Thursday, December 11, 2008

I've been toying with a new iPod. My current one is a 10GB, 4-button model, and was at least a generation behind when I picked it up.

The iPod design has changed such that the iTrip transmitter I use in the car wouldn't work with a new one. What's my best upgrade option?

New iPod; new peripheral transmitter
New iPod + upgrade the car stereo to one with a line-in jack
New iPod; use the old as the one for the car; shuttle music around as I like.
Suck it up old man! You should be listening to your wax cylinders!

I'm leaning towards C. This is all a ways away, as clearly I have more important things to focus on right now, but I suppose it's good to have a plan.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Nobody could see this coming"

Maybe you would have, Mediabistro, if your worldview wasn't publishing = trade and only trade.

Monday, November 10, 2008

sports/pol analogy

Rahm Emanuel = Pierzynski.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Have I been watching too much Rome?
The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company was recently purchased by (Berkshire Hathaway and) the Mars candy company.

I think what should happen as soon as possible is the Chicago Cubs' baseball venue should be renamed The Field of Mars.

Kirsti points out that, as noted in Robert Harris' Imperium, epileptics were not allowed on the field during elections, as seizures were ill omens. I think that could led to an ADA violation or two.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I had predicted privately that the Twins would force the Sox to play that makeup game against Detroit, but then would not advance. I'm sticking with that; Slowey's hurt, Blackburn's not the answer, and Morneau is slumping. Which is too bad, because that late-season split vs. Tampa gave me some confidence about the Twins advancing in a 5-game series.

In these one-game playoffs, someone's going to end up the goat. My money's on Carlos Gomez or Boof Bonser.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stay Positive
I got home from a movie tonight and threw on the radio. Twins losing 6-4 after seven. Then I hear some bumper music on The Score. I think, hey, that was "Party Pit."

By The Hold Steady. And that's where things started to turn around. Thank you, Mr. Finn:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

U.S. Roombotics
I successfully dismantled and repaired the Roomba. +/- 2 years of crud sure can accumulate. Thank you, can of compressed air!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sports Notes
(try saying it 10 times fast)

Couture noted the passing of Jack Falla, one of the better professors he and I had at BU. It does take quite a teacher to get college kids to waitlist for an 8 a.m. class. Particularly when said kids were most likely up 'til 3 a.m. putting the paper to bed. I recently read Falla's novel, Saved, and enjoyed it. I'll most likely get it for the elder nephew, he being a goalie himself.


So the Twins' ballpark has a name.'s disappointing, but I can't say I'm surprised. Better than Best Buy. 3M Park would no doubt remind people of the 3Com Park debacle. Land O'Lakes Park would still be better.

I'd rather have had the rights go to a local company which I try to hit each time I'm in the Twin Cities; a quality music store whose name also personifies how the Minnesota Twins operate.

Wouldn't Cheapo Field have been perfect?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Things I just can't be bothered to care about:

another X-files movie

Either of Joss Whedon's projects

MTV remaking Rocky Horror

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'm having a good time in Mark's Trio Trophy tournament, even though most of my favorites went down early and I'n now hanging my hopes on Police Squad (in color). When Mark was asking for recommendations, I forgot to mention the following shows I really enjoyed. But the fact that I forgot about them is no doubt indicative of their chances had they been included.

The Jackie Thomas Show - 1992-93 (18 episodes) - Tom Arnold, then married to Roseanne, starred in this show-in-a-show sitcom about a standup comic who demonstrates the Peter Principle when he gets a sitcom. On paper 15 years later, its demise would surprise few. After all, it costarred Dennis Boutskaris, Breckin Meyer, and the infamous Alison LaPlaca. But it had a good dark, sardonic tone that really appealed (the writing staff included David Fury, later of Buffy, Angel, 24, and Lost). People watched, but the dropoff from its leadin (Roseanne, then #2 in the nation behind 60 Minutes) was too high for ABC.

American High - 2000-01 (4 episodes on FOX, remainder on PBS) - That brief summary should tell you exactly what went wrong here. FOX viewers, watching a sensitive documentary about high-school students in Highland Park, IL? Riiight. Despite an Emmy, this was one-and-done.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Oh, that one...
I was confused to see Road House playing at the Siskel as part of a film noir series until I clicked through to the listing.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It May Look Like A Walnut!

Have you played much with Hulu yet? It's got some cool things, but I was sad to see only one season of The Dick Van Dyke show -- specifically, not the season that includes this, my favorite episode of that show and perhaps my favorite half-hour of sitcommery.

Part 1:

Part 2:

the thrilling conclusion!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

We still don't have the official paperwork, but we did get a letter from the bank informing us that we had no balance remaining. Eight years. Cool!

It still hasn't fully sunk in yet. A bunch of stuff came due just after, so I haven't yet had a paycheck earmarked for pure frivolity. But I'm thinking more and more about dumb gadgets I don't need. That's not good.
Welcome to 2004!
How up-to-date am I? I'm just getting rolling on GTA: San Andreas, that's how much. Definitely worth $10, but that bargain could get wiped away if I continue to put kettles of water on the stove in real life, then forget about them while playing until they boil down and set off the smoke alarm. Like I did Tuesday. Hey, I needed to fix those graffiti tags. Gotta represent Grove Street, you heard?

BTW, I have CJ bulked up and running around in a gang doorag, joke glasses, sneakers and his tidy-whities. Cracks me up.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Area man's extended family finds blog

¡AY DIOS MIO, CHILLING EFFECT! I hope they don't find out about that one time with the balloon animals, horse tranquilizer, and jellied cranberries...

It was a terrific trip out to SD with a big passel of family. The touristy bits went much as I thought they would, from banal to breathtaking. The day up on the prairie was touching beyond all expectations. Short story: Grandma and a classmate were reunited after nearly 80 years.

Sharing close quarters with 16 of anyone, let alone kin, can have its problems, but that all went quite well. Actually it helped disavow me of a bit of recurring paranoia, which requires a bit of explanation. A big thing I'm indebted to my grandmother for is not anything she did for me, but how she treated my mom upon the coming-out. There is the way you'd expect someone of the old school to take such news, and the way you'd want a mother to take it. Meanwhile, the political and religious spectrum of my aunts and uncles is quite wide, and things were touchy there for a time. Whether she meant to or not, Grandma set the tone, that there are more important things than dogma. So my paranoia, popping in on occasion, was that the acceptance of mom & bonus mom was facile. I'm reminded of the Godfather movies, where Michael protects Fredo as long as Mama Corleone lives. But watching their interactions en masse and for a longer period than previously afforded, I'm convinced it's all genuine.

And finally, the quote of the week:
"Things were really bad when you got down to the shiny pages of the Sears catalog." --Grandma on the lack of modern...erm...niceties.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Kirsti and I just got back from a nice healthy spring evening walk -- and proceeded to stomp the health right out of it by stopping for dinner at a little hot dog place. As most hole-in-the-wall restaurants do, this one had a TV on. Only instead of syndicated sitcoms, this one was showing Emeril Live. It's not often a restaurant seems to encourage its patrons to try harder, but there you go.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Grandma and the Rattlesnake
This is as good a story as any to tell on the occasion of my grandmother's 90th birthday. There are other facts that demonstrate the awesomeness of grandma, but I suppose they're fairly commonplace when you think about it. Longevity being what it is today, someone deciding to retire at 89 is great and impressive and all, no question. But how many of those folks have a rattlesnake story? I didn't think so. A good rattlesnake story sets one apart.

So, then. It's a story that improves as I've gotten older, not due to embellishment, but because of a greater understanding of social roles and expectations back then.

Grandma had these rattlesnake rattles from her youth growing up in a sod house on the South Dakota prairie. Despite the handling by an army of kids and grandkids, and trips to show and tell, they're still around, and in good shape. The first version of the story you hear as a little kid is the most basic. Maybe you're told more, but the bare fact is all that you retain:

"Grandma killed a rattlesnake when she was a little girl."

oooh, cool, we thought.

My uncle's kids are all about 10-15 years younger than me. When they heard the story -- from my mom-- it had taken a dramatic twist. Grandma killed the rattlesnake, my mom said, because it was threatening her younger brother Fred.

WOW. So suddenly the tale of pioneer life has an element of heroism! If something had gone wrong that day on the prairie, none of us would be around, but grandma's courageous actions prevailed. Except...

"MARY! Who told you that? That's not what happened at all!"

To this day, Mom's not sure how she added that to the story, but Grandma set her straight. "Fred wasn't even around! The older boys all had rattles and I wanted some too. I knew where the snake was, and that it'd be vulnerable when it was uncoiled. I killed the snake just to get the rattles."

Okay. Valor's out the window, but it's replaced with sheer badassery that's just incongruous with this sweet, kind woman, whom I've heard say "crap" once. If my cousins are hearing this at age 6 or 7, then I'm an attitude-bomb of 16 or 17, and what I'm hearing in my head is suddenly punk as hell. I know what I want and I know how to get it. I'ma kill this snake for the damn rattles!

So the kids grow up and eventually there are great grandkids old enough to hear about the rattles. Last year we came up for her birthday, and stayed at her place. Over breakfast before we took off, I got her telling some of the family stories, including the snake.

"It was such a stupid thing to do, I know. I knew the bush where the snake was, so I tied my horse a ways away, and got a big stick. I got it to strike, and then hit it to death before it coiled up again."

But then comes the part you don't think about growing up in the 1970s and later.

"They were trying to raise me as a lady. Whenever I was inside from riding or doing chores, I'd have to change back into a dress. Part of that was I wasn't allowed to have a knife. Ladies didn't carry knives. If I needed one for some task, I could borrow one from my grandpa or uncle, but I had to give it back. I had to rip the rattles off by hand."


Grandma said she wanted to visit the prairie again this year. The family took her a couple of years ago. This time Kirsti and I are coming along as well. Additionally, we're hitting all the touristy stuff you're supposed to do in South Dakota. And snakes: you are on notice; our protector will be with us.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The potentially very cool thing I alluded to a while back? It's not happening, as we finished second last night in an extremely close pub quiz final which would have sent our team to London. We were down one point going into the last round, and that's where we stayed. General brewing history turned out to be our downfall, though we had brewing knowledge and Goose Island (the sponsor) products down cold. The winners weren't the trash-talking home team, so that's okay.

Through the course of this tournament (which started in February), we won some swell things, including $200 in restaurant gift cards and a brewery tour for 12 people. Not bad for nights sitting around drinking and answering stuff.

And we still have a trip coming up sometime, too. We decided a while ago that if we lost, we'd go to London...Ontario. Suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Surely this is left over from yesterday?

As I type this, the click-thru ad on Yahoo's NHL page takes you here.

Monday, March 31, 2008

It means "Do you remember..."

I was reminded that today is the anniversary of Hüsker Dü's first show in 1979.

"Could You Be The One"

"Celebrated Summer"

Here they are on "Good Company," a ridiculous local daytime talk show. The married hosts, "Steve & Sharon," play themselves on TV in Fargo.

Friday, March 28, 2008

He comes back with THAT?!

The thing about neglecting the blog for so long is then there's pressure to come up with something good. Surely something must have happened of interest. The illogic is that you can save up 60+ posts of daily mundanity and turn them into one awesome asskicker.

Well, no. Because the most interesting thing I can think of is how I slipped on a banana peel in February. T'was more of a skid, not a slip or olde-tyme pratfall, but still, WTF. How does that happen
a. in the middle of winter
b. on a sidewalk in a midwestern college town
c. in 2008
d. to an actual person?

Not much else to report. The house will be paid off in two months. The glee at seeing just four figures remaining on a mortgage statement is beyond comprehension.

There's also a potentially Very Cool Thing that I don't want to jinx. It'll be resolved a week from Sunday, either way.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

(conf. to Huckabee)

How can people take you seriously when you have Chuck Norris on stage with you?

I know people do apparently take you seriously when you cheerfully assert something ricockulous, like the earth was created 6000 years ago. But Norris, man...there has to be a line.

In other news, it looked like Illinois' Favorite Son was a talking head on CNN tonight.
For 2008 (and presumably beyond) the movie log will go over to Adventures in Snack Canyon. I still need to write up the last three months of 2007, which I'll likely backdate to 12/31.