Looks who’s back, back againOriginally published by DK on January 22, 2021 at 12:41 pm
Thanks CK!Originally published by DK on January 19, 2021 at 10:58 pm
We famous, yoOriginally published by DK on January 15, 2021 at 9:19 pm
WutOriginally published by DK on January 12, 2021 at 1:05 am
The very clever series of commercials for Grand Casino (developed by the talented Chad Germann and his team at Red Circle Agency) has always made me feel like I should have one of those experiences at some point. Sadly, I’ve never had a large jackpot at Hinckley or Mille Lacs, but today my daughter and I at least had something happen that might qualify as a true Grand Story:
Hinckley has a ton of my favorite game, Black Orchid, often with unusually high progressives. The first machine I played today had a large frog progressive, so MK pulled out her lucky frog (a handmade clay pin) and set it on the machine. A few minutes later, boom, $78.43 frog jackpot. On our way out, we saw another Black Orchid that had a very large butterfly progressive that we tried to hit (unsuccessfully). Just before giving up, though, we hit a smaller $30.61 frog jackpot that put us back on the positive side of the ledger for the night…Originally published by DK on January 10, 2021 at 11:20 pm
Sport that pink, Peter PupOriginally published by DK on January 4, 2021 at 5:10 pm
Rent-a-Snol, Holiday EditionOriginally published by DK on December 24, 2020 at 8:08 pm
Brown & Greene Floral, Linden HillsOriginally published by DK on December 19, 2020 at 6:37 pm
More perks from having a kid at CandylandOriginally published by DK on December 15, 2020 at 4:06 pm
This is so great – thanks, CKOriginally published by DK on December 14, 2020 at 1:29 pm
The “new zoo” has been impacted in unique ways by the pandemic, so we were happy to help support them via the drive-thru Nature Illuminated experience that runs through January 17. Prices vary by day, with discounts for zoo members (we paid $50 for our car of four people). The inflatable animals and lighting are set up in the eastern parking lots (near the school that SK and MK attended), which you enter and exit from the main zoo entrance on McAndrews. There is an audio program you can stream from your phone that ties in with the sequence of the animals, who are grouped much like the zoo itself. You are asked to drive with just your parking lights and the leisurely pace was just right, allowing for photos and an overall time of about 40 minutes.
With the whole fam tooOriginally published by DK on December 6, 2020 at 6:41 pm
First day @ CandylandOriginally published by DK on December 5, 2020 at 12:23 pm
That doge likes his peanut butterOriginally published by DK on December 1, 2020 at 10:22 pm
That’s a good sink dogeOriginally published by DK on November 24, 2020 at 1:57 pm
Such a solid jointOriginally published by DK on November 16, 2020 at 8:31 pm
“The best phone in the family”Originally published by DK on November 14, 2020 at 1:15 pm
Howdy, PookieOriginally published by DK on October 31, 2020 at 4:49 pm
That’s a good boy 🐶Originally published by DK on October 29, 2020 at 11:54 pm
My heart is full…Originally published by DK on October 26, 2020 at 10:51 pm
It’s that time of year again – the iPhone Upgrade Program notified me that I could trade in my iPhone 11 Pro from last year for a new model. After reviewing the options, I decided to pre-order a 256GB Pacific Blue iPhone 12 Pro. My most important features continue to be the camera and battery life, but it turns out storage size wasn’t as big a deal as I thought last year. I jumped up to the 512GB version on the 11, but I wasn’t even using 100GB. I’m still a no-case guy, but the colors don’t really do anything for me one way or the other (same with the other new accessories).
The Apple Store app pre-order process is still very easy and I didn’t have any problems submitting it a week ago. Shipping notifications and tracking from UPS went as expected and the new phone was delivered on time Friday afternoon. I don’t mind the lack of a power adapter or “crapbuds” in the box, as I don’t need either. After losing my original pair of AirPods Pro, it has really become apparent how much you need wireless headphones in the Apple ecosystem. It’s just so much easier than having nineteen different adaptors and cables. I found it strange that there was no up-sell during the pre-order process from AT&T to move to a 5G plan, so I’ll have to change that on my own to test the 5G features (no real rush on that yet, as I don’t know about their local coverage, flavors of 5G or impact on battery life).
After unboxing the new phone, I did one final iCloud backup of the old one. The setup process on the new one required having the old phone nearby and started off smoothly, but I ended up having a bunch of issues this time around. The process did something to my watch, which didn’t initially unlock my iMac (but at least I didn’t lose any of my health data). One of my 2FA apps, Google Authenticator, didn’t transfer settings and I had to follow the directions in this post to help with that (TOTP Authenticator transferred seamlessly). My credit union app and debit card required a bunch of manual set up to restore, but my Apple Card transferred over with no issues. Tweetbot needed new auth tokens to work, my personal 7minutemiles.com email had to be re-authenticated, Siri CarPlay location services settings didn’t transfer and it took a long time to pull down all of the items from the iCloud backup.
I also had an issue with the new phone trusting my iMac, but that just turned out to be user error. I still do not like synching music and photos in the Finder instead of iTunes/Music, but I think I finally have things set up correctly now (there were a bunch of random songs selected for sync in the album tab of the music selection, even though I only wanted to sync by playlist). Very thankful that 1Password transferred over with no issues, as that is a vital service for me now. It’s weird reading a Matthew Panzarino iPhone review that didn’t involve a visit to Disneyland, but I guess that’s the reality of 2020. I do agree with him about the general feel of the 12 line versus the 11, but don’t really buy into the Rolex analogy.
Colleen is waiting for the Max, as she wants to have the “best” phone in the family. It will be interesting to see how the larger camera sensor in that model does with overall photo quality, but that one is just too big for my hands and pockets. I think MK wants a mini and SK is probably due for a new one as well. Onward!Originally published by DK on October 25, 2020 at 2:59 pm
30F on the St. Genevieve patioOriginally published by DK on October 24, 2020 at 7:56 pm
…and Joyce (Lost Spur #6, Eagan)Originally published by DK on October 14, 2020 at 2:19 pm
So great to see Talia again!Originally published by DK on October 8, 2020 at 10:29 pm
Always great to see these two ❤️Originally published by DK on October 7, 2020 at 10:00 pm
Mac and cheese taco?Originally published by DK on October 1, 2020 at 11:07 pm
Fall in Duluth 🍁Originally published by DK on September 30, 2020 at 1:04 pm
Luna likes her people (and habitat)Originally published by DK on September 26, 2020 at 9:01 pm
Masks now required at the VCOriginally published by DK on September 23, 2020 at 9:21 pm
Having an empty nest is strangeOriginally published by DK on September 22, 2020 at 6:49 pm
She is so talentedOriginally published by DK on September 16, 2020 at 11:29 pm
Beautiful evening on the patio at Kado no MiseOriginally published by DK on September 16, 2020 at 5:46 pm
Good luck MK on your next adventure – very proud of you!Originally published by DK on September 13, 2020 at 9:37 pm
Don’t let them talk trash about you, SnolOriginally published by DK on September 3, 2020 at 7:52 pm
I wish it could be year-roundOriginally published by DK on September 1, 2020 at 6:00 pm
MK under the High Bridge, Saint PaulOriginally published by DK on August 31, 2020 at 6:48 pm
Lil’ Chovi Sunday menu in MinneapolisOriginally published by DK on August 31, 2020 at 8:36 am
Finally got to see the inside of the CHS Field Doge Park with SnolOriginally published by DK on August 23, 2020 at 6:47 pm
2005 Subaru Outback Wagon @ Inver Grove HondaOriginally published by DK on August 19, 2020 at 6:17 pm
Snol is such a good boyOriginally published by DK on August 11, 2020 at 6:14 pm
Sample from when I was eight – Hawaii trip recapOriginally published by DK on August 9, 2020 at 8:16 pm
My dad’s 50th high school reunionOriginally published by DK on August 9, 2020 at 4:08 pm
Acacia is so peaceful ❤️Originally published by DK on August 7, 2020 at 4:27 pm
Silver certificates are cool – 1928 one dollar note from the SmithsOriginally published by DK on August 1, 2020 at 7:42 pm
Molting is sooooo scratchyOriginally published by DK on July 29, 2020 at 8:54 pm
Water SnolsOriginally published by DK on July 29, 2020 at 8:50 pm
Cleaning up the Lombard bagsOriginally published by DK on July 29, 2020 at 10:30 am
Blast from the pastOriginally published by DK on July 28, 2020 at 7:46 pm
Too bad our Cheese Dog wasn’t workingOriginally published by DK on July 26, 2020 at 9:13 pm
Still such a good boyOriginally published by DK on July 24, 2020 at 12:08 am
Up, up and away!Originally published by DK on July 22, 2020 at 10:14 pm
Fruit Stripe, Chuckles and CrunchieOriginally published by DK on July 21, 2020 at 5:31 pm
Nice to visit with Lynn @ Red CowOriginally published by DK on July 18, 2020 at 12:58 pm
Biking with MK on the MississippiOriginally published by DK on July 15, 2020 at 3:26 pm
I’ve been fortunate to continue working through the pandemic, but it’s been tough to take time away (especially since I’m the only IT person left). Thanks to the support of my boss and one of our awesome game day staffers, I was able to take a week off without looking at work email once. We originally intended to spend the week on Isle Royale National Park, but the ferry and Rock Harbor Lodge decided to scrap the whole 2020 season and our reservations were cancelled.
Plan B was to stay the first half of the week at Lutsen Resort and the Fourth of July weekend on Lake Vermilion (at Fortune Bay). Those plans changed as the temperatures kept rising – it was even hot along the usually cool shoreline of Lake Superior and we discovered upon check-in that Lutsen Resort does not have air conditioning. They were accommodating by offering us a full refund, but there were really no other options in Lutsen or the surrounding spots (Grand Marais, Tofte, Grand Portage). Fortune Bay could get us in early, so we set off on highway 1 through Ely and decided to spend the whole week on Vermilion.
Fortune Bay has done a nice job with COVID safety and procedures. They had temperature checks set up on the entry road, mandatory face masks and lots of signage, plexiglass and hand sanitizer. The casino floor had basically every other machine turned off, but they kindly turned on my favorite game for the week (big thanks to EJ). I think I made it worth their hassle, though, while still getting a lot of quality playing time. They had Frozen-themed giveaways on Thursday and Friday for 100 points earned (an Olaf waffle maker on day one and an Olaf snow cone maker on day two), so I spread my playing time out accordingly. Marisa really, really wanted these, so I was happy for the solid play-through.
Food options during the week were a little limited, but what was open was solid. We stopped at the Ely Steakhouse on the way over from Lutsen and they were following all of the state orders for in-person dining. On the other end of the spectrum, the Vermilion Club was following just about none of the rules, which blew us away (maybe “VC” really stands for Virus Central). We still ate there twice in-person and had take-out a third day, because Poor Gary’s pizza and the bleu cheese and chicken wings are Northland classics (hopefully we were personally careful enough).
Back at Fortune Bay, I hit the Wilderness Grill four times, having great experiences each time. The new chef used to work at Alma in Minneapolis and I really liked all of the sandwiches I tried (pulled chicken, walleye, porchetta and cheeseburger). Their new fries are reminiscent of the state fair classics. In the casino proper, we had a wonderful dinner at the Sunset Steakhouse and stopped several times at the Gold Mine Grill, which is getting better with service and staffing (they’ve always had great coffeeshop-style food options). The Tamarack Buffet was closed for service, but was the room was being used for socially-distanced overflow seating.
Thought I would play a lot of golf during the week, but the temperatures were warm and I just didn’t feel like going every day. I did drive down to Coleraine to play Eagle Ridge with the Millers and got in a twilight round on The Wilderness with John, Cathy and Bonnie. The whole region needs rain badly, so there were some near-dead areas on both courses (especially in the roughs). The Wilderness also has a lot of behind the scenes changes: the contract with KemperSports was not renewed and former golf GM Tom Beaudry and superintendent Vince Dodge have both moved on to the state of cheese. Still love that course, though, and it continues to be the one I’ve played the most.
It was also great to hang out at Dacha Batinich on Birch Point again with Mary and the crew. Big thanks to John and Cathy for taking us out on the boat for a pizza picnic (and for taking Sasha and Marisa out again later in the week). Skip-Bo games and great conversations make that little cabin a very special place indeed.Originally published by DK on July 5, 2020 at 5:09 pm
Casino promos (100 points each)Originally published by DK on July 3, 2020 at 8:17 pm
Free canoe for resort guests (still)Originally published by DK on July 3, 2020 at 6:41 pm
Birthday dinner outside for CKOriginally published by DK on June 23, 2020 at 9:08 pm
Brunson’s Pub patio, Saint PaulOriginally published by DK on June 23, 2020 at 1:42 pm
Mystic Steakhouse is still rockin’ it during the pandemicOriginally published by DK on June 21, 2020 at 8:31 pm
Best Father’s Day card everOriginally published by DK on June 21, 2020 at 5:35 pm
MK coming up big with breakfastOriginally published by DK on June 21, 2020 at 11:06 am
So nice to eat *at* Zantigo today for lunchOriginally published by DK on June 19, 2020 at 12:06 pm
February 1969Originally published by DK on June 14, 2020 at 7:44 pm
Grand Marais mini golfOriginally published by DK on June 8, 2020 at 8:00 pm
Congrats again to SK on your college degreeOriginally published by DK on June 2, 2020 at 8:06 pm
Battle Creek Regional Park, Saint Paul, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on May 26, 2020 at 6:01 pm
Gregory Alan Smith ❤️Originally published by DK on May 23, 2020 at 7:13 pm
SK on Raspberry IslandOriginally published by DK on May 20, 2020 at 4:33 pm
In honor of Mother’s Day 2020, I thought I would finally start the “Hummel Project.” As part of the sale of the house on Lombard, I bubble-wrapped most of mom’s Hummel figurines and filled several bins that now take up half of my dining room. I’m not sure what to do with them – the market for Hummels was bad even before the current situation. My goal is to take photos of each one, then try to find them new homes.
If you see any you’d like (or know of a place that might be interested in them), please drop me a note. Photo gallery of the first bin after the jump.