Friday, April 30, 2010

What Time is it in Iowa?

Sundial at the state capitol grounds, Des Moines, Iowa

M*A*S*H's Father Francis Mulcahy once asked, "what time is it in Iowa?"

"1882," replied Major Charles Emerson Winchester III without missing a beat.

While this exchange was funny in its context of a sophisticated Winchester from affluent Boston, MA versus a rural Radar O'Reilly from Ottumwa, Iowa the punchline sometimes still sticks to Hawkeye state - or so it would seem to the left and right coasts.

Presently the State received two presidential visits within the past month or so. What's the deal? Turns out that Iowa is just months away from hosting yet another round of presidential candidates for the first in the nation caucus in 2012. With the 2010 elections just six months away, the state is already receiving visits from various personnel wishing to govern the nation.

So what time is it in Iowa? Time to listen to and question the latest group of presidential wannabes. This time Iowa citizens will more thoroughly perform due diligence than they did during the 2008 election. The mainstream media didn't do its job and shows no sign of changing course. Know that.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Means of Access

Six conduits - all facing the same direction, all starting and ending about the same place but each with a little different perspective. Blog communication provides a conduit of information from one to many. Recent traffic stats for this site have peaked for one certain subject - Palo's 13 Stairs Cemetery
. Who knew that this place of reported paranormal activity continues to be the most interesting subject on 42N's exhaustive site of knowledge? Perhaps I should set up a 13 Stairs blog. Hmm. Know that.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The 17th annual University of Iowa POWWOW was held on April 10th and 11th in Iowa City. The event was hosted by the American Indian Student Association. The dance floor was ringed by drummers from different tribes who played and sang songs in either Northern or Southern styles.

Several types of dance (men's and women's traditional, men's and women's fancy, grass dance and jingle) were performed by dancers of all ages. Dancer outfits were especially colorful and laced with symbolism including the the silvery jingles which were fashioned out of tobacco chew container tops.

Two highlight presentations stood out. The first was the Grand Entry which began with a color guard bringing in national and tribal flags. The flag holders, attired in traditional military service themes, marched in the typical manner (as seen during sports events) but added a style that blended cultures. The flag holders were followed by all dancers in a precise order.

The second dance highlight was the Snake Dance. Consisting of all dancers the performers traced a pattern resembling a snake. Then they coiled the formation and finally stretched out much like a...snake. Very colorful and fascinating to watch.

Outside the ring of dancers were vendors and information kiosks. One booth offered wooden pens carved in the shape of animals. I purchased black bear and buffalo pens. Also offered were jewelry, clothing, paperweights and original artwork. Know that.

Monday, April 12, 2010

There's Nothing in the World that Can Compare to a Hamburger Juicy and Rare

"I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." J. Wellington Wimpy, classic mooch and friend of Popeye the Sailor.

In the Minnesota Northwood’s town of Park Rapids there is cafe known as Wimpy’s. The place has been around for years boasting among other things - great hamburgers - go figure.

From the iconic outdoor sign seen on Main Street to the cartoonish menu cover, the identification with hamburger aficionado, J. Wellington Wimpy or just Wimpy is readily identifiable with legions of hungry Park Rapidians and vacationers.

Current generations may ask “who?” and should be directed to YouTube clips of the hamburger chomper.

Meanwhile in Chester, Illinois there is an annual Popeye Picnic that celebrates the originator of the cast of characters in Popeye's world. There you can meet Wimpys, Popeyes, Blutos and Jeeps, and can enjoy juicy hamburgers - but you'll have to pay at the time of order. Know that.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Venus and Mercury are Alright Tonight

Low in the 42N western sky at twilight are the planets Venus and Mercury in apparent close proximity to each other. With each successive night the Earth, Venus and Mercury configuration will drift further apart. Also note that NASA's MESSENGER probe is on its way to Mercury now after a series of flybys. In March 2011 it will become the first spacecraft to orbit the planet and begin extensive imaging activities. For now here is your chance to see three planets without leaving your backyard. Hint: you are standing on one of the three planets. Know that.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rustic Setting for Historic Potter's Mill

Potter's Mill is a fixture of 42N country's Bellevue, Iowa (latitude 42.26N, longitude 90.43W). Built in 1843 the mill produced flour for years, was a well known restaurant and serves lately as a Bed & Breakfast. The structure is the focus of many photographers for its uniqueness, vibrant condition and location. Budding Ansel Adams' may consider the time of day and season when photographing the mill. If possible get on the bluff side of the stream to capture the sunlight side of the mill. Bring a wide angle lens for some of the work. Know that.