Archive for September, 2009

Back To “Full Strength”

Since Minnesota is referred to as, “The State of Hockey” and a term from that sport is “power play”, I feel that is an appropriate way to discribe this past week. A “power play” is when one team has a “man” advantage over the other for a certain amount of time. With my wife out of town on business most of the week, my side of the family was down a person and it sure felt at like my kids were on a “power play”!

I had requests coming at me one after the other and from all angles! “Dad, can you help me with this?” or “Dad, I need a ride and I can’t be late!” or the classic, “I need help with my homework!”. It wasn’t just requests from the kids either, we had places to be and at times, it almost seemed simultaneously! Cross-country, dance class, Confirmation, musical rehearsal, Parent Information Night at my daughter’s school, more dance, more cross-country, and of course, more help with homework!

I felt like a goalie in a game seven of the Stanley Cup!

Nothing was getting by me! I was reacting to everything and handling the pressure like an MVP! I was going for the shut out, the perfect week, no mistakes by good ‘ol Dad!

I am happy to report, we made it to all of our activities, everyone was dropped off and picked up on time, everyone was fed (although, not at the same time) and all homework was completed!

The only thing left was to give my wife a big hug & kiss when she got home late Wednesday night.


There went my shut out!

I fell asleep while waiting for her! The goalie was just too tired to hold out any longer! The “welcome home” hug & kiss had to wait until morning, but, borrowing one more hockey term, at least our team is now back to “full strength”!

You Betcha!

Friday night our kids were all out of the house. It was Homecoming here in town so our kids were busy with the game, dances and sleepovers. My wife and I decided we would take advantage of the quiet and watch the movie, “New In Town”, starring Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr., which is set in New Ulm, Minnesota. Zellweger’s character relocates to frozen Minnesota from sunny Miami. The movie was so-so, very predictable and one that you were glad you rented instead of paying to see in the theater.

The one funny part of the movie was how they poke fun of life here in Minnesota. As it seems with every movie set in this state, it is always the “dead of winter”, about fifty degrees below zero and people end every sentence with “you betcha”! The movies, “Fargo”, “Grumpy Old Men”, “Grumpier Old Men” and “The Mighty Ducks” come to mind. Of course with the latter, a movie about hockey, set in the summer probably wouldn’t be too smart!

Ahh, stereotypes!

I think, Hollywood would like you to believe we watch our “Fourth of July” fireworks shot off over frozen lakes! In “New In Town”, Zellweger’s character arrives in the “Gopher State” before Thanksgiving, but it looked like it was the middle of January! There was the predictable scene where she arrives at the Minneapolis airport in high heels, lacking a winter coat and is suddenly hit smack in the face with our free air-conditioning and plenty of snow! In the movie, townspeople were celebrating the first day of ice fishing, even before enjoying their turkey dinner!

Okay, a state has ONE Halloween snowstorm and receives THIRTY inches of snow and it’s labeled for life, come on!

In “New In Town”, the winter was predictably harsh, but it was also NEVERENDING!

Now, being a native Iowan, or as Minnesotans like to call us, “Iowawegians”, I do get a laugh out of Hollywood’s portrayal of life here, I mean, Minnesotans do dish out their share of Iowa and Wisconsin jokes! Some people here believe there is this dramatic transformation when you cross the border from a neighboring state. There may be 10,000 plus lakes here, but there is also no sign that says, “Welcome To Minnesota, A Carbon Copy Of Hawaii” either! So it is hard not to laugh when Hollywood makes fun of our perceived year-round winter and temps well below freezing and of course, the accent!

But, to be fair to the good people of the Northland, it would be nice to see to a movie set here, just once when the ice is off the lakes and the term, “wind chill” isn’t the punchline of a joke! Minnesota is a beautiful state, with a wonderful change of seasons, which it’s citizens choose to embrace. Too bad it doesn’t work in movies!

I suppose if they did have a movie set during the summer in Minnesota, it would probably have mosquitoes the size of bats and we wouldn’t be able to go outside! Could Hollywood could make it work?

You betcha!


Just a few quick thoughts as I rush to get today’s comic loaded and also be on time for my son’s cross-country meet…

Fall has definitely arrived in Minnesota in a big way! We were enjoying a beautiful weekend when someone threw a switch and suddenly the temps dropped and the wind was howling! We were scrambling to find long pants and jackets for school on Monday. The winds have died down, but, the temps are still cool. Now, we’re just waiting for the fall colors to arrive!

I am running a ten mile race on Sunday so I’m hoping the cool temps stick around for that. No wind or rain are on my “wish list” too!

I do most of the grocery shopping for our family and I guess I must frequent a certain store a little too much. Not to mention any names, but it’s the one with the red “bullseye” for a logo! Anyway, I’m in there A LOT and I’m starting to feel a little like the character, “Norm” from “Cheers”. Remember when he used to walk into the bar and everyone yelled, “Norm!”? I am kind of half expecting everyone to yell, “Mike!” the next time I walk into the bullseye! I think I know the cashiers and the people who work the Starbucks there on a first name basis. I am also reminded of how often I shop there everytime I open our credit card bill from that place!

Remember our car that got damaged a little over a week ago when I hit a pick-up truck liner that came into my lane?

$1,200 and three days to repair it! It went in the shop on Monday.

Gotta get to the CC meet!