Friday, June 29, 2007

Scene of the crime

Before we left town early today, Christina went to go water the garden to find 9 plants had been stolen (a before and after above). Almost all were perennials that were in bloom right now. We are very saddened by it because we have spend countless hours working on the garden and making it look beautiful.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Loring Park
My dad and I ate our weekly lunch together at my favorite fountain this afternoon, the Berger Fountain (named after some long time parks commissioner). Its the been out of commission on and off for years due to lack of funding for it's numerous repairs. but it's BACK! i also love it at night because it is periodically light up by one of about four colored lights in the center. it looks like a giant disco ball.... of water or perhaps a pesky weed. here's a full shot of it in all its dandelionness....

also a story about how 'green' Minneapolis is here. if I see Minneapolis represented one more time with the spoon and cherry pic i might flip out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

100% Wind

I feel like an ass driving to work and back in my Wrangler so I broke down and switched my electric bill to 100% wind power. My energy provider, Xcel, offers several tiers of wind power consumption via their Windsource program. Windsource is a Green-e certified for enviromental and consumer protection standards. Based on the amount of electricity I use it will only raise my monthly bill on average less than $10. The energy that supplies Windsource is 100% wind energy generated or purchased from Minnesota wind farms. A total of 19 wind turbines located in Pipestone and Dodge County in Minnesota currently supply the energy. The electricity is added to the Xcel Energy system for use across our service area in Minnesota. Although I'll pay more per 100 kW hour, I get a "No Fuel Cost" credit because unlike coal, oil and plutonium, the wind is free.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

This picture was taken last August when I went up to Anchorage, AK. Thought it would be a fitting to put it as a Happy 1st day of summer pic!
McMom shout out
My wonderful mother is accepting an award tonight at the 56th Annual Meeting & 24th Annual David R. Pasch Meritorious Service Award presentation at Temple Shalom in Milwaukee. My mom, along with three others, will be recognized for their individual service to the congregation and local community. If you're interested you can see most of her planned acceptance speech here. I am very proud of her and I wish I could be there with my family.

Mazel Tov Mom!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The bathroom is officially finished! The beginning of the project seems like years ago, not 3 months (see before pics here). We've learned a LOT in that time.

We put in the stained glass and I painted the baseboards this weekend (which i guess you can't see in this picture, looks fantastic though). We are both very happy with how it turned out, although the memories of this nightmare-of-a-project are still fresh in our minds. I would have to say that it was all worth it (glass in my eye and all) and I love it.

One little splurge for the bathroom was a Solatube. It's that circular thing on the ceiling; Steve found out about it at the Green Expo and wanted it. It basically harnesses light and fills the bathroom so we never have to turn on the lights in there during the day. It certainly isn't going to pay for itself by the amount of electricity we are saving (from not turning on the light), but it's still cool. It's nice because the stained glass window is always lit during the day. Below is a pic of it from the outside.

No new big projects are on the horizon for us, although Steve did just make another rain barrel for the other side of the house. Also we have been working on the garden quite a bit and got a composter. I have started moving my stuff over in order to make the big move in September a little less horrible than the last time I moved. I guess that could be considered the next big project. Lots of hobbies = lots of stuff.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Birds and baseballs

We took in some bird watching and baseball this weekend.

Christina's cousin Jen volunteers at the Raptor Center at the U and we watched a demonstration and got a tour. She has only interned there for a month, but was very knowledgeable. The raptor center rehabilitates birds from all over the US. We learned that all raptors are meat eating birds, but not all meat eating birds are raptors. They keep some of the birds that would not be able to survive out in the wild ever again. Strangely enough, three of the birds were missing their left eyes, a coincidence.

Brew Crew beat the Twins Saturday night.

Aaron + Erin

Friday evening Christina and I attented the wedding of our friends Aaron and Erin. Christina was a co-maid of honor with her friend Ginny; the three girls have been BFFs since high school. The ceremony was at Aaron's church (AKA Zimm) out in Cottage Grove, a SE suburb.

From there we hopped on a micro-bus and stopped to take pictures off the Mississippi.

Christina, Mike, Erin and Ginny before the wedding.

The reception was at the Minnesota Boat Club in St. Paul.
Ginny and Christina got some laughs explaining how they initially met Zimm. Less how they met, I guess, and more that he had on dirty sweat pants, socks and sandals; and was delivering pizza in Little Canada, MN for a job at the time.

The food was tasty and tables looked very nice. After dinner and cake the dance floor was the place to be (see above picture with Zimm's mom).

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Watch your car crash

Pick from a menu to see your car's crash test at this Consumer Reports site. It's actually a little scary watching a Jeep Wrangler get slammed from the side.

Please be careful out there and buckle up!

Monday, June 11, 2007

A few things I learned this weekend

Zimm is a great fisherman and his bachelor party fishing trip on Lake Mille Lacs was wonderful.

The moon is visible in the sky during the day.

Making friends with the boat staff (AKA Lucas) is wise, but doesn't mean you catch more fish.

My foot is literally a foot or 12".

Always start your weekend up North in the beer cave.

A realtor in Zimmerman, MN is named Fabio Lopez.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A B-day fiesta

We celebrated Christina's birthday with a meal on the roof at Joe's Garage with a lot of friends. Afterwards I surprised her with a pinata full of candy. The girls were worried about hanging it from the ceiling for security deposit reasons so we opted for plan B: Anton standing on a table with an umbrella. Christina felt it was wise to swing her new hiking sticks, she broke one, but not irreparably.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Festival of Nations

Last week I went to D.C. for a number of reasons: my 2nd cousin Neil was getting married, I wanted to visit Ginny before she moved and to see Tai Shan (as you know). I went with my mom, aunt and cousin and we met up with my other family members.

 The wedding was an international affair. My new friend in the photo is Etu, she's Neil's grandma from Morocco and a member of the Berber tribe, they are very proud of this, hence the face tattoos. She didn't speak any english, but we really bonded (lots of hand gesturing). Neil and his mom have traveled all around the world for her job working for the American embassy (she is currently in Egypt... possible trip in the future?) so there were many people from around the world and a number of people of note (name dropping alert), like this guy and also a former president's granddaughter. Neil's new wife ARong is a native Korean, thus adding an asian influence to the wedding.

ARong with Neil's two grandmothers.

My cousin Karina and I with our 2nd cousin's Josh and Karin.

I haven't been to Washington since I was six so it was a bit of a different, and more memorable, experience. I couldn't have packed much more in. Highlights being: the zoo (obviously), national gallery, modern art museum, green exhibit at the building museum, holocaust museum, botanical gardens, lots of war memorials, crazy rolling thunder bikers, surviving the heat, seeing where ginny lives, Arlington cemetery on memorial day (saw bush, note: not a highlight) to name a few. All photos here. My cousin Karina's 600+ (!!) pictures here and wedding photos here.

Wait, what was that? You want another picture of the panda? Ok, twist my arm... here's my favorite of all the pictures:

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Robot Chicken: Star Wars > JUNE LINK OF THE MONTH

Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network has a bunch of pretty funny shows. The website is worth some time so it has been named the LINK OF THE MONTH. One of my favorites is Robot Chicken. It's a show by Seth Green done primarily in stop motion and claymation. As a nerdy Star Wars enthusiast I'm looking forward to this 30 minute parody on June 17th.