Thursday, September 04, 2008

Gone Fishin’

Sometimes I get phone calls from call centers in the upper Midwest region, specifically Minnesota and Wisconsin. I always look forward to these, even when it's a reminder of my credit card bill. (It can happen!) Eventually we strike up a conversation about how things are out there. That conversation usually involves the weather. Of course, the weather, as well as how the fish are biting, are the most popular topics among the folks up there. And I tell them how much I appreciate their calling to remind me that my credit card bill is due, and how happy I'd be to handle it on the phone. They seem to like that.

I never went for fishing all that much, even though I had a lot of pals who did. It requires patience, and I don't have any. I try to compensate for it by procrastinating, but that doesn't always work. Maybe that's why I get those phone calls. Now what was I saying? Oh yeah...

We have two clips today. Our first one, from the Associated Press, is about a two-story tree house in Wisconsin, which I would have built years ago in my folks' back yard, if Mom hadn't had the last big tree cut down for some damn fool reason she never explained. Something about how they were taking down the other one when they expanded the house, so as long as the help was there...

I don't know why I bother trying to reason with her. Going home later this month should be interesting.

Anyway, the other clip from the Fox News Channel, is about the people of Minnesota and how nice they are. Really, they're the nicest people you ever wanna meet, if you don't count Garrison Keillor. (They say it's because he's shy. No, I think moving that show to New York City made him a little too big for his britches. But, I digress...) And while they demonstrate the Minnesotan accent -- actually prevalent throughout the Great Lakes region -- they don't explain its origins, which is mostly the Scandinavian immigrants of the mid- to late-19th century. Ya, sure. You betcha.

It's getting time for lunch. Where can I find a decent corn dog in this town?


Adoro te Devote said...

OK, speaking as (an unfortunately native) person from Minnesota...people from MN are NOT really that nice. And our accent is spread through OUR region of the Great Lakes, but isn't present in Ohio or Indiana. (I know this due to a recent trip to Ohio...)

But let me give you the truth about Minnesota...cold, cold, cold, and I don't mean the weather!

I came to this state from IL when I was 10, and kept hearing about "Minnesota Nice", wondering what on EARTH they were talking about!? And I still live here, and I'm still wondering! Sure, there are a lot of friendly people, but for the cliques...just watch your back.

I don't entirely hate MN, I do have a lot of friends here, but we all, oddly, have similar feelings.

Myself? I like the people of Ohio. They seem a lot nicer and more welcoming, in a natural way, than the people of MN.

Just sayin'. MN is probably not any better or worse on the "nice" scale than anywhere else. (Well...probably nicer than people in NY, LA, or Paris, France. But that's it)


David L Alexander said...

"And our accent is spread through OUR region of the Great Lakes, but isn't present in Ohio or Indiana. (I know this due to a recent trip to Ohio...)"

There is a bit of distinction between, say, Cleveland and Minneapolis. The latter has that Scandahoovian thing going on. Then when you leave the Great Lakes and get to the southern part of Ohio or Indiana, you get that nasal twang sound that's... well, southern.

I have to agree with your assessment of Ohio people.

Minnesota Central said...


I saw your question on HotAir wondering why anyone would vote for Al Franken. The question that is not being asked is, Why didn’t people vote for incumbent Norm Coleman?

The Senate race was between two candidates that many people did not like. MN-GOP supporters openly advocated throwing Coleman under the bus while Franken's writings and tax payments caused him problems. For the voters there was a viable third candidate, so the people who wanted to vote for "none of the above" could vote for Independence Party’s Dean Barkley. (In Minnesota, the Independence Party has not had viable Congressional candidate unlike the party's efforts in the MN-Governor races where they have remained strong.)
For a sitting Senator to marginally win with 41.4% support is embarrassing.
Franken received 70,000 less votes than the Democrat candidate in 2006 (Klobuchar won with 1,278,849 votes.)
Conversely, Barkley received 437,389 votes in 2008 which was considerably better than the Independence Party’s nominees in 2006 (71,194) or 2002 (45,139).

All incumbent House of Representatives were re-elected with comfortable margins including Republicans Michele Bachmann and John Kline plus retaining the seat of retiring Jim Ramstad. Coleman has only himself to blame.

For me the choice was not easy and as late as October 26th, I blogged the merits and shortcomings of the three main candidates. In the end, Coleman’s performance earned an “F” (considering his Failures on the Farm bill, Foreign policy, Foreclosures, etc.) dictated my vote for Franken.

My guess is that if Minnesota had a Georgia-style revote that Franken would win easily as Coleman has not performed well since election night. Ironically, the day after the election, Coleman urged Franken to waive his right to a recount citing "the need for the healing process is so important” … I wonder if Senator Coleman offered the same advise to Congressman Goode ?

There were problems in voting in Minnesota but most races were easily won such that the problems would be irrelevant to determining the outcome although they should be corrected.
Notably, in Minneapolis Precinct 1, Ward 3 where a large number of students were denied ballots. This problem occurred in 2006 also. The number of students turned away may be more than the winner's margin ... and the conventional wisdom is that students supported Franken over Coleman.

The real problem in Minnesota is the handling of absentee ballots. There have been reports of a number of votes now finding out that their ballots were rejected for technical reasons (which could have been easily corrected.) The affected include Coleman as well as Franken supporters. Those rejected for technical reasons will not be revisited, but there are roughly 1,600 absentee ballots that were wrongly rejected (just placed in the wrong pile). Now the decision is how to handle those unopened ballots. Coleman is the one that will have to agree to accept the ballots, so Coleman will determine the next Senator and begin that ”healing process” that he felt was so important.

Sometime in 2009, a Senator will be sworn in to represent Minnesota in the Senate, but that Senator will know that a majority of voters didn’t want him to have the job.

BTW, I was born and educated in Ohio (with The Ohio State University being my alma mater) and I disagree with an earlier poster. I moved to Minnesota after working in Ohio and Illinois and we have found it truly to be "MinnesotaNice" ... clean skies, friendly people and corn dogs at every county fair.