7 Minute Miles

On to the End of the Road

Posted Sunday, February 17th, 2019 06:40 pm GMT -6 in Family,Friends,Sports,Work at 6:40 PM

Now that Monster Jam is over, it’s full on Final Four

Originally published by DK on February 17, 2019 at 6:40 pm

One last day of twenty

Posted Saturday, February 16th, 2019 02:00 pm GMT -6 in Family,Travel at 2:00 PM

SK on her way to NYC

Originally published by DK on February 16, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Things I miss right now

Posted Saturday, February 16th, 2019 10:19 am GMT -6 in Family,Mini Posts,Personal,Running,Skiing at 10:19 AM
  • My mom (and her dad and brother)
  • 20/20 vision
  • Prince, Petty and Bowie
  • Running (and My People)
  • Marathon-level fitness
  • Mountain skiing
  • Warm weather
  • Disneyland (and World)
  • Happy Hour (with no happy)

Keeping a positive outlook and all, but this is still truth…

Originally published by DK on February 16, 2019 at 10:19 am

February is for my brother

Posted Friday, February 1st, 2019 11:20 am GMT -6 in Art,Disney,Family at 11:20 AM

He was an original Kilimanjaro Safari guide at DAK

Originally published by DK on February 1, 2019 at 11:20 am

Tiny fries

Posted Friday, February 1st, 2019 09:59 am GMT -6 in Family,Food at 9:59 AM

I’ve never seen such a small clown serving

Originally published by DK on February 1, 2019 at 9:59 am

Only two months until baseball

Posted Wednesday, January 30th, 2019 10:42 pm GMT -6 in Baseball,Family at 10:42 PM

MK at her first ticket draft

Originally published by DK on January 30, 2019 at 10:42 pm

Brunch at the Dinette

Posted Sunday, January 27th, 2019 02:36 pm GMT -6 in Family,Food,Friends at 2:36 PM

Thanks, Jim and Darla!

Originally published by DK on January 27, 2019 at 2:36 pm

Dinner at P.S. Steak

Posted Sunday, January 20th, 2019 11:59 pm GMT -6 in Family,Food,Holidays at 11:59 PM

Last year, we had a big blowout birthday party in the Sinatra Lounge (the invite we did still makes me smile). This year, I was planning to go on a ski trip in Banff to celebrate landmark birthdays for MK and I. Then I had my little medical incident and we postponed the big stuff and scaled back 2019 birthday plans. I still wanted to do something a little out of the norm, so we booked a dinner reservation at the new Minneapolis hot spot, P.S. Steak.

I will forever call Chef Mike DeCamp “YoungChef2,” as that is his Twitter handle. Young Chef is a busy guy for Jester Concepts, listed as Executive Chef at Monello and Constantine and Borough and Parlour. He is also behind the weekly Sunday old-school Italian pop-up at Monello, Mama DeCampo’s (which is great, BTW). Somehow Mercado slipped by him, but P.S. Steak is the latest DeCamp project for the group.

We never made it to La Belle Vie before it closed in the 510 Groveland location, but there is so much history there (Dara called it “heavier with history than any restaurant in the state” in her first bite review). Not only was Chef DeCamp in that kitchen, but so was Tim McKee, Matt Anderson and a host of Twin Cities cocktail pioneers (make sure and read this Strib article to find out the backstory on the “Obi Pip Kenobi”). Man, I miss seeing and talking with Pip at Marvel Bar

Joy Summers has some great pictures of the remodeled 510 spaces in her Eater story, including one of our exact table in the steakhouse dining room side (to the left as you enter – the lounge is to the right). There is complimentary valet parking and I don’t think I really knew how easy it is to get there from Lowertown via I-94 and Dell Place (and back again). In Dara’s story, she described the newly renovated dining room as “Ravenclaw-meets-Eyes-Wide-Shut-for-a-drink” and personally, I couldn’t stop humming the Haunted Mansion music (which actually made the whole night extra fun for me).

So how was it? You never know what service will be like at a place that just opened, but everything went swimmingly. Our server was wonderful, all of our questions were answered, the flow of food out of the kitchen was consistent and everything tasted great. The room is not overly loud and really looks spectacular (was that Norm Green at the table next to us?). Dara asks, “Is P.S. Steak suddenly among the most expensive restaurants in town?” Yup, for sure. It’s also an instant classic that will be busy with special event and corporate expense account business that will give Manny’s a run for their money.

SK and I are the steak people in the family, so one of us tried the 8oz beef tenderloin and the other had the Denver steak. Both were wonderful – I added Stilton blue cheese to mine, while SK had a side of curry béarnaise. We all shared some Aligot (mashed potatoes with cheese), roasted baby carrots and Parker House rolls. Colleen went with one of our Chef Ramsey faves, sautéed sea scallops, while MK had the sautéed chicken breast with smoked chicken thigh, mushrooms and kale. I also shared the P.S. chopped salad with Colleen, while SK had a bowl of the caramelized onion soup (which came with tasty rye gnocchi and cave aged Gruyere).

We saw Young Chef do the cool baked Alaska thing at the table next to us, but we passed on that one. They did bring out a birthday candle in my really good hot fudge and salted peanut sundae, though. The girls shared the Andoa chocolate brownie and added a scoop of the excellent vanilla ice cream (which we think is from Izzy’s). It was a great way to end my birthday and I would definitely go back again. Sorry for the highly filtered photos – it’s not an easy room to take pictures in at night. Oh, and a shout-out to my colleague Keri, who started a new food blog called Keri Tyler Moore that made me realize I need to write about food more often (and not just post pictures to Instagram).

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Originally published by DK on January 20, 2019 at 11:59 pm

Baby’s First Jackpot

Posted Friday, January 18th, 2019 09:44 pm GMT -6 in Casinos,Family at 9:44 PM

Parent of the Year material right there

Originally published by DK on January 18, 2019 at 9:44 pm

Starting over

Posted Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 12:15 pm GMT -6 in Art,Design,Family,Technology at 12:15 PM

Thanks for sticker #1, SK

Originally published by DK on January 9, 2019 at 12:15 pm

Dinner at Mac’s on Snelling

Posted Saturday, January 5th, 2019 06:04 pm GMT -6 in Family,Food at 6:04 PM

The fries still rock (walleye too)

Originally published by DK on January 5, 2019 at 6:04 pm

da mf sharezone

Posted Saturday, January 5th, 2019 03:51 pm GMT -6 in Family,Fashion,Holidays at 3:51 PM

Thank you, MK, for the present

Originally published by DK on January 5, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Bye, bye, little tree

Posted Saturday, January 5th, 2019 03:30 pm GMT -6 in Disney,Family,Holidays at 3:30 PM

You were short, but wonderful

Originally published by DK on January 5, 2019 at 3:30 pm

New art from SK

Posted Friday, January 4th, 2019 12:15 am GMT -6 in Art,Family,Movies at 12:15 AM

We are the music makers…

Originally published by DK on January 4, 2019 at 12:15 am

Presentation Day

Posted Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 01:10 pm GMT -6 in Family,Schools at 1:10 PM

Nicely done, MK – proud of you!

Originally published by DK on January 3, 2019 at 1:10 pm

The Year Ahead

Posted Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 06:04 pm GMT -6 in Family,Friends,Golf,Personal,Running,Skiing,Travel,Work at 6:04 PM

I’ve never been big on year-end lists or goal summaries here, but I’ve always done a fair amount of goal-setting privately. This past year has put a different spin on my perspective, so I thought it might be useful to share a few things as 2019 gets started. In hindsight, a lot of my previous health goals seem rather vain compared to plain old recovery. And how fortunate was I in the past to just want to run faster, bike farther or finish another marathon? Now, regaining my normal vision (without prism lenses) is goal #1, followed closely by getting cleared to resume driving and riding a bike. I’m very thankful that the outlook for all of these things is good – much of this might happen by the middle of March.

Since Dr. Tummala gave me the OK to resume treadmill running, I’ve felt good the past week, with three slowish runs totaling 7.1 miles. I also did one nine mile ride on a stationary bike and resumed doing light dumbbell repeats. Not really sure what workout goals to set for 2019 – the only race I’m registered for is the Get in Gear 10K in April and I’d really like to participate in the Bike to Work challenge again in May. Beyond that, I just want to stay consistent all year and not have any big gaps in my charts (which happened twice in 2018). It would be nice to return to regular weekly runs with WeRunMpls once the ice melts and I’d love to reschedule a ski trip for next season (Banff, Colorado or Schweitzer). Lots of golf outings to schedule with people too.

The doctors cleared a return to air travel already, but money and time will be limited. The original plan was to give each person in our family a trip for their respective milestone birthday in 2019, but all of those plans are on hold for the time being. Most likely options? A quick Las Vegas trip after the Final Four and maybe a work trip to the annual Cisco conference, which is in San Diego this year (June 9-13). And of course Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in both Florida and California this year, but that will likely fall in the Tokyo/Lanai/Switzerland dream trip category for the time being.

With the Vikings season over, my job shifts focus to the Final Four on April 6th and 8th. We have four large events before then (two trade shows and two dirt shows), but there is a lot to do before “the road ends” in Minneapolis. Then we get to break down that setup for Garth Brooks and his sold-out stadium tour before prepping for Summer X Games (version 3.0). Since X Games moves to early August, there won’t be a lot of time between that and football pre-season. With all that work to do, maybe I should start daydreaming again about building a tiny cabin on the North Shore to escape to with the family…

Wow, how lucky am I to be writing this post? Happy New Year to all of you – may 2019 be full of love, health and prosperity!

Originally published by DK on January 1, 2019 at 6:04 pm

My stained glass from Greg

Posted Thursday, December 27th, 2018 07:18 am GMT -6 in Art,Family,Skiing at 7:18 AM

It’s been at every house I’ve lived in

Originally published by DK on December 27, 2018 at 7:18 am

RIP Greg Smith, 1946-2018

Posted Wednesday, December 26th, 2018 12:35 pm GMT -6 in Family,Personal at 12:35 PM

Decembers have not been kind to the Smith side of the family. Eleven years ago, I lost my grandmother Helen Smith on the day after Christmas. In 2013, my grandfather Donald Smith passed away on December 30th. Last year, my mom died on December 22nd. This year, we learned that my mom’s brother Greg passed away early Christmas morning in Spokane, Washington.

Uncle Greg was kind, generous, funny and progressive. He grew up in Minnesota and went to law school here before heading west. He briefly led my dream life as a ski bum, running chair lifts at Schweitzer and living in the slope-side Tamarack condo that I would visit every spring break from age nine through college. Later, I would bring both daughters to visit several times (one time via Amtrak’s Empire Builder and one time in the Mini Cooper). He was hired by the city of Spokane as an attorney and eventually became a hearing examiner before retiring. I vaguely remember his old house in the valley and vividly remember the blue house up the hill from downtown on 8th. He had a fondness for old station wagons (VW and Volvo) and I’m not sure if he ever bought a new car from a dealer.

Greg was very active and definitely helped shape my love of skiing and running. The spring break trips were great, as my mom worked for the airlines and I could fly to Spokane for free (I also loved that the Spokane airport code was GEG). Schweitzer didn’t always have the best snow cover in the spring, but there was always plenty of sunshine and I usually returned to school red as a lobster. As I recently posted, frequent stops at The Station House restaurant were a given and I’m pretty sure I wore out the Lee Oskar cassette tape Before the Rain.

Greg’s birthday was two days after Christmas (he would’ve been 72 tomorrow), which was just close enough to usually get the shaft as far as dual celebrations go. He was always so generous with my brother and sister, though, opening Spokane bank accounts that he always deposited money in every Christmas and birthday. When each of us turned 18, he would present a large check that we could use for college, new skis or whatever we wanted. Later, he did the same thing for my girls (he was also MK’s godfather).

I didn’t make it out to Spokane much outside of winter, but do remember running the Bloomsday 12K race with him in 1996 (he ran almost every year with a big group of friends). Speaking of friends, Greg had a million of them. It was impossible to walk around the lodge at Schweitzer without a ton of people stopping to say hi. Greg never married, but had several girlfriends I met over the years and his long friendship with the Barbieri family was special. I also seem to remember playing golf at Indian Canyon one year and having dinner downtown at Clinkerdagger, Bickerstaff and Petts (which apparently goes by just Clinkerdagger these days).

Thanks, Greg – you will be dearly missed…❤️

Originally published by DK on December 26, 2018 at 12:35 pm

Another game to lose

Posted Wednesday, December 26th, 2018 08:57 am GMT -6 in Family,Games,Holidays at 8:57 AM

Kids these days don’t let their elders win nothing

Originally published by DK on December 26, 2018 at 8:57 am

Tucker the Pug ❤️

Posted Monday, December 24th, 2018 10:04 pm GMT -6 in Family,Holidays,Pets at 10:04 PM

That dog is so damn cute

Originally published by DK on December 24, 2018 at 10:04 pm

Thinking of grandpa (and mom)

Posted Sunday, December 23rd, 2018 07:20 pm GMT -6 in Family,Food,Personal at 7:20 PM

The holidays are still tough

Originally published by DK on December 23, 2018 at 7:20 pm

A Holiday Update from HCMC

Posted Saturday, December 22nd, 2018 10:44 am GMT -6 in Family,Food,Mini Posts,Personal at 10:44 AM

Quick update from the medical professionals this week on my recovery. I had two appointments this week, one with my occupational therapist and a rare one-on-one visit with my neurovascular surgeon, Dr. Tummala. He has been named a “Top Doctor” with Mpls.St.Paul Magazine three years in a row and only visits HCMC one half day a month, so this was a special treat to get to talk with him in person.

Good news to report on all fronts: the therapist has reduced my appointments from once a week to once every other week, Dr. Tummala was pleased with my progress and approved me to start running on the treadmill, OK’d air travel and said my eyes look like they will be strong enough in another three months to not need glasses at all. We went over the results of the recent MRI and looked at a lot of scans that showed the aneurysm and the stents. I learned more about “prominent infundibulums” and why they are important to what happened to me. I should also get to stop taking the new medications they added when I left the hospital by March. So good news all around.

The only sad thing this week was the letter I received from my primary care doctor, Dr. Amal Chaniara, which said he is leaving Allina Health at the end of the year. Dr. Chaniara has been wonderful and I wish him the best of luck with his future career opportunities. He is a great doctor who really took the time to discuss things with me and I will miss seeing him.

Lastly, big shout out to the HCMC cafeteria (see above). Hospital food gets a bad rap in general, but the food and service at the cafeteria has been great. Reasonable prices, friendly staff and a wide selection of options mean I usually stop in after appointments in the new building to grab a quick bite. Not sure they always follow the latest health guidelines when it comes to what they offer, but that’s fine by me…

Originally published by DK on December 22, 2018 at 10:44 am

Another XR in the family

Posted Thursday, December 20th, 2018 06:25 pm GMT -6 in Family,Holidays,Shopping,Technology at 6:25 PM

Going from a 6 to a X will be a shock for her

Originally published by DK on December 20, 2018 at 6:25 pm

Fancy hair for SK

Posted Friday, December 14th, 2018 08:48 am GMT -6 in Family,Fashion at 8:48 AM

It’s like a rainbow of hair

Originally published by DK on December 14, 2018 at 8:48 am

My Christmas elves

Posted Sunday, December 9th, 2018 05:09 pm GMT -6 in Family,Holidays,Shopping at 5:09 PM

Another farmer’s market tree

Originally published by DK on December 9, 2018 at 5:09 pm

Put me in, coach

Posted Wednesday, December 5th, 2018 02:10 pm GMT -6 in Family,Football,Friends,Mini Posts,Personal,Work at 2:10 PM

Yesterday I had my appointment with the neurosurgeons who needed to approve my return to work. Happy to report that I’ve been cleared to return next week. I really didn’t think it would happen that soon, but I’m super excited to be back in time for the final two regular season Vikings home games (and hopefully at least one playoff game before diving into Final Four prep). Big thanks to everyone at work who stepped in to help while I’ve been out – I’m looking forward to getting back out there. And thanks again to everyone who has facilitated and supported my recovery.

SKOL!

Originally published by DK on December 5, 2018 at 2:10 pm

A Big River Christmas

Posted Wednesday, December 5th, 2018 10:21 am GMT -6 in Family,Food,Holidays at 10:21 AM

Nice job decorating, MK

Originally published by DK on December 5, 2018 at 10:21 am

The European Christmas Market

Posted Sunday, December 2nd, 2018 08:50 pm GMT -6 in Family,Holidays,Shopping at 8:50 PM

Still cool (literally and figuratively), but needs more variety

Originally published by DK on December 2, 2018 at 8:50 pm

Week Four Update

Posted Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 07:26 pm GMT -6 in Concerts,Family,Food,Football,Friends,Hockey,Holidays,Music,Personal at 7:26 PM

A little tardy on the latest update, but all is well. I survived a four hour therapy appointment and apparently did well enough that my speech therapist thinks I don’t need to continue with that track any longer. I had my long-awaited appointment with the ophthalmologist and received a pair of “magic glasses” that have greatly reduced the need for future eye patch use. They have optical film from 3M (see above) that utilizes prism technology to correct my double vision. My left eye is slightly crossed, but this stuff really helps correct that (and it’s so nice to have both eyes open all the time). The extra good news is that there is nothing wrong with either eye – the double vision is caused by the nerves that control the muscles that direct each eye and the doctor is optimistic that this will eventually correct itself. I will also be starting therapy next week to work specifically on eye exercises to help this process along.

In other HCMC appointment news, I met with an awesome neurologist who showed me the “before” and “after” CT scans of my brain from the day of the incident and from when they discharged me from the ICU. It was really cool technology and the way she explained it made it crystal clear how serious the situation was on October 8th (and how much improvement there was after three weeks). Have I mentioned how big a fan I am of the staff at HCMC? I’ll return there again on Friday for another CT scan that will hopefully continue the trend. That will also be Colleen’s last full day with me, as she returns to work on Monday. After that, my next big appointment will be on December 4th, when I meet with the lead neurosurgeon to discuss continued recovery plans and possibly a return to work date.

We saw both Charlie Parr and Hippo Campus at the Palace Theater with no issues from the lights or sound levels (the infamous Palace talkers are another story). On the advice of my friend TG, I picked up a pair of Vibes earplugs, which seemed to work well at the Hippo Campus show (and dampened the discussions of the people sitting near me). Saw one Wild win (Ottawa) and one Wild loss (Arizona) at the X with my uncle, also with no sensory overload issues. Stopped by the stadium for the start of the very loud Packers game, but found it totally manageable. Left that game before halftime to beat the train rush, but had a great time seeing people and delivering thank you cards.

With the Thanksgiving holiday, it was a busy week for seeing family and friends. Had lunch one day with a friend at Dark Horse and went over to the Inver Grove Heights AMC to see Ralph Breaks the Internet (which we both liked). We took my mother-in-law out on Thanksgiving Day for lunch at the original Buca di Beppo in St. Paul, then had a more traditional dinner at my aunt and uncle’s house in the Mac-Groveland area.

This will be my last “weekly update.” Truly thankful for you all – thanks for reading!

Cheers, DK

Week 3 Update
Week 2 Update
Week 1 Update
Brains!

Originally published by DK on November 28, 2018 at 7:26 pm

Brunch by kid one with kid two

Posted Saturday, November 24th, 2018 12:56 pm GMT -6 in Family,Food at 12:56 PM

So convenient, no?

Originally published by DK on November 24, 2018 at 12:56 pm

Week Three Update

Posted Friday, November 16th, 2018 06:03 pm GMT -6 in Family,Food,Friends at 6:03 PM

The third week out of the ICU started with lots of family time and a return to HCMC to meet with a neurosurgeon P.A. to have the sutures removed from the top of my head. Since we were so close, I also stopped in at the office for a short visit. It was so great to see everyone (and get more hugs than I can ever remember). After Colleen’s excellent suggestion, I also took the opportunity to clean out my office refrigerator and empty the trash and recycling cans. During my appointment, I was cleared to attend sporting events and concerts, so I hope to return soon for the basketball classic (as a fan) and get back to the Xcel Center with my uncle to catch a Wild game. My first concert should be a perfect one to ease back into live music – Charlie Parr tomorrow night at the Palace Theater up the street.

I was hoping the Monday appointment would be more definitive on determining clearance to return to a number of things, but that was not the case. It was great to get the sutures out (which didn’t even register on the pain scale compared to things in the ICU); a return to work estimate will have to wait until next month. We added some new future appointments and had to reschedule a few others, so now I have a pretty full schedule the next few weeks. It looks like spring will be a fine goal for a return to driving (seizure risk) and biking (warmer, head injury risk). My planned 50th birthday ski trip will have to wait a season, but truly just glad to have a 50th birthday. Haven’t talked much yet about a return to running…

My brother flew up from Orlando last weekend and my sister came down from Duluth, so we spent a lot of time together. We had Carbone’s for lunch at my aunt and uncle’s house on Saturday and my brother wanted to take us out to one of his restaurants in St. Louis Park Saturday night (Yard House). He’s now with Darden Concepts as a corporate trainer and really seems to like the company. Colleen, SK and I introduced him to the magic that is Raising Cane’s the day before he flew home. Also on the foodie radar this past week: lunch with another aunt and uncle at Handsome Hog, lunch with my friend and mentor Doug at Buttered Tin and SK’s first solo server shift at Saint Dinette. I’m really spoiled with so many great options within walking distance of our place (and to have so many kind offers to buy us lunch).

It’s been very strange defining my weekdays by Price Is Right in the mornings and Jeopardy in the afternoons, but I have been working on things other than sitting on the couch and watching TV. I designed some new personal business cards and the thank you cards with SK’s custom artwork arrived this week. Finding addresses and hand writing cards takes a long time, but is actually great therapy for me. I also rolled out the artwork on all the social media platforms, as there are so many people to thank (and I don’t have all those mailing addresses). I’m just amazed at all the communities who have supported us throughout this medical emergency:

  • U.S. Bank Stadium colleagues
  • Allina Health colleagues
  • Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority staff
  • Minnesota Vikings staff
  • National Football League IT staff
  • Hennepin Healthcare doctors, nurses, EMT and support staff
  • Metro Transit Police
  • Minneapolis Police and Fire Departments
  • Fortune Bay and the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
  • High School for Recording Arts
  • Northwest Airlines alumni
  • St. Paul Central and Ramsey Junior High alumni
  • WeRunMpls and the online running community
  • MMR

This whole time period has felt like soccer’s stoppage time – I feel like every day I get beyond Oct. 8, 2018, is a bonus. It seems crazy to me that this could be one month or another 50 years. Appointments next week include the long-awaited ophthalmology session on Friday with Dr. Chang to discuss my daily occupational therapy eye exercises (see above) and options for prism glasses to help resolve the double vision.

Cheers, DK

Week 2 Update
Week 1 Update
Brains!

Originally published by DK on November 16, 2018 at 6:03 pm

The Darden exec is in town

Posted Saturday, November 10th, 2018 08:34 pm GMT -6 in Family,Food at 8:34 PM

Dinner at Yard House in SLP

Originally published by DK on November 10, 2018 at 8:34 pm

Second Week at Home

Posted Friday, November 9th, 2018 10:46 pm GMT -6 in Family,Food,Personal at 10:46 PM

The second week out of the ICU was (thankfully) low-key. I had no outpatient appointments at HCMC and my vision is to the point where I have one eye that’s really good at close-up screens and one that can watch TV clearly. I’ve done my occupational therapy eye exercises every day and ordered a cheap pair of standard glasses from Amazon that I’ll bring to my ophthalmologist appointment on Black Friday – they want to customize the plain lenses to help correct my double vision. On Monday, I’ll return to see the neurosurgeon for an incision check (and hopefully the removal of the two sutures on the top of my head).

I should be getting my AARP card in the mail any day now, since I now have not one, but two daily pill boxes full of medications (see above). It’s actually not too bad – four pills in the morning and two at night, but it’s still a big change from the rest of my life (always had a goal of no pills). Only had to take Tylenol one day this week, when I woke up with a fairly intense headache. Last night I decided to elevate my head more with a second pillow and that seemed to help. Today was the first day I felt tired at the end of the day, but I really didn’t do much physical therapy-type activities.

Yesterday and today friends visited me at home, which was really nice. I have a fairly full schedule next week, but please let me know if you’d like to swing by Lowertown (a person can only watch so much Netflix per week). I received two awesome gifts this week: One from HSRA (big thanks to TC, Saintanne and crew) and one from my good friends at MSFA. My custom artwork thank you cards should arrive tomorrow, so that will be another project to start working on while I’m home. My brother flew up from Florida tonight, and I’ll be visiting lots of family this weekend. Nice to see the Wild playing good hockey too…

Week 1 Update
Brains!

Originally published by DK on November 9, 2018 at 10:46 pm

iPhone upgrade day for MK

Posted Friday, November 9th, 2018 04:12 pm GMT -6 in Family,Shopping,Technology at 4:12 PM

The key to teen happiness

Originally published by DK on November 9, 2018 at 4:12 pm

Gremlin Days

Posted Friday, November 2nd, 2018 08:17 pm GMT -6 in Family,Mini Posts,Personal at 8:17 PM

According to reports, I wasn’t exactly myself the first few days in the ICU. Thankfully, some of my supposed quotes were written down:

There was also a reported exchange with Colleen about my favorite Prince song (“You *might* be right.”).

Sigh.

Originally published by DK on November 2, 2018 at 8:17 pm

First day of outpatient therapy

Posted Thursday, November 1st, 2018 11:40 am GMT -6 in Family,Personal at 11:40 AM

And in the fancy new HCMC building on 8th too

Originally published by DK on November 1, 2018 at 11:40 am

Brains: A Minneapolis Miracle

Posted Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 06:00 pm GMT -6 in Family,Friends,Personal at 6:00 PM

The day after the TC 10 was definitely not my typical Monday. I didn’t have any meetings scheduled, so I slept in a little later than usual, then walked over to the train station. I texted Armon that my neck was super sore when I woke up, but that I was headed in. I was told later I brought a bag of groceries for my office, along with my badge and headphones. When I got to the stadium train stop, I exited the train, walked towards Chicago and Fourth, crossed the train tracks, then suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm, followed by a seizure and stroke (and the groceries went flying everywhere).

I haven’t seen the video footage or read the police report yet, but I reportedly fell and hit my head on the train tracks and was unresponsive. A good Samaritan bystander administered CPR and a Metro Transit police officer contacted HCMC for transport the three blocks to their Level I Trauma Center. As my sister said, it was almost like my mom and my grandfather were watching out for me, deciding it was too early for me to join their party. The doctors later told me the overall odds of surviving a brain aneurysm are under 40% and that if the other pieces hadn’t fallen into place, there was a zero percent chance of me making it.

Damn.

To be honest, I don’t really remember much about the first few days in the ICU. Colleen says I was a gremlin, trying to bust out of the unit and needing to be restrained. The first procedure completed was the placement of two stents in my left vertebral artery to treat the aneurysm. Dr. Tummala and his team of amazing vascular neurosurgeons were the first in a long line of HCMC care providers who literally saved my life. I can’t say thank you enough to this amazing group of professionals (including Dr. Clay Garthe, neurosurgeon, pictured above).

After the stents were placed, a drain was placed in the top of my head that regulated pressure and fluids in my brain. This was connected to a bag that filled with what we affectionately called “brain juice.” Normally, these fluids are processed back into your head, but after the trauma, the team wanted direct control over this. The drain became the first milestone in my recovery – I couldn’t leave the ICU until the drain was removed. We thought this would happen around the two week mark, but thanks to some unexpected vasospasms, we had to wait until day 21 to remove the drain. This extra week also included multiple trips to the CT scanners and two angioplasty procedures. I only remember the second one, which included the surgeons playing Tequila Sunrise by the Eagles, which of course made me think of The Big Lebowski.

I had a number of different therapists work with me while I was in the ICU, including a speech pathologist (Kim), physical therapist (Kari) and occupational therapist (Bri). Don’t remember much about the speech tests, but the other two were fascinating. Bri had a lot of interesting iPad apps and encouraged me to continue with Two Dots and Words with Friends on my phone. She also had a number of written tests that I got better at as time went on. Kari accompanied me on my many walking laps around the ICU, which included exercises that reminded me of the Ministry of Silly Walks. I also seriously wanted to learn this choreography, but that will have to wait for another time (and maybe a future Halloween costume?).

Three of my early issues were taste, hearing and vision. Hospital food doesn’t have a great reputation, but really nothing tasted right to me the first week. Big thanks to everyone who smuggled in outside food (which also tasted funny for a long time). They were threatening a feeding tube down my nose if I didn’t increase my caloric intake, so I quickly became a fan of hospital scrambled eggs, milk shakes, Boost, 1% milk and juices pretty quick. Only threw up once (drank a milk shake too fast after taking meds) and had a constant fight with sodium (of all things), and ended up on salt pills with lots of Gatorade and no water. Bonus: down 23 pounds!

Hearing and vision issues have been odd. Colleen initially sounded like Snow White, then like an Imperial Probe droid from Empire Strikes Back. Sasha sounded like Rosie from The Jetsons. Thankfully, that only lasted a few days. Vision has been a problem that I still suffer from today. Double vision lead to an eye patch that I was suppose to swap back and forth, but I was definitely favoring the right eye (which was the only one I could use to read close-up screens). I can now use the left to watch TV clearly, but this is an area that will likely need more therapy. It’s really the primary source of remaining head pain (which I can use limited Tylenol to treat).

Colleen has been a saint though this entire episode. She met with HR reps at both her work and mine to take care of paperwork and start working with my insurance company (we are both on Federal Medical Leave for the short-term). She started a great CaringBridge site to keep everyone informed of my status that as of today has received 8,806 visits. I didn’t have a login while I was in the hospital, but thank you to everyone who commented or posted on that site – your support was heart-warming (and a bit overwhelming).

She also started a GoFundMe site that has been well supported. We are 75% of the way to her initial goal, which will definitely help as the bills pile up and our income slows down. The rack rate on my hospital stay may approach a half million dollars, so I truly appreciate all of you who have already contributed and humbly ask for help to get to our goal. So far the summaries from the insurance company have looked promising, but I know they are many, many more that we haven’t received yet and I’m sure there will be multiple payment plans to be negotiated.

Big thanks to everyone who visited me in the ICU, called, sent cards and commented online – watch your mailboxes for something special in the next few weeks. Also want to send a special thank you to the Vikings, who brought me a custom Kingsbury #1 jersey and a signed Stefon Diggs photo of the Minneapolis Miracle. How cool is that?

Being home versus being in the ICU is a 1000% improvement. My arms and fingers are starting to not look like pincushions, I don’t have a million wires running everywhere and I don’t have someone waking me up every two hours to give me more salt tablets and horse pills (now it’s just five normal pills when I wake up and two when I go to bed). I also get to take showers whenever I want, brush my teeth every morning, sleep in a soft bed with flannel sheets and watch TV with a screen big enough to read the letters and numbers during sporting events.

I was sad that I missed senior night for Marisa’s swim team, the Avett Brothers concert at Mystic Lake (where I had third row center tickets), Timberwolves opening night in a suite and the Wild vs. Kings game with my uncle. But my new philosophy when I get sad or start to complain is that I can let that control my life or I can just be happy to be alive.

When viewed through that lens, the answer is easy…

Originally published by DK on October 31, 2018 at 6:00 pm

We are all back in the game

Posted Tuesday, October 30th, 2018 05:11 pm GMT -6 in Family,Food at 5:11 PM

Pizza night in the neighborhood

Originally published by DK on October 30, 2018 at 5:11 pm

Running out of school conferences

Posted Thursday, October 4th, 2018 11:38 pm GMT -6 in Family,Schools at 11:38 PM

Last year at SES

Originally published by DK on October 4, 2018 at 11:38 pm

Then and now

Posted Friday, September 28th, 2018 10:45 pm GMT -6 in Family,History,Travel at 10:45 PM

Finally found the “then” pic

Originally published by DK on September 28, 2018 at 10:45 pm

Back with the fishes

Posted Thursday, September 27th, 2018 07:54 pm GMT -6 in Family,Schools,Swimming at 7:54 PM

MK in lane five @ Falcon Ridge

Originally published by DK on September 27, 2018 at 7:54 pm

Leon from way in the back

Posted Thursday, September 20th, 2018 09:47 pm GMT -6 in Concerts,Family,Music at 9:47 PM

Palace GA is the worst

Originally published by DK on September 20, 2018 at 9:47 pm

Senior Pix on the North Shore

Posted Tuesday, September 18th, 2018 04:31 pm GMT -6 in Family,Nature,Photography,Schools at 4:31 PM

Last weekend we did a very quick jaunt up to Grand Marais to shoot senior pictures for kid two. Sites included Jay Cooke State Park, Grand Portage National Monument, Naniboujou Lodge, Croftville Road, Grand Marais lighthouse and Gooseberry State Park. Not the greatest weather (and light), but we ended up with a bunch of good ones (full gallery after the jump).

Side note: a photographer friend of ours recommended West Photo in Minneapolis for gear rental. I priced out renting a Nikon D750 with a nice portrait lens for the weekend and found the $150 fee to be reasonable, but then they asked for a “first-time renter” deposit of $4200. Ah, nope.

So we ended up with my trusty old (like really old – 2004?) Nikon D70 and my iPhone X with portrait mode. Surprisingly, I was happiest with the majority of the iPhone shots and only a handful of the Nikon shots. Anxious to get my new silver iPhone Xs later this week, since Gruber wrote a ton about the upgraded camera features on that model. Still not taking the D850 off my wish list, but it’s surprising how the world of photography is changing.

Originally published by DK on September 18, 2018 at 4:31 pm

Canadian bacon, eh?

Posted Saturday, September 15th, 2018 06:23 pm GMT -6 in Family,Food,Travel at 6:23 PM

Thanks, Sven and Ole

Originally published by DK on September 15, 2018 at 6:23 pm

What to do, what to do

Posted Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 05:58 pm GMT -6 in Family,Mini Posts,Shopping,Technology at 5:58 PM

Everyone in my family wants a new phone. With the upcoming Apple event next week, I need to come up with a plan that doesn’t involve taking out a mortgage. I really preferred the days when your phone was subsidized by your plan, even if you were still paying hundreds of dollars overall. Now I have an expensive service plan *and* an expensive monthly payment for my iPhone.

As I’ve expressed before, I’m not a fan of my latest phone, the X. Everyone else seems to love theirs, so maybe I just have a lemon. About the only thing I really like is the camera, which, while still not a replacement for a real camera, is often “good enough.” After a huge increase lately in junk calls, I could do without the phone part, to be honest. If they released a modern iPod touch with a reasonable data-only plan, I could probably get away with that.

Haven’t switched carriers in a while either – no real complaints with AT&T (or T-mobile when I had that), but maybe it’s time to shop around. Also curious to see what happens with the Apple Watch, iPad, Air and Mac mini (if anything). It’s seems about time for Apple to release some lust-worthy stuff again – it’s been a while, no?

Originally published by DK on September 5, 2018 at 5:58 pm

Record-breaking! 2,046,533

Posted Tuesday, September 4th, 2018 02:01 pm GMT -6 in Family,Food,History,Links at 2:01 PM

https://www.mnstatefair.org/about-the-fair/attendance/

Originally published by DK on September 4, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Made it all the way

Posted Tuesday, September 4th, 2018 10:30 am GMT -6 in Family,Schools at 10:30 AM

Kid two, first day of senior year ❤️

Originally published by DK on September 4, 2018 at 10:30 am

Can’t believe it’s five years

Posted Saturday, September 1st, 2018 04:21 pm GMT -6 in Family,Personal at 4:21 PM

Miss you too, Grandpa Smith

Originally published by DK on September 1, 2018 at 4:21 pm

NotATweet: Happy birthday mom

Posted Saturday, September 1st, 2018 03:43 pm GMT -6 in Family,Personal at 3:43 PM

Missing my mom on what would’ve been her 74th birthday today ?❤️

Originally published by DK on September 1, 2018 at 3:43 pm

Nice surprise from an old friend

Posted Thursday, August 30th, 2018 08:56 am GMT -6 in Family,Friends at 8:56 AM

Thank you, Glo-Bug

Originally published by DK on August 30, 2018 at 8:56 am

Someday I will have one too

Posted Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 10:39 am GMT -6 in Family at 10:39 AM

It will say “Kingsbury”

Originally published by DK on August 29, 2018 at 10:39 am

Somebody flies home today

Posted Monday, August 27th, 2018 06:17 am GMT -6 in Family,Travel at 6:17 AM

Yay! Missed Little Chef a ton

Originally published by DK on August 27, 2018 at 6:17 am

Happy brunch times ?

Posted Sunday, August 26th, 2018 12:25 pm GMT -6 in Family,Food at 12:25 PM

So proud of kid one

Originally published by DK on August 26, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Meta Bean Tourists

Posted Sunday, August 19th, 2018 04:49 pm GMT -6 in Art,Family,Travel at 4:49 PM

Warm and crowded @ Cloud Gate

Originally published by DK on August 19, 2018 at 4:49 pm

LIVING THE DREAM

Posted Saturday, August 11th, 2018 08:56 pm GMT -6 in Family,Skiing at 8:56 PM

I love this picture so much ❤️

Originally published by DK on August 11, 2018 at 8:56 pm

Happy Bey Day

Posted Thursday, August 9th, 2018 12:52 am GMT -6 in Concerts,Family,Music at 12:52 AM

Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation

Originally published by DK on August 9, 2018 at 12:52 am

I know a Dewey

Posted Friday, August 3rd, 2018 07:44 pm GMT -6 in Family at 7:44 PM

Right, Risiroo?

Originally published by DK on August 3, 2018 at 7:44 pm

First timer at CHS Field

Posted Sunday, July 29th, 2018 05:01 pm GMT -6 in Baseball,Family,Sports at 5:01 PM

Hope they play better than last night

Originally published by DK on July 29, 2018 at 5:01 pm

Little Chef in her element

Posted Friday, July 13th, 2018 07:56 pm GMT -6 in Family,Food at 7:56 PM

She’s making my dinner

Originally published by DK on July 13, 2018 at 7:56 pm

All the best places

Posted Sunday, July 8th, 2018 07:56 pm GMT -6 in Family,Food,Travel at 7:56 PM

Nice to see Lynn at the candy store

Originally published by DK on July 8, 2018 at 7:56 pm

MK’s first visit to Glensheen

Posted Saturday, July 7th, 2018 02:47 pm GMT -6 in Family,History,Travel at 2:47 PM

(Not the Musical)

Originally published by DK on July 7, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Dad’s new sidewalk

Posted Sunday, July 1st, 2018 12:50 pm GMT -6 in Family,Housekeeping at 12:50 PM

Lookin’ good

Originally published by DK on July 1, 2018 at 12:50 pm

Happy birthday, CK ? ?

Posted Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 03:36 pm GMT -6 in Family,Food,Holidays at 3:36 PM

One more until the big one…

Originally published by DK on June 23, 2018 at 3:36 pm

Kid one must be home

Posted Thursday, June 21st, 2018 06:58 pm GMT -6 in Art,Family at 6:58 PM

Such a creative artist ?‍?

Originally published by DK on June 21, 2018 at 6:58 pm

Cisco Live! Orlando 2018

Posted Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 03:08 pm GMT -6 in Disney,Family,Food,Technology,Travel,Work at 3:08 PM

Last week I attended my second Cisco Live! conference in Orlando (last year was my first in Vegas; next year will be San Diego). It blows my mind how much it must cost to host 25,000 people in a facility like the Orange County Convention Center – setup, food twice a day, video production for keynotes and sessions, utilities, staffing, etc. And then there was the customer appreciation event Wednesday night at Universal Studios, which not only included exclusive access to the original park for four hours, but also had free food and drinks everywhere and big name concerts from Leon Bridges, Cake and Sam Hunt. No wonder my annual maintenance bill never goes down…

Speaking of bills, I needed to do this trip on the cheap, so I stayed with my brother and his wife and leaned on them for ground transportation (along with some 25% off Lyft rides). He took me to Animal Kingdom on Sunday night after I arrived so I could check out the new(ish) Avatar stuff. Na’vi River Journey has the cool Audio-Animatronics Shaman of Songs, while Flight of Passage lived up to the nearly two hour wait. We had dinner at the excellent Satu’li Canteen, which really elevates the whole theme park food quality experience, in my opinion.

My conference pass this time was a new intermediate “Imagine” badge, so I didn’t get access to all of the sessions (or a T-shirt or backpack). It did get me into all of the keynotes and Innovation Showcase presentations, though, along with the “World of Solutions” trade show, the party at Universal and free food for breakfast and lunch each day. I found most of the sessions to be useful and not just a week-long sales pitch to buy new stuff (like you get at some conferences). I learned about a lot of new technology trends, including improved security techniques, software-defined networking and container-based development, along with the evolution of the Cisco platforms and products we’ve deployed at the stadium (which thankfully I don’t need to replace right away).

After the conference wrapped up, I had a little extra time to kill before flying home (I wish the standby rules for Delta were more customer friendly). I spent some more time checking out all the changes at Disney Springs, where I had had dinner earlier in the week with my brother at Art Smith’s wonderful Homecomin’ restaurant. World of Disney was half-closed for remodeling, but I still managed to find some things for people. It was interesting to see retail additions like UNIQLO and the dining scene continues to impress with the likes of Morimoto Asia, Jock Lindsey’s Hanger Bar and The Boathouse (in addition to all of the old favorites). Also caught Deadpool 2 at the AMC and made a quick trip to Tampa to check out the very impressive Seminole Hard Rock Tampa complex.

See you in San Diego?

Originally published by DK on June 20, 2018 at 3:08 pm

Happy Father’s Day

Posted Sunday, June 17th, 2018 10:47 am GMT -6 in Family,Holidays at 10:47 AM

Wish I could be in Grand Marais with you today

Originally published by DK on June 17, 2018 at 10:47 am

Disney Springs night

Posted Tuesday, June 12th, 2018 06:25 pm GMT -6 in Disney,Family,Food,Travel at 6:25 PM

Iron Chef, no more! Hitting up Art Smith’s Homecomin’

Originally published by DK on June 12, 2018 at 6:25 pm

Hard to believe it’s 20 years

Posted Sunday, June 10th, 2018 06:33 pm GMT -6 in Disney,Family,Travel at 6:33 PM

Mr. Safari from day one

Originally published by DK on June 10, 2018 at 6:33 pm

The family tree

Posted Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 09:49 am GMT -6 in Family,History at 9:49 AM

Mom, dad and both grandparents on the marryin’ day

Originally published by DK on June 3, 2018 at 9:49 am

Wasn’t expecting this

Posted Monday, May 28th, 2018 08:35 pm GMT -6 in Family,Food,Shopping at 8:35 PM

Kinda like finding a “Bort”

Originally published by DK on May 28, 2018 at 8:35 pm
 

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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: 12.1
  • 2019 Bike Mileage: 9

Upcoming Races

  • Get in Gear 10K - 4/27/19

Upcoming Sporting Events

  • Timberwolves vs. Golden State - 3/19/19
  • Final Four - 4/6/19
  • Final Four - 4/8/19
  • Twins vs. Toronto - 4/17/19
  • Twins vs. Houston - 5/1/19
  • Saints vs. Milwaukee - 5/19/19
  • Saints vs. Sioux City - 5/26/19
  • Saints vs. Milwaukee - 6/9/19
  • Saints vs. Gary - 6/23/19
  • Twins vs. Tampa Bay - 6/25/19
  • Saints vs. Lincoln - 7/2/19
  • Saints vs. Winnipeg - 7/14/19
  • Twins vs. Oakland - 7/21/19
  • Saints All Star Game - 7/23/19
  • Saints vs. KC - 7/28/19
  • Twins vs. Angels - 8/7/19
  • Saints vs. Gary - 8/11/19
  • Saints vs. Chicago - 8/25/19
  • Twins vs. Washington - 9/11/19

Upcoming Concerts

  • Elton John - 2/21, Target Center
  • Little River Band - 4/13, Treasure Island
  • Oak Ridge Boys - 4/18, Mystic Lake
  • Snoop Dogg - 4/26, Treasure Island
  • Garth Brooks - 5/3, USBS
  • Garth Brooks - 5/4, USBS
  • P!nk - 5/5, Xcel
  • Trampled By Turtles - 7/6, Bayfront
  • Jeff Lynne's ELO - 7/25, Xcel
  • Tenacious D - 7/30, Palace
  • Avett Brothers & TBT - 9/21, Treasure Island