May 2009 Archives

Friday Random Top 10

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Sure feels like summer. Grilling, baseball, drinking, biking, and graduation parties will take up most of my weekend. Let's kick it off with a Friday top 10...

1. No Reservations -- Husker Du
2. Money Honey -- Little Richard
3. Whatever -- Husker Du
4. Whispering Whip -- Robert Pollard
5. Sweet and Tender Hooligan -- The Smiths
6. Out of the Shadows -- The Phones
7. 100% of Nothing -- Meat Puppets
8. Mirror in the Bathroom -- The English Beat
9. Egyptian Shumba -- The Tammys
10. Careless Love -- Ray Charles

Bonus: The Sound of Failure -- The Flaming Lips

Wow, back to 80s with a scattering of golden oldies. Nice to see a Husker Du double shot. What's your top 10?

Construction Week -- Target Field

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For the 3rd year in a row, I have been able to go to the top of the Minikahda building and take pics of what is now known as Target Field. Below is the view from that vantage point over the past three years.

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Obvious a lot has been completed in 2 years and next year they will be playing baseball. Unfortunately my dreams of watching games from the top of the Minihahda have been dashed by some left field bleachers and a huge ass scoreboard.

Below is a pic showing part of the Twins log being constructed atop the scoreboard
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Centerfield bleachers up against the Parking Lot C
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5th Street ballpark entrance:
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LRT Station
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Centerfield
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The ballpark is going to be handsome and very snug. I think people are going to love it once they get inside and are able to experience baseball the way it was meant to be played. I think 2010 will be the beginning of a baseball renaissance on Minnesota.

Construction Week -- TCF Bank Stadium

Another chapter of Construction Week -- TCF Bank Stadium! Now the first game is less than 4 months away so things are wrapping up and there's not a lot different to see. They put the field turf in over the weekend which you can see below. All in all the stadium is going to be quite handsome. I can't wait.

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Here you can see the Field Turf installed


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Back of the 2nd largest replay screen in all of college football

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Not sure if I like that metal awning as part of the arch

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Like I said a handsome stadium


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Part of the public art on the plaza

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If interested there's a lot more photos and videos of the stadium on-line. Just google TCF Bank Stadium. Coach Brewster has his own youtube page with videos inside and outside the stadium. Goldy's Facebook page also has hundreds of photos from all over the construction site. Clearly the Gophers understand web-based marketing much better than the Twins.

Construction Week -- ST+SS

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It's Construction Week here at LFAD and I thought I start off with the new Science Teaching+Student Services building. In February I had some pics of the old building demolition and now with a few months of construction, let's see how it is doing?

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As you can see, from the pic above, the foundation walls are in and some of the first floor. There's the Washington Avenue Bridge in the background.

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Another view, also the west side of this building will have awesome views of downtown.

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Looking to the north.

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Finally, this is what it will look like when finished.

Random Friday Fiction

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Here's my latest narrative using the song titles from Friday's Random Top 10.


Everyone was pretty excited when they heard Bo was coming back to the ranch. But no one was as excited as I was. In his last letter from Appomattox, Bo wrote, The war's over and I'ma coming home. Girl, you'll be a woman soon and I can't wait to see you. Serious Bird Woman, the Pawnee cook Ma kept around the ranch, saw the look in my eyes as I read Bo's letter. Bo has no idea of Sue's length of love she said out loud to no one in particular. He doesn't know what he's gettin' in to does he? Sue here is a regular master of puppets and it looks like she is going to add another one to her collection. I whispered to myself, don't listen to that old Indian woman Bo, I love you so much it hurts. Nothing's going to keep us apart.

A few weeks later as Bo ambled down that old Spirit Road and came into view of the ranch, Pa shouted out "well if it aint the return of the grievous angel." Bo smiled and said good to see you too Hank. Now help me with my stuff. Bo looked gaunt and definitely lost that sparkle in his eye. Ma noticed too. Goodness Bo, you're a sight! Come in we'll get you a some food. Bird Woman, cook up that chicken we've been saving! Bo said, thanks but I gotta see Sue first. I came running out of the barn and he looked at me and said my Lord you're a sight for tired eyes. Just as gorgeous as Shakespeare's Sister. I ran into his arms and he whispered in my ear, I'm gonna make you mine."

For some reason Serious Bird Woman didn't take to Bo. She would give him side long stares that only I would notice and she kept muttering about visions of a blue green arrow. Bo was oblivious and was a huge help around the ranch. It was great to have another helper and Pa and Ma were grateful for his help. When that Pawnee woman left without a trace a couple of months later, right before it got cold, no one seemed to care. Even the sparkle returned to Bo's eyes. I thought it was because we were going to have a baby, but sometimes late at night, I would wonder...

Friday Random Top 10

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Jake Peavy turns down the Whiteys. Which is good for the Twins. At least the Sox are trying to improve their team, what are the Twins doing? I get to see a minor league pitcher tomorrow start against the Brew Crew. Can't wait. Last year it was Livan and Boof so I guess Obama is making changes. Here's a random top 10:

1. Girl, You'll be a Woman Soon -- Neil Diamond
2. Serious Bird Woman -- Robert Pollard
3. Length of Love -- Interpol
4. Master of Puppets -- Metallica
5. I Love You So Much It Hurts -- Ray Charles
6. Spirit Road -- Neil Young
7. Return of the Grievous Angel -- Gram Parsons
8. Shakespeare's Sister -- The Smiths
9. I'm Gonna Make You Mine -- Hypstrz
10. Blue Green Arrow.

Bonus: Without a Trace -- Soul Asylum

Not a bad mix, Return of the Grievous Angel is always a fave. Good to see a little old school Metallica too. What's your top 10?

Tour of Target Field

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Yesterday I was lucky enough to get a personal tour of Target Field. The ballpark is wonderful and I think people are going to be stunned when they walk into the ballpark for the first time. Seats on the 3rd baseline are going to be of a premium I think. Jeff T. of What Jeff Thinks has his thoughts here and I concur fully. Rick from Twins Ballpark 2010 was there and I know will have thoughts too. Of course Shane of Greet Machine has a nice review too. So I won't go into a big review, go to those sites to find out more about our tour.

I did want to talk about the fact that I have no pictures with this post. The Twins have a no picture policy and Rick has even run into problems trying to take pictures of the exterior from public places outside the ballpark. No surprise but I think the Twins are way out of line with their no pictures policy. Pictures by others create excitement for the ballpark that official pronouncements just can't match. Sure the Twins can't completely control the message but the they are missing out on the fact that the images are the message and the images are fantastic.

As comparison look at what the University is doing with TCF Bank stadium. There is no prohibition of photos, in fact they are encouraged. Goldy has a facebook page with 100's of pics from all over the stadium. Like Target Field, there are tours everyday and pictures are encouraged. Official and unofficial Youtube videos of the interior garner 1000's of views. They aren't just exteriors but also photos of areas that most people will never ever see, like the locker room and suites. I'll never be in that locker room but it sure is impressive and makes me excited for that stadium. Now of course I understand the University has a different mission and the photos play a role in recruiting as well. I get that, but there is no concern from the Athletics Department about controlling the message about the stadium, or saving some "aha moments" (and believe me the Athletics Department is very concerned about it's image, they are control freaks about that stadium).

Finally I think it's just great P.R. for the Twins. The ballpark was controversial to say the least and I don't think people understand how much more the Twins have put into the ballpark, how cool a facility this will be. By showing what the citizens are getting, what they are paying for, the Twins can only garner good P.R. Remember the images are the message and there are some great images at Target Field.

So no pics of my tour. But no worries. Next week is Construction Week at LAFD and I plan to take pics of the ballpark exterior, along with pics of TCF Bank Stadium and the University's Science Teaching + Student Services building. It should be fun.


Movie Music Moments

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Empire Magazine asked Cameron Crowe to list his 10 favorite movie music scenes and of course he comes up with 36! I thought it was an interesting concept so off the top of my head I developed my own list. With a little prompting this could be radically altered (i.e. I probably need a Scorsese film in there) so I’d love to hear of your favorite movie music moments in the comments.

It’s All Over Now Baby BlueDont Look Back. Donovan is in a London Hotel with Dylan and plays him a new song which has some maudlin Elizabethan lyrics set to a Dylan tune. Dylan pulls out a guitar and says I’ve got a new one too and proceeds to play It’s All Over Now. It’s an amazing version and right then and there Donovan knew he was never going to be the “Next Dylan.”

In DreamsBlue Velvet. Who knew such a beautiful song could be made so creepy.

Where is My MindFight Club. Crowe has this one too. The Pixies song plays as the buildings fall in the last scene. It’s a perfect song to a perfect ending of a perfect movie.

Wise-UpMagnolia. All the cast members sing parts of this song which could have easily been seen as a stunt and taken the viewer completely out of the movie. Instead it links the characters together. My mouth drops every time I see this scene.

Mad WorldDonnie Darko. Played over a montage. Fuels the overall mood of a very moody movie.

CelebrationMarie Antoinette. Much like Mad World above. This is a mood setter.

Falling SlowlyOnce. Another one that Crowe mentions. You truly see the two characters fall in love during this song, and the look on their faces is priceless.

Tiny DancerAlmost Famous. Band hates each other, brooding on the bus. Someone starts to sing Tiny Dancer, someone joins in, then another, then another. Pretty soon the whole bus is singing and everyone forgets about their problems.

Don’t Stop Me NowShaun of the Dead. Can you think of a better song to fight zombies to?

My Back PagesMasked and Anonymous. A Japanese version of the Dylan classic. The song plays over the opening credits while scenes of poverty and urban decay fill the screen.

What do you think? Give me a list in the comments.


Random Top Ten Fiction

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I gotta know Gary, is this a relationship or are you in it just for the sex she snapped as she tugged her jeans up over her hips. Jesus I thought, ain't it just like a woman, always playing the relationship card right after an afternoon quicky. "Sure Jen, it's all about you, you're my star of Bethlehem, my guiding force." Maybe I laid on a little thick as she rolled her eyes, snorted, struggled with her sweater and left. Hours later the empty bottle of Captain Morgan hadn't provided the anodyne I was looking for and the gravity of my life's forelorn existence begun to pull at my psyche. I thought to myself why I am such a jerk?

"Hot Burrito #1, chips, and a Corona, that'll be $12.50." I pulled out a crumpled twenty, gave her a wink, and said keep the change. The restaurant was empty so she sat across from me and coyly asked so how's it goin? I cut into my burrito and replied well some days are better than others, not sure how this one stacks up, yet. How's your day? She stared into my eyes, took a swig of my Corona and said business has sucked ever since the authorities quelled the riot on Sunset Strip, but other than that, I'm just waiting for a guy to sweep me off my feet.

Someone walked through the door and she offered up a salty salute, got up, and brought him a menu. It was decision time. Do I do what I always do? talk sweet and nice and make a play for the waitress? Jen always said I liked to collect bimbos, she would tell her friends "Gary makes it so easy -- he truly is the man who sailed. Around his soul are the broken hearts of young, attractive empty-headed girls who thought by sleeping with him they could somehow tame his wicked soul." I would laugh and say, I'm just lucky I guess. While the sadness in her eyes told me that she was describing herself. Now Jen was gone too. The waitress came back, sat down, finished my Corona and said c'mon sailor, whaddya say those waves become wings and you take me out of here? I smiled, shook my head and said sorry babe, I got the poor boy blues and shuffled off toward the door.

Friday Random Top 10

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Wisconsin and North Carolina passed Statewide Smoking bans this week and once the bills are signed by their Governors (as both have promised), 26 states will ban smoking in public spaces. Also New Hampshire Governor is going to sign a gay marriage bill. Times they are a changin' Come on Bobby, start us off on a Friday Random Top 10:

1. Just Like a Woman -- Bob Dylan
2. Star of Bethlehem -- Neil Young
3. Anodyne -- Uncle Tupelo
4. Hot Burrito #1 -- Flying Burrito Brothers
5. Some Days are Better than others -- U2
6. Riot on Sunset Strip -- The Hypstrz
7. A Salty Salute -- Guided By Voices
8. The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul -- XTC
9. Lucky -- Radiohead
10. Waves Become Wings -- This Mortal Coil

Bonus: Poor Boy Blues -- Ramblin' Thomas

Those first four songs really set the pace for this list and TMC puts a spooky little coda on the whole thing. What's on your top 10?

Thursday is Bike/Walk to Work Day

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Tomorrow is Bike/Walk/Ride to work day and I encourage all to partake somehow. During warm weather I bike to work a lot and love it! It's a relatively easy 6.5 miles one way with about 4 miles on dedicated bike trails. There are two highlights to my ride. On a beautiful sunny morning there is nothing like crossing the Mississippi River at 7:15a -- downtown on my left, the U of M campus on my right. The other is on my way home when I cross over I-94 and it is blocked up for miles with traffic. I just laugh my ass off as I stream over the traffic with some music blaring over my i-pod.

Where ever you live you will find it easy to find a dedicated bike trail to get you to your place of work. Furthermore for Thursday's festivities there are plenty of freebies available. Click Here to find out where you can pick up a free breakfast or happy hour.

See you on the trails!

Random Top Ten Fiction

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Big Mak had an interesting concept to take the song titles from the Friday random top tens and use them to create a story. Last week, I created one using E-6s list. This week, I'm using my own random top 10 from last Friday. let me know what you think.

I had an uncontrollable urge to call my dad as soon as I knew the decision. He had been let down so many times before, by me mostly, he deserved to hear it straight. As his phone rang I choked back the nausea and tried to figure out what to say.

Hello? He obviously knew it was me in the other end of the line. "Hold on to yourself, I finally got the news." He was silent then said "Give it to me straight, no chaser." I tried to delay "well you know accidents will happen." We was having none of it, "I said give it to me straight!" I really wanted to hang up right then and there but couldn't. "You guessed it, I'm pregnant and it's Levi's.

"Goddamn it Bristol, you know this is going to kill your ma's career! How could you do that right now?" I thought back to mom when she would fight with dad and scream at him "your heart is an empty room." I knew exactly what she meant. "Couldn't we just for once not think about mom and her political career? "What about me? I was hoping for some sort of life that consisted of more than just a series of curtain calls in front of pasty old white men so that mom's could win a few more votes."

"What does Levi have to say about this?" dad asked, the name barely dripping off his lips. "Well I'm going to marry him, I'll be his wife" I asserted proudly. "And when I say wife, I mean that. We're in love and he supports me and the decision to keep the baby." "Bristol honey", he was trying to be sweet but it came out sinister, "run, run, run away from Levi. He's just a stupid hockey puck with no future. He may be the father but he's no dad and he certainly won't be a husband."

Well dad, I disagree. As long as I can see the light I'm going to assume it's the end of the tunnel and not a train, and besides..." Just then I heard some commotion in the background, mom was home. "Who ya talkin' to on the phone Todd?" Dad covered; "oh just some guy from the race, say babe we gotta talk." He whispered into the receiver, "come over a little later, I'll try to soften her up for you" and then he hung up.

Star Trek

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We went to see Star Trek last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. As a movie franchise reboot it hit all it markers: Interesting and compelling story for those not familiar with the back story? Check. Enough homage to previous efforts to not offend the long time fans? Check. Fun experience so that the audience is wanting more in the future? Check. The movie scored in all three aspects and ended up being a fun, summertime sci-fi flick.

Special effects were great as The Enteprise’s exterior was lovingly recreated while the interior was definitely updated for modern sensibilities. Uniforms were the familiar gold, blue, and red, while other accoutrements such as phasers were similar to old style phasers in design but updated to a look cool in the screen.

What I think most long-time fans will like is how well the characters that are so well-known and loved come across the screen. I was surprised how emotional it all was seeing Bones, Scotty, Spock et al back to being young again. Unfortunately we’ve seen these characters get old and pudgy, it was nice to seem them young and spry once again. Also the story gives the viewer a sense of how these characters came to be such a kick-ass crew. How could they not love each other and work so well together after their original baptism by fire. I can watch Star Trek “Origins” and totally believe every thing I saw in the original television series.

Was it a perfect movie? Of course not. Relying on time travel to explain away plot contrivances is a staple of sci-fi which can be a pain, no difference here. Plus I could have used a different villain, but that’s just picking nits.

Overall a fun movie-going experience, much needed in the Star Trek genre after the slow and steady decline of the franchise and one I look forward to see future chapters.

Friday Random Top 10

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Sure I post about wanting Brett Favre to join the Vikings and literally minutes later its announced he’s not going to unretire. Oh well, it was a good run.

1. Uncontrollable Urge – Devo
2. Let Down – Radiohead
3. Nausea (live) – X
4. Hang on to Yourself – David Bowie
5. Straight No Chaser – Thelonious Monk
6. Accidents Will Happen (live) – Elvis Costello
7. Your Heart is an Empty Room – Death Cab For Cutie
8. Curtain Calls (live) – Old 97s
9. When I say Wife – Jonathan Richman
10. Run Run Run – The Gestures

Bonus: Long as I Can See the Light – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Ya Ya Ya Ya YaYaYaYaYaYaYa Ya!!

Farvapalooza!!

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Normally I don’t opine on the Vikings, especially during the off-season. But as someone who used to have a Brett Favre Interception Watch on this blog for at least two NFL seasons, I just can’t help but comment on the big news.

I for one thinks it would be great if Favre became a Viking. Not because I think he will necessarily deliver a Super Bowl to long suffering fans (although I think he’s a better option than T-Jack or Sage). No I want him here for the spectacle of the thing, for the machinations Packer fans will go through if Favre wears Purple and Gold. I want the drama that only a drama queen like Brett Favre would bring. I want Packer fans confused, hurt, angry.

Even the most dyed-in-the-wool Vikings fan had to admit that Favre was a great quarterback and secretly longed for someone like him at the helm of the Viking’s ship. We also knew he was a preening prima donna – something Packer fans could never admit. Now they are faced with the truth and what could be better than having #4, in purple, beating the Packers at Lambeau?

So I say, c’mon Chilly, get your butt down to Mississippi, kiss Favre’s ass and bring him back up to Minny. We want the spectacle. We want the drama. We want cheeseheads to explode in a gooey mess of melted Colby jack broken pretzels, and stale beer

Caution 14-year old geek resides within

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From my hairline to responsibilities of mortgage, kids, work, etc., I feel and look everyone one of my 46 years. Sure I'll go to the Uptown Bar on a Friday night, throwback a bunch of Summits and rock out with The 757s like the next urban hipster, but the next day I'm driving the kids all around the metro area or working in the yard. Those fun Friday's make the obligations on Saturday that much more bearable (even with a slight hangover).

So why am I geeked out like a 14 year old over two upcoming pop cultural events? Am I just immature? Denying my unstoppable agedness? Bored with "adult fare?" Probably a combination of all three to be honest.

So this weekend I'll probably be line for the latest Star Trek movie enthralled with not only a promised sci-fi epic, but having a critical eye toward how Sulu, Scotty, Bones, etc are portrayed on the screen. Does the movie re-launch Star Trek as a movie franchise or will it just be a cool movie. There is a difference.

Then a week later, I will be anticipating the new Green Day Album, 21st Century Breakdown, which according to the hype is a worthy successor to American Idiot. Will it rock out? Has Green Day finally sold out? Will "the story" make sense? These will be questions going through my mind as I listen to the album.

So that's what I have to look forward to over the next 10 days. Is it meaty stuff? Heck no, but it does have me up in a lather. I'm just happy I don't have to obssess over whether "Jenna" likes me or not.

So what are you in a geek lather about this Spring/Summer?

Friday Random Top 10

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Swine Flu. Nuff said. We need a random top 10:

1. Wild Mountain Berries -- Kelly Hogan & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts
2. You Tell Me -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
3. Oh, Me (live) -- Nirvana
4. Trap Soul Door (live) Guided By Voices
5. Ronnie's Song -- Urban Guerrillas
6. Game of Pricks -- Guided By Voices
7. Sassafras Roots -- Green Day
8. My My Hey Hey (Out of the Blue) -- Neil Young
9. Lovers Town Revisited -- Billy Bragg
10. This Night Has Opened Up My Eyes -- The Smiths

Bonus: Talking Hard Work -- Woody Guthrie

Game of Pricks is one of my favorite GBV songs, the rest of this list is pretty good but no real standouts.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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