Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Today, October 26, 2005, I Andrew Wambach, officially become a legal adult around 8 AM (the time I was born). It has taken 21 years to get this far and now I can finally join the rest of the adult world and finally order a beer at a restaurant. The activities of the day inlcude going to class and work at the minitex followed by dinner with the folks, roommates, and girlfriend at Vescious, my favorite italian eatery in Dinkytown Minneapolis.
Afterwards the bro, Franky J, and the roommates are takeing me out for a night on the town to check out some of the great bars that the Twin Cities has to offer. Although I am not entirely sure where we are going, I can assure you that it will be a great time. For those potentially worried about my well being, i don't plan on getting so wasted that I pass out and die or through myself off a bridge. I know people have been concerned about people turning 21 and over drinking, but I am not that kind of drinker. This will sound cliched, but I think I can handle my liquor pretty well. Those German genes come in handy after all.
Anyway, I'll be sure to make another post thursday morning (the day after) to let all the readers how the night went.

To quote a song by Something Corporate, "I'm 21 and invincible".

Laters yall and see you at the that sounds lame (oh well) :)


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Hibernation season starts early for the Caboose

Sleeping Drew -photo taken by the KU

Right around October, the seasons begin to change drastically in Minnesota. Fortunately we have had a beautiful fall so far with warm temperatures and not too many days of rain. There were a few storms near the end of September that caused some trouble but so far things have been pretty pleasant. Cool temperatures at night ranging in the low 40’s make for great sleeping weather and “hunkering down” underneath the covers or cuddling closer to a significant other when they accidentally kick off the covers (sorry about that Kristen).

Around this time, people begin to notice changes in their Circadian Rhythm or what is known as the “Biological clock”. It is a process in your mind/body that wakes you up at the same time every morning or if your unlucky every night at 4 AM and won’t allow you to go back to sleep. For me, I notice the natural instincts of sleeping in and hibernating begin to take hold right about now.

Take for example this morning. Last night I went to bed around midnight (my usual time) and was out like a light after doing some light reading. In anticipation for the morning, I set my alarms with the hopes of getting up and heading into campus early to catch up on some important reading for classes.However, nature or my body it seems had other plans.

This morning I woke up at about 6:45/7:00 AM, physically got out of bed, walked over to the bottom of the stairs and stopped. I remember thinking to myself, “It’s still dark out, screw this I am going back to bed.” The problem is I did just that!!! Instead of getting dressed and ready for the day I went back to dreamland.

Now I have to admit, that bed of mine is very comfortable, and when it is cold in the morning and still dark out, it calls to me saying “don’t you want to spend a few more minutes with me?” Like the smell of fresh cookies will draw you to the kitchen, the warmth of the covers and the softness of the sheets pulls you in only to latter face the hard reality that when you look at the clock it reads 9:23 AM, not 7:23, not 8:23, but “oh god no not 9:23" and “I am so going to be late for my class” AM.

I like to refer to oversleeping as my own personal version of hibernation. Though the true trophy on resembling animals in their hibernation practices has to go to my roommate Kevin who from most of the time that I have known him can sleep until 1, 2, at the latest 3 PM.

I know this does not excuse me being late for class, but humans need their sleep. That’s one of the reasons why I some day hope to never have class on a Friday or never have to do anything with my Fridays or at least be able to sleep until 10.

If I was to be an animal in my next life, I would choose to be one of two. The first choice would be a bear. How cool would it to be a bear living in the forest, eating berries, wrestling with other bears, spreading my bear seed with female bears for the betterment of the gene pool, mauling the occasional woodsman who gets to close to the cubs or my cave, and then like Yogi stealing the occasional Picnic baskets from unsuspecting campers.
The other choice would be a house cat named Henry. I could lie around all day or go exploring in the house of my owners looking for mice to kill and other forms of prey to show that I can contribute around the house. Mostly the thought of being petted and massaged doesn’t sound like such a bad life.

On second thought, the bear is still the coolest one that I have come up with in a while and if souls truly do transcend space, time, species, etc, I would like to come back as a Grizzly Bear living in the wild.

What kind of animal would you want to be in a next life? And if you could, would you hibernate?? You know I would.

Think about it, and drop me a comment

Until next time

Andrew, or should I say Boo-Boo
“Hey Boo-Boo, I am smarter than the average bear!” –Yogi Bear

Monday, October 17, 2005

Minnesota…tough place to be a sports fan

I swear we are cursed. Whenever any one of our teams in the state; be it private, public, professional, or college doesn’t matter, is just getting good and has the chance of being champions or the best in the country, something happens that messes it all up.

Ultimately we choke. Pure and simple.

No matter what sport it is, our teams find new ways to lose. The Vikings are overrated and this is not a rant about them. The Twins, an ok baseball team, but I hate baseball so I am not going to give them the light of day.

The team that I am talking about is the Minnesota Gophers or the goof-ers as we called them this weekend after the close loss to Wisconsin in the final minutes of the game. Minnesota’s punter fumbled the snapp and tried to punt the ball, which was battered down and recovered for a Wisconsin touchdown with no time for the Gophers to come back.

The Wisconsin fans were their usual creed saying “Sucks to be a Minnesota fan today, huh??” It may have been tough to be a Minnesota fan on this day, but none of us Minnesotans had to make the drive down I-94 to “where are you from?? Oh that’s right, WISCONSIN”, be it Madison, Milwaukee, or whatever bum-fuck part of that state you are from (pardon my French I am a little upset over the loss still). This was a border battle, and that's why I am being harsh on the Wisconsinites. Often we can be nice and polite to each other, but not during football season especially when we play against each other at the dome. It would be no different showing up to watch a game at Camp Randall as a Minnesota fan. This is the event where things become hostile between our two states. On the bright side, our states are better than the Dakotas and of course we both get to participate in the "Who Hates Iowa, We hate Iowa".

On th other hand, Wisconsin did have some help from the officials. Minnesota had at least two touchdowns taken back because of penalties, holding of course, which if you look carefully is in every single play of football to a degree. A number of other calls where questionable as well. The point is we didn’t get outplayed, Minnesota made some bad decisions in the final minutes of the game. Laurence Maroney who ran for 258 yards contributing to Minnesota’s 510 yards total (compared to Wisconsin who only had 366 yards total) was unstopable and Gary Russell, who had almost 140 yards rushing and two touchdowns, was a force as well. I do have to give the Sconies some credit in that Stocco had a hell of a game with third down conversions due to the lack of a pass rush on the part of the Minnesota defense.

Here is the problem, Glenn Mason played “not to lose”, when he should have played “TO WIN”. Mason redeemed himself last week by defeating Michigan at Michigan by putting faith in Russell who later broke a 61 yard run to put Minnesota in prime field goal position to win the game. Why didn’t he do it this time? Where was the gutsy call to get us the three yards and the first down to run out the clock and all the Minnesota fans get to brag and Minnesota has a chance at a Big Time bowl? What would have been even better than getting the first down, would have been the kicker recovering the ball from the fumble and then falling in the end zone for a safety.

But oh well, we choked, and that happens. And we lost to Wisconsin that happens too. On the flip side, we have the opportunity to play them again next season and get our revenge. Minnesota and Wisconsin have one of the oldest rivalries in college football, and that is something to be excited, not angry, about. It just would have been really nice to have the jug and the axe back in the trophy case. I guess we'll have to settle on the jug.

Thanks for indulging the rant,


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Drew Victory, Mouse=Death

I am betting most of you have already figured out by the title of this post that I was able to kill the little bastard. Somehow last night I was able to get some sleep (only two hours) and when my alarms started going off, who did I see in my window crawling around like he owned the place?? You guessed it! That little punk mouse. This was when I decided that he had to go; the little fucker had already chewed up my screen seven ways from Sunday with about 8 chew/crawl holes that he had created throughout the night. I don’t know what time he got started, but boy he was determined even though it wasn’t going to get him anywhere because the window into the house was still shut.

With that I ate some breakfast and readied for battle. I threw on my trusty shoes and a shirt and trudged out to the backyard through the back porch. I think he heard me coming because when I got to the window well, he had already ducked back down into his hole. Frustrated, I went back inside and waited for him to show up at the window and start crawling around again. The second time I went out through the front door and sneaked around the side of the house trying not to get him to make a break for it. I waited patiently until he popped his head out of the ground and he had crawled through the screen when I sprung my trap.

When I was watching him crawl around, he always went the same way, this made it easier ton anticipate his movements. As soon as he was through the screen I sealed off his exit and the hole he had recently popped out from so that to escape me he would have to dig a new hole. The next 20-30 seconds where all human instinct on getting rid of vermin. I bashed the critter with my shovel repeatedly until it stopped squealing and moving. Then I scooped him up and tossed him in the bushes.

I would have rather the mouse had met his end in the claws of a Hawk or Owl, but obviously this mouse was clever enough to evade those types of birds. I also would have preferred either trapping him with a mousetrap or poisoning him, however we had none of these things at the house on Lindig. So it had to be me, either I was going to kill that mouse or it was going to keep doing damage to our house.

Now I know there has got to be somebody out there saying “that’s a terrible thing to do, how can you kill a poor defenseless creature that didn’t do anything to you?” What they need to understand is: Mouse, squirrels and chipmunks all may look cute but they are rodents. It was because of rodents like mice and rats that killed over half of Europe’s population by helping spread the Bubonic Plague. Rodents also do damage in the form of chewing on electrical wires in your house that can end up burning your house down, or building large nests in your basement, attic, or the top of your chimney in the case of squirrels. And another thing, these creatures are not defenseless. They are small, fast, and maneuverable and have teeth, sometimes even have rabies or other diseases. People on campus should know what I am talking about, when you walk by a garbage can and all of a sudden this squirrel about the size of a housecat jumps out at you, you instantly think to yourself or out loud
"That is the biggest fucking squirrel I have ever seen!!”

People need to realize that rodents are not man’s best friend, those jobs are already taken by dogs, cats, and fishes. The world is not how it is shown in Disney films, if it where believe me I would have a pet Raccoon named Rosco and we would go cause trouble together. In reality, Rosco probably spends his time digging through garbage cans and scareing Freshman kids who wander to close to his nest in the tree near the law school. I swear these Raccoons can get to be the size of dogs and would like nothing more than to get into a fight with a drunken student.

So thus ends the 2 part battle between the mouse and the Drew, coming up this weekend two big time rodents will battle it out on the field as Minnesota hosts Wisconsin at the Metrodome for BIG TEN FOOTBALL. I know my favorite rodent, Goldy Gopher, is totally going to exterminate that damn Badger.

Rah Rah Rah for Ska-U-Mah… Go Gophers!!

Minnesota, Minnesota, Yeah Gophers, RAH

Until next time,



Of Mouse (vole) and Drew

Okay, so its about 4 in the morning, and I have been working on this CBD mapping project since about 7 o clock give or take. I finish up with a couple questions to go and jump into bed for some much needed zzz's. All of a sudden I hear this “shkshkshkshksshks”, I wait for it to go away but it doesn’t. I think, man who the hell is making all that noise at this time of night?

So I turn on my light and I see this thing moving along my window. Apparently a mouse had chewed his way through my screen and was trying to squeeze through or bite his way through glass as well. So I am thinking to myself, great now I got a rodent to deal with. And I remember how a few months or weeks ago suggesting to my brother that we get some diazanone or something to keep critters from getting in the house.

So I went and knocked on Frank’s door, at 3:45 in the morning to try to wake him up and help me with this problem or at least show him I was telling the truth. Nothin’, couldn’t get him to wake up, That’s ok, he’s a busy guy and I should be able to handle this myself. So I threw on some jeans and a shirt and marched over to the fireplace and picked up the shovel.

I then ventured out into the yard next to my window by my bed, which looks out on the backyard, and sure enough there was the little bitch climbing on the window again. Not wanting to damage the window I tried to lift him off of it and then to kinda throw him onto the grass or at least out of the well. Little did I know the punk had a hole pre dug and escaped my fireplace shovel before I could even do any damage. Throwing some rocks over the hole, does nothing really, I gave up and went back inside to hopefully go to bed. Tomorrow morning I am going to bring it up with Frank and Pete and that we need to either inspect the house for possible mouse holes if any exist and if we need to start trapping and or poisoning or both.

Anyway, until next post gnight, or should I say good morning??

Whichever it is I am crashing


Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Jug has returned to the U of M!!

Yesterday, October 8, 2005, the Battle of the Little Brown Jug (Michigan vs. Minnesota pictured above) ended with a victory for Minnesota. The last time the Gophers beat the wolverines was in 1986. The final score was 23-20 Minnesota thanks to the freshman kicker Jason Giannini kicked the winning field goal through the uprights.
Read the story of the Little Brown Jug:
(picture was obtained from this website)
This victory was crucial for the Gophers and could lead to a New Years Day Big Ten Bowl Game. With this victory, The Gophers have proven themselves worthy for an on-campus stadium. After last weeks defeat at the hands of Penn State, they were able to spring back and defeat Michigan at Michigan’s “Big House”, not a simple task by any means.

Speaking of the Gophers Stadium, Governor Pawlenty announced that the Gophers have priority over the Twins and the Vikings stadiums in terms of state funding. This is as it should be, considering that the Gophers are a part of the University of Minnesota and don’t have any plans of leaving the state.

(Bowl View of Gopher Stadium)

Support the Gophers on-campus stadium:


To finally beat Michigan after those two close loses. The worst as many Gopher fans remember was 2 years ago at the Metrodome where the Gophers were ahead, and then we let Michigan come back and beat us in the fourth quarter. The Gophers came through and didn’t quite. Mason did great by playing to win with a gutsy call to play for field goal position instead of playing for overtime.

I think a bunch of us are going to be taking pictures of the Jug as soon as it is sitting next to the Paul Bunyan Axe after we play Wisconsin and the Badgers. It’s going to be a war.

Go Gophers!!! Rah Rah Rah for Ska-u-mah

And for your enjoyment here is the Minnesota Rouser:

Minnesota Hats off to thee,
to thy colors true we shall ever be
Firm and stron united are we
Rah Rah Rah for Ska-U-Mah Rah Rah Rah Rah
Rah for the U of M
Minnesota, Minnesota
Yeah Gophers, Rah!!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Zoom Zoom Zoom, not in a Mazda, But in a freakin’ fast train!!

All right, for all of you readers who complained about the CC post, this will be one of my last entries on Transportation Issues in the Twin Cities. On a side note, it is my Major here at the University and if you don’t like it don’t read it. It’s as simple as that.

Over the Summer, I was working at Minnetex over on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota. I would get up in the morning and ride my bike along the transitway between St. Paul campus and East Bank; then make my way to Wiley Hall. The ride was about 5 miles from the house on Lindig to the West Bank and took me about twenty-five minutes to a half hour to get to work.

As I was riding, I noticed the existing rail infrastructure that ran parallel to the transitway and into the big industrial complex near the Huron lots. I also noticed the seldom Campus Connector that would run past from time to time. It was Summer and the busses weren’t running as often as they do during the school year. The rails were often empty, except for the occasional large freight train burling down the tracks at top speed, and another morning I was up early enough to cross over the tracks and see an Amtrak passenger train making its way towards St. Paul.

One particular morning it was raining really hard, and I had slept in so I was already late for work and had missed the Campus Connector at Gortner. As I am riding I am thinking to myself, “This really sucks, why did I sleep in? I swore my alarm clock went off, and on top of that I have to ride in the rain!! I wish there was a faster way to get where I am going.” And then it came to me. One of the craziest ideas I had of the summer, building a Maglev line between the St. Paul campus and the East Bank.

Maglev Train

Maglev stands for Magnetic Levitation and is a transportation technology involving the use of magnets to propel passenger trains at higher speeds than existing rail technology. There are test guideways in Germany and in other countries and China has already developed some lines that use this technology. We discussed this technology in my Fundamentals of Transit Planning class last semester. My professor had been to the test track in Germany and had a chance to ride on it. Speeds could be reached of upwards of 256 Miles per hour, but where not tried any higher due to the length of the guideway.

There are some disadvantages associated with Maglev. The first and most important is the cost of building and maintaining the guideway that maglev runs on. Maglev runs similarly to a monorail type of track, no rails, often just concrete with lots and lots of magnets and sensors built into them. This is why the technology is not as popular as it could be. Most of the world still has a ton of regular rail infrastructure that can be upgraded for the use of High Speed passenger trains as has been done in most of Europe and Asia, but not here in the United States. The cost of building the new guideway is often what kills the enthusiasm for the project.

However, if the University of Minnesota and specifically the Center for Transportation Studies where to try and get a test track similar to the one in Germany , we may be able to get some of the cost of the guideway paid for by the Federal Government. I know a lot of students would rather see a stadium ( I want one of those too) or reduced tuition (me too as well), but imagine for a second, getting on a train at the newly completed Gophers stadium after a Gopher victory, and being “zoomed” over to the St. Paul Campus in under 7 minutes!!! Same with people who have live on St. Paul campus or near the St. Paul campus (as I do), they could get themselves to the St. Paul Student Center and then take the train to the East Bank. The system could later be extended to the West Bank, and could initially connect the State Fair grounds as well and limit the number of buses coming from the Huron lots.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but the idea of getting on a train and being able to travel from the St. Paul campus to the East Bank in under 7 minutes compared to the bus system (which is great I admit) that takes 15 minutes to a half hour, will sound awful nice come December.

In the meantime, see you on the bus!!