Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I'm Dreaming of.........

We had a White Christmas here in Minnesota this year. It was very beautiful. Here is some brief video I shot from our deck of the snow falling. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Stupid Vikings

I made it into my fantasy football league's Super Bowl this year and I lost. I've only made it to the Championship game once before and lost that time my ONE FREAKIN' POINT!!!!! Have you ever experienced deja vu? Needles to say, I am feeling pretty bitter right now. Who do I have to thank for this? The Viking's Defense (or lack there of). I was at the Vikings-Redskins game Sunday night and watched the Vikes D implode before my very eyes. Before the game started, my buddy Mike (my opponent) called to congratulate me on winning the Super Bowl. At that point in the day I was almost guaranteed the victory if the Vikes D could hold the Redskins. I told Mike that nothing was in stone and if any team could blow it for me, it was the Vikings! Sure enough, that is what happened. That sucks.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

T-Bone: Slavedriver

This past weekend our dearest friends Doah and Chrisy made their first trip to Minnesota to spend some time with us. Doah has blogged about their visit here and my wife, Julie, wrote up a nice summary here at her blog. But, I'm gonna be honest here....the real reason I wanted them to come was that I wanted to get some free work done around the house. If someone is gonna sleep in my beds and eat my food, well....they're gonna work for it darn it!

After visiting with them for a day, there came a time when we were all sitting at the table and an awkward silence fell. Doah looked at me and I looked at Doah. I said "Are you going to make me say it?" More silence and cold stares. "Get the shovel out of my garage and get your rear outside!", I said, "You know what to do! Git!"
Well, look at that.......darn tootin' he's gonna shovel my sidewalk! Doesn't look too bad for a first timer. Well, I hope they enjoyed their visit and that they come back soon! My garage needs some cleanin'.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Winter in Minnesota

Believe it or not, it is the best, as the picture above can attest. There was a lot of moisture in the air and when you combine that with cold temperatures (it was 4 below on this morning) the moisture forms ice crystals. Those ice crystals were everywhere, which made for a very magical looking morning. The trees are covered with 'em. Ahhhhhh (sips coffee....)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Snow + Ice + Hill = Very Bad

As I sit here in my living room and watch the snow fall in our first major snow storm of the winter, I am reminded of a video that went around the net last year. I can't remember where I first saw this, but I managed to find it again. This happened somewhere in the Seattle area. Those poor people. When you watch this you will laugh and wince at the same time. Its unbelievable. I hope no one got hurt. I got mad at the end of the video when it cuts off at the firetruck. I wanted to know if it made it or not. Can you imagine if it didn't?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Confessions of an Absent Blogger

Well, here is another post after a long absence. I feel so sheepish coming back here after slouching off for a while. Julie has been giving me a hard time for not posting and now my friends are taking me to task. I have been pondering why I have been uninspired to post and I have come to the conclusion that I have been self-conscious. I started to worry about what people would think after reading the site. I guess I started this after the iPhone post. I would look at that post and think 'what a shallow guy.' Yet, the post is true. Its me......its something I wanted and I thought I could be funny about it. Those of you who truly know me, know that this is who I am. Let's be honest here, I am a materialistic guy sometimes (sometimes?). I guess I just need to be myself here and not sweat it. You'll just have to to take all of me, the good and the bad.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Post on a Stick

Last week we went to the behemoth that is called The Great Minnesota Get Together....a.k.a. The Minnesota State Fair. According to Wikipedia, it may be the largest state fair in the United States. The fair is a big deal here. All of the local news stations set up a spot at the fair to do the evening newscasts. It seems as if everyone goes at some point during its two week run. I could tell too, there were a lot of people there the day we went. The fair marks the end of summer for Minnesota and its last day always fall on Labor Day.

There is much to do at the fair, but the main attraction is food and A LOT of it. Everywhere I turned there was food looking me in the face. The most popular method of serving food is on a stick somehow. If it can be deep fired and put on a stick, they'll do it. You can find your obligatory corn dogs and cotton candy, but it gets much more creative than that. There is cheesecake on a stick, hot dish (a Minnesota staple) on a stick, deep fried (insert name of candy bar here) on a stick, alligator on a stick, walleye (a local fish) on a stick, you get the point. Even one of the local news stations calls the evenings weather report 'weather on stick.' There is so much on a stick that some food stands proudly proclaim 'NOTHING ON A STICK!' Its comical. There is so much other good food to be had there. We had some garlic french fries, an awesome turkey sandwich, and one of my favorites...SWEET MARTHA'S COOKIES! There are two stands (well, a big barn) where you can get the cookies. You can smell them a mile away. All of the cookies are made fresh and served in a bucket. They come directly from the oven to you. See that picture? Add 20 more cookies to that, and that is how it is served to you. You have to eat the cookies towering over the rim of the bucket just to put the lid on. Forced gluttony...I love it! Once you have downed all those cookies, there is another stand to rescue you from cookie servitude......the all you the milk you can drink for $1 stand! You buy a cup for a buck and you can keep refilling it with fresh milk (regular or chocolate) all day long. All you have to do is wait in line, which can get long....but its worth it.

After eating food, you have to find a way of burning it off. No problem.....there is a lot of walking. The fairgrounds are HUGE! You can visit all of the livestock barns, one of which is dedicated solely to birthing animals (which is very popular with the kids). You can visit the agriculture building to see all of the fruits and vegetables, bee hives, fresh honey, and buy some honey-vanilla ice cream. And you can visit the midway to ride all of the death contraptions....uh, I mean rides. Overall it was a fun day. The kids love it. I could do without the crowds and the heat......but....the!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Alright, its on!

OK, the Mrs. has decided to start blogging. I think that is great! However, now the pressure is on. No more can I slouch it in the blogosphere with my one post per month. I gotta start writing! You can check out her blog here.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Horrible Tragedy

I am still in shock after seeing what happened in Minneapolis yesterday. We have been across this bridge many times and I can't believe its not there any more. My prayers and thoughts are with the victims and their families during this time. Instead of the pictures of the collapsed bridge that are being plastered all over the news, I am posting a picture of the bridge in better days.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


As I have stated in my link list on the right, I am a huge fan of ABC's television show LOST. Tomorrow evening is the Season 3 finale and I can't wait! I am also dreading it because after the show airs, I will have to wait until next February until Season 4 starts.

I wasn't always into LOST. Before the first season aired, I would see promos for it during the advertising onslaught for all the new fall shows. The promo would boast that LOST is the new show from the creators of ALIAS while showing scenes from the pilot episode (the most expensive pilot ever produced). To be honest, it didn't look that good. Also, I was into ALIAS until the writers of that show lost their vision and turned onto a path of confusing and unrewarding plot lines. I eventually stopped watching ALIAS and never went back. Some people I know watched that pilot episode of LOST when it aired and were turned off by some of its 'unbelievable' set pieces. I could understand that. One of my friends, Mike, (who got me into ALIAS) started watching from the beginning and was hooked. He would ask me if I was watching it. When I told him no, he would always remind me that I was missing a very good show and that I should be tuning in. I finally told Mike to let me know when the Season 1 finale aired so I could start watching the repeats the following week to check it out.

Well, I was hooked as well. LOST could be classified as a sci-fi type of show. But, it is so much more than that. This show is about the CHARACTERS, who are stranded on a mysterious island after a plane crash, first and foremost. You get invested into their stories and want to know how they became who they are and who they will become. You also come to find out that these strangers who come to know each other through tragedy are all somehow linked to one another. Then there are the sci-fi elements. Who are the mysterious Others? How can one of the passengers, who was paralyzed before the crash, suddenly walk after crashing on the beach? What is the Dharma Initiative? Why are there underground hatches on the island? What is this 'smoke monster?'

What makes this show rise above all others for me is how it is dealing with much larger themes, such as right/wrong, white/black, spirituality, faith vs. science, and redemption. Many of the characters have names that are biblical in origin. The characters are all flawed and are presented opportunities to redeem themselves on the island, to make right the wrongs of the past.

Another facet that makes me a fan of the show is the commitment the producers of LOST have to the show and the fans. They realize that the intricate plot they have woven could easily unravel without proper care. They have watched shows like THE X-FILES and ALIAS flounder in their later years because they just went on with out paying off plot lines that were layed out in earlier season. I have much respect for them to negotiate an end date for the series with ABC so they can plan out exactly how the show is supposed to end and give answers to the many mysteries that have been introduced. They could have let LOST just continue on and rake in more money, but they care about the story more than that. It was announced a couple of weeks ago that LOST will only go three more seasons.

So, for those of you that have been watching.......will Charlie die as foretold by Desmond's visions? Can Juliet be trusted? What's up with The Looking Glass Station (a telling name for that station, in my opinion. Is it a portal of some sort to the outside world?) Who were the gun-toting ladies who confronted Charlie? What is up with Jacob? Will the Losties make contact and get rescued? Argh! Bring it on!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I mowed the Lawn Today

First mow of the year. It felt good.

Monday, April 02, 2007

BRUSH YOUR TEETH!!! (300, the PG Version)

Someone at work sent me a link to this today and I am compelled to share with you all.

Monday, March 26, 2007

T-Bone's Movie Minute

I finally got around to viewing LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE this past weekend and I'm sorry I did not see this film sooner than I did. I was completely smitten with it. It was right up my alley with a good mix of emotional depth, humor, & quirkiness. The film follows the Hoover family as they trek from New Mexico to California so that the youngest of the Hoover's, Olive, can compete in the Little Miss Sunshine pageant. Actually, its about so much more than that, but you'll have to rent the film to find out.

One moment that really stood out to me is when lovable & innocent Olive is backstage at the pageant getting ready to go on stage. She has seen all of the other competition, a collection of dolled-up, hair sprayed & airbrushed 7 year olds. They looked like miniature a bad way. It was grotesquely fake. Olive is looking at herself in the mirror and sizing up her body, comparing hers to the other girls after only being exposed to the whole situation for a short period of time. The scene was a subtle & brief commentary of what society (us) and the media are doing to the young ladies of this world.

I think I loved this film because we get to witness this dysfunctional family come together and realize that, despite of the flaws that they each have, there is a love binds them to each other. They trudge through the crud and unite to reach a goal. It made me think of me and my family. I am flawed in so many ways. On numerous occasions I felt as if I have failed members of my family in one way or another, yet they still love me. They want to bring out the best in me. Too many times I have been floored and humbled when one of my children say to me, "Dad? You know what? You're the best Dad anyone could ever have!" Come again? Really? Its moments like that that inspire me to rise above my own critical self-evaluation and be the best person I can be for my family.

Each of the actors gave a fine performance. It was good to see Steve Carell play a more understated role and Alan Arkin was great as usual. I'm glad he got the Oscar for his performance. It was a good rental, although I wish I had seen this in the theaters.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Yes, You Can Blend Novell, Microsoft, and Apple in your Environment!

For all you IT folk out there:

If you work in IT, you'll appreciate this. Otherwise, move along....nothing to see here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hey Spring! Nice to see you again!

At 7:07 PM CDT, the vernal equinox arrives, a.k.a Spring! At that time, the direct rays of the Sun are over the equator and we experience equal time of daylight and darkness. I am ready for Spring after our first Winter here in Minnesota. It has been warming up over the last week or so and we should be in the 50s by the end of the week. Just about all of the snow has melted away and the lakes are starting to look like lakes again. Its amazing how warm 40 degree temps feel after experiencing single digit to below zero temps. I have noticed moods have improved amongst the people. I am seeing more smiles. In fact, I witnessed my neighbor down the street playing with his dog outside and he was wearing shorts.

Anyway, sorry that a lot of my posts have been about the weather. I guess I should just call this 'T-Bone's Weather Blog' now or something.

Here is something that is vaguely Spring related. From THE PRODUCERS......

Friday, March 16, 2007

Time for a New Look

I was getting tired of how my blog looked, so I decided to change it. I love the color blue and I consider it my favorite color, but the site was looking kind of dark. I like the new lighter green color. I was probably influenced by the green I was seeing at Jon Hall's site and Just Some English Guy's site (see link on the right).

I use Blogger for this site for a couple of reasons. One reason, and the most important, its FREE. Two, it is easy to use. I work in the IT field, but I have never been a web/html guy. I'm not very good at it and have never put the time into learning it. Due to the lack of my web coding experience, I use the default templates provided by Blogger. This template is called 'no. 565' hence the number 565 on the page. In my opinion, Blogger has a paltry selection of templates and the templates they do have aren't very customizable. Recently Blogger made changes to its service so one could do small bits of customization, but I think they didn't go far enough. If anyone out there can help me spruce up my site, I would be most grateful. Until then, enjoy 'no. 565.'

**Edit** OK, I was able to remove the 565 numbers from the page and added my own pic. I still can't figure out how to lower the text of the title and make the picture fit better. I'll keep trying....

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Going Back to Cali.....

I thought I could contrast the last cold & snowy post with a reflection on our recent January trip to sunny Southern California. We made plans for the trip last summer not long after we moved to Minnesota. It was my first time back since that time. The main catalyst for the trip was to keep up the tradition Julie and I have where we get away to a bed and breakfast in Julian with our dear friends for a weekend. We have been doing this for the last 8 years. We also knew that January would probably be a good time to get away from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Well, our first weekend in Julian was surreal due to the fact that we were experiencing the same weather in California that we had left in Minnesota. Temps in the 20's and snow flurries. Our trip to California happened to coincide with a rare cold snap. We were a bit bummed. But, being with our friends for the first time in 6 months more than made up for that. It was a great weekend to unwind, re-connect, and refresh.....without the kids! I love our kids, but it was a needed break from them!

After Julian, we spent the rest of our week visiting family and friends. I got to see my new niece for the first time, which was great. she is already growing way too fast! We went to the Getty Villa Museum in Malibu with Julie's dad. What a beautiful setting for a museum! I had never been there before, but always wanted to go. The museum showcases Greek and Roman art and artifacts that date way back before Christ. Very cool stuff. The kids got to go to Legoland & The San Diego Wild Animal Park with my folks. We also took the kids to a miniature golf/mini-amusement park with Julie's folks. It was a good time.

People here in Minnesota often ask why in the heck would we leave California and do we miss not being there? Well, I can't explain it, but we had this tugging on our hearts that brought us here. For me it was a desire to connect with a place that I felt was home even though I did not grow up here. I wanted to lay down roots and attempt to connect with a family that I did not see enough of growing up. When we decided to go for it, Julie had a stronger conviction than I did. She loves it here. I also think that God has good and interesting things in store for us. What it is I do not know, but its a feeling I have. Do I miss California? I miss the family and good friends we left in California. Its not really that we left them. We just won't get to see them as much. The friends we have are my friends for life and the trip back cemented that in my mind. I have no doubt that these people will be there for many years to come.

Not seeing family as much is harder. I love the relationship that our kids have with their grandparents and it is not easy for them to not see them as much. The up side to this is that when we do get to see our friends and family the visits are much more meaningful. We make the time we spend with them count and don't take it for granted, which is so easy to do sometimes.

There are days when I have a hole in my heart and wish I could just jump on a plane and head back for a visit. But I know, deep down, that we did the right thing. Julie and I do not doubt it for a second. We are looking forward to forging ahead and making new friendships and connections, which is already happening. Our family in California are already making plans to come back and visit us, if they haven't already.

Its kind of weird to say, but our trip to California confirmed for me that we did, in fact, do the right thing. When we landed in Minneapolis on the flight back, we felt like we were coming back to home.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

More Snow

Here are a few more pictures from today's snow storm:

10" already, and we're not even done yet

Stephen King's SNOW DOG OF EVIL!

BBQ? Um, no.

Where's Waldo?

Isn't Snow Supposed to Fall Down?

Well, I got to go home early today. The company I work for closed early today due to severe weather conditions. I'm looking out my window, watching the snow fall horizontally. Happy Birthday to me!

From the National Weather Service:




Road trip anyone?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Hey, thanks!

I go to check my e-mail yesterday and I see an e-mail from the iTunes Store. The contents of the e-mail contain the image above and the following text:

You have received an iTunes Gift Certificate in the amount of $20.00 from [?]. To redeem your gift click the Redeem Now link above. Once you verify your account, $20.00 will be credited to your account, so you can start buying music right away.

$20 will be credited to my account? I can start buying right away? Awesome! This must be for my birthday, which is on Thursday. That's cool! Hey, thanks....uh.....hmmmmm.......who sent this to me? Let's look at that again. I have received an iTunes Gift Certificate in the amount of $20.00 from [?]. That's strange I don't know anyone named [?] I think I may have met someone named (!) one time, but no one named [?] I wonder what I can buy from the iTunes Store????
PURE FUNK anyone?

Care for a little PARIS?

Because polka is fun!

Does it get any better? No, I don't think so.

So, thank you [?]! I really appreciate it! Seriously, thank you! I love music and can't wait to start browsing the store. If you see <%> tell 'em I said 'hi!"

John Mayer 2-13-07

I finally got to see John Mayer in concert a couple of weeks ago. I have been into his music since he hit it big with his single NO SUCH THING. It was a great concert. All I gotta say is the dude can play! He tore it up on guitar and put on a great show. It was our first concert since moving to Minnesota. The show was at the XCEL Energy (regional power company) Center in St. Paul. I have to say, it was the best arena venue that I have been to. I'll take seeing my favorite artist at a more intimate venue any day, but if I have to see a show at an arena, this will be the one for me. The sight lines we're good, and the sound was great for an arena. There was hardly any distortion and my ears didn't hurt after the show. Here is the setlist he played followed by a YouTube of his song GRAVITY from an earlier show on the tour:

1. Bigger Than My Body
2. Belief
3. Waiting on the World To Change
4. I Don’t Trust Myself (with Loving You)
5. Why Georgia
6. Clarity
7. The Heart of Life
8. Vultures
9. Good Love Is on the Way
10. No Such Thing
11. Gravity
12. Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
13. Your Body Is a Wonderland (with The Police's I BURN FOR YOU mixed in)
14. Neon

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Final Score: Prince 7 Haters 0

First off, congrats to the Colts. I was hoping you would win. Second, did you stick around for the half-time show? I did. In fact, it was one of the main reasons I watched the game this year. I wanted to see how Prince was going to pull it off.....was he going to rock the house or was he going to do something strange and blow it?

I have been a Prince fan for a long time. The first concert I went to was Prince and the Revolution during their Purple Rain tour. Yeah, I know he can be weird and he dresses strange sometimes. But the simple FACT is that he is a musical genius.

I'm glad (and relieved) that he chose this opportunity to show the world (again) how he can blow the roof off the house. I think that it was the best Super Bowl half-time show next to U2's post-9/11 show at the 2002 Super Bowl. One thing I have tried to tell the naysayers is what a great guitarist Prince is. In fact, I think he is one of the greatest rock guitarists EVER. The dude can play and he showed it.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Amazing UFO Sighting!

*Caution* Language alert....don't watch this with the little ones around....

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Al Franken Expected To Announce Senate Run

From (click to read story)

Wasn't Jesse Ventura enough? I could care less that he is liberal (or if he was a conservative for that matter). I could do without another 'celebrity' running for office. I thought I wouldn't have to deal with that anymore after leaving California and the 'Governator.' (All right, I admit it, I voted for Ahhhnold-Its not a TUMOR!-Schwarzenegger) If a celebrity is going to run, couldn't we at least get Carl Weathers to run for govenor somewhere? Then the PREDATOR trifecta would be complete.

Wake me up after 2008......(takes really strong sedative)


I think we'll be staying home this weekend to watch the SuperBowl.

(WC = wind chill)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Da Do Do Do De Da Da Da (The Police to Reunite?)

That is, in my opinion, one of the best song titles ever. Anyway, I just read some potentially exciting news. From The Province newspaper in Vancouver:

Yesterday morning, Rock 101 FM's Bro' Jake Show reported that the '80s rockers were rehearsing in town at North Vancouver's Lions Gate Studios, preparing for a highly-anticipated 30-year reunion tour.

Oh Yeah! The Police were (and still are) one of my favorite bands. However, I was too young to see them in concert on their last tour way back in '83. Sting is a songwriting genius (however, his output of the last few years haven't been up to par), Stewart Copeland is one of the best drummers (just listen to his intricate rhythmic work on Regatta de Blanc or Message in a Bottle), and Andy Summers could do a lot with a guitar to create wonderful sonic landscapes (a precursor to U2's The Edge). I would love to finally see them live and take the Mrs. We have been to a number of Sting concerts and have enjoyed them all. As much as I love Sting, the last time I saw him he was drifting into the adult contemporary blandness that tends to happen to some older artists. I'd love to see Sting back in form and rocking out with his former mates. I just hope I can get tickets and that they don't bypass the Twin Cities.



Just saw this comment on the previous post and I had to post it here:

I have always enjoyed your input to your blog and realize that you are busy with the new job, the new home and the new kids, wait, they've been around a while. But, hey, when you have people panting with rapt anticipation to read your blog why punish us, including Julie. Let's see what you can do. Thanks in advance!

Well, thank you Mr. (or Ms.) Anonymous for that comment. I needed yet another prod to get blogging again. But, you know, (turns excuse machine on) I have been pretty busy. We just got back from a week and a 1/2 trip to California (which I plan on blogging about) and at work, a three year project (which I have only been around 6 months for) has reached its apex this last week.

But really, how hard is it to write a post? Even to just jot something quick down for all you you to read. The problem is that I am a bit of a perfectionist (or would a better word be 'procrastinist'?) Its hard for me to just write down something and not analyze it to death. I want you all to love each and every word I put down and commit it to memory. I need to get past this and practice writing quick posts. Maybe, it will help me write better.

I do have to admit that my ego was boosted by the comment. Panting with rapt anticipation? Yeah baby! I guess I'll stop punishing you all....... you have learned your lesson.

Friday, January 05, 2007


I can't say it any better than the Mrs., so I'll just copy what she sent me in an e-mail.....

You need to blog, man - it's been over a month now you crazy fool!
What are you waiting for? :-)