Motherlode Mystery progressive slot bank, Fortune Bay Resort Casino, Tower, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 31, 2012 at 8:05 am
http://www.iamdonald.com/1Originally published by DK on May 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm
Vermilion Club, Lake Vermilion, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 30, 2012 at 9:59 pm
There’s no sickness, no toil, no danger, in that bright land to which I go…Originally published by DK on May 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm
With walleye chowder and baked potato, Bay View Lodge, Lake Vermilion, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm
I hear stories of your smile, I hear stories of your frown…Originally published by DK on May 29, 2012 at 8:29 pm
http://www.antiquiet.com/news/2012/05/stream-neil-young-crazy-horse-americana/Originally published by DK on May 29, 2012 at 8:28 pm
Montana Cafe, Cook, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm
http://technosailor.com/2012/05/23/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-wordpress-3-4/Originally published by DK on May 28, 2012 at 8:17 pm
Jim’s grave after the kids blinged it up, Oakland Cemetary, St. Paul, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 28, 2012 at 7:47 pm
It’s been a long time, since you wore your pillbox hat.Originally published by DK on May 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm
Bread & Pickle, Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm
Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm
http://autopilotlegs.com/2012/05/27/pre-post-race-and-atms-installed-in-horse-trailers-say-what/Originally published by DK on May 27, 2012 at 8:29 pm
Reluctantly crouched at the starting line, engines pumping and thumping in time…Originally published by DK on May 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm
Totally worth the wait.
Our reservation was early – 5:30, right when they opened. The upstairs dining room wasn’t ready when we arrived, so we headed to the back of the building and the entrance to the basement Marvel Bar (“Libations behind the purple door,” said the doorman).
Food critic Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl wrote that bartender Pip Hanson is a genius, so we were glad we had to wait at Marvel first. Our friendly and knowledgable server recommended drinks for us and said she’d call upstairs to check us in. I had a lemony cognac and bourbon-based cocktail called Strongwater, while Colleen ordered a drink that actually had pickle brine in it. She loved it, but ewww…
The basement contains the wine cellar, several booths, an eclectic selection of chairs and a very nice looking bar. I just read a good story on the whole operation written by Minnesota Monthly magazine that has some additional insights into the bar – worth a read.
We gathered our drinks and headed up the first set of stairs on the right, which leads through another purple door and deposits you right at the front check-in desk. We were led to a table for two right in the middle of the room, which we decided could be described as “IKEA barn” – comfortable, welcoming and not pretentious in the least. All of the servers were dressed casually and as their nice web site says, the dress code is “Come as you are.”
It was training night, so we had two servers. The primary one doing the training, Joel, was energetic and very knowledgable. He explained the unique wine options, which include a chalkboard that changes frequently as bottles are opened (you can order a half bottle, then others can sample glasses from those bottles). The trainee brought us complimentary flat bread with butter, summer radishes and a small bowl of salt.
The only off-menu item last night was Alaskan Cooper River salmon with fingerling potatoes. Since it’s only in season for two weeks a year, I ordered that (along with a lot of the dining room, apparently). Colleen ordered cod and we decided to share an order of their salt cured salmon toast, with sweet mustard sauce and pickled cucumber.
For sides, we ordered a warm popover with honeyed butter and crispy potatoes with cider vinegar. The latter arrived on a bed of crumbled bacon, which would stick to the potatoes when dipped in the cider vinegar – so good!
Service throughout the meal by all staffers was superb – when I had to step outside for the parking meters and to return a call, I returned to fresh, folded napkins both times. We were never rushed and the entire meal took just under two hours. The room was loud, but not overly so for a full house.
We finished up the evening with two desserts – Colleen was directed to a non-dairy selection of coconut panna cotta with candied tarragon and sweetened grapefruit, while I just had to try the frozen popcorn custard with chocolate ganache, salted caramel and shortbread. Both were excellent, but I was also intrigued by the last entry on the menu, simply called “Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.”
Colleen mentioned that it’s rare when a restaurant does everything right, but I think you can see in the reviews of The Bachelor Farmer that the experience isn’t by accident – everything is planned and managed. Paul Berglund and the Dayton Brothers have really earned their success at TBF and we will be back (Saturday reservation now booked for early August).
It took a while, but we now have a new favorite Twin Cities restaurant. SkÃ¥l!
Some kind of big turtle, Johnny Cake Ridge Road, Eagan, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 27, 2012 at 11:02 am
What’s with these homies dissin’ my girl? Why do they gotta front?Originally published by DK on May 26, 2012 at 10:18 pm
Kid one and I on the last day of business at Salon Unlimited, St. Paul, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm
I remember doing the one-year-old birthday cake smash a few times, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm
Heart Themed Photo Shoot, Eagan, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 25, 2012 at 10:48 pm
Seems like all of a sudden, things are getting a little bit out of control:
- Launch of new web site at work
- Staff member resignation
- Tapemark Charity Pro-Am
- Financial deadlines
- Personal health issues
- Trip planning and budgeting
Very glad to have a long weekend, but hoping things don’t blow up at work before I get back up there…Originally published by DK on May 25, 2012 at 10:41 pm
I never knew there was so much love, keeping me warm night and day…Originally published by DK on May 25, 2012 at 10:30 pm
The CD racks in the basement, Eagan, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 25, 2012 at 9:01 pm
’twas in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair. But Gollum and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her…Originally published by DK on May 25, 2012 at 10:02 am
Today was the day Colleen and I finally made it over to Tilia. We’ve wanted to go there for a long time, but got scared off by the reports of long waits for a table. A rainy Thursday just after noon proved to be no problem, as there were at least half a dozen tables open for two.
Steven Brown’s “neighborhood eatery” wasn’t exactly what I pictured in my head. It’s a small space, with a little bar on one side and the kitchen on the other (both with counter space). Not a whole lot of tables in the rest of the restaurant, so I can see how waits during busier times could easily become quite long.
Our waitress told us the fryer was out of service, so some of the menu might not be available. I had wanted to try their French Fries with “fry sauce,” but that wasn’t in the cards. Thankfully there were plenty of other good options – Colleen started with the escargot with maitre d’ butter, mushrooms and gruyere ($10.50), while I ordered the grilled bread with prosciutto and fresh mozzarella ($8, pictured above).
For the main course, we both had burgers – Colleen had the turkey burger with charred onions and morbier ($9.50) and I had the bacon cheeseburger ($9.75). The bacon on mine was a little overcooked and that first bite sort of ruined it for me. Colleen, though, said hers was the best turkey burger she’s had anywhere.
It looked like they have a very interesting beer and wine selection, but neither of us were drinking alcohol today (I stuck with the old standby, Mexican Coke). Service was good, but not outstanding. It was loud in there at 60% capacity, so I’m guessing it gets really loud when full.
Overall, I’d have to say that this was one of those experiences where I had such high expectations going in, it was probably impossible for them to meet the hype. Based on the menu, I think I’d like to go back and try the brunch sometime (Saturday and Sunday, 9am – 2:45pm). Colleen will obviously want to go back for the turkey burger too.
Great web site, by the way…Originally published by DK on May 24, 2012 at 11:48 pm
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/23/steve-mendelsohn-whose-radios-spread-word-of-city-marathons-is-dead-at-67/Originally published by DK on May 24, 2012 at 10:51 pm
Still balls.Originally published by DK on May 24, 2012 at 9:03 pm
The kids with the “stunt double” Fargo Woodchipper, Fargodome, Fargo, North DakotaOriginally published by DK on May 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm
http://www2.brightroom.com/email/97740/1001/133999225Originally published by DK on May 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm
Vince Dodge, the superintendent at The Wilderness at Fortune Bay, wrote about aerification in this month’s Wilderness email. I thought it was one of the best explanations I’ve seen of this pet peeve of many golfers. Read his full post after the jump.
From a golf course maintenance standpoint, May is usually one of the busiest months of the year for the crew. The flush of growth that accompanies spring makes mowing an ongoing chore as does the need to aerify greens. The following article may be useful in educating you in just what the purpose of aerification is:
It’s a perfect, sunny morning and you’ve just reached the first green in regulation. You feel great and you know you’re within birdie range. Then, you see them, those little holes in the green. Arrrgh! They’ve just aerified the course, and it’s going to ruin your round, right?
Well, maybe not. Consider the fact that PGA Tour legend Tom Watson shot a sizzling record 58 at his then-home course, Kansas City Country Club, just days after the greens had been aerified.
Consider also that aerification is merely a short-term disruption that has long-term benefits for the course. When you see them, remember that without those little holes, the greens would eventually die.
Like so many things, the quality of a good putting green is more than skin deep. In fact, the condition of a green has a lot to do with what goes on below the surface. In order to keep grass growing at 3/16-inch you have to have deep, healthy roots. Good roots demand oxygen. In good soil, they get the oxygen from tiny pockets of air trapped between soil and sand particles.
Over time, the traffic from golfers’ feet (as well as heavy mowing equipment) tends to compact the soil under the putting green – particularly when the soil contains a lot of clay. When soil becomes compacted, the air pockets on which the roots depend are crushed, and the roots are essentially left gasping for air. Without oxygen, the grass plants will wither and die.
Aerification is a mechanical process that creates more air space in the soil and promotes deeper rooting, thus helping the grass plants stay healthy. In most cases, it’s done by removing 1/2-inch cores (those plugs you sometimes see near a green or in fairways). The spaces are then filled with sand “topdressing” that helps the soil retain air space and makes it easier for roots to grow downward.
Other aerification techniques use machines with “tines” or knives that simply poke holes through the soil profile. A newer technique even uses ultra high-pressure water that’s injected through the soil profile to create small holes that relieve some compaction but heal quickly.
The bottom line is that aerification is a necessary practice. But before you curse the superintendent for ruining your day, just think of Tom Watson.
On the subject of aerification, we were blessed with ideal conditions for the process on May 14th and 15th and as a result we were able to perform the task thoroughly. Most holes were filled and the amount of organic matter that we removed was substantial. The steps that we perform to aerify are as follows:
- Aerify greens with one half inch tines
- Remove cores by hand with snow shovels
- Blow off any remaining debris with backpack blowers
- Water greens heavily
- Roll greens twice
- Topdress greens with sand
- Drag in sand with a brush
- Touch up areas of greens with heavy sand with a large blower
- Roll greens again
- Fertilize greens with a balanced fertilizer
- Water heavily
- Mow greens the first few times with old greensmowers to minimize damage to our newer mowers
- Roll heavily in between mowings
- After about five days, greens are ready to be mowed with our newer, sharper mowers
As of today – less than a week after aerifying – greens are for the most part recovered from the beating. One thing that will be noted is that the greens are slower than usual as a result of the very high fertility we keep on them for the few weeks after aerifying. This is a necessary evil in order to speed recovery. Putting greens should return to their optimal speed of about 9-10 feet on the stimpmeter over the next few weeks.
On the subject of greenspeeds, I would like to point out that we could easily make our greens faster than 10 feet on the stimpmeter – indeed we have done that in the past for serious tournament play. The problem with doing this consistently on our greens is the severe undulations on virtually every green. Very fast speeds would make it very difficult for most players to have an enjoyable round. Three putts or even worse would be a regular occurrence, pace of play would be brutal, the number of pin placements available would be severely reduced, and the golf course would not be as enjoyable to the vast majority.
Thank you all for your business and we hope to see you on the course.
Vince Dodge, CGCS
Golf Course Superintendent
Suki plays with Leo, Sacha plays with Britt…Originally published by DK on May 23, 2012 at 9:34 am
Great Plains Indian Gaming and Tradeshow, Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Prior Lake, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 23, 2012 at 9:31 am
Kid one receiving her Presidential Academic Award, Black Hawk Middle School, Eagan, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 23, 2012 at 9:07 am
IGT Great Plains Conference Party, Brackett’s Crossing Country Club, Lakeville, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 23, 2012 at 6:27 am
Third Green, The Meadows at Mystic Lake, Prior Lake, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 22, 2012 at 12:02 am
The 20th Annual Great Plains Indian Gaming Conference and Tradeshow, Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Prior Lake, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 21, 2012 at 11:50 pm
Vikings Hawaiian Shirt, $15 at T.J. Maxx, Eagan, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm
Club sandwich and sea salt fries, The Meadows Grille, Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Prior Lake, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm
http://www.mnstatefair.org/entertainment/FE_all_stages.htmlOriginally published by DK on May 21, 2012 at 9:29 am
Man is Born, Man Lives, Man Dies…Originally published by DK on May 21, 2012 at 9:26 am
http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Philip-Callen-Fundraising-For-Team-Shaun-Tapemark-Charity-Challenge?referral_code=shareOriginally published by DK on May 20, 2012 at 7:52 pm
Finisher’s Certificate, Fargo Marathon, May 19, 2012Originally published by DK on May 20, 2012 at 7:49 pm
Allow me to reintroduce myself…Originally published by DK on May 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm
“Slow and low, that is the tempo…”
MCA was watching out for me yesterday in Fargo, as I had to keep reminding myself that a fast time wasn’t worth blowing the chance to run New York in November. The knee pop injury I suffered on Thursday at the TC 1 Mile had me seriously doubting my ability to finish marathon number twenty, but I was going to at least try.
During packet pickup at the Fargodome, I talked to Kris from Sweaty Bands, who recommended I visit the KT Band booth and get my knee taped up. She said all the high school track kids are using it and if I didn’t like it, I could just pull it off. I don’t like trying new things so close to a race, but I decided it was worth a shot.
The guy at the booth had about six people waiting in line, but it didn’t take long. He was very knowledgable, asking where it hurt and describing what was involved in that region. After a little shave, my pink band was in place and it felt good. I don’t know the science behind this, but I do think it helped me finish the race. Oh, and did I mention it was free? Thank you KT Band!
The whole setup at the Fargodome was pretty awesome – Thursday and Friday it hosts the expo, while on Saturday all of that was gone and the main floor transformed into finish line central: the actual finish, food and refreshments, bag pickup and lots of places to sit and meet family members. Colleen said this was by far the best race ever for spectators, with ample free parking right next to the dome and good seating in the stands around the finish. Lots of bathrooms and open refreshment stands too.
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Fargo, which was quite a ways from the Fargodome, but right across the street from West Acres Mall, where multiple race shuttles picked up runners. The hotel had a nice pool area for the kids and the rate was decent ($135/night), but the walls were paper thin – not a good thing with a crying baby next door.
The whole Fargo area had lots of signs up welcoming runners, including our choice for pre-race pasta, Happy Joe’s on University. The baked spaghetti was just what I wanted. We went looking for Jigg’s Diner in West Fargo after the race, but it’s apparently now called TNT Diner (and was good too).
I took an early shuttle to the race and ended up sitting around for about two hours. The 10K started first, followed by the half, then the full. There was a brief thunderstorm that moved through while I was inside the dome, and it dropped temps much more than I expected. It was in the mid 90Fs on Friday and the forecasted low was 67F, but I saw a bank sign that said 53F – perfect! It stayed cloudy most of the race with a decent wind, but it never rained and the sun did peek out for a few minutes.
The course was flat (as advertised) and there were spirited spectators along the way, but quite a bit fewer than any other race I’ve been to (with maybe the exception of Eau Claire). The finish line made up for that, though, as I felt like an Olympian coming down the chute to the cheers of the Fargodome crowd for my slow, barely sub-5 finish (official chip time of 4:57:49).
This is billed as a music race, but I think some of the bands must have skipped it due to the weather forecast. With me running slow, though, maybe I just missed them. The marathon course itself was mostly residential, but did pass through downtown and across the Red River into Minnesota for a half mile or so. Several miles run parallel on the same streets, which I would have liked more if I was running faster.
Speaking of pace, I ran without a watch and just planned to listen to my knee. I wanted to stay at ten minute miles or slower if I could, despite a competitive urge to speed things up. The first mile was uncomfortable and I was doubting my ability to finish. I bought the damn poster, though, so I needed to finish. The knee actually felt quite good around miles 6-10, but I had to listen to MCA and keep it slow the rest of the way.
Looking at my official splits, I did stay in the 10:00 range for most of the race – 5K in 32:04, 10K in 1:03:57 and the half in 2:19:09. I did feel a little more pain in the second half and slowed the pace down accordingly (although I never did take any extending walk breaks). Stopped twice for bathroom visits (unusual for me), and roughly hit every other water station. Couldn’t resist a sprint at the end when I saw the clock – so glad the knee didn’t pop during that moment of indiscretion.
Overall, I thought this was a good event. I still like Twin Cities and Grandma’s the best, but you can really tell the community supports this event and I think they realize it’s an up and coming race on the national calendar (voted best value by Runner’s World). Fifty Staters will do well to pick this as their ND race (it was state number five for me) and those looking for a flat course will love it. I found the religious undertone a little odd (bible quotes on the race poster and medal, blessing before the national anthem), but everyone was very nice and welcoming. Even the governor and mayor showed up to wish us good luck.
Nothing else planned now until New York on November 4. I’ll take a few days off and see how the knee does in recovery mode.
Once upon a time, I was falling in love, but now I’m only falling apart…Originally published by DK on May 19, 2012 at 8:15 pm
Hail storm in the backyard, Eagan, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm
http://www.mtecresults.com/race/show/671Originally published by DK on May 19, 2012 at 7:56 pm
Lunch at TNT Homestyle Diner, West Fargo, North DakotaOriginally published by DK on May 19, 2012 at 7:53 pm
Kid one and two at Shipwreck Bay, Holiday Inn, Fargo, North DakotaOriginally published by DK on May 18, 2012 at 10:13 pm
Honey here’s one to glory, here’s to bad weather and all the hard things we’ve been through together…Originally published by DK on May 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm
Happy Joe’s Pizza and Ice Cream, Fargo, North DakotaOriginally published by DK on May 18, 2012 at 10:04 pm
The Loaf ‘N Jug convenience store, Fargo, North DakotaOriginally published by DK on May 18, 2012 at 9:28 pm
Fargo Marathon finish line inside the Fargodome, Fargo, North DakotaOriginally published by DK on May 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm
Outside the Fargodome with kid one and two, Fargo, North DakotaOriginally published by DK on May 18, 2012 at 9:08 pm
Old Spice Matterhorn – Ice, Wind & FreedomOriginally published by DK on May 18, 2012 at 10:16 am
Logo golf ball pyramid, The Wilderness at Fortune Bay, Tower, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 18, 2012 at 7:21 am
Bitches love snozzberries.Originally published by DK on May 18, 2012 at 12:13 am
Argh – tonight’s TC 1 Mile race did not turn out the way I wanted. In fact, I don’t remember swearing to myself so much after any race in recent memory.
The goals were simple: 1) beat last year’s time of 6:20, 2) beat Megan and 3) don’t get hurt before the marathon. That last one “snapped” into effect half-way down Nicollet Mall, as I heard and felt a pop behind my left knee. I gimped my way to the finish (with one additional snap during the home stretch) and finished nine seconds slower than last year (but 13 seconds in front of Megan – sorry, kiddo).
I’m trying to tell myself that if it was serious, I wouldn’t have been able to do so much walking afterwards. It’s not really painful – just awkward and uncomfortable. I’ve got ice on it now and took some Advil, so we’ll see how it feels in the morning.
The evening was a little warm (upper 70s?) and there was a pretty strong southerly headwind the whole race, but overall it wasn’t bad. Megan and the Allina crew raced in the second wave, while I waited until the Masters wave. The start of the race seemed fine – no crowding, I skipped wearing a watch and tried to keep a relatively relaxed pace. I was breathing with little stress, but that changed by the midway point and was worsened by what seemed to be poor air quality conditions.
My quarter split was around 1:28 and I hit the midway point right around 3:00. The first snap happened shortly after that and I sort of hobbled by the 3/4 mark around 4:45. I came around the final turn, saw Megan cheering and tried to pick up the pace, which caused the second pop. I was actually quite amazed to be anywhere near 6:30, which at least gives me hope that sub-6 won’t be too far off.
Megan and I both felt like we had smoker’s cough for a while afterwards. We walked most of the way back to the start so we could get everyone’s stuff out of my car before returning back to The Local for post-race drinks. The outdoor dining scene was really hopping – too bad Megan wasn’t up for any of the food options.
Team Allina had a new member this year and she really kicked butt – Lauren Chucko placed 14th among women in 5:35 (one place in front of my former NWA co-worker Bonnie Sons). I saw a few other familiar names on the results page too (Hi Brady!), although it would be easier if Twitter names were listed for all of the MNrunnerds.
Fingers crossed that things will feel OK in the morning. Laundry and packing, then we hit the road to Fargo around noon…
The Big Ginger at The Local, Minneapolis, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 17, 2012 at 11:02 pm
Practice tee, The Wilderness at Fortune Bay, Tower, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm
They seem to be everywhere up here – Tower, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 16, 2012 at 10:22 pm
Woke up in my clothes again this morning, don’t know exactly where I am…Originally published by DK on May 16, 2012 at 8:12 pm
Practice green, The Wilderness at Fortune Bay, Tower, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm
They snuck up quickly, but tomorrow is the TC 1 Mile in downtown Minneapolis, followed by the Fargo Marathon on Saturday. Fargo sent me an email today with my bib number, which will be the very cool 1001. I hope the weather forecast gets cool too, but it’s not looking good (upper 70s and thunderstorms).
I’ll have to hustle from my last work meeting and drive straight to the starting line in Minneapolis tomorrow. Thankfully they have packet pickup on race day, but that will still be a hassle to get the stuff, run back to the car and get back in time. Looks like I’ll either do the masters wave at 7:24 or the open wave at 7:39. Two goals for this year: 1) beat last year’s time of 6:20 and 2) beat Megan. I’d really like to get a sub-6, but I don’t want to risk injury before the marathon.
The whole family is going to Fargo and we plan to get the kids out of school early and start driving around noon. Google says a little more than four hours to the Fargodome, where packet pickup is located. We have until 9 p.m. to get there, so we should be fine. We have reservations at the Fargo Holiday Inn, which has a big pool area for the family to hang out at until I get done running.
Mentally, I feel ready for both of these. My running log has been a little light this month, but the 2012 year to date totals haven’t been awful. I’ve done a fair amount of cross training this month too, so I should be fine. No pressure on the Fargo time, so I’ll just see what the weather dictates. In fact, I don’t think I’ll even run with a watch this time…Originally published by DK on May 16, 2012 at 7:05 pm
Spring Aerification Day (May 15, 2012), Twelfth Green, The Wilderness at Fortune Bay, Tower, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 16, 2012 at 5:00 am