This site functions as an archive of Conner's Blog, which was a blog from 2006-2014 located at http://connermccall.com. Images and links are likely to be broken.

Our Shadow

I got the news today I've been dreading for a while. My parents had to put our dog Shadow to sleep. It didn't come as a surprise, she was something like 16-17 years old, and has had a lot of health problems the last few years.*

I'm kind of heartbroken right now. Anyone who knows me well knows I love animals as much as I love people. But she had a great life for a dog. She spent most of her years on a farm, roaming around, getting dirty, finding smells, and doing all the things dogs love to do.

Shadow wasn't exactly the most playful of dogs though, she never played fetch, never wanted to play tug-o-war, or any other games dogs normally love. Instead she just wanted to be with people. She was always this way, whenever she had a chance she's cuddle up right next to you, leaning all her weight against your leg to let you know she was there. She loved riding in our old pickup, not so much for the ride, but because she knew that when you where in the truck you couldn't get away from her, she'd slowly creep over to the driver's side and press herself against you.

Of course she had passions, nothing made her happier than chasing cattle. She wasn't trained for this but usually did a pretty solid job of doing what you wanted and not getting in the way. When she really got into it she'd actually run behind a cow and grab it's tail and swing along behind it. It probably wasn't the best thing for keeping the herd calm but she had a lot of fun doing it.

She was kicked by cows, run over by all four wheels of a 4-wheeler once, was hit by a van and broke her shoulder, and got in a few fights with barn cats. She always survived though, and was up running around following us on whatever chores we had.

During the fall when harvest was going on she loved riding in the grain trucks and then trying to catch the mice that were scared up by all the machinery in the fields. She'd try to catch rabbits as well, but I'm pretty sure she never caught one. She never went too far away though, I don't think she ever made us wonder if she ran away.

We got her because someone rescued her from a ditch where she had been left. She was always a calm dog when she was around people, even those she didn't know well. I don't think she ever really disliked anyone.

Until my parents moved to a town and she was forced to socialize, she was never really a fan of other dogs. I still remember the winter we had a black lab wander onto the farm. He was obviously pretty young, probably 2 years old at the most, so of course he had a ton of energy. She didn't hate him, but she just barely tolerated him. She was quite happy when we finally found his owners and sent him on his way.

She wasn't allowed on the furniture, but she figured out at some point that the couch was really comfortable. She'd wait until everyone was in bed before she got up on it, who knows how long she did this before she no longer woke up the second my dad got out of bed and he found her laying on the couch.

As she got older she learned more and more ways to get attention. She could have the saddest face in the world and of she would paw at you if you weren't paying attention to her. Thankfully she was pretty good about not doing this to strangers. To her family though, she always wanted to make sure she wasn't forgotten.

Going home will never be the same without her smiling face and wagging tail. She was always the sixth part of our family and a constant that I will always remember.

* I wrote this a few weeks ago when my parents first thought they were going to have to say goodbye. I'm glad it's remained in my drafts since then as it gave them more time with her. She is a dog I'll never replace in my heart no matter how many pets I have in my life.

** This week has been incredibly draining, the world also lost an amazing woman and one of my best friend's mother's to cancer this week. I'm probably going to be kind of quiet around the webs for a few days.

Ummm, Pizza, Yeah That Will Work

So to sate your hunger for more Conner generated content, here's a couple of photos of a pizza I made yesterday.

Spinach, onions, garlic, rainbow chard, mushrooms, homemade ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. It was pretty good, though the chard didn't cook as well as I thought it would. Also, I discovered The Wedge carries their own pizza sauce, which is better than the canned stuff I had been buying, so that was a win.

I promise I'll start writing again someday soon, I'm just really busy at work and bouncing around outside of work like a ball of flubber

Where, What, When 6:10

After a week off, I'm posting this late in the day. Still, at least it is going up, so that's a win.

This one might be very easy for some of you. I kind of chose it because I like the photo, not because it's difficult.

Happy guessing all.

What Sloped Means

In the last month or so I've been asked on several occasions what my Twitter name means. So I thought I would take the time to share this incredible story with my readers.

Ok, I'm lying it's not interesting or incredible but since people want to know I'm going to tell them. Sloped came from a blog that I started in college and killed almost immediatly called slopedsideways. I came up with the name because I realized fairly early on in my life that my brain doesn't work like the rest of the world's. Not that this makes me unique, but at the time I thought it did.

So in an attempt to describe this phenomenon I settled on the phrase slopedsideways, basically this meant that my thought processes don't go in a straight line but instead slant a touch to the right or left depending on the time of day.

When I joined Twitter I was looking for a short yet unique name for myself. I had recently been thinking about the blogs I had started throughout the years. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to resurrect the name and it's unique enough that I generally can use it anywhere I go.

So that's the story behind the name, and this is also the perfect opportunity for me to announce one of my new projects. I'm starting another blog at http://sloped.me. It's going to be a place for me to get on my soap box about social media, workplace technology, and other things that don't really fit with that I'm doing here. So take a look, subscribe if you want, and let me know what you think.

Sweatpants Crawl

A month or so ago, I was trying to do laundry using my apartment's facilities. I had washed the majority of my pants and when I went to put them in the dryer, I found that the dryer's coin slot wasn't working. So I was sitting at home with eight pairs of wet pants, no clean pants, and a decision to make.

  1. I could go to the laundromat and dry my pants.
  2. I could sit at home bitching about my situation on Twitter.
  3. I could sit at home angry about my situation, drinking and watching Netflix movies.
  4. I could put on the only clean pants I had, which were sweatpants, and head down to the local watering hole.

I ended up choosing option 4, and it wasn't too long before the #sweatpantscrawl hashtag was born. I ended up just watching a hockey game and going home, but it there was some interest from the twittersphere to join me on my crawl. In fact @kshoop has been trying to get me to organize a crawl for a while so I'm finally doing it.

The crawl will be taking place on Saturday March 6th. I've decide to hold it in Northeast. I considered heading downtown or to uptown, thinking it would be fun to stop in a few of the bars there with a collection of sweatpants clad people, but decided that the atmosphere in NE would be more fun for this outing. I haven't quite nailed down a starting location, but am working on that. So mark your calendars and sign up here(twitvite) or here(facebook). Can't wait to see you all.

It's Monday and I'm Still Here

First, I should apologize for leaving you all hanging with such a strange and confusing last post. For the record, I'm doing fine, still living life, cooking, and spending more time away from home then at home.

Still, I think I needed last week off, it was good to avoid any self imposed pressure to write. That post gave me the ability to just shrug off any pangs of guilt that creeped into my conscious thinking about all of you readers sitting at your computer hitting refresh every minute or so hoping I would write something new. Don't lie to me, I know you did this all week.

But after a lot of great conversations with some really awesome friends, hanging out with some of my best friends from college who I don't see nearly enough, I think I finally at least have a general goal for the next few months in place. As I stated before, I'm working on several projects, all website, that I hope to have launched in the next two months or so. I'm not ready to publicly announce what they are, but if you see me in person and want to know, I'll give you the inside scoop. I'm really excited about two of them and the third is something I've wanted to do for a while. I'm not 100% certain I can make it work, but I'm going to try.

I have a few other things I'm working on and also need to do as well, some of which I can post here; others that I have to keep close to the chest for now. Still, I can give you a short list of a few things I'm working on, and am planning on doing in the coming weeks.

  • Make ricotta and mozzarella cheese - I recently began getting whole milk from a local farm, and since I don't drink much milk, I need to work on using up a half-gallon of milk a week. My goal is to try making some different cheeses and see if it's something I can do weekly.
  • The gym - I've been awful the last two weeks, and it's time to remedy that. I enjoy food way too much to not be at the gym three days a week.
  • Cook, cook, cook - I've been slacking in the kitchen as well and I need to start cooking again.
  • Talk to some freelancers - This may be giving somethings away, but I really need to sit down with some people who do freelance work and figure out how one goes about getting started. I have some ideas of what I want to do, I just don't know what I need to do to do them.

Well that's a short list, some of which are always on my list, others are new. I like putting things up on my blog because I always feel guilty when I can't write about how I succeeded. So now I need to get to work on accomplishing some of these things.

Have a great Monday everyone, time to get this week off to a great start.

Update

I'm probably going to be neglecting this site for the foreseeable future. I've had a lot of stuff happen the last few weeks and need to sit back and take stock and get some things figured out. I'll still be around of course. I'm sure I'll occasionally have inspiration strike and publish something. I intend to keep Wednesday Where?s going, but other than that I don't have much in the pipeline for this site.

That being said, I do have a new project that hopefully will be launching by the middle of March, a few of you know about it but I'll leave it a mystery for the rest of you. I have a couple other small sites I'm working on, and I finally have the motivation to get things moving again. Sometimes life needs to kick you before you get going I guess.

So basically I'm just asking you to not delete my site from your reader, bookmarks, or however else you read this site. I'm sure I'll be back before the snow melts. Of course you can always follow me on Twitter or Flickr and keep up with me that way.

Finally, on a much sadder note, the mother of one of my best friends is losing her battle with cancer. If you have ever wanted to buy me a beer, instead consider donating something to her benefit fund. Currently there isn't a way to donate online, but you can do so at any TCF bank. There is also a benefit being hosted for her on Friday in Hugo. Additional information can be found at http://pamkreyerbenefit.org/

Where, What, When 5:10

It's time for another edition. This one might be really easy, I'm not quite sure. It's a pretty unique building, so if you've seen it you probably know it. But we'll see. It's always fun to see what my readers are familiar with.

Happy guessing, and enjoy your hump day!

Formspring Questions 2/9/2010

What was the dumbest prank you did as a kid?

I'll admit, I wasn't much of a prankster, and I'm still not. I'd say the dumbest thing I did was move a school mates car to another part of town without telling them where. Sadly this was a fairly common occurrence in my hometown, aided by the fact that everyone left their keys in their car.

How's the dating front going?

Oh the dating front, what joy. Let's just say I've been on a few dates in the last month or so, but nothing has come from them. As of the writing of this post, I currently have no dates lined up, but that could all change in the next 25 minutes.

Seriously though, if you know of any cute single girls who would enjoy hanging out with a crazy person from the Internet, I'm still available.

I totally want to ask you more questions, but can't think of anything specific right now! Sooo... what kind of questions do you like answering? by briannepitt

This is a tough one, I don't really have any specific questions I like answering. I also don't have much I dislike, though there are a few questions I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to answer sitting in my inbox. Food related questions are always good. Questions about my past could be interesting, though I can't guarantee I'll answer them or even be able to answer them.

The nice thing about Formspring is that you can pepper me with questions and I can choose the ones I think I can answer in an interesting way. So hit me up with a bunch, the worst that will happen is it never gets answered.

P.S. I will try to answer anything you send me, even if it takes awhile for me to come up with a response.

Ask me anything

Friday Five 2/5/2010 Edition

It's Friday today, which is good because I woke up yesterday thinking it was Friday. That was disappointing. I had a hard time deciding what to post today, a lot of stuff in the reader, but here goes, the standard wacky and disconnected collection of posts from the last week or so.

So that's that, have a wonderful weekend, avoid the roads whenever possible, and if you see me out and about yell my name loudly so I can buy you a beer.