January 2013 Posts

Does anyone else miss…

the good old days when you could run the gauntlet on PDD?

Vietnamese Lotus Inn closing

The Vietnamese Lotus Inn will close on Saturday, Feb. 2. It almost lasted 10 years, having opened at 1314 Commonwealth Ave. in the summer of 2003.

GPS Instruction

Is anyone out there savvy with a Garmin? This fella needs some instruction and he’s looking to hire someone to walk him through his device.

Kickstarter campaign to fund Snobarn’s debut album

For the past 56 days of their Kickstarter fundraising campaign, members of the local band Snobarn have been working their tails off. They’ve been playing live sets (upward of a dozen during the past two months), doing interviews on radio and TV, and madly promoting their cause via social media. Now, more than ever, time is of the essence. Their online fundraising window on Kickstarter will finally close late Sunday night (or very early Monday morning), Feb. 4, at precisely 2:35 a.m.

Are Duluth schools really this stupid?

The school just called my wife to come and pick up our 5th grade son. Why?

He pretended to shoot someone with his finger! Remember when you were a kid and you would point at a playmate and say bang? If you do this now, in Duluth, you get suspended. Really? Is there a list of gestures published by the school board that will result in getting kicked out of school?

New old Nordic ski trails at Spirit Mountain

Have you checked out the newly redone cross country ski trails at Spirit Mountain? Thanks to a lot of hard volunteer work, the trails have been redesigned and brought back to life.

Lots of details at my Best North Shore blog.

Where in Duluth? — Some easy ones

From time to time on PDD we like to play a little game called “Where in Duluth?” The first person to name the location of the photo wins bragging rights.

Since this one is so easy, it will be followed up in the comments with a few more easy ones, because it just seems like the right thing to do.

Office Supply Scams

I thought these scams went away years ago but I guess not.

I answer the phone a lot for the small company I work for, and in the past couple of months we have gotten about three different phone calls asking about refilling our copier supplies. We like to do business locally, and I know our supplier personally so I knew these people weren’t legit. But I thought I’d share it with all of you so you don’t get taken by this scam.

When they called our office they tried to talk to me like they knew me, then said, “Can we get the model number of your printer we misplaced it?” I then asked, “May I ask who’s calling?” and one caller actually said, “I’m your worst nightmare, B!&$h” Then hung up. While entertaining, still somewhat scary.

Concerns surrounding the American Indian Community Housing Organization

I am a community member of the Duluth area and I wanted to voice a couple of things that have been concerning me as well as some things that have been brought to my attention surrounding the American Indian Community Housing Organization.

I know that the community was really excited when AICHO’s Gimaajii Building at 202 W. Second St. opened this past spring.  I had very high hopes as to what this venue could do for the people, especially the urban Native Americans within Duluth. 

As time has passed and the excitement and buzz about what this “could” be has since faded, I have heard from several current and former tenants of the Gimaajii Building that they have felt there is a lack of spiritual understanding from many of the staff members including the current executive director.  They have felt that anything “cultural” that has taken place there has been more for show than for the people it serves.

“Parr flexes songwriting muscles that few artists ever attain.”

This week in City Pages reporter Natalie Gallagher talks to Duluth’s Charlie Parr about his new album Barnswallow.

Charlie Parr’s triumphant return to his roots

The 1962 UWS Football Squad

SSC-Football-1962

Today on PDD we present the 1962 gridders from the “Wisconsin State College Superior,” now known as the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Why? Well the fine folks at UWS’ Jim Dan Hill Library have digitized copies of the Gitchee Gumee, the college’s yearbook — from its inception in 1909 through 1972, when it ceased publication.

This week: smoothies, skating, skiing and bad fashion

  

Here’s a sampling of what you have to look forward to this week on the PDD Calendar.

Today you can learn about making healthy smoothies at the library, of all places. This is part of their Cabin Fever Reliever series.

On Wednesday there’s free open skating at the Duluth Heritage Sports Center for those who want to be active indoors and a Headlamp Ski Tour at Hartley and a Night Ski Race at Spirit Mountain for those who want to be active outdoors.

The Northland Figure Skating Competition will be at the Amsoil Arena Thursday through Sunday with hundreds competing individually and in teams.

Awesome Fest (“You have to be awesome.”) is a weekend long celebration of outdoor winter sports, indoor winter drinking, bad fashion, good music, and more. It runs Friday through Sunday at Mont du Lac.

And on Sunday there’s this football game and I hear tell some people are having parties because of it.

So what are you doing this week? Can we tag along? Any upcoming events that you want to promote? Let us know!

Bookoo.com

Has anyone around here heard of a site called Bookoo? It appears to have a Craigslist feel to it, yet a closer look at the site tells me the buyers and sellers have some account ability similar to eBay.

Over the summer I was in desperate  need of a transmission. I found one on Craigslist, met the guy at Dunn Bros., he being from Two Harbors and me from Superior. It was likely the only time I’d ever deal with this guy — clearly I’m buying as is. I gave him $250 in exchange for a hunk of metal he said ran before he pulled it out. The gamble paid off and the transmission works to this day. It seems to me that had I bought it from him off of Bookoo and it didn’t work I would be able to warn others of the gentleman’s bad dealings. I think I’ll sign the petition. Will you, my neighbor, join me at the world’s funniest yard sale?

Vacant houses in your neighborhood?

With the ongoing foreclosure crisis and rotten economy, there are lots of properties in Duluth sitting vacant, often leading to vandalism and neighborhood blight. In the meantime, more Duluthians than ever are suffering homelessness.

Loaves & Fishes and Project Save Our Homes are looking for help to identify vacant houses in the Duluth area, particularly bank-owned foreclosures. We will be using this information to push for policy changes to protect neighborhoods and address the problem of homes without people and people without homes. Any information would be helpful: addresses of course, but also if you know how long the house has been vacant (condemnation/eviction/foreclosure notice are usually posted on the door), if utilities are connected… and if you might help organize your neighbors to address the problem! Contact us by Facebook or email: [email protected]

I had a dream last night

I was in a cathedral, standing in the nave. The pews were empty, the building dark. It must have been night. Without warning, a choir’s song sliced through the hushed darkness, their voices intertwining to illuminate the room – a bright, pure light. I could see their faces, one thousand beautiful children, dressed in white. I stood there motionless, enraptured by their song, their words washing over me. The tune was bracingly enigmatic, yet hauntingly familiar – they sung a single phrase over and over:

Vincent Gargiulo is horrible.

It might be hard to believe, but it all happened in the dream!

Even odder, I’d never even heard the name before! It just came to me, seemingly from the ether. When I woke up, I immediately looked it up online, and as things go, “Vincent Gargiulo” is an actual person. Who knew? I bet he has a life and personality and family and probably a personal history too! Of course, that’s just conjecture, as I didn’t dig any deeper than a Google image search.

And you know what the honest to gracious truth is? He doesn’t look all that horrible at all!

But those words – those being-piercing, life-altering words. They must have an important meaning for my life. How can I pass?

So, I’d like to announce my next project – Vincent Gargiulo is horrible. It’s not about Vincent Gargiulo’s horribleness, or anything like that. Really, the title just seems to be the perfect vessel for an auto-biographical venture – it really captures a feeling I’m looking for. Vincent Gargiulo is horrible may sound as if it were about Vincent Gargiulo, but it would be about me. Get it? He’s the backdrop for my story.

Admittedly, the name gives me a moment of pause. I’ve considered something less polemic like Vincent Gargiulo is probably pretty okay in all likelihood or Vincent Gargiulo might deserve the benefit of the doubt or Vincent Gargiulo chooses Duluth for a project that the city would be really psyched about except for its name. But come on – would a choir of cherubim illumine my soul and crowd-sourced fund raising campaign with dull words like that? Highly doubt it.

I’ll be rolling out a Kickstarter in the next couple of days – I’m thinking I’ll need around 10k to execute the project properly – so get your Amazon Payments Account ready.

Everything’s embarrassing,

Adam