Who made your dreams possible? (5×8 – 12/28/10)

Who went above and beyond for you in 2010, the speed of tech, the long slog of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, on the third day of Christmas, and the curse of snow glaciers.


1) ABOVE AND BEYOND

American Public Media’s The Story has selected its favorite interviews of the year and this one is a slam dunk. Pharmacist Kat Walker planned a wedding on short notice for a dying man.

UM Pharmacy – Kat Walker Story from UMB news on Vimeo.

Who went “above and beyond” for you in 2010? Who made your dreams possible?

2) AT THE SPEED OF TECH

We’re in the last days of the decade, one in which things zipped along — technically speaking — more than we remember. Ten years ago, the “modem sound” was your companion as you logged into the Internet, AOL was gobbling up a mainstream media giant, and where did you put that stylus for your PDA anyway?

Things are moving faster than we realize.What was the decade’s best invention? St. Paul Real Estate‘s Teresa Boardman says it’s the do-not-call list.

3) THE LONG SLOG OF PULLING YOURSELF UP BY YOUR BOOTSTRAPS

When the Fargo Forum met Stephanie Matthews two years ago, she was working a part-time job in food service, driving a broken-down truck that had to be started with a screwdriver and struggling to pay for a $10 prescription for Amber. It was her 25th birthday. The newspaper has been catching up with people it profiled in the past. This is the part where we tell you a big success story and maybe some day it will be, but not quite yet. She’s moved back to North Carolina. She’s studying to be a nurse.

4) ON THE THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS…

.. we learned that some parents have a long-term plan for things that others don’t.

The “new guy” who appears is the “little girl’s” husband.

5) CURSE OF THE SNOW GLACIERS

I’m not proud of the way I have to back out of the driveway these days. High snowbanks has made it impossible to see traffic in either direction. I might as well do this blindfolded. I back out a little, wait for a horn, a little more, wait, a little more. Wait. Eventually if I hear nothing, I’m good to go.

It’s like this all over town. The snow is coming so fast, city’s plow crews can’t do anything about the snow glaciers (snaciers?).

The public works boss in New Ulm is advising drivers in that city to tie brightly colored objects to the tip of their antenna so that they can be better identified over the snow. He also suggests people change their routes so they’re going through intersections with traffic lights, rather than take chances.

Brightly colored objects? Great. That’ll help us find you in the spring.

Over the last 24 hours, we’ve been having “blizzard wars” with the people of the East Coast? Who suffers justifiably more? Us or them.

My colleague — a Minnesotan who spent time in Boston — suggests a civility category. Boston doesn’t win, she says. She’s got the evidence, courtesy of Boston.com — the possessiveness of a shoveled-out parking space. “I shoveled it out. It’s mine.” We don’t get a lot of that in flyover country. Personally, however, we give points to an area of the country that marks its territory with an Elvis statue (see photos at links above).

TODAY’S QUESTION

After serving two terms, Tim Pawlenty is about to hand the keys to the governor’s office to Mark Dayton. How would you grade Tim Pawlenty’s performance as governor?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

The Case Shiller index of home resales is out this morning. I’ll look at the Minneapolis-area numbers.

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: A recent CDC report shows the teen birth rate is now the lowest it has been in 70 years with the birth rate down overall for adults in their 20s and 30s also. Experts cite numerous causes ranging from the recession to successful public health initiatives and even popular culture.

Second hour: The psychology of hoarding. When does an individual go from being a “pack rat” to a compulsive hoarder? And why, for some people, is getting rid of “stuff” so difficult that it overwhelms them?

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: TBA

Second hour: TBA

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Tammy Duckworth, the assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs for the VA, takes calls from America’s veterans.

Second hour: 2010 was another tough year for charities. But with a slow economic recovery apparently gaining momentum, charitable donations are up over last year. How

do we decide when, to whom, and how much to give?

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - Col. Eric Kerska will lead 2,700 Red Bull soldiers into Iraq next summer as part of the largest Guard deployment since WWII. This Rochester Fire Department commander carries two cells phones, one for each job. Who he is? How is he preparing to lead the soldiers into a country that’s still in turmoil? What is he leaving behind to do this? MPR’s Elizabeth Baier will have the story.

Meanwhile, Jess Mador profiles a Guard soldier from the other direction. Once deployed, now home.

  • vjacobsen

    Regarding DNC Lists: In the last couple of weeks, I’ve gotten calls from a credit consolidation company (who refuses to give me their name). I tell them I’m on the Do Not Call List, and they say that since they aren’t trying to sell me anything, it doesn’t matter. I doubt that’s true, and the fact that they won;t say what the company is, I think they are lying, and I think it’s a suspect company to boot.

    We also get calls at least a couple times a month for the people who had our number before us, despite the fact that it’s been almost 2 years. Some times it’s creditors, some times it’s a school, once in awhile it’s a relative. I don;t mind those calls too much, I just find it odd that they haven’t really slowed down.

  • kwatt

    Regarding the progress of technology: The phone in my pocket right now is more powerful than the desktop computer on my desk on January 1, 2001. I wonder what I’ll be saying in 10 years.

  • Bob Moffitt

    My cousin sends a Christmas card every year featuring their “little girl” Abby, standing by a wooden Santa wall ornament, which used to tower over her.

    She’s a grown woman now, but still poses for the same photo every year. Always fun to get that card!

  • boB from WA

    RE “Snaicers” : When you get home at night back into your space, so that you will be pulling our forward in the morning. It might give you a better chance of seeing on-coming traffic.