Category Archives: Life

Paul Krause’s latest documentary, featuring the artistry of Fred Somers, premieres Thursday Mar. 21

Fred Somers and Paul KrauseGenesis - The Art of Creation
Northfielder Paul Krause, Dancing Sun Multimedia, sent out this email recently:

You are invited to the screening of my latest documentary film, “Genesis: The Art of Creation,” featuring the artistry of Fred Somers. Go behind-the-scenes to witness the creation of the most significant and largest painting of Fred’s career, from the canvas preparation to its breathtaking installation at Carondolet Village in St. Paul. Experience the passion Fred has for his art and his deep connection to the natural world.

7 pm, March 21, 2013
Weitz Cinema, Carleton College (old Middle School)
Artist reception to follow

 

Genesis website - Fred Somers by Paul KrauseGenesis video clips - Fred Somers by Paul Krause

Paul has a whole website devoted to the project including two videos excerpts from the film.  And see the Frederick Somers Fine Art website, too.

If you go to the premiere, be sure to ask Fred about the history behind this photo titled The White Legs of Fred Somers:

The White Legs of Fred Somers

What is the significance of this strange item on the pedestrian footbridge in downtown Northfield?

DSC08854 DSC08851

There is something significant about this item attached to the railing on the pedestrian footbridge over the Cannon River.

If you can guess or even come up with a plausible explanation, there could be something good that will happen to you, according to those with whom I’m authorized to speak.

Update Mar. 16, 7 am: Here are the details of today’s Celebration, courtesy of Jim O’Bonhnhoff:

St. Patricks Celebration 2013

Hayes is not foggy about this. He wants you at ‘Hops, Grapes & History’ tomorrow night at the Grand

Hayes Scriven

NHS ED Hayes Scriven stopped by my table at GBM on Wed. morning to promo the Hops, Grapes & History event at Grand Event Center on Saturday.

I didn’t realize till later that my smartphone camera lens had gunk on it, making for a foggy photo.

His blog post says:

The evening includes a beer and wine tasting from 6 to 8 p.m., featuring a hand-selected variety of Minnesota craft beers and wines; hors d’oeuvres; and a silent auction with a chance to bid on numerous goods and services from local businesses. Then from 9 to 11:30 p.m., the event concludes with a not-to-be-missed performance of “Guaranteed Cash,” a tribute to the songs and sounds of Johnny Cash, performed by legendary guitarist Bob Wootten (lead guitarist for Johnny Cash’s band for over thirty years) and country rockers, Six Mile Grove. (Continued)

Bemidji has earned ‘Bicycle Friendly Community’ status. Why not Northfield?

BikeMN   Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht
I attended the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota‘s (BikeMN) third annual Minnesota Bicycle Summit on Capitol Hill on Monday, as I’m trying to get smarter about the state of bike advocacy in Minnesota and who the players are.  I became a BikeMN member a couple weeks ago and am impressed with all that they’re doing and how well-organized Monday’s Summit was.

Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht (@BemidjiRita) was one of the featured speakers, talking about Bemidji’s new designation as a Bike Friendly Community. From the BikeMN blog in October:

The city of Bemidji was granted the bronze Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) designation by the League of American Bicyclists(LAB) on Monday October 22, 2012. The award was the culmination of persistent efforts by many community leaders and advocates including Mayor Dave Larson, Parks & Recreation Director Marcia Larson as well as health, tourism, bicycling, law enforcement, transportation and environmental representatives from the community. BikeMN has been involved along the way and helped in preparing the BFC application.

I think the timing for mounting an effort to gain formal Bicycle Friendly Community designation is right:

Those two items are providing some incentive to figure out how Northfield’s downtown streets should be best managed for bicycling, part of the discussion going on this week on the Parking Management Plan blog.

What’s not clear to me is what city board or commission would be best to consider taking this on. The City of Northfield created a Non Motorized Transportation Task Force (NMTTF) back in 2007 that I think sun-setted a couple years later. Might it be time to create something similar but specifically for bicycling?

Suzie Nakasian wants you at the 7th Annual Northfield Winter Stomp this Friday

Cliff Martin, Suzie Nakasian

First Ward Councilor Suzie Nakasian stopped by my office at GBM yesterday to tell me about the upcoming 7th Annual Northfield Winter Stomp. (She hijacked Cliff Martin into the photo who was at a table nearby.)

All the fun is happening this Friday at the Northfield Armory where everyone will be dancing again to the music of Contratopia. Note that Northfield Contra Dance now has a Facebook page.

For more about contra dancing in Northfield, see this article in the Carletonian from last fall: Northfield Swings into Style at Harvest Stomp Dance.

See my photo album/large slideshow of the 2008 Winter Stomp Contra Dance, or this small slideshow:

Meetings and straw polls and chat, oh my

It’s not been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon Northfield for me.

bicycle commuters - stakeholders group meetingbuilding owners - stakeholders group meetingcommunity meeting - Transformational Technology proposal

live chat replay webinar archive transformationaltech staw poll

The face-to-face meetings and online engagement activities for both the  City of Northfield’s Downtown Parking Management plan and the Northfield School District’s Transformational Technology proposal have kept me busy this week.

Gillian Wigley, January, 2013crashed Toyota Gilly Wigley recovering at home

And to top it off, my daughter Gilly was in a serious car accident in Minneapolis earlier this week so I’ve been making daily treks to the Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) all week. As of this morning, she’s doing much better: no apparent complications from a concussion and a lacerated liver, and she doesn’t have to have surgery for her fractured pelvis. She’s moving over to the adjacent Knapp Rehabilitation Center later today.  If you know her, contact/follow her on Facebook.

Update 2/15: Gilly is now recovering at our house, camped in a bed in our living room (right photo)

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.

With no self-understanding, Lance Armstrong tries to talk his way out of something he’s behaved himself into

Armstrong videos on Oprah
I wasn’t able to watch Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey but I’ve read enough and watched those video clips. This analysis piece in today’s NY Times, Amid Tears, Armstrong Leaves Unanswered Questions, does a good job of summing up the problems with it:

He personally chose Winfrey for his big reveal, and it went predictably. Winfrey allowed him to share his thoughts and elicited emotions from him, but she consistently failed to ask critical follow-up questions that would have addressed the most vexing aspects of Armstrong’s deception.

She did not press him on who helped him dope or cover up his drug use for more than a decade. Nor did she ask him why he chose to take banned performance-enhancing substances even after cancer had threatened his life…

At times, Winfrey’s interview seemed more like a therapy session than an inquisition, with Armstrong admitting that he was narcissistic and had been in therapy — and that he should be in therapy regularly because his life was so complicated.

I wasn’t so bothered by her lack of critical follow-up questions on who helped him. She’s not an investigative journalist like Mike Wallace. But she wasn’t a very good talk-show interviewer either, and certainly not a good therapist.

It’s clear to me that Armstrong doesn’t have much self-understanding.  He’ll need that if his verbal apologies are going to mean anything. You can’t just apologize and say admit to being a ruthless bully and jerk.  You have to be willing to reveal the mistaken thinking that led to your behavior.

He also needs to make amends to those he harmed (see #8 of the AA’s Twelve Steps). I first heard the phrase “You can’t talk your way out of something you’ve behaved yourself into” from a recovering alcoholic who was speaking about Step 8. It’s pretty clear to me that so far, Armstrong is hoping that admission of guilt and a little show of emotion will be enough.

On Jan. 25, Rob Schanilec wants you to step out for Mr. Northfield, Dan Freeman

Rob SchanilecDan Freeman benefit posterDan Freeman

Rob Schanilec (By All Means Graphics) stopped by my office at the Spur last week with a copy of the January Entertainment Guide. He showed me his full-page ad on page 23 for the Jan. 25 fundraiser at the Grand Event Center that he’s helping to organize. The text from the Guide’s calendar:

A tribute to and fundraiser for Danny Freeman, aka Mr. Northfield. Silent and live auction, raffle, toast-and-roast and, of course, a lot of fun and hijinx – we are talking about Danny, after all.

I blogged about Dan’s health problems back in October. Rob wrote in his email:

Dan’s had some health setbacks of late that drew several of us together to organize a fundraiser for him. Please mark the date of January 25 and spread the word. We’ll be gathering at the Grand to honor and support our friend whose done so much to support Northfield over the years. There is no admission charge, but a silent auction, a live auction, and “donations” of storytelling at the microphone will bring in money to make his life easier this coming year.

Please consider giving an auction item — anything from merchandise to creative dinner offers to tickets for games or entertainment venues, gift certificates, to whatever you can think of — as well as bidding on and buying an auction item that evening. Susy Immel is the contact for auction items; she can take them right now or right up to the last minute: susyimmel@charter.net.