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Kids in the Hall Tour at the Orpheum

Posted Wednesday, April 30th, 2008 12:16 am GMT -5 in Concerts,Food at 12:16 AM

Last weekend my wife and I went to see our favorite comedic group make a triumphant return to Minneapolis. The Kids in the Hall 2008 Tour stopped Saturday night at the Orpheum Theater (after previously appearing at the State last time they were here). Watching the gang in person – Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson – is like hanging out with old friends.

The show was fairly short (maybe 90 minutes), but included one very funny NSFW video, chicken lady phone sex, Cathy tweeking, a Gavin sketch, The Salesmen, a Buddy Cole rant (“Twin Cities men – nothing mini or saintly about them!”) and an encore with the headcrusher. Those guys are such a funny and talented group – Canadian entertainment at it’s finest!

Before the show, we stopped at Ristorante Luci in St. Paul for dinner. Their food is as good as the Kids are funny. We both started out with the Insalata Cesare, followed by a shared order of housemade fettuccine with peas, chicken and prosciutto. That pasta was awesome – the first outside of Alfredo’s I’ve had that is worthy of the name. For the final course, my wife had the pork chop, while I had “American Kobe” beef with mashed potatoes. We had early reservations, but had to leave for the show before we could try the pretty mini-bundt cake desert.

Oh yeah, one last note on the show. I read about the tour on one of my newsfeeds and went to Ticketmaster to search for more info. I saw the Minnesota date listed, but general public sales hadn’t started yet. There was a link for a presale, but I didn’t know the code (or who was sponsoring the presale). On a whim, I tried “KITH” and damn if it didn’t let me in. As you can see from the ticket above, row N on the main floor was a pretty good reward for this old hacker…

2008 Get in Gear Race Day

Posted Saturday, April 26th, 2008 01:04 pm GMT -5 in Running at 1:04 PM

Snow, winds gusting to 35mph and a temp just above freezing greeted runners at today’s 31st running of the Get in Gear 10K in Minneapolis. Despite all that, thousands turned out to run and had what turned out to be a comfortable race.

In my run, the wind really only hindered coming across the Ford Parkway bridge. There was also one period just after crossing the Lake Street bridge when the ice pellets started hitting us in the face. I took off my gloves and hat pretty quickly, though, and didn’t feel cold at all.

My clock time was 59:20, so I’m guessing my chip time was around 58:30 (my late registration seems to have excluded me from the online results, but they did announce my name as I neared the finish line). UPDATE: John Magnuson from ChampionChip Minnesota emailed me and confirmed my official time as 58:30 (9:25 pace).

The top 5 men’s finishers were:

  • 1, Sammy Malakwen, Two Harbors, MN, age 29, 30:51 (4:58 pace)
  • 2, William Serem, Coon Rapids, MN, age 32, 30:57 (4:59)
  • 3, Richard Kandie, Coon Rapids, MN, age 23, 31:18 (5:03)
  • 4, Zablon Mandere, Minneapolis, MN, age 32, 31:21 (5:03)
  • 5, Eric Hartmark, Duluth, MN, age 30, 31:29 (5:04)

The top 5 women’s finishers were:

  • 1, Kimberly Magee, Mounds View, MN, age 25, 36:50 (5:56 pace)
  • 2, Stephani Houk, Robbinsdale, MN, age 34, 37:01 (5:58)
  • 3, Calleen Areba, age 34, 38:03 (6:08)
  • 4, Kristen Painter, New Brighton, MN, age 22, 38:08 (6:09)
  • 5, Bonnie Sons, Shorewood, MN, age 42, 38:19 (6:10)

The Minnesota running season has officially begun!

Our Five Year Plan

Posted Saturday, April 26th, 2008 12:05 am GMT -5 in Family,Personal at 12:05 AM

As I near forty, I’ve been thinking more and more about the great things I’ve been able to do in my life and what things I’d still like to do. The box on each page of 7 Minute Miles lists a number of these things, but when I rode a train across the rockies (item#25), I realized that’s the first one I’ve actually completed since I made the list.

Two events have led to more serious family discussions about our future plans: the afore-mentioned train trip out west and my weekend trip to the North Shore this winter to see Richard Thompson. What these trips pointed out to me was that I really like the outdoors and places like Schweitzer and the North Shore of Lake Superior are much prettier than where I live now. If I can find a way to make a living, why not live where it’s pretty?

I’ve wanted a cabin on Lake Superior for a long time. The frequent trips to Grand Marais while growing up often led to thoughts of “what could I do for a job to live here all the time?” I never could find a good answer to that, especially with the opportunities available in the Twin Cities. But with telecommuting and air travel options, where you physically live is becoming less and less important.

Here are some of my goals and desires as part of this plan:

  • Five acres on Lake Superior somewhere between Duluth and Lutsen with 300 feet of lake shore
  • Architect-designed, chalet-style, log and stone home built using “Not-So-Big” philosophies
  • Home features: large windows towards lake, stone fireplace, heated floors, satellite TV, high-speed internet, audio/video room, green building techniques, Kohler Bodyspray shower
  • Small, two-bedroom guest cottage for my parents (and other visitors)
  • Good schools for the kids (Two Harbors High School?)
  • School technology consulting/remote management and MN Publishing Company website publishing for me, Duluth health care and consulting options for Colleen
  • Northland Country Club membership for golf and swimming; Lutsen Mountain season pass for skiing
  • Other quality of life activities: running, biking, hiking, kayaking, skating, dining, travel

There are great restaurants in Duluth and along the North Shore, the Twin Cities would still be close (as would Canada), air travel would be easy enough and I’d even tolerate the winters better thanks to the skiing and overall beauty we experienced there in March. I’d miss Wild games at the X, but I could still drive down for a few games now and then.

I need to stop drooling and make it happen–the clock is ticking!

2008 Get in Gear Eve

Posted Friday, April 25th, 2008 10:08 pm GMT -5 in Running at 10:08 PM

Today I stopped by Minnehaha Park to register for the 31st running of the Get in Gear 10K, to be held tomorrow morning at 9:30am. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to run this year, so I waited until the last minute. And even then that decision was hard, looking at the forecast. I’ve run the last five in a row, though, so I had to keep the streak alive.

The fee for registering on the last day this year was $38. Two nice additions for 2008: T-shirts were available for pick-up right away and the race paid the parking fees in the lot.

The forecast calls for cold and windy with a chance of snow, so this may not be a stellar year. Watch for updates later this weekend…

Welcome to the 2008 Minnesota Golf Season

Posted Thursday, April 24th, 2008 12:18 am GMT -5 in Golf at 12:18 AM

Spring has finally sprung in Minnesota and all traces of snow and ice are gone (at least in the southern part of the state).

Golfing in Minnesota is now back from hibernation and we have lots of great stories in the pipeline for 2008, including expanded coverage of the state high school tournaments, the U.S. Women’s Open at Interlachen and Hazeltine’s preparations for the 2009 PGA Championship. We’ll also have stories from new contributors, expanded photography and an enhanced course directory.

In the off-season, we added two new websites, Hockey in Minnesota and Run in Minnesota. The hockey site will go into off-season mode now, but the running site is just getting started. Please stop by those sites and watch for additional news later this year.

As always, we welcome your feedback at

Run in Minnesota Website Launched

Posted Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008 12:21 am GMT -5 in Running at 12:21 AM

The next website in my Minnesota media empire launched today, Run in Minnesota.

Inspired by yesterday’s Boston Marathon, I registered for the 2008 Twin Cities Marathon today and decided to finally launch Just like Golfing in Minnesota and Hockey in Minnesota, posts about running topics that used to appear here will now appear on the Run in Minnesota site.

This will be my 11th marathon and I’m very excited to get back into shape. I’m pledging now to be more serious about training this time and have set a goal of beating my personal best time of 4:42. You can track my training via the Runner’s World widget in the sidebar.

Ran a 5K tonight, so I’m off to a decent start.

Online Twin City Marathon Registration

Posted Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008 12:08 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 12:08 AM

Today both Twin City newspapers reported that the 2008 Twin Cities Marathon online registration was half full. This is the first year of online-only registration (with a price increase to $95) and the field size has been increased by 500 to 11,000.

I got caught up in marathon fever this week, watching the Boston Marathon live on Versus yesterday and deciding to register for the TCM today (I’m over my headphone ban issues). So I guess that means it’s time to get this site up and running. Now that hockey season is mostly over, it will be all golf and running until the fall.

So I welcome you to check out the about page, subscribe to our RSS feed and get ready as the 2008 Minnesota running season goes full tilt.


The Wild Road Ahead

Posted Sunday, April 20th, 2008 09:10 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 9:10 PM

The Wild state their organizational values are team, preparation, honesty and passion. The issue this season, however, seemed to be leadership.

Multiple leadership issue were a factor this year:

  • The Wes Walz retirement.
  • Mid-season change in ownership.
  • Lack of trade deadline moves.
  • Noticeable frustration from the coaching staff.

Instead of lingering on this season (which the marketing department likes to do), let’s look at what the future holds for the Wild.

New Owners

Craig Leipold brings hope to the Wild faithful, but his initial comments (“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it”) and the restrictions of the salary cap don’t paint a great picture. His open letter to fans also makes one wonder:

And I pledge to do my part to keep making this team even better. Because as great as you make the atmosphere off the ice, it is my duty to make the team on the ice the very best it can be. I believe in the system that Doug Risebrough and his hockey staff have built here, and I support them 100%. My goal is winning; not to tinker with success. I just want to give them the tools they need to carry out their plan as best they can.

We’ll come back to Doug Risebough and his hockey staff in a minute, but Mr. Leipold finishes up his letter with the following:

Now, we’re beginning the Stanley Cup playoffs; one of 16 teams with a shot at a championship. I look forward to seeing you at each and every game. And I make no secret of hoping, one day soon, that I’ll see you at the parade the State of Hockey so richly deserves, and the Stanley Cup finally comes to where it belongs.

Part of leadership involves setting goals and expectations and I’m glad to see someone at the Wild mention the Cup. As a season ticket holder, I’m looking for two things: entertainment and a championship. If the team wasn’t fun to watch, they wouldn’t sell out every game.

The previous ownership never seemed to focus on winning the Cup (too Minnesota Nice to say what we want?). Enough talk about good effort, fight to the end, etc. The goal is the Cup!

Skoula and Belanger

Wes Walz and Doug Risebrough

I said I wasn’t going to linger on the past season, but I can’t start to talk about Doug Risebrough without talking about Wes Walz.

We’ll never know if there was more to the story or not, but retiring in the middle of the season was not a move a good leader makes. And Walz was apparently the leader on the team, as no one else seemed to step up to take on that role as the season continued. I appreciate what Walz meant to the team over the years, but his decision mid-season really hurt the team.

As for Risebrough, I’m sure there is plenty we don’t know about the trade deadline and what went on behind the scenes. But the fact of the matter is that with Walz leaving, the Wild were short at center and there was plenty of time to look for a replacement before the trade deadline. The market for big-name centers wasn’t huge, but other teams were able to make deals that didn’t mortgage their future. Then again, with the change in ownership hanging over the trade deadline, maybe the plan was to stand still for now and wait until Mr. Leipold took over. And there is the possibility that Risebrough was coasting anyway–uncertainty with a new owner, opportunities with other teams, etc.

It seems that Wild hockey operations didn’t have the greatest of years this season. In addition to Walz and the trade deadline, there were several instances when the Wild seemed to mishandle the mundane (filing paperwork with the league to make players eligible, roster move issues with Houston bringing players up and down, customs issues when Sheppard signed, etc.). I don’t know enough about what Tom Lynn (Assistant General Manager/Hockey Operations) and Tom Thompson (Assistant General Manager/Player Personnel) do, but you have to wonder if the new owner truly believes the hockey operations employees are the best in the league.


Jacques Lemaire appears ready to walk away. His team seemed to stopped listening to him half-way through the season and the disdain between him and Gaborik was not a big secret. Lemaire’s post-game comments after each game are one of my favorite things to listen to and we all know his history of achievement in the NHL. His style of hockey doesn’t appeal to all players (and fans), but I disagree with anyone who says that Wild games are boring to watch because of the coach.

That said, it may be time for a change. If the new owner ends up having to shake things up everywhere else, why not at least consider a new coach? Rumors earlier in the year pointed to the hiring of Kevin Constantine in Houston as the heir-apparent to Lemaire and a season ticket holder in San Jose that I know had nothing but praise for him when he coached there. Aside from him being a Minnesotan and having lots of NHL experience, I don’t know enough about him to lean one way or another.

Those calling for Mike Ramsey have some valid points, but he seems like a wild card to me. The hockey background is great: Gopher, 1980 Miracle on Ice player, Sabres defenseman and Wild assistant since the beginning. No head coaching experience and perhaps too close to status quo for the new owner, though.

All that said, having Lemaire back with a new supporting cast would not be a bad thing either.

Free Agency

Mr. FranchiseAs reported all over, the Wild have a lot of roster decisions to make this summer. According to NHL Numbers, the Wild have ten unrestricted free agents and four restricted free agents to deal with. Add to that the Gaborik situation and this team will look very different next fall.

Let’s start with who we have locked up longer term: Schultz for six more years, Burns for four, Koivu and Parrish for three and Belanger, Sheppard, Boogaard and Johnsson for two. The first three are awesome. Belanger flamed out early this year and I really hope that Parrish just had the wrong partners this season.

Sheppard is a work in progress that hopefully will benefit from the forced big-time experience. The marketing department (and a lot of fans) love Boogaard, but his days may be numbered by health issues and a changing game. Johnsson is usually solid when he doesn’t have to play 30 minutes a game for weeks on end (but probably not $5 million solid).

As for the free agents, let’s look at the RFA’s first. Pierre-Marc Bouchard is small and likes to go for the fancy pants play more than I like, but if the price is right, I’ll take his 50 assists again next year. Nice guy too–drove through a blizzard two years ago to sign autographs for the fans.

Stephane Veilleux – ginger boy is aggressive, gritty and plays with determination and emotion. Need his fire and the price is right. Should sign an endorsement deal with the Gophers.

Aaron Voros – same type of character as Veilleux without the red hair. Needs to calm down and not take stupid penalties. Bring him back.

BackstromKurtis Foster – supposedly already re-signed, but who knows if Risebrough will be around to honor his verbal commitment. Wild will be short on the blue line and need a healthy Foster back on the point, especially during the power play. We used to joke that Foster was Australian for Skoula, but that joke isn’t funny any more.

On the UFA side of things, the two big ones are of course Rolston and Demitra. My feelings on these two have reversed over the course of the year. I bought one of the first Demitra jerseys in town, but feel a bit let down. There is still nothing like watching Demitra feed Gabby on a breakaway, but it didn’t happen enough for how much that duo would cost next year. Of course if Demo goes, you need to deal with Gaborik, but I’ll leave that conversation for another day.

As for Rolston, I thought he was sort of a one-shot wonder who didn’t play at 100% all the time. My opinion has changed, as he seemed to step into a leader role and really played his butt off at the end of the year (he’s still a one-shot wonder, but it’s a damn good shot). Mixed reports in the news about his intentions, but I’d try to get him back if the money isn’t insane.

This post is getting way longer than I intended, so here’s a summary of the rest:

Keepers: Radivojevic, Fedoruk
Drop: Foy, Simon, Kelly, Carney, Nummelin, Hill

I’ll leave goaltending and a review of “in the system” players for another day as well.

The 2008-09 NHL season will be a fun one no matter what happens, as we get to play every team (hurray!) and the All-Star Game will be in Montreal to celebrate the Canadiens’ 100th Anniversary. Also looking forward to June 20-21 in Ottawa for the 46th NHL Entry Draft. And just a reminder about the draft from Wikipedia:

The Minnesota Wild’s sixth round pick will go to the New York Islanders due to a trade on February 26, 2008 that sent Chris Simon to Minnesota in exchange for this pick. The Minnesota Wild’s seventh round pick will go to the New Jersey Devils due to a trade on February 27, 2007 that sent Aaron Voros to Minnesota in exchange for this pick.

Will Mr. Risebrough be in Ottawa spending Mr. Leipold’s money or someone else’s?

The Current Fakebook with Chuck D

Posted Sunday, April 20th, 2008 02:14 am GMT -5 in Concerts,Music at 2:14 AM

Last night my wife and I went to see Mary Lucia of the Current interview Chuck D and Slug from Atmosphere and hear Brother Ali perform during their season-ending Fakebook series event at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul.

I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but it was a very entertaining evening. Brother Ali performed two songs at the start (including an awesome version of Letter from the Government with added verses at the end), followed by about an hour interview of Chuck D.

There was a short intermission, then Slug performed a few songs (including Guarantees from the new album When Life Gives You Lemons You Paint That Shit Gold). Slug joined Chuck D on the couch and Mary interviewed both of them. Brother Ali came out again at the end and performed one song solo, followed by a free-style jam with Slug (no old school rap from Mr. Ridenhour though, dammit).

Chuck D talked about the early history of hip-hop, including stories about Rick Rubin at Def-Jam, Flavor Flav, Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys. There were a lot of great quotes and references–hopefully MPR posts the audio somewhere so I can go back and write them down. Not much talk about the future of the music business like I wanted, but it would still be great for the students at HSRA to hear the whole interview. Ironically, he said he visited my high school, St. Paul Central, earlier in the day (“Dave Winfield and Charles Schultz–how can you go wrong?”).

If the Fakebook series comes back again, check it out–great format at a decent price.

Wild Season Ends in Denver

Posted Sunday, April 20th, 2008 12:29 am GMT -5 in Hockey at 12:29 AM

And so the fight ends…

Missed the first and second period attending the Current’s excellence Fakebook series at the Fitzgerald, but I’ll probably go back and watch the DVR recording later.

Not much to say about the third period–didn’t see the killer desire needed to get that last goal and the Avs played great shut-down defense. Disappointing end to the season, but I get to shave the scratchy playoff beard and save some serious money on additional playoff tickets.

Congratulations to the Colorado Avalanche–good luck against the Red Wings (most likely).

Hockey in Minnesota will go into off-season mode shortly, but I’ll have a few more posts about the Wild season and maybe track a few former Wild players still in the Stanley Cup playoffs (hello Dufus!). My golf site, Golfing in Minnesota, will return from off-season mode this week, so please subscribe to that RSS feed if you are a Minnesota hockey and golf fan.

Outshot 40-17, Avs Take Game 5

Posted Friday, April 18th, 2008 12:15 am GMT -5 in Hockey at 12:15 AM

“Save by Theodore”

Wow, I hate those three words. What an outstanding game by Jose, though. Other thoughts from this game:

  • Thoroughly enjoyed the first and second period, despite the 1-1 tie at the end of two.
  • Finally got a new video intro before the game, which even had the Ginger Boy and his chipmunk taunt.
  • EDGE internet access at the X is definitely broken – heard others talking about it too.
  • If we can’t get free wireless or internet access, how about more live stats on the various scoreboards? No shot totals, ice time or anything during the intermissions (which we did get during the regular season).
  • No cute marketing events tonight at all – they actually played part of the Caps-Flyers OT live during the second intermission. LOVED that.
  • The Wild came out very strong at the start and basically dominated all aspects of this game, except for blocked shots (15 to 4) and the all-important final score.
  • Mr. Reitz looked pretty decent in his season premiere 5:47 of ice time in the big show.
  • Both Koivu and Gaborik looked off tonight. I remember a few mis-cues from Burns too.
  • Thank goodness there were only 3 penalties per team tonight.
  • Such a shame that Benny was quick on the draw when Demo let that slapper fly. Totally different game if that counted.

Next game: 9pm Saturday in Colorado on FSN North (HD). Bring it back home for one more…

Wild Blown Out in Game 4

Posted Wednesday, April 16th, 2008 06:12 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 6:12 PM

Just finished watching the DVR recording of game four. Jacques blamed the D for the loss and while the 7 give-aways were critical, the Avs had 11 and I thought two of the first three goals should have been stopped by Backstrom. A few other thoughts:

  • Didn’t like the officiating, but not because it was unbalanced. Just hate to see playoff games called so close.
  • “Attendance 18,007 at Pepsi Center” – they did manage to sell out.
  • Bad face-off night for Koivu – only 38% (60/40 overall in favor of the Avs).
  • The bright side of no OT – top minutes were only 23:45 (Skoula).
  • Ginger Boy mocking McLeod in the penalty box was classic.
  • Jose is really playing well – need to keep rattling him and putting people in front of the net.
  • Johnsson, the $4.8 million dollar man, was a -3.
  • There is a delicate balance between playing gritty and playing stupid.

Up next: game five back at the X tomorrow night. The best revenge is a W…

Wild Take 2-1 Lead Over Avs

Posted Tuesday, April 15th, 2008 12:17 am GMT -5 in Hockey at 12:17 AM

Way to go Butch!

Watched on Versus in Seattle tonight and I thought I was going to have a heart attack in my hotel room…

Great win for the Wild–just hope they have some gas left in the tank tomorrow (Burns – 32:21, Johnnson – 31:36, Skoula – 30:12). Of course, the old men Avs should be just as tired, but we’ll see tomorrow night.

I’ll be in the air during the game, but the DVR is set to record. Go Wild!

Seattle Server Upgrades

Posted Monday, April 14th, 2008 08:58 pm GMT -5 in Food,Technology,Travel,Work at 8:58 PM

After a very crowded flight on Sun Country, I rented a car and drove to Digital Forest in Seattle to pay a visit to my co-located servers. There were several tasks I’ve been waiting a while to complete:

  • Install and configure a new HP ProCurve switch within our half rack to better manage bandwidth between servers.
  • Re-configure a hardware RAID and upgrade to Leopard Server on Xserve 3.
  • Configure the firewall, mail server and iCal server on Xserve 3.
  • Clean the tape backup device and re-configure to auto-clean in the future.
  • Install a demo version of BRU backup software on all four servers.

I’ve finished most of the on-site stuff and plan to work on the configuration tweaking while watching the Wild game on Versus tonight. If it weren’t for the cold I think I’m catching, this would have been a near perfect trip.

Oh yeah, also had lunch with Digital Forest geek wrangler Chuck Goolsbee at a place called New Teriyaki & Wok. We both had the chicken and beef combo, which I thought was very good. Always nice to visit with Chuck, keeper of the Mac Managers mailing list.

One night in the Seattle rain, then back to spring in Minnesota.

Balance Restored to the State of Hockey

Posted Saturday, April 12th, 2008 12:58 am GMT -5 in Hockey at 12:58 AM

What an emotionally draining game! So glad that the team was able to shake off the effects of the emotional roller coaster at the end of the third to get that game winning goal early in the OT and head to Colorado with the series tied 1-1. Other thoughts from section 216:

  • The marketing people must be slipping–same exact video montage from game one? What are we paying you people for?
  • Never been so happy to see Skoula during warm-ups. He was a -1 tonight, but had 2 hits and covered 26+ minutes.
  • What the hell is Jacked and why is the NHL promoting it so prominently on the scores page?
  • Speaking of Internet stuff, access at the X needs to improve. The MSE wireless network is still password protected and AT&T’s EDGE network seems to get overloaded during games (and they are a freakin’ Wild sponsor).
  • The Wild really seemed off the first two periods–lots of missed passes, players out of position, etc. Better legs at the end compared to game one, though.
  • Overall face-off wins almost even, but that was mostly Demitra’s fault, winning only 2 of 8. Good night for Belanger (62%).
  • Not Gabby’s best night–whatever Colorado is doing defensively is working.
  • Burns had 7 hits, but didn’t seem to play the smartest game–passes to nowhere, a couple of turnovers, etc.
  • So glad Koivu’s leg is better. Way to go franchise!
  • The crowd leaving the building was extremely pumped up. The chants in the foyer were almost louder than during the game.

Next up: back-to-backs in Denver on Monday and Tuesday (channel 45 on Monday and FSN North HD on Tuesday). I’ll be in Seattle those days, but both games are supposed to be on Versus nationally. Go Wild!

In Remembrance of Rick Wolf

Posted Thursday, April 10th, 2008 02:20 pm GMT -5 in Personal,Work at 2:20 PM

I was saddened to learn that Rick Wolf, the part-time school psychologist at HSRA Minnesota, passed away this week. Rick was a great guy to work with and was a tremendous asset to the students of HSRA.

Rick and I had talked about doing a web project together for the past few months using a product he developed on his own called the Team Empowerment Assessment. He had created a printed version of the assessment several years ago and had boxes of them left in his garage (I could totally relate to that feeling with my own golf CD project from 1999). He wanted to create a web version of the assessment and attempt to salvage some of his previous investment in the project.

Here is the obituary from the Star Tribune:

Wolf, Rick Age 64 of Eden Prairie. School Psychologist and past member of the Eden Prairie School Board. Preceded in death by his father, Fred Wolf. Survived by his loving wife, Kate; children, Jeff (Trish), Erick (Page) Wolf, Heather (Kevin) Cook, and Abbey Wolf; grandchildren, Alexis, Amber, Jeremy, Jordan, Macy, Freddy, Tori, and Lindsay; mother, Lorana Wolf; brothers, Randy (Prudy) and Roger (Gail) Wolf; nephews, Tad and Brad Wolf; niece, Becky Nuell. Memorial service Thursday, April 10 at 7 PM with visitation beginning 5 PM at the Washburn- McReavy Eden Prairie Chapel, 7625 Mitchell Road (1 blk N of Hwy 5), Eden Prairie. Memorials preferred to the Intermountain Children’s Home, Helena, Montana, Washburn-McReavy Eden Prairie Chapel 952-975-0400

My thoughts go out to his family in their time of loss.

Wild Drop Game One to Avs

Posted Thursday, April 10th, 2008 01:01 am GMT -5 in Hockey at 1:01 AM

Disappointing start to the playoffs. Some thoughts:

  • Late starts on weeknights are really bad–way too late for kids.
  • I want to shoot the Wild marketing people: 1) same [losing] slogan as last year and 2) same white [surrender] towels again. How about red or green towels with a new slogan?
  • Speaking of marketing, what do you do when the product on the ice can’t meet the hype you are trying to generate? Depressing…
  • The crowd was really into it at the beginning and at the end. When it was 2-0? Could have heard a pin drop.
  • Laperriere’s medicine turned out not to be Boogaard’s fist, but Rolston’s slapper.
  • No points for Forsberg.
  • Johnsson and Burns got to be the 30 minute men thanks to Schultz.
  • Skoula was Good Marty until he got tired at the end. Stats only say 2 hits, but I thought I saw three.
  • What was Rolston thinking at the end? Open on a break-away and he puts away the slapshot to pass to Boogey? What?!?

We were only one Burnsie move away from a win, so all is not lost. And way to go Calgary – Flames in 4! Flames in 4!

Heading back to the X on Friday to see what happens next.

Old Guys and the Cup

Posted Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 12:22 am GMT -5 in Hockey at 12:22 AM

Average Age of Roster:

  • Minnesota Wild = 27.6
  • Colorado Avalanche = 28.2

Five Oldest Wild Players:

  • Keith Carney – 38 (Feb 3, 1970)
  • Sean Hill – 38 (Feb 14, 1970)
  • Chris Simon – 36 (Jan 30, 1972)
  • Brian Rolston – 35 (Feb 21, 1973)
  • Petteri Nummelin – 35 (Nov 25, 1972)

Five Oldest Avs:

  • Joe Sakic – 38 (Jul 7, 1969)
  • Adam Foote – 36 (Jul 10, 1971)
  • Peter Forsberg – 34 (Jul 20, 1973)
  • Andrew Brunette – 34 (Aug 24, 1973)
  • Ian Laperriere – 34 (Jan 19, 1974)

Wild Players Who Have Won the Cup:

  • Sean Hill (1993 – Montreal)
  • Brian Rolston (1995 – New Jersey)
  • Chris Simon (1996 – Colorado)
  • Steve Kelly (2000 – New Jersey)
  • Martin Å koula (2001 – Colorado)

Colorado Players Who Have Won the Cup:

  • Adam Foote (1996, 2001 – Colorado)
  • Peter Forsberg (1996, 2001 – Colorado)
  • Milan Hejduk (2001 – Colorado)
  • Scott Parker (2001 – Colorado)
  • Joe Sakic (1996, 2001 – Colorado)

All stats compiled from and Wikipedia – please let me know if I missed anything…

Finally, big props to whoever it was on the Russo blog who came up with the nickname Inglewood Jack for Burnsie. Classic.

Get Well Mr. Schultz

Posted Tuesday, April 8th, 2008 08:36 am GMT -5 in Hockey at 8:36 AM

While it’s a big hit to our blue line, I’m just glad they figured out what it was before he got hit during a game and burst that sucker.

Time for the troll to come in and showcase that speed and stick-handling. Oh, and paging Good Marty…

MINI Rear Brake Pads

Posted Saturday, April 5th, 2008 06:31 pm GMT -5 in Cars at 6:31 PM

Last fall, I attempted my first ever do-it-yourself car repair job, replacing the front brake pads on my 2005 MINI Cooper. The brake light indicator didn’t go off, so I decided I’d replace the rear brake pads as well. I got the pads for Christmas, but was waiting until nicer weather (as they didn’t appear to be that thin on inspection–turns out it was the interior-side pad that was worn way down).

With sunny skies and temps in the low 60s, today was the day.

I started on the rear right tire, as that is the one that has the extra step of replacing the brake pad sensor cable. Got the wheel off and did the cable first. It was much easier than the front one for me, but still involved some painful laying on my back on the cement floor while twisting my arms around in weird angles.

Following the wonderful instructions at North American Motoring, I took the tool I purchased from Harbor Freight to get the piston pushed in. It went about half-way in and wouldn’t go any farther. I checked in with my friend (and car expert) Chuck Goolsbee, who suggested taking off the brake fluid cap. I did that (along with putting on thicker gloves) and was able to get it much further in. This was accompanied by a pop of the rubber sleeve curling back on itself, which scared the hell out of me. It didn’t rip, though, and I was able to reverse it back into position. Hopefully that isn’t a major issue down the road.

The other rear tire was rusted on and didn’t want to come off. I applied some WD-40 and got a rubber mallet from a neighbor and eventually got it off after following the advice of my wife (“hit it from the other side” – duh). Once it was off, the install process went smoothly. I did have to remove the brake fluid cap again and some spilled out, but the piston tool worked perfectly.

Everything is back together and the test drive around the block went fine. The brake pedal going all the way to floor at first still freaks me out a little, but it pumped right back to normal. The car goes into the dealer on Tuesday for a scheduled oil change, so I’m curious to see if they say anything about me messing things up. The damn indicator light is still on too, so maybe they can fix that for me.

One less thing on my procrastination list!

MINI Photo Gallery

Wild Playoff Scenarios

Posted Saturday, April 5th, 2008 03:06 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 3:06 PM

With Chicago beating Nashville last night, that leaves only two options for the Wild’s first round match-up: Colorado or Calgary. According to the newspaper reports, if the Wild beat Colorado in regulation and Calgary beats Vancouver, we’d play Calgary. Any other combination means Colorado in the first round.

Jacques said he won’t sit any of the regulars and is playing to win tomorrow, so hopefully the Canucks will be playing for honor tonight. Although nothing would be sweeter than beating Calgary in the first round (well, OK, maybe beating the Ducks in the first round).

I have my single seat for all of the playoff games, but checked for tickets via the pre-sale for warming house members. There were two lower-level seats together around row 20 in the corner, but the price scared me off (almost $250 including all the fees). I’ll just keep my spot for now and be happy to get in as the quest for the cup begins.

Oh yeah, started the playoff beard too. Hopefully it will be the longest beard I’ve ever had…

UPDATE: Calgary thrashes the Canucks 7-1, so Wild win = Flames, loss = Avs. I think an OT win by the Wild would = Avs too.

UPDATE 2: They finally released the schedule –

Western Conference Quarterfinals

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 9, Colorado at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (CDT)
Game 2 – Fri, Apr. 11, Colorado at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (CDT)
Game 3 – Monday, Apr. 14, Minnesota at Colorado, 9 p.m. (CDT)
Game 4 – Tuesday, Apr. 15, Minnesota at Colorado, 9 p.m. (CDT)
*Game 5 – Thursday, Apr. 17, Colorado at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (CDT)
*Game 6 – Saturday, Apr. 19, Minnesota at Colorado, (start time TBD)
*Game 7 – Tuesday, Apr. 22, Colorado at Minnesota, (start time TBD)
* – if necessary

Wild 3-1 Victory Over Calgary

Posted Friday, April 4th, 2008 09:25 am GMT -5 in Hockey at 9:25 AM

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Wild game that I wanted them to win so badly. It would have been just too depressing to have the players all stick around after the game to give away their jerseys after a loss. Glad that didn’t happen…

Some thoughts:

  • What was up with the waved-off goal call? Russo’s story said the official quote was “This is not a reviewable play. The play is considered dead once [Lee] thinks about blowing his whistle.” Thinks about blowing his whistle? Give me a break.
  • The scratch-off cards given to fans were a nice idea, as was the team of 18,000 patch.
  • Calgary didn’t seem to play their usual physical game – our guys even got to poke at Kipper without getting knocked flat.
  • I took my camera with and took more than 900 shots (updates to the photo gallery coming soon).
  • Don’t agree with Jacques – I was happy to see Burns fight Phaneuf (see above).
  • Pavol beat Mikko in face offs last night, 59% vs. 56%.
  • Stats show zero hits for Skoula, but he did actually knock a guy down in front of the net.

Next game: At Colorado on Sunday (KSTP, supposedly in HD)

Minnesota Wild AT&T Poster

Posted Friday, April 4th, 2008 12:13 am GMT -5 in Hockey at 12:13 AM

Here’s the poster that was handed out after the Calgary game.

Northwest Division Champions!

Posted Friday, April 4th, 2008 12:06 am GMT -5 in Hockey at 12:06 AM

Congrats to the Wild for winning their first ever Northwest Division title. More on the game and playoff situation tomorrow…

Movin’ On Up

Posted Thursday, April 3rd, 2008 12:36 am GMT -5 in Personal,Work at 12:36 AM

The best hire I ever made, web developer Jake Schutz, is moving on to greener pastures next week. He’s headed for the division of Garmin that used to be Paul Douglas’ weather firm, Digital Cyclone. I think he’s leaving because I was working him to death (see above).

Jake is an extremely talented programmer and systems administrator that I would have loved to retain, but we just couldn’t afford to pay him what he’s worth right now. I’m very happy for him, though, and would love to have an opportunity to hire him back again sometime down the road.

Jake and I had the opportunity to travel around the country, both on business and for fun. Business trips included server setups in Seattle, WWDC in San Francisco and the new school in Los Angeles. Free tickets and my Mini Cooper took us east to New York to watch the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

We’ve become good friends over the years and I look forward to continued nerd chats, ping pong, hockey games and golf outings for many years to come.

Good luck, Jake!

7 Minute Miles Turns Two

Posted Tuesday, April 1st, 2008 09:20 am GMT -5 in Housekeeping at 9:20 AM

Last Sunday was the second anniversary of the first post on 7 Minute Miles. My how time flies.

A few stats:

  • 308 posts
  • 5,875 attempted spam comments
  • current average daily visitors: 109
  • current average daily page views: 484

Thanks for visiting!

UPDATE: Here’s a graph of page views and unique visitors since the beginning:
7MM Traffic Chart


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Personal Records & Mileage

  • Mile - 6:10
  • 5K - 21:42
  • 10K - 44:40
  • Half - 1:38:40
  • Full - 3:43:32
  • 50K - 7:37:00
  • 2018 Mileage: 53.8

Upcoming Races

  • Get in Gear 10K - 4/28

Upcoming Sporting Events

  • Monster Jam - 4/7
  • Twins vs. Houston - 4/9
  • Supercross - 4/14
  • Twins vs. Reds - 4/27
  • Twins vs. Detroit - 5/21
  • Twins vs. Cleveland - 6/3
  • Tapemark - 6/8-10
  • Twins vs. Boston - 6/20
  • Summer X Games - 7/19-22
  • Twins vs. Cleveland - 7/30
  • Twins vs. Pittsburgh - 8/15

Upcoming Concerts

  • Graveyard Club & Rushmore - 3/22, Fitz
  • Cloud Cult - 4/7, Orchestra Hall
  • Trampled by Turtles - 5/4, Palace
  • Kenny Chesney - 5/5, USBS
  • Caroline Smith - 5/17, Cedar
  • I Love the 90s - 5/18, Mystic Lake
  • David Byrne - 5/17, Orpheum
  • David Byrne - 5/18, Orpheum
  • Trampled by Turtles - 7/7, Bayfront
  • Jack White - 8/6, Armory
  • Beyonce & Jay Z - 8/8, USBS
  • Pearl Jam - 8/18, Wrigley Field
  • Pearl Jam - 8/20, Wrigley Field
  • Taylor Swift - 8/31 & 9/1, USBS
  • Ed Sheeran - 10/20, USBS