Thursday, March 31, 2005

Mitch Hedberg, RIP

My good friend Joel just called me with the news. He had turned me on to Hedberg's humor and we saw him perform a couple of times in the Twin Cities. The first time was in St. Paul, where Hedberg riffed away with jokes while a dude played jazz lines on a stand-up bass. We were exhausted from laughing by the time the show was over. 37 is way too young. Rest in peace, Mitch.

You can check out some of Mitch's material here.

Joel checks in with a memory: I think the best show I ever saw was the one with you at Fitzgerald theater. He had the bass player in the background. His timing/rhythm was just incredible. It was amazing how he would build up the laughs to a point where he could say anything and you would bust a gut laughing. "I can't wait until the show is over. I have a roll of lifesavers in my pocket, and the next one is pineapple."

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A Picture Says A Thousand Words

Or in this case, three beautiful ones. Thanks to Chuck for the linkage.

Update: Robbie sent a version of the sign with alternate wording.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Give 'Em Hell, Heitkamp

A North Dakota state senator is sponsoring a resolution to ask MLB to reinstate Roger Maris's home run record. I don't think the North Dakota legislature has much sway, but it'll be interesting to see how that weenie Bud Selig responds to this.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The WCHA Invitational

This year I am calling the NCAA Frozen Four "The WCHA Invitational." All four teams in the national semifinals - Colorado College, North Dakota, Denver University, and Minnesota - are from college hockey's greatest conference, the WCHA.

The North Dakota Fighting Sioux will be facing off against hated rival Minnesota Golden Gophers in one of the semifinal games. The other will feature hated rivals Colorado College and Denver University. This is going to be so f**king awesome!

My team, the Sioux, trounced all over Boston University (4-0) and #1-nationally-ranked Boston College (6-3) over the weekend to earn a trip to The WCHA Invitational. And the games were in Worcester, Mass. In your face, Hockey Least!

CC knocked off Michigan in the state of Michigan. Denver knocked off New Hampshire in Amherst, Mass. Minnesota stayed in their home rink and their scoring outage continued, but they gutted out a couple of overtime wins. I thought Cornell was going to pull the upset this afternoon, but one of their players kept trying to freeze the puck in his own zone. He didn't get a whistle, but kept trying to freeze the puck. The Gopher forwards made him pay. See ya later EZAC!

Now I'm off to daydream about making "WCHA Invitational" teeshirts to sell online. This is the surest money-making scheme since Robbie Halvorson's idea to put a Red Pepper stand in the Xcel for the WCHA Final Five.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Eight Games On TV This Weekend

I am once again matching up with The Elder from Fraters Libertas in a college hockey playoffs pick 'em match. He will match his actually-goes-to-games (and plays-the-game) prowess against my futon-potato street smarts. I am getting in shape for Saturday, when on Fox Sports North there is four games broadcasting between 11:00 am and approximately 9:30 pm.


Boston College 6
Mercyhurst 1

North Dakota 3
Boston University 2

Boston College 4
North Dakota 2


Cornell 4
Ohio State 3

Maine 3
Minnesota 1

Maine 4
Cornell 3


Colorado College 4
Colgate 2

Michigan 5
Wisconsin 2

Michigan 4
Colorado College 2


Harvard 2
New Hamphsire 1

Denver 6
Bemidji State 2

Denver 5
Harvard 2


Boston College 3
Maine 1

Denver 3
Michigan 2

Denver 2
Boston College 1

Honestly, I haven't seen many teams outside of the WCHA for an extended period of time this season. Michigan looked tough for the bit I saw them last weekend. I keep thinking that Colorado College is the best team I've seen, but Denver keeps finding ways to win. I'm going with them. So not only will Denver win back-to-back national titles, they win their seventh title, moving into a tie with North Dakota for #2 in titles behind Michigan with nine.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Those Animal Doctors Are Sooooo Above-It-All

I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon to take my cat to the vet for her yearly check-up. I called the vet's office to see if maybe I could just drop off a videotape of her in action and they could call me back with a diagnosis. I'm not sure, but I think the receptionist was stifling laughter.

Monday, March 21, 2005

I'll Take 2-1 and 1-0 Over 7-6 and 5-4

It's hilarious to read and hear some Gopher fans describe the Denver University 1-0 win over Colorado College in the WCHA Final Five championship game as akin to a boring NHL game.

It was two heated rivals who tied for the conference regular season title playing in what I termed an "instant classic" while watching it. But Gopher fans are moaning about it and saying they prefer more scoring and a more wide-open game.

Then again - 1) when your team only scores two goals in two games, and 2) they get pounded physically by a team that by all means should have been drained while playing their third game in three days; I can see why you yearn for goals and lots of oh-gee tic-tac-toe passing. But hey - Tyler Hirsch was a hoot!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Plagiarism: The Highest Form Of Flattery

Tell me - Does this feature in Esquire eerily resemble something I came up with four years ago?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


While wearing a Team Finland hockey jersey (hi Stanton), we celebrate the last minutes of St. Urho's Day with a shot of Finlandia and Hanoi Rocks' "Self Destruction Blues" on the boombox. Tomorrow those amateurs the Irish have their day. Make it a point to stay out of Brit's Pub.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Sunday, March 13, 2005

More Than You Want To Know

Migwire wants to know who we share our birthdays with. Mine, August 14th, is the Unofficial Hot Babe Birthday:

Mila Kunis
Catherine Bell
Halle Berry
My friend Andrea, who I don't have a picture of to post and if I did her husband would kick my ass

I also share a birthday with:

Steve Martin
Magic Johnson
John Brodie
David Crosby
Larry Graham
Doc Holliday
Gary Larson (The Far Side)
Earl Weaver
My cousin Michael
My parents' neighbors' son Jake

August 14th was also V-J day in 1945.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Your Maintenance Request Has Been Received ...

A couple of folks have emailed me to say that my comments posting function isn't working. I was able to post a couple of comments today, but maybe it works for me because I "own" this blog. I checked all of my settings and republished in hopes that it would clear this up. As some of you may know, the Blogger help section is a little awkward so I'll try fixing this on my own for now.

Please keep trying to comment or feel free to email me with your comments as well. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

More For "Cleese"

(More rambling on this post.)

Hey JC - You think your little podunk country is superior to the USA? Okay, just try getting along with all the things we Americans have brought you:

1) You longer have the luxury of automobiles or similarly-powered vehicles such as buses. (Hey! There goes your "petrol" problem!)

2) You Brits must give up these communications devices: Telephones, telegraphs, and radios.

2) You must surrender your personal computers. You cannot travel elsewhere and then surf the Internet.

3) You may no longer watch TVs or movies.

4) You may no longer listen to: rock 'n' roll, blues, country, western, R&B, soul, hip-hop, jazz, or gospel.

5) Goodbye to whatever form of representative democracy you now have ... hello inbred, German fossil Queen Elizabeth II as your ruler.

Have fun and write when your country becomes relevant again. I have the feeling this new century could be your good-luck charm!!
Where's Batman When You Need Him?

I went out to my car tonight to find out that my driver's side lock was busted and my stereo and cell phone were taken. (The phone sits unused in my glove compartment until I remember to throw it into my bookbag.)

After rushing to the liquor store for a box of Schlitz to help console me, I returned home and went online to look at my cell phone activity. The stupid fucker or fuckers had used my phone to call numbers in Blaine and Anoka. I called my cell phone service and suspended my account until I get a new phone. Then I printed off the online detail and drove it over to the 5th Precint HQ pronto, figuring I had the evidence in hand to break this case wide open.

I was hoping to be escorted to the desk of a wise-cracking Minneapolis version of Lennie Brisco, who would commend me for my amateur-yet-effective gumshoe work. But the officer behind the desk dismissed my evidence as not being able to help - he said if they called the numbers, the call-receivers would just claim the criminals had called the wrong number. Then he gave me an automated phone number to call to report my incident. He was a nice guy; but at least he could have faked it, taken my printout, said it was a "good lead," and then laughed about it with the boys at Dulono's when his shift was over.

What is truly going to suck is being without a car radio or CD player until I get things sorted out with my insurance people. So if you're in South Minneapolis and you hear a man in a black Chevy Cavalier singing Van Halen tunes to himself, please honk and wave hi.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Chuck Klosterman In The March Issue Of Esquire

"By early 2005, every American had a blog. These blogs evolved into an incendiary form of 'new journalism' that aggresively covered previously unreported issues. These issues included the growth of the blogosphere, the future of blogging, blogging's relationship to the other media, what blogging reflected about society, the unblogged lifestyles of certain blogging celebrities, why the mainstream media refused to recognize blogging as a legitimate news source, and potential cast changes on The O.C. It was an exhilirating time for anyone who knew how to type."

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Tuomala To Brit - Don't Tread On Me

Today someone emailed me a message that was allegedly from John Cleese. It was an attempt at humor, that stated how the UK was "revoking" our independence. However - our independence was fought for, not granted. I remain unimpressed with the UK - hey go invent your own popular music genres for once, if you are able.

Here is the "Cleese" message, down below are my responses:

Message from John Cleese
To the citizens of the United States of America:

In light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories (excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy). Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up "aluminium," and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour', 'favour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix "ize" will be replaced by the suffix "ise." You will learn that the suffix 'burgh' is pronounced 'burra'; you may elect to respell Pittsburgh as 'Pittsberg' if you find you simply can't cope with correct pronunciation. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels (look up "vocabulary"). Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.

2. There is no such thing as "US English." We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of "-ize."

3. You will relearn your original national anthem, "God Save The Queen", but only after fully carrying out Task #1 (see above).

4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday. November 2nd will be a new national holiday, but to be celebrated only in England. It will be called "Come-Uppance Day."

5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

6. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

7. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling "gasoline")-roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called "crisps." Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with mayonnaise but with vinegar.

9. Waiters and waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.

10. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as "beer," and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as "Lager." American brands will be referred to as "Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine," so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

11. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in "Four Weddings and a Funeral" was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

12. You will cease playing American "football." There is only one kind of proper football; you call it "soccer." Those of you brave enough will, in time, will be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the "World Series" for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.

13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

Thank you for your co-operation and have a great day.

#1 If you guys are so goddamned smart, why don't you still rule the world? We talk the way we wanna talk. When we say "jump", Tony Blair understands totally and completely. If it weren't for us, you'd be speaking German which your royalty probably does anyway because THEY ARE ALL FUCKING GERMANS.

#3 We will do this once you beat us in a war.

#4 My six-pack of Colt .45 next July 4th is dedicated to you, you I-was-funny-thirty-years ago madman!

#5 I wish Hunter S. Thompson were still here to blow your brains out.

#6 "Union-made on American soil." Now I want to blow your brains out.

#8 We are not Canadian, we are American. It's called ketchup. Don't lecture us on cuisine - please - there is no demand for British entrees here in the USA.

#10 This car is powered by Schlitz. No matter how much I drink, your women don't look better.

#11 It was called "Band of Brothers." Okay, it wasn't quite Hollywood, but it allowed British actors to portray American soldiers winning World War II. For the British. You're welcome.

#12 I remember being in Brit's Pub with a soccer game on the tube. The score was, amazingly, 0-0. I kept thinking "OMIGOD! THIS GAME IS ABOUT TO BUST WIDE OPEN!" The real world is the six hockey-playing powers: USA, Canada, Russia, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden. All other countries are third world. Soccer is for children. Grow up already.

#14 Okay. But first we'll bomb the shit out of you like Germany would have if it wouldn't have been for us. (Twice.)

Extra credit: Cleese - been in anything that anyone has seen lately?

Monday, March 07, 2005

Back To The Notebook

Writing produces a thrill. In my notebook, various spoken or email dialogues woven with pages, thoughts, etc. written in the notebook over coffee or beer point me toward a subject or a loosely-formed rambling. Typing said notes into pages, many times thinking of more words, sentences, paragraphs to add. Printing off the page and going through it with a red pen, adding more, deleting some, figuring out the order/outline of the piece. Repeating this process however many times it takes, adding the latest revision onto the stack of revisions that are clipped together - the stack is sometimes used to refer to earlier drafts for wordings, but mostly used so when you're all done you have a visual reminder of your effort. Think of a title. Have some semblence of a draft that may or may not be complete. Read it aloud. Reword or rewrite words, sentences, paragraphs that don't sound correct or have awkward rhythms. Repeat this process as many times as it takes until the piece is complete. Run spell check, eliminate any double spaces. Print, write DONE at the top. Smile or smirk.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Best Punk Album Ever?

Just got done tracking the New York Dolls' Too Much Too Soon album on headphones in the dark. The disc is way too much fun, produced by Shadow Morton - the man who brought you the great Shangri-Las ... who the Beatles "saved" you from even though the Shangri-Las were much sexier, tougher, and in-a-good-way weirder.

On this album, the Dolls add to their stew of guitar/trampy blasts a bunch of rock 'n' roll throwback moments - "Stranded in the Jungle" (The Cadets), "There's Gonna Be A Showdown" (Archie Bell & The Drells), "Bad Detective"(The Coasters), and "Don't You Start Me Talkin'" (Sonny Boy Williamson.) Songs feature female backing vocals, woo-hoos, honking sax, and a general sense of what's-next anarchy.

But now I'm typing and thinking too much: Did punk peak before it happened (1976-on)? New York Dolls, Stooges, MC5, the original Alice Cooper band, all the punk/garage-bands of the sixties ... Standells, The Count Five, Chocolate Watchband, Paul Revere & the Raiders, The Seeds, etc.

Guess I'll try not to think too much. It's Saturday night. Best to go and blast the Doll's first album (or at least Shangri-Las quoting "Looking For A Kiss", when I say I'm in love you best believe I'm in love L-U-V) and have a Schlitz as a nod to its cover. (bottom right center!)

Friday, March 04, 2005

How One NHL Player Is Spending Time During The Lockout

Darren McCarty of the Detroit Red Wings is fronting a band called Grinder. ("Play in Europe? Fuck that shit! Let's get in the van!") Fitting a band whose (BC-born) frontman has played in Detroit for over a decade, on their website the 'toon version of a couple of Grinder members are wearing MC5 and Stooges tee-shirts. On their album, they cover the Stooges' "No Fun."

I have yet to listen to their music, which on their site is described as "a musical reflection of its blue collar, muscle and machine hard rock roots." Maybe I'll check it out over the weekend. They're playing at the 4th Street Station in St. Paul on Monday night.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Back At Ya, Buddy

The other night at the YMCA, while leaving an almost-empty locker room, a middle-aged man said: "Everyone have a good-ass night."