Archive for March, 2008

I Married MacGyver!!!

Posted by Karen in Bruno, Day to Day, School.
Sunday, March 30th, 2008 at 10:20 am


I totally loved the show MacGyver when I was little and had a monster crush on him (along with then Milwaukee Brewer Paul Molitor and our local news anchor, Mike Gousha).  So I couldn’t be more delighted that I am now married to the real-life version! 

I had set up a work station upstairs for my masters project awhile ago, and last weekend I actually started working on it again (and there was much rejoicing among parents).  I still have a bunch of interviews to transcribe, and that’s a great way to start since I need to refresh myself on the work I did before I can work on my paper.  So I sat down to start transcribing, and the power on the transcriber wouldn’t go on.  It worked fine the last time I used it and has just been sitting there ever since, and I mean I know it’s been awhile but it’s n20080330082459_macgyver.jpgot like it’s been years! Or… uh… not more than 2 years…  anyway… whatever.  So I realized the whole electric outlet wasn’t working, and neither were any of the outlets upstairs.  It wasn’t a fuse, so I was stumped.  Nate came to the rescue of course and fixed it (and I still don’t quite get it).  But the power light on the transcriber still wouldn’t go on.  Nate pulled out his magic power senser thingy and determined that it was the power cord.  So I said ok, I would go buy another one.  But he informed me that I would not likely be able to find one because he had never seen one with an end like that (looked20080330082628_macgyver1.jpg like any old power cord to me…).  Ok.  So he found another cord that had the same voltage, cut them both in half and rewired them back together.  Whoa.  And then it worked.  But the transcriber has a speed control, so you can slow the tapes way down or speed them way up, and now, even the slowest level was pretty fast.  So then Nate took the freaking thing apart, adjusted it, and put it back together!  All is now well in the world of tape transcribing.  But if it weren’t for him, I would still be trying to figure out how to make the outlets work!
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Then last night we decided to participate in Earth Hour.  While I was pulling out candles, Nate decided to make his own.  It’s the one on the right, and involves a little bit of vegetable oil in a bowl, and a wick made from paper towel stuffed into a piece of pipe.  Nate decided to take it 20080330084025_lights_out.jpgfurther than just turning off our lights and turned off his computer… and then he got a little lost and confused about his place in the world. So he helped me make another batch of Bruno biscuits by candlelight, how romantic.

On a non-MacGyver note, yesterday we also took Bruno for a hike at Crosby Park, where I will soon be spending quite a bit of time.  We decided it would be a good time to start getting him20080330085314_doggy_backpack.jpg used to his doggy backpack.  We just got a new, bigger tent and can’t wait to take him camping, but dog friend’s gonna have to carry his own food.  Well I’m happy to report that it went quite well.  We put a water bottle in one side and some potatoes in the other, just to balance it out.  He definitely seemed a little extra tired afterwards, but I think he kind of liked having a job. 

And I leave you with a little old school MacGyver.  So dreamy… though I have to say, I selfishly prefer that my MacGyver’s mad skills are applied to household tasks rather than life-threatening confrontations with terrorists and corporate bad guys!

Why I don’t post any more

Posted by Nate in Work.
Friday, March 28th, 2008 at 6:14 am


…well, one of the reasons anyway.  I somehow put off my preparation for a presentation I had to give yesterday on Google Analytics, so the last several nights I’d been trying to condense everything I wanted to say into 10 packed minutes.  Here’s the PDF of my slides and the notes I went off of – ended up mostly sticking to that script since I didn’t have time to ad lib.

It went well, I think people got excited enough they all ran home and put Google Analytics on their website…  :)

Organic IPA for my birthday!

Posted by Nate in Beer, Homebrewing.
Wednesday, March 19th, 2008 at 8:27 pm


Got an itch over the weekend to brew an organic beer for my birthday – which, at exactly 4 weeks away, had to happen soon.  Like tonight.

With the hop shortage and since I was playing around with ingredients anyway, I sort of threw a bunch of stuff together.  I mean, I had a plan, and it involved a lot of hops, but it was fairly seat-of-my-pants.  The good fun of the evening was I got to use my hopback: a little grant, or holding tank, full of hops.  The boiling hot wort flows over these hops and then directly into the counterflow chiller where it’s dropped from boiling to 75 degrees in seconds.  The result?  All the amazing hop aroma oils will be disolved into the hot beer and preserved as it cools.  The longer you keep them hot, the more flavor but the less aroma you get – this method gives you almost no flavor but a ton of aroma.  (Oh, and I put a bunch of flavor and bittering hops in too.  Mmmm, hops…)

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Cookie Monster Cupcakes!

Posted by Karen in Family.
Tuesday, March 18th, 2008 at 8:12 pm


20080318184916_me_ma_frosting.jpgGrowing up, my mom used to make cakes for every occasion, amazingly decorated with all these different colors and patterns.  But the best of all were these Sesame Street cupcakes that she made for me to take to school for my birthday when I was in first grade.  All the kids thought I was soooo cool.  So when my parents decided to make a trip up here for the weekend I asked my mom if she would teach me ho20080318190720_k_frosting.jpgw to make them.  Here is the result:  cookie monster cupcakes.  While they completely pale in comparison with the ones she used to make, I have to say, I’m pretty psyched at how they turned out!  Severely lacking in patience and motor skills as I am, it’s pretty amazing that they look even remotely muppet-like!  She wanted to teach me to make Oscar the Grouches too, but he is more challenging, with the head popping out of the trash can and all, and I was pretty maxed out after these guys.  Someday maybe…
 

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Things That Made Me Laugh This Week

Posted by Karen in Friends.
Saturday, March 8th, 2008 at 7:04 pm


Thing #1:

Thing #2:

Thing #3:

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Weekend Travels

Posted by Karen in Beer, Bruno, Family, Friends, Travel.
Friday, March 7th, 2008 at 1:01 pm


My BFF Katie is preggers and due in like a week and a half (yik20080305074811_bruno_ayla.jpges!) and  Nate, Bruno, and I recently decided to pay a visit to her, her husband Tim (who I’ve been friends with since high school), daughter Ayla, and dog Lofert in Madison.  Poor Lofert has had some leg issues, but is now on the mend, so this was the first time he and Bruno got to play and be best doggy friends.  And since licking babies is one of Bruno’s favorit20080307102230_tube_o_ayla.jpge things to do in the world, he was delighted to see 1 1/2 year old Ayla.  Ayla has started talking more, but has decided the world really needs a new language, and she is just the little lady to invent it.  She also decided that Lofert needed to be renamed Loooowwwwrrry, and we couldn’t help but agree.  Katie’s plans for world domination have really been slowed down by all this baby stuff, but I think it’s clear that Ayla is now ready to be on board. 

Ok so then we went to Colorado for a long weekend.  We started t20080307103306_n_k_snowshoe.jpghings off right by meeting my aunt and uncle in Denver at Wynkoop’s for dinner and yummy beer.  The rest of the weekend we somehow managed to squeeze in crossword puzzles, stuffed french toast breakfasts, lunch at the Pickle Barrel, a visit with the grandparents, hot tub time, dinner at a fun new restaurant, an O’Dell’s brewery visit, and good times wit20080305074139_pool.jpgh friends.  The weather was funny and gave us a 65 degree day that we made the most out of by going for a hike with the dogs, and then was I think around 40 the next day.  So that day we went for an awesome snowshoeing trip in the mountains!  We were able to get together at Coopersmith’s one evening with Troy and Scotty, and Rick was delighted to spank them all soundly at a few games of pool. 

I was really excited to see my friend Paula (who I went to college with in Duluth), her husband Todd, and their beautiful daughter 20080307102454_me_esme.jpgEsme!  Esme has the #1 all-time best baby hair ever!  She has a blonde mohawk that gets kind of squished up in the front, and then a short brown mullet in the back! No hair on the sides or in the middle of the back of her head!!!  It’s truly amazing.  Esme is super mellow and happy and just hung out all wide-eyed pretty much the whole time while we had dinner.  Todd told me some incredible baby poo stories that had me laughing so hard I almost passed out.  Parenthood seems to be really agreeing with them and it is a beautiful thing to see.

And last but not least… we went to a concert of the Irish band Solas! It was great!  They really are ridiculously amazing musicians.  After the concert they were hanging out at a table talking to people and signing  autogr20080305072844_solas_solas.jpgaphs.  Nate got all super shy and we almost punked out, but I realized it would be so stupid to NOT say anything, so we totally talked to them and told them our last name was Solas.  And then they asked us to join the band.  Ok, not really, but we did get this sweet Solas & Solas photo!

The Story of Stuff

Posted by Nate in Consumers, Ideas, Politics.
Tuesday, March 4th, 2008 at 11:42 am


So…  I fully intend to write a nice post about our recent trip to Colorado (awesome!!), but in the meantime:

Watch this.