For the Doubters

I say, I’m in Minnesota. Doubters say, pics or it didn’t happen. I say, FINE. Here’s yer lousy, stinkin’ view from the hotel room picture. I hope you’re happy. Also, someone needs to explain to me that ski jump over there on the left.

53 Comments on “For the Doubters”

  1. Not *that* kind of picture, silly! Pics of the supposedly luxurious suite that the Minicon bigwigs have seen fit to provide for you!

  2. Oh pfft. Nice try, Scalzi. That’s clearly Nebraska. If it was Minnesota it would be under THREE FEET OF SNOW, like it is all year except July.

  3. The question is not “Why is there a ski jump in Minnesota?” Why shouldn’t there be a ski jump in Minnesota!? Ski jumps are cool. No, the question is, “Why ISN’T there a ski jump in central Ohio?”

    I think I could not be bitter about the whole high-speed rail thing if we had a ski jump. And a bobsled track.

  4. Welcome to Minnesota, John! You’ve temporarily raised the average IQ of persons in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area 0.0000456% of a point during your stay.

  5. Oh yeah, I’m kinda’ new here. Is the location of Scalzi a frequently debated point? Is he subject to quantum uncertainty? If he really is in Minnesota, does that mean we don’t know if he is spinning or charged up?

  6. That could be any urban sprawl in America… in fact, is that not the Golden Gate bridge in the distance? Or am I just imagining that?

    Where is Minnesota, anyway? In the UK we don’t tend to do much US geography and I was terrible at geography anyway…

  7. Grain elevator

    Need some optical zoom on that thing. It’s a maze of fuzzy pixels, all alike.

    Maybe if someone could run it through that magical software they have in all the CSI shows and optimize it.

  8. Spring has apparently not hit Minnesota yet. (if indeed that is Minnesota.) It’s a bit dreary.

  9. #9: We’re at the headwaters of the Mississippi River.

    John: the ski jump is part of Hyland Hills — a small ski area which is just to the left (and probably a little out-of-frame) of said ski jump. (There used to be a smaller training jump to the right of the one in the picture. I used to live about a mile from there.) I know they used to have competitions at the jump, but I don’t know when the last time that was.

  10. You can’t fool me. You’re clearly on the Moon and that’s NASA’s stage they use to fake the shuttle launches.

  11. @Adrienne: Spring has definitely not yet taken a firm grasp in the Northern Plains. As of Tuesday we got snow as far south as Ames, IA, about 2.5 hours south of the Minicon site.

  12. I can see my house from here! Well, not really, since you are facing the wrong direction. Just recently moved from Bloomington to Eagan. Still undecided if I am making it to MiniCon46 or not.

  13. Hrm. I’m pretty sure you’re staying in the same block of hotel rooms where I was at CONvergence last year. ;) Hi Bloomington–i surely wish i were there!

  14. Oh, and

    4. If you’re ever in Minnesota with a kid (and it’s not winter), about five minutes from the ski jump is one of the coolest playgrounds EVER, at Hyland Lake Park Reserve. You drive past the jump and keep going on Bush Lake Rd. and follow the signs to the “Creative Play Area.”

    TOTALLY AWESOME PLAYGROUND. Locals usually call it Chutes and Ladders (it’s got a lot of slides).

  15. Jeff Hentosz@5:

    Ohioans are more down-to-earth (and less Scandinavian). Central Ohio does have the Mad River Mountain ski resort NE of Dayton. If you try very hard you can catch some air.

  16. Hi Naomi. Yep. I knew it was the Sheraton ;) I think we might have met. At any rate, we know a lot of the same Minneapolis humans. At CONvergence, I’m usually known as “Ishmael’s B****”, since I’m his right-hand girl. ;)

  17. Holy small world in Scalzi’s comments, Batman! That’s a lot of CONvergence folks. Also, since it snows six months out of the year here (more forecast for this weekend), we are obligated to have every winter sport available to our citizens. It would be cruel and unusual not to.

  18. Your so called ski-jump is actually one hell of a skate board ramp. Weeeeeee!!!!!!!……Thump/Bounce.

  19. I know someone with a SCUD launcher.

    For that matter, I know someone with some SCUD missiles, but I digress.

    My main point:

    Who? Who are these doubters?

    Who would fake going to Minnesota!

  20. Proves nothing unless you are in the picture holding up a current newspaper.

    And even then it might be your evil twin, John Scalvi.

  21. Not sure if it’s the clouds or what, but I really love this picture. Very nice, John. Hope you’re having a comfortable and fun time!

  22. Others have already explained the ski jump; we start training them young here. There is still snow on the ground here, if you know where to look (somewhere where the city or county piled it up, in deep shade; most of those piles have melted now.) Not sure if I’ll get there tomorrow or not. :( Busy busy busy in RL. Any chance you’ll stop by Uncle Hugo’s before you fly away?

  23. I’ve lived here all my life, and never knew what the ski jump was for.

    The Sheraton is supposed to be a Doubletree now. (There was some kind of sale.)

    Also for some reason Dairy Queen has corporate headquarters here. Or at least that’s the reason I invoke for the nice one next to the hotel.

    CONvergence is a nice con too.

    My theory on winter is that we’re cycling through seasons every week. I predict snow again shortly after Mr. Scalzi leaves.

    Have a nice con.

  24. That “ski lift” is the planetary trebuchet from the great war of LaGrange Point, won by the House Vastieg against House Fornaught when Master Vastieg was able to launch a Variak torpedo into Fornaught’s flagship from the surface of the planet, a maneuvar never before accomplished.

    They turned the trebuchet into a monument to the shot that won the war and ended the siege of the planet.

    It was in all the papers. I’m surprised you didn’t hear about it.

    The gift shop sells little Vastieg action figures. They’re all the rage.

  25. #10– Scalzi lives in OHIO. I am sure he has a VERY GOOD idea of what a grain elevator looks like!

    (They’re actually pretty cool– I made my husband drive me close to one on a road trip once, because I’ve always only seen them from the distance. )

    Minnesota is one of those places where, if you’re from out of state, the ads all say “excellent winter sport oppurtunities” which is code for “Better keep a Tauntaun handy…”

  26. Well you missed the 90 plus weather here in TX by just a few weeks. But since we had 5 whole days of MN-like weather this past winter that was the longest spring in recent memory. Tha picture looks eerily similar to the one from Austin. Hmmm.

  27. Oh yes, it’s really a ski jump. Minnesota doesn’t believe in mountains (or…hills, even, really ;) so we have to make our own.

    And yes, the Sheraton was bought. Not sure if they switched over yet. It came across the CON channels that it would likely be rebranded by July, if i recall.

  28. #9: Funny you should say that, a couple of recent incidents have made me realise just how much better my knowledge of US geography is than the UKs. And being a Brit, that’s kind of bad… Britain’s too small, I can deal with big things (deserts here, forests here, tornados down along here..) but ‘shire after ‘shire all packed into unending urban sprawl… no.

  29. Please. An important man like yourself could easily have had an assistant take that pic. You need to be in it for us to believe.

  30. You’re in Bloomington. :( Welcome to urban sprawl.

    By the way, you should drop by Uncle Hugo’s. Great SF bookstore, I’ve bought your books there. I think they need the added publicity. Large store, only SF & F, but it’s a tad run down.

  31. John, I suspect you’ll enjoy the view in Boston more. And the food. Think bugs. Big red bugs slathered in butter.

  32. The ski jump is for the 9.2379233 months of winter that Minnesota usually experiences.

  33. Nope. Can’t explain ski jumping.

    Back in the dim, dark years my parents put me in one of the ski clubs here in the Twin Cities. Imagine a couple of busloads of 8-10 year old kids descending on a poor ski hill… Anyways, one of the chaperones showed up one weekend with crutches and a large cast on a leg. Turns out he’d overjumped the “safe” landing area on the jump you can see from John’s picture.

    Crazy sport.

  34. Re #38. It’s not that we don’t believe in elevated terrain, it is just all those pesky glaciers ground it off and plowed it south. The ski jump is just to keep people in training for the next time the glaciers come.

    Speaking of winter and glaciers has anyone alse considered keeping a bonsai glacier in the backyard? Pile snow up in one location all winter, then as the spring thaw approches cover it with insulation?

  35. Gah. Didn’t know that the Radisson Sheraton Doubletree gave you such a grim view of Bloomington.

    And yeah, it’s just that grim here. No spring. Snow tonight, in fact. Glad you and your family enjoyed the stay.

  36. Of course you were in my hometown the one weekend I was actually obligated to spend time with my family…

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