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Showing posts from August, 2016

Trees, Water and Stars

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As I mentioned in my last post, I was on vacation last week. It was our annual trip up to Pine Forest Lodge in Mercer, Wisconsin for a week at the cabin. This trip was different in that none of my extended family was able to make it up during the week we were up. While I missed having them around, it lent a different feel to the week in some cool kind of ways.
Some of the more memorable moments of the week include:


Muskie fishing with Sarah on two separate mornings - just her and I. She has been asking for a while when we were going to go Muskie fishing again, so this was the perfect chance. I think I am incredibly blessed to have a daughter that loves to fish, but I think it's even more amazing that I have a daughter who is willing to learn how to throw a bait caster with heavy lures in an effort to catch one of the biggest freshwater fish in North America. She learned the technique almost without error and never complained once, this includes hoisting and dropping the anchor. Whi…

T-Bird Country

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In keeping with my twice a eeek blog commitment, I wanted to post from up north, on my phone, no less. Suffice it to say it has been an amazing week in so many ways. Perfectio. More on Sunday. Now, back to business.

Blogging off...


Duane And All His Friends

I was at an annual party called Brewfest this afternoon. My friends from twenty plus years ago host the party every year. He brews his own beer and wine and usually has a handful of homebrews on hand for people to try as they feel inclined. They always have a huge spread of food and as part of the celebration they always have a pinata for the kids.

At this party I always sit and talk with co-workers I haven't worked with in twenty years. We catch up on our family lives, laugh at how old we are all getting and talk about the old times with the old gang.

It was just another party today, but it reminded me of how rich my life is. These are people who genuinely care about my well being, and I theirs. They are the ones you "lose touch with" for 11 months out of the year, but then you pick up the conversation right where you left off last year. There is a comfort level and, it might be a stretch, but a level of love as well - maybe one you never mention or talk about, but it&#…

Super Charged

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I am currently working on a story involving a couple of clowns and a stolen Dodge Charger. Well, actually a couple of stolen Chargers, one vintage, one modern. The story was inspired in part by my obsession with classic Dodge Chargers/Challengers.

I've also just completed a poem about a ride I had in one back in the day. We hit 100 MPH in it, which seems as reckless as it was - though 100 was different back then than it is today with our 70 MPH (and in some cases 80 MPH) speed limits.


I have loved these cars since I was a kid. Of course, back in those days, they were the muscle cars. The closest I came to ever owning one was the Hot Wheels version.

So when Ben and I go to our annual car show, I tend to focus on finding the Chargers and other muscle cars of the 70's and 80's. If you know them, they are the GTO, the Super Sports, Camaros, Firebirds, Corvettes and the like.

We went again last Sunday to a show in downtown Waukesha. We only had an hour before Ben had to leave, …

Micro Diaries

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As I was helping my son pack for his camping trip to Devil's Lake this past weekend, we were rummaging through the camping bins when he came to a bin with my High School yearbooks in it. He looked through a couple to find me and after that he came to something I'd forgotten I kept. It was six years worth of my Pocket Appointment Calendars from my days at the University of Minnesota.

Why six years worth you ask? Well, I was part-time for a while, changed my major a time or two and added a double major near my Junior year.

But that aside, the bigger question is, why did I keep these? It has been 31 years since I graduated and the fact that I not only kept them, but moved them to about a half dozen residences is even more puzzling.

They are actually kind of an interesting peek into my life as an undergrad. In essence, they are like a micro-diary of 6 years of my life. While nothing is detailed, there are some notable and some not so notable events. Things like:


1979-80: In the Ide…

A Morning Well Spent

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It is 4:45 on Saturday, August 6th, and my alarm clock shrills and wakes my wife and I with a start. She shuts it off and continues her sleep as I drag myself out of bed with anticipation. This morning I am going fishing with my daughter Sarah and my brother from another mother, Steve. We always try and get on the water at 6:00 AM to get the early bite and avoid the later morning launch lines.

After I eat breakfast and start brewing the much deserved coffee, I rouse Sarah, who, like any teenager, can be a tough one to get moving in the morning. When I check on her five minutes later, I am surprised to see she is up and getting dressed.

The girl likes to fish - she's not missing this chance.

We pile into the Santa Fe for the half hour drive to the lake in Racine County. Ten minutes into our drive we realize she doesn't have her fishing license on her, so we turn around and trek back home to get it.


Once we're back on the road, we talk about how our summer has been and how w…

Living Dangerously In Suburban America

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One of the things I did with fair frequency in my youth was mountain biking. If you're not familiar with it, it's basically biking in the woods, sometimes at high speed and sometimes at a crawling pace during the more arduous hill climbing. There is something about the mix of speed, woods, rock, danger and adventure that makes it a great draw for me.

Last summer I took Ben out to the trails at Minooka Park here in Waukesha. The trail system out there was recently developed and provides a fairly technical ride as well as being a GREAT getaway right in the middle of the city. Ben seemed to really like it last year despite one near accident where he took a hit to the shoulder. He came out of the incident laughing though, which is what Mountain Biking does. It makes your adrenaline rush and gets you so psyched that even the falls are sometimes fun.

Well, we've been talking about getting out for a few weeks now, and finally did today. I was going to go out on my usual flat trai…

Living Dangerously In Suburban America

Image
One of the things I did with fair frequency in my youth was mountain biking. If you're not familiar with it, it's basically biking in the woods, sometimes at high speed and sometimes at a crawling pace during the more arduous hill climbing. There is something about the mix of speed, woods, rock, danger and adventure that makes it a great draw for me.

Last summer I took Ben out to the trails at Minooka Park here in Waukesha. The trail system out there was recently developed and provides a fairly technical ride as well as being a GREAT getaway right in the middle of the city. Ben seemed to really like it last year despite one near accident where he took a hit to the shoulder. He came out of the incident laughing though, which is what Mountain Biking does. It makes your adrenaline rush and gets you so psyched that even the falls are sometimes fun.

Well, we've been talking about getting out for a few weeks now, and finally did today. I was going to go out on my usual flat trai…

Beginning To See The Light

I went to the eye doctor today. It had been about a year and a half and I figured I was due. To top it off, I have been struggling with an ailment that I thought he might be able to address, so the time seemed right.

Now, I am 54 years old and my eyesight isn't what it used to be. The upside to that is that as all of my friends and loved ones age along with me, their eyesight is failing in many of the same ways. My wife is the queen of the on-again, off-again cheaters that she has on hand at any given moment of the day. They are propped on top of her head 80% of the time, the rest of the time they're by the sink, or in the bathroom or, or, or...
In her defense, she is practically legally blind without her glasses or contacts. Glasses are the first thing she reaches for in the morning and the last thing she takes off at night. 
My situation is different, I could almost drive without my glasses - save for those blurry street signs. I am nearsighted, so only need to wear my glass…