Friday, November 30, 2007

Refueling - On the Run

Early morning stop at the Mobil station. The Jeep's tank was empty...I'll spare you the small fortune I spent on refueling. And my belly was a bit emty feeling as well. Of course a coffee to go was purchased as well as breakfast.

I intended to buy something healthy to eat. That is when I saw the glorious Apple Fritter. My mind swam, my mouth was drooling, I started hyperventilating with Apple Fritter fairies dancing in my head. No, I must resist way too many calories. I don't need any more.

So I devoured that Apple Fritter on the drive to work. It was everything an Apple Fritter could be, above and beyond the call of deliciousness. Note to self, stay away from this Mobil station and it's enticing Apple Fritters.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Corner Stop

On the Corner of 8th Street and Nicollet Mall, you'll find a well known large retail bookstore. A perfect stop for the upcoming holiday in December.

The yellow railings will be set out later each evening on designated days to stop traffic. The traffic is stopped for the Macy's Holidazzle Parade.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mass Transportation

Bus or Bicycle, which is better?

The bus holds more people per a given vehicular unit than a bicycle. The bus offers a relaxing ride in environmentally controlled atmosphere.
The bicycle allows you to experience the great outdoors.
The bus takes up a lot of roadway.
The bicycle takes up a lot of sidewalk space. The bus burns new and cleaner alternative fyel sources.
The bicycle burns calories, sometimes an overabundance of calories. ;)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Glass Menagerie

Glass Block . No, not the Glass Block department store at Miller Hill Mall in Duluth, Mn. I wonder if that department store is still there. I wonder if anyone remembers the department store Glass Block....

I digress, This glass block menagerie adjoins the IDS Tower, makes for interesting patterns. Also, decorated in time for the season. Which I do not show at this point. More later.

Crystal Court

IDS Center Crystal Court. An indoor area at the base of the IDS Tower with a nice plaza to relax after a long day at work or shopping.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Monday After

"Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Monday's!" To use a quote from Nina in Office Space.
Monday morning after a Holiday weekend is awful; back at work early morning suffering post holiday let-down. Back to numerous high importance emails, ringing phones, overdue reports, and useless meetings.
Enjoy this virtual coffee for a dull Monday morning after.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Lone Rider

This bicycle has been parked here for a number of days along this trail. Later, we found it in the pond below. Not sure what the real story is, but is appears to not be wanted.

Friday, November 23, 2007

So it Begins

The day after Thanksgiving is typically a busy shopping day for the upcoming Christmas holiday. All the shops, stores, and malls are paked with package laden customers. No parking to be found anywhere, except at this parking meter. Nope now it's taken.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Autum Harvest

Door Decor from our front door.
Autum abundance, brought to you from Cub, our local grocery store.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Late Night Cuisine?

Late night near Arby's; stop in if you've got the munchies. Or wait four more days until the Roast Beast sale for 99 cents. Apparantly, they're DELICIOUS!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sidewalk Coffee

This Espresso Bar was firts featured here exactly two months ago.
Righ on Main Street, Avant Garden Espresso Bar, a cozy place to relax with an afternoon coffee.

A small latte, medium cappuccino, and a biscotti, wonderful treats after a morning of shopping. Look out Dunn Brothers and The 'Bou, I just may have found a new home for coffee!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pink Sky in Morning...

...Commuter take warning! Or something on that order as the saying goes. Probably the last morning of sunlight on the morning commute.
Right on schedule, traffic congestion due to two traffic accidents miles ahead. A brand new day, yet so similar to the past...except for this sunrise!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Candycane Muffins

Our weekend morning walk takes us on a 5 mile loop where the 'Bou is approx the mid way point.

A nice relaxing half hour break to enjoy our morning coffee, cappuccinos, and either a muffin or scone.

This morning I could not resist this candycan muffin. wow was that good! Sweet, pepperminty and delicious! I higly reccomend it...dang, the cat is out of the bag, now everbody knows how good these are.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Delusions

Somebody had an interesting day; the bottle isn't even empty. Tossed aside into the leaves beyond the sidewalk. I'm betting they had a whopper of a headache.
Was this a hurried celebration for the upcoming weekend? Or was this a way of forgetting the work week? Either way, it is alcohol abuse on many levels.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thanksgiving Comes First

(Image courtesy Thanksgiving Corner, FREE Thanksgiving wallpapers are available here as well as Christmas wallpapers.)

Amazing how the time flies, Halloween is over 15 days ago, and Thanksgiving is a mere week away. But with the usual antics from our local strip malls, department stores, and news media of all types, we know all too well Christmas is coming.

As I have already reported, back on October 7th, Kohl's was the first time I experienced this year's Christmas shopping blitz.

Ironically, while I type this post, I overheard two Christmas commercials on the TV blaring in the background. It is only November 15th!!

Five and a half weeks until Christmas, Thanksgiving is a week away. But we must suffer the onslaught of rabid materialistic commercialism. And don't get me started on that jolly fat man in the red suit.

A shame is upon the proprietors of materialistic goods that cheapen the Christmas holiday and overshadow Thanksgiving. Why is it necessary to forget Thanksgiving and peddle seasonal goods and wares?

But I digress, this is a time for Thanksgiving. A time to give thanks for all we have. A time to be with family and friends. To reconnect with loved ones and visit relatives we haven't seen for some time. A time to relish the Autumn's abundant harvest.

Thanksgiving is a non assuming holiday, there are no gifts, packages, or bows. No gift lists, suggestions, gift wrap, tinsel, or musical prose.

Just remember to look at the calendar, Thanksgiving is on November 22, Christmas is on December 25. So please, let us celebrate one holiday at a time, and in order, it is only one day for Pete's sake!

I join in a protest along with many others to bring back some sanity and slow down the rampant commercialism of Christmas, especially before Thanksgiving. Have a care, join in, let's solve this dilemma.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Merry Retail Sales and Happy Corporate Earnings!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Good Morning!

Goede Ochtend

Guten Morgen
Buon giorno
좋은 아침
Bom dia
хорошее утро
Buenos días
Hyvää huomenta

Early morning on my way to work I go. So far so good, traffic is quite light. It's gonna' be a great day! Have a good day everybody!
(Translations brought to you by AltaVista-Babel Fish Translation)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sign, Sign, Everyhwere a Sign

Here in the north metro, our city planners decided it was high time we step into the new millenia and follow our European brethern by building a number of round abouts. This will get rid of only a few of those complicated 4-way stops. Personally, I like these new round-abouts. Traffic flows more smoothly with less congestion.
Consider the 4-way stop; too complicated for many. Some just can't quite figure out who's turn it is to proceed forward from the stop.
Sometimes we wait while the first in line waves to the other across the intersection to proceed ahead, while the person being waved at insists that the waver proceeds. In the meantime, nobody is moving; we are now 7 vehicles deep in all four directions.
No doubt these same people who have trouble with the 4-way stops will find the round-about a difficult procedure to follow. I've seen some stop, blink their turn signals and wait until the "cows come home" before proceeding.

But look at how many signs they put in place. I am surely positive this is the work of the over zealous sign manufacturing lobby. We have a sign that warns the driver of the upcoming round-about, (as if we can't see it in the first place). Notice how these unsightful signs detract and block the lovely street lamps.

Next is a yellow yeild ahead sign that tells the commuter that there is a yeild sign ahead. Gee, thanks for this warning, I may have missed that bright red yield sign.

Then we have a sign that warns us of a cross-walk. Wow, do these people think us commuters as stupid. We can plainly see the white cross-walk stripes. These white stripes are internationally known as a cross-walk.

Even the pedestrians are insulted along with us commuters with the addition of the little arrow sign that points cleverly toward the painted crosswalk stripes in the street.

And of course we have the ever useful no parking sign. Dangit! parking in the middle of a round-about is the best place to park one's vehicle. (please note the sarcasm from the crumudeonly author)

Sign Blight

Our esteemed city council deeded that a Day-Care in a residential area to be against the city zoning regulations. It was just a simple little sign to advertise a Daycare facility so we the commuters would have a care when driving down that street. Also to let parents know of this new Children Day care facility.

Down the Daycare sign went. Seems strange to me to worry about a little Daycare sign, yet the council blights our city with a mirriad of insulting and quite obvious street signs throughout the city.

"Sign Sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign"

For more on Champlin's cute roundabouts, please see

Monday, November 12, 2007

At the Bus Stop

A few days ago, November 9nth to be exact, Hyde Daily Photo in the United Kingdom posted a photo of a bus stop sign. I thought I would return the favor.
Here is a typical bus stop in our town, a non descriptive sign, a bench adorned with plenty of advertising, that is about it. Nothing special. Although the marketers seemed to have the bus stop bench lobby with all their advertising expertise on every bus stop bench. I am amazed by all the advertising we are bombarded with on a daily basis.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mums for Moms

Yesterday, I posted a photo of our first snow here in the north metro area on Minnesota. Today was quite different. Today was a beautiful sunny and warm day. The kind of day one wishes to relax a little before finishing the yard work before winter.
Under the sign for our neighborhood Wells Fargo Bank is this pretty bed of 'mums. I thought it pretty for all of you hard working moms. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

First Snow

Friday while at the office, our receptionist yelled out, "It's snowing"!
Work briefly stopped as many of us left our little fabric boxes in the cube farm heading toward the distant windows in the conference rooms.
Many "ooh's", and "ah's" could be heard. Someone muttered, "I'll bet this will mess up the evening commute".
I grabbed my camera and headed outside to catch a pic of our first snow from our parking lot. Although it didn't last long and it all melted within minutes, this still counts as the first snow. More to come...unfortunately...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pizza Oven

Neapolitan pizzeria; Make mine a Margherita Extra per piachere!
Best pizza in town, Punch Pizza!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Last Color of Autum

Bright vibrant colors are all but gone now. It is time to rake the leaves from our lawns and prepare for the inevitable snow. soon we will don on our parkas, caps and mitts, and man the snowblowers to rid our walkways and driveways from all the expected snows. Soon, but hopefully, not yet.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


364 More Days
364, a magic number. 364 days from now, we take time to vote in the next upcoming Presidential election. It matters not from which political camp the candidates are from, we the public are doomed either way.
364! 364 days of campaign news. 364 days of hot air, 364 days of mudslinging. 364 days of empty promises, inevitably to be broken. 364 days of campaign slogans. 364 days of yard signs. 364 days of one candidate telling us what the other won't do for us, and 364 days of the other candidate telling us what the other had done to us.
364 days of BS.
Free Air? Not hardly; it comes with an expense, the expense of the public's sanity.

364 days of trying to numb our pain.

364 days of our elected public officials NOT doing their jobs we elected them to do. I sure wish I could get paid to not do my job like these con-artists. 364 days of asprin and ibuprofin to quell my 364 day headache listening to these mudslinging BS artists. Millions will be spent (wasted) in campaign financing by both the DNC and RNC. Imagine the betterment for public good this money could have been used for rather than thrown away in nonsense campaigns. A poignant movie quote from Micheal Corleone, "Politics and crime, they are the same".

364 More Days...pass me another beer, please, this will be a long year.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sentinel Ents

Gnarled Oaks line the boulevard. thankfully, as the new development was being developed, many spoke out to keep these old trees from being cut down to make way for the possibility of more strip malls. Bravo!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Dare to be Different

A view of just about any typical street in the north metro. Leaves fall and decorate the surfaces. Beauty can come in the smallest of forms.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Speeding to the Ristorante

Olive Garden in Maple Grove serves up decent Italian cuisine. One of our frequent weekend stops.

Their culinary institute of Tuscany is located in Riserva di Fizzano. I wish I had gone to chef schooling to study Italian food abroad.