Archive for December, 2007

Greg’s Randy’s Bobby & Steve’s Auto World

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I drive by this Eden Prairie gas station every day, see the tow trucks bearing the name around town and am constantly puzzled at the idiocy of the name “Randy’s Bobby & Steve’s.”

This isn’t Arkansas after all. In fact, we’re the #1 most literate city in America, damn it.

According to Wikipedia, Bobby Williams and Steve Anderson own and operate eight Mobil gas station locations in the Twin Cities metro. I recognize them now that I see references to the giant red Pegasus signs. But to me, gas is gas and price is king, so knowing who owns the station doesn’t really affect my purchasing decisions.

Wikipedia mentions the renovation of the old Eden Prairie BP station into Randy’s Bobby & Steve’s, but doesn’t tell us who Randy is or why there’s so much brand equity in all three first names OR why the geniuses kept on adding apostrophes.

What if another partner opens a franchise under Randy? Say, for example, me….Greg’s Randy’s Bobby & Steve’s?

Someone has to stop the madness.

The official Bobby & Steve’s Web site has a 27 mb video available for download showing what future renovations will look like and perhaps further insight into the naming strategy, but I can’t seem to open it. Hey Bobby, Steve and Randy, this is why most Web sites use streaming video.

Oh – I just discovered there’s a Jason’s Bobby and Steve’s Auto World in Lino Lakes. Seriously you guys (specifically I’m talking to Bobby, Steve, Randy and Jason) — I want in.

Greg’s Jason’s Randy’s Bobby & Steve’s Auto World — coming to a street corner near you with a giant Pegasus sign (in your face, Super America!).

Tonight

If you’re like me, you haven’t figured it out what to do tonight. Of course you can take it easy and spend a quiet night at home, but parties like this only come around once a year. Minnesota Monthly has a great roundup of parties, concerts, and even plays, I don’t think they’ve missed anything (my neighbor’s annual house party is even listed here).

The highlights?
The 3rd Annual Crystal Ball New Year’s Eve Party at International Market Square. Tickets are only $40 and you get a fashion show. Make sure you dress nice.
VH1’s Rock Of Love New Year’s Eve with Bret Michaels himself. You can have your poison and drink it too at the Myth. And they’re filming for season two. Looks like what’s her face didn’t work out. Poor Bret.
$104, open bar. TicketMaster
Rock the Park 2008 at The Park at MOA. Family friendly. Nuff said.
free.info
Bar Abilene has all you can drink 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Nuff said. (All you can eat tex mex, too.)
$85, open bar.
Rack of Lamb for dinner at my house. This is a pretty exclusive event… but if you’re interested, a/s/l?
free, all you can eat lamb

Check out the list for other great options.

Have a great New Year’s and be safe.

Oh, and how could i forget? The San Hose Sharks are at the Xcel tonight. After a come-from-behind, OT win against Edmonton the other night, I hope the Wild build on that excitement tonight. Plenty of tickets on Craigslist.

“Birth, death and shopping”

The Economist on the rise and fall of the shopping mall.

One reason for the malls’ problems is that the suburbs have changed. When the Southdale shopping centre opened on the outskirts of Minneapolis, the suburbs were almost entirely white and middle-class. Whites were fleeing a wave of new arrivals from the South (the black population of Minneapolis rose by 155% between 1940 and 1960). Although Gruen could not bear to admit it, his invention appealed to those who wanted downtown’s shops without its purported dangers. These days, in Minneapolis as in much of America, the ethnic drift is in the opposite direction. The suburbs are becoming much more racially mixed while the cities fill up with hip, affluent whites. As a result, suburban malls no longer provide a refuge from diversity.

Particularly interesting given that the first indoor mall and also the country’s largest mall are both here, 6.5 miles apart, and that the Twin Cities are certainly experiencing the demographic shift described.

Also, is it just me, or is that a sort of strange choice of photo for that article?

(via taylor)

Link Dump

No Juno, No Nada

My promise to you: I will never post anything about Diablo Cody.

(Okay, except for this. But this is it.)

(Can’t speak for the other Metrobloggers, though.)

Two Recent Bridge Suicides

A man leaped to his death from the Lafayette Bridge in downtown St. Paul this morning, landing on Kellogg Blvd. The police investigation closed traffic on U.S. 52 (which has since reopened) and on Kellogg.

Just a couple weeks ago, a woman jumped off the High Bridge into the Mississippi River.

The holidays are hard. Hug your loved ones. Call your friends.

(via Ang)

Grinch of the Year: Carol Molnau

Carol MolnauThanks to all for your nominations and votes. Lieutenant Governor and transportation commissioner Carol Molnau is your winner for 2007 Twin Cities Grinch of the Year.

I was reading her Wikipedia article and I had forgotten that whole part where MnDOT solicited bids for the Crosstown/35W project (easily one of the worst highway exchanges in the nation) and expected contractors to pay for it themselves up front, resulting in no bids and a one-year delay.

That’s on top of the whole 35W bridge thing.

Spectacular!

America’s Most Literate Cities: Minneapolis #1, Saint Paul #2

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Hey, didja konw were genuises!?!

The America’s Most Literate Cities study ranks the 69 largest cities (population 250,000 and above) in the United States. This study focuses on six key indicators of literacy: newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment and Internet resources.

Moving up from 2006’s study at #2 and #5, this year Minneapolis and St. Paul ranked #1 and #3 respectively.

The Top Ten

  1. Minneapolis, MN
  2. Seattle, WA
  3. St. Paul, MN
  4. Denver, CO
  5. Washington, DC
  6. St. Louis, MO
  7. San Francisco, CA
  8. Atlanta, GA
  9. Pittsburgh, PA
  10. Boston, MA

As a Minnesota transplant of 5 years now, I must say I’ve been surprisingly impressed at the library resources across the metro, shop at various local bookstores at least monthly, know countless college grads and make it part of my job to advocate for the robust Internet community in the Twin Cities.

Self-congratulation aside…as a measure of “literacy,” how effective is measuring newspaper circulation in the year 2007? I wonder how much weight Star Tribune and Pioneer Press print subscriptions were given. I don’t subscribe to a print newspaper yet consider myself quite literate.

Were literate folks in Pittsburgh and Boston penalized in the rankings for not having enough old people subscribing to the paper in those markets?

Some words for thought.

Thomasina’s Cashew Brittle

Thomasina's Cashew Brittle
Originally uploaded by swirlspice.

Too late for holiday gift giving, but if you’re into candy, especially the homemade gourmet stuff, try some of Thomasina’s Cashew Brittle.

I briefly met Thomasina Petrus, a local singer and actress, when the Twin Cities Women’s Choir taped a show at the Fitz in March with Ann Reed and assorted guests. Thomasina made a comment about this cashew brittle and I thought, “Huh. Okay.” Nine months later I ran into her at the Women’s Art Festival at the Midtown Y, manning a booth.

Thomasina’s Cashew Brittle has no preservatives added and is always made with the finest ingredients, grade AA butter and Bergin’s Nut Company cashews.

It tastes like delicious!

Thomasina’s Cashew Brittle is also available at Kowalski’s, but you get more for your money if you order directly from her — 1lb 5oz for $15 from the website, vs 1lb at Kowalski’s.

We placed our order on December 15 and Thomasina herself showed up at our door to deliver it in time for Christmas. She came all the way to Eden Prairie (with a huge smile to boot), and I’m pretty sure she had not even been out here before. You’ll probably just get yours in the mail, though.

Support your local purveyors!

Target to Open Commercial Interiors Store Downtown

TargetCommercialInteriors.jpgAt 9th and Nicollet, where Crate & Barrel currently is.

It appears that this could be the first standalone Target Commercial Interiors location. At least the first in a non suburban big box format. I wonder if folks will consider it a destination place for furniture shopping. I’m thinking yes; folks here will drink whatever Kool-aid Target offers them.

It kind of sounds like a cross between the defunct Dayton’s/Marshall Field’s/Macy’s furniture outlet and IKEA.

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