mellowtigger: (Terry 2010)
updated tornado pathThe tornado got very close to work and home. One of the guys at work told me about a pontoon that was lifted from one lake and deposited in another lake just 2 blocks from our work site. Much of north Minneapolis is blocked off by police cars and barricades to prevent traffic into the area. After work, I went riding my bicycle, but the police prevented even that traffic. I had to detour twice from my usual bike paths.

I have updated my map from Sunday's blog post to show spots where I saw line-paths or groups of trees that were damaged. The bear icon shows where I usually attend Bear coffee each Wednesday evening, but we cancelled this week because of tornado cleanup in the area. My black line of the estimated path is obviously incorrect. It was a "small" tornado, as such things go, that directly killed only 1 person by sending a tree through a vehicle's windshield. Much less damaging than that Missouri tornado that's made international news.

Harold Camping has adjusted his Rapture prediction. May 21st wasn't the literal judgement day, it was just the figurative judgement day. Actual doom and destruction comes in October, just a few months away. Sweet. It's the comedic gift that keeps on giving. I still get frustrated, though, that 20% of Americans believe that the Second Coming will happen in their lifetime. Such belief means that people have an actual disincentive to spend any significant effort on solving real world problems. They actually hinder sociopolitical advancement because "God will destroy it all soon" anyway. *sigh*

For actual apocalyptic doom predictions, there's only one source that you need: Just scroll down to the section on "Near Earth Asteroids". You get a nice table of asteroids on approach paths. It measures the approach using a "lunar distance (LD)" multiplier, which is the length between earth and moon. Any multiplier higher than 1 means it travels farther from us than the moon, while any value lower than 1 means it travels closer to us than the moon. You'll notice that there are currently no planet-busting scenarios in our near future.

Meanwhile, in other practical news, my organization participates in the Minnesota Animal Disaster Coalition. We remain prepared to provide emergency assistance for any housepets displaced by catastrophes, whether the tornado in Minneapolis two days ago or the river flooding in Saint Paul a few weeks earlier. I recommend that people check our website if you know of anyone who has been separated from their housepet during the recent emergency:


Jun. 17th, 2009 10:53 am
mellowtigger: (Default)
How are we supposed to overthrow the oppressive patriarchy if I'm the only one who shows up in a dress?!

And I really need to find a sporran that I like.  (Notice the work pager on the table next to me because I had no pocket to keep it in.)  I've searched for years but never liked any man-purse that I've seen available.  I guess I'm being picky.

I sat on the flat chair with my legs crossed.  I did not use the other chairs which had the dangerous upward-sloping seats.  *grin*

We'll be meeting again tonight 6-8pm at Lily's Cafe, if any locals want to show up.  There's no call for kilts tonight, though.

mellowtigger: (Default)
It's no longer just me with a kilt! I'm declaring Kilt Night for June 10 Wednesday 6-8pm for Bear Coffee. Wear 'em, if you've got 'em. :)

link to Google Map for Lily's Cafe

For those who haven't been yet, Bear Coffee is meeting at Lily's Cafe in northern Minneapolis. They are located at 3301 Central Avenue NE, and be sure to drive the speed limit because a cop likes hanging around there during the evening rush hour to catch speeders. On the plus side, though, the coffees and teas are nicely affordable, and they have lots of excellent food (fresh soups, salads, and sandwiches). If you don't see us at the front tables, then check the large backyard patio to find us. Dogs are welcome on the patio, and there is free wi-fi available for your laptop computers.
mellowtigger: (Default)
Today is the first day of the new Bear Coffee.  Come visit for a nice, low-key chat environment.

It will be 6-8pm each Wednesday evening at
Lily's Cafe (formerly Columbia Grounds) at
3301 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

p.s.  Oh, and I'm cross-posting to [ profile] mn_ncbears .
mellowtigger: (Default)
It's official.   I (we?) will be moving to a new location beginning Feb 11th.

Here is the notice that I handed out to (the few) people who attended tonight.

Terry is moving Bear Coffee north of Minneapolis.
The new event will be at Lily's Cafe (formerly Columbia Grounds) from 6-8pm starting Feb 11th

3301 Central Avenue NE

  • slightly more affordable coffees and teas

  • kitchen with fresh soup, salad, and sandwich

  • free wi-fi (but no computer) and Lavender mags

  • much nicer patio garden (dogs still welcome)
Any questions? Email
mellowtigger: (Default)
I found a place where I want to move the Wednesday evening Bear event. I'll be discussing it this week at the usual Dunn Brothers coffeehouse.

There is a place at 33rd and Central Avenue that would be perfect for us once they're fully operational.  One of my roommates, [ profile] joshuwain, explained to me that "Columbia Grounds" has been through a few owners recently.  It closed after a less-than-ideal owner was unable to make ends meet last year.  The new management has opened it up just in recent days/weeks, so they're still working on getting everything together.  When I went on Saturday daytime and Monday evening, here is what I found when compared to the current coffeehouse:
  • they have coffees (cheaper), teas (cheaper), plus fresh sandwiches, salads, and soups (MUCH yummier)
  • they have a large patio (quieter)
  • they may be serving wine soon
  • the only magazine stack at the door was Lavender's (GLBT friendly, clearly)
  • they do have free wifi for use on laptops (which I need so I can attend when I have the pager from work)
There's only one hitch at the moment:  their hours.

I was out there tonight eating my sandwich, salad, and herbal tea ($9.80 total, I think) when two women came in to see if the place was serving wine yet.  They weren't, and the women left.  Columbia Grounds is trying to get a liquor license so they can sell wines.  Until that happens, they'll probably continue closing at 8pm instead of later in the evening because they lack the business to stay open.  The way liquor licenses are managed around here, it could be a month when they get approval or it could be never.

If a large number of Bears started showing up, I think they would extend hours for us.  They need the business, obviously.  But the reduced hours are the only thing that make me hesitate about declaring this place the "winner" for next potential Bear Coffee site.

Here's their webpage, although it is VERY old.  The menu and such are no longer applicable.  Still, it'll show you the appearance of the place and give you a sense of where it's at on the map.
mellowtigger: (Default)
weather: The sun's been up a short while, yet we still have -22F/-30C air temp (-38F/-39C windchill). I heard a loud pop come from the wall in my bedroom this morning. The cablemodem internet connection here keeps dropping out. After cycling power on the modem, it comes up with some packet drops, but then it eventually just fails completely. I don't know whether to think it's because of Comcast interfering with high usage (as they are known to do) or the cold weather messing up physical connections somewhere.

Darkfall: Speaking of high usage, the new Darkfall mmorpg will be about 18GB and will only be downloadable. I do use BitTorrent periodically (hello, Comcast) but I'll have to use it to get this game downloaded. No way is a tiny company in Greece going to be able to support tens of thousands of people trying to download 18GB from their web servers. I'll have to get it from a torrent. The game is supposed to release on January 22nd, but it's looking more like vaporware to me. *ignorant shrug*

Bears: I'm wondering if I should just walk away and let Bear Coffee die. I've attended for many, many years. I drove over to Saint Paul when it was held there, and I was one of only 2 people who showed up there one evening long ago. It goes through boom and bust cycles, I know that. But it'll soon be too expensive (again) to drive places unnecessarily. There's no great reason for me to keep showing up at Bear Coffee when nobody from Bear "management" bothers to show up any more, and last night we had only 3 people. A month ago there was a night with only 2 people. Maybe I'd be better off just declaring that it's moved to someplace closer to where I live. Who could disagree? Kind of a shame, though, since one of the people who (sometimes) shows up there I've happened to find increasingly interesting/attractive. (Great voice, even better eyes (dark brown), and he's a computer programmer.) It takes me ages to warm up to that kind of possibility though, so it'd be a shame to close the venue before figuring out someday if there's any mutual possibility there. Yeah, I know, I've had half a year to work on that already, but like I said I'm slow to warm up to stuff like that. *laugh*

conference: The Microsoft developer's conference was a big disappointment. No Windows 7 dvd. (It'll be mailed later. Microsoft hosted a developer conference when the beta is publicly available, but Microsoft doesn't have a dvd ready for attendees? Unimpressive planning, there.) The keynote address was horrible. It was addressed to somebody other than developers. It was supposed to start at 8:30am but was delayed until 9am because cold weather that day delayed most people on the roads. Even after the late start, it was supposed to last only 90 minutes, but it went on for 2 hours I think. I don't know why. It wasn't interesting.

I learned at a session that C#/Visual Basic are converging in their abilities. I learned at another session that F# is Microsoft's attempt to create their own language to sidestep issues that appear when programming in a multicore environment. If you have a language which contains no variables, then there is little need to semaphore when various data structures are being used. There are labels/pointers to data, but that data is constant. So either a "variable" exists (constant value), or it doesn't. Data synchronization problem avoided. Interesting idea. As it's slowly included in .NET and Visual Studio, I still wonder if it'll someday replace the converged C#/VB languages. I mean, it's getting hard already to tell what Microsoft is in the business of doing. Why confuse things even more with a basket full of programming languages? Something ought to go away.

My very condensed summaries:
keynoteMicrosoft discovers Facebook.  This keynote was well-presented garbage.  Total waste of my time.  I learned nothing useful or interesting.
session 1 on C# and VBThese languages will converge in their abilities with Visual Studio 10.  It looks promising.
session 2 on Women at MSLegos are always fun, and they easily promote creative thinking.
session 3 on SilverlightMicrosoft discovers Java.  I love programming, but watching a programmer code for an hour is BORING.
session 4 on F#Microsoft discovers Rexx.  (Well, not really, but list processing reminds me a lot of Rexx's great string processing abilities.)  Partially applied functions are awesome!

No, I didn't win the Lego Mindstorm set.  *SIGH*


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