Archive for May, 2005

2nd Lynx Game of the Season

Lynx logoA friend graciously provided me with tickets to Wednesday night’s Lynx home opener against Los Angeles, so I’m officially in the WNBA mood. Today I took myself to see us play the Sacramento Monarchs.

And we almost won it. I had high hopes after we beat L.A. We were up, then we were down, then we came back. Nicole Ohlde‘s last-second layup didn’t quite beat the buzzer, so we lost. I don’t mind losing to Sacramento, though. I generally like them. Like the Kings, the Monarchs are a team that I have no connection to whatsoever that I can root for if none of my favorite teams are playing.

Stacey Lovelace had a pretty good game. Kristen Mann provided a much-needed spark in her short time on the floor. Katie Smith again racked up 20-some-odd points without it even registering. Too bad we blew so many easy layups.

It was a good game to watch, with all that back-and-forth-ness. I’d prefer we win, and with a little certainty. But it was still exciting.

Official attendance was 4,190, but I’m sure the actual attendance was lower. Wednesday’s low attendance I chalked up to it being a weeknight. Today’s attendance I’ll attribute to it being a holiday weekend. (I’ve heard every argument about why people don’t go to Lynx games. Save it. I know why I go. Okay, and I really like women’s basketball, too.)

Blatant Pimpage: If you have the remotest interest in women’s basketball, you should check out local bloggers Ted & Sara’s Women’s Hoops Blog.

Note to self: Never ever gamble on whether or not Garages A, B, or C will be charging the $7 “event parking” fee. Take the extra time on a Sunday afternoon and drive around downtown. A ramp farther away will be cheaper if you can’t find street parking. Maybe I’m just being cheap. (Okay, I am being cheap. I’m broke.) But that was not $7 worth of convenience right there.

Also, upon further inspection, I’m positive it was Tamika Williams that I saw at Uptown Rainbow. The hair threw me off a little.

Have you seen this man?

For a few weeks now I have seen an old man wandering around in Uptown. He is carrying a sign that says AM 950 Democratic talk radio. It almost looks like he made the sign himself and is walking around town trying to promote this station. It is kind of sad to me. I wonder what is going through his mind? Does he have nothing better to do? Is he REALLY trying to promote the station? He never really seems all that happy when I see him. Coming home from work today I saw him sitting all morose on the new bridge over 94. I have decided the next time I see him I’m gonna talk to him about it. Not about his life, but the station. He just seems to need an ear, you know? Has anyone else seen him?

Stop, Thief!

Did y’all see this article in the Strib about aluminum can garbage pickers? (You might need to be registered to read that.)

This is the most ridiculous damn thing.

Bandits are roaming Minneapolis alleys in the wee hours of the morning and making off with a precious metal — aluminum cans.

Basically, they want you to call 911 if you find someone poaching from your recycling. There are so many things wrong with this.

1. They’re playing against your fears. “Police also want to know who’s walking the alleys. They could be casing a house, looking for unlocked garages or cars, he said….The 911 call likely would alert police to suspicious activity or a theft in progress, Reier said. Filchers could be warned or tagged by police.” If they’re casing your joint, they’re not gonna stop and rattle around in your backyard while they do it.

2. Nice choice of language. “It’s theft from the city.” “It’s a crime against the city.” You know what? So is the fact that we have poor and homeless people that need the money so badly they have to pick through our garbage to support themselves. Actually, I don’t know for sure if it’s homeless people or hoodlums or who it is that’s making away with my 60-to-65-cents-per-pound precious metal. But you get my drift.

3. How does the cost of lost recycling revenue compare to the cost of having a cop come to your house when you call 911? ‘Cause the “poachers” will be long gone by the time the cops get there. And how does this even constitute an emergency?

It sounds like St. Paul’s take is a little more reasonable.

St. Paul’s contractor says it works with the authorities to stop scavengers, though it calls a nonemergency number. Susan Hubbard of the nonprofit Eureka Recycling said that if its collectors “happen to catch someone, we’ll inform them it’s against the law.” She said Eureka is not so worried about an individual picking up a few cans but about people who “pull up in pickup trucks and vans” and swipe bags of aluminum.

I did, however, learn something from all this. It’s much more profitable to recycle all those cans yourself than it is to, say, drive them to Michigan to get the bottle deposit. I ought to recycle my own damn cans and recoup the cost of the taxes I’m paying to the city of Minneapolis to pick them up in the first place.

“The Fam”…

The time you have all been waiting for has arrived. It is time to start thinking of seeing Nate in a play!! Here is the info:

“The Fam” written and directed by Aaron Christopher
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays beginning June 3rd through June 19th
Fri. and Sat. 8:00 PM
Sun. matinee at 2:00 PM
The Interact Theater in downtown Minneapolis
Tickets are only $10

This is a small theater so it is recommended you make a reservation. You can email me at nachojocsz@yahoo.com to make one. Just tell me your first and last name and how many tickets you will need. That is it!! We will hold the tickets till 15 minutes before the show starts. You can visit Urban Samurai Productions to find out more info on the show. Please come!! It will be fun!!

beam me up

Just in case anyone might be interested, someone sold their Star Trek DVD collection to Cheapo in Uptown. I was there last night and in the recent arrivals section for DVDs was what looked like a complete collection of the original Star Trek DVDs (the two-episode per DVD versions). They were selling them for seven bucks apiece. Someone must’ve upgraded to the season sets. Or they’ve been reading Orson Scott Card op eds, lately.

Don’t get a traffic ticket

Not too far from my place is a spot where literally hundreds of traffic tickets are getting written, one of which was received by a friend of mine.

Normally, when you cross 35W at Franklin Avenue, you can turn left just after the bridge to get onto 35W north or 94 east, but right now that bridge is under construction. There are some no left turn signs right at the intersection, but with all that’s going on, it’s easy to miss the signs. If you do miss the signs, though, there’s a good chance you could get a ticket costing you about $130.00. That’s what a friend of mine got, and I was able to save another friend from getting one the next time. Instead, you’re supposed to go around the block to the right to get on the freeway. Sure enough, after we went around the block, there were two cops issuing tickets.

If you’re at that intersection, Franklin Ave crossing over 35W eastbound, and want to get onto 35W north, remember to go around the block. Don’t turn left!

Get gas…

No, this isn’t restaurant review.

As a guy who builds internet thingies, I’ve been on intrigued by the neat things people are doing with the GoogleMaps API.

This site maps out gas prices with accompanying data. Pretty slick.
(They have data/maps nationwide on the site. Select the Twin Cities view from the menu.)
http://www.ahding.com/cheapgas/

I Can’t Stand The Rain

Hard to believe that it’s been raining almost every day for the last 18 days. This has really interfered with my favorite hobby: motorcycling.

However, I am behind on my bike rebuild project due to unforeseen complications with getting the frame of the bike powdercoated. Apparently there was patching done with Bondo on the frame (under the paint, which is why I didn’t know about it) that we need to get off and replace with a metallic-based patching compound, so the metallic powder will adhere to it during the coating process.

My secondary hobby of gardening has likewise been thwarted by the rain. What have you been doing to enjoy the start of “summer” these last couple of soggy weeks?

Feeling Congested?

This weet MNDOT began their toll-lane scheme on highway 394. The idea was to allow more single-occupancy vehicles the use of the “sane lane” which was formerly reserved for high-occupancy vehicles, busses and motorcycles. A transponder in one’s car communicates with receivers planted along the route and your account gets charged the going rate for the stretch of HOV lane you travel.

Now, the HOV lane is one-way for a stretch of 394 from Highway 100 all the way to downtown Minneapolis. That meant that it can only be used by one direction of traffic. It’s restricted now based on the highest traffic during the rush hour. Therefore, you could use the HOV lane going eastbound in the AM and westbound in the PM.

Okay, so now the problem is that they have restricted the non-peak direction’s HOV lane as well, meaning that if you’re a commuter who formerly travelled the opposite way of the worst traffic on 394 (westbound in the AM, eastbound in the PM) – you’re hosed. Now you get to contend with worse than peak traffic in what’s supposed to be the ‘easy’ direction.

And, if you’re like me, who lives in South Minneapolis and works at 394 & 100, there’s no available HOV lane, even if you wanted to use the ridiculous transponder.

So, the DOT in its infinite wisdom is inconveniencing all travellers in order to bully everyone into paying for transponders and paying for tolls. However, I argue we’ve already paid for these roads with our tax dollars once, and that the monies collected will undoubtedly go for more road projects instead of smarter public transit solutions like light rail (which has been wildly successful) and busses (which are desparately needed).

Doesn’t every town have a local bar? Maybe not.

A friend and I were in Eagan last night to watch Revenge of the Sith, but we showed up earlier than we needed to, so we decided to find a little local pub for a drink. So how did we end up at Old Chicago by the intersection of 35E and Pilot Knob Road? Because after driving all the way up Cliff Road from Highway 77 to Pilot Knob, then turning north, that’s the first place with a bar that we could find. There was also a Chili’s and an Applebee’s, but come on. There’s gotta be at least one local bar in Eagan somewhere, right? I’m sure that we just were on the wrong roads, but we covered quite a bit of distance before finding the Old Chicago.

In Farmington, where I went to high school, there are a few bars on the downtown strip. I think that’s the problem with Eagan. Does it have a downtown? Is there some sort of strip where the locals gather? The Old Chicago is in a shopping area next to a Wal-Mart, right by a whole bunch of other chain places.

The Old Chicago itself was a pretty different experience. It’s not uncommon for me to go to the Old Chicago in Uptown, and this was a completely different crowd. The one in Uptown still has the jock aspect to it, but it’s a jockishness combined with an Uptown artistic sensibility. I’m not sure that made sense, but that’s the best way I can describe it. Not to mention that our server in Eagan was horrible. It almost seemed like were an inconvenience to her. Maybe she could smell the Minneapolis on us.

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