Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stay Tuned

We have a hard drive crashing at home. It's a prolonged death that we thought was a virus or spyware or malware. Took a week to diagnose and it's dying. Still under warranty and the replacement HD is in the mail. It will be a while before I can post again. This is an illegal post from work (against company policy) but I wanted to clarify that I'm not slackin'. More sketches to come.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Old School Baling

When I was out running errands I caught my second cousin Vernie out baling with his son. What struck me is this is the type of baling rig I earned spending money on when I was growing up. Mostly fond memories, some not. Smooth thump-thumping of tractor, diesel exhaust smell (not bad, it grows on you) clanking and banging of the baler, dust, swaying stance on wagon. Then, if it's alfalfa, a sweet smell (and HEAVY bales). Most baling today is the large round bales. More mechanical - less human labor. I chatted with them. They still cut the square bales because horse owners like them. They can feed them out easier. And horse people pay well. They're used to spending mass hordes of money . . . they own a horse. I asked to snap a picture and went on my way. Decided to try a WC paper sketch rather than my usual Moleskine sketch journal, w/pencil, Pitt pen, WC pencils and color pencils.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Long Weekend in Ely

The week before the July 4 holiday Wilma and I took a 4-day weekend to the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota (OK, it's a little crazy driving 746 miles for two night in a cabin, but I'd do it again). Had an offer we couldn't pass up to visit friends who were up there for a longer stay. I've been up there a couple times for canoe trips but Wilma hasn't yet. Good chance to show her what this beautiful country is like. Ely (pronounced e-lee, for anyone who cares) has just over 5200 people and is a tourism town today. In recent times it was big in steel, and it's in transition. The transition hasn't been easy. They call themselves the "end of the road" because of their closeness to Canada, separated by a wilderness of lakes, streams and forest. Big things are canoeing/fishing in summer and snowmobile/dogsleds/cross country skiing in winter.

It's a neat town. The outdoor supply stores are serious and it looks like they are all individually owned (no chains). Outfitters. Wide assortment of stores. Great restaurants. Their radio channel, FM 94.5, WELY, is public radio that plays an eclectic selection of music(?), has local commercials(?), and sets a mood for the place. It has an Internet stream at www.wely.com, along with the other radio station at www.boundarywatersradio.com (blues, jazz and eclectic). Both cover local issues and you get a real feel for the town. I listen some at work on my PC.

As a coffee addict I love their Front Porch Coffee. The weather is much cooler than Kansas. Lakes are clear and plentiful. A canoe on your car roof is considered normal. Company was great. What more is there?