Thursday, April 30, 2009

Looking for Work

I just got a call from the one job that looked really good. They are going to interview me.

This is cheering news.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


For the suggestions on networking in comments to the previous post. I will follow up on all suggestions.

My mood is jumping around a lot, up one moment and down the next. This evening I have been feeling down. The suggestions cheered me up.


Our car is with Patrick in Fargo. I had a medical appointment in Minneapolis yesterday, which took 20 minutes, but 3+ hours travel time on mass transit. Today I have a dental appointment in Minneapolis, which will take as long or longer.

However, this post is actually about Facebook. I signed up for Facebook a year ago and could not figure out its appeal. Now I have. It is great if you are out of work and feeling socially isolated. I can start every day with little comments from people I know and like, though I may not see them often.

As Unemployment tells all job seekers, discouragement and depression can be pretty serious problems, especially in this economy. I figure I need to put some effort -- probably every day -- into not feeling down. Face Book helps.

So -- every day do something that makes me feel loved or at least liked, something that makes me feel in control, and something that advances the job search.

I just went on line and checked two nonprofit job listings and the Star Tribune. Nothing new at the non profit listings. The Strib was kind of scary -- not a lot of ads for accounting work of any kind, and many (possibly most)of the ads were from temp agencies or placement agencies. This last makes sense in this economy. Who wants to put an ad in the paper and get a gazillion reponses?

Unemployment says most jobs are found by networking. I guess I had better start networking. Back to Facebook...

Monday, April 27, 2009


I had a really nice dream last night. I woke at 2 a.m. and lay a while, trying to memorize the dream. But it's fading fast.

I was approached by two young women, aspiring writers, because I am a writer. I talked to one first, then she left, and the second one approached me. I was trying very hard to be encouraging, to share what I know about writing, my belief in the importance of writing.

The first young woman came back, and the second left, angry because she no longer had my full attention. The first was giving me a ride. We ended at a party in the studio of an art professor, I think at the University of Minnesota. It was a series of large rooms with very high ceilings. An Eames arm chair was in one corner, next to a humidifier, since the wood was splitting.

One of people at the party decided to explain to me what an Eames arm chair was. I said, "I know. We had one when I was a child."

There were paintings or drawings on the walls, very large and simply tacked up, covered with sheets of clear plastic. The professor had written on the plastic in large letters, describing when she had bought the work of art and why and how she'd gotten the money to pay for it. So you were looking at the art through a description of its acquisition. This amazed me, because it was a very casual way to treat art that was both good and valuable.

The people at the party were the professor's art students, very bright and passionate about art.

After a while the art professor came in, and I was introduced to her. When I said my name was Eleanor Arnason, she said "Ah," and her eyes opened wide, which meant that she recognized my name and knew my father's work in art history.

The party was very pleasant. I sat on sagging, beat-up furniture and listened to young people talk about art and felt very comfortable.

The art on the walls was from the 1950s -- the era when I was growing up. The art professor, who was in her 40s, was far too young to have bought this when it was affordable.

This is not entirely true. Only the most famous Abstract Expressionists are expensive. The rest are very affordable. But I am pretty sure I remember an Arshile Gorky, which would not be affordable; and an artist her age would be unlikely to buy second and third rank 50s artists.

I was remembering my childhood and my father and the people he knew, who were bright and articulate and passionate about art and who were the world's avant garde at the time, the people doing the art that went into the history books.

I was also remembering that I was a writer.

Anyway, a very comfortable and comforting dream. After five years spent at a small arts nonprofit, where my job was to worry about money, not art, it was very pleasant to remember art.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


The St. Paul Art Crawl happens in April and October. Many artists in Lowertown -- the city's artist quarter -- open their studios and display their art; and people wander from studio to studio, maps in hand. There is one jeweler whose work I like a lot. She was trained as a geologist, and her stones are always awesome. I passed through the art crawl last night -- on my way to something else -- and stopped at her display. I bought a bracelet, though I shouldn't be buying anything except food right now.

The bracelet is made of good-sized spherical and cubical beads, with one cylindrical bead, the largest of the lot. The cylinder and the spherical beads are jade of various shades of yellow, brown and white. The cubical beads are brown citrons. I have never seen brown citrons before. Finally, there are small, disk-shaped, pale green beads framing the cylindrical jade bead and the bracelet's clasp.

Well, it was a lot less expensive than the $615 glasses I was looking at.

I am not sure what I've going to wear with it. But I do have a carved Chinese pendant of pure white jade that came from my grandmother.

Icelandic Sheep

I have been thinking about Icelandic sheep.

When I was in Iceland the second time, I met a distinguished evolutionary biologist. I said, "People always tell me sheep are stupid. Are Icelandic sheep stupid?"

He replied, "Sheep are not stupid. People always say denigrating things about animals they exploit."

In point of fact, there are Icelandic stories about how smart sheep can be, especially about the weather.

Traditionally the Icelanders have sent their flocks into the mountains to graze in the spring and gathered them in the fall. This means the sheep are on their own from April or May till September.

This is possible because the largest land predator in Iceland (aside from the very occasional polar bear that floats in on ice) is the arctic fox. I don't think foxes are big enough to be a danger to sheep. Maybe a newborn, but that's why the ewe is standing there looking fierce.

Shepherds and sheep herding dogs are not necessary to protect the sheep from predators. But there have to be other dangers: bad weather and dangerous terrain. The sheep have to deal with these on their own. Presumably -- over the past thousand years -- the less intelligent sheep have made bad decisions and removed their genes from the gene pool. The end result is smart and self-reliant Icelandic sheep.

So because sheep in Iceland had no predators, they became cannier and learned better survival skills.

If I got any of this wrong, Helgi can tell me.


The magnolias are blooming.

Friday, April 24, 2009


It is spring.

I have switched from wearing a turtleneck and a long-sleeved shirt over it to wearing a t-shirt and a long-sleeved shirt over. I don't really need the long-sleeved shirt today. It's 75 degrees.

I am down at my favorite coffee shop, in theory working on a story. But I am actually surfing the Internet. There are flowers on the coffee shop tables, forsythia and daffodils from a staff person's garden.

Tomorrow I am taking off from the job search and other tasks. Sunday I plan to clean house, especially clean the desk in my bedroom, so I can use it as a work space. Monday I will get back to looking for work.

Most of the classes given at the Minnesota Work Force sites -- where the unemployed gather to look at computers and brood -- sound irrelevant to me. How to write a resume. How to use a computer. How to speak English. But a couple of the sites in very prosperous suburbs have interesting sounding classes.

I need to sign up, along with Patrick. He will need to drive.

Unemployment Again

I wrote the post immediately below to explain why I am going to write abut unemployment. It is something that many people are experiencing.

Patrick and I are more unlucky than many, because we have both been laid off. However, if unemployment actually is running at 23%, which a Great Depression kind of figure, then many households are or will be experiencing loss of all work income.

We are also lucky, because we have no debt and a relatively modest life style. In the short term, meaning for the next year, we can pay all our bills. The only real problem is health insurance, which is going to run the two of us over $1,200 a month.

But we can make it. Patrick has a formidable reputation in the community of people who work on homeless issues. I think he will be able to find work, though how much and how soon is not clear to me.

I figure, people need accountants even in hard times. I will probably be able to find a part-time job, which is what I had and what I want.

And I am going to write about this now very common experience of not having a job. I am likely -- at least at first -- to write about psychological problems, since that is what I'm dealing with now.


I will pull myself out of this mood and write about other things -- pretty soon now, I hope.

The official unemployment rate -- called U3 -- was 8.5% in March. That is one in eleven people. However, U3 is not considered accurate, because it only counts those who are unemployed and currently looking for work.

A better figure is U-6, which counts those currently looking for work + "marginally attached workers." These are people who are not currently looking for work, because they are discouraged, have impediments to their work search such as lack of childcare or a car, or have taken a part time job, but want a full time job. The U-6 figure was at 16% in February, when U-3 was at 8.1%.

There is another measure being used by economists who feel even U-6 is not sufficiently accurate. This is the percentage of the civilian non-institutional population aged 21-54 (the prime working years) not working. To compare over time, economists use the figure for men, since fewer women worked in the past -- back when one income could support a family.

In February, there was a ten point difference between this figure and U-3: U-3 was 8%, and this measure was 18%. In the 1970s, the difference between these two figures was 3%. This is more evidence that U-3 does not reflect actual unemployment -- and that the problem has gotten worse over time.

At present, the unemployment figure for working age men and women not in institutions is 23%.

So, if you use U-3, one person in eleven is out of work. If you use U-6, one person in six is out of work. If you use the last measure, which must have a name but I can't find it, the unemployed are almost one in four.

Now, there are still two groups who are not being measured: those in prison and those in the armed forces.

The US keeps 2 million people in prison. Most are not financially independent and would be working or looking for work, if not in prison. Many of these people are locked up for non-violent, behavior or status crimes such as possession of small amounts of illegal drugs while African American. So our drug laws, and our desire to lock people up for non-violent, personal behavior crimes reduce our rate of unemployment.

The average US soldier these days seems to be a member of a racial minority or a working class white from a small town. To a considerable extent, these are people who could not find a decent job with any kind of future and joined the armed forces to make a future for themselves.

There are currently close to three million people in the US armed forces, per Wikipedia.

Because I am something of a numbers nut, I did some quick figuring. Per Wikipedia and the US Census, there are something like 151 million Americans between the ages of 21 and 54. Of these, 5 million are in jail or the armed forces. This is about 3.3%. (I am making the assumption that most of the people in jail or the armed forces are between 21 and 54.)

Anyway, this gives us a figure of 26% for Americans between 21 and 54 who are unemployed, in jail or in the armed forces. That is more than one in four.

This is not a good economy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 23

I deposited my severance pay this morning, then stopped in the glasses shop next door to look at expensive frames. I found a very nice Alain Mikli pair for $615. Prescription lenses will take it over $1,000. Most likely I will not buy the frames.

This is not a cause for sadness. I have five pairs of glasses of varying ages, but all wearable. Three pairs are really fine. One is adequate. One pair is a mistake. The material is wonderful -- a translucent plastic, full of complexity and glitter; but the shape is not good on my face. I figure I will wear them as sunglasses, since the lenses darken; and you can wear almost anything as sunglasses.

This afternoon I applied for a job via email. The job has been filled.

I worked more on my resume, which needs to be emailed to another job tomorrow; and I input 33 pages of changes to a 143 page story. It's 38,000 words long. If I write eight more pages, I will meet the Nebula definition of a novel.

One of the things Unemployment suggests is considering changing your career. Maybe I will change from accounting to writing science fiction.

I feel a lot better today. I was really upset for 24 hours, then exhausted because I missed a night's sleep. Last night I slept well. This morning I woke up cheerful.

I still have moments when I think, "I'm unemployed" and "How could they get rid of their accountant when faced with hard economic times?" It seems utterly crazy. But my ex-boss told me it was absolutely not about me. It was all about saving money. There's apparently a new theory that nonprofits can save money by getting rid of support staff.

But isn't it like getting rid of your city engineer when it's flood time in Fargo? "Oh, what the heck. We can outsource the work to Bismark."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Day

I was so upset yesterday that I did not go to sleep till morning and then for only an hour or two.

During the dark hours in the middle of the night I updated my resume and wrote a cover letter for it. I need to print these out and proof them, then email them to a job prospect.

I filed for unemployment and talked to a couple of insurance agencies about my Cobra extension.

Patrick and I got groceries, and I made lunch.

That's been the day.

Lay Offs

A friend works at the Minnesota State Historical Society. They have laid off 50% of their staff. My friend still has her job, but it's being completely reconfigured.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another Lay Off

I got laid off from my day job today, which I find unsettling.

Between Patrick's lay off and mine, we have just taken a 50% cut in household income.

I think that's as much as I'm going to say right now.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lay Offs

A couple of days ago I was riding home on the bus, and I heard a woman talking about her brother, who had just gotten laid off. Then I changed buses and heard a guy on his cell phone, saying he had just made it through the second round of layoffs at his job. Then I got home, and Patrick told me he had gotten laid off.

Pat is not too upset about it now. He worked really hard at the current legislative session, trying to get bills through that would help homeless people. Most of what he cared about went down in flames, thanks to our Republican governor's refusal to raise taxes on the rich. There simply was not enough money for education and housing and health care and human services.

Right now Pat is tired. Looking for work does not seem bad, comparing to the session he's just been through.

My job is going to announce layoffs next week. I don't want to get laid off, partly because of the money -- a lot because of the money; but also because it would mean that Pat and I would be spending too much time together. We both need a lot of solitude.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I was in Barnes and Noble a few days ago, checking the science fiction and fantasy section. One of the books had a title in an elaborate, almost unreadable font. I thought it said The Hatter of God.

When I took a second look, it said The Hammer of God, which was a less interesting title. I liked The Hatter of God.

Jane Yolen was at Minicon this past weekend; and I bought one of her books, a collection of her fairy tales and fables.

Influenced by her and the misread title, I have written a story -- a sort of fairy tale or fable -- called "The Hat Maker of God." I will find out if it's any good when I hand it out to my workshop. But it came quickly and easily, which is always fun. I don't much like the stories that drag on and take a lot of writing and rewriting and time off to think. Though some of these stories are among my best.

But the short, quick one are a pleasure.


I had a nightmare the night before last. Patrick decided he wanted to visit downtown Minneapolis at 3 a.m. I accompanied him on the drive, though I didn't think it was a good idea. There was something scary downtown – maybe a serial killer. I don't remember that part of the dream.

Anyway, the downtown was completely dark – no lights in the buildings, no streetlights, no stop lights. There was no traffic, nothing except the completely dark buildings and streets.

We started home. Somehow we ended on a frontage road, though there was a broad parkway right in front of us, brightly lit by streetlights and with some traffic. Patrick parked the car facing the parkway. There was a heavily wooded park behind us, completely dark and frightening to me.

I begged Pat to get on the parkway and drive home. He didn't think there was a problem, and he didn't want to go yet. I remember locking the car doors, but I think the windows were partly open. I began to hear noises in the park, men's voices and the sound of a dog.

Pat decided to make dog noises in reply, which he did. I was getting more and more frightened, desperate to get away.

Then something the men said made me realize that they were policemen, and I woke up.

I have not a clue what this dream means, if anything. I can't imagine Patrick behaving this way.

In any case, it's staying with me, which most of my dreams do not. I can still see the dark downtown and the bright parkway that we can't seem to reach.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Union Heroes (with Union Training)

From Firedoglake:
American crew members aboard a U.S.-flagged ship have regained control of the vessel hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia Wednesday...

...At least 12 of the Americans aboard the Maersk Alabama are members of the Seafarers International Union, spokesman Jordan Biscardo said.

...Crew members of the Maersk Alabama received anti-piracy training from (where else?) their union.

Looking Backward 2

I ran across my comments on the Republican National Convention...

Patrick told me recently that the businesses on West Seventh next to the Xcel Center, where the convention was held, are still angry about the business they did not get, because the tight security meant the delegates could not move around freely.

And he says the St. Paul Police officers he's talked to are still upset. They feel they could have handled the convention by themselves. Instead, a bunch of cops were brought in from other towns, who were not adequately trained and knew there would be no consequences for them, no matter what they did. As a result, they did a bad job, which gave St. Paul and its police a bad reputation nationwide.

There was an investigation, which cleared the city. I think this was a whitewash; and our current mayor, Chris Coleman, does not deserve re-election.

I really miss the former mayor, Randy Kelly. He made one mistake, which was endorsing George Bush in 2004. I think he did it because he thought it might help the city get aid from the federal government. Maybe I am being too kind to Kelly. In any case, that finished his career in St. Paul, which is solidly DFL.

Kelly was a tough professional pol from the blue-collar, pro-union East Side of St. Paul. He believed in the importance of the arts, maybe because one of his sons is professional dancer. What's better than believing in unions and art? It's bread and roses.

Chris Coleman is a hole in the air.

Looking Backward

I was pretty sure I had printed my "Dinosaur" poem here before, so I went back and looked. I quoted it in 2007. That's a ways back. I don't see a problem with quoting it again.

I noticed two things...

How repetitious this blog is... weather, my moods, what Patrick and I are doing, the writing I am planning to do...

I do get a fair amount of writing done finally. But boy is it a slow process. And boy do I spend a lot of time planning to get things done.

Many of the entries are like the journals farmers used to keep:

"January 6, 1896. Snow fell. Cut wood for the stove."

"January 7, 1896. More snow. Cut more wood."

I write more about my plans than the farmers usually did. Maybe I should follow their example and only write down my achievements. Though it might be nice to see dreams in the farm journals.

"January 8, 1896. More snow. I am thinking of fleeing to Mexico."

And there are not enough pictures in the blog. What really gives a blog zing is pictures.


The Brer Rabbit story is done and ready to go to my workshop. Next Monday I plan to do the final line edits on "My Husband Steinn," a fantasy set in contemporary Iceland. It was written before the banks collapsed, so it's already out of date. But what the heck. I like the trolls in it.

After that I have two stories that are finished, but need a final revision: "Tomb of the Fathers" or "Iridium." In the case of "Tomb" all I have to do is input line edits. "Iridium" needs some rewriting.

I go to three days a week at my job May 1, and I am feeling pretty energetic right now. Happy at the idea of having another day a week free. Raring to go.

I got curious. "Raring" is a dialect form of "rearing." It means impatient or eager. Well, that's me right now. I actually want to write, after months and years when I wondered if I had any interest left in being a writer.

Part of it is the season. I always get energetic in the spring, and I slow down in the fall, when days shorten. So I have maybe five months to get work done, before I begin to like the idea of naps and reading on the living room couch.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Blogger Sign In Problem

I went onto the Blogger forum. There were plaintive and angry posts from people who are having the same problem. I assume Google will fix it.

In the meantime, enjoy the feathered dinosaurs. All previous feathered dinosaurs have been therapods. These belong to the other great branch of dinosaur evolution, the one that led to Triceratops (among others) and not to the therapods.

This means feathers go way back into dinosaur history and must be more wide-spread than we have realized.

Calloo! Callay!

Notice that the dinosaurs in this lovely picture are just sauntering along and looking around. Their mouths are closed. They are not leaping and clawing. Restful dinosaurs...

Feathered Dinosaurs

Fair Warning

Google is switching all their bloggers over to gmail accounts. I did what they told me to do in order to switch my sign-in to the gmail account I never use. However, signing in with my gmail account does not get me to my blog. Google tells me that I have no blogs set up. When I try to input my old sign-in to the Google "change your sign-in" page, it tells me the sign-in is not valid, even though it still works to get me to my blog.

I figure it's only a matter of time before the old AOL sign-in no longer works. At that point, I will not be able to get to my blog, and will have to create a new blog, unless Patrick can figure out the problem.

At the moment, Pat is screaming at his eee-pc, which is doing something strange.

All I want from computers and the Internet is they should work.

April 6

The sunlight looks like spring. The air feels like spring. The trees have buds. The finches are back and singing.

For that matter, the vultures are back. Patrick and I saw a pair along the river yesterday -- big, black wings and a teetering flight.

It calls for a haiku, but I can't think of one right now.

Feathered Dinosaurs

I just did a Google image search on feathered dinosaurs. I was looking for a specific image to copy here and found it. But I noticed most of the images showed the dinosaurs with mouths open so their teeth were visible and in aggressive poses, leaping, their claws spread. Granted, they were mostly predators. But if you look at contemporary predators -- lions and komodo dragons and so on -- most of the time they are lying down or sauntering around with their mouths closed. It takes a lot of energy to leap around with your mouth open and your teeth showing. You are only going to do it while actually hunting.

Birds hunt by soaring or sitting in a tree or standing still and watching. The watching is the important part. Then, when they see something that looks edible, they explode into action. A heron drives its beak down into the water. A hawk or eagle dives.

We need more images of dinosaurs resting or walking at a reasonable pace or watching, their heads tilted. The bigger predators probably acted more like lions. But the little guys probably hunted like birds.

April 6

It snowed yesterday. The snow melted when it hit pavement, but stayed on roofs and lawns and the branches of trees. It's gone this morning.

Snow has been recorded in Minnesota in all but one month, August. I've seen snow down here, in the southern part of the state, in every month between October and May.

In case you are wondering, I like this. Snow in the spring is not a problem. I know it isn't going to last. Snow in the the fall is exciting. There are times in January or February, when it may seem as if winter is a bit long. But the problem is the cold and darkness. Snow is almost always fun.

Patrick and I went to the Mall of America, aka the Megamall and Hugedale, yesterday to walk inside. If we do three of the four levels, it's an hour walk. Many older Minnesotans walk inside during the cold weather, and malls open early so they can get in their exercise.

There are two things that make me feel good about getting older. One is seeing a lot of older people briskly exercising. The other is going to the opera and seeing a lot of older people dressed to the teeth and enjoying culture.

Anyway, we finished our walk and did a little shopping -- always a danger when mall walking. I bought a new pen, a rollerball that uses bottled ink, which means I have a huge range of colors available to me. I like the idea of editing with green or purple ink. Patrick bought a new computer bag. I am beginning to think we are trying to maintain the failing economy by ourselves.

Friday, April 03, 2009


I appreciate comments. There are times, writing a blog like this, that I feel I am speaking to no one. I figure someday some graduate student will find this useful in her dissertation on North American female science fiction writers of the early 21st century. But it's nice to know people are reading this now.

In Response to a Comment

Someone commented on my previous post and mentioned she is from Argentina.

I just read an article in New Scientist on very big dinosaurs. The biggest so far is Agentinosaurus. (I think I have that spelled correctly.) It is estimated to have been 110 feet long and 80-100 tonnes (176,000-220,000 pounds). According to Wikipedia, the name means "silver lizard." I would have guessed "lizard from Argentina." But silver lizard sounds lovely.

It's a sauropod, one of the big guys with tiny heads, long necks and long tails. Not my favorite kind of dinosaur. But impressive.

Per the New Scientist article, they had bird-like breathing systems, with air sacks as well as lungs. This is more efficient than the way we breathe, since it provides a continuous flow of air into the lungs from the air sacks as well as from the outside; and this would have helped power the huge beasts.

We now know that many dinosaurs -- though not sauropods, as far as I know -- had feathers, probably for insulation, though maybe also for display.

And it seems to me some had the kind of hollow bones that birds have.

Yes, I just checked online. Aerosteon, a carnivorous dinosaur from Patagonia, has a bird-like breathing system and hollow bones.

So all the prerequisites for flight -- a light skeleton, an efficient breathing system and feathers -- existed in dinosaurs before birds flew, and existed for reasons other than flying, probably mostly so the big guys could be seriously big and little guys could keep warm. Wonderful!

The fantasy writer Gregory Frost mentioned years ago that dinosaurs are popular during Republican administrations. An interesting insight. However, as Republicans and conventional politicians in general seem more and more out-of-date and unable to cope, dinosaurs keep getting more modern and efficient.

I wrote a poem thirty-five years ago, after reading an article in Scientific American on the theory that birds were descended from dinosaurs:

Little did I realize
That every summer breeze
Brings the sound of dinosaurs
Singing in the trees.

And in the cool of morning,
When dew is barely dry,
The cousins of Triceratops
Soar across the sky.

Triceratops is dead and gone,
Which proves the worth of might.
Maybe we should put our trust
In music and in flight.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

March Haiku

I am trying to write haiku about this spring and have come up with the following:

Early spring –
the leafless birch trees shine
like white bones or teeth.


Ads for whiter teeth
gleam in the margins
of economics blogs.


The weather warms.
Banks crumble
like calving glaciers.


People brace
for hard times.
Bankers show white teeth.

I like number I and number III.

Number II is true. The blogs I read do have ads for whiter teeth, illustrated with full sets of yellow and white choppers. This is very creepy in the middle of a discussion of Wall Street stealing everything not nailed down.

I feel I am faced with the leers of financiers.

More is needed, but I can't find anything that works.

Maybe I could use a couple of stanzas of Solidarity Forever, the fine old union song:
They have taken untold millions that they never toiled to earn,
But without our brain and muscle not a single wheel can turn.
We can break their haughty power, gain our freedom when we learn
That the Union makes us strong.

In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold;
Greater than the might of armies, magnified a thousand-fold.
We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old.
For the Union makes us strong.


It's snowing this morning.

Yesterday it was raining when I left for work. By the time I got to the bus stop, four blocks away, the rain had turned to snow. When I left work, it was hailing -- smaller than pea size, but definitely hail, rattling on the hood of my parka.

They've had a couple of good-sized storms up in Fargo-Moorhead. The mayor of Moorhead was quoted as saying, "This is ridiculous. It's March 31, and we're looking at 14 inches of snow."

However, the dikes are holding, and the Red River is falling. There will be another crest in April, when the current snow melts. But it looks as if the two cities are going to be okay.