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.

Thoughts and Links 12/12 Edition

I have a good list today, I've been focusing on starring and bookmarking interesting stuff so I don't have to throw together this list from my history.

  • Tim Brunelle shares a great story that puts social media in perspective. It's here to stay, and is not only great for finding interesting information, but also for real life networking.
  • Apparently sarcasm has benefits beyond confusing those that don't know me well.
  • Stock up on acorn futures, apparently there is a shortage, wonder if the explosion of bird squirrel feeders has any part in this.
  • This is a great site, @mosqueda is a great person to follow on Twitter.
  • A simple but poignant reminder that we aren't doing that poorly.
  • An amazing visualization of our national budget. Via Newcut
  • Drew is moving to Minnesota, he needs some tips on how to survive our arctic chill.
  • Here is a tasty looking Mexican dish.
  • A list of authentic Minnesota Food. Via The Deets

Finally an actual thought for Thoughts and Links. I'm not a fan of the auto bailout, but I think we need it or this recession is going to go on for an extra year or two. It's ridiculous that banks who don't actually create anything tangible get $700 billion, yet an auto industry that creates actual products can't get a nickle. (Admittedly the auto industry is not run correctly, but neither were the banks)

How to Keep me from Following You(Stalking Edition)

Being unwilling to disappoint Emily, I decided to post a Friday edition of yesterday's post. I was going for funny not creepy, not sure if I accomplished this. :)

  1. Shave your head, nothing says don't stalk me quite like making it impossible for me to steal your hair to save in the page of my favorite video game manual
  2. Change your email password, how else am I supposed to know what your plans on Thursday night are
  3. Switch which coffee shop you go to every morning, I only travel two miles from home, so if you just move to the Starbucks closer to work I won't be able to be there
  4. Hang out with your girlfriends more often, too many cute girls in a room terrifies me
  5. Defriend me on Facebook, I'm only away from my computer for three hours or so and if I can't stalk you there outside of that time, well I'll find someone else
  6. Let me overhear you bashing Battlestar Gallactica, no girlfriend of mine could hate that show
  7. You could also say Startrek is better than Star Wars, no one worth stalking would believe that
  8. Stop leaving your receipts behind at restaurants, nothing says I don't like you quite like keeping me from increasing my collection.
  9. Use your back door, there are no good hiding places for me and my camera back there
  10. Talk to me, honestly I'll run away and never come back

During the writing of this post I did a search for "how to stalk someone", anyone want to take bets on how long before the Burnsville police are knocking on my door.

How to Prevent me from Following You

I generally try to follow anyone who follows me, and I'm consistently looking for interesting people to follow, but I do have a few rules which I tend to use when deciding who to follow.

  1. If you are following twice as many people as are following you, I will not follow you. I am guessing you are just trying to get new followers by following random people. The exception to this rule is if you are new and have only a few followers.
  2. I won't follow you if your time line consists of only links. I love the content I find through Twitter, but the real conversations that occur are worth much more.
  3. If you are local, and you don't completely violate my other rules I will always follow back. I have found out more interesting things about the Twin Cities in the six months I've been on Twitter, than I did in the year and a half before.
  4. If you do not have a bio, a link, or your real name in your profile, why are you here? You do not need to do all three, but you should at least go for two out of the three.
  5. If you follow more than 1000 people, I will assume you don't care what I say and will do the same. The exception is if you are truly famous and have close to a 1:1 follower to follow ratio.
  6. If you do have a link in your profile and it goes to a page that is 80% ads. Well you do the math.
  7. If you tweet in all caps more than once a decade, you can guarantee I will not follow you.
  8. Swearing, though funny occasionally, is no substitute for actual content and humor. If you swear because it's easy I will not follow you.
  9. If your tweets consistently cross the 140-character line into a new tweet, I will find you annoying and I will not follow you.
  10. Do you constantly pick fights on Twitter? I left trolls behind with vBulletin. Healthy debate is acceptable and encouraged though.

Well after writing down these rules, I realize I need to quit following myself. Does Twitter allow me to do that?

Wednesday Where?

This is a new series I'm going to try out over the next few weeks. I'm going to post a photo which was taken somewhere within the Minneapolis/St. Paul 7 county area(PDF). You have until Friday to guess where it was taken. No prizes will be offered, other than the pride of knowing your city better than you ever should.

This is the first photo, it's a difficult one, Hints will be added to the post this evening, Thursday morning and afternoon. The answer will be added after 5:00 on Friday. Click through to few additional sizes on Flickr. Post your answers in the comments, multiple guesses are permitted.

Hint #1: Small sovereign territory

Hint #2: Norse (Scandinavian) explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates

Hint #3 Just north of the number of barleycorns in an English foot. And west of that number minus 1.

Thoughts and Links 12/9 Edition

It's been a while since I did one of these. Hope everyone is having a fabulous week. Mine started out on a down note, but things are looking up.

  • Santa Claus' Gmail account is busy this time of year. Seems he might make his own naughty list.
  • StateStats is very cool. I like this analysis of the biking search term. Interesting that Vermont ranks so highly.
  • I found it funny that this article hit the top of Twitter. What a joke.
  • This is a neat little site. It tracks your own personal light cone. If you don't like being reminded of your age this isn't for you.
  • From the Product - A perfect analysis of why winter sucks when you live in a city.
  • Emily comes through with another great post, this time it's a video she found. Watching things in super slow motions gives you a completely different perspective.
  • In case you need to add additional calories to your diet over the holiday season, Orangette offers up a recipe that makes my mouth water.
  • The second to last paragraph in this article made me want to slap someone. You would think anyone who doesn't drive a car is suspect.
  • Finally, if you could purchase tunnels under London, what would you do with them?

Edit: I couldn't wait to share this with all of you. This photo of the Mendota Bridge is amazing. Via

Wittman sacked, McHale next?

The Timberwolves fired their head coach this morning. This was a move that I hoped for since three weeks into the season. Wittman never really seemed to figure out his team. Whether they can compete at a high level is really hard to determine, but in my opinion, they are talented and should be able to at least look competitive against teams like the Clippers.

Another positive step in this move is that McHale has lost his General Manager position. Unfortunately, I don't have many details regarding who will fill in for McHale or if the move to replace him as President was permanent or not. Taylor sent out a letter to season ticket holders, but that didn't contain many details. My hope is that Fred Hoiberg takes over as GM. He seems genuine to me and the type of guy who will admit when he makes a mistake, unlike McHale who just kept preaching patience to the fan base that ran out of patience five years ago. I am frustrated with the fact that McHale is still with the team. I honestly think this is a cop out by Taylor who seems to be putting personal feelings above the teams good.

That McHale turns things around as coach is a long shot. He did take over in 04-05 and led them to a 19-12 final record, but if last season and the beginning of this season have been any indication, we can't predict anything from the final 20 or so games.

Here is my advice to McHale (not that McHale takes advice, but he I can hope)

  1. Quick playing music chairs with the linup - Choose a starting five and stick with them, teams need to gel, and this only happens with a set rotation.
  2. Stop playing McCants and either trade him or let him go in free agency. McCants is not going to be a contributer on a winning team, he's a fun player to watch if you don't like passing or defense.
  3. Make Al Jefferson the center of attention 90% of the time. This means he should play 38 minutes a game, and touch the ball nearly every time down the court.
  4. After you accomplish #3 make him pass the ball out of the double and triple teams.
  5. If a player isn't willing to play defense for you, you bench him. This is a priority above number 3 and if Jefferson continues playing lackdaisical D he shouldn't be a starter anymore.
  6. Quit - Honestly it would be better for everyone.

Weekend Photography

I've currently been on a photo kick. I've gone out one or two days a week and taken a ton of photos. Of course 90% don't turn out, but I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you.

from birth to death. - I love the saying on the right side of the concrete. I took a closeup of it, but felt this shot captured things in a better way.

Church and State - I like the angle in this one. It makes the Cathedral look very small.

St. Paul Cathedral at Night - a night shot of the Cathedral. I don't have steady hands so it's a bit blurry if you get in close. But otherwise I really like how this shot turned out.

Follow me on Flickr, I would love to follow you back.

Wikipedia Random 5

So when I wrote my last post, I was trying to get some crap out of my brain. I looked back and realized that I really did like the Wikipedia Random 5 idea. If for no other reason then it's fun to learn new things and I may as well share some of what I learn with all of you. So without waiting any longer, here are five random bits of knowledge from Wikipedia Random Article link.

  1. CAPER (organization) - This organization represents radio and television stations in Argentina.
  2. Whey cheese - This cheese is made from the whey leftover after the making of other cheese.
  3. Breakfast News - A news program that ran from 1989-2000 on the BBC.
  4. Factor T - A book that explores the eternal tragedy of humanity.
  5. Disco Polo - A genre of music derived from folk tunes and italo disco.

Four Post Ideas

It's a good thing I'm under no obligation to write or I would probably go insane. I have been trying to come up with a few post ideas and keep coming up empty. Here are a few ideas I've mulled over the last few days.

  • 15 way to bleed on stage - A list of stupid injuries band members received while performing on stage.
  • 10 things someone tried to sell me this week - A trip through my spam folder. Actually other than viagra, male enhancement, and porn there isn't much else in my spam folder.
  • 20 things I didn't know - A trip through the Wikipedia random article link.
  • 15 other things I didn't know - A sampling of random websites presenting ridiculous theories as facts.

Obviously I'm stretching for ideas here. Although I think the 20 things I didn't know idea actually could be kind of fun.

Experiencing the Holidays in Minnesota

This is my second holiday season in Minneapolis. Last year I did a poor job of experiencing what the Twin Cities has to offer in the holiday spirit department. I'm hoping to remedy that somewhat this year. Some things I want to do.

  • Attend Hollidazzle. I'm not that into parades, but I think I need to attend an event that has been a part of Minnesota for so long.
  • Attend at least one holiday themed stage production. I'm not sure which one at this point. A Christmas Carol seems to be popular.
  • See the lights around Lake Phalen. This is a new event, but looks fun and it's for charity so I want to check it out. Via Metblogs
  • The Grand Meander - I hadn't heard about it until this year, but it looks fun.
  • Holiday Traditions at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts - Looks like a relaxing and fun exhibit.
  • Macy's Santaland - I may not be a kid anymore, but who isn't a kid at heart during Christmas.
  • Drive around looking at lights - This isn't an event, but my family used to to this every Christmas. I'm guessing some of the homes in the Lowry Hill and the chain of lakes area would be amazing.

Any other suggestions?