Skip to main content


15 April 2024 The First Post

Posted January 18, 2018 The dead of winter. That’s where were find ourselves on this 8 January 2018 in far northwestern Minnesota, where the latitude is much higher than Toronto. We of the northern climes know that January is the coldest moth. We don’t need no gull-dang meteorologists to tell us that. But after interminable weeks, yesterday we had a reprieve going from -24 (or thereabouts) in the early morning hours to 12 above in mid-afternoon. “Wow”! People exclaimed with amazed joy. “It’s almost balmy.” and “Time to take off the mukluks.”  For those of you non-Minnesotans, you see we have just weathered (pardon the homonym or homograph – take your choice) the second coldest period in our recorded history for late December/early January – as reported by National Public Radio. Thirty below, without wind chill popped up (really down) on our thermometers more than once during that interval. Immigrants from warmer climes ask us natives (or long-time residents – 18 years for this writer),
Recent posts

Sunday Squibs

  The worst procrastination puts hell into the future while doing nothing to fix the one around us.  Our country needs more eclipses.  Both ends of the spectrum believe in Science for at least a day.  Like a Christmas ornament, I’m essentially jovial also non-tread-on-able.  Judge not lest ye be judged We’re not talking about some court date down the road, but right now before Judge Self Hope is our default virtue Faith we ask for Love is up to us People say they can't see God therefore he doesn't exist They need to put on their love lenses  Falling blossoms are the confetti at the marriage of Summer and Spring  We don’t truly learn a thing until we need it.  When in Spain I wanted to be transported back to freshman Spanish class. Pero no es posible. In old age we can make our residual youth last a long, long time; mainly by not doing stupid things. A demon sits on our shoulder ready to devise torments for those who hurt or annoy us.

Winning WAKWIR of Wannaska

Hello and welcome to another Saturday on the road here at the Wannaskan Almanac. Today is April 13th. Last weekend, we graced the gravelly gates of Granite City (aka St. Cloud) for the Granite City robotics regional - aka, Team FRED's last chance to make it to the FIRST Robotics Championship in Houston. The robot was performing pretty well and I whooped when FRED was the first pick of Alliance 5 for the final matches. It was looking pretty good, until their robot, Isabella, stopped performing. It looked like the final chapter of the Book of FRED had been read. That is until the very last award - the Impact Award - was presented. FRED won! Here's their Impact Award 2024 video . The kids whooped and cried and cheered and sobbed. Pandemic aside, FRED has made it to the world competition every year since 2019. The team goes to Houston already NEXT WEEK on Monday. This team has a lot of seniors, including the WAKWIR, about half of whom have been involved with robots since the 6th gr

The Road Unscrolled

    "The open road, the dusty highway, the heath, the common, the hedgerows, the rolling downs! Camps, villages, towns, cities! Here to-day, up and off to somewhere else to-morrow!" -Toad of Toad Hall    The Wind in the  Willows     Mr. Toad is rich, jovial, and kindhearted, but can also be arrogant and rash. He indulges his lust for travel by buying and wrecking new cars. His friends put him under house arrest. He escapes, steals a car, is caught and sent to prison. After many adventures he returns home a changed man, or toad.      The French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote, “All of humanity's problems, stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” There's a lot of truth in that, but did Pascal listen to his own advice? He spent lots of time in religious arguments with his fellow Frenchmen. He was always running back and forth between his home in Rouen and Paris. He established the world's first public transportation, a bus line in Paris. When he

April Eleventh, 2024 Dakota Backroads Journal


Word-Wednesday for April 10, 2024

And here is the Wannaskan Almanac with Word-Wednesday for April 10, 2024, the fifteenth Wednesday of the year, the fourth Wednesday of spring, the second Wednesday of April, and the one-hundred first day of the year, with two-hundred sixty-five days remaining. Today brought to you by Bead Gypsy Studio , featuring their VINTAGE FLATWARE JEWELRY April Sale: 10% off the first piece; 20% off the second piece; 30% off the third piece.   Wannaska Phenology Update for April 10, 2024 Robins! The American robin ( Turdus migratorius ) has swooped down upon Wannaska in large numbers over the last few days. Some live year-round in southern Minnesota, but Wannaska is part of their breeding range. The American robin is active mostly during the day and assembles in large flocks at night. Its diet consists of invertebrates (such as beetle grubs, earthworms, and caterpillars), fruits, and berries. It is one of the earliest bird species to lay its eggs, beginning to breed shortly after returning to its

Wannaskan Almanac for Tuesday, April 9, 2024 Parodies of the Sacred Cow

On the very last day of the 1970's, Far Side comics were first released by Gary Larson.  His comics appeared in newspapers until January 1, 1995.  For fifteen years of newspaper comics we at the Wannaskan Almanac applaud you, Mr. Larson, and award you with this fitting parody of your work.  Enjoy! Of course, like Kentucky Fried Chicken, the original is always better.  But by calling these "parodies" I have once again managed to sneak something past our censors!  Catch you on the Far Side!