In search of real Minnesota (Five by 8 – 9/20/10)

It’s Monday. And this is the rouser:

1) Minnesota is a great, big diverse state. Over the weekend, I went looking for people who grab the bull by the … by the…. …. and I ended up in Zumbrota Minnesota, home of a festival dedicated to those who aren’t afraid of the meaty flesh.

Got a candidate for Three Minute Tales? Contact me.

Just when your State Fair withdrawal was ebbing, some blogger goes and tells you about a columnist for the Dallas Morning News who wrote about it and captured — perfectly — where it fits.

Even when my great-grandmother – we called her G.G. – turned 90, she wanted to visit the fair. But G.G. was frail, so her kids kept her home.

Just a few months later, G.G. died. When my grandmother got the news during a 2 a.m. phone call, she blurted out loud:

“Oh, my God. We didn’t take her to the fair.”

Eric Aasen — he’s originally from Minnesota — heads to the Texas State Fair today .

2) The phrase that pays for the week: Just keep swimming.


3) By day, Suzi Hanks is a DJ at a classic radio station in Houston, Texas. It’s what she does after work that makes people’s ears blush. Hanks volunteers with Taping for the Blind, an organization that makes audio recordings of popular books and magazines. When she started the gig three years ago, they put her to work reading pet publications. She’s not reading pet publications anymore.

4) True, it’s Monday. But it could be worse. You could be waking up in America’s most toxic city.

5 The clouds as an ocean.

The Unseen Sea from Simon Christen on Vimeo.

(h/t: Open Culture)

Bonus: Are you over 50? Have you been thinking that if you lose your job, you’re finished in the job market? Apparently, there’s good reason to, the New York Times reports.

The over-50 unemployed are the new poor:

Older workers who lose their jobs could pose a policy problem if they lose their ability to be self-sufficient. “That’s what we should be worrying about,” said Carl E. Van Horn, professor of public policy and director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, “what it means to this class of the new unemployables, people who have been cast adrift at a very vulnerable part of their career and their life.”


Each Monday now through the election, we’ll pose a question on an issue that’s pertinent to the race for Minnesota governor. Today’s Question: Should the state’s investment in public colleges and universities be greater or smaller?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Should the Bush tax cuts be extended?

Second hour: Norwegian prize-winning novelist Per Petterson.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Four “minor party” candidates for governor debate.

Second hour: TBA

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: A status check on the United Nations’ goals for the millennium.

Second hour: Patti Lupone discusses her memoir of a Broadway diva. Plus Ted Turner talks about his position as chairman of the United Nations.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Michele Norris discusses her new book, “The Grace of Silence”.

The U.S. Senate will vote on the federal Dream Act this week. The controversial measure has been around for a decade, and would give children of illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. Sasha Aslanian talks to a University of Minnesota student who says this would change his life, and a Republican state lawmaker opposed to it.

Tom Horner has his turn at the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute candidate forum series. MPR’s Mark Zdechlik is covering it.

PS: Walter Mondale considers whether Barack Obama is the new Jimmy Carter. “I think he needs to get rid of those teleprompters, and connect. He’s smart as hell. He can do it. Look right into those cameras and tell people he’s hurting right along with them.” Carter, on the other hand, he said, might not have been able to. “At heart, he was an engineer,” Mondale told the New Yorker. “He wanted to sit down and come up with the right answers, and then explain it. He didn’t like to do a lot of emotional public speaking.”

  • Marie

    It’s news that blind people get to have access to sexually explicit material?? Come on. I used to read for a service for the blind and yes, I read sexually explicit materials from time to time and described the photos. Can we be grown-ups about this instead of writing amusing little stories?

    Fortunately, there are some of us sighted people out here who don’t think it’s that big of a deal that blind folks have access to whatever they care to read, be it Playboy or Pet Fancy or War and Peace.

  • LK

    Sorry Bob, I appreciate that you worked through the weekend to get the bull video put together, but couldn’t make it past the halfway point. My stomach is just too unsettled this early in the morning to think about eating those things.

  • JackU

    I find the Mondale comments intriguing. I remember during the 2008 campaign (primaries I think), I was waiting for a take out order to be filled. I over heard one gentleman say to another, “I’m not sure about Obama, reminds me a little of Jimmy Carter.”

  • Ben Chorn

    I think the big question arises- did the bull mascot at the end of the video have testicles or not???

  • Momkat

    LK, if the bull video turned your stomach, don’t read about Picher OK. Middle-aged Lord of the Flies situation there in a toxic waste dump.