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Category: Advice

Heat Warning: Please do not leave your dogs in your car! »

Yes, even though it’s Duluth, summer is way too hot to leave your dog inside a car, windows cracked or not! Yesterday, I encountered a women at Home Depot who was a few minutes from having her windows smashed to rescue her dog.

Even if you don’t have dogs (or are a responsible owner and already know that you shouldn’t leave your dog in the car), please be aware of other cars in parking lots. If you see a dog in distress, you can call the police/animal control, or contact the store to have the vehicle owner paged. Please do not assume the owner will be out in time – death can occur within minutes!

And true, the thoughtful dog owner may thank you for your concern for their animal by denying the danger of hot cars and flicking you off, but at least you may have helped the save the dog’s life by getting their ungrateful asshole owner called out of the store. :)

How Hot Does it Get in a Parked Car Dr Ernie Ward

Fred Tyson Sex Workshop »

Fred Tyson Sex Workshop

Duluth’s own father of sex, Fred Tyson, presented his Sex Workshop Friday night during Homegrown at the Rex Bar. His fast footwork, velvety voice and magical smile brought concert goers on a sexual journey not soon to be forgotten.


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An open letter to Mayor Ness and the Duluth City Council »

Home sweet home? photo: Deb Holman

April 27, 2014
TO: Duluth Mayor Don Ness
Duluth City Council
FROM: Concerned people of Duluth

At its first meeting of the year, the Duluth City Council, with the support of Mayor Ness, unanimously passed a resolution supporting a Homeless Bill of Rights and committing the City to take bold action to end homelessness.

Three months later, the city has not appointed a single person to the Human Rights Commission, the body tasked with implementing the resolution. In recent days, Mayor Ness has been quoted by the Duluth News-Tribune calling housing projects for the chronically homeless a “distraction,” and urging Duluth to “stay focused on market-rate housing.”
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Looking for wedding officiant and photographer »

My fiancé and I are planning a small informal wedding Saturday July 12th of this year in Duluth. Any recommendations on a great photographer I can check our or wedding officiant? What was your experience?

I’m aware of trafficking, now what? »

January is considered “Trafficking Awareness Month” or so the many e-mails and invites to special events are telling me. As a social worker and previously as a domestic violence/sexual assault advocate I have been inundated with trafficking discussions, forums, conferences, and trainings. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great. However I feel as though now I am fully “aware” of trafficking and that the social-work community as a whole is very “aware” of trafficking in the Duluth area. My question is what do I now do with this awareness to help survivors of the industry and to prevent such things from happening to new victims? What is currently being done by local sexual assault groups such as PAVSA to combat trafficking and how can a social worker, or anyone for that matter, jump in and help?

Please don’t infer that I am in any way downing the efforts to inform people about trafficking — the more who know the better. But I do feel like there is a lack of discussion about action steps, and as a person whose clients and own family members have been affected by this issue I’d like to know less how to make people aware and more about how to do something about it.

East End Tailor »

I used to work in West Duluth, and West Duluth Sewing was conveniently accessed. I made a special trip over the last week, and to my disappointment they seem closed – as in not open for business anymore.  Anyway – Joanne was great – always happy – she could fix anything:  hem pants, repair gear, advise on relationship issues … (more…)

Information Overload – Need a virtual tutor »

Spent a few minutes with Google looking for a decent app or website we can direct our kids to for working on the skills and concepts being introduced in the classroom. We are open to a subscription service, but don’t want to commit without some endorsement or referral from a trusted PDDer. Sure, there is plenty out there for free, but weeding through advertisements and such makes it complicated and cumbersome at times – we’d also like to track progress. Any of you using anything you can recommend? Specifically looking for math, spelling and phonics for the K-5 audience.

Instead of work holiday party, seeking volunteering ideas »

That awkward holiday work party — where no one really wants to go, but feels obligated. Well, we want to do something different this year and need ideas! Last year, instead of apps and drinks while milling about awkwardly, we got to do a blitz build with Habitat for Humanity. It was a blast, and it really brought us together, while helping a family in need. Do you have any ideas for this year? There would be roughly 16 of us, and we would want to be able to work together for the most part. We could take a half day to work, or even a couple hours. The tough thing would be to try to schedule this activity on a Monday-Friday, sometime around the holiday season. Any suggestions welcome!

Travel Advice: San Diego »

In a few weeks, I’m going to be in the San Diego area for work . The Prioress is going to meet me at the tail end for a few days. (more…)

Greenhouse Advice »

I’m trying to make my yard and garden more inviting to pollinators, and I’m having trouble finding greenhouses in the Duluth area that don’t treat their flowers with long-lasting systemic insecticides that get into the pollen and nectar. I don’t want to bring flowers and shrubs home that will poison the bees and butterflies I’m trying to attract. Any recommendations for where to get untreated plants locally? I’ve gotten some at Burchfiel’s and some at Boreal Natives, but they don’t have everything I’d like to plant.

Looking for a local mortgage lender »

We are looking for a mortgage lender who will talk to us like humans with unique circumstances, excellent credit, and stable income sources. We are not looking for a mortgage lender who is vague, robotic, or uncreative.

Any suggestions, recommendations, or positive experiences to share?

Cast iron skillets don’t go in the dishwasher »

… and thus I am in the market for housekeeping services.  We have tried two cleaning services since moving to the area and they were [ahem] sub-par.  Can anyone refer me to a solid housekeeper?

Tackle shop recommendations, etc. — Advice for getting started fishing in Duluth »

I’m relatively new to Duluth, and I’m hoping that PDD folks will offer advice as I begin learning about fishing here in the city. What tackle shops should I visit for tips and gear? Anyone want to share the location of their favorite fishing hole?

Photo Archive »

I’m looking for a simple solution to “cloud type” photo storage.  Currently we attempt to consolidate all our photos on one computer via thumb drive and other work arounds.  My wife and I each have a smart phone, we have multiple digital cameras, and multiple computers to which photo’s end up being downloaded – so it gets to be a mess when we “organize” pictures.

It seems that it would make more sense for me to directly upload pictures to a remote site we all could access for viewing.  Editing would be constrained to one computer.  A nice option would be to have some sort of “syncing” tool similar to the iTunes and Google Drive solution suggested here by my earlier post.

My wife likes to edit photos and put together photo books while we are driving and therefore needs to be able to access the photos offline. So ideally, as photos were edited – these would also be reflected online post sync. There would not be a need to keep all photos locally – just the ones of interest. The syncing would only need to be with one computer; but uploads would be from various sources.

Beware: Duluth Attacking Otters »

Please beware of attacking otters in the Duluth area. There is at least one attacking otter on the loose at Island Lake and where there is one there has got to be more.

Anoka triathlete suffers 25 bites in otter attack in Island Lake near Duluth

Advice along the way »

We are hedging our bets that fuel will be down to under $3.00 a gallon come July, making a summer vacation affordable. All kidding aside, we are heading to Calgary for the big rodeo. We’ve got 3 weeks for the trip out and back. Could I get some advice from those of you who have been out that way?

(1) Thoughts on the route?
(2) Suggestions for campgrounds?
(3) Significant points of interest?

We’re pulling a tent-camper and do not need hookups. We can get by with primitive camp sites. Along with my wife, our two kids [6 and 8] will be making the trip.

Fierce loyalty, initial aloofness. »

This article reminded me of several posts on PDD over the years about newcomers having a difficult time establishing social circles in Duluth…

Minnesota Nice, explained

A lot of it hit close to home for me (even though I grew up & live across the border in Wisconsin, so I guess I’m not technically “Minnesota nice”), like the following:

In a nutshell, the state’s settlers from northern or central Europe — primarily Germany and Scandinavia — had a profound impact on how the social culture here developed, McKnight contends.

“The traditional culture of Norway/Sweden was for centuries based on the concept of One People, One Language, One Religion,” McKnight writes. “Swedes’ lifelong friends were chosen from among people they went to school with and their kinship group. An individual made friends slowly, but they were friends for life — in the true sense of the term ‘for life.’”

Anyone who has lived in Scandinavia, as McKnight did for years, knows that “it’s somewhat hard to get an ‘in’ there,” he said. But once the friendship is established, “all barriers to communication break down and there results a torrent of friendship, expressions of sincerity, and even personal confidences.”

The article’s part of an MPR series which you can read over here.
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Duluth: Say Ix-nay to the March 3 Rally »

I’m reposting here an open letter written to the Duluth community by Joel Kilgour, a local peace activist, and Sara Thomsen, a local musician. Basically, Duluthians are urged to stay away from the March 3 rally planned by a white supremacist group right here in the Zenith City.
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Duluth Plumbing Advice »

I need some advice on my circa-early-1900s plumbing. The tub plugs up about every 6 to 9 months. We snake out a good hair clog and move on with our lives. Tonight we can’t snake the clog. This happened one other time and we paid Roto Rooter a couple hundred dollars for a visit. The Roto Rooter guy tried to sell me some treatment for another couple hundred dollars that would smooth out the pipes and stop future clogs. It sounded like snake oil last time, but now I’m wondering if they can actually do something to help. So A) I’d like opinions on a good Duluth plumber to work on a clog and B) would like to know if the Roto Rooter treatment is worth $200 (or whatever it costs these days).

Digital Photography Workflow Help! »

Wondering if there are local photographers/graphic designers in Portslandia who are willing to help others figure out what they should/should not be doing in their digital workflow. I’m talking everything from camera settings to output. I’m sick of looking for answers in online forums. I need someone to sit down with me at my computer and let me throw questions at them. I’m running Lightroom 3 and Photoshop 4 on a Mac. Paid or unpaid help is appreciated!