Monday, June 18, 2012

Adventure of Some Sort

For the past couple of days my car has been acting funny when I start it -- as if the battery is running down. Then yesterday when coming home from church the engine malfunction light came on.  I got out the manual and it suggested to adjust the fuel cap and if that didn't work, not to drive the car.. I did that. I went down at 12:30 today for a 1:00 PM meeting and found it wouldn't start. I came running upstairs trying to find my bus card, without success. I left a message for the person that I was to meet, and took off for the bus. I stopped into the Science Museum and bought two postcards that I can use for teaching when I get to Poland, but mostly made the purchases to get some change to ride the bus.

Got the meeting done and then got the bus back to downtown Saint Paul. I decided to hang out in the Science Museum for a bit. The bags are mostly packed and I only had to work on a power point for a bit that will used to show the state from which I come.

There is an English idiom for what happened today -- if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I couldn't do anything about the car, so I might as well enjoy myself. (And actually how good that the car died in the underground garage -- rather than out on a street somewhere.)

I spent sometime in the "Backyard." This is an outdoor exhibit area of the museum, one I keep driving by, but haven't really visited.

Here is a street lamp that is being tested. It has LED lights that run from battery power created by solar and wind power.

The "Backyard" has has a mini-golf course which I may try sometime in September when the kids are back to school, but on days when I don't have to teach. The course is designed to teach scientific concepts.

 This hole shows how people have changed the Mississippi River by adding wing dams.

At one end of the "Backyard" there are several gardens related to the Native Americans who originally lived in this area. One area is a medicine garden. I was so  happy to see prickly pear cactus.

The only other place I've seen this is Minnesota is the Jeffers Petroglyph Historic Site in southwest Minnesota. There one drives on a road from the Mankato area, corn and bean fields, and then suddenly over the hill it seems like the world changes to the start of the prairie. The Indians used the juice of the cactus for wound healing and the flower turns into a fruit that can eaten. Seeing this made me forget all about the car problem!

Now back to that. I wrote an e-mail to my dealer and they are very surprised with the news about my car. We agreed we will get the 'ball rolling" when I return in August.

Tomorrow a  new adventure begins.

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