Not better, but solid – will put in the rotationOriginally published by DK on March 3, 2021 at 12:36 pm
Still not Rib Fest, but tastyOriginally published by DK on March 1, 2021 at 7:06 pm
It’s been a little noisy (again) outside my office windowOriginally published by DK on February 25, 2021 at 6:53 pm
Girl Scout cookies are the best/worstOriginally published by DK on February 23, 2021 at 12:01 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).
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
Still one of my all-time favorite Minnesota sammiesOriginally published by DK on February 13, 2021 at 4:40 pm
Not sure what was going on at the Grand location todayOriginally published by DK on February 12, 2021 at 7:50 pm
Might not stop after a year, but trying to at least that farOriginally published by DK on February 10, 2021 at 10:31 pm
This year will fly by, right?Originally published by DK on February 4, 2021 at 1:16 pm
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
A+Originally published by DK on January 24, 2021 at 1:59 pm
What comes next, America?Originally published by DK on January 20, 2021 at 11:07 am
The train in Snowpiercer, thoughOriginally published by DK on January 6, 2021 at 9:30 pm
Walked to my latest COVID testOriginally published by DK on January 6, 2021 at 6:07 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
The pandemic is only part of the problemOriginally published by DK on December 13, 2020 at 9:53 pm
Scenes from a walk, part 396Originally published by DK on December 10, 2020 at 4:34 pm
…are very brief these daysOriginally published by DK on December 8, 2020 at 4:55 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
All by myself (thanks, Greg’s Meats)Originally published by DK on November 14, 2020 at 3:01 pm
Chicken sliders and the “too much space” onion ringsOriginally published by DK on November 6, 2020 at 7:53 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
- Chocolate cake donuts @ World’s Best Donuts
- Cheeseburger @ Saint Dinette
- Pronto Pups and Fresh French Fries @ Minnesota State Fair
- Pepperoni pizza @ Carbone’s on Randolph
- 3 Finger Combo @ Raising Canes
- Steak @ Murray’s
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
This is getting tougher as it gets colderOriginally published by DK on November 2, 2020 at 12:29 am
My heart is full…Originally published by DK on October 26, 2020 at 10:51 pm
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
Hello, dogeOriginally published by DK on October 6, 2020 at 2:40 pm
It’s the start of bonus week, so let’s kick off things with a new Top 7 list:
- Let those you love know
- Never read the comments
- Always keep learning
- Move every day
- Travel as much as possible
- Eat the good stuff
- Less talking, more thinking
More reflections coming soon…Originally published by DK on October 4, 2020 at 9:10 pm
Fit *and* obeseOriginally published by DK on September 30, 2020 at 8:07 pm
Now I can mute everything, right?Originally published by DK on September 26, 2020 at 9:04 pm
So long, Dacha BatinichOriginally published by DK on September 25, 2020 at 10:55 pm
Move streak hit 150 days this weekOriginally published by DK on September 13, 2020 at 9:48 pm
Come and visit after I kick the bucketOriginally published by DK on September 3, 2020 at 7:59 pm
I’ve been thinking a lot about safety lately. The pandemic, political and economic turmoil, return to work plans – all of these have safety components that give me anxiety and make 2020 feel like even more of a challenge. What exactly is the condition of being safe? I like these definitions: freedom from danger, risk, injury or loss; unhurt, harmless, cautious. Of course, safe can also mean unlikely to produce controversy or contradiction – also sometimes useful, but not what I’m writing about today.
The spread of COVID and the tools and policies available to manage the threat have become overtly political, which is unfortunate. I’m lucky that I really don’t have to fight any physical battles with people who won’t wear masks or follow guidelines and have the economic stability to isolate at home as much as I can during the pandemic. I’ve already decided I don’t *need* to visit casinos, go to movie theaters or drink in bars right now and I tend to favor take-out over eating inside at restaurants that are offering that option (and winter is coming, patio people). Correctly wearing a face mask to Target or the grocery store is literally the easiest thing you can do to keep the economy running, limit the spread of the virus and help keep people safe.
Outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities, which has resulted in a surge of bike sales and golf rounds. These are both things I love to do in a “regular” year, so this has been a great way to pass the time (and keep my move streak alive). It’s funny that some of the outdoor things I like to do aren’t always considered safe: danger is part of the appeal with downhill skiing and single-track mountain biking, for example. But even with those activities, I’m more cautious the older I get. Running has always been important to me, but I’ve even turned that down a notch, preferring strenuous hill walks to full out running for speed (at least for now).
I’m very fortunate that sports, concerts, travel and food have played significant roles in my life. Venue safety is part of my career, so I pay close attention to what others are doing. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a great experience with the Saints returning to live baseball in our neighborhood, so we only bought tickets to two games. Why? We didn’t feel safe: no security at the gates, seat maps that placed people at the drink rail immediately behind us, other fans not following the guidelines and limited staff to enforce the rules. I get the economics, but what is the long-term damage to your brand if people don’t feel safe? We did have a good experience at the Minnesota Zoo a few weeks back and expect to have a good experience at the Minnesota State Fair Food Parade next week, but it seems critical to me that you get safety figured out.
I miss live music, but I don’t see that industry coming back for a while. The next ticket I have is for a November 27th show at the Fitzgerald, a theater I love. Even with masks and a limited audience (which isn’t possible, since tickets are already sold), I can’t imagine any scenario that would make me feel safe enough to go on that date (and near-zero chance it doesn’t get rescheduled again like every other show I still have tickets for from 2020). I’ve also been reading a lot about Disney, and while thoughts of an uncrowded Disney World are tempting, my internal safety meter says tell Mickey we will see him again later.
The activities I’ve talked about so far mostly involve things that a majority of people would consider first-world privilege. I’m still employed, we’re not facing eviction and we have food on the table. Everyone in the family is still healthy. We have a bit of an economic safety net thanks to inheritance. We have access to reliable transportation. Middle class white males don’t have to face the same issues that women and people of color do as part of their daily existence (I’m working on a draft “On Race” post that I hope to publish soon). So what other safety issue is front and center for me? Crime rates.
When we moved from the suburbs to Lowertown, my mom was very concerned about our safety (even though she also lived in Saint Paul). The area has had ups and downs from a crime standpoint, but I’d never felt threatened here (even at night). The pandemic and the protests following the death of George Floyd have changed the look and atmosphere of downtown Saint Paul. According to the Pioneer Press, there have been more than forty recent arrests in the area around Mears Park and Union Depot for fighting, drug dealing and other criminal activity (including a shooting). Homelessness has also been on the rise and a small tent city can now be seen outside our windows near I-94. There are people needing obvious mental health assistance. I wish I knew the answers to these problems – what we are doing now isn’t working and something needs to change…Originally published by DK on August 23, 2020 at 9:07 pm
With all the crazy, awful things going on in the world today, I’m not sure it’s really appropriate to daydream about material things that are so outside the realities of a worldwide pandemic. On the other hand, it does feel a little therapeutic to briefly escape from all the anxiety and think about a different, calmer life. The North Shore of Lake Superior has always been one of those escapes for me and I could easily envision spending the rest of my life on that lake:
- Design and build a not-so-big log cabin
- Stone fireplace and large picture window
- Screen porch to manage the flying bugs
- Heated floors for warm feet in the winter
- Fast internet (but no phones)
- Nice speakers to play the North Shore playlist
- Wooded lot with shoreline
- Wildflowers and hummingbirds
- Detached garage with exercise area/game room
- Guest cottages for SK and MK
- Family kayaks
- Access to the SHT and bike trails
- Golf at Superior National
- Skiing at Lutsen Mountains
- Gaming at Grand Portage
- Concerts at Papa Charlie’s
Ahh…Originally published by DK on August 9, 2020 at 11:33 am
Acacia is so peaceful ❤️Originally published by DK on August 7, 2020 at 4:27 pm
It’s been two and a half months since I last posted to Instagram (and about two months since I officially deleted both my Facebook and Instagram accounts). It wasn’t that hard to give up Facebook – I really only used it to sync status with a couple of games, promote posts from this site and to communicate with more distant family members. Add to that all of the other reasons people don’t like Facebook and it became a pretty easy decision. Now I just need Two Dots to continue to improve the Facebook-free experience and I’ll be fine (LEADERBOARDS).
Instagram, on the other hand, was a much tougher decision for me. From what I can tell, it launched on iOS in October of 2010 and I posted my first image on Christmas Day 2010. The original pictures were 640×640 and I used Iain Poulson’s excellent Intagrate WordPress plugin for many years to automatically pull my pics from Instagram and create image posts on this site. Facebook purchased the service in April 2012, but largely left it independent (image sizes did increase to 1080×1080 in 2015).
Instagram is the de facto social media standard for restaurants and foodies, so that’s really what I used it for in the beginning. I don’t like accounts that post the same thing across all platforms, so I’d use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in specialized ways to help prevent overlap. Now that I’m only on Twitter, I initially tried to recreate some of that there, but I’m finding that I need to continue to prune my Twitter follow list and just move on from some things that I know I’m missing. Some examples: Instagram stories from Armon and Meredith, donut pictures from Erin and everything posted by my wife and daughters.
I finally finished merging all of the Instagram metadata they sent me in JSON format with the image files that I uploaded here. Also starting to get back to equilibrium on my main @kingsbury Twitter account (and will continue to use @7minutemiles to link to stories like this one). Really trying to get most of the politics out of my feed too – no real appetite for doomscrolling these days…Originally published by DK on August 6, 2020 at 10:20 pm
Cleaning up the Lombard bagsOriginally published by DK on July 29, 2020 at 10:30 am
No Applebee’s down hereOriginally published by DK on July 28, 2020 at 5:03 pm
All three ringsOriginally published by DK on July 7, 2020 at 8:30 am
As part of my recently completed online class, The Science of Well-Being, I took a survey that purports to identify my top character strengths:
- Love of Learning
There were a couple I thought would be higher, but overall, that’s close…Originally published by DK on June 15, 2020 at 5:50 pm
Eric at James Irving Grooming, Uptown MinneapolisOriginally published by DK on June 2, 2020 at 6:04 pm
Two out of three so far…
And since Facebook owns Instagram:
Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life:
Who is it, darling? It’s a Mr. Death or something. He’s come about the reaping. I don’t think we need any at the moment…
Nobody wants to think about death, but unfortunately our family has had a lot of experience with it the last few years. With the state of the world now, I thought it might be useful to write up a post on our experiences, what you should do to plan and how to make things easier for your loved ones when the time comes.
When I was younger, I can remember having an intense fear of dying (and of losing other people in my life). The funeral of my great grandmother was open casket and was very traumatizing for me. I also remember my next door neighbor dying after an ambulance pulled up outside – she was the first person close to me that died and I had nightmares about it for years. I remember going on a trip to southern California shortly after that and having an existential freakout in the backseat of the rental car as we drove from LAX to Anaheim. Sorry about that, mom and dad.
As I’ve aged, my thinking about death has become less scary and more sensible. It’s still incredibly hard to mourn and deal with loss, but now I know it’s a part of the natural cycle in our world. That’s not an easy thing to come to terms with, though, after losing so many people in my family. I thankfully haven’t had a lot of friend funerals yet and feel extraordinarily lucky to not be one of the first after that fateful morning in 2018. And even though I never met them in person, I still get emotional when I listen to a Prince, Tom Petty or David Bowie song.
So, what happens when the reaper comes calling? A good funeral home can help immensely and we’ve had great experiences with Mueller Bies in Roseville. If you’re a fan of the HBO series Six Feet Under, you may have pre-conceived notions of what the funeral home business is all about, but a good funeral director can be a huge help in navigating what is usually an extremely difficult time for people. They will work to arrange cremation or embalming, assist with purchase of an urn or casket, coordinate any desired church services, host visitations, order flowers, help write and publish obituaries in local newspapers, submit paperwork to the state for death certificates and arrange for cemetery services (if needed). These services do not come cheap: expect it to cost $7,000 – $12,000.
So what should you do now to help out your loved ones later?
- Review your insurance and make sure you store all the information in a secure, easy-to-find location like a fire safe or safety deposit box. Keep your beneficiary information up to date and periodically review your coverage levels with a professional to make sure the people you care about get what they need. Term life is way cheaper when you are young and healthy, but whole life acts like an investment that may or may not fit in with your overall retirement and investment planning strategy.
- If you have assets to pass on, it’s a good idea to have a current will that clearly states your intentions so that probate can be avoided. There are free online options to assist with this, but I recommend spending the money to have a lawyer draw this up that is specific to your state. If there are limited assets, there are transfer on death deed and affidavit options in some states, but advice from a lawyer is still the best route for these situations.
- You should spell out health care directives now. End of life care decisions are never easy to think about or discuss, but so is having to guess what people want when they can’t decide for themselves. This is also a good place to talk about cremation versus casket burial, where you want to be buried, what type of service or memorial you would want (if any), what songs you want played, etc.
- Account information and passwords. Get a good password manager (I’ve been using 1Password for many years now) and make sure someone in your family knows where it is and how to access it. Create a spreadsheet that summarizes all of your accounts – checking, savings, investments, retirement funds, credit cards, utilities, loans, etc. Include website addresses, account numbers, login information and any contact information. This will be invaluable, but also needs to be kept as secure as possible.
- Social media and other online accounts. Your login information should be stored in your password manager, but it’s a good idea to think about how you want your online presence managed after you are gone. Facebook allows relatives to “memorialize” accounts, which involves providing a copy of the death certificate. It’s important to also think about things like AppleID, Netflix, Hulu, PayPal, Dropbox, newspaper, magazine and email accounts, which are likely tied to credit cards that will need to be closed (or transferred to someone else).
- If you publish personal websites like this one, there are many issues to address: renewal of web hosting services, domain names, DNS services and SSL certificates. I’d like to think I could keep this website online indefinitely for my heirs to access in the future, but that is not an automatic process by any means.
- Take lots of pictures of the ones you love and keep them organized and backed up (in more than one place). They are some of the most important digital files you will ever create.
In the immortal words of the great Buck Dharma, “Seasons don’t fear the reaper, nor do the wind, the sun or the rain…”Originally published by DK on May 11, 2020 at 12:29 am
Cups and WandsOriginally published by DK on May 10, 2020 at 3:52 pm
Keepin’ the move streak aliveOriginally published by DK on April 21, 2020 at 8:09 pm
Still waiting for the numbersOriginally published by DK on April 20, 2020 at 9:41 pm
A few random Sunday night notes:
- The introvert in me is doing just fine, thank you very much.
- Started Yale’s free Science of Well-Being online class and I’m really glad I did (h/t Charles).
- Inspired by Ms. Rosner, I’m going to switch to unleaded for the immediate future.
- The scale is not my friend these days, but I’m still trying to close those three damn circles every day.
- Need to pick a day this week to run the virtual Get in Gear 10K and submit my (likely very slow) time.
- News and social media can be soul-crushing these days, but I just can’t turn it completely off. As the great Sandra Boynton said, don’t let the turkeys get you down.
- When this is all over, I want to buy drinks (in person) for all the cool people I follow on Twitter and Instagram.
- This weekend’s focus was deciding which physical CDs and DVDs we could do without. Once it reopens, Electric Fetus will be gifted the whole pile.
- The plan this week is to get the food page updated with those spots now offering great take-out. I don’t have an unlimited budget, but we should all try and support as many of our local favorites as we can.
- Finished all the taxes (ours and my dad’s) before the original April 15th deadline, but will hold on to those checks until July.
- Still can’t believe we are all done with Lombard – such a huge relief (thanks again Kary).
- Photos + iPhone + Catalina = fubar. All I want is to sync albums from Photos to my phone, but all I get is “Photos cannot be synced to the iPhone because your Photos Library is not yet available. Please try again later.” Never thought I’d yearn for iTunes.
- Starting week three with the CPAP and so far I’m not a big fan. Can’t sleep on my stomach or side, I don’t like breathing only through my nose and it hasn’t improved my sleep quality much. Definitey quieter for everyone else, though.
- Looking forward to my first socially-distanced round of golf this week at the always excellent Willingers in Northfield.
- Scheduled to see my long lost friend Eric at James Irving on May 4th. Fingers crossed…
Wishing you all peace, love and happiness ❤️Originally published by DK on April 19, 2020 at 9:17 pm
Needed some normalcy todayOriginally published by DK on April 15, 2020 at 10:35 am
Highway 52 bridge over the Mississippi, Saint PaulOriginally published by DK on April 10, 2020 at 4:50 pm
Thanks for the memories…Originally published by DK on April 9, 2020 at 6:21 pm
First Grade report card, Linwood Park Elementary, Saint Paul, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on April 8, 2020 at 9:36 pm
Please let August be normalOriginally published by DK on April 7, 2020 at 10:04 am
Not many choo-choos these daysOriginally published by DK on April 5, 2020 at 4:16 pm
Always hustlin’Originally published by DK on April 5, 2020 at 11:56 am
We were almost out tooOriginally published by DK on April 4, 2020 at 12:15 pm
CPAP for sleep apnea (and the snore score)Originally published by DK on March 31, 2020 at 12:40 pm
It’s blog birthday time again – the first 7 Minute Miles post appeared on this domain fourteen years ago today.
- 11,119 Posts
- 208 Pages
- 41,174 unique visitors in 2019
- 2,169,487 pages displayed in 2019
Currently running WordPress 5.3.2 with my custom theme and 19 plugins on the old Mac mini server colocated in Las Vegas. Favorite plugins: Wordfence Security, VaultPress, Intagrate and Really Simple SSL (with a Let’s Encrypt cert managed via Certbot). Still want to write some custom data entry forms for the golf, run and bike pages, but those (along with making the theme more mobile friendly) have still not made it off the to-do list. Also never figured out the solution to the weird SSL/emoji issue.
Haven’t changed the overall site structure much this year, adding only a new Concerts page that I’m experimenting with using the Vimeo hosting platform. I made some major updates to the Résumé page and just realized that the Biography page now needs a refresh too. After prepping photo boards for funerals in back-to-back months, I should also spend some time on updating the Photos section. I finally moved our Christmas samplers to online-only last year and might do a Hummel section soon too (hit me up if you need any).
As always, thanks for visiting and stay safe out there!Originally published by DK on March 30, 2020 at 8:00 am
That’s still about rightOriginally published by DK on March 29, 2020 at 2:48 pm
Like many people around the world, the pandemic has been a difficult thing for me to process. I don’t have any particular expertise in the science behind it, but I’m married to the Corona Queen, I like to follow sites like this and I spent a lot of time last week getting our office configured and trained for an indefinite work from home scenario. Most of the things listed in my Twitter bio have shut down and it will likely be months before things return to some semblance of normal.
But we are very fortunate to still get outside to walk, run or bike, have money to order take-out from our favorite local restaurants and have reliable high-speed internet to cross off shows we always wanted to watch from our Netflix and HBO lists (and, of course, work from home). MK is doing the distance learning thing for the rest of the school year and SK has picked up some hours here and there helping out the Nive Man with take-out downstairs.
The Minnesota COVID-19 numbers so far pale with those in the hardest hit parts of the country (and world). The reports out of places like New York and Italy are terrifying and I worry about those on the front lines, like my Twitter friend @susanruns, who bravely works long hours to save lives in unimaginable conditions. My colleague was scheduled to start a new position in Hong Kong on April 1, but he is currently in limbo until the international travel and quarantine picture becomes clearer. I’m not sure what will happen with my work, but I’ve been trying to mentally prepare for all the different possibilities.
On the medical front, I had a 17-month MRI check-up this week at Hennepin Healthcare (which I thought might get cancelled under the non-essential procedure executive order). The new clinic building was empty – I was the only one in radiology and only saw one other person in the general waiting room. I never really had claustrophobia before, but now that MRI equipment feels like a torture chamber. Thankfully, the tech was done after two shorts scans (one 30 seconds, one four minutes). The resident that met with me pulled up the image and said everything looked great. Dr. Tummala will make the final call, but I shouldn’t have to go back for two more years. At that point, they will decide if it will be another MRI or a more invasive CT angiogram.
Lastly, the situation with my father’s estate made significant progress the past two weeks. With assistance from our friend John Schuster at Richfield Bloomington Honda, we were able to pay off his car loan and sell the car. Today, with the help of Kary Marpe from Edina Realty, we sold the house on Lombard. I thought that process was going to be challenging, given the hoarding nature of my mom (that would be one of my elementary school pictures above), various repairs needed and the pandemic’s impact on the economy. Kary was amazing, though, accurately pricing and listing the property, resulting in multiple offers by day two. If all goes according to plan, we will close on April 10. All that will be left is my dad’s taxes for 2019 (which shouldn’t be too hard).
Stay safe, y’all!Originally published by DK on March 28, 2020 at 9:10 pm
The revolution will not be televisedOriginally published by DK on March 28, 2020 at 12:52 pm
https://kottke.org/20/03/some-peopleOriginally published by DK on March 21, 2020 at 5:35 pm
The ongoing saga of my double vision has now lead to a semi-permanent solution. I had always been the one person in my family without glasses, but one of the lasting side effects of my brain aneurysm has been diplopia at farther distances. Thanks to the treatment plans of Dr. Amy Chang and therapist Courtney Mitchell at Hennepin Heathcare, I can now read screens at most distances and watch TV without glasses. Even at farther distances, I can usually find an angle to hold my head to remove any doubling up (although Dr. Chang says that I’m cheating when I do that).
At the end of January, we decided that I’d stop using the 3M Prism inserts in the pair of non-prescription lenses I had purchased from Amazon. We started at a +30 strength in the beginning and dropped all the way down to +8 with the temporary inserts. Dr. Chang wrote a prescription for a permanent pair of glasses that included a +6 Prism for the top half of the lens and some magnification on the bottom half to assist with reading small letters close up (i.e. – cheaters). I’ve had 20/20 vision for most of my life, but age has caught up to me and some things just don’t work the same as they did before (regardless of the aneurysm side effects).
On the advice of a friend, I took the prescription to Warby Parker in the Galleria. Since I’ve never done this before, I wasn’t sure what my insurance would cover, but they had people in the store that seemed knowledgable about my situation and helped me pick out frames and make adjustments for this particular prescription. I paid for everything and was told the glasses would be ready for pick-up and fitting in 7-10 days. After two weeks of not hearing anything, I looked up my order on their website, which had a “please call us about your order” message displayed. No phone calls or emails during this time – WTH? The person I talked to when I called was very nice, but told me that their lab couldn’t produce my prescription, saying the prism strength couldn’t be higher than +5 and that they would just cancel the order. Ugh.
So in the end, I just went to Target Optical in West Saint Paul, which fitted me in a nice pair of Ray-Bans that they shipped in under a week for around $300. It took me a little while to get used to the progressive aspect of my prescription, but once I figured that out, they work really well. I do still prefer to not wear glasses when I can (like right now while I type on the iMac), but it’s nice to have them for driving and for reading the small type on menus in low-light situations. It will be interesting to see how they work for golf and biking later this spring…Originally published by DK on March 14, 2020 at 7:10 pm
My ribs hurt from coughingOriginally published by DK on March 2, 2020 at 1:50 am
Thanks, Gardens of Olive!Originally published by DK on February 22, 2020 at 1:11 pm
I wonder if that IIc in the corner will boot upOriginally published by DK on February 21, 2020 at 3:40 pm
I buried my Mama and I buried my Pa. They sleep up the street beside that pretty brick wall. I bring them flowers about every day. But I just gotta cry when I think what they’d say…Originally published by DK on February 18, 2020 at 11:02 pm
It seems like I’ve written way too many “RIP” posts recently and unfortunately that now includes my father Mike, who died on Monday at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in downtown Saint Paul. With Colleen’s mom Jean passing at the end of 2019, we are now officially out of parents/grandparents, which is a really, really tough thing to process.
Dad’s medical journey started back in October when he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He had surgery at Saint John’s Hospital in Maplewood to have his thyroid glands removed. That procedure went fine and the first few times I visited him out there, he was sitting in the chair next to his bed with his iPad playing video poker and could walk around the room. The surgery was close to his vocal cords, though, so he talked in a whisper-voice. Things seemed to be progressing nicely and he was transferred to Bethesda Hospital in Saint Paul, which is now an intermediate care facility in the Fairview system.
After only a few days at Bethesda, I got the first of many calls that said they needed to transfer him to the ICU at Saint Joe’s to deal with more serious complications that they couldn’t handle at Bethesda. These included a chyle leak, heart and breathing issues and the eventual installation of a tracheostomy tube, connection to a ventilator and installation of a pacemaker. Unfortunately, his condition continued to weaken even after these steps were taken, leaving him bedridden and unable to talk. My brother and sister traveled back to Saint Paul last weekend upon the recommendation of the palliative care team at St. Joe’s and we all got to say our goodbyes before he passed away peacefully just before 1 p.m. on Monday afternoon.
Like my mom, my dad loved being a grandparent to our daughters. As I’ve gone back looking for the photos posted below, I remember that he really liked combining his interests with Sasha and Marisa, whether it was a Twins game, a visit to a Disney park or the annual trip to Grand Marais and the North Shore. He loved playing video poker on his iPad (with fake money) and at many of the Minnesota tribal casinos with me and other family members (for real money). He visited me during my time at Fortune Bay, we made many round trip drives from Grand Marais to Grand Portage, used our free spin coupons at Treasure Island, stopped in at Grand Casino Hinckley on the way to Duluth to play the nickel poker machines and occasionally I would even get him to step out at the ritzy Mystic Lake.
The Twins were a huge deal for my dad. I’m super proud of him for going on the team trip to Seattle last year solo. He had partial season tickets for many years and we all liked to attend games with him (or stop by and visit if we had our own tickets). He’d participate in Twins Fest every year, would go to spring training games in Florida with Brian and Patti and had a great time at the bigger events like the All Star Game and last year’s playoff game (stupid Yankees). His man cave is full of Twins bobbleheads and signed baseballs and it will be bittersweet if they have a great season this year – although he did get to experience both 1987 and 1991. I still have the foul ball I got on 9-5-79 at Met Stadium sitting on my desk that he went and had signed after the game by the Twins hitter (Jesus Vega: Twins 8, Royals 3). If I remember right, the KC pitcher was the Mad Hungarian himself, Al Hrabosky.
Thank you to everyone at Mueller-Bies Funeral Home, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and Acacia Park Cemetery for your help in arranging the events scheduled for next week (please see the obituary below for details). Thanks also to everyone who has expressed their condolences and reached out to our family in this time of grief.
Love you, dad. ❤️
Obituary from Mueller-Bies and photo gallery after the jump.
Michael Alvin Kingsbury. September 7, 1946 – February 10, 2020. Age 73, of St. Paul, died on February 10, 2020. Preceded in death by wife, Karen; parents, Alvin & Evalyn; & brother, John. Survived by children, David (Colleen), Brian (Patti), & Lynn; grandchildren, Sasha & Marisa; siblings, Charles, Caroline (Robert) Anfinson & Richard. Mike retired from New York Life. He loved the Twins, the North Shore, Disney, bowling & video poker. His smile & laugh will be missed. Memorial service 11 AM Friday, February 21 at GLORIA DEI LUTHERAN CHURCH, 700 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul. Visitation 4-7 PM Thursday 2/20 at MUELLER-BIES FUNERAL HOME-ROSEVILLE, 2130 N. Dale St. @ County Rd. B and also at church on Friday from 10-11 AM. Interment Acacia Park Cemetery.
Published in the Pioneer Press on February 16, 2020
Getting all my old person stuff done nowOriginally published by DK on February 12, 2020 at 11:22 am