Tuesday, November 30, 2010

F*cking filth of the earth. Dear Lord.

Now, I'm not real big into the reverence of a dead man. Pat Burns was a good man, did good for people, but let's pay our simple respects to the man and move on, and not forget the man. However, I do believe in respect for the dead, more so for the feelings of the people he or she has left behind.

This is outright filth. There are sad, filthy, despicable, ignorant, and selfish people on this planet and they really never cease to amaze me.

Seriously? Stealing hockey memorabilia? From a dead man's wife? This isn't a WTF. It's a WHAT. THE. F*CK. AT HIS FUNERAL NO LESS!


The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

After Pat Burns' funeral, someone smashed into widow's car; hockey items stolen

MONTREAL - Thieves knew exactly whose belongings they were stealing when they ransacked the car belonging to Pat Burns' widow within hours of the popular coach's funeral, police said Tuesday.

About 30 autographed hockey sweaters from Burns' personal collection and other valuables were taken in the robbery which was discovered by Burns' wife Line on Tuesday morning.

Pictures and credit cards were also taken.

"They went through his stuff," said Const. Anie Lemieux of the Montreal police, noting Burns' wallet was in the car.

"The person who left with the shirts and everything knows that this is Pat Burns' stuff."

Burns' cousin Robin, who delivered a eulogy at Monday's funeral, called the crime "deplorable."

Burns, an award-winning coach of the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils, died after a lengthy battle with cancer.

At his funeral, people remembered the gruff ex-cop as a tough but fair man who cared about his players and knew how to motivate them.

Police say they will launch a public appeal to the thieves, asking them to leave the stolen items in an agreed-upon spot where they could be recovered.



Idiotic, stupid, ridiculous people.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Awesome. Just Awesome.

Loving the hate on Lebron and gang. Even Jordan now, although I think this ad is a fake. Still pretty well done though.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Other blog spaces: IGN

I've started a brief blog section on IGN.com. It's solely for video game purposes. Truth be told, it is an AWFUL experience trying to blog there, given how slow the site is. Maybe it's just where there are so many using the site?

Anyway, I will generally just stick to blogging here, and posting the link to here over there. If you were so inclined, check it out!



Saturday, November 27, 2010

Flickr Update

I just uploaded 4 shots from my macro experimentation. I tried and tried, but came up with NOTHING I liked enough to submit to my camera club contest.

Chris's Flickr Page


Friday, November 26, 2010

Some more fun Goalie Masks, with comments!

One of my bigger hits on this blog was a post way back in the day about Awesome Goalie Masks. There's been a few around the league now, from yesteryear to this year that are pretty nifty, and pretty silly. Let's take a look.

First off, let's look at the ridiculous.

Mr Dan Bouchard. Dear God, I know it's a new thing, putting newly fanangled paint on the typically white mask, but to go Lucha-Libre? Really?

Next is the steal your soul iteration of goaltending, courtesy of Gary Bromley of the Vancouver Canucks, circa 1980-81. (Funny, I thought Kirk Mclean was the Canucks goalie from expansion through to '94... hrm...)

Ahhhh!!! Scary.

I was always a fan of Brian Hayward. Good on him to finally get a chance to play when the sharks came around in the early 90's. Great mask too! Too bad the team stank.

"Whoops! There goes another one."

Rick DiPietro the trooper.He's a proud American, that's for sure. He wears it on his sleeve... no wait, he wears it on his helmet.

Bow Brian Elliott of the Ottawa Senators goes after the kid in all of us, with his TMNT inspired helmet. Every kid loved Casey Jones. So does this big GOOF.

"I think I made a doodie in my pants"

Mike Smith's helmet screams of something out of a Heavy Metal Magazine. Lightning God of Awesome, I shall sell my soul to Gary Bromley's mask if you would make mine awesome...er!

She turned to the sky and said "Let it be so".

Creativity in any form is great and missing in much of our standard livelihoods. The fact that these fellows in one way shape or form try is worthy of at least mention. :)


... and there shall be light, dear Islanders Fans.

It's not often there is a real joy in life. We all have wonderful things in our lives, I have my wife, my cats, my family and friends, as many of you readers in blogopolis have. We cannot take away from those at all. But I'm talking more of a selfish pleasure. Something that in truth, only you truly "get" and no matter what anyone says or does, they cannot take that away from you.

It was a while ago, I believe I said to a friend, "friend, it's fun to be an Islanders fan, at least right now". I believe the Isles had just beaten the Rangers. I looked at the stats and saw the holes in the armor, the 4 goals allowed by Dipietro for the second straight game, for instance. But I looked at the game, the score, the whatever, and I said:

"Who cares? They won."

Oh how little did I know that this would become a not a mere two points in the standings, but a general treasure in the suddenly depleted Islanders Country.

Fast forward. More than a month later, the Islanders are mired (I hate the word "mired"... totally overused by uncreative sports broadcasters)... ahem. The Islanders were punchless in a 14 game losing streak. It's a Friday, a day or so past their last game, a 4-3 devastating overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. (Currently my second favorite team, boy do I know how to pick 'em) The Islanders were all over the B-J's in overtime (dear GOD... I just realized what I just said!!!) with Travis Hamonic showing, at least for one game, that he belonged. But on fateful little run back down ice, a missed assignment and boom. Let's think about next game.

I myself have become a running gag to the guys at work I think. Silly Montreal Canadiens fans. I'm a fan of Carey Price and all, but the team in front of him is still nothing more than smurfs in Red shirts. (Take all the Star Trek fun you want out of that one) Anyway, we're getting off point. A little while back, I wrote a little note on how hard it is to be an Islanders fan. It's runs like these, not just the 14 gamers, the questionable management decisions, the strange PR issues, the nutso broadcasters waiting for baseball season to save them. (Seriously? The METS?) All of these things truly make it difficult to be a fan. But in the long run...

... it's not every day a guy can get up, look at himself in the mirror, and feel awesome. For that one briefest of moments, nothing is wrong, and nobody can change that. For that one brief moment in time, the world is alright...

... and the Islanders win a game. :D

Not only do they win a game, but they do it in the funnest kind of way. a 2-nil shutout of the perennially boring New Jersey Devils. ALSO... in the grandest show of true class in a world where there is so little, Rick Dipietro turned to the people who have stuck with him through thick and thin, and thanked them genuinely. He could have simply said the usual "uh... we needed this two points.... uh... we had to pull together as a team... uh... the guys in front of me..." BLAH BLAH BLAH. He turned to his fans, and thanked them, as if they were part of his team, and he had let them down for so long that he felt he had wronged them in some way. There was no PR training, there was no "Garth Snowsheild" blocking unwanted questions and stopping unwanted answers. There was a true and genuine person, saying thank you.

Cheers to you Mr. DiPietro. Cheers to you. And...

... you are welcome. No thanks necessary. We're behind ya til the end buddy.


good links:

Lighthouse Hockey

DiPietro on ending the streak

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Should the Islanders Start Losing?

Are we too far into the season now to salvage it? Let's assume the Islanders, currently with what... 13 points? Let's assume you need 85 points to make the playoffs in the weaker eastern conference. So the Isles need to make up a whopping 72 points in 61 games. in wins, that is 36 games. That's a .600 clip. On top of all that, 85 pts is being generous. To be safe, the Isles should hit the better part of 90 pts.

Given that these are unrealistic numbers for a team currently having lost 14 straight, I think it may be time to look to next year already. With what is rumored (I haven't read too much on it yet) to be a deeper draft, a top 5 pick would certainly grant the team another blue chip prospect, or perhaps that coveted "veteran leadership" via trade. Given that signing a free agent is off the table, a trade seemingly is the only option.

I'm sure I'll hear about it from true die hards... giving up on the season already? You know what? I haven't at all. If the Islanders find that genie in the bottle and pull of the .650 plus winning percentage they need, it'll be AWFUL FUN TO WATCH. The whole "we were giving them a handi-cap would take on a whole new meaning. But given the brutal injuries to key players, the lack of development on young players, and everything else that seemingly has gone wrong this year, how is this possible save for a sold soul here and there? I'd think it might even be a couple, depending on the quality of the person.

Before all of this happens, the Isles have to get through a few games. The near equally bad Devils on Friday, and the Rangers back to back after that. Here's hoping, right?


Danny Williams To Leave Politics December 3

In a major announcement in Newfoundland Politics, Danny Williams, premier of the province since 2003, will be stepping down and leaving politics on December 3.

Here are some preliminary articles posted by various news sources:

Montreal Gazette

Vancouver Sun



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Photography... a loss of interest?

Over the past few months, I've really found myself to have burned out my desire to take photographs. Be it a lack of any real subject matter that I haven't beaten to death or a complete lack of inspiration, I have had trouble taking up my camera and shooting even the most basic of landscapes. I have really only shot photos of people lately, and their babies. Lots. Of. Babies. :P

I actually have a club competition coming up for Macro Photography. I've taken a few shots for it, but truth be told, they all look "forced". I haven't been pleased with any of them. Insects, water bottles, car hoods, pretty much anything and everything that any moron can grab a camera and shoot. I want "more", but it's intensely difficult to line that sort of thing up.

I also feel I am a little disenchanted with my Camera Club. Everyone there is fantastic, but I've noticed myself being a little bored when I've been there the first few weeks. I've never been a "I love going to class" kinda guy, I'm more into practical application. Camera club has really felt like going to class for me lately, and I think that's killing my interest in it, at least for the time being. I hope nobody in the club who may possibly be reading this takes offense to this. The club has been a great place for information and socialization for me. Some of the work I've seen come out of the club has been awe inspiring, it's just I think I am starting to wish for something different from it.

It's quite possible that I may need to take a cold turkey break from Photography as well. It seems lately that everywhere I go I take my camera, and I'm forcing shots. A little battery recharge may be in order.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fed up with out-of-control children

One of the things that comes up often in conversation these days amongst myself and friends is how different life is for teens today than it was in our day. It's not like it's that far off, we're all just turned 30-something over the past little while. But the sheer drastic difference can be called "unparalleled". While the concept of a snotty teen is nothing new, the instances of teens roaming the streets, acting out, being belligerent, are what feels like a million times worse than when I was a teen. I was snotty, sure enough, I told my folks where to go more than once. I snuck into pool bars, drank under-aged, etc. But it was more just "being a teen" than being a excessive dick.

I walk through the Village Mall (in west end St. John's, NL, Canada) on any given day, and I see literally hundreds of wayward teens, smoking outside the doors, fighting with security guards, acting like punks. I've personally witnessed drug use, alcohol abuse, and violence (all reported, I don't turn my back on such things). You can go anywhere in this city and see large groups of teens, and if you look close enough, they are doing things that they shouldn't. What I mean by shouldn't isn't spray painting CD luvs SM on a wall, they are drinking, smoking, fighting... so many awful things.

I do ask myself, what are their parents doing about this? In many cases, the parents simply don't care and wallow in their own shitty lives, the child being a by-product of excess in their own lives. White trash, I believe many of these people are called. But in some cases, as you will read about in the following article from Keith Gosse of The Telegram, are beyond just bad parenting and a non-loving environment.



This mother, who does not want to be identified, is dealing with a teenage daughter with behavioural problems and hopes to connect with other parents in the same situation.

Keith Gosse/The Telegram

Parents calling for bootcamp or lockdown facility

Teenagers and tweens can act out. Their hormones can be a problem. They are experimenting with boundaries. They are trying to find themselves and their place in the world as they transition into adulthood.

Parents who have spoken with The Telegram over the past two weeks have heard this before. They say the behavior of their children has moved beyond hormonal “acting out” and they need help to handle it.

The parents are calling for a program to assist young people who have not broken any laws, but are in desperate need of a disciplinary wake-up call.

Two examples are highlighted here. The names have been changed to protect both the parents and the children, who might suffer from undue public stigma and judgment.


Mary is 13 years old and lives in a two-parent home in Mount Pearl. She has had behavioral problems since the age of eight, her mother said, but they have rapidly become more extreme in the last year or two.

The behavior has included aggressive swearing, bullying of other children, a lack of manners and skipping school. Most recently, Mary’s mother said, her daughter has offered to expose herself on the Internet for a fee, has been picked up with two other young girls who were caught shoplifting, and she has had conversations via Facebook about scoring drugs.

Although her mother has found no physical evidence of drug use, she is convinced Mary has been using. She has locked their home computer, but Mary has found access elsewhere — most likely during the days she refuses to return home until 1 or 2 a.m.

Mary’s mother called the police on one of those days last spring. A police officer found her through a patrol of the area, but could not bring her home.

Unless a troubled youth has broken a law or is endangering them self or others at the time, the police have no right to put them in the car.

On another day, Mary’s mother videotaped one of her worst encounters with her daughter. The video was taken at 10 a.m. and — seen in the shaky images from a handheld camera held at her side — she opens her daughter’s bedroom door and asks her to get up for school.

Mary had been asked at 7:30 a.m., when the rest of the family was getting breakfast. She was told by her stepfather half an hour later, when her two younger siblings were leaving for school. She was begged a few minutes after that, before her mother had to call and say she would be late for work again because her daughter was having “one of her bad days.”

On the screen, Mary mumbles something into her bed sheets and her mother asks her again to “please get up.” Mary screams. “Get the f--k out!”

Dropping to a quiet yet audible voice level, the 13-year old adds: “I swear to God, I’d like to take a knife and stab it through one of you guys.”

Watching the video, Mary’s mother admits she slept on the couch that night.

She said she informed Child, Youth and Family Services about the incident and a social worker spoke with Mary about it. The mother feels nothing has changed in Mary’s behavior since the incident.

“It’s hard to recognize it from that (video). We do share a bond. We can make each other laugh and she does tell me a lot that goes on with her friends,” she said. “My heart breaks for her.”


John is 12 years old. He lives in Goulds in a single, working-parent family. His mother has been raising him and his two older siblings since he was two.

The family moved to St. John’s to be with their extended family, coming from what John’s mother describes as a generally unsafe neighborhood in another province.

“We were in a 17-floor building and the place was just rampant with people,” she said. “There was a lot of drugs, a lot of guns.”

She said the change in location has not helped her keep all of that from her kids.

She admits she has not seen John with any drugs, but said she has found a vanilla extract bottle made into a homemade pipe after coming home from work one day.

“My son smokes pot. I don’t know what else he does, but he was talking about the frost on the mushrooms one day there — and he’s 12. I’m scared to death for him,” she said.

“I never know where he is. Every time he walks out I ask him where he’s going and I’m promptly told to go f--k myself.”

On the day John’s mother spoke with The Telegram, he came to her workplace in the middle of the day asking for money. Told he could not have any and to go back to school, he ranted and swore, storming off and leaving his mother to ashamedly apologize to her co-workers.

Like Mary, John is having problems whenever he is in class.

“They talk to him and they talk to him and then they suspend him,” his mother said. “And he’s a smart kid. That’s what kills me.”

His mother went to Child, Youth and Family Services for help in August 2009. A social worker spoke with the 12-year-old and his siblings. They spoke with John’s mother.

“If it was a problem with my parenting, I think my other two would be having problems, too,” she said.

Youth services, mental health

In the case of both Mary and John, their parents’ first call when things started to get out of hand was to the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services (CYFS).

The department is mandated mainly for child protection — where there is evidence or risk of parents or guardians harming their child. For this purpose, CYFS operates eight group homes in the province for at-risk youth taken from their homes and unable to be placed with relatives or in another type of residential care situation.

There are also group homes for young people who have broken the law, falling under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and are between the ages of 12 and 18.

If, at the age of 16, there is no parent or guardian willing to provide care for a youth, the teenagers can sign a Youth Services Agreement with CYFS and receive assistance in finding housing and educational programs.

Outside of these cases — youth threatened by their parents, that have broken the law or have been tossed out at 16 — CYFS will refer families to non-profit organizations and/or the Department of Health and Community Services.

Mary and John have been referred to several outside providers of programs for troubled youth, including anti-drug seminars, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Janeway Family Centre, Choices for Youth and Waypoints supportive programming.

Both mothers say nothing has helped.

John’s mother has asked about having him evaluated for any possibility of mental illness, considering his sometimes wild mood swings. Mental illness would mean other programs that may have a positive effect.

She has been told, and the Department of Health has confirmed, it will be up to 18 months before he will get in to see a specialist and have any diagnosis.

Mary has seen a psychiatrist. Her mother has been told her daughter has ADHD, but does not believe it explains all of Mary’s behaviour, especially considering it has continued through the use of prescribed medications.

Mary’s mother is waiting for a re-evaluation of the diagnosis. Barring a mental health crisis, her daughter will be almost 15 by the time she sees a specialist to have it completed.

Alternate proposal

Both the RNC and the RCMP say they work closely with Child, Youth and Family Services and families in times of serious incident or crisis, but they ask that parents not contact police for “informal intervention” with youth.

“It is too often used by parents as a primary parenting tool instead of having the parents do it right themselves,” said RCMP Sgt. Boyd Merrill.

“I know you can’t send them to jail, but I think there should be some kind of a lockdown facility where you can send them for a week or two weeks,” John’s mother said, adding it might be the wake-up call the youth needs.

Mary’s mother suggested the program could take troubled youth behind the scenes of the justice system, with a tour of the lock-up and a talk from a judge, in combination with a multi-day “bootcamp” program.

“Ideally, in the long-term, what I see is Child, Youth and Family Services and the RNC coming together to do some kind of program, something to be proactive instead of reactive.”

As another option, there are boarding schools that are specialized in dealing with troubled youth and desperate parents, but none are in this province.

For now, Mary’s mother is trying to connect with other parents of troubled teens. She has started an email address (newfoundlandteenoutofcontrol@hotmail.com), a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, under “scaredforteens.”

“I just wonder how many parents are out there that are afraid of getting the call at 3 o’clock in the morning that their child is dead or that they’ve overdosed,” she said. “Where do you go? Like, what do you do?”


Is a bootcamp for troubled teens a good idea? I do. I'm not a parent yet, so I will be honest in saying that I can't speak from experience. I've dated women with troubled children, but they were so young that they could likely be saved before it becomes a true issue. Once again though, this was only brief, so I can't really say I've got experience in this sort of thing. I do know what I don't like though. I do not like seeing so many teens with seemingly ZERO guidance. I have personally heard parents say they can't control their kids and have given up (one of my neighbor's is brutal for this) but to me, given that they are THEIR CHILDREN, doesn't that BY DEFAULT mean you never give up? You always try, no matter what?


Monday, November 22, 2010

Vanquish: A Possible Game of the Year Candidate?

I've recently gotten my hands on a copy of Assassins Creed Brotherhood, which, like every other AC game, has monopolized my time when it comes to gaming. Because of this, games such as Rock Band 3, Batman Arkham Asylum, GOTY Edition, NHL 11, Castlevania Lord of Shadows, and Vanquish sit on my shelf, gathering dust. This happens a lot actually. I'll get into a game and others will tend to vanish from my conscience until I stumble upon them in a random gaming urge.

Anyway, tonight one of those urges hit me. I was in search of a 15pt achievement, which would have given me exactly 55555 Gamerscore. Nothing special, just something neat. AC Brotherhood doesn't have a 15 pointer, but Vanquish was littered with them. So, for the first time in a week I pull AC:B out of the system and load up Vanquish. I forgot the reason why I stopped playing last time, as a GIGANTIC Boss Robot had fried my brains with some sort of "Cut the World in Half" laser/flamethrower.

BTW: It was an awesome death. :)

Anyway, I go about trying to figure our how to kill the darned thing. It wasn't horribly difficult to figure out. All "glowy" things die, then the robot dies. Go team! Basic stuff, really. So I start filling this thing with as much hot lead as my little guns can muster (please hold comments here :P) and before I knew it, I got a 20pt achievement for tearing the robo beastie a new one. OOPS! There goes my 55555. So I continue on, only to realize that this is easily the most fun I'd had in a game in I don't know how long! An hour had passed before I truly realized what was going on! Go team, AGAIN! :D

Vanquish is one of the few, one of the proud, immersive gaming experiences that while not "unique" (see my last post with info on Vanquish) it most certainly fills the bill of what a game should be: DAMN FUN. There's nothing like screaming around with your jet boosts, back flipping out and crushing a Geth ((AHEM)) robot skull, flipping into AP SLOWMODE and headshotting 3 other robots and slowing down some behind a barrier to light up a cigarette and throw it at the enfeebled or dead carcasses left in your wake. All that and you still can shoot, as it seems that "No Smoking" is something that is still happening in this future and is programmed into all robots good and bad. The robots go after the cigarette like a moth to the flame, forgetting you ever existed! So, you then get to kill these fellows too. Ahhhh, the fun.

The game is fast, furious, and easy to play, with a lot going on on screen and enough control to make sure you know it's you doing it. Amazingly done, Sega. This game gets the nod for at LEAST surprise game of the year, and quite possibly Game of the Year from lil ol' me.

Now lets not take away from Assassin's Creed Brotherhood! It's a load of fun, but it's been done before. A well realized world, very beautiful environments and character movements and models that all game should really wish to become. The sad part of this is: this is essentially identical to what I thought about AC 2. This is a part of this year's fad of taking a game engine and design that worked, do minor tweaks, and make a whole new game of it. See: Fallout New Vegas (Bleh), Star Wars: Force Unleashed II, NHL11, Rock Band 3, and Dead Rising 2. All these wonderful and fine games were great, when they were first released 2 to 4 years ago. While some work really well, like NHL 11 and Dead Rising 2, others like Fallout New Vegas were really tough to get though because they didn't fix all the bugs from the old game, and seemingly added more. :S Back to AC:B though, check it out on at least a rental. It's nothing new, but vavava voom! Damn does it look great.

My dryer is almost done and I gotta grab some sleep. But I'll be back soon with some more wondrous chat about my stinker team the Islanders, and more on the great games I'm playing now. Until then...

... g'nite folks!


Islanders and the 7th Woman

Cheers to the 7th Woman (for whom I still have no idea what her real name is!!) for sticking to her guns and being positive. Through the devastating slide, 13 long now I believe, she's always been what I've been saying to be the past few Islanders posts.

She's been a fan and positive. Go 7th Woman.

Here's a link and a copy and paste to her blog about Pierre McGuire and his thoughts on the team.


WOW! Say one thing on Twitter that Pierre McGuire said some positive things about the NY Islanders and everyone want s to know WHAT! Geeze guys, don’t you have XM Home Ice? ;o)

So while driving to work this morning listening to my favorite show with @HTMBigCountry and Rossi, Pierre McGuire gave an accurate account of the Islanders. He said that without Streit and Okposo what did we expect. Seriously, the Isles are down three of their top defense and now may be without Mottau for awhile. He also said that a good man lost his job and it was a shame, but that’s what coach’s sign up for in the NHL. They know that is what happens when things go wrong on the ice; they are the ones who end up unemployed. Shame, but everyone knows the drill.

Now while McGuire DID say some negative things about drafting and “management blunders,” I’m pretty sure he’s not worried about an Islanders task force placing a hit on him. No, he was honest in his accounts and echoed past history that we have all discussed as business decisions with negative results.

Thing is, that even with this devastating losing streak, the tide is turning. It’s a matter of keeping the young, growing talent in the right frame of mind as they get through their growing pains. He said look out for this team next year, the year after and the year after that. They are going to be GOOD. And if they continue to make the right player decisions, such as sending Nino back to juniors, they will be really good.

I DM'ed Shawn from XM Home Ice’s Hockey This Morning to see if they have the audio clip of McGuire’s morning appearance, if he posts it on Facebook or the like, I will link it.

All I’m trying to say is that as bad as it is to be an Islander fan right now, we can’t throw in the towel and walk away. “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Pierre said. But when it was built, it was pretty damn impressive.


Stick to your guns, Miss 7th. I'm a big fan.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Change for the New York Islanders

This week past, I wrote an article about how hard it is to be a New York Islanders fan. Thank you to the folks who've taken the time to read and not laugh or poke fun at me for being an Isles fan. (Darrell, you are an acception, joke away!) It's really true as well, the Islanders stink, they've been a stinker for years now, with jaded superstars and unfulfilling rookies and really BAD luck. All of it though, completely, all of it is crap. There are a million excuses to be bad. There is one reason to be good. The team as a whole, from management to players to even stick boys know this.

Thinking of all the pain, angst, and indignity this franchise has endured for many years, I think personally that change is required. We're not talking a change of GM (people are picking on Garth Snow simply because it's easy, not because it's right), or a change of ownership (people are ridiculously calling for Charles Wang's head... dear god talk about biting the hand that feeds) but that's just small thinking really. Seriously though, Garth has managed to bring in some big talent with no reason for them to bother coming. Charles saved the franchise, period. Let's take the bulls eye off of these two.

The change I'm talking about?

Be proud to be a fan. You don't have to be wasting money on going to a game. Wang has already said the team could go to the finals and he'd still lose money. Wear your jersey. Your cap. Scream at Rangers fans. Laugh at Maple Leafs fans. (Yeah, we're still worse than even the damn Leafs, but I don't care). The phrase "change the culture" is often used, to the point of cliché these days, so let's actually make that change in culture ourselves. Garth Snow and Charles Wang are doing their best with a real bad situation. Now it's our turn, as fans, to do our part. We are all Islanders, par of the family and such. Here in Newfoundland, I see Islanders caps, jerseys, and all kinds of stuff with Islanders written on it. People who are fans here ARE FANS. When the Bridgeport Sound Tigers came to town a few years back for a couple of dates with the Maple Leafs farm club (they have since left us) half the crowd was wearing Islanders gear. It was amazing. (I still have my DiPietro signed jersey!!!) We are thousands of miles away, and we are loud and proud. I wish some of us could actually get to a game "at the old barn". It's been a dream of mine since I was old enough to care. Sadly, the money isn't there and likely never will be. :(

I'm calling out to all Islanders twitter-shitters. @7thWoman, @CurtisP11, @IslesRM, @ChrisBottaNHL, @NYIBlogBox,@KatieStrangNYI, @ anyone else. Let's stop telling these people what to do and concentrate more on what we can do. Shout it loud with me. CHANGE. We can't expect the Islanders to do it themselves. We've waited 17 years, they obviously can't. Let's do our part.

None of us knows what the Islanders should be doing for change. If we really did know what to do, we'd be the ones running the team, not them. We do know what we can do. Say:



Scream it loud. Be proud. Whether they win or lose, just be a fan. Show passion. Scream for that one goal a game and maybe, the team might be motivated enough by that to score a second, and a third. Maybe a player on another team won't groan when he has to play for them via trade. Maybe an existing player won't leave because it's better for his career. Let this team know you haven't abandoned them. It's hard, but you can do it. You can even do it without spending money, as you all have jerseys, hats, flags, etc. Turn Long Island orange and blue. Make the Island the team. No excuses.

On twitter the other day, I suggested a boycott of tonight's game against the Panthers in support of Chris Botta. I do think that the team made a mistake in doing what they did, and should pay for that. Perhaps this is not the way though, as rumblings suggest the team is paying dividends for this across the nation anyway from all the bad PR. A good way to get Chris back in the building is to buy his ticket for him and get him there. Simple. He may not get the interviews, but he can comment on the play of the team itself. I'd buy the guy a ticket.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Weight loss, Update #4.

It's been a tough go of things, really. I'm truly seeing how picky an eater I am. I really dislike many healthy foods and like the bad foods far too much. I've stuck to my calorie goals so far and I've kept the 4 lbs off. I am now working out 5 times a week with a great new program, EA Active on my Wii. It's tough, and there are a LOT of lunges and lunge like activities, which I'm finding very difficult on my knees. Anyway, I'm doing ok so far, as difficult as it's been.

I'd recommend EA ACtive to anyone looking for SOMETHING, ANYTHING to get their asses off the couch. It's easy and accessible to start, and if you can manage to get through the exercises, it feels very rewarding.

I'll continue to update this.


A further to "It's Hard to be an Islanders fan".

Here is a blog article by Greg Wyshynski.


The team is now alienating it's fans moreso. :( Botta was a go to guy for readers like me outside of the New York area. Now I have to read the emotional, frustration driven articles by people who think they know better... ie: I'm essentially cut off. Maybe Canadian fans can convince TSN that the Isles are worth covering.




It's really hard being an Islanders fan.

A Blog post by Chris Dixon.

You know those relationships we've all had at one point or another, the ones where the person you fall madly in love with at first site but after about 6 months you realize that the person is absolutely bat-shit crazy? Well, let me tell ya.

I started out as a New York Islanders fan waaaaaaay back in 1984. (Cue the Doctor Who music kiddies). They had just won their 4th cup recently, and my earliest memory of the team was being very pleased with myself for having placed the second part of the two part sticker together with the first one in the O-Pee-Chee sticker book for that year. Put yourself in my shoes for a minute with the joy of going through that pack of stickers, after removing the bubble gum. "Thomas Steen-Winnipeg Jets, got it, Gretzky top point getter, got it, PART TWO OF ISLANDERS TEAM PICTURE?!?!?!? SCORE!". The true beginnings of my fandom were something I believe I mentioned in this blog before, with the old NHL rod hockey board. Isles, Bruins, big brother always wanting to be the big bad Bruins because they had cool black jerseys, and me being the Isles, and it sorta stuck from there. EXPECIALLY after getting part 2 of that team sticker.

Fast forward to my teenage years. Me, the Islanders fan, the red necked school I went to filled with Canadiens and Maple Leafs fans. I was an outsider to begin with, let alone getting punched and poked at every time the Islanders lost a game. I vividly remember the "stick it in your face" feeling i got when Dave Volek scored to beat Pittsburgh in 93. A youth's worth of bullying all gone away for that briefest of moments, only to be taken away again a few weeks later by the eventual cup champs, the Montreal Canadiens.

Fast Forward further still to today. The Islanders tease us with a decent start. People in the know knew it wouldn't last, but it was, for the faintest of short moments, fun to be an Islanders fan again. Now look at the team. Shambles. News media saying the GM Garth Snow is in over his head. People BEGGING the owner Charles Wang to sell the team. All the young players are learning how to lose, not to work together and win. They've even essentially banned their biggest fan, Chris Botta, from reporting on the team. This is so bad we're falling into Phoenix Coyotes territory.

What is there that can be done? Who's to know. These are professionals we're talking about. I won't question their professionalism or anything, because I simply only hear what is in the media these days. And I see the losses piling up. (Ahem.. sorry... had to stick that in there). There's no wonder people don't go to the games anymore. The team is trapped in their building, trapped by the youth movement, trapped by the town, and trapped within their own inability to even pull out a simple win. Not even a win streak, just a win.

Please, once again, fellow reader. Put yourself in my shoes. I sit here today, not knowing what to say or do. I get laughably frustrated by other fans clammering to the point of saying they know better and ignorantly saying "this is what they should do". When one distills it down to the most simple of things, what can a fan do to make it all better? What can they say, think, or feel? For me, it's just to be a fan. To still be in the lineup to watch a game, to still watch patiently at the log score refreshing on the internet, begging and praying that this will be that fateful win. I'll still do it after loss 13, 14, and 15. Loyalty is it's own virtue, and I am loyal to the New York Islanders, to a fault.

But boy, is it hard being a fan of the New York Islanders.

All I have to say to the team, from upper management right down to the stick boys, is simple.


Please make it better. You are the only ones who can do it. I've been there for you through thick and thin. I always will be. Now it's your turn. Please make it easier to be a fan of the New York Islanders.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ok, wierd. Canned Unicorn Meat? Hide your impressionable daughters!!!!


Right from the page. It's a great source of Sparkles!!!


No foolin' - Unicorn meat is real!

Excellent source of sparkles! Rick Bite

Unicorns, as we all know, frolic all over the world, pooping rainbows and marshmallows wherever they go. What you don't know is that when unicorns reach the end of their lifespan, they are drawn to County Meath, Ireland. The Sisters at Radiant Farms have dedicated their lives to nursing these elegant creatures through their final days. Taking a cue from the Kobe beef industry, they massage each unicorn's coat with Guinness daily and fatten them on a diet comprised entirely of candy corn. As the unicorn ages, its meat becomes fatty and marbled and the living bone in the horn loses density in a process much like osteoporosis. The horn's outer layer of keratin begins to develop a flavor very similar to candied almonds. Blending the crushed unicorn horn into the meat adds delightful, crispy flavor notes in each bite. We are confident you will find a world of bewilderment in every mouthful of scrumptious unicorn meat.

Tasty Magical Beast Diagram Parts

Unfortunately, due to restrictions on the importation of mythical processed meatstuff, we are unable to bring you Canned Unicorn Meat in the way the Sisters of Radiant Farms intended. When you open your can, you will find one tiny unicorn which has been appropriately sliced into its main cuts of meat. Simply use your Growth Ray to re-embiggen the unicorn before skinning it and processing its flesh. Or if you're lazy, just bring it to your local Mad Scientist-Butcher. He'll know what to do.

Mini Unicorn

Radiant Farms Canned Unicorn Meat Specifications

  • 14 ounces of delicious unicorn meat, canned for your convenience
  • Imported from a small independent cannery in County Meath, Ireland
  • Crunchy horn bits in every bite - an excellent source of Calcium
  • Tastes like rotisserie chicken but with a hint of marshmallow sweetness
  • Easily spreadable for sandwiches, hors d'oeuvres, and more
  • Sparkly meat lends the unmistakable air of class and sophistication to your parties
  • Unlike other meats, unicorn fat is polyunsaturated and lowers your LDL cholesterol
  • Not yet approved by the USDA or FDA, but the nuns have eaten it for centuries and they're healthy as horses
  • Okay, for real: you can't eat this. It's a dismembered stuffed unicorn in a can.
  • The bottom of the tin is easily removable to gain access to the mini dead unicorn inside. No can opener needed!



Monday, November 15, 2010

Scott Gordon canned, Islanders in disarray, my own thoughts.

This morning something that shouldn't have been a surprise but was to many happened in Scott Gordon being fired as head coach of the New York Islanders. He gets a cushy office job passing apple juice and coffee out to Garth Snow and Charles Wang, so they were nice enough to keep him employed through Christmas. ((ahem))

While there will be many pundits speaking their mind as to whether or not he deserved it, I'm trying to look at this in a more "devils advocate" role. Me? I would like to think he's grown with the team, and it may be a mistake to have taken him out of this role. However, it's his job to take his team and make a cohesive unit on the ice. I've spoken numerous times in this blog as to my thoughts on this. I felt like I was watching Pee Wee Hockey on many nights in October, even when the team was "competitive". Passing wasn't sharp. Puck control was non-existent. The power play was something to behold, but everything else was a mess. I'm guessing the goalie coach is going to get the gank next. Rick Dipietro just isn't ready for the big time yet, based on his performance alone. His rebound control, puck handling skills, and lateral movement have been nothing short of amateurish since the start of the season, from what little I've seen. Granted, many nights he was left alone (I'm starting to concede that Bruno Gervais might not be as gifted as I originally thought) but all the same, Dipietro used to steal games a couple years ago. Now, he looks like Joey MacDonald!

Do I know what this team needs? No. I am not a hockey whiz, just a fan. I read SOME other people's thoughts and they are so sure that they know all about what is going on that it literally makes me laugh. If they are so smart, why aren't they running the team? I'd like to see the following things:

1. Teach the team how to pass. Puck control, from a fan's vantage point, is terrible.
2. Softer pads for Dipietro. Possibly will dull rebounds and be easier on his knees. :P

Things I dare not comment on because I do not watch every game, but hear people whine about it alot:

1. Veteran leadership and import talent.
2. Garth Snow being canned.
3. Goaltending help.

There are a lot of Islanders bloggers out there who, because they watch a lot of hockey, thinkt hey know what the team needs. From you folks, if you do read this, all they need from you is support. Stop whining. I'm behind this team, no matter what, through thick and thin (Even though this is an incredibly "thin" time! WHOA!). If the islanders lose every game til 2015 when they may move, I'll still watch and cheer for every guy as hard and as loud as when they were winning. Yes, it gets frustrating. But as a real fan of the team, I simply do not care. They are my team. They've been so since 1984. No matter what, they always will be.

For any of you who are interested in Islanders hockey, there are two folks you should follow on Twitter or read their blogs. Chris Botta (@ChrisBottaNHL ) is the former PR Director of the Islanders and while he can be a little scathing at times, is the true voice of the Islanders for fans who really want to know. When a team is this down in the dumps, it's hard not to be scathing. His site, www.islanderspointblank.com, gets more media creds than the "official" Islanders Beat writer, Katie Strang. A second to follow is the 7th Woman (@7thWoman). Her blog, truthfully, I have not read. I read every tweet by her though. She speaks with a passion for the team that I don't think I have ever seen before. The team should seriously consider paying her, as she is easily the BEST PR spokesperson for the team at present time. If you want to hear REAL hockey knowledge, read Pierre McGuire, Bob McKenzie, and Darren Dreger from TSN. Their blogs and thoughts can be found on www.tsn.ca.

I am a fan. Simple. I follow the Islanders, I jump when they win, frown when they lose, but will always follow. I am no hockey whiz, but I can give an opinion here and there that may turn some folks off or make them read even more. I don't pretend to think I know the game. I do love it though.

Hey Isles. Some of you on twitter, you know, @RobSchremp, @grabs40, @MMoulson, I'm behind ya! Pass it on to your non-digital teammates.


Vanquish and Rock Band 3 for 360 are 9 shades of AWESOME

As mentioned in my last post, I picked up a copy of Rock Band 3 for 360. I also got my hands on what could be the sleeper hit of the year, Vanquish. I picked up Vanquish completely sight unseen.

Now, in previous attempts at getting well rated titles completely sight unseen I've had some questionable experiences. IE: Darkstalkers. Some hailed this title as the next coming of Christ it seemed, with amazing puzzles and fantastic graphics. To me, it was a pretty Zelda/God of War cop-off, with boring and pointless puzzles and repetitive action. Rather... annoying. Now Vanquish, on the other hand, has me feeling like I should buy a lottery ticket. What a find!

Vanquish is a game set in the future, and you play a guy in a fantastical battle suit who is running through a war torn zone littered with evil robots that need to be destroyed because, well, they do. The villians in the future seemingly have lost their creativity, as they are from where else? Russia. Didn't the cold war end already? Ahem... anyway, there are no merits for story in this game. It's servicable enough, but hey, who gets an action game for a good story? It's all about the gameplay. This title is fast and furious, with excellent mechanics and easy control. There is a dash that is absolutely fantastic. Use it too long and your suit overheats, but it's not an annoyingly short time period or anything. When you take too many hits and your life is short, you go into AR mode, where your suit goes into repair mode and you get auto shot on the baddies, and everything goes into slow-mo. As cheesy as it seems, for the pace of the game, it's a fantastic addition.

Back to the story, there is a little bit of Mass Effect, a little bit of Gears of War, and some Robotech in there as well. The robots you kill are so reminiscent of the Geth in Mass Effect that one might even consider this game a prequel to Mass Effect itself. The world is wartorn and very similar to Jacento in Gears of War, with plenty of destroyed buildings, ramps to run around on, and lots of chest high walls to hide behind. The big difference is that this world is very bright, where as Jacinto in GoW is very dirty and brown looking, almost to the point of depression. Your squad mates are also very similar to the COGS in gears, shooting lots of bullets, but not hitting very much. The Robotic suit you wear is very similar to that of the Bike suits in 3rd generation Robotech (the one, if you recall the same as I do, that seemingly only had like 6 episodes to it).

The boss fights of this game, similar to many boss fights of recent games, are nothing short of EPIC. Gigantic, gargantuan creatures, not capable of fitting on the largest of big screen tv's. They present a challenge, but are nicely able to be defeated.

All in all, anyone who liked Gears of War should REALLY check this title out. It has Mass Effect shoe-horned into it, but that's not a bad thing. It controls well and looks fantastic. The audio is right on par with the best titles released in the past year, and all in all, I do hope that this gets a sequel.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Weight loss, Update #3.

So I did a little test yesterday, in that I walked about 5 kilometers (quite briskly I might add), and then ruined that calorie burn with some fantastic garlic bread sticks from Pizza Hut. THose buggers are tasty, but they are, for lack of a better term, one of the WORST things you can eat during a calorie reduced diet.

Today after breakfast, I weighed myself. I am now officially 4 lbs lighter. Even though I ate those lovely little cheese and garlic delights, I didn't add any bulk. I had dropped 4 lbs already when I decided to do this test, but I thought it may have been simple water loss/gain. We all jump back and forth a couple of lbs each day because of this.

1 week in, I've lost 4 lbs. I haven't been so proud of such a little achievement in my entire life. :)

Updates to come! :)


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rock Band 3, overview, noted reviews, etc.

Friday I came up with a copy of Rock Band 3 for xbox 360. I was particularly interested in the Pro Mode, which effectively teaches someone how to play either Keyboards, Guitars, Drums, or Bass, depending on which instrument you were to play.

Here is a review of Rock Band 3 from IGN.

Now, I've beena Guitar Hero/ Rock Band player from the start. When Guitar Hero first appeared on the PS2, I had my little plastic guitar, fantasizing about a being a rock god with the best of them. The song that truly got me hooked was More Than a Feeling on Guitar Hero 1. It was a cover, but it was close enough. I've owned pretty much every Guitar Hero/ Rock Band since. (I skipped the 80's Guitar Hero, and the Beatles and Green Day, not a big fan of either band really.)

My friends and I used to play almost EVERY weekend, to the point of truly exhausting our interest in the game. It was social, it was fun (at least to the players... our wives now hate the game), and it did a great job at passing the time on a weekend when we had little or no money. Now-a-days, we all have at LEAST Rock Band 2 in our collections. (Speaking of which, I should export the RB2 disk so I can add the songs to RB3!!!)

I have my "greatest hits" songs, ones which I sing whenever we get together and play. Even though I try to turn my nose up and say "I'm not doing them this time!" I always end up doing them. There's "More Than A Feeling", there is "Everlong", "Push Push Lady Lightning", and so on and so forth. RB3 brings my FAVORITE band to the game, Def Leppard. Granted, it's one of their worst tunes (Foolin' from Pyromania, circa 1983ish) but it's still a start.

THe new pro mode is what really got me interested. Learning to play guitar has always haunted me, and if this will help in anyway, GREAT! The only issue being the damned guitar is $150 US!!! That's $169 canadian, for anyone counting. I can't wait to try it, but I'm gonna have to wait til the guitar really drops in price. My real guitar with stand and tuner only cost me $70 for goodness sake.

Here is IGN's review of the Pro Guitar.

The keyboards also bring something to the table, in allowing my wife to start enjoying the game. I do not have the "keytar" yet, but hopefully will have one soon, also when the price drops. It's just a few dollars cheaper than the pro guitar.

Anyway, I'm enjoying the game thus far, as there have been a few additions to the mix to make it feel like more than just "more Rock Band". My thoughts on the game are similar to those presented by IGN, so their review should do for what the game is about and whether you should check it out yourself. My personal thoughts on it are:

- would have liked better graphics. It seems like a step backward actually. The avatars look like they are marionettes right out of the Thunderbirds or Team America.
- Love the music, would love **insert band name here** though.
- Like the new challenges, this will only add to group play.
- It's confusing on how to import songs from previous games.
- Finally, drop in drop out play. This is a great feature in ANY multiplayer game.
- would have liked the party play from Guitar Hero 5.


Friday, November 12, 2010

For the people of Toronto

Now, I'm not typically one to automatically side with the masses when it comes to various opinions. However, this one I am SQUARELY standing on the side of the folks who think Chris Bosh is a major tool, too good for his own self even.

I spoke about this recently with a post about Lebron James. Next up, we get Chris Bosh. I will let someone else from the Globe and Mail share their thoughts.



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Weight loss, Update #2

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Here is my weight loss chart. Nothing lost just yet. I am only a day in. However, I am on track! 2 days in! WOOT!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day Long Blog Part Eight: Weight loss, an update.

So I've started a simple program suggested to me by my cousin, http://www.myfitnesspal.com/. I'm lighter than I thought I was, but not by much. My current weight is 222lbs. My goal is to get to around 195ish. THis site is great, it gives me an idea of how much I eat, and allows me to track it. Based on the goal I set, it gives me the amount of calories, fat, carbs, and protein I should take in each day. So far today, I managed to beat my calorie count by about 300. I sadly failed my fat intake by about 16, ad protein by 3. I notice that I would have made my fat count had I not crumbled and eaten that bag of Old Dutch chips. Lesson learned for tomorrow I guess.

I am sure some of you reading are rolling your eyes at me, wondering why I'm writing about this here. Well, I tell ya. This makes me do it. Makes me at the very least TRY to do better on a health watch. Since I turned 30, I'm noticing more aches, pains, and I don't heal as fast. If by writing this down it makes me do it, then so be it.

So I'll be back tomorrow or the next day with an update, like it or not. :)


The All Day Blog Part Seven: Conan tops ALL latenight on his first night!

While I do not watch a great deal of late night television, it's nice to see Conan get his just desserts. He was hung outto dry by NBC, and now he's hung them out to dry! Go COCO!


via press release:

Conan O’Brien’s Long-Awaited Return to Late-Night Television Attracts a Young Audience with Median Age of 30
Conan O’Brien
’s new TBS talk show was a hit with young viewers Monday night, delivering an audience with a projected median age of just 30. Conan – which featured guests Seth Rogen, Lea Michele and Jack White – was watched by 2,451,000 adults 18-34; 3,285,000 adults 18-49; and 4,155,000 viewers.

O’Brien has a strong following among younger viewers, and social media has proven to be a key way for him to connect with his fans. “Conan’s audience has been very vocal online, and he clearly made a smooth transition from Twitter to TBS,” said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. “Conan delivered an extraordinary audience and stands out as the youngest late-night talk show on television.”

Tonight, Conan will welcome guests Tom Hanks, Jack McBrayer and Soundgarden. Upcoming guests include Jon Hamm, Fistful of Mercy and Charlyne Yi on Wednesday; andMichael Cera, Julie Bowen and Jon Dore on Thursday.

Conan originates from Stage 15 at Warner Bros. Studios and is produced by Conaco LLC. Jeff Ross is the executive producer.

About TBS
TBS, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is television’s top-rated comedy network and is available in 100.1 million households. It serves as home to such original comedy series as Are We There Yet? and Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Meet the Browns; the upcoming original comedy Glory Daze; the late-night series Conan, starring Conan O’Brien, and Lopez Tonight, starring George Lopez; hot contemporary comedies like Family Guy and The Office; special events, including star-studded comedy festivals in Chicago; blockbuster movies; hosted movie showcases; and championship sports.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

THe All Day Blog Part Six: Summarizing the Day

I tried doing this in little bits today as a test. It was a little cumbersome, but it didn't affect my work any. You see, there are changes coming in life that won't allow me to sit down for 30 or 40 minutes and drone on about nothing at all. This used to be a way for me to kill a lunch period where I was trapped at work during said time. Now, I won't be stuck any longer! Good news for me, bad news for the blog. I guess I'll still poke up a link or two here and there, and even blog a little in the nights. But I'm sure that the frequency of this will be far less than I've been able to.

Nearly 200 blog posts and 3000 hits later. I never thought I'd get this far. :) Thanks for reading and I look forward to you reading again. I do enjoy this.


All Day Blog Part 5: Islanders Hockey: If Not Gordon, Then Who?

This is an article written by Dave Hanssen of Lighthouse Hockey. Well thought out, and I agree fully.


If Not Gordon, Then Who?

Scott Gordon: Endangered Species?

More photos » Bruce Bennett - Getty Images

Scott Gordon: Endangered Species?

So now that the losing streak has hit seven and without hyperbole has a good chance to reach double digits against the Ducks, Sharks and Kings, the "Fire Scott Gordon" Crowd's voice (who I'll refer to here as the FSGC) has gotten louder. There have been a few media mentions -- along with one "sourced" denial presumably from the team -- that Gordon's job is on the line. Two of the five media outlets we check for weekly rankings brought up Gordon's job security in their two-sentence comments next to the Isles. There has still been no comment from Wang or Snow about the security of Gordon's job, but the team never officially comments on that subject anyway.

To be clear: I am not advocating for Scott Gordon to be fired nor am I starting rumors about who would replace him. I am merely presenting a list of possible candidates that might be considered if the FSGC got its wish and Charles Wang and Garth Snow decided to "go in a different direction."

And this leads to one of the questions that the FSGC hasn't answered: Who would take over both short term and long term? I will delve a bit deeper into this issue to see if there are any viable candidates that would either come to Long Island and work with Wang or any that Wang would be willing to pay to come work with him.


First let's take a look at the Wang Era coaches to see if there is a hiring pattern.

His fist coach was Butch Goring, who he inherited when he purchased the team in The Year 2000. After firing Goring he hired former Providence Bruins and then current Boston Bruins assistant Peter Laviolette. When Laviolette was fired after the 2002-2003 season, he was replaced by Bridgeport Sound Tigers head coach Steve Stirling. Stirling coached either side of the lockout until he was fired during the 2005-2006 season with Brad Shaw seeing out the final 40 games of that season.

Then came the only coach with previous NHL experience (albeit with a 9-year absence from the league in between jobs) to be hired by Wang: Ted Nolan. Nolan was shown the door after the 2007-2008 season, ushering in the Scott Gordon era -- the first era to reach a third season.

So now we have the basic profile of the Charles Wang coaching hire: Someone with experience coaching at least at the AHL level who has had success coaching in the minors. I know it's a small sample size but half of his hires have been from the Bruins organization and one from within the Isles organization. If the candidate was a previous head coach at the NHL level, he has to be desperate enough to basically work for anyone just to get back in the game.

So who is out there who would be available and more importantly want to coach the Islanders under the Chinese Early 1980's model of George Steinbrenner?

Internal Candidates

Jack Capuano: Capuano is in his third year as Sound Tigers head coach, taking over in 2007. Previously he was an assistant for the Sound Tigers in the 2006-2007 season and was the coach of USA Hockey Developments Program's U-18 Team in the 2005-2006 Season.Capuano is a champion of the new statistical analysis models and loves using video as part of his teaching. As Sound Tigers head coach, he has a record of 130-98-8-14 over his three plus years in charge. He will be given a shot at the NHL level at some point, but will it be here if Gordon is gone? Capuano is highly thought of within the organization and would probably be the leading candidate to immediately take over if Gordon is fired.

Dean Chynoweth: The first of two Gordon assistants on the list. Chynoweth's last head coach job was as General Manager/Head Coach of the WHL's Swift Current Broncos prior to joining the Islanders in 2009. Of the two assistants he has the most recent experience as head coach, so if they go that route and keep Capuano in Bridgeport.

Scott Allen: The other of Gordon's assistants, Allen has no head coaching experience above the ECHL level, which was also over a decade ago. This is only his second season as an assistant at the NHL level. His lack of being the head guy will probably hurt his chances. Probably low on the internal totem pole as a replacement.

There aren't many other internal options beyond these three. In Brian Trottier, the organization did let go in the offseason the one person in the front office with NHL coaching experience.

Up and Comers

Mark French (Hershey Bears): Mr. French is in his second year as Hershey Bears head coach and orchestrated the record breaking season Hershey enjoyed last year. French is still relatively new to the head coaching gig as he was an assistant in Hershey under Bob Woods. Hershey of late has produced a good coaching tree with Bruce Boudreau in Washington with Woods his chief lieutenant.

Ken Gernander (Hartford Wolfpack/The Connecticut Whale*): Would a guy who has been with the Rangers organization as a player and coach since the 1994-1995 season really leave for the Islanders? He might leave for whichever team gives him the opportunity to be a head coach at the NHL level. The Ranger's AHL Messier (The Appearance is uncanny and they both wore 11) has been head coach in Hartford since 2007 and has long been groomed as a future head coach in the NHL. But the Rangers passed him over in favor of John Tortorella in 2008 and is seemingly roadblocked in the only organization he 's known in the past decade and a half. Maybe its a time for a change of scenery?

Rob Murray (Providence Bruins): Why not go back to the Baby B's well? Murray is in his third year as head coach of the Baby B's and has been in the Bruins organization since his retirement from pro hockey in 2003. Murray was a bit of a pugilist in his day (He's second on the AHL's all time PIMs list, only Dennis the Menace Bonvie has more.) and even though he comes from the same organization as Gordon has a different view on the game than the Go-Go Gordon style.


Craig MacTavish: Before he lost the room in Edmonton, he did take them to a Stanley Cup final and probably would have had something special there if Chris Pronger wasn't a petulant little child and demanded a trade to Anaheim. Honestly, I wouldn't be opposed to giving the last player to skate without a helmet a chance with this team. Of the retreads, my top choice.

Guy Carbonneau: From Jack Adams candidate to being shown the door in Montreal, Guy got a taste of the roller coaster life of an NHL coach. He should get another chance at being an NHL coach and wouldn't be the worst decision in the world (Those will come later).

Ken Hitchcock: For those who want a fiery coach, here's your guy. But Hitchcock is also a perfect example of why long term those types of coaches don't work. First he takes Columbus to their first ever playoffs only to totally loose the locker room the next season and loose his job. Guys like Hitchcock are great quick fixes but in the long run never work out.

Bob Hartley: Would the Stanley Cup winning coach yet flame-out with the Thrashers be willing to give up his sweet broadcasting gig for RDS? I doubt it.

Tony Granato: Never really did much with the Avs prior to his firing in 2009. Currently and assistant in Pittsburgh. Working his way back, but after two unsuccessful chances with the Avs, who would be willing to give him another shot?

Ed Olczyk: Got to suffer the initial growing pains of the now-powerhouse Penguins. Like Hartley, would he seriously consider giving up his cushy broadcasting job for the Isles? Probably not.

Denis Savard: Simlar to Olczyk, endured the growing pains of Toews, Kane and the pre-Stanley Cup winning Blackhawks only to get fired 4 games into to 2008-2009 season. Will probably get another shot at some point, but will it be on Long Island?

No Chance in Hell (Or when Pigs Fly)

Butch Goring: Been fired once from the job already. Doesn't seem to have the desire to go back into coaching, otherwise he probably would have caught on as an assistant after his dismissal a decade ago.

Ted Nolan: Only if you're ready for media to focus on GM-coach rifts and salacious rumors again.

Barry Melrose: It's just a little airborne, It's still good! It's still good!

Mike Keenan: Only if hell freezes over.

Mike Milbury: Hey Satan, it's getting chilly down here... Hey! When did that pig grow wings?!?

So basically right now the pickings are slim for a new coach. Between that and the Regier/Ruff or Poile/Trotz relationship Snow wants to build with Gordon, he isn't going anywhere any time soon. If Snow didn't think this could work, he wouldn't have brought Gordon back for his third season in charge.

Gordon is the best bet for the job right now and into the future. It's not his fault he's been given a team that needs Alexei Yashin's contract to clear the salary cap floor. So SGC members, before going for the "someone needs to be canned" platform, take a step back and look at the possibilities... Gordon is the best man available for the job. And if Snow and Wang didn't think he was, he wouldn't be here right now.

I've presented a few options here but I'm sure if Gordon goes, at that point Garth Snow will have a plan in place for his long-term replacement.

Any other candidates you would like considered that I missed? With this relatively weak replacement field, is firing Gordon the right move even if the streak does hit 10?

Definitely a good read for Isles fans.


All Day Blog Part 4: Good Lord, kids with guns in Newfoundland...

This from an article taken from CBC News. For those readers out of province, here in Newfoundland, it's not uncommon for the worst thing to be reported on the news is some drunk on George Street threatening someone walking by, not things like murder or Columbine like. Sadly, the problems with parentage in this and many provinces are starting to come out of back rooms and closets and starting to show their ugly heads. For example, this child, who according to this article is in a single parent family, decided the threaten a local outport school. What can drive a child or teen to do something so... stupid?

My questions in this situation are thus:

1. Where was the boy's mother when this happened?

2. Where is the boy's father?

3. What caused such an awful breakdown in the boy's mental stability to do something so foolish?

4. Are there others involved?

5. Are the parents taking responsibility for the boy's actions?

Read on.



An eastern Newfoundland teenager was taken into custody Monday evening after the RCMP learned of threats made to a small community's high school.

RCMP said Tuesday that threats had been made involving Crescent Collegiate High School in Blaketown on Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula.

Police said they had apprehended a boy, 15, and took him to the Newfoundland and Labrador Youth Centre in Whitbourne.

Four firearms were seized from the youth's mother's residence, police said.

RCMP said the principal had reported "serious threats to the school and staff."

The youth was scheduled to appear at youth court in St. John's on Wednesday morning. Under federal law, he cannot be identified.


FOUR??? Four firearms??? Let's definitely start questioning the mother in this case.


The All Day Blog Part 3: Enviro toilets...

... suck. What's the point of making a toilet to save water but needs 5 flushes for it to work? We have one in our office washroom and it is TERRIBLE. Constantly clogging up. How sanitary can it possibly be? It needs plunging as many as 4 to 5 times daily.

I'm all about doing the environmentally right thing. However, it has to make sense too.


The All Day Blog: Part 2: Losing Weight

For the past year or so, basically since after my wedding, I have been packing on weight like I was getting ready to hibernate through a nuclear winter. Since the wedding, I've gained about 20 to 25 lbs I'm guessing (I have to guess, I have no scale). All my cloths still fit, remarkably, but do feel a little tighter.

This has been a real Achilles heel for me, all my life really. I'm not a weight lifter, I hate the repetitiveness of the gym, and I haven't been really associated with any sort of sports organization worth a damn. My life, as it is, is not inclined to being active. My eating habits are likely going to kill me, if I do not actually do my best to try and change things.

So today is the day. I've started some things over the past week that can really go a long way to getting better at this. I drink 10 571ml bottles of water a day. I don't hedge when it comes to doing anything particularly active. I still haven't been able to kick the bad eating habits yet, but today for lunch there's fruit and vegetables waiting with my name on them.

I honestly don't know how to do it right though. I have to admit, I just do not like healthier foods as much as my favorite "ketchup-cheese-and-bacon" combos. I can figure out being active, but that is all for not if I don't couple it with better eating habits.

I'll update this topic over the next week or so.


The All Day Blog Part 1: The Joy of Sharing Wine

Last night I stopped by my wife's old place of work and dropped off a couple of bottles of wine to her friends working there, and it was an absolute pleasure, even better than the actual partaking of the wine itself.

The two friends in question are easily some of the nicest, genuine people I've met in quite some time, and when they smile ear to ear and say thank you, they really mean it.

The batch of wine that I did take up almost 2 weeks ago now has been a smash hit with everyone who has sampled it. It's a very candy like experience, with only the slightest hint of wine-like taste to it. It's a wonderful sipping wine, great with a steak or even pasta.

If any of my friends who are reading this would like to try some, drop me a line, email, etc. and we'll share a glass.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Everything you need to know about PONG

Some fun ads from the 70's concerning one of the first true video game experiences, and ALL of it's knockoffs.



Fallout New Vegas has everyone fooled, a brief review by me.

Saturday night i finished Fallout: New Vegas. This game, heralded by many for possible game of the year honors, is so far off the freakin mark that it almost became laughable by the end of it.

I put 40 hours into this game, many of said hours were for quests that had me running clean across the Mojave wasteland, fetching one little thing or another, or convincing some random character that they should follow me, not the bad guy, and do the right thing. I would then turn around, run all the way back, only for the original quest giver to glitch and turn on me, effectively ending his own life (as I was near god-like) and FUCKING OVER THE QUEST, and ESSENTIALLY MAKING ALL THAT TIME RUNNING A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME. There is this little thing where factions either love you or hate you. If you do something such as change your cloths into something that they don't like, they will pull a gun on you. Biggest example of all this bugginess was a visit with the Great Kahns. I visit them to start, they give me a quest and plead for my help. I go do the quest, return, where they are all waiting to blow my brains out. I was wearing the same gear on both visits. I even had my gun holstered.

By hour 32, I got so pissed with it all that I became a raving lunatic in game, and killed everyone. I wiped out the Great Kahns, the evil Legion (including the evil patriarch of the game Caesar), the Freaks, the Powder Gangers, half of the Vegas Strip, the Brotherhood of Steel, and most anyone who even looked at me funny. If everyone in the game was dead except for me, then you know what? I FUCKING WIN. That is what I did too. I did get to the final boss of the game, a stand in for Caesar, the "Legate of the Legion", or some crap. He saw me, soiled his pants, and ran away. Tada! Ending. I did so many good things at the start of the game that I was STILL hailed as the savior of the Mojave. Funny, hey.

Fallout New Vegas is a horribly glitched game and I can't possibly recommend it to anyone who is new to Fallout. If you played Fallout3, it's more of the same but buggier, but close enough that you should get something out of it.

2.5 out of 10.