Friday, April 28, 2006

Perfect Weather

My Dashboard’s Weather Widget reads 67, but out here in the sun at Northrop Plaza it feels more like 80. With only a week of school left, tension is building for summer to finally arrive. Students from all over campus are outside enjoying the sunshine, girls are coming out of “winter mode”- a great seasonal transition almost to the caliber of the Swallows returning to Capistrano, the bike racks are full, and Spring Jam at the University of Minnesota appears to be in full swing.

Being out in this great weather allows me to escape all of the things that I have to do by next week, however, I don’t really feel the motivation. Having not yet acquired any form of employment/internship for the summer I am not really all interested in school coming to an end. Tomorrow I have my first orientation with HECUA for study abroad in Norway. Hopefully, this will provide me a better understanding of when I need to be in Oslo, where I am going to stay, what I need to bring, who else is participating in the program, how long my summer is really going to be.

Man I need a haircut. The last time I had it trimmed was in February, just a bit after Valentine’s Day. Since then, my hair has returned to its overly curly length and has become quiet a nuisance but tolerable. My mouth is feeling better; it has almost been a week since my Wisdom Teeth were forcefully removed from their resting places. So far the healing has been good, however, Monday night I had a pretty bad fever. Feeling like junk and shivering like crazy, I asked my older brother Frank if he could get me some Ginger ale at the Grocery store. He picked up some for me, and I quickly took my medication and crashed for 14 hours. I woke up at about 12:05 PM on Tuesday, feeling better, and decided that I should probably get to class.

I miss hot coffee in the morning. Since having my Wisdom Teeth out, I have been unable to enjoy I nice warm cup of coffee in the morning or in general for fear of the damage that hot liquids can do to healing wounds (DRY SOCKETS AHHHH). Yesterday I had my first sandwich in a few days, and it wasn’t too hard on the mouth.

A part of me wants this semester to end, however, another part of me wants it to keep going just a little bit longer. I want to redeem myself for the weeks of sleeping in, missing class, doing poorly on assignments, and not taking the opportunity to visit with friends when the opportunity presented itself. I have become a disgrace to 21 year olds around the world by not going out with my friends on a Friday night.

Last week I started going to the gym again, taking things slowly and trying to get back into a rhythm. A major disruption in that rhythm has been the surgery, but I should probably stop using that as an excuse. The beautiful weather has helped raise my spirits in this the second to last week before the end of the term…It’s a few days before May 1st...It’s practically here. The reality of the end of the term is speeding towards campus like a LRV with its breaks out. Hopefully, the majority of the passengers (us) will survive the coming calamity(I think I have used this analogy before…oh well).

Why is it always about trains with you Andrew?
Hey, some people have cats as their thing, some its dogs, or expensive trendy bags, video games, a favorite novel, warhammer, or Norueto (however you spell that), LOST, the list can go on and on. My thing is trains. Deal with it.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

My God…My Mouth *(%$ing Hurts!!!

Wisdom teeth… sigh. Yesterday at about 6:30 AM, my mother came out from Brooklyn Park and took me to the Como Healthpartners clinic to have my wisdom teeth removed. I was all psyched to be “put under” and then wake up with my teeth “magically” removed from my head. However, before heading over to the clinic I had a glass of water thinking it would be no harm. Boy was I wrong.

When we arrived at Como at about 7:10 AM, we walked into the lobby and headed to the Dental Clinic. While checking in, they asked me if I had had anything to eat or drink at all that morning? Not wanting to lie, I said yes and told the receptionist that I had had a glass of water about an hour before I had arrived. Yesterday morning I was extremely thirsty and did not think that having a glass of water would be so bad. The receptionist contacted the doctor whom was going to perform the surgery, and informed me that he would be unwilling to put me under but would still perform the surgery using lots of Novocain. This was the option or I had to reschedule.

Not wanting to waste time with rescheduling, I decided to just bite the bullet and get the procedure over and done with. I was loaded up with Novocain and then operated on. The Left bottom tooth proved to be the most difficult to remove, so the doctor had to use the drill and chip some of the tooth away and then pull it out. The other teeth didn’t pose any problems at all and popped right out.

The rest of the day I spent relaxing, drinking lots of liquids, eating soft foods, and watching some movies. I started by watching Duck Soup staring the Marx Brothers and Icing my sore jaw. I was about to watch Robot Jocks when my GF KU arrived to help take care of me during the rest of the day. Instead of action sci-fi we watched Ordinary People with Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore. Pretty good film.

The rest of the day consisted of resting, icing, snacking, and getting set for the Boone’s Farm party part 2. Frank and his friends bought almost 40 bottles of Boone’s Farm and transformed the garage into a Boone’s Farm Pong Table Arena. A lot of people showed up, and I was able to get a lot of sympathy from having my teeth torn out earlier in the day.

Now it is Saturday, and the KU and I are trying to figure out what to do with the rest of the day. It’s a little sunny out, but my Dashboard widget says rain, however, the weather widgets and online weather sites haven’t been that accurate really so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

I’ll try and come up with a better topic for the next post. Until next time, can someone pass me my Vicodin!!!!


Monday, April 10, 2006

Updates...Here GOES!!!!

Man, it sure has been a crazy fast spring so far. Already March is long gone and we are almost half-way through April. There have been some crazy developments in my life since I updated this blog...
  • I quit my job @ Minitex. It just wasn't cutting it for me anymore. In late March I decided that I couldn't take it any longer (not that the job was tough by anymeans). There was some lack of oversight and I felt like I was at Target again having too many bosses and not just one boss in charge.
  • I got published in the Minnesota Daily (already wrote a post about this) and got some needed Extra Credit in my Persuasion Thoery Course
  • I found out I was accepted into the Scandinavian Urban Studies Term (SUST) program with HECUA for Fall 2006 where I will be studying abroad in Oslo Norway.
  • My brother Frank is buying a condo, my roommate Pete is buying a house near Minnehaha and I'll be going off to Norway, not sure what kevin is going to do for housing but I', sure he will find somthing. Kristen found a sublet in Dinkytown for the summer and is continuing to look for housing in the fall with her roommate Meghan H.
  • Kristen and I had our 2 year anniversary on April 4th and the weekend before saw Hamlet at the Guthrie then enjoyed dinner at Granit City in Maple Grove. For Tuesday we made steak fajitas which were deliciouse.
  • This weekend our close friends Rory and April were finally married (just kidding guys ;) and had a great wedding and reception in their home town of Marshfield Wisconsin. My brother Frank and my roommate Pete were Groomsmen and my roommate Kevin was an usher. Kristen and I were there as just plain guests but still had a really fun time relaxing at the hotel and partying through the night
  • In my PA 5221: Private Sector Development course at the University we have started our Urban Plan assignment and it is high stress.
  • Soon I will be starting our final assignment for PA5221 which is to redevelope any site in the Twin Cities. currently this is the area I have selected...

Franklin Avenue 20th through 26th St.

If anyone out there in the blogosphere has any site recommendations or knows any good architects, please send them my way. As I mentioned in a previouse post, I think this area of Minneapolis has incredible potential for major economic redevelopment in housing and commercial land uses especially due to its proximity to Augsburg and the University of Minnesota as well as great transportation access of the LRT station and I-94.

That should do it for the update for now, if I have anything shocking I'll be sure to put it here...

BTW, I should mention that I have been spending a lot of time here at It's a great forum all about Urban development in the TWC. If this is a topic that sparks your interests, I suggets you check it out

unitl next time,


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Official Comments

...from other dialy readers:
I saw a couple comments in Friday's daily in the Letters to the Editor in response to my letter on Tuesday:
Our priorities
The Senate passed a bill for $990 million to go to state construction, with a hefty portion going toward prestigious University projects.
The University also received $330 million for a biomedical research facility.
Additionally the “U” is pushing for a new stadium partially funded by student fees and there is talk of revamping our recreation center.
Ordinarily, I would be excited about the optimistic changes. Instead, I am worried. We continually hear about the millions needed to improve our building and to make new ones.
What I’m not hearing is what’s being done to improve the conditions inside the buildings and in the classrooms.
The purpose of public universities is to provide a quality education that is available to all citizens, with the hope that this education will give them the means to contribute to society.
The alarming escalation of tuition, additional fees and program cuts are all undermining the fundamental purpose of these public institutions.
To top it off, financial aid cuts are making public education less accessible for many would-be students.
I would like to see a reversal in funding. Let us not be a university that seeks prestige for a great campus and attractive buildings.
Let us receive prestige for our quality education that is available to everyone.

Celeste Finn
University undergraduate

Save time and money
I completely agree with the Central Corridor project the University has not decided to put under its wing.
This is a great opportunity for students to save money and time.
We already have a light-rail system, and the majority of riders enjoy this.
Why not have a system that runs by your campus and can transport you to and from campuses?
It makes sense. Especially since the majority of students live near the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses, this system can be put into use not only during school hours but rather all the time.

Jacqueline D. Nath
University student

I'll tackle these comments later in the week, but I am glad that people are reading what people are saying and voicing their own opinions, how exciting!!!

Whatever Happened To Planning? I’ll Tell Ya

In last Sunday’s Editorial page of the Star Tribune, there was a rather scathing article about two developments supposedly “off the grid”; the Vikings Stadium in Blaine and Target’s Expansion in Brooklyn Park. According to the article, these two projects are considered prime examples of fringe development. Fringe development is implied from the “off the grid” comment in the article.

First off, both Brooklyn Park and Blaine, although about 15-20 minutes from Minneapolis, are not outside of the 7-county Metro and are in the Metro Urban Service Area or MUSA line created by the Metropolitan Council to limit development outside of the 7-county metro. The author suggests that the council should be monitoring projects like these more closely and provide special treatment or incentive for projects locating along transit lines both existing and proposed.

While I like the Tribune’s opinion on the need of investment in public transit, I think the choice of projects is a little unjustified. Target Corporation has been in Brooklyn Park for a long time. The BP is my hometown, and there has been a lot of excitement generated around Target’s expansion of their corporate campus and the development that it will bring to Brooklyn Park.

I take offense to the notion that this project will generate sprawl. Cities that should be criticized for inducing sprawl should be Champlin Park, which has done a terrible job of curbing their rate of expansion. Meanwhile, Brooklyn Park has experienced growth over the past 30 years gradually by opening up parcels of land for developers every 10 years. This has allowed for a diverse housing stock and the potential for investment in new housing. With Target Expanding, the value of housing here will increase, great for current home owners, and it will put pressure to finish crucial transportation infrastructure such as highway 610, and redevelop areas of Brooklyn Park such as the apartments at Zane and continue the Village North redevelopment site.

Plus, the Target Expansion in Brooklyn Park is right next door to Coon Rapids; a stop along the Northstar Commuter Rail line. Perhaps, Metro Transit or Target could run a shuttle from the station to the campus?

As for development that should be criticized, how about the rapid growth that is happening beyond the MUSA line, and out further beyond the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Council? The council dictates development inside the 7-county metro or what is known as the existing Twin Cities MSA but anything outside of it, is up to the people working in Greater Minnesota.

As for the Viking Stadium, I sort of agree. However, the stadium could do well if done right. Personally I would rather see the Vikings remain in downtown Minneapolis and the Metrodome site be redeveloped, however, if Blaine can benefit from the new investment brought by the stadium who are we to stop them?

As for the proposed “extra credit” for development locating near existing or proposed transitways, what would the extra credit be in the form of? Tax breaks? Not likely. Reduction of fees? Try again. I suggest the Star Tribune propose some forms of incentives and stop picking on Brooklyn Park and the Target Expansion.