Save the Date: Father’s Day at the Zoo

Boyz II Dadz 9th Annual Father’s Day at the Zoo
First 200 through the gates are free. Free Train Rides. Free Face Painting. Free Family Snapshots. Much more.
Rain or Shine. Everyone Welcome.

Kia Sucka-Palooza

I suspect there may be a resurgence of the “thumbs down” feature after this post, but I’m in a bind, and any car and/or relationship advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

I need to decide what to do with my currently inoperative car. Should I fix it and hope for a few more good years before driving it to it’s death? Or should I float it out on Lake Superior and set it alight, putting it out of it’s misery with a Viking funeral?*


* This is more of a metaphor really… I wouldn’t actually shove my car into Lake Superior, as it would be horribly toxic for our water source.

Open Letter


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.

Sedaris preview?

What you can expect Monday, or not expect.

DNT Watch: Headline changes, but little else


Yesterday the Duluth News Tribune online version printed an article on Edison Schools which is listed in the search above. I am not sure if it was in the paper version or not, because I rarely read that except for the headlines when I see the paper, or on weekends. And yes, I do subscribe, weekends only, but I want to support the paper especially for the many fine people I know and care about who work there.

So in the search that I screen-shotted (if that’s a proper term) above I noticed two articles on the same report on Edison schools. The thing is … it’s the same article. So they changed the headline, good. But there is no retraction, no correction, and the article’s substance is essentially the same: no more analysis, interviews, or balance brought to the piece. I am not a journalist by any means, but for me, this doesn’t really pass the smell test. I mean there are, I suppose, a thousand or more families in this community involved in Edison schools and maybe a couple thousand more at other area and regional charter schools. That should be enough people who are affected to get the story out properly in a balanced and factual manner, shouldn’t it? And if not then I say don’t cover it at all because something this critical of an organization requires level headed reporting in order to be responsible.

A final note … anyone who clicks on the new “version” won’t see all of the critical comments from me and nearly a dozen other readers on the first piece. Naturally, they weren’t included in the update. Thin skinned much DNT?

Lexicon update

I moved to Duluth in September 2006. Almost a year ago, I wrote a post about words and phrases that seemed unique to Duluth and/or the region. At that point, most seemed pretty odd to me; none had entered my vocabulary.

But I realized this week that at some point in the past few months, I’ve started regularly using one of those language quirks – adding “the” before road names. As in, “Oh, yeah, I saw that house, too – out there on the Rice Lake Road.”

It’s interesting how something little like that really makes you feel grounded in a place.

Questionable signs

I suppose this eatery’s name in Fayetteville, Tenn., which I recently passed through, belongs in the hall of name fame, along with Kum ‘n’ Go, Pump and Munch, Kwikee Mart, and the rest. I’m not even sure posting this public signage clears the PDD standards.road-trip-1-253

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


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 (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.

Honking Tree Commentary on MPR

Like many North Shore residents, commentator Catherine Conlan had come to see the 113-year-old white pine as much more than a tree.

Now hiring


The Last Place on Earth wants you to get your resume ready.

Jacobs Lake, Minnesota

Turtle Lake, Wisconsin

trailsendsaloon34895672 jesusfarm34857

Nearly Threadjacked: Taconite Curtain

This just about became a threadjack for Mary’s “I’ll give you a medal … ” post But propriety seized me just before I hit post when I realized this was probably a post in it’s own right.

It all started when I finally clicked the urban dictionary link to taconite curtain that Adam provided:

I have to kick myself that that actually qualifies as “urban” but it’s hilarious and very well written, folks. It wasn’t until I’d read it that I caught the “Iron” v. “Taconite” connection, as in, Europe has (had) the “iron” curtain of totalitarian socialism, but we’ve only got this really dense rock with some iron in it, “taconite.” You people are all way too clever for me.

Farmers Market at UMD

Farmers Market at UMD
UMD Kirby Plaza Bus Hub
LOCAL Produce, Music and Artisans!