A pleasant quiet interlude in the gazebo before the evening work begins. I suppose this is evening work, in a way. Hope not; I’m starting to resent all evening work. The very idea of Evening Work makes me sound like a farmer who has to till the fields until sundown, then head into the barn and floss the horses and irrigate the pigs, but it just means there are things that have to be done in the evening so there will be something to read in the morning. I am loathe to slough off this pattern, because once I give myself a break on one night I’ll see no reason not to do it on another.

Except for the whole “enjoying life more and reading books and typing about things that aren’t on deadline and generally enjoying the evening song of birds and the effortless diminution of the day’s light” part.

It’s a column night, too, and that means I have to deliver the High Quality goods. Ah well.

(G)Nat had her first karate class tonight in the stinkiest dojo I’ve ever been in. Not that I have a great deal of experience with dojo aromas, but man: liniment and Lysol in quantities that would make a dog’s nose bleed. The instructor was great, though – ran her through the elementary steps, taught her how to kick and yell in a fearsome fashion. If it weren’t for gym teachers she wouldn’t have any traditional males in her education, really – the school gym teachers are great guys, and that’s good. When I was in grade school I had one male teacher – now the principal of the school, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned – and one solid pile of Old-Line Principal, who had the Mr. Weatherbee thing without the fussiness. The gym teachers were Mr. Garilla – Harry Garilla, I swear to God – and Mr. Dick. There’s no shortage of Male Role Modeling when your gym teachers are Garilla and Dick; might as well be taught by Spartan P. Fallus. But I’m repeating stories oft told. Anyway: she learned to bow and kick and shout HI-YA and was generally pleased with herself. Looks too cute in the uniform, too. This came after post-school gym, which was a job to the lake and back, and before a night at the park, which extracted the last few atoms of energy and left her doing piano practice with her forehead. The days are packed.

This one included. You’ll have to excuse the brevity of this, but c’mon: there’s about 460 words sitting over at buzz.mn right now awaiting, and Lance Lawson later in the day. So I think I’ve earned my keep.

Do I have any pictures I can use to pad out the Bleat? Why, yes! From an upcoming site on the Lumber exchange building, some faces that have smiled and glowered at the good folk of Hennpin Avenue for a century:

Context and more coming next week. If you haven't clicked on the Minneapolis links, I understand; not everyone thrills to sites devoted to architecture. But the Mpls project is a large undertaking, and I hope it will be the most comprehensive survey of downtown architecture on the web when it's finished. I've been shooting this thing for five years.

See you at buzz.mn, where we celebrate the anniversary of the Post Office, and the bygone joys of the once-a-day visit from the outside world.