just a quickie

I could tell you about my fence (old fence is down, new footings are poured, only one back was seriously injured). I could also also tell you about roller derby (I feel so conflicted when I try to cheer for the Atomic Bombshells and Jawbreaker at the same time). I could even waste your time talking about improvising explosives on my driveway or the twin geniuses of Rodriguez/Tarantino. But I’m tired, and my body is trying to remind me about why I don’t do manual labour for a living, so I will just leave you with this…

Click here to pre-register, or just show up at Block E tomorrow and register at the door. Grand Prize will be $100 in cash, plus we’ll have a raffle for concert tickets, gift certificates and even tickets to a Twins game. Also, Hooters has agreed to donate a portion of their profits for the evening to Team Boobylicious, so come hungry!

burritos and science

Knowing that there is a Chipotle within about 10 minutes of my work is not a good thing. Luckily, the 694/35E clusterfuck that is currently going on means that I won’t be hoping over the Vadnais Heights more than once or twice a month. Also, I thought Burrito Bols were supposed to be less filling…but yet, here I sit, kind of wishing that I would explode so that the hurting would stop….sigh.

41exothermic.jpgIn other news: science badges! If we had had these in Girl Guides (instead of just one general “Science” badge, I might have made it to Pathfinder. I intend to test for “totally digs highly exothermic reactions” as soon as possible.


It’s been a little while. Here’s some updates for you.

  1. 612.5 was amazing. If you missed it, shame on you. I even managed to stay conscious the whole time (though I did make up for that by sleeping in until 1 the following afternoon), and I think I remember the names (and faces!) of everyone I met. Though, I don’t remember the name of the guy who I almost drowned in bad vodka poured out of a shotgun — if you are that dude, sorry.
  2. Finally getting around to working on my back fence which has been falling over since I moved in. I’m hiring one of my construction dude friends to help me out with it because he needs the work, and I’m not gonna be mixing 2100lbs of cement by myself. Some of the panels are rotted out worse that I thought they were, so this project is going to be quite a bit more expensive than I had budgeted last year. Something around $600 for materials and labour, which to me, seems a little crazy for 90ft of fence. But at least I’m not doing the whole fence, or putting up vinyl panels. I’ll be placing the order for delivery of materials at Lowe’s sometime tomorrow or Thursday, and will start digging on Saturday.
  3. Operation Double-Hung has been stalled for a little while because dude from company A put such a bad taste in my mouth. But I figure, if I’m ever going to get my patio door (and deck with built-in benches) I need to get some more estimates done. So I’m having a couple of companies come in, rapid-fire style on Saturday and Monday.
  4. I’ve eaten a salad for lunch for the past two days. I haven’t died yet, but the dude in the cafeteria who serves the bad for me food (burgers, fries, etc), is giving me looks that imply that he misses me.
  5. I’m going to go see Ted Leo and some other dudes at First Ave. tomorrow. This is exciting.
  6. Holy crap emotions suck, especially when they have you on the sort of roller coaster that leads to almost crying at the end of libertarian propaganda. Heinlein is a mean dude. Also: boys are smelly.
  7. Scientist dudes say that girly drinks are good for you. Something to do with ethanol helping to unless the antioxidants in juice. Now I don’t feel so bad for having that Fruity Tutty Razzamango Mai Tai Chiller while hangin’ at the bar at TGIF last Thursday.

six to the one two

Last fall, a group of Minneapolitan friends had a dream. This dream was of a party, to celebrate their fair cities (St. Paul does count too, after all) where the food was great and the drinks were plentiful, and everyone was invited.

On October 20th, 2006, the 612 Party was born. The night? Epic. The morning after? Painful. The desire to do it again? Strong.

It’s long been said that the 612 Party would become an annual event. Something to cap off a summer/fall of fun before curling up for the long winter hibernation ahead. But a dream this powerful can’t be kept down for a full 12 months. It pops up in random (hazy) memories, in conversation, even in the occasional flickr search. The friends felt this, and knew that it was time to bring back the awesome. Six months late, six months early? No matter. Ladies and Gentleman, I give you…


This Friday, April 20th, 8pm. The Party Room at the Belmont Apartments (1000 Franklin Avenue West, Minneapolis, enter on Colfax). Be there.

Email info@612party.com, or comment here for more details.

this. is. caketown!!!!!

I owe somebody cupcakes.  She probably thinks that because I found this recipe, she will maybe get getting them this week.

I think that she should maybe not get her hopes up.  I doubt The Nerds will let a batch of these live long.
[don't get the reference in the title?]


retail success!

I finally bought a Wii yesterday. On a whim, I consulted my spreadsheet with the phone numbers (and phone tree paths) of the Wii retailers around me (obsessive? moi?) and found out the the Circuit City nearby had two left. Before dude had finished telling me that “they are first come, first served and I can’t hold it for you” I was out the door. When I got to the store, I had to ask where the Wii’s were (they are so rare they don’t even bother putting them out on the shelf), and refused to browse for games/extra controllers until after I had purchased the device and knew it was mine.

After my happy time at CC, I decided to swing over to Home Depot and see if they had any of that stump rotting stuff that I had heard about (I have a 16″ wide birch stump hanging out in my backyard which I’d like to get rid of and maybe replace with a pond). They do have it, it’s called Stump Out, and it is the most amazing stuff ever. Because after you drill a bunch of holes in your stump (foot-long spade bits FTW!), pour the stuff in, and wait for a month, you get to refill the holes with kerosene and light the stump on fire. It burns down to the roots, and you are left with a hole full of ash. I am so unbelievably excited about the impending stump lighting and hopefully getting to watch flames shoot out of the ground that I might just throw a party to celebrate (actually…now that I think about it, I could probably time it to line up with my birthday party).

I haven’t hooked up the Wii yet, because it was too nice out yesterday to go inside and I decided to play with my leaf blower (another new purchase yesterday) and chainsaw and firepit for a little while, which ended up stretching until nearly my bedtime. I may or may not have time for it today, since it is still painfully beautiful out and playing video games when I could be riding/drilling stumps/swinging on my hammock drinking beer just feels foolish to me.

well now, ohhh mary ann

This is a great “semi-homemade” recipe that I like to pull out when I’m invited to big sit down dinners where the host has the basics (main course, veggies, dessert, wine, etc) covered. Since it’s so flexible, I can cater it to the tastes of the group. For example, I ate Easter dinner this year with Nerd2’s family. Now, there are some members of this family who love spicy food, but the cook in this case wasn’t likely to add many chile peppers to her ham and mashed potatoes, so I was able to help by cranking up the heat a little. And the leftovers? In a sandwich with some leftover ham and a bottle of Oberon? Heaven.

This recipe is based on a dish that I was served by a woman named Mary Ann. She’s an awesome lady, and I was going to tell her story (fighting cancer and diabetes and losing both legs all while having to deal with douchebaggy blood relatives is pretty impressive), but I can’t really do it without getting overly negative about said blood relations, so lets just say that Mr. Charles could have been singing about her.

Mary Ann’s Beans

This is based on what I made for dinner on Sunday. Some amounts are approximate. ALL are variable…have fun!

  • 1 55oz can of Bush’s Baked Beans (yes, it’s a lot, but these things are popular)
  • 1 lb bacon (diced)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 green peppers (diced)
  • 3 jalapeno (and/or other hot) peppers diced (remove ribs and seeds to tone things down if you are pathetic and weak)
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • some chili powder
  • some ancho chile pepper powder
  • a couple dried chipotle peppers (crumbled)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1.5 tsp dried cilantro
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • a bunch of dried jalapeno powder (yeah, 3 jalapenos = not sufficient)
  • a dash or three of liquid smoke
  • other herbs and spices to taste (see step 5)
  1. In large saucepan, over medium heat, fry bacon.
  2. Pour off bacon fat, remove bacon, increase heat to medium high, and brown beef.
  3. Pour off most beef fat, remove beef, saute onion and fresh peppers
  4. Either add beans to saucepan, or transfer onion/peppers to crockpot. Add beef and bacon.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for at least an hour. Taste obsessively and search through spice rack for more stuff to add…have fun. Half the joy of this recipe is the fiddling.
  6. Serve as a side dish with other food that’s equally bad for you…or with something healthy, to restore balance to the force.

Lastly, I’d like to say hi to any What Ale’s Thee listeners who happened to wander over to this site: stay a while, the pie’s awesome. For those of you who don’t listen to What Ale’s Thee, you should. It’s a great podcast about all things beer hosted by Twin Cities lushes Philip Nelson and Jason Alvey. Check it out. These guys changed my life.*

*not really

are you a specially designated national?

I’m sure you guys have all heard of the Treasury Department’s “black list” of names of people who are suspected to be terrorists. Companies who do business with people on this list could face fines of up to $10 million, and their principles could spend up to 30 years in jail. So, obviously, companies are actively using this list and refusing to deal with people who’s names are on it. Which is bad news for people who are unfortunate enough to have a similar name like Tom Kubbany, whose middle name happens to be an alias for one of Saddam Hussein’s sons.

I assumed that you needed to have access to some special database in order to get the list, but it turns out that the list is freely available (in a variety of formats) on the Treasury Department’s website. I checked, my given names (in all of their variations) are not in there, but my somewhat muslim-sounding last name is (as someone’s first name). How about you guys?


bad omen

I mentioned last week that I had started the first batch of seeds for this year’s veggie garden. At first, I was excited by how quickly the first sprouts appeared. But then I noticed that I was seeing upwards of 5 or 6 sprouts in a compartment where I know I only planted 3 seeds. So I decided to pull one of them out, and wouldn’t you know it, the seed it was growing from didn’t look anything like a pepper seed. In fact, it looked a lot like a seed out of the bag of birdseed that I’d had sitting on top of my back of seed starting mix in the garage. Oops.

The good news is, that some of the real seeds have started to sprout, and it’s easy to tell the difference between my vegetables and the usurpers. Still, it’s never a good sign when you have to weed your seedlings.

best. idea. ever.

bagel.jpgThis is going to be all over the internets today, but I loved it so much I figured I’d post it here as well.

Ever wonder how to keep your bagel sandwich from getting all tipsy-tospy on your way to work?

Photo by Rodrigo Piwonka