Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Diamond Iron Works


1728 Second Street North, Minneapolis, circa 1973

The Diamond Iron Works made industrial equipment from the late 1800s until the early 1950s. It was bought out but the name survives, primarily in rock crushing equipment used in mining operations.  It was one of dozens corpses of old factories in Minneapolis’ North side that had fallen vacant around the time I began prowling the area.Departed industries, built upon the sweat of low-cost labor, much of immigrant.

Starting wage in 1907 was 33 cents per hour.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 2 

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Mondays in Iceland - #78

Invasion Force



Doesn’t look like much of a threat, does it?

The seeds for this grass were smuggled home from Iceland in the packaging of a CD.

I harbor fugitive Viking Vegetation.

Who can predict how things will be upset by these usurpers from  Ultima Thule?

We’ll find out next year.

I transplanted this clump into my lawn.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 1 

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Through a Glass, Darkly


Minnehaha Falls, 2003

Some memories remain crystal clear, photographic. Others become indistinct, a mess of conflicting impressions, dream-like. A picture of the event will often spur memories, even supplanting them. When the photograph itself is unclear it only confuses thing more. As photographic technology becomes cheaper and more precise, will all our pasts be indistinguishable from the present?

By Professor Batty


Comments: 1 

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Crawling with the Prof










Truckstop Gallery, 20 Grove Street, Minneapolis, September 17th

Featuring the work of: Caitlin Karolczak, Joe Limpert, Jonathan Aller,
Brandon Martin, Peter Geyen, Todd Cameron, and Jason Kittel.

I don't know who did what.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 0 

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Mondays in Iceland - #77



Kristín's story:

We had spent a couple of hours talking over coffee and pastries. It was now late afternoon and she had to pick up her children from daycare. When we left the café the sky was already turning to dusk.

“Walk with me,” she said, taking my arm, always a good idea on the slippery cobbles.

“Did I tell you about my friend, the one whose husband committed suicide?“

She had mentioned it before, the last time we met, so I nodded in reply. She had been concerned about my welfare, I had been a little emotional during the coffee, nothing to do with her, of course, just an unresolved issue from my personal life.

“They had been going through a rough patch in their marriage, but she thought things had turned the corner,” she said, “Turn left here.”

We walked on, but now it was her turn to show emotion. With a slight tremor in her voice, she began to speak:

“My friend was out with the children one day and when she returned there were police cars out side her building—the neighbors had heard a shot. She was devastated. All of us—friends, relations, people he worked with, we were all destroyed. It was unfair to us, what he did. If there had been an incident, some real reason, we could have dealt with it better. But there was nothing.”

“I can’t even begin to imagine, I said, I’ve be fortunate, no one close to me has killed them self.”

“That‘s why I asked if you were alright,” she said, “We have to watch out for each other.”

We walked on, when we reached the child care, we exchanged farewells. Kristín did call me later, just to make sure, one more time, that I was still “alright.”


By Professor Batty


Comments: 2 

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Friday, September 16, 2016

He Came, He Sawed, He Conquered

I’ve been busy on a little home improvement project recently. Several years ago, I my sister and her husband  were moving out of their 1917 Prairie School house in La Crosse, Wisconsin. They held a mammoth sale of a wide variety of things that they wouldn’t need at their new home in the U.S. Virgin Islands. One of the items was a stained glass window that had been broken by their dog's enthusiastic greeting of the postman. They had gotten it replaced (a proper restoration was not practical) so I got the broken window as ‘payment’ for helping them with the sale.

This week I finally took the remains of that broken window down from the rafters of my garage. After cleaning off a decade of grime, I laid it out on my workbench and took a good look at what I had. It was originally tripartite, the center section, which the dog had penetrated, was pretty much ruined, but the top and bottom appeared to be salvageable. The outside frame, which had been distorted by the canine collision, need to be replaced as well.  While I had never done stained glass repair before, the internet steered me in the right direction.

As I began to repair the damage, I soon realized that I needed some of the H-shaped bars that held the unit together. The are called “came”, pronounced just like the verb, and are made of zinc. There is a stained glass shop in my town; they had just what I needed, as well as a small piece of amber glass that I used to complete the design. I went to work with a big soldering iron, solder, flux, a glass cutter, as well as a Dremel tool, which was very handy for sawing out broken pieces of came without damaging the glass. After three days of missteps, it finally came together. It now hangs in our bay window.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 3 

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Bill Dale Story



Don’t talk about the things you know are pointless,
just plug that jukebox and have a drink on me...
Ah, how about a drink for every dink in this whole god-damn bar,
and tell my landlord I'm in Tennessee...

... cause I got one way of livin’,
I got no hands on the wheel,
got my left foot in the coffin,
and the other on a banana peel...

Well even though I think you’re just an asshole,
do you think it's alright if your wife comes home with me?
She says she’s sick of your underwear tricks and she can’t get no sleep.
Now what do you think about that for honesty?

... Yeah I got one way of livin’,
I got no hands on the wheel,
got my left foot in the coffin,
and the other on a banana peel...

(spoken)
Well, this friend of mine,
he got into a little bit of trouble,
needless to say,
needless to say,
he got into a little bit more trouble...
and then he got into a whole lot of trouble...
needless to say,
you know what happened...
there ain't no moral,
ain't no end, but I’ll tell ya...
needless to say...

... I got one way of livin’,
got no hands on the wheel,
my left foot’s in the coffin,
and the other’s on a banana peel.

~J. Derbis


A Golden Oldie from The Flippist Archives, December, 2007

By Professor Batty


Comments: 0 

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