Pictures: Remembering Philando Castile


Philando Castile, the St. Paul man shot by a cop during a traffic stop, won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

I’ll be reminded of him every time I walk onto my porch, look to the left and see the J.J. Hill Montessori school where he worked, less than a block from my home.

All is quiet now in my ‘hood after many memorials and protests — including those in front of the governor’s mansion, which is just a few blocks away.

I am left with the many pictures I took during all the tumult. The three shown here are the ones that will stay with me the most.

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My amazing wife builds me a porch desk


I often refer to my house’s roomy front porch as my “third office” because I do a lot of work out there during Minnesota’s all-too-brief summers.

It seems criminal to hole up in my Pioneer Press cubicle, or in my home office, when I can do my work amidst fresh breezes, whispering trees, tweeting birdies and alluring odors from my wife’s nearby gardens.

For years, however, I couldn’t get my porch-workstation arrangement exactly right.

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I’m interviewed on the Pioneer Press patio


The Pioneer Press’ shiny-new HQ across the river from downtown St. Paul has many sweet amenities, including an outdoor patio with a spectacular view of the city skyline.

So, when KARE 11 asked to interview me, I thought the patio would be the perfect place to do this. I was right.

Cameraman Nicholas Petersen did an awesome job of capturing the the patio’s visual allure using his two cameras.

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Awful news preempts my TV appearance


When Esme Murphy of WCCO-TV last week invited me to appear on her Sunday news show for Father’s Day tech-gift picks, she couldn’t know what a horrific day it would turn out to be.

My live segment, naturally, got preempted along with all the rest of Esme’s Sunday Morning line-up. She did record my segment for later use, though.

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My wife’s fairy garden is a child magnet


My wife has been dropping a small fortune on garden ornaments in the shapes of animals, fairies and the like for a reason: The younger neighborhood children are nuts about them.

She has created a veritable civilization of ceramic beings that are scattered throughout a lovely curbside garden she maintains. Tots with their parents often traverse the adjacent sidewalk outside our house, and the kids never fail to pause and excitedly examine what to them are wondrous, magical toys.

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I’m Julio Ojeda-Zapata, a nerd, boricua and tech writer living in St. Paul, Minn.
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