Tasty Goodness in the Mail

Just before Christmas I received a package that contained this.

I think I'll wait 'til spring to open it. I'm thinking some boneless country style ribs, maybe some chicken... Thanks Mark.


Christmas Questionnaire

Sean tagged me with this one, and since I'm in a giving mood, you know Christmas and all, here you go:

1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share Christmas facts about yourself.
3. Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Welcome to the Christmas edition of "Getting to Know Your Friends."

1. Wrapping or gift bags?


2. Real or artificial tree?


3. When do you put up the tree?

Krista puts it up, usually on Thanksgiving, or the day after, while I am working. Likely will change next year...

4. When do you take the tree down?

Shortly after New Years

5. Do you like egg nog?


6. Favorite gift received as a child?

Not sure, but I think it was Christmas, how can you top the Millennium Falcon? Oh, or maybe it was my bike...

7. Do you have a nativity scene?


8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

A muffin splitter, but my grandmother was already dealing with Alzheimer's. At least I hope she was.

9. Mail or email Christmas cards?

Krista always takes care of that, and sometimes it is a letter, sometimes it is an e-mail. Usually a letter.

10. Favorite Christmas Movie?

A Christmas Story

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

We usually try and have it done before Thanksgiving, but that hasn't happened since Elsa arrived.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Krista makes these great chocolate rum balls. But, again, not since Elsa arrived.

13. Clear lights or colored on the tree?

I like the white, but right now we have all red, which I like better than the multi-colored.

14. Favorite Christmas song(s)?

Tough to say.

15. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

Usually the weekend before is with Krista's 'rents, and the weekend after is with my family.

16. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?

Yes, but I won't.

17. Angel on the tree top or a star?


18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?

No. See 15.

19. Most annoying thing about this time of year?

Trying to get anything at the mall or Target. But that is only if I absolutely must.

20. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color?


21. What do you leave for Santa?

Nothing yet.

22. Least favorite holiday song?

Tough to say.

23. Favorite ornament?

I don't think I have one.

24. Family tradition?

Not really.

25. Ever been to Midnight Mass or late-night Christmas Eve services?


Now, I am to tag seven people. I hereby tag the first seven people that read this. After you have read this post, say so in comments and do your duty. We're working on the honor system here people, so no cheating, it's Christmas after all.

I'm Free!

By the end of this week I will no longer work in broadcast television. I am going to work for Thomson Find Law, and will be creating video content for their websites. I know, it sounds exciting, making web videos for lawyers, whooooo. But, I'll have better hours, better pay, and I will be picking up skill that will be useful in the direction I want to continue. We'll see how this goes.



You may have noticed that I have left some questions unanswered here. Well, time to rectify that. Dave, the Wovel is, well, here. And here. And here. It is a wondrous thing. After the fist big snow, it took me less time than it ever has to clear the drive and walks. And it didn't take any longer than it did for my neighbor to do his with his snow blower. Actually less time if you count the time he took to get it running. And it was quieter. And I didn't have to buy gas.


OK, It May be a Crappy Song...

but Johnny Paycheck summed it up. Details to come.


Your Life, the Soundtrack

Shawn tagged me with this a while back, and it's been sitting on Blogger as a draft. Well, finally here it is. I think I've strayed a bit from the original idea though. Too Bad.

You are making a feature film about your life. What songs do you select for the soundtrack? You'll want at least one song for each major stage of your life, the highs and lows, significant relationships, educational and career milestones, etc.

If Shawn starts with Mickey Mouse Disco I suppose I ought to mention Alvin and the Chipmunks. I don't remember if the records were mine or belonged to my brother or sister, but they were played quite a bit. At this same time I would have to include 70's (and early 80's) AM country radio. It seems this is what the 'rents were listening to, and most of those songs weren't too bad. Like Shawn you can toss in some TV themes: Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, Simon & Simon, Magnum P.I. etc. Unlike Shawn, you can omit Thriller.

In Junior High there was Men at Work, which I still dig. This time also brought to my full attention The Beatles. You can assume for the rest of this post that they remain the basso continuo for my musical experience. At some point, most likely in high school, Revolver became my favorite album, and it has held that spot since, though later it has to make room to share that spot.

High School was more Beatles, and some other "Classic Rock" abundant on the radio. I also started picking up some jazz listening, but that was very limited; mostly big band and other HS jazz band fare. I also started to pick up an appreciation for Mozart and some other classical music.

Up to this point this soundtrack is maybe a double LP. College is a friggin box-set. Like Shawn it had a grungy tinge to it. Pearl Jam's Ten, and then VS, Stone Temple Pilots etc. College also expanded my classical listening, and the World Famous Wartburg College Concert Band, with soloist Jaquandor, helped cement Mahler's Symphony No. 5 one of my favorite pieces of music. One performance was so sublime it brought many of us to tears. Dr. Vinny introduced me to Berg, Bartok and other 20th century composers, and took me deeper into the The Beatles. My awareness of the jazz world was also blown wide open, thanks in part to Knightliters Jazz Band director Alan Jacobson, and fellow members like Mark, but one man had a deep impact on what is currently sitting on my CD shelf. I don't know what ever happened to him, but thank you Scott Olson. Enter the Holy Trinity of Miles, Trane, and Monk, along with the minor deities. Miles Davis Kind of Blue joined Revolver perched atop the heap.

The late nineties were filled with the music of 44. Dan, Pat, Krista and I made a go of it, and had loads of fun, took too many votes and made too many lists. We made some decent music too. You can buy it on iTunes, or if you want the physical item you can buy it (and read more) here. During this time I also started listening more to artists I discovered in College. Bjork, Beck and Lyle Lovett would rise to the top, and remain three of a very few from whom I will purchase a new album unheard. I also started listening to some Ska, thanks to my brother and Shawn.

New century. Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Flaming Lips and some others have made their way onto my CD shelves. Lately though, I have been listening to more and more Jazz. Lots of Hard Bop. Art Blakey and his minions are at the center of it. Lee Morgan, Curtis Fuller, Wayne Shorter, Hank Mobley. YourMusic.Com has quite a few jazz albums, and they are all $6.99. Sorry to end on a commercial, but it is a great deal.

Now, who to tag? We know Jaq has a great love for film scores, but what was his journey to get there? Has her love of poetry had an effect on Amanda's listening? Mark has the same guitar as me. And Dan and Pat need to explain how they got to all those songs we played in the late nineties.


Travel Through the Lens

If you're looking for something to do this Saturday, swing by the Steven's Square Center for the Arts. My friend Kathy is opening her first solo exhibition. If you've been to our house, or gotten a family photo from us, you've seen her work. Details here.


Walks Reclaimed

Had to edge before winter so the Wovel would fit. The pile was bigger than it looks in the photo. It was about six inches deep and took up a full section of sidewalk.


Last night I was lucky enough to catch Elvis Costello perform with the Minnesota Orchestra. It was a great show despite his obvious cold. Singing with a cold is bad enough, but singing at the top of your range, like Elvis does so often, has to be tough. But he nailed it all night.

The show started with the orchestra playing selections from Il Sogno. Then EC came on stage and performed several songs from throughout his career, with great orchestral arrangements. Included were a few from The Juliet Letters, and Painted from Memory.

After the show we headed to The Dakota for the after party, where it was rumored that EC would play, but he didn't show. As an added bonus my man Murphy scored the tickets for free. Thanks Murph.


Pedal Power

This past Sunday we did the St. Paul Classic Bike Tour, and took Elsa along for the first time. Let me tell you, when towing the trailer strong winds are worse than any hill. Fortunately it looks like Elsa will be ready to go under her own power next year.

*I keep reminding Krista: when using the digital still camera to take movies, landscape, landscape, landscape...


Overheard in the Kitchen

Elsa: Peaches!
Aaron: No, you already had your fruit, you had oranges.
Elsa: PEACHES! Peaches, peach-ohs, peach-hohs, ho-hos, JOE! Abbey!

Abbey and Joe are two of her cousins. Also as far as Elsa is concerned all boys are named Joe.


Holy Cow

It's been a while since I've posted any pictures of Elsa (and reading that last post I think I need to proof-read better). So, here are a bunch of photos taken since then. Mostly in chronological order.



This morning I awoke to the distinctive scream of a DC-9. Not an unusual sound at our house, but this was loud. I mean, it woke ME up. I opened my eyes and all I could see through the skylight over our bed was fuselage. A little bit of wing, a sliver of sky, but mostly fuselage. Runway construction started at Minneapolis Saint Paul International about two weeks ago, and until the work is complete the new north-south runway, normally restricted to take-offs to and approaches from the south, is being used over Minneapolis.

This was shot in my back yard, over the course of about 15 minutes or so, during the evening rush last weekend. Before it was run through the patented YouTube Crap-O-Lation Filter you could clearly make out the rotation in the trees caused by the wingtip vortices, which follow 6-10 seconds after the plane. The first night it was kinda cool, but that wore off fast. I want this done even more than the Crosstown project.

**I will likely try uploading this again, and see if YouTube can encode it without that crap at the beginning**


Strange And Wonderful Things Are On The Way, I'm Sure

Welcome Mighty Tom.

Oh Yeah...

Congratulations are in order. My little sister is engaged.


I've been tagged. I was planning on posting some soon anyway, but Mark forced me back early.

Here's the deal, I'm supposed to list seven random/interesting facts about myself, then, tag seven people to do the same. I'm not sure that there is that much that is interesting, so this may be more random.

1. If you asked, I would tell you that I consider myself a part-time, or semi-pro poker player. It has helped financially, but I'm not ready to quit my job.
2. Actually I am ready to quit my job, but I've got nothing lined up yet. I'm not afraid of being fired, but I am a bit worried that I might lose it one day and quit when I shouldn't.
3. I have holes in the upper part of my ears, near the temple. No, not pierced. There is a name for it, but I can't remember what it is.
4. If I were to win the Powerball there is little doubt in my mind that I would be contacting Virgin Galactic.
5. I kinda feel like I am a hack at most things I do. I am good at a lot of things, but not really good at much.
6. Instead of using the blogger toolbar I just manually typed the HTML tags it italicize "really."
7. I have a strange feeling that purchasing creamy or extra crunchy peanut butter is a much easier decision for me than it is for Mark.

OK, Dan, Pat, Pat, Amanda, Shawn, Sean, and Jaq, you're it. OK, Jaq was already tagged by Mark, so you're it twice.

So Long Max

Max roach Dead at 83.


Words Aren't Good Enough

For the second time I find myself composing a post that has no hope of being adequate. For the second time I find myself offering my sincere condolences to Kelly and family. It's not good enough, but it's all I got. Kelly and Deb, I am so sorry. And, I'm sorry this is so late, I somehow missed the original post.


Life's Trials

Haven't these people been through enough?

Kelly, we are thinking of you and your family.


Come On

qppdk? appdk? cppdk? I guessed cppdk. I guessed wrong.


God Bless You Kilgore Trout

So it goes.

If I were only allowed to read one author for the rest of my life I would choose him.


Bring It Old Man

There is talk of snow. I've heard up to 6 inches.

Don't make me assemble this mo-fo.


Why? Why? Why?

Why did it take so long for someone to think of it? Hell, why didn't I think of it? And why the hell am I just now, at the end of March, learning of it? I'm talking about the Wovel. I want one. I need one. I will have one.

But seriously, this technology is thousands of years old, why did it take so long?


As Long as I'm Here...

I'll link to some photographic goodness.

Dan, Pat and their friend from high school, Steven, have embarked (almost two months ago) on a year long photo project, 365 (Dan's, Pat's, Steven's). The will be posting a photo a day throughout the year.

My friend Kathy just returned from Hawaii, jealous much? She is a very talented photographer, if you've been to our house you've seen her work. Her work is for sale, and she is also for hire for portraiture if you're looking. (A couple of the ones she has done for us here, and here)

I'll add links in the sidebar when I decide on a new template.

What Happened?

Well, I had to change my template when I moved to the new blogger, but there wasn't really one I liked. I've been looking for one that I can easily modify, but I am having trouble finding one compatible with the new blogger. If you know of some that don't come up in a simple Google search point me to 'em, although I don't see me having time to work on it in the next few weeks...


He Finally Made The Big Time

Well, sort of. Congrats to Jaq on his runaway win of the Buffalo News short story contest. Well deserved! May it be but the first in a long string of literary success!