Sunday, March 30, 2008

Another Good One From The Twins

Carew, Killebrew, Oliva, and Hrbek as Jedi-like sages in the new Twins commercial. Pretty good.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Constant Contenders For Homers Of The Month

Tonight on WCCO-AM, the unintentional comedy act of Wally Shaver and Glen Sonmor wasted no time in getting on with their usual hijinks in tonight's Minnesota vs. Boston College game. About four minutes in after a penalty was called on the Gophers ...

Shaver: C'mon referree! It's a physical game!
Sonmor: Yeah! That was brutal!
Madison Is A Badgers Town, Not A Hockey Town

The North Dakota vs. Princeton NCAA Midwest regional game this afternoon at the Kohl Center is sparsely attented. No doubt the building will be full tonight when Wisconsin faces Denver. I'm certain that folks had to buy a package that included tickets for all three games this weekend, so the National Communists Against Athletes (tip o' the pen to Brian Bosworth) will get what they want as far as ticket purchases. Too bad Mankato State had to get screwed as a result.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Homer Of The Month?
Tuomala Tempts NCAA Regionals Fate By Mocking Gophers

I just submitted a nomination to for Homer of the Month for Strib Gopher hockey beat writer Roman Augustoviz.

Last Saturday he referred to a four-game winning streak by Minnesota in the WCHA playoffs as "wondrous, magical." Then today he bagged a three-quarters-of-a-page breakdown of said winning streak, without mentioning that the streak ended when the Gophers lost to Denver last Saturday.

In WCHA towns that actually have good teams, a four-game winning streak is simply called "consecutive weekends."
Internet Finally Reaches Its Potential

If the only thing missing from your life is a message board dedicated to The White Shadow, now you are set with Carver Chat.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Okay Google, You Win

I use my Google account to write these genius inspired witty brief blog entries and to do some calendar and documents stuff with a couple of accounting clients. But I used to always log out after doing my Google work as I didn't like the idea of the folks at Google having a log of what I searched for using their search engine.

But lately I noticed that when logged out, Google would continually turn my image search filtering preference to "safe." So in turn, I would continually have to go into my preferences and change it to "do not filter my search results." Last night I finally gave up and decided to always be logged into Google. Tonight I looked for photos of Katarina Witt and some of them are unfiltered in the very best way. Click, click, click ... hell, yeah! There goes that run for the Senate. Happy, Google??
1998 Chevy

You know you're the owner of a decade-old, American-made auto when the AAA towing/jump guy drives out to jump-start your car and he's instantly recognized once he gets out of the truck. Fortunately, today the Chevy only needed a new battery. Whew.
I Love Stuff Like This

I'm reading Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets by David Simon. It was the real-life basis for the fictional Homicide television show and of course Simon went on the create The Wire.

One of the detectives in the book is Sergeant Jay Landsman, who is the basis for a character also named Jay Landsman in the fictional universe of The Wire. The real-life Jay Landsman has a role in the show, playing a uniformed lieutenant.

It gets better. John Munch from Homicide is based on the real Landsman and the character Munch appeared in whopping eight different TV series (I remember seeing him in The X-Files, but missed him in Arrested Development) ... including most recently in The Wire, lecturing a bartender on what it means to be a regular. So The Wire had: A character named Jay Landsman based on Jay Landsman, the real Jay Landsman portraying another character, and a cameo by a fictional character that was based on Jay Landsman. Yeah!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Ladies And Gentlemen, Look At That. You Can't See That, I'm On Radio."

I watched Slap Shot again last night and while this could have been a long post, I'll keep it to a couple of things.

1) This movie features three of the great character actors:

- Strother Martin, who you may also know as the captain in Cool Hand Luke, as Chiefs GM Joe McGrath.

- M. Emmet Walsh, who you may also know as Bryant in Blade Runner, as affable sportswriter Dickie Dunn.

- Paul Dooley, who you also may know as Cheryl's Dad in Curb Your Enthusiasm, as the Hyannisport announcer who utters the legendary lines: "The fans are standing up to them. The security guards are standing up to them. The peanut vendors are standing up to them! If I could get down there, I'd be standing up to them!" (His "you can't see that, I'm on radio" line is incorrectly referenced in the ESPN link below as being said by the Chiefs home radio voice.)

2) ESPN Page 2 has a great "reel life vs. real life" breakdown of the film, much of which was lifted from actual minor league occurrences.

Monday, March 17, 2008

As Always, My Face Is Radio Ready

Nowhere Band, the comic by Keith Pille mentioned here a couple of weeks ago, was featured on Minnesota Public Radio's All Things Considered program today. (Audio link at the top of that linked page.) They used a couple of my quotes from a brief phone interview this morning.

Congrats to Keith on the coverage.
The Top 30 Rock Books I Own: #7 Mystery Train

Title: Mystery Train
Author: Greil Marcus
Year Originally Published: 1975
Edition I Own: Penguin Group, Third Edition, 1990

What They Say: 1) The New York Times: "Should be read by anyone who cares about America or its music." (No link, this is on the back cover of my edition.) 2) The editors of The Rolling Stone Record Guide (the first red one): "A work of scholarship and passion ... the first book to fit rock into the currents of traditional American culture and thought."

Tuomala's Attempt At A Take: I'm pretty sure that this is the only book by Marcus where he doesn't mention the French Situationists.
It's Funny Because It's True

Guinness has an online petition to make St. Patrick's Day an official holiday. Bad idea. Why? Because I'm not Irish and aside from the Irish wakes held for passed-on detectives on The Wire, I find Irish-American kitchiness rather boring. Rather we make election day an official holiday, right?

And the Onion nailed St. Patrick's Day perfectly back in '99.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy St. Urho's Day!

Tonight I celebrated St. Urho's Day with the traditional meal of General Tso's Chicken, fried rice, and an eggroll. Alas, I seemed to have lost my recipe for fish stew.

My favorite Finlander joke (courtesy of my Uncle Stan):

Did you know that George Custer was a Finlander? And that his boots were too small? Yep, his last words were: "Dese Siouxs are killin' me!"

During the first overtime of tonight's Mankato State vs. Minnesota game, Doug Woog uttered the worst commentary ever heard during the broadcast of a sporting event:

"Everybody in the building is standing except those in wheelchairs."
Sunday Hockey Can Be Depressing

The Sioux were absolutely Gophers-like tonight by blowing a two-goal lead against Michigan Tech and then losing in overtime. So now we'll have a series-deciding game on Sunday night. Do I drink during that game or not? I have a 11:00 a.m. meeting with a client on Monday morning, and 11:00 to me is like 9:00 (or 8:00, depending upon the spirits) for all you straight folks with real jobs. Decisions, decisions.

On a lighter note - instead of growing playoff beards, the Sioux are growing playoff mustaches. Yeah, pretty cheesy but better than the Gophers' move to dye their hair blonde last playoff season. There was an interview with UND's Matt Watkins in tonight's game and with a mustache he looks like the great Paul Giamatti!

Update: Opening face-off is seconds away and I'm starting the game off with some coffee. St. Urho's Day plus Sioux hockey = caffeine for some reason.

Update #2: Sioux squeak by Tech 2-1 to win the series and advance to the WCHA Final Five. I just cracked a Heineken, I haven't been so nervous during a Sioux game since last year's Frozen Four. T.J. Oshie scored both Sioux goals and TV color man Jimmy Scanlan quoted the legendary Gino Gasparini: "In a one-game playoff, you are only as good as your best player."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Save Olympic Ice For The Olympians

I caught some of the overtimes in Friday's Minnesota vs. Mankato State game. It reminded me of those hockey exhibitions between periods where they throw those little kids teams out there to skate and everybody thinks it's so cute ... it was a bunch of players on a huge sheet of ice skating after a puck hoping for something good to happen. The result? Two overtimes and finally somebody managed to score a goal. There was way too much ice and not enough playmakers in that Gophers vs. Mavericks game.

Even when college teams are great, when they play on Olympic ice the game is a tic-tac-toe passing game instead of the better game on regulation ice that rewards forechecking. I know it's a radical proposition in the WCHA where seven teams have Olympic ice in their home arenas, but I think we should save Olympic ice for the Olympic (i.e. pro) players who are worthy of it. College hockey should be played on regulation ice.

Friday, March 14, 2008

More Greatness In Esquire

One of my three favorite personal essays ever, F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Crack-Up", is posted on Esquire's website. It was originally published by that mag in three parts in 1936. This is where Fitzgerald penned two immortal lines:

1) "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."

2) "In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day."

(And if you're curious: my other two favorite personal essays are "The White Album" by Joan Didion and "New Year's Eve" by Lester Bangs.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

David Simon Essay In Esquire

I've blabbed enough about The Wire being the greatest TV show ever made, so go rent season one already. Season five weaves in the newspaper business, and show creator David Simon has an essay in the March issue of Esquire about his days as a newspaper reporter. (It says it's a preview, but from what I can tell it the complete essay is online.)

The part that grabbed me:

For me, the religion was in the chase, the pursuit of accumulated fact and quote, the rush to deadline, and the arrogance of standing up like the village griot at the campfire and running down a story that hadn’t yet been heard. And then the next day, maybe, doing it again.

For that alone, I can have no regrets. Nah, son, fuck law school. And fuck the M.B.A. I’ll never have. And fuck all that Chaucer and Cervantes and Proust I might never get around to reading. On a given day, I learn something that you didn’t know and then, my authority drawn only from scrawl on pages of a pocket notebook, I write it up clean so the rest of you can get your hands filthy with ink, reading my righteous shit. In the less fevered lobes of my brain, it was as pure as that. I swear it was.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Top 30 Rock Books I Own: #6 Diary Of A Rock 'n' Roll Star

Title: Diary Of A Rock 'n' Roll Star
Author: Ian Hunter
Year Originally Published: 1974
Edition I Own: Independent Music Press, 1996

What They Say: 1) Q Magazine: "This is the greatest music book ever written." (No link, this is on the cover of my edition.) 2) The editors of The Rolling Stone Record Guide (the first red one): "This is stardom ... without champagne and first-class suites. Instead, you get bus rides, missed airplane connections, mangled sound systems and the real-life grief." (Not much for reviews online to excerpt that I could find and I made a decision to not use reviews for this list.)

Tuomala's Attempt At A Take: Bought this off of an Ebay seller in the UK back around 2002 or so. I'm not sure if it's ever been published in the USA. I remember thinking while reading it that Hunter's honest takes on being in a mid-level band in the music biz fit in quite well with his band's Everyman rock 'n' roll. And as I told a friend last month: With me, Mott the Hoople not only connects musically, I feel a personal connection as a fan also. Back when I had a real job in Corporate America, I had a backstabbing smug yuppie of a boss who took pride in being into "world beat." And same jerk would make fun of my sentimental faves Mott the Hoople. Me? All these years later I have a framed album cover of the Mott album in my living room and make it a point to deejay "Jerkin' Crocus" off of All The Young Dudes when appropriate. And I still don't care about music made by the outer tribes of Mogadishu!
Google Street View = Cool, Disconcerting

I know am likely the last Internet-savvy person in the country to check out the street level view of Google Maps ... but wow was I blown away tonight. I was able to see my kitchen window and the dumpster it overlooks!

Here's some Google snapshots from my neighborhood:

1) Fave dive bar

2) Second-fave dive bar

3) Fave coffee shop

4) Fave record store

5) Record store I go to more than my fave because it's closer and is two blocks from a client. And I'm usually at said client on Monday evenings dropping off paperwork and nothing beats the Monday blues like flipping through vinyl in a basement.

6) My apartment building (my kitchen window not seen here)

(Yeah some photos are fuzzy - I think this is from me using Google's zoom feature. I don't give a rip.) (And yeah, I should go and take better photos of these places but the only camera I own is a Polaroid. You know how a picture is worth a thousand words? I'm the guy who writes the thousand words.)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Bring It, Munchkins

I could take 18 five-year olds in a fight! I found this out via a website that calculates this, and read about the website in Chuck Klosterman's column in the April issue of Esquire.

This is good to know. I was at my niece's four-year birthday party yesterday and one of the little boys took a couple of pokes at me as I walked by. The second time he did this, I knew I couldn't let him get away with that crap so I bounced a balloon off of his head. He thought that was pretty funny and I could tell he had tried to provoke me because he wanted to play. But what if he had been serious about dropping the gloves? What if he and his friends ganged up on me? Now I know he would need a small army to take me down.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Go Roseau

The Minnesota high school hockey 2A tourney has some intriguing matchups in the semifinals tonight - all four top seeds advanced.

Edina vs. Benilde-St. Margaret's. (I just heard these teams referred to on KFAN as "the best team money can buy" and "an all-star team.")

Roseau vs. Hill-Murray. I always cheer for Roseau and teams out of section eight.

Oh, and Roseau's Tyler Landman is also a deejay.

Throw in the Sioux still in contention for the WCHA title (games available on my Mac) and it'll be a good night to stay inside. Then again, most are.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Nowhere Band

Friend of Exiled Keith Pille has a new comic out titled Nowhere Band, it's about a Twin Cities band just starting out. Fave episodes of mine are:

tuesday night at the turf club, 11 pm

game theory

aaron schiel keeps it pretty fucking real

Check it out!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Weird McDonald's commercial from the eighties that has stuck with me after all these years. I think it stuck with me is because it aired at the time I was living on my own for the first time since moving to the Cities. Well, I mean "on my own" as meaning "not mooching off of my folks." I was living with my cousin and a couple of his friends in a rented house in St. Louis Park. Great guys all around. Down the street was a Golden Arches that we named "The World's Worst McDonald's", soon to be shortened to the simple "World's Worst." That place had subpar fast food and a higher percentage than normal of screwing up your order. But still we went there. It was the only fast food joint nearby and it was very near. A common suppertime line was "I'm going to World's Worst. Anybody want anything?" (Though one time my cousin and I were on our way to a party and he pulled into the World's Worst drive-through to get a bite to eat on the way to the shindig. He's driving and eating and all of sudden said: "Holy shit Bill! These fries are awesome!" I sampled 'em and sure enough, they were great. "World's Worst!" we yelled, "Who knew!") (I don't think this made for great party conversation.)

So anyway, I have the Mac Tonight commercial eternally associated with my former roomies (I think one of us would invariably say "dinner!" a little loudly during the airing of the commercial) and World's Worst, which I think is still there.

On a related note, about six years ago I was out at a strip mall in the Edina Centennial Lakes area on a Saturday morning getting a CD player installed in my Chevy Cavalier. I walked across the parking lot to the McDonald's to get some breakfast. (Laugh all you want: I'm a fan of the Big Breakfast.) They had a robotic Mac Tonight (the dude with moon face and shades) with piano setup in there that still worked. (Just like the one pictured here.) I think you pushed a button and you heard piano music and Mac Tonight singing loudly and with really crappy audio that was maybe borrowed from the drive-through speaker system. Unfortunately, there was some kids there and they thought it was great. So all through trying to dig my Big Breakfast and studying the sports page I had to hear Mac Tonight's song stylings. And unfortunately there were no "dinner!" interjections - that would have been rather cool.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Late Night Phone Call Makes My Night

Just got off the phone with my best friends Bjerk and Joel. Joel lives in Fort Worth and Bjerk and his son Alec are down there visiting. Joel got tickets to the Dallas Stars vs. Nashville Predators game tonight and Bjerk, via his Perham connections, scored passes to the players/coaches area after the game. So while Joel and Alec were in the Stars players' area scoring autographs, Bjerk was across the hall having a couple of beers with Stars head coach (and former Sioux) Dave Tippett! Tippett spotted Bjerk wearing his "Perham" shirt and led him into the coaches area for some cold ones. He has a place up north near Perham - Bjerk said they talked about the north country as much as they talked about hockey.
The Top 30 Rock Books I Own: #5 Rock Dreams

Title: Rock Dreams
Author: Guy Peellaert and Nik Cohn
Year Originally Published: 1973
Edition I Own: Rogner & Bernhard, 1982

What They Say: 1) The Independent, 2) Observer Music Monthly (scroll down to #20), 3) Ben Pagel: "Best gift ever."

Tuomala's Attempt At A Take: Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung is of course the favorite rock book that I own, but Rock Dreams is #1A. More in Exiled on Main Street #42.
Doug Risebrough Is A Real Piece Of Work

Wild GM Risebrough got all snooty in the Strib the other day over fans' backlash to the deal to acquire Chris Simon, who has been suspended eight times in the NHL. Risebrough made some curious comments:

"Give him a fresh start. People deserve second chances."

Simon has been suspended eight times. So this is more like his ninth chance.

"There's no doubt the incidents that have caused attention here were mistakes and poorly motivated decisions by Chris, but the players haven't been dramatically hurt."

In Simon's two most suspensions, one was the result of him taking a two-handed swing with his stick at a player. According to Wikipedia, Barry Melrose said that the player escaped serious injury because Simon's blow caught his shoulder pads before hitting his face. The other suspension was because he stepped on a player with his skate. Risebrough seems to be fine with crap like this as long as you don't actually cause a serious injury. To be fair to Simon, one of his suspensions wasn't because he took tried to maim somebody ... it was because he used a racial slur against a black player.

Risebrough later took a curious turn in defending Simon:

"Why would they (fans) know he's got three young kids and he's a soft-spoken guy?"

Being a father and soft-spoken doesn't make up for being a racist thug. It'd be funny and fitting if the smug Risebrough's team fails to make the playoffs this year.