Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kool Kountry Kitchen. Korny, huh?

A neighbor friend of ours, country gal that she is, creates almost everything she eats (and entertains with) from scratch.

She moves around this kountry kitchen with grace and ease. 

You'll as likely find her pulling a lamb roast out of the oven as flipping sour dough blueberry pancakes on the griddle.

Sometimes our pal is out in her veggie garden, keeping things sustainable.  

And when that happened the other day I snuck in to take a handheld, available light pic of this kreative korner of her world.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Holy Cow Cafe, Sebastapol, CA.

Brother Joe snapped this shot today as he was java jonesin' in Sebastapol.

Don't you love the graphics?

Think Holy Cow cappuccinos have the same good taste that their out-front sign does?

Order an extra drink for the road. Yumm.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Old Fashion Folder, Three Rivers Park.

Well, not exactly an old fashion bike.  Rather, an edit technique built into iPhoto on my MacBook.  Fooled you, huh?

I'd been on a ride this afternoon around the Baker Park loop -- 6 1/2 miles of beautiful bike, blade and walking path  Sun was bright and warm.  Sky? Puffy white clouds. I felt like the only guy in the entire park.  What a day.

On the way out of Baker I spied a gravel road I hadn't ridden before.  It lead to a wood and brush pile - maintained by Hennepin County - a perfect place to snap some pics of the Giant Expressway Folder.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wayzata Totem Touts Hand-Carved Skills.

In the market for a hand-carved mantel over the fireplace?  How about a suite of new maple cabinets for your kitchen make-over?

Don't know where to turn? The answer: just behind this unusual hand-carved "spokesman" who, himself, stands along Wayzata Blvd., across from the Community Church.

While I cannot vouch for the wood products, I can tell my readers that I've watched this icon morph from an arching oak tree into an uber-cool totem.  I've been told that paint colors change with the season --and I've seen brushes dipped into every imaginable hue slapped on the beard, robe, extremities, and base.

The sales proposition is irresistible.  I'm saving my allowance until I can go see those mantels for myself!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Re-Elect Weir, Medina City Council.

Elizabeth "Liz" Weir is up for re-election on 11/6 to a third term on the Medina, MN City Council.

A tireless advocate for Medina .. hard-working and exquisitely prepared ... and committed to the balanced and sensible evolution of our city ... Liz has proven her bona fides many times over.

Liz and her husband Ken, pose with adult kids and their setter, "Duke," last week at the weir's Median home.

Vote on November 6th. And Vote Weir for Medina Council.

Seattle, my Seattle. Photo by Mark Gaggia.

West coast portrait and landscape photographer Mark Gaggia snapped this jaw-dropper recently. I don't think the Seattle sky was actually this dark, or the sunlight on city buildings so bright -- Mr. Gaggia likely dug into his bag of editing tricks to give the right boost to his work.  I love this foto -- what do YOU think?

Wayzata, MN Train Depot from Lake Mtka.

You could ride up to the Depot in Wayzata today ... be the only bike in sight.

Turn 180-degrees and the exquisite Lake Minnetonka would be in front of you: white caps, pristine, boatless, ebbing and flowing slowly but surely into Autumn.

The "watercolor" look to the photo has to do with an editing technique built into the SONY Cyber-Shot. A little weird, but pretty cool. What do you think of it?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sunflowers on First Day of Autumn.

Summer's over. You can feel it in the stiff breeze from the Northwest ... see it in the deep blue sky overhead ... recognize autumnal frosting on the broad leaves of the magnificent sunflower.

Our gardner will cut the stalk at the dirt-line, turn these remarkable plants over into the earth, set the re-cycle in motion for the emergence, next summer, of sunflowers the way we prefer them to look.

Shoveling the Sh*t.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mansion Doors: American Swedish Institute.

Nancy and I were tourists this afternoon at the American Swedish Institute on Park + 26th in the Phillips West neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Arguably one of the most carefully preserved post-Victorian mansions in America, every room, door, coal-stove, piece of furniture, hand carved balustrade in this jaw-drop home is more exquisite than the one you've just seen.

Take this century-old door, for instance:  hammered pewter strike plates, business-like handles and latches, and four -- count 'em, four -- brass tumbler locks to keep the ghosts of Gottenburg in (?), or the disruptive influence of a prairie, pioneer America out.

You gotta see this place. So beautifully presented and  curated; a priceless window into the westward expansion of our country, and some of the Swedish-American families who made it possible.

Today's ASI pays just tribute.  Check it out.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bikes Buy at Wayzata Indie Bookcase.

There's generally a colorful peleton of high end bikes -- and hard body bikers -- out front of Bookcase in Wayzata.  They're chattin' and chillin' and comparin' times, BMI, gear ratios, chain stay lengths, frame stiffness, and how to enjoy the perfect iced latte.

Today, sorry to report, the sun was behind the clouds, the air was chilly, cyclists habitues were at the gym -- save for one solo pedaler who'd come, as had I, to take fotos along East Lake Street.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gene Autry "Monarch" - 1953 Model.

My artist friend James Terman, about whom you've read much I've written here in the Poppy Blog, sent me this uber-cool and -unique postcard a while back.

Bike is a 1953 Model Gene Autry Limited Edition "Monarch."

Check the holster, head of Champion the Wonder Horse,  and decorative bumps on the fenders that remind me at least of silver rivets that adorned Champ's saddle and bridle.

Street value? 

I'm sure it's in the tens of thousands of dollars.  I doubt there's a Kelly Blue Book for this kind of velocipede, but I'm going to Google to find out.

Hungarian Small Business Corporate HQ.

From my Boulder, CO artist friend.   James Terman and wife Carolyn were bike touring this summer in Hungary.  James was painting memories in water color.  

"Seth... This trailer was used as the daytime office for a parking attendant in a car park in the town of Eger, Hungary. A shady tree and lawn chair were all he needed to complete the office. 

"His curiosity got the best of him and he came across the lot to see what I was doing. He spoke as much English as I did Hungarian (none!) but he did break out in a big grin and gave me a "thumbs up." 

Drawing is a great people-connector for me."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Old Friends are the Best Kind to Have.

I'm a mighty lucky guy.

I'm blessed with a lovely family, good health, an old Trek that pedals along nice and smooth. And I've had a satisfying career in magazine publishing (and ad sales) that's put me in contact with some very special folks.

Two old friends in particular come to mind. They're pictured above w/Old Poppy in a booth at Woody's in Plymouth, MN:  Kelly Czech, to my immediate right, and Bridgit Wallace both of Novus Media, Inc. 

My dear pal, former mentor and distinguished magazine editor, the late Helen Gurley Brown used to say: "Old friends are the best kind to have."

I nodded my head in agreement without really knowing what Helen meant.  Seeing Bridgit and Kelly for a coffee catch up last week made me see the light.

Checking out Apple House, Orono, MN.

Pedaled out Hwy. 12 today to take in the sights:  changing Fall colors, guys on riding mowers for one of final trims this season, gardeners cutting back flower and veggie beds, and folks just like me out for a walk, blade, run, walk, stroll. Plenty of doggies as well.

What a day we're having:  bright blue skies, no humidity, mercury touching 84-degrees.

I'd been thinking about shopping for a jug of cider.  Dumas Apple House was my destination -- they best apple cider you've ever tasted -- and I made it in fine fashion.

Instead of the fresh cider from orchards in Elgin, MN, I opted for a pint bottle of local maple syrup.  A bit spendy, but worth the price when Poppina opened the cap and took a tongue-taste of this liquid gold.

Mr. and Mr. Apple House were on duty.  The boss said it would be OK to bring the bike in the store and pose me and the Trek for a PVV shot.  Daughter took the pic -- she's the only one of us four with serious iPhone credentials.

Friday, September 14, 2012

After Ridin' the Foldy in Baker Park.

West Hennepin's Baker Park is a closed loop, six-mile, nicely-paved bike and blade path that never disappoints.

I was reminded just how fortunate I am to live near Baker as I went for a fine ride yesterday on my Giant Expressway. Had a a good workout while I was at it.  Hung my foldy up on the park sign for a foto opp after I finished my jaunt.

Giant makes two models of their Expressway.  This foldy has a single chainring upfront and seven gears in the back.  Shifts are made via twist grip;  the process is pretty smooth and precise.

The seat post is after-market:  2" longer than the factory post, so someone 6 feet tall (me) can stretch out his legs, get a good bite on the pedals. I ordered the post from Tonka Cycle and Ski (where I bot the bike in the first place). Not  an inexpensive upgrade, by the way.

Handle bars and stem rise almost high enough to make the ride comfortable.

The seat? Not so comfortable.  Five miles into the ride the glutes begin to ache and there's hint of pull and discomfort on the lower back.

But on I went with enthusiasm to my starting point.  Snapped the shot with my iPhone.  Thinking now that a 50 mile ride on the Expressway might be a good challenge, but I'm not confident of taking the bike out on the county road system, despite its comfort and stability.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Minnesota Corn Crop Stresed but OK.

Corn time here in Minnesota.

I was pedaling CR 6 in Orono yesterday. Stopped to check out the corn crop.

It seems we'll have a so-so harvest to take to the bank when the cut is made in another couple of weeks. No doubt, however, the drought this summer has been brutal, will take its toll.

Bright sunshine, stunning blue skies, and eye popping, puffy white clouds sure do add to the joy of cycling.  

A little more rain earlier in the season would have been better for the farmer and his corn field.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Stone Arch Bridgers Eye Mighty Miss.

For first time visitors to the Twin Cities -- or repeats -- there's nothing finer than to rent a bike, pedal across the Stone Arch Bridge, and stop to check out the Locks along the Mississippi.

Hope you'll join these velo venturers one of these days soon.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Coolest Cyclists Chill at Pizza Nite.

Wish I could tell you the names of these uber-cool pedalists.  Met them on 9/1 at Long Lake Pizza Night.

This tireless twosome, along with another six of their best biking buddies, made the 22-mile ride from downtown Mpls.  Pooped but pleased to be there, my portrait subjects wait here for their organic pies -- all vegetables off the place, and the chorizo prepared w/o chemical preservatives.

I thought the guy looked a little like Beckham -- he (the guy) said he'd been called worse.  What do YOU think?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Whimsy Artist, Sharon Parker.

Our very creative and whimsical artist buddy Sharon Parker was at her imaginative best last week. Occasion was the annual LoLa neighborhood show in Southeast Minneapolis.

Among her oeuvre Sharon had designed a very clever little book entitled: "Go Have Some Tea, a Story about Tea and Enlightment."

Sharon had glued a tea bag-like string and tab onto the little book, and inserted her creation into a real, live teabag packet. Finished product slid into a glassine envelope to protect its magnificence. Twinkling eyes and broad smiles were result of opening the packet and discovering how much fun it was.

I bought damned near Sharon's entire collection.  Sent one to a number of Pina's and my friends.  Then we had so much fun doing that ... that we ordered another 10 books from Ms. Parker.

Sharon's business is called I urge you to check it out.

PS - Sharon's little helper is a LoLa "fan," as you can see.