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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

On The Road Again

I am up north in the Twin Cities for work from today until Friday.

Tonight we got to the hotel and checked in and I did a little bit of work for about an hour and then it was out to hit the town. First stop was supper.

We drove out to Menneehaha park where there was this pretty cool little seafood place that you could choose to either dine indoors or outside on the terrace. There were families eating, kids playing, loads of people riding their bikes. The scenery was really cool and the atmosphere just felt very lively.

When we were finished there we went with a former co-worker to check out his digs. He had purchased a house not too long ago in Minneapolis and he wanted to show it off to us. It was a very nice place, much like many of the houses in the area. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have tons of older homes from the Victorian style. It was fun just driving around and looking at all of the rich architecture that was poured into these various communities.

The thing that I love about the Twin Cities is that everywhere you go you find people. There are parks everywhere and many of the streets have designated lanes for bicycles. I also love the quaint feeling of driving down the streets of these mature neighborhoods and seeing all of the local businesses that thrive. While there are certainly big corporations that are located here there is still a sense of community and supporting the local small business. This is what truly makes for a good sense of community and economy.

The last stop was this place in St. Paul that was on Grand Ave. It was a creamery that made both their own cones and ice cream. I had been told that it was good, but it was more affirming to see the line of people waiting to receive their cold treats. The line started in the store...and wrapped around and out the door to the sidewalk outside. We probably waited 15 minutes or so to get served but it was well worth it.

Grand Ave in St. Paul is known for its small business and shops along the strip. Four or 5 miles of storefronts and houses that have been converted into businesses keep alive into the evenings with people either shopping or walking around. I love the fact that they didn't come in and bulldoze the homes out of the neighborhood; they recycled them.

Although I probably wouldn't want to live here, it is a great place to visit.

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10 Years Later

This past weekend I had my 10 year class reunion. I really had my reservations about going but I decided that I'd bite the bullet and go. I figured that there would be people there that I really didn't care to see; but there would also be others that would be nice to catch up with.

Right off the bat I did notice that a lot of the same cliques were still functioning. I must admit that I had my own, but primarily just because I stayed away from the others who had theirs.

Some people had really changed. By this I mean several different ways. One way is that there were those who were kind of shy in school that have since come out of their shell a bit. There were those that have lost weight since then, and then others of us who have put on some pounds since then.

It was really nice to talk to those that I did, but how do you really catch up 10 years worth of history in only about 4 hours? And then take those 4 hours and split them up among all those that you'd really like to talk to. Needless to say you end up with a good time but still much that is lacking.

Even though I fought it for quite a while and still have my reservations about it this is where MySpace has become a great avenue to keep in touch with those that I have lost touch with. Because of the ability to input your school and graduating class you can find almost anyone who has registered and made themselves available to the world. This is great because now all of the time that I didn't feel that the reunion afforded can be made up through cyberspace. However, there are still some features about these forms of virtual relationships that are absent.

All in all, I am ultimately glad I went...even if it was only to catch up with a select few.

The only regret- if I had known beforehand that we could come and not eat the food that was provided and save $50 then I would have done that. Something to keep in mind for the next time around.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007


Tonight was our 1st [Annual?] Father-Daughter dance. The mission was to get fancied up and then the fathers would take their daughters out on a "date" where they would be shown how a proper man should treat a woman of worth.

Open her doors, pull her chair out for her, help her out of the car...all of those things that have seemingly died out with chivalry and the birth of women's lib.

I took my daughter to the restaurant of her choice- Perkins. She loves the "rainbow" pancakes that they have there with whipped cream and sprinkles on top. As we sat and ate we also talked about notions of how a gentleman should treat a woman. I told her that a gentleman should always be kind, considerate, loving, caring, and protective. I asked her what she should do if her Prince Charming did not do those things for her. "I'd tell him to HIT THE ROAD!!!" she said loudly for all to hear. That's my girl. I think that conversation was about as fruitful as it could be for an almost 4 year old. I was appeased.

Then off to the dance we went. Lots of dads and girls there spending time together. We had fun dancing; but some of it was hard, seeing that my little baby girl was now growing older and knowing that one day she would be there dancing with another man...who will never be as good as I expect. Although, I was still encouraged when she would become distracted and run off with some of the other girls her age to do not-so-dancy stuff. That let me know that there was a lot more on her mind than just finding price charming.

I've got probably another 10 years before I really have to start hearing more about boys. Wow, I have an eerie feeling that it is going to creep up on me without notice. I guess I had better keep my gun shiny and clean now so that it will be ready if I ever have to use it.

To all the rest of you dads, as well as to what you are. Did you know that most girls, either subconsciously or consciously, end up looking for a mate that ends up to be pretty similar to their dear old daddy? That means that if you care and are active in her life she will most likely end up with a man who will also take care of her and be the pride of her existence. If you're lazy and don't do much with her, then you've guessed it- there is a likely chance that she'll end up marrying some kind of a scumbag just like you.

I don't know all of the psychology behind it all, but there is a lot to be said for the impact on a young girl that her father has on her. Are you going to make her or break her? Will you be her hero or the cause of her blame.

I'm not the best dad in the world sweetheart, but this dance was for you.

My hope is that I can set the bar pretty high for any future loser who comes around here trying to steal my baby's heart. Until I'm able to set such a standard I guess I'll just settle for a hard bar that I could use to drive that punk away...

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Saturday, June 9, 2007

What a day

Today we [my wife and I] went to our first home schooling "conference." There actually was a conference going on but we did not attend any of the sessions. We just walked around and looked at what all of the various vendors had for sale and then we bought some books.

I really wanted to be into it. I really wanted to feel like I had more stock in what was being picked out but I really felt like I was against the wall for a few reasons.

#1. My wife is the one who actually has to do the bulk of teaching. Since she stays home with the kids she will be the one who is comfortable with the curriculum.

#2. We were picking stuff out for my daughter who will essentially be starting Pre School/Kindergarten in the fall. ABC's, counting, drawing, and learning to read and right letters are probably all that she really needs to know but the education of youngsters like her is not my forte.

#3. This was a "Christian" home schooling conference. The majority of the books there were of a religious nature, no matter what the content. Another good portion of the books were just on various Christian topics and not necessarily about home schooling at all.

#4. I felt like I was in another dimension. There was nothing that I would really call a resemblance of "pop culture" Christianity about this. A lot of the women had their hair up in buns and denim skirts down to their ankles. Many of them were very Amish or Mennonite looking.

All this to say that I felt very awkward for most of the day while my wife, ironically, felt right at home.

I really do want to home school our kids. I feel that a lot of the quality of public education has gone downhill. I also don't care for the fact that the politicians and lobbyists have invaded the classrooms with all of their rhetoric. Children need to learn basic skills, not socialist propaganda.

As far as the schooling goes for my kids, I want them to be able to learn the basic skills necessary for living this life right here, right now. The religious stuff, in my mind, can wait until they are older and more ready for it.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007


My brain feels pretty fried at the moment.

I took last week off of work and I really needed that break. I worked on a room in my house that I started back in November. I didn't get as far on it as I had hoped but I guess every little bit counts. I worked on it Mon-Thursday.

I had resigned myself to only work on the room during the day. Then at night I would just relax and have time with family and friends. I pretty well met this goal. My daughter went up to my wife's folks for the week so it was just me, the Mrs, and our son. We had a good time.

Then this past weekend we were able to see some friends that will be moving. They have been friends of ours for several years and now they will be moving because of the guy's job. Even though we only saw each other every few months, we had kids close to the same age, we all had a great time, and we will be missing them greatly.

I also found out last week that it sounds like my parents are going through another nasty spell. I emailed my mom to see if I could get some answers without asking any real questions. I kind of did. Then I emailed my dad more directly about it last night, but when I checked my email this morning I just had one of those "failure to deliver" messages...because my ISP sucks. It said that it would continue to try and send the message. So I've just been waiting. In the meantime I have been trying to check the account to see if he has gotten my message and/or replied back. I can't do that right now though because our webmail with my same ISP...which down.

I hate our ISP, but it is our only option right now. Well, its our only option for broadband. We did have another company come into our town and offer an alternative wireless broadband connection but we can't pick up the signal at our place. What a bummer.

So now I sit here at work feeling like I want to jump out of my skin.

Our daughter will be ready to start school next fall so this weekend my wife and I are going to be attending our first home school conference to look at curriculum. What a mind bubbler.

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