Paul Lundgren Posts

An Incomplete and Random List of Beloved Characters in Duluth

Hung – Vo Hung has bought more rounds of drinks than the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Richard Wozniak – The longtime proprietor of Young at Heart Records could find anything you needed.

Frank Nichols – He’s lovable, he’s cuddly, he plays harmonica and rides the lift bridge.

Christmas Tree Lady – Claudia Abrahamson put up 37 Christmas trees in 2008, carefully placing them in every room of her house.

Five-mile-an-hour Harold – Harold Nelson was an elderly Duluth Heights resident, known for constantly walking around the city. Sadly, he was struck by a car while crossing Central Entrance at Trinity Road on August 10, 2009. He died three days later. Up until the very end — at age 83 — he was still walking, often stopping to pick up garbage or clear snow from bus stops. In his younger days he worked for the city of Duluth in the purchasing division.

Chris Raabe wins Grandma’s Marathon

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Here’s Chris Raabe with a half-mile lead passing Ironic1’s house. He’s the first Minnesotan since Dick Beardsley to win Grandma’s Marathon! Yowza! It was a hot one out there.

Rolling Ruts: Inexpensive Golf Just Outside Duluth

If you aren’t particularly good at, or enthusiastic about, golf it’s hard to justify paying about $17 for nine holes, plus another $9 to rent clubs (especially if you’re paying for the whole family.)

Rolling Ruts offers the answer to casual golfers’ prayers. It’s basically free.

Duluth Party on Madeline Island

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Isolate the hole, people. Isolate the hole.

Where in Duluth?

… is this?

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Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps

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Performing at Beaner’s Central on Friday, June 12,  at 8 p.m.

Listen to songs from their debut album Backyard Tent Set at http://www.myspace.com/carolinesmithmusic.

(I particularly dig the track “Clinch My Teeth.”)

Last seen alive at 4 p.m.

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The dog in the shadow somehow made it’s way onto I-35 in West Duluth today. I saw it when traffic stopped on the Grand Avenue onramp, where drivers waited patiently for it to merrily prance by.

I think some people wanted to get out and try to rescue the dog, but it seemed like a dangerous thing to attempt. The dog got to the bottom of the onramp safely and continued on its way. It could be anywhere by now. I’m sure whereever it is and whatever danger it’s in, it still has its tongue hanging out and its tail obliviously wagging as if so much fun has never been had.

(In case the owner is reading: If you’re still looking for Rover/Scrappy/ Whatever, I recommend the Irving area. Sorry I couldn’t get a better description or photo, my camera is slow and I had to watch traffic.)

Large-flowered trilliums

trilliums847Have you noticed these suckers are everywhere this spring?

I must see eight dozen wild flowers for every tick I pluck off my socks. Not a bad ratio.

Straight Lake State Park

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If you ever wanted to see a state park before it’s a state park, here’s your chance. Straight Lake State Park is about two and a half hours away from Duluth, near Luck, Wisconsin.

It is, legally, already a state park, but don’t look for big brown road signs to help you find it. The tiny yellow marker pictured above is all I found. (And when I asked people at a convenience store a few miles away for directions, the best advice I could get was “try asking at the library.”)

There’s an old ATV trail that runs through it (can’t drive those in there anymore) but otherwise there are not really any established trails, maps, parking spots, campsites, ranger stations, etc. (There are little flags here and there that show where some of those things might go some day.)

It is quite a nice lake, so I do recommend it. I wouldn’t say you should drive the 120+ miles from Duluth for this single purpose, but if you’re in the area, check it out.

Open Letter

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Dear manufacturers of pretty much every electronics product,

Thank you so much for including a plastic sleeve for the owner’s manual. It would truly be a shame if such an important document as an owner’s manual were to ever be damaged by dust or spilled liquids during the two minutes between it coming out of the box and getting jammed into a file cabinet.

The ratings experiment is over

For two weeks, Perfect Duluth Day experimented with rating systems for posts (five-star system and thumbs up/down). As you might have already noticed, the ratings have now been removed.

An initial poll showed readers either thought this was a great idea or terrible idea. (The results were pretty evenly split, but slightly leaned in favor of great idea). In practice, however, the ratings didn’t prove useful and interest in them quickly plummeted. In the end, only a handful of people bothered with them.

So now they are gone, perhaps to return another day when a better system can be figured out, or perhaps never to be considered again (except maybe in the comments to this post).

Big Top songwriting contest

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Heads up to local musicians:

Big Top Chautauqua is holding another songwriting competition. The long version of the details is on the “Celebration of Song” page of www.BigTop.org (scroll about halfway down the page).

The short version is, you submit two original songs by June 19. Finalists perform on the Big Top stage August 27 and have a shot at airplay on Tent Show Radio, a $100 cash prize and a chance to play a two-song set opening for Suzanne Vega.

Jacobs Lake, Minnesota

Turtle Lake, Wisconsin

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Liquor Store Math

The Next Level column in this week’s Transistor answers an important question for Duluthians:

Is it worth driving to Superior to save money on off-sale alcohol?

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!