Tuesday, September 30, 2008

WUFA strike

There has been an awful lot of confusion regarding this WUFA strike, and I think that one of the biggest problems has been the "he said, she said," discourse that's been playing out in the media. It's to no one's best interests to have students and the public upset at any party involved in this dispute, because both sides will have to work together once a deal is met - to continue to grow the brand (the new brand) of the University of Windsor.

University of Windsor president Alan Wildeman likened it to the two sides both pulling from the same side of the cart - and in a meeting between Wildeman and the students from the school, he expressed a genuine and concerned attitude, and addressed every question from the students who had assembled with the intentions of not leaving until every question was answered.

Gord Henderson, columnist for the Windsor Star, was barking up that tree yesterday, when he wrote: A strike of mutual distruction.

Now, most of the questions asked were: are students going to get any of their money back? The short answer was 'no,' but he didn't say that in so many words. Rather, his answered was more of an assurance that everyone will be back in class, and everyone will receive the full credits and value for the courses which they have paid for.

Not only that, while there are some savings while the profs are out, there are losses (like at cafes and the bookstore) because the profs are out, and there will no doubt be costs to implementing a Back To Work protocol, so the U isn't foreseeing this as any strategy for saving funds - so they say.

The other major question was how will things be after the strike? When will due dates come up, when will exams be? What will come of the lost instructional time? When will that time be made up? Over counselling week? Over Christmas break? Over weekends? In January? The answer was unanimously, "We don't know," with the explanation that any decisions on that matter cannot be made until the strike has ended, and everyone involved has a chance to find a way to make up for the lost time. They can't do that until they've got a clear picture of how much time is lost.

Clayton Smith, a vice provost of registrarial services, encouraged anyone with ideas on how to make up for the lost time to offer suggestions, and hopefully when everyone returns, they'll have a long list of strategies from which to build their back-to-work protocol, so he says.

Anyhow, this strike is drawing long, and with any luck, the moderator will see a reason to bring the two parties back to the table to make some progress. I hope it ends soon.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Top team in the CHL

The only member of the Sting to receive any praise after last night's game is Shayne Campbell, who saved about 90 per cent of the 56 shots he faced last night.

Here are some easy ways to tell if your local team is ranked first overall by the Canadian Hockey Leauge. Are they named the Windsor Spitfires? If so, then yes, that's the best team.
Following an emotional ceremony honouring Mickey Renaud, the Spitfires played their hearts out for a sold out crowd in the final home opener at the Windsor Arena.
They simply thumped the Sarnia Sting last night - which is a revelation after the Sting and Steven Stamkos gave them so much trouble in the playoffs last year. The Spits are yet to name a captain this year after the passing of Mickey Renaud last season. They had what is being described as an emotional ceremony for him before the puck dropped.

The the Spits took it to the Sting. Outscoring them 5-0, shutting them out, and outshooting them 56 - 23, the hometeam rolled past their oposition, and it was neat to watch.

The Spits had control of the game all night, and were even dangerous on the penalty kill (which they did seven times effectively) when sophomore Ryan Ellis stripped the defenese of the puck and scored on a nifty breakaway deke. He later added a second slapshot to the score, and was the game's first star with two goals.

Remember, this is the OHL - you can't have a blowout without the other team deciding to get into a bunch of fights. Well, that was okay, too. The Spits whooped all comers. Adam Henrique nullified a power play that the Sting were on when he coaxed Appio into a fight, and then tossed him into the net, and then thumped him for a while.

Later on, there was some sort of skirmish that sent two players into the benchs - and that pissed everyone on the ice off. And the refs, too, because they then handed out 10 penalties on the play.

Sarnia's Dunning received 5 min for slashing, 5 for fighting and a game misconduct; Sarnia's Reese received 5 for fighting and a game misconduct, Windsor's Cundari (who was recently signed by the St. Louis Bluese) received 2 min. for instigating, and 5 for fighting; Windsor's Lalonde received a match penalty, O'Donnell got 5 for fighting, and a game misconduct.

And they went off the ice smiling, too.

Josh Bailey will stick with the Islanders at least until November.

That's how you can tell that your team is ranked tops in the nation. They dominate at every aspect of the game. And they still don't have Joshua Bailey back yet, who is making an impression with the NY Islanders right now. He could wind up the second line centre in New York for nine games and be returned to the Spits, or stay with the big club all season, depending on how much the Islanders love this guy. They've had their eyes on him for a long while.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Medusaceratops and Frankensteinykus

'Tiny dino a hefty discovery' says the Calgary Herald. And it's got a sweet name, Albertonykus, which, though it doesn't quite say anything what it means, but it probably adds up to Alberta Claw. Still no Medusaceratops, which would have been Medusa Face - but - still a neat name.

BTW Medusaceratops was named Albertaceratops. I'm starting to think that Alberta is getting a bit boastful with its dinosaur names. Although, at least there isn't an Albertaraptor yet (coug - Utah! - cough). Well, I don't think there's an Albertaraptor. I imagine it's just a matter of time before some paleontologist decides to pull the pin on the grenade and name another species out of the name of the province from which is came.

All of that aside,
"A dinosaur that could have come from the imagination of Dr. Seuss is being recognized as the most recent -- and smallest -- species discovered in North America.

Albertonykus borealis is, essentially, a chicken-sized anteater that roamed Alberta about 70 million years ago.

University of Calgary research assistant Nick Longrich uncovered the relatively tiny dinosaur after analyzing bones dug up near Red Deer.

The odd-looking creature had jaws shaped like needlenose pliers, an S-shaped neck, pick-like claws, bird feet and walked on its slender hind legs.

"It looks like different animals stitched together." [Why not Frankensteinykus?]

But the odd collection of limbs and claws -- seen as good for digging, but not burrowing -- has led Longrich to believe this may have been an ancient anteater of sorts that used its claws to crack open logs and feast on a variety of insects.

"It just makes no sense (otherwise)," Longrich said.

Longrich has a petrified stump of wood that bears the marks of burrowing insects -- holes left behind in the fossilized wood. With that many termites, something had to evolve to eat them, Longrich said.

At about 90 centimetres long, the Albertonykus is the smallest dinosaur found in North America.Longrich believes the animal may have been fairly agile and could hide under bushes, avoiding the big, carnivorous raptors.

A paper outlining the new species that was authored by Longrich and University of Alberta paleontologist Philip Currie, who originally found the bones, was published in the current issue of Cretaceous Research. [How do I get a subscription to this?]

The bones originally had been unearthed in 2002 at Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park [Why not Dryislandbuffalojumposaurus?] -- about 175 kilometres northeast of Calgary -- when Currie was looking for Albertosaurus bones. Among the remains for the massive raptor were some other bones that were ultimately put in a drawer at the Royal Tyrrell Museum.

Longrich stumbled upon one of the animal's pick-like claws while going through the museum's collections in the winter of 2005 and recognized it was similar to older animals found in Mongolia."

I should be responsible for naming dinosaurs. Clearly there are some people who are entirely unfit to do so. I would give dinosaurs sweet names that everyone would love - not name them after where they were unearthed from.

On that note, I should also names new car models. The names that are out now are awful. I don't want to drive a Vibe or Swift. Those names are dumb. What's next? The Nissan Heart-rate? The Suzuki Brisk? Pay me to name your cars. I'll do it and do it well.

AND continuing after the "Let's clone dinosaurs" show from the Discovery Channel last weekend, we have The Top-1o sci-fi technologies that just might happen. No. 2:
Resurrecting dinosaurs - The argument against this little feat isn’t so much about feasibility–we’re probably 15 to 20 years away from the genetic competency to clone most any living creature given a viable genetic sample–but that there’s no point in it. (Granted, finding a viable genetic sample for dinosaurs is the really hard part.) But saying we won’t do it if we could is just willful ignorance. Even if I concede that we can know every cogent fact about a creature’s biology just from the fossil record and DNA analysis, which I don’t, there’s the entire behavioral component of biology that you can only learn by working with living specimens. Besides, since when is scientific merit the sole factor in determining whether a technical challenge is undertaken? Much as I dislike Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park did have one thing going for it–acknowledging that when confronted with the possibility of breeding real, live dinosaurs, human beings just can’t help but take the chance. We’re stupid with dino love. If dinosaur breeding is possible, count on it happening.
- their words, not mine.
Alrighty, have a great day. I'll talk to ya tomorrow

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How did the Leafs look last night?

A review of the Leafers from yesterday's game

Leafs win 7-4 over Buffalo. If anything, it demonstrates that the Maple Leafs would clean up in the AHL if their competition this season were mostly players from the minors.

I've offered my comments on the Toronto Maple Leafs so this is going to be ... a lot of Maple Leafs stuff. If you don't like the Leafs, skip down and watch Norm MacDonald roasting Bob Saget! You'll be entertained for about 10 minutes with that.

First - Ron Wilson isn't as captivating as Paul Maurice. I could listen to Maurice count the street lights on his way to work and be interested. His tone, timbre and attitude were great - and there was an underpinning sense of humour that didn't have much of a chance to permeate through.

Johnny Mitchell - drafted 158th (2003).

He made some slippery moves and stood up for himself, while protecting the puck, chasing it over the blue line. He crashes the net hard, and has a goal called back. But he went in there with no fear. He was causing trouble on the fore check and was awfully aggressive and causing mischief. By that I mean, he wasn't necessarily getting under anybody's skin, but really pursuing the puck, which was yielding turnovers.

Darryl Boyce - signed in 2007
Makes heads up plays at the blue line to get the puck into the offensive zone while keeping the flow moving forward. I didn't get to see much of him.

Ryan Hollweg - acquired by trade in the off season.
Threw some fair body checks, which energized the crowd. Despite his good hustle and apparent speed, he still takes a hooking penalty. He caused a turnover that led to Moore's goal.
Hollweg is doing everything he can to keep the play going toward the net, but then he totally blew a tire in a fight with Andrew Peters. Peters dropped him so quick the camera missed it. I was surprised with how fast Hollweg is, and how much he gives to each shift he's out there. We'll see if he can keep that up.

Carlo Coliacovo - drafted 17th overall (2001)
He was taking a lot more offensive chances and sneaking from the point to score on the back door. Later on in the first, Coliacovo intercepted a clearing attempt from in front of the net, and then snapped it up into the net, through a big screen. Later on, a forecheck causes a turnover, which led to a goal. He was shooting the puck a lot - I don't recall him doing a lot defensively, but his offense was very strong last night.

Mark Bell - acquired by trade in 2007.
He's looking bigger than I remember. He's getting in front of the net, and is covering a lot of space. After a turnover at the Buffalo blueline, Bell threads it over to Devereaux for an easy tip in. He didn't get a lot of space to himself, but he was getting into high traffic areas in front of the net, so that's okay.

Ian White - drafted 101 overall in 2002
Took quick snap shots at the net when the opportunity presented itself. He makes an outstanding break out pass for Robbie Earle who stepped out of the penalty box. He was really moving the puck well around the ice.

Luke Schenn - drafted 5th overall (2008)
Steps out for his first shift around the 12:30 mark, wearing No. 2. He doesn't do anything particularly interesting. He's paired with Jeff Finger.

Jeff Finger - signed in 2008.
Finger got wiped out yet recovered and made a good play, and he drew a penalty while doing it, so double good on him. He showed that second-effort that people love so much. Finger is playing with Schenn, and making some good outlet passes, moving the puck up the ice very well.

Dominic Moore - taken on waivers (2008)
He scores in the top corner, short side, after a botched pass. The defense just let him shoot, believing that Miller could have stopped it, but nope. Hollweg caused the turnover, too. Man, there was a space the size of a hockey puck above Miller's shoulder, and it was lucky Moore was shooting a hockey puck, cause nothing else would have fit in there.

Curtis Joseph - signed in 2008.

Let a goal in and it looked like he didn't even see it. He made a quality save in front, but didn't face a lot of shots or a lot of work. He's lucky he didn't face any slap shots - those are his nemesis.

Matt Stajan - drafted 57th overall (2002).

He doesn't appear to have as much hustle as I'd like to see. Stajan slips, falls out of position, and can't make a play. He hasn't looked strong on his feet. Stajan got a break to head to the net, but he couldn't handle the puck, nor pass it, nor shoot it. But that kept the puck in the zone, and left a puck out in front for Coliacovo, who wrists it up into the net. There were about three Sabres blinding Ryan Miller. For the first two periods, Stajan wasn't contributing too much. ( I saw that he scored in the third - and I can't really comment on it. I didn't see it ).

Boyd Devereaux -

He has had some good hustle, but there's nothing new there. Bell handed him a quick pass in front which he easily tipped in over Miller's shoulder. He's showing he's got soft hands in front when necessary. He was all over the ice, chasing pucks down.

Kulemin is wearing No. 41. That's about all I saw that was noticeable about this guy.

Staffan Kronwall - drafted 285th overall (2002).

He's looking good on the point, moving the puck really well. But he's seeing limited ice time.
Kronwall blows Drew Stafford away, as the defense keeps the forecheck working, too.

Justin Pogge - drafted 90th oveall (2004).
He's in the pipes and is ready to roll. Jochen Hecht gets too close, and he takes a swipe at him to let him know he doesn't like being shot at. Pogge appears to like taking shots at the guys in front of him, always tapping at whomever is near his crease. Let's hope that doesn't become a distraction for him later on. Pogge moves across the crease very well, though. He's pretty good down low and with his latteral movement. But he seems to go down awfully early. Pogge goes down a bit early, and is a little lucky the passes across the crease aren't going through. He's following the puck with his head nicely. Pogge continues to come across the crease very quickly and does a strong job keeping rebounds close to himself.

(I didn't see the third period when Buffalo scored all those goals - so I can't comment on what happened there).

Jiri Tlusty - drafted 13th overall (2006).

After a poor pass from Blake, Tlusty trips a Sabre right away, rather than skating back hard.

Robbie Earle - drafted 187th (2004).
He takes a penalty - his footwork seems fine, but he didn't do anything particularly interesting yet. Robbie Earle makes no mistake on his breakout pass that he tucks five hole after coming out of the penalty box, though. I can't see who make sthe breakaway pass for that one, though. Ian White flared it up, and it was the perfect onside pass.

Mike Van Ryn - acquired by trade in the off season (2008)

He does a fair job tying up his guys down low, though. Van Ryn does well to challenge shooters and get in front of their efforts. Van Ryn wearing 26, did well to fight for pucks in the corner, even when he's outnumbered.

Ben Ondrus -
He's not afraid to carry the puck down the ice on the penalty kill. Ondrus kept his stick in the passing lanes during the penalty kills. Doing a fine job clearing the puck.

That's about all I've got. Sorry I missed the third period, it seemed to have a lot to see.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Piss yourself laughing

Scientists Baffled How Giant Reef Ended up in Australian Outback
Scientists have discovered that there is a giant reef on mainland Austrailia, which is surprising them, because they hadn't any idea Aust. was underwater at any time.
The reef was discovered by three Melbourne scientists in Southern Australia. The section of the reef still remaining is 20 kilometers wide and 1100 meters at it's highest point.

"If this was a small reef, it is possible the someone or something could have moved it, but this is simply too big to be moved by any means known to man," associate Professor Malcolm Wallace told Smooth Operator.

There are currently two prevailing theories as to just how the reef ended up inland.

First is that it was moved there by some kind of gigantic dinosaur that has yet to be discovered. Unofficially known as the "Bettyasaurus" after Wallace's overweight mother-in-law Betty, the dinosaur would have to stand nearly a thousand feet tall and have the strength of one hundred Godzilla's in order to move such a large piece of reef.
Yeah, probably not a real scientific discovery.

For my reader in Boston:
The first triceratops be privately purchased at auction will be unveiled in Boston, MA. There you have it.
BOSTON, Sep 22, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Museum of Science, Boston today announced that it will unveil an extremely rare dinosaur fossil for the first time to the public this fall -- a skeleton of Triceratops horridus that was auctioned at Christie's in Paris earlier this spring. According to Christie's, the fossilized Triceratops skeleton is mostly complete, making it one of the world's rarest paleontological finds. There are currently only three other largely complete Triceratops fossils on public display in the world. To present the fossil, the Museum has developed a new exhibit, Colossal Fossil: Triceratops Cliff, which will open November 15, 2008. Named after the donor's grandfather, Triceratops Cliff is the fossilized remains of a real Triceratops who lived and died over 65 million years ago. The exhibit will allow visitors to imagine Cliff's life and death in the age of the dinosaurs, as they examine evidence found in this extraordinary fossil, including large scars on its massive, three-horned skull.
I'm totally grooving to Rod Stewart right now. "Downtown train," echoing out as I tell you ...

I saw a guy today, who had totally pissed his track pants, on my way to work. He was carrying a tray of coffees from Tim Hortons, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt, believing that perhaps he'd just poured/spilled some of that coffee down his front. But no, there was the largest wet spot on his backend, too.

The worst part was that they must have been cotton sweatpants, or something, because they absorbed a tremendous amount of urine, and the stain was huge. He didn't appear embarrassed or anything - which is good. If you can't have confidence in your bladder, at least have confidence in yourself, right?

I wrote a bit more on my novel last night, but hardly enough to bother 'updating' you on it.


Leafers hit SportsNet with a preseason tilt against ... I don't even know. But it will be exciting to watch!

Yet, while I won't be watching it exclusively, as the Season Premier of Heroes should be on tonight, so I'll be going over that, too.

The two funniest things I saw this weekend - and it's what I like to call "Anti-comedy"

First, Norm MacDonald during the Roast of Bob Saget. You're in luck, the videos are on YouTube. Here they are:

The other funny thing was Don Rickles telling the Emmy's that they have terrible writers, in so many words, on stage instead of reading the teleprompter with Cathy Griffith. His defiance to reading that tripe was brilliant. It wasn't all great, but it was worth watching.

Alright, crew. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dinosaurs: Return to life

Here's the review of the Discovery Channel's "Dinosaurs: return to life"

First cloning attempt was from 1992 - by extracting DNA from mosquitoes trapped in amber. Raul Cano from California Poly technical Institute. They sterilize the amber and add liquid nitrogen. You crack open the amber, gain access to the interior of the insect, and extract the DNA. Then they pop the stuff into an embryo and slap that into an egg. Snap, crackle, pop - you've got a dinosaur.

The next few years, the experiments all failed and it was too sensitive. The DNA may have had contaminated DNA, from lips, hair, clothing - and there was a risk to amplify the wrong DNA, and not actually finding dinosaurs.

Jack Horner is in this one! In 2003 (ten years later) Horner is yanking a tyrannosaurus out of the badlands. He had to crack a thigh-bone in half to transport it, and inside the bones, a researcher discovers some weird stuff. After acid-washing the bone, they found soft tissue inside the bone. They found blood vessels in teh bone, too. They triple checked their work, and stiff found that their blood vessels were still in the bone!

Mary Schweitzer from North Carolina State, starts to look for more tissues in Montana State University collections of bones. So Horner and Schweitzer bust a bone in half and look inside for more soft tissues.

They've ruled out the cloning of dinosaurs with existing technologies Jurassic Park-style by the first commercial break. But they promise there's another way that could work out "in our lifetimes."
- - - - - - - -

Starting with a bird, and going backwards. "We could ... turn a bird into a dinosaur" - Horner.

In the 1990s, China found dinosaurs buried in a very fine ash, which showed they had retractable claws and feathers. Feathers, hollow bones, oblong eggs are all characteristics that are unique to birds, which dinosaurs invented.

They believe that birds are ancestors of the 'raptor' ancestry.

A modern bird's genes has genetic memory - so the history of dinosaurs may be locked in the DNA, already there.

We have 20,000 genes, says the thing. The number of genes that shape an animal's body plan, is much smaller than this. Changes in just one gene can alter the shape of a body - and they have mutant flies with legs for antennae and no wings. There are 8 controller genes for flies, they say.

1,000 genes control the development of all vertebrates. Small changes, thus, can have big effects. New features arise in species when genes are simply used in new ways. The same genes, just used in different ways. The gene inventory is very similar, it's just the 'choreography' that's changed.

The bird genome is basically a dinosaur genome. We just have to tweak it a little bit.

- - - - - - - -

Hans Larsen searches for the genetic changes that change dinosaur's long tails into bird's short tails. They've got to get the many vertebrae down to about eight, like in a chicken. So, he's the first guy to study the hell out of a chicken's ass. An embryo of a chicken has 16 fully formed vertebrae, after just one day of existence. The vertebrae disappear as the embryo ages.

With a list of suspect genes, he hopes to introduce proteins that will stop the disappearing. After a few months, he's found a way to get the tail to lengthen and the 'scaffolding' that supports the tail is growing, too.

So, can they grown teeth?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Because a dolphin with dorsal fins was discovered, it's believed that the genes were mutated and reactivated. They call it atavism. So someone found teeth in a chicken embryo. Were they really teeth? They find sabre shaped teeth, like alligators.

they found a chicken that was growing teeth. They put a virus in the spot in the embryo where teeth should go, and suspects that turning on this gene will give 'em teeth. The narrator seems to foreshadow that they're going to fail at this.

They've grown paired structures that resemble teeth. Birds, it suggests, have ancestral memory to make teeth. They are the same curved shape as dinosaurs, too.

Scales and hands might be in the genes, too.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Gotta turn scales into feathers - they have a silky bird - which is a weird Chinese fleecy chicken. John Fallon from the University of Wisconsin (leave it to Wisconsin). They made rudimentary feathers grow, instead of scales, on a chicken leg. It suggests, that with "modest tinkering" they could turn back the evolutionary clock, and replace the feathers will scaly skin.

Dinosaurs had hands, not wings. They're genetically similar, according to non-creationists.

Birds have three fingers in their hand, highly modified for flight. They can trace that back to the dinosaurs genetically and anatomically. Can they turn that back? They say so, but there isn't any actual coverage of a study that they could do it.

Gene sequencers are decoding the entire Genome for humans, horses, dogs, mice and chickens. Horner would use an emu genome to make a velociraptor-sized dinosaur. (I'd pick a cassowary - why make a docile big bird, when they could make a lethal sonufabitch?)

Emuasaurus - how different would it be from a true dinosaur?

Can putting a tail on an experimental embryo change its behaviour? Maybe it can - just to accommodate its new body shape.

Can they really build one, and if so, how?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Egg under a dissecting microscope. Remove existing DNA, next insert the artificial DNA into the emu egg.

Mark Westhusin says the egg would treat the infusion like sperm. Then you stick that egg into an emu, hoping it would develop and hatch. Eggs contribute molecules which dictate crucial timing. Would an emu egg provide the right stuff to help the fetus to grow properly?

A lot of trial, an unimaginable number of steps, and can't guess how long it would take to make progress in that direction. Horner thinks that it'll be done in the next 50 years. Hans Larsen thinks in 100 years, they'll retroengineer animals that will look just like the oldsters.

They could recreate any anatomy that they can see. Something that looks just like a t-rex, says Hans Larsen.

- - - - - - - - - -

I seriously doubt that they let any of these embryos carry to term, although they don't make any mention of that stuff. What a tortuous mess experimenting with living organisms must be.

I guess we'll have to stay tuned to see what more will come of it.

Dinosaurs: ressurection (2008)

First of all, the cat is fine
Good morning. Man, this strike is taking a lot out of me - I can only imagine what it must be like to be directly involved with the whole situation.

Cat sitting: the cat was fine yesterday - all things being equal, he should be fine today, too.

I'm fine. Really. I'm even expected to be fed shortly, too.

Old men telling their stories
You know it must be a slow day in the news business when, a 34-year-old UFO sighting is getting a follow-up story out of Saskatchewan.
SASKATOON -- It was 34 years ago this month when Edwin Fuhr encountered five dome-shaped objects hovering about a half-metre above his canola field.

The passage of time has done nothing to quell the 70-year-old Saskatchewan man's conviction that we are not alone in the universe. In fact, Fuhr believes his visitors are still keeping watch . . . from a distance.

"They're out there, there's no question," he said last week from his home in Langenburg, Sask., 225 kilometres east of Regina near the Manitoba border.

Dinosaurs: Resurrection

"Din0 back, yeaaah"
The Discovery Channel, 2008
f. Ryan Rogers
Twisted mutant records, (c)

It was big news back in 1993, and it wasn't necessarily new news even back then, but the Discovery Channel is still keeping the dream alive: genetically reinventing dinosaurs. On a very disturbing note, it sounds like they want to tinker with existing bird DNA, and just give the birds longer tails, hands, etc. until they have something that resembles what they think dinosaurs looked like.

Remember Alien: Resurrection, when they f-ed up all those attempts on bringing Sigorney Weaver back? I'm not so sure that this is going to make for good television, or not.

It still doesn't look right - twist the shoulders around a bit more on the next version
And shove the skull around a little, it's sticking out in the back.

The creators here probably had to put Weaver into a full-body latext suit to create a life-like body mould. Neat, eh? (Then Ryan giggles)

It appears that the show is on at 1p.m. this afternoon - I'll have a twisted, mutated, horrible review to end any suffering by then. I might even be able to update it live, with quick refreshing and simple typing on my laptop while the show is on.

It will be for all my live readers out there, who sit at their computers, constantly refreshing my page waiting for an update, instead of clicking on the "Subscribe" button on the right hand banner. (You get an update when I update - I think that's how it works).

This link here reminds me that I want to write a zombie book - perhaps when I'm done my current novel and the Choose your own adventure that's going to be my next Nanowrimo effort.

So that's a project for two years from now, gulp. I guess with that in mind, there's plenty of room to begin collecting research, data, building characters and story lines. The actual writing might be awfully fast with all of that in place, right?

On a similar note, the Choose your own adventure had a huge brainstorming session a little while back - trying to decide where the hell I was going to go with it. I was so excited to just get that thing down on paper, that I didn't really forecast where I wanted to go with it. Rest assured, there's a story that's in the works - and I hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew, but I can promise that it will be not only exciting, but a true adventure, too.

Due out November of 2010? lol.

Alright, I'll be back around 1 p.m. when the cloning dinosaurs thing comes back on the air. I'm not sure I think twisting unborn birds into bald, mutant avian versions of Edward Scissorhands is really the right thing be to airing on t.v., though.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

WUFA strike: day 4

Hey folks,

just more updates for the WUFA strike. Sorry that the content is seriously lacking these days. I spend hours trying to keep on top of this thing. It'd better be done soon - because I'm tired.

Update 08
Update 09
Update 10
Update 11

I'm going to bring back pictures of a cat I'm cat-sitting. That should spice things up ... a little.


Friday, September 19, 2008

WUFA strike

I'm still swamped with the WUFA strike.

Day 03 - update 06

Please see www.thelanceonline.blogspot.com for the latest updates.

on a side note, my fiance saw the white goose this afternoon with the flock of Canada geese, so that's good to hear. I hadn't seen him in a long while.

Also the rally that WUFA had was huge - but that didn't mean I couldn't find the hippies that showed up. They were hiding somewhere waiting for the proletariat to rise - and then they tossed their hippie gear on and hit the streets.

Play Free Bird, maaan!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Blogging for the student body

Lately, I've been pretty busy trying to keep material up on the WUFA strike for my chief responsibilities, The Lance.

So - why not link to them? If you want to know what's going on with the WUFA strike, keep checking www.thelanceonline.blogspot.com, it's also on the right hand banner of 'friends' or whatever that banner is called.

Day 01 - update 01

Day 01 - update 02

Day 02 - update 03

So there you are - all kinds of the things you wanted to know about the strike.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Trying to fit in

The goose:

So as the story goes, there was this big white goose. A common goose, the kind you'd see on a farm, if you were familiar with farms. My fiance and I saw him one day - he was large enough to be quite noticeable. The next day, I saw him lingering near a gaggle of Canada geese - trying to fit in. Of course, they didn't seem to mind him, but he stuck out like a sore thumb.

I only managed to grab these two pictures of him, and I've since not seen him at all down by the river, but he sure made me laugh. He was acting just like all the other geese, but clearly wasn't one of them. Here's the proof.

That's all old news, now.

WUFA Strike
For what's going on right now: there's a faculty strike in Windsor. All the profs are in the streets demonstrating. The contract was up in June 2008, and negotiations had been on-going up until last night, when a strike deadline was put in place.

Since then, the profs have been marching. And we've been blogging at the paper. It's the fastest way to update things regularly. We'll probably post three times today - at least. And then tomorrow, we'll have to start all over again.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I had a dream ... Magic Johnson was there.

After all that basketball the other day, I dreamt of being a member of the Lancers, but they weren't necessarily at Windsor. The school was a lot more like a highschool than a university. Anyhow, I was a rookie in my final year, a walk-on for the team, and they wanted to get me out on the court and doing my best before I graduated.

But I was awful. I missed my first free throw, and then I threw the ball sideways on my second attempt, and it landed in the stands. And all the guys on the team were trying to get me a basket by setting me up, but the ball kept bouncing off of my fingers. I was really terrible - but they were so supportive of me.

Anyhow, also in the dream I was house sitting for someone, and the house was weird, but I can't recall in what ways.

The Lance should be updated by the time you find this link, so you can look at it here. And once I get everything up and operational, there are two new videos to watch, as well. One is about eating really spicy chicken wings at Big Dicks.

The Internet at my office is stupid-slow today, and I hope the WUFA strike that's coming up won't interfere with my tech support, because that would really make my job around here much more difficult.

The Leafers are starting to make the news again - the rookie games and training camps are starting up. Then the preseason stuff is going to start airing, and it's going to be great! Then the season starts on Oct. 10 - and I'll have my game ready for everyone by then. I promise.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My centennial: Boxing Day, basketball and Bolsheviks

First off, this is my 100th post to the blog, ... you can send me all the necessary congratulations whenver you'd like.

In big news, the case that inspired my novel has had some progress.

Murder charges restored for 2 in Creba shooting

Courts Bureau

A judge has restored murder charges for two men facing trial in the Boxing Day 2005 shooting of schoolgirl Jane Creba.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Frank Marrocco issued an order today that Louis Raphael Woodcock and Tyshaun Barnett, both 21, be tried for second-degree murder.

That was the charge they originally faced, but in March, at the end of their preliminary hearing, provincial court Justice Timothy Lipson committed them for trial on the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Lipson's ruling followed that of Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer in February that overturned a decision by another provincial court judge to commit a youth, who can only be identified as JSR, to trial for second-degree murder. Nordheimer reduced the charge to manslaughter.

But in July Nordheimer's ruling was in turn overturned by the Ontario Court of Appeal, which restored JSR's second-degree murder charge.

Motions continue in JSR's trial, the first of three trials planned for the nine males accused in Creba's death. The JSR trial is expected to begin some time this month.

Creba, a 15-year-old Riverdale Collegiate student, was shot dead by a single bullet as she walked along crowded Yonge St., a block north of Dundas St., during which a wild gun battle among rivals broke out. Six other people were injured.

Another youth, identified as GC, is charged with manslaughter in her death. His trial will follow JSR's.

Among the adults, Jeremiah Valentine, 26, is charged with second-degree murder.

Andrew Smith, 23, Vincent Davis, 27, Andre Thompson, 24, and Shuan Thompson, 23, are charged with manslaughter. The adults will all be tried together, likely next year.

I'm not sure how much people are following this case these days (I'm not privy to the Toronto news media from Windsor) but I remember back when this poor girl was shot, it was the biggest story around. The path of justice is awfully slow, though. Since 2005 they've beenwaiting for this.

Windsor faculty walking out?
The big news around Windsor remains the WUFA strike that's looming. Basically, every faculty member is planning on striking by Wednesday, September 17. Nobody knows for how long they're going to strike ... but it marks a unique challenge for The Lance.

The plan is to have up-to-date coverage posted online as often as we can. Whether it's student reaction, articles on profs, progress on the talks, or - hopefully - the announcement of a new deal that's been struck, we're going to be working to ensure we can cover the developments as best as we can. All for our customers, the students. Time will tell how well this works out.

Starting Wednesday, as I suspect they're going to strike for a couple days, at leaste, we're going to be set to task to have the best coverage of the strike around.

Got to play some basketball, too
Yesterday's post was a bit of a downer, explaining how my hopeful plans for the weekend didn't work out. Well, I have good news - Sunday was an awfully good time. We had the CHNL first annual (aka inaugural) BBQ - and it was great. All the pork we could eat, stuffed with roast beef, along with buns and assorted side salads. We got to play with some of the player's kids, we got to play some silly games - and most excitingly - I got to play some basketball for the first time in about a decade.

And it took some warming up, but I got my shot back, and managed to help the team (Shelley, Ryan, Kirk and Mike) down the losers (Tony, Darrin, Jesse and ... the older guy). Some strong rebounding by the big guys down low, some sharp shooting from the point from yours truly, and the game-winner from my fiance solidified our match point!

Granted, I wasn't anything like "The Franchise" carrying the rock from the drive-way league back in the old days, but I was happy to get some touches and to make a contribution to the final score. Awesome. I need to play more b-ball, it's way too much fun.

On an awful side note:
I got a pedicure the other day. A pumice stone, and two different moisturizers later, and my feet are useless. They used to have these rough, sharp edges that were excellent at scratching my leg, shin, foot and toes with. Now they're too damned smooth to do anything.

Don't get a pedicure.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rain, failure, miscommunications and bad timing

Well last night could have been pretty amazing, but it wound up being pretty disappointing. The Jays are still making their push to get into the Wild-Card spot in the AL, but blew the game in the 8th inning.

The Lancers were supposed to win their game, crush a rushing record, and have a great homecoming, which appeared to be mired by the down-pour that finally let up around 11 p.m. last night. While Stephenson did break the record, nobody was particularly impressed 'caused the Lancers blew goat chunks all night.

The Lancers lost 34-8, and were out of the game the whole night. They couldn't put up any points on the board, as their touchdown didn't come till the end of the fourth quarter. And really, for homecoming, for bobble-head night, for Stephenson's record breaking career, and the field dedication, you would have expected the Lancers to have a better result.

You can't blame it on the weather, 'cause Guelph seemed to play just fine in the rain.
But for the fans that did show up to stand in the pouring rain for the entire game deserved a better result than that.

Stephenson, for his accomplishment, was almost ashamed to give the fans a curtain call when he broke the record. He was pulled back on the field - but his head was down. He makes mention of how awful he felt for trying to take a personal positive out of such a poor team performance.

The I was hoping to catch some of the Ictus performance and to see my man, J. Fergsuon on the drum kit, but ... they were done playing before I showed up, I guess.

Any way, I rolled up, and it clearly wasn't Ictus playing. Some heavy-metal/death-metal band prophesyzing the benefits of eating your dog and killing your family. I think that what the lyrics were. It was shit, whatever they were saying. The guy at the door said I needed a wrist band to get in, but for some damned reason they weren't selling the wrist bands at Phog Lounge. You had to walk somewhere on the other side of the downtown core. In either way, I just opted to look through the window to see if I could spot Ferguson - and the place was fucking empty. There was nobody in there. FAM Festival has some things to learn about not sending people on scavenger hunts to get into empty bars for shitty music.

Besides all of that - apparently the Ictus band was supposed to rendez vous at the Loop afterwards. I sat around until 11 but nobody had showed up, which was too bad. I was looking forward to catching up, however briefly. Admittedly, perhaps that's too early for anyone to show up at the Loop, but I've got no interest in staying out past midnight.

Frankly, last night could have been a lot of fun, but rain, failure, miscommunications and bad timing made it something a bit less than that, which is too bad for me. On a good note, I did manage to kick out a couple more pages on the novel, and that's something to hang my hat on.

Today, we've got a CNHL BBQ (where you can eat lots of pig). That should be a good time.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Novel update

Novel Update
Part One:
1 prologue
18 chapters
111 pages
64,447 words

Part Two:
6 chapters
41 pages
24,984 words

Total novel:
1 prologue
2 parts
24 chapters
151 pages
87,370 words

.. the old man is snoring.

Man, it is raining today. The weather network thinks we're going to get between 10 - 15mm, which isn't very much. I think we had that between 10 and 11 a.m. this morning. It's really coming down here.

What does this mean for football tonight? Who knows. Generally football goes on, no matter what. The only time I heard a football game was canceled was back when Hurricane Katrina took out the Saints and they had to relocate. But I don't know whether or not CIS teams are that determined.

Today is a bunch of different things for the Lancers. It's the 40th anniversary celebration of the team, it's the field dedication, it's bobble head night, and Home Coming. God willing, it's also the night Daryl Stephenson should break the CIS all time rushing record. And with a wet ball, you know that they won't be passing it nearly as much as they might if it were dry.

But - will the weather make rushing with the ball more difficult? Possibly. Should be interesting. Stephenson appears to require about another 123 yards rushing, which is a lot for one game, but if anyone can do it - it's him. And there's no better time than now.

But this weather has provided me a chance to work on the novel a bit more, which is nice. I've maybe kicked out about two pages, nothing important. But they are significant pages - parts of the story that need to be told before things get really exciting again. It's like the pressure that builds up before the climax - like when Rocky's training to beat up whomever is next to beat up. Just for Rocky, I'm going to give my protagonist a black eye - not that I give two shits about Rocky, but it's a neat whimsical promise for me to give to you.

I also found a 'publisher' for the book, so to speak. When I'm all done, you just click what kind of binding you want for the book, how many pages, how much color on the cover page, etc, and then you submit it to whoever, and they'll send you a box of books. Then you can buy them from me - cough, cough.

-- - -

The Jays are whooping the BoSox right now in the first game of a double-header. After losing last night, they've got to take a few more games from them to put a dent into their lead for the wild card spot on the AL. An exciting day in sports!

Leafs sticking to the plan (40:1 odds)

It seems that I had 7 visits from Burlington the other day. I can't imagine why someone suddenly started browsing around or what they found, but ... yeah, they were the biggest visitor of the day - and rarely does someone click around the site more than I do.

I've got over 800 visits to the site now, so thanks for that.

Here we see a few hirings for the Maple Leafs - this, again, is part of the plan. To recap: they'll make no major signings, no long-term signings, and will focus on hiring a new coaching staff, scouting staff, and front office. Simply put, Fletcher has no intentions of continuing with this job - and that means the Leafs will have to wait until they get a new GM. Fletcher's actually being very kind allowing for whomever the Leafs hire to pick up the team and start from scratch with them. They'll be able to trade and draft players as they wish, rather than having to clear out the decisions that the past GMs had made - Fletcher already taken care of all that.

The Leafs brought in Corey Hirsch (an underachieving pro goalie, who was responsible for making Peter Forsberg so famous, by allowing a shootout goal, costing Team Canada a gold medal.)

That's the most famous moment of Hirsch's career.

As for Graeme Townshend, I found this - though I'm not sure it necessarily qualifies him to be a skating coach. He's not really skating all that fast.

I don't know much about Tom Watt, but Dennis Bonvie: I think I have his rookie card back when he was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers. It was likely taken at the actual draft, because he's not wearing any gear, just the jersey, and he's certainly not on the ice - he's kinda hugging his hockey stick. Well, if I remember correctly - I haven't seen that card since 1999, probably.

Lastly, here's a report from someone who checked the odds in Vegas for the Leafs winning the Cup this season.

While some fans may scoff at the idea that Las Vegas is an accurate bell-weather of where things will go in the upcoming season, it should definitely be noted that odds makers do a LOT more research and consider things a LOT more seriously than the average Joe sports fan. There’s way more money at stake for them than there is for the people placing the bets. If they get it wrong, they’re out a lot of dough.

To that end, I found it quite noteworthy that the Leafs are sitting at 21st on the list at 40/1 odds. That puts them ahead of Tampa Bay, Edmonton, Florida, Phoenix, LA, and a few more of the also rans. If the standings were to end up along the lines of those predicted by Vegas, the Leafs would be picking 10th in the upcoming draft… which means they would actually finish AHEAD of where they did this past season.

Of course, I would disagree. The Leafs are only going to win 21 games this season. How many points they get from being losers in overtime and in the shootout ... I don't know, I'm no Nostradamus, but they're not getting 88 points this year. And the more I look at this list, the more I wonder what actual research Vegas put into this? Seriously, Tampa, Edmonton, Florida and Phoenix have all made moves to get better - and they should be. The Leafs have gone out of their way to get even worse. Vegas must know something we don't know.

In fact, I had to go back and see when that article was posted - was it two years ago? ... No, it was Sept. 12. Rather, here's what I think the Leafs are going to do this year:
[T]his Leafs team will be as bad as Nashville was when they first came out in 1998. So I'm going to call it right now - Leafs record next season will be 28-47-7. Second last in their conference, perhaps second last overall in the league. (July 15, 2008)
But fear not, I have a plan to make watching this season exciting despite the awful odds that the Leafs are going to fail 75% of the time.

Well, I leave you on that note. Lancer football tonight! It's going to be awesome - and wet, it seems.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Don't read this post today. Don't

[To start]I've tried posting something, but I can't seem to get anything to upload. I don't know why, but loading images from any hard drive seems to be impossible for me.

I've got a neat picture of that goose I was mentioning before - but I'll be damned if I can upload it to the blog. And that's discouraging, because uploading images could add a neat dimension to the blog.

[Then there were some difficulties uploading images]

Whatever - here's the only picture I could manage to post.

[Then the images I did manage to upload don't seem to be able to get posted on the blog]

Maaan, now I can't even get that to work. this is nonsense. Almost as bad as a political conversation with Matt Damon. Alright, forget it. I'm sorry I wasted your time today. Just stupid.

[I give up]

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dinosaurs and Matt Damon

A quick dinosaur search came up with lots of good stuff:

Here's a link about What's up with dinosaurs in Windsor?
(Spoiler alert - not actually Windsor, Ontario)

Most shocking on the dinosaur search was a video that addressed Matt Damon, US politics and ... somehow dinosaurs jumped into it as well.
Matt Damon, Sarah Palin - and Dinosaurs?

Basically, it looks like Damon lost his script somewhere and just started rambling. OR he's acting like an idiot - which is possible, he's a talented actor, right? I mean, someone put a camera in front of him and ... there weren't any questions or anything - he just kept going, and going. And he started to make less and less sense.

Script here:

I don't know anything about her. I don't think in eight weeks I'm going to know anything about her. But then he goes on to talk about her anyhow. It becomes clear he knows nothing about her.
I know that she was a mayor of a really, really small town. And she's governor of Alaska for less than two years. I just don't understand. I just think the pick was made for political purposes, but in terms of governance, it's a disaster. You do the actuary tables (he means actuarial life tables) and there's a 1 in 3 chance if not more, that McCain doesn't survive his first term, and then it's going to be President Palin.
It's like a really bad Disney movie. Basically, he's worried that McCain is old and also, he's Diss'n the Dis! Also, he reveals that he likes to talk about bad Disney movies - for all you stalkers, when you finally find him, you'll know what to chat about while you have him tied to a chair in your basement.
The hockey mom, "Oh, I'm just the hockey mom from Alaska," (that's an excellent impression of a hockey mom - Oscar worthy!) and she's the president and she's facing down Vladimir Putin. Using the folksy stuff she learned at the hockey rink. It's totally absurd, it's totally absurd, and I don't understand why more people aren't talking about how absurd it is. He's mad at you for not talking about it more. What's wrong with you?
It's a really terrifying possibility. The fact that we've gotten this far and we're that close to this being a reality is crazy. And he's running out of steam, and starts some serious rambling. I need to know if she really thinks that dinosaurs were here 4,000 years ago. That's an important - I want to know that, I really do, because she's going to have the nuclear codes. I want to know if she thinks that dinosaurs were here 4,000 years ago or if she banned books or tried to ban books, we can't, we can't have that.

First, the creationist comment was in response to teaching conflicting theories in schools.
In an interview Thursday, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms:

"I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum." - scienceblogs.com

Second, the book banning thing is addressed here, and dispelled as a bogus issue someone fabricated ... to be an ass, I guess.
Palin Derangement Syndrome strikes again. This time it’s hysterical librarians and their readers on the Internet disseminating a bogus list of books Gov. Sarah Palin supposedly banned in 1996. Looks like some of these library people failed reading comprehension. Take a look at the list below and you’ll find books Gov. Palin supposedly tried to ban…that hadn’t even been published yet. Example: The Harry Potter books, the first of which wasn’t published until 1998. - Michelle Malkin
Matt Damon is an idiot. He'd rather just banter about rumours he heard ... probably on The Daily Show - the source of every pundit's news, right? ... than getting an answer for himself. I mean, I figured this stuff out without sitting in front of a camera.

Don't fuck with dinosaurs, Matt. It's a slippery slope, and I will find you. Also, dinosaurs might eat your cellphones.

And someone has managed to link dinosaurs and penguins in a story together - apparently they breathed the same way.

I had some stuff on the Maple Leafs to post, too, but ... I don't think anyone cares yet, so I'll just do it some other time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

With pictures just for you

(You know who you are)
A seven-year-old Ryan makes his first dinosaur video:

Kudos to my brother for finding this link:Toronto youth pleads not guilty to teen Creba slaying

For those of you who have read even the first page and a half of my novel - it is this story that is the foundation of the book I am writing. The shooting was an awfully long time ago, and I'm surprised that it still hasn't gone to trial.

Frankly, I mention a lot of things in my novel that happened in real life - perhaps in an epilogue I can say what developed amongst all of the real things that I mention since the conception of the novel. Writing the novel at a contemporary time (Nov. 2007) seemed like a good idea at the time, but perhaps the next time I do something, it won't be as time-sensitive. I mean, everything that's happened happened ages ago. The immediacy of the novel loses some of its impact.

A lesson learned.

Also, I keep seeing a really interesting sight. There's a common goose (simple, white, common) that my fiance and I saw a few days ago while we were riding our bikes along the Detroit River. It stuck out because it was way bigger than the ducks, loons and seagulls that are common around the area. While it is a commone goose, it just seems out of place along the river, all by itself.

But in recent days, it has managed to weasle its way into a flock of Canada Geese, which is kind of odd. It has tried to pass as a Canada goose, and it just sits around with the flock, our walks around the grass - and even this morning, it was swimming around the river with a couple of the Canada geese. It just looks funny as it sits around. Perhaps I'll try and snap a picture of it on my way home this afternoon.

Any because my fiance doesn't really read the articles in my blog unless there's a picture -
A dinosaur, a slug and a penguin

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Polar Jump and Xerxes (who is beautiful)

Some of you will have seen this, but in case you haven't:

And along the lines of stuff you've probably seen before -

Alright, I've got to go to work - but perhaps I'll add more from there.

In the immortal words of Adam Crowl, "The mighty dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago last Tuesday. There were many reasons for this, and here is just one... No. 342."

Take care.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Lance is gonna be great this week

Well, I'm having another big day at The Lance .. but something's different this time. This time everything is coming together really smoothly, and it's more concerning than it is relieving, believe it or not.

All the editing is done, and I can't find anything else to change to make things clearer - but am I missing something? All the ads are in on time and in order - ready to be inserted. But are they all good? Are we missing something? Not that I can find.

Everything is done early and it's done painlessly, too. I'm not even tired yet - which is a first. Normally sitting down and reading an entire newspaper from cover-to-cover can take a bit out of you, but this time things have just gone so well.

And on the heels of all the work that goes into putting this all together, I am excited to have this one hit the stands. There's a lot of good stuff in there and it's a true demonstration that this team is going to work well together, I think. 

You can often feel that your role is isolated in this kind of business, that you've got a very small role to play in the scheme of things, but when you do it well, it really helps out with the product as a whole. And everyone who works here should be excited to know that they've done a very special job this week - the best week since I started in May.

What to expect from the Maple Leafs this year
From the (few) habitual readers of this blog, the greatest complaint that I get is the Toronto Maple Leafs coverage. From my home base in Windsor and among my circle of friends, people just don't want to read anything more about them. Or, they secretly do, but are tired of all the bad news and press surrounding the team. 

WELL - tough shit. I love the Leafs and you can expect to see a whole f-ing lot about them - and if you thought there were too much Leafs coverage BEFORE - wait till the season starts! 

(But please don't stop reading. I'll miss you.)

So for now, I did a quick search as I think in anticipation for the upcoming season, and have found some interesting thoughts from others around the Nation. (Leaf Nation!)

Some think that he's going to be traded or just not fit into the lineup. That doesn't make a lick of sense, as he was a second/third line player (and often on the first line with Mats and Antropov). He's got incredible hustle, works the penalty kill better than any other forwards the Leafs have, and is a big fellah while he's at it. He's like a more all-around version of Freddy Modin (who is functionally illiterate, for all I know - I mean, how smart do you have to be to hit the net when you shoot? He's supposed to be a major league player, and he can't hit the net? Jesus, he only had to read the Xs and Os on the chalkboard, too.)

But to be fair, I think Ponikarovski (and Stajan and Steen) are 60 point players when they're at the top of their game. I would be genuinely surprised if ever in their careers any of these players hit 70 points or even 30 goals. And don't expect them to start scoring in droves this season with Ron Wilson in charge. 

Wilson knows better than anyone, that if your team isn't talented up front with scoring, then they're going to play disciplined defense. Something that Paul Maurice was gifted at, until the Leafs broke him. See also: Felix Potvin, Ed Belfour, Curtis Joseph, Pat Burns, Pat Quinn, Mike Murphy, John Ferguson Jr., Mike Peca, Jeff O'Neill, Mike Johnson, Alyn McCauley, Bryan Berard, Jason Allison and the entire slew of players and professionals that had their careers perish on the rinks at the ACC and Maple Leaf Gardens.

And, on the topic of Leafs scoring, someone has tried to project the stats for the Leafs this year

Player    GP G    A     Pts    +/- PIM     GWG
Nik Antorpov           82      23   27   50    3      68       4
Nik Hagman            81      30   16   46    10    28           7
Alex Ponikarovsky 77        21 23    44    4      24            2
Jason Blake           82        19 24    43    -4     24           2
Matt Stajan              82        16   17    33    2      31            1
Alex Steen              80        18   15    33    -1     34            1
Mark Bell                70        15   13    28   -2     93           0
Jamal Myers          73        10   14    24    -4     87            1
Jiri Tulsty               67         11 10    21    -6     23           0
Dominic Moore       53        12 7      19    =      26            0
Mikhail Grabovski  63           6      8      14    -8   10           
Jeremy Williams    15           3      9      12    -4     6            0
Kris Newbury         20         3      8      11    -5   27            0
Ryan Hollweg         29          1      0      1     -8   37           0

(For the record, I've been trying to line these columns up, but they just won't look good no matter what I do - my condolences if you're upset about it.)

Yeah, doesn't look very good. Do I think these numbers are realistic? Well - I'll tell you what, it's been my experience that you can never predict anything even close to these numbers. It's like picking all your proline tickets at the beginning of the season - no way you're going to get 'im all right. You're not that guy who gets it right. BUT now I have an official record, and we can compare these thoughts by next April to see how close they really were. 

Also, there are only 18 game winning goals expected - meaning Kaberle, Kubina and Coliacovo are expected to make some contributions offensively, or the Leafs are planning on getting some wins from the shootouts (which I'm not expecting). If Kaberle, Kubina and Coliacovo all score a game winning goal, then that puts the team up to 21 wins, and that's right where I think they're going to land at the end of this season. 

How bad is 21 wins? Last year, the Tampa Bay Lightning had 31, the LA Kings had 32 and St. Louis Blues had 33. And those teams were totally garbage! I mean, they all whooped the Leafs, but they were still awful teams to root for. 

Right or wrong, this list does show what players the Leafs have to create offense with - and the picture is awfully bleak, wouldn't you say? It's gonna be tough, you have to admit. 

Anyhow, I don't have much else to share today - but I'm still working on the awesome idea I had to make the Maple Leafs relevant once again. I was working on it quite a bit last week, and am going to do some more on it today. It's going to be great. I'm going to spend another three weeks developing the idea fully, and then I'll have it ready to roll out for the beginning of October - and then the season can begin on the 10th! 

Until tomorrow.