Reunion Story

I got a phone call from a Grand Forks woman last week and she told me that there seemed to be a lot of bad news in the world, to which I agreed.  She then proceeded to offer me some “good news.”

I accepted.  And I’m glad I did.

It turns out that twenty years ago, the caller had given her two year old son up for adoption.  She felt that he needed a better chance at life with another family, and made what has to be one of the more painful decisions a person would ever have to make.

As time went by, she longed to reconnect with her son.  It took years for her to gather the courage to try and reach out to him, afraid of possible rejection.  So very recently she took to Facebook to connect with him.  She sent a friend request.  And just minutes later, he accepted.

Fast forward a few weeks to yesterday at the Fargo airport.  With a television crew at her side, the mother waited for her son that she hadn’t seen for twenty years to step off his United Airlines flight.  You can imagine the moment.

I’m happy to say that I was part of that television crew, and that I dusted off my photography skills, if only for just a day.

I can’t speak for the mother, but I could barely breathe as I waited for her son to finish the last twenty feet of their twenty year journey.  The moment was so overwhelming that I’m sure no one noticed the tough guy camera man with the tear in his eye.

Good news, indeed.

Leslie and the Vikings

While it’s probably in the best interest of the Minnesota Vikings and their fans to continue their losing ways, one has to wonder if the coach is in over his head.  Almost every game this season Leslie Frazier has made at least one questionable coaching decision.  And yesterday he made several.  His failure to challenge whether Percy Harvin scored a touchdown late in the game was his biggest blunder.  He didn’t wait long to make his next big mistake by deciding to go for it on fourth and goal from the two.  Apparently Frazier didn’t realize that Vikings didn’t need a touchdown in that situation.  A field goal at that point keeps the game alive, which is really all you can hope for at that point.  But no, Frazier decided to go for the touchdown and the Vikings draft pick for next year got a little bit better.  I just wonder if Frazier will be around to enjoy the #2 overall pick.

Jake’s to Undergo Changes

In the very near future, Jake’s Bar and Grill will be undergoing some big changes.  According to my sources, the south end business in Grand Forks will be changing its name to Wild Hog, which stands to reason with the addition of a commercial sized smoker that was installed a few months ago.  With the name change, the menu will also undergo a face lift with an array of smoked items being added.  Those include whole chickens, wings, ribs and brisket.  The last couple of months have been a trial run of recipes and special menu items to help gauge the popularity of different smoked meats.  And if the testing phase is any indication, Jake’s Wild Hog is headed in the right direction.  Suffice it to say that the wings are worth the drive alone to the far end of South Washington Street.  Also, the hint of smoked meats creates a lovely aroma when you set foot in the joint.  Below are the aforementioned wings.  Editor’s note:  the wine is not mine.  I was with Farming Bro #1 and sometimes he likes a nice glass of wine after a big day of farming.  I’m not judging.

When you take pictures of food at restaurants people look at you funny. Then when they realize that I work at The Tales, they nod knowingly.

This is Kind of Interesting

From "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Mac (L), Dennis (R)

Since I gave up on the Vikings a month ago I’ve been able to devote a whole bunch of my time to carpentry and to watching “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” reruns.  On a recent night I came upon an episode titled “The Gang Buys a Boat.”  The episode begins with Mac, Dennis, and Charlie in an office negotiating the purchase price on a house boat, so that they are able to throw parties like “P-Diddy.”

So it was with amazement when I did my double-take and noticed what Mac was wearing during the scene:  A Red River Roughriders T-shirt (with the sleeves ripped off, which is how Mac wears most of his shirts.)  I can only assume that the shirt is representing the high school by the same name in Grand Forks.  In fact, I’m fairly certain that Red River has used that logo.  What I’d really like to know is the back story to how this came to be.  I’m hoping that among the millions thousands (wink) of Tales fans someone has the answer.  Irregardless (as my dad would say), it’s pretty cool.  Maybe Red Sox Daughter and Grand Forks Central student could send some apparel to Dee?  Just a thought.

L to R: Mac, Dennis and Charlie.

Friday’s Video

Well, this little girl pretty much says it all.  One thing her parents might want to do at this young and impressionable age is to point her in the direction of a different team.  As a long suffering Vikings fan, I can assure her that she will endure far less pain and misery if she picks a new club.

Thank you to the droves of people (three) that sent it to me yesterday.  The checks are in the mail.


Random Thursday

*Two words:  Spicy Pie.

*I spent the last two days at a conference in Fargo for Forum Communications.  A good time was had by all.

*I think Adrian Peterson’s entire career will be wasted with the Minnesota Vikings.  It’s really sad that he has to play on a team with Erin Henderson and something called Jamarca Sanford.

*Interesting tidbit from Bro #1:  He sat by Brad Childress on a flight from Phoenix to Minneapolis this morning.  Chilly was reading a Vince Flynn book, Executive Power.  These crucial nuggets are the very reason that I keep Bro #1 on the payroll.

*Reggie Tales shout out to Doug from Brainerd.

Olive Garden Rumor May Be True

Grand Forks Olive Garden?

For nearly 20 years the rumors of an Olive Garden coming to Grand Forks have run rampant.  I’m still skeptical, but if that’s not an Olive Garden in the above photo, well, then someone is building a really cool house across the street from Texas Roadhouse.  Complete with a large parking lot.  My sources are telling me that it was confirmed six months ago that it was indeed an Olive Garden but like I’ve said for years, I will believe it when I’m face down in some pasta and sausage dish and a couple 13-14 bread sticks.

Random Thursday

*The Twins should sign free agent Jorge Posada from the New York Yankees.  He’s 40 but I think he’d make a good DH and pinch hitter.  And it’s possible that he could be Joe Mauer’s backup at catcher.  You know…on those days when Mauer doesn’t play.

*Speaking of catchers, former Twin Wilson Ramos, now of the Washington Nationals, was kidnapped in his native Venezuela.

*Reggie Tales shout out to Joel in Gilbert, Arizona.  I understand he’s a big fan.

*I have never watched an episode of Two and a Half Men or How I Met Your Mother.  I have however, watched approximately 65 episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia in less than two months.

*Bonus shout out to Casey in Sioux Falls.

Penn State Should Forfeit Saturday

I find it unimaginable that Penn State is still planning on playing a football game against Nebraska on Saturday.  Not only should the game not be played, the Nittany Lions should forfeit.  The only argument that one could make for playing the game would be that it penalizes the current players if you don’t.  But this situation is so beyond that right now it’s embarrassing.  To be clear, this is not fair to the current players.  People who should know better have ruined it for them.  And now everyone at Penn State will have to pay.

Playing a game of football on Saturday sends the message that “we think it’s ok to put this situation ‘on hold’ for three hours.”  All the while, the college president and the football coach and everyone in between have not said a word.

I probably like sports more than most people, but in my opinion, a game on Saturday would be wrong.

Billy Smith

The Minnesota Twins did something very un-Twins like yesterday.  They fired General Manager Billy Smith.  And the Minnesota Twins never fire anyone.  And while I never like to see anyone lose their job, this was the right move.  The list of Smith’s mistakes had grown quite long and embarrassing.  Off the top of my head:  Trading JJ Hardy, trading Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps, trading Delmon Young for two people I’ve never even heard of before.  They might not even play baseball.  Back to the list:  Letting Matt Gueirrer and Jesse Crain leave via free agency.  I think I can stop there because it makes my blood boil.

But now to the good news.  Terry Ryan is back in the picture and you can ignore the “interim” tag that they gave him for the GM job.  You can bet your bottom dollar that he will have the job for as long as he wants.  And I think he’s going to stay and be successful for the next 5 to 10 years.  I also fully expect the no nonsense Ryan to remind the Manager that the players are paid to play.  Apparently that was forgotten in Minneapolis.