Apple Picking, originally uploaded by Arvind Balaraman (Catching up :)

We got together with Jenna's family for photos on Saturday, and afterward we took Natalie and one of her cousins to a nearby orchard. The apples were delicious. The wine they made (with California/Washington grapes) was not good.

There were some animals off to the side of the barn. Natalie usually enjoys meeting new creatures. We saw a pair of cute pygmy goats and some sleeping bunnies. It was the first time she got up close to a horse, I think, and she reached out and petted it on the nose.

After football on Sunday we had to clear out for a showing. We went to the mall and I spent too much money on a jacket at Macy's; but then I always think clothes are too expensive. It's a nice fake leather jacket for fall weather. I like it. Maybe I'll keep it.

Sleep, darling

I wish you a wonderful weekend!...(^!~)... :), originally uploaded by ***irene***

I have a small
daughter called
Cleis, who is

like a golden
I wouldn't
take all Croesus'
kingdom with love
thrown in, for her


Travel Gear: Field Notes, F1 and Perfect Pencil, originally uploaded by Patrick Ng

I was writing about my career and my life and things I have learned about myself over the years, but I had trouble finding the words. Something about how I enjoy planning, building, and learning. Then Penelope Trunk posted this and the words were a mirror.

So in addition to this dead-on description:

"I am great in that [company building] phase of a business–-thinking, philosophizing, finding holes in markets, finding holes in ideas. I never give up. I always have another idea, and I don’t mind feeling lost day after day, week after week."
I would also add:

  • I love promoting other people. My paid job is a support role and that's where I gravitate in my side hustles. I get great satisfaction from being the one in the background who gets things done. In essense saying, "hey, look at these guys, check out the cool things they are doing."
  • I'm ambitious. I used to think that I lacked ambition because I didn't aspire to a high-paying job in a corner office. It turns out that is not true. When I am working for someone else I am usually content to do the best I can at the job I was hired to do. But when left to my own devices, I set extremely lofty goals for myself, and when I achieve one I just move the bar higher.
  • I need help. The other gem from the article is this: "the first sign that you are outside of your strengths is when you can’t make yourself do the work you need to do." My ambition won't allow me to back down from the projects I'm passionate about, but there's too much to do on my own. So I'll be trying something interesting this year: interns and teams.

Nickle Dickle Day

Downtown Waconia Minnesota, originally uploaded by FlappinMothra (busy unpacking)

Every year Jenna's hometown Waconia holds their "Nickle Dickle Day" celebration. It is a family tradition. We started off at the book sale where I filled a grocery bag full of books for $5. I think I got some good ones in there too. I just grabbed anything that looked interesting; I haven't emptied out the bag yet.

Some of our vendors sell stuff at the Urban Market and this was our first chance to visit. We stopped in and met the owner, Rebekah. They had some cute Japanese stickers which I bought for my 3-year-old niece.

There is an outdoor craft market in the park and car show. We looked at all four motorcycles in the motorcycle show too. My father-in-law got second place for his restored Honda Scrambler. Wooooo!


Massive Comic-Con crowd packed into the San Diego Convention Center, originally uploaded by glenn.batuyong

It all started with this. John Allison made a silly little comic about attending a fictional comics festival on Wednesday. By Friday night I have decided that this event should actually happen next year and, of course, I am up to the task.

This is how we do things around here. I get fired up about an idea and pour a lot of energy into it. Most of them fizzle and I move on to the next thing. Some have legs. The Craftstravaganza was an idea that worked. I figure I'm due for something new.

Right now I am poking around and trying to figure out if there's really a demand for an event like this, what in school they called a feasibility study. So far it seems like there is no local, alternative-styled, indie/web comics event*. It also seems like there ought to be one. If both those assumptions turn out to be true, I may be about to tumble down the rabbit hole again with this Next Big Idea.

*The closest thing I know of is the TC Zine Fest, which is awesome but not what I have in mind. The comic fairs that do exist seem to skew toward superheroes. Locals, feel free to correct me if I'm way off base here.


We took that push-around buggy car from the in-laws. Natalie still loves it like crazy. I go "vroom" when I push her around the yard in it, so she tells us she wants a ride by saying, "vuu vuu."


I finished building our composting bin!  Despite the lack of proper tools and any knowledge of what I was doing, it turned out pretty well.  I used scrap wood to cut down costs although it was much harder to cut and align.  As it turns out, the screen is the most expensive part by far.  

I cut all the joints with a hacksaw and a chisel.  Which took forever, and the resulting edges were not pretty, but the whole thing went together with the help of screws and a tube of wood glue.  I think the end result looks pretty good.  It holds all the yard waste we throw into it, which is the main thing.  Project: complete!


DJ Lance Rock, originally uploaded by techmeister

DJ Lance Rock and Brobee came to town on Saturday morning so I took the family to see them. We missed all but the end of the performance but we did run into some people we knew. We ate mini donuts and Natalie got a pinwheel, which she enjoyed pulling apart.

On Sunday Jenna slept in and Natalie came with me to the Minneapolis farmer's market. She petted a dachshund. I bought a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread from a guy wearing a Profane Existence patch (the bread is delicious).

Natalie started bobbing her head when we walked past the street guitar player. We stopped on the way out and he sang a jazzy rendition of the ABCs for her. For the next song he gave her a shaker and a bell so she could play along in her first collaboration. She was enthralled. I gave him a dollar.


Natalie took her first step! Does it count if she doesn't realize that she did it? She was standing, holding on to the coffee table, and just let go and toddled over to me. After a step or two she grabbed my pants and it was all over.

She has been standing on her own for a while now so we knew this was coming. Mostly it was unintentional. She would be holding on to something for balance, and let go to use her hand for something else. When she realizes what's going on, she usually drops to the floor. We also try to stand her up for practice; she hates that.

Anyway it was great that Jenna and I were both there to witness the first step. This little baby continues to amaze me.


saw, originally uploaded by Shannon K

Our family had a very rough weekend. It started out great: trip to the lake, good weather, tasty sandwiches. It went downhill from there and we were in a bad way by Labor Day.

Jenna got sick, feverish and exhausted. I sawed my hand. Natalie fell down the stairs. It was a nightmare and I don't want to talk about it any more. We're all okay now mostly (except for the psychic damage). At least one good thing did happen, but that's another story.


After the Harvest, originally uploaded by ToniVC

It's autumn. I can tell because I have to put on clothes before I go outside with the dog in the morning, otherwise I'm too cold. I will know it's officially winter once I need to shovel a path to get to the yard. I miss summer, but I hope it will be a long fall.