Archive for the 'Friends' Category

1 out of 6

Posted by Nate in Beer, Friends, Projects.
Thursday, October 25th, 2007 at 10:45 pm

1753050100_da87f898d8_b.jpgThat’s how I did in the beer identification last night at Town Hall’s Beerlympics: 1 correct answer out of 6 beers.  What.  The.  Hell.  I don’t know, I’m still trying to come up with an excuse.  Terrible.  The winner got just three, and I think he got the two I was pretty sure about but got the name wrong on one and sort of got mislead by the Belgian 1752233207_c893d2934e_o.jpgyeast in the other.  Talking to the brewer afterwards he said it was the same yeast as the one I guessed, and hell, it tasted the same to me.  Then there’s one I really have no excuse for, should have nailed it, which would have given me 4!  But did I get 4?  No.  Guess I’ll just have to go to Town Hall more this year to "practice".  :)

1753081206_81ef634ffd_o.jpgWe got third place overall, though!  Cody was DQed in the chugging cause he has a leaky mouth – they thought he dribbled too much, even though it was just a few drops.  Boo.  He had the fastest time, too…  Scott was amazing in the quarter bounce – he found his rhythm and I think had 10 in a row at one point!

1752310521_1cf0212e93_o.jpgBut I have to find a new word to describe the awe in which I now hold the eating machine named Peter: 5 brats in 5 minutes.  I’m talking big, greasy brats and buns, none of this little hot dog stuff.  Unreal.  I’m wishing someone had a video phone and I could go find a clip on Youtube of him tearing his shirt off after brat #3.  Oh, my.  First place in the brat eating contest!!

In other news:

  • The wakeup system is moving along nicely.  I found a way to remove the optical sensor piece and am instead monitoring the voltage directly, which gives me a much more reliable (and faster) way to sense when the alarm is going off.  We’ve had it in our room this last week with just a few LED lights instead of the final fixture (the kit for that dimmer just arrived yesterday), and it’s been working pretty well.  I think it will be better once it’s generating more light, and once I stop waking up early every morning wondering if it’s going off soon.  Should be fully operational by next week when I’ll try to document it better!
  • This is probably officially the latest in the year I’ve been continuously biking to work, and it rules.  There were a ton of birds singing yesterday along the Greenway, the weather’s been chilly gorgeous, and I even saw a deer last week!  I’m feeling more and more confident that if the route is ridable the cold is something I can handle with good gear.  And my definition of "ridable" is getting broader, so here’s hoping for a good winter of bike commuting!

1753155212_db8bb5ebd6_o.jpg That’s all for now!  Karen and Cody and I are heading to Chicago this weekend for a halloween party, should be a blast!

(sorry, I don’t know what sort of gang sign I was going for there, but it just looks like I’m hugging myself…)

[All photos courtesy of Peter’s Flickr page]

Party at Town Hall, Raffle fundraiser!

Posted by Nate in Friends, Wedding.
Friday, October 19th, 2007 at 1:45 pm

img_5916.jpgFirst, Eric posted some wedding pictures to his flickr page, including what might be the best dance picture ever.  Also here’s a link to Freddie’s pictures from the weekend, check them out if you haven’t already.

Second, time for a long-overdue post about the party and fundraiser at Town Hall!  Karen had this img_5940.jpggreat idea about wanting to be able to wear her wedding dress for other occasions, and after a little dye-job by yours truly, it ended up being absolutely gorgeous!  Most importantly, it matched the dress that Ophelia was wearing…

We had decided to have a rafflimg_5929.jpge for fabulous prizes and send the money via SMA to help our friend Alfreda with her schooling in Ghana.  Steve helped get some pictures for the poster, and Alfreda had time to email us a nice letter that we incorporated.  It came out very slick looking and the raffle was a great success!

img_5930.jpgWe posed for a picture for Alfreda and Samuel: lookin’ good…

pict0095.JPGFabulous prizes!

img_5984.jpgYou can see how excited everyone was with their winnings – and for a great cause!

img_5980.jpgMadeline can’t believe their luck – or was it rigged??

pict0098.JPG… after all, that’s their baby picking the winning tickets!!  Hmm…

(Official disclaimer: Baby Francis was an unwitting participant in the alleged "rigging".  As in most child cases, the blame lies with the parents.)

img_5966.jpgNate and Joe compare beards.  I think he’s winning, but it’s close.

All told, a great party!  It was wonderful to see so many friends we weren’t able to squeeze in on the North Shore, and celebrate in a more informal environment.

Stay tuned for more Town Hall pics next week as Nate, Cody, Peter, and Scott prepare to enter the Beerlympics!!

Holy update, batman!

Posted by Nate in Day to Day, Family, Friends, Work.
Thursday, August 9th, 2007 at 10:02 pm

Well, I finally remembered the password to the blog so I can update it (just kidding, we were just busy)…

j_bach1.jpgA belated picture from Justin’s baseball game bachelor party – he got to play a game on the field and had to try to throw balls past a goalie.  My only gripe with the Saints (hi, Cody!) is that their fabulous prizes are sometimes just medium.  Ah well, we tailgated and a good time was had by all!

veggies.jpgKaren and I are once again part of a CSA share – that’s Community Supported Agriculture.  We’re splitting the share with two friends, so we’re getting half – but believe me, it’s a lot.  Today, for instance: breakfast was CSA potatoes, green pepper, bought corn and onion and hot pepper, and friend’s tomato slices, lunch was slow-cooked cabbage and apples and spices, and so on.  Lots of veggies.

s_car.jpgSierra’s POS car finally died an ungraceful death.  I believe it’s been towed and donated as I type.  The brakes went out on her in rush hour traffic on the interstate.  Unreal.  There was just enough pressure she could slow by pumping the hell out of them…  Glad she’s safe, and glad that guy’s gone.  This shot is her getting the last of her stuff out after we abandoned it in front of someone’s house for the weekend.

brunoellie.jpgWe dog sat a beautiful white lab-ish dog from Nicaragua – via friends of Sierra but currently being minded by the Walshes while the friends hike the Appalachian Trail.  Wonderful dog, but shed an unbelievable amount of white fur.  Combined with Bruno’s we were vacuuming every other day – a terrible gray mixture of fluffy dog hair.  But she sure was cute!

s_challenge.jpgThe Mississippi River Challenge happened!  One of the most work-intensive weekends of my recent memory, combined with a lot of "hurry up and wait"…  At left is a shot of Sierra on night one describing how she’s going to attack the river tomorrow — lies, as it turned out…  phillips.jpgBut, hey, look at all those bottles!  Who could paddle fast after a night like that?  Well, look to the right:  these guys.  Steve and Jack and Trevor came in literally 10th out of … a lot of paddlers.  I know it’s not a race, but woo hoo!

kp_challenge.jpgAt left is Karen at the Fort laying down the law at the ID tent.  Nice walkie talkie…

And there you have it.  It’s been, how do you say…  busy.

Weekend of plenty

Posted by Nate in Friends, Landscaping.
Monday, May 14th, 2007 at 2:06 pm

… plenty of busy, that is!  Friday was actually pretty chill.  Karen and I had been detoxing last week and Friday was our first day off, so we went to Town Talk for a quick dinner – it ended up being more grease than our fragile and recently cleansed systems could handle and we both regretted the decision.  But hey, hard to resist going when you know you can get a seat at the bar with the coolest bartender in the area.  We crashed early that night because Karen had an event the next morning requiring her to get up at 5:15!!

Scotty Fun Day
Our good friend Scott is leaving in a few days for Colorado to take some sweet acting classes which will hopefully segue into a masters program next year.  Before his flight from the cities, Karen and he made an informal list of must-do activities to do locally.  Starting things off would be a river ride in a Padelford paddle boat, followed by Italian pig out at Cosetta’s in St. Paul…

paddleboat1.jpg… as it happened, Padelford doesn’t do public tours until June.  So we (plus Sierra) headed to Lake Calhoun and rented a sweet 4-person paddleboat and hit the chain of lakes!  Fun!  Only, instead of a nice relaxing saunter down the river in a powered boat, we quickly discovered that moving a paddleboat of this size took quite a bit of leg power.  paddleboat2.jpgIt was suspiciously like exercise.  Still, the weather was beautiful and the lakes were gorgeous, and despite a nearly calamitous rage blackout by yours truly about which direction we were drifting, the ride was quite enjoyable.

chino.jpgIt turned out we were more in the mood for drinks than Italian pig out after our ride, so we altered course to Chino Latino in Uptown and made short work of a few martinis and margaritas.  Karen and Sierra kept things moving with a big "bowl of drink" — I can’t remember what it was called, but that’s what it was.  Whoa.  A few shared dishes later and we were all moaning about being stuffed…

A short hour or two recoup at DuoTeam HQ and we were off again!  We had a quick drink at Nye’s, regaled by the sound of Ruth Adam’s polka band.  Quite the place, I can’t believe I’d never been.  Next to an art opening organized by one of Sierra’s roommates in a warehouse gallery in NorthEast.  Fun, but full of hipsters and artists — great as individuals, but a roomful of them together sort of seems to turn into a big out-hip contest.  Ah well.  Some of the pieces were pretty cool, especially one demonstrating sound waves moving through non-newtonian liquids.  To me that belongs more in a Maker Faire, but hey, it looked as much like art as some of the other pieces.  :)

Then one last drink at the Kitty Cat Klub by the U, and finally home to bed.  Whew.  Scotty can now leave the cities happy.

Sunday Plants
pict0008.JPGWhile walking Bruno, Karen had made friends with some neighbors with a bunch of native plants who subsequently offered to give some to us.  Today was the day, so after cleaning the house all morning we headed over to collect some plants – and by some, I mean "a ton".  The rest of the afternoon was spent adding to and creating little spaces on the periphery of the yard for the new plants.  pict0009.JPG We used logs from the tree we cut down last year to create visual dividers between the lawn and the new plants, I think it works pretty well – especially with the new mulch in the pic at right.  Ahh, something about a fern with dappled sunshine on it just makes me happy…  :)

pict0010.JPGWe somehow still had some energy so we invited Justin and Juliana and Scott and Cody over for an outdoor wok-on-the-grill stir fry!  I’d never done this before but I’m happy to report it went very well – the trick is to tie the wok base to the grill face to keep it from sliding.  For dessert I brought out a very special purchase – local organic ice cream made with Surly Furious!!  YUM.

What a weekend.  Good times, good times.  And tonight is opening night for the St. Paul Saints — Cody’s first official game as announcer!  I’ll be there cheering…

Chicago trip

Posted by Nate in Family, Friends, Holidays/Birthdays/Etc, Travel.
Saturday, April 21st, 2007 at 7:11 pm

Justin and I got back today from a whirlwind trip to Chicago – left early Thursday morning to the Grandparent’s house, hung out for a bit with them and my parents, and then headed to Laurel’s show.  It was awesome to see her on stage again, one of the last things I can remember seeing her in was Stop Kiss back at Bas Bleu in Colorado.  Stop Kiss is such a different show it’s hard to compare the two, but it really seems like she’s taken a big step with her acting in terms of being more real in the moment on stage — not that she wasn’t before!  Just that it’s one thing I think I notice is better now.  A really fun show overall, I think everyone had a good time.

Friday I slept in a bit, ate Grandpa’s waffles for breakfast, then we all sort of puttered around the house getting yardwork done – mowing, window washing, and trying to get Grandpa’s old car running.  I know Rick took pictures so I hope he writes that up, it was fun to get to play with an engine that’s about as straightforward as it gets.

pict3215a.JPGThat night after dinner I went to meet up with the Chicago boys and Laurel, it was good to see everyone even if just for a night.  Noah, if you’re brave enough to click that picture, is ironing a crease in his pants — while wearing them.  I believe he put a book in there first to help shield the heat, and Rick V.T. was kind enough to offer the tip of waiting for the zipper to cool before removing the book.  Ah, I miss those boys…  :)

Justin and I left at 5 this morning to get him back for a noon meeting.  Whew.  It was fun driving with him, some good time to chat, but man am I tired!

I heart winter (again).

Posted by Karen in Broomball, Bruno, Family, Friends, Weather.
Sunday, March 18th, 2007 at 7:10 pm

This is very belated, but still needs to be written about.  I’m a fan of winter.  I’m a big fan of spring, summer, and fall too, but it seems like a lot of people either whine all winter long about the cold and the snow, or just kind of quietly suffer through it.  Not me.  I love it.  There are so many fun things you can only do during winter!  Broomball for example, snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding, skiing, snowball fights… 

So imagine my surprise when this year I found myself hating winter!  Before we left for Ghana and Scotland it was too warm so there was no ice for us to play broomball on – major bummer.  Then when we got back it was like a million below zero and we had to just jump in to broomball games, no fun practices with our awesome team to get us all excited.  And I had a cold.  So I kind of went to the games and froze my butt off and was miserable and whiny the whole time.  But then we had a great fun weekend session of play-till-you-can-physically-play-no-more broomball, and things started looking up. 

copy-of-pict3159.JPGAnd then it snowed.  Heaps and heaps of snow!  FINALLY!  Nate and I took Bruno snowshoeing at Powderhorn Park and the little buddy got pretty tuckered out.  He had been getting pretty short walks when it was way below zero, so he may not have been in primo shape.  And then it snowed heaps and heaps more just a few days later!  So I got to go snowshoeing two more days that weekend!  And it was the most perfect weather, all sunshine!

pict0029.JPGI took Nicole with me on the first day, her first time snowshoeing, awww.  We went to explore some trails along the Mississippi where I will be spending quite a bit of time this spring and summer.  There’s a small but wonderful oak savanna there that volunteers have worked really hard to restore and maintain, and even in the winter it was a sight to see.  I took this totally ridiculous picture of us.  I’m such a friggin genius that I thought I was wisely blocking the sun from my eyes. 

pict0031.JPGSierra went with me the next day, and we went to Fort Snelling State Park.  We took Bruno with us because I realized from the previous day that the trails would be packed down enough for him.  There are so many people here who love to play in the snow and it’s amazing how fast they get out in it!  It can make it hard to find some nice deep fresh stuff, which is what I prefer to snowshoe in, but it’s so great to know so many people are getting out there, getting exercise, enjoying the snow, the sun, the fresh air.  We went on a long hike around Pike Island, and there were so many people out walking, skiing, snowshoeing, so many dogs, so many deer!  Bruno was completely overstimulated.

pict0005.JPGSo I completely fell in love with winter again, and just in the nick of time.  It’s all melting now, and I would have been worried if I hadn’t enjoyed any of the season.  But now I am getting excited about shedding some layers, digging in the dirt, planting things, and getting to actually do some of the events I’ve been planning at work!


Posted by Nate in Friends.
Tuesday, March 13th, 2007 at 9:40 am

Duoteam gets righteously pwned by Captain Stupie!

(not) pictures of our trip!

Posted by Nate in Bruno, Friends.
Wednesday, February 7th, 2007 at 10:59 am

Cutest picture ever:
(Bruno playing in the snow)

Creepiest picture ever:
(Cody on Halloween)

From Thanksgiving to the Toilet Bowl!

Posted by Karen in Bruno, Friends, Holidays/Birthdays/Etc, Homebrewing.
Monday, November 27th, 2006 at 11:59 pm

I declartable-spread.JPGe Thanksgiving a raging success!  This was Duoteam’s first real adult dinner party.  We used china, dude.  And I was a decorating fool, it was so freaking festive in here.  As I was scurrying around filling dishes with different kinds of candy and nuts and lighting pumpkin-scented candles I suddenly realized that I have become my grandma. 

There was so much food that some of it was barely even touched.  Here’s a list of what I can remember: turkey, ham, Turducknate-plate.JPGen, chestnut soup, pralined yams, beer yams, garlic mashed potatoes and gravy, regular stuffing, oyster stuffing, broccoli salad, green bean casserole, regular rolls and pumpkin rolls with orange butter, pumpkin dip with graham crackers, candied oranges with chocolate ganache, and cranberries.  To drink there was a wide variety of homebrew (Nate’s as well as Scott and Cody’s), homemade ginger ale, brandy, and wine.  Here is a weirdly lit picture of Nate with two, count ’em, two platefulls ready to go.  That’s my boy.

Wait,firemen2.JPG back up.  The Turducken.  The thing of legend and/or myth.  The long-awaited turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken.  And in this case, stuffed with creole shrimp.  I decided to postpone being a vegetarian for this Thanksgiving so as to help out with the vast quantities of meat and because frankly, if a Turducken is in your house you damn well better try it!  But there ended up being so much other awesome food that I was just way more excited about, so I didn’t really eat much of the meat.  I tried some of the Turducken, and for me personally, it was kind of a let-down.  And that’s all I have to say about that.  n-s-pie.JPGBut here is an awesome photo of the boys during deep-frying of the turkey. 

Then for dessert there were 3 different kinds of pumpkin pie: regular, lots of coconut, and just a little coconut with bourbon.  And fresh whipped cream.  Mmmmm.  We all ate ourselves into serious discomfort.  Sierra fell asleepsierra-dog-toys.JPG and Nate proceeded to put things on top of her and take pictures.  Like a pumpkin.  And all of Bruno’s toys.  Eventually we all wandered out to the park to play some horseshoes (Grandma and Grandpa Schroeder just gave us a set – sweet!).  Sierra and I dominated. 

In the evening more friends joined us for some mulled wine and Hoopla.  I haven’t spent much time with my friends for awhile now, so for me it was so great just to have everyone together.  And to not be crabby.  And to not fall asleep in the middle of all the fun. 
Every year Cody puts together a post-Thanksgiving football game which he likes to call the Toilet Bowl.   This was the first year that the Toilet Bowl was held in Minneapolis, and in fact it was at Corcoran Park in our front yard.  We had quiophelia.JPGte a turn-out!  I overheard Cody say later "I’m just not used to playing with people who are… physically fit."  In addition to the football, there were babies!  Or I guess, a baby and a toddler, since Ophelia suddenly became an official toddler, temper tantrums and all (I have yet to actually witness one, I’ve just heard tell from Anni).  Part of the reason for the grbruno-duke.JPGeat turn-out was because Madeline brought her entire family.  This meant a surprise visit from Dusty and Victoria, who were our neighbors for like 3 days before they moved to Iowa.  Boo.  But they brought with them their new dog and Bruno’s new best friend, Duke! 
After the football, everyone came over for some snacks and even more homebrew with the addition of Dusty and Victoria’s brews.  The great Pumpkin Beer-Off took place, which was a taste test between Nate and Scotty’s pumpkin beers.  Here is Peacock, showing us her tasting technique, and possibly her future parenting technique…  Needless to say, both beers were delightful and enjoyed by all.  But Nate’s "Liquid Pie" is a tough one to beat.

I’ve missed my friends.  I’ve missed Nate.  I’ve missed having people over and just enjoying their good company.  This was a much-needed holiday, and I’m so thankful to have gotten to spend it with such wonderful people.  And I’m thankful for this pumpkin-turkey.  pict0004.JPG

The weekend

Posted by Nate in Beer, Friends, Landscaping.
Monday, October 9th, 2006 at 1:19 pm

pict0071.jpgCody had to hold the cellphone while Frances took a call.

pict0072.jpgKatie’s eye fell out and she ate it.

pict0074.jpgI raked a ton of leaves

pict0077.jpgpict2542.jpgKaren’s dad helped us cut down the overgrown tree/bush in our backyard.

pict0080.jpgpict0082.jpgWe drank a ton of beer.