7 Minute Miles

In the Land of Sky Blue Waters

Posted Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 09:56 pm GMT -5 in Personal,Work at 9:56 PM

It’s been almost a week and a half since I started working at Fortune Bay and so far things have been wonderful. The people on staff here are great to work with, it’s been interesting learning all the new technologies in use and I love the overall excitement of working in a casino. They assigned me a nice office just off the casino floor and I’m slowly getting used to where everything resides and how to get access to all of the tools I need to do the job.

There have been a few issues to deal with: we had a big storm last week that included a lighting strike behind one of the buildings that knocked out all of the cash registers and one of my staff members quit this week before I even got to meet him. I also still haven’t figured out what I’m going to do about housing next month, but I’m starting to find some leads.

The evenings last week were fun. A friend from the Twin Cities called me late Monday afternoon and said he was a half hour away. We played 18 holes at The Wilderness in two hours and 35 minutes, then had a nice dinner at the Grill. I played another post-work round on Thursday night – the course is spectacular and it’s hard to stay away when it’s right outside the door.

The other nights I spent scouting some of the nearby cities: Tower, Ely and Virginia. I looked at a few houses, drove by the schools and basically just checked out the overall vibe of each place. Based on the people I’ve talked to, Virginia and Ely probably have the best schools. My favorite house was in Tower, but I liked the general feel of Ely and Virginia has some nice bigger city amenities (Target, movie theater, McDonald’s).

I’d still love to find some lakeshore and build new, but prices on Vermilion don’t seem to be impacted much by the recession. This week I drove along the south shore and saw some amazing properties, but they were all way out of my price range. I’ll probably just rent for now and see what happens. The family comes up this weekend to check things out, so their input will help firm up plans too.

Tonight I ran for the first time since Grandma’s and I stopped in at the wellness center, which is located about a mile from the resort. Employees can use the facility for free and I spoke with the manager for a bit. She said the building is five years old and doesn’t get used much. All of the equipment is top of the line and the workout room overlooks the lake. I’m really excited to get trained on all of the machines and start getting back on track for TCM in October.

The rest of this week brings a bunch of meetings, the visit by the family (and maybe a few other friends), then one last consulting trip for 318 in Phoenix. I also found out today that my first business trip for Fortune Bay might be a September conference at the Palms in Las Vegas. Could this job get any better?

Northern Minnesota Landscapes

Posted Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 10:29 pm GMT -5 in Nature,Personal at 10:29 PM

I know the snow and cold is coming in a few short months, but I just can’t get over how pretty it is in northeast Minnesota. More on the first week coming soon…

New Golf Page on 7 Minute Miles

Posted Saturday, July 10th, 2010 04:38 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 4:38 PM

In honor of joining the home of the number one public golf course in Minnesota next week, I’ve started updating my old golf content from Golfing in Minnesota, Golden Links Golf and Minnesota Golden Links on a new 7 Minute Miles golf page.

The Wilderness at Fortune Bay is such a great course (par three third hole pictured above). If you’ve never played it, you need to come up and visit ASAP…

Fortune Bay Resort Casino

Posted Thursday, July 8th, 2010 11:37 am GMT -5 in Personal,Work at 11:37 AM

I guess it’s time to let the cat out of the bag. Next week I start a new chapter in my life as IT Director for Fortune Bay Resort Casino on Lake Vermilion. Everything has happened very quickly and there are still a lot of unknowns, but I’m very excited.

We stayed there two years ago and loved the place. The golf course has been rated the top public course in Minnesota the past two years by Golfweek (7MM Photo Gallery), the casino is the perfect size and has a great mix of games, the hotel rooms are all new and the location on the south shore of Lake Vermilion is very scenic.

I’ve always thought about working for a resort (specifically, Brainerd, Lutsen, Colorado, Pebble Beach, Hawaii or Florida). When I saw this position posted on their website, it seemed like a perfect opportunity. Here is the job summary:

The Information Technology (IT) Director is responsible for the overall management and security of information technology systems of gaming, hospitality management, sales, computer technology, and all company and corporation telecommunications services and programs. The IT Director will manage such areas as computer systems analysis and design, database and network administration, systems programming, telecommunications systems, and other information technology applications while meeting all budgetary requirements, policy and planning responsibilities, and payroll objectives. The IT Director shall provide effective leadership and personnel management to all Information Technology staff and contribute to the overall goals and mission of Fortune Bay and the Bois Forte Development Companies.

From a career standpoint, I couldn’t be more excited – lots of new things to learn and people to meet in a high-profile position in a well-run organization with a bright outlook.

I’m also excited about the lifestyle change. That part of the state is beautiful, offering lots of outdoor activities (hiking, mountain biking, golf, skiing, running, boating) and a more relaxed pace. Plus Duluth is only 90 minutes away and a return to the Twin Cities is about three and a half hours in the MINI.

We’ll spend the next few weeks looking at the various cities (Ely, Tower, Virginia) to see what schools and amenities are available and decide what we want to do. My longer term goal would be to get some land on one of the lakes and build a not-so-big cabin, just like I originally wanted on Lake Superior.

Imagic Cartridges for Intellivision

Posted Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 09:55 pm GMT -5 in Pop Culture,Technology at 9:55 PM

Dragonfire, Demon Attack, Beauty & the Beast, Atlantis, Swords & Serpents.

I really liked Imagic games back in the day. So much so, I guess, that I actually wrote them in 1983 (when I was 14) asking when their stock will go on sale. Kathleen Booth, Consumer Affairs, wrote back and said I should contact Merrill Lynch to see what information they could give me. She also enclosed an application for the “Numb Thumb Club.”

Such a nerd.

Everyone Needs a Montage

Posted Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 12:01 am GMT -5 in Skiing at 12:01 AM

It was hot and humid today in Minnesota, but ski season will be here before you know it. I found these old clippings in the basement that I used to have up on the walls of my room on Lombard Avenue.

I made it out about five times last season, but I bet that number will increase this year…

Purple Vinyl

Posted Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 08:11 am GMT -5 in Music at 8:11 AM

My turntable is long gone, but I found two boxes full of great 45s in the garage this weekend. Maybe someday I can buy a non-digital jukebox and load them all up again…

Concerts from Freshman Year

Posted Monday, July 5th, 2010 12:09 am GMT -5 in Concerts at 12:09 AM

$50 for three concerts? How did I ever afford my rock-and-roll lifestyle back in college…

Intellivision News Issue #4

Posted Sunday, July 4th, 2010 11:11 am GMT -5 in Pop Culture,Technology at 11:11 AM

It’s sort of easy to see how I came to work in technology, isn’t it?

More Intellivision Memories

Posted Saturday, July 3rd, 2010 05:27 am GMT -5 in Pop Culture,Technology at 5:27 AM

I really was spoiled growing up – I’m pretty sure I owned every one of these games at some point.

Games of Days Past – Intellivoice

Posted Friday, July 2nd, 2010 08:48 am GMT -5 in Pop Culture,Technology at 8:48 AM

I remember how totally cool I thought this was when I first got it – “B-17 Bommmmmber!” That particular game was even cooler for me, as my grandfather actually was a B-17 bomber pilot in World War II.

Space Spartans and Bomb Squad were pretty lame and I don’t remember if that Tron game ever actually got released. I wonder if anyone has those sound clips somewhere now…

UPDATE: Of course there is, this is the age of the internets, after all.

Radiohead at the Bedlam Theater

Posted Thursday, July 1st, 2010 01:09 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Music at 1:09 PM

No, not the real Radiohead – Phil Callen, Kevin Dutcher, Adena Brumer and Molly Sue McDonald covering Radiohead songs (and others) last night in Minneapolis. I posted videos of two songs on Facebook (here and here). And here are a few audio clips I recorded on my phone:

High and Dry

Karma Police


The show was a lot of fun – Phil’s wife was in town and I got to chat with Jim Cunningham again, which is always entertaining. Talked a little with Adena after the show (who performs with Phil and Jim at the Saint Paul Hotel’s version of It’s A Wonderful Life) and met Kevin Dutcher for the first time (who is the music director for the Minnesota Twins).

Two specific highlights for me from the show: 1) the medley that went from Psycho Killer into Fade Out and Adena’s cover of Creep towards the end of the show (see link above).

Never been to the Bedlam before either – super easy access from the Cedar-Riverside light rail station and a nice vibe inside. Also picked up a rare “this is what you get when you mess with us” T-shirt…


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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
  • 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

  • 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
  • Leon Bridges - 9/20, Palace
  • Ed Sheeran - 10/20, USBS