Sunday, June 11, 2017

A little sammy to tide us over on our way downtown to chow at "El Jefe" food truck.

There was finally a break in the weather this morning.  Near-100 degree temps yesterday in Minnie gave way to 60's and 70's on Sunday. Thanks to  massive thunderstorms strong enough to down  40' trees all over the Metro, and cut off the cable signal carrying the Men's Finals of the French Open, we couldn't actually see Rafa make quick work of Stan.  But just knowing that Nadal was on his way to a 10th Championship in Roland-Garros made us plenty hungry. And on our way to Food Truck Court we headed, with a ham sandwich for Poppina and me to split, resting with grace and style on the dash board of the T + C.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Shopping for Organic Plants at Two Pony Gardens. Check back with Us later this Summer for the Abundance that's Sure to Come.

A Late Spring Cornucopia of Organic Plants awaited us this evening at Two Pony Gardens. We'll be Back in Shopping Mode when Plants are ready for Harvest!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Boy Scouts and their Leaders take to the Trails in Baker Park.

Scout Leaders (three of a dozen or so I met today in Baker Park) just about ready to hit the trail again.  My new best friends put their 70-member Boy Scout troop from West Hennepin through get-in-shape paces every weekend  The 10-mile hike today -- with full packs -- is part of the rigorous training in prep for a mid-August adventure in remote Wyoming. One of the troop masters was carrying an 8-lb. barbell in his back pack -- talk about a guy getting in shape.  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Hanging out with Brant Egertson of VELOFIX Mobile Bike Shop.

Inside Brant Egertson's VELOFIX Mercedes-Benz Sprinter -- every Park Tool ever made and enough room to tear down and rebuild bicycles all day long.  Plus:  VELOFIX comes to your house!


Van Operator and Master "Wrench" Brant Egertson could not have been more enthusiastic about the great service that VELOFIX offers busy cyclists. 

Brant explains here that VELOFIX is a Canadian company, and his bosses in the Twin Cities hold the Minnesota franchise.

Juice 1 is not part of the VELOFIX fleet.  I met this Ford outside a laundromat in Long Lake.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Velo hero Charlie Paterson lost his life to reckless motorist on Hwy. 60.

Who was Charles Paterson?  How did he die? What happened to the motorist who hit Charlie? Who erected this Ghost Bike tribute?  Who maintains the memorial?  I searched archives of weekly Wickenburg Sun and was never able to find the answers. If you know please let me know.

Friday, May 26, 2017

A friend of mine wrote this to another friend ......

"We don’t see the world as it is.  We see the world as we are."

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Through a Mirror, Sharply (with help from Emoji's)

One of the grandkids reported bhow much they loved emojis -- so much so a couple of cuties ended up on the rear view mirror of the Dodge Charger.  Wait.  Who's the emoji? Who's the real person? 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Still sold out of Coke for the season. Bummer.

You can't drop a Susan B. Anthony and get a cold one out the bottom door.  Machine still closed for the season, though drinks are still available at check-out a Dundee Nursery.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Jaffray Home Repair arrives with everything needed to keep the Hoyt homestead looking sharp, well-maintaned, fresh, strong and desirable.

Bob Jaffray has been doing some excellent work around our place this spring.  First time he arrived to discuss a job I was surprised he wasn't driving an F-150 or pulling a big Haul-Mark like the lawnmower guys do.  Yet when the workshop in a box spilled out of the back of the gently-used Suburban and Bob set up, started milling lumber, stirring paint, and mixing cement, it was clear he had everything he needed to get 'er done.  I'm sure the Ford dealer would love to put Bob into a 2017 "Northland Division,"  but I bear witness to a man, his tools and his ride, being perfectly matched to the task at hand.  Thank you, Bob.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Experience Life Magazine ad sales reunion.

Queen Jean, Coxie and I chowed together this week at Highland Grill in St. Paul. We went Dutch.  For a year and some months the three of us put our hearts into selling print ads into EL monthly magazine, and badges and buttons on the companion website.  The Queen made her numbers, and then some.  And yours truly (Coxie calls me the Captain), came up short.  Jean and I have retired now, and Craig has resumed his extensive duties on the edit side of Experience Life.  Great magazine, great Boss (Coxie), Great Colleague (Queen Jean), and great fun.  Lucky us. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sweet Weekend, indeed. Choc Chip Cookies, Fresh Maple Syrup, Sour Dough Flap Jack resipe with Goose Eggs, Homer Made Pork Sausages and Caramelized Bacon. Oh, yum, yum, yum.

Foodie weekend started in Wayzata at Woullet Bakery. Two massive choc chunk cookies, delivered by Gretchen, with justifiable pride.  

Two Pony great-room table displays just boiled Maple Syrup which Lisa put up in glass jars within past 12 hours. Jason, in the middle of the pic, did a lot of the tree-tapping, collecting and the boiling.  You can imagine how excited he was to be sitting down to a maple syrup and pancake brunch.

Satisfied Syrupers display with pride examples of their Maple Harvest.



Golden Goodness.

Civil War era Iron Tree Tap, imported to Minnesota from Vermont.  They know something about syrup back in the Green Mountain state.

Slightly less old tree tapper, made of aluminum, rests alongside the original.

Pork sausage from North Carolina iron-skillet simmering alongside non-nitrate bacon from the local co-op.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"Shutterbug" repair shop and old format graveyard at National Camera in Golden Valley.

Steve Meyer runs the "Shutterbug" shop at National Camera.  I stopped in to see him this week -- had been told they might buy some old, at-one-time very spendy SLR gear that had been gathering dust in our basement. We had a collection of Pentax bodies, Takumar lenses, Tamron lenses, 35mm Olympus point-and-shoots, even a Nikon APC which Nancy and I took with us on a vacation in Spain more than a decade ago.  Damn right: we knew our equipment was precious and priceless, and likely worth a fortune -- even in this digital era. Wrong.  Very few folks want a K 1000 or Spotmatic body these days.  And the one possibly-valuable zoom lens had grown some mildew inside, and wouldn't bring in resale what it would cost to clean and repair.  I was crushed when Steve offered me ****** for the whole deal. How could I tell my wife how little the kit was worth when much of the gear had been hers?  I moaned and groaned, hemmed and hawed, and said, OK. I'll take it. That was two days ago and I doubt we'll ever miss what we sold at pennies on the dollar. 

How can you NOT love this bulletin board at "Shutterbug"?  The history represented by the brands.  The B + W enlargements,  The tribute to Norma Jean.  And if that didn't bring enough joy, then shelves-full of Voitlanders, Rolliflexes, Retinas, Zeiss lenses, large format Mamiyas, and lens caps from a bunch of European and Asian cameras you've never heard of, would certainly elicit oohs and aahs from the aficionado. This is a must-see little corner of history, whether you plan to sell any old gear, or simply want to be awed and inspired. Do it.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Bright blue skies, stunning afternnon sunshine, yet cold enough for Wayzata to be inside, taking a warm-up break.


For all the times we've walked along Lake Minnetonka we'd never seen this piece of tribute public art.  Simple yet elegant there's a story here that I must learn more about. And if/when I do, I'll post on the blog for others to enjoy. Meanwhile, go check the work yourself: it's right across E. Lake Street from Ben + Jerry's


Your iPhone can deliver a stunning, award-winning shot if the snow, sun, sky and trees conspire to make it happen.  It's hard to resist taking fotos when sun bounces off lake water and sneaks between limbs and branches of naked trees.


Construction on the new municipal parking lot has stopped for the day. I like that the stop sign is taking a break as well.



Big project, huh?  Wonder where Gate 2 leads?





And this one is my favorite cold weather Wayzata shot.  A dad and his son deeply engrossed in reading some important book together.  The library table looks perfect for this memorable experience, the wood warm and inviting.  Dad didn't see me peeking through the triple-pane windows, though if he had I wouldn't likely have taken a pic if I could have seen his face and eyes.  Wonder if the book is Robinson Crusoe, maybe some more contemporary classic?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Hanging out this afternoon at the Hennepin County Libary in Ridgedale.

Of course you go the Dunn Brothers before setting foot inside the main reading room.  It's OK to bring in your lattes -- just don't spill anything!

You've got to check out this paper back book art if you've not seen it before.  Looks a little bit like origami, don't you agree? Wish I'd asked about the artists who created it.

Clam shell? Whole bunch of scarves hanging together? Pages from a Mickey Spillane novel?

I'm thinking how painstaking it likely was to create this piece -- or/and any of the others I just posted.What do you think?

In the lobby of the library, just beyond the automatic door, there are maybe four pieces of ceramic art. Two of them are benches - would you call them benches?  They don't look comfortable and that's maybe why no one was chilling on them when I arrived there.  Along comes a very nice couple, however, and I asked if they'd mind posing for a foto. How agreeable they were - lovely people.  


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Big Fun at Fjall Raven in Uptown.


New BFF Eric - store manager at Fjall Raven Uptown - was a big help when I shopped

the Hennepin Avenue store earlier this week. It was my first trip to "the Fox," and I was stunned by the quality of the apparel, footwear, and camping gear.  Much of it was marked down 30%. Good deal.  Check it out.



Eric Hartnett
Store Manager - Fjallraven Uptown
2912 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 252-4704

I believe Eric told me that these Swedish made gloves had a lifetime guarantee.  Buy them now, save some $$, put aside the gloves 'til next winter. 

These classic backpacks are worn and loved, worldwide.  I remember buying them for each of my grandsons, and damned near got one for myself.  Can you believe the colors?  The little packs, for kids up to 7-8, cost about $65.00 as I remember.  Eric pointed out a special pack made entirely from recycled plastic water bottles.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

My Sis reports in on latest Peruvian "retablo" she scored today at a flea market in suburban Seattle.

 Found my most elaborate Peruvian retablo yet at a flea market yesterday.  Need to reattach door and do a few other repairs but not bad for $2 ;). 
That's the door below w design on outside. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Little Red Riding Hood left her Little Red Boots over here in Hamel, MN.


Gently used apparel and accessories store in Uptown Hamel features Little Red Riding Hood Red Boots for sale.  Couldn't find the price, and store was closed for the afternoon.  I'm a little surprised that the Little Boots hadn't walked off by themselves already.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

It's like someone turned on a massive "sun" light and aimed it at our Co-op.

It's all about the light, as any photographer will tell you. So when a setting sun shines this stunningly on a building made with just the right kind of materials, a fella has to stop his car in the parking lot, take out the iPhone, and fire away.  The shopper is unidentified, and I hope she wasn't angry that I included her in my composition. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Checking out Books at Maple Plain Library since 1922. No Library Card required.

Maple Plain Library

Library service to Maple Plain and the surrounding communities began in 1922, when the library was housed out of a former U.S. Post Office. For the next five decades, the library operated out of various locations in the community, with the first permanent location opening in a commercial building on Main Street in 1973. The library was renovated in 1996.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Glitter Gold Laces big hit at School Today.

A young friend of the Poppy Blog decided to lace up a pair of sneaks today with these striking gold laces.  My pal checked with his mom to see if she thought first grade schoolmates would approve, and she said: go for it." And he did. And the kids in his class thought he (and laces) were awesome.  

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Sonoma Vintner Carolyn T. happy to meet a 2016 Wiener-mo-Beel.

Our pal Carolyn and hubby James take a gas station break from work on their vines in Sonoma.  Spotted at the center island pumping high test:  a 2016 model Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.  As if by magic old TV jingle danced through her head:  I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener, wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener ..... 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

At Common Roots - orderly attention to detail at the side bar assures that what comes out of the espresso machine is of highest quality. And it is (does).

When the condiment side bar is as orderly as this, you simply know the coffee products rock. And that they do at Common Roots. Just saying ... 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Pillsbury 'A' Mill Stuns in Late Afternoon Sunlight.


For seventy years "Bohemian Flats" was home to wave after wave of immigrants pursuing the American Dream. Quite a story, and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to come upon it.




Roasted Fresh Daily.


I'm getting quite the stare from this passerby, don't you think? All I'm doing is sipping an iced skim latte, reading the Strib, and snapping an occasional foto through the front window at Dunn Brothers. Maybe I should have offered this pedestrian a coffee drink in return for letting me frame the picture?