Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Here's Our Team!

Hockey Canada executives unveiled Canada's roster for men's hockey for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Steve Yzerman announced the team Wednesday, let the complaining, criticizing and whining begin. Every team has it's critics and this team is no exception, but the appointing of Scott Neidermayer as captain and Chris Pronger, Jerome Iginla and Sidney Crosby as alternatives was a no brainer.
The only player I really question is the inclusion of Patrice Bergeron instead of, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis or Mike Green. I noticed a third of the players play on a NHL team from the state of California. Let me know who you think should/shouldn't be on the team.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Advanced D'n'D- The Vampire Strikes Back!

If you're getting bored of playing with your Christmas toys or just need a break from Boxing week sales, drop by the Gas Station Theatre for a two night run of Advanced D'n'D- The Vampire Strikes Back, starting tonight. This special holiday campaign will cost you a mere $12 a night or $20 for both nights. This campaign continues with most of it's ensemble cast from the Fringe run last July, as well as the two night run in October.

Good news for fans of the D'n'D series, the 2010 Fringe Festival lottery took place a few weeks back and D'n'D will be this Summer, stay tuned!

For more details about this show and a recap of past episodes, check out their website, Advanced D'n'D.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Worst Quote Of The Year...So Far

"She was screaming at me to help get her baby out of the toilet. I didn't know what to do," Keith said, quietly. "I just walked away."

"I just walked away"...this was the story from a week ago about the Winnipeg woman who gave birth in her toilet because she didn't know she was pregnant. Her 15 year old cousin, Keith Richard heard her screams and rushed into the washroom and found her crouched over...and he just walked away, some real family spirit in that family! The real Keith Richard(s) would never turn his back on a baby!

The new mother, Heather Richard pipes in with an equally inspiring quote, "I thought I had to crap," she says. "I could feel something hard in my belly. I thought, 'Oh my God that's a big crap.' "I thought, 'What the (expletive).' I didn't know it was a baby. I thought it was my intestines".

That crap turned out to be her newborn son. It's a good thing the cops happened to be at the house to arrest her on an outstanding warrant, otherwise because of Keith's (non-) help, the baby would have died. In a follow-up article in the Winnipeg Free Press, the mother vows... "We'll Make It", which of course should inspire the nation (and all parents that should not be parents) to stand up and vow to be good responsible parents. Let's hope for the kid's sake he's not treated like crap.

Photo Of The Year...So Far!

There's not much more to say, I think the smile says it all. Have a nice day Mike Kelly, good luck with your job search and way to keep your coaching options open. I'm sure the CFL has not seen the last of Mike Kelly, since the league seems to be lax to ex (and present-day) criminals. LOL!
(Read more in the Randy Turner's Free Press column)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Jay Em - Leath L. Payne Live Debut

Jay Em - Leath L. Payne made their triumphant live debut this past Sunday at J. Foxs Freestyle Comedy Night. This local pseudo-gangsta-rap duo were the surprise hit of the evening performing 3 songs and providing more laughs than the actual comedy acts that pre- and proceeded them.

The first act of the evening was a new improv duo, 1 Foot 1, named because James Van Niekerk is one foot, one inch taller than partner Caitlin Curtis, I know improv isn't always about laughs and good story lines, but this performance provided little or no laughs and had more awkward pauses than a...ah..ah...? In improv, especially for duos, chemistry is a top priority and unfortunately there didn't seem to be a lot. Caitlin tried very hard to rescue scenes, but the lack of a compatible skill level made it difficult...and it dragged on a little too long. Maybe next time.

The other Improv troupe ("the best part...", the headliners) is the core cast of the Micro Theatre Company. The cast is made up of Liam Schumacher, Caitlin Curtis, Lucas Conway, Kya Dimaline and Erik Berg. They had their moments and despite the young age of most of the group, their experience as improver's was evident. They incorporated some weird kind of style where the members that weren't in the scene were actively writing short monologues (this style is called "Ghost Jail") that were read aloud on stage and was used as inspiration for the next scene. As I said, this was all hit and miss, but with more hits.

Squeezed in between was the highlight of the night, Jay Em - Leath L. Payne, whose identities have been shroud in mystery before this evening. What worked in their favour was that most people in the audience didn't know what to expect. Close friends have probably heard some of the songs on their MySpace page, but the question whether they would be able to reproduce their sound on stage was a challenge. Jay Em sampled their beats and music from a laptop on stage (all the music was originally recorded by both musicians), but all the vocals were live. Their music and lyrics were so over the top and a dead-on parody of this stupid genre, that you almost thought they were serious. The over-use of that annoying "auto-tune" was ridiculously funny. Songs with subject matter such as bullying, girls that like to be treated badly and religion are given an insensitive politically incorrect treatment that was laugh out loud hilarious. Hopefully next time they'll be given more time so they can perform a larger repertoire of soon to be anthems.

Here is the live recording from Jay Em-Leath L. Payne's set. It is also available on their MySpace page as well as the studio versions of these and other songs.

J. Foxs, Winnipeg, MB
December 6, 2009
1. Bullies
2. Mr. Jerk
3. Re: Demshun

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thank You Sean Lucas!

The supposed "13th man" on the final play of the 2009 Grey Cup was identified on television reports as all-star linebacker Sean Lucas, who was on the field for the first field goal attempt and not during the second and final attempt. The too-many men on the field call cost the Roughriders the Cup, but all the blame shouldn't be on one player. The coaches on the sidelines and upstairs in the spotting booth are ultimately responsible for who's on and not on the field, though each player should know which situation their responsible for. In hockey, the team is assessed a bench minor for too-many men on the ice and it's the coach that's blamed for that goof, ask Don Cherry.

Anyways, thank you Roughriders for your costly mistake. That mistake won my wife $1000 in a football pool when her ticket score matched the final score of 28-27 East! When Duval missed the first field goal attempt our hearts sank, but when we saw the flags thrown, we knew the money was back on the table.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Just In Case You're Wondering...

...An update from two recent posts, yes, the mess is gone and no, I didn't go. I refer to two recent posts, the first one where I agonized about attending my high school reunion and the other about people dumping garbage on the roads etc.

I probably blew my only opportunity to see old class mates, but I couldn't be bothered. It's too easy to avoid or ignore things if people don't whine or pester you to do something, remember kids thank your parents or friends (if you have any) who make you do things you might otherwise not do. If these people weren't around to act as your conscience you might not have bothered going to school, take music lessons, get pets, talk to girls (or anyone!) or get a job. It's important to listen to the advice of others, but sometimes it's easier to not do anything than to make your life miserable thinking about.

I know there are bigger problems in this world, so I'll be brief, the pile of wood that fell off the pick-up truck was eventually cleaned up. I don't who did it, the city or a fine upstanding citizen, but whoever did, Fort Garry and Pembina Highway thanks you. If you're wondering why I didn't clean up the mess, good question, but you wouldn't see Gordon Sinclair out there picking-up debris from the road...or would you?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Adventure Continues...!

If you attended the 2009's Fringe festival's hit, Advanced D'n'D The Next Campaign, you'll be delighted to know the adventure continues with Advanced D'n'D: The Unfinished Campaign. The quest continues on October 25th and 26th, 8:00pm at the Gas Station Theatre. Tickets are $8 for students and $10 for adults and this adventure will continue over two days, so I would assume it would be essential to go both nights or it might not make much sense.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Take Some Responsibility!

A classic episode of Winnipeg-slackerness took place last Wednesday when I looked out the window from my work (onto busy Pembina Hwy) and spotted a woman pulling pieces of wood off the road (the centre lane of three) and hauling them onto the boulevard with the help of a teenage bystander. After figuring out what was going on, I realized it was a desk or wooden bookcase that fell off the back of a truck. I glanced south down Pembina and saw a middle-age man running back towards the Subway restaurant with his pick-up truck stopped on the side of the road. He ran close enough to see whatever fell out of his truck was unsalvagable, he then turned around and ran back to his truck...he never returned to pick up his load! This begs the question, who's responsible for his mess? The back door of the pick-up truck was clearly open and I doubt he had the shelf tied down properly. Sure, people make mistakes and screw up, but how about taking some responsibility! The debris, as of Saturday night was still piled on the boulevard and I wouldn't be surprised if it's still there come Spring with months of snowfall covering it up.

I've noticed in the last few years how people don't take responsibility for their messes, and it seems no one wants to go out of their way to clean up after other people, rightfully. A trend that has been happening the last few Autumn's is the act of sweeping all their leaves onto the street, no need for a rake anymore, just use your leaf blower to blow it on someone else's lawn or on the curb. I've also seen garage bags full of leaves (and garage) left and abandoned at bus stops and public boulevards. Along Kenaston and McGillivray, often I see full bags dumped into the ditches or the side of the road, what the hell? Can you imagine the increased mess if the city decides to charge for garbage pick-up or limit the amount of garbage you can throw away. My place of work has a dumpster paid for by the owners that seems to be a dumping ground for the neighborhood contractors. Many times our dumpster has been full when it's been filled up by unauthorized idiots that will throw out drywall, sinks, plumbing, windows, televisions, stoves and concrete. The BFI company refused, on at least a couple of instances, to empty the dumpster with slabs of concrete inside.

I don't want to sound like some civic do-gooder, but can't people take at least a little responsibility for their own crap? Come on!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My High School Reunion

...My high school years flashed before me, when my friend Michael approached me at the hockey game last week and asked if I planned to attend our high school reunion. You see, my old high school is celebrating it's 50th anniversary this year and in celebration the alumni is hosting a reunion for past alumnists this weekend. There will be the usual reunion stuff; the homecoming football game followed by cocktail reception on Friday, the gala dinner on Saturday night and then a brunch the following morning. The gala dinner is at the Convention Centre and tickets are a steep $115.00! I'm cheap and I'm unsure if I wanna go anyways, 5o bucks maybe, but 115 bucks, WTF! So, unless it's an open bar (I doubt it), the price might just be the excuse I can use.

When I first heard about this event, I instantly said, "There is no way I'm going!" I hated high school, well actually, I didn't H-A-T-E high school, it's just that I didn't enjoy the experience that much, I don't have many friends I see on a regular basis from high school and I really don't care if I see most of those people for another 27 years. Will I regret it if I don't go? Maybe, I would like to first see the guest list so I could see who is attending from my graduating class, is it even worth attending if there is no one I want to see. On the school website it lists "found" alumni, the alumnists that have made it known they exist and they have approved the fact their email addresses are posted and available for all stalkers to enjoy. I have to admit, I am a tad curious...I wonder what people look like, what are people up to, who married know, the usual crap that reunions bring to mind. I didn't have any girlfriends in high school, but I had some crushes that I never acted on, even so, there isn't anyone now I must see or seek out. Possibly someone had a crush on me and I would never find out unless I went to the gala dinner, you never know. There must be people that want some closure from that period of their life and confront people from their past that made life difficult for them or people that made their life enjoyable. For me, I have nothing to prove, I didn't find fame or even fortune and I still live within walking distance of the school, but I'm kind of pleased how things have worked out since graduating. I have all my own hair, I weigh about the same as I did in grade 12, I haven't had any major breakdowns (mental and physical), I've held down employment at the same job for the past 20 years, I've somewhat overcome my fear of talking to girls and I'm a little less anti-social and bitter, but I would be a hypocritical phony if I said I loved high school.

Mike said he was phoned by the alumni committee and they wondered if he was attending (how come they're not begging me to attend?), he said he didn't originally plan on going, so he urged me to go with him and said he would if I did. He name dropped a few familiar names that are coming from out-of-town and some mutual friends that will be at the dinner. I'm agonizing whether I should go or not...I'm probably 75% sure I won't go, but I'm sometimes easily persuaded, but I'm also good at finding an excuse not to go.

Any opinions or recommendations?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oh, Those Relaxing Days Of Summer!

About a week and a half ago I finally splurged and purchased myself a laptop computer! I really had nothing to complain about with the desktop (shared), but sometimes I would have to wait til late hours into the morning to make postings for this blog, so now I have the freedom of portability and availability with the new laptop. The theory is that I'll post more often, but as you've seen in the last few weeks that hasn't been the case.

A quick update for my summer is in order:
  • Winnipeg Folk Festival- Went to the opening night to see one of my heroes (circa late 70's), Elvis Costello, who performed in Winnipeg for the first time in since 1978. This was an awesome show and performance (read my post/review) that totally contradicted my belief that a big name concert can not still thrill me. I prefer small-scale shows and can't be bothered shelling out big bucks to see aging classic rockers (Rod Stewart, AC/DC, Aerosmith etc.), but this performance was special. As for the rest of the festival, I didn't stick around, nothing else thrilled me.
  • Winnipeg Fringe Festival- This year I went to 4 performances, but they were for the same show, the Advanced D'n'D: the Next Campaign that featured Jesse and a select group of some of this citie's best improvers. Fun times, if I took the whole week off work I would have gone to all shows.
  • Two weeks at the cabin- A nice stress-free vacation away from computers, TV and work. The water was cold as hell and it would have helped to have scorching sunny days, but it was a hell of lot better than sitting at home on the computer. Went to the drive-in twice and we tried to do big city stuff like, shop (bought 2 pairs of jeans), go to the library (to use the internet) and go to a cafe (Orange Toad) that wasn't a Starbucks or Tim's.
  • Folklorama- The best thing about this summer was we didn't have a pavilion this year! Plans are on-going for next year, but this year I didn't have the rush back to the city to sweat it out 7 days in a row in a high school gym. I did go to a couple of other pavilions because I bought some passes so other planning committee members could sample Folklorama, but for some reason most people passed...this is the last time I try to do something nice! Anyways, it was enjoyable not stressing about Folklorama and I could used to having my summer's this way more often.
  • Work- Where I work summer is the time when the employees take most of their holiday time. I took 2 weeks, my boss has been away almost all of August (her kid's are high level tennis players), C was away for a month, K is off the rest of August and early September and V has been travelling and cottaging it for the whole summer. Only B hasn't taken time in July and August, but he has all of September booked off. By some weird fluke 3 of my co-workers have travelled to the Maritimes...all first timers, it's just strange!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Oh That House!

Usually I don't like to copy articles from other websites, but I thought this one might be of interest. There aren't too many TV shows I follow regularly, but I can never resist a new (or re-run) episode of House. For the past 5 seasons, Dr. Gregory House (played by Hugh Laurie) has consistantly amused us with his scathing and insensitive comments at the expense of his patients, co-workers and friends. Apart from being a great show, I was drawn in and stayed a fan of the show because of House's bitterness, dismissive comments and brillant delivery only made perfect by Hugh Laurie. The shows that have the most longivity are the ones that are blessed with a good supporting staff and even though House shook up it's cast (new team), it has still remained brilliant.

So in anticipation to the new season, here are the top ten favourite House-isms (as chosen by

“The great thing about telling somebody they’re dying is it tends to focus their priorities. You find out what matters to them. What they’re willing to die for. What they’re willing to lie for.” — from “Three Stories”

“Are you comparing me to God? I mean, it’s great, but so you know, I’ve never made a tree.” — from “Role Model”

“A secret club. What’s the secret, they’re all morons?” — from “Cursed”

“Like I said, there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team.’ There’s a ‘me,’ though, if you jumble it up.” — from “DNR”

“Everybody’s great when they’re half-dead.” — from “Eurphoria, Part 1”

“If you talk to God, you’re religious. If God talks to you, you’re psychotic.” — from “House vs. God”

“Dying people lie, too. Wish they’d worked less, been nicer, opened orphanages for kittens. If you really want to do something, you do it. You don’t save it for a sound bite.” — from “Hunting”

“Union rules. I can’t check this guy’s seeping gonorrhea this close to lunch.” — from “Autopsy”

“Go up his rear and get a smear. Which reminds me, kinda feel like a bagel.” — from “Lines in the Sand”

“Half the people I save don’t deserve a second chance.” — from “Living the Dream”

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Back Next Week!

Sorry for the lack of updates, I'm on vacation relaxing in a mystery exotic location. I will be back next week and then I'll share some photos and stories from my adventures. I had a chance to take in a movie at Manitoba's only (last?) outdoor drive-in theatre...More details later!
Now if the sun would cooperate a bit more, it would seem more exotic....!

Friday, July 24, 2009

"Quote Of The Day"

"She trusted the man because he presented himself as a Christian".
Not quite a quote, but a quote from the article that appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on Thurday July 24th.

The spacious two-bedroom apartment with gleaming hardwood floors and marble countertops seemed almost too good to be true.

And $1,200 later, the apartment Trish Wilde thought was a sure thing turned out to be nothing more than attractive photographs and broken email promises from someone she says just pretended to have space for rent.

"I'm sick about it... $1,200 is a lot to make up," she said.

Wilde's son and his girlfriend were desperate for an apartment for Sept. 1, Wilde said, as their current lease expires soon. When they saw a listing on the classified website Kijiji for a two-bedroom apartment on Grosvenor Avenue, "they jumped at it."

The ad listed an apartment for $800 per month, including utilities. The advertiser said he was a mechanical engineer who'd been transferred from Winnipeg to New Jersey, said Wilde. He said he had the keys with him, so he couldn't show the apartment in person, but sent photos of the suite instead.

Wilde said she wired $800 for the first month's rent and a $400 damage deposit to London, England, covering the costs to help out her son. The man said he'd been sent to London unexpectedly for his work, she said.

Wilde said she trusted the man because he presented himself as a Christian. She said her son and his girlfriend even sent photographs of themselves so the man could get a sense of the new tenants, at his request, and received photos the man said were of him.

But after receiving the wire transfer, the man demanded another $800 before he would send the apartment keys, said Wilde. The Grosvenor building is managed by Sussex Realty, and when Wilde and her son called to check, they learned no one with the man's name lived in the building.

"We've got to do something to stop this," Wilde said. "This guy has probably made a killing."

The alleged scam might not be the first of its kind in Winnipeg. In late April, an ad for a Kennedy Street apartment with nearly identical wording to the Grosvenor Avenue ad was flagged as a scam by a Kijiji user.

In recent months, more near-identically worded ads for apartments in St. John's, Victoria, Kamloops and Halifax were flagged as scams by Kijiji users, one as recently as Wednesday.

Sussex Realty leasing manager Heather Campbell said the low vacancy rate seems to be driving Winnipeggers to more desperate measures.

"It's unfortunate, that I think a lot of renters right now are so desperate for a suite that they are sending money to people they don't know," she said.

Campbell said people can always call property management companies to check on suites listed online, and should always submit applications and damage deposits directly to the companies, not to individual renters. Any receipt for payment should come straight from the company, she said.

Wilde said her son went to police and was told not much could be done, and that online scams happen often.

Kijiji's website says people who think they've been scammed can contact a number of groups, including RCMP, Crime Stoppers, PhoneBusters, the Competition Bureau and the Reporting Economic Crime Online website. Website users can also report ads they think are scams using a link on each page.

Two comments:

1) In this day and age, why do people still wire money to strangers, especially over-seas? Use a transaction that is accountable and recoverable. Don't people watch enough movies about scams to know better? Stupid people!

2) Okay, if you trust someone because they present themselves as Christian, this should have been the first clue to run. Wow, there are suckers born every minute!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's Time To Fringe!- Advance D'n'D Style

The armies of evil are assembling.
The forces of good have reunited.
Gather your weapons and your dice to once again witness the greatest game ever played!
The 2006 Fringe hit is back! Bigger, Bloodier, Violenter than before!

This year I promised myself I would see more than one play at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, so far I've seen two, well at least 2 episodes. J is in a play called, Advanced D'n'D The Next Campaign, an ensemble-cast improv production that promises to be a lot of fun. Personally I've never played the game, Dungeons and Dragons, nor do I have much prior knowledge to the concept and characters. Basically this is a good versus evil, but as far as the plot goes...anything can happen, because it's improv!
There are only 3 more performances of Advanced D'n'D left, so you still have time to check out this unique and very entertaining show. For information about the characters, photo and a show by show summary, be sure to check out their website,

Show times:
Thursday July 23- 7:30pm
Friday July 24- 8:00pm
Saturday July 25- 3:45pm

Winnipeg Free Press- ****
CBC Manitoba- ****
Ignite 107- ***1/2
Uptown- B+
Advanced D 'n' D: The Next Campaign
Red River Serial
Venue 6, Tom Hendry Theatre at the MTC Warehouse
Review posted: Sunday, July 19

Oh, it's on! Brandishing battleaxes and wielding warhammers, do-gooders and evil doers come to blows in Advanced D 'n' D: The Next Campaign, an improvisational comedy based on the notoriously nerdy Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game. Here's how it works. Each adventure picks up where the last show left off. Directed by the dungeon master, players' fates are determined by the Dice of Doom. A high roll is excellent. A low roll... well, these are Dice of Doom. With up to 12 characters on stage, there's many a fine warrior. Especially entertaining are the vociferous vampire Raoul, Viscount of Hexadecimal and Sir Bedlington Regal who rides his servant Kile around like a pony. On the other hand, a couple combatants seem incompetent in comedy conflict and the flow of the game is choppier than the swords the characters carry. Still, despite a few casualties, Advanced D 'n' D: The Next Campaign reigns victorious.
- Jared Story

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Could Have Met The Emperor Of Japan Right Now!

...but I'm not, I'm still in Winnipeg and not in Vancouver where the Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are spending their last day in Canada. Yes, I had the opportunity to meet royalty, I received an invitation over a month ago, but I turned it down.

Your probably wondering why I would even get considered? It's because I'm the local President of JC's and the Emperor wanted to meet select members of the community. When I received my invite, reaction from my friends, co-workers and family were a little mixed. I was told by many this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and this honour should override any financial considerations...oops, forgot to mention, I would have to pay my own way to Vancouver and wouldn't be compensated by said organization... That was strike one.

The date of the reception is today, July 13th from 4:45-5:05pm, yes, only 20 minutes! It would be $500 for airfare, probably another couple hundred for hotel and I would have the pleasure of being in the same room as the Emperor for 20 minutes!...that's strike two.

While most of my friends really encouraged me to attend (my boss even offered to pay half my airfare!), I had the impression some felt I wasn't worthy enough to meet royalty. I'm just some shmuck who frames pictures, listens and plays some music and writes stupid blogs, not someone with a respectable and "important" job that contributes anything important to this world. If you want to think about this in a Japanese Canadian historical point of view, we shouldn't be cheering and bowing to the symbol of Japan because of the internment and our upheaval from the impact of Japan attacking Pearl Harbour. I know this sounds extreme and really isn't the point, but in some ways I don't feel a great deal of connection with that makes it strike three.

In the end I felt I could save the money for something I really want to do. The days of sitting lakeside and sipping a cold one are fast approaching and I'd rather spend two weeks at the cabin than two days in Vancouver and it's got to be a lot cheaper. I'm also planning a September roadtrip to Minneapolis/St. Paul to catch a concert by the Minus 5/Baseball Project/Steve Wynn IV (I'll write about this soon on my other blog), which I'm really looking forward to!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Whoopie! It's My Birthday.

So it's my birthday, big f*cking deal, another year down , another day closer to death.
Obviously, I joke, well wasn't much different than any other day. It was my day off from work (my regular day off), so it was laundry and clean the house day. To add to the fun I made lasagna for a pot luck/Folklorama meeting in the evening. Remember those younger days when your birthday was always on your mind, when you couldn't wait until all your friends patted you on the back (...and gave you presents!) and said, "happy birthday". Back then it kind of mattered, people remembered friends birthdays and didn't rely on software or alarms on their Blackberrys or of course, the idiot's solution, Facebook. Yes, Facebook where all your "friends" are reminded of your birthdate, they have the option of wishing you happy birthday or not, even from people you may have never met or know much about.

It may sound like I'm complaining, but I'm not. I like low-key birthdays, I'm not much for attention or large gathering anyways, but it is nice to hear a happy birthday greeting from more than my immediate family. All my Facebook messages this year were from cousins (from out-of-town), relatives and friends that I see in person every once in a while. Though I had a meeting tonight, everyone wished me a happy birthday and to top it off, Sumi baked me a cake! I wish I had a camera when they surprised me with the cake, but I brought home a left-over piece. It was a yummy white cake with marshmallows and creamy white icing (my favourite, though it looks yellow in the photo) with white sprinkles. At home we indulged in some Jeannie's cake (with candles), which I love anytime of the year.

In some ways birthday's are like New Year's day, when we make promises we know we will never keep or make resolutions about things we should be doing or accomplishing. One of the ongoing promises I try to keep is keeping this and my other blog updated. I have so many excuses, like I don't have the time or I have nothing to talk about or I can't get on the computer...these are all true, but it shouldn't stop me. When I finally get my laptop computer, I envision I'll be blogging every night and posting even more music...yeah right.

DIK VAN DYKES- The Birthday Song mp3

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Final Four

It's mid-May and we're finally down to the final four teams on their quest to be the 2008-09 Stanley Cup champions. This has been one of the best playoffs so far with amazing action and last minute drama. Last round all the series went at least 6 games with two series going the full seven and in those series' weren't decided until the last few minutes and in overtime.

Round 3
Eastern Conference finals
4. Pittsburgh Penguins (eliminated: Washington and Philadelphia)
6. Carolina Hurricanes (eliminated: Boston and New Jersey)
This is a battle between the Stanley Cup finalist from last year and the Cup champs from 2006. On paper this seems like a first round match-up with the sixth place Hurricanes probably tagged as underdogs. Again if you asked me two weeks ago if I thought Carolina would be a top 4 team, I would have thought it was a joke. In my predictions from the last two rounds I didn't choose Carolina not because I didn't think they had enough talent, but because I doubted their heart and intensity...they obviously disproved my doubts. All the talent they need is in goal with 2006 Conn Smythe winner, Cam Ward performing miracles and his clutch saves at critical moments have given the Hurricanes a chance to win in every game thus far. As I said earlier, if Cam Ward is on, the Hurricanes are on.

The Penguins on the other hand are riding Sidney Crosby's rise, this guy looks like he's on a mission to prove that he's not only the MVP in this league, but also the best player on his own team. Malkin has been kind of up and down so far, but was a more noticeable presence during the Washington series, which helps. It's just that when Crosby plays well, everyone around him plays better, kind of like a player that wore number 99, but I think Crosby's intensity and willingness to battle will rise this team into the finals.
Pittsburgh in 6
Western Conference finals
2. Detroit Red Wings (eliminated Anaheim and Columbus)
4. Chicago Blackhawks (eliminated Vancouver and Calgary)
What can be said about the Wings that hasn't been said already, they are the defending champs and they play like champs. Anaheim provided the Red Wings with their most challenging test this year and last. They took Detroit to seven games only to win in the final minutes with a questionable (but legal) goal that breathed a sigh of relief to Red Wing fans everywhere. I really thought the Ducks matched the Wings shift by shift and deserved a better result. The Ducks could have been the first team in recent memory that have beaten the top two seeds in their conference.

The Hawks were the first team to advance to this round and the upstart Hawks continue to surprise and amaze with their never-quit attitude that has won them many come from behind games in the first two rounds. Though the defence has been shaky at times and Nikolai Khabibulin hasn't had to be spectacular yet, Chicago has found a way to win even when their opponents have tried to intimidate and hit the smaller Hawks. Chicago's best hope is that they don't take too many penalties and they don't trail the Wings early because Detroit will not blow leads like Vancouver did. Goaltending will be key, so Khabby better play like he did against the Wings in the Jet's last season and when he anchored Tampa Bay in their Cup victory. Though my heart is with Chicago, logic says Detroit is just too good to lose...but this year's playoffs have been anything but logical!
Chicago in 7
My series record so far: 9-3