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I was at home last night watching a movie, and I found the entire thing astounding.  Really astounding.  Not necessarily the movie, but WATCHING the movie.  Why?

Because I was watching it ON MY PHONE!  I know it doesn’t seem like much NOW, but in the context of my life, it was pretty incredible.  More to the point, I was watching the new Tron movie. The movie was OK, but it was ironic that I was watching a movie that I had first seen back in the early 80’s (yes, I saw the original Tron, in the theaters.)  If you don’t know much about the movie, that’s ok.  This post isn’t about the movie, but about the delivery. 

In my life, I have gone from only seeing movie in a theater, or on broadcast TV several years later.  In the 80’s we go video tapes and laser discs.  At first, the players were very expensive, so you had to RENT a video tape player.  I remember renting them, but I don’t remember the movies we rented.  Go figure.  After a few years, VHS players came down in price to  a couple of hundred dollars, so just about everyone got one.  I still have a video tape player, and the kids still watch tapes every so often.  I hope that it will last longer than the tapes I still have.

In the late 90’s, DVD’s started to show up.  Better picture, sound. I bought my first DVD player for about $350.  All it did was play DVD’s.  My current DVD player has an internet connection, and plays DVD’s, Blu-Ray DVD’s, CD’s, and has a USB port.  I can watch movies streamed directly from the internet, or on any type of digital media that I can get my little hands on.

Today, I have a smartphone, with an application that wirelessly connects to the internet, and can stream movies.  It amazes me that I can do that on my phone.  I can also use it to buy things, move money from my bank, pay bills, write email, keep in touch with friends, so on an so forth.  And the phones keep getting smaller.  On my phone now, I have about 400 CD’s worth of music.  Do you remember CD’s? Now all the info fits on a 3 by 5 inch hunk of glass and aluminum and in my pocket.  I remember BUYING 45’s and LP albums at the store, hoping they didn’t get scratched.  I remember having a holder for 45’s that you kept all the records in, taking it to friends houses to play songs.  Now I can take ALL my songs with me wherever I go.  Movies too!

It seems that all generations have some type of change that made the world “better”. For my grandparents, it was the advances in travel, buggy to car, boats to planes.  My parents had all sorts of changes in their lifetimes that made life better, television, space exploration and all the new inventions because of that, the first computers, movies, etc.  I wonder what big thing my kids will have to tell their kids, “When I was your age, we didn’t have……”?




I have met my weight goal!  My overall weight goal that is.  It wasn’t too much off my 40 before 40 goal.  Only 10 more pounds, but I have made it.  Now I just need to keep it.  So I have managed to lose 50 pounds in the last 6 months.   What other goals have I accomplished, that I set to make before turning 40?


I have ALMOST finished the basement, but we are still missing a refrigerator, and most furniture.  I can’t bring myself to allow that type of expense right now.  Why?  Because I have another goal…getting a new camper, so we are saving for that.

So you ask, how do I feel about that?  Have I failed?  No.  I lost 50 POUNDS!  I also had surgery to fix 2 hernia’s that I didn’t know I had, LAST WEEK.  Still a little sore, but things are going really much better now than a week ago.  Work is good, and my family is healthy and we have everything we need to survive. We are truly blessed, and I thank God each day for what he has given me, and my family, and for giving me my family.

The fall is looking to be a good one for me.  It will certainly be busy.  The kids are in gymnastics, and music lessons will be starting in the coming weeks also.  Church activities are just around the corner, so pretty much each night of the week is about to be consumed with ‘something’.  Again I will be on a bowling league with some co-workers.  I am really looking forward to improving over last year.  The first few weeks will be a little rough, given my recent surgery, but I think it will be a great time.

I hope you all have a great autumn.  Hugs your kids each day.  They are growing up WAY to fast.  Especially my daughter. Hug your spouse, and thank them for who they are.  Don’t overlook all they do to help you through your day.

78 Days

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There are now 78 days until I turn 40.  Back in March I wrote about some goals that I wanted to achieve.  Now that my day of reckoning is within site, perhaps it is time to recap, and get an update.


Goal 1:  Lost 40 pounds. 

Status: I have achieved this goal, having lost 41.6 pounds to date as of this morning.  I just need to lose another 10 pounds to meet my overall goal.  After that, my goal will be to keep off the weight.

Goal 2: Boundary Waters Trip:

Status : Limbo.  It didn’t happen earlier, and my dad now have hurt his wrist somehow, falling off a ladder I believe.  Also, I found out that I will need to have surgery to fix two hernias, so this trip may have to wait until next summer, or much later in the fall, which would be OK, there would be NO BUGS.

Goal 3: Backpacking trip with the Peanut.

Status: Probably not going to happen this year.  I don’t have a backpack, or most of the other equipment for taking such a trip.  Hopefully next year.  Maybe.

Goal 4:  Take a trip with my beautiful wife. This is still being planned.  We are planning on going the week OF my birthday.  Maybe to Maine, maybe to Wisconsin.  Ahh, can you imagine me in such exotic locations…..

Goal 5: Build a tree house.

Status: Not gonna happen this year.  Too Hot and Too Wet this summer. Plus, the funds were not available, or the time.

Goal 6:  Finish the basement.

Status: Done, minus a bar fridge and furniture, but a much more enjoyable, and useable space.

That’s about all for now.  I am still exercising everyday.  1 hour on the treadmill or 45 minutes of cardio/core every other day.  I am enjoying it, but I have to admit I am taking it a little easier since learning of the hernia.  My doctor said I should be fine to continue what I am doing but I have been letting up a bit anyways.

Hope y’all are having a great summer. I am, and I am happy about my progress.  Only 78 more days!  I am expecting lots of presents!

Sale Lost, Now the wind is out of My Sails

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Dear Home Depot,

Yesterday you lost a sale.  A guaranteed sale at that.  Now, after my experience last night, I am not sure that I need, or even WANT the item that I was going to purchase.  And if I do but it, I will probably NOT be buying it from your store, at least not the one that I was at last night.

If you are still reading this, here is the entire story.  When finishing our lower level, one of the things that I wanted was to have a refrigerator so that we would not have to constantly be running upstairs for drinks and snacks if we are entertaining in the lower level. So, you can see that this is not an item I NEED to have.  It is something that would be nice, but in the large scheme of things, isn’t going to kill me if I don’t have it.

Yesterday, we were in the Twin Cities area for some graduation parties, and thought, this might be a good day to get that refrigerator.  We live about 60 miles from the nearest Home Depot, and just about anything else for that matter.  We stopped at a home depot on the way down to see if they carried a model I would want. They did, so we arraigned borrowing a trailer from my dad.  We stopped at a different store to see about expanded selection, the first HD we stopped at is a smaller store and doesn’t have the widest selection. From here we went to two graduation parties and stopped at a second HD store to look at fridges.

After the graduation parties, we picked up the trailer and stopped at the closest HD on the way home.  Here is where stuff gets bad. This was the third store I had taken all 4 kids into.  They had not behaved well in the other two stores, and by this time, they were hungry to boot.  This was not a great  time to be look at anything other than a fast food joint.  The third store has several models to choose from.  I was trying to look at them with my beautiful Bride, while all for Nuts ran amok all over, opening ovens, dishwashers, etc.  I am sure you can imagine the scene right now.  The salesperson came over, we told her we were looking for a refrigerator for the basement, in a wet-bar type or area ( big mistake there ), so she tried to move us toward the mini-fridge, which I do not want.  After I stated that I wanted to BUY a certain model, and that I wanted to take it with my TODAY, she went to look it up in their system.  They have two in stock, the floor model and one “in the warehouse”.  She was going to go back and make sure it was there.  After about 10 minutes, she comes back. They CAN’T find it.  Many excuses about the state of the warehouse, etc.  But come on, it’s a REFRIGERATOR.  It is in a REALLY BIG BOX!  

There is more to this that I can write at this point.  My only really problem with Home Depot is that this salesperson was very unprepared to deal with actually selling something that I wanted and she should have called for help much earlier that she did, or tried to do.  Once it because apparent that I was frustrated and was going to leave, she didn’t try to save the sale.  She only had excuses, and none of them were sufficient for me.

I left without a fridge and at this point I wonder if I really need one at this time.


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I have reached 75%!  75% of my goal in weight loss that is.  Actually a little more.  I have lost 32 lbs. of my initial 40lb goal.  You will remember that I have a goal to lose 40 before my 40th birthday, which is still quite a ways away. 122 days to be exact.  I have now “in”grown all my clothes. ( I didn’t really outgrow them, since I am technically getting smaller.  I don’t have any pants that fit.  I have have many pairs of pant that WILL fit, I just need to drop another 15 lbs. for that to happen though.  So I need to get a couple pair of in between jeans to tide me over.  I was hoping that I wouldn’t need them, but I don’t think I can stand to wear the ones I have been wearing much longer.  They really will fall off of me, and they are bunching up quite a bit when I pull the belt tight, so it’s off to the store tonight for smaller pants.  Yea!

Everything else is good.  I have been sick the past couple of days, so I haven’t been able to exercise as I would want to, but I hope to get back on that wagon tomorrow.

Things are good on the home front.  I would like to take some more camping trips, but the current state of affairs here in Minnesota doesn’t bode well for THAT to happen, at least not at the state parks. It seem that the only things that this budget fiasco will actually shutdown are the things that actually BRING IN MONEY. Like the state parks, the Minnesota Zoo, the horse race track, etc.  Perhaps they should keep those OPEN so they can continue to serve the people who are willing to PAY to use them.  Enough about that rant.

I would really like to get a camper also, but that appears to be deadlocked at this time, which is probably ok, since the state parks will be closed. Ugh! 

But hey, I have lost 32 lbs.  That is enough for today, right?

Happy Fathers Day!


Happy Fathers Day Dad!  Happy Fathers Day Dick!  Hope you both have a great day.

I have many great memories of both these men from growing up. My dad instilled in me a love of learning, camping, hard work and enjoying the satisfaction of a job well done.  He taught me that with a little time and effort that I can accomplish anything.  Thanks Dad.

Most of my memories from childhood I have with my dad involve camping, or being outside doing stuff.  Also, taking trip to see relative at the lake, or in Chicago.  Good times!  I also went with him a lot when he had work to do on the weekends, either at the office, or doing surveying work at job sites.  I distinctly remember one time holding the survey stick, and he kept telling me to move back, move back.  I wasn’t watching, and I moved back right into a steep, and deep, ditch that was about 10 feet to the bottom. I am sure it was quite the sight for him to all of a sudden watch me disappear.  We took trips to Colorado, Florida, and we followed the Laura Ingalls trail to Mt. Rushmore.  We went camping several time each year and even made two trip to the BWCA, where I enjoyed time spent together and great fishing.  I could have done without the bears though.  Now that I am grown and have four kids, my dad is teaching me how to be a great and loving grandparent, so that one day, in the VERY DISTANT future, perhaps I can do that too.  And I mean VERY VERY VERY distant future.

As for my other “dad”.  My mom married Dick about 10 years ago now or so, but I have known him all my life.  Our families were good friends and we spent much time together as I was growing up.  I remember taking lots of camping trips and many nights where we all got together so our parents could play cards.  He has been a great person to talk with, and has a great interest in the lives of all the people he knows.  He is especially knowledgeable about nature and is a veritable walking encyclopedia of outdoor information.  Going camping with him, both as a child, and an adult now is certainly a learning experience.  You don’t really need a park naturalist if you are going camping with him!

Thank to both of you for being such a big part of my life.  I look forward to many more years of wishing you a Happy Father’s Day!

Why does it do that?

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Well, that is about the best title I can come up with.  A new series I guess you could say, if I remember to continue it. This will be about something that doesn’t make sense WHY it was created that way. Or something that really annoys me.  How ever you want to look at it. 

This morning, I noticed that the microwave beeps when you press the light button.  I guess I didn’t just notice this morning, it has always done that, it just seemed odd this morning.  Why does it beep?  Wouldn’t I notice if the light didn’t come on when I pressed the button?  In the big scheme, I am probably using the microwave light because I don’t want to turn on the larger kitchen light, which COULD disturb other people. The LOUD “BEEP” from the microwave certainly takes care of that, eh?

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