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Posts Tagged ‘St. Paul

The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas

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But sometimes it looks like a candy.

The sun, ladies and gentlemen.

The sun, ladies and gentlemen.


Image Credit: Kirk Livingston

Written by kirkistan

July 5, 2015 at 9:41 am

Plot with a View

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Humans: Industrious. Resilient. Fragile.



Every once in a while I am reminded.


Dumb Sketch: Kirk Livingston

Written by kirkistan

March 23, 2015 at 7:36 am

Charles Chamblis: Photographer’s Notes

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Story told by numbers

Charles Chamblis didn’t take too many days off from photography. With his camera he captured slices of life in the African-American community around Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota in the 1970s and 1980s.


Go see his collection of Minneapolis-Saint Paul photos at the Minnesota History Center.

More on numbers here.


Image credit: Kirk Livingston

Submerged: Harriet Island

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You shall not pass, Mississippi.

Well, not much further, anyway.


Strolling the levee with cops and other disaster-tourists.


Image Credit: Kirk Livingston

Written by kirkistan

June 28, 2014 at 6:42 am

St. Paul: Still Cold

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Please tell that story again. The one about “Spring.”



Image Credit: Kirk Livingston

Written by kirkistan

February 10, 2014 at 10:04 am

Theology of Place: Minnesota

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WWFD: What Would Fred Do?

Ever since I read of Fred Sanders’ work developing a theology of place in California, I cannot stop thinking what such a set of thoughts and conversations would look like for Minnesota. Mr. Sanders developed the notion after teaching a summer undergraduate class at Biola University focused on California authors and essayists.


Here’s Sanders describing his project from the EPS blog:

I wanted to apply that great books approach to California literature, about which I knew very little. I just had an instinct that the perennialist approach, in which we read the proven classics, “the best which has been thought or said” in the history of the western world, would benefit from a little dose of localism, where we investigate a regional heritage and get to know our own surroundings.

A Minnesota-based project would have a lot of moving parts.

There are the obvious Lutheran influences, of course. From Germany and Sweden. Catholic influences are also strong and vocal and from everywhere. The two cities where the majority of Minnesota’s population lives, Minneapolis and St. Paul (plus surrounding suburbs), are themselves launching grounds for waves of immigrant communities. Irish folks, Northern Europeans of every stripe. More lately Hmong and Somali folks have entered the area. There are communities of people from India and Ghana and Thailand. The Native American community should be an anchoring presence. Just walking the neighborhoods reveals much about what is important to the different groups.

Then there are the literature pieces: from F. Scott’s newly rejuvenated Great Gatsby to the benign(ish) Lake Wobegon characterization of Minnesota to Augsburg Fortress publishing insightful theological tomes to the nationally recognized Milkweed Editions. I’m missing lots and this is just for starters.

There’s all the science and medicine and vast amounts of research taking place at various colleges and universities. Medical devices and industry headquarters. The advertising and design and communication communities are clever and vocal. How would one start to get a handle on a theology of place: what are the priorities of the people of these communities? How does faith mix into the public and private lives of the people who live here? And what have the results been and what can we say about what is likely to develop in this vast mix?

Maybe the beginning point is to follow the lead of Minnesotan Andy Sturdevant who’s MinnPost column The Stroll is a weekly chronicle of pedestrian interestingness in the Twin Cities. Stuff we typically we don’t see because we rarely leave our cars.

Maybe we need our theologians and philosophers and artists to take group hikes through the cities, followed by a beverage and a discussion about what they saw and understood and what it all meant.

I’d sign up for that walk.


Image credit: Alli Livingston

An Open Letter to Best Buy: Teach Sales to Hear

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It’s Counter-Intuitive, but Listening May Actually Clinch a Sale

It’s OK to veer off script

Hubert Joly, I know you are trying hard to be more than Amazon’s showroom and believe me, we’re behind you! I can’t speak for everyone (hey—why let that stop me?), but all of St.MinneapolisPaul wants the Blue Shirts to win! We like you! (except, ahem, for those who don’t, of course).

Would you entertain a suggestion? I spoke to a kindly Blue Shirt yesterday about another obscure, jury-rigged set of applications that keep my Microsoft products talking together. I’m just looking for ways to get away from the fussing that enshrouds my mobile use of Microsoft. I asked open-ended questions seeking new solutions. Mr. Blue Shirt started his spiel about features and benefits—a reasonable place to begin. I drilled down with explanation and more questions. I could tell he was not catching my drift, so I searched for the key words that would help him see why his banter did not fit. The recently abandoned “activesync” turned out to be the word that unlocked introductions to the Microsoft rep hanging around 100 yards away. This gentleman ran with “activesync” and provided answers that seemed to fit my situation, but still with enough unanswered blank spaces that I knew I needed more research.

I May Be A Tough Customer

I may want more detail than other people because of my quixotic quest to make Microsoft work across my devices. I may have had too much experience with sales people saying whatever they must to make the sale (AT&T, take note). It is also possible that I need to read things to believe them. Granted.

Here’s My Point

What I need is help with complicated products. Or solid advice to give up my foolish Microsoft quest. Is that the kind of thing of I could expect from a quick conversation on the Best Buy floor? Maybe not. But if you had someone who listened, who knew what was available and who could step away from features/benefit sales script—that would be worth something to me. I’d make an appointment with that person—like I did at the Microsoft store (I’m not optimistic).

I know my cult-of-Apple friends are punching their faces now and saying “hopeless.” I’m not quite ready for the Apple tattoo on my…wallet. Ok?


Written by kirkistan

September 20, 2012 at 9:00 am

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