Fargo Meetup Recap: Good Enough For Ricochet Work

 

They say it takes four people to make a meetup, and we managed to get that for the big meetup dinner.   However, this meetup was a wild ride from the start.   As I recovered from a 12-hour drive from Chicagoland to Fargo, I awoke at the Red Roof Inn (right next to the Fargo Moorhead visitor center, complete with woodchipper) on Independence Day, then met up with @katiekoppelman at Bonanzaville, a living history park.  It was next to the fairgrounds, and a good place to visit while waiting for the fair to open.

The Red River Valley Fair was quite an experience.  We were joined by a relative of Katie’s and @painterjean, and convened the Order of the Neon Yardstick.   They showed me plenty of hot chicks (and ducklings) in the exhibition buildings.   Like any good festival, you could get anything and everything deep-fried.   Deep-fried Oreos are something to experience… rarely.   The literal highlight of the evening was an absolutely epic fireworks display.   This was one of the greatest fireworks displays I have ever seen, probably surpassing the Chicago fireworks at Navy Pier.  There were numerous moments when we all thought it was the grand finale, only for it to continue.

The next day began with breakfast at Kroll’s Diner, a cross between a 50s roadside diner and fine German cuisine.  Katie, Jean, and I enjoyed breakfast there – every time I go there, I get the same thing, and it is reliably good.

Jean & Katie at Kroll's Diner

Jean & Katie at Kroll’s Diner. Straight out of a Lileks Bleat.

Sadly, Jean had to leave at this point, and team Rhody  (@hankrhody & Old Man Rhody) was still recovering from their own epic trip.  However, I was going to visit the missile site regardless.  First, however, the OP-mobile needed gas, and where better to get gas (along with drinks, snacks, and two baseball caps) at RJ’s.   Sadly, Dave was not there that day, @jameslileks.

RJ's Marathon

Lileks Family Business – note North Dakota gas prices

Lileks Oil Co.

And you wondered how he got those slippery smooth transitions…

The trek out to the missile silo and command center was about an hour, but the tour did not disappoint.  It’s an impressive feat of engineering, building an underground facility designed to survive the end of the world.

Launch Console at Oscar-Zero

Note the Bugs Bunny mural on the side of the launch console. Once you turn the keys, that’s all, folks!

After getting back to Fargo, it was time for the actual meetup dinner.  Team Rhody made their appearance at the Space Aliens, where excellent BBQ, onions, pizza, and BBQ onion pizza were aplenty.  The place has a large video game hall, with more sci-fi decor than your average convention.  A good time was had by all!

Is this an illegal alien?

The crew inside Space Aliens

Now, the other activities were less crowded.  The Hjemkomst is a reproduction Viking ship that actually sailed to Norway, built in Minnesota by a high school teacher and sailed by his family back in the 70s.  It’s parked in Moorhead, in excellent condition, surrounded by an interpretive center.  Behind the center is a replica Norwegian stave church, which is one of the most impressive bits of woodworking I’ve ever seen.  It’s definitely worth seeing.   Naturally, such Viking pursuits may leave you craving mead.   The Prairie Rose Meadery is there for you.  Every kind of mead you could want, with tastings.  I now have a few bottles of this mead on my shelf.

Outside the Space Aliens Mothership

Outside the Space Aliens Mothership

Here’s hoping for a bigger crowd for the next round.   Maybe a meetup for the Fargo Air Show?

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There are 29 comments.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    OmegaPaladin: The Hjemkomst is a reproduction Viking ship that actually sailed to Norway

    That sounds fun. Better than making a couch from a horse.

    • #1
  2. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Sounds like you all had fun.

    • #2
  3. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Great report, Omega!  I’m just going to throw in the Ricochet Meetup Passport sticker.

    • #3
  4. Brickhouse Hank Contributor
    Brickhouse Hank
    @HankRhody

    It was great seeing y’all. Wish I could have done more.

    • #4
  5. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Looks like a great event – my compliments to all participants!

    • #5
  6. Lunchbox Gerald Coolidge
    Lunchbox Gerald
    @Jose

    OmegaPaladin: Fargo Moorhead visitor center, complete with woodchipper

    Huh?

    Oh!  Cute!

    https://youtu.be/HqER5Ua1z5s?t=61

    • #6
  7. Lunchbox Gerald Coolidge
    Lunchbox Gerald
    @Jose

    OmegaPaladin: The trek out to the missile silo and command center was about an hour, but the tour did not disappoint.

    One of my biggest regrets is that I did not tour the Minute Man missile silo when I was at [edit} Whiteman AFB.  I’ve been kicking myself ever since.

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Great report, Omega! I’m just going to throw in the Ricochet Meetup Passport sticker.

    Great sticker, Randy-well done!

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Thanks so much for the report, OP!

    • #9
  10. Brian J Bergs Coolidge
    Brian J Bergs
    @BrianBergs

    Wonderful report Omega.  Thank you.  I am bummed not to have made it.  It looks fun.  I love Space Aliens.  

    • #10
  11. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Brian J Bergs (View Comment):
    I love Space Aliens.

    They’re alright if you cook ’em well.

    • #11
  12. Saxonburg Member
    Saxonburg
    @Saxonburg

    Glad to hear you had a good time.  My stick-in-the-mudness kept me from seriously considering the trip to Fargo from the Twin Cities.

    I’ve only gone to one meet-up which was about 10 years ago at some Irish Pub in Minneapolis.  James Lileks, John Hinderaker (Powerlineblog), and,  I think, Mitch Berg (Northern Alliance Radio) were there.  I believe I met @RandyWeivoda there because we had a mutual interest in Mustangs.  I am soft-spoken, so I probably did not add much to the conversation, but the meeting did inspire me to adopt an avatar (Sherman of Mr. Peabody, but with gray hair) and a nickname (my childhood town) on Ricochet.

     

    • #12
  13. Brickhouse Hank Contributor
    Brickhouse Hank
    @HankRhody

    Saxonburg (View Comment):
    I’ve only gone to one meet-up which was about 10 years ago at some Irish Pub in Minneapolis.  James Lileks, John Hinderaker (Powerlineblog), and,  I think, Mitch Berg (Northern Alliance Radio) were there.  I believe I met @RandyWeivoda there

    That’s the meetup where I met Randy as well. Don’t recall if I met you there or not.

    • #13
  14. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Brickhouse Hank (View Comment):

    Saxonburg (View Comment):
    I’ve only gone to one meet-up which was about 10 years ago at some Irish Pub in Minneapolis. James Lileks, John Hinderaker (Powerlineblog), and, I think, Mitch Berg (Northern Alliance Radio) were there. I believe I met @ RandyWeivoda there

    That’s the meetup where I met Randy as well. Don’t recall if I met you there or not.

    I believe you did.

    • #14
  15. Brian J Bergs Coolidge
    Brian J Bergs
    @BrianBergs

    Ah yes, Keegans Irish Pub which sadly shut down in 2020.  Was the meet-up outside?  I remember attending a gathering there though I was not a Ricochet member yet.  Mitch Berg is a long-time acquaintance of mine and shotinthedark.info is a daily read for me.  

    • #15
  16. Saxonburg Member
    Saxonburg
    @Saxonburg

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Brickhouse Hank (View Comment):

    Saxonburg (View Comment):
    I’ve only gone to one meet-up which was about 10 years ago at some Irish Pub in Minneapolis. James Lileks, John Hinderaker (Powerlineblog), and, I think, Mitch Berg (Northern Alliance Radio) were there. I believe I met @ RandyWeivoda there

    That’s the meetup where I met Randy as well. Don’t recall if I met you there or not.

    I believe you did.

    Wow, photographic evidence!  That’s me in the red shirt.

    @BrianBergs, the meeting was inside, but it was crowded, so maybe it leaked out the door.

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Saxonburg (View Comment):

    Wow, photographic evidence!  That’s me in the red shirt.

    @BrianBergs, the meeting was inside, but it was crowded, so maybe it leaked out the door.

    Hey, what’s with all the facial hair you guys?? Is it a club?

    • #17
  18. Brickhouse Hank Contributor
    Brickhouse Hank
    @HankRhody

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Saxonburg (View Comment):

    Wow, photographic evidence! That’s me in the red shirt.

    @ BrianBergs, the meeting was inside, but it was crowded, so maybe it leaked out the door.

    Hey, what’s with all the facial hair you guys?? Is it a club?

    I’m afraid it is; one I sincerely hope you’re unqualified to join.

    • #18
  19. Brickhouse Hank Contributor
    Brickhouse Hank
    @HankRhody

    Actually, I’ve been thinking about growing out my sideburns. You know, in preparation for the upcoming Civil War.

    • #19
  20. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Hey, what’s with all the facial hair you guys?

    You call that facial hair?

    • #20
  21. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Saxonburg (View Comment):

    Wow, photographic evidence! That’s me in the red shirt.

    @ BrianBergs, the meeting was inside, but it was crowded, so maybe it leaked out the door.

    Hey, what’s with all the facial hair you guys?? Is it a club?

    These are not guys whose faces improve when you can see more of them.

    • #21
  22. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):
    These are not guys whose faces improve when you can see more of them.

    Now, Matt, let’s not be unkind…

    • #22
  23. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Saxonburg (View Comment):

    Wow, photographic evidence! That’s me in the red shirt.

    @ BrianBergs, the meeting was inside, but it was crowded, so maybe it leaked out the door.

    Hey, what’s with all the facial hair you guys?? Is it a club?

    I think it’s high time @samuelblock at least grows a mustache.

    • #23
  24. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Saxonburg (View Comment):

    Wow, photographic evidence! That’s me in the red shirt.

    @ BrianBergs, the meeting was inside, but it was crowded, so maybe it leaked out the door.

    Hey, what’s with all the facial hair you guys?? Is it a club?

    I think it’s high time @ samuelblock at least grows a mustache.

    At least he’d look older than 14 years old…

    • #24
  25. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Now, Matt, let’s not be unkind…

    He’s not. He’s in the picture, too.

    • #25
  26. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Now, Matt, let’s not be unkind…

    He’s not. He’s in the picture, too.

    I considered saying that up front but decided it was funnier if someone else pointed it out. 

    • #26
  27. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Now, Matt, let’s not be unkind…

    He’s not. He’s in the picture, too.

    I considered saying that up front but decided it was funnier if someone else pointed it out.

    Also for the record (since I think we’ve identified the other three people in the picture) I’m on the far left, obviously unlike in real life.

    I’m not sure if this is the first time I’m in a Ricochet picture but either way I think all the ones I was in up to the KC meetup I’m holding a drink.

     

    • #27
  28. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    I rock the mustache, but no beard.  Can’t wear a half-face respirator with a beard.

    • #28
  29. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    As promised, here are more photos!

    https://gallery.fancruft.com/index.php/Ricochet/2024-Fargo-Meetup

    • #29
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