Saturday, December 12, 2009

Grand Canyon Photos

Here are photos of my recent trip with Mikko to the Grand Canyon & Environs. Some of the pics also include Zion National Park, Grand Staircase / Escalante National Monument, Sedona, Las Vegas and other stuff 'round about those parts.

Click here for the full photo album

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lowertown on the Ups

More cool happenings down in Lowertown. In addition to the proposed St. Paul Saints stadium and the light rail, a couple new joints on Mears Park are opening as Mears continues to emerge as a legitimate nightspot.

This from the St. Paul Condo Blog
More interesting news coming out of Lowertown! A while back I posted about Bin Win Bar coming, and also some musings of a super secret night club/bar, well now it's got a name Club Louie (a sort of Dakota Jazz Club for this side of the river).

The real news is what is being proposed (Mark, you must be psychic). The Restaurant owners of the Bulldog, Barrio, Bin, and Louie are working behind the scenes to make an outdoor cafe along 6th Street, fronting Mears Park! The plan would be to eliminate the parking on 6th between Wacouta & Sibley. They would also ask Metro Transit that the stop be eliminated all together. They want to extend the side walk out into the bus lane to create an outdoor cafe. Something tells me the owners of Trattoria da Vinci is cursing their location now!

So far, reaction from a limited audience has been positive and from what I hear, they want to have this ready for the Spring/Summer patio season!

Next up for the plan is a hearing before the Development Review Committee of CapitolRiver Council on Tuesday morning (Dec 8th).


Mocked up this Townshend logo.



Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon

I spent the past 3 hours drinking $2 Lone Star bottles at Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin, TX. Why did I go there? First, I'm in Austin for business. Second, I saw that country truebador Dale Watson was playing there. Third, I saw their website and new I couldn't turn it down.

Where I come from, musicians don't play from 4-8pm on a Sunday evening. But in TX, they do. Ginny's is about 5 minutes north of downtown Austin and when I drove by I was surprised to see a bunch of people sitting in the parking lot on chairs it appeared they had brought (brung) with them. It turned out that Dale was between sets and after everyone had stood in line to purchase their chickenshit bingo ticket, they just hung out out back with their buddies drinkin' their Lone Stars or Buds. In fact, I don't think I saw anyone in the joint drinking anything other than a bottle of Lone Star or a bottle of Bud.

I found myself a lean at the bar in the bandbox joint that is smaller than my 1000 square foot condo and awaited the next set. The clientele was mostly dressed in jeans & boots, even in the 94 degree heat. The band had their little 4-piece setup in a corner -- drums, bass, pedal steel, and Dale on Telecaster & vocals.

At first, I was intimidated by the long line to the chickenshit bingo so I initially passed on it. But the buzz in the entire joint during Dale's set was: When is that chicken gonna shit? Chickenshit bingo is just as it sounds: A chicken coop sitting atop the pool table is turned into a 6x9 grid, randomly numbered 1 through 54. You buy a ticket for a number. The chicken is placed into the coop which is scattered with chickenfeed and wait. Lucky winner pockets $114 or has a chance to swap it for the money in Dale Watson's pocket (just like Let's Make a Deal). It's an amazing microcosm of Texas culture.

Alas, my bullshit iPhone camera is busted. I know! How does that happen?! So I am unable to share photos. But let me say that this was absolutely a Top Five music/cultural event of all time and put all those SXSW experiences to shame.

Wish U were here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Twitter Evolution

I set up a Twitter account a few months ago in order to keep up-to-date on the rumors and goings on of the NHL entry draft. Soon after I branched out a bit and started following other entities I appreciate like Outside magazine and Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations TV show. I'll occassionally tweet myself, but usually only mundane crap when I'm killing time on the bus or after I've had a few drinks.

But now people are signing up to follow me and receive all my brief blurbs in their inbox or instantly to their mobile device. I'm not exactly sure why. Have they looked at my Twitter history? There's nothing out there of interest. Maybe they're just mining the data in order to learn when I'm not home, break into my condo and steal collection of vintage vinyl. I dunno.

Most surprising of all was earlier today when one of my most revered magazines of all time started to follow me -- Powder magazine, the bible of serious downhill skiing. Now I feel like I should be launching more big air, taking pictures, and posting it in order to keep the interns at Powder interested.

Is this how Twitter grows?

1. Normal people like me try it out just to see how it works
2. A team of diabolical insiders with fancy sounding names subscribes to the tweets of all these normal people, even though they're not saying anything
3. Normal people feel pressure to gain approval of their followers, so they start tweeting more regularly and more cleverly.
4. The whole system is now strengthened

Bully for Twitter. They still need to figure out how to make money off it, though.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I may have lost ar pulltabs at Mick's Office, but the children of the
Moorhead Youth Hockey Association are the real winners...or at least
the recipients of 10 of my American dollars.

We all know that half the kids are losers after every game.

In Fargo

Drove up to Fargo-Moorhead this afternoon for work. My USB connection
from iPhone to stereo crapped out on me while listening to a podcast
episode of This American Life, but fortunately I always carry some
recorded music on those old fashioned compacted discs. Soundtrack

Iffy - Biota Bondo

Halloween, Alaska - Champagne Downtown

Now I'm off to Mick's Office for dinner and beer Moorhead style.

Kirk is... goin' mobile.

Friday, September 4, 2009

At the lake

Gorgeous evening at the lake. Soundtrack on the scenic drive up from
St. Peter consisted of:

Son Volt - Wide Swing Tremolo
Minutemen - Double Nickels on the Dime
My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
Rev. Horton Heat - miscellaneous

Kirk is... goin' mobile.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Suburban office park hell

I'm spending Monday to Wednesday this week in a corporate training
facility in Suburban office park hell. I think it has become crystal
clear to me that I really don't enjoy listening to strangers tell
stories about their children or impart to me in some other way how
their entire life revolves around their kids.

To wit: when sharing our "best recent entertainment experience" two of
the people at my table said the Harry potter movie and one said going
to the bouncy air castle fun park in Eden prairie with her kid for a
birthday party. Ughh. I said the Sonic Youth concert at first ave.

Times like these reinforce to me how little I have in common with so
many people. Truthfully, I'm a bit repulsed by these situations.

Kirk is... goin' mobile.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Minneapolis a Top Biking City

So says Travel & Leisure magazine (via). But wait...the author of the article is Stephen Regenold, he of the Strib's occasional health & fitness article. Not sure if he lives here or freelances, but either way I think he has an accurate view of how great biking around the Twin Cities is.

Song of the Day by Dinosaur Jr.

What do you do when there's already another band called Dinosaur? Just become Dinosaur Jr., of course. Sonic legends are back with yet another critically acclaimed album. Check out the amusing first video from it here, or better yet, click through to the YouTubes and watch it in amazing full-screen high def glory!

"Over It" by Dinosaur Jr.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Playing Blitzhosen

I bought the new iPhone yesterday, 32G version, and had a blast playing with it last night. One cool new feature is voice recognition. You can call somebody or play a certain song just by saying it. In fact, one of the first things I did was accidentally put it in voice activation mode.

So after I got it synched up with iTunes, I went to test it out last night...

Kirk: "Play song by Replacements"
iPhone (in computerized female voice): "Playing Blitzhosen"
Kirk: "No, no..." [resetting voice activation to try again]
Kirk: "Play song by The Re-Place-Ments"
iPhone: "Playing Blitzhosen"

Probably the first and last time those 2 bands will be mixed up. Blitzhosen was a band that Gone Out Gone played a few shows with back in the day. They were pretty good, for a young band, but only put out one demo EP that I'm aware of. It has a couple good songs on it, but ain't no Replacements.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bike to Work Day Today

Today is the gramatically challenged Bike Walk to Work Day in the Twin Cities. I had the pleasure of meeting up with 3 co-workers along Summit Ave. at St. Thomas and lead them on a group ride to work in downtown Mpls. I start downtown St. Paul, so I rode the first half of my ride alone before joining up with the other 3. It certainly was plenty windy this morning, but I counted more than 60 other bicyclists along my route and I'm pretty sure that's a record (compared to the other 3 times I've actually counted, I mean).

Another co-worker led in a group ride of Thriventeers from Uptown and there were 9 cyclists in that posse. I was glad that Liz suggested I bring a camera because I got some great shots which I might throw up on here later.

It's great to see this event growing every year.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Song of the Day by Damien Jurado

I've listened to this song repeatedly since catching Damien Jurado at the Turf Club a little while back. There's also a YouTube clip of his performance at that show when he played the song by audience request and fumbled through it a bit because he recorded it with a band, but was only solo at the time. It was a charming moment, though, when a performer allows himself to be vulnerable on stage.

Damien Jurado - "Go First"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cradle to Cradle Design

Another great TED talk from William McDonough, the founding thinker of cradle to cradle design. I love this stuff. So smart. So obvious. So why aren't we doing it?

The Tragedy of Suburbia

Are you familar with TED? Many fantastic intelligent and informational videos out there by today's leading thinkers across a wide array of specialties.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

Monday, April 6, 2009


Posted on Slateon 4/1...good humor.

Food for Thought

In my new innovation role at work I am finding it challenging to make an old-fashioned financial services company relevant for the 21st century. This video does a nice job of putting all of our current jobs (lives?) in perspective.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Nicaragua Photos

Here's a link to a snapfish slideshow of pics from my trip to Nicaragua with Liz. Most of the photos are from the city of Granada and environs, as our scheduled stops at two other locales were both quashed.

It turned out to be a great trip, given some of the challenges we faced.

Challenge #1: Large waves which overturned a ferry kept us from getting on another ferry in order to spend 3 nights on Isla Ometepe.
Challenge #2: Creepy, cultish, isolated resort at which we were to spend 3 nights. We bailed out of that one and made our way back to Granada.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Travel Travel Travel

It's been a busy couple weeks. This afternoon I got back from a weekend in Brooklyn visiting Liz's brother and celebrating her birthday. We had a great time and only set foot in Manhattan once to check out an art gallery. We stayed at a great hostel in Williamsburg, checked out DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights, and environs.

Prior to that I spent 5 days in Colorado skiing with Mikko, Steve & D. That was a blast, too. Great to see Steve (the guy I moved to Salt Lake with 10 years ago) & D (now in Denver). The weather was terrific and we enjoyed bluebird days at Breckenridge (where Mikko scored us a helluva deal on a condo), A-Basin and Loveland.

Next up is a week of down time at home before Liz and I take off for a week in Nicaragua. It's a rough life I lead.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

See the Cold? Hear the Cold?

I love these days when you can see and hear how cold it is. The temp this morning was -17 and you could hear the car tires squeaking down the snow on the street in a tone that doesn't occur when it's above -5 or so. And I especially enjoy looking out the 15th floor window of my office building downtown Mpls to see all the exagerated steam and exhaust coming out of every building and car. I just wish I could have gotten a good photo of it. Tomorrow I leave for a ski trip to the balmy mountains of Colorado where it's in the teens and twenties, but maybe I'll try to snap a photo or two tomorrow morning.

Seeing, hearing & feeling Minnesota, indeed.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Best Breakfast in Town

Liz recently introduced me to a place we'd been meaning to go for months - the Clicquot Club Cafe in Seward. After dining there twice in the past 10 days, I deem it Best Breakfast in Town. I enjoy a great breakfast as much as all y'all, and tend to end up at the joints that serve the amazing (and filling) Tex Mex / Farmer's / Cajun, etc. But Clicquot Club steps above the fray with a far higher quality serving, my favorite being the Gorgonzola Fritatta. Simply beyond.

Gorgonzola Frittata $8.95
Spinach and Roasted Garlic Frittata eggs topped with melted Gorgonzola cheese, red onions, tomatoes, and smoked bacon. Served with roasted Potatoes and toasted baguette.

Everything is phenomenal, right down to the potatoes and bread. The prior week I fell in love with the Tex Mex at the Neighborhood Cafe on Selby at Snelling, but see myself going back to Clicquot Club again and again to explore the complete menu. In addition, the staff at Clicquot Club is terrific. And why wouldn't you enjoy your job when cranking out such masterful pieces.