Friday, July 28, 2006

Home Alone (with kids)

The Hobbled Wife is off to an informal college reunion with two of her Carleton buds: Chris and Jenny. My initial plans for lots of activities will likely change as temperatures near 100. With two very exhausted kids we will probably lay low. Any outdoor activities will involve water.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Belated Pleasant Lake Update

[Maria and Kira take a break for food.]

After another (almost) Dad-less weekend at the annual Pleasant Lake get-together with the Hobbled Wife's high school buddies. Tim was there for adult male companionship, and that was great. He’s very good with kids, having tons of nieces and nephews to work with. Do these dads know what they're missing?

[What next?]

[Maria and "the boys"]

[Kari and Cheryl - still crazy after all these years.]

[Tired kids on the pontoon.]

[Tim and Anders relax at the end of a day.]

Birder Humor


I'm normally not one to simply pass along jokes, but this Onion piece made me laugh. Hat tip, Birdchick.

PIERRE, SD—Sparrow Aviation Administration officials are calling the Monday collision of an westbound sparrow with the window of a Mitchell, SD home a clear case of "controlled flight into glass," after the bird failed to detect a transparent windowpane directly in his flight path.

. . .
SAA Commissioner Vincent Stivolo said the crash was likely due to glass, a "common, yet not fully understood phenomenon" in which an area normally blocked by such barriers as curtains, blinds, or shutters suddenly appears to be an open passage to an indoor facility or an unobstructed extension of the outdoor environment.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Chocolate Watchband


I listen to Pandora while working. It makes spreadsheets more enjoyable. Pandora, created by the Music Genome Project lets you enter an artist or song, then it creates a "radio station" of songs based on the style of the artist or song. It's fascinating to listen for that next song. I'm often surprised at what comes up.

A few weeks back Pandora offered up The Chocolate Watchband - a group I had never heard of - - ever. Here's a description of the band:

The Chocolate Watchband was a rock'n'roll garage band from the 60's and one of the San Francisco Bay Area's premier attractions. This underrated band never reached that ever elusive superstardom, but in the years since have come to be known as the definitive psychedelic punk group with a global following.

Today, I created a Pandora "station" based on The Chocolate Watchband.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Barefoot in the Snow


Had to post on the neighbors' latest adventure: a 10 day family camping trip to Black Hills, Yellowstone, and the Pacific Northwest. Sounds like a lot of work to me, 4 kids under 10, mom and dad in a trailer/camper - but after all they've been through (Mark - the Dad recently recovered from a close-brush with cancer), I suspect this was a piece-of-cake. Besides - think of all the opportunities for Smores.

Highway 10 Revisited

[Photo credit: Lileks, Bleat]

I know there are some Highway 10 fans out there. You may be interested in Lileks’ Bleat. He drove Highway 10 home to his class reunion in Fargo. Lots of neat pictures, like the one above of the El-Ray truck-stop/hotel in Motley. Looks like more to come since today’s Bleat is only part-one.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I Heart NY


Update to earlier post - - Spent almost exactly 24 hours in New York. Considering it was my first trip to NYC, the time constraints blew any opportunity of seeing anything beyond JFK airport, Queens (to and fro JFK), and a few blocks of Manhattan. It was HOT and crowded but I loved what I saw.

No real highlights to report, though the bus (New York Airport Service shuttle between JFK and Grand Central) was interesting. Freeways were so crowded the driver drove the "side streets" so we got a neat tour of Queens - too bad the bus was full, and the AC was barely working.

Ate at a nice restaurant, Osteria Laguna, saw Grand Central Station - it's just like in Madagascar commented all the parents in the group.

Hey - I'm a Survivor Too

Perusing the latest edition of Perspectives - the University of Minnesota Law School alumni magazine, I found the usual news about classmates: promotions, births, deaths, etc. Rather dull stuff - - so I was glad to see the little blurb on Deena Bennett.

Deena M. Bennett works in Riverside County, Calif., in the district attorney's office, where she has tried several high-profile cases. She was a contestant on the reality TV show Survivor (#6): The Amazon in 2003, and also competed in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, in 2004. She and her husband Paul, a deputy sherifff, are raising two sons.

Emphasis mine.

Add Ms. Bennett's experiences to those of fellow 1992 class member and world-class poker player Greg Raymer, aka Fossilman.

That J.D. - it prepares you for anything.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Crazy Busy

Lots to do at office (and home). last night I wanted to do more than just post cabin pictures - and I may still get around to telling the story behind the pictures.

Work is busy - putting the finishing touches on planning for 2007, and then we start 2008. Very odd to go from a position where you were always reacting to something, to a role that is so forward-looking that it's almost too late to think about 2007!

Perhaps a little fun next week - off to New York for business. Very short trip - leave Sunday afternoon, come back Monday night. Hope I have a little time to poke around as the hotel is in a great location.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

4th of July Highlights


Trampoline

Trampoline and Visiting friends

Swimming (with proper gear)

Swimming (without proper gear)

Cousin Michael with Mysterious Eggs (Emu?)

And finally - there were several stings over the holidays - until we discovered the wasps' nest under the deck. Here the Hobbled Runner himself treats his sting with an icy Gin-and-Tonic applied directly to the sting. The ice reduced swelling, and the Gin well - - it must have had some medicinal effect.

Maria's Pics





Here are some recent photos by Maria from our extended 4th of July weekend.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Little House in the Big Fort

Summer is camp time – one week here, another week there. This is an off week, with the Dude spending the week at the cabin with Grandma-ma and Boppa, while Maria is at home with Mom and Dad.

Last week M attended “Little House in the Big Fort” camp at Fort Snelling. She had a blast. As the pictures show, many of the girls dressed in period dresses, while everyone was given a bonnet and apron.

They did all sorts of things that young girls might do in the 1820s -30s: They learned to embroider and had to embroider their initials on their aprons; they baked bread in an old word burning stove (M’s looked and felt like a brown rock); they fished with cane poles and bobbers fashioned from wine bottle corks; they visited the Fort hospital and were treated for various ailments using the “latest” in medical technology (M was “bled” for some unspecified ailment, having to place her elbow over an old tin cup to catch the runoff); and they had tea with Mrs. Snelling – and learned a few manors along the way.

All in all a wonderful time was had by all.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Fire-Work Blogging

Given the sister-in-law’s feelings about fireworks, she’s lucky she missed the 4th at the cabin. Being located relatively close to North Dakota, assures lot of pyrotechnics. While I don't wish to spend hundreds (or more!) dollars on fireworks, we enjoyed the fact that others’ priorities allow them to spend like maniacs on items that by their very nature are designed to blow to smithereens.

We were treated to many displays of fireworks on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights. None of these displays was an officially sanctioned event, but some were pretty neat. The hard part was trying to figure out which direction the next one was coming from – you had to keep scanning the lake to see the next big explosion. The kids of course probably caught only half the fun.

On a somewhat related note - While growing up my father always told me that people shot fireworks to celebrate his birthday. I'm not sure if I ever believed him - but he told us the same thing every year. He would have been 82 on the 4th. Happy birthday Dad!