There is a new exhibit down at the local history museum, which lists bits of the past from A (either the Antlers hotel or Alexander Film Company) to Z (the zoo).  It’s completely random and arbitrary what things survive from the past, and this totally appeals to me.

Here are some bits that come from Alexander film.  The company started in the silent era and held on making commercials that were shown before a movie started  until the 1950’s.  Oddly enough the company also made airplanes in the 20’s and early 30’s, because they though it would be a good idea to deliver the films by airplane. Part of the buildings they used for film production are now home to a television station.

Another business that is no longer around, but fondly remembered is the Burns theater.  This was an opera house and vaudeville venue.   It only existed in memory by the time I moved here, it was long vanished.

Which is not true of these relics, they are from the company I call whenever I need a plumber (and they come right out).

This company is also still in business, but instead of being a quaint little concern, it’s a giant industrial behemoth out by the motorway.

This sign used to hang downtown before the business was pushed from the downtown area.   The building was taken over by the US Olympic Committee at taxpayer expense.

This is how we preserve the past in our city, just as a tiny morsel.  Meanwhile the present is quietly steamrolled into the future by real estate interests.

Random Capitol Portraits

I went up to the state capitol to do a little bit of politicking.  And in between the speeches and handshaking, I went on a little jaunt to take a few photos of the icons of this beautiful building.

There were plenty of stained glass portraits of politicians and other notables in the many windows about the place.  This pair of former governors preside in perpetuity over the state Senate chambers.

In the rotunda there is a series of murals that depict the more glorious origins of development and eventual statehood.   The less positive events are not depicted.   But I was rather taken by this ox.

This is the entrance to the governor’s office.  This horse, Scout, used to formerly grace the north side of the public library, atop a giant chair (hey, it’s art, I think).   I’m sure he got tired of the traffic and noise outside, not to mention the weather, and now resides in this choice spot in the halls of power.

This statue of an Indian (I mean Native American) and his dead buffalo sit on the east side of the capitol building.   I have no idea what the camera person was up to.  They were reading a controversial bill later in the afternoon, maybe it was for a two second news spot.

Down in the basement, next to the lunch area, one can also get a shoeshine from this friendly woman.   The politician in the chair assured me that she is the best (as this is an uncommon profession, it is probably true).   This was once a common sight, but I can’t remember the last time a saw a man getting a shoeshine.  I wear German felt shoes, so I didn’t need a shine, but she was please to pose for this shot.

Random portraits

After much ado, I changed my ancient desktop computer to a minimally newer model.    I didn’t go into the big box computer store to be insulted, but this was provided free of charge.   I persevered in my attempt to conquer technology, but I don’t have a brilliant or cohesive post for this week.   So in lieu of that I am offering up random portraits from the past two weeks.

We’ve had some fine spring-like weather, with warm updrafts that are perfect for soaring and flirting (the other hawk slipped out of view).   This is one of the hawks that lives on the hill behind my house.

This is one of the dinosaurs posing with a basket of roses.  I’m not really sure what this dino was up to!

I was waiting for the phone to ring at a charity fundraiser.   I must have been completely bored to take a photo of myself.   Also there is not much interesting to photograph about a line of phones.

This smiling building with a banana split flying overhead was rather unsurprisingly taken at an ice cream shop.  This local business offers gigantic portions and stays busy.  I enjoyed a late night mango gelato under his friendly gaze.

The gang

I think that Rosa has become the matriarch of the neighborhood herd.  She is certainly the friendliest and least fearful of the local deer.  That is Adele standing in the background, she is a little skittish and is ready to bolt at the slightest thing.

Adele does have a sweet face to go along with her shy disposition.


Tamara (the lame) used to be the matriarch of the group.  But she has a crooked leg, so she is just not as swift as the other bunch.  She has been hanging around for a couple of years, so I know she is older than the other does.

This is one of the youngsters of the group.  I call her the angry deer because of the eyebrows, but she’s not really angry.  She’s the oldest of the youngsters, I think and the offspring of Tamara.   She’s medium skittish, but always glad to see me.

This was the view out my front window one day last week.  The herd makes the best sort of lawn ornaments!



I had an invite to a college hockey game, the local team was playing North Dakota.   M and I used to live in North Dakota, a hockey-mad state, so we often used to come to the games to see them when they played here.  The local team is not very good, there were lots of empty seats and there were definitely more people in the seats wearing green ND jerseys.

My friend and I were sitting behind the home goal, and both teams spent a lot of time at this end.

And it was a tremendously exciting game, the opponents had 47 shots on goal and did not score.  The local team, from an expensive private college, scored in the second period and had two empty net goals at the very end.   The ND fans were stunned by this turn of events, but because they are nice people from a nice place, they weren’t rude about it.   The interesting part about their team is they were formerly known as “the fighting Sioux” (named after a Native American tribe).   Their ice arena was donated to the school, and the Sioux emblem is everywhere.   But the NCAA (collegiate sports governing body) forced the team to change to name to “the fighting Hawks”.  I did not see a single jersey with a hawk on them. 😉

I saw the name on this player’s jersey and I immediately wanted to take his picture.   Pool boys are an urban myth, (like in the movie “Adventures of a Window Cleaner”) but Poolman was real, and there were two of them.