Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Let the holiday shopping begin

Stores come and go in Gaviidae Common downtown, leaving open spaces in what could be prime shopping territory. For one reason or another, though, it doesn’t seem to be quite the Mecca it could be. However, the enterprising folks at MNFashion have set up their local holiday pop-up shop for a second year in the Nicollet building. They’re carrying lines like Calpurnia Peach (I just bought a dress from the ladies, who were in the midst of completing a huge order from Patina’s new local store, Shoppe Local), as well as jewelry and accessories. (555 Nicollet Mall)

Not to be outdone, St. Louis Park has The Guild, and the promise of designer goodies from my favorite Lyndale resale store June and gothy, chic housewares and pretty things from Luehmann means I’ll make the jaunt to stop by. (4414 Excelsior Blvd, SLP)

Talking Minnesotan – Friday the 13th



Image Reflection Uploaded on November 9, 2009
by conner.mccall

SOTC has NEMAA Fall Fine Arts Show and an interesting conversation about the light rail, Gentrification Via Light Rail.

Minnpost has a must read with the judges talking – Small-fee case explodes: Minnesota justices direct judicial anger at Pawlenty and Legislature

the most remarkable piece of the package is raucous, angry concurrence by Justice Paul Anderson. Anderson sides with Magnuson, which makes his the deciding vote in favor of the deal. The license fee is necessary for the maintenance of “a civilized society,” Anderson says. But the price he exacts for his vote is a fierce lecture about how government ought to function. He ratifies the deal, then denounces it as necessitated by the “unfortunate impasse” between Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the DFL Legislature. But “unfortunate impasse” is pale language compared to what happens when Anderson gets warmed up.

Seriously, read the entire article and the links.

Derusha has a great read on What is and what isn’t terrorism. Did you know there are 109 kinds?

Though, I don’t think cancelling interviews is one of the 109, nor is Friday the 13th, but Sanden of InTheLoop fame doesn’t need Friday the 13th or terrorism to feel the effects of a tough week.

Can we reschedule?

Well, it looks like today isn’t that unlucky for the IntheLoop’ers after all as they have a Joa Cao song going viral in Louisiana

What are you talking about?


MSPTweetup Goes Cuban


Twitter is a wonderful way to meet new people and often times those people can become quite close in the Social Media realm but wouldn’t it be nice to meet those people in real life?  That is what MSPTweetup was organized to be, a regular event for Twitter folks in the Twin Cities to mix and mingle at a local establishment to put faces to usernames.

The Thursday, November 14th MSPTweetup was a big success, held at the Bulldog Northeast and sponsored by IZEA’s Sponsored Tweets there was a huge turnout enjoying the tater tots and conversation.

Planned by Kareem Ahmed & David Dellanave it was one of the largest MSPTweetups. And then it happened. The special surprise guest arrived.  Dallas Mavericks owner and twitterer Mark Cuban arrived at the MSPTweetup. 

Twitpic of @kazeemy & @mcuban @bulldogne #msptweetup

Twitpic of @kazeemy & @mcuban @bulldogne #msptweetup

Ahmed had met Cuban previously and had invited him via Twitter and Cuban, in town for the Mavericks vs Timberwolves game accepted and surprised everyone in attendance.
Unfortunately I had left the event just minutes earlier.  Had I been driving I would have turned around to go back but as I was already on the LRT home I could not. 
From the Twitter Stream of the event Mr. Cuban was very friendly discussing business with some, just shaking hands with others.
@snyd043 & @mcuban @bulldogne #msptweetup

@snyd043 & @mcuban @bulldogne #msptweetup

To have the opportunity to mix & mingle with Mark Cuban at the MSPTweetup was certainly an unexepected bonus of an already tremendous event.  How often do you get the chance to pick the brain of a billionaire entrepreneur over beer?
If you are interested in attending future Tweetups, follow @msptweetup on Twitter, or visit their website for more information.  You never know who may show up!

Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” sends Twin Cities fashionistas into ecstacies

Unless you’ve been living under a big, giant monolithic rock, you know that the hotly-anticipated video for Gaga’s “Bad Romance” single, off her upcoming 8-song album “The Fame Monster,” finally debuted on Tuesday, one whole DAY after it was promised to us. Rest assured it did not disappoint.

If you haven’t seen it, please take five minutes from your busy schedule and Google Reader to watch. All the S/S 2010 McQueen Gaga is sporting, including those skyscraper, gravity-defying platforms, makes it entirely worth it. 

[youtube] [/youtube]

l’etoile magazine’s Beth Hammarlund was first on my radar to respond to the Lady, adding she’d made her “manfriend” watch the vid eight times. (Kudos, dude.) Local PR powerhouse Marina Maric posted that she was “blown away” on her Facebook — my Twitter feed nearly exploded with MPLS movers and shakers offering their Gaga what-for. (For the most part, we’re obsessed with the shoes.)

What do you think of the Lady? Are you pissed she’s not stopping in the Cities on her Fame Monster tour? Would you buy a ticket if she did?

How Green Was My Garden: Mr. Freeze

Mr. Freeze 2

Mr. Freeze is upon us. Yes, the Twin Cities has already endured the first official hard freeze meaning the growing season has officially ceased.  I had to scramble home to dig up what was left of the carrots, parsnips, turnips, leeks, beets and onions to put up in the root cellar (well the one I set up in the basement) for the winter and try to see if any of the cabbage or cauliflower had anything to harvest when the temps plummeted in late October.  I had plucked most of the green tomatoes at the first frost warning but was disappointed not to have just a few more weeks, especially now we are having this last gasp Indian Summer. 

My second harvest of peas never quite made to blossom thanks to the lack of rain unfortunately, and a bad case of fungus on a nearby squash wouldn’t have helped their quality anyway. 

It was a challenging year for gardening this season. With the very cool temperatures and drought conditions there were many challenges. I had my worst year for squash borer ever, killing most of my winter squash plants. I also battled late onset of white mildew on my zucchini and yellow squash due to all the late watering I had to do, and then very wet fall, so a very disappointing year for squash.

What I lacked in squash I more than made up for in cucumber however.  I tried a new variety alongside my traditional Organic Sweet Marketmore, a Thompson & Morgan Picolino F1 Hybrid Organic, which was a tremendous hit. Incredible producer and wonderful flavour, no bitterness, thin skin.

My peppers did yield but very little thanks to the cool temps and late start to the summer and the fact that I planted too close to tomatoes that grew out of control so they likely didn’t get quite enough light.  I got enough Jalepeno to make salsa, and red peppers to make stir fries so that is good.

My tomatoes were out of control this year.  All of my plants were from seed this year except two, the Amish Paste & Sweet 100 that I picked up at Mother Earth Gardens.  Unfortunately My experiment of trying to get the rainbow cherry tomatoes didn’t work as well as hoped and I ended up with hundreds of red cherry tomatoes. A good thing if you have people to donate them to, but after a while you do run out of things to do with cherry tomatoes. I was disappointed I did not end up with the purple, yellow and orange varieties from the seeds but the plants did thrive well and the Sweet 100 was insane with production.

The Roma, Black Plum, San Marzano, Amish Paste & Roprecco Paste Tomatoes were fantastic though as mentioned before they were delayed, once they finally started to ripen I had a wonderful crop and made wonderful sauces & salsas all summer long and have been canning all fall.

One of the nicest surprises was a new tomato variety I tried, the Matina, another organic Thompson & Morgan seed. Despite the black walnut mystery that baffled me for a while, these were a wonderful early and constant producer throughout the summer and fall.  A great salad & slicing tomato also good for sauces and cooking and even have held up to canning.

This was a first year for garlic for me and was very pleased with the result and am excited to plant again this week! Small bulbs but who can complain when you get both scapes and a fresh bulb from a tiny clove fresh from your own ground?

Onions I did not have as good a result thanks to trampling super-raccoons. They used the place where my onions were planted as their path to my yard and kept breaking the stalks, stunting the growth of the bulbs so I ended up with very small yield for my onions this year.  But have some nice shallots and a few nice ones for cooking.  Will have to address that next season.

Despite a mowing down by baby rabbits (chicken wire fence didn’t keep them out) early in the season my carrot crop is tremendous!  Am going to be making stews and soups all winter long!  There are some spotty nematode affected areas, but have found an organic early treatment product that can be applied to prevent the space alien-type distortion that the harmful nematodes create.

Parsnips and turnips did well too, despite the drought, though the turnips did also have some pest issues. Because it is an organic garden there is little that can be done other than try to introduce some more beneficial insect population.

The rainbow beets have been enjoyed all summer in salads and a second yield will be pickled and canned.  The organic compost mix and tilling I did to the corner plot seemed to be a boon for my beets though the lack of water was a challenge at times.

Being the fine Welsh lass that I am, I am probably most proud of my perfectly straight row of thick pale leeks.  I am looking forward to making a lovely bowl of Cawl with the Yukon Gold potatoes I grew in the bag this year.  The red new potatoes were lovely too, and the bag method was fantastic, such an easy harvest.

The cabbage & cauliflower & broccoli plants did extremely well but did not produce until just now so they are tiny.  I believe it is because there was a big branch of my maple tree that decided to grow over the raised bed this season that seemed to shade that area during part of the day.  It received a great deal of sun but perhaps not for long enough of the day and that may have stunted the growth, or perhaps the growing season was just not long enough this year with the cool weather having grown the plants from seed.  Either way, the plants were disappointing with only a few small cabbage heads and some plants with no cauliflower heads or tiny ones.  Will have to examine what to do with tree or bed next season.

The bush beans and broad beans were perfect for us this season, but did not yield enough to preserve as the drought took its toll on the plants late in the season. Hopefully next year is better.

Japanese Eggplant was stupendous, despite the cool weather, much better than the traditional one, which only yielded one big fruit due to lack of heat.  Will add a Thai eggplant next year I think.

With my added space from the raised beds I’ve found I need to devote more time to preserving.  We are going to invest in a new freezer for next season, though I quite enjoyed canning  it is much greater time investment, so I will split my harvest next year between the freezer and pantry, or find some sous chefs to help in the canning process in exchange for a few take-home gifts of tomato sauce or tomatoes. And I will be buying more Green Bags to keep the fresh items like cucumber and lettuce in the refrigerator longer.

It was a challenging season but the end of the year was wonderful and I am still enjoying my bounty but now it is time to cover up the beds with mulch, put away the tools and start pouring over the seed catalogs to plan for next season.

Lets see, seed starting begins in February, so that gives me three months for planning!

Bikers and dogs.

Since yesterday was such a nice and warm day (a good change of pace for our recent weather), K and I decided to go out for a bicycle ride. Not even through the alley and we encounter what most bikers hope they never do…No, not Corey Haim selling biographies, loose dogs–a rottweiler and a pit bull. At first they didn’t seem to notice us, but shortly after seeing them, they saw us. The problem with most Minneapolis alleys is that garages line most of them–not leaving much availability to jump a fence or something. So the best option was to bike past them in a hurry. I was able to get past them, but K seemed to attract the attention of the pit bull and it latched on to her pants. I thought for sure it was going to drag her off the bike. For the better part of a block it kept jumping up at her legs trying to latch on. The rottweiler chased me down for about 2 blocks. Unfortunately we got separated when the dogs started running after us. I knew the dog chasing me wouldn’t catch up, but I kept having reruns of dog attacks on the news going through my head. After a while, we managed to meet back up. The dog did get at her leg, but only a small bite. Thankfully it was never able to fully grab her ankle or foot. Maybe some dog mace wouldn’t be a bad idea for the next bike accessory…..
It’s just scary to think what could have happened.

Censored* Voting

Today the polls are open but empty. Presidential elections are exciting of course, but local election outcomes can sometimes affect your daily life even more than national ones. (Think if you really want even MORE taxes).

The ‘big’ election today is for Mayor. The incumbent RT Rybak is taking on many contenders, although he’s largely refused to show up to any debates and is probably planning on running for Governor as well.
The two endorsed by the major parties are Rybak and Papa John Kolstad.

This paraphrase, from MPR News yesterday, made me laugh.
Q: What are the major issues:
Rybak: Public safety and job creation.
Kolstad: Increasing business, and the cost of a special election if Rybak runs for governor.

There’s also seems to be a weird quirk with party listings this year. One candidate’s party listing is “Moderate Progressive CENSORED” since the city blocked his original listing, “Moderate Progressive Republican.” Why would they censor something like that when they allowed another fool to list his party on the ballot as “Awesome”?

Drop and Give Me Twenty!


Photo courtesy of CrossFit MSP

The holidays are fast approaching, and I’ve made a plan to gorge myself guilt-free. It’s called: CrossFit MSP Boot Camp.

According to Wiki, CrossFit is “one of the fastest growing fitness movements on the planet,” combining constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.

The Boot Camps, hosted for the first time at the CrossFit gym in St. Louis Park, incorporate the same philosophies as CrossFit, minus the complex lifting movements. Owner Michael Pilhofer says they’re for both men and women looking to get an efficient, short (15-20 min), fun workout, done in a small group environment.

I submit that the Boot Camps are also for those wishing to make a little more room in their waistband for a second helping of turkey.

Another plus is that CrossFit workouts are scalable for people of all fitness levels. Meaning even those of us who only run… after the ice cream man… will still benefit.

The six-week camps start November 2, and some discounts are available for signing up with a friend. As I learned in a similar boot camp, the best motivation to not wimp out is group peer pressure.

How Green Was My Garden: Goodnight Garden


Tucked in for the Winter (Pamz2)

Tucked in for the Winter (Pamz2)

Putting your garden to bed is never a fun garden chore.  I am in the process of doing mine and I speak from experience. But it is a necessary one and there are certain things to keep in mind to ensure a happier spring. Peat Wilcutt, famous is conducting a seminar on proper techniques for putting your garden to bed for the winter as well as planing garlic and other fall crops.   Details of the seminar below:


Famous Chickens in the City Instructor, Peat Wilcutt, will provide you with the tools to have a proactive approach to perennial and vegetable winter gardening

Date:      Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Time:      6:30pm
Where:      Urban Earth Cooperative
Topics included:
Winter gardening
setting up a cold frame
planting fall crops such as garlic
cover crops

Space is limited so reserve now for Peats class tonight, October 20th!
To pre-register call Urban Earth at 612-824-0066
$10 for members
$15 for nonmembers
Each student will receive a free heirloom garlic bulb for planting.
Urban Earth Cooperative
910 W. 36th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55408

How Green Was My Garden: The Votes Are In!

The Poll is closed and there will be no recount or contest dragging this out eight months. Despite there being a tie between the top two selections (Glasu was the other winner) an editorial decision was made and as you can see, “How Green Was My Garden” has been chosen as the name of the blog and will be used going forward.  Thank you to all who voted!

If you don’t get the connection, “How Green Was My Valley” is a  book and movie and is a nod to my Welsh heritage.

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