Moin, Moin U.S. Wind

In northern Germany, “moin, moin” is the short way of saying hello. Turn around and say goodbye, and “tschüss” is the word.

I learned the words while working for the world’s largest and longest-running wind energy industry trade show last month. While there, I couldn’t help wondering why we in the U.S. have been so willing to forego moin for tschüss when it comes to wind.

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Not-Quite-Dead Rock Stars

Rock isn’t dead. It’s old and wrinkled, sure, but it’s alive and well and still playing at Moondance Jam. Really. Saw it with my own two eyes.

Rock isn’t dead.

I saw it myself late last Thursday on a delayed flight from Chicago to Fargo. And to quote a 35-year-old hit, “It was like lightning / Everybody was frightening / And the music was soothing / And they all started grooving…”

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Thanks for Being Here

Father’s Day, 2004

“Thanks for being here.”

My father, Martin C. Fredricks III, said this to me many times, usually at family gatherings. Just as often, though, he said it to people he’d just met, at one of my brother’s NDSU football games, for example, even if they had their own child playing. It always seemed an odd thing to say to people with their own reasons for being somewhere.

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Gee, Dad, You’re Such a Dork!

“Mart probably fell into the toilet, and Dad’s making a list of ways to get him out.”

That punch line, originally delivered by my older sister when we were just kids, never fails to bring a laugh at family gatherings. It’s a short story that recently took on new meaning for me.

It happened many years ago when the family was out to eat at a fast food place. Before heading for home, Dad took me into the bathroom. When we didn’t return for a long, long time, my Mother wondered aloud what could be keeping us. That’s when my sister came out with the zinger.

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The Curse of Christmas Present

Unwanted, useless gifts. They come out of nowhere, from relatives I wouldn’t dream of asking for receipts. Toss them and forget it, I tell myself. But I can’t, I won’t. If something can be purchased, surely it can be returned….

In the wee hours of Christmas morning, after we’ve opened all the gifts and thrown out the wrapping paper, as my relatives gently slumber, I confront the curse of Christmas present.

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The Big Attraction

How to keep the Joneses and all their cash from driving on by on the new Interstate system? Enterprising business owners and chamber of commerce leaders pondered and pondered. Finally, an idea took shape. The Big Attraction was born.

Not long ago, National Public Radio did a piece about a free spirit who has created a mobile desktop publishing office and taken his show on the road. In the tradition of John Steinbeck and his faithful companion, Charley, this gentleman is traveling across the country, meeting folks and printing their stories.

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