Archive - Jul 2007

July 9th

Coffee shops

I have always idealized coffee shops as a good place to write. Now that I am in the middle of writing a book, I decided to test that thesis.

I started off today at the Urban Stampede in downtown Grand Forks. Once I got my computer out and going and bought some decaf French Roast, I was off.

Except for one thing. The booth was vibrating due to some machine running in the building. And I had to kill two flies that were landing on me constantly. And some people up front were talking loudly about some party they had attended this past weekend.

July 7th


July 6th

More birds

I finally caught an oriole with the camera. They have been elusive, but they sure like the jelly out front.

Here is a pair of juvenile orioles. Perhaps they are the reason I have to fill the jelly bowl every two days.

Morning on the swamp

July 5th


On this perfect July day, I decided to help weed in the gardens. It felt good to pick the succulent, pernicious perslain and throw it out into the lawn. We made great progress. It was needed, for the weeds are galloping along as fast as everything else.

People are coming to see the gardens, which makes us sheepish since they are anything but ready. Yet, people seem to enjoy walking around. This afternoon there were enough customers to prevent me from getting any writing done until seven this evening.

That'll show 'em

The ever-meddlesome Minnesota legislature makes a fool of itself in the London Times. What an incredibly stupid piece of legislation–– and par for the course for Tom Rukavina. Think about it: can you imagine the uproar if this law were enforced and some flag-flying citizen were fined $1000 for flying a U. S. flag made in China?

Notice how the Times reporter quotes some offspring of Betsy Ross from another state and calls him a "fellow congressman" of Rukavina's.

July 4th

Vote Neshek!

My favorite Twins player Pat Neshek is on the ballot for the final spot on the American League All-Star team. Use his website to vote early and vote often!

East of Bejou

Yesterday, Aunt Olla and I had an appointment for her to come out to the house and listen to the frogs. I knew that the frogs weren't going to be too rewarding, so I had another proposal in my pocket: Why don't we drive out east into the woods, just like she and Florence used to?

Olla fell for that right away. So, after we picked up a few groceries in town, we headed east of Bejou.

July 2nd


Yesterday, I started writing the book I have been researching for the past sixth months. Taking the step of penning the first paragraph is akin to diving off the high board for the first time. It's scary, and it usually doesn't look pretty. But it is a necessary step.

Once I get into writing, the hours go quickly. It is to get sat down, get concentrated, and get moving. That is the hard part. I am also supposed to be running a nursery, which means answering the phone and other interruptions.

Rolly Rue

My friend Rolly Rue passed away this week after no fewer than thirty-seven years of battling cancer of several sorts. He had come back from near death so many times that doctors regarded him as something of a miracle. But if you ever met Rolly, you knew why he lasted so long: He was 100% gristle.

Rolly was gruff and blunt. He told it like it was. He had a strong handshake. And he had no time for nonsense. That is why I was so honored when he took a liking to me, first through my column, and then when he would show up for every speech I gave within fifty miles of his home.