Showing posts from 2012

That Festive Shopping Time of Year

Shopping will continue to be a part of this festive time of year until....well until money and stores and desires cease to be. So not tomorrow or the next day.
Christmas shopping can be a stressful holiday tradition because literally everybody does it. And this year there was more of it because of the early US Thanksgiving. I have tried to do most of my shopping online but I do run out of time and end up at the stores on Christmas Eve poring over merchandise, speculating what will be the best gift.
I suspect the the Magi who visited the infant Jesus did not have the same dilemmas we do with Christmas shopping. There must have been an unwritten custom on how to give gifts to someone important. Gold and myrhh and francescence are not traditional given in these times. Ipods, Ipads, and Kindles seem to be all the rage. What would I get someone important? I would put much thought into it and look at potential items online and at store. Then I supposed I'd give up and buy a gift card…

A time for thanks and a Thanksgiving pagaent

When you live in the United States there is much to be thankful. Though it seems we take much of it for granted- like paved roads and lights.
I am thankful I can ride my bike just about anywhere. I am thankful there are wild places which we can still visit. I am thankful for my Mostly Finnish Spouse, who loves me even when I mess up and make mistakes.

Way back in my college days- I was a DJ on KUMM in Morris. I started as a news reader and then did a little weekend show on regional music. One year, I think 1994, I wrote a Thanksgiving Pageant that some of my colleagues at the station decided to perform live on the air.
You can find the full audio download here.

Around the Sioux Hustler Trail: Depature

The following is a continuation of the log from the Sioux Hustler Loop hiking trip I took in October 2012. In this entry I meet up with hiking partner 3 Names and head for Orr, MN.

 Due to a mutual friend's funeral- 3 Names and I met up in Thief River Falls. From there we drove to Clearbrook and spent the night out of the wet and chilly elements in a farmhouse of a Christian brother.
We left the next morning for Bemidji where we left 3 Names truck and then proceeded through the northland towards Orr, MN. Upon our arrival to Orr we stopped at the Voyageur Information center. I did not realise how close we were to Voyageurs National Park. No info on the Sioux Hustler Trail was to be found at the center. We progressed into town to get a bite to eat at the grocery store. Apparently the A&W attached to the store must only be open in the summer. It was not particularly busy place but it was not dead either. Minutes later we were progressing toward Buyck and the western terminus …

Around the Sioux Hustler Trail: The Facts


 A few weeks ago my friend Man of 3 Names I journeyed up to the BWCA to embark on an adventure. With it being October and the weather not always cooperative at that time of year (although in the past I have had some great October trips), I planned a rugged hiking trip. Our goal: hike the entire Sioux Hustler Loop. The challenge: the ~32 mile trail does not get much maintenance and is at best primitive. 3 Names and I were up to the challenge.

To the best of my knowledge and research- the Sioux Hustler Trail in some form has been in existence since at least before the Civilian Conservation Corps were working in the Superior National Forest. Part of it may even been hewn in the early part of the 1900s for use in fire spotting. I found an interesting and informative article about the wilderness fire towers off the Echo Trail here:
The article describes 3 fire towers including the one on the Little Sioux River above Devil's Cas…

A kinder, gentler scare

   Ah Halloween, that holiday that while growing up in the church was conveniently avoided and replaced by the likes of the Hallelujah Hoe Down or the Holy Ghost Weenie Roast. Good reasons no doubt since my birth All Hallows Eve has become more about the gore and scare and more recently a little bit of sexy. And Christians really wanted to avoid the big scare that Frank Peretti painted in a lot of his books. I think my 'brethern and sistern' responded in reactionary ways and did not engage the culture or have a desire to influence it. However, I am not going to delve into the merits of why or why not you should recognize Halloween. Too long, too complicated and I don't have time. I desire to be neutral towards it. So disguises, sweets, meeting neigbors- I like. Scares, gore, witchcraft and their ilk- I do not like. Strangely enough, Martin Luther decided to begin an scholarly engagement that eventually turned out to become the reformation on this date in 1517. Maybe…

Baptism in the Quetico: Part 4

The following series is a narrative from my first canoeing trip back over a decade ago into the wilderness of the Quetico. In this final episode we hike an old logging road, are visited by rain showers, and head back home.

We went hiking the next day on trail north of our island campsite. We canoed to a closest entry point for the trail. It was not close enough so we ended up bushwhacking through the forest and underbrush until the trail was spotted. During that foray we discovered a wooden boat hidden in the woods. I am not sure how far we hiked but it took up much of the day. The trail deteriorated at a marsh that was once a beaver colony. There we made instant pudding. Unfortunately I had no water, just a little lemonade. In substitute of the water I added Tang. It was a regrettable decision. Orange and chocolate do not taste pleasing together. We returned the same route only exploring a spur that went to another lake. Along the way we saw a variety of forest flora including lady …

Short form video or why I love Mister Glasses

I caught the You Tube bug shortly after Google bought them. For me it pretty much replaced television since no service could satisfy my eclectic tastes. Then again I did not watch much television to begin with- I just didn't have the time. Well, the advent of You Tubism increased the viral video- the short incredibly absorbing video which made you want others to see.  
A few years before- and maybe even earlier- Channel101 became the incubator for the new the short form webisode. One might even suggest the 48 hour film fest also gave rise to the sub-10 minute video. However I am not going to dwell on Channel101 and its sibling Channel 102 (although may have been rebranded as Channel101 NY) in New York. Read the backstory on the wiki page. These twins put out a slew of short forms almost once a month- some good and some not so good. As of late I have perferred the New York flavor's offerings although LA did have Yacht Rock, House of Cosbys, and the beginning of the ever famous…

Nowhere Band remembered

  A college mate of mine- Keith Pille- illustrated and wrote the Internet comic Nowhere Band up until it ended in Spring 2011. A one shot strip appeared one year ago today documenting the an incident that happened 5 years after the Awesome Boys sputtered out when Josh decided to leave the group to pursue writing.
I followed the web comic a little. It had the working of a decent sit-com that would revolved around the indy and garage band scene. Probably would still work- so somebody call Dan Harmon.
As legend has it- Keith and I were in a few bands together in college. Or at least that is what my memory is telling me.
The first- Mr. Willie. Keith was on bass, I was on rhythm guitar, Dale on drums, a guy named Dan was lead guitar, and the indomitable played viola and threw peeps. The band did a few Velvet Underground covers and a few originals for their 1 and only performance at battle of the bands. I think was using Keith's cheap Squier telecaster. The name of band was a nod t…

The longer you wait the less you get- hiatus debunked

Some of you would suspect that the blog is on hiatus. And you would be partially right although in an accidental kind of way. Numerous blog-worthy items have occurred since that last post. But on hiatus I am not. I just moved someplace where I do not have a regular internet connection.
So I digress and will compress the items of note from previous weeks.

Item 1: Return of the bike trip
In August my Mostly Finnish Bride and I took a bicycling adventure which took us through the central part of Minnesota. It was mostly on rail to trail but was a scenic trip that took us through miles of landscape which perhaps inspired Garrison Keillor. You know I have yet to read anything from him that does not take its setting from that idyllic community someplace near St. Cloud or related to his life. It would be interesting if he could right a series of science fiction stories or maybe a treatise on deep sea exploration. I suspect it would either begin or end or somehow cross paths with Lake Wobe…

Baptism in the Quetico: Part 3

The following series is a narrative from my first canoeing trip back over a decade ago into the wilderness of the Quetico. In this episode we camp at the end of the portage and then make it to the island campsite on Baptism Lake.
Dusk descended and two more portages loomed ahead. However, once all the gear and canoes were at the end of the portage there was no way we were going to do another one. The next portage was just across a small pond.
Exhausted, I felt dismayed that my favorite shoes were soaked and my best pants were covered with mud up to my knees. I had enough for one day. We pitched tents on the rocky soil at the end of the portage and prayed no one would come through the portage early the next day.
3 Names and I shared a tent. I placed my shoes outside with my socks hoping they would dry. They didn’t. The roar of the falls ahead kept me awake. It also drove me crazy.I should have brought earplugs.In addition I realized my sleeping pad was not very good. I tossed and tur…

Baptism in the Quetico: Part 2

The following is part 2 in a series on my first canoe trip into the wilderness of the Quetico which occurred over a decade ago. I will provide some annotations to the tale.In this episode we fight off one of the toughest portages.
Our route consisted of more twists and turns. Ruth and I disembarked once again as the canoes were pulled over a beaver dam that blocked the width of the stream. Getting into the canoes we put on our bug netting, since the gnats were getting bad. So far, I was clean and pretty dry. I really did not want to soil my fine hiking shoes and expedition pants and I didn’t think I would have to. Nearing seven, we reached the first portage. Efficiency in portaging is a must, otherwise you’ll be going back and forth quite a bit. So carrying as much as possible helps tremendously. Our first portage was measured around 80 rods I think-- not long but not really short either. With the canoes on shore we removed all the packs and placed them in a pile. I then helped 3 Names…

Journey to the center of North America: part 8

Way back in July 2010 the Man of 3 Names and I set out from Grand Forks, ND on bicycles to sojourn to the Center of North America (Rugby.) I do not recall much from this part of the trip except my rear tire was causing me problems endlessly. However, now the conclusion of our journey.

Waking in a hotel was not my intention but it felt good. Moreover they did have breakfast- and what the construction workers did not devour earlier in the morn, I ate. I think 3 Names had some too but I am not sure.
Before heading out we stopped at K-Mart a picked up a patch kit for my tire. They did not have a replacement tube for a 700x35 presta.
Back on US-2 we made good time until I had another flat. I repaired the flat next to a round bale and we were on our way again. The shoulders were wider this side of Devil's Lake but the traffic was much heavier.
We lunched in Michigan City and I noted that they grocery store was part of a complex that included a cafe, post office, and the high school. We …

Journey to the center of North America: Part 8

Way back in July 2010 the Man of 3 Names and I set out from Grand Forks, ND on bicycles to sojourn to the Center of North America (Rugby.) I continue this story as we head east on US 2 from the cairn in Rugby, ND.
From the Center of North America 3 Names and I got on US Highway 2 and headed east towards Devil's Lake. Little did I know that this would be the longest part of any journey I have ever taken on 2 wheels.
As we leave Rugby we meet a lady and her family that are doing a cross country bike tour. She had a support van so we knew we were really the hardcore ones out on the wide shoulder. We were doing good time since we had a strong tail wind pushing us.
Not long after I experienced a rear flat. Luckily we were close to a wayside rest where I was able to repair it in about a half hour.
Back on the road we began to notice our large shoulders diminish to less the a foot of usable space. Pretty scary since cars and large trucks generally sped by at high speeds but fortunately …

Journey to the center of North America: Part 7

Way back in July 2010 the Man of 3 Names and I set out from Grand Forks, ND on bicycles to sojourn to the Center of North America (Rugby.) It has been while since I have written about it so the details will be sketchy, but I felt I needed to complete this one before I move onto the latest bike trip.
Here are the previous posts for you to catch up on
Part 1: Leaving Grand Forks
Part 2: Towards the border
Part 3: From Hoople to Walhalla
Part 4: Out of the Gorge and a change of plans
Part 5: Independence in Munich
Part 6: Night at the Hawk Museum

I continue this story as we leave the Hawk Museum and head towards the center of North America in Rugby.

  I cannot say enough about the Hawk Museum camp we made. It was cool. We were surrounded by tons of old iron. There was a shower. And it was cheap. I think we may have paid just $5 for both of us. What a deal!
With still a chill in the air we left behind the surroundings of the Hawk Museum and got back on State Route 17 enroute to what…

Treasure at the end of the rainbow

My dearly beloved mostly Finnish spouse celebrates her birthday today. What a treasure I found at the end the rainbow.

A venerable Huffy in Nisswa

  My first bicycle was a Huffy Dragster- an early entry in the BMX market for Huffy. Although it could have been a pieced together monster with parts from the Huffy high-rise style bikes.
I don't see many Huffy bikes these days although they were the 3rd largest bike manufacturer in the US during the 1960s. I suspect Schwinn was tops back then. Both companies appear to have produced similar models of bikes through the 1960s to the 1970s.

Huffy started out as a sewing machine manufacturer in 1892 formed by George Huffman. The Huffy name did not really come into existance until the 1950s. Prior the bikes carried the Dayton name- because they were made in Dayton, OH. The name Huffy came from the name of company- Huffman Manufacturing- which the sewing machine manufacturer turned into in 1925.

While on holiday in Nisswa, MN I spotted this Huffy. The bike pictured here is what I believe to be a vintage 1970s men's Huffy 5-Speed Regatta with light. This one looks practically new.…

Anna and Mark's Wedding Revue: Part 8

By far this had to be the best put together wedding of all time. Quite a production. Maybe if we had a trough of water that was miraclously turned into wine then.....nah. Thanks Mark and Anna!

Will there be a sequel?

Yes! 10 years later. But that is a blog post for another time.
Not many weddings have matched this one for shear uproar. But every wedding is different in its own way.

Anna and Mark's Wedding Revue: Part 7

The dancing was pretty popular. Most of my Christian friends were enjoying themselves since the anti-dance squad stayed away from this reception. Hurray! Mark's DJ friends then finished off the night by spinning the hits. None of which I knew although P.O.D. was familar. The crowds began to dwindle after 10pm but the music kept going until after 11pm. Only the most dedicated and sleep depraved stayed. Anna and Mark escaped to the solitude of someplace and I just kept joking around with a multitude of people.

Baptism in the Quetico: Part1

The following series is a narrative from my first canoeing trip back over a decade ago into the wilderness of the Quetico.

I had been eagerly awaiting this canoe trip to the Quetico for over a year. I had never been on a canoe trip before so I jumped at the invitation to join a friend of mine, Neil, on his annual trek to the Canadian boundary waters. The opportunity to get into the “real backwoods” thrilled me. Joining us were Neil’s wife, Ruth, and David, an adventurous college student [ed. To regular readers of the blog David is the Man of 3 Names.] We started out from Morris, Minnesota at dawn. For eight hours David and I sat in the back of Neil’s Mazda pickup equipped with an old bus seat that smelled like pigs. Our only view from the rear window was of the trailer that carried our supplies and two aluminum canoes. However, this inconvenience seemed minor compared to adventure I expected in the Quetico.

I did not know much about the Quetico. I knew even less about the Boundary Wa…

The RedHawks game

On July 10th I went to my first RedHawks game of the season. Boxscore here.

The 'hawks were down by 5. The Kansas City T-Bones had mastery over the RedHawks bats. Inning after inning the home team failed to turn on the offense. Fortunately the RedHawks defense kept the game from getting totally out of hand. Plus the pitching improved.

In the bottom of the 5th with 2 outs Ryan Stovall came up to the plate. The first pitch he hit a foul over the the home plate stands. It hit the press box and rocketed down towards my seat and 2 women sitting next to me. In a moment of odd courage I put out my barehand and caught that ball. I had never done that before- catch a foul. The women and my MFW were grateful. The next pitch Stovall eeked out the first hit of the game for the RedHawks. But the RedHawks do not take advantage as Carlo Cota flies out.

It was not until the 8th inning until the RedHawks put some runs on the board- 3 in the 8th and 2 in the 9th to tie up the game and send it into …

Convoy of Hope stops in Red River valley

My mostly Finnish spouse and I volunteered a large chunk of time this weekend to an event called Convoy of Hope. It was an event which helped the needy and poor in the area by providing some services like hair cuts and family portraits, connections with community organizations, and some groceries all at no cost.
We helped distribute groceries in hot and humid condtions. We both had some sun burn but it was worth it to to be part of the "convoy."

Anna and Mark's Wedding Revue: Part 6

After the worship band finished, Andrea Rooney presented a special dance to the song "We Are One." Then Mark and Anna took the spotlight and had the first dance. Mark was a wildman on the dance floor with dips and twirls. I wonder how Anna felt? It just happened that the real spotlight was bleeding unto me. Perhaps the video will show my antics being spotlighted. Faux Pas and MTI took the stage thereafter and entertained the crowd with bluesy swinging music. Quite a few people enjoyed a dance or two. Although some may consider me a dancer, I chose to sit out this one. Fact: I was at the Valentine Swing Dance in 1998 and I did dance!

[There was quite a real uproar concerning the music being played that evening since the venue for the event was a church building. The pastor was unhappy with some of the musical choices from the above referenced bands.That whole uproar could be a blog…

Anna and Mark's Wedding Revue: Part 5

Following the stories, (most were about Mark's unusual habits), a video narrated by Mark and Anna was presented that expressed their gratitude to the individuals in the wedding party and their parents. Well done! Jeremy Erickson and a band then took the stage for a time of singing and worship. This group was amazing. I enjoyed the professionalism and the fullness of sound they exhibited. If they only had a bit of continuity to the songs they would have been phenomenal.
[To the left of the fellow with the big guitar is Jeremy Erickson who passed from this life to eternity on 06/10/2012. This large worship band reminds me of one I was in this weekend for Cindy and Matt's wedding.]

Anna and Mark's Wedding Revue: Part 4

After the church cleared out I began a sojourn to the Hosanna Worship Center, about a mile away, for the reception that was entitled UPROAR. I struggled to bring my unwrapped wedding gifts into the large auditorium. It looked like the academy awards! There was a stage that was totally decked out with lights plus there had to be seating for nearly 500. I don't know why I didn't eat much, but Coco's catering spread was right on. I should have had seconds. After I had my fill people began to tell stories about Mark and Anna.
[ Added bonus celebrity sighting: 2 members of Children 18:3, Seth and David, appear in the adjacent photo- they were at the Uproar celebration reception but did not play. The guy in the white shirt was once part of an earlier incarnation of the band]

Anna and Mark's Wedding Revue: Part 3

  Once Neil finished I bolted out of the church since I noticed my car headlights were on. I totally missed Jeremy's 1st song because I was running around the building getting my coat and then my keys. Bernie Wing addressed the couple and the audience with a poignant sermon on marriage and the bride of Christ. Unfortunately I did not take notes. Things went well until the saying of the vows. Some microphone problems arose then Mark decided to start his vows over again. I thought we memorize those. Then the ring part came. The ceremony ended after a time of prayer for Anna and Mark. The newlyweds then greeted their guests while I hid on the sides and spoke with Aaron O'Leary.

Anna and Mark's Wedding Revue: Part 2

A large crowd was on hand to witness the event. The whole sanctuary was nearly filled with guests from near and far. I sat patiently and silently waiting for the ceremony to begin. I glanced over the program which listed the whole wedding entourage. A few friends of mine were involved. David George was a sound technician. Shortly after 4pm the ceremony began. A small chamber ensemble including strings played a song from Copland's Appalachian Spring. Carefully avoiding the pillar at the rear of the sanctuary, the bridesmaids, groomsmen et al, strolled to the front of the sanctuary. I forgot the next few minutes until Neil Thielke spoke a word of encouragement over Mark and Anna.

Anna and Mark's Wedding Revue: Part 1

It has been a busy wedding season for myself and my MFS (Mostly Finnish Spouse)- we have 3 down and 1 more to go. In honor of the wedding season, I am re-posting the much sought out wedding posts of the The Anna and Mark's Wedding Revue from 2001. They have floated around the far reachs of the nets for a while since the orginal site was lost- RIP Geocities and Xoom.

  January 13, 2001- Mark Haugen married Anna Oglesby in an illustrious ceremony in Morris, MN at Faith Lutheran Church. The ceremony was presided over by Bernie Wing and Neil Thielke with music by Julie Goos and Jeremy Erickson.

At 3:30pm I started for the church, stopping only at Benson drug to buy a card and other stuff. I arrived at Faith Lutheran at 3:50 and was greeted by Anna's younger brothers. Being modest and a bit on the elusive side, I decided to sit at the rear of the sanctuary in the overflow seating.