Showing posts from September, 2012

The Color Grey

Fall has definitely become my favorite season. Well, maybe I'll qualify that by saying "early fall." The months of August through October, to be precise. The older I get, the more I appreciate the color of the trees. I've always thought that this is such an "old person" thing to appreciate. It's weird how it happens, but at about the age of thirty, I suddenly started to notice them with a greater appreciation. It was probably on one of my many road trips back to Minnesota that I first took note. I can also remember vividly my brother Rob saying how he started noticing the colors too. It's funny how in your teens and early twenties you just don't notice that kind of thing, or at least Rob and I didn't. Then one day, a switch flips and...boom...trees are cool! My latest fascination is with trying to capture some of their beauty on camera when presented with the chance. There are a few examples shown here, but unfortunately

Fishing For An Upgrade

I was out fishing on Friday on "Secret Lake," and if you're a fisherman, you get the joke, and was catching fish at a rate of about one every six minutes. 30 fish in 3 hours, it was a blast. I was the only boat on the lake and was just having a great time. At one point I heard a clunk like something falling. I figured it was my travel mug of coffee shifting or something like that, so I didn't pay much attention. Ten minutes later, I look down and there is my cell phone sitting in a half inch of water on the bottom of the kayak. Now, it was an old crappy cellphone, but needless to say, I felt pretty dumb. It was fried of course; stuck in an endless cycle of reboot and then, eventually, a white screen of death. RIP crappy cellphone. I loved that phone. My wife jokingly accused me of doing it intentionally in the name of getting a new smart phone. Of course that's not true, but we had been talking about me getting one eventually anyway, so it was meant to be.

Closing Thoughts On Past Posts

I'll take a post to wrap-up a couple of recent posts, namely No Brother of Mine and A Home For Willie . As you recall, I had some issues with my wife's laptop not being able to print to our brand new Brother printer. I tried a half dozen software uninstalls/reinstalls to no avail. Desperate, I notified support by email. They were prompt in getting back to me, but their response was kind of a joke. It consisted of a web link to a list of an 8 "part" series of solutions, with each "part" having multiple steps. This list would seem daunting to a technically adept person, of whom I consider myself. I cannot imagine how someone technophobic or techno-illiterate would feel. I'm sure most would take the printer back immediately upon opening the email. I worked my way through all of the steps to no avail. Then, what occurred to me was how can someone put a product out that is so tough to setup that it requires 8 steps of troubleshooting after the consumer ha

No Brother Of Mine

I'm writing this as I muddle my way through the 5th install/uninstall of the printing software for my wife's laptop. Our printer took a dump the other day, so we got a nice, shiny Brother MFC-J825DW All in One Wireless printer. Thus began my long saga. The printer installed perfectly on my Dell laptop and within 10 minutes I was printing fine. This was easy I thought. Repeat the same process 3 times for all the other laptops and I would be done in no time. Next up was Donna's because she needed it the most. I run through the wizard the same way I did on her very similar  Windows 7 64 bit laptop and again it appeared to be easy. I go to print and, wait for it, wait for it, nothing! This is where my beef with all things Windows comes in. Why if you have two very similar laptops, neither with very much software on it, do you get two different results when installing the same program? Grrr. Being real scientific about it I thought I'd try it on a 3rd laptop to see wh

A Home For Willie

A couple of years ago after finding out that I've been working on a book, my older brother told me that my deceased uncle John (Jack) was a fledgling writer who had actually finished a book. Evidently he never had any luck getting it published, but details are sketchy as to how hard he tried, what channels he used, etc. I told Tom that I would love to see the book sometime and he finally remembered to get it to me when we all met up in Mercer, WI a couple of weeks ago. As a writer, I can fully appreciate the effort that must have gone into this manuscript. The countless hours of research and composition, all followed up by hundreds of edits. None of us knows what to do with it, so we are left to reading it and passing it on to the next family member. The book is titled Willie. (Cover page above.) I am less than 1/3 of the way through it - it's over 300 pages long - but find it interesting for unconventional reasons. The story takes place in St. Cloud, Minnesota in the e

Cabin Fever

As I mentioned, our time at Pine Forest Lodge last weekend was phenomenal. Good family together time, great cousin time, a blue moon party in Rob's honor, and a really big fish to boot. I couldn't have asked for more. Because it was such a great time at a place that is near and dear to us all, I thought I'd recount some of the memorable moments of years past "at the cabin". I do this not to the exclusion of those who have never been to PFL, but rather to the inclusion  of anyone out there that has been to "the cabin." Most everyone has a favorite summer place they have been to as a kid or an adult and likely will be able to relate to some of the moments I describe. First Fish: While not everyone's first fish was at PFL, most people in our family caught their first fish at a cabin. Sarah used to sit in what we call her African squat on the dock in Hackensack MN for hours and catch bluegills. It is where she caught her first fish as well as her

One For The Ages

We spent the weekend in Mercer, Wisconsin again this Labor Day, much like we did last year. The mood was certainly less somber, though distinctly muted by the absence no one could ignore. Rob was the guy who would just show up at your cabin with coffee in hand in the morning, or a Budweiser in hand after noon, and talk. He loved being around family and talking about anything and everything. At the same time, the dynamic of the family is as healthy as it ever was. Everyone seems to appreciate everyone else a little more than they used to. Rob's absence has definitely pulled us closer together and the change is for the better. It was part of his legacy that he hoped he would leave and it seems to be happening that way. It was a "blue moon" on Friday and it was a gorgeous night by the fire with family and friends. Everybody was in high spirits and glad to be with each other. The moon was beautiful and we even had a few people around the fire that knew the words to the