Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Now Why Don't She Write?
I often envy the blogs that other people write. You know, the ones that the writers post on more frequently than once every 6 weeks. It's not that I don't lead a fascinating life that I am dying to tell you all about. It's really just sheer laziness. I sit at a computer for 8 hours a day. Day in and day out. When I get home, the last thing I want to do is sit in front of the computer for another minute. (And I haven't quite gotten the guts to post on my blog while at work. LOL.)

Anyway, last month I had the opportunity to visit Saint Paul, MN for work. My boss and department are located there, so I think I'll get the chance to travel there every 6 months or so. It's pretty neat, getting to explore another city after hours. My week there was action packed in and out of work, with meeting my co-workers that I've only spoken to on the phone or swapped emails with. I also got the chance to meet up with my friend the lovely Jen.

The fact that I even got pictures was sheer luck. On Sunday morning I was leaving my home in sunny Rhode Island, I grabbed the digital camera off of the shelf, tossed it into the back pack, and ran out to catch my cab. I arrived in Saint Paul, then set off to explore the city. What I was the most interested in was seeing the Mississippi River, which I'd never seen. I walked to the river from my hotel, excited as I saw the river. I pulled the camera out of my back pack, just to discover it had no batteries. Sadly, I looked at the darkened screen on the back of the camera, and I could swear I heard it say "No dice, Beej." Then my mind went back to the time that Todd pointed out the power strip he'd zip tied to the bookshelf "Look Beej, this is where the batteries for the camera are charging." How I wish I'd paid more attention, and didn't say "Sure, great." when Todd showed me that.

On Tuesday, while in the office, I just happened to find a battery for the camera. Todd used the backpack on a recent trip, and forgot a spare battery in there. Just in time, as I had planned on meeting up with Jen that night, and could then capture the moment.

Here are my pictures of the Twin Cities, enjoy.

This is me with Jen. Jen was an amazing tour guide. She took me all around, we had excellent Mexican, I got to meet her hounds at her house, we went to her friend's bar Mack's Industrial Sports Bar, and she also took me to the Stone Arch Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River. Jen, I've thoroughly enjoyed seeing your town, thank you for being such an excellent host.

This is me with Jen and her husband Dan. I had a blast meeting Dan and their friends who own the bar. If you're ever in Minneapolis, find Mack's Industrial Sports Bar. It's a great spot to hang out, and the bartender is hilarious.

This is one of Jen's dogs, Rocky. Jen has 3 Papillions: Pettunia, Rocky and Spike. They are very friendly dogs, and apparently impossible to photograph. Let's just say I have a lot of pictures of Jen's floor.

This is just a small portion of the Mall of America. Being a roller coaster junkie, and a sucker for shoe stores, the Mall of America seemed to combine the best of both worlds for me. Can I just say that the mall was just overwhelmingly huge. Oh, and until I'd been to the Mall of America, I'd never seen a wedding chapel in a shopping mall. My co-workers were kind enough to take me to the mall and show me around. We were there for maybe 3 hours, and maybe walked in about 1/8 of the place.

Apparently Charles Schultz is from the Twin Cities. There were various Peanuts characters all over Saint Paul, not only did Snoopy appear on the ferris wheel at the mall, but there was an enormous inflated one as well. Snoopy Snoopy, everywhere you look, cartoon beagles!

This is Minneapolis from the Stone Arch Bridge.

The Mighty Mississippi! This is St. Anthony's Falls. Beautiful, huh? I stood on the bridge for a very long time looking at the river.

You know, I've always wondered where North Star Blankets were manufactured.

Now I need to tell you about the hotel ducks. These ducks live in the lobby of the hotel I stayed in. The reception desk clerk was telling me that this year one of the ducks hatched a few ducklings. Some of the other ducks grew concerned about the increasing duck population, and apparently ducks rather violently control the size of their own population. He was telling me that one day some rather small, and now completely traumatized, children witnessed one of these exercises in population control. How does one explain that to a small child? "You see, Johnny, sometimes the duckies eat the ducklings..." Um... no.

OK, see you all again in another 6 weeks or so.


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