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April 30, 2008

Chester Creek Sweep - This Weekend

cccp.JPGChester Creek Sweep
This Saturday, May 3, 2008 from 9-11am
Meet at Burrito Union at 8:30 to sign up
1/2 price burrito, free soda, and free t-shirt for volunteers.

Come help clean up one of Duluth's gems (and of course now part of the SHT). I heard about this on my Brewhouse newsletter. I figured as much time as I spend at Chester, and as much as I hate seeing it trashed, I definitely have some sort of obligation to help out. Anyone else planning on going? I figure it'll be fun. Although I think I'll skip the free soda and just get a hempen ale afterwards. It'll be 5 o'clock somewhere! right?

Your Geek Culture Update

geekkingSOP.jpgTwo video offerings on your helping of geek culture this week. Both of these are 100% Geek King Approved!

I have to confess to counting myself among the Ewok haters of which Andrew sings in this moving choral tribute to the 25th anniversary of Return of the Jedi, but this video almost wins me over. I even found myself singing along. Watch it, if for no other reason, for the Billy Dee Williams cameo. It says in the notes it was recorded at a United Methodist Church, but not which one. I'd love to know if anyone finds out.

The second video was recommended by Adem here on PDD. It's an Engineer's Guide to Cats and it's a beautiful thing to behold. I especially chortled at the cat yodeling.

Please feel free to send me nominees for the Geek King Seal of Approval. This concludes this royal announcement.

2nd Chance to enter Grandmas Marathon

Security Jewelers is auctioning 1 entry that can be used for either Grandmas Marathon or The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. 100% of the proceeds from the auction will go to the Duluth Heritage Sports Center.

Grandmas is one of the running worlds premiere events and also one of the toughest local events to get into. If you missed out here is your 2nd chance.

Follow this link to go direct to the auction

Or you can access the auction from

Make any runners you know who may have missed out aware of this. Remember this is for the full marathon or the half.

Buy Local — Farmer's Market

I am particularly excited about the Farmer's Market this year since I will be living only 2 blocks away. The Farmer's Market opens this Saturday—although the good stuff doesn't really start appearing until June, when the yummy foods start growing and being harvested.

The farmers market, on the corner of Third Street and 14th Avenue East, opens at 7 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. I believe it's open until Noon. Here is a handy dandy map (or for most people it's just easier to say it's one block downhill from Burrito Union). Also the DNT posted a nice "In Season" guide here

Thank you, Dr. Hoffman


Albert Hofmann 1906 - 2008

April 28, 2008

Tristram Cary 1925-2008

cary_narrowweb__300x397,0.jpgTristram Cary, composer of music for many episodes of Doctor Who in the 60s and 70s, has passed away. He was regarded as a pioneer in electronic music. Sound the doo- WEEE-ooooooo in his honor.

[homepage][wikipedia entry]

Edit: Ron Grainer was the composer of the original theme song, not Tristram Cary as was erroneously reported in this obituary.

Lesson: Always check your sources.

Sound the dooo-WEEEE-oooo anyway.

Historic Praise for Duluth



A few of my favorite things ...

All the talk of the calc/watch got me excited..then this new millitary device made me just about ... er...well, in the words of Bud Backen, I had to be alone for the next part....but I now begin the quest for the musical counterpart for these gloves using the above guy's idea and an old hockey glove.

Otaku USA: I Am In It

Greeting true believers!

Just a quick note to let ya'll know that I've got four (yes, four!) pages of Japanese album reviews in this month's issue of Otaku USA Magazine. I know that there are occasionally geeky otaku types around here, and I know that there are plenty of music lovers around. Hopefully you'll be able to find something interesting in this month's magazine!

This is really big news for me, not to mention a bit of an honor. I've been a fan of OUSA from the start, and I know all the people involved are the cream of the otaku crop.

For more info on my Japanese music reviewing exploits, you can check out my J-music blog ZB's A-Z of J-Music, as well as the Japanese culture blog Japantor, which I also write for, along with hosting and producing the Japanator Radio show.

OK, back to your regularly scheduled Homegrown coverage. (Come see The Surfactants at Luce on Friday!)

Freeloader's Guide to Drinking

* * *
Just in time for Homegrown!
* * *

"Blizzard" Surfing

This Ain't Christmas Anymore...


i used to claim that homegrown was my christmas.

however, now that i am older and wiser... i have come to realize how immature that view was.

i have changed my view... as christmas is only one or two days of glory...

that is completely inadequate. this year... i am proud to indicate that homegrown is my hannakah. many many days of celebration.

Homegrown Photostream

Frank Nichols

Keeping with the same template as last year, I've [EDIT: and others] started tagging [our] Homegrown Flickr photos as homegrownmusicfestival2008. I think it would be cool if other Flickr users did as well, so that we might assemble a massive slideshow of the week's events.

To see photos from this year as well as years past, check out the Homegrown Pool on Flickr.

Otherwise, watch PDD for photo updates as Homegrown progresses.

April 27, 2008

Thursday is looking up, folks!

I was checking the weather on WeatherUnderground which I like for weather and the fun name and I noticed something, well, odd:


If you're having trouble seeing it, check out Thursday's high temperature. If you can't read it...

it says 94 degrees for the high. I did do a double check on a couple of other weather sites and it is truly a mistake on the WeatherUnderground site. But before reality and rationale set in, I was thinking the storms would be AMAZING with the rise and fall of such temperatures within a three-day period! George Kessler, eat yer heart out!

Homegrown Run -- Friday

Once again, in an effort to reduce acute alcohol poisonings by encouraging physical activity away from bars, I’m hosting the Fourth-Annual Homegrown Social Run.

Everyone is welcome to attend and jog, run, speed-walk and/or stand their truck drinking PBR tall-boys and heckling people for wearing short-shorts.*

+ Meet at the first parking lot at Chester Bowl (by the playground equipment)
+ We’ll leave promptly at 4:45pm on Friday, May 2.
+ Expect to spend about 45-60 minutes in the woods – I think we’ll do the route the NMTC uses for their Chester Creek race
+ The pace should be relaxed, as Al Sparhawk will be out of town

In the past, we’ve had four to 10 people come along (including such luminaries as: Dusty Olson, Tim and Brad Nelson, Matt Livingston, Rich Narum, Al Sparhawk, Chris Godsey, Chad Salmela, Marc Gartman, Jamie Ness and, of course, myself). Will this be the year Starfire graces us with his presence? What about Blah blah blah-ler? Might a certain mayor of Duluth attend? Will Burly Burlesque bust harrier skills like British aircraft? Join us Friday evening to find out!!!

Oddly, though I have many pictures of people drinking, I have none of people running.

* Please, no cock tanners.

Are you chicken?

HomegrownChicken3.JPG Coyote2.JPG Gremmels2.GIF

Chickens and coyotes and Gremmels, oh my! So it begins.

April 26, 2008

Monday Night Board Gaming & Help Make a Short Video!

We had so much fun board gaming this past Monday night, let's do it again! We'll meet at Dragon Port at 6:30 and we'll play whatever people bring. Ticket to Ride (USA, Marklin, and Eurpoe) and other games were mentioned.

Also, this weekend is Dragon Port's grand opening! Dragon Port Games & Comics is located at 3 South 4th Avenue West, pretty much it's the only thing between Michigan and Superior on 4th Avenue West so it's hard to miss.

Further, I'd like your assistance in making a short video that I'll subsequently post to PDD. I'm making it on my Mac so pretty much all you have to do is stare at the little cam and say a line or maybe two. I was thinking, originally, of playing all the parts myself, but I thought it would be more fun to get other PDD folks involved. If you're interested here's the script: Blogger X - A Drama.

So you can come for the gaming, come for the grand opening, come for the movie, or any combination of the three!

"Star Tours" Flash re-creation

Total flashback to Disney World...


This really should have the Geek King seal of approval.

April 25, 2008

the dreams of a boy

I was about 11 years old and a boy scout (i might have still been a cub scout at that time). like any self respecting scout, i had a subscription to boy's life. if you've never read boy's life, you were missing out. boy's life was the single greatest cause of loss and destruction to every tool in our house. i tried to build so many things in that magazine. that magazine probably gave birth to half the steam punks out there.

boy's life also did something else very well. it flooded the market with cheap greeting cards. yes the back of every boy's life had a catalog of things you could obtain by simply selling overpriced greeting cards. they taunted you with a picture of a go-kart and a 10-speed bike but you could never sell that many greeting cards in your life. no matter, my heart was set on this beauty.

oh how i dreamed of having a calculator on my wrist. the possibilities. i would never again be without a device to do quick calculations. i would be able to tell time and find the square root of 999999 all with one device.

so i signed up. and i sold, and i sold, and i sold. family were more than generous. no one needed that many greeting cards but they loved my effort. i'm fairly certain most of them still have a full box of cards in their basement somewhere. but i did it. i sold enough cards to adorn my wrist with the greatest technological advancement in the history of the world.

the day the watch arrived was one of the greatest days in my life. i opened the box and the smell of new plastic arose from package. i pushed a button. it was a weird rubbery knob that kind of rocked. there were so many buttons! i had never seen this many buttons on a watch before. and there's a stopwatch. sweet! i'm going to time my pinecar derby racer.

i stuck out my left wrist and strapped that baby on. it was too big. i was a scrawny kid and this watch was massive. no worry, one of the useful skills learned in boy scouts was how to punch leather. a plastic watchband is nothing compared to leather. my awl went through that black rubber like butter. now the watch fit. it was like king arthur pulling out excalibur. i hopped on my bike and swiftly rode over to my best friend jason's house. we marveled at it. we did calculations. "what is 1000 times 1000?" "make the alarm beep" "oh cool, spell a word. type 7734 and look at it upside down!"

a year later i went swimming and forgot to take off the watch. it died. i tried to dry it out but it was too late.

you can have your fancy TI scientific calculator. i'll take my casio calculator watch any day.




April 24, 2008

Missing Dog: Brittan

Hey guys, I read this blog a lot but don't really post, but now I do hoping for a little help. Our family dog Brittan went missing this evening around 14th Ave E. and 10th St. After searching for several hours we had to give up due it being incredibly dark and foggy.

He is 15 years old, and his senses are failing. He may not respond to calling his name (Brittan) because he can't hear well. He is about 35 pounds, and as you can see reddish color with a white stomach. He should be wearing a green collar with all his info on it. If you find him please either call the number on his tags, or email me at [email protected] (or you can just comment on this entry I guess)

Thanks for you help, if you have any questions about him because I forgot to mention something feel free to ask.

The Photobooth Project


The Photobooth

Your Geek Culture Update

geekkingSOP.jpgIn Geek Culture this week the focus is on translation.

shakespeareshades.jpgKevin Pease started it all last week by reimagining a passage of Pulp Fiction as if it had been written by William Shakespeare. This spawned others to do their own translations of Pulp Fiction scenes. Now it's a full fledged wiki with the objective of translating the whole of Quentin Tarantino's iconic film into a Shakespearean play. Here's a sample:

JULES: Speak 'What' again! Thou cur, cry 'What' again!
I dare thee utter 'What' again but once!
I dare thee twice and spit upon thy name!
Now, paint for me a portraiture in words,
If thou hast any in thy head but 'What',
Of Marsellus Wallace!
BRETT: He is dark.
J: Aye, and what more?
B: His head is shaven bald.
J: Hath he the semblance of a harlot?
B: What?
JULES strikes and BRETT cries out
J: Hath he the semblance of a harlot?
B: Nay!
J: Then why didst thou attempt to bed him thus?

cyberjesus.jpgThe L33T will inherit the earth! Mikebert has translated the Lord's Prayer into leet speak. Here it is:
0ǔr $¥$@dM!n, \/\/|-|0 ©|-|!££$ !n |-|34\/3|\|
ph34r3d β3 7|-|¥ |\|@m3
†|-|ÿ p\/\/n@g3 ©0|\/|3, †|-|ÿ $©r!p7$ b3 d0|\|3 !n /earth @$ i7 !$ i|\| /heaven.
$33|) u$ 7h!5 |)@ÿ oǔR d@!£ÿ R0|\/|$.
f0rG!\/3 u$ 0ǔr n00b 3xP£017$ @$ \/\/3 f0rG!\/3 $©r!P7 | R3\/34£ t0 u$ |\|07 Ζ3R0 |)@ÿ \/u£|\|$, βu7 $A\/3 u$ fR0|\/| t3h RIAA.
f0r 7|-|!|\|3 i$ t3h |\|37\/\/0R|<, @|\|d t3h rm -rf*, @|\|d @££ 0ǔR β@$3 @r3 β3£0|\|G t0 j00, f0R3\/3R @|\|d 3\/3R.
Thankfully, for n00bs, Mikebert translates it back into English with annotations. If you are rusty on l337 $|°34|< you may need a primer.

cyberpunkpc.jpgFor the last translation Jake von Slatt reimagines his modern PC into the Victorian age with a step by step guide of his process.

Please feel free to send me nominees for the Geek King Seal of Approval. This concludes this royal announcement.

Carmody Irish Pub

the SuperTacks - Friday April 25th - Carmody Irish Pub - 10:30 p.m. - No Cover - No Tan Cocks

April 23, 2008

Birth Stories

ICAN of the Northland meets this Sunday, 4/27, at 3:30 p.m.
Duluth Seventh-day Adventist Church
3210 Decker Road (just above Piedmont)
The topic is Birth Stories.

The mission of ICAN (the International Cesarean Awareness Network) is to improve maternal-child health by reducing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting VBAC.

What did you think Duluth?


Orienteering (shameless plug)

Calling all intrepid explorers of the wilds of Duluth...

Befuddled by maps and confused by compasses? Learn how to find your way in the great outdoors and protect yourself from getting lost. I am teaching an Orienteering class this spring through the Duluth Public Schools' Community Education Program. The class is open to everyone and anyone, all skill levels, though it will be tailored for the beginner/novice. I will be giving the class at Lincoln Park School May 7 & 14, 6-8 PM, and again at Central High School June 9 & 16, 6-8 PM. We'll cover the basics of map-and-compass navigation (no GPS!) and do some fun games and activities. The first class of each session will be all indoors; during the second period we'll go outside, so wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather. Bring your own compass if you have one.

The cost for the class is only $10. Register through the Community Ed Program website, here for the May class (register by May 1st!). Registration for the June class isn't available yet, but should be soon.

April 22, 2008

Dose on the geritol and come party with some "middle age educators"!

apron_siteimg2.jpg....and some hot apron models as Tangier 57 and Apron Elecance team up 7pm until 10pm, Saturday May 3rd at the RedStar Martini Bar for the 10th annual Homegrown Music Festival. Racheal Hart and friends will show three sets of her coquettish creations while the swank sounds of the region's premier psychedelic elevator music band-not-a-band-but-a-vibe gets to play along. Not bad for 125 years worth of middle aged educators...wouldn't you say? Oh but there's MORE! T57 will also be releasing the 2 companion CDs which complete the magnum opus triptych we've been working on for the last year. Tangier 57: Last Night Never Happened was the first release and is now available on itunes. Tangier 57: Moves the Masses - featuring Ken Buehler and Tangier 57: Space is the Place are the next two available for the first time on this very night....oh...so much going on, how do us old fuddy duddys keep up? So please, we humbly ask you come to visit us 7pm until 10pm, Saturday May 3rd at the RedStar for the 10th annual Homegrown Music Festival.


vallet parking for your invacare chair by Paul Lundgren

Homegrown on KUWS this Thursday

Hey everyone! A few of us who volunteer with Homegrown are going to be on 91.3 KUWS this Thursday at 10pm with DJ Walt Dizzo giving away a couple free week passes and some Homegrown Rawk and/or Roll: Starfire's MIx CDs. Call in and ask us all your questions about the festival, or just listen in as we spill all of Homegrown's secrets.

Victory awaits you!

Given BadCat!'s comment I'm starting to get a whole new appreciation for this game.

I suppose it's better than having Aggravation and then going Bonkers and having to say you are Sorry, but I suppose that's Life.

We did not play Stratego... euphemistically or otherwise...


The triumphant return of the PDD Game Night!
Thanks to everyone who came! Thanks to DragonPort Games for allowing us to take over their backroom!
Last night's game: A rousing rout of RoboRally!

(Photos taken with my Blackberry... sorry, Edge, I'll get a good photo of you next time!)


April 21, 2008

Girl on Girl Stratego


In honor of King Geek Ironic1, I searched the memory banks and found this shot of actual girl gamers gone wild ... er... with stratego. And ther are those of you who didn't believe me. BTW, I'm SOOOO dead for posting this pic..problem is I dont know if it's peepers or brandy that will get me first. Here's to living dangerously.

Now, the story depens as, after searching for a good stratego link for above, I cam across this

As Bruno Faidutti rightly reminds L'Attaque - the ancestor of Stratego - was invented in France. It was in fact designed by a lady, Mademoiselle Hermance Edan, who filed a patent for a "jeu de bataille avec pieces mobiles sur damier" (a battle game with mobile pieces on a gameboard) on 11-26-1908. The patent was released by the French Patent Office in 1909 (patent #396.795). Hermance Edan had given no name to her game but a French manufacturer - still to be identified - was selling the game as L'Attaque as early as 1910 (as advertised in a Parisian department store catalogue: see R.C. Bell, 'Games to play', 1988, p. 39). A red army was opposed to a blue one (already!).

original here

Here's to the girl gamer!

Cold Beer in Hell

Lake Superior IPA FIRKIN at Hell's Kitchen Tuesday
The usual details, tapped at 4p.m. $3 pints till it's gone.
When it's gone it's gone.

310 S Lake Ave Duluth, MN 55802 (218) 727-1620

I need some Scandanavian bread.


UPDATED: Now showing the pulla I made yesterday

I'm looking for some pulla (Finnish cardamom breakfast bread) or kanelbulle (Swedish version, with cinnamon). Is there anywhere in Duluth that makes either of these? European Bakery sells "specialty breads", but I don't know what that means. Johnson's Bakery & Coffee Shop doesn't have a Web site.

It's good to know that there are many places that have the stuff -- but where is the best?

Recommendations for the Twin Cities will be appreciated as well.

I want some troutses.

I'm wondering if anyone here does any trout / fly fishing and is looking for a fishing mate?
We could grow old wryly out-of-control white beards and wear goofy outfits.

I'm 23 and looking for river / stream fishing, and mostly for places "off the beaten path."

Send me a message at [email protected] if you want to explore the uncharted territories of the Duluth Area.

April 20, 2008

Cafe Racer for sale

I am selling one of my motorcycles, a 1977 Honda CB400f. I can deliver it to Duluth. IMG_1194.jpg


From the Photo Archive | Fall 1987


They were all past their primes, but they were still far more entertaining than the younger wrestlers. Da Crusher, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and "Superstar" Billy Graham put on quite a show at the Duluth Arena over 20 years ago.

This match was scheduled to be between Hercules Hernandez and Billy Jack Haynes. They had fought in Duluth a few months earlier and were having a bitter feud. Obviously, the only way to settle it would be a strap match or an old-fashioned whipping match or whatever it was promoted as.

But Billy Jack Haynes was replaced on the card by the Superstar. Da Crusher was in his corner for the purpose of preventing Heenan from interfering in the match. I remember Hercules taking a lot of punishment. I think he was body-slammed on a table pretty viciously.

At the end, of course, Heenan took a lashing and the place went wild.

April 19, 2008

Shadowfax tossed his head and cried aloud...


EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — A horse that appeared in the “Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy will make an appearance next weekend in western Wisconsin.

Blanco — better known as Shadowfax from the movies — will appear with current trainer Cynthia Royal next Friday through Sunday during a clinic at Merrimount Morgans Stable between Holcombe and Cornell.

Blanco, a trick horse, is known for his ability to work without restraint and to respond to vocal and visual cues. Blanco is an Australian Andalusian gelding and was bred in Australia. He was imported to the U.S. from New Zealand, according to the Equine Extravaganza Web site.

In the movie series based on the books by J.R.R. Tolkien, Shadowfax is the fastest horse in Middle Earth, and a descendant of the Mearas race of equines. The wizard Gandalf tamed Shadowfax, who later came to possess the renowned horse as a gift from King Theoden, according to a “Lord of the Rings” fan site.

The clinic teaches people how to communicate with and train a horse. The Royals, who are based in San Diego, have been offering clinics across the U.S. and Canada.

Sandra Ricker, owner of the stables, couldn’t project the number of participants but said interest has been high.

“I’ve heard of quite a few people who have indicated that they want to bring their children or they themselves have seen the movie and want to get up close and see the horse,” Ricker said.

Besides appearing in the “Lord of the Rings” movies, Blanco also has been featured in the “Hercules” TV series and numerous commercials.

He will star in the upcoming Las Vegas show, “IMAGINE — Discover the Fantasy,” a live theatrical production showcasing creatures of myth and legend produced by Royal.

April 18, 2008

From the Wrestling Magazine Archive | Summer 1988

Slant-eyedSlaughter1.JPG Slant-eyedSlaughter2.JPG

This is part of an ad from Wrestling 88 magazine, published by T.V. Sports Inc. It's for a videotape that brings "the dynamic action of Japanese women's wrestling into your own home" for "only $29.95."

I remember looking at this ad 20 years ago, when I was 15, and being amazed that someone would choose such a racist title. I also remember thinking that someday, many years later, I would be even more amazed by it. And now the prophecy has been fulfilled.

The thing is, I'm not sharing this with the Internet world because I'm outraged and offended by it. I'm sharing it because I have to admit I think this ad is hilarious.

It's not hilarious because it stereotypes Japanese people and I get a racist kick out of that. No, it's hilarious because it makes me imagine a meeting in which some person comes up with this idea, thinking it's awesome, and then everyone else at the table agrees.

Duluth Gallery Hop !!!TOMORROW!!!

Support Local Art!!!

Don't forget that tomorrow is the 18th Annual "Art for Earth Day Gallery Hop!" Most of our wonderful local galleries will be hosting their annual open house from 11 to 5 tomorrow. There will be a free shuttle running between all the galleries Downtown and in Canal Park. Entertainment is being provided by over a dozen buskers that have been placed near all the galleries.

Start your day at the Depot where there is plenty of parking. You can hop on the shuttle and ride for free all day long! Make sure to pick up a guide at any of the galleries which lists all participating galleries and has shuttle routes and times.

Hope to see everyone out!

Chester Bowl Playground INstall

Does anybody here know what day the new Chester Bowl Playgorund is being installed? Better yet, does anybody here know who to contact to volunteer?

April 17, 2008

Best Photo of 2008, Thus Far

Six men go to Gronk's in Superior, dragging photo and lighting equipment with them. They order a 6-pound (!) "Enger Tower Burger." And then they completely devour it on camera.

Excellent. So damn excellent.

[Note: Be sure to click on "view large" for true enjoyment.]

Lost Doggy

Our friend and his dogs were walking in the woods along West Skyline parkway and 8th street today when one was hit by a car and ran away. If you live in the area and see a medium sized, red, short-haired dog, her name is Chili. She has tags and you should please call Dougherty veterinarian services. Pictures to follow.

Monday Night Board Gaming at Dragon Port Games & Comics

Monday Night PDD Board Gaming returns! We'll meet at Dragon Port Games & Comics this Monday, April 21, at 6:30pm.

I'll bring along Settlers of Catan (with the Seafarers expansion) and Ticket to Ride (USA, 1910, and Marklïn versions) and you can bring whatever you want. We can decide on what to play when we get there. I'd be interested in learning Puerto Rico if anyone brings that. Also, in the past we've had enough for 2 or 3 games going at the same time. So we can set up tables as needed.

In the past we've ordered out for food or brought our own.

Dragon Port Games & Comics is located at 3 South 4th Ave West.

Geek Powers Activate!


...form of data center

Good to Know


April 16, 2008

The crib's origin story?


This barn has nothing to do with the wooden crib, but it is made of wood, and it is pretty exciting and it is also where you can see movies this summer. The Free Range Film Festival is officially open for submissions, so send us your moving pictures before June 15th:

vacation-northshore, oahu

dick's roast-oahu 08 048 small.JPG
surfing season had ended but the waves were great for us!


9-20-07 DULUTH, MN Get Out Your Atlas and Look at Minnesota. See Caption, Below Photo

Geek News

kinggeekhobbit.jpgThanks to his newly acquired title as King of the Geeks, it was announced today that Ironic1's beard has been chosen as the shoot location for all forest settings in Peter Jackson's new Hobbit movie.

Congrats your majesty.

show saturday night

LittleRipley3 small.JPG

Banner photos ...

So most of the pictures are visible on the Flickr site (as linked to on the right-hand margin ... yeah, keep scrolling down). However, there are a couple which aren't -- what gives?

Specifically, I want to know the background story to the black-and-white one that features some girls dancing and an old guy sort of standing there eyeballing them.


Come run with us on Friday, May 2 at Chester Bowl -- 5:45pm. About an hour of jogging on the trails.

Questions 1 2 3

I'm originally from England (where the history comes from, as Eddie Izzard once said) and I've been here a year. I've got a few burning questions and rather than spam PDD with a deluge of posts I'll gather them up into this handy, cut out 'n keep metapost.

so, in order of flammability,

We're looking to buy a house, can anyone recommend a really good realtor?

I'm in the job market, I'm checking out the DNT listings, minnesotajobnetwork, minnesotaworks, the university sites and radio station sites. Are there any other resources I should be aware of? My background is in radio, sound production, composition advertising and some web design.

I'm working on a web site and I'm stuck on one page where, after a search, results are returned which are the URLs of files to download. I need to serve the file to the user and also create a record of what that user has just downloaded. I'm using DW, MySQL and PHP and I can't get the insert record behavior to work. Does anyone have any PHP chops who could take a peek at the code and point out the obvious to me?

I'm a musician ... guitar, bass, drums, keys, nose flute. I'd love to play out. If anyone's interested gimme a shout.

I can't think of anything else of import, thanks for looking :)

2nd Annual Bike Swap this weekend

2nd Annual Bike Swap!

The 2nd Annual Bike Swap will be held this weekend, April 19th & 20th, at Continental Ski & Bike at 1305 East 1st Street. It takes place from 10am-4pm both days, and you can pick yourself up a new bike for cheap, or sell a bike you no longer need.

On top of being able to find a great deal, you're helping out a great cause...the United Way. 25% of your purchase or your sales go to the United Way of Greater Duluth.

There's other great things going on at the swap, too, so either check out www.continentalski.com or call (218) 728-4466 for more info!

Dragon Port Games Open for Business

Like a phoenix, out of the ashes of Robin Goodfellow, Dragon Port Games has risen and has settled in its new location at 3 South 4th Avenue West, between Superior and Michigan and not too far from Harbor City HS. The Grand Opening will be April 25 but they are currently open for business, but I'm not sure of the hours.

Frankly I'm amazed that after Robin Goodfellow closed at the end of February how fast these gamers and former employees were able to move the inventory and get things going at a new location. Best wishes to Steve and Donny and everyone down at DPG.

April 15, 2008

Your Geek Culture Update

geekkingSOP.jpgAs part of my royal duty I have promised to keep PDD abreast of geek culture. So I present my first picks to receive the Geek King Seal of Approval!

redshirtdeath.jpgStatistical Analysis of "Red Shirt Deaths" in Star Trek:TOS - Does reality hold up to the hype? How dangerous is it really to beam down to a planet wearing a red shirt? What can Starfleet do to improve workplace conditions?

elementeo.jpgFourteen Year Old Creates a Chemistry CCG - Elementeo combines the fun of trading card games with the thrill of the periodic table. What's not to love?

steampunk_vader.jpgStar Wars gets Steampunked - Sillof's Workshop does a mechanized, Victorian take on A New Hope.

Please feel free to send me nominees for the Geek King Seal of Approval. This concludes this royal announcement.

I am a zombie.

A few weeks ago, we talked a lot about surviving the Zombiepocolypse. Now, find out if you could TRULY survive!


Guy fishing at Gooseberry


I know there are a lot of winter freaks out there who love the snow. By contrast, I am enjoying watching the snow melt.
Gooseberry Falls is roaring loud right now and worth the trip. I took this picture of a guy fishing.

April 14, 2008

Clean Up!!!

With the spring melt upon us, my family and I have been enjoying the lovely outdoors even more frequently than usual. However, with the snow melt comes the annual discovery of six months worth of trash that has been buried beneath it. How about, as Earth Day approaches, we all take the time when we are out and about to pick up trash and recyclable items so they do not end up in our creeks and lakes as the run off continues! No special effort needed. Just bring a small bag with you on your travels and pop those cans and bottles in.



I'm learning how to drive a manual transmission, and just the thought of driving up and down the great hills of Duluth with a stick shift nearly throws me into panic attacks. Anyone have any advice for me, from hills to avoid, tips for a n00b, or good practice places (that have long open areas and no one to hit)?

The picture is from an old soviet road safety manual. "Onacho" is Russian for "Danger!" - pronounced "oh-pas-no"

The most EXCITING part about Friday's storm

superior crib.jpg

So did it float over to the beach on top of a powerful wave? Was it dragged at the bottom of the lake? How quickly will it become buried in its new resting spot?

April 13, 2008

I don't mean to be a cynic, but...

Isn't this simply common sense?

Girl who says something we already know

Nothing wrong with spreading good will, but to be lofted up for it seems a little silly to me.

Geoff Herbach, new novel, at Northern Lights Thursday


Author Geoff Herbach reads from his book “The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg” at Northern Lights Books and Gifts, 307 Canal Park Drive, Thursday at 7 p.m. He’ll be joined by Sam Osterhout, a fellow member of the Minneapolis live lit group, the Lit 6 Project. A reception will follow the reading.
Sam and Geoff met at a Vegan convention in 2002. They founded the Lit 6 Project while attempting to sing "Summer Loving" at a Karaoke bar. They’re also part of the quirky universe known as “The Electric Arc Radio Show,” which airs in the Twin Cities.
The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg, set for national release April 15, “is a darkly comic, extraordinary peek into the delicate mind of a suicidal no-hoper,” writes Tish Cohen, author of Town House. “T. Rimberg is a superbly crafted character: death obsessed and soulful, resentful and ashamed, chivalrous and scruffy. In his brilliant debut novel, Geoff Herbach parks good and evil side-by-side in the sandbox and, with masterful confidence, allows them to figure things out for themselves."
The author is the son of former Duluthian Max Herbach, a multilingual local raconteur, video artist and retired communications executive at Minnesota Power and ALLETE.

Geek Prom 2008


My photos are up on Flickr. I tagged them GeekProm2008.

April 12, 2008

Donovan Does Duluth

Our latest April storm was more a heroic and superior gale than a blizzard. When people flocked to the lake shore to experience the howling breeze and explosive waves, they were trying to catch the wind, like '60s folksinger Donovan crooned so long ago. Listening to the song again in a new YouTube movie makes me puzzle over the lyrics once more. Does anybody know what Donovan is singing right before the line "we'll try and catch the wind." ??

April 11, 2008


Thanks for letting me lead your geek kingdom for the past year.

Big tree kills little tree


I'll be in mourning for a while over this one. I just planted my little Autumn Blaze Maple last fall. He had so much promise; so much life ahead of him. I never dreamed he'd be crushed by his big brother in a tragic accident.

Moving Advice

I am going to be moving back into Duluth from Two Harbors this summer and I'd like some recommendations.

1) What internet service are you using and would you recommend it? I can't go back to dial up. Good, fast, reliable service is a priority for me.

2) If you have recommendations on TV services I'm open. I've pretty much told the kids if they want cable it can come out of their allowance. I just don't watch TV enough for it to be worth it.

3) What waste removal service do you use and would you recommend it?

April Flocking


From the DNT website closings:

Skywarn training class April 10

Due to the impending blizzard, the the National Weather Service Skywarn training class that was scheduled for tonight in Duluth has been canceled.

April 10, 2008

My Geek Prom Experience is Saved!

Not that I was worried about having a bad time at Geek Prom, I was just afraid I'd have to show up missing an essential piece of my costume. True, no one may have noticed, but I would have noticed!
Despite moving two times in two years (both times hurriedly stuffing random items into boxes), I was able to locate said necessary piece of costume (after only a few days of searching).
Anyway, so I guess the point of this is that I'll be at Geek Prom with all my geeky bling on. Blizzard or not, I hope everyone will be there to join me! :D

Surfers Before the Blizzard

Check out this short video snippet of some crazies surfing on Lake Insanity near Lester River today just before the onset of the blizzard.

I geek, therefore, I am.

tamara made this stew and took the picture
Pre-Cooked Double Cream Stout Roast with cool beer foam action!
tamara made this stew and took the picture
Post-Cooked Double Cream Stout Roast

If I had to figure what I'm the most geeky at, it'd have to be cooking (and the subsequent eating!) I love to cook. I pore over ritzy food magazines and drool at the knives that cut cans in mid-air. My pasta pot is like my third arm. I belong to the Cooking Club of America. I love making comfort food or food that has unpronounceable ingredients that I can only order online from a great store like Kalustyans... I buy antique cooking implements (and use them a lot!) I have a whisk collection.

Yup, I'm a food geek.

Anyway, I was pondering if a food geek could really be a geek in the traditional sense of the word. So I wikipedia'd geek.

According to said Wikipedia, "Formerly, the term referred to a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken, bat, snake or bugs." Hmm... biting the head off live animals. Food. Biting. Animals. Food.

So it seems to me that a food geek must be the original geek, at least if you believe Wikipedia's account of the word. And I do... oh yes, I do.

Oh, and the recipe for the above, which I made last Sunday:

1 beef roast
1 lb bag baby carrots
5-6 Klondike Rose potatoes
1 yellow onion, sliced big
1 cup chicken or beef broth
11 oz Bell's Double Cream Stout (yup. That's right. 11 ounces. Because you need to drink the other ounce!)
1/2 stick butter
salt & pepper to taste

Place beef roast in slow cooker. Put carrots, onion and potato around the roast. Add the broth. Add the beer. Watch it foam all cool! Put butter on top of everything and then sprinkle salt/pepper on top of all of that. Slow cook it for 4-5 hours on high or 8-9 hours on low. Enjoy!

Voices of the Lake Speaker Series Cancelled

The Voices of the Lake Speaker Series featuring the Rock Pickers Guide to the North Shore has been cancelled for tonight and is rescheduled for next thursday, April 17th, at 6:30 pm. If there are any questions please contact Sara Kubarek at 218-740-2013. Sorry for the inconvenience!

worst website ever?

so i got interviewed by kuws for the geek prom. i headed over to the kuws website to see if they had the story online and low and behold i was greeted by a mess of a website. perhaps a middle school is doing pro-bono work for kuws.


so my question is, what is your nomination for worst local website layout? other than dcb that is.

**edit** i love kuws. they are a great radio station and let me dj there in college. their reporting is top notch and they have the awards to prove it. their website however is not good. i'm playing around. joking if you will. good lord people.

Pregnancy Info Night CANCELLED

Pregnancy Info Night is cancelled due to weather, rescheduled to June 12, 6-9 p.m. at Peace Church, 1111 N 11th Ave E.

Wake up call

There was a car crash around 2:30 am on Thursday morning.
Not many details but apparently the truck that flipped was in pursuit by state patrol.
Both (I think there were two) passengers are alive.
The blue car (Taurus) that was hit while parked is my girlfriends.

Perhaps a couple more photos on my Flickr page.

April 09, 2008

The Lovely Spring Blizzard

Hey everyone, I grew up in Duluth/Superior and absolutely miss the weather. I know you've all got a crazy blizzard coming, and I'm stuck down in Madison, WI where its' cold and RAINING! (I hate the spring).

So, I'm totally jealous and wondering if anyone will be posting pictures. Pleeeease post cool pictures of all the snowfall if you're able to take any! Thanks so much, and be safe everyone!

Homegrown Warmup


Homegrown volunteer hoedown tonight at the BU. Swing by and pick up a copy of the Field Guide.

Duluth Doctors


Suggestions needed. Looking for a female doctor, relatively young, liberal-minded, advocate for alternative medicine, that works in general practice or ob/gyn. I am having trouble with all the fuddy-duddies that my insurance company recommends. And it's no fun having the wrong person tell you to drop trou and spread em.

Suggestions for men's doctors also good... let's spread the word about good doctors in the Duluth area.

April 08, 2008

is 84 the new 27?

Now that we can pry the gun from his cold, dead hand, I noticed that Charlton Heston died at the age of 84. Also dead at 84 in the past year, among other notables, were Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Norman Mailer. In recent memory, Pope John Paul II also cut down in the prime of his life at 84. Is this the new 27? If so, we've got to put up with a few more Rolling Stones records. Just an observation.
Oh, and Duluth, Duluthy-luth.

April 07, 2008

Peace Turns Fifty.


The symbol was simple--a few straight lines inside a circle.

(apologies for the borrowed image.)

Needed - Crimping Iron for Geek Prom

gh_crimp.jpgMy friend, Heather, is in need of a crimping iron to put the final touch on her geek style, if such a term is not an oxymoron. If you are in possession of such an artifact please contact me for arrangements. Thanks!

The Future Has Officially Arrived


Believe you me, I'm as upset as anyone about the lack of flying cars and ray guns in this 21st century of ours. Most times the future, as was advertised in the science fiction of days gone by, looked quite, well, futuristic. Look around most days and everything is just the same as it's been for decades. But, then I saw this new riot gear on some French cops beating up some protesters. How freakin' sweet are these outfits? I'm sorry I ever doubted you "Freejack".

April 05, 2008

Best watched while drunk, if at all

April 04, 2008

(Bike) Scavenger Hunt.

I am thinking of throwing together a little scavenger hunt on one of these upcoming weekends. Just posting here to see if peeps are interested. Prefer bike for transport, although rollerblades, hoverboards, big-wheels, and anything human-powered would be allowed. It will involve a start and finish, in diffent locations, as well as about $5 for a couple goofy purchases. Just posting to see if anyone would be interested.

Weather report


The snow in the yard of my woodsy Kenwood neighborhood home: 14 inches


The snow in some yard on Superior Street: 0 inches

GOD ROCKS trailer

Enjoy!! The trailer for our new film GOD ROCKS! Check it out on YouTube or at our website www.4trackfilms.com/godrocks/trailer

Watch for the Duluth Premiere - COMING SOON!

Ninety-Two Cent Sandwiches

sandwich.jpgThis afternoon, Friday, April 4th, 2008 penny-pinchers take note. The Erberts & Gerberts restaurant at 232 W 1st St is offering ninety-two cent sandwiches starting at 3:30 pm.

* What: Cheap subs.
* Where: Erberts & Gerberts downtown.
* When: 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Fri., Apr. 4th.

April 03, 2008

Duluth spring, such as it is

Duluth doesn't really get spring, but we're hungry for it anyway. That's why we like to go down and kick ice chunks at the shoreline, pick up trash that's been covered by snow for a month, show off our doggie's new sweater. See the last March weekend on YouTube, or go fly a kite!

Post-It Notes


[ Text written by you, in which you make the topic relevant to PDD readers. Text written by you, in which you make the topic relevant to PDD readers. Text written by you, in which you make the topic relevant to PDD readers. Text written by you, in which you make the topic relevant to PDD readers. Text written by you, in which you make the topic relevant to PDD readers. Text written by you, in which you make the topic relevant to PDD readers. Text written by you, in which you make the topic relevant to PDD readers. ]

Some examples of good PDD posts:

Input desired.
Kids these days!
From the Photo Archive | Spring 1987
SPECIAL REPORT UPDATE: Mayor’s Lawn Looks Fabulous!
Crazy Surfing Weather

This isn't the only formula for making a good PDD post, but it's my personal favorite.

Things that make PDD posts good:
- Links
- Notices of upcoming events
- Questions asked of the community

Ways to make your post stupid:
- Steal photos/jokes from other websites.
- Post YouTube videos without commentary.
- Repost MySpace bulletins.

What I like to remember is that if it takes no effort for you to make a post, chances are, no one wants to read it.

MNTV Call for Entries


Filmmakers! Submit your short films for the chance to earn cash and air on TV! MNTV is a three-part series of short films made by Minnesota media artists and aired on Twin Cities Public Television. Guidelines and application form are available in English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali on the IFP Minnesota website, http://www.ifpmn.org/mntv.html


Questions? Contact Lu Lippold, [email protected]
651-644-1912 x106.

April 02, 2008

Tasting Freedom.

(I dug this up while reading January's Harper's Weekly magazine in the break room today at work.)

From responses by the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, in Fort Greely, Alaska to a recent survey on new MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat).

The vanilla pudding is so good I ripped it open, licked the inside, and rolled around on top of it like a dog.

Am I supposed to add water to the peanut butter dessert?

Shitcan the meat chunk and give out more granola.

I don't personally like the cheese, but I can trade with it.

Should add Copenhagen dip.

Why in God's name would you put a vegetable in a MRE?

It sounded like a flatulence symphony in my tent all night.

The way it turned my mouth blue flooded my mind with childhood memories, and for a moment I was at peace.

positively 3rd st intersection march 15th high noon...


is this a hybrid?.....

I've seen it as well.

Goatse in the sky with diamonds, or gold bands rather.

April 01, 2008

Strange Events in the Duluth Sky

Sjixxxy pointed out to me a phenomenon in the sky above Duluth this afternoon. The phenomenon was an ever-changing beast. Below are two photos, one early on and the second taken later during which the phenomenon had changed drastically almost as if to give Duluthians some sort of sign. :


Upon closer inspection later in the day the phenomenon had changed drastically. See below:

Empty Bowl Today

empty_bowl_w_links.jpgDown at the Depot until 6:30.
Get some soup.
Get a bowl.
Support the Food Bank.
Everyone wins.

Get some Finn in you


Author and artist Margaret Webster will serve you FOOD and talk about her new book "Life Times Six". What could be more relaxing than Lefsa, blueberries, and the dulcet sounds of a Finnish woman reading from her book?
join us!
April 3rd, 5:30 to 6:30pm, Carlton County Historical Society, Cloquet

"Author, educator, actor, and leader, Margaret Webster, will read from her latest book, Life Times Six, at the Carlton County Historical Society. The book is an intimate glimpse into the joys and struggles of six generations of Northland immigrants. Enjoy refreshments and lively company as we celebrate this distinguished author."

Canada to Purchase Ely, Minnesota

In a press release today, ely.org has announced that Canada is trying to purchase Ely.

ELY, MINN. April 1, 2008 Today it was announced that Canada has made an unprecedented offer, as a boost to tourism, to purchase the famous Boundary Waters town of Ely, Minn., and relocate it north of the U.S./Canadian border.

In a prepared statement, the Premier of Ontario pledged Ely will retain its worldwide reputation as the entryway to the Boundary Waters, though now from the other side, as well as its legendary lakes, resorts, restaurants, gift shops and museums, including the world-famous International Wolf Center.

Reportedly, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has entered into negotiations with the Minnesota DNR and the Governor's office to arrive at a satisfactory price. Sources close to the deal say that Ely will become Ely, Ontario as early as 2009.

Minnesota residents are left wondering if this might be the last summer to enjoy the one million acres of unspoiled wilderness Ely is known for worldwide.

It'll certainly be the last summer we can spell neighbor without a "u" says Ely mayor Charles Novak. And all the schools will have to start using zed instead of "z" when they teach the alphabet, and we'll all have to learn the value of a loonie, I guess.

Outraged Minnesotans have launched a counterattack and are petitioning the state and considering a protest at the capitol. Interested citizens can visit ely.org or call 1-800-777-7281 to sign the petition or to volunteer for the protest, or just to book one last summer fling in Ely.

Major LOW Announcement