7 Minute Miles

Up Next: Public Broadcasting

Posted Thursday, November 17th, 2022 09:14 am in Business,Friends,Longform,Personal,Technology,Television,Work at 9:14 AM

Now that I’ve been in my new role as systems engineer at TPT for a month, I figured it was a good time to reflect on this change and write about my experience so far. The organization’s post-COVID return to the office has been branded as a “Return to Lowertown” and it literally is for me too. Hard to believe it’s almost a year already since we left Rayette Lofts to head on down the river…

The commute back and forth has been great so far, usually taking under 15 minutes each way. Next spring, I hope to ride my bike a few days each week if I can sort out the storage issues. I splurged on the expensive parking option in the Lowertown Ramp, which is easy-in on Sibley and easy-out on Jackson (plus covered spots with no winter scraping). I’ve never really had any security trouble in Lowertown, but it is convenient to have a parking spot right next to the office entrance.

Some other logistical things: currently working a hybrid schedule of four days in the office and one day from home (Wednesdays), which has been very nice. While every day has been focused on getting up to speed on systems and technology, I’ve been trying to use the work from home day as a deep-dive research day (which is easier alone). TPT has a nice lunchroom, so I’ve mainly been bringing in frozen lunches to eat. The reawakening of the downtown St. Paul lunch dining scene has been slow, but there are pockets here and there. Still exploring the skyway, but always open to suggestions and recommendations.

Totally digging the culture and mission of the organization:

Enrich lives and strengthen our community through the power of media.

How can you not smile walking into an office with a two-story Big Bird on the wall? I grew up watching Sesame Street, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, The Electric Company and 3-2-1 Contact, while my kids were raised on Teletubbies, Arthur, Caillou, Zoboomafoo, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Sagwa and Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman. Our family was addicted to the old Action Auction they produced in the former studios across from the fairgrounds on Como, regularly bidding on 25-pound salted nut rolls (among other things).

Looking at some of the other pictures and signs around the office bring back a flood of other positive memories: Downtown Abbey, Rick Steves’ Europe, Nova, Nature, Austin City Limits, Lowertown Line and Almanac. So much good content has been broadcast from this PBS affiliate and I’m really excited to help such a talented and creative crew. My high school friend Terry Gray has been at TPT for 15 years and was a major influence on me considering this role. Super excited to work with him again (we worked together at HSRA Minnesota and I saw him occasionally on the sidelines at U.S. Bank Stadium).

The Information Technology team at TPT is solid and I really enjoy being part of a larger group again. Former McNally Smith veteran Nick Kaihoi is great to work with and we have so many shared tech experiences and philosophies, it’s scary. The team picked out a new M2 MacBook Air for me to use, which was just perfect. I also appreciate that the HR department has an actual “No Jerk Policy” and find the overall vibe just so refreshing. It reminds me of this Mr. Rodgers quote:

There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.

“Funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and contributions to your PBS station from Viewers Like You”

Originally published by DK on November 17, 2022 at 9:14 am

The Lowertown Express

Posted Friday, November 4th, 2022 11:42 am in Personal at 11:42 AM

Kinda miss riding the choo-choo (most of it, anyways)

Originally published by DK on November 4, 2022 at 11:42 am

Four Years of Bonus Time

Posted Saturday, October 8th, 2022 02:24 pm in Baseball,Concerts,Family,Food,Longform,Personal,Travel at 2:24 PM

This is a streak I can fully get behind: four full years of bonus time as of today (read about year one, year two and year three). As the memories of that day fade farther and farther out, I love having this extra “birthday” to reflect on how lucky I am to have more time with family and friends before moving in to my forever home (pictured above).

My overall health remains good, but wear and tear issues are starting to be felt more and more. Heading to see a foot specialist in a few weeks to have my left foot looked at – not sure if it’s a broken bone, arthritis or something else, but it’s not been the same since running the Garry Bjorklund Half in June. That was my first race longer than a 10K during bonus time, but I’m not sure I want to do anything longer than that again (but we’ll see what the doctor says). Rode 500+ miles on the bike this year and have the watch move streak at 905 days and counting, but played a lot less golf this season. Should drop 25 pounds, but that’s been a challenge.

My periodic MRI and subsequent talk with Dr. Tummala was very positive, so I don’t need another one of those for three years. That’s really great news, as I feel ultra-claustrophobic in that machine now. Had a visit with the dentist this week and everything on that front is still coming up Milhouse. I have a love/hate relationship with my glasses – the prism prescription is now probably the best it will get, so I still need to generally wear them for driving and golf. I can get by the rest of the time without them, so that’s an OK compromise.

At the end of the year three bonus time update, I mentioned there was a big change coming soon. That was me leaving U.S. Bank Stadium and joining the pre-opening team for the new Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis. I haven’t written much about my time there, but it was a great learning experience. We opened the hotel on time on June 1 and my last day was June 24. For the first time in my professional career, I voluntarily took a few months off during the summer to recharge and figure out what’s next. I’ll have more to write about that next week, but I have to say the Europeans that get to do this every year are really on to something…

Colleen and I have had a very eventful last 12 months. We went to Kauai for our 30th wedding anniversary, built a new “retirement special” home south of Saint Paul and became pretty big baseball fans, attending lots of Saints and Twins game (hoping we can go to spring training next year too, if Fort Myers recovers). We’ve slowed down a bit with concerts, but still love a good live show. Since the last bonus post, I saw The Rolling Stones at U.S. Bank Stadium, Elvis Costello at First Avenue, Richard Thompson at the Fitzgerald, Diana Ross at the Minnesota State Fair, Florence + the Machine at Xcel Energy Center and another amazing Tenacious D show at Surly. Too bad Duran Duran got rained out at Treasure Island.

Today Colleen and I went to brunch at The Copperfield in Mendota Heights, we drove by my grandparent’s old street nearby (which has a completely different house on that lot now), stopped by Acacia Cemetery and admired the giant blaze maple and will head down to Xcel Energy Center for some pre-season hockey before wrapping up the night checking out the hot new Woodbury restaurant Hazelwood.

Still super, super grateful for the wonderful health professionals who helped me on this journey, along with the amazing support of family and friends – you all rock. Lots of big changes coming up in the next year of bonus time – stayed tuned!

Peace and love, DK

Originally published by DK on October 8, 2022 at 2:24 pm

From red to blue

Posted Thursday, October 6th, 2022 07:51 pm in Personal,Travel at 7:51 PM

A melancholy visit to Birch Point

Originally published by DK on October 6, 2022 at 7:51 pm


Posted Thursday, October 6th, 2022 02:47 pm in Friends,Personal,Travel at 2:47 PM

Vermilion Inn, Soudan, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on October 6, 2022 at 2:47 pm

Hit another one today

Posted Sunday, October 2nd, 2022 10:37 pm in Personal,Sports at 10:37 PM

900 day move streak 👊

Originally published by DK on October 2, 2022 at 10:37 pm

Still one of my favorites

Posted Wednesday, July 6th, 2022 06:45 pm in Personal at 6:45 PM

Herb Hultgren original oil

Originally published by DK on July 6, 2022 at 6:45 pm

Move streak 800 ✅

Posted Friday, June 24th, 2022 11:56 pm in Personal at 11:56 PM

How long will this last?

Originally published by DK on June 24, 2022 at 11:56 pm

Another walk in the park

Posted Friday, June 10th, 2022 07:08 am in Nature,Personal at 7:08 AM

I love this new trail

Originally published by DK on June 10, 2022 at 7:08 am

Actually cooked a burger at home

Posted Thursday, June 2nd, 2022 07:09 pm in Food,Personal at 7:09 PM

Better than I expected 🍔

Originally published by DK on June 2, 2022 at 7:09 pm

Our new Forever Neighbor 😢

Posted Monday, May 30th, 2022 10:21 pm in Personal,Television at 10:21 PM

Just up the hill from our plot @ Acacia

Originally published by DK on May 30, 2022 at 10:21 pm

Memorial Day 2022 💜

Posted Monday, May 30th, 2022 03:09 pm in Family,Holidays,Personal at 3:09 PM

Found an easier way to Oakland Cemetery

Originally published by DK on May 30, 2022 at 3:09 pm

Didn’t want to join this club

Posted Wednesday, May 11th, 2022 01:33 pm in Personal at 1:33 PM

Lasted longer than many, but still was hoping it wouldn’t happen

Originally published by DK on May 11, 2022 at 1:33 pm

Headshots 2022

Posted Thursday, March 10th, 2022 08:12 pm in Personal,Photography at 8:12 PM

Still like my old Gooseberry pic the best

Originally published by DK on March 10, 2022 at 8:12 pm

Not pregnant

Posted Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022 04:50 pm in Personal,Science at 4:50 PM

First rapid, home COVID test

Originally published by DK on February 2, 2022 at 4:50 pm

The time is now

Posted Tuesday, December 21st, 2021 02:03 pm in Housekeeping,Personal at 2:03 PM

December has really been something

Originally published by DK on December 21, 2021 at 2:03 pm

My desk for the week

Posted Tuesday, December 14th, 2021 03:30 pm in Personal,Travel at 3:30 PM

Highly recommend having a lanai as part of your room

Originally published by DK on December 14, 2021 at 3:30 pm

Hello again, choo-choo

Posted Saturday, November 13th, 2021 08:06 pm in Personal at 8:06 PM

First full ride home on the green line since the pandemic started

Originally published by DK on November 13, 2021 at 8:06 pm

Top 7 Brands

Posted Tuesday, November 9th, 2021 01:31 pm in Business,Fashion,Mini Posts,Personal,Shopping,Technology at 1:31 PM

I’ve turned into a marketing executive’s dream. Here are seven of my current favorite brands:

  • Apple
  • Descente
  • Disney
  • Johnston and Murphy
  • Mizuno
  • Polo Ralph Lauren
  • Sony

Most of those have been on the list for years and years too…

Originally published by DK on November 9, 2021 at 1:31 pm

Driveway ✅

Posted Monday, November 8th, 2021 09:34 am in Housekeeping,Personal at 9:34 AM

Coming next month…

Originally published by DK on November 8, 2021 at 9:34 am

A return to hospitality

Posted Sunday, November 7th, 2021 11:59 pm in Business,Personal,Work at 11:59 PM

A little late on writing the follow-up story to my post about the end of the stadium chapter, but as many of you already know, I’ve decided to return to the hospitality industry. On October 25th, I joined the opening team at the new Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Minneapolis, which will be located in the RBC Gateway building at the intersection of Nicollet Mall and Washington Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

The project is owned by the Pohlad family, so a tip of the hat to Twins technology guru John Avenson for telling me about this opportunity (and the history behind it). The tower will be mixed use: office space for several Pohlad companies and RBC Wealth Management, a new ground floor restaurant and coffee shop from Gavin Kaysen, event space (two ballrooms and multiple meeting rooms), an outdoor pool deck with restaurant, spa with indoor pool, exercise and yoga rooms, eight hotel floors and 34 private residences.

The Four Seasons brand and corporate culture is outstanding and will be a great addition to the Twin Cities market. I’m so impressed with the local team being assembled here, along with all the people that I’ve met from the home office in Toronto and at other locations around the world. The Director of IT from Houston was in Minneapolis last week and will help with our opening. Later this month, I will travel to Chicago for orientation (and my first stay at one of the properties).

From a technical perspective, this move will take me back to the world of Opera, along with all of the other systems that hotels need to operate: door locks and keys, IPTV, WiFi, telephones, security cameras and digital signage (among others). It’s also really nice to have a strong network of internal support, as well as a world-class corporate IT group that have well-defined standards and procedures. My office will have a window peering into the data center and it’ll be fun to have IDF rooms on multiple floors of a really tall building (along with brand-new equipment throughout).

Similar to my start at the stadium, we are in temporary offices down the street while construction continues (offices should be ready in February, with the hotel set to open in the summer). Great to be back in construction mode again with a hard hat and reflective vest: McGough is the general contractor and I get to work with Gephart again too. Other primary groups include Pohlad-owned United Properties as the site developer and JLL as the leasing agent.

Originally published by DK on November 7, 2021 at 11:59 pm

Less than two months left

Posted Monday, November 1st, 2021 08:43 pm in Housekeeping,Personal at 8:43 PM

It’s coming along nicely

Originally published by DK on November 1, 2021 at 8:43 pm

The stadium chapter concludes

Posted Thursday, October 21st, 2021 10:50 pm in Business,Family,Football,Friends,Personal,Work at 10:50 PM

Yesterday was my last official day working at U.S. Bank Stadium as the Director of IT. I was about a week shy of six years, but what a wild ride it has been:

  • Five plus seasons of Vikings Football (including the Minneapolis Miracle)
  • Super Bowl LII
  • Men’s Final Four
  • Summer X Games
  • A.C. Milan vs. Chelsea
  • Monster Jam and Super Cross dirt shows
  • MSHSL Championships
  • Metallica, Coldplay, Taylor Swift, Guns N’ Roses, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, U2 with Beck (and many other shows)

It’s been an honor to work in this building from pre-opening through today, partnering with outstanding organizations, working with truly amazing people and learning an awful lot about the sports and entertainment industry.

There are really too many people to thank for helping me succeed in this chapter of my life, but I’d like to call out a few:

  • Armon Farrari, who I stole from Apple (h/t Pash) and who became one of the best technology managers I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with in any industry.
  • Curtis Schmillen, Director of Operations, Leo Pidde (now retired) and Ed Kroics (who took Leo’s place): just an amazing group of coworkers inside the building and great people to be with outside of work – be it on a golf course or at a happy hour.
  • Jim Farstad, executive director of the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority (and former technology consultant during construction): a true renaissance man in every way.
  • Inaugural GM Patrick Talty (and HR manager Shelly Wynia) for picking me to join the opening team back in 2015.
  • Current GM John Drum, who helped during my health emergency outside the stadium in 2018.
  • The CTAC team at CenturyLink (now Lumen) that designed and built the original technology infrastructure: Andy Diment, Mark Olson and Evan Teisberg. Still helping to this day, extraordinary knowledge that always made my job “really pretty simple.”
  • Bill Anderson and Wesley Terry at AmpThink: no one in the world knows more about WiFi than these two individuals.
  • Mentor Doug Podolak: your continued support of my career (and friendship) means the world to me.
  • My wife and daughters: zero percent chance I’d be here today without their love and support. You da best ❤️

Lastly, to everyone at the Vikings (past and present): you’ve been great partners and I can’t wait to see you bring home the Vince Lombardi trophy to the great state of Minnesota. Skol, Vikings!

Originally published by DK on October 21, 2021 at 10:50 pm

New bathroom preview

Posted Sunday, October 17th, 2021 05:34 pm in Housekeeping,Personal at 5:34 PM

My one real upgrade this time

Originally published by DK on October 17, 2021 at 5:34 pm

Just like old times

Posted Tuesday, October 12th, 2021 08:01 pm in Food,Personal at 8:01 PM

Clean bill of health at Hennepin Healthcare (and breakfast in the cafeteria)

Originally published by DK on October 12, 2021 at 8:01 pm

The forever home is ready

Posted Saturday, October 9th, 2021 12:06 pm in Housekeeping,Personal at 12:06 PM

Turned out really nice – hopefully the move-in date is still a long ways out

Originally published by DK on October 9, 2021 at 12:06 pm

Three Years of Bonus Time

Posted Friday, October 8th, 2021 11:13 am in Family,Food,Friends,Longform,Personal,Travel at 11:13 AM

Today marks the three year anniversary of my train platform event in downtown Minneapolis. The first anniversary was amazing, I was ultra grateful for my second anniversary and now things are running on all cylinders for year three. Colleen made my favorite bars to celebrate and we will be having dinner tonight at Saint Dinette to toast another splendid year around the sun.

On the health front, everything is great. I’m on my second pair of permanent prism lenses and they work perfectly. Still don’t need them for reading screens, but I do prefer them now for watching TV and movies, riding my bike, golfing and driving (even bought a pair of prism sunglasses). The move streak on my watch is now up to 540 days, I’m at 530 miles on the bike log for 2021 and have even signed up to try another half marathon in 2022.

As the pandemic continues to roll on, some things have returned to (semi) normal. While we had an entire football season without fans, this year has seen a return to no restrictions and four games with thousands of people through the doors. We took our first airplane trips to and from Las Vegas over Labor Day and will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary this December on Kauai. We’ve also been building a new house that should be ready when we get back (after an extended construction period).

Lastly, I want to again thank the healthcare professionals who helped get me to year three, along with all of my family and friends who have provided love and support. There is one other big change coming soon, but I’ll leave that for another day…

Originally published by DK on October 8, 2021 at 11:13 am

Something Good Coming, Mojo

Posted Wednesday, October 6th, 2021 08:09 am in Music,Personal,Quotes at 8:09 AM

And I’m in for the long run, wherever it goes. Ridin’ the river, wherever it goes. And I’m an honest man, work’s all I know…

Originally published by DK on October 6, 2021 at 8:09 am


Posted Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021 08:06 pm in Personal,Photography at 8:06 PM

Downtown has some great perspectives

Originally published by DK on September 22, 2021 at 8:06 pm

Verified Cat 6 ✅

Posted Tuesday, September 14th, 2021 11:04 am in Housekeeping,Personal,Technology at 11:04 AM

Pre-drywall meeting was a success

Originally published by DK on September 14, 2021 at 11:04 am

Windows ✅

Posted Thursday, September 9th, 2021 08:13 pm in Housekeeping,Personal at 8:13 PM

A little more progress

Originally published by DK on September 9, 2021 at 8:13 pm

I ❤️ the Minnesota State Fair

Posted Tuesday, August 31st, 2021 10:55 pm in Personal at 10:55 PM

See you next year!

Originally published by DK on August 31, 2021 at 10:55 pm

Where my trolls at?

Posted Tuesday, August 31st, 2021 10:52 pm in Family,Personal at 10:52 PM

Missed kid one and kid two

Originally published by DK on August 31, 2021 at 10:52 pm

Still haven’t been on the “new” bridge

Posted Saturday, August 28th, 2021 02:15 pm in Personal at 2:15 PM

New = reopened three years ago

Originally published by DK on August 28, 2021 at 2:15 pm

More framing progress

Posted Thursday, July 29th, 2021 08:56 pm in Housekeeping,Personal at 8:56 PM

Can’t wait to move in

Originally published by DK on July 29, 2021 at 8:56 pm

Morning in Lowertown

Posted Monday, July 26th, 2021 07:55 pm in Personal,Photography at 7:55 PM

Had to move the car early for the garage painters

Originally published by DK on July 26, 2021 at 7:55 pm

First-time single digit

Posted Saturday, July 24th, 2021 04:03 pm in Golf,Personal at 4:03 PM

Not a tournament legit 9.6, but I’ll take it

Originally published by DK on July 24, 2021 at 4:03 pm


Posted Monday, June 28th, 2021 10:38 pm in Family,History,Longform,Personal at 10:38 PM

This week I stopped during a bike ride at Acacia Park Cemetery to say hi to the family and check on my parent’s headstone (we’ve been waiting for my dad’s numbers to be updated for quite a while). As you can see in the photo, it now correctly says 1946 – 2020 (and is actually a completely new headstone). This sent me down two rabbit holes:

  • Investigating headstone options for my plot
  • The wondrous site that is findagrave.com

While we wait for the pricing options on the first one, I was amazed at how much personal information was available on our family on the second. I had no idea there were several other relatives buried at Acacia and I learned a bunch of things about the Kingsbury side of things too (more details after the jump).

In addition to my mom and dad, my maternal grandmother and grandfather are in the Cypress section of Acacia, along with my uncle Greg and my great uncle Warren and his wife Evelyn. Also on the Smith side of the family, Acacia is the final resting place for my great-grandparents Walter and Edna Smith, along with my great-great-grandparents John and Margaret Blaylock (who knew?). Also learned about the ties back to England (I already knew grandma Helen was “a beautiful Swedish Lady”).

On the Kingsbury side, I learned most of the family is buried in southern Minnesota, Iowa and Ohio (with one set of great-great-grandparents in Missouri and a New York connection too). I also learned about “Baby Kingsbury,” who died in 1944 and that I have a Norwegian relative named Ole Larsrud (not married to Lena). Also forgot that my paternal grandmother died on my wife’s birthday (in 2000).

For posterity, here is the data they listed for various relatives (down to fifth generation):

Karen Leslie Smith Kingsbury, mother
BIRTH 1 Sep 1944
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
DEATH 22 Dec 2017 (aged 73)
Edina, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA
Acacia Park Cemetery
Mendota Heights, Dakota County, Minnesota, USA
PLOT Cypress, Block 5, Lot 3, Grave 12 HE

Michael Alvin Kingsbury, father
BIRTH 7 Sep 1946
Lanesboro, Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA
DEATH 10 Feb 2020 (aged 73)
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
Acacia Park Cemetery
Mendota Heights, Dakota County, Minnesota, USA
PLOT Cypress, Block 5, Lot 3, Grave 12 FE

Helen Margaret Elmquist Smith, maternal grandmother
BIRTH 14 Jun 1920
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
DEATH 26 Dec 2007 (aged 87)
West Saint Paul, Dakota County, Minnesota, USA
Acacia Park Cemetery
Mendota Heights, Dakota County, Minnesota, USA
PLOT Cypress, Block 5, Lot 3, Grave 11 FE

Donald Leslie Smith, maternal grandfather
BIRTH 24 Nov 1919
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
DEATH 30 Dec 2013 (aged 94)
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
Acacia Park Cemetery
Mendota Heights, Dakota County, Minnesota, USA
PLOT Cypress, Block 5, Lot 3, Grave 11HE

Greg Alan Smith, uncle
BIRTH 27 Dec 1946
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
DEATH 25 Dec 2018 (aged 71)
Spokane, Spokane County, Washington, USA
Acacia Park Cemetery
Mendota Heights, Dakota County, Minnesota, USA
PLOT Cypress, Block 5, Lot 3, Grave 9 HE

Warren Hewson Smith, great-uncle
BIRTH 16 Jan 1917
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
DEATH 14 May 1992 (aged 75)
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
Acacia Park Cemetery
Mendota Heights, Dakota County, Minnesota, USA
PLOT Cypress, Block 5, Lot 3, Grave 9

Evelyn Josephine Rigoni Smith, great-aunt
BIRTH 15 May 1918
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
DEATH 20 Nov 2011 (aged 93)
Eden Prairie, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA
Acacia Park Cemetery
Mendota Heights, Dakota County, Minnesota, USA
PLOT Cypress, Block 5, Lot 3, Grave 10
Daughter of Antonio Rigoni and Rose Cella

Walter Ellsworth Smith, great-grandfather
BIRTH 27 Aug 1890
Pennsylvania, USA
DEATH 22 Mar 1946 (aged 55)
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
Acacia Park Cemetery
Mendota Heights, Dakota County, Minnesota, USA
PLOT Cypress, Block 5, Lot 3, Grave 5

Edna L Blaylock Smith, great-grandmother
BIRTH 8 Apr 1892
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
DEATH 25 Aug 1958 (aged 66)
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
Acacia Park Cemetery
Mendota Heights, Dakota County, Minnesota, USA
PLOT Cypress, Block 5, Lot 3, Grave 6

John Hewson Blaylock, great-great-grandfather
BIRTH 17 Sep 1848
DEATH 8 Aug 1936 (aged 87)
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
Acacia Park Cemetery
Mendota Heights, Dakota County, Minnesota, USA
PLOT Cypress, Block 5, Lot 3, Grave 13

Margaret Ann Tweddle Blaylock, great-great-grandmother
BIRTH 17 Jul 1856
DEATH 2 May 1940 (aged 83)
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
Acacia Park Cemetery
Mendota Heights, Dakota County, Minnesota, USA
PLOT Cypress, Block 5, Lot 3, Grave 14

Evalyn C. Campbell Kingsbury, paternal grandmother
BIRTH 20 Oct 1914
Stuart, Adair County, Iowa, USA
DEATH 23 Jun 2000 (aged 85)
Rushford, Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA
Henrytown Cemetery
Henrytown, Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA

Alvin Clifford Kingsbury, paternal grandfather
BIRTH 28 Nov 1908
Harmony, Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA
DEATH 29 Aug 1987 (aged 78)
Rushford Village, Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA
Henrytown Cemetery
Henrytown, Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA

Baby Kingsbury, aunt
BIRTH 1944
DEATH 13 Dec 1944 (aged less–than 1 year)
Henrytown Cemetery
Henrytown, Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA

Frances Mabel Arnold Campbell, great-grandmother
BIRTH 29 Oct 1887
Dexter, Dallas County, Iowa, USA
DEATH 4 Dec 1978 (aged 91)
Coon Rapids, Carroll County, Iowa, USA
Dexter Cemetery
Dexter, Dallas County, Iowa, USA

Clyde Marion Campbell, great-grandfather
BIRTH 2 Oct 1888
Sidney, Fremont County, Iowa, USA
DEATH 5 Apr 1977 (aged 88)
Coon Rapids, Carroll County, Iowa, USA
Dexter Cemetery
Dexter, Dallas County, Iowa, USA

Caroline Larsrud Kingsbury, great-grandmother
BIRTH 1 May 1876
DEATH 6 Dec 1933 (aged 57)
Henrytown Cemetery
Henrytown, Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA
Father’s Name: Ole Larsrud
Father’s Birthplace: Norway
Mother’s Name: Betsey Hilestad
Mother’s Birthplace: Norway

Charles Clarence Kingsbury, great-grandfather
BIRTH 8 Oct 1874
DEATH 14 Jan 1960 (aged 85)
Henrytown Cemetery
Henrytown, Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA
Father’s Name: John
Father’s Birthplace: Norway
Mother’s Name: Cordelia
Mother’s Birthplace: Norway

Cordelia Ann West Kingsbury, great-great-grandmother
BIRTH 13 Mar 1835
Michigan, USA
DEATH 17 May 1922 (aged 87)
Crown Hill Cemetery
Preston, Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA

John M. Kingsbury, great-great-grandfather
BIRTH 12 Jun 1828
Boonville, Oneida County, New York, USA
DEATH 8 Sep 1910 (aged 82)
Preston, Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA
Crown Hill Cemetery
Preston, Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA

Bertha “Betsy” Hilestad Larsrud, great-great-grandmother
BIRTH 16 Oct 1849
DEATH 12 Sep 1932 (aged 82)
Henrytown Cemetery
Henrytown, Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA
Father’s Name: Knud Hileslad
Father’s Birthplace: Norway
Mother’s Name: Sonneva
Mother’s Birthplace: Norway

Ole A. Larsrud, great-great-grandfather
BIRTH 15 Feb 1829
DEATH 11 Jun 1907 (aged 78)
Henrytown Cemetery
Henrytown, Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA

Nettie McCaffree Campbell, great-great-grandmother
BIRTH 3 Sep 1856
Illinois, USA
DEATH 18 Aug 1925 (aged 68)
Polk County, Missouri, USA
Humansville Cemetery
Humansville, Polk County, Missouri, USA

Harvey B Campbell, great-great-grandfather
BIRTH 8 Jul 1855
Fremont County, Iowa, USA
DEATH 23 Sep 1935 (aged 80)
Dexter, Dallas County, Iowa, USA
Humansville Cemetery
Humansville, Polk County, Missouri, USA

Elizabeth Row Arnold, great-great-grandmother
BIRTH 19 Dec 1844
Holmes County, Ohio, USA
DEATH 25 Dec 1929 (aged 85)
Dexter, Dallas County, Iowa, USA
Dexter Cemetery
Dexter, Dallas County, Iowa, USA

Jacob Arnold, great-great-grandfather
BIRTH 13 Mar 1850
Holmes County, Ohio, USA
DEATH 28 Jan 1930 (aged 79)
Dexter, Dallas County, Iowa, USA
Dexter Cemetery
Dexter, Dallas County, Iowa, USA

Margaret Van Slyke Kingsbury, great-great-great grandmother
BIRTH 1809
DEATH 1 Mar 1842 (aged 32–33)
Boonville, Oneida County, New York, USA
Boonville Cemetery
Boonville, Oneida County, New York, USA

Israel Kingsbury, great-great-great grandfather
BIRTH 8 Sep 1800
Boonville, Oneida County, New York, USA
DEATH 24 Jan 1889 (aged 88)
Boonville, Oneida County, New York, USA
Boonville Cemetery
Boonville, Oneida County, New York, USA

Anna West, great-great-great grandmother
BIRTH 13 Mar 1799
DEATH 13 Jan 1898 (aged 98)
Hesper Public Cemetery
Winneshiek County, Iowa, USA

Abram West, great-great-great grandfather
BIRTH 1787
DEATH 1864 (aged 76–77)
Hesper Public Cemetery
Winneshiek County, Iowa, USA

Sophia DeFreece Campbell, great-great-great-grandmother
BIRTH 7 Apr 1826
DEATH 28 Apr 1909 (aged 83)
Sidney Cemetery
Sidney, Fremont County, Iowa, USA
PLOT Sec 2 Row 17

Aaron Campbell, great-great-great-grandfather
BIRTH 25 Dec 1820
DEATH 5 Jul 1897 (aged 76)
Sidney Cemetery
Sidney, Fremont County, Iowa, USA
PLOT Sec 2 Row 17

Emily Jane Morgan McCaffree, great-great-great-grandmother
BIRTH 1 Apr 1830
Kentucky, USA
DEATH 14 Dec 1885 (aged 55)
Sidney, Fremont County, Iowa, USA
Sidney Cemetery
Sidney, Fremont County, Iowa, USA
PLOT Sec 4 Row 14

Simeon McCaffree, great-great-great-grandfather
BIRTH 13 Sep 1822
Kentucky, USA
DEATH 10 Jul 1890 (aged 67)
Sidney, Fremont County, Iowa, USA
Sidney Cemetery
Sidney, Fremont County, Iowa, USA

Mary Gardner Arnold, great-great-great grandmother
BIRTH 30 Mar 1817
Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, USA
DEATH 9 Feb 1905 (aged 87)
Holmes County, Ohio, USA
Arnold Cemetery
Mount Hope, Holmes County, Ohio, USA

John Arnold, great-great-great grandfather
BIRTH 1 Jun 1817
Holmes County, Ohio, USA
DEATH 4 Jan 1894 (aged 76)
Mount Hope, Holmes County, Ohio, USA
Arnold Cemetery
Mount Hope, Holmes County, Ohio, USA

Susannah Sheneman Row, great-great-great grandmother
BIRTH 22 Sep 1812
Tuscarawas County, Ohio, USA
DEATH 4 Feb 1884 (aged 71)
Zion United Church of Christ Cemetery
New Bedford, Coshocton County, Ohio, USA

Andrew Row, great-great-great grandfather
BIRTH 1815
Pennsylvania, USA
DEATH 25 Mar 1863 (aged 47–48)
Coshocton County, Ohio, USA
Zion United Church of Christ Cemetery
New Bedford, Coshocton County, Ohio, USA

Originally published by DK on June 28, 2021 at 10:38 pm

Memorial Day 2021 🇺🇸

Posted Monday, May 31st, 2021 06:07 pm 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

So many changes in a month

Posted Monday, May 17th, 2021 08:41 pm in Housekeeping,Personal at 8:41 PM

Can’t believe the neighbor lot went from nothing to framed up in about 30 days

Originally published by DK on May 17, 2021 at 8:41 pm

15 Years of Publishing

Posted Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 10:20 pm in Housekeeping,Personal,Technology at 10:20 PM

Happy 15th birthday, 7 Minute Miles! Current stats:

  • 12,192 Posts
  • 216 Pages

Skipping unique visitors or page counts this year, as my web server logs are all mixed up after the big move to AWS Lightsail. I do hope to get that cleaned up soon – want to learn how the new nginx logs differ from Apache (which I used for years). WordPress.com stats report 8,066 visitors in 2020, along with 20,522 views, but I don’t really know how they calculate that. They also report that the “Reflections on Spring Hill Golf Club” post continues to be one of my most visited stories of all time. Rather hoping this will be the year I actually play there…

Won’t get too much into the technical weeds this time, as I have a lot of things cooking right now that I’m sure I’ll cover in more detail soon. Aside from the move to virtual AWS servers, I’m still on WordPress (v5.7) with the same old custom theme and the same set of plugins I had last year. Hoping for a new look in 2021, but I don’t know the timing of that launch yet. No new functionality recently – just lots of under the hood things (including a fix for the weird SSL/emoji issue).

Thanks for visiting!

Originally published by DK on March 30, 2021 at 10:20 pm

One jab in, one to go

Posted Monday, March 22nd, 2021 10:14 am in Personal,Science at 10:14 AM

Grateful to everyone working on this

Originally published by DK on March 22, 2021 at 10:14 am

Back at it this week

Posted Monday, March 15th, 2021 08:54 pm in Housekeeping,Longform,Personal at 8:54 PM

It was really, really nice to have an entire week off work (and someone else to cover on-call). It’s also great to see some movement in the fight against COVID-19, both on the vaccine front and in the sports and entertainment world. I really felt recharged and ready to move forward this morning, as there are a lot of things that need my attention right now:

  • Find a vaccine – my tier is up now, so I’ve got tabs open in my browser for all the big providers. Also discovered vaccinespotter.org (above), which is a big help. Briefly thought I snagged one for this afternoon, only to be kicked out of the process at the end (just like a hot concert ticket). And as the new South ParQ Vaccination Special said, “There’s a place in town, very hard to get into, very exclusive. Walgreens.
  • Reconnect at work – continuation of the file server saga, spring cleaning on software licensing and backups, starting a new firewall upgrade project and generally preparing for the return of ticketed guests to the building. Sounds like I might even get to hire some help this summer, which would be super awesome.
  • AWS servers – the $100 credit I received from the re:Invent survey is almost used up, so I need to get back to moving this site off of virtual server one and over to the new virtual server I started experimenting with. That way I can shut the first one down and start figuring out a bunch of things on Ubuntu Server 20.04, including virtual host management, transfer of Let’s Encrypt certs, log analysis and WordPress theme development. It’s already been (nerdy) fun switching from Apache to nginx and from MySQL to MariaDB and kicking the tires on PHP8. WordPress 5.7 is the first release in a long time that did something to my (admittedly) ancient theme: the spacing below quote and status posts on the front page is off. Since I use Masonry and jQuery for layout, I thought it had to do with the upgrade of core WP jQuery from 1.12.4 to the 3.5.x tree mentioned here. After testing with the Enable jQuery Migrate Helper plugin, however, I don’t think this is the root cause (my version of Masonry is also pretty old). Stayed tuned…
  • Construction – the design center meeting for the new house last week lasted just under four hours and everything has now been finalized and signed. Next, we move on to the electrical meeting, which has been scheduled for early April. So excited!
  • Baseball – the announcements last week about fans at CHS Field (2,700) and Target Field (10,000) mean both of our ticket groups are about to fire up again. The Saints begin their new Triple A life at home on May 11th, while the Twins welcome fans back to Minneapolis on April 8th. I don’t know yet how many games we will end up with, but I’m very excited to watch more outdoor baseball in 2021.
  • Exercise – my Apple Watch move streak hit 333 days last night, so I’m getting very close to my goal of one full year. Also found out last week that there will be a limited, in-person field for the 2021 Get in Gear 10K, which will include multiple waves and a sidewalk-only course. I was able to snag one of the spots and look forward to running outside more in the coming weeks to prepare.
  • Taxes – ugh, just don’t want to start this yet. Also need to do my dad’s taxes one last time too, so that’s a double bummer. Not too scared of the potential financial hit for 2020, just thinking it will be more complex than normal. Hopefully TaxAct is up to the task (as they usually are).

Now back to refreshing those vaccine screens…

Originally published by DK on March 15, 2021 at 8:54 pm

Build house here

Posted Saturday, March 6th, 2021 06:53 pm in Housekeeping,Personal at 6:53 PM

Coming soon to Newport

Originally published by DK on March 6, 2021 at 6:53 pm

👍 on new 🤡 🐔

Posted Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021 12:36 pm in Personal at 12:36 PM

Not better, but solid – will put in the rotation

Originally published by DK on March 3, 2021 at 12:36 pm

Whole Foods Ribs

Posted Monday, March 1st, 2021 07:06 pm in Personal at 7:06 PM

Still not Rib Fest, but tasty

Originally published by DK on March 1, 2021 at 7:06 pm

That’s me in the middle

Posted Thursday, February 25th, 2021 06:53 pm in Personal at 6:53 PM

It’s been a little noisy (again) outside my office window

Originally published by DK on February 25, 2021 at 6:53 pm

One sleeve down

Posted Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021 12:01 pm in Personal at 12:01 PM

Girl Scout cookies are the best/worst

Originally published by DK on February 23, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Lombard Revisited

Posted Friday, February 19th, 2021 07:40 pm in History,Housekeeping,Personal at 7:40 PM

Today I needed to get from I-94 to Brake Bread on West 7th, so I exited at Snelling and headed over to the infamous Short Line. When I got to St. Clair, I thought, “why not swing by Lombard?” Lots of changes starting to appear at the two former family residences (more pics after the jump).

Originally published by DK on February 19, 2021 at 7:40 pm

Lots of change in Prior Lake

Posted Monday, February 15th, 2021 05:49 pm in Personal at 5:49 PM

Mystic Lake is no smoke-free on the gaming floor (and all of the machines are turned on)

Originally published by DK on February 15, 2021 at 5:49 pm

Been a while, Davanni’s

Posted Saturday, February 13th, 2021 04:40 pm in Personal at 4:40 PM

Still one of my all-time favorite Minnesota sammies

Originally published by DK on February 13, 2021 at 4:40 pm


Posted Friday, February 12th, 2021 07:50 pm in Personal at 7:50 PM

Not sure what was going on at the Grand location today

Originally published by DK on February 12, 2021 at 7:50 pm

65 Days to Go

Posted Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 10:31 pm in Personal,Sports,Technology at 10:31 PM

Might not stop after a year, but trying to at least that far

Originally published by DK on February 10, 2021 at 10:31 pm

Coming Soon

Posted Thursday, February 4th, 2021 01:16 pm in Housekeeping,Personal,Shopping at 1:16 PM

This year will fly by, right?

Originally published by DK on February 4, 2021 at 1:16 pm

DK’s January Journal

Posted Wednesday, January 27th, 2021 01:11 am in Housekeeping,Longform,Personal at 1:11 AM

Haven’t really written much lately – both here or on Twitter (my last remaining social media account). The Banff trip from January 2020 seems like an eternity ago and while I’m very grateful for our health and stability, it’s been a mentally tough twelve months. There are so many things I miss right now: attending live concerts and sporting events, eating out, happy hours with co-workers, walking around the Great Minnesota Get-Together, traveling to Disneyland and Vegas. Luxuries, to be sure, but I still miss them.

So what else is going on? The kids are both doing well. Work for Colleen has been intense (as it is for everyone in healthcare these days). With football season complete, my job is all about planning, budgets and maintenance until the future of events becomes a little clearer. It’s stressful being a department of one (and the 24/7 on call), but I’m trying to balance things as best as I can. The days and nights really all blend together now, as do weekdays and weekends. I’ve noticed a shift lately of time seeming to pass by faster, which is definitely a different vibe from a few months ago. Looking forward to the new Boludo to open near the office.

We’re in house search mode and it’s been absolutely bonkers (that’s my nemesis website above). Everything you read about the real estate market right now is true – almost every new listing is receiving multiple offers on the first day. If it doesn’t, you wonder what’s wrong with the place. We’ve only made one offer so far and were outbid (by a lot). Many showings get canceled before we even get there because they sell so quickly. Hoping more inventory comes online as the weather gets better. We are being patient and prudent for now – it will happen when it happens.

Health-wise, I’ve been feeling pretty good. My move streak is closing in on 300 days, so I’m doing something every day. With the cold weather, that’s mainly been hill walking on the treadmill while I watch Netflix. MK and I did ski a few weekends ago at Spirit Mountain and SK wants to hit up Afton next weekend. Still need to read up on the new Nordic walking sticks and get them configured for my height – it hasn’t been *that* cold out so far (and it would be good to get outside on the sunny days that occasionally roll around). Mixed messages on my eyesight these days: still prefer no glasses with most computer work, but finding I need them more and more for reading and watching TV. Stress eating definitely still an issue.

Lastly, I’ve been spending a lot of my free time at night learning new cloud technology stuff on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Inspired by the free sessions and keynotes posted during the online re:Invent conference, I wanted to build on my experience with moving this site to a Lightsail instance a few months ago. After re:Invent, Amazon sent me a feedback survey and gave me a $100 account credit. About a week ago, I decided to use some of that credit to spin up a second virtual server and learn the LEMP stack on Ubuntu Server 20.04, building it from scratch (instead of using a Bitnami bundle). I’ll write more about that experience soon…

Originally published by DK on January 27, 2021 at 1:11 am

The learning never stops

Posted Sunday, January 24th, 2021 01:59 pm in Personal at 1:59 PM


Originally published by DK on January 24, 2021 at 1:59 pm

Inauguration Day 2021 🇺🇸

Posted Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 11:07 am in Personal at 11:07 AM

What comes next, America?

Originally published by DK on January 20, 2021 at 11:07 am

It’s been quite a day

Posted Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 09:30 pm in Movies,Personal,Pop Culture at 9:30 PM

The train in Snowpiercer, though

Originally published by DK on January 6, 2021 at 9:30 pm

January sunshine

Posted Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 06:07 pm in Personal,Weather at 6:07 PM

Walked to my latest COVID test

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

Early 2021 Brain Dump

Posted Monday, January 4th, 2021 09:37 pm in Housekeeping,Longform,Personal at 9:37 PM

It’s already been eight months since the last one, so let’s do this:

  • For my Christmas and birthday gift this year, I got new skis and bindings (returning to my classic Rossi/Marker combo). Had a mixed experience at The House – will probably go back to Joe’s next time.
  • With the skis finally here, trying to figure out when I can break them in. Lutsen has some really appealing midweek flex pricing, so that is a leading contender. Might do an Afton or Welch day and still really want to hit Beaver Creek someday (as well as return to Schweitzer).
  • I got all excited about responsive, mobile-friendly WordPress themes this week, but have hit a testing roadblock. MAMP worked out of the box with a plain vanilla WordPress install, but I haven’t been able to get this site transferred over successfully.
  • Thought about tossing my current theme completely (instead of retro-fitting for mobile) and customizing a theme like this one, but now I’m not sure which direction I want to go.
  • Also not entirely 100% behind WordPress these days: don’t like Gutenberg and complexity seems to be increasing overall. Don’t see any great alternatives on the horizon, though.
  • I’ve been happier with my transition to AWS, but maintenance and upgrade issues with the Bitnami WordPress Stack are making me reconsider moving to a straight LAMP virtual server instead.
  • Yes, I do keep my iPhone boxes (but I’m trying to get better about recycling them).
  • We’re house shopping, but this market is crazy aggressive right now. If you know someone in the Twin Cities thinking about selling a good “old people” house, please hit me up.
  • Adult ear infections are not for the faint of heart.
  • My Apple Watch move streak is closing in on 270 days – shooting for a year, then it can restart whenever.
  • I bought a pair of Exerstrider Nordic walking poles after reading the story in the Strib, but I haven’t read the setup and training instructions yet. Seems like it will be fun.
  • OWC has agreed to refund the SSD purchase, thereby ending my iMac kernel panic trauma.
  • I have temporary computer options in place, but do want to move to an M1 machine. At first I thought I would do a Mac mini with a large, third-party monitor, but the retina screens on the iMacs just look so much better to me. I’ll probably wait for the M1 iMac later this year (with lots of RAM and SSD storage).
  • I’m craving a Fuddruckers burger so badly I would consider an eight hour round-trip drive to South Dakota to get one.
  • Sad the Vikings season turned out the way it did, but at least we get the Dallas circus back in town later this year. It will be nice to have Wild hockey again soon (helps to be a night owl) and I’m cautiously optimistic about the Twins and the Saints (but don’t get the whole “we’ve invited” thing – is there a deal or not?).
  • The first Sunday of the Charlie Parr online residency at First Avenue was so emotional – make sure and catch the rest of them (every Sunday in January at 8 p.m. on his YouTube page) and drop him some money via GoFundMe.
  • Speaking of music, we really enjoyed the Bee Gees documentary on HBO – nice job by Frank Marshall (with lots of fun cameos).
  • Long live Grogu!

Welcome 2021, nice to have you around…

Originally published by DK on January 4, 2021 at 9:37 pm

Why I don’t go out anymore

Posted Sunday, December 13th, 2020 09:53 pm in Fashion,Personal at 9:53 PM

The pandemic is only part of the problem

Originally published by DK on December 13, 2020 at 9:53 pm

Bananas 🍌

Posted Thursday, December 10th, 2020 04:34 pm in Art,Personal at 4:34 PM

Scenes from a walk, part 396

Originally published by DK on December 10, 2020 at 4:34 pm

Daylight walking hours

Posted Tuesday, December 8th, 2020 04:55 pm in Personal at 4:55 PM

…are very brief these days

Originally published by DK on December 8, 2020 at 4:55 pm

The Excellence of Arete

Posted Sunday, November 29th, 2020 07:51 pm 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

Guys – I cooked a thing!

Posted Saturday, November 14th, 2020 03:01 pm in Food,Personal at 3:01 PM

All by myself (thanks, Greg’s Meats)

Originally published by DK on November 14, 2020 at 3:01 pm

Dinette-n-Out is back!

Posted Friday, November 6th, 2020 07:53 pm in Food,Personal at 7:53 PM

Chicken sliders and the “too much space” onion rings

Originally published by DK on November 6, 2020 at 7:53 pm

Top 7 Food Items

Posted Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 09:08 pm in Food,Longform,Personal at 9:08 PM

Three years ago, I did a “Top 7” post on my favorite foods, but that talked about food categories in general terms. Lots of people have asked me about my favorite specific food items, so here they are (in no particular order):

  • Homemade bleu cheese @ Vermilion Club
  • Let’s start in the Northland at one of the premier dive bars in the country, the VC. Also known for it’s 24-inch Bamboozler pizza, the homemade bleu cheese is the best I’ve had anywhere. Wednesdays are wing night, so load up on buffalo sauce and dip away in that amazing bleu. I usually order some Poor Gary’s pizza too, but I never really have room for that in the end.

  • Chocolate cake donuts @ World’s Best Donuts
  • Staying on the Northland theme, let’s take a trip to the little village on the big lake, Grand Marais. While there are many great food traditions in town (Sven and Ole’s, Angry Trout Cafe, Blue Water Cafe – hell, even the local DQ is bomb), the claim of “World’s Best Donuts” is 100% true. Given the chance, I could eat an entire bag of the chocolate cake donuts in one sitting. Pro tips: pre-order online to skip the line and pay extra for a box instead of a bag so the chocolate doesn’t stick to the side.

  • Cheeseburger @ Saint Dinette
  • Closer to home, the cheeseburger at Saint Dinette is my favorite burger of all time (and I’ve tried way too many). The competition between Chef Adam’s masterpiece and Au Cheval in Chicago was anti-climatic (and definitely not worth a multi-hour pre-pandemic wait). I’ve long had a soft spot in my heart for the burger at Fuddruckers in Bloomington (RIP), but that was good in a different way. Lots of people in town love the Parlour burger (and I think it’s very, very solid), but I’ve got to give the nod to the St. Paul contender. Team Nive Man, all the way!

  • Pronto Pups and Fresh French Fries @ Minnesota State Fair
  • Going to cheat with a two-fer of Minnesota State Fair classics: the Pronto Pup (NEVER CORN DOG SINCE 1947) and Fresh French Fries. Of course, the fair has an amazing assortment of excellent food options (corn roast, Blue Barn, Lulu’s), but I can eat Pronto Pups right when I get there in the morning and just before we leave after a late Grandstand concert (and usually several more times in between). I LOVE French fries (Barbette, the clown, many others), but this year’s pandemic Food Parade reminded me that the red and yellow booth serves up the best ones ever.

  • Pepperoni pizza @ Carbone’s on Randolph
  • If you’ve been following this site at all the past few months, you probably saw that we’ve been making a habit lately of visiting Carbone’s on Randolph for pizza on Mondays. This is the pizza of my childhood, and only the original Randolph location is legitimate in my book (the other franchises try admirably, but they just aren’t the same). We had our concerns when they closed down briefly to remodel and expand, but the original ovens remained and the greasy flavor lives on. In a metro area full of great pizza options, Carbone’s on Randolph is the one for my list.

  • 3 Finger Combo @ Raising Canes
  • I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have a fast food entry on my list, but the 3 Finger Combo at Raising Canes is something I could order every day and not get tired of it. The quality of the chicken is always top notch, they have great fries, the Texas toast is a nice extra and for someone who grew up wanting things plain, Cane’s sauce is the best. Also love the little ice cubes in the freshly made lemonade. Egg McMuffins from the clown are also something I could eat every day (and the quality never wavers no matter where you are in the world, which is an incredible feat). And of course, Arby’s has the meats.

  • Steak @ Murray’s
  • I’ve handed down my love of steak to my eldest daughter, but I’ve yet to take her to the temple of Minneapolis beef, Murray’s. Now I know that many people consider Manny’s to be the temple of Minneapolis beef, but I went to Murray’s first, sharing a Silver Butter Knife steak with my mom way back when. I thought it was magical that they could cook such a thick steak so uniformly perfect and have it be *so* tender. These days, I usually get there for the luncheon filet, a 6 ounce tenderloin with au gratin potatoes that is an absolute steal at $32. Just like pizza, there are a lot of great steak places in town, but Murray’s is my fave.

After I came up with this list, Colleen asked me, “what about Cecil’s?” Their New York style hot pastrami & Swiss on egg white absolutely needs to be top 7, but I don’t know what I want to bump off the list. Let’s just go with eight for now…

UPDATE: I also forgot about mild chilitos with extra cheese at Zantigo.

Originally published by DK on November 4, 2020 at 9:08 pm

Move Streak Milestone

Posted Monday, November 2nd, 2020 12:29 am in Personal at 12:29 AM

This is getting tougher as it gets colder

Originally published by DK on November 2, 2020 at 12:29 am

These two ❤️

Posted Monday, October 26th, 2020 10:51 pm in Family,Personal at 10:51 PM

My heart is full…

Originally published by DK on October 26, 2020 at 10:51 pm

Two Years of Bonus Time

Posted Thursday, October 8th, 2020 12:00 am in Longform,Personal at 12:00 AM

Today is the two year anniversary of what kid one has called my “big brain blowout” that I experienced on the train platform in downtown Minneapolis on October 8, 2018. Looking back on the post I wrote a year ago, it’s amazing how much has changed in the world since then. The pandemic has dramatically altered my industry and most of my hobbies, but there’s still nothing like three weeks in the ICU to change your outlook on life.

Health-wise, almost everything is back to normal. It appears that my previous 20/20 vision won’t return fully, but I now have permanent prism glasses that mostly do the trick. I don’t really like to wear them, though, so it’s nice I don’t need them to read screens. My brain can trick my eyes for longer distances if I tilt my head a certain way, but overall it’s safer to just wear the glasses for driving and biking. They are also technically bifocals, as my neuro optometrist says I’m just getting too old to read the small print now. Dammit, she’s right.

In other miscellaneous health notes, I successfully completed my colonoscopy back in February and started a move streak in April that still continues (yesterday was day 175). As a result, my weight is trending in the right direction (switching to the no sugar versions of Cherry Coke and Mountain Dew is probably helping too). I’ve played more golf this year than any other, walking almost every round. Bike miles this year are down compared to the last two years, but I should still hit 600 miles by the end of the year. My run log is trending in the right direction, but most of those miles were spent walking hills. Will 2021 mark the return of full-blown running? Time will tell, but I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel on that just yet.

The last year has truly been a roller-coaster of emotion. We got in all of the milestone birthday trips before everything shut down – Las Vegas for SK, Maui for CK and Banff for MK. We lost the last of the parents months apart: Jean in December and Mike in February. I still feel like we didn’t get to properly mourn them once COVID hit. The pandemic continues to hammer away at other parts of our lives that will unfortunately never come back again.

I can’t allow this doom and gloom to overshadow my gratitude to be here today, though. I continue to be inspired by people like Dr. Uzma Samadani, who helped me leave the ICU at Hennepin Healthcare two years ago. Reading about her research on Twitter gives me hope about my continued health and that science will find a way out of this mess. The free lectures I’ve been watching from MIT about the pandemic are also fascinating and inspiring. We need more leaders like this to guide us through these challenging times…

🇺🇸 VOTE 🇺🇸

Originally published by DK on October 8, 2020 at 12:00 am