Random Thursday

*I like Donovan McNabb.  And I think he’s probably the best the Vikings could have hoped for at quarterback this year.  I wonder if Chris Kluwe will let him wear #5?

*I’m still in mourning over the Mi Mexico closing.

*I’m swinging the wrenches in Warren tomorrow.

*I’m hearing from a lot of people on the street that they actually enjoyed “Horrible Bosses.”  File that under “Agree to Disagree.”

*Reggie Tales shout out to Tina and Shanna for their marvelous showing at the All City Women’s Golf Tournament this week in Grand Forks.

Mi Mexico

We receive a lot of “news tips” on a daily basis at WDAZ.  Some don’t pan out.  Some have “elements” of truth in them.  And some are 100% accurate.  Sadly, that was the case yesterday when a call came through to the newsroom from an unidentified source alerting us to the possibility that Mi Mexico had closed.

My mind immediately began racing for reasons that one of my top three favorite Grand Forks restaurants was closed at 3:00 p.m. on a Tuesday.  But I knew better.  And less than an hour later we had indeed confirmed that it was closed.

I will really miss Mi Mexico.  As will my parents who enjoyed coming to the big city for a chance to take me to lunch.  And more often than not we chose Mi Mexico.  I’d like to think we did our part in keeping it open.

In addition to the food, I will also miss the very, very friendly staff at the restaurant.  Good people who always took the time to talk for more than just a few seconds.

Eighteen months of Mi Mexico wasn’t enough for this guy.

Captain America: Reviewed

Eager to break my string of seeing disappointing movies, I decided to change my plan of attack and go outside my comfort zone.  In attending “Captain America” this past weekend, I chose a movie that I wouldn’t normally go to.  Consider the streak broken.

I’m not really a comic book buff so I had no working knowledge of what “Captain America” was about.  I went with zero expectations and left 94% satisfied.  The movie is entertaining, exciting, and visually overwhelming with incredible special effects.  All of that and I didn’t know a single person in the cast other than Tommy Lee Jones (who’s wonderful as always) and Samuel L. Jackson, who had a one minute cameo at the very end of the movie.  I think by not being familiar with the actors it gave the movie an extra dimension of being able to suspend disbelief.  Sometimes when I’m watching a movie with Tom Cruise in it all I can see on the screen is Tom Cruise.  It gets annoying after a while.

And while the movie is rated PG-13, it definitely had more of a “G” kind of feel to it.

I’m not saying you have to run to see this movie, but you should walk briskly…and pump your arms like speed walkers do.

Captain America:  The First Avenger

4 out of 5 stars.

Carmike 10.  Popcorn, Diet Coke.

2D

Dickey’s BBQ Coming to Grand Forks?

Dickey's BBQ in Eagan, MN

Remember the one time at band camp when I wrote about my wish for a Dickey’s BBQ Pit to come to Grand Forks?  That’s right, two days ago.  Anyway, it seems that my wish isn’t the craziest thought I’ve had this year.  After thinking about it for a while, I decided to check out their website.  Under locations I clicked on North Dakota.  To my surprise it said that Dickey’s would be coming to both Grand Forks and Fargo.  Now, I fully realize that chains will sometimes run these ideas up the flag pole to see if anyone salutes it.  We all remember how Sonic teased us a few years ago in much the same manner.

So being the veteran newsman that I am, I called the Dickey’s headquarters in Dallas, Texas.  A nice lady with a southern accent answered the phone.  Her drawl made me hungry.  I explained to her who I was and where I was calling from.  After a minute of southern hospitality on her part, I interrupted and blurted out, “Are you opening a Dickey’s in Grand Forks?”  Without missing a beat or putting me on hold or leafing through some imaginary papers, she replied, “That’s the plan.  You should be hearing more in a couple of months.”

That was confirmation enough for me.

You know how when a new Star Wars movie comes out, or a Harry Potter movie is released, people will camp out in line and wear crazy costumes just to be the first in line?  Well, that’s pretty much what I’m going to do if/when construction starts on the Grand Forks Dickey’s BBQ Pit.  I hope the construction workers don’t mind me watching them work while sitting in a lawn chair in front of my tent.

Random Thursday

*Tiger Woods fired his caddy.  Now things will be better for Tiger.

*Thanks for all the thoughtful text messages sent to me concerning my attendance at Twins games.  I appreciate the suggestions of things I should do instead.

*If you haven’t seen the video of Ozzie Guillen being hit in the eye by a foul ball, check it out on the Internets.  He somehow makes it funny.  Later in the game he argued a call at first base while sporting a big, puffy eye.

*The Minnesota Lynx got a nice win yesterday in Phoenix.  I know this because Jimmy From Accounting listens to all their games on his transistor radio while working at his desk.  He then updates me via text message.  I see another Lynx game in our future.

*Reggie Tales shout out to my buddy Nick from Washington.  He’s visiting friends in Grand Forks this week.

*Be sure to tune in tomorrow for a very special edition of The Tales.  I will be talking about an eating establishment and exciting news.  For realz Seriously.

My Grand Forks Wish List

While following Red Sox Daughter’s Summer of Tennis Tour 2011, we happened upon several eating establishments in the Twin Cities area.  Following are three places that I’d really like to see in Grand Forks in the very near future.  My favorites, in order:

Broadway Pizza has about 10 locations in the Twin Cities area.  This one is in Apple Valley.  I’ve had three days to think about it and I’ve decided that it was the best pizza I’ve ever eaten.  I’m currently going through withdrawals thinking about it.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is one of the best kept secrets in MSP.  While Famous Dave’s is the more well known joint, Dickey’s is absolutely no slouch in the world of BBQ.  In fact, it might be better than Dave’s and is definitely cheaper.  This particular location was in Eagan and was fairly small and in a strip mall.

A Leeann Chin in Grand Forks would be a license to print money.  (Note to self:  open a Leeann Chin in Grand Forks.)  We found this one in St. Paul although it seems like there is one every few miles.  Awesome Chinese food, already prepared, and a lot of it.

The Sweaty Twins Game

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sensing the Twins were on a little bit of a streak, I headed to Target Field Monday for a noon tilt with the Cleveland Indians.  I knew my presence would put an end to any momentum they might have had.  The tickets were for a rained out game earlier in the season.  And did I mention it was 98 degrees with a feels like index of 115?  But who’s keeping track?  Anything above 90 is bad news.

When it’s that hot you become witness to a lot of sweaty people.  It was so hot that I tried to sit as perfectly still as I could.  And the Twins did their part by not doing a single thing that would cause a person to stand up and cheer or to clap violently.

Aside from the atrocious play of the Twins, the most horrible sight of the day were the four people I saw wearing blue jeans.  I almost fainted watching these people.  Remember the “Seinfeld” episode where Kramer is wearing the really tight jeans?  That’s how these people were walking up and down the steps.  Like Frankenstein.

So to summarize:  Minnesota is 0-3 with me in attendance this year, Joe Mauer collected three hits and played a pretty solid first base, and wet blue jeans are not a good look on anyone.

Random Thursday

*After a lot of thought and careful consideration, I’ve decided that Cinnamon Toast Crunch has replaced Fruit Loops as my favorite cereal.
*Mi Mexico. Still good.
*The Twins are six and half games out of first. I thought if they could get within eight by the All-Star break they had a chance. I guess they have a chance. But they have to have a healthy Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel.
*Reggie Tales shout out to Sami in Grand Forks.
*Remember when Olive Garden announced they were coming to Grand Forks? I haven’t heard a word since that day. Just sayin’.

New Conference, New Refs?

A press conference is being held today in Colorado today to announce the new hockey conference of which the University of North Dakota will be a member.  That is exciting.

What’s also exciting is that with a new conference will come new refs.  I’m not sure where these officials will come from, but I assume it’s possible a couple of the WCHA refs will be asked to work in the new conference.  Regardless, it seems obvious that the officiating in the new conference will undoubtedly be better.  Even if they do bring a couple of guys over from the WCHA.

A couple of days ago I asked Summer Sidekick about the quality of refereeing in the WCHA.  As a former Sioux player he has quite a bit of knowledge on the topic.  In fact, he spent so much time in the penalty box during his college career that he had his mail forwarded there.  SSK figures that there are maybe two officials that are decent in the WCHA but that the majority aren’t very good.

So, by default, the officiating in the new conference has to better.  Doesn’t it?

Tom Kelly

 

TK

 

I like Bert Blyleven.  I was one of his biggest fans when he played on the World Series teams with the Twins in 1987 and 1991.  In fact, I liked him so much that I enjoyed a couple of beverages with him at a bar in Milwaukee back in 1997.  Nice guy and very funny.

But when it comes to his job as color commentator on Twins television broadcasts, I’m not impressed.  And I haven’t been for a number of years.  He misspeaks, misidentifies, and regurgitates mind numbing statistics non-stop.

This past weekend it became even more obvious when a vacationing Blyleven was replaced in the booth by Tom Kelly.  Kelly is the crusty, soft spoken, old-school former manager of the Twins.  For many years he spouted cliche after cliche.  And did his best to keep everyone on the outside from knowing what was happening on the inside.

Until he stepped into the TV booth.  Over the span of four games, TK unleashed more baseball knowledge on Twins fans than Blyleven has in more than a decade.  It was inside baseball at its finest.  I probably watch more baseball than a normal person should, and I feel like I know quite a bit, but TK told me things I had never known.

Late in one of the games there was a shot of Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire in the dugout.  He pointed at his own eyes and then pointed out to the field.  It was one of those gestures you see repeatedly throughout a game but don’t know the meaning of.  As if on cue, TK casually mentioned “Gardy is telling Danny Valencia to watch for a bunt.”  He also spent the weekend introducing us to a bunch of new baseball terms, such as diamond cutter and ugly finder.  And my favorite TK comment came early in the Sunday game with the White Sox.  The early strike zone appeared to be quite large as dictated by the home plate umpire, which produced this exchange:

TK:  It’s the last day before the All-Star break, and the hitters better be swinging the bats.

Dick Bremer (Play by play guy):  Are you suggesting that the home plate umpire is in a hurry to move this game along?

TK:  I’m not suggesting it…I’m telling you it.

It was must see TV.  Everything he said was very interesting or funny.  And oftentimes it was both.  I hope Bert takes some more time off this Summer.