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Duluth Humans of New York

Somehow I missed that Duluth was mentioned on the popular Facebook Page, Humans of New York. Presently 3.2 million are fans of the page, which inspired a bestselling book of the same name. What can we learn about Duluthians in this post? We’re hardworkers who care about the women in our lives.


Fun While it Lasted

People’s Free Duluth Skate Rink now closed for the season, obliterated by snowpacalypse. Here we see it in its heyday, as well as its ignominious conclusion.


“I’ve been to Duluth” in The Great Outdoors

Here is another Duluth-in-the-movies sighting. From the 1988 film The Great Outdoors, starring John Candy and Dan Aykroyd. This shirt is worn by the camp host at the beginning of the movie.


Snow Swimming

Shanesaw and Scuba Steve have a little fun during today’s snow day.


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.


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Diorama-rama – March 29

Sarah Heimer says: “Hello all! Getting the word out that the Diorama-rama is happening this year on March 29 at Sacred Heart! This a call out to anyone/everyone interested in making a diorama for a super fun one night show. (For those of you who don’t know … a diorama is a box with a scene inside it.) Anyone is welcome to make and show one, the more the merrier! They can be any shape, size, theme that you want. It will be a night of music and art and fun and it only happens once every two years. Feel free to contact me for more info. Tell your friends!”


Duluth Band Profile: Wolf Blood

Duluth’s Wolf Blood combines heavy riffs with thrashy doom. Consisting of bassist Brian Wells, guitarists Mike Messina and Mindy Johnson, and drummer Jake Paulsrud, the band has just released a 7-track cassette. With songs ranging from “Witch” to “Dancing on Your Grave,” listeners should be prepared for a wall of sound.

Click the image above to hear an exclusive interview with Wolf Blood members as they describe the band’s sound.


Video Archive: 1989 Denfeld Hockey

It’s been 25 years since Denfeld played in the 1989 Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament. Through the miracle of shaky old VHS tapes, we take a look back. Above is the gloriously cheesy video profiling the school, produced for between-period entertainment.

Below are local TV news highlights of Denfeld’s route to the tournament.

Denfeld defeated White Bear Lake 4-1 in the first round of the state tournament. The videos below are the team introduction and White Bear Lake game highlights.

The Hunters lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to Rochester John Marshall in the semifinal game. The Hunters ultimately took third place in the tourney — a great performance by a great team

For Denfeld hockey videos from the previous year, visit the post “Video Archive: 1988 Denfeld Hockey.”


Best Play or Musical of 2013 (Final Ballot)

Of the 18 plays or musicals originally nominated for this poll, three have advanced to the final ballot — Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Cats and The Pillowman. Now it’s time to pick the winner.

What was the best play or musical of 2013?

This poll is now closed. The results were:

Cats (Duluth Playhouse Children’s Theatre) – 42.3 percent
The Pillowman (Renegade Theater Co.) – 33.3 percent
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Renegade) – 24.4 percent


Ideology and Ambivalent Ethics and More

I was lucky enough this week to attend the Pervert’s Guide to Ideology at the Zinema2 on Tuesday. It was a frustratingly joyous experience.


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Fly Fishing Movie – Rivers of a Lost Coast extended trailer

If any of you are like me and love the art of fly fishing, this new movie (Rivers of a Lost Coast) may interest you. There is something about grabbing your fly rod and box of flies in search of the illusive North Shore steelhead or casting dries for that beautiful trout on your favorite stream or lake. Fly fishing truly does have a unique way of connecting us to nature as evident in this new film. Tight lines!

At the turn of the 20th Century, a handful of pioneers carried their fly rods into California’s remote north coast and gave birth to a culture that would revolutionize their sport. For a select few, steelhead fly fishing became an obsessive pursuit without compromise.

Rivers of a Lost Coast is a new documentary that looks at our relationship to nature through the eyes of the most fabled angling community in American history. This surprisingly touching film was recently labeled a must see by the San Francisco Chronicle and Seattle Times. www.riversofalostcoast.com


Fish fry Fridays???

I see Tycoons has a new Friday Fish Fry. What are the other Fish Fry Fridays in the Duluth / Superior / South Shore / North Shore area? I’m willing to drive a while if the fish is good … any suggestions?


Ice Dam Cam

The shovel cam has been repurposed into the ice dam cam. It’s not nearly as fun as the shovel cam, it’s frustratingly hard to use, depressing and doesn’t get much done.


Poll: Best Play or Musical of 2013

This poll is now closed. The three plays advancing to the final ballot are:

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson – Renegade Theater Co.
Cats – Duluth Playhouse Children’s Theatre
The Pillowman – Renegade Theater Co.

The other nominees were:

Almost, Maine – Duluth Playhouse
Burnt Part Boys – Renegade Theater Co.
Collected Stories – Duluth Playhouse at the Underground
Everything You’ve Done That Hurt Me – one-man performance by Jonathan Manchester
Frozen – Duluth Playhouse at the Underground
God of Carnage – Duluth Playhouse
Godspell – Duluth Playhouse
How the Grinch Shut Down Christmas, or, I Saw Rudolph Twerking Santa Claus – Rubber Chicken Theater
Last Summer at Bluefish Cove – UMD Theater
Merry Wives of Windsor – Wise Fool Shakespeare
Metamophoses – Duluth Playhouse
The Princess Bride (live read) – Rubber Chicken Theater
Seussical the Musical – St. Scholastica Theatre
Tuesdays With Morrie – Duluth Playhouse at the Play Ground


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.

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T-Bird Tom

I wanted to share this video showcasing Duluthian Tom Maruska, who restores cars for the national Barrett Jackson auction. As a fellow car guy it is amazing to see the level of quality work that this man puts into restoring American classics.


People’s Free Duluth Skate Rink Now Open (Updated)

I wasn’t going to let a few inches of snow stop me from skating. I knew there was nothing but smooth ice under there. If you’ve got skates and feel like you missed your chance to skate the Big lake this year, here’s the only skate-able ice right now, expanded more since this video was taken. Bring your shovel and add an addition. I’ll keep the rink maintained as long as these conditions last. (Although it’s 20 inches thick, high winds are predicted for Thursday-Friday so we’ll see, use at own risk haha.) Location is off the Lakewalk just shy of the Vietnam Memorial.

UPDATE: Closed for the season, obliterated by snowpacalypse.


Lake Superior Ice Cover

Satellite imagery of the big lake from Jan. 4 to Feb. 16. Video by Paul Schonfeld. Music by Chilly Gonzalez. Sure to remind many of you of the hand jive.


Best Play or Musical of 2013 Nominations

Returning to our periodic infatuation with polls, the next item up on the PDD Awards list is determining Duluth’s Best Play or Musical from 2013.

Before we do that, we rely on you to supply the nominees in the comments. Ready. Set. Go.


Easter Wedding

We are looking to do a very small family only wedding on Easter Sunday and are wondering if anyone knows a non-religious officiant who might be able to do it. We are also wondering about a free or very cheap venue — outside would be wonderful but probably not smart at the end of April. Any suggestions would be welcome, thanks! We are not having a reception, just going out to dinner as a family at the Golden Inn where we got engaged!