Monday, November 22, 2010

Blog Sunset

County Road Sunset

2 Busy 2 Blog

I have so many obligations lately that I must prioritize to adequately address them all. In the end you can't do everything. With 2 active children, a wife that travels and is frequently out of state, a full-time public policy and administrative job, and an active schedule myself, I must reorganize how I use my time. I plan on tackling some big projects over the next two years in addition to my very busy schedule. So, I must bid my blogging adieu for now. The sun has set on this very fun but time consuming activity. From time to time I may have a special update (I will alert via Twitter), but I will make those rare.

Thanks 2 all who have followed The Marion Contrarian.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Taxpayers for Brent Oleson Fall Fundraising Event

Eat, Drink & Be Marion! That's what you can do on Wednesday October 6th at my Fall Campaign Event!

Please come meet Iowa's next Governor, the Honorable Terry E. Branstad, Iowa's next Speaker of the House Kraig Paulsen, and Iowa's next Senate Majority Leader Paul McKinley. Our neighbor Kent Stock of the movie "The Final Season" will emcee the event. Cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served with music from local high school students on the outdoor patio and entertainment area of Dan & Deb Callahan's beautiful Marion home. Come on out and support Linn County Supervisor Brent Oleson and have a great time with friends and supporters!

Event Details: (also on Facebook at!/event.php?eid=154069591279980 )

Wednesday, October 6th
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Home of Dan & Debra Callahan
2680 Newcastle Rd.
Marion, Iowa

Let me know you're coming with an email to or call 319-350-5620.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010


The dates for the 21st consecutive DUPHOFF (Drunk Urban Professionals Having an Outdoor Float Fest) have been decreed by Brother Hoff. The boys of summer will be floating down the Current & Jack's Fork Rivers from July 22 - 26.

DUPHOFF is my annual "guys only" canoe trip with both friends from childhood and those of more recent years. DUPHOFF was founded in 1984 and resurrected in 1990 by Burlington, Iowa boys who attended BHS during the 80's and became familiar with the crytal clear spring fed waterways of deep Southern Missouri.

DUPHOFF is a democratic (as in by the people, for the people) society made up of elite individuals who challenge nature, human ABV tolerances, and their own digestive tracts while floating the turbulent waters that make up the Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Southern Missouri.

Above are a few pictures from last year and below are a few designs from the annual t-shirt issued to each participant. Looking forward to seeing the 40 or so guys who will make the trek this year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Iowans Remembered

Mary Lundby

Rosemary Thompson

Dick Damrow

I was just thinking the other day about all the great people we lost over the last year, both in my own universe, but also of our larger community. A couple on this larger "Iowa" public list found at were very close to me and I miss them terribly. All contributed a great deal to improve the lives of many while they were here. Join me to take a moment and remember those who have passed from our earthly presence.

Looking Back: Notable Iowans Who Died in 2009
By Becky Ogann

Among the notable Iowans and Eastern Iowans who died in 2009:

George Hidinger, 87, of Cedar Rapids, first Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School football coach and athletics director, Jan. 3

Rosemary Thomson, 72, of Marion, served in Iowa House from 1995 to 2000, Jan. 19

Mary Lundby, 60, of Marion, served in Iowa House from 1987 to 1994 and Iowa Senate from 1995 to 2008, Jan. 17

Loyd Shaffer, 66, of Marion, former Marion High School wrestling coach, Feb. 18

B.B. Stamats, 76, of Ridgefield, Conn., co-founder and inspiration behind Indian Creek Nature Center, Feb. 11

Brian Carr, 57, of Cedar Rapids, CEO of Henry Russell Bruce advertising agency, Feb. 21.

Dick Damrow, 60, of Cedar Rapids, vice president for marketing resources at Stamats Communications and founder of Contract Marketing Resources, Feb. 24

Robert M.L. Johnson, 88, of Cedar Rapids, served as Cedar Rapids mayor from 1962 to 1967, April 13

Ed Thomas, 58, of Parkersburg, AplingtonParkersburg High School football coach, June 24

Terry Trueblood, 61, of Iowa City, longtime Iowa City park and recreation director, July 3

John McDonald, 65, of Iowa City, served on Iowa City Council from 1982 to 1993, including three stints as mayor, July 8

Donald “Buzz” Sawyer, 69, of Center Point, served as Linn County Sheriff from 1980 to 1984, July 14

Johnny Ketelsen, 87, of Marion, founder of Ketelsen RV and leader of The Johnny Ketelsen Band, Aug. 17

James E. Bromwell, 89, of Cedar Rapids, represented the 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1960 to 1964, Sept. 11

Norman Borlaug, 95, of Dallas, scientist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Sept. 12

Larry Meyers, 58, of Solon, Johnson County supervisor, Sept. 22

Peg Mullen, 92, of La Porte City, author and former Iowa farm wife who hounded the U.S. military to find the truth about her son’s death in Vietnam, Oct. 4

J. Scott McIntyre Jr., 75, of Cedar Rapids, chairman of United Fire & Casualty Co., Oct. 6

Dr. Ingacio Ponseti, 95, of Iowa City, University of Iowa orthopedics professor known for developing a low-cost, non-surgical treatment for clubfoot, Oct. 18

Forest Evashevski, 91, of Petoskey, Mich., coached the University of Iowa football team to three Big Ten titles and two Rose Bowl wins, Oct. 30

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rising Star - Ann Oleson

Ann (Greiner) Oleson

The running joke with friends and family is that I have a keen eye for finding stocks that have not been "discovered" yet and have HUGE upside potential (its happened a few times). I am also good at finding morel mushrooms, but that's beside the point. The biggest and best discovery I have made wasn't a stock or a mushroom. It was my wife. Thank God I got to her first, asked her to marry me quickly, and cajoled her enough to actually go through with it (and I did a lot of cajoling).

Let me just say that Ann is an amazing woman, who is very intelligent (graduated at top of her class in high school and at Iowa State University), very caring (a loving mother to our two kids and has had the same "little sister" in Big Brothers Big Sisters for 8 years - practically unheard of), very active (involved in tons of philanthropic causes, a career woman who has risen to prominence in a male dominated company, and works out physically every single day), very successful (executive with national publishing/communications company) and extremely patient, forgiving and understanding (she is married to me...I'm just sayin').

The Corridor Business Journal will spotlight 40 of the Corridor’s outstanding leaders under the age of 40 in its Oct. 26 issue and at an Oct. 27 awards dinner. These will be men and women who have made a significant impact in their business or community early in their careers. The Corridor Business Journal named Ann as one of its "rising stars" so to speak, by naming her as a Forty under Forty Leader.

Of course, the Corridor Business Journal recognized what I recognized years ago...there's a woman who has done great things, will do great things, and excels in all areas of her life. Yes, she does!

I am extremely proud of Ann. In addition to this honor, she will be starting a year in the Leadership Iowa Program sponsored by the Iowa Association of Business & Industry and is very active in the leadership structure of Junior League this year. I know she will succeed in both those endeavors as well.

Congrats. I am glad I call you wife...don't forget to take out the trash tomorrow.