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Mike Creger Posts

Don’t thank him; just write

If you fling a certain line at Air Force veteran Eric Chandler, expect a pleasant smile masking irritation. He might nod in recognition. And if that’s all you got, the conversation is over.

“Thank you for your service.”

“Who are you thanking?” he asked earlier this year when talking about the growing gap of understanding of the U.S. military experience with that of civilians.

“We’re all complicit,” Chandler says with a serious tone. He could go on for hours on this topic, he says. There’s a deal made in a constitutional republic: Citizens ask for protection with a standing army and some answer the call by enlisting. But it’s not a service contract, Chandler says. “It’s not like the cable guy.”

“It should feel more invested” all around, Chandler says. “Thank you for your service” rings as hollow as any other jingoistic notion of the military’s role in American society. When people don’t know what it is you do or have done, platitudes mean nothing, he says. People are less interested in “who is in the military” over just passing along jingoistic notions of it, he says.

Loaves & Fishes forms nonprofit for property maintenance

Bike Cave, half under demolition.

The Loaves & Fishes volunteer community in Duluth has formed a nonprofit branch to deal with upkeep on its houses and other properties that provide food and shelter for the homeless and other at-risk people.

The Slide

“Are you the announcer or something?”

Corey was standing a few feet from the sled run when she spoke; one hand on her hip, her other mittened hand trying to wisp away the strands of hair run renegade from under her cap.

Corey was 8. She often cut to the heart of matters with me, her nattering uncle — curt queries snapping her into adult demeanor, leaving me bemused and suddenly self-conscious.

“I’m just trying to make this more exciting, like we did when I was a kid.”

Corey only half-listened and then belly-flopped onto her plastic glider, tucking the tow rope under her purple parka. “Push me far this time,” she gasped. One-two-three and she zoomed off.

Her cousin was trouncing up the hill, excited for another run.

“Did I get the world record? Is that the farthest anybody got ever?”

“Ever. Now get snug to the front. Josh, you’ll never beat Corey with your rope hanging out like that. You gotta be smart. It’s the intangibles that get you to the top.”

He only winced. Another three-count and Josh grinned as he slid away. Corey was still at the bottom of the hill, eating snow while flat on her back, feet kicking in the air. I was happy to see her once again acting her age.

Duluth Firewood Delivery

Does anyone have a firewood deliverer recommendation? Oak, birch or maple. We’ve had spotty luck the past few years.

Where near Duluth?

What are we naming this storm?

The Cyber Monday Snowopolis?

Found: Warehouse Bar artifact

1988 relic.

Dylan tickets

Does anyone want two tickets to the sold out Dylan/Wilco/Morning Jacket/Richard Thompson show in St. Paul, Midway Stadium, Wednesday? They are $80 each, face. Lemme know, asap.

Where in Duluth, the trashy version

This is from today, FYI. And it all sits in my recycling now. You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

Where in Duluth?

Who needs Photoshop?

Cold weather experiments

I don’t want to see our area children suffer from a lack of knowledge today with no school and am hoping parents or day care workers send them outside for cold weather experiments and share them on PDD. But be careful.

Own worst enemy

The Duluth City Council recently approved spending $75,000 on a PR campaign to show people that the city is open for business post flood. I think it’s a dubious expense, though there are still people asking us how we are holding up and how we are getting around the city. But in reading a rather disjointed and breathless story in the Star Tribune today, I get the feeling that getting FEMA money will keep our city leaders from talking about rebuilding for a while:

From the Strib:

Said Duluth Fire Chief John Strongitharm, “When they see the scope of the storm, it would be difficult to think they would not be providing individual assistance. It’s had a major impact not only on the public infrastructure, but on people’s lives and homes.”

In Duluth, 10 inches of rain created the worst flash flooding in more than a century and hundreds of people were forced from homes by rising water. Roads buckled and washed out, sewers overflowed. Damage to public infrastructure has been estimated at $55 million.

“Any place there was a creek or culvert was destroyed,” Strongitharm said.

Duluth Landscaper Recommendations

I know we all tend to be DIYers when it comes to the yard, but I am in need of some vision and major revision. Tile, dirt, no-grass front lawn, shoring up the fence. Any suggestions on a good all-around scaper in the area? Thanks.

Dear Homegrown Diary

Sunday:

The mayor was late at Tycoons but, given his pre-proclamation speech involving the real/made-up story of Homegrown, which may or may not involve a story of fire-ring elves, makes sense and is forgiven.

Mr. Ness went on to win the Homegrown Pub Quiz at Carmody, leading to a who’s-who of wearing the chicken hat. Devon yelled well, and everyone got a prize.

For this old slag, the Repo Man-style back at Tycoons was worth an open-eyed listen after so many hemp-inspired ales.

There was much talk of slipping over to Luce, or back to Carmody. I’m sure readers can fill in.

Safe to say, it was a rowdy first night, leaving one to wonder if we all can hold out. I save my strength, it looks like Monday is here.