7 Minute Miles

Apple Spring Cleaning

Posted Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 05:33 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 5:33 PM

Why do I keep all of this stuff?

Nine Years of Publishing Fun

Posted Monday, March 30th, 2015 06:27 pm GMT -5 in Housekeeping at 6:27 PM

Today is the ninth anniversary of the first post here at 7minutemiles.com. As I tend to do every year, here are the latest stats (based on server logs, not Google Analytics):

  • 5,866 Posts
  • 191 Pages
  • 73,896 unique visitors in 2014
  • 1,248,423 pages displayed

This past year saw a few tweaks here and there – added the last nine Instagram photos to the bottom of the front page, edited and rewrote the biography, made some changes to my résumé, added a new coursework page (with transcripts) and changed the format of the list of lists page. Wanted to add a video post type, but still haven’t quite figured out how to best do that between the smaller, three-column front page and the single post format that appears when you click on a story.

I’ve also been experimenting with options to make the theme “mobile-friendly” per Google’s new guidelines, but 1) the easiest method (the WPtouch plugin) doesn’t work well with my content and 2) I really don’t care all that much what Google thinks about my personal site. That said, I do like some of the responsive design things other people are doing, so I’ll probably make it work eventually.

As always, thanks for visiting!

Get your free art right here

Posted Monday, March 30th, 2015 03:49 pm GMT -5 in Art,Links,Museums at 3:49 PM



Posted Monday, March 30th, 2015 07:00 am GMT -5 in Music,Quotes at 7:00 AM

Things are gonna change, I can feel it…

XXL Taco Salad

Posted Sunday, March 29th, 2015 08:04 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 8:04 PM

…with a waitress photobomb to boot, Tobies, Hinckley, MN

Black Orchid Forever

Posted Sunday, March 29th, 2015 07:43 pm GMT -5 in Casinos at 7:43 PM

Payback drawings @ Grand Casino Hinckley

Let’s! Play! Hockey!

Posted Saturday, March 28th, 2015 06:38 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 6:38 PM

Wild vs. Kings @ Xcel

MK Uptown Funk

Posted Saturday, March 28th, 2015 02:00 pm GMT -5 in Family,Movies at 2:00 PM

Kumiko at the Lagoon

Tado Steakhouse intro

Posted Saturday, March 28th, 2015 01:31 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Food at 1:31 PM

Impressive first visit – lobster, filet and cheesecake

So many issues

Posted Saturday, March 28th, 2015 01:25 pm GMT -5 in Business,Casinos at 1:25 PM

Treasure Island in turmoil?

Conrad Rocks

Posted Friday, March 27th, 2015 03:02 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,History,Links,Music at 3:02 PM


Cheap Wine

Posted Friday, March 27th, 2015 02:41 pm GMT -5 in Music,Quotes at 2:41 PM

I can’t stand the sight of any of ’em. I wish I could sell this place. I wish I could buy a boat and sail away…

Irish lunch with Dee

Posted Friday, March 27th, 2015 02:32 pm GMT -5 in Food,Friends at 2:32 PM

Guinness braised beef, pancetta, white cheddar and Dijon-thyme aioli @ McCormick’s Pub, Wayzata

Hello golden turtles

Posted Thursday, March 26th, 2015 05:02 pm GMT -5 in Casinos at 5:02 PM

$70 win off 30-cent spin (not mine)

Welcome back, my friend

Posted Thursday, March 26th, 2015 05:00 pm GMT -5 in Food,Travel at 5:00 PM

Gordy’s 55th season, Cloquet

It happens to Linux too

Posted Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 10:58 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Technology at 10:58 PM

The SSD on this WMS slot crapped out

The Storm, It’s Coming

Posted Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 05:28 pm GMT -5 in Music,Quotes at 5:28 PM

And when the wind howls at your gate, already it is too late…

Great first story by JD

Posted Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 03:40 pm GMT -5 in Food,Links at 3:40 PM


Dinner at Restaurant Alma

Posted Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 08:46 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 8:46 PM

Not entirely sure how Restaurant Alma stayed on our food “to do” list for so long: executive chef Alex Roberts is a James Beard winner (2010 Best Chef: Midwest) and my friend Garrett had been singing their praises for several years. Last Saturday was the night to right this wrong, so I booked a reservation for two at 5:45 and we headed over to Minneapolis.

The evening started off on a down note, as we drove up to the big sign next to the parking lot that says you can’t park there. I don’t really mind paying for valet service downtown, but it seemed odd for this neighborhood. Street parking used to be pretty easy to find around St. Anthony Main, but it took a few loops around the block before I found a spot (too many new apartment and condo projects, I guess).

Restaurant Alma has a bar up front and a nice open kitchen in the middle of the room. Ceilings are tall and noise wasn’t really an issue (although the tables are very close together). I was a little surprised at how small the space was overall, but they do have a table upstairs too (we didn’t go up there, but the website says it holds 15).

It appears the food selections change roughly every month, with the primary option a three course tasting menu for $52 per person ($42 for a vegetarian option; a la Carte also available). We both ordered that and got to choose from several options in each course (starters/salads, middle course/grains & pastas, entree/meats & fish). Drinks and desserts are not included in the tasting menu price. There was also a note on the menu that said $1 of every tasting menu purchase will be donated to The True Food Chef Council.

For the first course, Colleen selected roasted sweet potatoes & pears (fresnos, creme fraiche & citrus), while I chose the endive & smoked potatoes (cornmeal crusted sweetbreads & cayenne hollandaise). Both were beautifully plated and tasty (I especially liked the duck confit in mine). Next up, we both elected to try the grilled quail, which neither of us had ever had before. It was served with crispy saffron rice, artichokes & pomegranate. Delicate and delicious.

For the final course, I went for the pan roasted duck (curried lentils & cauliflower, yogurt sauce), while Colleen had poussin chicken (sweet fennel sausage & tomato braised escarole). I really loved the flavor combination of the duck, lentils and cauliflower and Colleen thought the spices with her “baby” chicken tasted a lot like a chicken parm you’d find at a traditional Italian joint. Both were excellent.

For dessert, Colleen wanted to try a cheese tray, which had a unique sliding price scale based on how many cheeses you picked (one to five). It didn’t increase in a rational manner, though (1 – $6, 2 – $11, 3 – $15, 4 – $21 and 5 – $25), so I guess three is the sweet spot. She picked two: Garrotxa (Spain/Goat, cherry mostarda) and Tome Des Pictons (France/Cow, pears & local honey). I had the Otucan chocolate cremeux (honey ganache, black cocoa crumb & fennel foam, $9), which was amazing (see above).

Restaurant Alma was a James Beard semi-finalist this year for Outstanding Service, which I totally understand after the visit. Our server Kate Rose was wonderful all night – she took time to explain details of each dish, answered our questions and made appropriate recommendations as needed. Our table was serviced by multiple people all night in a consistent and attentive manner (without getting in the way or being overbearing). Water glasses were refilled regularly, dishes removed promptly, replacement silverware magically reappeared (on the very cool risers) and Colleen’s linen was refolded and placed on the table when she visited the restroom.

Chef Roberts opened Restaurant Alma in 1999, followed by Brasa Premium Rotisserie in 2007. Both operations have won numerous awards, but now we know why Alma is such a special place.


Here Comes Apple Watch

Posted Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 06:50 pm GMT -5 in Fashion,Technology at 6:50 PM

A friend of mine asked me the other day if I was getting an Apple Watch and I actually hadn’t thought about it much (until today). Another friend was very excited when it was first announced and a few co-workers are counting down the days until the pre-order window, but I haven’t been super excited about April 24th. My two biggest reasons for this are 1) you need to have your phone for GPS (which kills the biggest runner reason for having one) and 2) I haven’t worn a watch since my first job out of college.

I do like the design and a few of the bands are very nice. I also like that they are doing both the 42mm and the 38mm sizes, as my wrists have always been rather small compared to the rest of my body. If I was going for the cheap end, I’d probably get a 38mm Space Gray aluminum sport model with a black sport band. For a more expensive (and stylish) option, I’d go for the 38mm stainless steel version with the Milanese loop band. Even if I had the money, I don’t really find the gold edition models any more appealing than a traditional Rolex (or my old Movado for that matter).

My Garmin Forerunner 610 is probably nearing the end of useful life, but right now I’d be more inclined to replace it with something like the fÄ“nix 3 over an Apple Watch. That model retails for $500, though, so I’ll likely just wait and see what develops. I also find it funny how many people out there are already critical of Apple Watch functionality when hardly anyone has actually used one in real life. Apple didn’t get to be a bazillion-dollar company by releasing junk, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now…

The Laptop Holy Grail

Posted Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 02:55 pm GMT -5 in Technology at 2:55 PM

Looking back in the archives, I’ve written about laptops several times. My current personal machine is still a 17-inch MacBook Pro from 2009 that I call Lapzilla, while my work laptop is a mid 2013 edition 13-inch MacBook Air that I’ve generally considered the nicest computer I’ve ever used. The only things it lacks that I really want are a 1TB SSD and a Retina display. All eyes were on the Apple event earlier this month to see if we’d get a Retina Air, but the new MacBook popped up instead (in addition to speed bumps for the current Air and Pro models).

It seems that industry response has been somewhat negative, but I like the design. It’s not my holy grail machine, but I’d buy a couple of these for the kids in a heartbeat (if Uncle Sam wasn’t demanding a big check next month). I think the look of the gold model in particular is quite nice. It’s hard to tell what day-to-day operations would be like with the new Intel Core M processors and HD Graphics until I see one in the store, but I’m guessing the SSDs would make them seem much faster than Lapzilla on just about everything (even if they are still stuck at 256GB and 512GB capacities).

None of the OS X screens I currently use are Retina and I still think they are more than adequate. My iPhone 5S screen is Retina, but I don’t really notice the high resolution all that much, given the overall small size of the screen. The new MacBook has a resolution of 2304×1440 and I’m sure I’d get spoiled pretty quickly on a 12-inch screen with that much detail. The larger pixel aperture stuff to get better battery life is also nice.

The other design innovations in the new laptop all sound promising: Force Touch trackpad, Taptic Engine, the tiny logic board, terraced battery cells and the butterfly mechanisms under the keyboard all point to the direction the entire Apple laptop line will likely move. I’m not entirely sold on the single USB-C port idea, but I’m not openly hostile like many seem to be. Losing Magsafe isn’t a big deal to me – that invention has caused me much more grief by coming undone accidentally than it ever did preventing a laptop from crashing off a table. The only real issue I see for my use patterns would be the ability to have it plugged in to an outlet and have my iPhone connected to recharge at the same time. Extra adaptors do suck.

Now I just need to decide whether or not to throw Lapzilla a bone with one of these

More Polynesian Bungalow Pics

Posted Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 02:11 pm GMT -5 in Disney,Links,Travel at 2:11 PM


Unusual marketing partnership

Posted Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 12:39 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Pop Culture,Sports,Technology at 12:39 PM

Shaq and myVegas, together at last

The ghost with the most

Posted Monday, March 23rd, 2015 05:00 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Movies at 5:00 PM

Beetlejuice slots @ Fortune Bay Resort Casino

Mister 900

Posted Monday, March 23rd, 2015 12:58 pm GMT -5 in Links,Sports at 12:58 PM


Spring in Minnesota

Posted Monday, March 23rd, 2015 05:14 am GMT -5 in Cars,Weather at 5:14 AM

Still March, so still in bounds

Web stuff with Soren

Posted Sunday, March 22nd, 2015 02:29 pm GMT -5 in Food,Friends,Technology at 2:29 PM

Common Roots Cafe, Minneapolis

Bri in MSP

Posted Friday, March 20th, 2015 06:13 pm GMT -5 in Friends,Technology at 6:13 PM

Tech support visit 

Ultra volatile

Posted Friday, March 20th, 2015 12:26 am GMT -5 in Casinos at 12:26 AM

Not sure why people like this Buffalo game so much

Tweedy @ First Ave

Posted Thursday, March 19th, 2015 10:39 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Friends,Music at 10:39 PM

I’ll just skip right over the part about taking a long time to write these longer posts, but my friend DGS and I attended the sold out Tweedy show at First Avenue way back on Sunday, March 8th. The three local reviews did a good job of covering the show, so I’ll just send those interested in reading more to those sites:

As for the more personal stuff, my friend unfortunately fell ill and had to leave before the incredible Jeff solo set. He also missed the part when Dad Tweedy said let’s close this out with a Neil Young song and the part when Gary Louris came on stage for the final four songs (including my favorite song of the night, California Stars). I’m glad he made it out of there and home safely, but all of that extra stuff was just cruel, plain and simple. At least he got to see all of the excellent opening set by The Minus 5 with Peter Buck’s amazing guitar.

A few other notes from the night:

  • We arrived early and had the most comfortable spot I’ve had in a long time (behind the soundboard)
  • The sound guys had a really old Powerbook with Pro Tools loaded and set to record the entire night
  • They also had an iPad with an app that listed decibel levels (current, peak, etc.)
  • There was a big fight by the back bar, so now I know for sure what the red flashing light means
  • Sections of the solo set reminded me of Tracy Chapman singing Fast Cars on the same stage – you could hear a pin drop
  • Son Tweedy was great all night and the bass player next to him had some awesome moves
  • Is it really true you get in for free on your birthday?

Set list (according to Chris) after the jump.

  • Fake Fur Coat
  • Diamond Light Pt.1
  • Flowering
  • World Away
  • New Moon
  • Nobody Dies Anymore
  • Hazel
  • Summer Noon
  • You Are Not Alone
  • Love Like a Wire (Diane Izzo cover)
  • Wait For Love
  • High As Hello
  • Low Key
  • Via Chicago
  • I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
  • New Madrid
  • Hotel Arizona
  • Passenger Side
  • Please Tell My Brother
  • Born Alone
  • Jesus, Etc.
  • I’m the Man Who Loves You
  • Please Don’t Let Me Be So Understood
  • Only the Lord Knows (Mavis Staples cover)
  • The Losing End (Neil Young cover)
  • Long Time Ago
  • Radio King
  • Give Back the Key to My Heart (Doug Sahm cover)
  • California Stars

No more tickets for me right now until They Might Be Giants on April 18th.

Cash only breakfast

Posted Thursday, March 19th, 2015 10:57 am GMT -5 in Food at 10:57 AM

The number 3 @ Tower Cafe

Inching closer to first tee

Posted Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 04:52 pm GMT -5 in Golf,Weather at 4:52 PM

Snow on the tenth, The Wilderness at Fortune Bay

A more modern treasure

Posted Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 03:23 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,History,Technology at 3:23 PM

King Tut slots @ Fortune Bay Resort Casino

That old ladder of love

Posted Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 09:16 am GMT -5 in Art,History,Music at 9:16 AM

Climb it

The 95-year-old Flash

Posted Monday, March 16th, 2015 06:09 pm GMT -5 in Links,Running at 6:09 PM


Slip Slidin’ Away

Posted Monday, March 16th, 2015 10:39 am GMT -5 in Music,Quotes at 10:39 AM

She said a bad day is when I lie in the bed and think of things that might have been…

Journal Moose

Posted Sunday, March 15th, 2015 09:19 pm GMT -5 in Art,Family,Schools at 9:19 PM

SK and her awesome school journal

Post-run brunch @ Rabbit Hole

Posted Sunday, March 15th, 2015 02:46 pm GMT -5 in Food at 2:46 PM


No shit

Posted Sunday, March 15th, 2015 02:44 pm GMT -5 in Nature,Weather at 2:44 PM

Thin ice between Isles and Calhoun

Kingsbury Row

Posted Saturday, March 14th, 2015 09:42 pm GMT -5 in Art,Cars,Museums at 9:42 PM

Our favorite spot to park at the Walker

Broke to Finals

Posted Saturday, March 14th, 2015 02:44 pm GMT -5 in Family,Schools at 2:44 PM

SK during her performance @ EHS

School volunteer day

Posted Saturday, March 14th, 2015 01:32 pm GMT -5 in Schools at 1:32 PM

Wildcat Speech Tournament Info Desk, DHMS/EHS

So many scoring chances

Posted Friday, March 13th, 2015 10:32 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 10:32 PM

That game should’ve been 8-2 Wild

Greg the Butcher

Posted Friday, March 13th, 2015 05:15 pm GMT -5 in Food at 5:15 PM

Does he know Alice?

Hello old friend

Posted Friday, March 13th, 2015 05:14 pm GMT -5 in Biking at 5:14 PM

Bike season is back

PW at the VC

Posted Thursday, March 12th, 2015 06:32 pm GMT -5 in Business,Food,Friends at 6:32 PM

I just love taking people there

Weights, Running and the UK DK

Posted Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 12:31 pm GMT -5 in Links,Running,Sports at 12:31 PM


Spring on deck

Posted Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 11:03 am GMT -5 in Weather at 11:03 AM

The cabin deck is nearly ice free

Harris K. Telemacher

Posted Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 12:48 am GMT -5 in Movies,Quotes at 12:48 AM

I’m out of my relationship, I’m out of the agency and I only looked like a fool for years!

Not mobile-friendly

Posted Monday, March 9th, 2015 10:46 pm GMT -5 in Technology at 10:46 PM

Google says I’m no good after next month…

Sold Out

Posted Sunday, March 8th, 2015 06:53 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Music at 6:53 PM

Tweety with The Minus 5 @ First Ave

Late birthday dinner for SK

Posted Sunday, March 8th, 2015 06:05 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 6:05 PM

Salut on Grand

Maybe next week

Posted Sunday, March 8th, 2015 03:02 pm GMT -5 in Cars,Casinos at 3:02 PM

Mercedes giveaway @ Mystic Lake

Those Eyes

Posted Saturday, March 7th, 2015 12:03 am GMT -5 in Concerts,Music at 12:03 AM

Lily @ BLB

Lily, Madeleine and MK

Posted Friday, March 6th, 2015 10:34 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Family,Music at 10:34 PM

Great show @ Bryant Lake Bowl

Just like Pip

Posted Friday, March 6th, 2015 10:33 pm GMT -5 in Shopping,Travel at 10:33 PM

My new London bad from TJ Maxx

Dinner and a show @ BLB

Posted Friday, March 6th, 2015 06:16 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Family,Food,Music at 6:16 PM

Lily & Madeleine with Shannon Hayden 

It’s Meltin’ Time

Posted Friday, March 6th, 2015 02:13 pm GMT -5 in Schools,Weather at 2:13 PM

BHMS, Eagan

Peter Morton and the Hard Rock

Posted Thursday, March 5th, 2015 09:02 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,History,Links,Music at 9:02 PM


VC Wing Night

Posted Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 11:00 pm GMT -5 in Food at 11:00 PM

Best blue cheese ever

Dowager Countess

Posted Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 10:00 pm GMT -5 in Quotes,Television at 10:00 PM

You know me – never complain, never explain…

Now I’m hungry again

Posted Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 12:37 pm GMT -5 in Food,Links,Video at 12:37 PM

Tasty, tasty minions

Posted Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 11:59 am GMT -5 in Food,Movies at 11:59 AM

Nabisco Honey Maid graham crackers

One to three

Posted Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 08:14 am GMT -5 in Cars,Weather at 8:14 AM

A snowy day on Vermillion

Post-meet hoagies

Posted Sunday, March 1st, 2015 03:22 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 3:22 PM

Hogan Brothers, Northfield

Day Two at Finals

Posted Sunday, March 1st, 2015 01:40 pm GMT -5 in Family,Sports at 1:40 PM

Northfield Middle School, “C” Finals


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Husband, dad and stadium IT director

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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

  • 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