Sunday, December 14, 2008

We got smoked!

We lost all four of our games. It was a very tough evening!

On a positive note, I got to see one of my buddy's band play at Memory Lanes! It was great hearing some late night punk rock!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Round Four of TCCL tonight

After winning last month's round 3-1, Tal Tales has a 2-1 record going into tonight's match against the 3M64 team. It should be a tough and interesting round, as we will be playing higher rated players on each board. I'm excited to play!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

...but life has lightened up considerably.

Last week when I posted the video, I was really stressed and down. With the Mumbai massacre and some other deaths closer to friends and family, I felt worn out.

Fortunately, I recharged after getting some major work completed with school and a little fresh perspective, energy, and humor.

I started a new blog over here. Let me know what you think.


Friday, November 21, 2008

One of my favorite coffee shops composts now!

I'm sitting in Fireroast Mountain Cafe to do a little work on my thesis, and they have fliers advertising that they are composting their waste! They, along with some other Twin Cities restaurants, are featured at Eureka Recycling. Check it out and support your local businesses that are taking a next step!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On Thomas Friedman, global warming, et al

Over the last few days, my attention has been more focused on issues of global warming and the future of our planet. What helped spur that focus was that my mother-in-law sent me Thomas Friedman's newest book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America. Since it came in the mail Friday, I've been reading it as often as I am able.

I just noticed that I've paid more attention to the home thermostat, turned off more lights at home and work when they're not needed, and started going more paperless with bills. I consider global warming an urgent problem, one that I as a father, an intellectual, and a trained scientist, cannot leave alone.

I've thought more about global warming and how it is tied into other issues after reading one of his recent pieces, How to Fix a Flat, regarding the Big Three automobile manufacturers, and by watching him on Meet the Press this past Sunday.

Consider picking up his book if you want a well-thought analytical study of where we are at and how we can improve our chances in the future!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you, Vets!!!

I honor your service to this country. Thank you!

"Keep the Camera Alive"

I took the title from Skinny Puppy's "Tin Omen." Although the song is about Kent State, I thought it appropriate to keep the world's eyes on Myanmar. The New York Times reports that the Myanmar government has sentenced 14 democracy reporters. Horrible!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thank you, Matt and Trey!

I think laughter is one key to a healthy life. Last night, as part of detoxing from too much politics, we watched South Park's newest episode, About Last Night...

It dealt with the election and politics, but only tangentially. I recommend this if you are in the need of a good laugh, regardless of who you voted for!

Sunday, November 02, 2008


It was nice to get a reminder from Bob Weir this morning in my email!

Edit: And I got a recorded message from Bob Weir on my cell phone Monday morning reminding me to vote!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tal Tales beat Metro Chess 3-1 in round two

Our team, Tal Tales, beat Metro Chess 3-1 last night at the Roseville Skating Oval. The results of the round will be posted shortly. Well played, team!

We are 1-1. I'm happy to report I'm 1.5 out of 2 points, a great way to start this year!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Round Two of the TCCL tomorrow

We will be meeting at the Roseville Oval tomorrow for the second round of the Twin Cities Chess League. We will have a full team this time!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My round one game in the TCCL

Here is my round one game against John. I erred early getting a Pawn behind, but I played accurate defense the rest of the game to get the draw.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tal Tales had a great first round!

We were short a player for the first round, but Tal Tales had an excellent first round. I would like to welcome Luke Robson and Matt Henderson to the team. Luke is our new board one, as Kelly Perleberg has moved up to the round robin section of the TCCL. I am the third board, but I moved up to board two for the evening. Matt played board three.

I got a draw against John Thomson as Black. In what looked like a drawn position, Luke pulled out a great endgame win against Jeff Higgins. Matt lost against Steven Kravik.

However, I am gratified we got 1.5 for the three games we played, especially against two very strong players. Jeff and John had an average rating of just shy of 1900, while Luke and I averaged roughly 1460.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Twin Cities Chess League tonight, but in other odd and exciting news...

...The Flaming Lips movie, Christmas on Mars, was just shown in NYC today. I hope it comes to Minneapolis or St. Paul!

Here's the trailer...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Enough is enough!

I am appalled by how the St. Paul Police intimidated and arrested non-violent people last week. (I am also appalled with the anarchists who have such little consideration of others but plenty of consideration for their own importance.) None of this behavior befits our democracy. I am both saddened and very angry with what went down last week.

Police have a duty to protect people, property, and people's rights. When you (police) start taking away people's rights, you are not performing your duties. I think what you did is very self-serving and not honorable.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

This song brought me to tears....

...when I was at 10,000 Lakes. I had never seen the Flaming Lips before, and I knew very few of their songs. But this song just hit me. (I'm a softie.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I was a tent pole, again...

Here I am in Detroit Lakes last Wednesday helping one of my friends set up his tent for the 10,000 Lakes Festival. It was pretty windy that day, so we were all working quickly to ensure that our tents didn't become very large kites!

...Phil Lesh just published the setlist from Saturday was a very good show! Shakedown opener!!!

The last show I caught was right after Phil and Friends--Cornmeal. The link has a download of this very energetic show.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I was a tent pole...

...on Saturday while helping to hold a tarp up during a neighborhood performance of The Adventures of Juan Bobo by Open Eye Figure Theatre. (My son stayed dry while playing with one of his buddies.)

It was a delightful show, made even funnier while undergoing the impromptu exercise.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Obama at the Xcel

I am very thankful I had the opportunity to attend the Obama rally last night at the Xcel Energy Center. My friend Jeff and I got downtown at 6 p.m. and had a 30 minute walk to the end of the line. At the time I was estimating that there was little chance we'd get in, as we walked well over 15 city blocks. Regardless, I was happy to see the throng of highly enthusiastic people waiting on the historic night.

The line did get moving, albeit slowly, and after 8 p.m. I thought for sure that the Xcel had filled up, but had not heard anything. The line moved faster, and before we knew it, we were outside just a few feet away from the entrance. Jeff and I made it in just a couple of minutes before Barack took the stage.

I am still processing the evening. I am filled with a huge amount of respect for him, but also for the voters as a whole who came out to vote. Despite that racism is still a problem we as a society need to grapple with, I am very proud of our country having moved from the violence and chaos of the civil rights movement to nominating an African-American to be a Presidential candidate. It does speak positive volumes about how we have grown as a country!

I'm sure I'll have more to say in the next few days, but I wanted to share my initial set of thoughts about last evening, and to say thanks again to Jeff for getting me out to the rally! You are a great friend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The closing of the Warfield

I'm thankful for Irenie keeping up on all things Bob Weir related. She posted a news item Monday regarding the last nights of the Warfield Theater. Bob joined Phil Lesh for the last night of the five show run. Phil had a very unique way of closing this out. Check out the set lists!

I'm downloading these shows off of bt.etree to listen to later. I'm psyched to listen to these and even more excited to see Phil and Friends at 10,000 Lakes Festival this summer!

Friday, May 09, 2008

We saw Juno last night...

Thanks to the grandparents, Melissa and I went out last night to see Juno for the first time. I thought it encompassed so much: it was beautiful, sad, funny, and thoughtful. Thanks to Diablo Cody for such a great film!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dread maintenance

I wanted to give Stefanie at Maude thanks again for the very nice maintenance work she did on my dreads. I haven't seen her for a couple of years, but by chance, I ran into her recently. She always did good work on my dreads in the past. If you need dread work done by a stylist with a great attitude, check her out!

Monday, March 31, 2008

A very nice weekend!

My sister-in-law flew in this weekend to visit us. Our son turned four on Friday! We had a very nice time with his aunt and with other family members and friends. We had a party for him at the Children's Museum yesterday. Lots of kids running around, while we adults talked politics, sustainable development, careers, etc. Good times!!!.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Busy evening ahead! Chess AND music

I've got the last round of the Twin Cities Chess League this evening followed by a show at First Avenue. They are having a benefit concert for the music department of Lyndale Elementary. To be frank, I'm more excited about the music than the chess (I'm 0-6 in the League), but I'll play a good game regardless.

Spring is here!

I took this picture yesterday afternoon. I made a 311 call to the city to take care of the ice and flooding water in the alley behind our home. Thanks to the hard work of a couple of workers and a copious amount of calcium chloride, they finally opened the sewer. It was covered with roughly four inches of ice! (The picture is a result of my fascination with running water since I was a kid.)

Thursday, February 07, 2008


I was both a bit surprised, but entirely pleased, that three of the four remaining members of the Grateful Dead got together on Monday night to play a show for Barack Obama. They have played many benefits before, but never for a political candidate.

One of my web buddies, Irenie, has more details about the event over at her blog.

The show is available over at bt.etree.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bobby Fischer

In the last week since Bobby Fischer's death, I realized that I probably would not have gotten into chess if not for him. My dad was enthusiastic about chess in 1972, and in either that year or the next, he taught me the royal game.

"The Bobby" as I like to refer to him was probably the greatest chess player ever, and it is sad that he went into obscurity and mental illness. In my chess lessons this morning, some of the students asked about chess, but two asked about "bad things he said about the United States." I explained to them that Bobby suffered from mental illness later in his life.

On a very positive note, I used the Game of the Century to demonstrate the two key goals in the opening--1) develop your minor pieces and a few pawns to control the center and 2) protect your King by castling. In the game, both Donald Byrne and Fischer followed the first rule, but Bobby punished Byrne for not castling! Bobby was 12 at the time, just a few years older than the students I teach.

I am thankful for chess for Bobby's countless contributions to it! Thank you and rest in peace!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year

It has been one month since I wrote anything here. I had such a busy month I did not have time!

In addition to my chess teaching, I started working for Kelly Services doing temporary work at an area foundation to help them get through their year-end gift processing. It has been gratifying to see how generous people can be!

Our friends Jeff and Tiffany held the annual holiday party in mid-December that was great! As many of our group are busy with little children, we seldom get much time to get together as a group. I always look forward to the good times and cheer with this group of friends!

We had a good family vacation visiting Melissa's family in Alabama. I haven't been to her mom's home before, so it was good to finally visit there. On the tail end of the trip, we spent a couple of wonderful days of eating, drinking, listening to music, and generally absorbing the good energy of the great folks of New Orleans! I loved visiting there, and I would love to go back.

I am making forward progress on my Master's degree with my recent visit with my advisor. I am looking forward to completing this.

I wish all the reader's of my blog a happy new year! Cheers and good blessings to you!