Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon: August 28, 2009 Archive

A Fine, Fun, Fair Friday

Posted at 5:50 AM on August 28, 2009 by Dale Connelly (31 Comments)

Today is the day for our live broadcast from the Minnesota State Fair.

Fair Sign.jpg

We go on the air at 9am from the Minnesota Public Radio booth near the intersection of Judson and Nelson. If you're at the fair this morning, please stop by! We'll have live music from Ann Reed, BoJoNo and The Ditchlilies.

Our 6 to 9am and 11 to 1pm hours of The Dale Connelly Show are recorded today, and Jasper if faithfully playing them back. I'm unable to take requests, sorry.

For the 14th year in a row, we're playing the "Where's Eric" game on the fairgrounds today. Ochen Kaylan and Leslie Ball, our State Fair Ninjas, are ready to track the wayward Eric Ringham as he attempts to elude them again this year.

WE clue 2.jpg

Yesterday, I posted a photo and some clues for finding one of our little Eric dolls, Farmer Eric. He is the special Listener's Challenge - Ochen and Leslie won't be hunting for him - only Radio Heartland listeners can find this one and bring him in.

If you want to search for Farmer Eric, please sign up at the MPR booth after 8 am. We won't credit the retrieval of Farmer Eric to anyone who hasn't signed up. The search begins at 9 a.m.

At 9 a.m. I'll post the first set of clues for Ochen and Leslie's initial challenge - Security Eric.
At 9:40 a.m. I'll post the clues for their second challenge - Fair Fanatic Eric.
At 10:20 a.m., I'll post clues for the ultimate challenge - Genuine Eric.

If a Radio Heartland listener finds Farmer Eric in time, they will be able to join the search team for the final push as we near the end of the show at 11 a.m.!

Good luck everyone, and enjoy the show.

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Safely in Hiding

Posted at 9:00 AM on August 28, 2009 by Dale Connelly

Our live show is underway from the Minnesota State Fair.

The "Where's Eric" game has been re-structured this year and is being played out in three 40 minute segments. Leslie Ball and Ochen Kaylan have been given the task of finding at least one of our three Eric effigies PLUS the living, breathing Eric Ringham. All four are hiding somewhere on the fairgrounds.

In the first segment, Leslie Ball and Ochen Kaylan are tracking Security Eric, working with five clues and whatever information they can pry out of Actual Eric in three minutes of questioning. You'll have to listen to the show to hear the questions and Eric's evasive answers, but as a Trial Balloon reader, you have the distinct advantage of seeing a photo of the culprit in his hiding place, looking very much like a poster boy for Amnesty International.

Alongside Security Eric's photo are the five clues.

WE clue 1.jpg

I'm near a body of water!

If I were real, I'd need a tetanus shot.

Look for a red trunk.

Look for the number 9.

I can see something that looks like the building where Sonia Sotomayor works.

Under the rules, Leslie and Ochen are not allowed to look at this blog during the search, so feel free to wonder out loud. Where is this guy hiding?

A Fanatic on the Loose

Posted at 9:40 AM on August 28, 2009 by Dale Connelly (1 Comments)

It's time for a new set of clues and for another Little Eric to join the game.

WE clue 3.jpg

Look for something that resembles a burial mound.

I can see two weathervanes.

If Lena were here she'd make a joke.

I am near a place where two transit systems cross.

A 64-day strike that began on Feb. 12, 1968, came to symbolize our country's civil rights struggle and became a turning point in American history. What kind of workers were involved?

Does anyone know this spot on the fairgrounds?

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Posted at 10:20 AM on August 28, 2009 by Dale Connelly (6 Comments)

Now comes the hardest part (maybe) - Ochen and Leslie, possibly with the help of a Radio Heartland listener, are about to begin searching for the Real Deal, the living, breathing Eric Ringham.

Even I do not know where he is hiding. Selection of this place was left to the last minute, so I don't have a photographic clue for you.

This "file" picture will have to make do.

2_Copy of IMG_4091.jpg

  1. I can see a Chris Coleman sign.
  2. I can see sheep.
  3. I am between two bodies of water.
  4. I can see a big weathervane.
  5. If I get tired of waiting for Ochen and Leslie, I can take a nap in my choice of three hammocks.

Guesses? Anyone?

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The Truth, Revealed

Posted at 11:00 AM on August 28, 2009 by Dale Connelly (6 Comments)

Our first-ever Radio Heartland live broadcast from the Minnesota State Fair is now history. Thanks for being part of our online audience!

If you were listening, you know how the "Where's Eric" search turned out. If you're curious about the hiding places that were used, we can now reveal the locations for the three Little Eric effigies.

WE clue 2.jpg

Our Listener's Challenge was Eric the Farmer. It will not suprise you to note that he appears to be hidden among the corn. This is his natural environment, and putting him there represented a considerable risk - tantamount to hiding an elephant in a peanut patch. Of course there would be a farmer in the corn. Our hope was that people would overlook the tiny blue bib overalls in the midst of all that yellow and green.

WE reveal 2.jpg

Here's another angle on the area where he took cover, near The Little Farm House on Machinery Hill. The "campfire" in the clue set is Giggles' Campfire Grill, right across the street. An additional danger in this placement was the presence nearby of naturally sticky-fingered children, some of them with built-in doll radar. We were somewhat concerned, but the "Where's Eric" team likes to live on the edge.

WE clue 1.jpg

Security Eric was the first challenge for Ochen and Leslie.

Here you see him perched in his hideway, tucked behind an electric box, standing just on top of the covered waterway for Ye Olde Mill, facing the peaceful but political garden behind the Independant Republican Party's booth on Carnes Avenue.

WE reveal 1.jpg

To find this Eric, it was necessary to walk back into this confined, slightly scary passageway between the two attractions. Under the rules of "Where's Eric", a hiding place can be in an area that is off limits to fairgoers (you wouldn't be permitted to climb over the barbed wire to perch on top of the Mill's enclosed channel), but the spot must be visible from a public area of the grounds and in the case of the "Little Erics", an average sized person should be able to reach the doll without any trouble.

Thumbnail image for WE clue 3.jpg

Our second challenge to Ochen and Leslie was Eric the Fair Fanatic.

The Fanatic knows the fairgrounds like nobody else. Every square inch is familiar to him, so while this location may seem obscure to you, this little guy hardly considers this to be "hiding".

Thumbnail image for WE reveal 3.jpg

He was tucked behind the privacy fence along the east side of the fair's sanitation building, near the intersection of Randall and Underwood. Only a dedicated fairgoer would revel in spending the morning at a location where all he had for entertainment was the sight of our hard working sanitation crew bringing in the garbage and recycling.

As for the Full Sized Eric, his hiding place was such a closely held secret, I don't have that information for you right now. But check back! A humane but firm interrogation is underway!

And if you're coming to the fair later today, please stop by the MPR booth! Ann Reed, The Ditchlilies and BoJoNo will provide more music until 1pm. There's always something happening near the intersection of Judson and Nelson!

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