Random Thursday

*My new Blackberry from AT&T came on Monday.  Now what do I do?

*I have trouble getting excited about the Opening Day of Baseball when it’s snowing outside and another “snow event” is planned for this weekend.

*Reggie Tales shout out to Brian in Winnipeg.

*One of my new favorite shows:  “Alaska State Troopers.”  Alaska appears to be quite “interesting.”

*I’ve been told that I’m using too many hyphens.  I don’t think it’s reached an Intervention-type level, but I’m going to try stop on my own.  I really don’t think I have a problem.

*Happy Birthday to Bro#4.

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Frattin Named One of Three Finalists for Hobey

University of North Dakota Hockey player Matt Frattin was named one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award today.  Also named were Boston College junior forward Cam Atkinson, and Miami senior forward Andy Miele.

The NCAA had originally said that the announcement of the three finalists would be made tomorrow, but for some reason released the list today.  The Hobey Baker will be awarded next Friday at 6:00 p.m. in St. Paul, unless the NCAA decides to do it a day earlier.  Regardless of when they actually hand the trophy out, Frattin has already won it.

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Red Sox Daughter and Carl Eller

 Red Sox Daughter (L), Carl Eller (R)

Faithful readers of The Tales will recall that back in October, your favorite bloggist ran into John Randle, Minnesota Vikings Hall of Fame defensive lineman in the Las Vegas Airport.

John Randle (L), Creepy Stalker (Far Right)

Not to be outdone, RSD ran into her very own Minnesota Vikings Hall of Fame defensive lineman, Carl Eller, while on a recent visit to Minneapolis.  It’s important to note that Eller seems more excited about his photo opportunity than Randle did with me.

Apparently this is some kind of game.  I guess I’m back on the clock.  Alan Page, where are you?

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Cassie

Cassie (R) at her last newsroom meeting. Also pictured, Brady Mallory (L) and Charley Johnson (C).

Today, March 25, 2011, is Cassie Walder’s last day on the job at WDAZ-TV.  For the last four six years she’s been my boss in the newsroom in her position as News Director.  At first it was a little strange having a boss younger than me, but I quickly began to embrace her forward thinking in terms of news coverage.  I also enjoyed how every-so-often a “topic” would get on her radar and she would be like pit bull working the phones, tracking down leads, sources and anything or anyone else that stood between her and a good story.  Especially if she felt she was getting the run-around from someone.  Then she went into a higher gear on the phone and suddenly the newsroom would fall silent as we all imagined the poor soul on the other end of the line curled up in the fetal position under their desk.  She had has news gathering in her blood.  And I don’t think it will ever leave her.  Even as she begins the next part of her life.

Six months ago I would have bet $1,400 that Cassie would never leave Grand Forks or WDAZ.  And that was one of her endearing traits:  She loves Grand Forks and always found the good in it.  Sometimes people are quick to criticize our fair city, but she searched and found the fun that is available.

Some little known facts about Cassie:

*Cassie is the person that alerted me to a little TV show called “The Office” about halfway through its first season.  And the rest is history.  That’s what she said.

*The same for “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”  Thank you.

*Cassie likes Beer and Wine.  Yes, I capitalized them.  And she would too.

*Cassie always bought those magazines that you see at the checkout counters.  After she would finish reading them, she would place them on my desk, so that I could look at the pictures of celebrities.  I wonder if she would be willing to mail them to me from Washington, D.C.?

*Cassie is a music buff.  Her tastes border on the fringes of what’s popular.  If someone or something becomes too mainstream, she moves onto something else.  I will miss her playing music at 2:30 every afternoon.

*Most importantly to me, she possesses an incredible sense of humor.  We spent hours a fair amount of time planning practical jokes.  The majority of which were aimed at TV’s David Schwab.  That will be missed.  And so will she.  Good luck Cassie!

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Random Thursday

*Next up on my movie list is “Lincoln Lawyer.”

*Is it just me, or are there a lot of TV shows about weddings, or wedding dresses, or crazy brides and their wedding dresses?

*Must see TV tonight:  Cassie Walder’s Farewell.  Tonight at 10:00 on WDAZ-TV.

*Reggie Tales shout out to Ashley in DL.

*I wonder if my reviews of movies are adversely affected by me not being able to eat popcorn?  Am I subconsciously angry, thus having a more negative outlook where the movie is concerned?

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River Cities Speedway

The good people that run the River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks won a very deserving award last night.  RCS was named the “Organization/Venue of the Year” by the Greater Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau at an event called “Hometown Heroes.”  And when I say deserving, I mean it.  From top to bottom, the RCS is a first class organization.  Since the current ownership group took over the track in 1999, they’ve built a following of more than 3,000 fans each Friday night during the Spring, Summer, and Fall.  And on special racing nights, the crowds reach 6,000.  All of this while remaining a very family friendly event.  If you’ve never been to River Cities Speedway or it’s been a few years, you need to check it out.  Even if you don’t consider yourself a hardcore racing fan.  It’s Reggie Tales Approved.

Special congrats to my friends Darren and Monica at RCS.  Two of the hardest working people in show business.

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Popcorn and Lent

I was looking to make a really big splash this Lenten season when I announced to anyone that would listen that I had decided to “give up” popcorn.  Not forever, just during Lent.  But for me, it might as well been forever, because it’s been that hard.

For many years, I gave up candy and chocolate, which really didn’t prove to be that difficult.  You see, I’m not a crazy chocolate fiend or a craver of candy.  And as a running joke, for the last 10 years I’ve declared watermelon off limits for me during Lent.

So it was with that, I decided to up my game, and give up something I truly was going to miss.  Popcorn.  And anyone who knows me realizes what an ordeal this has been.  I come from a long line of popcorn lovers.  Some people might even think an intervention is in order.  Suffice it to say, its been a long couple of weeks.

The temptations?  They’ve been plentiful.  From the wonderful ladies that work on the suite level of the Ralph pushing popcorn on me like it was a drug to an incident yesterday at Ace Hardware in the Grand Cities Mall.

Those of you familiar with this store know that there is a popcorn machine right inside the door.  The popcorn is freshly popped and already in bags.  This popcorn is begging to be eaten and the smell permeates throughout the joint.  “I’ll grab a bag on the way out” I thought to myself, forgetting my Lenten vows.

The Ace Hardware store in the Grand Cities Mall is awesome, by the way.  It’s one of those places you can go in with what I call “the dumb guy look” and one of the employees will quickly ask, “What are you looking for?”  I assume they do that for everyone, not just me and my dumb guy look.

Now back to the popcorn.  After paying for my items and walking to the door, I opened up the popcorn machine and was ready to grab a bag when I came to the realization that I’d given it up for Lent.  I was crushed.  For what seemed like a minute but was probably closer to 20 seconds, I weighed the pros and cons of taking a bag.  It was truly a “Devil” on the one shoulder and an “Angel” on the other moment.  It was at that point that I realized the young woman working at the check-out counter was watching me.  Maybe because I had a “dumb guy look,” but probably because I’d been staring at the popcorn for 20 seconds, tilting my head back and forth like a dog.  I quickly mumbled, “I gave it up for Lent” and scurried out.

Speaking of dogs, a casualty of my Catholicism has been Furry Sidekick (FSK, aka CJ).  He’s a lot like Summer Sidekick, except he has more hair and he’s more dependable.  Anyway, FSK has also given up popcorn for Lent.  And he really, really likes popcorn.  In fact, if he had been at Ace Hardware yesterday, he would have finished two bags in the time it took me to “Just Say No.”

Next year I’m going to give up something easy.  Like Diet Coke.

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Cedar Rapids: Reviewed

It’s a Good News, Bad News Monday.  My streak of seeing bad movies is over.  But “Cedar Rapids” was a decent movie that should have been better.  A couple weeks ago, a faithful follower of the Tales commented that he’d seen “Cedar Rapids” in New York before most of the country had even heard of it.  His take on it was that he waited and waited for the movie to get better and it just never happened.  I completely understand what he was talking about.

Ed Helms (Andy from The Office) plays  straight laced, conservative insurance agent Tim Lippe from a small town in Wisconsin.  He’s been given the opportunity of going to an insurance convention in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  This is a huge moment for him because he’s rarely traveled outside the friendly confines of Wisconsin and has never been on an airplane.  While at the conference, he encounters and befriends Dean Ziegler (John C. Reilly) who’s been to Cedar Rapids many times and knows everyone and everyone knows him.  He’s pretty much the opposite of Tim, and as he shows him the ropes, some hilarity ensues, but it should have been more.

For sure there are quite a few LOL moments.  I even forced a few myself just to try and get things rolling.  But at the end of the very short movie(88 minutes) I was left wanting more.

Cedar Rapids

River Cinema 15

No popcorn, (more on that tomorrow on a very special Lenten edition of the Tales) no drinks.

3 out of 5 stars.

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Random Thursday

*Two words:  Mike’s Pizza.  Three more words:  Barbecue Chicken Pizza.

*I filled out a couple of those college basketball brackets, but I’m sure I won’t win any money because the winner is usually some person that you work with that has never actually seen a game.  Of any sort.

*Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

*Morneau and Mauer in the same lineup yesterday.  All is well in the universe.

*Reggie Tales shout out to Robin in Crookston.

*Is it wrong to try and dodge every water puddle in town?

*For those of you that were wondering, the Stephen Guys Bowling Tournament is coming up in April.  Following the tourney, some information will be release in this space.

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