Archive - 2005

October 29th


Using the anniversary of the Volstead Act as an excuse, Garrison Keillor made several interesting points on his Writer's Almanac last evening about Prohibition:

--Although Prohibition didn't work as well in urban areas, in rural areas commitments to insane asylums for alcoholism went down 50%.

--Women were the force behind the imposition of Prohibition. They didn't have the avenues to earn a living for themselves that they do today, divorce was much more difficult, and many of them simply became impoverished due to their husband's drinking.

October 28th

Rindal, cont.

Weblog reader, schoolmate and fellow former neighborhood terrorist Jeff Krogstad grew up on the farm behind the pines below. He points out that nearly every stone in the picture has "Krogstad" on it. "Only the 'scrubby' pine separate the living from the dead," he points out.

He also remembered something I did not. He claims that I played "Elvira" (by the Oak Ridge Boys) as the offertory on the old pipe organ at a youth service at Faaberg about 25 years ago.

Ah, the foolishness of ute.

Tour of greater Rindal

Decided to get a picture of the tamarack on the Harstad farm before it lost all its needles. This tree is rare in our immediate neck of the woods. I suspect the seed for this one floated in from over by Fosston on the Sandhill River, which runs a few feet from the tree.

October 27th

King Karl

Cousin Anne is visiting Minnesota to see her new nephew Karl. She is recording her trip with the usual excellent pictures. My favorite is at the bottom of this page. Look at how that kid holds that leaf! He's already got gravitas, and he's only two months old.

For those of you new here, if you like good photography, page through Anne's archives. She doesn't take bad photos. Or, should we say she doesn't post bad photos!

Swamp castle pics

Things are starting to settle in the house a bit. The furniture is finding its home. I am putting some lights up. It is so nice to have warm lighting on the wood. So, I decided to take some pictures--which required a long exposure. I was too lazy to put up the tripod, so I propped the camera against various posts and beams.


It is time to dig the trees out of the ground and put them in storage for the winter. Here Dad dumps some Norway Poplar forcibly to the ground in the hopes that the dirt will shake loose from their roots. We undercut the trees first (see last week's entry) but even so, in some patches of ground the dirt is stubborn about falling off the roots.


Spent the day yesterday on the campus of the University of Minnesota, Crookston in my capacity as a nursery owner who sometimes hires UMC graduates--or at least interns.

It was a day where area business and agency leaders advised people at the college on what they value in UMC graduates, and what they would like to see in potential employees.


I am always hoping to catch some of the stark beauty of the Red River Valley with the camera, but it is difficult to get a feel for the flatness and the lines. Here is an attempt using a row of trees that I have always enjoyed near Crookston. Somebody has taken the time to trim these green ash so they have nice trunks.

October 26th

Old Friend Orion

Got up early enough this morning to see the constellation Orion in the southwest skies. Orion is a "winter constellation," meaning that it is visible in the winter skies only. So, its appearance marks the change in seasons.

Most constellations consist of unrelated stars which happen to line up in our vision from earth. The ancients, who spent a lot more time than we do observing the skies, named the constellations for figures in their mythology. Those names have stuck, even in modern astronomy, as a way of navigating the geography of the night sky.

October 25th

Fall classic

My house is finally fully wired to the world. On the television is the World Series game. On my lap is a computer hooked up to wireless internet.

I am ambivalent about the World Series. I have spent the past several years despising the White Sox, but they have gotten rid of all of their unbearably cocky players--players who claimed they were better than the Twins despite their poor record--and have gotten a manager who is a character, Ozzie Guillen.