We spent the weekend in our hometown of Grand Forks, N.D. We'll get to the rest of the amusing highlights in a minute, but first we have to present the story that tops anything else that happened while we were there. It involves dog poop.


Our dad is in a band. They play shows in the Grand Forks area. As the main man, our dad is responsible for paying out other members of the band for gigs. So when we arrived on Friday afternoon, there were two stacks of cash sitting on his guitars on the floor in the living room. He had a show Saturday morning and he was getting everything ready. Not long after we arrived, we headed out to dinner. Upon returning home around 7:30, the cash was no longer sitting on top of the guitars.

Now: our dad can be a little forgetful. So first, he thought he might have moved the money. He said he had a thought to move the money before we left so it wasn't just sitting out. But he couldn't remember if he had actually moved it. We looked in various places. No money. Well, not exactly no money. Some money. Some money sat untouched between his two guitars, as if it had been knocked there inadvertently. Strange, no?

At a certain point, our dad's 12-year-old lab mix Bogart became a prime suspect. He is known to have a taste for paper -- books, etc. -- but he had never gone after money in his entire life. That said, we could not figure out any other possible explanation. Fast-forward to Saturday: we leave the house with the RandBall Better Half for a while to have dinner with mom, grandma and Rocket. We return home about 10 p.m., and dad has a story for us. He invites us into the garage. He shows us what you see in the picture: fragments of $10 and $20 dollar bills ... rescued, cleaned off and dried ... originally found in the excrement of Bogart. Sunday morning brings about a new batch, this time with a couple of much larger pieces (one that is almost half of a twenty).

While $120 is hardly an amount that will make or break our dad, he is determined to piece this money back together as best he can in an attempt to at least salvage some of it. We cannot wait for him to bring it to the bank. He swears he is going to tell the entire story.


Other highlights (aside, of course, from simply seeing family and friends):

*We are training for the Twin Cities Marathon along with the RBBH, as you might know. As part of our training, we were slated to do a 12-mile run in Grand Forks. Research indicated there is a nice "Greenway" in the city that did not exist when we were growing up. It's essentially a long stretch of bike/running path along the river. Perfect, we thought. But we also knew there was an event called Catfish Days happening on the Red River. So we double-checked to make sure we wouldn't be driving into major congestion if we went running over there. Instead, we found that there was a half-marathon (13.1 miles) scheduled for the exact same time we wanted to run. Not only that, but the finish line was about a block from where our dad -- sans his money -- would be playing his show. So at midnight Friday, it was decided we would run a half-marathon. We showed up, registered on site with about 8 minutes to spare before the race started, and soon we were off. Funny, but we made a big deal about a half-marathon we are running next weekend in Richfield as a major benchmark and milestone in the training (particularly for the RBBH, who has never run a marathon and before Saturday had never even run as far as a half). Then we just show up for one and knock it out. The RBBH was tired afterwards, to be sure, but she did great. We're halfway there.

*We had an afternoon of baseball Saturday with our 10-year-old brother, Ben. First, a game of catch, where it became apparent that Ben had been listening to our dad's stories about our talent as a youngster. "Is it true you could have made it to the major leagues?" Ben wanted to know. No, we replied. "Well, at least the minor leagues, right? You could have been drafted?" Probably not, we told him. We always had a pretty solid glove. But the hitting part got tougher and tougher as we got older and older while everyone got bigger and bigger. Ben backed up a few steps and threw it as far as he could. It was a pretty nice throw, for sure. He's definitely improving. But not wanting the big brother myth to die, we made him back waaaaay up. We hadn't exactly had a proper warm-up, but we really needed to throw the ball hard and far. So we did, eliciting the requisite "WHOA!" from Ben that we needed. ... After the game of catch, we headed to a local baseball card shop where Ben spends a ton of his time and money. It was a trip down memory lane, further enhanced when we saw they had old packs of 1987 Topps for sale. We bought three, and pulled out a few decent cards (Roger Clemens, etc.). Toward the end of the third pack, we noticed a mustache-bearing pitcher for the New York Mets. It was none other than current Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson. The picture was from 1986, the year the Mets won the World Series. He was not on the post-season roster, but we still think it's a good omen for the mustache-loving Twins of 2010.

Your thoughts on taping together dog poop money, running half-marathons on a whim, 1987 Topps or Rick Anderson's mustache in the comments.