Archive - Oct 2006

October 20th


Aunt Olla and I headed to Lake Park yesterday morning to visit her schoolkid Eileen and her husband Harold. Eileen had a big spread prepared, and Olla was in fine form, visiting for several hours about old times.

On the way to Lake Park, we took the back roads east of Ulen. This was the area where Olla taught school in the 1930s. There wasn't a single grove of trees which Olla didn't remember. She even remembered where there used to be farmsteads in what are now open fields.

October 19th


Weblog reader Jerrianne from Alaska passes on a link to photos of Cambridge. Wow. I spent a summer in Cambridge, and I took many long walks in the late evening. Believe me, these scenes are everywhere. I recognize many of them. And they are best is the light of dusk, which in the English summer comes at about 10:30 p.m., just as people are stumbling home from the pubs (which close at 11).

This is some great photography. It captures the scenes which I found surreal even while experiencing them.

October 18th

Pac filling

Came home from class to find the men running the pac filling operation. That is the assembly line Dad invented which we use each fall to fill the 5,500 trays of pacs with soil for use and sale in the greenhouse in the spring. Usually we have six or seven people on hand to man the operation. When I came home today, they were hustling along with four. The pac-filler puts out seventeen trays per minute no matter what, so with four people you run out of breath.

October 17th

Fall colors

Time for some color on this weblog. Things are getting a little blah. The last time the sun was out, I took this picture of pumpkins on my front porch.

The flowering crab berries are putting on their display of color right now. The berries look like little Christmas ornaments.

October 16th

Local man missing

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Charlie Gustafson of Beltrami is still missing in the wilds of southeastern Wyoming. He was elk hunting with relatives.

Cubs hire Piniella

The Chicago Cubs hired one of my all-time favorite baseball people, Lou Piniella, in an attempt to end their perpetual losing ways. The fiery Pineilla is from the Billy Martin mold. He'll throw things, scream at umpires, kick dirt, all that good entertaining stuff.

Election of 1800

Lectured today on the election of 1800, which I still don't understand myself. Jefferson and Adams were the two presidential candidates. Neither got a majority in the Electoral College, so the election was thrown into the House of Representatives.

The system in place at the time dictated that the second place finisher in the vote in the House would become Vice President. Jefferson was tied with his running mate Aaron Burr for many ballots. Finally, one state threw the election to Jefferson, who entered office without much of a mandate.

October 15th

Window washing

Since I wrote a column on window-washing a couple of weeks ago, I have gotten dozens of suggestions. Most had something to do with vinegar or dish soap, or a combination of the two. Some methods were complicated, some were simple.

Some common themes: Use newspaper or cheap paper towels, the expensive paper towels smear.

Vinegar is about as good as it gets, apparently. One lady uses dish soap, ammonia and vinegar.

So, today, I mixed up some vinegar water and did almost all of my windows. They turned out great. Must be the cool weather.

Stri vs. strid

Reader Lyndon agrees with Jim and Ingela that "strid" means conflict, and furthermore, many soldiers in the old time ended up adopting it as a surname simply to distinguish themselves from all the Mattsons and Nelsons. Thus, there are people with the surname "Streed" up in the far reaches of northwest Minnesota.

October 14th

Quite prominent

Just remembered a statement Olla made yesterday when talking about a friend of hers from the old days. Olla said her friend came from a family which was "quite prominent in Flom."

Flom is a nice town, but its population is at most 30. Not quite sure what it would take to be quite prominent there.

Another phrase of the day: "You're going to stay for lunch, aren't you?"

The nice ladies at the Cluster 4 gathering at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Bemidji, of course, asked me to stay for lunch.