Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mostly About Lake Ice

Sunday January 31, 2010. Before anything else, an urgent reminder for my fellow-husbands: Valentine's Day is two weeks away. There's still time to get your wife something thoughtful. (I'm set: my wife knows my limitations - she told me what would be thoughtful.)

Okay. What's been happening here in Sauk Centre?

Cold. Snow. Ice. And Ice fishing.

Road to the ice fishing huts on Sauk Lake. January 29, 2010.

Minnesota is in that part of the world where water is a mineral for part of the year. That road is lake ice on Sauk Lake,east of Highway 71, by the bridge north of town. Right now, it's safe: and I've yet to hear of someone breaking through up there.

I'll say this for living in a slightly extreme climate: it encourages situational awareness and common sense.

Let's take a closer look at that photo:

A little village of fishing huts: and probably more around the bend. January 29, 2010.

There's a signboard on the landward side of that ice road, with official notices that are, by and large, more appropriate to the part of the year where unattended water is in its liquid state.

That "Exotic Species Alert" is important, but I've sometimes felt a sort of admiration for new species that survive a winter here. January 29, 2010.

Finally, a plug for my webcam's blog: Small Town America: Minnesota. You'll see live streaming video from near the corner of South Ash Street and 9th. I think it's the first on-the-street webcam in Sauk Centre, with 24/7 coverage. Apart from a few minutes interruption now and again, of course. Or, in the case of that power outage and some of my more spectacular technical issues, an hour or more.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fire at a Power Pole, Haiti Fundraiser, Webcam

Wednesday, January 27, 2010. That power outage Friday night affected quite an area. This week's Sauk Centre Herald says the lights were out from the north end of Sauk Lake to the Lynx golf course, south of town, and as far as West Union. All because of a fire at an XCEL Energy pole near mile marker 123 on I-94, between Sauk Centre and West Union.

What's still amazing to me is that there aren't more outages. The power grid is a finely-tuned, continent-wide system, and remarkably sensitive to problems like that fire. That far out of the way, I'm impressed that power came back on after no more than maybe an hour and a half. After reading the paper, I know why there was so much traffic here at South Ash and 9th. There was a boys basketball game at the school Friday night. And, a hockey game at the civic arena. I've yet to be in a public place when the emergency lighting kicks in: and don't mind a bit.

Jitters Java: new sign on the door. New hours, too, I think. At least, I don't remember their being open Sunday, 8:00 to 2:00. January 22, 2010.

Traffic at the corner of South Ash Street and 9th, around 8:50 p.m., Friday night. No street lights. January 22, 2010.

A column in Jitters Java serves as a bulletin board - one of several around town. If you've been meaning to donate to that Haiti fundraiser: there's still time. Here's what I wrote last week:
I see in the Sauk Centre Herald that First State Bank is offering $20,000 in matching funds. Here's what the Herald says, in part:

"To make a donation checks should be made payable to the American Red Cross and dropped off or mailed to First State Bank of Sauk Centre, PO Box 266, Sauk Centre, MN 56378. Contributions will be accepted until Feb. 15."
I'll admit that I'm emphasizing that Haiti fundraiser quite a bit. My household gave at the second collection at Our Lady of the Angels on Sunday. The folks in Haiti can use help.

Yoga and a weight loss program: and a desert display case in the background. January 22, 2010.

Main Street Coffee Company: with a new menu. Sauk Centre's other specialty coffee shop. January 22, 2010.

Again with what's in this week's Sauk Herald. There's a DVD available, "A Walk to Remember." Dr. Julian Dubois, Jr., walked around Main Street and Sinclair Lewis Avenue with a cassette tape recorder, talking as he went. Pretty good idea, actually. There's more about the DVD and the people who made it in the paper. I'm glad to see that folks are making records of what they remember about this town. It's sort of what I'm doing with this journal.

Wednesday afternoon, school bus, under-used bird feeder. January 27, 2010.

I took that photo this afternoon, out the north window where I do most of my work. That's also where my webcam is. It may be Sauk Centre's first on-the-street webcam. It's supposed to be on 24 hours a day, with a few minutes down time now and again. Key phrase here is "supposed to" - the thing was offline for quite a while today. I'd say "technical difficulties," but I may have hit the wrong button.

If you want to check out the view, streaming video from the webcam is at Small Town America: Minnesota, the webcam's blog.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Well, That's Interesting: Blizzard Warning

Happily, I don't need to go anywhere for the next 18 hours or so.

Looks like there's a blizzard coming:
Message:NOAA-NWS-ALERTS-MN20100125194200MPXBlizzardWarningMPX20100126060000MN from
Sent:13:42 CST on 01-25-2010
Effective:13:42 CST on 01-25-2010
Expires:00:00 CST on 01-26-2010
Event:Blizzard Warning






Target Area:Douglas
Lac Qui Parle
Yellow Medicine
Le Sueur
Blue Earth
(Current NWS Alert: | Blizzard Warning, National Weather Service)

If you live in my part of the world, central Minnesota, I'd like to offer a few suggestions. No pressure, and all this is strictly up to you.
  • If you really need to: take care
    • I'd like you to be around tomorrow
  • If your outing can be postponed
    • Do so
    • Or, take care
I've mentioned this before: All to often, in this part of the world, people drive out into a storm. Then, when the weather clears, someone has to go out and and recover their body, and the vehicle. There was a time when I saw the body wagon go out on a stretch of road by the airport in Fargo, North Dakota. Next day, I heard that a father and his daughter had figured they'd cut across there. Probably to save some time. As I recall, they made it about half-way.

The best way to deal with heavy weather around here is to stay inside and wait for it to blow over. But, like I said, it's up to you.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Power Outage, Valentine's Day is Coming, a Few Signs and Icicles

Sunday, January 24, 2010. The big deal this week was the power outage Friday night. It lasted over an hour, starting before 9:00 and going until about 10:10 p.m. I'm looking forward to reading what the Sauk Centre Herald has to say about it. As I wrote on the Sauk Centre Journal blog Friday night, lights were on in Alexandria, but not West Union. I've heard that folks in South Dakota had it much worse that we did.

Traffic at the corner of South Ash Street and 9th, around 8:50 p.m., Friday night. No street lights. January 22, 2010.

Aside form that, it's been pretty much business as usual. Except that I just remembered that I've forgotten about my wife's Valentine's Day present. Hoo boy.

Okay. I'm back. I've made a sort of note to myself, about that Valentine thing.

Two of Sauk Centre's businesses. Their vans, that is. January 15, 2022.

Something new in town, coming in the last decade or so: businesses with vans, and advertising on the vans. Well, new to me, anyway.

My wife and #3 daughter are at Soo Bahk Do: and recording the Vikings-New Orleans Saints game. Ain't technology great?

Santa's landing lights: and Valentine's Day decorations. January 22, 2010.

Icicles: the long one's over a yard long. January 23, 2010.

Another 'winter storm' over the weekend didn't do much apart from touching up the snow with a fresh surface.

My household pitched in at the second collection for Haiti at Our Lady of the Angels church today. And, repeating from Wednesday's entry:
I see in the Sauk Centre Herald that First State Bank is offering $20,000 in matching funds. Here's what the Herald says, in part:

"To make a donation checks should be made payable to the American Red Cross and dropped off or mailed to First State Bank of Sauk Centre, PO Box 266, Sauk Centre, MN 56378. Contributions will be accepted until Feb. 15."

Friday, January 22, 2010

No Power For an Hour

Well, that was interesting.

We had a power outage tonight, from around 9:00 p.m. to about 10:10.

I was looking at a light, when the power came back on. Can't say that I recommend the experience.

I heard that Sauk Centre was without power, and so was West Union, about seven miles roughly west by northwest. Lights in Alexandria were on. My source of information? My wife had gone over to a neighbor's, and shared information.

Quite a few people had been driving around, probably collecting information. It's informal, but we've got a pretty good information collection and distribution system here.

The likely culprit in this power outage was a winter storm that's working its way through this part of the country. This one includes ice: which isn't good for power lines.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fog, Frost, and Fundraisers for Haiti

Wednesday, January 20, 2010. You've heard it before. 'In Minnesota, if you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes: It'll change.' There's something to that old gag.

Like last Friday. The morning was foggy, around 9 and 10. Then, by 11, it was clearing. By noon, we had one of those picture-postcard days. Blue skies, frost on the trees, high swept clouds: the works.

Fog and frost: on just about everything. January 15, 2010.

Frost. Lots of really delicate frost. January 15, 2010.

Around 11:00 a.m., clearing. Not much wind, happily. January 15, 2010.

Once in a while, the road east of town, across the Sauk River to the two big cemeteries, looks really nice. Generally it's a matter of atmospheric effects: just the right amount of haze. Friday, around noon, it was the frost left by fog the night and morning before.

County Road 17, near the Sauk River. January 15, 2010.

I was downtown Friday, having my eyes checked (according to the doctor I have two, and they both work). Flags were up for Martin Luther King Day, this Monday.

Looking in the shop windows, it struck me how Catholic Sauk Centre is. We've got a fair assortment of churches. A Google map I've embedded in the Sauk Centre Journal Blog will give you an idea.

Still, there are a whole bunch of Catholics in town. I came from an area that was quite sincerely not Catholic - and the statuary and artwork, right out there in storefronts, still impresses me sometimes. Positively, that is.

Two-for-one photo: storefront and what's across the street in downtown Sauk Centre. January 15, 2010.

Martin Luther King Day was Monday: They got the flags out early. January 15, 2010.

I see in the Sauk Centre Herald that First State Bank is offering $20,000 in matching funds. Here's what the Herald says, in part:

"To make a donation checks should be made payable to the American Red Cross and dropped off or mailed to First State Bank of Sauk Centre, PO Box 266, Sauk Centre, MN 56378. Contributions will be accepted until Feb. 15."

Sounds good. My household's going to be giving at a second collection this Sunday, at Our Lady of the Angels church: but don't let that stop you from pitching in with what First State Bank is doing. Not that you would, of course.

Churches in Sauk Centre: Some of Them, Anyway

Here's what I got, looking for Sauk Centre churches on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

churches near Sauk Centre, MN
(from Google's text)

A: St Paul's Church‎
304 Sinclair Lewis Avenue, Sauk Centre, MN‎ - (320) 352-2196‎

B: Harvest Community Church‎
903 State Road, Sauk Centre, MN‎ - (320) 351-4089‎

C: Our Lady of Angels Church
207 7th Street South, Sauk Centre, MN‎ - (320) 352-3502‎

D: Faith Baptist Church‎
124 4th Street North, Sauk Centre, MN‎ - (320) 352-5356‎

E: Church of the Good Samaritan
529 Main Street South, Sauk Centre, MN‎ - (320) 352-6882‎

F: First Lutheran Church ELCA‎
304 Elm Street South, Sauk Centre, MN‎ - (320) 352-3623‎

G: Zion Lutheran Church‎
316 Maple Street, Sauk Centre, MN‎ - (320) 352-3447‎

H: River of Life Church‎
705 12th Street South, Sauk Centre, MN‎ - (320) 352-2315‎

I: United Methodist Church‎
504 Elm Street South, Sauk Centre, MN‎ - (320) 352-2827‎

J: First United Church‎
620 5th Street South, Sauk Centre, MN‎ - (320) 352-2030‎

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fog in Central Minnesota

It's a few minutes after 10:00 a.m. right now. I checked weather conditions in Alexandria, down the road, on Wunderground, and they're still reporting freezing fog.

Folks here are still driving with their lights on: and a good thing, too.

South Ash Street here in Sauk Centre. I took this picture about 9 this morning. Yes: It was that dark. January 19, 2010

The fog was supposed to lift around 9:00 a.m., when I took that photo. Now it's supposed to clear up around noon. We'll see.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

More Snowmen, and Snowmobile Tracks

Sunday January 17, 2010. The heavy snowfall encouraged folks in town to make snowmen. Lots of them.

The closer one is a snowman. Definitely. January 12, 2010.

A snowman with oranges for eyes: but a snowman nonetheless. And a really big one. January 12, 2010.

The other one: The top part's a snowman - I think The frog's not snow of any sort. I'll call the whole thing a snow sculpture. January 12, 2010.

I'd been wondering about snowmobiles. I hadn't noticed as many as I expected - but it's pretty obvious that I wasn't looking in the right place at the right time. I've found quite a few of their tracks.

Snowmobile tracks on the north side. January 12, 2010.

And, I found a snowman who may have been frozen in fear.

With that many snowmobiles going that close: That snowman may have a reason to look scared. January 12, 2010.

Ever get that feeling: that you're being watched? By a snowman?

Sure - he looks like he's just gazing at nothing in particular. But as you can see: that snowman was definitely leaning over, to peek around the tree. January 12, 2010.

Then, after taking those photos, I went back the usual routine. Winter fun's fine: but the van needed fuel, and there were errands to run.

Holiday Super Stop, near the Interstate. January 12, 2010.

Sauk Centre has flags up, along part of (The Original) Main Street and Sinclair Lewis Avenue, in preparation for Martin Luther King day tomorrow. I took some pictures when I was downtown on Friday: but I'm saving those for Wednesday.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mostly About Snowmen

Wednesday, January 13, 2010. I don't generally come back to the same subject, after just one week. But these snowmen deserved a second look. You may remember them: They're the snowman family I showed back on January 6th. My wife saw them yesterday, and told me that one of them had week whackers for arms.

That's a new one to me: weed whackers for arms. January 12, 2010.

Quite a few folks have been making snowmen, making good use of that heavy snowfall.

I'm not sure if it's a sort of cenotaph, or maybe a snowman playing William Tell's son. January 12, 2010.

Faceoff of the snowmen. January 12, 2010.

The snowman on the left had corncob eyes. January 12, 2010.

I've said this before: Minnesota's weather isn't boring.

Picture-postcard weather yesterday, making a lovely scene of the bandshell and parking lot down by Sauk Lake. January 12, 2010.

Today, it was fog in the morning and overcast the rest of the day. January 13, 2010.

The fog left a delicate frost. January 13, 2010.

It's been quite a long time since there was a Snyder Drug downtown. Or a Ben Franklin store, for that matter. "Small town America" may be a changeless Brigadoon in some stories" but I've been over that before. I ran into "Snyder Drug" again today, in the news.

Like the fellow said: "Nothing endures but change." "Walgreen buys Minnesota's Snyder's Drug Stores," Reuters (January 13, 2010). I found out that there were 25 Snyder's in Minnesota. Looks like Walgreen will keep some of the stores they acquired open - and plan to keep the folks who worked at Snyder's working there. Smart - and good news for those people.

For what it's worth, back in the eighties I'd hear Snyder's downtown called "Schneider's" - not in writing, but that's the way it was pronounced by some folks.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Something Extra: Ice On The Window

Ice on the window. January 8, 2010.

"I Only Know What I Read in the Papers"

Sunday, January 10, 2010. "I only know what I read in the papers" comes close to describing my experience of Sauk Centre this week. I've been doing not much quite a bit. I have one of those annoying bugs that are tough enough to produce a fever and a encourage staying inside: but without any interesting symptoms.

On a more serious note, one of the three funerals I heard about today was for Michael D. "Mike" Willhite. My condolences to his family and friends. I had a bit more to say in one of my blogs. (Another Death in the Community: This One Was Avoidable, Small Town Dad (January 10,

I had to get to the Post Office Friday, and stopped by Coborn's on my way home. (I made sure I didn't breathe on anyone.)

No snowboarding polar bear at Coborn's now. January 8, 2010.

It was 'business as usual' at Coborn's: I suppose the Valentine's Day displays will be out, later in the month.

Sauk River. January 8, 2010.

Another week, another Herald. January 10, 2010.

Like I said, this has been an "I only know what I read in the papers" week for me. I was at Coborn's mainly to pick up coffee, partly to get the Sauk Centre Herald before it was next week. I learned that a barn burned - total loss - near Melrose. Good news, apparently nobody was hurt. There's that tax abatement thing I wrote about on Wednesday. That was front page news. Literacy tutors were the big news this week.

And, at the bottom of the front page, "The Power of 'No' " - an article that starts with "Wouldn't you like your kids or grandchildren to turn out to be adults who are self-disciplined, self-confident, honest, fun to be around and responsible?" (more online at the Sauk Centre Herald website)

Seems like a daft question. I mean, who would answer "no" to that? Well, I'm old enough to remember trailing edge of a time when parents were told - and often believed - that saying 'no' to your kids would stifle their creativity, or give them inhibitions, or something like that. My parents hadn't gotten the message, so I heard "no" fairly often. Good thing, too.

I know: parents can be over-strict ('no sneezing without permission'?): but this "The Power of 'No' " is a set of five sessions with topics like "Say no when you should," "parenting style and connection with kids,: "Real self-esteem and how to praise a kid," and "Knowing and presenting DDD." DDD, the article explains, is Disciplinary Deficit Disorder. Sounds reasonable to me.

Don't get me wrong: I think it's great for kids to be creative. Which is just as well, since one of my daughters is a music major, another is a writer, and the the oldest is back in school, studying commercial art. My son? He's close to publishing the beta version of software that he's developing. (Sounds like bragging, but I've got a pretty good opinion of my kids.)

Enough of that. I'm on the mend - I hope - and trust that I'll have something besides what I read in the paper to write about by Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Photos of the New Melrose Clinic, Snowmen, and Downtown Sauk Centre

Wednesday, January 6, 2010. Maybe you're in this position, too: you've finally gotten a vehicle excavated from December's snowfall. Now you've heard that there's a winter weather advisory out, just west of here: more snow is on the way.

Before getting back to Sauk Centre: the clinic in Melrose has been in their new quarters for a while now.

Melrose clinic: looks better
with the walls up. January 5, 2010.

Inside the new Melrose clinic: reception area. January 5, 2010.

I don't think a clinic waiting area can ever be really 'cozy' - but this is close. January 5, 2010.

Back to Sauk Centre.

Nice old-fashioned-looking streetlamps downtown - and a contrail. January 5, 2010.

Downtown Sauk Centre: I'm enjoying the holiday decorations while I can. They'll be down soon. January 5, 2010.

A foot-and-a-half of snow coming down in less than a week can be inconvenient, even awkward, to deal with. On the other hand, it provides the raw material for really big snowmen: and some folks in town took advantage of the situation.

That snowman's well over life-size. And, festively wearing a wreath. January 1,2010.

A snowman family. That's no trick of perspective: they really are tall. January 5, 2010.

A snow fort. Someone arranged to get a generous dollop of snow pushed up on their front yard. The kids must be having a great time. January 5, 2010.

I see in the paper that last summer Dunham Express moved into the industrial park building that Advanced Lighting had used. Durham Express is a Wisconsin-based courier service.

This week's article was mostly about a tax abatement Durham Express got. Can't say I'm sorry to see another business in town. Even if they don't employ a lot of folks, the people who work there - and pass through - will drink coffee downtown, or somewhere nearby, probably buy groceries and gasoline from time to time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Small Town Hicks and Simpletons, Conventional Wisdom, and Quotes

This post is more about what urbanites know - or think they know - about those simple, ignorant, dull but colorful people who live in small towns.

What got me started was this quote:

"If you would be known, and not know, vegetate in a village; If you would know, and not be known, live in a city."
Charles Caleb Colton (1780 - 1832)
(The Quotations Page)

Around 1700, he may have been right.

Who Was Charles Caleb Colton?

After a little nosing around, I found this micro-biography:

"COLTON, Charles Caleb Colton (c 1780-1832) clergyman, sportsman, gambler, suicide, and author of the aphoristic Lacon (2 vol. 1820-1822)"
(Chambers Biographical Dictionary, Edinburgh, W.R.Chambers, 1914)
("Introducing Reverend Charles Caleb Colton," The Charles Caleb Colton Website)

("Lacon" - "Lacon: or, Many things in few words: address--to those who think," by Charles Caleb Colton - is available online on Google Books.)

Vegetating in a Village - and Loving It

I've lived in a few cities, and in a town so small that the most prominent citizen was a turtle made out of truck wheels. That doesn't make me an expert in urban and rural cultures, not a certified one anyway, but I couldn't help noticing a few things along the way.

For example, small towns and cities are both populated by people. Some are alert members of vibrant societies. Some aren't. And a few are jerks. I haven't noticed any great difference in the ratios between, say, San Francisco and Dunseith, North Dakota.

I've lived in a small town, Sauk Centre, for the last 23 years. It'll be 24 years around the end of this month. This isn't the idyllic land of Huck Finn clones and wooden apple barrels that one stereotype of Small Town America would predict. It isn't the cesspool of inbred sociopaths and religious nuts of another stereotype. And it certainly isn't the abode of comic simpletons you see in "Green Acres" reruns.

Life in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, isn't perfect: but it'll do. Like the title of one section of my Brendans's Island website says: "I Love It Here!"

As for vegetating in a village; and the tranquil, slow pace of small town life: I think that each of us determines how much we use our brains; and how much we try to do. If anything, I'm busier here in Sauk Centre, than I was when I lived in San Francisco.

What 'Everybody Knows' May Not Be So

Sometimes conventional wisdom is right. Like 'if you drop a hammer on your foot, it'll probably hurt.' Sometimes, not so much.

C. C. Colton's assumption about vegetating in a village - and the anonymity of urban life - has some basis in fact. In a city, it's virtually impossible to know everyone you see downtown by sight. There's just too many people for that. On the other hand, my experience was that I got to know people in places I was at frequently about as well as I know people here in Sauk Centre.

But I'm getting off-topic.

Reverend Colton's observation about people who live in villages may have been somewhat accurate. In England. Around 1800.

Two centuries later, I doubt that there are any Brigadoons in the British Isles. Here in America, there are spots where cell phones won't work and you need a satellite dish to get television programming - but living 'off the grid' is an option, not a necessity.

I was going to write more about stereotypes and the reality of urban and rural living, here in America, but it'll be easier to copy something I did in April, 2008:
This may not happen again for a long time. I agree with part of an article in the Huffington Post:

Californians as a group "are a people in a state already surfeited with a smug sense of superiority and, as an ironic consequence, a parochialism and insularity at odds with the innovation, prosperity and openness for which California is rightly known."
("Obama: No Surprise That Hard-Pressed Pennsylvanians Turn Bitter"
Huffington Post (April 11, 2008))

Urban Sophisticates / Small Town Hicks: Reality Check

For decades, I've seen indications that the stereotype behind "Green Acres" and similar comedies is not merely false: it's inverted. (Green Acres fans: please don't take offense. I thought the show was funny, and nobody came off as particularly sharp.)

Stay with me, please: I'm not trying to create another 'victim' group.

The stereotype is:
  • Knowledgeable, up-to-date, broad-minded city folk
  • Ignorant, decades out of touch with current events, dangerously narrow-minded country folk
There may have been a time when this reflected reality. In the days before the Internet, television, radio, telegraph, and the printing press, a person's - or a community's - knowledge of the world depended largely on personal, face-to-face, contact.

In a time when people seldom traveled more than a few miles from the place they were born, those who lived in cities had an enormous advantage over those in the country.

People who lived in cities had opportunities to meet and talk with many more people than people who lived in the country. And, city dwellers were more likely to meet people from other cities, or even other countries.

Where the country bumpkin might know the king's name, the city sophisticate might know what the king had for breakfast that morning, and be comparing several versions of what the king and the ambassador from abroad were discussing.

That was then.

Old Assumptions Meet the Information Age

I just got through listening to, and watching, a message that the Pope read, for the American people, in anticipation of his visit next week. I plan to watch part of it, although I'll be over a thousand miles away, in Minnesota.

That message is available to people living in downtown Manhattan; Winnemucca, Nevada; and Sauk Centre, Minnesota.

A person doesn't have to live in the heart of a great city to be informed. Not now. For example, I live in a small town in central Minnesota, with a population of about 4,000.

The stereotypical small town hick might, possibly, know who was president, but wouldn't be informed about affairs outside his little twarf. This resident of a small town, in a few minutes, pulled together this list of headlines: And, glanced through the stories.

Living outside a major metropolitan area no longer means being isolated from national and world events.

In fact, I suspect that people in rural areas are more knowledgeable of urban conditions, than the reverse.

It's not that rural people are smarter, or more interested.

What's going on in urban areas permeates the media. It's hard not to know something about New York City, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other cities.
  • Real-life minutia, from the latest grass fire outside Los Angeles, to traffic problems in New York City, dominate the news. It takes a major tornado outbreak to get something that detailed about life in the heartland on national television.
  • Fictionalized accounts of life in cities dominate entertainment media. Having lived both in urban and rural America, I know from personal experience that "Law and Order," for example, does a better job of portraying urban life, than "Green Acres" does for rural living.

Wake Up, Everyone! It's a New World!

I don't expect that 'sophisticated' people in California, and elsewhere, will give up that "smug sense of superiority and ... parochialism and insularity" any time soon. It's too comfortable a garment to cast off easily.

But, people who really believe that the natives of rural Pennsylvania are armed and dangerous xenophobic religious chauvinists are living in a world of yesterday: one that never really quite existed.

It's time for the rest of us to get on with the business of living in the Information Age.
("The Effect of Information Technology and Media Preoocupation with Urban Events on the Relative Sophistication of Urban and Rural Populations," Another War-on-Terror Blog (April 13, 2008))
I plan to be back Wednesday, with another regular post for the Sauk Centre Journal.

Related posts:

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year! From Sauk Centre, Minnesota

Sunday, January 3, 2010. The new year is off to a cold start. Right now, about 8:30 p.m., it's -10° in Alexandria. And probably not all that much warmer - or colder - here.

A little on the chilly side, even by Minnesota standards. December 31, 2009.

Between last week's snow, less-than-fully-efficient insulation, and sunlight, quite a few houses have icicles. Including mine.

They're not doing the roofing or the eaves any good: but icicles sure are pretty. January 1, 2010.

Down on South Main, the Knights of Columbus manger scene is up, as usual, in front of 520 Main.

With all the snow, it'll be a job: getting that out. December 31 2009.

Great River Regional Library's online catalog has a new feature. One of my kids pointed out that they now show a thumbnail of the cover, for many (most, from what I saw) of the books.

GRRL's online catalog: now with thumbnails. January 1, 2009.

I stopped in at Bryant Library, and took a few photos:

Bryant Library: I like what they did with the place. January 1, 2009.

Sauk Centre's public library started out looking pretty much the same as any other Carnegie library: except for that cupola. It's an architectural feature that was retained through an extensive remodeling a few years back. For which I'm duly grateful. It's distinctive, and I like the natural light coming down in the center of the library.

Bryant Library's cupola. January 1, 2009.

I'd wax poetic about the lovely snow gracefully covering winter's landscape: but it's dark out, I can't see a thing out the window, and it's too cold for me to step outside and take a look.