Category Archives: Wander with Me

Various asides and observations from life in Minnesota.

Happy Fathers Day?

A friend posted this on Facebook:  “Happy Fathers Day to all the Fathers who actually have jobs and support their children.”

I don’t have much to say about this, but rather will let you ponder it.

HOWEVER!…it would seem that this person’s priorities start with the fear of someone getting something they don’t deserve, right?  In this case, that undeserved something is praise for being a father, although — as an expression of spiteful privilege — I suspect this goes deeper than that.  Nevermind that none of us is who we are today without the support — direct or otherwise — from others.

Some of us are given the gift of fortunate birth, such as someone born in the United States versus the slums of Kibera.  Among the fortunate born, most of us do our work in an economy that is the result of the law, cooperation, and sound governance, not singular effort alone.  No one enjoying economic success today can escape this fact.  No one could “support” his children — as my friend seems to suggest — without this fact.

On the other hand, some are born into great disadvantage despite being surrounded by opportunity and success.  These might be children of poor parents or even absent parents.  Isn’t that right?  There are parents who don’t have the luxury to ridicule others and still other parents who probably shouldn’t have been parents in the first place.

But to qualify your praise of fatherhood on whether or not a man has a job is despicable.  (Sorry.)  If we accept this narrative, that only makes it more difficult for the struggling father to support his children.  After all, “support” is about more than having a job.  That isn’t obvious?

I’ll shut up.

(Apologies to my half-dozen readers…there are two copies of this post floating out there.  When I hit update to delete the draft, it seems to default to the draft.  Working on it.)

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@Lenovo Engineers Should be Pounding Rocks!

It’s funny, when I purchased my Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 a couple years ago, I thought I was buying a computer designed to work.  Hahaha!  The joke was on me!  This piece of shit has been a disaster from the get-go.  My fault for not returning it immediately, I suppose, but I presumed incorrectly that a new computer would at least kind of work.  Right?  Wrong.

For starters, there are many applications and programs that Lenovo’s screens will not accommodate.  Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, for example.  Suggested solution?  Buy a separate monitor.

Then there is the problem with the touchpad.  It doesn’t work.  A Lenovo user cannot drag or select or do just about anything he might expect to do with a touchpad.  It’s a known problem, I’m told, but no solution.

The monitor twitches and flickers…sometimes it goes out entirely!  Poof!  When that happens, it is a good idea to wait for a few seconds.  It might come back.  Or, maybe the computer has just died again.  Either way, shut down and restart.

Staying connected to WiFi is a pipe dream.  Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 erratically disconnects and loses the WiFi settings entirely.  Sometimes you can reset WiFi and hope for the best, but often there is nothing left to do but restart.  Often this does not work, however.  In that case, I’ve found profanity and a hard shut down does the trick.  (Lenovo is not a computer to own if you have small children nearby.)

Then there seem to be software issues — probably not Lenovo’s fault — however when my software works perfectly well on other computers, I wonder.

I hate to complain, but I have owned some horrible computers in my life (I was a Dell owner, for crying out loud!) and none of them match Lenovo for piss-poor performance.  I don’t doubt that I won’t be able to finish this po…

“Rods and Stones” Event at Roselawn Cemetery is No Big Deal

Roselawn Cemetery in Roseville, Minnesota, has caused some controversy by planning to host a “Rods and Stones” car show at the cemetery this weekend.

That seems like a fine idea to me!

I don’t find it particularly offensive or disrespectful. In fact, I might argue the opposite. Why not have events at cemeteries? Most people only go to a cemetery to attend a funeral or maybe on anniversaries. That feels like a ritual of obligation to me. And more than that, I think people are way too easily offended. Respect comes in many different shades and in the end — quite literally — a cemetery is something like a community of people who once came from many different backgrounds, beliefs, and personalities. At any rate, a cemetery exists in time and place — it has substance and history — and it didn’t emerge ex nihilo as a sacred place. We need not pretend otherwise to be respectful.

I found this nice interview with Keith Eggener published in the Atlantic several years ago. He studies the history and culture of cemeteries. Professor Eggener puts things in a more tolerant perspective. It looks like he has published a fantastic book on the subject, too!

Some Pictures of Wood Ducks and a Goose

I know a person probably shouldn’t post anything unless he has something to post, but what’s wrong with wood ducks!  There’s plenty of good stuff elsewhere on this blog…despite the fact that I am the only contributor.

Tonight you caught me in an exercise, an experiment.  I am looking for a gallery feature that gives me more than a caption option.  Dare I say I would like something similar to the photo gallery feature in Facebook?  This doesn’t quite cut it.

Enjoy the duck pictures — and the goose — if you can.  I will be back.

If Dying Reefs are a Sign of a Sick Ocean, Dying Restaurants are a Sign of…

Calhoun SquareThis story is about restaurants in Minneapolis, but I’m sure it applies to other cities as well.  Here in our Uptown neighborhood yet another attempt at upscale dining quickly crashed, closing less than a year — far less than a year — from its opening.  Parella closed today, citing lackluster sales.

Parella isn’t the first in the neighborhood.  In fact, it isn’t even the first in that location.  Two previous attempts to replace Figlio, the long-standing king of the block, have failed.  You would expect otherwise.  Parella is — or rather was — located in one of the busier parts of town, bordering some of the most affluent neighborhoods in the city and surrounded by growth.  It is easy to imagine upscale diners weary of destination dining to take advantage of something a bit more upscale down the block.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case and I think it has more to do with the business environment in Uptown than it does the wants of those who live in the neighborhood or even those who do not live in the area.  Trust me, you will rarely hear upscale suburban diners suggest checking out Uptown.

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The Man in the High Castle: A One Minute Review

The Man in the High Castle Amazon Sudios

We are Philip K. Dick fans at Cinema du Chien and one of our favorite Philip Dick novels is The Man in the High Castle (1962). It seems reasonable, therefore, that we would be curious about Amazon Studios‘s adaptation of the book and, two episodes in, we’re ready to deem it good, not great.

Visually The Man in the High Castle (2015) is fun to watch, despite the violent, grim story. While it is an alternative history scenario, it feels like a period piece that melds 1940s urban chic with dingy 1960s Soviet Bloc destitude.

The acting is fine, even quite good, but it feels all wrong to me. Unless a character is getting the sh#t beat out of him (so far all men), all the characters are a little too smug and beautiful for people supposedly living under the tutulage of brutal fascist regimes. (Even DJ Qualls looks studly.)

Overall the characters are rather two dimensional, the story similarly flat and predictable. Nontheless, there is plenty of action and diplomatic gamesmanship, just not a lot of surprises. Expect a lot of shootings, beatings, and wet pavement, a noir film in living color. The Man in the High Castle is one of the best mediocre films I have seen in quite some time.