Archive for November, 2005

heading out of town

I’m about to brave the wilds of I-94 eastbound on my way to Madison and then Chicago for the four-day weekend. Hopefully the roads won’t be too crowded out there. The original plan was to leave tomorrow morning at 5am, but now we’re leaving tonight. With the news of Minneapolis removing most of the No Turn on Red signs, I’m looking forward to the point where we have our own Autobahn with no speed limit, and we can travel with the flow of traffic, weather conditions permitting. Of course, knowing our lovely drivers here, that weather permitting proviso would make sure that a no speed limit bill would never get passed. Ah, well, it’s a lovely dream anyway.

Happy Turkey day!!

I just wanted to be a day early and say Happy Thanksgiving to all of the peeps reading this :)

I am going to be heading over to my uncle’s house with my folks for a yummie home cooked meal. I plan on having a lot of wine and eating till I can’t eat anymore. This year is a bit special because I am expected to bring something. Being almost thirty, I guess it seemed like the nice thing to do. I am bringing a relish dish. For those of you who don’t know what that is (I certainly didn’t), it is the little dish with olives, pickles, and other finger foods. What is completely sad is that I have to go over to my folks house to borrow a bowl. My mom with more than likely help me put it together as well. I suck domestically, by the way. Did I mention that?

What is everyone else’s plans for the big gobble day?


Metblogging has reached two more cities in this fine world of ours. Please take a moment to welcome them and then go check them out!!



Black Friday sale at Northern Brewer

Via MN Beer comes the news that Northern Brewer will be having in-store snacks and early bird specials this Friday.

I’ve been slacking on my most recent batch (it’s still waiting to be bottled), so it really doesn’t seem prudent for me to buy anything at the moment. But you totally should.

This Onion doesn’t make me cry…

I am a huge fan of The Onion. I was more than a little happy when they started giving it away for free here in town. It is seriously some of the funniest writing published today. It comes out every week and almost every week there are a number of articles that make me laugh my ass off. In addition to the loads of funny crammed into the paper, there is an A.V. section much like the City Pages. It has some great articles and is a nice alternative to see whats going on in this fine city of ours. Pick one up every Thursday in sites scattered around town.

They also have a cool email thing that gets sent out once a week. You can sign up for tons of free stuff. i feel bad telling people about this because I have gotten a number of free things from it. Increased traffic will probably slow that stream of goodies down. Aw heck, go sign up anyway. It will be worth your while…

It’s madness. Madness I tell you

As I was driving aimlessly around town this evening, I happened by a scene at the Richfield Best Buy. Apparently the new XBOX360 system goes on sale tomorrow and Best Buy is opening their doors at midnight to give those hardcore gamers a chance to score one early and lose a night of sleep in front of their televisions.
I drove by the Best Buy at around 6:30pm. The line was already around the back of the building!! The funny thing is, I found a website that shows the inventory of the new XBOX at every Best Buy around the country. The Richfield store has less than 200 units. Those poor souls at the back of the line don’t even have a chance!!! HA

348-SNOW works. But this is a definite improvement.

Facing facts…it snows here. Sometimes a lot. The snow emergency is a good idea so we can still get fire trucks and ambulances down the narrower streets. I don’t even want to think about how many times I’ve been towed over the years, but most of the time it was just my failing to remember to move my car at a specific time to the other side of the street.

The city now has snow emergency reminders and tools galore:
Snow Season Parking Information – includes current snow emergency status and loads of related snow-related ordinances and tips

Learn When a Snow Emergency is Declared – links to pages where you can subscribe to email alerts, cell text messages, or receive an automated phone call when a snow emergency is declared.

This one is really cool…Street Lookup: Snow Emergency Parking Rules – you can enter an address or neighborhood and it tells you where you can park on the various days of the snow emergency. slick.

Duplex & double-bungalow owners will be getting a stormwater fee rollback

I own a duplex in South Minneapolis. I love it there. I love the location and the house. I love having neighbors in the house that are willing to let my doggie out for me if I’m going to get home late. Sometimes the things you get nicked for are a bummer though.

The city used to bill the stormwater and sanitary sewers as a single item on your water bill based on how much water you used. Beginning last March, sanitary sewer was still billed based on water usage but the stormwater portion is now based on an estimate of how much runoff-generating hard surface there is on the property.

Seems fair to me, but my bill went up quite a bit. I’m a little hazy on how the calculations worked things out but it turns out that duplex owners were being charged disproportionately. They’ve adjusted things now and we’re more in line with what a single-family home pays. Another part of this system that seems really good is that property owners that have lots of hard surface runoff and no water use (like parking lots) now help pay for the stormwater sewers. (via Southwest Journal)

Turn right on red? Fine. Go ahead.

Finally! I remember when I moved to Minneapolis (about 10 years ago) how surprised I was at how many intersections prohibited right turns on a red light. I discovered at one point that pretty much all it took to get a “no right on red” sign installed was a call to the city requesting it. Once installed they very rarely came down whether or not there was any discernable improvement in safety or traffic.

Well, it turns out they don’t improve safety much if at all. They do, however, cause traffic slowdowns and backups. (No kidding.) Minneapolis currently has more than 500 of these signs posted throughout the city. Many of them will be coming down. City traffic engineers are beginning a 5 year study of the more than 800 intersections with signals reviewing light timing, intersections design and the need for the signs.

An interesting note from the end of the Southwest Journal article about this“Reducing right-on-red prohibitions isn’t a new phenomenon, and one reason resonates even today: the 1973-74 Arab oil embargo spurred national interest in allowing right turns at red lights to conserve energy.”

Opening a second Chatterbox location in St. Paul

Via Moe at, I hear the fine folks at the Chatterbox bought a Perkins in Highland Park and are planning on opening up a second Chatterbox location there:

They’re shooting for a winter debut, but they’ll first have to gut the space and remodel it to look more like their other spot. In addition to television-lounge areas with Atari games, booths and high-top tables, the Millers also want to add a catering operation and private banquet space. ‘The great thing,’ says Steve Miller, ‘is we have more space now, so we can do stuff we couldn’t do before.’

One of those things is breakfast. A larger kitchen will allow the couple to expand the hours and the sandwich/burger menu. “It’s in the same vein as our menu now — classic pub food, but only the burgers come with parmesan curry mustard,” Steve Miller says.

You know how when a building that originally housed a Taco Bell gets converted to another restaurant or some other use, it’s still really obvious that it used to be a Taco Bell? I hope this isn’t the case with this Perkins building. I think I’ve been to Highland Park once in the dark, so I don’t know if they had a fancy non-Perkins-looking Perkins there.

Plus… it’s the Chatterbox. I don’t know if you can just make another one.

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