Category Archives: People

Does the Carleton Arb have a new contender for the title of ‘Spooky Old Tree’?

spookyoldtreecoverBack in 2008, I blogged about the demise of the spooky old tree in Carleton’s Lower Arb.

Last week, Robbie and I had breakfast with Northfield newcomers Rebecca Bliss and her husband Don Hasseltine (new VP of External Relations at Carleton). 

When I told their young daughters about the spooky old tree in the Arb, they alerted me to a spooky tree they discovered in the Upper Arb that "only creaks when people walk by."

DSC08669 DSC08666 Tree in the Upper Arb that "only creaks when people walk by." Freaky!
So with moms and dogs in tow, we paid the tree a visit on Tuesday and sure enough, it creaked just loud enough for a hearing impaired geezer to hear.  Freaky.

Who are the parents of the kids in this model railroad train display photo?

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Adrienne Falcon, Director of Academic Civic Engagement (ACE) at Carleton College, sent me a large print (left) of one of my photos that was part of the Frames of Engagement exhibition at the Weitz Center for Creativity open house last fall (blogged here).

I’d like to give the print to the one of the families whose kids appear in the photo.

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I took the photos of these kids (two more above) at the model railroad train display at the Northfield Library during the 2009 Winter Walk (album here).

Patsy is 60 today; last Sunday, too. Probably tomorrow as well.

 Patsy Ophaug, 60th birthday at the Goodbye Blue Monday DSC07741 
The Boys of the Goodbye Blue Monday, 6 AM Edition, fattened up on scrumptious coffeecake last Sunday to help Patsy Ophaug celebrate her 60th birthday. Then earlier today I noticed the Grand Event Center‘s marquee proclaiming, "Believe it! Patsy is 60 today."   Same Patsy? I’ve no idea, but let’s assume so unless someone whines.

Northfielder Brenton Balvin: rink rat, preacher, and opinionated blogger

Brenton Balvin, Griff WigleyBrenton Balvin's blog: Living in the Pace of Grace
I had coffee this morning with Northfielder Brenton Balvin, a blogger since 2005 (Living in the Pace of Grace), and someone I’ve followed on Twitter for many months.  We chatted about our lives, past and present, for over an hour and half. 

Brenton’s tweets and blog posts are personable, often opinionated, and cover many different topics but nearly always linked somehow to Northfield and his life as a husband, dad, rink rat, store manager, part-time preacher, kids baseball coach, and many other roles. He’s an occasional commenter here on LoGro and his blog posts often appear on Northfield Patch.

I like it that Brenton isn’t shy about his opinions.  A recent favorite: What is More Offensive: Pornography or A Woman Breastfeeding in Public?

WCCO News recently aired a Good Question segment about breastfeeding in public as a result of a Texas woman’s nationwide call to for a "nurse-in" at Target stores after she said she was humiliated by Target employees.

The segment reminded me of a blog post I wrote in July 2006 (Pornography yes – Breastfeeding no – Are We Serious?) on the hypocrisy and idiocy of the fact that our nation accepts and promotes the normalcy and legitimacy of pornography, and yet demands nursing mothers sit in dirty bathrooms and closet spaces to feed their infants just so passerby’s aren’t exposed to the slightest embarrassment of having to see a sliver of a breast performing its most natural function.

Psychological and spiritual advice from Chris Hardwick: Be smarter than your brain

A buddy of mine alerted me to an article in the Oct 21 Wired, Self-Help for Nerds: Advice from Comedian Chris Hardwick, an excerpt from his book The Nerdist Way – How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life).

This blurb caught my attention:

The Nerdest WayA simple mantra has guided me through the darkest bouts of autocerebral asphyxiation: You don’t have to believe everything you think. I know, right??

If you are having trouble uploading positive images to your ego satellites, here is a great tactic: Ignore your fucking brain altogether.

It doesn’t mean to lead you in bad directions! It’s just that, unless properly trained, it usually takes into account only your short-term happiness. “Get drunk in the morning!” “Eat 50 Chocodiles” “Instead of working, you could masturbate!”

These are all examples of things that will bring you only microbursts of temporary happiness but could have negative long-term effects. You can simply say to yourself, “I hear what you’re saying, brain, but I choose to ignore you.”

If your brain rages beyond that, you can diffuse it by acknowledging its request and explaining in detail why it could be devastating were you to honor it. Be smarter than your brain.

That’s not only hilarious, it’s psychologically and spiritually brilliant.

Are there therapists in Northfield who would agree?  Are there members of Northfield’s clergy who would agree?

Northfield photographer Leslie Schultz is now a novelist

Leslie Schultz and her daughter Julia at the GBM in Northfield The Howling Vowels
I met Northfielder Leslie Schultz and her daughter Julia a couple months ago at the NAG’s photography invitational reception (photo of them here) where Leslie was one of the featured photographers.

Last week I met up with them at GBM because Leslie has just had her middle grade novel, The Howling Vowels, published by the Do Life Right publishing house. Description:

Welcome to Sundog, Minnesota! When homeschooled, Norse-myth-obsessed Alexa Stevens moves from New York City, she doesn’t know what to expect. What is a small town like? Explore a new landscape with Alexa as she observes wolves in the wild and forms a close pack of friends.

Leslie will be doing a reading/book signing on Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. at the Northfield Public Library.

More about the book:

And you can buy the book right in downtown Northfield at Monkey See Monkey Read.  I stopped by to make sure proprietor Jerry Bilek has the book in stock. Proof:

Jerry Bilek at Monkey See Monkey Read