Thursday, February 28, 2008
I'll have much more to report on all this over the weekend following the BPOU. We have hard work ahead but there is legitimate reason for optimism.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Here are the details from the Wisconsin State Journal.
Gullickson, Michael P. "Gulli"
Michael P. "Gulli" Gullickson, age 37, of Ridgeway, died on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008, from injuries due to a snowmobile accident near Mount Horeb. Mike was born on July 23, 1970, in Madison, to Harold and Bonnie (Brink) Gullickson. He was a 1988 graduate of Dodgeville High School, and a graduate of UTI Tech of Phoenix, with a degree in H.V.A.C. Mike worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Madison. He was a member of the Ridgeway Riders Snowmobile Club and A.B.A.T.E. Mike lived life to the fullest and enjoyed snowmobiling and riding motorcycles. His positive, loving ways will always be remembered along with his saying that, "you don't say goodbye without saying I love you." He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Glenn Gullickson, Wayne Brink, Loren and Ruth Gutherz and Jerome Skindrud; a brother-in-law, Mark Olson; an uncle, Dennis Brink; and a cousin, Michael Brink. Mike is survived by the love of his life, his "Little Princess" Halle Kiesling of Cross Plains; his fiancée, Dena Ellery and her children, Jaymi and Wes Ellery of Ridgeway; his mother, Bonnie and Bill Skindrud of Mount Horeb; his father and best friend, Harold "Chick" and Julie Gullickson of Arena; his stepmother, Jan Gutherz of Dodgeville; two sisters, Heidi (Paul) Heuring and their children, Joel, Will and Natalie of Appleton, and Kelsi Gullickson and her children, Jordan Slack and Jenna Knoble of Mount Horeb; step-brothers and step-sisters, Melissa Olson and her children, Zachary, Miranda and Kiera of Mount Horeb, Billy (Ronda) Skindrud and his children, Lucas Danz, Morgan Danz and Jordan Oyen of Mount Horeb, Michael Elhert of Portland, Ore., Colin Elhert of Madison, and Lindsey Elhert of Madison; grandparents, Gladys Gullickson of Ridgeway, Alice Brink of Mount Horeb, Alma Skindrud of Mount Horeb, Bob Hill of Dodgeville and Betty Hill of Spring Green; a very special friend, Al Kaul of Menasha; as well as aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends. Funeral services will be held at noon on Monday, Feb. 25, 2008, at the BARNEVELD LUTHERAN CHURCH. Pastor Jack Way will officiate with burial in Eastside Cemetery in Ridgeway. Friends may call at the church on Monday after 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials would be appreciated. The Lulloff-Peterson-Houck Funeral Home, Dodgeville is serving the family.
Mike, May you soar with the angels, with the wind beneath your wings. We will always love you.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
- Fidel Castro has finally decided to make official what's been long suspected; he's no longer running the show in Cuba. While it's quite likely that, at least in the short term, Castro's brother Raul will continue to run Cuba with the same tender mercies that his brother has displayed for the past 49 years, change will be coming to Cuba. The transition to a better Cuba will be a very long slog, but it will happen now. Once Raul is gone, things will be up for grabs. My friend Strolling Amok celebrates the news by bashing President Bush. Well, at least he's consistent.
- It's becoming clear that Barack Obama has used rhetorical flourishes in some of his speeches that are remarkably similar to words spoken by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in his 2006 campaign. Patrick said this and then Obama said this. Yesterday the Clinton oppo people put out another example where Patrick said something that Obama later mirrored. It turns out that both Patrick and Obama both have used David Axelrod as a campaign advisor. Looks like Axelrod was able to sell both of them the same campaign. While I don't think that the Clinton camp is correct in calling this plagiarism, it does tell us something about Obama that we didn't necessarily know before -- a lot of his moral uplift seems to be off the rack. And I'm guessing that Joe Biden is wondering where he can get a refund on his 1988 campaign (HT: The Politico and Instapundit).
- An additional irony in all this -- Deval Patrick was a very loyal Clintonista, working under Janet Reno at Justice. Apparently that doesn't matter much now, a recurring theme for the Clinton campaign.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Here's the full quote (video here):
"What we have learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It
is making a comeback. And let me tell you something -- for the first time in my
adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has
done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been
desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so
alone in my frustration and disappointment. I've seen people who are hungry to
be unified around some basic common issues, and it's made me proud."
If you listen to the full quote, this seems silly but not necessarily objectionable. As I've been dinging around the internet tonight, the part that's been used most has been this:
And let me tell you something -- for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am
really proud of my country.
As you might imagine, this fragment of the larger quote has been generating howls of outrage from various sectors of the punditocracy. And if you take just those words, I can see why someone might be outraged. But I don't think that you can or you should do that. Conservatives have howled for years about "Dowdification" - the practice (named after New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd) of some in the media to take a fragment of a longer quote and use the words as a brickbat with which to beat conservatives. We hate it when it happens to us. We shouldn't do the same thing to the other side.
Anyway, what I see in the fuller context of Mrs. Obama's quote is not anti-Americanism, but solipsism. What I see is a speaker who is so locked into her own vision of the world that she either refuses to see, or cannot see, the country that the rest of us see. That's unfortunate and it is potentially troubling that as a potential First Lady she should be so blinded to the goodness of so many other people, and of the many amazing things that have happened in her adult life, which roughly spans the same period as mine. But I also see something else - she's not the candidate. Her husband is. And he's the guy who should be getting the scrutiny. While Barack Obama hasn't seen nearly the scrutiny I'd like to see him get, it will come.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Unfortunately, Pawlenty hasn't been offering a lot of effective communication lately, at least for local consumption. He has spent a lot of his time in recent weeks on the road for John McCain and playing footsie with the global warming crowd. This sort of thing frustrates conservatives and rightly so. The sense a lot of us have is that Pawlenty has been more interested in pursuing private agendas than in fighting for conservative principles or even doing right by the people who elected him. Because he is such an amiable fellow, he gets by with it a lot. And if there weren't consequences to his actions, many people would probably give him a pass.
The consequences are all too apparent, though. Because of the disastrous special election for Tom Neuville's seat, it's quite likely that the DFL will have a veto-proof majority in the Senate. T-Paw could have helped out there, but he didn't. For much of the past six months, Pawlenty has been largely absent from the fray in St. Paul. Worse, his absence has essentially cleared the stage for the DFL. (I had a little fun with that idea in this post which I wrote yesterday but didn't get around to posting until earlier today.)
Pawlenty needs to change course now. Effective speeches are wonderful things; they are no substitute for sustained interest, effort and leadership from the governor. It simply won't do for Tim Pawlenty to give a speech, then disappear again and drop into the action from time to time with his veto pen. This legislative session promises to be especially contentious and it won't be possible for the Republicans in the legislature to get much traction when faced with the myriad predations of Pogemiller, Kelliher et al. The DFLers will be coming for Carol Molnau and they won't stop there. Dave Senjem and Marty Seifert can talk all they want, but the cameras won't turn to them most days. Pawlenty can draw a crowd of cameras any time he chooses to. Even better, if Pawlenty uses his skills properly, he can turn the debate, and the legislation coming from the legislature, into something better, perhaps even something worth signing, if he is persuasive enough. Pawlenty is a popular governor and he can run rings around Pogemiller and Kelliher, who are not impressive figures. Here's hoping that Pawlenty chooses to be an active player now that the legislature is in session.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
It was Valentine's Day weekend, 1988, and it didn't mean much to me at the time. I didn't have a girlfriend and the last few relationships I'd pursued really didn't get much past the starting line. I was living in Oak Park, Illinois and working in Chicago. I loved being there; Chicago is a great place for a young man on the make, but I decided to get out of Dodge for a weekend. It was pretty easy to get back to my alma mater, Beloit College, from there - a 45 minute trip on the El through downtown and back out to O'Hare, then a hop on the Alco Bus Company line that went between O'Hare and Madison. I had finished up at Beloit back in 1985 and then went to work for the college for a couple of years in its public relations office. Although most of my classmates were long gone by 1988, I still knew a lot of people there; former work-study students, some of my former colleagues. It was a relaxing, enjoyable place to return and I could get up there in less than two hours.
There was one person I was hoping to avoid, though - a young lady of my acquaintance named Jill. I'd known Jill for a couple of years at Beloit and always enjoyed her company; she was part of our wider circle of friends, but I hadn't spent a lot of time talking to her or even paying her much mind. I'm pretty certain that Jill felt the same way about me. But there was a problem. Jill and one of my best friends from Beloit had been dating and they had broken up over the holidays. My friend hadn't handled it well - he's the first to admit it, and I knew that Jill was very unhappy about it. I also sensed that she might not be too happy to see me because of it. I was thinking about what might happen as I rode north, assuming there was an excellent chance that I would see Jill at some point over the weekend. Beloit College is a very small school; at the time, less than 1,000 people attended there. You could get to know just about everyone if you made the effort and I knew that Jill tended to frequent the same places I liked to frequent. While I wasn't overly worried about seeing her, I thought that there might be an unpleasant moment or two, so I tried to prepare myself for it.
After I arrived, I met my friend Kevin, threw my bag on the floor of his apartment and we made haste to Goody's Bar, a clean, well-lighted place just off campus. We had just purchased a pitcher of Miller Beer and filled the excellent jukebox with coins when we saw a group of young women at the door. At the head of the group was Sue, a wonderful Southside Chicago gal who was friends with just about everyone at the college. Her best friend was Jill, who was following behind. Sue saw Kevin and me sitting at the table and froze. She told Jill to wait, then approached Kevin and me.
"Mark! What a suprise!" she said. "You didn't bring your friend with you, did you?"
"Nope, he's back in Chicago," I replied.
"That's a really good thing, Mark," she said. Then she turned around and walked back to the group of ladies with her. She quietly informed Jill that the Jerk wasn't in the house and the young ladies joined us at our table.
After a few minutes, Jill turned to me with visible anger and said, "You know, your friend is really a jerk." I thought about that for a moment. I didn't disagree with her, but I wasn't going to rip him when he wasn't there to defend himself, even if his conduct had been indefensible. It seemed that everyone at the table was waiting for my response. I decided I'd see if I could deflect the anger.
"So, how 'bout them Dodgers," I said. Jill glared at me with evident disgust and said something that changed my life.
"They're in spring training!"
She was right, of course. Valentine's Day is the time of year when pitchers and catchers report and certainly at that moment Orel Hershiser and his pals were probably plodding along somewhere in Florida. But that wasn't what caught my attention. In her anger, I saw something in Jill that I hadn't seen before. 20 years on, I'm still not sure if I can really explain it, but suddenly she was no longer this girl who was floating around on the perimeter of my college social circle. At that moment, I thought that this was a pretty sharp lady and this was someone I needed to know a little better.
I was there all that weekend and Jill and I talked a lot. We talked some about my friend, but her anger abated. She knew that I wasn't responsible for what had happened. At one point, somewhat impulsively, I reached for her hand. I looked in her eyes and said, "I'm not like him, Jill." She looked at me intently and said, "I know."
I got back on the bus on Sunday afternoon and thought about her all the way back to Chicago. There was something there -- I knew it. I wasn't sure how I knew, and I sure wasn't sure what I should do next, but I knew that I wanted to hold her hand again. We wrote letters back and forth a few times and eventually we started to date. It was her senior year and by the time she was ready to graduate in May, we were thinking of each other as boyfriend and girlfriend. Our relationship continued to grow and eventually she moved to Chicago to be near me. Jill and I will celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary later this year.
There are moments in every person's life where magic is possible. It's not something you can easily schedule. Hallmark can't put it on your docket. But when the moment arrives, you have to be ready. And even if you aren't ready, if you are fortunate you will recognize the moment when it comes. Through 3 years of dating/courtship/engagement, 17 years of marriage, the birth of our children and everything else that has happened in our lives since that wintry evening in 1988, I have celebrated that moment. Thank goodness we both saw it.
Happy Valentine's Day.
Governor Tim "T-Paw Ex Machina" Pawlenty
Lt. Governor Carol "Frau" Molnau
Senator Larry "Taxman" Pogemiller
Rep. Joe "Grand Inquisitor" Atkins
Speaker Margaret Anderson "Ma" Kelliher
Rep. Kate "Ingenue" Knuth
As we set the stage, the players are arrayed about the stage. Governor Pawlenty is hidden above the stage, attached with ropes to the rafters. Lt. Governor Molnau is strapped to a table placed on the apron of the Wakota Bridge. Nearby is Representative Atkins, dressed in an outfit he has apparently borrowed from someone at the Renaissance Festival and holding a cat-o-nine-tails. Speaker Kelliher is perched in a sedan chair mounted to a 4-post automotive lift. Representative Knuth paces anxiously next to Speaker Kelliher, resplendent in an Irondale High School marching band uniform. Senator Pogemiller scurries about the stage, wearing an ill-fitting suit equipped with Inspector Gadget arms. As the play begins, Atkins is in the midst of interrogating Molnau.
Atkins: Frau Molnau (sound of horses whinnying in the distance), why is the other half of the bridge not done?
Molnau (moaning, as if in agony): Owwwwww. E-tink. Owwwwww.
Atkins: I can't understand a word you're saying. Do I need to crank this up another notch or two? Why did you let the 35W bridge collapse?!
Molnau: Auuuugh. Rolvaaggggh….LeVanderowwwwww….
Atkins: We're not getting anywhere, Frau Molnau (sound of horses whinnying). Do I have to burn you at the stake?
Molnau: Aaaah…. T-Paw, where are you . . . . aaauuggghhh.
Pawlenty: Is that you, Carol? Sorry, too busy. I have to introduce J-Mac to the Joplin Kiwanis Club this afternoon. Maybe when I get back.
Meanwhile, Pogemiller scurries about the stage, his Inspector Gadget arms menacing the assembled audience, including a visibly alarmed Mitch Berg.
Pogemiller (singing): That's one for you, nineteen for me. Ha! I love this! Ma Kelliher, where are we on that gas tax?
Kelliher: I'm working on it, Larry. Goodness! (Turning to Knuth) Now, what's troubling you, grasshopper?
Knuth: I'm scared, Ma Kelliher. I keep hearing the sound of these boots hitting the floor. I think someone is out to get me! Can I hit them with my baton?
Kelliher: No, dearie, that wouldn't be wise. The way we handle things like that here in the Legislature is to pass a law to stop the behavior. Maybe we can tax them a thousand dollars every time they mention your name? Call it a "legislator impact fee?"
Pawlenty: If you call it a fee, I'll sign it.
Kelliher: See, snookums? That wasn't very difficult, now was it? Wait, that's my cell, hang on. . . . Hello? Oh, hi Susan! (turning to Knuth, sotto voce) It's Susan Lefenstey. What can I do for ya, Sooz? That mean guy is picking on you again? Oh, that's dreadful, simply dreadful. What would you like? A snarking ban? Hmmm, I'll have to think about that one. Let me get back to ya, Sooz.
Meanwhile, back at the bridge, the interrogation continues:
Atkins: It snowed last night, Frau Molnau! (Horses whinny). Why is my street still unplowed?
Molnau: C'mon Joe, I'm not responsible for that. Owwww!
Atkins: And the pothole in my neighbor's driveway – why isn't that fixed yet?
Molnau: Owwwww! T-Paw, why have you forsaken me?
Pawlenty: Is that you, Carol? Sorry, I'm having a hard time hearing you. Steger's huskies are barking a lot right now.
Molnau: I need your helpppppp – auuggghhh!
Pawlenty: I hear ya, CM. Look, I'd love to help, but J-Mac has me scheduled for the grand opening of a Steak N Shake in Beavercreek, Ohio tomorrow and I gotta be there. Battleground state, ya know. Can I get back with you on Saturday?
As this is happening, Pogemiller's Inspector Gadget arm grabs Atkins.
Atkins: Hey, knock it off, Pogey! That's my per diem money! You can't have that – go threaten the audience again.
Pogemiller: Sorry about that, Joe. Avast, ye scurvy coupon clippers!
Meanwhile, Kelliher continues to instruct her young acolyte.
Kelliher: Don't worry, angelface, we're taking care of you. That "future potential leadership award" we gave you – that was on the front page of the local paper, right?
Knuth: Yes, Ma, every word of it.
Kelliher: See, sweetpea, they always take care of us! Still, you seemed troubled. What's the matter?
Knuth: Well, Ma, I still hear those boots and they scare me. And my dad keeps stopping me in the lobby and asking me about his bill.
Kelliher: What bill is that, hon?
Knuth: This one (hands bill to Kelliher). The Cheeba for Everyone Freedom Act.
Kelliher: Holy Bob Marley! Hmm, let me think, let me think. I know, I'll stick it in the Minnesota Care appropriation bill.
Knuth: Thanks, Ma! You're the best!
As the play has been in progress, Pogemiller has managed to lift the wallets, billfolds, money clips and assorted loose change from everyone in the audience. He then turns to face the dumbfounded assemblage, clutching a sheaf of paper.
Pogemiller: We're all happy to pay for a better Minnesota! Time to send the particulars to the governor!
Pawlenty tumbles from the rafters, dangling from ropes. He is wearing a Mighty Mouse outfit and sideburns that seem to move as much as intermittent windshield wipers. He carries a large red pen in a scabbard.
Pawlenty: Here I come to save the day! 'Scuse me, while I whip this out!
End of Act 1
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Obama wins the "Potomac Primary." There are lots of reasons for what is happening over on the port side these days, but the key is this: fear of the Clintons is receding. Most people understand that the Clintons ruled and prevailed during the 1990s primarily by using fear and intimidation on their political opponents. Just about every political enemy the Clintons encountered back in the day was turned into a flaming puddle of goo: Bob Livingston, Newt Gingrich, Ken Starr, Kathleen Willey. The only person who really beat Bill was Paula Jones. Barack Obama is not afraid of the Clintons and they can't do anything about him. The appointment of old Clinton hand Maggie Williams to run Mrs. Clinton's campaign is a sign that the long knives are coming out; my sense is that they waited too long, though. Obama will win my beloved Wisconsin next week and if things start to turn in Ohio, you can probably stick a fork in Hillary.
McCain stops Huckabee. Huckabee has stayed in for two reasons: a potential vice-presidential nod and/or name recognition for 2012. My guess is that he'll garner neither. McCain has far better choices for the Veep slot than Huckabee and by 2012, you'll see a new crop of attractive Republican candidates. The two to keep an eye on: Governors Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Sarah Palin of Alaska.
Twins sign Livan Hernandez. He's probably about the equivalent of Carlos Silva, but he'll be $40 million cheaper than Silva. He's more likely 37 than his reported age of 33, but we'll leave that aside. Based on ability and track record, he's a much better rent-a-pitcher than either Sidney Ponson or Ramon Ortiz, the two stiffs that Terry Ryan brought in last year. Best of all, pitchers and catchers report in just a few days! Now there's a reality to celebrate.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Back in March of 1971 Carole King released an album that would become one of the most enduring records in the history of rock and roll, Tapestry. It was an odd duck of an album in some ways, comprising some songs that King had written back in her Brill Building days with then-husband Gerry Goffin, along with some newer compositions. It was a massive hit and the most successful album of the singer-songwriter era. The vision of the album is all over the map, which is probably fitting, because it's certainly emblematic of its times. By the time the album was released King had left Goffin, moved to California and was floating in and out of relationships with other men. Feminism was very much in play in those days, but there's nothing especially feminist about the songs or the album itself. It's more ruminative than anything else, what the British call a "bedsit album."
Several of the songs hit very, very big that year, with the biggest being "It's Too Late," a song that may or may not have been about King's relationship with Goffin. It's a pretty clear-eyed summation of a romance gone wrong. The words are pretty plangent, especially the chorus:
It's too late, baby, now it's too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has died and I can't hide
And I just can't fake it
So here's my weird thought - I hear the song and it makes me think of what's happening right now, and not only in this election cycle. I've done my fair share of alternately mocking and cringing at the Obama campaign in recent days. But it's becoming increasingly evident that there's something else in the air, something that's only tangentially related to Obama, his campaign or even what his adminstration would look like should he ultimately prevail in November. I'm not sure what's happening, but whatever is happening is bigger and more momentous than all that. My sense is that there are forces at play right now that are a lot more powerful than anything else that we've experienced in my lifetime. I think that the next 4-8 years are going to be transformative regardless of the occupant of the Oval Office. Something very new and potentially quite strange is on the horizon. I'm not worried or fearful about it, because there's no use in worrying about things you cannot control. But my sense is that we're in for a hell of a ride, and soon.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Game two took place at 11 a.m., against Mounds View "31," the team that the Gold Standard had beaten convincingly last week. The 31 team had a bye and was well-rested and the difference was obvious as the game went on. The Gold Standard broke to an early lead but were eventually worn down by the fresher Mounds View squad, losing 35-22. Ben did not score but was effective on defense and hit the boards hard. After that, we escaped Chippewa to have some lunch, allowing Ben to rest a bit and for all of us to experience the Doctor Zhivagoesque conditions that are settling in on the Twin Cities.
We returned to Chippewa for a consolation bracket tilt against Mounds View "29," which had lost earlier to Irondale 3 and was well-rested. The Gold Standard started slowly but took control as the game went on, cruising to a 34-20 victory. Ben did not score but was ferocious on defense, nabbing a half-dozen rebounds and making a beautiful bounce pass assist on the final play of the game. It's a lot of basketball but it was fun.
Action in the double-elimination tournament continues tomorrow at Chippewa with a 9 a.m. tipoff against St. Anthony 1, who beat our Gold Standard very early in the season. If our lads win, they play for the consolation championship at 1 p.m. against the winner of the Irondale 1/Mounds View 27 tilt. Stay tuned to Mr. Dilettante for up to the minute coverage of exciting Irondale 5-6 in-house basketball.
UPDATE: In a tough, physical game, the Gold Standard ended their season with a heartbreaking 18-16 loss to St. Anthony 1 Sunday morning at Chippewa. Our charges fell behind 9-2 early, then clawed their way back into the game but could not get over the hump at the end, playing in the teeth of a ferocious St. Anthony press. Ben did not score but again played his usual solid game, defending a variety of St. Anthony guys with tenacity and grabbing four rebounds to boot. Thus the season ends. A splendid time was had by all. And baseball will be starting soon enough!
Friday, February 08, 2008
Still, I know what many of you are feeling. Frustration, betrayal, anger,
disgust, and want for vindication likely sums it up. But, for now, box these
feelings – don't forget them – just set them aside for awhile. Your decision
about voting in November should be driven by clear thinking and not emotional
impulse – as is the case with most Democrats. It's time to live up to the bumper
sticker Republicans Think, Democrats Feel.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
- Despite what you might read in the public prints, Republicans are not dispirited in the least. The people I met today were hopeful and well-adjusted. They understood the issues and were not complacent or disgusted with the choices on offer. There was a lot of enthusiasm in the building.
- Kate Knuth, the callow, shallow perpetual graduate student DFLer who managed to sneak into representing 50B last time around, is going to have her hands full. There are three potential challengers who should be able to make a pretty compelling case for their respective candidacies. Based on my first impression, I would support Gina Bauman, who is currently one of the voices of reason on the New Brighton City Council. But I'll listen to the others at the BPOU. More to say on this anon.
- If McCain is the eventual nominee, he's going to have a lot of trouble with the rank and file. Besides finishing last among the actual candidates (Keyes doesn't count), when I spoke on behalf of repealing McCain-Feingold there was a lot of enthusiasm for the notion. The people in this room understood that this particular reform has actually hurt political discourse in this country, especially given the influence of people like George Soros who funnel millions into the process while hiding behind a miasma of front organizations. If McCain is the nominee, will I support him? I suppose I'll have to. But he won't benefit from the enthusiasm that was in the room I was in tonight unless he starts to make amends, and quickly.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Saturday, February 02, 2008
The win brings the squad's final regular season record to 4-5-1. The year-end tournament begins next weekend, with the first game at 9 a.m. at Chippewa against one of the seemingly endless parade of Mounds View teams that we've seen this year. Remember, Mr. Dilettante is your source for wall-to-wall coverage of exciting Irondale 5-6 in-house basketball action.