Sunday, June 26, 2011

Candles That aren't Candles; Candles With a New Twist, and a '50s Diner

Sunday, June 26, 2011. Our neighbors, more-or-less across the street north, had a tree removed on Friday. It was one of those that had 'character.' Or wasn't all that healthy. Depends on your point of view. Anyway, South 9th was closed off for part of the morning, and a crew made fairly short work of the towering-but-scraggly thing.

Not as spectacular as making one cut at the base,
and hoping for the best - but a whole lot safer. June 24, 2011.

I finally went to the new Sauk Hop Diner on Main Street - near the corner of Sinclair Lewis Avenue and Main. "The Original Main Street," as it says on the signs. The Sauk Herald did a pretty good article on the Sauk Hop and Golden Star
onJanuary 18, 2011. There isn't much connection between the two places: except that they're not quite across from each other on Main, and fairly new. The Sauk Hop opened in February, and I missed it. Oh, well - better late than never?

The Golden Star, by the way, has a sign in the window saying that they have no connection with the previous owners. Can't say that I blame them for pointing that out, under the circumstances. I wrote about the Golden Star, on June 12, 2011.

Where was I? Main street, eateries, Sauk Hop. Right.

"Sauk Hop?" "Shear Paradise?" Folks are having fun with business names. I like it. June 24, 2011.

Definitely '50s theme inside. Good coffee, too. I haven't had a meal there yet. June 24, 2011.

Quite a bit of the shed we pulled down last weekend is in a dumpster now - and there's still debris left over, so we'll be going back for seconds. My son-in-law and #2 daughter helped cut some of the larger pieces down to size. He's developed a self-filling candle. It's called the Spiral Light Candle - I'm not going to try describing it. There's a time-lapse video of an early version that shows how these things work.

"Spiral Self Filling Candle"

anoasisproduction, YouTube, (March 15, 2011)
video, 0:42

I've reduced the video's size, to fit this page - follow the link, and you should see the original at YouTube.

If you think I'm proud of my son-in-law's new spin on candles: you're right. They're available in a few states now, including Minnesota. Provided you go to Marc'ette Floral, on Main and South 6th, or Hidden Treasure downtown. I wrote about Hidden Treasure last year, December 2, 2010, and was back last Friday.

Those large candles in the center are the Spiral Light ones. Hidden Treasure has another new wrinkle in candles, too. June 24, 2011.

Those three candles are - not candles. C batteries run a little LED that flickers a whole lot like a 'real' candle. Another technology that I hadn't seen before. June 24, 2011.

There's more - but it's late, and I need to call it a day.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day - Or - "I Thought ... I Could Just Push It Over"

Sunday, June 19, 2011. Father's Day. Some plans I had this week got rained out: and then there was that tornado watch Friday night - and part of Saturday morning. Not much happened, happily, apart from some serious lightning, thunder, and rain. Can't say I'm disappointed at that.

This weekend, some of my in-laws came over to help my wife take down an old shed in the back yard. It's been useful for storage, but also is where my wife wants a garden. I think that's it.

Anyway, it's been leaning over for the quarter-century or so we've been here, and we figured it would be a simple matter of applying pressure, and making sure nobody was in the way when it went down. Here's how the project went, starting about 11:15 Saturday morning:

The job looked simple enough: pull down one old shed. June 18, 2011.

One end of a chain to a 4x4, the other looped around a stud on the back wall. One steady pull, and the whole thing should go down. June 18, 2011.

If you look carefully, you'll see the two strips of siding that came off: although they're partly hidden by the lilac. June 18, 2011.

It was around this point that my wife said, "I thought you said I could just push it over."

I gather that the chain had cut right through one of the studs. Result: one cut stud, about two feet pulled off one strip of siding, and another yard of siding gone from the strip below that.

Now we're getting serious: that chain's secured to a corner post - - -

- - - and the shed's still standing. June 18, 2011.

South wall gone, plus half the east wall and most of the west one. And - yes, the shed is still standing. June 18, 2011.

Here we go again, cutting through more supports. June 18, 2011.

Pulling another corner post out - and not much else moved. June 18, 2011.

Not long after this, there wasn't much left holding up the roof. And, finally, the shed finally was down. Pretty much. June 18, 2011.

The shed finally went down about 35 minutes after the first two strips of siding came off. The next step is hauling it away, a few pieces at a time.

The other big deal for me also has more to do with the Gill household than Sauk Centre as a whole. The freezer we bought a quarter-century back, more or less, stopped working today. (Father's Day - and the Freezer Gave Up, Through One Dad's Eye (June 19, 2011))

I've got checking out the new eatery at Sinclair Lewis and Main high on my 'to do' list for next week - we'll see how that comes out.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hummingbird Feeder, a Look at Downtown, and Golden Star's Open

Sunday, June 12, 2011. I got around to putting the hummingbird feeder up today: a bit late, but we had a cool spring this year.

I was downtown, yesterday afternoon, mostly to take  few photos. ("The Original") Main Street doesn't look all that different than it did last year - apart from a new eatery at the corner of Sinclair Lewis and Main. There are changes, though. Heartland Gallery offers a laser engraving service now - I didn't ask when they started doing that.

Heartland Gallery's new(ish) service. June 11, 2011.

Main Street ("The Original") west side. June 11, 2011.

Across the street, Gold 'N More has a going-out-of-business sale. They've been a downtown feature for quite a few years. I'm sorry to see the gifts-and-stuff store close. I've mentioned Gold 'N More before: April 3, 2004, November 14, 2003, October 16, 2003, October 5, 2003, September 19, 2003.

On a happier note, Sauk Centre has a Chinese restaurant again: Golden Star: "Take Out or Dine In," as the sign says. I understand the place has new owners as well as a new name.

This is at least the third Chinese (or Chinese/Mexican) restaurant at that location. Watching their efforts has been an interesting ride, so far. I've written about that on June 22, May 16, and April 4, 2008. There was another Chinese restaurant in the same location: June 24, 2007. More recently, I've mentioned Andy's Wok in the Sauk Centre Journal Blog:
I don't generally keep track of one business like that - but the Chinese restaurants have been a colorful part of downtown Sauk Centre, and I'd like to see this one succeed.

Gold 'N More: They've been around for a while. June 11, 2011.

Golden Star: New owners, I understand, and new name. June 11, 2011.

Golden Star's heads-up to my parish. June 12, 2011.

So far, the new owners seem to be a great deal more on-the-ball than previous ones: at least as when it comes to letting folks know that their Golden Star is open and ready for business.

It's a beautiful evening: There's still time to sit outside and enjoy it, which is what I'm going to do now.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Summer, Finally: Also Lilacs, Whirling Seeds, and a Portable Fire Pit

Sunday, June 5, 2011. Weather and the calendar are finally on the same page. It feels like summer, and has for several days.

Lilacs: I like the way they look. I understand the odor isn't everybody's favorite. Still - they're pretty. May 28, 2011.

This belongs with last week's post - 'better late than never?' Our Lady of Angels church, Memorial weekend's Sunday. May 29, 2011.

Maple (I think) seed - fun to watch. June 5, 2011.

I'm no expert, but I think that's a maple seed. They're ripe - and fun to watch as they whirl through the air. I ran into an interesting article and video about the science behind the seeds. Dandelions have been in bloom, too - colorful, and it's fun to blow seeds off the ripe heads. I think so, anyway. The things are also weeds, since they grow like, well: weeds.

Wildflower, or weed - depends partly on where they are. June 5, 2011.

A sort of raised fire pit. June 5, 2011.

My wife and #3 daughter went to a Soo Bahk Do tournament in St. Cloud today, so I walked to church this morning. On the way back, I noticed something I don't remember seeing before: a sort of raised fire pit that somebody's obviously been using to have a sort of 'sitting around the campfire' experience in their front yard. Neat!

Finally, Amy Poepping & Family, and Nick Lahr have made a music CD, Perfect Love. I understand it was recorded on Wednesday of this week - and isn't out yet. Proceeds will go to St. Paul's Church - the next parish over from Our Lady of Angles, where I go. That's an interesting variation on the usual 'bake sale' fundraiser.