Archive for February, 2007

Did you Oscar?

Did everyone hunker in and watch the Oscars on their home turf, or did anyone brave the roads and go to an Oscar party out and about? I’ve always wanted to go to the State Theater’s extravaganza, but have yet to partake of the glitz and glamour. They’ve been hosting this AIDS fundraiser for quite a number of years now. Maybe next year, I’ll tux it up and rub elbows. As it was, last night, I wentt to Eagan (I know! South of the river!) to a friend’s place for his annual Oscar party. Fun as always, but a little less high society and more Ho-Hos. I didn’t do as well as I’ve done in past years, only scoring 12 out of 24. I didn’t see any of the best picture nominees, and once again I failed to make it to the Riverview‘s screening of the various nominated shorts. Maybe I’ll find them on YouTube, now that it’s after the fact.

Snow Pictures

Lots of ’em.

In Minneapolis and in St. Paul. Or browse the TC Flickr Pool.

Do you hate eagles?

Ed Contoski, found of Minnesota’s Libertarian Party (yes!), is single-handedly taking aim at America’s national bird. Why? Well, they simply aren’t endangered anymore, and it’s wreaking havoc for landowners like himself.

edcontoski.jpgAccording to the Strib: “The bald eagle is a threatened species and has been protected under the act since 1978. A combination of protection, habitat conservation and a ban on the insecticide DDT have helped to boost bald eagle populations to more than 7,000 breeding pairs, including 872 nesting pairs counted in Minnesota in 2005.”

Meanwhile, WCCO says: “The bald eagle needed protection back in the 1960s, when there were fewer than 500 migrating pairs…Since then, the eagle population has been multiplying and now there are more than 9,000 pairs.”

Okay, so that’s a difference of 4,000 eagles (2,000 pairs) between the two reports, but the underlying fact is that eagles are as prevalent as many non-endanger-labeled animals.

Why should you care? As an endangered species, a bald eagle’s habitat is harshly protected under federal law. Because there’s a nest on Contoski’s land, that means he can’t even trim a tree with 300 feet of the nest (that’s a football field, btw). And it’s not like he asked the eagles to nest on his primo real estate.

Imagine if a bald eagle built a nest on your house. You would have to immediately vacate, and even if the eagle paired moved out, you would have to wait five years after the nest was abandoned to move back to your house.

Because of the ample amount of birds, I agree with Contoski that it’s time to deregulate the endangered labels for the bird. Now, I’m not advocating hunting season (wonder if they taste like chicken?), but like President Bill Clinton in 1999, it’s time we celebrate the conservation success story and focus our attention on animals that need it.

Something tells me this discussion would be a lot easier if Ben Franklin got his way with the turkey as the national bird.

Snowstorm of the Century? Not quite…

Snow mound outside my houseFolks like Dan Barreiro on KFAN AM 1130 have been outspoken about their distaste for the over hyping of the weather in this state by various meteorologists on the local news stations. Paul Douglas has been a frequent target of his scorn, even earning Mr. Douglas the moniker “goof on the roof” (makes fun of his doing the weather on the roof of WCCO in downtown Minneapolis).

This weekend was clearly no exception to this hype, and for a time early Saturday morning I thought maybe that’s all it would be (they called for 3-6 inches on Friday night/Saturday morning and we got little more than a dusting). The snow did eventually pick up, but it came over a long enough period of time that it seemed mostly manageable to drive out, even if a bit slow.

I don’t think I would have wanted to be out too much last night at the peak of the blizzard conditions, but the total snowfall wasn’t anywhere near what the snowpocalyptic weatherguys were making us think it was going to be.

One thing I always notice with these kinds of storms – it doesn’t stop that many people from going out and doing things. I grew up on the east coast, and later in the Chicago area and in both places a snowstorm of this magnitude would have shut down just about everything.

Minnesotans go out and brave it. We have the best snow removal force of the places I’ve lived, and people are not afraid to get out there and get stuff done. My wife and I went out to run some errands today and the roads were mostly cleared, if not a bit slow.

A few more weeks and we’ll be looking at spring, putting all of this snow behind us.

Snow Emergency

Minneapolis. Starting tonight at 9:00. Even/odd. Also, dial 612-348-SNOW at any time.

St. Paul. Starting tonight at 9:00. Day/night. Also, dial 651-266-PLOW at any time.

Checking in on Dodgeball

Dodgeball logoA while back, Wendy introduced me to the wonders of Dodgeball. I haven’t been going out all that much, and I don’t have a ton of dodgeball friends, so you couldn’t consider me a power user. But I did mosey on over to catch up with Wendy and Jenni when they checked in at Famous Dave’s at Calhoun Square. It works!

But I had a revelation the other day, as I was sitting at home “checking in” to Dodgeball while doing my freaking laundry.

Dodgeball is NOT Twitter.

(Twitter is a service where you can check in whenever with whatever it is you’re doing/thinking/etc. at the time. You can check in via phone, IM, or the web.)

I loathe the concept of Twitter. I already have a problem with being on the internet all the time. Encouraging me to be even more constantly connected and inflicting upon my friends the minutiae of my daily existence (and vice versa) is not a good thing.

So from now on I promise not to check in to Dodgeball unless I am actually out and about somewhere where you could conceivably join me if you happen to be in the vicinity. When I do finally go to Town Talk for the first time, or have my first Jucy Lucy at Matt’s Bar, I will let you know.

I don’t have any concept of how popular Dodgeball is here in the TC. I think it’s a really neat concept, though. Has anyone else actually met up with friends because of a Dodgeball message they got?

P.S. If you’re a Dodgeball user, be my friend!

My Marketing Campaign

Whenever I go to an Apple Store (which isn’t really all that often), I go around to a laptop or two or four and leave a Safari tab open with Metroblogging loaded.

2006 Minneapolis Murders

The Rake analyzes last year’s homicides and lists them all with the current status of the case.

I’m reading through the list now and it’s making me sick to my stomach. Regardless of your opinion on the state of crime in the city, policing, the culture, etc., it’s a terribly sobering read.

(via MNspeak)

Bite into this: Jucy Lucy

jucylucy.jpgDuring the first hour of Dan Conry’s morning show on KTLK-100.3FM this morning, talk turned to my all-time favorite burger — the Jucy Lucy (aka Juicy Lucy). EDIT: Also mentioned in a PiPress Ask the Critic column yesterday.

For those of you JL virgins, we’re talking about a Minneapolis-born burger concept featuring molten cheese cooked inside a burger patty so that the scalding cheese shoots out on your lips, chin, lap, etc. when you take a bite. Delicious!

Conversation this morning mentioned the controversy about who really invented the burger City Pages calls, “South Minneapolis’s contribution to world cuisine.”

However, whether invented at Matt’s Bar or the 5-8 Tavern and Grill — both bars claim the concept as far back as the mid-50s — what we all really care about is which locale has the best burger.

Of course, Conry isn’t the first to leap into JL judging territory. Doodledee even has breakdowns of JL’s at Groveland Tap, Minnehaha Lanes, Sweeney’s Saloon, Cardinal Tavern and more (even one in Rochester).

My fav is the Jucy Lucy at Matt’s Bar for a few reasons. It’s a simple burger on a bun with optional pickles and onions. No frills, just molten cheese burning my tongue and a can of Coke Classic. In addition, you can’t beat the authenticity of the decor (although the new flat screen TV really threw me the first time I saw it).

The 5-8’s juicy lucy is good, but the renovated restaurant, toasted buns and cheese choices (blue, pepper jack, and swiss) are all a bit much.

Which is your favorite?

My newest love at Midtown Global Market: La Sirena Gorda

I overdosed a little on huarachazo from Los Ocampo, so I’ve been trying out the Mexican seafood at La Sirena Gorda. La Sirena Gorda is run by the same fine folks that operate Babalu and holy shit is it good.

I’ve had the camaroncillas and the mole verde lunch special. The mole verde was less foodgasm-inducing than the camaroncillas. Those were fabulous. And while the mole verde wasn’t overly spicy going down, that gift kept on giving, if you know what I’m saying, so be forewarned. Next on my list to try is the ceviche tostadas.

After being dragged to Taco John’s repeatedly and then to some place in a strip mall in Chanhassen, I’ve mandated that my co-workers must accompany me on a field trip to MGM for our weekly Friday lunch out. At the moment the emails are flying about the dangers of young Republicans going to Uptown. (They’re trying to be funny, but I know on some level they’re not entirely kidding. And I won’t even touch the part about how we’re not even going to Uptown.)

Although they’ve clearly demonstrated that their standards are low, so they might not even like something more authentic. But I’ll have gotten my way and be enjoying my lunch, so I won’t care at that point.

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