Archive for the ‘Random Thoughts’ Category


My nonna used to terrify me with a story of falling through thin ice on a Massachusetts’s pond. Despite growing up on figure skates, I won’t skate across a lake unless it’s been below zero for 3 weeks or more. I’m definitely risk adverse when it comes to ice.

Pea Soup and Deep Cracks

Saturday’s fog and ice on Cross Lake in Pine City was ethereal and amazing–thick, too. We spent the whole day shoveling, exploring, sluicing, and drying off. Once the snow melted, I found sea weed suspended in ice, intricate waves of cracks, and a few deep cracks. With 8 inches of ice, I felt pretty safe.




Read Full Post »

And two more I just found with insert-your-favorite-adjective photos:


Dear everyone I’ve ever known. See you tonight at the Replacements!

— Steve Nelson (@stevenelsonmn) September 13, 2014


A Westerberg @StPaulSaints jersey?! Take my money, please. 💰 #MatsMidway

— Brett Baldwin (@brettish) September 14, 2014


I saw the replacements!! I saw @TheReplacements !!

— Samm (@velvethursday) September 14, 2014


Alex Chilton: 1st Mats song I ever heard. It was ’87. I was 13. I’M DYING! #iminlovewhatsthatsong

— Jacquie Fuller (@JacquieFuller) September 14, 2014


There are exactly 4 Portapotties outside Midway for the Replacements concert.

— Maria Reeve (@mdougreeve) September 13, 2014


I’m going to predict that tonight I will see more adult men simultaneously cry then at any point in my life. @TheReplacements

— jmcgnn (@jmcgnn) September 13, 2014


Panoramats. #MatsMidwaypic.twitter.com/OUNT4QWHvy

— C. Riemenschneider (@ChrisRstrib) September 14, 2014


I still get to see “Transmissions” Flaming Lips & J Roddy Walston over next 2 nights. Maybe I should’ve skipped last night & rested up.

— C. Riemenschneider (@ChrisRstrib) September 14, 2014


Me: “Why am I not as crazy for The Replacements as others?” Wife: “They didn’t burrow under your skin when you were 16 to stay forever.”

— John Moe (@johnmoe) September 14, 2014


The 1-2 punch of Androgynous into I Will Dare was such a happy-dance moment. @TheReplacements#MatsMidway

— Ali Lozoff (@AliLozoff) September 14, 2014


Allowed: Waxed-up hair, painted shoes. Disallowed: coolers, trouble. More ins and outs of tonight’s #MatsMidway show: http://t.co/tfDAaUYTlz

— TheCurrent (@TheCurrent) September 13, 2014


This photo is at least 60% male pattern baldness. #thereplacementspic.twitter.com/FTFQ3mMam6

— Tambre Massman (@TamboMcambo) September 1, 2014


As a public service, you have until noon CDT to get the Replacements tweets out of your system. After that, you will be answered w/cat pics.

— Uriah Deep (@SteveWalsh3) September 14, 2014


The over/under for instances of spontaneous human combustion at tonight’s @TheReplacements show is four. Bet the over.

— Dominick Washington (@dawashington) September 13, 2014


They hugged. They left. #TheReplacements

— Sara Kerr (@Saralitta) September 14, 2014

Read Full Post »

"I herd kids." -- Laddie

I herd kids.

I have a Collie. In his mind, all the kids in my backyard must stay together. When one wanders off he barks to herd them back together. He’s a herding dog by nature.

While my kids are used to Laddie, the neighbor kids don’t always appreciate being treated like wandering sheep.

Every year the kids beg to take Laddie to the Irish Fair of Minnesota to see if he can herd sheep as well as the professional dogs.

Every year I say, “No.” quickly followed by “Let’s go to the Irish Fair of Minnesota and watch the professional dogs.”

A Fair Favorite

We plan our visit to the Irish Fair of Minnesota to make sure we catch a bit of sheep herding. Luckily the sheep perform a few times during the fair because it’s a popular event for many families.

Escape Artists

Last year a few sheep escaped — it must have been a  new dog — but I couldn’t figure out how they got past the crowd of kids and families surrounding Croagh Park. Of course, if I had a wee sheep running toward me, I might move out of the way pretty quickly, too.  All six of the escape artists were quickly corralled with a little help from fairgoers.

 Sheep Herding is an Art

With only a few commands from a shepherd, a well-trained dog can easily manage a herd of sheep.








Read Full Post »

IMG_2466When the hair in your nose instantly congeals and bubbles freeze on bushes; it’s cold. “What are you doing blowing bubbles, if it’s that cold?” I hear you asking. When it is that cold, we cancel school and invent science experiments to pass the time—bubbles do freeze quickly; boiling water does not. Old timers and people with money always mention that they made it to school just fine when they were kids. “Today’s kids are too soft,” they say. “Anyone could be warm if they had a coat, mittens, long underwear, a hat, and snow pants,” I say. Lots of kids don’t have Rubbermaid buckets of seasonal clothing like I do. Maybe their parents don’t know any better, maybe they just choose other things like rent and food vs. extreme weather clothing. Let’s just agree then, that -20 Fahrenheit is cold. We all approach weather from our own perspective–no unlearning necessary here.

Twenty degrees above zero feels like a heat wave after even an hour of 20 below. Unfortunately we don’t just get an hour of -20, we get 72 hours of it. Then we start looking at records, “Back in 1977 we had 72 days of….” The stories quickly build. I was kid back then, it wasn’t that cold. Twenty degrees above zero brings old men out in shorts and teenagers skating in t-shirts. That’s ice-skating. Outside. Still, I must admit it feels great to take a deep, humid breath outside without my lungs constricting.

I know cold. I know the nuances of layering, of down vs. Polartec, of when to give in and avoid frostbite. I thought I knew heat, but I was wrong.

We never used the wondrous central air conditioning of my childhood. According to my parents it was never that warm. I always figured the light summer air felt good after a day cooped up in overly cooled medical offices. Decades later, I realized their definition of hot came from years in Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida. They were Northerners, but time in the South colored their perception.

Mine too.

It took decades for me to learn the difference between very warm and hot because that’s when I moved to The South. Eighty degrees where I live today, is sweltering. Air conditioners drone abysmally in July and August. Schools close to prevent heat exhaustion. Four summers in Chapel Hill, North Carolina taught me the rough differences between the simple warmth of 85, the invitation to swim of 92, and the hell of 98 and humid. I needed more time to develop the finesse of knowing when school would close due to the threat of snow, but I was tired of melting.

My neighbors today–those tough Northerners who embrace epic wind chills shake their heads in confusion at my open windows all summer long. I hate air conditioning. I still don’t go swimming unless it’s 92. It’s got to be at least very warm before I risk a toe in an outdoor pool.

Weather, like politics is contextual. Until you change your latitude, to quote Jimmy Buffet, you can’t unlearn your sense of hot and cold.

This essay was written for Cathy Davidson’s Coursera course, History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education. And it was due an hour ago…

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

I hate chicken blogs.  Not cooking chicken, but raising chickens-for-eggs blogs. Google that and you’ll find 745,00 blog posts. And yes, mine are amongst them. Yes. I have TWO chicken blogs. One that no one reads and one that people love. The Daily Chicken tells the same story of baby chicks, stinky coops, and gorgeous eggs with photos (and a few words now and then).

Sometimes the baby chicks cluck on Vine, too.

The Daily Chicken

My interactive marketing students at St. Kate’s are done with chickens. However, the girls taught my students that people don’t click on links on Facebook from a mobile device, but they do on Twitter regardless of the interface. And more importantly there’s more than one way to tell an engaging story.

In class tonight we’re looking at trends and tools to digitally tell a story. Here are a few of our resources. Enjoy!

2013 Trends from Adobe: http://success.adobe.com/assets/en/downloads/whitepaper/Adobe-Quarterly-Digital-Intelligence-Briefing-Digital-Trends-for-2013.pdf

Visual branding design basics from Hubspot, “Crash Course in Visual Content Creation:” http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/53/file-24953927-pdf/offers/design_it_yourself_the_marketers_crash_course_in_visual_content_creation.pdf?t=1364179930000

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: