Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Franken Won

According to the Minnesota Supreme Court, Al Franken won the U.S. Senate seat:
In its 32-page ruling, the state court unanimously rejected all of Coleman's arguments, seeking the inclusion of more absentee ballots into the count.
read the full story here.

Of course, it isn't really news, but it's official.

Thank goodness Coleman's conceded!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Title of the Week

And it's a free book too:

A narrative of some passages in the history of Eenoolooapik

By Alexander M'Donald

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Yellow Done

P's yellow socks are finished. I like the way the basket-weave looks in yellow:
So of course I had to cast on something new:
Actually, more than one something new:
Mozart found a new place to sun himself today.

Friday, June 26, 2009


We went to see Carlos Ruiz Zafón last night - He's on a book tour for The Angel's Game.

He speaks well, his musings on being a writer interesting and he has some unique points of inspiration. He seemed to me very down to earth for an artist.
I haven't read Angels yet, but I enjoyed The Shadow of the Wind very much when I read it some years ago.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Girl-child ordered this movie up from Netflix and we've just watched it.

It is a fantastic movie. It is beyond delightfully tacky and overdone. And the music is inexplicably inappropriate most of the time.

I think the primary reason I find it so fabulous is because it is so obviously one of the main inspirations for Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. I mean, I could recite Young Frankenstein lines into this (silent) movie and they fit perfectly.

Girl-child thinks it's hilarious that the only movie I have memorized is Young Frankenstein.

She should talk. She knows every line in Lilo and Stitch.

On Libraries

Everyone loves libraries and librarians.

As I gear up to attend my second American Libraries Association Conference in Chicago next month, I can't help but reminisce on how fun it was to be in Washington, D.C. two years ago for the same. It's wonderful to be able to attend a professional conference. It's wonderful to be able to tell people what you do for a living without being accosted with travel horror stories and complaints about air fares. It's wonderful to find out what's happening in other places, because the field of librarianship is so wide and so deep that you just never know what you're going to stumble upon when you go to such a conference.

And would you believe - what timing - a book club discussion at St Kate's this fall is going to center around Persepolis. Loved that book. The discussion is open to students, faculty, staff, and alumnae.

(Thanks, Susan)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

River Views, Bridges and Perspective

Back in the day when I was a student in Salamanca, I found the Roman bridge to be one of the many magical elements of the town.

Of course, although it's a couple thousand years younger, we have the Stone Arch Bridge here in the Twin Cities, where the city of Minneapolis was born. We went to the Stone Arch Festival of the Arts today - P's choice for a Fathers' Day activity.
I like the old mill ruins on the river. Some day I will go to the museum.

And although I will always like the old Guthrie better, the new one has very cool (if impractical) architecture.
I'd never seen it from this angle before:
I think the end of the Guthrie bridge kind of looks like a tree house when you look at it from the Stone Arch Bridge:
There are tours of the area available - on Segways. I think they look ridiculous:
There were many interesting things at the art fair, but this frog and troll were fantastic:

I rather liked this perspective as well.

Should have brought my fishing pole:

Knitting Notes

These felted angels are part of a display at the farmers' market. Girl-child and I find them disturbing.


After farmers' market, we went to a World Wide Knit in Public Day event yesterday which was absolutely lovely. The park was shaded with a breeze, there was good food and a wonderful yarn shop nearby, the company was good ...
I've only got a couple of socks on the needles - nothing too interesting at the moment.

We'll see if we can change that.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


It's Saturday. Off we go to the farmers' market.

In the meantime, things are starting to calm down around here a bit. Keep your fingers crossed.

Boulevard flowers seen last night:
Boy-child with the classic, "Who, me?" expression:

Girl-child with a pair of fantabulistic glasses received yesterday (thanks again):
The last of the peonies:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Porcupine Factoids

  • Baby porcupines are called "porcupettes"
  • The common porcupine is a good swimmer, its hollow quills help keep it afloat
  • Native Americans used to kill porcupines for their quills which they dyed and used to decorate clothing, jewelry and other items. Nowadays, they corner a porcupine and tap its back with a Styrofoam paddle to collect all the quills they need.
  • A group of porcupines is called a "prickle"
From Colorado Outdoors, Vol. 58, no. 1 (p. 54)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How (not) to Get Your Boulevard Trees Trimmed

Read it and weep – this is my correspondence with the city regarding trimming trees on my block.

Note the dates.

Also, we are within five miles of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) detected in St Paul on May 14, 2009.


soxanne 6/10/2008 10:44 AM

Good morning.

I see from your map that my block is not scheduled for a boulevard tree trimming until 2011 or later.

Tell me it isn’t so.

We have several trees that are in desperate need of a trim and one that needs to be replaced on our block. My house is ****, the next-door neighbors were told they would have a replacement tree at the end of last summer (still nothing there) and two doors down the branches are so low I have to duck sometimes when I’m walking by...

Please, can we have some attention on the last block of **** between **** and ****?




Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2008 09:00:17 -0500
From: tree person
To: soxanne
Subject: Re: tree trimming scheudle

Anne thank you for your inquiry, I will put in a service request to have your boulevard trees trimmed.

If we can be of further assistance, please let us know.

Thank you.

City Of St.Paul
Parks and Recreation
Forestry Division


soxanne 6/18/2009 10:55 AM

To date we have not seen any trimming. I was wondering what the status of this was, particularly given the EAB situation (most of the boulevard trees on my block are Mountain Ash - does this make a difference?)

Also, while walking to the bus stop the other morning I noticed a blind woman with a guide dog walk smack into low hanging branches on **** Parkway between **** and **** (1-1/2 blocks from my home).

Thank you,



Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 11:35:15 -0500
From: tree person
To: soxanne
Subject: RE: tree trimming scheudle


Thank you for the follow up, the request was enter on June 12, which was last Friday. For a trim to take place, it can take 6-8 weeks or longer to have that done. We have it documented and will get to the area for a trim as soon as we can.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may have or be causing you, but we are doing our best to fulfill all request.

Thank you

City Of St.Paul
Parks and Recreation
Forestry Division


soxanne 6/18/2009 11:37 AM

I believe that may have been June 12 of last year - could you please double check that?

(see dates on previous notes)

Thank you.



That would have been June 12, 2009 that I entered the service request in.

Thank you

City Of St.Paul
Parks and Recreation
Forestry Division



Me and Conan

Your result for The 3 Variable Funny Test...

the Prankster

(48% dark, 31% spontaneous, 32% vulgar)

your humor style:

Your humor has an intellectual, even conceptual slant to it. You're not pretentious, but you're not into what some would call 'low humor' either. You'll laugh at a good dirty joke, but you definitely prefer something clever to something moist.

You probably like well-thought-out pranks and/or spoofs and it's highly likely you've tried one of these things yourself. In a lot of ways, yours is the most entertaining type of humor because it's smart without being mean-spirited.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Conan O'Brian - Ashton Kutcher

Take The 3 Variable Funny Test
at HelloQuizzy

I don't have a lot to write about these days, but I am trying to maintain my sense of humor...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

But I Don't Like Squirrels

Your result for The Despot / Small Woodland Creature Test...

Charlemagne the Squirrel

38% Brutality, 30% Wackiness,

61% Playfulness, 33% Strength,

65% Kindness,43% Agility

and 64% Intelligence!

Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 to his death. Today he is regarded not only as the founding father of both French and German monarchies, but also as the father of Europe: his empire united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Romans. Part of Charlemagne's success as warrior and administrator can be traced to his admiration for learning. His reign and the era it ushered in are often referred to as the Carolingian Renaissance because of the flowering of scholarship, literature, art, and architecture which characterise it. Such success for a mere squirrel is surely one of history's most inexplicable occurrences. Charlemagne was able to balance his time between hoarding nuts for winter and enlightening the known world. The squirrel's good-natured attitude, and love of life were boons to Charlemagne...and to you.

Take The Despot / Small Woodland Creature Test
at HelloQuizzy

Monday, June 15, 2009


My Irish grandmother loved crossword puzzles. She was very good at them too. I went through a period of time during which I tried very hard to be good at them, but alas, I am not. I found this distressing 25 years ago, but I got over it.

Tonight, I discovered that not being good at crossword puzzles is nothing compared with not understanding the concept of a crossword puzzle. It's silly, really, if you think about it. These puzzles are a Western invention, used for exercising the mind and having fun with trivia; a pass-time for lazy Sundays and/or cold evenings in the winter. They work well with the Latin alphabet even though words are not normally written in such a disjointed fashion - and never vertically.

While volunteering tonight I had a student who did not understand the concept of a crossword puzzle. Once I explained that only one letter goes in each box, we made enormous progress. I hadn't realized that this wasn't obvious.

If you think about it, why would it be obvious?

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Boy-child's sock monkey has a new friend:
Meet Byron.
Now each child has a monkey, made to their specifications:

Farmers' Market

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I Have Nothing to Add

Saw this on a garbage can downtown:

Made my day.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Restricted Parking

Parking at the University is a problem; has been for a long time. It is so bad, in fact, that they have to remind people of the fact that certain areas are restricted to special groups. This sign outside of Borlaug Hall reminds people that the space is available only for construction vehicles.
It might not seem so strange, but this is not a parking lot.
In fact, you have to drive quite a distance up a sidewalk to get to the construction parking for Borlaug Hall.
You can't see the parking area from the street because of a wooded area:
But just in case you're driving down the sidewalk, remember, you can't park in this area unless you're part of the construction crew.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

On the Senate Race and Weird News

So, while I was volunteering Monday night helping a young woman prepare for the citizenship test I was reminded that Minnesota still has only one senator. The second seat for Senate is still hung up in the courts. For those of you who aren't from around here, it's a counting issue. I tried to impress upon my student Monday night that the courts don't decide who won the election, the courts decide if the votes were counted properly ... it's kind of weird, and near impossible to explain - this sort of thing does not normally happen in the United States. This is a fluke.

It's kind of like when the bridge fell into the river and P said, "This does not happen in the U.S."

...anyway, today I looked at the news and lo, a Ramsey County court has ordered Norm Coleman to pay Al Franken $95K - part of his defense cost. We don't have the Senate seat filled yet, but it is some consolation.

In other news, two deer stumbled into downtown Minneapolis this morning. Marquette and 8th? They weren't window shopping. Maybe looking for somewhere to eat? It cost them though; both were put down. I'll have to ask one of the wildlife people at the U why that was necessary, because the article does not make that clear to me at all.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Gloomy Monday

It's been raining since Saturday morning, and I think that even though we really, really needed it, we're all really, really sick of it and we're ready for some sunshine now.

So I revert to file photos again.

We saw a very good movie over the weekend, The Man in th Glass Booth. I found it at the library and checked it out because, well, it's from the library and there's no risk. We almost gave up on it but were curious about where the protagonist's craziness was going. Plus we really didn't have anything else to do. We're glad we stuck with it. Don't read the box or the plot summary if you can help it.
And in all fairness, I didn't knit everything in yesterday's photos - Girl-child knit a few things, there is one alpaca scarf from Chile and there are a couple of things that girlfriends crocheted.

Still, I guess it's true, I have knit a lot of stuff.

Debbie, one of my regular morning bus drivers, saw P's yellow sock this morning and she wants it. A lot. I'll have to be sure to carry something else in my bag on days I'm on Debbie's bus.
Girl-child and I also watched all/some of Lilo and Stitch (one of her all time favorites) and Fried Green Tomatoes (what's not to love?). Movie therapy.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wool and Silk and Wool

P's yellow sock is crawling along to the heel. It is the only sock I have on the needles at the moment, which is kind of weird:
Girl-child's monkey is coming along. I've altered the order of things from the pattern a bit, trying to make the process a little easier than the first one. The feet, legs and behind are done, and I've started the tail so that it can all be stuffed as I go.

The Clapotis is done. I am actually blocking it. That may have been a mistake, as imperfections can be seen better when it is stretched out, but I think when it's draped over shoulders those flaws will be less obvious. P likes to call it my mantilla:
In the meantime, I've started washing out wintery things and hanging them out to dry so they can be packed away until fall:
Some are lying flat:
There's a lot left to be done:
For those of you so kind as to ask, and for those who are wondering, Boy-child is doing ok. There's a lot to be done to get him back on track but I'm hoping that slow and steady will win.