7 Minute Miles

Winter Cleaning

Posted Saturday, December 30th, 2006 10:10 pm GMT -5 in Personal at 10:10 PM

Today was Christmas decoration breakdown day and I spent most of it in the basement organizing all of the boxes and doing a long-overdue cleaning. Our basement is unfinished, but I do have some areas set up for different things.

One area still had boxes from our move-in day six years ago. I got through all of those today and found some interesting souvenirs (see montage above). Seeing that stuff was fun–maybe someday I’ll do an online photo album of all that junk I never seem to throw out.

Originally published by DK on December 30, 2006 at 10:10 pm

House Finches and Woodpeckers

Posted Saturday, December 30th, 2006 09:55 pm GMT -5 in Wildlife at 9:55 PM

This weekend we re-filled the bird feeder and put out a peanut butter suet ball. This attracted several new visitors to the deck, including a number of house finches and a small downey woodpecker. He had a larger friend that stayed in the trees, but I got a shot of him too.

Originally published by DK on December 30, 2006 at 9:55 pm

Merry Christmas from the Bumble

Posted Monday, December 25th, 2006 12:00 am GMT -5 in Personal at 12:00 AM

From our Bumble to you and yours, wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season…DK

UPDATE: Pictures are up in the private section of the photos area.

Originally published by DK on December 25, 2006 at 12:00 am

Minnesota Wild versus Detroit Red Wings

Posted Sunday, December 24th, 2006 10:24 am GMT -5 in Hockey at 10:24 AM

We arrived early for the game last night and brought along the Nikon to attempt some shots of the pre-game practice. I have a new appreciation for the Sports Illustrated-caliber photographers and need to read up on the techniques they use to get those great action shots indoors under artificial lighting. I took almost 500 shots and I’ve uploaded the best ones here.

As for the game, I was initially disappointed, as the Dominator had the night off (and didn’t even travel to Minnesota). On top of that, one of the refs was Mr. Magoo. If the Wild lost in addition to those things, it would have been a total waste of hard-earned money (this was an extra game I purchased). Thankfully, things turned out OK.

The first goal of the night was totally unexpected–a short-handed feed from Dupuis to Koivu. If Dupuis keeps this up, we’ll have to stop calling him Dufus. The two Detroit goals were even more painful due to the small, but vocal group of Detroit fans in attendance. Both were good goals that weren’t really Manny’s fault (more defensive breakdowns than goaltending). The Parrish tip-in to tie the game with so little time left in the third was a nice surprise and caused the X to explode (take THAT Detroit fans). PMB’s break-away in the OT sealed the deal and sent us home happy.

Next scheduled game for me: January 16 versus Rollie the Goalie and the Edmonton Oilers…DK

Originally published by DK on December 24, 2006 at 10:24 am

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? 1.1

Posted Saturday, December 23rd, 2006 04:16 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 4:16 PM

Festivus, for the rest of us, seems like the ideal day to launch the initial, What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?, guest column. Special thanks to David Kingsbury, the Deputy Ambassador for Golf in Minnesota, and editor extraordinaire of Golfing in Minnesota, Minnesota’s Premier Golf Blog for inviting me to share my thoughts on the game of golf, from a golf course architect’s perspective. David is truly a golf nut.

What are my credentials? As Sid would say, I’m one of the local “geniuses”. Just as a teaser to my credentials, at the grand opening of The Legends, a Golf Digest top ten best new golf course in 2002, I played in a foursome with Chad Hartman, the Ambassador of Minnesota Golf, Dan “Common Man” Cole, and Garrett Gill, enough said. Keep in mind, that one of the user responses for one of my recently opened designs said, “plough it under and start over with a plan next time”. To which I say, plans are for wimps.

Typically golf coverage is a pretty lame affair. Descriptions of new golf course designs talk about championship layouts with multiple tees and challenges for all golfers like that is some bold new revelation. Not to give away trade secrets but multiple tees and challenges for all golfers are standard fare in golf course design. Another trade secret, good sites and good budgets equal good golf course design. It helps make life a whole lot easier if you have a good client, too. Give most golf course architects Pebble Beach sans golf course and they’ll give you an outstanding golf course.

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? will try and move out of the tried and true and offer some perspectives that aren’t press releases from the office of the golf course architect. Keep in mind that this is a guest column and does not reflect the thoughts of Golfing in Minnesota or of anyone else for that matter. As my wife frequently says, “where do you come up with that shit?” (sorry).

If we fail miserably you will be given the opportunity, in the great tradition of Festivus, to air your grievances, one year from today on Festivus 2007. That assumes the Deputy hasn’t decided that he likes golf course discussions the old fashioned way. He is “The Decider”.

In the meantime you can reach me at:

Paul Miller
Paul Miller Design, Inc.
220 Division Street
Northfield, MN 55957
507 645 6999
paulmillerdesign@msn.com

Originally published by Paul on December 23, 2006 at 4:16 pm

Sally Squirrel Joins the Seed Party

Posted Saturday, December 23rd, 2006 03:47 pm GMT -5 in Wildlife at 3:47 PM

After weeks of grey squirrels gorging at the bird feeder on the deck, we had a new visitor today.

I believe this is a red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)–the first we’ve seen at this house…DK

Originally published by DK on December 23, 2006 at 3:47 pm

New Workout Regime

Posted Friday, December 22nd, 2006 12:02 pm GMT -5 in Running at 12:02 PM

This week I started a new daily workout regime. I plan to do it Monday through Friday, right after I get the kids to the bus stop and before I leave for work:

  • Stationary Bike Warmup
  • 5K Run on Treadmill
  • 4×15 Dumbbell Repetitions
  • 50 Sit-ups

It takes less than an hour and doesn’t bore me to death (yet). I hit my peak weight last week (190.2 pounds), so I need to start something. Since I’m not eager to change my eating habits, this will have to do for now. Hopefully it will help a little…DK

Originally published by DK on December 22, 2006 at 12:02 pm

Minnesota Wild versus Vancouver Canucks

Posted Thursday, December 21st, 2006 05:36 pm GMT -5 in Family,Hockey at 5:36 PM

Got in a surprise extra game this week when I filled in for my aunt, who wasn’t feeling well. The Wild had just lost an away game to the Canucks earlier in the week, despite outplaying them for about 58 minutes. The replay officials blew another call, but that has become the norm this year for the Wild. They just need to suck it up and play harder to overcome these additional hurdles.

I really wanted them to get revenge at home and I wasn’t disappointed. My uncle and I did a lot of yelling, but it was mostly at Matt Cooke and not the guys in the striped shirts. The roughing penalty that Cooke got in the first period for trying to mix it up with Boogaard while he sat on the bench was hilarious. Radio surprised us both and I was disappointed he wasn’t at least third star of the game. How many times will he have two goals in one game? I know the second one was open net, but still. Demitra’s goal was a mirror image of his goal in the previous game and I was happy to see Manny have a decent night.

The Canucks second goal was basically a gift from the refs, who finally found their whistles with about six minutes to play. It would be interesting to see them be less aggressive with calls and play four-on-four all game, but I think the NHL is done experimenting with new rules for a while.

Next game for me: Saturday night versus Detroit and my favorite non-Wild player, the Dominator–one of the few remaining NHL players older than me…DK

Originally published by DK on December 21, 2006 at 5:36 pm

Road Running Again

Posted Saturday, December 16th, 2006 10:04 pm GMT -5 in Running at 10:04 PM

Today I took my first outdoor run since the marathon (which was two and half months ago). The weather here has been so mild the past few weeks and I really should have been out all this time. It was about 45 degrees and sunny and the four miles felt pretty good. The first big hill was a pain though and I felt arch blisters forming by the second mile. I stopped to tighten my laces and that seemed to help.

I’m working on a new schedule for working out that I plan to start this week. It’s not a New Year’s resolution or anything, but I do feel a lot better when I’m in shape…DK

Originally published by DK on December 16, 2006 at 10:04 pm

Fifteen Years Ago This Week

Posted Friday, December 15th, 2006 12:44 am GMT -5 in Family,Food at 12:44 AM

Yesterday was our 15th wedding anniversary and the 20th anniversary of our first date (saw the movie “Three Amigos” at the recently closed Har Mar Theater). This is the only wedding day picture we have, taken just after we eloped at the courthouse in downtown St. Paul.

To celebrate number fifteen, we had dinner at the Lexington in St. Paul, which was great. It’s really amazing how different a great steak is from a cheap one–they are like totally different food categories.

Thanks to my wonderful wife for putting up with me for all these years and to my kids for the great card–it was perfect! Here’s to many more years of love, happiness, friendship and personal growth…DK

Originally published by DK on December 15, 2006 at 12:44 am

Northern Flicker Woodpecker

Posted Monday, December 11th, 2006 10:24 am GMT -5 in Wildlife at 10:24 AM

This guy visited the “squirrel-proof” feeder this morning. I’ve been told it’s a northern flicker woodpecker, as I’m not so good at identifying birds. I do know the cardinals and blue jays, which have been frequent visitors this week.

I created a new wildlife album in the photos section and will add shots as they come in…DK

Originally published by DK on December 11, 2006 at 10:24 am

Minnesota Wild versus Chicago Blackhawks

Posted Wednesday, December 6th, 2006 12:24 am GMT -5 in Family,Hockey at 12:24 AM

Now that was a game! My daughter was well enough to go and we had a total blast. I was disappointed none of our broken players came back tonight, but the rest of the squad played a great game that could have easily been a blowout with just a few better bounces of the puck. I’m really happy they got the full two points, thanks mainly to Manny staying solid at the end. Rolston didn’t exactly play a bad game either and I was impressed by the efforts put forth by Stephane Veilleux and Matt Foy. And what can you say about PMB’s game-winner? Almost as pretty as the free holiday ornaments they handed us on the way out the door…DK

Originally published by DK on December 6, 2006 at 12:24 am

Minnesota Wild Player Visit – Derek Boogaard #24

Posted Monday, December 4th, 2006 11:58 pm GMT -5 in Family,Hockey at 11:58 PM

Tonight’s Wild player signing featured my daughter’s favorite player, Derek Boogaard, at Buffalo Wing Wings in Savage. Unfortunately, she stayed home from school today with an upset stomach and a low-grade fever. I decided the best medicine for her was a signed “get well soon” card from the Boogie Man, so I fought the large crowd and frigid weather and got the goods. No “To DK” photo tonight (I wanted to keep to the one item per person courtesy), but this was even better.

Tickets in the usual spot for Chicago tomorrow night…DK

Originally published by DK on December 4, 2006 at 11:58 pm

Sammy Squirrel and the Start of Winter

Posted Monday, December 4th, 2006 11:29 am GMT -5 in Personal,Wildlife at 11:29 AM

It’s been really cold and windy this week and this guy figured out how to break our “squirrel-proof” bird feeder we set up on the deck. My kids nick-named him Sammy Squirrel and I’m happy for him to eat whatever he wants–he earned it.

Eagan received a dusting of snow last night, but we missed both of the big storms that have moved through so far. Wind chills have been in the low negative digits the past few days, but we are forecast to be above freezing again by the end of the week. Minnesotans and weather–it just isn’t logical or sane…DK

Originally published by DK on December 4, 2006 at 11:29 am

Jay’s Cafe – Saint Paul

Posted Saturday, December 2nd, 2006 01:05 pm GMT -5 in Food at 1:05 PM

Jay’s Cafe (791 Raymond, 651-641-1446) has received accolades as one of the best new restaurants in town, but I didn’t like it much when I went there right after it opened. We went for breakfast and with Keys located just a few doors down, it’s hard to compete with that. Lunch is a different story, though.

This week I took a friend there at lunchtime and ordered Romeo’s Turkey Sandwich. The menu describes it as “Sliced Smoked Turkey with cheese and Chipolte mayo served warm on Ciabatta.” It also came with kettle chips and tomatoes on the side. The bread was spectacular and really made the sandwich. My friend ordered the BLT special and said it might be the best BLT he’s ever had. We both ordered Sioux City Sodas–one Cream Soda and one Black Cherry.

With friendly service, reasonable prices and a location convenient to my new office, I’ll have to get back there again soon…DK

Originally published by DK on December 2, 2006 at 1:05 pm

Changes at the Hard Rock Vegas

Posted Friday, December 1st, 2006 09:28 pm GMT -5 in Travel at 9:28 PM

Almost one year ago, I was in Las Vegas for business and stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. It’s been one of my favorite places to stay and they were taking deposits on a condo expansion that looked really nice. The prices were high, but the sales rep I talked to said they had sold most of the project.

I hadn’t heard much about construction progress, so I did a little digging this week. Turns out all of the deposits have been returned and the fate of the expansion is unclear, as Peter Morton has sold the property to the Morgans Hotel Group of New York for $770 million. More info here:

Originally published by DK on December 1, 2006 at 9:28 pm
 

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