The thoughts of a writer.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I have just received news that my friend Wendell Patrick has passed away. I met Wendell in November of 2000, while working for Hennepin County’s Chemical Health Division. He was retired, but working on special projects. I was lucky enough to work on some of these projects with him.

Wendell was the self-proclaimed “president of the liars club.” In reality, he was full of stories and was a pleasure to talk to. I’m not sure how old he was, but his health had been failing. He lost his wife a couple of years ago to cancer, and his son to a motorcycle accident prior to that. He was an African-American man, who was above the petty racial things that often take place. He knew racism from way back, and recognized individuals, rather than individual color.

Wendell had been a cook in the army in Korea. He had experienced drug addiction there, and had “cleaned up” while being (literally) shipped back home to the USA. He helped a lot of people with his kindness and insight. Along the way, he and I developed a strong friendship and we managed to help each other with things, just by talking them out. We were different in age and color, but we were friends in the truest sense.

No matter what he told me, whether it was a happy story, or one of great sadness, he always summed it up the same way. He would say, “…and I’m tellin’ you Kevin, what a time we had!” In this, I was always amazed by his outlook on life. It is something that I will always try to remember.

I will miss calling my friend, to see how he is. I will miss him dearly. I am happy that he is back with Barb now.

Today I have lost a dear friend.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Presidential Candidate Cutris Involved in Scandal

Presidential Candidate Cutris Involved in Scandal
October 26, 2007
UnAssociated Press

Paparazzi following presidential candidate Cutris, took these two pictures of the man who could be the next leader of the United States of America. The first (circa 2006) shows Cutris blatantly touching a sign that appears to say, "do not touch." The second photo was more recent, and shows Cutris scaling a wall just to the left of a sign that says, "do not climb on wall."

Some people are stunned by his blatant disregard for rules. Others seem mildly amused and say it isn't a big deal. What the voters think will be what counts, as they will go to the polls in just over one year and either vote Cutris into office, or vote for some other shmuck.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Duluth, Two Harbors, Gooseberry falls, Split Rock Lighthouse

My traveling companion and I visited Duluth (Canal Park) and Two Harbors on Thursday last week.

On Friday, we visited Goosberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hiking in the Rain

I have the week off from work due to MEA.

I have a lot of things I want and have to do, so Tuesday (yesterday) I had set aside to go into the (West) Wilkie unit of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The west end is closed all summer because of the heron nesting colony that resides there.

I decided to go hiking, despite a continuous rain. It was 54 degrees Fahrenheit, so it wasn't cold, though I got really wet! There wasn't a lot of wildlife out for viewing, but it was still a beautiful sight. Here are some photos.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

TESTING 1... 2... 3...

My job as the Technical person at the Alternative High School where I work, has meant that I am now setting up and proctoring online exams. Of course, at the alternative learning center, the students are about as interested in taking exams as they are at learning.

I'm looking forward to next week, which is conferences and MEA. That's because I have the week off! I'm looking forward to some time in the woods.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

George W. Bush Priorities for Spending

The President has vetoed a bill that would allow 4.4 million more children to have health insurance. His reasoning is that it is too expensive. In fact, it would cost 35 billion dollars over five years.

The President’s budget proposal for next year (2008) includes a request for another $137 billion for military operations, $5 billion for indigenous security forces, and $3 billion for diplomatic operations and foreign aid. If the requested amounts are appropriated, the total amount of funding provided since 2001 for all operations in the war on terrorism would reach $747 billion.

So in short, $35 billion to help American children achieve healthier lives is “too expensive.”

Vote Cutris in 2008.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Cutris may have Reinvented the Wheel

Cutris may have Reinvented the Wheel
October 3, 2007
UnAssociated Press

Inside sources reporting from outside of Minneapolis, have reported that there are reports circulating about Cutris having reinvented an invention that was already invented, but could be improved by using the reinvention that Cutris has now invented.

One source on the outside, reported that insiders have revealed that Cutris may have reinvented the wheel, which is a very old invention indeed. Considering the age of this invention, it was assumed that not much new could be invented to the already often modified concept.

Cutris has now, apparently modified numerous modifications in an apparent revamping of the entire concept of the wheel. Cutris was unavailable for comment, but one outside source looking to get inside, reported to reporters that he (Cutris) was seen riding in what appeared to be a car that was rolling on something that appeared to be wheels.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The I-Rack

This is too funny!

The Job

Yesterday I was asked to setup the PC lab for NWEA testing. I have been at this job for nearly a month, and have had no training on NWEA testing. I waded through documentation, was blown-off by a tech support person (on the phone), and I tried to put this puzzle together. It felt like I was “shooting in the dark.”

This morning, I was back at it again. I had decided that the routing path was not right, and I needed to reload the software and direct the path to the correct folder on the correct server. Then I discovered that I could load the program once on one machine, and then copy it onto the network where I could then copy it into each machine and thus skip the installation process for the 25 PC’s.

I also had to change a few browser settings and import some data into a shared file on the network. Today felt better, like I might be doing it right. I hope so, but it is hard to come in with no training or experience in a huge application like this and just know what to do. Still, that is what I was asked to do.