Business Unusual

Rants from a working stay-at-home dad

Strong Citizen Challenge: Delivering Caramel Corn

December 8th, 2014 by Justin

In the summer of 2014 I became a member of Strong Towns, an organization that increasingly aligns with how I feel about the places we create, and the money we spend to do so. At the National Gathering, another member asked me what drew me to Strong Towns. The best way I could describe it was that it let’s me “Have my cake and eat it too.”

The Strong Towns message dispenses with the political polarization to get to the heart of the matter. Too long I’ve felt that discussions about walk-ability and bike-ability assume the role of the democrat, while prudent spending rhetoric aligns only with republicans. But taking sides politically, is not useful – especially in regards to local politics which center mostly around land use. In the same vein, it’s better that we get to know our neighbors, so when we disagree on civic issues, we can agree to disagree in a courteous way.

The latest Strong Towns challenge is to deliver goodies to your neighbors. Would this be difficult or awkward for you to do?

Stadium Builders License – an insider’s perspective

November 24th, 2014 by Justin

If you’re a Vikings fan, the time to get into the new stadium is now. I have been a season ticket owner since 2011, and a fan for most of my youth. I’ve always been one of those “root for the home team” type of guys. So when it was time for me to decide on buying seats in the new stadium, my wife wondered why I had cold feet.

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Winter cycling essentials: studded tires

November 10th, 2014 by Justin

It’s not technically winter yet, but let’s face it. By the time this is published, most of Minneapolis/St. Paul and the surrounding area will be covered in a blanket of snow. Judging by the single digit temperatures in the forecast, I think that winter has officially arrived and will be here to stay.

It was nice to see several people out yesterday (Sunday) on what was possibly the last nice day to ride. For those that want to forge ahead through ice and snow, I suggest studded tires.

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Marlo at 18 Months

November 7th, 2014 by jessi

Your hops are now legendary. And you’ve finally taken your first, second and even third steps. But you still prefer to scoot/hop. You have a few new words: bow, no, yes, hat, shoes, socks, Elmo, up, snack (which is really “nack”) and bus. Your new signs are car and yogurt. You want a bath after […]

Adding music to iPod Nano 6G in Ubuntu

October 27th, 2014 by Justin

With all new Apple i-devices moving to the lightning connector, I’ve found my alarm clock with it’s 30-pin dock connector has reverted to it’s 20th century radio-only state of use. I suppose I could use an adapter, but it seems like a great way to break something (by adding a longer lever).

Then I remembered I have a 6th generation iPod nano sitting in a drawer. You know, the one that looks like this:

Image courtesy PC Mag

But with older iPods that exist outside of the “App” and jailbreak realm, there a beast to contend with: iTunes.

Rice Creek S24O

October 13th, 2014 by Justin

What the heck is an S24O? It’s an acronym invented by famed Rivendell Bicycle builder Grant Peterson. It stands for Sub-24 Hour Overnight and he writes about it in his book “Just Ride”. Put simply, it’s a bike overnight where you’re gone for less than 24 hours. Since it’s short and you travel by bike, it limits the amount of “crap” you can bring.

I (possibly foolishly) convinced my family to embark on a 16 mile bike ride to the nearest campground, at Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Preserve. It wasn’t foolish because we lacked the muscle or equipment to undertake this endeavor, it was foolish for other reasons…

Marlo at 17 Months

October 7th, 2014 by jessi

Let’s start with the fun stuff (isn’t it all fun, really?). You talk. All.the.time. Your words are: Mama, dada, light, hot, night-night, choo-choo, no, hi, bye, more, cheese, eat, ball, shoes and I’m sure I’m forgetting one or two. You say more words than Jules did at this age. I assume it’s because you’re a […]

Racquetball is Not Tennis

September 29th, 2014 by jessi

Did I mention I’m taking tennis lessons? This was my attempt at saying, “suck it junior high tennis coach, I’ll show you I can play tennis!” because yeah, I tried out for the team and clearly couldn’t play. (20+ years later and getting my revenge!) Tennis is big on my mom’s side of the family […]