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Hello July 2024

Pic posted July 1, 2024

Looking forward to a little bit of a break this month

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Summer 2024 Brain Dump

Posted June 26, 2024

It’s been about six months since the last one, so let’s jump right in:

  • Super fun to have a MINI again, which is a good thing because driving anywhere in the Twin Cities (at pretty much any time) seems to be taking about twice as long this summer.
  • My state parks license plate has been a great purchase and I highly recommend them. My associated quest is up to seven parks so far and it was a big reason I decided to sign up for the Afton Trail Race.
  • Our bird buddies are now eating all the seed daily (see “the before” pic above). Here is the best video so far of a mom feeding her baby.
  • Our patio also has an active hummingbird feeder and will get a heated bird bath and suet holder soon. Along with our By the Yard furniture, it’s probably my favorite part of the (not so new anymore) house.
  • Clown fries are at the top of my all-time favorite list now.
  • That said, I am trying to get back to being more active (so I can eat more clown fries, natch).
  • Waiting to see if my old Apple Watch Series 5 battery lasts until the new models come out. Not sure yet if I will want a Series 10 or move up to the Ultra line.
  • About half way through listening to the Apple Music Top 100 Albums list. A fair amount of stuff I’ve never heard before. Working on a DK 100 list.
  • Mainly been using my ancient Sony Studio headphones for this task, but my savings account to purchase the second edition of the AirPods Max has more than enough in it when they get released (hopefully) later this year.
  • Anybody know the story behind Seated, a Sofar artist service?
  • Looking forward to Las Vegas and New England visits later this year.
  • Put me officially on record as wanting nothing to do with cryptocurrencies, NFTs, Web3 and most flavors of “AI” from now until the Silicon Valley bros burn up the planet.
  • Nice to be back in the sports and entertainment industry – FOMO averted!

Looking forward to a (relatively) calm July…

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1500 move rings ✅

Pic posted June 4, 2024

No longer consecutive, but I’ll take it

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Hello, June 2024

Pic posted June 2, 2024

No Finals, but Olympic gymnastics and lots of Lynx

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Ran out of sunscreen; too many 🦟

Pic posted June 1, 2024

…but still a great time at Dahlgreen in Chaska

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Emily the Criminal ✅

Pic posted May 11, 2024

I ❤️ Aubrey Plaza

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Hello May 2024

Pic posted May 1, 2024

Still waiting on lilacs and sunshine on the patio

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Happy Birthday to Lynn 🎂

Pic posted April 26, 2024

Lunch at House of Wong, Roseville

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Get in Gear packet pick-up ✅

Pic posted April 26, 2024

Need to double-check, but I think tomorrow is #24. Hope the forecast gets better 🌧️

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RIP Charles Edge, 1975-2024 💜

Posted April 23, 2024

Last night I found out Charles Edge died on April 19 at the way-too-early age of 48. A pillar of the Mac admin community, Charles was a noted writer, speaker, advisor, leader and one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. Friendly and kind, he was an ultra-nerd who was also hip to pop culture, knew his way around a bar and as Bynkii said on Mastodon, “Dude always looked good.” He was briefly my boss at 318 when they expanded to Minnesota, but more importantly, Charles was my friend.

Even though we both lived in the same metro area, I hadn’t seen him in person since lunch at Key’s back in March of 2023. Both of us were always busy, but we would frequently text each other to bounce ideas back and forth, most recently talking about home media servers. And then there would be the random message out of the blue, like this one during the recent Big 10 basketball tournament:

Heya, I know you’re in hell madness of March and whatnot, so just dropping a supportive message that you’re badass and if ya’ need an extra set of hands on a thing, it’s always good to have an excuse to just hang. 😊

And then there were gems like these:

I lurf drinks!
I’m good at drinkin
Babies are cute

I first met Charles back in 2009 at an Apple Consultants Network meeting in the basement of Southdale mall. The Apple admin community has always been special and we were so lucky that he moved from California to Minnesota and chose Northeast Minneapolis as his new base of operations. I remember going on client visits with him to places like Splice and Lifetime Fitness and was just in awe of how he solved problems for clients.

We would work out of his home in Northeast, with my favorite memory being the time he had me SSH into Shaun White’s winter Olympics website to repair an Apache config issue. I was nervous as hell, since the snowboarding events were going on as I was in there messing around, but Charles had my back. He quickly reviewed my suggested fix and said, hit the return key and send it! Boom, fixed.

Work at 318 on the west coast was a glamorous affair, with A-list clients including many celebrities, movie studios and other large bluechip companies. Charles was the first call when Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne needed tech support, for example, but jobs in the midwest were a little more mundane. If there was ever someone you would want on a work trip to Atkinson, Nebraska, Three Lakes, Wisconsin or Ironwood, Michigan, though, it was Charles.

I always felt that the official Charles motto was “script all the things.” He was always so curious of how things worked, how he could automate them and better yet, how he could teach others how to do it too. I love how Adam Engst wrote in his post that “Charles was very much a Tigger, in the Winnie-the-Pooh sense, and tirelessly bounced from project to project.” It was always fun to watch him speak at various events like Minnebar and JNUC, but it was also cool to see him progress throughout his career. I think he liked it when I once called him the “Hank Moody of technical publishing.”

We chatted a lot about web publishing and blogs, since we both had very old sites running WordPress. Krypted.com (“Tiny Deathstars”) has always been a goldmine of technical information and Charles was most recently publishing a ton of great content on the Secret Chest blog. His last post there, Friday Fun With Steganography, was published on the day he died, while his post A Digital Legacy Contact was published the week prior.

It was somewhat ironic that I first learned of his passing on Mastodon, as there is a strong Mac admin community there and he told me at lunch that he had signed up (but never really used it). There is even an updated Wikipedia page (which I think he would probably find pretty embarrassing).

There has been much heartwarming content posted online by those who knew him, including Tom Bridge and the Mac Admins Podcast (I was a guest with Charles and Tom on my only podcast interview ever). Other posts include Rich Trouton, Armin Briegel and Chip Pearson on LinkedIn:

Friends, it is with a heavy heart that I write to you to share that our friend Charles Edge has passed away.

He was known by many people and loved by all and his passing is a huge loss in many communities. He is survived by his two children who are being lovingly cared for by their family.

His passing was sudden and unexpected Friday evening. In this time of grief, we appreciate a little space to figure how to best support his family and will use this channel to communicate news or further information.

Thank you for your love in this hard time and I am very sorry for yours and all of our loss.

Charles and I shared being a dad to two daughters and it was so fun dropping off my old Star Wars toys for his oldest. My heart aches for his family (and everyone who now feels the void left by his absence).

UPDATE: Star Tribune obituary here. Charles died of a cerebral aneurysm. Memorial gathering will be held Saturday, April 27, 3-5 p.m. at Town and Country Club in Saint Paul (additional services to be held in Dahlonega, Georgia at a later date).

I was worried when he told me in June 2022 that he had had major surgery, but everything seemed back to normal last year. I don’t know his religious beliefs, but I like to think of him in a Star Wars scene reappearing next to Bartosh at a cantina named Dave’s in a galaxy far, far away…


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The Big Lebowski ✅

Pic posted April 22, 2024

Movie party @ Alamo Drafthouse last night – fun to watch it again on the big screen

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🫡 Some big checkmarks on the To Do list

Posted April 11, 2024

  • State and federal taxes ✅
  • Office TV installed before the Masters ✅
  • First outdoor training run of 2024 ✅

Upward and onward!

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Hello, April 2024

Pic posted April 1, 2024

Nice to get the madness completed

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2024 fitness planning

Posted March 28, 2024

Mentally, I’ve very much enjoyed not wearing my Apple Watch daily. Physically, I’ve fallen way behind on my general fitness when I don’t track the circles. This week I decided to do something about that.

On Monday, I met with a personal trainer at Lifetime Fitness and took a tour of the Target Center club. We talked quite a bit about my past history and what I think I want to do this year, which is basically get back in running shape and lose weight.

While I elected not to hire him now as my personal trainer, here’s my current plan:

  • Bought new running and gym shoes (and a new gym bag).
  • Started back on the nightly treadmill hill walk with hand weights while watching shows from the list on the iPad.
  • Preparing to run the Get in Gear 10K on April 27, the Milk Run 5K on May 25 and the TC 10 Mile on October 6. And if I get extra motivated, maybe the Afton 25K on July 6 too.
  • Looking forward to the bike trails drying out – want to increase that cross training this year. Might add the bike attachment to Oliver’s roof rack.
  • Planning to walk every golf round this year (like usual).
  • Thinking about getting another weight bench to go with my dumbbell set.
  • Utilize my access to Lifetime for indoor running, stair machine cardio, a return to racquetball, explore new classes and learn to be a better swimmer.

My schedule makes all of this challenging, but you need to prioritize what’s important, right?

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18 years of web publishing 🎂

Posted March 27, 2024

My little web baby is almost an adult: 7 Minute Miles turns 18 years old this Saturday. Some highlights:

  • First post: March 30, 2006
  • Domain created: November 26, 2002
  • Posts: 30,050
  • Pages: 216
  • Database: 193.4 MB
  • Directory: 62 GB
  • Server: AWS Lightsail, Ohio, Zone A, Ubuntu 20.04.6 LTS, 4 GB RAM, 2 vCPUs, 80 GB SSD
  • Tech stack: WordPress 6.4.3, PHP 8.2.17, nginx 1.18.0, MariaDB 10.3.39, Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS
  • Costs: $17.99/year @ Hover, $25-28/month @ AWS (Lightsail and Route 53)
  • Jetpack stats (avg/mo): 96 posts, 1497 views, 540 visitors

I’ve tweaked the font sizes a little since the launch of the new theme last year, but overall remain happy with how things are now. I recently simplified the navigation menu, which now just has home, about, lists and search links. The new about page was completely re-written and I updated my résumé page (and PDF) to reflect my move to Target Center last September.

Not sure what comes next. I’ve re-established the automation between 7 Minute Miles and Instagram via the excellent Intagrate plugin and continue to automatically capture any posts to Mastodon via the TootPress plugin. This site also technically federates content via the ActivityPub plugin (you can follow dmk@7minutemiles.com in your favorite Mastodon client), but I don’t see many people reading posts that way.

I removed all of my concert videos from YouTube, hibernated my channel, then posted them all here using the HTML5 Video Player plugin. I also tried to clean up the photo galleries a little, but both of these media types will likely require an increase in server storage in the next year to be expanded/enhanced.

Long live the weird web – thanks for visiting!

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Wolves Live – Steph Curry in the crib 🏀

Pic posted March 24, 2024

Golden State Warriors @ Minnesota
114-110 W

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Tavern on Grand 💜

Pic posted March 13, 2024

We are really going to miss this place – go while you can…

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Already kicked off the Gram?

Pic posted March 8, 2024

Wish I would’ve snapped a screenshot, but Meta said my new account was suspended due to community standard violations. Hit the appeal button, entered a couple codes, then got this…

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Yet another social media update 🤔

Posted March 3, 2024

Thanks to the social media manager in my office, I’m now back on the Gram. She has a goal to increase Instagram followers, so I registered @7minutemiles as a private account, followed @targetcentermn and started looking at the current state of that platform. As some of you may recall, I used to be @kingsbury for years and Colleen had her account stolen by a hacker (Meta support was not helpful).

It’s really amazing to me how much content is generated exclusively for Instagram, especially in the food world. Sports and entertainment is also still going strong and I’m slowly re-discovering golf, skiing and regional travel accounts (Meta appears to limit new accounts to 100 follows a day now). A few people have discovered my new account and sent follow requests, but I’m not sure how much I will publish there.

As Cory Doctorow wrote, now is the moment for POSSE – Post Own Site, Share Everywhere. IndieWeb has also written a lot about POSSE, which I had already started to try recently on both Bluesky and Mastodon. Need to think through this a little more, as I never liked when people would just post the same stuff everywhere.

Still really love the idea of people publishing their own sites and content – whether that is a small business website, a personal blog or something else. What I do here is neither free nor easy, but there are options out there for people if you look. The vast majority of people, however, will likely continue to use services like Instagram and TikTok as their only home to the content they create and publish.

As someone who basically dropped off all social media for a time to focus on my personal site, getting eyeballs on your content is infinitely harder, FOMO is strong and with comments disabled on my site, two-way communication is definitely hindered. And as Zeldman says, “go where the people are.

Still, people like Jason Kottke remain great examples of self-publishing ideas and implementation. I love reading his posts like this one on the latest kottke.org site redesign. My RSS reader follow list hasn’t changed much over the years, but there is still some great stuff that pops up in there from people like Teri Kanefield, Brian Krebs, Charles Edge, Tom Bricker, Mistletunes and Phil Roberts.

Back on the platforms, I got to explore Threads with the new Instagram account and didn’t see a lot of personal value there. The “For You” view was awful and the “Following” option showed that most activity on accounts I care about is remaining on the Instagram side.

I still enjoy reading content on Mastodon via Ivory, which remains the closest experience to what I had with Twitter and Tweetbot. Recently learned I can follow tags there and have been enjoying the “SKIING” tag a lot. Also like Bluesky, but wish I could use a Tapbots app for that service instead of the website.

Instagram on the web is much better than before, but I’ll probably get back to using the iOS app again once I have the full follow list in place. Still happy I hibernated my LinkedIn – it will be there if I need it in the future, but don’t miss it day to day…

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Let the Madness Begin!

Pic posted March 1, 2024

Hello, March 2024 – you will be a wild one

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RIP: Mr. Demers 1940 – 2021 💜

Posted February 29, 2024

Earlier this week, I came across a picture of my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Fox. Decided to fire up Duck Duck Go and see if I could find any information on what happened to her after Randolph Heights. Since online search in 2024 is terrible, couldn’t find anything. Just for kicks, I decided to search for my favorite high school teacher, Mr. Demers. Unfortunately, I found his obituary from 2021:

Richard Demers, Age 81, of Nashua, NH Died Thursday August 20, 2021 at Langdon Place after having faced the ravages of Alzheimer’s over the past several years. Born May 7, 1940 in Somersworth, NH, he was son of the late Ernest and Florence (Perreault) Demers and was predeceased by one son, Leonard, one sister, Pauline and one brother, Edward. Richard was a former high school history teacher for the St. Paul Public School System in Minnesota. He also served in the United States Army and Air Force National Guard. A vibrant man, Richard lived a connected life to his community – be it in the North Woods of MN at his beloved Woman Lake, the East Side of St Paul, or his daughter’s NH porch. He loved gardening (grew all of his own vegetables), fishing from his 1970 little green boat, snow mobiling with the old guys, travel (without a cell phone or credit card), long walks with his German Shepherds, reading history, DQ hot fudge sundaes, an provocative debate over a good cup of coffee, the Boston Red Sox, and most especially his four grandchildren. Survivors include Nicole Gates (daughter) and her husband Chuck, Louis Demers (son), Louise Ader (sister), and Isabelle and Jackson Gates and Deacon and Dominic Demers (grandchildren). SERVICES: There are no visiting hours. A private graveside service will be held at Forest Glade Cemetery in Somersworth, NH at the convenience of the family. The Davis Funeral Home, 1 Lock St., Nashua, NH 03064 is in charge of arrangements. davisfuneralhomenh.com (603) 883-3401. Published by Pioneer Press on Aug. 24, 2021.

How ironic that the person that instilled my love of history had so many things written here that I never learned until now. We all knew he lived on the East Side and had a son named Louis, but DQ hot fudge sundaes? Boston Red Sox? Woman Lake? Oh, to have another provocative debate now with the inventor of the OTE.

Speaking of opportunities to excel, so many great comments on the legacy.com page from former Saint Paul Central students:

Mr. Demers did for me what ever teacher hopes they can do--he changed my life. He was the first person who made me feel like a scholar. (I can still hear him starting each class with, "Good morning, scholars!" in his Boston accent.) I went on to get my Ph.D. and write many books, and it all started with the confidence he gave me during a crucial time in my life. My only regret is that I never told him thank you while he was still alive. Thank you, Mr. Demers!

What a beautiful tribute to Mr. Demers. I think I took every single class he taught--he made me a better stu-dent, and he is most certainly one of the people who inspired the way I teach today. I remember more of the work I did in his classes than in most of the MANY classes I had since then. He was a smart, funny, caring teacher and I am grateful that he gave that to us as students. My condolences on your loss, Demers family.

The impact Mr. Demers had on me and so many is in-delible. We were not students, but "scholars." Tests were "opportunities to excel." His lectures were vivid, enrapturing, and a bit irreverent. What stays with me the most is that he expected excellence. He never treated us as precious or fragile; we had brilliance within us, certainly beyond what many of us thought possible. We had to work to reveal it. His teaching reminds me to this day that each one of us will reveal our brilliance to those who believe in us. Rest in peace, Mr. Demers. Your spirit is alive within so many of us.

The best compliment he gave on essays was Nice - if you got a nice you were over the moon. The worst was Unfortunate. An unfortunate made you want the ground to swallow you up. He graded on a curve (people loved or HATED that, but it sometimes helped all of us when he gave a particularly difficult essay test and we all bombed it) and gave out exactly one A+ per class. The fact that I got the A+ in Western Civ my senior year is probably my proudest high school accomplishment. Rest in peace, scholar.

I took every history class I could with him, including an independent study I did on the history of classical music (with him serving as advisor). American Experience. Ancient Civilizations. Western Civilizations. All wonderful. All highly impactful on my life and the person I’ve become. He taught me about the Harvard Book and I almost went there because of him.

Writing notes in the borders of the history books he had us read led to my marriage to Demers classmate Colleen, who commented to me after seeing this news, “I cannot fathom that vast intellect being ravaged by Alzheimer’s disease. Heartbreaking.”

After seeing what that horrible disease did to my grandmother, my sincere condolences go out to his family. Please know that Mr. Demers positively impacted many, many lives of students in Minnesota and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to be one of his scholars.

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Time Machine albums

Pic posted February 29, 2024

Some albums just magically transport me back to another time in my life – here are a few samples from Prince, Sting, Suzanne Vega and Tom Petty

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🫡 Page updates: about and résumé

Posted February 19, 2024

A few more things off the to do list: the about page has been re-written, added Target Center to the résumé page (and uploaded a new PDF version) and consolidated the navigation menu to Home, About, Lists and Search.

Also hibernated my LinkedIn account for now…

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Pic posted February 19, 2024

Back bowl at Schweitzer – year unknown

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🫡 Under the weather 🤧

Posted February 12, 2024

I think I caught a cold during the Disney On Ice run – it was chilly in the building and well, thousands of trolls everywhere. Still love this old Simpsons graphic from back in the day. Ready for this to be over so I can get back into the regular swing of things…

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