Saturday, March 28, 2009

Good Grilling

Thanks to my brother - we are grilling veggies in style at the Hobbled Household. This was a birthday gift from Paul and we used it tonight for the first time, along with some brats and hot-dogs.

Delicious - and I didn't lose any veggies through the grill!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Reflections on The Boss

The Dude is now obsessed with Bruce Springsteen. He discovered the only CD I own, Born to Run, one day and plays it all the time – very loudly! – while we drive around town. Every morning on the way to school he slips in the disc, calls up track 5, Born to Run, and selects Repeat so we can listen to it about 2 ½ times on the way to school.

Dude: “Does he really write all the lyrics? He’s good.”

Dude: “Do you think he really wanted to die with Wendy on the street that night in a never-ending kiss? Or does that just mean that when he dies he hopes to spend eternity with Wendy?”

Lots of talk about why young people seem to hate their hometowns and want to move out – brought on by such lines as,

“Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It’s a death trap, a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we’re young
‘cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Readers Send Messages

Interesting discussion at Marginal Revolution about what we "signal" by using a Kindle rather than reading a book.

Reading with a Kindle, the signal is relatively constant and, at the moment, is something like "I'm an early technology adopter and I like to read". As the Kindle gets more commonplace the efficacy of this signal will, I think, diminish. Compare this with the signalling effects of reading a traditional book, where you signal to people not only that you like to read, but crucially what you are reading.

I don't have a Kindle, but I think the anonymity of reading with the Kindle would be appealing. One of my pet peeves is people interrupting my reading in public to inquire about the book in my hands. I generally don't carry books just to avoid such interactions. I've taken to printing articles I find online and reading those - more anonymity. I guess I don't like to "signal" what I'm reading.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Winter - for now

Woke this morning to a little snow. Duke didn't quite know what to make of it.

Tracks on the deck - easily identifiable as dog and man.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Long Walk

Took this photo a few days ago (Tuesday I believe). The Dude and I were out walking Duke. The Dude was on his bike and the dog and I were loping behind. "Loping" here means walking and jogging - Duke doesn't really run more than 20 yards at a time.

This monument (Roseville Heritage Trail, #46 to be precise) is located not far from the Hobbled Home on Cleveland Avenue just north of Roselawn.

We got a kick out of the fact that it was equidistant between the poles, but agreed it would be long walk either way.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I meant to post Friday night - I snapped this in the field behind our house. I'm guessing crow.

Fly on the Wall - and Cat Takes a Spin

Spring has arrived in the TC area. We saw highs in the mid 50s today, and this fly came out of hiding (or hibernation?) or wherever they spend the winter to soak some late afternoon sun on the side of our house.

Unfortunately I didn't have a camera early today when I sent Roscoe spinning in the dryer. He often crawls into the dryer while I'm loading it. Until today, I've always seen him crawl in so I fish him out before starting the dryer. Today I did not see him enter the dryer - I swear! - I loaded it up, set the timer, pressed the button and stepped away.

Wait - what was that odd clunking sound? I listened for a few seconds and decided it was the several pairs of heavy jeans in the load. Clunk - Clunk. But something about that explanation didn't sit right. Clunk - Clunk. I better open it up and see what's wrong.

I opened the door - and swoosh! - Roscoe flew out and ran upstairs and all over the house - like a crazy cat savoring his new found freedom.

In the end, it was probably less than 10 seconds - but he did some serious banging around before I figured it out.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Turkey or Goose?

I'm guessing turkey. Snapped on the walking path during lunch-time walk.

The Actor's Nightmare

[J signing his first-ever autograph for the Dude.]

What better way to celebrate a birthday than by attending live theater – the junior high variety. Last night the Hobbled Household piled in the car and drove out to Oak Land Junior High to see nephew/cousin J perform. There were two plays – "The Actor's Nightmare" & "This is a Test" he had the lead in the “The Actor’s Nightmare” playing an amnesiac who wander into a theater shortly before show-time, only to be mistaken for the understudy (the cast has just learned that the lead was injured in a car accident and could not go on). The entire thing is a comedy of errors with J (in the character of George) attempting to “act” while the play – actually several plays – go on around him .

We were returning the favor – as my brother’s family had attended M’s performance in the Neverending Story on Sunday – all 2 hours and 30 minutes. We owed them.

[The Dude and J]

Snow - Trampled

Unlike yesterday's photo of pristine, wind-swept snow - here we have some well-used snow. This is "playground" snow - trampled by the boots of hundreds of elementary students at Brimhall Elementary. Snapped yesterday afternoon while walking Duke.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Maybe a Donut Would Help

Snapped this yesterday in "The Field" behind our house while walking the dog. Bitter windchill - but beautiful sun and patterns on the snow.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dashboard Sun Dog

Had another one of those "storms of the century" yesterday, "dumping" about 2 inches of snow in Roseville. Don't mean to belittle the weather - it was quite bad in outstate MN or Greater Minnesota as it's now officially known. The big shock was the cold - about 4 below and windy (25F below wind chill!).

Snapped this heading east on Larpenteur approaching Snelling about 7:50 am. One of the nice things about bitterly cold sunny weather are the sun dogs - there are actually two - one on either side of the sun but I didn't want to keep driving around just to snap the ultimate picture.

Home update - after a miracle recovery on Sunday, M is down-and-out with the stomach bug again. She was sick Saturday (missing her performance of Neverending Story that night), recovered Sunday to hit the stage, but Sunday night - early Monday morning - it hit again. She missed school Monday, and is out today again.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Public Man

It is shaping up to be a busy and interesting week for me – yes ME – not just a busy week for the kids or a busy week for the Hobbled Wife. They always have busy weeks. I’m usually just transportation.

Thursday is the celebration of the anniversary of my birth when I will mark 47 years (if I stand on my tip-toes I can see 50). This week also marks beginning of my 15th year with the company. I can see it in the eyes of newer employees, and hear there whispered comments as I pass, "There goes an old timer. Did you know he started back before you could send outside email."

And now for something completely different – Tonight I appeared before the Roseville City Council along with a slew of other folks who applied for one of several city commissions. I’m trying for a spot on the Planning Commission. This sounds like the most interesting commission, and would give me a chance to channel my interest in public affairs, and a small bit of knowledge in zoning law into some healthy civic involvement. The Hobbled Wife has been encouraging me to “get involved” – and this is a good opportunity to be involved in city government – without running for office and exposing all those skeletons in my closet. (Oh how I wish we had household help and forgot to pay taxes – at least we’d have a clean house!)

The interview went well - as best as I can recall. I’ll have to watch the video replay to remember what I said. They asked some pretty tough questions: They started by asking about balancing the needs of business vs. neighbors (OK - that was easy), then they asked how I would deal with the fact that city is “developed” with no real large tracts of land waiting for development. Someone asked about high density housing, another asked about “diversity”, and there was a question about whether Roseville should/could do something to attract younger singles. It was hard to tell if there was a “right” answer to any question.

Overall, I think it went smoothly. My father-in-law was home with the Dude and they watched it live on the public access channel. Both were impressed – though they were hardly unbiased observers.