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Erik Hare

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Member Since: Mar, 2007

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Featured Book
Don't Beat Your Children, Or They'll Turn Out Like Me
by Brad Bathgate

"A book of haiku's that brings sunshine to the hood when frowns dominate. Ever seen corner stores in the middle of the block, with poverty performing on the corner? If no..  
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Blogs by Erik Hare

Snowstorm
12/2/2007 8:15:15 PM

It came as expected, with all the usual omens. The driving wind out of the east picked up right on schedule with a chill that ran under the skin and deep into the bones and finally forcing its way into the subconscious. This wasnít an ordinary storm. It was the first big storm of the winter season. We spent six months unpreparing for this.

The great counter-clockwise swirl over the continent centered us at midnight. The meteorologists called it a ďLow Pressure SystemĒ, and to them it was all moving as they predicted. To those of us underneath it, time stopped. It was time to hunker down inside and wait for it to pass.

The storm brought us five inches of snow, thirteen centimeters, just as predicted. Rarely does a storm run as perfectly as scheduled in the middle of a big continent. After the clenching cold was done unloading, there was nothing but silence. The snow absorbed every sound, every thought, every notion that this was anything but the cold and still way things should be.

Gradually, the stillness was cut by growling and scraping, the sounds of everyone digging out with blowers and plows and all the implements that had been safely tucked away in garages and drained of their oil until this moment. This was not a big deal after all. This is Minnesota. We were prepared.

I had the great joy of experiencing a similar sized snowfall once in Greenville, South Carolina. It proceeded in all the same ways, except for one: while the weatherpeople saw it coming, the populace was completely unprepared. I waited in a Ramada for two days for it to melt, because there was nothing else that could be done. Two days of reading, card games, and a time stopping silence. What else could there be? The fancy radar and satellite images werenít all that useful when what we really needed were some plows.

Disasters are often like this. Most of them donít start out as disasters, but simply a lack of planning. Once a problem is defined, the equipment probably exists somewhere to at least ease the pain, perhaps even take care of the situation. Sometimes nature throws something bigger at our tiny plans, such as Hurricane Katrina, and thereís only so much we can do about it. Usually, however, we have all the tools at our disposal to at least make things a bit easier. Itís a matter of planning, which is to say a matter of will. A matter of denial that itís even possible.

This isnít all about weather. Sometimes, the storms are made by the people who are supposed to be running things with the clockwork precision of a low pressure system winding across the continent. It doesnít take much of a look at the current financial state of the USofA to realize that a lot of people in charge have made some rather big mistakes. This is more than the subprime lending problem, larger even than the foreclosure problem. The story here is that we have a budget deficit 6% of GDP and a balance of trade deficit about the same. The story is that we can predict the weather better even than we can make decisions about how to run our own nation. The story is that we arenít paying attention. We put the silence before the storm, not afterward where it belongs.

The first snowstorm of the season really isnít a big deal. Itís merely a matter of being ready for it, or at least not making the situation worse. The silence that follows shows the way to handle these things; a cold, still sense of bracing calm. That silence is when we have a chance to get a handle on the situation, and put our little plans into action. The silence is the time to act. Can we say that our leaders, public and private, are taking the action needed on the financial disaster of our own making?

Meanwhile, Saint Paul has declared a ďSnow EmergencyĒ. The plows will arrive any moment. The cars have all been moved off of the streets, and the air is heavy with the stillness of anticipation. Itís our first snow, but itís just like all the other ones. Weíre ready. Itís not a big deal at all.


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More Blogs by Erik Hare
• Let the Real Games Begin - Sunday, August 24, 2008
• Soul Mate - Friday, August 22, 2008
• Breaking the Code - Tuesday, August 19, 2008
• The Investment Express - Sunday, August 17, 2008
• The Verse of a Song - Friday, August 15, 2008
• Generic Politics - Tuesday, August 12, 2008
• Reductio ad Extremis - Sunday, August 10, 2008
• I'll Have it Bronzed - Thursday, August 07, 2008
• Lotsa Vacation - Tuesday, August 05, 2008
• Generations: Re-Invention - Sunday, August 03, 2008
• Happy as a Pig. Just a Pig. - Friday, August 01, 2008
• The D Word - Tuesday, July 29, 2008
• Writing Bubble - Monday, July 28, 2008
• Munchie - Friday, July 25, 2008
• Ode an die Freude - Wednesday, July 23, 2008
• Citizen Journalism - Monday, July 21, 2008
• Truth of the Cottonwoods - Monday, July 21, 2008
• Barking at the 'Net - Saturday, July 19, 2008
• Brasilian Way - Thursday, July 17, 2008
• Leadership - Tuesday, July 15, 2008
• No Safe Harbor - Sunday, July 13, 2008
• Open Yer Mouth - Thursday, July 10, 2008
• 15 Second Politics - Tuesday, July 08, 2008
• Nice Work if You Can Get It - Sunday, July 06, 2008
• Fly the Flag - Thursday, July 03, 2008
• Housing Bubble, Toil and Trouble - Tuesday, July 01, 2008
• Depressing Events - Monday, June 30, 2008
• Ein Kunstlerleben - Friday, June 27, 2008
• IRV - Wednesday, June 25, 2008
• Convention Wisdom - Monday, June 23, 2008
• 500 Year Floodplain - Thursday, June 19, 2008
• Desaparecidos - Tuesday, June 17, 2008
• Write on! - Monday, June 16, 2008
• Techno High School - Friday, June 13, 2008
• Urban Return - Wednesday, June 11, 2008
• Strategic Planning - Monday, June 09, 2008
• The Team - Thursday, June 05, 2008
• The Obvious - Tuesday, June 03, 2008
• Hung T-Bar Ceiling - Monday, June 02, 2008
• Brightest Bulbs - Thursday, May 29, 2008
• Regional - Wednesday, May 28, 2008
• Vaca - Accion - Monday, May 26, 2008
• Narrowing - Thursday, May 22, 2008
• Scale - Tuesday, May 20, 2008
• Invisible Hand on the Pump - Monday, May 19, 2008
• Ancient Music - Friday, May 16, 2008
• Electric Motion - Wednesday, May 14, 2008
• Comments? - Monday, May 12, 2008
• In the Translation - Monday, May 12, 2008
• Still Over - Very Over - Friday, May 09, 2008
• Hear the Quiet - Tuesday, May 06, 2008
• Enlightenment and Excess Sugar - Tuesday, May 06, 2008
• Cola Warriors - Monday, May 05, 2008
• Urban Core: Life - Friday, May 02, 2008
• Fantasy and Perspective - Tuesday, April 29, 2008
• Net-Work'd - Tuesday, April 29, 2008
• Urban Core: New Urbanism - Monday, April 28, 2008
• Urban Core: Lessons - Friday, April 25, 2008
• Urban Core - Wednesday, April 23, 2008
• But Fear Itself - Tuesday, April 22, 2008
• You've Got a Friend in Pennsylvania - Monday, April 21, 2008
• Cultural Catholic - Friday, April 18, 2008
• Taxing - Wednesday, April 16, 2008
• Light & Fluffy - Tuesday, April 15, 2008
• Work - Monday, April 14, 2008
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• One Year On - Sunday, April 06, 2008
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• Winning Through Acting Crazy - Wednesday, April 02, 2008
• More Press(ure) - Tuesday, April 01, 2008
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• It's Still Over - Sunday, March 09, 2008
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• Feast or Famine II: The Wrath of John (Zogby) - Monday, January 14, 2008
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• Paul - Tuesday, January 08, 2008
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• Why Do They Read? - Wednesday, December 26, 2007
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• S. Claus, C-14 - Monday, December 24, 2007
• Darkness and Light - Friday, December 21, 2007
• Memoir - Wednesday, December 19, 2007
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• Solstice - Monday, December 17, 2007
• Glory and Promise - Thursday, December 13, 2007
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• The Game - Monday, December 10, 2007
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• Snow Day - Tuesday, December 04, 2007
• Real Way, Way Real - Tuesday, December 04, 2007
•  Snowstorm - Sunday, December 02, 2007  
• Progress - Friday, November 30, 2007
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• Rollin' and Scratchin' - Monday, November 12, 2007
• Lay Yer Dollar Down - Sunday, November 11, 2007
• Smarts - Friday, November 09, 2007
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• Small World - Monday, September 10, 2007
• Fairness - Thursday, September 06, 2007
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• Publishing, Redux - Monday, September 03, 2007
• Labor Day - Sunday, September 02, 2007
• Ethnicity - Thursday, August 30, 2007
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• Novel Writing - Wednesday, August 15, 2007
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• Crappy Cars - Friday, August 10, 2007
• snafu - Wednesday, August 08, 2007
• J.S. Bach - Monday, August 06, 2007
• I-35W Bridge - Friday, August 03, 2007
• Heat - Wednesday, August 01, 2007
• Illegal - Monday, July 30, 2007
• Prof. Powers - Thursday, July 26, 2007
• Harry Potter - Wednesday, July 25, 2007
• Cat President - Sunday, July 22, 2007
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• Authorial Omnipotence - Monday, July 16, 2007
• Conveyance - Thursday, July 12, 2007
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• Tropopause - Monday, July 09, 2007
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• Star Spangled Banner - Tuesday, July 03, 2007
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• ex Machina - Thursday, June 28, 2007
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• Blogosphere - Sunday, June 24, 2007
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• Telling Stories - Monday, June 18, 2007
• Community - Thursday, June 14, 2007
• Minor Leagues - Tuesday, June 12, 2007
• For the Kids - Monday, June 11, 2007
• Wurst Writing - Thursday, June 07, 2007
• Progressive - Tuesday, June 05, 2007
• Credentials - Monday, June 04, 2007
• Band Concert - Thursday, May 31, 2007
• Institution - Wednesday, May 30, 2007
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• Honor and Sense - Monday, May 28, 2007
• King O'er the Water - Thursday, May 24, 2007
• Everything Counts - Wednesday, May 23, 2007
• Numbers Game - Monday, May 21, 2007
• Elected Attorney General - Friday, May 18, 2007
• Car Free - Thursday, May 17, 2007
• Cold Front - Tuesday, May 15, 2007
• Fortune Telling - Sunday, May 13, 2007
• Distant Voices - Friday, May 11, 2007
• Value - Wednesday, May 09, 2007
• Disposable Buildings - Monday, May 07, 2007
• Energy Alternatives - Friday, May 04, 2007
• Statuary - Thursday, May 03, 2007
• Voice - Tuesday, May 01, 2007
• McNews - Monday, April 30, 2007
• The Jebediah Effect - Thursday, April 26, 2007
• Public Realm - Wednesday, April 25, 2007
• Four Leaves - Tuesday, April 24, 2007
• Media Outlets - Monday, April 23, 2007
• A New Line of Thought - Saturday, April 21, 2007
• Pattern Taxonomy - Friday, April 20, 2007
• Politics, Interest, and Democracy - Thursday, April 19, 2007
• Making Sense - Tuesday, April 17, 2007
• Naked Emperor - Monday, April 16, 2007
• Barking in the Night - Saturday, April 14, 2007
• Kurt Vonnegut - Thursday, April 12, 2007
• All the News That Fits, Prints - Wednesday, April 11, 2007
• It was a dark and stormy night ... - Tuesday, April 10, 2007


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