Pokémon What?

Oh, hello blog. It’s been a while. I’ve been busy catching Pokémon. Before July I didn’t know what a Pokémon was. I’m old, Pokémon wasn’t a part of my childhood. Pokémon Go sounds dumb, but man it’s fun. I’ve put more miles on my bike the last month and a half than the previous ten years. Pokéstops around my house are just to far apart to walk it. I prefer biking anyway, the only downside is that I have to keep it slow for the kilometers to count.

It’s been great. I’ve seen parts of town I’ve never seen before. I’ve pretty much biked fifteen to twenty miles every day I’ve had off, and five to ten on days I’ve worked twelve hours. It’s weird, I just can’t wait to hope on my bike again. It’s bringing me back to my childhood, not the Pokémon part, but the biking part. I use to bike all over the little town I grew up in. It feels great to get out and do that again.

I should reach level 22 this weekend. It seems to be a constant battle to keep up with everybody’s level. That’s part of the drive I guess. I don’t want to fall too far behind. I’m dreading winter. It’s going to be difficult to play when it’s so cold that it’s dangerous to be outside.

Last night

Last night our neighbor freaked out and threatened to shoot her neighbors and any cops that approached her house. I was at work, so I missed all the commotion. Knowing her, I can’t imagine that she was a real threat, but you can’t mess around with threats these days. She was eventually arrested. It’s unclear if she was arrested last night, or this morning, but I’ve seen her mugshot online. It’s kind of scary knowing something like this happened twenty feet from where I am typing this right now.

I looked up the police call log to try to fine more info. I was amazed at the number of calls they receive, and the low-lifes they have to deal with. It would be really depressing to be a cop. I have the utmost respect for anybody who chooses that as a profession. It’s no wonder some cops get a little too trigger happy with all the stuff they have to deal with, I would be scared for my life too. That’s no excuse though.

I don’t want to get into the Black Live Matter debate. Being a white male, I can’t know how they are feeling. I can only image. If you are one of those “All Lives Matter” fools, educate yourself, you sound like an idiot. This comic is a good starting place.

You’ll Always Be My Favorite One

So Long, FarewellSo just a few hours ago Motion City Soundtrack played their last note in Minneapolis. I wanted to be there so bad. I only had tickets for their first of four shows because at the time, I thought that would be their last. I didn’t realize they would play four sold out shows. If it was up to me, I would have went to all four. They are the only band that when the show ends, I always want more. After the first thirteen times seeing them, every time looking forward to the next.

Last Friday was the last for me.

I feel stupid, but this 40 something dude has been crying, and feeling really bummed out. I guess that’s how much I loved them. Their music is just so perfect. It’s pretty much all I’ve been listening to since their March announcement that they are ending.

Last Friday also probably marked the end of an era for me. Who knows if Ill ever be back to The Varsity or First Ave. There aren’t too many bands that are small enough to play those venues that I’m willing to travel to see. Plus I’m old. We met some cool kids at the show on Friday, and yeah, I’m old enough to be their dad. It was an amazing night. Motion City fans are just as cool as the band. It was the perfect way to end my moshing career too.

My fingers are cross for a reunion tour. This can’t really be the end, can it be?

So Long Farewell

A week from today I will be seeing Motion City Soundtrack for the last time. I’m looking forward to it and not looking forward to it at the same time. We got VIP tickets so we will be hanging out with the band before while they do a few acoustic songs. It will be awesome, but it sucks that this will be the last time. At the same time I’m so grateful for all the great music they have made, and I guess not too many people can say they saw their favorite band 14 times.

Last week someone posted a video from their VIP session in Des Moines. Here it is:

It’s going to be great. Sad, but great.


Hello blog. I’m still around. It’s just that these are the couple of weeks that we get that are actually nice outside. It’s not too cold, not too hot, and the mosquitoes aren’t out yet.

I’ve been busy with yard work, planting grass and flowers. I cleaned the shed and the garage. Took the dog for a bunch of walks. I’ve even taken more bike rights this year than all of last year already. I’ve just been enjoying the outside. Don’t worry, it’ll get old soon. Then it will get hot and the mosquitoes will come out, and I’ll be back to being the great indoorsman that I am.

New Car

We are in the market for a new car. Our Jeep is 12 years old, and while it’s in good shape, we’re ready for an upgrade. We’ve been looking around, but don’t really know what we want. I really want our new car to include Apple’s Carplay, but few cars have it yet. I hate the Ford Sync system in my truck. I don’t believe car manufacturers know how to make a user friendly interface. I want a system that will be upgradeable also. If Carplay and Android Auto work like they say, updates on the phone will carry over to the car stereo.

This week Tesla announced the Model 3. It’s starting at $35,000, so it’s the first Tesla that normal people can afford. It’s on the upper limit of what we want to pay, but we could pull it off. The deal breaker though is the distance limitations. For people living in a big city 200 miles is probably fine, and for us around town it’s fine too. The problem is Minneapolis is 240 miles away, and we go there quite often. We would be stuck using my gas guzzling truck for all our road trips. So then what’s the point in spending that much on a car that can’t leave town?

I really want an electric car, but this time around, they aren’t quite there yet. They need increased range, plus who knows how much more limited the range will be in our cold weather. Maybe our next car in 12–15 years will be electric.

New coworker

We have a new employee at work. I haven’t met her yet because I’ve been on the night shift. Yes, it’s a her. I work in a predominantly male profession, but it doesn’t have to be. I mostly sit in front of a computer or work in the lab.

We hired a woman a few months back and she didn’t work out. Everybody thought it was because she was a woman and that we should never hire another woman again. I cringed at that thought. I say you hire the best person for the job despite what their genitals look like.

I give my bosses credit for hiring another woman. She was up against a military vet and they chose her because she had the schooling. She actually went to the same school I did.

I’ve been doing some Google stalking, and it looks like she is gay too. I think that’s awesome. We need more diversity around here. I can imagine all the horrible things some of my coworkers are going to say behind her back. Fuck them. I’m excited to meet her Tuesday.

So Long, Farewell Motion City Soundtrack

So a lot of people celebrate 3/11 day because of the band 311. I’m not really a 311 fan, but 3/11/16 is a date I will always remember. It’s the date my favorite band, Motion City Soundtrack, announced that they were calling it quits. I was shocked at first, but I understand how tour life could be a drag, especially since many of the band members have kids now. My sad turned in to glad when I realized all the great music and great times the band has given me. So while I’m sad that it’s over, I’m so glad it happened.

I’ve read what a lot of people wrote about the band, but this article is the best.

Trying to remember all the times I’ve seen them, I went through all my ticket stubs. I thought it was 14 time, but I guess I’ve only seen them 13 times. Number 14 will be this June. Here are all the Motion City Soundtrack shows I’ve been to:

05/23/2004 @ The Alerus Center, Grand Forks, ND
07/24/2005 @ Vans Warped Tour, Minneapolis, MN
11/12/2005 @ The Myth, Maplewood, MN
12/12/2006 @ Roy Wilkins Auditorium, St. Paul, MN
11/24/2007 @ The Myth, Maplewood, MN
05/27/2008 @ The Myth, Maplewood, MN
07/15/2008 @ The Venue, Fargo, ND
10/28/2010 @ First Avenue, Minneapolis MN
12/18/2010 @ First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
09/3/2011 @ Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul, MN
11/18/2012 @ Varsity Theater, Minneapolis, MN
04/21/2013 @ The Vault, Sioux Falls, SD
10/25/2015 @ First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

This past Monday they announced the first leg of their “So Long, Farewell” tour, and Tuesday VIP tickets went on sale. They went on sale at 10:00 am. I started refreshing my browser over and over starting at 9:58. At 10:01 I selected two vip tickets only to discover they were all sold out when I hit enter. I was pretty bummed, but still kept refreshing the page out of disbelief. Then at 10:09 suddenly there were tickets available. I scarfed them up as quick as I could. I couldn’t believe it, I GOT VIP TICKETS. Here is what VIP includes:

One General Admission Ticket
A Stripped-down Acoustic Set with Band (two songs)
One Raffle Entry to Win Prizes*
A Photo with the Band
One Exclusive Signed VIP Lithograph
A Live “Ask-Us-Anything” Session with Band Members
One Exclusive Wearable Button
One VIP Laminate and Lanyard
Priority Merch Shopping
Early Entry into the Venue with First Dibs on Front Row Access
*Chance to win relics from the MCS vault. Relics can range from: an exact Realistic/Moog MG–1 synthesizer used on tour and in the studio by the band that may or may not still work, lyric sheets, vinyl test pressings, posters, stage back drops used on tour, and more. One entry per person. Actual prizes may vary based on availability. Winner selected at end of Summer 2016 tour.

So my 14th time seeing Motion City Soundtrack will be a memorable one, and if I’m lucky, maybe I can catch them one more time when they announce the second leg of the tour.

My Music Taste Trends

So tomorrow I’m going to see Fall Out Boy again. I honestly don’t remember how many times I’ve seem them. It’s more than five, but less than the 14 times I’ve seen Motion City Soundtrack. Everybody says I go to a lot of concerts, but really, I’m just old. I probably only go to two or three concerts a year. They just add up over the years.

My love of music started early. In 1985 I got a boombox, or as we called them, a “Ghetto Blaster” for Christmas. I wasn’t a fan of the couple of cassettes I got with it, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, but I would soon enough find music I would enjoy. My Mom wasn’t one of those cool parents that introduced their kids to the Beatles. It would be decades before I would discover the greatness of the Beatles. Around that same time our cable company got MTV.

Thanks to MTV I got into a few of the hair metal bands of the 80s. I loved Bon Jovi, Poison, Skid Row, Gun N’ Roses, and Warrant. That’s about where my love for hair metal began and ended. As a poor middle school student, I was on a limited budget. Then I discovered the Beastie Boys. I had to find more music like them. What is this rap music? Back in those days, rap music wasn’t played on MTV. Eventually rap music got its own show, Yo! MTV Raps, and I was in heaven. I loved Run DMC, Public Enemy, KRS One, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and many others.

Then 1991 came and along and with it came “Smells Like Teen Spirt”. I never listened to another rap album. Nirvana changed everything. I was now a high school student with a minimum wage job and no bills, so I could afford cassettes and eventually CDs. I was getting into underground 90s alternative rock. Bands with funny names that nobody ever heard of like Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice in Chains. They all would become huge. And others like Pavement, Dinosaur Jr., and Sugar, who weren’t as huge, but just as great. I would buy CD just because I’d heard of the band, or a band I liked mentioned them. I was buying a couple CDs a week. I loved when I could catch 120 Minutes on MTV. That was the only show that played the music I was into.

Eventually 90s alternative rock became main stream. The 90s seem to be the only time period in my life where my music was being played on the radio. I hear most peoples favorite music is from their college years. I was lucky to have a roommate that was into the same music. He introduced my to Matthew Sweet, and Urge Overkill. I got him into The Lemonheads, and Candlebox. We both discovered the greatness of Liz Phair and Juliana Hatfield. I also loved female singers. Not too many people I knew listened to many female bands. I loved Letters to Cleo, Tracy Bonham, Bree Sharp, The Breeders, Veruca Salt, Garbage, Hole, and many many others.

Then the late 90s came and music for me was blah. Also, since I was no longer in school, the years all blurred together. It’s weird how my music style seems to shift every ten years or so. In the mid 90s I was also into a lot of punk bands, NOFX, Screeching Weasel, Mr. T Experience, Bad Religion, and many others. These were internet years. It was easy to find and hear new bands. I pretty much loved every band on Epitaph Record, Fat Wreck Chords, and Lookout Records. The mid 90s were great, the late 90s though…blah.

Then in 2003 music became great again. I discovered my all time favorite band Motion City Soundtrack along with other bands nobody heard of like Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, Dashboard Confessional, and many others. I still don’t really know what to call this phase, Pop-Punk? Emo? That’s the stuff I was listening to, and maybe still? I don’t even know what I’m listening to now. I am currently in a blah stage.

Now I’m mostly listening to podcasts. I’m still always looking for great music, but haven’t found much lately. Is there another phase coming? Am I just old and will only listen to old music now? Who knows?

I like to think I have a great taste in music, but I’m rarely into mainstream music. My tastes have changed from Hair Metal, to Rap, to Alternative Rock, to Punk, and Pop-Punk/Emo. I’m always looking for something new and different.

What’s next?

Installed Under Cabinet Lighting

So I missed my first Saturday blog of the year last week. That’s why I didn’t make it a thing. I knew life would get in the way. Last weekend I installed under cabinet lighting in our kitchen. I love it. I didn’t even think of it when we had our kitchen remodeled. With the LED strip lighting these days it’s pretty easy to install. You just have to plan a little how to and where to run the wires. Other than that, it’s a breeze to install and looks amazing in our new kitchen.
Under Cabinet Lighting
For our kitchen I just got white dimmable lights. They make some cool color changing ones too. I wish I could think of another place to install them they are so cool.

Other than that, it was a pretty boring week. I spent all week in Bismarck sitting in classes to get my continuing education credits for work. Fun stuff. I’m glad it’s done and I am good for three years.

kitchen update

So if you’ve seen my last post you know our kitchen is finally finished. The never ending project that started in November is finally done.

I love our new floor, and the best part was that it was free. That was part of the delay. They briefly wanted me to put in a claim to my insurance. I said no way, I didn’t touch the drain line that leaked after the plumber hooked it up. Thankfully I didn’t have to argue too much before the plumber took the blame. Then the plumbers insurance only was going to cover the floor, but our contractor wanted to pull out the cabinets to make sure there wasn’t any more damage. They eventually got the insurance company to cover that, and good thing. It was still wet under the cabinets, so they got that all dried out too.

They worked hard this week. They pulled out the cabinets, dried floor, replaced cabinets, and installed the floor. Everything looks great. I have mixed feelings about the contractor we used. I’m not going to bash them because they did a good job. The delays were caused by insurance companies, and the leak was caused by another plumbing outfit, and too be fair, the plumber couldn’t test the line because the electrician hadn’t been out yet to hook up power to the dishwasher. Things happen, I totally understand that, and for the most part, our contractor took care of everything. I’m just so happy it’s finally over. We have a kitchen table for the first time since before Thanksgiving.

Getting Old

So it’s Saturday and time for another blog post. I haven’t mentioned it, but this year my goal was to try and blog more. My goal is once a week, and lately Saturday seems to be the day. I know nobody blogs anymore and it sucks. I’m going to do my part to keep blogging a thing. I miss the good ol’ blogging days. It doesn’t really matter to me if anybody reads this. It’s mostly for me. It feels good to get things off my chest.

So I’m still dealing with this tooth/jaw pain this week. Monday it was mostly my jaw that hurt after eating. I went to the doctor, got some pain meds, then the pain moved again. It’s now the tooth on the opposite side of my mouth than before. It’s so weird how the pain moves after seeing someone about it. I don’t know if it’s just the pain meds, but the pain does seem to feel like it’s slowly going away.

I have another doctors appointment on Friday. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate visiting the doctor? This was is a follow up because of my high blood pressure. The last few times I’ve had it checked it’s been on the high side. I guess it’s probably time to do something about it. Getting old sucks, but I guess it beats dying young. So I guess I should start paying attention to my health.

Painful Chompers

For the past two weeks I’ve been dealing with some major tooth pains. One on each side of my mouth and both in fillings I got in November. I’ve been to my dentist and even went to another one to get a second opinion, and nobody knows why I’m in so much pain.

There is this weird thing about me. When ever I go to see a doctor about something, just waiting in the waiting room cures me temporally. So both times that I went in to the dentist I wasn’t in too much pain, so they probably didn’t think that much of it. It’s still a mystery why I’m in so much pain and no one knows why.

I am such a wuss when it comes to pain. I had a huge todo list this week and didn’t get anything done. I hate laying around and doing nothing, but I can’t think or concentrate when I’m in pain. We’ll see how this weekend goes. If I’m not doing any better I may have to give the dentist a third shot at figuring what’s wrong with my teeth. I’m hoping they just magically get better on their own.

New Kitchen Disaster

So we enjoyed our new kitchen for a week. Late last week we noticed our laminate flooring was buckling up at one of the seams. Then the next morning it was buckling all over.

Turns out, when the plumber hooked up our dishwasher, he tightened the drain line too tight and cracked it. We’ve had a slow leak for a week that wrecked our flooring.

So now our kitchen flooring is ripped up and they have to remove our new cabinets to make sure the floor is dry and not damaged underneath. At first the plumber wasn’t going to take responsibility for it. I made it blatantly clear that it was in no way my fault. I would be happy to take the blame and put in a claim to my insurance if it was indeed a dishwasher malfunction, but it was clearly an installation error, and I didn’t install it.

Thankfully, the plumber is now putting a claim in to his insurance. I don’t know if he was just seeing if I was dumb enough to take the blame or what, but now it sounds like the plumbers insurance will cover everything.

We got an estimate of nearly five grand to do all the work. It’ll be a pain in the ass until it’s done, but it will be so nice. I guess free flooring in our kitchen is worth the inconvenience.

And we have a kitchen

It’s been a long eight weeks. We haven’t had a kitchen since the week of Thanksgiving. I’m so sick of eating out and cooking microwave food in our freezing cold garage. 

I love it. Here are some pictures:





Worst day of my life

Two years ago today was the worst day of my life. 

Just hours after putting our cat down I got the call that my Mom was in rough shape following her surgery for an aortic dissection. At the time I had no idea how serious her surgery was. She played it off like it was nothing because she didn’t want to worry anybody. 

That was the longest three hour drive in blizzard conditions. Once we arrived she was basically being kept alive by machines. I was up all night hoping things would change. I watched the Sun come up the next morning knowing that I was going to have to pull the plug on my Mom that day. We kept her alive long enough for what family that could make it to say goodbye. It was hard but it was also great that have family there after being there all night alone. 

I was so tired and out of it. I remember talking to the doctor. He seemed to be afraid that I was going to keep her alive indefinitely. I had no intention of that. There really was only once choice, but still it was hard, and it was all on me. I had to give the okay to watch my Mom die. 

Once family said their goodbyes, I gave the okay, and the nurses went to work unhooking her. 

We then watched her die. 

The rest of the day we planned the funeral, and she had the best funeral ever. It was exactly as she would have wanted. 

Christmas time was her favorite time of the year. I’ve had a hard time with Christmas these last few years. Every Christmas song is sad and almost brings me to tears. I don’t think Christmas can ever be a happy time for me anymore. 

Did I Just spend $2700 on a Kitchen Sink?

Today we went in to pick out the materials for our kitchen and bathroom remodels. It’s crazy how expensive everything is and how quickly prices added up. Granite countertops weren’t in the budget, but also probably didn’t make much sense in our house either. We did however splurge on the kitchen sink. After doing tons of research, we fell in love with the farm style sinks. It just seemed more practical for us to have one big deep sink rather than two smaller ones. We’ve been busy with the garden these past few weeks with canning and such, and many times though how much nicer a farm style sink would be.

A month ago I had no idea what a farm style sink was. Here is what our sink will look like.

The downside was that that sink costs $2700 in the off-white color that would go good with our cabinets. A stainless steel one was only $800, but we really wanted white. So, I just spent $2700 on a kitchen sink. It’ll be eight weeks or so before they start the work. I can’t wait. Our kitchen and bathrooms are going to look so good.

Addicted to Outrage

Hank Green recently vloged about our addiction to outrage. Part of the reason I haven’t blogged a lot lately is I that didn’t want to join the outrage. My Facebook and Twitter feeds seem full of people outraged about something. It’s ether another black kid getting mowed down buy a cop, or a cop gets shot, or someone’s getting thrown in jail for breaking the law causing people on both sides to be outraged, or even a lion getting shot.

It’s always something, and it’s quite exhausting.

I wish somebody had the answers to solve all our world problems, but as long as there are people on this world, there’s going to be fighting. We just need to dwell on the negative fears less; because in reality, there is much more greatness in the world.

Hello Blog

Hey, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I hate when people complain about not posting, but here I am doing it.

What have I been up to?

Well, right now we are in the middle of a kitchen and bathroom remodel. We’ve looked at so many kitchens that we are at a loss for what we want. We go in Friday to make the final design decisions and work will start in eight weeks or so. It will be a mess, but should be worth it.

Last month I saw the Foo Fighters for the fifth time. They are always incredible. Dave on is thrown was awesome. Not too many guys would tour on a broken leg, but Dave doesn’t disappoint.

Also last month we lost a member of our family. My cousin’s husband, a former soldier, committed suicide. Soldier suicides are far too common. They are the unaccounted for deaths of war, and are another reason why war should be the last option.

That’s about all that’s going on with my boring life now.

The Godless Delusion?

So the other day I ran across this book at work.

It sparked my interest, so I read the first two chapters.

While I totally disagreed with most of what I read, it was still interesting. Just seeing what these Christian writers think of Atheists was actually kind of funny. You would think that someone who writes a book about Atheism would actually know something about it. Then again, if they knew anything about Atheism they would understand that we aren’t scary, that we aren’t trying to take over the world, and that we aren’t trying to convert people to Atheism; they wouldn’t have a book to write.

I might finish the book just for the hell of it. It’s a small book with a large point font and written at a 5th grade level. It shouldn’t take long to read, and I’m curious to see how much more Christians don’t understand Atheism.