7 Minute Miles

Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park

Posted Tuesday, July 31st, 2007 10:51 am GMT -5 in Family,Food,Travel at 10:51 AM

On our way back from the Amethyst mine, we decided to make a stop at Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, located just west of Thunder Bay. I actually had this one confused with the middle falls on the Pigeon River, which is a much smaller, less dramatic falls. Kakabeka was very scenic and well worth the short drive out of our way back to the border. Plus the road to Kakabeka passes a Tim Hortons

Originally published by DK on July 31, 2007 at 10:51 am

3M Championship Week

Posted Monday, July 30th, 2007 10:40 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 10:40 PM

The PGA Champions Tour 3M Championship begins this week at the TPC Twin Cities in Blaine. Here is the daily schedule:

Monday: Ameriprise Pro-Am
Tuesday: Practice Rounds, Junior Skills Challenge, Junior Pro-Am, Pro Skills Challenge
Wednesday: Coldwell Banker Burnet Pro-Am
Thursday: Coldwell Banker Burnet Pro-Am, Old Dutch Foods Short Game Clinic and Contest
Friday: Championship First Round
Saturday: Greats of Golf Challenge, Championship Second Round
Sunday: Greats of Golf Challenge, Championship Final Round

Daily tickets are available starting at $15 (practice rounds) and can be purchased in advance at participating Twin City Co-Ops Federal Credit Union locations.

Originally published by DK on July 30, 2007 at 10:40 pm

Tip of Minnesota

Posted Monday, July 30th, 2007 09:46 am GMT -5 in Travel at 9:46 AM

I always thought this was the very northeast tip of Minnesota, but Google seems to say otherwise…

Originally published by DK on July 30, 2007 at 9:46 am

Amethyst Mine Panorama

Posted Sunday, July 29th, 2007 05:48 pm GMT -5 in Family,Travel at 5:48 PM

On Friday, the girls and I drove to Canada to visit Amethyst Mine Panorama, located about 30 miles east of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

I visited this mine when I was a little boy and should have gone back sooner–it was a blast! The mine has a large open pit area with water hoses that you can use to create your own little mining sluice. Amethyst was everywhere, but it was like a little treasure hunt searching for that “perfect” find. After almost forty pounds of rock and tiny cuts on all my finger-tips, we headed back towards Thunder Bay.

Pictures available in both the private and the North Shore albums.

Originally published by DK on July 29, 2007 at 5:48 pm

2007 Birchmont Complete

Posted Sunday, July 29th, 2007 05:00 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 5:00 PM

The 83rd Annual Birchmont Golf Tournament finished yesterday at Bemidji Town and Country Club. Here are the winners from the various divisions:

Men’s Champion: Johnny Larson, Clements, MN
Ladies Champion: Kristi Lucken, Fosston, MN
Executive Men’s Champion: Todd Schaefer, Grand Forks, ND
Senior Men’s Champion: Jack Seiberlich, Rush City, MN
Super Senior Men’s Champion: Blaine Grone, Clearbrook, MN
Junior Champion: Sam Mathew, Roseville, MN

Next year’s tournament will be held Monday-Saturday, July 28-August 2, 2008.

For additional information on the Birchmont, visit their wonderful data-rich website, designed by golf pro and web designer Paul Grovum.

Originally published by DK on July 29, 2007 at 5:00 pm

Kane Hanson Wins State Open

Posted Sunday, July 29th, 2007 04:43 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 4:43 PM

Professional Kane Hanson from Detroit Country Club in Detroit Lakes won the 2007 Minnesota State Open today at Bunker Hills. His 71-66-69-206 (-10) was two shots better than Minneapolis Golf Club pro Joe O’Brien and earned Kane $9,000.

Top five finishers:
1, Kane Hanson (p), Detroit CC, 71-66-69-206 (-10)
2, Joe O’Brien (p), Minneapolis GC, 71-68-69-208 (-8)
3, Clayton Rask (a), Monticello CC, 71-68-70-209 (-7)
T4, Neil Johnson (p), Troy Burne GC, 69-68-73-210 (-6)
T4, David Tentis (p), Troy Burne GC, 72-66-72-210 (-6)

Other Notables: Don Berry (T9), Mike Barge (T11)

Originally published by DK on July 29, 2007 at 4:43 pm

Mendakota Course Notes

Posted Sunday, July 29th, 2007 01:13 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 1:13 PM

Last week I made a return visit to Mendakota Country Club in Mendota Heights. Thanks go out to Mendakota member Phil Keeney for hosting our foursome.

Mendakota is a club that always seems to be tweaking things on the course. Not much had changed since my last round there, but plans are being made for several new modifications, including changes to the par-5 thirteenth and the par-4 sixteenth holes. Fairway bunkers will be added to the former, while the latter will see a new green that will bring the lake more into play.

We played on a very hot and humid day and it was one of the rare times I was happy to have a power cart. The course was in good condition and the greens were very fast. The layout and design of this course present many interesting challenges, although it would be nice to lose the power lines that criss-cross several holes. The freeway and road noise are a little distracting also, but not much can be done about that.

I played well on the front nine, but got thrown off my game on the short 312 yard par-4 tenth hole. I think that mentally impacted the rest of the back nine, which is very scenic and should be relaxing. The par-3 seventeenth hole may be the prettiest on the course, although it is a stern test near the end of a round.

Looking forward to a return visit soon…

Originally published by DK on July 29, 2007 at 1:13 pm

Meadowbrook Course Update

Posted Friday, July 27th, 2007 09:02 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 9:02 PM

Meadowbrook Golf Course in Hopkins may have a more famous neighbor next door (Edina’s Interlachen Country Club is just beyond the fence behind the clubhouse), but it holds it’s own against the other Minneapolis city-owned courses.

With multiple blind tee shots with water and sharp drop-offs on the shorter par 3s, this course is perhaps the most challenging among those city courses as well.

The day we visited, the women’s league was having a shotgun tournament later in the morning that we weren’t told about when making reservations. The pro shop managed to get our round in around them, though, without us getting in the way.

Get your rounds in at Meadowbrook this year–it will likely be used as a parking lot for the Women’s U.S. Open next year at Interlachen…

Originally published by DK on July 27, 2007 at 9:02 pm

Quick Grand Marais Excursion

Posted Thursday, July 26th, 2007 10:42 pm GMT -5 in Family,Travel at 10:42 PM

Took a quick drive up to Grand Marais after returning from the west coast. The girls have been staying with my mom and dad at the cabin on the big lake while I was away, so it’s been great to see them.

Today we got in some mini golf after the rain moved through (which washed out our Lutsen Alpine Slide and bonfire plans). Tonight we won first place in the Sven and Ole’s trivia contest. The “Gooneybirds Love Donuts” team won a $75 gift certificate for our efforts.

Not sure what the rest of the week will bring–maybe Canada, maybe Lutsen, maybe the Wolf Center near Ely.

Some pictures are up in the private area of the photo gallery. More posts and pics as I can get online…

Originally published by DK on July 26, 2007 at 10:42 pm

2007 Minnesota State Open

Posted Thursday, July 26th, 2007 10:24 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 10:24 PM

Play begins today at the 2007 Minnesota State Open at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids, with the first groups starting at 7:30am.

Defending champion Mike Barge of Hazeltine returns to defend his title, teeing off Friday at 2pm.

This tournament has one of the strongest fields in Minnesota golf–come out to Bunker Hills the next three days and watch some excellent golf!

Official State Open Tournament Site | Leaderboard

UPDATE 2:

Day 2 Leaders
T1, Kane Hanson (p), Detroit CC, 137 (-7)
T1, Neil Johnson (p), Troy Burne GC, 137 (-7)
3, David Tentis (p), Troy Burne GC, 138 (-6)
T4, Clayton Rask (a), Monticello CC, 139 (-5)
T4, Joe O’Brien (p), Minneapolis GC, 139 (-5)
T6, Don Berry (p), Edinburgh USA, 140 (-4)
T6, Noah Lawson (a), Forest Hills GC, 140 (-4)

Cut Line: +5

UPDATE:

Day 1 Leaders
T1, Neil Johnson (p), Troy Burne GC, 69 (-3)
T1, Dan Croonquist (a), Manitou Ridge GC, 69 (-3)
T3, Thomas Campbell (a), University GC, 70 (-2)
T3, Chris Borgen (p), Hiawatha GC, 70 (-2)
T3, Noah Lawson (a), Forest Hills GC, 70 (-2)
T3, Andy Jacobson (a), Eagle Creek GC, 70 (-2)
T3, Bill Thompson (a), Windsong Farm GC, 70 (-2)
T3, Adam Wynia (p), Prairie Green GC, 70 (-2)
T3, Derek Holmes (a), Rum River Hills GC, 70 (-2)

Originally published by DK on July 26, 2007 at 10:24 pm

Keller Course Update

Posted Thursday, July 26th, 2007 01:46 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 1:46 PM

I’m not sure if we just hit it on the right day, but it appears the days of six-hour rounds at Keller may be over. Our round went very fast and we never waited all day–even between the second and third holes that have always had a big back-up.

This time I played the blue tees for the first time, which makes the course a par-72 instead of a par 71 (the 16th hole plays as a par-five from the blues). It really made for a different experience on many of the holes.

Keller just exudes history and I love taking visitors into the clubhouse after a round to look at all the pictures and awards.

The course was in good condition, but several greens were a little rough. For the price, however, Keller remains one of the best values in town.

Originally published by DK on July 26, 2007 at 1:46 pm

This Week on FORE! Minnesota

Posted Thursday, July 26th, 2007 12:38 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 12:38 PM

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

  • Course Tour: Hidden Creek GC (Owatonna, MN)
  • Great Moments in MN Golf: Genesis of Minnesota Golf (Town & Country CC)
  • Stories of Golf: Anthony “Tony” Hebert (Tribute to a Fallen Friend)
  • Tad Reeve’s Dream 18: White Bear YC #3 (White Bear Lake, MN)
  • Pro Strategies: Jack Baker – The Summit GC (Cannon Falls, MN)
Originally published by DK on July 26, 2007 at 12:38 pm

Island View Course Update

Posted Tuesday, July 24th, 2007 11:45 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 11:45 PM

Last week we paid a visit to Island View Golf Club in Waconia. The course was undergoing some course renovations, but remains open while the work is being completed. Several bunkers were being re-built on the 486-yard par 5 first hole and the entire area surrounding the 161-yard par 3 fourth hole was being re-worked. The rest of the course was in great shape, however, and the construction didn’t really impact our round.

Coming later this week: updates on Keller, Meadowbrook, Mendakota and Superior National.

Originally published by DK on July 24, 2007 at 11:45 pm

LA Wrap-Up

Posted Tuesday, July 24th, 2007 10:02 am GMT -5 in Food,Travel,Work at 10:02 AM

Arrived back from LA yesterday on Sun Country. Flight was fine, but the airport experience was not pleasant. In addition to very long lines, I got the dreaded “SSSS” designation on my ticket (extra special screening). I’m sure it was because I was traveling alone on a one-way ticket, but don’t you think the system could be a little more intelligent?

The week finished up OK, although there are still a ton of things that need to be completed out there before school starts. I’ll likely return in mid-August for a few days to complete the roll-out. The wiring and construction contractors should be finished by then and I’ll have more practice with imaging machines here that can be replicated out there.

On Sunday I drove straight east from my hotel to Buena Park and Knott’s Berry Farm. The classic chicken dinner at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant is worth the always-constant one hour wait in line.

The rest of the day didn’t go great–I dropped my doggie bag in the dirt and the crappy internet access in the hotel was broken all day. The wireless provider for the hotel, “Zoxzones,” was pathetic. Not only did they charge for the service, I had to call every single day to have them reset the access point so I could login. Never again.

Originally published by DK on July 24, 2007 at 10:02 am

Studio 4 LA Office

Posted Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 12:07 pm GMT -5 in Work at 12:07 PM
Originally published by DK on July 22, 2007 at 12:07 pm

IKEA Day and Hermosa Beach

Posted Saturday, July 21st, 2007 02:05 am GMT -5 in Food,Travel,Work at 2:05 AM

Today was IKEA day for me and the new office. People know me as an IKEA freak, but you just can’t beat the pricing and style–especially for small business and school offices. $1.50 for a hot dog and glass of lingonberry juice is pretty awesome too…

While Minnesota only has one IKEA, California has eight. I decided the Carson location was the closest and went over lunch. It was really different from the Bloomington store–smaller, one additional floor, not as much selection and no full buffet restaurant.

My ugly rental car came in handy, as I managed to get three tables, six chairs, a locking cabinet, two desk lamps, six light bulbs, two power cords and a small love seat in that thing. I got most everything put together today, despite cutting a finger open with the scissors, getting a blister in the palm of my hand and dropping the love seat box on my foot. Also got to drive back to the store again after I received mixed table legs for one of the tables. Everything should be good to go by lunchtime tomorrow, though.

When I got back, I rested for a bit in the room, then walked down the PCH to Pier Avenue and over to the Hermosa Beach Pier. The weather was gray and grim, but it was still fun to see the big waves and watch people attempt to surf.

I had a quick dinner of fish and chips at the Hermosa Fish Market Cafe, located at 20 Pier Avenue (right by the start of the pier). Always great to sit outside and eat anywhere, but this atmosphere was especially fun.

I walked back to the hotel by following the Strand and was knocked out by the cool beach-side houses. Zillow says $1 million to $7 million for that stretch. Sheesh again.

7MM Los Angeles Photo Gallery

Originally published by DK on July 21, 2007 at 2:05 am

Hanstad Wins 104th MGA Amateur Championship

Posted Friday, July 20th, 2007 01:31 am GMT -5 in Golf at 1:31 AM

Alexandria High School graduate and Colorado State golfer Bryce Hanstad won the 104th MGA Amateur Championship Thursday at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska. He held off Gopher and first-round leader Clayton Rask, who finished four shots back.

Here are the top five finishers:

  • 1, Bryce Hanstad, 72-73-72-217 (+1)
  • 2, Clayton Rask, 71-75-75-221 (+5)
  • T3, Clint Cornell, 79-75-71-225 (+9)
  • T3, Andrew Paulson, 76-74-75-225 (+9)
  • 5, Robbie Kelley, 75-74-77-226 (+10)

Full Leaderboard

Originally published by DK on July 20, 2007 at 1:31 am

Southern California Long-Term Accomodations

Posted Friday, July 20th, 2007 01:12 am GMT -5 in Food,Travel,Work at 1:12 AM

Today I got to visit the new Studio 4 SoCal accommodations for the coming school year–the Sea Spray Apartments in Redondo Beach. A steal at only $2K per month. Shesh.

The technology infrastructure project for HSRA-LA is coming along nicely. Today I finished configuring the network security cameras, but found one of them appears to have a dead network port. The wiring in the server closet isn’t finished yet, but it’s taking shape. Had to order two 19-inch server rack shelves after I found out the new Intel Xserve doesn’t have a two-post option.

Tomorrow I need to stop at Home Depot to pick up some stronger ant poison (they just love the stuff I bought at Target). I also plan to visit the local IKEA to get some items for the new Studio 4 office.

Tonight I had dinner with Dan O’Donnell of the Rand Corporation. We went to a new Thai restaurant in Santa Monica called The Orchid. I had some chicken satay as a starter, the braised short rib (very tender boneless ribs braised in Syrah wine served with garlic mashed potato) and an awesome pyramid chocolate mousse desert. It was great meeting Dan–one of the many people I know online, but had never met in person until today.

Last night, I met former HSRA Minnesota staff member Jared Barbick and his wife Talia for dinner at a restaurant in Torrance, Restaurant Christine. I had this wonderful selection: Prosciutto Wrapped Filet Mignon Medallions, Sage Bread Pudding, Baby Vegetables and Red Onion Butter.

Special thanks to Jared and Talia for treating me to dinner.

Originally published by DK on July 20, 2007 at 1:12 am

This Week on FORE! Minnesota

Posted Thursday, July 19th, 2007 10:55 am GMT -5 in Golf at 10:55 AM

FORE! Minnesota, on Saturday, July 21, 2007 (9 am on KSTC-45):

  • Course Tour: The Summit (Cannon Falls, MN)
  • Great Moments in MN Golf: 1996 (Tom Lehman – British Open)
  • Stories of Golf: Minnesota Thunder (Parkview GC)
  • Tad Reeve’s Dream 18: North Oaks #7 (North Oaks, MN)
  • Pro Strategies: Peter Kurvers (Dacotah Ridge GC – Morton, MN)
Originally published by DK on July 19, 2007 at 10:55 am

Oh, Where Art Thou, Real Star Wars?

Posted Tuesday, July 17th, 2007 11:13 pm GMT -5 in Movies,Personal at 11:13 PM

The “original” Star Wars was on HBO Family tonight and I couldn’t help but watch it.

I so want to watch the version that I watched as an eight-year-old kid in 1977. Countless Star Wars nerds have described the changes made to the new version that make me so mad, so I won’t go over all that. Let’s just say that I hope I never meet George Lucas in person.

Maybe it’s time to get a replacement laser disc player on eBay…

Originally published by DK on July 17, 2007 at 11:13 pm

Golf Digest Ranks Minnesota Instructors

Posted Tuesday, July 17th, 2007 10:51 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 10:51 PM

The August 2007 issue of Golf Digest has a ranking of teaching professionals by state, as selected by their peers.

Mike Barge of Hazeltine National takes the top spot, followed by Peter Krause of Windsong Farm. None of the selected Minnesota teachers made it into the list of top 50 instructors in the country, which was led by Butch Harmon (Butch Harmon School of Golf at Rio Secco, Henderson, Nevada).

It’s interesting to see how this compares to the recent list compiled by Minnesota Golfer magazine that we mentioned last week (which admittedly didn’t include female instructors).

Here’s the complete list:

  1. Mike Barge, Hazeltine National, Chaska
  2. Peter Krause, Windsong Farm, Maple Plain
  3. Larry Nelson, Braemar, Edina
  4. Lisa Masters, Baker National, Medina
  5. Chris Foley, Maddens on Gull Lake, Brainerd
  6. Rosemary Iverson, Rush Creek Golf Academy, Maple Grove
  7. Craig Waryan, Edinburgh USA, Brooklyn Park
  8. David La Pour, Oak Marsh, Oakdale
  9. Gerald McCullagh, The Golf Institute at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  10. Brian Simpson, The Wilds, Prior Lake
Originally published by DK on July 17, 2007 at 10:51 pm

HSRA Los Angeles Taking Shape

Posted Tuesday, July 17th, 2007 01:56 am GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 1:56 AM

Made it to Los Angeles today from Seattle, courtesy of Alaska Airlines. They had the lowest price and for the most part, it was an OK experience. I was ticked off, though, that I had to waste time in a line called “bag check” that wouldn’t let me check my bags until I stood in a different line to get a printed boarding pass. Oh well, at least they got the bags off the plane and into the baggage claim quickly.

I’m here to help set up the technology infrastructure at the new High School for Recording Arts Los Angeles. I stopped there on the way to the hotel and was amazed at the progress in the big space.

Tomorrow will mostly be a planning day–creating network maps, gathering ISP info, taking inventory, deciding on security camera placement and updating the work plan.

This time I’m staying at the Hotel Hermosa in Hermosa Beach. My first impression was not great, but I think it’s growing on me. It does have a Fatburger across the street, so it can’t be all bad.

The internet connection didn’t work when I got here (and it costs extra), but it seems to be good now…

Originally published by DK on July 17, 2007 at 1:56 am

Former Gopher La’Cassie at John Deere

Posted Tuesday, July 17th, 2007 01:05 am GMT -5 in Golf at 1:05 AM

Former Gopher standout Bronson La’Cassie received a sponsor’s exemption into last week’s John Deere Classic, played at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois.

He made the most of it, making the cut by shooting a second-round 66. His 71-66-74-70-281 (-3) was good enough for a T62 and a paycheck of $8,692.

This was not his first pro start, however. In June, he fired a 23-under-par 265 at the Buffalo Run Casino Classic on the Hooters Tour, where he tied for second and earned $13,762.

Originally published by DK on July 17, 2007 at 1:05 am

Seattle Airport Hotels

Posted Monday, July 16th, 2007 09:47 am GMT -5 in Travel at 9:47 AM

It took me about four trips, but I finally found a hotel near the Seattle airport that I liked. The Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites SeaTac Aiport at 19621 International Boulevard (just down the street from the airport) was easy to find, clean, relatively inexpensive and had nice “mini-suites” with high speed internet that was actually plug-and-play.

There are several things I usually dislike with hotel internet access. Charging extra for it is at the top of the list, followed closely by overly-aggressive firewall port settings and login pages that plant cookies and/or require a pass-code from the front desk. None of that here–even video chat worked smoothly.

My room had a small living room in front with a couch, coffee table, desk and TV. Then came a kitchenette with sink, refrigerator and microwave, a full bathroom and a bedroom with king-sized bed and another TV. All very clean, quiet and priced under $140/night.

The bed was comfortable and I loved that the pillows had “soft” and “firm” stitched on the sides. The bathroom was stocked with their own line of toiletries and high quality, soft linens. There was a Seattle newspaper outside my door in the morning and they include a free breakfast buffet that was like my dream meal: hot cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, bacon, milk and apple juice.

Oh, and one final thing. When I checked in, they knew I was a Priority Club member and gave me a free bag of microwave popcorn and bottle of water. Similar to the Wyndham hotel I stayed at in Arizona, this little token gift that cost them practically nothing got me to write this and will probably get me to stay there again in the future. Nice.

7MM Seattle Travel Photo Gallery

Originally published by DK on July 16, 2007 at 9:47 am

Salty’s on Alki Beach – Seattle

Posted Sunday, July 15th, 2007 11:36 pm GMT -5 in Food,Travel at 11:36 PM

On the advice of the ever-helpful Chuck Goolsbee of Digital Forest (a great ISP and co-location facility, by the way), I headed up I-5 to the West Seattle Bridge and over to Harbor Avenue to check out Salty’s on Alki Beach. Chuck also recommended Ray’s Boathouse, but I’ve gone there the last two times I was in town. Not to say I don’t like Ray’s–quite the contrary. Just wanted to try something new.

Salty’s bills themselves as the “Best View of Seattle in Seattle®” and I have to say, it was pretty awesome. The weather was almost hot and way too sunny for rainy Seattle, so sunglasses were the name of the game on the outdoor patio today (they even would bring you some if you wanted).

I always feel stupid not ordering seafood in a coastal town, but Walleye is the only fish I really love and I get pretty damn good Walleye in Minnesota. This menu item caught my eye, however:

“Land and Sea”
4-ounce Filet, Red Wine Demi-Glace, Crispy Fried Onions, 4-ounce Salmon or Halibut, Champagne Beurre Blanc, Lemon Caper Relish, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, House Vegetables

Expensive, but I worked right through lunch installing servers, so it was totally worth it in my mind. If I hadn’t been so hot sitting in the sun, I would have tried one of their signature desserts too–the white chocolate mousse cake sounded especially good.

Good excuse to go back again, though, right?

Originally published by DK on July 15, 2007 at 11:36 pm

Seattle Server Project

Posted Sunday, July 15th, 2007 10:40 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Travel,Work at 10:40 PM

Part of the reason I haven’t been posting much lately is the project I completed today. In anticipation of the new Los Angeles school, I decided some of our server equipment at work needed to be repositioned and reconfigured. It sounded like a good idea at the time (and I think will be long-term), but it took a lot of planning to pull off.

In a nutshell, I moved two servers from St. Paul to Seattle, pulled a large network storage device out of Seattle to be sent back to Minnesota, reconfigured the remaining St. Paul server to match what I need to do for the new Los Angeles server and upgraded memory across the board.

Kudos to my favorite Minnesota airline, who not only were on time with great in-flight service, but also managed to get all my gear to Seattle in one piece. I panicked on Sunday night when the Anvil case I planned to use fit the two servers fine, but weighed more than 100 pounds (Sun Country’s stated limit).

My anxiety over getting the stuff to Seattle caused me to get very little sleep Saturday night and I woke up before my 5am alarm. I removed one server from the case and took it to the airport counter and asked if I could carry it on. The helpful agent didn’t think it would fit in the overhead, but she said to just put it back in the case and check it as oversized (for a $40 charge). I told her it had to be over 100 pounds and she said, “we don’t have scales here.”

Poor, poor ground workers…

Also have to give props to National Car Rental and their agent in Seattle who found the car with the biggest trunk and helped load that big, honkin’ case in there. I just love the National Emerald Aisle service–one less stressful thing in the travel world is something worth celebrating.

Originally published by DK on July 15, 2007 at 10:40 pm

Jim Lehman to Face Brown for Trans-Miss Title

Posted Friday, July 13th, 2007 08:24 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 8:24 PM

Jim Lehman, the 2003 Minnesota State Mid-Amateur champ (and brother of Tom Lehman) will face Trent Brown of Scottsdale in the title match of the 104th Trans-Mississippi Championship at Minikahda Club in Minneapolis.

Lehman, a sports agent with SFX, beat former Gopher Phil Ebner of Edina 5&4 to move on to the title match, which will begin at 7:30am Saturday morning.

The Senior Division championship was decided Friday, with medalist Chris Maletis of Portland winning the match play trophy by defeating Steve Summers of Dallas 3&2.

UPDATE: Brown def. Lehman (20 holes)

Championship Division Bracket

Originally published by DK on July 13, 2007 at 8:24 pm

This Week on FORE! Minnesota

Posted Thursday, July 12th, 2007 02:27 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 2:27 PM

FORE! Minnesota, on Saturday, July 14, 2007 (9 am on KSTC-45):

  • Course Tour: Dacotah Ridge (Morton, MN)
  • Great Moments in MN Golf: 1916 (US Open at Minikahda)
  • Stories of Golf: James McLean (“Where Are They Now?”)
  • Tad Reeve’s Dream 18: TPC Twin Cities #17
  • Pro Strategies: David Kirkbride (Bluff Creek GC)
Originally published by DK on July 12, 2007 at 2:27 pm

Minnesota Golfer Ten Pros to Know

Posted Wednesday, July 11th, 2007 10:30 am GMT -5 in Golf at 10:30 AM

The cover story in the June/July 2007 issue of Minnesota Golfer magazine is titled 10 Pros to Know.

The list is based on the last 10 Teachers of the Year, as selected by the Minnesota Section of the PGA. The article states they will be covering LPGA teachers in a later issue.

A few notable exceptions to the list include Golf Magazine Top 100 instructor Gerald McCullagh (who belongs to the British PGA, not the Minnesota Section) and Interlachen’s Master Professional Jock Olson, who was the 2002 National PGA Golf Professional of the Year and was inducted into the National PGA Hall of Fame in 2006.

Here’s who made their list:

  • Jim Manthis, U of M, Baker National (2006 Teacher of the Year)
  • Mike Barge, Hazeltine (1991)
  • Peter Krause, Windsong Farm (1990, 1992-94, 1996, 1998)
  • John Dahl, Oxbow CC, North Dakota (1995, 1997, 2000)
  • Jeff Otto, Olympic Hills (1999)
  • Gaylen Allen, Driving Obsession at the Bunker (2001)
  • Chris Foley, Madden’s (2002)
  • Steve Whillock, Oak Marsh (2003)
  • Craig Waryan, Edinburgh USA (2004)
  • Dan DeMuth, Performance in Motion (2005)
Originally published by DK on July 11, 2007 at 10:30 am

104th Trans-Mississippi Championship at Minikahda

Posted Tuesday, July 10th, 2007 06:04 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 6:04 PM

This week is the 104th Trans-Mississippi Championship, being held at the Minikahda Club in Minneapolis.

Today is the second day of stroke play qualifying in the Championship Division, which will result in a field of 64 for match play, which begins tomorrow and runs through Saturday. There is also a Senior Division, which will have a bracket of 32 players.

This historic tournament is open to all amateur male golfers who are individual members of Trans-Mississippi Golf Association (TMGA) member golf clubs and have established a USGA handicap index of 5.4 or less.

TMGA member clubs in Minnesota include most of the big name private clubs, along with Alexandria Golf Club, Keller and the University of Minnesota Golf Club.

Pictured at left is Mike Podolak of Oxbow, North Dakota, the 1984 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion. Mr. Podolak shot 74-73-147 (+3), which placed him in fourth place in the stroke competition. His brother Doug is on the bag this week.

Championship Division Bracket

Originally published by DK on July 10, 2007 at 6:04 pm

11th Annual Edinburgh USA Pro-Am

Posted Monday, July 9th, 2007 08:50 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 8:50 PM

The 11th Annual Edinburgh USA Pro-Am was held last Friday at Edinburgh USA in Brooklyn Park. Proceeds from the 2007 tournament will be donated to the Community Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP).

Tournament host Don Berry and his team won the team competition. Tapemark Charity Pro-Am President Phil Callen and I played with Edinburgh USA Master PGA Professional and 2004 Minnesota Section PGA Teacher of the Year Craig Waryan.

The format is four amateurs and one pro per team, with the best three of five net scores used. The event is really well run and treats participants to a great day of golf with lots of high-quality swag, a lunch buffet and dinner afterwards.

Watch for coverage of the 2008 event next year on Golfing in Minnesota.

Originally published by DK on July 9, 2007 at 8:50 pm

Oak Marsh Course Notes

Posted Saturday, July 7th, 2007 01:09 am GMT -5 in Golf at 1:09 AM

Fourth of July at Oak Marsh Golf Course in Oakdale was highlighted by U.S. flags on the greens and beautiful weather.

The Matt Eccles-designed course opened in August 1996, when the whole area looked a lot different. Development in Oakdale and Woodbury has really wrapped around the course. Oak Marsh is also a part of the development trend, with the clubhouse expansion we mentioned earlier this year nearing completion.

This is a course that can do serious damage to a handicap. The short white tees (5,793 yards) lead to a low rating of 68.2 and a slope of 117 and holes like the short par 4 second hole can easily blow up to a double bogey or worse. Shoot well or your index will likely go up…

Originally published by DK on July 7, 2007 at 1:09 am

The Police at Xcel

Posted Thursday, July 5th, 2007 11:06 am GMT -5 in Concerts at 11:06 AM

After dining at the lovely Ristorante Luci, we went to see The Police concert at the Xcel Energy Center this week. Couldn’t justify the $225 tickets, but the $50 seats we had weren’t bad.

I had attended the last Twin Cities show of the band–the Synchronicity Tour at the Met Center in 1983. It was the first big concert I got to attend by myself and I remember being blown away by the energy and power of the performers and the great songs.

After reading some of the reviews of the shows from this tour, it sounded like the years had treated the band well and that they were playing with a lot of energy and passion (not just for a big payday). Unfortunately, that wasn’t the show we got to see on Tuesday night.

Two songs into the set, I was laughing at how little Sting and Andy Summers were moving around. When Sting did finally move from his mic stand, he took one leisurely stroll around the stage to wave at the people in back sections. That was about it for stage theatrics.

We watched the facial expressions of all three of them on the big screens and that provided some interesting moments. Stewart looked like he wanted to kill Sting for most of the show and Andy looked like an old English barrister who showed zero emotion–even during his excellent guitar solos. Stewart had all the old guy gear: black headband, wrist guards and what looked like braces on his feet. Sting was extremely pissed–then happy–at the sound board guys during Roxanne (which he sang the same way he’s been doing solo for 20 years).

As the locals papers mentioned in their reviews, the re-working of several songs fell flat. My biggest disappointment was Don’t Stand So Close To Me, which started off as the dark, foreboding song it was meant to be, but degraded when they got to the chorus, switched tempo and made it a happy, Calypso ditty. Bah.

I thought the show got better as it went along and I was happy they did multiple encores, but I would have been really mad if I had paid $450 for the chance to be there.

Set List (from Jon Bream’s Pop Life blog):

1. Message in a Bottle 2. Synchronicity II 3. Walking on the Moon 4. Voices in My Head/When the World Is Running Down 5. Don’t Stand So Close to Me 6. Driven to Tears 7. Truth Hits Everybody 8. Bed’s Too Big without You 9. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic 10. Wrapped around Your Finger 11. De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da 12. Invisible Sun 13. Walking in Your Footsteps 14. Can’t Stand Losing You

Encores: 15. Roxanne 16. King of Pain 17. So Lonely 18. Every Breath You Take 19. Next to You

Originally published by DK on July 5, 2007 at 11:06 am

Eagle Ridge Golf Course Notes

Posted Thursday, July 5th, 2007 10:58 am GMT -5 in Golf at 10:58 AM

The second course of our Grand Rapids golf trip was Eagle Ridge Golf Course in Coleraine. Garrett Gill of River Falls designed this course, which opened for play in 1996. We played the 6,254-yard white tees, which have a rating of 69.7 and a slope of 128.

This course had many dramatic holes with elevation changes, wetland areas, red-tinted sand in the bunkers and scenic views of Trout Lake. The course conditioning was good and the greens rolled faster than at Sugarbrooke.

The weekday evening special rate of $29 including cart was one of the best deals we’ve had all year. We had no problem finishing the round before dark, even though the pace of play slowed down a little at the end.

Originally published by DK on July 5, 2007 at 10:58 am

This Week on FORE! Minnesota

Posted Wednesday, July 4th, 2007 06:30 am GMT -5 in Golf at 6:30 AM

FORE! Minnesota, on Saturday, July 7, 2007 (9 am on KSTC-45):

  • Course Tour: Bluff Creek (Chanhassen, MN)
  • Great Moments in MN Golf: 2002 (University of Minnesota National Champions)
  • Stories of Golf: Women in GOLF (“Golfers Only Lovely Females”)
  • Tad Reeve’s Dream 18: Bunker Hills #13
  • Stories of Golf Revisited: Wounded Warriors (TPC Twin Cities)
Originally published by DK on July 4, 2007 at 6:30 am

Toughest Metro Water Holes

Posted Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007 04:49 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 4:49 PM

KSTP Channel 5 is running an online poll to pick the toughest water hole in the Twin Cities.

Hurry–voting ends Friday, July 6.

They will count down the top 10 starting July 11 on Eyewitness News.

Here are the nominees:

  • Hidden Greens #16
  • The Meadows at Mystic Lake #18
  • Hazeltine #16
  • Hazeltine #7
  • TPC #2
  • Troy Burne #14
  • Rush Creek #18
  • Ridges at Sand Creek #13
  • Eagle Valley #8
  • Edinburgh #17
  • The Legends #13
  • Spring Hill #13
  • Chaska #18
  • Southern Hills #1
  • Windsong Farm #3
  • Willingers #6
  • Minneapolis Golf Club #10
  • Keller #12
  • Stonebrook #8
  • Bunker 8 West
  • Wilds #18
  • TPC #17
  • Willingers #3
  • Interlachen #9
  • Baker National #6
Originally published by DK on July 3, 2007 at 4:49 pm

Sugarbrooke Golf Course Notes

Posted Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007 03:06 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 3:06 PM

Yesterday we ventured north from the Twin Cities to the Grand Rapids area for a day of golf. First stop was Sugarbrooke Golf Course, located at Ruttger’s Sugar Lake Lodge resort.

Sugarbrooke is a 6,534 yard, par 71 golf course designed by Joel Goldstrand that opened in 1995. Many of the holes reminded me of Hidden Greens near Hastings–lots and lots of trees.

This is a resort course, but several of the holes played much harder than a typical resort course, specifically the long, narrow, par-4 sixteenth hole (444 yards from the blues) and the challenging par-3 fifth (211 from the whites).

We played in the rain, which the course seemed to need. The conditioning on some of the fairways was spotty and a few greens had just been punched in spots that needed repair.

With green fees of just $30, though, it’s hard to complain…

Originally published by DK on July 3, 2007 at 3:06 pm

First Look – Bulrush Golf Club

Posted Sunday, July 1st, 2007 10:27 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 10:27 PM

Last week I finally stopped at Bulrush Golf Club in Rush City. I’ve driven by there a million times on the way to the North Shore and it has never seemed very busy, so I was curious to check it out.

The 6,929-yard course was designed by George Shortridge and Mike Morley and originally opened in 2003 as Brookside Golf Course. It closed and was sold to Doug Abrahamson and John Majewski, who reopened it as Bulrush in April 2006.

They have several weekday specials, including a $39 deal for all the golf you can play with a cart and meal. I didn’t have time to play more than one round, so I picked a $36 rate with cart.

I didn’t really want the cart, but the clerk behind the counter said I’d really want it and he was right. The temporary clubhouse (a converted milking house), is about a half mile from the first tee and eighteenth green. There are plans to build a permanent clubhouse closer, but that is a few years away.

Despite my rising handicap, I decided to see the whole course by playing the tips, which have a rating of 73.5 and a slope of 137. The course has a nice mix of open holes and tight, tree-lined chutes and was in good condition.

My only complaint about the design is the sloping mounds near a lot of the greens that seemed to bounce my off-target approach shots directly into the thick junk that line many of the holes. Just need to play better, I guess.

Originally published by DK on July 1, 2007 at 10:27 pm

Me and My iPhone

Posted Sunday, July 1st, 2007 12:13 pm GMT -5 in Technology at 12:13 PM

I wanted to wait until iPhone 2.0, but I had one budgeted for work and I just couldn’t resist after reading the initial waves of positive reviews.

There has been more than enough written about the iPhone, so I’ll keep it brief:

  • Bigger than my old RAZR, but still comfortable in a pocket.
  • Activation and transfer of old T-mobile number smooth and completed within 30 minutes.
  • Screen is gorgeous, even in direct sunlight.
  • Data sync with laptop easy and reliable–even picked up my photos in Aperture instead of iPhoto.
  • Storage space is limiting with large music, photo and video libraries–need to prioritize what goes on it.
  • Connected to my home wi-fi network easily–browsing is very fast.
  • Used EDGE access once yesterday in the middle of nowhere–slow, but usable and worked fine.

Overall, I found myself with a huge smile and laughing like a little kid as I explored the interface and all of the included apps. Still need to figure out which songs I want on it and how to manage email efficiently between it and my laptop, but overall, this is a spectacular 1.0 product.

I can’t wait to see what happens next (both with software upgrades and new models down the road)…

Originally published by DK on July 1, 2007 at 12:13 pm
 

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