Archive for May, 2008

The Demanding Diner – Better Service Please.

“So what’s with this Demanding Diner thing?” my millions upon millions of noncommenters may ask if only they could find the time to refill my water glass.

We’ll get there.

Firstly, I love going out for dinner. Honestly, this is something I probably do too often.  In order to maintain this high-flying lifestyle of the rich and famous I’ll often have to hit places that have good food specials with their happy hour or restaurants that have specials on certain nights. Other times I totally splurge and just go for it.

Either way, I say make my life easier!  

It appears has stepped up to the plate with their new feature ‘Our Take on the Local Nightlife Scene’ in the Arts and Entertainment section.

They break down searching by keyword, city/neighborhood, and features such as late night eats, happy hour, etc.  I was especially impressed by the ease of use and the neighborhood feature. This is service I could get used to. Check it out.

Has anyone had a good/bad eating experience you’d like to share? Is there any interest in the occasional restaurant review?

Enquiring minds want to know.

Debut of Mass Exodus, turning the tubes inside out

Andrew Eklund, Ciceron and Twin Cities Business magazine have debuted a video series called “Mass Exodus: The People’s Move Toward New Media,” which “explores the dramatic shift in how people interact with and consume media.” (via)

The first video is with none other than former WCCO weatherman and diligent Web entrepreneur Paul Douglas talking about building flexibility into a business model to capture Web 3.0 and 4.0 and some other media 101s.

It also features Eklund doing his version of Jay-walking, asking people about the media they consume, where and how.

It’s very well edited, and viewers can help dictate the next topic. Nice one @aeklund!

Geo Metros are Making a Comeback

The Geo Metro gets about 40 mpg (highway), which is about as good as a Toyota Prius.

Brenton Netz from St. Cloud is doing brisk business reconditioning Geo Metros (or, as I like to call them, Pregnant Rollerskates) and Ford Festivas and selling them on eBay.

After buying a Metro on Craigslist in Montana and driving it back to his home in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Netz realized how rarely he was making trips to the pump.

He realized that he had stumbled upon a possible side business and began buying one-way tickets to states in the West to purchase as many of the cars as he could. Netz said he has sold about a dozen cars and has eight more sitting in his backyard…

It seems, Netz said, people are beginning to realize that their car choices need to be focused more on practicality than status and appearance.

I work in Eden Prairie. A great many of my co-workers come from farther south and west. Not just Chanhassen, Chaska, and Shakopee. Waconia, Jordan, Belle Plain, Prior Lake. One guy comes from New Ulm! And they’re all hunting and fishing types so they’re driving these big honking trucks. One guy was crying about how it cost him $95 to fill up his gigantic whatever the Dodge version of an F350 is. Boo frickin’ hoo! I’d love to see these manly men driving the Pregnant Rollerskate.

(via @aeklund)

Worst Airport Ever

According to J.D. Power and Associates, Minneapolis-St. Paul International is the worst airport ever.

The survey ranked airports on six factors including check-in and baggage claim facilities and food offerings. MSP received a score of 647 on a 1,000-point scale, the lowest among the 60 airports studied.

I have been to a few airports (as I’m sure many of you have as well) but I don’t know that I’ve had that bad an experience at MSP. A D minus? Maybe I’ve just been conditioned to a horrible customer experience, considering this is my home airport.

Do you hate our airport as much as J.D. (Jerk Dummies) Power and Associates?

And, speaking of air travel, I am off to Europe for the next two and a half weeks. I shall return to my blog-reading public refreshed and with pictures.


  • The Four Firkins. Minnesota’s first specialty beer store opens Saturday in SLP. Grand Opening on June 14. (via east-lake and MN Beer)
  • “The Neighborhood Energy Connection (NEC) (formerly the Saint Paul Neighborhood Energy Consortium) is a nonprofit organization that provides energy efficiency information, services and programs to residents, businesses, and communities across Minnesota.” They provide a lot of info, connect you to a lot of resources, and also provide some for-pay services.
  • NextStep: “This site has been designed to provide Minnesota Sustainable Communities Network (MnSCN) members and others with information, access to resources, opportunities for networking, and inspiration on the topic of sustainable communities. NextStep site users have the ability to post information and resources on the site as well as to access the resources and information posted on the site.” Great event listing. Sortable by regions around the state.
  • The Sibley Bike Depot is “a non-profit membership-based biking and walking organization. We promote healthy transportation and help new riders through advocacy, classes and the Sibley Bike Depot (a community education, repair and retail facility).” Located at 712 University Ave in St Paul. They have a pretty cool Earn-A-Bike program.
  • Matt and Colin are filling in for Taylor at Mediation this week. Matt starts off with a self-pimp of a legislative session wrap up. “If you are a lunch room lady…
  • Citizen-penned marriage equality bill introduced in Minnesota legislature. “The bill is modeled after a similar bill that has passed the California Legislature twice, only to be vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger said that the issue was for the courts to decide — and they did.”
  • Bob Collins is a Lynx fan! Sunday afternoon’s home opener was a stellar display. Only one game, yes, but the win over Detroit (three Eastern Conference championships in a row) bodes well for the team’s 10th season. I had courtside seats!
  • The Uptake on the RNC media walk through.

Cooler Heads On Hotter Planet?

Mike Fairbourne of WCCO claims the science behind Global Warming is a “squishy science”.

The Startribune reports Fairborne signed a petition that says ‘We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto … and any other similar proposals’ and quotes Fairborne as saying ‘Do we have to pin everything that happens on global warming? No, we need to have cooler heads.’

Cooler heads sounds reasonable, but I think I’d prefer squishy heads and cooler science.

How do you like your science?

More Issues With Our Schools.

I hate to harp on the same ol’ same ol’, but I just witnessed this event on the news, News crew attacked during report at TiZA charter school.

From the article: ‘The state Education Department on Monday directed a Minnesota charter school to “correct” two areas related to religion at the school on Monday.’ … ‘In an attempt to report about the new findings from the Department of Education, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS went to TiZA. While on school grounds, our crew was attacked by school officials. The two men were able to grab our camera and kept it until police arrived’

Initially, I was for the idea of charter shools, but in the last year or so I’ve come to have several gripes about the charter system. Most of the gripes are about what I perceive to be a lack of oversight.

Does the Tiza school kerfuffle reinforce my feelings about lack of oversight? I don’t know, but I can’t recall the last time a news crew was attacked by the staff of a traditional public school.

What do you think?

For entertainment purposes only?

Local Radio hosts seemed to have a vendetta against local hip-hop. If you can remember Tom Barnard from KQ92 spouted off a year ago about The Twin City Celebration of Hip-Hop. He also has said other crazy crap about local minority groups which has caused some outrage. KTLK-FM’s Jason Lewis decided to go on a rant about local hip hop artist and activist Tou Saiko Lee and his work with some local sixth graders. Kyle Myhre has posted a great article about this controversy on

I am not all about being the politically correct police, but randomly spouting off about stuff you know nothing about is stupid. I am sure they do it for the entertainment value, and hopefully they can’t be that ignorant. For a country built on immigrants, even being white we don’t dismiss our culture and our traditions.

I guess he would rather have these kids hanging out the streets, then writing poetry, songs and talking about their culture.

On the Set of "Nobody"

My friend Autumn happened across a film crew in Northeast Minneapolis last week. Here’s her account of what she saw.

The film is called “Nobody” and it’s being written and directed by Rob Perez, who wrote 40 Days and 40 Nights. He moved here to shoot the film, apparently. It’s about an artist trying to find inspiration while attending art school. The lead is a guy named Sam Rosen, apparently a friend of Josh Hartnett. The film is being produced by someone named Christine Walker, who we saw yesterday on the set.

The film is supposedly a “low budget indie film” but as someone Tiffany works with pointed out, low budget these days just means it costs less than 50 million dollars. On site yesterday were several rental trucks, a couple of semis, a trailer or two, a giant pile of snow, and lots of Prius’ and SUVs lining the surrounding streets with city obstruction permits on their windshields.

There was quite a large crew. Camera men, site techs, costume people, interns shoveling snow into a wheelbarrow and wheeling it over to the bus stop, and kids in orange vests making sure no one ran over the crew as they crossed back and forth on the street. It was windy out, so it was even one girl’s job to hold up the corner poll of a rented tent over the director, so that it didn’t blow over. They took over an entire office building, two blocks for crew parking, a small stretch of road, and the church across the street, which they were using as a home base for bathrooms and crew lunches.

More from the set of the movie “Nobody”

Meet Petey P. Cup

Yeah, it’s as bad as it sounds. HealthPartners has come up with a new, not gross, completely necessary mascot.

The 5-foot-7, walking urine vial is being unveiled today as the mascot of HealthPartners’ new website and advertising campaign.

But, in case you didn’t think it could be funny, check out the promotional video. Even the ad guys at HealthPartners realize the brilliant idiocy of a pee cup costume, and that somehow makes it even funnier to me.

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