Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cozy + Chummy in Charleston.

Our friends John and Holly Schenck manage to get away to Charleston each winter for a little vacation visit.  Each year they send us an envy-making photo of themselves in action -- bike riding, tennis, golf, deep sea fishing, wining and dining and hitting the hot spots.

This time the focus is more reflective, mellow, chilling.  Shem Creek runs underneath the gazebo where our friends are cozying, chummy-up.  Iconic Ravenel Bridge is in the background.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wing Tip Art, Size 12 D.

Art's in the eye of the beholder -- or, should we say, if the art shoe fits, enjoy it?

The Book Arts Center in downtown Mpls. has a show up currently which celebrates ... I'm not quite sure, I must confess.

But the size 12 D Florsheim wing-tip caught my eye.  If you happen to see the show, and can critique and explain the shoe, I'd be happy to post your views here on Poppy's Velo Ventures.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Countless Acts of Kindness.

Countless Acts of Kindness
Sam Keen

Creating a political community based on kindness may seem like an impossibility...[but] we are discovering lately in American society that we can't build a good society on the principles of self-interest and entitlement alone. Without generosity there can be no community. Without the kindness of strangers, a society is turned into an armed camp.... The atmosphere of compassion that transforms a mass of alienated individuals into a caring community is created by countless acts of kindness and charitable foresight.
Source: Hymns to an Unknown God

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Golden Retriever Gets Drive-Thru Treat.

How 'bout this?  Hilarious scene in a java joint last week.

Mini van comes up to Drive-Thru, rear door opens, family Golden Retriever sticks his neck out the window, and barista hands the pup a special high protein dog treat!

Ain't this a dog's world after all?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I'll Give A Buck to First Person to ID This.

Take a guess:  what do you think this is? Where taken, age, etc? I'll send a nice, crisp Yankee dollar to the first reader of Poppy's Velo Ventures who I.D.'s the shot.

Damn That Must Have Hurt!

Is there any child in the whole wide world who hasn't busted her chin?  When I was the age of the lass in this photo, I fell from a standing position on the toidy seat, onto the edge of the towel bar, and Mom had to rescue me, big time.  Dr. Holmes stitched me up so many years ago.  I can remember the event vividly, and can still feel the scar right on my jaw line.  No one ever posted a pic of my boo-boo on the web, however!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

P.S. #1, Long Island City, NY

Jessie and Diver were out for a stroll this week and came home with some colorful and compelling pics.   This one (taken w/iPhone -- damn, these phones are good cameras!) is of P.S. 1 in Long Island City. The light is just right, the colors pop, and you can almost FEEL the learning taking place in Mrs. Jones's algebra class!

One-of-a-Kind Entrepreneur + Customer.

The post just before this one recounts us meeting potter Peter Karner at the American Crafts Council show yesterday in St. Paul. The foto shows Peter and my wife Nancy.

Here's even more fun: a remarkable entreprenuer and clothing designer and maker -- Jill Kerttula from Madison, WI.  Her company is "Jill2Day."  She specializes in "one-of-a-kind garments reconstructed from recycled and repurposed fabrics."

Jill's blog and website boast of her goods always being "cozy." Poppina can attest to that as you can imagine from the photo here.

See more at

Friday, April 20, 2012

Rocky Mountain Potter Peter Karner.

Sammy and I spent some serious time today at the annual American Craft Council show in St. Paul.  Held, as always, in the Excel Energy Center, the show is a gathering of some of the best crafter-artists from around the USA.  It's all there -- and it's all magnificent.

Glasswork, beadwork, felt, rugs, weavings, wood carving and turning, jewelry, unique apparel, furniture, and, of course, pottery.

We got to meet Hesperus, CO potter Peter Karner -- Albion College (MI) grad, cattle rancher outside Durango, friend of friends of ours, and a highly accomplished artist.  Peter showed Poppina just the piece of pottery for a young couple we know who had recently married.  So out comes the Visa card, and into the shopping bag the treasure goes.

What else did we see, do, buy at the show?  Quite some items, I'll tell you.  And we'll show more pics and descriptions in future posts.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Me, AT+JJ : NAMG Reunion.

Allison ("AT") stood cautiously in the middle of Jim ("JJ") and me at Dunn Bros. java joint this afternoon.  We'd celebrated our semi-annual NAMG colleague/former employee reunion -- and what a grand time we had!  Lots of chatter about old friends and good times, growing families, new challenges, and plans for the summer here in Minnesota.  So glad we could get together -- and JJ, thank you for throwing down the Visa card!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Big Dummy, Big Head Light.

You can see my KIA Sportage in the background.  I was headed north on Washington Ave. when I saw the Dummy -- the humongous headlight cried out for closer inspection. So, I stopped the car, took the pic, then the bike's owner emerged from a nearby office building.  The dude gave me a skeptical look as I was squatting and squeezing the shutter -- imagine that?  Learned that: the light is battery-powered, my new best friend is a bike messenger with a specialized legal industry clientele, and no time to waste talking to Old Poppy.

Outside Wayzata, MN Post Office.

Birdy Christmas decorations continue to adorn Norwegian Spruces in front of Wayzata P.O.  Had to check it out to be sure.  Why birds still there? My guess? Postal clerks have been too busy with increased mailings as local economy mends to remove chickadees for safe-keeping 'til next holiday season.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Easter Orchid, Miami Style.

Uncle Jamie bequeathed this exquisite orchid to Nancy and Joe in Coral Gables.  It hadn't bloomed for quite a number of years ... until this Easter, that is.  Joe thinks it's an omen.  I think it's simply gorgeous.  What do you think?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Bud," the Tree Guy.

Our majestic white pine suffered a couple of broken branches in west-born storms this winter.  So we called in Bud the Tree Guy to do the Rx -- get this precious pine back on its feet (or trunk, depending on your metaphor).

Wind was blowing 20+ mph, temps in the 40's, Bud's helper held the come-along line, and our Tree Guy  made sure his hard-hat was on snug.  A few quick cuts from the Stihl and the limbs came down as easily and on-target.

If you're out this way, and need the best guy to scramble up your tree, Bud's your man.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Gross? Canon Macro Shows Skin.

Point and shoots sport some pretty awesome optics these days.  Check out the Macro results from old jeans, right knee. Cool? Ugh? Gross? Take your pick.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Old-Fashion Easter Fun!

Big kids and small frolic in the Easter sun, Stonington, CT.

Couple of Cute Kids.

Our neighbor Lisa dropped by this morning with a pair of 5-day old goats.  I begged Lisa to let them out of their cage so I could get a foto of Poppina, Lisa and those oh, so adorable kids.

The goats have been weaned.  They are bottle-fed. Little horn buds can be felt at the top of their heads. And these cute kids seem to like being held close, smothered with love.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Long Before Wikipedia You Got Your Info at the Local Library.

One-room schoolhouse? Yup. Heard of that.  But what about a one-room public library?

We've got a humdinger right here in Medina, MN, and the place has never looked better.  Long before the Internet, or WiFi, social media or Wikipedia, inquisitive minds in our neck of the woods stood in line at Hamel Public Library to check out copies of McGuffey's Reader, the New American Mercury, or maybe Catcher in the Rye and Peyton Place.

Fines for late returns were 5-cents a week, per book.  Big Bucks for Good Books.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Trek 720 Rests after Today's Ride.

My old Trek 700-series is older than most of you, Dear Readers.  Purchased on the Upper West Side of Manhattan 25+ years ago, this classic-of-classics has stood the test of time.

The drop bars are long gone. The wheels, tires, axles, chain rings, pedals, cranks, etc., etc., have been repaired, removed and replaced.  Some parts more than once.

The ride remains sweet; you'd be hard-pressed to find better tubing today than the Reynolds 531 frame and fork used back then. 

Enough words about the bike.  It's time now to settle my buns in the Brooks B-17 and hit the road.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

SOO Line Hopper Car Graveyard.

On my way back to Uptown Hamel, MN, and as I crossed the BNSF tracks near Hwy 55, I spotted a string of 5 or 6 rusting freight cars, just waiting to be photographed.

What stories these babies could tell.  When were they built? Where were they used? What did they carry? What's in store for them next?

And don't you just love the SOO 63397 still visible through the rust?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

AZ Sun Rises Over Poppina's Desert Garden.

We were packing up the mini-van Saturday morning to head back to Minnesota.  There were a few last minute items to stuff into nooks and car-crannies before we hit the pike. Took a look to the east in time to see the sun rising over the cactus and through La Nancita's rather special desert garden. It's great to be back home, but we sure will miss the Sonoran desert and our little Villa in Wickenburg.