Archive for the ‘Website Updates’

What Are Your 2013 Goals?

Last year, reader Tearitup asked what your 2012 goals were figuring that most people don’t do very well with resolutions but would probably do much better meeting their “goals” instead. After looking back over the list this year, I have to admit that I did much better than I usually do, but still didn’t make everything I wished I had.

Last year’s list for me was: more pleasure reading; smaller portions, more salad, less beer, and healthier meals; and have more date nights with The Wife. Well, I didn’t always make the more specific goal of reading one book a month for pleasure during school and two while not, but I did read quite a few books in 2012 nonetheless. While I drank less beer (I haven’t had many at all since May (I can count them on one hand), I can’t say I did very well with smaller portions, more salad, or healthier meals. Finally, The Wife and I (thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Sank as well as our wonderful regular babysitter) did get out to more date nights! I consider those wins compared to my usual list failures so I am doing it again this year:

    1. Take better care of myself.

    Eat less and workout more. This year was extremely busy with a new job and acceleration of my graduate program. With graduation in mid-March and only one course during that time, I have no excuses.

    2. Hug my kids more and be a better dad.

    Recent national events have made me realize I need to hug my kids even more than I already do. I also need to be less testy with them (more The Rooster than The Koala but she’s getting old enough to drive me crazy soon enough).

    3. Better prioritize my time and how I spend it.

    Less time spent on work, school, and Lazy Lightning and more time on The Wife, The Rooster, and The Koala. This has been a long-running argument between The Wife and I, especially after 2010. I thought I had done a much better job managing my time but she disagrees. In 2013 I promise to strike a better balance and make my family (i.e. The Wife) happy.

A bunch of readers responded to last year’s post with some really interesting goals including “being nicer to people”, “bike 2000 miles”, and “get a blog up and running.” I really wonder how many of those reader faired in meeting their goals for 2012 and what they plan to do for 2013. So go ahead and comment on below as I’d love to hear your thoughts.

2012 Lazy Lightning Year End Stats

Just as I did in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, I am offering some website stats from the past year. These are all as of 12/31/2012 at 7:00 AM CST.

Top 10 Comments Posted by Readers in 2012:

lefty 770
MSPD 487
Chad 266
Joey 253
Mikeh 209
Chapter&Verse 206
Tim 157
Nurd52 149
sandy 140
Sui generis 125

Top 10 Posts Visited By Minnesotans:
Minneapolis Metro Holiday/Christmas Lights Map
Steak America in Burnsville, MN
Minnesota State Fair Bingo
Byblos Lebanese Grill in Burnsville, MN
The Rack Bar & Grill in Burnsville, MN
Valley Tap House in Apple Valley, MN
Zest in Eagan, MN
Spice Thai Cafe in Lakeville, MN
Wicked Palate Food Truck in Burnsville, MN
Copper River Fish and Chop House in Lakeville, MN
Lone Oak Grill in Eagan, MN

Top Ten Most Commented Posts:

157 The Rack Bar & Grill: Burnsville, MN
149 Wicked Palate Food Truck: Burnsville, MN
119 Burnsville May Move to Four Day School Week
114 Copper River Fish and Chop House: Lakeville, MN
94 Why I Don’t Like to Shop at Best Buy
90 Steak America: Burnsville, MN
89 Cut Off at a Bar Poll
85 Apple Valley Pizza Places Opening and Closing
83 Spice Thai Cafe: Lakeville, MN
81 Should Bars Be Held Responsible for DUI?

Top Ten Most Well “Liked” Posts:

28 Steak America: Burnsville, MN
27 Copper River Fish and Chop House: Lakeville, MN
26 In-N-Out Burger: Hastings, MN
17 Betty’s Cafe and Pies: Eagan, MN
15 Tailgaters Sports Bar & Grill: Farmington, MN
15 Copper River Fish and Chop House: Lakeville, MN
13 Piccolo’s Pizzeria: Eagan, MN
13 Apple Valley Police Officer Speeds Unnecessarily?!
13 Elizabeth Kautz Lies About Fiscal Responsibility
13 Apple Valley May Buy Another Skyway? Seriously?

Other Fun Comment Stats:

1. Lefty has the most comment likes with 1183 but he also has the most dislikes (1104).
2. There were 12 fewer posts this year than 2011.
3. MSPD was the first reader to post for the 2000th time.
4. 6174 comments in 2012 was the first dip ever, but comments/post (20.24) was 2nd highest.

After a job change; a second super-cute baby who spent a week in the NICU after she was born and the next 4 months miserable; and a move to complete my grad program early, I admit that I have not done even half of what I used to do here. I have many times questioned whether it’s worth it; whether the blog format is dead; whether it’s really worth anyone’s time to keep up with the public officials and what they do with our money. While I still have three more months to go until my program is complete (although I only have one class remaining!) these questions will remain on my mind. I love the community you all built here and I love digging through everything. I’m sure once my calendar clears up some my brain will have more space to process and everything will hopefully come back to normal. However, I still thought it was imperative that I apologize for not providing the quality content to which you were all accustomed. Volunteer or not, I still take this somewhat seriously.

That said, we have voting on best comment of the year coming up on Sunday and we need to have a list of comments you feel are worthy for inclusion! What was your favorite post in 2012? What would you like to see more of in 2013? Whatever you have to say go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.

2012 COTY Suggestions Poll!

Similar to what we did at the end of 2009, 2010, and 2011, I have selected a few comments based on their thumb rating (sum of negative and positive votes) and placed them below. This year, by request, I have added a spot where readers can add their own suggestions to the poll. Because there is no way to allow for adding your own to the poll question automatically, this is going to be for selections only with actual voting occurring next Sunday (1/6/13). Hopefully this will eliminate the issues surrounding relying on thumbs voting, ok?

Top comments based on votes:

Narrow Down COTY Choices for 2012

View Results

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Now that we have those laid out and you can vote to narrow the list to 3, I’d like you all to submit your suggestions for other comments which should be added to the voting list. I’m looking for any comment you deem worthy. Feel free to use the search function (it usually works pretty well even if the blurb doesn’t show the comment text–just click the link and see if you find it) or e-mail me and I’ll do some deep digging to find what you’re looking for. I’d need, at a minimum, something you remember about the comment. I’d prefer it be limited to a specific user but I can work with the prior.

Once you find the comment you wish to add to the voting for next week, post the link below and give it a cute little synopsis as I did above–that will make my life easier. Yes, I am getting over the flu but it’s 3:53 AM and I’m not sleepy. I’m sure I will be dead the rest of the week as I get back on track–this is NOT how I wanted to spend two weeks of my vacation.

So go ahead and vote on the top 10 comments based on rating to narrow them to 3 and then add your own if you see fit. If you have any questions go ahead and comment on below.

2012 Baby Break Guest Post Signups Are Open!

Back in 2010 I asked a number of readers (some with blogs of their own and some without) to help me out, following the birth of The Rooster, by authoring guest posts so that I would be able to take a two week hiatus from posting to tend to my family. Well, with another baby on the way and due in mid-June, I’m again asking for your help in having the site run more or less on autopilot while I take care of two little ones, The Wife, and myself as best as a frazzled father of two can.

All I’m asking for is some sort of original content, it can be anything from 300 to 2000 words (generally my posts range from 300 – 1500) and span the spectrum as long as it’s not hateful or directly related to religion. You’d author a post by June 1st, 2012 and send it to me in an e-mail and I’d queue it up. You can include pictures (as long as you own them and provide me with permission to use it in perpetuity or have permission to use them on my site through some other means (Creative Commons for Commercial Use, etc), embedded video, etc, etc, etc. The only thing I ask is that you write something you feel would be interesting to the rest of the readership.

The last time we did this, the posts were very well received by the readers and comment counts were through the roof. While not everyone appreciates my allowing guest posts (one person said, “I read YOUR site for YOUR content, not someone else’s), I’m not here to make everyone happy ;-)

So, if you’re interested feel free to sign up below. Your information will only be known by me and The Google. I’m looking for at least 10 posts but will take up to 20 (that’s 2 to 4 weeks worth, not including poll posts on Sundays). If you’re interested in being called upon to write more than one post in the event we need it, there’s a spot for you to enter that as well.

So feel free to ask any questions you may have below or just fill out the form to sign up. I’m interested in knowing what you liked best (or not at all) about the last time we did this and how you think it could be better. Feel free to beg those regulars you want to see post and shower them with offers of your undying love or promises of virtual applause. Whatever you have to say go ahead and comment on below!

Click HERE if you cannot see the embedded form below!