Catch-up: Svea's first swim, 35W bridge site, etc.

Whew, it's been a whirlwind of parenting, intrastate road tripping, domestic maintenance, and more parenting these past few weeks. It's been all I can do to stay atop of the basic life necessities, so blogging has fallen by the wayside. I hope to catch y'all up on some cool musical stuff, etc., in upcoming entries, but for now let's just bookend the days of August:

This month began with some lovey lakeside days in Northern Minnesota. After a great Dawn-side family reunion in Brainerd, I packed up Paavo and Svea and zipped up to pristine Otter Tail Lake where we spent a few days with fellow stay-home-Dad and Lutheran-indie-rocker Nate Houge and his two delightful daughters Lydia and Elsa. Nate summarized our visit well at his own fine blog establishment, and one of the many highlights was that my daughter Svea went for her very first SWIM! As folks who truly know me can attest, I LOOOOOVE to swim, and it's quite a joy to hit the lake with my own descendants. In these photos you will see (L-R) our pal Lydia Houge, me, Svea, Paavo, and our other pal Beachball. Svea was beaming the entire time, splashing, laughing, and giving me that wild-abandon look that she so often expresses. Priceless.

After returning to the big city, and to Dawn, the family then repacked everything for a 10-day journey to the Black Hills of South Dakota...I got cool pix and stories, but they deserve their own blog posting.

Now we're back from the SoDak trip, and I've plunged into the super-parenting role. Summer classes and programming are done, so it's been up to me to provide the dog-and-pony show for myself, Svea, and Paavo all this week. Besides feeding, diapers, toys, cleaning, feeding, cleaning, etc., here's a quick list of other stuff clogging up the old grey matter:

1. Our clothes washer died two weeks ago, and the laundry situation is dire. Thankfully the appliance delivery dudes arrive tomorrow with a new washer/dryer system (cue "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits). Dad called me on the phone tonight and I had him talk me through the process of shutting off a gas dryer and unhooking it without causing the house to explode...it was like one of those action movies where a passenger has to land a plane, and the control tower guys "talk him down."

2. Facebook is on the cover of Newsweek magazine. I confess, even though I am a major internet surfer, I have yet to look at anybody's Facebook page (let alone build one for myself). The buzz in the culture seems to suggest that Facebook is the future, and that MySpace is on the way out. Is this true? I'm exhausted just keeping up with email, maintaining www.jonathanrundman.com, plus my MySpace page(s), AND this blog. Please say I don't have to be on Facebook too!

3. (technical nerd-speak warning) My internet service provider for the past five years has been MSN/Qwest, and their service and reliability has SUCKED ROYALLY the entire time. But it's such an annoyance to make any changes in that regard that I've always just stuck with it. The worst problem surfaced in late June where I could no longer pull my email messages off the Qwest server into my Entourage email program because they no longer offered a POP3/SMTP option. So for the past two months I've been slogging through a web-only-based email system. LAME. After about ten cumulative hours on the phone with a variety of useless out-sourced tech support people sitting at a phone back in India someplace, I gave up on MSN/Qwest and Googled my way to an answer. Thank goodness some computer-genius message board users clued me in to the powers of Gmail (which provides POP3/SMTP powers!)...now I'm routing my MSN email through a Gmail account and (yayhoooo) into my Entourage program! It's kind of a rinky-dink system but it works. Up yours, MSN/Qwest!

Of course all these low-grade technical issues pale in comparison with what's going on in our Twin Cities community in the aftermath of the 35W bridge collapse. I heard on the news yesterday that now that all the missing have been recovered, they've got the go-ahead to clear away all the debris from the river. I really wanted to see the destruction with my own eyes before they cleaned up the mess, so this afternoon I took Paavo and Svea downtown to check out the scene.

The clearest and easiest view the public can see is from just upstream on the pedestrian-only Stone Arch Bridge, so that's where we started. Here's what you see looking downstream...most of the wreckage is blocked by a lower boat-lock and dam. In this photo just beyond the four concrete pillars you can see a bit of the huge horizontal deck that fell into the river. Also, just behind the medium tree and below the white roofs, you can see the massive A-shaped peak where the highway folded down on either side. The arched bridge in the background stands directly next to the former 35W bridge, giving some perspective on just how high up those cars were when they started falling! What the TV doesn't capture is just how LOOOOONG the bridge was, and the fact that the entire length of it just dropped. It must be a few football fields long. Incredible.

Check out this photo: On the North side of the Stone Arch Bridge you can walk through the no-vehicles security tape and move along the sidewalk near some fancy new condos. Amazingly, you can get very close to the North end of the bridge and see where the train cars were crushed in the impact. The thing just keeps going and going and going. It's truly a wonder that more people weren't killed.

Summer 2007 has been filled with tragedy and danger...here's hoping for a safe and calm Autumn. Stay tuned for blogs about my musical adventures in South Dakota, and hopefully some pix and details about this upcoming weekend of music, too!

Comments

Bridget Delaney said…
Well, you don't have to be on facebook. I finally caved the other day since I no longer needed a school account and went ahead and registered a facebook account. I still prefer my livejournal and at times my MySpace.

I do know that George Baum and Justin Rimbo have facebook accounts. . .

Stein Auf!
Bridget
Anonymous said…
hello,is this bridge in pittsburgh,ty,yt laurie

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