Saturday, September 29, 2007

Spent 15 Years in Indiana...

Well not in Indiana, exactly. That was just for the Jack Logan fans out there. But this weekend were the festivities for my 15 year college reunion. It was good to see some old friends, but there were only a few that I hadn't seen in more than 6 months or so. I think the 15 isn't one of the big ones that draws folks in from out of state, so it was mostly the local folks at the bar last night and down on campus at St. Olaf today.

Since college I have:
  • Traveled fairly extensively. I've driven across all the northern tier of states and all the bordering provinces of Canada. Right after college I had some great camping road trips with my friend Dave. We hit Glacier, Banff, Quebec City, Montreal, Maine, the maritime provinces. All great trips, the first one to grad school in Missoula, MT in my old 1980 Ford Fairmont Futura. As my career slowly inched along and my salary increased from the original $18,000 I started going abroad: Norway, Finland, Russia, Italy, Iceland, Morocco, Spain, Czech Republic, Austria (and Peru next Spring).
  • Dated fairly extensively. Sure, for the first several years I hardly dated at all. When I went to college I just assumed that everybody met their future wife in college. But I was pretty quiet and didn't step out too much. Then I was quite content to be a single guy in my 20s, but I've made up for that in the past 5 years. I guess when I hit 30 I realized that it was up to me to put forth a little effort to meet a girlfriend. So recently I've been dating a lot and starting to feel like I might have missed my chance to find The One. It's becoming increasingly frustrating to go out on dates and have one of us be interested, but not both.
  • Lived in MT and UT. I did one year of grad school in Missoula, but mostly I went there for a change of scenery (having spent my entire life in MN) and to ski. The skiing was great, but I wasn't entirely into the school thing (math -- operations research). But Missoula is a great town. After returning to MN I worked the cubicle life for three years before convincing my buddy Steve to move to Utah with me. We got a lame apartment in a suburb of Salt Lake City and I worked the first year as a lift operator at Alta. That was an awesome year. Next year I worked at a lodge at Snowbird next door. These were two terrific years of skiing almost every day.
  • Bought a condo in Lowertown St. Paul. I like it here.
  • Driven the same car for 13 years.
  • Played in a rock band for 6 years. Those were good times, too, and probably would not have happened had I gotten married in my 20s (and potentially started cranking out kids).
  • Ran 4 marathons and 1 triathlon.
All in all, it's been a very good 15 years. I'm very happy with the experiences I've accumulated in that time, but feel like I'm ready to move on to the next chapter.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Field Study

Got a great email this morning from a fellow student in the MBA program I'm working on. My cohort of 18 classmates and I are in our 2nd (and final) year of the program and are responsible for a Field Study. Field Study means we partner with an actual company to help them solve some real world problem.

The "great" part of the email was the idea that Brooke wants me to help her with. It involves a new eco-friendly/green/sustainable business that is being opened in town by a successful pair of local entrepreneurs. They need a little help with a business plan and we're going to assisst! I'm very excited because for the past few years I've realized that my dream job is to be an eco-architect. You know...designing sustainable architecture. I've been quite passionate about this, but not necessarily passionate enough to enroll in a 4-year degree program at this stage of my life. Though maybe I should. I dunno. Anyways, as a fallback I've also been interested in eco-entrepreneurship. This is something I could dedicate a large chunk of my life to and feel good about it, unlike many corporate jobs that do nothing for me spiritually.

So I'm psyched and looking forward to getting started. Hopefully this won't get shot down for any reason. I assume it has to be approved by the professor or something. But hopefully it'll give me some great experience in the green entrepreneurial realm and maybe I can meet some people to work with later on.

Draft Last Night

FanHockey draft was held online last night and I think I came out alright. I lucked out by drawing the 3rd overall pick and was quite pleased when Dany Heatley was available. But I made two slight mistakes due to my incompetence with the draft gui, delivering me Niklas Lidstrom a little earlier than I wanted and Shane O'Brien as my goon instead of Brendan Witt. Shouldn't hurt too much, though. Looks like the teams I'll most be following this year are Ottawa, Tampa and the Wild. I think I have 3 players from each team on my roster.

Yeah, Heatley was a Badger, but I'm an equal opportunity appreciator of former college players when they make it to the NHL. I just enjoy seeing the college game churning out more top-notch talent than ever, because college puck is my favorite sport.

Rest of my squad, Third Man In, includes (but is not limited to):
Dany Heatley, LW, OTT
Brad Richards, C, TB
Niklas Lidstrom, D, DET
Brian Rolston, RW, MIN
Paul Kariya, RW, STL
Paul Martin, D, NJ
Ray Emery, G, OTT
Josh Harding, G, MIN
Martin St. Louis, RW, TB
Shane O'Brien, D, TB
Mike Cammalleri, C, LA
Eric Belanger, C, MIN
Simon Gagne, LW, PHI
Wade Redden, D, OTT
Michael Roszival, D, NYR

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hockey Season Nears

NHL and college hockey seasons start soon and that's always an enjoyable time for me. Again this year I'll be getting the NHL Center Ice package so I can watch all the games I want on cable. The beautiful thing about the NHL package as opposed to the NFL one is that the NFL games are all played at the same time. While for the NHL you get games 7 nights per week, a far superior value!

Tomorrow night is my FanHockey league draft. This will be the third season I've done this and I've fared quite well in my 12-team Yahoo leagues including players from across North America. I think both years I took 2nd place, just losing out in the last week the first year. I don't know yet what draft position I'll have, but I've done enough basic preparation to feel good about it. You only get 1 minute to make your pick so you really have to act fast or else it will auto-pick for you.

I dig college puck, too. Just saw that UND got the cursed position atop the Grand Forks Herald's annual preseason coaches poll. The team receiving that seeding rarely actually wins the McNaughton Cup as regular season champeen of the WCHA. Gophs were picked 2nd.

And, Bucci's first column of the year is up. He seems to be the lone hockey guy at evil ESPN, but does a tremendous job. He has great insight, makes surprisingly accurate predictions, and is a joy to read.

The War

So I've been watching The War on PBS this week. I'm DVRing it (of course) and am midway through the 2nd night. I guess it's kinda crazy to think that there are people in our country who aren't familiar with the atrocities and level of devastation, but then it's also kinda crazy that I cease to be surprised by these statistics of ignorance.

That Ken Burns sure does a good job with these massive documentaries. I'm sure he's pleased to be making these records that will be viewed by future generations as their window on history.