5 x 8: ‘Grandma drummer’ revealed

The Monday Morning Rouser:


The La Crosse Tribune unmasks the now-famous “drumming grandma.” She’s one of its carriers. She had sold her set years ago — drumming wasn’t for girls back then so her passion to be in a rock band had to be set aside. The drum shop that has made her famous gave her a set.

Coalition Drum Shop via Facebook

Onalaska resident Mary Hvizda,63, had also never heard of YouTube.


Minneapolis resident Mike Menner held his annual Fiesta de Beisbol this weekend, a two-day celebration of baseball (Twins game on Friday night, a day of festivities on Saturday). For 23 years, Menner and a growing contingent have celebrated “all that is good in the game.”

“He believes in baseball, especially baseball played outdoors on a gorgeous July evening,” the Star Tribune wrote in its 1998 profile. “He believes that everybody, no matter how lousy an athlete, can benefit by throwing a ball around. He believes in homemade food, so he makes 50 pounds of bratwurst and smoked Polish sausage the day before his fiesta. He believes in clean-cut fun, doing almost anything to sucker non-baseball-believers into thinking the game has its charms.”

MPR’s Jim Bickal provided this box-seat-close view of the proceedings on Saturday.

This year’s Fiesta was extra special because Menner is a Cleveland Indians fan and the Indians were in town to face the Twins. The team responded by kicking the ball all over Target field while showing little effort. How very Cleveland.

Related: The new paradigm of ballpark design – Baseball Nation.

Clever young Red Sox fan tricks Yankees third-base coach into giving him foul ball.

Land of 10,000 Stories: Back yard batting cage is field of dreams.


Mark Woker via Facebook

Shaina Briscoe, the Minneapolis woman badly injured while bike riding a week ago, seems to be close to emerging from her coma, her father reports on her Caring Bridge site. She collided with a car while biking in Minneapolis last Saturday.

When she’s ready, she’ll need a new bike. So her friends built one for her over the weekend. Friends and people who know about her donated the parts.

Her father writes:

I just spent the evening with a remarkably kind and energetic group of avid bicyclists who were building a bicycle for Shaina. This started when one of them decided to do a ‘build’ to replace the bike Shaina wrecked last week, another validated the idea, the word got out, and suddenly there were bicycle parts from bike shops all over the Twin Cities….and one part from a bike shop in Portland…… Oregon.

I learned tonight that a bike build requires a convergence of several important elements: bike parts, a bike shop in a garage in south Minneapolis, a fire pit, a grill with brats & hot dogs, dogs (it seems that Pit Bulls are best), many bike parts, beer, talent, enthusiasm, tunes, and a tag team of savvy individuals who dance past each other as one adds a part here, and another there. I’ve never seen so many people working together on one thing in such a tiny area without one toe getting stepped on. The result? A thing of beauty…..and it has a really pretty white seat! I’m sure photos will get posted in the days to come. If I can get one of these young people to help me I’ll post one on this site.

This has been an eye-opening experience for me, and I hope those of you who don’t bike will look fondly upon the cyclists of this city when you motor past them on the road.

They’re lovely people.

Find more images of the bike build here.


Speed traps and parking enforcement is a great way for some cities to make money. But one Minnesota community is pushing back, saying the big police presence in New York Mills, Minn., is chasing business away, the Fargo Forum reports.

“I had one guy pulled over, he was told he didn’t stop long enough,” one resident complained at a forum. “Thirty-three (mph) in a 30 is getting a little nitpicky. And this does get around, and it does affect the businesses in the town. If somebody blows through the stop sign, they’re going to get a ticket like they should. If somebody doesn’t count to three, that’s different.”


How do you mark the anniversary of the day you were shot trying to protect your girlfriend (she was shot, too) in a massacre of people in a movie theater and show you won’t be ruined by a mass murderer?

You get married.

Associated Press

Bonus I: Remember when people revolted against being nickel-and-dimed by fees from the airlines? No? That’s because it didn’t happen.

Bonus II: The emotional side of big data.

Bonus III: In appreciation: Grieving parents offer thanks to Duluth (Duluth News Tribune)

Bonus IV: There are babies being born all over the country today who will not have everything given to them, thanks to some archaic bloodline. If they’re born into the bottom of the income scale, they have little chance of making it to the top of the income ladder, the New York Times reports today.

It’d help if they’re born in North Dakota, however. The South and the Rust Belt? No chance.

Bonus V: Charles Manson’s Turning Point: Dale Carnegie Classes (Businessweek). (h/t: Mary Turck)


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Same-sex marriage and Minnesota churches.

Second hour: Privacy and the license-plate readers.

Third hour: The revamping of MnSCU.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): : Documentaries from the BBC series, “The Truth About Mental Health.” Part 1–Norway’s “22nd of July National Support Group”, Part 2– “Mad or Sad? Cultural differences in mental health.”

The Takeaway (1-2 p.m.) – Caregivers to a Generation of Autistic Children | Palm Oil & Human Rights Abuses | Stevie Wonder’s Florida Boycott

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Hurricane Sandy destroyed an island community’s public utility — the telephone landlines. Residents are upset with the phone company’s replacement for those copper wires. To some, it has all the problems of a cell phone system, but none of the advantages. NPR reports on an experiment that could redefine the landline. If this sounds familiar, it might be because it was a 5×8 item several weeks ago.

  • MrE85

    Today’s 5×8 is filled with all kind of awesome.

    • Joe D

      And as always Bob hit it out of the park! You have single handedly helped all of us understand what Shaina has been going through and raise awareness of her situation. Here’s to hoping that good things are ahead for this young lady.

  • Jordan Green

    Bonus IV: One of the top comments on the article is from a ND native who says: “In the small town where I grew up, rich, poor and middle class students all went to the same schools. I think this matters.” I think that makes a lot of sense, granted it would be the same in rural Minnesota.