Buck fever (5×8 – 11/4/11)

The hunt, we should talk, a good time for clocks, the sound of success, the reality of health care in Minnesota, and the real meaning of 4:20.


The deer hunt begins in Minnesota tomorrow morning. In northern Minnesota, writer Aaron J. Brown writes today, all men will be asked the question: “do you hunt?”

For instance, I don’t hunt. I don’t own a gun, but I don’t say that. I don’t want to shoot animals unless I have to, but I don’t say that. I don’t want to field dress a still-warm animal in the woods unless I have to, but I don’t say that either.

It is OK for me to say that I’m too lazy to hunt when I can afford hamburger at the store (Ha-ha!). It is OK for me to say that my family hunts so much that someone has to keep a job through the season (Ha-ha!). It is OK for me to say that I kill deer with my car, which is true (and, thus, Ha-Ha!).

Like fishing, deer hunting is getting all technical. In North Dakota, where the deer season opens at noon today, hunters have been scouting the movements of the deer via the use of trail cameras, the Fargo Forum reports.

Messner is primarily a bow hunter and he uses eight cameras to scout out his hunting grounds. His approach is similar to Crane.

“I think it’s more of an informational tool to help you be more selective as a hunter,” Messner said. “If my goal is to hold out for the biggest deer, I know not to shoot the third biggest deer.”

And while trail cameras can help when hunters hone in on activity patterns and find the type of deer they want to target, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will increase a hunter’s success rate.

“It doesn’t shoot the arrow and it doesn’t pull the trigger,” Leier said. “It can, on the flip side, create a little more frustration, going, ‘Man, I have been sitting on my tree stand every night for a week and a half and that 4×4 buck hasn’t showed up when I’ve been sitting out there.’ There’s good and bad like everything else.”

DEERSTAND from William Waldron III on Vimeo.

What if there were no deer hunt? Jason DeRusha tackled that question last night.


This was one of the saddest stories of the week. The father of a toddler with leukemia was fired from his job

The young boy died this week, KARE reports.


Does anyone just talk out their problems, anymore? Two fairly minor stories in the news today are suggesting a negative answer.

A 70-year-old veteran in Oregon has been threatened with eviction if he continues to hang his large, Army-issued U.S. flag on an outside wall of a government-subsized senior housing complex where he lives in Springfield.

The Eugene (Oregon) Register-Guard says Edward Zivica, who served in the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Service from 1960 to 1967, has had several clashes with the complex’s management over what he says is simply his desire to show his patriotism.

Plan on this becoming the national distraction for a few days until someone figures out the meaning of good public relations.

Terry McDonald, the CEO of the management company, told KVAL the eviction notice was for “hanging something outside the building without permission. If you’re going to live in a situation where there’s lots of other tenants, you need to follow the rules that are set up.”

Is there anybody who doesn’t know how this is going to play out between now and Veteran’s Day.

In Huntonville, Kentucky, half of the fire department quit this week after the city’s mayor gave the fire chief the “what for?”

At the center of the firefighter’s frustrations – a haunted house. The chief allowed actors working that haunted house into the fire hall to get into costume.

“To me, it’s kind of a public building because tax payer’s money is the one that makes it,” Shepperson said.

Maddox says the problem was nobody asked permission.

“If they wanted to use that down there, they should have asked, but no one asked,” Maddox said.

Again with the “permission” thing.

Talk it out.


The wristwatch industry can’t be doing well, what with cell/smartphones and laptops taking over the role of telling us what time it is. So what can explain the sudden resurgence in the public clock, the Washington Post wonders. Clock-making and clock-fixing companies report business is way up, even as the economy has tanked.

“It is beyond us,” says Jim Verdin with a laugh. The fifth-generation president of Verdin, the country’s oldest maker of public street and tower clocks, says that 20 years ago the Cincinnati-based company sold about a dozen street clocks a year. In recent years, it has averaged 200 to 300 a year — ranging in price from $10,000 to $50,000 — and demand is increasing.

“I don’t know whether it’s nostalgia or pride or something else,” Verdin says. “We’re not smart enough to figure that out.”

Related: What would happen if we got rid of “leap seconds?” (BBC)


This is a pretty neat film…

The backstory of the film is interesting, too. The composers and performers tried to raise money to make the film, partly by selling custom cocktail recipes.

They raised a fair amount of cash, but nowhere near enough to make ends meet. They made the film anyway. They consider it a success story, anyway because of the value they got out of the project while losing money.

The moral? Not everything has to have an immediate and profitable payoff to be profitable and meaningful. (h/t: Tech Dirt)

Bonus: Like Puff the Magic Dragon, insinuations of a drug-culture reference in the scheduling of a newscast on the Current keep appearing in social media. Take yesterday, for example, after the Current tweeted something like “Catch newscut on the current at 4:20,” someone took offense:


4:20, I learned only recently from some onetime pothead friends (and wikipedia) “refers to consumption of cannabis and, by extension, a way to identify oneself with cannabis subculture.”

So, legend has it, The Current scheduled its one newscast of the afternoon as a not-so-subtle attempt to tap into the “cannabis subculture.” It’s a good yarn. It’s also not true.

The newscasts on The Current actually numbered three when we first started them. By the time I was asked to take over, they were scheduled at 4:20, 5:20, and 6:20. If you listen to the end of the newscast, I refer people to KNOW, 91.1 in the Twin Cities for more information on the news items I just read. The original strategy was that MPR’s news and information service had newscasts at 4:30 and 5:30, which would allow Current listeners to flip over to the news side of MPR to catch the compelling details.

But there’s only a 4:20 newscast now, so that clearly is an attempt to tap into the “cannabis subculture,” right? Wrong. The 6:20 p.m. cast was eliminated because my work day starts at 5:30 a.m. and my in-office time ends at 6 p.m. I do the newscasts as a favor; they’re not part of my job description, and I didn’t want to stay late for one extra appearance. That was eliminated.

Eventually, The Current found that the 5 to 5:30 slot was a good time to play many of the interviews and performances with artists, and the newscast was — appropriately — also eliminated since it was getting pre-empted several times a week anyway .

That left only the 4:20 and the urban legend that goes with it, which is more interesting than reality.


Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.


A recent poll shows that consumers are increasingly dissatisfied with banks, and credit unions report a recent influx of new customers. Today’s Question: How satisfied are you with your bank?


Dissatisfaction with banks appears to be driving some consumers to credit unions. Why are people angry, and what is the extent of that anger?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Behind today’s new unemployment figures is the fact that more Americans are jobless for a longer period of time. What impact is this having on society and, if you’re unemployed, what can you do to avoid depression?

Second hour: As new technology continues to develop, comic books are slowly being transformed. We discuss how new media is changing comic books and the ways that comics can be used in academia.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Star Tribune publisher Michael Klingensmith.

Second hour: MPR’s Bright Ideas series: David M. Kennedy on gun violence in cities.

Science Friday (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Are physical constants necessarily constant? Or could the basic rules of physics work in different ways in different parts of the universe?

Second hour: The earliest treks to the South Pole and the pioneering science the explorers did along the way.

  • bench
  • Bob Collins

    // On the bonus- why not make the ‘stop in the world of news’ at 4:21 or 4:19?

    For the next week, when you hear a Currrent newscast begin, look at the clock. That’ll reveal your answer.

  • John P.

    Cell phone clocks do not replace a watch for me. I have to dig the thing out of my pocket, which can be darn awkward when I’m trying to drive or do most anything else at the same time. As Isee it, this is why wrist watches replaced pocket watches in the first place.

  • John P II

    re: 4:20 newscasts – I’m more concerned about how many hours Collins works in a day. Seems a little greedy in this day of high unemployment.

  • This is NOT lucy

    The Viral of the Day:

    Birds of a feather

    flock together.

    I am surprised that they don’t fly into each other. : )

  • Jim Shapiro

    Re – The Hunt:

    Personally, I’m not a big fan of killin’ stuff. But if I cook it and eat it, SOMEBODY killed it and cleaned it. So I try to be a vegetarian. I draw the line at mammals, except when I don’t. (I’ll have mine rare, please.)

    Regarding the firing of the father who was caring for his sick child:

    My first reaction was, ” I don’t like killing things, but a 30-06 might be a fitting response to the scum that put rules before morality and fired this guy.”

    But the poor slob who did the firing was probably “just following orders”.

    That means you would have to find out where the buck stopped (no pun intended, but I’ll take it) and tie THAT guy to your hood.

    Then I calmed down even more, and figured that it was mostly a communication breakdown, and everybody with T.O. plastics is probably a good christian. (Stearns county? OK, good catholic.)

  • JackU

    Wrist watches vs. Pocket Watches

    I always preferred pocket watches. This was especially true when I was teaching and the room clocks were on the wall above the board which I had my back to during most of the class. The pocket watch sat on the lectern better than a wrist watch. Also I found the wrist watch would get in the way when I was working. (I’m an IT guy and I spend a lot of time typing or with my hands inside a computer.)

    A few years ago I decided that since the phone is always with me it would serve as a worthy substitute for a watch. Plus it has the added benefit of being “self adjusting” when I travel.

  • This is NOT lucy

    “Then I calmed down even more, and figured that it was mostly a communication breakdown, and everybody with T.O. plastics is probably a good christian.”

    Jim do you suppose they make plastic bottles to hold water.

    I also thought the story about the father staying with his dying son was very sad, but I see that TO are-should-offering his job back to him.

  • Jamie

    // “…but I see that TO are-should-offering his job back to him…” //


    Jim: Good Christians? Good Catholics? Those words don’t mean much. Some stopped-bucker is a jerk. If the dad didn’t answer his e-mail, they should have tried to call him, or write a letter, or send someone to see him, or for crying out loud, just WAIT longer. His child was dying!!

    P.S. I love puns. But, I’m a pretty easy laugh in general.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Jamie – I agree wholeheartedly. My “good” followers of the Jewish/Buddhist carpenter comment was partially tongue in cheek.

    As for puns, I’m too proud to use them intentionally, but if the muse tosses a good one in without my knowledge and I later discover it, I’ll beg forgiveness and run with it.

  • This is NOT lucy

    As an after thought, I am thinking that it would be an incredibly great gesture if his former co-workers donated their PTO tiime to him.

    I have worked for companies in the past where this was common for workers who became ill were given PTO from other workers.