Happy Halloween!

Well, here we go.  All dressed up for Halloween parties, and all I really want to do is lay around the house and read Sourcery, the fifth Discworld book.  What’s up with that, Lack Of Ambition?  Well, at least Sourcery could be tied into the whole creepy Halloween deal.

I’m a hulu girl for Halloween this year.  It’s actually my wedding dress; we had a Hawaiian-themed wedding in our backyard.  We ordered about $300 dollars worth of luau-themed decorations from Oriental Trading Company (inflatable palm trees, dude!) and all the guests wore Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts, etc.  It was a blast.

So yeah, basically I went to my closet and pulled out my dress and thought, “Meh…that’ll work.”

<—That’s the Hubby and me at a party.  It’s an odd crop to give the people around us some privacy.

I’m just tired from running all around town today.  First I went to the Minnesota Rally to Restore Sanity event that was held in the Rotunda of the Saint Paul capitol building today.  It was pretty great, and there were some fun signs.  We watched some of the big DC Rally on a screen, and listened to some speakers, including Tom Horner, the independent candidate for governor here in MN.  Watch a little clip from one of the local news stations about the rally.

After that I went directly to the Central Library in Minneapolis to attend a talk on scams and frauds hosted by the Minneapolis Skeptics.  It was a little late, but I was in time to hear a volunteer “Fraud Fighter” for AARP and a representative from the Better Business bureau give us the skinny on some of the newest frauds going around right now.

So, the Hubby is waiting patiently for me to finish typing so we can get going.  Go! Go! Go! Go!  Oooo….maybe some coffee.

‘Sup, Friday night?

It’s Halloween weekend!

I am entirely too jealous of several friends who are on the way to tomorrow’s Rally for Sanity in DC.  I can’t wait to hear all about it, and to see the awesome video footage and photographs that will come out of the event.

I am also very much yearning to go to The Gathering of American Gods at the House on the Rock, but that is this weekend, so that is not happening.

In other news, Greg Laden’s Blog made me happy tonight.  Well, not the video of Michelle Bachmann expounding on science, but everything else was pretty interesting.  And this video made my night:

 

 

 

 

CUP #4 Winner

Yes, of course, it’s TOILET PAPER!

I’m really going to have to start making these things more difficult!

In addition to 100 points, I also found this video for JEREMY, the VERY eager winner of this CUP Contest #4 (It’s as close as I could get to the butter churn/running man.  You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to find a decent version of someone doing the butter churn and/or the running man on youtube!)

Additional Points:

Michelle, Vicki, Erin B., and Tim Cooley all get 25 points for participating and providing the right answer.

Jana gets 50 points for a kick-ass, entertaining answer.  However, I also deduct 15 points because ultimately, it’s wrong.  So that’s a total 35 points to Jana.

The CUP Winners page has been updated with the new tallies.

And BIG NEWS: I have decided what the prize will be for the final winner!  I mean, the final winner for the current round of this contest.  I’m still working out the details for how I’m going to end this round of competition, but I’ll make something up one of these days.  For now, keep playing and don’t let Jeremy get too far ahead in points!

So, the prize…

The prize is going to be that the winner gets to choose any topic that they’d like to see me do a blog about.  It can be a serious or humorous topic, it can be requested to be audio, video or written, it can be on something I know nothing about, or something that I’ve written about in the past.  I will reserve the right to veto because I’m not going to do a post on something that could harm me or embarrass me in a bad way, but other than that, all is fair game.

Let me know if you guys have any ideas for something else you’d like to see in the way of prizes.  And keep your eyes open for the next CUP contest!

Not for the faint of tastebuds

Yeah, this had “I have a bad feeling about this” written ALL over it.

Me: Hey, what should I make for dinner tonight?  Hmmm…I love tacos, and I love crab meat – hey, I should combine the two!

Me to Myself: Ummm…are you sure you want to do that?  You might ruin perfectly good crab meat, or perfectly good taco seasoning mix.

Me to Me to Myself: But, I like fish tacos.  And I like shrimp tacos.  So crab tacos would probably be tasty.

Me to Myself: You’ve only eaten seafood tacos made by professionals.  In restaurants.  Have you ever attempted to make any sort of seafood taco with canned seafood meat?

Me to Me to Myself: No, but I have eaten canned crabmeat and it’s pretty tasty.  And how hard can it be to make seafood tacos?  It’s the same thing as beef or chicken tacos, except with seafood. 

Me to Myself: Have you ever used a pre-made taco mix on any seafood before?

Me to Me to Myself: Well, there was that one time with the shrimp…

Me to Myself: You were drunk, you don’t even remember what that tasted like.

Me to Me to Myself: True…

Me to Myself: Soooo?

Me to Me to Myself: You know what?  I’m going to try it anyway.

Some time later…add a little lettuce, tomato, a dab of sour cream.

Me:  Here we go!  Canned crab meat tacos! [eating commences – nom, nom, nom – a slowing of chewing, a hard swallow and a pause] Ugh… this is horrible!

Me to Myself: *sighs* You never trust me.

Me:  I hate you.  [Mumbled grumbling.  Chew.  Swallow.  Repeat.]

Presidential Rally at U of MN

Here’s the write up of my experiences at President Obama’s rally on the University of MN campus this past Saturday.

The Line

Wow, The Line. 

The Hubby and I left the house at 11:15am.  President Obama was rumored to be speaking at about 3pm, and local dignitaries and politicians would start speaking about 1pm.  We figured we’d get in line around noon and have a couple of hours to get seated.  As we were leaving the apartment, we heard an MPR correspondant says that thousands of people had already lined up to hear President Obama speak.  I really had no idea what thousands of people might look like, but we had heard that the Fieldhouse could hold 7,000 people so we decided to try our luck in line.  It turns out that thousands (lower-case “t”) in a stadium is nothing, but when you make all of those people stand in a single/double-file line Thousands (big freaking capital “T”) is a hell of a lot of people.

We rode our bikes from our home in LynLake to the rally on the U of MN’s East Bank.  The Fieldhouse is at 18th St. and University Ave.  We rode up University and parked our bikes when we came to road blocks at 16th Street.  We started to walk east up University toward the Fieldhouse, but were redirected by security.  Crowd control was pretty lousy from where we started – there were no signs or rally volunteers to direct us to the end of the line.  We had no idea where we were going, and so we decided to follow the small group ahead of us who were wearing U of MN sweatshirts and jackets and saying words like Obama, line, and Washington Avenue.

Below is a map of the East Bank campus.  The red line is the path we walked from our bikes to the end of the line.  The yellow circles are the Fieldhouse where President Obama spoke and the overflow seating in the Sports Pavillion where the Hubby and I ended up – more on that later.  The blue line…that was The Line.

These are some pictures from The Line.

This was our first view of The Line as we came around the west side of Northrup Auditorium.   This is the NW corner of the Mall.

After walking down the Mall and around Kolthoff Hall, we finally found the end of The Line outside of the Wiseman art center.  We were actually on the Washington Avenue footbridge for a while.

Ah, chalk art advertising!  I’d forgotten all about this college campus mode of communication.

This was when we turned onto Church Street.  I believe that’s Lind Hall on the right.

Trekking between Lind Hall and the Engineering buildings.  Doesn’t that statue look like it’s saying “Yes We Can!  Only a few more feet!”

After walking a few blocks along Washington Avenue we took a left at Walnut Street and filed up past the McNamara Alumni Center and back down the Aquatic Center. 

The Umbrella Tree – Rally volunteers were announcing that no umbrellas would be allowed inside the Fieldhouse, so this tree was being decorated with pretty ornaments. 

Next we took a jaunt up Scholar’s Walk.  It was here that we started hearing rumors that the Fieldhouse had filled to capacity and that the Fire Marshall was rerouting us to overflow viewing.  A good number of people left the line, but I’d guess about 500 people or so stayed and filed into the Sports Pavillion to see President Obama speak on a big screen.  By this time it was almost 3pm so we had missed all of Mark Dayton’s speech as well as Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar. 

The big screens were actually two screens back-to-back so that each side of the bleachers could be utilized for seating.  The absolute worst infomercials were playing while we waited for President Obama’s speech to begin!

*sigh* This was as close to our President as we got.  But hey – the seating was comfy and we had an excellent view of the screen.

The Demonstrators

One of the things that I really like about big political events like this are the demonstrators.  I like seeing people get out and get excited about their views, projects and groups.  So I was a little bummed out that we saw less than ten groups demonstrating.  I mean – captive audience, people!  I only saw two “anti” signs – one against the current administration and one against democrats.  I saw two anti-war groups, a small contingent from the Minneapolis Urban League advertising an upcoming event, one guy with a sign about ending violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt (?), and there was one Green party group handing out fliers.  The most organized group was from the MN Committee to Stop FBI Repression.  They had people along the entire route handing out fliers  to bring attention to the September FBI raids on seven Chicago and Minneapolis homes of anti-war protesters.

The lady with the yellow sign is not so happy with the way things are going in our country. 

Yay! This is the kind of thing I was hoping to see.  The Radical Roosters had a small group of people dancing and chanting up and down the Mall.

“Democrats Flush Away Prosperity”  Is that why my toilet sometimes gets clogged?

A protester against persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt.

One of the many anti-FBI repression protesters.

The Talk

According to the MNDaily, approximately 11,000 people attended the President’s speech, which lasted about 30 minutes. 

The energy in the Sports Pavillion wasn’t very high.  One lady came in before the speech and gave a half-hearted try at riling up the crowd.  She yelled “Is everyone fired up…”  and a few people chimed in “And ready to go!”  She yelled a few more times and each time a few more people joined in, but it didn’t really get going.  Everyone was pretty quiet and probably subdued from standing in line for 2+ hours and then finding out that we weren’t going to see the President in person. 

I thought that President Obama’s talk was pretty standard fare.  He implored the audience to get out and vote, and to support Mark Dayton in the upcoming November 2nd elections.  He highlighted the government’s successes of health care reform, the federal stimulus, bringing troops home from Iraq and credit card reform, and reminded people that he’s got ambitious plans for improving the deficit and unemployment in his next two years in office.  He attempted to drum up enthusiasm and urged the audience not to forget all of the hard work we did in 2008, and to not lose the enthusiasm that has brought us to where we are today.

A few remarks did get audience-wide applause, but ours usually ended well before the live audience had wrapped it up next door.  For a while we thought we might have a visit from one of the bigwigs because bomb-sniffing dogs were led around the aisles and people sitting by one of the far doors were being individually scanned with metal detector wands.  But alas, as soon as the President’s speech was over people shot up and walked for the doors.  

All in all, it was a good experience.  It was definitely exciting to be surrounded by so many pro-Obama enthusiasts, and it was neat to know that President Obama was visiting my city.  The pain of The Line was tempered by the group think that We Were All In This Together.  I wish that the speech hadn’t been quite so standard; I had watched video from his other stops in Las Vegas and California and a lot of the same material was reused, but what can you do?  The wins are the wins, the challenges are the challenges, we are where we are right now. 

I’d do it again.  But I’d definitely queue up earlier!

Being Born Again is too difficult

I’m sitting here going through my camera phone photos when I find this gem from Friday night.  I think this post is located on the SW corner of Lyndale and Lake.

Does anyone know the significance of the 2/28/12 date?  I tried Mark 2:28, but I don’t think “Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” is relevant.  And everyone knows that the end of the world isn’t until 12/21/2012.

 

 

 

Off to see President Obama!

I’m so excited!  I’ve never been to a political rally of this magnitude!

The Hubby and I are leaving here in about 10 minutes (as soon as he can rip me from the computer) to go down to the University of Minneapolis East Bank.  We’re riding our bicycles down to the campus because parking and traffic are going to be atrocious.  We’re going to mill around the Field House where President Obama is scheduled to speak at about 3pm, hopefully snap some pictures of the crowds.  Doors open at 12:30pm  Mark Dayton will also be speaking.

 

Cup #3 Winner

And the CUP #3 Winner is JEN!

Jen wins 100 internet points for being the first one to guess “Bottom of an iPhone”.

It’s actually my iPod Touch, but since the two are identical I was willing to accept either.

Other points:

I award Michelle 25 points for correctly guessing  “Bottom of an iPod touch“.

Jeremy LOSES 5 points for impugning my honor with his comment: the image looks color altered and stretched. Even at an angle, the circular home button shouldn’t be oblong.  It’s creative cropping, lighting and camera angle, bee-yotch!  Okay, maybe the photo is a little fuzzy, but that’s just because my camera was being stupid and I had had too much coffee that morning.

But I am a kind and gentle game runner, so I also AWARD Jeremy 15 points for thinking outside of the box and realizing that human beings suck and that I might have done something sneaky like photoshopping unrealistic effects into the photo.  And I’ll throw in 5 points for the right answer and 5 points for being a returning player.  So that’s….20 net points.

I award Vicki 5 points for being a returning player and 5 points for a creative answer, and 5 points for pointing out the shadowing, but she gets no points for the wrong answer.  So I award Vicki a net gain of 15 points.

Thanks for playing, everyone, and keep your eyes open for the next CUP Contest!

 

 

Cup Contest #3

Welcome to the Close Up Photo Contest, #3!

Correct answer is worth 100 internet points.  Hogwarts/Calvinball points system is in effect.  Last time, everyone who answered (before *and* after the winner posted his answer!) won 25 points.  I’m not saying that’s going to happen again; I’m just reminding people that participation and awesome answers may be worth additional points.  Again, entries will be accepted from Facebook or comments to this post.

The list of winners can be found on the CUP Winners page, located in the right side bar of the blog.

Here is your CUP!  What is it?