7 Minute Miles

The Spread of Sports Betting

Posted Sunday, July 28th, 2019 08:24 pm GMT -5 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 -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

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

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

First Week at Home

Posted Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 09:44 pm GMT -5 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. ❤️

Brains!

Originally published by DK on November 3, 2018 at 9:44 pm

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

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
 

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Personal Records & Mileage

  • Mile - 6:10
  • 5K - 21:42
  • 10K - 44:40
  • Half - 1:38:40
  • Full - 3:43:32
  • 50K - 7:37:00
  • 2019 Run Mileage: 46.4
  • 2019 Bike Mileage: 1016.6

Upcoming Races

  • Get in Gear 10K - 4/25/20

Upcoming Sporting Events

  • Vikings vs. Raiders - 9/22/19
  • Vikings vs. Eagles - 10/13/19
  • Vikings vs. Washington - 10/24/19
  • Vikings vs. Denver - 11/17/19
  • Vikings vs. Lions - 12/8/19
  • Vikings vs. Packers - 12/23/19
  • Vikings vs. Bears - 12/29/19

Upcoming Concerts

  • Brittany Howard - 9/19, Palace
  • Avett Brothers & TBT - 9/21, Treasure Island
  • The Black Keys - 9/28, Target Center
  • Little Steven - 10/17, Ames Center
  • The B-52s - 10/19, Grand Casino Mille Lacs
  • Richard Thompson - 10/25, Fitzgerald
  • Joshua Bell - 10/27, Ordway
  • Wilco - 11/22, Palace Theater
  • POLIÇA - 11/27, Entry
  • Cloud Cult - 3/20, Orchestra Hall