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Maybe not so advantageous May 13, 2010

Posted by jdoetkott in Lifestyle.
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A few days ago I wrote a post about the advantages of Iowa weather compared to the snow that was falling in some parts on Minnesota.

I would like to retract that statement.

Iowa weather changes rapidly, or so I thought. It has been nothing but rain the past week, and while that’s good for studying, it’s extremely depressing and not an enjoyable way to end the year.

I have been wet, cold, and thanks to finals, extremely miserable this past week and I am really starting to question if the sun is ever going to come back out. I haven’t seen it for days and I’m starting to fear the worst.

So while Iowa is still milder, I think I would take some cold if it meant I could get a little sun.

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WCCO’s Don Shelby retires May 13, 2010

Posted by jdoetkott in Lifestyle.
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I just read this article from the Star Tribune and it saddened me greatly to learn that Don Shelby will be retiring from WCCO.

I always enjoyed Shelby’s newscasts because he was a true professional who still seemed to have fun doing the news. He had the face you could trust and he was a very big part of WCCO for 32 years.

The article is touching and I think I found this to be the most endearing part:

He said the favorite part of his job, “aside from the journalism,” was his annual 10-day posting at the State Fair, calling it “a chance to see the people in person. Those 10 days rejuvenated me.”

He wouldn’t be Don Shelby if he didn’t want to get out and connect with the people of Minnesota, because whether he knew it or not he connected with them almost every night.

My hat’s off to Mr. Shelby both as a journalist and a human being. WCCO won’t be the same without him.

Jon Rauch May 13, 2010

Posted by jdoetkott in Sports.
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Keeping in the same hopeful Twins vein, I just read an article from the Star Tribune on Jon Rauch and oddly enough, it reminded me of how well he is doing this season. He is 9-for-9 in save opportunities which ties him for third in the American League. He seems to be pitching really well and has been a great replacement for the injured Joe Nathan so far this season.

Now, a couple weeks back I had a girl tell me that Jon Rauch is better than Joe Nathan…..needless to say I was unconvinced. And I still am. But I have really been impressed by the big guy and I’m really just extremely happy that the team found a solution to its closer problem.

Now as a sports fan I of course realize how much jinxing power these past two posts have. I am always superstitious that as soon as I say something is going really well, that it will immediately tank. And while I’m not trying to get ahead of myself and I’m only saying he has done well SO FAR, and the club is doing well SO FAR, it’s probably best to knock on wood anyway.

Twins win May 13, 2010

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The Twins beat the White Sox today in a solid win that leaves the club up 2.5 games in the division. The game was essentially a pitchers duel between Carl Pavano and the White Sox’s John Danks. The low scoring affair (3-2 was the final score) was typical of Twins-White Sox games over the past few years, and just like the last few years, the Twins won.

Like I’ve said before, it just feels so good to beat the White Sox, it never really gets old. I’ve been impressed by the team thus far and I think we could have a very successful season if they stay on track. Let’s just hope it happens.

Some Benefits May 8, 2010

Posted by jdoetkott in Lifestyle.
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I am in Iowa.

But I will be returning to Minnesota in just over three weeks, and needless to say, I can’t wait. I miss Minnesota and my hometown of Minneapolis so much.

But after my final exams are finished on Friday, I will be making a short two-week trip to Malaysia. I can’t wait to get out of the country and experience a new culture and warm tropical climate. Then after that, I return home.

I say all this because I have been musing about these different places and wondering what makes them each unique.

And over the past few days I saw something on the Star Tribune and other sites that caught my eye.

Minnesota has snow.

Yes it might be mid-May, but that has never stopped Mother Minnesota from showing the country why she is the coldest and perhaps most unpredictable state in the union. Snow in May is certainly not unheard of, but after living in Iowa for the past two years I was actually surprised to hear it. Perhaps this mild Iowa weather has affected my expectations of what Spring should feel like.

And somewhere in that jumbled rambling mess of text lies my point. There are benefits to living anywhere. Iowa is mild, Malaysia is hot, and Minnesota can be anything depending on which way the wind is blowing.

It all comes down to what you want in life. And although I am a Minnesotan for life, I think I’ll take the warmer temperatures of Iowa and Malaysia over mid-May snowstorms. Sure it’s still Iowa, but at least there are some benefits.

New Minnesota Music: Phonetic ONE March 2, 2010

Posted by jdoetkott in Music.
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A while back I promised that I would update this blog with new, up-and-coming Minnesota musicians. It took me a little while, but here is the first installment. Check back soon for similar posts.

Phonetic ONE

With a long history of a vibrant music scene, Minneapolis has spawned many great bands and singers. Names like Bob Dylan, Prince, and The Replacements spring to mind. But Minneapolis also has a strong connection to hip-hop, with the group Atmosphere certainly serving as the current face of the local hip-hop scene.

But as the rapper Murs once said, “Opinions are like rap careers, everbody’s got one.” So to that end, let me give you my opinion on a blossoming rap career born in the heart of south Minneapolis: Phonetic ONE.

Phonetic ONE

Born Andrew Thomas, Phonetic ONE describes himself as a rapper, actor, poet, singer-songwriter, and educator. He was born and raised on the Southside of Minneapolis, attended Minneapolis South High School, and now goes to the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Phonetic ONE has been featured in local Madison music publications, performed at halftime of Wisconsin basketball games, and along with other members of his First Wave hip-hop group, opened for the world-famous rapper Ludacris at a concert this fall.

To date Phonetic ONE has released three compilations of music: his first LP entitled Life Music: Volume ONE, an EP called Phonetic Phenom, and very recently, an LP entitled On The Bus Stop.

I met Andrew Thomas about 2 or 3 years ago and I have heard nothing but good music from him since. He raps with an underground style and a Minneapolis swagger. His work with the rest of his UW crew has shown he has a range of abilities, not to mention his freestyle skills. I would expect to see a lot more great music from this young artist and I encourage you to download his albums and support a Minneapolis musician.

Be sure to check out his website: http://www.myspace.com/phoneticonemusic

And his Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Phonetic-ONE/12434346921?ref=ts

I leave you with one of Phonetic ONE’s first songs, and please check back soon for more updates. Enjoy!

Minnesota’s golden girl February 17, 2010

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The Olympic story of the day is easily Minnesota native Lindsey Vonn winning the gold medal in Women’s Downhill. For weeks now the media has been fascinated with Vonn’s injured shin, and there was much speculation about how the injury would affect her Olympic run. In the end Vonn showed some Minnesota-toughness and won gold in a great performance. Teammate Julia Mancuso took silver for an American 1-2 punch. Let everyone, Minnesotan or not, praise these two athletes for their amazing efforts.

Vonn is certainly not the first Minnesotan to win gold (practically the whole 1980 Miracle on Ice team comes to mind), but the story of Vonn’s journey from Buck Hill to Olympic gold is truly something remarkable.

I don’t have much comment other than I would just like to say how exceptionally gifted all the Olympic athletes are, and I truly respect the effort they put into their performance. I love the Olympic spirit, the Olympic Games, and it it only makes it that much better to know that some of that Olympic gold is coming back to Minnesota.

Congratulations, Lindsey Vonn.

Happy days! February 16, 2010

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According to a recently released USA Today study, residents of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area ranked 16th in the nation in terms of well-being. Translation: Everyone love Minnesota!

Needless to say, I am not surprised. I love my hometown with all my heart, and even though I don’t share the same admiration for our sister city, St. Paul, I fully understand why people in the metro area love it so much. With an incredible arts and music scene, parks, trails, and lakes, and great city services, not to mention professional sports teams and the classic “Minnesota Nice,” how could you not want to live in the Twin Cities?

But more than the ravings of a Minnecentric fan, I think this study speaks volumes about the area in that the results come from the people themselves. The people were asked, the people spoke, and the people said, “We love it!” It makes me feel wonderful to know that residents of the metro area feel the same way about our home as I do. And I hope that this blog, which above all else looks to strengthen the greater Minnesota community, can be an outlet for the shared sense of well-being that the metro area seems to have.

So even though you’re feeling good already, give yourselves a pat on the back, metro residents. It can only make you feel better.

New Minnesota music! February 13, 2010

Posted by jdoetkott in Music.
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It occurred to me recently that I know a great many Minnesotans that are pursuing life’s mysteries through music. And I thought I could use my blog to highlight some great up-and-coming Minnesota musicians. Over the coming days and weeks I will feature different rappers, singer/songwriters, and bands that all share that Minnesota bond.

So please frequent the blog if you want to discover some great new music from local artists!

The following video is just a taste of what I’m talking about. I don’t actually know the people in this video but the song is truly amazing. Enjoy!

From foe to friend January 28, 2010

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With the Vikings loss last Sunday and the ever dismal Timberwolves playing for the top pick in the draft, professional sports in Minnesota have seen better days. So it came as a surprise when I found out that Jim Thome, a player with a stark fondness for hitting balls high over the Metrodome’s right-field baggie, would be entering Target Field next year in a Twins uniform. Thome is not the only White Sox player in recent years to come over to the good side of the force. Last year Joe Crede joined the squad, a player for whom I must admit I had a strong hatred when he wore black and white (probably because he always seemed to have his best games against the Twins). And while I have never felt the same kind of animosity against Thome (I have in fact always had a great deal of respect for the guy), it will be nice not having to play against him. So to make this perfectly clear: I like Jim Thome, have always liked him, and now can do so without the fear that I am essentially cheering for the bad guy in the movie.

And yet, I wonder if the addition of an aging power-hitter will be enough to propel the Twins from a franchise that always has to play better than their payroll would predict, to a team with true talent. I have heard the rumors about possibly acquiring Orlando Hudson, and let me say I am all for it. But watching last season I noticed that power was not exactly the team’s weakness. Where I, and most likely anyone else who saw us play, think we really need to improve is our starting rotation. Our pitchers were hardly average, and not to mention the our bullpen’s struggle with consistency. I applaud the Bill Smith’s efforts to add big-name players, but how about some pitchers?