DiscoverThe Northern Nerd
The Northern Nerd

The Northern Nerd

Author: Dalton Hessel

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Geeking out on all things in the Northwoods.
102 Episodes
The Hayward Foundation for Educational Enrichment (HFEE) is having their annual Lee Bonicatto Memorial Golf Fundraiser outing on May 19th. With that being said, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with HFEE members, Amy Sportel and Salle Beckwith, to discuss what HFEE is and what it is that they do. Since its inception back in 1994, HFEE has been a vital resource for teachers and the Hayward Community School District. Enjoy our Sunday conversation and if you'd like to donate, consider following the links below. DONATE: HFEE:
The end of the school year is always an interesting time of year as a teacher. You're finishing up your curriculum, wrapping up assessments, and have to pack up your classroom. In today's episode, I share my thoughts on my favorite end of the school year activities as well as share quotes from back when I was a student teacher. No matter the grade level, you never know what's going to come out of a student's mouth. Enjoy! Be sure to subscribe and join the #nerdherd.
Our 100th Episode!

Our 100th Episode!


Wow, we made it to episode 100! When this podcast started back in 2018, I wasn't sure what to expect, but through this podcast I've been able to bottle up some of my favorite conversations with people. It's truly crazy to think that it's been five years since I first hit "record." This episode takes a look back at how the podcast began, discusses some of my favorite moments, and even gives a little Ted Lasso inspiration for you. Enjoy and thanks for being here.
We've made it to our 99th episode! With that being said, we had to name this episode after the greatest hockey player of all time. Did we talk hockey at all in this episode? Absolutely not, but that's okay. We had the chance to discuss this long winter, why it's important to take vacations during the winter, gave our thoughts on Rodgers, gave a triple-double show recommendation, and went on other tangents. After recording the show, we stepped outside of The Whistle Punk to see the northern lights in action. What a beauty of a night! Enjoy our latest episode and be sure to subscribe.
Ben and I used to work together back in college at UW-Eau Claire at the campus TV station, TV10. We both worked in the sports scene and I got to do color commentary with best friend, Kyle Naber while Ben was a student assistant coach for the Blugolds Men's Basketball team. Since then, Ben has stayed involved in college basketball and is in his second year with the Marquette Golden Eagles as their digital graphics coordinator. Marquette is having an amazing season thus far and with March Madness looming, I thought it would be a great time to have Ben on the podcast to not only catch up a bit, but to also talk about his role with the Marquette Men's Basketball team. This conversation involved plenty of basketball, but also got a little bit deeper when talking about coach philosophies and creating a positive culture within a locker room. Enjoy!Subscribe to the podcast to stay updated on when we have new episodes released.
The Hayward Business Improvement District (BID) is once again putting on their annual Shamrock Shuffle on March 18th. I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Cindy Swift-Kaner of Riverbrook Bike & Ski and James Netz of James Netz Photography to discuss this year's shuffle! We also talked about what makes Hayward's downtown so great and also what makes Hayward a great place to live/visit. Enjoy!For more information on the Shamrock Shuffle, follow this link.
Sailing isn't something that's normally talked about in the northwoods of Wisconsin. Plenty of people go out on their pontoons, kayaks and canoes but very few people have ever sailed out in the middle of the ocean. Jake McCusker and Erin McDade recently completed a journey from Hawaii to San Francisco to deliver a boat along with the rest of their crew. While out in the middle of the ocean, they experienced challenges as scary as a fishing hook in the leg to moments of peace while gazing out at the water. Give their story a listen and maybe, just maybe, it'll inspire you to go out on your own adventure. Enjoy!To view Jake and Erin's adventure via video, check out these links to Youtube videos below. Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4
Jon Kreye is an award winning adventure photographer based in Minnesota. Jon and I first met during the 2022 Birkie and I have been wanting to have him on the show for some time now. Jon has stayed in some of the most unique and highly desired rental properties across the country including shipping container cabins, treehouses, dome homes, private islands, yurts, barn homes, and more. He recently came out with a book, Up North: Getaways of Minnesota and Wisconsin , and is a great person to follow on Instagram. I had a wonderful time talking with him about photography, what some of his favorite adventures have been and what places are on his radar to visit. Enjoy! Follow his adventures on Instagram @jonkreye
On the latest installment in the series "Small Business Nerds" brought you by the Sawyer County/LCO Economic Development Corporation, I sat down with Ethan and Jenn Zimmerman of Studio North in Hayward, WI. We discussed their small business journey thus far, their vision for the future, their core values and the possibility of Ethan making an 80's movie montage while screen printing. It was a very fun chat with this power couple and I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds for them. Enjoy!
This episode is our first installment of "Small Business Nerds." It's a series that is brought to you by the Sawyer County/LCO Economic Development Corporation and will feature various businesses from the area. Our first guest is a wonderful baker and cookie artist, Tracy Rasmussen, of Simply Sweets Cookie Company. I enjoyed chatting with her about how she got started, how her business has grown and even got the exact amount of cookie cutters she has! (It's more than you think.) Enjoy today's episode and be sure to check out Tracy's website and social media pages.
With the new year here, the After Hours crew had to get back together to discuss our resolutions...or anti-resolutions that is. We also chatted about how partying on NYE changes the older you get, gave some recommendations and talked about our actual goals for 2023. Enjoy!
I got to have a fireside chat with the new owners of Coop's Pizza, Debbi Houston and Samantha Mittlesdorf! We discussed what it’s like to own a business in the northwoods, their favorite pizzas, the giant fish tank, and how they plan to remain a staple of the Hayward area. Enjoy!For their full menu, click here.
Everyone is worried about the NFL playoffs right now, but the real sport of America takes place during Birkie Week on Main Street in Hayward, WI. "The Nimrods" are a group of elite individuals that came come together to form a giant ski super team before super teams were even a thing. Many have likened them to the Avengers and action figures are currently in the works. They have a movie coming out on February 17th at The Park and rumor has it that many A-list celebrities will be in town for the premier. I was lucky enough to take the Nimrods away (briefly) from their intense training in order to conduct this interview with them. Enjoy! #nimrodnation
On Tuesday, December 27th a “Charlie Brown-esque” community skating party was held at the Tot Lot in Hayward, WI. The goal of the event was to get people together to enjoy a night of skating, conversation, and to truly embrace the beauty of small town life around the holidays. With an estimated over 100+ people in attendance throughout the evening, it’s fair to say that old fashioned events are still in style.
A Christmas movie featuring both Will Ferrell (Elf) and Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)? Sign me up. Spirited is a different take on the classic Charles Dickens’ story of A Christmas Carol. Now there have been over one hundred different variations of A Christmas Carol over the years, so this begs the question; do we really need another version of this classic tale? Certainly. Sure. Why not? Everything is just a remake these days. (Sorry, did I sound too much like your uncle there?) Spirited is worth adding to your Christmas movie watch list and here’s why.
With several streaming platforms out there (Spotify, Apple Music, Prime Music) making listening to any song at any time easier than before, why would anyone in their right mind spend money on a physical copy of music? To have a physical copy of music is rare these days. Many people no longer have enormous CD cases in the passenger seats of their cars. People aren’t rushing out to the stores to get the latest album release; they are just able to download it right away on their phone. Owning a physical copy of an album may seem outdated or impractical to most, but vinyl records have been making a comeback for a reason.To view the full report conducted by RIAA, click here. Thanks for listening!
The holiday shopping season is here! While this is an exciting time of year for many, let's not forget about our neighbors that are shop owners. Today's episode is dedicated to those small businesses on Main Street all across America. Enjoy and remember to shop local and shop small.
My Hope for Hayward

My Hope for Hayward


On Thursday, November 3rd I was honored to be the keynote speaker for the Hayward Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner. It was an experience that I will remember forever. Here is a rerecorded version of the speech that I hope inspires you to keep pushing towards progress here in the northwoods and to pursue your dreams. Enjoy!
It’s no secret that the state of Wisconsin is home to thousands of bars. Of these bars, some are high class with valet parking and drinks that James Bond would sip on. Others are covered in taxidermy (both well done and terrible) and pride themselves in being that dive bar. Regardless, people love to have a place where they can come together for a big game or to swap stories from the past. Since its inception back in 2021, Louie’s Bar and Bites has become a hometown favorite in the Hayward area. Enjoy!
After a two month hiatus, the "after hours" crew was able to get back together. Summer in a tourist town gets busy for everyone, so we spent the majority of the episode catching up, giving best man speech advice, show recommendations and discussed what "the hootie line" is all about. Enjoy!
Comments (5)

Cassandra Anne

love the UWEC discussion- can totally relate whenever I go back to Water Street! 🤣😂

Nov 7th
Reply (1)

Riley Dougherty

love Pete!

May 7th

Dior Pulatov

What a great podcast! So true!

Apr 27th

Tyler Henke

great podcast by a great guy!

Apr 8th
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