They had a blizzard without us (5×8 – 2/2/11)

Are you feeling left out of the big blizzard, have you seen you, Fred Yiran, put the hand-helds down, and no beer at the fair.


I’ll bet David Gebhardt of Winona can’t wait to get home and tell all of his friends about the hassle of being stranded at an airport because of the weather. He’s stuck outside the Miami airport, leaving the rest of us to recognize a Minnesotan in Florida in January February when we see one.


David is a casualty of the fierce — “powerful,” “potentially catastrophic” and “massive” were already taken — winter storm that has overtaken much of the Midwest. Chicago, in particular, is having a more miserable time of it than most anyone. And when O’Hare suffers, we all suffer, right, David?

Lake Shore Drive is/was a parking lot that required evacuations, Wrigley Field was damaged (what kind of minor league town lets snow damage a ballpark?), and they even had thundersnow (must-see video here).

In Kansas, they closed I-80 between Kansas and St. Louis. They don’t have the road barriers as they do in this neck of the plains. They depend on people taking their word for it and being smart. You see this sign, the snow doesn’t look that bad. What do you do?


So, am I sensing a certain disappointment that Minnesota is being left out of the nationwide blizzard?

Is it that nobody is asking us for pointers? That they can get along without our superior knowledge? Is it that a blogger in Chicago — a blogger for crying out loud — is telling the rest of the country what songs to listen to while they shovel?

Which brings me to my favorite tweet of the last 24 hours…


So, which is worse? A little bit of snow every day for weeks that you have to shovel, or one big snowstorm that you only have to put up with once?


We’ve reached the stage of meteorological winter in Minnesota when we need a little boost to make it to meteorological spring. We’re here to help. Here’s one idea. Get in your car and go ask people if they’ve seen the person you’re describing, while describing the person you’re talking to…


Fred Yiran has died. The Cameroon native taught art, music, and life to thousands of young kids in St. Cloud, and hundreds of others throughout the state. His “basket of knowledge” theory taught kids they had to put knowledge in a basket, then share it with others. Last year, he was stuck down with diabetes and kidney disease. He died on Sunday.


Discussion point: Should Minnesota become the 10th state to ban all cellphone use while driving? A bill at the Senate would do that, WDIO in Duluth reports. But it bans “hands free” devices too, and that might be too much for lawmakers to approve..


There’ll be no beer at the Crow Wing County Fair this year… again.

“We’re all in the same boat in these hard times,” one resident said at a public hearing. “But why would we want to use beer sales to feed people’s addictions? This is a great county fair, it’s a dry fair and it makes for a wonderful family event.”

Question: If they stopped selling beer at the Minnesota State Fair, would you still go?


The Minnesota Legislature is debating a statewide salary freeze for teachers and other public school employees. Supporters say the move would save jobs and stabilize school district finances. Should the Legislature freeze salaries for public school employees?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Vikings Stadium: Old Debates, New Faces and Hometown Emotions. Will the Metrodome collapse, a Democratic governor, the Republican-controlled Legislature and an expiring lease be enough to offset evidence that stadiums provide little to no economic benefit to communities? I’ll be live-blogging here.

Second hour: Internet service has been shut down since major protests erupted in Cairo and other Egyptian cities last week. But the media has still managed to get the news to the public – in and out of the country. Midmorning examines the role news outlets and citizen journalists have played in the ongoing protests.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Developments in Egypt. Guest: Bruce Jentleson of Duke University.

Second hour: TBA

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: NPR political editor Ken Rudin.

Second hour: TBA

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – The government is deciding if genetically modified crops should be allowed on national wildlife refuges. Each year less than two percent of refuge land in the Midwest is farmed. Some environmental groups oppose the use of GMO crops on federal land. Refuge managers say genetically modified crops are sometimes best for the environment. MPR’s Dan Gunderson will report.


    With all the State Fair beer smuggling already occurring I don’t think it would stop most of those who care.

  • GregS

    Get used to it. We are moving back into the predominately negative Arctic Decadal Oscillation (ADO) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) – just like the 1950’s.

    Note the word “Decadal” – as in decade.

    What has been sold as “global warming” was little more than a multi-decadal shift of ADO and PDO toward the positive – well now we are headed back into the negative phase.

    My advice: buy a new pair of Sorrels before the rush.

  • Jon

    It’s the great minnesota pass(ive aggressive) time. Tell the rest of the country they are Pansy for not dealing with the snow and/or cold better, and at the same time complain about all the snow and cold.

    I work in a call center, I hear people (Minnesotans) talking to the rest of the country all day, and small talk during the call is always about the weather… and it’s always “It gets so cold up here, nothing like what you get!” or “we got so much snow up here nothing like what you got!” occasionally the same sentence can carry both the “it’s not a big deal” and the “it sucks so bad” message. i.e. It was so cold out side that my eye lids froze shut, but it happens at least once a year, and it’s really not that big of a deal for us.

    Usually these conversations are filled with gross exaggerations, and flat out lies… bright sunny days out side my window are described by co-workers as -20 degree’s with -40 wind chills and blowing snow so bad you can’t see the windshield wipers on your car… And while all of these things may have occurred some where in Minnesota this winter, rarely all at the same time as is described…

  • Bob Collins

    Even before this snow, Boston has had 67″ of snow this year. Minneapolis has had about 60.” Of course, theirs melts. They might even see grass between blizzards.

    But if the predictions are true, Chicago could also pass Minneapolis for snowfall this season.

  • Noelle

    I don’t think I ever bought beer at the MN state fair, in all the times I’ve been there. That’s money I could spend on cheese curds or fried stuff on a stick! (I’m also cheap enough to bring in my own water bottle that I refill at the drinking fountains, so I guess I won’t pay for an overpriced pint).

    I wouldn’t miss the beer one bit. Walking in the middle of hot crowds in the blazing sun isn’t my first choice of places to get a buzz.

  • BJ

    Like Noelle, I have never bought beer at the state fair.

    When I was 16-17 I might have tried.