ago our daughter Mary and I did a mother/daughter trip to Seattle and drove into British Columbia. We spent time in Vancouver, drove up the coast to Whistler and ferried out to Victoria. The scenery is spectacular. Watching the area showcased now on tv makes me want to go back, eh.

Blog Is My Space To Get The Buzz Without Face (to Face) Contact but I'm Not in a Twitter About That

Saw online headline about the newer Buzz replacing Facewook and Twitter. I don't tweet but have a Facebook page which I still don't understand. I started slowly on Facebook by answering one friend's request to be a friend. It didn't seem friendly to refuse and I wanted to see her grandkids pictures, so I muddled along. I don't check it everyday. Recently when I opened my site things had changed. I am lost again.
I email and blog regularly. The result is I don't phone people as often. I don't know if that is a good thing. My mom has been dead 16 years but I still have a few of her letters and she seems alive when I read them. I don't have much faith that our electronic communications will be retrievable in a few more decades. Our words may go the way of cursive writing and phones with cords.
If they ever produce a remake of "ET", would he text home?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Where's Melmo?

Our 17 month old granddaughter, Zoe, has her own version of "Where's Waldo?" She loves the Sesame Street character Elmo and is delighted when she sees a picture of him anywhere or on anything. Mom Mary says she spots likenesses of "Melmo" at Target on diaper packages etc. and shreiks with delight.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hmmmm, good

My favorite salsa, coming to your area soon. Salsa Lisa was bought by a larger food company that will distribute it nationally. It is fresh salsa and found in the cooler section of the grocer.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dear Jon & the John Deere

Tomorrow is our 42nd Anniversary. Our anniversary present to each other this year is a new John Deere snowthrower. We bought the last one during the 1991 Blizzard of the Century which was similar to what the capital just experienced. That John Deere has been wonderful (like the other Jon Dear) but is showing a little wear and tear.
After 42 years we are showing a little wear and tear too.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Vancouver Hopeful

We might not have the Vikings to cheer for, but Minnesotans will proudly rally around blond, blue eyed Lindsey Vonn when she makes her Olympic appearance.
Her bio now lists her hometown as Vail, but she was born in St. Paul, MN and raised in Burnsville.
Every four years we are introduced to new heroes. In 1988 it was the Jamaician bobsled team who were loved for their persistence. While Global Warming is a debatable topic with some, many are more inclined to see climate change or at least weather change happening around them. It may be part of a natural cycle, time will tell. In the meantime, Washington DCers, have new opportunities to practice their snowboarding and cross-country ski skills. If the snow reaches Jamaica we better all panic.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Washington DC May Need These During the Storm

All my blogs are weather related. Here is another.
There is a cadre of hearty bikers in Minnesota. I don't mean the Harley guys/gals, I mean the people who use bicycles instead of cars. We have lots of people who use bikes recreationally and a growing number who take bikes to work etc. They have had to rearrange traffic in downtown areas to leave bike lanes. Some motorists are annoyed by this road sharing. The lanes are close to the curb leaving cars to park
six feet away from curbs on certain streets. Added to this is an extensive network of green zone bike paths connecting the city neighborhoods. My husband had a young coworker who rode 15 miles to work.
We have had snow, ice, slushy roads much of the winter. I heard the bikers switch to snow tires during this season. Who knew. Snow tires. There are even studded snow tires.

Friday, February 5, 2010

You Drink the Ting or Rub it on your Face?

Pennsylvania has Punxsutawny Phil who occasionally predicts a short winter. In Minnesota our groundhogs are burrowed beneath a layer of snow and crusty ice. If we had a Minnesota Max, he probably couldn't even get out of his hole. If he did come out and see his shadow and predict six more weeks of winter, we would be delighted. We know it is going to last a lot longer than that.
We spent Groundhog Day booking a trip to Arizona. We'll meet old friends from New Hampshire and spend some time thawing. Parts of Arizona in high country are cold and snowy and I keep steering my husband to the valleys. We have rooms booked at a nice resort hotel in Scottsdale to start.
Jon has been friends with Dave since they were youngsters. They ran away from home together when they were in junior high. They went for the adventure, not because they were disgruntled at home. Thoughtful kids, they had a friend who delivered newspaper put their notes to their parents in the afternoon paper. Dave told his folks "..not to worry, I have enough Ting". Ting was pimple cream.
I googled Ting to see if it is still made and couldn't find it. I did find a Dr. Ting who is a dermatologist and a lot of Chinese remedies for acne.
Ting: a fifties pimple cream, a dermatologist, or the national Jamaican soft drink.
Jamaica, where you eat the patty and you drink the Ting. Nice memories of a warm place on a snowy, gloomy day.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

End of an Era

It was announced yesterday that Brunswick was closing its boatbuilding plants in my hometown, Little Falls, MN. There are two boatworks, Crestliner and Larson. Each was privately owned when I was a youngster. While I was in high school, the Brunswick corp. bought Larson boats. It seems sometime later they acquired the other company.
Boatbuilders are a major employer in this central Minnesota small town. When I was a kid my sister and I each had friends whose dads worked there. My best friend's dad was a design engineer. He tested the prototypes at their lake cabin and I benefitted from that friendship. Lots of summer hours were spent in the water at Lake Alexandria. Judi and I had our pictures taken for the catalogues. In high school I had a friend, Roz, whose dad was VP at the Larson / Brunswick plant. I'd go with her to the boatworks and get one of the employees to take us water-skiing. The plant was on the Mississippi. Boats and Little Falls went together. Now they will close causing economic hardship to the area. End of an era.
Picture: vintage 50's flying bathtub of a boat called the Falls Flyer built by Larson. Can spot them at vintage boat shows. I haven't seen one in operation in years.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cocoa Might Not Survive the Vetting

Rapper / Actor Ice T and wife Cocoa. How about those names. If she was first lady, there probably wouldn't be any talk about her toned arms!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Might Be Time To Unite Behind This Man

I am reading a book about early patriots who were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, "Signing Their Lives Away" by Denise Kiernan & Joseph D'Agnese. There were fifty-seven men who risked fortunes and their lives to stand up for what they believed. These were colonial leaders who made compromises to come to agreement. The thirteen colonies had different views on some issues. They came to a decision to be independent but needed to work through many conflicting opinions to become one in purpose. Maybe that all worked out because they had Samuel Adams and his beer.

I wonder if we could do what those 1776'ers did. We are a country deeply divided politically. One thing we do have in common,and we could start there, is much dissatisfaction with the present situation. Pundits now suggest we are ripe for a strong third party candidate, "like Perot".
I think we already have a growing third party. Look at the Tea Party rallies. Now,I wonder if even the Tea Party constituents are divided. This past weekend our Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, was to be a speaker at a Tennessee convention. She was encouraged to withdraw because some people thought this group had issues. Sarah Pallin was also scheduled for an appearance.

While the Tea Party looks to be a viable third party, there may be divisions there.
Some Tea Partiers are Libertarians, some social and fiscal conservatives who are not enamored with Senator Brown from MA. Hmmm. Could this Tea Party have factions? Will we see a Green Tea Party, A White Tea Party or a Black Tea Party?
Or could it all be worked out like the early patriots and pick positions we could all live with. Maybe Ice T could be the third party candidate. I am not sure his wife Coco would pass muster as first lady though. Google her picture.