Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Possible reason for yesterday's market plunge

Here's Virg Rolfsrud hard at work on the Trading Floor in the Den at the Saddlebrooke house. It's not all golf, golf, golf, you know. (It's actually golf, markets, markets, golf.)

Every day the exchanges are open, you'll find Virgil viewing these three twinkling screens, making trades, monitoring the day's activity in various segments of the world's economy.

The television in the background is tuned to the financial channel, CNBC. The computer screens have high-speed internet access.

The intensity of activity does create some issues for sharing the computer, so a future investment will be a wifi connection, making it possible to log on to the internet from multiple computer systems anywhere in the house.

Blog fans disappointed in the rate of posting recently should know that the Big Board has been shut down, and Virgil and Steve are winging their way home to snowy Minnesota. But when Virg is here, the wheels of commerce must grind on.

Satisfaction at last

Country kids trounce big city bullies,
grudge settled, cash payments made

The earth is back in balance, order has been restored, wrongs have been righted, there is justice.

Yesterday three Rolfsrud boys from a small town in rural Minnesota defeated three big city Jaspers in a fair fight.

The agonizing four-hour shootout occurred at The Ranch north of Tucson in a battle spread out over an 18-hole course in a driving windstorm. The good guys won.

The dispute began after a trio of local pensioners had systematically flim-flammed innocent visitors fleeing sleet and snow in Minnesota. Using convoluted "local rules" these connivers had been able to fleece undeserved cash settlements from unsuspecting players.

Yesterday, the newly-educated Rolfsruds were represented by their CPA, Virgil Rolfsrud, who was placed in the same cart with local wagermeister Dick Robertson to be sure there was no funny business.
After the game, it took almost an hour to complete the calculations, but when they were done, the facts were undeniable: Rolfsruds won.

Cash payments were made immediately. Please enjoy the attached photographs of Dick Krueger and Dick Robertson paying up. These are possibly the only existing records of their kind. Incidentally, you will not see Doug MacKenzie, the third member of The Defeated, paying up. He was apparently busy at the driving range, right, working things out.

MacKenzie actually did shoot a remarkable round in a losing cause. And he did receive $1 from Stan Rolfsrud by way of a fine and apology for Stan's persistent use of French idiom on holes 1, 3, 8, 9, 16, 17 and 18 as well as on adjacent cartpaths.

Wings were everything they were crocked up to be

The new J.C. Penny blender, waffle maker, and crock pot have been declared unqualified successes by the 3Rs who have been wolfing their output for the past week. The appliances were jointly purchased last month at the big home sale for half price.

Kathleen has worked the waffle maker on a regular basis, getting regular plaudits for her delicious morning edibles. Yesterday the new crock pot was put to the test with a big batch of chicken wings from Sam's Club.

Please notice the beams of approval in the associated photographs. A cookie sheet of egg rolls, fresh from the oven, with sweet and sour sauce, accompanied the wings.

Kathleen fed a round table of tired, hungry golfers who gobbled her treats, followed by a satisfying Sam Adams wash down.

Above, Dick Robertson, Kathleen and Dave Axelson, who is Virgil's low-handicap golfing friend from Minnesota. Left, Good Neighbor Dick Krueger, Steve, Dick and Dave.

Masolini takes his own advice; wins with Steve

"I want you boys to open a big can of whup-ass," encouraged Leno Masolini, just moments before the country kids from Alexandria departed for the big golf shootout at The Ranch.
Earlier in the day, the honorary mayor of Rock Crest had taken his own advice, when he and his partner, Steve Rolfsrud, whupped a German engineer and his pal in a Tuesday morning tennis match.
That battle was a come-from-behind effort, with the Rolfsrud/Leno combo getting a slow start, then battling back to emerge as winners. The score: 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Leno apparently carried the load yesterday, as his playing partner had plenty of energy left that afternoon to battle a windy golf course and card his best score of the week.
Steve says Leno continues to polish his game, as they pair frequently in the Saddlebrooke doubles league, building a reputation for solid play and consistent teamwork.

Pairing with brother Steve can be dangerous, as the photo at left demonstrates. Fortunately, Leno was properly positioned, awaiting the return.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Grudge match pits the good vs the not so good

The shootout at The Ranch
Now that the pride of Sweden, world-famous golfer Henrik Stenson, has secured the Accenture Match Play crown at the Gallery Golf Club in Tucson, the eyes of the golf world have turned north a couple miles to another golf course, The Ranch in West Saddlebrooke.
It is there that a long-awaited grudge match will finally pit three cheerful country school kids against a gang of big city bullies in a contest of skill and ego. Eight determined men in shorts and plaids will gather at high noon tomorrow to finally put an end to the bickering and infighting that has soiled this otherwise pristine community of active adults.

Trickery and deceit
Neutral observers are hopeful that this event will finally settle a simmering dispute that started when three local retired seniors on fixed incomes, using trickery and deceit, systematically pillaged the assets of naive Minnesota snowbirds who were seeking nothing but shelter from the storm and friendly relations with their new neighbors.
These unwitting marks have now resolved to get satisfaction for these wrongs in a grudge match tomorrow to return their stolen honor to its rightful place. Perhaps George W. said it best: "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice. . . and you won't fool anybody anymore," or something like that.
The three Rolfsrud boys, reared in rural America, who learned their values in a one-room country school, who attended church and Sunday School and Luther League every week, and who studied at mandatory Bible Camps each summer, will face an opponent clearly grounded in the slick city passions of gaming, gambling and good times.

Those who believe that good triumphs over evil, that honesty is the best policy, that quality is job one, that cheaters never win, know how to place their bets. Those who believe that nice guys finish last, that every dog has its day, that even a blind squirrel sometimes finds an acorn, will put their money on that dastardly trio of Dick, Dick and Mick, the Huey, Dewey and Louie of Saddlebrooke.

Gentle readers, please check this blog for the latest information on this Battle Royale of good vs. evil taking place tomorrow afternoon at the shootout at The Ranch. The good guys will wear the white hats.

And thank you for your heartfelt support, and letters of encouragement, we won't let you down.

Pictured, from left, Curly, Moe, and old what'shisname

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Hey Doc! Is this really what you had in mind?

The controversy started with former Alexandria biology instructor Marland Madson, who finished his career as a professor at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Blame him. Responsible for teaching many Rolfsruds the very basics of the birds and bees, Dr. Madson is also responsible for instructing Stephen Rolfsrud in the martial arts of bush and tree pruning.

Over the years, his teachings have brought considerable anxiety to Stephen's wife, Nancy, as she watches Marland's disciple whale away at back yard bushes and trees, all in the name of helping nature take its course. Today it was our turn to gape.

There was a bush in the backyard, whose genus escapes us (Sorry, Marland), with a multitude of horizontal limbs, woody branches and a certain tell-tale ripe voluptuousness. That was at 9 a.m. At 9:15 there was a brush pile and twiggy remnants. (See photos).

Was this all for the good? It is kind to be cruel? No pain, no gain? Do you have to make sacrifices to achieve greatness? These and other life lessons await in the backyard at Rock Crest. Only time will tell, Stephen.

In the meantime, Stan, above, used the experience as an inspiration and gave himself a free haircut. We're sure the good doctor would approve.

Good morning! It's Sunday. It's sunny.

We posted this picture of Emily this morning. . . because... we can, and for no other reason.

Meanwhile, below, in other news, our brother-in-law, the Rev. Ron Letnes, was attending to matters of state back in Colorado.

We are not sure where the photograph of him in action was taken, but we believe it appeared on a CNN website or something somewhere.

We await further information and will report it as soon as it is available. (Linda... what in heaven's name is Ron doing?)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Our former boss arrives in Tucson

In a re-enactment of days gone by, Harold Rolfsrud, ranch foreman, outlines the day's tasks for the Brothers Rolfsrud in the obviously staged photograph, above.

Visitors from Western North Dakota
Harold and Marilyn Rolfsrud arrived at the Tucson Golfhouse at 10 a.m. today. Harold is our first cousin, the second son of our father's oldest brother, Halvor. He and his wife have been staying in Phoenix with Harold's sister, Karen Kirmis, and her husband, Don.

Once upon a time, the "boys" worked at the Rolfsrud family farm in western North Dakota as indentured servants and learned many of life's lessons there, too numerous, of course, to be listed here.

Therefore, tales of bull snakes, high-stakes fencing technology, over-ripe manure turning to ammonia, and just who Aunt Martha liked the very best circulated freely this morning around Cafe del Solveig.

Up until now, our capable Cousin Harold has navigated his world by dead reckoning, using his God-given sense to guide everything from John Deere tractors to small airplanes. Only recently has he acquired a magical new technology to guide him, a GPS Garmin electronic navigation system, mounted on the windshield in the family Cadillac, which he drove here from NoDak. Worked great, until he got to Florence, AZ, this morning. Flummoxed, he went back to dead reckoning. Anyone who has ever driven through Florence knows exactly why.

It was a beautiful day today, but not as warm as most have been recently, merely in the mid-60s. We believe there was only one person in all of Arizona sporting shorts today. He was from North Dakota.

Kathleen put up a breakfast for six, we talked memories, we talked reunions, we talked toothless grandchildren (see photo); we asked Harold about ethanol. News flash: their son, Guy, will be relocating soon, with his family, to Granite Falls, Minnesota, where he will continue his career as a charter pilot. Granite Falls is a growing hub of ethanol development, and qualified pilots are in demand there. So Guy will again be just down the road from the Twin Cities -- at one time he lived in Hutchinson.

It was wonderful to see Marilyn and Harold, we always enjoy their company. Depending on who you ask, they are considering building a new house for themselves in North Dakota. So part of the day's fun was finding ideas for such an enterprise in the model homes hereabouts. There are tons of models in Saddlebrooke, of course, so we soon began our merry tour. Meanwhile, Steve and Virg excused themselves for a round of golf. After all, they only have five chances on this trip and they were blown out yesterday.

We can truthfully report that Harold held up reasonably well through the first half dozen model home visits. Then the yawns, then the comments like, "you know, you have seen one, you have seen . . ." and so on began to overtake his usual good sportsmanship.

The highlight for him was perhaps the discovery of monogramed towels at the Laredo model. "Gee," says the cattleman, "if it had been an HR it would have been my brand."

Shortly after that, Harold was returned to our family room and deposited in a recliner in front of his Fox News channel while Marilyn and Stan soldiered on, this time through the exciting million dollar models. Amongst their many observations: interior doors a full foot taller than 6 foot, 5 inch John Rolfsrud and a walk-in shower with his and hers entrances.

A steak dinner at Kathleen's poker place (see previous post) and then our day guests were off, motoring back to Phoenix, via Florence, fearlessly piloting their way under a starry sky, with only the jackrabbits and javelinas to challenge them.

Earlier, Harold and Marilyn shared a stack of photographs of so many dear family members. We will post a few of them here soon.

Among the memorable photos were ones taken of a family outing with Louise Haugen last spring -- she's Harold's sister who died last fall (See December archives). And the Christmas Card from their daughter Kelli, whose husband, Jiro, tonight is somewhere in Iraq, serving as a helicopter pilot and flight instructor. (Click on photo to enlarge it.) Our thoughts are with them during what has to be a most difficult time.

It is always great to see family in a new and distant place. Won't you come soon?

The photograph at right, of Grandma and Grandpa Rolfsrud with their grandchildren, taken last Christmas, is the grandchildren's absolute favorite photo of grandma. We can't imagine why.

Late word today from Minneapolis

Rebecca Rolfsrud reports that, despite what we may have heard in Tucson, spring has come to Minneapolis, winter's back has been broken. As proof she offers the photograph of Lacey (her granddaughter) below:

We have some golf scores to report

Due to a keen interest expressed by some faithful readers, we have some recent golf scores by Rolfsrud players and friends to report:

75, 77, 79, 88, 96, 98, 105, 115, 117, 120

Due to privacy concerns raised by the aforementioned players and friends, we are unable to associate names with these scores.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Breezy day nixes golf afternoon

Those of you watching the Accenture match play on television today saw the conditions that the PGA players were up against a few miles down the road. They are playing for big money. Those same conditions were deemed unworthy for Stan, Steve and Virg this afternoon, who play for fun, so the game was cancelled. Instead, we got some chores done, some planning completed for the master bedroom, and watched the golf. Then Uno pizza (Stan and Kathleen think it is the best on earth) at the Old Chicago and window shopping at Home Depot. Yes. Shopping for windows. More on that later.

Big day tomorrow. Harold and Marilyn Rolfsrud will be joining us for the day. Hopefully conditions will have improved to the usual 70s and sunny. Whatever, we're sure to enjoy the day, as Harold and Marilyn are always good company. They are with the Kirmis family in Phoenix right now.

(Photo, above. Steve got right to work on the water feature in the backyard. Those are not pajamas he is wearing. They are house pants and Stan has a pair just like them. Virgil does not --- but Christmas is coming.)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A letter from our sister, Linda Letnes

Hello Brothers and Kathleen!
I am sure you are enjoying yourselves in the sunshine of the southwest.
This week has been much better for us in Colorado, but not what you are getting. Almost 60. So Ron is jumping on it and repainting the front door and the trim on the windows. He has also seen that he needs to repaint the gray in front as well.

Fortunately there isn't much gray and the tower doesn't seem to need it as much as the other area. So we will probably skip that for now.

Repairs have been made on a window and the balcony, the realtor comes on Monday to photograph, and then the really ugly time comes...when you have to have it ready to show at 5 minutes' notice. No more leaving the dishes on the table or beds unmade in the morning.

Check out our little Anja! [That's Anja in these photos. We stole them from her Mom and Dad's blog. She's Linda and Ron's granddaughter]

She is rolling now and the parents are pretty excited.
Love, Linda

A wayside stop for the Overland Stage Co.

The Tucson-Phoenix Overland Stage Company scrambled to action yesterday, making the trip to collect brothers Stephen and Virgil for a week of sun and golf. It is a 180 mile round trip up the back roads through cactus and mesquite, necessary because a direct flight to Tucson is not a good value.

Can you hear me now?
Kathleen and Stan discovered the journey can be quite pleasant, particularly when done in Virgil's Cadillac, on cruise control, past the sugaros and jackrabbits and mountain vistas. The best part, however, was the way station in Chandler, where our friend Lois Eldridge (above) greeted us with an afternoon of distractions.

The three of us went to the Wildflower Bread Company and enjoyed their sandwich and soup combinations then went next door to a favorite bookstore: The Changing Hands. There we spent some time in the children's section where Kathleen found just the right book for Emily, a little girl who is never far from our thoughts.

A quick stop at IKEA and then on to the "Stage and Go" lot at Phoenix Sky Harbor where you sit in your car, as though you are in a drive-in movie, watching the big board call your incoming flight.

We were back home by midnight, still wired. This morning, the phone rang, and Steve attempted to answer the new telephone, unfortunately the handset wasn't connected yet, so if you called, we're sorry we missed your call. Hello? Hello? Can you hear me now?

Kathleen made breakfast. Steve is playing tennis with Leno. Tee time with Krueger is 2:07.

We'll laugh at the idiot judge from Florida until then.

Life is good in Tucson.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Just who is this man...

and why is he smiling?
This is Rick Peterson who, with his wife, Naomi, is the lastest refugee from Minnesota to arrive here in Saddlebooke. They are Dick and Brenda Robertson's guests. Dick and Rick both went to Bethel College together in Minnesota.

Rick and Naomi took a direct flight on Northwest to Tucson, but even so, there was lost luggage.

So why is Rick smiling? Well, it was mild here today, not in the 70s, but a respectable cloudy day in the 60s nevertheless, much better than what Rick has endured recently. He's smiling because he played a great round of golf today with an old friend, suffering only an occasional misfire and only an occasional use of words never heard on the Bethel campus.

While it is true that Rick did pay out some money at the end of the round, that is simply an old tradition that all new blood from Minnesota must abide, and certainly not a reflection on the quality of play. Rick is actually a Swede from Grantsburg, Wisconsin, where his father ran the feed mill and creamery. Rick taught school to fourth and fifth graders like our sister, Linda, does in Ft. Collins. Rick and schoolteacher Dick have played golf together since college days -- and the competition is sharp.

In fact, the foursome met after the round at Cafe del Solveig and toasted the fact that each player had shot better than his handicap, an achievement of note, if only by ourselves. Best player was Doug Mackenzie, who had just about everything working today, including his trademark chicken salad sandwiches at the turn. We each paid him two dollars. -- For his great play. Not for the sandwiches.

Rick is smiling today because he scored tickets to Friday's round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at the Gallery Golf Club at Dove Mountain. (Tiger tees off at 12:02 p.m. tomorrow.)

Rick is smiling because he's looking forward to a nice stay, complete with hiking and every other wonderful thing Dick and Brenda will show them.

And, Rick is smiling because even though Northwest lost Naomi's luggage, Rick's golf clubs made it.

(Photo credit: Thanks to Virgil for providing the transportation to The Ranch Golf Club today. We used his car because Stan only has three seats in his Buick. The players showed their gratitude by very carefully placing their spikes on his back bumper.)

St. Paul Katie rules Tucson

My wife WON the poker tournament. . .
St. Paul Katie wowed 'em tonight at the Lariat Steakhouse and Saloon bi-weekly No Limit Texas Hold 'em Poker Tournament.

Thirty players, mostly men, vied for the championship title, but the little lady from Minnesota was the last one seated at the table. She had all the chips.

Using cunning, experience and a little luck, Katie played well, occasionally bluffing, but making good on enough bets to intimidate many tablemates, who folded quickly when Katie moved aggressively.

Katie earned points toward an all-expenses-paid entrance into the big Titan tournament in Las Vegas and also got a tee shirt big enough for Stan. Several of the players were originally from Minnesota, places like Red Wing, Duluth and Bloomington.

and all I got was this stupid T-shirt.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Emily is crawling, who do I tell?

My granddaughter Emily is now crawling around on all fours. I know this because Missy just sent me an 11 second video clip from Minneapolis. So exciting! I am sorry I don't know how to put videos up on the blog, but use your imagination.

I would love to share this excitement with my spouse, but I cannot, because Monday night is poker night and she called earlier to say she won the first game so she will be staying for the late game. Now comes the video. Well, at least Grandma won a T-shirt.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Betty Jane Cotton Shearer Brown

Betty Brown, 79, passed away at Sunbridge Care Center in Paradise, California, on February 15, 2007. She was preceded in death by her first husband William Otway Shearer of Marysville, Ohio; her second husband Richard Manley Brown of Paradise, California; and her brothers Jim Cotton, John Cotton, and Richard Cotton of Marysville.
Betty was born in Marysville and is a graduate of Marysville High School and Western Union School. In 1946, Betty married William Shearer, who died in 1949. Betty raised their son, William Otway Shearer, in Marysville until 1952 when they moved to Springfield, Missouri.
Betty and Billy often returned to Marysville so Billy could play with his cousins on the Richard and Dorothy Cotton farm and visit his aunt Marilyn Shearer, grandmother Elizabeth Shearer, and great-aunt Willella Shearer Kennedy.
Betty married Richard Brown in 1961 and they moved to California in 1984 so Betty could be near her son Bill and grandson, Zachary Otway Shearer.
Betty loved to walk in the pinewoods of her Magalia home and laugh with her family. Any small child, joke well played, or good shopping bargain would spark the twinkle in her eye.
Betty is survived by her son, grandson, and daughter-in-law Solveig Shearer. Her sisters Mary Cotton Praether of Henrietta, Texas, and Shirley Ann Cotton Ryan of Mulvane, Kansas, her sisters-in-law Marilyn Shearer and Dorothy Cotton of Marysville, and her best friend Naomi Wilson of Grove City also survive her.
A memorial service is planned for the Spring when the tulips Betty loved will be in bloom.

(This obituary was written by Stan's sister, Solveig Shearer, for the Marysville, Ohio, newspaper. If you wish to contact Solveig you may do so by emailing and he will forward any thoughts you may have to her.)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Linda Letnes banned from Saddlebrooke clubhouse

The first guests at Cafe del Solveig arrived this morning to check out the new digs.

Stan's sister, Linda Letnes, flew to Phoenix yesterday to stay with her dear cousin Karen Kirmis and her husband, Don. They decided to make a day trip to visit the 3Rs Golfhouse in Tucson.
Neighbor Dick Krueger, who was outside powerwashing his house with a small engine, was pressed into service to record the event. (see photo.)

After a tour of the house, with a special stop at the new bedroom retreat to admire the brown and pink motif, the guests were ushered to the tall kitchen table for a late breakfast.

Despite the possibility of an inter-family schism, Kathleen boldly served her traditional waffles along with fruits and sausage. Mr. and Mrs. Kirmis have yet to sample Ron Letnes' new entry into the waffle derby, so they were able to neatly sidestep making any comparisons. Suffice that they ate sufficiently and commended the cook roundly and drank lots of coffee.
Meanwhile, Linda ate her waffles and drank her Fresca cum grapejuice, but with torn loyalties was only able to remark positively, without making any rude comparisons to her husband's output. Meanwhile, Mr. Ron was back in Ft. Collins, writing a loving email and sending it to Linda in Tucson, understanding his bride may be going through some separation anxiety as this is a rare parting for the smitten couple. What a Valentine he!

Two of the best stories told at the kitchen table involved this same Mr. Letnes, and brought gales of laughter from everyone in a loving understanding of this man who 1. Always gets the last word. 2. Has absolutely no respect for authority.

Of course we love this man. A Norwegian Lutheran with these properties? What a treasure.

Linda's contraband seized by authorities
There may be some controversy already concerning the new Letnes waffle. Mr. Ron prescribes a liberal slathering of a peanut product called "Nutella" on his crepe-like creations. Some have complained that this product is so seductive it makes a fair judgment of his waffle/crepe impossible. In order to test the theory, Linda volunteered to bring a jar of the Nutella with her from Ft. Collins.
Linda soon learned at the airport security gate that Nutella is a dangerous substance. Homeland Security forbids its transhipment in large quantities. Linda was forced to surrender it and now we shall never know of its alleged ability to transform even a mediocre crepe into a divine gift.

We cleared the dishes and moved our guests to the comfort of Virgil's Craigslist Couch. Kathleen was so excited to join in the group discussion that, for the first time in her life, she put the dishes in the dishwasher without washing them first.

In the living room we discussed the Kirmis housing situation. Don and Karen have retired to a log cabin in an isolated coulee by the Missouri River in western North Dakota. We have never actually seen this cabin, but have studied the Lewis and Clark survey charts and believe it could possibly exist in the area they describe. Available satellite photos yield no evidence of civilization in the described area, but the outpost is new and may not yet be updated on Google Earth. So it could be.
The couple also owns a condominium in Detroit, where both finished their professional careers, and now, given the decline in that market, despair of being able to sell it at a fair price. They rented a vacation villa in Phoenix near Luke Air Force Base where their son, Paul, and their pregnant daughter-in-law, Kim, live with their grandson, Walker. The sex of the future grandchild is unknown. These kids are old-fashioned, it would seem.

To lighten the moment, Karen and Linda were invited to view the Rolfsrud Relics, in the glass museum case in the formal dining room. Sharp-eyed Karen spotted the Agnes Veeder pottery without any prompting from the curator. Sister Solveig Agnes Shearer was credited with protecting its provenance. She was also credited as donor of the hand-painted wooden plates depicting the Norwegian story of the ultimate supremacy of woman (smart) over man (stupid). It was agreed that this allegory is represented in most cultures in most civilizations and not unique to Norwegians.
Erling Rolfsrud's photo album with wooden covers, labeled "1940" in raised wooden letters reminiscent of Bible Camp craftwork, was taken down and paged. Karen could identify many of the rural images we could not, Watford City High, for one.

Linda is about to purchase a home in Minnesota and is faced with a variety of decorating choices. She welcomed our offer to escort them through 10 model homes on the Saddlebrooke Street of Dreams. We five toured the homes and built up an appetite... for food.
We dropped by the recently remodeled Saddlebrooke Clubhouse. It was populated by men in shorts, women in skorts and sandals, men in loud plaid and other play clothes. We mention this simply because the senior golf course culture has a bizarre view of the appropos, one not shared by most boomers, but grudgingly accepted, nonetheless. It is called golfcourse casual.

The relevant facts are these: you may not eat in the Saddlebrooke dining room, you may not have a drink at the bar, you may not have a cheeseburger at the informal Roadrunner Grill, if you are wearing denim. Our sister was the only one in our party wearing this forbidden fabric, so she was not welcome anywhere in our clubhouse. No matter that she believes these are sophisticated designer jeans, she was banned.

No matter to us. We are not here to see or be seen. While aware that the Rev. Ron would have vociferously protested this abitrary and capricious dictum, and perhaps called for a boycott and a chorus of kum ba ya, and then snuck into the dining room anyway, today we just wanted to enjoy our family.

This we did, at a much lower cost, at the nearby Lariat Steakhouse and Saloon, where we were welcomed to finish a very enjoyable day with Linda, Karen and Don.
The weather was perfect -- 75 and blue sky -- and the company was wonderful.

(Photo: The Dos and Don'ts at the clubhouse. Do wear the pants on the left. Don't wear the pants on the right.)

Friday, February 16, 2007

We're done, in a nick of time. . .

Company's coming tomorrow!
The final touches on the upstairs bedroom makeover are complete. Kathleen stroked brown paint over some Holstein Cows, making them Rolfsrud Guernsies, this afternoon, signifying the final event in our project.

The cows will provide a bit of whimsy, blocking the troublesome arch and the light shafts that awakened us with the chickens. We got an estimate on stained glass for that arch -- $400, the nice Tucson lady said. We went to the Golden Goose and found the cows for $8. Their noses and udders were already pink so we had a headstart on the conversion.

The dustboards went together well. We used a matching bedsheet to cover them after hunting unsuccessfully at Fabrics to Go for a companion fabric.

Readers may recall a story about Herman at Fabrics to Go who last year tried to seduce Kathleen in return for a discount on some really nice material. Check the archives. The story is still there. . . and Herman is still at Fabrics to Go in Tucson.

We got some nice wall art from Michael's at half price. One is a portrait of a little girl in pink looking out the window asking "when will you come home?" We think it looks like Emily, of course. The other is a landscape we like with some good colors. We still need something for over the headboard we got from The Goose and painted pink.
The books and the floral arrangment came from the Golden Goose, as did the smaller lamp.

The big lamp is ours from Chaska, we bought a couple more lamps at the Goose to replace these downstairs. Virgil donated the phone and the television was already there... just about the only thing we had when we started. We bought a little digital alarm at Target.
We are on the look out for an occasional chair so we can sit down to put on our socks. We've still got some fabric left so we might use that on a chair seat.
We vacuumed up this afternoon and eagerly await the arrival of the inspectors from Phoenix, Linda, Karen and Don.

Not just the kids playing with phones. . .

When you zone young people completely out of a community, you would think you would get a corresponding decrease in the number of hangup calls to 911. Kids are usually blamed for 911 false alarms, but... this item sheds new light on the national problem. This is a report taken directly from today's homeowner's bulletin. I quote:

A plea from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department:
Each year, the Department responds to hundreds of “911” hang-up calls and false alarm calls from SaddleBrooke. The cost of responding to these erroneous calls is in the thousands of dollars each year. It is also a dangerous situation since the patrol car responds with red lights and sirens, and this activity also takes the officers away from other work. For this reason, we have been asked to inform residents that should you accidentally dial “911,” you should stay on the line and simply express your regrets that you dialed the wrong number. If you inadvertently set off your house alarm, you should reset the alarm and then call the alarm company to let them know that everything is okay, so the alarm company can cancel the responding sheriff. Please note that this does not mean the sheriff’s department intends to ignore emergency calls, rather the many mistaken calls create an enormous cost and time burden on the department – and to taxpayers.

So, oldtimers, and this means you, Virgil and Stephen. Try to remember to stay on the line when you call 911..

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Our Valentine enjoys Camp Snoopy!

Stan had a great day today (he collected back some of the money he had lost earlier to a couple of the local grifters) but it became even sweeter tonight when he opened an email Valentine. Here it is. Ain't she sweet in her tiny hearts-print outfit and bib at the Mall of America? Our Emily at 9 and a half months. Thanks for the note, Missy. (And, as always, readers, click on it for an ever better view.)

Notice to readers -- we got too much protection

Snubbed by the trailboss?
We have discovered tonight that we may have a particularly sensitive anti-spam filter loaded by the local internet provider. From now on we will be more diligent in checking their filter reports, to be sure they aren't dumping your emails. At this time we offer personal apologies to

Lorlee Bartos
Bevery Roers Korkowski
(two lovely ladies with much to contribute to any discussion, live or online)

for the aggressive nature of this filtering device. There may be other victims. You know who you are.

We have received 700 hits on the blog since we arrived here in Tucson. We are delighted in the interest and would love to post all comments from readers. So, if your email to the trailboss has gone unacknowledged, there's an overly-protective spam filter to blame. Keep trying, we're sorry. We love hearing from you.

Stan and Kathleen

How's your jock IQ?

When a reporter fumbled and dropped his notes at the President's press conference yesterday, the President remarked, "Did you drop it?"
"Yes," the reporter shot back, sheepishly, "Bad hands." -- thus using a universal athlete's term to label someone who doesn't possess a natural gift for catching and holding balls.
There are a lot of those terms that come up again and again, two come to mind:

"Clank." and "Alice."

A free bottle of wine to the first person to click "comment" below and correctly define both terms.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Cafe del Solveig opens for business

Your table is waiting. . .
Construction of the Cafe del Solveig, an exciting new bistro at the intersection of Stoney Ridge and Rock Crest in rural Tucson has been completed with a Grand Opening scheduled for this weekend.
Assembly of four redwood planters with terra cotta inserts was finished this afternoon and burgundy and pink petunias planted in fertile soil, something rare in these parts.
Once they get rolling, the bright annuals should provide a brilliant accent to the beige and brown neighborhood.
Inclement weather has ruined most of the winter blooms in the area. The new lightweight redwood planters stuffed with annuals can easily be toted into the garage when cold weather threatens. It is also hoped that the height of the wall around Cafe del Solveig will discourage rabbits from foraging overnight. Time will tell.

After a week or so of perfect 70 degree weather, rain, hail and cooler weather have prevailed over the past couple of days. The hail didn't amount to much, just rattled the skylights and scared Kathleen, but there is a tee time at noon tomorrow with high hopes of balmy conditions.
We anticipate the Saturday visit of Linda Letnes and Karen and Don Kirmis. They'll motor here from Phoenix, arriving around 10 a.m. for brunch.
We hope to post souvenir photos of the Grand Opening of Cafe del Solveig.