Category Archives: Just Talking…

Just Talking About…Wandering Sedge Mats

June 1, 2018.  Several years ago I skated across the lake near which my office sits and found a lovely patch of the ancient Midwest.  It was a sedge meadow—a place where life had gone on pretty much as it … Continue reading

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Just Talking About…Why Self-Driving Vehicles Are Just One More Bad Idea

January 10, 2018.  I’m heading east on Interstate 90/94 towards Madison, watching truck wars play out all around me.  Truck wars are where one truck tries to pass another, but does so at such a slow pace that they are … Continue reading

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Just Talking About…Coincidence, Significance, and the Super Blue Blood Moon

February 1, 2018.  I’d been anticipating it for a week, so yesterday I woke up in my usual fog, made coffee and a lunch, forgot to shave, and hustled out the door to -7 F temperatures and a car dusted … Continue reading

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Just Talking About…Roads As Self-Fulfilling Prophesies, Part 2

December 27, 2017.  It’s been fifteen years since I started commuting from St. Paul to my country office, and it’s time to take stock.  In that time Highway 8—or 220th Street in the extended Minneapolis street grid system (evidence of … Continue reading

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Just Thinking About…Roads As Self-Fulfilling Prophesies, Part 1

October 25, 2017. Years ago in a former job and former life, there was a man in the volunteer leadership of the organization I worked for who was a transportation planner and engineer. He was also highly placed in the … Continue reading

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Just Talking About…The Little Things That Run The World

September 8, 2017.  It’s amazing to me how much of the world hinges on the workings of tiny things.  I’m reading about Alexander von Humboldt, the most famous man you’ve never heard of, who paid attention to those small things.  … Continue reading

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Just Talking About…Highway 62 Prairie Revisited

September 3, 2007.  I passed this morning a postage stamp piece of the original, authentic Minnesota.  It’s just a little scrap of land wedged between two highways and the federal lands containing the Veterans’ facilities and other administrative chunks, all … Continue reading

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Just Talking About…Britain Giving Up Coal For A Day

August 27, 2017.  A noteworthy moment in the history of the planet occurred with few of my countrymen noticing.  On Friday, April 21, 2017, the United Kingdom got all its energy needs without burning an ounce of coal.  Coal, as … Continue reading

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Just Talking About…A Walnut Eclipse

August 25, 2017.  My wife took this picture last Monday in our back yard:  the naturally-occuring “pinhole camera” effect that happens when the partially-eclipsed sun shines through tiny spaces between the leaves.  For a moment, the ground was shining with … Continue reading

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Just Talking About…Harry Nelson and the Riffle Beetles

August 15, 2017.  This past month I was in Chicago and had a chance to visit one of my favorite institutions, the Field Museum of Natural History.  I was especially eager to visit an exhibit entitled “Specimens,” a fascinating overview … Continue reading

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