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 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:

Contents of Tapes Leaked to Washington Post by Anonymous Source Known as 'Deep Purple'

President Handcuffed, Taken to Prison in Oval Office Bust
Chief Executive Resists Arrest, Threatens Officers
Judge Sirica Denies Bail

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'

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 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


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 credits, he's also been doing some writing and story editing for Studio 60.