People I Know Show

People I Know Show

A Podcast About Influential People, Personal Growth and Being Wrong. Why? Because shared knowledge, ideas and experiences influence all of us. Host Curt Carstensen talks with people that have impacted his life, influenced his thinking and have an interesting story to tell. Each episode concludes with the "Being Wrong" segment where Curt's guests explain something they have changed their mind about.


February 11, 2022 72 mins

Boonmee McElroy recently released her first book, "I Hate Potatoes: They Make Me Cry". It's a huge accomplishment and something she said would be happening when we spoke to each other for Episode 92 of this podcast. Boonmee lived through an impoverished and abusive childhood in Thailand. For the first time, in her new book, she tells the full story and how she uses her experiences to better her life and the lives of others.

For me,...

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Thanousay "T" Khamphoune realized a few years ago that sharing his story might be encouraging to others that have had a lot to overcome. As a child, he and his siblings had to live with different family members while his parents had legal problems. He was frequently moving and changing schools. Eventually being reunited with his dad brought some positives but also many challenges and threats of being taken away from his parents onc...

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Gary Arndt is the creator and host of the "Everything Everywhere Daily" podcast. The podcast is a newer extension of his work as a successful travel blogger on the website Gary's podcast showcases his never-ending curiosity and wide variety of interests, while providing great, well-written information in a short amount of time each day for his audience.

In this conversation we discuss the growing success ...

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October 6, 2021 82 mins

Jeff Rinde was one of the other neighborhood farm kids when I was growing up in rural central Minnesota in the 1990s. While my family continually became less and less involved with farming, Jeff and his two older siblings partnered with their parents to expand the family farm into a much larger family business.

What drew him to a life of farming? What does it take to make it as a modern farmer? The beef industry is accused of being...

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August 25, 2021 59 mins

Julie Rose has been on the road for nearly a year after selling her house and becoming a nomad. She works from "home" from wherever she chooses with her dog Penny as her permanent companion. She's on the verge of seeing all 50 states. Even when she completes that goal, there is no end in sight.

What inspires Julie? Is it expensive? How is being single and dating with this lifestyle? 

Julie answers those questions and many more.


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My oldest two nephews Chase Carstensen and AJ Torfin joined me for an epic road trip to eleven national parks and three national monuments. In this episode we recap our exciting journey. We did the Delta Lake hike at Grand Teton National Park, the Angels Landing hike at Zion National Park, hiked to waterfalls at Glacier National Park, and whitewater rafted through Browns Canyon in Colorado.

Chase is quite the adventurer and the mai...

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Luke Boser left small town Minnesota shortly after high school nearly 20 years ago and has been living in Alaska and a few other distant places ever since.

Visiting Alaska for the first time recently, I concluded that a certain type of person settles there. Luke is an outdoorsy, rugged, adventurer, which seems to fit the demographic. He shares the story of his recent trip to hunt for a brown bear, something relatively few people ar...

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Natalia Cortes has been living in San Francisco for almost three years and this experience has had a big impact on her life. Originally from Colombia in South America, she spent nearly a decade studying and working in several different countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Now in the United States for a few years, she's gained a lot of perspective on what it takes to make it in Silicon Valley, and how vastly different the...

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Boonmee McElroy has overcome extraordinary obstacles in her life. Growing up in poverty in a small village in Thailand, vital things like food and education were not always available to her. After years of struggle she began to grow a career as an international life coach and inspirational speaker in Asia.

As fate would have it, she met an American man while on a flight, eventually married him, and settled into a new life in Roches...

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Noah Franske has a passion for math and for adventure. That combination has led him to Vietnam where he has been teaching math at an international school for the last 18 months.

One of his math-related interests is investing and personal finance. A portion of his investment portfolio is devoted to cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin.

In the conversation, Noah helps me talk through some of my recent thoughts regarding crypto and the ...

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Krizia Almoite has not been a photographer for long. When she lost her job in the middle of the pandemic, Krizia put nearly all of her time into making her newest interest into her new career. In under six months she's landed some big clients and was hired as the photographer for a new movie being filmed in Minnesota.

She's building a growing brand through social media by being the same open and unbashful person I've always known h...

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Amanda Koonjbeharry has an impressive résumé of social work. Currently she is the Director of Public Policy for the Citizens League of Minnesota. Previously she had led a project for anti-sex trafficking in the Minneapolis area, and has been involved in numerous roles that serve communities and families that are in need. She holds two Master's degrees (Social Work & Public Policy) and a Bachelor's degree (Family Social Science) fro...

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Larry Rose was a Side Judge in the National Football League for nearly 20 years. He worked Super Bowl XLII when the New York Giants defeated the previously undefeated New England Patriots. Since retiring from the NFL five years ago he's taught, trained, or supervised football officials from the NCAA's Southeastern Conference and umpires from summer collegiate baseball's Northwoods League.

Larry joined me for a conversation to share...

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December 4, 2020 77 mins

Dee Fiel has been working as a registered nurse in Canada for well over a decade. She shares her Canadian mentality towards the coronavirus and how its different than in the United States.

As a nurse, she tries to better understand my recent experience while having COVID-19.

Dee, like many, has some hesitancies about getting the new vaccine. I explain why I wouldn't be hesitant as we have a discussion on why each other feels the wa...

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Ross Meisner joins me to help me tell the story of my recent bout with COVID-19. Ross was recently elected to the Fridley (Minnesota) School Board and shares his experience running a campaign during a pandemic. We both share our opinions on the aftermath of the U.S. Presidential Election.

Watch this conversation on YouTube.

Follow "People I Know Show" on FacebookInstagram and YouTube for photos, videos and to interact with other ...

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October 23, 2020 98 mins

Jamie Dreher is my cousin and one of the many people in my family that will vote for Donald Trump this election. I was raised as a Republican, used to vote Republican, but denounce Trump, tend to vote Democrat, and will be voting for Joe Biden.

Jamie and I discuss some of the often divisive political topics to see how far apart we really are and to prove that people with differing political views can have healthy conversations abou...

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AJ Torfin is my oldest nephew. He has been working extremely hard over the past few years to earn a scholarship to play football in college following his senior year in high school.

His senior year in high school is taking place online only. And his fall football season was originally postponed until spring before a recent decision moved the season back to the fall.

AJ explains what this year has been like both as a football player...

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Jon Laaser is the voice of Virginia Tech football and men's basketball. He explains some of the challenges college football faces playing their season during COVID-19. He shares the story of how his broadcasting career transpired to lead him to a high-profile Division One play-by-play opportunity. Jon's father passed away within the last year and he expresses some of his last memories he and his father shared.

Watch this conversati...

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Ryan Voz is co-owner of the Willmar Stingers baseball team located in central Minnesota. Like virtually all of sports leagues in America, the Northwoods League schedule couldn't go on as originally planned. That meant Ryan and his franchise could cancel the season, or they could "roll with the punches" and make the most out of a difficult situation.

On August 20, the Stingers finished their season, playing 42 total games, 24 home g...

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Ken Thunder spent 25 days in the hospital, including 12 days on a ventilator, in a serious bout with the coronavirus. His wife, Rose Thunder, was not allowed to see him during that entire time.

More than three months since the worst moments of his battle, Ken talks about the physical toll his body has been through, while Rose describes the emotional burden she has carried.

Plus, what is it like interacting with people that don't ta...

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