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Member Since 01 Aug 2004
Offline Last Active Today, 01:47 AM

Topics I've Started

current recommendations for chicago?

18 March 2018 - 04:46 PM

friends are going for a week. they have the publican on their list. where else should they go? is the girl and the goat still recommended?

lao thai, st. paul

13 March 2018 - 09:05 PM

it's unclear at a number of twin cities' thai restaurants--especially in st. paul--whether ownership is lao or thai but lao thai puts the mixed origin in the name. it's not the most interesting menu but what they do they mostly do well. probably not a surprise that some of the dishes we liked most at a recent meal were lao: the lao style papaya salad (lot more fish sauce than the thai version) and the kao poon. the restaurant's been around for a long time too.



babani's (st. paul, mn)

25 January 2018 - 05:16 PM

babani's is the first kurdish restaurant in the u.s, and it's located in st. paul (now in new digs). wonderful hospitality, simple but tasty food at fair prices: what's not to love?


review on the blog (you should click on the link if only to read the wonderful origin story they print on their menus).



lens question for camera mavens

17 January 2018 - 01:25 AM

i purchased an entry-level, cropped sensor nikon dslr a couple of years ago (the dx 3300) and have been enjoying playing with it. soon after purchasing it i also purchased a 35 mm 1.8 prime lens and that's really been my primary lens (the other that i owned was the 18-55 mm zoom that came with the camera). i'm never going to be good enough of a photographer to justify (the price of) a full-frame camera and so when i recently decided to add on to my lens collection i decided to get a 10-20 mm ultra-wide and a 55-200 mm zoom from nikon's dx/crop format series. i figured that this covered the entire focal length i'd ever have interest in (the 55-300 mm zoom costs too much more than the 55-200 mm to justify the extra reach for someone who is not going to do sports/wildlife photography). 


i then decided to sell my 18-55 kit lens--this on the basis that i really don't use it very much/at all. right after i sold it i realized that nikon now makes a more advanced version of that lens (quieter auto-focus, maybe a bit sharper). i'm trying to decide whether it's worth using the money i got for the older kit lens to subsidize the price of the new version. i guess the answer to the question is in the fact that i didn't use the old one very much. but i don't know if there's value in having the 18-35 mm end of the focal length range covered as well that i'm not seeing now but might want later (actually 27-52 mm since this is a cropped sensor camera).


so what would you say:


1. kick myself for selling the old kit lens and bite the bullet and purchase the marginally better new version*?




2. save the money and just step back a few feet with the prime lens for anything that i might need the lower end of the 18-55's reach for?




*sigma makes a 17-50 mm 2.8 lens that i could see myself using a lot more than the kit lens 18-55 as it offers the 2.8 aperture across the entire zoom range. but it's both more expensive and apparently highly variable from lens to lens.

cheng heng: cambodian food in st. paul

16 January 2018 - 06:28 PM

minnesota has one of the larger cambodian populations in the u.s (though only a tenth of california's). it's not large enough to support very many restaurants, however. the most well-known of these is cheng heng on university avenue in st. paul. it's been around for 21 years but it took until our 11th year here for us to finally go there. and i wish we'd gone earlier. i really enjoyed the food. i don't know much/anything about cambodian food but this tasted as i would have expected from looking at a map: somewhere between vietnamese and thai.


full review on the blog.