This is the place for my rants, raves, reviews and just general "stuff". May you be amused, enlightened, and perhaps even a little pissed off.


The fine line between proper and annoying

While we were on the aforementioned vacation to Grand Marais, MN, we stayed at our usual hotel in town, but this time we got a fairly newly redone room. A nice thing about this particular hotel is that over the many years that we have stayed there, it has continually improved and upgraded, which isn't something we have seen in other hotels that we frequent. As recurring guests, we have met the owner and its clear that she runs a first class operation. Additionally, they have pretty much the same people working there from year to year, which is probably quite unique in a tourism focused town. Anyways, this new room had a groovy new bathroom with glass shower and double shower head affair, a definite upgrade from previous rooms. As it turns out, something wasn't quite adjust correctly and there was some problems getting it to not spray out the side and over the glass wall and onto the ceiling. But that isn't what this post is about. Of course we called the front desk and they sent the usual maintenance guy up. He's an older guy that is very competent and nice. The problem is that when he knocks on the door, he keeps knocking a bit too long. I reckon that its about twice as long as it should be. To fix the problem, and some other minor issues that we ran into, he had to come up to our room several times and subject us to "the knock". It's such a petty thing and yet so annoying. It's almost insistent and beckoning us to get our asses off the couch and open the door right now. I fear that I am channel Jerry Seinfeld or something, but it was annoying. In reality, it was just a few extra knocks and shouldn't have even registered, but it did. Consequently, I have concluded that sometimes there is a very fine line between proper and annoying.


On Paying Attention...

While on vacation to Grand Marais, MN, my wife is in the habit of visiting the Viking Hus, that specializes in Scandanavian goods, which is consistent with both our ethnic backgrounds. She secretly wishes she was of Norwegian descendency, but has settled quite nicely with being Swedish, although she won't admit it. Norwegians, after all, have lefse. Anyways, getting to the Viking Hus requires that you go through a drug store and enter the store through a side doorway. It's quite hard to absent-mindedly find your way into the Viking Hus. While she made her pilgrimage into the store, she overheard another customer complaining about all the products that were in foreign languages. I often lament about the profound lack of critical thinking skills in most people, and situations like this illustrate exactly why I do that. Wasn't she suspicious when the name of the store was spelled in such a peculiar manner? Plus, after even a coupla seconds of observation, it isn't too difficult to divine the nature of the store. I'm pretty glad that I was sitting out front, playing with my iphone, as I would have found it hard to contain an audible "well duh".

A Matter of Perspective

The other day my wife and I were driving home from a very nice vacation on the north shore of Minnesota. We were most of the way home and had to stop to get gas and I chose a nice little locally owned rural-ish gas station that I often frequent in Coates, MN. Approaching the gas station I saw a Hummer that had just pulled in probably 20 car lengths ahead of us. Hummers are always noticeable and that typically suits the owners just fine. As we approached the doors of the Hummer popped open and people started rapidly piling out. One... two... three... pretty soon like ten people have exited the vehicle and were quickly heading towards the front door of the gas station. Obviously a potty break or something. I was frankly startled a little bit by the number of people that had quickly piled out of the vehicle and I was wondering whether the Hummer was just that spacious, or if it was some kind of clown car. As I pulled into the parking lot my angle on the Hummer changed and it turns out that it was a stretched limo version of a Hummer and was about as long as the gas station was wide. My wife had apparently had equivalent thoughts about the clown car nature of the Hummer and we had a good chuckle. Typically limos are very distinctive and you can tell them, even from directly behind them, for miles. It turned out to truly be a matter of perspective.