Friday, December 25, 2009

The Big Christmas Storm

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse ……..
Even the mice wouldn’t go out anymore! You see the National weather service has been predicting the worst storm since the Halloween blizzard of 91.
A giant low pressure system was destined to sit in Iowa and pump moisture from the Gulf of Mexico into the winter air over Minnesota for days on end with a prediction of up to 20 plus inches of snow in total.
The endless babble about the weather started on Tuesday morning several days before the approaching storm. It’s been snowing off and on for most of December and there is already no lack of snow on the ground and roads. After several years of warm temperatures and little or no snow, this year appears is going to be a good old fashion Minnesota winter.
I was so counting on that whole global warming thing to solve this Minnesota winter problem, but I think I’m going to have find another solution.
For those of you who have been fortunate enough to have forgotten how this whole snow and blizzard thing works let me refresh your memory!
Remember when you had to dig your vehicle out of the snow banks?P1011379
Remember those last minute runs to the grocery store for those supplies just in case you can’t get out because of the storm?
But there is good things about snow storms. The big heavy snows usually requires warmer temperatures, and this one is no exception. Christmas Eve on the street in the snow its 27 degrees.
Either the snow or the holiday has reduced the traffic on an otherwise bumper to bumper car filled 50th street. The theater is open for Christmas eve!
A walk around the downtown 50th and France area reveals Margaret’s favorite store in the snow. “ Live Laugh Love”
As always whenever there is a snow storm you find little kids out playing in the snow piles!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s) in Minnesota!

I know its hard to believe but just the other day an improvised explosive device went off in the Wendy’s in Arden hills! I thought we were safe from terrorist here in the heartland.

It was one of those days where Margaret and I went out for lunch together while we were both in the office in Arden Hills. We have a small selection of fast food restaurants around the area. There is a Subway that we often frequent, a new Mexican place in the same strip mall, an Arby’s, and down the road a ways, a Wendy's.

This day we went to the Wendy’s. The food is not that great but its a big open air restaurant with large windows that let in the sunshine (on the rare Minnesota days that the sun shines). If you have never been to a Wendy’s it is one of the few fast food places that you can get a baked potato a healthier alternative to the normal French fries.


Along with the baked potato you can get butter, and sour cream. That is what Margaret ordered along with a chicken sandwich. After we collected our food and sat down to enjoy the feast Margaret started to apply the condiments to her potato. That’s when the improvised explosive device went off!

imageI suspect most IEDs (improvised explosive devices) are made of fuel oil & fertilizer, old artillery shells or plastic explosives, but this one was made of sour cream. You see when Margaret started to open the sour cream packet to apply to her potato it exploded in her hand. I don’t mean a little pop, and it runs onto the table, but a high powered stream of white sour cream jetting into the air several feet. Fortunately for me it didn’t go in my direction. Unfortunately for Margaret that high speed stream of sour cream was aimed right at her glasses and hair.

Have you every tried to wipe sour cream out of you hair with a napkin in a Wendy’s restaurant? Take it from me its not a pretty sight and it doesn't work so well. But it sure is humorous. After a quick trip to the restroom the heroine of our story Margaret retuned uninjured by the IED and finished her lunch!

Watch out for IED’s they show up in the strangers of places!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Strange things about Memories

memories,jpg Have you every noticed that sometimes old memories pop up out of nowhere? I don’t mean memories from last week or last month, but from 40 or 50 years ago. Memories from when you were a child. Usually these are pleasant memories and nice to revisit having had long ago forgotten about them.

Some months ago rather than properly manage individuals that were abusing some company rules about break time and duration the company Margaret works for implemented a company wide rule that you could no longer leave the property during break.

Now that in itself isn’t a big deal, because how far can you go on a 15 minute break, but Margaret and a few others me included use to take that 15 minute break and walk around the industrial park that out company's building is located in. With the new rule that would no longer be possible.

Since people are endlessly resourceful some started walking in the parking lot, others Margaret and I started walking around the building. Its a big building and directly behind it is a railroad tracks.


The path around the building is not particularly nice. Its not even OK. It kind of dirty and you have to climb a steep trail to get around the back, Then you have to walk along on the railroad tracks to keep out of the mud. For the most part along the tracks there is a fair amount of garbage. At one end of the building there is a small muddy pond often with a few ducks in it.


In spite of all that for some strange reason its a pleasant walk! Why is that?

imageI think I might have an answers! In some small part the company tried to take something away and a way was found to continue the walks while sort of following the new rules. But I think that the real reason might be how those really old memories might get evoked. You see the trail around the building on the railroad tracks smells slightly of creosote. All railroad tracks do. That smell of creosote dredges up times and memories from long ago when walking and playing along the railroad tracks in the summertime with friends were fun. So even today that smell of creosote seems to make things pleasant.

So now from time to time you find us, on nice days playing again on the railroad tracks.

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