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.

Goals for my 27th Year – Part 2

I turned 27 Monday, and though I know it’s not really old, for some reason it kind of freaks me out. I think it’s the realization that I’m so close to 30, again these things are not important and it’s all in my head, but still.

In honor of my irrationality, I’ve decided to post one goal a day for the next five days. These goals are things I want to accomplish by my 28th birthday. I hope that by putting these out into the public eye, I’ll be able to accomplish them. The first post in the series can be found here.

The goal I’m publishing today is to work on maintaining more relationships. For the first 26 years of my life, I have not done a good job keeping connections established with people outside of my close circle of friends. I have never had a problem making friends or having conversations with people. My problem is that once I find myself no longer in a situation where I had to interact with people, whether due to changing jobs, finishing a project, or a semester ending, I failed to maintain the relationship.

I've decide I have to remedy this, not only because I've lost the connection to a lot of great people, but because of the opportunities that may filter my way due to these relationships. Whether it's a new job, volunteer opportunity, or something else, knowing a large group of people can lead to great things both for me and hopefully to those around me.
I'm not quite sure how to go about this, it's not in my nature to just reach out to people just to reach out. Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin are helpful, but technology isn't the solution to this problem. I need to get better at just sending out quick notes to people, providing feedback, and thanking those who help me.

To this end, I'm going to try and do the following: One, I am going to purchase personal business cards for myself so I can exchange cards with more people. Getting peoples name and contact information is an important step. Second, I am going to make a point of sending thank you cards for more things than just receiving a gift. Things such as sending a card to those who host events I go to, to people who introduce me to someone new, or for taking the time to provide feedback on something I'm working on. This isn't something I've done in the past so it will require a commitment. Third, I need to get better at just picking up the phone, sending email, in essence just interacting with others. Even just an email to an article I think someone may find interesting would be a positive step.

This goal may be the most difficult goal I am setting for myself, mainly because it's something I've never tried before. I would love suggestions on different ways you maintain your relationships.

Jason DeRusha Day or My Birthday

As most of you probably knew, yesterday was Jason DeRusha Day. Some of you may have also known it was my birthday. I had not planned on really celebrating yesterday, as I had went out on Saturday but yesterday turned into one of my best birthdays.

  • I got chocolate chip cookies at work
  • One of the customers I met with is a board member of Two Rivers Choral and I had a chance to talk to her about running a music organization that does not charge admission. She said that one of the members had used the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra as an example of a group that does this right. If you didn't know, I'm a board member of the orchestra so it was great to hear this.
  • My mom and dad both called me since my dad is currently out of town for work. Usually I just get one call from them.
  • I got to visit OM, a new Indian restaurant in town and enjoyed it.
  • I met a ton of Twitter users who I have followed for quite a while.
  • I not only got to meet Jason DeRusha, but he also had the crowd sing me Happy Birthday.
  • Had great conversations with Doniree, Aaron Landry, Jason DeRusha, and others about social media and how it's changing the way we interact with everyone, from newscasters to our elected representatives.

Overall a rock solid day, birthday or not.

Derusha Day Poster

Back in July, Jason DeRusha of WCCO asked a Good Question about how you get a day dedicated. In sudden fashion, the Twin Cities web was flooded with people declaring July 30th, 2009, Jason DeRusha Day. I managed to obtain the original DeRusha Day poster which was printed off by Greg Swan to help promote the occasion at his work.

This poster sat on my desk ever since (I'm not exactly speedy when it comes to filing or throwing away things), and was even used as a mouse pad. Then last week, the mayor of Minneapolis R.T. Rybak declared 9/21/2009 Jason DeRusha day. So I asked on Twitter whether the old poster was worth anything. Doug told me I should put it on eBay. I thought about it for a while, and then discovered that Jason was making his celebration at OM in Minneapolis a fund raiser for People Serving People. So I decided to auction off the poster for charity. It's currently on eBay, with all proceeds going to People Serving People.

Goals for my 27th Year - Part 1

I turn 27 today, and though I know it's not really old, for some reason it kind of freaks me out. I think it's the realization that I'm so close to 30, again these things are not important and it's all in my head, but still.

In honor of my irrationality, I've decided to post one goal a day for the next five days. These goals are things I want to accomplish by my 28th birthday. I hope that by putting these out into the public eye, I'll be able to accomplish them.

Today's goal isn't new, it's something I've been working on for the past two years. I want to continue to eat better and exercise consistently. Last summer I dropped quite a bit of weight, was good about eating correctly, worked out 3-4 time a week, and was feeling good going into winter. Winter was a different story though, I stopped going to the gym, started eating more junk, and not watching my portion sizes. Sadly, these things continued into the summer. I finally got back on the scale a few weeks ago and it was not good. I'm by no means huge, but I'm not where I want to be, both for my own personal image but also for long term health.

To remedy this, I've started tracking calories again to help keep my intake in check, stopped eating meat for the month of September, and started working out again. I started the 100-pushup program last week, and am adding the 200 sit-ups and 200 squats programs this week. I'm also trying to bike at least 10 miles 3 times a week. Hopefully, I'll be back on track by the time the weather turns and I will be able to hit the gym consistently.

My goal is to make these things a habit and not a challenge by the time my 28th birthday rolls around. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it in the end.

Friday Five 9/18/09 Edition

Welcome to Friday everyone, another week is 8 hours from completion and the weekend is just around the corner. Here are five things I read or watched this week that made me smile, laugh, or just nod my head and say "yep, this is awesome".

  • Doniree takes on "The Cocktail Question" and blows it away. If you don't read her blog you should do so, this girl can write.
  • Ed Kohler posted this image and I almost spit out my coffee.
  • This video is not safe for work or near small children, but it's funny even if you are sick of the Kanye West noise. (also contains Hitler)
  • Crooks and Liars lists 10 lessons for Tea Baggers, not that any of them would listen.
  • A brewery in New York has crafted a bacon beer. I'll admit, I'm not rushing out to buy a plane ticket.

Finally, I give you the bonus item of the week, which is probably the cutest video you will see this week.

Wednesday Where? #28

After over two months without one, they are back. Not only am I blogging again, but I have a pretty good set of photos to get this back up and running. Hope you're ready for some mystery.

This one is part of a greater piece, but I think most of you will know where it is. Remember, it's located somewhere within the seven country metro, multiple guesses are permitted, and I'll post the solution in next week's post if no one guesses correctly. Have fun.

Parent's Week Roundup

I intended to write individual posts regarding my week off when my parents were in town. Sadly this turned into a massive failure. I'm just going to put up this post running down what we did and my thoughts on each adventure.

After a slow Thursday morning, we headed out the door to Como Zoo. I had thought going to the zoo on the first day of the State Fair would help with the parking, but I was completely wrong. We found a spot eventually, but for a while, I was wishing we had taken the bus. Como zoo was great as always. If you haven't been, you should go while it's still summer. Winter is a great time as well, but it's nice to see the animals outside, instead of in a crowded barn.

Later that evening we visited the Walker for Target Free Thursday nights, we walked through the Quick and the Dead, and then walked out to the lawn to watch Solid Gold perform as part of the MN artist day.

I won't spend much time on Friday, we headed out to the state fair early and had a great day. You can check out my recap post here and my photo set here.

We got up Saturday and headed off to Minneapolis to shop at the Mill City Farmers Market. This is my favorite market in the cities, and I was able to pick up some hot peppers and some apple chipotle bread.

After our shopping, we wandered into the Mill City Museum. I was a bit skeptical at first that the museum would be worth it, but I walked away really happy to have gone. It's full of a lot of history and the Flour Tower tour is really neat. This is a tour that takes place on an elevator showing scenes and narration from mill workers that tell the history of the mill. The tour ends at the top of the tower where you get to see some of the original equipment and also take in a gorgeous view of the river. I recommend the museum, and be sure to check out the 19 minute movie that plays every half-hour.

After the museum, we walked across the Stone Arch Bridge, head a late lunch at the Bulldog N.E. and then we wandered into the Guthrie and enjoyed the Endless Bridge before heading home for the evening.

Sunday, we woke up and drove to St. Paul. We attended mass at the St. Paul Cathedral and then headed downtown to the Science Museum. The Science Museum was a lot of fun, we went through the Titanic Exhibit which was really interesting. It was incredible seeing artifacts which had been retrieved from the wreckage. The rest of the museum was interesting as well, but the highlight was the Titanic Exhibit. After the museum we had lunch at Great Waters Brewing, a brewery I hadn't managed to visit before this. I had their session beer and my dad had the Stout which he really enjoyed. We wandered through the St. Paul Central Library, which wasn't as interesting as I thought it would be. We were planning on visiting the Capitol, but got there too late.

I had no additional plans, so I took my parents on a tour of St. Paul's Cathedral Hill, then drove through a portion of the Ground Rounds. We stopped at the Lyndale Rose Garden and walked down the band shell. It was a gorgeous and and it was a lot of fun seeing the roses in the garden and the crowds around the lake. We ended the evening by visiting Moto-I where I introduced my parents to fresh sake, something I try to do with anyone who visits me.

My plan on Monday was to check out the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and then walk downtown for a late lunch before seeing the Twins. Unfortunately, the MIA is closed on Mondays. We decided to walk downtown looking for things to do. We ended up at the observation deck of the Foshay. This was really neat, the view itself is worth the eight dollars, and the small museum is an added bonus. After getting our fill of the view, I took my parents over to see Target Field, followed by lunch at Brits Pub before going to watch the Twins beat the White Sox.

Tuesday was my parents last day, and it was spent checking out the MIA, viewing the Walker Sculpture Garden, and then lunch at the Blue Door Pub. We also went to the State Capitol and we were impressed by the building. If you haven't been to see the Capitol building you should really go, it's a really impressive structure and they have a lot of interesting history inside. This was the end of my parent’s week here, and I had a great time doing many things I've been meaning to do this year.

A Biking Question

I have a question for the bikers out there. Tonight I ran into a situation where I did what I thought was the safe and legal thing, but another biker did something different which nearly resulted in a crash. I want to know if I was in the wrong.

The incident happened at 28th and Lyndale. If you don't know the intersection, 28th is a two lane one way going east, crossing Lyndale which is a four lane road. This intersection has a light. Last night when biking home from Lake Calhoun, I turned onto 28th eastbound with the intention of turning left onto Lyndale going north. As I was approaching Lyndale the light turned red and I saw a car behind me. I was intending to turn left and could tell the car behind me wasn't going to pass me before reaching the intersection, so I moved over to take control of the left lane and signaled that I was taking a left turn. As I was waiting for the light to turn green, another biker moved into the far left side of the road, which isn't marked as a turn lane. When the light turned green I moved to make my left hand turn and the other biker kept going straight which I where the collision nearly occurred.

Now obviously the other biker didn't see my signal, but isn't what he did dangerous? If a car in the lane I was in decided to turn left and didn't notice him he would have been struck. On the other hand sometimes vehicles use the lane he was in as a turn lane even though it isn't marked as one.

What would you have done while approaching the intersection?

Friday Five 9/11/09 Edition

It's Friday, which is always a good thing, and it's also the first weekend of the NFL season. So here are a few things you can do besides watching football on Saturday and Sunday.

  1. Visit the Mid-Town Farmers Market - I visited this market last weekend and loved it. It's not as "nice" as Mill City Market but the prices seemed better and the tomatoes and onions that I got were awesome.
  2. Check out the Mill City Museum - I went there with my parents and it was awesome, be sure to check out the 19 minute video at the end.
  3. Make salsa or tomato sauce with the tomatoes you buy at the farmers market
  4. Check out the Hoot on Saturday night at The Music Box
  5. Head out to Como Zoo or check out an adventure pass to the Minnesota Zoo from your local library.

Of course I'll be watching the games all weekend, I love the start of football season and wouldn't miss it. I'm still waiting for someone to hand me Gophers tickets for tomorrow so I can enjoy that beautiful new stadium.

Have a great weekend all, no matter what you are doing.

David G. Carlone

I didn't know David Carole, but he died 8 years ago today during the attack on the World Trade Center. He was 46 at the time and had been married to his wife Beverly for 25 years. He knew himself so well that on their first date he told her he was going to marry her. He was a family man who had quit his job as an executive who worked in the World Trade center to spend more time with his three sons. He was visiting old friends who still worked there at the time of the attacks. I don't know where he was born, or where he went to school, but he coached a baseball team in Denville, New Jersey, and had at least one sister, Joan. He was a good friend and neighbor.

I wish I could tell you more about David today, but unfortunately I cannot. My thoughts are with his family and friends today. You have not been forgotten.

This post was written as part of Project 2,996.