The Great Pipe Break of 2017

This past week a water main broke in the suburb of Oakdale, causing a sinkhole to open up next to the 694 Interstate, and compromising the road surface. It means that a large stretch of 694 has been closed all week while they fix it. What I find fascinating about this is how this caused a ripple effect across the east metro.

694.pngI live in the north metro and have to take 35E in to work. However, because everyone in the north metro who wants to head towards Woodbury couldn’t take 694, they have to come down 35E and then shoot down 94 to get to the far east suburbs. This means that 35E south in the mornings has double the amount of traffic it normally does.

I have a pass to use the diamond lane, however, the last few mornings, it’s taken me a good ten minutes to get on to the freeway so that I could even get to the diamond lane. They are hopeful that the road will be fixed by Monday, and I’m looking forward to things going back to normal. However, it’s a powerful sign of just how fragile our system is, and just one cog out of place can make the entire house of cards fall.

Steamworld Dig 2

A while ago I played through Steamworld Dig on the Wii U. I really enjoyed the game and found the game play style fun and engaging. Needless to say I was excited to see that Steamworld Dig 2 was on sale recently in the Nintendo Switch eShop. I plunked down my money and have been playing through the game, remembering just why I liked the first title in the series.

The basic plot is that you are a steam powered robot named Dorthy, in an old-west style setting, who has stumbled across something going wrong in the earth. There are earthquakes emanating from below and you take it upon yourself to find out what’s going wrong. You also want to find your old friend Rusty, who was the hero of the first game. He’s gone missing, and you believe he’s still alive out there somewhere.

The gameplay is very similar to the first (digging underground through a generated landscape), but with a few new enhancements for your loadouts. It’s been a while since I played the original but I felt like I was jumping a bit more, and depending on some various “cog” options to get myself past puzzles. I liked some of the enhancements that I could put on my gear, such as the ability to fire missiles in mid-air. I also feel like I got the jetpack earlier in the game than before, and it became a crucial element in how I got through some of the later levels.

I managed to beat the story mode of the game in a few sitting, but I’m still playing, attempting to find all the secret areas, and collect all the artifacts. As I continue to get more and more gear I’m having a ton of fun with blasting through areas that were tough the first time. I’ve probably got another 2-3 hours left of gameplay before I 100% the game, if that’s even possible for someone with my lack of skill with jumping puzzles.

If you haven’t checked out the Steamworld Dig series, I’d highly suggest giving it a look. It’s a fun time, and there’s even some off-shoot games that take a different gameplay approach, but continue the story. The original Steamworld Dig is usually on sale, so it should be easy to find and pick up.

A winter haiku

I realized it’s been a long time since I’ve written a haiku on the blog. For the fun of it I went out and found a fun little haiku site that helps show you your syllables as you write. It’s called Write a Haiku, and when you’re done it saves it for others to see.

This was inspired by my walk to lunch today.

wind bites from behind
inhale the cold winter breath
a lunch adventure

Truck Park on West 7th

A while ago the wife and I stopped by the Truck Park venue in Saint Paul and got to sample one of their homemade, and gigantic, ice cream sandwiches. This past weekend we had another opportunity to visit for a large gathering of friends. We arrived a bit early so we could get some real food, and I opted for their street tacos.

IMG_1884.jpgThese were packed to overflowing with nice and spicy chicken, and I purchased a side of creamy guac that really went well with the heat. I also decided to get an Old Style brand beer, since I figured that corn-shell tacos deserved a nice corn derived beer. Needless to say, not the best beer I’ve ever had.

Once all of our friends arrived the party started, and the restaurant brought out 4 of their giant 15 lb. ice cream sandwiches. These are made with ice cream from Sebastian Joe’s and cookies from T-Rex Cookie. The cookies that made up the top and bottom are the size of pizzas. They filled them with all different flavors of ice cream which meant that you had no idea what type of ice cream would be in your slice. It was a lot of fun.

IMG_1886.jpgI managed to eat about 80% of my piece, however I lost willpower with the bottom cookie. The cookies are so thick that it’s really hard to get through them. I feel like I could have just gone with a single cookie on the bottom, since I had to spoon out the ice cream anyway. Despite this, it was incredibly delicious. An awesome way to round out the day.