On (not) voting at a polling place

Because of the potential for COVID-19 to disrupt elections this fall, mail voting is getting a lot of attention. It’s not a good idea to make people choose between their safety and exercising the franchise. I grew up in Oregon, and spent the first decade of my adult life there, but now I have spent more of my adult life living outside Oregon than within it. Since moving from Oregon, I have shed many of my Oregonian habits: I have become used to pumping my own gas.

Giving up Celsius

When I was in elementary school, I came across a series of books in the school library about the metric system. I don’t remember the title or the author, but I do remember reading each of them and falling in love with the measurement system used by almost every country in the world other than my own. The advantages of the metric system, especially ease of conversion between units, are well-known, and I won’t belabor them here.

What I believe

I strongly believe: Diversity enriches a society. Immigrants enrich a society. Minnesota is a better state because of the refugees who have made it their home. The Somali community’s presence in Minnesota is worth celebrating. The ideologies that pose the greatest danger to America are white nationalism and toxic masculinity. Anyone who seeks political power by demonizing immigrants and minorities is not fit to hold office.

Winter is here

Right after sunset on the solstice, I snapped this picture of Main Channel Bridge, which connects Winona with Wisconsin to the north. As its name suggests, it crosses the main channel of the Mississippi River, which is currently frozen. Today, I captured this video of a BNSF train passing through Trempealeau, Wisconsin:

Yay for Minnesota!

Earlier today, Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law a bill to recognize same-sex marriages! The law will take effect in August. Minnesota will become the 12th state to recognize same-sex marriage. Yay for Minnesota! I am very proud of my new state!

A moving speech on marriage equality

I’m a newcomer to Minnesota, having lived here only 9 months. But one thing that has made me proud to be a new Minnesotan is how this state has handled the issue of marriage equality. In the November 2012 election, Minnesotans defeated at the polls a proposed state constitutional amendment banning on same-sex marriage. And yesterday, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. Today, on Minnesota Public Radio, they were replaying speeches made in debate the Minnesota house yesterday during the floor debate before the historic vote.

Record snow!

We had some nice spring weather this week in Southeastern Minnesota. On Tuesday, the temperature got up to 27°C (80°F) and we had our apartment windows open in the evening. Then on Wednesday, the temperature dropped precipitously, and we awoke on Thursday to this: That picture was taken in the morning. The snow came down most of the day, piling up to 3.5 inches (89 mm). But we didn’t get it as bad as Rochester, which is about an hour west of here.