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Monday, February 01, 2016 5:14 PM

For an industry that is supposed to be dying, there was certainly a lot of youthful energy at the Minnesota Newspaper Association annual convention last week. 

  • For an industry that is supposed to be dying, there was certainly a lot of youthful energy at the Minnesota Newspaper Association annual convention last week. 

  • Since I started writing about my family, I’ve discovered that at the root of every unusual thing about us is our family size. And although I constantly talk about what it’s like to have 12 siblings, I don’t think people quite grasp the implications of this. 

  • What changes would you make in your life if you found out you had just four months to live? The question may seem morbid, but it has more relevance than asking what you would do with the millions of dollars if you won the lottery.

  • Last week I wrote about sledding, something my siblings and I enjoy doing in the wintertime. We’re lucky enough to have several good sledding spots close to our house, the best of these being the snow piles Dad makes from pushing out the driveway. After just a few snowfalls, we can end up with hills six feet tall —sometimes more. Sledding off those hills is one of our chief amusements during the winter.

  • As an experiment a few weeks ago, we started allowing anonymous comments on our website, a practice some news organizations follow. The reason many don’t is because the conversation often devolves into unsubstantiated personal attacks and crude, divisive dribble.

  • When it comes to fun things to do in the wintertime, you can find sledding at the top of many of my siblings’ lists. And luckily for us, we have nearly unlimited opportunities for sledding all winter long. We live on a large piece of property, and whenever it snows more than an inch or two, we have to shift a lot of snow before we can drive the vehicles again. Dad does most of the work with the tractor, scraping snow off the driveway and a big chunk of the yard so we can walk around more easily. All that snow being moved makes for some pretty impressive snow piles. By February we usually have a couple six-foot hills in the front yard.

  • The new year is bringing in an unforeseen change for our newspaper. Andrea Hindt, our newspaper advertising manager and graphic artist for more than 23 years, told me just before 2015 came to an end she was leaving our company for another job next week.

  • The beginning of the year is when experts and their predictions blanket the media with projections, or guesses, on all sorts of topics, including politics, the economy, culture, technology, even war. Many will be forgotten by the end of the year so most people will never remember how far off they really ended up being. 

  • The Clan does almost everything as a family. Working together is the only way we’d ever be able to make things like gardening, beekeeping, and camping trips happen. Teamwork is just a necessary part of Clan life.

  • Our website has become an integral part of our operation as many people like to get their news electronically rather than in paper form or share our news with others, which is easiest through online links. 

  • As I’m sure you’ve surmised by now, I enjoy writing. I plan to make it a career, though I don’t know yet whether I’ll go into journalism or some other kind of creative writing. Either way, I’m sure it will be a significant part of my future.

  • Art at the Minnesota state Capitol in St. Paul has come under scrutiny as the building is being renovated this winter. Part of the examination of art on display is due to the renovation, but another reason is some critics claim certain paintings, particularly those depicting American Indians, are historically biased or demeaning.

  • Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas this year visiting with family and eating way too many sugary treats. I know I did.

  • I’m pretty sure I’m connected to the Internet more than I’m not during my waking hours these days. I’m constantly checking email, messaging people and looking up information on a browser at work. I do the same at home. Even when I’m out in public, it seems, I’m checking my smartphone, particularly if I am in a situation where I’m waiting for something.

  • With Christmas just around the corner, I’m sure you’re all hustling to get your holiday baking done. If you’re not hustling, you probably started the day after Thanksgiving and have all your cookies waiting in the freezer for the big day, like my grandma does. The Clan is among neither the hustlers or the early-birds. We’ve done our best to limit the hassle involved in Christmas parties.

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