movie night

Mom's in  Monterey running the 1/2 marathon, Grace at the school dance, so Isabel and I ate pizza, pretzels, peanut butter cups and watched Incredibles 2

Ya,  that's our basement...  Got carried away building the family home theater.  You can read the details here, but basically I spent a couple of years worth or spare time conceiving and constructing.

movie night

Mom's in Minneapolis rockin' with Bono and friends. Grace is footballing and shakin' a leg at the post game dance... high schooler ya know.  So Isabel, her friend Claire and I decided to go big for movie night.


Inspired by the wet snow, I decided to build something today... It took three flashes, two light stands, a couple of cooperative kids, a tripod, and some heavy Photoshop work to stitch together 29 different photos.

it's beginning

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

and yes, Isabel has antlers.

double up

Grace had a teammate in the boat tonight.


Thanks to an extremely generous brother-in-law, we have a really big fishing boat for a couple of weeks.  The boat is something like 22 feet long, but under that big bridge and atop some unexpectedly large waves,  we felt a bit like minnows on an inland sea.

Thanks Mark!


Trying to stay strong while her back recovers from minor gymnastics injury.


Spent the night on the deck and noted two sure signs of summer; a lone mosquito, and freshly pinked toes.


or maybe just an impressive 6th grade band.

dog bed

Everyone seems to like Samson's new dog bed.


For every minute of piano practice, I spend two getting her there.  "Maybe if we moved the piano out of the basement, she'd have more fun playing," we thought... We not only moved it, thanks to, we upgraded to this beauty.  It's nearly as old as I, but a recent overhaul has it looking and sounding absolutely amazing.


ghosts & goblins

Apparently unafraid of the ghoulish theme, Grace put up some of her better scores of the year.

boo hoo back to school

First day of middle school and 4th grade... went well from what I hear :-)

music in the park

Here's another reason why Duluth was voted Outside magazine's best outdoors town.  Chester Park's weekly, and free summer concert series.  With sun and 70 degrees we took in local legend Charlie Parr playing at the base of Chester ski hill and it's towering old school ski jump.

Isabel brought a friend, they listened briefly, but spent most of their time scaling the ski slope.


ski jump

wind chill

The second of Duluth's two seasons is upon us...  Mosquito season.  Hoping that a bit of wind would help keep the pests at bay, I installed a ceiling fan on the deck.  While it does work,  you need a lot of fleece to deal with the wind chill.

pretty but...

While pretty, the girls are less than impressed with the late April snowfall.

tropical twist

The last meet of the year had a tropical theme... in the not so tropical St. Cloud, Minnesota.

warm hearts

Warm hearts, but at -16°F, pretty cold for Valentine's week.

paleontology ~ oh my!

The girls learning about  Allosaurus and Camptosaurus, two of the many dinosaurs on display at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

mouse hunt

A house full of Grandparents were on hand for "Mouse Hunt",  Isabel's winter recital piece.


Joined by another princess, and a Seussical single feathered Gertrude McFuzz, the girls braved some spooky sets for tricks & treats.



In my eyes a 7.4 seems pretty close to a 10.0... Grace however, seems to disagree.  Her disappointment was short-lived thanks to an uncle, auntie and quadruple grandparent turnout.  Thanks for coming everyone!


You've likely heard it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. Well, I know this welder guy who put his 10,000 hours in like 40 years ago... and he's still welding.  So if you're a master after 10,000, what are you after 100,000?


Ya see, I often come up with crazy projects that are a little out of my reach.  This bench being the latest example.  While I have some crude woodworking skills, my only welding skill is knowing who to call for help.  So I called this guy, sent some sketches, measurements and so on...   a few weeks later I had my frame.  Welded in a little garage, with poor equipment by a guy with 100,000 hours of experience.  The result is simply stunning.

When it comes to metal, my dad is simply genius.


dog days

Hot and humid for back to school week.

book nook

The cedar grove flanking our campsite was a great place to enjoy a good book, or in dad's case, a good nap.


or so it would seem... If you look really close you'll notice a white cord going from my ankle to our canoe camera left.



Isabel took to the trees this BWCA trip.  She ate breakfast and at least one dinner from this Cedar perch.


For our family, summers end is usually highlighted by a late August BWCA trip.  This year was no different, we paddled nearly 10 miles, portaged 350 rods (a bit over a mile), and slathered on two bottle of bug dope over 5 days.  The note we found on our final portage however, was something new...


Our friends Doug, Emily and their two boyz Gabe and Eli had set out two days prior with plans to rendezvous with us in the heart of the BWCA.  With the help of a rather impressive map, we shared two near perfect summer days swimming, and sunning on one of Cherokee lake's 5 star campsites.