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An Evening on the Side of the Road, Bringing Back Great Memories

An Evening on the Side of the Road © Andor (1)

This weekend is the Car Craft Nationals here in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I have been taking a LOT of car pictures lately, so I opted not to attend the gathering it’s self. Instead heading out with My buddy Ryan Clemens of Opposition Motors, to post up on the side of Snelling, just out side of the show. There was a very wide variety of vehicles out and about, mostly American made, spanning many decades, but there were some other cars out cruising too. It is nice to see classic and modern muscle cars, massive land boats from the 70’s and 80’s, low riders, high riding trucks, kit cars, sports cars and a whole lot more, out on the streets at once.

An Evening on the Side of the Road © Andor (42)

This was like a throw back for Me. When I was Younger, University Avenue was the home of all things cruising. Every weekend there were thousands, upon thousands of cars and huge quantities of people out on the strip. We had one of the most robust car cultures in the world, on display, three days a week. Over the last ten to fifteen years, this scene has been broken up and dispersed, to the bain of an awful lot of local businesses. So many local and family owned restaurants and shops have gone out of business since the city started it’s campaign to end the cruising scene’s dominance of our weekend culture. Much of the blame lands on the shoulders of a large home for the elderly, building and expanding to become a sprawling complex, right on University, next door to the beating heart of this, now miniscule scene, Porky’s drive in. Naturally, the people at the Episcopal Homes complained heavily about the noise and abundance of people walking next to their building. Sadly, three or four years ago, Porky’s, the lone 50’s style eatery left in Saint Paul and home to some of the best all American eat’s around, went out of business. I really, REALLY miss having My double supreme burger, with that great “special sauce,” the city’s best pork cutlet sandwich, the best onion rings I’ve ever had and a thick, chunky strawberry malt, whenever I want. Now I, as well as every one else, will never get to eat their great food again. Below is a picture from their last year in business. That crowd, is nothing compared to what was around for decades in the past. The massive bland buildings in the rear, are two of the four newest buildings of said retirement home. I am all for giving our elders reasonable homes, with care takers to look after them as best they can, but why choose the busiest street in a bustling part of town? Can You guess who expanded in to the space left when Porky’s died?

Porky's Drive Thru in 2010 © Andor

I wish I had a better picture of this iconic eatery, but I don’t. In the end, all hope of the cruising scene on University being revived, was crushed by the construction of the recently completed light rail line, which runs right down the center of the street. The car culture is still visible, but since there is no place that everyone knows to go to, the numbers of cars out on the weekends are laughable. There is no where that You’ll find ten, or fifteen thousand people gathering, like in the past. So those of us who wish to re-live the sight seeing, less the food that’s not available anymore, must wait for two or three events per year. Back to the Fifties and Car Craft being the main draw. The local economy has been delt a pretty big negative impact overall. These hand full of gatherings do help a lot, but that doesn’t change the fact that the miles of road occupied by smaller businesses are now lined by endless corporate chain stores. Funneling money out of the Twin Cities. The general lack of low riders and imports out at these events is a huge loss of variety too, but at least we still have something! I guess.



Orion, Riding the Clouds

Orion, Riding the Clouds

A First, for Me…

Being a late-comer to the mobile phone world, I started with a well used Side Kick II, which was a hand-me-down from My brother. After a year or three, I migrated to the T-Mobile Dash, which ran a version of windows intentionally designed to slowly delete the available memory, so You would be forced to buy something new, or pay to have it serviced. Both of those devices were garbage! Then, five or so years ago, My sister-in-law gave Me her old G1. The first phone with an Android OS.

My Mobile Devices Over the Years © Andor (6)

The Google Phone is now about a decade old, it still works! I’ve been using it with a pre-paid sim card for quite some time now. The only thing holding it back for basic phone, text  and not so snappy(but acceptable) web browsing use, is the lack of batteries available. Sure I could have kept buying batteries, but they aren’t being produced anymore, they’ve been sitting on a warehouse shelf for who knows how long. Thus losing their ability to hold a charge. Two hours, just isn’t enough. So I bought a tablet!

My Mobile Devices Over the Years © Andor (5)

Specifically, the T-Mobile Springboard. Which is a rebranded product of China, the Huawei MediaPad. Certainly not the greatest thing out there, but at the time, pickings were slim and at $100 after the mail-in rebate, I’m happy that I did run with this tablet. It runs most apps with out issue, it’s screen is of great quality, it plays every file type I’ve thrown at it and the high point of this device, the battery lasts 12-15 hours streaming music and occasionally texting, surfing, or wandering Vimeo and Instagram. The lack lustre 5mp camera has consistantly disappiointed though. Having used this smaller sized tablet as My primary device for the last year, I wasn’t able to take calls with it, so the old G1 has still been in use. Until now!! I was able to grab an upgrade with lucky timing. Since the new Samsung Galaxy S III and Note 2 were on sale for $100 and $200 respectively, after a $100 mail-in rebate of course.

My Mobile Devices Over the Years © Andor (3)

One week earlier and I would have gotten the S III phone, because it was $50.. But the Note 2 has a quad-core cpu, larger screen and larger battery. Otherwise they are pretty much the same. So, for $200, I have bought an up to date mobile device. I’ve always had some one else’s old crap, or something cheap and slow. It’s very nice to have a camera worth using, without having to whip out a dslr! The Note 2 has a good screen size/phone size, bigger than most phones, not any thicker though. Fits in any of My pockets, instead of only the back pockets, like the tablet. Haven’t encountered an app it won’t run and this thing powers through all that I have done with it so far, without a glitch. Internet browsing is pretty fast, I’ve always done My web surfing at home, but this is slowly changing.. If it lasts even half as long as the G1, this may be a worth while investment! These new phones are quite versatile, it’s a good time to finally be on the leading edge of the band wagon. Technology can be such a wonderful thing.

An obvious note: These phones are loaded with WAY TOO MUCH BLOATWARE! What a sham having to attempt to disable them, without voiding one’s warranty. You business jokers need to step up Your game and clean it up a bit! Why do You hate Your customers so much? At least give an option to remove the stuff, since most of Your customers don’t want it!