Thursday, November 02, 2006

New cell phone

I was having phone calls drop on my end - the person on the other end could still hear me. This is not good when you are talking to prospective employers. I bought the new LG phone that Cingular is offering. I even found a program that allowed me to update the address book in the phone via Bluetooth so I already have my contacts updated for the most part. It wasn't totally clean but close.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Only 3 left!

I have made progress on the logogame. I found 2 more. Now I still have the ones left that I mentioned in my last post. The walk through 2 liquor stores only resulted in increasing my beer inventory at home.

I also have made a lot of progress on my job search this week. I had 2 face-to-face interviews and a phone interview. That is about the most real activity I have since in the last few months. Maybe there is an end in sight.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

My latest time waster

Those that know me, know that I like trivia. Trying to determine the brand name of a product by a picture of a small portion of their label seems innocent enough, right? Well, trying to determine 26 different American Beers or breweries is next to impossible. I would have included a couple of examples from the game, except that the creators may get upset. The game is on a website called Logogame. I looked at the Hall of Fame for this and only 3 people have completed all 26. I tried a couple of others like fast food and technology. Those have extensive lists of people that have completed them. I was able to complete them in fairly short order.

Currently I am at 21 of the 26 so I only have 5 left to find out. I think a stroll through the aisles at a liquor store or two may help. I still need the first "B" and the "HO" among others.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Using an iMac!?

Yes, this post is being written on an iMac. I was able to rejunvenate an old iMac G3 with a hard drive replacement. What a way to jump into learning the differences between Wintel and Apple! So far there are only the apps that come with the iMac OS X installed on the machine with the exception of Firefox. I had to have that.

There are some differences that I noted right away - first the maximize, minimize, and close icons are on the left instead of the right. They also do not work the same as Windows - but who would expect them to.

This machine will probably not have a primary role in my office. In fact, it will most likely move to the family room and become the quick Internet lookup and iChat machine.

Monday, October 16, 2006

A fine wine from the area famous for wine ...

Missouri. The Friendship School Red from the St. James Winery has a unique taste that I found even my mother-in-law that prefers Reisling enjoyed. It was a very good compliment to the lasagna that was served. Since my mother-in-law likes Reisling, we started the evening with a Torres San Valentin Parellada Catalunya from Spain. The wine is easy to spot as a small white cupid is attached to the neck of the bottle.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

She returns again

The last post talked about seeing my daughter. Since then she has been home and we saw her for a few hours in her college town. Right now she is at the train station ready to board the train and come home again. At least this time without laundry (I think). We will now get to see her every weekend this month.

Friday, September 29, 2006

The return of the daughter!

Today we get to see our daughter again for the first time in more than a month. She has gone off to college and it is about a 2 1/2 hour drive. My sister volunteered to pick her up so she can see the campus. It will be too short of a weekend. On the bright side we will see her again next weekend as we pass through Winona.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

St. Paul Classic Bike Tour 2006

I just got home from the wet St. Paul Classic Bike Tour. It was a 15 mile ride in a light drizzle. It never really got to raining so it was not too bad unless you wanted to see through your glasses. I did get up Ramsey Hill with my feet near my pedals. I found people to take my picture at each of the stops. First at the Mississippi River Overlook on Shepard Road. The coffee tasted great there but holding the warm cup was actually the best part. The second photo (with the Bike Route sign) was at the top of Ramsey Hill. I had gotten my breath back by the time this photo was taken. The last picture is at the end of the ride at the University of St. Thomas.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Wow! Has it been over a month?

I guess it has been a while since I have updated this blog. The job search continues but there have been some positive steps toward a job. I have had a big concentration of interviews lately including a second interview at one location.

Tomorrow is a day I am both looking forward to and also hoping it won't come. My baby goes off to college. I wish her the best in school and know that she is totally ready for this step in her life. However, part of me wishes I could keep her here close to me. Good luck DB!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Laughlin is a blast!

Blast furnace that is! We spent the last couple of days in Laughlin, Nevada. Yesterday we were walking around in 118 degree heat. However, the gambling was good (at least for us). We never seem to come back from Vegas ahead and we are small time gamblers but we are about $60 ahead right now. We will probably not be that far ahead soon since we are now in Vegas. The first machine we played after arriving in Vegas took all the money we put in to it. It was exactly the kind of machine that was paying off for us in Laughlin. I had always heard that you had better chances in Laughlin and now I believe it.

We also took a side trip to Lake Havasu City yesterday. BORING!!! Most of the British shops that they built to go with London Bridge are closed. The only bright spot was a brew pub where we had lunch. The brews were all a tad on the sweet side though.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Northwest Airlines does good!

Since we had a free ride to the airport that saved us those huge parking fees (Thanks Alex), we were a few hours early for our flight. We checked our bags and then meandered over to the gate where the next Las Vegas flight was departing. We got on the standby list and they told us there was a good chance we would make it but we would have to return to the airport to pick up our luggage 4 hours later.

Yes, we made it and with the kind help of a passenger, we were able to sit together. The flight was good, avoiding a storm in western Minnesota, and we arrived on time. After getting to the baggage claim area, we checked with an employee at the desk that confirmed that since we checked in so soon, our bags had indeed traveled with us!

We were able to dine at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville on the strip without needing to return to the airport afterwards. We ended up with front row splash seats for the volcano blow where a girl in a bikini slides down the volcano into a huge margarita. Too bad I forgot the camera (and the fact that my phone has one).

Thanks Northwest! (Did I say that?)

Hot enough for you?

Global warming seems to be affecting even chilly Minnesota. We are not going to be able to keep up our image of a cold zone when the temperatures are in the 90's. I guess it could be worse, Las Vegas is expecting 113 most of the weekend. Of course, that is a dry heat! So where do I go and leave the kids at home to work, etc. - Vegas.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Two Harbors still a working port

We were 'Up North' this weekend in Duluth with a side trip up to Split Rock lighthouse, Gooseberry Falls, and Two Harbors on Saturday. We arrived in Two Harbors in time to watch an ore boat arrive in the harbor. These huge ships are amazing in how they can come into the harbor and turn in a relatively small area. The St. Clair is 770 feet long and considered a mid-size boat. The boom is 250 feet long and is used to self-unload the boat. The boat was built in 1976.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

My baby has graduated from high school!

My daughter walked proudly through her graduation ceremony last night. Of course trying to get a picture at the distances involved is a difficult task. Congratulations Bug!

Actually, her brother helped to hold her still in his classic neck hug. We have pictures of the two of them in about that same pose going back to pre-school.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Rain did go away

The rain cleared and I was able to use the electricity in the gazebo on Thursday and Friday. Doing things like a job search are more enjoyable when you are able to sit out in the fresh air.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Electricity is good!

We have had a gazebo attached to our deck for many years. This week I finally put electricity in the gazebo. It is only one outlet but it is a major change. It is now much easier to plug in and use the gazebo for an outside office. When I first thought about this many years ago, I was going to have to also run a phone line out there. Now with cordless phones and WiFi networking the only piece is electricity. That is not even necessary if you have a better laptop than mine. Or at least a better laptop battery. Mine is pretty much non-functional.

Now I just need a non-rainy day so that it is enjoyable to be out there.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Longest bike ride so far this season

Today I got up and decided that it was a nice day and I was not going to waste it. I put on my bike clothes and went for a ride. I went around the south side of White Bear Lake and out to Mahtomedi. From there I picked up the Gateway Trail back in toward St. Paul. Once I got to North St. Paul, I stopped up at church and completed one of the finishing touches on the Fireside Room. The fireplace insert is now officially fully installed. The next stop was at Ace Hardware to pick up the final pieces for the Fireside Room. A couple of door stops. Back to church to install them and declare the Fireside Room completed. Then back home via McKnight Road. All told it was 23.7 miles. It felt good, especially when I did not have a time line or fixed agenda. It is also nice to be able to call home on the way back and have a pizza waiting for lunch!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Finally a great weather Memorial Day weekend!

We used to camp every Memorial Day weekend and put up with the cold and rain. This year we are not camping and the weather is gorgeous! The high today is to be in the low 90's. There is a slight breeze keeping things cool and not a cloud in the sky. Wish I was camping - of course, it would then be 50 and raining.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Day By Day Cafe

Went to a place on West Seventh called the Day By Day Cafe for breakfast today. There was supposed to be paintings by one of Lynn's cousins but we must have missed them. We did eat out on the large patio and had a really good breakfast. We got there at the right time too as there was a long line to get in as we left and a lot of tables both inside and out when we arrived. I recommend the number 10 with bacon. The short stack of pancakes is huge as well. The cakes cover the entire dinner sized plate. We found out later that it is not on the menu but you can order one.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Speeding by the park

At the end of my road is a park with a ballfield and playground equipment. There has been concern that the speeds on the road along that park have been too high. The County did a speed study and found that 86% of the cars are going 25 mph or slower. It is posted at 20 mph. They are going to look at it further to determine if there is a pattern to the other 14%. One was clocked at 44 mph during the study. This is a park that often has children crossing the road to get to it and holding the speed down on the traffic is important.

Yes, it did rain by the end of the meeting in the park.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Cleaning Day

It was supposed to rain today. Of course, it has not yet. The plan was to take advantage of the rain and spend the day cleaning the house. We did clean but it is a better activity for a rain day. There I go listening to those weather forecasters again. I do have one outdoor activity planned for this evening. The Town Board is having a special meeting regarding speed control on the street at the end of my block. They are having it in the park right by that street. It will probably rain then since it looks and feels like it now.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Job Search has gotten boring

The search for a new job has become a chore and the weather has become nice. In combo, the search is harder. We discussed this in my job team a couple of weeks ago and the benefit is that those that keep at it reap the rewards. The pool of candidates drops off in the summer as people do more to enjoy the weather and that means less competition. I can see it myself. It is much harder to concentrate on looking now. I still have a couple of interviews scheduled and a few positions backfilling the pipeline from there but it is difficult to keep backfilling the pipeline. I had a good opportunity fall out of the pipeline on Friday. Again, it went to ‘internal candidates’. What is with that? Those people have a job! I think I will go for a bike ride and take my mind off that. Oops! That is what I was talking about.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

"LIght Their World" gala

Last night we attended the Roseville Rotary Club's "Light Their World" gala. The dinner was very well attended and included a silent and live auction, featured guest speaker Don Shelby of WCCO TV, and some fun things like a game called "Top Hats and Trousers". You had to make a donation to get into the game. This gave you a string of beads. The more beads you bought the more you would be able to keep playing. Then they had all the participants stand up. You were told to put your hand on your head (Top Hat) or on your tail (Trousers). They flipped a coin. If you matched the coin, you were still in the game. If not, you lost a string of beads. If you were out of beads, you were out of the game. It looked like a woman won by being the only one with her hand on her head but there was a couple that still had about 3 strings of beads each. They kept going and got down to the two women with one string each. The one that almost won earlier, ended up losing in the final round. It was an interesting twist on things and I think it raised a lot of money for the "Light Their World" program. The program is a reading literacy program being kicked off by the Roseville Schools, the Ramsey County Libraries, and funded by the Roseville Rotary.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Ride of Silence completed

The Ride of Silence was completed on Wednesday evening without a sound. Here I am at the end of the ride with my black ribbon. It was scary at times with the amount of traffic whizzing by in the downtown areas and around the UofM. It was a good statement to show that we are able to share the road and a reminder to drivers that they should share the road as well.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ride of Silence

Speaking of nice weather, there is a bike ride this evening in Minneapolis. It is a memorial ride for all people killed or injured in bicycle - vehicle collisions. I will be riding along with many family members in memory of my sister. The ride is to be completed in silence and expected to be about an hour long. The organizers requested riders to wear black armbands and two of my sister’s best friends have made up some for us. Thank you both!

Nice weather - FINALLY!

It is finally a nice day to sit out in the gazebo and relax. In fact, I am posting from the gazebo. Sorry about the picture quality, it is from my phone because it was handy.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Itzhak Perlman concert

If you ever want to be impressed by a violin concert, do whatever you need to go and see Itzhak Perlman in concert. The setting on Monday night was a synagogue so it was not a massive hall. We had seats almost straight back with the wall behind us and at most the equivalent of 20 rows in front. With that crowd it was especially poignant when he played a piece that he helped write, the theme from Schindler's List.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

Went to church and saw my daughter using a puppet up in front of the church. Then off to a grocery store for brunch - Byerly's has an awesome resturant with a 'Minnesota Omelet' that is delicious. Then on to my mom's for more food.

Ok, this is a boring blog entry - but at least I am starting to update it again.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Sushi and cat versus human

Who will get the sushi? It is great to have my son home from college. We had a chance to have a slow paced day together.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Oops - I guess it has been a while

I have been busy guarding Pilate and the Priests. I am a guard in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar. It has been interesting and fun to be on the other side of the audience. I have been involved before from the sound booth. At least I don't sing or dance.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Wanna buy a house?

The work on my parent's house is about done. It is ready for the market. We have put a lot of work into preparing it for today's market. Three bedrooms, a living room, family room, and large sun room. The house is located on a finger channel that connects it to Forest Lake. It is going to be listed at a bargain price!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Trivia weekend completed

I was unable to participate as much as I would have liked. The team ended up in 10th place. The answer to where is the statue is now revealed - Glochester, MA.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Interviewing clinic

I completed a clinic on interviewing yesterday at my outplacement firm. This was one of the best classes I have had. I went in there hating the idea of role-playing but I came away with good ideas and more confidence in my interviewing skills. These are skills I hope I will be using soon.

Civic duty completed

A little late in posting this. I completed my week of jury duty uneventfully. I did not have to report to the courthouse after Tuesday and never saw anything outside of the jury waiting room. My huge paycheck of $40 plus mileage is in the mail!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Civic duty still boring

The jury duty has not gotten any less boring. I still have not seen anything but the assembly room. The good news is that I will not have to report to the courthouse tomorrow.    

Monday, January 30, 2006

Civic duty is boring - so far

I served my first day of jury duty today. Very uneventful. You are sitting in a large room that is too well heated with 112 of your closest strangers and wait. You wait for a person in a suit to come out of his office and announce your name to go to be part of our government. Well, I get to go back tomorrow - maybe he will call my name.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Statue found

I will post the location after the trivia weekend.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Trivia is driving me crazy

Can anyone identify this photo? Private e-mail preferred to avoid other teams finding the answer on the net.


Saw this sign when visiting a local fast food recently. Sounds yummy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Aaron's birthday party

We have been wanting to see my nephew's house for a while. We used his birthday as a good excuse to invite ourselves over. The candles for the cake were forgotten, so a tea light was substituted. Aaron has posted photos from the party on his blog.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Trivia Weekend approaching

I am now addicted. I will be participating in the upcoming trivia weekend. I received copies of the visual trivia yesterday and have spent at least 10 hours already researching the information. I won't post much about them here since I don't want to give away anything. I can't wait for February 10th - the start of the contest. Check out the contest website at

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

More theater involvement

I have been recruited as the Production Manager, Production Assistant, Production Secretary, whatever you want to call it, for the upcoming production of Jesus Christ Superstar at my church. This should be an interesting adventure. The cast is split between adults that have to work all day and high school kids that have to worry about school and homework and jobs. We have only about 2 months of prep time before the shows in mid to late March. Auditions were held on Sunday and the call backs tonight. Thursday is the big day - first rehearsal and the time that the cast finds out what roles they will be playing.

Night at the Theater

I just left the Guthrie Theater at intermission. The play, The People's Temple, was plodding along and did not seem to hold much hope for anything except more of the same in the second act. Maybe I just was not in the mood to hear about Jonestown. Part of the reason to leave was technical. For most of the first act there was a disturbing buzz or hum in the sound system. It was bad enough that I was tempted to leave during the show and complain a couple of times. I guess the old theater is starting to fall apart with only a couple of months left.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

This is a boring night. It is only the cats and me in the house. Oh, yes, I forgot the beta too. I will be feeding the fish right after this blog entry.

I think I am starting to show signs of the flu that everyone else got at Christmas. Might be a good night to head to bed early.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Job search has officially begun

The official start of my new job search was today. I went to an orientation meeting at the outplacement firm. This is going to be a whole new experience for me - the branding of ManOfWy! It should keep me busy for a while. Maybe by the end I will know what I want to be when I grow up.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Design to sell - the saga continues

The wall in the main bathroom is not smooth and it never will be. We looked at using a faux finish on that wall and were advised to leave it alone. Many potential buyers will be turned off by it and most will be looking at repainting anyway. The good news is the bathrooms are now all completely painted! There are now rooms that can be checked off as complete (all need cleaning yet but that is phase III).

I was able to have a nice lunch with my sister at Norman Quacks. They seem to have decent food and atmosphere there and it is not like going to one of the chains in Forest Lake.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Design to sell

The ongoing project to update my parents old house for sale continues. The light fixtures have now all been updated. The clutter at least consolidated. The bedrooms are all repainted to neutral colors as are the bathrooms, kitchen, living room, and family room. Still to go is the hallway, stairway, and dining room. The skylights also still need to be painted. The carpets can then be replaced in the bedrooms and the rest of the house given a good cleaning. We set a goal today to have it market ready by the end of the month. I'll post some pictures soon in case anyone is interested in buying a lakeshore home in the suburbs of the Twin Cities.

Morning rain

Rain in January! This is Minnesota not California. At least it has now stopped and most of the roads had enough traffic to dry out.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The buck stops here

For the first time we spotted a buck in our front yard. I was alerted to his presence by our ever vigilant cat, Neko. The deer had arrived from the direction of Bald Eagle Lake a couple of blocks from our house. He stopped to nibble on the foliage directly in front of the kitchen window. We have lived a couple of blocks from a nature center for over 20 years and never have seen deer in our yard before. Wish I would have grabbed a camera.