Archive - Mar 2006

Reasserting the obvious

Two headlines this morning struck me as funny: "Mental sharpness may impact number of falls in elderly" was the first. They needed a study to find this out. I hope it wasn't funded by tax dollars, but I suspect it was.

Second: "Santana pleased with changeup." Really! And I'll bet Michelangelo was happy with the Sistine Chapel, too. If Santana is already painting the strike zone with his change-up, we're going to have a fun spring. And summer.

Vocational aptitude

Was showing Leo some photo albums and came across this one of me at nine months. My inclinations were already obvious. Notice the glee with which I am slaughtering somebody in print. The makers of Gerbers liquid pea goop?

Here's one more shot of the million dollar toilet near Devils Lake. I think it was worth every dime.

March 30th

Catalog party

The nursery catalogs arrived yesterday. Today, we started affixing the mailing labels in hopes of getting the whole schmear out in the mail tomorrow. I enjoy the assembly line-like process. Cindy has it down to a science. Printing out the labels, organizing by zip code, boxing up the catalogs, filling out the forms for the bulk mailing requirements.

As for me, I just stick labels and obey orders. That didn't prevent me from knocking over a cup of coffee on about a dozen catalogs and two pages of labels. That took about ten minutes of recovery time.

March 29th


My favorite part of Sid Hartman's sports column in the Minneapolis Tribune were the "jottings," little snippets of gossip separated by three dots...So, here are jottings of the trip to Minot...The windbreaks near Larimore are spectacular...I was in a picture-taking mood, so I snapped about 100...Highway 2 was so abandoned I could stop whenever I wanted...of course it would have helped if I had put the memory card in my camera first...

Million-dollar toilet

Weblog reader Tara, who grew up 3 miles from the rest area highlighted below, sent on "the rest of the story" this morning. The rest area is indeed modeled after a steamboat. The story is quite interesting. So is the story of the rest area, according to Tara:
The rest area cost one million dollars to build. It was quite the uproar in the community as who would ever spend that much on a bathroom. They now call it the million dollar toilet.

March 28th


Something about this scene, a repeat of the one below, reminds me of this painting by Andrew Wyeth, which has always held a spot in my imagination. Because Wyeth was a New Englander, I don't think he realized how well this painting represents much of North Dakota.


Well, I made it through the performance in front of 500 people without screwing up too badly. Lots of nice comments afterwards by nice people. At one point, the clip-on mike started cutting out when I was in the middle of a song. I didn't know whether to quit and repair it or just plow ahead. I plowed ahead, although I could sense that the cutting out was distracting some of the audience on the right side of the room.

Notable rest area

On the long lonely stretches of US Highway 2 across North Dakota, this clever rest area appeared right near Devils Lake. It took me a while to realize that it had a steamboat theme. Notice the vent doubling as the paddle wheel as well as the smoke stack.

Denbigh School

I don't think I have seen a building so perfectly lonely as this 1907 school in the dying little town of Denbigh, North Dakota, just east of Minot. It looked from this distance like somebody has been caring for the interior. The school looks in great condition. Hope it stays that way.

March 27th

Slow melt

Last night it didn't freeze. That means the snow could melt all night, which speeds things up considerably. However, there still are no black spots in the fields until you get about thirty miles south of here. All white.