Family

  1. The Yin/Yang of the PQ marriage

    The Yin/Yang of the PQ marriage

    As my declaration of need for an audio office evoked such a lively discussion in our “comments” section on Facebook, I determined a trek to the Apple Store was warranted.  I have conducted audio experiments in side-by-side comparisons of Bose, Dr. Dre Beats, and Apple standard issue headphones. Dr. Bose won in a landslide.  Noise cancelling will be deferred for now, but sound quality will not, I'm going for the other Doctor of headphones.

    As the Memorial weekend brought luxurious weather, it seemed fitting that a paddle on our local chain of lakes should preface a trip to the Uptown Apple Store.

    “I need to get a hat.”  Great, Hoigaards, our local, family-owned outdoor store is on the way.

    “I was thinking of the haberdashery.”

    I seriously doubt they sell bucket hats at the local haberdashery.

    It’s a Henry vs Humphrey style debate that plays out

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  2. Mrs. PQ needs Dr. Dre

    Mrs. PQ needs Dr. Dre

    “Mom, I need help writing my turtle essay”.  “Mom, why don’t you write about me in your blog posts, I have good stories.”  “Mom, I need…blah, blah, blah, money, money, money.”  “Mom here are the 12 of the next 18 nights you will be preoccupied with attending my year-end concerts.”  “Mrs. PQ , I need you to re write the copy on our Etsy Store page.”

     

    I need a pair of headphones.  Not just the ubiquitous, white knobs that accompany every iPhone, iPad and iAnything Apple, but rather a large, glaringly red, pair of Dr. Dre’s Beats.  Apple, would you please accelerate your purchase of said company so I can become an in-office product tester.  Of course, Bose “noise cancelling” headphones would also do the trick, but I fear the house would burn down in a world muted to that degree.

     

    Rob Walker, @notrobwalker, Yahoo’s resident

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  3. The mother of all posts

    The mother of all posts

    Last year I wrote a Mother’s Day post replete with not so subtle hints for gifts I may or may not be coveting for my outdoor adventures.  The kids gave me a plant; lovely, but not quite handy as a means of propelling oneself down a scenic river way.   If they want to “go green” this year, may I suggest trees?  Specifically, 11 laminates of butternut, basswood, black willow and alder...eh hem.

     

    They don’t read my blogs, so this year I might resort to more drastic measures.  Believe me, I am not beyond blackmail.  Thankfully, I hold particular sway this year over our best gift giver in our family, next to Mr. PQ of course.  The youngest kid will survey your gift suggestions, perhaps  a month in advance, he will then set a budget, work the appropriate hours, accounting for taxes and savings and then walk to Target to procure

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  4. Freezer Burned

    Freezer Burned

    Attention iTunes App developers, I need help, again.  As I continue my Pinterest inspired assault on our disorganized home, I delved into the freezer in search of an idea for Wednesday’s supper.  Having a few extra minutes, it seemed an opportune time to initiate and archeological type dig to the bottom, hoping the history of my purchases ceased somewhere in mid 2013.  Having passed into the third Costco layer, I discovered a beautifully shrink wrapped pork tenderloin.   As I’d already unearthed another package marked “beef for stew or other” I retired from my work and returned to the kitchen to commence thawing my discoveries in a sink of hot water.  (Hint: infinitely better then microwaving).  With a mid April snow falling softly by the windows, I consulted with Tyler Florence to discover a means of heating up the evening

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  5. Those words don't go together

    Those words don't go together

    One of my early job requirements for Pad & Quill was to become familiar with Pinterest and like many of my technology adaptations, I began with a shudder, gave it a noble effort then abandoned it when I couldn’t recall my sign in information.  Then a friend of mine announced her engagement and suddenly Pinterest was the only proper means of communication with the female side of the bridal party.  So, I hunted down my sign in information and began once again perusing the form of social media that most certainly is the insurance asset should Martha Stewart find herself incarcerated again.  Thanks to Pinterest, I am now convinced that baking soda and vinegar are the solution to every domestic dilemma from dust mites to indigestion.

     

    Speaking of indigestion, Pinterest had me arranging my refrigerator in alphabetical order, with the helpful “m” admonition that any item rendered nondescript due to a colony of mold growth be discarded. 

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  6. Chef Florence, moody boys and craftsman

    Chef Florence, moody boys and craftsman

    We’ve had some moody menfolk in the Pad and Quill household of late, and what a span of moods it is.  I’m beginning to agree with the fifteen year old who contends that men do indeed have a monthly cycle.  Mr. PQ is simply thrilled to have booked reservations at both of Tyler Florence’s restaurants in the San Francisco area at the end of this month.  Mr. PQ’s man crush on Tyler is so pervasive I’m beginning to wonder if I should worry.  Forty years of learning have taught me to wield a paring knife reasonably well but Brian is never going to see this any time soon.

     

    At the other end of the spectrum sits the thirteen year old who had the audacity to get sulky on our recent holiday to the beaches of Florida.  Notwithstanding the fact that we had escaped a week of sub zero, snowy days, he also had 6 days

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  7. iPhone, Mrs PQ and Heart Attacks

    iPhone, Mrs PQ and Heart Attacks

    When you put the word “naked” and “Mrs PQ” in a post you generally get my attention. This occurred last week when I read Kari’s latest post.  Now of course, I thought this was going to be a bit more salacious and less about throwing Mr PQ under the bus. While I can handle these jabs by my lovely wife, I could not let this post go without some type of reasonable response.

     

    Let’s start with her bedroom differentiation. Not what your thinking. Yes, it is true I do like to listen to an App with white noise as I fall asleep. I find it soothing. She stated that she would prefer to open the window a crack and listen and/or feel the outdoors, free of technology. Yeah…she likes to feel the outdoors alright. Did she mention she cracks the window when it’s 20 BELOW ZERO?  I swear I’ve woken up with a layer of hardened frost on my blanket. She’s apparently trying to bring the “outdoors” into the

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  8. iWatch, Mrs PQ and running naked

    iWatch, Mrs PQ and running naked

    In my quest to run a marathon in every state, and dare I dream, one on each continent, I am training for the Fargo Marathon in May.   While Fargo is not exactly an exotic locale, it is a flat course, and as marathons go, it’s an easier run.  As technology goes, it’s perfect timing for the advent of the iWatch, or so states Mr. PQ.

     

    At this point I offer a study in contrast.  When I turn in at night, I open the bedroom window, allowing a fresh breeze and the sounds of nature to permeate the room; perfect sleeping conditions.  Just as I’m drifting into a tranquil dream state, Mr. PQ will enter the bedroom, shut the window, turn on a fan and open an iPhone App that simulates nature sounds.  Apparently, he needs quiet and white noise to cover the pervasive harmony of our extra-urban neighborhood.  Now I grant, the occasional crack of a gunshot around 2 am can be a bit off putting, but how can you prefer a recording of corrugated

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  9. Surviving this winter

    Surviving this winter

    Latest Entry from Mrs PQ

     

    Writing from the Pad and Quill headquarters, firmly ensconced in the frozen tundra.  I’m staring out a window smudged with dog nose prints and a half-hearted attempt by a kid to form gel window clings into the words “let is sn*w” I think the mutt ate the “O” out of pure frustration that winter is trying to kill him when he goes outside.

    IMG_0157

     

    We did get the dog park today before the latest rendition of Snowmaggedon hits.  I personally love winter, primarily because I have a full circus of tricks to make it move faster then it means to move.  For instance, on December 22nd

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  10. A grave breach of protocol

    A grave breach of protocol

    I showed up to the PQ headquarters on the last day of 2013 with my Timbuktu bag and my Macbook conveniently slung into a repurposed, cotton bag.

     

    “You do know we own a bag and case company?” Quipped the mostly patient Brian.

     

    Yes, and the leather bags are shipped in these cotton bags, great for carrying my junk.

     

    At this point Brian rolled his eyes and noted two salient facts.  First, my $1300 Macbook Air probably shouldn’t be classified as junk and second, IT’S NOT EVEN ONE OF OUR BAGS.  I’d grabbed one of the many sample bags we tested this summer and it was emblazoned with some software company logo.  To Brian this stumble in protocol is roughly akin to wearing a New England Patriots 2012 World Champion t-shirt.  (To the NFL unaffiliated, the New England Patriots lost that game to my New York Giants and all those championship shirts that bear their name are adorning little

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