December 31, 2006

December 31, 2006....Be Safe, Enjoy

A photo from a recent visit to the newly opened Las Margaritas in Cottage Grove. Trust me on this, the best margaritas in town.

Happy New Years To All!!

December 30, 2006

I See Santa, Do You?

Yesterday I mentioned I brought my two children to the Mall Of America to see Santa Claus. I took a photo of where he is at the mall. He is in a new location this year from previous years. Nestled inside of a store now with sitting chairs as the line progresses, which is dang nice let me tell you. Santa was facing away from me during this shot. He was standing back while a child who was a bit scared of Santa was getting comfortable in the surroundings so Santa could sneak in and have a photo taken with the child. This Santa is wonderful with the children and works very well with the photographers.

December 29, 2006

Dashing Through The Snow

On my recent visit to the Mall Of America, we took a moment before we went and visited Santa to listen to this young choir singing Christmas carols. I'm not sure who they were exactly, but they sounded wonderful and were fully into the spirit of the coming events.

December 28, 2006

A Christmas Tree For Olivier

This was the biggest tree I could find for yesterday's large ornaments. These two trees are very large and stand inside the main event area inside the Mall Of America. The trees look much larger when you are standing there in person, hopefully this photo will give them some size.

December 27, 2006

Is It Really Small Or Very Large

Looking at the photo, it's quite difficult to determine the size of this Christmas ornament. I could be standing very close, yet is possible for the bulb to be that large in size? I wont keep you in suspense, the ornament is about ten feet tall and is hanging in one of the corners of the Mall Of America. You can see the skylight in the top portion of the bulbs reflection.

December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas From Twin Cities Daily Photo

Almost Christmas here in my part of the world, it's officially the 'eve' now as I feverishly wrap the remaining gifts for my family. This is a photo of my mom and dads fireplace that they have decorated quite nicely with a mirror and a ton of candles. It gives a very nice warmth without having a blazing fire.

Merry Christmas to all!

December 23, 2006

You'll Never Guess This One

You'd never guess what I am actually taking a photo of in today's photo. Yes, it's part of what I posted yesterday, but I was focusing on the statue yesterday. Today is something that's not scene, but is a predominate part of the photo. I've never actually taken a photo of today's subject intentionally before, but it's so overlooked. Instead of making a guessing game of it, I'll just tell y'all because there hasn't been much traffic here with the busy holiday season going on now.

So what is today's subject, I know, get on with it already....Drum roll please....I'm taking a photo of the shadow of the Cathedral in St Paul that is directly behind me where I was standing. It just stood out as such a large figure that I thought I would try and capture it to see what it looked like in a photo. [photo of the cathedral for reference]

December 22, 2006

Yet Another Monument I Know Nothing About

Keeping with yesterday's theme of monuments I know nothing about but have seen hundreds and hundreds of times in my life, I'm posting the backside of someone who was very prominent in St Paul's history, an early settler I would imagine. I know he is placed here so he can keep watch on the city of St Paul if I recall correctly. But who is it exactly? That's another good question that I couldn't find on google. I see a couple of plaques on the bottom portion of the statue, I'm putting reading it in the spring when the weather warms on my to do list and I'll post a close up photo. Why spring? Because we finally got a little bit of snow here and winter is upon us in Minnesota. Is today the official first day of winter or was it yesterday? But to see a photo of our snow and the VERY large snow flakes that were falling, stop by fellow local daily photo blogger Carol of St Paul for an at the scene photo of our first snowfall of the season.

December 21, 2006

Were So Sorry, Uncle Albert

In West St Paul, there is this very small triangle patch of grass with a small monument as shown in the photo. There is a road surrounding the park, Dodd Road, Smith Avenue and Butler Avenue if I recall correctly. It's actually a park, Albert Park. Perhaps it is a grave stone and the guys first and last name is Albert Park. Perhaps this is the gravestone for Uncle Albert that the Beatles sing about in their Uncle Albert song?. I really do not know and it's something I've always wondered about. Is it really a park to play at, which you would end up playing in traffic at some point as there is traffic within reach, or is it the worlds smallest cemetery with only one tombstone?

The park has their own Facebook page:

December 20, 2006

Sounds Of Silence

Another photo from the March 13, 2006 snow storm. We still do not have any snow here in Minne'snow'ta, but I'm not complaining. It certinaly is great not having to break out the shovel or snow blower yet. We are almost through December and typically one of the colder months of the winter. We are well above average in temperatures this winter. Life is good.

December 19, 2006

Ice Palace 2004 Series - pic 8

Another photo from the 2004 St Paul Winter Carnival Ice Palace series.

Links to all of the photos in the series:

Photo 7 Photo 6 Photo 5 Photo 4 Photo 3 Photo 2 Photo 1

December 18, 2006

My Name Is Kid Rock

Today's photo was from earlier in the year, April 13. Kid Rock was playing in St Paul at the Xcel energy center. Wifey and I had seats in row 14, center section of I recall correctly. The show was entertaining, energetic, and a bit loud for some of you I would imagine. For taking photos, I found it quite challenging. I was the tripod and I couldn't hold the camera still long enough to get a clear shot. I had to either use my flash or wait until the lights were bright on stage. Also, I had only had a digital camera about a month at that point and was still very new to taking photos with it.

December 16, 2006

Lack Of Snow Here This Winter

So far this winter here in Minnesota I've seen a couple of snow flakes falling, but nothing that is typical of a Minnesota snow storm. I do believe this is the third winter in a row that we've been flirting with no snow on the ground at Christmas time. Personally I don't mind, but I work with a bunch of people who are snow mobile owners. The depression in their voices over the lack of snow, to me, makes me laugh. Since I have not been able to post any snow photos, I thought I would post one from snow storm from last March. This is a shot of my neighbors back yard and their cloths lines collecting the snow. I thought it made a great shot of the joys of snow.

December 15, 2006

The Other Half Of The Equation

Today's photo is a continuation of yesterday's photo. It looks nothing like yesterdays, but it's the same location and the same barge. Today it is featured, where yesterday it was well hidden. You may not have seen it unless you looked really close.

December 14, 2006

How High Is The Water Johnny?

I really like this photo. It has a barge tied to some posts, but the water level is about normal for this time of the year. The gauge is to show how high the water is during the flood season, if there is one during the spring or very large downpour. There is just a lot of structure in this area. The area we are looking at is the Mississippi River and across from the Harriot Island area in St Paul where I've posted a number of photos the past couple of months.

December 13, 2006

Don't See This Often, Eh?

Drove into work yesterday morning and there were flashing lights as I approached the entrance. Here sat this Chevy Silverado, upside down on the lawn. It was rather slippery on the drive in as the overnight fog turned to ice on the roads. This driver slid across the road, through the opposing traffic, hit the curb and flipped the truck over into the position you see. The driver was shaken, but walking around and doing well thankfully. Wow!

December 11, 2006

Real Sea Monkeys?

Remember those ads for sea monkeys in the back of magazines? You could buy these sea monkey eggs from whomever was selling them. They'd send them to you in the mail and poof, you had growing sea monkeys. In reality, they were a form of brine shrip about the size of a period at the end of a sentence. Those are not sea monkeys in today's photo, these are Sea Horses. This was taken at the Minnesota Zoo by my wife in one of their very large fish tanks. I really like the colors in this photo. I'm not sure why these sea horses reminded me of the sea monkey ads, but I had to share it with you all.

December 9, 2006

Spiral Bridge Mural With Trolls?

I'm not sure about the trolls, but they are in the painting. This mural can be found downtown Hastings. I believe it is on the side of the Scandinavian Marketplace building which can be seen in this photo from an earlier daily photo of mine. The spiral bridge in the mural is actually what the original bridge looked like as you crossed the Mississippi River leaving Hastings.

I've found an archive photo of the original spiral bridge from around 1900. Here is an aerial view of the bridge that shows a lot clearer photo and just where the bridge was located, I'm not sure of the date of this photo. I believe the bridge at the time was for horse and buggy plus people crossing only. I'm not sure when the bridge was torn down for replacement, but I'm sure it couldn't have lasted too long once automobiles started crossing the bridge.

I'm rather curious if anyone knows of any other spiral bridges that are in place or had been in place at one time. I would have to believe this is quite original for it's time. I've never seen another and with today's automobile use, it certainly isn't practical.

December 8, 2006

Floods Of 1965

Same location as yesterday's photo in Hastings, but the focus is on the High Water Mark sign. If you look close there is a squiggly blue line above the '18 April 1965' portion of the sign post. That is how high the water of the Mississippi Rose rose to at it's peak during that seasons floods. I left the light and the sitting bench in the photo so you have something to compare the height of the water mark. One thing to keep in mind, from the top of the walking path in the photo to the actual running water in the river is about a 15 foot drop.

December 7, 2006

Fall Colors In Hastings

Photo of the river bridge as you leave or enter Hastings. This bridge crosses the Mississippi River and waaaaaay in the background on the right side of the river is a lock and damn, I believe it's number 4. This photo was from a month ago when the fall colors were just about at peak.

December 6, 2006

Rear View Mirror

This beautiful building is the City Hall in Hastings, this is the back view of the building. I'm not sure if this building was originally something else at one time or if they built it like this as a city hall. I really like the curved arches that flow through out the building, the windows, the roof, and some of the detailed brick work. What strikes me as odd is the chimney. It's not made from the same brick type and it's off center.

December 5, 2006

We Know How To Build Snowmen

This is Hedican the snowman. He was built by Paul Bunyan a long time ago. No no, I'm kidding. This 54 foot tall snowman, made of stucco was built in 1974 by the North St Paul Jaycees. I'm not sure when the change happened or why it happened, but the snowman used to have black buttons and never had a name printed on it before. The snowman sits on the corner of Highway 36 and Margaret Street in North St Paul.

Birds eye view via Live Search

December 4, 2006

Let's Turn To The Side

Another photo of the Baker Recreation Center in St Paul, but from the side this time. Now if you look at yesterdays photo, you would never know that the building went partly under ground. There is only a small portion that is under the sidewalk and it's for the water hose storage for the ice rinks.

December 2, 2006

Baker Recreation Center

This building is attached to Baker playground. It was built in 1938 and is still in use today. The bottom portion of the building stores a lot of the sports equipment for the playground, including the water hose to make the ice rinks for skating. The upstairs portion looks like it's still in use, but I'm not sure what for these days. I can tell you, it was where I went to pre-school a long time ago. I doubt that is what it would be used for today as they built a larger, newer rec center up the top of the hill which you can see in yesterday's photo.

December 1, 2006

Theme Day: Photo From The Waist Down

Today is theme day, photo from the waist down.

52 Daily Photo sites are participating in the December theme, please use the links to below to visit them. Due to time zone differences and other factors, the theme photo may not be displayed until later if you are viewing early in the day.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 - 30 - 31 - 32 - 33 - 34 - 35 - 36 - 37 - 38 - 39 - 40 - 41 - 42 - 43 - 44 - 45 - 46 - 47 - 48 - 49 - 50 - 51 - 52 Yesterday I mentioned sliding down the hill I was standing upon. Today I'm pretty much at the bottom of the hill looking up so you can see what a hill it can be for sliding. I'd be curious how fast one could get on various slides as some do run faster than others. Speed was one thing, but how far one could travel was another thing and an all new challenge. The record that I witnessed was by a friend of mine that I went to school with. If you look at yesterday's photo, there are two visible baseball fields, but there is a third baseball field just outside of the photo to the right. The longest slide down the hill is to about where home plate would be if you can visualize where that would be. Trust me, it's a very long journey to get there and was done on a slide with the metal blades and the wood sitting area [I'm sure there is a specific name for this type of snow sled].

For reference, I sent my two children running up the hill so you can see just how big the hill is to am eight and six year old. The recreation center is also in the background. The second level was a great place to sit in the chairs and look out at the city. One could see for miles from the vantage point.

November 30, 2006

The View From The Hill

I've always liked it here on this hill that over looks Baker Playground on the West Side. I have many memories from here sliding in the winter, playing football on the field below, skating on the ice rink when there is ice, shooting baskets into the hoop just out of frame to the right, baseball at times, flying a kite in the spring, once got a boomerang caught in the largest tree on the far side of the field. But the view, oh the view can be wonderful at times. There is an indoor rec center behind be where I am standing. You can see just above the treeline and into and beyond the East St Paul neighborhood, plus downtown St Paul is a lot more visible than it is here in this photo.

November 28, 2006

The Nation Which Forgets Its Defenders Will Itself Be Forgotten

In case you cannot quite read what it reads around the circle surrounding the eagles bust, it is today's title. I found this mural in West St Paul, just off of Robert Street and Annapolis. It doesn't look quite complete at the moment as I see traces of things to be painted. What stuck me odd and I just had to turn around and get a photo of the mural was this is on the side of someone's garage. You can see their home beyond the garage. Quite a statement to have painted on your garage for all to see.

November 27, 2006

With This Ring, I Thee Wed

Just outside of downtown St Paul is Harriot Island. In the photo is the main building where some events take place. If you look close, there was a wedding going on during the time of my photo. I could hear some music and see the bride and groom walking around together, although I cannot locate them in this photo, but they are there. Trust me!

November 26, 2006

Best Pizza In St Paul

If you are ever in town, Cossetta's Pizza on 7th Street just outside of downtown is the place to visit. I've been getting pizza from Cossetta's for many years. They used to own a building about two blocks away, at the time, it had no indoor seating and they had three or four tables outside that were used only during the warmer months of the year. The place was very small, but the pizza was outstanding. When they moved to their new building, the pizza was the same, they added indoor seating, and life for them is good as can be. They are about a block from the Xcel Energy Center and get tons of business before any events. If you cannot make it in to eat, they recently added this two stall "to go" parking spaces so you will never have trouble finding a spot to pick up your pizza.

November 22, 2006

Oh Look, A Bird....Or Two

A photo submitted from my dad from early fall. Not sure how many black birds are hidden from view due to the railing, but how many you can see in the photo was quite a large number. There is a bird feeder there in the middle of the garden, but what brought that large number of birds there at once?

November 21, 2006

Something I've Never Seen Before

This shot was taken about a few weeks ago at the end of October. I was driving in Woodbury and saw this field looking the way it is. Now normally, this is covered in flowers, shrubs, plants and there is never any spacing like there is. I would guess this is how it's always looked during the fall, but I just never drove by it this time of the year. What caught my eye that day was the suns reflection on the dirt which is covered with water. It doesn't quite show up in the photo the way I saw it, but this should give you a better idea of the photo. If you are wondering, this place is one of several nurseries that belong to Buell's. They are a supplier of landscaping supplies.

November 20, 2006

Red Roof Of Knowledge

The building with the red roof was my intention for this photo. That building is the St Paul Public Library. I have not been in there in quite some time now, I was a child last time and I went there with my mom several times. I recall all the stone walls and stairwells and the size of the library was amazing. I'll have to make a trip in there one of these years and bring my kids.

November 17, 2006

That's Not A Boat, This Is A Boat

Same location as from yesterday's daily photo, but just one boat, one very large boat. Although I'm not sure what the use of it is, but the "M" is the University Of Minnesota's trademark maroon and gold. I'm not sure what their hand is with the boat, but I really liked the looks of the boat.

November 16, 2006

Lots More Boats Docked

Have a couple more Mississippi River photos to post yet. This one has a lot of larger sized boats docked up across shore from where I am standing. To the back of me is downtown St Paul.

November 15, 2006

Ice Palace 2004 Series - pic 7

This is the main tower of the Ice Palace built in downtown St Paul during the 2004 Winter Carnival.

Photo by Travis T [good luck on the soon to be new baby....this week?]

November 14, 2006

Oh What A View

If you wonder around the Mall Of America in Bloomington into the rides area. It was called Camp Snoopy when it first opened, but is now just called, the Park At The Mall Of America. I guess the contract with the Snoopy name was up and they couldn't agree on something, so the name was dropped to it's current generic name. If you look up in the park area, you can always tell what the weather is like as the entire roof is made of what you see. Glass? Plexiglas? Something see-through? Plus you can look at the heating ducts and how well they are blended into the structure.

November 13, 2006

Good Grief Charlie Brown

I saw this from a distance from where I was standing and thought it would make a great photo. It's a Snoopy and Woodstock statue that is proudly displayed in the front entrance of a small, I believe it looked it a small apartment building. What a great and fun entrance to your home. The Snoopy and Woodstock statue was from a few years ago when the city of St Paul for three years in a row had various panted statues of the Peanuts gang on display in various parts of the city. When the city was finished with having them on display, one could then purchase the statues for your personal enjoyment of display them at your business for your customers enjoyment.

November 11, 2006

Boats and Rivers and Bridges, Oh My

I am standing on the north side of the Mississippi River as it flows around downtown St Paul. The first bridge is the Wabasha Street Bridge, also called the Freedom Bridge. Then we have the train lift bridge that is still in use today. Next is the Robert Street Bridge. The last bridge which is barely noticeable is the Highway 52 bridge, it pretty much looks like a white line in the distance.

November 10, 2006

Someone Call A Medic

Medic you ask? I did not notice it when I took the photo, but in the lower left corner of the photo is an Army medical vehicle of some kind. My intention was of the barn in the backyard of a home here in Cottage Grove. I believe this area was farm land at one time and perhaps the barn was part of the original farm. Today it is a barn in the back yard of a newer home, but they have a good plot of land to go along with it. Oddly enough, this photo was taken on Military Road, which is part of the "back roads" as we say here in Cottage Grove. Really the back roads are just a way to get from city to city without traveling on the highway.

November 9, 2006

Just Down The Road A Bit

This is yet another farm out here in Cottage Grove. I believe this one is just a small hobby farm that is in much better shape than yesterday's photo. I really like the colors in this photo with the bare trees.

November 8, 2006

Much Need Clean

Here we have a farm out in Woodbury, which is just north of Cottage Grove. It's actually an active farm as you can tell the crops had been recently cut like yesterday's photo. However, they need a major overhaul to get the place in top shape. I'm not sure if this part of the farm is in use, but there were other areas that were well kept. I just liked this shot for the character it has.

November 7, 2006

Sign That Cool Temps Are On The Way

There are still quite a few farmers here in Cottage Grove. I've recently noticed that the majority of the crops have been cut out completely for the season. It's quite a quick change from seeing talk green corn stalks to this trimmed dried up remains in such a short amount of time. Yet it happens every year and is a sign that winter will soon be here.

November 6, 2006

This Just Ain't Right

You see, I'm a bit troubled by the words Sheriff and Pott, not to mention Keep Pott on a political sign. Sheriff Pott is up for re-election in my county and for some reason, I believe this guy will win based on his name. Maybe it's just me, but I laugh when I see these campaign signs in yards.

I know nothing about Sheriff Pott and I don't know if I'll vote for him, but I will get out and vote on Tuesday, make sure you do too. Then finally, these horrid political commercials will end!

November 4, 2006

Look Up To The Sky And See

This building in shambles is actually attached to the photo I posted back on October 14. It's the remains of the main building attached to several silos that used to be used for storage of whatever was carried in the Mississippi River barges. The silos are long gone, but the main building is still intact in it's worn out structure. As ugly as the building is, I hope they are able to keep it here as it is a part of St Paul's history that is long forgot.

November 3, 2006

Welcome To Fright Night

In my neighborhood in Cottage Grove, for the past 6 or 7 years, there is one house that goes way beyond the norm for Halloween celebrations. They put on a haunted house for the kids, mom and dad, anyone who wants to enter the haunted maze, they are welcome. Get this, the haunted house is free of all things. That my friends gets the top Halloween award. I believe the person in the photo dressed up as Dracula is the owner of the home that puts on this wonderful event. I know a lot of direct neighbors help out year after year.

I drive by this home quite often, so I see a couple months before Halloween happens that there are items going up in the yard. Tombstones, bats hanging from trees, the gateway into the backyard where it all starts. So much work and effort goes into this and to top it off, the last couple years he has been asking for food donations so they can collect food for the food drives that happen around Thanksgiving time. It's a win, win situation for all.

Hats off to who ever you are that does this for the kids and adults. My son has been through the haunted house now two years and he looks forward to so he can brag to his friends that he went to a haunted house.

So we went through the line around 8:30 and there was about 150 people behind us when we went into the beginning of the adventure. I asked how many people had been through this year and their count went we entered was 713 people!

November 2, 2006

Bag It, Tag It, Sell It To The Butcher In The Market

Halloween is all but over, the pumpkins featured in October 30's daily photo have been carved into Jack O'Lanterns. The pumpkin on the left is my daughters design, her very first pumpkin design. The middle one is my sons creation. He said it was a cross between a vampire [the fang teeth] and a pig [the nose] The last pumpkin on the right is my doings.

I saw many great looking pumpkins on my walk around the neighborhood while my two children collected the goodies. Actually for my neighborhood, there appeared to be more kids out this evening than previous years. That was good to see and a bit surprising for the temperatures as cool as they were, about 27 degrees Fahrenheit. It's also amazing to see how many homes go way beyond the generic Halloween decorations and really create some wonderful, well thought out ideas. Makes it fun for the kids and us adults too as we walk around from home to home.

November 1, 2006

Daily Photo Theme Day: Something That Is About To Disappear

56 Daily Photo Bloggers around the world are posting a theme picture today of a something that is about to disappear; select a number to visit another: [Due to time zone differences and other factors, the theme photo may not be displayed until later if you are viewing early in the day] This was a tough one for me to decide. The warm weather is about to disappear. There is a bridge that I travel on that is being replaced by a new bridge. The leaves on the trees are soon to be gone. I decided to post something very local to my community. The Cottage Square Mall here in Cottage Grove will soon be torn down and replaced by a new senior living complex. It will be sad to see the building go, but the city has done a wonderful job of moving the stores that were occuping the building to new locations in the new shopping malls in various locations around town. It's a bummer to see it go, but there will be a lot of good out of this.

1 -2 -3 -4 -5 -6 -7 -8 -9 -10 -11 -12 -13 -14 -15 -16 -17 -18 -19 -20 -21 -22 -23 -24 -25 -26 -27 -28 -29 -30 -31 -32 -33 -34 -35 -36 -37 -38 -39 -40 -41 -42 -43 -44 -45 -46 -47 -48 -49 -50 -51 -52 -53 -54 -55 -56

October 31, 2006

Is There Such A Thing Called Halloween Eve?

To those of you who participate in Halloween activities, enjoy and be safe.

October 30, 2006

Let's Play The Name Game

It took me a while to figure out what this business sold or did. With all of the signs on display, it was quite confusing, yet fun to look at. This photo was taken in the town of Waverly, Minnesota across from the hall, wifey and I was at for a wedding we attended a couple of weeks ago.

October 28, 2006

On The South Side

The last daily photo here was of downtown Hastings, the buildings on the north side of the road. Today I am posting a photo of the buildings on the south side of the road. They are a bit different in looks, as they almost all have a uniform height to them. There is a gap at the end of the block where the buildings are lower, but looking at a photo of this section of road in the early 1900's, there were two more buildings there that were the same height. Not sure why they were taken down, perhaps fire or structure problems from their age.

One thing I've noticed between today's photo and the photo from the early 1900's is the street lamps. They have been updated as they now have two lamps per pole, but they look to be the exact same shape as the original light fixture. Nice touch.