Monday, May 30, 2011

Tornado Watch, Storms Coming, Wilmar NOAA Station Down

I'm staying up later than usual tonight. There's a tornado warning on for this area until 2:00 a.m.

Folks in the Willmar area, about 45 miles south of here, seem to be missing a NOAA Weather Radio station. I read this a few minutes ago, online:
"Statement as of 9:34 PM CDT on May 30, 2011

"... The Willmar NOAA Weather Radio station is not transmitting...

"A local citizen alerted the National Weather Service of possible problems earlier this evening. After confirmation that information was being sent to the radio... but was not distributed from the transmitter... mndot sent a technician to the site to evaluate the problem. The technician suspects that the tower was struck by lightning as several components have melted. Parts will be ordered on Tuesday but it may take several days for the transmitter to be fixed.

"Those individuals that use the Willmar transmitter as their primary transmitter are encouraged to try the St cloud transmitter... the Olivia transmitter... the Appleton transmitter or the Kensington transmitter as alternates to receive weather and warning information. Another option is to refer to the NWS Twin Cities web Page at www.Crh.NOAA.Gov/mpx
(Sauk Centre weather,
Here's what radar for this area looked like at 10:44 p.m., about 10 minutes ago:

Trees here in Sauk Centre are thrashing around a bit, but the storm hasn't quite arrived yet.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011. It's the midpoint of Memorial Day weekend. I'm taking it easy this weekend, in sharp contrast to the folks in Charlie Company. Here's an excerpt from the Sauk Centre Herald's website:
"The community of Sauk Centre said goodbye, for the next 12 months anyway, to the 131 soldiers in Charlie Company on Wednesday, May 25, at the VictriVillage Campus as the unit prepares for their 12-month mission in Kuwait.

" 'We will deploy to write the final chapter of the Iraq war,' said Lieutenant Colonel Brian Melton, commander of the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor (1-194 CAB). He addressed the friends and family who gathered to support the troops that afternoon...."
(Sauk Centre Herald (Friday, May 27, 2011))
There's quite a lot more at the Herald website ( about Charlie Company, and their sendoff. Including photos.

Our Lady of the Angels church had a special collection for tornado relief this weekend. Weather around here has been, thankfully, much less interesting.

I plan to be back, before next Sunday, with a photo or two: but we'll see what actually happens.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mostly Photos, and a Bank Clock That's Not There

Sunday, May 22, 2011. I'm mostly doing 'catch up' today, with some photos that could have gone with earlier entries - but didn't.

Most yard sale items go for a whole lot less than this. May 15, 2011.

Blue sky. Sunshine. Lilac flower that aren't quite out yet. May 15, 2011.

Just before the last season's last high school band concert. May 16, 2011.

These are the 'band concert' photos I mentioned last week. The auditorium wasn't 'standing room only,' but there weren't many empty seats, either.

Sauk Centre High school band concert. May 16, 2011.

Photos of a band concert miss something important, of course: the music. May 16, 2011.

My #1 daughter and I went to the afternoon showing of Thor at Mainstreet Theatre today. Good movie, by the way: in my opinion. Crossing the corner of Sinclair Lewis Avenue and Main, I noticed that the First National Bank clock looked odd.

First National Bank clock: or, rather, where the clock has been. May 22, 2011.

Taking a closer look, I noticed - there was no clock in the bank sign. No wonder it looked different. Why the clock isn't there, I don't know. As I said last month, I gotta get out more.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Another Beautiful Day: Or, Not Much to Say

Monday, May 16, 2011. Another beautiful day. I've been distracted by the clear blue sky, and a few tasks around the house.

Then, this evening, I went to the last band concert of the school year. I might even have a photo or two for Sunday's entry. Or, not. We'll see how that turns out. Folks filled the auditorium, someone at the back was making a video of the concert, and they were out of programs by the time I arrived. I enjoyed the music, anyway.

Besides: It's not all that easy to read in the dark.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What a Beautiful Day!

Sunday, May 15, 2011. What a beautiful day! Blue sky, mild temperatures, and too early in the season for mosquitoes. Neighbors across the street had a yard sale this weekend, folks farther down the street have a boat for sale.

I grilled burgers around noon, and relaxed for the rest of the day.

I'll get around to writing something tomorrow.

That's the plan, anyway.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011. Mother's Day. The week before this one, we had the usual 'Minnesota sampler' variety of weather: dreary rain, relentlessly cheerful skies, and just about everything between.

Thursday afternoon rain, last week. April 27, 2011.

Friday afternoon lilac bud, last week. by. April 28, 2011.

Right - I almost forgot the blooming trees and all that. Springtime in Minnesota. Which is the time of year when the local Knights of Columbus council does our annual 'Tootsie Roll drive,' for places like Camphill Village. I don't know the latest 'correct' term for folks who have (developmental disabilities???).

Which didn't keep me from putting in time at Coborn's, a week ago last Friday. Some of the other fellows handed out Tootsie Rolls at Mass in several churches around here, that weekend. (A tip of the hat to Coborn's in Sauk Centre, for letting us stand there.)

Charity fundraiser at Coborn's: the K. of C. 'Tootsie Roll drive.' April 29, 2011.

Today had it all: gray skies with dreary rain; and bright blue cheerfulness.

Before Mass at Our Lady of the Angels Church in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. May 8, 2011.

During Mass at Our Lady of the Angels church. May 8, 2011.

We said a series of prayers for mothers this morning at Our Lady of the Angels church. Since one of my daughters and son-in-law were here for the weekend, I got my first look at Gerard's meeting hall, behind the restaurant. I'd known it was there - but hadn't realized how large it was.

Gerard's meeting room, Mother's Day. May 8, 2011.

There's more - there always seems to be more - but it's getting late, and this will do for this week.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Earthquake in Alexandria, Just Down the Road

Sunday, May 1, 2011. Divine Mercy Sunday. A few snowflakes were coming down this morning when the family went to church this morning. As I've said before, springtime in Minnesota is - different.

My oldest daughter came to visit this weekend, arriving Friday afternoon. As usual, she brought her cat, Twitches, with her. Twitches earned her name - and was even more 'twitchy' and nervous Friday afternoon.

Probably for good reason: #1 daughter told me that she'd heard the early-morning earthquake in Alexandria that morning.

Normally, I'd be writing more about Sauk Centre: but this week I'm concentrating on excerpts from the news about that earthquake:

"Earthquake Hits Alexandria, MN; Very Unlikely in Duluth"
Jacob Kittilstad & photojournalist Jeff Ernewein, FOX 21 News (Duluth, Minnesota) (April 29, 2011)

"Early Friday morning in Alexandria, Minnesota, neighbors had a shakey awakening.

"An earthquake rattled part of the city causing no injuries but leaving some Minnesotans wondering if it could happen anywhere else.

" 'I have never heard of an earthquake happening in the Midwest,' one Duluth woman said leaving the grocery store.

" 'Yeah, it would be weird.'

"But, at 2:30 a.m. it happened the U.S. Geological Survey said. The magnitude reading was a 2.5 in Alexandria where worried phone calls poured into authorities...."
"Minor quake shakes western Minnesota"
U.S. News, UPI (April 29. 2011)

"A minor earthquake rattled western Minnesota early Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

"The quake measured 2.5 on the Richter scale, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The epicenter appeared to be on the edge of the town of Alexandria, near the airport.

"John Bellini, a geophysicist with the survey, said about 20 people reported feeling the quake. There were no reports of damage...."
"Earthquakes happened in region in 1975, 1993"
Echo Press (Alexandria, Minnesota) (April 29, 2011)

"Keith Brugger, a Professor of Geology at the University of Minnesota, Morris, said he hadn't yet reviewed any information regarding Friday's quake, but added that it probably was an event on the Great Lakes Tectonic Zone.

"West Central Minnesota sits on a 'suture,' or boundary, of the GLTZ. About 2.5 billion years ago, rocks of the Minnesota River Valley, which are 3.5 billion years old, collided with the slightly younger volcanic mass represented by granites and 'greenstones,' Brugger said.

" 'That event happened so long ago and we're still living with its legacy,' Brugger said.

"The greenstones were volcanic island arcs -- such as Japan and the Philippines -- that previously collided and contributed to the formation of North America, Brugger stated...."
"Magnitude 2.5 Earthquake Strikes Near Alexandria, Minn." (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota) (April 29, 2011)

"A rare earthquake struck western Minnesota early Friday, rattling ceiling tiles and prompting a few curious callers to phone 911 but going largely unnoticed by most of the sleeping public, authorities said.

"The quake, which the U.S. Geological Survey said was magnitude-2.5, struck at 2:20 a.m. and was felt mostly in the Alexandria area.

"Sgt. Tom Egan of the Douglas County sheriff's office said staff at the county's 911 center felt it and took 25 to 30 calls from the public, mostly from people who were just curious. By contrast, he said, county dispatchers typically get hundreds of calls during severe thunderstorms.

"Callers reported some noise and minor movement, including "ceiling tiles bouncing just a touch," Egan said. But he said nobody reported any damage or anyone hurt. Relatively few people in the largely rural area would have been awake at the time, he said.

"He said the department was referring callers to the USGS web site for further information.

"Minnesota gets a 'feelable' earthquake every five to 10 years on average, though that can vary a lot -- and more often than not, they're in west-central Minnesota, said Val Chandler, a geophysicist with the Minnesota Geological Survey...."