30 August 2010

Of rock paintings, Ewoks and Boba Fett the Evangelizer

Entries have bee sparse of late. 2 weeks ago I lead a expedition to the BWCA up the Nina Moose and into Lac La Croix. Then the weekend following I ended up painting an entire house and attending a picnic in the Grand Cities. Of course you could point the finger at me- as a blogger you should be writing about those things. And eventually I will. Just not all right now. In fact I've got to get the bike adventure finished before I begin the canoe voyage saga. But in this entry you will hear enough about those days to be satisfied.
While out in the wilderness we came across some pictographs which you see above. This are the pictographs you can find on Rocky Lake, which is accessible via the Little Sioux Indian or Moose River North entry points. They are nothing like the ones just a few miles away on Lac La Croix. No discernible figures here except for perhaps a representation of a deity (the crosses).
The set at Rocky Lake don't get much attention. I found very little even suggesting their existence. But sure enough they are there and don't even seem like pictographs if you have seen the ones on Hegman or Crooked or even Kawishiwi River. So here I am giving these a little attention.
Theories abound about the meaning of these paintings. Some say they represent dreams, others say they mark tribal territory, and even others suggest they describe constellations. Whatever they mean the sure a interesting to find out in the wilderness and ponder how these lakes were like hundreds of years ago.

 On the way back from painting a house, I ad libbed a rather funny conversation between 2 guys right after the 2nd Death Star was destroyed (We're talking Star Wars, Return of the Jedi.) They were glad the Empire had been defeated but questioned whether the Jedi or new Senate would be any better. These guys both happened to be followers of Jesus and felt the Jedi would just bring Buddhist ideals to the galaxy which made them a bit unhappy because they felt God was more powerful than that impersonal thing called "the force."
Their conversation then lead to discussing Christianity throughout the galaxy. To which one guy spoke about a break off group of Ewoks who became Christians and started a church on Dantuween. He visited the church once and enjoyed the special blend of coffee the Christian Ewoks crafted with a special bark additive.
This guy continues with a story of how Jabba's Gamorrean Guards survive the skiff accident and become Christians and start a monastery out of Jabba's Palace. Their ministry involves spamming the Gospel across the universe.
These same Gamorreans find a nearly dead Boba Fett and bring back to health. Boba has lost an arm and a leg but ends up giving his life to Christ and becoming an evangelist who speaks to googleplexes and reconciles with Han Solo.
Pretty strange stuff but highly imaginative.

13 August 2010

Signs of Beer Extra: The end of Gluek's

The end of summer may be the last time you will put away a case of Gluek's for hunting season. The regional label will no longer be produced by the Cold Spring Brewing Company down there in Cold Spring, MN (which is near Ricori, right?) The demand for craft beers was cited as reason for extinguishing Gluek's.
Gluek's had been around for quite a while. Its namesake, Gottlieb Gluek, starting brewing in Minneapolis around the time of Minnesota statehood according to this history page. The Minneapolis brewery ended up being bought and then demolished by the Heileman beer giant. Gluek's brand was eventually acquired by Cold Spring Brewing in 1997.
I have not experience with this beer. I have seen it in cans around town but didn't really give it much attention altough it was a regional brew. The only thing I have drank that Gluek's/Cold Spring Brewing had a hand in was Dorothy Molter Root Beer. I drink a lot of the stuff when I visit Ely, MN.
Hey, Lileks has a tribute to Gluek's.
And here's a news story from St. Cloud about it.

06 August 2010

Journey to the Center of North America: Part 1

I finally am getting to writing about my bike trip a month after it happened. As usual it will come in installments. Hopefully you'll enjoy my adventure I took with the Man of 3 Names.

Early in June, or May,  I got an e-mail from the Man of 3 Names. He wished to join me on my annual bike jaunt if it was OK. It was.
I left most of the the route planning to him since he had much more time than I and excelled at planning. In fact he could have won a gold medal in planning if he hadn't gone into landscape architecture.
3 Names set out a tour through Northeastern North Dakota that would pass through Pembina Gorge, the Turtle Mountains, stop by the International Peace Garden, and then go the geographical center of North America in Rugby. We discussed a train option that would reduce some time on bikes but Amtrak didn't support us. No baggage stops or something in Rugby.
On the evening of July 2nd we set out from Grand Forks. We got a rather late start by most standards mostly due to me needing to assemble and back my panniers and eat. There was enough light in the evening for us to get to our destination, at least so I thought. I brought along a Garmin Oregon GPS in case our sense of directions expired.
I could tell when we reached the edge of the city, the bugs came out like mad. But to make matters worse, 3 Names (or David as I will refer to him occasionally) was experiencing major issues with his bags. His bags kept falling off. The issue compounded itself until we found ourselves reassembling his bags in the middle of nowhere at midnight. Fortunately I had some good lights. David had none.
After the issue had been temporarily remedied, we made a dash through Manvel and then onward to Prairie Chicken WMA, a small wildlife management area where one can camp for free. I needed to use the Oregon to find the exact location (It worked like a charm in finding the prairie road into the WMA.)
We arrived at somewhere near 1 in the morning and discovered it was more rugged than anticipated. We set up camp on the very edge of the WMA and scurried into our tents to avoid the bugs. The tall grasses acted like a mattress and we entered a much deserved sleep.

The great pastoral underwear recall

It is not everyday you get to do a story about underwear and especially one with a guest blogger. I heard about this a week ago but have sat on the story until I knew the who thing settled.
Here's the gist of the story; a pastor sees men's underwear at Wal-Mart and complains the packaging on said undergarment is obscene. Wal-Mart removes brand from shelves.

Is this how morality works or is it a shame the men cannot wear underwear on packaging anymore? I'd like to know what exactly was on the package, because most packaged underwear is tame. Maybe the new package will have a stick man with underwear drawn on. Laughable or reasonable objection?
Here is the story: http://www.cullmantimes.com/local/x1037665242/Underwear-packaging-reportedly-recalled-from-Walmart-after-Cullman-pastor-s-complaint
Ok. End of story, right?

I forward this one onto our pop culture correspondent and karoke superstar and she goes ballistic. Here below is her response which also includes a diatribe on 7-year old girls doing some provocative dancing ( names and places have been changed to protect the innocent.)
Oh my goodness. Do not get me started.

It ANGERS me entirely that women are allowed to [be] objectified in all kinds of advertising, to the point where we're pretty much considered less than human, but put the shoe on the other foot and they throw the product right out of Wal Mart. O M G.
If a woman complained about this sort of thing even the very Wal Mart clerk would laugh in her face.
Now, for what it's worth I wouldn't be so livid about this if it weren't for what happened to me in my OFFICE yesterday.

My student, who is MC of the rap team at Random State University, was having lunch with her DJ in our office. They were listening to music that was so loud I could hear it through my office door so I came out to see what they were up to. They were watching dance videos on You Tube. The particular video was of a group of 7 year old girls in bikinis doing a very sexualized dance to a Beyonce tune. I was horrified. HORRIFIED.

Hence began a discussion where my conclusion was, "I feel these girls are being exploited because they don't understand the sexual nature of this dance or the song," and their conclusion was "You don't understand dance culture. These girls are too innocent to understand what those dance moves mean, so it's fine that they're dancing like that."

I was horr-i-fied. To make matters worse, the video linked to another video--a news article that criticized the exploitation of the girls--featuring the parents defending these dance moves! One of the featured parents was a father who said that he's happy his daughter wears/dances this stuff because she "loves what she does."

A thank you to our correspondent who made this brief commentary into something with much broader implications. In fact it was more of a social commentary.
My final take- the pastor just cut down the weeds. The roots still exist and they are far more extensive than a package of underwear. Kind of reminds me of this parable- http://www.esvstudybible.org/search?q=Matt+13%3A24-30.