Saturday, June 26, 2010

David Byrne likes Minneapolis

David Byrne was in town last week. He wrote up a nice little blog entry on his time both here and in Chicago, which can be found here. He doesn't say much that a St. Paul/Minneapolis resident wouldn't already know, but it does make the cities sound pretty good.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


In an effort to spark some good old fashioned blog-style one upmanship (remember blogs? Quaint!), I have to post some pictures of what I dragged home on Tuesday. Snak Shak hauled a pizza home the other night "using only a woman's scarf, an inner tube and a carabiner from my key chain."

Tuesday night, I was riding home along Minnehaha Ave and saw an old hose reel. I'd been on the lookout for one, inspired by my father-in-law. He uses a hose reel to store his extension cords. So I stopped off and, hearing music from the backyard, walked around to the back and asked the owners if they were looking to get rid of this (it was by the garbage). After getting permission, I lashed it to my bike box using the one bungee cord I happened to have. I made it the remaining 6 miles or so without incident.

And yes, I do have two large vehicles with wood siding. Envy me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rubber duckie, you're the one

"It's amazing what a duck can teach you."
-Curt Ebbesmeyer, oceanographer

I was gonna write about Bike to Work day, which was today, but got sidetracked. Maybe later. So what sidetracked me? I saw a neat little article about rubber duckies. I'm going to summarize, but there's more details here. Back in January 1992 a container ship crossing the Pacific Ocean somehow dumped a huge container full of rubber duckies (and froggies, and turtles, and beavers). Somewhere in the neighborhood of 29,000 of the little buggers. They floated around the northern Pacific for 10 months, caught in a big vortex, and finally started washing ashore in Alaska in late 1992.

Fast forward three years, and the ducks are showing up all over the Pacific. They have been spotted in Japan, Hawaii and the west coast of North America. Over the next five years, between 1995 and 2000 the ducks cross the Arctic and start reaching the North Atlantic. By 2007, the first British Invasion by a duck is reported. The details of this one are well documented, as in 2003 the company that manufactured the ducks began offering a reward of a $100 savings bond for each duck found and reported. Eric Carle (any parent will recognize this name) even wrote a book about it, called 10 Little Rubber Ducks.

It was a neat story, how oceanographers and NOAA and other folks used the duck spill to learn about the earth's oceans and show how all the oceans are truly interconnected in a real and tangible way. But then I read that the estimates of the Deepwater Horizon spill may be only half of what they originally thought. The flow rate may be as high 40,000 barrels (1.68 million gallons/6.36 million liters) per day. Significantly more than 29,000 ducks.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Bike to Work week - mostly blown

So far Bike to Work week for me has been a complete Fail. Monday, I worked from home unexpectedly as the daughters had candy launcher projects that needed to be taken to school. They were too big to fit in the huge wagon, and The Wife didn't want to drive them to school with a catapult strapped to the roof of the wagon. I didn't mind so much. Tuesday, it was raining. Today was my Dad's retirement party, and I knew I wouldn't have time to get cleaned up and changed so I opted to drive.

But there's still tomorrow. I'm leading a convoy yet again from Minnehaha to the Government Plaza festival. Though when I check the Bike/Walk to Work site, I don't see my route listed for some reason. Which means it will be another low turnout year. But I don't mind.

I was excited to see that there is a new bike sharing kiosk that was installed this weekend near my building. Actually, on the sidewalk that abuts my building. They couldn't make things more convenient for me if they tried. Hopefully the bike program will take off.

For those who want to know, the details of tomorrow's ride are:

Gathering at Sea Salt, Minnehaha Park Pavilion at 6:30am

Departing at 6:45am
Arriving at Government Center 7:30am

Route: Minnehaha Ave to Greenway. Greenway to Park Ave. Park to Gov Center

I'll be wearing my bright orange shirt. Give a wave or a hello if you see me tomorrow. Cheers!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Meet the new car, same as the old car

Those of you who know me from real life have probably seen or heard about my "bitchin' wagon." Over the weekend, I decided to get a bit nutty and upgrade.

It's the Collector's Edition. It's OK to be jealous.

Those of you who are paying close attention will see the opportunity here. While the wife encouraged me to get this wagon, she doesn't want two of these monstrosities hanging around the place. And I somehow doubt I could get them both in the garage at the same time. So the other one is available. Inquire within. ;-)