Wednesday, April 27, 2005

How Does The Star Tribune Feel About The New Proposed Twins Stadium Deal?

First of all, you can find links to email your Hennepin County Commissioner here.

Now to the Strib ...

Editorial: Twins & Hennepin/A win for Pawlenty, too

A story on how the scrappy front office of the Twins mirrors their scrappy efforts on the field. I swear late last night this story's headline online was something like "Twins Need Stadium Money" or something such.

A story to let you know that it very rarely snows June through September in Minneapolis.

A story on how the tax wouldn't really cost you that much; with no mention of how if Carl Pohlad were to pay for the total cost of a stadium, it wouldn't cost him that much.

Jim Souhan: Finally a stadium plan that sounds reasonable. Souhan pens these sunny words:

Yes, this is a great deal for Pohlad, but that's the way the world works -- rich people make good deals for themselves, whether they own sports teams or computer companies.

The rich will always get richer, with or without our help.

Do those words sound familiar? Maybe you've been listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival lately:

Saw the people standin' thousand years in chains.
Somebody said it's diff'rent now, look, it's just the same.
Pharoahs spin the message, round and round the truth.
They could have saved a million people, How can I tell you?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Let It Be Records is closing. (news via Migwire via LIB's newsletter)

I have fond memories of spending time at Let It Be after work, during lunch break, or when stressed out from my job a block away. I haven't gone there much in the past few years, due to not working downtown any more.

Which reminds me - Roadrunner Records' spring sale starts tomorrow and runs through Sunday. 15% off new stuff, 20% off used.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Do I Have A Cardboard Sign On My Boulevard That Says "Free"??

Geez, first Esquire rips me off and now Christgau reiterates something from issue #39 AND knicks my essay's title!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Fun With Math

Just like last year, my (would-be?) scientific calculations have determined the Top Ten College Hockey Programs Of All Time:

1 - Michigan (4034 points)
2 - North Dakota (3480)
3 - Denver (3122)
4 - Minnesota (3078)
5 - Boston University (2541)
6 - Wisconsin (2283)
7 - Boston College (1644)
8 - Michigan Tech (1585)
9 - Maine (1473)
10 - Lake Superior State (1329)

The only change in the rankings from last year is that Denver moves past Minnesota into third.

The calculations used were as follows:

1) Making it only to the NCAA semifinals and not to the title game gives points as follows: 1 point for 1948 semifinalists, 2 points for 1949 semifinalist, 3 points for 1950 semifinalists, and so on through 2005. More points are assigned the closer we get to the present under the What Have You Done For Me Lately Theorem.

2) Finishing second in the NCAAs gives points as follows: 116 points for 1948 runners-up, 117 points for 1949 runners-up, 118 points for 1950 runners-up, and so on through 2005. 116 points is given to the 1948 runners-up under the reasoning that finishing second is twice as great as being a semifinalist in 2005 (58 points.) The What Have You Done For Me Lately Theorem also applies here.

3) Winning the NCAA championship gives points as follows: 346 points for 1948 champions, 347 points for 1949 champions, 348 points for 1950 champions, and so on through 2005. 346 points is given to the 1948 champions under the reasoning that winning it all is twice as great as finishing second in 2005 (173 points.) The What Have You Done For Me Lately Theorem also applies here.

The Excel file I used to make these calculations is available for download here. Please feel free to comment or email me with comments or criticisms on my calculation process.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


The elect-the-pope stuff is kinda cool to keep an eye on - what with all the secrecy, mystery, and the black smoke / white smoke effect. But nothing beats the good old days, when there was for a while two - and then three - competing popes:

In 1378, the cardinals elected Pope Urban VI. He was not a good choice.

"I can do anything, absolutely anything I like," Urban proclaimed. This self-ordained license apparently included the torture and murder of six cardinals who dared to defy him.

Realizing they had a complete maniac on their hands, the remaining cardinals elected a new pope who promptly moved to France. Urban had no intention of budging from his throne in Rome, however. Instead, he appointed his own cardinals and ruled from there.

Now there were two duly elected popes and two colleges of cardinals -- one in France, one in Italy. It was a mess doomed to get even messier. Each side kept picking its own pope whenever a vacancy opened until finally the two conclaves of cardinals united and elected Alexander V in 1409. Only hitch was, neither of the old popes was willing to step down.

Now, with three popes on the job ...

Update: The cardinals just elected a 78-year old to be pope. Sorry, I laughed out loud. I had a dream last night where they elected a 95-year old dude.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Phil Who?

UND nabs Jonathan Toews.

Toews, who had 44 goals and 57 assists in 58 games this season as the Sabres won the national midget championship, will enroll at UND this fall.

Toews, who speaks fluent French and who turns 17 later this month, accelerated his schooling at Shattuck to graduate a year early. "That he completed three years of high school in two years shows his dedication and commitment," Hakstol said.

Toews is regarded as a big-time talent.

"He brings so much to the table," Hakstol said. "He has a chance to be a great power forward at this level. He has good hands, good vision and a pure goal-scoring knack. He's just a well-rounded player."

Friday, April 15, 2005

At The Bar The Other Night
Did I Mention It's The Greatest Thing Ever Made For Television?

There is no better fuck-you to insomnia than going nuclear, or as I like to call it: The Vodka Solution. Sure, the doctor gave me some healthy Pavlovian solutions that work, but those may take half the night. And there is always sleeping pills, but they kill me for two days at least.

I got the coffee ready to go for the next morning and I could get a little extra shut-eye as it would be Writing Day and with my computer in the shop, all I really had to do on my list was to head to the library for research on Sorta Secret Project #1 and then return home to read some Hunter S. Thompson and then do some menial work on Sorta Secret Project #2. So I hopped on my bike and headed down the street to the bar for some cheap vodka and Premiums.

It was a nice night to medidate at the bar as no one was inclined to talk to me except for the bartender and waitress. I drifted off into an utter state of relaxation. Towards closing, I saw a guy I had talked to last winter. Then we had talked about sports and the conversation somehow ended with him telling me that I had to, just had to see "Band of Brothers." I told him I meant to, that my brother had been telling me the same thing for months. But this guy's testimony - something about him and his dad being really moved while watching it together - set me in motion to finally moving the miniseries to the top of my Netflix queue.

I walked up to the guy, re-introduced myself, blurted out something about how he had pushed me towards "Band of Brothers", and that it was the greatest thing ever made for television. We immediately leaped into a conversation about the series. As the bar folks encouraged us to leave, we recalled the episode where Easy Company discovers a concentration camp but weren't sure what it was at first. Maybe it was the smoke (nice try Tuomala, there's a smoking ban in effect in your fine city), but I think we damn near teared up while discussing that episode. We parted ways before the staff got mad at us.

Upon my return home I was strangely thankful I didn't own "Band of Brothers" on DVD - I could easily see myself watching it until the dawn's early light. I slept well that night after going nuclear.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


My iMac is in the shop getting a new disk drive installed - it was refusing to play many of the discs in my music collection. Access to the web and email is limited. Not only am I getting a ton of reading done, but my neck and shoulders feel wonderful. Hey First Tech - keep that Mac through the weekend if need be.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Cool Stuff

Mary Lucia interviews Greil Marcus on The Current. Scroll down to the features section.

Saturday, April 09, 2005


Congratulations to the Denver University Pioneers on their 4-1 win over the North Dakota Fighting Sioux tonight. The Pioneers played better and better as the game went on, their d-men were outstanding, and their goalie Peter Mannino was nearly unbeatable.

Denver moves into a second-place tie with North Dakota with seven titles all-time.

Sioux coach Dave Hakstol did not become the first rookie coach to win a national title. I am reminded of one Gino Gasparini, who lost in the title game his first year and then came back the next year and won it all.

Road greens or home whites in the 2006 championship game?
It's Only Fitting

My Denver-based brother and I have been trash talking via email about tonight's game. Worse, we've been copying our sister and parents on the thread. But I'm going to clean it up for the blog.

It's fitting that Denver University and the University of North Dakota are squaring off in tonight's championship game. Hardware-wise, these are historically the top two programs in the WCHA. The numbers:

1) National championships - UND #1 with seven, DU #2 with six.

2) Regular season championships - UND #1 with twelve, DU #2 with ten.

The two teams have a at-times nasty rivalry that dates back to the fifties. This is the fourth time that they have met in the title game, with DU winning in 1958 and 1968 and UND winning in 1959. (I'm still heartbroken about that '68 game ...)

My stab at an analyis:

1) Why DU will win - Peter Mannino is playing outstanding in goal, are the defending national champions, are 3-0 against UND this season, power-play was awesome in the semifinal game, they play better and better as the games go on, Gabe Gauthier.

2) Why UND will win - Jordan Parise is playing outstanding in goal, they took DU to overtime in the WCHA semifinals on short rest and with their #2 goalie, they will win the physical battles, the Bina factor.

This could be a classic ending to the WCHA invitational. I have no bets on tonight's game - I'm still riding high with winning a case of Summit Pale Ale on Thursday's game.

Friday, April 08, 2005

That Spin Ain't Working

No team shows up at a Frozen Four semifinal and plays flat. If you want to keep saying that the Gophers played flat, just acknowledge that it was because the Sioux flattened them early and often.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Road Greens

A big f*ck all y'all to those of you who have been laughing at me since Dave Hakstol's hire at UND. I kept saying (in a nod to Dan "The Common Man" Cole): "Will the Fighting Sioux be wearing home whites or road greens in the NCAA title game?"

It's gonna be ROAD GREENS.
Has Judd Stevens Found His Wallet Yet?

Oh man the Fighting Sioux totally dominated the Gophers tonight and won 4-2 ... the same score I predicted in a bet with my good friend Turk, who will soon be delivering a case of Summit Pale Ale to my door.

The Gophers scored two goals on a four-minute power play, but before that they had given up a short-handed goal on the same power play. This was a "character" game - the Sioux showed plenty of character from the gitgo, coming out and hitting the Gophers and firing shots on goal; while the Gophers seemed caught in the headlights.

The game announcers talked about the Gophers talent, but there was no shortage of talent on the Sioux side: Aside from their punishing and smart defensemen, they had guys like fourth-liner Erik Fabian and froshie Travis Zajac lighting up the red light.

The Sioux move on to play Denver. This will be a classic. After Minnesota, the Sioux hate Denver the second-most in a rivalry that dates back to the fifties. The teams have played each other three times in the title game, with Denver winning two. If Denver wins, they pull into a tie with national titles with the Sioux with seven total. (Michigan leads with nine.) If the Sioux win, they stay at second with a total with eight.

The Sioux will be in the title game for a record twelfth time. Their record in the title games is 7-4. Denver's record is 6-2.

(Any Gopher fans who are wondering ... the Gophers' record in title games is 5-6. )
ESPN Slurps The Sioux

Earlier today on the Deuce, Barry Melrose (come back man, I love ya ...) said: "If you haven't seen North Dakota play this season, they are the most physical team in college hockey. They will pound Minnesota for three periods."

Just now on "Pardon the Interruption" (maybe my favorite show on the tube right now even over "Arrested Development"):

Tony: "The Frozen Four is going on. Who ya got?"

Wilbon: "Denver already won earlier today. Tonight I got North Dakota over Minnesota."
I Wanna See Someone Throw A Dead Gopher On The Ice After A Sioux Goal

My Sioux are playing the hated Gophers tonight. It's an all-WCHA Frozen Four with rivals Colorado College and Denver University playing (DU ended up winning 6-2) as I type. And I posted a tasteless pontiff photo. Classy guy.

Random notes -

* Don Lucia said he'd rather play the Sioux on Lake Superior than a regulation-size rink. Considering Ohio's history of rink management in the Frozen Four (anybody remember all that melted ice in '96?), that might not be a bad idea.

* On ESPN, they showed a scalper who looked eerily like Donald Rumsfeld trying to sell tickets to a Sioux fan.

* Watching Barry Melrose try to explain the WCHA's dominance is funny. Oh, and drop the pinstripe suits Barry.

* I want UM's Derek Peltier to draw a penalty tonight, just so I can yell "Free Peltier!"

The Pope just recently died? I thought that dude from Monster Magnet got him as part of the greatest album packaging ever, for Powertrip.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

More On Automatic Transmission (Non-)Driving

My pal Jeff compared my rental automatic-transmission car to a go-cart. Though I think he said that because it is a Ford Focus.

I realized that driving a car with automatic transmission vs. manual transmission is like waterskiing on two Dick Pope Jr. skiis vs. an EP slalom. The Dick Popes are slippery, with less control, and not nearly as much fun as the EP.

I get my car back tomorrow. Whew.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

United States Reigns Supreme In Urban-Legend-Busting Websites

According to the ever-reliable, John Cleese did not pen the "Revocation of America's Independence" piece that I ranted on here and here.

Yes, I will pat myself on the back for doubting Cleese's authorship in both of my posts.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Unsafe At Any Speed

This morning I dropped my car off at the shop, where it will be for most of the week. I got a rental car, it has automatic transmission. I hate automatic transmission. My left foot is bored as it is inactive, my right hand is bored as it doesn't get to shift ... all it does is steer. Taking curves and turning corners is no fun. There's no downshifting for fantasy race car driver experiences. It feels totally awkward - like I'm not in complete control of the driving.

Dammit! I should have declined the rental car, saved the money, and taken public transportation where I could then catch up on my reading.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Soon To Open In South Minneapolis

"Hi, is this the school for strippers? Sorry ... I mean: Is this the school for dancers? Great! Thanks ... hey, I have as question ... would it be possible for me to audit a class or two ... hello? ... hello? ..."