Poll Results, #58, Texting.

I was going to text you all the results, but clearly not everyone would be happy with that medium, so back to the ole stand-by, the blog post:

> 3 people (23%) chose 'i have an unlimited text plan and i worry about hitting the limit' - you make sure you get outside and see the sunshine though, please. [you can text in the sunshine]
> 5 people (38%) chose 'a few times a day' - i don't do much else a few times a day, but this is a given. i wish it were more too.
> 3 people (23%) chose 'a few times a week' - careful, your cell carrier maybe calling you about a new text plan.
> 0 people (0%) chose 'a few times a month' - seems like you're either for it or against it. i realize it's a polarizing topic, like abortion.
> 2 people (15%) chose 'almost never, i secretly hate it' - we need to talk, i can help, i've helped others.

anyone got a poll idea? one up as soon as i stumble on something.

Minneapolis Farmer's Market, Part Un.

Time for another short series. This time, it's all about the Minneapolis Farmer's Market. Please note, this is the one in Minneapolis and not the one in St. Paul. I've only been to Minnie's. Attending St. Paul would require a long bike ride or a car ride, both of which I generally shun on an early Saturday morning (at least for produce).

We'll start this two-part series off with some likes & dislikes, see some produce, and then use the 2nd part to talk about some more fun items.

Likes: It makes a great Saturday morning trip. You get up, shower (or maybe not, which I believe is the tradition), get some coffee, a giant cinnamon roll or giant brat (I don't get this one), and walk around and find some finds. They also seem to bring out such a variety of people, both vendors (farmers, foreign folks, etc) and shoppers (residents, out of towners, kids, students, etc). Finally, as you'll hopefully see, it's so dang colorful - vibrant vegetables, flowers, people, sounds, etc. It's just a nice way to begin the weekend.

[without the sun, it makes for a very cold morning - check the weather before you leave]

Not Likes: Seems like everyone drives to this shin-dig. I suspect that's mostly due to it being held basically under the highway, in a not-so-nice part of town. I rode my bike and thought it was less than ideal riding. The only other thing you notice is that it's alot of the same thing at each booth. I mean, how many pickling cucumber tables can you take in early on a Saturday morning, or better yet, why would I want to see them all?

[you didn't believe me, Mrs. Sourpuss?]

Come back soon for Part Deux.


Tom Arndt.

Ok, I lied. I had one more post from the MIA. One of the last exhibits I wandered into was for Tom Arndt. I learned he is one of the most prolific MN street photographers of his (our) time. The most interesting part of the exhibit for me was seeing MN life from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. He really was able to capture aspects not often seen or photographed. Some really caught my eye and a few wound up on my phone.

He also has a new book of his work out now, titled Home. (I had no idea the cover was the last photo below, weird)

[silly old people, bikes are for kids]

[it just looked funnelcake-a-licious]


Random act of kindness?

[duh, what am i good for?]

Have you seen one of these before? I did, at IKEA once. But you know the worst part, I bought it. Now I know what you're saying, "In the name of all that's good, why did you buy one?" And my answer is, "I don't know." IKEA's like that to people - isn't it? You see something on the shelf that seems kinda quirky and cool (sometimes it's pedestrian and uncool too, ahem)... and you stick it in your big yellow bag, or normal-sized cart or side-ways moving large item cart.

So, I've had this dumb thing sitting on my bookcase for years now. It's never done anything. I think someone commented on it or touched it once. Well, I had a better idea for it - but you be the judge, won't you?

I decided to leave it in the bathroom at my favorite coffee shop. I didn't ask them if I could, I didn't ask them if they wanted it. I just used the restroom on the way out and left it on the toilet tank. I'll keep checking in on it (her? him?) and see how long it stays there. It fits in with the kitch and quirkiness of this particular coffeeshop, or I wouldn't have thought of doing it. Who knows, maybe this is the IKEA fit model art posing doll's ultimate purpose. Sure as shootin it's a better purpose than sitting on my bookshelf.

[ahh, it's new home]


Minneapolis Institute of Art, Large Art, IV.

[perhaps the biggest, scariest Pokemon/Hello Kitty object I've ever seen. It's easily about eight feet tall)

There were many big items in the museum. I was taken aback by many of them, but more interesting was seeing some of the little kids walking up to them or sitting in front of them. Everything on this page is taller/wider/bigger than I am, easily:

[this whimsical hanging object is above the children's wing/theater. i thought it was a perfect item for kids to stare up at - what it's made of? looked like recycled yellow stuff]

[this is the one that a little girl just said 'wow' to herself/outloud. it was really big and very interesting to catch a glimpse of while walking through other sections - right after this photo, i drew a text bubble out of one side, they did not find my comment/graffiti amusing]

[how about a car?!]

[this was in the modern collection and it seemed rather fitting. great lines, very big presence, and I think it was rolling on twenty-twos - ya hear!?]


Minneapolis Institute of Art, More Art, III.

A collection of items I couldn't quite categorize into the other posts, but should be interesting to see:

[like alot of the items in the collections, something would catch your eye as you looked at pieces in another room or walked by, unaware. this room was dark except for the lit bulbs over each portrait. the artist described/titled this a memorial for all the children. not because they were no longer alive, but because at the time of the photo, they were children. since that time, they would all grow up and never be as they once were in the photos. a large 20x30' room was used for this collection. must have been 12-18 pictures, all lit like these. i could not walk by the room without going in - yes, if you unscrew one bulb, they all go out]

[hand blown glass from early America, just so hard not too see out of the corner of your eye and then walk up to to see close-up. really nice glass and the display was perfect - don't try to blow into them to make the empty bottle whistle though]

[a huge, wonderfully rich, warm armoire - it's better in person and no, they do not like it if you try to see if you can fit yourself inside]

[this was my lunch from that day - a combo of roasted golden beet salad and half a oven roasted turkey-bacon sandwich, chips, limonata, and a small lemon bar for dessert. it complimented the art very well and tasted great too. it wasn't terribly expensive and powered me through my whole tour. they have a local restaurant run a nice cafe - notice the little "can cover" on the Peligrino Limonata? Those Italians are so clean, could be where i get it from]


Use Somebody - Acoustic Cover - Lynzie Kent and Rich G

not too long ago i'd heard an interesting voice on tv. it was the lead singer of 'kings of leon', performing this song, 'use somebody', in a live concert. (you can easily google for that version too) well, i did google for that version and also found this one. the voices and acoustic vs. electric version couldn't be any different, but what a great contrast.

i don't know what it is, but this woman can really make some goosebumps. perhaps the functionality of YouTube at its best use?


Minneapolis Institute of Art, Modern, II.

My taste in art has leaned towards modern for as long as I can remember. It must be something about the clean lines, natural materials, and minimal accents that blend well with my anal retentive tendencies. Let's take a look at some of the pieces at MIA:

[they actually showcased a large amount of tea/coffee sets, but this one definitely falls into the modern era - I'd rinse it all out before serving out of them, looks like they've been there awhile]

[simple, yet intricate design, interesting material, very pretty to look at - they did not let me "test drive" the desk and seemed annoyed that I would ask]
[they showcased about 16 Swiss poster designs from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. All follow a fairly rigid style, even down to the placing if objects on the print and the font used - and they were not willing to sell me any for my apartment]

[even a Swiss poster for the French - mon Dieu!]

*If you want more info on anything you see in any of the MIA posts, please ask me. I took pics of most of the info cards and could easily go back and get more info, if needed.


Minneapolis Institute of Art, Intro, I.

We do get some interesting perks through our office. Not only can I buy small-batch maple syrup, and volunteer at PBS, but we were notified about some free passes to special exhibits at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (heretofore, MIA).

Having been in the city some time now and also being a city-dweller that prides himself on knowing about said city, I thought it was high-time I check out this place. It's the museum in town that everyone seems to have something good to say. It also happens to be surprisingly close to my house (like less than 10 blocks). And it's a good thing, because the passes that were being handed out at work are only good if you ride to the museum. Perfect-a-mundo.

I ventured out on a recent Saturday right about noon. I wanted to beat the hot & humid heat in my apartment, get some lunch, not spend lots of money, and be close to home (rain was approaching). This fit the bill nicely. I was also very pleasantly surprised by what the MIA had in store for me. I didn't have any expectations going in, but the MIA blew any I could have had out of the water.

What follows is a short, four-part series on the MIA. You'll get the intro here, then a short look at their modern collection (my personal favorites), a bit of their other collections, and then a look at what I'm calling their "Large Art" - these are literally large items I found (and couldn't really miss). Please join me on this short trip.

[what struck me right off the bat is the amount of natural light and outdoor landscaping that has gone into the rather large property. it's a nice place in a kinda weird part of town and I didn't expect that.]

[the reason you can see the outside and all the natural light can come in is something else I didn't expect - three floors. the place is rather large. three floors of exhibits, both permanent and revolving. from almost all the stairways and landings, you see much more interesting viewpoints. i really liked this "height".]

[just one of the large stairway and landing areas]

[you can look up the landings, and down too. some of the larger hanging pieces were great to see from this vantage point.]

Please check back soon for MIA, Part II, the Modern wing.



I'm not sure you all know how much I love text messaging - do you? I believe I've been texting since about 1999 or 2000. Back then it seemed to be pretty unpopular. A few people I knew used it and I had to introduce it to others (or force it on them). It is officially known as a 'short message service' or SMS for short (ba-dump-bump) and it now seems to have really hit the mainstream. Commercially SMS is a massive industry, worth over 81 billion dollars globally as of 2006. That seems big.

I was out with a former co-worker the other night and she mentioned that she hates texting. After the paramedics got my heart beating again, she thought a poll about texting might be in order. I thought it was a great idea, and the poll is up now (please vote)

The real reason to talk about text messages, for me at least, is to let everyone know that I'd love to hear from you via text (or any other method for that matter). It doesn't have to be long (I mean, it's called SMS for a reason), but maybe just to say 'hello', send me a joke, tell me traffic sucks, or that you saw someone on a bike get doored and thought of me.

Finally, though I can usually come up with the polls on my own (and this is the first instance of someone else suggesting a poll), I would be very very happy to entertain poll ideas from the t.c readership. If you have a poll suggestion, please let me know (by text). You could get some really rich data about a topic you're interested in. I often get at least 8-12 people for each poll - I know, it's as big as texting now.


*I'm on TV.

Well, actually, it's just PBS... but still!

I had the chance to volunteer for the local PBS station's August pledge drive through work. I thought it would be fun to finally check one of these out. And I'm embarassed to admit I've never contributed to PBS in all my years watching. I mean, since I was a wee boy it's been a steady stream of Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and Electric Company - though the best was Reading Rainbow, not. And now-a-days it's This Old House and others. So, I felt contributing my time would help offset this imbalance. I signed up for a 4 hour shift. I know, it seems long, right? And this was from 6-10pm on a Tuesday, so after a normal workday too. What did I get myself into?

In actuality, it wasn't rocket science or even mildly hard to take pledges. It was a bit warm in "Studio C" at the venerable Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) Studios, but they fed us dinner and had plenty of cool drinks for us to guzzle down (and I drank them like it was going out of style). The time went by quickly. We got to see & hear them interview Dr. Amen live in the studio (Google "Brain in Love") and we all had a chance to see the live "give us your money" schtick that they do during pledge drives. Some of us also got "close-ups". I am purported to have had one of said close-ups, and they run the shows over and over, so perhaps I can see myself one day on TPT2, St. Paul-Minneapolis.

Here's some pics from the joint (no cellphones allowed in the studio, oops):

*As a small sidenote, this is my 300th blog post. Just like a popular sitcom, I got myself a fancy t.c cake, made by the wacky crew at Ace of Cakes. Thanks Duff & Co - it was delicious!


Uptown Art Fair.

What else would I do on a hot, steamy, Sunday morning in August by myself? For those from my home state, this is much like the OldTown Art Fair, just a lot less people and no "suggested donation" that goes to a nebulous community organization. I'd say the art was the same (surely these artists tour the country all summer?), the food was more 'state fair', and the lighter crowd much better for me (and I don't hate crowds, just the people in them).

This is MN's 2nd largest public event, aside from the venerable state fair. It attracts something like 450,000 people each year and sells something on the order of $2.5 million in art. Speaking of the art, you be the judge. Favorites?

[b&w photos from Youngbok Park, Oakland, CA]

[who couldn't use another BudLight beer can airplane? Sompit Xia Srinuksit, Granite Falls, NC - so not making this up]

[really nice, bright, ceramic work (freestanding objects and this tile work), David Allyn, Providence, RI]

[and maybe one of the most wacky, whimsical booths I've ever seen, this Dumpty is 2-3 FEET high and made out of bronze! Kimber @ Joan of Art - there were probably hundreds of similiar items, all of Humpty - obsess much?]

And let's not forget the food

[you don't want just any ole corn dog - how about a foot long corndog!?! I would have liked to get a shot of one of them, and I thought about it, even saw one or two - but the people gnawing on them probably would have given me the stink eye, MN-style]

[and finally, on a hot, 85 degree day with like 90% humidity - who doesn't want some warm nuts? I think the best part is the mad little girl holding down her booth duty]


Nye's Polonaise.

If you want Polish food or beer and a place to polka, this is the joint. I went on a weeknight, but I'm told Fridays and Saturdays this is the only place around to dance to live polka music. They get a huge crowd of fun (read, drunk) folks of all ages.

[It's the kind of place with old dark furniture, woody accents, stiff cocktails, and waitresses older than you are]

[The highback booths are perfect for sucking down some liquid courage before hitting the piano bar or going into the main room for polka (or other live act)]

[semi-creepy piano guy included, and "Wild Bill" is thrown in for free (he's the drunk, white-haired, Irishman that will dance with your date) - this is not made-up]


Catch some Z's in NYC.

As I walked from appointment to appointment on Thursday in NYC, I found this woman lying in a storefront, sleeping. She looked really comfy and really asleep. No, I didn't bang on the glass. There was something written on the window about a "sleep project". I didn't get the whole story, the image was enough for me.


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