Hockey and Basketball Just Don’t Mix

Posted in Humour, The-Onion on January 25th 2007 by Randy Reichardt

The Onion

NHL Admits Slam-Dunk-Contest Portion Of All-Star Skills Competition A Mistake

DALLAS-Commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters Tuesday night that the addition of the first-ever slam-dunk contest to the NHL All-Star skills…

Short Videos of Hilarity and Originality, and The Kindness of a Friend

Posted in Friends, Video on January 21st 2007 by Randy Reichardt

.: Various people including Keith and Taras forwarded some of these links to short videos, most of which are on Each is worth a look.

.: Speaking of Keith, he is due some props. Last December, I wrote about my Dell Dimension 4400 freezing and crashing after I connected a 320GB external drive to one of its USB ports. The machine froze because its USB ports, all 1.1, could not handle the Maxtor, designed for USB 2.0 and Firewire connections. It took me a few weeks to recover the data on the hard drive, and get it functional again. A few days subsequent to the blog entry, Keith appeared at my house with a “Christmas card” – a USB 2.0 card, which he proceeded to install in the Dell, giving it four 2.0 USB ports. His generosity and kindness didn’t end there however – knowing that the four new ports would be on the back of the computer, he also brought a USB extension cable, so that I wouldn’t need to turn the computer around every time I wanted to use one of the 2.0 ports. Thank you, Keith, for making my life a wee bit easier.

5 Things

Posted in Personal on January 16th 2007 by Randy Reichardt

.: I have been tagged by Pam (but wasn’t aware of it until I checked her site), nor was I aware that Christina tagged me about the same thing. Blog memes aren’t my thing, but apparently when one is tagged, one must comply. This is Five Little-Known Things About Me, which doesn’t necessarily mean they are interesting or unique.

1. I was a DJ on the University of Manitoba’s closed-circuit radio station in 1974-1975. Once per show I would read a few “True Facts” from issues of National Lampoon while playing the music from Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance in the background.

2. I have a tiny crease in my skull from slipping and falling against a brick corner on the outside of my junior high school. I slipped on some snow while playing with a friend during lunch hour. I didn’t feel any pain, but a couple seconds later, blood started pouring from my top of my head. In restrospect, this could explain a lot about me.

3. In the mid-1960s I collected comic books. Gabriel, my friend at the time, and I decided to create our own comics, which we wrote, drew and coloured by hand. My super-heroes included Mr IBM and The Prism. I forget the other super-heroes I created, and unfortunately no longer have the comics.

4. I have no affinity for building or repairing things, so any renovations or repairs to my home are always done by friends who are accordingly compensated afterwards. My father, however, can repair and renovate just about anything.

5. The first band I joined was called Ram, when I was in Grade 12, in 1970. Ram was an 11-piece group: two lead singers, two guitars, two trumpets, keyboards, bass, drums, trombone and saxophone. We were together for less than a year. We played cover tunes by Chicago, Led Zeppelin, Iron Butterfly, and others. We once played a outdoor gig on the steps of the Manitoba Legislature Building, but for some reason the horns couldn’t stay in tune. The first song the band learned was Vehicle by the Chicago band, The Ides of March. If you can, find me in the band picture (10 of 11 members were around at that time.)

I’m not sure who to tag next, so I’ll nominate Darcy, Cindi, Tony, Keith, and the newly-married Lauren.


Posted in Friends on January 10th 2007 by Randy Reichardt

.: Thirty years ago I was in the midst of my first year of library school at the University of Alberta. I lived in residence on campus, in the Lister Hall complex, specifically Henday Hall. Among the many friends I made there was a girl named Sharon Kinakin. We remain friends to this day. After graduation, Sharon returned to Coutts AB, to work at what is know called the Canadian Border Services Agency, where she did customs and immigration work. At some point in time, Sharon met Brad Haugen, a US Immigration officer working at the Sweetgrass MT crossing office; eventually they married. I first met Brad when I visited them both at their home in Sunburst, some seven miles south of the border crossing in Montana. (I always thought it was cool that to get to work, Sharon would drive to the Canadian border crossing, clear Canadian Customs, and then park and go into the same office to work. At the end of her shift, she’d clear US Customs, and drive back to Sunburst.)

I liked Brad, he was friendly and very welcoming, a very nice guy. On a subsequent trip years later to visit them and their two children, Aaron and Jenna, I approached the US Customs crossing in my car and noticed Brad was working the window, with another US Customs officer at his side. He saw me, and asked, “How are you doing today, sir?” I replied something like, “Very well, thank you.” Brad proceeded to ask the necessary questions, such as where do you live, what is your citizenship, where were you born, etc., each of which I answered dutifully. Finally he asked, “And where is your final destination in the United States?”, to which I replied, while trying to hide a smile, “er, your house”, which resulted in a few good laughs all around.

I last saw Brad in May 2005, when I drove from Lethbridge AB to Sunburst to attend their son’s high school graduation. Brad and Sharon had divorced by that time, with Sharon moving back to Milk River AB, in Canada, and the children, Aaron and Jenna, splitting time between them, but everyone remained on good terms. There was a lot of excitment in the house in preparation for the grad ceremony, which went quite well, and afterward there was time for more food, drink, visiting and general merriment. In the post Sept 11 environment, US Customs had become part of the Department of Homeland Security. I noticed that Brad had a small, colourful DHS pin in the house. I mentioned in passing that it would be cool to have one, and he said he would look into it for me. I returned to Lethbridge later in the day, and that evening discovered the pin in one of my jacket pockets. Brad was that kind of a person.

On 31 December 2006, Brad was at Sharon’s house, where they and Aaron and Jenna celebrated New Year’s Eve as a family. On New Year’s Day, Brad suffered a massive stroke, and left this world on Saturday, 06 January 2007. He was 55 years old. It was sudden and unforseen. Sharon wrote to many of us shortly afterwards, and this line resonated in her message:

For those who knew Brad, he was a private and simple man. He was a kind, forgiving man and he loved and adored his children. He was a good son, brother, husband and father.

In a few simple, powerful words, Sharon captured the essence of her former husband and good friend. Brad’s obituary appeared in the Great Falls Tribune; it’s worth the read.

Life Is A Great Big Hangup

Posted in What? on January 1st 2007 by Randy Reichardt

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

Green Lantern
The Flash
Wonder Woman
Iron Man
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

I decided to take the quiz because Kenton and Geoff and Pam did too. I’m not sure about “great power and responsibility”, however. You can also take the Which Super-Villan are you? Quiz.

.: The holiday break is over, and the time off has been good, but I’m down with a sore throat and a cold right now, picked it up somewhere on Dec 31. Dec 31, btw, was my Mom’s birthday, so belated Happy Birthday, Mom! (I did talk to her on the phone and she did receive my gift, but her birthday card is still in the mail.) More to come when I have some energy.

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