Who are we? We are our stories.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Congratulations Frankie!

Some years ago we had neighbors that lived close enough that we could hear their music. Frank senior could play blindingly beautiful guitar and the children inherited his genes. Brook became a classical pianist in the Netherlands - you go where the work takes you. Joey was also talented, but life took her on other paths. Little Frankie always wanted to be a garbage man. He would put little plastic buckets of stones on all the neighborhood front steps, then come around with his Radio Flyer and gather the "garbage" from all of us. The high point of his week was garbage pickup day. He would wait on the corner for the garbage truck. They would stop and pick him up and he became a real garbage man for two blocks. Alas, his life plans didn't work out. He became a drummer, working Nashville studio sessions. A few months ago his mother Mary asked me to recommend cigars and a supplier, so she could buy him some good smokes for his wedding. The photo is from the new June issue of Cigar Aficionado magazine.


A Survivalist Responds

Oh Wise one:

Please see attached.  The following items highlighted I espouse to.  Since the shots were across my bow here is where I stand.  As a son of a thirty career (Full Col.) Air Force officer, I moved 20 some odd times in my life and devote Lutheran (if there is such a thing) I consider myself as the following.


Stemming from Swiss and Scandinavian roots I believe in “Rape pillage and rob” first of all, Next being a Military brat I believe in survival of the fittest.  When you move that many times you’d better have your suit case packed at all times and have you S%*@ together.  

As for some of the other things on the list like the Environment I drive a hybrid Honda because at one time , 3 yrs ago I drove a Mercedes Benz and I felt guilty about our boys being in Iran and Afghanistan so I did my part.  Getting off of oil is not just about the green stuff, grass, trees and air.  It is about stopping 700 Bil of green backs walking out of our country each year that is truly a bad thing.   

I could go on and on about the border since I live in California and other items of interest but you don’t want me to get into high on this stuff so I will put a muzzle on it.

Anyway looking forward to starting my new profession selling Elec. Cars.  The Architectural industry is WAAAYYYY to over regulated.  When it takes 3 years to get a 20,000 S F building  to the point of breaking ground you know your in the wrong business.

Neil there you have it at the end of the day call me a Survivalist.  I think it is going to get ugly out there.



I must confess I am in at least three of these boxes. I suspect Jack is in the other 21. Naw, but at least a dozen.

Tour Divide Winner

Photo from Mimbres Man.

Matthew Lee rode this bike on top of the Rocky Mountains from Banff, Alberta to the Mexican border, 2,745 miles in 17 days, 15 hours, and 13 minutes. Barin Beard rode it across town from the bar to the motel. Share his joy. A link to follow.  In his own words, "Yeehaw!". But he may have been drinking.

The Iowegian Calls In

As you may know I have a soft spot for The Rooster. I know where there is a restored Galmozzi frame that is my size. It tempts me periodically. but we can't buy everything. My life is still filled with downed trees. It will cost me a nice bike to deal with it. A really nice bike. This is from Rory Mason, aka Masini. Good luck to him and his boys in the upcoming TdF. It gives me one more team to follow.

"So Ciöcc finally has everything he needs to finish my two old frames. I hope to pick them up next week after getting back from the Tour. Having finally found all the packages sent by me and others, we now have the proper Legnano and Galmozzi decals to finish them up. I say 'proper' loosely, as this is a subject I'll likely receive some grief over once they're built... and I'm calling it now! You see, the thing with collectors is that their discussions rarely get past whether something is "original" or "restored" or "period correct". In my case, I really don't care that much. I'm restoring these babies to do one thing... RIDE 'EM!

That Galmozzi decal with the address would most likely not be found on a bike made in the 50's. Guess what? I don't care - I like it, and it will look great adorning my seat tube! The head tube badge is a repro. Guess what - ALL collectors in Italy tell me that my chances of finding a real one are about nil.

The '47 Legnano would not have chrome on the dropouts, or at least four of the decals that I'm going to place on it. But, it's going to look SO much nicer with them.
The point is, these things lost their resell value to collectors the moment I found them without their original paint. So... Jimmy crack corn! Another point I've learned is that back then, large decals weren't easy to make reliably, so bike graphics weren't the advertising that they are today. Also, they didn't make these bikes knowing that they'd be so desirable sixty years later. Lots of detail has been lost through the years. What crank did Cannondale spec on a 2002 R1000? I bet you can find that answer within five minutes of a Google search. Now - what brakes would you find on a 1952 Roma? Guess what - Legnano most likely ran out and switched to whatever was lying around!
Other things not likely to find for a reasonable price? Jerseys and bottles. So, check out what you CAN find on a trip to Tuscany. Seems l'Eroica has been good for those able to reproduce certain desirables!

OK, off the soapbox now, and off to the Tour!"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Potential Kvale

I am planning on having a bicycle built for me by Chris Kvale next Fall. I could have a frame made by a number of up and coming builders, the young turks do beautiful work. Though they are fine craftsmen, Chris is too, and the following is what sets him apart from the less experienced builders. I was going to just post a piece of this and a link, but I just love this stuff. So pardon the length. 

A Fresh Look at Steering Geometry 
By Chris Kvale and John Corbett

The following is a revision of an article publishing in CYCLING USA, February 1981. Although the references are dated, the basic concepts are still valid.

It's the motor that counts, of course, but a bicycle frame that gives optimum handling characteristics for a given event will increase efficiency and, therefore, performance. One area of frame design which has often been misunderstood because of lack of information, misinformation, and general confusion is front end design--specifically the relationship between head angle and fork offset. With the advent of high-quality American-made frames available throughout the country, it is important for the rider to understand some of the factors which will affect his choices in geometry. The following discussion, based on several years of original and secondary research, will illustrate the complexity of the problem and lead to some tentative conclusions.

Current References

The most frequently repeated myth regarding head angle and fork offset is the notion that "neutral" steering, thought to be ideal, could be described by a formula which relates them to trail, resulting in a frame that neither rises nor falls as the wheel is turned. (Rising or falling, in the following discussion, refers to the front of the frame, specifically the top of the head tube.) The alleged upshot is called "neutral" steering and is thought to be ideal. This formula was developed by A.C. Davison in CYCLING in 1935. He had discovered that when rake (offset) equals trail, the frame does not rise or fall when the wheel is at 90°; he assumed that the frame was not rising or falling while the wheel was being turned. However, the frame does rise or fall while the wheel is being turned to the 90° position, and this can be proven mathematically. At 73°, the Davison formula would give an offset of 50.8mm; with this offset, the frame would drop 3.65mm at the 60° point. In fact, the front of the frame will always drop unless the offset is far longer than would ever be used; i.e., at 73°, an offset of 104mm would be required--at this point, the frame doesn't fall, it rises. With all steering geometries of practicable design, the frame will drop as the wheel is turned. However, the most important point to understand about the Davison formula is that its relationship to "neutral" steering is purely coincidental. In the 1930's, head angles were flatter and the Davison formula seemed to give a satisfactory explanation for a very stable-feeling frame. For example, for a frame with a head angle of 71° and an offset of 57mm, the trail of 57mm would give this frame a very stable feeling which some might describe as "neutral." However, with 74°, a fork offset of 48mm yields 48mm trail, and most riders would find this a little on the sensitive side and far from what would be described as "neutral." The fact is that the amount of trail by itself seems to be the primary operative factor affecting steering and the Davison formula would vary the trail much more than experience indicates, especially with steeper head angles.

The fact that bicycle design is an incredibly complicated business is well-illustrated by David Jones in PHYSICS TODAY (April 1970). Using a computer and advanced mathematics, Jones has probably produced the most accurate and authoritative formulas governing bicycle design and, amongst other things, disproved the myth of the magic formula for head angle and fork offset which results in a frame which neither rises nor falls as the wheel is turned. He also makes the point that it is impossible to attempt to isolate one factor of frame design from the others and predict changes in performance and handling by dealing with that single factor.

In their authoritative book, BICYCLING SCIENCE, ERGONOMICS AND MECHANICS (MIT Press 1974), Frank Whitt and David Wilson treat steering geometry with a page and a half and one table, an indication of the paucity of information on the subject. However, they do stress the extremely important point that the person-machine relationship is so complex and so variable that mathematical models and absolute statements are, at the very best, only a rough guide.

Unfortunately, myths die hard. The Davison formula continues to pervade recent references on frames and frame designs. Some authors mention it by name, others by referring to it but without discussing it at all. Adding to the confusion surrounding the topic, some authors have introduced the ill-defined terms "understeer" and "oversteer." Generalities abound: "...steep head angles and short fork rake result in quick and nervous handling...," "...if the angle is too steep and the rake is very short, the steering will be ultra-sensitive..," and "...a longer rake will also tend to be more stable..." A lot of the current references seem to be repetitions of long-held but unsupported beliefs. However, the fact that something is amiss is recognized in that at least two of the current authorities realize that "neutral" steering does not seem to fit today's frames: one suggests that "oversteer" is desirable for a racing frame and the other observes that "the trend is away from the neutral or near-neutral steering geometry of the past."

Original Research

The reader should keep four important points in mind during the following discussion: (1) The research and conclusions are based on middle-sized frames, about 52 to 62 cm, and that frames towards the ends of this range are more difficult to design to accommodate the rider's body while maintaining desired handling characteristics. (2) As some of the far-sighted authors have noted, this is a complex situation and no one factor should be totally isolated. (3) The conclusions are made for normal riding speeds; at very low speeds, the trail does not seem to have the same effects. (4) The research and conclusions are based on unloaded frames (racing frames) and do not apply to loaded touring frames.

As indicated by the trend of previous research, the relationship between head angle and fork offset, resulting in trail, is probably the most important factor in determining the steering characteristics of a frame. The other factors which appear to have some effect are, in no particular order, bottom bracket height, front wheelbase (bottom bracket center to front axle), overall wheelbase, and the resulting weight distribution.

One of the first things Corbett and I (Kvale) did was to accurately measure six frames with which I was intimately familiar. Three were Italian--a Cinelli road frame, a Masi road frame, and a Cinelli pursuit frame; three were American--a custom track frame, a custom criterium frame, and the first frame I built. I found that the two frames which gave the greatest hands-off stability and still responded quickly were the track bike and my frame; both of these frames have a fork trail in the low sixties. The Cinelli and Masi road frames, with trail in the high forties, steered lightly and easily, but neither was exceptionally easy to ride no-hands. The Cinelli pursuit frame I rode several years on the road as a five-speed time-trial bike; it was extraordinarily stable no-hands, but was very heavy in the corners--seeming to require actual physical steering rather than mere leaning. It is important to note that this bike handles perfectly in its event--steady track time-trialing; it has a large amount of trail which makes it easy to stay right on the pole line without wandering around the sponges. Although the American-made criterium frame had the right amount of trail to predict stability and ease of no-hands riding, it was squirrelly--even hands-on. The problem was, I think, that the top tube was too short and the short front wheelbase moved the center of gravity so far forward that it had an adverse effect on steering. 

From these and many other bikes I've ridden, I've come to the conclusion that the optimum trail for a racing or sport frame should be in the high fifties to low sixties. I would describe this trail as giving stability which enables the bike to be ridden easily under the most adverse conditions--crosswind and uneven road surface--but still allows a feeling of agility in steering. The rider will not be riding no-hands, but this kind of stability tends to keep the front of the bike from wandering around, which requires energy to correct regardless of whether the rider is aware of it and this would contribute to fatigue in a long road race. This stability also enables the rider to easily take a hand off to reach into a pocket, grab a bottle, look over his shoulder at traffic, and so forth, while keeping the bike in the same line.

Since constant trail can be maintained while juggling the head angle and fork offset, it is necessary to understand what effects those two factors have with constant trail. Flatter head angles (72-73°) require a longer fork offset to maintain trail; this combination is more comfortable on rough roads, but does not seem to sprint or climb as well as a steeper head angle-less offset combination since the wheel is farther in front of the rider. In out-of-the-saddle sprints, the front wheel seems to go farther side-to-side with each leg thrust than with the latter combination. On the other hand, the steeper (74-75°) head angle-less offset puts the wheel more underneath the rider. In a violent sprint, this combination seems to have a feeling of pivoting and going less far from side-to-side with each leg thrust. The trade-off, of course, is comfort. The steeper head angle-less offset will transmit more road shock to the rider's body with consequent fatigue. For the rider who wants a frame for most road events, a compromise of 73-1/2° seems to be adequate for criteriums without being unnecessarily fatiguing in long road races. Many riders specializing in shorter events feel that compromises for the sake of comfort are unnecessary, but they should remember that a frame which contributes to fatigue probably diminishes performance.

Although head angle and fork offset combinations affect comfort, it is also important to realize that the type of materials with which the frame is made have a great effect on feel and handling, especially on rough roads or in a sprint. For instance, a fork made of Reynolds 531 narrow oval tubing (old style) with a standard forged fork crown would probably flex much more side-to-side in an out-of-the-saddle sprint than would a fork of identical geometry made of Columbus SP (comparable wall thickness) with an investment cast crown.

It is a mistake to attempt to judge the amount of fork offset by sighting the fork from the side. Many Italian frames made with Columbus tubing appear to have little fork offset, but this is an optical illusion caused by a very gradual curve of the fork blade as supplied by the Columbus factory. Some of the curves in the Reynolds blades supplied by the factory are much sharper, and a fork built with these could appear to have much more offset but actually have significantly less.

The question then is, why do the Italians build frames with steep head angles and relatively large fork offsets with consequent little trail? (Colnagos are typically 74-75°, 50mm fork offset, and 42mm trail.) It seems that the bottom bracket height contributes to--and complicates--the problem of stability. Most Italian racing frames have medium-low bottom brackets, usually around 70mm drop--about 10.55 inches from the ground, and it is probably this fact which helps compensate for the relative lack of trail. Nonetheless, most of these frames are still a little on the nervous side and tend to wander a bit when one's attention is taken off the front. Most of them are more difficult to ride no-hands under adverse conditions than many American frames, which tend to have shorter top tubes and less fork offset. This again illustrates the interdependence of all aspects of frame geometry and raises another important question: how does a frame with solid no-hands steering stability still handle quickly? Keeping the overall length of the frame down, especially the front wheelbase, seems to promote quick handling, It is very important at this point to distinguish between "light" feeling and responsive handling. A frame with fork offset in the forties will often feel very light and quick-steering; a frame with fork offset in the high fifties to low sixties will be more stable yet still very responsive without being nervous if the top tube is relatively short in proportion to the rider's torso.

An interesting illustration of this point was made with a homemade frame which Corbett repaired. Since the front triangle had to be removed from this frame, the owner decided that this was the time to shorten the top tube, and Corbett shortened the top tube 4.5cm! The head angle and fork offset were maintained, but the new shorter frame differed markedly in its handling, becoming more responsive.

One of the other experiments Corbett performed was to build and ride a fork with an adjustable wheel position. By fixing the head angle and changing the fork offset in 18mm increments, he was able to ride one of his bikes with trail from -27mm to 110mm and to evaluate its steering characteristics. He found that the steering characteristics fit into the pattern described above: i.e., with trail of less than forty, the bike felt nervous; with a trail of 53mm, it began to exhibit the sort of hands-off stability which seems desirable yet still turns easily; and, with a trail of 72mm, it had a very heavy feeling. Again, it is important to note that the weight distribution will change as the wheel is moved in the fork, and this probably has an effect in addition to the difference in trail.

With all this in mind, are there any conclusions which can be drawn which would be useful? The answer is probably yes; it seems to be that for middle-sized frames, the head angle-fork offset combination which gives a trail in the high fifties to low sixties will give a no-hands stability which is desirable for a racing or sport frame. The angle will be chosen for the event, but it is quite possible to make an entirely satisfactory compromise.

The authors: Chris Kvale raced from 1965 through 1987 and has been building custom racing, sports, and touring frames since 1975. John Corbett, who teaches mathematics at the University of Minnesota, built a number of custom frames and studied frame design intensively at the time this article was written, in 1980.

Callahan's House

Mike and his daughter Jordann Kunkel.

(To John Hurst:  Mike's 65 years old and he looks like he could still kick your ass.)

Random Girl

On Aging and Hats

I'm a hat guy, I have maybe 10 of them - rather 9 of them. I am absent minded to the point of distraction. I need a paper pinned to my shirt pocket that says. "My name is Gunnar, if found, please call Lorna at (my phone number)". When we were on vacation I left my white canvas Tilley on a chair in a restaurant. I get attached to things and I'd had it for years. There weren't knock-offs yet when I bought it and it was expensive. We checked back with them, but either the next customer or the owner has a "new" hat. A couple of days later while riding my bike on a back road I found a butane torch on the shoulder of the road out in the middle of nowhere. Good lighter, flame like a blow-torch. Fate knows I smoke cigars; maybe she was evening things up for me.

This is going to be my replacement for awhile. It's an  ADAMS   first name in hats. It originally belonged to Maude Koevnig's brother who was a reporter from Chicago. He bought it on a trip to the Southwest and forgot it at Koevnigs on his return trip. Joe Koevnig used it as a fishing hat for years and after his death it hung for more years on a peg in their cabin by the stream. One Saturday when we were at the cabin with Maude, I admired it and wore it home. She told me how old it was. I don't recall, but I remember it was before I was born in '45. Joe tied his own flies. It still has one of his flies stuck in the band. I suppose I could pull it out, but it would seem like a bit of sacrilege.

I've had it for quite a while now. Maude died back in '94. I have to put my name in it. At breakfast this morning with L.P. I forgot it in the cafe. Duh? It isn't as good looking as it photographs. It isn't cool or jaunty. It's just an old beat-up collection of fly spots and moth holes. When I went back to pick it up the waitress said, "You came back for THAT thing?". Yep.

Vlad Plays a Little Bob Schumann

I want to be Robert Schumann when I grow up. Unfortunately I have almost zero discipline and little drive to create, or share what I do create, beyond rambling blog entries. Schumann wrote everything at blinding speed in a self-controlled trance. There never seems to be any mention of what he used to induce the trance. Horowitz? All I know is that his nose ran a lot. His playing became less precise, more ragged with age, but even more perfect. He was playing the music, not the notes.

"You never reach a dead end with Schumann and his analytical observations. New doors are always opening up. One door opens onto the next and there is another one behind that, and another and another. In his work, speculative thinking collides head on with a vast, labyrinthine imagination. Schumann was an extremely erudite man. He translated Sophocles at 17. He had considerable literary talents and he was probably one the greatest writers among the composers, up there with Berlioz and Debussy. This makes him an encyclopaedic character. A cosmic figure without limits. The same applies to his music."

Tour Divide

Kent Peterson has abandoned due to a failed freewheel which forced him to walk and coast for 85 miles.

Friday, June 25, 2010

'64 Carlton Flyer

Not period correct, etc, but still a very nice bike anyway. I appreciate his love for the machine.

Rehearsal for Solstice

Summer Solstice Celebration rehearsal, including the optional meese on stiles. There were more behind me. Overheard as I walking by and stopped to snap the picture, "... then the musicians will sing  Stop In the Name of Love.  The part of the stoplight will be played again this year by John Skinner." Obviously he plays a good stoplight if he was asked to reprise his role.

Return of the Assistant Daughter

Just saw a Facebook note from Amy that she's coming home from Spain. No one seems to know if she's returning again and if she knows, she's not saying. Amy shown on right (Addy on left) on a previous road adventure.

I can't wait to get on the road again.
On the road again
Goin' places that I've never been.
Seein' things that I may never see again
I can't wait to get on the road again.
On the road again -
Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We're the best of friends.
Insisting that the world keep turning our way
And our way
is on the road again.

Tour Divide Update :-(

Kent Peterson is well back, recently missing a turn and taking a 4 hour detour. He is nursing a "bruised rib" and pain in his right hand from a fall. A bad hand in a bike race is serious.

About 25 of the 48 starters have abandoned the race.

The latest abandonment was Dave Blumenthal, who died in a hospital from injuries suffered in a bad accident. It leaves me without words, other than I hope he led a full life and peace to his family.

Maybe this race is too extreme. Riders become over-fatigued and suffer from impaired judgement, concentration and co-ordination. Bad things happen.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

British Sports Cars Again

The first one was a '62(?) Austin-Healey Sprite Mk II. The first or second year after the demise of the bug-eye. In my opinion they kind of went to hell after that, becoming more "modern". Mine had the optional knock-off wire wheels, an particularly onerous selection for Minnesota in winter. In frigid temperatures everything gets stiff and heaven help you if you have a flat tire. Ain't no hammer big enough to spin those knock-off hubs off at 10 below. Heaters? We don't need no stinking heaters. At least not one that works anyway. Yep, I drove that sucker year round. Probably only through one winter though.

Dashboard. Pull out choke EXACTLY the correct amount for the weather conditions. Insert and turn key. Push starter button. Vroom! Only if the chokeset was perfect and it didn't flood. Slowly push in choke as engine reaches operating temperature. Blip the pedal and couple of times and you are ready to roll.

Toggle switches. One to turn on headlamps and tail lights. Another to dim headlamps. A side-mount toggle switch to signal your intention to turn. After turning, return switch to neutral position. And another row of toggles that apparently didn't do anything. For heaters, defrosters and such. I believe it had a radio too, but I may be wrong. If it did, it didn't work well.

Rain? Top down? If it rained I had to pull over, run around to the trunk and get out a canvas bag of erector set parts and built a frame to support the top. Fetch the rolled up fabric top, hook it onto the windscreen and attach it at the back with a row of turn buttons. Oh! Then run back and get another canvas bag containing the framed sliding side windows and bolt them onto the door. Then dig though your pockets for some matchbooks (everyone smoked) and insert them between the windows to keep them from rattling so you could hear conversation - slow talking to Mary on rainy backroad rides on gravel crunch roads. 

In a small town it was a bitch to find someone who would work on it. Few mechanics had metric tools  (incorrect - not metric) and anything not from Detroit was considered oddball junk. Find a mechanic? Buy him lunch, liquor, whatever it took. And parts? I don't even want to think about it. (When I had the Alfa, parts often had to come from Italy, and they seemed to be on a perennial labor strike.)

But it was great fun. Hunkered down, ass dragging 4" above the road, steering so quick you just had to think about turning, and a vague hope it'd get you back home this time. It was a time of narrow twisting two-lane roads, even the major highways. There were so few real sportscars that if you met another on the road there were excited greetings of flashing headlamps, waves and thumbs up. Unless it was a Jag or something. They might greet their equals, but would rarely even acknowledge Sprites, Midgets, and Spitfires. Stuck up bastards in their damned cute driving caps.

Minor Swing - Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli

Deviating from my normal pro-American stance, we're flying DC-3 back to 1940's Europe right after the war for these. And a bittersweet trip it is. Instrumental music doesn't get better or sadder than this. Keep in mind the time in history these were recorded. Django had just returned to France from England where he had been able to avoid the Holocaust. Adolph Hitler had just killed 1 1/2 million Gypsies. 1 1/2 million out of a relatively small population! Little wonder there a strain of sorrow even in their up tempo music. Tears? I guess so. 

Manouche! Miracle de deux doigts.

It's a B & W Artsy - Fartsy World

Double-click the ladyslipper at the bottom. Details. 



They're trying to decide whether to mark this bed with a commemorative plaque or retire it completely.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Update On Oakwood House For Sale

Ladies and gentlemen, there is a whiff of crime in the air.

The deeper they've dug the darker the dirt is. Now Reid and his sister Debra, who both work at their elderly father's insurance agency, have also been arrested for insurance fraud. (I hope Deb is innocent.)

Mostly, it gives me an excuse to post their mug shots.

- Gunnar, fighting back the petty smalltown Schadenfreude, Berg. 

House For Sale in Oakwood???

Oakwood has 42 older houses, a park in the middle and two circular streets on a more or less round peninsula. It's like a small village. We all know each other. We know the kid's names and the dog's names. We socialize within the neighborhood. We talk among ourselves. A lot to talk about this week as people walk the circle in the evening. Insurance agent and longtime Oakwood resident, Reid Nelson, has got himself into a bit of a legal bind. Presently he's in the Owatonna jail. May he rot there forever. He stole money from poor old addled Ralph Peterson, a wonderful man. A snip below from a longer article in the local rag. (The Argon Bar is a strip club. The Nasty Habit, well you can imagine what a bar called The Nasty Habit is like. An interesting aside, Reid's brother is the County Attorney):

“The checks that were received from Wells Fargo were mostly written out to ‘Cash.’ The endorsement on the back of most of the checks was by The Nasty Habit bar,” the court files state.

There were also checks to a dentist, a mortgage company and to Reid Nelson, the court files allege. The Harieds showed the checks to Flatness.

His pay for collecting rent and managing the apartments, according to an agreement, was to be $300 a month, but the court files say the checks were for more.

On Jan. 13 of this year, Flatness met with Reid Nelson, who said he had managed the apartments for 10 years. Court files say he told Flatness the usual amount of the checks to his father and to Peterson were $1,000 but sometimes $500 if there wasn’t enough money in the account.

She showed him the checks written to “cash,” and, according to the court files, he said those were to people who made repairs. When Flatness pointed out they were endorsed by The Nasty Habit or Aragon bars, Nelson “admitted that he had been taking the money out for himself, not apartment expenses.”

Tornado Hombre 2010

"If you can remain calm and keep your head about you when everyone else is losing theirs, then you probably don't fully understand the situation."

I went to high school with Mike Callahan. Tougher than woodpecker lips - Minnesota state wrestling champion in '63. He is rural Minnesota calm personified. Here's his take on the world of weather and the value of life over property.

R-i-n-n-n-ng. "Hello? Can I call you back? My house just was blown away by a tornado."

The Aftermath

No bicycle content, local family news only.

Chuck and Patty Nelson were in town and stopped over for dinner last night. Fritz and Margaret Jensen were going to be here too, but one her horses is about to foal so she was babysitting. Fritz made it a little late, tired, coming straight from volunteering long hours every day at the clean-up of Bob and Lisa Wayne's turkey farm - former turkey farm. Everything is pretty much gone. The house looks good, but is twisted on the foundation. At least they have the contents. As well as the locals, there has been a group of Mennonites pitching in to help. Good people.


It couldn't be worse? The neighbors farmsite in the distance.