Digital Mike: So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good bye

December 29, 2018

Hello and good bye.

It’s the last Digital Mike column of the year, so before we hit a few hurrahs of 2018 and a few New Year’s sites, I’ll take a moment to thank you for reading.

I’m not sure if there’s a charter member of the Digital Mike column that began way back in 2006, but if you are out there, you have my gratitude. By my count, I’ve written 670 columns or thereabouts.

This column started when I came back to the Post Bulletin in 2006 as a feature writer and the powers that be also wanted more elements that connected with this new online world that was weaving its way into our lives. So how about a column about online life? I wasn’t sure I was the right person for that, but I knew I could write about fun sites, interesting sites and helpful sites. In other words, “What’s interesting to Mike?”

And so it began. I’ve loved the interaction with readers, running into people who remember sites from past columns. There was the dad who loved the “Bad Clowns” site because he and his son found it hilarious and laughed hard together. There was the woman who loved crows and found the site about crows fascinating. She called me up one Friday evening to talk about it. And we talked for an hour!

As I noted, it’s also time for good bye.

Times are changing and so will the lineup for offerings from the Post Bulletin. They no longer need my services, which coincides well with a few thoughts I’ve had lately about whether to keep this going as a freelancer. My life has changed and there will be relief in not making deadline each week with enough items to make up a column. I think I only missed three columns, much to my alarm, but my editor, Jeff Pieters, was always smooth and cool in making it all work.

Look for other online content in the PB. There’s great stuff and good local writers who remain, as well as an outstanding crew of photographers. Read them, view them, encourage them, send them your tips and ideas. I send mine, and I appreciated those who sent their ideas or sites to me. Thanks, Jack!

For now, here’s the last hurrah of sites. Happy New Year!

Winter celebration

Did you see the video from the guys in Ely, who cut a circle of ice on Burntside Lake and used motors and luminaria to create a wonderful treat. They shot a video using a drone, you so get an even better perspective than someone who might be standing on the ice marveling. I’d still take the ice perspective with a warm cabin nearby. Enjoy and savor the winter flavor. The Star Tribune told its fuller story.


Daily poetry

We can always use a little poetry in our lives. I’ve admitted many times here that I marvel at poetry, but am not skilled at it. Here’s a good podcast from APM you can click on and listen to each day. Here’s its description: Every weekday, U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith delivers a different way to see the world – through poetry. Produced in partnership with the Library of Congress and the Poetry Foundation.


National Geographic photos

I’m a fan of National Geographic’s photography. It’s been great in the magazine and even more accessible online with even more to savor. Here’s their picks of the best pix of 2018. It’s a feast for the eyes.


Most 2018

This is an intriguing concept of the best photos. They say they’re the most 2018. In other words, the images that depict 2018 the best. See what you think. It’s a good way to scope out the year. I’m not sure I’m for it, because I just like the “best” photos, and I figure those will depict our year that was.


Sports photos

The Players Tribune trots out their best sports photos of the year. It’s a good sampling and visually will remind you of what happened and provide some visual treats of the sports world. There are others out there, so do some searching, but this is a good starting point.


A little Christmas tally

Ever since I first saw this feature years ago, I’ve always enjoyed the tally on what the 12 Days of Christmas would cost in current years. It’s fun and Reuters has good stuff, including the costs and how the prices are up or down. Take a look.


Bad reviews

I’m a fan of our language. I don’t like harsh language, but the deft use of words to describe a bad restaurant does provide some good chortles to me. Eater provides its best of the worst or in other words the best reviews of bad restaurants. What’s that mean? Here’s a good example of a New York review of a restaurant called Bluebird: On the steak tartare: “The initial flavor was bland, quickly followed by a fetid, ammonia-like tang. It was an aroma that recalled room-temperature hamburger meat from a grocer that lost power. I felt my eyes water up as I chewed. I tried to swallow. I felt my entire GI tract prepare to purge.”


Start it right

Our beloved Minnesota State Parks give you a great option to start the new year right. Get out and hike. If you’d like to join an organized effort, check your options close to home Whitewater State Park holds theirs from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., or head to Forestville State Park for a hike to one of the park’s springs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.


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