Tag Archives: Jerry Bilek

Jerry Bilek is gearing up for the Arrowhead 135: a mind- and toe-numbing experience

Jerry Bilek and his Mukluk. Photo by Bill Nelson.Jerry Bilek and his Mukluk. Photo by Eric Johnson.Jerry Bilek and his Mukluk. Photo by Eric Johnson.
Northfielder and Monkey See Monkey Read bookstore owner Jerry Bilek is competing in the Arrowhead 135 this weekend.  As you can see from the photos sent to me by Eric Johnson and Bill Nelson, Jerry is going to use his Salsa Mukluk fat bike for the race. Other winter ultra-athlete racers compete on foot and skis.

Here’s a peek on what’s he’s in for:

MPR, January 27, 2012:  ‘Carnage’ a draw for some Arrowhead 135 ultra-marathoners

Frostbite. Sleep deprivation. Harrowing descents in pitch blackness. It’s all part of the strange allure of the Arrowhead 135: an extreme ski, bike or foot race in far northern Minnesota that begins before dawn on Monday morning.  It’s one of the nation’s craziest endurance races, and a huge challenge for participants.

Strib, February 9, 2011: 135 miles: Do or die

For the next three days, they will haul themselves and their survival gear 135 miles through Minnesota’s North Woods — from International Falls to Tower — in the most mind- and toe-numbing endurance race in the lower 48 states.

Trekking the equivalent of St. Paul to Iowa while dragging a sled behind you on 30-below nights might seem a sadistic death sentence to most. Relocate the quest to Minnesota’s most remote wilderness in the midst of a bitter winter — with rescue an iffy proposition — and you’ve got a race that’s irresistible to some. After all, it holds all your gear! In this buying guide, click here so that we can show you the best survival hacks, plus share tips on what to put into your pack.

What do you think is the greatest pop song of all time? My vote: ‘Hallelujah’

The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah" by Alan LightJerry Bilek, Monkey See Monkey Read bookstoreRolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time

A week or so ago while doing the dishes and listening to an NPR podcast on my smartphone (see, I’m hip), I heard this Weekend Edition music interview, Dozens Of Covers Later, ‘Hallelujah’ Endures about Leonard Cohen’s song, Hallelujah. The book that prompted the piece is out this week: The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah” by Alan Light.

In 1994, a cover by the late Jeff Buckley helped save “Hallelujah” from musical obscurity. Buckley’s version turned one man’s lament into another artist’s ode to love. Light says the ambiguity of the song’s lyrics makes it easy for musicians to make the tune their own. “There are lyrics that are talking about sex. There are these allusions to stories from the Bible; the King David story and the Samson story,” he says. “There’s lots and lots of layers.”

After hearing that I thought, Hmmm, that actually could be at the top of my list of the greatest pop songs of all time. (Jerry Bilek at Monkey See, Monkey Read has the book in stock at his store in downtown Northfield.)

I also just learned about List.ly so I thought I’d give it a test run here on LoGro.  I’ve put five of my all-time favorite songs on the list (in no particular order) to get things started.

Your task, fellow Northfield citizens and music fans, is to:

  1. Add your all-time favorite song to the list if it’s not listed. (One source to use if you’re having trouble remembering your fave: the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time)
  2. Vote songs up or down
  3. Comment on the songs and on the comments of others. You can comment within the List.ly listing on each song or you can comment via the usual WordPress comment box attached to this blog post
  4. Share the list on your social networks
  5. Embed the list on your Northfield area blog or website (List.ly syncs all the activity)

To participate in using the List.ly features, you’ll need to login with your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+ account.

I may adjust the List.ly settings on the fly occasionally as I learn about how it works.

[listly id=”2bm” theme=”light” layout=”full” numbered=”yes” image=”yes” items=”all”]

Chip DeMann and Northfield featured in the Sept. issue of True West magazine

Jerry Bilek and Chip DeMann Sept. 2012 cover of True West magazine IMAG0238
Whenever I run into Northfield Historical Society Museum Store Manager Chip DeMann on the streets of downtown Northfield, he’s got something to show me. Last week, it was the Sept. 2012 issue of True West magazine which features the 1876 Northfield bank raid:

Cover: A painting by magazine editor Bob Boze Bell with the captions: "The Heroes of Northfield Still Stand Tall" and "Jesse James Messes with the Wrong Town."

Editorial, page 9: Chip DeMann is the Man, by Bob Boze Bell

Article, pages 26-31: The Great Northfield Raid Revisited: New research that changes our understanding of the James-Younger debacle, by Johnny D. Boggs

Article, pages 32-37: Northfield Revelations: A Northfield historian shares his lifetime of research into the 1876 bank raid, by Chip DeMann

The issue is not yet on the True West magazine website but here are some poor quality photos I took of the print coverage:

IMAG0239 IMAG0240 IMAG0241

IMAG0242 IMAG0243 IMAG0244

Editor Bob Boze Bell has a blog. Here are links to some of his Northfield-related blog posts:

My parachute might be changing colors

Griff Wigley and What Color is Your ParachuteThe 2012 edition of What Color is Your Parachute? was published this week.  I got my copy from downtown Northfield’s only bookstore, Monkey See Monkey Read. I had owner Jerry Bilek take my photo (crappy phone photo, I know) to show that, yes indeed, I still engage with print occasionally.  Parachute has many illustrations and charts that don’t translate well on my first-generation Kindle.

I’ve been using this book for my own career development and job hunt/job creation since author Dick Bolles first published it back in the early 70s. I probably have purchased six versions (it’s updated annually) and I wanted this one since it’s the 40th anniversary edition with a lot that’s new. From the publisher:

2012 What Color is Your ParachuteThis is not your father’s Parachute; and not your mother’s, either. They’d be astounded at the changes. This book keeps building–in insight, helpfulness, relevance, and urgency–through new invention and information each year. And this year it’s the critical resource to help Americans (and others) get back to work…

This year’s edition of What Color Is Your Parachute? has been vastly rewritten, because job-hunting has increasingly become a survival skill. Career expert Richard N. Bolles describes the five strategies most needed to survive, and explains how to incorporate social media tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter into your job-search.

The new ideas are wrapped around the familiar core message of Parachute: WHAT, WHERE, and HOW, with an emphasis on finding your passion and identifying your best transferable skills. With fresh insights into resumes, networking, interviewing, salary negotiation, and how to start your own business, this book will give you the tools, exercises, and motivation you need to find hope, land a job, and fulfill your purpose in life.

Dick BollesFlower Diagram - That one piece of paperIn the late 90s, I met one of author Dick Bolles’ sons at a tech conference and he helped me arrange a visit at his dad’s house in the Bay Area. It was a treat to meet him and thank him for the influence that this book has had on my life.

It’s been over a decade since I last did all the Parachute exercises in order to fill out my Flower Diagram—’that one piece of paper.’  I’m not job hunting, but I am trying to better understand all the interesting work-related stuff swirling around in my head. Sabbatical stuff.

The Parachute web site is Job Hunter’s Bible. Bolles hasn’t posted to his blog in almost a year but he’s active on Twitter: @ParachuteGuy.

Biking the gravel to Murphy-Hanrehan and back

Griff Wigley, Bill Nelson, Jerry Bilek, Ben Witt On the gravel: Bill Nelson and Griff Wigley. Photo by Ben Witt. Jerry Bilek and a crop duster. Photo by Ben Witt. On the gravel: Bill Nelson, Griff Wigley, Ben Witt. Photo by Ben Witt.
Bill Nelson, Jerry Bilek, Ben Witt, and I took off on our mountain bikes from GBM at about 7:30 this morning, riding primarily gravel roads to the mountain bike trail in the Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve, just south of Savage.

Murphy-Hanrehan mapJerry Bilek at Murphy-Hanrehan. Photo by Ben Witt. Ben Witt, Jerry Bilek, Bill Nelson,  
After riding the 7 mile advanced loop at Murphy, we chowed down at Chipotle in Apple Valley, biked through UMore Park in Dakota County, and arrived back in Northfield in time for dinner. About 85 miles, 9 hours. Whew!

Do you read to your kids at bedtime? Know someone who does? Then go the fuck to the Monkey See Monkey Read bookstore and get this book

I heard about the book Go the Fuck to Sleep back in May and asked Monkey See Monkey Read blogger and Northfield bookstore proprietor Jerry Bilek if he carried it. Ever on top of things book-related, he wrote back:

I’ve got them on order. It should be released June 14. It’s getting a lot of buzz. I’ll send you a blog post about it as soon as I have copies.

Jerry now has the book in stock. See his blog post on it for more. Here’s a sample:

Go The Fuck To SleepThe cats nestle close to their kittens now.

The lambs have laid down with the sheep.

You’re cozy and warm in your bed, my dear

Please go the fuck to sleep.

From the Wikipedia on Go the Fuck to Sleep:

Go the Fuck to Sleep is a book written by American author Adam Mansbach and illustrated by Ricardo Cortés. Described as a "children’s book for adults", it reached number 1 on Amazon.com’s bestseller list a month before its release, thanks to an unintended viral marketing campaign during which booksellers forwarded PDF copies of the book by email.

The book is available at Monkey See Monkey Read in downtown Northfield.

Friends of the Northfield Public Library allowed to hold their annual meeting at the library; tense discussions ensue

The Friends of the Northfield Public Library held their annual meeting on Tuesday night.  Where? At the Northfield Public Library

There were evidently some tense negotiations on Monday about the fee that the organization would have to pay for use of the library’s meeting room. With the library’s recent budget cutbacks, Director Lynne Young is on the lookout for additional sources of revenue and has reportedly become a tough negotiator over non-profit use of that space.

Friends of the Northfield Public Library Bill North Kathy Sommers  Lynne Young Friends of the Northfield Public Library annual meeting
Friends president Bill North and treasurer Kathy Sommers ripped on Young during their presentations but she placed responsibility for the Library’s financial predicament on the City Council, as well as on library patrons like Will Healy who have hundreds of dollars of unpaid library fines for overdue books.

Henry Emmons The-Chemistry-of-Calm Henry Emmons signing books Jerry Bilek selling books 
The rhetoric was getting pretty heated but thankfully, Northfield psychiatrist and author Dr. Henry Emmons was on hand to, um, calm things down. Henry was the featured presenter, speaking about his new book, The Chemistry of Calm: A Powerful, Drug-Free Plan to Quiet Your Fears and Overcome Your Anxiety

All went well until after Henry’s speech when Lynne Young noticed Monkey See Monkey Read bookstore proprietor Jerry Bilek selling copies of Henry’s book. She argued that the Library should get a commission on all books sold on the premises. Jerry told her to stick it in her bookdrop. Henry refused to moderate the dispute unless someone agree to pay him his usual counseling fee.  The crowd was getting riled up, and when someone mentioned Zamboni tires, I decided it was time for me to leave.

Google to help get The Monkey off my back

Monkey See Monkey Read banner Back in Oct. 2008, I bought an Amazon Kindle and blogged about it: Northfield Kindle owners: saving trees or destroying Division St. bookstores?

There were three bookstores downtown then: River City Books, Bookfellows, and Monkey See Monkey Read. Only Jerry Bilek’s Monkey See Monkey Read remains.

Not that I feel completely responsible for the demise of two of our bookstores, but I was glad to see this in last week’s NY Times: Stores See Google as Ally in E-Book Market

Now one element of Google Editions is coming into sharper focus. Google is on the verge of completing a deal with the American Booksellers Association, the trade group for independent bookstores, to make Google Editions the primary source of e-books on the Web sites of hundreds of independent booksellers around the country, according to representatives of Google and the association.

Kindle and G1 with sychronized ebook I’m a regular e-book buyer and things got even cooler this week with a new Kindle app that allows me to read the same books on my Android phone that I’ve already purchased for my Kindle… and synchronize how far along I am in the book in both devices. Very helpful.