On fireworks, perseverance, eating choices, Wild draft, and Twins youth...

Be safe and have fun on the Fourth...and be legal, too?
Later this week, on and around the Fourth of July, the folly of the Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Dayton last year not being able to pass legislation legalizing fireworks in the State of Minnesota will once again be on display. On lakes across the state, colorful, spectacular fireworks will explode in the night sky with big booms, and very few problems in the form of accidents or injuries will be reported. All the while, law enforcement will for the most part monitor things but largely take a hands-off approach, unless someone is really being obnoxious. So, if you’re not going to a professional fireworks show and plan to blast a few off yourself, be smart and be safe. And don’t forget to have a good time, too, and have lots of mosquito spray on hand.

That we persevere like Michael Bembenick
Late last week, a professional golfer on the Web.com tour, kind of a minor league version of the PGA Tour, shot a horrendous 103 during one, 18-hole round of a tournament. For a weekend hacker, a 103 might be considered reasonably acceptable, but even a decent golfer who plays in the Monday night Men’s League at Minakwa here in Crookston would likely get smoked in his match if he essentially double-bogeyed every hole, which is basically what you have to do in order to shoot a 103. So what’s the big deal about Michael Bembenick's bad round? Well, he was treated almost like a hero in interviews afterward, simply because he kept playing and didn’t quit and storm off the course in a huff. It was about setting a good example, Bembenick said, and showing young people the importance of persevering even in the worst of times. Oh, come on. You’re a professional golfer. You had a terrible day. Everyone has terrible days, at home or at their place of employment, and they don’t quit. They don’t get interviewed on TV, either, when they do it all again the next day. Chin up, Michael, you'll survive.

You are what you eat, so be responsible for it
There are lots of choices in life, some life-threatening, some mundane, and a lot of grey area in the middle.  Eating, or choosing what you put into your body, is definitely a decision every person makes, and can definitely vary person to person. It’s that very decision-- what you decide to consume-- that raises a lot of controversy and havoc. Numerous and infamous court trials against fast food companies where customers are suing the Fortune 500 companies for “making them fat.” is just one example of irresponsible, or at least misinformed, choices. It is entirely your decision on what you decide to much on. While fast food companies do offer “healthier” options, they can be loaded with “empty calories” and fat. That’s not to say that eating out every once in awhile is a bad thing-- it’s a choice. That’s exactly what it boils down to-- choices. It’s not a restaurant’s fault that you gained some unhealthy attributes from eating their food; you made the choice to eat there. Instead of blaming a fast food company for their unhealthy products, maybe re-think visiting your favorite burger bar or cut down your number of visits. Or don’t-- it’s all about choices. However, don’t blame somebody who didn’t do anything-- instead, choose to accept your given responsibility and make whatever choice you deem “best.” It’s all up to you. Torrie Greer

Wild score!
The Minnesota Wild made out of Sunday's NHL Entry Draft like bandits, dealing fan-favorite Cal Clutterbuck and a third round pick next year for Nino Niederreiter, who was the fifth overall pick in 2010. El Nino, as he is nicknamed, had some issues with his former team, the New York Islanders, and hasn't really broken out. He has scored at every level he has played at except the NHL but experts say it's only a matter of time. He finished tenth in goal scoring in the American Hockey League last season with 28 goals and 50 points in 74 games. The Wild brass are pleased with how the draft went too as it added size and depth to its prospect pool. Now it's time to turn attention to free agency, and while you can bet it won't be nearly as exciting as last season when Zach Parise and Ryan Suter both signed on July 4, the Wild are in a position to add some solid talent. El Nino has moved in to Minnesota, though!

Enjoy Twins’ youth
Nobody expects the Twins to make the playoffs this season. Instead, this is a season for grooming young talent and figuring out which players will make the team next season when the Twins are expected to be able to contend. The future looks good after highly touted starting pitcher Kyle Gibson made his MLB debut on Saturday, earning a win in six innings of work. Sam Deduno has also pitched well with a 4-2 record and a 3.32 ERA in seven games. Also, rightfielder Oswaldo Arcia seems to a piece to the puzzle, hitting .284 with six homers in 48 games this season. If Terry Ryan can do some wheeling and dealing before the trade deadline and spend some money on free agents during the offseason to bring in more young talent to fill in holes the Twins will be in good shape for next season. Finishing around the .500 mark would be a good stepping stone into next season.