Bemidji Hockey Arena Tour

I had the chance to tour the nearly completed, much anticipated new hockey arena in Bemidji this week, and based on what I saw, the anticipation is justified.  It is nice.  Very nice.  When discussing hockey arenas, I think it’s necessary to take The Ralph Engelstad Arena out of the equation since there will never be another one like it.  But the $45 million BREC (Bemidji Regional Events Center) on the south shore of Lake Bemidji looks like it’s going to be a good one.  It’s located near the Hampton Inn, and parking lot is huge and the landscaping is very nice.  The arena will seat about 4,700 and that includes the 25 luxury suites that are all sold.  The locker rooms are nice and the coaches’ offices and training rooms are also very well done.  In one fell swoop, the Bemidji State hockey team will go from the dark ages at Glas Fieldhouse to a shiny, new, beautiful arena overlooking the lake.  And they are going to serve beer there.  If you’re into that kind of thing.  Now for the pictures:

Random Thursday

*You know the bypass road around Crookston?  Some people refer to it as the "Gentilly Road."  It’s the road that many people use to skip driving through Crookston.  I’ve discovered recently that it saves you no time whatsoever.  Even with the road construction on Crookston’s east side, it is still faster than the bypass road.  Maybe if you’re pulling a boat or a camper it’s a better option, otherwise it’s not faster.  Thank me later.

*I’m playing in a golf tournament tomorrow in Warren.  This tournament usually marks the point in my golf season where I go from crappy to slighltly-less-crappy.  It’s a good course for me.  Driver-wedge-putter.  None of those other "weird" clubs.

*How many of Alex Rodriguez’s 599 home runs were steroid free?  And why is ESPN making such a big deal of his 600th home run?

*Reggie Tales shout outs to Dan in Stephen and Scot in Argyle.

*Tomorrow on the Tales:  My tour of the new hockey arena in Bemidji.  With photos.  And opinions!

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The Twins and the Twins

Remember the Lamoureux Twins?  Jocelyne and Monique?  The hockey playing duo from Grand Forks that went on to star with the United States Olympic team and soon will put their game on display at the University of North Dakota?  Yes, those Twins.  Well, those Twins (yes, I choose to capitilize it) and the other Twins (Minnesota) will share Target Field for a ceremonial first pitch, or pitches, as the case will be on Saturday.  I assume they will each get to throw their own baseball.  It’s a good thing that the Minnesota Twins are now carrying three catchers on the team.  That way, backups Drew Butera and Jose Morales can handle the duties of the ceremony, and Joe Mauer can get some rest.  Remember, these two young ladies played youth baseball growing up in Grand Forks.  With the boys.  So I assume that they will both be able to throw 88 m.p.h. fastballs over the plate.  I hope Ron Mahay will be paying attention from the bullpen.  The second best part of the Twins throwing out the first pitch?  I get to bust out this picture again:

L to R, Monique, me, Jocelyne.  I think.



6 Questions For Chay Genoway

I recently had the opportunity to e-mail some questions to University of North Dakota hockey player Chay Genoway.  After being granted a medical hardship year by the NCAA, Genoway decided to return to the Fighting Sioux after suffering a concussion in mid-November of last season.  Below is a Q and A with Chay.  Thanks to UND Media Relations Director for Athletics Jayson Hajdu for facilitating this interview.


1. First off, the question you get asked most often: How do you feel?

Chay Genoway: I feel like I have come a long way since the summer has began.  I am able to train at a high level everyday without the headaches.

2. What does your daily hockey routine include?

CG:  For the guys who are around training in Grand Forks, we workout at 8 am Monday through Friday. Workouts usually take two hours with a combination of weights, quick feet training, plyometrics, and cardio.  After that, we try to find an open time to get on the ice to do some drills or play a fun scrimmage if we can get the right amount of guys.

3.  What percentage would you say you’re at in terms of hockey capabilities right now?

CG:  That’s a difficult question to answer because it is still July, but I am progressing along like most other summers.

4.  Is there any doubt in your mind that you will be ready when the season begins?

CG:  No, I am confident I should be ready to go.

5.  You must be very excited for this upcoming season, getting a second chance at a senior season.  Do you feel like it could be a special year?

CG:  I think this team has the potential to do something really special and I am just excited to get a chance to be a part of it.

6.  Anything you’d like to add?

CG:  I just want to wish Justin Morneau a quick recovery.  Go Twins!!!


Reunion Review

You would think that judging a school reunion parade would be easy work.  And I’m sure it usually is.  As part of a WDAZ Make A Date promotion, we were in Stephen, MN on Saturday serving as parade judges.  But when you’re a judge of a parade and a graduate of that school, well, that’s a whole different story.  Especially when you choose to stay around and enjoy the night’s festivities.  Below is a photo of the Stephen All-School Reunion Parade judges:

L to R, Dave, Lezlie, Me

In the hours that followed the parade, while I was enjoying time with my friends and classmates,  many, many Stephen alumni sought me out to yell at me discuss calmly our selections.  I did my best to defend our choices but members of the class of 1977 wore me down.  And it wasn’t just them.  There were even people from the olden days who wanted to "talk to me."  I listened to everyone’s complaints but assured them that we were strong in our beliefs.  As a proud gradute of Stephen, I was amazed at how many people thought I’d actually accept a bribe.  That hurts.  I’m way above that kind of thing.  Wink.  Anyway, here is a photo of one of the winning floats:

Class of 1980


The 1980 bunch was a lively group considering how old they were.  One of the dirty little secrets of judging this parade is that we had to make our choices before the parade started.  So we drove up and down the parade lineup several times to check out the entrants.  That makes it more difficult because you don’t get to see some of the floats in "full parade mode."

As for the rest of the festivities, I’m pretty sure it was an unqualified success.  Congrats to Farming Bro#1 and all the members of the reunion committee and everyone else that played a role in making it an awesome weekend!  The golf tournament on Friday had nearly 100 people, the town was buzzing, establishments were full, and of course, a good time was had by all.


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Flying Donkey

I went parasailing once in Fort Myers, Florida.  Once.  To me, it’s one of those things that looks way more fun than it really is.  Thinking about it right now makes my palms sweaty.  I was that terrified.  I know exactly what this donkey is thinking.



Thanks to Bro#1 for sending this my way.

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Random Thursday

*Skip the Pecan Pie Blizzard at Dairy Queen.  It doesn’t taste anything like pecan pie.  Trust me, I know.  I will swerve across four lanes of traffic when I see the words "Pecan" and "Pie" on a sign.

*I swung the wrenches for the first time this past weekend at Lincoln Golf Course.  Let’s just say that Red Sox Daughter has found yet another sport at which to beat me. 

*Reggie Tales shout out to Mike McNamara reading in Afghanistan.  Good luck Mike and stay safe.

*"Dinner With Schmucks" is also on my viewing list for this summer.  In other Steve Carell news, he mentioned last night on the Jimmy Fallon show that an "Anchorman 2" movie is being discussed.  Please let that happen.  Please.

*I think I’m more of a fan of movies where the movie does the heavy-lifting and all we are required to do is watch.

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The Minnesota Robots

Summer Sidekick and Jimmy From Accounting both are decent baseball minds.  And both are very considerate to share their baseball opinions with me, and anyone else who will listen to their lunatic-type rants thoughtful observations concerning our favorite players of baseball, the Minnesota Twins.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the All-Star break a couple of weeks ago.  Not funny, "Ha Ha," but more funny, "Gee, that’s weird and strange."  Within a 24 hour period, I received a text message from both SSK and JFA.  One said, "The Twins are good baseball players, but they are emotionless, like robots."  The second message read, "The Twins are a bunch of robots.  Gardenhire needs to be fired.  He can’t motivate them to play in big games."  For the sake of full disclosure, JFA authored the first and SSK the second.  SSK wants Gardy gone.  I don’t think JFA has reached that point yet.  But the point of all this is that two different guys said basically the same thing:  "The Twins are robots." 

And I agree.  The Twins have taken the old Tom Kelly days of "one game at a time" and "don’t get too high, don’t get too low" approach to an art form in 2010.  I’ve never seen so many guys so at peace with going oh-for-four with two strikeouts as this team.  Some observers claim that this team lacks character.  I disagree.  I think they have lots of character, it just happens to be vanilla, disinterest, and lethargy.  Quick, name the player most likely to smash a water cooler with a bat?  ………..time’s up.  You can’t do it.  Robots aren’t programmed to do things like that. 

Two more things while I’m still in full rant mode.  Is Jason Kubel in some kind of trance?  He has this look on his face as if he’s been hypnotized and is waiting to hear the secret word that snaps him out of it.  And secondly, I don’t think the Twins paid Joe Mauer $184 million to bunt.  BUNT?  Game on the line and the face of the franchise bunts?  One good thing did come from that bunt though…I turned the game off and went outside and waxed my car.  It looks really nice today.

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