7 Minute Miles

Winter is Coming

Posted Monday, October 23rd, 2006 01:45 pm GMT -5 in Personal at 1:45 PM

First snow of the season on the deck this morning (just a dusting)…DK

Originally published by DK on October 23, 2006 at 1:45 pm

Late Season Round at Dahlgreen

Posted Sunday, October 22nd, 2006 06:56 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 6:56 PM

Today we played what may be the last round of the year at Dahlgreen in Chaska. Golfing in Minnesota will re-launch again in the spring with new features and content. See you soon!

Originally published by DK on October 22, 2006 at 6:56 pm

Astaro ASG120 Firewall

Posted Saturday, October 21st, 2006 09:25 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 9:25 PM

We’ve been using a SonicWall SOHO3 hardware firewall at HSRA for several years to filter Internet content and comply with federal law regarding student access. A few weeks ago, it started to go bad and needed to be replaced. I didn’t like some of the support policies of SonicWall, so I asked around and was referred to company called Astaro and their ASG120 product.

The process started off on the wrong foot. There were no brick-and-mortar or online vendors, but I found a local company that was listed as a reseller: CPS Tech Solutions in Brooklyn Park. I spoke with Ben Mallonee at CPS and decided to order the 120 model with one year of content filtering and one year of gold support. They don’t carry stock on hand, so the unit would be shipped from the vendor directly to me. This was on Friday and the unit was to arrive on Monday via FedEx. It didn’t, and the shipping saga lasted well into the next week with CPS, Astaro and FedEx reps all calling to apologize for the delay.

When I did finally receive the unit, there were no activation codes. Ben emailed a code, but that only unlocked some of the features I ordered. After much searching, the sales person at Astaro was able to email me the other two codes and I was in business–sort of. The Astaro has more features than the SonicWall, but is also more difficult to configure. My first attempt (while school was in session) didn’t go well, so I decided to switch back to my temporary NAT interface until I could try it after hours. It wasn’t until the following weekend that I had it running well enough to put it in production.

The Astaro allows me to access the web admin interface from either inside the school or via the external public interface. I decided to run some updaters from home and the first one went fine. It restarted OK, so I ran the next one. This one didn’t restart OK and the unit was frozen. This happened on Sunday night and I really didn’t feel like driving in again for a third time that weekend, so I waited until Monday morning to power cycle the unit. That fixed it and I ran the rest of the updates while standing next to the unit in the server room.

There were still a few remaining issues:

  • VPN from the native Mac OS X client is broken (known issue)
  • VPN using third-party VPN Tracker application sort of works, but not all the services I need
  • Port forwarding acted really strangely, so I turned it off. This is probably just a configuration issue on my part. I’ve since decided port forwarding is probably a bad idea anyway.
  • Content filtering based on time period would not work unless all times were covered by a rule.

So it appears to be a great upgrade, now that most of the kinks have been ironed out. It is much more powerful than the SonicWall and gives me a lot of new information I can use to manage the connection. It sends me informative emails as events happen and a daily executive report as well. The students aren’t very happy about the improved control, but that’s why we have it…DK

Originally published by DK on October 21, 2006 at 9:25 pm

Life Insurance Upgrade

Posted Saturday, October 21st, 2006 07:58 pm GMT -5 in Personal at 7:58 PM

This week my Catholic Aid Association (CAA) sales representative, Sam Welter, brought over my new life insurance policy. I’m not Catholic, but wife is and she used to work there. They have good products and have been around for a long, long time. When I left NWA, I rolled over all of my pension to an annuity at CAA and purchased a new term life policy to make up for the one I used to have from work. Sam told me about a new term life product they were rolling out that required a much more stringent health qualification process. If I could qualify for the new plan, I would pay the same premium, but get about $150,000 more in coverage.

A nurse came out to my house about a month ago and I finally got the word that I passed. My cholesterol levels were much better than my last physical (203 mg/dL on a “good” scale of 140-280) and my wife says the triglyceride results were even more impressive: 58 mg/dL on a expected value range of 10-200. My readings were high on two measures: alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase. Both can be related to kidney and liver issues, so I need to research that more. They must not be that bad, though, or I’m sure I would have been turned down. I also rolled over the rest of my NWA 401K money, so I don’t have to worry about the NWA bankruptcy any longer…DK

Originally published by DK on October 21, 2006 at 7:58 pm

Happy National Freedom of Speech Week

Posted Thursday, October 19th, 2006 08:32 pm GMT -5 in Personal at 8:32 PM

This week is National Freedom of Speech Week. Guess how the school my kids go to decided to honor this event? By banning student access to newspapers in the library.

I came home from work and the local NBC affiliate, KARE 11, was running an interview with the school principal, Miles Haugen, as the lead story on the five o’clock newscast. According to the story, the parent of a seven-year-old complained in an e-mail to the school:

  • “[the newspaper is] not appropriate reading material for elementary aged kids. [allowing other students to have continued access] would silently endorse the kids reading them. It’s like leaving a loaded gun on the table. [forbidding my child] to take one will only make the paper a fascinating forbidden fruit. We don’t want (child’s name) exposed to the sex, death and general mayhem that have become the standard fodder for newspapers and TV news. We are not just trying to protect our child but all the kids (child’s name) goes to school with and lives in the world with.”

The newspaper as a loaded gun? Are you kidding me? Thanks for your concern, but I want my kids to become informed, intelligent readers, citizens and learners. Censorship should not be a part of their world.

Mr. Haugen is in his third year as principal and I have respected his leadership. This decision, however, needs to be reconsidered. We plan to contact the superintendent’s office tomorrow and will visit the school when they re-open after MEA week.

If need be, I’ll get both kids their own subscriptions to the paper so they can carry them every day in their backbacks. No reason they should be hindered because of one misdirected individual and a bad decision by the people paid to educate them…DK

UPDATE: Here is the email response I received from Mr. Haugen:

Unfortunately, the KARE11 news story was not accurately reported. Students may continue to read the newspaper at any time during the school day. We just want teachers to be aware of when a student is reading the newspaper and what headlines are found on the newspaper.

Hope this answers your question. I’m sorry about the confusion.

UPDATE 2: The American Library Association has an Office for Intellectual Freedom. They have a challenge database form to report issues of censorship (Adobe Acrobat, 8K).

UPDATE 3: The story has been picked up by the Associated Press and was published in the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press this morning. My wife is quoted in that story and a new bit of information was released: the original email complaint offered to “buy a paper for the school that the parent considered child-safe.” Just what my kids need–the Shiny Happy Day News. No thanks…DK

Originally published by DK on October 19, 2006 at 8:32 pm

Election 2006 Follow-Up

Posted Monday, October 16th, 2006 09:52 pm GMT -5 in Politics at 9:52 PM

While working on my election research, there were a few question marks. In the Eagan city council race, candidate Buzz Anderson did not have any website or email information listed in his filing. I did a Google search and found his business email at the Minnesota Retailers Association. He replied with the following contact info:

In the second district congressional race, the Independence Party candidate is listed as Douglas Williams, but he is not listed on the Minnesota Independence Party website. I thought that was really odd and contacted Marian Brown, the IP chair for CD2. She said Mr. Williams does not have the endorsement of the Independence Party and they don’t really know much about him. He appears to be a fringe candidate based on the limited information available online, but I’m still not sure how he got on the ballot as an IP candidate.

Lastly, I was having a hard time deciding who to pick for Eagan mayor. The recent retail developments near my house gave me an opportunity to write both candidates to get their opinions on zoning and development. I emailed Mike Maguire late at night, but he replied within 10 minutes and we ended up exchanging several emails around 1am. His answers were very thorough and I generally agreed with his positions. Cyndee Fields took a little longer to reply and was more succinct, but I also liked her answers. That one is still a toss-up for me…DK

Originally published by DK on October 16, 2006 at 9:52 pm

Mac Pro Video Editing Workstation

Posted Sunday, October 15th, 2006 11:10 am GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 11:10 AM

Our new Mac Pro arrived this week. It’s part of our office video editing workstation (pictured above):

  • Dual 23-inch Cinema HD Displays
  • Sony HDV-FX1 High-Definition Camcorder
  • Final Cut Studio
  • Harman/Kardon Soundsticks

The specs on the machine are incredible:

  • Two 2.66GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon 5100 Series Processors
  • 2GB 667MHz DDR2 ECC Fully-Buffered DIMM (FB-DIMM) Memory
  • Four 500GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s, 7200-rpm, 8MB Cache Hard Drives (2TB Total Storage)
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT with 256MB of GDDR2 SDRAM
  • Dual 16x SuperDrive with Double-Layer Support (DVD+R DL/DVD-RW/CD-RW)

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a new machine that seemed significantly faster than what I was using, but this box truly screams…DK

Originally published by DK on October 15, 2006 at 11:10 am

Princess Leia Love Me

Posted Sunday, October 15th, 2006 09:49 am GMT -5 in Movies,Pop Culture at 9:49 AM

My awesome wife waited in line for an hour to get me this last week…DK

Originally published by DK on October 15, 2006 at 9:49 am

The Tale of the IKEA Bookshelf

Posted Saturday, October 14th, 2006 08:49 pm GMT -5 in Personal at 8:49 PM

Our local IKEA store had the perfect bookshelf for our new office (see above). I generally like most things about IKEA, but this purchase was one of the most frustrating shopping experiences I’ve had in a long time.

On my first trip there, I bought a bunch of other things and decided to wait to get the bookshelf until I had more room in the car. When I went back the next day, there was no more stock on the floor. I saw two pallets loaded with units directly above the empty spot, though, so I went to ask a clerk to have one pulled down. That’s when the fun started.

IKEA is a busy store and because of that, they have a policy of no forklifts on the floor during store hours. I was frustrated, but understood. The clerk said it would be pulled down overnight and would be available for pickup the next day. I wasn’t able to go back for about three days, but when I returned, the pallets were still in the same places with no stock on the floor. This was on a Saturday, which made the trip all the more stressful anyway.

The clerk on duty was apologetic and went to talk it over with a supervisor. Their inventory system showed 10 units on the floor, so it wasn’t requesting that more be brought down. They said I could pay for one now and they would do a “911 pick” right after the store closed and I could come back at 9:30pm to get it. My other option was to come back the next day, when they promised it would be pulled down. I decided to get the phone number of the desk on the floor and told them I would call before I came back to make sure they were really available.

The next day, I got a clerk that went to check and he said they were “out of stock” and they were expecting a delivery the next day. I told him there are two pallets of them right above the empty spot and he told me he would check and make sure they were ready tomorrow. Sigh.

My now daily call the following day was answered by the same clerk I had the day before. I don’t think he recognized me and said the truck they were expecting hadn’t arrived yet. Again I told him of the pallets above and to please make sure they are added to the overnight pick list.

The next day I was traveling from St. Paul to Northfield for a meeting. IKEA was on the route back to St. Paul, so I decided to stop in and complain to the store manager. Lo and behold, one of the two pallets had been brought down!

If this particular bookshelf hadn’t been such a great match style- and price-wise, I would have went elsewhere after that first day. Oh well, it looks great now…DK

Originally published by DK on October 14, 2006 at 8:49 pm

Wild versus Vancouver

Posted Friday, October 13th, 2006 12:13 am GMT -5 in Family,Hockey at 12:13 AM

On Tuesday, my daughter and I attended our first Wild game of the season. Despite trading arch-villian Todd Bertuzzi, Vancouver still has a strong team with a lot of great players. Roberto Luongo in goal was a wonderful addition and ex-Wild players Willie Mitchell and Marc Chouinard were familiar faces. Plus they still have the Sedin brothers, Markus Naslund, Mattias Ohlund and Matt Cooke.

The refs seemed to swallow their whistles the first two periods when it came to Canucks. When Pyatt got their first goal in the second period, I was really worried that the Wild would have trouble getting anything past Luongo. The Wild finally got a chance at a power play in the third and made the most of it. Manny had some great saves in the OT to get them to the shootout, which was a blast to watch.

This was also our first game in the new seats (section 123, right behind the goal). The view is unique and will be fun to have for a season. I still would like upper level on the sides eventually, but it’s fun to watch what the goalies see and watch the plays develop from a different angle.

I watched tonight’s game versus Washington on TV and can’t believe it went to another shootout. I knew the off season acquisitions would be good, but who would have predicted a 4-0 start? Our next game is 11/29 versus San Jose…DK

Originally published by DK on October 13, 2006 at 12:13 am

Minnesota Election 2006

Posted Saturday, October 7th, 2006 04:35 pm GMT -5 in Politics at 4:35 PM

When I was growing up, there were two taboo topics: politics and religion. Both were considered private, personal decisions and talking about them in public was just not done. In some ways, I wish more people still felt this way, but then again, some issues are too important to keep quiet about.

With the elections rapidly approaching, it’s time to become informed about the choices we have on November 7th. Personally, I consider myself an independent voter (small “i”) that likes to look at each race or issue, do my research and be ready to make informed choices on election day. I’m not a fan of the party system and would really like to see all of the local and state offices be non-partisan, but that will never happen with the major parties in charge of making the rules.

Minnesota has always had high voter participation rates, but I was surprised to find how difficult it was to find information about the 2006 election. After a great deal of searching, I finally found the Secretary of State’s registered candidate search page. The big metro newspaper sites (Star Tribune and Pioneer Press) still have primary results featured and links to the candidates are hard to find. The League of Women Voters and MyBallot.net have decent information, but they are not comprehensive and don’t have all of the local items that will appear on the ballot.

Here is a summary of what I’ve been able to find so far, along with links to more information:

U.S. Senate

U.S. House of Representatives – 2nd District

  • Douglas Williams – Independence Party (Phone: 952-448-2028)
  • John Kline – Republican Party (Incumbent)
  • Coleen Rowley – Democratic-Farmer-Labor Pary

Governor and Lieutenant Governor

Minnesota Secretary of State

Minnesota State Auditor

Minnesota Attorney General

Proposed Minnesota Constitutional Amendment

  • Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to dedicate revenue from a tax on the sale of new and used motor vehicles over a five-year period, so that after June 30, 2011, all of the revenue is dedicated at least 40 percent for public transit assistance and not more than 60 percent for highway purposes?
  • Vote Yes Supporters – Minnesotans for Better Roads and Transit
  • Vote No Supporters – Education Minnesota

Minnesota Judicial Races

Minnesota Judicial Unopposed Seats

  • Associate Justice, Supreme Court 1: Barry Anderson (incumbent)
  • Court of Appeals 6: Renee L. Worke (incumbent)
  • Court of Appeals 7: Jill Flaskamp Halbrooks (incumbent)
  • Court of Appeals 12: Gordon W. Shumaker (incumbent)
  • 1st District Court, Seat 2: Robert F. Carolan (incumbent)
  • 1st District Court, Seat 4: Jean Ann Davies (incumbent)
  • 1st District Court, Seat 6: David L. Knutson (incumbent)
  • 1st District Court, Seat 10: Diane M. Hanson (incumbent)
  • 1st District Court, Seat 14: Michael J. Mayer (incumbent)
  • 1st District Court, Seat 18: William E. Macklin (incumbent)
  • 1st District Court, Seat 19: Leslie M. Metzen (incumbent)
  • 1st District Court, Seat 20: Kathryn D. Messerich (incumbent)
  • 1st District Court, Seat 29: Terry E. Conkel (incumbent)

Minnesota Senate – District 38

Minnesota House – District 38A

Eagan Mayor

Eagan City Council

Dakota County Attorney

  • James C. Backstrom (Incumbent) – unopposed

Dakota County Sheriff

Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor

  • District 1: Michael Pliml (Incumbent) vs. Scott A. Holm
  • District 3: Kevin Chamberlain (Incumbent) – unopposed
  • Candidate Statements (Fall 2006 DCSWCD Newsletter)

Get informed. Do your research. Vote November 7th…DK

Originally published by DK on October 7, 2006 at 4:35 pm

Han Shot First

Posted Thursday, October 5th, 2006 12:34 am GMT -5 in Movies,Pop Culture at 12:34 AM

See, Greedo’s gun didn’t even work–George broke it…DK

Originally published by DK on October 5, 2006 at 12:34 am

Wild Tickets For Sale

Posted Wednesday, October 4th, 2006 09:24 am GMT -5 in Family,Hockey at 9:24 AM

My aunt and uncle have been in the Wild Warming House for about three years and purchased lower level tickets this year. They sold me tickets for six games and have the following games left for sale:

  • October 7, Saturday 7pm, Nashville Predators
  • October 12, Thursday 7pm, Washington Capitals
  • October 25, Wednesday 7pm, Los Angeles Kings
  • November 2, Thursday 7pm, Vancouver Canucks
  • December 19, Tuesday 7pm, Vancouver Canucks
  • January 2, Tuesday 7pm, Atlanta Thrashers
  • February 14, Wednesday 7pm, Vancouver Canucks
  • March 6, Tuesday 7pm, San Jose Sharks
  • March 20, Tuesday 7pm, Phoenix Coyotes
  • March 22, Thursday 7pm, St. Louis Blues
  • March 27, Tuesday 7pm, Calgary Flames
  • April 5, Thursday 7pm, Edmonton Oilers

The seats are section 123, row 23, seats 5 and 6:

Seat Map

Each game is $108 for the two seats–please contact me via email if you are interested and I’ll get you hooked up…DK

Originally published by DK on October 4, 2006 at 9:24 am

Twin Cities Marathon: The Aftermath

Posted Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006 11:53 pm GMT -5 in Running at 11:53 PM

It’s been two days since the run and this has been one of the easiest and pain-free recoveries yet. I feel great–the one blister I had on my heal is already calloused and my legs and knees are feeling good enough to play golf tomorrow at Hastings Country Club.

I still haven’t changed my mind about running more marathons anytime soon, but I would consider the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon or the TC10 next year.

City Pages
listed me as the Minnesota Blog of the Day today, which was a nice surprise. I was listed there earlier this year and it’s nice they checked back to see how I did in the big race. I also had a nice comment from a complete stranger today. Web publishing is truly powerful…

Here are some additional notes from Sunday:

  • Minnesota Supreme Court Judge Alan Page was playing his tuba again just north of Lake of the Isles. This is one of my favorite sights each year on the entire course (second only to the finish line). Thanks Judge!
  • I missed just about everyone else on the course I usually see: Gregg Wong, my mother-in-law, my neighbors and my co-worker. I did see my parents and immediate family, though, and I thank all of the spectators who cheer and wave and yell out their support. It really makes a huge difference.
  • The water stop just south of St. Thomas actually ran out of cups this year. This is the first time I’ve ever seen any operational slip-up in this otherwise perfect event.
  • The death of the runner from Minneapolis was truly tragic and my thoughts go out to his family.
  • In the last mile, I talked with a man who has run all 25 Twin City Marathons (and 20 Grandma’s too). He said he ran 7 minute miles twenty-five years ago (2:59), but he was 60 pounds heavier now and age was catching up with him. He said as long as he finished in under six hours, he’d keep coming back. Bravo!

I’d also like to congratulate my friend Susanne Miller of Burnsville, who finished her first marathon about 15 minutes ahead of me with a chip time of 04:56:05…DK

Originally published by DK on October 3, 2006 at 11:53 pm

Fall Thunderstorms

Posted Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006 10:56 pm GMT -5 in Personal at 10:56 PM

Our house was pelted with pea-sized hail tonight for a few minutes. Mother Nature sure has some amazing things up her sleeve…DK

Originally published by DK on October 3, 2006 at 10:56 pm

Twins Scoreboard

Posted Monday, October 2nd, 2006 02:12 pm GMT -5 in Family,Sports at 2:12 PM

The picture from my dad’s surprise arrived last week.

What a finish to the season too! Hope they can sweep Oakland and beat up on New York too…DK

Originally published by DK on October 2, 2006 at 2:12 pm

Marathon Number 10 Complete

Posted Sunday, October 1st, 2006 07:48 pm GMT -5 in Running at 7:48 PM

Wow, did that feel like a long race this year. I went out fast (for me), hit the midway point at 2:14 and really thought I had a chance at another sub-five-hour time. As the sun came out in force and the temperature continued to rise, though, leg cramps hit me all over my legs (some in spots I didn’t think could cramp). My blisters felt OK for most of the race and turned out to be much better than I expected when I got home. I had put moleskin patches on both arches before the race and that seemed to do the trick.

The Nike+iPod thing turned into a total joke. It had been accurate on short runs, but was terrible at the marathon distance. It thought I was finished after about 25 miles and got further and further off each mile of the race. The total time recorded was also off by a lot. Thank goodness for the ChampionChip on my shoe or I would have no idea what my true time was this morning.

Here are the complete stats according the TCM 2006 results page:

  • Start: 8:06:48 AM CST
  • 5K split: 00:30:25
  • 10K split: 01:01:46
  • Half split: 02:14:41
  • 30K split: 04:27:26
  • 20 mile split: 03:45:39
  • Finish: 05:09:32
  • Pace: 11:48

Here’s what the Nike+iPod adaptor thinks I ran:

Nike Marathon Graph

As of today, I’m officially retired from marathon racing. At least until my kids make me run one with them…DK

Originally published by DK on October 1, 2006 at 7:48 pm

Personal Records & Mileage

  • Mile - 6:10
  • 5K - 21:42
  • 10K - 44:40
  • Half - 1:38:40
  • Full - 3:43:32
  • 50K - 7:37:00
  • 2019 Run Mileage: 51.4
  • 2019 Bike Mileage: 1074.2

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