Winter Carnival 2020

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. . . and so is the Saint Paul Winter Carnival which will be in full swing this weekend. The grand day parade is on Saturday at 2:00 PM starting at Smith and West 7th and ending at Rice Park.

This year will be a little different than past years because it will be warm enough to go outside. For a complete list of events visit the winter carnival website. 

rice park
Rice Park in downtown St. Paul – getting ready for winter carnival festivities.
rice park
Rice Park – downtown St. paul

Is writing 2020 overhyped?

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Unless you live in a closet where there is no television or internet access and not even an amazon echo or a flip phone you have probably seen advice about how to write the year “2020”.

People who write “20” instead of “2020” rum the risk of having someone fraudulently add two more digits onto the year which could mess up a contract or even a check. Let’s say you use checks and you wrote one on February 2 and dated it 2/2/20.

Someone could change the date to 2/2/29, which would . . . I guess I have no idea why someone would do that to a perfectly good check. Would the bank still cash it?

I always use 4 digit years on legal contracts. I am pretty old school that way. I actually saw computer code back in the 1900s that used two-digit dates and there were some problems with sorting data and other issues that caused large companies to spend a lot of money having the problem fixed so that everyone could have a good laugh if the year 2000 when almost everything worked.

If a contract to purchase a house is dated 3/1/20 and someone changes the date to 3/1/2021 that could really hose things up. Again it is unclear to me how someone might benefit from that but maybe they could.

It is also possible that in say 2022 someone will insist that a date on a document was supposed to be 2020 but someone added the “22” to a document that used a two-year date of 20. That could get complicated especially on birth certificates and driver licenses.

If I see “20” as the year on a document I might assume that the full date is 1920. That could really make things interesting. It is harder to forge but how can a person prove that the “20” is for the year “2020” and not for “1920” or “1620” for that matter.

Maybe I am overthinking it or maybe not.

Plants just know

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I grow a variety of house plants. Most of them are plants that will go outside for the summer in pots or in the garden.

During the fall as the days keep getting shorter, the plants stop growing or they grow more slowly. Some plants stop blooming.

As of today, we have 8 more minutes of daylight than there was on the shortest day of the year. My plants seem to notice this. My violets will soon bloom again and the mums I brought inside are blooming and the coleus that lost a few leaves is growing some more.

Now is the perfect time to feed those house plants and start planning the garden for 2020.

violet and coleus

January, Winter, Friday

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun and the freaky late December rains have ended. January is an interesting month in Minnesota. There is plenty of cold and sometimes a lot of snow and the winter carnival. (January 23 to February 2 this year)

There are oh so many chances to get outside and enjoy the cold and snow and maybe if we are lucky temperatures will get to -27 below zero like they did last January.

Here are some photographs I took last winter to kind of get everyone into the post-holiday, beginning of the new year and winter mood. Winter can be beautiful. Taking pictures in the snow can be fun.

Alexander Ramsey house winter
The Alexander Ramsey House
Crabapple tree - snow
Crabapple tree
snowy street
Snowy street

The last Friday of the year

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I took a look back at the last decade and much has changed in St. Paul and in the world. There was no light rail in St. Paul in 2009, the Union Depot was all boarded up but was restored and re-opened in late 2012.

I have a picture of Porky’s – the popular and historic Drive-in that was removed in 2011 to make way for development. There are a lot of new buildings along University Avenue and of course the light rail line that opened in 2014.

Porkys drive-in
Porky’s drive-in – moved to Pioneer Village Hastings, MN

The Historic Hope Firehouse is now the Hope breakfast bar, as it was and as it is now. The building was saved and repurposed and a hotel was built next to it.

hope firehouse
Hope firehouse before ad after

There are numerous new businesses that have cropped up in my neighborhood along West 7th near downtown. There is a new hotel on West 7th and 7 Corners hardware was demolished to make way for Trailor Bar and OxBo apartments and New Bohemia.

In the last decade, we saw the population in downtown St. Paul doubled or triple as new apartment buildings were built and the old central post office and the former St. Paul Police station were converted to housing.

Former St. Paul PD HQ – Now Penfield apartments

We have come such a long way since the great recession. I see a lot of houses being repaired and improved. There are a few near my house that spent much of the decade vacant and are now occupied. Change is the one constant in life that we can count on and it is fun to look at what are now old pictures and remember how things used to look.

Enjoy the last Friday of the year.

Fa la la la la Friday

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Last year my father died shortly before Christmas which wasn’t fun. Things were pretty crazy and busy last December and I didn’t get a chance to even think about the holiday until December 23.  I did most of my holiday shopping on Christmas eve day. I have to say I really enjoyed and it and plan to go shopping again on the 24th. The trick is to get started early in the morning by mid-morning it gets busy.

When I got to the mall last year I had no idea what I was going to buy. I am going to go with the same plan this year.

moose – Rosedale Mall, Roseville Minnesota