Roundup: 02 Jan 09


by Erica Mauter

* Cream cheese wontons were invented by Leeann Chin?!?! I have such mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, yay Minnesota! And I like cream cheese wontons. On the other hand, I hate Leeann Chin and cannot understand why they’re so popular. Something about fast-food Chinese food is just not right. (via) is a cityblog for and about life in the Twin Cities, published by Erica Mauter. Contact

* Looks like the complete rehaul of the Blaisdell YMCA is almost complete. Nifty fact: Almost 100% of the materials of the building that were torn down were reused avoiding the landfill and 75% of the building’s construction materials contain recycled material (concrete, wood, etc). I had a YWCA membership when I lived a couple blocks from one, but the YMCA has a lot more locations and a lot better visitor access if you travel. If I were inclined to ever purchase a gym membership again, I’d prefer the YMCA. Of course factor in the other programs and services the YWCA and YMCA provide when deciding how to spend your money.

* Speaking of rebuilding stuff, the new LEED-certified Seward Co-op is… awfully green. Seriously green. I drove by it in the dark the other day and it was practically glowing. Just sayin’. More informative: Ed took the tour. Peter has more pictures.

* This is hardcore tech-y/nerd-y/over my head, so perhaps the intended audience already knows all about it, but I’ll share with you that the next MinneUX meetup is Tuesday, Jan 6. Lynn Smith, local IA/IxD pro, will be presenting a demo of a very creative, non-facilitated “discount” usability test/heuristic evaluation, followed by open discussion about the methodology used, its rigor and validity — basically, “Is this a good way to gather feedback?” *blink*blink*

* Also my new favorite shirt: I Bike MPLS. (I’m such a poser, by the way. The amount of time I actually spend on my bike is shameful. Which I swear will change when we move back into the city. I’m still gonna get the t-shirt.) Dan Konold says you can get the shirt at Stroker Ace and that it was inspired by

* Cam Gordon, the Minneapolis CM representing the 2nd Ward, goes over the “highlights” of the City of Minneapolis budget for 2009, including the effect of the loss of Local Government Aid from the state. In case you didn’t know: Of the City’s overall budget of $1.4 billion, the majority (about 75%) is restricted for specific uses, such as water utility, storm water, solid waste/recycling, and the Convention Center. The City’s “general fund” makes up the non-restricted dollars and is about $374 million.

* In the Southwest Journal: Dear snowball thrower. I love a good angry open letter with a little bit of empty threat and a lot of old coot mixed in.