Sunday, February 27, 2011

Charlie Company Being Deployed

Sunday, February 27, 2011. I took advantage of today's warmer weather - comparatively warmer, that it - and grilled burgers this noon. What with one thing and another, it's been a while since I've done that.

The big deal that I know about at the moment is Our Lady of the Angels' Lenten Parish Mission with Steve Ray: that's March 13th and 14th, a Sunday and Monday. The Sunday thing is at the Sauk Centre High School auditorium. I'll probably be writing more about that: but not just now.

I am determined to get a flu shot next season: I didn't this year, and that may be part of why I've been sincerely off my feed for so long.

I see in the paper that Charlie Company will be deployed (again) May 27. They tell about Beyond the Yellow Ribbon - a program that encourages folks in the community to help families of deployed soldiers. 'They' being the Sauk Herald, that is.
Then there's Snow Week Royalty at Sauk Centre public schools: Maren Greenwaldt and Dillon Dean.

It's late, and I'm determined to get a good night's sleep: so, goodnight!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Winter Storm, and an Open Door

Monday, February 21, 2011. I still 'only know what's in the papers.' Mostly the Sauk Centre Herald, plus a few major news websites. The 'cattle rustlers' I mentioned, back in December, are in the news again. Like I said then, I think it's great when young people show initiative and try to start a business. But stealing cattle isn't a smart way to start a dairy operation. By all that's sane, how did they expect to account for those calves?

Moving along.

One of the things I like - a lot - about living here is that quite a few folks care about something besides money. Don't get me wrong: I don't think there's anything wrong with money. For one thing, it helps pay the heating bill. What brought that to mind was something else in the paper.

Looks like some of the state legislators want to have Minnesota liquor stores open on Sunday. In a way, I can see their point: There's a little tax revenue going to other states in border cities. Then there's the owner of Westside Liquor, here in Sauk Centre. Darin Thompson says he doesn't want to be open Sunday. He said "It's the one day our staff can spend time with their families" in a February 15 Herald article.

Like I said, I like living here. A lot.

Maybe not having to go outside today helped.

The phone rang this morning - maybe around 6:00 - letting us know that the Sauk Centre schools weren't opening today. Smart move, considering how much snow was coming down. It was a pretty sight, and not much of a problem for traffic. Here in town: thanks in large part to the street crews coming by with plows at intervals.

I found a report of snowfall amounts, and put some of the information on the Sauk Centre Journal Blog.

Yesterday, around 5:00 p.m., one of my kids noticed that a neighbor's front door was open. With nobody in sight. That got my attention: mid-February during a central Minnesota storm is no time to let the front door stay open. A little later the door was closed again.

Does checking back on that open door make me a nosy neighbor? Maybe. But if the door of our house stays open for no apparent reason: I hope our neighbors are just as "nosy."

As I've said before: Living in a small town doesn't give a person much "privacy." Not if "privacy" is taken to mean living among folks who don't know you, and don't care what happens to you. Again: I like living here. A lot.

February 20-21 Winter Storm: Lots of Snow in Minnesota

We had quite a storm, yesterday evening and today. I'll be discussing it a little later, but right now - here's an excerpt from a weather report.

Generally, I like to link to resources, and just have a summary here. Since not all websites do a good job of keeping their data: I'm taking an excerpt from's report on snowfall amounts.

That cryptic "St County time" thing almost certainly refers to Stearns County, Minnesota.

Looks like Alexandria, about 20 miles up the road, got 6 inches. Since Albany, in the other direction and on the way to St. Cloud from here, got 8 inches and St. Cloud got 6.2, 7.1, 6.2, and 5.9 inches - depending on when and where the snow was measured - I'd say that we got less than a foot of snow here in Sauk Centre.

Or maybe more than a foot. It looks a bit deeper in spots here - but snow drifts, and we've had some wind.

Anyway, here's part of that report:
"Warnings for Stearns, Minnesota : Weather Underground" (February 21, 2011)

Snowfall totals from the February 20th-21st storm system...

Snow reports listed by amount

inches location St County time
------ ----------------------- -- -------------- -------
19.00 Madison MN Lac Qui Parle 0936 am
17.00 NW Eden Prairie MN Hennepin 1030 PM
16.70 Bloomington MN Hennepin 0203 PM
16.30 SSW Montevideo MN Chippewa 0700 am
16.00 Bloomington MN Hennepin 0713 am
15.00 3 SSW Burnsville MN Dakota 0845 am
15.00 Springfield MN Brown 0840 am
14.00 Menomonie WI Dunn 1210 PM
14.00 Menomonie WI Dunn 1101 am
14.00 Woodbury MN Washington 0800 am
13.50 Maplewood MN Ramsey 1210 PM
13.30 Menomonie WI Dunn 0729 am
13.30 St Paul MN Ramsey 0610 am
Highland Park area of St Paul
13.00 Granite Falls MN Chippewa 1013 am
13.00 Richfield MN Hennepin 1000 am
12.90 3 WNW Rice MN Stearns 0700 am
12.70 Edina MN Hennepin 0203 PM
12.50 Minneapolis MN Hennepin 1210 PM - measured at Minneapolis international Airport.
12.50 ENE St Paul MN Ramsey 0530 am
12.40 Roberts WI St. Croix 0800 am
12.30 5 SW St Paul MN Ramsey 0845 am
12.30 Minneapolis MN Hennepin 0600 am - storm total measured at the Minneapolis/St Paul international Airport.
12.00 Inver Grove Heights MN Dakota 0803 am
12.00 Lake Elmo MN Washington 0800 am
12.00 3 N Bloomer WI Chippewa 0730 am
12.00 Baldwin WI St. Croix 0700 am
12.00 Credit River MN Scott 0553 am
11.70 Chanhassen MN Carver 1210 PM - measured at National Weather Service office.
11.60 Jordan MN Scott 0710 am
11.50 2 W Prior Lake MN Scott 0800 am
11.50 Milroy MN Redwood 0700 am
11.20 Chanhassen MN Carver 0600 am - storm total measured at the NWS office.
11.00 Morgan MN Redwood 0702 am
11.00 Red Wing MN Goodhue 0701 am
10.60 Minnetonka MN Hennepin 0803 am
10.50 Woodbury MN Washington 0805 am
10.50 Elk Mound WI Dunn 0600 am
10.30 Coon Rapids MN Anoka 0529 am
10.20 Minnetonka MN Hennepin 0539 am
10.00 Madelia MN Watonwan 1245 PM
10.00 Brownton MN McLeod 1210 PM
10.00 Comfrey MN Brown 1210 PM
10.00 Mankato MN Blue Earth 1013 am
10.00 NW Gilman MN Benton 0828 am
10.00 Redwood Falls MN Redwood 0805 am
10.00 Isanti MN Isanti 0626 am
10.00 Hastings MN Dakota 0600 am
10.00 Osceola WI Polk 0600 am
9.70 Waconia MN Carver 0803 am
9.70 North Mankato MN Nicollet 0700 am
9.60 Blaine MN Anoka 1100 am
9.00 Hutchinson MN McLeod 1145 am
9.00 Glenwood MN Pope 0815 am
9.00 Barron WI Barron 0728 am
9.00 3 ENE Montgomery MN Rice 0700 am
9.00 Lonsdale MN Rice 0600 am
8.60 New Hope MN Hennepin 0658 am
8.60 7 S Hillman MN Morrison 0653 am
8.60 9 NNE Bird Island MN Renville 0630 am
8.50 Rush City MN Chisago 0815 am
8.10 Bowlus MN Morrison 0829 am
8.00 Clayton WI Polk 1101 am
8.00 3 se New Ulm MN Brown 0800 am
8.00 Owatonna MN Steele 0800 am
8.00 2 S St Francis MN Anoka 0731 am
8.00 Durand WI Pepin 0730 am
8.00 Milaca MN Mille Lacs 0730 am
8.00 Rice Lake WI Barron 0725 am
8.00 Faribault MN Rice 0700 am
8.00 Albany MN Stearns 0700 am
8.00 Sauk Rapids MN Benton 0613 am
8.00 Andover MN Anoka 0600 am
8.00 Litchfield MN Meeker 0600 am
8.00 Carlos MN Douglas 0552 am
7.60 Rice MN Benton 0700 am
7.50 Monticello MN Wright 1100 am
7.50 1 NNW Cold Spring MN Stearns 0600 am
7.50 Forest Lake MN Washington 0554 am
7.20 Jim Falls WI Chippewa 0610 am
7.10 St cloud MN Stearns 1210 PM - measured at the prison.
7.10 Stanley WI Chippewa 0936 am
7.00 Rockford MN Hennepin 0203 PM - water equivalent 0.65 inches.
6.50 Cambridge MN Isanti 0743 am
6.50 Little Falls MN Morrison 0600 am
6.20 St cloud MN Stearns 0530 am
6.00 Onamia MN Mille Lacs 1117 am
6.00 North Branch MN Chisago 0936 am - 0.46 inches of liquid.
6.00 13 N Alexandria MN Douglas 0936 am - occurred in Leaf Valley.
6.00 3 WSW Princeton MN Sherburne 0630 am
6.00 Red Wing MN Goodhue 0600 am
5.90 St cloud MN Stearns 0600 am
5.80 E Owatonna MN Steele 0630 am
4.00 Kimball MN Stearns 0600 am
3.50 Long Prairie MN Todd 0600 am
2.00 Fairmont MN Martin 0700 am

Winter Storm, Schools Closed Today

The telephone rang at some unearthly hour of the morning today. Happily, my wife collected her wits faster than I did - didn't take much - and picked up the receiver.

It was a recorded message. School's out today.

Right now, around 8:25 a.m., big fluffy flakes are falling. Lots of them. Sometimes they're getting blown around, sometimes not. Here in town the driving's not so bad: thanks in large part to the plows that have been going by at intervals since the storm started.

And, despite looking like a picture postcard, this is a "winter storm." According to, there's 5.9 more inches of snow in St. Cloud (as of 6:00 a.m.), about eight inches in Albany (7:00 a.m.), and four in Kimball (6:00 a.m. again).

And a record's been set, although not in Minnesota: "... Record daily maximum snowfall set at Eau Claire WI...

a record snowfall of 9.5 inches was set at Eau Claire WI yesterday.
This breaks the old record of 5.5 inches set in 1937.

I'm impressed: The Sauk Centre schools didn't even pull the kids in, possibly to get a 'day of school' on the books. That's smart, in my opinion. Also common-sense safety.

And now, a plug for my webcam, streaming video of Sauk Centre at the corner of Ash and South 9th, displayed at Small Town America: Minnesota.

About yesterday's entry? I didn't get it written. I'm hoping to do so today.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lovely Spring-Like Weather, and an Explosion on a Pig Farm

Sunday, February 13, 2011. It's been a beautiful weekend: apart from
an energetic wind that's whooshing by at intervals. There's a wind advisory out, according to we're supposed to have winds "sustained between 25 and 35 mph with gusts around 50 mph" until about six in the morning.

It felt like spring when I was at Mass this morning. Above freezing by several degrees, and it's mid-February.

I've had the flu - or something very much like that. Whatever it is, it seems to be popular. The nursing home, I hear, is asking folks to stay away: and if they come, to be really careful.

It's like the fellow said: 'I only know what's in the papers.' Specifically, the Sauk Centre Herald. Hog farming is an important part of the economy around here - like the farms Paul Fiedler owns.

The good news is that it doesn't look like anybody got hurt.

The bad news is that one of Mr. Fiedler's maintenance buildings exploded - some pieces hit a quarter mile away. Between that, and the fire that came after, around 4,800 hogs had to be moved in a hurry.

One more thing: Tomorrow's Valentine's Day. I got something for my wife: but don't be too impressed. One of my daughters picked it out for me.