Wednesday, February 23

Cryogenically Frozen Man Awakens; Is Confused


A man who was cyrogenically frozen in or around 1963 as part of a cold-war experiment awoke today in Duluth. Ultra Labs, where the man had been stored, was abuzz with excitement after it became apparent that the man's defrosting was accidental.

It is alleged that the night janitor may have accidentally bumped an important switch, turning off the cooling pumps. As the man began the defrostation process, it was clear to all observers that he was completely incoherent. For a time, he seemed to believe he was a woman. He then thought he had returned to earth from the planet A-72 until he had been awake for about 5 hours, at which point he began to realize he was human.

The man's identity remains unknown. He appeared to have no idea of his location, sex, name, or age. According to Ultra's records, the man was frozen by the government in Las Vegas; records containing data regarding his family, hometown, status, and ancestry were all lost in Ultra's last merger.

The man remains in good condition at St. Mary's medical center. It is unclear what he will do next. Until he decides, St. Mary's has volunteered to provide him with free treatment. The generous hospital has assigned three staff members to help acquaint the man with modern conveniences including moving walkways, the ionic breeze, and massage chairs. It is rumored that one staff member intends to trick the man into believing that flying cars are now commonplace. Such practical jokes occur quite often in cases of accidental defrostings.

This is the third accidental defrosting in the United States this year. The most famous cyrogenically frozen person who was accidentally defrosted was Ted Williams, who awoke in 2003 to find that the reasons for which he had been frozen were no longer relevant.

Not me

uber haskajoulua would like to say that I do not echo the sentiments directed against Sarah of Philadelphia. I do not know her, nor do I wish that affliction upon anyone. Thank you.

Friday, February 18

Shop Wal-Mart, Support Child Labor!

The Hermantown City Council yesterday gave an enthusiastic "yes" to a new Wal-Mart Supercenter in their city. This protest-worthy event was greeted by many spectators, all of whom were against the Wal-Mart proposal. The Duluth News Tribune covered the occasion.

"We just didn't think the spectators spoke for the silent majority," said Councilor Andy Thielen, who accepted a $5,000 bribe from an unknown man just before the Council meeting. The 200,000 square foot structure (The size of 100 extremely large single-family homes) will occupy a huge swath of "disgusting swamp" in the city's big-box development district. Thielen added, "We can't get enough of the Big-Box in Hermantown. They're so awesome, and so beautifully box like."

The sole 'no' vote on the proposal was by Councilor Brad Tafs, who happened to be the only Councilor with ethics enough to not accept payola. Tafs explained that "there's no reason we should legislate to area residents the way that they will be forced to shop. We all know Wal-Mart seeks to outcompete other businesses by selling products made by foreign child laborers. The only reason they're successful is because their shoppers are the biggest bunch of rubes alive."

Because Hemantown decided to go against popular opinion and forego a EIS on the lands, it is likely that many residents may revolt. Should a revolution against the local government become necessary, the Free Republic of Duluth has indicated that it may accept Hermantown as part of its territory.

The Raging Spade hopes that a massive protest effort will begin against the proposed Wal-Mart, immediately. Such tyranny cannot go unpunished. Let us tell the rich bastards that we don't want any more of their 'low-low prices' and 'low-low quality'.

Thursday, February 17

Trying Times for New Director

Lucien Henry has been named Duluth’s new intelligence director. The announcement came this week after months of indecision and debate. Henry, according to City Hall, was the most qualified candidate.

The most pressing concern for the new director will be the tense relations between Duluth and Superior, Wisconsin. Recent reports of an explosives cache buried beneath Barkers Island Inn have stirred age-old tensions between the two cities.

Sources within Duluth’s intelligence department have confirmed that its agents infiltrated Barkers Island three months ago, where they discovered approximately 300 large wooden barrels filled with gunpowder. Superior officials have denied the existence of such a cache, and called the accusations “ridiculous.”

Henry has stated that his first priority upon taking office will be to build up Duluth’s amphibious squadrons in the event that Superior's militia destroys the bridges that connect the cities. Well trained amphibious squadrons would be able to quickly cross the water and engage in battle.

Lucien Henry will be sworn in on Tuesday.

Another Sad Day for Hockey

Last night I wept a solitary tear. I wept for the void created in my heart where a major part of the game I love was taken from me. At the age of 12 I traded all of the magic and wonders that pro sports were for cold hard facts of the business world, and unfortunately, there are no trade-backs. All of the greed aside, I will still miss it. It could be the most beautiful thing in the world to watch. The ranks included some of the greatest athletes in the world. Their performances and moves left me awe struck so many times over the years. They provided me with so much entertainment, and even a little bit of knowledge.

Later on last night, I laced up my skates and hit the ice with a group of friends. We hustled and left everything we had on the ice. When the Zamboni driver finally opened the doors, we all left smiling knowing that we will play again in a couple days. It may not have been the most beautiful game of hockey, but to me, I still get to keep the game I love.

Wednesday, February 16

DECC Finalist for International Prize

The DECC, long regarded Duluth's white albatross on the shores of Lake Superior, is a finalist for international accolades.

The international contest for "Best Convention Center in a Freshwater Waterfront Setting" has entered its final round. The DECC enters the final round a favorite for the eventual championship. The primary challengers are Ghana's Salaga Convention Center on Lake Volta and Russia's Cherepovets Convention Center on Lake Rybinskoye.

The winner will be announced on March 12th. A traveling championship trophy will be awarded to the winning facility. The criteria upon which each convention center is judged include number of possible activities, accessibility, and cultural awareness. The DECC's frequent Turkish-related events are cited as its key strength.

Last year's winner, Ontario's Oshawa Convention Center on Lake Huron, was an early frontrunner, but was disqualified from the contest because of a lewd midget-tossing event held there late last year.

Tuesday, February 15

Local 'Zam' Driver in the Hotseat

Charges are being pressed against zamboni driver Charlie Marks for alleged theft. In a statement released Sunday by Duluth Denfeld, the school said that they will be 'throwing the book' at the man who has been cleaning their ice for thirty years. “We knew that our revenue should have been higher than it was this season. We just couldn’t figure out what was going on” assistant coach Denny Fever reported. “It wasn’t until our regular ticket taker, Genie, let slip that Charlie would sit and talk in the ticket booth with her that we thought foul play.” It wasn't long before the school called a meeting with Charlie and brought their accusation to the table. The 72-year-old man quickly admitted everything. Charlie was released from the Duluth Courthouse yesterday on a $500.00 bail. He had no comment for the Spade.

Sunday, February 13

Challenges Mount for Interns

The challenges have been mounting for interns in recent months. The biggest challenge? Interns' ability to waste time at work by surfing the internet has been thwarted by internet-monitoring programs installed on supervisors' computers.

Intern Jonah Anderson is having a lot more trouble wasting time. "Back in the day, when I was bored at work, I just looked online. You know,,, the usual. Sometimes I even tried to look at stuff that was work related. And then there was this one time when I went too far, and looked at some inappropriate materials. But it only happened once, and I didn't get caught."

Anderson believes the crackdown is just a good way for supervisors to take back some of the time wasted by interns. "You think my boss isn't sitting back in his office, looking at whatever he wants? We all know he is." Since monitoring began, Anderson has been reading other stuff while at work. "I try to confine myself to magazines and novels. I'm about halfway through the 'Roots' series of books since last week. Its too bad I don't have a TV in my cubicle, because I'd be watching 'Passions' over my lunch break."

As the government begins it's program of internet monitoring, some fear that restrictions on what you look at on the internet will extend into the home. For her part, Anderson wants to avoid that. "I'm already restricted at work. When I get home, I want to download some movies and eat dinner. What's next? Are those asses going to start forcing me to eat brussel sprouts?"

Saturday, February 12

We Built This City

Everyone in Proctorland is a-buzzin about this month's Winter Carnival. Dubbed the "Mardi Gras of the north," the Winter Carnival has been a beloved Proctor tradition the last four years. "It's just a time of real comradery, don't ya know?" enthuses "Proctor's February Rockin' Carnival Jubilee 2005" Coordinator Janice Okstad. "It's a time for people to really set aside whatever they're doing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, whatever, and reach out and love the people of this community." The theme for "Proctor's February Rockin' Carnival Jubilee 2005" is "Wild West Town." "All the shops on Main Street, you know, the Equalizer, Appleseed Variety Store, the pet shop, the Hardware Hank, the 27 bars, they're all being decorated in a Wild West town style," says Olsen. Healthcare Coordinator Tammi Koski says the Superior Health Care Proctor Clinic is even getting into the spirit of the season. "We installed swinging doors, the kind where you can see a person's boots and hat, at the clinic," says Koski. "No reason why healthcare can't be fun." This carnival's events include a chili cook-off, ugly snowmobile competition, and an ice sculpture contest. Brent Heikkaleinin, winner of last year's sculpture contest for his carving of Garry Bjorklund in snow skis, will be acting as this year's Master of Ceremonies. "Come on out der and join us," Heikkaleinin encourages. "There's a place for you in Proctor." Festivities kick off at the Proctor Milk House on February 18.

Thursday, February 10


First of all, I'd like to apologize to the staff and the readers for being away so long. I was on sabbatical in Medellin, Colombia. Secondly, I'd like to voice my outrage at the Duluth News Tribune for their "tidbit" on the Aerial Lift Bridge that so closely relates to the article and idea proposed by the lovely Miss Oblonsky. While I see that my comrade, Mr. Friesing has already issued the DNT a letter, I urge the staff and our faithful readers to do more. I'd like for everyone submitting an entry to our contest to also submit an entry to the Stolen Idea Contest, especially our staff writers, since we cannot, in fairness, compete in our own contest. I'm submitting mine, along with this photo (which I encourage everyone to use) to Amy Weidman at . Hopefully one of us will win and the truth will be known.

"Thomas F. McGilvray makes Filippo Brunelleschi look like a tinker toy builder!"

Career Path Shot Down Again

I am saddened to share with you my latest revelation. My current career choice has been shot down by a stupid City Ordinance in Duluth. I guess I have to move out to Rice Lake Township if I want to panhandle.

No person shall be in a public place, or a place of business, and while there solicit contributions of money, or goods, or services to be used for the pecuniary gain or support of the solicitor or another. The provisions of this Section do not apply to a person representing a bona fide charitable organization. No person while soliciting such contributions shall continue to seek contributions from a person who has expressed a desire not to contribute. (Ord. No. 8451, 4-16-1979, § 22; Ord. No. 8468, 7-30-1979, § 4.)

Wednesday, February 9

Standing up for a Sudsy Cause

Canal Park, Duluth, MN, U.S.A., North America, Earth

Local citizens staged a protest on Wednesday evening outside of Grandma’s Sports Garden. Contrary to popular belief, the citizens were not there to protest the meat market type atmosphere. They honestly had no problems with the college girls who “wear shirts that are smaller than a handkerchief.” Their problem lies with the bar’s practice of charging import prices for a non import beer. The beer in question, Killian’s Irish Red, is clearly manufactured by Coors inc. in Colorado. Some people (those that set prices) believe that they can still tell people that it is brewed in Enniscorthy, Ireland. Those ignorant people need to check their facts. The recipe was purchased back in 1981 and brought to the US. The protestors hope that they will raise awareness on the brewing location of there favorite fake micro brew. They hope that bar patrons will stand up for what it right in price discrimination practices. The group consisted mainly of middle aged beer gut sporting men.


Discovery Stirs Controversy

A recent discovery by anthropologist Joseph Scott is causing an uproar in Minnesota. According to Scott, recently uncovered documents show that the Minnesota region now occupied by Duluth is still technically owned by France.

“Per European custom, land that was ‘discovered’ and claimed by a European explorer became the property of whichever monarch backed the expedition,” explained Scott. In 1679, Daniel Greysolon, Sieur de Du Lhut originally of Saint-Germain-Laval, France, was selected by French authorities in Quebec to travel the shores of the St. Louis Bay. He reached, or ‘discovered’, the area where present day Duluth stands. Thus, technically, this area became the property of France. Scott’s discoveries show that this land was never properly transferred, and therefore, remains French territory.

U.S. and Minnesota officials went on the offensive and attacked the validity of Scott’s discovery. Some officials have even begun attacking France for not renouncing the theory. Said one, “This is downright offensive. For France to allow these rumors to continue is insulting. The United States government takes great offense.”

In response, a French official is quoted as saying “Il n’y a que la verite qui blesse.”

Lawyers at the Department of Justice and State Department have been instructed to search for possible loopholes or technicalities to maintain the status quo. Many theories have been advanced, though international legal scholars are critical of their validity. French legal historian Sylvain Bouquet has characterized the American theories as flimsy and desperate, noting, “Avec des si et des mais, on mettrait Paris en bouteille.”

A resolution is unlikely to be reached any time soon.

Daniel Greysolon, Sieur de Du Lhut died in Montreal of gout in 1710.

Tuesday, February 8

Incident at The Chalet

While performing with his band, "Super Electric," at The Chalet last Wednesday night, drummer Donny Styles got the shock of his life. Just as he hit the hi-hat his drum stick split in half, one end remained in his hand while the other end jabbed right in the middle of his forehead. Styles said, "My first reaction was 'sh*t, that was my last stick' but then I realized the rest had done stuck in my face, and I realized that I was finally a rock god." Concert goer Misty Henderson witnessed the event and claimed, "That was the coolest thing I ever seen, better than when my boyfriend threw the cat at the TV and it ended up going out the second story window." Bar manager Layne Watts said that Styles wasn't seriously hurt in the incident and Super Electric was able to finish their set. He also reminded customers that Thursday is Taco night at The Chalet.

Monday, February 7

Topical Assignments

Writers: You have spoken. The Spade will immediately begin its investigative work.

Assignments are as follows:
Police Corruption: Lankur
Tourist Scams: Freising
Media Corruption: uber
Prostitution: Lundegaard
Corruption of Elected Officials: Auro
Medical Corruption: Oblonsky
Narcotics: Wayles
Payola/Development: Freising

Sorry about giving you two assignments, Freising.

There's no need to begin working on this immediately. This is to be bold, investigative work, and it shouldn't distract you from or act as a substitute for your regular reporting. This is the real stuff. When a police officer offers a hooker confiscated drugs in exchange for sex, Lankur, Wayles, and Lundegaard should be there. When a developer hands a Council member an envelope full of hundreds, Auro & Freising should be there. When a doctor cuts open a woman's skull and was supposed to do cosmetic surgery on her stomach, Oblonsky should be there. When a news anchor lies about the next morning's weather to help his buddy sell shovels, Uber should be there. Staff, weren't not joking around about this stuff. It is high time Duluth gets this kind of coverage. The News Trib isn't going to cover it. The Reader Weekly isn't going to cover it. With this mandate, The Raging Spade will begin its dominance of hard-hitting local news. And if there are readers interested in doing some investigative work, we invite you to submit a request to join the staff.

Sunday, February 6

Letters to the Spade

Looks like we're not doing enough to fight corruption - Writers, is it time to get serious? Judge for yourself.
Hello, While I was sad to read of the temporary lapse of the Ripsaw, I was greatly encouraged to read of the Raging Spade. (dnt 2/5/05). What particularly caught my eye was your interest in "rooting out corruption". I have scanned many of the Spade blog postings and haven't found anything relating to existing corruption in Duluth. There are many examples out there.

A question I would have for you and interested readers is what could be done with the information to cause some concrete results, some change for this city? Will merely publishing the information bring about change. I don't think so. Not at first anyway.

The problem we have in Duluth is that our version of "Minnesota Nice" is to keep your mouth shut and smile if you want to keep your job or keep your customers. We don't take well to airing soiled laundry in public. Generally the reaction is to flat out deny that the laundry is dirty and then very quietly when no one is looking, head to the laundromat.

Signed, BF

Paul & John

Good to see the ghost of John alongside Paul, even at the Superbowl. Long live the Beatles.

Broken Dreams

        The world's greatest pickle ball player is down for the count. Tineer Kalmer, the 22 year old Yemeni-American wonder, stumbled last week while lunging for the ball at practice, and tripped over the knee-high net. Only three weeks before the 2005 Nationals, the stadium was packed with fans trying to get autographs from the star. "Before anyone could do more than gasp, her arm had swollen to the size of a tree trunk" one observer noted. While her visibly shaken father shielded the girl from the eyes of her fans, an ambulance swung up, loaded her in, and carted her off to the nearest hospital for x-rays.
        The sport of pickle ball has been gaining followers from all over the world. Extreme popularity is spreading, especially in countries like China, where one official told us they "wanted to get more paddle sports moved outdoors, but don't have enough space for large courts for sports like tennis." Pickle ball fulfills those needs with a court size of only 20 feet by 44 feet, and can be set up without difficulty on any hard, flat surface. It is well on its way to being an Olympic sport in the summer of 2012.
        Tineer joined the sport after a bit of luck in 7th grade P.E. class. It wasn't until two years later, when, as a 15 year old, that she beat the former world champion. It was then that she knew she was really gifted. From that day on, she has been unbeatable - until now. Her coach, Ray Humtricle, assured everyone that it was not a fatal wound during his press conference Friday. "Sure, it'll take some time for her to recover, but we are hoping for the best. Although her doctors aren't 100 percent sure she'll ever be able to continue her competitive play, she is determined to swing that paddle once again for the pride of her country. Yemeni-Americans aren't quitters."
        A sad day for pickle ball lovers everywhere, but it could have been much worse. The prognosis? A multiple fractured humerus. The crack heard round the world.

Saturday, February 5

Editorial: ATV Use

All Terrain Vehicles, or ATV's, are great. They are a good way to get from place to place - especially if you have to cross a river or mountainous terrain to get there. In the Duluth-Superior area, we have all kinds of that.

I propose banning cars from Duluth's streets. Then, to solve the budget problems, we could stop maintaining streets, and just use ATV's to get around. They're fast, safe, and work in all kinds of weather. Better yet, we could just use snowmobiles once snow fell. It would save all kinds of money on salt for the roads.

I don't know why we keep paving roads and pouring money down the proverbial drain when we could just start using ATV's all the time. Sure, people might be a little bit more wind-blown when they get to work, but everyone would - so it wouldn't be a big deal. And if this plan doesn't work, couldn't we at least start being allowed to use ATV's on sidewalks? No good government official would continue this endless tirade against the most practical form of transportation available today. Let's bring ATV's back to the mainstream, where they belong.

Thursday, February 3

New Name Possible for Duluth Landmark

   A city official is proposing a change for Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge. “The Aerial Lift Bridge is an extraordinarily dull name. It’s not a proper name at all – it’s a basic description. I mean, it’s like calling Old Faithful, Water-Spouting Hole in the Ground. Or Mount Rushmore, Giant Gray Rock with Faces," stated the official.
   A special committee is being put together to consider the feasibility of renaming the bridge and create suggestions to be put to Duluth citizens in a referendum. So far, the committee has presented several ideas for a new name. Suggestions include: Super-Fantastika; Thomas Livingston; Snowball; and Kick-ass Canal Crossing.
   The committee is accepting further suggestions on a possible name from the public. An official committee report will be released in March.

Wednesday, February 2

Wilderness Man Wants School

Duluthian Kip Wilson wants to start a wilderness-based charter school based solely on fishing. Wilson's proposed school would have a unique curriculum, all based on fishing. Students would learn the biology of fish. Math courses would revolve solely around the weight of fish and the thickness of ice versus car weight. Physics courses would involve the strength of fishing line and how a fish moves through water. Reading and English courses would involve reading fiction and non-fiction regarding fish. Finally, language courses will revolve around speaking French, because, in the words of Wilson, "It's the language of fish."

Wilson expects to open his fishing school in September of 2005 somewhere in Duluth - wherever a good location can be found. The most important quality? Its proximity to fish bearing water. "I got to Duluth last year, from da' Range. I was a little disappointed by the lack of fish-oriented curriculum in the Duluth schools, and I think this would be a great way for kids to learn to fish. I think one day we'll have cooking courses for different types of fish, too." Wilson does not plan to offer art or music classes.

Wilson, 43, is formerly of Hoyt Lakes. Wilson just completed a 5-year stint aboard a ore-bearing laker, and purportedly loves to fish. He has not disclosed his teaching credentials nor whether he plans to hire additional teaching staff. The school, when fully open, will offer classes to students grades K-10.

Tuesday, February 1


Ah, Germany

Shortage of Barber’s Antiseptic Liquid Bugs Town Drunk

An anticipated shortage of the blue antiseptic liquid used by barbers worldwide to sanitize their equipment is anticipated sometime this week in Duluth. Local barber Gus Tolfson, a town drunk, is concerned.

“When I run out of liquor, I always know I’ve got that blue antiseptic liquid I can drink. It’s great stuff – it really puts me over the top. Everyone knows that a barber can’t cut hair unless he’s properly motivated. Well, I need my liquid motivation. I don’t know what I’ll do without it.”

Experts at the University of Wisconsin have repeatedly stated that there are good substitutes out there for sanitizing combs, scissors, and razor blades. That’s not good enough for Tolfson.

“It’s got a real sweet taste, and as long as I’m sure to take the combs out of the jar before I drink it, I don’t mind using it at all. It’s the best way to get my fix.”

A shipment of blue antiseptic liquid is expected to arrive in Duluth by February 9th. In the meantime, it is suggested that local barbers use Vodka of 80 proof or greater to sanitize their equipment.