Saturday, October 29, 2016

Saturday lunch at the Tiny Diner

Our grandson Maxwell was treated to lunch at the Tiny Diner today by his parents, Hoi and Marcelline. Max, 22, is in his final year at the University of Minnesota, studying computer science and Japanese. He works on the St. Paul Campus, setting up spaces for meetings and conventions. Not sure where the Tiny Diner is or why it was selected for today's meet up, but it should not be confused with the Colossal Cafe, which is smaller than the Tiny Diner, and another of Marcy's wee favorites.
There was time for photos, of course. Aren't these nice?

Hai's father -- stepmother close St. Paul restaurant

This article appeared in today's StarTribune, telling of the closing of Hai's father's St. Paul restaurant. His father has been retired for some years now. Hai, still under contract to the newspaper company he started with in the 90s, now lives in California and telecommutes from there.
He's been a great friend to our family since the 90s.

Today, Hai went deep sea fishing a mile off the coast of San Diego and pulled in these bright red rockfish. He pulled both of them up from a depth of 300 feet on a single line with two hooks. (that's legal) The eyes pop out due to the sudden change of water pressure. The fish should never be released back into the ocean. They are good-eating, clean white flesh, favorites of his mother and girlfriend.
While waiting for the bites, Hai watched the amazing actions of diving birds, plunging into the deep in hot pursuit of prey, wings tucked away like penguins. Sometimes dolphins chase schools to the surface to the delight of hungry gulls flying above.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Group hug with Bobby Vee

Photo by Stan Rolfsrud
Squished into this group hug with Bobby Vee is Kathleen Rolfsrud, far right.
It had been more than 20 years since Bobby Vee had been thrust into stardom that memorable night in February of 1959, but the businesswomen in our party lit up like teeny-boppers.

The group of professionals was meeting at the Harvest Valley Supper Club in Shakopee in 1981 when word got out that the rock 'n roll idol was in the building. They had grown up with "Take Good Care of My Baby," "Run to Him." "Rubber Ball," ''The Night Has A Thousand Eyes," ''Devil or Angel," ''Come Back When You Grow Up," ''Please Don't Ask About Barbara" and "Punish Her."

This was their chance for something up close and personal with an honest-to-goodness icon. They made the most of the opportunity, eventually cornering the star in a banquet room. He loved the attention, he showed it and gave back all the time they wanted.

We found this photo today in an envelope labeled “1980s Memorabilia”. It shows Stan’s live-wire newspaper colleagues, Vicky, Phyllis, and Ida along with his new wife, Kathleen. (She’s the one on the far right.) After laughing and talking leisurely that spring evening, it was time to take a picture. The newspaper camera had black and white film, of course. “Let’s act like a bunch of screaming teenagers,” someone suggested. Bobby was more than happy to comply and here’s the result, truly a memorable moment with a really classy guy.


Bobby Vee, who had 38 Top 40 hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, died Monday morning from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 73.

Vee had been in hospice care at a memory care facility in Rogers, Minnesota, where he spent the last 13 months of his life, according to the St. Cloud Times.

Born Robert Thomas Velline on April 30, 1943, the singer got his big break at the age of 15 as the result of a tragic incident that rocked the music world. He was recruited to fill in for Buddy Holly on Feb. 4, 1959, the night after the rock legend died in a plane crash with Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper, an event known as “the day the music died.”

Velline and his band, the Shadows, were hired because they knew Holly’s tunes.

---Huffington Post

Friday, October 21, 2016

Last rose?

For the past decade, recent widower and California transplant Joe Daly has supplied his neighbors with roses. Soon he'll up stakes and return to his native state, leaving us with so many sweet memories of his thoughtful presentations. This recent gift may be the last rose of summer. It's particularly fragrant. We're sure there will be more roses for Joe at his new home. Thank you Joe.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Dan on Wheels

Dan took delivery on an M51 Pronto today and wasted no time tooling around the skyways and tunnels in the Midtown/Abbott/Northwestern system. Midtown Dan will continue to use his cane, but this innovation will increase his range -- putting the hospital cafeteria easily within reach, as well as his pharmacy, doctor's office, chapel and grocer.
He's practicing getting through doors and into elevators, making spins and other necessary maneuvers. The extensive midtown tunnel system is remarkably complex. It will take some time to explore and master it. Good progress today.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Any fish yet?

Hai has just completed a major renovation of the Nails Salon. He's taking a break on the ocean, looking for fish now. We haven't seen a picture of either the salon project or the fishing expedition just yet. He did much of the remodeling project in his workshop. Here's the "before" picture of the workshop . . .

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Again, it's not about changing the light bulb. . .

The light bulb works just fine. Everybody in the neighborhood knows it. It's the mechanism for turning it off and on, the "switch" if you will, that no one can figure out. Some folks say it is photo-electric; others swear it is a motion detector. Everyone agrees something isn't right. Walking to get the paper, it may be dark, but by the time you get to the end, the light has turned on. Then it goes off.
We've reported it to the city. They have dutifully replaced the light bulb, but the problem continues. Something got lost in translation.
With that in mind we wrote the following explanatory note to the good people at the electric company.
intermittent street lamp
The street light at the end of the cul-de-sac on Abbey Point comes on and off randomly.
We have reported this troublesome unit before and it continues its intermittent behavior, leaving residents standing in the dark, etc.... a very quirky piece of electronics which doesn't seem to be motion or light sensitive, just quirky.
Happy to answer questions about it, but we're all thoroughly confused.
With the dark season upon us, we'll rely more on it. Phone or email response is fine.
That was yesterday afternoon. Promptly this morning the utility truck pulled up while the author of this note was still in his jammies, drinking morning coffee. Before you could say "Jack Robinson" the light bulb had been changed and the globe was being replaced. 
"Hey, they're out there fixing the street light," the good wife reported breathlessly, returning with the morning paper. 
"What? Already?"
The concerned citizen scurried outdoors and stood in his pajamas as the workman buttoned up the operation, ready to go to the next assignment. 
"What turns the light on and off?" the citizen queried, fearing that his note had been entirely disregarded and reduced to "light out at Abbey Point." All that magnificent prose gone to waste. 
"The dark," came the terse response.
"Well, the light bulb works just fine, the device controlling it does not. The photo device needs to be replaced, not the light. I thought I made that clear in my request for service."
"How long has this been going on."
"Oh, for years."
An hour later, the utility truck departed. We may have had a breakthrough. We await the night to be sure.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A stroll through the neighborhood with our leaf looker

Emily came over and wanted to look at leaves today. It was a perfect time for it, warm dry weather, Birdie is always ready -- of course -- and the leaves are in prime condition, so off we went into the crackling wonderland.

Isn't it surprising how much you can learn from your granddaughter on a magical Autumn afternoon -- if you can simply remember not to talk so much, just listen. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Rock and roll is here to stay

We bid adieu to our snowbird brother and to his significant other tonight over dinner and desserts. On the way out we heard some classic rock blasting from a tent pitched behind O’Brien’s Public House in Shakopee for an impromptu, just for fun, reunion of a bunch of old rock and rollers. “Calendar Girl,” “Gloria,” “Runaround Sue,” and other faraway faves rang in our ears. The group hasn’t played together for years, but they sounded great on the new parking lot, taking a break for the 7:30 p.m. freight train blasting its way through town behind them.

The voices may have been a bit worn, but the fingerings were true featuring some great licks during a couple of blues numbers. One of the members confessed to being a bit nervous. Years ago he performed buzzed. Can't do that now and get away with it.

They drew a nice crowd of “mature” rockers, drinking, dancing and singing along like old times. But don’t worry about your grandparents, kids. Shakopee was soon back to normal. Jody O’Brien, proprietor of the public house, set a strict curfew of 10 p.m.

Still stunned, neighbor contemplates Dylan Nobel Prize

It’s been fifty years since he stalked out of the Midnight Scholar in Dinkytown, sorely disappointed.

Our neighbor, John Gerken, witnessed an early performance of folk-singing Bob Dylan near the University Campus. It was a free show in a well-known coffeehouse, but it wasn’t worth John’s time. He walked out soon after hearing the Iron Range guitarist take his position on the stool, strum a few chords and mumble some indecipherable lyrics in a nasal drone that was anything but musical.

John was outta there, a snap judgment he’s questioned for years, without remorse, more with amusement.

John and Mary Gerken with yet another University icon.
Today the neighbor shook his head and compared his own lifetime achievements to that of the young man with the curly hair, harmonica and acoustic guitar.

“Here I am at the end of a cul-de-sac with a bunch of geezers, and he’s won himself a Nobel Prize.”

Yes, John, as the prize-winning poet once observed:

"It's hard to speculate what tomorrow may bring."


"You know," neighborhood cynic Tom Story adds, "Forrest Gump was at a lot of historic events too."

Karl Tegland, who introduced live, electric-powered rock and roll to the Alexandria Junior High in 1958, sends along this amusing note:

Our local paper said it was a consolation prize, after Dylan got nowhere on "The Voice."

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Red warnings of winter

They had the place to themselves.
The stunned golf course manager hadn't planned on opening up today, but if a couple of fools come calling, what the heck, go ahead, have at it, he said. Dudley and Stanley happily tightened their caps and prepared for a day that was expected to be very cold, wet and dark.

That dire prediction kept the course empty, but it actually wasn't all that bad, the twosome discovered. . . if you dress in layers, as they say in Minnesota.
No rain, partly cloudy, wind not too biting and an occasional ray of sunshine to cheer the hackers working their way through the autumnal setting. Fallen leaves may obscure the balls, they also lend color to the best season of the year. Pros and cons. A glass half full.
Winter will come soon enough, make the best of what's here now.
Solitary maple foreshadows season's end.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Andrew's Trump story

Everybody, it would seem, has a story about Donald Trump acting like a pig. Apparently it’s his ordinary behavior, expected and accepted by his loyal following.

Not to be left out, my golfing buddy Andrew has a story too. Not long ago he worked in Brentwood near Hollywood, as sort of a handyman to the stars. Andrew was dating an attractive redhead at the time. Fran and Andrew had a steady and secure relationship. As they often did, one evening they went to Spago’s for dinner. . . and were seated at the table next to Donald Trump and his newest, Melania.

It wasn’t long before the future presidential candidate spotted Fran, hopped over and introduced himself. Andrew said he was amazed at how aggressively Trump engaged Fran, but was more amused by the antics than offended. Melania, apparently already used to this behavior, looked bored.

For her part, Fran, quite secure in her relationship with Andrew, was mostly entertained as Mr. Trump pushed way beyond the bounds of appropriate discourse between strangers.

After this had gone on for way too long, Andrew told me, he felt like saying, “Well, do you just want to take her home and I'll take your date home?"

He wouldn't actually say that, of course, because Andrew is no pig.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Sosie hits the Mother Lode

Oh My Goodness!
The excitement continues in Marysville, Ohio, where Sister Sosie and husband Bill toil away reviving the vintage property that came into their possession a few years ago with the passing of Bill's great aunt. Highlights of the week included an auction sale nearby that drew interest from far and wide for the cornucopia of tools being put up for auction.
But that is not what caught the eye of our garden-bound sister. Let her tell it.
Sosie writes:
".. . . Such a week ended with the lavish social event of the season, Ralph's auction.
"Ralph, 91, retired from masonry and construction last year, and his tools of trade filled an acre. A body of men in boots and baseball caps followed the auctioneer from pile to pile. I counted at least a dozen vehicles that could be driven to the store to pick up a six pack--van, pickup truck, tractor, couple of back hoes, riding mowers, that sort of thing. 
Bill, Ralph and bologna sandwiches
"It was a great place to hang your thumbs in your jean pockets, kick some tires, slap a guy on the back, and spit. Here's Bill and Ralph hanging out by the food truck, which served fried bologna sandwiches, pert near as good as the ones you can get in Waldo, Ohio. You don't know about that? Look up them world famous Bologna sammiches on yer Internet!!!! 
"Ralph asked if I'd bid on anything, and I said I couldn't wait for the bidding to start on an outrageously rich pile of compost:
"'Oh that,' Ralph said, 'come Monday, you can come take all you want. That's from Select Sires (-the premier provider of highly fertile, superior genetics accompanied by effective reproductive- and herd-management products and services. Er, well, the big boys - ) and they can't get rid of their manure as fast as it's produced. My neighbor got a trailer load of it for free and so I asked for a load and they delivered it in a semi tractor trailer truckload!!! Take all you want, please!'
"It's a rich week ahead, that's for darned sure!"

We're happy that Sosie is happy. Sometimes joy is just a pile of free manure.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Renaissance Festival final day 2016

We didn't make it to the Renaissance Festival this year and it wasn't because of the weather. These ladies enjoyed a beautiful day, including our daughter Jennifer, second from left. October is starting with a lovely display, hope it continues.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Absolutely gorgeous Sunday!

The beginning of October is a roll of the dice in Minnesota and this weekend it came up doubles. The weather was great for the Ryder Cup and anything else this weekend. The colors are just beginning to come. Not a thought of snow quite yet.
There's chores to do, of course, like the rotting cedar in the pergola. We'll get the patch in soon while we still can.

"Hey Bones... try a hit off of this."