7 Minute Miles

Finally, a Grand Story

Posted Sunday, January 10th, 2021 11:20 pm GMT -6 in Casinos,Family,Mini Posts,Travel at 11:20 PM

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

Reflections on Season Five

Posted Sunday, December 20th, 2020 06:14 pm GMT -6 in Football,Mini Posts,Technology,Work at 6:14 PM

My head is still spinning after returning home from the last home game of a very strange 2020 season:

  • Games with fewer people aren’t as stressful overall, but it still takes me several hours to wind down after the final whistle blows.
  • Immensely thankful everyone on our team stayed healthy all season.
  • I don’t walk nearly as many steps on game day since we got a Cushman for IT.
  • Five regular seasons already? 2016: 5-3, 2017: 7-1, 2018: 5-3, 2019: 6-2, 2020: 3-5
  • The people in the Vikings organization are extraordinary and it’s a pleasure to work with them year after year.
  • Three stadiums are now newer than us in the NFL, but next year will feel like opening the building all over again.

Just a few things to clean up this week in the building, then on to 2021…

Originally published by DK on December 20, 2020 at 6:14 pm

Kernel Panic Big Sur Update

Posted Thursday, December 17th, 2020 04:43 pm GMT -6 in Mini Posts,Technology at 4:43 PM

The stability saga with my upgraded 2017 Retina 4K 21-inch iMac, MrJackpot, continues. The latest:

  • All panics still involve IONVMeController.cpp in the crash report.
  • Definitely caused by the Aura Pro X2 SSD from Other World Computing.
  • Upgrading to Big Sur initially did not change the number of crashes (which were averaging about once a week while sleeping).
  • The latest Big Sur update (11.1) has made things more unstable, causing multiple crashes a day (even during normal operations).
  • I turned off screen sleep in Energy Saver and unchecked the following: Put hard disks to sleep when possible, Wake for network access, Start up automatically after a power failure and Enable Power Nap.
  • Also ran this command from Terminal: sudo pmset -a standby 0 autopoweroff 0 hibernatemode 0 (which OWC support suggested in a July email). This initially seemed to slow down the number of crashes, but did not stop them completely.
  • So far, the system starts back up with no noticeable file system damage (need to hold the power button for ten seconds, wait, then single press the power button to get the kernel panic multi-language message to appear (above), which then automatically starts the reboot process after a few seconds.

At this point, I don’t know what else to do until I can buy an M1-based iMac next year. I thought about buying an M1 Mac mini with an LG 4K display now, but that’s a pricy option. I sent a follow-up email to OWC support, but frankly I’ve been disappointed in how they’ve handled this issue (which seems to have impacted a large number of people). I’d been a happy customer of theirs since I started my Mac support career at NWA in 1996, so it’s sad and frustrating to be in this situation…

Originally published by DK on December 17, 2020 at 4:43 pm

The Excellence of Arete

Posted Sunday, November 29th, 2020 07:51 pm GMT -6 in History,Mini Posts,Personal,Schools at 7:51 PM

Back in high school, I loved studying history. Richard Demers was my favorite teacher, leading such courses as Ancient Civilizations, Western Civilizations and American Experience as part of Central’s Quest program. As I mentioned on my biography page, I took eight semesters of history, along with one independent study about the history of classical music. His euphemism for tests, OTEs (“opportunities to excel”), is something most of my high school classmates will recall fondly. They were always very difficult, but I’m grateful that grading on a curve was a thing back then.

Another concept that Mr. Demers taught in “Ancient Civ” was the Greek notion “excellence of body, excellence of mind.” This resonated deeply with me, but Google has not located authoritative references for this saying that I clearly remember (perhaps the Mandela Effect is in play?). The closest I’ve found is the Greek term arete (not to be confused with mountaineering’s sharp ridge separating two cirques or glacial valleys in mountainous regions). This line in the arete Wikipedia page jumped out at me:

It was commonly believed that the mind, body, and soul each had to be developed and prepared for a man to live a life of arete.

While I don’t recall the word arete being used by Demers, I do remember him discussing the concepts of paideia and the education of the aristocracy. It seems there is much more to learn about these concepts from Aristotle and Plato – perhaps some light reading for the long Minnesota winter?

Originally published by DK on November 29, 2020 at 7:51 pm

Well…how did I get here?

Posted Friday, September 11th, 2020 11:21 pm GMT -6 in Mini Posts,Technology,Work at 11:21 PM


es • o • ter • ic
adj. Intended for or understood by only a small group, especially one with specialized knowledge or interests: synonym: mysterious.


Today was one of those days when I worked on so many strange things, I don’t know how I ever learned all this random stuff. I’m sure there are a million people that could step in and learn my job over time, but right now I don’t know what my colleagues will do if I get a fever and can’t go to work. I’m trying to diversify that risk through delegation, training and documentation, but there is a ton of specialization in our environment (which I’m sure is true for many other professions as well).

Seriously, though:

switchport access vlan 360
switchport mode access
power inline auto max 30000
spanning-tree portfast
service-policy output softmax

Who talks like that?

Originally published by DK on September 11, 2020 at 11:21 pm

A Return to Normal?

Posted Monday, August 31st, 2020 07:43 pm GMT -6 in Business,Mini Posts,Politics,Shopping at 7:43 PM

It’s exhausting reading about the issues of 2020, but there is one topic I can’t stop thinking about. What will be the long-term impact on the economy if people change their thinking (and spending) on what’s really important to them? On one hand, I feel like there will be a lot of pent-up demand for things like travel. On the other hand, how many industries will find demand drop-off for good? My own personal spending priorities have shifted quite a bit during the pandemic (out of necessity), but I can easily picture some of these changes being permanent…

Originally published by DK on August 31, 2020 at 7:43 pm

Top 7 Character Stengths

Posted Monday, June 15th, 2020 05:50 pm GMT -6 in Mini Posts,Personal,Schools,Science at 5:50 PM

As part of my recently completed online class, The Science of Well-Being, I took a survey that purports to identify my top character strengths:

  • Love of Learning
  • Curiosity
  • Kindness
  • Honesty
  • Judgement
  • Love
  • Creativity

There were a couple I thought would be higher, but overall, that’s close…

Originally published by DK on June 15, 2020 at 5:50 pm

Egypt at Highclere

Posted Monday, June 8th, 2020 02:36 pm GMT -6 in History,Mini Posts,Reading at 2:36 PM

I read a lot of words, but not enough of them are in books. This one I took from my parent’s house on Lombard and brought up to Croftville Road for the weekend. Turns out my sister purchased it for my dad when she visited Highclere Castle as part of her Downton Abbey tour. I never knew that the real Downtown Abbey Lord was Howard Carter’s partner (George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon), but I’ve loved Egyptian history ever since the 1982 World’s Fair (and multiple Ancient Civilization courses from Mr. Demers at Central). This was a quick, light read, with a few pictures I know I’ve never seen before (hello, Tutankhamun mummy).

Now on to my pile of Economists…

Originally published by DK on June 8, 2020 at 2:36 pm

Fitness Pyramids

Posted Thursday, May 14th, 2020 04:37 pm GMT -6 in Food,Mini Posts,Sports at 4:37 PM

The “UK DK” posted this interesting graphic a while back that I recently found while cleaning up my desktop. It amazes me how many different recommendations there are out there to get in better shape, but this one makes a lot of sense to me. My old plan was to run a gazillion miles a month and eat whatever I wanted, but that’s not in the cards these days. I am currently on a one month move streak and have greatly reduced my sugar intake, which has started a trend in the right direction weight-wise. Haven’t started in with the new kettle bell yet because of some back pain, but hope to add that to the mix soon…

Originally published by DK on May 14, 2020 at 4:37 pm

Permanent Glasses

Posted Saturday, March 14th, 2020 07:10 pm GMT -6 in Mini Posts,Personal,Shopping at 7:10 PM

The ongoing saga of my double vision has now lead to a semi-permanent solution. I had always been the one person in my family without glasses, but one of the lasting side effects of my brain aneurysm has been diplopia at farther distances. Thanks to the treatment plans of Dr. Amy Chang and therapist Courtney Mitchell at Hennepin Heathcare, I can now read screens at most distances and watch TV without glasses. Even at farther distances, I can usually find an angle to hold my head to remove any doubling up (although Dr. Chang says that I’m cheating when I do that).

At the end of January, we decided that I’d stop using the 3M Prism inserts in the pair of non-prescription lenses I had purchased from Amazon. We started at a +30 strength in the beginning and dropped all the way down to +8 with the temporary inserts. Dr. Chang wrote a prescription for a permanent pair of glasses that included a +6 Prism for the top half of the lens and some magnification on the bottom half to assist with reading small letters close up (i.e. – cheaters). I’ve had 20/20 vision for most of my life, but age has caught up to me and some things just don’t work the same as they did before (regardless of the aneurysm side effects).

On the advice of a friend, I took the prescription to Warby Parker in the Galleria. Since I’ve never done this before, I wasn’t sure what my insurance would cover, but they had people in the store that seemed knowledgable about my situation and helped me pick out frames and make adjustments for this particular prescription. I paid for everything and was told the glasses would be ready for pick-up and fitting in 7-10 days. After two weeks of not hearing anything, I looked up my order on their website, which had a “please call us about your order” message displayed. No phone calls or emails during this time – WTH? The person I talked to when I called was very nice, but told me that their lab couldn’t produce my prescription, saying the prism strength couldn’t be higher than +5 and that they would just cancel the order. Ugh.

So in the end, I just went to Target Optical in West Saint Paul, which fitted me in a nice pair of Ray-Bans that they shipped in under a week for around $300. It took me a little while to get used to the progressive aspect of my prescription, but once I figured that out, they work really well. I do still prefer to not wear glasses when I can (like right now while I type on the iMac), but it’s nice to have them for driving and for reading the small type on menus in low-light situations. It will be interesting to see how they work for golf and biking later this spring…

Originally published by DK on March 14, 2020 at 7:10 pm

Pre-Snow Random Thoughts

Posted Monday, November 25th, 2019 08:09 pm GMT -6 in Mini Posts,Personal,Weather at 8:09 PM

As Minnesota awaits the first big snowfall of the season, it seems like a good time to ponder:

  • Never had them before, but really ready for the nosebleeds to stop (it’s been 1-2 times daily for 12 days now).
  • This website was running slow for a bit and it seems that it was due to a memory leak in ARDagent, of all things.
  • End of the year free time goal: mobile-friendly theme programming.
  • Got our first 16-inch MacBook Pro in the office today: keyboard is nice and the speakers are unbelievable.
  • Baby Yoda and the Mando character are worth getting Disney+ all by themselves.
  • Today I paid off my last ultra-high interest rate credit card from the old days (and it feels great).
  • I’ve stayed away from casinos for a long time, but that all changes for Black Friday Bingo.
  • Speaking of Black Friday sales, kid one will be upgrading her phone this weekend (getting a red iPhone 11).
  • My dad had thyroid cancer surgery at St. John’s hospital and was transferred to Bethesda before having breathing issues. He’s now been in the ICU at St. Joe’s hospital for two weeks and we can’t wait to get him back home.
  • My mother-in-law’s house has been cleaned out and will hopefully be listed for sale this week.
  • I haven’t run or biked in nearly two months and I’m pretty OK with that, to be honest.
  • Plan to start weight training over the winter, but I need some PT on my right rotator cuff (12/3).
  • Still have the +8 prism lens, but I’ve been spending more time without glasses (and visit the eye doctor again 12/24).
  • Hoping to get back to skiing this season: Banff/Lake Louise, Lutsen, Afton, Welch and maybe Colorado.
  • Get to shadow a game at Soldier Field next month in Chicago (vs. Dallas on TNF).
  • The new Star Wars Card Trader app update is nice, but I still can’t figure out how to trade the way I used to.
  • Perfect stars in Two Dots might be my greatest gaming accomplishment ever – love that game.
  • Both kids doing great in school: kid one at Metro State and kid two at St. Paul College.
  • They are also learning a lot at Nive Man University (aka Saint Dinette).
  • Wilco was great at the Palace and I have three more shows in the next week (POLIÇA, Lydia Liza and Dead Man Winter).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Originally published by DK on November 25, 2019 at 8:09 pm

The Spread of Sports Betting

Posted Sunday, July 28th, 2019 08:24 pm GMT -6 in Casinos,Mini Posts,Sports at 8:24 PM

While I worked for a number of years in the casino business, my property never offered sports betting. As it now spreads across the United States, it is starting to make an impact with my current industry, professional sports venue management. I haven’t done a lot of research on this topic, but I feel like both sides aren’t fully prepared for all the potential side effects of a much larger pool of bettors.

Minnesota has always had a unique gaming environment among states and the various types of tribal compacts, so I don’t envision any immediate changes in the landscape. As it sweeps across the country, though, I imagine Minnesota will join at some point – too much money is involved to completely sit out. Minnesota tribes have understandably been reluctant to reopen the gaming agreements, but most of the larger ones already have ties to professional sports in one form or another.

As a technical venue manager, I’m curious as to what additional demands will be made on wireless networks, digital signage, cyber security and real-time statistical data feeds if sports betting is approved here. Not to mention physical changes to buildings if things like betting windows were ever to be added. I can easily imagine fans having sports betting apps on their phones, placing bets in their seats during a game and wanting to cash out winners immediately.

Lastly, I had another thought while watching the Twins lose their epic battle with the Yankees the other night. If human referees and umpires are still used in all leagues (which is likely), what extra security measures will be needed when they make bad calls? Will it influence how they make calls in the first place? It’s already a challenging environment with rowdy fans who have had too much to drink…

Originally published by DK on July 28, 2019 at 8:24 pm

Random Brain Dump 5.2019

Posted Sunday, May 19th, 2019 02:39 pm GMT -6 in Mini Posts,Personal at 2:39 PM

Some stuff from a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon in Minnesota:

  • I feel like generational labels like Gen X and Millennial are a lazy way to stereotype, blame and criticize groups of people that would never be allowed based on traits other than birth year.
  • On a related note, publications and organizations that use “X Under X” awards are really just ageist money grabs for additional advertising revenue.
  • We really enjoyed BlacKkKlansman – MK couldn’t believe some people are actually like that in real life.
  • Wasn’t sure the Falvey/Levine/Baldelli regime with the Twins would ever take hold, but wow, what a start to the season.
  • Thought we’d be empty-nesters soon, but I’m starting to think you never really get to be empty-nesters.
  • Looks like the WordPress 5.2 update might be secretly breaking things behind the scenes for some websites.
  • The Black Course at Bethpage does appear to be Extremely Difficult.

Vegas next week – prepare for a wave of food and gaming pics here soon…

Originally published by DK on May 19, 2019 at 2:39 pm

The Important Stuff

Posted Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 01:00 am GMT -6 in Family,Mini Posts,Personal,Politics at 1:00 AM

Growing up, there were two things we never talked about: politics and religion. I’ll leave the latter for another day, but the former is something that I’ve really come to dislike as I’ve grown older. I mean, politics are everywhere, of course, whether it be at work, in the news or at a family gathering. But as far as traditional Republicans versus Democrats, right versus left and conservative versus liberal, I’ve had just about all I can take. I’ve never been a fan of political parties – why can’t all elections be like those for mayor, school board or judge? I don’t need to see an “R” or “D” behind your name – tell me your qualifications, what your positions are and how you came to those conclusions. Party platforms are an intellectual cop-out, in my opinion.

We all form our key values as we mature and I find it interesting how these can change over time (and how they are shaped by our individual experiences and environments). I’ve always held the Golden Rule in high esteem and try to follow the “Thumper Rule” online (“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”). Some of my other favorites?

  • Love and kindness
  • Knowledge, expertise and dedication
  • Fairness and equality
  • Civility and respect

Closely related to these values are other things important to me: family and friends, culture, education, science, history, nature, fitness, sportsmanship, fine food, live music, good writing, silence. I used to think that I hated rules (especially those seemingly arbitrary ones created by “the man”), but really I just hate dumb rules (i.e. – this).

Originally published by DK on April 24, 2019 at 1:00 am

Masters broadcast perfection

Posted Thursday, April 11th, 2019 01:05 pm GMT -6 in Golf,Mini Posts,Technology,Television at 1:05 PM

People have said a lot of thing about the Masters over the years, but the ability to follow Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia for their entire first round in HD on my AppleTV with no commercials, announcers that don’t scream and silence the majority of the broadcast (aside from the birds chirping) is about as good as sports TV gets, in my opinion. Add in a work-from-home snow day blizzard outside (with wife and daughter safely inside) + hot pizza from across the street + new levels in Two Dots = my favorite day in weeks.

Originally published by DK on April 11, 2019 at 1:05 pm

RIP Easy Chart Builder

Posted Monday, March 18th, 2019 09:03 pm GMT -6 in Mini Posts,Technology at 9:03 PM

Either the Google API is down or my last-updated-in-six-years charting plugin is dead…

UPDATE: Looks like both the plugin and the API are dead.

UPDATE 2: The API seems to be back (on a new server).

Originally published by DK on March 18, 2019 at 9:03 pm

Things that make me happy

Posted Sunday, February 17th, 2019 03:27 pm GMT -6 in Food,Golf,Mini Posts,Music,Technology at 3:27 PM
  • My wife and daughters, who are so kind and whip-smart
  • Everyone who has supported my recovery
  • Driving on my own
  • The Saint Dinette cheeseburger
  • Our Lowertown loft
  • The choo-choo
  • Progressive jackpots
  • Kingdom Hearts 3
  • Code (that works)
  • Live music
  • A well-struck golf shot
  • Sunshine (on my shoulders)

The flip side of that other mini-post

Originally published by DK on February 17, 2019 at 3:27 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

Sports Betting

Posted Monday, January 28th, 2019 02:03 pm GMT -6 in Business,Casinos,Football,Mini Posts at 2:03 PM

Some interesting numbers about our big game last year:

  • $158,586,934 – total SBLII handle in Nevada
  • $1,170,432 – amount won by Nevada sports books on SBLII
  • $4.76 billion – amount the AGA estimates was bet on SBLII (legally and illegally)

With the legal landscape changing this year, things should be way crazier for Rams-Patriots. I love that the Westgate SuperBook has 442 different prop bets for SBLIII. I mean, how do you even come up with a spread for Phil Mickelson fourth-round bogeys at the Phoenix Open versus Josh Reynolds receptions?

h/t to Marc Meltzer (and good luck to my tech friends in Atlanta)

Originally published by DK on January 28, 2019 at 2:03 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

Top 7 French Fries

Posted Monday, December 17th, 2018 08:00 pm GMT -6 in Food,Mini Posts at 8:00 PM

Screw that Harvard guy – French fries are life. I had some especially good ones this week that made me think I should list my favorites in a mini post. It’s too hard to rank them in order, so here are my current top seven in alphabetical order:

Honorable mention (and RIP) – The Station House in Sagle, Idaho (which burned to the ground at some point – thanks to the Bonner County History Museum for helping me research). Platters of fries the size of your head (made from fresh-cut Idaho potatoes, of course).

UPDATE: After further consideration, I think that McDonald’s and Raising Cane’s should be in a separate big fast food chain category and that I should replace them with Meritage and Band Box Diner.

Originally published by DK on December 17, 2018 at 8:00 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.


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

Unscheduled Downtime

Posted Sunday, December 2nd, 2018 10:44 pm GMT -6 in Housekeeping,Mini Posts,Technology at 10:44 PM

Nights like tonight are when I remember just how stressful it can be to have servers remotely hosted 1,300 miles away. As I’ve written many times, this site runs on a Mac mini located in Las Vegas in a data center run by the fine folks at Mac Stadium. While trying to fix my SSL/WordPress/emoji issue (which I’ll write about later), I managed to almost completely lock up the server. I could ping it, but the Screen Sharing session dropped and SSH was unresponsive at first. Eventually I was able to login via SSH and issue a quick “sudo shutdown -r now” command before getting kicked out again. About ten minutes later, I was able to get in via Screen Sharing. Since I had a couple of security updates to install that required a restart, I decided to just continue the unexpected web server downtime and run those installers too. This ended up taking nearly an extra hour, so I apologize if you were trying to load the site and got nothing.

Now back to researching just how WordPress core supports and displays the latest emoji characters…

Originally published by DK on December 2, 2018 at 10:44 pm

Election 2018

Posted Wednesday, November 7th, 2018 10:42 am GMT -6 in Mini Posts,Politics at 10:42 AM

Still don’t like to talk politics or religion, but thank you to everyone who took the time to vote in the 2018 election. According to the Minnesota Secretary of State website, there are currently 4,064,389 eligible voters in the state. That site is not at 100% reporting across the board yet, but the governor’s race had 2,586,298 total votes recorded, while the two U.S. Senate races had 2,596,877 (Klobuchar/Newberger) and 2,587,320 (Smith/Housley) total votes cast. The would indicate a 63.6% turnout for a midterm election – more than 13% higher than the last midterm in 2014 (which is great, but still kinda sad overall).

Not going to provide detailed opinions on any of the races locally or nationally, but I will say this is the first time I’ve ever had a perfect ballot – every person and issue I voted for won… 😎🥇

Originally published by DK on November 7, 2018 at 10:42 am

First Week at Home

Posted Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 09:44 pm GMT -6 in Mini Posts,Personal at 9:44 PM

It’s been awesome to be home this week, but there are still some big challenges. My primary remaining issue is double vision, which I’m dealing with via eye patches and occupational therapy exercises (I’ll see a developmental ophthalmologist the day after Thanksgiving). Thankfully, I haven’t had any headaches or stroke symptoms, which would mean another trip to the emergency room. Today was the first day in three days that I took Tylenol (mainly eye pain). My hearing issues are gone and most food tastes normal again (VERY thankful for this). I’ve been trying to keep up with a modest walking schedule and started wearing my Apple Watch again. I’m anxious to get back to work, but I’m also mindful of the process to be cleared to return to work, which will include more outpatient therapy and reminders from my physician team to not rush things.

I’d like to take a minute to thank all of you who have been following along with this adventure – it’s so heartwarming to read comments, emails and texts, along with phone calls and in-person visits from people I’ve known for years and people I haven’t had contact with in years. With assistance from my very talented daughter, we should have some cool things to mail out to people in the next few weeks. The financial support shown in the GoFundMe campaign is greatly appreciated and has helped relieve my anxiety about what’s going to happen between now and my return to work. And Colleen, Sasha and Marisa have been amazing – much love to the three of them. ❤️


Originally published by DK on November 3, 2018 at 9:44 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.”).


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

Video Game Metaphors

Posted Sunday, August 19th, 2018 12:26 pm GMT -6 in Games,History,Mini Posts,Technology at 12:26 PM

For the longest time, I’ve had this image of a video game in my mind that I thought was a metaphor for life. It was a racing game that used forced perspective, with the road stretching to the horizon and an endless supply of other cars coming at you that you needed to avoid and pass. I got really good at the game, basically being able to play non-stop, never losing and only quitting when I got bored. Pass, pass, pass…run up the score.

Today I thought I’d research this game, always thinking it was Enduro by Activision. I never had an Atari 2600, though, so if this is the game, I must’ve played it at a friend’s house (I seem to recall using the “paddle” controllers for it). I had a number of Intellivision driving games (Auto Racing, Bump ‘n’ Jump, Triple Action), but none of them fit the look and feel model I’m thinking about…

Originally published by DK on August 19, 2018 at 12:26 pm

A Domain of One’s Own

Posted Tuesday, July 17th, 2018 09:35 pm GMT -6 in Mini Posts,Technology at 9:35 PM

This site has been my personal domain for a long time. This week, I learned there is a relatively recent movement afoot in higher education to let students pick a domain name and learn about the technologies and processes involved to maintain and create a digital identity that they own and take with them after graduation. Here are sample programs from BYU, Michigan State and Bryn Mawr.

As I’ve written before, this site runs on a Mac mini server at a data center in Las Vegas. I manage all aspects of it, which has pros and cons. It feels great to control what tools I use, choose the look and feel and know that I’m not at the mercy of some big corporation who might suddenly decide to terminate the service and/or account (although I’m still subject to the terms and conditions of the colocation contract). I also love that I can experiment with new technologies and stay current with coding, automation and design.

Given the political, technical and security/privacy news lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the digital content I create, both on this site and on social media. 7minutemiles currently has automation in place to create posts from Twitter and Instagram, but that is always subject to changing APIs that can break at any time. I’ve thought about throwing in the towel on both of those services (from an automation standpoint), but the question becomes one of reach versus reliability and social media wins that battle hands down.

For now, I’ll work on adding https via Let’s Encrypt, modifying my theme to be more responsive and mobile-friendly and designing some custom data entry screens for runs, rides, golf scores and events. Once I’m back in good graces with Google’s search algorithms, maybe then I’ll look at going dark on those other services…

Originally published by DK on July 17, 2018 at 9:35 pm

A Student of History

Posted Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 12:09 am GMT -6 in History,Mini Posts,Schools,Television at 12:09 AM

Back in my high school days, I had the option to take more than your average amount of history classes: Ancient Civilizations, Western Civilizations, American Experience. St. Paul Central’s Quest program was an early precursor to AP and IB type coursework and Mr. Demers, the history teacher, was one of my all-time favorites. I also was a fan of geography, so when you mixed in the opportunity to travel that my mom’s work allowed, history literally came alive for me.

This past week I’ve been watching the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick ten-part documentary on the Vietnam War. It amazes me how much I didn’t know about this historical event that played out during my lifetime – especially since my father participated in it directly (and it’s the reason I’m not a native Minnesotan). Now I’m looking forward to lunch with him and having an opportunity to ask questions about a topic we’ve never really discussed much (something I wish I’d done with my grandfather and World War II).

I found it interesting to see so many similarities between then and now politically. We like to think that our current environment is the most divisive ever, but this has really been America for a long time. As Thomas Polgar, the Saigon station chief for the C.I.A. wrote in his last cable from the embassy: “Those who fail to learn from history are forced to repeat it. Let us hope that we will not have another Vietnam experience and that we have learned our lesson.”

Note to self: research how so many Midwest politicians rose to play such prominent roles during this period of history (Humphrey and McCarthy in Minnesota, McGovern in South Dakota).

Originally published by DK on July 11, 2018 at 12:09 am

The end of marathoning?

Posted Monday, June 25th, 2018 12:36 pm GMT -6 in Marathons,Mini Posts,Personal,Running at 12:36 PM

For my first mini post, I’ve decided to look at my current relationship with running. The 2017 Grandma’s was my last marathon and it was a disaster. I never did get my right knee looked at and I haven’t attempted a double-digit run since then. With the bike challenge last month, I boosted my riding mileage, but still felt some knee pain from time to time. Guess I will break down and make a doctor’s appointment after I post this.

Bigger picture, though, something else seems off. It used to be tough when I started training from scratch, but things would get better after a few weeks. This year, it seems like no matter how many miles I ride, golf rounds I walk or miles I do on the treadmill, I never seem to move on to the “feeling fit” stage. My legs always feel sore, I’m still retaining water in them (based on the indentations my socks make), I have a general sense of fatigue most of the time and I’m not losing any more weight (I lost ten pounds during the bike challenge, but three of those pounds have come back this month).

My Apple watch does provide good insight into how much I move daily and I did have a 60+ day streak of closing all three rings at one point. My current move goal just dropped down to 1080 calories, after peaking at 1180 (which I only hit three times last week). Haven’t changed my diet or nutritional balance much at all, which I guess I’ll have to consider at some point. Also not taking any vitamins right now – only pills are one daily aspirin and losartan for regulating blood pressure.

There are still a number of longer bucket list races I’d like to do, but the physical side is slowly starting to impact my mental approach to running. I liked running Get in Gear this year, but I was really slow. The 2019 Get in Gear is the only race I’ve signed up for right now and don’t want to waste money on longer races I can’t finish in a respectable amount of time.

Alright, where is that link to my doctor?

Originally published by DK on June 25, 2018 at 12:36 pm

Mini Posts

Posted Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 09:15 pm GMT -6 in Mini Posts at 9:15 PM

Writing doesn’t always need to be a perfectly researched and edited story with links and pictures, which is what I usually try to do here with a “standard” post. Those stories have been few and far between the past few years, as each one tends to take several hours from start to publish. It’s much easier to tap out 140 characters in a tweet (which automatically gets posted here) or come up with a clever caption for a picture on Instagram (ditto).

I’ve had a lot of things floating around in my mind lately and finally decided today I should use my little corner of the internet to write about some of them (thanks to Steve the Sax Man for the weekly inspiration via his Three Things Thursdays). They won’t be long or fancy, but hopefully therapeutic for me (and perhaps useful for someone out there). I created a new mini post category that I’ll tag these with for future reference and will attempt at least one a week to start…

Originally published by DK on June 19, 2018 at 9:15 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
  • 2021 Run Mileage: 136.4
  • 2021 Bike Mileage: 23.2

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Upcoming Races

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

Upcoming Sporting Events

  • Wolves vs. Portland - 3/13/21
  • Wolves vs. Portland - 3/14/21
  • Wolves vs. OKC - 3/22/21
  • Wolves vs. Dallas - 3/24/21
  • Wolves vs. Houston - 3/26/21
  • Wolves vs. Houston - 3/27/21
  • Wolves vs. New York - 3/31/21
  • Wolves vs. Sacramento - 4/5/21
  • Wolves vs. Chicago - 4/11/21
  • Wolves vs. Brooklyn - 4/12/21
  • Wolves vs. MKE - 4/14/21
  • Wolves vs. Miami - 4/16/21
  • Wolves vs. Utah - 4/26/21
  • Wolves vs. Golden State - 4/29/21
  • Wolves vs. New Orleans - 5/1/21
  • Wolves vs. Memphis - 5/5/21
  • Wolves vs. Denver - 5/13/21
  • Wolves vs. Boston - 5/15/21
  • Wolves vs. Dallas - 5/16/21

Upcoming Concerts

  • New Standards - 3/10/21, Papa Charlie's
  • Kenny Chesney - 6/5/21, USBS
  • Rage Against the Machine - 7/2/21, Target Center
  • Def Leppard - 7/8/21, USBS
  • George Strait - 7/31/21, USBS
  • Doobie Brothers - 8/31/21, Grandstand
  • Rammstein - 9/3/21, USBS
  • Cloud Cult - 9/9/21, Orchestra Hall
  • Trampled By Turtles & Wilco - 9/18/21, Treasure Island
  • Dave Simonett - 11/26/21, Fitzgerald
  • Elton John - 3/22/22, Xcel

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