Friday, May 30, 2008

Di and the grad Eric

Di graduates the last of her boys

Merry Maids: Best home cleaning in Central MN

We just started using the Merry Maids cleaning services here in the St. Cloud area. They are awesome! It is wonderful to come home to a clean house. Shelly, the office manager is very nice and responsive. Today, John, the owner, is doing our windows...inside and out. We had not done a good cleaning of the windows since we had moved in. The windows look great...definitely worth the price.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Alzheimers Q and A

FYI. Questions and answers about Alzheimers in NY TIMES. Click link to read.

Sent from KMcGrew iPhone

Pet peeves: Crooked poles #3

I rest my case.

Pet peeves: Crooked poles #2

Pet peeves: Crooked utility boxes

If one takes time to look while driving around housing developments,
one will see an epidemic of crooked utility/cable boxes. Here is one
minor example. Why can't the companies that install these do a better
job in getting things reasonably straight? These necessary evils are
ugly enough-- but when they point in all directions it compounds the
visual ugliness. I'll post another example in next post.

Todays weather sucks

Watch for bikers

I was sitting (in my car) at one of the busiest intersections in St. Cloud yesterday when this biker whizzed between my car and the vehicle in the lane to my left. I was surprised. I never would have expected a biker to be so aggressive and risky. Lesson to be learned - it is spring and we drivers with four-wheels need to be alert for those on bikes and motorcycles.

Humor: Just struck me as funny

This has NOTHING to do with the purpose of this blog. It just struck me as funny.

Understanding the Obama movement

Friends and family know that I've been a political junkie for many years. I've read many, many books on politics, esp. those dealing with presidential campaigns and presidents. I find them fascinating. With this in mind, I recently finished an EXCELLENT book that attempts to explain the extreme polarization and hyper-partisanship of contemporary politics. The book is "The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America" by Ronald Brownstein.

This is an extremely well written book that provides a historical account of why we have ended up where we are....and why the political masses are so turned off by contemporary politics. As I approached the end of the book, and as the author discussed (in broad strokes) the type of politician that may be necessary to heal the current partisan divide, I couldn't help but see the author setting the stage for understanding the current Barack Obama movement.

This excellent book gives me a better understand on why Obama may be riding a time-sensitive (window of opportunity) political movement.....he has arisen at a time when the political atmosphere is looking for someone with his message. Time will tell.

This is the best book on politics I've read in years

Caribou buzz

Although I'm a straight java guy, others might enjoy all the new
coolers featured at Caribou.

Video games: Good or bad?

Another article on the good and bad on video game use. This article tends to take the pro position. Click here to read.

Sent from KMcGrew iPhone

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Apollo HS wins bball championship

Congrats to Apollo HS (St. Cloud MN) for winning their subsection
championship tonight. Eric, Di's son, led off the bottom of the last
inning with the score tied. He beat out an infield grounder and
eventually scored the winning run. Di was VERY excited.

Caribou book nook: Richard is reading...

Rick, a Caribou regular, is reading this non-demoninational book on
spirituality. He described it as "very deep"

Happy anniversary Chris and Andrea

Happy number 8 to my son and daughter-law yesterday. They are the two
in the middle of the back row.

Di's sons outfit for Friday night

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

DJ Bitzen jewelers

Not the cheapest- but the best quality jewelers, with extremely
professional staff and service, in Central MN. Di and I love our
personal contact at the store in the Crossroads Mall--George Bachman.
If you go in, ask for George and tell him Kevin and Diane sent you.

Mini- statue feeders

We got these spiritual looking bird feeders at the Wild Bird Center
(see under "da best list"). Being so close to the ground they are
more like squirrel feeders. The squirrels park themselves on the heads
and eat until full. We fill with cheap feed. It gives the squirrels

Senior moments: It sucks getting old

Article on "senior moments" from APA. Click here to read.

Sent from KMcGrew iPhone

Di's son does well in HS playoff games

Click here for a story in the local St. Cloud Times. Diane has a senior son (Eric) on the Apollo HS team that is doing very well. Eric is also doing well (check box scores for Eric Schneider) and was part of the post-game interview. Next step in playoffs is tommorrow.

Sent from KMcGrew iPhone

Holiday station: da best in Central MN

The Holiday station and convenience store in St. Joe is the best in the area. Great service, very friendly staff, a great car wash and very good to-go coffee.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Visit Mars

We landed a rover on Mars this weekend. You can learn more about it, including viewing pictures from the rover, by clicking here.

Beer lovers web site

I've never been a beer drinker. If you are you might want to visit Beer Suggest. Beer Suggest is a niche wiki/social community for beer lovers. Y

Sent from KMcGrew iPhone

Memorial Day means HS B-ball playoffs

Granite City Brewery

Granite City Pub and Restaurant. Great restaurant and bar. The best steak salad in town.

Di's daffodils in full bloom

Natures View Landscaping: da best in Central MN

Leroy is da man!. His company did a wonderful job landscaping the lot for our new house and selecting some great sub's to do the under ground sprinkler system (Easy Green) and seed the yard (Ideal Lawns). A great company. Leroy is great to work with.

Easy Green: da best lawn sprinkler company

Call Easy Green and ask for Nate. The whole crew is great. Great responsive service

Humor: Made me laugh out loud

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Back in the day

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Anton's: Da best unique dinning experience

Di and I just returned from our favorite place for a fine, yet
whimsical, eating experience. Antons. Lady Di loves the lobster
tail. The prime rib is always perfect. The fresh popover's are their
signature feature. Da best. If you go request a covereed wagon table. This
eating place was featured in a MSP KARE 11 Jason Davis special. It is
a unique dinning experience. A must when you visit Central MN.

St. Joseph church

Saint Joseph, Saint Cloud, Saint Augusta, Saint -----------(fill in
the blank). There are many such little towns here in central MN,
reflecting the strong German Catholic heritage of the area. Of course,
each town also has a prominent Catholic church. St. Joseph church here
in St Joe is in this picture. The interior is not what I expected. It
is filled with light colored woods. A very beautiful interior. A must

Friday, May 23, 2008

Nutrition counseling @ Midtown Fitness

Fun: Collecting brains

Occasionally I run across fun and interesting things on the internet. I'll post those that seem funny or just weird. They will all be tagged under the "Fun" category label

Interesting post at Mind Hacks regarding a collection of brains of dead Russian geniuses. I don't think brain collecting is that easy or for everyone. jk

Squirrel wars: Victory part 2

This great feeder and hanging hook is our other weapon that has stopped the squirrels from eating our bird feed. It is hung from a high branch. It is hilarious to see a squirrel go to the nearby tree and jump, only to flounder to the ground when the bird feeding levers drop....due to their weight. They also try coming down the hook to the top of the feeder. It is steel and they can't gnaw it open...although they clearly have tried. I wonder how their teeth look now. They then sometimes try to climb down the tube, only to slip off or land on the weight-sensitive perches. They flounder to the ground...unhurt. But, it is a great viewing sport.

Us = 2; Suirrells = 0

Squirrel wars: Victory part 1

At the recommendation from Jan at the Wild Bird Center (see link at "IQ's da best...."), we purchased this fly-through feeder with squirrel baffle. First, this feeder attracts a ton of great birds (unfortunately, also the Starlings). The squirrel baffel has them baffled! 100% effective. Too bad squirrels.

Coffee computer

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Over a year ago I spilled a cup of coffee on the keyboard of my Sony Vaio laptop computer. The computer worked fine, but the keyboard was useless. So...what to do? I simply took a cheap external keyboard and mouse and plugged them into the USB ports. I attached the external keyboard on top of the laptops keyboard with Velcro. The above picture is the result. Although no longer my primary computer, and also not a mobile computer, my "coffee computer" now sits on my desk as a secondary computer devoted to certain functions.

I use the hard drive of the coffee computer as a place to back-up files from my primary working notebook computer. I also have my high-speed scanner hooked to this machine so I can have it scanning documents while I'm working on my primary computer. I also use it for email when my primary computer is in the middle of other tasks and I don't want to exit the tasks/programs.

Kind of geek-ish...but effective.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fire pit: Good times in MN

Life is grand in MN when one can enjoy an evening next to the fire pit
and there are no bugs.

Great weather today: 73 degrees

Mellow yellow

Who doesn't have the childhood memory of picking a bunch of these and
giving their mom a boquet. Springtime in MN.

Barack still on top-tracking poll

If you wonder where the news folks get that daily voting preference "tracking poll" number it is from the Gallup Poll folks.

My man Barack is maintaining his national poll edge over Hillary.

Sent from KMcGrew iPhone

Best financial services in Central MN

KDV is where I go for my accounting, tax, and financial advice. Chris Shorba (accountant) and Dave Hinnenkamp (financial advisor) are my team for my personal and business stuff. And, they are great and funny guys. They are awesome.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guide to your body- how to age well

Nice article in NY TIMES regarding a guide to your body and how to age well.

Sent from KMcGrew iPhone

Caribou buzz: My other stop

Here is a picture of the interior of the Caribou store outside of Crossroads Mall (they also have a kiosk-based one in the mall) in St. Cloud, MN. Manager Pam is great...she originally ran the store on 25th and Division. I also frequent this "bou, but not as regularly as the other.

Caribou buzz: My favorite place

Caribou Coffee at 25th Ave and Division street in St. Cloud, MN. My absolute favorite coffee house in St. Cloud. My second office. Jeannie the manager, and the barista's (Brenda, Jason, Derek, Kim and the gang) are da best. If you come in mention my name and blog....maybe I can get some free coffee beans, gift card, or something :)

Caribou buzz: Ethiopian dark roasmasters reserve

A dark roast on special at Caribou this week. I like dark coffee with a touch of cream. I sampled this brew...I liked it, but it had a slight bite at the end that may be a hint of blueberry. I still favor the Caribou and Obsidian blends.

Best paint store in Central MN

We got all our paint for our new house at Hirshfields in Waite Park, MN. They are now helping us with stain for our porch. Great friendly expert service. I'll be adding a link in "IQs da Best" later when at main computer.

Best master barber in Central MN

The best is Richard "Rick" Graf (320-230-9888). I've been going to Rick for at least
20 years. Also a regular at Caribou coffee. If you go see him tell him
I sent you.

Schizophrenic ad messages in mens room

I was standing at the mens urinal at the MAC sports complex this
evening ( yes, another HS bball game) and looked up to see the
following split ad. Top half for large portions of great food at local
restaurant--bottom half for weight loss services. Hmmm. Seems a bit of
a mixed message to me that made me chuckle.

Staying fit: Midtown Fitness

I've been a member of two health clubs in Central MN the past 15
years. I prefer Midtown Fitness because it is so real. Although it
may not have all the glitz and glamour of the newer corporate Golds
Gym, the breadth and type of people who work out at Midtown are real
folks- young, middle age, elderly, those just starting to those who
have been coming for years. And no real pressure to dress to impress-
just to "get r done"

Di and I are regulars.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fun from Boing Boing: Jet bike

 Gimages Maddox Pulsebike

You too can tear up your suburban sidewalks on a pulse jet-powered bicycle like this one. Engine designer Robert Maddox is selling pulsejets on eBay to outfit your own two-wheeler. Joel has more details and video at Boing Boing Gadgets. Link

Sent from KMcGrew iPhone

St. Joe meat market

The best meat market in Central MN. I had heard of this small town gem well before moving to St. Joe from nearby St. Cloud. This is one if Diane's moms (Theresa) favorite destinations. I guess I'm not alone in my review (click here for another independent review)

Loso's part two

Here are the wood floors mentioned in prior post. You gotta love small
town America.

Loso's grocery: A trip down memory lane

How many of us recall our childhood trips to the neighborhood grocery
store to buy candy and baseball cards? This small town experience is
still alive in St. Joe MN at Loso's. The wood floors are great-see
next mobile blog post.

Local Blend: Exterior

See prior post about LB.