30 April 2009

The Gumshoe or Crime Does Not Pay- episode 1

Now for the premiere of The Gumshoe or Crime Does Not Pay.

p.s. I produced this short. There might be more coming.

29 April 2009

Fargo Mash-up- Flood and Marathon

Waters are diminishing in the Red River Valley although Sheyenne River valleyflood watching is still on alert (and perhaps James and Maple River valleys too). The National Guard and other Federal agencies had taken the front lines following the big crests. Flood clean up has begun in earnest here in the past week. Spring clean up has been postponed until June.
Upcoming celebrations for volunteers here in the 'Go include a May 17th Red Hawks game and a downtown celebration that same day. At the conclusion of the Fargo Marathon (May 9th) there will be a post flood celebration organized by Mind Over Miles - Will Over Water. 32 Below and Johnny Holm will be doing a free concert and there will be free food too! I might be able to go to a bit of it although I am due to see Mystery of Edwin Drood at the high school a few blocks away from the dome.
As always, all autograph requests should be directed to my agent.

24 April 2009

Journey to the Eden's Prairie

I decided to head out early this morning for the Twin Towns rather than do an odd overnight adventure in Birch Lakes State Forest. The decision was mostly because I could not locate a Zune cable. I wasted tons of time looking for it rather than packing. However I went to bed prepared to leave near the strike of 6AM. Well, I left around 6:20AM instead.
Finally made to Albertville Outlets with time to spare. It was a pretty ho hum experience. Adidas has nothing and so did Nike. However, I discovered the Crocs store and man the prices were dropping. You could get the real deal Crocs of numerous styles for less than a saw buck.
From there I went to Maple Grove and then finally onto the hotel I am currently staying in for the conference I am attending. 2 chaps from Northern Ireland are the speakers. You might of heard of one- U2 has- Robin Mark.
Robin played and Paul Reed spoke tonight (he's the other chap.) One point from Paul's message was that corporately the church needs to worship as opposed to a individual worshipping with a group of people.
Saw John McK the guy who taught me bass. He's looking slick. Looks kind of like David Crowder if Crowder had dark red hair.

19 April 2009

The Chicago Dog

The last few years I have developed a taste for the Chicago Hot Dog. This is sort of like the Whopper of the hot dog world- a dog with everything on it. A few places in town serve it- Bertrossa's Chicago Cafe (one of my favorite spots to eat in the downtown) and Orange Julius. I found a place in near downtown St. Paul that also serves up the Chicago and other Chicago culinary delights. I sometimes try to make my one knock off version with ingredients I can find. I have yet to find the sport peppers and poppy seed hot dog buns. It would also be great to find the neon green relish. Needless to say I try my best. I usual grill the cheap dogs (not the Vienna one's but I should find a natural casing one.) but today I steamed them like a street vendor. They were delicious- and go good with a beer.

The art of the bargain 2

This weekend's finds include a few books and a hat. Total cost $1.27 from the newest Dakota Boys Ranch. Now don't jump to conclusions about this thrift store. It's not a cover for a human trafficking scheme. It actually raises funds to help youth and families. Here's what the website says:
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is dedicated to helping at-risk children and their families as an expression of our joy and faith in Jesus Christ, following Christ's example to serve the needs of others.

I didn't realize there was a spiritual side until now. The link here will let you explore just what the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch does.

17 April 2009

An international experience in my backyard

I crossed over the flooded river in 'Head to see some ice hockey at the Moorhead Sports Center. The IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) U18 World Championships are being held in the area and promise I take in one game. That one game happened to be Norway versus Switzerland. Nothing really special. Across town at the new Urban Plains Center the U.S. were playing Czech Republic. But I decided I'd go for the cheap game ($6 compared to upwards of $30).
No disappointments. It was a good game. I had a great seat.
Norway were already losing 2-0 when I arrived at about 5 minutes into the 1st period. Switzerland were just trouncing the Norwegians although I thought Norway played a better passing game. The teams were sort of the calibre of minor league hockey although they often looked like the Wild on a bad day. It has been a rather high scoring tournament so 7-3 wasn't anything out of the norm.
In researching the IIHF U18 World Championship, I discovered there is more than 1. Actually it is sort a tiered league system much like soccer in Europe. The teams in Fargo-Moorhead are like the Premier League. The last place team get relegated to play next year's tournament in the lower division. The champion of the lower division gets to play in the next higher division championship next year. Some nations plying the puck in the lower divisions include Mongolia, New Zealand, Turkey, Ireland, Mexico, and South Korea. I suspect Norway may get relegated to division I. Latvia and Belarus are coming up next year.

16 April 2009

Still in a flood

Albeit a bit less severe, in this town it's still called a flood. The second crest forecast of last which appeared to suggest utter doom for the region was not as high as anticipated. The weather service put out an original 2nd crest at 41' or above. Mayor Dennis Walaker wasn't buying it. By his theory the 2nd crest should be around 38'. Today the crest forecast is at 35'. Dikes and sandbags are holding. A helicopter appears to be flying around the city twice daily.
Outside of the Go, there is plenty more flooding happening. A few days ago Valley City, 60 miles west of here, was partially evacuated as the Sheyenne River reached a historic crest. Lisbon was also affected by the Sheyenne's growing girth. Then up in the northern tier of the state the Magic City, Minot, has a little bit of flooding. Winnipeg has declared a flood emergency. And still blame is placed on climate change although history and geography have much more to do with these events.
Although the Newboys canceled their gig here, the circus and the IIHF World Championship (that's hockey folks). Even the Fargo Marathon annouced there will still be a race. Word is going around that the course will be altered and it might be a 2 loop for the complete marathon. Newsboys still haven't put in a definite return date. So now we have the ironically named Floodmap come to town this weekend instead. Odd.

09 April 2009

Strange Brett Winkelman photo

The photo.
For those who want to have Brett greet them with a large embrace or want to see Brett impersonate Notre Dame's touchdown Jesus.

Rediscovered- oldest person in the world

I wrote a while back about another discovery of the oldest person in the world in Israel and now is 121 year old. However, stop the presses. In Kazakhstan a woman who has records to claim she is 130 has been discovered. Sohan Dosova remembers the time of Tsar Nicolai and the Red Army and has a Soviet Passport claiming she was born in 1879! This is difficult to determine the authenticity since I am skeptical of Soviet documents. It is also mentioned that in rural areas of Kazakhstan it is common to make up a date of birth. Well she certainly appears old.
About the only bit of wisdom about old age she proffers is to put butter in your tea.

Passover to be celebrated at the executive mansion

This morning I was surprised to hear that President Barack Obama would be holding a seder at the White House. This is certainly a first and especially unique considering Obama is neither Jewish and had just returned from a trip which included an olive branch to Muslims. It appears inclusivity continues to be an administration value.
I needed to search for validation of the White House seder tonight because HLN reported pizza would be served at tonight. That would be a no-no unless it was some matzo crust cheese pizza. In Kosher cooking dairy and meat do not mingle and during the solemn holiday yeast (or leavening agents) need to be removed from everything. Therefore no bread, at least as most stateside citizens know it, can be served. Well folks, pizza night for the Obamas will be Friday and therfore does not conflict with the seder.
In finding a reference for the seder I discovered this. Israel beckons to US youth.

Could the NBA be looking at Woodside?

Ben Woodside will be plying his sporting skills this weekend out East front of NBA scouts.
Here's who else is there in Portsmouth, VA.
I suppose most who are watching these pre-draft talent smorgasbords would wonder why the NBA would even consider a point guard who is 5'11'' especially when there is a load of bigger ones from the big schools. To me the NBA is big and fast. I can't recall many teams that focus on skill.
Again, just like the NCAA tournament berth for NDSU, the odds are stacked against him. However, it can't hurt trying. It appears to me that he has the drive and motivation to make it. Scottie Pippen, Ben Wallace, Terry Porter, Sidnet Lowe all played in this tournament and found their way to the NBA.
I think the future is bright for Woodside whatever happens.
On the flip side, Woodside's cohort, Brett Winkelman, is probably studying and applying for jobs. Maybe he's even thinking of Grad School or a summer trip to Europe. But that's my speculation. He might be competing in a super secret underground 1 on 1 basketball league.

Haunted video

2 of the Ireland's bright stars that stood in the shadows of U2's rise to global fame. They peaked out a few times- especially Sinead's Saturday Night Live gig. Although it seems Macgowan (most notably of the Pogues) is mostly in a drunken stupor, he is considered by many the best songwriter from Ireland of his generation. He has a distinct look and vocal style. Something akin to throwing Bob Dylan into a blender. In this video, Shane seems to be going for the Elvis Costello look. Sinead has got to be one the best female vocalists period. She keeps her hair short but her vocals can be hauntingly beautiful.
Oh yeah, Macgowan wrote this song. I think its for a soundtrack to some film.

05 April 2009

The art of the bargain 1

Today I did a typical trek to a few 2nd hand shops and a pawn shop after I played soccer this afternoon. There's about a dozen 2nd hand shops and pawn shops in town. I usually stop through one a month sometimes more. Today's bargain cost me only a buck and nine cents ($1.09).
For .10 at St. Vincent's I picked up a soccer skills book with a younger David Beckham on the cover. Then at the ARC I purchased an old MP3 player, a Virgin Pulse VP 1 to be exact for .99. The MP3 only holds around 192Mbs but it had some interesting modern lounge music on and an ABBA song. I'll use it for exercise. The Smart Media Card that came with it is worth upwards of $32.

Another crest yet to come

Apparently the river is not through with Fargo and Moorhead just yet. Another record crest has been forecast for later in April. Possibly at 41'. Today the river is around 35'.
I was in South Fargo on Saturday morning and it looks dirty. Drain 27 crosses 25th St and then goes out around 40th Ave S. The road along the east side of I-29 stops short of 40th Ave near Fleet Farm due to a temporary dike still in place. The former greenspaces around Centennial Elementary and Discovery Jr High are almost completely tore up. The city used these site to obtain clay for dikes

04 April 2009

A tale of 2 beers

As I returned home from work on my bicycle, I noticed 2 large cans in a snow drift. Thinking they were empty, I hardly glanced at them. But then I saw they appeared to be unopened.
"That's peculiar." I thought to myself.
I got off my bike and looked around. There were no homes nearby and why chill beer 400 yards away from your apartment when you could just as well place them in a closer snow bank.
I grabbed the 2 large 24oz cans and stowed them in my bag and continued homeward.
It was typical no thrills domestic beer (unless you think 24oz of it is a thrill.) I drank one this evening and the other awaits to be opened. I'm sure Phil is just hoping he comes across a cache of beer like I did.

03 April 2009

And its still winter

Vehicle lights permeated the slight fog that has enulfed this part of the city.
Apparently no one informed the weather making devices that it actually is Spring.

02 April 2009

Silent sentinals

Over 3 million of these sandbags helped to fend off the rising waters of the Red River of the North. They sit here waiting to be deployed, to keep back the river, to hold firm the banks.

A recommendation not taken

News broke today (on my watch for that matter) that Fargo resisted the FEMA recommendation to evacuate the entire city. And that was just what it was- a recommendation. Fargo ultimately made the right decision as the dikes held and a projected 43' crest was not realized. A small army of tiredless volunteers may also have made the difference. Fargo and Moorhead continue to watch the dikes diligently. Most of the community went back to work on Wednesday as the Nation Guard and various other organizations kept watch.

Thankfully, schools will resume Monday. Students will return to their normal routines and hopefully so will my roommate who seemed to be glued to the computer the whole time.

The occasional blog correspondent from Moorhead, Phil, is doing well. As I referred to in previous posts, he diked his entire property. It held but Phil seemed at bit upset with the sand situation in Moorhead leading up to the big crest. Apparently as waters began to rise dangerously there was hardly any sand to be had on the east bank of the Red River. Eventually Phil had to go directly to the source- aggregate quarry since no Moorhead sandbag sites had available sandbags to residents. I think Phil described it as a fiasco. No news on whether his beer cache was spared. I assume that Phil could have resisted a FEMA recommendation to drink all the beer and leave town.