Friday, August 31, 2007

Reflections on Blue

An early evening stroll down the Nicolet Mall, Downtown Minneapolis. Labor Day weekend, the Minnesota State Fair winds down. Kids are back in school. Summer is over, the mood is blue. Have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

For August 31 - At the Fair

This week's entry for the 3 Photos a Week Challenge are pictures from the Minnesota State Fair.

Nothing can be better than cookies from Sweet Martha's cookie Shop. You can almost feel the pounds adding up! ;-)

In the Horticulture building where home grown flowers, fruits and vegetables are judged in cometition. Always a joy to see what has been grown.

After all the fun, food, and festivities, take a ride on the Giant Slide! Woohoo, we're having fun now!

Tuggs Tavern

Tuggs Tavern on Main Street along the Mississippi Riverfront. A relaxing place to rest after a walk from the Mill City Park. mmmm, burgers and beer!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Oak Street Cinema

A throw back to the old days, the Oak Street Cinema is on the University of Minnesota campus. It is not one of those ginormus multiscreen multi-cineplex mega malls in the 'burbs. An ecclectic mix of films; classic films, foreign films, independant, musicals, and documentaries. Aven amatuer showings. Pass the popcorn, please.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Power Broom

A quick trip to the 'Bou for my morning coffee turned into a longer trip. While leaving the 'Bou's parking lot, I followed the street sweeper all the way to the main intersection at HWY 169. What a lucky driver, this street sweeper looks brand new. And our streets are clean.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Flour Power

My favorite part of town, the Mill city area.

The old Pillsbury mill is located across the Mississippi River from Mill City and General Mills Gold Medal mill. An icon of Minneapolis.

Same shot, except during the darkness of night. I like the red lettering without the steel girders.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Minneapolis Skyline

A view of the Minnesota State Fair and Minneapolis skyline from the Space Tower. 340 feet in the air, turning 360 degrees for a panaramic view of the Twin Cities. I sure wish they had more clean and less scratched plexiglass windows. They make for mediocre photos. But, I hope you enjoy the view! Can you find the Sweet Martha's Cookie building?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Where's Waldo?

Where are we? Today, we spent the day at the Minnesota State Fair. An annual event wrought with fun history, events, food, and crowds. Be prepared to be annoyed. The Minnesota State Fair is a two week fun filled fair, after which, summer is "unofficially" over.
I have no idea where we are when I tok this photo. Nor do I have any idea how to get out. HELP!! But I don't care. I have consumed Cheese Curds, an Italian eggroll, deep fried pickles, coffee, a pronto pup with extra mustard, and a raspberry malt. Mm-mmm, enough food to last a week.
Please pass the Alka-Seltzer, Oy!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Foggy Morning Commute

A foggy more ways than one. Not enough coffee this morning. I only stopped in for a medium cup. I should have orderd the large with a double shot espresso chaser.

The morning commute in the fog was rather peaceful and surreal. I often wonder wha it is about the fog that makes our surroundings so quiet and peaceful.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Poached Pears

Thanks for your kind comments, everyone. I really appriciate it. Here is the recipe for you Kate.
I shall give credit where it is due. The recipe is from Frances Mayes in her book 'Under the Tuscan sun' Broadway books, New York. There, that should settl eall the legalities.


Winter Pears in Vino Nobile

Peel 6 firm pears (core the bottom with a melon ball tool, and slice so the pear stands upright-my addition).
Stand the pears in a saucepan leaving the stems on.
Squeeze fresh lemon juice over each .
Pour 1 cup of red wine over them
Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar on the tops.
Add 1/4 cup currents,
vanilla bean,
and a few cloves to the wine.

Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. (Or longer - depending on the ripeness of the pears). Do not let them become too soft.

Midway, tuen pears on their sides and baste several times with wine sauce.

Transfer to shallow serving dish. (All I could find were our ramakins).
Pour wine ssauce over pears. and garnish with lemon peel. (Shoot, I forgot that part).

Another variation to the same:
3tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup water
1-1/4 cup red wine
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extrac
10 peppercorns

Prepare pears the same and cook and serve the same.

Both ways were fabulous, I can attest to that. : )

Beaujolais Poached Pears

Questo dessert รจ molto dolce!

(This dessert is very sweet)
Last Christmas, I recieved the book 'Under the Tuscan Sun', by Frances Mayes. Yes, it does take me a while to read a book. I spend more time with my camera and uploading than reading these days.
Anyhow, the book is a wonderful - magical read. In the book are a number of great recipes I am anxious to try out. Poached pears was one such recipe that we enjoyed. It involved pears, (of course) and wine, I chose Louis Jadot Beaujolais. What could be better?! Look out Emeril, Lidia Bastianich, Giada De Laurentiis, and and Mario Batali, I'm in the kitchen! I apologize for these indoor food shots, I've been stuck indoors these past few days.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

8/22/07 - Stuck Inside

Inside looking out. 6:30PM, and I'm still at work despite the lovely day outside. From this vantange point, I can watch the progress on the new building in the development in the background. Also, that is Rapala headquarters across the street. I may have to walk over there one lunch hour and see if they have any free lures. They just may want to give some away, don't you think?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

8/21/07 - Red-Green

A great PBS show, eh Harold?! Today was a 15 hour work day to meet a deadline; which is noon tomorrow. Ah well.

Earlier this morning, we were playing around with our new LED light source from Color Kinetics that will illuminate our Big Ass Fan. It has a DMX controller...that means the colors will change per the program run in a myriad of patterns; red, orange, yellow, fuschia, green, blue, indigo, purple, cyan...I believe thate are at least 12 different colors.

Monday, August 20, 2007

8/20/07 - What's for Lunch?

Silly question, we're having Crab, Pork, Shrimp Pho Soup at Cam Ranh Bay restaurant in Eden Prairie! Co-worker JB declaired it to be a soup day due to the fact that the waether was drizzling, and chilly. A perfect day for Pho Soup. He was right. This soup is outstanding. Actually, all the lunch meals we have had here are very good; great Vietnamese cuisine, rivaling Vina in Richfield. If you are in the area, stop by Cam Ranh bay, it is across the street from 2 of our other lunch stops, Punch Pizza and Little Sushi.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

August 19th - Almost harvest Time

While at a family BBQ, we braved the rain to admire my brother-in-law's large backyard squash garden. the squash took over his entire garden, choking out the tomatos. I can hardly wait to help harvest the squash this autum.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

8/18/07 - H3 at the Round Table

Our little hummingbird, H3, chased ruby throated hummer, H2 away from the round table. She seemed content to set table and enjoy the cool of the gentle rain.

Friday, August 17, 2007

8/17/07 - Espresso Shop

This morning I changed it up from the 'Bou and stopped in at my favorite coffee shop, Dunn Brothers. A little out of my way, but so worth the extra time. Better coffee, less crowded, (no teenagers), fabulous scones, biscotti, and friendly service!
Not that the 'Bou doesn't have friendly service. The 'Bou is quite friendly as well. But here at Dunn Brothers, there is that no nonesense knick knack counter clutter; no 'Boubalm, no reindeer trinketry. Yes, sadly, they too have a Drive Thru. but it seems in this day and age, the Drive Thru is a necessity for suburban commerce.
This is almost like being back in one of Rome's finest corner coffee shops. Almost, but not quite. Stop in, see you at Dunn's!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

August 17th

Spanning HWy 169, on our route to Caribou coffee, Buffalo Wild Wings, and The movie theater.
An evening at BWW, hot buffalo wings and ice cold refreshing adult beverages. The perfect finger food. Beer was refreshing.
The Mann Champlin 14 theater, 14 screens of cinema pleasure. We went to see the movie Ratatouille. A fun movie! Which we thoroughly enjoyed and recommend for kids of all ages, (even if you're post 40 like me).

8/16/07 - Mini Golf

Welcome to my mini-golf course! Excel Energy is upgrading our neighborhood underground electrical feeder line. A feeder line that was under designed for the neighborhood. We all hope this will put an end to our power outages.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

8/15/07- Look out, I'm Late!

7:15 AM, typical morning commute, late as usual. Fortunately, the traffic is unusually light this morning heading south. I guess I shouldn't have stopped in at the 'Bou for a cappuccino and scone for breakfast. Dang cell rang, I dropped my scone on the floor, there goes breakfast. Yep, a typical start to the work day. Tomorrow, I'll change it up with an espresso and try and drop a lemon poppy-seed muffin on the floor.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Office Team Building Project

This is what happens when someone leaves the office on a 2 week vacation. ;) Work is dull...goof around when you can. If caught, declare whatever it was you were doing as a Team Building Project. That'll get you off the hook.

Old Rug Burn

An old fashioned rug burn, fun for the whole family. Grab some marshmallows, we'll make some smores over the burning rolled rugs.

8/14/07 - Lunch Garden

Today I had lunch at Boston Garden in Hopkins with RK. I spent a few minutes walking around the sidewalk and discovered this hidden garden behind Main Street. A hidden gem.

donkey kong

A Donkey herd on my desk space. JH from north of the metro suggested I photo her neighboring donkeys. Well, I just can not get up that way in the near future. Ironically, our sales representative for Big Ass Fans stopped in our office to check on our Big Ass Fan. He was kind enough to hand out these Big Ass plush toys. Cool, talk about perfect timing. I hope this satisfies your donkey photo craving for the time being, JH.

Oh, and the Big Ass Fan is the name of the company. Our fan has a diameter of 24 feet, 7.31 meters.

Monday, August 13, 2007

8/13/07 - Enticing!

Wow! A full .05 off per gallon! Whew, there's stepping out on a limb for us to get us to buy their gas. Attaboy, Mobil! 3 miles down the road at Holiday Station store, gas was $2.79 per gallon. Then again, these prices fluctuate as much as the wind generated from our's constant! Wheather it's big oil, or big government, either way, we're gonna' pay more.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

August - Reflections

Night reflection - golden arches, revisited.

8/12/07 - Water for Susan

Black Eyed Susan is in her corner and in need of water. We're not sure how many rounds in the ring she went to get her black eyes. The drought has stunted her growth, but we love her anyway.

Agosto - Piazza di Casa

It is time for our project "Due Occhi Un Soggetto per Agosto".

Two Eyes One Subject for August. A monthly famiglia project we work on together with our friends near Milano, Italy, Australia and in Arizona. The idea is simple, each month we each submit a photo of the same subject matter, and see the differences that we come up with.

For August, we chose our patio, we call Piazza di Casa. Perfect for outdoor seating while enjoying refreshments. Not quite the same as Piazza Navona, Piazza San Pietro, nor Piazza San Marco. But this one is ours. I think we need a fountain, though.
The first photo was taken by me, the second photo was taken by Signora Dusty Lens. ;)

What, Me Worry?

Busy day today with lots of uploads. Winston the little napster is once again stirred from his beauty sleep as I pound this keyboard. I think he wants his belly rubbed. What a life!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Like Peas and Carrots...

...Two things that go great together, Beer and pizza - oh so good! A great lunch at Punch pizza, Neapolitan style pizza. wow, delicious pizza, the best pie in town.

August 11 - Yard Ornaments

Not your average Garden Gnome. Xcel Energy has a new project in our yard; upgrading the main feeder line that serves our neighborhood. Our powerlines in our neighborhood are underground. The main feeder is severly undersized. Each summer we experience many power outages while those who live across the street on a different feeder line do not have power outages. It has been years of frustrations. But now, Xcel Energy is finally solving this problem. We can deal with a big yard hole, and replanting the lawn. Oh, by the way, the lush green grass is our neighbor's yard. Stop by and walk barefot across it, it is lovely on the tootsies.

Friday, August 10, 2007

8/10/07 - Theres Only One

And I got it!
Dang, another broken lens to my fog light. Another hundred bucks down the drain. Still at 186,686 miles and 12 years old, it ain't all that bad. Crap, now that I just jinxed it...

August 10th

Scooter - As seen on 2nd Street South and Chicago Avenue South - in front of Guthrie Theater. Not a good mode of trasportation when you're wearing a suit and tie, or skirt and high heels to see a play. Plus the helmets create quite the bowlshaped hairdoo.

Night view across the Mississippi River from downtown Minneapolis toward St. Anthony Main.
Enchanting views of the Mill Ruins and Stone Arch Bridge on the Mississippi River.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Dragons of San Gimignano

Two photos for RB. These irinworks were on the exterior walls of San Gimignano, Italy. One appears to be a torch holder when torches were used to light the piazzas. I have no idea what the other one is for.

Minnesota Icons

Today, Nopes requested some fun photos of people or objects that define Minnesota. I have chosen two pics per Nope's request; Nye's Polomnaise Room and Murray's. Both of which are fabulous places.
Murray's Restaurant is know for their silver butterknife steaks, excellent dinner place. A favorite venue for our esteemed Sid hartman and all of his "close personal friends".
Nye's ha a piano Lounge and a Polka room where the World's Most Dangerous polka band plays. A 3 person band with a combined age of about 230 years. ;) What a hoot!
I hope this is what you were thinking and will suffice for now.

The Bridge

Kim requested a positive light to the I 35W bridge collapse. A tough order to fill. What was once the Interstate 35W bridge is softly illuminated by the rescue lights. Lights that give the scene a haunting reminder of the collapse. Bright angelic white light that gives a sence of hope and spirituality.

August 9 - Summertime

Summertime and the livin is easy

Fish are jumpin and the cotton is fine

Oh your daddys rich and your ma is good lookin

So hush little baby, dont you cry

One of these mornings

Youre goin to rise up singing

Then youll spread your wings

And youll take the sky

But till that morning

Theres a nothin can harm you

With daddy and mammy standin by
(George and ira gershwin / dubose heyward)

(As sung by Billie Holiday )

My co-worker RB and I brewed Sun Tea this morning for our afternoon break. Wow, was that a good mug 'o tea. Funny, I can hardly wait for tomorrow's afternoon break at the office.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Fans Speak Out- E-I-E-I-O

Old MacDonald had a Farm, E-I-E-I-O!
And on his farm he had a pig, E-I-E-I-O!
I never knew pigs were black and I never knew pigs liked to ride in the tractor wagon. Who knew?

You asked for it, you got it! Fan(s) Speak out! thanks MK-Kakeroo, this one is for you!
A request has been made by Kakeroo, (aka MK), for me to photograph, and I quote, "AN Old Red Barn". Well, Kakeroo, here it is, an Old Red Barn. My old 'Fisher-Price Family Play Farm'.
As you can see, this IS a red barn, and it IS quite old. This is one of my favorite toys growing up as a wee young lad back in the early 1970's. And the barn door still works! My favorite part; open the door to hear the"mmahooooo"! Hours of fun and entertainment with my old red barn set...(even today).
Wow, that was fun! Fan(s) spoke, I listend, I delivered! OKay, Fan(s) of this blog, what is next? Speak out and come up our next photo-op!
Please see this link below;

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

August 7 - Night Reflections

Pillsbury's Best Flour neon sign reflects under the golden arches. No, not those golden arches we see when the urge to power-naush down a Big-Mac and Quarter Pounder with synthetic cheese food type substance and supersized fries. Beautiful golden arches of the Stone Arch Bridge spaning the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. This view is outside from the 'Endless Bridge' at the Guthrie Theater.

Fans Speak Out

Hello Dusty Lens fan(s)!

To honor my fan(s), I have come up with a fan appreciation-participation theme. Here is your big chance; pick a subject you wish to see photographed here, (within reason, of course). I will then try within the week to get a pick of that subject you specified. Should be fun, could be fun, would be fun.

Maybe we should name and label this the "MK Photo-op"; MK's belated prize.

Please let me know, maybe it will be a weekly installment.

Your favorite Blog thingy?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Vermilion Sunset

Sunset over Lake Vermilion. Beautiful time of evening; just as the sun is setting. The end to the fishing day, a flurry of fishermen heading home. I sure hope they had good luck. Good night!

August 6th - Rusty

Lake Vermilion is infested with these miserable critters. They have overtaken the native species of crayfish, decimated the weed beds, and cause ecological havoc. I do my part in ridding the lake of these pests. My efforts may be a drop in the bucket; but I feel better about doing something, however small it is.

Rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) have invaded portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ontario, and many other areas. Although native to parts of some Great Lakes states, rusty crayfish have spread to many northern lakes and streams where they cause a variety of ecological problems.
Rusty crayfish inhabit lakes, ponds, and streams. They prefer areas that offer rocks, logs, or other debris as cover. Bottom types may be clay, silt, sand, gravel, or rock. Rusty crayfish inhabit both pools and fast water areas of streams. They generally do not dig burrows other than small pockets under rocks and other debris, although there have been reports of more substantial burrows. Unlike some species (such as the papershell crayfish, O. immunis) which dig burrows to escape ponds that are drying up or becoming inhospitable, rusty crayfish need permanent lakes or streams that provide suitable water quality year-round.