January 5, 2010

Taco Bell's Drive Through Diet?


If you watched any football over the weekend, you undoubtedly saw commercials with Christine, the woman who, using the "Taco Bell Drive Through Diet," lost 54 pounds. My first reaction is that she lost that much weight from the diarrhea she experienced from eating so much Taco Bell. But if you look at the fine print, she says she reduced her total daily calorie intake by 500 calories to 1,250 calories by choosing Fresco items and "making other sensible choices."

Since Taco Bell's Fresco menu replaces the cheese with salsa, the Fresco items are about 50 calories less than the basic Taco Bell swill you usually get. In other words she would have to eat 10 Taco Bell Fresco items a day and then switch to the Fresco items to get that 500 calorie reduction. Yikes!! Maybe I wasn't too far off with my diarrhea assessment. Or perhaps "making other sensible choices" was the key to Kristine's weight loss.

The Taco Bell lawyers are all over the ad campaign too as they splash phrases such as "The Drive-Thru Diet is not a weight loss program," "These results aren't typical... " and "Fresco is not a low calorie food" all over the commercial. Clearly they were concerned about being accused of promoting a new diet plan.

Weight loss isn't rocket science and you don't need special diets or hang with Subway's Jared or Taco Bell's Christine to lose weight. All you have to do is reduce the number of calories you consume and exercise more than you do now. It's that simple. Plus you won't have to go to Taco Bell every day. Yuck!

December 31, 2009

Lost Forest After Dark 2009

Another year in the books and another year of blogging complete. Lost Forest After Dark went with a new design mid-year, had a bunch new readers and commenters and continued to be an outlet of barely coherent rants on whatever interests me. I thank you for stopping by and especially commenting. If you are a lurker, drop a note, then I know that someone actually reads this crap. Oh, and if you read this from Facebook, come on over to the actual site, that's where all the action is. Below are a bunch of posts I was particularly proud of this year, check them out if you missed them the first time around.

Thoughts on a New Vikings Stadium

Katherine Kersten and Gay Marriage

My Poem on the End of the Twins Season

My Controversial Take on the Beatles Re-issues

My 97-mile bike ride to Siren, WI

Review of Wilco (the Album)

Trip to Wrigley Field

Going to the 7th Street Entry with My Daughter

Live Replacements and Meat Puppets Concerts Available for Download

The People of Haiti

September 29, 2009

2009 Minneapolis Urban Assault Ride

On Sunday, my friend Paul and I teamed up and took part in the Urban Assault Ride. This is a fun bike race, sponsored by New Belgium Brewing (think Fat Tire Beer) and is a 30 mile race through the City with 7 different check points. The check points have different tasks that need to be completed before you move on to the next check point. You can do the check points in any order and besides being fast on a bike, knowing the City is key to doing well. Five hundred bikers competed in total and we survived, finished in the middle of the pack (see below), but more importantly had a blast.

As you can expect, the race was dominated by tattooed, beer loving 20-somethings and the whole thing has a groovy, eco-friendly, peace and sustainability vibe. Sponsors include the requisite bike shops, Cliff Bar, Peace Coffee, and bike apparel companies. All of whom are very funky, and tout sustainability and bike/earth-friendly policies on their web sites.

Besides the known check points, there were two "mystery check points" one of which was given as a clue in the form of an anagram a couple of days before the race. The second mystery clue would be given out at the first mystery check point. I was able to figure out the anagram and we felt pretty good going into the race. We had a route figured out that gave us ample flexibility for the second mystery spot -- hopefully without any backtracking.

UAR Before.JPG
Paul and I before the race

We completed a quiz that actually gave us (and about 100 other bikers) a 150 second head start and we were off. The first checkpoint was close and entailed throwing wet sponges at our partners who had a bucket on their head. Three sponges in the bucket and you were done. The second checkpoint was the first mystery spot and when we got there this is what we found:

Find This

Of course we were stumped. Now knowing that something like this was going to happen we had an I-phone with us. We tried to google the pic to no avail. (most everyone else was stumped too) We decided to head to the next check point which was at REI in Bloomington, a good 7 mile trek away. Now the trip to REI is where the speed demons separate themselves from the pack. From the second check point at 34th and Lyndale to REI at 84th and Lyndale then back downtown, we are talking 130 blocks or nearly 18 miles. Even someone who on average is even 2 miles an hour faster is going to leave everyone else in their wake.

The REI task was the toughest. Both team members got on a skateboard, using no hands or feet and just a toilet plunger, had to navigate a course. We did ok and we spent more time on the I-phone and found the second mystery spot. Even better, it was very close to our known third checkpoint in the Warehouse District so we were on course with no backtracking.

From the Warehouse District to Dinkytown to the Seward Neighborhood back to Peace Coffee we were going as fast as we could. The final checkpoint was where we started and you had to do a big wheel race and then go through an inflated obstacle course and then turn in the seven beads you received at all the check points before you could be officially counted as finished. Even though we finished in the middle of the pack, if there had been an over-45 category, we would have definitely been near the winner's circle as I said above, the race was dominated by people much younger than us.

UAR after.JPG
Paul and I immediately after the race

Afterwards is the big party, we got two free beer tickets and I scored a 3rd ticket for being in a mustache contest. There was some other contests and we tried to score some swag to no avail. After some fun people watching we gathered our bikes and slowly aching bodies back to the car and we were done. I am definitely making this an annual event with the goal of bettering our time and showing those younger dudes that we 40 year olds can still throw down on a bike.

Check back I may update with more photos if we show up on the UAR photo page.

Results Update: We finished 32nd out of 78 in the Male Category and 58th total out of about 240 teams. That's in the top 25%!!!

September 14, 2009

TCF Bank Stadium Opening Night


So it finally happened Gopher Football back on campus. It was a great day with the entire campus decked out in Maroon in Gold. The stadium is fantastic and a Gopher win made for a great day.

There has been a ton written about Saturday's game so it's hard to add anything else. The stadium is very nice and there is hardly a bad seat in the house. The student section was rockin' and if one of the goals of the stadium was to bring a collegiate atmosphere back to the University, I would say Mission Accomplished!

It was amazing to see the campus awash with Maroon and Gold and there were people everywhere! It was a party, which I know is nothing to write about at most BCS football schools but something here in Minnesota. As a football stadium, TCF works great and the traffic problems that were anticipated were minor for what I could tell. However there were a few concerns:

Getting people into the stadium needs to be improved and quickened. Do we really need to be patted down before entering. There were still long lines minutes before the game started, and lots of people entered early.

Food service was atrocious. They ran out of food, the cash registers couldn't ring up orders, there were too few individuals serving food outside of the main food stands. It hurts that both the lower and upper bowls empty into one concourse, leaving little room for food service. It's probably fixable but the not enough food issue was just plain stupid.

But that's nit-picking. Overall it was a great experience and I can't wait to see how TCF Bank Stadium settles in to being the home of the Golden Gophers. Below are some pictures I took. Also I have some video on youtube. You can see those here.

Elaine Spending $$$ on Gopher Gear

Cheerleaders Proposing to Me


Fans Coming to Stadium


August 24, 2009

Bike Ride to Siren, WI

siren trail.jpg

On Friday I rode my bike 97.4 miles to a friend's cabin a couple of miles outside of Siren, Wisconsin. I had been planning this trip all summer and in fact was thinking of taking it in early June. I wasn't ready and spent the last couple of months training by going on rides ranging from 30 to 70 miles. The training definitely helped as I had plenty of energy as I finished the ride. My ass was (is) sore from sitting on a bike for 9 hours, but I definitely had enough gas to go even further. Here are some other thoughts as I spent nearly 11 hours going from Minneapolis to Siren on a bike:

There is a huge shift in the neighborhoods around the state capitol. One moment one is riding by mansions of former railroad, lumber, and milling barons and then next riding by tired old single family homes, public housing barrack-style housing, and rough looking bars. All in less than 10 minutes on a bike.

The ride took about 45 minutes longer than I had conservatively hoped. There were a couple of reasons for this: 1) My calves started cramping early in the trip. In fact after only 12 miles or so. I did lots of stretching but was never able to fully shake the cramps. I will need to talk to a doctor about how I can overcome this issue. 2) I was going against a steady head wind the whole trip. Look at the map above, it is primarily a north-east route and the wind was coming out of the north the whole day. 3) The Gandy Dancer Trail which I took from St. Croix Falls to Siren was crushed limestone, which I knew, and it slowed me down more than I thought. Also it was primarily uphill for 24 of the 32 miles on the trail.

Of the 97 miles. I would say less than 30 was not on a designated trail and a lot of that was on back country roads with wide shoulders so I felt pretty safe as far as car-bike relations went. The Gateway Trail from St. Paul to north of Stillwater is a very nice trail and quite interesting as one moves from inner city to suburban sprawl, to exurban development, to farmland. The Gandy Dancer Trail in Wisconsin is mostly through farmland and woods and is adequately maintained and quite empty. I saw no other bikers on the Gandy Dancer. Since it was Wisconsin, every time the trail entered a town, there were helpful signs letting me know where to find the local tavern.

When one is on a back country road and with no one else in sight with an I-Pod blaring in one's ears, it is natural to start singing out loud like one does alone in their car. If the woman who was getting her mail south of Scandia is reading this, I was singing the Talking Heads Building on Fire as I rode by, just in case you were wondering.

For the second year in a row I was able to accomplish a goal I set out early in the year for my bike. Which means I need a new and tougher goal for next year. Right now I am thinking of a bike trip to Duluth or Two Harbors, maybe with an overnight stay. I am open for suggestions however.

August 18, 2009

Guns at Town Hall Meeting

town halljpg.jpg

Besides yelling out half truths and hatred, the angry right now feels like it's o.k. to bring guns to town hall meetings, especially ones where President Obama is speaking.

Now the states where this is happening people have a right to carry firearms and the Secret Service is well aware of the gun toters and insist that the President is in no danger. But still is sends a chilling message. The gun slingers claim they have the right to free speech but doesn't everyone else? And can you think of a better way to suppress speech than by waving a gun in someone's face?

Also let's face it, there are a bunch of right-wing looney's out there who would love to get a shot at President Obama. Seeing this just fuels that, even if the Secret Service insists everything is under control.

One last thought, what do you think the reaction would have been during President Bush's term if someone had brought a semi-automatic rifle to a town hall meeting? Heck two guys got arrested in Denver for wearing T-shirts that said "No Bush." If a gun toting Bush Town Hall protester had brown skin I somehow think he'd be residing in Guantanamo right now.

August 10, 2009

Ballpark Twins Sign

twins sign.jpg

The image above popped up on the Ballpark Magic site a couple of weeks ago. It is from the model of the new Twins Ballpark and is a close-up of the "signature" signage that will be located in centerfield at Target Field. This sign was a late addition to the ballpark design and I think will be an awesome feature. The supporting infrastructure for the sign is now up at the ballpark and I am guessing we will see the sign soon so I wanted to call this out.

The logo comes from when the Twins originally moved to Minnesota in 1961 and signifies the cooperation between Minneapolis and St. Paul to get a professional baseball team to the Twin Cities. It's one of those quaint 60's designs that time has been kind to. It's gone past the cheesy stage and is a now retro classic. Apparently the sign will be lit up. Unfortunately rumors that the "Twins" would shake hands animatronically whenever the Twins hit a homerun has been debunked as wishful thinking.

As you can see from the picture in this post, I love this logo and I really can't wait to see it at Target Field. I am really happy with what I am seeing at Target Field so far and think it will be a classy ballpark that will be a joy to spend a sunny summer day watching a game. Now if only the Twins could put a little more effort into developing a top notch lineup!

July 27, 2009

You Were There


Walter Cronkite's death reminded me of an old show he used to do called You Are There. The premise of the show was CBS news folks were able to "report" on events in history as if they were happening now. For instance reporters were "on the scene" interviewing combatants when the Greeks laid siege on Troy and delivered their Trojan Horse. It was a show definitely for history geeks. But it got me thinking, what are some events that you wish you had witnessed first hand? Sports and music events come easily to mind and I was lucky enough to be at games 6 and 7 of the 1991 World Series and when the Gophers beat then Michigan 16-0 in 1977. Both events which I have a feeling would be on some folks list.

Here are some events I wish I was at so that I was able to say that I Was There:

Guided By Voices last concert at Club Metro in Chicago.
It was announced previously that GBV was breaking up and this would be their last show (December 31, 2004). Of course it sold out immediately and fans from all across the country showed up. It was quite an emotional show and by all accounts one of their best as it was a 4 hour, 63 song Holy Grail for GBV freaks.

Dylan Goes Electric. There's so much conflicting reports on this event. Was the crowd booing because Dylan was playing an electric guitar or was it too loud? Did Pete Seeger try to cut the electric power with an Axe? Was Dylan tearing up when he came out to do an acoustic set? Regardless it would be cool to say you were there and saw the whole thing in person.

Elvis playing That's All Right Mama at Sun Studios.
Elvis was at Sun Studios basically having an unproductive session when he and Scotty Moore were goofing around with an old Arthur Crudup guitar lick between songs. Sam Phillips was intrigued and had them record that song. The rest is history. To be in the sound booth when that happened! A new form of music being created right in front of your eyes.

Ginsburg reciting Howl at the Six Gallery. Allen Ginsburg had written Howl and had shared it with a bunch of his beat friends who loved it. A poetry reading was set up at the Gallery Six in North Beach San Francisco. By the time the event started the Gallery was bursting at the seams, Jack Kerouac had purchased a couple of jugs of wine which were being passed around. As Ginsburg was reciting, Kerouac was beating a drum yelling yea! The crowd was blown away by the poem.

U.S. Hockey team beating the Soviet Union 1980.
No need for explanation here. Oh to be in the arena when that happened. We saw it on T.V. of course but to shouting USA!! as the clock wound down would have been amazing.

Ali-Foreman fight in Zaire. This fight was immortalized in When We Were Kings but to see it in person would have been a blast. Ali was given no chance against Foreman who was considered unbeatable at the time. Not only did Ali best Foreman but he won over an entire continent.

Grassy Knoll during Kennedy Assassination. To be there and to see for yourself how many shots were fired and from where would have been a searing experience. The confusion of the event probably wouldn't answer any questions but an important piece of history nonetheless.

Obama Victory Speech -- Grant Park. While I was seeing Bob Dylan's triumphant return to the University Of Minnesota campus, others were at Grant Park to watch Barack Obama become the first black man elected president. I know some people who were there and the emotion was quite palpable. Definitely a once in a lifetime event.

I could come up with others, but those are the biggies. How about you? What event do you wish you could have said I Was There?

July 23, 2009

1100 Days

I missed noting the three year anniversary of LFAD this past Sunday July 19th so consider this post a celebration of 1100 days of spot-on analysis, probing insight, and woeful laments of early 21st Century life. I am especially proud of my recent Erin Andrews essay w/accompanying photo links. Actually three years is a long time in the blogosphere and by some accounts 95 percent of all the blogs that were started since I put down a stake in this section of cyberspace are now abandoned. You know what else is interesting? Blogosphere was not noted as a mis-spelled word when I typed it.

So with 1100 days under my belt here are a couple of thoughts on what's going on.

Bike Riding. On my way home from work later today I will cross the 600 mark on bike miles ridden since mid-April. This Saturday, if the weather cooperates, I am going to ride along the Wisconsin side of Lake Pepin. The miles won't be the much but there are some killer hills on that route. A month from now I am still planning to ride 110 miles to Siren, Wisconsin.

Twins. Ack! When your big move is calling up Jesse Crain... The Twins have three superstars and still are a middling team. A starting pitcher, 2nd basemen, and 8th inning guy are desperately needed.

Music. Besides the previously discussed Charlie Pickett and Wilco discs, I have really been grooving on the new Dinosaur Jr. release Farm. It definitely rocks and feels like those guys never left the stage. I hope J. Mascus and Lou Barlow make music together for many many years.

Books. I've had a dreadful book reading spring and summer with two wretched boring books on the black plague and English-U.S. relations since 1640. I am back on the saddle, however, with the very funny Bill Bryson book about walking on the Appalachian Trail.

Finally this site has been getting hammered by the spambots and I am trying to keep ahead of them by deleting their comments. I may have to get stronger filters on the comments section so if your comment doesn't show up, it may have been trapped. Send me a private e-mail if you don't see your comments.

July 15, 2009

The Brickhouse


Everyone is all excited that after 27 years, college football is coming back to the University of Minnesota campus with the opening less than 2 months away. The new stadium looks quite handsome and I can't wait to see a game there.

But let's not forget that the University of Minnesota had a classic football stadium for nearly 60 years right across the street where the new stadium is set to open. Fortunately University Libraries haven't forgotten and they have created a lovely archival website that looks back at "The Brickhouse" -- how it was built, who played there, as well as what a nice description of other activities that happened at Memorial Stadium (did you know there were labs in stadium?)

Since the site was created by archivists, there are tons of old pictures of the stadium, players, crowds, etc. Want to see the classic picture of Bronko Nagurski? Here it is. Want to see 1941 Heisman Trophy Winner Bruce Smith? Check out this video. Like to see stadium plans? How about the decision to move to the Metrodome and tear down the stadium? It's all there.

What I especially like is that this site is taking a web 2.0 approach allowing visitors to give their own stories and upload pictures. My family had season tickets in the 1970's and I know my parents have some pictures of the tailgating. I will definitely be adding those pictures to the site.

As with most Gopher fans I can't wait for TCF Bank Stadium to open, however with this new site, I can also go back to see what we've missed since 1981.

May 28, 2009

Construction Week -- Target Field

For the 3rd year in a row, I have been able to go to the top of the Minikahda building and take pics of what is now known as Target Field. Below is the view from that vantage point over the past three years.

may 2007.jpg

May 2008.jpg


Obvious a lot has been completed in 2 years and next year they will be playing baseball. Unfortunately my dreams of watching games from the top of the Minihahda have been dashed by some left field bleachers and a huge ass scoreboard.

Below is a pic showing part of the Twins log being constructed atop the scoreboard

Centerfield bleachers up against the Parking Lot C

5th Street ballpark entrance:

LRT Station


The ballpark is going to be handsome and very snug. I think people are going to love it once they get inside and are able to experience baseball the way it was meant to be played. I think 2010 will be the beginning of a baseball renaissance on Minnesota.

May 26, 2009

Construction Week -- TCF Bank Stadium

Another chapter of Construction Week -- TCF Bank Stadium! Now the first game is less than 4 months away so things are wrapping up and there's not a lot different to see. They put the field turf in over the weekend which you can see below. All in all the stadium is going to be quite handsome. I can't wait.

Here you can see the Field Turf installed

Back of the 2nd largest replay screen in all of college football


Not sure if I like that metal awning as part of the arch

Like I said a handsome stadium

Part of the public art on the plaza


If interested there's a lot more photos and videos of the stadium on-line. Just google TCF Bank Stadium. Coach Brewster has his own youtube page with videos inside and outside the stadium. Goldy's Facebook page also has hundreds of photos from all over the construction site. Clearly the Gophers understand web-based marketing much better than the Twins.

Construction Week -- ST+SS

It's Construction Week here at LFAD and I thought I start off with the new Science Teaching+Student Services building. In February I had some pics of the old building demolition and now with a few months of construction, let's see how it is doing?

As you can see, from the pic above, the foundation walls are in and some of the first floor. There's the Washington Avenue Bridge in the background.

Another view, also the west side of this building will have awesome views of downtown.

Looking to the north.

Finally, this is what it will look like when finished.

May 13, 2009

Thursday is Bike/Walk to Work Day


Tomorrow is Bike/Walk/Ride to work day and I encourage all to partake somehow. During warm weather I bike to work a lot and love it! It's a relatively easy 6.5 miles one way with about 4 miles on dedicated bike trails. There are two highlights to my ride. On a beautiful sunny morning there is nothing like crossing the Mississippi River at 7:15a -- downtown on my left, the U of M campus on my right. The other is on my way home when I cross over I-94 and it is blocked up for miles with traffic. I just laugh my ass off as I stream over the traffic with some music blaring over my i-pod.

Where ever you live you will find it easy to find a dedicated bike trail to get you to your place of work. Furthermore for Thursday's festivities there are plenty of freebies available. Click Here to find out where you can pick up a free breakfast or happy hour.

See you on the trails!

March 29, 2009

2009 Twins Golden Ticket

It's time for the Twins Golden Ticket once again. Having been in the exact park 2 of the last three years on the day it was found has only made me that much more obsessed with finding the dang thing. I don't care about the 40 free Twins tickets or free vacation. I just want to find the get the golden ticket before someone else does.

Sunday's clue tells us which direction:

Starting from the teflon roof, heading west would be a goof.

O.k. It's east of the dome. From past years, the word goof doesn't play into the clue, but I will keep it in the back of my mind. I don't think we will have a good locational clue until about Tuesday.

Remember the ticket is only in Ramsey or Hennepin Counties. It was in Ramsey County last year and I was hoping it was in Hennepin this year since that is where I live, but right now probably St. Paul area again.

February 12, 2009

Death and Birth of a New Campus Building

The Science Classroom Building has been a blight on the University of Minnesota Campus for 45 years. Here is a picture of it from January.

Demolition Event (8).jpg

The building was on one of the primo pieces of real estate on the campus -- at the Washington Avenue bridgedeck overlooking the Mississippi river and great views of the Minneapolis skyline. Finally after many years of wrangling, the University received money from the state to demolish the building and build anew.

Construction Progress 02-06-09 003.jpg

This is the site on February 6th, 2009. It is amazing how fast these buildings can come down. But don't worry, we won't be left with a hole in the ground. As soon as the rubble is removed, construction will begin on a new building that will have state-of-the-art, technology-rich classrooms and student services -- which currently are housed in many buildings all over the campus -- will be consolidated into one place. Also the building will be LEED Gold-Certified, meaning it will be built with strong efforts toward sustainability (including recycling of all that rubble you see above). Just as important, our goal to beautify the campus and have it reach out to the river will be is slowly but surely being accomplished.



December 11, 2008

Random Thoughts

Not a whole lot going on so light blogging lately. Hopefully some stuff coming up. Here’s some thoughts…

Timberwolves. It’s hard to get riled up over the T-wolves and their latest firings and hirings. As I blogged here, they are so bad it’s hard to think of anything new to say. I’m glad McHale is out of the front office but I have no confidence anything is going to change. This City could be full of huge NBA rubes but a whole generation of fans are being lost due to a lousy team starting from the owner and front office down to the players, cheerleaders, and popcorn sellers.

Vikings. I rarely mention the Vikings in these pages and to be frank I’m more excited about the Packers sucking than the Vikings winning. I’m guessing the Vikes will either lose their next three games and not make the playoffs or get in the playoffs and lose a home playoff game to the Eagles/Buccaneers.

Governor Blag. At least you have to give props to the guy for being so audacious. Thing is he doesn’t even realize how corrupt he is. Nice hair, though wish I had hair like that.

Baseball Hot Stove League. I consider it an early Christmas present that the Twins didn’t sign Casey Blake for 3 years. The Dodgers are going to be hating that contract in about 18 months. Yanks sign Captain Cheeseburger. My friend Jeff is all riled up. Me? No surprise and no problems. The Yankees have bigger problems than one starting pitcher. I was worried when I read that Gardy wants to start Nick Punto at SS if the Twins re-sign him. I have no problem with Punto as utility infielder (and paid as such) but he is not a starter. I’d love to see JJ Hardy in a Twins uniform and would be willing to see Blackburn or Perkins go to get him. Word is that the Brewers want more. Hopefully if they lose Ben (ouch, what I break now?) Sheets, the Brewers will become more desperate for pitching.

The Day the Earth Stood Still. I’m hearing bad stuff about this movie. However Keanu as Mr. Carpenter is inspired casting. Is there an “actor? out there today that exhibits less human emotion than Keanu Reeves? I don’t understand why they had to do a remake. They should have made a sequel. After all the original promised that the rest of the universe was waiting the Earth’s response. We obviously didn’t listen, why not have the movie be the follow-up? Btw, the original is a classic that holds up remarkably well after nearly 60 years.

Senate Recount. Ok we’d like this to be over. Who know what’s going to happen although it appears to hinge on whether or not the rejected absentee ballots will be counted. Norm Coleman should be secretly praying that he loses because if he wins, this investigation of his shady dealings will only intensify. However if Norm wins, he’ll probably switch parties back to being a Democrat. That way he won’t be in the minority party. Don’t underestimate this guy’s ability to put himself in the most advantageous position.

Well that felt better, what’s on your mind?

December 2, 2008

Random Thoughts

No Acorns. David Brauer over at Minnpost has a little story about the fact that for some reason a lot of Oak trees produced no acorns this summer. Now the squirrels are going nuts (sorry) due to lack of food. I also noticed that our neighbor’s Black Walnut tree produced no walnuts this fall. That’s the first time no walnuts in the 13 summers we’ve lived here. Is this cyclical? A scary environmental bellwether? Is it an arboreal Children of Men scenario? Let me know if you have any theories.

Conservative Blogs. During the election I liked to check out a couple of conservative blogs to see what they’re saying. It’s pretty amazing in that there seems to be some centralized daily distribution of Republican talking points that all conservatives reference as most of the conservative posts are quite similar to one another and similar to what the conservative talking heads are spouting on TV. One particular blog, Let Freedom Ring, I would actually engage in the comments section, pointing out the inconsistencies and ridiculousness of their arguments. I did this respectfully. Unfortunately I guess I hit a little close to the bone in my comments as suddenly my comments were being deleted. In the classic words of Jack Nicholson, hey Let Freedom Ring Blog: you can’t handle the truth!

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Finally saw this amazing movie. Fantastic true story about a French fashion magazine editor who has a massive stroke and can only communicate by blinking his one good eye. He actually is able to “write? a book in this fashion. Well directed, awesome cinematography, well recommended.

Jenny Lewis – Acid Tongue. The song Carpetbagger, with Elvis Costello is awesome. The rest of the album is pretty boring. Download the song, ignore the album.

Bitter Harvest. Based on a recommendation by SBG, I am reading Bitter Harvest which is the story of Gordon Kahl and the Posse Comitatus movement of the early 1980’s. My question is what happened to the movement? Farm families are hurting just as much now as they were in the 1980s. Is the movement underground, non-existent, or do we just don’t hear about it anymore? Obviously some ugliness occurred at Palin rallies this Fall but nothing like the violence of the late 1970s and 80s.

October 30, 2008

TCF Bank Stadium Photos

I got to tour TCF Bank Stadium today, future home of the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The place is going to be spectacular. While the form of the stadium is pretty much complete, the interiors don't have any finishes so I didn't take a lot of pictures of the interiors. However, that locker room is going to be spectacular!! Below are some pics that I did take (click on photo to enlarge).

The Field is at grade level, so you will have to walk up to get to your seat (or take an elevator).

Ground Level Exterior

View from the President's Suite (holds 80 people)

3:30 on a late October afternoon. Sun and Shade will be a factor

Inside the Suites

Top Row below the Loge

Inside Corridor

The Field

Top Row, worst seat in the House!

Like I said, this place is going to be a blast. I can't wait until September 12, 2009.

September 29, 2008

Weekend Review


Twins. Saturday’s game was maddening! Even though they had a two run lead, you just knew the Twins were going to lose that game. Morneau’s struggles are worrisome. Nice game on Sunday but I expect Chicago to win out against the Tigers. Nick Blackburn at Chicago doesn’t give me a whole lot of confidence but then again the White Sox are known chokers, so who knows what will happen. Nevertheless the Twin have had a nice season. Hopefully they are sending notes to Johan Santana asking him what’s it like in NYC. Not in the playoffs?!, oh that’s too bad.

Vikings. This is one loathsome boring team. What was your favorite Gus Frerotte moment? This offense is just plain vanilla. Especially if you watch other games and see what a real NFL offense looks like, then the Vikings offensive effort looks especially lame. This looks like a .500 team at best with Chilly given his walking papers by January 1st.

Gophers. O.k. so the Gophers are not one of the elite teams of the Big Ten. But right now I’m just looking for progress and not being embarrassed. Both were accomplished on Saturday. The game was never in doubt but at least the Gophers didn’t give up. That glimmer of hope is progress to long suffering fans. I can see this team still winning 3 maybe 4 Big Ten games. After 1-11 last year, with the promise of more progress next year, I’ll take it.

Debate. John McCain was grumpy (and what was up with that tie?) and Obama looked Presidential. Substance-wise McCain may have had the edge but that’s not what these debates are about. The debates are so the American public can get comfortable with who will be President over the next 4 years. That’s why Gore lost 8 years ago, in the debates he cleaned W’s clock, but game across as kinda jerk. McCain’s falling in that same conundrum.

Sarah Palin. Everyone’s seen the Katie Couric interview and the spot-on impersonation by SNL. For this week’s debate all she has to do is not fall off her chair and she will exceed expectations. So look for lots of spin saying she did pretty good. But so what? What exactly will happen at this week’s debate that will change the dynamic?

Baseball playoffs, Palin-Biden debate, Weezer on Friday at the X, Ted Hartwell Retrospective at MIA… looks like a fun week coming up.

September 16, 2008

Thoughts from the Weekend

Twins – Stick a fork in them. I think the Twins season is done. They made a valiant effort but, youth, inconsistency, and a bullpen swimming in gasoline was their undoing. They will have a better season than expected but we also thought the Indians and Tigers would win 90 plus games, neither will win 80. Hopefully this experience will help the team in the next few years and the front office stays away from aging, washed up veterans in the off-season.

Target Field – So we now know what the name of the Twins new ballpark will be. Target Field doesn’t necessarily roll off the tongue. At $100 million over 25 years, $4.0 million a year doesn’t even pay for a lousy veteran infielder these days. In 2030, it will probably pay for the balls they use during a game. This one’s going to take a while to get used to.

Vikings. No Viking fan, casual or die-hard were under any illusions that Indianapolis would come back after the Vikes kicked that 5th field goal for a 15-0 lead. That’s they way the Vikings play. Always have always will. Childress and Bevel’s 3rd down play calling was atrocious, although I think part of was due to lack of confidence in T-Jack. Things could get ugly here real soon with 0-5 not out of the realm of possibility.

Brewers Fired Ned Yost. Yikes! Best Brewers season in 26 years and the manager’s gone with 12 games left? It’s a high risk move that’s for sure. Regardless of what happens over these last 12 games look for the Brewers to implode over the off-season.

Gophers 3-0. O.k. It’s against the cream puffs but we’re suppose to be 3-0 against the cream puffs. This team has a long way to go, I’m glad that at least it’s heading in the right direction. Just think in less than 1 year their new stadium will be open. I already have my place on University Avenue staked out for the parade.

Burn After Reading. Funny movie with a couple of surprises. Everyone’s a bumbler, everyone’s confused, and nothing is what is seems or everything is what it seems but people don’t get it. Fun movie.

August 26, 2008

Random Thoughts

Things I have been thinking about lately…

It’s convention time! It’s only one night but I love the images from the Democratic National Convention. Blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics are side-by-side throughout the crowd (I even saw a Sikh!). To think that within my lifetime the Dems wouldn’t even sit a black contingent from Mississippi at their convention. These images will be in sharp contrast to the upcoming Republican Convention which promises to be Űber-white. Don’t worry, the cameras will find the token Republican black attendee.

Twins pick up Eddie Guardardo. The Twins needed to do something about their bullpen and this is probably they best they could do so late in August. Eddie was a fan favorite and if he does well on this road trip, look for an enthusiastic reception when the Twins return. Now if they could only beat Seattle on the road!!!!!

High Gas Prices and SUV’s. If this weekend is any indication, where I was consistently passed on the interstate by 1/3-the-MPG-of-my-hybrid-SUV’s going 80 MPH, gas prices haven’t really changed people’s behavior that much. If they only realized that their gas guzzlers help subsidize Saudi extremists and Russian foreign aggression.

Washington Avenue Pedestrian Deck Closed. Only 10 days before classes begin and the County closes most of the link between the west and east bank of the University Of Minnesota, a link that accommodates over 5000 people and bikes a day! Again our lack of investment in infrastructure means officials have to take drastic measures to keep us safe. Maybe now when politicians say they are going to cut government spending we will have the balls to ask how they plan to keep the bridges up.

Joe Biden as Veep Pick. I predicted it last week. Decent pick that should be entertaining to say the least. Can’t wait to hear Joe on the campaign trail. I predict a verbal gaffe every two weeks.

August 4, 2008

Back and Ready to Blog

I am back from a week in NYC and hope to give more details on my trip in a future post (including a surprise for Shane!). Needless to say we had a great time, the only hassle was the flight to and from. Crowds were huge everywhere we went but the City is looking good. Here are some other items that have been rattling around my brain:

Twins in First Place. O.k. the guy who had the Twins in first on August 3rd can step up and collect their prize. I put it all on the starting pitching as no one thought that Slowey, Perkins, and Blackburn would be this good. We all had hopes for Baker. Lots of road games coming up, I think everyone has bated breath to see if the good play can hold up for another 8 weeks.

Brett Favre. God I love this. Remember when those with rationale minds said Favre was a prima donna, was in it for himself? Now you Cheeseheads know what we're talking about. The guy is willing to destroy his team so that he can continue to stroke his ego. What did you kill all the possum in Kiln already Brett?

The Dark Knight. Saw this last week in NYC and it's as good as advertised. Very dark and intense. Yes Heath Ledger is amazing. Kicks the snot out of Batman Begins. Kinda bummed that Harvey Dent died, he's a good character.

Paul Westerberg - 49:00. Paul Westerberg has a new release out that you can only get via download from Even though it's called 49:00 it clocks in at about 42 minutes and its his first release in about 4 years. It's one of those self-produced deals where Paul plays all the instruments and it's listed as one track but is actually about 12 tracks. The album is a little rough as songs play on top of each other. It rocks though and one of Westerberg's strongest releases in a long time. Oh it's also only 49 cents, so you can't go wrong.

John McCain's ads. Comparing Obama to Paris and Britany? Comparing him to Neo and Moses? Sure everyone likes a little snark now and them but this from a major presidential candidate? Hey John leave the craptastic to the McCain Girls. Let's hear what you have to offer the country.

May 28, 2008

Construction Week - New Twins Ballpark

We wrap up construction week by taking a look at the new Twins ballpark. The ballpark, slated to open in time for opening day 2010, will cost over $500 million and is being paid for through sales taxes in Hennepin County and by the Pohlad family, owner of the Twins. The Pohlad's are contributing about 1/3 of the price which is about average for these kind of deals.

Just a week ago, I provided some links to good ballpark pics so I won't add a lot here, but I do suggest, if interested, to check out those sites. In fact I will only provide 2 pics but from a vantage point not seen much.

Click on the photo to see a larger pic.

First, the site May 23, 2007

Now the site May 28, 2008.

Shows what $100M and 12 months can do. Can't wait to see what May 2009 and May 2010 bring.

Construction Week - I-35 Bridge

Construction week at LFAD continues as we look at the I-35W bridge that is being rebuilt after collapsing August 1, 2007, killing 13 people.

The $275 million bridge is almost all funded by the feds and is on budget and ahead of schedule. The fact that it will now be done before the Republican National Convention is a coincidence. Really. Well that's what the Governor's office says. The piers are built and the workers are starting to span the river, hopefully later in the summer I'll have more pics of the span. Click on picture to see a larger version.

Here is the east side pier

Here is the west side pier (you can see they are just starting the span)

They are also building the span to ahead of time (photo isn't that great, but go to 7 corners to see this)

Well that's it. Like I said, I may revisit soon once the span is looking more interesting. Next in Construction Week is the new Twins ballpark and a couple of rare photos. Come back to check them out!

May 26, 2008

Construction Week - TCF Stadium

This week at LFAD it's Construction Week! That means we will be taking a look at the three major construction projects that are a short lunchtime walk from work. Today TCF Stadium future home of the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Slated to open in time for the 2009 Football season, TCF Stadium is a $275 million project that will hold 50,000 fans with 55 luxury suites. See video to the right. The stadium can be expanded to 80,000.

As always, click on a picture to see a larger version.

Nice shot of the entire stadium from up high.100_1531.jpg

One of the openings to the stadium emulating the gates of old Memorial stadium.

Lining the stadium will be the name of each Minnesota County in granite. All 87 of the them. The next couple of shots shows some of those name plates.


I think the brick work is quite handsome. This brick is called Harvard Mixed Red. It looks like the stadium will be a gem and anchor to the University's growing East Gateway.

Tomorrow, the 35W bridge over the Mississippi River!

May 15, 2008

The Extraterrestrial Is My Brother


In an interview with the official Vatican Newspaper, the Papal Astronomer stated that intelligent beings from other planets is compatible with Christian faith:

Just as a multiplicity of creatures exists on the Earth, so there could be other creatures, even intelligent ones, created by God," the Argentine Jesuit said. "This does not conflict with our faith, because we cannot set limits on the creative liberty of God.

Besides having a cool title -- "the Extraterrestrial is my brother" -- this article has gotten a lot of press over the last few days. It should not be a surprise, however.

The Catholic Church has come a long ways since they tortured Galileo 375 years ago because he maintained that the Earth rotated around the sun. The Catholic Church has come out against Creationism, Intelligent Design, and has maintained that the "big bang theory of the universe's origins does not conflict with the biblical account of creation."

What is interesting is that Pope Benedict XVI, who many were worried was too conservative and would try to shut down such discussions, is actually encouraging them. In fact the Pope has made exploring the relationship between faith and reason a key aspect of his papacy. This view was stressed in the interview where the Papal Astronomer Funes said science, especially astronomy, does not contradict religion.

I have been a strong believer in evolutional, biological, chemical, and physical evidence for the beginning of life and this planet, solar system, universe. That belief has not shaken my faith, in fact has strengthened it. Surely something much larger (God) started these processes that govern life. And there is no reason to believe that these same processes have not happened elsewhere. I am glad that the Catholic Church agrees.

May 3, 2008

Falcon Attack!

This morning a Perigrine Falcon (UPDATE: Apparently is was a Coopers Hawk) attacked and ate a pigeon in our back yard. Now we live in the City, 1/2 mile from an interstate (also 1/2 mile from a bird sanctuary). Not something you see often. The falcon left nothing but bones and feathers and afterward the Wrens came and used the feathers for their nests. Talk about your circle of life. Check out pic below. Click on photo to get a larger shot.


March 28, 2008


I was at Snail Lake Regional Park Today from 7:45a to 11:00a with no luck! Today's clue obviously refers to a tunnel and there is a tunnel at Snail lake right at Gramsie Rd. Also the clue says you will be on the right route, which I took to mean if the trail forks, take the right fork.

I am still assuming that the Ticket is under a stone. In fact since the clue says look under every stone, I am assuming it is not at a solitary stone. A lot of people must agree because every rock within a 500 yard radius of that tunnel was overturned.

As of 11:30 the Strib wasn't announcing a winner so it may still be out there. Unless I am missing something completely only dumb luck will find it without another clue. I might have to be back at the crack of dawn on Saturday, although I expect the park will be looked over pretty closely this afternoon.

Any other ideas, use the comments.

Saturday Morning UPDATE:
Last clue says the ticket is under a giant tree "cloaked like Chicago" Cloaked means dressed or hidden. Could it mean White Socks? A giant tree with a white base? It is 7:00a Saturday morning I'm debating whether to go or not. It's kinda cold and it's about a 20 minute drive.

March 26, 2008

Twins Golden Ticket - UPDATE 1

The Twins Golden Ticket contest is in full swing again this year and I’d like to use this blog to try to figure out where it is. The Twins Golden Ticket is a treasure hunt contest where the winner gets Twins season tickets, jerseys, a free vacation, etc. Three years ago I was literally in the same park as the ticket but couldn’t find it before I had to go to another engagement. It was found a mere hours after I left. Below are the clues with some discussion, use the comments to speculate..

Sunday’s Clue: The Ticket rests a ways away from our covered home in a place of open space where squirrels and rabbits roam.

Obviously the ticket is in a public park, do squirrels and rabbits mean anything?

Monday’s Clue: When you watch our boys play, hustling you’ll see, however you’ll want to ignore Mr. Greely’s plea.

Greeley said go west young man. Ticket is east of the Dome. Play and hustling are other interesting words here. Could this refer to athletic fields?

Tuesday’s Clue: Strain your neck, look up and stare, for shades of the Twins in the air.

Up in the air, Shades of the twins. This one has me baffled. Where ever the ticket is, you can see shades of Twins in the air

Wednesday’s Clue: You’re getting warmer, it’s time to go on foot. Turn over every stone to find out where it’s put.

Thursday's Clue: Only those who move at a snail's pace, will be the ones to win the race.

O.k. we are getting somewhere. There is a Snail Lake Regional Park in Vadnais Heights. Problem is I can't get there until Friday morning. If you get there remember to look for "shade of the twins" and apparently it's under a rock.

Any other ideas? again use the comments section, I’ll also update any thoughts I have in comments section. I will definitely share winnings with anyone who helps out finding the ticket.

January 9, 2008

Blogging from the Dead


What if you could blog from the dead, what would you say?

Well a soldier who was stationed in Iraq did just that. Major Andrew OImstead blogged from his perch as a soldier in the Iraq War. Most postings were typical: outling the boring and terrifying moments of modern day soldiering in a war zone.

However Andrew also wrote an entry that was to be put on his blog if he was killed in Iraq. Sadly that day came last week.

His post is a mixture of humor, sadness, regret, and no apologies. He takes an interesting perspective. He knows that the only way we are reading his words is because he is dead. Of course there is gallows humor but there is also perspective. It's a provacative and thoughtful post and I encourage you all to read it.

December 4, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

I watched a movie this week that I really enjoy but am afraid to admit that I like it. It’s the classic definition of a guilty pleasure. With that in mind I’ve decided to confess my guilty pleasures so that I can cleanse my soul of any guilt.


American Dreamz. A comedy starring Mandy Moore that is a hilarious spoof on American Idol, our fascination on celebrity, and terrorists. It got horrible reviews, little box office, and most who have watched it have forgotten all about it. I think it’s hilarious.

Camelot. King Arthur legend as told via a big Broadway musical. Cheesy sets, Richard Harris talks-sings his songs, and hokey ending make for a can’t miss sing-along.

Moulin Rouge. A modern day musical where you know the will love interest will die at the end. But those songs, those sets, Nicole Kidman’s luminous skin! I’m a sucker for this movie.


I actually don’t watch a whole lot of TV outside of sports, movies, and the Daily Show. I used to watch Survivor religiously but I’ve even gotten bored by that. I will stop at The World’s Wildest Police Chases whenever it’s on Court TV so I guess that counts too.


Sorry not much here either. I have pretty catholic tastes but no Michael Bolton, ABBA, or Backstreet Boys on the I-Pod. I do have K.C. and the Sunshine Boys and Tom Jones but those are more for the irony factor than anything else.


Man, I guess I really don’t have a lot of guilty pleasures. I have to admit that I read Hints from Heloise in the paper. Plus Mark Trail in the comics.

What are your guilty pleasures?

November 8, 2007

2007 Green-Build Conference

I was in Chicago the first half of this week at the Green-Build Conference sponsored by the US Green Building Council. Just think, 20,000 people to learn how to plan, construct, and manage buildings in a more sustainable manner. Bill Clinton gave the keynote speech and it was a blast to be with that many people to talk about sustainability.

Last week I talked about Global Warming and how the Republican party is becoming increasingly out of step with the world, U.S. population, and big business as well in its attitude toward global warming and sustainability. My short time in Chicago only cemented those thoughts.

If you think that this conference was sponsored by Tom’s of Maine toothpaste, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, and the Grateful Dead, you are horribly mistaken. One thing I noticed at the conference is that Big Business is at the table in regards to sustainability. Many large, Fortune 500 companies were represented at this conference and/or were conference sponsors, including such old line companies as GE and GM. One large energy firm, United Technologies was a huge sponsor and is doing amazing things in terms of sustainability. Ford Motor Company (Ford!) is constructing buildings and factories with Green Roofs. The list goes on.

To those who think that being sustainable or to propose strategies that reduce our carbon footprint is bad for business needs to enter the 21st Century. Big business is at the table, they are implementing solutions, they are open to reducing their carbon footprint. It makes for good business. Many firms are way ahead of Republicans in this issue and I think most Republicans will become seen as increasingly shrill and out of touch if they continue with their current attitude toward global warming.

One short note on Chicago. What a great City. Clean, beautiful, lots to do. I ate at a little Tai restaurant that had no entries over $8.00 one night and at Harry Caray’s an old school steak and chop place where they sell 23 oz steaks for $42.00 the other night. The City is incredibly busy and I’d hate to have to commute everyday into the City, but man talk about energy and fun!

August 30, 2007

Glorious Day!!

What a beautiful day!! Mid 70's, not a cloud in the sky, no humidity. Walking around campus is a treat, lots of wide-eyed presumably freshman with their parents, a soon to be striking AFSCME workers rally complete with an inflatable giant gray rat!! Workers and gardeners putting finishing touches on buildings and grounds. Even the bathrooms are hopping as someone in the stall next to me kept tapping his foot, must have been a lively song he was listening too :o)

What could make such a day even better? How about a groundbreaking ceremony for a new outdoor baseball park for the Twins, including a free concert by Martin Zellar, that's how! Hope to see lots of folks there, I'll be the guy in the Twins hat.

August 2, 2007


Driving over the 35W bridge every morning and working about a mile away really brings yesterday's tragedy to close to home. Today over lunch I went out and tried to get as close as possible to take pictures. Here are some of the best (all taken from the east side of the river with a 10x zoom). Click on each pic to enlarge.

This one was taken about 100 yards from my building

From University Avenue

Cars that didn't make it


The famous school bus

Rescue Operations (that's the bridge "floating" on the water)

July 18, 2007

OMG - Hootie is Sick!!

These were the top news story links on the the front page of the morning of July 18th, 2007:

Plane crash in Brazil kills 200
Top leader in Iraqi al-Qaida arrested
Suspected militants kill 16 Pakistani soldiers
U.N. confirms shutdown of nuclear facilities in North Korea
Illness forces Hootie & the Blowfish to delay tour

What's next? Big Head Todd and the Monsters change drummers?

June 14, 2007

What's Wrong With This Picture?


1. The "Scotty" Baseball Cap
2. The Presidential Seal Socks
3. The Presidential Seal Socks w/Crocs
4. This Man is President of the United States of America
5. All of the Above

April 19, 2007

Could We Have Stopped Cho?


It’s quite obvious that Cho Seung-Hui was a very disturbed individual with plenty of warning signs that he was quite capable of inflicting violence. The question is how does a free society act in a proactive manner to prevent unfathomable violence from such an individual?

I don’t have the answer. I am sure there are thousands of individuals who are as troubled as Cho but will never act on their impulses (except perhaps on themselves). I am not sure our society is able to determine which will ones will act out violently and which ones won’t. Our default position is that individuals will abide by the social contract that you don’t commit murder.

Since we are incapable of imagining that someone could commit such horrifying acts of senseless violence, it is difficult to stop someone beforehand. Would society be better off if we always acted as though people were going to follow through on the “worse case scenario?? If we did we may feel safer in the short term but what else would we lose?

Food for thought as our prayers and thoughts go out to Blacksburg, Virginia.

January 29, 2007

Gump Worsley 1929-2007


Gump. Had the name long before Forest.
Short. Squat.
Goalie without a mask.

Gump. Four Stanley Cups.
Smoked between periods.
Goalie without a mask.

Gump. Childhood Hero.
Minnesota North Star.
Goalie without a mask.


January 20, 2007

Five Things you Never Knew About Me

I am going to try to relaunch this blog. First by posting more often, but more importantly as a vehicle for writing. This might include essays, reviews, poems, and critiques. Since it’s somewhat trendy to describe yourself with five relatively unknown facts, I thought that’s how I’d start off:

j edgar hoover.jpg
1. I once peed on the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in Washington, DC.

2. In 1987 I participated in a march commemorating the 7th anniversary of the “Polish August? at the Solidarity Church in Warsaw, Poland.

3. At the first ever Twins game I went to, Harmon Killebrew hit a homerun that landed about 3 rows behind me in the left field bleachers at the old Met.

4. Even though I read between 15-18 books a year, only one or two will be fiction. Having said that I’ve read The Lord of the Rings 7 times, East of Eden 5 times, and The Magic Mountain 3 times.

5. I’ve been up close (within 10 feet) to two Presidents (Ford, Reagan) and one future President (Clinton).


6. I shared a school bus stop with the girl who became Mrs. Christian Laettner.

What are 5 things about you?

September 10, 2006

Bob Dylan's Dinkytown

Hey did you know that Bob Dylan is from Minnesota and lived in Dinkytown? Actually Dylan’s time in Dinkytown, though short, plays an important role in the myth of “Bob.? Dylan arrived in Dinkytown in the fall of 1959 intending to enroll at the University of Minnesota. After spending about 15 months and never enrolling at the U of MN, he headed off to NYC and the rest is history. However it was in Dinkytown that Dylan traded his electric guitar for an acoustic, was introduced to folk music, and most importantly to Dylan’s early career, heard Woody Guthrie and read Bound for Glory for the first time.

Since I work in Dinkytown, I thought I would take pictures of the some of places made famous by Bob Dylan during his short stay.

As most Bob-philes know, Bob Dylan lived above Gray’s Campus Drug. Here it is today, now a chi-chi pasta bar.


In Chronicles Vol.1 Dylan said that his room ($30.00 a month rent!) over the drug store was a small room overlooking the alley. This picture shows that alley.


This is the house where the so-called Party Tape was made. The Party Tape is one of the first known recordings of Bob Dylan actually performing. You can hear the Party Tape at the Minnesota History Center.


Here, sadly is the site of the 10:00 Scholar – a coffeeshop where Dylan performed. It has been a parking lot for as long as I can remember, at least 30 years. The 10:00 Scholar was a beat coffee shop much like the coffee shops at Harvard Square where Joan Baez was starting to get some notice. Koerner Ray and Glover also got their start at the 10:00 and this is where Dylan met "Spider" John Koerner.


Directly across the 10:00 Scholar was McCosh Bookstore, where Dylan used to hang out. It is still a bookstore but I’m pretty sure it is not the same building. In Chronicles, Dylan describes a guy named Jon Pankake who lived above McCosh. Pankake was a huge influence on Dylan's path toward folk music.

UPDATE! According to an entry in the comments below, the site of McCosh Bookstore was across the street from this site. It was right next to the 10:00 Scholar and is now a parking lot. See the picture above.


Besides living above Gray’s Campus Drug, Dylan also lived in the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity house, although he never pledged. The Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity is now located on 5th Street, which I found confusing because in Chronicles, Dylan describes watching the cars go by on University Avenue from the frat. I found out that Sigma Alpha Mu was on University Avenue in the late 50’s and early 60’s. Here is the Frat (oops Sorority) House currently at the address where Sigma Alpha Mu was located. To my semi-trained eye, it looks like this building was built in the 70’s.


You can’t tell by the photo, but Interstate 35 is 50 yards away from this site. I wouldn’t be surprised if the original fraternity house was demolished when the Interstate went in and this house was built later.

Finally, you don’t find any plaques or celebrations about Dylan’s time in Dinkytown. Minnesotans are not like that, however I found this sign interesting. During Dylan’s time in Dinkytown, he also performed at a little pizza shack in St. Paul called the Purple Onion. There is a coffee house in Dinkytown called the Purple Onion, an obvious homage to Bob’s time here.


So there you go, the spots that Bob Dylan made famous. As you can see, not a lot remains as it was some 45 plus years ago, Minnesotan’s don’t cotton to calling attention to itself or preserving it's past.

If anyone has any other information, more addresses, corrections, etc. please let me know in the comments section.

August 12, 2006

Odds and Ends

Torii Hunter reacts after being asked by Morneau if he "ever hit 30 homers for the Twins." (courtesy of

I'm working on a couple of big posts. In the meantime, here are a number of links that I have found interesting:

Greet Machine has a very funny discussion of worst songs. Check it out here. Hard to find much to disagree with the song choices.

Twins Ballpark 2010 has a great discussion of potential features of the new Twins ballpark.

Neal Pollack has a funny post about his two year old liking Johnny Cash.

The above picture was from Aaron Gleeman very funny.

Finally at Daily Kos there is a great post on how the media is focusing on political blogs and how many visitors they get etc., asking what it means, what is the message of political, left leaning blogs. Here is a great quote of what it really means:

Let's make it even simpler, shall we? The oh-so-mysterious message to elected officials is: People are sick unto death of war, of unresponsive representation, of incompetence, of corruption, of ever-more-intrusive government, of a spiraling deficit, of lobbyist-owned and corporation-sponsored politicians, of a power-hungry president, of six years of attempts to pass stick-up-the-ass moralizing legislation telling us when and how we can die and when and how we can reproduce. Get out of our personal lives, get the hell out of Iraq and do your freaking job - run the government competently, economically and fairly. Period.

July 19, 2006

Welcome To My Blog!!

So how does one start blogging? Do you pretend this is entry #319 and write as if you've always been there or do you step tentatively in the water like it's a woodland lake and you don't know if the water is cold or warm, the bottom sandy or muddy?

Obviously I'm taking the later approach. But I do look forward to discussing the goings on at Lost Forest as Mark Trail embarks on another adventure with Rusty, Andy, Doc, and Cherry. But don't worry it won't be all Mark Trail... Music, Twins Baseball, Politics, and Popular Culture will all be discussed, (including album, book, and movie reviews) plus links to interesting sites. Living in early 21st Century Minneapolis with two middle school-aged children and a lovely wife should also provide fodder for exposition (without writing a "Lileks" every time one of the kids does something cute).

Anyway stop by again as we enter Lost Forest After Dark.

UPDATE: I found it interesting that this came out the first day I started blogging. I promise to refrain from navel gazing.