Tuesday, August 18, 2009


If you haven't seen this yet, here it is. This guy is my new idol.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Good news is....

Good News: EK and I have spent 3 fun weekends in a row out of town, Much of it time for just the two of us.

Good News: My grandfather is feeling well and gaining weight after a few rounds of radiation treatments

Good News: My car is at 165000 miles and working great.

Good News: I just ran 18 miles on a relatively hot, humid day. Despite hitting a hard wall, I finished. Finishing 26.2 feels within reach.

Good News: I continue to discover great people around me.

Good News: I got to see my parents and niece yesterday. My niece is growing so fast.

Good News: 6 months for EK and I passed on Friday. We had homemade Pizza and super good chocolate.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


So there have been some emails flying around amongst my extended family in the run-up to the the family reunion, and some very interesting information about ancient lineage was shared, courtesy of the genealogists.

In fact, 4 different Norwegian lineages were shared, but my direct bloodline was dated back 13 generations.

That's right. I now know the name of my

1. Great
2. Great
3. Great
4. Great
5. Great
6. Great
7. Great
8. Great
9. Great
10. Great Grandfather.

Ready? Drumroll........

Ole Olsson Skjåstad, born in 1585. Yeah, not quite so glamourous that he's literally Ole, Ole's son.
and Skjåstad is literally his address. It was later changed when my Great Great Grandfather, Ole Ivar, moved to a more auspicious location down the fjord ;)

Perhaps even more interesting is the conversations my uncle had (some time ago) with some Norwegian relatives who seem to think/have some shaky research that we are descended from some early Viking chieftains from Denmark, and quite possibly,

Haraldr Blátönn.

You've probably never heard of him, but he's a pretty significant historic figure for a few reasons:

1) Harald is regarded as having united (if temporarily) Denmark, Norway, and Sweden under a single king
2) He's responsible for the Jelling Stones, claiming to have brought christianity to Denmark, and is mentioned in the Icelandic Saga Heimskringla, which I suppose is now going to go on the reading list.
3) Bluetooth technology is named after him.

Its pretty cool to have that reminder right on my desktop.

Now. Given my family's dental history, I'm going to go brush my teeth.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Up Nort at da Laake.

I had a great weekend in Northern MN at a cabin owned by my Grandfather's cousin's family. My grandfather and his cousin(who just passed last fall) were close, so my father, aunts & uncles, and their cousins spent many summers at this same place. I had been here before, but only as a toddler.

A reunion brought about 40 people together in this small cabin, although today, there are 4 other cabins owned by relatives on the same lake. It felt very strange to see adults who I have vague memories as a child show up as Grandparents, other kids instantly grown up -- and meeting their families and children.

One unfortunate thing is that this was only a weekend for EK and I, and most of the conversations ended up feeling like speed dating rather than wholesome conversations with people whom you share a great deal of DNA. I also, in this melee, missed talking with a few couple people I really have some great adoration for. Fortunately, they live fairly close. (Strange how that can still be a world away)

Anyways, dinner was served on Saturday evening by my Grandfather's cousin's wife -- who managed to cook for the group and still have energy to have lively conversation (one of the few wholesome conversations had) and play with the young (great-grand) kids. Not bad for 94 years old. It's something I genuinely hope for my life.

After everyone retired to their respective cabins, EK and I had the treat of sleeping in THE cabin. Small & spartan, but with 60 years of memories & tradition.

But before that, we walked out to the dock, laid down, made funny faces at each other, curled up, and watched the stars come out.

This is what is important.

This morning was another fantastic meal: mind blowing caramel rolls, quiche, egg bake, fresh fruit, and of course, coffee.

And then we drove home.