NYC @ night.

NYC seems to have two distinct parts to the day (and more pronounced
than Anywhere, USA) - the day is for commerce, but the night is for
being social, meeting new people, and enjoying life.

I met a couple the night of this photo that gave me their cousin's
contact info. Why? She hosts the classic music show on NPR and works in
MSP too. I will be contacting her when I get back.


Artery 24.

An old soap factory here in MSP has been converted into something of an artist-in-residence space. It's a big place, lots of soap in the day, and for 24 hours once a year, they clear it out and have exhibits and performances. Pretty good idea, especially if you have insomnia (not it).
Some of it was interesting art pieces, some was performance art (and a bit less interesting), and some was only set-up for later and just looked interesting.

[definetly a hazard area, but kinda cool]

[neauvo quilt]
[some pretty standard, yet clever]

[some pretty funny]
[and this is the one that was set-up for later. you could also see a wheelchair waiting behind walls (they had put peepholes in the walls to look through). Word on the street was that this artist's performance piece would be somewhat gross and/or bloody. It didn't show til 1AM and I didn't make it that late]


Poll Results, #57, Lance in France.

I don't think many of us would argue that this year's Tour wasn't more memorable and more watched than in years past. I suspect alot of it is the Lance Factor. It also didn't hurt that there was good racing, some other story lines, and no talk of doping (at least not yet).

The results reflect these statements somewhat:
> 3 (25%) people chose 'yes it's been fun to have him back' - here here!
> 4 (33%) people chose 'lil bit' - so you watched b/c of Lance or another reason?
> 2 (16%) people chose 'not so much' - you should watch with me, I'll explain everything.
> 3 (25%) people chose 'lance who?' - you should get a TV to start.

New poll up when I think of one.

Al's Breakfast Diner.

Having been seen on Food Network, this placed looked to be something of a local celebrity. On closer inspection, it's a greasy spoon, in the best sense of the phrase. Usually, you have to wait in line outside the place (so I'm told), which is simply for the fact that the place is about 12 counter seats, and that's it. People, again, I'm told, wait a long time. Well, I guess it was just one of those lazy Saturdays, because we walked right in and sat down.
Now the mantra for picking out the food should be "keep it simple". Don't get eggs Benedict or huevos rancheros, but you can be sure omelets and pancakes are good-to-go. In fact, I noticed "Corn Pancakes" on the menu, and not being shy about food options, decided to give them a try. It was very unique (not in a bad way) and the corn was as fresh as it gets. I wouldn't order it again, but at least I can say I tried. I also had a $1 bowl of applesauce. Yep, regular ole applesauce. I dunno, it sounded good. They even said, "Would you like cinnamon for it?" ... as if they had to ask.
[turn to the right, mohawked short order cook - check]

[turn to your left, surly (but very nice) counter waitresses - check]


Lake Delton, MN.

Finally found (got caught in) a long ride this past weekend. Here is a highlight, among many nice spots. This is Lake Delton, only about 15 miles from downtown. The state does have alot of lakes... no doubt about it... like 10,000, I heard.




A new knock-knock joke.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Alison who?
Alison to da reggae, dat's who!!

C'mon, use an accent. Tell it to a 6 year old. Laughs, I tell you.


July in MN?

This was necessary the other day at a cookout.
It was like 60 degrees all day.
I hope I get used to this soon.


Fall Already?

It doesn't bode well for summer lately.

SRAM XX, First Ride.

[great frame to hang the world's lightest MTB group on]

So, I had the chance to ride a Scott Spark with XX the other day - uhhh, yes please! The bike wasn't my exact size and I just jumped on it at the trailhead, so there wasn't time to really dial it in for myself, but still... it was a good time.

The parts basically make you feel like you're in a World Cup race on a World Cup-worthy bike. It was very fun, with little or no issues to report with XX. The best part is probably the ability to stay in the big ring (depending on your legs) for much of the riding. You can even big-big all day long. It keeps front shifting (which is still the best I've felt on an MTB) to a minimum and lets you concentrate on the trail ahead.

[XX Elixir brakes - ooh, juicy]

[10spd RD with Exact Actuation, hello XC riders!]

[stout FD with over 40 variations of clamps and mounts - your bike should be covered]

[Absalon-like Fulcrum Red Metal Zeros, very nice]
[and this 9 hour milled out Red-like cassette - so choice, expensive, and light as all get out]



Stone Arch Bridge.

Ok, there's almost no denying that MN is one of the top summer places (and perhaps winter as well). Hot days and cool nights, with many many "lakes" right in the middle of the city. They play hard all winter outside, and really gear up for summer fun too.

Want to rent a paddle boat or kayak on the lake? No problem. Would you like to do a century around a lake one day? I've heard of a few people doing this. Would you like to see an MLB game indoors? Ok, no one wants to do this, which is why next year they have a new outdoor stadium opening.
And this is the Stone Arch Bridge.
[this pis is from the weblink's site]
It's taken me a while to find out about it, but I know now. It's an old rail bridge that, at the time, was the only thing crossing the Mississippi (boy that pnemonic device from gradeschool comes in handy!). Now, it's a bit small for real traffic, so they have turned it into a pedestrian and cyclist crossing. It's pretty cool, with literal "ruins" down below it on the riverfront (which people can explore).

[there's a ton of spillway and a huge set of locks]

Results, Poll #56, March Madness.

Ok, it's July. There's not much to say about NCAA basketball now, but I do love the tourney.

3 people love the tourney - thank you.
2 people always get mad at their S.O. (SO's, are you listening?)
1 person gets driven crazy - crazy good or crazy bad?
3 people hate sports - ouch.

New poll up very very soon.

"What do we have for him, Johnny?!!!!!"....

.... "A new CAR !!!!"

Ok, the FaceBook experiment (at least for me) is over. Too many people making it seem rather impersonal. I mean, not everyone I've ever met needs to know I had a mole removed, right? Just my closest family and friends want to know that. So, this is my pledge to resurrect tc.

With that in mind, it's time to let everyone know (if you previously knew what I drove) that I no longer have my blue truck (for one small young man, he will no longer be able to call me, "Blue Truck Marty"). I have finally been able to work out the financing-ish and get something more fuel-efficient (not too hard), at a better monthly payment (phew), and at a lower interest rate (from 8% to 0%, thank you economy).

The winning car is the Chevy Aveo. I know what you're thinking, "that's lame". Well, in a way it is, but in a way it reminds me of all the small, fuel-efficient cars I've loved in the past. I pretty much learned to drive in a Dodge Omni (ok, really on the family lawn tractor). Then there was the uncle's rusty ole Toyota Corolla (lots of practice push starting with a manual transmission), and even a bit of time spent driving one of my favorite cars of all time, the Ford Festiva (no joke).

I do loose the four-wheel drive and a truck bed, but I gained three more doors, lower fuel costs and 34MPG higway... that will help me forget the, er, what was I driving before?

[this is a pic off the web, I didn't buy it in England]


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