Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A wee bit nippy

Many things about living in Minnesota amuse me. Most recently, I am amused that this morning (18 degrees F when I left the house) the weatherman told me that it would flurry later today (right now, in fact) because a cold front would be coming through. What other reaction could I have? When one moves to Minnesota, one becomes zen about the cold.

Indeed, a much colder front is coming through--it is unlikely that temperatures will rise above 0 degrees F on Friday or Saturday, and Sunday and Monday will not be much warmer.

That's really darn cold. I predict that this weekend will be filled with reading, knitting and hot tea, inside. Also possibly some yoga. These are the best ways in which to enjoy such weather, in my opinion. Of course, the bike-riding guy will probably be out on the lake, but I am not quite that hearty.

Pond Hockey

So, two weekends ago, on a balmy (seriously) 23 degree day in January, MEL and I walked across the lake and wandered around the Pond Hockey Championships for a couple of hours. It was highly entertaining, and we had the best brats I have ever eaten.

We started off by treking across the frozen lake:

Checked out some of the sights outside:

For those of you from warmer climes, a reminder that everything that you have seen so far has been actually on the frozen lake:

(See--the little boy is wearing skates.)

I will note that little boys and men have many things in common:

(The boys also had hockey jerseys on, but under their coats.)

There were some *extremely* high-tech ways to hold shin guards in place:

Many children--and some adults--were using sleds to get around:

As always; the planes from MSP joined us:

The warming hut was on the beach, rather than on the lake itself, and there were stairs:

Here is the view from the beach behind the warming hut--the hut is on the left in this picture. Note the lifeguard stand:

The warming hut looked about like you would expect on the inside. Beer, brats, coats, flatscreen TVs showing other winter sporting events:

We watched a few games, warmed up, had some brats, and then walked across the lake and went home. One the way home, we saw this man out on the lake:

Because, um, sure. It's 23 degrees out. Why *not* go for a bike ride on the frozen lake?

Friday, January 26, 2007

We did go to the Pond Hockey Championships--

--and I will post those pictures soon, but I have been swamped. For now, I present this Knit-a-thon. People who know me well know that I have so, so little use for football. Mater-Eater-Lad and I always go to a non-sports-bar restaurant while the game is on.

Friday, January 19, 2007

I live in such an odd place.

I am still, after several years, getting used to living in an area where all of the lakes and ponds freeze pretty solid for most of the winter. Now this* is taking place on the lake four blocks from my house. How odd.

It's pretty cool, though.

*"The U.S. Pond Hockey Championships: Hockey. The way nature intended. Outdoors in the crisp winter air, skate blades gliding on the fresh ice below, with the sounds of clacking sticks and the smell of grilling bratwurst filling the air. The 2007 U.S. Pond Hockey Championships will be held January 19-21, 2007 on Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis, MN."

(Please note the obligatory bratwurst. Warm out? Beer and brats. Cold out? Beer and brats. Welcome to Minnesota.)

Edited to add:

Of course, I am totally there this weekend. All this people-watching for only a five-minute stroll? I wouldn't miss it.

Monday, January 15, 2007

An Open Letter to unnamed persons

Dear persons,

Discussing how an ultra-orthdox Jewish community might change the character of your community does not immediately make you a bigot. It is human and timeless to be apprehensive of how large numbers of people unlike oneself might change one's community. You cross over into bigoted when you selectively quote this article (for example: “There is no piece of land, if they have their eye on, they aren’t going to get. There is very little if they wanted, they could not get. They have literally taken over the town.” Information *not* quoted by you: "Marc Shapiro, Ph.D. a University of Scranton theology professor who concentrates in Judaic studies, thinks the Nadvorna sect’s impact on Scranton will not be nearly as far-reaching. “Basically they just want a place where they can practice their religion,” he said. “They’re not going to be getting involved in the Rotary Club or running for political office.' ”) and start talking about how "those people" have taken over a New Jersey town and will have a go at your town next. A couple of generations ago, other people who were already in your town were saying the same thing about your ancestors, who were right off the boat at that time. It is this sort of racism that is the most insidious, because I am sure that if I asked you would say that you are not a racist and *certainly* not an anti-semite. Please do not act surprised when I speak up about the fact that I am uncomfortable with such a conversation. I know that you truly do not mean to be racist, but in this case, you are.

Friday, January 12, 2007

I really *meant* to take the tree down on the Epiphany.


So, I didn't take down my Christmas tree last weekend. I was planning to do it this weekend. It didn't seem all that urgent--it is an artificial tree, after all.

I need to stress that we do not have any pets. Nor do we have any children.

On Wednesday night Matter-Eater Lad and I arrived home to find the tree on its side. I didn't get any pictures of it in that state, because I was far more worried about our ornaments, particularly the ornaments that my parents gave us as a wedding present. Amazingly, very few of the ornaments broke, and almost none of the wedding-present ornaments were affected.

Here is what the floor looked like after we lifted the tree up:

We took off all of the remaining ornaments right away, which meant that they got piled on the table where I had been winding yarn:

We got a set of bride's ornaments from someone other than my parents, and a few of those broke. Also, the bride and groom my aunt gave us for Christmas that year were on the bottom of the fallen tree, and they didn't survive:

The church my parents gave us just needs a tiny bit of roof work:

The egg my mom painted for me when I was little smashed a bit, but on the plain bottom, so that can probably be salvaged:

That was really the extent of the damage.
Amazingly, quite a few glass ornaments from the bottom of the tree survived:

The garlic survived--now I know what Superman was protecting it from:

Superman was the only ornament that went flying--he was across the room on the opposite side of the tree.

I have learned a few things:

1) Always anchor your tree to the wall;
2) Mercury-glass type ornaments are much more fragile than other types of glasses ornaments;
3) Always take your tree down by the Epiphany.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Happy New Year, Just a Few Days Late

More pictures, since my brain is totally fried. It snowed on New Year's Eve, so I went out on the 1st and took some lovely pictures right before sunset. You see them as I took them as I walked.