Archive for August, 2006

Somehow it’s no surprise

Bill asked a few weeks ago if our sports stars could stay out of trouble, and as we can see, the answer is a big fat no.

Dwight Smith, who will potentially be starting on defense for the Vikings this year, got busted last night in downtown Minneapolis for “indecent conduct” with a 24-year-old from Hudson, WI. Apparently Smith wasted no time after the Vikings’ 30-7 preseason victory against the Baltimore Ravens Friday night before finding himself dealing with the Minneapolis Police for the first time.

This is his first year with the Vikings, coming from New Orleans, so I’m glad he got his rap sheet started off with something fun and exciting. Like indecent conduct. He should fit in just fine here.

But he’ll have to do it without Koren Robinson, who got the boot today, as a result of his high-speed chase with police near Mankato earlier this month.

Sharing the Kitchen with Buca di Beppo

JasonTWhere do you bring 9 hungry adults and 4 boisterous children for a hearty Italian dinner? Why, Buca of course!

Buca has always served me well for larger groups of people. I’d have to say I’ve dined there only once as a table of two; in that instance, we enjoyed the patio at the St. Paul location all lit up by Christmas lights in summertime…the two of us shared a gigantic bowl of spaghetti with gigantic meatballs. All other times I’ve gone with 8 or more folks.

A few days ago, I joined fellow MetroBlogger JasonT, my husband and several friends (some with kids in tow) for supper at the St. Paul Buca. However, this time, I had was treated to a whole new perspective on Buca: we were seated at the “Kitchen Table.” Literally, they have a table right there, in the kitchen, with a spice rack overhead and the ovens just 12 feet away. The chefs were running about as were the wait staff, heaving plates of steamy food back and forth. We also noticed a three-ring binder wedged waaay up between the ceiling and a water pipe; the side of this binder read “Buca TOP SECRET.” We assumed this was a recipe book but were told by our server, the manager and the head chef that they had no idea what was contained inside. Hmmm.

1750 lb Gorilla to Close Hennepin Saturday

If only I wasn’t going out of town this weekend, I could stop by and witness the spectacle:

“A six-foot, 1,750-pound gorilla sculpture will be suspended in mid-air with downtown Minneapolis as its backdrop this Saturday as the finishing touches are underway at the highly anticipated Chambers hotel. The 900th block of Hennepin Avenue will be closed to accommodate the 26-ton Boom truck and crane which will position the lifelike gorilla into its new home within the outdoor courtyard of Chambers.”

The Star Tribune had an article a week or so ago about the ultra-artsy new Chambers Hotel.

Pump-N-Munch: Your Twin Cities Source for Biodiesel

The Pump-N-Munch at 63rd and Lyndale is the first TC-area gas station to offer biodiesel fuel.

Never turn down a free cup of coffee. You might learn something. For example, did you know that oil and coffee are the world’s two most valuable commodities? And that the U.S. is the largest consumer of both? One brown-murky substance provides fuel for the body, and the other brown liquid provides fuel for the automobile. And so it isn’t an extraordinary pairing to find the two at a fueling station. But during a recent promotional event dubbed “Go Biodiesel Day” an alternative to the common blends were available at the Pump N’ Munch on 63rd and Lyndale Avenue South in Minneapolis.

Biodiesel Blue, a biodiesel distribution company with offices in south Minneapolis, provides the Pump N’ Munch station with a localized version of diesel fuel made from soybeans. “They’re going through about 600 gallons per day,” said Emily Whebbe, a spokesperson for the distributor. “Our goal is to push it to 1,000 gallons per day.” Whebbe said the station was selling only about 200 gallons of premium gasoline per day, so when Biodiesel Blue approached them with their product, they accepted, becoming the first station in the metro area to offer the fuel.

If I happened to drive a car with a diesel engine, I’d be all over this. You always wager whether or not it’s worth it to drive across town because one station has cheaper gas. Usually it’s not worth it. This I would make a special trip for.

Apparently, they sell the pure biodiesel (B100) in the summer, but sell a bio/regular mix (B20) in the winter because it doesn’t stay liquid in the cold weather. Not quite as worth it at that point, but every little bit of reduced emissions helps. And it’s easier than scavenging at fast food joints for fry oil to make your own. For more info visit Sundays Energy and Biodiesel Blue.

Looking to buy a house?

The Mary Tyler Moore house on Kenwood Parkway will be on the market soon, and estimates put it at a $3 million purchase price.

“Mary Richards, played by actress and producer Mary Tyler Moore, lived in a fictional third-floor apartment at 2104 Kenwood Parkway, a backdrop for the enormously popular ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show.'”

The current owners are doing some major renovations to the house which was built in 1878.

The Inaugural Great River Relay

Part of the Backroad Relay SeriesI’m heading down to La Crosse, WI tonight with a bunch of co-workers. We’re one of 30 teams participating in the first ever Great River Relay, a 207-mile relay race from La Crosse to St. Paul.

Teams will be crossing the finish line Saturday between 10:00 am and 4:00 p.m. on Harriet Island. My team is projected to come in about 2:00 p.m. So if you happen to be in the neighborhood, stop on over. Camp out and watch folks drag their asses across the finish line.

Following Up

Previously on Metroblogging Minneapolis….

Andy talked about President Bush’s visit. Someone took exception. Laughable.

Bill reminded us that the new Twins stadium ain’t a done deal yet. The Minneapolis Observer reports that the first of the three public hearings was lively.

I mentioned the pepper spray incident at the airport. KARE11’s Scott Goldberg has an opinion on a competing network’s coverage of the event.

Harassment on two wheels

I am interested if anybody has had any run ins with the Minneapolis Police Department while biking? I’ve heard reports of harassment especially in the downtown area, and know that historically that the Police in this city have a record of harassing everyday people, bikers and non-bikers. Just curious to here some first hand accounts.

WCCO Mobile should trade $$$ for viewers

wccowirelessripoff.jpgDo you love WCCO News so much that you would pay a monthly fee to have it delivered to your cell phone? Yesterday, WCCO launched their WCCO Wireless service, which features news, weather, traffic, sports and video. But it’ll cost you.

I use my awesome Sprint A900 to check my Gmail (for free), my Hotmail (for free), access NFL Mobile to check on Vikings scores (for free), check (for free), look up phone numbers/maps on Mobile Yellow Book (for free), check national news on CNN, USA Today, Reuters, (for free) and indeed, check out local weather, sports and news via “Local Wireless” FOR FREE.

See, I already pay Sprint $15/mo. for high-speed internet on my phone, and there’s no way I’m paying WCCO $5/mo. on top of that.

As the first local news station to launch a mobile platform, WCCO missed out on an opportunity to reach early adopters like myself who 1). Never watch the local news because we’re never home and/nor have the TV tuned to a local station; and 2). Don’t really care from whom the news comes.

Convenience and cost are the keys these days, and by offering branded local mobile news to viewers for free, WCCO would not only have a unique “in” with a niche audience, but they could tell their broadcast advertisers that WCCO has become the trusted newsource of a new generation who don’t care about talking heads reading scripts at 6 o’clock.

If you’re still interested and have the money to burn, prices below:

–Sprint is $3.99 a month (without video) and $4.99 a month (with video).

–Verizon is 2.99 a month (without video, which is not available).

The Web site to sign up is here. Me? I’ll go without and wait for KARE 11 to offer it for free.


The Acadia Cafe hosts the DEMO Low Fi Showcase every Thursday night. By all accounts it’s a great evening of entertainment by local artists. Good ol’ fashioned acoustic stuff.

What’s awesome about Acadia is that if you can’t make it to the show, you can still listen to the music online. Catch past DEMO Low Fi Showcase shows, or catch other stuff played there at Acadiacast.

Both of those sites have RSS feeds, so you can subscribe and listen to your heart’s content.

The Acadia is assisted in this endeavor by local podcasting godfather Garrick Van Buren. I think it’s awesome that the Acadia shows such commitment to the community in so many ways, and is willing to leverage this funky newfangled technology stuff to further that commitment.

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