The Dale-a-thon Will Not Be Televised

Gee, getting bounced from your job is not supposed to be this much fun.

Many, many thanks to everyone who has offered emotional and financial support.   I stand shoulder to shoulder with the gazillions of others who seem to have lost their employment lately.   I think we all recognize that such a thing could happen to anyone at virtually any time.  Your encouragement and comforting words are much appreciated, and I wish every person who winds up in my position could receive what you have given me.

Some have even suggested there be a membership-like fundraising event through daleconnelly.com to try to siphon off dollars that were formerly directed elsewhere, rather like dropping a “top hat” over a leaky underwater pipe to pump liquid gold into a pirate barge.

With gratitude and respect for every helpful heart out there, I have four words:

Please don’t.  Not now.

There may come a day when daleconnelly.com offers enough in the way of services and attractions to justify asking a fee to enter, but there are many questions (legal and ethical) that would have to be addressed before such a thing could happen.   Right now I’m just trying to figure out what to do with all the junk that used to be on my desk.  At this moment it’s in bags in the basement.

And to those who have declared on this site and elsewhere that they will no longer contribute money to MPR because they are angry about my dismissal, I respect you and I thank you for your passion but I have a few thoughts and one suggestion.

  • I understand your frustration.
  • I am no longer required to say any particular thing about what you should do with your money.
  • I still believe everyone who listens to a public radio station should make a contribution to that station.
  • When assessing the status of your contribution, consider everything MPR does, not just this incident.

That’s all.

Some people wrote to say the word “icon” appeared in a headline in the Star Tribune’s online edition over a few lines about me.  What can I say?  It used to be that achieving icon status took some doing.  Since computers came along, everyone has an icon, so I guess anyone can be an icon.

But if you didn’t notice,  you should be aware that YOU received a compliment from MPR’s top blogger, the brilliant, funny, totally iconic Bob Collins in his News Cut blog on Thursday.

Dale’s Trial Balloon blog is one of the finest pieces of online writing in the Twin Cities. There’s no other online community in the region that has been consistently as participatory and intelligent as that one. It was, as the name implies, a Trial Balloon. A great one. The good news: He’ll continue it — as Trail Baboon — on his own Web site.

What was the most meaningful compliment you ever received?

73 thoughts on “The Dale-a-thon Will Not Be Televised”

  1. Good morning all… wasn’t sure if we’d also have a Sunday blog… cool!

    I’ve been lucky to get lots of meaningful compliments in my life, but I would have to say that my mother sending me a Mother’s Day card a few years back, telling me what a great mom I was turning out to be… that had to be the topper!

    Off to the dog walk… check in later.

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  2. I’ve not had formal training in wildlife management principles. My biology background is weak, and it goes without saying that I’ve not conducted any direct wolf research. When I wrote a book about wolves and their management issues, I had a great deal to learn.

    Dave Mech is the world’s foremost wolf researcher, and a fascinating man. I was delighted when I heard that Dave admired my wolf book. I once heard him urging some fellow wolf researchers to read it because, although not technical, it was one of the best books ever written about wolves. Praise like that from such a source makes me feel like I could fly without even needing to flap my arms!

    And then there are those Father’s Day cards where a little girl pours so much love into the message that you put the card on display for years.

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    1. Steve, was that you as the first caller on Gary Eichten’s interview with Dale? Good one!

      I’ve scanned through and read portions of your Wolves book. A wonderful and fascinating book, I enjoyed it and certainly learned a great deal. The photography was amazing! Such beautiful and interesting creatures.

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  3. I can’t think this early in the morning, but it may have Bob Collins’ which you quoted…thanks, Bob….if I can take it to include me…and thanks, Dale, for the forum and inspiration you provided (and, whew, continue to provide).

    Happy Sunday (wet in Mahtowa) to everyone who checks in today.

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  4. Good morning

    Dale, it has been wonderful to be able to post on your blog and I will look forward to finding out how it proceeds now that that you are no longer at MPR. I think MPR does have some good things to offer, but has some problems. This country is badly in need of better coverage of the news and my biggest complaint is that MPR
    pretends to have good in depth news coverage, but I have to go to good alternative news sources to get a better perspective on the news. Enough said.

    Compliments? I don’t know what to say. I guess every one likes to get compliments, but some people, like me, pretend we don’t like them. Did I do something good that was recognized? Well may be, but you are probably thinking of another person.

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  5. Dale, as I’ve told you, I heard of all this on the late end of things. I stand with you on the journey and I know there are great things to come for you.

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  6. Dale…selfishly, I’m still groping around to figure out how to get my Dale Connelly (aka The Morning Show) radio fix…please check this out if/when you’re ready.

    http://www.kfai.org/node/28256

    Great comment on what it takes to be an “icon” these days, folding in the discussions on this board on whose figured out how to get (be) icons in their own right – I’ll be a-musing on that for a bit!

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  7. Greetings! Another unexpected surprise — a Sunday blog! Thank you, Dale for bringing a rational perspective to a very emotional event for many of us. I understand we’re all riled up right now and want to do SOMETHING. My sustaining membership still stands for the moment, as I do appreciate RH streaming and classical music. But I also honor and respect other folks’ decision to cancel.

    One of the more meaningful compliments happened at work, when a customer complimented me on my depth of knowledge in the natural foods world. Coming from a well-informed customer, that meant a lot to me. Another day at work for me … have a good day everyone!

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  8. I saw that comment from Bob Collins — that is cool to hear. Do you think he saw all those silly blogs about Goats in Space and other movie or performance ventures we played with? At any rate, take a bow everyone — we’re all icons!

    Dale, I still wonder if you ever confided in your classical cohorts to “take a look at this blog — it’s amazing!” sort of response, or if you tried to distance yourself from our occasional craziness.

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  9. Getting out later than I thought, which is what I should have known would happen, what with my wife’s health and all, and perpetual lateness. So I get a chance to post today. Compliments? Shouldn’t the rule be for every compliment you also post an insult?
    As Bel Kaufman says in “Up the Down Staircase”(great title that), students groaning when the bell rings at the end of class is one. One of my very favorite students and a close friend of my daughter’s said on facebook that I was the voice inside her head. Now there is a compliment. But then over the next two weeks she proved herself to have become an ultra-conservative and bit of a bigot since HS. So now, I am the voice inside that head?
    Similarly a former student from much farther back told me how much I had influenced her. Then a couple of months later she published a diatribe against public schools and school teachers.
    For this one I have no matching insult: a professor who taught homeletics (sermon-writing and delivery) used to come to the North Shore to hear my sermons, despite the fact I had never been to seminary.
    Have a good day all, get outside, pull some weeds.

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  10. Compliments, not my best thing. I have to say the ones I most revel in are not my own, but I do love it when someone tells me how great my child is.

    I’ve heard the word “class” ascribed to you a lot these past few days, Dale, and no argument with that, but the word I don’t see (and am having a hard time finding much of) is “charm”.

    For me, charm is where grace meets wit-anyway, I know it when I see it, and I see plenty of it here. Thanks to one and all for keeping the clubhouse open, and thanks, Dale, for maintaining the upbeat tone.

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  11. Morning all. Beautiful day on the prairie tho a little quiet having just dropped hubby off at the airport for a trip back to a hot and sandy place for a few more months.
    A few years ago, when I was practicing law, I worked for a gruff attorney not prone to feeding fresh-out-of law school egos. So the occasional, rare compliment was always special. Not enough to keep me going, however- I didn’t last long there!
    As always, Dale, you stick to the high road. I’m still going through the grieving process and haven’t gotten past the anger stage yet. And though the wounds will heal, I’m afraid that a chink of cynicism will remain forever.
    If ever you need to use a Prius for another radio spot, just say the word!

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  12. interesting overview on evolution of internet content (free vs paid) on the BBC biz show this am
    also one who doesn’t do well with compliments but i love it when my grandsons tell me i’m a “good yaya”

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    1. I had read an interesting article a couple months ago in Time or Newsweek about the demise of excellent journalism and how to keep it alive with a micropayment system. As much I love the whole free internet and information age, good journalism requires money and resources. My memory is sketchy, but what I remember from article is the possibility of having a media account, and you can browse magazines, newspapers, news sites, etc. , on your computer, Blackberry, Kindle or smart phone. When you come upon an article you wish to read, you purchase the right to download that article for 5 cents, 10 cents or whatever.

      I like that idea. Right now we’re buying individual songs or MP3s, subscribing to online journals, or freeloading on the online versions of magazines or newspapers. I may not want to subscribe to the whole Star Tribune or New York Times, but I have no problem with micropayments to read a few choice articles. And having EVERYTHING free on the internet is not really sustainable for most businesses. All those floating ads are cumbersome.

      It’s not in place yet (I don’t think), but it makes more sense than commercial news sources. All I see are pharmaceutical commercials during newscasts on TV. How impartial is the reporting ~really~ going to be?

      yayask – is there a link or written article of that piece you mentioned?

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  13. Tohr, I didn’t even know that there was an Independent Public Radio. I’ve been living in a MPR cloud (oh sorry- I mean AMERICAN Public Radio) cloud for 30 years or so. I’m going to listen to 106.7 FM for awhile to see if it meets the need. I was afraid that I’d have to listen to all of my Morning show or RH cds or Pandora while working. It sounds pretty good so far. Right now they are playing a very RH type song, “I’ve got home on the rock” I hope it’s not a relgious station, though.

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  14. I had an English teacher in high school who remembered me (to a mutual friend, recently discovered) as, “oh, I know Anna – she was a good writer.” This was further reinforced by my grand-boss who asked me to edit and re-write an important communication for her and then said, “I like having you on my team, you make me sound smarter.” I may not ever write The Great American Novel, but it’s good to know I can pick words well when I need to.

    Good to see you all on Sunday morning!

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  15. barb blog update alert…lots of new pics on barb in b’s blog….

    fabulous barb… thank steve for me!

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  16. Fun to be here and great to have some new voices.
    Our son when he got to his early twenties told us we were great parents, that he was glad we’d brought him up with the values we did. (Is that a complete sentence?)

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  17. Boy, do I feel dumb… was that baboon always in the picture up top?? I didn’t see it the first day but I may have been in a ‘blind rage’ so to speak… and just ask my wife; sometimes I don’t see the things right in front of me.

    I got a nice compliment this week; a client sent me a very nice note saying how much she appreciated me working her event and how much more comfortable she feels knowing I’m there.
    And while I’m just doing my job, it’s nice to know people appreciate that. We always strive to do well don’t we?
    Our son received a sports award from his high school last week and while I know nothing about sports so he certainly didn’t get any of that from me, it’s still pretty cool to see your kids succeeding and that’s about the best compliment ever!

    Happy Sunday everyone!
    (Sunny here- at the moment…)

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  18. I always felt good when, as a social worker working on the front line with people abused or stuck in poverty, a client would say, “I feel safe with you.”

    Now I work for the state When someone is let go there. a security guard shows up at their desk with an empty box to put things in and escorts them in disgrace to the front door,stripping them of their badge on the way.. The rest of us just look down at our desk and get very quiet. It’s scary.

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  19. Ben,

    Trust your eyes and your memory. The baboon appreared thin morning, though he may have been hiding behind the tree since we started.

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    1. it’s so cool that the photoshoping Dale has come along with the witty, kind, classy, charming Dale! cool. makes one remember to look and not just assume, huh?

      thanks, Sherrilee, for noticing. Steve updated the blog yesterday.
      so neat to be talking to y’all on sunday!
      making soap, gotta go.

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      1. Barb – beautiful photos on your blog. Maybe you could have a little B&B and charge folks for the fun of helping out on the farm and enjoy the simple life! I still don’t see the semi-retired part of your lifestyle — but it’s probably more fun and fulfilling than working in a cube farm.

        I thought I noticed a spell-check thing when I type in comments. But you still have to notice it and correct it yourself. Besides, my spelling is better than most spell-checkers.

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  20. Patricia in St Paul I posted a reply to you that didn’t somehow show up. I wanted to mention some alternative radio stations/streams. Pandora you have already discovered. I tried it for a while. It is an interesting concept with some limitations that caused me to give up on it. The single best alternative to Radio Heartland is Folk Alley. They are a cyber station playing folk music 24/7. The Duluth student station, KUMD, has a lot of great programming. And I think the same is probably true of KFAI.

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  21. Dale thanks for your clarity in this post. A ways back I was laid off and there was a public fuss (not being in the media it was as big as the connelly calamity) and it made it more confusing for me to deal with the end of my long term job/passion. I appreciate how hard it is both to control other people’s responses and my responses to them.

    There have been many compliments in my professional life including people naming their babies after me (funniest was the baby whose name was hyphenated in my honour). The personal compliment I enjoyed came during a CT scan when the radiologist remarked,”You have a beautiful brain.”

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    1. In the same vein…pun intended…an ultrasound technician once said to me “You have great veins – are you a runner?” And an opthamologist told me I have the perfect amount of nearsightedness in my left eye – he said I’ll always be able to read close up wthout glasses. If I were to select one thing about myself to be perfect, I’m not sure that would be what I would choose, but I guess I’ll take it.

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      1. someone pointed out that if your name is underlined you click on it and its a link to that website. meadowwild ad daleconnelly arre the two i’ve notied so far. and i thought dale was a web wizard….just uses good programs.

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  22. Thanks for the reminder about supporting what you listen to. I feel a bit guilty for only being able to give $20 here and there, as that’s all I can afford lately since my wife’s income as an independent (i.e. her own employee) artist has tanked lately. But every little bit still helps, I know.

    Still, I was driving home last night at 9pm and suddenly you weren’t there. My wife was working on her Games magazine puzzle though and she kept me fairly well entertained asking what I knew about the odd clue or two.

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  23. Wonder how long it would have been before I noticed that baboon if someone hadn’t pointed it out to me. See– charming.

    Dale, I am wondering if WordPress has the capacity for you to have links in the sidebar, which, if it was ok with all concerned parties, might be an easy way to get to the goats and other things of interest, as they come to notice.

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  24. Catherine et al.
    you see some of our names are highlighted and underlined? that means that if you click on them you will be taken somewhere else…. who knows where. but be adventurous. 🙂 we are a kind and gentle blog (and intelligent – how neat!)

    nicest complement i’ve gotten lately was from a long-time farmer in these parts (looking askance at us newbies from “town”) he said he’d like to trade his eggs for our goat milk and said that i was a “good herdswoman.” gosh.

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  25. Maybe after 34 years Dale would like to try something else. What other jobs would Dale be good at?

    I suggest Dale would excel at driving an ice cream truck. I can just picture him in a snappy white uniform and bow tie borrowed from Tom Keefe. Best of all rather than playing tinny tunes on an amplified xylophone, he could play the The Galaxy song followed by Tom Waits!

    That would be an ice cream truck I chase after!

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    1. thanks for the smile dant. he would also be an excellent center square in hollywood squares. i think his responses when he had no idea of the correct answer would be worth the price of admission

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  26. The world definitely needs more ice cream trucks. My dad owned an ice-cream truck when I was little… so I can teach Dale how to make snow cones and cotton candy, if need be!

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  27. I feel a bit sheepish, waltzing in late to the party and acting like I’d been dancing all night…. I was only the most occasional of respondents on the blog formerly known as Trial Balloon, so it may be uppity of me to add my two cents’ worth about Compliments I Have Received. But having now thrust myself forward, I would have to say that the most meaningful compliments are what my grandmother always referred to as “left handed compliments.” You know the kind; “I really hated having to take this class, but…now it’s my favorite.” My favorite left handed compliments come when someone has been assigned to read something I’ve written, and they complain bitterly about having to do so…but then find themselves unwittingly enjoying themselves. That’s a compliment.

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    1. Hi Lisa from St. Peter–

      Welcome! You’re fashionably late so it’s just perfect…. that wasn’t ‘left handed’ was it…??

      I have one memory of St. Peter: Years ago I spontaneously decided to drive from Rochester to meet a friend of mine who was attending Gustavus Adolphus… left Rochester about 7:30 PM– much to my parents dismay– met Cheryl, hung out with her and her friends for a while and drove back to Rochester that same night (early morning).

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    2. Lisa – being fashionably late is not a problem. This all hours hospitality suite has no requirements, no judgment and no need to feel embarrassed. We toss out a line, a limerick, a poem, a paragraph or a philosophical discourse and see if it sparks another comment. Disagreements are politely accepted and off-topic is the norm.

      We’d love to hear your two cents worth (and more) whenever it suits you.

      It sounds like you’re a professional writer — true or not?

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      1. Mind you, this is just my impression — not anything official from Dale. I just like to pretend I’m the hostess, welcoming newcomers.

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      2. Lisa is an incredible philosopher, food ethicist and writer, and really good backer. And I’ve known her for almost 30 years. And I’m the lucky one.

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    3. lisa, i always wonder how many out there are or have been lurkers who come forward on occasion or prior to the last couple of days never at all. i love hearing the new voices. what kind of stuff do you write? we need all the fresh blood we can get. we are a bunch of old farts (with the exception of aaron) and its kind of like welcoming a new guy to the round table at the breakfast cafes and coffee shops the world over. new is what we are all about. welcome and don’t be scarce.

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    4. Lisa, my grandmother was also a left-handed compliment giver, a la: “Bette, you look SO much better in those new glasses.”

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    5. I don’t think you can be a “latecomer” on a blog that is less than a week old.

      I also never got the impression that the “usual suspects” on Trial Balloon were anything but enthusiastic about new voices.

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    6. Lisa great to see you here! For the rest of you, Lisa was instrumental in getting me to stand in line at 5 a.m. for the last Morning Show at the Fitz. And what a gift that prodding was. She’s been a long time supporter of Dale, Jim Ed and their gifts.

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  28. Home again; thought of this on the drive home–it would be cool if Dale wound add a baboon to the pix at the top of this page.

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    1. OK, and as to the question of the day, I only add this to get a laugh. It is not true, but it is one of the oldest jokes in my limited repertoire (sp?).

      Anyway, the nicest (and oddest) compliment I’ve had is when a midget told me my hair smelled nice.

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  29. Most meaningful compliment professionally — having my colleagues’ children in my class because they’ve requested me.

    Most meaningful personally — for requesting an extra punch on my lunch card so my classmate, Vera Jean, could have the school lunch. Vera NEVER ate hot lunch. She always had some kind of sandwich on white bread and maybe some chips and that was about it. In seventh grade neither one of us had friends. She was unpopular because she was poor and unkempt, and the kids who had been my friends stopped liking me, I surmised, because I was ugly and awkward and didn’t get fractions. Well, this was the special Thanksgiving meal that was highly anticipated because the cooks at our school, who were great cooks anyway, did an even better job preparing turkey and the trimmings. I didn’t think to ask Vera first, but I’d seen her look longingly at the lunch trays enough times to assume it would be okay. Besides, I wanted it to be a surprise. When I gave her the meal, her face lit up (she rarely smiled) and she called me an angel in disguise. I was one of the last people at the table when our principal, Mr. Felker, walked up, gave me a long look and said, “You’re a pretty good girl, you know that?” That was the first time I remember crying in reaction to a compliment.

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  30. i don’t remember any recent compliments but i don’t remember much at all these days. i have been told i have a nice singing voice, a good brain, great kids, a great beard, a good eye for the arts and the soul of the artist,
    the best of all was that i was a renaissance man. that felt nice and kind of what i am shooting for.

    dale thanks for spelling out your wishes for the overly ambitious among us (me) and the proper way to enjoy the daleconelly.com website. i look forward to the continuation of the trial balloon friendships in their morphed states as the trial baboon friendships of the future.
    please continue to keep us all on the straight and narrow and let us know when and if we can help out in your vision of where daleconnelly.com is heading

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  31. I don’t know if this would be necessarily in the category of compliment, but it perhaps implied that I must have looked quite dignified that day: following a Sunday morning service in Saint David’s Cathedral in Wales, I was approached by one of the ushers who wondered if I might be the American ambassador to Britain.

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  32. donna you reminded me
    i was in high school and there was this drivers ed teacher ( i don’t know what subject he taught but he was known as the drivers ed teacher) he was a terror, very in your face and hated hippies with a passion. i could not understand why he had never raised hell with me until years later when my mom who was an art teacher at the high school told me he was there one day when some rotten kids knocked the books out of one of the slow kids arms and ran away laughing. he (the drivers ed teacher) was about to go kick some butt when he saw me go up to the slow kid and put my arm around him and get down and help him get his books picked up. no big deal just one of those opportunities to do the right thing. he caught me, without my being aware of it and thought that i was the best person on the planet. he never messed with me or made my life difficult in any way. i remember having some of my friends wanting to know why he never confronted me and i didn’ t have a clue. when i found out that it was, i realized it was one of the nicest compliments i ever received.

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    1. That’s a great story, Tim. Former Hippies who blog are of the nicest sort of people, don’t you agree?
      Do you suppose Nils plays poker?

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  33. I own my own business and bring flowers from my garden to the waiting room every week. The best compliment I’ve heard is our clients oohing, aahing, and sniffing them. Then, I overheard my coworker telling someone, “Every flower you see in here she brings from her garden.” I’m flower proud.

    My garden has been my sanity, throughout employment woes, family crisis, the loss of a dear friend (whose bird bath and irises now grace MY garden), etc.

    Dale, I hope you have a sanity activity in your life. After all the hub-bub quiets, you will need the time to reflect on this, AND the physical exertion helps clear the anger.

    Re: contributing to Public Radio: I am concerned that they are no longer the incubator of creativity that they could be. That is why I pulled my contribution and will send it elsewhere.

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  34. Dale: I just got back from Turkey. I saw lots of icons painted on church walls. One thing about being an icon is that the iconoclasts used to deface them by scratching one of their eyes out. I recommend a pair of safety glasses for a couple of weeks.

    Like

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