7 Minute Miles

Robert Cray Band at the Fitzgerald

Posted Monday, September 29th, 2008 11:03 am GMT -5 in Concerts,Music at 11:03 AM

Last Friday Colleen and I went to see Robert Cray at the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul. After a short opening set by Paul Metsa and Sonny Earl, Mr. Cray and his band performed for about 90 minutes.

I didn’t write down the set list, but it was a nice mix. Colleen thought there were two new songs, but one of them sounded familiar to me (could have been a cover). Unfortunately, I don’t see any reviews online today, so I’ll have to go by vague memory (not in order):

  • Phone Booth
  • Twenty
  • Smoking Gun
  • Poor Johnny
  • Bad Influence
  • Time Makes Two
  • 12 Year Old Boy
  • Right Next Door (Because of Me)
  • I’m Walking
  • The One in the Middle

It was keyboardist Jim Pugh’s 54th birthday and he put on a Twins T-shirt that someone threw onstage for him as a birthday present. His Hammond organ solo was great, although I thought it wasn’t quite as energetic as the Minnesota Zoo concert a few years back.

Mr. Cray is an awesome guitarist. This was the closest we’ve sat for a concert and his facial expressions and finger work during solos were amazing. As I tweeted after the show, it would be incredible to see him jam with Richard Thompson sometime.

Also ran into Western Petroleum president Rick Neville in the lobby before the show. He was also at the Minnesota Zoo concert – small world…

Originally published by DK on September 29, 2008 at 11:03 am

Brookview Course Update

Posted Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008 12:35 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 12:35 PM

Last weekend our usual suspects hit Brookview Golf Course, located right across from KARE-11 TV in Golden Valley. We were a little surprised to see the four-star rating from Golf Digest hanging on the wall of the city-owned course, but the course has improved quite a bit since our last visit (which was, granted, right after another flood that covered many of the holes).

Conditioning all over was extremely green and lush on the 6,387-yard regulation course (rating of 70.6 and slope of 129). We’ve never played the par-3 nine hole course, but it looked to be in great condition as well.

The walking weekend rate is $34 and the nicely equipped Brookview Grill offers a wide selection of food, popcorn for a quarter and a new HDTV to catch up on things like Ryder Cup scores. We’ve heard they serve a mean breakfast too…

Learned some new stuff about the early history of the course from the history page on their website:

The original course was built in the 1920s by Archie Walker and his father, lumber magnate T.B. Walker. They operated it as a private country club until 1947. Under new ownership the course was named Brookview Golf Club and remained a private 18-hole regulation course, complete with a swimming pool, a clubhouse with a full dining room, a bar room, a pro shop, and locker rooms.

In the mid-1960s, Mayor Carl Nadasdy appointed a three-member Golf Negotiating Committee, representing the City Council, the Park Commission, and the Planning Commission, to discuss purchase of the Brookview Golf Club. Negotiations began in March 1966 and resulted in a purchase agreement. In June 1967, Golden Valley voters overwhelmingly passed a $1,600,000 bond issue for the purchase and development of the area. Having taken possession of the club and golf course in November 1968, the City of Golden Valley began official operations at Brookview Golf Course in 1969.

Originally published by DK on September 23, 2008 at 12:35 pm

New Toys at HSRA Minnesota

Posted Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008 12:09 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 12:09 PM

The first part of our new equipment lease at HSRA Minnesota arrived yesterday on three large pallets. It’s always fun to un-box new computers, but the novelty wears off by about the fifth one and the rest just become a chore.

Should keep me out of trouble all week, though…

Originally published by DK on September 23, 2008 at 12:09 pm

Columbia Clubhouse

Posted Monday, September 22nd, 2008 10:18 am GMT -5 in Golf at 10:18 AM

A few weeks back we stopped in at Columbia Golf Course in Minneapolis for a weekend round. We seemed to be cursed with rain every time we go there, but overall it was an enjoyable round.

On our way out, we walked around the upper floor of the clubhouse and saw a number of historical photos of the banquet hall. The Minneapolis Park Board web site calls it the “Columbia Manor” and says it was built in 1925. Aside from a million wedding planner web sites, I can’t find much about the history of the building.

Do you know more about the Manor? Please enlighten us in the comments…

Originally published by DK on September 22, 2008 at 10:18 am

Custom Soren Priede Wedding Ring

Posted Thursday, September 18th, 2008 11:28 pm GMT -5 in Art,Family,Personal at 11:28 PM

After nearly 17 years of not wearing a wedding ring, my wife decided this was the year she would give me one. I had a plain gold band when we got married, but that has long been too small for my finger and has resided in our safe all these years.

In general, I don’t like having anything on my hand or wrist, so I had some requests. I wanted to get something that was smaller, had smooth edges and would be compatible with my computer work and athletic hobbies. We needed a specialist.

Soren Priede is a wonderful custom jewelry designer from Saint Paul who has sold me items for Colleen in the past. We decided to work with him to custom design a new ring for me.

The process started in June with a request for all of the features mentioned above, plus a desire for a design that reflected the waves of the North Shore. The result, which we picked up yesterday, is pictured above.

I’ve very pleased and highly recommend Soren if you need custom jewelry.

Originally published by DK on September 18, 2008 at 11:28 pm

Phalen Course Update

Posted Thursday, September 18th, 2008 10:38 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 10:38 PM

Last week we visited Phalen Golf Course in St. Paul for the first time in a few years. Course manager and golf professional Nora McGuire said her new course superintendent has made great improvements this year with course conditioning and business has been good. Nora has also been a great supporter of the Women’s Tapemark Golf Event, which was held earlier this week at Southview Country Club.

Phalen first opened in 1917 as a nine hole course and was later expanded to 18. Don Herfort did redesign work in the 1970s and the current par 70 course measures 6,092 yards from the tips, with a rating of 68.4 and a slope of 118. While Phalen lacks length, it makes up for it with tight fairways lined with large, mature trees.

I was a little surprised to find that the grill is closed on weekdays, but they make a mean turkey sandwich to order while you wait.

Originally published by DK on September 18, 2008 at 10:38 pm

2008 Minnesota State Fair

Posted Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 11:44 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 11:44 PM

Had a great time at the Minnesota State Fair again this year. The whole family went on the Sunday of the Milk Run and spent most of the day there. Colleen and I also went solo on Wednesday night to see Gnarls Barkley at the Grandstand. The concert was cut short because of rain, but it was fun anyway. And I can’t remember the last time I saw fireworks during a lightning storm.

As we were running to the parking lot in the rain, we decided to stop in at the beer garden to look for my friend and HSRA studio wizard Art Haynes. His band, Mojo Roots, has played the State Fair for the past few years and they totally tear it up every night. Check them out if you can.

We didn’t really try any new foods this year, but enjoyed all of the old favorites. One new twist was our discovery that the physical education teacher at Deerwood Elementary also helps run the corn roast booth. What a great gig!

I’m always sort of sad when the fair is over–it’s truly a Minnesota classic.

Originally published by DK on September 16, 2008 at 11:44 pm

Silver Bay Course Update

Posted Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 11:13 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 11:13 PM

We paid a visit to the North Shore of Lake Superior over the Labor Day weekend and stopped in at the Silver Bay Golf Club, located just outside Silver Bay at the end of Golf Course Road.

Their newest brochure had some interesting history I hadn’t heard before:

The Silver Bay Golf Course was constructed in 1959 by the Reserve Mining Company and has matured into one of the finest 9 hole layouts in the state. The Golf Course, which opened to the public in 1983, is now owned by the City of Silver Bay, and remains a public facility.

There was talk recently about expanding the course to 18 holes, but a recent quote I read from course superintendent Norma O’Leary gave the impression those plans have been shelved indefinitely.

The current nine hole layout plays 3,173 yards from the tips, with a rating of 35.8 and a slope of 131. The 2008 walking rate for nine holes is $16 ($25 for 18).

Originally published by DK on September 16, 2008 at 11:13 pm

Cathedral of the Pines

Posted Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008 12:36 am GMT -5 in Family,Travel at 12:36 AM

OK, so I’m like about 20 posts behind on all my sites right now, but I thought I’d write a quick one here just to let the Google crawlers know I’m still alive…

While visiting the north shore of Lake Superior this weekend, we ran into a high school (and college) friend of ours in Grand Marais. Twicks and his family were up for the weekend too and invited us to visit them at camp in Lutsen. Turns out his wife’s family has run the place for 40+ years.

It was great seeing them and we had a fun time swimming and touring the facilities.

More posts coming soon…

Originally published by DK on September 2, 2008 at 12:36 am

Hidden Greens Course Update

Posted Monday, September 1st, 2008 11:59 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 11:59 PM

Today I played Hidden Greens Golf Course in Hastings with my friend Brad and his son, who was playing his first ever 18 hole round. The walking weekend rate is now up to the astronomical price of $27!

Hidden Greens has always been known for their low prices and surplus of trees lining every hole. The course plays 5,954 yards from the whites and 6,289 yards from the tips, but I’ve never thought that the slope and rating assigned by the MGA was an accurate indicator of how tough the course can play (68.9/121 from the whites). The sound of golf balls hitting trees is the siren sound of this course.

While we generally like playing the course as is, Brad and I discussed how a course review by an architect could have the potential of vastly improving the playability of many holes. The removal of a few overhanging branches and/or whole trees would do a lot to speed play and increase the enjoyment of the typical white tee player.

Originally published by DK on September 1, 2008 at 11:59 pm

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