Monday, April 28, 2008


This is just a very quick notice to the effect that there may not be too much activity here for the next couple of months or so (although I hope to be able to post at least once in a blue moon). I'm off tomorrow to go bones-bothering (or, as a friend of mine put it, "Indiana Jonesing). Normal service will resume in early July!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

One Morning I Woke Up, And I Found The Invader...

Well, yesterday was Festa della Liberazione in Italy, which celebrates the liberation from the Nazis late in WWII, but is particularly a day in which the anti-Nazi partisans are remembered. So, I would be remiss if I did not take the opportunity to plaster up the following video:

If there's an Italian folk band out there that has not recorded some form of that song, I haven't heard of them.

And, here are the lyrics ("bella ciao", incidentally, just means "goodbye, beautiful")

Una mattina mi son svegliato
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
Una mattina mi son svegliato
Eo ho trovato l'invasor

One morning I woke up
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
One morning I woke up
And I found the invader

O partigiano porta mi via
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
O partigiano porta mi via
Che mi sento di morir

Oh partisan, carry me away,
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
Oh partisan, carry me away,
For I feel I'm dying

E se io muoio da partigiano
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
E se io muoio da partigiano
Tu mi devi seppellir

And if I die as a partisan
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
And if I die as a partisan
You have to bury me

Mi seppellire lassù in montagna
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
Mi seppellire lassù in montagna
Sotto l'ombra di un bel fiore

Bury me up in the mountain
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao,
But bury me up in the mountain
Under the shadow of a beautiful flower

E le genti che passeranno
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
E le genti che passeranno
Mi diranno: "Che bel fior"

And the people who will pass by
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao,
And the people who will pass by
Will say to me: "what a beautiful flower"

È questo il fiore del partigiano
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
È questo il fiore del partigiano
Morto per la libertà

This is the flower of the partisan
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
This is the flower of the partisan
Who died for freedom


I have just been informed, via the medium of final exam, that one of the major themes of Homer's Odyssey is, and I quote, "life is about the journey, not the destination." There are a couple of problems with this statement:

  1. It completely, 100%, fails to apply to The Odyssey. That poem is very much about the destination. This concept is illustrated, for example, by the fact that when Odysseus gets the opportunity to spend seven years shacked up with a nymph he spends those years sitting on the shore staring in the direction of Ithaca (i.e. his destination) and weeping. The Odyssey is also about perseverence and loyalty and base cunning, but there's a great deal about "destination" in there as well.
  2. Homer was not in the business of concocting inspirational poster messages.

Just sayin'...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Heroic Comebacks

A few days ago I was involved in an online discussion about the phenomenon of NHL teams coming back in playoff series from 3-1 down to force game 7. This was in the context of the Montreal-Boston series, which Montreal had seemed to have in hand before gacking up games 5 and 6. Specifically, we were wondering what tended to happen in game 7 of such series. Did the team that had led 3-1 tend to get its act together and win out, or did the team that came back and forced game 7 have the upper hand? There seemed to be only one thing to do. Here, then, is the list of best-of-7 series wherein a team has led 3 games to 1, only to end up playing game 7. Some observations will follow.

YearTeam With 3-1 LeadOpponentGame 7 Winner
2003New JerseyOttawaNew Jersey
2003VancouverMinnesota WildMinnesota Wild
2003St. LouisVancouverVancouver
2003ColoradoMinnesota WildMinnesota Wild
2002ColoradoLos AngelesColorado
2001ColoradoLos AngelesColorado
2000PhiladelphiaNew JerseyNew Jersey
2000San JoseSt. LouisSan Jose
1999PhoenixSt. LouisSt. Louis
1994NY RangersVancouverNY Rangers*
1992Minnesota North StarsDetroitDetroit
1991DetroitSt. LouisSt. Louis
1989EdmontonLos AngelesLos Angeles
1987PhiladelphiaNY IslandersPhiladelphia
1987WashingtonNY IslandersNY Islanders
1975PhiladelphiaNY IslandersPhiladelphia+
1975PittsburghNY IslandersNY Islanders+
1968St. LouisPhiladelphiaSt. Louis
1939BostonNY RangersBoston+
* = Stanley Cup Finals
+ = Series was at 3-0

  • The table has been updated to include the Montreal-Boston and Washington-Philadelphia from this season.
  • Out of 40 series, 20 have been won by the team who originally held the 3-1 lead, and 20 by the team that came back. So, you can for all intents and purposes flip a coin.
  • Astonishingly, for two teams that have been around since the NHL introduced best-of-7 series, this year marked the first time that Montreal has ever coughed up a 3-1 lead and gone to game 7, and the first time that Boston has ever managed to come back from 3-1 down.
  • Philadelphia is the worst culprit when it comes to giving up 3-1 leads, having done it five times. The Flyers have recovered to win three of those series.
  • The two teams that have most accomplished the feat of forcing a game 7 after being 3-1 down are the Vancouver Canucks and the New York Islanders, with four apiece. Vancouver has gone on to win three of those game 7s, the Islanders two. However, the Islanders deserve some credit for forcing a game 7 after being down 3-0 twice in the same playoff year!

Monday, April 21, 2008


The Scene: A Roman Catholic priest has invited Barack Obama's now-infamous pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, to his church. Fox News has sent out a reporter and a camera-man to confront this priest, ask him a few leading questions, and lob a handful of Bill O'Reilly talking points his way. Unfortunately for Fox News, the Catholic priest in question is Father Michael Pfleger, who has been doing social justice work in Chicago's tough Auburn Gresham neighbourhood for about a quarter of a century (often, it must be said, to the irritation of the Chicago Archdiocese). Father Pfleger isn't having any of this, and a reaming-out ensues. Here's the video (it runs about ten minutes):

Fez tip to Maru.


So, what does the worst April blizzard in these parts for many a year look like from space? Like this:

Click to see larger image.

Actually, I don't think you can see the border lines from space, but if you could, that would be awfully convenient!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Musical Interlude!!

Well, the brother, sister-in-law, and nephew units are off to Albion's shores today, and in addition to wishing them safe travels and good fun, we decided to have a Musical Interlude in their honour. Now, if we were feeling lazy and uninspired, it would be the simplest thing to simply put up The Clash's "London Calling," punch our timecards, and be out of here. Fortunately, we here in the Warrens would never stoop so such depths, and we are pleased to inform you that elite Kobold video-finders have been working around the clock, without food, water, or sleep, to bring you the most exciting Britain-related Musical Interlude we could manage. Many of those who were conscripted freely volunteered for this dangerous duty have not seen their families in weeks, and not a few have gone completely mad. However, their work, has not been in vain, and in fact they have just...


*Sounds of a struggle*


*Running footsteps fading into the distance*

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Then Chunklets Discovered Hockey-Reference.Com, And Was Never Heard Of Again

The National Hockey League began its inaugural season on Wednesday, December 19, 1917, featuring a match between the Toronto Arenas (later the St. Patricks, and then the Maple Leafs) and the Montreal Wanderers (pictured above). The host Wanderers, the team of choice for Anglophone Montrealers, won the game 10-9under their player-coach Art Ross, and Wanderers player Dave Ritchie scored the NHL's first goal. The Arenas, however, would go on to win the NHL Championship, defeating the Montreal Canadiens in a two-game, total-goal, final (the Arenas would subsequently defeat the Pacific Coast Hockey Association's Vancouver Millionaires for the Stanley Cup). Joe Malone of the Canadiens won the scoring title with 44 goals and 48 total points (not too shabby for a 22-game season), and his team-mate Georges Vezina was the league's leading goalie. The NHL, that season, was composed of the Wanderers, the Canadiens, the Arenas, and the Ottawa Senators.

The Wanderers, who had won the Stanley Cup several times prior to the creation of the NHL, did not fare so well after their bright start. In fact, their opening-night victory over the Arenas was the only game they would ever win in the NHL. On December 22 they were pounded 11-2 by the rival Canadiens. On Boxing Day, they hosted the Senators and lost 6-3, before travelling to Ottawa for a rematch on the 29th. The Senators won that one, too, by a score of 9-2. Then, on January 2, 1918, the arena shared by the Wanderers and Canadiens burned down. While the Canadiens were quickly able to arrange new accomodation, that was it for the Wanderers. They forfeited games against the Canadiens and the Arenas before formally packing it in. Art Ross went on to become famous as the coach of the Boston Bruins, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1945. Dave Richie finished the 1917-1918 season with the Senators, before going on to play for the Arenas, the Quebec Bulldogs, and the Canadiens.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Italian Election Blogging

So, as alluded to yesterday, Italy just completed a general election (in addition to a number of regional and civic ones, about which I will not go on!). Here's your guide!

The System:

The Italian political system is bicameral, with members of both houses elected by proportional representation. The two houses, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, have the same rights and powers; a piece of legislation may be proposed by either house, and must then be approved by the other. The leader of the majority coalition (more on all this later) in the Chamber of Deputies becomes the President of the Council of Ministers, a position roughly equal to a British or Canadian Prime Minister. This individual appoints a number of ministers, who do not have to come from his own party or coalition, or even from Parliament at all.

The Italian Head of State is the President of the Republic. This person is elected by Members of Parliament (both the Chamber and the Senate), along with some other delegates, not by the voting populace itself. The President of the Republic has control of the armed forces, can veto legislation, and is in charge of calling elections. Currently, the position is occupied by Giorgio Napolitano, an ex-Communist whose term expires in 2013.

Turning now to the two houses of Parliament, and how they're elected:

The Chamber of Deputies has 630 members, elected on a national proportional representation system. Voters select a party, and the national percentage of votes for that party determines the number of seats it receives. Who actually occupies those seats is based on fixed lists published before the election; if a party wins enough of the vote to hold 15 seats, the first 15 candidates on the list get those seats. The elected candidates are then portioned out among geographical constituencies, based on where the particular party did well. Most of the 20 regions of Italy have one constituency, but a few of the more populous ones have two or even three. Fairly simple so far, but there are a couple of wrinkles.

First of all, the Italian electoral system is designed to encourage parties to band together and form coalitions. Therefore, the threshold (the minimum percentage of the vote necessary to receive at least one seat) is lower for parties in coalitions than it is for parties acting independently, and the President of the Council of Ministers is the leader of the winning coalition, rather than the winning party (usually this is one and the same, but in theory...). Secondly, the winning coalition is guaranteed 55% of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies no matter what its actual percentage of the vote, a feature known as the Majority Principle. Finally, and rather unusually, a small number of seats are set aside for Deputies who will represent Italians permanently living abroad. Thus, for example, there will be two Deputies in the next Parliament representing North and Central America.

The Italian Senate has only 315 members, again elected by proportional representation. However, in the case of the senate, the percentages of the vote are tallied regionally, rather than nationally, and each party submits a fixed list of candidates for each region. The Majority Principle applies, again regionally; the winning coalition in each region is guaranteed 55% of that region's seats. There are also Senate seats for Italians living abroad. Finally, there are 7 "Senators for Life," and I confess that I don't know how one attains that status, although I believe that meritorious service to Italy plays a role!

Before moving on, I should mention that this is the system that applies to most of Italy; A couple of regions, Valle D'Aosta in particular, do things differently, but I shall skip the particulars since they don't affect very many of the seats at all. There are some differences in the rules for those Italians voting abroad, as well.

The Players:

This election featured four coalitions, and a number of independent parties. The coalitions were unusually small in this election, in terms of number of parties involved, compared to the last one. The coalitions were as follows:

Walter Veltroni's coalition. This group was comprised of the centre-left Partito Democratico, led by the ex-Mayor of Rome Veltroni, the anti-corruption party Italia dei Valori ("Italy of Values"), and some other small regional parties. The PD itself is an amalgamation of a number of left-wing parties who contested the last election, including the Partito Democratico della Sinistra.

Silvio Berlusconi's coalition. Prior to this election, Berlusconi, a billionaire businessman and twice already President of the Chamber, merged his old conservative Forza Italia party with the even more conservative (ex-neo-fascist, in fact) Alleanza Nazionale to form the new Popolo della Libertà party (the AN's former leader, Gianfranco Fini, was number 2 on the PdL's fixed list for the Chamber of Deputies). They were joined in coalition by the Lega Nord, who advocate for increased autonomy from Rome fpr the northern regions of Italy, and by the Movimento per L'Autonomia, a party advocating increased southern Italian autonomy. Politics makes for strange bedfellows indeed, given that the Lega Nord's opinion of southern Italians is, well, not very nice. Berlusconi's coalition also included a number of small parties of no particular note.

Those were the two main groups contesting this election. The other two, who were not expected to do much, were the Unione di Centro (centrists, or mild centre-right parties), and the La Sinistra – L'Arcobaleno ("The Rainbow Left") coalition, comprised of a number of hard-core socialist and communist parties. Among the independent parties were regionalist groups of various political leanings and a handful of one-issue parties, including a disabled-rights group.

The Results:

Short answer: Berlusconi won, and will be, again, President of the Chamber (at least until he gets indicted again, a thing that seems to happen to him fairly frequently). Skilled Kobold cartographers slaved away this morning producing the following map, to show you how things broke down regionally. The results shown below are based on total vote for both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

See below for a key to the regions, as well as some observations on the map!

1: Piemonte8: Emilia Romagna15: Campania
2: Valle D'Aosta9: Toscana16: Puglia
3: Lombardia10: Umbria17: Basilicata
4: Trentino Alto Adige11: Marche18: Calabria
5: Veneto12: Lazio19: Sicilia
6: Friuli Venezia Giulia13: Abruzzo20: Sardegna
7: Liguria14: Molise

Some observations:

  • Valle D'Aosta, which works independently of the national proportional representation system, elected a Deputy and Senator from a couple of small, more-or-less centrist, Francophone parties.
  • The map does not take into account how close the races were in each region. Rome itself, for example, went for Veltroni, but the rest of Lazio was heavily in favour of Berlusconi.
  • Odd things happened in Molise. First of all, Italia dei Valori beat out their coalition partners in the Partito Democratico. Secondly, despite the fact that Veltroni's coalition beat Berlusconi's in that region, Berlusconi took more seats thanks to the Majority Principle.
  • While Berlusconi did take Veneto, he did so mostly thanks to his partners in the Lega Nord, rather than his own party.
  • Veltroni's best results were in Toscana.

Overall, Berlusconi's coalition ended up with 340 of the Chamber of Deputies seats (as noted above, the Majority Principle did come into play here), with the Popolo della Libertà party holding 272 of those. The Lega Nord took 60, and the Movimento per L'Autonomia the remaining 8. Veltroni's group ended up with 239 seats, 211 of those going to the Partito Democratico, and the rest to Italia dei Valori. The breakdown is similar in the Senate; Berlusconi took 171 seats (PdL 144, NL 25, MpA 2) while Veltroni ended up with 130 (PD 116, IdV 14). Of the other coalitions, the Unione di Centro managed to pick up 36 seats in the Chamber, and 3 in the Senate, but the "Rainbow Left" failed to make the threshold. A very small number of other seats ended up with regional parties from Valle D'Aosta and Trentino Alto Adige. The seat number will probably change slightly over the next couple of days, since the seats designated for Italians abroad have not yet been designated.

Over the next few days, Berlusconi will be appointing his cabinet, and trying to figure out how to keep his coalition together. He will have to give concessions to the Liga Nord, which is not really good news, particularly for the South. On the geopolitical front, George Bush unfortunately gets one of his key European allies back, for what its worth; it's highly unlikely that even Berlusconi would be foolish enough to re-commit Italian troops to Iraq, or that his government would survive long if he did, or that Napolitano would let him if he tried.

One final note: as during the recent provincial elections here, there was much concern in Italy over the possibility of low voter turn-out in this election. And indeed, turn-out did fall... all the way to 80.4% (from about 83%). Alberta voters, I'm looking at you...

If you want to see more detailed election results, go here! Note that the "Chamber of Deputies" in Italian is "Camera dei Deputati" or just plain "Camera" while the "Senate" is "Senato."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Annoying But Not, In The End, Surprising...

Lots more on this tomorrow.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Up-Tempo Punky Friday Afternoon Musical Interlude

Ok, we've got a couple of things for this afternoon. To begin with, here's Rancid covering The Ramones' "Sheena is a Punk Rocker." I think they do a fine job of it!

And here's some band or other performing "Complete Control."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Chunklets Has a Message...

...for whomever stole Crimson Rambler's laptop. Said message is not utterable in polite company. That is all.

UPDATE: Speaking of theft...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Linguistic Conundrum

(UPDATE!: Table fixed! The answer, dear friends, was that you need to have all the code for the table in one continuous line; if you try to insert a line-break anywhere in said code, it puts it between the preceding text and the top of the table. So now we know!)

In the comments to the post below, Crimson Rambler raises the excellent question of the correct past tense of the verb "to tread." Simply put, is it correct to say "we treaded water," or is "we trod water" better? Well, after much running around in the warrens, and some rather focused poking of the Googlemonster, we arrived at the conclusion that both, in fact, are just fine.

First of all, the subject of the past tense of "to tread" was broached not once, not twice, but at least thrice by a certain Professor Henry Bosley Woolf of Louisiana State University, a specialist in Old and Middle English, and one-time Editor-in-Chief of Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. In his three articles, written in 1946, 1953, and 1954, Professor Woolf arrived at the conclusion that, while "trod" had the weight of history and the dictionaries behind it, "treaded" had certainly gained some currency (full citations are given below). As Professor Woolf noted, strong verbs (those verbs that indicate the past tense by changing their root vowel, e.g. "run" to "ran" and indeed "tread" to "trod") can become weak verbs (verbs that indicate the past tense by adding a dental suffix, e.g. "form" to "formed") over the passage of time. In fact, according to this BBC webpage, the number of strong verbs in the English language has fallen by nearly by nearly two-thirds in the past millenium or so, despite the fact that English vocabularly has grown immensely. Therefore, it would be entirely reasonable to suppose that "treaded" might at some point completely replace "trod" as the past tense of the verb "to tread." Prof. Woolf did mention the possibility that "tread" was the correct past tense, but could find not examples of it in use.

Seeking a definitive answer as to whether "treaded" could yet be considered correct, we consulted the Oxford English Dictionary, to see what a more recent source might have to say on the matter. And, sure enough, under "to tread" we found "treaded" listed as an acceptable weak form of the past tense... but only, only, in the phrase "treaded water!" This would seem to indicate that "treaded" is analogous to "flied," the weak past tense of "to fly," which is only acceptable in the context of a batter in baseball hitting the ball such that it is caught by an outfielder before it hits the ground (UPDATE!: Not so! See Crimson Rambler's comment below!).

So there you have it! Both "trod water" and "treaded water" are acceptable phrases, although the latter is much more recent, and is still coming into common use as a past-tense form in general.

However, we were not finished! To try to get some sort of idea of how far "to tread" has travelled along the path to weak-verbdom, we turned the Googlemonster loose on the problem. Here are the number of results that he turned up for the weak and strong past tenses of "to tread" when used in a number of common phrases:

Infinitive PhraseStrong Past Tense ("Trod")

Weak Past Tense ("Treaded")

"to tread softly"3,190 (70.4%)1,340 (29.6%)
"to tread carefully"5,010 (59.4%)3,430 (40.6%)
"to tread lightly"4,740 (50.1%)4,340 (49.9%)
"to tread firmly"946 (100.0%)0* (0.0%)
"to tread the boards"15,500 (97.4%)421 (2.6%)
"to tread water"6,820 (25.3%)20,100 (74.7%)

*Actually, there was one result for this, but it was quite clearly a typo for "threaded firmly."

We can see from this that, while the weak form now dominates in the case of the phrase "to tread water," and has a significant presence in a couple of other phrases, we still tend to use the strong form of the past tense.

Prof. Woolf's articles (you will need a JSTOR account for the two linked articles):

American Notes & Queries, Volume V (1946), pp. 168-169.

"Trod Water?" American Speech, Vol. 28, No. 3 (Oct., 1953), pp. 234-235.

"'Trod Water' Again." American Speech, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Dec., 1954), p. 294

Monday, April 7, 2008

Drama Down At The Ol' Swimmin' Hole

The drowning woman floated face-down in the water. Nearby, we treaded water, unconcerned.

The lifeguard spotted the problem, and looked about for something to throw to the drowning woman. Finding nothing, she leapt into the water and propelled herself towards the swimmer in trouble. We treaded more water.

The drowning woman drifted towards us. We got out of her way.

As she approached the drowning woman, the lifeguard cried out: "You there, in the water, are you ok? Do you need help?"

The drowning woman raised her head from the water and said: "Should I respond to that?"

"No," said the man on the shore, taking notes. "You're unconscious and non-responsive."

"Gotcha," said the drowning woman, and went back to drowning.

The lifeguard reached the drowning woman, performed some complicated manoeuvre to flip her onto her back, and hauled her towards safety. We admired her technique.

Upon reaching the shore, both drowning woman and lifeguard exited the water, and waited while the man made some more notes.

Finally, he looked at the (former) drowning woman, and said: "Your turn." The (former) drowning woman ascended the lifeguard tower. The (former) lifeguard entered the water, and assumed the role of drowning woman.

The drowning woman floated face-down in the water, &c. &c.

Yes, we (a friend and I) went to the swimming pool (what it lacked in swimmin'-hole-ness, it made up for in being-indoors-on-a-snowy-day-ness) on Saturday afternoon, and found ourselves in the odd position of being the only people there who were not taking the lifeguarding exams. We did ask if we should leave, but were told that no, we could stay as long as we didn't get involved in the proceedings. So we merrily treaded water and watched as repeated rescues occurred a scant few feet from us. It did add a certain something to the proceedings...

Friday, April 4, 2008

De Unctoribus Oleo Edmontonensibus

Warning: Hockey Blathering Ahead!

The Greasy Ones have now finished their season, pausing on the way out the door to kneecap the boys from Vancouver. In pre-season discussions with friends, my line was that our lads would miss the playoffs this year, but that it would be a lot of fun to watch. In this way, it would be unlike last season, when they missed the playoffs and it wasn't fun to watch at all.

Digression on the 06-07 season: Late that season, with the Oilers mired in a 12-game losing streak, I took a friend who had never seen ice hockey before to a match. 10 minutes into her first ever encounter with the sport, she turned to me and said "the Oilers are really bad, aren't they." Yes, yes they were.

Anyway, back to this season. Yes, they didn't make the playoffs again. However, this time there is reason for true optimism. For one thing, the Oilers didn't go quietly this time, winning 14 of their last 20 games and very, very nearly sneaking into 8th place, and this not-quietly-going was achieved with about 5 key members of the team out injured. For another, 15 of the guys who pulled off that run are under the age of 25 (the Oilers' second line has a combined age of 59), and they played a fast, attacking style. Yes, it was fun to watch, and fun to follow; for the first time in years, I could watch an Oilers game and recognise the players without having to squint to read the names on the backs of their sweaters. Best of all, there's no sign that next season is going to be any less entertaining.

Here, then, are the First Annual De Koboldorum Rebus Awards To Members Of The Edmonton Oilers For Their Performances During The Recently Concluded NHL Hockey Season (With Illustrations):

Team MVP: This was all about Mathieu Garon until he, inevitably, got hurt and the Oilers didn't miss a beat without him. I'm giving it to Ales Hemsky, who's one of the most skilled players in the league, and one of these years is going to have the numbers to prove it. Click here to see Mr. Hemsky in full flight.

Best Rookie: The Oilers themselves wussed out and split this award between Sam "Samwise" Gagner and Andrew Cogliano. No such wimpiness here! It was Gagner, by a nose.

Most Under-rated Player: He led the team in goals, and improved statistically in most categories from last season. He was often to be seen camping out in front of the opposing team's goal, irritating the goalie and making it hard for him to see. And yet, he got almost no press, and much of what he did get was negative. Ladies and Gentlemen, Dustin Penner.

Most Improved Player: Denis Grebeshkov. Oh my, but he was a coach's nightmare early in the season, especially playing point on the powerplay ("And the puck gets away from Grebeshkov, and it's a breakaway the other way..."). By the end of the season he was mauling guys along the boards ("paging Dion Phaneuf...") and showing skill and confidence with puck. Watch as he goes for a bit of a skate through the heart of the Calgary defence.

So, here's to next season!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

More Effort Required...

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou

Fortunately, skilled Kobold profanologists have assured us that the Vulgarotron4000 will be up and running soon, just as soon as they can find the thingamajig that they need to fix the main doodad on the whatchamacallit. We can but hope...

Fez tip to The Crimson Rambler, and Peace, order, & good government, eh?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Today's Bear-Getting-Itself-Into-Difficulties Story... brought to you by the town of Apopka, Florida! You can see a previous BGIID Story here.

Anyway, in Florida, it seems that late last week a bear wandered out of national park near Apopka and into a residential neighbourhood, only to be vanquished by a foe fiercer than anticipated!