Sunday, September 28, 2008

"The car key." - A short story.

Here's a little short story with a not-so-good ending:

Last weekend, I saw my car keys in the garage on the floor near the door where our boys take off their shoes before coming in the house. I passed them several times throughout the day, as I was going in out of the house doing various things. I didn't really think much of them because I hadn't planned on going anywhere. Finally, Sunday afternoon as I was picking up (man, I'm such a good husband aren't I?), I finally lifted those keys off the floor only to discover the key to our new GMC Acadia was snapped in half!

Well, seeing the car was pretty new, I didn't want to just run to the hardware store and get some generic key made. I wanted to 'keep up appearances' by geting a factory GMC key. So during a lunch break during the work-week, I went to the local GMC dealer just down the road and showed them my dilemma. I was shocked to hear that the only way I could get a replacement key was through them or another GMC certified dealer ! They said the key had some ant-theft chip built into it so a normal hardware store made key would not have worked anyway. "OK.", I thought to myself before I took a bracing breath, calmly realizing I was at their mercy. I proceeded to asked, "So what's the cost of replacing it?". My heart sunk as the gentleman said, "$49.33 with tax". "Wow.", I thought to myself as I proceeded to open my wallet and hand over my credit card.

To this day, I don't know how that key was broken. I may never know.

The End.

Feel sorry for me? Leave a comment to help cheer me up. ;)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Check this out, it's called a Drobo and it's now handling all my backup needs here at home! After nearly losing my main server/drive about 3-4 months back,  I've been keeping my eye out for a easier, simpler and better backup solution. Before, I had 2 tandem external USB drives; one was was for daily, primary use, the 2nd external USB drives was used to backup the first. Backups were done on an irregular basis via a script I put together utilizing Microsoft's Robocopy (a tool part of the Windows 2003 Server Tool kit). Sure, I could have taken it a step further and automated the Robocopy script to run on a daily schedule or something, but I've heard some cool things about the Drobo ( through some of my favorite podcasts Isuch as Tekzilla and Macbreak Weekly). So when I heard the price dropped on the 1st generation models, I scooped one up!

Data Robotics, Inc has put together a nice looking yet power piece of of technology. This is much more than a simple hard drive enclosure. The Drobo can take up to 4 independent hard drives and accumulates the storage capacity along with allocating proprietary space for data protection. The idea of this is you load this up with normal, everyday 3.5" SATA drives that you can get everywhere theses days (like Best Buy or Target) slide them in the drive bays and virtually forget about it the rest! If a drive gets full or a drive dies/fails, simply pull it out and replace it with one of equal or greater size and your good to go, you don't even have downtime when this happens!

It's a bit spendy but still reacheable for most households (It's about $350 bucks). If you want to learn more, just let me know. I definetly recommend this for anyone that wants to store their digital photos, music and/or movies!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Carver Steamboat Days 5k results

OK so I am a bit behind on this one. This race was a few weeks ago and was before my inline marathon but  for the sake of you, my loyal readers, I had to post this one.

This was my 4th 5k race ever and wasn't feeling to great with the amount of energy (or lack thereof) I had during from the very start of this race. The weather was cold, on the verge of raining and no sun. The race took place at 8am at a local Park in Carver and started in the park on the trail system. The route was a bit weird; it started on the trail, weaved through a residential neighborhood then to a dead end which meant you simply went back the same way you came!

I think it was a combination of the 18 holes of golf I played the day before but like I said, the energy wasn't there. I managed through the race, pretty much on my own (no one nearby) except the end where someone came up on my fast (hell yeah, I sprinted the guy! To the finish line in fact!). Even though I wasn't feeling to greta about the race, it was a personal record for me! My time was 25 minutes 20 seconds, which beat my 1st race of the year in New Prague by a whopping 11 seconds. Check out the results here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Northshore Inline Marathon - 09/13/08

Wow, what a difference a year makes. This years' Northshore Inline Marathon was great! The weather was near perfect (for an early Fall morning race). Not too cold, no rain and especially no wind! My better half and I both had our doubts coming into the race (as we didn't train a whole heck of alot; maybe 3 times in the last 3 weeks or so), however, we kicked last years time by over 45 minutes! We both came in within seconds of each other: 1 hour and 55 minutes. See the results for this years race here.

I would like to say it was a smooth, easy ride but honestly it wasn't. Yeah, we were pushed a little bit cardio-wise but I would say the hardest part of the marathon is leg-work in combination of riding on the roads/highways and all the vibrations it causes on your wheels thus to your legs and body. You get spoiled training on the smooth, debris-free trails. In contrast, try riding you blades on 35W in downtown Duluth! Needless to say my leg muscles were tired and sore as well as my lower back by the end of the race.

This year we ran into our neighbor down the street during the race and ended up going most of the way with her before she proceeded on without us. I told my wife it was kinda nice; a little friendly competition kept us going! This year I also saw a few more spills and evidence thereof. Within the first few miles of the start, there was someone in the ditch covered with a space blanket along with a few race volunteers. Eeek. I also saw a few people with road rashes and bloody scrapes on their thighs, chins and hands throughout the race. I was just happy that hasn't happened to me yet. The worst spill of all was near the last stretch where we were within 200 meters of the finish line when we passed a 'bigger' fella who was having a hard time standing much less on blading. As I passed him I said, "Keep it going. Your almost there!". As I was about to cross the finish line, I looked back to see him take a spill nearly hitting my wife. Ouch! I felt bad for the guy.

After the finish and seeing our final time, we were both surprised and very happy. Needless to say we signed up for next years' race and are looking forward to possibly beating that personal record we now each hold. I guess we plan on good weather, that seems to be the key!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Here's a cool app that I've been using for some time now. It's called Twitter and it a sort of Instant Messenger/micro-blog/text messaging tool. What's cool about this tool, is the ability to just post something you have on your mind, what your up to or a question. If you noticed on the top right-hand side of this site, I have my Twitter posts displayed. Whats also cool about this app is that I have it linked into Facebook! So every time I post something on/through Twitter, My blog gets updated as well as my Facebook status!

You can use this tool is several ways. You can use either the web based application (, install a 3rd party application locally to your pc/mac/linux machine or have it tied in with your text messaging service on your mobile phone. Once your setup, you simply post something. Anything. Things that your doing, thinking of or simply something you want to share with others. The limitations are 140 characters or less, so make the post nice and sweet. You can see why is is used for short messages, just like a chat or micro-post. By logging into, you can search and add as many friends to follow as you want. So using the web based app or 3rd party app or mobile phone, you can get notified and read all the 'Tweets' that people you follow post. Obviously the more friends or people you follow, the busier things get. There are some people out there that I follow that have thousands of people they follow! Oh and all this is absolutely FREE.

If you want to follow me, add me by signing up for a free Twitter account and follow me. Here's my page on Twitter

Friday, September 5, 2008

Michelob Ultra - Lime Cactus

It's been awhile since a beer review...and that's probably because I haven't indulged as much this summer because of the training and races I've been part of... However, I've hear good things about the new Michelob Ultra beers, so I thought I would pick up some to try. I picked up a 6 pack of the Lime Cactus kind at my local liquor store and was impressed! Flavor was good, not too 'juicey' like a wine cooler or a Berry Weiss, it was a nice blend of beer, lime and cactus essence. If this one is any indication, the other flavors (Pomegranate Raspberry & Tuscan Orange Grapefruit) would be worth a try as well.

As in a previous post, I really dig the Miller Chill. I've had the Bud Light Lime a few times as well and like that too. I put this brew right up there in the mix. The good thing about this Cactus Lime is it has fewest calories calories (only 107 calories) of the other 2 and tastes just as good as well. On my next liquor store run, I'll probably get some of the other flavors (to try of course) but only when I have an excuse... This type of beer could ruin my reputation of being a man, I guess more 'manly' beer reviews and suggestions to come later!