Sad story Wed, 16 Apr 2014 05:25:31 +0000

Here is a compassionate and well-written account of the sad death of Steve Smith, a long-time Republican legislator in the Minnesota House of Representatives. When I served as a page, Smith was known and respected by House staff as one of the good guys. He was smart, independent of mind, humble, and kind to the staff no matter how [...]]]> Nursing home rates Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:28:12 +0000

Thanks to my Uncle Dale for pointing out this article from Rochester. What Mr. Noble does not say is that the rate increases are only for wages (which are needed, to be sure) but include nothing for the operating expenses. The annual rate of loss in northwestern Minnesota is at least the same or worse. [...]]]> Learning curve Sun, 13 Apr 2014 22:28:05 +0000

This political campaign will be a learning experience more than anything. I have already learned a lot from visiting with people with a stake in what state government does. In particular, I have had two chances to visit people involved with group homes for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill. The source of the funding difficulties group homes face can be debated, but there is no debating that their employees are over-worked and underpaid enough so [...]]]> Secret Agenda Fri, 11 Apr 2014 22:27:56 +0000

I'll be honest: I have a secret agenda if I get elected to the legislature. I want the Voice of Minneapolis to speak again. As long as we have the Legacy Amendment (which I voted against as a regressive tax, incidentally) dollars available, they should go towards preserving our heritage. The 1928 Kimball, one of the world's great instruments, sits in storage. My revered organ [...]]]> Force field Fri, 11 Apr 2014 17:27:35 +0000

Baseball great Mike Schmidt suggests calling balls and strikes using a force field. His unfortunate choice of terms allows the writers to mock him, but he is absolutely right. Umpires have squeezed the strike zone down to nothing. Hitters should be forced to swing more often. Computers can all [...]]]> Annelee Thu, 10 Apr 2014 22:28:38 +0000


Pardon the blurry picture. Phones don't always do the best. Above is my friend Annelee Woodstrom from Ada, MN. She invited me to hear her present to a couple of hundred history students in West Fargo High School today. Annelee has written two books about her childhood in Nazi Germany. 

Annelee's [...]]]> (No heading) Thu, 10 Apr 2014 12:39:10 +0000 Stephen W. Browne Silent Cal

I saw this poster on Facebook and I got to thinking, why don’t we know more about “Silent Cal”?

By most historical accounts his administration was a good one, a time of peace and prosperity. So [...]]]> Campaign practice Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:31:42 +0000

Had a good day of visiting people, including Aunt Olive at the Hilton. Then I drove around distributing nursery catalogs. I ended up in Erskine, and dropped some catalogs off at the Pioneer Home. As I walked in the door, I looked at the registry and noticed I knew about eight of the residents. So I decided--I don't have to get back to anywhere to work, visiting with people is now my job! So I found everybody I knew and spent the time watching the Twins on [...]]]> Muret Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:31:42 +0000

I want to add more about my friend Muret, age 93, who I saw at the Pioneer Home for the first time in several years today. His wife Dotty was our elementary school librarian, and she was a gem. Only after she died did I find out, from Muret, that she was a personal aide to Eleanor Roosevelt during the war. "I walked in and out of the White House like it was my own place!" Muret said today. 

Muret's memory is fading a bit. But his eyes sparkle. [...]]]> Spring! Tue, 08 Apr 2014 17:25:09 +0000


Sister Tracie and niece Champoo paddle where only days ago were huge snowbanks. Spring has sprung! Champoo has an eight-year-old's energy and is exploring everywhere.  

A new start Mon, 07 Apr 2014 22:28:17 +0000

The Crookston Times publishes an article about my decision to run for office. 

I went over my allotted time of five minutes as described in the article. There is no way to deny it. The video Lance took of my speech is 7 minutes and 22 seconds long. 

I emphasized nursing homes, transportation, rural schools and agriculture. The crowd of delegates [...]]]> Big day Sat, 05 Apr 2014 05:25:07 +0000

Tomorrow will be one of those life-changing days that only happen every so often.

First, I speak to about 400 gardeners in Grand Forks at their Garden Saturday, which is always a big event. I was also going to do an afternoon class on "Is this safe to eat?" about wild foods, but a conflict arose so I am turning the class over to my sister, who knows about 10 times what I do about foods from the wild.

The conflict: I then drive to Thief [...]]]> Champoo! Thu, 03 Apr 2014 22:28:20 +0000


A big day in our family. Brother Joe and Lance drove to Minneapolis to pick up Joe's wife Kae and their daughter Champoo, who is finally able to join us here in Minnesota. Kae and Champoo flew in today after Kae spent the last six months in Thailand assembling the paper work for Champoo to come to the USA. [...]]]> Just Desserts in Mount Airy (Mayberry) Wed, 02 Apr 2014 17:20:49 +0000

Thelma Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:30:40 +0000

Friend Thelma passed away last Friday. Thelma never lost her regal bearing even as Alzheimer's disease attacked her mind and body. The big loving clan she trained up in life returned the favor in a huge way by making sure her last days weren't spent alone. Every time she opened her eyes she saw one of several dozen friendly faces. She smiled in return, and she laughed her distinctive [...]]]> Forx Builders Mon, 31 Mar 2014 17:35:06 +0000

Spent the weekend at the Forx Home and Garden Show visiting with people at the Bergeson Nursery booth. I enjoyed it more than ever, but am a bit worn out today!

Yesterday, a true day-maker:

Two years ago, I spoke at a Hospice event at the Empire Theater in Grand Forks. There was a nice crowd, but in the front row were seven people who had lost their spouses. I had fun with them during my talk, and we had a lot of good laughs. [...]]]> Waking the bear Sat, 29 Mar 2014 13:01:26 +0000 Stephen W. Browne The Bear has awoken from hibernation and boy is he grumpy!

That is to say, Russia is on the march again and is doing what Russia does expand.

Putin has seized Crimea from Ukraine with all the subtlety of that note attached to the brick you found in your living room by your shattered window.

This was initiated by an elaborate false flag operation by "self-defense" militias allegedly made up of ethnic Russians who all happen to have Spetznaz training. Followed [...]]]> Weblog Update Fri, 28 Mar 2014 11:30:52 +0000

The weblog is undergoing a little construction, so pardon the interruptions. I was going to say, "If you can't read this, let me know," but quickly realized the absurdity of that.

Yesterday, I attended a Rural Economic Development meeting in Minneapolis where we heard about innovative entrepreneurial ideas happening in rural Minnesota. A wind power entrepreneur commented that most of these wind farms are raking in enormous revenue, but they are owned [...]]]> Caregivers Mon, 24 Mar 2014 22:56:02 +0000

Those who devote their lives to caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease deserve to be heard


New shoes, cont. Mon, 24 Mar 2014 22:56:02 +0000


Just wanted to repost this pic, as many of you have enjoyed it. It is Aunt Olive, 102, enjoying her new shoes.