Tour Of Target Field

I absolutely cannot wait to watch some ball at Target Field.

The UpTake
‘s Allen Miller talks with Twins Executive Director of Public Affairs Kevin Smith about Target Field, the Twins new home starting in 2010.

Hit Or Miss

It’s amazing what a good camera will do to your ability to take interesting photos! It makes all the difference in the world. While I don’t pretend to know what I’m doing, I am having a lot of fun with my new camera as I try to figure it out.

On Friday I met up with some friends at the Leaning Tower of Pizza on University by Dinkytown and aside from the abysmal service (I have never ever in my life not left a tip, so this was a first), I had fun and part of that fun was taking pictures.

It’s funny. The one photo I thought would turn out to be pretty interesting wasn’t that at all but one that I just snapped, not thinking much at all about it, turned out pretty nicely. I just like the way the people are framed, engaged in conversation. I especially like the contrasts in light: The dark interior with the lighted exterior  and how the blue light from the Cocktails sign highlights the booth, table and plant:

Leaning Tower Of Pizza

Stub & Herbs

Stub & Herb's, and I went to Stub & Herb’s Friday night to watch the Gophers hockey game and after the game a band set up and played–well, practiced, in the other room. They were too loud and not particularly good and not once while we were there did they play a whole song.

Stub & Herb’s is a Uof M college student hangout and a sports bar near Dinkytown that has entirely too many Packers fans. They have plenty of small screen TVs and two very underwhelming large-screen TVs for watching sports. Their food is decent and reasonably priced–the French dip sandwich is particularly good and their chilli is decent, as well. They ocassionally have live music, which is really unfortunate because the place is far too small for the too-loud garage bands that seems to be the only "talent" they employ.

They have pool tables and they serve but they do not have wi-fi access. The place is owned by , who is running for Governor of Minnesota as an independent candidate because she’s pissed off about bans. I really can’t blame her.

If you park in back, MAKE SURE THAT YOU GO INTO THE BAR IMMEDIATELY or they will put a boot on your tire and tow your car away. Once, after a Lions game in 2004, I went across the street to get sme gum at the drug store and they already had a boot on my Jeep. I practically went into a righteous rage until I got them to take it off. . Here’s the notice they left on the Jeep:

Stub & Herb's Boot Citation

But getting my vehicle booted wasn’t the most interesting thing that happened that night. As we were watching the Packers game, a girl in the next booth started flirting and I’m game, of course, ’cause flirting’s fun. So it’s back and forth flirting here and there throughout the night but when it comes time to pay the bill and I’m digging in my wallet, she says something to the effect of "twenty-five bucks to look, fifty to touch."

I was shocked. I was speechless. That was the last thing I expected because this cute young woman looked and acted nothing like what I imagined a prostitute to be. But, I guess, having no experience with them, I wouldn’t have known what to expect, anyway.

Just so you know: Watch out for the boots and the hoes.

Check out more cool places around the metro at my .

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Tavern On Grand – Best Walleye In The Twin Cities

Okay, this is a new thing I’m going to do in conjunction with my . I will occasionally write up a little blurb on places in the Twin Cities  that I like for one reason or another and then link to these posts from my Twin Cities mashup. We’ll see if it drives traffic deeper into my blog. Without further ado, then…

My eldest sister is the best! I absolutely love and she knows it because I took her there when she visited from Vermont for her annual trek through the . She remembered and sent me a gift certificage from Tavern On Grand for Christmas. Sweet!

Whenever I have friends or family in from out of town, I take them there for the Walleye dinner. It’s about seventeen, eighteen bucks for a two-fillet dinner but it’s worth every penny. Uhhhhhhhh, so good. They’ve got plenty
of seating but a small bar, so if you’re going there to hang at the bar and take
in a baseball game, good luck.

Not only do they have the best Walleye
ever, but they serve as well. They have wi-fi access, but it’s restricted. ASIDE: You
might want to mention something to them about that ;-).

Check out more cool places around the metro at my .

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Twin Cities Mashup

I’ve started a Twin Cities bars, restaurants, entertainment and just places I like Google mashup. Click on the balloons for each location to get a popup text box with more information. There are also links below the map you can use to the same effect. I’ll try and add a location a day. You can always get to it by clicking the link on the sidebar on the right.

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Minneapolis Sucks

I haven’t yet told you how much or how badly sucks, have I?

Living in , I have never felt the odd inferiority complex some Saint Paulites exhibit when comparisons to their sister city across the river are brought up…because there’s no comparison. Minneapolis is a cold, manipulative, and calculating place. Let me tell you how.

On Friday, and I had a meeting in Minneapolis to pitch a potential client. We drove separately because the meeting was at 4 p.m. and neither of us were planning on returning to the office after the meeting.

So Blois, driving ahead of me, found a couple of open meters on…I think it was 2nd Street. I pulled into the second slot, turned off the engine and got out of the .

What’s the first thing you do when you park at a meter? You look at it, right? You go up to it and find out when the meter is enforced and if you need to plug in some quarters, you do. I look at the meter and it says that it is enforced until 4 p.m.

Our meeting was at four and we were running a tad late. It was after four. We were good to go.

After the meeting, Blois and I are walking down 2nd Street and Blois notices a tow truck where we had parked our cars. I can’t see my Jeep. We run over to the tow truck and the guy is getting ready to hook up the cable to pull Blois’ vehicle up onto the flatbed part of his truck. Blois tells the guy he doesn’t need to tow, that it’s his car and we’re going to leave.

But the guy would have none of it. All I can think about is the $180 it cost me the last time Minneapolis towed my Jeep.

Slowly filling with righteous rage, Blois and I point out that the meters say they are not enforced after 4 p.m. and we parked there after four peee emmmmm. But the towing guy points out a street sign indicating that there’s no stopping between 4 and 6 p.m. We hadn’t even noticed the sign because, you know, you get confirmation from the meter and then what else do you need? Nothing.

Contradictory signs appears to be a way to create revenue for Minneapolis. Thanks, .

The towing guy says he’ll give us a ride to the impound lot and I guess we should be thankful for that. We get in the truck and though grumbling about our ordeal, Blois is entirely gracious with the guy, saying he understands that the guy’s just doing his job.

All I can muster is a “I hate Minneapolis.” I’m not feeling particularly gracious.

“Yeah, I hate Minneapolis, too,” the towing guy says. It looks like he’s got a pinch of between his gums. Crackly old school Country Western music sprays out from the AM band. “I’ve been stabbed and shot in Minneapolis. My wife came down with brain cancer and she died three weeks ago,” he tells us.

“Dude, I’m so sorry,” Blois says.

Either the tower’s travails puts everything in perfect and proper perspective, or he’s got a foolproof way to shut disgruntled people up.

We get to the impound lot and I step up to the bulletproof window to pay the goddamn city to get my Jeep back as a result of their intentionally misleading signs and find out the damage is $138.

“You’ve dropped your prices. I wasn’t expecting that much,” I say as the guy at the window slips my driver’s license back to me through the slit in the glass. I write out the check and slip it to him.

“And you’ll need to get this taken care of within the next week,” he says, slipping a ticket to me through the glass. It’s for $34.

“That’s more like it,” I say, stuff it in my pocket, and head outside to find my Jeep.

I can’t get out of the horrid city fast enough; but not too fast, because, God knows, I’ll get a ticket for speeding. I breathe a sigh of relief as I cross the border from the hostile Minneapolis into the warm and welcoming embrace of my city, Saint Paul, a place where I’ll never worry about being towed.

Two Touchdowns, An Interception & 3 Drops

That was my production for the two games we played on Saturday with the pick-up football guys.

We had five on five or six on six–I can’t remember–but the field we laid out was a bit too narrow for the number of people who showed up, so the first game was all about defense. There were a lot of interceptions because there wasn’t as much room for receivers to get open.

As a result, the game lasted forever. Since we had an odd number of guys, I played all time defense for the first game. That was fine with me. I figured I’d save my energy that way and thus have more in the tank for the second game, when everyone else would be tired. It was all right with me, that is, until I realized just how long the game would last. During one of our numerous water breaks about halfway through the game, by way of commenting on the length of the game, I said it didn’t look like I was going to play on offense today. Delicious was nice enough to notice and offered to switch with me so I could play some offense, which I did.

During the first game I didn’t do much at all except tweak my shoulder. Two weeks ago, I broke up a pass and my hand was gabbed and pulled by the receiver I was defending and it sure felt like my shoulder dislocated and then immediately popped back in; either that, or it was hyper-extended. I am, it must be pointed out, notoriously inaccurate in diagnosing my own sports injuries. Whatever the case, it hurt like hell. The shoulder felt a lot better on Saturday but early in the game I knocked away a hard-thrown ball and tweaked it real bad–damn it hurt.

So that’s what my performance amounted to during the first game.

The Second Game

I fared much better during the second game but halfway through it, I started feeling dizzy. It was clear I needed something to eat. During a water break I scoured my bag for an energy bar I knew was in there with no small amount of trepidation because I bought the bar probably two years ago. But it was either eat it, or stop playing, and that wasn’t an option. So I ate it.

My fears were quickly confirmed, as I started to get sick shortly thereafter. Not throwing up or anything, but definitely feeling really crappy. That and my throbbing shoulder. Ugh.

The Drops

But despite all that, I was much more productive during the second game. I did drop three passes that I should have caught. And it’s driving me nuts because I’ve been doing too much of that lately. Especially as I’m getting older, I can’t afford to drop the passes I should make if I want to keep up with the younger guys. One was a low pass on a crossing route that wasn’t all that easy, but I should have caught none-the-less. Another was a high and outside pass at the sideline that was a little awkward but I got two hands on it, so I should have pulled it in. The third drop was a pass that needed to be low to keep it away from defenders. I was doing a crossing route just over the end zone and my QB got the ball to me about shin-high. I got both hands on it but simply dropped the ball. It’s never an excuse, but I wasn’t expecting the ball. It would have been a score.

Two Touchdowns & An Interception

Halfway through the game, I was pretty exhausted and was not running as fast as I probably should have been running. But on one play, I made up my mind to make a move on my defender and score on a long bomb. Lucky for me, my defender hasn’t been playing as regularly as I have, so he might have been a bit tired. Anyway, I ran a seam route heading toward the middle of the field and once I got him turned inside, I broke slightly outside to create some separation. My quarterback saw the play lofted a perfect strike that I brought in just over my defender’s outstretched arms and with just enough room to get two feet in in the back of the end zone.

My interception came on the following drive. The other team drove relentlessly and efficiently down the field with a well-run set of short plays. They were five yards away from a score and I was playing in the middle. I had a feeling their quarterback was going to try toss one over my head to one of his tall receivers and he did but he didn’t get the ball up quite high enough and I went up and got it.

The following drive, we marched down the field and got to about the ten when I did a crossing route in the back of the end zone and camped out in the middle of the field. My QB fired a bullet between two defenders that I caught (but not before bobbling) for the game winning TD.

Funny, I didn’t feel sick anymore.