Archive for November, 2009

Evening on the Mississippi

Image uploaded on November 28, 2009
by draftpodium

We’ve had some great sunsets this week. Since it’s the Internet and I can choose my superpowers I am going to choose the powers of a weather forecaster and say there won’t be snow during the next three days during dusk and every sunset until Thursday will be awesome. I’m not kidding, check them out.

If I am wrong and it does snow, feel free to write an angry letter to Minnpost care of Paul Douglas whom I’m sure will be happy to answer all your complaints about me and my inaccurate weather forecasting ways.

Once again, Snow = Blame Paul Douglas.

No snow = It’s going to be a serene couple of evenings on the mighty Mississippi, enjoy it while it lasts.

And if you do end up on the banks of this beautiful river during a serene sunset, take a moment to think of your Internet superpowers.

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You do the Math, Party Math!

With many folks planning holiday get togethers, cocktail parties, family dinners, office events and any manner of holiday celebrations the Party Math Wheel has been created to make all kinds of complicated calculations more simple. Like, how many bags of ice you will need depending on how many people you have expected, or how many hors d’oeuvres to beer and wine calculations, even how many limes & lemons you’ll need for drink garnish.

impress21st99

The handy wheel you can print out for free from your own computer “does the math” for you, so no need to tax your pretty little party head when you are already busy trying to plan a menu or deciding whether to seat Aunt Millie next to Cousin Fred or debathing whether your new little black dress is too little for the office party.   The Party Wheel was developed by Sebastian Centner the director of Eatertainment Special Events in Toronto and is sure to be the saviour of many a host & hostess.

The same website also has a very useful Five Week Checklist for planning your party. You can certainly condense that now but the checklist is very helpful.

So spin the wheel, how many bottles of sparkling water are you going to need for your big bash? Do the math, the Party Math.

The countdown begins for Rodarte for Target

The Mulleavy sisters, Kate and Laura, are fashion favorites for their inventive draping, creative use of textures and the works of art they call garments. But the price of these gorgeous creations is astronomical … I can only dream of owning their fantastic leather jackets and delicate slipdresses.

Until now. Our beloved Target has stepped in and recruited the Rodarte girls to be their latest installment in the hugely popular Go! International line. It’s out Dec. 20, and Vogue just did a lovely little feature about it. I’ll be staking out local Targets to get the pieces I want, so please, stay out of my way. Here’s the Vogue spread and a few peeks at the collection, courtesy nitrolicious.

I’ll let you know as soon as I find it in stores. Word to the wise? It always launches a few days early.

Today, I shot a deer.

Uploaded on November 28, 2009
by JustACoolCat

Over the last month my local park/reserve has been open for deer hunting on various weekends, which means it’s closed to all other uses.

Three weeks back I did stop to talk to some hunters and they weren’t having any luck.

Knowing that the park was again open I took my bike over and did some laps on it’s hilly trails.

And while I was there I did what those city-boy hunters couldn’t, I shot a deer.

With my camera.

Talking Minnesotan – 11/27/09


RIP uptown bar Uploaded on November 19, 2009
by the queen of subtle

Pictured above is the hole in the ground where The Uptown used to be, so sad. You can still hear people talking about the bar, mostly in sad whisper fueled rumor. I hear it’s reopening on 28th and Hennepin, but my source admits it’s a weak lead.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks in the T.C. While the temperatures have cooled most everything else has heated up.

Media Wars:
Aside from last week’s Citypages kerfuffle and the Minnpost playing nicey nice with Katherine Kerstern story, oh and let’s not forget David Brauer getting cheeky

*whew*
Yes, you’d think that would be enough of a local media battle, but there’s more as Strib’s Mike Sweeney goes after MPR in Mike Sweeney: With level playing field, future is bright for news

There was plenty of backlash from the MPR’ers, but the write up I liked the most came from Minnpost’s David Brauer Minnesota Public Radio: punching above its weight

Double whew, all that and a challenge?

BigBoxCar challenges Chuck Olsen

“@Chuckumentary Perhaps you could submit your opinion piece as our first Community Voices VIDEO post? #justdoit “

All because Chuck asked

“@dbrauer Seriously, why would your boss give either @brodkorb or Brian Melendez any screentime on MinnPost? Not sources of solid info. “

You know what I think
UNICORN POWERS ACTIVATE!

I’m telling you, it’s on.

Speaking of wars.
Warlord has a sword, or three.

Special thanks to Newsbobber for adding Minneapolis Metblogs posts to their “Alternative Sources” section! I credit the new bloggers that have been doing such a bang up job, well that and my conversation with Bob Ingrassia. Thanks Bob!

Speaking of doing a great job, I’m certian my favorite Strib commentor whom I call “Fire Childress Guy” is weeping a tiny purple tear with the new contract signing.
As for me? I’m going off the rails on a Viking Train!!!
Metro Transit revises Northstar schedule, adds Vikings train

Also, I’ve been working on an interview with the Unknown Prophets who have just released their third CD. Check them out, on last Sunday’s Local Show appearance.

Listen – 128k mp3

Their CD release in next week ( on my Wife’s birthday) Decemeber Third at First Avenue.

I’ll be there!

( Unless you’re my wife reading this post,love you sweetie.)

Here’s some older Unknown Prophets to warm up your day.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjXOK9Bg0XI[/youtube]

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and are thankful for life’s many blessings.

Get out and run

turkeyday5kIf you’re hanging around tomorrow with nothing to do at 8am, come on down to the downtown Minneapolis Lifetime (Target Center) for the Turkey Day 5K!

The Turkey Day 5K is a holiday tradition, complete with all the trimmings. This festive holiday morning fun run and walk is for everybody and every age. Gather your family and friends to enjoy prizes, refreshments and a Kids Carnival“.

See you there.

Confessions of a Christmas Music Addict

Christmas Music Savant, that’s what my friends call me. Maybe it was from my mum’s extensive vinyl collection and the fact that we sat around the piano singing every holiday or that I worked 20 years of retail or that I am a fine Welsh lass and my people are well known for our love of singing, but I love, L-O-V-E holiday tunes, all of them. 

Well, maybe not all of them.  No offense, but I would be happy if I never heard “Feliz Navidad“, especially the Jose Feliciano version,ever again.  But that one song aside, I start listening to Christmas music and holiday tunes at the start of November and stop after the twelve days of Christmas are over on January 5th (where do you think “Twelfth Night” came from folks?).

My moniker came from my days working at Dayton’s/Field’s/Macy’s and every time a song came on the Muzak I could name not only the song but singer in just a few notes, Bill Cullen would be proud.

I can tell the difference between Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Tony Bennett and Perry Como singing the exact same song.  Now with all the modern & country singers jumping into the holiday music pool it has become more difficult and my skills have begun to wane, especially since I no longer work retail, but my holiday music collection will still rival many.

Brady Bunch Xmas cover

Combined cassette, vinyl and CD there are over 200 albums in the collection. Perhaps the most prized is the “Merry Christmas with the Brady Bunch” Original Vinyl (we three sisters wore similar robes). You haven’t heard anything until you have heard Cindy Brady sing “Frosty the Snowman” with a lisp.

Fred WaringThen there is the Fred Waring Singers with Frank Sinatra & Bing Crosby 12 Songs of Christmas with my favorites “Go tell it on the Mountain” & a fantastic duet “We wish you the Merriest” with Frank & Bing.  Then there is the Columbia Records “Magic of Christmas” 3- record boxed set which I loved,  and all the Dean Martin Christmas albums, those are mum’s, but we kept the old Soundesign stereo turntable just so we could still play them.  And get this, we even still have a Bing Crosby White Christmas 8-Track somewhere! Christmas LP

 

 

 

 

As for modern CD’s I think I like the Barenaked Ladies “Bare Naked for the Holidays” (includes some Hanukkah songs) and Harry Connick Jr’s “Harry for the Holidays” or his more recent “”What a Night.”  Brian Setzer Orchestra’s “Boogie Woogie Christmas” or “Dig that Crazy Christmas” are the two I own but he has also released several more including a live two CD set “Christmas Extravaganza.”

Leonard Slatkin Conducted Minnesota Orchestra Nutcracker Suite

Leonard Slatkin Conducted Minnesota Orchestra Nutcracker Suite

No Holidays would be complete without a Nutcracker Suite recording. Mum bought my sisters & me the Leonard Slatkin-conducted Minnesota Orchestra Tchaikovsky classic album when she worked there and it is wonderful (it also includes Swan Lake).

I also like some modern rock Christmas tunes like No Doubt’s “Oi to the World” and “Christmas Wrapping” by the Waitresses as well, and they are always part of my circulation.  No Christmas is complete for me without Bruce Springsteen’s version of “Santa Clause is Comin’ to Town” either.  I always used to use it for my answering machine message the week before Christmas and can help but smile whenever I hear it!

I don’t think November is too early for Christmas or holiday music. You only get an opportunity to listen to it for such a short period of time and sing along like a freak for less than two months a year, so why not enjoy the spirit while you can?

And for those that don’t appreciate the “Christian” message of the Christmas music there are plenty of options.  The Barenaked Ladies have a few wonderful Hanukkah tunes on their CD and Minnesota’s own Peter Himmelman helped with a multi-performer CD called “Festival of Light” In addition songs like “Let it Snow” “Winter Wonderland” “Sleigh Ride” “Baby its Cold Outside” and even “Jingle Bells” have nothing to do with a religious saviour or holiday but rather the gloriousness of the winter season.

Maybe I like Christmas and holiday music so much because I enjoy winter and snow so much. Or maybe it is because I’m a geek and I like singing along with all the songs like I did when I was a child before I knew what all the words meant and Political Correctness had taken over the world.  But chances are when I’m in the house between November and January or at my desk, I’m cranking Dean, or Bing or Perry or anyone singing of the Holiday spirit and I’m singing along too (or in my head if I’m in an office).  Yes, My name is Fiona and I’m a Christmas Music Addict (or savant).

Fiona’s Holiday Favourites:

Classics:
White Christmas – Bing Crosby
Let it Snow – Dean Martin
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas- Judy Garland
Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
Frosty the Snowman – Burl Ives
Winter Wonderland – Peggy Lee or Dean Martin
I’ll Be Home for Christmas – Bing Crosby
Blue Christmas – Elvis
The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
Christmas Walz – The Carpenters
Jingle Bells – Perry Como
Don’t Forget to Feed the Reindeer – Peggy Lee
Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth – Bing Crosby/David Bowie
Sleigh Ride – Ella Fitzgerald
Baby Its Cold Outside – Dean Martin
12 Days of Christmas – Fred Waring & the Pennsylvanians
Here We Come a Caroling – Fred Waring & the Pennsylvanians
The Holly & The Ivy – Westminster Boys Choir
Modern Pop/Rock
Santa Claus is Comin to Town – Bruce Springsteen
Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah- Barenaked Ladies
Dredyl Song – Another Man Down
Hanukkah Rocks – The LeeVees
Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
Merry Christmas I dont Want to Fight – The Ramones
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – The Smithereens
Big Bad VooDoo Daddy – Mr. HeatMiser
Jingle Bells – Barenaked Ladies
Deck the Halls – Peter Cetera/Allison Krause or Twisted Sister
Jinga Bell Rock/Christmas Time – BoDeans
It Doesn’t Often Snow at Christmas – Pet Shop Boys
Last Christmas – Wham
Little Drummer Boy – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
Red over White – Siouxie & the Banshees
Winter Wonderland – Cocteau Twins
Please Come Home for Christmas – Bon Jovi
Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You – SR-71
Santa Claus is Back in Town – Johnny Lang
Father Christmas – The Kinks
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Sarah McLachlan
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel – Enya
We Three Kings – Fuel
Christmas Dont Be Late – Powder
Oi to the World – No Doubt
2000 Miles – The Pretenders
I Saw Three Ships – Sting
12 Days of Christmas – Relient K
All that I Want – The Weepies
Silent Night – LifeHouse
Peace on Earth – The Automatics
Sleigh Ride – Harry Connick, Jr
Zat You Santa Claus? – Brian Setzer Orchestra
Grown up Christmas List – Michael Bublé
What are you Doing New Year’s Eve – Vonda Shephard
[Edit]12 Days of Christmas – The Muppets & John Denver
 

Recommended website for pop/rock Holiday music is Mistletunes, an encyclopedia of anything and everything there is to know about modern holiday releases. 

If you want to listen to Holiday tunes at work but your collection pales in comparison to mine, AccuRadio’s AccuHolidays has multiple channels to please everyone’s tastes including a channel of just songs about Santa & his elves, Channel O’ (Oh Holy Night, O Tannenbaum, O Come All Ye Faithful, etc) and a channel called Chestnuts, just different versions of “The Christmas Song”; you can even customize your own channel. Great way to stream the holidays, and it is all FREE!  If you have Comcast Digital cable you can also tune to channel 832,which is Sounds of the Season. 

To prove what a holiday music nut I am, I will send a holiday CD to the first person who enters in the comments below the name of the horse in the winter classic “Jingle Bells”?  Yes,  the horse has a name.  Go ahead, sing it, it will come to you!

ADDENDUM:

Amazon is offering 25 free MP3 Downloads of Holiday Music, one a day until Christmas! http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/feature/-/1000453281

This is just awesome.

North Star Roller Girls – Kiss Poster

Uploaded on November 23, 2009
by infraredstudio
The North Star Roller Girls will rock you on Dec. 5th. Photos by Wijadi Jodi, Design Concept by Infraredstudio

Check them out!

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This place is going nuclear

Strib reports A push to scrap Minn. law barring new nuclear power plants gains influential supporters

Two congressmen — Democratic Rep. Tim Walz and Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen — joined leaders of labor unions and the state Chamber of Commerce in seeking the repeal of Minnesota’s nuclear moratorium.

Their public backing could put pressure on legislators from their areas considered swing votes in the debate. In April, a bid to lift the ban fell eight votes short in the House after convincingly winning approval in the Senate

Walz, who represents much of southern Minnesota, said he doesn’t discount concerns over long-term waste storage. But he said there are environmental consequences to keeping the nuclear ban in place, too.

“Without a baseload of other alternatives here in Minnesota, quite honestly we’ve encouraged people and forced them into the coal business,” he said. “We want to give them other options.”

I have no questions that ending this law and building nuclear is the right thing to do. I believe that newer nuclear technology is safer and more efficient than the plants of the past. (See Also: Wind vs. Nuclear Power: Which Is Safer?
) And it’s my understanding that we are now able to get more power due to recycling nuclear waste.

Still, that’s just like, my opinion man.

What do you think?

[poll=19]

Frozen Turkey Bowling?

If you’ve always wanted to hurl a frozen turkey at a set of bowling pins, this Wednesday is your lucky day. Metromix Twin Cities is hosting this one-of-a-kind event in the courtyard of the Chambers Hotel in Downtown Minneapolis.  

To participate you can either bring a non-perishable food item or make a $5 donation to the Emergency Foodshelf Network.   

Turkey tossers can practice from 4-9 p.m before the championship round at 9:30.  Further details can be found at the metromix website.

This activity is rather bizarre to me.  I understand that turkeys are a part of the Thanksgiving tradition, but I can’t think of anyone I know who would want to touch a dead frozen one.  

What do you think?

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