Native son - SCAM, act one

My column on January 19 was about scams. Well folks, guess what? On Saturday February 9 while I was checking one of my accounts on the Internet this loud beeping sound came out of my computer. My screen froze and a voice said “do not turn off your computer. This is Microsoft and we believe a number of your functions are not giving you maximum results. We are going to take over your computer and correct this problem.” The cursor disappeared from my screen and the voice continued telling me and showing me different screens with all kinds of different configurations which I couldn’t understand.


From the miscellaneous drawer - Going postal

For many years there wasn’t Postal delivery to homes where I lived as a child. Six blocks away there was a one story brick building with Postal boxes inside. Mother pulled me on a sled or wagon and my older siblings walked there. We also picked up the mail for elderly residents in our neighborhood.
These days the US Postal Service is in financial trouble. According to its Nov. 24, 2018 report: There was an overall volume decline of 3.2 billion pieces and a net loss of $3.9 billion. Its only good news was in its Shipping and Packages business, where revenue increased $2.0 billion, or 10.1 percent.
A lot of the loss, it is said, is because people rarely write personal letters as once was done.
I so much treasured letters, that I still have a large box of personal letters I have received since I was a child. Mostly they are ones from family members. Fewer yet from good friends. The trouble is, although I plan to drop a line to someone, I put it off.


Native son: All the news fit to print

The cost of a “forever” postage stamp went up on January 27 from fifty cents to fifty five cents. In 1918 the Postal Service lost $3.9 billion dollars. It’s kind of a grey area about who runs our postal service. At one time it was the government that made all the rules and regulations.
For the past twelve years it has been hemorrhaging cash. Trump puts the blame on Amazon saying they are not paying their fair share by offering “free delivery” on their merchandize. This is debatable. People using emails instead of writing letters may have something to do with this. So far this year I’ve written only one letter and have received two in return. I’m still old fashioned and sent seventeen Christmas cards. Twenty years ago it was thirty or more cards. I am keeping in touch electronically like the majority of people are doing.


From the miscellaneous drawer - Friends

Friends, good friends, are rare. As children we tend to expect that we will have the same friends throughout life. For a very lucky few, that happens.
Mostly, our lives tend to lead us away from the past and from places we’ve called home along the way of life. And there comes a time when we wonder about those past friends... have they passed?
Even if they have, they remain indelibly in one’s mind, nourished by memories and impromptu reminders.
In many ways, family members are supposed to remain friends through time, but that doesn’t always work out as egos, slights, and different paths separate us from those who were once a big part of our lives. Can those hostilities be resolved? Probably not if all parties are not willing to succumb to heart felt apologies.
Life goes on. With each setback one picks up the pieces of one’s life and hopefully finds new purpose. You gotta keep on, keeping on.


Hook and Bullet Club by Nick Wognum

Father Brandon Moravitz gives a blessing to Ida Rukavina, daughter of the late Tom Rukavina during funeral services Saturday morning at Holy Spirit Church in Virginia. Former State Representative Tom Rukavina passed away Jan. 7. Photo by Mark Sauer, Mesabi Daily News.


Home on the Range - Memories may vary

Disclaimer: Memories may vary…
“Oh yeah, they’ve been in a trailer, had a rope around their necks, and they’re weaned.” None of the preceding statements were true, and dad was there that day to load them up, take them away from their mamas, and castrate them while they had them caught.
Two yearling bulls, now steers, loaded in a borrowed trailer to be brought to the pasture at my grandparent’s house, the summer I was 12. In my few short years of walking this earth, I had never felt closer to being a cowgirl, or at least a farmer.
The one steer managed to throw himself around so much in the trailer that he was on his back for most of the ride. Dad pulled into the pasture, threw the trailer door open and got out of the way. They were soon grazing.
Not long afterwards, maybe a day or two, after they healed up a bit, the steers decided they didn’t care to be fenced in. They went for a stroll. Down grandma and grandpa’s driveway. Then down Highway 21.


Hook and bullet club - Sports fan

It’s not easy being a Minnesota sports fan. Pick a sport and there’s plenty of heartbreak to go around. The Wild, the Vikings, the Twins and even some of our college teams have left us wondering when the championship days will return.
Mary and I took a trip to the Twin c\Cities and managed to squeeze in four games. My buddy Jim Ronn’s daughter plays varsity for the Blaine girls hockey team. Two of our four games were watching her play.
We haven’t watched much girls hockey and I have to say I was impressed. The girls know the game and play it well. They pass the puck and hustle back on defense. They attack on offense and play the game right.
There were very few penalties so the game moved right along. The only difference for me was the blaring ’80s rock music every time the whistle blew. Hey, I love music but there is such a thing as volume control.


From the miscellaneous drawer - Visitors

Andrew Wilson and Ingrid Swenson from London


Ya won’t hear it from me

Ya won’t hear it from me.
A half hour of thoughts, just occurred to me, in no less then three minutes of his appalled conversation.
He looks at our truck and he is aghast. He is stunned. The words fly out of his mouth. “What did you do to that truck, where have you been, what in heaven’s name is wrong with you? You can hardly see the windshield.
Now me, I’m smiling inside.
So, I try to explain that we just got off the road. We were in the boreal forest. We went Christmas camping. We drove on roads that four-wheel drive was invented for.
Why you buy truck tires with heavy deep-digging tread. Why you carry a tow strap and a scoop snow shovel and why, when we found the dad with his kid stuck - scared, pick-up truck-stuck, because the dad knew someone else might not go down that road for a few days - and we got them out.
Well, that’s why our truck looks like it just came back from some arctic exploration and we love it.


From the miscellaneous drawer - Holiday time

Having the photo booth and equipment at the Echo, operator Cam Weisert has found his techie skills put to test often, especially with the elderly.
Not me. I still haven’t joined the skill level to deal with smart phones. I still have a flip phone, upgraded from the washing machine mishap, but still a flip phone.
What’s your favorite story from the Christmas holiday? One of mine this year are the men who had a heartbeat printout encased in a snowflake ornament for their wives, sisters, who were mourning their mother this season.
Another was the man who mentioned that an anonymous cash gift had prompted an unexpected gift for his son to enjoy. This is a truly kind community so I’m sure there were many other acts of thoughtfulness shown. Joe Bianco’s revolving carousel on Burntside among them. Wow, what a lot of work!


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