Well Deserved Time Off

I’m going to be away from the Home Office of The Tales for a week as I do some traveling.  Red Sox Daughter and I are taking a quick trip to the Minneapolis and St. Paul regions of Minnesota for some hockey and shopping.  And then Summer Sidekick and I are heading to sunny California to visit a friend and for some hockey and shopping.

If everyone remains calm on the Internet, I promise to take pictures and blog about everything we do carefully selected portions of it

So while I’m gone, please go back into the archives and visit some of the Best of Reggie Tales if you start suffering withdrawals.

Random Thursday

*I’m considering starting a Twitter account.  If I do, it will be the largest collection of irrelevant observations ever assembled.

*While in D.C., we witnessed who we believed to be a homeless woman punch a complete stranger in the back of the head while standing on a street corner in the middle of the day.  Unprovoked.  I was so shocked that I didn’t know what to do.  The crazy woman walked away shouting obscenities while the victim’s husband tried to detain her.  He finally gave up.  It was so bizarre that it left Jimmy From Accounting speechless, which is difficult to do.

*Speaking of JFA, doesn’t it seem strange to anyone that he took time off during his “busy” season?

*I’m actually surprised at how good Kevin Love of the Timberwolves has turned out.  If they could get another player to complement him they could make the playoffs next year and for years to come.

*I’ve decided that the Twins don’t have nearly enough pitching to compete.  I foresee them losing a bunch of games 9-5.

*Reggie Tales shout out to Claire in North Carolina.  I hope you had an awesome birthday!

More DC Stuff

The Minnesota Wild and the Washington Capitals.

We took in a nice NHL game on Sunday afternoon.  We had some pretty good seats to see the Minnesota Wild tangle with the Washington Capitals.  The Capitals have a talented team.  The Wild do not.  I was very surprised by the fan support shown to the Capitals.  Almost every single person in attendance wore a red Caps jersey and of those 75% were of the Alex Ovechkin #8 variety.  The Capitals home is the Verizon Center, which is also home to the NBA’s Washington Bullets Wizzards and the Georgetown Hoyas basketball team.  If you’re into people watching, stand outside the Verizon Center for fifteen minutes.  I think I can safely say that “I’ve seen it all” now.


Hill Country BBQ Market

Full disclosure:  I do not have the vocabulary to do the Hill Country BBQ Market justice.  Suffice it to say that it was the best smoked meats I’ve ever eaten.  Ever.  Anywhere.  We stumbled upon this place while searching for a place to watch the UND and Western Michigan hockey game on Saturday afternoon.  Turns out that the game was blocked out across the country except for Minnesota and North Dakota.  Anyway, our discovery of this Meat Mecca made up for it.  As I write this, I have tears in my eyes thinking about the moistest brisket in the world.  And beef ribs that were every bit as good.  Five grown men ate without saying a word…unless you count grunting and moaning as talking.  Hill Country BBQ is located in the heart of D.C. about three blocks from the hockey arena.  I will never make another trip to Washington without going there.



Elevation Burger, left; Dogma Dog Bakery, right.

It took us 24 hours to eat again, and when we did we went to a place called “Elevation Burger” in Arlington, Virginia.  Even though the place was plastered with signs saying “Organic This” and “Organic That,” it ended up being awesome.  It was located next door to “Dogma Dog Bakery.”  And no, I didn’t get anything for CJ.  I only brought a carry on, and I already had it stuffed full of brisket and ribs.


Jefferson Memorial

After the amount of food we ate, it was a good thing we walked 37 miles.  I include this photo of the Jefferson Memorial because it’s my personal favorite.

I took a bunch of other photos but I’m unable to post them due to the meat coma I’m slipping into.

If you do go to Washington D.C., it’s best if you have a really good friend that you went to high school with and has lived out there for 20 years.  It also helps if he has the patience of Job.  And a nice place to stay in Arlington with good coffee.  If you have all that, then I suggest you go.  And do it with friends.

Thanks, Kevin.

DC Randomness

Washington Monument

I won’t bore everyone with all the details of our just completed trip to Washington D.C., but rather, I will hit a few of the high points.  The above photo I took just before we landed at Reagan National Airport.  It seemed like we were very close to the Washington Monument.


The White House

Sunday morning we went down to the White House so that we could take the obligatory photo at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Keen observers will notice that I reached through the fence to take this picture.  On this particular morning it was relatively quiet at the President’s house.  That is to say there were probably about 200 people milling around doing various strange things.  I dare say we were the most “normal” people there.  The White House is a magnet for people wanting to make a statement.  Our statement was, “Let’s hurry up and get out of here.”


Ben's Chili Bowl

For those of you worried that we spent all of our time sightseeing and looking at historical documents and playing board games, we did manage to squeeze in a few meals.  One of the best was a late night stop at this popular D.C. joint, “Ben’s Chili Bowl,” as seen on The Travel Channel’s “Man Vs. Food.”  The place was packed and the line spilled out the door, but it moved quite briskly.  I had a Chili Half Smoke, which translates to a ginormous chili cheese dog.  These things are not for the weak of heart…or stomach.  I’d love for Marilyn to stop there some night around midnight.  It was really good, especially if you’re into chili and cheese and sausages with spicy mustard late at night.  The place was absolute chaos inside and out.  When we were exiting, we watched as police “subdued” a man on the sidewalk.  And somehow it seemed quite normal.

I will write some more about our D.C. trip tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

Random Thursday

*There is one thing I don’t understand about the New Orleans Saints Bounty story.  Why didn’t the referees call any penalties on the Saints during the NFC Championship Game in question with the Vikings?

*I recently discovered French Toast Bagels.  What a concept.

*Remind me not to fill out an NCAA Basketball Tournament bracket next year.  It’s a colossal waste of time and I’m usually out of the running before the first day is over.  Meanwhile, the woman at the office who picked teams based on the color of their uniforms will win it all.

*By the time most of you slugs have crawled out of bed, I will be half way to Washington D.C. to enjoy some well-deserved time off.  The Tales and I will return Tuesday.  If everyone behaves I might have a few stories and photos to share.  Wink.  (I added the wink because I think it makes us sound like we might do something crazy.  Alas, I’m sure we won’t.)

*Reggie Tales shout out to Kevin in Arlington, VA.  You’ve been warned.

Trace Adkins

I saw and heard something on Saturday night that I don’t think I’ve ever been witness to before:  a concert that actually started at the time printed on the ticket.  Thank you, Trace Adkins, for doing the unthinkable.  The country star performed at the always acoustically awesome Chester Fritz at 8:00. 

I realize that country music is an acquired taste.  But I won’t apologize, and Adkins is one of my favorites.  And, shoot, I reckon that it didn’t much matter to me that I was missing the Fighting Sioux hockey game.  I was getting text updates from Jimmy From Accounting and several other friends.  And I mean “real” friends.  Not the kind from Facebook that you don’t know very well and post pictures of animals and positive slogans.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 

Dickey’s BBQ Coming to Grand Forks

I know this has nothing to do with Olive Garden or Marilyn Hagerty, but it is good news nonetheless.  Actually, it’s very exciting news for me and people of my ilk that like meat.  My new best friend, Josh Becker, told me in an e-mail this morning that he’s opening a Dickey’s Barbecue on the corner of Demers and South Washington in the former Mi Mexico location.  He hopes to have the restaurant open by mid-May.  I will attempt to wait patiently.  Dickey’s is a growing chain of very good BBQ, and a location opened last year in Fargo.  Let the countdown begin.  Good luck, Josh!

By the way, the brisket is insanely good.


Random Thursday

*I want to say hi to Jeff J. and all the good people down in Louisville, Kentucky getting ready to watch the Colorado State Rams take on Murray State.

*I’ve never been to the Final Five in St. Paul.  I have to do that some year.  Everyone that goes says it’s a great time.  And I love me some St. Paul.

*You heard it here first:  Phil Jackson will be the coach of the New York Knicks next year.

*Is there a reason why the Vikings are not attempting to sign any real free agents this year?  Is it possible they feel good about the team they have?

*I also find it strange that Tubby Smith has not produced at Minnesota yet no one really seems to care.

*Reggie Tales shout out to Chay in Houston.

Marilyn and Bill: A Busy Week

Marilyn Hagerty

Bill Clinton









I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  No two days in the TV news business are the same.  And that’s why I love it so much.  Take the last few days for example.  Last Thursday and Friday, I spent a considerable amount of time tracking down Internet sensation Marilyn Hagerty’s cell phone number and planning coverage of all-things Marilyn.  All the while, I was helping Good Morning America and ABC News with their coverage.  If someone had told me at the beginning of last week that I would be trying to get Marilyn’s cell phone number, I would have said, “I doubt that seriously.”

Now this week brings me the task of planning coverage of former President Bill Clinton’s visit to Grand Forks, which includes, but is not limited to, covering his speech live on Saturday for a statewide ABC audience.  It is also rumored that Clinton will be making one or two other stops around the city while he is here.

So we have a great task in front of us, but we’re ready to tackle it head on.  Which leads me to this:  Will Bill Clinton mention Marilyn during his speech?  I have set the odds at 3:1 that he will.

Stephen Kid Makes Good

It seems like the perfect time to congratulate Stephen, MN native Craig Smith on helping lead the Colorado State Rams basketball team to the NCAA Tournament.  Craig, an assistant coach, and his wife, Darcy, also a Stephen alumnus, have been in Fort Collins for five years.  Rams Head Coach Tim Miles  is well known in these parts.  His career path has taken him from Mayville State to Southwest State in Marshall, Minnesota to North Dakota State and now Colorado State.  And by his side for most of the ride has been Smith.

Craig was always a good kid from a great family.  Back in the glory days of Stephen Tiger football, Craig and Bryce Lingen combined to make one of the all-time great student manager tandems in school history.  Thinking back on it, it was obvious how much he loved being around sports and how much of a hard worker he was.

It’s easy to cheer for the good guys.  Good luck Craig!  And go Rams!