Archive for February, 2009

Snowmageddon 2009 Part 4

snowmageddonThe media hyped it.

People across the metro are stockpiling gas and bread.

Others have canceled meetings and called in to work from home.

We’re basically going to die.

I’m streaming it live on Ustream.tv here.

how’s your commute?

the national traffic scorecard ranks minneapolis/st. paul as the 10th worst metro for  traffic congestion for 2008, up three spots from the previous year.  i have a hard time believing that our traffic is worse than, say, the traffic in phoenix (number 13), but the data says otherwise.

according to this study, thursdays from 5-6 p.m. is the metro area’s worst time for congestion and bottleneck traffic.  december is the worst month for traffic; june is the second worst month.

traffic in 2008 was down 20.5% from the previous year.  it was down in all ranked cities.  if only it were because americans everywhere were commuting by bike instead.

Minneapolis Snow Emergency Facebook Fan Page

mplssnowemergencyIf the forecasters are correct, we’re headed toward another Snowmageddon, with 4-8 inches of snow likely.

All the more reason to become a fan of the Minneapolis Snow Emergency Facebook Fan Page.

Add me as a friend, and I’ll let you know when a Snow Emergency is declared. When that happens, if you park in the street, you’ve got to follow the parking rules. If you don’t, I might have to have you towed away (actually, your car. I leave you where you’re at.)

I’ll share the info you need to avoid an expensive ticket and tow.

There’s a pretty great video here, too.

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Smoking in cars with kids bill faces first test

Today’s Pioneer Press included an editorialsupporting the “smoking in cars with kids” bill, which has its first hearing in the Senate today.  State lawmakers have some serious budget decisions on their plates, but they should always have time to debate a bill that protects kids health, adds no costs or burdens to state or local government, and may actually reduce state health care costs, if it encourages more people to not to smoke around their kids.

NWA/Delta Merger Awareness

delta_nwaMy trip from Orlando back home to MSP yesterday on Northwest was, well, an experience.

The Orlando Airport (MCO) still has giant “Northwest” signs for passenger dropoff outside, but when you walk inside, there is no sign that Northwest ever had counters there. Inside, my family and I were walking around blind.

The Delta counters were down a bit further, so we headed that way. Finally we asked someone, and they huffed at us to use the Delta lines.

We heard three other people ask just after us, so I know we weren’t the only folks confused by the fact that merger actually happened — well, in Orlando anyway.

I won’t get into the rest of our experience, but I’ll just say both airlines still need to work on their customer service and merger awareness.

Minnesota.com relaunches

There’s not a lot there right now, and I don’t recall what it was like before. But I do know Sep is building a geocentric Minnesota blog directory, and I couldn’t help but populate with it my blog.

And it has cool badges. I’m a sucker for cool badges.

Add your blog here.

My Electric Utility Company Does Something Cool — Really!

Okay, I’m something of an energy geek, but even my non-geek wife thought this was cool.  We recently got a mailing from Connexus Energy, our electric company, that showed how our home compared to 40,000 randomly selected others for electrical use. We received a GREAT rating (the two smiley faces) for using 4,436 kilowatt hours in 2008, roughly 30% less than the average home and a 15% reduction from 2007.  I also had a easy to understand chart that maps out our monthly use, the average use, and what they called “our efficent neighbors,” who represent the top 20% of the low-use crowd.

Anyone else get anything like this from their power company?

Finger My Dead Heart

vd09, john erste

 

Image Uploaded on February 18, 2009
by invisiblepilot Taken at the VD09 party.

I wanted to go, but the wife decided last minute that a quiet evening in would be our VD09 plans.

Did you go?

 

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i’m paying $75 for what?

today the lottery opens for the garry bjorklund half-marathon up in duluth.  it remains open through march 2.  only 4500 runners will be accepted into the race.

i was thinking of signing up until i saw that the race costs $75 plus a processing fee.  for perspective, grandma’s marathon, which is twice the distance, is $85 plus a processing fee and runs the same course as the half-marathon (plus a few, er, 13.1 miles!).  with these prices, the marathon is so much bang for your buck, might as well sign up for that one instead.

also, headphones are no longer banned from the course.

Write an essay on biodiesel, win $1,000?

If anyone knows of a Minnesota high school senior who could use some extra cash for college, and has an interest in biodiesel, my employer is again offering an essay contest scholarship this year. The second prize is $500.  There is a separate scholarship for South Dakota students, BTW.

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