Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day

This year is Leap Year and today is Leap Day. Have a great extra day. This really should be a paid National Holiday. Leap year only comes once every four years; we should spend this day celebrating this 1/4 event marvel.

I was just made aware of a good argument to have this day off. For those who are salaried employees, we're working for free today. As TN from our office stated, "After doing a bit of number crunching it is worse than I’d suspected. It turns out that instead of 2080 hours of weekday, this year we have 2096".

Now I have not verified these numbers, but somehow, I feel cheated. I'm thinking I shall spend the rest of today surfing the web, City Daily Photos, checking gmial, and perhaps playing some Guitar Hero in the conference room's plasma TV monitor.

OK, ok, back to work. Sheesh, you'd think after all the taxes extorted from us we'd get a small break. 'Course not. (Why worry about Tony Soprano when we have the Senate?)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Big Ass Fan Spins Again

Last June, I posted about the Big Ass Fan over my fabric box in the cube farm I reside in Monday thru Friday. (see link below) Prairie dog style, we see this Big Ass Fan in action from across the cube farm from RB's deskal space looking toward the front door.

It does a great job of moving air around as we need it. Being that I am directly under it, I tend to get the most refreshing air. Although when it is cranked up, paper weights are needed. But a small price to pay for the more temperate cubicle weather in this large 28 box cubical farm.
Maybe next time I'll provide a movie clip. Or, a cool HDR image, but the fan needs to be turned off. I wonder if RB is up to staying late at the office some evening to turn the fan off...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'm Thinking Arby's Tonight

Or, maybe not.
Fast "food" on Highway 169, just in front of Super Target at 120th Ave.
A pseudo-realistic look from 3 images. I really like messing around with this HDR imagery.

James Tillich ate here.

This image is tonemapped considerably eyond the realistic extent. Really quite fun to create, but I am thinking I prefer the more realstic look like the first photo. Look for more of this, (but not too many) in the future. I'll let you be the judge, which do you prefer, the fisrt photo or second photo?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Color Me Spring

Valentine's Cactus


Actually, it's a Christmas Cactus that decided to sleep in during Christmas and bloom for Valentine's Day. A trip to the south metro to visit my folks. This blooming cactus plant was a cutting from my Grandmother's plant some 15 years prior.

Green Tea

Palm frond in the office breakroom. This frond was between me and the outdoor window where difussed sunlight was pooring in to create a vibrant green. Think I'll have some tea now.

Are you ready for spring? I sure am! Lousy winter and snow...

Monday, February 25, 2008


Follow the luminous trail. Will we ever find Oz? Or the end to this winter? Let's hope this weather keeps on track for an early spring.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Two Things Challenge: Box / Car


My Fabric Box, a part of a small cubical farm. This is the Box I sit in Monday thru Friday, from 7:30 AM to around 5:00 PM. I managed to spend a few minutes straightening up the place to ake it look good for the pic. I have a great view of the the back wall and the Big Ass Fan that spins above my head. More on this fan below:


There's only One - Jeep.

And I own it. My 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee with about 192,000 miles on it. 4.0 Litre, Quadratrac, and it gets pretty decent mileage for this type of vehicle at 24 MPG on the highway. Not great, but not too bad either, especially for full time four wheel drive. (Considering our Mercury Sable only got 22 MPG) Covered with road grime and salt spray since last December. I should have it washed one of these days.

There we have it, my first entry for this fun Two Things Challenge.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

Just before the total lunar eclipse. Cropped for detail. I only have the 17-85mm lens for my Digital SLR camera and it proved to be too short of a lens to get a decent pic. I took these pics with my Canon S5 IS and 1.5x teleconverter. This is essentially 648mm. 80 ISO, Aperture 8, 1/40 sec.

Full eclipse. A bit blurry, sort of disapointing. The dark red color proved to be more difficult. 80 ISO, Aperture 3.5, and 4 sec. I took a dozen at different settings, this was the best of the lot of them. Ah well, maybe next time.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Island Refuge

Island Wildlfie Refuge on Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lost and Found

Did somebody loose their Audi in Uptown?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

China Horse

PF Chang's China bistro.
Kung Pao Chicken is one of my favorites with their hot and sour soup. Great Chinese cuisine.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Target Practice

Spot On, Target North Campus
Target, or as we like to say phonetically, "Tarjeh Bootique"

This is Target Corporate North Campus Brooklyn Park. I must apologize for the tilt. Night photography is difficult when setting up the tripod and the subject is quite dark to get a decent horizon reference. Especially when my hands were freezing. The temp was -9F, -22C when I took this series of photos.

From across the parking lot, the main entrance.

Target Corporate, a bright and interesting building at night. This is where it all happens at Target Stores.

About the North Campus:8 million sq. ft. of office space for over 26,000 employees
2 million sq. ft. of retail/commercial space, including hotels, 3,000 units of housing, and a new park

About Target:
27th largest company in the US (Fortune Magazine) Over 25,000 employees in Minnesota today Headquarter employee growth 500 per year – Brooklyn Park campus to accommodate growth.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Downtown Skate

If you should go skating On the thin ice of modern life...
Ice skating rink on Lake of the Isles with downtown Minneapolis in the background.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bali High

Plants give the office that cheerful feeling, a sense of the tropics while the snow flies outside.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bridge View

Lake of the Isles view. Say, could that be Mitchster in photographic action under the bridge?

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Strib

Streetside Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper box.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

La Dolce Vita

Happy Valentines Day!

How about some sweets for your sweetheart. Treat yourself to some ice cream. My favorite desert. Well, actually, gelato is, and is far superior to ice cream; but sadly, gelato is not readily availible here. And the gelateria we do have is way overpriced. But for today, spare no expense. I'm out of here for some stracciatella and amarena gelato!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lake of the Isles Ski Run

Skiers glide under the Lake of the Isles Parkway bridge. Orange cones mark the trail by day, candle lanterns by night.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Uptown World

Views from Uptown Minneapolis along the Greenway.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lake View

As seen from a frozen Minneapolis lake along the cross country ski trail.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

29 Palms

Palms growing in pots at the office I work for. A touch of indoor tropics.

A work in progress here in the North Metro, please bear with me from as I update, upgrade, and scratch my head trying to figure out how this html business works.

Thanks to Fénix - Bostonscapes for the suggestion and tips to link a larger image in one step rather than 3 steps away from the North Metro and 3 steps to get back again. I had no idea this was the case. Grazie, Fe'nix!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Evening on Lake of the Isles


City of Lakes Loppet ski trail. Here we can see one of my fellow photographers setting up his shot.

On this evening, my tripod failed. The center post locking device failed. A trip back to National Camera Exchange to make a return and replacement. Their floor model of the same tripod had the same problem; a design flaw we were thinking. I was quite pleased that National Camera Exchange helped me decide upon upgrading to a better tripod. We decided on a Manfroto 725B.

I tend to be a bit cheap at times, but sometimes that ends up wasting time and spending more in the long run. Lesson learned, you get what you pay for...within reason, of course.

Larger Size

Friday, February 8, 2008

Ice Block Luminary


A square ice lantern. These lanterns were spread across Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis for the Caribou Coffee Luminary Loppet

Click here for Full Size

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mississippi Freedom

02/07/08 - Mississippi Freedom

Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park and Three Rivers Park . The Mississippi River flowing freely over the Coon Rapids Dam. The causeway above is the walking path linking the cities of Brooklyn Park and Coon Rapids, Minnesota.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Iced Lava

Dam ice is getting thicker on the dam at Coon Rapids Dam. This is just below the spillway.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Red Refuse

02/05/08 - 2
2007 is gone, so is the Coke.

02/05/08 - 1

Cart Corral.
Carts tend to wander off on their own.

It is Tuesday, Fat Tuesday...and, (sigh) Super Tuesday. Theological promises of Resurection and Redemption . Political promises to be broken and forgotten.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Wee Ski

02/04/08 - Determination

Everyone is a winner! The City of Lakes Loppet presents the Sons of Norway Minne Loppet. A race for skiers 12 and younger. This wee one is off to an excellent start showing remarkable determination.

The City of Lakes Loppet is "The premier urban cross country ski race in Uptown Minneapolis. I had the privilage of shooting this event with three other fellow photographers and bloggers, Mitch , Bob, and Matt. Their blogs are linked on Mitchster.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Ice Globe

An Ice Lantern on Lake of the Isles illuminating the ski trail for the City of Lakes Loppet. These globes are a creation of Ice Lanterns

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Square Drain

Because it is ornately square.

Friday, February 1, 2008

When People Think of My City

"When People Think of My City...:"

Actually, I really don't know what people think of when they think of Minneapolis. Well, besides cold, snow, and ice during the winter. We have that miserable Dome for our football and baseball teams. The Foshay Tower, Mary Tyler Moore statue on Nicolet Mall. Minneapolis is a city of lakes; yet they are frozen over with ice right now. There is too much to decide upon.

My fellow Twin Citian Bloggers will no doubt come up with excellent examples of what people think of our Cities. I decided to leave winter behind and flashback to summer. Shown here is an icon of Minneapolis as you cross into "nordeast" over the Hennepin Ave Bridge.

The billboard was errected in 1940 and used to light each night flashing GRAIN BELT BEER. Sadly, the lights are now turned off. Grain Belt beer was first brewed in 1893 by Minneapolis Brewing Company until 1976. In 2002, Scell Brewery in New Ulm Minnesota took over Grain Belt with their Premium and Premium Light brews.

So, next time you see a Grain Belt Premium or Grain Belt Premium Light, you will now think of Minneapolis and this cool billboard, or perhaps New Ulm, Minnesota.

Stop by and visit the participants in Theme Day:

Portland (OR), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Memphis (Tennessee), USA - Manila, Philippines - San Diego (CA), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - New York City (NY), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - San Francisco (CA), USA - Mumbai (Maharashtra), India - Mainz, Germany - Weston (FL), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Turin, Italy - Las Vegas (NV), USA - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Bicheno, Australia - Durban, South Africa - Joplin (MO), USA - Nashville (TN), USA - Stockholm, Sweden - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Brussels, Belgium - Chicago (IL), USA - Montpellier, France - Seattle (WA), USA - Mazatlan, Mexico - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Sesimbra, Portugal - Toulouse, France - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Susanville (CA), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - Helsinki, Finland - Pilisvörösvár, Hungary - Lisbon, Portugal - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Trujillo, Peru - Dunedin (FL), USA - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - London, UK - Baziège, France - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Selma (AL), USA - Mumbai, India - Naples (FL), USA - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Setúbal, Portugal - Stayton (OR), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Sofia, Bulgaria - Arradon, France - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Athens, Greece - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Jackson (MS), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Budapest, Hungary - Rotterdam, Netherlands - St Malo, France - Chandler (AZ), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Cleveland (OH), USA - Nottingham, UK - Kansas City (MO), USA - The Hague, Netherlands - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Wrocław, Poland - Chateaubriant, France - Cheltenham, UK - Moscow, Russia - Monrovia (CA), USA - Saigon, Vietnam - Toruń, Poland - Grenoble, France - Lisbon, Portugal - New Orleans (LA), USA - Sydney, Australia - Boston (MA), USA - American Fork (UT), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - Wichita (KS), USA - Radonvilliers, France - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Christchurch, New Zealand - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Wailea (HI), USA - Aliso Viejo (CA), USA - St Francis, South Africa - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Seattle (WA), USA - Pasadena (CA), USA - Vienna, Austria - Orlando (FL), USA - Torun, Poland - Delta (CO), USA - Santa Fe (NM), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Paris, France - Stavanger, Norway - Niamey, Niger - Le Guilvinec, France - Bogor, Indonesia - Saarbrücken, Germany - Auckland, New Zealand - Wellington, New Zealand - Budapest, Hungary - Juneau (AK), USA - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Glasgow, Scotland - Chicago (IL), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Adelaide (SA), Australia - Sydney, Australia - Riga, Latvia - Subang Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Terrell (TX), USA - Terrell (TX), USA - Inverness (IL), USA