Thursday, October 18, 2007

Round Two, Twin Cities Chess League

My opponent, Connor, was able to tie the match with his win against me in the second round game in the Twin Cities Chess League. I haven't run the analysis, but I think my biggest mistake was 17...f6, as that allowed the hole for the Knight. In retrospect, playing 17...g5 instead may have worked.

Connor played tough with time down. I was able to gain back some of my Pawns, but he was able to get his King into the fray on the Kingside to promote that Pawn. (We lost track of the remaining 14 moves in the time scramble.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Henry Rollins put on a great three hour performance!

I can say so many wonderful things about last night's performance at First Avenue. Despite that I got there just late enough to not have a chair and had to stand the entire evening, I got to listen to Henry tell some great stories and provide his insight into war, peace, injured soldiers, world travel, getting to sing for one of his favorite and most influential punk bands, and many other fascinating and surprising topics.

Henry knows how to spin a tale. He'll start out at one point, take a ten minute detour to tell a seemingly unrelated anecdote, but then bring us back to the original thread of the story. The anecdote fills in some of the needed texture. I enjoy that journey, because he does well what few people do at all.

I greatly appreciate that he shares his experiences, because I can learn quite a few things about the world through his stories. My travel is very ordinary, and his is incredible. He's been to places I don't think I will have an opportunity to see in the near future. He informs his understanding through travel, and the fact that he talks about the connections he's made with people of other countries helps me to understand the world a bit better.

He is a very considerate person, and he takes the hard path through some difficult discussions and issues. He's not satisfied with easy answers. He talked about one person who has been in the news lately, and he gave me pause to think what it may be like to live in that person's shoes.

Even after speaking three hours, he was gracious to meet with fans afterwards. I will treasure getting to talk to him for two minutes and having my picture taken with him.

Edit: One of the last things that Henry talked about was the hard work that the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is doing to help the soldiers that have returned. Please visit the site and see how you can help!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Henry Rollins tonight at First Avenue!

A month ago I posted that Henry Rollins would be starting his spoken word tour, and tonight he is finally in the Twin Cities! I am very excited to listen to him in person!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Minneapolis residents: Save NRP (Neighborhood Revitalization Program)

If you are an active community member in your neighborhood in Minneapolis, you are more likely than not aware that NRP is currently in danger. Many neighbors in my neighborhood, Longfellow, as well as others have been busy working to keep this great program going.

So, fyi, this Sunday there is a meeting at the Columbia Grounds Coffee Shop, 3301 Central Avenue NE.

From the Longfellow Community Council website, here is more information on the Save NRP Committee.


Save NRP Committee

Committee goal/purpose: Preserve the Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP).

The Neighborhood Revitalization Program is an investment program based on empowering residents to participate in building a better community and city. Residents and other neighborhood stakeholders create Neighborhood Action Plans (NAPs) that describe the neighborhood they want in the future and NRP will help accomplish their vision. NRP completes the empowerment process by providing funding to each neighborhood to help implement their plan.

Since 1995, the following benefits have been realized in the Longfellow, Howe, Cooper and Hiawatha neighborhoods through Longfellow’s NRP Action Plan:

  • Volunteer efforts by hundreds of residents who banded together to promote community betterment through projects ranging from playground construction to block clubs to river gorge restoration.

  • More than 15% of the housing stock in the four neighborhoods has been improved as a result of Longfellow NRP housing programs.

  • A total of $9.3 million in NRP funds have leveraged over $15 million in additional investments in Longfellow.

The strides Longfellow has made as a result of NRP are at risk. The current city council and mayor want to cut the program’s funding. In response, LLC formed the Save NRP committee in July of 2007. The committee’s core strategies are:

  • Mobilize the greater Longfellow community

  • Politically engage our elected officials

  • Network with other neighborhoods

  • Create awareness

The committee is made up of neighborhood volunteers. Please consider joining us!

Meeting day and time: Check the calendar at

Links: - Find out who is already involved in saving NRP – Neighborhood maps, city contact information, NRP facts, and more

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Election Guide 2008: The Candidates on Climate Change

On The Intersection science blog written by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum, Kirshenbaum wrote a post on global warming that included a link to the New York Times Election Guide. Read it to get the candidates' perspective on climate change.

Twin Cities Chess League, Round Two, this Friday

The second round of TCCL is this Friday at 7 p.m. at the Roseville Skating Oval. The standings, the pairings, and other information is available on the MSCA website in the forum.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Do you know about the Minnesota Energy Challenge?

The Minnesota Energy Challenge is a means for understanding your home's or business' carbon footprint with some suggestions for how to lower it. (It took me a few minutes to answer the questions.)

Also on This Week: New poet laureate, Charles Simic

I found Charles Simic's poem, which had a chess theme, to be interesting. Read the poem and listen to the video on the ABC News site.

George Will on This Week yesterday

I'm not surprised to see some reactions to Will's statement on the blogosphere this morning. When we were watching This Week, Will's comments on social conservations resonated with me. Check out some reactions at Crooks and Liars: George Will tells social conservatives to grow up.

Monday, October 01, 2007

You probably already know that Anand is the 2007 World Chess Champion!

It was killing me just a bit this weekend not knowing how the last two rounds finished. So I was eager and happy to log on and see that Vishy Anand is the chess champion! Congratulations! He had a great score of four wins, no losses, and ten draws for nine points. Nicely done!