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MN Blog Cabin Roundup 6/3

What’s going on in Austin; becoming a non-drinker in a drinking world; and wearing the wrong football jersey.

Is Austin, Minn. really more than Spam?

from Pine City Poker by Nathan Johnson

A recent free weekend, a rarity, I decided to visit what was considered “greener pastures” for a dynamic, past music educator at Pine City High School, Brad Mariska.  Brad had set out for Spamtown USA after his time in Pine, leaving a huge hole to fill in the local music program.  During Brad’s short tenure, Pine City was thrice named a “Best Community for Music Education in America” by the NAMM Foundation.

But Austin had to look good on paper for Brad.  The southeastern Minnesota city located near the Iowa border is another one of those vibrant, All-American small towns.  As it turns out, Austin is the only city in Greater Minnesota with a Fortune 500 company.  There is a sense of pride there, one that can be appreciated by a band director whose students perform about town at the various school activities and town functions.

Becoming a non-drinker in a drinking world

from The Middle Stages by Amy Gage

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Imagine that you’re a successful, middle-aged career person who has contracted late-onset diabetes.

Your new dietary regimen requires you to quit eating cake, formerly your favorite way to unwind after a long day at the office (with more frequent indulgences on weekends and vacations). You work hard to give up cake. You examine your character and compulsions, and you seek support from other diabetics to rid yourself of this once-satisfying habit that you recognize now as a fatal disease.

And yet, everywhere you turn — whether at Target or Cub Foods, at company parties or celebrations — cake is available. Cake is glorified. At work, cake is pressed on you as a key to networking, getting ahead and building relationships.

Welcome to the world of the high-functioning alcoholic — or problem drinker, if you prefer. 

Q+A with the guy wearing a John Elway jersey at the Champions League final

from Stubble by Tom Johnson

Stubble: Tell me what you’re doing in an Elway jersey here at Brit’s Pub today.

Steve: Well, my Zlatan Ibrahimović PSG jersey was dirty from playing soccer on Wednesday, so the only other sports jersey I had was this old school John Elway jersey. It’s actually my friend’s jersey from like 6th grade. But Elway shares the same number as Real Madrid’s best player, the hard-bodied abs Christiano Ronaldo, so at least I’m wearing number 7. I’ve already gotten called out on being a football fan – “It’s the wrong football, mate” – I think were the words.