Monday, December 31, 2007

Aw nuts!

Nuts, it's over! Goodbye to 2007.
It was a very good year and I will miss it.

Well hello 2008! I hope the year will be great in 2008!
Be safe everyone, I wish you a happy and fun celebration tonight!

Sunday, December 30, 2007


The year is nearly up; time to celebrate the ending of 2007 and ring in the new year 2008. I can not think of a better place to celebrate than at Famous Dave's. Awsome Georgian pulled pork sanwich, Texas beef brisket and Lynchburg Lemonaide! We happened to enjoy this meal at the Famous Dave's restaurant in Coon Rapids, MN. Oh, Dave's bread pudding is outstanding!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Swedish Institute

A little history tour.

The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis is on Park Ave. Completed in 1908 for the home of newspaper publisher, Swan Turnbald. In 1929, Swan Turnbald founded the American Swedish Institute to preserve Swedish culture in America, converting this home to cultural center and museum. The house is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

For more information;

Friday, December 28, 2007


Playing with floating Christmas candle tablescapes in macro.

12/28/07 -  Sunken Holly
Sunken Holly

12/28/07 -  Junipberry

12/28/07 - Redburst

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Coffee Sign

Closed for remodeling was what the sign read on the front door to this Maple Grove coffee shop. I am not sure why they need to remodel, the shop is pretty darn nice inside. But we all wait patiently for their re-opening. The sooner the better, I need my coffee fix.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jimmy Snow

Too many long nights these past few weeks. Dinner has been quite late, and usuallyy something quick. Still, I got a hankering for a Turkey Tom sandwich and a bag of vinegar and sea salt chips. That will cure that sweet tooth from all of those Christmas cookies. 364 more days...OY!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Gift for Winston

A little Chritsmas fun for 2007. Winston was a good pup...most of the year.

Christmas Day

A look back at the tree in Crystal Court downtown Minneapolis.

Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas the night before Christmas

"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Sunday, December 23, 2007

December - Red

Theme for December is the color red... in more ways than one.

Bottles of red burgundy table wine:
Appellation Controlee

Mis en bouteilles par
Louis Jadot Negociant-proprietaire
Beaune - France

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Shed in the Woods

Winter wonderland's blanket of white snow keeps piling up. Lots of winter to get through.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Diamond Plate

Sidewalk snow removal; the tire imprint on the snow from the city's snowblower left an interesting pattern on the sidewalk. Even more interesting was the shading and snow paternes on the manhole cover.

Dashing Through The Snow

Hum or sing the Jingle Bells tune.

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bob tails ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing song tonight

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
etc, etc.

A Cup!

A paper cup left in the snow.
'Nuff said.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

BBQ Blues

I've been feeling kinda' bluesy, lately. Perhaps an overload from too much Christmas Cheer; too much HO ho hoing, too much caroling. Tonight, I'll put on some great blues tunes and stop in at the local BBQ joint.

Famous Dave's BBQ is pretty darn good. He has some fabulous BBQ sauces, marinades, and rubs. One of the few "chain" restaurants I don't mind. Dave's can be found in only a handful of suburbs around the Twin Cities, (unlike the primary chain restaurants that plauge our cities). This shop happens to be in Maple Grove, a northwest suburb of Minneapolis

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Coffee Bar

After a few hours on a photo-shoot then shopping for that perfect trinket for the upcoming gift exchange, I needed a break and coffee. Back to Avant Garden Espresso Bar. I believe I found my new home away from home.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mall Bench

Here is a nice place to rest after a long day of wandering the strip mall paradise in Maple Grove. At least this one has a nice central gathering area lit up in colorful lights for the Christmas season.

Toy Shop

Arbor Lakes Maple Grove, a new mecca for suburban shoppers. Countless strip malls, boutiques, restaurants, and a sea of parking asphalt.

This is one of my favorite toy shops that happens to be in this strip mall paradise. I'm not sure how many times I have passed through those doors, but it has been a number of times. The staff is willing to answer my questions and are quite patient with us novices. They also have my future DSLR camera on the shelf. Are you listening Mrs. Santa Claus? ;)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Paddle the Rum River

This is Main Street bridge in Anoka over the Rum River. This is a similar view of Main Street I showed you back in September.

Yesterday, I met two gentlemen on a footbridge over the Rum River. The gentelman in the foreground was feeding cracked corn to the ducks far below. The other gentelman and I had a nice chat about our local ducks.

These local mallards will stay throughout the winter as long as there is open water. This I knew, but never realized the numbers of ducks that reside here all winter long. The ducks seem to enjoy the ice shelf. However I am fascinated by how their leags and feet don't freeze.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Over the River

The footbridge over the frozen Rum River. Below, a hoard of local ducks swim in the ice cold river below. I had a nice chat with the gentleman in the far background about ducks and the Rum River.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Jack Frost was here.

But where?

Far to the north of the North Metro. Approximately a 3 1/2 hour, 230 mile drive north. Past Duluth, Minnesota and the North Shore of Lake Superior, somewhere between Silver Bay and Isabella Minnesota at an undisclosed lake in a County, far far away.

Jack Frost really was nipping on my nose.

We did have a nice little fire on shore, but we didn't have chestnuts to roast. However, we did have trail mix, and some beer. Good enough!

There was no singing...except for that catchy tune by Homer Simpson, "Spiderpig, spiderpig. Spiderpig does whatever a spiderpig does". No, not quite the Christmasy Carols you probably think we should have been singing. But, we are not Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, nor Frank Sinatra. We leave the singing to the those with more melodic voices.

I must say, we were dressed like Eskimos. It was fairly cold out there; just look at the handywork of Jack Frost on those trees. And the lake. We were standing out on the lake, standing on 6 inches of snow on top of 4 inches of ice over 10 feet of water.

Without Jack Frost, our ice fishing trip would never have happened. Oh yes, Jack Frost was here! We even managed to catch two small walleyes...must have been too cold even for the fish!

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping on your nose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks dressed up like Eskimos."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Jimmy's Menu board

Jimmy Johns, pretty darn good sub sandwiches at a decent prioce. This place made our lunch hour rotation. My personal favorites are The Vito - The original Italian sub with genoa salami, provolone, capicola, onion, lettuce, tomato & a real tasty Italian vinaigrette. (Hot peppers by request) and Turkey Tom Fresh sliced turkey breast, topped with lettuce, tomato, alfafa sprouts, and mayo. (The original).

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Simple and elegant. I am intrigued by this restaurant's sign. It is artsy without that over the top extravagenza of neon lighting and wild patterns.

Macy's downtown has two very nice restaurants, the Oak Room and the Skyroom up on the 12th floor. Popovers are served to every guest. Almost like Grandmother used to make. (Almost, but not quite. You just can not compete with Grandmother's cooking). The Skyroom sports a large saladbar. The Mandarin Chicken Salad is highly recommended. The popovers are nearly Grandmother fabulous!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Concrete Blue

The old Gold Medal Flour Mill view of hoppers. This pic was taken from the Guthrie Theater 's property along the Mississippi River here in Minneapolis.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We are Going to Disneyland!

Flocks of geese high above Holiday gas station, making their way south for the winter. It would seem they are late in starting their southland winter Holiday. Plenty of refueling stops along the Mississippi Flyway, plenty of rest stops too... ; )

Blacksheep Squadron

Back to nature.

Typical for the Blacksheep Squadron; they're out of formation with an uncanny ability to fly leaderless, yet fly in the right direction - south. Skys are clear for a good flight.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Color of Commerce

Double duty this day. Moments before this photo was captured, these two name brand shopping carts were filled with packags and bags of Christmas goods. Heaped was the real word for it.

Now these two red sentinals of commerce sit outside in the lot empty. Outside that is until the name brand store's courtesy clerk rounds them up unside to be filled once again. A life of consumerism of vast prosperity, onlyespecially this time of year. Is it January, yet?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Steel Concrete

A historic piece of machinery long since abondonned. This was part of a silo conveying system on the old Washburn A Mill, now the Mill City Museum.

Friday, December 7, 2007


So much construction here these days, the highway department has stacks of these concrete barriers at the site. We usually see these in a long ribbons dividing opposing directions of traffic. Rarely, if at all, we see them stacked up as if there was going to be a Jenga tournament.

Barriers are to keep people out. Could these also be used to keep us out of the malls? Oh, I can only hope! ;-)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Go Green...

Buzz Words; Go Greener, Hybrid, Alternative fuels. Soy-based biodiesel?

New this year in Minneapolis, the hybrid-electric bus on the Nicollet Mall. "The hybrid buses deliver 22 percent better fuel mileage and produce 90 percent fewer emissions than the buses they replace". Quoted from the Metropolitan Council. An annual savings of approximately 1,965 gallons of fuel per bus.

These new hybrids cost $557,000 each, thus far, they have averaged 4.71 miles per gallon. The standard bus averages 3.86 miles per gallon.

Go Green....

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Time Piece

The Soo Line Building certainly has a unique looking clock. This got me thinking of all the time pieces I see on a daily basis.

The one on my wrist, two on my work computer, (dual monitors), the desk phone, my cell phone, my Jeep, (which is an hour off-I never changed it this past autum), home PC, VCR, alarm clock, microwave, desk clock, even my camera. Look at the EXIF data, my camera is one hour off from this clock shown.

Are we ruled by time with too many deadlines? Are we short on time? If yes, perhaps it is high time to throw out our time pieces, smell the roses, and have a good time. Looking forward to my favorite time tonight, "happy hour".

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Windows 07

Soon to be upgraded to windows blue ray. ;-)

Once again, we are viewing the IDS Center Crystal Court. I liked the continuing linear geometric pattterns. A splash of blue hues adds to the patternal element.

Chrome Crosshatch

Otis, not just a character on The Andy Griffith Show.

A trip to Macy's downtown to see their annnual auditorium Christmas display. A tradition that Dayton's had started back in 1963. Both Marshal Field's and Macy's have continued the tradition. This year, their Christmas display was The Nutcracker. (I hope to have some photos ready for you at a later date).

This was almost impossible to take from a perfect vertical position without getting my shadow or shoes in the pic, plus dodging a few Macy's customers wanting to go down. This floor plate is of the down escalator from the 8th floor. I noticed the silver and black pattern, that looks like pewter, to be quite mesmerizing. Simple beauty in everyday objects.

Monday, December 3, 2007

I Found a Hat!

Mary Tyler Moore is an icon of downtown Minneapolis on the Nicollet Mall outside the doors of Dayton's Department Store. Oops, no, Marshall Fields bought Dayton's. Wrong again, it is now Macy's that took over Marshall Fields that bought Dayton's. At any rate, this location on the Nicollet Mall will be forever etched in our minds as Dayton's.

The statue of Mary Tyler Moore outside Dayton's, oops, Macy's, is forever frozen in time tossing her hat into the air on the Mall. During the opening credits of the television series "The Mary Tyler Moore Show", Mary joyously tosses her hat into the air. The show aired in the years 1970 to 1977. See the link below for an actual photo from the show of the famous hat toss. Much has changed on the Mall since then.

This just in from Sally in Sydney, Australia. She was kind enough to give us Mary Tyler Moore's theme song! Have a listen.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

December Theme Day - Bridge

Hennepin Ave Bridge

The Hennepin Avenue Bridge spans across the Mississippi River in
Minneapolis, Minnesota at Nicollet Island. The bridge's main span is 625 feet (190 meters) in length.

For more information on the Hennepin Avenue bridge;

See all 128 participants in December's Theme Day;

Boston (MA), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - New York City (NY), USA - Portland (OR), USA - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Inverness (IL), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Stockholm, Sweden - Setúbal, Portugal - Brussels, Belgium - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Hyde, UK - Manila, Philippines - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - London, England - Austin (TX), USA - Toulouse, France - Weston (FL), USA - Sesimbra, Portugal - Selma (AL), USA - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Cleveland (OH), USA - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - American Fork (UT), USA - Seoul, South Korea - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - North Bay (ON), Canada - Arradon, France - Paderborn, Germany - Durban, South Africa - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - Portland (OR), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Wichita (Ks), USA - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Grenoble, France - New York City (NY), USA - Nottingham, UK - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Arlington (VA), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Miami (FL), USA - Cheltenham, UK - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Saratoga Spgs. (NY), USA - Las Vegas (NV), USA - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Nashville (TN), USA - Toruń, Poland - New Orleans (LA), USA - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Melbourne, Australia - Moscow, Russia - Trujillo, Peru - Château-Gontier, France - Quincy (MA), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Joplin (MO), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Brookville (OH), USA - Chateaubriant, France - Chandler (AZ), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Baziège, France - Auckland, New Zealand - Wellington, New Zealand - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Subang Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Detroit (MI), USA - Riga, Latvia - Nelson, New Zealand - Budapest, Hungary - Cape Town, South Africa - Sydney, Australia - Dunedin (FL), USA - Sofia, Bulgaria - Radonvilliers, France - Turin, Italy - Montpellier, France - Kansas City (MO), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Wailea (HI), USA - Lubbock (TX), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Terrell (TX), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Budapest, Hungary - Montréal (QC), Canada - Sharon (CT), USA - Le Guilvinec, France - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Saigon, Vietnam - London, UK - Crepy-en-Valois, France - Orlando (FL), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Paris, France - Mainz, Germany - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Darmstadt, Germany - Naples (FL), USA - Torino, Italy - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Bogor, Indonesia - The Hague, Netherlands - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - Melbourne (VIC), Australia - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Christchurch, New Zealand