Archive for October, 2007

Citizen Journalist Training

The UpTake is providing free training this weekend for would-be CJs.

This weekend The UpTake has scheduled its first video citizen journalism class. It’s free and open to the public (registration is required ahead of time through Wellstone Action). The class will cover the impact video citizen journalism has had and can have, cover story telling techniques and some of the nuts and bolts of shooting and editing video.

As any journalist will tell you, covering news is really a team sport. This is especially true in video citizen journalism. It takes people who can shoot video, contribute story ideas, research, and coordinate other volunteers. This weekend’s class will give you the blue print of how to work as a team.

The training takes place this Saturday (Oct 27) from 11am-3pm at the Galaxie LIbrary in Apple Valley.

Reminder: Metroblogging’s 3rd Anniversary Party

3 Years OldSaturday
November 3
6:00 pm
Red Dragon
(22nd & Lyndale)

Hope you can join us. Thanks for all your support!

Going Digital

With the approach of Winter, I decided to spend some money to upgrade my home A/V system with an HDTV. One of the unexpected delights has been to discover that the over-the-air, freely broadcast digital TV signals in this area are pretty good. Mind you, I’m talking about the A/V qualities — not the qualities of the content.

I’m unwilling to spend the money on cable service (I mostly like to watch DVDs), so I’ve made do with a cheap, rabbit ear-style antenna. With my old, analog TV, this antenna was good enough to get a snowy or ghostly image on four channels if I really felt the need to tune into broadcast TV. With digital, it’s a whole different matter. It’s really all or nothing — you get the channel or you don’t — and I’m shocked to discover that with my same old antenna, I now get 14 channels. That means I now get nearly perfect reception of almost all of the local digital channels without spending a nickel on cable.

Going digital hasn’t been entirely good, though. The novelty of static-free TV has been alluring: I’ve watched more TV in the last couple days than I did in the previous couple months. I’ll have to see if I can get that under control.

The Skeptical Consumer: A Brief Bagel Update

I recently wrote about the respectable bagels at Common Roots on this blog, and I have a brief piece celebrating those same bagels in the current or upcoming issue of Minnesota Monthly.

That said: I have found another way to obtain good bagels in Minneapolis. Step one: go to Rainbow at Dupont St. and Lake St. Step two: go to the freezer section. Step three: buy Bagels Forever bagels, four for 88 cents. Step four: eat ’em.

Bagels Forever are the bagels I grew up on in Madison, WI. I always had a complex about liking them so much, figuring that because they were made in Madison, they weren’t “real,” and couldn’t be “good,” despite the fact that they’re delicious. Living in New York and hunting down the best bagels I could find led me to conclude that while Bagels Forever aren’t world-class, they’re not at all shabby, either. They’re definitely worth savoring.

Checking out the new Parkway

I’m going to check out the new Parkway Theater tonight, to see Kiss Me Deadly as part of the their Monday Noir series. I’m excited to see how they’ve redone the theater, which was in pretty bad shape the last time I went. It was a Russian mafia film from a few years ago, and the bathroom upstairs had no lights. Whatever has been done can only be an improvement. And you can get menu items from Pepitos, I hear.

Be careful where you park

On my bicycle ride into work this morning, I saw about a dozen Minneapolis Traffic Control vehicles driving around the downtown area. And about a dozen more uniformed Traffic Control officers just walking on the sidewalks. Maybe it was just a shift change I never noticed before, or maybe a training day.

Watch those meters, folks.

go away.

*CAUTION: Minnesotan about to whine about the weather ahead. You’ve been warned.*

Will it ever stop raining in our fair city so we can enjoy autumn? Anyone else considering moving somewhere tropical (like, perhaps, Seattle?)

Not Sven Sundgaard Approved

What is it with people’s infatuation with KARE 11 meteorologist Sven Sundgaard? Often the source of lustful conversations from both sexes, this (often shirtless) TV phenom can’t help but catch the attention of the masses.

Back in February, Erica pointed out the fan blog We Have Mixed Feelings About Sven Sundgaard. All was well and good, but last Monday a new Svenblog “turned up” — and we’re not talking about his official KARE 11 blog.

Parents, please take your children out of the room for this one…

An engine that can.

Does anyone have an opinion on the best real estate search engine to use in the metro area? I’ve been browsing houses using edina realty’s search, but I don’t like it. (and I’m not sure why. Mostly I think because I always end up doing a radius search, which lands me in neighborhoods I don’t want to live in. Full disclosure: I’m picky.)

I know the best way to look for a house is probably to have a realtor… but right now, I’m in brainstorm/think mode, not actually buying anything mode. I just want to get a thermometer out on what’s out there, prices, what you get for the money, etc. Also, to daydream on my lunchbreak.

Anyone have a personal favorite?

The Skeptical Diner: Obento-ya

Finally taking a hint from the omnipresent katebauer of Chowhound’s Midwest board, I got out to the new Japanese sushi and robata place in Dinkytown, Obento-ya.

Superlatives are the crutch of a weak writer, but bombs away: Damn. This place is a gem.

The decor is modern and restrained, capturing the elegant minimalism that typifies an upscale Japanese eatery; that said, you won’t feel uncomfortable strolling in wearing street clothes. An open kitchen dominates the cozy room — part of the fun of ordering robata is watching your chef barbecue the tiny skewers of delicious meat.

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