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.

The Accident

I managed to get into an accident yesterday afternoon. Nothing major, but it will be interesting to see the process from the other side of the table. Thankfully no one was hurt. It was a stupid mistake on my part and sign that I need to get my head on straight. I was thinking about other things and suddenly I was not thinking about those things. No major damage to either car either thankfully. The other driver only had a little damage to the front fender. My car suffered a pretty major dent on the rear driver's door, but no other damage that I can see.

The crazy thing is, even though I work with claims for a living, I forgot to do a few things that I knew I should have done. Nothing major but I still felt kind of dumb. But I guess it just goes to show that when I tell my customers that everyone forgets things after an accident, I'm not full of it. It's amazing how even a little accident leaves you shaken up.

I kind of want to blog about the whole process, but don't know if I should since it's with the company I work with. Maybe I'll write it down and publish it if I ever leave.

Dog Sitting Ninja Dinette

Earlier this year I puppy sat for a week for friends who live in Woodbury. Things went pretty well at that time, though the commute was not my cup of tea. So when Nicky asked me to dog sit Ninja for three weeks I decided to take her up on it. So I'm living at her place since my apartment doesn't allow dogs.

I'm enjoying having a little ball of fluff as a companion, and I may just decide to keep her when Nicky get's back.

P.S. If you want to follow our adventures, I setup a little side blog to keep Nicky up to date. Just to warn you, it's written in 1st person Ninja.

Friday Five 12/11/2009 Edition

Can you believe we are only one full work week away from Christmas? Shocking, I know. Here are five things that caught my eye this week. Enjoy.

  • Some interesting tips for non-writers from a Hugo award winner.
  • From what could be my favorite new blog this year, Letters of Note, the message sent immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor commenced.
  • A sad but uplifting story of a shop dog from south Minneapolis.
  • The Heavy Table posted a delicious looking Gnocchi recipe that I intend to try soon.
  • I love this design that includes a great Oscar Wilde quote.

I hope all of you have a fantastic weekend, we are supposed to get to 25 above on Saturday, which is going to feel amazing.

Breaking News - Twitter Owes the Mafia Money

A trusted source, with knowledge of Twitter recently let it slip that Twitter is in trouble. Due to Sunday's poor outing by the Minnesota Vikings, and some poorly placed bets. Twitter apparently owes money to the Mafia. There have been reports of random people getting into people's feeds, random DMs being sent to cell phones, and people suddenly having themselves stop following others. There is no doubt this information is related. There are unconfirmed reports that they failed to feed the hamsters recently due to lack of funds as they try and save some of their venture capital money to pay off the mob.

So grab the women and children, stock up on groceries, and start working on the underground bunker. Twitter will soon be run by Tony Soprano and friends.

The Other Side of Pickiness

When I wrote last week's post on picky little snot-nosed brats, I kind of knew what I was stirring up, but I was still taken by surprise at the number of comments I received. It was a lot of fun, and getting many views on something I think is an extremely important issue is a lot of fun. Of course that post was written in regards to kids who are unwilling to try new things and only want to stick with what is familiar.

But the truth is there are other forms of pickiness, one of which I am actually becoming a sufferer of. Now, first, I should state that I am one of the least picky people I know. I'm willing to try almost anything once, and usually like it. I have very few foods I just can't enjoy. Some, such as olives, drive me nuts, and I'm forever braving my taste buds in an attempt to grow to like them. So I'm not a picky eater in the traditional sense. But I am picky.

The form of pickiness that I suffer from is food snobbery. This form of pickiness isn't about not trying new things, it's about being unimpressed with food everyone goes nuts over. A perfect example of how much of a snob I'm becoming occurred on Saturday when I was sitting at the Herkimer talking to Emily about food. She had ordered a burger and it came with a chipotle mayo - and since she received a side of sweet potato fries - a side of chipotle ketchup. I believe I said something like "I feel like everyone just puts chipotle flavor in things anymore, it's kind of boring." Now I don't hate chipotle flavor, it's actually pretty good, but it's also kind of boring now. It's been made even worse by the fact that 95% of the time it's not actually chipotle peppers, but instead some distilled flavor that is supposed to taste like roasted peppers, but actually tastes like liquid smoke mixed with a few drops of Tobasco sauce. It's not awful, but it's not good, and the fact that others swoon over it worries me.

Another instance of my food snobbery is my relationship with Leinenkugel's. Now as a small-town kid from Montana, my taste in beer basically evolved with Bud Lite, Miller Lite, and maybe an occasional Sam Adams. It wasn't until I moved to Grand Forks, and turned 21, that I started to delve into the world of Micro-brews (A.K.A. beers with actual taste). Of course at the time Leinies was one of the biggest non-macro brewery with their beers widely available. Honey Weiss of course was huge, every bar had it and it tasted than the usual "domestics". I drank quite a bit of it, but slowly developed a taste for other types of beer and grew to dislike it. It wasn't until last year at New Years, where I purchased a twelve pack of their winter beer, that I realized something. They don't seem to brew beer in the traditional sense, instead I felt like I was drinking a light ale that they brew and then mix with flavoring. Once I jumped to this conclusion, nothing, except for their original, tasted right to me. The sad thing is that I shared this revelation with my friend Jason, and to this day he yells at me whenever Lienies comes up and claims I ruined their beers for him.

My point is this, pickiness comes in many forms. For some it's a fear of trying new things, for others it's the inability to just enjoy food for what it is. For me, it's always knowing there has to be something better than what is sitting in front of me, and once I find it I have a hard time going back.

Of course all that being said, if you feed me chipotle mayo at your next barbecue I'm not going to call you out and refuse to eat it. I may avoid the Velveeta cheese dip if you have other alternatives, but I'm not going to be rude about it.

Help Me Win

Ok, so I don't think I deserve to win the 2009 PowerPoint Karoake challenge, but it would be pretty cool to place. So I'm looking for help. Go here http://powerpointkaraoke2009.com/bracket and vote for me. If you want to see what you are voting for, and laugh with me, go here http://powerpointkaraoke2009.com/profile/sloped.

Thanks, and have a great afternoon.

Friday Five 12/4/2009 Edition

Winter has finally arrived, and I'm going back almost to the beginnings of Friday Five. The top result of five Flickr searches.

We also have a bonus photo which I saw in one of the searches that intrigued me.

Have a great weekend everyone. Don't let the cold weather get you down, there is always something going on that will keep your spirits up.

My Coke Problem

No, not that coke, the Coke that comes in the red can and at one point came infused with that other coke.

My problem is that I can't stop drinking it at work. I can go a whole weekend without even thinking about drinking one, I can take a vacation or a long weekend and don't have a problem, but the second I sit down at my desk on a weekday afternoon I start craving a Coke.

Now I understand the psychology of addiction, it's about the only thing I remember from my college phsyc class. So I know how to explain my problem... I always used to drink a Coke on weekday afternoons back when I drank soda regularly, and it was the last place I would drink one on a regular basis. Add in the fact it costs a total of $.50 and I have a really hard time fighting the craving.

So I'm looking for advice. How do I cut this last stronghold of caffeinated sugar water from my diet? I've tried always having water on hand, I'm not a big tea drinker during the day, and I can't stand those little Crystal Light flavor packets. I'm at a loss and would love advice.

On Picky Kids

I've come to the realization that I hate the term picky, as in "my kid is picky, and would never eat that." I have no idea why I suddenly made this decision, I was reading a post on a blog that was an ask the readers type feature. The title indicated it was looking for menu ideas for meat eaters, vegetarians, and picky kids.

Something just set me off, maybe it was the conversation I had with Erica on Monday about kids who never really gain independence from their parents. That may have carried over to today when I stumbled on the blog post. Of course I then brought this to her attention on gChat where we started a long discussion on eating. (Something that is turning into an everyday occurrence with me lately)

Basically I've decided that parents who brand their kids as picky are making excuses. Not for their kids, the kids don't know any better, but for themselves. Instead of putting the effort into hunting down something that would broaden their child's tastes and food preferences they just give up and make them pb&j or whatever it is that they know their kid will eat without a struggle. They use the term picky as a way to rationalize the lack of effort they are putting into the food.

Side Note: I am not a parent, I don't have any nieces or nephews, and I have hardly any friends with kids older than 1-2. I don't have to deal with kids every day and I can imagine it's a struggle many days. But I'm passionate about food and think that parents should put as much time into helping their kids develop a lifelong healthy eating habit as they do making sure they get good grades and taking them to 2000 extracurricular activities.

Why this drives me as crazy as it does is because our country's ability to interact with food on any normal level is horribly lacking. I've gotten to the point where I get frustrated when I see a toddler with a bag of cheetos. Parents of picky kids should strive to find something out of the ordinary that their kid will try. Maybe more varieties of fruit, cooking meat in a different way that changes the texture, or adding different cheeses to the grilled cheese sandwich. It's not about forcing your kid to eat what you cook but about slowly introducing them to the wide world of flavor that is out there.

Our children are inheriting a country/planet that is in desperate need of a new food culture. It's going to force a change in eating habits. And parents that don't make the effort to introduce their kids to good foods are going to create another generation where support groups like this need to exist. Pickiness is an eating disorder, and it is a horrible way to live, but I believe it stems from parents making excuses, and not wanting to put the effort into opening up their kids minds to new foods. The ability to eat new foods, especially local sustainable ones that might not be the norm today, is going to be very important in the future.

So the next time you are around someone who uses the word "picky kid" try and figure out a way to help tell parents that if they keep making excuses, their kids might one day be forced to follow one of these suggestions.

Thanksgiving Five 11/26/09 Edition

I'm not posting tomorrow, so here are five things I'm thankful for.

  • Old friends, I don't see many of them enough, but when we do get together it's like we have been apart for a couple days, not the months that is sometimes is.
  • New friends, many of whom I met this year, I can't say enough about how much fun I have with them..
  • Minneapolis, this city has stolen my heart. I love the skyline, the parks, the people, the music, the....
  • Family, another group of people I don't see enough, but I love you all and wish I didn't live so damn far away.
  • This never ending fall. Actually, it looks like it has ended, but wow, this was a November to be thankful for.

Finally, I'm thankful for everyone who reads my scattered thoughts. I don't know why you do such a thing, but it makes every day a little brighter knowing you do.

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving everyone.