Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cactus Paddle New Growth Harbinger of Spring.

Even the most blasé and disinterested "naturalist" among us is humbled by these new-growth cacti paddle flowers.  Just look at the colors. Then the mini-paddles that so mimic mature growth. And the beauty of the blossoms themselves, just days from popping out in even more regal splendor.  We were fortunate to watch nature do its spring time dance in AZ.  Don't these things look almost good enough to eat? 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Wake Up, Enjoy the Dunn Bros. Java Lab Expereince.

It's been raining hard as hell every-where in the mid-west, but I found a warm and toasty and inviting respite today at Dunn  Bros Lab on University in Minneapolis.  

You see "my" table  in the the lower left foreground of this pic.  Can you spot the aging green canvas tote bag from Duluth Pack?  It and I have been on one thousand ad sales calls together, and our batting average is pretty darned good.

The the iced skim latte - well, half the drink?  Dunns does those better than most other spots in the Twin Cities.

By the time I took this foto I'd inhaled the Mediterranean Veggie Wrap 
that Barista Jade had prepared specially for me -- she sensed the ravenous hunger the minute I walked in the shop.

Back to the rain and wind and cold, but re-fortified for the adventures that lay ahead.

Joyce Church is Now Table:31 in Uptown Minneapolis.

oyce Church has become TABLE: 31, an Uptown Community actively supporting LGBT rights, food justice, wellness, & sustainable living. Join us 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Artsy-Fartsy Back Door on the Cities.

Wish I'd been able to share this as I was composing the shot.  The door itself, the shadows, textures, grains, colors, media, not to mention view in the background.  One of my poet friends might tease about this being an artsy-fartsy conceit.  So be it.  I hope to invite myself back when the sun is shining just so, and I have a larger format digi hung around my neck. One never tires of image like this.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Emily + David Tie the Knot, Then Cut the Cake.

We didn't expect an invite, but Pina and I were glad to be on the Emily and David 'A' List.  The wedding was held at Montevista Ranch resort in Wickenburg.  Hundreds of guests (it seemed that way, at least) cheered on the bride and groom, and their very cool attendants. The Christian service was touching and tender, poignant and profound.  Gospel choirs impressed guests with sweet-sounding a capella favorites.  Once the receiving line had snaked its way past the wedding party, the culinary celebration began: tasty dishes from all over the world, served with joy and love. Some of us went back for seconds and third!  We said our good-byes before the cake was cut, so we didn't witness this serving knife in action.  It must have been quite an event.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Porta-Pack Packs A Lot. Get one for Under $20.00.

Greydon Turner drives his business while riding single-track.   That's how he invented PORTA-PACK, seen here, useful and smart, and priced under twenty-dollars. 

As Greydon tells it:  "I started making these when I could not find one to purchase. I had grabbed a couple of my daughter’s make-up bags and strapped them to my bike with bungee cords. I then bought a sewing machine and made a few bags in the basement. It was awful. After hours of aggravation and one broken sewing machine I found a local guy to make them for me."
Bags attach to the top tube by means of Velcro straps.  PORTA-PACKS hold spare tubes, tools, a phone, your keys, and snacks. You have access while riding. Large zipper pulls work even when you're wearing gloves.

PORTA-PACKS are made in New Hampshire. Greydon keeps prices low -- you can get one for under $20.00.
Visit these guys at www.Porta-Pack.com . If you're riding this summer in New England, give a call and hang out with Greydon.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Garcia "Little Red School House" - Good as Gold.

Can't you imagine conditions in the old Arizona Territory during gold rush fever of the mid-19th Century? Bands of fortune hunters pouring in from everywhere. Promises of unimaginable wealth. Gunfights and poke-grabs, dreamers and schemers:  such rapid social and economic change that the long-time residents hardly knew what hit them.

Along the way came workers and services to support the quest for gold. Dry goods stores, saloons, hatters, bakers, livery stables, assay offices and, yes, even schools.  Someone had to educate the kids in the fast-growing hamlet of Wickenburg.

Don Ignacio Garcia, who owned much of the territory in those days, had a soft spot in his heart for kids.  The Don wanted young people to learn to read and write and problem-solve.  So Sr, Garcia did something about his passion and commitment.

Ignacio donated the land and built the adobe log one-roomer for the first territorial School. Hooray, Mr. Garcia.  As time went on and need grew for more space, another school was built -- again, with the generous support of Sr. Garcia.  Then a fire destroyed the facilities.  And, again, Sr. Garcia stepped up.

As the community grew, and emphasized education, Mr. Garcia's Little Red School House gave way to modern educational facilities which continue to this day.  "Little Red" is on the National Register of Historic Places now, serving cultural and community needs of modern-day Wickenburg. A plaque sits near the new-old building, in honor of the generous visionary who did as much for his town as all the nuggets of gold ever pulled from Henry Wickenburg's Vulture Mine. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Did Mitt Romney Drive This Nash Ambassador?

What do you think? Maybe a '58?

Not sure of the year, but the design sure stands out. And it's possible that a young Mitt Romney may have learned to drive in this classic.

You see, Mitt's dad, George Romney, once led American Motors. And it was AMC that finally pulled the plug on the Ambassador model after 48 years of continuous production.

Maybe, then, an eager Mitt did cut his automotive teeth on this car?  If so, the guy standing in front of this beater above would love to hear more about it.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Funky Green Skull, Check the Teeth.

Ooooh, skull is pretty funky.  Followers of the Poppy Blog may remember that I found this old horse head on a ride last summer, resting in a ditch not two feet off Hwy. 24 on the way to Loretto.  You can still see the hay in the equine schnozz.

Like a warrior with his prize, I showed off my trophy by securing the skull to my flat bars with a pair of bungee-cords. I considered installing head lights in the eye sockets.  Now, THAT would have been weird.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Albuquerque - ABQ Old Town - Poco a Poco.

We've been to New Mexico many times.  Each visit to ABQ, in particular, is more interesting and rewarding than the past: more to do, learn, see, explore.  This city is synonymous with adventure, and discovery: for a shutter bug like me, an endless supply of foto opps everywhere you point the lens.

I remember the first visit.  We pulled off I-40 on a whim, took the exit to Old Town, got lost only a little bit, but took it all in stride. Not hard to find a parking spot - right in front of an ice cream parlor where we sampled the fare, of course.

Museums, public art installations, universities, churches, public squares, fascinating and compelling shops, plus (and this is my fave I think) a city fire station whose  facade itself is a work of art.   

You gotta see this place for yourself if you haven't been to ABQ before.