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Hello Shamu! Want some carrot greens?


Deciding on Carleton

The other day, on Facebook, Carleton College asked, "Alums and current students, why did you decide to come to Carleton?" This morning I woke up dreaming about the answer. I was coming from New York City, a place full of energy and distraction, and when I visited Carleton in Northfield, Minnesota I found a peaceful place - limited, but in a good way, providing mental space that I immediately knew I could fill with learning and personal growth. It all came true for me - it was the perfect place to go to college. Over the past 26 years, Northfield has grown a bit away from being that quiet place, and the Internet seems to fill every mental gap - so I wonder if I would feel the same if I was 17 again and visiting Carleton for the first time now. I still do love the town and college, and once the weather warms up a bit more I think it's time for a visit.


Honored Today

I was honored today, professionally - http://www.inman.com/inman100/2013/matt-cohen. Here's my blog on the subject.


Laser Bun-Bun

From Bruce Schneier's CRYPTO-GRAM newsletter: $200 for a fake security system. "Moving red laser beams scare away potential intruders. Laser beams move along floor and wall 180 degrees. Easy to install, 110v comes on automatically w/timer." Watch the video. This is not an alarm, and it doesn't do anything other than the laser light show. But, as the product advertisement says, "perception can be an excellent deterrent to crime."

Although this only works if the product isn't very successful -- or widely known.

I have a different perspective on why this wouldn't work:

1. Most people, including thieves, know that red lasers aren't used for this type of alarm system.

La Fondue

It has been terribly hot out for the last few days and I haven't been in the mood to cook very much.

For lunch today I had some fruit, bread and cheese and it took me back to when I used to visit "La Fondue", a restaurant that used to be located at 43 W 55 St. in NYC. La Fondue is where I learned about cheese when I was quite young. They had well over 100 cheeses on the menu, and I would always pick one of the Cheese Tours - especially the French, Italian, or "Continental". They were not afraid to put some challenging, sophtisticated cheeses on the plate. Each tour would come with 4-6 cheeses, great breads and crackers, and the most delicious fruit.

Anyway, today's lunch brought it all back.

Visited Mill Valley Kitchen with Earl Hipp

Mill Valley Kitchen in St. Louis Park, MN: I stopped in for a weekday dinner with my friend Earl. The ambiance was light and cheery, the servers were smiling and attentive, and the food was quite good. I had a warm spinach salad with blue cheese, apple and walnuts - just perfectly constructed and lightly dressed. The salmon I added was grilled to perfection, though it might have been overdone for some tastes, but it was beautifully flavored and moist. A quibble: On the side I ordered risotto, but instead of risotto I got a plate of puffed brown rice. It was delicious, but it had nothing to do with risotto, so it was puzzling. For dessert I had a shotglass full of maple panna cotta. The maple flavor was overwhelmed with smoked sea salt, but I still appreciated the dessert very much. Portions were small, but satisfying and appropriate to the price charged. I appreciated the quality ingredients used and the skill with which dishes were prepared. I have no reservations about going back at some point to try more of the menu.

As usual, discussion with Earl was amazing, ranging from jobs and careers to friends and family and fun things we plan to do together in the future.


I've been helping my old college friend Larry tweak his new website Wordbender.net.

Larry is a great writer and is starting a new consulting / freelance business to help nonprofits, government organizations, public policy-oriented companies and community leaders craft and promote effective communications and PR.

If you know and like Larry, you should also link to his site!


A bit of catch up / Heidi's

I haven't been posting much to LJ because, while I've been overall happy, I've been in a bit of a rut. Work. Eat. TV. Repeat. Not so good, that.

On the work front, I've almost finished half of my "Real Estate Information Security Essentials" workshops - 10 city tour - Washington DC, Dallas, Orlando, San Diego, San Jose, Phoenix, Los Angeles., Detroit, St. Paul, and Chicago. It's gone really well but there are more non-techs showing up than anticipated. I've found an agenda structure and balance that works for it, and it's actually been really helpful to get the non-tech perspective. Their questions have inspired some blogs and articles that I plan to get reprinted in local industry newsletters. Those are over on my pro blog - http://www.realtown.com/mattcohen/blog/. Anyway, I've gotten some good kudos which may be useful in trying to extend the education engagement with the National Association of Realtors - more workshops, webinars, articles, etc.

Last night E and I went to Heidi's - http://heidismpls.com/ - in their new space over at 29th and Lyndale. I like it there - being in LynLake, it feels more like *my* neighborhood restaurant now. We got the tasting menu and I got the matching wine flights.

  • The "Bennie" - Eggless Benedict with huitlacoche and truffle
  • Tongue - Pickled beef tongue, roasted shiitake mushroom salad, mustard/soy "noodles"
  • Mussel Soup - Creamy mussel broth, roasted parsnips, tomato stew and fried parsley
  • Seared Duck Breast - Duck breast & coffee pecan pancake, scallion foam, lingonberry sauce
  • Nitro chocolate mousse - with roasted marshmallow, peanut butter bliss and honey

    The only dish that wasn't out of the park good was the "Bennie" - I appreciated that they basically made a poached egg out of non-egg ingredients and used all the fancy molecular gastronomy tools to do it - but in the end it just tasted like a slightly salty poached egg. Imagination and technical expertise appreciated, but for my first course I'd like something really yummy?

    I can only remember a few of the wine pairings but I'll say that all the wines were well selected to accompany the food flavors and it was great to try some expensive wines that I probably would never choose for myself. They actually served me two wines with the duck - one white, and one red. The red really complemented the duck, while the white went amazingly with the pancake beneath it.

    Anyway, it was a fabulous evening and I'm sure we'll go back. E said she liked it more than Vincent's - more fun. It was certainly less expensive and tasty.

    I've posted pictures from state fair to Facebook -

    If you're not my 'friend' on that site you might not be able to view the photos, but not sure of that.

    I always love to see the differently colored honey

    Between the milk booth visits, the pina colada shake, the fried cheese curds, and the Kiwanis malt, if I was lactose intolerant I'd be dead by now.

    2010 NYC - a lovely walk

    I've been in NYC on business - yesterday I had to have walked at least 150 blocks for fun though.

    Look at all the consumers go! Apple store is under the plaza, enter through the cube and go downstairs...
    Metropolitan Museum of Art - best dang museum anywhere
    Look at all the consumers go! Apple store is under the plaza, enter through the cube and go downstairs...   Metropolitan Museum of Art - best dang museum anywhere

    Central Park - kids love playing on the Alice in Wonderland sculpture

    Central Park - model radio-controlled yachts
    Central Park - kids love playing on the Alice in Wonderland sculpture Central Park - model radio-controlled yachts

    In most of Central Park you can't see the city, or at least not much of it - but you can in this area.

    One of the great fountains in Central Park, boaters behind.
    In most of Central Park you can't see the city, or at least not much of it - but you can in this area. One of the great fountains in Central Park, boaters behind.