Fun with Maps 107&108

It has been a while since my last post because Beth and I were hosting my good friend sister, Katie, for a couple days. Katie, a “grooms-ma’am” (trademark pending) in our wedding, was in town for vacation. She’s a teacher in the St. Louis Public School System and, for the second year in a row, decided to take a trip North to the Twin Cities. She grew up in Iowa but has an abundance of family in town as well as a series of friends from her days working at Valleyfair and college at St. Mary’s. Katie drove into town on Thursday with her parents, who were coincidentally visiting Minneapolis for a square-dancing event, and spent five days with us. During that time we toasted s’mores, walked Maeby, watched Inbetweeners, strolled the Mall of America, shopped some antique stores (and were profiled as potential thieves because we were under 70 years old), found funny t-shirts at a thrift store, dined at a couple awesome restaurants, attended a partial family reunion (of hers, not mine), played Cards Against Humanity, and saw the new Andy Samberg movie Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. I did more fun things in five days with Katie in town than I have done for months. I have no one to blame but myself, of course. Beth is good at getting me out of the house but we have been pretty busy with work, yard-work, and preparing for our son’s birth in late August. That being said, Katie’s visit was an excellent excuse to clear the chores and internet-scrolling from my schedule (hence the lack of map posts). Hosting a friend from out of town is a fantastic form of staycation and I’m not just saying that because I don’t get to take a vacation.


Katie and I tried to find the funniest t-shirts at Unique Thrift in New Hope

Katie 2

Katie held up this cool map at an antique store in Hopkins so I could take a picture (stay tuned for more on that map)


Map 107 is of Katie’s trip because her route was pretty interesting. Take a look.

Map 107

Katie left St. Louis on Wednesday and drove four hours to her parent’s house in Northern Illinois. All three of them then drove to Minneapolis on Thursday where they split up for their own adventures. To get back home, Katie flew from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to the Quad City International Airport in Moline, IL (with a three hour layover in Chicago). Friends of her parents picked her up at the airport and drove her back to her parents’ house where her car was. She did some laundry and relaxed that night before driving back to Missouri the next morning. Beth and I had a fantastic time hosting Katie and hope she moves back very soon (the topic was mentioned frequently while she was here)! I don’t care which route she takes on the way back here just as long as she takes it some day.

Map 108 shows which states saw their economies grow or decline between February and April of this year.

Map 108

The map was made by Nicole Sinclair for Yahoo Finance using data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The bank’s data concerns “state coincident indexes” and I have no bloody idea what that means. The article says they are “the seasonally adjusted indicator series for each state’s payroll employment, unemployment rate, average hours worked in manufacturing, and wage and salary disbursements”. As you can see, most states saw an increase in the three month time span (thankfully you don’t have to understand the data to see the colors). Thirty-nine states saw an increase, four remained stable, while seven declined. The strongest increases were in the Northwest, Southeast, and New England. My home state of Minnesota was in the second tier of growth of between 0.6% and 1% growth. The biggest losers on the map were Wyoming, North Dakota, Alaska, and Louisiana. Whatever your state’s economy is experiencing, I hope your personal finances are looking up.

Until next time,


Bryan Signature 2



Bonus Map Link: Lingual Maps




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