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Showing posts from January, 2018

Word Wednesday, January 31

And here is the Wannaskan Almanac for Word-Wednesday, January 31, 2018, brought to you by Tooter's Bar & Grill in downtown Gatzke, home of the Toot Swede, Inge Tuttars, Proprietress.

Record temperatures for today are a high of 40 degrees Fahrenheit in 1993, and -43 degrees Fahrenheit in 1996.

As noted by John yesterday, while clock-time may march with a steadfast consistency, space-time and calendar time bend and curve according to the observer.

Today's Riddle: What's always coming but never arrives?* Should you need suggestions to fill your wait for what never arrives, curl up with some of the poetry and stories written by the authors born on this day: American western novelist Zane Grey, 1872; German poet Marie Luise Kaschnitz, 1901; American short story writer John O'Hara, 1905; French-American Catholic writer and Trappist monk Thomas Merton, 1915; and American novelist Norman Mailer, 1923. For astronomy buffs, U.S. space exploration began on this day 60 year…

January 30, 2018

Good Morning and welcome to the Wannaskan Almanac for Tuesday, January 30, 2018.
Character is like a tree and reputation is like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
-Abraham Lincoln-

Ah…cup of tea…check.
Warm blanket…check.
Ready to write…check.
Chihuahua biting my hand and scratching my arm, wanting to go outside…sigh.
Isn’t that the way it is? Things are going perfect and then out of nowhere something messes it up. Our little Chihuahua is named Luv, which is very ironic since he seems to hate everyone…and everything that he cannot eat. He has chosen two people to put on his “do not attack” list, and I am one of them. He is cute, which my wife claims has saved him on many an occasion.
January to me is the longest month. The drudgery of returning to work after the holidays makes the days stretch out, much like my sweatpants after all the maple fudge I ate. That maple fudge was delicious, but it has led me to make a New Year’s resolution…

29 January 18 Are Minnesotans Really Vikings?

A Note to Readers: Please enjoy this admittedly lengthy essay. It is the last of its kind for the foreseeable future on Mondays. Starting in one week, this writer will turn her pen to poetry, offering not only verses themselves, but also answers to the riddles that most poems seem to be. Hopefully, this combination will not only entice inquisitive readers, but also give them an opportunity to exercise their imaginations. JPS
VIKINGS – Are Minnesotans Really Vikings? / Minnesotans aren’t Really Vikings
Once again, the Vikings football team has come oh so close to playing in the Superbowl, and this time, it would have been on their home turf. Alas, like many of the Vikings raids of old, they were thwarted by the Eagles, which is particularly unnerving because the Eagle was important in Viking lore. Since 1969, the football Vikings sort have qualified for the playoffs 26 times, and played in the Superbowl four times, winning none. Right now, it wouldn’t be surprising if most Viking fans hi…

Sunday Squibs

A squib should make you think, but not too hard.

May your strengths come standard and your faults all be optional.

Jesus was executed on the same day as his trial. Christianity has since lengthened our stay on death row.

I'm the ruler of my own Middle Earth: the center of a universe with no fixed address.

Freedom is scary and the catchers are always looking to bring us back.

The novelist scoops with a net. The poet waits with a hook.

I knew a man who solved the daily puzzle to keep his mind sharp.
Nevertheless he ended in the home without a clue.

Like any library, the bible has some books that are hot while others gather dust.

Begin the evening's revelry with a thought to the morning's devilry.

God is accused of indifference. Yet we wouldn't want Santa hanging around after he does his job.

I build a galleon in my mind and crack a bottle across its bow, only to discover I still need a channel to the sea.

I am a fellow of two minds
One runs clockwise
As the other unwi…

Friday January 26, 2018

Good morning and welcome to the Wannaskan Almanac for Friday, the 26th of January.
It’s the birthday, in 1826, of Julia Dent, wife of Ulysses Grant, and First Lady from 1868-76. She grew up on a plantation near St. Louis and described her childhood as "one long summer of sunshine, flowers, and smiles…” Having thirty slaves around the place helped make that possible. Her brother was a classmate of Grant’s at West Point and introduced the two. Grant was smitten and proposed, but the 18 year old demurred. Grant was ordered South in the build-up to the Mexican War. Julia had a dream that Grant would appear in civilian clothes and announce he was staying for a week. All this happened and Julia said yes.
During the Civil War, Lincoln made sure Julia accompanied Grant on his campaigns. Grant had a reputation as a drinker when anxious, a bad trait in a general.
Julia loved being First Lady. She spent as much on furnishings and entertainment as had Mary Todd Lincoln without arousing the fur…

The Wannaskan Almanac for Thor’s Day January 25, 2018

A second cousin of mine--no, wait, maybe she’s ‘a cousin once removed’ instead, (never could keep that straight)--emailed me the other day, and among other things, told me she had been reading her grandma's nearly everyday journal entrys from 1980-1990. She mentioned that my name comes up quite a bit followed by her infamous question marks, the cousin said, adding gramma wrote with about the same emotion concerning cleaning out the refrigerator, details of the weather, her brother's blood pressure, as she did about Mt. St. Helens erupting.

That worries me. Well, who else has written me into their diary? I know I’ve neglected to, for several years now. Oh, I tried restarting a journal a few years back, but just couldn’t meet deadline. To my credit, I had kept a lengthy journal, thirty-some years ago, titled “Hot Coffee & Cold Beer” or “Cold Coffee & Warm Beer.”(I don’t remember for sure) that morphed into 3500 pages over thirteen volumes, then went through a few stage…

Wednesday, January 24

And here is the Wannaskan Almanac for January 24, 2018, brought to you by Solom's Shipyard, "We'll get you to the water after it's built."
January 24 is celebrated annually as:
Beer Can Appreciation Day, the first canned beer is sold by Kruger Brewing Company in 1935;
Change a Pet's Life Day;
National Compliment Day;
National Peanut Butter Day;
Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day; and
Belly Laugh Day.

In honor of Belly Laugh Day, this Daily continues last Wednesday's theme of playful English with a look at two other forms of word play; first, the spoonerism. The spoonerism, named after Reverend William Archibald Spooner, July 22, 1844-August 29, 1930, is an error in speech in which a pair of consonants, vowels, syllables, or morphemes are mixed up in a word or phrase to comic effect. One of the most simple and elegant examples is flutterby for butterfly. Here are some other examples from some of Palmville's finest, as wells as some others.

When …

January 23

Good Morning and welcome to the Almanac for Tuesday, January 23, 2018.
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.’”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
By the time that January 23 rolls around, even the most diehard advocate of hibernation has rolled their last ball of Christmas lights into an unsolvable knot, tossing them into a box with an oath to neatly store them once the weather warms up. I, on the other hand, realize that it is only eleven months and two days until Christmas comes around again so I dutifully leave my lights up…although I might not turn them on every night.
This is a great time of year to take a drive in Northern Minnesota. One of my favorite things to see at this time of year is evergreen trees holding up beautiful arrangements of flu…

22 January 2018: To Be or Not to Be

To be or not to be. That is the question. William Shakespeare
All righty, then. Let’s take on the big one: Life. Each of us has at least one or two or more burning questions that we are likely to spend a lifetime attempting to answer. Predictably, these questions fall into one of two categories: life and death. Leaving death to a future post, this entry focuses on where each of us is living at this moment; otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this post.
Such a gigantic subject, such as life, requires some structure even to begin to answer. Who, what, when, where, and why are all questions applicable to this subject, so for our purposes, we will use these categories for our explorations of the present inquiry. This approach will give us the proverbial advantage of eating the elephant, one piece at a time. Even though the topic is titanic, it is appropriate for an almanac entry. Definition of almanac: a handbook, typically published annually, containing information of general interest or on …

Sunday Squibs January 21, 2018

The epigram says just enough, and no more.

Love floods the world. Dive in, drink deeply, and let go of hate's debris.
We're given minds more powerful than Lamborghinis. Our job is building roads and bridges.
Red Riding Hood thought herself free. So too did Goldilocks. The paths of freedom are beset by wolves and bears, with huntsmen few.
Wax poetic if you must, but not too thickly. Wax paper's hard to read through.
The patriarchal house of cards is falling. But dad still owns the deck.
Science is our eyes to the great and tiny world beyond our cozy blue-roofed cubby.
Experiment, try again, do rarely do you hit the mark on the first try? But once hit, it's easily hit again.
Which do women dislike more: Mansplaining or the endless "Dunno" loop?
I have an uncanny but useless ability to guess an infomercial product's price before it's revealed. But wait, there's more...
When his team loses the big one, the brevity of life and the silliness …

Friday January 19, 2018

Welcome to the Wannaskan Almanac for Friday, the 19th of January.
The new moon was born on Tuesday, the 16th, but it’s almost impossible to find the crescent on its birthday. The photo above was taken in full daylight near Paris. It was made when the new moon was zero seconds old. The gaps in the curved line are caused by the craters and mountains of the moon.
According to Old Joe’s Almanac, it’s the best day for putting your affairs in order, renewing your placebo prescriptions, replying to unopened letters, and firing allthe minions you wish you had.
It’s the feast day of St. Fillan, a Scottish monk active in the eight century in the east of Scotland. He was abbot of a monastery there and worked many cures and miracles, most famous being the time a wolf killed the ox Fillan used for working around the monastery. Fillan put a curse on the wolf and it had to do the ox’s work for the rest of its life. According to folklore, Fillan was able to make his forearm glow, enabling him to study h…

Wannaskan Almanac for January 18, 2018

In two days my daughter Bonny will turn 31. That January was a cold one too, dangerous windchills, subzero lows for days on end, and snow. My aunt, Irene Reese, invited us to stay the night at her home in Roseau because my wife was nine months pregnant and due anytime. Irene had been an LPN at the Roseau Area Hospital for many years and in addition to having birthed three children of her own, knew everything there was about childbirth by that time. She also knew all about living twenty miles from Roseau, five miles southwest of Wannaska, in Palmville Township in the middle of the winter, and how sometimes the car doesn’t start or the road drifts in with snow or babies decide to come earlier than they are expected. We appreciated her thoughtfulness and took her up on her offer.

I was working evening shift at that place in Roseau where I worked for nearly 34 years. The plant was about a half mile from my aunt’s house on Center Street, so it didn’t take me long to get there after the ca…

Wednesday, 17 January

And here is the Wannaskan Almanac for January 17, 2018, brought to you by Mittens from Dickens, "Our mittens beget warmth. Nothing propagates so fast."

Mittens from Dickens styles include:
The Ravishing Havisham: When you have Great Expectations for your evening at the Roseau Diner.
The Fancy Nancy: When you need to Twist that budget for special winter fashion accoutrements.
The Naughty Nickleby: For the teen flâneuse who wants to appear above the fray.
The Little Dorrit: For the common sense elementary schooler.
The Itty Biddy: The reliable choice for today's infant woman.
Find your favorite at Minnesota Bead Gypsy in fabulous downtown Roseau.

There are 348 days that follow today this year. This date is slightly more likely to fall on a Tuesday, Thursday, or Sunday (58 in 400 years each) than on Friday or Saturday (57), and slightly less likely to occur on a Monday or Wednesday (56). Persons born on this day fall under the Zodiac house of Capricorn, the most determ…