If it was lutefisk, they’d have a point

Live near Minneapolis? Bush supporter? The FBI are looking for people to infiltrate sinister vegan potluck gatherings and report on any terrorist planning activities that happen there, so they can be ready for the 2008 Republican National Convention. Remember, loyal Americans eat steak!


Minneapolis airport had a Dyson Airblade installed in the men’s bathroom, perhaps in order to give Republicans one less thing to wait for while tapping their feet. What can I say? It works. I put my wet hands in, and the device started blowing quietly. I pulled my hands out slowly over the course of about 10 seconds, and when they emerged they were dry. The device shut off automatically. The air it blew was cold, not hot.

Minnesota thoughts

It wasn’t too bad when the wind stopped–only about -3 to -6 Celsius. When we arrived in Minneapolis, it was actually slightly above freezing. I managed to screw up my back somehow en route. I’m not sure how. I think it was a combination of nasty airplane seats, improvised pillows, five hours of journey, and cold gray weather. We managed to rent a Prius. The logic was that although it isn’t 4 wheel drive, on icy roads it’s better to know exactly how the car will handle and how effective the brakes are.

Austin thoughts

We spent a week in the city, staying with the gracious Gavin. Here are some ways in which Austin is a better place than Cambridge/Somerville: People are friendly. Example: We were looking at some new houses, and suddenly found ourselves talking to one of the builders—a native Texan—about how he got into the trade after his time in the military, how they constructed the houses, why they did things the way they did, trade-offs of different kinds of construction, and so on.

So just how hot is it in Austin, really?

After some controversy over just how bad the weather gets in Austin, I decided to go pick up some actual historical data from the NOAA web site. First, the monthly averages, in turn averaged for 1931-2000: City <td> Jan </td> <td> Feb </td> <td> Mar </td> <td> Apr </td> <td> May </td> <td> Jun </td> <td> Jul </td> <td> Aug </td> <td> Sep </td> <td> Oct </td> <td> Nov </td> <td> Dec </td> Austin TX <td> 52.

Ten wallpaper images I’ve transferred to my T68i

The DARPA Total Information Awareness Office logo Bad Badtz-maru The International Rescue logo The Designers Republic Angryman The giant spoon and cherry in Minneapolis The words DON’T PANIC from the front of the Hitchhiker’s Guide The Davis Square cow weathervane The Red Bull logo The Yellow Submarine A set of color TV test bands


If I wanted snow in October, I’d move to Minneapolis. I guess Mark was right… it’s going to be a long, cold winter.


Well, it was a strange Christmas. Strange for me, anyway: to keep sara’s parents happy, we went to church in the morning. They’re Lutherans—and not just any old Lutheran, either. It has to be a specific conservative Lutheran synod, not those ecumenical ELCA types. I sat quietly, and stood at the appropriate points. I was there, but I didn’t sing or pray. I couldn’t have anyway—of the four hymns I actually recognized, two had totally different words, one had a completely different tune, and the third goes way too high for my post-teenage voice.

Greetings from Minnesota

[Previously “friends only”] Even you haven’t been on a plane since September, it probably won’t surprise you to hear that the entire experience was awful. It started at the airport, where less than half the check-in booths were staffed, and even the e-ticket counters had a long line of people. The terminal had been rearranged, and new walls added, to funnel everyone through one security checkpoint. Naturally there were only two scanners operating, resulting in more long lines.

Minnesota (part 2)

Ely apparently attracts a lot of Birkenstock-wearing nature lovers, and we’d found it comparatively civilized. Vegetarian food had been easy to find, espresso was everywhere, and the local store had even stocked Red Bull. This changed rapidly as we headed west southwest towards the Iron Range and the Minnesotan accents became thicker. We stopped off at the Soudan mine. Once an active location for deep mining of high grade iron ore, it’s now a museum and scientific laboratory.