Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays!!

Thanks to Josh Wittenberg for the amazing drawing!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Scoop on Benny

So I got a dog in March and he is awesome. Check out my other blog here to get the lowdown.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


So I haven't posted in a long time. Sorry about that, I have been working hard at my new job and find myself with less to say these days. In August I finally said goodbye to the world of custom furniture, parting ways with Duff Thury Studio Furniture and joining the corporate world. It has been a drastic change, from constantly creating new things and keeping one person happy to being clean, keeping 30 people happy, and not worrying about getting hurt.
I enjoy my new job, it is a surprisingly good fit for my skills. I am an associate technical designer for Target and I work on patio furniture and garden accessories. I basically do something similar to engineering which in itself is weird since I have a BFA in sculpture. But I can think like an engineer and my background is such that I can figure out how things are put together and how to maybe do it better.
Oddest for me is the time spent in meetings. I admit I have sat through several meetings in which I didn't know what was being talked about. I'm not up on all the processes involved in moving the retail machine but learning them, slow as it is, is actually pretty interesting. There are a lot of moving parts and variables and it takes a lot of people to actually get that resin wicker chair to your local Target store.
One of my many new tasks involves writing product standards. As a result of the research I have been doing the last couple months I now know way more about Garden Boots and Grilling Tools than I would have ever expected. I do enjoy the destructive testing involved in the process although I wish we had more tools to destruct with!
I'm heading into development for 2012 patio stuff now and am really excited to be working with the design team on fun new stuff. I have a feeling that although this is getting to be the busiest part of my tenure at Target so far, it is also going to be a lot of fun. Part of development involves a trip to Shanghai for two weeks. I am both excited and reluctant about going, it will be weird being away from home for that long and I will miss Josh and Shatner, but it is such a neat opportunity to travel for free and is an important part of my role.
I had to make a huge decision when I took the Target job. I had an offer from Kidzibits, a local shop that makes museum exhibits, specializing in kid's exhibits (hence the name). The team there was really wonderful and the atmosphere was amazingly relaxed yet productive at the same time. It was really hard to make the decision but I am glad I had a choice at the time; having two employers making offers at the same time is a privilege I hadn't expected and it frankly made my life easier. I ultimately decided to go for Target because it was time to try something less physically demanding, so far I feel like I made the right choice.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A trip to the Library

Ok I admit I do judge a book by its cover. For example whether I pick up a book by an unfamiliar author is determined by two things (this does not include being recommended or mentioned by an author I already like) #1 a great title that automatically makes me want to at least read the back and #2 a great cover that catches my eye. I read a lot, like at least a book a week and that's when I am really busy. So I make a lot of trips to the library to replenish the stockpile. I was picking up some holds at the Sun Ray library in Saint Paul a couple months ago and noticed the new fiction shelf nearby. I was getting ready for a trip to San Diego and needed a few more books for the plane and for down time at the pool and Daryl Gregory's debut novel "Pandemonium" caught my eye. I am definitely a sucker for science fiction already and I loved both the interesting cover art and title automatically so I read the back and when I saw that it had Philip K. Dick as a character (possessed by VALIS no less) I had to read it. It turns out my instincts were right! It was a great book that like many that I love I was sad to see end. I will let you read reviews and summaries elsewhere since I don't really want to regurgitate stuff that is written for you already on Amazon. Another book I recently came upon in a similar way was "Alive in Necropolis" by Doug Dorst, another brilliant debut novel. I was drawn to the cover in the same way and although the book was not as sci-fi as I expected, it was a really wonderful character study about a small town cop who isn't really sure what he wants out of life and his relationships with his friends, alive and dead. Check that out at Amazon as well!

Sugar Cookies

I have been looking for a really great sugar cookie recipe for a long time. Think Bloedow's bakery in Winona. This week I tried out Grandma Wittenberg's recipe. The cookies turned out really good, light and crispy with soft interiors. I added coconut to some of them and I absolutely love them. I don't think its quite right yet but we are definitely moving in the right direction.

Here's the recipe:

Grandma's Sugar Cookies (from the kitchen of JoAnn Wittenberg)

1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c butter (I use half margarine)
1/2 c oil
1 egg

cream these ingredients then add

1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/8 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

mix well, chill dough for about 2 hours. Roll in 1 inch balls, dip in sugar and/or coconut and flatten with a glass.

Bake about 15 min at 350 degrees.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Many Profound Appologies

Sorry Folks, I have been busier than a baker on Sunday morning lately. I promise to find something fun to blog about soon!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Josh and I were perusing the southern part of Saint Paul and West Saint Paul in search of Tamarid Jarritos and a new bathtub faucet when we decided to try out Pineda for lunch. I have had delicious Tortas from Pineda on Lake Street but was never terribly impressed with the cleanliness of that place. This restaurant on the other hand was very clean and the food was fantastic. We have since returned and its only been about a month since we went in the first place (that is unusual for us). I also really dig the architecture, the signage and the windows!