Star ice candle holder

My dad died on Tuesday afternoon, after suffering a heart attack while driving his car. He drove up onto the median, and no other cars or people were involved. Some people stopped and tried to help, called 911. He was taken in an ambulance to Regions Hospital and died either on the way or shortly after arriving. My mom called me at work and Val and I flew to MN first thing Wednesday morning.

There has been an overwhelming show of love, support and kindness toward my family in the very short time since this occurred. I wanted to post to let people know what had happened and to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and calls and emails. It means the world to my family, and you have no idea how it helps us though this experience.

This evening there were anonymously placed star votive holders, made of ice, on our front steps, and a sheet with the lyrics to "This Little Light of Mine" and the comment that "Lee's light shines in Alex and Eric and Jan and everyone else Lee loved."

I hope that those who knew him, or even knew of him and his spirit will remember him often, and keep the memory of him with them for a long time.


By Lee Bajuniemi
April 18, 2007

I have gradually realized that
I have only a limited number of breaths for the duration of my life
I have deliberately made my breaths longer and fewer and
I have noticed that it slows down my limited number of heart beats.
I have only a limited number of steps to take, so
I have stepped in the direction and the pace that yields the most satisfaction.
I have only a limited number of occasions for affection and nurturing, so
I have been spending time with the persons who are the best for me, and v/v.
I have only a limited amount of time to read interesting things, so
I have concentrated on essays, biographies and poetry of writers I value.
I have only limited resources for travel to places I love or have never visited, so
I have been going to those places and planning destinations that mean much to me.
I have only a limited number of meals to create and consume, so
I have been choosing menus and recipes both at and away from home.
I have only a limited number of words to put together on paper, so
I have been carefully thinking what I want to leave for my sons to know how I think.
I have only a limited number of words to speak, especially with my clients, so
I have been measuring carefully what purpose I really want a conversation to serve.
I have only a limited number of laughs to enjoy for the duration of my life, so
I have become determined to maximize things I notice that hold humor and happiness.
I have only a limited number of chances to find beauty and peace and silence, so
I have fine-tuned my aesthetic radar to be as open as possible to those elements.
I have only a limited number of rivers and lakes and streams to know, so
I have checked on state parks, national monuments and recreation areas to visit.
I have learned that silence restores and refreshes and reassures, even though
I have a deep conviction that I will eventually have ample peace, so
I have spent daily time meditating, absorbing the quiet around me, so
I will be able to breathe more slowly and for a long, long time.



Catstronaut, originally uploaded by doctorhectic.

I have other pictures and other things to blog about, but this felt inspired. So here it is.



On the way to Thanksgiving in NC, we passed a lot of things, perhaps none more disturbing than this sign.

taste treat

I mean, who doesn't love coffee and hot dogs? Probably anyone else riding in the car with you. I guess it could be burritos and milkshakes, that might be worse.

We made it to VA in about 8 hours, without stopping for coffee and hot dogs (or worse), picked up Stef and she took us to lunch at the Little Grill Collective.

Little Grill

Sammiches and beer all around!

Little Grill

Then we took a quick tour of Stef's library, and I hung out with Gandhi!

Gandhi & Me

Back in the car, and off to NC! Upon our arrival, we secured the key to our Carrboro Condo (Thanks J&J!) and settled in with some old friends. Well, at least one 10 year old friend.

the scotch

We slept in a bit and then got ready for Thanksgiving day, running some errands and picking up some items, then heading over to help prepare the feast.


And then there were snacks! CRAB BALLS!

crab balls


cheese plate


homebrew #1

and a baby cute enough to eat, STELLA!

Me & Stella

The tables were set, the Tofurky was carved, and we all took our places and stuffed our faces. There were plenty of veggie dishes, and two kinds of stuffing, one with oysters(!). The Tofurky was well, Tofurrific, but everything was fantastic. The food, the drink, the people, the whole damn day was great. We partied until even the puppies were worn out.

Baby Bert


On friday we took a walk around Carrboro and Chapel Hill.

scooter security

Stef & scooter

the happy wanderers

OBAMA crane


loco for locopops

...and ended up at the Weave.

Brad & I @ the Weave

Stef & Val @ the Weave

Saturday morning was Swedish Pancake morning (have pan, will travel), and David reached a new level of topping with a Divine™ chocolate and whip cream.

chocolate & whip on a pancake

He seemed pleased with his choice.

David bliss

Oh and that cute baby was there too.

Stella & I

The rest of the day involved fried pickles, bloody marys, more hanging out with Stella, and an evening at OCSC in Carrboro.


Sunday we got up early and had breakfast at Elmo's Diner, and hit the road. It rained all day on the way back north, and by the time the sun went down, we were facing down some winter weather advisories in the Poconos and decided to pull over and get a room. The hotel shall remain nameless, and was fine for the most part, but it did feature four things I feel I must point out.

1) A Kool vending machine.

Kool smoke machine

2) A bottle opener mounted to the door frame in our bathroom.

classy hotel

2) A mean sounding cocktail list. Well, maybe not mean. Frightening, though.

drink list

3) And speaking of frightening, I can't believe I didn't get a picture, but at the breakfast steam table, there were "eggs" in one of the trays. "Eggs" that looked like this,

and that's not my lack of proportion-rendering skillz, they were literally white blobs with small yellow dots in them. Too small yellow dots. And from the side they looked like this,

Not just with edges, but square edges, just like the diagram. They were not eaten. I was all about the make-your-own-waffle machine.

That's all for Thanksgiving, though there are a few more pix on flickr.

Stay tuned, up next, even more food posting!