Nothing Like Phoenix in the Summer

Well it looks like my grandparents aren’t coming home from Arizona this summer. They usually drive down to Phoenix in October and drive back to the Milwaukee area in May. My grandpa isn’t in good enough health to make the drive back and they were going to fly back this week, but he’s not in good enough health for that, either. The doctor told him he can’t travel right now. It’s a pretty big deal that he was going to fly back. He hasn’t been in a plane since WWII and I’m surprised he even agreed to it in the first place. He’s your stereotypical WWII veteran with a plane phobia, plus he’s a super grumpy old man (he was grumpy even when he wasn’t an old man…it’s part of his charm).

I’m really bummed about this. They’ve been splitting their time about half and half between Wisconsin and Arizona for the past 15 years or so. I make the trip back from Minneapolis to Milwaukee quite a bit during the summer mainly to see my grandparents. I don’t get to see them much and I had a trip planned for Memorial Day weekend. I guess I need to start thinking about a trip to Phoenix this summer.

The good news is that they got their airfare fully refunded and they hadn’t yet shipped their car. And they both really like it down there and have a lot of friends and things to do. But it still sucks that I won’t be able to see them much if at all this year.

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A Short Break

I’ve been doing the podcast for just over a year now and I’m enjoying myself thoroughly, but it’s a lot of work. I knew that in order to put together the kind of show I’d be proud to attach my name to that it would be and that’s why it took a couple of years of hemming and hawing to actually take the plunge. I’m a perfectionist and also have a tendency to overbook myself. I’m really good at overbooking myself. If there was an Olympic event for people who overbook themselves, I’d certainly be a gold medal contender.

With the amount of work spent on the show combined with a very aggressive work schedule since last June, helping promote concerts with Kilted Farmer Koncerts and regular life in general, I’ve decided to take a little break from the show. Just a short one. Don’t worry, everything’s fine, but I need some time away to re-energize myself so this podcasting thing continues to be fun.

My interview with Raziel Panic of You Shriek, which is episode 28, will be the last episode until the first week of May. That gives you a little time to catch up on any episodes you may have missed and also some time to check out other really great podcasts and internet radio stations. There’s a big list of my favorites over on the links page. I’ll of course still be on Twitter and Facebook and checking out new music – no worries there 🙂 Thanks for listening and I’ll be back soon.

Total Waste of a Morning

I was scheduled to meet some people to go skiing this morning at 8 at a park about 20 miles from my house and I overslept. I was planning on leaving at 7:15 to get there a little early and ended up waking up at 7:38. Awsome start to the day. I ran out the door, hopped in my car, an got on the still somewhat snow covered freeway (because apparently the Twin Cities only have 1 snow plow for the entire metro area…thanks Gov. Pawlenty!). To add to the fun, I realized that I hadn’t transferred critical cell phone numbers into my contacts and couldn’t call anyone.

The journey was fairly uneventful aside from a few dumbass drivers going 30 MPH on the freeway. Really, people? It’s good to be a little cautious but a little bit of snow on the freeway that had been mostly plowed does not require you go below 35 MPH. *shakes fist* I made it to the park, but as I was driving up to the parking lot by the building, I ran into yet another snag. Got the car stuck in a snowdrift on the unplowed driveway going uphill to the lot. Strike 2. Or is that strike 3? Anyway…After a few minutes and with some help from two fellow skiers, we got the car unstuck and I was back in business. Or so I thought.

I got into the building and the workers told me the course was closed to the public for a race. When I asked if they had seen anyone with a jacket looking like mine, they said they didn’t see anyone.  We knew there was a race that morning at 10, but we were planning on getting in and out by 9:30, before they closed the course. The race directors had the course reserved from 8 – 11:30 am so that plan backfired and I left.

There are some other trails mostly on my way home and I stopped there to see if maybe my group went there, but no luck either. So last idea…why not get a ski in and then head home for a nap?  I got out of the car to check out the conditions and the groomers were working on the trails, packing down the fresh snow. I walked over to the side of the trail and it was clear that the trails hasn’t set up yet and there was maybe an inch and a half of snow, once packed. That’s not really enough to ski on with non-crappy skis and had I tried skiing, I probably would have A. messed up the trails and B. wrecked my skis. So yet another fail. I got back in my car and went home. I’m going to try and salvage the morning now that I’m done ranting by going back to sleep. That’s probably what I should have done at 7:38 AM.

iTunes rejected my podcast

And I thought I did everything right when I submitted the podcast feed. They don’t even tell you why. Here’s what they sent me:

Dear Podcast Owner

The following podcast has not been included in the iTunes podcast directory.

Name: Aztalan Turf
Feed URL: http://www.aztalanturf.com/feeds/podcast.xml

Submissions may not be included in the directory for a variety of reasons. For more information, please see the podcast technical specification at http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/techspecs.html.

Sincerely,

The iTunes Store Team

Sure would be nice if they even gave you a generic reason as to why the podcast was rejected. Even something like “Reason: Technical” would be helpful. I spent several hours on the document they linked and had the page open the whole time I was working on the RSS feed.

I filed a ticket with the iTunes Support Team, but I am not terribly optimistic that I’ll get any guidance. I’ll have to revisit everything and try again. I am not giving up! I WILL get into the directory, even if it takes me several tries.

Go Saints!

The New Orleans Saint’s victory tonight over the Minnesota Vikings was absolutely perfect. The Vikings lost in overtime after a late-game interception thrown by none other than Brent…I mean Brett Favre.

As a long-time, die-hard Packer fan, I have to say it felt very good to be on the other side of the coin tonight. I religiously followed the team through the painful, post-rotator cuff surgery Don Majkowski / Lindy Infanti years and Brett Favre’s early years. Those were dark days for the franchise. Tonight, the NFL’s all-time leader in interceptions came through once again, just as he did so often in his younger days and completed a pass at a critical moment to…the other team…..And it filled my heart with joy to be sitting at a sports bar near the Mall of America, watching 200 Vikings fans go dead silent. Priceless.

Weather Battle of 2009 – Snow Gods Victorious

Here in Southeastern Wisconsin, the rain gods put up a good fight throughout the holiday weekend, but in the end, the snow gods totally put the smack down. The rain gods were not able to melt all the snow like the forecast called for and as of Saturday afternoon, there were about 2 inches of fresh snow on the ski trails just West of the city and the skiing was fantastic! I’m heading out early tomorrow to get another round of skiing in with friends before driving back up to the Twin Cities. I may need to make a sacrifice to the snow gods when I return – I hear there’s a foot or so of new snow up there.