An amusing story since I can't sleep...

One morning I woke up and my left eye is bright red and extremely painful. I couldn't figure out why, since it was fine the night before and I couldn't remember doing anything to it. After an agonizing day, I finally cave and stop by Urgent Care to see what they tell me. At first the Dr. thinks I have pink-eye, but then she puts some UV stuff in my eye, turns on a blacklight and turns out the room lights.
"Oh my god!"
"What??? Is it bad???"
"It looks like you have... road rash on your eye!"
At that point I remember that I wear wrist braces at night (for carpal tunnel) and probably scraped the hard velcro across my eye while I was asleep (sooo glad I was not awake to feel that). She prescribes me some topical antibiotic and sends me on my way.
The next day at work, one of the guys in my company comes over and starts talking to me (just to complete the setting, this guy is probably near 50, and a good honest upright citizen). He notices my eye and asks what's wrong.
"I wear these wrist things at night and somehow managed to scrape the velcro across my eye while asleep."
He looked at me oddly. "Wrist things...?"
"For carpal tunnel."
He gets a relieved and embarrassed expression on his face. "Oh, I was picturing some sort of bondage thing!"
I about puked I was laughing so hard.

On a side note, my first pair of carpal tunnel braces were the typical ones (ugly beige vinyl), but the current pair I have now are the most bondage pair of carpal tunnel wrist braces I have seen in my entire life! They're black, have all these black velcro straps going all over the place, and have a red satin inside! I actually started laughing when the nurses gave them too me. They were rather confused but I wouldn't explain.


Spaceman Tim Anderson is in town and spinning records with me tonight at the Brewhouse. Stop on down and say hi.



New Year's Resolutions

I know that this time of year many of you resolve to be a better person. Perhaps you wish to get into shape.

If so, I might suggest this video.

It's the 2004 PDD Bloggie Awards!

Whew, where did the year go. I just finished up reading every PDD post made this year and I have made my picks for the years best.

If you have the time I reccomend taking a stroll down memory lane. I guess like any year it was a mix of happy/sad, joyous/tragic, birth/death. I for one will mark 2004 down in the positive column. A few more aches and pains but also a slightly clearer understanding of who the hell I am and what my purpose on this little journey we call life is.

Without further delay I present my picks for the best of PDD this year in chronological order.

Peace Rabbit | January 24 | Ca-Chee

Ca-Chee doesn't post nearly enough but I love her writing. She made last years 13 best with "Punk Ass in Shop Class"

Is this ART? | February 3 | Starfire

I know I picked my self but I really picked some of PDD's best doing what they do best. Drinking and drawing, on cocktail napkins, at the North Pole Bar, enjoy.

The Secret of the Tab | March 11 | Barrett Chase

I promise all my picks will not involve drinking and pictures of ears but this is too good not to revisit.

What's it like in Kidland? | April 2 | Barrett Chase

What's it Like is a semi-regular feature on PDD which Barrett started and you are all welcome to continue. Read, learn and post your own.

I am not a Videographer | April 18 | Barrett Chase

This, the third appearance of Barrett on the PDD Bloggie Awards is a video montage of Geek Prom³ and it must not be missed. Video Blogs are popping up all over the web lately and I can't help but think PDD was an early pioneer.

Summer's Coming | April 28 | Mark

Mark is a periodic poster on PDD and he also makes delicious Duluth videos. This makes me almost want to take the plunge this year. Sounds like a field trip.

Saturday Afternoon Madness | May 9 | Barrett Chase

O.K. lets just call it now. Blogger of the year goes to Barrett Chase. This video from Homegrown 6 captures it all. Kickball, music and alcoholism.

I had my first zombie dream last night | May 11 | Paul Lundgren

2004 marks the year that Paul mastered the art of Blogging. 2004 also marks the year that Paul Lundgren was unemployed, twice. He is now back home with his dialup connection. Here's hoping Paul gets to the Library soon, running that gauntlet he runs so well.

Catch Phrase | June 8 | Maria

Part of the charm of PDD is the comment section and this post demonstrates that better than most. Maria is also my candidate for Blogmenter of 2004. Always witty, naughty and beautiful. Rock on Ms. Danz.

My Proudest Fathering Moment | June 14 | Clumsy

This post is awesome on so many levels. A simple story we can all relate to that just brightens your day. Clumsy you should post more.

The Tooth Fairy is Dead | June 15 | Gia

Gia is an American living in England and a television star. If I was more ambitious I would find her URL. Who here can't relate to Tooth Fairy/Coming of Age stories?

The Rock Star: Adventures in Toddlerdom | June 20 | Mike

If I had to vote this might be my favorite post of the year.

Hi, I'm Kelly | July 4 | Kelly:)

Ah Kelly, Is she real? Is she Baci? Is she Berv, Is she JJ Lee? The Blogosphere may never know and that might just be a good thing.

Pantyhose Babes | August 9 | Bad Cat!

2004 marks the year of the Blog as the "New Journalism." It also marks the first time that PDD was scooped by the local media. This Ebay auction was posted on PDD and it made its way to all the local media a short time later. Press conferences and official statements were made, Ebay yanked the auction and we all had a big laugh.

What it's like: A Straight Razor Shave | September 2 | Starfire

Yes, another of my posts. I had so much fun getting this shave and making the video that I had to put it on the list.

What does "happy" mean? | September 17 | Godsey

Godsey resigned from the blog in 2003 but made a reappearance this year with some thought provoking posts. He is moving to Minneapolis soon with his lovely wife Shannon. I for one will miss that baseball cap wearing professor.

What's It Like, Part 3 | October 1 | Barrett Chase

Barrett is back with his latest installment Of WIL. I missed this particular night of the Starfire Lounge due to illness and that just might have been a good thing.

So when's the CD Release Party for this? | December 2 | Tomasz

This is another example of the comments making a post better. Plus I wanna be in the band.

Long the Shor | December 4 | Berv

JJ Lee started the whole MS Paint fad but Berv has taken it to a new level with the added poetry. Keep it up Berv.

So. That's it. My picks for the Best of 2004. I want to thank you all for your posting, blogmenting, or lurking. This is a community and it takes all kinds. Feel free to make your own lists.

Party safe.


A few gleanings from the dross of the net

First, as people have mentioned the Hummers in such a *cough* positive light here before... thought I'd pass this along. A poor stranded Hummer story about the er, mighty hummer being resuced by an older Jeep.

and a pair of images that I found cool.

from this web site


Come On Baby Light My Candle!

V-Nick, V-Nicks sistah and I stuck flaming candles in our ears tonight in an effort to suck out all the Ear Wax in our auditory canal. We are having a discussion about whether these "candles" actually perform any real function. The Web is filled with mixed reviews on the topic. All I know is there was some brownish, waxy gunk in both of my candles. This could be waxy residue from the candle itself or not. Does anyone have any experience with Ear Candling?

We posted a short movie for your enjoyment. Ear Candles. Scam or Ham?

Free Duluth News

- Free Republic of Duluth Second Constitutional Congress Party: Wednesday Dec. 29 8PM Gonzo Science HQ (email gonzoscience@hotmail.com for directions)

- Free Republic of Duluth Presidential Candidate Allen Richardson will be giving a major new policy speech, New Year's Eve at R.T. Quinlan's as part of the Live Animals set

- Free Republic of Duluth Cultural Exhibition, Presidential Debate, and Election, Featuring the Free Republic of Duluth Samba Drum Corps, Friday, Feb. 4th, Washington Studios Gallery, 6-12 PM (exhibition hangs until Sun. Feb. 27th; all interested artists please email.) Come for the glorious art of the Free Republic of Duluth, stay for the historic first Presidential Debate between front-runner Allen Richardson and his baby-eating opponent Sienna Effinger. Cast your vote for President, and then party with the winner and the Free Republic of Duluth Samba Drum Corps.

- Even now a crack team of web designers, graffitti artists, and freelance wierdos are fanning out across the town, secreting self-published patriotic literature, stickers, subversive autonomous activities, and hordes of new patriots in their wake. Join us!

24 hours of skiing = Perfect Duluth Day

That's a pretty weak title, I know ...

Anyways, I'm coming to town on January 5 to do a race over in Cable, Wisc. called the 24 Hours of Telemark. Basically, I'm going to cross-country ski around a five kilometer loop from 10am Saturday until 10am Sunday and [hopefully] will go farther than anyone else, thus validating my existance and further stoking my massive ego.

Right now, my dad (the [in]famous Willy Cork), my brother (cartooning genius Jeff Cork), my girlfriend (Britta Keenan) and a host of others (rock impressario Brad Nelson, Dan Behrans and Rich Narum, Chris Godsey and Hot Rod Heartthrob, probably some others I'm forgetting) are planning on coming over to drink beer and hand me water bottles through the night. It should be a good time. There are rumors of a certain punk-blues band playing, and the possible appearance of a tour bus. Unconfirmed rumors.

If you have any inkling to come over and chill (ha ha!) at Telemark Lodge, e-mail or call me or talk to one of those people I just mentioned above. Thanks ...

telephone 970 twenty-four-seven 4030
jcork at ripsawnews.com


Santa Badgers!

Few things have made my holiday brighter than the Santa Badgers! OK, the new IPod and Mr. Winkle calendar were pretty good too! Happy Holidays to all you PDD'ers. It's actually a white Christmas here in Chicago!

Can't get the link to work so here it is "Santa Badger"

Merry Holidaze.

happy holidays ... merry xmas, hope everyone is happy


hippie dick & c-freak's 3rd annual orphan x-mas eve party

festivus starts at 9 pm. bring booze, food, goodies and the spirit of x-mas drunkeness. live music. nudity. sexual encounters. things said that can't be taken back. rumors spread. family bitching. come one come all. andevarld gallery, 2nd ave east across from the casino. you know you want to.


Oh the horror!

This is definately NOT for the faint of heart.

So sad.

Forever's gonna start tonight...

So after last weekend's karaoke explosion at the Birthday Rally, my question to you is: What's your favorite karaoke song?

Lately, I've been rockin' the casbah quite a bit, although on Saturday night I also stopped in to see what condition my condition was in. But I think I have to nominate "The Highwayman" as the all-time #1 karaoke choice.

And if you think you're hot stuff on the karaoke stage, you ain't seen nothin' until you've hit the Keyport on weekend night. Check out this video to see just how it's done, but excuse my drunken photography. The master in action. [WMV, 1.6Mb]

So Much for the F*&%*ing Holiday Spirit

My car was broken into and Ben's fancy $200 dollar ice skates were stolen, nothing else, just his precious skates that he very reluctantly left in my car. I wish my skates had been stolen but they aren't fancy.

So if anyone sees some size 14 SuperTech ice skates laying around, be sure to let me know.

New Band Name

Exploding Zamboni....I call it! None of you other wave-reading, name stealing rock wannabes can have it.

Heres the story from our own DNT. I got it first hand as my brother Nick was the guy sent to the hospital. He's okay. This isnt the first time broomball has tried to kill my brother. Ask TonyX. Nick is a proud papa and a north american broomball champion but I think the gods of broomball are sending him a message.

On the conspiracy side, Al-Kieda has been sending insugents to zamboni driving schools here in MN...hmmmm...way to strike us where we live


Kickball League?

I know it's butt cold right now, but I had an idea tonite & wanted to see if there's interest.

Imagine if you will, next summer. The sun is shining and won't set till 8 or 9pm. Now imagine how much more fun it will be if there is a weekly kickball game. If there's enough enthusiasm we can secure Chester Park Ballfield once a week for 3 hours. There can be 6 teams and each team has 1 hour games.

The crafty girl/boy crews can make their own jersey's.

Too Much Information

PN, if you asked me, I'd say you lived in Denfeld.

Here's a map of Duluth, neighborhoods and all, that might help you determine where you are. You can find it (and one of Superior as well--and the only complete map of Skyline Parkway in any book) in "True North: Alternative and Off-Beat Destinations In and Around Duluth, Superior, and the Shores of Lake Superior" (www.X-communication.org). And this map was approved by none other than Mr. Paul Lundgren, a native West Duluthian and expert on all things West Duluth/Denfeld/Geeky. Well, approved may be astrong word. He did look it over once upon a time and had no complaints that I'm aware of.


Gary and New Duluth were once two separate entities (some say they still are), and that is why it is now hyphenated: Gary-New Duluth.

Lakeside was indeed first developed as housing for Duluth's servant class. West Duluth was very industrial, filled with manufacturing plants (most of which can be seen on the murals at the Kom-On-Inn). West Duluth was indeed filled with blue collar folk, but not many of whom would have worked for Chester Congdon (except perhaps during the construction of Glensheen). He was a lawyer who's work involved developing mining in MN and AZ (copper) and agriculture in Washington (Chester developed the Yakima Valley).

Barrett is right: Most people from areas now called "Spirit Valley" and "Lincoln Park" hate the terms, created in part to make both neighborhoods "more appealling" for business / retail customers. And most folks use those same boundaries for West Duluth he provided: West Duluth falls between the Ore Docks and the Zoo. East of the Ore Docks (to Mesabe Avenue?) is the West End.

But I don't think Barrett is exactly right about West Duluth once being Oneota--I believe they were two separate townships, albeit right next to one another, and I imagine what we now consider West Duluth includes what was once Oneota.

It's rather complicated. What is now Duluth was once dozens of tiny townships, all competing to become the "big port town" everyone expected to develop.

Homework: who can tell me the boundaries of the Hillside: What's Central? What'sEast?

Extra Credit: Had another township--say, Endion--developed into what is now Duluth, would it make the work of Radiohead, Wilco, and Low less important OR even more important to comp[osition instructors who would rather surf the web in search of controversial music reviews than grade student papers, and if the Beatles hadf not played around in the studio would it have lessened the creative frustration experienced by Michael Nesmith as a member of the Monkees in a time before his mother became rich by inventing White Out, allowing him to experiment with film and music to help create what later became MTV? Discuss.



where the hell am i?

i, like the city of duluth, have a bit of a neighborhood obsession. i grew up in southwest suburbs. for like 6 or 7 years, i lived in eden prairie. they don't have neighborhoods - they have housing developments. before that i lived in wayzata with one near-by neighbor, so that doesn't count either. before that, i lived in duluth. when i moved back up here, i always knew what neighborhood i lived in (usually east hillside), but now i'm not so sure. i live at 4107 w 4th st. i thought this area was called denfeld, but when i say that, people are like, "you mean by the school?" so somebody tell me what neighborhood this is.


Downtown Duluth -- Bah, Humbug!

Last weekend, Downtown was almost too much fun to comprehend. This weekend let's branch out a bit...

Friday, Dec. 17 - Süptown

Charlie Parr, Jerree Small and Baby Grant Johnson w/TC folks

Live and squirmin' at the Twin Ports Brewery. I'm not quite sure who the other band is, but rumor has it they're from the Cities. You know you love the TPBC--the most underrated bar in the area.

Saturday, Dec. 18 - West Duluth, Baby

Birthday Rally in Spirit Valley

Come celebrate the 32nd birthdays of Barrett Chase and Paul Lundgren, billed by Whoppin Unlimited as "The Greatest Birthday Event of All Time." Huge 34-ounce mugs of beer go for about $3.50, and if you aren't West Duluth enough for that, well, talented bartenders will be happy to make whatever hoity-toity drink you want. "Karaoke on the Edge" will be provided by "Larry Holmes: The Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of Comedy Karaoke." You can rest assured that he will be disputed that night.

3 minor notes

Going to Nashhell, er, -ville for the holidays (18th -23rd). Small amount of trepidation in this trip, but that's what life is for eh? Hope everyone here has an excellent holiday and is happy and content.

On an unrelated note, doing the lounge tonight, now is the time to get your request in, if you have one (no Journey, sorry) aaaannnd ....

Maria, if you see this and you are out and about tonight would you swing by the Brewhouse? I have a CD that I need you to give Mary when she comes through town. please?

happy christmas/holiday of choice/week

for those who miss duluth

or for those cool cats who know how to use a wednsday night, here what you missed this thursday morn.

Photo by amolina of moeview.com and er also if thousands


radiohead, wilco, and the flaming lips

there's this guy named sasha frere-jones who writes for the new yorker, the new york times, slate, and a bunch of other publications.

he's sharp and insightful. he said this about radiohead:

"The studio tomfoolery and electronic rejiggering they engage in are not different enough from what Brian Eno, Kraftwerk, and Pink Floyd were doing 30 years ago to be called different. These are common avant-lite upgrade antics that bands have been using for years to 'raise' their artistic profile, since the Beatles ruined everything. (Or made everything better—I get confused.) Perfectly good bands like Radiohead, Wilco, and the Flaming Lips go into the studio, hit the Pretentious Button, and people roll over like puppies. (I mean, before the Beatles, would anybody have even sat still for Sigur Rós?)"

i like stuff like that--stuff that challenges common perception and calls out misplaced reverence.

Beer bong tragedy has entire city of Perth in shock

"A beer-thirsty Australian gentleman, inpatient with gravity, employed a mechanical contraption to rapidly deliver beer into his gullet using a pump powered by an electric drill. The device proved so effective that the high-pressure jet of beer shooting down his throat ripped a hole in his stomach. Authorities responded by warning people not to use high-pressure machines to drink beer this Christmas"


Missing Duluth

I was helping a theatre company load their set here in Madison. While driving with one of the helpers he mentioned he plays Irish fiddle. I told him how I longed for a good Celtic night back in Duluth. "At Sir Ben's?" he says. "I used to play there." Turns out this guy used to live in duluth back in the day and was a cook at the scenic cafe and worked at the Brewhouse for a while. Small world.

So if someone could take a drive up to the Scenic and have a portabella sandwich for me I'd much appreciate it. Or a good eggplant dish at LakeAve Cafe.

Do you have snow yet? Please say you do. It's the middle of December and I still have green grass. This is stupid. There better be snow when I come up for NewYears.

I'm happy to read that Karin Kraemer is doing great w/ her gallery. That place is amazing and Karin is one of the coolest people i've had the pleasure of meeting. And an honest to goodness coffeehouse in Souptown? Never thought I'd see the day.

Missing Duluth

I was helping a theatre company load their set here in Madison. While driving with one of the helpers he mentioned he plays Irish fiddle. I told him how I longed for a good Celtic night back in Duluth. "At Sir Ben's?" he says. "I used to play there." Turns out this guy used to live in duluth back in the day and was a cook at the scenic cafe and worked at the Brewhouse for a while. Small world.

So if someone could take a drive up to the Scenic and have a portabella sandwich for me I'd much appreciate it. Or a good eggplant dish at LakeAve Cafe.

Do you have snow yet? Please say you do. It's the middle of December and I still have green grass. This is stupid. There better be snow when I come up for NewYears.

Email change.

Starting Jan. 1 2005 Murphy McGinnis Interactive will be changing my email from starfire@duluth.com to starfire@duluthmn.com.

The whole reason I have payed the 7 bucks a month for like 5 years was to have the duluth.com addy. Well MMI is getting bigger and I spose they need to differentiate between us and Georgia. So I am breaking free! Starting at the end of the month I will be using starfire at gmail dot com. That way when my computer crashes I should theoretically not lose all my emails.

In other cost saving strategies I may be weaning myself from my cell-phone soon. I can continue to be reached on my good 'ol land line.

Thank you for your time and now go update your rolodex.

Who is your favorite Paul Lundgren?

it's a good thing i'm not stronger or i'd crush the hands i hold

this is what i did this weekend instead of completing final project and papers and studying for tests.

that thing was ridiculously large. it didn't look so big out in nature with the other trees. the whole story is over here.

Who is your favorite?


A New Holiday Classic?

Holiday 04 still

OK, so it ain't the Polar Express. Or even a crappy Rankin/Bass spinoff seguel like "The Little Drummer Boy Battles Heat Miser." This actually has the same heartfelt holiday sentiment as Little Drummer Boy - More Holiday Wishes From Greer Garson and Your Gas Company!

It's the Russell and Herder Holiday cartoon. So sit back, relax, and for the next 90 seconds or so, let that feeling of Christmas flow over you like gravy over mashed potatoes. Because who can bring you the true meaning of Christmas better than your local advertising weasels?

Noodles and words

Today, [game company and Katamari Damacy publisher] Namco announced plans to open a ramen noodle theme park in the southern Japanese city of Nagoya. The "Nagoya Noodle Shop Alley," due to open for business on February 25, is meant to introduce visitors to the history of ramen noodles and the different types of ramen available around Japan. [ ...] The visual theme of the park is intended to reflect Japan in the pre-war 1930s, but the ramen on offer are to represent the "new wave" of noodle development around the nation.

brought to my attention by the good folks at

Where I also read sbout the OED's plans on
officially adding such words as hoodie, posedown and
tikka masala.

Which is your favorite?


fear and trust

i had the funniest occurence tonight. i googled my name off pdd and the first listing that came up was this post i made on 1.22.04. i had been drinking when i wrote this and completely forgot all about it, and forgot to check back 28 days later. since then sooooo much has happened and i have wanted to share with you the new blog i have been writing for a number of months. even with the whole "octsober" thing popping up a few months back, the time just never seemed right and honestly i have felt too embarassed and scared to post the address. damn fear. anyways coming across the orignal post and all the love and support from the comments almost made me cry again and realize how much i miss you all and that perfect little city by the lake. so stop by and get the low down on what happened.....


Jesus would've hated Christmas.

Warning : May contain scriptures, don't like it? Then don't read it.

John 2:13-16 Now the passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And he found in the temple those selling cattle and sheep and doves and the money brokers in their seats. 15 So, after making a whip of ropes, he drove all those with the sheep and cattle out of the temple, and he poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he said to those selling the doves: "Take these things away from here! Stop making the house of my Father a house of merchandise!”

So why would he tolerate what Christmas has become? A Christless holiday determined to bring the largest profit margin.

Just my opinion. No payments. No interest until 2006.


Tears, Tears, Tears!

Well, it's my last day of work at the office with the wonderfully high-speed connection to the internet. Very sad indeed. I'll try to keep posting, but we'll see how the ol' dial-up at home performs.

Thanks to everyone who made my days go by a lot quicker.


Here's a Duluth News Tribune story about Saturday's Diorama-rama at the MAC. And don't forget about this tonight. It's gonna be a wild weekend people. Just thinking about it makes me tired.

our love is all we have.

tall buildings shake.

bitter melodies

turning the orbit around.


The Homosexual Agenda

If anyone has been wondering... The Homosexual Agenda has finally been made public.

i possess what you all want


Tonight at Pizza Luce there will be a bunch of poets and poet lovers and poet's lovers. However, we need to pack that bar wall to wall so that Luce will love us and host us every month--cash prizes, drink tickets and my sanity are on the line. SO COME ONE COME ALL and tell your friends, acquantances and people on the street that you meet.

Pizza Luce
Poetry Slam
Music afterwards by
Crew Jones' Nicholas Robin

What is your favorite?

The best part of waking up.



Sushi pillows for your head.

This goes out to all you sushi eaters, Sushites?

There is more than one style

as if you needed ANOTHER reason to go to superior.

deliciousness can be had tonight at the twin ports brewery when none other than THE HOUSING PROJECT will play. you will move your feet to the tasty beats. you will, dammit!

the housing project
tonight, december 8
9pm to 12am
twin ports brewery
souptown, baby

if we all close our eyes and wish mightily, perhaps ms. nominative will appear with her knitting needles! mittens for everyone!


Which is you favorite?

There ya go, Barrett. Take your pick.

Required Amenities

You all were of great help to me with advice about where to live in Duluth/Superior. Now I need to know: How's the "Sushi Scene" around those parts. Is there a "fresh" sushi restaurant/bar? Do any markets sell that pre-made stuff? Are there any sushiholics to give me some advice? Thanks.

Who is your favorite?