Friday, April 30, 2010


Unbelievably, she lost in a reader poll of favorite comics, so was dropped from the funny pages of our daily (thanks Chuck) paper. I was perfectly willing to sacrifice Fred Bassett, Garfield, or Marmaduke to keep her, but apparently others were not.

Here's Sylvia online on blogging.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Educational TV

Hip hip hooray! Spongebob saves the day!

If you missed last week's news of the girl who saved her friend from choking by channeling Spongebob Squarepants, read all about it here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

They Didn't Cover this at Police Academy

Pardon me while I regurgitate the news for you. Sometimes there are tidbits so fascinating that I just can't take the chance you might miss them. This for example:


A 41-year-old woman is in jail after police say she went on a blowgun spree in downtown Stevens Point.

The Stevens Point Journal reports that police got a report at 9 p.m. Wednesday from a 25-year-old woman who said she was walking downtown when she felt something hit her chest. In the next half-hour, three more people made similar reports. None was seriously injured.

One of the victims reported she saw the dart shot from a pipe sticking out a window of a black minivan. Police pulled the vehicle over at 9:30 p.m. and found a blowgun, a slingshot and a bucket of rocks inside.

Police arrested the van's driver, Paula Wolf, and said she eventually admitted to shooting the pedestrians. She allegedly told an officer that she "liked to hear people say 'ouch.' " Wolf was charged with recklessly endangering safety.

— Associated Press

Sounds like the suspect went quietly, but they should put this guy's number on speed dial just in case future sprees get out of hand.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What's the Buzz?

Back in the neighborhood...It's the annual big, bright, traffic-stopping rhody show.

There are so many nectar intoxicated, happy bumblebees visiting it sounds as if the bush itself is buzzing.

The week the rhodedendron blooms is is my favorite week of the year in our neighbor. Trees and flowers are budding out in shades of burgundy, pink, and chartreuse, the weeds are small and easily pulled, and the rhodedendron is putting on its show. This year our week of garden glory came early. We have had photos with the rhody as vivid pink background at Prom time, the first weekend in May, and as late as Mother's Day, but seldom has it been all bloomed out before the end of April. What a sensational spring it has been!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Man Behind the Pan

While we were in the city last week there was a program happening at the Mill City Museum called "Tunnel of Fudge Cake: the Bake-Off and the Bundt Pan". Had it not been in conflict with the ball game we would have been there. You betcha.

The bundt pan story was already somewhat familiar to me. I remembered reading the obituary of its inventor a few years back.

H. David Dalquist, 86, Bundt Pan's Inventor, Dies
Published: January 6, 2005

EDINA, Minn., Jan. 5 (AP) - H. David Dalquist, creator of the aluminum Bundt pan, died on Sunday at his home here. He was 86.

The cause was heart failure, his family said.

Mr. Dalquist founded Nordic Ware, which has sold more than 50 million Bundt pans.

He designed the pan in 1950 at the request of members of the Minneapolis chapter of Hadassah, who sought to recreate cakes baked in Europe but wanted a pan made of modern materials. Mr. Dalquist created a new shape based on a German original, adding regular folds to make it easier to cut the cake.

The women from the society called the pans "bund pans" because "bund" is German for an organization or group of people. Mr. Dalquist added a "t" and trademarked the name.

For years, the company sold few such pans. Then in 1966, a Texas woman won second place in the Pillsbury Bake-Off for her Tunnel of Fudge Cake, made in a Bundt pan. Suddenly, bakers across the country wanted their own Tunnel of Fudge cakes.

Mr. Dalquist founded Nordic Ware after returning from duty in the Navy in World War II. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in chemical engineering.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Margerite Staugaard Dalquist; a son, David, of Minnetonka, Minn.; three daughters, Corrine Lynch of Eden Prairie, Minn., Linda Jeffrey of Medina, Minn., and Susan Brust of Dellwood, Minn; and 12 grandchildren.

Perhaps the story of yet another iconic couple who got their start in Minnesota has put you in the mood for a trip through the Tunnel of Fudge ?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Minnie and Paul and Ray

On May 18, the same day we attended the Twins, game Ray Barton passed away. Ray's most visible legacy is the iconic illustration of Minnie and Paul in their uniforms shaking hands acoss the Mississippi river. It became the Twins' logo soon after its creation in 1961. They say he never really liked it, but the happy image is beloved by several generations of fans and is the centerfield focal point of the new stadium. You can read more about Ray Barton and his famous picture here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Island Life

On one of our very first dates many years ago we went to The Prairie Home Show on Nicollet Island. A week before our anniversary this year we returned to stay at the Nicollet Island Inn.

We treated ourselves to the champagne brunch on Sunday morning then went for a stroll before the ballgame. It was a lovely weekend with gorgeous weather.

Way back in time, it snowed both of the two weekends preceding our Saturday, April 24 wedding. We were lucky just to have dry ground and a little green grass for our backyard reception.

What a difference 28 years of global warming and a little El Nino makes.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Being Green

No word on the MPG, but at least this guy recycles. The turf came from the Guthrie.

The 2010 Minneapolis Artcar Parade is Saturday, July 24. Look for an artcar event in your area.

If anyone has a surplus of cars hanging around their driveway, yard, or lot and would like to donate one for an artcar give me a call. I'm thinkin' gnomemobile.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Art Car Encounter

We heard there would be art cars. We had to find them.


This car's theme - circles.

Her other art car - covered with corks.

"Hey," I sez. "I met some women who were saving corks for a friend with a cork covered art car."

"They had bags of corks with them on a winter knit/ski retreat. I think the main cork saver was the knitter named Jane who got corks from a bartending friend."

"Yes," she sez, "I know Jane. Those corks were for me."

"Small (art car) world!" I sez. She agreed.

Let's count the degrees of separation from me to artcargirl. One - my friend.

Two - Her sister.

Three - Her knitting friend Jane, the cork saver.

Four - Artcargirl. Shazam! Only four degrees of separation from the colorful world of art cars.

I wonder if the cork saving knitters have seen this amazing yarncar. It's all acrylic, which I'm sure is perfect for wearing if you are not human. Do you think the car pills?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pop ink

Giant paint-by-number art on the front of a building definitely calls for more investigation.

Wording above the door reads: Pop ink merges low art and high design into an infinite visual universe of saccharine sweet, slightly disturbing yet strangely compelling art and artifacts for a (post) modern world.

Internet sleuthing finds Charles S. Anderson Design-related sites with images for purchase and products for sale.

I suddenly have the urge to number and paint the garage. Hmm... what would the neighbors think?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Win Twins

As you can tell by the body language of the exiting fans, it was not the Twins' day. We'll get 'em next time.

It was however, poster schedule giveaway day. How many ways can a kid misuse a rolled up poster? How many were confiscated by parents? New era, same old shenanigans. My favorites, that I could not officially approve of at the time, were the Frosty Malt lid flying saucers and folded program paper airplanes launched (with some impressive success) on previous promotion days by little and big boys of our acquaintance.

“My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass"; "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising boys" - Harmon Killebrew

Real grass.

Blue Skies.

"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops." - Bart Giametti

We have a new stadium, the season ahead of us, and hope in abundance. Play ball!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Forget Me Not

Think of me when you are happy
Keep for me one little spot
In the depth of thine affection
Plant a sweet forget me not.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

9 out of 10 Gnomes Prefer...

Amanita Muscaria - commonly known as the fly agaric (pronounced /ˈæɡərɪk/) or fly Amanita (pronounced /ˌæməˈnaɪtə/), is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. Native throughout the temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere, Amanita muscaria has been unintentionally introduced to many countries in the Southern Hemisphere, generally as a symbiont with pine plantations, and is now a true cosmopolitan species. It associates with various deciduous and coniferous trees. The quintessential toadstool, it is a large white-gilled, white-spotted, usually deep red mushroom, one of the most recognizable and widely encountered in popular culture. Several subspecies, with differing cap colour have been recognised to date, including the brown regalis (considered a separate species), the yellow-orange flavivolata, guessowii, and formosa, and the pinkish persicina. Genetic studies published in 2006 and 2008 show several sharply delineated clades which may represent separate species.

Although generally considered poisonous, deaths are extremely rare, and it has been consumed as a food in parts of Europe, Asia, and North America after parboiling in plentiful water. However, Amanita muscaria is now primarily famed for its hallucinogenic properties with its main psychoactive constituent being the compound muscimol. It was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by the peoples of Siberia and has a religious significance in these cultures. There has been much speculation on traditional use of this mushroom as an intoxicant in places other than Siberia; however, such traditions are far less well-documented. The American banker and amateur ethnomycologist R. Gordon Wasson proposed the fly agaric was in fact the Soma talked about in the ancient Rig Veda texts of India; since its introduction in 1968, this theory has gained both detractors and followers in the anthropological literature.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia(that uses lots of really big words).

NDL Paraphrasipedia - A cool looking mushroom that is the favored fungus of gnomes and housewares designers. It has also been touted for its hallucinogenic properties. Our Scandinavian source reports, "that's what gave the Vikings their nerve to sail so far."

Gifts from Sweden. Napkins and silicon trivet.

I'm always willing to be in charge of mail and papers gratis while a neighbor is out of town (it's part of the NDL job) but confess that I do love trinkets from far away travels.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Squeaky Type

The University of Wisconsin - Green Bay has made a money saving change that is getting national attention. They have requested that staff, faculty, and students change fonts from Arial to Century New Gothic for all printed documents to save an estimated $5,000 to $10,000 annually on ink and toner. If you missed this news item last week you can read the whole story here.

Estimated savings for a household making the same change - $20 a year. As fiscally foolish as it may be I'm sticking with Georgia*. Life is too short to use an unattractive font.

*Georgia is designed for clarity on a computer monitor even at small sizes, partially effective due to a large x-height. The typeface is named after a tabloid headline titled "Alien heads found in Georgia." (Cool!) - from Wikipedia

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Cheesy Type

Sure you know Cheddar and Swiss are cheese, and Times New Roman and Lucida are fonts, but how about Penbryn, Eurow, Cabarga, Menhart, and Truffe? Are they cheese or are they font?

The cheese or font quiz will help you sharpen your skills so that when you are offered some Dalila you will know if you should break out the crackers and open a bottle of wine, or open a word document. Yet another fascinating way to waste time. Enjoy.

In case you were wondering...I enjoy my Coquetdale with a full bodied red and my Absinette bold.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Charleston, SC April 2009

About this time last year - a half-century celebration adventure in Charleston.

I took this trip with a pal who has been my BFF since we attended Whiteman Junior High School where we gossiped in the J-K locker section and kibbutzed at the back of the orchestra on a daily basis. Neither the lovely Jeanne Jones in the locker between us, Mr. Kirk's flying baton, or summer vacation could stop us from bonding.

I had never really had a desire to go to Charleston, but after some hesitation I agreed realizing that anywhere my BFF goes is where the fun is. When I am with her (which is way not often enough) I always learn amazing things that enhance the quality of (Bonnie Bell Lipsmackers - 1973) or completely change (eyelash curler - 1974) my life. For instance, if you cannot pack the Secret Investment Club Margarita Recipe ingredients in your carry-on bag try Lt. Blender's version. And for the best Bloody Mary request Zing Zang mix by name. I have learned plenty more from my friend over our nearly four decades of friendship, but I am sharing this select cocktail-related wisdom today so that you may be ready for patio and deck season when it is finally in full swing. And when it is, please raise your glass and wish my wise friend well for her next wonderful half century.