The thoughts of a writer.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Don't use Metro Dental (Twin Cities)!

I need a new dentist! I've been going to Metro Dental for the past few years, and I have grown very suspicious of their billing system. I go to the Burnsville location, so I can't comment on all of them. Apparently the billing is handled within each clinic separately.

Never before have I had so many problems with insurance or billing! With my previous dentist, there were no such difficulties.

No matter what, I can't seem to pay off my bill. Once I do, more "mysterious" charges come in the mail. When I call about them, a person takes me round and round in a confusing circle, and eventually tells me to call my insurance company. It seems that no one there knows how much things cost, what they are charging, or how much I've already paid!

One reason I have found for this, is that they continuously charge "estimated" costs. These are never correct, and then they keep laying more "real" and estimated costs on top of that.

Do yourself a favor, don't get mixed up with this place. I'm leaving them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fishing in Sauk Centre

We decided to go fishing back in my "old haunts" of Sauk Centre. I spent a lot of time there some years back, and got to know the place well--though it's changed some. We had lunch at the Bear Trap, and then fished at the dam.


The dam














The dam flow


Fishing at the dam















We also fished the pier at the park, but the dam had the best fishing, even though they were mostly "rough" fish.



My wife (who doesn't like to be pictured) with her giant sucker she caught on a worm.
















The weather changed quickly and frequently, and we had sun, rain, warm and cool weather.

The rain came down heavy for a while.



My wife's 27", 9lb. carp















A huge yellow bullhead, just unhooked and posing, before going back in the water.







We stayed at the Palms Motel and ate at Andy's Wok before leaving for home. Both were good. We also found most of the things we needed (including bait) at the Fleet Supply store. The River's Edge Dining & Lounge was excellent, and we had our evening meal there. The salad bar "made" this meal. I recommend the quarter chicken for value and quality.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Garden Insects!

Last evening as I sat with the band in Dave’s garden between practice sets, we had a number of interesting visitors. Frequently it is birds, but last night it was mostly insects.

One of our visitors was a Sphingidae moth. These are also called sphinx, hawk or hummingbird moths. I got several photos, and have included one here.

The bees were busily working the flowers, and a comment that Dave made really cracked me up! I asked him to make a PSA for bees to put on the blog. It is a bit of “blue” humor. Click on the video if you dare to share in the joke.

White-lined Sphinx Hummingbird Moth


Bee PSA


*Note: "80 billion years" may not be an accurate figure.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Canterbury Park

We went to Canterbury Park yesterday. After the thoroughbred races, they had two quarter horse races. These are short distance sprints! Click the video for a sample.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gar

We went fishing today. The lack of rain has really lowered the level of some of the lakes and streams. We were at Louisville Swamp. After a mile hike, we found the water at the Jabs levy was really low. I mean it was a trickle. Usually the area is full of water. Sometimes it is under water after a heavy rain or snowmelt. We decided to try fishing in the "little river." Our bait minnows were dying fast in the summer heat, and I decided to try a floating Rapala. After a few casts, I had a hit and a large fish jumped. I kept at it and finally caught about a two-foot, shortnosed gar.

I was planning to release it, so I didn't want to handle it much. I asked my wife to get a picture as I held it up by the leader. Just as she raised the camera, the fish began thrashing and threw the hook. It dropped onto the mud and slid into the stream. That was the end of my gar, though I had fun catching it.

This is what the fish looked like...


This is the actual stream where I caught the gar.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Close-up!

Recently, I seem to have gotten close-up to a couple of large animals. The first is a young, dromedary camel I saw at the Ramsey County Fair in St. Paul.



The second photo is one of the two horses at my brother's place.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My First Novel "He Who Goes First" PRICE REDUCED

My First Novel He Who Goes First now seems to have a reduced price of $6.99. Of course I was not informed, but I am happy that Publish America has finally reduced it down to an appropriate price!!! I've argued with them about this for for over four years now! It seems that it is also available in hardcover for $24.99, but the online order form was trying to include a softcover when I tried it out.

While I'm happy (for the most part) with this book, I will not use this publisher again.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Unseasonably Cool!

To many non-Minnesotans, our state is located somewhere in the permafrost zone, and we have snow and ice all year.

Recently, we've had "unseasonably cool" weather for July. I had no idea just how "cool" it really was, until I saw this sign (last evening) outside of a St. Paul Walgreen's store!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

First Beans!

Our garden has taken its time this year, but we have our first fresh beans!

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Floor

We've been busy installing a new floor in the kitchen. The old ("confetti spotted") floor was pretty ugly. We love the new one, and are almost done installing it!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Berries!

We went berry picking on Wednesday for two hours. We found a lot of mulberries and raspberries and had fun eating and picking them. I’ll be making a wine out of most of them later today…


Black Raspberries


Mulberries

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Minnesota Raptor Center

We visited the Minnesota Raptor Center on Tuesday. Here are a couple of the most photogenic of the birds we saw.


Barn Owl


Peregrine Falcon

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Al Sharpton Should Shut-up!

Michael Jackson died, and it has given Al Sharpton the chance to get his face on TV and pretend like he knows what he’s talking about. I’d let it go, except that I’ve been exposed to his ignorance repeatedly lately, thanks to the incessant news/media coverage of the Michael Jackson tributes, etc.

Sharpton has repeatedly said that Michael Jackson is the reason that “America” (and by that he means “White” America), now accepts Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama. This is an example of “talking out of your ass.” Even if we don’t consider (among others) BB King, Aretha Franklin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bill Cosby, and my personal favorite, Jimi Hendrix, does anyone honestly believe that Oprah would not have her show or her magazine, etc. if it wasn’t for Michael Jackson???

Not only is this an insult to the “America” that Sharpton is speaking about, it completely undermines the fact that people like Tiger Woods have achieved excellence in their field! That, is why they are celebrities.
So please, Al, shut-up! You aren’t impressive, even if you act like you are some kind of expert authority.

KJC

Monday, July 06, 2009

My Idea for Chuck Norris...

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Cutris is High Voltage

Cutris is High Voltage
UnAssociated Press
July 2, 2009

Though he is no longer running for office, Cutris continues to create scandals. This picture surfaced recently--showing Cutris apparently looking out of the window of a high voltage building.

When asked about the photo, Cutris claimed he was "setup," by the paparazzi, and he didn't realize that the "empty shed" had that sign on it.