Friday, February 20, 2009

More Construction

The bricks are being attached to the face of the Nelson Science addition. It looks like progress!

New sidewalks are being poured even as I write this. The "no-man's land" between the North side of Presser Hall and the Burnett Center walk way is being converted into another yellow brick road. I love the gently twisting and turning walkways!

The grass between ASH and the Burnett Walkway, however, is suffering. People don't want to walk all the way to Presser to get to Nelson and Burnett. It's sad to see the new grass, so carefully cultivated last spring, be trampled this way this winter. It is inevitable, however, and I congratulate Jeff Barkman on finding a compromise solution - letting a little path die so that more of the grass can live!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What The Heck's Going On?

The lot directly across Harrison Cole from Scott's parking lot is now under construction.

There are large construction vehicles on the property, and all the woody vegetation is rapidly being shredded. Nothing blocking the view of the lot now, just a big empty lot.

What's going into the lot? An expansion of the clog factory? Or maybe a very large house - but it is a house going in, why would you remove all the trees and tree like stuff on the property?

I'm going to have to check with some real-estate people and maybe post on this again tomorrow. Photos for sure.

Earthday News

Earthday is rapidly approaching. April 22 follows close behind Easter this year.

We're getting ready for Earthday on Campus. Noni Strand's Green Team is hard at work making the campus green aware. We're planning for Jimmy Sjöblom's arrival in early March, and I've begun to work on "Butch Words and Weenie Words: The Rhetoric of Anti-Environmentalism," my contribution to the day.

Click and you'll open a podcast of Mark's presentation, plus a little bit of music. Maybe we can get busy and make a few more of these this spring.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A lot of walking

I'm currently enrolled in Karna Peterson's LEARN class - I affectionately call it "fat class" - so I'm doing a lot more walking than I had for several years. I'm up to somewhere between 3 and 5 miles each day, according to the pedometer.

It is fascinating to see walking the things you don't see driving. Fascinating, and, at the same time, a little depressing.

The walking trail is wonderful, so let's start there.

One fascination is the skate park, between Olsson and Saline. It looks almost ready for use, and some of the folks adjacent to it have been out on the weekend giving it a go. Mostly, however, it has been left alone and the rope and pole fence has been observed. There's a sign on the east side of it, along side the trail, but nothing yet printed on the sign. Of course, no word on what when who where why or how. At least not that I've seen in the News Record. I admit, I've missed a few issues of the News Record, so it could have been there.

Another fascination is the old shed behind the MKC station, just to the east of the trail. The corrugated metal roof is blowing up like an old man's toupee in places. The pigeons have a semi-permanent home. As I walk by I see them busily bopping in and out of the holes under the eves.

Of course, the combination of birds and warmer weather reminds me that I have to bird-proof the eves of my garage.

The depressing part of the walk is that there are so many structures in Lindsborg that are dilapidated, run down and otherwise in disrepair. I don't mind a few industrial ruins - in fact I rather like them. But there are getting to be many residential ruins on the edges, under the trees and next to the railroad tracks. That's sad, because it speaks of an aging population that I'm powerless to help reverse.

After all, I'm getting older too.


Well, I was wrong. The skatepark is open! And there are rules posted! Think of that.

No one was out skating today. Let's see, it was 35 degrees and there was a twenty mile an hour "breeze" out of the north. Gee.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

He is Gone

We received news last night that Pastor Martin Ringstrom has gone out of this life.

I am not surprised, but I am saddened by the news. I saw him just last Sunday. Kris helped him get a church bulletin for Charles Christensen. He looked and sounded healthy and strong.

I can't say that I knew him well, but I did admire him. I admired his piety - though I cannot emulate it. I admired his commitment to the church, his "churchmanship." I admired the way he stayed related to his extended family even while he stayed connected to that part of the family that had joined the saints in light.

Because of Martin we stopped in Wahoo, NE to see the ruins of Luther College. The photo in the upper left corner of this post is the Luther Science building as it looked last summer. Because of Martin (at least in part) there is a video of Augustana Synod memories. Because of Martin I look toward my future with considerably less dread. I see in his life the possibility of living to a great age with dignity and even pleasure in one's old age.

Martin Ringstrom is gone and I am saddened by his passing, but I am glad that I had the opportunity to know him. Later this week I'll publish the interviews I made with Martin last spring, in anticipation of the Augustana Heritage Society Gathering VI.