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Since 1974

Posted Friday, September 30th, 2016 01:11 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 1:11 PM

Blue sky patio lunch to start the weekend

On to victory

Posted Friday, September 30th, 2016 01:09 pm GMT -5 in Family,Sports at 1:09 PM

Fishy vs. Shakopee @ FRMS

Ryder Cup week at Hazeltine

Posted Thursday, September 29th, 2016 12:24 am GMT -5 in Food,Friends,Golf at 12:24 AM

After years of planning, Ryder Cup week has finally arrived in Minnesota. It’s extra fun to see the golf world focus (again) on the local club that has so many great people connected to it – members and staff alike. The last time a major was held here (the 2009 PGA), I had a media pass and covered it for my old Golfing in Minnesota website. The major before that (the 2002 PGA), I volunteered for one of the charities in a food booth. This time I decided to just put my name in the lottery and ended up with Tuesday practice round tickets.

As I’ve mentioned before, the early part of the week is almost more fun than the competition days because the players are relaxed and will generally interact with the gallery. You can also take all the pictures you want, which is really cool considering how close you can generally get. This time I just used my new iPhone with the “zoom” lens and got some decent shots (see the full gallery after the jump). Tuesday also had the added benefit of the celebrity matches, which included Bill Murray and Michael Phelps playing for the U.S. side. I didn’t know they were doing that, so that was a fun bonus.

I went with the Miller brothers and we both parked our cars at the main public lot at Canterbury Park in Shakopee. The bus ride only took about 20 minutes, but traffic on 169 was terrible and overall it took much longer than I planned to get there. The busses dropped off at Chaska High School and people walked from there to the course. The entry was nicely designed and dropped you into the area at the opposite end of the driving range from the new clubhouse. The super gigantic store was impressive, as was the entire temporary village of tents, platforms and chalets.

We ended up looping around most of the course, as Brad hadn’t seen it before. I’ve been lucky enough to play Hazeltine six times over the years (only breaking 100 half of the time, never below 90) and love seeing how the very talented Chris Tritabaugh has prepared everything for the world’s best. It’s really too long and difficult for me, but should be a great time for these players with the much-lower-than-PGA rough and newly rebuilt fairways. Not a fan of the hole re-numbering, though.

In addition to the U.S. and European players (professional and celebrity), we also saw Tom Lehman, Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson, Tiger Woods and my friend Doug, who was the scorekeeper for the Phelps group. We also saw lots of familiar red U.S. Bank Stadium jackets on the Monterrey Security team members that did the mag screening. Many companies with suites at the stadium were represented with corporate tents, so I think there will be a lot of overlap between my two worlds this week.

Levy Restaurants bought Prom Catering last year and created the Levy Prom Golf subsidiary that is providing the food at this Ryder Cup. The tent I went to was out of burgers and chicken sandwiches and had a very long line. I ended up with a $5 hot dog, $3 bag of chips and a $3 salted nut roll. Can’t recall how much the bottle of Mt. Dew cost, but they had many different beverage options. Wish they would add a little variety on the food side, but overall it was fine.

We stopped at the store on the way out and I thought the selection was amazing and the prices were generally fair. Of course the two things I really wanted, the hockey jersey and daily player shirts, were the most expensive ($265 and $90, respectively). I did leave with a signed Michael Birawer print, though, that was only $35.

Getting home was a two hour exercise in patience. The lines at the high school snaked back and forth across the parking line in a queue that rivaled anything you see at Disney. It moved at a decent pace, but unfortunately a lack of busses meant waiting in a pen for 10-15 minutes before we were able to board. Traffic leaving that part of town was horrible, so I got home much later than planned.

All in all, though, very much looking forward to a return visit on Saturday…

Caviar Dreams

Posted Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 09:20 pm GMT -5 in Fashion,Golf,Shopping at 9:20 PM

Why does the one item I liked the most cost $265?

They broke the plane

Posted Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 09:19 pm GMT -5 in Football,Friends at 9:19 PM

DP and his visitor from South Africa

Arnold Palmer

Posted Monday, September 26th, 2016 08:43 am GMT -5 in Golf,Quotes at 8:43 AM

The more I practice, the luckier I get…

Winky, winky

Posted Saturday, September 24th, 2016 11:28 pm GMT -5 in Casinos at 11:28 PM

The pixie is here for your money @ Mystic Lake

Homecoming 2016

Posted Saturday, September 24th, 2016 11:25 pm GMT -5 in Family,Schools at 11:25 PM

Prince and Princess @ EVHS

The handicap buster

Posted Saturday, September 24th, 2016 11:26 am GMT -5 in Friends,Golf at 11:26 AM

Low slope and rating = rough on index @ Dwan 

That’s the spirit

Posted Friday, September 23rd, 2016 07:52 am GMT -5 in Holidays at 7:52 AM

Best decorated patio every year

Interesting take on poutine

Posted Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 08:47 pm GMT -5 in Food,Sports at 8:47 PM

Really didn’t need this, but YOLO, right? Red Cow @ Target Field

Practically paying me to attend

Posted Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 06:43 pm GMT -5 in Food,Sports at 6:43 PM

Free hat, sweatshirt and $20 gift certificate 

Safety Dance

Posted Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 08:40 am GMT -5 in Music,Quotes at 8:40 AM

…your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance, well, they’re no friends of mine…

Eastview Royalty

Posted Monday, September 19th, 2016 09:27 am GMT -5 in Family,Friends,Schools at 9:27 AM

MK and Abe

Proud of the fans

Posted Monday, September 19th, 2016 02:34 am GMT -5 in Concerts,Music,Work at 2:34 AM

Vikings and the Minnesota Orchestra salute Prince (plus the Steeles and the NPG)

Humid, but cool

Posted Monday, September 19th, 2016 02:32 am GMT -5 in Football,Weather,Work at 2:32 AM

Actually too hot, but glad they were open anyways

You can call me Al

Posted Monday, September 19th, 2016 02:31 am GMT -5 in Football,Television,Work at 2:31 AM

Al Michaels seems like a cool dude

The Vikings Cut

Posted Monday, September 19th, 2016 02:29 am GMT -5 in Concerts,Football,Music,Work at 2:29 AM

Beethoven Rocks

Delta Club is *close*

Posted Monday, September 19th, 2016 02:28 am GMT -5 in Football,Sports,Work at 2:28 AM

Broken AP?

SNF on ice

Posted Monday, September 19th, 2016 02:26 am GMT -5 in Food,Football,Sports,Work at 2:26 AM

Kick-ass catering in the Delta 360 Club 

The loser presser

Posted Monday, September 19th, 2016 02:24 am GMT -5 in News,Sports,Work at 2:24 AM

Damn, that’s a lot of gear for the cheeseheads

She’s a classic

Posted Monday, September 19th, 2016 02:23 am GMT -5 in Family,Food at 2:23 AM

SK @ The Rabbit Hole

The Mind Controls Everything

Posted Sunday, September 18th, 2016 09:44 am GMT -5 in Football,Links,Personal,Work at 9:44 AM

South St. Paul chicky

Posted Saturday, September 17th, 2016 02:11 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 2:11 PM

The Coop, est. 1963 

Bowler (thug) life

Posted Saturday, September 17th, 2016 01:19 pm GMT -5 in Family,Schools,Sports at 1:19 PM

MK @ Mattie’s South St. Paul

Are you ready for some football?

Posted Saturday, September 17th, 2016 10:30 am GMT -5 in Football,Television,Work at 10:30 AM

Yes, I think we’re ready

On your mark

Posted Thursday, September 15th, 2016 07:53 pm GMT -5 in Family,Sports at 7:53 PM

MK @ AV meet

Tribute (of another form)

Posted Thursday, September 15th, 2016 07:51 pm GMT -5 in Art,Music at 7:51 PM

No show, but lots of artwork

Food truck days are numbered

Posted Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 04:35 pm GMT -5 in Food at 4:35 PM

Take advantage while you can – jerk chicken and rice from the Commons

Who moved the art?

Posted Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 04:34 pm GMT -5 in Art,Work at 4:34 PM

Much better location than behind a beer cooler

Pizza traditions

Posted Monday, September 12th, 2016 07:27 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 7:27 PM

MK on the second floor patio, Cossettas

DNF at 2016 Superior 50

Posted Monday, September 12th, 2016 12:42 am GMT -5 in Running at 12:42 AM

The (not so) new job has wreaked havoc with my running plans this year. My overall year-to-date mileage is the lowest it has been since I started the run log (barely 450 miles), work meetings have conflicted with almost all the weekly WeRunMpls runs and the first Vikings game meant I had to break my streak of nine straight Milk Runs at the Minnesota State Fair. It’s a minor miracle I finished Grandma’s Marathon in June and the Afton 50K in July with semi-decent times. Unfortunately, those two races gave me false hope that I could still run the Superior Fall 50 while being significantly undertrained.

While I have lots of experience with marathons and two difficult 50K trail races under my belt, this jump to 50 miles was a much bigger challenge than I expected. I mean, really, look at this course elevation graphic – 25,000 feet of total elevation change. Portions of the trail are more like rock climbing than running. The winner had a pace of 10:22 Minute Miles. Only 75 people out of 174 starters finished the 50.


So on top of my work/training issues and one of the toughest courses in the country, I had logistical problems, rain and a whole lot of mud to make it even more challenging. Since I neglected to reserve a room closer to Lutsen, I stayed with my sister in Duluth. This meant a 1:30am alarm to get on the road by two so I could catch the 4am bus to the starting line. It rained that entire time, peaking just when we arrived in Finland. I checked in, pinned on my number and waited for the always excellent John Storkamp to lead us out to the start.

This was my first race that required a headlamp, so I picked up one of these from Mill City. We started in the rain at 5:30am, running down a gravel road to the actual Superior Hiking Trail. Once there, it was a big bottleneck and many people walked for quite a while. The first aid station, Sonju Lake, is 7.5 miles in and it seemed to take forever to arrive. My stomach felt terrible and I was experiencing some extreme G-I pain (thankfully not the usual disgusting runner problem you always hear about, though). When I got to the aid station, my heart sank when they said there were no bathrooms until the next one (in 4.2 miles).

I filled up my hand-held water bottle and headed off to the Crosby Manitou checkpoint. The trail was extremely muddy in spots – just like last year’s Spring 50K race. My shoes nearly got sucked off when my right leg sank a foot and a half into the muck. My left ankle got twisted (and still feels off now). At several points, I had to stop and nearly doubled over from the stomach pain. Don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see an aid station. Visited the bathroom, cleaned up some unexpected bleeding, restocked on water and felt a lot better.

The third checkpoint, Sugarloaf, was 9.4 miles away and had a cutoff time of 11:45am. Since my Garmin died, I haven’t been running with any timing devices and didn’t know how long I had been on course. I knew there were a lot of people going slow because of the mud, but I really didn’t think I was close to getting swept so early in the race.

The rain stopped and the sun came out, revealing some amazing views of Lake Superior and the beautiful Minnesota Northwoods. The Caribou River brought big elevation changes and I quickly used up my water supply. This, of course, started dehydration problems that lead to cramping in both legs and stretched that 9.4 miles for what seemed like forever.

As I trudged to Sugarloaf, I was already trying to decide if I would drop out there or attempt to make it to one more checkpoint (Cramer Road, the halfway point and start of the marathon). When I finally got there, the volunteers had already broken down most of the food and I was asked to turn in my timing chip.

Too slow. No options. First-ever DNF.

Disappointed, but it just wasn’t meant to be this year. Mark it down as a learning experience:

  • Spend the money and buy a Camelbak
  • Spend some more money and get a new watch
  • Rent a room near the start
  • Do the miles

The DNF experience was harder without a support crew – there are no shuttles back to the finish, so you are on your own to find a ride. I had a race official take me to the next aid station, then found another group that offered to drive me back to Lutsen. It felt terrible going to the finish line to pick up my bag – everyone there was so happy, while I just felt…out of place.

So what’s next? I need to take a little time to recover, then make running a priority again. Get back to the running club, get back to runs with Megan. Run in the stadium this winter. Do more cross-training. Ski. Bike. Golf. Run Get in Gear 2017. Maybe run Zumbro.

And the Superior 50? Definitely…

Sonny and Cindy @ CCC

Posted Sunday, September 11th, 2016 08:03 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Music at 8:03 PM

Thanks for the tickets, SMA

Obstructed view?

Posted Sunday, September 11th, 2016 01:53 pm GMT -5 in Sports at 1:53 PM

…or not. Again, people bitch about the Vikings for this, but it’s everywhere.

Let’s Eat

Posted Saturday, September 10th, 2016 10:13 pm GMT -5 in Music,Quotes at 10:13 PM

I never knew what a carbohydrate was, turns out that it’s all the snacks I love…

Va Bene carbo load

Posted Friday, September 9th, 2016 09:04 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Running at 9:04 PM

Duluth’s best Italian

One entire year

Posted Friday, September 9th, 2016 08:59 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Games,Technology at 8:59 PM

MyVegas daily bonus streak

Milkjam send-off

Posted Friday, September 9th, 2016 03:30 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 3:30 PM

Pre-race stop with CK and SK on Lyndale

Only two more left

Posted Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 08:20 am GMT -5 in Family,Schools at 8:20 AM

First Day of School 2016

She’s really most sincerely dead

Posted Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 12:32 am GMT -5 in Friends,Links,News at 12:32 AM

3 HRs for the Bulldozer

Posted Monday, September 5th, 2016 06:02 pm GMT -5 in Sports at 6:02 PM

One highlight to the season

Rich is a player

Posted Monday, September 5th, 2016 06:01 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Friends,Music at 6:01 PM

VIP table for Ms. Lauryn Hill

These daughters rock too

Posted Sunday, September 4th, 2016 12:55 pm GMT -5 in Family at 12:55 PM

SK and MK @ the Great Minnesota Get Togetger

The daughters rock

Posted Sunday, September 4th, 2016 12:54 pm GMT -5 in Food at 12:54 PM

Best onion rings ever

Abe Crop Art

Posted Sunday, September 4th, 2016 12:52 pm GMT -5 in Art,Food at 12:52 PM

Every year, a classic

The Revolution at First Avenue

Posted Saturday, September 3rd, 2016 10:45 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Music,Personal at 10:45 PM

When The Revolution announced the first two shows at First Avenue, I knew I wanted to be there (the third show was added later). The $65 ticket price ($78.54 with fees) was the highest I’ve ever paid at that venue, but it’s been a tough four months since Prince died and I was hoping for a bit of closure. After reading Andrea Swensson’s review of the first night on The Current Blog, it sounded like I needed to bring a large box of Kleenex with me. Turns out the second night was personally a much different experience for me: glad I went, but not at all what I was expecting emotionally.

It’s hard to be critical of a group of musicians that are also clearly in mourning, but this show was rough around the edges and at times was just plain hard to listen to. Part of that was obviously due to the missing key ingredient up front, but I just don’t like Wendy’s voice (nothing personal). It helped when AndrĂ© Cymone came out a few songs into the show and I thought Bilal did an amazing job on The Beautiful Ones, but I could barely listen to Sometimes It Snows In April (which is one of my top 7 Prince songs of all time). It was clearly heart-felt and personal, but wasn’t up to Prince standards.

My other primary criticism was the song selection. The Revolution officially played on four albums: 1999, Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day and Parade. You could argue that AndrĂ© Cymone and Dez Dickerson could maybe claim some of the older songs, but it didn’t seem right to me to have them play songs like Controversy, Uptown and Let’s Work. To me, those aren’t Revolution songs. But, hey, if this was what Wendy, Lisa, Brown Mark, Bobby Z. and Dr. Fink wanted as a tribute, so be it.

There are lots of stories with photos out there to read on these shows: Cecilia Johnson at The Current for night two, Ross Raihala and Chris Riemenschneider were also both there for night two, while Chad Werner at City Pages had a much higher impression of the first night than I did for my show. Apollonia looked great (as did Cymone) and I didn’t know about Brenda Bennett until I looked her up later. Celebrity super-fans Maya Rudolph and Questlove were clearly having a good time. Wish I would’ve saw Har Mar Superstar on the bike. Overheard that the sound guy (who looked like Mr. Bean) was the same one who mixes for Justin Timberlake.

Back there again tonight for Ms. Lauryn Hill.

  • Let’s Go Crazy
  • Computer Blue
  • America
  • Mountains
  • Do it All Night
  • Let’s Work
  • Uptown
  • Party Up
  • Little Red Corvette
  • 1999
  • Sometimes it Snows in April
  • Raspberry Beret
  • The Beautiful Ones
  • Private Joy
  • When Doves Cry
  • Controversy
  • Kiss
  • Baby I’m a Star
  • Purple Rain

UPDATE: Jay Gabler writes about night three for The Current Blog, while Jon Bream covers the whole series for the Strib.

Fresh chicken for David

Posted Friday, September 2nd, 2016 03:09 pm GMT -5 in Food at 3:09 PM

Best fast-food ever @ Cane’s

A Friday on the course

Posted Friday, September 2nd, 2016 03:08 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 3:08 PM

Valleywood Par Three


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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

  • 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