Archive for May, 2006

Back To The Move

We finally finished the moving process last night. Toward the end of last week I moved everything out of the old apartment besides the large turtle tank. I knew this would be a two person operation, especially since the tank is four feet long and must weight a hundred pounds or more. Anyway, we successfully moved the tank last night and only broke one end of the tank trim. I should be able to easily fix that though.

When I started filling the tank I was amazed by how unlevel it was. Being the quick thinkers that we are, we added two furniture coasters to one end of the stand to level it a little more. It still isn’t perfect but that shouldn’t matter since I don’t fill the tank up completely. At least I hope it won’t matter.

While at the apartment we also made sure that everything was as clean as possible and ready for some new tenants. The landlord still needs to repair some water damage coming from units above and then paint the walls but we’ve done what we can. Now we just need to get our deposit back and we’ll be done with renting! It’s a great feeling.

Minneapolis And St. Paul

After working a shortened day on Friday I flew out to Minneapolis and met up with Kim. She was already in town on business and had part of our first night planned. She decided that we should have dinner at Maynard’s on Lake Minnetonka after taking suggestions from the agents she met with. We arrived to find a two hour wait for the outside deck so we opted to eat inside and just have a drink outside while waiting for a table. The lake areas around the twin cities were especially crowded due to the unseasonably warm weather. The food was good but I was especially happy to stumble upon a beer that I loved, Summit Extra Pale Ale. I had quite a few of these throughout the weekend.

After dinner we headed to downtown Minneapolis where the hotel was located. After a quick stop by the room, we headed out to an area just north called Nicollet Mall. My favorite stop of the night was Brit’s Pub. In fact we liked it so much that we went back the next day. They have an incredible rooftop deck that includes a large grassy area where they play lawn bowling. When we arrived on the first night it was too late to see it being played. We went back the next day hoping that we would be able to play, but we were only able to watch since they had reservations already for most of the day.

I’m getting ahead of myself though. Early on Saturday we headed out to the Uptown area and Lake Calhoun, which is not nearly as far out as Lake Minnetonka. We had lunch at Figlio and then spent some time walking around the lake. There were tons of people out walking, running, rollerblading, biking, or just lounging in the sun. I guess Minnesotans really take advantage of the nice weather since they are likely cooped up all winter.

After getting a little too sweaty for vacation we explored some more areas of Minneapolis including the Metrodome, St. Anthony Falls and Heritage Trail, and the Warehouse District. While in the Warehouse District we had a drink at O’Donovan’s Irish Pub, followed by standard bar food from the Imperial Room. Later in the night we checked out the Shout House for an hour or two. The long day caught up with us though and we headed in before closing down the bars like we had done the night before.

Sunday we checked out of Minneapolis and into St. Paul. Before we did that though we headed to Minnehaha Falls for great sights and more trail walking. After feeling our legs burn once again we headed towards St. Paul. Once we were checked in, we finally made our stop at Mickey’s Diner for some good greasy food. From there Kim convinced me to check out Body Worlds with her. After getting over the disgustingness of the exhibit you can actually learn quite a bit about the human body, although I’m not sure I ever got past the almost puking stage. After that I was ready to get back to the normal routine. We made a couple stops for drinks and then had an excellent dinner at the Wild Onion. Once we finished dinner we were pretty worn out once again so we decided to retire for the night.

After checking out yesterday we drove around the Minnesota Capitol building and the Cathedral of St. Paul. Both were incredible sights to see and I hope that my pictures turned out okay. From there we drove back down toward the airport and made a couple of long stops at Ikea and the Mall Of America. This was my first trip to an Ikea store although I’ve heard lots about it in the past. We found all sorts of things that we loved, but unfortunately couldn’t take them back with us on the plane. We almost bought a new coffee table but decided that the extra charges wouldn’t be worth it. The Mall Of America is also an amazing place that words cannot truly describe. It is so large that I think we covered only one fourth of it and we were there for a couple of hours.

Obviously we had a very busy weekend but it was a great one. I really enjoyed spending time in the twin cities, especially in downtown Minneapolis, and hopefully I can do it again sometime soon. I have always counted Minnesota on my states visited list even though I only drove through the southeastern corner. Now I feel that I can truly say that I’ve visited Minnesota.

Minneapolis on Dwellable
Quack! Quack! Quack!

We’ll be spending the holiday weekend in Minneapolis and St. Paul, the twin cities, two cities that I’ve never been to. Luckily Kim has been there multiple times on business and actually is there right now meeting with agents. I guess I’ll have to rely on her to decide what to do. I tried to research locations for where The Mighty Ducks was filmed but didn’t get very far. The only thing I’ve found is Mickey’s Diner, which was used in all of the Mighty Duck movies.

I was a huge fan of the movies, especially the original, when they first came out. I thought it would be neat to see some of the sights that appear in the movie, like Hans’ pro shop, the lake that Gordon takes the limo on, the home rink for the Hawks, etc. The only other thing I’m sure we can find is the Mall Of America, which appears in multiple Mighty Duck films along with some other movies. Perhaps I’ll run into Charlie Conway and he can show me the way…

Silly Wabbit

We went out and bought a dog crate last night from PetSmart. I know what some of you are thinking (Phil). No, we aren’t getting a dog. Our rabbit needed a new cage. Some of you have probably seen and heard the obnoxious cage we had him in before. Not only was it purple, but Amstel was free to move it around wherever he wanted since it was so light. Trust me when I say that he took advantage of the situation and moved it around often, which was never a quiet process.

Anyway, upon moving into the house I decided that this old cage would not be allowed in the house except for the basement. So when we moved Amstel over to the house he went straight into the basement. That was until yesterday morning. Before heading into work I went down to the basement to feed him and give him fresh water. What I had discovered was a flood that had mostly confined him to sitting on a telephone book. I moved him into a much dryer spot in the basement and decided that we would have to get a more attractive and less annoying cage that could be moved out of the basement. So that’s what we did last night.

Amstel is now on the main floor of the house in a smaller but better cage. He does appear to be much happier already. We’ll probably let him out of the cage each night for some exercise but we have to keep our eye on him otherwise he will quickly get into trouble. I’ve discovered so many chewed up wires during the moving process. Silly Wabbit!

Office Layout

Over the past few days I’ve moved almost all remaining items into the house. As of now the only things left in the apartment are the turtle tank, along with the stand and other supplies, and a large mirror. Kim is coming back to Kansas City tonight so maybe we’ll move more of the remaining items. We have exactly one week left on our lease and we’ll only be in town for half of those nights. The deadline is quickly approaching.

Not only can I not move the turtle tank by myself, I also am not sure where to put it. Once it’s placed somewhere it is pretty difficult to move again, unless the entire thing is drained. I’m leaning towards putting it in the office, like it was in the apartment, but I’m unsure where the office furniture is going to go. Phil and I are still planning to install a cable outlet into the office but we haven’t done it yet. Once that’s done I’ll know exactly where the computer desk should be placed. Then the other desk, book case, and tank will have to fit around it. Perhaps it’s time I gave SketchUp a try.

Slimmest Wallet On Earth

After waiting over two weeks, I finally received my Slimmy in the mail! The shipping delay was blamed on the huge demand they received after their products appeared in several blogs. I had multiple reasons for ordering the new wallet. First, I blame the pains that I often have in my back in neck on my old thick wallet. I’m not sure if it’s the real culprit or not, but I guess we’ll find out. Second, the old wallet was wearing out some of the back pockets in my pants. The Slimmy is slim enough to keep in my front pocket and I am planning to keep it that way. This is also a more secure way to carry your belongings, although I doubt I have to worry about that much.

I’m in love with the Slimmy thus far. I followed their recommendations and put the little cash that I do carry in the first slot. Continuing on I put two bank cards, one credit card, and my drivers license in the second. The third slot will be used for receipts for my purchases which I actually do keep until they clear the bank. I don’t see the need to carry much more than that and I could probably cut out one of the cards if I needed to. The nice thing with the Slimmy is that it starts off very thin in size but can expand to accommodate many cards. So despite the shipping delays I am very happy with my purchase so far.

Jessica And Ryan

I’m back from a nice extended weekend in Greensboro for Kim’s cousin Jessica’s wedding. We took the first flight out of MCI at 5:45am Friday morning and after a delayed stop in Atlanta we were arrived in Greensboro. Immediately Kim was busy with a bridal luncheon and then the rehearsal. I spent most of that time lounging around the hotel pool and later met up with her at the rehearsal dinner. After eating a great meal and hearing a few toasts everyone went back to the hotel for a little after party.

Kim disappeared early on Saturday morning to get her hair done and then for pictures. I spent the afternoon at the pool once again. This time Kim’s brothers all joined in on the fun. Later we raced some go-carts and then rushed off to the wedding. I took some pictures from the front row of the church that I’ll have to sort through this week. It was a nice wedding and everyone looked great! The reception was later in the evening and was a lot of fun. Kim’s brother Jason had so much fun that he broke his foot while dancing all night long. Congratulations once again to Jessica and Ryan!

Phat Boy Is Phorty

Today is our friend Phil’s 40th birthday, so happy birthday to him. We met up with Phil last night at the Brooksider to help him celebrate climbing over that big hill. We finally got to sit on the outside patio instead of in the smoky confines of the bar. It was a nice night out and I’m glad we finally took a little break from the moving.

Speaking of the move, I would say we are now 98% done. Christie met up with us at the apartment last night to assist us with the remaining kitchen items along with other miscellaneous stuff. After tonight I’m hoping that everything will be out of there besides my fish tank and turtle tank, at the most. If we can move some of that tonight I will be even happier.

We fly out super early tomorrow morning headed for Greensboro, NC. One of Kim’s cousins is getting married and Kim is a bridesmaid. After this weekend, Kim will be gone most of next week so I’ll have to finish up the move all by myself. :(

Analyze This

I won’t bore you with more details on our move. We ate pizza again, we moved more stuff, etc. We are about 95% done now, thanks to help from Maria last night.

I will bore you with geek talk though. I’ve been waiting to get an invitation to Google Analytics for months now, and yesterday that invitation finally came! “Google Analytics tells you everything you want to know about how your visitors found you and how they interact with your site.” Basically it’s a site counter and statistics compiler. I’ve used other services in the past, and still use StatCounter quite a bit, but I’m excited to see how Google’s service stacks up against the others. I’ve added analytics code to both and but I’m still waiting for data. According to their site it usually takes 24 hours before data will begin to appear. That means I’ve got about three more hours until I’ll get the full experience. Stay tuned for a review…

Update: I was finally able to view some stats from yesterday’s hits. One thing that is disappointing is that Analytics is not real time. You cannot see the results of today’s hits until tomorrow. I also noticed that I could not find a full referral path for people who are hitting the site. It’s easy to find the referring domain, and with some digging you can figure out the referring page, but if there are any query strings tied to the referral you cannot see those, or at least I have not found a way. Those are the two complaints that I have so far. Other than that I’ve really enjoyed digging through the pages of stats. This is much better than my current StatCounter, which will only show the last 100 hits. As Analytics is only currently available by invitation, I hope this means they are still working on more features.

Pizza! Pizza!

Things have been very busy around here. Not only do we have our move to deal with, but I also have my company’s move as well. Our office isn’t physically moving anywhere but we are starting the conversion process to Harris. Yesterday we had another full staff meeting to discuss the mound of paperwork that we now have to fill out and turn in by the end of the week. We’ve got the works: W-4’s, direct deposit setup, pay schedule, confidentiality agreements, conflict of interest, substance abuse policy, etc. I’m going to need an extra day this week just to get through it all.

Last night we brought over more things in the kitchen from the apartment to the house. Now we should actually be able to eat something besides pizza for dinner. I’d love to eat pizza everyday but I think Kim is getting tired of it. That or she is becoming brainwashed, because I think she was asking about specials at Papa John’s for tonight. Welcome to the world of pizza addiction, population two.