Greetings and Regards from SBGville.

This spring, of course, has been slow to come, but last Saturday, we had some real warmth and melting. We have lived in our house since 2007 and never before have I ever seen a melt like this one. Normally, it has been relatively quick and I have seen no water problems whatsoever. This year, however, the ground on the south and east side of our house (south being the back yard) was covered in a thick sheet of ice, evidence of the extremely slow melt. On Saturday, water was pooling up against the East side of my house. Uh oh. There was an obvious water path from the back yard and my neighbor and I chipped through the 3 inch think ice down to the street to provide a path for water to run. That stopped the flow of water from the south. I figured everything was good. But, water continued to pool up against the house. It was then that I noticed a small area along the east side of the house that sloped toward the house. Nice. In addition, I pulled out some bushes late last fall, leaving some holes along the house, right in the path of that east to west slope. Bonus!

I ended up buying four bags of top soil and building a little dike to protect the house and direct water from the East side back over that tiny ridge and toward the street. That worked. I’m from Eastern North Dakota, don’tcha know, I should know a few things about redirecting water flow. Once the ice in the back yard completely melts, I’ll remove the dike and contemplate a more permanent solution.


Greetings and Regards from SBGville.

I made a goal to update this website every day during Lent. Close: zero entries during Lent. So, yeah, missed it by that much. I do want to post here, though, and I will try to do so periodically. I have some stuff to share and I would like to share it right here in this spot.

For now, though, I need to get to work. Consider this a re-start. It would be embarrassing to me if this is the last post at this site, considering that I just called it a re-start. Then again, I’ve been embarrassed before.

Greetings and Regards from SBGville.

Rachel Maddow is a left leaning jounalist, for sure. But, she’s also extremely intelligent and her long-form segments are astoundingly good. Here she is talking about the ATF and why it hasn’t had a director in over six years.

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre, I exploded in rage about the NRA and the gun culture in this country. I knew about a lot of this stuff already, but in the confines of the no politics rule at The WGOM, I stayed silent.

Knowing this stuff and hearing about the horrific deaths of 20 young children as well as some of their educators, I just could not take it anymore. I continue to believe that the NRA is a terrible, awful organization that has caused much damage in this country. That they completely own one party (and many in the other) is a national disgrace.

But, I have hope. The deaths of these little children may be just the horror that will cause people to distance themselves from the disgraceful NRA and start to bring sanity back to our country re: firearms. People are willing to change. They want change. Only the NRA is stopping it. If people rise up and demand that their congress members act in defiance of this organization, we will get change. But, only then.

Greetings and Regards from SBGville.

My mother.

This morning, she called me to have me help her with a computer problem. Since she failed to wish me a happy birthday yesterday, I asked her if she realized it was my birthday yesterday. She said yeah, I had a funeral to go to and I was busy, blah, blah, blah. So, yeah, my mother doesn’t wish me a happy birthday. Or give me a card, or a present, or a Christmas present. But, when the computer needs fixing, calling me at 7:30 in the morning is a priority. Unlike her, my dad gave me (and all my siblings) a Christmas present. And, he gave me a birthday present and he called me on my birthday.

At some point, all of this stuff doesn’t really matter, of course. But, I will tell you that my mother’s disregard for me was a problem in my life. I recognized that this was a problem early on — when I was a little kid. Part of becoming an adult for me was to realize that the fact that my mother was less than loving toward me (and OMG does she play favorites) is something that I had to accept. She is who she is and there’s nothing I can really do about that. It is not a reflection on me or who I am. I have come to terms with her and the way she is.

But, don’t think that I wasn’t irritated that she couldn’t call me on my birthday but she got right on the old horn as soon as she needed something from me.

Greetings and Regards from SBGville.

Today is my birthday. I am now 48 years old. I really look forward to my birthday, because I think of it as a day to be thankful. I’m thankful to be alive, to be healthy to have my family, to live in a country where pretty much all of us are wealthy and able to live good lives. But, most of all, I am thankful for the place that I’m at mentally these days. Life can be a struggle. We have disappointments. Who knows what the future holds, tomorrow could bring tragedy. But, today, today I am at peace. I am happy with my job, my family, my life. I feel energized to do things for them and others. I really think that I’m as happy now as I’ve ever been.

Age is just a number, but as far as numbers go, four dozen is a good one.

Greetings and Regards from SBGville.

I don’t really want to write about politics a lot here, but when it comes to guns, I’m not willing to be quiet. Today, the president signed 23 executive orders to improve gun safety in this country and called on Congress to pass a comprehensive background check and an assault weapons ban. Who knows if this will pass (probably not), but it surely won’t if the President doesn’t try.

Meanwhile, the NRA… sucks.

Greetings and Regards from SBGville.

At the WGOM, my moniker is SBG (as it is here) and I have referred to my hometown as SBGville, but the name of this site isn’t about my hometown as much as it is about my state of mind. That is, SBGville is about me and my thoughts. Of course, SBGville exists and I do spend a fair amount of time there. Last night, I was riding the exercise bike and listening to the news. One of the lead news stories in Fargo was on guns, the amount of guns sold in ND in the wake of Sandy Hook and so forth. The newscaster even informed us that the gun store in Jamestown has streamlined the background check so that it only takes a couple of minutes. Free advertising!

The guns stories went further, to the legislature. If you know anything about ND politics, you know that the Republicans completely dominate the state government, so much so that ND state government is effectively a one party system. In response to Sandy Hook, the ND legislature is considering a law that will not allow state peace officers to assist with any gun control enforcement. In addition, the legislature is considering a measure that would automatically grant a conceal and carry permit to anyone with a driver’s license. The response to the Sandy Hook massacre in North Dakota is to basically eliminate any sort of gun control and allow everyone to pack heat. Somehow, people like me, who think that maybe, just maybe, allowing everyone access to any guns that they want isn’t a good idea are considered to be the radicals.

No thank you. I’ll continue to domicile in Minnesota.

This morning, as I was driving in to work, there were sun dogs in the sky.

Not my picture, but representative of what was in the sky this morning.

It was a cold day to be sure and the roads were icy. I was in Bismarck on Friday and my colleague and I drove back in a mini-blizzard. With last winter’s mild weather, I have to admit that it’s been a while since I felt a real blast of winter. There wasn’t much snow, but we did have a little freezing rain first and that’s always a special thing. Unlike in the Twin Cities, where salt and various other chemicals beat such moisture into submission on the roads, out here, the ice forms on the roads and stays there. The road crews were out sanding today, but I expect icy conditions to persist for several days. The winds are fierce and the temperatures are experiencing some major shrinkage. Ah yes, I remember this.

Today is my fourth day of eight away from home. After being home for 20 days straight, it was tough to leave on Wednesday and my daughter was crying in the morning when I wasn’t there. But, by afternoon, she was out sledding on the new sled I bought her and she was all happy. Wednesday was a day when I thought that this life is crazy, that I shouldn’t be going away so much. Maybe that is true, but I do believe that this arrangement brings a lot of positives in my life and my wife’s life. The bad things, of course, are the hours in the car and the time away from my five year old. I think she’s okay, she’s busy all the time and with the exception of days like Wednesday, she’s pretty okay with things. Those days are rare. One thing that does help a lot is video phones. We do Facetime calls every day and that does make it easier. I get to see my girls and see what they are doing. It’s an important part of coping with this reality.

My job is demanding. Having the time to devote to it when I’m here has allowed me to succeed in ways I probably couldn’t if I wasn’t off on trips all the time. When I’m home, we really work on spending time together and enjoying that time. I don’t take the family time for granted, that’s for sure, because it is very precious. So, it is Saturday morning and I’m in the office. It’s crappy outside. I had better work, because to be here away from home, not working is really a waste. I need to get my job done so that when I do get home, things aren’t hanging over my head.

So, enough of this. Talk to you later.

Greetings and Regards from SBGville.

If you read my Fitness posts at the WGOM, you saw me allude today to a trip to Mancini’s in St. Paul. I have never been to Mancini’s before. It’s on West 7th, down a ways from the Hockey Rink. Going to a supper club with a five year old on a school night is not my idea of a good time. Let’s unpack that further. Going to a supper club is not my idea of a good time. Going to a supper club with a five year old is not my idea of a good time. So, yeah, there’s a lot not to like. So, how did I end up at Mancini’s anyhow?

Yesterday was my father-in-law’s birthday. He would have been 78 years old, but he passed away in 2009. My mother-in-law would have been 75 next week, but she, too, passed away in 2009. My birthday is in nine days. We normally would celebrate these events together and that included a trip to my in-law’s favorite supper club, Wasson’s, east of Winona in Wisconsin countryside. As far as small town supper clubs go, Wasson’s was okay, but really, it was not my cup of tea, so to speak. But, of course, those days have been over for some time now.

As I am going to ND on Wednesday morning, Monday night was a night for me to prepare. I wanted to do some cleaning in the garage, get packed, get stuff ready because on Tuesday night, I go to bed early and I wanted to spend some time with my daughter. So, I had plenty to do and had communicated this to my wife. Yesterday morning, she says, we are going to Mancini’s to celebrate my dad’s birthday. I said, no, I have a ton of stuff to do. I said, can we celebrate both your parents next time I’m home? She agreed to that. Then a little while later she said, well, our friends invited us out and they insisted that we come. Oh great. She mentioned this to her friend and they invited us out and now I’m stuck. My wife said, you don’t have to come, we’ll go without you. Doubly great. My wife is going and I have the choice of going and foregoing everything I wanted to do or getting that done and looking like an ass. You know what the choice is.

So, we went out and I had a few pretty good stories about my wife’s dad in my pocket. He was a colorful character and I wanted to tell them as a remembrance. But, our friends were not interested in hearing about him and as I was telling the first story, their attention obviously wandered, so I put my stories back into my pocket, so to speak. We had a nice enough dinner but at the end of it, my wife’s friend said thanks for inviting us.

Wait, what? Thanks for inviting us? I thought it was the other way around. So, the tasks I wanted to do last night will either (a) remain unfinished or (b) cut into my sleep tonight. I feel like I’ve been hoodwinked.

My wife didn’t like Mancini’s, my daughter got to bed much later than normal, and we’re out a bunch of money. Plus, I’m looking at being sleep deprived. I totally lost this and there wasn’t one redeeming factor for anyone. This, my friends, is frustrating.

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