Jamie Thingelstad's personal website

Category: Local (page 1 of 2)

I really hope this happens. Having an MLS soccer team, but more importantly a team playing in downtown Minneapolis, would be great. I’d definitely look at season tickets!

United Properties says pro soccer is an option for a site it may develop near the Minneapolis Farmers Market — a sign that the Minnesota Vikings may have a serious rival in their bid to bring Major League Soccer to their new home in Downtown East.

via Investors eye site near Mpls. Farmers Market for MLS soccer stadium | Minnesota Public Radio News.

Restarting AWS MN

A couple of months ago Bridget Kromhout and I started talking about coordinating with the Twin Cities Amazon Web Services User Group organizers to get the meetup group going again. The first thing we did was change the name to something a bit shorter, AWS MN.

We had our first meetup a month ago to get things going again with a pretty loose agenda. This Wednesday we have a presentation I’m super excited about on Automating AWS with Ansible by David Federlein. We already have presentations for October and December as well. Want to present for November? :-)

This is my first time organizing a meetup and I’m super excited to be doing this with Bridget who is frankly awesome at all of this (you should follow her on Twitter, @bridgetkromhout). We are also using GitHub issues to coordinate our work which is working really well and hosting at SPS Commerce using our training facility which also works fabulous for this and is nicely located in core downtown.

If you have an interest in AWS and topics related to it, you should definitely join the meetup and come to our sessions. They are the third Wednesday of every month at 6pm! Also follow @aws_mn on Twitter!

Our Neighborhood in 1938

My friend Garrick shared this link to the Minnesota Historical Aerial Photographs Online site. It is a pretty cool site where you can see aerial photos all over Minnesota going back as far as 1920. I immediately went and looked where we live and they currently only have one photo from 1938. I’ve highlighted our lot in yellow.

It was surprising to me that the tennis courts were in place back then. In fact, the entire Minnehaha Creek West Park seems to be pretty much as it is now with the same walking bridges and everything.

Our street doesn’t exist yet. The entire row of houses that we live in are not there but the other side of the block has been developed.  Our house was built the following year, in 1939.

I also pulled up our previous house in Minnetonka in 1937 and it was entirely farmland. Was still farmland in 1956. The transformation there is amazing.

Tesla Roadster Sighting

First spotting of a Tesla Roadster in Minneapolis. Parked outside of Café Lurcat. Given the plates I’m guessing it is someone from Z.Vex Effects car.


Got in on the Surly tour this week. It was Surly-licious.

Surly Darkness

Haven’t tasted Surly Darkness yet, but I was lucky enough to get a bottle into the house.

Surly Darkness

Surly Fest

Just ordered my tickets for Surly Fest!


Burger Jones First Impression

Tammy, Mazie and I joined my sister-in-law Angie, Mazie’s cousin Nora and Grandma Olson for lunch at Burger Jones today. We’d been meaning to try out Burger Jones since before it even opened and this was our first opportunity.

Burger Jones

First impression was good, but unfortunately the whole experience just stayed there at just good. I got a burger because, hey, you’re at Burger Jones. I ordered the burger medium, but it came well without any pink at all. It was a pretty uninspiring burger and I would take a burger of my own off of the Big Green Egg most any day. We also tried the cheese curds as they were supposed to be very good. They were pretty good, when they had cheese in them. The way they were prepared made a lot of the cheese come out of the breading. Mazie and I decided to give the Nutella Malt a try and it was good, but how can you do a malt wrong. Lastly everyone split the stack of fries trying the regular fries, sweet potato fries (my absolute favorite) and waffle-cheese fry. The sweet potato fries seemed like they came right off of a Sysco truck and into a fryer. Another yawn.

For the cost, I would have expected something better. It was all fine, and everyone left happy, but there wasn’t anything about the food that left me wanting to return quickly.

Kopplin's Coffee

kopplins_logo.jpgI’ve been doing plenty of complaining lately about coffee shops that are so inept that they cannot serve a passable shot of espresso. Note, I’m not complaining about the use of an automated espresso machine. I use an automated machine at home. I’m not that high maintenance. No, I’m vocal about putting 1 to 2 ounces of espresso in a 16 ounce paper cup. Or not even knowing what it is to just order an espresso. I recently suggested legislation to remedy this and Peter Vader commented about Kopplin’s Coffee and suggested I should try it.

With this sturdy recommendation I asked my neighbor and coffee connoisseur Mike if he wanted to join me and drive over there, about 30 minutes one way, to give this place a try. Obviously I’m not going to make a habit of driving 30 minutes to get a coffee, but if it really was special I thought it would be fun to try.

Kopplin’s is totally unassuming. It seemed like a simple, notably small, coffee shop with a few laptops open and a couple of people chatting at tables. The guy behind the counter was the owner, Andrew Kopplin, although I didn’t know that until I looked at the newspaper clipping on the wall with his picture in it. The first thing I noticed at Kopplin’s were the two Clover machines on the counter.

images.jpegI knew a little about the Clover from a thread that had spread around the Internet a while back. Mainly, I knew they were $11,000 coffee machines. Not espresso machines, but single batch brewed coffee. Check out this video of the Clover in action to see what this is all about. There was a very big hubbub when Starbucks bought them [nofollow link] in a desperate grasp for authenticity and coffee that tastes less horrible. To be clear, I’m no fan of brew, but I had to give this a try. We ordered a 16 ounce pot of the Guatemalan and gave it a try.

It was really good coffee. Extremely smooth. But, it was still brew. I enjoyed it, but the taste wasn’t what I like. For those that love brew, the Clover is probably a gift from the heavens. For me, the $11,000 is lost.

Onto the real reason for the trip, to give their espresso a go. In short, it’s about the best espresso that I’ve gotten in a coffee shop in town. It is incredibly deep with a very thick crema. The service is perfect, in an appropriately sized ceramic cup that has been preheated for a while on the top of the espresso machine. Kapplin’s seems to do a very fine grind, and the resulting espresso just drips into the glass.

We chatted with Kopplin himself for a little bit and he’s a really cool guy. Very nice, obviously knows his stuff. I give him huge respect for being in his mid-20’s and opening up his own place and making that all happen. And on top of making great coffee he is sourcing local ingredients, and even using milk from grass fed cows in his drinks! I don’t think you can go wrong with a trip to Kopplin’s.

Kopplin’s was named Best Barista by City Pages, listed as Ultimate Brew in Twin Cities Business and has great reviews on Yelp.

And last but not least, I really dig the logo.

First ALT.NET Meetup

altnet2_small.pngI received an email this morning from Ira Mitchell clueing me in on a group that Freemind is helping get going called ALT.NET. The first thing I noticed was that they have a really cool Minneapolis-inspired logo for the group and then I started trying to figure out what it was all about. From the ALT.NET site:

At it’s purest, the driving force behind the ALT.NET developer community may be described simply as “The pursuit of happiness.” While Microsoft has provided developers with a powerful framework and a bunch of very good tools and packages to build upon, it often feels like too much effort was put into a “one-size-fits-all” design philosophy that can make it complex, tedious, or just plain impossible to do things that don’t follow Microsoft’s prescribed approach.

With other development platforms and languages offering so much choice (Java and it’s many quality open source offerings) and elegance (Ruby on Rails with its “beautiful” code and “convention over configuration” philosophy), .NET developers longed to craft cleaner, more elegant solutions without having to leave a framework that has so much to offer.

ALT.NET is about following your own beliefs about application design, and using the .NET platform to support your ideas, rather than retro-fitting your ideas to the platform.

Sounds cool! The first meet-up is at The Bulldog NE, the same place where people meet before Ruby Users of Minnesota meetings. Check it out; the beer will be good, the food will be good and hanging out with hip people working with cool technology will be good as well.

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