7 Minute Miles

Scotty Cameron Newport Two Restoration

Posted Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 02:06 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 2:06 PM

My belated birthday present arrived in the mail today – a restored Scotty Cameron Newport Two putter that I’ve owned for about ten years. It was in bad shape before and the Restoration Shop did a great job.

It was weird playing the first few rounds of the year with a different putter. Glad this one is back!

Originally published by DK on April 29, 2009 at 2:06 pm

7th Annual Time to Fly Races

Posted Monday, April 27th, 2009 04:06 pm GMT -5 in Running at 4:06 PM

This was one of the fliers in the Get in Gear bag: the 7th Annual Time to Fly 10K run, 5K run, 5K walk and 1K kids’ fun run, to be held Saturday, June 27 at Harriet Island in St. Paul. Proceeds benefit the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.

For more information, call 952-224-8497 or visit ccrftimetofly.com.

Originally published by DK on April 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Free Outdoor Demo Day

Posted Monday, April 27th, 2009 03:57 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 3:57 PM

Received this postcard in the mail the other day for a free outdoor demo day at Hiawatha Golf Club coming up on Saturday, May 16 from 11AM – 3PM.

Presented by Golf Galaxy, the first 200 people in attendance will receive two free Callaway golf balls. Looks like manufacturer reps from all the big players will be there too…

Originally published by DK on April 27, 2009 at 3:57 pm

2009 Get in Gear Results

Posted Saturday, April 25th, 2009 02:47 pm GMT -5 in Running at 2:47 PM

The forecasters were off a bit, so this year’s Get in Gear events actually had very nice weather: low 40s, partly cloudy, not much wind and no rain or snow. The announcer said there were 4,000 people for the 10K run, 1,500 for the 5K and a full field of 1,000 for the inaugural half marathon. Women made up 57% of all entrants.

My race was very enjoyable, as I broke my personal best in the 10K by almost six minutes (official time of 49:02 – 7:54 pace). I started near the front of the pack, which helped push me to a quick 7:24 first mile. My watch says the other splits were: 7:47, 8:11, 8:14, 8:06 and 7:53. I sprinted the last two-tenths so I could get under 50 minutes and felt great afterwards. I came in 636th out of 3,419 finishers (57/221 in my division and 500/1647 among men).

** Half Marathon Race Stats **

  • Number of Finishers: 807
  • Number of Females: 378
  • Number of Males: 427
  • Average Time: 2:00:45

Half Marathon – Men

  1. Thomas Sullivan, 32, Minneapolis – 1:18:18
  2. Gerad Mead, 29, St. Paul – 1:19:33
  3. Daniel De Grace, 40, Eden Prairie – 1:21:07

Half Marathon – Women

  1. Elli Johnson, 28, Maplewood – 1:30:58
  2. Kortney Haag, 30, New Hope – 1:32:16
  3. Michelle Lebow, 40, Shoreview – 1:34:18

** 10K Race Stats **

  • Number of Finishers: 3,419
  • Number of Females: 1,766
  • Number of Males: 1,647
  • Average Time: 58:28

10K – Men

  1. Sammy Malakwen, 30, Two Harbors – 29:17
  2. Japheth Ngojoy, 21, El Paso, TX – 29:51
  3. Antonio Vega, 25, St. Paul – 30:00

10K – Women

  1. Alemtsehay Misganaw, 28, New York, NY – 34:47
  2. Amy Lyons, 23, Mounds View – 35:39
  3. Jenna Boren, 32, St. Paul – 35:59

** 5K Race Stats **

  • Number of Finishers: 1,603
  • Number of Females: 1,051
  • Number of Males: 535
  • Average Time: 35:26

5K – Men

  1. Mike Scheller, 32, Carver – 17:35
  2. Bill Kern, 50, Maple Grove – 18:07
  3. Dave Ebel, 27, Minneapolis – 18:25

5K – Women

  1. Nikki Borner, 23, Hastings – 18:39
  2. Johanna Winters, 25, Minneapolis – 19:11
  3. Elizabeth Johnson, 32, Woodbury – 19:37

Race results and stats from onlineraceresults.com.

Originally published by DK on April 25, 2009 at 2:47 pm

2009 Get in Gear 10K T-Shirts

Posted Friday, April 24th, 2009 01:50 pm GMT -5 in Running at 1:50 PM

Lots of people at Minnehaha Park at lunchtime to pick up Get in Gear race packets and (for the first time I can remember) T-shirts. This is also the first year of the Get in Gear Half Marathon, which has a different shirt from the one pictured above.

Packet pick-up is open until 8PM tonight and events get under way tomorrow morning at 8AM:

  • 2k & FFF 2k: 8:00AM
  • 10k Handcycle wheelers: 8:56AM
  • 10k Elite: 8:58AM
  • 10k & 1/2 Marathon: 9:00AM
  • 5k: 9:20AM

The forecast calls for temps in the upper 40s, thunderstorms and winds between 8 and 13 m.p.h., so dress appropriately if you are heading out.

Originally published by DK on April 24, 2009 at 1:50 pm

2009 Minnesota Section PGA Media Day

Posted Friday, April 24th, 2009 12:40 am GMT -5 in Golf at 12:40 AM

The Minnesota Section PGA held their annual media day this week at Minneapolis Golf Club in St. Louis Park. The Print/Radio/Weather team retained the Media Challenge Cup by virtue of a 4 1/2 to 4 1/2 tie with the Television/MGA Team. MGA executive director Tom Ryan and PGA professional Paul Kelley of Bent Creek won the individual title with a 2-under par 70.

The media day event has been coordinated the past three years by former WCCO personality Ed Heil, who now runs Storyteller Media and Communications. Storyteller also helps promote the Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance and the Tapemark Charity Pro-Am.

The course was highlighting their recent bunker renovations, which caused the annual Minnesota Golf Champions tournament to move to Bearpath last year. That event returns to MGC this year on May 8 – 10 and Golfing in Minnesota will be on hand for full coverage.

Full Scores (PDF)

Originally published by DK on April 24, 2009 at 12:40 am

Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Netbook

Posted Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 10:45 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 10:45 PM

About a month ago, I ordered a netbook from Dell for work. I have two admin needs for a Windows machine – to manage our new Watchguard firewall and to make changes to our voicemail system. I’ve run Windows XP on my Mac Book Pro using VMware, but the Watchguard in particular didn’t seem to like the network sharing that occurs between the Mac and XP sides. I figured that for a grand total of $388 (including tax and shipping), the Mini 9 was worth a try.

My initial impressions were mostly positive. It took me the better part of a day to install all of the usual anti-spam, anti-virus and anti-spyware tools that Windows requires, along with the multiple security updates from Microsoft. After a quick download and install of Firefox, Flash and iTunes, the machine was pretty much ready to go. Wireless worked fine right away and all of the sites I use on a regular basis performed and displayed just as I expected.

Here are the specs:

  • Intel Atom Processor N270 (1.6GHz/533Mhz FSB/512K cache)
  • 1GB DDR2 at 533MHz
  • Glossy 8.9 inch LED display (1024X600)
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
  • 16GB Solid State Drive
  • Genuine Windows XP Home Edition
  • Wireless 802.11g Mini Card
  • Integrated 0.3M Pixel Webcam
  • 32WHr Battery (4 cell)
  • 1Yr Ltd Warranty and Mail-In Service

I also decided to order a 16GB SDHC memory card for $34 from Amazon to double the storage space.

So it is what it is – not a powerhouse by any means, but good enough for simple browsing and email. It’s got a dirt cheap price and is very portable, although a little thicker and heavier than I expected – nothing like the Sony netbook (that costs three times as much). The battery capacity isn’t great and will drain completely if you don’t use it for a few days.

I probably would have recommended it after a week for people looking for cheap and small, but after using it regularly for a few weeks, I find that I really don’t want to use it unless I absolutely have to. After carrying it in my backpack with the 17-inch Mac Book Pro, it now sits in the server room next to the Watchguard.

Typing on the keyboard is just painful – almost as bad for me as my iPhone. Start-up speed from sleep is glacial and I forgot just how bad it is having to constantly update and monitor all of the Windows anti-everything utilities. After not using it for a week, it took almost an hour to download and install security and anti-virus updates alone. The quality of the screen is fine, but the whole unit just feels small, cramped and not terribly well built.

All in all, I’ll stick with my big laptop for “real” work and plan on my next iPhone to get more power and speed for those small and cheap needs.

Originally published by DK on April 23, 2009 at 10:45 pm

2009 Monster Half

Posted Monday, April 20th, 2009 06:20 pm GMT -5 in Running at 6:20 PM

This year’s Monster Half Marathon (and 10 mile and 5K) will actually be on Halloween this year! Don’t miss one of the most enjoyable running events in the Minnesota running season – watch for registration info at the Team Ortho site.

Originally published by DK on April 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm

2009 Ragnar Relay

Posted Sunday, April 19th, 2009 10:49 pm GMT -5 in Running at 10:49 PM

Here’s another flier I got in the mail. I’ve never participated in this event, but my wife knows people who have done it and thought it was blast. Check it out at ragnargr.com.

Originally published by DK on April 19, 2009 at 10:49 pm

End of the Season and End of an Era

Posted Sunday, April 19th, 2009 10:38 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 10:38 PM

I didn’t write many blog posts here the past few weeks, as I mainly used Twitter (@hockeymn) to write about the end of the Wild season. 140 characters at a time was about all I could manage then.

I’ve had to scrap this post several times in the past few weeks, as the news just keeps flying fast and furious. The three exciting final games, our slim playoff chances dashed, the departure of our only coach and then what I thought couldn’t possibly happen, the firing of GM Doug Risebrough. Lots of uncertainty everywhere in the organization now. Hell, we might not even have two newspapers covering the team by the time the 09/10 season begins.

The original title of this post was going to be “If I Owned the Wild,” but then Mr. Leipold stepped up and took charge. Until this week, I was going to ask how the State of Hockey ended up with a cheesehead owner who moonlights as a Republican delegate. Apparently he heard from enough armchair owners during the season to figure out what needed to be done to prevent the pitchforks and potential loss of revenue.

Some random thoughts:

  • Thanks, Jacques, for all you did here. I thought it was very interesting he knew nothing about the upcoming Riser events.
  • Thanks, Doug, for all you did here in the beginning. What you did then was great, but the organization needs different things now to bring a cup to the State of Hockey.
  • If half of the Burns concussion news is accurate, the medical team needs to go too.
  • I’d still like to see Gaborik return under the new regime, but I’d only do an incentive-laden contract. The days of long-term, guaranteed money NHL deals may never return – or shouldn’t (do you hear me Detroit?).
  • We probably can’t afford it, but if the new GM can get Mikko’s brother and Mr. Cammalleri to play in St. Paul, I’d be a very, very happy season ticket holder.
  • Hey NHL, having non-stop NHL games on every night in HD for free is the best. Could we have this during the regular season somehow too? Pretty please?

I won’t be writing here much during the playoffs and during the draft (see Golfing in Minnesota and Run in Minnesota), but I thank all of you who visited during the past year. I’m planning to do much more next season, so please stop back and see us again soon…

Originally published by DK on April 19, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Round 2 – Oak Marsh Golf Course

Posted Sunday, April 19th, 2009 09:47 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 9:47 PM

Got in my second round of the year the other day, this time heading out to Steve Whillock’s Oak Marsh Golf Course in Oakdale, Minnesota. Usually one of the first courses to open in the spring, Oak Marsh has already had a lot of play in 2009. The course was in good early season condition, although I hate when courses charge full price when they haven’t really done any conditioning yet. The 18 hole walking rate was $31.

As I’ve written before, this course is only 5,793 yards from the white tees and plays to a par of 70. This makes my 86 seem much better than it really was, but I still feel this course plays a little tougher than the 68.2 slope and 117 rating indicate.

Mr. Whillock was telling me about the 2009 edition of their Players Club Awards program. Sign up for free and earn a 10% award for all green fees, cart fees, range and golf merchandise. You also get a free round of golf on your birthday if you give them a valid email address (off-season birthdays get their round in April).

Oak Marsh is part of the Wendell Pittenger group of courses, which also include Lost Spur in Eagan, Mississippi National in Red Wing and Willow Creek in Rochester.

Originally published by DK on April 19, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Culinary School Graduation

Posted Sunday, April 19th, 2009 06:49 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 6:49 PM

Congrats to my sister Lynn who graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Minneapolis/St. Paul yesterday. She earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in their Pâtisserie & Baking Program with high honors and is currently interning with Disney at the Contemporary Resort in Orlando.

The graduation program was held at Grace Church in Eden Prairie, a mega-church that totally freaked me out. The guy next to me said as we walked in, “this is just like the Metrodome.”

The graduation program said they had about 500 graduates this spring and the guest speaker was the executive chef from Murray’s in Minneapolis, John Van House. I told kid one (the new steak lover) that I’d take her there sometime for the silver butter knife steak (my all-time favorite), but their menu says it’s now $94! Might be a while kiddo…

Originally published by DK on April 19, 2009 at 6:49 pm

MINI Rear Brake Pads (Again)

Posted Thursday, April 16th, 2009 11:49 pm GMT -5 in Cars at 11:49 PM

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the rear brake pads on my 2005 MINI Cooper needed replacement after only a year. Before replacing the caliper, I decided to order a new set of rear pads (EBC Red Stuff) and see if I could get the caliper to snap back to life.

As you can see from the picture above, the inside right rear pad had almost completely disintegrated. That’s what was causing the metal-on-metal sounds I heard last week that made me decide not to drive it anymore until the new pads arrived. Based on safety advice from Mr. Chuck Goolsbee, I borrowed some real car stands from a neighbor this time and proceeded with the repair.

That caliper was a total pain in the ass to retract (and I’m not the only one with this issue, as this thread shows). I tried opening the bleeding nipple a bit, but that didn’t help and I ended up breaking the special tool I had ordered last time.

In the end, I finally got it compressed by removing the rubber cover and placing a little brake fluid on the exposed piston. I then used a needle nosed pliers to finally get the thing spinning. Lastly, a c-clamp combined with the pliers got it back in place after a long, painful ballet of clamping, spinning and un-clamping. My hands still hurt from that ordeal.

This set of brake pads came with some black adhesive from 3M that is supposed to help prevent brake squeal. I had use some red gunk last time, so this was much nicer (if it works). I had ordered a new brake sensor cable and got that hooked up (although the damn light is still on, just like last time). The other rear wheel took literally like 10 minutes from start to finish.

Chuck helped me through this job via iChat, photo uploads and web searches (thanks again!). He said I really needed to bleed the brakes, but I didn’t have any of the stuff I needed at home for that. I hadn’t done that the previous time I did pads, but I also didn’t open the bleeder valve then either.

I pumped the brakes back to life and carefully took the car for a spin around the block. As I pulled back in the garage, I could hear that it sounded like the right rear caliper was still not releasing. Because of this I decided to take it in to the local mechanic down the block.

Car Care Advanced Auto on Cliff Road bled the brake lines for me and did an inspection on all four wheels for $79. They said both rear calipers weren’t really releasing, even when they opened the bleeders. They also said the rotors were in pretty bad shape, with the raised outer rim (that I already knew about) and several other imperfections. They wanted about $850 to replace both rear calipers and rotors. I decided to wait on that until I could research all my options.

At this point, I seriously thought about just trading it in for a new car, but Colleen and I decided that we should continue on for now. I’ve got a call in to the mechanic at the dealer that did my last big repair to get his opinion (and quote). I’d consider doing the caliper replacement myself, but I’m not sure I want to try the rotors.

More to come, I’m sure…

7MM MINI Photo Gallery

Originally published by DK on April 16, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Golf Digest Greatest Courses

Posted Monday, April 13th, 2009 07:29 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 7:29 PM

The mailbox this week brought even more course rankings that included Minnesota courses.

The oldest ranking in the game (started in 1966), the Golf Digest presents America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses, is out in the May 2009 edition. The 09/10 version includes a second list of the 100 greatest public courses.

This bi-yearly ranking is based on reports from more than 900 evaluation panelists who assign values in seven categories (see below).

On the main list, two Minnesota courses continue their long-standing inclusion:

  • #64 – Interlachen (7.74 shot values, 7.44 resistance to scoring, 7.73 design variety, 7.74 memorability, 7.66 aesthetics, 8.07 conditioning, 8.19 ambiance – 62.31 total)
  • #91 – Hazeltine National (7.75 shot values, 8.20 resistance to scoring, 7.55 design variety, 7.42 memorability, 7.31 aesthetics, 7.64 conditioning, 7.67 ambiance – 61.29 total)

Both courses dropped two positions since the last edition of the list. Hazeltine has been ranked for all 43 years, while Interlachen missed the list only once (1969-1970).

On the public course side, three Minnesota courses made the top 100:

Still thinking about creating a Golfing in Minnesota list soon…

Originally published by DK on April 13, 2009 at 7:29 pm

First Round – Columbia Golf Club

Posted Saturday, April 11th, 2009 09:23 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 9:23 PM

Today was our first round of the year and we headed to Columbia Golf Club in Minneapolis. The weather was great and the course wasn’t very crowded, so it was an enjoyable first outing.

Course conditions were pretty typical for early Minnesota spring – splashes of green here and there, some winter kill, small buds on the trees and lots of brown everywhere. The fairways and greens were rolling relatively fast and I actually started out the year with a birdie on the first hole (that’s my approach shot pictured above).

One of the players in our group stopped at the practice area on the opposite side of the course before our round and reported full stalls and long lines to get practice balls. There seemed to be more people practicing than playing. The fee today was $32 for a walking 18 hole round.

Originally published by DK on April 11, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Minnesota Zoo Visit

Posted Friday, April 10th, 2009 11:33 pm GMT -5 in Family,Wildlife at 11:33 PM

The kids were off school today and this was the last weekend for farm babies at the Minnesota Zoo, so the neighbor and I took three of our combined four kids to the zoo (along with about 10 million other people).

I haven’t been there for a while, apparently, as I saw many new things this time. The new Russia’s Grizzly Coast exhibit was extremely well done and reminded me of the best stuff at Animal Kingdom and Sea World. I may just have to renew my expired membership…

A few photos from the day have been uploaded to the private section of the photo gallery (email me if you need the password).

Originally published by DK on April 10, 2009 at 11:33 pm

Morrissey at the State Theater

Posted Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 12:59 am GMT -5 in Concerts,Music at 12:59 AM

Last night Colleen and I went to see Morrissey at the State Theater in Minneapolis. This was our first time seeing him perform live, although we had seen him in person once before:

A few years ago, he was doing a show at the Las Vegas House of Blues that we almost attended. The next day as we were leaving town, he was in line in front of us at the airport Cinnabon! No one else was in there but us, Morrissey and his band. We sat at the table next to them and listened in until they left. We still stop at the “Morrissey Cinnabon” every time we go back to Vegas…

The show openers were the Manchester band The Courteeners, who played an entertaining, enjoyable set. I had to ask the guys behind us to please stop yelling back and forth and take their conversation out to the lobby – why does this happen at every show now? Shut the hell up, already, and listen to the music.

Damn I hate that.

As the roadies broke down the Courteeners gear, they played older videos of the New York Dolls and Shocking Blue, among others. Once the curtain was torn down, the stage opened up to a cool WWII-era photo of a sailor showing his guns and smoking a cigar. Here’s a crappy iPhone picture:


I don’t have a set list yet, but I think it was very similar to the Chicago show two nights ago:

  • This Charming Man
  • Something is Squeezing My Skull
  • Billy Budd
  • Black Cloud
  • How Soon is Now
  • Irish Blood, English Heart
  • How Could Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?
  • Ask
  • I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris
  • The World is Full of Crashing Bores
  • Death of a Disco Dancer
  • The Loop
  • I Keep Mine Hidden
  • One Day Goodbye Will be Farewell
  • Seasick, Yet Still Docked
  • Best Friend on the Payroll
  • Let Me Kiss You
  • Sorry Doesn’t Help
  • When Last I Spoke to Carol
  • I’m OK by Myself
  • — Encore —
  • First of the Gang to Die

I’m not an ultra-Morrissey fan, so I don’t know all of the song titles by heart. I’ll revise this list when I see something posted elsewhere. I do know that he dedicated a song towards the end to “our friend Jill Smith who passed away in London today” and proceeded to play Life Is A Pigsty.

A few songs I was hoping to hear (but didn’t): Glamourous Glue, Redondo Beach and I Have Forgiven Jesus (which, if you ever used to watch the old Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, holds special meaning). I knew those were all long-shots, but otherwise really loved the show. The version of How Soon is Now? was amazing and I was glad he played my favorite song from the new album – When Last I Spoke to Carol (despite the lack of a trumpet and old western sound effects).

The 49-year-old Englishman took off his shirt twice during the show and a near riot broke out during the encore as people tried to jump up on the stage. The tall, young Lurch of a security man stage left seemed to enjoy his job a little too much, violently throwing people back into the crowd. You know it’s bad when the huge bald security guy has to restrain the tall, young security guy.

Perhaps the most entertaining part of the evening, however, was the woman in the row in front of us. She really liked Morrissey and had more energy and dance moves than I’ve seen anywhere in a long time. And I’m about 95% sure she had multiple orgasms during the course of the evening.

Not a bad deal for $40, eh?

UPDATE: Here is the Minneapolis set list, according to the Star Tribune:

  • This Charming Man
  • Billy Budd
  • Black Cloud
  • How Soon Is Now?
  • Irish Blood, English Heart
  • When I Last Spoke to Carol
  • How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?
  • I Keep Mine Hidden
  • Let Me Kiss You
  • Seasick, Yet Still Docked
  • That’s How People Grow Up
  • Death Of A Disco Dancer
  • The Loop
  • Something Is Squeezing My Skull
  • The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
  • I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris
  • Sorry Doesn’t Help
  • Ask
  • Life Is A Pigsty
  • I’m OK By Myself
  • — Encore —
  • First Of The Gang To Die
Originally published by DK on April 7, 2009 at 12:59 am

HP ProCurve Switches Rule

Posted Monday, April 6th, 2009 02:02 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 2:02 PM

It’s still too early to say the battle is over, but so far the new bad-ass switches from HP have not gone down once since they arrived. The web-based management features are great for monitoring what’s going on and I was able to turn on two new (for us) features:

  • “This switch features automatic fault detection capability which can protect your network from being brought down by problems such as network loops, defective cables, transceivers and faulty network interface cards.”
  • “Multicast Filtering (IGMP) – Direct multicast packets to only those portions of the network where they are needed. This improves network performance in networks using the IGMP protocol with high levels of multicast traffic.”

As I wrote in February, the network at HSRA has been a frustrating troubleshooting nightmare. With the help of many others (friends, colleagues, outside consultants), I now basically have a new network. Here are the key pieces:

Combined with all the gear I just brought back from Seattle, the server room is getting pretty crowded. Still lots to monitor, clean and organize, but I may finally get to move on to other projects soon. I’m still worried there is bad cable out on the floor, but the new switches seem to deal with that much better than the el cheapo stuff from Best Buy.

Originally published by DK on April 6, 2009 at 2:02 pm

More Joys of Car Ownership

Posted Sunday, April 5th, 2009 07:11 pm GMT -5 in Cars at 7:11 PM

Just when I thought I had seen the last of the car issues for a while, the brake light in the MINI came on again. I did the front brake pads myself in November 2007, followed by the rear pads last April.

By the looks of it, the rear passenger side caliper is stuck. The replacement part costs about $180 and I’d need to order two new rear pads also, which cost $85. A MINI-owning friend of mine says I could do the installation myself, but it would require bleeding the brakes, which I’m not sure I want to do myself.

The rear pad is worn down to about 2-3mms, so I’ll need to get it fixed soon (the other three pads are all still fine). Too bad I don’t live close enough to my job to walk or drive – cars are really starting to get on my nerves…

Originally published by DK on April 5, 2009 at 7:11 pm

The End of a Network Era

Posted Friday, April 3rd, 2009 10:29 pm GMT -5 in Technology,Work at 10:29 PM

This week was sort of bittersweet for me – after more than four years of service, I was tasked with decommissioning my work servers from the data center in Seattle where we have been leasing a half rack. digital.forest has offered us great service over the years and I’ve been a friend and colleague of their tech VP, Chuck Goolsbee, who I first met many, many years ago in his role as list-mom of the very useful Mac Managers mailing list.

Over the years, we placed many different pieces of equipment in our half-rack. The service and pricing structure of digital.forest were miles above what was offered in the Minnesota market and more than offset the physical distance issue. Their tech support staff handled most issues on-site for me and they patiently dealt with my literally hundreds of DNS support tickets over the years. I really only needed to travel to Seattle to install new gear or perform major upgrades.

The trip this week involved taking five servers, one switch and one tape backup unit off-line, removing all of those items from the rack, packing them up and getting them back to Minnesota. I planned to do this over the HSRA spring break so I could minimize downtime. Originally I thought about driving out, but ended up flying out on Tuesday afternoon and returning on the early Wednesday morning red-eye flight.

Since Sun Country isn’t flying to Seattle right now, I flew the “new Delta” and took one of our studio Anvil cases along. The flight out was full and I waited until the end to board. That was a mistake, as my reserved exit row aisle seat had already be giving to someone else because they booked a child into an exit row and had to move people around. The flight attendant wanted me to sit in a middle seat in the row in front of the exit row – you know, the one that doesn’t recline. Since they make you pay extra for exit rows, I was a little pissed off. They offered to move me to a middle seat in an exit row, but a Delta pilot came down the aisle and said that was “his” seat. Jerk. At least the lead flight attendant came by later and offered to make him move.

When I got to Seattle, I decided to go to my favorite fast food place at SEA-TAC, Ivar’s Seafood, and get some late lunch. The fish and chips were great and I meandered down to baggage claim to get the Anvil (which they only charged me $15 for, despite being oversized). Everyone from my flight was still standing around – I think it took about an hour for the baggage to arrive.

After that, things went pretty smoothly. I rented a Mazda mini-van from National and packed two servers in the Anvil case. I removed the hard drives and put those in a small box along with a Mac mini server and a small ProCurve switch. The three other devices got packed in some extra Dell boxes that digital.forest had laying around and were sent home via FedEx (those items didn’t need to be put back online right away).

After a nice dinner with Chuck, I went back to the airport, returned the car and hauled the heavy Anvil to the check-in area. After some confusion about what they would or would not accept, they decided to charge me $190 and let me check it. Their scale said it weighed 81 pounds, but it had to be much, much more than that, so I was happy. Got through security and hung out in the WorldClub lounge for two hours until the plane left.

This time I claimed my exit row seat early and ended up having no one in the middle seat, which was nice. It was still hard to sleep, though, and I ended up driving straight to the school to get the three servers unpacked and back online ASAP. Fun airline fact – the baggage handlers at MSP will put anything down the regular carousel, including extremely heavy Anvil cases. That thing could have destroyed smaller, inferior luggage if the timing had been better.

I spent most of Wednesday working to get everything back online. Two of the three were online by Wednesday night and the last one came online this morning. Overall downtime was minimized, but it took much more work than I planned, especially on the DNS side of things. Everything seems to be up and running fine today, but the real test will come on Monday when staff and students return in force. I decided to put all of the HSRA workstations back on the wired network too, but I’ll write more about that next week.

Special thanks to Chuck and his staff at digital.forest – if you need a co-location facility, they’re awesome.

7 Minute Miles Seattle Photo Gallery

Originally published by DK on April 3, 2009 at 10:29 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
  • 2020 Run Mileage: 44
  • 2020 Bike Mileage: 367

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Mobile: 612.224.5422

Upcoming Races

  • Get in Gear 10K - 4/24/21
  • Milk Run 5K - 8/29/21

Upcoming Sporting Events

  • Vikings vs. Packers - 9/13/20
  • Vikings vs. Titans - 9/27/20
  • Vikings vs. Atlanta - 10/18/20
  • Tommie-Johnnie Football - 11/7/20
  • Vikings vs. Lions - 11/8/20
  • Vikings vs. Dallas - 11/22/20
  • Vikings vs. Carolina - 11/29/20
  • Vikings vs. Jacksonville - 12/6/20
  • Vikings vs. Bears - 12/20/20

Upcoming Concerts

  • Drive-By Truckers - 9/11, Palace
  • Trampled By Turtles & Wilco - 9/19, Treasure Island
  • Dave Simonett - 11/27, Fitzgerald
  • Cloud Cult - 1/18, Orchestra Hall
  • Kenny Chesney - 6/5, USBS
  • Rage Against the Machine - 7/2, Target Center
  • Def Leppard - 7/8, USBS
  • George Strait - 7/31, USBS
  • Doobie Brothers - 8/31, Grandstand

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