Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hunkered Down

I'd taken my red Serotta (what's up with the Hugh Jazz seat bag?) in to Flanders Bros in Minneapolis several weeks ago for some upgrades. Adrian called Wednesday afternoon to tell me it was ready. I combined my trip to pick it up with a stop at J Ring Studios in St Paul for some stained glass supplies. I left my failing Mavic Ksyrium rim at the shop to be sent back across the Atlantic to be rebuilt. Rather than investing $1000+ in a new set of wheels, it makes more sense for me to have the one repaired for a few hundred. I'll be good-to-go for several more seasons with it.

It's been over 2 weeks since I've ridden and I'm getting that need again but the break has been nice. I've been able to focus a whole bunch of time on other stuff, namely stained glass. More on that toward the end of this entry.

Friday morning I went back to the lighted tree on Cedar Avenue in Bloomington to get some video and daylight shots of it. I wanted to capture it with a blue sky background and it would be my only chance for a couple days with a menacing storm approaching for later that night. The owner was a really nice guy who encouraged me to take whatever photos and video I wanted. If you're not familiar with it, here's some video of the 100-year oak when it's lighted.

And here's a shameless plug for the Facebook page I started for it. Like it!

Tammy and I headed out to Mall of America Friday night to kick around for a few hours. I know it's not cool to admit this but I absolutely love that place, especially in the winter with the Christmas decorations suspended throughout the mall. It's a nice diversion to have so close by (15 minutes) in the dead of winter. Even on the worst shopping days of the year you never get a sense that it's crowded.

On the drive to the mall, we got a pic/text from Rachel saying she was outdoors watching Elf at Peace Plaza in downtown Rochester with friends. They had some fire cans/heaters of some sort set up for warmth. After the movie, she was "on my way to a social dance to practice my ballroom!" She's not one to hang around and watch the world pass by.

We got to the mall and hit Starbucks for some coffees then cruised the levels before stopping for dinner at Noodles and Company. Macaroni and Cheese with Meatballs—does it get any better?

We got home just before the snow started falling. It wouldn't stop until later the next evening and would go on record as the 8th largest snowfall for the Twin Cities. We hunkered down with the comfort of knowing we had nowhere to be for the duration of the storm. Between a few ventures out to snowblow the driveway and shovel the walk, I hung out down in the shop working on stained glass.

The metro area ended up with 15-21 inches of snow and a collapsed Hubert Humphrey Dome. Our snowbank at the bottom of the driveway is already all of 5 feet high and looks to be easily on its way to surpassing last year's record snowbank height. I take pride in the neatness of my snowbanks and so should you.

Some random outdoor video during various stages of the storm.

I spent most of last week working on the 5th of 6 panels over our entertainment center in the basement. I'm never a good judge of how many hours of labor I have left in a project because I'm much more optimistic than I should be. I think with this project, in particular, it's important to be precise in its fabrication and because of that, I find it's a slower process than I plan for. Anyway, I finally had it ready to solder late this morning and spent most of the afternoon putting the finishing touches on it and getting it hung. We're very happy with how these are turning out. One more to go.

Here's a short video that does a better job of showing how they look together than my camera can capture.

But seriously, it's time to get back to Foci before we forget everything we've learned.

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