Tuesday, April 20, 2010

this is just a test

Here we are, just roll your cursor over the image, and you can see a caption.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NHL 2010 playoffs | Eastern Conference picks

So, to preface again, these are not the picks of who I think will win; rather, this is who would give me the most pleasure if they won. Lots of good teams to pick from, but only a few will be my favourites for the first round.

Washington defeats Montreal
Please - who would choose to only watch Ovechkin for one round, when they could ask for two-times, three-times, or even four-times as much? No one, (except for maybe Montreal fans). Just for the sake of watching Ovechkin dominate for more games than usual, I hope Montreal takes this series deep. This way Ovechkin could possibly score 8 goals in the first round alone. Washington is outstanding, they're physical, fast, potent, deadly - they're like the Ebola virus on senior citizens. I don't care about the Montreal Canadiens, it doesn't matter what they do so long as they allow the Capitals to stomp them each period, each shift, each game. I'm looking forward to it.

Philadelphia defeats New Jersey
Most people might think - man, nobody wants to watch this series. Nobody. And I would be among them - but I don't totally dislike Philadelphia. In fact, I like the character and mentality that this team continues to carry with them for over 40 years. The Broadstreet Bullies is an awesome moniker, and somehow they've been able to carry it with them through different decades and generations of the same franchise. That's really incredible! And this year they're no more pleasant to play against than they ever were. Are they Stanley Cup favourites (as the Hockey News predicts?) no. That doesn't mean watching Chris Pronger, Scott Walker, Dan Carcillo, Scott Hartnell, Ian Laperrier, and Ray Emery basically try and break the jaw bone of any player that comes within 10 feet of them won't be awesome television.

The only thing better than watching the Flyers lay the smack-down on the unsuspecting opposition is watching them lay the smack-down on members of the New Jersey Devils. I don't like them - I don't like them at all. It's mostly because they are good - but even moreso because they're so awful to watch that people in New Jersey won't even watch them win the Stanley Cup.

Buffalo defeats Boston
Boston has faced a lot of adversity this year, they've been the subject of the wrong end of head-hits and their players have had severe concussions and even a history of broken necks. They've stuck together and suffered through losing one of their top scorers due to the salary cap in Kessel (although they've been handsomely compensated for it). I like Chara, I like Tim Thomas, I'd like to like Tuuka Raask (or however you spell that mess of vowels), and think that Bergeron is an incredible come-back story (not unlike what Gary Roberts did, and on a much lesser scale, what Erik Cole did). There are a dozen reasons to like Boston - but I really like Buffalo instead.

Buffalo has some incredible players, have a history of incredible players, but no Cups. They're a great hockey town, they've got a super coach in Lindy Ruff, and haven't been able to pull it all together in one playoff drive. They missed the playoffs the past two seasons (one because their free agents left them for more money and the other due to injuries) but they're back and they're awesome. Ryan Miller is the real deal and watching him work is like watching a magician pull rabbits, doves, and your card out of thin air. I'm rooting for the team that shows me the most magic. Boston has no magic, Buffalo has the wizard.

Pittsburgh defeats Ottawa
First of all - Ottawa is garbage. Now, I'm not saying that the Leafs aren't garbage, but I am saying that the Sens are garbage. They're no more threatening in a playoff series than a pillow is in a go-to-sleep party. I like Jason Spezza ... and maybe Volchenkov, but basically, there's nothing on that team to bother watching. The Senators playing the Penguins is like the Raptors (if they make the NBA playoffs) playing the Cavaliers. The only reason to watch is because the best player in the league is on the opposite team.

Crosby does neat stuff (I like the spin-a-rama moves that he does - Cory Perry uses them too). I don't really care much about Malkin, and I'm still astonished that M.A. Fleury was a Stanley Cup winning goaltender (although, Osgood was, too) but I like Staal, Goligoski, Gonchar, Letang, Kunitz, Guerin, and oh yeah, Mr. Alexei Ponikarovski. The Pens have a bad case of the Ponikarovski, and I think they're going to give it to Ottawa.

So those are my favourites, the teams that I'd like to see advance. My experience has been that my "favourites" are generally losers, but .. they can't all lose, can they? Let's hope not. I'm looking forward to picking the next round, too - I just don't want to have to pick a "favourite" between New Jersey, Ottawa, Montreal and Boston. Nobody wins if those teams move on.

NHL playoffs 2010 | Western Conference

Alrighty, I'm not going to pick champs (the Hockey News picked Philadelphia at the beginning of the year - the first time they haven't picked a team to repeat in almost four years!) but I am going to share my favourites - and perhaps why they're my favourites.

So ... the teams I'd like to win each series (and thusly, the teams that are nearly doomed to fail as a result).

San Jose defeats Colorado

I like a bunch of players on San Jose (and don't know any players on Colorado). I don't have any left over feelings for D'Arcy Tucker. It doesn't matter that he's even in the league anymore. He tried as a Leaf, but now that he's gone, he's gone gone. I like Rob Blake, I don't mind watching Heatley dominate, I like Marleau and think the Sharks are due. I want the Sharks to give 'er this year in the playoffs, but most importantly, I want to see Joe Thornton really start to throw his weight around. I want him to get mad, get involved, and get physical. If he doesn't do that - then I don't want to watch. ... But I'd prefer San Jose (more star players) than the Avalanche. p.s. on my honeymoon, the general manager of the hotel we stayed at in Maui was Craig Anderson (no relation, I'm sure).

Chicago defeats Nashville
While there are a few players on Nashville that I really like (Steve Sullivan and Shae Weber) I also have a big crush on Wade Belak (best personality on the Maple Leafs in years). I also am eager to see some Cal O'Reily (an old Spitfire I wrote an article on years ago for the old Windsor franchise). But ... man, time for the star power in Chicago. The two Patricks (Kane and Sharp) along with Jonathan Toewes is wicked. Plus I like their young defense-corp. This team can dominate at times, shoot like it's the wild west and gun around teams like they're standing still (just ask Vancouver from last year - they made Luongo cry). I like Chicago, and would prefer them to win (despite my personal taste for Belak and Sullivan).

Vancouver defeats Los Angeles
I know I haven't picked an upset yet, and I'm not going to start now, either. Frankly, I think the main ingredient in a Stanley Cup winning team is having players with career seasons, and overachieving supporting players. Vancouver is comprised of all these things, plus they have the only goaltender to actively win a Gold Medal (who isn't a paralympian or a woman). The Sedins have been outstanding, Alex Burrows has been outspoke... ahem, outstanding, and Luo is fantastic. I'm looking forward to seeing Vancouver get deep, and get dirty. They've got a under-sized little Tasmanian devil named Rypien, who's tremendously exciting to watch, as well. I'm looking forward to watching the Sedins dominate over the Kings.

Now, LA, take heart. You've still got a young group of talented guys, and especially Ryan Smyth, whom every good man will root for, but ... I once trusted you to carry me through a hockey pool - I stocked up on you and your players after you were the best team in the first half of the season a few years ago, and then you shit the bed, the walls, the floor, basically you shit on everything. Fuck you, Los Angeles.

Phoenix defeats Detroit
Ah, finally an upset to follow. Let's admit it, despite Detroit's (relatively) poor record this year - they were basically the Albany AHL team all season, who only played will their full roster since the Olympics (since which point they've had more success than American Idol). Detroit is the king of the west, and it'll take some team (no team has done it 8 playoff rounds and two years) to dethrone them as champions of the western conference playoffs. Is that going to be Phoenix? Well, it's time to put their incredible season, their highly regarded and lauded head coach, and their trade-deadline acquisitions to the test. They've got to get some playoff games under their belt, and if I had my way, they'd prove it by beating the reigning Western Conference champions. One word, Jobocop must return. Two words, Ilya Bryzgalov needs to put on a show (which he's completely adequate at doing:

Is he the funniest hockey player I know? ... Yes.

Alright, Eastern Conference coming soon.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lost | Everybody Love Hugo

Straight up and down - this was the best episode of the season. Shortest blog post ever! Thank you! [take a bow]

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lost | Happily ever after

Really? what was that? That episode was substandard. Most Desmond episodes are cool - this one was not cool. The complicated side-ways storyline isn't that interesting, and this episode didn't really make it more interesting, even though it tried really hard.

I just don't get it - and I've been paying very close attention. Yeah, there have been weird, far-out things up to this point ... but what's the point with it all now?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Odds and ends from Tobermory

Well - we're enjoying a nice long weekend up at the cottage, even though there have been a few rough patches. It wasn't as clean as I would have liked it to be when we first arrived - it used to be a real staple that you tidy the place up super-nice when you leave on that last day, so that it's real nice when you show up. There were still dishes in the sink, which I wasn't to excited about.

Then we've had some trouble with the water - either the water heater isn't on, it's malfunctioned, or it's broken. In any case, we have a big pot of boiling water on-hand in case we need any to shower, wash our hands, clean vegetables or do the dishes. It's not been too uncomfortable. We haven't been able to get all of the baseboards running either - which means it's cold. But there's plenty of firewood, so we use that allot during the evenings.

Our cat is happy up here, too. I wish we'd brought a camera - she's funny.

We haven't seen any wildlife, and there's nothing open in town (except the dive shop and grocery store) so it's real quiet, but that's okay. That's basically the reason we came up here. That, and to pirate our neighbours wireless Internet signal :)

I think with this time and space - I'll finish plotting out the final act of the Zombie Dinosaurs project, and then it'll be ready to start writing! That's cool.

Dinosaur claw found by worker at Harrow on the Hill

Council workmen filling in one of the borough's many potholes found a fossilized retractable claw yesterday morning and invited palaeontologists from the University of Portsmouth to inspect the specimen.

Further digging in Harrow on the Hill uncovered a metatarsal bone, shin and knee cap. The road has been sealed off indefinitely while investigations continue.

Ancient reptile boffins say it is too early to tell which dinosaur species the bones belong to, but local geologists have already dubbed the find 'Harrowsaurus'.

Norman Carr, from the Harrow Archaeological History Association, told the Observer: "Harrow is known to date back to pre-Roman times, but this astonishing discovery could yet prove the town's origins go way further.

"Harrowsaurus was most likely a carnivore by the look of that killer claw.

Fossil-aged roadrunner dinosaur uncovered
The fossils of a dinosaur, believed to be one of the smallest and most agile of its kind, have been discovered in China, according to findings recently published in the scientific journal Zootaxa.

Xixianykus zhangi, a theropod nicknamed the "roadrunner" because of its speed and perceived ability to evade predators, was discovered by an international team of scientists in Henan Province, China. The dinosaur is approximately 1.5 feet long, and likely used large claws to dig for termites and ants.

Thanks for the name, China. How on earth are we supposed to pronounce that? Xixianykus? I guess we're lucky the Polish don't name dinosaurs - they'd end up looking like: Kyzkkyzzzykyasaurus.

Looks like there had better be a good scoring week for a couple players or else no one will score 50 goals this season, and that would be disappointing. The league has already got two 100-point scorers in Sedin and Ovechkin, but will require a monster performance in the last week from Sidney Crosby to get a third in there. Crosby is 3 goals away from 50, while Ovechkin is 4 and surprise-Stamkos is tied with Ovie. So - something to watch/root for this week.