Weekly Columns
Ask your wife before you swallow the big pill PDF Print E-mail


By Jon Guttormsson

If you will recall, a couple of weeks ago I reported my difficulties on opening one of those "child proof" plastic baby aspirin bottles.
Perhaps they should have called the safety device on those bottles "idiot proof" instead of "child proof".
Anyway, that episode was just the first of two installments to my report on pills that we purchase via prescription or over the counter.
For a number of years now I have been on blood pressure medication as well as the popular cholesterol lowering medication, Lipitor.
Seems that the two medical afflictions are quite popular, because I have read numerous news articles stating that they are some of the more common medical problems in the "aging" (of which I must be a member, because by default I belong to that group — not that I am aging — it's a genetic thing, you see — at least that's what I tell myself)  category. There must be a zillion in that category, much to the delight of the drug manufacturers.
The first time that I had that particular prescription filled, the one for Lipitor, it came with a fully typed sheet with directions, and all of the side effects that could be involved.
They included: muscle aches and pains, of which I have none so was safe there, liver problems, of which I have none since mine seems to have been made out of cast iron — it has taken its share of abuse — dizziness, of which I have been afflicted for most of my life, as well as common headaches, etc.
After reading some of that stuff, I decided to go for it and give it a try, since my Doctor did seem to think that it was necessary. Luckily, the Liptor bottle cap came right off with very little problem, the aluminum foil was easily removed, and I managed to get the cotton stuffing out okay. You see, I learned something from that darn baby aspirin bottle.
I tipped the bottle over, gave it a shake, and nothing came out.
I rattled the bottle by my ear, could hear something, so I cleverly deduced that there must be something in there.
I gave it a good shake, and out came a couple of little pills, along with a grey fairly big cylinder.
Looking them over, I couldn't figure out what that big plastic looking thing was, so I decided to look over the instructions again.
Nothing there regarding the big pill, so I figured is must be a part of a "starter kit" so I would have to take that one first.
"Hold on", I thought to myself, "maybe I better see what Barb thinks, maybe it ain't a pill at all".
So I showed it to her, and she informed me that it was not a pill, that it was in the bottle to soak up any moisture, but if I really wanted to swallow it, to go ahead.
She seemed to know what she was talking about, so I chucked the thing into the waste basket. Probably a good thing that I asked her first.

When Mohr is not enough PDF Print E-mail

By Byron Higgin

Mascot Publisher

byronmugThe voice in the outer office sounded familiar so I waited patiently for the “voice” to enter my office.
When it did, it brought a familiar face with it.
“Howard,” I exclaimed, much to Howard Mohr’s surprise.
Suddenly, and without warning, Cottonwood’s answer to Minneota’s Bill Holm was sitting in a chair in front of me.
Howard, of-course, was simply making a routine visit with someone out of his past. We’d visited from time to time when I was the publisher of the Cottonwood paper.
Little did he know, as we sat and visited like old friends, my feelings were quite different than he’d ever have suspected.
Perhaps the best way to describe my feelings is to say, “I was honored.”
Hey, we’re just folks ... and Howard is just folks. He’ll tell you that himself.
But from the moment he delivered his book, “How to Talk Minnesotan: A Visitor’s Guide,” to a state filled with Swedes and Norwegians, I’ve idolized the guy.
From the moment he talked to an audience at St. Lucas Church between Cottonwood and Clarkfield during a segment of a Garrison Keillor “Prairie Home Companion” Thanksgiving Show, he etched himself into my heart.
The day he stood before all of Minneota at Boxelder Bug Days and told Minneotans, “Bill Holm read this poem I wrote so many times he thought he’d written it,” I recovered all the feelings I had from the previous experiences with Howard Mohr.
So here he was, sitting right in front of me.
Howard told me he missed Bill Holm. And why wouldn’t he. Bill stimulated so many people in so many ways and I’m sure the people he stimulated the most were those in his own circle of friends.
To my amazement, Howard had seen my column about Jodi McLain, a Taunton native who once worked for me and who is now an educator in Siren, WI.
Turns out Howard was her journalism teacher at Southwest State in Marshall.
Much time was spent discussing our mutual memories of the great talent of Jodi McLain and we both parted knowing we each believe Jodi was using her valuable tools as a journalist to educate children. And in many ways, that will help the journalism society.
Howard Mohr’s mother lives at The Manor in Minneota — giving him opportunity to stop in and visit at the Mascot from time-to-time.
I’ll be looking forward to the next time, so I can learn more about, “How to Talk Minnesotan.”

LAUGH A LITTLE:  I make myself a bowl of instant oatmeal, and then I don't do anything for an hour, which makes me wonder why I need the instant oatmeal. I could get the regular oatmeal and feel productive. — Mitch Hedberg.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: As my Ole Pappy used to say, “A wise man does not need advice and a fool won't take it.”

What's the value of a Chamber of Commerce? PDF Print E-mail


By Gayle Van Vooren, Editor

Should there be a Minneota Area Chamber of Commerce  in our town?
That seems to be the big question.
The Boxelder Bug Days Committee is under the “wings” of the Minneota Area Chamber of Commerce, and does a great job with our yearly festival.
A core committee works on all of the events that are planned for the festival, and then they reach out for assist ance from volunteers.
People have been very good to step up and help, and they are truly thanked for their efforts. We couldn’t have the event of the magnitude that we do without a lot of hands getting involved.
There is a Retail Committee that is also active on the Chamber, and they are the small business owners who have a vested interest in keeping the community events alive.
This committee meets monthly and has set such things as Moonlight Madness, Boo-Ville,  North Pole Extravaganza (all coming up in October and November), plus the garage sales and Spring promotions.
At this point, there are no more committees on the Chamber. The president stepped down shortly before Boxelder Bug Days, the  secretary also had too many duties and could not keep up with the rigors of the committee. A treasurer is in place, and a temporary president is keeping it together.
Amanda Engels believes the Chamber should be a “networking system” that works for the whole community. It  shouldn’t be just about meetings and work, but how to keep our community alive and vibrant.
I totally agree with her.
Everyone has many responsibilities — from families, to work at home and in the office, to church affiliations, to following their kids’ activities. And yet, those who are the very busiest take time to be involved in clubs such as the Chamber.
Without more of a commitment, the MACC is doomed. It was once a vibrant long arm in the community, leading the way in a supportive manner. That is no longer true.
So, what’s to happen? What are the community’s feelings? It scares me a little, as once an organization dies it is very hard to get it back again.
There is a need for an organization that touches many in the community. The Lions do a great job with their work, and so do the Rotarians. But it is the Chamber that is the leader in community events and activities. At least it was in the past.
A meeting is being planned for the near future. Be thinking about the Chamber’s worth in this community and then come and share your ideas.

Those amazin’ Twins PDF Print E-mail


By Byron Higgin, Mascot Publisher

byronmugLast weekend was amazing for me.
Never had I suspected they’d get a chance to win their division, but last weekend’s spectactular sweep of Kansas City did just that — put them into a sudden-death game against Detroit Tuesday to see who goes to the playoffs.
My also surprising wife surprised me by getting us two tickets for the Saturday game in which Michael Cuddyer homered to win the game 5-4 and keep the Twins alive.
She wanted to get tickets for Sunday’s game but it was sold out so we went Saturday. I was glad we did.
It was amazing to be amongst 48,000 screaming fans and it was a great game.
As I was crawling my way to “nose bleed” heaven at the Metrodome, I looked up and saw the smiling face of Dan Richter of Granite Falls, an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in many years.
We had a nice reunion right there under the scoreboard at the Metrodome.
The next day we watched the Twins win on televsision, then sat and cried together as they honored Kirby Puckett after the game.
One by one the old Twins trotted out and it was a magic moment. I was glad I was home so I could see everything so well.
If you’re a Twins fan, you couldn’t think of a better scenario than to have your team get red hot down the stretch and catch the Tigers.
A year ago they tied Chicago and had a game, which they lost, 1-0.
Now they’re getting another chance, and I doubt very much if they’ll blow it this time.
To be in the playoffs is something far beyond my wildest dreams. I agreed with my friend Jon G. a few weeks ago when he said, “They’ll never make it.”
We were both wrong.
I’ve always loved the Twins and to see guys like Greg Gagne, Gene Larkin, Rick Aguilira, Kent Hrbeck and so many others trot out onto the field again, well, it was wonderful.
And to be there during the weekend to help celebrate the end of the dome, well, that was special.
Even those who were there on Sunday got robbed because it wasn’t the last game in the dome.
There will be at least one more when they host Detroit on Tuesday.
You can bet most of Minnesota will be tuned in that night.
It’s too bad Justin Morneau is hurt and can’t play for the Twins. But then, if he didn’t get hurt, well, maybe we would never have known how good Cuddyer really is.
And how about Jason Kubel and Delmon Young. Who put a bee in Young’s bonnet, anyway? Wow. Those Young haters better take a second look. He may be a future great.
All I can say is the thrills the Twins are providing for all of us are fantastic.
Go Twins!

We have the photo identified
Katie Lozinski of Minneota walked into the Mascot Thursday and said, “That’s my son on the sheep.”
We printed the photo of young Kade Lozinski grabbing onto the sheep for dear life during the Mutton-Bustin’ portion of the X-Treme Bull riding event at Boxelder Bug days.
I wasn’t able to get an identification so we printed it and asked for it to be identified.
Turns out the six-year-old said to his mother, “Those are my shoes,” which he seemed to identify before he identified his face.
Kade is the son of Katie and Nathan Lozinski of Minneota.

LAUGH A LITTLE: What is the name of a woman who has one leg a little shorter than the other one? Answer: Eileen (I Lean)!

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: As my Ole Pappy used to say, “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today!”
Ole Pappy was right on with this one. Wasted a lot of todays worrying about what I did wrong yesterday. Thanks Ole Pappy!

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