Results, Poll #52, Snow Play.

It's getting more and more difficult to pirate a wireless internet feed at my apartment and work is busy. So, my posts and polls maybe more sporadic than usual - I hope the 9 of you loyal t.c readers will understand?

Here's what it looked like for snow play:
> 2 people (22%) chose 'yes, in the last week' - good for us! fun, wasn't it?
> 2 people (22%) chose 'yea, couple few years ago, i think' - might be time to get back on that frozen, snowy horse, don't you think?
> 4 people (44%) chose 'no, but i wish someone would go sledding (etc) with me' - i hope all your wishes comes true! if you come to MN, they will for sure.
> 1 person (11%) chose 'no, i don't do winter sports' - is that Ebenezer Scrooge? or Scrooge McDuck? Ba-hum-bug... get outside or take a trip to a snowy place. You'll thank me.

New poll up now... a very retro-topic for most of us, I suspect.


Wintery Pic.

Just a lil pic from the grounds here at work. Makes me think of a old western movie... or the time I spent running cattle up along the San Gabriel mountains... on my trusty and sure-footed steed named 'Buttercup'.


Winter Fun, II.

Not 10 blocks from my apartment are two large lakes, right in the heart of MSP. One thing that was pretty strange for me to wrap my head around was that almost every lake (proabably all) freeze over in the winter here. Sure, it makes perfect sense (and has helped ice fishing become so popular), but coming from IL where the lake is one of the Great Lakes (and doesn't freeze over)... it's kind of hard to understand.

But it's true. I went out the other day on a quick walkabout and saw why Minnesotans spend so much time outside - it's easy.

YES, Margaret, I'm standing on a frozen lake... very thick ice with no fear of falling through (well, besides my irrational fears of falling through ice)

Want to get in some hockey practice for your pee-wees? No problem. The moms and dads were busy shoveling off the ice (on skates) and making sure everyone got along.

The half dozen or so rink/hockey areas on the lake don't even take up all the ice (and this is the smaller of the two). People were also X-C sking and taking the dog out for some fun on this lake. Me, I was just walking... some snow shoes would be nice though.

The nicest part (though boring to see in a picture) was that they have a warming house (i.e. double-wide) set up right near the lake. You can spend hours out on the ice and be able to properly blow little kids noses during a change in periods. I think I even saw people bringing food... like a winter picnic - that's dedication.


Winter Fun, I.

I've been impressed lately in regards to how Minnesotans choose to spend their long winters. They could just curl up on the couch and gain weight all winter, but no. They find many many things to do in the great outdoors, just with snow on top. I know of two ski-jumping hills in the area... every local park seems to have an ice/hockey rink (more on that later)... I heard kids snowmobile to school... and they really take their snow-tubing seriously. I know b/c I had the chance to go this past weekend.

Load up the friend's car and it's only about 30 minutes away. Not bad at all. Dominicks isn't even less than 30 minutes away in Chicago.

The place is called "GreenAcres" and pictured above is my first-ever-in-my-life "liftpass". It was really for the tow-rope, but still. And you may not know that the little wire piece for your zipper is called a "wicket". I believe that comes directly from the term used in croquet.

Tube - check. And don't take this choice lightly, something too small and yer heinie will be falling right through... too big and you'll be "riding the bull" all the way down. Glove choice can be critcal as well, the tow-rope yanked off one of those little grey thingies as it pulled off my glove more than once.

Jump out of the way at the top of the tow-rope (don't forget your tube) and look for the best spot to launch yourself over the edge.

Scoot your butt over the edge, take the running start, or have someone that doesn't like you shove you hard off the lip. Scream on the way down and get up and repeat. You get 2 hours of mayhem between you and tons of teenagers and kids celebrating God knows what, so make the most of it.


Results, Poll #51, Shoveling.

How eager is the t.c readership to go out and move some frozen rain around? Let's see...

> 5 people (45%) chose 'yes, old school with a shovel' - there's a hearty bunch!!! Good for you. I've heard this counts as cardio for your Ironman training too.
> 0 people (0%)chose 'yes, new school with a blower' - no one has a blower, really?
> 3 people (27%) chose 'nope, nothing for me to shovel' - well, well, well... some of us have it so easy, huh?
> 3 people (27%) chose 'nah, my _____ does it all' - and some of us even have it easier. BUT, maybe you do lots of other things in the household? I'm sure that's it.

So, there you have it on the subject of shoveling. You all must get practicing shoveling if you read any of my stuff.

New poll up now and thanks for playing.


Discuss, Poll #51, Shoveling.

On my first office visit at the new company, I was told the snow was different in MN. Well, I've had plenty of opportunity to certify that staement. Not only have I had the opportunity to drive in it, remove it from my car, and walk around in it, but I've also had the pleasure of shoveling it a few times now. It's for sure different than CHI snow. Because the temps usually have to RISE for snow to be possible, the snow here is light and airy... I might even say "champagne-like".

But enough about MN snow, anyone got a humorous snow story? I won't bore everyone with my "ice-pick-in-the-face-small-scar-still-visible-on-my-upper-lip" story from childhood, but if anyone has something less bloody - do tell.


Results, Poll #50, Movie Seats.

Well, a fairly emotional topic for some of the t.c readership... some good comments this week too. Here's what the voters have said about the issue:

> 1 person (10%) chose 'i won't do it' - wow, tell me who you are! i'd like to get some tips/wording from you so i can use it the next time i'm faced with sitting b/w two spanks in the next movie.
> 6 people (60%) chose 'yes, but begrudgingly' - sure, this makes sense. most of us are nice enough people and do what we are asked. i really do think there is a way not to move though. explain to the person that's arrived during previews that you arrived on time for a reason and are not going to move. you could get kicked out if they make a stink, but maybe not.
> 3 people (30%) chose 'sure, it's not my theater' - you're so sweet. is your blood type S, for Splenda?
> 0 people (0%) chose 'i never 2nd guess it, i always move' -this was probably redundant, oh well.

10 voters this time... starting the new year off with a reduction in voters. maybe folks didn't have time at work with this week after coming back from two weeks off?



This is a quick video of an annual event here at Q. It's called FrostBike and is held every February over a weekend. The title is fitting for that month in MN. It's a chance for our customers to come and visit us, it also happens to be one of the bigger industry tradeshows as companies come from all around to show their new products.


Discuss, Poll #50, Movie Seats.

So, not too long ago, I went to the movie theater to check out something new from Hollywood. The movie start was listed as 7:30PM. Not 7PM or 7:45, mind you, but 7:30PM. I think most people can plan around this... drive time, tickets, snacks, seating, previews, etc.

As we can all probably guess, I like to arrive well in advance, perhaps even too advanced. But, I do none-the-less. I arrived, parked, purchased a ticket, and sat down right around 7PM. I got a great seat about 4 rows up, right in the middle. I was happy and relaxed for the start of my movie show.

Well, who doesn't come in about 10 minutes later (7:10PM) and choose to sit literally next to me on my left - an old, large, white guy. He had buffer seats to give. But no, bangs my elbow right away. Fine. I jumped one seat over to have that one seat buffer on each side. Someone was already one seat to my right. Sounds good. It's now 7:20PM and I'm literally sitting pretty.

Previews begin and the lights go to "half house" (?). Then it really begins. A large, white woman (maybe everyone seems large to me or everyone is large but me?) comes to the aisle in the row in front of me and asks at least two groups to move one over so she can have two seats next to each other. THEN, she asks a guy in my row if anyone's next to him. He says no (why don't people fib when asked this?) and then she asks him to ask me if I'm using it. Of course, I've heard her entire entrance into the theater and I know what's next. Unhappily, I just jump one seat to my left (next to the old white dude) and then have any buffer taken up on my right.

Great. The movie's about to start and I'm stuck in the middle of the row for the duration. The late, large, lazy lady in front of me has a great seat and didn't even break a sweat (though the stairs were numerous).

I guess it's not a big deal, but I would have liked to stay in my seat with buffer. I feel if you arrive late, don't bother others to get your favorite spot, it's not fair. Anyone else care to chime in? Call me a jag if you must.

Results, Poll #49, NYE.

So, how was everyone's NYE? And New Year's Day? You know, how you act on New Year's Day is how you'll be for the rest of the year. Too late for some, huh?

> 0 people chose 'yeah, i planned in advance for big $' - uuh, recession? or are we just getting wiser as we age?
> 3 people (27%) chose 'maybe, something i was invited to' - did you take them up on the offer? i chose not to, maybe next year.
> 6 people (54%) chose 'a nice night at home ringing in the new year' - again, perhaps reflective of a slowing economy, t/c reader's general smarts, or some kind of combination? this is basically what i did. Easy, peasy, Japanesey (can I say that still?).
> 1 people (9%) chose 'nah, nothing really so far (hoping)' - did it work out? hope you had fun.
> 1 people (9%) chose 'i'm totally getting wasted' - there we go!!! in hindsight, this is probably what i should have made happen at the very least... maybe next year.

11 voters this time... clearly people were taking a break for the holidays. And I would have had things up sooner, but I'm borrowing internet here at home and the wireless isn't always so hot. It's what I get for free.


Happy New Year!

Here are some quotes to think about as you begin the new year.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That's not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that's the burden of a year.

Benjamin Franklin
Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.

T. S. Eliot
For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.

F. M. Knowles, A Cheerful Year Book
He who breaks a resolution is a weakling; He who makes one is a fool.

Aisha Elderwyn
Every new year people make resolutions to change aspects of themselves they believe are negative. A majority of people revert back to how they were before and feel like failures. This year I challenge you to a new resolution. I challenge you to just be yourself.


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