Sunday, December 31, 2006

Get It Straight

Where Radar's "The 10 most dangerous toys of all time" fails in listing Jarts at number one is that a Jart is a piece of athletic equipment, not a toy.

Looking forward to more Jarts matches in 2007! Happy new year.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

My Nomination for Homersota.com Homer of the Week

The Star Tribune's Christmas Day article naming the Minnesota Twins organization Sportsperson of the Year 2006 is homer-rific and laughable for so many reasons:

1) The goofy accompanying illustration that shows Twins players as gods bursting out of the Metrodome, Ron Gardenhire in a joyful Santa-like pose, and Terry Ryan and Dave St. Peter eagerly awaiting your taxpayer-dollars welfare contribution.

2) The article starts by asking us to "forget how it all ended, with that three-game series against Oakland that was over in the blink of an eye." It would have been easier to forget if shortly thereafter Oakland hadn't fired their manager ... the one who couldn't take them to the World Series.

3) "2006 might rank up there with the World Series title years of 1987 and 1991. That's because of the dramatic events that played out in government circles, leading to the passage of the new ballpark." Prose like this leads you to believe that the 2006 Minnesota legislative hearings will soon show up on ESPN Classic.

4) Towards the end of the article, it assures us that "the Twins never take themselves too seriously." Lessee ... aren't: A) lobbying year after year in the legislature and B) using threats of moving or contracting the team to get leverage for a taxpayer-funded stadium the acts of an organization that takes itself way too seriously?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Secret Nixon

What I had neglected to mention in my essay on Secret Honor in the lastest issue of Exiled was the other great secret Nixon in popular culture. I think I had made a mental note to put it in the preliminary notes that led to my essay, but failed to do so.

The other great secret Nixon is from The Onion's 1999 book Our Dumb Century. It treats Nixon like the lawbreaker he was. The late Gerald Ford's pardon of Nixon only highlights his criminal behavior. (I agree with what Chris Matthews said today: For Nixon to be pardoned, he should have signed a full confession to his crimes.) The successive headlines from The Onion:

NIXON ORDERED TO HAND OVER 8-TRACK TAPES
Contents of Tapes Leaked to Washington Post by Anonymous Source Known as 'Deep Purple'

NIXON ARRRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH WATERGATE BREAK-IN
President Handcuffed, Taken to Prison in Oval Office Bust
Chief Executive Resists Arrest, Threatens Officers
Judge Sirica Denies Bail

NIXON ESCAPES
VP Agnew Assists Nixon in Escape, Drives Getaway Car
Pair Believed to Be Headed to Mexico in '71 Dodge Dart
Executive Branch 'Armed and Extremely Dangerous'

FEDS GUN DOWN NIXON OUTSIDE ARIZONA HOTEL
FBI Agents Bring Down Fugitive President in Hail of Gunfire
6-Day, 10-State Executive Killing Spree Comes to End: Agnew Still at Large

Monday, December 25, 2006

Special "Because The People Demanded It, An All-Fantasy Football Christmas Post"

My fantasy football team, The Moe Greens, clinched its league's Fantasy Bowl Championship tonight. I have got to be a shoe-in for General Manager of the Year. The Moe Greens were written off as a serious championship contender when Donovan McNabb went out for the season with an injury, but my key pickups - Tony (as Common calls him, "The Rib Guy") Romo, Robbie Gould, the platoon of San Diego's and Buffalo's defenses - filled the gaps more than adequetely.

I saved my masterstroke for the championship game. Worried about my running back situation, I picked up Houston's Ron Dayne off of waivers and plugged him into the starting line-up. Why? He's been hot lately and the Texans were playing those horrible run-stoppers the Colts. The result: Dayne gallops for 153 yards and two touchdowns.

But winning a Yahoo public league means next year I can play in a winner's league. Last time I did that I finished seventh. Oh well, might as well take the plunge next fall and spare all y'all these types of posts.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Jingle bells
Batman smells
Robin layed an egg
The Batmobile lost a wheel
The Joker got away

Friday, December 22, 2006

Chuck Eddy: "It's not farfetched to imagine some dope-dazzled Heepie gloating that he'd actually finally accomplished something in life seeing as how his photo was now pictured on his heroes' album!"

Real original: Time magazine's 2006 Person of the Year cover rips off a Uriah Heep album cover from 35 years ago.

(Shouldn't that be "an Uriah Heep album cover"? Dunno - "a Uriah Heep" is the way I would say it out loud because of the "Y" sound that leads off "Uriah". I don't say "an historic moment" either.)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Sodas

Yesterday, the always-solid Homersota.com came out with their 2006 Soda Awards. In this town of countless provincial takes, which homer - Paul Allen, Sid Hartman, Mike Max, or Mark Rosen - carried away the most awards? Who is your non-homer leader? Check out the 2006 Soda Awards to find out!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

As A Friend Pointed Out: They Are Tasty And Leave You Wanting More

Yesterday I was offered a pot brownie. Remarkably, this didn't happen at the Country Bar.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Podcast

The latest podcast is a Christmas show. This one was a ton of fun - playing rock and soul Christmas tunes and yapping about the origins of various Christmas traditions. It's now available for listening.

Merry Christmas everybody.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It Gets Even Better

Being a former Windows user who has whole-heartedly embraced the superiority and stability of a Macintosh, I dig those "Mac and PC" TV ads. And it turns out the guy who plays PC is in real life a Mac guy!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Tuomala: Innovator or Crackpot?

While playing Jarts yesterday with my cousin Dale, I made a controversial move:

I had 19 points and threw a ringer. In Jarts, you have to reach 21 points exactly - if you go over, you go back by the amount of points you score. So this ringer put me back to 16 points. Dale threw his first Jart away. I figured it would be better to be at 15 points instead of 16 (you can't win from 16, you can from 15), so I threw a point to go back four points instead of three. Dale threw his second Jart away and said he had never seen anything like what I had just done.

Like I said, the move was controversial and will be talked about for years to come. I can't wait to bring it up at next summer's annual Jarts tournament at the family reunion.

Unfortunately, from that point on I proved better at reverse scoring than "real" scoring and Dale smoked me in an epic street Jarts match.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bush Voters: You May Only Be The Fifth-Worst Presidential Voters Ever!

I was recently scolded by a college buddy (hi Kevin) for not having sufficient respect for the Office of the President. (I had - correctly - called both Reagan and Bush Junior "stupid.") To my college friend, I can only say: 1) My first amendment rights trump your respect for an office held by a man who is - no matter the individual - no greater or lesser than any other American, 2) If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you can be reasonably sure it is a (lame) duck, and 3) Respect for morons? Fuck that shit!

Especially when the moron in question is our current president, who has been taken out behind the shed by his daddy's buddy Jimmy Baker. Dubya, of course, is a momma's boy - there's no guarantee that he will at all follow the Iraq Study Group's recommendations. This fucking clown might stay stubborn on a stay-the-course mission (not accomplished) just because he always got his way growing up. So what if more American lives have to be sacrificed for his pipe dream and (cough cough) legacy? It's not like his children have to take up arms. Then again, never did he.

Anyway, the current debate is on how "worst" is George W. Bush? THE worst or only top-five worst?

Hey, somebody needs to lecture those historians on having respect for the Office of the President ...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

War Supporters: What Now?

Is the United States winning in Iraq? New Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says: "No, sir."

The Iraq Study Group says (first sentence): The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating.

I'm sure the neo-cons want to tell us about that school that was re-opened. And didn't some building get a new paint job?

Thanks again to the idealogues who got us into this mess. Please: try using reality next time you come up with a foreign policy.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sisu!

I'm celebrating my first-ever Independence Day of Finland tonight by displaying two candles in my kitchen window.

Though I'm one hundred percent Finnish, it seems a bit odd to celebrate this day as my ancestors emigrated from Finland in the late nineteenth century, when Suomi (how you say "Finland" in Finnish) was still part of the Russian empire. And if it weren't for the oppression of the Russkies, I wouldn't be an American now! Actually, I don't know why my ancestors moved here. Opression may not be the cause. I emailed with a guy in Finland a few years ago and he said the mass emigration back then was due to the economy being on the craps and that most Finns have long-lost relatives in the USA and Canada as the result of that emigration.

On a related note, years back a British friend of mine semi-scolded me for referring to myself as a Finn. (I had commented that my then-neighbor was Finnish and said something like: "We Finns stick together.") He said something to the effect that Americans tend to claim they are something else and don't ever just settle on being American. His American wife said that that is the result of so many of our families originally being from elsewhere.

In my own defense, if I were overseas (or elsewhere in North or South America even), I would obviously identify myself as an American. And while here in the USA it's obvious to anyone who meets me that I'm an American. But when you have a name like "Tuomala" ("Ylituomala" back in Suomi) and are in constant position of: 1) explaining how to pronounce your name, and 2) explaining of what national origin the name is ... well, you tend to identify yourself as "Finn" (secondary to being a citizen of the good ol' USA, natch) early and often. Throw in the Finnish words thrown around by my parents in our household growing up (both Mom and Dad were raised in households in which Finnish was the primary language) and my tendency to pronounce English words with the emphasis on the first syllable just like how the first syllable is always emphasized in the Finnish language but I can't speak Finnish outside of a handful of words ... well, fuck yeah I'm a Finn. Shit, the Irish in America have branded their ethnicity and are raking in the dough over it - all I'm doing is being proud of where my people came from in the first place. A place which is now, thankfully, free from Russia. (And Sweden to boot.)

Anyway, congratulations to my Suomalainen cousins on their celebration of independence. Sisu!

Monday, December 04, 2006

I Know That Dude

I've been digging NBC's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip this fall. In last week's episode, I couldn't place the guy who played the depressed, doesn't-find-humor-in-anything new writer/writers-mentor hired by Matt (played by Matthew Perry in an Emmy-worth performance.) I assumed he was some fine character actor who I had seen many times before on TV series but just couldn't quite place. Then during tonight's episode, I recognized his name in the opening credits: It's Mark McKinney from The Kids in the Hall. And according to his imdb.com credits, he's also been doing some writing and story editing for Studio 60.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Exiled #42 Is Out, A Fandom Yawns

- Friday evening, I was returning from the YMCA and from picking up some Chinese takeout. I got to the back door of my building (my apartment is in the back of the building) and was fumbling for my keys when suddenly a guy appeared in the door window and came out. "Excuse me," he said, and held the door open for me. I recognized him as the boyfriend of one of my donwstairs neighbors who was going out for a smoke. I was startled by his appearance and didn't even talk to him or nod at him. I got upstairs to my place, set down my stuff, and then ran downstairs. I opened the building's back door and said: "Hey: thanks for opening the door for me. It was rude of me not to say anything." He smiled and said: "Don't worry about it" a few times as I spoke. I know if I hadn't gone down and said anything that this would have haunted me for the weekend, if not the rest of 2006 and beyond. As Costanza once said: "You know, we're living in a society! We're supposed to act in a civilized way."

- Hours later, I headed out that back door for the Country Bar to whoop it up over the latest Exiled being done. As I hit the back parking lot, I saw a raccoon to my right, wandering by the building. It stopped and looked at me, kinda daring me to approach it. I don't know anything about raccoons, but this guy looked obese. Are they generally rotund, or does this just happen to city racccons who feast on fat-filled dumpster product? I walked away but kept looking back at the raccoon as I made my way. He was also checking on me and anytime I looked back, he assumed some sort of defensive posture that suggested he was ready to kick my ass. Geez, fatass, you win! (Also: last night from my living-room window I spotted a raccoon in the yard between my building and the one next to ours. That guy scaled a tree and then hopped onto the top of my building. If I were paranoid, I would be convinced that the Man had trained certain raccoons to check up on my activities. )

- Oh, as mentioned above, Exiled on Main Street #42 is available here.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Billy Shakespeare: He's Everywhere

Watched a couple of very fine movies via Netflix the past couple of nights.

First up on Wednesday was Brick. This came out in the last year and was instantly notable for its film-noir-takes-place-in-present-day-high-school premise. I was very impressed. As Ebert pointed out, the movie works because it plays the premise straight. Aside from the dry noir humor, some humor also flashes out via the teen angle as when the protaganist tells the principal (who in this movie plays the noir police chief role) that he doesn't accept his deal and "I'll see you at parent conferences!"

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the teen detective lead. At first I was put off by this. Not that I have anything against this actor, just that he's been playing a teen forever - I first saw him in that sitcom "3rd Rock from the Sun," but mostly remember him from teen movie 10 Things I Hate About You from 1999 where he also played a high-school teenager. But he pulls off his role in Brick commendably - as do all of the youngsters in the flick: The informer guy, the femme fatale dame, the other femme fatale dame, the Mr. Big character, the tough guy, etc. Sheesh ... do "Hate American Culture First" snobs also hate film noir, yet another pop culture gift the good ol' USA has given the world?

Up on Thursday was Roman Polanski's version of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Good thing I read Shakespeare's text just a few short weeks ago as through the first half-hour of the movie I was pretty much going on memory to keep up with what was going on because of the old-old-school English wording. No big deal, I used to just go on "feel" for the first thirty minutes in the pre-subtitled-DVD days when watching Monty Python movies until I got the accents figured out. As Macbeth played out, I understood more and more and then fell totally into it as Macbeth slid into the dark side. Brilliant film.

Oh, and all you Culture War prudes who decry the state of popular culture these days are strangely silent on the free-for-all that Shakespeare came up with four hundred years ago. In just this one tragedy we get (don't blame it on the film, it was all in the book) ... witchcraft, the occult, druggings, assassination, insanity, more murder, killing innocent women and children ... what did I miss? Aside from Macbeth having no children and saying that he has "an empty sceptre?" Ha ha: thank you William Shakespeare - greatest English-language writer ever - for winning the Culture War centuries ago! (Culture War prudes: Name a better writer than the Greatest. Face.)

And now that I have some Shakespeare under my belt, a little Harold Ramis/Rodney Dangerfield Back to School (my third Netflix disc sitting here at home) is in order. The scene where Dangerfield replicates his spending spree in the pro shop in Caddyshack ("looks good on you though") will be like a tasty dessert. You know - the part where he declares: "Shakespeare for everyone!" He also tells the clerk that he'd like to "tame her shrew." Hey - what Shakespeare work was 10 Things I Hate About You based on again?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The First Ripple

The Democratic takeover of the House and Senate has been described as a "wave" or "tsunami." I dare suggest that this all started with a ripple when Democrat Todd D. Burianek won the Grafton, North Dakota, mayoral race back in June. In a red state, he stomped the incumbent with a whopping 75 percent of the vote.

And if it hadn't been for Burianek having to deal with the chronic trauma of being forced by the University of North Dakota housing bureaucracy to room with yours truly for two months back in 1984, he would likely (at the very least) be in Congress by now.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

RIP, Dead Schembechlers

Bo Schembechler died, and he took the Dead Schembechlers with him. They're a band whose members dress like Woody Hayes and sing such songs as "Bomb Ann Arbor Now."

They announced that last night's show was their last and will give the proceeds from the gig to a charity of the Schembechler family's choice.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Minneapolis Is Home

I just realized that as of last month I have lived in the city of Minneapolis longer than I have lived anywhere else:

West Fargo (ND) = 6 years
Littleton (CO) = 4
Grand Forks (ND) = 11
Mpls suburbs = 7

Minneapolis proper = 12 years. It's nice to live in a place that I don't ever want to leave.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Rest in peace Milton Friedman, big government's best friend."

Milton Friedman: a study in failure.

Friedman's one success? In 1942, during world war two, Friedman actually went to work for the US government. While there he helped design the payroll tax that in Britain is known as PAYE, Pay As You Earn, and in the US as withholding tax, the system that allows the government to administer the taking of income tax directly from salaries and pay packets. Unlike everything else he argued for, withholding tax was withstood the test of time and is in use all around the world. It was the best thing that Keynesian-style government could ever have wished for, and Friedman bitterly regretted it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

In Reply To a Friend's Question Earlier Today

My favorite Aerosmith song is either "Last Child" or "Sweet Emotion."

On a related thought - if Johnny Marr and Steven Tyler (or for that matter, Joe Perry and Morrissey) formed a band they could call it "The AeroSmiths."

And for the record, I did have Roman Polanski's adaptation of Macbeth tops in my Netflix queue over Back to School. But that doesn't mean I'll watch it first.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Feelin' Blue

In Minnesota:

Klobuchar over Kennedy - I used to work with a brother of Mark Kennedy. And if the Congressman is as smart as his brother ... well then Minnesota would have been in a heap of trouble if he had gotten into the Senate. The brother was a complete tool and Kennedy has the same dopey blank look in his eyes. Plus, he's just not very likeable. Some pundit Tuesday night said the GOP was convinced at the beginning of the year that the seat would be a lock for them. By the end of the summer, it was apparent that Kennedy was running against the wind. Hence, Klobuchar wins by twenty points. Hey GOP: Nice job of kingmaking!

Pawlenty over Hatch - Hatch popped off last week, calling a reporter a "Republican whore." Of course, the worst insult here was calling the dude "Republican." And now I'm going to get that creepy feeling as Pawlenty starts getting national attention come 2008 ... GOP convention to be held in St. Paul ... yikes!

The DFL put a beatdown on the GOP, holding the state Senate and capturing the state House. They have significant majorities in both houses. The DFL also knocked off incumbents at the state auditor and the secretary of state. I caught part of Governor Timmy's victory speech last night and cracked up as he read off the long long list of names of his comrades who had been defeated. Steve Sviggum, out as Speaker of the House, looked like he was crying.


Nationally:

A nation-wide referendum on Bush and the war turns into a victory for the Democrats, winning both houses of Congress. Rove comes up short (ha ha) of his "permanent Republican majority." Why? Bush is narrow-minded and incompetent. Once you see through his facade of folkiness, you see a spoiled little momma's boy who just wants things his way. I missed his press conference on Wednesday, but imagine that he wasn't bragging about his political capital (how long did that last for him two years ago ... ten minutes?) I do daydream about him hitting a microphone and yelling: "If you wanna crown 'em, then crown their ass!"

The best political analogy Tuesday night came from MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who compared Bush's efforts in this year's campaigns to William H. Macy's effect in The Cooler.

You could argue that fatass druggie Rush Limbaugh had a similar effect on Jim Talent's campaign in Missouri. Hey Limbaugh: Donovan McNabb is the #2 leading scorer in my fantasy league!

Also on Tuesday, Keith Olbermann pointed out that a former member of Orleans won a Congressional seat in New York. The guy sang a Little Steven song at his victory rally!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tomorrow: Don't Reward Incompetence

Just a few of the achievements of the GOP and George W. Bush:

- Needless bungled war in Iraq where American troops are still dying.

- Rumsfeld keeps his job. Bush says he's doing "a fantastic job."

- Horribly mishandled the response to Hurricane Katrina. Bush on the FEMA director: "hell of a job."

- Take their orders from the anti-science, homophobic religious right.

- Turned a surplus into a huge deficit. It's hilarious to see Republicans brag about reducing a deficit they created.

Don't reward incompetence. Vote Democrat and throw the Republican bums out on November 7th.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Redemption Code

Reverend Jesse Jackson mediated a meeting between Ron Artest and Ben Wallace, bringing me a smile while reading the sports page today. His words after made it sound like he had just been part of the Camp David Accords:

[The message of] reconciliation over retribution is what we should do for mass conflict. When giants come together, those who look up to them also come together. This sent a shot around the whole league. It's one thing to have a dress code, it's another to have a redemption code."

Friday, November 03, 2006

Line of the Week

Somebody emailed the Common Man show on Thursday and explained the Vikings' "Cover Two" defense: The opposing team lines up five receivers at the line of scrimmage and the Vikings cover two of them.

And I understand that the Vikings went trick-or-treating Tuesday night. They masqueraded as a playoff team.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

When Sports Geeks Babysit

Last night, I cracked up my two-year old niece with my Jim Mora impersonation and she started saying: "Playoffs? You kidding me?"

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod: Where To Turn When The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Is Too Liberal For You

Michele Bachmann - the Jack Chick candidate.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Monday Night Beatdown

- Loved the ESPN MNF crew's relentless slurping of the Patriots franchise. I'm sure Purple fans will whine all about this tomorrow on sports radio. Respect is something that is earned, Viking fans.

- Speaking of Vikings fans, I'm also sure that some will try to pin this loss on the officials.

- The Purple's defense gave up 31 points at home and was unable to defend the pass. Yeah, Mike Tomlin's phone is sure to be ringing.

- A "huh" quote from Joe Theisman. Talking about next week's MNF game, Seattle vs. Oakland, he said: "It makes for a very good game because key players are out." Yeah, Joe, we love watching the second team!

- Thanks to the Purple's offensive line, for hanging Brooks Bollinger out to dry to get repeatedly sacked and hence giving Grand Forks a bad name nationwide.

- Tonight Troy Williamson (who some call "Edward Scissorhands" heh heh) reminded me of Jose Canseco.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

In Fantasy Football, We General Managers Celebrate Game Days When They Actually Happen, Not Three Days Early. Yes, We Are Geeks. Wanna Hear About My First-Place Team With Its 6-1 Record?

The Wikipedia entry on fantasy football.

The birth of fantasy football. It predates Rotisserie League baseball by almost twenty years and has been around for over forty years!

In a related note: I think I'm going to start doing fantasy golf when the next season starts.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

"Adult" Is The Key Word In That Last Sentence

Years ago, I was in Vic's Lounge in Moorhead with my best friends Joel and Scott. The date was December 30th, but the bar staff handed out party hats. They would be closed on New Year's Eve night, they informed us, and were hence celebrating on this night. So yep, we counted down to midnight and yelled and screamed and celebrated the new year 24 hours early. I think we may have even gotten a free glass of champagne.

Silly? Yes, but not as downright ridiculous as what is being celebrated this weekend. Yesterday on the radio I was informed that it's "Halloween Weekend." I was invited to a Halloween party tonight (I declined.) While out on my cigar-and-beer run earlier tonight I saw a few folks dressed up in costumes.

People: HALLOWEEEN IS OCTOBER 31ST. When you were a kid, did you go trick-or-treating three days early? No! So celebrate Halloween as an adult on the last day of October like you're supposed to or else don't celebrate at all.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Take Lyndale Back To The Southside ...

I saw the Hold Steady at First Avenue Tuesday night in show that was the definition of Kickass. If it were not for (lack of) money concerns, I would have gone back Wednesday for their second show. If you love passionate guitar/keyboards/smart vocals rock 'n roll, you need to get their albums and see these guys live. Random stuff from last night's show:

- My recent inability to get out to shows has been documented elsewhere, but omigod I haven't been to First Ave in two years! That was a show by the Drive-By Truckers, who I was persuaded to see because of the writings of Mark from Cheek, Paul from Live Nude Weblog! and coincidentally, an email from Craig from the Hold Steady.

- Being out of the loop for so long brought me back to the days of the late eighties/early nineties, when I went to shows and didn't run into a damn person I knew. Of course, back then I didn't have my zine (through which I have met countless cool people and made many friends) and worked in some moronic corporate job - so who exactly was I going to run into? But I did run into Brad last night, which was sweet.

- I spoke briefly with Craig from the band after the show. Immediately, the talk turned to the beatdown that Maine put on North Dakota in hockey last weekend. All I can say is that championships aren't won in October, nor are seasons lost. I gave Craig props for Boston College's win (he's a BC alum) over UND in the semifinals last year. UND vs. BC has become an NCAA postseason rivalry: 1999 - BC beats favored UND in the quarterfinals; 2000 - UND knocks off ESPN-favorite BC in the finals; 2001 - BC defeats UND in the finals in OT; 2005 - underdog UND destroys BC in the quarterfinals as part of their "Boston Massacre," the previous night they had shut out Boston University - both games were played in the Boston area; 2006 - BC capitalizes on every UND mistake and beats them in the semifinals. My money's on the Sioux in the next UND vs. BC postseason meeting.

- I need to go to bars aside from the Country Bar because last night two cute girls talked to me, and all I was doing was standing around checking out a band.

- Almost as exciting as being approached by girls out of my league ... First Ave now has high-definition TVs placed around the bar so if you are short like me and have no desire to venture out on the main floor, you can see the band quite well. It can be very counter-intuitive though, as the awesome sound is coming from stage central and you're looking at a TV off to another direction. On another nice customer-service note, you can just be standing somewhere and a waitress will take your order. You don't have to be sitting at a table. Nice.

- Speaking of the Country Bar, I stopped by last night after the show for last call and one of the foxy bartenders asked where I'd been. I said at a rock show at First Avenue. But what she meant was "where have you been in general?" Girls flirting with me at a show and cutie bartenders missing me? WTF???

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Let's Give Brent Bobyk His Due

An article in the Grand Forks Herald about Tony Hkrack's visit to Grand Forks. Unfortunately, it prints the oft-repeated myth of the "Hrkac, Joyce, Johnson" line.

I attended most of the 86-87 home games and witnessed the evolution of the top line. Early in the season Hrkac, Joyce, and Johnson shared a line. Gino Gasparini broke this up early in the season and experimented with different right wingers for a few games. He eventually settled on Brent Bobyk, who was on the line for the bulk of the season. Steve Johnson was moved to the second line, which was a great move by Gino - offense from Johnson on the second line helped big-time in that championship season.

That was the greatest college hockey team I have ever seen.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Crown 'Em?

Okay, it's only October. But the Maine Black Bears have defeated two traditional WCHA powers in their home states. Two weeks ago they beat the Gophers in the Xcel Arena. Earlier tonight they finished trouncing all over the Sioux for the second night in a row in Grand Forks, earning a sweep.

I can see UND coach Dave Hakstol melting down after tonight's game, shouting: "The Bears are who we thought they were! That's why we took the damn ice! Now, (hits microphone) if you wanna crown 'em, then crown their ass! But they are who we thought they were!"

Friday, October 20, 2006

Darkness Darkness

What a great time of the year! There is a nip in the air, all that accursed heat has finally gone away, and the sunlight is blissfully in a dwindling supply. I am completely serious here ... if you are a so-called victim of The Myth Known As Seasonal Affective Disorder and/or if you think Twin Cities winters are "brutal" then you are a fucking pussy!

To go along with my embrace of the dark and cold:

1) I'm reading Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground.

2) My friend Ben burned me a copy of a High on Fire album.

3) Metal is again sounding all the more glorious. Precious pop sucks big-time, I want to kick the collective asses of The Decemberists.

4) College hockey is ramping up.

5) I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who scored me a Cuban cigar via The Great White North. Can't wait to sit outdoors with a hoodie on with a Summit India Pale Ale in hand while I smoke that Cuban.

I love autumn.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

To Clarify, God Called Her To Run - But Didn't Neccessarily Call Her To Win

Poor MN sixth congressional district GOP candidate Michele Bachmann. Typer in her name in the search box at Youtube.com and you'll find all kinds of video of her espousing crazy thoughts and theories:

- She doesn't believe in global warming.

- She claims there is "a controversy among scientists whether evolution is a fact or not" and then also claims that "hundreds and hundreds" of scientists believe that God created the world in six days in creationism in intelligent design.

- She believes the US should not remove the "nuclear response" option when dealing with Iran.

- She claims that it is God's will that she run for Congress, that He made His calling clear. At this same event the pastor personally endorsed Bachmann, leading to a complaint being filed with the IRS because churches can't campaign for candidates. All of this led to Bachmann getting the bronze in Monday's edition of Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World."

The good news for Bachmann is that she is a lock to pick up the Flat Earth Society's endorsement in the sixth district.

Update: I just realized that the pastor who endorses Bachmann sounds just like Foghorn Leghorn.

Friday, October 13, 2006

So Exactly How Much Talent Does It Take To Knock Off Holy Cross In A Big Game?

I was watching the Sioux play the Badgers on CSTV tonight (Sioux won in OT 3-2) and one of the announcers was commenting on the "heart and soul" that Sioux teams tend to carry. This reminded me of last season's WCHA Final Five, when a TV commentator was talking about how Sioux teams carry themselves like champions. Others have tossed around words like "character" when it comes to the Sioux hockey program.

I bring this up in contrast to some college hockey programs, where all you hear about is "their talent." Such programs have yet to top UND in the number of national and WCHA championships won; but I trust I can hear their fans tell me about their talent this season over and over again. Which brings to mind last season: I was told repeatedly that the Gophers had the best freshman class in the country. They flashed a stat on CSTV tonight - Freshman points last season: Minnesota = 114, North Dakota = 196. Hmmmm, maybe it is like Alan Fine says: character counts.

Monday, October 09, 2006

New Podcast Up

Show #10 is up and available for listening. It was a show I had some of the most fun doing.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

No Lectures on My Coffee Intake, Thank You

I had a physical last week and all the tests came out "pretty good" (so sez the Doc.) The one bone he had to pick with me was my booze intake. Supposedly, you are only supposed to have two drinks a day, maximum. And you can't carry them over, i.e. if you don't drink Monday or Tuesday that doesn't mean you are entitled to six drinks on Hump Day.

I truly wonder: Why the hell hasn't the booze lobby gotten to the AMA yet? (AMA = American Mormon Association?) Doctors will prescribe you any and every pill they can, but you pour some OTC depressants into your system and somehow that's verboten.

Anyway, here's my top ten (silent) responses to the doctor's Two-Drink Maximum Rule:

1) Two beers? Yeah, then you stop briefly to order the pizza.

2) I hope you're talking brands, not twelve-ouncers.

3) But what if I'm not sleepy enough after two?

4) I'm Finnish.

5) I'm a writer.

6) I'm a Finnish writer.

7) Then why is it called a two-drink minimum?

8) But after two, I always feel like four, five and maybe six if tomorrow doesn't look too imposing.

9) I don't throw good jarts until after at least two.

10) Wait - we're supposed to mean it when we say: "Let's have a couple of beers"?

(Thanks to Carin for #3.)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

College Hockey Has Started!

In honor of another college hockey season starting, here's linkage to audio of the Evil Empire's season crashing to a resounding thud of a finale last March.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Hey Punto: Pull Your Head Out - It Gets You There Slower!

Nothing has been more baffling in those three Twins games I've watched this year then to see Nick Punto slide head-first into first. From Charley Walters' column on Thursday:

Twins third baseman Nick Punto said he isn't sure his head-first dives as a base runner get him to first base sooner.

"It's just a habit," he said. "If I time it some day, I'll let you know."


First base is the only one you are allowed to overrun. As my buddy Bjerk points out - if sliding head first works so well why don't sprinters do the same thing at the finish line?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Rumor

Any truth to the rumor that once Mark Foley gets out of rehab he is considering joining the priesthood?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Separated at Birth?

Nothing says Saturday Night Fun for me like getting a "Separated at Birth?" submission published at Fraters Libertas.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

GOP = "Got Other Priorities"

The incomparable Joan Didion on Dick Cheney.

Thanks to Chris from Incoming Signals for the link.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Good Times

I deejayed Friday night at the opening for Poster Offensive 3 along with my friends Ben and Justin. Ryan, who used to own Let It Be Records, also joined us. It was nice to meet him - for years I worked downtown at a crappy corporate job and his store was just a block away and I escaped there many a time to flip through CDs and LPs as much-needed therapy.

For me, the experience Friday night was everything I could hope for: great tunes, beautiful posters, lots of good friends in attendance, hot chicks dressed hotly in abound, multiple kegs of beer (and when those were running out, a gal was cool enough to score us deejays a secret stash of Red Stripe.)

I also got to drop a Godfather II reference as originally I followed Ryan in the deejaying rotation, but at some point Justin took my spot. I vocally complained about "being treated like Fredo" and "being passed over." But I guess that's they way Pop wanted it.

Here are the songs I played (we were shooting for political/topical songs), not in the order I played 'em though:

The O'Jays - For the Love of Money
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five - The Message
Little Steven - Fear
Hüsker Dü - Turn on the News
Run-DMC - Hard Times
The Stooges - 1969
The Who - The Seeker
Prince - Sign O' the Times
Pete Townshend - Give Blood
Bryan Ferry - A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
Graham Parker - Protection
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son
The Yardbirds - You're a Better Man Than I
War - Why Can't We Be Friends?
The Alarm - The Stand
Black Flag - Rise Above
The Kinks - Where Have All the Good Times Gone

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Nice Blast of Honesty

Governor Pawlenty's winning-the-primary announcement was just on MPR and he said something about "aside from the military, what has government ever run well?"

Obviously Timmy was referring to his own work. Just what has he done for us in the past four years?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Bluth For Senate?

Mark Kennedy + glasses = Buster Bluth!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

What We Learned In Last Friday's MPR Senatorial Candidates Debate

Audio is here.

Klobuchar - One tough cookie. She killed. The line about repealing Dubya's tax cuts on the wealthiest one percent would only result in the loss of the purchase of some yacht sails was genius. As was the line about Kennedy's plans being "all foam and no beer."

Fitzgerald - This guy knows his stuff. He also killed. His lack of 'Mats or Huskers references is totally forgiven as there were time restrictions on speaking time. (Full disclosure: only candidate to comment on this blog - here and here.)

Kennedy - He wuvs his Mommy and Daddy. His Mommy and Daddy wuv him also. Isn't it sweet? But does Marky still wuv our president?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mind Running In Circles (Again)

So last night I was in my car running errands and Manfred Mann's version of "The Mighty Quinn" came on that great oldies station (they play the stuff that KOOL 108 used to play before they made the move towards later-sixties and seventies tunes to appease baby boomers) that is now on 740 AM. I had one of those epiphanies where I said: "Why have I never paid attention to this tune before - it's fucking great!" And then I proceeded to sing along; grinning the whole time and thinking of my pal David, who when told that Dylan wrote this golden oldie said (in complimentary terms): "Dylan. This sounds like the weird stuff he typically comes up with."

I came home and downloaded it and have played it a million or so times in the past 24 hours. Then I read up on it: the lead singer in Manfred Mann's band at the time was Mike d'Abo. Not only is he the father of Olivia d'Abo, the actress who portrayed Kevin Arnold's ultra-hotttt sister in The Wonder Years; but he also wrote "Handbags and Gladrags." That tune was a gem on Rod Stewart's first album and decades later (in a version that is not Stewart's) became the theme song for the original UK version of The Office - one of the few great sitcoms that makes you cringe in familiar embarrassment while you watch, just like The Wonder Years did.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I Want To Drink Beer With Lester Freamon

My guy Bruce has a link to a great column about HBO's show "The Wire." I don't have HBO, but got hooked on this show in the last year via Netflix. I'm currently tearing my way through season three - watched four hours of it yesterday in one sitting - and am mildly depressed that I won't be able to finish season three until after Labor Day. "The Wire" is easily the second-best thing I've seen on TV the past five years or so (Band of Brothers is the greatest thing I've EVER seen on TV) and is arguably the greatest law/crime drama ever made. Check it out!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Speaking of Music Books ...

I thought that the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2003 being sold at amazon.com used for ten cents totally put me in my place, but my ego swells when I see it listed on ebay.com for the "Buy It Now" price of thirty-eight cents!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What Happens When Your Love Of Reading Collides With Your Rock 'n' Roll Infatuation

A couple of months ago, Guardian's Observer Music Monthly named their 50 Greatest Music Books Ever.

Confirming my status as a true rock book geek, I see that I have read twelve of the books ... numbers 1,2,4,7,10,12,14,15,20,26,29, and 44. Not only that, but I own nine of them ... numbers 1,7,10,12,14,15,20,26, and 29.

Love the words on my fave writer ever, Lester Bangs: "It's certainly true that in any fairly judged heavyweight bout between Bangs's finest sentence and, say, Philip Roth's, there can only be one winner. And the man holding the champion's belt isn't 86 and hasn't recently had a baby."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Poster Offensive 3 - Opening Reception September 15th

Details here.

Monday, August 21, 2006

I Love It When "Punk" Is Used In Old-School Fashion

On Pardon the Interruption today, Michael Wilbon correctly called Sergio Garcia a "snivelling punk" and suggested that Garcia should eat his meals while on all fours because of the way he chokes when around the incomparable Tiger Woods.

And apparently having this year's PGA Championship held near Chicago led Garcia to channel Jeff Dubay's sorry excuses for why the Chicago Bears had such a great season last year and apply them to Tiger Woods. Here he is, explaining Tiger's success, using a variation typical Purple fan's "the other (i.e. better) team got all the breaks."

"Everything went his way, too. The bad shots he hit all week long, he got away with them."

Face it, Sergio: you're a never-was on that long road to has-been. Cute outfits, though.

Friday, August 11, 2006

At the Lake

I'm at my parents' cabin now enjoying an ice-cold Premium. I'll be up here for the next nine days, so no more blogging after tonight until I get back to the bunker.

Chris Riemenschneider in today's Strib has a great anecdote about how the Hold Steady's Craig Finn was taunting White Sox fans during their set at Lollapalooza in Chicago. It reminds me about the Replacements' last show ever, also in Chicago. It was 1991 and the Twins had recently reeled off 15 straight wins. Paul Westerberg changed some of the words in "Within Your Reach" to something like "never seen the White Sox go fifteen and oh."

I have no links on any of the above as the combo here of: 1) Windows, 2) dial-up, and 3) AOL make me feel like I'm dealing with Soviet-era technology so I better quit while I'm ahead. See all y'all later.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Why Isn't The Wonder Years Out On DVD Yet? (My Guess Is The Music Licensing Issue)

The Wonder Years 25 Best Moments

The Wonder Years finale

When Bart tries to be Kevin Arnold:
Bart: [Daniel Stern's voice, a la Wonder Years] Me? Get a job? Were they serious? I didn't realize it at the time, but a little piece of my childhood had slipped away, forever.
Homer: Bart! What are you staring at?
Bart: Uh, nothing. [Daniel Stern continues] He didn't say it, and neither did I, but at that moment, my dad and I were closer than we...
Homer: Bart! Stop it!
Bart: Sorry.


Fan site dedicated to Julie Condra. It hasn't been updated in five years. She's the actress who played Madeline Adams, the temptress who tried to woo Kevin away from Winnie. (And who was nineteen years old in real life when this episode was made, so now I don't feel quite so creepy about the way I - at age twenty-five - felt about her while watching it!)

Winnie Cooper. All. Grown. Up.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Now I Have To Get Some New Material To Beat Into The Ground

Sioux hockey associate head coach Brad Berry is leaving the team for a coaching position with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL. Sad news for Sioux fans as Berry did a great job with the defense while on the job. Bummer for me personally also. I went to high school with Berry's wife and enjoyed my oh-so-slight two degrees of separation from the team. At our twenty-year reunion a few years back, she hugged me and I quipped later to friends that "it was like the whole Sioux team was hugging me, but she smelled much much better." I also spotted Berry the first night of the reunion ... I had joked to friends here in Minneapolis earlier that week that I was going to accost him and draw up some forechecks on bar napkins for the team to use in the upcoming season.

For some reason, the fact that he coached defense and wouldn't be in charge of the forechecking didn't enter into my wacky imaginary scheme.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Something I Typed After Hooking Up My New Turntable, Not Even Sure If It Makes Sense (Thank You Misters Leinenkugel and Smirnoff)

This week I started reading Steve Erickson's Our Ecstatic Days but didn't get too far into it before returning it to the library. I'm sure it's my fault and not Erickson's - he did after all write two of my all-time favorite books: Amnesiascope and American Nomad. I should tackle a book like Our Ecstatic Days in the non-summer months when my reading (and writing and listening and observing and ... etc.) abilities are in better form. Oh, and hey - Twin Cities wussies who are convinced that our winters are "harsh": I'll take the coldest day in winter over this heat wave bullshit we're dealing with this month. I guess that makes me a summer wussy, but I'll take the mild winters in Minneapolis over the oppressive summers hands down. Summer sucks, winter is great!

Anyway, I hope to look into the latest Erickson novel again in the non-summer. Summer is best reserved for so-called guilty pleasures. Though like the Cosmic Slop guys, I don't buy into the Guilty Pleasure Concept. Either you like something or you don't - why feel guilty about it? (Can't remember if that's the reasoning that Chuck and Joel used, but I'm going with it.) So this summer for me book-wise it's for the most part been 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King and crime novels by James Ellroy and George V. Higgins. (Higgins, RIP, could write circles around just about any writer you can care to name. Check him out, especially if you dig great dialogue writing.)

Oh, and back to the Erickson novel and why I originally sat down to type this post ... the book starts off with an amazing quote by Rilke:

... for beauty is nothing
but the beginning of terror
           we can just barely endure


I haven't read any Rilke, but if anybody has any recommendations please comment or email me.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

"Mission Accomplished"

They're moving more American troops into Baghdad to try to quell the escalating violence there. Maybe we can look forward to another staged "tear down a Saddam statue" photo-op event.

Monday, July 24, 2006

How do you say: "Damn, it's two a.m. and that dog across the lake is still barking" or "You don't like Canadian Bacon? Hit the road, Jack!" or "I only had several" or "Nail it!" in Arabic?

Concordia Language Villages now has a summer camp that teaches Arabic language and culture. It's on Leek Lake - near Vergas, Minnesota. Vergas is home of the world's largest loon. As for Leek Lake, it's the home of none other than ... Ma and Pa Tuomala.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

New Podcast Up

The latest edition of Exiled Radio is now available.

I have had some inquiries (okay, an inquiry) about subscribing to the podcast via iTunes. I submitted the podcast a year ago, but have been too lazy to figure out the iTunes technical specs so I don't have a link for direct subscription. However, you can subscribe in iTunes if you click the "Advanced" menu, then "Subscribe to Podcast", and then type in this URL: http://www.readexiled.com/exiledradio.rss

I talked way too much in the latest show and promise will try to tighten it up (or at least keep the show around an hour or so in length) in the future. Thanks for listening!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

In the Headlines

The State Department was going to charge American citizens in Lebandon for the costs of their evacuations.

If you're an American in Lebandon, tell the State Dept. that you are an Iraqi exile with important intelligence information. Then they will pay YOU.


The House of Representatives rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Speaker Dennis Hastert said: "Be assured that this issue is not over."

Yes, we will hear about it all over again in two years when election time rolls around. Today, Hastert is out protecting the pledge of allegiance. It's a lock that Hastert will be silent on both of these issues in January 2007.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Paul Nelson, RIP

Paul Nelson recently passed away. Some quick bio stuff:

1) A fellow northern boy - from Warren, Minnesota.

2) Friends with Dylan at University of Minnesota, later defended him in print in a NYC folk magazine to the dorks of the folk movement who protested Dylan's going electric.

3) A founding father of rock criticism.

4) Mercury Records A&R dude - turned Rod Stewart onto those obscure and then-unreleased Dylan tunes on Stewart's great early albums. Signed the New York Dolls.

5) Co-author, along with Lester Bangs, of a hilarious Rod Stewart biography. Nelson was suffering from writer's block, so Bangs wrote almost all of the book. But there is an early chapter where the two writers discuss Stewart. It's great stuff.

Links to tributes to Nelson are at Rockcritics Daily.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

"Shadow" Goes Postmodern

I finished watching season two of an all-time-top-five favorite series, "The White Shadow," this weekend. One of the final episodes, "Coolidge Goes to Hollywood," is amazingly as great and as funny as the golfing episode from the same season. And over two decades before "The OC" made fun of itself by having a show-within-the-show, "The White Shadow" did it; thereby forecasting all the great inside jokes that popped up in "St. Elsewhere," another Bruce Paltrow, MTM, et al. show. The scene goes as follows:

Hayward, Salami, Coolidge, Thorpe, Vitaglia, and Reese are walking down the halls of Carver High when the subject of the TV series "Downtown High" comes up.

Reese: "Downtown High?" What's it about?

Thorpe: It's this ridiculous new TV show on TV man, about this white principal in a black ghetto high school who always gets involved in the kids' personal problems.

Hayward: Sounds like a lotta bull to me, man.

Coach Reeves walks by, going in the opposite direction.

Coach: Hi guys.

The last in the group, Reese, stops. He looks quizzically back in the direction of the coach.

xxxxxxxxxxx

p.s. The scene eariler contained this classic bit of dialogue:

Salami: You joined the Drama Club?

Coolidge: Now I'm officially a thespian.

Salami: Yeah, you and my cousin Mary.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

English as national language. Gay marriage ammendment. Flag desecration amendment ...

I remember one time driving in Lowertown St. Paul and being behind a vehicle that bore a bumper sticker that said: "Republicans make great leaders. You're following one now." It was an ugly Chrysler minivan driven by some fatass.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Whatever Happened to My Rock 'n' Roll?

Thursday while at an accounting client who almost always listens to KEXP out of Seattle on the Net, I heard two of the crappiest indie bands I've been unfortunately exposed to: Neutral Milk Hotel and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Kids beware - these bands bite the big one. Indie/slouch uninspired drivel with truly shitty vocalists. Mind you, I heard these bands after the nails-on-blackboard warblings of the Violent Femmes, but I was almost left pining for the shitty vocals of that Femmes moron!

Fortunately (and before KEXP could totally send me over the edge by queuing up the Mountain Goats), my main man Justin, a Sirius subscriber, switched the sound over to Little Steven's Underground Garage where we got to hear Kid Leo play real rock 'n' roll: Shadows of Knight, Yardbirds, Aerosmith, Ronettes, etc.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Whoah.

Love the artwork for Season Three of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Oddly Cathartic

I just went through six boxes of childhood stuff that my parents gave me when they sold their home here in the Cities. Result? Two boxes of stuff to keep and five garbage bags headed for the dumpster. Being a kid sucked.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Producers

The past few years as a rock 'n' roll listener I have become intrigued by producers. Names like Bob Ezrin, Glyn Johns, and Chris Thomas pop up all over my music collection in all kinds of places. Like Ezrin - he's on everything from a band called Detroit (a Mitch Ryder vehicle), to Kiss to the Jayhawks. Thomas is on Roxy Music, the Sex Pistols, Pete Townshend, and INXS. The (not always held here) theory of rock star as poet/mystic/genius (take yer pick) tends to diminish the role of producers, unless the musicians commit the unforgivable sin of Not Writing Their Own Material; then the producer is seen as the genius puppetmaster behind the board. And questions arise, such as "What would the Replacements' Tim with its mostly great songs have sounded like if it had had a competent producing job?" (Never send a Ramone to do a man's job.)

I was surfing last night and came across a 2001 interview with Tom Werman, mostly famous here at 3400 Harriet for producing Cheap Trick studio albums two, three, and four. Their first album was produced by Jack Douglas of Aerosmith-producing fame, but in the words of Dave Marsh (in The Rolling Stone Record Guide - red edition) it was Werman who "understood them perfectly: his settings and the clarity with which the songs were recorded have some of the edge Glyn Johns gives the Who."

The first part of the interview deals with his putting together the music for the movie Rock Star, but the best stuff is in the interview that follows. A great quote: "I always said Cheap Trick wanted to be The Beatles, and I wanted them to be The Who. So it was a good combination. We were a good combination."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Give It Back To Maris

As pointed out by my brother in the comments for my June 19th post, there is a website dedicated to returning the single-season home run record to its rightful owner Roger Maris. The site is GiveitbacktoMaris.com. Check it out, sign the petition, and hopefully help give Maris his due. He got screwed once by Ford Frick, he shouldn't be screwed again by a bunch of roidheads and a baseball bureaucracy that has been more than willing to look the other way.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

NBC = Needless Blown Coverage

Last night as the last second ticked off the clock in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup finals, NBC cut to a lengthy shot of Carolina coach Peter Laviolette hugging his assistants. Wha?? Not to take anything away from Laviolette, but the shot should have been of the victorious Hurricanes on the ice and coming off the bench streaming towards their goalie and leaving sticks and gloves in their wake. That is one of the coolest things to see after a championship win no matter whether you see it in high school, college, or pro hockey. Fire whoever was NBC's director of the game last night!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Study in Contrasts

When you think of basketball, you think of Willis Reed starting Game Seven of the 1970 NBA finals despite having a torn thigh muscle and sinking the first two baskets of the game. And maybe you think of Michael Jordan scoring 38 points in Game Five of the 1991 finals despite having the flu.

When you think of baseball, you think of Kirk Gibson hitting a game-winning home run in Game One of the 1988 World Series despite injuries to both legs.

When you think of football, you think of Kellen Winslow in the 1982 Divisional Playoffs catching 13 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown, despite suffering from extreme heat exhaustion. Oh yeah, he also blocked a field goal.

And when you think of soccer, you think of players diving and flopping when contact is made - then getting up and running just fine mere seconds later if the referee doesn't make a call. It almost makes you forget Cris Carter's antics when begging for a call. Sheesh.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Nil on One-Nil

A bar up on Lyn-Lake is offering two dollar Budweisers during World Cup soccer games - which you can watch on their big-screen TV. Golly. The "thing" of beers and a boring sport? Think I'll stick with good beer at home and the NBA and Stanley Cup finals on the 27-inch Mitsubishi.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Yacht Rock

The best possible thing you could be watching on your computer right now* is the hilarious "Yacht Rock" series at Channel 101. It shows the ongoing adventures of Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Hall and Oates, Toto, et. al. to keep rock "smooth." Also appearances by Christopher Cross, Steely Dan, Michael Jackson, Skunk Baxter (natch), Eddie Van Halen, Ted Templeman, and Dr. Dre. Watch for Harold Ramis and a classic SCTV skit!

*Unless you're watching The White Shadow: Season 2 on your computer's DVD player. Principal Willis stares down a black militant, Salami's cousin joins the team, Coolidge rooms with Coach, Jackson shaves points, and Coolidge gets VD (kids: these days it's called a STD) from his girlfriend ... who got it from Thorpe! And I'm only ten episodes in ...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Plot Sickens

You may have heard me tell the story - either in person or on the late-great Cosmic Slop show on Radio K - about Aldo Nova opening for Blue Oyster Cult in West Fargo, North Dakota in September of 1982. Aldo was trying to warm up the crowd and said:

"North Dakota is a great town!"

For almost a quarter century now, I've chalked this up to rock-star-dumbness, some north-of-the-border-flash-in-the-pan just not getting it. And come to think of, relating the story on the Slop show in January of 2001 may have been the first time I had told it since the eighties. The anecdote had grown legs as the years went on ... Aldo Nova, Blue Oyster Cult, a fairgrounds in West Fargo - all these elements seemed to add to the ridiculousness of it.

But this week, I related the tale on an email list I'm on with some fellow musicheads. Dan chipped in with this Aldo Nova onstage quote, also from September of 1982 but this time in Sioux Falls, South Dakota:

"Alright, Sioux City!"

Upon reading this, at first I was gleeful - taken with my experience, it's rock-star-dumbness squared. But as usual, I gave such a thing too much thought. And what's been bothering me for almost 72 hours now is this theory: Nova said these things as an inside joke with his Canadian bandmate buddies as a way to get some laughs while out on the weary road in heartland America as an opener for an American smart-metal band who was hanging onto its last act of stardom. The more I thought about it, the more I knew I might be right: Canadians know a lot more about our country than we do about theirs, no doubt including the states and towns that make up the Dakotas. Damn!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Go Twins (And Take The Vikings With You)
or
Pray For Rain


I picked up the paper last Saturday morning to see that Governor "No New Taxes" Pawlenty signed a bill that will increase taxes in Hennepin County. The governor is a fucking fraud and I'll celebrate heartily if he gets voted out of office this November.

(Oh and I'll also giggle heartily during every rainout at the new Twins stadium that screws outstate fans from seeing a game ... then they can go complain to their legislators about the lack of a roof in a stadium they aren't paying for.)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Highlights From Checking Out Small-town Radio While Up North Over The Long Weekend:

Waylon Jennings - "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?"

ZZ Top - "Cheap Sunglasses"

Def Leppard - "Street Life" (Roxy Music cover from the new all-covers DL album)

Kenny Chesney - "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy"

Dwight Yoakam - "Guitars, Cadillacs"

"Come down and check us out! Free hotdogs and Pepsi!"

Warren Zevon - "Lawyers Guns and Money"

Loverboy - "Turn Me Loose" (never realized how disco the bass is on this one nor did I pay attention to the homoerotic "on my knees making love to whoever I please" line)

Westside Liquor jingle (written by my brother-in-law)

Red Rider - "Lunatic Fringe" (heard right after the above Loverboy tune, reminding me of this blog post my pal Chuck sent me last week)

Gary Wright - "Love Is Alive"

Ram Jam - "Black Betty"

The Guess Who - "Share the Land" (blatantly socialist song that hit the Top Ten in 1970!)

"Free balloons for the kids!"

Buck Owens - "Love's Gonna Live Here"

(Lowlight: An ad saying something like "on this Memorial Day, remember these savings!")

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

New Podcast Is Up

Exiled Radio Show #8

Recorded Saturday. But due to Blogger problems, I haven't been able to post weblog entries until this afternoon. Anybody out there ever switch to WordPress and if so, any comments or advice? Thanks.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Gotta Be Sam Phillips's Hands

Wednesday afternoon I was flipping through the booklet from the Jerry Lee Lewis two-disc anthology, All Killer, No Filler, and doing some research for my next podcast (which should be up and ready in the next few days.) I came across this photo, which I have now declared to be the coolest rock 'n' roll photo ever. Of all the Sun boys, only Jerry Lee could pull off the earnestness vs. perverseness of it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

“He is the father of the modern Hollywood comedy”

Great profile of Harold Ramis in The New Yorker. from a couple of years ago. (Better late than never ... hey I still haven't posted a link to that Holy Cross audio yet.)

The author on Ramis's movies:

These comedies have several things in common. They attack the smugness of institutional life, trashing the fraternity system, country clubs, the Army—even local weathermen—with an impish good will that is unmistakably American. Will Rogers would have made films like these, if Will Rogers had lived through Vietnam and Watergate and decided that the only logical course of action was getting wasted or getting laid or—better—both.

Ramis on Stripes:

“My whole problem was, We’re doing an Army movie and we’re not going to talk about Vietnam? What can I put in this movie to convey my antiwar sentiments?” In the end, after filming at Fort Knox and coming to admire some of the local Army personnel, Ramis says, “We did it when Bill says, ‘We’ve been kicking ass for two hundred years—we’re ten and one!’ That was my reference to Vietnam.”

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Losersota?

The Strib had an article in the Sunday sports page a couple of weeks ago that pointed out that the Twin Cities is the only metropolitan area with pro teams in the four major sports that had no team in any of the sports make it to the playoffs in their most recent season.

But this doesn't stop some members of the local sports media from being mindless homer cheerleaders. Thankfully, there is Homersota.com (as plugged on the Common Man Progrum) as an antidote. Homersota.com points out who the local homers are and also does a much-needed hatchet job on PA & Dubay, whose morning KFAN show has likely convinced naive Purple fans for years now that the Vikings defense is "better this year."

This morning, Dubay fired off this gem: "The Bears ... aside from Grossman going down, were a team that had everything go their way last year."

Yep, everything went the Bears way - except for the minor detail of losing their starting quarterback for most of the season, forcing them to start Kyle Orton, but they still finished 11-5 because things "went their way." No mention of the awesome defense that won game after game for them.

The above shows one of the guidelines of being a homer - use the "other teams get lucky" theory. There is also the "officials screwed us" theory on losses, the "we're playing fine, we just ran into a buzzsaw" rationalization for losses, and the "this athlete is from Minnesota (or plays/played in Minnesota)" excuse for fawning over said athlete.

Keep up the great work Homersota.com!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Charles Barkley, Quote Machine

I have seen maybe twenty minutes of American Idol total, but it is the stupidest fucking show I have ever seen. Time to dig up a Sir Charles quote from last year, from when Revenge of the Sith was released:

"If you watch American Idol, or if you're one of those dorks who dresses up in a Star Wars costume to go to a movie - you are a loser."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Fred Flintstone Capers Continue in Jacksonville

Gotta love the Purple's latest monthly (or is it weekly? maybe those don't start until the team hits the field) blunder - the firing of personnel director Fran Foley in part because of resume embellishments, now Foley says he'll sue. Ha ha!

Speaking of embellishments, recently I checked in on my longtime comic relief - former Purple coach Mike Tice. Turns out he also has a little white lie on the website of the Jacksonsville Jaguars, where he now coaches on offense. His bio claims that: "Tice led the Vikings to the playoffs in 2004 and their first road playoff victory in franchise history."

While that seems plausible - when do the Purple ever rise up and win a game they're not favored in? A quick look at Wikipedia brings up that Denny Green win over the Giants on the road in the mid-nineties where Denny bragged about his clock management after the game.

So no, Tice didn't lead the Purple over their first road playoff win. He better change his bio if he hopes to get a head coaching job (note: tongue planted firmly in cheek) again.