Sunday, February 21, 2010


Yogi Berra was right. You can observe a lot just by watching. Heck, you can learn a lot just by looking at a single photograph, like the one above.

Who is that excruciatingly good looking family in the photo?

They are the Langels - husband/dad/triathlete/tax guy Joe, impossibly pretty and supportive wife Emily, and cutie pie multiple-name daughters Clara Jo, 7, Anna Marie, 5, and Sophie Mae, 3.

And what can we tell about the Langels just by looking at their family portrait?

They are very wholesome looking. This suggests that they drink lots of milk. Not the pale, thin, flab-free stuff. Uh-uh. Fresh whole milk. And they probably consume at least three tall glasses apiece daily, which means they all have strong bones and teeth, boosted immunity and enhanced cellular differentiation.

We can also deduce that they are adventurous and fearless.

Why, you ask?

Because they like to hang out by abandoned factories or warehouses that have mountains of
ancient palettes that have countless rusty, lockjaw-inflicting nails sticking out of them. Places like this are havens for plague-carrying vermin. Also, the overgrown foliage around the palette mountains are doubtlessly teeming with herds of marauding deer ticks (photo below), each intent on spreading Lyme disease.

Joe projects a clean, prosperous, well-coifed, republican image. His father was probably a lot like Ward Cleaver (photo), a quiet, authoritative figure who, like Ward, carried a briefcase and worked "down at the plant." (Why doesn't anyone ever work "up at the plant?") Who knows, Ward Langel may have actually worked at the pre-abandoned factory with the mountains of ancient palettes where the family portrait at the top of this post was taken.

It's also likely that Joe's mom was a lot like June Cleaver (photo). She was doubtlessly very
well mannered and wore pearls and high heels all the time and made a "dynamite" meatloaf, which Joe washed down with several tall glasses of fresh, wholesome whole milk.

Joe and Emily undoubtedly own a van; probably one that was manufactured in America, like a Dodge Grand Caravan or a Chrysler Town & Country. Why? The girls have to go ballet classes and piano lessons and regular cars just won't "do" for this sort of thing. Especially if the girls have friends who go to the same locations for their ballet classes and piano lessons, or they need to be dropped off at "gymnastics," which is on the way to the ballet class or the piano lesson.

Though a doting father of three piano-playing, ballet dancing girls, Joe secretly wishes that he had a son (all sonless fathers dream this!); someone to build bionicles with; someone to outfit with an entire arsenal of air-soft weaponry and to watch Nazi Zombies (photo below) videos with. Sure, Joe appreciates the fact that his beloved multiple-name daughters make their own beds and never leave their Malibu Barbies (photo) laying around the house and even help their pearl and high heel-wearing mom, the pretty and supportive Emily, load the dishwasher. But deep in his soul Joe longs for a Joe Jr.; a boy who will rarely flush the toilet and never put the seat down; a boy who will become an Olympic caliber sport belcher and say the word "suck" at least 250 times a day; the kind of boy he can take to Lego Land and on camping trips to abandoned factories or warehouses.

So then, what have we learned about husband/dad/tax guy/triathlete--and darn good one!-Joe Langel just from looking at his family portrait? We learned that he's an excruciatingly handsome, milk-drinking, adventurous, fearless, van-driving, Barbie-buying man who loves his wife and her meatloaf more than life itself but secretly wishes he also had a son to watch Nazi Zombie videos (photo below) with.

And here is some stuff we didn't make up about Joe Langel, a really cool guy with a wonderful family:

Occupation: Tax and Finance Manager at the Pohlad

Family of Companies.

Colleges, Degrees: Bachelors of Arts Degree -

University of St. Thomas, Master of Business in Taxation Degree - University of Minnesota

Family: Wife of 14 years, Emily. 3 daughters: Clara Jo (7),

Anna Marie (5) and Sophie Mae (3)

Age: 37

Pets? Names? The family stuffed animal dog named Jimmy. The answer is still "no" to the "can we get a puppy?" question, for now.


Books? I read Triathlon magazine in the bathroom

and read tax literature at work. Sadly...that is it.

Movies? High School Musical I, II and III.

Seriously, I have gotten a late start but I am

addicted. They are my preferred bike trainer flicks

this winter. Mindless dialogue and some cool tunes for

motivation. Plus my girls will sit and ride their

rocking horses along side me while I bike.

TV Shows? Seinfeld. Don't/Haven't watched

much TV in a long, long time

Alcoholic Beverages? Bombay Sapphire Martini with


Junk Food? McDonald's Cheeseburgers

Restaurants? Manny's Steakhouse

Meal? Every Sunday night: A large Hawaiian pizza and Captain diet


Non-Tri Hobbies? Watching movies with my girls. Snugglefest.

Ice Cream Flavor? Vanilla

Vacation Destination? St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

Favorite Sports Team? Minnesota Twins and any team playing the Vikings

UPDATE: Triathlete JMatt Kiel sent us this e-mail:

Hey MTN,

Thanks so much for your continued support and entertaining blog posts.

For the record, however, we most often refer to Joe (Langel) as Shirtless Joe. It wouldn't be right to call him anything less.

One might speculate that Shirtless Joe is trademarked at this point... or an integral part of his brand. :)

See you when it's warm..


A big fan of SJ