Party labels fail to capture political change

In 2021 politics projects an animated mix of theatrical despair. People seem hopelessly angry all the time, though typically without understanding exactly what’s going on or how anything works. We pick our favorite avatars and cheer them as they battle perceived enemies, hoping for a victory that, even if realized, never seems to change anything…. Read More →

At the end of a winter transformation

It’s been cold in northern Minnesota these last couple weeks. Not really record-breaking, so much as record-nearing. Kind of like running fast enough to read the number on Usain Bolt. Not the fastest, but still fast.  You might ask how it is that anyone or anything survives when the temperature hits 40 below, a cold… Read More →

Now is our only time

The other day my son Doug asked me a question. If I could live in any time in history other than our current time, when would I want to live? Doug loves starting conversations with training seminar ice breakers, even though he’s never been to a training seminar. (We suspect he’s on a management track)…. Read More →

The Super Bowl is stupid and that’s what makes it great

It’s Super Bowl Sunday, the most uniquely American holiday of them all. Today we celebrate millionaires committing violence upon one another for the enrichment of billionaires. And it’s not even on CNBC! What a day. Don’t get me wrong. I love Super Bowl Sunday. Always have. Most people watch it, and I love things that… Read More →

A primal howl from Wolf Island

I live in the woods. Sometime at night you can hear the wolves. I’ve heard many wolves over the years. And yet every time I hear a wolf howl I always look to the stars above the moonlit tree line, wondering if the sound is as close as it seems. My spine shutters. This same… Read More →

Northern Minnesota has what you need

What do you need to live? You need air, of course. Food and water. Shelter.  Once you have these you may think about the other things you need. You need friendship, family and love. You need a sense of purpose, to believe that your efforts matter. And finally, once you have these things, you might… Read More →

Cure for waning political power is more people

It is again time to tabulate the U.S. Census, an incredibly boring task that affects every aspect of our state and federal government.  As with most complicated topics — taxes, First Century scrolls, technology — it’s easy for people to hold outrageous, illogical views without any real consequences. After all, who really knows? That’s why… Read More →

To think or not to think

For all its horrors, the pandemic allowed many Americans to finally experience what teachers do for a living. It’s certainly useful for parents to know that teachers aren’t just babysitters. Rather, the work teachers do at all levels remains complex and important.  However, the pandemic has also taught us where modern society falls short when… Read More →

What’s done is never done in 2021

The otter’s hot breath stirs me from my slumber. I do not know how long he’s been standing there. My eyes open to see him on his hind legs, his front paws dangling expectantly in front of his tiny burlap overalls. “Is time,” he whispers.  Behind the otter stands a black bear holding an empty… Read More →

2020 defied words, but created plenty of new ones

Major events alter the way we communicate. New words enter the language when the old ones fail us. You can’t find a better example than what we’ve experienced in 2020. Language marks changes in lifestyle. For instance, when I leave the house now my wife asks, “Did you remember your face mask?” If you told… Read More →