Business Unusual

Rants from a working stay-at-home dad

Trainz Simulator + Griffin Powermate

January 20th, 2015 by Justin

My son Jules loves trains. I like trains too and my enthusiasm was probably the seed that grew into his obsession. My good friend Joe bought Jules a copy of “Trainz Railroad Simulator” for Christmas a year ago. It was in the bargain bin at Mills Fleet Farm:

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Racing, and seeing things through

January 5th, 2015 by Justin

My son has been pestering me for the better part of the year about this box which he keenly spotted in the garage:

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I hesitated because I didn’t know if there’s any sort of indoor track near Minneapolis that we could go to and race.

I had at many times contemplated selling it all since it had been boxed up since I moved back to Minnesota in 2008. Back then I inquired lightly at the hobby shop about racing outlets but didn’t get much traction. Besides with a baby on the way, who’s got time for hobbies?

A Defiant 5 Year Old

January 4th, 2015 by jessi

I want to assume we aren’t the only ones going through this. Our 5-year-old has really pushed the limits of our parenting, challenging us and causing us to go, “how the heck do we handle this?” I’ve been told this is a sample of how they’ll be in their teenage years but I don’t believe […]

Gmail extras SPF, DMARC, & DKIM with Bind

December 22nd, 2014 by Justin

When the internet really started catching steam, email was one of it’s flagship services. Back then it was simple but somewhat archaic – it’s goal was to be redundant enough to get your message through even if it required several tries. It was the digital equivalent of:

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Think of all the stuff that has been added atop of email such as encryption and MIME encoding to send attachments. But it was our must-deliver mantra that was used by the spammers for their personal gain. Then even more layers for spam and virus filtering were added. Spammers have sort of negated that “must deliver” image of email to where I click send and think, “I hope it will be delivered.”

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?

Marlo at 19 Months

December 7th, 2014 by jessi

This month we drove to Texas for Thanksgiving. You did ok on the drive but after a couple hours, you were done. You and Jules made each other laugh and scream and you cried to watch Elmo for the 4th time. You were actually pretty good when a movie was on. We took plenty of […]

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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