Category Archives: Personal

Business Trip to Portugal

I just came back from a business trip to Aveiro, Portugal. What a beautiful place! It is a very vibrant university town that lies about 6 km from the ocean. It is known as the "Venice of Portugal" because of its system of canals, which is a legacy of the old days when Aveiro was a major source of sea salt for the region (Figure 1). The climate is warm, with a very substantial breeze that blows out toward the Atlantic ocean. I liked my visit so much that I plan on bringing my wife on a future trip. Continue reading

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I Am Now A Grandpa

I am bursting with excitement right now. My youngest son and his wife now have a little girl. The baby arrived about 3 weeks early, but both mother and baby are doing fine. I could not be happier for their family.
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Video of Wild Cat in Northern Minnesota

Like me, a number of my coworkers have cabins in Northern Minnesota and most of us have cameras that record activity on our properties. A coworker came in the other day with this video that shows a wild cat going by one of his cameras. I am not sure what kind of cat it is – probably a lynx. This site is not far from the Canadian border. Maybe one of you out there can identify it? Continue reading

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Age of Presidents at Inauguration

I was crawling around the Wikipedia looking for presidential information, and I found a list of the ages of the US presidents ordered from oldest to youngest. I threw Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump into the list (Table 1) to see where they would place – they are old by historic standards. In fact, Donald Trump would be the oldest ever. Continue reading

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Educating Children Is Expensive, But Ignorance Costs More

Paying school bills is certainly not the only expensive item for parents. I often tell people that the most expensive movie I ever took my sons to was The Mighty Ducks – it cost me about $5k per year for a number of years. This was roughly the cost back in the 1990s of having two kids in traveling hockey. After my sons saw that movie, they were determined to become hockey players. Continue reading

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Working While Standing

For the last two years, I have been working from the standing position. While I would like to say I work standing because it is supposed to be healthier, I actually work while standing because I was having some issues with numbness in one of my feet, and working from a standing position eliminated this problem. While it took a bit of time to get used to, I now prefer working from the standing position. In fact, I am now setting up my garage-based shop area for standing work. Continue reading

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All In A Day's Work on Puget Sound

Quote of the Day Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. — Abraham Lincoln. This quote reminds me how important preparation is to the success of any endeavor. … Continue reading

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Ice is Almost Out at My Cabin

I love this time of year in Minnesota. I have setup cameras around my cabin in northern Minnesota so that I can see what is going on up there. I have been watching my lake go through the entire thaw process – it is almost clear of ice (Figure 1). I plan on being up there quite a bit this summer. Continue reading

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How to Read a Book

Last week, I was having a conversation with my youngest son about how I read the books that I own – he sees that I vigorously engage with these books, and he was wondering why I read this way. I shared the following story with him, and it may be of interest to some of you. Continue reading

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45-Star US Flag Heirloom

A friend showed me a family photo of a 45-star US flag that was purchased in 1898, which was the year their grandfather was born. Figure 1 shows an example of the flag in their photo. The flag, which is quite large, is often used as a backdrop for a family photos. The flag is carefully stored and only taken out for special events, like reunions. I think this is a great use for an old flag. Continue reading

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