Sorry Neighbors


I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to my neighbors.  I’m sure the sound of a snow blower at 4:30 a.m. was not how you wanted to be awakened today, but I needed to be at work at 4:45.  And with a snowdrift measuring three and a half feet blocking my exit, I had to do it.

You might ask why I needed to be awake at that inhumane hour?  To answer phone calls from area schools announcing that they were either going to be starting late or not at all.  Which reminds me, back in the day at Stephen, Superintendent Jim Schindele was ALWAYS the last to go to “2 Hours Late” or “Canceled.”

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Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen in "Airplane"

Back in May, I made a list of my favorite movies ever.  Placed firmly at #3 is “Airplane,” a film that changed my life.  That movie is still funny today, which is impressive given the ever-changing world in which we live.  And I know it’s still relevant to this day, even though it came out in 1982, because people still quote lines from it.  That’s when you know a movie is good.  If you say to a friend, “Surely you’re not serious” and he replies, “I am serious.  And don’t call me Shirley” that’s a pretty good indication that they are a fan of “Airplane”.  And maybe just as importantly, a fan of Leslie Nielsen, the actor that delivered all those deadpan lines as Dr. Alan Rumack.

Sadly, Leslie Nielsen died yesterday.

His acting career was divided into two different parts.  All the serious work he did before “Airplane” and all the comedic work he did after.  Including the “Naked Gun” movies and a few others.  Who amongst us will ever forget the scene where he goes undercover as an umpire in “Naked Gun”?  Classic.

Surely, you will be missed.

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Random Thursday: Thanksgiving Edition


*Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

*I went to a Sioux women’s hockey game last weekend.  I decided that if I played on the same line as the Lamoureux Twins, I’d score at least one goal a game.  And I’m not sure if I can skate.

*True story:  I made a Pecan Pie to bring to my sister’s for Thanksgiving.  As the pie sat cooling on the counter last night, a little voice inside my head said, “Go ahead, try a piece.  No one will notice.”  So I did.  The piece I took was so big that I had no choice but to make a replacement Pecan Pie this morning.  I’m going to stop listening to the voices inside my head.

*My friend, The Good Doctor, was telling me about a Stuffing he makes.  It has sausage in it.  Enough said.  Apparently the recipe comes from what is commonly referred to as the “Argyle Cookbook.”

*If anyone is looking for Christmas gift ideas for me, an “Argyle Cookbook” would be a nice choice.

*It’s actually pretty fun to take the snow blower out the first two or three times each winter.  Then it gets less “fun.”

*Reggie Tales shout out to Mike in Nebraska.

*Special Thanksgiving shout out to Marion in McIntosh.

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Hello, Charley

Charley Johnson

It was an exciting day at WDAZ yesterday when long-time newsman Charley Johnson was introduced as our new 6:00 and 10:00 co-anchor.  It also marked the first time that I had met Charley.  Two North Dakota media giants shaking hands in the newsroom.  He’s been the enemy for so long that I couldn’t help but think he was acting as a spy.  I doubt that he was, but nonetheless, I will be keeping an eye on him.  Exciting times indeed.

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Tomorrow on the Tales…an extra special Thanksgiving Edition of Random Thursday…with 25% more Randomness…you won’t want to miss it!

Due Date: Reviewed

I took in “Due Date” this past weekend and I was more than pleasantly surprised.  As a devoted fan of anything that Zach Galifianakis appears in, it was pretty much a no-brainer that I was going to see this movie.  I was a little leery though, for I had the feeling that the previews were going to be the best part of the movie.

I was wrong.

Robert Downey Jr. adds a surprising amount of depth to the proceedings as he and Galifianakis go cross-country in a modern-day version of “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.”  Downey plays the mostly straight-laced business type and Galifianakis plays…well…he plays the kind of character he always plays:  a lovable dimwit.  The movie even gets serious in a couple of spots which was more than a little weird.  I didn’t know if I should nervously laugh or get more popcorn.  I did both.

The Verdict:  3.5 out of 5 stars.  Funnier than “Dinner With Schmucks” but not as funny as “The Hangover.”

And for those of you scoring at home, I enjoyed a half Raspberry Iced Tea, half Lemonade beverage, which I invented this Summer.

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The Next Vikings Coach Should Be

In the Summer, when the Minnesota Twins are on television and losing, I go outside and try to do something constructive, like mow the grass or wash my car.  I do the same with the Vikings.  After yesterday, let’s just say that I have the cleanest driveway on the block.

So with that, I bring you my Top 5 list of coaches I would like to see become the next head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

1.  Bill Cowher. The former Steelers coach would be the perfect match for this lethargic team.

2.  Jon Gruden. I really like the former Tampa Bay coach.  Good blend of intensity and humor.

3.  Tony Dungy. Even though he’s quiet and low-key, he demands respect from his players.  Something current Vikings Coach Brad Childress does not.

4.  Brian Billick. I used to really dislike him, even when he was with the Vikings.  He seemed arrogant.  But I’ve done a 180 on him and would welcome him back.

5.  Mark Kroulik. The highly successful, long-time former coach at Stephen-Argyle High School might be itching to get back into the game.  And his record at the Metrodome speaks for itself.  I wonder if Zygi could pry him from his comfy Principal’s job?

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Dane Cook: Reviewed

Dane Cook

I wouldn’t normally advise people to go to Iowa, but if you want to see one of the funnier human beings on the planet, like I did last night, this is your next opportunity.  Comedian Dane Cook will be in Des Moines tonight after playing the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks last night.

He’s very funny, witty, dark, twisted and energetic.  It’s hard to believe that he could do that show every night with that kind of enthusiasm.

If you do head to Iowa tonight, I’d strongly suggest that you leave the kids at home.  It’s an aggressive show.  I would say a strong ‘R’ rating.  A lot of the show Cook detailed his relationship of five years with his ex-girlfriend.  Very funny.

And the crowd must have been close to 8,000.  A good time was had by all.

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Random Thursday

*I’m taking in the comedic talent that is Dane Cook tonight at the beautiful Ralph Engelstad Arena.  I might write a review for tomorrow or I might not.

*Much to the chagrin of Summer Sidekick, Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was named the American League Manager of the Year yesterday.  (Note to SSK:  chagrin means disappointment.)

*PS…my people in EGF are telling me that Dane Cook took in a movie last night at the fabulous River Cinema 15.

*Reggie Tales shout out to Adam in West Fargo.  Adam, are you afraid to invite me to play poker because I’ve taken so much of your money in the past?

*When did Jason Blake sign with the Anaheim Ducks?

*Bonus Tales shout out to the good people of Dakota TV and Appliance in Grand Forks.

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Worst. Cold. Ever.

I rarely get sick, but when I do, it’s usually something unusual.  Take for example my current cold.  Today is Day 10.  I won’t bore you with the details, but I feel like I might only be 75% done with this illness.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.  It has consisted of sneezing, coughing, runny nose, coughing, fever, sinus headache, coughing, and congested head.  And coughing.  I stole so many Kleenex from TV’s Brady Mallory that I eventually depleted his box and had to confess.

The crazy thing is that people are now coming out of the woodwork telling me that they’ve had the same cold and that it lasted roughly three weeks.

PS…to all of you who’ve asked if I’ve been to a Doctor:  THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONCERN.  But until a cure for the common cold is found, I will continue my current course of action.  Complain.

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Blackberry Crisis Solved

A Random Blackberry. Not mine, but similar.

As I limp towards the finish line with my Alltel Blackberry, (AT&T takes over in a month or two) I have been enduring a few problems which are happening with greater regularity.  The most consistent of which has been my phone randomly dying, and then displaying a ghost-like image of a battery with a red line through it, which could never mean anything good.  This is what it looks like:

Not good.

When this happens, the phone/camera/texting machine doesn’t work.  Although it seems like a battery issue, it isn’t.  If you pull the battery out and put it back in, I get the same ghostly image.  Usually, after I take the battery out and put it back in 30-40 times, it comes back to life.  Usually. But not yesterday.

From 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. I was in crisis mode.  I had taken the battery out and put it back in approximately 200 times.  It was not working.  So I did what I always do when I’m in a predicament…I went to Google.  Calmly and bravely I typed in the words, “blackberry dead red line through battery.”  I find that Google likes it when you’re more direct.  Google doesn’t like it when you beat around the bush.  I clicked on the very first response and eagerly began reading messages from people crazier than me.  It felt good to know that I was not alone with my Blackberry issues.  But a funny thing happened as I continued reading.  Comment after comment after comment detailed how, if you dropped your phone from a height of three feet, it would solve the problem.  Some people said four feet. Irregardless Regardless of the height, there were pages upon pages of people that had the same problem.  And almost every single one of them had corrected the problem by dropping their phone on the ground.  I’m basically a pretty skeptical person, (years of working in the media will do that) and seriously, is this how you treat a so-called “smart-phone?”  But I couldn’t stop thinking about the idiotic text messages, e-mails and phone calls I was missing from my “friends.”

So I looked around to see if the coast was clear, and I dropped my phone from the beginning height of one foot.  I was pleasantly surprised at how high a Blackberry could bounce.  Within seconds, my phone was alive and well and functioning perfectly.  Thank you Google!  And, if you’re bored today, type those same words into Google (blackberry dead red line through battery).  Then click on the first response at the top of the page.  It’s seven pages of the funniest stuff you’ll ever read.  And I haven’t even added my two cents yet.  On page 3, my personal favorite is from someone using the screen name “tech101”.  “tech101” isn’t very happy that people are dropping their Blackberries.  Lol.  Nerd.

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