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Fragments of chalk and glass in an oil painting

woman-bathing-in-a-stream-rembrandt-1654I’ll be talking about art on Saturday at Zinema 2 in an event sponsored by the Duluth Art Institute, for the showing of American Splendor. Here is other writing of mine on art; if you like it, I hope to be this elegant Saturday.

A Woman Bathing in a Stream by Rembrandt

When I was 22, I took the bus to New York and visited the Rembrandt/Not-Rembrandt exhibit.

I learned that conservators struggle with Rembrandt’s work, because he added ground chalk and bits of glass to the paint to add texture and to speed drying. These practices make the paintings hard to preserve hundreds of years later.

… fragments of chalk and glass in an oil painting, causing the paint to crack over time.

Those fragments have become integral to identifying a Rembrandt — a painting without them starts from the presumption of forgery. The bits of glass have become a sign of authenticity.

It is impossible to admire a Rembrandt without admiring the cracks and breaks caused by the ground and broken things.

… so it is with falling in love.

Amanda and Rick and the new bike

Yesterday I saw this rain-soaked note clinging to the propane cage outside the Walgreen’s on Superior and 12th…

I thought it was odd enough to post on a well-known social media platform as a curiosity. Then Scott Lunt (aka Starfire) saw it and posted this version of the note he saw on 4th Street…

UW-Superior Spring 2014 Commencement

This thread’s for you, Mr. Black Lab

After skiing the Lester, I was pretty cold and a little wet, but decided to go down and check the ice structures at Brighton Beach anyway. The few people there sat in their cars but I walked out and gave them something to look at — a guy walking around looking at the lake. Then I witnessed an improperly dressed dude walking his Labrador turn back abruptly to the safety of his car. Black Lab you ask? Hell no! The cold didn’t bother him one god damned second. He was living in the moment. Happy as can be.

This thread buds for you, Mr. Black Lab.

Park Point Beach Party

Happy Xmas (War is Over)

On this chilly morn, the blue light of the moon reveals the carnage left on the battlefield of the War on Xmas. Last year’s Apple product, the old tube television, and mounds of torn wrapping paper clutter the otherwise barren landscape. Though the media pundit generals have refused to sign the Declaration of Armistice, the conflict is over. The body count was surprisingly low- a Christmas miracle, one might even say. According to official reports, there was only a single casualty. Ironically, it was a Salvation Army bell-ringer who was assaulted by a “true believer” who was so insulted by the charity worker’s exhortation of “Happy Holidays,” that they had no other choice but to punch them in the face. We can only pray that the Peace holds — and that cooler heads will prevail. In closing, let us wish a Happy Birthday to Albino Jesus.

Hartley Arch

So what is going to be the established tradition for the Hartley arch? Is it a place to stop and smooch, or take a hit from your flask? I say both.

Snow Day

What Four Mile Portage did with the snow day.

Thankful in Duluth — 2013 Edition

It’s an annual tradition at PDD to take a moment and reflect on what we are thankful for. How unique, right?

For starters, we’re thankful for the new old Nordic ski trails at Spirit Mountain, Sax-Zim Bog, wicked North Shore icicles, artisan bread at the Red Mug, lift-accessed mountain biking at Spirit Mountain, animated music videos, Boreal owl irruptions, Magic Smelt Puppet Troupe and a lot of other things I’m thankful I don’t have time to link to because it’s time to make the Thanksgiving glogg.

So long, Duluth.

Well, we’re outta here.

A job opportunity is taking us to (much) warmer climes. We moved to Duluth in 2005, got engaged on the beach at 22nd, were married at the Beach House (while Beach House played in the background), and gave birth to a daughter who’s eyes are the color of Lake Superior. I’m glad she’ll be able to say she’s a native Duluthian.

Some things I’ll miss:

  • Snow
  • Crisp fall mornings
  • The greening of the landscape in May/June
  • The view from our front deck
  • The fog horn
  • That lake

We will miss our friends the most. And the delicious beer.

UMD Makeouts

Yes, there is a Twitter page dedicated to posting photos of University of Minnesota Duluth students making out. It’s called UMD Makeouts, sporting the hashtag @UMD_makeouts.

Predictably, most of the photos are poorly shot. Some of them highlight cute little lovebirds, but more of them fall into the raunchy, drunken or questionably consensual categories.

Activity on UMD Makeouts seems to have dramatically slowed since mid June, either because of summer break or because good taste sometimes prevails over trends.

Cindy Vu wrote a commentary in March about this subject for the Statesman. PDD apologizes for not latching onto this saucy tidbit until five months after it was hot.

To the OG PDDers

On this 10th anniversary of the first PDD post, I would like to thank the original members of Perfect Duluth Day who were there at the start, helping to transform this site from a mere idea to what it’s become today:

Nick, Jim Richardson, ianjk, c-freak, cheap brown sweater, Paul, Loving Hands Massage, Jadin M. Hanson, Ms Misplaced, …, angelina, leifjohn, marie, terese, Tim, DharmaChic and then some, baci, brave_burrito, Princess Wild Cow, ubergizmo, in.dog.neato, starfire, tamara, Kelly Boed, brain, MDR, St.G, ann klefstad, Sjixxy, Gia, Lisa, Randy, Ca-chee, JJLee, Lumpy G, Lefty, pansy, John, edgewood, Karina, buttercup, CLH, brent, amy, Brad, godsey, ericswan, sonya, brad, Chip, Cory, O’Malley, zoey, James, bryan, The Cheat, maria, Bron Bronkowski, Chris, Dana, Meghann, Purple, Melanie, David, August, laura, Laurie, WC, adam, susi, Aaron, Cameron, Suzanne, Casey, Castiron rabbit, Chase, Ben, Gwanto, evil_midnight_blogger_what_blogs_at_midnight, Allen, Beau, Jake, Bob, james, jonswan, Ironic1, scrubby, josh, Nate, Brenda, Carla, predicate nominative, -berv, MEg, Lindquist, chrisvisitor, Penguin, Kitty Brand, Mike, cork1, rollergirl, neal, P.F., Kelly:), DJ Disturbance, Tomasz, Jimmy Myers, AKA, Adam, PTduluthian, Thommy, Sam, Ramos, Arctic18cat, dr_thunder, ZB, jeffy, wmeier71, Joe, Cody, Sir.Mandrake, phlebotomist7, hofferstudio.com, CocaColaQueen, pixelEngine, De Man, pnetz, bpetersen, Vicarious, coldwaterz, michelle, gialyn, kk hodgins, hunterfoo, nyennui, bob pokorney, ILuvDuluth, lithis, Pete, Russell, Delilah, rory, Nathan Ness, (flat)eric, MuseNote, jennie b, Jamie, tremolite, mavis, carrie, annie-mosity, Lauren, budb, nat x, Wulfgar, JL, Tom Ward, wordsandpictures, whiteplasticcoaster, Jeff, Veri, sophia, Johnhenry, James Monte, the Hillside Stranger, Donny, lightning_guitar_solo, [email protected], _|_|_, sleeper, Scott, Gritherness, ms dean, marjotheobese, JesseBC, jello-pop, matt_o, PaulBroman, cheeseblog, Mike, waveview, jarosi, Heather, KOTB, dolphynblue, KDOG, MH, oldoldoldoldoldoldoldoldold, watersfly, cocksauce, greensky, Rph, Jonathan, Vern, witrak, chicafancy, Kitsune, polaroidbaby, beret, RightElbow, Jazadah, aaron, …rtn, twistythistle, Mary S-B, and Blisstr

Missing home terribly. Wrote a song about it. Like to hear it? Here it goes.

Zenith.

Springs Eternal.

I was running the trail in Lower Chester this morning when I glimpsed something odd out of the corner of my eye . Looking down, I beheld this bewildering loose sprig laying right in the middle of the trail. Quite real, and I can’t even begin to explain it. But at this moment, in the latter half of April, as winter is pumping yet another shell into the chamber, I offer it that it might elicit the same emotion it stirred in me: hope.

Sounds of Summer

“Cabin Doors”
Video by Brian Dehler
Shot in Ely