The heavy press to finish my school work prior to my wedding is on. Every waking moment for the rest of this week will be consumed by writing papers. Not fun, but part of being a graduate student. That means I’ll be a bit sporadic with my postings here, but as I need breaks I might put up some thoughts.

Last night it reached -8 degrees F here in my part of Minnesota. That is cold, painfully cold. I had to stop and get gas for my truck, and the 5 or so minutes it took to fill were brutal. I’ve experienced colder weather, much colder in fact, but whenever it’s in the negative degrees it hurts to be outside, hurts to breath the air. I am very thankful I put the new battery in my truck a few weeks back when we had a cold snap, as there is no way my truck would be starting now. Even at these temperatures, my good old truck fires right up. It makes strange noises, and won’t run well if I try to drive off (especially the transmission) it does start right up. I do use a full synthetic oil (Mobil 1 5w30) in my truck, and the past few days I have been plugging in the block heater which helps enormously. For those of you in the South or sunny California, a block heater is effectively a heating element that sits inside of your motor (there are some that attach to the oil pan via strong magnent as well) with an extention cord coming off of it that you can plug into a wall outlet. Most of the year I keep the cord wrapped up in the engine bay near my horn, but 2 days ago I finally pulled it out and plugged it into an extention cord in our parking lot. The good news is that there is a warm up on the way. The news said mid-20’s to lower 30’s possible by the end of the week. And in Minnesota during the winter, that’s shorts weather!

Last night we had the opportunity to attend a party hosted by Horst Rechelbacher for his Intelligent Nutrients employees. IN has their facilities just off of Hennipen Ave. and 35W in Minneapolis, near the U of M campus. If you aren’t familiar with Horst, he is the man who started the Aveda Corporation, a global plant-based cosmetic company, which he began in 1978. We had some really good Indian foods that I couldn’t name and relaxed and took in the atmosphere. Much of the area we were in is decorated with artwork produced by Horst. Both his taste and his expression in art is interesting, though different from my own preferences. The facility is very new-age/spiritual in that Horst has things from numerous world religions decorating his facility. I think generally he sees it more as art than spiritual, but I could be wrong. He was very friendly, and took time to converse with nearly everyone in attendance.