Category: Uncategorized


too tired to blog

It’s day 3 of Spat Camp. I’m sore and tired. The schedule starts up at 8:30 AM and goes through 9:30 PM with minimal breaks, so that’s my explanation for not really having enough time to properly blog. I’ve been taking notes, however, so during my next pause I’ll make an attempt at posting them. […]



I’m in a taxi headed out to the University of Minnesota campus where I will face one of life’s unanswered questions. Can I still march? No, seriously. That’s the question. Stay tuned and see.


quark on dvd! at long last!

I can’t believe that QUARK is finally coming to DVD. It only took 30 years. I suppose the recent success of GET SMART at the theaters has given SONY cause to look in their vaults for other Buck Henry classics. The little known series QUARK aired a mere eight episodes in 1978. I watched many […]


iphone 2.0 is here! sorta…

Exactly at the stroke of 8 AM this morning my copy of iTunes stopped telling me that an update wasn’t available. Sweet. It’s downloading right now. The speed is about 1 MB (megabyte) every 2 seconds with a 218.2 MB total download. Once the download is complete, the iPhone is backed up. You see — […]


the piano is gone :-(

My phone rang around noon yesterday. I recognized the number. I answered. Me: (spoken quickly) ”Thisismarkshields.” Constance: ”Mark, this is Constance from the leasing office.” Me: ”Hi!” Constance: ”They’re here.” Me: ”The new iPhones are here???” Constance: [long pause] ”No.” Me: ”No, wait, ABBA is here? Holy sh*t!” Constance: ”Mark, the people who own the […]


vhs tapes to digital video

The GFF is out of town in Nebraska so I’ve spent the July 4th long weekend trying to get every imaginable errand and task completed prior to her return. Also included in there is cleaning the house, the clothes, and the dog and not necessarily in that order. Chief among my distractions has been the […]


brinkerhoff upright piano circa 1913

I noticed an abandoned piano in my condo’s foyer this past Monday afternoon. The piano was still there when Tuesday morning rolled around, so I took it upon myself to ask the leasing office if I could have first dibs. You can never act too quickly when someone is ditching this type of hardware. I […]


jvhs band 1985

  The clip above was originally sourced from a box of beta format videotapes that drum major Kim Lytle’s parents graciously lent me in early 1992. I’d been searching for old tapes of the band (I think?) and was on a nostalgic binge at the time. The tapes were in Beta format and the Lytles […]