August 2008

30. August, 2008 - it has begun

I expected there would be some “excitement” in town during the Republican National Convention, especially since the RNC Welcoming Committee has been pretty active and organized for months. Surprisingly, the first blow was not struck during last night’s Critical Mass ride, which was when I expected things to start getting interesting.

I’ll try to post more over the weekend, but if you want the latest news, hit Twin Cities Indymedia for updates.

25. August, 2008 - cool weather

Been a nice weekend. Overnight temperatures got into the low 50s, with freeze warnings up in the Arrowhead. That’s been nice enough that I could shut off the A/C and open the windows. Feels good to get some fresh air into the house. Not so nice to discover that they needed to drive pilings (or something similarly loud and boomy) in for the new bridge beginning at 6am on Sunday.

Not too much other news at the moment. Still busy. Mowed the lawn yesterday, and had to blast the mower with some carb-cleaner to get it to run. I suppose I should do some real maintenance on it one of these days, but for yesterday, I was just happy to get it running so I could lop the tops off the weeds.

21. August, 2008 - post-birthday, post-season

Yep, yesterday was my birthday. Thanks to those who remembered and wished me well. I spent it at the ball-park, watching the Saints final home game of the season. So that was pretty good. Missed seeing a few folks out that I’d meant to, but that’s okay. There’s more free time now.

The Saints? They seem to have gone in the tank once they realized they weren’t going to make the playoffs. They lost all three to Lincoln, and last night the only scoring was a pair of solo homers by Brent Krause. I didn’t even see the second, having left the game shortly after the Saints converted the main men’s room to a women’s. I figured if they were going to take away my urinals, it was only fair for me to stop buying beer from them.

Overall, it seems to wrap up my summer of “too damned busy” in a fitting manner. Not with a bang, but with a whimper. Work is similarly winding down for the summer, and there will be a lull in which I’ll get some things done around the house, and take a vacation before the snow flies. And then, once again, I’ll ponder whether I really want to renew my season tickets. Probably will, but it seems that the discontent I feel at the end of the season is a perennial thing, and I need to deal with that somehow.

But that’s in the future. For now, I need to get myself to work for the day. And then one of these days I need to write a little something about how my iPhone has reinvigorated my blogging.

18. August, 2008 - a book and a couple recipes

Not a whole lot today, but the week promises to be busy with the tail end of the Saints home season, so I figured it was best to do a quick update today.

The Saints? Well, barring a series of miracles, they’re done for the year. I think it’s still mathematically possible for them to make the playoffs, but the number of different things that would have to happen is staggering, and I’m pretty sure any single loss removes even the slight chance they have. Given the way they’ve been playing, I’m not expecting any baseball in Midway after this Wednesday.

And that, I think, is going to do it for today. Have a good week!

14. August, 2008 - last home stand

The Saints return home today for their final home stand of the season. And it’s looking like that might be it. They’re six games back, with nine games remaining, and have lost every series they’ve played in the month of August.

In other news, I’ve had my new iPhone for a week. I’m pretty happy with it for the most part. It’s awfully cool having the entire intarweb in your pocket when one of those lunchtime arguments comes up and you know the answer is “out there.” But one thing disturbs me… Just as Obama’s new salute instantly reminded me of the goatse image, and once you’ve seen that image, you can’t forget it, the “zoom in” motion on the iPhone triggers that same bit of memory. Squicks me out (and I’m not the only one). Thanks, Steve. And yes, I do realize I’m over a year behind the curve on this one.

11. August, 2008 - How about some links?

Not really a whole lot to say. The Saints are hanging in there, just barely in reach of a playoff berth for the second half of the season, but just barely. Life continues to be busy. But hey, there’s some links!

3. August, 2008 - road trip
I thought it would be bigger...
I thought it’d be bigger…

Well, not much of one, but yesterday I got in the truck and spent a couple hours driving around Minnesota (more pictures will appear there over time), telling myself that I was giving my new GPS (a Garmin nüvi 750) a test-run, but mostly just getting out of town and out of the house for a few hours, plus shooting a few photos along the way.

I got to discover a few things along the way. First off, I’ve gotten very hassle-averse (or lazy). I got to New Ulm, and there were no clear signs to the parking area at the Schell’s Brewery (looking at the google map, I’m still not sure if there is a real parking area there), and there were about a half-dozen cars with people trying to figure out where to park clogging things up, so I just turned around and headed back down the hill and cruised around the town a bit. I’ll get there again sometime.

Second, the GPS can be pretty stubborn. There was construction (it’s summer in Minnesota), and the GPS sometimes insists on directing you where you can’t go, resisting all attempts for you to follow an official detour. I’m sure there’s a way to convince it to shut up for a few minutes, but it doesn’t have the latest informaiton, and I haven’t yet figured out how to update it, so that can be a pain.

Third, it was completely non-obvious to me how to say “Just get me to the city I want to go to – I don’t want to try to enter an address.” That’s buried on the second screen of stuff, and it took me a few tries to find it.

Fourth, it’s a pain to switch from “fastest route” to “shortest distance” and neither is exactly what I want all of the time. Sometimes the fastest route is stupid, too. Going from Mankato to Hastings, the GPS wanted me to drive on 169 all the way up to Shakopee and then across Cliff Road to Hastings. That might be the quickest route when nobody else is on the roads, but I strongly doubt it’s a very good choice on a nice weekend day. The route it chose (the white part of the trip) once I switched to shortest-distance mode was mostly on quiet country roads with lower speed limits, and speed zones in the various small towns, but I’m pretty sure it was faster because I could do 70mph on the quiet country roads, rather than be limited to 65mph in traffic on 169, and even slower on Cliff Road.

But other than those minor gripes, I’m pretty happy with the nüvi 750. It saves my trip data, which was one of my must-have items. When I get home, I can plug it straight into my Mac, run a program, and get a map of where I went from a website. If I drop an extra $20 for one of a half-dozen different available pieces of software, I can get better maps, too. I’ll probably do that when I do a real road-trip. And I suppose I should probably rtfm, too. But overall, it was easy enough to use that I only burst out in expletives a couple times, which is pretty good for the first day playing with a new toy.

Last Month
Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 14:02:10.