it20010531 - Thursday
What a day. Applications explode, coworkers make questionable behavioral decisions, a frazzled boss tells employees to make sure they get enough sleep, chefs undercook the brats and burgers, and Mark inadvertently gets put on death-hold.
In other news, I really want to know why half the people I know have their birthdays this week. Come on, is late September really that boring?
On the bright side, today is the first day of the week that has felt like the day it actually is.
it20010530 - Wednesday
I spent most of yesterday thinking it was Monday. I spent most of today thinking it was Tuesday. Then I remembered I had a birthday to go to Wednesday night. Then I remembered today is Wednesday.
You can throw out guesses as to the other things I'm thinking.
it20010528 - Monday - Memorial Day
Using stereotypes as a guide, I've almost been a typical guy this weekend. I watched the 500 on Sunday and this afternoon found myself yelling at the television as the Bucks imploded in the final minutes of game four against the 76ers. Beyond that I ate two really big burritos and wasted about fifteen hours playing SimCity.
I found the Indianapolis 500 bittersweet in a number of ways, mainly because of Oldsmobile. It had the pace car, it had the winning car, it had all but three of the cars in the field. GM has committed to keep supplying the engines for at least five more years, but in many ways, yesterday was last celebration of one of the greatest automotive brands ever.
As far as the race itself, here's hoping that the results encourage the IRL and CART to unify.
Finally saw Best In Show on Friday. Very, very funny and highly recommended.
it20010525 - Friday
And so it's Friday. I think I'll just take the last seven days, file them and considering it a learning experience.
So an online community I've allowed myself to get close to is dying, or, in the words of A List Apart, eating its young. Worse, I was probably one of many who inadvertantly played a part in killing it. No, no links here.
it20010524 - Thursday
it20010523 - Wednesday
The Catholic Church is sort of like the theological equivalent of the IRS: They can't just lay someone to rest, they have to make it complicated. As if the five clergy members weren't enough, there were at least four prayers, three songs, untold unintelligible mutterings, one Green Bay Packers reference, and a lot of smoke.
I had allowed myself to forget my mom came from a very Catholic family. I've been reminded.
So Uncle Buddy's gone at 83. It was strange to hear everyone talk about his death being a blessing, but, then again, I hadn't seen him in a few years so I didn't know his condition. Whatever the case, the age of 83 isn't too bad, considering the doctors who brought him into this world didn't expect him to live past a week, not to mention a lightening strike decades later.
It rained on the way to Two Rivers. It rained on the way to Green Bay. It rained during the funeral, hard enough at times that it was difficult to hear the clergy speak. It rained on the way back to Minneapolis. It rained.
it20010521 - Monday
It always comes in waves, I suppose.
My girlfriend and I broke up Friday. I've been second-guessing it ever since. I still love her, but that wasn't the issue. Long term I just didn't see things working out between us, and didn't think continuing the relationship would do either of us any good. I thought she felt at least partially the same way, but I'm no longer so sure.
My great uncle Buddy died yesterday. There are no cheap airfares to northeastern Wisconsin, so I'll be throwing my backpack in my car and making the five hour drive to my parents' tomorrow morning. I should be back home in Minneapolis sometime Wednesday evening.
It was a long weekend. Maybe I'll talk about it later, but, for now, I have a letter to finish.
it20010517 - Thursday
So it was somewhat of a shock to open up the New York Times this morning and see Norm Coleman on the front page.
Considering the number of people who seem to think yesterday was the Web's 10th birthday (heck, even Zeldman jumped in), I think now would be a good time to see what Tim Berners-Lee writes about the matter.
(Yes, I know it was released on the CERN machines ten years ago yesterday, but it was invented much earlier than that.)
it20010517 - Thursday
So I got a parking ticket this morning. The contents of the ticket were somewhat cryptic: Violated parking code 9B, 478.90B Parking While Blocking Alley/Driveway. Scheduled fine, $30.00. Notes: UNATTD VEH FRMT 3 FT INTO DWAY BLKG TURN NP.
I was nowhere near the fucking driveway.
Never one to react calmly to things, I ran back into my apartment and grabbed my camera and a tape measure. I was three feet into the driveway? Like hell. I was three feet from the driveway. I took some pictures--using dandelions as distance and alignment markers--and recorded the time and headed to work. As soon as I got to my desk, I called the Hennepin County Violations Bureau to see what the deal was. After talking to a clerk, I found out.
Five feet. That's how far a car has to be away from a driveway or alleyway to be legally parked. To say I find this a tad bit excessive is somewhat of an understatement, especially considering the rather cramped state of parking in my neighborhood (not to mention many others in south Minneapolis). It also has the net effect of removing at least six parking spaces on my immediate block, not nice in a metropolitan area where you probably need a car to get to work. (Metro Transit's website laughed at me when I tried to find a route to my job, and I even offered to walk a mile to a bus stop.)
Commies. All of them.
Mark cleans his keyboard:
p-[;'ol.,8ik,m i7kjmn yhnb 6ytgbfv 54rfc swx AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAEDC1Q /./..../PPO'[P`123=2] NaGH1RTRTTTTTTTT]'
it20010515 - Tuesday
Nonlocality.com may experience intermittent service delays as it moves to a new hosting service. And, also, because it's present one hasn't been doing very well today. Which may explain why I'm finally doing something I said I was going to do.
it20010514 - Monday
Woke up this morning to news that the Cities were going to break into the 90s tomorrow, so I e-mailed work telling them I'd be in a bit late. After a few quick measurements to my apartment and a couple of hour of comparison shopping, an energy-efficient 10,000 BTU air conditioner now temporarily resides in the back of my car. No more repeats of last year's "I'm going to work this weekend because it's air-conditioned" bullshit. Christmas in July, baby! Ok, so I'm too financially and environmentally-minded to try something like that, but at least this won't be another sweaty summer.
I hate warm weather.
The weekend in review:
- Spent a couple of hours on the phone with Dell getting my computer fixed. A long time, yes, but nothing like the seven hour support call I went through shortly after I got DSL installed.
- On somewhat of a whim, saw The Magnificent, World-Renowned, Sleeveless Michael M. Doughty, Formerly of Soul Coughing (or something like that) at First Avenue. Bevis Frond and Couch opened. I didn't bring my camera. M. later told me I should have. She was right.
- Photographed the slow death of Wally McCarthy's in Richfield for lstc.org.
- Ate a late lunch with M. at Bangkok Thai.
- Finally bought and assembled a file cabinet. Nothing special, although it looks pretty cool.
- Slept a lot.
Speaking of Couch, they're pretty good. (I first heard them at the end of an edition of The World and picked up a CD a few days later.) They have that rare kind of music that one can comfortably read or work to, although that's definitely not to suggest they're in the business of creating background music. No, it's rock (and good rock at that)... Just without those pesky vocals.
it20010512 - Saturday
Well, I decided to lighten things up a bit. Hope people can still read it. Certain elements may get tweaked over the next couple of days, especially the links.
it20010510 - Thursday
The Dismemberment Plan was pretty good last night. Wait... Pretty good? No, very good. The band before them, Enon, was pretty spiffy as well. I'll post some photos if any of my half-assed attempts at taking them turned out. (Win98 has been acting funky--and that's the bad funky, not the good funky--so I haven't been able to download the photos off my camera yet.)
it20010509 - Wednesday
Brock Yates on the death of the open road. He makes a number of valid points, although I disagree that mass transit is as as futile as he thinks it is. If we had a good enough light rail or subway systems, local bus routes could be used as feeder system to those rail lines. From an organizational standpoint it's not much different from people driving on surface streets and then merging onto freeways.
This morning's commute was almost too much for me. A U-Haul stalled in the middle of 35W a couple miles south of 94, and a northbound three-vehicle accident spilled over into the southbound lanes a half mile before the Crosstown. Unusual incidents, yes, but the resulting slow crawl looks more likely to be commonplace in just a couple of years.
I've lived in Minneapolis for about ten months now. When I first moved there, I was typically able to commute out to my suburban employer in about 30 minutes. I left home at 9:30, which put me out of the way of the morning rush and allowed me to fly through the Twin Cities' infamous ramp-meter system. I returned home later than most as well, with similar benefits from doing so. Over the last year, though, I've watched traffic steadily increase and my commute become more difficult. 35W (south of downtown) is jammed up much later than it used to be and I'm noticing more traffic on the Crosstown as well. I no longer make it to work by 10:00 on a regular basis. If I'm lucky, I make it here by that time once a week. Usually I find myself rolling in around 10:10 or 10:15, and that only after going like a bat out of hell in the few remaining clear sections of my drive.
My alternatives are getting narrower. My old, bad-weather alternate route, Hiawatha Avenue, has been improved, rerouted and widened by the Minnesota DOT. Sounds nice, but the net result of that is a road that is now packed with traffic and takes almost twice as long to travel on as it once did. (Not helping is the fact that I'm usually traveling against traffic, and I think they've changed the timing on the lights to favor those going with the flow.) I have no idea what I'm going to do when they close the Crosstown/35W interchange for FOUR YEARS for a reconstruction that'll be outdated before it's even finished. (If I can call the DOT here anything, it's short-sighted. Why the hell are they still building cloverleaf interchanges? Not to mention the new light rail line. Um, why don't you put it somewhere where people other than visitors to the Twin Cities can use it? And if they do relocate the airport twenty years from now, what good is the line going to be then? Bury the fucking thing under Cedar Avenue, extend it out to Apple Valley... Then it'll get some traffic.)
I suppose I could get a different job, one closer to where I live. But that's the thing, I have a good job. I like it and want to stay with it. I doubt I'll find one like anywhere in Minneapolis proper. Moving to Eagan, where I work, isn't an option for me, either. I lived here for nine months, and it was among the most boring days of my life. You need a car to live in Eagan. Even if the streets had sidewalks--and most of them don't--most of the city is not close to grocery stores, libraries and the like. In Minneapolis I can walk to get groceries, visit a park, rent movies, whatever, I just can't walk to work. (Actually, in my neighborhood I can do a lot more than that, but I'm trying to talk about Minneapolis in general here.)
Carpooling and public transportation aren't really an option for me right now, either. I looked into carpooling when I was still living in Wisconsin, but learned quickly that the number of hours I'd be working each week would be inconsistent enough to make trying to schedule a carpool impractical. (My chaotic schedule has only gotten worse since then.) With the existing bus system, public transit isn't an option either. Most days I work a couple of hours more than the total time between the first and last busses visit my workplace (and, no, they don't stop anywhere else near here). And it's not like I'd even consider getting up at 5:30 in the morning to try to do so.
Besides, if I'm going to be stuck in traffic, I'm going to be stuck in my own vehicle, thank you very much.
Back when I lived and worked in River Falls I'd get up every morning, walk out of my apartment, and three blocks later would be sitting down at my desk. The parks, rivers and downtown commercial strip were all a few blocks away. That was nice.
As a final thought, I wonder if anyone has done a study on how much free space, if any, would result if all those people commuting in their Ford Explorers and Chevy Suburbans changed to mid-sized sedans instead. The total gain in capacity would probably be minimal, but I still think it would be worth looking into.
it20010508 - Tuesday
Despite its present management I love my country, think regulated capitalism is a moral system, and feel occasional blatant consumerism can be fun. However, due to certain design elements, I've found spending hasn't been as enjoyable as it could be. I've figured out a way to resolve this, and I share it with you here today:
- Remove currency from your pocket/wallet/purse/etc.
- Identify section of currency forcing theological beliefs upon you:
- Locate a pen, preferably a quality ball-point like Sandford's uni-ball®
- Remove offending text from currency:
Ahhhh, that's much better1.
1Please understand this is not a rip on faith. I know many fine people who religious or spiritual and respect their beliefs. This is, however, a rip on the government getting itself involved in an area it has no place being involved in, not to mention presuming which kinds of belief systems are better than others. Thank you, carry on.
My clock radio usually acts more as a morning greeting than a wake-up call. I lay in bed listening to the K and get up when the morning DJ shifts over to whoever is going to take the station through to miday. I've been doing this for a number of months now with not much problem. Well, today the late-morning DJ came on a half hour late.
Guess how late I was to work.
it20010506 - Sunday
Spent much of the weekend roaming through other people's houses. The model loft at 801 Washington Avenue North was the clear winner for me: Concrete floors, cinder block walls between ancient wood beams, opaque green plastic walls for the bathroom and a glass garage door substituting for the front windows, all of it starting at just $125,000. Hey, stop laughing. It was cool. Really.
Brighton Development's lofts at 600 2nd Street South were really nice as well. I'm looking forward to watching their new lofts and apartments take shape down there; they seem to have created some pretty interesting structures in the past.
Usually it's relatively easy to decide whether a movie was good or not. Memento (imdb: 0209144) is one of those peculiar exceptions. It had a complex, engrossing story, good performances and hundreds of little details and clues that could be discussed indefinitely. But was it a good movie? I don't know. I left the theater confused, curious, and maybe even a little bored. Or maybe I just need to see it again.
it20010503 - Thursday
U2 rocked Tuesday. The Target Center was huge, crowded and intimate all at the same time.
- Beautiful Day
- Until the End of the World
- New Year's Day
- New York
- I Will Follow
- Sunday Bloody Sunday
- Stuck In a Moment You Can't Get Out Of
- In a Little While
- Stay (replaced "Berlin" with "Saint Paul")
- Bad (briefly faded into "40")
- Where the Streets Have no Name
- Mysterious Ways
- The Fly
- Bullet in the Blue Sky
- With or Without You
- Walk On
Even though they were on stage for almost two and a half hours, the show seemed to go way too fast. Notable by its absence was the Pop album. But that's what the Pop tour was for, wasn't it?
M and I went to the Embers on Hennepin to grab a bite after the concert. I decided to get breakfast, and she grimaced when she saw me dunk my toast into one of my over-easy eggs.
Me: "Have you ever had scrambled eggs?" She nodded yes. "Have you ever had toast with those eggs?"
M: "That's so different. They're not wet."
A few of my friends have been complaining I've been ignoring them lately. Actually, I've been ignoring just about everyone lately.
Well, this journal wasn't ready for the fact that every month there's a new month. Or something like that. It's now ready for through the end of the year.