Tuesday, October 30, 2007

You Mean I Get PAID to do this???

So yesterday I spent the entire day wandering around Washington County doing inspections for a watershed district. While I spent a fair amount of the day crawling around storm sewer manholes getting dirty, most of the time I was walking through fields and parks. We always schedule these inspections for this time of year so that the flow is lower, but that usually means it's cold too. Not yesterday! 65 and sunny! And I got PAID!! I love my job!

But that's not really blog worthy. THIS is. I saw a couple things that I thought were just hilarious. First, this is a sign on a frontage road along I-94. Take a look at the detail on the brim of that farmer's hat. Pretty impressive I'd say.

Then there was this car at an Arby's in Woodbury. Come on, I know you like their coffee, but TWO bumper stickers? I hope Caribou is paying your gas or at least giving you a free latte. This brings up the larger question of shilling with bumper stickers. A lot of people have their favorite radio station's, band's or team's bumper sticker prominently displayed (I have a Twins sticker on my car, and YES, my car is TWINS TERRITORY). But there seems to be something different about putting a sticker from a big company like Caribou or Cub Foods on the back of the car. If it was a bumper sticker promoting the Seward Coop or Betsey's Back Porch, I wouldn't have a problem with it, yet with these big corporations, it just seems silly. You can see billboards for Caribou and Cub on the highway, do we need to see them on the car in front of us as well? You may "Love Your Cub", but does Cub really care?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Stop reading this and GET OUTSIDE!!

You may have noticed my blogging has been a little weak lately. It's not that I don't have anything fun to blog about, in fact I have a couple hundred photos sitting 0n my camera at this moment from the past few weeks. It's just that it's the best time of year, FALL! Yesterday I was all of a sudden overwhelmed with how amazing it is outside and how lucky I am to be able to enjoy autumn. Here's a list of all the things I love about the fall that come to mind right now:

  • Honeycrisp apples. Best apples on earth, and you can only get them right now.
  • Any other Minnesota apple (fireside, haralson...) See above
  • Cool, crisp weather
  • Frost on the grass in the mornings, warm afternoons
  • Cloudless days
  • Red sumac
  • Yellow sugar maple leaves
  • Running in state/local parks. Lake Elmo Park, Hyland Hills are AMAZING RIGHT NOW! Leave the computer and go to one of those parks at this moment! I've spent the past two days at those parks.
  • The Mississippi River Gorge. Walk/run/bike the river roads. Stand on a bridge and look up and down the gorge. Go down to Pike Island. I start to forget I'm in a city. The yellows are just phenomenal right now, especially on the river road by St. Thomas.
  • Harvest moon. Bright nights. Low humidity means you can see the finer details of the moon. Stare at it. For a while. The moon is waning right now, so enjoy it tonight!
  • The promise of winter, the memories of summer.
  • Halloween and Thanksgiving, 2 holidays that are all about food and fun!
So get outside! There's no rain and virtually no clouds forecast all week. Take a half-day from work, or a whole day, go enjoy the last bits of fall. Then let me know where your favorite spots are!

And in other news, congrats to Ed on a great Marine Corps Marathon today! I'll be in DC in a few days. I wish I had time for a Shenandoah trip. This would be the PERFECT weekend to go...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Welcome Friend!

OK, I FINALLY added Beth to my blog friends list (look to the right). I highly recommend her blog for 3 reasons:

1) Beth is awesome!
2) She's the biggest Twins fan I know
3) She takes great photos and updates her blog often! The only person I know who is as diligent as Beth is Ed (aka The Deets).

Welcome friend, it's about time I add you to favorites list!

See you at Storyhill tomorrow night Beth???

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Climate Mash

This video is creative, hilarious, and SCARY! Check it out:

Climate Mash

In other climate news, it seems our warm October is coming to an end. I froze my fingers off on my ride to work. But for anyone who doubts climate change, I don't have to do more than point to the Twin Cities Marathon where the last SIX marathons have had above-"average" temperatures. I think the average is being redefined. But props to those hot, sweaty and delirious runners who braved the heat. I wussed out and ran the 5K and 10-miler. I PR'ed in the 5K (17:49) and had a blast running the 10-miler with Ashley. I've never been so glad to NOT run a marathon. Perhaps photos to come... perhaps not.

Enjoy fall now that it's arrived!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Signs I'm an Old Man

I don't believe that your age defines you, or really says that much about you at all. I know plenty of 40-year-olds who are in better shape than most guys in their 20s. I know guys in their 50s who party harder now than I ever have.

And then there's me. I'm 28, and I'm done. Old, over the hill, finished. College is still fresh enough in my mind that I consider myself a younger person. I'm not married, no kids (or pets) so I'm certainly free to do whatever I want whenever I want. And I do just that. But what I want these days is more likely to go to bed by 10pm. Sure, I may stay up until midnight every now and then, but considering the latest I've been up in months was when I worked until 1am the other day, I can say with certainty that I'm an old man.

Case in point, last night. I have the opportunity to go to a fun concert with friends at 9pm (until 10 or 11pm). So going out until 11pm on a Thursday? Sounds pretty reasonable. I'm totally in and planning on going, until I realize I missed my ride. At this point (9pm), I can still bike home and go out for a while, but nope, I decide that it's too late to go out and off to bed for me!

Next sign, this morning. I'm driving to work this morning at about 6am. I see a group of about 5 high-school-aged kids walking up the alleys in my neighborhood. Due to the recent graffiti and thefts in the alleys of my neighborhood, I decide the prudent thing to do is call the police and have them make sure all is kosher. Calling the cops on kids? Who am I, my dad????

And let's not even talk about weekends. I used to use my early morning running on weekends as the reason/excuse why I didn't like to stay out past 11pm on a Fri/Sat night. I'll admit right here right now, that really, I just like going to bed then.

But here's the thing. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm probably the most over-scheduled, busiest person they know. I am ALWAYS up for anything and love going out. But I'd rather hit the town at 8pm so I can be home by the time most are just going out. And my preferred hangout time? Breakfast. So next time you want to hang out with me, schedule a breakfast at French Meadow Bakery or Victor's 1959 Cafe. You may go to the Uptown Diner at 3 am after bar close, but I'll be there at 6am on a full night's sleep!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Buster's on 28th Review

After reading about a new restaurant in my neighborhood on the Deets' Blog, I had to check it out. Well, a short 2 months after I read his review, I finally got my ass over to Buster's on 28th.

Well, the Deets was all fired up about the lame Juicy Lucy, but I noticed very quickly that it was absent from the menu, probably a good thing since they never got it right, and there are plenty of other great places to score a delicious Lucy.

I'll do the food review first. The menu is pretty much elevated bar food, decent, but not outstanding. They had a buffalo burger that 3 of the 4 of us tried. We all agreed that the burger itself was delicious. Here's my problem with it. It is a huge burger smothered in BOTH mayo and a sour cream-based chipotle sauce. Why the need for both? Seems excessive. I asked for mine SIN mayo. The burger (cooking options: medium, medium-rare, charred, whatever... were not offered) showed up and there was about half an inch thick of the chipotle sauce which the waitress INSISTED made the burger. NO WAY! It was delicious, but the sauce was so spicy that it completely masked the flavor of the burger. I scraped off the sauce and discovered that the burger itself was pretty darn tasty too. I would highly recommend this burger with no or just a light amount of the sauce. Other than that, fries were good, onion rings were good.

They did have a difficult time finding BBQ sauce for my fries and malt vinegar was not an option. If they want to be a little better than bar food, those options should be available.

On to the beer. This is their specialty. Busters is owned by the same folks who brought us the Happy Gnome, and they bring their love of good beer. I must say I was exceedingly impressed with the beer list, especially with what was on tap. The gluten-free beer option was a nice touch since I was there with my old roommate Molly who cannot have gluten. I had a Hennepin Ale from NYC that I had had only once before in Brooklyn. I would HIGHLY recommend that. I also tried a MN beer, Flat Earth Element 115. Really interesting taste, but perhaps too many competing flavors. This unique beer is worth a try though. One complaint with their drink menu is that their draft root beer is Frost Top. That sh@t is nasty. Get some good ol' 1919 root beer from New Ulm! But I'm not there for the root beer so I don't really care.

Last comment, on the decor. Hopefully they spruce this up. I like the mirror at the back so even the last table (which we were) can see the whole restaurant. But if you're a place specializing in beers, show that! There's pretty much nothing on the walls, no flare. Of course we know from Office Space that too much flare is a bad thing, but no flare = no personality.

All in all, I'd recommend this place if you live in the neighborhood, but not as a destination, unless something off of their drink menu compels you.