Archives For 2012




Minnesota State Fair

August 29, 2012 — Leave a comment


We had another great turnout for our National Night Out in historic downtown Chaska this year. It was our third annual event for the neighbors in West Downtown Chaska, and it’s been fun to see it grow year over year.

The Chaska Herald came out to snap some shots and WCCO-TV sent a camera guy to get some footage for their Good Question segment about if we really know our neighbors.

Per the topic, our neighborhood uses a combination of offline and online techniques to connect. Although our email list is getting to a substantial size and it’s been fun to watch the Facebook Group for the neighborhood grow, we still take time to chat to one another on front porches, festivals or at the park. We share tools, produce from the garden and schedule play dates for the kids.

Arguably, the people you live near have a more direct impact on your day-to-day life than national and global news. Knowing your neighbors is just the first step of contributing and living in a community. And National Night Out is a fantastic catalyst for creating those connections.

From The Atlantic:

“To elide that one of the reasons we spend so many hours in front of our screens is that we have to misses the key point about our relationship with modern technology,” he writes. “This is a problem with the way we approach labor, not our devices,” he writes. In other words: This is about humans, not technology.

But, making technology the source of all evil makes dealing with our problems easier. The solution to gadget addiction: Meditation.

If you are part of the 57% percent of American workers who still have vacation days unused because you think the world will collapse without you, Miller has three words. “Get over it.” — Vacation, Unplugged – Fast Company


via Garrick van Buren

This weekend I’ll be slinging Pork Chops on a Stick at Chaska’s River City Days in historic downtown Chaska on behalf of my church.

If you’ve never been to historic downtown Chaska, this annual community event is a great reason to come check it out.

Nestled on the banks of the Minnesota River and about a 15 minute drive from the Twin Cities, downtown Chaska is a genuine gem.

Century-old “Chaska brick” buildings and historic homes dot the streets, antique shops and locally-owned restaurants serve up malts, burgers and enchiladas, and the entire area is walkable. There’s also the picturesque Chaska Cubs Ballpark, the soaring Guardian Angels Church cathedral and Greg Swan’s house. (ha).

River City Days features model racetracks, bouncy castles and face painting for the kids, a 5K Fun Run and beer garden for the adults, and a community parade, bands, craft and food vendors galore for the whole family. See you there!

The front porch of our 120 year-old house has a painted floor, and it was peeling badly. It was painted an unfortunate emerald color at some point, and upon scraping, I determined it once had red shag carpeting. Classy!

Here’s a side-by-side before/after shot:

It made a great weekend project. Scraping took about three hours. I used Kilz primer and Glidden Porch & Floor Paint tinted to “Chocolate.” Only needed enough for 150 square feet, but they only sell each of them in gallons.

I actually did three coats of the brown, so I used almost all of it. Three coats seemed smart considering I don’t want to do this again for a very long time, and we actually use the porch on a daily basis.




“We’re fighting a war. Making a peace. Integrating. Segregating. Getting richer. Getting poorer. It’s quite a time to be alive.

Business has its particular problems — young people refusing good jobs; investors are more influenced by publicity than performance; customers complaining about the finest products, produced anywhere in the world….

Many of us here today remember when it was quite different. The pursuit of happiness had ground to a halt. Survival was the goal — just to have a job, but to have a job with security: That was the prize in 1933.

How long a product lasted was more important than how well it looked. Wall Street had forgotten blue sky and was now talking blue chip. Down-to-earth, safe — that was the place to be.”


“How a thing looks today is as important as how well it works. As never before, people are influenced by what they see.”

— Saul Bass, “one of the most iconic and influential visual communicators of the 20th century — possibly the most famous graphic designer of all time,” in 1969.

PS – Make 27 minutes to watch this: