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  Friday October 31st, 2014    

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COLUMNS  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
Enter the robots (07/30/2014)
By Sarah Squires --

If you know me, you know I’m not the biggest technology nut. I’ve got a smart phone, but I’m working on a woodburned sign that reads “Leave your Google Glass at the door” for my house. Some of this  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Help GRSF set records! (07/30/2014)
Doug: Season 11 has been a season of firsts.

Lee: And we need your help to accomplish one more first!

Doug: This season has been so wonderful, but the cool thing about theater is one minute it i ... 

FULL STORY >>


Brief Spring (05/01/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Briefly, we hail Spring. Little red buds adorn the trees, green shoots spring from the ground, the lawn is covered with sticks and branches from the last winter storm, and a mine field of dog doo has  ... 

FULL STORY >>


No grad tests? (03/27/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

It was bound to come to this. Ever since the state instituted graduation tests, the public school complex in the state has worked to get them thrown out. Now, with a pro-teachers union governor and  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Al Owne in the kitchen (03/25/2013)
By Al Owne -- The other morning I used one of our old fashioned egg beaters to make an omelet. (I say “one of” because, although I only saw one, I know there’s at least one more hiding somewhere!) You know the kin ... 

FULL STORY >>


Waiting for the bird’s arrival (03/25/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- These old red brick buildings harbor more than the history of Winona. Our building, which was erected in 1865, was once home to a John A. Latsch wholesale grocery concern, as well as hat shops and mus ... 

FULL STORY >>


Don’t charge citizens for info (03/13/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Bell, California, owes the fact that it is not bankrupt to a newspaper. Not a local newspaper—they don’t have one—but to the Los Angeles Times. Two Times reporters began by writing an investigative re ... 

FULL STORY >>


Warmth at last (02/27/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- In my journey through widowhood, I have resolved to revisit some of the places that were constants during my forty-two-year marriage to John. I started small, with trips to our cabin, out on the river ... 

FULL STORY >>


Merry After (12/26/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- We had an early deadline for today’s newspaper so that our mail room and carriers wouldn’t be working on Christmas Day. So I’m writing this column before Christmas Day, and you’ll be reading it after  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ted (12/26/2012)
By David Robinson -- This past summer’s big comedy hit “Ted” is a story about a boy and his teddy bear; it is rated “R” for “crude and sexual humor, pervasive language, and some drug use.” If these two facts seem contrad ... 

FULL STORY >>


We never learn (09/19/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- The headline in the Star Tribune of Sept. 15 read, “Search comes up empty in porn case vs. coach.”

In the early ‘80s, in Scott County, Minnesota, Kathleen Morris, the county attorney, opened a case ... 

FULL STORY >>


Al Owne in the kitchen (08/15/2012)
By Al Owne -- There are people who have various models for their cooking. It might be a mother or grandmother, or perhaps a chef like Julia, or Boy-R-Dee. Not me. No, I’ve decided that my model must be Crankshaf ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ask a Trooper (08/15/2012)
From: Sgt. Jacalyn Sticha

Minnesota State Patrol

Q. Is the correct depth for my tire’s tread depth really to the top of Abe Lincoln head on a penny?

A. Close, I actually got a penny out and me ... 

FULL STORY >>


Goodbye, car (08/15/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I sold my car. It is a vanilla white 2006 Chrysler 300 sedan with a hemi engine, all-wheel drive, and leather seats. Whoa! It is a great car. The front of the car is intimidating and always reminded m ... 

FULL STORY >>


A hairy tale (07/25/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- A hairy tale

Since I stopped chemo earlier this year, my hair has been growing back. Slowly. Hair is supposed to grow at the rate of half an inch a month. Today at work, Chris and Rickie measured min ... 

FULL STORY >>


al owne in the kitchen (07/25/2012)
By Al Owne -- I goofed up a microwave dinner the other day and that takes skill. I buy some of these all-in-one dinners for people who are watching their weight, their cholesterol, or their health in general. I r ... 

FULL STORY >>


When you’re 64 (05/30/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Someday when you are old enough, your doctor will suggest a bone scan, to detect bone weakness and how likely you are to break your bones. It’s about the easiest test there is. You just lie on a table ... 

FULL STORY >>


Al Owne in the Kitchen (05/23/2012)
By Al Owne -- Maybe I don’t have enough patience to cook. That would sound strange to people who know me because everyone always says, “He sure has a lot of patience.” Could it be that they mistake laziness for p ... 

FULL STORY >>


Battleship (05/23/2012)
By David Robinson -- “Battleship” has been rightly compared to the “Transformers” movies, which were also inspired (if that’s the word) by Hasbro products. In this case, the old board game has been considerably updated w ... 

FULL STORY >>


What size? (05/23/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Among the “dress up” collection I have put together for my grandchildren are dresses that belonged to my mother and mother-in-law when they were in their thirties and forties. There is a beautiful pin ... 

FULL STORY >>


all owne in the kitchen (04/25/2012)
By Al Owne -- I’m a little confused with the new expiration labels. Packages used to have an expiration date on them like, “expires 04-15-07.” There was no beating around the bush. If you ate that can of corn on  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Love cow! (04/25/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I wouldn’t put all my trust in the computer and Internet quite yet.

My sister is a knitter. She’s just finishing a pair of socks in rather wild colors, but as she showed me on one of the Internet kni ... 

FULL STORY >>


Al Owne in the kitchen (03/21/2012)
By Al Owne -- My kitchen blunder for this week involved cold cereal. I like sweet stuff; my pancreas doesn’t. Rather than put fake sugar on my Cheerios, I get some sweet cereal and mix it in. I’ve found that some ... 

FULL STORY >>


The bald truth (03/21/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I didn’t think Spring would come so soon. As you might have read, I am going through chemo and as a result my hair “thinned” (as health care personnel like to say euphemistically). It thinned so much ... 

FULL STORY >>


‘80s fashion (02/29/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Have you ever made a serious fashion mistake? Buying a Nehru jacket, or a Rudi Gernreich monokini (remember the topless swimsuit — for women?) absolutely counts as a fashion mistake. Most of us make l ... 

FULL STORY >>


Al Owne in the kitchen (02/29/2012)
By Al Owne -- Every time I think I’m getting somewhere in the kitchen, I get knocked down a notch like the big chef in the sky doesn’t care much for my gastronomical efforts. I like simple. I buy cheap frozen piz ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hugo (02/29/2012)
By David Robinson -- Martin Scorsese made his considerable and well-deserved reputation on the strength of films about gangsters, murderers, thugs, and crooked cops. He is a master of showing the violent life on the mean ... 

FULL STORY >>


The secret to a long marriage is… (02/15/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I loved reading the “How I Met the One I Love” stories in today’s paper (see pages 9a and 10a). What struck me was how many of the stories were about a very short, by today’s standards, courtship befo ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Tree of Life (02/15/2012)
By David Robinson -- “The Tree of Life” has been out on DVD for some time now, but its recent nomination for Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director make a review of it timely. I’m guessing that neither the movie nor d ... 

FULL STORY >>


Becoming more efficient and fiscally responsible (09/21/2011)
From: Deb Roschen

Wabasha County Commissioner

I filed for the office of County Commissioner because I was troubled over the financial direction of Wabasha County Government. In 2004 our net tax l ... 

FULL STORY >>


Drive (09/21/2011)
By David Robinson -- “Drive,” starring Ryan Gosling, starts out like a subtle, contemporary noir film, one full of unexpected turns, small surprises, and attention to detail. Then, unhappily, director Nicolas Wending Ref ... 

FULL STORY >>


Pumpkin time is here (09/21/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Our neighbor is selling pumpkins and winter squash in his front yard, rows of big pumpkins all lined up neatly in rows and the little squash taking a back seat to the king of the autumn garden.

One  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Why did county remove records? (09/21/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I thought Mena Kaehler was just musing out loud several weeks ago when she asked the other county commissioners if they should remove all the agendas and minutes of meetings from their web site that w ... 

FULL STORY >>


Before you decide, take a closer look at district’s magnet numbers (02/09/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I have always told new reporters and readers who wonder why I question government decisions — “just look at the numbers.” Whoever controls the input controls the output, and whoever controls what the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Dilemma (02/02/2011)
By David Robinson -- “The Dilemma” is at heart a “bromance,” the currently fashionable tag for what used to be termed a “buddy flick.” It begins with two business partners and best friends Ronny (Vince Vaughn) and Nick ( ... 

FULL STORY >>


Worry about everything! (02/02/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I called my sister, who lives in Massachusetts, under the guise of concern about them because of the enormous snow storm that was forecast to hit there. But deep down in my heart, I wanted to rub it i ... 

FULL STORY >>


Follies casting call Tuesday, January 4 (12/29/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- On Tuesday, January 4, the Winona Health Auxiliary will once again be holding a casting call for the newest of its stage productions — The Topsy Turvy Television Follies. The 2011 version of the popul ... 

FULL STORY >>


Randomly speaking (08/09/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I would venture to guess that the average U.S. Citizen (if such an animal exists) spends more time shopping and wandering aimlessly through the malls of America than he, she, (or whoever) spends readi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Where’d this rain come from? (08/09/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Here it is Friday afternoon, and the rain is streaming down the window panes in my office. It’s dark, gloomy, and chilly.

Of course! We are expecting company, John’s oldest brother, Lee, and his wif ... 

FULL STORY >>


Happy New Year! Really! (12/31/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- Just as I was sitting in a gloomy funk watching the snow fall — yet again! — outside my office window, an e-mail came from Michele at Ivie Popplewell Trucking letting us know that our book documenting ... 

FULL STORY >>


Valkyrie (12/31/2008)
By David Robinson -- There were fifteen known assassination attempts on the life of Adolph Hitler. Perhaps the best known is the scheme concocted by a number of high-ranking German officers, one that actually came near t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Pride and Glory (10/29/2008)
By David Robinson -- “Pride and Glory” opens with cops battling against cops and ends the same way. IN the first case, it’s a championship football game, with New York’s finest triumphing over a team from Detroit. In the ... 

FULL STORY >>


Something missing (10/29/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- It doesn’t take much to upset my routine. But as a creature of habit I am nothing compared to my dog — the indoor dog. John and the outdoor dog have been gone the last couple of days on a quest for th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Nothing to wear? (10/26/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- It’s getting to be that time of year, when all I wish for is that I lived in a country ruled by a benevolent monarch. If only there was some way to get down to the basics and answer the only question  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Soul searching (10/26/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.” –Simone Weil

One can hardly be a player in life if they aren’t experiencing it. Personal thoughts, disconne ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shooter (03/28/2007)
By David Robinson -- Shooter, starring Mark Wahlberg in the title role, wants to be one of the Bourne series, but it winds up being a fairly ordinary action flick. As the name implies, it's a film about shooting, as well ... 

FULL STORY >>


Off to Stacker City (03/28/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Stacker City Players put on a boffo show last weekend, written by former Winonan Steve Andersen. Okay, you might ask, who are the Stacker City Players, where is Stacker City, and what is a stacker ... 

FULL STORY >>


Get in on the action, Part 2 (03/21/2007)
By Tom Hirsch -- Using a fast shutter speed or high ISO setting to stop action or taking advantage of the peak point of an event to imply motion are two very good techniques, but what if you're photographing a skatebo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Oh, oh! Here they come (03/21/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- I suppose about a year ago, when I announced in this column that my daughter and son-in-law were going to make grandparents out of us, you thought, "Oh, brother! Here comes a long line of columns abou ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist - This is not 1929 (03/21/2007)
By Al Thomas -- I have heard some of the doom and gloomers compare today's stock market with 1929. None of us are old enough to remember the crash, but we have read and heard about it since we were kids.

From 1925 t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Zodiac (03/21/2007)
By David Robinson -- A series of murders in the San Francisco during the 1960's is the basis for the movie Zodiac, the name that the killer gave himself. Robert Greysmith, the author of the book upon which James Vanderbi ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Holiday (03/18/2007)
By David Robinson -- Available this week in video and DVD outlets, The Holiday comes from a long line of screwball/romantic comedies. As the title suggests, it is set in"”and its theatrical release was clearly timed for" ... 

FULL STORY >>


The shopping cart blues (03/18/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I'm proud of today's senior husbands! They scan meat counters for the best cuts, tap melons, read labels on cans and boxes, and wing it without shopping lists!

Are you a grape taster? Pat gets all em ... 

FULL STORY >>


Time and time again (03/18/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- Time, time, time, time. Everything's either about time, or that we don't have enough time.

You have to wonder how man ever got himself enslaved to the clock. I can admire the inclination of early man ... 

FULL STORY >>


Buying a new camera (03/07/2007)
By Tom Hirsch -- Maybe you're in the market for your first camera, or perhaps you've had your 35mm Gismomatic Deluxe XL 5000 for a while and you think it's time to buy a more versatile camera. Possibly you'd like your ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wild Hogs (03/07/2007)
By David Robinson -- Wild Hogs combines the staples of the formulas for buddy flicks and road flicks to produce -a formula flick! Though sporadically funny, it offers few surprises and lapses at times into borderline tas ... 

FULL STORY >>


Borat (03/04/2007)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on video and DVD, Borat was something of a box office miracle last year. It even asked in its own ads whether it was the funniest movie ever made. Presumably the question is rhe ... 

FULL STORY >>


Notes of a frazzled traveler (03/04/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The sky doesn't tell you where you are, but of course if you look up, above the high stucco wall surrounding a small motel deck, where the top of a palm tree sways, you get a clue that you aren't in  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Who was this person? (03/04/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- I must preface this column with the acknowledgment that I spent several months in 2006 under the influence of heavy drugs. They were legal drugs, however, and further, I did not check myself into r ... 

FULL STORY >>


Snow, and it’s not kidding (02/28/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- I think our neighbor Jim Bambenek said it best, as he took a break from blowing snow for the umpteenth time: "Cheer up! This could be December."¯

A woman who is fairly new to Winona asked, in a barel ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Academy Awards (02/28/2007)
By David Robinson -- The 79th annual birthday party for Uncle Oscar, aka the Academy Awards, featured both surprises and fulfilled expectations. The latter took the form of wins for Helen Mirren as Best Actress and Marti ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wedding photography from start to finish, Part 3 (02/28/2007)
By Tom Hirsch -- If the wedding includes throwing rice, or an appropriate substitute, this is not the time to use flash. If flash is used, you will just get a bunch of white specks in the picture. You'll get a much mo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Babel (02/25/2007)
By David Robinson -- Babel, as the name implies, is about communication, or, more to the point, the lack thereof. Ironically, the nations of the earth are able to stay in touch with each other as perhaps never before, as ... 

FULL STORY >>


Life isn’t fair (02/25/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- Big news! Life isn't fair.

Life isn't fair in a lot of big ways "” illness, death at a young age being two that come easily to mind.

But, the other day when I went for my annual physical, I was aga ... 

FULL STORY >>


Winter bouquets (02/25/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Nature sends no formal invitations and expects no RSVPs. To enter its realm the land demands only two stipulations - that you respect each living organism as though they were your possessions, and to  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Man of the Year (02/21/2007)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Man of the Year was cagily released last fall at just about the time when we are all praying for the election season to be over, and it's now coming to a store near yo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ooh, was that spring weather? (02/21/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- All it takes is one day of 40-degree weather, and I'm thinking spring. I even went so far as to peek at the flower beds closest to the house, where the earliest blooms come up. Nothing yet, and a good ... 

FULL STORY >>


What is really needed in our schools? (02/18/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- Alice Seagren, the Minnesota Commissioner of Education, came to town last week to talk about Governor Pawlenty's new plan to beef up high school education in the state. I'm all in favor of a better ed ... 

FULL STORY >>


Be prepared, if you can (02/14/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- When you have two fake hips (I've actually had more than that, but never more than two at a time) you don't travel light. For two nights away from home for a recent conference in Minneapolis, I took t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Let’s put some buzz in elections (02/11/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- Some people want to invent a better mouse trap.

Me? I want to invent a better election.

Several years ago I floated a notion for making the presidential election more fun, less of a hassle. In addi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing Concerns (02/07/2007)
By Dr. Martha Erickson -- A parenting column with

Dr. Martha Erickson of the University of Minnesota

Question: My 18-month-old son's favorite word is "no!"¯ He's extremely active and into everything, even or especially th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Watch out fur the cold (02/07/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- Husbands always seem to have advice. Most of it is useless, but now and again, a gem appears, and you have to know when to latch on to it.

My father-in-law's advice on how to be comfortable in cold w ... 

FULL STORY >>


An Inconvenient Truth (02/04/2007)
By David Robinson -- An Inconvenient Truth, now available on DVD, was screened last weekend at the Frozen River Film Festival. Ironically, the weather belied the film's contention that global warming is not only occurrin ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hot flashes (02/04/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- At the turn of a new year we look ahead, always hoping deep down that this will be the year of peace, reform, and justice for all. Anyway, living's not all beginnings and endings - it's the in-betwee ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tough decisions for community journalists (02/04/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- We had to make a couple of tough decisions in our newsroom this past week. Winona County Attorney Chuck MacLean sent out two faxes announcing that he was pressing charges against two local men in sepa ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Winter Carnival (01/31/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- Last weekend was the Minnesota Newspaper Association annual meeting, which finds the news department at the Winona Post in Minneapolis getting further education and hobnobbing with other journalists f ... 

FULL STORY >>


Instant Replay II (01/28/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Traditional blueprints from the past can be prudent guides to what begs to be accomplished in the future.

In a recent survey, 89% of 1,000 citizens said they're optimistic about what 2007 will bri ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wedding photography from start to finish, Part 2 (01/27/2007)
by Tom Hirsch

Nowadays it seems that more and more couples are having the individual and group wedding pictures taken before the ceremony. Taking the pictures beforehand saves a lot of time in tryi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Babel (01/24/2007)
By David Robinson -- Babel, as the name implies, is about communication, or, more to the point, the lack thereof. Ironically, the nations of the earth are able to stay in touch with each other as perhaps never before, as ... 

FULL STORY >>


Oh, what a difference a vowel makes (01/24/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- I let the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about in from his daily briefing with the neighborhood dogs, and he was in a real lather.

"The capacity of humans to get up to spectacular mischief never ceases  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tell us about your brush with the famous (01/17/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- In a local restaurant, we ran into jazz musician and St. Mary's prof John Paulson and his wife, Darlene. John had just come back from a conference in New York City, where an associate took him to hear ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Good Shepherd (01/17/2007)
The Good Shepherd features an all-star cast, an intelligent and relevant plot, and some expert behind-the-camera work. Yet it has been, if not panned, then damned with faint praise, mostly because of ... 

FULL STORY >>


Breathe easy (01/14/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Take five deep breaths, a chill pill, a large dose of chocolate, settle into a yoga position, and call me in the morning. Contentment may be easier to achieve now that the busy Holiday season has tam ... 

FULL STORY >>


College costs "” a weighty subject (01/14/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- Both the state Republicans and the Democrats have weighed in on the problem of wildly escalating college costs "” in typical fashion.

The Republicans are proposing a freeze and perhaps a tax break fo ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Black Dahlia (01/14/2007)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Brian DePalma's The Black Dahlia is a disappointment, not only for his fans but for moviegoers generally. Working with James Ellroy's best-selling novel, the director ... 

FULL STORY >>


The ghost of LaBelle the Cat (01/10/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- On one of our recent gray days, the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about was sitting in front of the window where the squirrels like to play outside. He seemed more pensive than usual, but I was determin ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Pursuit of Happyness (01/10/2007)
By David Robinson -- As a classic rags to riches story, The Pursuit of Happyness could easily have slipped into sloppy sentiment. It dances along the edge of that slough nimbly, its lifeline being a sterling performance  ... 

FULL STORY >>


DĆ©jĆ  vu all over again, again (01/07/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- My job "” editor of a 24,500 circulation community newspaper "” means that for as many years as we've been published I have read nearly every word in every issue. Lots of people tell me, "Oh, I read y ... 

FULL STORY >>


The spirit of a child (01/07/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The world of childhood should be, ideally, enchanting, secure, affectionate, playful, inquisitive, and every nurturing and loving attribute one can imagine.

Those who have experienced the free spir ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wedding photography from start to finish, Part 1 (01/07/2007)
By Tom Hirsch -- If you have a relative or friend who's planning on getting married and they know that you own a camera, you might be asked to take some candid shots to supplement the pictures taken by the professiona ... 

FULL STORY >>


2007 (01/03/2007)
By Frances Edstrom -- I'm a little worried about 2007. I'm not usually into omens, but it started Christmas Eve when Fred said he had the worst cold he's ever had. Actually, it started a little sooner, when Katie told me h ... 

FULL STORY >>


All the King’s Men (01/03/2007)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, All the King's Men is an old-fashioned movie: this will please some, annoy others"”especially the younger (18-34) demographic which is the target audience of choice the ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist: The mysterious 2007 (01/03/2007)
By Al Thomas -- "Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. I do not feel there will be soon if ever a 50 or 60 point break from present levels, such as (bears) have predicted. I expect to  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Little Miss Sunshine (12/31/2006)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Little Miss Sunshine might be described as a road movie, but that would do this dark comedy an injustice. Yes, it follows the travels and travails of a family as they  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Spectacular scenery shots, Part 2 (12/31/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- There are no absolutes in photography; there are only generalizations that can be used as guides to making better pictures. The Rule of Thirds, for example, is a generalization designed to get the cen ... 

FULL STORY >>


The invitation (12/31/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The most compelling messages are revealed by the way you live your life, not by the sermons you give.

I just heard yet another one of unending news reports calling attention to the ever-present war ... 

FULL STORY >>


Last chance to tie up loose ends (12/30/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Well, here it is the end of the year. 2006 was a mixed bag for me. I feel as though I missed out on six months of my life, so I'm deducting it from my age (it only seems fair). On the other hand, it ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing concerns parenting column (12/27/2006)
By Dr. Martha Erickson -- A parenting column with Dr. Martha Erickson of the University of Minnesota

Question: Our kids, ages 4 and 5, are driving us crazy with their constant bickering and fighting. Do you have any ideas f ... 

FULL STORY >>


Holiday company (12/27/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- The dog-who-must-not-be-written-about has been moping. He's not big on holidays. Or maybe it's the company that comes for the holidays.

First there's the baby Peyton. I, of course, want to hold her a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Night at the Museum (12/27/2006)
Night at the Museum stars Ben Stiller, and it's about what you might expect from a Stiller film. Playing a lovable loser (again), he has to compete against a set of museum pieces, rather than irate i ... 

FULL STORY >>


Direction of light (12/20/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- In photography, the direction of light falling on a subject or scene can create a mood, control depth perspective, and enhance or diminish subject detail. Knowing this, we can often improve our pictur ... 

FULL STORY >>


Don’t let those golden years be tarnished (12/20/2006)
By Al Thomas -- The golden years are fast approaching for the boomers - those born between 1946 and 1964. They are looking forward to retiring to Florida or Arizona or traveling the world as is shown on the TV commer ... 

FULL STORY >>


Who do you trust? (12/20/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- As I watch my daughter and son-in-law with their daughter, what strikes me is that the baby has such complete trust in them. In fact, at the age of almost three months she even trusts the dog, whose h ... 

FULL STORY >>


World Trade Center (12/20/2006)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Oliver Stone's World Trade Center will surprise those who have followed his career and might expect an in-your-face, full bore political statement, given the title and  ... 

FULL STORY >>


A civil twilight (12/13/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- The first light of day coming through my windows, the birds awakening and their hullabaloo in the trees along my boulevard, the sounds of the neighborhood gradually stirring, the light through the lea ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Holiday (12/13/2006)
By David Robinson -- The Holiday comes from a long line of screwball/romantic comedies. As the title suggests, it is set in"”and clearly timed for"”the Christmas/New Year season, and its plot involves a number of old mem ... 

FULL STORY >>


From the land of the ’60s (12/10/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "The Times They Are A-Changin'"¯ was a 1964 album by Duluth native Bob Dylan, who became a celebrated folk singer/writer.

By 1970, as fellow 1963 Lewiston High School graduates proceeded with life  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Miami Vice (12/10/2006)
By David Robinson -- The world, according to Miami Vice, is a vicious place, where telling the good guys from the bad is difficult, sometimes impossible. I confess to never having seen a single episode of the TV series u ... 

FULL STORY >>


What do you think of ‘pilot program’? (12/10/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- On Tuesday, thousands of people will be inconvenienced for the convenience of a few. Dist. 861 schools are delaying school for two hours for "staff development."¯

Of course, it's a good thing to gath ... 

FULL STORY >>


DĆ©jĆ  Vu (12/06/2006)
By David Robinson -- DĆ©jĆ  Vu stars Denzel Washington as an Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agent with a past. We never quite get the details on it, but agent Doug Karlin has evidently had experience investigating the Ok ... 

FULL STORY >>


Just baby and"¦ (12/06/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- It all seems so simple when you first learn about it. Birds, bees, even an amoeba does it, and the result is more birds, bees and amoeba.

When I was preparing to welcome my first baby, "natural"¯ was ... 

FULL STORY >>


Dead Man’s Chest (12/03/2006)
By David Robinson -- Due out on video and DVD this week, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest delivers almost exactly what you would expect, and it does so fairly well. It has just the right ingredients to keep dra ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lost in the ’60s again (12/03/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I was the suppressed poet, jotting down idealistic masterpieces in tattered tablets, while doing my time in the laundry room or in a rocking chair. Years later I forgave my romantic aspirations, pursu ... 

FULL STORY >>


Love food (12/03/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Warning: if you are one of my kids, don't read this, or it might spoil a Christmas surprise!

I hope my mother isn't reading this, either, although if she's in heaven, I'm sure earthly ... 

FULL STORY >>


City had foresight, oh that others would (11/29/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- It was heartening to read that the City Council is giving the Wilkie Steamboat at the Levee another chance. Folks who've been around Winona long enough can recite a list of buildings or landmarks that ... 

FULL STORY >>


Happy Feet (11/29/2006)
By David Robinson -- So what are the odds that two of my favorite movies of the past couple of years would be about"”penguins? With the emergence of Happy Feet on the heels (so to speak) of last year's"¯March of the Peng ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist: When to sell a fund (11/29/2006)
By Al Thomas -- Very few brokers will ever call to tell an investor it is time to sell a mutual fund or Exchange Traded Fund. One of the basic reasons is he told his client it was a great fund and now that it is doin ... 

FULL STORY >>


A real Thanksgiving (11/26/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- One of my life's ironies is that on a given Thanksgiving Day, the better my life is, the less I'm inclined to find something meaningful to be thankful for. Some years, I'd be thankful that the turkey  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lighting effects (11/26/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- The word "photography"¯ literally means "writing with light."¯ Light is not just used for illuminating a scene or subject. It also gives it form and shape, depth perspective, and it can create mood. L ... 

FULL STORY >>


Speaking of words (11/26/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Be careful what words you spew - you might end up eating them.

My family would likely agree that I'm seldom at a loss for words. Even I, "motor mouth,"¯ realize there aren't always words to express h ... 

FULL STORY >>


Superman Returns (11/26/2006)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on video and DVD, Superman Returns wants to be an update of the hoary hero's long and familiar epic. It refers to the earlier movies, both directly and obliquely. Those old enou ... 

FULL STORY >>


A signature is necessary (11/22/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- On November 15, the Star Tribune revealed in an editor's note that there was a charge of plagiarism leveled at an editorial writer at that newspaper. Star Tribune editorials are not signed, but rather ... 

FULL STORY >>


Casino Royale (11/22/2006)
By David Robinson -- Bond is back, and he's as good as ever. In fact, the current avatar purports to be a younger Commander James B., before he was issued the ‘license to kill,"¯ easily the biggest perk of getting  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Airport anxiety, real and imagined (11/19/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- If you'll be traveling by air, have your camera ready at the airport because there are many wonderful pictures to be taken while you're waiting to board your plane. You can get some shots of planes ta ... 

FULL STORY >>


Borat (11/19/2006)
By David Robinson -- I'd like to be able to jump on the Borat bandwagon, but I can't. This box office miracle, which is taking away business from such exemplary films as Flags of Our Fathers, asks in its own ads whether  ... 

FULL STORY >>


True colors (11/19/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "What you see is what you get."¯ To be more precise, "You can't make a prince out of a redneck."¯ Or, as Steve Martin would say, "What it is, is what it is."¯

Anyone who's refurbished old furniture o ... 

FULL STORY >>


What if ticket meant eternal damnation? (11/19/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- My sister drove me downtown the other day. It was a few days after I saw a cartoon depicting the Pearly Gates, people lined up at St. Peter's desk to get into heaven, and over a loudspeaker a voice sa ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing Concerns
A parenting column with Dr. Martha Erickson of the University of Minnesota
(11/15/2006)
By Dr. Martha Erickson -- Question: My 2-year-old nephew had a serious accident at his childcare center and had to be in a body cast for many weeks. (The center handled this badly, failing to seek immediate care and waiting a  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Water (11/15/2006)
Water, the third number in the "Elemental Trilogy"¯ of writer/director Deepa Mehta, will be screened this weekend at the Winona Film Society, the last of their fall offerings. This is a beautifully m ... 

FULL STORY >>


We must have hope (11/15/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Among the notes we received this week, marking the anniversary of the death of our son Jake on November 13, was one from a friend who noted that this year the thirteenth falls on a Monday, as it did i ... 

FULL STORY >>


Let it snow! (11/12/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- The snow is falling steadily outside my window. It seems not only two days ago, but an entire world ago that we sat on the front porch and listened to the Warriors beat the Gophers men's basketball te ... 

FULL STORY >>


One of those ‘Y’ words (11/08/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- The dog-who-must-not-be-written-about was moping around Monday morning, sighing heavily and refusing to come to me for a pet.

"Is there something wrong?"¯ I asked.

"Uh, wrong?"¯ he mumbled, pretendi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Preparing for a trip, Part 2 (11/08/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- For film camera users, how much film should you take on a trip? A good generalization is two 36 exposure rolls (three 24 exposure rolls) for each day of the trip. This might sound like a lot, but it w ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Da Vinci Code (11/08/2006)
By David Robinson -- Film versions of best-selling novels are almost invariably disappointments, especially to those who have read and loved the book. The reasons for the inevitable shortfall are so numerous as to occupy ... 

FULL STORY >>


A mockery of integrity (11/05/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Attention! Attention! Read all about it! High school students admit to cheating! Deceitfulness runs rampant! Parents didn't have a clue! Counselors are available at school all week for moral support! ... 

FULL STORY >>


Cars (11/05/2006)
If you've been waiting to find a kid to watch Cars with"”as a form of protective coloration"”wait no longer. You don't have to have a kid, be one, or be a NASCAR fan to enjoy this latest offering fro ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s not the same head of lettuce (10/29/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- The cost of college and health care are always on our minds, but no more so than during the months and days before an election.

I have had the opportunity lately to be a health care consumer in a bi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Harriet Kelley, R.I.P. (10/25/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- When I first met Harriet Kelley and her brother, "One Shot,"¯ I had no idea that newspapering would become my life's work. In fact, I probably had a secret ambition to become a professional actor. (My ... 

FULL STORY >>


A few old favorites (10/22/2006)
By Cynthya Porter -- My Aunt Kay sent a slim package to me in the mail from her home in Omaha, Nebraska. She is a volunteer at the library there, and while going through books donated for a used book sale, found a little  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Be careful what you wish for (10/18/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- I have long been a proponent of improving our riverfront and the city's connection to the Mississippi River, perhaps our most important natural resource. We should use it for recreation. It should be  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Man of the Year (10/18/2006)
By David Robinson -- Man of the Year, cagily released at just about the time when we are all praying for the election season to be over, reunites Robin Williams and writer/director Barry Levinson. An earlier collaboration ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money matters (10/15/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Extravagant spending? There's no such thing. Today it's accepted behavior. It's a broken record: "Can't live without it!"¯ "I've worked hard - I've earned it."¯ "Please Daddy!"¯

What purpose do they  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The gadget bag (10/15/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- What kind of gadget bag do you need? Hard case, soft bag, shoulder bag, camera holster, waist pack, or back pack? Or do you really need a gadget bag at all? Answering the last question first, if you t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wake up! It’s October (10/15/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- How do I let this happen to me every single year? I allow myself to be lulled by the fact that the leaves on the big cottonwoods around the neighborhood are still mostly green, although it is a rather ... 

FULL STORY >>


Report says kids need to play (10/11/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Parents or grandparents who for a long time have been bemoaning the fact that children's waking hours must be structured to the exclusion of time to simply goof off or play now have a very powerful al ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Departed (10/11/2006)
By David Robinson -- Martin Scorcese's latest film, The Departed, is a violent, profanity-ridden morality play. Known from the beginning of his career for his fascination with urban gangs"”as well as for his excellence a ... 

FULL STORY >>


$ and no sense (10/08/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "I have found that policies developed on myths and folktales have led to one failure after another for natural resources."¯ "...a myth sometimes is perpetuated by scientists in spite of growing eviden ... 

FULL STORY >>


Battery: The heart of the camera, Part 2 (10/08/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- Many digital cameras come with a proprietary battery, one made specifically for that brand of camera. If your camera came with this type of battery, that's good because it's rechargeable, and the char ... 

FULL STORY >>


But what do parents do? (10/08/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Let's talk about the gay congressman and his relationship with some teenagers who served as congressional pages.

We've heard plenty from the party politicos about who should apologize/resign/eat worm ... 

FULL STORY >>


A Prairie Home Companion (10/04/2006)
By David Robinson -- Those who, like me, are long term fans of A Prairie Home Companion, looked forward to the theatrical release of the movie version, the video version of which is due out this week. Shot almost entirel ... 

FULL STORY >>


Welcome, Peyton Evangeline (10/04/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Welcome, Peyton Evangeline Gish! So far, you've not seen much of this new world of yours, but you've seen the best part "” two parents who have cherished you since they first discovered your existence ... 

FULL STORY >>


A new kind of brake job (10/01/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- When odd things happen to me, I wonder how they will fit into the anthology of my life's stories. You know, the ones you start and your husband and kids give you either the "Oh, I love this story"¯ lo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Comic relief (09/24/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone."¯ - Reba McEntire

Isn't it funny what makes people laugh? Nobody knows the exact era when comedy was born, but eve ... 

FULL STORY >>


Managing the camera manual (09/24/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- Upon opening the box containing your new Gismomatic Deluxe XL 5000, you also find a packet of silica gel, the camera strap, a battery, and a booklet with a picture of a girl on horseback jumping a hur ... 

FULL STORY >>


Compact camera concepts (09/20/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- They used to call them "simple"¯ cameras; those compact point-and-shoot wonders that allow the photographer to bring the camera up to his or her eye and fire away. Compacts come in both film and digit ... 

FULL STORY >>


Time and worry (09/20/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- My kids' piano teacher used to tell them that "The things you worry about the most rarely happen. So worry about everything!"¯ In other words, she was telling them, take care of the things you can co ... 

FULL STORY >>


From the chair (09/17/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Since I'm feeling better and better, I'm driving my sister crazier and crazier. So the other day, she took me for a long, long, walk in my wheelchair, accompanied by the dog on his leash.

She and th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Heartwood and soul (09/17/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- When I was a little shaver living in the small town of Lewiston with my folks and two younger sisters and a brother, life seemed so simplistic and secure. The farm kids were tougher and often came to  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Facts about film (09/13/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- All you digital camera people can come along on this one if you want to. Just don't feel too smug. Okay, feel smug if you want to.

At the time of this writing, there are nearly fifty print films on t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Public servant or activist? (09/13/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Winona County Commissioners have made it clear on a couple of different occasions, most recently Tuesday, that they wish to arrange with the city of Winona to allow the Winona County Historical So ... 

FULL STORY >>


Little Miss Sunshine (09/10/2006)
By David Robinson -- Little Miss Sunshine might be described as a road movie, but that would do this rather dark comedy an injustice. Yes, it follows the travels and travails of a family as they go from Albuquerque to Lo ... 

FULL STORY >>


The unchanging center (09/10/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "The white man does not understand America. He is too far removed from its formative process. The roots of the tree of his life have not yet grasped the rock and the soil. Men must be born and reborn  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Some thoughts on sports (09/06/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about sports. Sometimes it helps to look at a thing from afar, to really see it as it is.

Let's start with the assumption that professional athletes are more  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Sentinel (09/06/2006)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, The Sentinel pulls just about every cinematic string to get the audience jittery, uncertain of what's coming next or who's really who. Starring Kiefer Sutherland and  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Not just a statistic (08/27/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Did you know - 31% of the employed and their spouses, age 40 and older, have not saved a dime for retirement?

Like treading water with no life jacket on, retiring from a career or steady employment w ... 

FULL STORY >>


Say it ain’t so, Pluto (08/27/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- "What are you moping around about?"¯ I asked the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about.

"You don't know?"¯ he asked, as though I should somehow have devined his doggy mind, which I will admit is not very ... 

FULL STORY >>


College friends (08/23/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- The return of the college kids to Winona coincided with a "cheer-you-up"¯ phone call from my college roommate, Gayle, who now lives in Lake Holcombe, Wisconsin. Even though she is retired from teachin ... 

FULL STORY >>


World Trade Center (08/23/2006)
By David Robinson -- Oliver Stone's World Trade Center will surprise those who have followed his career and might expect an in-your-face, full bore political statement, given the title and all too familiar subject: the de ... 

FULL STORY >>


A theory of moments (08/20/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry."¯ - Henry David Thoreau, from "Walden"¯

Because enough is never quite enough, the ... 

FULL STORY >>


Concepts of composition, Part 2 (08/20/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- Do you have the concept of the Rule of Thirds firmly in mind? That's good, because there are several other basic compositional factors that can also be followed or ignored as the photographer sees fit ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing Concerns (08/20/2006)
By Dr. Martha Erickson -- A parenting column with Dr. Martha Erickson of the

University of Minnesota

Question: My 4-year-old seems to whine all the time, to the point where I want to scream every time I hear that whiny voi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Poseidon (08/20/2006)
By David Robinson -- Available in video stores this week, Poseidon suffers from a paradoxical problem: the action is too nonstop, but when the characters open their mouths, one wants them to shut up and get moving again.  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Things don’t always work out the way you think they will (Duh!) (08/20/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- I know a lot of people who have redecorated, renovated, knocked out walls, and even built new homes. And I always marvel at their fearlessness. Anybody who sells paint or wallpaper or carpeting in thi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing Concerns - Aug. 16, 2006 (08/16/2006)
By Dr. Martha Erickson -- A parenting column with Dr. Martha Erickson

of the University of Minnesota

Question: Our 6-year-old son wants to do everything perfectly right away, especially sports. He watches professional spor ... 

FULL STORY >>


Not all waiters work in restaurants (08/16/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Now that I'm off of what I think of as my "heavy duty"¯ medications, I'm feeling much stronger"¦and much antsier. I feel as though I could just jump out of bed in the morning and resume my old life, b ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist - My Broker Doesn’t Know (08/16/2006)
By Al Thomas -- The market has been slowly (well, not so slowly in my case) coming down so I called my broker to find out what to do. And I thought I was confused. He did have some suggestions such as this is a good  ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s about education (08/13/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Public school funding being the legislative black hole that it is, we parents and taxpayers are used to being overwhelmed with news stories about our schools' imminent financial disaster. A study of l ... 

FULL STORY >>


He’s only human (08/09/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- "Now that I've had some time to observe your day-to-day behavior,"¯ I said to the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about, "I have some questions for you."¯

Since I've been pretty much confined to the hou ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist - Gold is where you find it (08/09/2006)
By Al Thomas -- There are many ways to own gold, many forms: jewelry, bullion, coins, mutual funds, gold mining stocks (indirectly) and ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds). The latter are similar to mini mutual funds, but  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Fundamentals of photography (08/06/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- Today's cameras are marvelous things. As we press the shutter release, the shutter opens, just the right amount of light passes through the lens (a marvelous instrument in itself), and we get a good p ... 

FULL STORY >>


Inside Man (08/06/2006)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on video and DVD, Inside Man is a Spike Lee movie with a difference. The usual ingredients are all in place: the New York City setting with its wise-guy, smart mouth, ethnic-snip ... 

FULL STORY >>


That was then (08/06/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "This ain't my first rodeo,"¯ Vern Gosdin chortles. Live, learn, and hang tough. With age comes change. Personal habits, quirks, lifestyles, and philosophies don't usually carry through from one seaso ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist - Your broker isn’t a crook, he is ignorant (08/06/2006)
By Al Thomas -- Why does Wall Street hate me? Because I tell the truth and truth is something they can't abide. The little guy (that's someone with less than a 7-figure account) gets no real help. Every small invest ... 

FULL STORY >>


What’s that you’re knitting? (08/06/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- My sister is a knitter. Since she's been visiting, she's made at least six baby sweaters. Not bad for a woman who had never made a baby sweater before this. She, unlike me, is quite good with needlewo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hot Dog! (08/02/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Okay, all you hearty Minnesotans and Wisconsinites, did I hear you complaining about how hot, hot, hot it's been? Have you been thinking Global Warming? Are you considering seeing a marriage counselor ... 

FULL STORY >>


Into Air, Into Thin Air
It’s difficult to believe this is our last week
(08/02/2006)
By Paul Barnes -- Seems like only yesterday we were assembling in the Performing Arts Center Theatre at Winona State, nervously anticipating Season 3, eager to reunite with company members and local friends from season ... 

FULL STORY >>


Miami Vice (08/02/2006)
By David Robinson -- The world, according to Miami Vice, is a vicious place, where telling the good guys from the bad is difficult, sometimes impossible. I confess to never having seen a single episode of the TV series u ... 

FULL STORY >>


Good move, WVS (07/30/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- A story in today's paper tells of Winona Volunteer Services' move to new quarters on East Second Street. A prime motivator for the move was the desire to improve the organization's delivery of food to ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hot flash on pain relief (07/30/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "I want nothing to do with natural foods. At my age I need all the preservatives I can get."¯ None other than George Burns could have said that. We usually don't get enough of the things we don't want ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing Concerns (07/26/2006)
By Dr. Martha Erickson -- A parenting column with Dr. Martha Erickson of the University of Minnesota

Question: My 3-year-old daughter has been potty trained for several months, but in the past two weeks she's had "accidents ... 

FULL STORY >>


I like to read (07/26/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- I didn't know, sitting in the first grade classroom, looking longingly at the letters of the alphabet tacked up around the room, that when I learned to unlock the secret of those letters and their int ... 

FULL STORY >>


...and gone tomorrow (07/23/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- My thoughts guide me back, one bare foot at a time.

I daydream, sitting out front on our wooden bench on what must be one of the most gorgeous July days on record. I grew up just a couple of city blo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Camera preservation, Part 3 (07/23/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- One of the greatest dangers that can befall any camera is letting it remain in storage for long periods of time, unused. Inactivity can cause the lubricants to dry out and the rubber and fabric materi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Free press - key to a free society (07/23/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- In November, we'll have choices to make, we'll be the "people"¯ that our founders envisioned when they established this democracy of ours. Whatever it is that prompts those who run for political offic ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing Concerns (07/23/2006)
By Dr. Martha Erickson -- A parenting column with Dr. Martha Erickson of the

University of Minnesota

Question: The shopping mall in a nearby suburb recently added a new group of shops aimed at young adolescents, and this h ... 

FULL STORY >>


Camera preservation, Part 2 (07/16/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- Last time we covered ways of avoiding damage to a camera caused by impact such as dropping it or bumping it into things. But there are other bad things that can happen to a good camera. Some of these  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Naked truths (07/16/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "A tree has significance if one sees it against the empty face of sky. A note in music gains significance from the silences on either side. A candle flowers in the space of night. Even small and casua ... 

FULL STORY >>


Out in the woods (07/16/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- John is spending the weekend at the summer board meeting of the Minnesota Free Paper Association, being held Up North in Brainerd.

I have mixed feelings about that Minnesota institution, Up North. W ... 

FULL STORY >>


Your Mom did what? (07/16/2006)
By Cynthya Porter -- Every year when I teach my College For Kids newspaper class, I crack up at the things kids will tell me that would probably make their parents faint.

I hear all kinds of sordid details about daily li ... 

FULL STORY >>


More snapshots from the ‘Season Three’ Album (07/12/2006)
By Paul Barnes -- Alec Wild, fellow Producing Director, galloping on horseback across the bluffs. Pausing to catch their breath, Alec's guide and host inquires if it's okay to ask a "Shakespeare question"¯ - just one. ... 

FULL STORY >>


My Point of View (07/12/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- In the spring, as I drive around town, I always see at least one person down on the grass in his front yard, or on the boulevard, wielding a screwdriver-like instrument that pulls dandelions out by th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Superman Returns (07/12/2006)
By David Robinson -- Superman Returns wants to be an update of the hoary hero's long and familiar epic. It refers to the earlier movies, both directly and obliquely. Those old enough to remember not only Christopher Ree ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s hard to be cool (07/02/2006)
By Cynthya Porter -- It's not easy to be cool when you're 13. But it's even harder to be cool if you're the parent of a 13-year-old.

Granted, I don't spend much time worrying about how to impress my kids' friends, but I  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Guilty Pleasures and a Trempealeau Treasure (06/28/2006)
By Patrick Marek -- They say that it's human nature to be drawn to things that aren't necessarily good for us. This might explain my attraction to Old Dutch Potato Chips, severe weather, and Blue Oyster Cult. While the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Compound your money (06/25/2006)
By Al Thomas -- Don't be fooled by fake dividends. The latest Wall Street investment advice is to buy a stock that pays a good dividend and reinvest it. Your money will compound. Another Wall Street lie. If you h ... 

FULL STORY >>


Copy photography, Part 3 (06/25/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- You're still with us. It's obvious, then, that you are definitely interested in copy photography. Well, so much for the preliminaries. Now you're ready to begin copying.

Place the camera on the tripo ... 

FULL STORY >>


There oughta be a law (06/25/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Tempting Fate is a tricky business. John and I were cleaning out a closet, and we came upon a contraption that his uncle gave to him many years ago when he was having back trouble. It was sort of like ... 

FULL STORY >>


3:59:27 (06/21/2006)
By Brian P. Heilman -- Sixteen weeks, four hundred miles, two triathlons and one sleepless night after sending in my registration check in February, I ran in Grandma's Marathon last Saturday. It was my first marathon, and t ... 

FULL STORY >>


More on Winona’s identity (06/21/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- After I wrote an opinion piece saying that Winona needed an identity and an icon, I received a visit from Ed Kohner, who wanted to remind me of his proposal to the city to reinvent the intersection at ... 

FULL STORY >>


Copy photography, Part 2 (06/18/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- Since you've come this far, it can be assumed that you are interested in copy photography. But don't get in a hurry. There are still a few things you should know before betting too involved.

About th ... 

FULL STORY >>


County should go up, not out (06/18/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- At one end of town the Winona Heritage Preservation Commission and Merchants Bank are grappling with the question of balancing the need for parking with the need for preservation of the historic chara ... 

FULL STORY >>


Papa’s lap (06/18/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Here is a test to find out whether your mission on earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't."¯ - Richard Bach

With the birth of children grandpas evolve. Today we honor fathers, not to slight th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Syriana (06/18/2006)
Available this week on video and DVD, Syriana is easy to admire but difficult to love. Those who liked "Traffic,"¯ for which screenwriter Stephen Geghan won an Oscar a couple of years ago, will under ... 

FULL STORY >>


Winona needs identity, icon (06/14/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- When you see the impressive Gateway Arch, you know you're in St. Louis. The Mall defines Washington, D.C. The Space Needle means Seattle. Goofy or not, when you see the giant statue of Paul Bunyan, yo ... 

FULL STORY >>


An Esor by any other name (06/11/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Isn't it funny how events in our own lives make us see things in the news we would probably never pay attention to otherwise? You don't look at lawnmower ads unless you have a lawn. You don't read art ... 

FULL STORY >>


Arts volunteers honored (06/07/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Pick a night, any night"¦in Winona, and you can find an arts event to occupy your time and enrich your life. This is not true of all cities, especially ones our size. Concerts, plays, films, gallery s ... 

FULL STORY >>


Experiencing success (05/31/2006)
By Paul Durand -- As we come to the end of yet another school year, our thoughts turn to the many successes of the past and our dreams for the future. Have you ever wondered why our American culture seems to clamor so  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Irish road trip (05/31/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- We just returned from a family trip to Northern Ireland, one of the most beautiful places on earth that we've ever seen. It was a trip to show our kids a tiny bit of their ancestry "” the home, enviro ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Da Vinci Code (05/31/2006)
By David Robinson -- Film versions of best-selling novels are almost invariably disappointments, especially to those who have read and loved the book. The reasons for the inevitable shortfall are so numerous as to occupy ... 

FULL STORY >>


Compiling your photo history, Part 3 (05/24/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- As you probably know, many of yesteryear's photographs were not taken care of as they should have been. They became dirty, torn, or worse. You might be able to correct a minor problem, but if the dama ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing Concerns - 5/24/06 (05/24/2006)
By Dr. Martha Erickson -- Question: When I take my 2-year-old daughter to friends' homes, she starts doing all kinds of things she would never do at home. I can't understand why...she knows better! It seems like she's trying ... 

FULL STORY >>


Poseidon (05/24/2006)
By David Robinson -- Poseidon suffers from a paradoxical problem: the action is too nonstop, but when the characters open their mouths, one wants them to shut up and get moving again. The outcome of this remake of The Po ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Clan (05/24/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- A while back, I joined the Cassidy Clan online. Along with a nice certificate that came from the Clan secretary, Brent Cassidy (who plays in a traditional Irish band "” in Finland!), I was told I coul ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s GRSF time again! (05/14/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- In the dead of winter, when our lives consist of getting up in the dark, going to bed in the dark, and when every move is a chore, we often don't give much thought to where we live (except it's too da ... 

FULL STORY >>


Munich (05/14/2006)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Munich, the latest film produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, revisits briefly the shocking events of the 1972 Olympics in that city. A group of Israeli athlete ... 

FULL STORY >>


Thumbs down (05/14/2006)
Don't take "no"¯ for an answer! No dice! My lips say "no"¯ but my tummy screams "bring it on!"¯ What part of "no"¯ don't you understand? Read on.

The 2-letter word that really gets around, "NO"¯ has  ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s that day again (05/10/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Oh, boy. Mothers Day is approaching. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Mothers Day is not observed for the benefit of mothers. Cards, flowers, presents, a day without cooking are certainly ni ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mission: Impossible III (05/10/2006)
By David Robinson -- Despite all the hype attending the advent of Mission: Impossible III, the latest (but likely not the last, alas) in the series, it's not very appealing. Oh, all the expected stuff is there: the car  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Choose pride (05/07/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "The facts, ma'am, just gimmie the facts."¯ "Joe Friday U.S.A."¯ was upright and dedicated back in the days when simplicity was entertainment enough. The world of comedy and satire is only a small por ... 

FULL STORY >>


Garage: place to sell stuff (05/07/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Back in the days when I was accumulating things (husband, children, and all the stuff that having them demands) I went to a lot of garage sales. But I was never very good at it. Where I come from gara ... 

FULL STORY >>


Days of our lives (04/30/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Our lives aren't quite as predictably ridiculous as soap operas. Consequences aren't dictated by a script and, though one may be influenced and pressured by others, there is no production "director"¯  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Family Stone (04/30/2006)
By David Robinson -- Due out on video and DVD this week, The Family Stone starts out predictably enough: a family is getting together for Christmas, and one son is bringing home The Girl to meet them. She's nervous; he's ... 

FULL STORY >>


When art imitates art (04/30/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- The dog-who-must-not-be-written-about removed his glasses (at six, a Standard Poodle, he is entering those Golden Years, according to the vet) and looked up from his reading. We both like to sit after ... 

FULL STORY >>


Children, authority, safety (04/26/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Predictably, on or around the anniversary of the Columbine school shootings come reports of other planned, but thankfully thwarted, school shootings elsewhere in the country. Kansas, Washington, Alask ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Sentinel (04/26/2006)
By David Robinson -- The Sentinel pulls just about every cinematic string to get the audience jittery, uncertain of what's coming next or who's really who. Starring Kiefer Sutherland and Michael Douglas, this not-especia ... 

FULL STORY >>


A History of Violence (04/23/2006)
By David Robinson -- The title of A History of Violence, now available on video and DVD, tells you what you need to know about the content. It's full of violence, or the threat of it, and it deals with personal history,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lessons in laughter (04/23/2006)
Some of the most treasured memories of my childhood are times spent with my Aunt Ellen out on the Wollin's Bethany homestead. She taught us Lewis kids how to play canasta, Chinese checkers, and rummy, ... 

FULL STORY >>


Book ‘em (04/19/2006)
By Cynthya Porter -- I was surprised a while back when a person told me he didn't think we needed more books in schools, as books were a thing of the past, superceded by electronic media.

I know I'm a throwback in many w ... 

FULL STORY >>


Grow deep (04/16/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Here lies another day

During which I have eyes, ears, hands

And the great world ‘round me;

And with tomorrow begins another.

Why am I allowed two?

-G.K. Chesterton

Here in the fertile Midw ... 

FULL STORY >>


Happy Easter! (04/16/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Things have changed in our house over all these many Easters. The baskets that I've so carefully hoarded are now in that sensitive age between pathetically shopworn and collectibly antique. Gone are t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Take the Lead (04/16/2006)
Take the Lead stars Antonio Banderas, who is easily the best thing in it. Known for being cool and suave, Banderas is every inch of that in this formula flick about a dance instructor who decides to  ... 

FULL STORY >>


New life all around me! (04/12/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- I never quite believe that there are 7,000 college kids in town until the first really nice Spring day, when Lake Park and the bike path are overrun, and a steady stream of kids flows from the depths  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (04/12/2006)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, C. S. Lewis's classic tale, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, has been brought to the screen by the (also formidable) Walt Disney Studio ... 

FULL STORY >>


Travel and vacation photography, Part 2 (04/12/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- What happens if your primary camera fails? I've had this happen, and it's not fun. The answer is to carry a spare. It can be a digital or film camera, but it should be compact. It's no good to downsiz ... 

FULL STORY >>


Brokeback Mountain (04/09/2006)
By David Robinson -- The hubbub surrounding the theatrical release of Brokeback Mountain, now available on video and DVD, makes it out to be a sensational movie, dealing as it does with the love between two cowboys. But ... 

FULL STORY >>


Inaccuracy of TRUTH (04/09/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Honesty establishes a harmony between our beliefs and our actions - between heart and soul."¯ - Sigmund Freud

"The truth will come out in the end,"¯ is an ancient maxim used often by parents  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sell in May and go away (04/09/2006)
By Al Thomas -- This is an old saying that is true yet few brokers will act upon it to save their clients' money. They will say it is an old wife's tale and not to believe it, but they have not taken the time to do r ... 

FULL STORY >>


Treat law-abiding citizens fairly (04/09/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- These pages are full of news stories that tell the tale of wrangling between neighbors about many things, but mostly about land issues.

Currently, we are arguing over a feedlot, senior citizen housin ... 

FULL STORY >>


WSU’s fourteenth president (04/05/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- This Friday, Winona State University will inaugurate Dr. Judith A. Ramaley, the fourteenth president of that institution.

The presence of WSU in Winona has had an enormous impact on the sort of city ... 

FULL STORY >>


A mother’s visit (04/02/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- March 4, 2006: We are immersed in the sounds of our youngest son's home...how they fill an empty nest's void with warm-blooded life. Spurts of a new era's activity commingle with frames unreeling from ... 

FULL STORY >>


Beer in the bassinet? (04/02/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Internet often brings us information immediately that not too long ago would have taken months or years to percolate to the surface of the public consciousness. It also tends to lend legitimacy to ... 

FULL STORY >>


Chicken Little (04/02/2006)
You may think you know the plot of Chicken Little, now available on video and DVD, but you'd only be partly correct. Sure, the Disney flick starts out with a diminutive fowl thinking he has been hit  ... 

FULL STORY >>


For brokers only (03/29/2006)
By Al Thomas -- Would you like to have more time for golf, fishing, the wife and kids? Just doing what you want with no pressure from a know-nothing boss? Well, if you keep following what Wall Street teaches you are  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Inside Man (03/29/2006)
By David Robinson -- Inside Man is a Spike Lee movie with a difference. The usual ingredients are all in place: the New York City setting with its wise-guy, smart mouth, ethnic-sniping populace; the in-your-face photogra ... 

FULL STORY >>


Phillips project attracts MCEA scrutiny (03/29/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Responses to the Jason Phillips Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) for a proposed development in Pleasant Valley hark back to the many objections to this project voiced during the annexation fig ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wide world photography (03/29/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- The idea of panoramic pictures has been around for a long time, but it has only beena within the last few years that this concept has become popular, or practical as a photographic option. To encourag ... 

FULL STORY >>


Capote (03/26/2006)
By David Robinson -- Phillip Seymour Hoffman won the Oscar for Best Actor for his brilliant work in the title role of Capote, now available on video and DVD. As the film's name implies, Truman Capote is the movie here: d ... 

FULL STORY >>


Dearly departed (03/26/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Often times, silence speaks the loudest.

Hollow echoes of footsteps levitate from hardwood floors, through sullen rooms. Heavy with age, velvet drapes sag across blank windows. Walls, stiff and cold, ... 

FULL STORY >>


The wayward letter (03/26/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- I received an e-mail in error the other day. I knew right away it had been sent to me mistakenly, and threw it away. But it put me in mind of an old boyfriend.

B. (let's just use initials, since I ha ... 

FULL STORY >>


Good Night, and Good Luck (03/22/2006)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Good Night, and Good Luck, its title echoing the signature phrase of newscaster Edward R. Murrow, opens at a tribute to him being held in 1958, then cuts back to 1953. ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing Concerns - 3/22/06 (03/22/2006)
By Dr. Martha Erickson -- Question: A 12-year-old neighbor has expressed interest in baby-sitting for our two young children, and she strikes me as someone who would do a great job. But my husband says a 12-year-old is too you ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s coming, really (03/22/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Mother Nature is going through a reluctant phase. First she didn't want to do winter at all, now, when she's supposed to be doing spring, she's decided that maybe a little snow isn't a bad thing after ... 

FULL STORY >>


Nasty weather photography, Part 2 (03/22/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- For strikingly dramatic shots, there's nothing like a nice, gentle spring shower, or even a mist or light drizzle, to give the world a fresh appearance. Moist flowers and foliage glisten, and wet sid ... 

FULL STORY >>


What to buy and how much (03/22/2006)
By Al Thomas -- "Hello, Mr. Mushroom, this is your friendly broker calling and have I got a tip for you. It is one of those once in a lifetime stocks and I

even bought some for my own account."¯ Sound kinda familiar ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ah, sweet mystery of lights (03/19/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Communication is a wonderful thing, in moderation. Sometimes I wonder what life was like for Mr. and Mrs. Willard Bunnell, who bided their time at home (in what we now call the Bunnell House in Homer) ... 

FULL STORY >>


Nasty weather photography, Part 1 (03/19/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- If you want ideas for pictures to fill an empty space on a wall in your living room, office or den, consider taking photos during less than ideal weather conditions. We're not trying to get you to go  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The old neighborhood II (03/19/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- As we travel to our camper in Chetek, we pass through many bergs with storefronts boarded up. All over the countryside abandoned barns and deserted farms tell the tale. Yet, one will find rural commun ... 

FULL STORY >>


Transamerica (03/19/2006)
By David Robinson -- Transamerica is a road/buddy movie with a significant difference. In its outline, the plot is simple: a father and his son travel from East to West coasts and meet various interesting characters en r ... 

FULL STORY >>


The gift of sight (03/15/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- A college classmate of mine, a nurse, and her husband, Diane and Tom Palmeri, have devoted their lives to helping sick and orphaned children. They started out in Viet Nam. Then when they had to leave  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Future thinking? (03/12/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- 36.3 million

The number of people 65 and older in the United States on July 1, 2004. This age group accounted for 12 percent of the total population. Between 2003 and 2004, the size of this age group ... 

FULL STORY >>


Private plane photography (03/09/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- It seems like every vacation spot has an airport or heliport that offers rides so visitors can get a better view of the area and its special points of interest. Some provide brief excursions that circ ... 

FULL STORY >>


What does barbaric mean? (03/09/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- What does "barbaric"¯ mean to you?

Certainly we find the actions of those we label as terrorists barbaric "” blowing up not only their enemies, but their fellow countrymen anytime, anywhere. Now and ... 

FULL STORY >>


Better to think before you speak (03/06/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Sometimes it takes a few incursions into the comfortable bubble that contains my world to get my attention.

Two such assaults occurred this past week.

I don't spend a great deal of time thinking ab ... 

FULL STORY >>


Doohickeys and hubbies (03/06/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- by Janet Lewis Burns

I kid you not - Websters New World acknowledges whatchamacallit as a legitimate word, defined as a thingamajig. What's more, if you ask for your doohickey, you won't be grammat ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing Concerns (03/01/2006)
By Dr. Martha Erickson -- A parenting column with Dr. Martha Erickson

of the University of Minnesota

Question: Some older friends gave us a walker they had when their child was a baby. My baby likes t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Times change, but not too much (03/01/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- When we first started covering the Birthday Ball, I would grab the 35mm camera with the big flash attachment and wend my way through the streets of Winona to find the home of the Ball's chairwoman. I  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Aerial photography (02/26/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- When on a trip, you want to take as many meaningful photos as possible. Most of us don't begin shooting until we reach our destination. Frequently, though, there is a period of hesitation before reall ... 

FULL STORY >>


There’s an adage for that (02/26/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "It's a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet and what is sand."¯ - Madeleine L'Engle

It's a revelation revisit ... 

FULL STORY >>


Eight Below (02/23/2006)

OK, so I managed to pick the coldest weekend of the winter to see Eight Below, much of whose action is set in Antarctica. And I had just spent some time in the morning with four wonderful dogs at t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Give us this day (02/19/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Insight on walking up a steep hill backwards: "It's a psychological trick that helps make a steep ascent easier: you stay focused on how much you've already accomplished rather than being overwhelmed  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Leaving home for a bit (02/19/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Only when I leave Winona do I realize how comfortable "” maybe to the point of boring? "” my life is. I take the same route to work in the morning. I try to vary my routes to the grocery store, to pla ... 

FULL STORY >>


North Country (02/19/2006)
By David Robinson -- As she did in Monster, Charlize Theron plays against type in North Country available this week on video and DVD. Although the former model and dancer turned actress gets the opportunity to look beaut ... 

FULL STORY >>


Play and performance photography (02/19/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- Do you know a budding Barrymore or Bernhardt? What with grade school skits, Sunday School programs and high school plays, young up-and-coming actors and actresses have lots of opportunities to show of ... 

FULL STORY >>


Safety in Today’s Hurried Environment (02/19/2006)
What a wonderful world we live in today. The competition to succeed is overwhelming, and many of us get caught up in the race. I believe it's not just the competition to succeed that keeps us runnin ... 

FULL STORY >>


Firewall (02/15/2006)
By David Robinson -- If you liked Air Force One or any of the Jack Ryan flicks adapted from Tom Clancy's novels, you'll like Firewall. This is another Harrison Ford vehicle, and, not surprisingly, he does the standard Fo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (02/13/2006)
As the title might tell you, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is not really a scary movie, the subject matter notwithstanding. Rather, this latest emanation from the minds of Nick Par ... 

FULL STORY >>


(02/12/2006)
By Al Thomas -- by Al Thomas

If you are under 50 years of age and have not lost money in the stock market I don't think you will find this article interesting. Why? Because you still think you can make a killing i ... 

FULL STORY >>


Identity theft (02/12/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "It's not what someone calls you, but what you answer to that matters."¯ Thanks Maya Angelou!

Name-calling has been going on since the first word spoken - "mine."¯ Recently looking back in time and s ... 

FULL STORY >>


Photographing strangers, Part 2 (02/09/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- When photographing a stranger, should you explain your reasons for wanting the pictures? Only if you're asked. Unless you're carrying something like a Gismomatic Deluxe XL 5000 with 35-300 f/2.8 lens  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The smell of victory (02/09/2006)
By Cynthya Porter -- After six months of teeth-gnashing and a little wild-eyed hair-pulling for good measure I think I can say it's official: I don't smoke.

And while I'd love to boast that I quit out of resolve to be h ... 

FULL STORY >>


Out of the blue (02/06/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Look at me now! Say chirp, chirp! Oh, darn!"¯ I can tell you exactly how long it takes a songbird to flee its perch when it hears the stealth of a human invading its territory.

I can do you one bet ... 

FULL STORY >>


Munich (01/29/2006)
By David Robinson -- Munich, the latest film produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, revisits briefly the shocking events of the 1972 Olympics in that city, during which a group of Israeli athletes were taken hostage a ... 

FULL STORY >>


What retirement isn’t (01/29/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I recently gave up my bookkeeping job down at M&M Lawn & Leisure in Rushford. It's mainly about driving on treacherous winter roads. I'm not comfortable with the notion of "retirement"¯ yet.

I'd assu ... 

FULL STORY >>


Camera steadiness without gadgets (01/25/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- Last time we covered factors to consider when taking photos that you intend to enlarge and display. It was pointed out that for these pictures, absolute sharpness is essential, and the use of a tripod ... 

FULL STORY >>


Flightplan (01/25/2006)
By David Robinson -- Now available in video and DVD, Flightplan stars Jodie Foster as an engineer who loses her daughter on an airplane. Yes, that is an unlikely scenario, as everyone else on the plane repeatedly reminds ... 

FULL STORY >>


Pillow top talk (01/25/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- I overslept this morning. New mattress.

Like nearly everything else in our thirty-six-year-old marriage, this mattress is a far cry from our first one. It's king-size, has a pillow top, and if I were ... 

FULL STORY >>


True value (01/25/2006)
By Al Thomas -- When buying a stock, mutual fund or Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) investors want to know they are

receiving a good value for the money. It seems there are many methods of judging value. Most of them are ... 

FULL STORY >>


Count to ten (01/22/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- The-dog-who-must-not-be-written-about has been feeling low lately, suffering from a combination of the winter blahs and an ear infection.

After I finally took him to the vet, he was more than a littl ... 

FULL STORY >>


Dealing with daylight (01/22/2006)
By Tom Hirsch -- It has been said (I know, because I've said it) that the best times of day for photographing scenery, landscapes, cityscapes, people, flowers, events (well, almost anything outdoors) are within the fi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Glory Road (01/22/2006)
By David Robinson -- Let me confess at the outset that I'm an unreconstructed college basketball junkie. From Midnight Madness in November until March Madness ends, I'm hooked on hoops. So what I have to say about Glory ... 

FULL STORY >>


Humble beginnings (01/22/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- To live with tears in your eyes, smiles on your lips, awareness in your gaze, and scents of the earth on your hands, is to live richly.

Delicate flowers are a delightful contrast to man's crude handi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Market is flat (01/22/2006)
By Al Thomas -- No it isn't!

When you are driving down the highway looking ahead the road seems very flat yet when you stop to look at the surface of that smooth concrete you see many tiny ridges. The  ... 

FULL STORY >>


In the same boat now (01/18/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- Sometimes it's hard to make sense of life. Children of loving parents die, while others live to be abused and ruined by those who should love them.

In one of the richest countries in the world, some ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lord of War (01/18/2006)
By David Robinson -- Available this week at video and DVD outlets, Lord of War stars Nicolas Cage which, I blushingly admit, makes it worth seeing in my book. But it also has a message that could hardly be timelier, and  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Reverse profit (01/18/2006)
By Al Thomas -- How can anything "reverse"¯ be a profit? I go to the Money Show every year to visit with

friends who have booths and are speakers. Then when folks are filing out of lectures I listen

to their commen ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mirages and interludes (01/16/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- For women only! (And maybe not.) There is that secret place, where most young married mothers retreat to, a sentimental interlude of the mind.

Releasing the longing for romance and dreams of fleeing  ... 

FULL STORY >>


It wasn’t bad"¦ (01/08/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- I'm sure it struck you, too. After the horrible mine accident in West Virginia, marked by anger and bitterness over the incorrect announcement that the miners had been found alive, which then had to  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Here they come! Are we ready? (01/04/2006)
By Frances Edstrom -- What do these people have in common: George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Cher, Donald Trump, Sylvester Stallone, Dolly Parton?

Give up? They are in the first wave of the 78.2 million baby boomers born betw ... 

FULL STORY >>


Keeping connected with time and distance (01/04/2006)
From: Marian Carroll

Every few months a large envelope arrives in our mailbox. It contains an expected treat -- one I've been receiving for many years. This time it came in the midst of the Chris ... 

FULL STORY >>


Christmas adds up (12/21/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Feeling the pinch in your wallet from the Christmas preparations? You aren't the only one who feels a difference in the pocketbook this season. But here, thanks to the U.S. Census Bureau, is a cumulat ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Christmas spirit (12/18/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- An e-mail came to the office the other day. It said it was from me, but I didn't remember writing to myself (of course what I do manage to remember is becoming harder to track these days).

Oh, I tho ... 

FULL STORY >>


Gold is money (12/14/2005)
By Al Thomas -- Gold always has been and always will be wealth, but using it as money has been a problem. Today there are articles in the financial press that certain countries (usually small ones) are going to go on ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing Concerns (12/14/2005)
By Dr. Martha Erickson -- A parenting column with Dr. Martha Erickson

of the University of Minnesota

Question: My 6-year-old daughter seems to be obsessed with winning or being first. At school she will come inside early fr ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mr. and Mrs. Smith (12/14/2005)
The pre-theatrical release talk about Mr. and Mrs. Smith, starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in the title roles, was more about the actors' offscreen lives than their onscreen work. Is there roman ... 

FULL STORY >>


Real or Hollywood? (12/14/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- A man was executed yesterday in California. He was found guilty of murdering four people in the course of robberies while he was a member of a gang, the Crips, which he is credited with co-founding.

 ... 

FULL STORY >>


Theme park photography, Part 1 (12/14/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- Theme park photography is similar to any other type of photography in which people are the primary subjects. You'll want a camera with at least a 35-70mm zoom lens, plenty of film or digital memory ca ... 

FULL STORY >>


Why Merry Christmas? (12/11/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- I'm all for saying "Merry Christmas."¯

Many think that replacing "Merry Christmas"¯ with "Happy Holidays,"¯ is the perfect inclusive solution to avoid hurting anyone's feelings. And God knows, above ... 

FULL STORY >>


All I want for Christmas is my ‘bondage’ pants (12/04/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- At the same time that the schools are tip-toeing all over the place to be careful not to step on the "Merry Christmas"¯ landmine "” teachers running to Google "Hanukkah,"¯ "Kwanzaa,"¯ "Hmong New Year" ... 

FULL STORY >>


Fabulous family photos, Part 2 (12/04/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- Can you imagine having a graduation ceremony, a birthday party or family gathering without a camera on hand? Pictures taken during special family events provide a continuing history as the family chan ... 

FULL STORY >>


The wise guys (12/04/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

- T.S. Eliot

Do people read self-help books to determine if they are who they thi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Walk the Line (12/04/2005)
By David Robinson -- Walk the Line, a biopic that covers about half of Johnny Cash's life, is actually a couple of love stories dovetailed together. The one that has received the most attention is that between Cash (play ... 

FULL STORY >>


An anniversary (11/13/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- A long time ago, in fact during the Vietnam war, I was visiting the mother of a boyfriend. She was a fascinating woman who lived a life that seemed full of contradictions. She could be rather flamboy ... 

FULL STORY >>


Been there - done that (11/13/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Walk a mile in my orthodics and spandex fanny pants,"¯ says the domestic diva to the master of the household. "I'm off to the gym! Have supper ready."¯

This article, by a 60 year old, is thoughtfull ... 

FULL STORY >>


Photo-snorkeling (11/13/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- Photos at the beach can be interesting and challenging, but are you the adventuresome type who would like to take pictures at the beach while getting more than just your feet wet? Then maybe your next ... 

FULL STORY >>


Skeleton Key (11/13/2005)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on video and DVD, The Skeleton Key is being hyped as a horror movie, and indeed many of the standard components are there: creaky floors, mysterious noises in the attic, deep shado ... 

FULL STORY >>


Kindred horizons - A tribute to Rosa Parks (11/06/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- No two individuals see things in the exact same light. As we move on, shadows remain...irreversible paths crossed.

Horizons marred by dominance break the spirit of others. Where mankind's custody has ... 

FULL STORY >>


Vote Tuesday (11/06/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Vote, and be sure it is a well-informed vote. In a contentious vote such as the upcoming referendum, it is not easy to keep one's focus on what exactly it is we are voting for or against.

At the Win ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing Concerns (11/02/2005)
By Dr. Martha Erickson -- A parenting column with Dr. Martha Erickson of the Univ. of Minnesota

Question: My Army Reserve unit is being called into active duty and I probably will be sent overseas. As a single mom with a 4- ... 

FULL STORY >>


How to find happiness in November (11/02/2005)
November is one of those dreary months that needs a lot of help. Poor thing doesn't have a holiday to call its own until the whole thing is nearly over. So I offer this column as an effort to bolster  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Star Wars Episode Three (11/02/2005)
By David Robinson -- Available on DVD as of November 1st, Star Wars Episode Three: The Revenge of the Sith completes the six-episode cycle that director/writer/producer George Lucas began in 1977. For those keeping score ... 

FULL STORY >>


Batman Begins (10/31/2005)
By David Robinson -- Along with next month's video/DVD release of Star Wars Episode III, we now have a rare, possibly unprecedented twosome with the current release of Batman Begins. Maybe there have been two concurrent  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Body language (10/31/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I've got the calendar! That maligned, then highly praised "Women Of Purpose."¯ I had hoped I'd like it.

As the photos captivated my attention, and when I read the stories behind the calendar, I saw t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Flower photography, Part 2 (10/31/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- Time of day has an effect on the quality of flower pictures. Strong midday sunlight is the worst for many types of flowers, especially the darker colored ones, because shadows are the most pronounced  ... 

FULL STORY >>


We get letters (10/31/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- I have a confession to make.

I am a letters to the editor junkie. I read the letters in every newspaper and magazine I can get my hands on. I think letters are often the most interesting reading, an ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lamberton fate in our hands (10/26/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- We are at a critical juncture in Winona. The recent announcement that the Lamberton Home will be closed as a senior residence and put up for sale is getting some attention, as well it should. Perhaps  ... 

FULL STORY >>


North Country (10/26/2005)
By David Robinson -- As she did in Monster, Charlize Theron plays against type in North Country. Although the former model and dancer turned actress gets the opportunity to look beautiful here, she will likely get anothe ... 

FULL STORY >>


Elizabethtown (10/23/2005)
Elizabethtown, written and directed by Cameron Crowe, is a truly frustrating movie. It's not just "hit or miss"¯: it's hit/miss, hit/miss, hit/miss, and so on. Just when it seems that Crowe is getti ... 

FULL STORY >>


Flower photography, Part 1 (10/23/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- Beauty is fleeting, and this is especially true of flowers. The freshness of a perfect rose lasts only a day or so. Early morning dew on a flower garden disappears by mid-morning, and cut flowers in a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Songs sung blue (10/23/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- With her trilling, syrupy voice and down home song lyrics, Dolly Parton has told her life's story through her music.

I cry me a river every time I hear her sing "my coat of many colors that my mother ... 

FULL STORY >>


A purposeful life (10/19/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- John's talking about getting another dog. A hunting dog, not a frou-frou dog. I'm not so sure about this plan.

It all started thirty-six years ago when I gave him a Black Lab for a wedding gift. Arni ... 

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Dist. 861 not alone (10/16/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- While preparing to cover the upcoming levy referenda in our area, I wondered if other school districts around the state were also approaching the voters for tax dollars for operating expenses.

On the ... 

FULL STORY >>


Flower photography, Part 1 (10/16/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- Beauty is fleeting, and this is especially true of flowers. The freshness of a perfect rose lasts only a day or so. Early morning dew on a flower garden disappears by mid-morning, and cut flowers in a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Time will tell (10/16/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- October is just beginning and already autumn is having its way with me. My gaze is directed heavenward to fleeting geese in formation. Flesh tingles with a brisker flutter of leaves on the verge of le ... 

FULL STORY >>


Babies’ brains (10/12/2005)
We've come a long way, baby. Newsweek's August 15 issue reports that babies have a lot more going on in their brains than they've been given credit for. Experiments around the country are showing th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Festival photography (10/12/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- A festival is a place where people go to have fun and be entertained. Beyond that, it's difficult to describe just what a festival is because they come in such a wide variety of types and sizes. Festi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing Concerns (10/12/2005)
By Dr. Martha Erickson -- Question: I'm a university student and recently began working part-time at an infant/toddler child care center. I've noticed the people who care for the 1-year-olds make negative remarks about the kid ... 

FULL STORY >>


Investment speed bumps (10/12/2005)
By Al Thomas -- Maybe you have done the same thing as I have. Been driving down an unfamiliar street at night a good clip and suddenly been thrown into the air as the car hit a speed bump. You immediately slow down o ... 

FULL STORY >>


Our city needs a healthy heart (10/12/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Winona can learn much from other cities that have revitalized their downtown districts. It's heartening to know that the Downtown Revitalization committee is making connections to those sources, speci ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (10/12/2005)
By David Robinson -- I confess that I was not one of the people who got carried away by the late Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"”now available on video and DVD-- when it emerged as a popular hit,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wallace and Gromit (10/12/2005)
By David Robinson -- As the title might tell you, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is not really a scary movie, the subject matter notwithstanding. Rather, this latest emanation from the minds of Nick Par ... 

FULL STORY >>


Woodpile and ashes (10/09/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The final breath of this past summer is not likely to blow over as so much dust in the wind. For storm victims the summer of 2005 went out with a gasp, a roar, and a gulp. Now a weighty sigh for what  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Intelligent Design? (10/05/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- This could be my dream October. I went duck hunting with John last night "” wearing shorts! The Vikings are so bad we might even be able to go out and have some fun on a Sunday afternoon and tape the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


‘Pretty decent shape’ (10/01/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- The message at the presentation of the U of M Extension Service's Retail Trade Analysis Report on Thursday was that Winona is "in pretty decent shape."¯ Specifically, our fair city is outperforming si ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mismatched furniture (10/01/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Two words from yesteryear seem to be monopolizing my train of thought as I helplessly view and hear reports about tragedy and loss caused by recent natural disasters. Those words will come later.

It' ... 

FULL STORY >>


Old Wagon Bridge to be dedicated (09/21/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- On Sunday, the restored Old Wagon Bridge will be dedicated. It has been renamed in honor of John A. Latsch, the benefactor who bought wilderness land around this area to be preserved for public use.

 ... 

FULL STORY >>


Festival photography (09/18/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- A festival is a place where people go to have fun and be entertained. Beyond that, it's difficult to describe just what a festival is because they come in such a wide variety of types and sizes. Festi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Property repossessed (09/18/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- In the earth, at our camping site, we embedded a stepping stone of multicolored glass shards that our granddaughter had made. Some folks mark their property with the year of construction imprinted in  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Vang trial disturbing on many levels (09/18/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- The trial of Chai Vang, accused of shooting eight deer hunters in Wisconsin, killing six of them, is horrible and disturbing on many levels.

The defense is claiming that Vang was acting in self-defe ... 

FULL STORY >>


A quick note (I’m supposed to be cooking) (09/11/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- I'm fighting off a panic attack here. It is Friday afternoon, and around eighty-five people are coming to my house in a little over twenty-four hours for a pre-ball party before the Winona Health Auxi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Saga of 1963 (09/11/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- It was the era of "Puff The Magic Dragon"¯ and "Petticoat Junction."¯ Women were swooning over the Cartwrights on "Bonanza,"¯ and teens were gaga over the swingin', puppy-lovin' movie "Beach Party,"¯  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Touring by bus, Part 2 (09/11/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- The fundamental law of bus travel is OBEY TIME SCHEDULES. At each stop, you'll either be given the exact time that the bus will leave, or the amount of time you'll have for sightseeing. Make a note of ... 

FULL STORY >>


Making political hay while the sun shines (09/07/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- I am always surprised at people's reactions to tragedy and devastation. I am not talking about the few bad folks during the early aftermath of Hurricane Katrina who took the opportunity, while their n ... 

FULL STORY >>


You can help victims (09/04/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- As the story of the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina unfolds, it paints a grimmer and grimmer picture. The loss of lives, the thousands and thousands left homeless, the destruction of entire citi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Progress in schools (08/31/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- I encourage all of you who have access to a computer to go to the Minnesota Department of Education's website (education.state.mn.us) and look up the statistics for our area public schools.

You might ... 

FULL STORY >>


A summer affair (08/28/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Wanderlust is calling...my passion can't be quelled. The magic of richly hued finery, flirtatious winks, and aroma therapy, beckons a smitten admirer. Beyond visual gratification, I reach out to embra ... 

FULL STORY >>


Birthday Ball time (08/28/2005)
John and I, along with some of the "Women of Purpose,"¯ who have designed a soon-to-be-published 2006 fund-raiser calendar, are hosting a Birthday Ball pre-Ball party on September 10.

Birthday Ball i ... 

FULL STORY >>


What to do when you get there (08/28/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- Most of us travel for the pleasure and wonderment of seeing new places. A sense of discovery takes place within us when we experience the terrain and climate of another part of our country or the worl ... 

FULL STORY >>


All that jazz (08/24/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Winonans are a generous bunch. I wouldn't want to hazard a guess as to how much money is raised by non-profit organizations here each year for charitable causes, but it has to be in the millions "” mu ... 

FULL STORY >>


Come as you are (08/21/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Sit a spell and chat. Take a load off and have a glass of lemonade. How ya been?"¯

"Things we do anonymously in big cities, such as buying groceries, filling the car up with gas, or making a bank de ... 

FULL STORY >>


Looking and seeing (08/21/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- There comes a day in the life of every woman when the quest to "look good"¯ turns into "look good for my age."¯ And that's not all bad.

Looking good for one's age almost always demands a healthier l ... 

FULL STORY >>


Planning a trip, Part 2 (08/21/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- Tip Number 1: As you pack your luggage for a trip, photograph the contents of each suitcase and leave the roll of film or small-capacity digital memory card at home. If your bags become lost or stolen ... 

FULL STORY >>


Planning a trip, Part 1 (08/14/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- A journey begins with the first step. That's fine if the first step is to get pencil and paper. Whether you're traveling across the street or halfway around the world, you should begin a trip with som ... 

FULL STORY >>


Read this, John (08/14/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Tuesday is our thirty-sixth wedding anniversary. Last year, I was in the hospital for this auspicious event. Given a short reprieve by the doctor so John could take me out for an early supper, I ran o ... 

FULL STORY >>


Yesterday’s wine (08/14/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- One thing reminds a person of something else. It happens more frequently when one's on the farther side of racking up memories. Sentimental remembrances flash past us like innuendoes of fate.

Laura I ... 

FULL STORY >>


Be a quitter (08/10/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Headline: Gorgeous movie star, 30, doesn't believe in plastic surgery

Headline: Peter Jennings dead from lung cancer, age 67

When you are young, you can't imagine it happening to you.

When thirty- ... 

FULL STORY >>


Putting on green glasses (07/31/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- It's funny the things that stay with a person "” mental pictures, phrases and such. For instance, at the mention of "gerunds,"¯ (which of course no one does any more) I can regale you with a song abou ... 

FULL STORY >>


Fleshing out the rise of the low rise (07/24/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Give me summer and its heat any day. I love the way the sun heats up my car "” heated seats without a pricey option! I love it that everyone sweats, fans themselves and says, "Is it hot in here or is  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Name that tune (07/24/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- If you can't be the composer - be the song.

Do we take life far too seriously to enjoy it? Do we tend to act-out melodramas and theatrics in our daily lives? Self-imposed busy work and ringing echoes ... 

FULL STORY >>


Secrets of good photography (07/24/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- Don't blame the camera. If it has a lens and a viewfinder, whether it's a 35mm, an Advanced Photo System (APS) or a digital camera, you can take good pictures with it. You just have to know the secret ... 

FULL STORY >>


A sign (07/20/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- On Monday, I went to the funeral of Rhetta Speltz, a beautiful Mass at St. Mary's, full of wonderful music (including the Navy hymn) followed by burial in St. Mary's Cemetery.

Rhetta's daughter Elai ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sympathy for building owners (07/13/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- I have to feel sympathy for the owners of the Sugar Loaf Furniture/Bub's Brewery property, Mark Zimmerman and Mary Newkirk. Their deal to sell the historic property to Amir Marafie, out-of-town busine ... 

FULL STORY >>


That was close! (07/06/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Our Fourth of July holiday was enhanced by the visits of not only our children, but a delightful young married couple, friends of our son-in-law, from St. Paul. Well, Laurel is from St. Paul. Her husb ... 

FULL STORY >>


Much ado"¦many laughs (06/29/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Much Ado About Nothing, a comedy, is one of the Great River Shakespeare Festival's offerings for this second season.

"Oh, Shakespeare!"¯ you say, "Everyone talks with a British accent!"¯

Well, not  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Buying a used camera (06/26/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- Why would you want to buy a used camera? Well, there are several reasons. For one thing, you might be going on a trip and would like your spouse or the kids to have a camera. Maybe you would want a 35 ... 

FULL STORY >>


Olden days (06/26/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Something about a 95-degree day and sitting in the south-facing office of a building on Second Street that was first occupied in 1865 starts me wondering about the olden days.

The air-conditioning gu ... 

FULL STORY >>


Spiritual research (06/26/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "It may be that the strongest bonds are forged in silence. In a Zen monastery, monks work side by side for hours without ever speaking. Yet the sense of fraternity grows steadily without the aid of co ... 

FULL STORY >>


WSHS COMMENCEMENT: Do the smart thing (06/26/2005)
Final in a series of Winona Senior High School commencement speeches

by Robert Brako

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, oh how many times we have heard these two ... 

FULL STORY >>


The river and the perfect weekend (06/22/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Mother's Day has lilacs, but Father's Day has summer! On Friday evening after work, I joined John, daughter Morgan and son-in-law Dan at the golf course for the back nine. As I was waiting to putt, I  ... 

FULL STORY >>


WSHS COMMENCEMENT: 304 reasons (06/22/2005)
Third in a series of Winona Senior High School commencement speeches

by Max Fletcher

James Madison, our fourth president and father of our Constitution, believed that "Next in impor ... 

FULL STORY >>


A time to be old (06/19/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Don't count the years - count the blessings.

A lush, daylily scent lifts from the row of yellow blooms, appearing in a tousled, reckless state, left to grow at will. Last winter surpassed intentions, ... 

FULL STORY >>


Because they save us money! (06/19/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Some might wonder why the Winona Post, often critical of the local public school administration, has recently been supportive of the efforts of Supt. Paul Durand and the current school board.

I can s ... 

FULL STORY >>


Small-print display (06/19/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- If you're like me, when you go on vacation or attend a family affair, a sporting event or any activity calling for picture-taking, you take lots of shots. I used to waste a bunch of expensive film at  ... 

FULL STORY >>


WSHS Commencement: whisper - Speak - SHOUT! (06/19/2005)
Second in a series of Winona Senior High School commencement speeches

by ALEX CARRIER

"Do what you are told!"¯ "Don't complain!"¯ "Listen to your betters!"¯ - These have be ... 

FULL STORY >>


Get your tickets now (06/15/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- The cast and crew members of the Great River Shakespeare Festival are in town, deep into rehearsal for this year's Richard III and Much Ado About Nothing. We ran into some of them at a gathering recen ... 

FULL STORY >>


A shutterbug’s manifesto (06/12/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Black and white configurations: Draw the drapes! Unfurl the shades! Windows hold us within our spaces, as well as welcoming the greater world into focus. Opened windows commingle stale vapors of confi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Immortalize your hobby, Part 2 (06/12/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- Last time we emphasized the importance of the background in hobby photography. This is a biggy, but there are other factors that should also be kept in mind.

When photographing hobby objects, select  ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s here again! (06/12/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Steamboat Days must be one of my favorite family things, right after Thanksgiving and Christmas. And the cooking is so much easier! Just treat everyone at the Ambassadors Brat Booth and top it off wit ... 

FULL STORY >>


WSHS Commencement: Just humor me (06/12/2005)
by Katelyn Delvaux

First in a series of Winona Senior High School commencement speeches

You know what? I can remember when four-page essays seemed daunting enough, but betwee ... 

FULL STORY >>


This day, back then (06/08/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Thirty-three years ago today, I began the day like any other, waking in our rented farmhouse near Silo, dressing in one of two summer dresses that still fit me, piling into our compact (a new concept ... 

FULL STORY >>


Half the cost of work at high school is for students (06/06/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- After a barrage of letters accusing the Dist. 861 administration of lavishing enormous amounts of money on plush new digs for themselves at the senior high school building, it was nice to see a copy o ... 

FULL STORY >>


Traces of the Dakota (06/01/2005)
At the Dakota gathering last year, John and I were drawn not to the fry cakes but to the book stall, where John bought a Dakota grammar and a Dakota dictionary. I chose a beautiful book by Mary Hender ... 

FULL STORY >>


Desperate housepets (05/29/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Oh, you know the sounds of boredom when they waft through your house, brought on by the sigher's very lifestyle "” indolence, privilege, idleness and sleeping all day long on a big pillow on the kitc ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lost in the ‘50s again (05/29/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- There pervades a comfortable aura through the mind-clutter of youthful memories. In poignant dreams our subconscious fast-forwards bits and pieces of how it played out. No need to plug anything in or  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wagnild honored (05/25/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Last night, a former Winona businessman and longtime friend of ours, Bernie Wagnild, entered the prestigious ranks of those honored by the B'nai B'rith with the International Distinguished Humanitaria ... 

FULL STORY >>


I don’t get it (05/22/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- My favorite line in my favorite movie, "Moonstruck,"¯ is the grandfather's: "I'm confused."¯ It sums up in two words how sometimes, you can look very hard at a situation, and it just doesn't make sens ... 

FULL STORY >>


Stolen moments (05/22/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I am a strong believer and imbiber of quality time to myself, to step outside of my own shadow, to breathe personal air.

Stolen moments can flow like an artist's sweeping color strokes, but sometimes ... 

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A note to fund-raisers (05/18/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- It's a busy time of year. Graduations, proms, weddings, anniversaries. There is hardly enough newsprint in our plant to print all the news in the paper.

Volunteers are mounting many fund-raisers, and ... 

FULL STORY >>


Looking under things (05/11/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- I was looking for a pair of pink shoes that I knew I had at one time. I found them in a closet where I have been collecting old clothes in the hopes that some day I will have grandchildren who will l ... 

FULL STORY >>


How rumors get started (05/08/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Last February, there was a big to-do when the Chamber of Commerce complained about the city's request to the Legislature for a referendum to charge an extra half-cent sales tax for the next 15 years.  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mothers love us anyway (05/08/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I didn't know enough to appreciate all Mom did as I was living out youthful beginnings. Somewhere between "I do"¯ and "now what!?"¯ I understood.

With no electronic marvels, our two-story home on Fre ... 

FULL STORY >>


Protect your stuff (05/08/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- When you travel any distance, whether it's across the street or around the world, protect your camera gear. Even if it's just a compact camera (the word "just"¯ refers to quantity, not quality), you  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Donation to WSU Krueger library a gift to all Winona (05/01/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- When you read a book, you receive the promise of freedom "” the freedom to acquire knowledge, to seek beauty, truth, and wisdom. Only in a society that values books can educated people pursue true fr ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (05/01/2005)
Now available on video and DVD, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is wonderfully unlike anything you're likely to have seen recently. On the face of it - and at the opening - a "children ... 

FULL STORY >>


A wedding trip (04/27/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- It wouldn't be spring without a wedding invitation or two in the mail. One led us last weekend to Minneapolis for a beautiful ceremony for a son of a Winona family and daughter of former Winonans. We  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Interpreter (04/27/2005)
By David Robinson -- The Interpreter stars Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman: that's the most important thing you need to know about this actor's movie. That and Sydney Pollack's veteran direction make one of the best films out ... 

FULL STORY >>


Calendar girls (04/20/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- When we left the house, there were still almost a dozen women huddled in front of a laptop computer looking at the proofs of the photo shoot. They were chatting about the pictures, laughing together a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Who made me the Tooth Fairy? (04/13/2005)
By Cynthya Porter -- I'd like to throttle whoever invented the Tooth Fairy.

I hate that nocturnal bicuspid-thieving creature more than any other mythical being I pretend to be for my children, mostly because I'm really b ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hostage (03/30/2005)
By David Robinson -- Bruce Willis is listed as both star and producer of Hostage, a combination that often sends up a warning flag for the wary viewer. Since the producer is (likely) bent on delivering a star vehicle for  ... 

FULL STORY >>


I feel good (03/30/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- It's been dripping steadily for a week now, pools of water gathering under the eave spout on the garage. Each morning when I go out to the car, there is less snow and more water. Oh, I love Spring!

T ... 

FULL STORY >>


Selecting a compact camera, Part 1 (03/27/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- What is the best camera buy? If there were a simple answer, it could be told in this sentence and the article would be over. The "best"¯ camera is one that has all the features that the buyer will use ... 

FULL STORY >>


The face in the storm (03/27/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- English has always been my passion. Math was my downfall in school, yet, I've been a bookkeeper for thirty-six years. Oh, the twists and turns of fate!

I recall an English assignment for Mrs. Kalmes' ... 

FULL STORY >>


The rotogravure (03/27/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- In the olden days, when I was growing up trouble-free, the oldest of six kids in a Roman Catholic family in a religiously diverse neighborhood in a house with a television with only two stations, East ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (03/20/2005)
By David Robinson -- The theatrical poster for Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason - available this week on video and DVD - promises "Same Bridget. Brand New Diary"¯: the movie delivers on that promise. Fans of Bridget Jone ... 

FULL STORY >>


Incidental miracles (03/20/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "The mystery is simply that there is a mystery, a mystery that can never be explained or understood, only encountered from time to time. Nothing is obvious. Everything conceals something."¯ - Lawrence ... 

FULL STORY >>


Be Cool (03/09/2005)
By David Robinson -- Most sequels try hard to trade off the energy and originality of their predecessor rather than generate their own. In their wisdom, the moviemakers assume that we'll keep buying the same package over  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The why of suicide (03/09/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- I had thought that in the last ten years we'd come to understand the reasons for suicide better. It seemed that there had been much in the mainstream media during this time about the causes of suicide ... 

FULL STORY >>


Good old Golden Rule days (03/06/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- We have a little friend, Abby, whose family lives in the country, where they keep chickens during the warm months. She showed me a photo of herself with the chickens, who live in a very nice chicken c ... 

FULL STORY >>


Happy Endings (03/06/2005)
By Linda Lewis -- Listen up, baby boomers. It's time to learn a thing or two about something that could save your life.

When my doctor recommended a colonoscopy I suddenly sat up very straight, cringed and made a tor ... 

FULL STORY >>


The camera’s broken, Part 1 (03/06/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- At an event of a lifetime, you bring the viewfinder to your eye as you've done hundreds of times before, but this time nothing happens. What should you do? No, slamming the camera to the ground is not ... 

FULL STORY >>


Young friends and old games (03/06/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Back in the 50s baseball was big. Area town teams played in heated competition, strutting their stuff for cheering, jeering fans of all ages. In Lewiston, the field ambled behind the twelve-grade scho ... 

FULL STORY >>


Architecture photography, Part 2 (02/27/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- Last time, a few hints were given on ways of photographing the exteriors of famous or intriguing buildings and monuments. Interiors pose different but no less interesting photographic challenges.

A c ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s all in my head! (02/27/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- It's all I can think about! It's all I can do to keep from rolling down store aisles in uncontrollable laughter. In fact, "it's all"¯ a lot of things, in conversation. I started thinking of all the "i ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Grudge (02/27/2005)
By David Robinson -- Into video and DVD outlets, there has arrived from Japan (via Sam Raimi and Ghost House Productions) an old-fashioned, new-fangled thriller about a haunted house. The Grudge stars Sarah Michelle Gella ... 

FULL STORY >>


Architecture photography, Part 1 (02/20/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- For many of us, the best part of returning from a vacation is getting our pictures back from the photo dealer or putting them on the computer and looking through them several days after we've returned ... 

FULL STORY >>


Girls of summer II (02/20/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Kids, don't try this in your hometown. After all, it was a different world back in the mellow 50s and 60s. Strolling the streets of "Smallville"¯ USA was common back then. Today folks power-walk and j ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Aviator (02/20/2005)
By David Robinson -- Like Jamie Foxx in Ray, Leonardo DiCaprio is a Best Actor nominee for his portrait of a famous, complex, troubled man. In his case, the man is Howard Hughes, millionaire engineer, movie director, and  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Vanity Fair (02/20/2005)
Vanity Fair, which is now available on video and DVD, not to be confused with the popular magazine; the film details the rises and falls of Becky Sharp, an ardent social climber in early 19th-century  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Caring for your camera (02/13/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- Have you ever taken a camera in for repair? If not, you haven't experienced the shock of a lifetime, and if you have, you have. The cost of camera repair is enough to cause many of us to abandon photo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lewiston’s colorful spirit (02/13/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- In the days of unlocked doors and a cup of borrowed sugar, congenial, trustworthy neighbors, going about their daily routines, crisscrossed the mind's eye...and soon years unfolded into my adulthood.  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shark Tale (02/13/2005)
By David Robinson -- Shark Tale is a wonderful entertainment, clearly aimed at kids, as was last year's Finding Nemo. The latter hit its target audience dead on; this one doesn't find the bullseye, but it will please the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Between engagements (01/30/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Once he carried a gun through the forests and was thrilled."¯ "Once he cast a lure and shouted when the fish struck."¯ "If he lifts his weary eyes, it is only to make sure he has not strayed from the ... 

FULL STORY >>


How sweet it was (01/30/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- When we were kids, there would always be an orange or tangerine in the toe of our Christmas stockings. I'm pretty sure it was a tradition my parents brought from their childhoods, when there weren't r ... 

FULL STORY >>


Recording reflections, Part 1 (01/30/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- What makes reflection so appealing? It might be that a reflection gives us a mirror image of reality; sort of a reality that is not exactly real. It is as though we are looking into another world; a w ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (01/30/2005)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow wants to call to mind the old adventure serials that came with the Saturday afternoon matinee. The "art"¯ - if that's not too stro ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing Concerns (01/23/2005)
A parenting question-and-answer column with Dr. Martha Erickson of the University of Minnesota

Question: Our 5-year-old son, who started kindergarten this year, is outgoing and confident during the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s getting closer (01/23/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Winona Health Auxiliary's Follies is gearing up for a launch.

Invitations have gone out to patrons, postcards were mailed to former Follies participants reminding them of the "Meet the Director"¯ ... 

FULL STORY >>


A trip south, sort of (01/19/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- After the first Vikings touchdown in the Vikes-Green Bay game, the phone rang. It was son-in-law Dan with a proposition for John. Whoever won would play the Philadelphia Eagles, Dan's lifelong team. I ... 

FULL STORY >>


Babies and books (01/19/2005)
Cold weather and ice got you trapped in the house with a little one? Don't dismay! Pick up a book and share it with your baby for a moment or two. Babies love books. They love to chew them, throw  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Being wrong is OK (01/19/2005)
By Al Thomas -- Being wrong is OK, but let's not carry it to extremes. That applies to everything, but let's limit our discussion here to the stock market.

I have been trading for several decades and was an exchange ... 

FULL STORY >>


Kinsey (01/19/2005)
By David Robinson -- Kinsey, starring Liam Neeson and Laura Linney, could likely not have been made and widely released were it not for the work of its subject. It follows the life and work of sex researcher Alfred Kinsey ... 

FULL STORY >>


Where’s the fire? (01/16/2005)
As I hurried from my car into my house Thursday afternoon, I unfolded myself from the usual modified fetal position I assume in the frigid days of winter (as though I must protect my innards from free ... 

FULL STORY >>


Happy 80 and sunny (01/12/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Christmas Eve this year, we didn't get our annual phone call from Brazil. "Fernando Gini here!"¯ is the usual from the booming voice coming to us from Rio de Janeiro. He has an uncanny knack for calli ... 

FULL STORY >>


Troy (01/12/2005)
By David Robinson -- Now available for home viewing, Troy might have been titled Achilles, so much is that mythic, demigod hero at the center of the action. Add that this super warrior is played by Brad Pitt and that he h ... 

FULL STORY >>


Consider candids (01/09/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- "Let's be candid."¯ You know the expression. It means, let's be honest, sincere, genuine. A candid shot is the same, representing a slice of life as it really is. In successful candid photography, the ... 

FULL STORY >>


The hatching of 2005 (01/09/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- As the first month of 2005 breaks through a promising dawn, thoughts of what a new year might bring is both troubling and challenging. Time will tell. The late John Lennon once said, "Life is what hap ... 

FULL STORY >>


The lost shall be found (01/09/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- This morning, I was walking across a treacherously icy parking lot, my cane in one hand and a shopping bag in the other. I looked down, and right there was a dime. Then I saw two more. Darn! Thirty ce ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wimbledon (01/09/2005)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Wimbledon as the name might imply, is a tennis flick, making it a fairly rare bird. Among sports movies generally, tennis has not been a big seller: not enough team spi ... 

FULL STORY >>


New Year’s resolutions (01/05/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- Do you remember New Year's resolutions? For those of you who are too young, it goes like this: you make a list of improvements you'd like to make in yourself and concentrate on bringing them to fruiti ... 

FULL STORY >>


Spanglish (01/05/2005)
By David Robinson -- Spanglish, from its title to its male lead - Adam Sandler - is a misleading movie. We see the marquee and think, "Goofy comedy, maybe involving tasteless ethnic humor."¯ But, no! This is a film with s ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tsunami charity grows (01/02/2005)
By Frances Edstrom -- The death toll from the tsunami that hit countries around the Indian Ocean last Sunday has, by some estimates, reached over 120,000. Public health organizations estimate that the toll will climb even  ... 

FULL STORY >>


In all honesty (01/01/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Inappropriate behavior is shunned. Never pick your nose in public, don't floss your teeth in a restaurant, and don't gift your office manager with soap on a rope, an Emeril cooking apron, or one of th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Photos on the slopes (01/01/2005)
By Tom Hirsch -- You've seen pictures of downhill skiers holding their skis and poles while standing in front of a chalet, or posed on flat ground in a crouched position, looking toward the camera. But have you seen s ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wicker Park (01/01/2005)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Wicker Park, starring Josh Hartnett, starts out like a date flick, and it never gets too far away from that beginning. As the plot circles around the same critical loca ... 

FULL STORY >>


All that glitters is not gold (12/29/2004)
By Cynthya Porter -- Sometimes we give people things for Christmas, and sometimes we give them gifts. And sometimes, lost in an endless trail of Visa bills and curling ribbon, we forget to remember the difference between ... 

FULL STORY >>


Christmas come and gone (12/29/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- There is nothing quite as much fun as a house full of loved ones, but a weekend of the multigenerational crowd gave me a good idea why the tradition of the extended family all living under one roof is ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (12/29/2004)
By David Robinson -- Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is wonderfully unlike anything I've seen recently. On the face of it - and at the opening - a "children's story,"¯ it quickly becomes like something out ... 

FULL STORY >>


Cold enough for ya? (12/26/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- Why is it that everything comes last to Winona? Even global warming!

But I shouldn't complain. We got our white Christmas and the furnace didn't go out in the middle of the night.

When John and I we ... 

FULL STORY >>


Open Water (12/26/2004)
By David Robinson -- Open Water, a decidedly "small"¯ independent movie that generated much buzz this past summer, is now available on video and DVD. It makes some extraordinary demands on the viewer. Based on a true stor ... 

FULL STORY >>


Anchorman (12/22/2004)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Anchorman is a light summer entertainment aimed squarely at fans of Saturday Night Live and sharing that show's strengths and weaknesses. The star and co-writer, Will F ... 

FULL STORY >>


Merry Christmas to you (12/22/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- Now it feels like Christmas. As I write, the sleet has turned to snow, making the world a quiet place, sounds muffled by the swirling white stuff. The dog, after going out to bark at the snow (it must ... 

FULL STORY >>


As tradition goes (12/19/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Can one still hear that little drummer boy, when the festive house is aglow and peacefully still? Bing Crosby's White Christmas seems to lack the luster of snow around these parts. As I write today, D ... 

FULL STORY >>


More fund-raisers coming (12/19/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- Looking for a last-minute gift idea? There's always a flu shot.

The major news media, intending to do nothing more than cast aspersions on the Bush administration, was apparently successful instead i ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Manchurian Candidate (12/19/2004)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, The Manchurian Candidate reprises the 1962 film of the same but brings the bad guys significantly closer to home. The threat then was Red China; now its Big Business. T ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ah, yes. Holiday stress!!! (12/15/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- I start getting them in August "” the press releases from those who find it necessary to help the rest of us "avoid holiday stress."¯

Don't they understand that if it were so simple to get to Jan. 1 ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ocean’s Twelve (12/15/2004)
By David Robinson -- The original Ocean's Eleven was a 1960 romp for Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack, a pleasant and lucrative way to while away some time in Vegas between shows. The remake, directed by Steven Soderbergh a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Alexander (12/08/2004)
By David Robinson -- Just in case word hasn't reached you yet, Oliver Stone's Alexander isn't exactly great, except in length. When I looked around me during what should have been the film's big moment - the title charact ... 

FULL STORY >>


Get rich quick? (12/08/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- "Get me that bone on the floor, will you?" said the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about.

"Excuse me?" I said, with much sarcasm, I hoped.

He looked puzzled for a moment, and then s ... 

FULL STORY >>


Between engagements (12/05/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Once he carried a gun through the forests and was thrilled."¯ "Once he cast a lure and shouted when the fish struck."¯ "If he lifts his weary eyes, it is only to make sure he has not strayed from the ... 

FULL STORY >>


E-mailing photos, Part 2 (12/05/2004)
By Tom Hirsch -- Okay, you have your original picture on the computer, and you've made a copy of it in the TIFF or BMP format. You've named it Mountain 1, and made all the necessary modifications. With the modified im ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Bourne Supremacy (12/05/2004)
By David Robinson -- Available this week on video and DVD, The Bourne Supremacy is that happy rarity, a sequel that surpasses the original. Again it stars Matt Damon as the rogue CIA agent whose amnesia plagued him throug ... 

FULL STORY >>


The dark side of holidays (12/05/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- The first Christmas after the death of our son, I struggled to make a "normal"¯ holiday for the rest of the family, fool that I was.

One day I found myself (and I literally was momentarily lost) stan ... 

FULL STORY >>


National Treasure (12/01/2004)
By David Robinson -- National Treasure is equal parts heist flick, history lesson, and Da Vinci Code-like mystery. Starring Nicholas Cage and featuring Diane Kruger, Sean Bean, and Jon Voigt, this one starts off like an a ... 

FULL STORY >>


All I want for Christmas (11/28/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- I overheard a conversation the other day between a woman and an older gentleman who was going to be buying gifts for her family. I was astonished by how organized she and her family sounded. Compared  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Biking with a camera (11/28/2004)
By Tom Hirsch -- Biking is said to be the most efficient mode of travel. Besides that, it's fun, good exercise, inexpensive, environment-friendly, reasonably fast, but slow enough that one can observe his or her surro ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing Concerns (11/28/2004)
By Dr. Martha Erickson -- A question-and-answer column with Dr. Martha Erickson of the University of Minnesota

Question: I'm trying to potty train my 2-1/2-year-old son. He has used the toilet a few times, sometimes by s ... 

FULL STORY >>


Life’s sentences (11/28/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "The pen is the tongue of the mind."¯ - Miguel Cervantes, "Don Quixote"¯

Bookkeeping's dull routine is so noisy I can't hear myself think. Duties of office work, with its cruel glitches, put creativi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Spider-Man 2 (11/28/2004)
By David Robinson -- Available this coming week on video and DVE, Spider-Man 2 is a fairly ordinary movie, albeit with some extraordinary special effects. Tobey Maguire looks to be sleepwalking through much of his screen  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (11/24/2004)
By David Robinson -- The poster for Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason promises "Same Bridget. Brand New Diary"¯ and it delivers on that promise. Fans of Bridget Jones' Diary will doubtless like this one, too. The same pri ... 

FULL STORY >>


Pro ball "” food for thought (11/24/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- Professional basketball players "” huge, muscular men whose job it is to be in great physical condition "” can't be allowed to storm into the stands and fight with the "fans,"¯ no matter how obnoxious ... 

FULL STORY >>


Expanding my world view (11/21/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- My window has been my world view since I got sick back in the middle of August and became bedridden a week later.

Right now, I'm watching the rain pour off the garage roof. Big drops of water hang fr ... 

FULL STORY >>


Faces of Thanksgiving (11/21/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- How many ways are there to say "THANKS?"¯ Babies can't utter it, but one just knows by a tender gaze, a "goo goo,"¯ outstretched arms, and even a comical spatter of lunch in the kisser. Thanks from a  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Photos from a vibrating vehicle (11/21/2004)
I recently had the good fortune of taking a Caribbean cruise. I was able to get many excellent pictures using the standard good picture-taking techniques that I advocate. But on some of the shore excu ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Terminal (11/21/2004)
By David Robinson -- Due out on video and DVD this week, The Terminal reunites Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg (collaborators on Saving Private Ryan) and its emphatically their movie. The credits feature Catherine Zeta-Jon ... 

FULL STORY >>


The bully policy (11/17/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- The dog-who-must-not-be-written-about is a little old for puppy love. But I can understand why he's so enthralled with my sister, who is much more faithful than I was, even pre-crutches, about taking  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Polar Express (11/17/2004)
By David Robinson -- The Polar Express, stars (really!) Tom Hanks in a variety of roles and a boatload of computer animation whizzes. In adapting Chris Van Allburg's children's classic for the screen, director Robert Zeme ... 

FULL STORY >>


Boomers - the generous generation? (11/14/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The thirty-third president of the U.S., Harry S. Truman kept a plaque on his White House desk with the maxim "The buck stops here,"¯ announcing his responsibility for the situation at hand.

Are today ... 

FULL STORY >>


County, take a broad view (11/14/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- In a little over a week, we'll gather with our families for Thanksgiving. Grandpa will tell the story again about Uncle Al climbing the big oak in the back yard and being afraid to climb down. Grandma ... 

FULL STORY >>


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (11/14/2004)
By David Robinson -- Just in time for the holidays, Harry's due back in town next week, and--yikes!--the boy super wizard is a teenager now. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third of the movie versions fol ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ray (11/10/2004)
By David Robinson -- Ray, starring Jamie Foxx, is a "biopic,"¯ following the life of Ray Charles, the late singer whose career was a movie waiting to be made. Foxx may well be nominated for his bravura performance, upon w ... 

FULL STORY >>


Thanks, veterans (11/10/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- It's one of life's bittersweet mysteries that so many of us, myself included, owe our very existence to the circumstances of war. My parents "” John Bowler of Ayer, Massachusetts, and Margaret Muraine ... 

FULL STORY >>


Fool me once... (11/07/2004)
By Cynthya Porter -- So my daughter, who is about to turn eight, has been eyeing up one of the rights of passage of girls everywhere for some time, so much so that the conversation about it nearly became a daily ritual.  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Happy hunting, Ruby (11/07/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- The day after my daughter's wedding, some friends were offering pontoon boat rides on the Mississippi to out-of-towners, many of whom would never again see Old Man River.

As people boarded, I asked m ... 

FULL STORY >>


Now the hard work begins (11/07/2004)
By Paul Durand -- The campaigning is over, the votes cast and the tallies counted. Our country as a constitutional republic follows the wishes of a majority who direct the actions of government officials. The resident ... 

FULL STORY >>


On wings of discovery (11/07/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The First

The first man who whistled

thought he had a wren in his mouth.

He went around all day

with his lips puckered,

afraid to swallow.

- Wendell Berry

There's something charming an ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Stepford Wives (11/07/2004)
By David Robinson -- "You've come a long way, baaaa-by!"¯ If you're old enough to remember that jingle selling a "cigarette for women"¯ (curious idea), then you probably recall the original of The Stepford Wives. Based on ... 

FULL STORY >>


Change is on the way (11/03/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- You don't mind if I ask you a few questions, do you?

So, did you vote? Do we know who the U.S. president will be for the next four years? If not, how long do you think it will be before we know? Do  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lean on funny bones (10/31/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Laugh and the world laughs with you; wage a war and you stand alone.

The citizens of the United States were forced to get serious in a hurry, with the onslaught of enemies at every border. At such ti ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shrek 2 (10/31/2004)
By David Robinson -- If you loved Shrek, you're going to like Shrek 2, which will be hitting DVD/video outlets this week. Many of the same key elements return for this sequel, which doesn't so much change the initial scri ... 

FULL STORY >>


The perfectly rounded life (10/31/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- Joe Beckwith was a part of the fabric of my childhood. Joe, my red hair and freckles, lighting candles at St. Stephen's church and being a Red Sox fan "” all part of my birthright.

Joe Beckwith, Ben ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s down to two (10/27/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- "I can't help but notice,"¯ I told the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about, "that your name hasn't been mentioned in the media reports on the presidential race. You don't even make the polls."¯

"This i ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Grudge (10/27/2004)
By David Robinson -- Just in time for Halloween there arrives from Japan (via Sam Raimi and Ghost House Productions) an old-fashioned, new-fangled thriller about a haunted house. The Grudge stars Sarah Michelle Gellar (so ... 

FULL STORY >>


Love’s dull routine (10/24/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The names in this article have been changed to protect the innocent (or the guilty). They shall be "he"¯ and "she."¯ This is not an article that throws out clever adages concerning perfect harmony and ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sleeping like a baby (10/24/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- You might think that a person who went to bed in the middle of August and is still there in the middle of October would have given a lot of thought to the nature of sleep.

I'm like most people, I gue ... 

FULL STORY >>


Van Helsing (10/24/2004)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Van Helsing begins (in black and white film stock) with a crowd of angry Transylvanian villagers storming the castle where terrible things are being done by Dr. Franken ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Day after Tomorrow (10/20/2004)
The title of The Day after Tomorrow - now available in video and DVD - suggests the movie's most controversial idea: the next Ice Age is just around the corner. This may not be a foreign concept for M ... 

FULL STORY >>


Would you settle for some chocolate mousse, dear? (10/20/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- It is a cold early morning in the woods of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. The mist rises from the forest floor as if from a smoke machine in a Broadway theater production.

The fall colors have peaked a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Catch the spirit (10/17/2004)
By Tom Hirsch -- When people go to the Grand Canyon, what do they take pictures of? The big ditch, of course. One of my favorite shots at that location is of a scraggly pine tree along the edge of the canyon, but none ... 

FULL STORY >>


Fahrenheit 9/11 (10/17/2004)
By David Robinson -- Film buffs will recognize that the allusion in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 - now available on video and DVD - is to Fahrenheit 451, 1967 film about defying and conquering the thought police. In t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hand over hand (10/17/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Seeming like another lifetime, images of lithe, flitting shadows around a campfire, where toasted marshmallows and lighthearted conversation were shared, bring to mind our children, giddy with the adv ... 

FULL STORY >>


Friday Night Lights (10/13/2004)
By David Robinson -- From reading the hype about Friday Night Lights, you'd think that the Second Coming was at hand. "Best sports movie ever!"¯ "Two big thumbs up!"¯ "Awesome!"¯ In a way, it is sort of a renaissance: thi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Against the grain (10/10/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I recall Mom saying, "That really irks me to no end!"¯ Truthfully, I thought that "irk"¯ might have been one of our family's pet words, back when I had not yet broken away from the suffocating space o ... 

FULL STORY >>


Envy (10/10/2004)
By David Robinson -- Now available on video and DVD, Envy stars Jack Black and Ben Stiller; most of whatever humor it generates comes from the interplay of these two. Unhappily, they're not on screen together that much, a ... 

FULL STORY >>


This and that (10/10/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- Today my mind is jumping around like a teenage girl at a rock concert. My surgery date is finally here Monday! I'm afraid that I won't be able to hold onto a thought long enough to write an entire col ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shark Tale (10/06/2004)
By David Robinson -- Shark Tale is a wonderful entertainment, clearly aimed at kids, as was last year's Finding Nemo. The latter hit its target audience dead on; this one doesn't find the bullseye, but it will please the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The patient’s patience (10/06/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- I came home from the hospital before Labor Day and was put in the family room, unable to get myself in or out of bed. I had to look at my situation, and assess the best way to deal with it.

I had al ... 

FULL STORY >>


Doing the zoo, Part 2 (10/03/2004)
By Tom Hirsch -- by Tom Hirsch

Just getting a picture of an exotic animal in the zoo can be an exciting experience. But usually we can do better than that. Today, most zoos house the animals in natural-appearing se ... 

FULL STORY >>


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (10/03/2004)
By David Robinson -- Early on in film history, moviemakers discovered the wonderfully elastic nature of the new medium. One could move back and forth in time and space, between fantasy and reality, thought and action. Th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Think before you think? (10/03/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Psychologists have found that 95% or more of it (mental noise) is totally repetitive. Perhaps 10% of those thought processes, at most, are actually needed to deal with life."¯ I ask myself quizzicall ... 

FULL STORY >>


What are City Hall’s goals? (10/03/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- Reading last week about an interesting "San Francisco-style"¯ housing proposal for the west end of Winona, I thought again how neglected it seems the core of the city has been over the last several ye ... 

FULL STORY >>


He won’t be debating this time (09/29/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- The dog-who-must-not-be-written-about threw himself down next to my bed, and leaned his chin on his paws, which he had crossed in front of himself on the floor.

"Feeling down?"¯ I asked.

"Down?"¯ he ... 

FULL STORY >>


Doing the zoo, Part 1 (09/26/2004)
By Tom Hirsch -- Most of us are fascinated by animals that are normally found in parts of the world other than our own. And, fortunately, many of these animals can be discovered near our homes. Of course I am referrin ... 

FULL STORY >>


Read all about it (09/26/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- In my previously "hip"¯ life, I would have told you I am a newspaper reader. I'm the sort of person who is compelled to pick up any newspaper I see, even those written in foreign languages.

I like In ... 

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The Alamo (09/26/2004)
By David Robinson -- Available next week on video and DVD, The Alamo, starring Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton, and Jason Patric, is one of those movies that make you wonder why they ever got made. Certainly the previous ... 

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Where have you been? (09/26/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Pause to smell the roses before you lose your sense of smell. Living can be a constant "search"¯ when one cares to poke around. You're never too old to learn (or too smart). To continuously seek, eage ... 

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"Little Earthquakes"¯ (09/22/2004)
by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER

Review for "Little Earthquakes"¯ by Jennifer Weiner

All parents are thrilled at their baby's first smile. No matter how small the baby or how old, that first smil ... 

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Life’s too short (09/22/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- My present bedroom is now on the main floor of the house.

"What do you call this room?"¯ my sister asked, which seems a simple question. But in fact, as a family we never did concur on a single name ... 

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Wimbledon (09/22/2004)
By David Robinson -- Wimbledon as the name might imply, is a tennis flick, making it a fairly rare bird. Among sports movies generally, tennis has not been a big seller: not enough team spirit, maybe, or possibly the lack ... 

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Columnist embedded (09/19/2004)
By Frances Edstrom -- I've missed you! Here's my version of the last month, although much of it is lost to me in a haze of heavy medication. By the way, I am now firmly in the camp of those who have the highest regard for  ... 

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Fall photography, Part 2 (09/19/2004)
By Tom Hirsch -- Now a few facts about fall foliage photography. A slow-speed ISO 100 film or a setting of 50 or 100 ISO on a digital camera will provide finer grain than a film or digital setting of ISO 200 or 400, b ... 

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When sisters talk (09/19/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Two women, both talking at the same time, walk briskly past display windows at the mall, oblivious to others, mindlessly turning around to head back where they had begun, arms flailing in emotional ex ... 

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Birthday Ball musings (09/15/2004)
By Cynthya Porter -- The Birthday Ball is one of the few times a year in Winona when people don their best to eat, drink and be merry, sashaying from some of Winona's swankiest homes to an even swankier Winona Country Clu ... 

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Wicker Park (09/15/2004)
By David Robinson -- Wicker Park, starring Josh Hartnett, starts out like a date flick, and it never gets too far away from that beginning. As the plot circles around the same critical locations - some Chicago apartments, ... 

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Fall photography, Part 1 (09/12/2004)
By Tom Hirsch -- Whatever the season, there are distinct characteristics that distinguish that time of year from all others. A few of the things that define fall are football, kids returning to school, chrysanthemums, ... 

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Prayers solicited (09/12/2004)
By John Edstrom -- Post readers will have noticed, these last few weeks, a marked lack of submissions by Frances Edstrom, the editor here (as well as my wife). Unfortunately, it is not because she has been on vacation,  ... 

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Preservatives and red hats (09/12/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- If insecurity, anxiety, and self-doubt would make a person more attractive, wouldn't it be a beautiful world!

What is it in staring eyes of the elderly, the stone-still glare, the confusion in the wr ... 

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The rejected column: getting to the bottom of it all (09/12/2004)
By Patrick Marek -- Back in the winter of 1978 I was a Junior Journalism Major at St. Mary's College. This was soon after Watergate, and my goal in life was to write an investigative reporting series that would make ... 

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Vanity Fair (09/12/2004)
By David Robinson -- Vanity Fair, not to be confused with the popular magazine, details the rises and falls of Becky Sharp, an ardent social climber in early 19th-century England. From its first moments, the film sharply  ... 

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Like mother, like daughter (09/08/2004)
By Cynthya Porter -- OK. Sometimes I'm a bad mother.

Just ask my eleven-year-old daughter.

Eleven is kind of that gray zone where we're just testing out self-supervised time at home. I'm not crazy about it yet, but when ... 

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Overcoming hurdles vs. crashing right through them (09/08/2004)
By Becky Glomstad -- My young daughters were watching the Olympics the other day and came running to tell me the story of Perdita Felicien, the Canadian athlete who crashed into a hurdle when running the women's 100 me ... 

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The Alchemist (09/08/2004)
By Al Thomas -- DIVIDENDS

When is a dividend not a dividend?

The latest thing "conservative"¯ brokers are preaching these days is to buy stocks that pay dividends. Everyone likes dividends. I know I do, but when  ... 

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Open Water (09/01/2004)
By David Robinson -- Open Water, a decidedly "small"¯ independent movie that has generated much buzz this summer, makes some extraordinary demands on the viewer. Based on the true story of an event that occurred off the G ... 

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Aging brain alert (08/29/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "I was so much older then...I'm younger than that now."¯ - Bob Dylan. We allow ourselves to be giddily uninhibited, and openly don't act our age.

We are labeled Baby Boomers, who "chill out"¯ with ti ... 

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Photos at the beach, Part 1 (08/29/2004)
By Tom Hirsch -- Nothing is as enjoyable as a day at the beach, and nothing can be as devastating as having something happen to your camera while you're there. Believe me, things can happen. The possibilities include  ... 

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The Ladykillers (08/29/2004)
By David Robinson -- With The Ladykillers, which is available in DVD and video this week, the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, have once again taken off in a new direction. Their remake of the 1955 British comedy and tour d ... 

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The Passion of the Christ (08/25/2004)
By David Robinson -- Available next week on video and DVD, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ stirred up a veritable hornet's nest of controversy even before its theatrical release last spring. The movie drew huge num ... 

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Autumn-in-August reflections (08/22/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Is this really August 11? It may not be April in Paris or a blue moon turning to gold again, but this unseasonable weather is getting a whirlwind of attention. "Indian Summer"¯ for Thanksgiving? Who k ... 

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My Stock - right or wrong (08/22/2004)
By Al Thomas -- We all know the expression, "My country, right or wrong"¯, but have you ever thought about the stocks or mutual fund you own and said to yourself, "My stock - right or wrong"¯ and held on to your posi ... 

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Water photography, Part 2 (08/22/2004)
By Tom Hirsch -- When photographing a quiet lake or pond, our intent is to convey the feeling of peacefulness and tranquility - but that was covered last time. Now we want to show the dynamics of water that's in a hur ... 

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Lesson learned (08/18/2004)
By Cynthya Porter -- Although I usually write through the eyes of a mother in Postpartum, today I write from the other side - through the eyes of a child.

Last June I gave my father a Fathers Day card for the first time ... 

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The Village (08/18/2004)
By David Robinson -- The Village, M. Night Shyamalan's latest venture into the darkness, has much of the visual and atmospheric appeal of his earlier movies, but it lacks the payoff of Sixth Sense or Signs. On the way to  ... 

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From romantic to spacey (08/15/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I remember singing along with Kate Smith to "When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain,"¯ putting me in a melancholy mood, a naive girl too young to date. One of the first TV programs to grace our living  ... 

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Hidalgo (08/15/2004)
Hidalgo has been out on video and DVD for a week or so, but it's worth comment, if only for its unusual nature. This is an old-time adventure story, but one that is curiously self-aware: one of the ch ... 

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