Millinery Classes? Learn to make hats?

I’m gauging interest in the notion (ha!*) of teaching some small classes in millinery — that is, traditional hat-making. Not so traditional that you knit and then felt, but rather the kind that leads to possibly a fedora, but with many other shapes and options.

If I find that there is interest, I will go forth and find an appropriately sized space. You can see my work at, which I just mentioned in another post on a mostly unrelated subject, so please bear with me.

* A notion is a sewing item that is not fabric or thread — like buttons or scissors.

Question for Local History Buffs

On behalf of four 8th grade boys that I am assisting with National History Day projects I am seeking assistance from anyone who could point them in the right direction. Two boys are making a short ten-minute documentary about the Civilian Conservation Corps in this area and the other two boys are making an exhibit about the Duluth Canal. They are looking for additional pictures for their projects and anyone who may be available for an interview or to answer questions. Please reply here if you can offer any help and I will pass your e-mail information along to the students. If you have any tips for them I could pass on it would also be appreciated as well. They are very motivated and competing to represent our area at the national competition in Washington DC this June.

fountainheadmn @

Connolly’s Tom & Jerry Batter returns!

Coming soon to a store near you fall 2012! New manufacturer: Connolly’s, LLC.

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.

Eat Downtown!

Kate and I have been Eating Downtown lately, part of the annual promotion of downtown restaurants.

Eat Downtown

A plea

Donald Pridemore, Wisconsin Legislator, Says Single Parenting Leads To Abuse

I am starting to lie when people ask me where I grew up because of shit like this. If you aren’t aware, Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grotham, along with Wisconsin State Representative Donald Pridemore,  both Republicans, sponsored a bill in the Wisconsin Legislature that would mandate the state Child Abuse Prevention Board conduct public awareness campaigns emphasizing that single parenthood is a leading cause of child abuse.

The Rathskeller at Tycoons Alehouse

The Rathskeller, located in the sub-basement of the new Tycoons Alehouse and Eatery, opens Thursday, March 15.

This week is the official grand opening at Tycoons, which opened on New Year’s Eve. The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce is performing an official Happy Hour Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Thursday at 4 p.m., which will mark the opening of the Rathskeller. Tycoons is also introducing a new lunch menu this week. Check out Tycoons events on the PDD Calendar for grand opening hoopla and more.

Chester Creek Grows Giant Pulsating Brain

Minnesota All Hockey-Hair Team 2012

Duluth high-school hockey players did better than ever this year, with the Marshall Hilltoppers taking first place as a team!

Learning to Sew

My wife is looking for the best way to learn to sew — nothing in the community ed calendar for this semester, but maybe for the future?

What other ideas might you suggest?

Tour Duluth: One tired guy’s report

Did anyone else participate in Tour Duluth this weekend? Saturday was the last glorious day of the cross country ski season in Duluth, and the timing was excellent for the annual event sponsored by the Duluth Cross Country Ski Club.

Not to toot my own horn, but…here’s my little brag piece.

Reduced Parking Access to Lakewalk?

For the second time in as many weeks, I attempted to park near the Beacon Point Condos only to find parking severely restricted. Why do I feel like I’ve been taken in a give an inch, take a foot situation? It was bad enough the city permitted Beacon Point in the first place, but it was allowed under the premise that we’d all still have the same access to the area and so on. But I’m left feeling like an Apache who was told his reservation needs to be moved, and oh yeah, now it’s smaller too.

I’m not a native of Duluth. I moved here specifically for the availability of public land, parks, trails, etc. A piece of our freedom has been diminished, if anyone else cares. The big property taxes paid by the owners of Beacon Point appear to have swayed the local parking bureaucrats into closing the parking lot gate over the stormwater tank. Am I missing something here? Runners, walkers, and anyone else should have a fair opportunity to park in this area.

Local photojournalists film animal abuse in the South

Two local photojournalists are filming a documentary on animal cruelty in the South and the people working to change the culture there. David Cowardin and Joe Olivieri spent two weeks in the gritty areas of rural Alabama and are hoping to return for more footage and interviews. They launched a Kickstarter to raise funds for another tour South. You can donate here.

If their trip is funded, they would like to rescue a dog and find it a better home in Duluth. Anyone interested in adopting a pet can contact David at 320-290-0877 or cowar006 @ The adopter would only be responsible for the adoption fee.

This week: St. Patrick’s Day, Ides of March, Les Miserables, and more


Tuesday, March13
Nerd Nite is back at the Teatro with topics ranging from My Little Pony to calculating Easter.

Thursday, March 15
Les Miserables opens at the Duluth Playhouse and runs until the 25th. Some of the area’s best chefs are coming together to kill you at the Death by Chocolate event at Greysolon which will raise money for Arc Northland.

Friday, March 16
Luce gets taken over by local bands covering various other bands tonight and tomorrow with The Ides of March. Respect Your Old Man Poetry Slam will feature music, food, a silent auction, and poetry (obviously).

Saturday, March 17
Get your Irish on at one or more events going on around town tonight. R.T.’s is hosting a St. Paddy’s Day Meltdown with Cars & Trucks, the Acceleratii and Equal Xchange. Listen to traditional Irish music at Clyde with McInnis’ Kitchen and more. Duhb Linn Irish Pub has a plethora of Emerald Isle events including music, a buffet (today and tomorrow) featuring Irish cuisine, a mashed potato eating contest, green beer, and the unveiling of a new microbrew.

As always, keep checking the PDD Calendar for rad goings on around the Twin Ports area.

Mellow Iceberg Rides.

The scene down at the lake these days.