Sunday, November 29, 2015

Netflix New Releases December

Coming to Netflix

December 1st
#DeathToSelfie (2014)
30 for 30: Chasing Tyson (2015)
50 Shades of They, season 1
A Christmas Star (2015)
A Genius Leaves the Hood: The Unauthorized Story of Jay Z (2014)
Amnesiac (2015)
Broadchurch, season 2
CBGB (2013)
Christmas Wedding Baby (2014)
The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury (2004)
Cradle 2 the Grave (2003)
Darkman (1990)
Detectorists, season 1
I’m Brent Morin
Jenny’s Wedding (2015)
Las mágicas historias de Plim Plim, season 1
Ray (2004)
Real Rob, season 1 (2015)
See You In Valhalla (2015)
Sensitive Skin, season 1
Starting Over, season 1
Stir of Echoes (1999)
Stir of Echoes: The Homecoming (2007)
That Touch of Mink (1962)
Tyke: Elephant Outlaw
Winning Life’s Battles, season 1

December 2nd-4th
Stations of the Cross (2014)
Tangerine (2015)
Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine (2015)
A Very Murray Christmas (2015)
Comedy Bang! Bang!, season 4 (additional episodes)

December 5th-9th
A Case of You (2013)
Dinosaur 13 (2014)
Inside Man, season 3
Vampire Academy (2014)
One & Two (2015)
Phoenix (2014)
Xenia (2014)
Phineas and Ferb, season 4
Trailer Park Boys: Drunk, High And Unemployed Live In Austin (2015)

December 11th-18th
The Adventures of Puss in Boots, season 2
The Ridiculous 6 (2015)
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Drown (2014)
Hart of Dixie, season 4
High Profits, season 1
Time Out of Mind (2014)
Fresh Dressed (2015)
Helix, season 2
F is for Family, season 1
Glitter Force, season 1
Making A Murderer, season 1
Mike Epps: Don’t Take It Personal

December 19th-24th
Chloe and Theo (2015)
Leo the Lion (2013)
Magic Snowflake (2013)
Santa’s Apprentice (2010)
El Señor de los Cielos, season 3
Queen of Earth (2015)
Invisible Sister (2015)
Dawn of the Croods, season 1

December 25th-31st
Black Mirror, "White Christmas" episode
Maron, season 3
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, season 5
Parenthood, season 6
Battle Creek, season 1
Manhattan Romance (2014)
Violetta, season 3
Nurse Jackie, seasons 1 through 7
Leaving Netflix

December 1st
Batman Begins
All About Eve
Forces of Nature
My Best Friend’s Wedding
Silence of the Lambs
Soap Dish
Brothers Grimm
The Dark Crystal

December 11th-15th
Rescue Me
Why Did I Get Married
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Charlotte BBQ

From the site:

Charlotte Barbecue
Eastern Carolina Style

Bubba uses a 33-hour process to bring you the finest Eastern North Carolina Style Barbecue available.

We cook the whole hog on our pit until most of the fat is gone. During preparation, the remaining skin, fat, bone, and gristle are thrown away.

You are getting 100% lean meat with no ketchup, sugar or soy fillers. Our Barbecue is lightly seasoned with salt, crushed red pepper and vinegar.

For your safety, we take extra care to ensure food temperature and sanitation requirements are met or exceeded.

Cooked shoulders or other lesser cuts of meat, seasoned with ketchup, sugar, and hickory smoke flavor are much cheaper to produce. That is not our style. We strive for the finest quality at an affordable price.

Bill Spoon's BBQ

5524 South Boulevard Charlotte, NC 28217

From the site:

My grandfather, Bill Spoon, founded Spoon’s BBQ in 1963 when South Boulevard was a two-lane country road named “Pineville Road.” Since then, a lot has changed, but our recipes are still original and our true southern hospitality has remained the same.
Papaw, as I called him, taught me most of what I know. He taught me the in and outs of cooking the barbecue to perfection. He taught me the importance of consistency through the food we serve. He taught me how to run the business from the kitchen to the cash register. But most importantly, he taught me to treat the customers the way I’d want to be treated. We strive to make each meal a memorable one, and the Spoon family grows with each new customer who walks through our doors.

If you’re looking for real Eastern NC Style BBQ served with homemade vinegar based bbq sauce, mustard based coleslaw, hearty Brunswick stew, made-from-scratch hushpuppies, homemade banana pudding and the best sweet tea around…we’d love for you to join us for a meal!

See you soon!

 Steve Spoon, Jr.

Monday, November 23, 2015

My Brew Heaven: 50 Best Places to Drink Craft Beer in Charlotte

My Brew Heaven: 50 Best Places to Drink Craft Beer in Charlotte 

Info. provided by Charlotte Magazine:

 Ten of my favorites from the list:

Bad Daddy's Burger Bar
You're forgiven if you think of Bad Daddy's as, you know, a burger joint. But it also boasts a surprisingly impressive beer list. You won't find any boring brews among the 20 or so drafts (varies by location) — the Bell's Two Hearted Ale goes great with a burger. Of about 40 bottles, half are craft brews, including a rare gluten-free beer. On Wednesdays, bring mugs up to 40 ounces and fill 'er up for $4-$6, depending on the brew. 1626 East Blvd., 704-714-4888; 15105-A John J. Delaney Dr., 704-919-2700; 8625-A Lindholm Dr. (Birkdale Village), 704-237-4055.

Birdsong Brewing Co.
Birdsong is a must-stop when you’re in the NoDa district. The brewery’s selections include mainstays such as Free Will Pale Ale and Lazy Bird Brown Ale, but the intriguing brew here is the Jalapeño Pale Ale, which uses fresh jalapeños to put a little heat on your beer. The tasting room is open Tuesday-Sunday to enjoy a pint or two or fill a growler to go. Birdsong also features live entertainment on certain weekends. 2315 N. Davidson St., 704-332-1810 (The brewery is currently prepping its new location at 1016 North Davidson St.)

Brawley's Beverage
If you want to put your finger on the pulse of what's happening in beer culture, then you need to speak to Charlotte's godfather of beer, Michael Brawley. His store reflects a connoisseur's love, stocked with more than 800 different beers, and there's not a dog in the mix (but plenty of Dogfish Head). Brawley also ages beers in his walk-in cooler, and he sells kegs of Sierra Nevada, Spaten, Foothills, and Dogfish, just to name a few. There are even meads, ciders, and gluten-free beers. Brawley will also offer recommendations, and the store is open daily. 4620 Park Rd., 704-521-1300

The Common Market
Among the items in this hip little store are more than 200 of the best cutting-edge craft beers: Lagunitas, He’brew, Green Flash, Stone, Great Divide, Hitachino Nest from Japan, Highland, Pisgah, French Broad, Thomas Creek, Catawba Valley, Duck Rabbit, and Mother Earth. There are free beer tastings and $3 drafts most Wednesdays, and you can shop for selections available in bottles, cans and growlers. Grab a pint from one of the taps while relaxing at the informal indoor seating or on the patio. 2007 Commonwealth Ave., 704-334-6209

Crêpe Cellar Kitchen and Pub
Crêpe Cellar in NoDa serves excellent savory and sweet crêpes and has eight beer taps: seven rotating beers and one seasonal. Chimay White is a regular on tap, but also look for selections from Belhaven (a terrific Twisted Thistle IPA), Catawba Valley Brewing Company and Foothills. Finds on the bottle list include intriguing Belgian beer Rodenbach Grand Cru and Wells & Young’s Banana Bread Beer, which tastes as good as it sounds. 3116 N. Davidson St., 704-910-6543

Dandelion Market
This is a bit of a restaurant industry anomaly, where the kitchen and bar come together in philosophical harmony. Dandelion Market — heralded for bringing the local and organic to a glitzy uptown nightlife — has 24 beers on draft, with usually six from in-state breweries. While you'll notice a couple Belgians like Klokke Roeland on the list, this is the place to find brews from homeboys like Big Boss and Highland.
118 W. 5th St., 704-333-7989

Davidson Beverage Company
Every college or university needs a good beer shop. Enter Davidson Beverage Co., which opened its doors to students and craft beer lovers in the small town in May 2012. Grab a pint from one of the six taps (and they’re usually stellar brews from the likes of Delirium, Lagunitas, French Broad and Ballast Point) while shopping over a selection of more than 300 bottles. Growlers are available for sale, while Davidson Beverage Company also has tastings from time to time. 442 S. Main St., Suite 100, Davidson, 704-255-6232

Dilworth Neighborhood Grille
Several alumni clubs meet here for football and basketball games, and for good reason. Dilworth usually devotes at least four of its 12 taps to beer brewed in Charlotte, and patrons can also enjoy starting the weekend on Friday Pint Night, where all draft beer is half off. Come in on Wednesdays for “Think While You Drink” trivia, where teams have a chance to win gift cards. And if you’re not big into tailgating or traffic during Panthers games, Dilworth offers a free shuttle to and from the stadium on Sundays. 911 E. Morehead St. Suite 200, 704-377-3808

Duckworth's Grill and Taphouse
Duckworth’s started with the 46-tap Mooresville Mecca for beer, expanded with another location near Myers Park featuring 60 taps and went even further with 80 taps at its newest location in Ballantyne (there’s also a future Duckworth’s scheduled to open this spring in Huntersville). While that might sound intimidating, the draft list is super accessible, with ratings and taste guides to help you pick your poison. Plus, with $3 drafts on select nights (Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Park Road location, Mondays and Wednesdays at the Ballantyne location and Mondays and Tuesdays at the one in Mooresville) you have plenty of room for sampling. 560 River Hwy., Mooresville, 704-799-2881; 4435 Park Rd., 704-527-5783; 14015 Conlan Circle, 704-752-7284

Ed's Tavern
This longtime Dilworth favorite (and Homeland filming spot) carries 26 drafts and around 50 bottles, featuring local suppliers such as Olde Mecklenburg along with the likes of Highland, Duck Rabbit, Breckenridge and Smuttynose. And since the list is already wallet friendly (you likely won't find a draft here for more than $5), you'll definitely want to stop in on Monday night for $1 off nights. 2200 Park Rd., 704-335-0033

25 Top Hikes in the Charlotte area: My Three Favorites

Link to 25 Top Hikes in the Charlotte area

My top three with descriptions courtesy of Great Outdoor Provision:

 Lake Norman State Park: Lake Shore Trail | 5 miles

Lake Norman grew out of a Duke Power Company power project on the Catawba River begun in 1959 and completed in 1964; the parked formed in 1962, while the lake was still filling. Among the recreational benefits resulting from the new Lake Norman was the opportunity to take a long lakeshore hike. Actually, only about half of the Lake Shore trail subscribes to its name, and technically the water it buddies up to is Hicks Creek before it becomes part of the lake. While most trails aren’t ideal for summer hikes, this one is, passing near the park’s swimming area. 

 Bakers Mountain Park | 6 miles

At 200 acres, Bakers Mountain isn’t big. But it is a great example of a foothills forest. From its 1,780-foot summit, the highest point in Catawba County, a chestnut oak forest spreads below, with the occasional open meadow and a boulder outcrop. The landscape offers a mix of Piedmont and mountain, with mountain laurel, rhododendron Table Mountain and pitch pine, Boynton’s Locust, Shiny-leaf Meadowsweet and Heartleaf Wild Ginger. An extensive trail network gives hikers good exposure to the park. 

Crowders Mountain State Park: Crowders and Rocktop trails | 5 miles
Kings Mountain

As “100 Classic Hikes in North Carolina” notes, “this is a classic ‘eat-your-broccoli-and-I-promise-you-something-really-good-for-desert’ kind of trail.” The broccoli: a nondescript hike from the Visitor Center east on Crowders Mountain Trail. The trail crosses Sparrow Springs Road, then continues along the base of Crowders Mountain before a rigorous climb up the mountain’s north flank. There’s a notorious stair climb (gain 360 feet in four-tenths of a mile), then its frolic time atop Crowders Mountain’s rocky ridgeline. The return along Rocktop Trail includes more boulder passages.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sauna Enthusiasts in Minnesota: Star Tribune Article

I was impressed by the article on the rising interest in sauna's among Minnesota's millennials.
I have built many saunas, and was first introduced to them from my father and grandfather.  They
are a nice way to fight back against the long dark winters in Minnesota.  I enjoy firing up my wood burning
sauna stove and filling up the wood bucket with some water, and standing outside between sessions in
subzero freezing temperatures.   A dousing of cold water over my head and maybe a scrub with some
tar soap, along with a few beers is a way to show mother nature that the cold isn't going to win.  I think
this resilience is what the Finnish refer to as SISU, and Minnesotan's could use a little of this when it comes
to our relentless winter weather.

It is also a practice that doesn't incorporate electronics.  They are actually shunned in my sauna, along with
loud talking, and electric light.  The only light in my sauna is a candle, if we use any light at all.

Here is my favorite quote from the article, in reference to how taking a sauna is like a mini-vacation from their electronic leash cellphones: “They are so plugged in all the time, it’s hard for people of that age to drop that, so the sauna has become this wonderful place to do that, like a mini-vacation,” he said.

Read the entire article: Sauna Enthusiasts in Minnesota: Star Tribune Article link

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Brainerd Lakes Live Music: November 19-25-MEAT RAFFLE SEASON IS UPON US!

The weather is a changing around the Brainerd Lakes Area.   Winter in the area is known for many activities, and local Brainerdites enjoy going to the local watering hole to attend meat raffles.  After winning a few T-bones, steak tips, and hamburger patties, what better way to celebrate the winnings than going to some live music.  It is okay to stop and check out some bands, as the meat won't spoil in your car during these temperatures.  I won a meat raffle at Jerry's Bar in Boy River one time in the heat of an August summer night, and lets just say I didn't get to enjoy my winnings, because I was sidetracked by the festivities at Jerry's Bar, and forgot about my winnings out on the seat of my truck. Let's just say it doesn't keep in those temperatures.
Best Little Bar In Boy River, MN: Jerry's Bar

Anyway, here is the live music in the BLA via the Brainerd Dispatch:
Live Music
For week of Nov. 19-25; bands perform from 9 p.m. to close with no cover unless otherwise noted.


Coco Moon

601 Laurel St.

Bluegrass, first, third and fifth Friday of the month

Eagles Club

124 Front St.

Artison, 7:30-11:30 p.m. Friday; $5 for all dances for non-Eagle members.

Last Turn Saloon

215 S. Eighth St.

Katie Wig and Mitchell Gerard, 8:30-10:30 p.m. Nov. 28

Liquor Pigz

718 Laurel St.

Karaoke, 10 p.m. every Wednesday

Jam session/open mic, 9 p.m. every Sunday

Shep's on Sixth

315 S. Sixth St.

DJ, every Friday-Saturday in Elbow Room

St. Mathias Bar and Grill

4640 County Road 121

Soundtrack, Friday-Saturday


Commander Bar

30279 Airport Road

Slapshot, 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday

JJ's Pub

Downstairs of the Commander

Soupbones, Saturday


The Bridge Tavern

26929 Highway 6

Live music every Friday; Classic Country Dinner Theater, 4-8 p.m. Sunday



2156 County Road 3

Muddy Water Band, 8 to midnight, Saturday

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Leo "Bud" Welch Mississippi Bluesman Video

83-Year-Old Mississippi Bluesman Leo "Bud" Welch from Brent Foster (Foster Visuals) on Vimeo.

From Vimeo Description:

Two years ago no one outside of Bruce, Mississippi knew Leo "Bud" Welch. Today, he's recognized as one of the last remaining Mississippi Delta bluesman.

Born in 1932, Leo "Bud" Welch began playing guitar at the age of 13. He played for family, friends, and churches while making a living in the logging industry and on the farm for more than 35 years.

This year, at the age of 83, Leo released his first ever blues C.D entitled "I Don't Prefer No Blues."

The album tittle is a quote when Leo talked to the preacher at his church and told him he was recording a blues C.D.

Leo is proof to never give up on your dreams. He also wants to pass the legacy of music along to a new generation.

Alongside the main video, we also created a second short video documenting one of Leo's visits to a school in Arkansas where he performed for young children in hopes of keeping the tradition of blues alive and well in younger generations.

Leo hopes to continue to visit schools and pass his music along in hopes of inspiring the next great blues musician.

Junior Kimbrough: Junior's Place in Mississippi

By Wes Freeman (June 2000)
Night has already fallen on October 28, 1990, when 60-year-old David "Junior" Kimbrough sits down to play guitar for the regulars at his juke joint in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Behind him is his drummer Calvin Jackson. To his right is Little Joe Ayers, his electric bass player. He looks at the crowd and then past them. His mouth is open and he looks lost, even though he owns the place in every sense of the word. Within a few months he will have a stroke. In a year he will record his first album. In time, his son and musical heir, David Kimbrough, will be imprisoned. He will be awarded a $5000 Gibson Les Paul guitar, his most prized possession. In seven years, he will die of heart failure. But right now, Junior knows none of this; he's just getting ready to play guitar.

As he begins to play, he moves his head as if he is receiving radio transmissions from deep space. He says that his songs come to him in his dreams, and listening to him play them, you can believe it. The bassist and drummer tighten up behind him, so that everybody can dance. Over their muscular, repetitive rhythm, Junior's electric guitar floats and bounces, moving at about half the speed of his rhythm section, but guiding it through his songs just the same.

Read the rest of the article:

Career Planning for High School Students: Part 2-Gaining Work Experience

There are many ways for high school students to gain experience in their local communities. A quick search of "job shadowing city state", in which you are located, will be a good start for researching a place to gain 8-10 hrs. of experience seeing if the profession may be for you. 

 When I was a senior in high school, I decided to do a one day job shadow at a mortuary to explore the daily life of an embalmer and mortician.  This was in 1994, so I didn't email the funeral home or do a google search to find it.  I ended up having a close friend who's uncle was in the business in a large town about an hour from where we grew up.

The day was very memorable, and I will never forget the important things I learned from job shadowing a mortician and embalmer. The day started with my friend's uncle explaining the process, and walking us through the mortuary in the same sequence as the arriving dead. We started in the garage, and he explained each part of the Cadillac hearse, and showed us the different carts and the way they were constructed for ultimate ergonomics. We continued to the embalming room, and saw the drains, chemicals, and safety gear utilized by the embalmers.  I was surprised to see they even had headphones and television to watch while they were completing the process.

From this point, we went into the next room and saw where the bodies were finished with makeup and dress clothes, as well as other processes to make the corpse better for viewing.  We saw the casket room, and all the options available.
Long story short, it was an eye opening job shadow into the demanding mortuary profession.  I returned home that day pale and shaken from the experience, and my mom asked how my day had gone, and if I was still interested in pursuing Mortuary Science, but by the look on my face, she already knew the answer.  By dreams of becoming a mortician had vanished.

Job shadows are very important because they allow us the chance to see the realities of a given profession.]

Here is more information on ways to get vital career experience:

Information via:

Get experience

If job shadowing gives you a taste of what an occupation is like, imagine how helpful getting experience could be. Students can begin getting career-related experiences in high school through internships, employment, and other activities.
Taking part in different experiences is another step toward helping you to figure out what you like—and what you don’t. These experiences may teach valuable job skills, such as the importance of arriving on time. (See box: Put forth your best you.)
But, say school counselors, students need to remember that school takes priority over other pursuits. “It’s a good idea to get experience while you’re a student,” says Hartline, “but not at the expense of academic success.” Danaher agrees. “School should be your full-time job,” he says.


Completing an internship is an excellent way to get experience. Internships are temporary, supervised assignments designed to give students or recent graduates practical job training. Sometimes, internships or other experiential learning positions are built into educational programs, and students receive academic credit for completing them.
At Lovely’s school, for example, students have the option to fulfill an internship for credit during their junior or senior year. Lovely interned during her junior year for her high school theater director. “She gave us opportunities to do everything from contacting local newspapers for ads to writing program notes to directing the middle school production,” says Lovely. The experience gave Lovely a feel for a director’s work—and helped to cement her career goals.
At other schools, students seek out internships on their own. Academic credit may not be awarded, but gaining hands-on experience can still be worthwhile. Check with your school counselor to see if opportunities exist at your school.


Summer or part-time employment is another way to get experience. Paid jobs allow you to earn money, which can help you learn how to budget and save for future goals or expenses.
For some students, summer is a great time to explore careers through employment. As the chart shows, young people worked in a variety of industries in July 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Saturday, November 14, 2015

How to Sit and Wait: Bob Robb's Guide to Hunting Whitetail Deer from a Tree Stand or Ground Blind | Field

How to Sit and Wait: Bob Robb's Guide to Hunting Whitetail Deer from a Tree Stand or Ground Blind | Field
From the article:


It is entirely possible that after zero activity for seven hours, a buck with a bone chandelier on his head will offer you a standing broadside shot at 12 yards for three seconds before vanishing forever. If, at this moment, you are trying to see how much of your bow release will fit into a single nostril or are reading the ingredients of your Hershey's chocolate bar and wondering what, exactly, an "emulsifier" does, you will not shoot this buck. So how do you stay ready? Try this mental exercise. Imagine your paycheck as it wafts out of its envelope onto a flat surface. Now picture a sharp knife cutting it into thirds. One third bursts into flame and turns to ash. That is the part that goes to the government. Another third does the same. That is your mortgage or rent. The remaining third begins to smolder and to slowly consume itself. There goes your vehicle payment, groceries, and beer. That leaves (let's add it up) nothing. In fact, you are so far in debt that you could work for the rest of your life and die owing money. And on the day of your funeral (cremation, actually, since the state is footing the bill) you will receive three notices congratulating you on your eligibility for new credit cards.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Thomas Friedman Video: Average is Over-Keys to Success in Modern America

I just watched this video for the first time today.  I haven't read any of his books, but Thomas Friedman
is a prolific author, and his opinion on the changes in the world concerning technology and communication rings true.  I also like his discussion of all technological terms coined in the last ten years.  

With a false sense of self entitlement looming in many minds in America, I wonder if the "Think Like an IMMIGRANT" motto will truly sink in.  But I still like the analogy and the way he scares the crap out of people like me, and makes me want to try harder...I guess.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Get plot right: Lessons from 7 bestsellers

Get plot right: Lessons from 7 bestsellers

I could see this information as being pretty helpful, as most of the best sellers are not that well written and they are usually pretty quick reads. Maybe writing the next best seller is as easy as stealing a plot from one of the major mass market paper back writers, and inserting interesting characters.

Here is the list: (Click the link above for the entire article)

The Davinci Code by Dan Brown

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larssen

The Thirteenth Tale by by Diane Setterfield

Diane Setterfield’s first novel became a best seller immediately after its release in 2006 and was made into a film by the BBC in 2013. The Thirteenth Tale hearkens back to its gothic predecessors. The plot itself shifts between past and present as the protagonist uncovers the family secrets of a famous novelist.

While the book’s structure and the particulars of its plot are original, the success of The Thirteenth Tale indicates that newness is not always what the public is seeking. Old-fashioned melodrama abounds in The Thirteenth Tale, and with its backdrop of antiquarian bookselling and echoes of nineteenth century classics, it is almost a polar opposite to the contemporary concerns of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. What it shares with that, and other bestsellers, is a number of plot twist and unpredictable revelations that grip the reader.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Kostova’s 2005 novel The Historian quickly became the fastest-selling first novel in U.S. publishing history. Kostova based her story on the historical Vlad Tepes and the literary Count Dracula as she related the tale of a professor and his daughter in search of Tepes’ tomb.

The book includes lush descriptions of the many European countries in which it is set. Like The Da Vinci Code, it draws on a literary and historical background that most readers have a passing familiarity with and gives the reader a sense of access to secrets and historical details formerly concealed. Like several other bestsellers, secret histories and discoveries create an interest and make the book a page-turner. Unlike The Da Vinci Code but like The Thirteenth Victim, the time scope of The Historian is huge, set across three major periods in the twentieth century.

Another best-seller that occurs across a broad swathe of the twentieth century is one by South African writer Lauren Beukes:

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

The serial killer is an ever-popular trope in thrillers and crime fiction, but Beukes marries it to time travel in her 2013 novel, later optioned by actor Leonardo di Caprio’s production company. The Shining Girls tells the story of one who seeks out young women to murder in order to maintain his connection with the time-travelling house he has stumbled into. What Beukes gets right in The Shining Girls is injecting something fresh into well-worn storytelling tropes such as serial killers with female victims.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Brainerd Lakes Live Music: Nov. 12-18, 2015

I still have one weekend left of deer hunting, but for those of you not inclined to take part in Minnesota's white tail deer hunting craze, another option might be checking out some live music this weekend in the Brainerd Lakes Area.
My choice for live music this week would be The Agates at the Eagles Club.  The Eagles club is a great place to relax after a stressful week at work, and enjoy some live music by the band with the coolest name in Minnesota. You see, this band is named after the state's gemstone, the illusive but brilliantly ensconced agate.  They can be found in many places in the BLA, and I am hoping this band is also a GEM!

For week of Nov. 12-18; bands perform from 9 p.m. to close with no cover unless otherwise noted.


Coco Moon

601 Laurel St.

Bluegrass, first, third and fifth Friday of the month

Eagles Club

124 Front St.

The Agates, 7:30-11:30 p.m. Friday; $5 for all dances for non-Eagle members.

Last Turn Saloon

215 S. Eighth St.

Duncan Vinje, 8:30-10:30 p.m. Friday

Theology on Tap, 6-9 p.m. Saturday

Liquor Pigz

718 Laurel St.

Karaoke, 10 p.m. every Wednesday

Jam session/open mic, 9 p.m. every Sunday

Shep's on Sixth

315 S. Sixth St.

DJ, every Friday-Saturday in Elbow Room

St. Mathias Bar and Grill

4640 County Road 121

Big T, Saturday


Commander Bar

30279 Airport Road

In2ition, 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday

JJ's Pub

Downstairs of the Commander

Lee Bone, Saturday


The Bridge Tavern

26929 Highway 6

Live music every Friday; Classic Country Dinner Theater, 4-8 p.m. Sunday

Career Planning for High School Students Part 1: Identifying Interests

High school is a stressful time for many students.   It is a time when many students are trying  to juggle the increasing demands of an adult life, with all of the activities and social requirements associated with the upper levels of high school.   Transitioning from high school to college, or a career or technical program, is a major life change.  I have included some helpful information that may help students make informed choices about their future.  The Bureau of Labor has a great article written by  Elka Torpey titled: "Career Planning for High Schoolers":

I have highlighted some of my favorite information from the first part of this article, but follow the link to read the article in its entirety.
Link to full article: /career-planning-for-high-schoolers.htm

In the article, Elka Torpey states,
"If you’re still in high school, you may not be as sure of your vocation as Lovely is of hers. But, like Lovely, you can start thinking about—and planning for—your future before graduation.
“Start exploring what you want to do when you’re a freshman,” says Mark Danaher, a career counselor at Newington High School in Newington, Connecticut. “The high school years go very quickly.”
Most people need some preparation before they’re ready for the workforce, and planning should begin long before it’s time to start a career. This could include taking technical courses during high school or, after graduating, attending a college or university to earn a certificate or a degree. Knowing what type of career preparation you need begins with thinking about what type of career you want.
This article helps high school students plan for careers. The first section talks about exploring your interests. The second section highlights the importance of internships, jobs, and other opportunities for getting experience. The third section describes some education or training options, both in high school and afterward. The fourth section offers some thoughts on pursuing your dream career. And the final section lists sources for more information."

Here are some of my thoughts on the initial stages of career planning for high school students:

The first part of the article lists many free career interest  tools that can be useful as a starting point for career exploration. 

I agree with the article's position on not putting too much pressure on students to find one career and stick with it.  The most important questions high school students should ask are:

What do I like to do? (List 5)

What are some job that I know I don't like to do? (List 5)

Most high school students have work experience, and this is a good starting point for thinking about what they are willing to do for work, or what they know they don't want to do.

For example, if a student has worked in a the service industry and they know they love working with and helping people, it may be a good starting point for looking into a career in hospitality or management.

I find that many students have a passion they love to pursue, but may need assistance with figuring out how to turn this passion into a career.

After identifying interest, many students may find it helpful to complete a free online assessment at a great site for career exploration :

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Rolling CB Interview™ - 2004 Kenworth: Bull Hauler

Northbound Kenworth driver hauling cattle is interviewed in this Rolling CB interview. The truck has a lot of horsepower, which is a giant understatement, but it seems like most bull haulers modify their trucks to haul more weight.  He has 45 head of cattle on which is around 48,000 pounds.  Most bull haulers are owner operators, and they have  a great deal of pride in their ride.  I grew up around cattle and know how skittish they can get, so I have a lot of respect for the work these drivers must go through just getting their freight loaded onto the truck.

M State's Mobile Classroom

Check out this short informative video on M State's Mobile Welding Classroom. The college has converted a reefer trailer into a mobile welding training classroom that will travel to sites so students can train without having to incur transportation costs. They see going to the students to help them with skills as a futuristic vision of what education can look like in comparison to the traditional model.

I think this would be a great resource for high school students interested in a high demand career field like welding.

Brainerd Lakes Area Live Music: November 5th-11th, 2015

 I don't want to jinx the unseasonably warm Minnesota fall we have been having, but it is still mild out as I am composing this post.   It is a great time to get out of the house and spend some time checking out the local live music scene in the Brainerd Lakes area of Minnesota. 

Mike Soderlund will be the artist to check out this week.  He is playing on Saturday at the Last Turn Saloon, and it will be a show you won't want to miss.  
Check out other options below:

Via the Brainerd Dispatch:

For week of Nov. 5-11; bands perform from 9 p.m. to close with no cover unless otherwise noted.


Coco Moon

601 Laurel St.

Bluegrass, first, third and fifth Friday of the month

Eagles Club

124 Front St.

The Agates, 7:30-11:30 p.m. Friday; $5 for all dances for non-Eagle members.

Last Turn Saloon

215 S. Eighth St.

Mike Soderlund, 8:30-10:30 p.m. Saturday

Liquor Pigz

718 Laurel St.

Karaoke, 10 p.m. every Wednesday

Jam session/open mic, 9 p.m. every Sunday

Shep's on Sixth

315 S. Sixth St.

DJ, every Friday-Saturday in Elbow Room


Commander Bar

30279 Airport Road

Drama Queen, 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday

JJ's Pub

Downstairs of the Commander

Mary Stary, Saturday


The Bridge Tavern

26929 Highway 6

Live music every Friday; Classic Country Dinner Theater, 4-8 p.m. Sunday

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Barbeque with Franklin

I have been thinking about buying a smoker ever since watching the first BBQ with Franklin  episodes on the free PBS channels I have from using free DTV.  The series takes place in Austin, TX and Franklin is a true scholar about all the things associated with BBQ.  He also has some great fabricating skills when it comes down to making his own smokers out of propane tanks.   He usually has a cold beer in hand and interviews other masters of BBQ.
After watching this series, I am going to try and build a smoker when it warms up in the spring.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Truck Driver Tips: How to Organize A Semi Truck

This is a great video on how to organize a truck:

CJ is a blogger and truck driver, and I appreciate all of the organization tips she

gives for setting up the inside of your truck. I also think her organizational strategies

could be used for organizing any space.  One thing is for certain and that is the fact

that professional drivers have to learn to live in small spaces for large amounts of time, and

organization can sure help make things easier.  Check out more of her tips at:

Bidding War for Truck Drivers in the United States: Wall Street Journal

I am wondering when trucking companies are going to turn things around and start taking care of
their employees.  I also wonder if trucking is starting to consider unionizing again, or what other measures this industry may need to take to keep up with the demand for qualified commercial drivers.

I found the WSJ article to be a great read.  Please see the excerpt below, or follow this link for the full article.

From the WSJ article:
There is a shortage of truck drivers in the United States. 
Unsurprisingly, that's leading to a bidding war for qualified truckers among the big companies. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the need for 48,000 truckers in an industry of 800,000.
It's not shocking that the country faces a trucker shortage: Days on the job are long, it's hard to have a family, and drivers are required to be in a seat and watch the road for hours at a time. In addition to that, pay bumps couldn't even keep up with inflation between 2000 and 2014.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Netflix New Releases November 2015


November 1
Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce (Season 1)
Seven Deadly Sins (Season 1)
Worst Year of My Life, Again (Season 1)

November 2
Last Tango in Halifax (Season 3)

November 3
Julius Jr. (Season 2)

November 6
Master of None (Season 1)

November 13
Atención Atención (Season 1)
W/ Bob and David (Season 1)
Young & Hungry (Season 2)

November 15
Continuum (Season 4)
Jessie (Season 4)

November 16
Cristela (Season 1)

November 18
Black Butler (Season 3)
River (season 1)

November 20
LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu (Season 3)
Marvel's Jessica Jones (Season 1)

November 23
The Red Road (Season 2)
Ultimate Spider-Man (Season 3)

November 24
Liv and Maddie (Season 2)

November 25
Gringolandia (Season 3)
Switched at Birth (Season 4)


November 1
Beethoven's Christmas Adventure (2011)
Idris Elba: Mandela, My Dad and Me (2015)
Last Days in Vietnam (2014)
Pasion de Gavilanes (2003)
Robot Overlords (2015)|
Smithsonian Channel: The Day Kennedy Died (2013)
The Last Time You Had Fun (2014)
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004)
Thomas & Friends: The Christmas Engines (2014)
Twinsters (2015)

November 3
Do I Sound Gay? (2014)
The Midnight Swim (2014)

November 5
Amapola (2014)
Amour Fou (2014)
The Runner (2015)

November 6
Care Bears & Cousins (Season 1)

November 7
LeapFrog Letter Factory: Great Shape Mystery (2015)

November 12
Anna Karenina (2012)

November 13
Call Me Lucky (2015)
John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid (2015)

November 14
Blue Caprice (2013)
Dior and I (2014)

November 15
People, Places, Things (2015)
Soaked in Bleach (2015)
Tengo Ganas de Ti (2012)

November 20
Sin Tetas No Hay Paraiso (2007)

November 25
Home (2014)

November 26
Zipper (2015)

November 28
A Perfect Man (2013)
Best of Enemies (2015)
The Best Offer (2013)

November 29
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (2014)