Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

Talking Minnesotan – 5/21/10

1 of the 10,000 lakes
Image =”1 of the 10,000 lakes” Uploaded on May 18, 2010 by Venkat Raja

It’s been a fun week in Minnesota. People have been talking about the weather and that’s how Minnesotans know everything is right with the world. It just so happens that the weather this week was nice and sunny. Yup the talk was all nice, unless of course you happen to follow politics. Mn political conversations were … well… politics as usual. The Right hates the left and the left hates the Right and the newspaper commentors hate teachers and nurses hate hospital administration and hospital administration hates unions and the unions hate politicians and the politicians just keep smiling and talking about the wonderful progress they’ve made.

Mr.Veto likes to fill up prisons so he vetoed sensible bipartisan legislation that would change current laws to keep bongwater from being counted as drug weight. Citypages covers the story with Bong water bill dries up with Tim Pawlenty’s veto. You have to read the comments.

Pioneer press puts it all into perspective Time to face it, Minnesota: Tim Pawlenty is seeing someone else

He goes on long trips without explanation. He comes home and criticizes my appearance, even as he pays greater attention to his own image. Where there once was fondness and love, now all I get is, ‘Your taxes are too high! You’re spending too much! You have to cut back!’

As if the RNC convention wasn’t a big enough bust Minneapolis now wants to get itself a convention.
Bob Collins has a poll going and so far people seem to think it’s a good thing. Huh.

Speaking of Bob, he has this to say “I’m not sure what creeps me out more, that a 40 yr old was pretending to be a gay hockey teen. Or that ppl folo a blog by a gay hockey teen” about this story Minnesota gay teen hockey blogger outed as 40-year-old man.

I couldn’t agree more.

Did you see this? Last-minute lake rule looks fishy I almost gave the story it’s own post just to use a headline about “bait and switch”.

Anyway, what’s going on this weekend? Here is a nice music roundup. I’ll probably update the post with some happenings links as the day progresses, but for now I’m out of time. So let’s wrap it up with a little bit of Dessa. She released her new video today “Alibi”.

Talking Minnesota – 4/27/10

Photo “into every life some rain must fall” Uploaded on April 26, 2010 by JustACoolCat

Minnesotans have been talking, but I haven’t been listening. Spring has arrived early in the Land of 10,000 lakes and with an early spring comes early allergy symptoms. For me this has included a fever, chills, burning eyes, and plugged up ears to name a couple symptoms. Weeeeeeeeeeeee. Luckily rained all weekend temporarily knocking the pollen out of the air.

In a bit of sad news Gordy, 400-pound gorilla, dies suddenly at Como Zoo, we just saw Gordy a few weekends ago and he was in rare form guarding his territory and chucking clumps of dirt at the onlookers and other goriallas. It’s a shame to see him pass.

Over the last week there’s been much hoopla about how much we trust the government, apparently not very much is the answer.

MPR ran a show and liveblogged Live-blogging Midmorning: The people and their government

A new study by the Pew Center sparks a debate on the role of trust and mistrust in American political life. Less than a quarter of Americans polled say they trust their government. Some experts say people in this country rarely express confidence in Congress and the executive branch. Others note a disturbing trend of increased polarization in government and among voters.

I found this comment interesting and it makes me want to meet the author.

While a doctoral student (management and psychometrics) in the mid-1970’s, I had the opportunity to read many of the management, sociological and behavioural theorists from 1870 on. Much of what I read has come too-much true.

Max Weber: the longer an organization exists, the larger and more complicated it becomes. TRUE! Example: existence of several competing intelligence agencies.

Max Weber: over time, a “bifurcation of interest” develops between an organization and its clients. The organization considers itself more important than its clients, AND what’s good for the organization differs from what’s good for its clients. TRUE! Example: campaign contributors versus voters.

C. Northcote Parkinson: every year, it costs more to perform the same amount of work. TRUE! Example: how much the Federal budget grows (removing natural and financial disasters) every year while income doesn’t.

Lorimer and Lorsch: organizations must maintain the optimal balance of differentiation (territory of task and professional discipline) and integration (pull together as a team). Hyper-differentiation turned territory into fiefdom while hypo-integration never pulls everyone together to work toward a common goal (consistent with Weber). TRUE! Example: Republicans versus Democrats on any topic. Intelligence agencies AGAIN.

We need the wisdom of the past to inform our vision of the future.

Bill J
Posted by Bill Jolitz | April 22, 2010 10:53 AM

Speaking of government, our own Minnesota brings a little bit of the crazy Republicans push for Minnesota sovereignty

Senate Republicans introduced a constitutional amendment Wednesday that would make Minnesota the first state to require a two-thirds majority vote in the legislature to approve federal laws affecting the state. “Minnesotans enjoy inherent, natural, God-given rights,” the bill states, and “Citizens of Minnesota are sovereign individuals, subject to Minnesota law and immune from any federal laws that exceed the federal government’s enumerated constitutional powers.”

Read it. You’ll be shocked to discover that the comments quickly turned to racist undertones.

In a story that could easily have turned totally racist (has it been published somewhere else) Minnpost points us to a new ruling Duluth wins round in lawsuit over casino money

A federal judge has sided with the city of Duluth in a high-stakes legal battle over sharing revenue from slots machine in a downtown casino.

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa stopped sharing the money last year and was demanding that the city return $75 million it had shared over the past 25 years.

But the ruling by U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery says the band must resume sharing its slot-machine revenue with the city of Duluth and provide back payments to the city

Word on the Rez is that this unpopular lawsuit could cost RBC head Karen Diver in the next election.

Citypages has a fascinating report on the behind-the-scenes happenings of the Minneapolis Civilian Review Authority
Dave Bicking: How politics ousted the Civilian Review Authority’s loudest member

Let’s wrap it up with some music, Minnesota’s own Spaghetti Western String Co. Live at Orchestra Hall .


How Green Was My Garden: The Underground Tapes

You have seen them on the market, seed tapes, they make gardening look so simple, just lay down a row of tape for a perfect row of carrots or onions or other traditional varieties of flowers or vegetables.

But did you know it is relatively simple to make your own seed tapes? I made my own this year for some carrots. In a few easy steps you too can quickly make easy to place seed tapes, no more blowing seeds and you can have perfectly straight rows.

The first step is materials which are just flour, water, toilet paper & seeds.  Because I am an organic gardener I used 100% recycled content toilet paper, brands such as 7th Generation or Marcal Small Steps are good, and organic unbleached flour, which is available at most coops or grocery stores and organic seed, I used Botanical Interests Carnival Blend Carrot Seed.

Start by making a paste with the flour and some water, it should be the consistancy of runny yoghurt. Then pull a stretch of toilet paper in a managable length. Then you are ready to make some seed tape!

Paste & Toilet Paper

Place small dots of paste along the bottom of the toilet paper spaced however far apart your seed packet specifies. Then in each of the dots place a seed.

Seeds on paste dots

While the paste is still wet fold the bottom of the toilet paper up on the dots and press lightly, and fold over once again. The moisture of the paste will seal the toilet paper to form a seed tape. Two or three folds are all that is needed so if you have excess just trim the paper with scissors.

Finished tapes

After you have completed your tapes you are ready to plant them in your garden! Prep your bed as you would if you were direct sowing seeds and just lay the tape down, covering lightly with 1/4 inch of soil, and water lightly.

Planted tape before covering

Follow the instructions on your seed packet before placing in seed tape, meaning if the seeds require any special treatment, like soaking prior to sowing, do that before making your tapes.

Seed Tapes are a great way to ensure straight rows for your crops and to make certain you won’t have to thin your plants after sowing seeds.  For those of you with children in your life making seed tapes can also be a fun activity for the little ones to do to get them involved in the garden, and it wouldn’t even matter if they ate the paste!  And just like in Mission Impossible, the seed tapes will Self Destruct, leaving little evidence but your lovely harvest at the end of the season.

How Green Was My Garden: The Big Cover-Up

Last year the biggest trend in gardening & garden supplies was container gardening, specifically in specialty bags (see HGWMG post “Its In the Bag”) for everything from lettuce to potatoes. This year it is crop protection tools, everything involving row covers.  From pop-up insect screens to season extending hoop houses & cold frames, it seems the crop cover business is exploding.

Crop protection tools are exploding because they help gardeners achieve many goals. One of the most important in Minnesota is season-extension.  By using a cover to insulate your plants you can help to warm the soil & keep the plant protected from chillier temperatures, thereby allowing gardeners to plant earlier & get plants to their full potential without as much concern for the weather.


Too much sun & heat can also be an issue, causing delicate plants to wilt or bolt too early so a shade cover can be used to shield those plants from the elements.  For organic gardeners who would like to prevent insects (like the dreaded squash vine borer or cucumber beetle) from attacking plants, covers can be used to help prevent them from landing on your crop, but remember, the covers also prevent beneficial insects from landing, especially bees, so this tactic must be used judiciously.

In some areas birds are the biggest pest, in others rabbits or squirrels, with a crop protecting barrier these pests cannot penetrate to your plants, allowing them to thrive.

Some of the easiest row covers to install are floating row covers, basically specially made fabric you can lay over yourcrops to prevent insect damage or insulate the plants to protect them from extreme temperatures (hot or cold).

There are a few methods for using row covers, you can just float on top of plants & tack into the soil with landscape pins or you can build a structure to lay the fabric upon.  Hoops are the most common support structure, which can be made from several materials, everything from half hula-hoops to more sturdy conduit.  I purchased a hoop bender from Johnny’s Seeds to make tunnel hoops. Garden’s Alive sells different types of protective fabric that can be draped over the hoops from lightweight insect covers to frost protecting fabric.

Also available are numerous ready-made products like pop-up covers & tents that can work like greenhouses or can be kept up all season to prevent damage from insects or animals.  The pop ups work especially well on raised beds, especially smaller ones which can be very convenient for short season extension and seasonal insect prevention and allows for easy storage of the tents when not in use. These also come in different fabrics, the polyeurethane plastic for greenhouse effect and then the mesh fabrics for either insect or bird protection.

If you are really ambitious and have a large garden space you can construct a hoop house, which is basically a permanent structure like a greenhouse, but is made of polyethylene instead of glass. Crops like tomatoes, peppers and strawberries, which generally need hotter, extended growing seasons are grown in hoop houses or high tunnels

Commercial growers have been using the season extending row covers for years and now they have found their way to the home gardener.  With so many options for so many purposes you should be able to find one that suits your needs from container gardening to larger production gardens, so get out in your garden & Hoop it up!


Ice Out!

MnStateParks tweeted this photo and said
“River’s up at Jay Cooke State Park. Expect it to continue rising through the week. Check back for updates.”

While going through their tweet stream I saw this post. – The ice is gone and the falls officially opened today at Gooseberry Falls State Park. What looks like snow is fo

The tweet was cut off, but what they are talking about is the foam you sometimes see on water.

It’s called foam tannins

The foam that appears along lakeshores is most often the result of the natural die-off of aquatic plants. Plants are
made up of organic material, including oils (i.e., corn oil and vegetable oil). When the plants die and decompose, the oils
contained in the plant cells are released and float to the surface. Once the oils reach the lake surface, wind and wave
action pushes them to the shore. The concentration of the oil changes the physical nature of the water, making foam
formation easier. The turbulence and wave action at the beach introduces air into the organically enriched water, which forms the bubbles.

We still have ice on most of our lakes, but if the temps stay constant it shouldn’t last long.

What other signs of spring have you noticed?


Massage savings in the South Metro

There is no better time to treat yourself to a massage than at the end of a long, cold winter, especially right now, as we’re in the midst of what seems like the dreariest week in the history of the world.  For a good massage at a great price, check out Circle Sage Healing and Massage in Burnsville.  They offer a special deal for first time clients – an hour-long massage for under $50 (you can find the printable coupon here).  To keep getting those deals, pre-book your next appointment while you’re there, or sign up for their email list and get a regular email with last-minute deals.

The best part: when you make your appointment, tell them what kind of massage you want and they’ll match you up with a perfect therapist for you.  You’ll leave feeling refreshed, renewed, and ready for spring.

Talking Minnesotan – 03-05-2010

Everyone in Minnesota is talking about the giant snow storm on it’s way. It’s going to be HUGE!! Think 1991 times ten, hundreds of inches will fall over the course of a few days, power will be lost, snow shoed rioters will rule, the National Guard will have to intercede, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria.

Now if you check with your local radar or weather person they won’t mention it, but this storm is on the way. How do we know? Minneapolis has lifted it’s parking restrictions

So you had better live it up before this white blanket of destruction descends upon our fine state.

How about checking out tonight’s Steve Marsh joint with Ross Brockley? Steve Marsh presents Ross Brockley and Bight Club

Steve Marsh presents comedian filmaker goat and llama farmer Ross Brockley at Nick and Eddie this Friday night. Ross has opened for Louis CK and emerged from the same NY alt comedy scene as Janeane Garafalo, David Cross and Louis CK-he will be on the kqrs morning show friday morn.
Opening for Ross is Bight Club a g-funk and R&B hip hop duo who will be appearing at sxsw this year.
N and E’s first scheduled and intentional comedy night
I trust Steve Marsh and so should you

I’m not sure why Steve wrote “I trust Steve Marsh and so should you”, but it’s a little weird.

Speaking of events.

Queen of Subtle has all of your local trivia needs covered I had no idea there were so many trivia venues.

David Brauer takes on the topic of radio station payments for music As stations bombard us with ads against the ‘radio tax,’ here’s the other side of the story

and naturally people have a thing or two to say (check the comments)

Which then spurs this follow up post A rebuttal to the ‘radio tax’ rebuttal

Look at the bright side.
It’s time for the City of Saint Paul’s Sidewalk Poetry contest! I’m tempted to enter again, but my excellent first snow haiku didn’t win and perhaps my poetic skills would increase if I were to brood for a couple more years.

Want to check out some cool music? Hit up the Are You Local? SXSW Send-off

Here are the set time


In the Entry:

6 p.m. Hunting Club

7 p.m. Bight Club

8 p.m. Joey Ryan & The Inks

9 p.m. The Moon Goons
In the Mainroom:
5:30 p.m. City on the Make

6:15 p.m. Romantica

7 p.m. The Pines

7:45 p.m. Jeremy Messersmith

8:30 p.m. Peter Wolf Crier

9:15 p.m. “Are You Local?” contest winner

9:45 p.m. Lookbook

That said let’s close this out with a little bit of the Lookbook
Thanks to TwinCitizen
Lookbook – Yesterday’s Company & The Only Ones



Minneapolis Parking Ban

If you live in Minneapolis I’m sure you’ve already heard about the extended Snow Emergency until April 1st.
Minneapolis posted about it on their Facebook page and the comments are adding up, as you can imagine, mostly people are pissed.

Here’s the Facebook posting.

Minneapolis Snow Emergency Winter parking restrictions begin tomorrow, Thurs. Feb. 11, at 8 a.m. Have questions about the restrictions? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions on our Web site.Winter Parking RestrictionsFrequently Asked Questions
During some winters, snow accumulations can reach a point where streets become too narrow and difficult to navigate. Public safety is jeopardized when this happens because fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles are slowed down or are prevented from responding to calls for help. …

This seems to come down to a few basic camps.

1) Why didn’t the City enforce Snow Restrictions better and tow cars that didn’t move so the street could get plowed?
2) Where the F-Bomb am I supposed to park now?
3) Thank god I have a driveway

I think we know if the City were to have illegally parked cars towed prior to plowing people would be super pissed and call it a racket. Also, I doubt the impound lots could handle all the cars.

The where am I to park arguement is semi-legit, but it’s not like Minneapolis is always at capacity parking. I recall a few years in the 90’s when the city did the same thing and I managed to find parking, even when I lived in an area that required a permit because the parking was already so limited. It was a hassle, but living in the city and owning a car is often a hassle.

It does seem that Minneapolis and Saint Paul both fail at snow removal, but this is coming from someone that is from Duluth. A city on a hill that gets twice the snow we get here and they do a great job at keeping the roads plowed.

What do you think about the ban?



The magic of snowglobes for a snowy day

Sure it snowed a good three inches over night and the morning commute dripped slower than Molasses, but we only 46 more days until spring. So we have that going for us, which is good.

Check out this video that MPR made of a snowglobe repairman.

Northfield, Minnesota’s Dick Heibel has been fixing snow globes for decades, and says the thanks he gets from his customers is the reason he keeps doing it.


(H/t In The Loop)

It Burns, It Burns!

Uploaded on January 27, 2010 by katbaro and she writes “What is that yellow ball of flame in the sky? Will it hurt us? Should we run? Yes, its been a long grey January.”

It sure has! The nice thing I noticed when the sun finally did come out was that it stayed light until after 5pm. Major win!


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