Twin Cities biker bars

I’m not a “biker” by any means, but some of you readers out there might be. In any case, here’s a list of a few of the best biker bars/hangouts in the Twin Cities area. I know there are way more biker bars if you get out of the city going towards Wisconsin or up North, but for the sake of consistency, I’m going to limit it to the Twin Cities and close surrounding areas.

Whiskey Junction

901 Cedar Ave S in Minneapolis, MN

http://www.thewhiskeyjunction.com/

Biker friendly bar with lots of room to park bikes. Another biker friendly bar next door which is…

the jointThe Joint

917 Cedar Ave S in Minneapolis, MN

http://www.thejointbar.com/

Similar to Whiskey Junction but with a huge patio. Make sure to suit up appropriately; don’t forget your shoei motorcycle helmet.

Neumann’s Bar

2531 7th Ave E in St. Paul, MN

http://www.neumannsbar.com/

One of the oldest biker bars in the state. Historic, you’ve got to go here at least once if you’re a biker. You won’t find any dudes rolling up in their ride with porsche 911 wheels, that’s for sure. This is a truly old-school biker bar.

P.D. Pappy’s

422 E Mulberry St. Stillwater MN, 55082

http://www.pdpappysonline.com/

Just north of the cities in Stillwater, this bar overlooks the St. Croix river and the patio can get crazy busy on a nice summer day. Not a completely biker overtaken bar, you may see some high rollers pull up with Mercedes chrome wheels.

Top 5 Casino/Poker Movies

californiasplitRounders:

Not too much to say about this movie. For Texas Hold’em fans this is their filmatic-Bible.  Rounders is inescapable, and a bit overrated, but all around enjoyable, especially for John Malkovich’s great performance (and accent).  My friend works for a custom poker chip manufacturer and he says he gets at least a dozen orders a month from people asking to recreate the bear-emblazened personalized poker chips from this movie.

A little drunk on its own arcane exotica as a gambling movie, Rounders is a film that takes us inside a world of high-stakes card players but falls short on such essentials as character development, relationships, that sort of thing. Still, it is a real curiosity, written by a couple of guys (David Levien and Brian Koppelman) who appear to know something about the dark underbelly of card hustling for fun and profit.

The Cooler.

– I’m a bit biased since I’m a big William H. Macy fan. He does get somewhat typecast as the feckless loser too often (as he does in this film) but he does it so well. Alec Baldin is really good in this as well.

The unluckiest man in Vegas – a guy whose bad luck is contagious – is used by the last of the old time mob run casinos to kill high rollers’ action. That is, until he falls in love with a cocktail waitress and gets “lady luck,” which throws the situation into reverse. Things turn nasty when the casino director tries to break up the romance.

Croupier

– I’ve already written about this film, but it is really worth seeing especially if you are a modern film noir fan. This is a really dark, really well done film that doesn’t gloss over the seedy side of the Casino business. This movie makes me think of red caviar and stale Moët.

Jack Manfred is an aspiring writer going nowhere fast. To make ends meet, and against his better judgment, he takes a job as a croupier. He finds himself drawn into the casino world and the job gradually takes over his life; his relationship with girlfriend Marion begins to deteriorate.

California Split

– It’s by Robert Altman. An American treasure. What more can I say? See this before Atlman’s ghost rolls up in a Benz, Mercedes benz rims and all, and slaps you into it cognizance,

California Split’ directed by Robert Altman, revolves around two gamblers Charlie Waters (Elliott Gould) and Bill Denny (George Segal), bonding through their mutual love for gambling. Charlie is a witty, clever gambler while Bill is an amateur who works in a magazine. As the film progresses Charlie and Bill bond over the roulette tables and Bill slowly gets hooked to gambling and runs into debt with his bookie (Joseph Walsh).

Casino

DeNiro, Sharon Stone, Martin Scorsese. This movie is to gambling movies what Godfather is to mobster movies. DeNiro looks cooler than escalade rims in this.

This Martin Scorsese film depicts the Janus-like quality of Las Vegas–it has a glittering, glamorous face, as well as a brutal, cruel one. Ace Rothstein and Nicky Santoro, mobsters who move to Las Vegas to make their mark, live and work in this paradoxical world.

Top 3 most important Jeep models

Jeep Wrangler TJ

the awesome, classic TJ Jeep
the awesome, classic TJ Jeep

Introduced in 1997 to replace the Wrangler YJ, the TJ model is considered a turning point in the history of jeeps. The basic YJ platform was kept intact but everything else was almost completely overhauled. The most noteworthy change was the updated coil-spring air ride suspension which greatly improved the vehicle’s ride and handling. The TJ opened the car up to a wide range of jeep wrangler accessories and other options. On the aesthetic side, the TJ returned to the old CJ model’s iconic round headlamps, which many Jeep aficionados were very happy with.

Jeep Rubicon rockcrawling
Jeep Rubicon rockcrawling

Jeep Rubicon 2003

Another huge event for Jeep was the introduction of the 2003 model Jeep Rubicon. One of the most popular Jeep models for off-roading, rockcrawling and road driving, the ’03 Rubicon was such a success because of its versatility. It is still extremely popular and likely will be for a long time. With the huge market for jeep parts, the options for what you can do with a Jeep Rubicon are endless.

Jeep CJ7

Old-school Jeep CJ-7
Old-school Jeep CJ-7

Before the Jeep Wrangler YJ replaced it, the CJ model, especially the CJ-7 model, was the most popular name in the Jeep franchise. The CJ-7 featured a unique all-wheel drive system called Quadra-Trac that is still extremely popular today in the mud racing sport and in rockcrawling. The modern jeep models are all based on the original CJ Wrangler and for that, it is one of the most important Jeep models ever.

Note: Yes, there’s a reason there are no Cherokee’s listed: I feel like the lack of jeep cherokee accessories and other options for modifiying the model make it less of an important part of Jeep’s history, although I do realize it’s importance in bringing the Jeep name to those unfamilar, or uncomfortable with Jeep’s off-road origins.

Best three paintball fields in the Twin Cities area

adventurezoneThe Adventure Zone

The Adventure Zone is a great place for beginners or those more experienced looking to smoke some young kids. The prices are some of the lowest around for play, which is what attracts so many young players. I’ve heard rumors that their Ref’s are pretty lax, which can be good or bad depending on how you like to play. The speedball games here are pretty wild, with balls going faster then a BMW Turbo, so make sure to bring you A-game. Located in Rosemount, MN, Adventure Zone is one of the closest paintball fields to the Twin Cities so it is definitely worth a try.

http://www.theadventurezone.webs.com/

mnproMN Pro Paintball

Another paintball field that is very close to the city, no more than 25 minutes from downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul is MN Pro Paintball. I’ve played on a lot of fields and this is definitely one of the best namely because of their great variety of playing fields. They have a woods field, a speedball field a forest field, and more. No matter what type of game or energy you are looking for they’ve got it there. A very professional setup, I cannot recommend MN Pro Paintball highly enough. The only they could use is some food other than snacks—I mean, I’m not looking for russian caviar or anything, just some burgers or hot dogs or something.

http://www.mnpropaintball.com/

splat

Splatball, Inc

SplatBall, Inc is an interesting place. Their Minneapolis location is located near the University of Minnesota and is an indoor field on concrete in a basement. It’s a good experience if you’ve never played indoor paintball before. Then they have another location in Rogers, MN which is an outdoor field on a former golfing range which adds a different element since you are playing on artificial turf. Paint is pretty expensive to buy here and it is field paint only so it can get pricey. They have a great store there and really good prices, especially on Spyder paintball guns. Another note of warning: there are lots of really competitive speedball players here, so be forewarned, and maybe ask the refs to put you in a less competitive group if you are new to the game.

http://www.splatball.com/index.html

Motorcycle helmet blog now up

If you’re looking for more info on how to purchase a motorcycle helmet or which style is the best you should check out the new blog I just started over at http://motorcyclehelmetsdirect.com/

Other than that it was a pretty fun weekend, the weather was dreary on Sunday when I got back from the casino so I wasn’t able to take my new E-Flight Blade CX rc helicopter out for a trial run. Maybe that was for the best, though, because I ended up tinkering with it and it should fly even better now.

e-flight CX rc heli

e-flight CX rc heli

I’m still pretty beat from the weekend but I’ll be talking about the best paintball courses in the Twin Cities area later this week so make sure to stay tuned for that.

Croupier

clive own as a dashing croupier at the poker casino

clive own as a dashing croupier at the poker casino

So me and some friends are taking a little trip to Black Bear Casino this weekend, planning on spending a night there at the resort attached. I love playing cards, mostly poker and blackjack, but I don’t have too much experience at casino’s. I’ve always considered myself a pretty unlikey guy when it comes to gambling, not sure why. I have certain superstitions that I believe help me but at a casino it is hard to convince the croupier to allow you to use your “lucky” casino poker chips that you brought from home.  The last time I went to a casino I broke even so maybe I’m not as unlucky as I think I am. I mainly just don’t like to be out of my element when I’m gambling. I’m comfortable and confident when I’m playing poker or gambling at my place, but a casino is a totally different experience with so many other variables you have to take into account.

The main impetus for this trip is I watched a movie called Croupier the other night that starred Clive Owen. It was one of the better movies I’ve seen in a long time. It doesn’t romanticise the profession, far from it, but it does show casino’s and gambling in a certain seedy, but appealing light. I recommend the movie, not just to casino lovers or card fans but to anyone looking for a great depiction of the industry and how it can both ruin and save one’s life.

One of my buddy’s going with us to the casino is going to be driving us up in his newly purchased 2004 Mercedes Benz CLK 320 convertible. My friend has some dough so he pimped it out with some sweet BMW aftermarket parts. So that’s about it. Should be a good weekend, riding up to the casino in a sweet car, hopefully winning some money, and eating russian caviar. That last part may not be true.

BMW is for lovers

bmw lovers

bmw lovers

So, I’ve got this crazy German co-worker who talks incessantly about BMWs that he is starting to convince me of their greatness. Shopping around I found some great deals on BMWs, specifically on a BMW 2000 528i that looks like it is in great shape. It could use an upgrade on the BMW wheels but that’s an easy upgrade. This ride is fully loaded with all the options and doesn’t have any crazy modifications on it, which is nice because I like to add my own mods. I got a buddy who works at an aftermarket auto parts shop that can get me a good deal on a BMW turbo and other car performance parts so I’m pretty set there. I’m pretty excited about it, should be a nice ride, not something I would take out every day but something that I think I’d treat well and hope to keep a lot longer. What do you think?