Regenerating hope in mining’s wake

Like a lot of kids who grew up on Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range in the 1980s and ‘90s I saw plenty of reasons to leave. Many of my friends did. But I’m glad I found good reasons to stay. Many friends did that, too. That doesn’t mean, however, that our lives are easy or our fate resolved. It will take much more than waiting to secure a future beyond what the mines will give us.

When a boy becomes a snowman

One of the most obvious rules of parenting is not to put your baby in a snowbank. But what happens when your baby grows up to be a survivalist?

Great Northern Radio Show heads to Brainerd on Feb. 9

The Great Northern Radio Show will broadcast a live event in Brainerd, Minnesota on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at the Franklin Arts Center. Through original comedy, stories and music, the Great Northern Radio Show celebrates life in small towns and rural places.

A bright light in winter

So I’ve been doing some squats lately. I’ve done squats before. This isn’t new. But I’ve never been afraid of my insides popping out like a tube of crescent rolls before. That is new.

For many of us, trying to get back in shape is a cycle. When I think about exercise, I picture snow outside my winter, never autumn leaves. That might be part of the problem, but is most assuredly part of my reality. Every day I eat my Lucky Charms and watch the Peloton commercials on ESPN. That’s not the kind of cycle I’m talking about.

Seeking hygge in harsh environs

Something changed after the last act of “Hamlet.” The Danes became so mellow that they don’t even mind stepping on all the LEGO blocks they produce each year. If we’re to believe media reports, hygge is both the cause and the solution.

These last few years we’ve heard the word “hygge” a lot more. Looks like “higgy” but rhymes with beluga. It’s a Danish word with no direct translation. “Hygge” is often passed off as a high-end term for “cozy” in fashion and interior design. That’s not exactly what it means, but that’s what makes the most money for people who sell throw pillows.

The moment words took new meaning

Each year I like to write about the top words for the previous year as determined by the Global Language Monitor, an organization that tracks actual word usage in global English. It’s important to note that global English is a broader topic than American English. In fact, for the first time this year the Global Language Monitor broke its 2018 top word distinction in two, identifying one for the world and one that stood out in America.

On “The Moment” and “Weaponize,” the past year’s top words.

Oracle projects some otter fate in 2019

Pssh. Sploink. Pssh. Sploink. Pssh. Sploink. Pssh. This is unlike any steam boat I’ve ever been on. Come to think of it, I’ve never been on a steam boat. So this is a first. For one thing, the vessel appears to be homemade. Milk jugs keep it afloat. Twine holds it together. And the paddle… Read More →

New Year’s Eve in Northern Minnesota

Can I tell you a secret? I’ve always really wanted to host a live New Year’s Eve show. It has to do with how I typically spend New Year’s Eve. That is, sitting inside of my home watching television. All those years Dick Clark performed a vital community service. He brought the energy and excitement… Read More →

The day the sun stopped rolling away

As a young radio reporter for KUWS in Superior, Wisconsin, my news director Mike Simonson sent me to cover the Hump Day Club across the bridge in Duluth, Minnesota. At the time the Hump Day Club met once a year for lunch at the Pickwick the day after the winter solstice. The premise was simple…. Read More →

Local ownership critical to Range success

Locally owned and operated. These words represent more than just a good tagline for area businesses. They’re the ticket to success in our changing economy. Encouraging and expanding local ownership is a sure-fire way to bring economic strength to Minnesota’s Iron Range and beyond. Not surprisingly, it’s also a vexing challenge amid current conditions. After… Read More →