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.

Heading North and Disconnected

I'm going camping this weekend, I'm leaving town at noon and heading in the general direction of Perham. I'm looking forward to a weekend of boating, drinking, eating, driving my friends crazy, and fresh air. One of my rules when camping is that I don't use my cell phone, which means I'm out of touch with the world from the time I enter the campground until the time I hit my first town the day I leave. So if you want to reach me you'll just have to wait until Sunday.

Of course if we brought carrier pigeons back you could reach me when camping, I would definitely bring one of those with me.

Oh and one last thing that I wanted to put on my Friday Five, but wasn't published yet, please read this letter to the Twins management and share it with every Twins fan you know. Better yet, print it off, add your own comment and mail it to 34 Kirby Puckett Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55415. Let's force the management to reward not just us fans but also the best players in the league by trying for a championship.

Friday Five 7/24 Edition

I'm back with two posts in a row. Today I present to you five things you should read before you head off to whatever you're doing this weekend.

  1. First, AP toughened it's stance on copyright and linking to it's stories. This article explains AP's stance and then I found this which is a great discussion by the NYT Co's head counsel regarding his stance on copyright and fair use.
  2. Bill Simmons is one of my favorite sports writers and he tends to drag his father into his articles frequently. This week he wrote a piece about his father that rocked. Read it and then call your dad.
  3. The NY Times published an article this week about President Obama's adviser Valerie Jarrett. It's not only a great look at our president and one of his closest advisers, but is also an interesting look at the workings of the West Wing.
  4. Local site, The Heavy Table has a piece about a Wisconsin Cranberry farm. As someone who grew up on a farm, I love stories about small farmers making it, especially when they don't bow to the corporate bigwigs of whatever company dominates the processing of their crop.
  5. A great article on the cost of cheap food from a site I had never heard of until this week. Really well written and worth your time, especially if you don't think our food system is broken.

And today's bonus item is a photo(Warning: Photo is quite large) that will leave you pining for the 2010 MLB season. Outdoor baseball in Minneapolis can't come soon enough.

Newspaper Comments

There has been quite a lot of chatter the past few days about newspaper comments and what to do about them. If you're like me you probably rarely read the comments in the Star Tribune or Pioneer Press, let along CNN or other major media outlets. I do occasionally read them but always walk away shaking my head at the insanity. This isn't to say there are no good comments on newspaper sites, but when people are calling sources pedophiles, as Dave Bauer mentions in his recent column, something is wrong.

Newspapers are put in a tough place though, they need traffic to sell advertisements and comments are one way to get pageviews. Yet unmoderated comments don't work and moderated comments lead to calls of censorship. What are the papers supposed to do. Here are a few ideas I've considered while reading these articles.

  1. Pay to comment. How about $5 per year to comment. Pay walls are annoying but if your giving your content away for free why not make people to pay for the right to participate. Even better why not charge $5 and then for every 5 comments that are starred/faved/voted up by fellow paid commentors you get a dollar to go toward next years fee. Take it even further and for every 5 comment flagged/voted down by fellow commentors you get a dollar taken away from that pot. If enough comments get voted down you have to pay the difference to rejoin next year. If you get more than $5 in votes up you can choose a charity the newspaper donates the excess to.
  2. Disable comments but actively seek out and link to blogs and other sources that comment on your stories.
  3. Recruit local bloggers as commentors and moderators. Local bloggers are your best source for insightful comments and they also have experience dealing with comments that cross the line.

The largest issue I see with newspaper comments is that those who can add a lot to their discussions are writing on local blogs. When I want to comment on a newspaper story I either use Twitter or blog about it here. I don't comment on their site because the quality of the comments are so poor. It's not fun to comment on a story only to have the next comment be someone claiming Obama's birth certificate is a forgery or posting rude comments about Michelle Bachman.

Personally I see forcing commentors to pay to comment as being the best solution, it's one reason a site as large as Metafilter has grown so successfully. People who are willing to pay to comment are usually going to add something useful, even if all they pay is $5.

Any thoughts on the issue, let me know I may not be a newspaper tycoon, but I love a good discussion.

At a Crossroads

Ok, so I've been neglecting this site for a little too long. Part of it is being out of my routine for the last few weeks, the other part is I don't know what to write about anymore. So I'm taking a break, so I will not be posting any Wednesday Wheres or Friday Fives for a while. I'm not sure when things will pick back up again, but I'm guessing once fall comes along. I'll still try to post at least some cooking and photo posts occasionally, so keep checking back in and don't unsubscribe please.

Crepes

I haven't posted anything cooking related in quite some time. Part of that is due to the heat and lack of any appetite when the temperature passes 85, and the other part is just plain laziness on my part. I've been scrounging up whatever I can find in my fridge and putting together dinner options I've either written about previously or wouldn't feed to my cat (if I owned a cat).

Friday though, I got ambitious. Some of this may have had to do with my new French Press I purchased on Thursday at Target. Whatever the reason, I decided to make some crepes. I had a pound of strawberries in the fridge and decided to make sweet crepes. I also made up some fresh whipped cream.

Side note: If there is any one reason I need to buy myself a hand mixer or a Kitchenaid Mixer it's so my arm doesn't fall off when making whipped cream.

Here was the result of my efforts, and it was a pretty good breakfast that went well with my first cup of home-brewed coffee in four months.

Of course they would have been better with hash browns and bacon, but my lack of grocery shopping kind of put a damper on that, s so all I had were these. Still, they were a wonderful start to the weekend.

Friday Five 7/3/09 Edition

I could do something patriotic here since it is the weekend of the fourth and all. Instead I'm posting five puppy pictures I took yesterday, because this little Boxer couldn't be cuter. I'm puppy sitting all next week so more photos are guaranteed.

This week you get a bonus.

I like the way the last shot turned out even though instead of looking cute she looks like a tough full grown boxer.

Hope you all have a happy 4th. Try not to lose any finger to fireworks.

Wednesday Where? #27

Ok, technicly this should probably call this post Thursday There #1 but hey if I'm going to pretend this blog isn't falling apart at the divs you need to keep pretending right along with me.

So anyone know where this was taken. I'm guessing we'll see a quick response but what do I know.

I realized this week that it's been quite a while since I posted a statue here. I always find statues interesting, their history is usually worth perusing.

Friday Five 6/26/2009

After a week absence not three weeks in I'm bringing back Friday five. I had a hard time deciding what to put here this week. But decided after yesterday's NBA draft it would be okay to put a basketball related post up. So here we go, the five most baffeling Minnesota Timberwolves moves.

  1. Keeping Kevin McHale as GM from 1994-2008. McHale started out with a bang, but as moves 2-4 show, he made some incredible moves that just didn't make sense at the time. If you look at the moves that could have worked that didn't McHale's tenure as GM was an incredible series of failures.
  2. Making an "under the table" deal with Joe Smith. If any move the Wolves have made it was this unofficial move that has done more to wreck this franchise an anything else. Losing five draft picks for a above average power forward has done more to set this franchise back than anything.
  3. Drafting Rashad McCants. Drafting a player like McCants to play alongside Kevin Garnett was unexplainable. You don't draft a self absorbed shoot first guard to play against one of the most unselfish big man of all time.
  4. Trading O.J. Mayo for Kevin Love. I liked this trade when it happened and I still like it, but from a business perspective it made no sense. Your fan base was drooling with the thought of Mayo alongside Big Al and you would have sold season tickets with that duo. Instead you took an unexciting, yet admittedly very skilled, forward. How many thousands of dollars were lost due to this move?
  5. Drafting Ricky Rubio and Johnny Flynn with the 5th and 6th picks of the 2009 draft. When this happened I was shocked and appalled and I'm still kind of confused. As more information becomes available I think it's just Kahn protecting himself. This league revolves around point guards since they change the rules and he wants to be sure that if Rubio isn't willing to come to Minnesota he has another talented guard ready.

All that being said, I'm exciting or the Wolves. Something new is coming and even if it's another poor season, the thought of change makes me happy. I'm also ecstatic that we actually have a point guard on the roster. In todays league a point guard can make or break your team. I'm looking forward to the rest of the off season and the start of a new era.

Wednesday Where? #26

Well after a brief hiatus, Where is back. This one comes to you from a far away land. Okay, not that far away it is in the 7 country metro and should be recognizable to at least a portion of you.

Happy guessing and get outside and enjoy this weather when you are done. It might be a bit humid, but compared to the last few days this is magical.

Happenings

In an attempt to keep my blog from growing mold and slowly disappearing I thought I should put something up here. The last week has been fun, but I just didn't have the ambition to write about anything. I thought I would put a quick listing of what I've been up to.

First, I went to my first night of Tech Karaoke last week. I had been planning on going to this on several previous occasions, but instead of making it I kept either forgetting or having something come up. I had a really good time, met some new people and even sang "Fat Bottomed Girls". I'll definitely be making it to more of these. I rode my bike to The Otter that night and it was kind of scary riding home. Lightening was flashing over the city, but once I realized it was nowhere near me all I could think of is how much I wished I would have had my camera and tripod with.

I also tried out a couple food places recommended to me. The first place I tried was the Cheeky Monkey Deli in St. Paul. Art was the first person who told me about it, and I'll be honest, I'm listening to Art from now on. Not only is the place very unique, but the food was unreal. I had the roast beef sandwich and for what you pay you get some damn tasty food. I definitely recommend you check it out. The second place I tried was Dave's popcorn. I had a craving for a chocolate shake earlier in the week and this was recommended by Angie as a great place to get a shake. I stopped by Friday and was not disappointed. It might not have been the best shake I've ever had but it was in the top ten.

Finally Saturday was incredible. I started out the day biking to the Stone Arch Festive. I wandered around, ate a few unhealthy things and really enjoyed the art on display. I've decided I should really work on my photography, maybe even take some classes, because I would love to compete with some of the artists on display there. I also took in a show by the The Alrights, who are slowly becoming a favorite of mine.

The Crowd at Rock the Garden

Saturday evening was the kicker though. I had purchased Rock the Garden tickets the day they went on sale and couldn't have been more excited to go. We ended up missing Solid Gold, which I was okay with as I had seen them live previously. But we got there in time to see the other three bands. Yeahsayer was a disappointment for me. Though I enjoy their music, their live show was kind of boring. They just didn't really have any sort of presence in my opinion and their music isn't overpowering in itself. Calexico on the other hand blew me away. Of the four bands that were playing they were actually the one I was least looking forward to seeing, but they proved me wrong. Between the trumpets, the upbeat tempo,and the perfect music for a sizzling hot day I couldn't have had more fun. I'm definitely a bigger fan of Calexico due to seeing them live.

The capper to the evening was of course The Decemberists. I had been looking forward to seeing them for quite some time. I can understand how some people aren't fans of them, but I can't help but enjoy them. I wasn't sure about the fact they were playing The Hazards of Love from beginning to end, but it really worked. I think I'll enjoy listening to the album more now. The end of their shows was awesome to, they played a couple songs from earlier CDs and then capped the evening off with a cover of Crazy on You. It was really a perfect ending to the night and I thought they actually did a better job that Heart did.

That's my last week in a nutshell, hope you had a great one and hopefully I'll be back to keeping your days full of insanely boring things soon. This heat is draining any ambition I have and I"ve been super busy at work. I'm going to try very hard to get a Where? up tomorrow, so hopefully I'll hear from you then.