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Showing posts from March, 2019

Sunday Squibs

A dozen dystopian scenarios wait in the wings, like acts in a vaudeville troupe. Which will come on stage first? But the alarm is sounding. And the exits, according to tomorrow's news, are locked.

Homeostasis: feeling no better while you're feeling no worser.

Alcohol shucks inhibitions like an orgiast shucks clothes.

Novelty is travel's greatest charm. But put down roots someplace new and the irritations of home will soon be blooming.

Mediators are the nurse practitioners of the legal field.

@jmcdonnell123

Remembering Vinnetou

Hello and welcome to another cheerful Saturday here at the Wannaskan Almanac. Today is March 30th.
The "On the Day" highlights below are pretty interesting today! President Reagan was shot on this day, Jeopardy aired, the U.S. bought Alaska from Russia and the Crimean War ended.
 The birthdays have significance for me personally, as well. Hubby wooed me with "My Heart Will Go On" and the Titanic movie when we were dating. MC Hammer will forever be linked in my memory with my adolescence and Zubaz. I opted to attend an Eric Clapton concert my junior year instead of prom. It was my first experience with secondhand pot smoke waaaaay up in the nosebleed section. I visited the Van Gogh museum in 1997 with my mother, brother and SIL. Aside from Van Gogh's work being brilliant, the museum itself is gorgeous and very well-laid out.
The Queen Mother passed on this day in 2002. And I can't let this Saturday go by without a "Remembering You" shout out to the…

Murder Among the Gustavians

Welcome to the Wannaskan Almanac for Friday.

   On this day in 1792, King Gustav III of Sweden died after being shot in the back by an assassin 13 days earlier. Gustav was part of a circle of European  courts in which Sweden was a major power. These were the days of the High Enlightenment and French was the universal language, as English is today. Of course Gustav in his earliest days learned Swedish from his nursemaid (his mother was a Prussian), but once his tutors took over at age five, it was all French.
   I've always wondered if people who use a second language all day long also think in that language. Or do they think in their native tongue then translate it into the other language? Well for Gustav, the answer is, he thought in French. The proof is that when he was shot in the back at a midnight masked ball, he cried out, Ah, je suis blessé, tirez-moi d'ici et arrêtes-le! Which is French for "Ay, Chihuahua! Get that son-of-a-biscuit!"
   Gustav was born in…

DiarDaoin Am Màrt / Déardaoin Márta 28, 2019

“ARCHIE’S TRACTORS”       One of Archie's weaknesses was old tractors which he took in, as some people do stray animals. Two of his menagerie are captured here under a mantle of fresh snow.

     Archie Olson was a lifelong bachelor who worked for area farmers in the spring, summer and fall, then worked in the big woods during the winter, cutting pulp wood, as did so many other men in the Wannaska community.

     Never one to rest on his laurels too long, Archie worked various part time jobs including driving a beer truck into the more remote communities of northwestern Minnesota. One afternoon, my father, Guy Reynolds, over five hundred miles from his home in Des Moines, Iowa, stopped for a bit of refreshment in a tiny little gathering place called ‘Fourtown,’ on the edge of Beltrami Island State Forest, when the beer truck pulled in to this unlikely log cabin oasis in the middle of nowhere.

     Dad sat alone at a table as the beer truck driver walked by him with a stack of beer…

Word-Wednesday for March 27, 2019

And here is the Wannaskan Almanac for Word-Wednesday, March 27, 2019, the 13th Wednesday of the year,  the 86th day of the year, with 279 days remaining until the end of the year, 5 days remaining until April Fools Day, and 1,063 days until Twosday, February 22, 2022.


Nordhem Lunch: Hot Beef


Earth/Moon Almanac for March 27, 2019
Sunrise: 7:12am; Sunset: 7:46pm; 3 minutes, 36 seconds more daylight today
Moonrise: 2:36am; Moonset: 11:21pm, waning gibbous


Temperature Almanac for March 27, 2019
                Average        Record      Today
High            13                   40              19
Low             -7                 -46             -13


March 27 Celebrations from National Day Calendar
National Scribble Day*National Joe DayNational Spanish Paella DayNational Little Red Wagon DayManatee Appreciation Day

March 27 Riddle
What did one nut say while chasing another nut?*


March 27 Pun
There are roughly 4,200 religions, but there is only one Flying Spaghetti Monster. Don’t be fooled b…

Wannaskan Almanac for Tuesday, March 26, 2019

March is rapidly deteriorating.  Soon it will be April.  That is what the old timers used to say.  In honor of old people (like my co-writers) I am proud to announce "Back in my Day-Day".  This day is to celebrate all the people who lie awake at night dreaming about the good old days.  Here are some of the best "Back in my Day" quotes that I could find.
Back in my day we had social networking...it was called go outside and play!
Back in my day we stalked people with binoculars...not Facebook.
Back in my day we walked fifteen miles to school...in the snow...uphill...both ways...560 days per year!

Back in my day, we couldn't afford shoes, so we went barefoot. In the winter we had to wrap our feet with barbed wire for traction. Back in my day we didn't have MTV or in-line skates, or any of that stuff. No, it was 45s and regular old metal-wheeled roller skates, and the 45s always skipped, so to get them to play right you'd weigh the needle down with somethi…

25 February “Guest” Poet – Gary Snyder

Excerpts from the Biography updated by the Poetry Foundation, 2009 (Leon Borensztein)
Gary Snyder began his career in the 1950s as a noted member of the “Beat Generation,” though he continued to explore a wide range of social and spiritual matters in both poetry and prose. Snyder’s work blends physical reality and precise observations of nature with inner insight received primarily through the practice of Zen Buddhism. While Snyder has gained attention as a spokesman for the preservation of the natural world and its earth-conscious cultures, he is not simply a “back-to-nature” poet with a facile message. Snyder has looked to the Orient and to the beliefs of American Indians for positive responses to the world, and he has tempered his studies with stints of hard physical labor as a logger and trail builder. 
Snyder was born in San Francisco and raised on small farms in Washington state and Oregon. Because he lived close to nature from earliest childhood, Snyder was distressed at a youn…

Sunday Squibs

We watch the History Channel to make up for not having gone to a better school. Or even paid attention in our crummy one.

Calling someone "an artist's artist" sounds like a compliment. But it's really an explanation for why the guy can't make money.

Our early years are each as vivid as a boundary stone. Now they go by in their tens and twenties, vague as icebergs in the sea.

I get my adventure genes from my father's side who fled the Great Famine, and my survivor genes from my mother's who stayed and endured it.

Work zone: double fines. Sleep zone: just fine.


@jmcdonnell123

Please Cheer Loud(ly)

Hello and welcome to another sunny Saturday here at the Wannaskan Alamanc. Today is March 23rd.

I've decided March is my favorite winter month. It's the time of year for making the best snowmen and snowballs. It warms up fast and everything starts to melt, urging us to get outdoors before it's all gone. I have a sneaking suspicion that spring doesn't actually happen in Wannaska country. It's all winter, winter, winter then - boom - summer. I don't know how the lilacs handle it.

We started the week with snowbanks over 4 feet high. Now they're a meager 2 feet and shrinking as I type this. I see pavement again and we celebrated by pulling out the bikes and a scooter, making rounds in the driveway. I took a snapshot of myself and felt a shock as I saw, not myself, but my mother.

It's not bad to look like one's mother. But the realization that, the older I get, the more I look like mine is well - shocking. If I'm starting to look like her, does that …

One Who Has Earned a Statue

Welcome to the Wannaskan Almanac for Friday.

   On this day in 1621 the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony signed a treaty with Massasoit, chief, or great sachem, of the Wampanoag Indians. The Pilgrims had arrived in Plymouth just the previous fall and wondered where all the Indians were. A good portion of them had died in the previous few years; killed, possibly, by smallpox, but more likely by leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that can lead to kidney failure and bleeding into the lungs.
   This absence of potentially hostile Indians gave the Pilgrims a chance to establish a beachhead in Plymouth. Massasoit saw the well-armed Pilgrims as an ally for his weakened tribe against their enemies, the Narraganset, down in Rhode Island.  This alliance was mutually beneficial. The Wampanoag provided the Pilgrims with food in the winter and warned them of attacks planned by other tribes. The Pilgrims nursed Massasoit beck to health one time when he was deathly ill.
   The peace lasted for fort…

DiarDaoin Am Màrt / Déardaoin Márta 21, 2019

Moon Night Driving

We left Bagley under a bright pre-solstice moon, driving the last ninety-one miles toward home, seeing but briefly a single other car ahead or behind us.

   We had left Albertville about seven pm driving thirty-seven miles through heavy traffic to Saint Cloud on I-94. Continuing on west, we drove through forty-three more miles of traffic to Sauk Centre, where we turned north off the interstate onto U.S. Hwy. 71 until we turned onto Minnesota 200 near Lake Itasca State park, then drove farther north to Zerkel and continued onto Minnesota Hwy. 92 for a total of one hundred forty-one more miles, traffic steadily decreasing to the point where my wife began to fearfully comment there was a lot less traffic than usual, even for a Monday night. 

A couple years ago, our seven year old grandson questioned us,  "Why do you live in the middle of nowhere?     So to understand his viewpoint, and the reluctance of our offspring to visit us on a casual basis, I urge you to go to …