Sunday, February 17, 2013

But what about the census data?

The census data is available in a lot of ways. Google will lead you easily to raw numbers and city web sites. This one will provide you with the census data for a particular neighborhood based on a property's address. Geocoding is what they call it.

http://www.ffiec.gov/Geocode/default.aspx

Minneapolis Neighborhood Services is pretty awesome for helping to find some of these materials.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Taxes past and present

Lookingup taxes and things like that can be fairly straight forward too. If you can type an address anyway.

http://www16.co.hennepin.mn.us/pins/pidsrch.jsp

Hennipem, Ramsay and Dakota counties all have excellent GIS maps with all sorts of interesting information about properties. Public records are sooooo accessible now. No skulking around in basements that say "beware of tiger" on the door. Sometimes. No one claims to have completely accurate information and some people are better at covering tracks.

Friday, February 15, 2013

the Matrix

Once you realize there is no spoon you look someplace else for the materials. Banks won't post them where they can be searched. But this Matrix convieniently puts first time programs into a nice little package. It is designed for Minnesota so sorry for the regionally specific stuff, but it might help you on your search terms.

http://www.hocmn.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Affordable-Loan-Products-Matrix-December-2012.pdf

This is off the Minnesota Home Ownership Center's website and explains a lot of the programs available (FHA, Start up, HFA etc).

Enjoy!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Once more but with feeling!

Early this summer I bought a 1x1 frame set off craigslist. Specifically I bought a Race Face crankset with a Surly 1x1 frame set attached to it. The plan being, upgrade the crankset on my 1x1, and sell the frame set for what I had into it back on cl.

oh the plans of mice and men.

I brought the parts home and commented on the nearly new condition and my loving wife says "I would like a 1x1 too." Which is the truth. She's always borrowing my bike. rides it everywhere. 

So with a heavy heart I said goodbye to the crankset and we started collecting parts.

I had a gordo rim built around a schimano hub, but not disc. It came with the Instigator, which I switched to disc last summer, but had just picked up a new wheel for. SOOO, this dust collecting double walled beast of a rim made the cut for a new bike. So I tore that apart and rebuilt it around an sram x9 cassette hub. I built a second gordo rim onto a shimano disc hub with a three leading three trailing spoke pattern.

We went with bb7 brakes, partly because I am familiar with them and partly because the older 1x1 frames don't have brazons that play nice with hydraulic brakes. Mostly the familiar bit. I didn't think of the compatibility bit until I was actually running the cables. My fear of change seems to have saved me headache for a change. I called it a win.

Geared at about 2.15x1 the bike is a little high for riding single track in Lebanon Hills, but great for ambling around the city. No stalling on those crappy hills St. Paul has every four blocks. We had some 2.25in Kenda tires handy.  I'd like to put something a little nicer on like nevegals or minions, but that'll be later. 

The bike is light and zippy. The wheels feel great. She really likes the new bike, and now we have black and white 1x1s. And they are pretty spiffy if I do say so myself.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blast from the past

I was rereading a post from '08. Back then I really really didn't like hoppy beers, and for the most part I suppose I am prett low key when incomes to hoppy beers. But I'd say, that in the intervening years I have developed a palate for even the more hop forward bes like dogfish head or steel toe.

Sweet child of vine is damn fine too.

Also, tonight I was clocked by a speed limit sign at 13.
 I was pretty excited:

 Four years ago I got a road bike up to 19 mph for a couple moments and averaged 8 riding home. Tonight I averaged 13 on a single speed pug.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Crazy talk part 2

I was swayed by another blogger to try a bizarre setup with the bar ends not on the ends. Time will tell if it is inspired or crazy.

I have the power!



















Speaking of crazy.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

How to lock your bike

I no longer own cable locks. We were at the Fringe Festival a few years ago, and locked our bikes up on the corner of Cedar and Riverside in Minneapolis (look it up if you don't know the corner). While we were enjoying the local theater scene in the Mixed Blood Theater our locks were tampered with.

The tumblers would not turn, I suspect glue, so we took bolt cutters and liberated our own bikes.

The cheap toolshop bolt cutters we used went through 14mm braided steel like it wasnt there. False hope is all that comes from cable locks I say. Now I carry a Ulock or a Forgetaboutit chain (or both).

Everything not bolted on I take with. Everything bolted on that I am leaving is locked down. two locks are better than one. I figure more than two locks attracts unwanted attention.