Posts Tagged ‘minnesota’

I read the news today, oh boy

Delivering the news

Delivering the news

Image uploaded by JustaCoolCat

While out for a morning bike ride I stopped and talked to this fellow biker who was delivering the paper.

He was a bit shy about having his pic taken “I can get off the bike. You don’t want a picture with an ugly old man in it” he offered which I rebuffed with “I don’t think you’re ugly, at all.”

We had a little chat about about biking: bike commuting, adult trikes, winter biking, tires and tire width and tire pressure and optimal tires for different conditions; turns out he bike commuted to work for twenty years.

Now in retirement he’s delivering the paper.


All Hail The Pumpkin King!

017Even before I dialed the phone number to call Chad Revier, Minnesota State Pumpkin Champion, I repeated over and over in my head “Don’t geek out, don’t geek out, don’t geek out.”

You see, I love the pumpkins.

I started growing them about 9 years ago and it’s been one of those hobbies that borders on obsession with my specialty being growing what I considered large pumpkins,100-300 lbs, and a myriad of decorative and classic pumpkins all on a city lot. Some of you may even recall my videos A Pumpkin Opera and Running through the pumpkin patch.

So when the chance arose to interview Chad Revier, the Minnesota Pumpkin King (1,428 lbs.), well . . . . I geeked out.

This is the first interview in a three part series as I stalk Mr.Revier through the 2009 growing season.

1) How many years have you been growing pumpkins?
I have been growing for three years, this will be my second year of competitive growing.

2) What made you decide to start growing pumpkins? A few guys in the area grew giant pumpkins and I thought I would give it a try

3) How much time in a given week do you spend growing pumpkins? It varies greatly depending on the time of year. This year I expanded to 6 plants and at most spend 20-25 hours per week during peak plant growth. Things are starting to slow down now.

4) Some would say pumpkin growing becomes an addiction, what do you say about that? They say the first step is admitting you have a problem, good luck getting a grower to admit it.

5) How often do you think about pumpkins? I thought about them once about three years ago, the problem is I am still thinking.

6) How are your pumpkins doing this year compared to years prior? It is still early but my plants are bigger this year, which should lead to bigger pumpkins. A lot of bad things can happen from now until October.. All I know is there will be good days and some disappointing days.

7) Do you use any special plant foods or fertilizers? Fish emulsions, Seaweed, Humic Acid, Mycorrhizal Fungi, Compost Tea

8) What do you do with the pumpkins once they are harvested? Remove the seeds then nothing to exciting, I have displayed them at the end of the driveway, chopped them up and feed them to the cows, or just let them rot. Always looking for ideas though.

9) Do you like pumpkin soup? Never had it. Just had cucumber soup for the first time, I liked that.

10) What’s your favorite band?

Rock on my brother, rock on.

Here are some pictures in case you’re wondering what Chad’s pumpkins look like at this stage in the game.

If you look beyond the rows of corn you’ll see the patch, that entire square consists of six vines.

Can you also see the whiteish dots in the patch? Those are the pumpkins.

6 vines

6 vines

This is what they look like up close. 



All I could say when I saw this monster was “Wow”, I mean really, that’s a lot of pumpkin.

Up next: Some practical tips for amateur growers and those that want to get started growing pumpkins.

If you have any questions for Chad, hit me up on Twitter or ask away in the comments.


Just Another Music Friday – 07/10/2009

The Roots @ Riverfest

The Roots @ Riverfest

(Roots pics I took last Summer.Though, I hear when they were in town recently they dazed and amazed as usual. )

Time to get back to the Roots.

I’ll be heading back to Northern Minnesota to where it all began, for me, and doing a bunch of outdoors stuff that would make the most hipster metrosexuals cut their hair with a switchblade into a faux-granola style.

Mostly we’ll be listening to the sound of the wind blowing majestically through the pines as the loons sing their lonely North Woods cowboy song, yada yada. So if you hear about some people in the BWCA having iPod boombox wars with the loons, you’ll know who.

What are you listening to?


Don’t Blame The Teachers

I know that with all the budget cuts and perceived problems with our Minnesota school system people are getting frustrated and more and more I’m hearing vitriol aimed at our teachers.

It’s my understanding that Minnesota has some of the best teachers in the country and in my own personal experience that held to be true. We rank #1 in Academic Achievement, 2007-2008 and rank high in almost every possible category, except salaries and price spent per pupil.

The Strib published this excellent letter from Michael Kennedy: Teachers aren’t the problem that articulates some of the obstacles teachers face and addresses the criticisms in a way that should make school administrators and politicians feel like a naughty 5th grader.

To the politicians, commentators, educational consultants and others who feel the entire problem with education is the quality of teachers in certain schools: Back off. Go sit in the corner and put on that dunce cap. We’re the best asset you’ve got, and you are either too blind to see it or too limited in your imagination to grasp the fact that we are the strongest link in the chain. We are not the problem. We are the solution, but we cannot do our work as well as we wish unless you take some responsibility for the following factors in limited public education:

He then goes on to list several factors that make or break a school system, I’ll just show you this one as it rings most true with my beliefs.

1. Stability.
Schools that work in communities with stable populations do far better than schools where the populations are in perpetual turnover. Parents and students need to know what is expected of them from year to year in order to plan for the future. Schools with a stable faculty, a stable curriculum and reasonable expectations over the long run tend to do better. Schools with populations of families that move a lot — or with administrators who shift in the winds of intimidation or indifference — do poorly.

I’m looking at you run-around-Superintendants that start a job with a shell game where one hand shuffles the curriculum to the latest fashionable teaching methods while the other hand is filling out resumes for a higher paying/profile job.

Hey Meria Carstarphen, what lesson are you teaching kids?

Speaking of St.Paul the St. Paul school board OKs $25 million in budget cuts.

My favorite comment addresses Big Pappy Timmy Pass The Taxes On Pawlenty

“First budget kuts fall on the letter “c”.
ST. PAUL, MN – AP – Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s first announsed kut today was to remove the letter “c” from the alphabet. His reasoning is that we kan do just fine with about 95% of the kurrent letters, so losing a konsonant is not as big of a deal instead of a vowel. As well, the letter “c” kan easily be replased by either the letters “k” or “s” and was just another example of government waste.
posted by halfabubble “

Now that’s satire.

I’ll bet halfabubble had some good teachers.

Welcome Iowans Tweetup, Thursday, May 14

Some traveling Iowans are in town on Thursday and want to experience a Minneapolis tweetup.

Why should I come?
Come and see a real life Iowan up close.

Bulldog NE (401 E Hennepin, Minneapolis, MN)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What time?
6 – 10pm (or later)



Got Taxes? 2009 Tax Cut Rally and Tax Day Tea Party

If you’re feeling overtaxed and underrepresented these days, you may want to gather at the Capitol steps on May 2nd around 2 p.m. for the 2009 Annual Tax Cut Rally, sponsored by The Taxpayers League, Minnesota Majority and KTLK.

Here’s an invitation from Jason Lewis.

More details here and highlights from last year here.

Can’t wait until May? The local Tax Day Tea Party event in Minnesota is at the Capitol at 5 p.m. on April 15.

Good morning, Twincy’nam!


Hello greater St. Paul and beyond. Thanks for having me to this bLog. I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal. People know me. I’m very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany. You might recognize me (or my dog) from Twitter. Maybe you’ve seen my bike in your rear view mirror, or pulled over on the side of the road. Maybe we’ve raised a glass of Surly Furious at the Tap. In all likelihood, none of the above are true, but at the very least, I hope you caught the Anchorman reference. I’m not very important, but… (more…)

Minnesotans at SXSW

Are you headed to SXSW Interactive (March 13-12), Film (March 13-21) or Music (March 18-22)?

Leave a note in the comments and let’s schedule some meet-ups.

Minneapolis Metblog Seeking Authors

The Minneapolis Metblog is having an open call for authors. If you’re a blogger looking for a wider audience, or simply have a desire to write about what’s happening in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, keep reading:

The qualifications:

  1. You need to live in or near the Twin Cities metro area. Metblogs is all about the city from the perspective of people who live here.
  2. An ability and willingness to post at least three times a week. You’ve seen our stuff, so you know an entry could simply be a pic, a review of your pizza joint or a rant about how idiotic our public transportation is.
  3. A desire to cover topics you’re passionate about. We’re looking for unique voices and to more broadly represent the city.
  4. Be a team player. Authors here don’t always agree with each other, but we’re supportive of each other’s contributions.

Besides the wide audience, the best part of Metblogs is the editorial process: there is none. As long as what you write is about Minneapolis-Saint Paul or something specifically relevant to MSP readers, it qualifies. Otherwise, we’re a sandbox for writers to play in, create their own columns and write the stuff they wish existed.

This is an unpaid gig, but you have the opportunity to have your stuff read by our fabulous Minneapolitans on a daily basis. Vloggers, photographers, community journalists, gripers and anyone else with a desire to write about Minneapolis is encouraged to apply.

While already having a blog doesn’t hurt, especially to demonstrate your ability to post frequently, it’s far from a requirement.

If interested, send me an e-mail (with “Minneapolis Metblog” in the subject), telling us briefly about yourself, blog link (if you have one) and what type of topics you’d like to cover. Blog on, people. Blog on.

UPDATE: We have new authors – woot.

Southwest comes to MSP

According to this video of the first flight, free smiles come with every ticket.

I’ve never flown Southwest. What do you guys think?

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