“Randy ‘Burly and Curly’ Reichardt: Cat-3 roadie, kick ass tri-guy”

Posted in What? on June 3rd 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: I don’t know what any of that means – it has something to do with cycling. When you search your name on the web, interesting results appear – depending, of course, on how common or uncommon your name is. Many of my friends and colleagues have names that are common enough that when searched on the ‘net, return web sites and hits for many people with the same name. Best example: my Winnipeg friend, Mike Nichols. Search his name, and the results will take you to sites about the film director of the same name.

When search engines became popular, I searched my name, and discovered two others with the name, “Randy Reichardt“. One was an insurance broker in Arizona, the other a student in Iowa, whose name kept appearing in university soccer match results, and then in bicycle race results. I assumed it was the same person, and still do. For some time, I’d been aware of the Reichardt name in Iowa. The clothing store, Reichardt’s, has been in Des Moines for over 50 years. William J Reichardt was a politician in the state.

I searched my name tonight, and discovered a page I hadn’t seen before, with photographs of the members of the QCP (Quixote Racing Program, Des Moines IA), including Randy “Burly and Curly” Reichardt. It’s rather surreal to see a picture of someone who shares your name, when the name is not common. I wonder if he pronounces his last name as my family does: RYE-cart.

Weird, wacky stuff. Now if only I was in as good a shape as my namesake in Iowa…
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Quirkyalone

Posted in What? on May 25th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

Who are the quirkyalones? There are many definitions, but we’ll start with this one. Quirkyalones are romantics who resist the tyranny of coupledom. Whether by birth (womb quirkyalones) or through life experience (born-again quirkyalones), we are independent-thinking people who would prefer to be open to finding that magical click (and the myriad possibilities that life has to offer) rather than exist in a stifling or unsatisfying romantic relationship.

I remember reading about quirkyalones some time ago, and decided to visit the site tonight.The definition above is interesting to me, because I’ve always thought of myself as a hopeless romantic. I took the quiz to determine if I meet the qualifications of a quirkyalone. The results:

Your score was 121. Very quirkyalone: Relatives may give you quizzical looks, and so may friends, but you know in your heart of hearts that you are following your inner voice. Though you may not be romancing a single person, you are romancing the world. Celebrate your freedom on National Quirkyalone Day, February 14th!

I’m not sure that knowing I am romancing the world is much comfort.
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Various

Posted in Music, What? on May 9th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Taking a few days off from posting didn’t help all that much. I’m still knee deep in e-mail (aka electronic messages), although I did get the number from 65 to somewhere under 40.

Today I perform in a Mother’s Day concert with Amelia (click the pic on the right). The concert is at 2:00 pm, at St Luke’s Anglican Church, 8424 95th Avenue. $10 at the door if you’re looking for something to do with Mom, or otherwise. A few days later, Amelia is off to Vienna for a few weeks, to visit her brother and his family, and take a break from Edmonton life.

It was quite nice yesterday, warm enough to sit outside for coffee with a good friend I hadn’t seen for at least 18 months. There is a dusting of snow on the ground this morning, and the temperature is -2C. Enough with the sub-zero weather, already – it’s MAY, dammit!

TSN – The Stoopid Network

Posted in Sports, What? on April 11th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: I remain a sports fan to this day, although my passion for following my favorite sports, baseball and hockey, began waning in the 80s. One of my daily rituals is taping SportsCentre overnight on TSN, and watching the highlights in the morning before going to work. TSN, Canada’s equivalent to (and owned by) ESPN, also functions as the Toronto Sports Network – during hockey season, a SportsCentre broadcast cannot go by without some reference to the Toronto Maple Leafs. If the Leafs aren’t playing that day, TSN will offer a preview of the preview of the preview of their next game, or ask coach Pat Quinn what he had for supper. Despite the bias, usually I can expect good reports and coverage as well as an entertaining broadcast.

However, over time, the SportsCentre anchors and writers have worked hard to invent new nicknames for some of the teams they cover, as well as phrases to describe things like time left in the period (1:28 remaining to be played is termed “a buck twenty-eight”), a home run (“he goes yard” or “a 2-run jack”), two home runs in a row (“back to back jacks”), and the result of a goal increasing the team’s lead in the game (“up a bill”).

Some of the incredibly annoying team nicknames heard on SportsCentre lately include:

  • the Yotes – Phoenix Coyotes
  • the Nucks – Vancouver Canucks
  • the Team in Red – Detroit Red Wings
  • Josey – San Jose Sharks
  • the Bolts – Tampa Bay Lightning
  • the Buds – Toronto Maple Leafs

“The Nucks”? It’s a pure form of dumbing down the viewer, or perhaps playing to the lowest common denominator, some version of the beer-swilling, brain-dead, cheese-eating frat boy, who needs booster cables to get out of bed in the morning. I hear the broadcaster say, “the Nucks”, and wonder: 1) is it too much of an expense of energy to say “the CAnucks”?, or 2) is TSN trying to save time on its broadcast?, or 3) has TSN completed market research which suggests that their viewers will think it’s really cool to hear phrases like that?

With this in mind, what a pleasure it is to discover this British web site, Plain English Campaign. It is a simple, stripped down site, supporting “an independent pressure group fighting for public information to be written in plain English.” My favorite section in the Examples page. It includes the complete archive of Golden Bull award winners, Plain-English translations (“before” and “after” examples), and The gobbledygook generator: “You really can’t fail with facilitating administrative mobility.”

Meanwhile, in hockey, The Team in Red is playing the Preds, my Habs face Beantown, the ‘Nucks face off against the Matchsticks, The Buds and The Sens continue their playoff series, Josey and Bluesy continue their battle…you get the imagery – er – graphic representation – er – picture. As for TSN, bring back Jennifer Hedger on the late night editions, PLEASE!

So I’m curious. To those who watch ESPN in the States: Is the same thing happening on that network? Duh.

Various

Posted in Mixed Bag Special, Pop Culture, What? on March 27th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: George Carlin offered the “Seven Words You Can Never Say on TV” on his 1972 album, Class Clown, which caused more than a few legal problems for broadcasters at the time. Read: Appendix to Opinion of Court, to see the words. (NOTE: Appendix is NOT for the faint of heart.)

Anyway, the US House of Representatives recently passed an amendment to a section of the US Code “to provide for the punishment of certain profane broadcasts, and for other purposes.” What the punishment might be is not clear. But six of the seven words made it into the amendment – only the word that rhymes with “sits”, and refers to a part of the female anatomy, was left out. Lewis Black, rapidly becoming one of my favorite comedians, delivered a scathingly funny take on the new amendment on his most recent Back in Black segment on The Daily Show. It’s not available yet, but when it’s uploaded, I’ll link to it. In the meantime, check out “Back in Black – Series Finales“, to learn why he didn’t give two shakes about the end of Sex and the City. I’m looking forward to watching his HBO special, Black on Broadway, when it airs – wait a minute – oh yeah, we DON’T GET HBO in Canada. I forgot.

:: Tonya has a new Challenge of the Week. I may try to meet 10% of it.

:: Jerry Orbach may be leaving Law & Order to join – wait for it – the 3rd spinoff series, Law & Order: Trial by Jury. When will Law & Order: Library Fines, go into production?

:: I’ve received links to a few interested videos lately. Check out the History of the BBC News site, choose 1950s, and click on “Panorama.” You’ll watch a short documentary on the annual spaghetti harvest in Switzerland, broadcast on April 1, 1957. The BBC switchboard was lit up with callers wanting to know where they could buy spaghetti trees. (via Robert.)

Another message led me to this “index of videos” page. If your vehicle has ever been stuck in snow, and another vehicle tried to tow it out of the drift, this video will make you laugh and cringe (takes a while to load – forget it if you have dialup). Some of the videos are rude, some hilarious, some offensive – you’ve been warned.

:: Robert also sent a note about this: a non-English language site (appears to be Scandinavian) for the upcoming Thunderbirds movie. (Click on the viewer to see the trailer in Quick Time.) Yep, a live action version of the 1960s Supermarionation hit by Gerry Anderson, who also created Space: 1999.

:: From Jena’s site, a link to The Crimson Room. The English translation may remind you of “All your base are belong to us.” If you solve this, let me know before I commit suicide by beating myself to death with a wet sock. So far I’ve found only 10 of the items in the room. Jena, what did I do to you to deserve this?

:: I’m not much older than the Fender Stratocaster.

I Don’t Run With Scissors, Either

Posted in What? on February 23rd 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: While chopping up a piece of tomato tonight, I sliced off a small portion of the top of my left thumb with the knife. Damn thing wouldn’t stop bleeding for about an hour. Now it’s just throbbing. Some peoples’ kids.