7 Minute Miles

The Summit Golf Club Revisited

Posted Thursday, August 31st, 2006 09:59 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 9:59 PM

Last weekend I played a rare 36 holes in one day: the early round at The Summit Golf Club in Cannon Falls and the later round at the Meadows of Mystic Lake in Prior Lake. I’ve written about both courses earlier in the year, but I didn’t take any pictures of The Summit previously.

Originally published by DK on August 31, 2006 at 9:59 pm

Inver Wood Golf Course

Posted Thursday, August 31st, 2006 09:44 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 9:44 PM

We paid our first visit this year to Inver Wood Golf Course in Inver Grove Heights last week. This city-owned Garrett Gill design is a popular layout that was very busy on a Saturday afternoon. Pace of play was a little slow on the front nine, but several groups dropped out at the turn and the rangers were doing a good job of keeping things moving.

A pair of wild turkeys paid us a visit on the par-5 seventh hole and I just love that this course has no houses on it. The overall conditioning was very good, especially compared to some of the other damage I’ve seen recently on local courses. The dramatic par-3 twelfth hole was as exciting as ever, but I realized that this is really a tough course for the average golfer. Very different from the usual wide-open muni course.

Originally published by DK on August 31, 2006 at 9:44 pm

Minnesota State Fair 2006

Posted Thursday, August 31st, 2006 08:56 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Personal at 8:56 PM

Earlier this week, we took the family to my 37th annual visit to the Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights. The highlight for me was going to the top of the DNR’s fire tower–an attraction that has been closed since 1978. The new Miracle of Birth and Eco Experience buildings were also very nice.

Of course, there are really only two reasons to go to the fair: people-watching and food. The crowds have been light due to the rainy weather, but I still managed to find a few people I knew. Favorite T-shirt sighting: black shirt with white letters – “I AM A LIAR.”

It’s getting really expensive to eat at the fair, so my intake is controlled as much by my wallet as by my desire to keep my weight in check. The list this year:

  • Pronto Pups (2)
  • Tom Thumb Donuts
  • Sweet Martha Cookies
  • Kiwanis Vanilla Malt
  • Danielson’s Onion Rings (who were celebrating their 50th year at the fair with a new trailer booth)
  • Cheese Curds
  • Bull Bites
  • Macaroni-on-a-Stick

Only missed out on the french fries and the original dairy building malts…DK

Originally published by DK on August 31, 2006 at 8:56 pm

Office Space Update

Posted Thursday, August 31st, 2006 08:20 pm GMT -5 in Work at 8:20 PM

Above: tinted primer applied earlier this week. Today we wrapped up most of the painting: navy blue walls, white columns. One section was left blank, as we are waiting for the projector so we can paint the screen accurately (Silverscreen, by Behr). Tomorrow we get more estimates for flooring and will attempt to locate some nice used room dividers…DK

Originally published by DK on August 31, 2006 at 8:20 pm

Shortest Grand Marais Trip Ever

Posted Thursday, August 31st, 2006 07:39 pm GMT -5 in Family,Travel at 7:39 PM

Last night I drove my kids to Grand Marais on the North Shore of Lake Superior to stay with my parents for a few days before school starts. Four hours and 15 minutes door-to-door, stayed overnight, then left at 7:30 a.m. to return for more painting in the new office. This was my first, and likely only, visit there this summer, unfortunately. Sven and Ole’s was closed, but I did get some donuts at the donut shop…DK

Originally published by DK on August 31, 2006 at 7:39 pm

Dellwood Hills Fall Membership Promotion

Posted Thursday, August 31st, 2006 07:26 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 7:26 PM

Dellwood Hills Golf Club, a private club located in the northeast suburbs, is offering a fall membership promotion. Join now and only pay social dues until April 30, 2007 ($40 per month). Initiation fees start at $6,000 for one member and include $500 stock. Click here to download a PDF information sheet from the club.

Originally published by DK on August 31, 2006 at 7:26 pm

Minnesota Wild at the Fair

Posted Monday, August 28th, 2006 11:42 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 11:42 PM

The Wild have a nice booth at the Minnesota State Fair on the second floor of the Grandstand, with special guests every day.

Today Mark Parrish was signing photos from 3:30-4:30 and was really personable. He seemed to be very happy to be back in Minnesota and anxious to start playing.

Picked up tickets for two more games: October 12th versus Washington and October 27th versus Anaheim. Only three weeks to pre-season…DK

Originally published by DK on August 28, 2006 at 11:42 pm

Highland National Golf Course

Posted Friday, August 25th, 2006 08:34 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 8:34 PM

Our attempt at a company golf outing ending with lightning and a downpour that lasted about an hour and thoroughly drenched Highland National Golf Course in St. Paul. After everyone left, I completed my round when the rain stopped and played the last nine holes in about 75 minutes.

I played Highland twice last year after the big re-do and thought it was an improvement over the previous course, but still had a lot of back-and-forth that end up being dangerous on crowded days. Garrett Gill (and former partner Paul Miller) did the re-design work here and I feel they made the most of the limited land available.

The greens are by far my favorite change–they are now very different from before with unique shapes, fast surfaces and much more undulation. They were in very good condition and most of the fairways were also above average. The rating and slope of this course from the whites are hard to believe: 69.3/114. I’d buy that for the old layout, but the new one has plenty of challenge for the bogey golfer. Time for the MGA rating team to revisit St. Paul.

Originally published by DK on August 25, 2006 at 8:34 pm

Willingers Revisited

Posted Friday, August 25th, 2006 08:17 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 8:17 PM

I paid my fifth visit this season to Willingers Golf Club in Northfield this week. We practically had the place to ourselves and the weather was decent. My round started with the best drive I’ve ever had on one, then I reached the par-5 second hole in two for the first time. I parred every par-4 on the front side (except for bogey on the last), but played the four par threes in a combined nine over par. Ouch.

I noticed some turf damage today that was also apparent at Island View in Waconia. I almost never see this at Willingers and definately not at this time of year. Is something spreading? I really hope not, as late season golf in Minnesota is usually lush, uncrowded and cheap.

Originally published by DK on August 25, 2006 at 8:17 pm

2006 ProAct Golf Classic

Posted Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006 10:54 am GMT -5 in Golf at 10:54 AM

I had the opportunity to join Phil Callen, Bob Klas, Jr. and Ed Heil for the 2006 ProAct Golf Classic, held Monday at the Hastings Country Club in Hastings, Minnesota. ProAct is an Eagan-based non-profit that serves people with disabilities and is one of the benefitting charities of the Tapemark Charity Pro-Am.

The weather was perfect, the format was no-bogey scramble and the course was in beautiful condition. We managed to reach five-under-par, just a few strokes off the winning score of fifteen-under. This tournament was well-run and included a pre-round lunch, on-course contests (including hole-in-one contests on every par three), team photos, goodie bag, raffle, silent auction and buffet dinner afterwards. Thanks to Mr. Callen for the gracious invitation.

Originally published by DK on August 23, 2006 at 10:54 am

Keller Golf Course

Posted Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006 10:20 am GMT -5 in Golf at 10:20 AM

Last weekend we visited Keller Golf Course in St. Paul for an early morning round. There is just so much history at Keller (St. Paul Open, PGA Championship, Patty Berg Classic) that you can’t help but feel special playing there. The only drawback to Keller has been the slow pace of play. This time, though, it appears things have changed dramatically for the better. A ranger kept things moving, locating stray tee shots and helping us finish in under four hours. Playing well helps too–my 85 was low round of the year.

Originally published by DK on August 23, 2006 at 10:20 am

Island View Golf Club

Posted Saturday, August 19th, 2006 02:47 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 2:47 PM

Dan Callahan, Head Professional at Island View Golf Club in Waconia (and Tapemark Charity Pro-Am player), welcomed us this morning to the first tee on a beautiful Saturday morning. We started behind a fivesome (one of my pet peeves), but Dan assured us that they were members and would not hold us up. He was right–our round took under four hours and we rarely had to wait.

Island View has always been a more expensive course ($49 walking), but the course conditioning and the unique layout have justified the cost. Unfortunately, the conditioning today was not as good as when I played here in 2004. There was a fair amount of winter damage in the fairways and one of their mowers is leaking fluid, which appears to have caused some issues on the greens (which were much slower than last time).

The layout, however, continues to shine. The short 465-yard, par-5 opening hole is a great way to start the round and the stretch of holes from number three through six are very scenic (too bad I forgot the camera today). There is a lot of elevation change and it seems like none of the side-by-side holes interfere with each other. The par-4 thirteenth hole has water everywhere and continues to stump me as to how best to play it off the tee. I did play the par 3’s better today, hitting three of the four, but unfortunately no birdies.

Tomorrow: Keller.

Originally published by DK on August 19, 2006 at 2:47 pm

Office Space

Posted Friday, August 18th, 2006 01:08 am GMT -5 in Work at 1:08 AM

No, not the movie. I’m moving soon to new digs at work. I had a very nice office the past few years (friends called it the dorm room office), but HSRA is growing and the need for space in the school itself was dire. The new building owner offered us some space in the opposite end of the building at a good price–the catch is we have to finish it ourselves. The original contractor quote was quite high, so we are doing as much of the work ourselves as possible.

I created a new photo album in the photos section called Offices that has pictures of my old office and will have pictures of the new space as we progress though the next few weeks to completion. Here are some of the remaining tasks:

  • Create Final Budget and Wish List
  • Clean and Finish Floor
  • Follow-Up on Electrical Connections
  • Order Internet Access from Comcast
  • Visit Home Depot for Floor Molding and Baseboard Heater Ideas
  • Move Phone Line
  • Get Extra Keys
  • Pick Paint Colors, Get Quote from Painter
  • Contract for Window and A/C Installation
  • Find Solution for Room Dividers
  • Move in Desks and Other Furniture
  • Move Boxes of Office Supplies and Equipment
  • Decide on Rugs and Wall Decorations
  • Lighting Decisions
  • Make at Least One IKEA Run
  • Research Projector and Cable TV Options
  • Purchase Approved Items and Install

Our budget is limited, but I hope to get as many of things on my master plan as possible by the start of the school year. Things like Super Chexx Hockey, though, will probably have to wait…DK

Originally published by DK on August 18, 2006 at 1:08 am

Retirement Planning and Insurance

Posted Thursday, August 17th, 2006 11:52 pm GMT -5 in Personal at 11:52 PM

Tonight we had a visit from my favorite insurance agent, Sam Welter of the Catholic Aid Association (CAA). I’m not Catholic, but my wife is and she worked at CAA for a number of years. At one point, I was also under contract as the web developer for the CAA website (which was just recently replaced).

We have several life insurance policies with them for every member of our family and I rolled over my pension when I left Northwest Airlines four (!) years ago. The purpose of tonight’s visit was to finally roll over my old Northwest 401K account as well. I was tired of getting mail from them and the recent bankruptcy events made me a little nervous (even though it is managed by CitiStreet). I have a new State Farm retirement plan with Studio 4, but I prefer to do business with Sam when I can.

The big news of the visit was a new term life product that is cheaper than what I currently have, but has very stringent approval guidelines. I’m applying for it, as it would give me significantly more coverage for the same amount I’m paying now. The shocker is that I’m a borderline applicant because my weight is too high for my height. I assume it’s based on the BMI chart published by CDC, but man is that thing skewed to what I feel are unrealistic weights for most people. I would need to move from my current 187 pounds to 173 pounds to escape the overweight bucket and get in the normal category. According to that same chart, I could weigh 129 pounds and still be normal. That’s crazy…

With no smoking, no drinking, no overnight hospitals visits ever and marathon number 10 coming up, I may still be too much of a risk to get a better deal on life insurance. Oh well…at least it motivated me to get out for another seven miles tonight…DK

Originally published by DK on August 17, 2006 at 11:52 pm

John Massetti Memorial

Posted Wednesday, August 16th, 2006 11:52 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 11:52 PM

Earlier this week, I participated in the Hawgs for Dogs John Massetti Memorial, also known as the Sixth Annual Guide Dogs of America Minnesota Chapter Charity Golf Tournament. Hosted by the Machinist Union District 143, the event was held at Crystal Lake Golf Club in Lakeville and helps raise approximately $100,000 annually for Guide Dogs of America.

The weather was perfect and the course was in great shape (as usual). Three teams tied in the scramble format event at eleven-under 60, with the tie-breaker going to the team from Sun Country Airlines. Thanks to the Cook family for inviting me to participate in memory of Guy Cook, father, grandfather and former IAM leader who recently passed away.

Originally published by DK on August 16, 2006 at 11:52 pm

100 Mile Goal Update

Posted Wednesday, August 16th, 2006 10:49 pm GMT -5 in Running at 10:49 PM

Caught up a little tonight…DK

Originally published by DK on August 16, 2006 at 10:49 pm

Feedback for Future WWDC Conferences

Posted Saturday, August 12th, 2006 07:22 am GMT -5 in Technology at 7:22 AM
  • Record attendance created crowding and bad lines with rude handlers–need to manage this better
  • Minimize session conflicts within the same track
  • Add a web development track (RoR, PHP, MySQL, Apache, PostgreSQL, etc.)
  • Add a design and pro apps track (Photoshop, Final Cut, Logic, etc.)
  • More sessions in IT track (advanced email services, database optimization, network monitoring, etc.)
  • Liked the marketing session–more options on PR, co-marketing, developer profiles, etc.
  • Better discounts at company store–same as employee offers?
  • Offers on new hardware annoucements–give attendees the chance to buy one new machine at cost
  • Announce campus bash entertainment ahead of time and have buses run later
  • Better snacks during the day (like we used to have in San Jose)
  • Food continues to be bad, but this year we just experienced some of the great places in town–either get some of those places to cater or just drop food altogether (keep snacks and beverages though)
  • Bring back O’Reilly and Movie Night
  • Heard rumors of venue change–not sure where would be better
  • Don’t print and distribute schedule insert cards until sessions are announced
  • Make the name appear on BOTH sides of badges to make security happy
  • Bring back door prizes (like the 50 free PowerBooks)
  • Since my flights always leave late, would like to see Friday afternoon sessions return
  • Let all attendees have access to the ADC seed (so Leopard preview can be updated for non-Selects)
  • Add all presenter and Apple contact information to the WWDC site; create opt-in attendee directory

WWDC keeps attracting more people, but the trend has been to offer less each year. I hope it doesn’t slide too much–it’s still my favorite tech event of the year…DK

Originally published by DK on August 12, 2006 at 7:22 am

Adios San Francisco

Posted Saturday, August 12th, 2006 12:43 am GMT -5 in Food,Technology,Travel at 12:43 AM

Today was the last day of WWDC 2006 and I’m currently at SFO waiting for my flight home. Security was no problem and we have another two hours to wait before our flight leaves. I bought the $10 day pass for internet access to pass the time and just filled out the online feedback survey for the conference (lots of feedback for them this year–more on that later).

We attended all three morning sessions, then walked over to Town Hall for lunch. I had Faith’s warm Smithfield ham and cheese toast with poached egg sandwich, which was really tasty, but small. After lunch, we walked over to the Embarcadero and re-traced my running route up to Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square. I took a ton of pictures and will upload them to the photo section when I get home.

After a chocolate ice cream cone at Ghirardelli’s, we waited about an hour to take a cable car back to the other side of town. We stopped at Macy’s Marketplace to pick up some Boudin sourdough bread loaves, then walked down to Mel’s Drive-In for dinner. Picked up the bags at the Marriott, then hit the road in a crazy cab ride to the airport (why is it that cab drivers get to drive as fast and reckless as they want and never seem to get pulled over?). We had a pretty great week: perfect weather, wonderful food and lots of learning opportunities. It’s going to be a busy few weeks at work with all of these new ideas…DK

Originally published by DK on August 12, 2006 at 12:43 am

Thursday Update from WWDC

Posted Thursday, August 10th, 2006 05:32 pm GMT -5 in Food,Technology,Travel at 5:32 PM

The week is flying by quickly. Yesterday’s schedule was jam-packed with things to do. Dinner at Roy’s was great and we went to see Clerks II afterwards at the Metreon. Today, we had breakfast at the Marriott, attended the morning sessions, then walked over to Tommy’s Joynt for lunch. I had pastrami on sourdough and soaked in the unique atmosphere of the place. Now I’m finishing up the afternoon sessions before boarding the bus to the campus bash in Cupertino…DK

Originally published by DK on August 10, 2006 at 5:32 pm

Morning Run to the Rock

Posted Wednesday, August 9th, 2006 08:16 pm GMT -5 in Running,Travel at 8:16 PM

This morning I took the advice of the hotel concierge and ran a five mile out and back that went along Market Street to the Embarcadero and up to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf. The iPod voice said my half-way point was right in front of the ticket booth for the boats to Alcatraz. It was a beautiful route on a beautiful day…DK

Originally published by DK on August 9, 2006 at 8:16 pm

Lunch in Chinatown – Back to the 50s for Dinner

Posted Tuesday, August 8th, 2006 11:40 pm GMT -5 in Food,Travel at 11:40 PM

The food today was great: sesame chicken at the House of Nanking in Chinatown for lunch and a hot open-faced turkey sandwich with fries and vanilla milk shake at Lori’s Diner on Powell for dinner.

Tomorrow will be a bag lunch at the conference while listening to a Pixar presentation, then dinner at Roy’s on Mission Street. Can’t wait for that desert: Roy’s Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé…DK

Originally published by DK on August 8, 2006 at 11:40 pm

iTunes U

Posted Tuesday, August 8th, 2006 09:22 pm GMT -5 in Technology at 9:22 PM

Didn’t know much about this until today: iTunes U

It’s only open to U.S. and Canadian non-profit universities right now, but I can see all sorts of ways this could be used at the high school level by an organization like HSRA. I’m going to hound the product manager again to see if we could be a test site for the K-12 segment. Here are examples from UC Berkeley, Duke and Stanford…DK

Originally published by DK on August 8, 2006 at 9:22 pm

Shooter Golf Bits – 8.8.2006

Posted Tuesday, August 8th, 2006 09:10 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 9:10 PM

Charley Walters had lots of golf items in today’s column:

  • Fuzzy Zoeller Event
  • Tom Lehman Practicing at Windsong Farm
  • North Oaks Design Work
  • Where Arnie was Headed Next

Read it before it’s gone…

Originally published by DK on August 8, 2006 at 9:10 pm

Ridges at Sand Creek

Posted Tuesday, August 8th, 2006 08:49 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 8:49 PM

Last weekend, we returned to course that I really love, but had avoided for a year due to slow play and the owner’s policy of letting fivesomes play on weekend mornings. The Ridges at Sand Creek is a beautiful Joel Goldstrand course that opened in 2000 just outside Jordan, Minnesota. I understand getting behind a slow group every now and then, but it happened several times in a row. After receiving no response from owner and general manager Mike Malone, we decided to go elsewhere for a year. This is a shame, as the course itself is wonderful (although the design does contribute to slow play).

Our return started off ominously: the starter said the 6:00 tee time was late and didn’t start until 6:30, so they were behind schedule (we had a 6:59 tee time). Why one group showing up late should be our problem escapes me, but things improved after we teed off. In fact, I complimented two of the rangers I talked to about how vastly improved the pace of weekend play had become. One ranger told me they now try to keep all weekend rounds under four hours. Hooray! Ridges is back on the approved list…

Originally published by DK on August 8, 2006 at 8:49 pm

New Richmond Golf Club

Posted Tuesday, August 8th, 2006 08:35 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 8:35 PM

After winning four free 18-hole rounds through the Swing Through the St. Croix Valley promotion, we headed to the old course at New Richmond Golf Club last week. Part of the St. Croix Valley Golf Trail, New Richmond has an older, mature front nine that opened in 1923 and a newer back nine that opened in 1982. Willie Kidd did the original design, while Don Herfort was brought in for the expansion. There is also a nine-hole reversible links course located near the entrance to the old course that was built in 1998. We had a great time and the course was in good condition. Some of the holes on the front nine are really memorable and would fit in well on a Brainerd area course. We hit the Zantigo in town for lunch before driving home through the rain that seemed to stay just south of town all morning.

Originally published by DK on August 8, 2006 at 8:35 pm

WWDC First Day Thoughts

Posted Tuesday, August 8th, 2006 02:32 am GMT -5 in Technology at 2:32 AM

We arrived at about 7:15am to get our credentials and get in line for the keynote, which was much better organized this year. Everyone was seated early and the Steve Show started right on time. After reading today’s story in the Wall Street Journal about the timing of Steve’s options, I was curious if he would spend as much time on the financial performance of the company as he usually does at WWDC. Nope–only a quick mention of retail store numbers and overall Mac unit and market share growth. Come to think of it, no mention of iPods at all today, either.

There are lots of places to read the blow-by-blow of the keynote (here and here, for example), so I’ll just note my observations. People will think the new Mac Pro is another expensive Mac, but when you do side-by-side comparisons with PC makers (which is easier now, thanks to Intel), these machines are great values. The top of the line machine at education prices: just under $15K. But check out what that buys you: 16GB of high-speed ECC RAM, two dual core Xeon 5100 processors running at 3GHz, 2TB of internal storage, a state of the art graphics card and dual 30-inch flat panel displays. More mundane entry level models start at $2299–really decent for the type of workstation we are dealing with here.

The new Xserves are really nice: on-board graphics (finally!), more internal storage, huge increase in speed over current model, redundant power supplies and lights off management (the ability to start up a machine remotely that is powered down). Agressive pricing and more than a million configuration options make me re-think my server upgrade plans for the next 12 months. When these ship in October, the Intel transition will be complete.

I was initially a little disappointed with the Leopard stuff that was shown. Things like Time Machine are very useful ideas, but I thought the look and presentation are a little hokey and unprofessional. The Mail demos were a mixed bag–I hate the idea of notes and to-do lists in the application (this is confusing, as iCal currently handles this) and I really hated the idea of HTML formatted templates. I changed my mind on the latter, though, after I realized that 1) they do look nice, 2) lots of people want to do this and 3) there aren’t a lot of good tools available to create email like that.

The previews of Spaces, Core Animation and Dashboard Web Clip were good demos, but don’t seem to be worth a likely $129 upgrade. The good news is that Steve said a number of Leopard features are still Top Secret, and we were introduced to a number of new things during the afternoon sessions that are really, really exciting. Unfortunately, all of those sessions are under non-disclosure, so you’ll just have to wait until next Spring.

The weather here has been the typically great San Francisco summer weather: high around 65, fog in the morning and sun in the afternoon. The breeze at night through the hotel window is refreshing. The food so far has been mixed–the lunch at the conference was awful, but they made up for it with good snacks at the afternoon break. We ate dinner at Lefty O���Doul���s, which had a great atmosphere and good, cheap food. Tomorrow we plan to hit Chinatown and later, Lori’s Diner. I ran five miles in the hotel workout room tonight, so I can splurge a little on the eating…DK

Originally published by DK on August 8, 2006 at 2:32 am

Hidden Creek Golf Club

Posted Saturday, August 5th, 2006 09:17 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 9:17 PM

Last weekend we traveled to Owatonna to play Hidden Creek Golf Club on yet another hot and humid day. I had not played the course for a few years, but I remembered it as being a challenging design that was a little different from your typical Minnesota farm country course. Opened in 1996, the Randy Nelson design brings serveral water features into play and has a few holes that are shaped by mature trees. The course had all bentgrass tees, fairways and greens when it opened–a relative rarity in Minnesota due to the cost of maintaining that much high-grade turf.

Unfortunately, the costs must have caught up to the owners. Combined with the hot weather, the bentgrass all over the front nine was in bad shape. Bunkers needed tending, some of the tee boxes were haphazard and serveral of the bridges were showing signs of wear and tear. The course is apparently under new management and I hope they are able to eventually restore the course to its original conditioning.

The layout itself is fun to play. The conditioning trouble didn’t impact my play too much, although I did start out eight over par through the first four holes (three of which have water in play). I managed to hit the next six greens in regulation, though, with five pars and a bogey. The back nine was in much better shape and I finished with an 86–my best score this year. The temperature at the end of our round was around 92 with high humidity, so we were very happy to see the cart person on sixteen green with free, ice-cold bottles of water.

Originally published by DK on August 5, 2006 at 9:17 pm

WWDC 2006 San Francisco

Posted Friday, August 4th, 2006 05:07 pm GMT -5 in Food,Technology,Travel at 5:07 PM

It’s that time of the year again. Lots of speculation out there, but just like the blockbuster movies, I’m trying not to read the reviews ahead of time. My web developer is attending with me this year, so it should be a great trip. I even remembered to bring the list of restaurants I want to try this year: House of Nanking, Lefty O’Doul’s, Tommy’s Joint, Town Hall, Zuni Cafe and a return to Roy’s and Lori’s Diner. No golf this year, but I’ll bring the new Nike + stuff for a diversion. Watch for reports next week…DK

Originally published by DK on August 4, 2006 at 5:07 pm

Nike + iPod

Posted Friday, August 4th, 2006 04:37 pm GMT -5 in Running,Technology at 4:37 PM

The new Nike + iPod kit is now available and I picked one up at the Mall of America Apple Store this week. At $29 (plus another $29 for a nano armband), it’s a great value when compared to the other options for tracking distance and pace. Others have said you don’t need to have Nike + shoes to use the kit, but I needed a new pair of running shoes anyway, so I picked up a pair of Nike + compatible Air Max 180s from Foot Locker. They are very comfortable, but the first pair I got split a seam after a five mile run the first night. So far the replacements have been fine.

Installation and set up of the kit is simple. You remove the liner of the left shoe and replace the placeholder plug with the shoe transmitter. The iPod dongle receiver plugs into the bottom of the nano and after a quick sync, you are ready to start a workout. A new menu item called Nike + iPod appears in the top nano menu and you can enter your weight in the settings sub-menu to better calculate calorie burn rate. The nano needs the newest firmware update and you need iTunes version 6.0.5 or later. That version displays a new Nike + iPod tab in the iPod settings menu that allows you to enter your login information for the new Nike + website. There is also a check-box to automatically allow the information from your runs to be sent to your Nike + account when you dock the nano.

Once I was comfortable with the setup, armband and cord situation (which reminds me–I’d really love some wireless iPod earbuds), the system is incredibly cool to use. You can pick from several kinds of workouts: basic, distance, time or calories. I’ve been using distance so far, which has a number of presets and the ability to set a custom distance as well. You select a playlist you want to use (or just shuffle songs) and away you go.

During your run, a soothing, human-sounding voice gives you periodic updates. You can choose either male or female and the female voice provides just the right amount of inspiration for me. In my runs so far, you get an update at each mile or kilometer, the half-way point and the last few 100m marks. At any time during the run, you can press the center nano button to hear the remaining mileage, the total elapsed time and your estimated pace. Typical Apple touches include a nice fade-in and fade-out during announcements and a surprise speaker when you set a new personal best. At the end of your workout, a spoken summary of the run is presented and you can either press menu to end the workout or continue to record mileage during your cool-down period.

Afterwards, plugging the nano into the dock sends all of the details of the run to an excellent Flash-based site (I never thought I’d write that about a Flash, but it’s really good). Each run is plotted out with a nice animation and mouse-overs show each split time. Personal bests are automatically recorded and your total mileage, average pace and calorie burn are displayed at the top of the main page. You can set up goals that are tracked just like a telethon–I currently have a goal to run 100 miles in the next 4 weeks. The site also allows you to challenge another member to race, wherever they may be located. Both people run, then sync and the winner is declared.

So far I’m very happy with my purchase. It provides enough geek factor to get me interested in training again. It also makes it much, much easier to stay on top of my progress. It may also make me a faster runner, as I know when I get home the data will be updated and tracked. Twin Cities is only two months away–if this isn’t my best marathon, I’m not sure what’s left to try…DK

Originally published by DK on August 4, 2006 at 4:37 pm

BBC Sports Explains It All

Posted Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006 12:50 am GMT -5 in Golf at 12:50 AM

Why does my ball do that?

This one is my current ailment: the push.

Originally published by DK on August 2, 2006 at 12:50 am

Top Golf Hole Stories

Posted Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006 12:47 am GMT -5 in Golf at 12:47 AM

Several recent stories in the Twin Cities media have Minnesota golf fans talking. KSTP-TV started things in June when they asked visitors to kstp.com to pick the top ten toughest golf holes in the Twin Cities. They followed that up with a series on the top 10 signature holes in the metro area. I was actually playing their #10 (the sixth hole at Willinger’s) when Chopper 5 flew over shooting footage.

Tad Reeve at the Pioneer Press joined Troy Burne pro and 2006 Tapemark Charity Pro-Am winner Dave Tentis on a heroic one day outing to play their dream 18 holes. Armed with both photographer and videographer, they played all 18 holes in about 15 hours on Monday, July 10, crisscrossing the Twin Cities in Tad’s car.

None of the local media sites do a great job of archiving stories, so some of these links may be stale already:

KSTP Top 10 Hardest Holes

  • Edinburgh USA #17
  • Stonebrooke #17
  • Willinger’s #12
  • Chaska Town Course #11
  • Troy Burne #16
  • Bunker Hills #8 West
  • Baker National #1
  • Mississippi Dunes #10
  • Francis Gross #3
  • The Wilds #18

KSTP Top 10 Signature Golf Holes

  • Legends Club #13
  • The Summit #13
  • Stonebrooke #8
  • Interlachen #9
  • TPC Twin Cities #2
  • Hazeltine #16
  • Minneapolis GC #10
  • Edinburgh USA #17
  • White Eagle #5
  • Willinger’s #6

Dream Course: The Best 18 Holes in the Twin Cities

  • Somerset #12
  • Minikahda #13
  • Minneapolis GC #10
  • Rush Creek #18
  • Windsong Farm #3
  • Chaska Town Course #18
  • Hazeltine #10
  • Hazeltine #16
  • Interlachen #9
  • Interlachen #12
  • Spring Hill #13
  • Edinburgh USA #17
  • Bunker Hills #8 West
  • TPC Twin Cities #17
  • North Oaks #7
  • Keller #4
  • White Bear Yacht Club #3
  • Troy Burne #14
Originally published by DK on August 2, 2006 at 12:47 am

Golfing in Minnesota

Posted Tuesday, August 1st, 2006 11:44 pm GMT -5 in Golf,Housekeeping at 11:44 PM

My wife says this website was turning into a golf blog and looking at the post count, she was right. So I have decided to limit golf posts on 7 Minute Miles and started posting on a new golf-only site:

Golfing in Minnesota

Not all of the sub-sections are ready, but the posting mechanism is in place and I have moved all of the old golf category posts from 7 Minute Miles to the new site (they remain in the archives here as well).

We own several Minnesota sports-related domains and are working on potential business models for a new Minnesota sports blog network. Golfing in Minnesota is our first foot in the water to explore what’s possible and we welcome feedback and suggestions…DK

Originally published by DK on August 1, 2006 at 11:44 pm

Edina Country Club

Posted Tuesday, August 1st, 2006 11:12 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 11:12 PM

Last week I had the opportunity to join former Pioneer Press golf writer Gregg Wong for a round of golf at Edina Country Club. It was a very hot day, but I had a great time listening to Gregg’s stories and playing a very enjoyable course. I finished with back-to-back pars and shot 93.

My last round at Edina was four years ago and I had forgotten much of the layout. The greens have been a concern in the past, but that appears to be resolved–all of them were in excellent shape. This was also the first time I really visited the clubhouse (pro shop, locker rooms and casual grill). It was one of the better private facilities I’ve seen and the staff was really friendly. Thanks again to Gregg for his kind hospitality.

Originally published by DK on August 1, 2006 at 11:12 pm
 

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