Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Why In The World Does Stuff Like This Bother Me?

It's as perplexing to me as saying "an historic moment": When people say "I graduated high school" or "I graduated college." I say "I graduated FROM high school" and "I graduated FROM college." (Note: I don't emphasize the FROM while speaking, I just capped it here to note the difference.) Not that I have anything against those who don't use "from" - it's just that I didn't notice people saying "I graduated college" until pretty recently. (Probably in the past five years or so.)

Maybe it's probably some regional thing. Like how I can never say "back East" because I've never lived or been in the East, so it's nowhere for me to go back to. I say "out East."

So are these habits symptoms of some sort of idiosyncratic Midwestern dialect? Or is it just me?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Only Two Weekends Left in the WCHA Regular Season

RandBall asks: What were/are the geekiest sports-related things you have done? Immediately I thought of my all-time college hockey program rankings.

As I wasn't blogging last April, I never posted the yearly update on my (would-be?) scientific calculations have determined the Top Ten College Hockey Programs Of All Time:

1 - Michigan (4094 points)
2 - North Dakota (3591)
3 - Denver (3170)
4 - Minnesota (3120)
5 - Wisconsin (2721)
6 - Boston University (2575)
7 - Boston College (1840)
8 - Michigan Tech (1609)
9 - Maine (1550)
10 - Lake Superior State (1349)

The only change in the rankings from last year is that Wisconsin moves past Boston University into fifth.

The calculations used were as follows:

1) Making it only to the NCAA semifinals and not to the title game gives points as follows: 1 point for 1948 semifinalists, 2 points for 1949 semifinalist, 3 points for 1950 semifinalists, and so on through 2006. More points are assigned the closer we get to the present under the What Have You Done For Me Lately Theorem.

2) Finishing second in the NCAAs gives points as follows: 118 points for 1948 runners-up, 119 points for 1949 runners-up, 120 points for 1950 runners-up, and so on through 2006. 118 points is given to the 1948 runners-up under the reasoning that finishing second is twice as great as being a semifinalist in 2006 (59 points.) The What Have You Done For Me Lately Theorem also applies here.

3) Winning the NCAA championship gives points as follows: 352 points for 1948 champions, 353 points for 1949 champions, 354 points for 1950 champions, and so on through 2005. 352 points is given to the 1948 champions under the reasoning that winning it all is twice as great as finishing second in 2006 (176 points.) The What Have You Done For Me Lately Theorem also applies here.

The Excel file I used to make these calculations is available for download here.

Monday, February 19, 2007

"It's A F**kin' Great Town"

From The Fan 960, Calgary's sports talk radio station: A fake Jim Rome interviews a fake Jonathan Toews.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Yet Another Sign That I'm Regressing To High School

I stated on my last podcast that I wanted to get the Godfathers' Birth School Work Death album on vinyl, even though I already own it on CD (it was actually the first CD I ever bought), just so I can deejay songs off of it. Well I bought it tonight on vinyl at the Cheapo in Uptown, along with a vinyl edition of Tom Petty's You're Gonna Get It! album - another I already have on CD that contains songs I want to spin. (I also bought other albums on vinyl that I didn't already own.)

Duplicating albums you have on CD by purchasing them in the vinyl format? Yeah yeah yeah, I hear ya: "Hey Tuomala - is this how people buy music in the Bizarro World?"

Friday, February 16, 2007

Who Is "Holla Lee" And What or Who Is She Waiting For?

I recently finished reading 33 1/3: Led Zeppelin IV by Erik Davis. It's a fine read. Davis does a fascinating job of discussing all the various occult and magick Zeppelin claims, plus he delves into the numerous musical influences that Zep tapped into - like English folk and rockabilly. They weren't just a loud blues-rock band.

He also spends some time on the infamous "if you play 'Stairway to Heaven' backwards you can hear Robert Plant say 'my sweet Satan'" claim and even provides a link so you can check out the evidence. You need to scroll down to find the "Stairway to Heaven" sound bites. The key to listening, though, is to NOT READ what the fundamentalists claim the backwards singing says. If you avoid the power of suggestion, it's interesting what you might come up with. Here's what I heard backwards (and since I had read the rock-haters claims in the book, that may be why I came close to their interpretations on a couple of 'em) :

1) "'cause I live with sleet"

2) "lord chirpy all but"

3) "errors ... no escapin' it"

4) "In my Gluek's haven"

5) "There is power and stain"

6) unintelligible

7) "Hey holla lee was waitin'"

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Life Is Great

- I have two writing projects I'm working on. I was told years ago that writers generally struggle with A) not finding subjects to write on; or B) having subjects but not being able to find a way to write about them. I am usually plagued with "A."

- I'm busy with accounting work and am not scrounging in the futon mattress for spare change.

- I have a nice backlog of books to read.

- I also have a nice backlog of Netflix movies I'm excited to watch.

And now to top it all off, the UND athletic department is now offering webcasts of Sioux sports on its website. Hey - they are even Mac compatible! The webcasts are free, though I suspect they might charge for them in the future. (Homer Simpson: "Get us addicted, then jack up the price!")

Oh and two pertinent questions on the Judy's Tavern Incident: 1) How drunk was Bina if he thought that somebody - and cops in this instance - in Grand Forks wouldn't know who a Sioux hockey player was? Walking away from the scene isn't exactly going to help you in the long run. 2) What kind of squad cars do the Grand Forks police use that they can be opened from the inside by a suspect?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Esquire: Get a Clue!

The latest issue of Esquire asks the following question on its cover: "When the hell did Christina Ricci become so sexy?"

Um, only about a kijillion years ago.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Latest Podcast Available

The latest edition of Exiled Radio has been posted. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Scanner Darkly

This movie is a true thing of beauty. Paranoia, drugs, a coked-up Robert Downey Jr., plot twists, a stoned Woody Harrelson, widespread government surveillance, a hot animated Winona Ryder, the scary possibility of rehab ... all brought to you by the same director who gave us Dazed and Confused.

I don't know which hyperbolic phrase to use here ... "Greatest movie ever!" "Best near-future flick since Strange Days!" "Philip K. Dick + Richard Linkater = Wow!"

Consider my mind blown.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Love Numbers?

There was an insert in this week's City Pages for the accounting program at some place called DeVry University.

After reading the insert, all I can say is: "Yes, all you present and future accountants. Please get jobs at ad agencies and Fortune 500 companies and leave the accounting of Minneapolis's small businesses to yours truly. Hell, I didn't even major in accounting (I majored in economics) anyway and in fact changed my major senior year so that I would take less accounting."

While the stock photo of the crisp Andrew Jacksons on the insert was puzzling (DeVry helps you land jobs with clients who pay cash under the table?), the true puzzler was the stock photo at the top of the insert. Because I've been an accountant for 19 years and don't recall many evenings in the club surrounded by lithe young hotties. Or maybe that's the alternative payment to cash under the table? That damn economics degree didn't teach me anything!