Wednesday, October 31, 2007


HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I hope I didn't scare you. Today I dressed up like a mad analytical research scientist, which is basically the same as every other weekday. But I did wear an orange polo shirt with a black shirt underneath it, so at least I made the effort, right?

Halloween's history can be traced back to an ancient Gaelic celebration (called Samhain) that marked the end of the fall harvest season. Later it became a holiday to "scare away evil spirits" by dressing up in your creepiest costume, and then later merely a way for kids to go door-to-door for free candy. As I'm well into adulthood now, it appears to be merely an excuse for most girls of drinking age to dress up like trashy whores. How did we get here?

In this country, not only is violence glorified, it's encouraged: there's almost a constant flow of violent TV shows, commercials for gun accessories, first person shooter videogames, and horror movies thrown our way. Shooting, blood, guts, dismemberment, scary music, what's not to like? I've never been a horror movie fan (I think I still have an unopened copy of "Halloween" on VHS that I won at a party for my spectacular Inspector Clouseau costume), but I understand their appeal on a base level.

Sex, however, is something to be hidden from sight, never to be discussed (that is until children "reach that special age"). Even though every baby has seen a nipple, when one is exposed to one against their will (say, during the Super Bowl) it becomes a horrible national nightmare. Despite nearly constant objectifying of the female form, the American society is more sexually repressed than ever before. Therefore, it suppose it's a fairly natural urge to want to dress like a complete harlot, especially on the one day where you won't be judged for it. But you certainly won't hear me complaining about it. I want to make that perfectly clear. If you want to be a slutty nurse, slutty pirate, slutty cheerleader, slutty real estate agent, slutty claims adjuster, slutty actuary, or just a garden-variety slut, by all means, go for it.

In closing, if you're giving away candy, it had better be chocolate. No Smarties, Mary Janes, Now and Laters, or lollipops--CHOCOLATE. Kit-Kats, Milky Way, Charleston Chews, Reese's, M&M's, Snickers, Hershey's, whatever. There is no substitute. And adults, if you have to drink, stay away from the pumpkin ales, they're nasty.

Let me close this post with this:


Monday, October 29, 2007


Is it time to panic? Yes it is, Kent. The Rangers lack of scoring had been tempered by the fact that they were playing terrific defense, and were at least in every game. But a solid win against the Devils was followed by the worst effort of the season. They were drubbed at home by the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night. So there they are at 3 - 6 and 1, having scored all of 16 goals. So even though only 2% of the precincts have reported and the polls are still open on the west coast, I'm declaring the season over. Which of course means this will be the last installment of Rangers in the Night. Lets face it, there wasn't going to be any information here that you couldn't find on a thousand other sites. I may occasionally post some information on the NJ Landsharks of HNA, but since I missed the season opener last night with a case of idontfeellikegettingoffthecouch, it will have to wait till next week.


Another week, another Flyer suspended for injuring an opponent with a hit to the head...

Here's the thing; I think that Jones really means that he didn't intend to injure Bergeron (unlike his shitty teammates who really were looking for blood). I believe him that he feels really bad and [for once] think that the league probably made the right decision regarding the 2-games that Jones gets.

But the fact that they insist on doing nothing to the Philadelphia Organ-EYE-zation is just fucking terrible. Even if Jones didn't intend to injure and wasn't looking for blood, this behavior is endemic of the Flyers and the league is going to have to do something - or it's only a matter of time before this becomes a war of attrition with Briere or Gagne or someone getting severely concussed as retribution for someone else.

I honestly think that the league's refusal to penalize the team speaks volumes about their true commitment to cleaning the league up and making it any better than a frozen-surface version of MLS.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Someone has done a lot of work finding rare and non-nationally published Bill Watterson art.

It's not always as funny as average C&H comics, but it's interesting to see him drawing other stuff.

Rare Bill Watterson Art: : For the Calvin Connoisseur

Friday, October 26, 2007


[Edit 1: Added Video of Clarence Campbell]

For Wikipedia (all spelling/grammar errors sic)

On March 13, 1955, Richard was given a match penalty for intentionally injuring Hal Laycoe, after he had been deliberatally struck in the head with a hockey stick by the player, in a game against the Boston Bruins. Laycoe had highsticked Richard in the head during a Montreal power play. The referee signalled for a penalty to be called, but play was allowed to continue because the Canadiens had possession of the puck. Richard indicated to the referee that he'd been injured, and then skated up to Laycoe -- who had dropped his stick and gloves preparatory to a fight -- and struck Laycoe in the face and shoulders with his stick. The linesmen attempted to restrain Richard, who repeatedly broke away from them to attack Laycoe, even breaking his stick over his back. Moments passed and linesman Cliff Thompson restrained Richard by holding both his arms in a lock. Richard broke loose and punched Thompson twice in the face, knocking him unconscious. Richard later said at a league hearing that he thought Thompson was one of Boston's players.
Clarence Campbell, the then-league President, suspended Richard for the remainder of the season and the playoffs, arguably costing the Habs the Stanley Cup (they lost in 7 games to those evil Wings). But it's not the best player in the league busting his stick over his opponents back and knocking out the linesman that brings us here today. It's the aftermath that really counts.

Abate is a type of pear, abattre in French means "to slaughter"

The Habs fans were mad as hell that Toronto had the balls to suspend their best player for the remainder of the season. Then Campbell, in eerily familiar demagogue-like fashion, announced he would be traveling to Montréal for the next game (what better way to rub those silly paysans' faces in it). Some Canadians fans, thinking "just-in-case", bought eggs, tomatoes, various farm animals to the game...Others brought tear gas grenades...Campbell takes his seat with his fiancée, and proceeds to get pelted with [for the time being] various organic matter. Then someone throws his tear gas grenade and Campbell declares forfeit for the Wings.

Now all hell breaks loose in Montreal as the fans run amok. Breaking shit, rioting and whatnot. As far as we can tell, Campbell was not strung up and Montreal wasn't burnt to the ground (though an estimated $500K in damage was done). But some historians note this moment as the real beginning of the Quebec nationalism movement - French-Canadians citizens supporting a French-Canadian player against English-Canadian persecution.

But the question is: In 1955, these Habs fans had the balls to attack the Dictator-in-charge over what was probably the correct decision, but in 2007 we are living under marketing guy who doesn't know dick about the sport, has sold everything holy to RBK for a couple of magic beans, refuses to play nice with any main-stream press, and has decided that if there isn't a franchise in every major city (Africa included) by 2010, the NHL will not have attained it optimum market-reach. Why has no one attacked Gary Bettman with a hand gre...umm, a tear gas grenade? Why hasn't anyone thrown eggs at him? What the fuck people? It's time to get serious here...At least the US government changes ever few years and we aren't stuck with any one president for more than 8 years. Bettman's either gotta be kicked out, or he'll ride the league straight to hell.

Yeah, you're's all just a long-winded way to say "Bettman Sucks."

[Edit 1]
It turns out that Clarence Campbell has a lot more in common Gary "Our Favorite Asshole" Bettman than first thought. Calling the Montreal Mayor out on TV...That's good.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


The Islanders beat the Devils 4-3 on a Guerin goal with :03.7 seconds left in OT on Saturday. (Hey, didn't the Sabres win in OT with :03.7 seconds left last week? I smell a rat.) Meanwhile, Ol' Billy has been smoking so far, clicking early with linemates Fedotenko and Comrie. As Rob pointed out it's a long season and he's almost 37 so let's see how long he lasts. Personally, I can't even stay awake to WATCH a hockey game, let alone skate in one.

Scheduling question: the Islanders played at home on Oct 20, yet they don't play at the Mausoleum again until Saturday night--6 straight days of vacation. Why? Who fucking knows? It's not like there's a lot going on at the arena since they are THE ONLY TEAM THAT PLAYS THERE. I think it's a ploy by the NHL to try to get Islanders fans to forget they exist.

You have to love the Chicago Blackhawks' 19 year old rookies, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, the latter I already nominated for a GOTY. Hopefully, they can help get that team back to respectability; the NHL cannot afford to lose the support of this city. And gee, what a shame that Bill Wirtz had to die--can you believe that because of him the Chicago Blackhawks home games AREN'T EVEN ON TV IN CHICAGO? His son Rocky took over ownership and is already getting some of the games broadcast on Comcast SportsNet by November. It's about time. Now that the old miser is dead maybe this Original Six team can get some fans back.

I used to like Dennis Miller, back in college when he was more pop culture-centric and less political. Well, someone apparently found his incongruent, subreferential schtick on MNF funny, because now he has a new show on Versus where he talks about sports, and apparently not one of them is hockey or bull riding. How many failed shows can one guy have? And instead of spending money and time on this, how about Versus gets a nightly half hour NHL highlight show?

Colorado's Ryan Smith returned to Edmonton Tuesday night, AND THE CROWD MADE HIM CRY! Damn you, Edmontonians! As Kris points out, if you play for Colorado what are we supposed to call you? An Avalanchian? An Avalancher?

With only 4 losses in a row, and only 4 goals in that stretch, including two shutouts against marginal goalies (Fleury and Fernandez, the latter besting Henrik in the shootout), what is wrong with the Rangers? They haven't looked good since beating Florida on opening night. Will they break out against the Devils tonight at MSG? Hopefully, the next installment of RANGERS IN THE NIGHT will elucidate further.

Thanks to Cablefuckingvision/MSG for completely obscuring the Isles/Devils game the other night with graphics. Several times during the game, they had a giant blue bar across the bottom of the screen . . . telling you where to tune in to the game. Wasn't there a half hour Then there was a constant banner popping up on top with something saying "HUMMER CHALLENGE". If that means they're giving hummers to fans to increase hockey attendance, I might sign up for that.

I don't mean to sound like an insensitive jerk, but I seriously need to know this: what's wrong with the left side of Islanders' studio host Deb Kaufman's face? She's an attractive woman and speaks well, but the deadness on the left side of her face is distracting to look at. What's worse is that they put her on the right side of the screen (stage left) so when she turns to talk to someone to her right, the camera emphasizes it. I think they told Butch Goring to wear the brightest shirt/tie combination he could find (this week, a painful orange/tangerine pair) to take the focus off of her.

Ever since they changed the point system, the 5 minute OT has been pretty meaningless. Right now, once teams get to the extra session they automatically get a point, so there really isn't any incentive to score in OT. In fact, I don't care all that much if my team loses in the OT or the shootout, because they at least get that 1 point. I propose that if a team scores in OT, they get 2 points, and the losing team get 0; it counts as a true loss. If it goes to a shootout, each team gets 1 point, and the winner gets 1 extra point if they win the shootout. This way, not only does this make the OT more meaningful and potentially exciting, but a goal scored (or given up) the conventional way (4 on 4, not a penalty shot/breakaway) means much more than a shootout goal.

Since most of the new sweaters and uniforms are hideous, I think I will post an ugly shot of them every week to illustrate that fact. This week: wow, the new Calgary Flames socks hurt to look at.

In other words, Bettman sucks.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Buffalo Sabres: New York State Champs 2007.

Take that Islander Fans...You couldn't even win the State Championship.

What's that you say? There are no "State Championships" in the National Hockey League. Well there should be, and we all know why there isn't: Because Bettman Sucks.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Early nominee for goal of the year: Jonathan Toews (CHI) vs. the entire Colorado Avalanche team in a 5-3 win on October 19, 2007.

Sweet fancy moses, that's gorgeous.

Monday, October 22, 2007


I woke up this morning and decided that ROCKTOBER had to be kicked up a notch. So here's a video of "October/New Years Day" by U2, live at the Red Rocks Amphitheater on June 5, 1983.

The book U2 BY U2 contains a lot of interesting background information on the band, especially this legendary concert that put them on the map. The weather leading up to this show was heavy rain and fog, and everyone in the Denver area assumed it was cancelled. But they had brought in a camera crew and had a lot riding on this show, they didn't want to postpone it. Although the rain let up just before show time, it wasn't well attended.

EDGE: "You might notice if you watch the Red Rocks video, there are very few crowd shots. The reason for that is the place was only a third full."
They pulled it off, thanks to clever editing using tight shots and amplified crowd noise that made it seem like a packed house.

Every time I see clips from this show all I can think is, "My god, it looks freezing." If you notice, Bono actually changed the lyrics to "under a thundercloud and rain", commenting on the adverse conditions. This performance is not on the Under A Blood Red Sky album, though it is on the "Live At Red Rocks" video which is only available on VHS (I would suspect U2 has this DVD re-release in the pipeline, to fund their retirement).

Interesting fact: on the initial release of this album in 1983 (on vinyl and cassette), Bono sings portions of "America" from West Side Story, and "Send in the Clowns" during the middle of "Electric Co." But because of copyright issues, they cut it out of subsequent pressings; I don't think it's ever appeared on CD. I actually own the original vinyl version of the album that has his ad-libbing intact (soon to be auctioned off on EBAY). Here's the Red Rocks performance of that song, including "Clowns" and Bono's "white flag routine" (essentially the Irish flag with the green and orange stripes removed).


U2 by U2 (Paperback) (


What the fuck, Zimmy?

What the fuck?

On a side note, it sounds like he's trying to displace Tom Waits as "Most Damaged Voice Ever"

The 2 minute "Full Version"

And the 60-second version with hypnotic guitars

Ok I know what the fuck happened:
GM: Here is a large sack with dollar signs on the sides
Dylan: What will be I selling?

[youtube via jalonik)

Sunday, October 21, 2007


3rd Quarter
Okay, so much for the D playing well. Madison is apparently done for the day, as he let Ashley Lelie, proud owner of one of the NFL's sissiest names, slip behind him and catch a bomb from Trent Fucking Dilfer down inside the 30 yard line.

After a group sack, Antonio Pierce jumped into the pile about 5 seconds after the play ended. He's has been called for two roughing the pansy penalties, and he's been very late on both of them. Calm down, Tony.

According to this fucking creepy commercial, Old Spice deodorant will grow hair on your chest. I guarantee people who are balding will start rubbing this on their heads.

UMENYIORA!!! He just pummeled Dilfer (for season sack #8), picked up a fumble and ran it back 77 yards for a TD. That's more like it! He didn't have to do that "stop just before the end zone and back in and spike it" though, but I'll take it. Since the Niners were about to score, I think it's safe to say that was the official turning point of the game. 26-7 Giants.

Eli is sacked, followed by a blocked punt out the back of the end zone for a safety. Sweet fancy moses. The Niners comeback begins now. 26-9 Giants.

I mentioned my favorite memory regarding these two teams, so here's my least favorite: the 49ers beating the Giants 39-38 in the NFC divisional game on Jan 6, 2003. The game ended on a botched winning FG attempt, and a pass interference call that the refs admitted later that they blew. Although it never should have gotten to that point, as the 49ers came back from being down 38-14 at one point. This was the game that taught me two things: 1) never get too emotionally attached to a sports team, and 2) never trust the referees ever again.

Shockey just fought for a nice first down to the 38 yard line, 13 yards on 3rd and 10. Now, THAT'S the Shockey I want to see more of.

I don't think Eli is happy with his career best 60% completion percentage, so he decided to overthrow Plax Mouthrinse by about 40 yards. I also get the feeling that he's starting to pick up his brother's annoying pre-snap routine. He shouldn't be allowed to talk to Peyton at all during the season.

I think UPS using a song by the band Postal Service for their commercials is an ironic slap in the face.

What is that graphic wipe? A black ghost of some sort? It's not as fucking ponderous as the Transformers logo, but it's close.

Punt, commercial, one play, commercial. What the fuck, NFL? Since the UMENYIORA fumble recovery TD, this game has been completely shitty. Let's check some other scores. Only 42 points for the Pats? They took their foot off the gas pedal, very disappointing.

4th Quarter
This Niners team is not good at all. This game is over. That's right, I said it.

The CD player is on full time now, playing Portishead's "It Could Be Sweet". If they keep winning like this, it could be sweet, indeed.

And Pierce intercepts a Dilfer pass and takes it down to the 5. Nice tackle by Dilfer too. I don't understand why they're passing constantly, when their only offensive threat is Gore.

Give it to Jacobs four straight times if you have to now, boys.

On 3rd down, we have a roughing the pansy call on Eli, due to a weak "blow to the head" call. 1st down and goal. Like I said, GIVE IT TO JACOBS FOUR TIMES IN A ROW. DON'T MAKE ME DRIVE DOWN TO EAST RUTHERFORD.

Okay, play action pass to Shockey for a TD. That's fine with me. Is that his first score this season? (Edit: no, it's his second, he had one vs. the Jets.) 33-9 Giants.

FOX is already done with this game too, as they show the Giants' upcoming schedule: @MIA, bye, DAL, @DET, MIN. And none of those games are at 8 PM! Hmmm, 3-1 is not out of the question over that stretch. Hopefully, this is the same defense that shows up against Dallas.

Frank Gore has only gotten the ball 14 times all day, only thrice in the 2nd half. When you're putting the game on Dilfer's shoulders, you are probably going to lose. (Edit: Gore has spent a lot of time on the bench "with an ankle". I spent a lot of time on the coach "with an ankle" as well.) Although he's got the Favre stubble look down. Good for Trent.

Career high for Jacobs, 107 yards and a TD. We're going to need to see more of that.

4 minutes left, and we have a QB Anthony Wright sighting, as he's running around in his own end zone. Yeesh. What about WR Scientific Mix? I can't take any more of this.
Giants win 33-15.

Look at these awful late games: KC @ OAK, NYJ @ CIN, CHI @ PHL, STL @ SEA, MIN @ DAL, PIT @ DEN at 8 PM. Good lord. The Redskins somehow won (Cards missed a late 2 point conversion that would have tied it up), so I'm rooting for a Dallas loss at 4 PM, and I hope Adrian "Purple Jesus" Peterson lights them up.

Here's your stats for the Pats' QB in their 49-24 win: 21/25, 354 YDS, 6 TD (career high), 0 INT. They are just pummeling the crap out of the league right now, and Brady has been just stellar.

The Texans scored 29 points in the 4th to go ahead 36-35 with 2:16 left, only to lose on a last second FG to the Titans, 38-36. Ha ha ha ha! The NFL! It's shitastic!


San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants.

I'm going to live blog this for the hell of it, because I can. The G-Men, winners of 4 in a row, are way overdue for a letdown game that Coughlin coached teams always have. This could be the week! Woo hoo!

1st Quarter
I tuned in at 1:03 PM and so far there hasn't been one video clip of Leonard Marshall obliterating Joe Montana. What are you waiting for, jackasses? I also heard that Matt Bahr and Jeff Hostetler were on hand for the coin toss, but it wasn't televised. Thanks for the voluminous ALCS promos though. Fuck you right in the pants, FOX.

The Niners have a pathetic 63 points scored in 5 games. We thought the Bills 65 points was awesomely bad, but that's sad.

A relatively impressive opening drive for the Giants, scoring on a TD pass to Amani Toomer. 49 TDs is the new Giants record, previously held by Kyle Rote. No, I actually don't know who held it before. (Edit: It actually was Rote.) And the PAT was missed. God, this team is going to be the death of me. 6-0 Giants.

They just said "because of the heat down here the Giants are trying to get the Niners defense to run a lot". It's a beautiful sunny 68 degree fall day. What heat? Oh, it's Tony Siragusa who is bothered by the heat, mainly because he's a 400 pound fat fuck who's wearing a black wool coat. Dicktard.

And that's it. It only took me 15 minutes of Tony Siragusa's useless sideline jackassery to unplug the center channel from my surround sound receiver. This is a welcome option thanks to these games being broadcast in Dolby Digital: you don't have to hear the announcers at all, if you so choose. This is sort of like the "silent" game back in 1985 1980, Jets vs. Dolphins. If only I could figure out some way for my receiver to also mute "This is Ouuuuuuur Couuuuuuuntry", then I'd be set.

Maybe it wasn't his fault, but Eli just threw one of his patented crap INTs inside the red zone. There might be an incentive clause in his contract for these.

Why do FOX's game graphics need to make so much noise? Whoooosh! Shwoooop! Bzzzz-click! Blip blip blip shhhhwonk! What is the fucking point of that? I may just put the CD player on.

2nd Quarter
The Giants defense is playing well. However, they just let Trent Dilfer escape and scamper for 11 yards and a near first down. Trent Fucking Dilfer! Someone needs to Leonard Marshall his dick into the dirt right away, as payback for that Super Bowl back in 2001.

On 4th and 1, Frank Gorshen--uhm, Gore is stopped right at the first down marker . . . but they're not even going to measure apparently. That was too close for these shitty refs to eyeball, in my opinion, but okay. And of course, the Niners score. 7-6 Niners.

A fumble recovery by UMENYIORA leads to a Brandon Jacobs TD. He's been a bull in the first half, 86 yards. 13-7 Giants.

Sam Madison has done nothing this year, but after that INT he decided to make some dumb victory dance, wherein he gives the baseball "safe" sign for some godforsaken reason. Was that a FOX promo for baseball? Anyway, thanks for that.

FOX uses "London Calling" by the Clash for next week's Miami/Giants in London promo. Spinning tunes tonight, DJ Obvious! I hope they don't let the Aquatic Mammals beat them down in Trafalgar Square or wherever they play, that would be horrible.

Despite not being able to kick an extra point after from 7 feet away, Tyner managed 2 FGs in the half of 29 and 39 yards, respectively. 19-7 Giants.

Holy crap, the Patriots are murdering the Dolphins to the tune of 42-7. Brady's halftime stats: 16/19, 291 yds, 5 TDs. The New England Cheaters certainly have a chip on their collective shoulders this year, and Bill Simmons is sporting a huge boner right now. That can only lead to a messy release when the Sox win Game 7 tonight.

The NFL team record for most points in a game by a single team is 72, by Washington vs. N.Y. Giants on Nov. 27, 1966. I don't know what the record is since the merger, but there's a good chance the Pats break that record today.

Here's the problem with the NFL: there are so many mediocre teams, there are no compelling matchups. We've gotten to the point where only the teams' fans would give a shit. Look at the 1 PM games: ATL @ NO, TB @ DET, ARI @ WAS, BAL @ BUF, TEN @ TEX. Ugh. And that last game on the list currently features the exciting QB matchup of Kerry Collins versus Sage Rosenfeld. I wish I were joking.

I will be not be watching the halftime jackassery, starring Terry and the Fucktards.


Since the San Francisco 49ers are playing the New York Giants today, I felt the need to post my happiest memory of all of their matchups: a picture of THE HIT, Leonard Marshall knocking out Joe Montana in the 1990 NFC Championship game, won thanks to Matt Barr's 5 FGs, 15-13.

Leonard Marshall Joe Montana 'The Hit' - courtesy of Steiner Sports

This was #3 on this FOX Sports list of the Top 10 Most Devastating Hits, though it will always be #1 in my heart (with Stevens vs. Lindros being #2):

Leading 13-9 with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter against the Giants, Montana rolled to his right, unaware that Marshall was closing in on his blind side. At the exact wrong moment, Montana stopped rolling right and sidestepped Lawrence Taylor by jumping backward, right into the path of the 6-3, 288-pound Marshall. The impact that flattened Montana was so violent his subsequent fumble ended up 14 yards down the field. The Niners somehow recovered that fumble, but with Montana knocked out of the game by the hit, they would fall to the G-Men, 15-13, after a late Roger Craig fumble gave New York new life.
In what ended up being his last play as a Niner, he suffered a bruised sternum, bruised stomach, cracked ribs, and a broken hand. But it was the look on Joe's face on the sidelines that was priceless, as he obviously didn't know where he was: "Has anybody seen my little brown doggy?"

That might have been the most satisfying championship of all: they made the playoff run with backup Jeff Hostetler, had to get through Ditka's Chicago Bears, the San Francisco 49ers (who were going for a 3rd Super Bowl title) and the Buffalo Bills' offensive juggernaut. I'm 100% certain that I won't ever feel the way I did about the Giants as I did that year.

(God, I hope they replay THE HIT today.)

Friday, October 19, 2007


I thought I'd change it up a bit for the title. But, either way, it should come up in a search. Evidently, this is what a hollywood type does when he isn't 't busy handing out awards to other members. He googles himself. And if the search turns up words from those of us not in the self-adulation society, he corrects us. Something along the lines of he was for the 350 park rangers, before he was against them, or some shit like that. Funny thing that "was taken out of context" now means "said something stupid that I wish would just go away".

Quick note on Joe Torre - fuck off. 5 million dollars is insulting? YOU are insulting. You were a gigantic loser before you became the Yankees manager. Then for 5 years you filled out the lineup card and watched the largest payroll in baseball do what it should do, win. Did you hit a 3 run homer in game 4 against the Braves? Did you strikeout 15 Mariners in the LCS? Did you get a pinch hit single against the Mets in extra innings? You did none of these things. The only thing I can remember you directly affecting is the 2004 series against the Red Sox, in which you're feeble managerial skills were exposed, leading to the most embarrassing moment in the history of the organization, maybe all of sports. I'm not blaming you for the loss, and you get no credit for the wins. You are not the reason the NY Yankees won and you are not the reason they lost. You were along for the ride. And you got rich beyond belief for it. Now you want hard working people who make 50K a year to feel sorry for you because the Yankees didn't "respect" you and ONLY offered 5 million. Gee fucking whiz, how's a guy gonna live on that, when he's only made 19 million the last 3 years. Fuck you. Get lost. Maybe there is some baseball league in Hawaii that needs a manager who will pitch the arms off of good young men. We don't need you here. Go catch for the Mets or something. I hear they need a guy.

As Jeff said, the definitive directors cut of Blade Runner is a visual and sonic masterpiece, even if Ridley Scott gets it wrong by making Deckard a replicant. P K Dick wasn't trying to fool you, the point is, DNA does not make you human.


It's raining like a bitch here right now, a biblical, post-apocalyptic kind of rain. Naturally, this reminded me of the classic sci-fi movie "Blade Runner". It rains constantly in Ridley Scott's bleak vision of Los Angeles in 2019, a grim world made even more bleak while watching, and listening to, the glorious 25th anniversary edition of "Blade Runner: The Final Cut", which I had the privilege to see at the Ziegfeld Theater in Manhattan this week.

I first saw "Blade Runner" when I was 12 in a tiny 300 seat theater with one speaker in the middle of the screen accompanied by a typically flaky second-run 35MM print. After being weaned on sci-fi as a young lad through "Alien" and "Star Wars", and being a huge fan of "Raiders of the Lost Ark", I enjoyed this movie, intrigued by its dark vision and meticulously crafted world. But this viewing for the movie's 25th anniversary was an entirely eye-opening, and eye-gouging, experience.

One of the first major films to get the "director's cut" treatment (back in 1992), this current version is allegedly the final "definitive" version, to be released in several DVD editions in December. It was worth the wait, as the digital restoration of this 1982 movie is stellar; if it weren't for the fact that Harrison Ford looked like he was 19, I would have sworn it was made yesterday. The special effects and production design stood out where it seemed muted and muddy before. Additionally, the remastered sound was simply stunning, from the throbbing Vangelis score to the soaking downpours, which the enormous, red velvet ensconced, 1100+ seat theater's speaker system was able to reproduce with aplomb. This was how the movie deserved to be seen and heard, but alas, it wasn't initially given the chance.

Early test audiences were confused by the plot, and a spoonfed narration by the main protagonist, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) was added (read purposely badly hoping it would be rejected during post-production--it wasn't). Additionally, an ending was tacked on featuring the happy couple literally driving off into the sunset, in one of the silliest and cliched Hollywood endings ever concocted. It was almost like the edited for seniors version of "Gone With The Wind" from The Simpsons: "Frankly Scarlet, I love you! Let's remarry." ("Didn't that movie have used to have a war in it?")

Although the "fixed" version did fairly well in its first weekend ($6.1 million, which would be considered a failure in today's economy), it soon became apparent that moviegoers were expecting more feel-good fun popcorn fare like "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "E.T", and it lost money in the end (which I'm sure Mr. Scott has made back with DVD sales and $11 tickets).

SPOILER ALERT! Deckert is a replicant, a skinjob, an android who may or may not dream of electric sheep. Not only did the new anti-uplifting "unicorn" ending make it clear, but Mr. Scott said as much in a recent NY Times article, in case there was ever any speculation. This wasn't so apparent in the first edit, which makes Janet Maslin's statement in the original 1982 NY Times review commenting about Sean Young's replicant love interest, "the icy poised Rachel . . .seems a lot more expressive than Deckard", appear quaintly inaccurate, though who could blame her.

The first time I heard this theory was back in 1990 from an enthusiastic film geek who worked at LaserLand in Paoli, PA, from which we rented the Laserdisc for a college movie night at Villanova. He excitedly pointed out to us that Deckard was a "fake", and put the disc into one of their players, showing us Deckard's gleaming eyes in a freeze-frame pointing to it as the director's subtle hint. The guy may have been a little creepy (I also recall him preferring the saying that the term "letterbox" was created by those who had their "panties on too tight") but he turned out to be correct.

Overall, more than a few things seemed dated in the movie, but they were not without their charm, especially the boxy DeLorean-inspired flying cars and the giant-pixeled computer readouts. (To further suspend your disbelief, I guess you could just assume that the chosen few took the good technology with them to the Off-World colonies.) Several things you couldn't get away with today, particularly the minimalist opening credits (white letters on a black background) and the deliberate pacing. Rutger Hauer's performance as android Roy Batty seemed even larger than life on the big screen; punctuated by great facial expressions and reactions, he was ironically the most lifelike character in the movie.

Thankfully, we have a long way to go to get L.A. that screwed up; however, one future vision that they did get right: there are giant pervasive advertisements everywhere, something that's bound to get worse as we approach 2019. My biggest gripe is with the advances in technology featured that didn't seem impossible 25 years ago, but are laughable now; we've been spending all of our time and energy working on consumer technology to create bigger and better flat panel TVs to keep us dumb and stupid, when all this time we really should have been working on those flying cars.



I was reading one of my Calvin and Hobbes books the other day. Man I loved Calvin and Hobbes.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


3:10 to Yuma. No spoilers.

Obviously with no spoilers, this post can't go too far. The movie was beautifully shot and quite good up until the craptacular cinematical climax. And this isn't my American sensitivities's not about good or bad winning or was just stupid. I'll have to read the original short story by Elmore Leonard to see if the story has always had this fucked up ending.

It's a shame, because I did like the film, up to that point.

Just an interesting aside: I watched The Magnificent Seven the other day and the lead, Yul Brynner, was sporting a significant Russian 1960!! But come 2007, we have to an Aussie fake an American accent in the lead. What gives? I was thinking about it and I don't think that foreign accents would have been that strange in the West during the late 19th and early 20th century. What with all the immigrants moving West to strike it rich.


EDIT 1: Damn it, I took a picture and everything and forgot to post it. Here it is (sorry for the Guiness glass, I have not had the opportunity to, ummm, "acquire" a Paulaner glass).

Really quick Drinky Drinky column since I haven't posted one since who knows when (don't worry, it's not because of a lack of drinky drinky on my's probably, at least partially, because of an excess of drinky drinky on my part).

Anyway, despite the fact that those wild Germans ended Oktoberfest like 3 weeks ago (without me) it's still Oktober where I live. Although I didn't get to Munich this year (for the 29th consecutive year), I will be at Novekmberfest in the Rhein valley. I'm 99% sure I just made that holiday up, but I am going to be at a wedding in November near Nürburg (I'm still trying to figure out how to rent a Porsche and escape for a few hours!) and I'm counting on good beer (don't tell anyone but that's the major of the reason that I'm going).

Anyway, without further tangential meanderings...this beer der Tradition des ersten Oktoberfestes von 1810 is good. But in following the footsteps of most things German, that's kind of expected. Bit on the alcohol-heavy side at 6.0%, but it doesn't have an over-bearing alcohol tint to it...Gives a nice amber color. Decent 2" head or so, Nice carbonation, flavor of berr...Ok, I don't have a fucking idea what I'm saying. I review beer and wine and most everything else that I ingest the same way:

1. I like it
2. I hate it

As funny as this may sound, most wines from Bordeaux and beers from Germany fall under 1.

If I had the chance to buy it again (i.e. if my lazy ass manages to get to the beer store before they're sold out) I would. End of story.

viva oktober.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Stephen Colbert is running for president in 2008! Appearing on "The Daily Show", he said he was ready to consider a run but he said he'd prefer to do it on a "more prestigious show"--his own. He's also going to run as both a Democrat and a Republican so he can lose twice.

Obviously, this is a funny idea that might sell him some books, but hopefully it's just a joke and he's just doing it to get the youngsters to register and ROCK THE VOTE. The best by-product of "The Daily Show" and "Colbert Report" is that they (allegedly) make people more politically aware, even if it's in a humorous way. I just hope the same hipsters that are complaining about the current administration don't turn around and waste a vote on him. What kind of idiot would do that? Personally, I'm voting for Christopher Walken in 2008.

Although, voting for Fred Thompson because he guarantees "the hottest First Lady in US history" is a tempting choice, too.


10. Why is the term "in broad daylight" only used to describe a crime scene? Why can't you say, "I played golf today in broad daylight"? No, it's always "the victim was brutally beaten with a golf club in broad daylight".

9. There no better way to announce "it's over" than putting a marginal talent in a popular, award winning musical. I thought it couldn't get any worse than "Tony Danza in Mel Brooks' 'The Producers' In Vegas!" until I saw this: Clay Aiken joins Broadway's 'Spamalot'. Okay, it's now officially over.

8. Quote from the NY Times Magazine that I never thought would be attributed to an NHL hockey player (New York Rangers' Sean Avery):

"I just got a lovely cashmere throw from a friend who works at Calvin Klein."
It's lovely? Seriously? He also says he'd like to be the "editor of a fashion magazine", that his next big purchase will be the "spring/summer Dior men's collection". Wow, I'm speechless. He also says the most annoying piece of equipment is his helmet, "It's always tight no matter how much I loosen it." Hey, how about you make your next big purchase A HELMET THAT FITS! What, does Armani Exchange not sell them?

7. Reason #2934875 Not To Watch Fox: Subliminal Messages during playoff baseball games.

Gee, I wonder if that Transformers DVD is out yet. Sweet buttered christ.

6. iAppleRipoffTunes is now selling its DRM-free 256 kbps songs for $0.99 each, down from $1.29. That's funny, because Amazon has been selling those (most of them at a cheaper price) for a month now. Feeling the heat, are we, Stevie? Reminder: I must buy something from Amazon this week.

5. TV, I tried. I tried to enjoy your new offerings this season, but they left me feeling empty. I sat through "Pushing Daisies", "Cavemen", "Carpoolers", "Tell Me You Love Me", "Curb Your Enthusiasm"--none of them are horrible, but none of them are exciting. I even watched 20 minutes of "Journeyman" and "Reaper", and accidentally viewed 30 seconds of "Chuck". Ugh. I guess it just wasn't meant to be, TV. Let's just be friends and watch hockey together, okay? Meanwhile, I'm going to catch up on "The Wire" before January.

4. Action-packed hockey game on Monday night between the Maple Leaves at the Miller-less Sabres (on VS HD, no less), where the two teams traded goals back and forth in the final 10 minutes, seemingly scoring on every shot, ending in a Sabres 5-4 OT win with :03.7 remaining. Although there's a nice NHL highlight video of this, sometimes it's best to enjoy games like this through the open thread on Bfloblog. When they Sabres are on, they're ON (they had 19 shots in the 3rd + OT). Crazy, and it's only game #5.

3. Congratulations to the Colorado Rockies for making it to the World Series, basically by beating the living crap out of everyone in their path. They've won 20 of their last 21 games, including sweeping the Phatally Phlawed Phillies and the Uninteresting D-Backs. After the miserable 40 degree rainy weather at Coors Field on Sunday night, I think they're just motivated to wrap this shit up before it snows.

2. Screw the NFL! NCAA college football has been incredible this season. Somehow, every major team has been upset in some amazing way, from last week's Kentucky upset #1 LSU in OT and Oregon State beating #2 Cal, to the 40 point underdog Stanford beating USC two weeks ago. This weekend #2 South Florida (?!) visits Rutgers . . . could we be looking at another upset? Regardless, it will be interesting to see. Oh, and Notre Dame being winless is completely hilarious.


"The Back Up: some people are buying one for each side of the bed!" Sure, it's great and all, but I'm constantly tripping over the legs of my bed and falling over, so I'm sure I'll blow my nuts off if I had one (or two) of these.


Wow! What a voice this woman has and to think, she was working as a prison guard in my old neck of the woods, Ossning, until the mid-90s...As she put it in an interview: In the 70s, the music execs where saying that that she was too short, not pretty enough or too fat. After she hit 25 she was too old...

Saw her last night. Only down part, with noise ordinances that kick in at 12:00 midnight, you shouldn't let the opening act play until after 10pm. I'd have much preferred that they forgo the opening act for more of Sharon Jones and the Dapkings...Oh well. Still great music.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


That will be the name (thanks Jeff!) of my irregularly published post concerning the New York Rangers and their quest for Lord Stanley's Cup, as well as other protective gear like Lord Kensington's shin guard and The Earl of Oxfords chin strap. After a listless couple of periods, the Rangers snapped to life and won game 1, 5 - 2 over the much improved Florida Panthers. Again it was Chris Drury with the late game heroics, only this time he scored a goal that didn't pierce my heart like a thousand daggers. This took a bit of the sting out of the Yanks loss to the Indians, in which Chin Ming Wang looked like he was throwing batting practice. Andy Pettitte needs to come up big today. (Took me what, 2 sentences to completely get off topic?)

I was supposed to publish the above nonsense some time ago and it is now, much like the canceling of "The Ropers" old and sad news.

In the interim, the Blueshirts have lost twice to the Ottawa Senators and as Jeff said earlier, the Sens look awesome. Big, strong, fast, and committed to team defense. Even though the Rangers outshot them in both games, most of the shots were from outside and rebounds were rare. I think the Rangers are going to be a very good team very soon, but it is clear they have work to do to be on the same level as Ottawa. A win over Washington and a typical loss to the Islanders, (in which they kicked fishstick ass up and down the ice and managed 1 goal) brings the Rangers to 2 - 3 in this young season. Next game, Thursday the 18th at the Atlanta Thrashers. The Thrashers will try to get some measure of revenge for the Rangers sweep in the first round of last seasons playoffs. Which makes no sense, since, as just reported, it was last season.

Back to those 2 games against Ottawa, the shots AT goal, which according to my research (none) is an official stat now, I'm going to say the Rangers had 945 and Ottawa had 5216. Honestly, does Bettman (who sucks) have an out of work nephew who's only skill is counting? Why else would they pay someone to keep track of this utterly pointless statistic? OK, Marik Malik winds up and sends an errant shot AT goal, missing by some 20 feet, caroming off the boards out of the zone and resulting in a breakaway opportunity and goal for the opponent. Eddie Bettman then puts down a little tick mark on the score sheet? Malik is credited with an offensive stat?

A word about TBS's coverage of the ballgames this post season - shitty. Try to keep the focus on the field fellas, I don't care about the guy banging the drum in the back row or LeBron James. And your little red light green light 1-2-3 graphic at first base is pointless.

[the following was written a couple weeks ago, and unposted due to extreme laziness and inebriation.] Oh and this is for the guy at the bar who wanted to watch Kentucky vs South Carolina last night, stay home. Both of those teams suck and will be out of the top 25 by the end of the month. [end]

Well it's not the end of the month, but SC and Kentucky are 6 and 8 respectively. This is why I don't gamble anymore. I suck at it. I also went on and on yesterday about how the "home, dome, monday night dog" Atlanta Falcons were a lock. Well, they were dogs allright, (nope, no M Vick reference coming) old, slow, blind dogs, and the Giants pretty much put their season to sleep.

Now lets see whats on TV tonight:

10 PM, Discovery, American Chopper - Will the bike be done on time, or will tempers flare?

11 PM, Discovery, American Chopper - Tempers flare when the bike isn't done on time.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I've been looking for a name of a semi-irregular column to write for OH and I hope to have found it...Using the simple, but straightforward "Things I Hate" line, I'll try to do a column from time to time (usually when the bile rises enough that I must get it out).

1. Now that the French Rugby Team has lost, I don't know who to root against for the Final...I guess the English, the drunken louses that they are, plus the RSA team is just so much more fun to watch...Watching the rose-emblems play is like watching the pre-strike Sabres play hockey. They can win, but it ain't pretty.
Anyway, this isn't about England, of course, it's about Le Quinze de France. I meant to post before, but didn't get around to it, but I hate, absolutely hate how the French are the biggest bandwagon jumpers in the history of, well, history. A month and a half ago, no one in France, save the South-west where rugby is popular, followed rugby at all. Then all of the sudden the French team started to win, people were proud to be French again, they were flying le tricolore for Christ's sake...No one ever flies the flag here, but Saturday they were on cars and buses and in windows. Maybe I just don't get it as a person or maybe I just don't get it as an American, but the whole 'pride via sport' just baffles the shit out of me. You're proud of your country or you're not, but winning against a rugby team from a country of 4.1 million people doesn't make you any more or less of a country in my eyes. Hey at least they didn't celebrate their soccer victory over the Faroe Islands (it's the town barber in goal!).

2. France again: The government has proposed DNA testing for immigrants who wish to take advantage of the familial regroupment. In France, if an immigrant gets formal residency s/he can bring their family to live with them. The government has proposed a voluntary (yeah, I agree with the protesters on this, nothing is 'voluntary') DNA testing the members that wish to come to France. They're dropping N-bombs (Nazi), they're talking about creating a national-database for immigrants, they're using terms like 'purity of blood', they're talking all kinds of bullshit. All of their complaints are complete bullshit to me. Yes, many immigrants are honest people and yes, we should respect everyone the same, but I cannot, do not, see the crime in asking someone who is requesting to be given permanent residency to prove that they are who they claim they are. The anti-testing agents are saying that people are sometimes adopted: Ok, make it clear to the immigration officials from the beginning and there's no problem. I just can't see how this is a problem, except when there's something to hide. I hate to take party lines here, but this reeks of the Left seeing a chink in the government's armor and and seizing on it...

3. “You shouldn’t have to buy a G.P.S. [to find a commercial route from LI to Upstate NY]”. Guess fucking what: YOU DON'T HAVE TO. Anyone who knows me, knows more-or-less how I feel about SUVs and especially about large, asinine, my-dick-is-so-small SUVs. Here's the scenario: You buy a Hummer H2 and some holier-than-thou guy in a Prius flips you off, you're tempted to run them over and they jump onto a Parkway that says "Passenger cars only". What do you do? Do you take the risk and go after him or do you stay on the interstate because you're driving a land-tank?
This NY Times article discusses the complicated mess that the tri-state parkways are for driving (it was created by bureaucrats, what the fuck do you expect?). This is hilarious:

[H]earses are allowed on the Merritt, but not if they are part of a procession. In New York, they are banned unless they are, among other funereal duties, part of a procession.
Anyway, they have some priceless quotes from the Chevy/GMC dealer in Bedford Hills, where they would like to sell more 3/4 ton pickup trucks, but can't really because they're too heavy to driven on NY parkways:
"[M]any people considered a GMC Sierra 2500 pickup with crew cab and diesel engine, at about 9,000 pounds fully loaded, a family car." Yep, I cross shop Chevy Impalas with these all the time.
"They can seat six comfortably, and some people want them to plow their driveways." In Bedford Hills? People are going to drop $60,000 on a truck, then plow their own driveways. Ha! Right after they climb to the summit of Mt. Marcy and haul in the 20 face cords of wood for the winter. Get the fuck out of here.

Oh and the quote above? Some rich kid from LI went upstate to buy a miniature horse. They had a horse trailer that couldn't take the parkways so they had to buy a GPS! Little tidbit: Google maps. It just took me 2 minutes to do there is only a few miles in the middle of the Island (and you have to avoid the Garden State) where they have to go out of their way. Oh and it was free, unless I had to print it, in which case you have to count the $0.0001 for paper and $0.005 for ink.

4. Hollywood. And the people who write about it...I usually avoid Time and Newsweek and their ilk like the plague, but Julie happened to procure a couple of magazines during one of her recent drug-mule runs. I was reading Time's article on "Nobody likes westerns, so why are they so good?" They state two facts and I see two glaring errors. #1, I like some Westerns - High Noon, Unforgiven, some Leone stuff, etc. As much as I like a Spaghetti Western here and again, they were not "good" movies. So then the article goes on for three pages talking about how much no one likes Westerns, while steadily stroking Brad Pitt for making "Blahblahblah Jesse James blahblahblah coward blahblah" (yeah that title is just too fucking long). Then they have the money-shot quote from James Mangold, the director of the remake of "3:10 to Yuma"
John Ford could just run amuck, carving out trails between sacred burial grounds and monuments. Now the environment is so protected in these national parks that we had 350 rangers watching every move if we step on one indigenous plant.
You heard it in time first, the Western is extinct because of the Department of the Interior. Fucking government. I wonder if it ever occurred to these dicks to rent private land from people? I'm sure that there are ranchers who would hire out their land for filming...

5. The "Service" Industry. Why is it so difficult to get someone who is supposed to be providing you with a service to actually provide you with said service? This is an ongoing problem here in France and of-late a really big pain in the ass. I don't get it; people are supposed to be getting me information, which would allow me to pay them money. But they don't do it. So I don't pay them...Simple as that.

Bonus: This is just to get the "Bettman sucks" tag on this post, but why the fuck hasn't anyone in Philly other than the two league-minimum-losers gotten in any trouble? I saw that Jeff touched on this, but it is fucking outrageous that those cunts (yep, I said it) up in Toronto just don't give a shit...They took a lot of heat about head shots and stuff, so they've decided to dish out the penalties, but I am convinced that it's just a way to shut up their critics (don't worry faithful readers , Open Hockey will always criticize Bettman, no matter what); I don't think they really care one way or another if people take/give head shots.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I'm going to come right out and say it: horror movies don't scare me more than the Ottawa Senators do. They're scary good. They dispatched the New York Rangers in the night 3-0, on three goals scored in an unfathomable 52 second span. Dany Heatley, dammit I wish he was on my team.

* Meanwhile, 3 out of 5 NHL "experts" have chosen the Rangers to win the Cup. Not sure what they're basing that on, but everything that I've seen points to Ottawa. Oh, my choice is still San Jose over Ottawa. Though it would be foolish to overlook the Sabres, who won 6-0 and 7-1 this week, the second game they had 53--FIFTY THREE--shots against the Crapitals.

* Last night the Devils won a game they usually don't: a bad 2nd period, a listless Brodeur, an Atlanta goal with 4 guys in the crease in what can only be described as a "clusterpuck", down 4-2 entering the 3rd. They came all the way back and won 6-5, with Patrick Elias scoring a PP goal with :27 remaining in the tilt. It seemed like everything I shouted at the screen happened: I just got finished saying, "Elias has a great shot, he should just fire the puck on net more" and BOOM! Elias scored a goal (that may or may not have gone off his skate unintentionally). Then after the go-ahead goal I sarcastically suggested, "Hey guys, how about we play a little defense now?", with :15 left this happened:

Yes, this game was mere inches away from being tied up by Atlanta, if not for Brodeur's quick glove work. All in all, a great effort by the Devils and a nice win, but one that you don't expect to happen more than once a season.

* I almost bought tickets on Friday for a Rangers @ Devils game at the brand new Prudential Center . . . and then remembered that after the game was over, it would be 10:00 PM and I'd be in Newark. Seriously, I'll just watch it on TV.

* After beating the Rangers 2-1 in a close fought game on Tuesday, the Islanders did what they almost always do the next game: lose. Badly. This time, 7-1 to the struggling Leaves, albeit with their backup goalie. It's uncanny how they get up for the Rangers games, and follow it up immediately with a let down.

* It's official: the new RBK sweaters are pretty uniformly hideous, from the missing stripes that make Toronto look like they're skating in warmup jerseys, the ugly-ass lines and colors on Calgary, and the hideous orange sleeves on the Islanders. For some reason, the home jerseys for Dallas, Vancouver and Atlanta have giant letters with the city name on it, just in case their fans forgot where they were. How dumb to they think their fans are? Answer: pretty fucking dumb. Anyway, I noticed that the Original Six were virtually unchanged, but all of the Canadian teams' designs are not as subtly tweaked, because they know they are most likely to shell out the money for the new threads. But not only are they ugly, they also reportedly also retain more sweat and the players end up with more moisture inside their equipment (gloves, skates and pads). In other words, Bettman sucks.

* The Philadelphia Flyers need to be penalized severely for having two of their players in the past month viciously attack opponents. These 20+ game suspensions are meaningless if they're levied against marginal players like Boulerice (a 29 year old 4th line goon), and Downie (a non-starting rookie sent down to the minors mere hours later), and it's even more ridiculous that the team's management and coaches would not be punished at all. So how does this penalize the team? They should be forced to lose a roster spot for the duration of the suspensions, then maybe this nonsense would stop. Or maybe we could just eradicate the Flyers "organization" completely--that option sounds better to me.

* And of course, I'm rooting for the Colorado Rockies to win the World Series, since they were the original name of the New Jersey Devils. Does that mean they get their names on the Stanley Cup?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Hey, guess what? The NHL is back! That's right, the 2007-08 season is already underway! No, really, I just checked. You haven't heard anything? That strikes me as strange, since the commissioner of the league is a supposed marketing guru. Interesting.

In case you were wondering,'s CENTER/CENTRE ICE ONLINE is a crock. Though they gave the impression that you get unlimited access to hockey games, during the free preview most games were blacked out for no apparent reason. In fact, Vancouver and Calgary was blacked out for those with New York addresses, and since we border Canada we're practically in Alberta. The price? $149 if you sign up before October 19 (when it goes up to $169). You've got to be joking. I hope this includes the TV version too. Everything that has done well, the has managed to screw up, making this a missed opportunity if ever there was one. As always, Bettman sucks.

Now let's talk some LOCAL PUCKAGE!

Florida Panthers Brett McLean (L) looks for a rebound as New Jersey Devils goaltender Kevin Weekes falls to the ice during first period NHL ice hockey game in Sunrise, Florida, October 6, 2007. REUTERS/Hans Deryk (UNITED STATES)Devils backup goalie Kevin Weekes, called into action due to Marty having "personal business" to attend to, was peppered with 21 shots IN THE FIRST PERIOD in Florida on Saturday, yet still got the Devils first (and, so far, only) win of the season. While their offense is young and better than most think (no, I don't miss the injured Langenbrunner, who never impressed me), I do think this Devils defense is its biggest weakness. Oduya? Yes, yes I do, though I do like Oduya. Personally, I don't see them as falling off as much as others do, but they will have more trouble winning games. Sutter has them forechecking more than I've ever seen, so maybe there's an adjustment period for them. Let's just hope they get into the playoffs and Marty is rested enough to make a run for it.

New Islander Bill Guerin already has 5 assists in the two games against Buffalo to start the season. Not bad, but I don't think this alone will get the Isles back in the playoffs. However, let's see if the Islanders can continue their dominance over the Rangers with tonight's matchup.

The Rangers' Steve Avery is already out for a substantial amount of time wih a separated shoulder after getting cleanly checked by Chris Neil on Saturday. Sure, Buffalo fans like Kris The Biggest Sabres Fan In France might agree that Neil Sucks Ass, but there was nothing dirty about this elbowing. This is a considerable loss, since Avery is not only a pest, but more talented than most people realize. Still, this is a deep team. Not sure why Jagr is matched up with Straka again instead of the newest Devil in A Blue Shirt Scotty Gomez--wasn't that the whole point of getting him in the first place?

Here's my BLOGNOSTICATIONS for the 2007-08 season (postseason contenders listed in order of blognosticated finish):

Campbell Conference: Detroit, San Jose, Anaheim, Minnesota, Vancouver, Colorado, Edmonton, Calgary.
Yeah, I picked a lot of Canadian teams, but that's the way it should be. I picked San Jose to win it all last year, so that shows you how much I know. But the Wings, damn them they're going to be good again.
Most improved: Colorado. And Mike Keenan in Calgary should be interesting . . . for a while.
#9: St Louis. So close, and yet so far.

Wales Conference: Ottawa, NY Rangers, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Washington, Toronto, New Jersey, Boston. Ottawa is going to run away with that division, and possibly the league, though I have no doubt they'll find some way to blow it in the postseason.
Most improved: Boston, riding the coattails of the Patriots' championship in February, will finally make the playoffs, validating Claude Julien's existence. There were so many choices for that #8 team, I could have easily put in Tampa Bay, Carolina or Atlanta but I didn't because I'm sick of the damn southern teams. Plus, I want to see the Bruins turn this thing around (even more than I want to see the Red Sox lose to the Indians this week). And yes, I put NYR vs. NJ for the 2/7 first round matchup, because I'm cheeky like that.
#9: Philly. They're going to strike out more than Ryan Howard this year! One can only hope, anyway.

Okay, I've got to run to watch the Rangers play the Isles @ the Mausoleum. POTVIN SUCKS!


For the first time the incredible history of this blog, I feel intense pressure to post something, anything, due to Kris' suddenly prolific and rantastic week here at Open Hockey. The one-two punch of the new header/slogan was more than enough of a contribution, but three posts in a row? Unprecedented.

I like this blog for what it is, a place to verbally unload whatever is weighing us down, hopefully in a humorous context. It may not always work, and we may not even care about what we ranted about 24 hours prior, but that's part of the charm and fun of it. Sure, there's some hate to go around, but none of it gets too personal, political or aggressive, and is quite frequently pointed at ourselves. Overall, I like the fact that practically no one really reads this blog or, if they stumble upon this blog, even know who we are.

I will readily admit that I'm a private guy. I don't like to stand out, despite the fact that being 6'4" means that it's pretty unavoidable. Although I can have a bit of a temper, I'm basically non-confrontational. Most of all I don't crave attention, which is probably why I deleted my MySpace profile after 6 months, since it's the antithesis of my personality. I don't collect acquaintances, but instead have a handful of good friends that I keep in touch with. (And no, I don't plan on going to my 20th high school reunion next year, in case you were wondering.)

Basically, I'm not sure why I blog; perhaps it's a form of a therapy. Since on a daily basis I find myself ranting without actually following up on it, this blog is a perfect mirror of that. I don't know if it's an interesting and/or funny read or not, and quite frankly I don't care. But try to enjoy it anyway!

(Don't worry, there will be dick jokes later.)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I realize that this makes the last three posts mine, which is highly irregular, but I've had a lot of bitching to do lately and Kammann has been getting to know EL VOSTRO MAGNIFICO in highly intimate, non-blogging ways. Anyway, I just put's RSS feed on my yahoo! and now I have occasion to get upset at stupid people on a daily basis.

Anyway, some people are mad at Google. Why you ask? Google changed the Google Logo to show the Sputnik in the second "g" on the 50th anniversary of the launch.

They see this as honoring the Soviet Union and claim that Google does nothing to honor American heroes, as any true "American" company should do...They have also celebrated the Chinese (fucking commies) New Year for the last 4 years, and not once have they celebrated that holy of holy holidays Christmas...Opting instead for the catch-all "Happy Holidays."

The anonymous site owner of, who created a competition to make a Memorial Day Google logo "to prove to Google that it wasn't too hard" said:

"I have no problem with Google commemorating obscure holidays or some of the trivial anniversaries that they note, just so long as they also make special logos for the more significant holidays."
WHAT? Who the fuck is he to tell a company with a $190 billion market cap what they have to do? Oh right, the owner of a site with some articles and pictures of middle-aged San Francisco gay men.

I just want to say one thing: The most beautiful thing about capitalism is: You don't have to use Google, you fucking putzes...

I don't care what you think, I actually like Google's use of obscure dates and references in their header. The fact of the matter is that the Soviets did beat the US to space with the Sputnik, I think that it counts for something and there's no reason that we should censor a 100% private company because we don't want today's kids to know that the "USSR" actually existed at one point.

Ok, I know that the point is that they should give "fair" coverage to red-blooded American dates...Ugh, why don't these people start focusing on important issues, like reducing carbon emissions and saving Antarctica...kidding, of course.

I'm actually embarrassed that I spend so much time on this non-story...I need to start hating important things, like bears and cheats named Dida.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Gary explains the net-worth of
the NHL with him at the helm

As the reigning "Biggest Sabres Fan in France" I am of course well-apprised of all the happenings of the NHL. Therefore it came as a great surprise when I learned that the NHL season had started like a month ago...Ok this isn't all true. I had heard rumors on ESPN and stuff, but had no idea that it was starting. Christ, Gretzky could've missed the start of this season, for all the fanfare there was.

Anyway, today in that biodiesel-burning, hemp-growing, Al-Gore-voting, liberal love-fest, Slate, there's an article advocating a relegation system in the NHL.
Now, I know that every sports bar in North America has a guy with a Wayne Rooney shirt prattling on about the greatness of relegation, and how baseball would be better if the Colorado Springs Sky Sox got their shot at the top. That guy is drunk. Don't listen to him.
Yeah, that's the contributors of OH in 2003 or so (minus the Rooney kit)...I think that it was a Thursday night at around 11:30pm in the pub formerly known as Walsh's (we'd left work at 5 and hadn't been anywhere but since...) and RV, Kammann and I had this all figured out.

Anyway, it's nice to see a professional writer (using the definition of "professional" as 'anyone who gets paid to do a task') discuss the possibility of relegation in hockey. As stated, it could contract the league by 5-10 teams, making it more streamlined. Although DiMeo doesn't mention it, this could result in reducing the regular season by 10 or 15 games as well, because let's face it, no matter what you do, there's going to be a greatly reduced amount of interest in the games in October than there will be in May...Even I can't bring myself to watch a Sabres game...wait, scratch that...I tried. I happened to be up at the game-time start of last night's shitkicking and went first on ('cause I signed up for the free trial of NHL Center Ice). Every fucking game was blacked out! What is the point of buying NHL Center Ice when every game is blacked out? My billing address for that is in upstate is not possible that upstate NY is in viewing range of Vancouver vs Calgary...
Yes, Gary, I'm going to pay $150/year (or whatever) for you to blackout every fucking game of the season...BRILLIANT! The marketing of this league is fucking amazing. If only they could find a way to start playing these games in empty arenas, then the league would have perfected everything. Anyway, so after trying to "legally" watch the game, I flipped to Sopcast. There was a fairly decent amount of games available for my viewing pleasure...but no Sabres-Isles. I watched a few minutes of OTT beating up on NYR and then crashed.

Relegation would be great for the league and it would deal with the ballooning of the league without actually, you know, contracting the league. It would be difficult (the Sabres farm team could technically become better than the Sabres...Hell imagine the Lowell Devils vs the New Jerseys Devils in the second round of the playoffs? "New Jersey has called up Lowell player ___ and ____ and starting goalie ____, they have sent [fourth line winger] ____ and [3rd string goalie] _____ down to Lowell."), but I think that if the league wanted to (NO!) and the team-owners really wanted to fix the system (NO!), Bettman could make the right move (NEVER! Let's put a team in Vegas, instead).

I'm not going to hold my breath for this to happen...While Gary "I suck" Bettman's in office, nothing is going to change...Well, yeah, they'll play a game in the Czech Republic...they'll make some more rule changes (maybe they'll decide that all jerseys must have 10% pink on them next) and the league will continue to sputter along. But some day, the change or die will really come to pass, and maybe they'll consider radical new ideas, like the one we've been throwing around since 2002, relegation.

That is all.

Oh and Bettman Sucks.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Right, so this post hasn't the slightest thing to do with masonry, but its about failure in general. Well, not failure per se: What's the word, I'm looking for...ah, incompetence...right. I'm not a superstitious person in general; I like the number 13, I walk on cracks, you know stuff like that; but today is one of those days that I am sure I'm going to avoid all people because I think that everyone is just fucked today.

1. I've been trying to figure out a way to get money from France to the US...I still have outstanding things in the states to pay (damn Sallie Mae), but without any income in the US, I have to find a way to transfer this from €uros to Dollars and from France to the US (I'm hoping that the dollar just take a huge shit and it turns out that my student loan is only worth like 50euros or something). Along came Paypal with, what I thought, would be a solution...Yet, it seems that they can't even make a website that works. I jumped through the 80,000 hoops to prove that I'm not a drug lord or supporting the Taliban with my "payments"...I get to the "Send Money"...I try to send from my French paypal persona to my US paypal persona and..."You can not use your credit card to complete this transaction at this time." Ok, fine, I'll use my bank account. I jump through 20 more flaming hoops to put my banking info in there and...."You can not use your credit card to complete this transaction at this time." Well no shit...That's why I'm trying to use my bank account...Fuck that. I go to email them to ask how the fuck I can pay if I can't use my credit card or my bank account...Food stamps? bartering? food-for-oil? I don't know. So I click through the 15 screens to get to the customer service request thing and "Page Not Found." Ok, no problem...I'll go through the US site and request info "Page Not Found." Ok fine, I'll call them, even though this is France where any number that would be a 1-800 number in the States is the equivalent of a 1-900 for pay I paid 21 euro cents a minute to listen to Muzak...after 10 minutes I gave up on that too. So now I'm in Paypal purgatory...I need a new way to launder my money to the states...any ideas?

2. Our air conditioner/heater (it's one unit) is on the fritz (and not on Fritz-ha!) and we need to get it serviced...being that it's only 4 months old, it [had goddamn better] be under warranty. Julie spoke with a woman at the company*, who needed more technical information than Julie could give...So the woman said she'd call me right away...that was over 3 hours ago...It comes back to the for-pay lines...I don't want to pay 25cents a minute to talk to this woman who's supposed to call me.
*great aside: In France, customer support or customer service is called Service Apres Vente (SAV); literally After Sales using the same format this is of course the "ASS department".

3. La Poste has corporate programs where I can get a volume discount if I buy different shipping options in advance...I ordered them about 10 business days ago and was told they would be here in 4-5 business days. Of course I haven't seen them...Contact La Poste..."No no sir, everything is in order. You should probably get them today or tomorrow at the latest at '25 rue...'". "Umm, did you just say 25? 'Cause I'm at 13." The asshole who ordered these took down the wrong address.

I swear, if France didn't have this overwhelmingly huge bureaucracy that's it pillared on, the whole damn country would be on par with Nigeria and Bangladesh for efficiency and all other first world traits. And of course, being that La Poste is one of the biggest groups of incompetent bureaucrats in the entire country, you'd think that it would be ripe for other groups to come in and do that...Fed Ex is here and in a partnership with...wait for it: La Poste!! And UPS costs like 4 times more for exactly the same [lack of] service.

Don't get me wrong...if I were in the US, I would also hate the US as much as I do now...It's not that France is worse than the's just that I'm here, now.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


OPEN HOCKEY has a new look, which you might have noticed (but judging by the recent Statcounter pageloads, probably not). Kris worked hard (hardly worked) at creating the piece of of art you see at the top of the screen; he even came up with the brilliant, sarcastic, pre-judgmental, antagonistic tagline. Well done, sir! I was concerned about getting "expressed written consent" (or even "implied oral consent") from the NHL for the use of their logos, but screw them; they could use a little exposure since they can't do it themselves.

This ass-kicking, name-taking header comes just in time for the official kickoff of the 2007-08 NHL hockey season. Or was that last weekend? Either way, the league in its infinite wisdom chose the first day of the MLB playoffs to show a double-header on VS., ensuring minuscule ratings. If they had done this yesterday, when I was so starved for entertainment that I watched "Cavemen" (which wasn't horrible), they might have had some viewers.

Anaheim Ducks' players pose with the Stanley Cup near Tower Bridge in London, Wednesday Sept. 26, 2007. The Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks have brought the oldest team trophy in North American sports back home to England. The Ducks, who practiced at the O2 Arena for the first time Wednesday, will open the National Hockey League season in the British capital on Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings. (AP Photo/Tom Hevezi)Meanwhile on the other side of the pond, London's O2 Arena (owned by AEG, the same company who owns the L.A. Kings--it's all about synergy) hosted 2 games last weekend to "extend their brand" to Europe, and by most accounts the sport was well received. The hooligans especially loved the fights, although one onlooker was baffled by Ryan Getzlaf and friends posing with the Cup near Big Ben (actual quote: "The NFL is here next month, maybe this is part of that promotion"). Overall, I think we need the BBC to write more descriptions of hockey, they're just so damned British.

"The NHL champions, who beat the Ottawa Senators to win their first title in June, began the second period brightly but could not force the puck past agile Kings netminder Jonathan Bernier. Then, with 30:15 on the clock, Los Angeles doubled their advantage as captain Blake swept home a rebound after Anze Kopitar's shot had been well saved."
Well saved, old boy! Yarrr, Captain Blake doubles yer advantage! Wait, 30:15 on the clock? What the hell? Is that the metric system? Was there any injury time added on the end?

Falling into the NHL's evil marketing trap, the Biggest Sabres Fan In France was intrigued by the new NHL.TV and its promise of a free preview (until October 9th). However, upon trying to sign up he was informed that it was only available for people with U.S. addresses. Way to extend your brand, geniuses! NHL: Invisible All Around The World! It's such a fantastic sport, and it's a shame that it's getting buried by shoddy management, clueless broadcast networks, and asinine marketing schemes. As always, Bettman sucks.

The Onion Sports, "Sports Talk Radio For Fans Who Like To Read", has chimed in on the NHL as well:
"Despite hints, suggestions, and outright pleas from its friends and family members to "stop embarrassing [themselves]," National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman announced yesterday that NHL players, team management, and league officials will in fact go through with their plans to attempt the 2007-08 season."
We know you secretly love the NHL, otherwise you'd completely ignore it like everyone else.

Tomorrow, more Wales Conference teams get in their first games, with the Devils hopefully starting the season brightly down in Hockey Bay (Tampa) and the Rangers home against the Panthers. Stay tuned!