Posts Tagged ‘fun’

DuluthTraverse at Clyde Iron

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COGGS (Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores) hosted a great event at Clyde Iron tonight about the Duluth Traverse trail system.


The meeting was an update on the project, opened by Mayor Ness on a rousing note. COGGS chair Adam Sundberg, Environmental Scientist Kit Grayson, IMBA representative Hansi Johnson and Duluth coordinator of trees, trails, and volunteers Judy Gibbs presented some great information on the background of the project, the current state of funding, state of the environmental assessment process, and a construction schedule for next year. It was a great use of the event space at Clyde Iron, and their huge screen.


The Duluth Traverse is an awesome vison of a all-levels multi-use connecting trail ranging from Jay Cooke State Park to the Lester River. Other bike and multi-use trails will be constructed within the system, and potentially, other municipalities will link in to the system later on.

It is obvious that thousands of hours have gone into brining the project to this point. Nice work to all who have co-created this vision and are bringing it into reality! Can't wait to use it, and assist in maintaining the trail system!

We Know Choo Choo Bob’s Dad

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Really, we do--Choo Choo Bob's dad is Mitch Heyn, our long-time Crystal cabinetry rep. We have liked working with Crystal through the years because they make good stuff, and they seem to keep wanting to innovate--for the employees who build their cabinets and the customers who buy them.

One of the things Crystal offers is a full line of "green" options--FSC certified woods and all-plywood or solid wood construction. In addition, the plywood they do use has no added urea formaldehyde, and a bonding agent made from mussles and soy that is highly resistent to water.

And we like working with Mitch because he's always got a good spin on things. Which must have rubbed off on the kids--if you don't know who Choo Choo Bob is, check him out here!


And to wrap up an odd string of transportation-related affiliations, we were treated to another classy American vehicle this week when Jay Hanson from Superior Scuba stopped by for some cable and swage work with his Victory motorcycle. Swanky wheels are in style. Jay is gearing up to work with National Geographic up at Isle Royale--safe diving Jay!


Classic Summer Fun

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We almost didn't recognize Ray Maruska when he pulled up in his newest work of art--a remodeled Lincoln Continental convertible.  We have seen other projects Ray has done, but were amazed (again!) by Ray's talent and artistry.


Ray superstrengthified the engine,


customized the headlights and designed a new grille for the front


Ray has been doing a car a year for about 30 years now. When he is not chopping, welding, souping up and putting a pristine finish on a car, Ray can be found doing amazing tile work.


Beautiful one, Ray!


Dark Sky Duluth

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This week at our latest Meteek Workshop event we rolled out a vision for establishing Duluth as a "Dark Sky" city. We hosted a presentation by Tom Nelson and Eric Norland from the Arrowhead Astronomical Society about the Milky Way and light pollution, and talked about a vision for making Duluth a city where more stars are visible.

Here is an info sheet we generated


Besides the presentation, we had live DJ music from MAR ( and a new show up in the gallery, mandalas from Cynthia Lapp. We were having so much fun we forgot to take any photographs of the event. Below are some of the gallery. Enjoy!


and a link to the Arrowhead Astronomical Soceity's website

Wooden Spoons

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Spoon making is an enjoyable and useful undertaking, and we often have wonderful hardwood scraps to use for source wood. Robbie Lapp visited Duluth this week and we created a boquet of wooden kitchen implements she plans to use for housewarming presents.


We are intending to offer spoon making as a Meteek Workshop class. Let us know if you are interested! You can email us at


Office-ial Support

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We'd like to introduce our architectural designer Rachel Deatherage. She joined the Meteek team in February, and is the power behind our in-house design, architectural details and  Revit renderings. Rachel earned a BA in Architecture from the University of Minnesota.

Also, our long-time office anchor Vickie Schuler has recently exploded onto the needle-craft scene, designing an unending array of beautiful sweaters and sprinking us with gifts like a miniature Santa Claus.

A bear for Luke


Our official welcome dog Molly


ASHRAE Show and Millennium Park

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This week we had the pleasure of attending the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers) winter show in Chicago, North America's largest heating and cooling show. Lots to see, and lots of innovation going on. 


We had fun scootering around the city, looking at materials and building techniques. In Millennium Park, we saw frost patterns on the Cloud Gate sculpture (the "Bean") one morning, then had the opportunity to speak with one of the builders from the firm that constructed the sculpture and did the finishing work. He was taking out a scratched graffitti tag.

Frost patterns melting on Cloud Gate


A steel worker removing scratched graffitti


He recounted the long, slow process of constructing the sculpture and taking the stainless steel panels to a seamless mirror finish. He said the first time they saw the frost patterns, they thought the whole mirror finish had somehow gone wrong. They were relieved when the air temperature warmed and all the lines vanished.

Red, green and blue LEDs that create the video imagery on the Crown Fountain


Inspiration in the Netherlands

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We just returned from the Netherlands researching materials and visiting manufacturers.

The Netherlands enacted progressive housing standards in 1901, making provisions for healthy indoor space including lighting and ventilation. Current manufacturers of ventilation systems, control systems and high-efficiency windows are using excellent materials and innovative techniques.

Touring many areas, including old and new towns, we saw ingenious construction details and uses of materials, old and new, that inspired us.

Early rainscreen principle and cellulose insulation in an agricultural building ruin on the island of Tiengemeten


Electric car charging station in Rotterdam


Cross-laminated structural wood from Austria at the RDM campus in Rotterdam


Industrial felt for cafe seating at the RDM campus in Rotterdam


Printed glass dividing wall in the offices of the RDM campus in Rotterdam


Concrete grass pavers at Oostvaardersplassen Nature Reserve


A green roof at the Energate window office in Speyer, Germany


Spectacular Fall Fly-In

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A couple of weekends ago we were treated to a fly-in at Jim and Cathy Nelson's home in Wisconsin. Jim and Cathy ran a great welding business and have since retired. Jim's love of flying has led him to construct a grass strip and a beautiful shop and hangar at their rural home.


They have been holding and annual fly-in for a few years now. It was a spectacular site to see friends fly over the house and take turns rolling down the strip and into the meadow, and joing in some "hangar flying" over a delicious meal of "Jimbolaya." Thanks for the fun!

Technology of Participation?? Facilitation Training

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One of our intentions at Meteek is to have fun. With 35 years of building experience, the projects that stand out are not just the ones with beautiful materials or technical challenges, but the ones that were really fun. What makes a project fun? Good communication and a collaborative environment of sharing expertise.

How is an atmosphere of collaborative expertise supported? Understanding clients' needs and wants, catalyzing multiple professionals, and managing the logistics of a building site are all important for the "fun" factor in what we do at Meteek.


We found that some key facilitation skills are being taught through Technology of Participation® facilitation training, so we decided to sponsor a workshop in Duluth. For two days, two world-renown trainers, Linda Alton and Sheila Cooke, came to Duluth offering a bevy of skills to us at Meteek and four other professionals from the arrowhead region.