Monster McPhee Sale!

One of my favorite crazy web-stores is having a huge monster sale! Don't walk - run to Archie McPhee and get all crazy in a kitchy goodness buying spree!
Make your own lawn gnome band for under $5! Avoid unnecessary exercise when using the computer - buy an Internet Urinal (two for under $5 - give the second to a loved one). It's all here...
(And don't get the computer code briefcase and then bring it to Geek Prom thinking you're being all original. If you do, I'll beat you with my slide rule!)

They also have a "Nerd Test" - I'm 109% nerd - ouch!

i miss winter

my girlfriend just returned from thailand, where she bought me a sword.

hawai’i is beautiful, albeit overpopulated by “beware of dog” signs. being unemployed, i’ve had plenty of time to hike, bike, and sleep under the trees.

feel awkward at geek prom for me!


David B

I tried to post this yesterday, but Blogger was being antisocial

David Byrne is one of my favorite artists period. I could blather on about why this is so, mentioning things like: during interviews it is readily apparent that he is a nervous person, however, despite this he continues to perform (and puts on a great show), he continues to experiment with novel ideas, such as turning power point into an artistic tool, started a label (Luaka Bop) that has some cool artists on it, and don’t forget True Stories.
Recently he started posting an internet radio stream. Find it Radio DavidByrne.com.

Here too is a short part of an interview (which was on NPR yesterday), in which he talks a bit about file sharing, that little issue that is currently before the SCOTUS.

Before all of the snow melted away...

I got this photo in Canal Park.

(with popping goodness)


girls on skates

OK, so I wax nostalgic about Duluth all the time here in Madison. Well, this time Madison kicks Duluth's frozen butt cheeks. Why?

Madison has a rollerderby league.

Come on Duluth, grab the UMD women's hockey team, take them over the bridge to World of Wheels and let the butt kicking begin.

I think it's just the tourist angle soup town needs.

Cheap beer and chicks on skates beating up chicks on skates.

Want to go for a ride?

The King and Queen of this year's Geek Prom will win a ride on a Cirrus SR22. Let's hope they're not afraid of flying. I can just see them, taxiing back and forth on the runway, afraid to take off. Geeky, geeky, geeky.



So we want a blog that doesn't suck? What makes our blogging excitable or entertaining? Is it the truth that makes it funny? Or is it the truth that makes it heart wrenching?

Have you ever wondered how painful it would be to have your fingernails torn out one by one. Think about it for a minute if you haven't. Remember that time you bit your fingernail to close and it started to rip the skin from underneath. Remember the pain you feelt a week after that when you accidently brushed the table with that finger. Ouch, huh?

Now imagine this!!!! Whether it is right or wrong. I am not trying to politicize this just want you to IMAGINE!!!!

You are 26 years old and you find yourself in a hospital not being able to communicate with anyone but your own voices in your head. For 15 years you are there day after day, people taking over you like you are not there. Your spouse who so loved you the day you got married is now living with someone else and has 2 kids. They won the lawsuit for your treatment, and then they say the want your tube gone. Are they still in Love???? Now the country is in an uproar, when this happens daily, about little old you. Is it right???????? No one can be the judge but you..........HELPHELPHELPHELPHELPHELPHELPHELPHELPHELPHELPHELPHELPHELP

Now imagine it your brother, sister, mom, dad, best friend, spouse......What would you do?????

For me, pull the tube. Consider that my final answer........................................................................

Low on TV.

I finally got around to digitizing Low's Carson Daly appearance. Quality is so-so but you will get the idea.

Low on Carson Daly | Quicktime 10mb


Just 15 Days to Geek Prom 2005

Get out your bright pink formalwear, your skin-tight superhero outfits, your dental headgear ... you know, what you always wear. There's no need to find a date; you'll be held in higher regard if you come alone.

More info at GeekProm.com, of course.

I'll see you Octopus and raise you a running bat

Walking Octopus!

The video of the walking Octopus is the first thing that has wowed me for a long time. Well, that's not completely true. I saw Ozzy And Sharon Osbourne this week in NY and was pretty wowed by how affective plastic surgery is. They looked fantastic! And Ozzy is kind of short.


Geek Prom?

I haven't heard anything about Geek Prom. Is it still happening this year?

Old School Troubles

Life is tough when you kick it old school like me. We still use 2 beige Macs at home - a first-generation G3, and a Mac clone. Anybody remember Mac clones? Anybody remember beige computers? Anyway, someone in my house spilled liquid into one of the keyboards. The manual we got with the computer had a diagram that showed specifically that you weren't supposed to do that. So now it does funny things when we type with it. Like typing 2 or 3 letters at a time. Or maybe no letters at a time. So I need to find a new or gently used Mac ADB keyboard. I know Goodwill gets them in from time to time, but there was nothing there this week.

Anybody have one they don't want or know where to look other than e-bay?
I think I'm willing to shell out as much as $10. That amount may increase with my desperation as the tax deadline grows closer and closer.

P.S.- OS 8.6 ROCKS!!!


Let's go to the Bar

click on the pic!

Ripsaw Redux

It's official, folks. Publisher Brad Nelson has announced the Rasputin-like resurrection of The Ripsaw News. The paper will return in May with the HomeGrown Music Festival edition, to be followed by bi-monthly editions to include Green Man, the Student Living Guide, the Gift Guide, Winter Art & Adventure, and the Sawyer Awards.

"The calendar will no longer appear in the regular issue," Nelson said. "That void will be filled by the Ripsaw Radar, which will be e-mailed weekly and distributed by paper to the entertainment district. The Radar will be the most popular fridge-post in history with the Violet Days cartoon as its centerpiece."

The Ripsaw also plans to get back to its roots as far as content goes. "The personality of the Ripsaw will be more similar to year one, with satire and humor used as a weapon," said Nelson.

Self-described "booze connoisseur" Slim Goodbuzz, who struggled with the Ripsaw's cleaner magazine format, pronounced the return as good news. "This way, if Yvonne Pretner-Solon has too many cosmos and ends up shitting her pants at the Green Mill, I can describe it in a way the public can appreciate," Goodbuzz said.

In addition to "Gettin' Ripped" by Slim Goodbuzz, Ripsaw standards such as Mark Lindquist's "Basement Gloss," Sarah Heimer's "Skull Session," Barrett Chase's "Occam's Razor" and the aforementioned "Violet Days" by Chris Monroe will share space with new columns, including an environmental column by Thomas Donaldson of Sustainable North Shore, and a sex column by Paula Peterson.


Miss Mary K. Tennis (the menace)

Ms. Mary Tennis will be celebrating her birth in the spirit of a 1950's era coctail party. So dress swanky, bring your own martini glass and help us forget how old she really is.

March 25th
7pm sharp
at Adeline's shop on 1st St.
*There will be interesting 50's era hors d'ouvres served.

I was getting REAL tired of...

....seeing the BVM in my panckaes.

MICHIGANTOWN, Indiana (AP) -- An Indiana pet store owner says he sees the image of Satan on the shell of a turtle that was the only survivor of a store fire in October.

rest of the story



...for a real good time
and a rock-steady vibe
for respecting our house
and blessing our space

...for fixing our roof and keeping us dry

Emerson Crew

Z, did you leave a hat and gloves?

calling all photography geeks...


1. you've got a decent digital camera (something relatively basic, maybe a nikon coolpix 5700). you're in a bar, trying to take photos of a band. maybe you have a tripod; maybe you don't. how do you get the sharpest photos possible? do you simply give up on photos without at least a little bit of a blur?

2. you're in a room that appears to be well lit, but the light meter on your camera tells you it's not--it consistently suggests a shutter speed slower than 1/60. you do NOT have a tripod or any other solid surface on which to rest your camera. can you adjust the camera's settings so that sharp hand-held photos are possible?


other than the smelly ogres and crippling diarrhea, everything's great.

look what i made! did you know they have paintshop in europe?


this is my museum-quality rendering of chris the german ogre trying to use the internet. yes, so i am traveling, euro-style, until april 15. yesterday the ogre and i rented bikes and pedaled all round amsterdam. the ogre was very considerate of not going too fast for my noodly legs. my bike was too tall for me and it was hard to stop without faling over. i crashed into the ogre a couple times--but just a little each time. a tiny bit, really. * we went to the van gough museum but i think that my paintshop drawing was better than any of that snobby oil crap. * we are staying in a christian hostel with big "jesus loves you" signs on the walls. it is in the red light district. jesus loves you, but he also loves the titties! * we went to a few shops today and admired the euro fashion. the big thing is to wear tallish boots and tuck your pants into them. if the boots have fur or string on them, all the better. * well the ogre is drawing a picture of me in paintshop so i'd better stop typing before he makes it worse. keep it cool, my sweet, sweet babies!



Anthing interesting happening tonight that I can drag my tired ass to, anyone?


so i had this great idea the other day. what about a pdd member photo scavenger hunt? try to see how many pdd'ers you can capture on film in a 24 to 72 hour period. kind of like the movie TAG but with cameras. it could so many different ways. does any get this or am i just crazy, scratch that, anyone got any ideas......


So. . . .

So who has the white Ford Taurus with the PDD sticker on it that I parked behind today on 3rd street? Don't take your car above 55 mph, I planted a bomb in it.

This is your brains on chopsticks

A very true St. Patrick's day story

Several years ago, I was in a math class on St. Patrick's day sitting near two girls of the "large hair" persuasion. They were talking back and forth about how much they were going to party that evening, then they turned to me and asked me what I was planning on doing.
"Oh, I'll probably just stay at home and drink some Guinness."
They both stare at me with confused doe-eyes. "What's Guinness?"
"It's an Irish beer."
"Is it green?"
"... Uh no. It's black."
At that point one girl excitedly turns to the other and says "Ohmuhgod! Did you know that Irish people don't actually drink green beer?"
"Are you serious? What color is their beer??"
"It's the same color as ours!"
At this point I turned around shaking my head...

spell it.

A new Flickr obsession for you all.

I wish I were good at undertakings...

Yesterday morning I was doing dishes. I don't actually mind doing dishes. For some reason, the sight of an empty, clean stainless steel sink is appealing to me. Must come from my youthful days as a dishwasher. Those days were immediately followed by my slightly-less-youthful days as a cook. I washed a lot of dishes for a boss that was extremely difficult to satisfy and cooked a lot of food for people who were much like my boss. Anyone who has ever or is currently working in the food service industry (or any service-oriented business, for that matter) certainly knows what I'm talkin' 'bout.

Anyhow, and I say this with all possible modesty, I became a good dishwasher (big deal, eh? I mean, any moron can wash dishes, right?) and a decent cook. Throughout life I have become, either out of necessity or out of desire, good at a short list of other things as well. I won't go into them because perhaps my list is embarrassingly short. I dunno. Still, there are so many things that I don't do well at all. My son unintentionally pointed out a major one of those to me yesterday.

As is common, my son (who is 3) was repeatedly asking me to let him help wash dishes. I love it when he "helps" me. His help usually consists of suds-scooping. Here's the general outline: I clear everything out of one of the sink basins, adding water and enough dish soap until there is a healthy (almost steroidally unhealthy, now that I think of it) amount of suds in the sink. Then I put in some of his dishes, which are plastic and relatively difficult to break. These he will hide under the suds. Then he takes a spoon and scoops suds into a cup. After rinsing these suds out of the cup in my side of the sink, he repeats the process. Tirelessly. He is usually very careful not to actually wash any of the dishes. His success rate at washing-avoidance is extremely high.

Yesterday was no exception. There was, as always, an abundance of suds. He buckled down and kept at it, though. Soon he had an area cleared away where you could see the water and a couple pieces of silverware that lay beneath. This pleased him to no end. "Look, Daddy! I can see my Spiderman fork under the water!" I looked. Indeed the Spiderman fork could be clearly seen. But the suds were closing in on the open space at a dangerous pace. I pointed this out and told my son that he'd better watch out. He assured me he would. I said "that's an ambitious undertaking, little guy." He sighed and said "I know. I'm good at undertakings."

He's good at undertakings. At age 3. That comment forced me to ask myself "am I good at undertakings?" I don't think I am. Not really. I seem to start a helluva lot more things (undertakings) than I finish. Whether it's a woodworking project, a story or whatever, I often just can't seem to close it out.

Damn. Add one big one to the other list; the list of things I not good at. Undertakings.


I dreamt this in 8th grade

The Ultimate Gaming Lounge

ceiling mounted projector wirth software that reveals maps as you progress through them....

" Our gaming area is in the basement. This made mounting the projector a lot less intrusive than if it were in a main living area. I don't think my wife would have been to keen on me hanging it from our dining room ceiling. "

worst case of gaming envy here


Informal survey

Hideeho my northern neighbors.

As I near the end of my first year in Madison, visions of theseses (thesi? thesen?) float in my head. I have been thinking about some sort of project involving the Duluth arts. I don't know what it would be, but I have observed the following things recently:

Renegade Theatre is homeless.
A new theatre started up w/ the MAC.
The MAC closed.
The Playground opened.
The Ripsaw appears to be in a state of Limbo. (is Transistor still alive?)
The Norshor, ah like a phoenix from the ashes, again, and again, and again....
Colder By the Lake performs another show after years of silence.
The Depot board fiasco.
The emergence of the Free Range Film Festival.

I'm sure there are more. But as you see, there are positives and negatives. I know that will always be the case. My questions are:
Is there a lack of cohesiveness in the arts community?
Are the local promoters getting burned out?
Where is the future of Duluth arts headed?
What's good and what needs to change?
Why doesn't Duluth have any prominent festivals besides the blues fest? Why not a theatre festival or an art fair (besides the park point art fair, i love it but it also feels like half art fair/half garage sale)?

Please don't think i'm bashing the art scene at all. I quite love it. I'd just like to see a discussion to help me brainstorm some ideas.


Framed pictures for sale!

The Duluth Public Library is getting rid of all of the framed pictures it had for check-out. Yes, they did have framed pictures for check-out, they used to have sculptures even!
There are some good ones. The sale is tomorrow, Tuesday March 15 in the Green Room (basement of the library). It is from 10 am to 7 pm and is a silent auction. So, if you see one you really want come right before 7 and bid up. I believe bidding starts at $5 and increases by necessary increments of $2.


American Idol Freaks

Let me start this post by saying that I watch the show. I enjoy it for the feedback but have yet to vote.

I usually spend my days off by surfing the net, and today was no differrent. I went to my favorite news gathering website, www.drudgereport.com , and what do I see amidst all of the latest gun violence and government news but this title. " FOX 'AMERICAN IDOL' ROCKED; FAVORITE QUITS COMPETITION... . WOWOWOWOW. I had to research more. When I went and did a google search, I found a ton of message boards. There was so many posts on this subject I just about cried. I laughed instead.

And from the mouth of Howard Stern, THAT'S JUST WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Get Bent!

This is our finest hour.
I want my money back.




If you want to see SKINDRED play an in-store show at the Electric Fetus, they're playing at 4pm, which is, like, right now.

top ten things i saw in Nicaragua today

1. wild horses walking around the street

2. lot of cattle lazing around the shade

3. pigs roaming in the park foraging on the brush

4. lots of poo on the road

5. men walking around with mecheti's in one hand and a bunch of banannas in the other

6. giant wicker baskets full of pinapple and cantalope

7. women hassling me for pesos

8. stickers and streamer decorating the bus like a childs bedroom exploded

9. giant volcanos covered with clouds

10. women selling fish from a five gallon bucket on the side of the road

i am currently on an island formed by two volcanos called Isla de Omatempe. I am blessed. Life is great.
So when you are invited to a Zombie-themed birthday bash, obiviously you dress as though you just crawled out of your own grave, right? But I am a little stuck on what to bring as a gift. A birthday cake made from real human brains would be ideal, but difficult. Any suggestions?


Lizard Hunting

click on the pic.

I promise I will only cross-post a couple more times. I have to train you people you know.

It was warm and sunny in Florida today and I spent half of it in my mothers darkroom.


You wanted photos?

Here they are. The tracks were 16-20 inches deep last Friday and had been recently filled with fresh snow.

The last two photos are tracks of a bear(?) whose stride was 1/3 of the distance between the deep tracks. He/she was occasionally stepping in the deep tracks. These prints are on the hard, crusted snow between the deep tracks. Investigations into moose and bear tracks in deep powdery snow suggested the deep tracks were neither. That leaves snowshoes, which generally go one-third to the bottom of the powdery snowpack. The strides were 4-6 feet.

turtelss in the grotto

Many this morning Iwas cold and sick and tired and Now The Big Easy ( is that new orleans?) Got on city bus and the driver directed down a long beautiful gettoy street that after many many blocks and beginning to believe the driver played a dirty trick on a turista, I came across the India House , Huge classy old new orleans front porch with pillars and some youth taking pictures- 15bucks a night turtles in apond in a grotto and swimming pool and cool folks --------times upo on this computer


Honeymoon Beach Surfing

click on the pic.

I like it here

Some thoughts on a new life:

1. The above pic is my new space. I love it.
2. I've driven 2 miles in five days, compared to my usual 40 miles PER DAY in MPLS. This makes me ecstatic.
3. I'm getting more exercise walking to work and running my dog in these urban woods than I've had in ages.
4. There are deer everywhere.
5. There's a dead deer lying near some ruins by my house. It is very interesting to look at.
6. Cabs are cheap.
7. Last night the waves on Park Point were amazing: eight or nine lines of breakers, the furthest ones out were breaking 4-5 feet high.
8. Somehow, I'm not all that jealous of Floridafire

The Foghorn Poetry Series presents

Paul Lundgren
Wednesday, March 9 | 8 p.m.
NorShor Theatre

Also featuring: the Lake Superior Cacophonic Choir and Sight Like December.


a duluth two-fer-one.

check it out: party store minnow & fellow ripsawyer andy smentkowski interviews the seemingly upbiquitious al sparhawk at popmatters.

jeez, i haven't posted anything here in a long time.

Overheard at the Breakfast Table

sauron.jpgEmma: "No, you idiot, the ring and the eye-thingy are the only physical manifestations of Sauron."

Simon: "Nuh-uh, what about the big mask dude?!"

Emma: "That was before he lost the ring. Now they want to destroy the ring so he can't become the big mask dude again because if he did, that would suck!"

Simon: "Oh! I get it."

(I love my geeky kids.)


Um, this is kind of weird, but...

Yesterday I went out to check on the yurt I built in Lake County to see if it had collapsed under the weight of the snow (it was still standing...three winters now...those Mongolinas are so smart!). Sans snowshoes, my dog and I walked through knee-to-hip deep snow for about a half-mile. Even as a tall person my tracks were a foot apart or less. Yes, it was exhausting. My dog loved it.

Along with many obvious deer trails and smaller tracks in the snow, I came upon a single set of very large, wide and elongated human-like tracks. Each "step" was 4 to 5 feet apart and each imprint went to the bottom of the snowpack, unlike snowshoes. My first thought was maybe a moose was "hopping" through the woods, but upon inspection they were clearly single-footed tracks. Not even the tallest person in the world wearing snowshoes could stride like that through such deep snow. What the?

High priest of the Tiki cult passes away


The man who brought the name "exotica" to this genre died March 2nd, Hawaii Kai, Hawaii. The King of the Tiki Hut, Denny not only brought exotica its biggest hit of all time with his #2 single of Les Baxter's "Quiet Village,", he gave two other key figures in exotica--Arthur Lyman and Julius Wechter--their starts, and influenced several generations of lounge performers.

more here

all hail lounge!!