May 2006

30. May, 2006 - hot weekend

Felt like a busy weekend, even though not much got done. The oppressive heat had something to do with that. I got to see little details like the thermometer in my truck displaying a third digit (101 when I pulled out of the garage on the way to Sunday’s ball game), and was extremely happy I’d gotten one air conditioner installed on Friday evening (in my bedroom), and the other put in on Saturday before the day got too hot.

Retaining Wall
Retaining Wall
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I had been planning to spend Sunday afternoon putting plants into the space between the new retaining walls in the front yard, but with the brutal temperatures, I stayed inside and napped instead. I had also planned on spending some time relaxing on the brand-spankin’ new patio in the backyard, but again, put it off for cooler days. I’m hoping I can do both sometime this week, perhaps in smaller chunks, rather than an all-day orgy of planting that would leave me disliking gardening.

Patio
Patio
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Kudos to Jon and Drew from Finer Surroundings for the excellent work again. They modified my original ideas for both projects in a way that made me happy with the final result, and avoided flaws I hadn’t initially thought of. I recommend them again.

The Saints? Well, they lost two of three to the Fort Worth Cats. Not their best showing, and I guess I see why Fort Worth won their league championship last year. It was cool to get a copy of Twig’s Book, even if I didn’t start reading it until last night and then was up far too late. Some fireworks photos came out of Sunday night’s game. I’ll try to post them soon.

This week? Well, it’s a short week, but so far I’ve kept next weekend clear, so I’m hoping that I’ll have a chance to get caught up on the outside work, but if not, I’ve got a backup plan. As for photos, I’d really like to be able to post one a day for y’all, but I’m not sure what’s actually going to happen this week. If I don’t summon the energy and links, I guess I’ll see you in June.

Oh, one final thing. Back on Friday morning, I finally discovered what was causing my server to sometimes crash, and to often return weird “Internal Server Error” errors. It was a PHP script I’d written to auto-generate the sitemap, but my site has gotten so big that it was taking forever to run, and if someone called it a second or third time while the first one was still chugging along, it could crash the server. Ugh. I’ve disabled it for now, so things should be better behaved, but I’m going to have to put together a replacement one of these days, too.

26. May, 2006 - long weekend

Not much in the way of news today. A couple items and that’s it. The bigger one is the news of Twig’s book coming out this weekend at Midway. Of course I’ll be over there for the festivities, and will probably come home with a copy. Should be good reading.

Gonna head in to work today, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be done at noon. The week’s been too long, but there are a couple things I want to wrap up just so I don’t forget what I was doing over the weekend. And that’s really it for today. Seeya sometime next week.

25. May, 2006 - slow news summer?

I think it’s time to admit that I’m not going to be doing daily updates this summer. Between work and the many social activities I’m trying to juggle, I think it’s a lot more realistic to expect twice a week. Which matches how things went around here last time I had a real job. And the first couple years of being self-employed, for that matter. It wasn’t until January 2002 when I went daily, and I think it’s time to scale back.

This week, I had two evening meetings at work. Monday and Tuesday, I was leaving work around 9pm, coming home, and pretty much straight to bed. The good part of that is that I got in enough extra hours that I’m not going to feel the least bit guilty about cutting out of work early on Friday. Or perhaps skipping the day entirely. And since the guys have been out working this week, perhaps I’ll have some photos of the terraced goodness in my front yard (which has all the neighbors jealous) or the new patio in the back yard that they’re supposed to pour today.

And there’s a long weekend just around the corner. I’m going to be very happy to have it arrive. Even with Saints games on three of the four evenings, I think it’ll be a chance to catch up on some of the work around the house, some laying about on the couch, and maybe even some sleep. Like staying in bed until the crazy-late hour of 8am or something. Wish me well, and if I don’t see you tomorrow morning, have a great weekend.

22. May, 2006 - back at it?
The walk to work
The walk to work
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Lots to report since last I spewed stuff at you. Last week I was in San Jose for work. It wasn’t completely unexpected, but as usual, I didn’t say much about it here until I got home safely. And it was a welcome break from the usual blogging. I don’t think I could have maintained my sanity if I’d tried to write while I was out there. But it was a productive week of work, even if I didn’t always feel as though I was getting much done. And it was nice to be able to walk to work up Park Avenue in San Jose. My first morning there, the fog broke relatively early, and I got this photo of the walk.

Peregrine Falcon 1
Peregrine Falcon 1
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Falcon 2
Falcon 2
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I have a few quick gripes from the trip out to San Jose. First is that the food court at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has had its windows walled off. No longer can you grab some breakfast while watching planes move to and from the gates. It’s a much more depressing place to eat now. Second, because we had a full plane, NWA was letting people who would check one of their carry-ons board early. Seems kinda wrong to me, but that’s probably just because I saw that the flight was full when I checked in, and checked my bag right then. Thinking ahead gets you no rewards at the airport, it would seem. Third, NWA’s two choices of snacks sold on the flight both contained nuts, to which I am allergic. That did not make me a happy camper. I think I’ll write them a letter.

Falcon 3
Falcon 3
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Wednesday morning, I woke up way too early, hearing a noise from outside. There was a falcon sitting on the ledge outside my window. I was staying on the 20th floor of the Fairmont, and there’s a 3′ wide ledge just outside my windows. But it was skittish, so when I moved the drapes to get a better view it took off. Wednesday evening, I heard a lot of noise. There were two of them, but as I opened the drapes (housekeeping had closed them during the day), one took off. But the other stuck around and posed for a while. 30 pictures taken, through a glare-filled window, with rapidly fading sunset light, and here are the results. I’m relatively pleased by them.

Falcon and Adobe
Falcon and Adobe
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On Thursday evening, after work, the falcon was back again, but on a more distant part of the ledge. That allowed me to catch a photo of him with work in the background. And later that evening, one of the highlights of the trip was dinner with jr. It’s odd, but he reminded me very much of Matt, my roommate from my senior year of high school. Good eggs, both of ’em.

Friday, I flew home, and spent the afternoon catching up around the house and preparing for that evening’s Saints game. Saturday saw a bunch of shooting with some co-workers, and another Saints game. Sunday, yet another baseball game, mowing the lawn, and then collapsing in front of the TV and (unsuccessfully) trying to figure out my schedule for this week.

Which basically catches you up to today. If I’m blogging regularly this week, I’ll go back and fill in some details, but it’s possible I’m going to be taking some more time off from the typing this week. There are some inconveniently scheduled meetings at work this week, plus the landscapers are still here (more on that for sure), and it could very easily be the weekend before I make the time to type at you all some more. See you when I get a chance.

16. May, 2006 - rainy opener

Rained at the Saints’ home opener last night. More on that later.

After the Rain
After the Rain
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Another morning when I haven’t found much to link to. It’s becoming obvious even to me that I’ve been having more fun with the photography lately than the blogging, and for whatever reason I’m not blending them as well as I might. I’m not sure what the answer to the problem is, so bear with me over the next while as I figure it out. I’m thinking that it’s past time to either update my photo-handling code or switch to one o’ them real bits of blogging software or something.

Aw, heck. I dunno. I’ll probably keep plugging along as I have been, but with a full-time job, Saints games, and bunches of other things going on in my life now, I bet I cut back from the “every weekday morning” routine. There just aren’t enough hours some days.

15. May, 2006 - long weekend?
Alley
Alley
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It felt like one. Then again, for all the things planned, I once again did surprisingly few. I got out on Saturday to take some pictures, and was happily surprised to see Jim show up, as well. Spent the late afternoon tweaking and posting them to flickr, and then called it a day, watching some more of Buffy season 5 on the DVD player before heading to bed.

Sad Lime
Sad Lime
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Sunday, as expected, was the trip up to mom’s. We had a pretty good mother’s day outing, going out for some lunch, shopping for some sundries, and then partaking of a time-honored Minnesota tradition, the “Sconnie Run” to pick up some brandy for mom’s after-dinner cocktail. See, there are no liquor sales allowed in Minnesota on Sundays, and I’d forgotten to stop ahead of time. When I got up to mom’s, I was informed that her supply of brandy was perilously low. Knowing that I won’t be up there next weekend, I figured it was best to just make the drive across the border. Plus it was nice being able to chat with mom while driving.

Colorful
Colorful
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Taking Pictures
Taking Pictures
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As to the pictures, here are four of the more popular ones on flickr from the nineteen I posted. The first two were within half a block of the Panera in Uptown where we met, as I was warming up my photographic muscles, so to speak. I wish I’d gotten the focus right on the lime, but I didn’t, and people seem to like it anyhow. The colorful wall is behind the Lunds in Uptown, and was a very popular subject. But the last picture of the four is the most interesting according to flickr, mostly because many people have commented on it. I thought it was just a random snap of “taking a picture of people taking pictures,” but when I got home, I noticed that laggard had his head planted against the street sign, and that made the whole picture a lot more interesting.

Tonight, the Saints play the home opener. I have mixed feelings about it, since one of the weather forecasters said it was going to be pouring rain. The forecasts this morning look a bit more realistic, with the chance of rain this evening just slightly above the usual summertime 30% chance of rain baseline. I’m torn. I want to go to the opener, but I also have a lot of things I should do this evening that I didn’t get to yesterday. Which I suspect will mean spotty postings this week, as I spend my mornings and evenings trying to catch up instead of poking around the web, looking for interesting things.

12. May, 2006 - getting ready
Very Serious
Very Serious
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Sorry for the lack of postings the past few days. Things around here have been busy, plus the weather’s been crappy, and I just didn’t feel like spending the couple hours it takes every morning to put one of these together. Plus I was sleeping late, and basically rushing out the door to work, so it just wasn’t happening.

Falun Gong
Falun Gong
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Today I’ve got a few more pictures from the May Day Parade here in Minneapolis. More dancers and becostumed sorts. They were colorful and pretty and good to look at and photograph. And part of the whole point of going out to the parade was to spend more time taking pictures of people, so I did. I’m pretty pleased with most of them, too. But I think I’m nearing the end of the list for those pictures. Yeah, there are still a fair number of good ones I haven’t posted here, but I need to find some new subjects to mix things up a bit. Good thing there’s an outing planned for tomorrow where I’ll probably find some new stuff to goggle at through the camera lens. Heck, I’m not even sure if I’ll concentrate on people or buildings or what. I just hope the weather’s a little nicer than yesterday and today.

Dancer
Dancer
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Smile!
Smile!
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But that brings me to the upcoming weekend. With tomorrow’s outing, two different folks out performing that I’d like to go see (Cousin Dad’s at Dulono’s and Karl’s playing at the Old Man River Cafe in St. Paul) Saturday night, Mother’s Day on Sunday, and the Saints kicking off the regular season on Monday night, there’s a good chance next week’s updates are going to be spotty, too. But with any luck, I’ll find time to slap some pictures up here for you to look at, and bitch about how I’m too busy getting out and doing stuff to post much around here. I guess there’s worse problems a guy could have, right?

But that’s definitely going to do it for this week. Have a good weekend, and perhaps I’ll see you around here on Monday.

11. May, 2006 - not much to say

I’m still alive. I just don’t have much to say at the moment.

9. May, 2006 - rainy
Hello There
Hello There
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I’d hoped to have some pictures from last night’s “Meet the Saints” picnic for you today, rather than more from the May Day Parade, but a quick peek at the weather radar before I left work yesterday convinced me to head home instead of to the ballpark. The actual thunderstorms didn’t hit until the picnic probably would have been over, but I was glad to spend the evening at home anyhow. The Saints are just starting too early for me this year (because high schools in Texas start earlier in the fall, which means the Texas teams pushed for an earlier season), so missing some pre-season events is in the cards for me.

Dog Marcher
Dog Marcher
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Instead, I’ve got doggie pictures from the parade. Yes, the humans were generally more interesting to watch, but I like taking pictures of dogs, too. And they generally don’t get weird or camera-shy when you point a big lens at ’em. About the only worry is having a dog get too close and then you need to clean the slobber off the lens, but there was none of that on Sunday. Instead, most of the dogs were well-behaved, and kept on a pretty short leash by their humans.

Yap!
Yap!
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Tonight, the Saints are playing another pre-season game over in St. Paul, and there’s also a forecast of evening thunderstorms again. I don’t know whether I’ll make it to the game or not, but I remember getting rained on in May from previous years, and it’s pretty easy to get chilly, even if the weather isn’t that cold. Plus I’ve got a couple loads of laundry here at home that should be run through the washer and dryer. On the third hand, the rest of the week actually looks clear of obligations other than work, so I’m going to have a few evenings to be around home. Maybe I can actually get started on my garden this week, rather than trying to do that during an already busy weekend? So what’s the plan for tonight? I guess I’ll figure that out about quitting time.

8. May, 2006 - Weekend recap

It was, indeed, a big weekend. Oof. Friday I pondered heading out to the Cinqo de Mayo stuff, but pretty much headed home and had a quiet evening watching some Buffy. Saturday, the day was consumed with getting ready for tailgating because I hadn’t done that on Thursday or Friday. And then there was the Saints game. They lost, but I seem to have remembered to bring everything I needed for tailgating except the salt. That was not a huge problem to deal with. No pictures from either Friday or Saturday, though.

walk this way
walk this way
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Sunday, there was the May Day Parade. Laggard, Surlygrrrl and frippscratch from flickr joined me at the Franklin Ave LRT station at noon, and we hiked over to the parade staging area.

dancer
dancer
flickr page

There was the usual amount of chaos as groups tried to get organized, and we walked up and down 25th taking pictures and trying not to get in the way. After about a half-hour of that, we headed over to Bloomington and 25th and grabbed some seats next to the tall-bike staging area and waited for the parade to start. This turned out to be a decent plan, since we got to see each of the groups heading out while they were still full of energy. The pace that some of the dancers were setting was such that I’m not sure how they could have kept it up through the whole parade.

pear pimples for hairy fishnuts?
pear pimples
for hairy fishnuts?
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After a little more than an hour, the parade had completely passed us by, and we called it a day. I headed home and edited and uploaded the photos to flickr. If you want to check them out, I’ve got a set from the day. Or you can watch around here as I upload them one or two at a time. Yeah, there were a lot of left-wing politics I didn’t agree with out there (Impeach Bush was popular, but I just don’t see what that’s going to change), but generally everyone was in a good mood, and I enjoyed the day. Lots of groups were handing out leaflets or postcards or whatever, and the Hare Krishnas gave me some nuts, which made me laugh at the time.

Of course now I find myself beginning a work-week with a lot of “weekend things” remaining undone, but overall, I think it was worth it. I had a lot of fun over the weekend, and would like to think I took a few good photos. And I’ll either figure out a way to catch up this week, or just start scratching things off the list, figuring they’re just not that important.

And that’s going to do it for today. Have a good week!

5. May, 2006 - Happy No Pants Day!

It’s a busy weekend around town. Tonight there’s the beginning of the Cinco de Mayo celebration over in St. Paul. Jason’s going to be checking out the lowriders. Tomorrow, the Saints are playing the first pre-season game. Sunday, there’s the May Day parade. Lots of good opportunities for pictures of pretty things. And not so pretty.

Towering Ferns
Towering Ferns
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Currently my plans for the weekend involve getting to at least two of those three things, but we’ll see how that plan changes as the weekend evolves. In any case, I figure you’re probably tired of ferns by now, so I should find another subject to photograph. And the mallards left my yard this morning before I could get outside and harass them with the camera.

And I think that’s going to do it for the week. I’ve been trying to think of something else to ramble on about and am coming up empty. Have a great weekend, and I’ll be back on Monday, probably with something fresh from the camera.

4. May, 2006 - late again

Running late again today. Yesterday it didn’t rain, and the lawn had finally dried out enough that I was able to mow the lawn for the first time of the year. And in the process, stir up a bunch of grass mold, which I’m allergic to. So after a shower and an anti-histamine, I headed out for dinner and a couple beers. Slept soundly for eight solid hours when I got home, which has been something of a rarity lately.

Apple Blossoms 2
Apple Blossoms 2
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The weather so far this May has felt more like April than April did. Pretty nice, other than the long patch of rain beginning last week, but I’d gotten used to daytime highs in the 70s, and now they’re in the 50s, which means maybe it’s not quite hawaiian shirt season after all. Dag-nabbit.

But the trees in the yard have been blooming, each in their turn. The crab-apple in front still has lots of flowers, and provides today’s picture again. And another tree that I don’t know what it is has just started blooming. It’s probably next in line for being a subject. Plus the ferns continue to change.

And this Saturday, the Saints play their first pre-season game for everyone. Today’s actually the first game, but it’s the kids-only game, during the day. Time to start sorting out all the tailgating equipment and getting it loaded up for the season. Hopefully this evening. I think I’d rather spend Saturday afternoon playing in the garden than looking for the tongs for the grill. Plus there’s the May Day Parade on Sunday. Are there baseball pictures in your future? Or will it be giant puppets? Find out next Monday!

3. May, 2006 - Wednesday already?

My computer clock and TiVo all seem to agree that it’s Wednesday this morning, but it sure doesn’t feel like it to me. Not sure what day of the week it actually feels like, but I’m not looking forward to the four hours of meetings scheduled for me at work today.

Even More Ferns
Even More Ferns
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On the home front, I heard from the contractor again last night. Turns out the patio pavers I wanted don’t seem to be available anywhere locally, so we’re going with a poured and stamped patio. Yeah, it’ll be impermeable, and make more water runoff, but after spending a couple evenings trying to find the nice permeable, hexagonal pavers I was looking for, I’ve just given in. If it increases my sewer bill (which I think it will), so be it. There’s only so much a guy can do, and damnit, I’m going to have the patio ready for Memorial Day weekend, so we need to get started soon. Now I just need to pick the color they’re going to mix into the concrete, and wait for the ground to dry up a bit, and the project can begin.

Today’s picture? Even More Ferns. They’ve been growing at a crazy pace, and the same plant (or alien pod) looks vastly different from one day to the next, so I haven’t gotten bored with taking pictures of them yet. I might have to take more pictures of them this morning, too. Hopefully I’m not boring you any more with the pictures of ferns than I usually do with my writing.

2. May, 2006 - a sunny day?

Not an incredible amount of progress yesterday, but enough to make me feel better. I got a few of the most critical things done, put in a full day of work, and when I got home, met with the landscaping guys to pick out the blocks that will make up the retaining wall across the front of my yard. Still working on picking out the patio blocks, but hopefully that won’t be too bad. They’re going to get the work done before Memorial Day weekend, too. Schweet.

Apple Blossoms
Apple Blossoms
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The rain, it’s started to feel unrelenting. But today we’re supposed to get a break, which will feel nice. The good thing about rainy weather is that colors look nicer, like the blossoms on the tree in my front yard. Strangely enough, it’s only the top of the tree that’s flowering, so I had to take pictures out of my bedroom window.

And once again, I’ve discovered that the squirrels in the back yard are pretty smart. The squirrel-proof bird-feeder cut way down on the number of times I had to refill the feeder until recently. I was wondering what trick they were using to get at the seeds, and saw a squirrel hanging upside-down from the roof of the feeder yesterday morning, so his weight wouldn’t close the little door that’s meant to keep the tree-rats out. I’m wondering if extending the roof on the bird-feeder might do the trick, or if I’m going to have to resort to more drastic measures. It’s not that I particularly hate the squirrels, but I’d much rather watch birds eating the bird-seed, and not have to refill the feeder every single day.

1. May, 2006 - still busy

Things don’t always go as planned. Take this weekend, for example. Saturday I looked out at the rain and decided to postpone my trip up to mom’s until Sunday. Which meant missing the photowalk on Sunday, but it was going to be raining anyhow. Of all the things I wanted to get done over the weekend, I made it to the party on Saturday night, and to mom’s and that was it. Plus a fair amount of sleeping. Apparently I was pretty darned tired.

More Ferns
More Ferns
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But I did manage to take some pictures over the weekend. There were a few things in my yard worth looking at. I tried another take on the ferns, but since they’ve grown a lot in the past couple weeks, the picture that was in my brain when I headed outside wasn’t to be found. But the rain meant that the blossoms on the apple tree in the front yard looked prettier than they do in direct sunlight. Look for them later this week.

This week? Well, if this morning is any indication, it’s going to be another week made more busy and confusing by last minute changes to plans. Things I’d planned for the weekend still need doing, and there’s a whole new raft of obligations coming for this week. Guess I’d better quit my griping and just get to work so I can get started on ’em. Oh, and if you look closely at the garage wall behind the ferns in this morning’s picture, you can see that I need to add “paint garage” to my to-do list.

Last Month
Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 14:00:55.