7 Minute Miles

First Day Cover Update

Posted Monday, April 30th, 2007 08:27 pm GMT -5 in Housekeeping,Personal at 8:27 PM

This weekend I finally got back to working on my first day cover project. I uploaded about 100 new covers and decided to re-work the structure of the collection online. Instead of a huge text listing on one page, I’ve divided it into yearly pages with thumbnail pictures that can be clicked to view a close-up of the stamp.

There are still literally hundreds left to enter, but I like the framework much better now.

Check out the new pages here:

2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999

May 2007 Mpls St Paul Magazine

Posted Monday, April 30th, 2007 11:44 am GMT -5 in Golf at 11:44 AM

The current issue of Mpls St Paul magazine has a special advertising section produced in association with the MGA. Usually these sections are just a cover for a bunch of ads, but the 2007 edition has some good stories.

Jon Roe writes about Adam Riddering, a Nationwide Tour golfer from Maple Grove. John Mugford has a story about golf mentor programs, such Braemar’s Tee It Up program and the those offered by the Minnesota Metro Chapter of the Executive Women’s Golf Association. A brief, two-page metro area course guide was also included.

My favorite story, however, was written by Joe Bissen, who interviews eight people associated with Minnesota golf to ask how they define golf bliss in our state (frequent answers: Minneapolis Golf Club, Minikahda and Windsong Farm). The eight respondents are:

  • Matt Anderson, Stillwater High School golf coach
  • Bud Chapman, artist
  • Rick Shefchik, writer
  • Peter Wong, photographer
  • Kevin Norby, golf course architect
  • James Bade, Somerset superintendent
  • Jim Manthis, instructor
  • Brenda Williams, amateur

This special advertising section does not appear to be online.

Tanner’s Brook Clubhouse

Posted Sunday, April 29th, 2007 07:55 am GMT -5 in Golf at 7:55 AM

Tanner’s Brook in Forest Lake is finishing work on a new clubhouse. The old one was torn down and the new one is going up in the same spot. Scheduled to open in July, they are currently operating out of the barn next to the eighteenth green.

30th Annual Get in Gear 10K

Posted Sunday, April 29th, 2007 07:54 am GMT -5 in Running at 7:54 AM

Slowest. Get in Gear. Ever.

  • 2002 – 1:07:04 (10:48 pace)
  • 2003 – 1:00:32 (9:45)
  • 2004 – 0:55:41 (8:58)
  • 2005 – 0:57:43 (9:18)
  • 2006 – 0:55:28 (8:56)
  • 2007 – 1:07:49 (10:55)

It was a beautiful day, though–sunny and about 65 degrees with a light breeze. This was my first outdoor run of the year, so I can’t be too disappointed with the time. These days, just finishing without injury is a success.

I ran with my Nike+iPod setup (sans headphones). The distances were off by about one tenth of a mile, so I’ll need to recalibrate that soon. When I uploaded the data afterwards, I received a nice surprise:

Nike+iPod 100 Mile Award

This race is well-run, but they still had a couple of recurring issues. Water at the finish line is still located too far away and the lines for food take forever to get through. The addition of “hero pops,” though, more than made up for those things–they tasted great after a hot run!

This Week on FORE! Minnesota

Posted Friday, April 27th, 2007 10:28 am GMT -5 in Golf at 10:28 AM

FORE! Minnesota, on Saturday, April 28, 2007 (9 am on KSTC-45):

  • Course Tour: Mount Frontenac (Lake City)
  • Great Moments in MN Golf: Tom Lehman’s British Open 1996
  • Stories of Golf: Harmon Killebrew & the Killebrew Classic
  • Unplayable Lies with Common: “Playing Through”
  • Tad Reeve’s Dream 18: Minneapolis #10
  • Pro Strategies:Eric Chiles (The Wilds)

City Pages Best of the Twin Cities

Posted Thursday, April 26th, 2007 09:50 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 9:50 PM

The 2007 edition of the City Pages Best of the Twin Cities is out and their selection for Best Golf Course was a bit of a surprise:

Best Golf Course : Meadowbrook
Reader’s Choice: Theodore Wirth

Out of all of the Minneapolis public golf courses, I do like Meadowbrook the best. Theodore Wirth has a nice layout and overall environment, but the conditioning always seems suspect.

Meadowbrook is better in that respect and the parkland setting with few houses is nice. I don’t like a few of the blind tee shots, but it is a challenging course. Plus the views of Interlachen bring out the golf lust in me…

PGA TOUR Partners Club

Posted Thursday, April 26th, 2007 03:57 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 3:57 PM

Does Tom Lehman want you to join his club? I’ve received these letters for several years and finally decided to look into who was really behind this. The return address listed Minnetonka, Minnesota and they do have the “official” PGA TOUR logo, so I was curious to see what was up.

From the club website, I found out it’s actually part of a larger organization:

North American Membership Group Inc. (NAMG)
12301 Whitewater Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55343

Who We Are:

North American Membership Group Inc. (NAMG) is the world’s largest lifestyle affinity
membership organization, which successfully combines membership, publishing and
merchandise marketing into one business. NAMG operates ten special-interest Clubs
(North American Hunting Club, North American Fishing Club, Handyman Club of America,
National Home Gardening Club, PGATOUR Partners Club, Cooking Club of America,
National Health & Wellness Club, Creative Home Arts Club, The History Channel Club and
National Street Machine Club) with a combined membership of nearly 5 million Members!
NAMG is wholly-owned by Doughty Hanson & Company Ltd., Europe’s largest private equity
fund manager.

I had never heard of this foreign-owned Minnesota company, but it sounds like it’s a large, successful organization. Anyone out there who has accepted Tom’s invitation care to comment on membership?

Twin Cities Marathon Hates Nike+iPod Too

Posted Wednesday, April 25th, 2007 08:49 pm GMT -5 in Running at 8:49 PM

Looks like the other shoe has dropped. Today I received my 2007 Twin Cities Marathon entry in the mail and they are following the lead of Grandma’s:

“USATF rules prohibit the use of headphones, cell phones, and similar devices on the course. This rule will be strictly enforced at all TCM, Inc. events.”

I just emailed them a similar note to what I sent Grandma’s earlier this week. No more TCMs for me either, I guess.

The people who run USATF need to get in tune with the technology and realize that non-elite runners participate for different reasons and have different needs than those trying to qualify for national titles and spots on the Olympic team. Race organizers also need to look at who their primary market is and meet their needs or risk losing the bulk of their participants.

Not a big fan of the man and his rules…

UPDATE: Here is the response from TCM:


Thank you for your email. We have actually banned the use of headphones, iPod’s, MP3’s etc since 2002. This year it is a rule backed by USATF.

We will continue enforcing our policy in the same way that we have since 2002. Please look for more information on this on the website in the future.

We hope that you will reconsider running with us, we would love to have you.

Thanks & Happy Running!

Lindsey Altermatt
Twin Cities Marathon, Inc.
763-287-3888 ext 10

That has me a little confused, as I always thought their rule was headphones strongly discouraged, not banned. There were plenty of people with them last year and I saw no enforcement taken against anyone.

Special Olympics Minnesota Crack the Jar

Posted Wednesday, April 25th, 2007 07:00 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 7:00 PM

As part of Play Golf Minnesota week, tomorrow is Philanthropy Day. The primary event to be held at courses around the state is a “Crack the Jar” closet to the pin promotion to benefit Special Olympics Minnesota.

For a $20 donation, participants who hit the green during the day will be entered into a drawing for a trip for two to the 2007 PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma (event tickets, airfare and lodging included). Prizes will also be awarded at each course to the person closest to the pin.

Ping Pong Exercise Program

Posted Tuesday, April 24th, 2007 09:54 pm GMT -5 in Sports,Work at 9:54 PM

When we ordered the pool table for the office, we also bought a ping pong topper so we could use it as a conference table. I hadn’t actually played ping pong since college and forgot most of the rules (more at Wikipedia). Late last week, we set up the net and it’s been non-stop ping pong during break times since then. It takes more skill and physical effort than I remember, so not only is it fun, it’s good for you!

Response from Grandma’s Marathon

Posted Monday, April 23rd, 2007 11:42 am GMT -5 in Running at 11:42 AM

In response to my email and post yesterday, I received this reply from Bob Gustafson, the PR Director for Grandma’s Marathon:


Thank you for your email. We understand and appreciate your concerns regarding the new USA Track & Field (USATF) rule prohibiting headphones. Hopefully the information below will provide some assistance.

Our races are sanctioned by USATF. Therefore, we are required to abide by USATF rules, regulations and guidelines. In late 2006, USATF approved the banning of all portable music devices at all of its sanctioned road races in an effort to provide increased safety for every participant. So, in accordance with USATF rules we will begin enforcing this new rule at our 2007 races.

Again, thanks for your email and I hope this information answers your questions.

Bob Gustafson
Grandma’s Marathon
Public Relations Director
P.O. Box 16234
Duluth, MN 55816
Phone (218) 727-0947
Fax (218) 727-7932

So I went to the USATF website and found the rule changes from 2006. Here is the relevant section:

Item 22 – Submitted by George Kleeman, Rules Committee, on behalf of Mark Winitz, Men’s LDR
Amend Rule 144.3(b) as follows:
The visible possession or use by athletes of video or audio cassette recorders or players, TV’s, CD or DVD players, radio transmitters or receivers, mobile phones, computers, or any similar devices in the competition area shall not be permitted. ((In long distance running, this is not a mandatory rule, but is a strong suggestion as a guideline for safety reasons.))
Reason: The huge proliferation of MP3 players and other audio devices using headphones by road race participants constitutes a safety hazard. These devices can prevent runners from hearing critical instructions from course monitors, police, and other race officials. Many race directors are reluctant to prohibit these devices in their races for fear of losing entrants. A firm prohibition by USATF will make it easier for these directors to justify bans on these devices in their races.

The section is double parentheses was removed.

I don’t know what to say, other than I guess my marathon count will end at ten. Or maybe this is a good reason to look at some international races. Either way, this may be my last Grandma’s medal.


Play Golf Minnesota Week

Posted Monday, April 23rd, 2007 10:24 am GMT -5 in Golf at 10:24 AM

The Minnesota Section of the PGA, along with the MGA, have declared this week Play Golf Minnesota week. Each day has a different theme:

  • Monday, April 23 – Minnesota Colleges and University Day
  • Tuesday, April 24 – Senior Day
  • Wednesday, April 25 – Women and Golf Day
  • Thursday, April 26 – Philanthropy Day
  • Friday, April 27 – Get Fit for Golf
  • Saturday, April 28 – Play Golf Minnesota Day
  • Sunday, April 29 – Family Golf Day

The Play Golf Minnesota website has details on what each club is offering. Too bad so many of them are members only events…

2007 Running Events

Posted Sunday, April 22nd, 2007 09:28 pm GMT -5 in Running at 9:28 PM

My running season is about to begin next weekend at the 30th Annual Get in Gear 10K in Minneapolis. I’ve basically done nothing but sit on my butt since last fall’s Twin City Marathon and I’ve got an extra ten pounds to prove it. That needs to change, so now I’m much more motivated to run. Plus it’s warm out–I’m definitely a fair weather runner.

I’m very conflicted about which races to run this year, however. Grandma’s Marathon has decided to ban headphones in all of their races this year as part of the USATF rules for certified races. I don’t agree with this policy and won’t run there again unless the policy changes. Here is what I wrote to them today:

To whom it may concern:

My name is David Kingsbury and I have completed four Grandma’s Marathon races over the past ten years. I love the race and the support given by the City of Duluth and its residents. It has been the highlight of my running year each time I have entered. It saddens me, however, to see that you have decided to enforce the no headphones rule this year. With products such as the iPod+Nike device, these items are not only helpful training tools, they can give useful in-run statistics such as pace and distance remaining.

I have never personally seen an instance where someone around me wearing headphones endangered my run. I believe that these tools help people train more often before a race and can help inspire those running to finish stronger during the race.

My guess is that this decision was forced on you by the USATF in order to be a certified race. Grandma’s has a reputation for being one of the elite races, but I hope you do not lose sight of the “everyday Joe” runners who run for fun, not records. I was surprised to see your field was not full yet, but I’m guessing a lot of average runners like me have decided to stay away.

I hope you will reconsider for the 2008 event.

It looks like TCM is threatening to do the same (that has always been their policy, but they never actually disqualified anyone). So it looks like I will just run the Get in Gear and the Heart of the City Half Marathon June 2 in Burnsville.

My brother let me know he plans to run the 2008 Walt Disney World Goofy Races in Orlando next January. This is the one where you get to run the half on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. I thought of maybe joining him, but the field of 3,000 is already full.

Willingers 2007 Update

Posted Sunday, April 22nd, 2007 04:42 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 4:42 PM

We played our first round of the year at Willingers in Northfield and the changes are already apparent (at least off the course). As we reported last year, there is a new management team in place, a new logo and new clubhouse construction. The construction isn’t quite done yet–the pro shop has moved downstairs under the old deck, but the upstairs renovations aren’t ready yet (should be another few weeks). I peeked in the window and it looks like they are bringing some of the look of Legends Club down to Northfield.

The course itself was in good early-season condition and the weather was crazy: cold, gusty winds gave way to brief hail, then sunshine, then a quick warm-up to the low eighties with humidity. Only in Minnesota!

We had a Willingers “virgin” in our group, which I always find entertaining. He commented on how difficult the course is, even from the whites. Thinking through the holes, the only real let-up is on hole number five. Every other hole has trouble of one sort or another. Gill Miller did such a great job on this course.

I played OK, hitting three of four par threes, but I didn’t have the slower early season greens figured out and had a handful of three-putts. Nothing scheduled yet for this week, but it is the Minnesota Golf Opener. More on that soon…

Wild Playoffs versus Anaheim Ducks

Posted Friday, April 20th, 2007 09:48 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 9:48 PM

Well, at least we got to see the best game of the series. My daughter and I attended game four of the first round series between the Wild and the Ducks. My voice was hoarse from yelling at the refs, but the team did a great job of overcoming those obstacles and getting the 4-1 win.

Unfortunately, they did themselves in last night in Anaheim. It was too bad they didn’t have the services of Johnsson and White, but the Ducks were just the better team this year. The vastly superior power play was too much for them to overcome.

The Wild had a great year and we are proud of them. Every player and representative from the organization that we met this year was fantastic–friendly and very kind to my daughters. They are a first-class operation and we can’t wait until next season. We are still in the warming house and are anxious for the next select-a-seat event to see if we can get those upper level seats for next season.

Cheers to the men in red, white and green. Go Wild!

Free Walt Disney World Posters

Posted Thursday, April 19th, 2007 11:27 pm GMT -5 in Personal,Travel at 11:27 PM

I received an email from Disney a few weeks ago that mentioned free, customized maps of Walt Disney World. Since we had just been there, I thought I’d check it out. From this page, you could select all of your favorite attractions in each park and have them printed and mailed for free. They arrived this week and were very nice. My only disappointment was that they were printed double-sided, so we can’t have all four parks framed separately.

On another Disney note, here is a story from a site I follow:

Thinking Inside the Box

I haven’t been to the Paris MGM park, but these same issues are apparent in other parks too. Such a shame…

CDs for Sale

Posted Thursday, April 19th, 2007 11:54 am GMT -5 in Music at 11:54 AM

Spring cleaning time and we are looking to get rid of a bunch of CDs. There will be two garage sales that friends are holding this week and next. The first sale is at 1635 Oakbrooke Drive in Eagan and runs Friday and Saturday from 8-4. I don’t have the location yet for the second one, but will update this post when I get it.

Lots of variety: promo singles, European imports, full albums, double albums. Mostly alternative stuff, but enough variety to find something for everyone. Around 600 CDs with most prices set at only $1 each…

Minnesota Section PGA Media Day

Posted Wednesday, April 18th, 2007 08:12 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 8:12 PM

What an intimidating tee shot to start the year! Today was Media Day for the Minnesota Section of the PGA, held at Minneapolis Golf Club in St. Louis Park. I was paired with Peter Kurvers, the pro from Dacotah Ridge in Morton. We were up against Tom Hauser from KSTP and golf pro Paul Kelley from Bent Creek in Eden Prairie. Peter and I came in last, but it was a beautiful day on a fun course. Watch for more PGA coverage this year on Golfing in Minnesota…

Gopher Men’s Golf Finishes 2nd in California

Posted Monday, April 16th, 2007 05:51 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 5:51 PM

From GopherSports.com:

Gophers Lose Tiebreaker; Finish Second to Top-Ranked Stanford at U.S. Intercollegiate

Congrats to Brad James, Andrew Tank and their team.

Next up: Big Ten Championships at Ohio State, April 27-29.

Official Site Launch for Golfing in Minnesota

Posted Sunday, April 15th, 2007 10:26 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 10:26 PM

Today is April 15th, the first day of the season in Minnesota, according to the USGA. All scores have to be posted from today through October 15th if you have one of these cards.

To mark this date, we have decided to make today the “official” launch day for Golfing in Minnesota. While the site has been up and running for almost a year, it was never promoted in any real sense. That changes starting now. Please help spread the word by telling your golf friends about the site and subscribe to the site feed if you use a newsreader.

Here are some of the features that will be coming this year:

  • Frequent Minnesota golf updates from our own contributors and via news feeds
  • Enhanced course listings
  • Free listings for charity golf events
  • Comprehensive golf store, instructor and practice facility databases
  • Continued uploads of golf course photography from around the state

Golfing in Minnesota is also the first site in a new network of Minnesota lifestyle websites published by the MN Publishing Company. Watch for more announcements to come later this year…


Golf Digest 2007-08 Greatest Courses

Posted Saturday, April 14th, 2007 08:13 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 8:13 PM

My May 2007 issue of Golf Digest arrived this week and attached was a little supplemental book with their biennial 100 Greatest Courses list. This has always been my favorite national rankings list, although Minnesota courses always seem to take a back seat to other areas.

In the big list, two Minnesota courses retained their inclusion: Interlachen at #62 (down from #44) and Hazeltine at #89 (down from 72). I love both of those courses and I think they deserve all the recognition they receive. Newer courses like those in Bandon, Oregon are pushing everyone down, so the drops in rank aren’t a big shock.

Golf Digest also started doing a top 100 public course ranking a few years back, along with overall rankings by state (which I think they’ve done for a while now). This was more interesting for Minnesota courses, as there are a handful that made the big list:

  • The Quarry at Giants Ridge – #19
  • The Classic at Madden’s Resort – #42
  • Deacon’s Lodge – #52
  • The Legend at Giants Ridge – #59

What’s strange about this list is that courses listed as the best in Minnesota don’t match what made the national top 100. The Wilderness at Fortune Bay is listed between The Quarry and The Classic on the state list, but failed to make the national top 100. Unfortunate glitch for a top-notch course and operation at Fortune Bay.

Here is how they rank Minnesota courses overall (public and private):

1. Interlachen C.C. – Edina
2. Hazeltine National G.C. – Chaska
3. Spring Hill G.C. – Orono
4. The Quarry at Giants Ridge – Biwabik
5. Windsong Farm G.C. – Independence
6. The Wilderness at Fortune Bay – Tower
7. Somerby G.C. – Byron
8. White Bear Yacht Club – White Bear Lake
9. The Classic at Madden’s Resort – Brainerd
10. Deacon’s Lodge G. Cse. – Breezy Point
11. The Legend at Giants Ridge – Biwabik
12. Northland C.C. – Duluth
13. Somerset C.C. – St. Paul
14. The Pines at Grand View Lodge (Lakes/Woods) – Nisswa
15. The Minikahda C. – Minneapolis
16. Legends C. – Prior Lake
17. Legacy at Cragun’s (Dutch’s Legacy) – Brainerd
18. Dacotah Ridge G.C. – Morton
19. Minneapolis G.C. – St. Louis Park
20. Woodhill C.C. – Wayzata

Not exactly how I’d score it, but that discussion is for another day…

New Cirque du Soleil Show Kooza Coming Here

Posted Friday, April 13th, 2007 10:46 pm GMT -5 in Concerts at 10:46 PM

One of my guilty pleasures, Cirque du Soleil, announced a new traveling show today and it’s coming to Minneapolis this fall. Kooza is described as “a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil: It combines two circus traditions – acrobatic performance and the art of clowning.”

I’m a big clown hater, but we’ll still see it, I’m sure…

Lunch at the Nook

Posted Friday, April 13th, 2007 09:49 pm GMT -5 in Food at 9:49 PM

Today we had a lunch meeting at Casper & Runyon’s Nook in St. Paul (across from Cretin on Hamline). We sat at Barbara Streisand’s table, who they claim actually ate there. Last time I was there, I saw former Wild player Andrew Brunette, so who knows…

This is a place that I knew about for a long time when I was growing up in St. Paul, but only started going to about a year ago. I really love their fries and I think the Nook version of the Juicy Lucy is my favorite in town (followed closely by Matt’s Bar and the 5-8 Club).

The place was packed and we were lucky to get the last open table at 11:30. Service is always a little on the slow side, but we had lots to discuss anyway, so no big deal.

Mini Cooper Checkup at 40,000 Miles

Posted Thursday, April 12th, 2007 09:57 pm GMT -5 in Cars at 9:57 PM

Today I took my 2005 Mini Cooper in for an oil change. This was the first service appointment I’ve had that wasn’t covered under warranty and I wasn’t sure what to expect. All of the Honda dealers we’ve dealt with have pricey little packages at various mileage levels that include all sorts of preventive maintenance. I didn’t know if Mini would do the same thing, so I was prepared to spend some money.

My local Mini dealership is Motorwerks Mini (and BMW), located in Bloomington, Minnesota. They recently opened the Taj Mahal of showrooms, with multiple floors and heated, indoor parking (a nice feature in Minnesota that more dealers should emulate). The new service area was immaculate and there was a nice owner’s lounge with two big Sony flat panel TVs and free bottled water and wi-fi.

The service manager that was helping me said that in addition to the oil change, I was due to have the brake fluid flushed. That was $100 and could be done at the same time, so I decided to have both done and wait (I had work I could do on the free wireless).

After a bit, the manager came over and said that when they had it up on the hoist, they noticed the front two tires were totally bald. So that’s why my winter handling wasn’t so great this year! The back two were fine and he said they had the matching model in stock and I could just replace the front two. He also said Minis will wear out the front tires quickly if the tires are not rotated every 9,000 miles or so. I will plan to have them rotated at the next oil change, which will be in about a year.

It took a half hour longer than I had planned (and several hundred dollars more than I was planning to spend), but I’m good to go now. I still have two small dings in the front windshield from my cross-country trips, but I’ll wait until I get another one before replacing that (both are on the passenger side).

Grindhouse, Son Volt, Tanya Donelly and 24

Posted Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 11:56 pm GMT -5 in Movies,Music,Pop Culture at 11:56 PM

It’s been crazy busy at work the past week, but we’ve managed to take in a few diversions. Last weekend my wife and I went to see Grindhouse at the local theater in Eagan. I’m a big fan of past Tarantino and Rodriguez movies like Pulp Fiction and El Mariachi, but this one just didn’t do it for me. It was way too long and I didn’t like the actors nearly as much as the other films. The distressed look got old after a while too. The car scenes were great, though, and I loved the ending. My favorite part of the whole thing was the opening trailer for the “mock” film, Machete. Danny Trejo rocks! I hope they really do make that movie.

Tonight I stopped at the local Best Buy and picked up the new Son Volt CD, The Search, and the new Tanya Donelly CD that I didn’t know about, This Hungry Life. It’s been a long time since I bought any new music, so I’m anxious to add these to my iPod.

Lastly, I’m a late convert to the show 24. Via Netflix, we started from the beginning and tonight I started disc five of season two. Some parts (and characters) are hokey, but overall it really draws you in and keeps you watching. Only 78 more hours to catch up to this season!

2007 Masters Tournament

Posted Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 09:19 am GMT -5 in Golf at 9:19 AM

The first major of the year is over and golf season can really begin now. Too bad there is snow in the forecast the next few days…

This was the first year I watched the Masters in HD. Sports in general look really great in high-definition, but the CBS broadcast was spectacular. Unlike recent NBC golf broadcasts, I didn’t see a single standard definition camera the entire four days.

Tom Lehman wasn’t there this year, so the primary Minnesota connection was Lumpy. Shooter said that local instructor Gerald McCullagh traveled to Augusta with Mr. Herron, who shot 72-75-83-72=302 (T37). Throw out that Saturday round and he would have been right up there.

While watching the final round with family on Sunday, my wife’s cousin asked me if I could only play one more golf hole in my lifetime, what would it be? She picked number 13 at Augusta National, but that was a tough question for me to answer. I’ve never played it, but I’d probably choose this one.

A New Way to Take “Breaks” at Work

Posted Saturday, April 7th, 2007 12:31 am GMT -5 in Work at 12:31 AM

When I moved into the new office last year, I wanted to eventually add either a conference table or a pool table to the middle section. Well, conference tables are expensive and boring, so we decided on getting a pool table with a ping pong topper that could double as a meeting table. I elected to wait until I had billed enough time to pay for it and that day arrived this week.

It’s an eight-foot, entry-level Brunswick table with black sides and gray felt with a Kettler topper. I’ve loved billiards since my college days as game room supervisor in Madison and playing on this table is a blast. This is causing my already large backlog of work to grow, but it is spring break, right?

UPDATE: More pictures starting here.

Los Angeles Trip

Posted Friday, April 6th, 2007 03:45 pm GMT -5 in Food,Travel,Work at 3:45 PM

I returned from my short LA trip late Wednesday night. The flight was packed with loud, somewhat smelly people, but at least it was on time. I picked up some Boudin’s sourdough bread at the airport, which was a nice surprise–I thought that was only a northern California thing.

The Media Arts project is going to be interesting. There is a lot of risk, but also a lot of potential. I will be writing the technology section of our due diligence report, as we decide if this could work as a west coast branch of the HSRA studio program in St. Paul. I’m very impressed with the work of Dr. Murphy in trying to revive the program–I can’t imagine the stress and challenges involved for her (that’s her next to TC above). More pictures from the trip can be found here.

A few additional food notes from the trip: I got the opportunity on Wednesday afternoon to try a famous Fat Burger with skinny fries. A little pricey, but a very good burger overall. On Tuesday night, I had dinner in Hermosa Beach at a neighborhood Italian cafe called Fritto Misto. I had fettucini Alfredo with beef tips, which I liked, but the sauce wasn’t your typical Alfredo sauce–lighter and not as creamy. My other meal was Tuesday’s lunch at a local Mexican chain, Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill. Along with Roscoe’s, this was a fun food trip.

Media Arts Academy Centinela

Posted Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007 06:18 pm GMT -5 in Travel,Work at 6:18 PM

Today we visited with Dr. Jennifer Murphy, the program director for Media Arts Academy Centinela charter school in Hawthorne, California. We are meeting with them to discuss a possible collaboration between HSRA and Media Arts this fall. Very interesting situation–more to come…

Roscoe’s House of Chicken’ N Waffles

Posted Monday, April 2nd, 2007 10:39 pm GMT -5 in Food,Travel at 10:39 PM

Dinner tonight was at the original Roscoe’s House of Chicken’ N Waffles in Hollywood (just off Sunset Boulevard on Gower Street). I’ve wanted to eat there for years, but got terribly lost the last time I tried to find it.

It was everything I had hoped for–great atmosphere and great fried chicken and waffles. The dining room was much smaller than I was expecting, but we got there early (by L.A. standards) and had no problem getting a table. I brought two pieces back to the room and just finished a late night snack.

By the way, I think the local CBS affiliate station was across the street–home to Little Paulie Majors!

The Belamar Hotel Manhattan Beach California

Posted Monday, April 2nd, 2007 10:01 pm GMT -5 in Travel at 10:01 PM

Today I flew to Los Angeles on the local “They-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” airline (Sun Country was completely booked). What happens when you fire all of your mechanics? I guess it makes maintenance delays last longer, as we had to sit on a full plane for almost an hour while they messed with the wing flaps. And how much would it cost to not charge for $2 snacks on a flight that’s been delayed?

On a more positive note, the hotel we are at has been wonderful. Very “W” like, but much smaller and more personable. The staff has been just great so far–very focused on customer service and providing a good experience. Great overall atmosphere and free in-room Internet too. All for under $170 per night–not bad for SoCal, eh?


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Husband, dad and stadium IT director

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  • Mile - 6:10
  • 5K - 21:42
  • 10K - 44:40
  • Half - 1:38:40
  • Full - 3:43:32
  • 50K - 7:37:00
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