November 29th, 2005

Get the message

How the Minneapolis DFL really works

Cobb's essay on demographics yesterday reminded me that I've been stewing over a couple of things I've heard on the radio from people who normally strike me as very perceptive in matters of local politcs, namely Mitch Berg and Bob Davis.
Mitch and the rest of the Northern Alliance radio gang were talking about the general anti-business stance of the DFL and the decision by Target to move their headquarters out to the northern suburbs instead of trying to cope with the pettifogging of the Minneapolis city government, which with the Red Star is now whining about sprawl and why are businesses so mean to us? Bob was going on this morning about a study that first saw print in the Downtown News (and apparently now in the Strib) that restated Pareto's thesis to the effect that 33 offenders were responsible for 20% of the crime downtown.

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dead wombat

Loose ends

I finally managed to finish the data entry job this morning. It was a real PITA, worse than the huge UCLA surveys since the verification process consisted of re-entering all the data one had already bashed into the computer. Last night is pretty much a blur...I started the batch as soon as I got home around 1745 and went to bed four hours later after nodding off a couple of times on the last pages. So I got up at 0400, started verification at 0430, and managed to wrap up at 0700....after which I showered, grabbed things I needed to bring in to work, and took off for North Minneapolis to drop of the documents. Despite my e-mail, nobody answered the door after I rang the doorbell and called, so I left a message on the boss' answering machine and put the docs in the door. Not doing any more of those until I get back from DC, and maybe not even then. Anyhow, what with all the snow and consequent traffic snarlage I didn't get into work until 0915, which means I won't be getting out of here until almost 1800. Bleah.

After taxes and fees, I made about $8.50 on each of my options, and that's mostly going to pay off some bills which haven't been dealt with in a while. Most of the rest will go to replace the lost salary from the two days I took off without pay while waiting for short-term disability to kick in; there may be enough left over to get my library card out of hock now that I've found all three books again. We'll see. Either that or I'll buy a new pair of cheap jeans, since my last pair blew out their buttonhole this weekend.

Tonight, a visit to the last gun shop in Minneapolis for a pistol case and a cleaning kit; a trip to Victory Village (who will probably be closed by the time I get there) for a used Samsonite suitcase, and then home for a relatively early bedtime. Ten hours in the last two nights is not nearly enough.
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Travel prep - Tuesday update

Booked my flights on Delta for the weekend of the 15th. Unfortunately they all stink and require me to come home late and leave early, i.e. Sunday afternoon. At least I'll be comfortable; the Sheraton National has really good rates that weekend, probably because the Congresscritters and lobbyists will all be out of town.

Unfortunately that's not the case for this weekend. I need to go home and look at my Entertainment book to see if I have any useful hotel discounts, since that's probably going to determine whether I crash at the Days Inn Crystal City, the Virginian Suites off Route 50, or someplace else in the Alexandria/Crystal City/Arlington area. Washington itself? You must be kidding me. The choices there are insanely expensive places like the Watergate Hotel or fleabags out on New York Avenue. Anything in Maryland is just too far away from the airport - I don't want to be fighting rush hour traffic at 5 AM Monday morning, thank you.

UPDATE: Days Inn Pentagon, hands down. Four miles from DCA and $65/night. w00t! As for the suitcase, it can wait until tomorrow. My body demands sleep!

UPDATE II: As a bonus, the Days Inn Pentagon is next door to both a SunTrust branch and a coffee house that offers free WiFi. They're only open until 1900, but they open at 0700, so that means plenty of time to suck up coffee and surf.
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