7 Minute Miles

Memorial Day 2021 🇺🇸

Posted Monday, May 31st, 2021 06:07 pm GMT -5 in History,Mini Posts,Personal,Science at 6:07 PM

Remembering those who perished in service to this country:

  • Civil War: 655,000
  • World War I: 116,516
  • World War II: 405,399
  • Korean War: 36,516
  • Vietnam War: 58,209

And as vaccines start to take hold, also thinking of these American lives lost:

  • Flu Pandemic of 1918: 675,000
  • COVID-19 Pandemic: 591,265

Rest in Peace 💜

Originally published by DK on May 31, 2021 at 6:07 pm

Limited Edition 2021 Get in Gear

Posted Sunday, May 30th, 2021 10:13 am GMT -5 in Mini Posts,Running at 10:13 AM

Better late than never – here is my very brief race report from the 2021 Get in Gear 10K. It was great to be back to running in-person again, even if it wasn’t completely normal. This was my 21st Get in Gear (and 20th in a row, if you count last year’s virtual race). It’s still my favorite 10K and I hope to continue running it every spring as long as I’m mobile.

The 2021 edition was shortened to 5.5 miles, as the start and finish were located in the parking lot near the entrance to the lock and dam on West River Parkway. The sign-in and T-shirt tables were located under the Ford Parkway bridge, which were only available on race day (none of the usual spots in Minnehaha Park were used this year). The streets were not closed, so the entire route was on the pathways. We even had to use the stairs on the St. Paul side of the Lake Street bridge.

The field was limited to 250 people, with two waves starting at 8:30am and 9:30am. Pods of ten runners were spaced two minutes apart – I started in pod one of wave two and had a nice bike escort for the first few miles. I don’t know why they let me set the pace in my pod for the first mile, but it was a cool feeling to be in the “lead” briefly. Finished with a 58:32 chip time (10:39 Minute Miles), good for 187th out of 240 and 12th in my age group. First time with peanut butter at a race finish – thanks, Old Home!

Up next: State Fair Milk Run 5K.

Originally published by DK on May 30, 2021 at 10:13 am

Finally, a Grand Story

Posted Sunday, January 10th, 2021 11:20 pm GMT -5 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 -5 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 -5 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

Minnesota Zoo Nature Illuminated

Posted Sunday, December 13th, 2020 10:42 pm GMT -5 in Art,Family,Mini Posts,Nature at 10:42 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.


Originally published by DK on December 13, 2020 at 10:42 pm

Top 7 Shows of 2020

Posted Thursday, December 3rd, 2020 10:10 pm GMT -5 in Mini Posts,Television at 10:10 PM

My favorite pandemic time killers (alphabetical):

Any others I should start? Better Call Saul was good too…

Originally published by DK on December 3, 2020 at 10:10 pm

The Excellence of Arete

Posted Sunday, November 29th, 2020 07:51 pm GMT -5 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

Apple Silicon and Big Sur

Posted Sunday, November 15th, 2020 12:25 am GMT -5 in Mini Posts,News,Technology at 12:25 AM

I don’t really have a ton of comments on the new stuff this week:

  • The upgrade file for Big Sur is huge, then it asks for even more free space to install.
  • Happy it’s still free, but how exactly does that continue to work?
  • Upgraded my work MacBook Air on the first day, then my home iMac the next day. No big issues so far on either one – there was one alert about the Cisco AnyConnect client, but version 4.9.00086 seems to work fine.
  • Out of the gate, Big Sur seems very polished for a dot-0 release.
  • Speaking of 11: while I like the Spinal Tap reference, the end of the “X” is a little sad too.
  • Will the new Safari improvements get me to switch back from Chrome? Time will tell on that one…
  • Hoping the AirPod tradeoff process between devices works as promised, since I switch a lot these days.
  • Happy that Music and Photos survived the upgrade with no issues (and maybe even a little better performance?).
  • All of my old crusty menubar apps seem to work so far (Last.fm Scrobbler, Backblaze).
  • No issues with virtual desktops (i.e. – Mission Control), terminal sessions, Screen Sharing or iCloud Notes.
  • The Apple Silicon stuff is impressive – guessing my first one will be an iMac next year.
  • I would be clamoring for a new Air if they would’ve made the screen bezel smaller – that is the only thing I envy on our fleet of Dell XPS laptops.

In other Kingsbury Apple news, Colleen got her new Max on Friday and loves it. I’m still happy with my decision to get the smaller phone (and the iPad Pro for all of us to use as needed). Not really using the pencil, though (so far).

Originally published by DK on November 15, 2020 at 12:25 am

2020 Top 7 Online Reads

Posted Friday, October 23rd, 2020 12:35 pm GMT -5 in Mini Posts,News,Reading,Technology at 12:35 PM

Back in 2017, I posted my top 7 online publications. The list today has changed a little:

* paid subscriber

Originally published by DK on October 23, 2020 at 12:35 pm

Seven Tips for Better Living

Posted Sunday, October 4th, 2020 09:10 pm GMT -5 in Mini Posts,Personal at 9:10 PM

It’s the start of bonus week, so let’s kick off things with a new Top 7 list:

  • Let those you love know
  • Never read the comments
  • Always keep learning
  • Move every day
  • Travel as much as possible
  • Eat the good stuff
  • Less talking, more thinking

More reflections coming soon…

Originally published by DK on October 4, 2020 at 9:10 pm

Well…how did I get here?

Posted Friday, September 11th, 2020 11:21 pm GMT -5 in Mini Posts,Technology,Work at 11:21 PM

 

es • o • ter • ic
ĕs″ə-tĕr′ĭk
adj. Intended for or understood by only a small group, especially one with specialized knowledge or interests: synonym: mysterious.

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 -5 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

A North Shore Dream

Posted Sunday, August 9th, 2020 11:33 am GMT -5 in Mini Posts,Personal at 11:33 AM

With all the crazy, awful things going on in the world today, I’m not sure it’s really appropriate to daydream about material things that are so outside the realities of a worldwide pandemic. On the other hand, it does feel a little therapeutic to briefly escape from all the anxiety and think about a different, calmer life. The North Shore of Lake Superior has always been one of those escapes for me and I could easily envision spending the rest of my life on that lake:

  • Design and build a not-so-big log cabin
  • Stone fireplace and large picture window
  • Screen porch to manage the flying bugs
  • Heated floors for warm feet in the winter
  • Fast internet (but no phones)
  • Nice speakers to play the North Shore playlist
  • Wooded lot with shoreline
  • Wildflowers and hummingbirds
  • Detached garage with exercise area/game room
  • Guest cottages for SK and MK
  • Family kayaks
  • Access to the SHT and bike trails
  • Golf at Superior National
  • Skiing at Lutsen Mountains
  • Gaming at Grand Portage
  • Concerts at Papa Charlie’s

Ahh…

Originally published by DK on August 9, 2020 at 11:33 am

Minnesota Lost Courses

Posted Tuesday, July 21st, 2020 08:02 pm GMT -5 in Golf,History,Mini Posts,Reading at 8:02 PM

As I started reading through Joe Bissen’s new book, More! Gone. Minnesota’s Lost Golf Courses Part II, I realized that not only are there a lot of closed courses I actually played, there are also a large percentage of the courses I included in my Minnesota Golden Links CD-ROM back in 1999 that are no longer here (43 by my initial count). Joe was kind enough to include a chapter with a list of all the closed courses he knows about, so I thought it would be fun to go back to my original Photoshop files and post the screens for the ones that are no longer open for play (pics after the jump – please excuse the ancient Photoshop techniques and poor color corrections).

Joe says in the introduction to the new book that he isn’t as interested in the courses that have closed recently, but it’s amazing how many of the entries in my 1999 guide are gone (including a few that opened after my guide and are already closed). There are a number of inconsistencies between his list and my guide, as I only included public courses that were members of the Minnesota Golf Association (MGA). Make sure and check out his original book Fore! Gone: Minnesota’s Lost Golf Courses, 1897-1999, as well as his website. Fun stuff.

Albert Lea Golf Club, RIP 1912 – 2006

Birch Bay Golf Course, RIP 1965 – 2015

The Bridges of Mounds View, RIP 1995 – 2006

Brockway Golf Course, RIP 1935 – 2004

Carriage Hills Country Club, RIP 1967 – 2005

Elm Creek Golf Links, RIP 1960 – 2013

Fort Ridgely State Park Golf Course, RIP 1927 – 2017

French Lake Open Golf Club, RIP 1985 – 2015

The Greens at Howard Lake, RIP 1995 – 2013

Greenwood Golf Links, RIP 1985 – 2006

Hampton Hills Golf Course, RIP 1960 – 2003

Hayden Hills Golf Club, RIP 1972 – 2018

Hidden Creek Golf Club, RIP 1996 – 2009

Hollydale Golf Club, RIP 1965 – 2019

Irish Hills Golf Course, RIP 1985 – 2009

Ironman Golf Course, RIP 1960 – 2017

KateHaven Golf Course, RIP 1981 – 2014

Lakeview Golf, RIP 1956 – 2013

Links of Byron, RIP 1994 – 2013

Lone Pine Country Club, RIP 1967 – 2002

Maplebrook Executive Golf Club, RIP 1974 – ???

Meadow Lakes Golf Club, RIP 1998 – 2012

Meadowbrook Country Club, RIP 1984 – 2008

Meadowwoods Golf Course, RIP 1991 – 2004

Mississippi Dunes Golf Links, RIP 1995 – 2017

Orchard Gardens Golf Course, RIP 1967 – 2004

Parkview Golf Club, RIP 1969 – 2013

Pine Meadows Golf Course, RIP 1921 – 2004

Pine River Country Club, RIP 1981 – 2010

Prairie View Golf Links, RIP 1983 – 2013

Red Rock Golf Course, RIP 1932 – 2016

Rich Acres Golf Course, RIP 1980 – 1999

Ridgewood Country Club, RIP 1987 – 2016

Rolling Green Fairways Golf Course, RIP 1977 – 2003

Rolling Hills Golf Course, RIP 1970 – 2016

Root River Country Club, RIP 1962 – 2014

Sauk Centre Country Club, RIP 1921 – 2013

Silver Springs Golf Course, RIP 1974 – 2009

Thompson Oaks Golf Course, RIP 1997 – 2017

Valley View Golf Club, RIP 1992 – 2015

Wendigo Golf Club, RIP 1995 – 2011

Wilderness Hills Golf Course, RIP 1995 – ???

Woodland Creek Golf Course, RIP 1989 – 2010

Originally published by DK on July 21, 2020 at 8:02 pm

Seven “Lost” Courses

Posted Tuesday, July 7th, 2020 09:46 am GMT -5 in Golf,History,Mini Posts at 9:46 AM

Golf courses I’ve played that are no longer open:

  • Valley View, Belle Plaine
  • Carriage Hills, Eagan
  • Rich Acres, Richfield
  • Hudson GC, Hudson
  • Wendigo, Grand Rapids
  • Brockway, Rosemount
  • Parkview, Eagan

Can’t remember the last new one that opened around here…

Originally published by DK on July 7, 2020 at 9:46 am

Top 7 Covers

Posted Sunday, July 5th, 2020 03:22 pm GMT -5 in Mini Posts,Music at 3:22 PM

My favorite song covers:

  • Superstar – Sonic Youth (Carpenters)
  • Hurt – Johnny Cash (Nine Inch Nails)
  • Jolene – The White Stripes (Dolly Parton)
  • Jesus, Etc. – Norah Jones (Wilco)
  • Over the Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (Judy Garland)
  • Take Me to the River – Talking Heads (Al Green)
  • Walk This Way – Run-D.M.C. (Aerosmith)

In no particular order (and I’m sure I missed some)…

Originally published by DK on July 5, 2020 at 3:22 pm

Top 7 Character Stengths

Posted Monday, June 15th, 2020 05:50 pm GMT -5 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 -5 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

Part of the Problem?

Posted Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 01:10 am GMT -5 in Mini Posts,Personal at 1:10 AM

Step 1 – Download my info
Step 2 – Deactivate my account
Step 3 – Permanently delete my account

Two out of three so far…

UPDATE:
And since Facebook owns Instagram:

Step 1 – Download my info
Step 2 – Deactivate my account
Step 3 – Permanently delete my account

Originally published by DK on June 2, 2020 at 1:10 am

Shifting Landscapes

Posted Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 10:19 am GMT -5 in Mini Posts,Politics at 10:19 AM

Just like in real life, I try to avoid discussing politics and religion on this site. As an avid student of history, however, I’m really fascinated by the changing face of the Republican party in the United States. In particular, the formation and actions of The Lincoln Project, support from some of the Minnesota Republicans of my youth and the reaction on the “new right” by people like Jason Lewis to these efforts.

As I’ve (reluctantly) shared in the past, I do not consider myself a Republican or a Democrat (or a conservative or a liberal). I like to evaluate all issues independent of the pre-conceived platforms of those labels and form my own opinions on a case-by-case basis. What I find interesting about the Lincoln Project is how some people I thought would always be set in their ways have changed their position over time. Take Steve Schmidt for example. Here’s the guy who pushed John McCain to select Sarah Palin and worked with George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Arnold Schwarzenegger on Trump:

The 43rd President of the United States listened to Trump’s inaugural and turned to the former Secretary of State and said, “well, that was some weird shit.” Indeed it was. Trump, raged about “American carnage” and described a dystopic America that existed only in the fever dreams of a noxious mix of conspiracy theorists, demagogic commentators and dishonest propaganda platforms getting rich by spreading the disinformation planted by foreign intelligence services. Three years on it turns out Trump’s speech was prophecy. He has brought devastation to America. His legacy will be mass death and economic collapse caused by his staggering incompetence and ineptitude. The United States is the epicenter of Covid-19 disease and death and the reason is because of Trump. Trump has failed at an epic level. He has divided the county and stoked a cold civil war. He has lied more than 17000 times and desecrated the American Presidency. He has assaulted American patriots, our most important institutions and attacked the rule of law. He is corrupt, indecent and utterly lacking character. He processes none of the qualities of greatness and goodness that have steered our country through its’ darkest nights. He is a fool without compare. He is intellectually unfit and mentally fragile. He is unworthy of his office and unfit for its duties. We are living in a moment of American weakness unlike any of us have ever seen. Trump is the architect of that weakness. He is the instrument of our precipitous national decline. Recovery from this disaster will take many years. Trump is not capable at any level of leading it. The election ahead is the most important this country has faced since 1864. Let it end this rancid era of the reality show Presidency. Let it send this tiresome and ignorant bully back to Trump Tower and cleanse the stench of his corruption, idiocy, racebaiting and failure from our national life. The name Trump will long linger. It will stand for suffering and unnecessary death. It will stand for economic collapse and financial ruin. It will stand for failure and weakness. It will stand for decline and dishonesty. It will stand for stupidity and indecency. But mostly it will mark a tragic time in America where the worst leader in our long history, a man so outmatched by history’s test was the President. He will be remembered rightfully as the worst one we have ever had.

Originally published by DK on May 20, 2020 at 10:19 am

Hummel Bin #2

Posted Thursday, May 14th, 2020 10:18 pm GMT -5 in Mini Posts,Personal at 10:18 PM

This bin had a lot more than the first one – this project is going to take a long time. As I mentioned in the first bin post, please let me know if you are interested in any of these little beauties (pics after the jump).

Originally published by DK on May 14, 2020 at 10:18 pm

Fitness Pyramids

Posted Thursday, May 14th, 2020 04:37 pm GMT -5 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

Hummel Bin #1

Posted Sunday, May 10th, 2020 04:11 pm GMT -5 in Art,Family,Mini Posts,Shopping at 4:11 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.


Originally published by DK on May 10, 2020 at 4:11 pm

Top 7 Disney World Attractions

Posted Monday, May 4th, 2020 03:24 pm GMT -5 in Disney,Mini Posts,Travel at 3:24 PM

Tom and Sarah Bricker’s excellent Disney Tourist Blog just published a post with their ranking of all 94 attractions at Walt Disney World. I’m really missing the Disney parks these days and haven’t seen any of the new Star Wars rides in California or Florida, so it was really fun reading this (and all of their posts, to be honest). Here are my personal top seven in Florida:

I’m sure some of the new rides I’ve haven’t seen might impact this list. Looking forward to our next visit…

Originally published by DK on May 4, 2020 at 3:24 pm

Dynamite Magazine

Posted Thursday, April 30th, 2020 11:40 pm GMT -5 in History,Mini Posts,Pop Culture,Reading at 11:40 PM

One of the highlights of grade school for me was Scholastic’s Dynamite magazine. It appears I started to subscribe to that in 1976, lasting until 1982. I found a box of these in the basement of my parent’s house on Lombard as we were getting it ready to sell, but they weren’t in great condition. I scanned and posted the entire issue from August 1979 here, if you want to get a feeling for what it was like.

Now that I have my ancient Canon scanner working again with my iMac, I thought I’d scan the front and back of the issues that survived the trip down to our loft. SK will now get the originals for her art projects and I get to keep the digital scans (which you can see after the jump).


Originally published by DK on April 30, 2020 at 11:40 pm

Lowertown Brain Dump

Posted Sunday, April 19th, 2020 09:17 pm GMT -5 in Housekeeping,Mini Posts,Personal at 9:17 PM

A few random Sunday night notes:

  • The introvert in me is doing just fine, thank you very much.
  • Started Yale’s free Science of Well-Being online class and I’m really glad I did (h/t Charles).
  • Inspired by Ms. Rosner, I’m going to switch to unleaded for the immediate future.
  • The scale is not my friend these days, but I’m still trying to close those three damn circles every day.
  • Need to pick a day this week to run the virtual Get in Gear 10K and submit my (likely very slow) time.
  • News and social media can be soul-crushing these days, but I just can’t turn it completely off. As the great Sandra Boynton said, don’t let the turkeys get you down.
  • When this is all over, I want to buy drinks (in person) for all the cool people I follow on Twitter and Instagram.
  • This weekend’s focus was deciding which physical CDs and DVDs we could do without. Once it reopens, Electric Fetus will be gifted the whole pile.
  • The plan this week is to get the food page updated with those spots now offering great take-out. I don’t have an unlimited budget, but we should all try and support as many of our local favorites as we can.
  • Finished all the taxes (ours and my dad’s) before the original April 15th deadline, but will hold on to those checks until July.
  • Still can’t believe we are all done with Lombard – such a huge relief (thanks again Kary).
  • Photos + iPhone + Catalina = fubar. All I want is to sync albums from Photos to my phone, but all I get is “Photos cannot be synced to the iPhone because your Photos Library is not yet available. Please try again later.” Never thought I’d yearn for iTunes.
  • Starting week three with the CPAP and so far I’m not a big fan. Can’t sleep on my stomach or side, I don’t like breathing only through my nose and it hasn’t improved my sleep quality much. Definitey quieter for everyone else, though.
  • Looking forward to my first socially-distanced round of golf this week at the always excellent Willingers in Northfield.
  • Scheduled to see my long lost friend Eric at James Irving on May 4th. Fingers crossed…

Wishing you all peace, love and happiness ❤️

Originally published by DK on April 19, 2020 at 9:17 pm

Back when I was ten

Posted Friday, April 10th, 2020 11:09 am GMT -5 in History,Mini Posts,Movies,Reading at 11:09 AM

Dynamite Magazine, August 1979

Originally published by DK on April 10, 2020 at 11:09 am

7 Minute Miles Turns 14

Posted Monday, March 30th, 2020 08:00 am GMT -5 in Housekeeping,Mini Posts,Personal,Technology at 8:00 AM

It’s blog birthday time again – the first 7 Minute Miles post appeared on this domain fourteen years ago today.

Current stats:

  • 11,119 Posts
  • 208 Pages
  • 41,174 unique visitors in 2019
  • 2,169,487 pages displayed in 2019

Currently running WordPress 5.3.2 with my custom theme and 19 plugins on the old Mac mini server colocated in Las Vegas. Favorite plugins: Wordfence Security, VaultPress, Intagrate and Really Simple SSL (with a Let’s Encrypt cert managed via Certbot). Still want to write some custom data entry forms for the golf, run and bike pages, but those (along with making the theme more mobile friendly) have still not made it off the to-do list. Also never figured out the solution to the weird SSL/emoji issue.

Haven’t changed the overall site structure much this year, adding only a new Concerts page that I’m experimenting with using the Vimeo hosting platform. I made some major updates to the Résumé page and just realized that the Biography page now needs a refresh too. After prepping photo boards for funerals in back-to-back months, I should also spend some time on updating the Photos section. I finally moved our Christmas samplers to online-only last year and might do a Hummel section soon too (hit me up if you need any).

As always, thanks for visiting and stay safe out there!

Originally published by DK on March 30, 2020 at 8:00 am

That Five Drinks Thing

Posted Wednesday, February 19th, 2020 05:14 pm GMT -5 in Food,Mini Posts at 5:14 PM

I usually don’t like to do the social media question thing *on* social media, but I’m intrigued by the “5 Drinks to get to know me” one:

  • Mountain Dew
  • Cherry Coke
  • Any cider > any beer
  • Old Fashioned
  • Octo’s Madagascar

Honorable mentions to the Epiphany at Prohibition and just about anything from Marvel Bar…

Originally published by DK on February 19, 2020 at 5:14 pm

Pre-Snow Random Thoughts

Posted Monday, November 25th, 2019 08:09 pm GMT -5 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 -5 in Casinos,Longform,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 -5 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 -5 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 -5 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

Thirteen Years of Publishing

Posted Saturday, March 30th, 2019 01:15 pm GMT -5 in Housekeeping,Mini Posts,Personal at 1:15 PM

It’s that time of year again – the first 7minutemiles.com post appeared on this domain thirteen years ago today.

Current stats:

  • 10,066 Posts
  • 204 Pages
  • 383 Comments (which are now turned off)
  • 54,914 unique visitors in 2018
  • 1,687,856 pages displayed in 2018

Still running WordPress (currently 5.1.1) with my custom theme and 17 plugins on the old Mac mini server colocated in Las Vegas. Favorite plugins: Wordfence Security, VaultPress, Intagrate and Really Simple SSL. Yes, I finally made the move this year to SSL using Let’s Encrypt, Certbot and that SSL plugin. I experimented with some form plugins for data entry on the golf, run and bike pages, but I didn’t like any of them. Planning to just write some custom code when I find the time. I’ve also given up on using a plugin to make the site more mobile-friendly, so at some point I’ll just have to learn the design and coding techniques to deal with that using my existing theme.

The old Tapemark Charity Pro-Am online leaderboards have a historical home now here. We had a new foodie join our team at the stadium, so I created a food page to summarize some of my favorite places in Minnesota. My upcoming races, concerts and sporting events are now displayed in the home page footer (and stored in a new database). The Biography and Résumé pages have some small updates. Video and photos still need a lot of love in the coming months and the mysterious SSL/emoji issue still needs resolution…

As always, thanks for visiting!

Originally published by DK on March 30, 2019 at 1:15 pm

RIP Easy Chart Builder

Posted Monday, March 18th, 2019 09:03 pm GMT -5 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

2019 Best Of

Posted Sunday, March 10th, 2019 03:42 pm GMT -5 in Mini Posts,Personal at 3:42 PM

I kind of forget that City Pages is now owned by the Star Tribune, but it seems to have kept the same editorial vibe as before. I always have liked reading the annual Best of the Twin Cities issue, which you can vote for here (until March 26). Here are a few of my recommendations:

  • Best Place to Buy Art Supplies – Wet Paint on Grand (at least according to my very artsy daughter).
  • Best Movie Theater – Riverview Theater. All of the nominees are solid, but this one is still my favorite.
  • Best Casino – Mystic Lake. It really is in a class by itself (for Minnesota).
  • Best Festival – Minnesota State Fair (don’t really consider it a festival, but whatever). See also: Best Place to People-Watch
  • Best Public Park – Minnehaha Park and Falls. I wish I was riding my bike there right now.
  • Best BBQ – Q Fanatic. Need to get back to the one in Minneapolis soon.
  • Best Breakfast – Keys Cafe & Bakery. Really just the one on Raymond, though.
  • Best Brunch – Martina. I like others just as much (if not more), but this wins out of those five.
  • Best Burger (Classic) – Parlour out of that list, but Saint Dinette’s burger blows all of them away.
  • Best Chinese Restaurant – Rainbow Chinese. I need to go there more often.
  • Best Cocktails – Marvel Bar. Still the best, in a town full of great places to drink.
  • Best Diner – Hi-Lo Diner. Another strong category – we are blessed with many fine diners.
  • Best Distillery – Tattersall Distilling. Those guys rock.
  • Best Dive Bar – Bull’s Horn. Go Team Amy and Doug.
  • Best Fried Chicken – Revival. This is a very, very tough category with many fine options.
  • Best Fries – Barbette. Long time champ retains my title (for that type of fries, anyways).
  • Best Ice Cream – Grand Ole Creamery. Sweet Cream Forever.
  • Best Italian Restaurant – Mucci’s Italian. Chef Chris and Sarge rule.
  • Best Lunch – Cecil’s Deli. Home of my all-time favorite sandwich.
  • Best Mexican Restaurant – Pajarito. Need to go here more often too.
  • Best New Restaurant – In Bloom. Lots of good options, but gotta stay true to my Saint Paul roots.
  • Best Pizza – Punch Pizza (at least out of those five)
  • Best Restaurant Minneapolis – Restaurant Alma. So much has changed, but Alma still holds strong.
  • Best Restaurant St. Paul – Saint Dinette. The default was always Meritage, but the times are a-changin’
  • Best State Fair Food – Pronto Pup. NEVER CORN DOGS.
  • Best Steak – Murray’s Steakhouse. Although you can’t wrong at any of these.

Skipping all of the the music options, as I don’t know what to think of the local scene these days. Rock the vote, yo.

Originally published by DK on March 10, 2019 at 3:42 pm

Things that make me happy

Posted Sunday, February 17th, 2019 03:27 pm GMT -5 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 -5 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 -5 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 -5 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 -5 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 -5 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

Unscheduled Downtime

Posted Sunday, December 2nd, 2018 10:44 pm GMT -5 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 -5 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

Gremlin Days

Posted Friday, November 2nd, 2018 08:17 pm GMT -5 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

Seven STFT

Posted Thursday, November 1st, 2018 09:46 pm GMT -5 in Mini Posts,Music at 9:46 PM

Not Prince

  • Closer, Nine Inch Nails
  • Relax, Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  • Lapdance, N.E.R.D
  • Wicked Game, Chris Isaak
  • Give Me the Night, George Benson
  • Bad Things, Jace Everett
  • Sledgehammer, Peter Gabriel

Prince

  • Erotic City
  • D.M.S.R.
  • Gett Off
  • Kiss
  • Feel U Up
  • Computer Blue
  • Sexy M.F.

h/t – Stacks (NB)

Originally published by DK on November 1, 2018 at 9:46 pm

Senior Pix on the North Shore

Posted Tuesday, September 18th, 2018 04:31 pm GMT -5 in Family,Mini Posts,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

What to do, what to do

Posted Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 05:58 pm GMT -5 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 -5 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 -5 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 -5 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 -5 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 -5 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

SES Prom 2018

Posted Monday, May 7th, 2018 02:10 pm GMT -5 in Family,Mini Posts,Schools at 2:10 PM

Last Friday was MK’s first School of Environmental Studies prom, which was held in the Wabasha Street Caves. We took a few pictures of the fancy couple at the top of Ramsey Hill before a pit stop at Big River Pizza and their dinner at Louis (pics after the jump).

Only one year left. 😕