Earth Day

It’s Earth Day and Caren, Ginny and I drove down to a bluff on the Mississippi south and east of Saint Paul. A beautiful Minnesota spring day welcomed us as did a warm sun. You can’t beat a bluff high above the river with some amazing views.

I can’t express how long the Minnesota winter was and how pleased I am that warm whether is finally here. We probably did a couple of miles and then headed back to home.

Being on the Mississippi is an under appreciated part of living in the Twin Cities.


I’m a little over halfway through my 30 day blog challenge and I’m struggling for things to write about. Part of the problem is that I am excited about my podcast idea (which expanded a bit more today after conversation with my wife), but I am trying to save all that for the podcast itself.

But I’m committed to the blog challenge, so here I write.

There’s a fair amount on my mind: this blog itself, the podcast, my week-long trip to Charleston next week, the actual beginning of spring here in Minnesota, helping my wife through her semester-end push in the coming weeks, a few work issues that need addressing, and finally a community project that should come to fruition when I return from Charleston.

This is all my life, my family, my neighborhood, my work and projects.

If anything all of this just reminds me to not accidentally read the news or scroll through Twitter (and/or unfollow a bunch of people).

Dilettante or not?

I’m probably a dilettante. My every day interests range across history, food, hiking while my career has switched from defense policy, trade policy, economics, nonprofit management and now finance.

Re-reading that, it’s not actually that broad. It’s all basically what used to be called political philosophy.

But I can’t actually say I’m a deep expert on any of those topics. I know enough to get paid, that’s all.

But that’s what the podcast is all about. Take something I’m doing anyway (reading history), and dive deep, share it with others who can’t dive deep, and learn something new (how to produce a podcast). Maybe I’ll still be a dilettante but I’ll be one with a new skill.

Hating on Ready Player One

I liked Ready Player One the book in the same way I liked The Da Vinci Code. It was entertaining, fun and quick. But it’s not a magnificent novel. Everyone knows this, right?

Given the hamfisted, obvious writing, I am also enjoying 372 pages we’ll never get back. Michael Nelson and Conor Lastowka of Rifftrax are mercilessly tearing apart the book chapter by chapter in a multi-episode podcast. Grammar, style, syntax, plot holes, the endless repetition, and the soulless pandering to Gen Xers like me are all fodder for them.

Highly recommended if you want a painfully detailed takedown of a NYT bestseller. Occasionally Mike and Conor seem legitimately offended that this book saw publication and that can be off-putting. But power through the hurt feelings and enjoy the brutal comedy.