Monday, January 29, 2007

Cold visit

My friend Matt and his girlfriend Stephanie came up Friday evening from Chicago. Tina and I tried to give them a crash course in everything Twin Cities.

We went to the St Paul Winter Carnival down on Harriet Island. The ice carving and snow carving was fun to watch, but it was cold.
The polar bears didn't seem to mind the weather. We stopped at the Como Park Conservatory and Zoo.
Inside the conservatory we took in the Orchid Show.

The rest of the visit comprised of food, drinks, shopping, and polka (at Nye's Bar).

Friday, January 26, 2007


In some Chinese families, some relatives are referred to by their birth order instead of a name, like "Number 1 Sister" or "Number 4 Brother." And this goes for baby pandas, too, as the Wolong Nature Reserve's Research and Conservation Center for Giant Panda scientists refer to the baby pandas born between July and September of 2006 as numbers 1 to 18. Eager to change this, the research center is asking the public to give these adorable cubs English names.

You can vote here at China Daily, where you can also see photographs and profiles of each one. It's baby panda heaven, and I know what Tina will be doing all weekend.

The deadline is February 5. I would name Number 12, pictured at top, "Quarters," One down, seventeen to go!

whitney museum ceiling, NY
i was pretty underwhelmed by the pictures i took this week so here's one from the 'archive'. took it while in new york (you don't say, right?) for the marathon in the fall.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Guitar Solo

A fellow blogger used the recently released list by Guitar World of the "100 Greatest Guitar Solos" then took it a step further and dug up a video link for each of the top 20! Check it out.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Cannon Falls

Tina and I took a little trip South yesterday. Her college roommate Laura and her husband Arik drove up from their home in Knoxville to visit his parent's in Cannon Falls. It's only about an hour from the Twin Cities, but it's farm country and very rural. First we caught up while wine tasting in town at Cannon River Winery. Once we reached Arik's parent's farm we each took a ride on his dad's quarter horse. It's a kind of horse bred for working cattle. I had never been on a horse. Can't say I'm really cut out to be a cowboy. I think the horse really liked me, then again I had Arik's dad's jacket on and he had horse treats in the pocket. We only got a few good photos because the horses kicked up a ton of dirt in the indoor arena.

This picture is in another barn. Arik's parent's have 6 horses, 3 cats, and a dog (at least by my count). It was great to see Arik and Laura.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Dwarf lemur, zebra, rhino? Never heard of 'em.

Check out this list of the top 100 Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) mammals. Some of these animals I've never heard of for real. In less than a decade kids might not even know they existed. Not good.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

south side of lake of the isles

as i was on my nightly run tonight this is what i came upon – a snow maker! and not just one, but two. i chatted with a man in a tent keeping watch over the snow makers and he confirmed my suspicions that the snow is being made for the the city of lakes loppet. the cross country ski race ends a half a block away from my apartment on 'the mall' in uptown. it is always fun to go out and cheer everyone on at the end of their 35k race. the guy said that they couldn't just haul in snow to 'pave' the home stretch of the race because the snow would be dirty and have salt in it. i should have asked (but i didn't) how long he has to sit in the 4ft x 4ft tent. the races on feb. 3rd and 4th.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Pork Stamp

Stamps released in China to celebrate the Year of the Pig taste like sweet and sour pork. When you scratch the front of the stamps, it smells like the popular chinese dish and when you lick the back of the stamp it tastes that way. The stamps are on sale in China ahead of their New Year on February 18. I found other scratch 'n' sniff stamps as well, like this one in New Zealand that has magnolia aromas. To my knowledge there are no stamps like this in the USPS.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

hey, it's christina. so i've decided to do a 'feature' on mcblog every so often. it will consist of photos that i've taken throughout the week or perhaps ones from a vast personal archive. everyone likes photos, right? they will include a brief description of the location and any anecdotes i see fit (call me a modern day ee cummings, but i don't really like to capitalize anything, punctuation is necessary however).

that being said, the photo above (probably not one for the portfolio) was taken this week at the wedding chapel in a trashy suburb of minneapolis. i went there to try on bridesmaid dresses for my friend erin's impending summer wedding. the outside of the place looks like it's straight out of an amateur horror film. (are you seeing the bride in the middle window?) it wasn't quite that creepy inside, although there were mannequin brides hiding around corners with cobwebs on them (think ms. havishman in great expectations). anyways, after trying on approx. 25 dresses we hightailed it out of there.... only to have to return again soon to order a dress.... shoot. Maybe we will go during the day so the vampires won't kidnap us.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Simpsons in anime


This is pretty strange. I've never been a big anime fan, but some of spacecoyote's art is interesting.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The end of the dome
The Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis sucks. It's ugly outside and worse inside. Starting January 1st I started to share a sales tax with my fellow neighbors in Hennepin County. It's not that much money and I support building the new ballpark approved for the Twins that it was created to help fund. However, when you go bowling you don't expect a 25 cent hike in beer prices to be blamed on the Twins (which is exactly what happened Saturday). Anyway, what of the dome? Now that the Twins and Gophers are close to a new place to call home and while Ziggy Wilf and the Viking want a new place, the clock is ticking. Here is one fate:

The B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver simply ripped open, flapped around, then deflated. The sound of the roof ripping was described by witnesses as "a fart" and the sounds of "elephants running through your living room." A new roof, by the way, is already on its way from Mexico. Wow!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Religion's spread

Pretty interesting.

wûrd • ē

The January LINK OF THE MONTH is Wordie. The tagline on the site reads, "Like Flickr, but without the photos." Sign up, and you can make lists of your favorite words, see everybody else's favorite words, comment on words, list things like "Ancient Greek mythical creatures and deities," "Harlem Globetrotters Motto 'C.H.E.E.R.',"and pretty much be a word nerd in any way you please.
Officially in Minnesota

It's almost laughable but somehow I managed to continue to renew my WI plates for my Jeep despite owning property and getting a MN drivers license. Until now that is. I had a relatively fast visit to the Vehicle Services branch a few blocks from where I work at lunch yesterday. Minnesota offers several options beyond the boring light blue and white version. In order to support the DNR and critical habitat program I got the tan plates with the dear (I like the loon, but it's printed on plastic). The minimum $30 contribution goes to the Department of Natural Resources to buy and manage important natural habitats which are preserved as public lands and are open to compatible public use, like hunting and hiking. The DNR just completed a contest to design new critical habitat plates; unfortunately they aren't available yet.
One thing did come up when I was getting my new plates; registration tabs! When should they expire? When I bought my jeep in mid-December a few years back I was given a year tab and a DEC month tab. Yesterday (on 1/2/07) I was also given a, 07 year tab and a DEC tab. Shouldn't I get an 08 and JAN tab? A manager came out because the lady helping me was frazzled by the idea (at one point she asked if I should get DEC and 08!?). He proceeded to count all twelve months off on his hands. I get it, 12 months. But shouldn't they expire 1/1/08 if I pay for a year and it's 1/2/07 today?

Hopefully I don't sound crazy about these plates. It's not like I collect them or anything. But if I did I might join ALPCA and work my way into their Hall of Fame like old Paul Maginnity (above).