|Cathedral of St. Paul|
- Benster's Boy Scout troop had a field trip on Saturday to complete requirements for the Citizenship in the Nation merit badge, so we were bopping around St. Paul, taking in three important landmarks in the city -- the Cathedral, the State Capitol and Mickey's Dining Car. I hadn't been to the Cathedral since Mrs. D and I attended the ordination of a family friend more than 16 years ago. It is a magnificent building and it was a good reminder to the scouts of the ambition of the people who built this area. The Capitol restoration project is going well and the Minnesota Historical Society does a very nice tour, including a fairly long explanation of the art and history contained in the governor's reception area, a room that is familiar to anyone who watches a news conference on television. The architecture at the Capitol is also magnificent, which is unsurprising since Cass Gilbert was the principal architect who worked on the facility. And for a bunch of Boy Scouts who ranged in age from 12-17, the trip to Mickey's was probably the biggest highlight of all. It's a good thing that you can still find places like Mickey's around, but there aren't that many any more. It's a classic greasy spoon with excellent short-order cooking in enormous portions, all in a retrofitted dining car. If you haven't gone, you should. I think the scouts learned more about America at Mickey's than they did at any other stop on the field trip.
- It was a good weekend for football if you are a Wisconsin sports fan. The Badgers took out a season's worth of frustrations out on Nebraska, absolutely destroying the proud Cornhuskers 70-31. I've seen the Badgers drop 70 on weak sisters like Austin Peay, Indiana and Northwestern before, but never on a team with the talent and pedigree of the Cornhuskers. It's been a very difficult year for the Badgers -- losing three games in overtime tells you that they were close to having a much better record than the 8-5 mark they currently sport. You could argue that the Badgers have no business going to Pasadena for a third consecutive year, especially since they were only a .500 team in conference play. Yet if you watched them play on Saturday night, you saw a very good college football team with quite a stable of running backs. Barring injury, I would expect to see Montee Ball, James White and spectacular freshman Melvin Gordon all playing in the NFL some day.
- Speaking of spectacular running backs, the Vikings certainly have one in Adrian Peterson. Peterson is having an astonishingly good year, coming back stronger than before following what looked to be a career-threatening ACL injury late last year. The show that Peterson put on in Lambeau Field yesterday was something to see. And yet, and yet. . . the final score was Green Bay 23, Minnesota 14. The Packers are a battered team with more serious injuries than just about any team I've seen, yet they still managed to win the game. It's a credit to the Packers that they were able to gut it out on Sunday, but I think the Vikings have be concerned about their quarterbacking. I'm no expert, but it looked like Christian Ponder was not an NFL-ready quarterback yesterday. The interception he threw early in the third quarter completely changed the game and gave the Packers a chance to come back. The backup quarterback is always one of the most popular people in town and there are a lot of calls for putting Joe Webb in the game, but I'm pretty sure that if he were the answer, he'd be playing. He isn't. A more competent NFL quarterback would have finished off my beloved Packers yesterday. Fortunately for the Pack, the opponents didn't have one.
- From what I can tell, politics are exactly in the same place we left them. So we'll leave that topic alone.
- Oh, and yesterday was my birthday. It was very nice and I had an enjoyable day with my family, including a trip to yet another greasy spoon (the 5-8 Club) for dinner. I probably need to have a salad for the rest of the week.