Like many meteorologists, Alan Klein is a storm chaser. Unlike most of his peers, Klein also is a McRib chaser.
Klein, 28, of Burnsville, has a website, www.kleincast.com, devoted to pinpointing the McDonald's locations that carry the restaurant chain's almost-forgotten pork sandwich. He hopes to have an iPhone app by the end of the year.
Between now and then, there will be a six-week stretch in which Klein's map will be moot: On Tuesday, which is Election Day, McRib sandwiches will be available at all McDonald's locations.
"I will vote first on Nov. 2, then reward myself with a McRib sandwich," he said.
After Klein's McRib Locator was mentioned in a Wall Street Journal article and then featured on Yahoo News' main page earlier this month, his website went from about 100 daily visitors to 89,000.
"We had a few sporadic outages that day," he said with a chuckle.
The McRib was introduced in 1981, the year Klein was born. He grew up on a farm about 45 miles from the nearest McDonald's, in Winner, S.D., where his family sold hogs. So the McRib sandwich "was like coming full circle," he said.
Just don't ask him what's actually in a McRib sandwich.
"I've heard various stories," Klein said. "It's some kind of ground-up pork. They put a lot of barbecue sauce on it. And pickles."