holiday weekend staycation

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. We hang out at home most memorial day weekends. There are plenty of things to do and places to go. I like to get out on my bike and I often bring my camera.

The regional parks and Fort Snelling State Park (which is currently closed due to flooding)  offer the best opportunities for photographing wildlife, birds, and plants. I like to go early in the morning before the large loud groups of people on bikes scare the birds away.

Great Blue Heron

Enjoy the weekend and take some time to remember the people who fought for us and who died in wars.


Facebook has replaced medical school

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I can ask any question about anything on Facebook and I will get answers. 

Me on Facebook: I plan on performing open heart surgery and am looking for advice. Thanks.

Facebook Friend(s) who has never performed any kind of surgery:

  1. Stick them with the pointy end.
  2. Wash your hands before…. and after
  3. Cut deep, they may have thick skin
  4. Probably best to practice on someone else first
  5. Play it by ear
  6. When I do my open heart surgeries I always bring my cordless Worx saw. Works great!
    Tip: best to change to a fine blade for the initial cut. Minimizes splatter.
  7. The heart is located in the chest. Most people have one, I think.
  8. Choose a good patient
  9. Facebook is the best source for information
  10. Measure twice cut once. Trust me, I’m a white man and am therefore an authority on most topics.
  11. Google it then ask a bunch of strangers who also have no expertise on the subject until you get the answer(s) you want to hear
  12. Practice makes perfect.

People just love to give advice. Sometimes people ask their Facebook friends for medical advice. I kind of understand that considering how expensive medical care is and how hard it is to find good medical care.

There are people who consult Facebook whenever they have a question about anything. There is plenty of advice for home buyers and sellers too.

The paradox of the Lime Scooter

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. We don’t have shared bikes in St. Paul but we do have electric scooters. I often see scooters on the sidewalks in and around downtown where it is just about impossible to ride anything but a car, bus or train in the street.

There is a sticker on the scooters that states that they should not be ridden on the sidewalks yet there is no place to ride them in the street. The streets either have light rail tracks, deep potholes, or are high traffic with narrow lanes and cars parked on both sides.

Some of the streets have all of the conditions I listed above and a bunch of lime scooters parked on the sidewalk. The sidewalks are not in very good shape either but are somewhat safer than the street. Safer for scooters but not for walkers.

Lime scooter
Lime scooters

I have also noticed that people like to ride the scooters to the bar. What could possibly go wrong?

Nevertheless, she persisted

Dr. Sarah

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. The picture is of my daughter when she was in kindergarten. Today she has a Ph.D. and will be attending a graduation ceremony for those who have recently completed Ph. Ds and Masters degrees.  She also graduated last year, debt free which is a whole other story.

Today we will take some new pictures of Dr. Sarah and her husband Mr. Doctor Sarah. 🙂

Three big events this weekend

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. A couple of my favorite events are happening in St. Paul this weekend and Saturday is City Wide Clean-up day.   Clean up is in the morning from 9:00 to 11:30.

The other two events are on Saturday and Sunday and mostly in the afternoon. The Saint Paul Art Crawl, which is an amazing event, and the Minneapolis St. Paul home tour.

The home tour is a lot of fun but probably more fun for people who do not tour hundreds of homes each year as part of their job. There are two on the tour that I really want to see this year because they were vacant commercial buildings. I suggest the home tour as an event for home buyers because it gives them a chance to talk directly to people and ask them about the neighborhood.

I’ll be spending my Saturday at Minnebar14.  Which is local but not in St. Paul. It is held at Best Buy Corporate Headquarters in Bloomington. I attend the BarCamp every year and have let led a few sessions.

Minnebar was first held in 2006 and is an annual technology and software conference, but it is more than that.  Minnebar, like other BarCamps, is a (un)conference that is participant-led and has a very loose structure.

BarCamps are held around the world and Minnebar is rumored to be the largest in North America. There are no curated or formal workshops and all sessions are led by people from the tech and business community.

There are usually some local and national celebrities in attendance too.

If you are looking for something to do this weekend you won’t have to look far.

. . oh and there may be a little snow on Saturday.


Free television

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I am old enough to remember when television was free and there were antennas on roofs and in attics. There was no monthly bill and no subscription.

This week I re-discovered free TV. With nothing more than an inexpensive indoor antenna, we are getting high definition television. . . for free!

The antenna is a little fancier than the old ones were. It uses electricity and has a booster and cost $35 at Best Buy. I have to say the picture really is amazing and much better than what we were getting with DirectTV. There are 12 free channels. Who knew?

We are thrilled with the reception and overall ease of use and the fact that it is free makes it even more attractive. Did I mention it is free? Over the air, just like radio!

I am trying Sling TV which will be less than $25 a month once the trial is over. We already have Netflix and Amazon Prime and an Apple TV.  I am not sure about Sling because like the cable providers they have groups of channels. There are 7 or 8 channels that we might watch but we have to get a group of 45 channels to get the channels we want. Sound familiar? It seems to be a common business model.

It would be wonderful to just pay for the channels we want but that kind of service hasn’t been invented yet. At least Sling is easy to cancel. A person could just pay for it during the winter and cancel it in the summer. 🙂

It sounds complicated but it isn’t. I no longer have to call a 1-800 company to cancel, change or repair. No more being put on hold and listening to a recording that tells me how important my call is. no more listening to a person who is programmed to sell “service protection” plans. Those plans work like organized crime, customers are charged a fee for protection in addition to the fee for services.

As an unexpected bonus, I just learned how to turn a satellite dish into a booster for a TV antenna. Apparently, we can get more free channels that way, and it looks like it is pretty easy to do.