Washington, D.C.

I visited Washington, D.C. for the first time with my family earlier this month. It was a very interesting and educational trip. See some of the sights we saw in our nation’s capitol below. You can click on images to view larger photos.

National mall and capitol

North Shore 2012

I just returned from a family vacation on the north shore of Lake Superior in northern Minnesota. We relaxed outside, went hiking in area parks, attended church, visited shops, took a trip up The Gunflint Trail in search of the illusive moose and much more. The weather was a pleasant 70 degrees throughout our trip. We had a great time. Take a look at some of the pictures I took.

Foshay Tower Observation Deck Visit

I took a trek downtown Minneapolis last week, and once again visited the Foshay Tower observation deck. Once the tallest building in Minneapolis, the tower (now a hotel), has a museum and beautiful outdoor observation deck that circles the building on its 32nd floor. Take a look at my shots of the downtown skyline.


I graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College this Sunday, May 27 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies. I really enjoyed my time at Gustavus; and the ceremony was really nice, despite a high temperature in the upper 80s.

Take a look at some photos members of my family took during the celebration.

The Gustavian Weekly named a 2011 ACP Online Pacemaker Winner

The Gustavian Weekly was named a 2011 Associated Collegiate Press Online Pacemaker Winner at ACP’s National College Media convention in Orlando, Florida this weekend.

The Associated Collegiate Press is the oldest and largest college newspaper membership organization. It critiques and judges print and web publications, holds educational conventions, provides educational resources to its members, and more. The Pacemaker is the premier award they distribute, with categories for newspapers, newspaper websites (the category we received an award in), magazines, and yearbooks.  Only a few publications are selected for the prestigious award each year.

The Weekly’s website, along with those of other entrants, was judged last February and March.  Sites were put into categories based on the enrollment at the college they serve. Categories are: 5,000 or fewer (our category), 5,001-10,000, 10,001-20,000, and more than 20,000.  The sites were then judged based on design, ease of navigation, writing and editing, graphics and interactivity.  Many months later, it’s exciting to see The Weekly on the list, and to have a list of links to other college newspaper websites who are doing big things.

It was an honor to serve as The Weekly’s web editor last year and the year before. I am deeply appreciative of the hard work of all of The Weekly’s writers, editors, and other staffers, who helped make the publication what it is.

My Minnesota State Fair adventure

Summer is quickly coming to a close. I am ready for school to start up again (except for the whole packing thing), but the end of summer would not be the same without a trip to the Minnesota State Fair.

Second only in size to the Texas State Fair on a national level, the fair is well-run, has interesting attractions, and is well-supported by the community.

This year, I was able to make it to the fair twice, once on the first day (last Thursday), and then again this past Saturday. I spent the first day walking around, attending media broadcasts, checking out exhibits, viewing the animals, and taking in as much of the fair as I could. Nearly every radio/television outlet in the Twin Cities comes to the fair and broadcasts live, making a truly unique opportunity to see how the local media operates, all in one place.

On Saturday, my brother performed in a high school marching band. I attended the fair with my family and uncle to watch him, and see some of the agriculture/horticulture exhibits.

I brought a camera and snapped some pictures on the first day. See them below.

Timber Time!

The first trunk was prepared for removal.

I was sitting in my family’s backyard a few weeks ago when I noticed that one of the two elm trees was loosing leaves. We were a bit surprised, given that it was June. We contacted a tree company who came out and diagnosed this tree and the other elm in our backyard with dutch elm disease. Even though my parents had the trees injected regularly for nearly twenty years, there was little that could be done to save the (likely fifty year old) trees. We were told they would have to be removed. Standing taller than our house and stretching beyond the property limits, we knew that removing these trees would be no small feet.

The tree company that we contracted to remove the trees arrived yesterday to chop them down. The whole operation took two days. The first day they removed most branches from both trees. Their progress was impressive. Near the end of the day a branch landed on some power lines, knocking our neighbor out of service and removing our ground line. Fortunately the power company was able to come out quickly – our neighbor had their electricity back and we had a grounded line within a couple of hours.

On the second day, the tree company worked to finish cutting branches, to cut the tree trunks, and to remove the limbs. While they had initially planned to do this work with a small Bobcat that they brought, they decided to employ the assistance of a crane. The crane was fun to watch as it lifted huge branches over our house. The Bobcat was also quite interesting. It was smaller than a typical Bobcat (and it could fit through our gate), and was quite helpful when for guiding tree limbs down.

The trees are now down. Though we have a little bit of sod patching to do, our backyard looks nice and the inside of our house is much more sunny and lively. I am impressed by how quickly and efficiently the trimmers worked.

I took a number of pictures of the removal process and also a video showing how the crane worked. Follow our 48 hour backyard transformation below!