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

MN Food List

A quick and dirty list of some places I would like to try. Most are located in Minneapolis/St. Paul. I'd love any recommendations you might have.

  • Ginger Hop
  • Butcher Block
  • Cafe Maude
  • Crave
  • Craftsman
  • Merlin's rest
  • Lake Harriet Pizza
  • The Nook
  • Barrio Truck
  • Glockenspiel
  • Heidi's
  • Blackbird Cafe

I'd love your suggestions, leave them in the comments and I'll add them eventually.

Social Media and Real Life Interactions

It is no secret that I love social media and the Internet. Twitter and this blog are my playgrounds, with a few dashes to Facebook added for seasoning. One thing that amazes me is the fact that people still think social media is going to ruin interpersonal communication in the real world. This makes me cringe every time because the exact opposite has happened to me.

My love of social media really began during the political conventions leading up to the November 4, 2008 elections. I didn't have any friends at the time that would watch the speeches with me, so I logged onto Twitter and was suddenly bombarded by hundreds of people talking about what was happening. The best part was that not only was I interacting with others watching from afar, but also getting first hand accounts from convention goers. At the time, I had no idea how much of an impact Twitter would have on me, I just was having fun bashing politicians and discussing the issues with real people scattered all over the globe.

I believe it was sometime in January or February when Art and I had a conversation on Twitter and made a decision to meet at the Herkimer for happy hour. Art was the first person I met who I had known exclusively through Twitter before meeting in real life. Though he was not the first person I had met through the Internet, (I had joined a few groups previously) he was the first person I met through an online social network. Since then we have remained good friends.

Of course Art was just the beginning, in the last year or so, I've met a lot of people because of Twitter. Some I met because they knew someone I met on Twitter, others I met only because they were on Twitter. In fact, at last count, my In Real Life list has 89 members. Some of these have only been meetings in passing, but many of them have involved fun times, great conversations, and a few have become close friends. Add at least a dozen people I've met who aren't actually on Twitter and my social circle has been expanded by over 100 people just because of a little box saying "What are you doing?"

What I'm trying to say is, if anyone says our Internet connected networks are going to ruin our personal lives, destroy our ability to communicate, or stop us from meeting new people, well, they are crazy. Unless you are already an introvert and do not enjoy meeting new people, interacting online is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social media.

Friday Five 11/20/09 Edition

Today's five includes five local items you should read. For those of you who don't know, local means Minnesota. They are all great pieces that came through my reader this week.

  • Art tells the Internet to stop censoring itself. I look back on my use of $%#ing swear words with shame.
  • Sorni posts a map of the US explaining where certain people come from.
  • Amber posts what could be the funniest date recap I've read in recent history.
  • Kaeti contemplates selling her car, and makes a pretty convincing argument that she could survive.
  • Doniree posts a excellent post on risk taking and then announces that she is taking a big risk. (go wish her luck)

Happy Friday everyone, remember the workday isn't far from being over. Enjoy your weekend and I'll see you back here next week. (or later today, you never know)

If I Owned a Bar

If I owned a bar, it would be a brewpub. I would hire a brew master who enjoyed the heck out of his profession and was all about trying new and crazy brews. We would brew no typical beers at my pub. Of course, I would also have a large selection of other beers, both on tap and in bottles. I would try to carry any beer that was brewed within 150 miles of my bar and have a solid selection of imports. Liquor would be limited to the high-end variety. When possible, we would make our mixers in house.

The music selection would vary with the focus on indie and local bands. Customers would be encouraged to bring in mixed CD's that would be rotated in and out at the staff's discretion. The volume would always be conducive to talking. TVs would be allowed but would only show games of local sports franchises and college teams. If no games were available, they would be shut off. There would always be a $4 beer special and a $5 drink special. This would rotate daily.

The bar top would be large with the focus on the bar itself. It would be a round bar with very comfortable stools. People would be encouraged to sit at the bar and not at the tables scattered around it. It would be lit dimly but also provide enough light to read comfortably. We would provide copies of newspapers, along with magazines like The New Yorker, The Atlantic Journal, and McSweeny's. A bookshelf where patrons could both take books and leave books would be located somewhere in the bar.

The food would be of the bar food variety: wings, nachos, pretzels, and the like. Soups and chili would be the specialty, along with excellent sandwiches. Locally sourced ingredients would be used whenever possible.

The atmosphere would be homey. It would be a place you would go after work, or early on a Saturday afternoon. Not to get drunk of course, but to enjoy something tasty and have a conversation with a stranger. It would be named Samuel's, for no reason at all.

Long overdue and inspired by Colin, Andy, and others.

I Need a Date/Dates

As part of my birthday goals, I stated that I was going to try to date more. As of right now this has been a complete and utter failure, which honestly is not surprising. I've never been good at asking women out. I'm getting better at striking up conversations but I still usually end up not asking or end up discovering the girl is in a relationship or living in another state.

Therefore, I'm turning to the Internet for help*. I've tried online dating sites in the past and have never had any luck, so I'm going to use my blog to appeal to the single females of Minneapolis. Let's get lunch, dinner, coffee, breakfast, or drinks. Of course, I'm willing to do other things as well, if you ask me to come up with something more original for a date I will accommodate that.

I'm mainly looking for a fun time; a great conversation or an adventure with someone new. I'm not expecting fireworks or sex on the first date. That said, I am serious about finding someone to form a meaningful relationship with. I'm by no means ready to be done dating, but if I happen to find the one, I'm not going to freak out and run away because my single life is over.

If you are wondering why you should go a date with me, or introduce me to your friend, well I can give you a few reasons.

  1. I can cook. Evidence can be found here, here, and here
  2. I love adventure, whether in Minneapolis or elsewhere, exploring new places is sort of my hobby
  3. I'm a board member of an exceptional non-profit orchestra that gives their performances for free
  4. I love going out, but I'm also fond of just sitting at home, as long as I have someone to sit at home with
  5. I'm a touch crazy but in a good way
  6. I'm a giant geek who has learned to embrace his geekiness
  7. I'm not an asshole, and am pretty sure I never will be
  8. I'm almost always on time and I keep my promises
  9. I love to debate/argue, even if I agree with you, because it's my favorite way to learn. It's also ingrained in my father's family, all of my cousins are the same way.
  10. That being said, I hate conflict and drama
  11. I'm a terrible writer who loves to write
  12. I love to laugh
  13. I rarely get irritated or mad
  14. I'm kind of awkward and have been known to kill a conversation with the ease of an experienced creeper
  15. Yet I'm fairly certain that I'm not that creepy
  16. Did I mention I love food, of all kinds
  17. I have a degree that I'm currently putting to very poor use, but this is something I intend to remedy soon
  18. I'll drop everything to come to a friend's rescue
  19. I love taking pictures of pretty much everything
  20. I love music and am becoming a live music addict
  21. I have a terrible sense of style
  22. I'm an introvert who happens to be stuck in an extroverts skin

It’s probably time to stop talking about me and talk about you, or your friend, or your friend's friend.

What I'm looking for

  1. Someone in their twenties would be preferred
  2. I must find her attractive, sadly I'm not that great of a guy
    1. I prefer smaller girls, though not stick figuresque, curves are a good thing
    2. I have no preference when it comes to hair color
    3. Nice eyes, I have a thing for eyes
  3. Nerdiness/Geekiness is a plus; a love of Firefly, Monty Python, computers and the Internet, blogging, and/or the Discovery channel are encouraged
  4. You must love to eat; I cannot date a bird
  5. A love of adventure is key, if you find Minneapolis boring we probably won't get very far
  6. I'd prefer a woman who would rather watch the news than TMZ
  7. Pet owners are welcome as I love animals yet am currently sans pet

Okay, I'm going to stop there.

So here is the deal, I'd love to be introduced to someone great. I'm willing to go on a blind date, meet in a social setting, or develop a crazy ten part plan where we both wear orange and meet at the Sculpture Garden at sunset. Whatever you want I'm probably willing to accommodate. And maybe that's the last reason I'll give for why someone should take a chance with me. I'm extremely easy going and like to go with the flow, as long as it's a semi-planned flow. So send me an email or leave a comment and let’s make things happen.

* This post is in many ways inspired by Art, who met and is currently dating the wonderful Emily due to writing a similar post a while ago.

Friday Five 11/13/09 Edition

Art and I had a conversation about old blog posts earlier this week. This got me thinking about some of my old posts. So today's post is self serving and contains five posts that I really enjoyed for some reason.

  • My last birthday corresponded with a celebrity meetup
  • I gave up on online dating
  • I explained, with a video, just how rural of an area I grew up in
  • I informed the females of the Twin Cities how they can keep me from stalking them
  • I explained how Twitter brought me back to the world of social networks

Bonus Item: I also wrote a guide to Minnesota winters which I enjoyed.

P.S. I apologize for the ridiculous amount of typos you will experience while reading these posts.

Happy Friday the 13th everyone, get out there and enjoy the warmth, it's bound to end sometime.

Fall Colors

The last couple of weeks have been pretty nice, but before that, we didn't have much of a fall. Thankfully we had a couple nice days before all the leaves disappeared. It was a few Sundays ago that Nicky and I went out to the Peace Gardens near Lake Harriet for some photos.

Sadly, I didn't get a ton of good leaf shots.You can see the rest of the set here. Nicky has a few up as well and her shots can be found here. I especially love this one.

Powerpoint Karaoke

For those of you who remember, I was participating in/freaking out about Powerpoint Karaoke last Thursday. Here is video evidence that I didn't back out.

A Tourist in My Own City

One thing I've come to love is playing tourist in my own city. Now, by playing tourist, I don't mean driving erratically, stopping suddenly in the sky way, or going to the Mall of America. Instead I just wander around an area of town with no destination in mind looking for new things to do.

This Sunday I did just that. I started my day out at the Lyndale Farmers Market. Then I hit up Target downtown for a parking spot and a new memory card. I loaded that up and off I went. Here a few of the photos I took.

It helped that the weather was absolutely ridiculous for November. So, overall I had a great Sunday.

P.S. I bet you didn't expect my blog to turn into a photo blog for the week.

Dog Park

Saturday was crazy busy. Nicky, Ninja, and I spent a good chunk of time at the dog park next to MCTC, and took a ton of photos. So here are a few to help you start your Monday off on the right foot.

You can find other photos from the day on Flickr.