once again...

It's time for the Be Our Neighbor Game! Seriously, this place is beautiful and the stupid housing market makes it quite affordable.



happy kid?

Recently, on my way home, I was stopped at a red light when I noticed a little kid, maybe four or five, carrying a bag of candy and singing. I'm guessing English is not the primary language spoken at his house, and I only say that to give him the benefit of the doubt. He was walking down the sidewalk toward me.

I turned off the stereo in the car and watched him. I was interested in what he was singing. As he got closer, I couldn't make out the tune or the words, until he looked at me, smiled, and sang, "F*** you!"

I gave him a look of mock horror. He smiled bashfully and put the candy in front of his face, then replied in song, "F*** you! F*** you! F*** you! F*** you! F*** you! F*** you!"

Fortunately, I got the green light so he didn't see me laughing...



please won't you be my neighbor?

Check it out! The house adjacent to ours has been (mostly) empty since we've lived here. It's finally for sale! Obviously, the market is ugly right now, but it's a unique property, so we have some hope for a sale.

And the selling agent? When you say...

you've said a mouthful!




It wouldn't be an early Wednesday morning if the fire trucks didn't show up, would it?

The white house, which is on the lot behind/next to the site of the most recent fire, was the center of attention. Fortunately nothing seems to have come of it. What may have looked like smoke was fire truck exhaust and what may have smelled like fire was the leftover odor from the pile of rubble. There were quite a few trucks, but they left about twenty minutes after they arrived.



really nothing to add, but

I managed to finally get that post at the house blog done. But not before the fire trucks showed up for the third time today...


thankfully, there's a breeze from the north

more here, when I get to it...

Now playing: Blue Öyster Cult - Burnin' for You
via FoxyTunes



accidents, other stuff

Yesterday, on the 23 line, I was waiting to finish my right turn onto Lake Street from Hennepin Avenue. The light was about to turn yellow. As I checked traffic to my left, I heard a THUD and looked back to my right. All I saw was a blue-green Chevrolet Cavalier and a lot of cans of food rolling down the street.

I had to ask my passengers if that car had just hit someone. It had. It was kind of weird. The driver didn't brake, at least that I could hear. He was clearly finishing off his turn in the yellow light. She must have been in his blind spot. I absolutely don't want to excuse not looking where you're going, but it happened in the middle lane, so the woman who got hit very likely should not have been there.

I hope she's OK. I haven't seen anything in the news, so I assume she's still alive.

I got to the 17W terminal yesterday up in Northeast and a street supervisor showed up. She asked me if I'd written an Operating Conditions Report about the westbound trip I was about to make. I hadn't. Apparently someone is having trouble with overload and time issues.

I've driven that work on Fridays in previous picks and this pick I drive it Monday and Friday. I've never had a real problem, but Mondays and Fridays tend to be lighter days of the week.

So the supervisor followed me and I kept it on time. But I noticed something interesting.

BREAKING NEWS (and it's not good):
Kassie just pointed out to me that Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, the food writer for our biggest local free weekly, City Pages, is leaving next month. Oh boy, does that suck. Unless Demko has written a cover story, I barely pick up CP anymore, other than to read Dara. Yeah, that poor paper has really declined ever since Village Voice Media put some turd named Kevin Hoffman in charge. And no, I don't know him, but I do know that a lot of really good writers have left that paper because of him.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh. I probably picked up 35 people on that trip and all but about five of them paid with cash! See, we have this great little thing called a Go-To Card now, and pretty much every route I drive has a large percentage of people who use it in one form or other.

I think the marketing department needs to get themselves to Northeast Mpls and spread the good word. That would certainly make that trip easier to keep on time!

I had to detour today on the 11 because there was a rollover on 3rd Avenue a couple blocks north of Franklin. As Kassie pointed out, it would take some serious effort to get going fast enough to roll a car in that area.
[update: the story, thanks to Kassie's sharp eyes]

Today, as I was waiting for a bus, a school bus pulled in to the convenience store across the street. The driver (I think) got out and went inside. About two minutes passed. Then someone inside the bus started honking the horn. The driver came out of the store, appeared to make a walk through on the bus, then went back inside. She was still inside when my bus showed up. I thought it was odd that a driver would stop at a store with kids on her bus. Maybe it wasn't the driver I saw. I don't know...

Jesse rode my bus this evening. He was our wedding photographer.

I have to get up very early in the morning. That does not please me.

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couple things

Friday night, Kassie and I went to a "before party" at the Healy House. That place is crazy. It reminded me, on a much smaller scale, of the Winchester House in San Jose. The interior has been reworked a lot, and it's kind of a big, strange puzzle. The HH is just on the other side of 35W from us. I've long admired those houses- at least the ones that have been renovated. We got there at about the same time as the Bungalow '23 folks. We chatted with them all evening. I think there were some MNspeakers around, but we only said hello to Max, as he's the only one we recognized.

We went to Art Attack yesterday. Whether we're at the Northrup King Building for Art Attack or Art-a-Whirl, we always stop in to say hello to Karen. Dean wasn't around... One of our favorite artists in that building is a guy named eddie. Yesterday, the temptation was too much for us and we made a purchase.

I really like it.

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more action

I met Kassie for dinner at Rainbow this evening. Delicious.

We walked across the street to catch the bus. As we waited at the corner, I noticed a car of young Latino guys at the red light talking to two young Latino guys in the car next to them who were waiting to take a left.

They got the green light and the green arrow at the same time. I turned to check on the progress of our bus. POP! POP! POP! POP!

Turned around. Kassie and I both saw an arm firing a gun out the window of the car that was going straight, aiming at the left-turning car.



For what it's worth, it looked like this:

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earlier morning than expected

Just after 4:00 AM, I was awakened by sirens. It sounded like they were stopping close to our house, so after a few minutes, I figured I ought to go see what was going on.

Our neighbors' house was on fire. The owner had just put around $40,000 of work into the bottom unit. From what I understand, someone who lived there was an artist and lost all his work. Sucks. It was a pretty house. At least no one was seriously hurt.

update: Kassie pointed out this article in the comments.




Kassie and I thought it would be a good night to take Jeff for a walk. We need the exercise and he really needed to get out. He was hyper.

We stopped by the garage to pick up my paycheck, then went to Kmart. We planned to walk down to Crema for dessert before heading home.

We decided to walk down Pleasant Avenue. The excitement I drove by on Saturday at Bloomington and Lake was a pretty big prostitution bust. There were brothels all over the city. One of them was near 31st and Pleasant. We figured that since it was on our way, we'd walk by it.

When we turned the corner from Lake onto Pleasant, I noticed a group of people walking in our direction. They were young people- four or five males and a female. As we neared them, a small blue car came down the street. As soon as the car passed them, the group got very animated. "It's [blah blah blah]!" I don't know what they said, but they recognized the person or people in the car. The young woman said, "I want to f*** with them, too!"

At this point, Kassie and I were both a bit concerned. But as soon as they got to the car, they kind of laughed and seemed to be joking around. I said something just about the same time Kassie did. "Whew. I thought that was going to be bad news!"

By then, we had walked about forty feet past them. Just as we expressed our relief, POP! POP! POP! POP! POP!



I looked back once to make sure Kassie was coming. She was not far behind. I got on my phone to 911. We got to the corner and stopped.

Two of the guys were headed our way. Kassie saw a gun. We crossed the street and ducked into an apartment entry way where I finished my call to the cops. A plainclothes cop pulled up. We told him which way the guys we saw went.

We hung out there for a bit, started home, talked to some people across the street, and eventually walked back to the scene of the crime, where an SUV had been shot. As far as we know, no one got hurt. We think that the shots probably came from inside the car. Anyway, we sat in the back of a cop car and the police paraded three kids in front of us. The guy with the gun was not one of them.

For as close as we were, we weren't much help at all. We couldn't give a very good, or even entirely consistent, description of the guys we saw. They looked like a lot of the guys who walk around our neighborhood.

Neither of us got a good look at any faces; we wouldn't be able to pick any of them out of a lineup.

Needless to say, that's about as much action as we'd like to see ever again.

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