Tuesday, December 23, 2008

He doesn't know any snowbirds!

He doesn't know anyone leaving SNOWY DUBUQUE for warmer climes this HOLIDAY SEASON.
It appears he is destined to FREEZE along with the rest of us.
Dubuque has received 23 inches of SNOW this season, more than halfway toward the winter average and it is only Dec. 23. Yesterday's daytime high temperature of 5 Fahrenheit was a mere 23 degrees below normal.
Poor MARK TWAIN AWARD. Are you sure nobody is going to Florida or Arizona?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A front-row view of democracy

Zieman upset; Hancock retains seat... Incumbents in Iowa House keep their seats... Boscobel votes to exceed revenue cap... 2 of 3 megadairy issues approved... Incumbents fall in pair of county races... Whoah! Try to keep out of the way, MARK TWAIN AWARD. Don't you know it's ELECTION NIGHT? Go grab yourself a free slice of pizza... Garthwaite, Hilgenberg, Nerison prevail... Sheridan, Kurt win in Illinois... Kind gains re-election to Congress... Durbin, Manzullo easily post victories...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Meeting of the newsroom mascots

Hand fed crickets all day, Cubbie generally lounges in the splendor of his DELUXE PLASTIC JAR home -- complete with air holes and twigs!
The much-beloved, predatory feeder emerged from his comfy confines Thursday afternoon for a special meeting with another newsroom mascot, MARK TWAIN AWARD.
Note Cubbie's miraculous camouflage ability: It is difficult to spot him in the above photo. Look hard, however, and you just might see Cubbie's winking eyes and delighted smile.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

¡Estamos teniendo un partido!

Tenemos dos PIÑATAS.
¡El perro del periódico!
Hacemos el dinero para el UNITED WAY SERVICES. ¿Podemos comer la pizza?

¡Una cámara para el periódico!
Voto para el piñata.
¡MARK TWAIN AWARD quisiera comer la pizza!
¡SCOOP es el campeón!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mark Twain Award and one BIG muskie

The fish bite was slow in WISCONSIN'S NORTH WOODS, so MARK TWAIN AWARD went fro the sure thing, taking a trek to HAYWARD'S NATIONAL FRESHWATER FISHING HALL OF FAME, home of the four-story muskie.

At a stop in RICE LAKE, MARK TWAIN AWARD donned a stale bread necklace in an effort to entice the ducks (and a goose) into a feeding frenzy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rocky Mountain Hiiiiigh! Coloradooooo!

MARK TWAIN AWARD scaled new heights recently when he journeyed to LEADVILLE, COLO., elevation 10,200 feet. Leadville bills itself as the highest-elevation community in North America. Those are some 14,000-foot peaks in the background.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach Mark Twain Award to fish, feed him for a lifetime

The "Life on the Mississippi" author recently accompanied TH ARTIST MIKE DAY on his lunch-break fishing excursion to the Peosta Channel.
Without a log raft, they were relegated to fishing from shore. MARK TWAIN AWARD opted for the pink Mister Twister lure and within minutes was witness to a 13-INCH LARGEMOUTH BASS splashing about. With a turkey-strips lunch awaiting them back at the office, Mike and Mark Twain Award chose to release their catch.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I know it's only rock 'n' roll but Mark Twain Award likes it

MARK TWAIN AWARD traveled to POTOSI, WIS., on Independence Day to ROCK with tri-state area groove merchants SID V & THE HUMAN RESOURCES.
It was like "Highway 61 Revisited" down to "Sweet Home Alabama" when Mark Twain Award climbed "Jacob's Ladder" to "Wipe Out" with a "Brown Eyed Girl."
Mark Twain Award was feeling nothing like "Johnny B. Goode." In fact, he had something like the "Folsom Prison Blues" once the show had ended and we had to place him back in Emily Kittle's handbag.
It was a great time while it lasted, however, as Mark Twain Award said he "Can't Help Falling in Love" with vocalist/guitarist/bon vivant Matt Kittle and his "Blue Suede Shoes."

Monday, June 2, 2008

MARK TWAIN AWARD's Fun Fast Facts About Frisco

1) You should never call it "Frisco." It irks the locals. Don't call it "San Fran," either.
Call it by the full name, "SAN FRANCISCO," or -- if you are feeling particularly sophisticated -- call it "THE CITY."
2) Don't come to town expecting to see gay men dressed up like the VILLAGE PEOPLE.
You will be sorely disappointed. Gay men only dress up outrageously about twice a year, both times for certain parades.
With their immaculate grooming and office-job attire, gay men actually look like Young Republicans -- one of San Francisco's great ironies.
Besides, it will be tough to spot gay men in San Francisco: The vast majority of The City's residents are ASIAN AMERICANS.
3) Speaking of... if you really want to glimpse ASIAN AMERICAN culture, give CHINATOWN a cursory look, then head over to CLEMENT STREET in the Richmond District.
English-language storefront signs are difficult to find on Clement, and the shops offer some of the same Chinese items for as much as three-fourths the price as the crowded stores in Chinatown.
4) Forget RICE-A-RONI. The real local delicacy is the San Francisco-style BURRITO. Taquerias throughout town sell this full-meal-in-a-tortilla, and Web sites such as Burritoeater.com (here) devote numerous pages to the best offerings in town.
Locals wash down their burritos with a cold Belgian beer called HOEGAARDEN.
5) Which brings us to the final fact: Despite the wine-sipping image, San Francisco is a BIG BEER-DRINKING TOWN.
You'll probably crack up when you see your first INDIE ROCK HIPSTER guzzling a can of PABST BLUE RIBBON. Don't fear: Most bars have fine beers on tap, with the aforementioned Hoegaarden and Germany's FRANZISKANER among the favorites. You'll want to drink TSING TAO with your Chinese food and ASAHI with your sushi.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

"Some d--m place across the Bay"

OAKLAND, the eighth-largest city in California, has been the birthplace of numerous notables of the stage, screen, playing field and letters: Buster Crabbe, Robert Duncan, The Pointer Sisters, Max Baer Jr., MC Hammer, Galen Rowell, Jimmy Rollins, Dontrelle Willis, Erik Hogstr-- Oh OK, I'll stop.
Oakland grew from a railroad terminus to become a major West Coast port and industrial center, as well as a cultural melting pot of some renown.
Mark Twain famously struggled to reach Oakland for an 1868 speaking appearance. According to contemporary reports, Samuel Clemens madly rushed around the Oakland and Alameda ferry landings, on the San Francisco side, frantically inquiring about he could reach the site of a dinner "at some d—m place across the Bay."
Why didn't Twain simply follow the example of his namesake MARK TWAIN AWARD? Mark Twain Award had no problem reaching Oakland. He just hopped on BART and rode it through the TRANSBAY TUBE. It was easy!
Mark Twain Award toured the LAKE MERRITT area, even stopping at the famous proto-theme park, CHILDREN'S FAIRYLAND.
Then, after a morning in the city, Mark Twain Award hopped on BART and rode back to SAN FRANCISCO. No problem!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

No contest, according to Award

Historians can't answer the question: Did Mark Twain actually say "the coldest winter I ever spent was the summer in San Francisco?"
Well, MARK TWAIN AWARD traveled the breadth of SAN FRANCISCO, from BAY BRIDGE (top) to GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE (bottom), and can say with certainty that the coldest winter he ever spent was the *^%&$#@! WINTER OF 2007 in DUBUQUE!
Record snowfall of 78.7 inches versus foggy mornings that give way to afternoon sunshine and 65 degrees? No contest!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Welcome to the "city of startling events"

"San Francisco is a city of startling events. Happy is the man whose destiny it is to gather them up and record them in a daily newspaper!"
-- Letter from Mark Twain to the Territorial Enterprise, 1865.
MARK TWAIN AWARD enjoyed his own series of startling events during a recent trip to SAN FRANCISCO. Check this Web site in the coming days for Mark Twain Award's adventures in the GOLDEN STATE.
(The above photo was taken at Mark Twain Place, a signed alley off Sansome, between Clay and Washington streets in the San Francisco Financial District.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Something borrowed, something blue, something gold and shiny

Former THer EMILY ANN KLEIN married THOMAS ROBERT SHEDEK Saturday, and MARK TWAIN AWARD seemed to enjoy the festivities.
He posed with the bride, draped flowers over his shiny body and participated in some sort of dice game at one of the rowdier tables. Mark Twain Award otherwise behaved himself.
"People talk about beautiful friendships between two persons of the same sex. What is the best of that sort, as compared with the friendship of man and wife, where the best impulses and highest ideals of both are the same. There is no place for comparison between the two friendships; the one is earthly, the other divine." -- Mark Twain in "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court"

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mark Twain Award versus the beaver

Talk about a close call!
We arrived just in time to rescue MARK TWAIN AWARD today, after this hungry BEAVER eyed the award's wooden base and muttered something about "found a little something for the lodge."
Now see here, beaver, there are plenty of trees in the forest and Mark Twain Award is not intended for gnawing.
We threatened to give the beaver the full "Mississippi River fur trapper" treatment. He dropped Mark Twain Award, stuck his (big, flat) tail between his legs and scampered out of the newsroom.
The entire episode reminded us of that time a well-hydrated dog happened upon Mark Twain Award in the park, lifted his hind leg and... oh... now THAT was a close call!

Monday, April 21, 2008

City of Broad Shoulders and One Little Statue

MARK TWAIN AWARD spent the weekend with ANN and BRIAN COOPER in CHICAGO, where he took in some of the landmarks and sights along and around Michigan Avenue.
The street musician seemed particularly inspired by Mark Twain Award's presence.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mark Twain Award likes the poutine, eh?

We pretended to be CANADIAN the other day, eh, and MARK TWAIN AWARD did his best to follow suit.
We enjoyed eating POUTINE, or as Quebec Anglophones might say, THE poutine. The quintessential Canadian comfort food consists of French fries topped with cheddar cheese curds and smothered in gravy. Mmm, eh?
Good stuff.
We also tried to introduce Mark Twain Award to some common examples of Canadiana.
What's that, you say, common Canadiana? Then where is the BUNNY HUG or the TUQUE, eh?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Take Mark Twain Award out to the ballgame

Legend has it, Samuel Clemens attended a baseball game on May 18, 1875 -- he reportedly saw the Hartford Dark Blues defeat the Boston Red Stockings, 10-5.
His namesake, MARK TWAIN AWARD, received a taste of the national pastime when the MILWAUKEE BREWERS recently hosted the SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS at Miller Park.

The July 2, 1887 Elmira (N.Y.) Daily Advertiser reported that Mark Twain umpired a contest of "the old-fashioned game of base ball" between the Alerts and the Unions.
Mark Twain Award took no officially active role in the contest between the Brewers and the Giants. However, he did take up a prominent position with the "Miller Park Heroes," including former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

Monday, March 17, 2008


DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) -- Mark Twain Award projects Dave Kettering as the winner of the 2008 Telegraph Herald editorial department chili cook off.

BC-Chili Voting, 3rd Ld, 0217
Dave Kettering declared the winner of the 2008 Telegraph Herald editorial department chili cook off.
Eds: APNewsNow. Will be led. Sample Bowls Available.

Associated Press Writer

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) -- Dave Kettering won the 2008 Telegraph Herald editorial department chili cook off.
Mark Twain Award made the call at the conclusion of voting Sunday at Ken and Roxane Brown's house, site of this year's cook off.
Kettering won the annual contest for the first time, with a basic Texas-style chili simply featuring London broil and sauce.
Tradition calls for victorious chili makers to host the contest the next year.

Friday, March 14, 2008

"Their costumes, as to architecture, were the latest fashion intensified"

MARK TWAIN AWARD's year-long victory tour will likely involve countless jet-setting trips and state visits.
Local "high society" members recently bestowed their approval on the Associated Press accolade, as evidenced by this meeting with ultra-fashionable AMERICAN GIRL DOLLS KATIE (the brunette) and ELIZABETH (the blond having more fun).
Ooh. It appears Katie is sporting a GIANNI VERSACE original. Stunning in its elegance.
Bold? I'd say Elizabeth is bold!
She's a veritable trail-blazer here, wearing yet another ground-breaking piece by the Japanese designer ISSEY MIYAKE.
How can she pull off these electrifying fashion choices time after time after time?
Mark Twain himself once said of America: "We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we ever invented, which was human liberty."
So, is it any real surprise that Mark Twain Award chose this liberating work by America's own DONNA KARAN? Brilliant choice. Quite stunning in the way it accentuates his every feature. Brealthless, that is. Indeed.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

You can tell by the way Mark Twain Award uses his walk, he's a woman's man, no time to talk

His hair is wild and voluminous enough that MARK TWAIN AWARD was a natural guest at MIKE DAY and family's "Big Hair Days and Boogie Nights" party, a belated 70s and 80s-themed Halloween celebration held in the basement of Sacred Heart Church on Saturday night.
Twain grooved to the music, from the Bee Gees to Bon Jovi, and hobnobbed with assorted hippies, a former hair band lead singer and a George Michael look-alike.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Mark Twain Award had WAAAAAY more fun than you did this winter

Scan the ocean waves, and a feeling of timeless serenity descends upon you, the soothing, timeless rhythm of the -- hold on! -- what's MARK TWAIN AWARD doing there?!
Oh I get it: While the rest of us were endlessly chipping away at our ice-encased sidewalks, Twain was basking in the FLORIDA SUN with TELEGRAPH HERALD FEATURES EDITOR JIM SWENSON and his wife KRISTEN.

Well, they had a nice time from the looks of things. There's plenty of sand, discarded clothing... suntan lotion... towels... clothes again... shoes... more... clothes... no hint of any swimsui-- hey! What kind of a beach *WAS* this anyway?
Come to think of it, Twain did return with no visible tan lines.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Fiddle while Rome burns? We'd rather eat FUNYUNS® while our cabinets are dismantled!

The arrival of the MARK TWAIN AWARD happened to coincide with the systematic destruction of the TELEGRAPH HERALD newsroom.
Fear not, however, because rumor has it a bright, sparkling modern newsroom will rise from the dust of the currently dismantled newsroom.
Like journalists everywhere, we celebrated the demise of our surroundings by eating.
Here, the award helps himself to FUNYUNS®, a "food" that makes its presence felt at every notable Telegraph Herald function. (You can learn more about FUNYUNS® by clicking here.)
We might hold a similar celebration when the construction dust has finally settled. Mark Twain Award might even broaden his palate. Perhaps we'll introduce him to DORITOS®.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Twain Love is Like Bad Medicine

After many long months of waiting, CLETE, KORI, JESS and MARK finally made it to the greatest concert in the world!
Unfortunately, we only had three tickets to see BON JOVI, so Mark had to hide in Clete's pocket for a suffocating three hours. By the time he made it out, Mark was in such a bad mood, he would only pose for one photo with a smile. I was under the impression that Bon Jovi could lighten anyone's mood, but I guess the depths of Clete's pockets are far more traumatic than we could have ever anticipated.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Clink! Clink!

When I first heard about the TELEGRAPH HERALD winning the MARK TWAIN AWARD from the Associated Press, I thought about the STANLEY CUP.
It's a tradition that each member of a cup-winning team can take Lord Stanley's famous trophy for a short amount of time during the off season.
Thanks to this tradition, you end up seeing the Stanley Cup anywhere from Las Vegas casino grand openings to rinky dink parades in the smallest towns on the Canadian prairies. Everybody on the team gets an opportunity to celebrate with the Stanley Cup.
I thought it would be a great idea if everybody in the TH newsroom had the same opportunity to celebrate with the Mark Twain Award.
So, let's start celebrating!