Homemade Duluth Music

A couple days back, when I asked for get-me-up-to-speed-on-Duluth book recommendations, I was regaled with the collected consciousness of PDDers — I’ve bought a couple to read pre-arrival and will buy more when I arrive (Book Store at Fitger’s, right?).

Next question — music by artists from Duluth. What should I listen to as I prepare? Any/all genres. Contemporary, classic, anything in between. Also, if there are lists/resources that collect this information already, please point me in those directions too. Thanks!


I am contemplating joining the technologically advanced, putting down the dusty library book and purchasing an e-reader. Does anyone have any opinions about the pros and cons of the Kindle versus the Nook? I don’t necessarily need the tablet aspect of it, primarily I would use it for reading, probably listen to Pandora while reading, but that’s about it. I’m not big on games so I can live without that feature.

I heard a good question I have not been able to find the answer to yet. Is the Nook limited to only Barnes and Noble books or can you get books from Amazon too? Is one easier to use than the other? If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Temporarily retired songwriter looking for broken or malfunctioning iPhones

Okay, maybe this is plain wrong, but … I  need about 30 broken or malfunctioning iPhones to conduct an informal experiment in survival here on your planet. I’ll even pay for some if necessary, but if yours got ran over by a herd of drunken yaks, or did the backstroke in the tub, or just plain ain’t acting right anymore, and you’re thinking of disposing of it either properly or improperly, how about allowing me to intercept that shattered, twisted, all-too-quiet device for my experiment?

Please contact me at iduntaken @ yahoo.com if you’ve got one of these broken-down digital talking machines.

Leather-working materials in Duluth?

We have been trying to get a hold of some leather rivets and other tools for working leather to no avail.  Obviously the internet will have plenty of what we are trying to find, but the internet is for wussies.

I’ve tried Michael’s, Hancock Fabrics, Menards, Kmart, Target and Harbor Freight ToolsThatSmellBad.  While we were able to find a leather punch tool, nobody has any rivets for joining pieces of leather together.

There has to be someone around town that specializes in this kind of work, other than some place like Duluth Pack which doesn’t actually sell the stuff.

Extra points for a place with a variety of supplies.

Ten Minutes with Local Steampunk Artist Eric Horn

I just posted a fascinating look at the artist behind Chronicle: The Graphic Novel, which premiered at Friends of Industry last summer, at Ennyman’s Territory.

Homemade Tom & Jerry Batter

OK gang, due to the volume of discussion and frustration regarding Connelly’s vs. Mrs Bowen’s vs. Flaherty’s, I’ve taken it upon myself to root out a decent recipe for homemade Tom & Jerry batter. Here’s the result of my research and experimentation (it should be noted that I pilfered 95 percent of this from an online recipe):

12 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound butter, room temperature
3 pounds powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice

Beat egg whites and salt in a large glass or metal mixing bowl until stiff peaks form (when you lift your beater straight up the egg whites should form a sharp peak that holds its shape).

Beat the egg yolks to soft peaks in a separate bowl. Beat the butter and powdered sugar in another large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla to the butter mixture; mix. Stir in the cloves, allspice, and the egg whites; beat until well blended. Batter can be frozen or kept in refrigerator for several weeks.

To make a Tom and Jerry, put one jigger of dark rum and one jigger of brandy in a coffee cup, add a heaping tablespoon of batter, fill the cup with boiling water and garnish with a little ground nutmeg (most aficionados consider it a sacrilege to stir the batter, but I have one friend who won’t have it any other way).

Heaven!! A true PDD (Perfect Duluth Dram). And it only took me a half hour or so to whip up (plus this recipe makes a lot — several weeks worth for our household and a rotating cast of holiday guests). Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. My wife, upon hearing the recipe, remarked, “That’s cake frosting! No wonder people love it!”

One final caveat: use pasteurized eggs, available at Cub Foods, but — curiously — not at Mount Royal, last time I looked.

Cheers, and happy holidays!

Duluth Chicken Photo Shoot

Rolf’s Chicken Photo Shoot — another reason why I love this town.

Wii Repair

So, about 15 seconds after I bought my daughter a new Wii game for Christmas, the console died. I’ve been looking all over Google for anyone in town who can fix it, so that I don’t have to send it to Nintendo’s repair center in CA.

I found one place in MSP that I can ship it to, but I’d much rather go local. Best Buy, etc, can’t do it. Anybody know someone who can?

Getting Ready for Duluth, in Three Books

So, I’m definitely going to be doing the parachute/suitcase project I mentioned on PDD last week (thanks for all the feedback by the way!). I have slightly more than a couple weeks before plunging into 31 days of Duluth, and I figure I’ll have time to read a few books before arriving. Any suggestions on books that might help me prepare? Non-fiction, fiction, collections of essays, or anything that will help me get my head wrapped around the city. (Also, ideally the book will be available on Amazon.)

Tree Free vs. Free Tree

The benefits of cutting your own — a seasonal question.

Although it’s not for everyone, one thing I love about the cut-your-own experience up north is that in theory it is available to anyone. We own our own land, which simplifies things. But the Superior National Forest offers tree cutting permits ($5 apiece) and anyone is free to go cut one for personal use.* Be sure to follow theirFollow this link for more musings and photos.

An acceptable alternative?

I was at Cub Foods today and ran across some Flaherty’s Tom & Jerry batter in the freezer section. Is it an acceptable alternative to Connolly’s T&J batter?

Denfeld engraving still on MacArthur?

As most people know, the southern wing of the old MacArthur Elementary School was built in 1915 as Denfeld High School. (The modern Denfeld opened in 1926 and the old Denfeld became West Junior; MacArthur was built in 1957; West closed and became part of MacArthur in 1983; MacArthur was replaced with a new building this past fall). The photo above is of the 56th Avenue West entrance to the old MacArthur, which has always been considered the back door.

The section of the building that protrudes out and comprises the rear entrance is not original. It was built in 1994 to provide an elevator for improved handicap accessibility. There was a stone block over the entryway, covered by this addition, that read “Robert E. Denfeld High School.”

If anyone has old photos of the entryway, please post them. The old MacArthur is in the process of being gutted and prepared for demolition, so if that entryway exists under the current one and anyone would like it to be saved and either left on the current site as a monument to the old Denfeld or moved to the current Denfeld campus, the time to act is drawing short.

Update: All evidence points to the conclusion that the old Denfeld block was removed in 1994. Details in the comments.

This week: Celtic Thunder, Nerd Nite, holiday shows and more

Tuesday Dec. 13
Celtic Thunder brings its Heritage Tour to the DECC.

Wednesday, Dec. 14
Learn about the death of a sitcom and see the Duluth East Daredevils Robotics Team demonstrate the design, process and operation of its championship winning robot, Archie, plus many other nerdy happenings at Nerd Nite XIII.

Thursday, Dec. 15
SimpleGifts with Billy McLaughlin brings Holiday music to Sacred Heart.

Saturday, Dec. 17
There is a plethora of holiday events going on tonight starting with the Harbor City Roller Dames second annual Intra-League bout which divides the team into the Nut Crackers and the Slay Belles. Old Knifey and the Cutthroats Third Annual Holiday Variety Show will feature bands, dancing, comedy, Santa, and lots more. Bring your kids and their dolls to Glensheen for a special Holiday Tea. American Rebels, the Surfactants, and Atlas Mts. perform at Lake Ave Cafe in a Pre-Holiday Rock Extravaganza and Norm’s Bloody Christmas show will feature ColmeKill, Climactic, Jaundice and Impaler.

Keep checking the PDD Calendar for events!

Snowshoeing: Where to Start?

I am about 90% sure I am getting my first pair of snowshoes for Xmas this year. I have always wanted to get into this but need some advice on a few things. Besides the actual snowshoes, what kind of actual shoe is best to wear? Is snowshoeing something that needs to be practiced or is it pretty much walking in the snow? I live very close to Hartley Nature Center so that will be the main trail but where are some other good places to go in town? Any advice would be appreciated.

Question about Nerd Night

I was wondering about the tone of the Nerd Night events at Teatro Zuccone, as in, are they appropriate for children? I have an 11-year-old boy with Asperger syndrome who probably would like to see the robotics demonstration, but I don’t want to put him into any situations that he would not understand. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks a bunch people!