JP Rennquist Posts

Denfeld Lip Dub: We Run this Town

UPDATE: As is plainly visible, a copyright claim on the music used in this video resulted in it being pulled from YouTube after one day. Follow this link to see an updated version without the Jay Z track.

Denfeld Lip Dub 2016Denfeld High School 2016 lip dub project. Full disclosure, I work at Denfeld as some kind of educator. The third annual all-school lip dub dropped today, something students and educators worked on closely for the past couple of months. It’s a mash up of Beyonc√© and Jay Z’s “Crazy in Love” and “We Run this Town.”

If this is the future of Duluth, I think we can all be very hopeful and proud. Particularly noteworthy for me is the way that we see strong, confident and successful women portrayed prominently in the video.

Where in Duluth?

Free Hugs

Ok, this actually isn’t in Duluth, but I saw these today. And it’s pretty close to Duluth.

Free Compliments 1

Seeing these was surprisingly moving for me and gave me an opportunity to consider all of my relationships and re-evaluate my life direction. And, I mean that in a good way. Actually, what I mean is that compliments are so free, and pleasant, and often inspiring, and life-affirming and I don’t give them out enough. This was a great reminder and I hope the idea spreads.

I didn’t notice this until I uploaded the pictures, but the bulletin board message credits kindovermatter.com so these may be appearing elsewhere as well. Perhaps we’re on the edge of a movement.

Grounded Eagle on Rice Lake Road

This afternoon I was driving back from the dump when I saw a car with its flashers on on Rice Lake Road. I slowed to … basically to rubberneck, but, you know, to see if everything was OK. They were looking at this bald eagle that was staggering along the narrow green space between the highway and the wetland that it passes through.

It’s not the snowfall, it’s the snowdrifts

“It’s not the snowfall, it’s the snowdrifts.” I just realized that’s kind of a northcountry version of “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”

I give yesterday’s storm about a 6 out of 10 for Duluth snowstorms in terms of intensity and general nastiness. However, I think this might be the biggest drift I’ve encountered in the 12 years I’ve been at this house.

Getting to the Bottom of the Proposed Polymet Mine Part 2, Winona LaDuke

After much, much hand wringing and editing and processing and sweating and arguing with myself, here is a passable video of the lecture by Winona LaDuke that was delivered on Feb. 8 at the College of St. Scholastica. I think that the message she is sharing is important to hear and try to understand, whether or not you agree with her conclusions. One of her central theses seems is that people have been living and thriving in this region for thousands of years and in the past 100 or 200 years there have been significant and undesirable, even toxic, changes to the land, the waters, and the creatures and people who populate this region.

Getting to the Bottom of the Proposed Polymet Mine, Part 1


I’m hoping that this video, featuring Paula Maccabee of Water Legacy, will be the first of several that I will be able to share over the next few weeks.

Trampled by Turtles’ song deserves Oscar

There I was, sitting in a cavernous multiplex theater at Duluth 10. The movie, The Way Way Back, is one that I had actually chosen by accident. Or chosen erroneously, I mean. The Mrs. and I were on an impromptu date night and picked The Way Way Back thinking that it was actually another movie I had heard about.

A good 30 minutes in I realized both my error, and that the film was not what I had hoped for, a fluffy summertime coming-of-age story, and that it was instead a sort of dark, introspective coming-of-age story that just happened to be placed in a summer setting. At points during the movie I could actually viscerally feel my own awkward teenage summer loneliness flaring up in some deep, dark buried place in my gut. So the film makers nailed that part.

Duluth knows how to do snow removal, but where does it all go?

I was very impressed to happen upon this epic snow removal operation on Second Street on Thursday at about 11 a.m.

You might be able to see in the photo that this clean-up convoy of sorts includes numerous heavy construction vehicles stretching from where this was taken at about Second Avenue East, all the way back to Fourth Avenue West.

Mysterious “Headless Snowman” in Duluth’s Canal Park

I think that PDD needs to solve the mystery of the headless snowman, preferably in the form of a song, an epic poem, or maybe a short story in the style of O. Henry or Charles Dickens. Ok. Go.

Where in Duluth? “Thou Shalt Not Steal”

Where in Duluth?

Getting Lost in the Valley of Silence

Yesterday I had a rare 90-minutes to myself and after some meandering I ended up behind St. Scholastica looking for the sunset. I never really did find it, but I did see some other stuff.

R.I.P. Mike, Mike and Tom graffiti on Central Avenue

For decades, the names of two guys named Mike and a Tom were spraypainted unceremoniously on this wall, now that has been painted over.

I’m not sure when this changed but I just noticed it today. I met the new owner of the Italian Village a month or so ago and he seems like a great guy. He also seems to be doing a lot to expand and spruce up the storefront. So today I was only a little surprised when the graffiti that was painted on the side of the building years decades ago had been covered up by what looks like will eventually be a new mural.

Here is a post by Paul Lundgren from a few years ago with some fun history and comments about the two Mikes and the Tom who had their names painted on the building. According to the comments, it has also been painted over before, so perhaps it’s not gone forever.

Rainbow over Park Point

compressed compressed 49 compressed 56

From this afternoon.

Duluth Primary 2013 Final Arguments

In one of the most off, off, off election years of recent memory we can really focus our grey matter on pretty much hyper-local politics. In a year like this we get a little more mainstream media coverage of the smaller races, but even still, there are a few candidates who I haven’t met or really heard much about. I’d hate to base my decisions on who to vote for in the primary on who has the most yard signs out, or worse, how I feel about the people who have the yard signs in their yards. So, PDD …

"I Voted" photo, shamelessly cribbed from Tim Kaiser's FB Page

"I Voted" photo, shamelessly cribbed from Tim Kaiser's FB Page

So I am asking, who are you voting for this Primary Day and why?

In the interest of moderation and well-reasoned discussion maybe try to support your feelings and instincts with actual, you know, facts and evidence. Bonus points for spouting your own opinions and not those that have been fed to you by interest groups or ideologues. I haven’t voted yet, and I’ll be reading through the comments before I do, so here is your chance to sway my decision. Polls close at 8 pm. I live in the Duluth Hillside but you can talk about any Duluth-ish race, because, you never know, maybe you can sway someone else’s vote, too.

Skyline Art Gallery features local artists; showcases Duluth history

This weekend I visited the Skyline Art Gallery for its grand opening. This location, right near the crest of Thompson Hill is an area that I recognize as the spot where I feel like I am “home” and the awe-inspiring views of the great inland sea and the cities of Duluth and Superior open up before your eyes when approaching on I-35 from the south. I’m sure that many others have a similar sentiment, the owners of this gallery could be included in that group.