December 3, 2008
A couple of weeks back we visited the good folks over at the Zion Lutheran
Church on a Sunday morning. I was going to mention it a bit sooner, but, for
some reason, it didn't get happen. Sorry about that. I've enjoyed listening to Pastor Jeannie Dahl on the radio and wanted to
connect a face with her clear, pleasant voice.
One of the first persons we saw when Alyssa and I entered the sanctuary was
David Landby, busy at the sound booth getting connected up with the radio
station. I don't think the guy ever stops. Julie Jones gave the service intro, another person that almost never stops...
Management and the other two trailed in later so we sat in the overflow area
with them. I hope we didn't make too big a spectacle of ourselves with the
little girls running in and out, keeping the bathrooms busy. Pastor Dahl gave a
good message and we were able to introduce ourselves to her after the service.
of Warroad, beware. Harvey Corneliusen is testing out some new
cologne. His technique goes like this: He'll enter a restaurant and
beeline toward the table with the most attractive women seated at it.
Next, he'll make the rounds of the table, bending low over the ladies
and asking them if they can smell his new cologne.
Ladies, if this happens to you, humor the poor fellow. I've heard that Harvey
is harmless, however there is always the chance of a copycat crime with this
Harvey also happened to celebrate his birthday on Wednesday with the boys at
the Dairy Queen, the same day he was testing out his cologne on the gals at the
Black Bear. I'm not sure if there is a connection between the two... Anyhow,
there were seven or eight of us in attendance and the rule is that the birthday
boy has to buy a round of sundaes. The guys commented that Harvey was a little
the record number of 52 that Jake had to purchase one year. The sundaes were
pretty good by all accounts.
I'm probably getting a well deserved record as a mooch. The last time I was at
the Dairy Queen with that crew was on Bill's 90th birthday. Harvey got off
easy, that time I had three hungry Little Girls with
During my Wednesday KQ95 morning appearance with Terry and Judy, Terry
and I were comparing notes on how we keep the heater motors operating on our
aging vehicles. Later at the Black Bear, Donna LaDuke reminded me that we
needed to be careful about publicizing our vehicle problems, since every
listener or reader in the region knows Terry and I drive Fords. I tried to
convince her that since the Fords are pretty ancient, a 15 year old Taurus and a 22 year old Ranger, we
should get a little slack. Predictably, the Chevy owner wasn't buying it.
Penny Kimble then related to us that she occasionally has to drive
Michael's old pickup. She said that once, as she was driving down Main
Warroad, she heard a big clunk. Just hubby's old pickup, you know, no
need to stop and check it out. She completed her errand
and drove back towards home. There was a chunk of metal pipe lying in
street at the approximate location she had heard the clunk so she
stopped, picked it up, and threw it into the back of the pickup.
Donna would want you to know that the old pickup is a Ford...
drove the round trip to Cambridge and back quite well, thank you
Lord. The Little Girls love to visit Grandma's house. Gas prices ranged
$1.85.9 up here to $159.9 at a couple of stations in the north Metro.
There seems to be no consistency, a mile from the stations selling
at $1.59.9 were several selling at $1.75.9. I didn't think I would ever
under $2.00 again.
We don't regularly do much shopping on Black Friday but this year was a partial
exception. I wanted to pick up some software for my newspaper writing job so
Management and I visited a couple of Best Buys until we found what I needed. Lots of traffic and lots of shoppers. I'm
glad I don't have to contend with that on a regular basis.
I did notice that the ratio of imported cars to American cars goes up
exponentially in relation to how close one is to the center of the metro area.
Dick's old Buick with a dented rear door didn't fit in real well in the parking
lot in Maple Grove amongst all the shiny, nearly new Hondas and Toyotas.
December 10, 2008
got back into the ranching mode for at least one day last week. Trapper was
sending his calves to market and I happened to be at home last Wednesday. I got
pressed into service herding calves, a job I almost regretted. The calves have
been run through the chute a couple of times in the last month due to the TB
situation so they weren't really wanting to do it again. I should have rummaged
through the soccer equipment bin and found some shin pads since I got kicked
three times over the course of the operation. Magnanimous
like, Trapper offered to kick me somewhere else to even out the pain.
Needless to say, I declined that offer! For some reason, Ms Toyota
decided that trapping was more important than calf herding so she was
AWOL for the second session. We loaded out 90 very nice Angus cross
heifers and steers.
trapping has been scant this year for both Trapper and Ms Toyota. Trapper says
that the muskrat has disappeared from his undisclosed trapping area. He did trap
some beaver, an otter and a mink. Ms Toyota trapped four fisher to his two,
several coyote and fox as well as nearly half a hundred skunk. You can smell her
pickup coming at least a quarter mile away as a result.
getting closer to winter here in Falun township. Trapper and the Missus went to
Grand Forks over
the weekend and Trapper bought his winter's worth of pancake mix at Sam's Club.
For the un-initiated, Trapper calls his logging operation the Pancake Logging
Co., named as such because he serves pancakes for lunch each day. More often
than not, visitors will show up right at lunchtime. Trapper and sidekick Earl
call the moochers ravens, but feed them anyway. Will keep you posted as to the
exact day Trapper drives the 440 John Deere Skidder to the woods. The trip to
rescue Kerby's Timberjack doesn't count.
traveled to Grand
Rapids over the weekend. I had two things on my agenda
for the day trip. The first was to attend the DNR auction Saturday morning.
Alyssa and I left early and arrived before the auction started at 9:30 am. The
item I was looking at was a 2002 Astro AWD van. Yea, I know it's not a Ford,
unfortunately they quit building the Aerostar AWD van in 1997. Management has
worn out two of them since 1994. While there are still many around, the mileage
on most of them is approaching or exceeding 200,000. I figure if one can procure
one with about half that mileage, many years of use are left on the tough little
had me on a pretty tight budget. If I had won the bid for the amount she allowed
me, it would have been better defined as a steal. As it was, the van went for a
very reasonable $2600 or so, but not to me. Now my son is scouring the Twin
Cities area for a lower mileage Aerostar AWD. If he can't find one I might have
to get a…well…a Chevy? Now, maybe if he finds me a Safari if no Aerostars
abound, I might avoid the stigma… Alyssa did well in the cold, two cups of hot
chocolate and a hot dog were the only bribes required to keep her happy for the
time we were out in the cold watching the pickups, trucks and cars being sold.
Lots of good deals, many of the well maintained vehicles sold for under or
other task on the docket was to remove the concrete from a floor drain of the
house I'm trying to sell over there. It is a new house, and a prospective buyer
would expect the drain to work properly. When we poured the floor, water came to
the top of the concrete and we pushed the water to the drain. The water
contained cement paste, and the paste hardened in the trap of the drain.
the last couple of months, I've been using acid to soften the concrete and
various chisels and pointed rod to clear out the part of the trap that is easily
reached. The hard to reach part has been a challenge since I don't have a
flexible chisel, if one even exists. I took a pressure washer down with me last
Saturday, thinking it might work to break up the concrete. It didn't. I finally
had the inspiration to drill a hole in the concrete floor directly above the
trap outlet and drive a long, star nosed chisel down through hole into the
concrete plug. While this technique did eventually work, I broke the end off the
brand new chisel. The pressure washer did work to blow the broken up debris out
of the trap. Mission accomplished, home to Falun by 2 am
Sunday morning. The hole needs to be patched, but that is an easy task,
took Management down to the Point the other day over lunchtime. It looks like
the Big Lake finally sheeted over and fish
houses are already dotting the ice. I'm not sure how thick the ice is, but more
than one someone is willing to risk it in search of some fresh Lake of the Woods
December 17, 2008
Winter is officially here in Falun
township. Trapper and Earl drove the 440 John Deere Skidder to the woods. They
are thinning a plantation of Norway down near the Farmer’s Union
Hall on County 9. The two shared driving duties in the sub-zero cold. It took
all night for Trapper to warm up enough to talk, giving the Missus a little
peace and quiet for the evening.
Things are picking back up at the
Black Bear. Waitress Dolly was suffering from laryngitis for a week or so,
giving the patrons a little peace and quiet while they were dining at that
premier establishment. The situation has righted itself, her voice is back so
now the regulars are getting the usual dosages of advice and put-downs along
with their coffee and meals.
It seems that the Fords are not the
only vehicles affected with the heater motor problem. Coffee table regular at
Roseen’s Corner, Wormy Voll, related that he often has to stop his Chevy S-10
mid-flight to pound on the heater motor to get it operating again. Also, DJ Judy
Olson, yes, the one who was giving partner Terry grief about his Taurus’ heater
woes, is driving around in a Pontiac with an inoperative heater. When it is
too cold, she gets a ride. It was too cold Monday morning last.
With the recent almost-blizzard,
I've been thinking a little bit about Christmas and of the task of picking out
gifts. This can be difficult at times, but, sometimes a little help makes it
much easier. I’m hoping I can help out some of you who are looking around for
the perfect gift this year.
A little background here. Most of
the time, Management and I have a good relationship, but there are times when it
could be best said that what I think is best for her is not necessarily what she
likewise thinks is best for her.
Case in point: sleepwear.
Periodically, over the time that we
have been married and sharing the ... well ... anyway ... over the time that we
have been married, I would purchase an item of sleepwear that I thought would
look good on her on some appropriate occasion, let's say, maybe Valentines Day.
This seemed to work well from my point of view, but one day I was informed that
my choices were not enough, let's say they were lacking in the coverage
department for the weather here in northern Minnesota.
I was made aware that I had lost the
job of picking out these types of garments for her When she bought a couple of
items for herself on a special occasion without my input, . Needless to say, it
was not only mystifying to me but caused some consternation on my part.
To avoid the pitfall I'D ve
apparently fallen into and make the job of picking out gifts for the guys in
their lives a little easier, I've come up with some ideas for the gals here in
the Southwest Angle. These are generally for the gals with mates of the country
boy gearhead types, so if your guy is of a different type, you’ll need to find a
different advice columnist.
First, tool choice. Usually things
like flashlights with a battery supply are good stocking stuffers. Mag lights
are thought of as top shelf. Moving up the scale, an Iowa socket set is
generally a good choice.
For the city folk, an Iowa socket set is a 12"
crescent wrench and a vice grip. Trapper would call it a Roseau County Socket
Set, but anyway, either half will be a good stocking stuffer - make sure it is a
heavy-duty stocking. Only buy Vice Grip brand vice grips. You are wasting your
money if you buy anything else. No one else even comes close (I'm waiting for
the endorsement check). Wrap 'em both up together for an under-the-tree gift.
Even if he has a set he can always use another; various sizes are also
Avoid specialty tools unless you
have researched out what he really needs or wants. Be aware that he will tell
you he really needs something he actually only wants but, this is acceptable if
the price is right. A good 3/8" socket set is usually a safe choice, even if he
already has one he can throw the spare in a portable tool box or the truck for
use in the field.
For clothing, I'd opt for a couple
pair of his favorite brand of jeans.
If your guy is active he goes
through several pair a year; after about four wearings and washings they all
look alike. You could also buy him a Columbia or Wrangler long sleeved shirt with a
shooter’s pad. They wear like iron and Management says she loves the way I look
in them. If choosing under garments, you are on your own, see above incident.
If buying something for his vehicle,
make sure it is something he really wants or you will find it sitting on the
pile in the house that never makes it to the garage. If you really want to
appear informed, find out his favorite choice in oil and filter and put a case
of oil and the proper filter for his truck under the tree. You will probably
have to be a little discreet in finding this out. He'll probably know something
is afoot if the gal in his life starts asking, "Do you like to use Mobile1 or
Trop-Arctic 5W-30 in the truck?" While there are exceptions, wrapping up the oil
filter for your car with the package will probably not
There are volumes of other things I
could advise you gals on, but space is a little limited. In the meantime, have a
blessed Christmas and a happy New Year.
This column contains parts of a Christmas column by Rob Crowe that was pubished in the Aitkin Independent Age in 2006...
December 24, 2008
Things happen rather quickly sometimes. The new owners of the Warroad Pioneer
didn’t want my Southwest Angle column, and, since I have so much
fun writing it, I chose to continue the tradition. I figured you all
wanted to continue hearing about Trapper, Ms Toyota, Pum the Ox and
Management’s exploits so here it goes.
buddy Dick is trying to justify his purchase of a 115 HP, 4 stroke
Mercury outboard motor for his boat. His latest plan is to buy it for
wife Eileen’s upcoming birthday. He thinks that since she
occasionally accompanies him up to Whitefish Bay it might work, but the
rest of us are a bit skeptical. Will keep you posted...
moved the logging shack to its familiar location northeast of Bemis
Hill in the Tamarac swamp. If you are in the area at noon and hungry,
the pancakes are on the griddle. While he won’t turn a raven
away, he’s much happier if you bring along some sausages to fry
Knutson’s buddy Blackie think he needs to upgrade his wheels.
Blackie reports that the old Norwegian ran into someone with his S-10
on one of his trapping expeditions so it looks a little worse than
usual, which was pretty bad.
I’m saved the indignity of purchasing a Chevy Van. After scouring the Midwest online in search of a Ford Aerostar AWD van, I found one in the Trading Post.
It was at DeWayne’s west of Roseau, another ‘94,
reasonable, low mileage and in good shape. Now Management can work on
putting on another 100,000 miles in a ‘94 Aerostar AWD. Rest
assured, GM lovers, we’ll keep Dick’s old Buick since it still has a current State Park sticker.
Have a great Christmas, See you next week!
December 31, 2008
Christmas is nearly over for this year. I’ve only one or two things on the list to make it complete. The
major item left is to finish the yearly newsletter for the household.
Usually the household cats (the authors) and I (publisher) have it done
before Christmas, but during a couple of years in recent history, the
task has been left until after Christmas. This is one of those years.
spending Christmas Eve with the Tapper , Ms Toyota and the rest of
theRoseens, we had a leisurely Christmas morning at home before heading
south on Christmas day. It was like a
rolling postcard, convoying through the snow covered countryside. The
wind hadn’t yet blown the snow from the tree limbs; it was simply
only mar on Christmas was to find that the furnace had quit on our
house in Hill City. Fortunately, no water damage and we were able to
repair the pipes over the weekend. Back to the Great North on Sunday
morning I was assigned to take the Little 4H Girls to Thief River Falls
to the Water Park. After sending Management off to work, I took the
back seat out of the Aerostar. In the midst of the task, I received a
call from the crusty old Norwegian, Orlin Ostby. He demanded to know
what I was doing. I told him and he said I was cruel to have sent
Management to work while I was playing. I reminded him that I also was
charged with the important task of picking up the organ Management was
purchasing from him on our way back from the Water Park. After a couple
more insults, he let me go.
We drove down to the Water Park and the Little Girls enjoyed their time there. Dad relaxed and took some pictures. On the way back, as promised, we stopped at the Ostbys’ to pick up the organ. Orlin
had the important job, telling sons Eric and Christopher what to do as
they hauled the organ from the patio and carefully slid it into the
back of the Aerostar. Plenty of room. We went out and looked at the
horses in the barn and then he showed me a neat covered sleigh he had
in the yard. It was too dark for pictures so that will wait for another
we got inside, it was business time. Orlin demanded that I pay him
three dollars for the organ since he’d paid two fifty for it at
an auction. I reluctantly shelled out the three dollars as he
complained that it should have been more since he’d had to store
the organ for a couple of weeks since Management said she’d take
it. I told him I figured he should have delivered it for the three
dollars, but I’d already lost that argument.
Orlin’s wife Mandy took pity on us and fed us all some potato and dumpling stew before sending us on home.
Another week in the great north, see you next week!