Tuesday, December 31, 2013

These Belgians Out-Pull Clydesdales Any Day.

From my Brother Joe:  "Here are the Belgians we met on the bike trail near Dunellen, FL. The teamster was Mr. Vogel.  The team was Adam (on the left) and Jake.  Aged 7 and 12 respectively.  Adam weighs in at 3200 lbs, Jake somewhat less.  As to the Belgian's work ethic, Mr. Vogel stated emphatically - they'll out pull a Clydesdale any day, all day!

Boss Kicks.

A guy can never have too many pairs of really good shoes -- boss kicks as we used to call them. These ECCO's fill the bill. My dogs are mighty safe and comfortable as they fill the shoes.  Bought two pairs 'cause I liked them so much. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Little Lake Calhoun Sailors, Home from the Sea.

Lucky ones, these mighty mite Lake Calhoun sailors in their little prams with battened lateen sails and more than adeqquate personal flotation devices.  These boys learn hiking and tacking early in their racing careers, navigate by checking Calhoun Beach Club and perhaps catching a glimpse of the IDS Tower.  The class racing season ends the last Friday in August each year, and I came upon these mariners just after they'd slid across the final finish line, to the sounds of air horns blaring and muffled applause.  Wait 'til next summer, many of them seem to say, all except the young man in the foreground who won every race I watched.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Curtis "Jenny" Takes Flight in MN History Center.

History buffs agree: this WWI replica "Jenny" is the perennial favorite exhibit in St. Paul's Minnesota History Center.  Built to scale, and with its rich history time-line on plaques encircling the rotunda, one cannot help but be impressed by this TINY airplane and its HUGE impact in the century since Armistice Day.

It's safe to say that commercial aviation in America might never have taken off without the "war surplus" Curtis Jenny .  Check out this exhibit, soon.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Santa Gives Thumbs-Up to Long Lake Tree.

The ornaments on the 2013 tree are wooden, hand-painted, passed down through the generations, and hung with love by Hadley, Oliver and Duncan.  The lights, however, are from True Value in Long Lake, strung by Poppina some weeks back.  All the loot under the tree is from friends, family and loved-ones, via Santa and Rudolph. We are about to unwrap the bonanza and remind ourselves just how blessed we are.  Merry Christmas to one and all!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Big Bird. Gluten-Free Stuffing. Yummmmm.

You're looking at the beginning of the Thanksgiving dinner layout. Two drumsticks, the moist GF stuffing, and a very classy platter assure the kind of yummy meal our Grandma's used to whip up back mid-Century.

I snapped this foto before Jason had sliced the white meat, added the mashed taters and the steamed broccoli.

Poppina and crew, including Ali, Hadley and the Boys, outdid themselves -- though I wish I'd taken a pic of the fam damily chowing down around the dining room table.

Hope all readers of Poppy's blog enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday as much as we did.  And here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas as well.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Exploring "Prohibition" at MN History Center.

If you like booze, if you enjoy history, if you ever dated a Flapper Girl, then "The Rise and Fall of Prohibition" exhibit up now at the Minnesota History Center is your cup of tea. Or, shot of rye.

Personality profiles -- Meyer Lansky and Al Capone -- lots of black + white period footage, old cars and motorcycles, even step-by-step instruction for learning "The Charleston," this is your kind of party.

My time was limited the day I visited:  I'll definitely go back for a night cap.

Last call!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Happy Holidays Terry + Holly of Budget Printing.

Good pals at Budget Printing and  Awards in Long Lake, MN send you best wishes for the season. Old Poppy relies on Budget for all printing needs -- cannot recommend them more highly.  Merry Christmas Holly and Terry (and Karla and Cindy, too, though they didn't make the foto).

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Columbia Sportswear Christmas Elves Serve Hot Cider.

Out front of the Columbia Sportswear flagship store on Hennepin Avenue in Uptown Minneapolis today, Santa's little helpers were serving hot cinnamon cider off their "icicle tricycle."  The ladies were attired in the latest and and smartest outerwear for distaff elves, while the gent, in a bold red layered look, comped passers-by with discount store coupons to make Christmas shopping a breeze.

As for the Icicle Tricycle I learned there is only one of them, it travels to all Columbia Flagship stores, and even makes the trek overseas.  There is generally an assigned Columbia Crew, though outside CONUS local help is generally hired to work the deal.

I asked if I could hire on to pedal the three-wheeler.  I'm filling out a job application tonite, and will specify a locale where the temp never drops below 50-degrees.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Lake Minnetonka from Lake Street, Wayzata.

Signs, tracks, bare trees, and setting sun over calm and beautiful Lake Minnetonka. Today has been a exceptional Black Friday, but cold, cold, cold!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weisman Art Museum, U MN Campus, 11/24/13.

With a James Rosenquist massive mural as backdrop, Grandma B, Poppina and I get started today with our tour of the Weisman Art Museum on the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota.

Boy, was there a lot of art to enjoy: Mimbres Pottery;  works by Marsden Hartley; a room-ful of classic Korean furniture; stunning portraits of young Somali men, active in service to their communities; and on and on it goes.

That was inside the WAM.  Outside there's an exceptional exhibit of public art installations, 25 of which in particular are being celebrated by WAM and the U.  With temps in the 20's and a wind chill lower than that, we normally intrepid art fans wimped out and instead of cruising the campus, we watched an excellent video loop of the public art, instead.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Me and a Cozy Pooch, E. Lake St., Wayzata, MN 11/23/13.

When Britania Ruled: Bombay Britches Gurkha Shorts.

Remember the Gurkhas?  Fierce indigenous fighters on the side of the Brits, protecting the Khyber Pass and a great deal of the Queen's Empire in Ceylon, In-ja, Madagascar, Malaysia, Burma, and far-flung islands throughout the East.   The Gurkha's were special, and so were their uniform shorts back in the day.

Years ago I found hundreds of pairs of "Gurkha Shorts" in a surplus store on Canal Street in lower Manhattan. Shorts were, brand new, in pristine shape -- bundled and baled, wrapped in water-resistant paper with burlap overlay, for sale at $2.00 per pair.  The shop owner gave me access to the attic, and I climbed over the bales to my heart's content: taking in the aroma of an era now gone, and imagining the battles and dominions these uniform shorts might have seen.

Not only did I acquire bales and bales of the olive drab shorts -- made of the highest quality Egyptian cotton, big, wide waist band, deep front pockets, pleated and blousey and roomy around the thighs --  but the shorts came in khaki and white as well.  Each branch of the British Military in the Far East seemed to have its own style and color.

In time I sold hundreds of pairs of Bombay Britches.   Advertising in the classifieds of magazines like Rolling Stone,  I priced the shorts at $17.95/pair, built awareness, and sold a ton of product.  My money back guarantee and personal thanks-for-the-business note seemed to produce repeat sales far beyond my expectations.

My shorts ran out just as retailers like Banana Republic began to sell their own version of MY Bombay Britches !! It was a helluva run and a lot of fun while it lasted. Thanks to any former customers who might be reading this blog, and to R. Scott Samuel of Southern Pines, NC, who designed my ads and promotion material.

PS - Thanks to my brother Joe Hoyt of Miami, FL, who found the old Bombay card in his attic, and reminded all of us what the glory days of short pants were really like!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Me and Arty Didact and Mr. Arty D.

At the uber-creative handmade show last weekend at Minneapolis's Book Arts Center, Sharon Parker, a.k.a Arty Didact had one of the most impressive exhibitions I saw. Here she is, behind her display, and in between her hubby Craig Cox, and yours truly, old Poppy.

Sharon's remarkable talents extend to illustration, calendar making, witty gifts, hand-bound books, and much, much more.  If you ever get the chance to shop "Arty Didact" at one of Sharon's shows, plan to spend big and get even bigger pleasure in the process.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dan's Got an Eye for the Alhambra.

My good buddy Dan and his wife just returned to the Twin Cities from a two-week trip to Espana. Ole!  

They saw all the sights (like the fabled Alhambra pictured here), hung out in the coolest, most sophisticated cities -- Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla, et al -- and treated me to an occasional e-mail update and a superb pic from time to time.

Readers of the Poppy Blog know how much your humble blogger here enjoys taking and posting fine photos. And while I think we give a pretty decent accounting of ourselves with home-grown talent, I sure am glad that Dan came along.

Buddy Dan is an artist, designer and craftsman, you see, and he has a remarkable eye for just the right shot.  What do you all think?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lovin' The Layered Velo Look.

Poppina thought I looked a little weird as I headed out for my ride on a chilly, windy late fall day.  Weird, yes, but layered and, hopefully, warm and cozy, I took the ribbing in stride.

I asked my bride to snap a shot so I could post it on the Poppy Blog, showing all you non-lycra, non-hard body riders like me, one way to get the job done.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Life, Love & Letterpress at LunaLux.

Jenni Undis of LunaLux on Harmon Place in Minneapolis, operates this old Letterpress equipment, wooden type and all.  And she lets her customers try their hand!

While visiting the shop during their 20th birthday party last weekend, Jenni and her pressmen interns, Forrest and Andrea, gave me free rein of the typebox, and ink sump, but just enough close supervision to keep me out of trouble.

I had a blast printing a broadside that read: Life & Love is What We Do Together.

You'll have to pay a visit of your own to the store, roll up your sleeves, learn to think dyslexic, and crank out some prints that are guaranteed to bring great joy of accomplishment.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Jimmy Choo - Eat Your Heart Out!

C'mon. WTF. Have you EVER seen a boot like this?  Fashionista Footwear in the extreme. Whoa.

My friend Dan is on holiday in Spain with his wife.  They've e-mailed me a few pictures of their adventures and discoveries:  in Toledo, Sevilla and Barcelona. Dan's got a good eye for a foto, and some of his memories match the ones Nancy and I have from our trips to Iberia.

But THIS. Unidentified and unexplained.  We've never seen anything like it.  As Nancy says:  how does the wearer balance herself in these heels?

And I say: I'll bet these damn things cost more than a pair of Chanels.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

See Mike Hoyt's Mobile Drawing Table at MCAD.

Minneapolis artist, social chronicler, and Jerome Fellowship recipient, Michael Hoyt, pulls this mobile drawing studio behind his bike all over the Twin Cities. He invites local residents -- of some of the area's least reported-on communities -- to sit for a portrait, and tell Mike their stories.

The resulting art, scanned on the spot, and copies shared with subjects, bears the names of the citizens interviewed and sketched.

As the Jerome Fellowship show book at the current exhibit at Minneapolis College of Art and Design explains, "The premise of Mike's project is simple: seen together his portraits suggest a host of questions about place and identity,  pride and community, and the role of an artist when he 'pedals' beyond gallery walls."

Check out this exhibit for yourself.  It's at the College of Art and Design now through the 10th of November.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bring the Troops Home.

I was standing next to a fellow vet at a Don't Bomb Syria protest in Minneapolis earlier this summer. When I noticed his tatts and wristbands took this foto -- as much out of curiosity as in contrast to my barren arms. One of the organizers asked for "a show of hands" from first-time protest attendees.  Mine shot up; this other guy stayed rock solid.  He'd been here before it seems.

Minnesota's Hautman Brothers, Primo Wildlife Artists.

Our local Twin Cities media is a buzz with news of the Hautman Brothers, Minnesota Wildlife Artists and Conservation Stamp contributors.  

Poppina and I took in the Hautman exhibit at Minnetonka Center for the Arts -- impressive, humbling, prolific.  Birds, deer, bear, dogs, fish, and landscape abound.

You'd be making a big mistake if you didn't see this show.  And, read all about it in the StarTribune, too.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

This Guy Jeff Can Paint Like No Other.

We've written here about the flood in our basement as a result of a huge storm back in June.  Little by little the pieces have been picked up, the destruction repaired, the house put back together.

One of the final steps on the road to sanity is a fresh coat of paint (primer first, of course) over new sheetrock.  There is also new trim work and baseboards; fresh paint covers that real estate as well.

Jeff was the craftsman/maestro/artiste.  Wonderful job he did. Thank you. As for you readers and viewers, we're only sorry we can't show you all Jeff's handiwork here on the Poppy Blog.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

This Guy Hillegass Paints a Different Way.

Minneapolis entrepreneur Jim Hillegass took up painting (self-taught) barely a year ago.  He paints, paints, paints like a man possessed, and is very good at it. He loves nothing more than finishing a canvas a day.  Not those big babies you see him working on in this photo.  But art like the one I commissioned from Jim -- took him no time and the result -- c'est magnifique!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Brother Joe Saddles up the New Brooks Cambium C17.

C'mon. You just KNOW you want one of these new Brooks "Cambium" C 17 Ltd.  saddles on YOUR road bike. Just check it out.

My brother Joe ordered one direct from England, installed it on his Le Mond as soon as the seat arrived stateside. Fifty miles into Joe's ride around Dade County, his home, and his rear tire blew.

My bro gets a new tube while I get a photo of the new saddle to share with readers of Poppy's Velo Ventures.

I've read the seat's specs:  organic cotton covering proprietary vulcanized rubber, plus a stiff pad of fabric. The saddle is light-issimo, requires no break-in, is waterproof and durable, and costs a pretty penny (farthing).

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hangin' at World's Only Corn Palace, Mitchell, SD.

Ever been to Mitchell, SD, home of the World's Only Corn Palace?

La Nancita and I paid a visit on a road trip from the Twin Cities. The Palace itself, across Mitchell's main drag from this concession area, is literally made from thousands of ears of South Dakota corn. The design changes every year, as you may know, and seeing the place is weirdly, intoxicatingly enchanting.

But I'm more interested in candids of the folks who come to visit.  On a brutally hot and searingly bright day, a lady in capris hangs on for "ear life," get it?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cross Country Cyclists, Oregon to Maine: Huzzah!

You've got to hand it to cross country velo-sters like my Oregon friends, above: 60 years old, 60 miles pedaled per day, bare bones and self-supported, and putting finishing touches on their coast-to-coast trip of a lifetime, Oregon to Maine.  

I met this couple in front of the Safeway in Wickenburg, AZ.  Wish I'd asked for their contact info so we could stay in touch.  Some folks actually get out and do these trans-continental dream rides.  The rest of us cheer from the sidelines, and post words and pics on the blog.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Waitin' for the 7:18 local outta West Northfield, MN.

My friend Dave waits yesterday for the 7:18 local out of West Northfield, MN.

The usually reliable narrow-gauge seemed to be running a little late, though my buddy had a full cuppa Mickey D java and seemed to be enjoying the sunny Minnesota day.

Choo-choo-choo.  I think I hear her now, comin' round the bend.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Egg Salad Sandwich Delish at D'Lish in North Loop.

Not too long ago there used to be an egg salad sandwich on whole wheat tucked neatly into the bag to your left.

But after ducking into D'Lish Grocery in the North Loop, stomach grumbling w/hunger, then grabbing a bite, and carrying it to the KIA with hopes of getting it and me back home in one piece .... I surrendered.

Before you could say "this is the freshest, tastiest, most pleasing  sandwich I've eaten in years," I'd inhaled every last bite, even the crumbs.

The wax paper-like bag wrap was retained so my eating adventures could be documented on the Poppy Blog.  Go get one of these babies for yourself, see if you don't agree with me.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gregor Gardens Grows Good Stuff.

Not even a five-mile ride from where I live you can find Gregor Farms and the good folks who put up some of the best home-made jams and jellies on the planet.

Me? I bought a starter jar of Raspberry + Pepper jelly at the Medina Days celebration last weekend.  On my ride the following day I stopped by Gregor to say how much we enjoyed our English muffins topped with Gregor jelly.

Patty the Proprietress was persuaded to pose with her handiwork.  Suggest you go see her at the intersection of Holy Name and Medina Roads in Plymouth, MN.  Shop the stand.  Treat yourselves to something local, made with TLC, and yummy beyond expectations.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Classic Nash Metropolitan: $10,000, O.B.O.

My college classmate Bill Quayle drove one of these out from his home in Ohio freshman year.  Wonder what ever became of the car? Bet it sold for a lot less than one of my neighbors in West Hennepin is asking for his '57 Metropolitan: $10,000.

On my way home from a bike ride through Baker Park last week I spied this sweet classic.  Had to stop, check it out, and snap a foto.  The two-tone color combo appears authentic, though I could tell the body had been repainted.  Couldn't see miles on the odo, and the interior was so-so.   Nonetheless .....

If you want a classic rag-top, with three-on-the-tree, and a fabled history in American auto-mo-bilia, then you could do a lot worse than driving off with this cutie. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

60,254 All-Time Pageviews.

To loyal and curious followers of Poppy's Velo Ventures:  thank you for reading my blog!!

I checked "stats" just now and was astounded to see that the Poppy Blog had registered its 60,254th all-time pageview.

Holy smokes, I said to myself: I'd better post a hearty thank-you to the good and curious folks who read my view of the world.  

PVV is always interested in your feedback. If you'd like to post more Comments, have it.  In the meantime thanks for 60,254 (and counting) check-ins.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Everything AND the Kitchen Sink.

Mom used to have a saying:  "it's got everything but the kitchen sink."  

And I was reminded of that yesterday when our water tech specialist came to the house to stop a leak under the sink and install a classic new faucet.  This guy is an awesome professional,  and only mildly annoyed that I took his picture.

The sink no longer leaks, the faucet performs flawlessly, and I'm just about to sit down and write a check to the water man  :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Minneapolis Greenway Rush Hour Traffic.

Love this nearly surreal shot of the empty Greenway, with shadows of maple leaves complementing traffic direction icons.  Took it from the bridge along 1st Street in North Loop.  Lucky shot.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Takes a Big Set of Cojones to Wear These Purple Shoes!

Some guy name Sam arrived at our house last weekend wearing these seriously purple mocs.  Of course some of the more traditional guy guests felt obliged to heap all sorts of s**t on Sartorial Sammy.    Our guy stuck to his guns, allowed a foto to be taken for the blog, and pretty much had the rest of us more than a little envious at our prosaic and pedestrian (get it?) choice of party kicks. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Minneapolis's Foundry Home Goods Celebrates B'day!

Retailer Anna Hillegas celertates 1st Birthday of Foundry Home Goods, her super-successful accessories and furnishings store in the North Loop of Mpls.  Ruby the Chocolate Lab pokes his nose into the party action. Meanwhile bluegrass phenom "Pocahontas County" provided musical inspiration and entertainment to eager well-wishers and shoppers.  Congrats on your first year in business, Anna, and best wishes for many more!  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Veterans for Peace Stage anti-Syria War Rally Today.

"How 'bout a show of hands," the now-tired voice implored into the mic.  "For how many of you is this the first anti-war rally you've attended?"

My right arm went up, cautiously at first, then with confidence and enthusiasm.   Imagine: 70 years old, grew up in the 'sixties and 'seventies, was drafted during Viet Nam, and never attended a peace rally !?

Today was my first.  How glad I am I made the trek to town -- corner of Hiawatha and Lake  -- to be part of history in the making. Organized by Veterans for Peace (I'm a vet), I qualify to attend, express my fears, outrage, hopes for a better world.

Like so many Americans I sure as hell don't have the answer for Syria.... or, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel, Yemen, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, for that matter. Which Middle Eastern country have I missed?

What can the U. S.  do?  What are are our limitations:  civically, militarily, economically, morally? You all know the other priorities of our nation as well as I do.  Wouldn't we be better off inviting China, Russia, Japan, France, Germany and the UK into one room, locking the door, and figuring this out diplomatically?

Enough of the sword rattling, please; naval show of force, drones, threats of missiles, boots on the ground.  I know I'm exposed to a tiny part of the reality from that part of the world, but it seems to me that one more "wham, bam, thank you, ma'am," is not the answer.

What do YOU think?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

2400 Block of St. Paul's University Avenue.

Velo Vibrations?  You betcha'.  Spotted this baby out front of a Fair Trade java joint the other day.  Took fotos from several angles and appreciated most the humor of the handlebar-headset region. What do YOU think?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Minnesota's Very Best Apple Pie. Yumm.

Nancy and I enjoyed the incomparable company of Grandma B on an outing this afternoon.  Off we went to University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum -- for lunch in their 4-star restaurant, then tours of the Japanese Gardens, Hosta Glade, trees, bushes, dahlias, so forth and so on.

We love the TLC the gardeners and grounds people show with their work -- but some of us loved even more the apple pie, warmed up and slathered with organic whipped cream.  We ordered the rhubarb pie (grown on Arboretum grounds) but earlier diners beat us to the punch.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Arty Didact Steals the Lola Show.

Eclectic, creative, whimsical and successful commercially, Sharon Parker is Arty Didact.  And Arty D rules the annual Lola show this year.

I bought one of the hand-stitched note books Sharon holds in this foto, as well as an original pen and ink sketch of urban ruins awaiting rehabbing, and some very clever book plates.

While at the show it was impossible to resist cut glass artist Brian Western's work, and bought a piece from him for Poppina.

Love this local art revue and sale.  The Hoyts have attended -- and bought -- for several of the past years.  Lucky us!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

1-2-3: Say, "Sweet Corn!"

"Desmond has a barrel in the marketplace, Molly is a singer with the band ..... "

Not quite that scene here in Long Lake, but worth signing about nonetheless.

Dennis has the cart with fresh, sweet corn on-sale a few precious weeks each summer. Customers swear by Dennis Corn -- none sweeter, none better they say.

Dennis wasn't on duty this afternoon but his associate (didn't get her name) was moving lots of ears as I pedaled by.

I managed to persuade her to pose for the Poppy Blog and here she, the ear, the sign, and the Giant Cypress all are.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Starfighter Lillies.

These beauts grow with considerable success in Poppina's Garden.  When the sun shines just right from the west, there's quite a story to tell.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Baking Breaking Bread at Rustica Bakery.

My buddy Dan and I met for coffee the other day at Rustica Bakery and Java Joint on Lake St. in Mpls.  Coffee is terrific, baked goods as good as they get. Conversation stimulating and caffeinated.

Where does this breaking bread get baked I asked Dan.

Right through that door replied Dan.  And you can see it from the window in front of the store.

Check out the baguettes.   I managed to catch the attention of the baker, persuade her to smile, but she wouldn't stop the progress of prep.

Dan and I recommend this place without reservation.  And you don't need a reservation, either.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Her Honor, The Mayor.

Our neighbor and friend Liz Weir is also our Mayor of our city.  Earlier this summer Her Honor hosted a reception for Medina staffers, members of the City Council, plus citizens active in the affairs of our town.

Her Honor is flanked by two members of Medina's Finest. Smiles abound.  Folks enjoy themselves here while working hard and intelligently.

This is a great place to live!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Really Into Thomas the Train and His Buddies.

My grandson has the plu-perfect Thomas set-up at home.  Miles of track, all the trimmings, even a round house where the magnet-couples go to get un-coupled.  To wit, and from the left:  Percy, Toby and Hero.  I love, love, love these toys, only wish they'd been in my basement when i was a kid !!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Joe Biden in Ray-Bans? 800+ page views - and counting.

I posted this VP-look-alike foto two years ago.  It's NOT Joe Biden, though the orig headline suggested it might be, maybe, what do you think, could be Joe B?

So far it's the most clicked-on post on the Poppy Velo Blog.  More than 800 page views, and the visitors keep on comin'.

The guy is my pal and NAMG colleague Jim Jowett.  He doesn't exactly resemble the Veep, but enough visitors clicked in to take a closer look-see.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bike Friendly: Free Air, Loaner Tools, Velo TLC.

Talk about your city being velo-friendly!  

Check out this free-to-all comfort station overlooking Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis.  Sponsored by Health Partners, there's a hand pump as well as compressed air.  A set of tire irons. Allen wrenches of all sizes. And a pair of screw drivers, Phillips Head and regular blade.

This may be old news to you, dear reader; it's new, new, new to me.  And the whole rig is set up a few feet away from the Metro Bike Share check-in station.

So convenient. So forward thinking. So velo-friendly and considerate.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Three Weeks Later: Road Still Flooded.

Old Long Lake Road circumscribes, what else, Old Long Lake.  And three weeks after the humongous storms that blew our way, the road is still under water.  In the 14 years we've lived here in Long Lake, we've never experienced such flooding, tree destruction, power ourtages, sump pump nightmares, etc.  Climate change?  Could be.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Four Big Shires, 10,000 lbs. Combined Weight.

The Shires were in harness this afternoon -- four-in-hand, and nearly 10,000 lbs. gross combined weight.  These guys are big and strong and fearsome, and pretty awesome to be around.

A half-mile from where the 'hosses were tied for a rest, a 50-year old Ford tractor sat mired to its differential in unforgiving Minnesota mud.  "I'll bet the Shires can pull the tractor out," a confident Lisa beamed. "Mike and I will harness the 'B' team first, then add the 'A' team if we need more horse power.

"Horsepower"  get it?!!

No go: the land was too wet, the mud too deep, and even four Shires couldn't  dislodge the Ford.  I witnessed patience, confidence, and a superb display of horsemanship.  But I think Lisa needs to call AAA and give the Shires a bucket of oats in gratitude.