Thursday, May 31, 2007

Nessie: Found?

I don't care if Nessie has been found or not. This is worth watching for the wonderful accents. Makes me think I need more accented YouTube stuff.

She's starting to walk

It's the end of May. For those who can't count, Autumn is a little over 11 months. She'll be one soon. And for the last few days, we've been having her walk between us. She can stand on her own now. That's no problem. She can even take a few steps. But she's at the point where as soon as she realizes she's walking on her own, she falls. It's actually cute to watch.

At dinner last night, we were wondering how long until she walks for real. We both kind of thought that one day she would get up and just start walking. It seemed logical. She would be crawling one day, look at one of us, smile, and get up. And that would be that. Turns out though, it's a little bit more complicated.

Step one is walking with help. She can do that. She walks across the floor with her walker. Even turns herself around. Step two is standing. She's really getting the hang of that. She can stand without holding onto something now. In the tub, she'll just stand there. We're pretty sure she's almost got that down.

Which pretty much leaves walking. And so now, here's the thing. People talk about the first steps. My little baby took her first steps. We're meant to think of that as a huge moment. But like I said, she's walked on her onsie already. She's taken a couple of steps. But is that really walking? Are these the steps they talk about? If that is what they mean by her first steps, then she took them a couple of days ago. However, I like to think that soon, she'll be walking alone. Really soon. We'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Holy Cow -- and I mean Cow

At our house, we try to eat right. We watch what we eat. But it's getting tougher and tougher in the World of George Bush.
WASHINGTON: The Bush administration said Tuesday it will fight to keep meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease.

The Agriculture Department tests fewer than 1 percent of slaughtered cows for the disease, which can be fatal to humans who eat tainted beef. A beef producer in the western state of Kansas, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, wants to test all of its cows.

Larger meat companies feared that move because, if Creekstone should test its meat and advertised it as safe, they might have to perform the expensive tests on their larger herds as well.

The Agriculture Department regulates the test and argued that widespread testing could lead to a false positive that would harm the meat industry.

A federal judge ruled in March that such tests must be allowed. U.S. District Judge James Robertson noted that Creekstone sought to use the same test the government relies on and said the government didn't have the authority to restrict it. - A federal judge ruled in March that such tests must be allowed. The ruling was scheduled to take effect June 1, but the Agriculture Department said Tuesday it would appeal, effectively delaying the testing until the court challenge has played out.

Mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is linked to more than 150 human deaths worldwide, mostly in Britain.

Three cases of mad cow disease have been found in the United States. The first, in December 2003 in Washington state, was in a cow that had been imported from Canada. The second, in 2005, was in a cow born in Texas. The third was confirmed last year in an Alabama cow.

Everything is politics

It's almost June and the 2008 Presidential Race is, I dare say, heating up. All around we hear about politics. The political left, the political right, the candidates that will lead their sides of the spectrum -- a full year and a half. Even for me, a political geek (or wonk if you prefer), has almost had enough.

Turns out though, there's no escape. It turns out that Monday nights at 9:00PM offered an ideological choice. '24' vs 'Heroes'. Or, according to an article in Salon, the right leaning politics of '24' versus the left leaning politics of 'Heroes'.

Here's the gist: On '24', Jack Bauer has to save the world from Terrorists bent on destroying a US city. In the show, Jack has to bend some rules, and torture people to get the intel he needs to save the world. Geneva convention be damned, it's the hypothetical "if a terrorist has a suitcase with a bomb, would you torture him to get the information' blown out to a TV show. In fact, in the second republican debate, one of the candidates said this to wild applause when answering a '24ish' hypothetical about a terrorist with a suitcase bomb.

"I'm looking for Jack Bauer at that time, let me tell you. And there is nothing -- if you are talking about -- I mean, we are the last, best hope of Western civilization."

Contrast that with Heroes. The arc on Heroes this year was the Nuclear destruction of New York City. The difference is that we knew that the bomb was a person. We also expected Heroes to save New York from that person. Without torturing them. In the Heroes world view, interracial marriage is as normal as a hero from Japan or India. The heroes in 'Heroes' aren't black and white: you can't tell the good guys from the bad guys and Heroes can't control their own power.

Anyway, the bigger news is that Heroes kills '24' in the younger demographic ratings. Meaning, I suppose, more people lean to the Heroes world view than the 24 world view. In a country where it's legal for the President to detain and torture its citizens, it's good that more young people are leaning left.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Flags of the world

Sometimes you see things online and think: Man, that person has a lot of free time. Other times, you get an idea in your head and you have to see it through. This is an example.

From this site, someone got the idea to do a pie chart for flags of the world. It's a cool idea. And it's worth looking at.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Today is a holiday in the US. Meant to be a memorial for fallen soldiers. There are many different ways to celebrate, remember them. One doesn't have to be for or against the current war to remember.

We took this opportunity to visit with family. Because even though memorial day is about soldiers, etc, it's about remembering. And , thus, I feel like it's a great chance to make memories. We made a bunch of them this weekend. We drank beer, played with Autumn, and touched base with family. That's the kind of weekend worth remembering.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Pigs in North Carolina

As a Buffalo booster, I tire when I hear people talk about moving to the Carolina's. As if the Carolina's are the be all and end all of life. But alas, people say it, and think it. So here now, in 2007 is my prediction about North Carolina, home of the Country's second largest population of pigs, 9.5 million (as of Dec 1st, 2006). They will have to come up with something to do with the poop.

You see, according to the US Census, the human population in North Carolina is currently 8,683,242. For those good at math, you'll note that unless a million people settled in North Carolina in 2006, then there are more pigs in NC than people.

So what?, you wonder. The thing is, pigs create 4 times as much waste (poop) as humans. And they don't use the toilet. Or wastewater treatment plants like we humans do. It's just dumped. Now North Carolina has a lot of room, but eventually, it could run out. And while there are some ideas as to what can be done with the pig waste, like make oil, money, or not, eventually the bill will have to be paid.

And maybe then, the people who fled Buffalo for the greener pastures of the Carolina's will realize that they can be as happy as a pig in shit -- right here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lola, by the kinks

I'm sitting in my living room right now listening to a live concert by the Kinks from Feb, 1977. The description says they were on that night, the Kinks were. Alcohol abuse often meant that even though they were on stage, they weren't on.

This comes from a website called WolfGang's Vault. My sister, AKA Aunt Tracey should go. They have some old Rod Stewart concerts.

The sound is amazing. The concert options are amazing. And some day, it might not be free. But right now, it is. And that rendition of Lola just gave me the chills.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

hot tub baby

saturday was the first day autumn put her feet in the hot tub. she seemed to thoroughly enjoy it and we think she may be swimming soon.
note the side-swept hair... interesting- eh?)

Monday, May 21, 2007

11 months old today!

It's here. She's one month away from being a year old. We're excited.

Happy May Two-Four

Yes, I understand how the calendar works. And I can count. That's why I know it's May 21 today. But in Canada, it's May two-four weekend. Meant to celebrate Queen Victoria's Birthday, which is May 24. Canadians though, more than most people, love the long weekend, so the holiday is always on the last Monday before the 25th. It can occur on the actual 24th, which is often surreal, but not really special. It could actually occur on May 18th, and still be called May two-four weekend. This most likely confuses new residents into thinking Canadians can't count.

But there's a good reason to call it May two-four weekend. In Canada, a case of beer is conveniently called a two-four. That's proof that Canadians can indeed count, even if they are calendar-challenged.

It seems like a beer marketers dream? Queen Victoria is born on the cusp of summer. She has a rather stellar reign worth celebrating. And then, in one of the colony's, a place where they are just dying to get rid of winter and celebrate summer, some Upper Canadians decided to celebrate her by, perhaps, raising a beer from their case. An almost perfect set of circumstances come together to make a weekend that is virtually dedicated to drinking beer. A vodka soda on May two-four? Please. Pass the Blue. Pass an Ex.

And so it was. May two-four weekend, one of the only holidays in the world that is dedicated to drinking beer. So cheers Canada -- your beer drinking image is cemented once again. Have a good two-four.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The last Sabres post of 06-07

We were able to go to what turned out to be the last Sabres game of the year. Fittingly, they came back from a goal down in the third period to send it into over time. But I started to feel a deja vu.

At some point, I half expected Daniel Alfredsson, the Senators captain, to score short-handed by beating Jason Pominville. Because that's the opposite to what happened last year in game 5 when the visiting Sabres clinched the series in 5 versus the favored Senators. Alfredsson was the goat.

This year, he was the hero. And while he didn't score short-handed, he did win a one on three battle and then beat the goalie. It was a great individual effort. Great enough to expunge any demons left in Ottawa fans. He was the difference in the series. That, and the Sabres inability to muster a continued offense.

As for our team? There will be some changes. Briere and Drury are most likely gone. The team's character will be different, especially since Drury is their only Stanley Cup winner. They'll get some new guys. They'll get a new year. As for this year, Hockey just ended. I have passing interest in seeing Ottawa vs Detroit or Anaheim.

We cheered though. It was another fun season in Buffalo. In hockey, when you have a rooting interest, the highs are higher and the lows are lower. Right now it's low, but it'll get better. Summer's almost here.

Friday, May 18, 2007

good golf, bad fish, a day in the life

Yesterday, I had the privilege of golfing at Legends on the Niagara. It was really cheap, so I went. I even played okay, getting a 2 o the 7th hole. Yes ladies and gentleman, an honest to goodness birdie. Most of the rest of te time, I got 6 or 7, for Legends is a tough track for someone who no longer really golfs. But it was a nice day.

Then we went over to our hosts house for dinner. And that, ladies and gentleman is when things seem to have fallen apart. I had dinner, left at around 9:30, and arrived home a little after 10:00. Hit he sack, and that was that. Until around 5:00AM, when it felt like a large hairy man with a baseball bat was repeatedly walloping me in the belly with a baseball bat. Not the way you want to start your Friday morning. After a rousing ten minutes on the toilet, it was clear that something was wrong in dodge. I was freezing, had a headache, had a belly ache, and felt worse and worse. So Rhona called me in sick.

Right now, I feel okay. Not great, but I don't feel like I'm dying anymore. More rest will help. I have to be on my game tomorrow. We have Sabres tickets.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Funny ad, not funny website

This is a funny ad for a beer. It speaks to a nice moment that guys can relate to; which is that sometimes talk a lot. Especially in the dating process. These ads are targeted to an older demographic, the men are a little older, and they are asking the men to switch to a beer that is brewed differently.

Notice that they don't talk about taste, they don't talk about how the 'brewed differently' will make it taste good. They use a funny site gag to reinforce the message they are trying to communicate. Interestingly, it's not a new message. All beers are "brewed differently". Bud brews it's beer different from Coors. However, there's nothing wrong with an advertiser trying to own something everyone else does. If you tell people you brew differently, they might think about your brand differently. And I would presume that this beer is a premium beer, so throwing in the brewed differently sets up the reason for the premium. All good stuff so far.

Except, when you go to the web site. There is nothing going on there. They could at least post the youtube ads on the website. Or talk some more about how men are brewed different. They do talk about the brewing process, but you can tell the tone is different:
"Red Tail Ale is an amber ale brewed in a traditional Old World Manner using premium two-row malted barley, hops, our own special proprietary yeast strain and pure water. Red Tail Ale's recipe calls for generous amounts of Pale and Caramel malt balanced by whole Cascade and Cluster hops, this makes it the substantial, full-bodied amber ale that has over the years become THE LEGEND."
It's missing the clever tone of the ads. Which means, of course, that Mendocino speaks differently to people, depending on their market. And that isn't the boldest strategy. So, thumbs up for the ad, thumbs down for the way it plays out.

tick, tick, tick

The Sabres won game 4 last night. After going up 3-0 (ironically down 3-0), they hung on for a 3-2 win. And, yes, they barely hung on, but they hung on.

The Sabres have three games left on the schedule, albeit two of them "if necessary". Of the three left, two of them are at home.

It's one shift at a time, one period at a time. I know these guys are professional hockey players, but I'll make a curling analogy. When the team gets down early, it's easy to panic and go for it. But it's often smarter to play a simple game, and go for a deuce. Get 2, force to 1, get 2, and so on. Take your food off the panic button and play a simple game. It begins to frustrate the other team. That's why this post is called tick, tick, tick. This is the mindset of the players: Ottawa wants it over. The Sabres want it to never end. The extra day is murder for the Sens, and wonderful for the Sabres. Every extra day is a victory, even one on the schedule.

If on Saturday, the Sabres can get out of the gate fast, and score another goal in the first few minutes, the Sens will have to work hard to not get frustrated.

So, we'll see. Game 5 is three days away. That's three days for the press in Canada (mostly Toronto) to ask Ottawa how tight their necks feel. Will it matter? It might. It might not. But a win on Saturday will make it matter. Then the Toronto press will really wake up and begin asking the questions that Ottawa doesn't want asked, namely, "is this the same old Ottawa?"

We'll be downtown on Saturday, with Autumn, watching the game with the masses of people. It should be fun. Win or lose, we get a chance to celebrate a fun season.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Spring is here

All this hockey talk. I'm neglecting two things: the spring, and Autumn. Above is a picture Rhona took of some gorgeous flowers. Below is a picture of our other flower:

If hockey ends tonight, then so be it.

Last year, Sabres Senators

I remember listening to Ottawa sports radio last year when the Sabres were up 3-0. Game 4 was in Buffalo. We didn't go to that one, we went to game 3 (they won). Anyway, the prevailing talk on sports radio in Ottawa was simply this: steal a game in Buffalo, win game 5 at home, and then see what happens. The fans on the other hand, called up with the 'they're done' theme. The radio guys talked of hope. The callers talked of dread.

That's where we are. The fans are pissed, and rightly so. These aren't the Sabres, it feels like. There's even a joke e-mail going around about an Amber Alert for the Sabres since they are clearly missing.

And that difference is telling. In last year's playoffs, the Senators didn't play badly. In game 2 last year, they out-shot the Sabres almost 2-1. And those are the ones that got through. Jay McKee was blocking shots at a league leading pace. And while I sat listening, smiling as they threw around what if's, somewhere deep inside of me I could see Ottawa coming back. I could see a win giving them momentum, going home. It didn't work, Sabres won in game 5, on the penalty kill, short-handed. But there was nothing easy about it. When they won, we the fans were relieved.

So, to tonight. Game 4. The talk on sports radio today is simply win one at a time. Win this one, and the series goes on ice until Saturday. And that's nice, because the Senators will get 3 days of being asked why they didn't close it out at home. And it isn't Saturday night, hockey night in Canada, it's Saturday afternoon, Hockey Day in the US. And that's something.

The game is already on NBC's schedule. It's also a chance for Brett Hull to come to Buffalo and tell us why the Senators will close them out. It's a pipe dream of epic proportions really. To expect this team to break through some tenacious playing by Ottawa will, as Lindy Ruff opined, "Take something special".

This entire post is grasping for straws. It's asking the team that seems to come back from just about anything to come back from the biggest thing. It's bleak. The team has to believe in the one game at a time mentality. The team just has to think they are special enough. I'm ready to think they have it in them. And I realize the irony from last year.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

really, like that?

Honestly, it wasn't supposed to end like this. It's not over, but it's bloody close. Going into game three last night, the Sabres most likely had a game plan. Play shut-down, opportunistic hockey. Just like last year in the playoffs in Ottawa. You can get outshot 40-20, but make the 20 count. Last year, they would frustrate the sens, leaving only outside shots. And Miller handled them. But occasionally, be it the power-play, or the penalty kill, they would turn it around for an odd-man rush and score, like Jason Pomenville did in game 5 last year. Opportunistic. That's why the Sabres only got 15 shots. They prepared for that style throughout the season. A game in New Jersey was practice. They could play that game. That's why Miller was the first star. The game plan was somewhat sound, the problem, to me, was two things.

1. They didn't play it well in the first. True, Ottawa was riding high, pumped. Up 2-0, they came out flying. It's weather the storm time, and they weathered. In period 2 they didn't allow a shot for the first 10 minutes. Game plan on. Except:

2. The power play was a continued embarrassment. I'm a fan of these guys and a general optimist. I'll give credit were it's due if Ottawa's scheme was better than Buffalo's. But the power play has been in shambles since the Islanders series. It didn't get better versus the Rangers. It's been worse than flat in this series. There were moments last night when the Senators looked like they were on the power play in the PK.

So this is it? It's not gut check time, that was last night. It's play for pride time. It's get one in Ottawa so the fans can say bye, or boo, or whatever the fans in this town will come up with. But if Game 2 was the last time we see them at home, it's a better memory than that game last night.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A fire in Buffalo

Growing up in Southern Ontario, we received US-based NBC, ABC, CBS on our basic cable. The Buffalo versions. We watched Irv Weinstein, we watched Commander Tom. We quoted: "It's 11:00, do you know where your children are?" as teens, at 11:00.

Thus, if we were watching the American Channel, at 11:00PM, we watched Eyewitness News, and Late Breaking, On your side, and all that stuff. And a patten emerged. It seemed to me that in the 80's, most of Cheektowaga burned to the ground. That's because Buffalo networks led with murders and fires. "Tonight, there was a murder in Lackawanna and a Fire in Cheetowaga." At the time, both of these places were foreign to me. I had no idea where they were, but they have a nice memorable mnemonic.

When Rhona and I started dating, I told her about the prevailing notion that Buffalo's surrounding area burned down. She was skeptical. But asking around, she discovered that more and more people in Southern Ontario shared that view.

For a long time, American networks and news have had the "if it bleeds, it leads" theory. Michael Moore took a look at network news in his documentary "Bowling for Columbine", and determined that American news is scarier than Canadian news. His 'study' might have been flawed, but if he asked people in Southern Ontario, what the perception of Buffalo was, he would have heard that there are a lot of fires and murders. Because those are always the leads, and people remember the leads.

This post isn't meant to be an indictment of the American media. I'm only telling you, anecdotally what I recall about news here in Buffalo. I suspect it's the same all over since the Buffalo networks are merely outposts. And the 'if it bleeds, it leads" theory is prevailing in the US.

Anyway, this post is entirely for this reason. There was a fire in Buffalo yesterday. We even saw it. And took some pictures. And it hardly made the news. That's a good thing. Here are some shots my wife took.

Non ads Google, and bookmarks

Search with Google, and only get results. Not ads. Try it, then if you like it, bookmark, or favorite it.

Speaking of bookmarks, on the left are my most current bookmarks. Delicious is a free way to manage your bookmarks from different computers. See something you like at work, bookmark is and access it at home.

Very cool.

Happy mom's day

We had a happy mom's day. It started with Autumn and I making mom breakfast in bed. Some cheese on top, which is basically cheese on toast, broiled. A coffee, and some juice. Autumn helped.

Then, Nanny came into town for a special brunch. I made Eggs Benedict with smoked pepper bacon. The eggs benny were good, although I decided I need a double boiler. The other dishes in the brunch were a fruit bowl, roasted potatoes, and fried tomoatoes and mushrooms. Nanny had a nice time with Autumn. She went running across the living room (using her little walker). She would run to me, I would turn her around, and she would run back to nanny. Then Mom got involved, and she ran back and forth.

This, clearly tired her out. Because she went down for a two hour nap! As we reflected, it became clear that Autumn will be walking sometime soon. It could happen at any moment.

But really I want to take this time to thanks my moms. My mom drove her for breakfast on mother's day. I appreciate that. These days, we're just not as mobile as we used to be. It's not enough to pack up Autumn anymore, we need stuff. A lot of stuff. So it was a huge help to have Nanny Hames come here. Second, I want to thank Rhona for being such a great mom. Autumn is turning into a beautiful little girl, and Rhona deserves a lot of the credit. She's attentive, caring, loving, engaged. She's everything you could ask for in a mom.

And finally, I want to thank Grandma Cadenhead for the wonderful spread at dinner. Grandma loves Autumn, and Autumn loves going over there to play. Last night, they played with coasters, both of them smiling and laughing the whole time.

Mother's day was great thanks to the mothers in our lives. She says thanks!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sabres dig a hole

On this blog, last year, I linked to a place whereby you can dig a hole to China. Last night, in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Sabres lost a heart-breaker. It went from elation, with Daniel Briere scoring with 5 seconds left in the game, to deflation in the second overtime.

Now, the Sabres head back to Ottawa where they are 7-1 lifetime. Can they summon up additional magic and dig out of this hole? It's a good question. We'll find out on monday night. If you're a Sabres Fan, then watch this, compliments of Meg, who believes. We do as well, for the record.

One win in Ottawa, on Monday night, and the pressure changes. Then, game 4 feels like a must win for the Senators. If they lose both in Ottawa, the fans will turn, the team will be in turmoil, game 5 will be a celebration. Anything short of that, and Game 5, assuming there is one, will be desperation. Down 0-2, heading to Ottawa, where the fans will be nutty, the Sabres need to start with one win. That's the magic we need. A complete road game, where everyone pitches in. It could happen.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Photoshop, and the way women look

There's been a lot of evidence that woman on magazine covers don't really look like what they look like. They've been photoshopped. But that does that mean? There's a great ad out there from dove soap called evolution (full disclosure, I love Dove soap. I think their tag line could be "All you need is Dove". But I digress. Here's the ad:

Now comes this, from a non-youtube site (the first). It's someone photoshopping a fat woman into a thin woman.

Photoshoping A Big Girl into A Model - Click Here for more great videos and pictures!

The point is, don't believe everything you see. And don't believe everything you think.

Friday, May 11, 2007

What makes a perfect night?

You start with a walk with the family. You grab some take-out Sushi from one of the greatest restaurants I've ever been to. A Sashimi platter. You add a beer, a smiling baby, and you settle in for a hockey game. So far, so good.

Then, the Senators score short-handed. They pounce on an opportunity and score. That was what the Sabres used to do. All the time. One little opening, and they barreled through the door. That's our team. The Sentators second goals was even scored from the spot Daniel Briere likes to shoot from in practice. Their captain scored from our captain's spot.

Still, the Sabres fought back. Max gets a nifty one, and then Toni Lydman, channeling Bobby Orr, scores to toe the game. And it appears we're good. But it never felt good. It never felt like our team, pouncing on chances. It was Senators with breakaway's, and odd-man rushes. It was their team that had the play. I'm generally a positive guy. Even with a few minutes left, I was ready to believe that one goal would have created a desperation that could have turned the tide. Instead, a Senator wins a foot race for an empty-netter, and the game ends with a whimper.

It's not over. The great part about the NHL is that you can lay and egg, and then watch it. The Sabres can, and will adjust. Game 2 is a new night. A 0-0 score. And then on the road, these Sabres have been outstanding. For the next day, we'll be biting our fingernails. Then, we'll get game 2. Adjustments. Drive. Determination. As the old sports saying goes, it's not a sprint, it's a marathon. And the Sabres are more than capable of shifting into another gear.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Superstition in sports

At the end of every period, Ryan Miller, the goalie for the Buffalo Sabres is the last off the ice. And before getting off the ice, he does what can only be called a twirl. At the end of the game, after a win, all the Sabres have to touch his head.

In the warm up, Daniel Briere grabs 7 or 8 pucks and shoots them in the net. He takes each puck around the pile to shoot it at the net. Even the last puck -- it goes around an invisible pile.

Superstition? We the fans are a superstitious lot. We wear the same clothes on game day, sit in the same seat, drink the same beer. We try to do things, in a superstitious way that help ensure our team's victory.

For players at a high level, superstition is more about routine. Ryan Miller does a spin. Briere shoots the pucks. These are routines that help them get into game mode. In Bull Durham (yes a movie), there 's a speech to the effect tat when a player is on a streak, that player should respect the streak. There's something to that, but it's more about being prepared. Getting in the right mindset to be victorious. To prepare. I expect they'll be ready. In fact, watching them all year, I can almost guarantee it.

We're ready. We're starting the night with Sushi. And hopefully ending with cooked Senators.

Game day

Game one is tonight. Sabres v. Ottawa. I was checking out some stats about history. now, it should be noted that history means nothing. Especially to players. They live in the now, in the moment. But we fans, we can look back. And celebrate. So this is looking back. The Sabres have met Ottawa 3 times in the playoffs. They are 3-0. If you click on the picture below though, you will see that I circled the most interesting stat. And that is, the Sabres playoff record in Ottawa. Awesome. (Click on it to make it bigger).

Let's go, Buffalo.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

We love the Daily Show

It's 'fake news' that's funny. And these days, they have a lot of material. I wonder if they're are aware of this?

Utah Co. GOP kills resolution on Satan

"OREM - The Utah County Republican Party on Saturday killed a controversial resolution asserting Satan's role in illegal immigration and supporting the closure of U.S. borders."

The next line though, has one of the two money-shots:

"The move was due not necessarily to lack of support, but because the convention lacked a full quorum."

And later from Sen. Howard Stephenson, a guy who normally agrees with the bill's sponsor, but would have voted against it. Here's why:

"This will just give fodder to the liberal media to beat up on the Republican Party," he said.

Does Howard know that President Bush is for Amnesty, and a temporary worker program, both code words for open borders so that American business can continue to hire undocumented workers because they have no rights?

Probably not.

To get everyone in the mood

For Sabres/Senators. Here is last year.

Game 1 (in Ottawa)

Game 2 (in Ottawa)
(unfortunately, you have to watch Connelly get creamed)

Game 3 (In Buffalo)

Jason Pomenville's Series winner in overtime in Game 5. "These guys are good. Scary good."

The NHL's theory on the best of the series.

That's a good start, I think.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

It's Miller time

As the Sabres go deep into another playoff run, I want to take a moment to point out a couple of things that Ryan Miller does so well. A couple of things that I think make him a classy competitor.

The first is that during the National Anthem’s, Ryan Miller faces each flag. Ryan Miller shows respect to the Canadian flag during the Canadian Anthem and to the American Flag during the American anthem.

It might be an obvious nod to the many Canadian fans of the Sabres who cross the border to see the games, but Buffalo plays both Anthems regardless of who is playing. Round three will be on CBC, and they show the anthems. So we might get a chance to see Miller looking at the flags (Versus doesn't show the anthems, something that annoys me to no end). I think his respect for the flags is one of the more classy things I’ve ever noticed in sports.

The other thing I think is interesting is how Ryan Miller simply says “Play Hockey” to describe playing well.

When asked about a late goal he gave up in a nothing-nothing tie, Miller said that it was good to see the team 'play hockey', and bail me out. He didn’t say it was good to see the team play well. He never says he played poorly. Just hockey.

I think that’s awesome. I think that's the mindset of a champion. A player who expects to play well so much, that his term for it is to merely play.

It might seem like a semantic thing to not ever use play well and play poorly. But I think it's part of what makes him mentally strong. It’s a great mindset to get yourself into. It means you never think in terms of a sliding scale. You play hockey, or you don’t.

I saw him standing on my street once, just after the run in last year’s playoffs. I gave him a guy nod.

I honestly think he’s become my favorite athlete. Partly because of the classiness during the anthems. But mostly because to him, playing bad means not playing.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Even Fox news?

According to a report on Friday from Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, a newly released U.S. Military Handbook Labels Media "A Threat" alongside hackers, Al Queda, and a host of other people.

Media. A threat. To the Army. In the US.

Take a deep breath and think about that. Does Bill O'Reilly from Fox News know he's the bad guy?

Update: this headline from Fox news maybe shed's some light on why the media might be the bad guy:

NRA Opposes Bill Banning Terror Watch List Suspects From Buying Guns.

Really. Wow. I'm speechless.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A hair-raising series

Well, the Sabres just won. And it was closer than we would have liked. Even Autumn thought it was hair-raising.

The Sabres are on to the conference final for the second year in a row. Last year at this time, the Sabres had just upset the heavily favored Ottawa Senators, in overtime, short-handed. Jason Pominville cemented his stature as a player by scoring the goal. the Sabres had some injuries by that time, and they would get some more, eventually going 10 deep on defense and losing in seven games to the eventual Stanley Cup champions. But that series. Wow. Worth a cheer.

Anyway, here we are. The Sabres are now the favorites. People know who Jason Pominville is. This could be the kind of series that will further the Sabres playoff lore. One can only hope. Anyway, maybe if it's good enough, it'll get her watching (note the game on the TV)

Friday, May 04, 2007

You can't script that finish

This is about the Buffalo Sabres. Game 5. 0-0 with 3 minutes left in regulation, series ties 2-2. Then, the Rangers score.

It's hard not to think bad thoughts. Even though the Sabres spent the last two years showing us that they can come back, it's easier to think negative thoughts.

Thankfully, we have a little league world series champion as the captain. With but 8 seconds left in the game, Chris Drury scores to tie it. Rhona and I actually danced in our living room. She even scraped a knee on the table.


In Game 4, the Sabres coach Lindy Ruff sat Max Afiniganov. But he played game 5. And he played great. And then, as if the hockey gods decided to give him one, he scored the winner. The dream is still alive. The Sabres are that much closer.

And that hockey game is the reason I'm a fan. I have a rooting interest, so the result is that much better. But I have to believe that anyone would have enjoyed that one. Holy smokes, what a game.

Sunday, here we come. Here are game 5 highlights.

Republican debate

Last night there was a debate by republican candidates. One of the questions asked was this:

"Yes or no. Do you believe in Evolution."

It was asked to Senator John McCain, who paused, and then stammered out a yes. The moderator then asked for a show of hands by candidates who don't believe. Three hands went up. Watch here.

The questions is meant to pit evolution vs. creationism. But here's the thing: they aren't in conflict.

Creationism proposes the untestable theory that life began when something (they never say god) popped life into existence. Some creationists think that happened billions of years ago, some think it happened 6,000 years ago.

But, and this is important, the theory of evolution has nothing to say about that 'pop' moment. That's a whole different branch of science called physics. The theory of evolution doesn't address the creation of life. That's important to understand, because when you do, you'll see there isn't actual conflict between evolution and creationism.

Thus, to say one doesn't believe in evolution shows just how uninformed, and dogmatic a person can be. With millions of species, and billions more to be discovered (we're just beginning to understand bacteria, and it's role in life). The theory of evolution doesn't comment on where life came from, but it does comment on how we came to be us. And that, really is the crux. The bible says that man was created in his image. Evolution proves we weren't. There's a substantial fossil record (one doesn't here the term missing link anymore) that shows that we indeed evolved from somewhere else. The evidence is fairly hard to ignore, which is why some creationist concede the earth is billions of years old. But in doing so, they attempt an end around of the debate.

If they can get people to think it's possible that someone (like god), popped the universe into being 14 billion years ago, then it's possible to take them to the next level. Once we concede that the big bang was helped by a force called god, then it isn't hard to begin suggesting that after a few billion years (what the bible helpfully calls days), God popped out man and planted fossils to help us with our curiosity. I made that last part up, but my point is this: the discourse in this debate is purposely dumbed down. And it's done so because the purpose is to further dumb it down. I would love to respect John McCain for saying yes and alienating most of the religious right that makes up the base of the Republican party. But I can't. Because it's wrecking the level of discourse.


in case you can't tell this is jessica and jacob guzzino.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

that kind of day

Here's the day.

It starts, of course, with this blog's namesake waking us up at 5:00. Which is unacceptable, so after a bit of food (in our bed), she falls asleep snuggled up to dad (your narrator).

Meaning, we all sleep in. So we're running around like nuts. Never good. But amazingly, we make it, Mom and Autumn in the car, the dog walked, and I jump in the car to head to work. In the parking lot at work, I realize I left the work computer at home.

Not good.

Back I go. Grab said computer, give dog a kiss and back on the road. This time, computer and lunch (a couple of PB&J sammy's being carried in a plastic bag) are on board.

Back to the parking lot. Grab the computer, the aforementioned plastic bag, and high-tail it to work. At the elevator, with nothing to look at but the numbers over the door, I look at my lunch, and laugh. Inexplicably, I grabbed a bag with Autumn's dirty clothes. So far: late, been to work twice, my lunch is poopy clothes.

It gets worse. Rhona is out tonight so I'm on my onesie with the girls. I load them up and walk. Autumn is a breeze. She's laughing, loving life. Lucy is a bit of a pain, but not unmanageable. She poops. I get it. We carry on. At the end point of our walk, the point where I plan to turn around and come back, she decides to poop again. Thankfully, I was packing in both holsters. Only, two problems:

It's runny and the second bag is holy. Crikey, I mutter. I can't abandon the poop. There are people around. It's a gorgeous day. So I go in, carefully. And get dog poop on my hand. At the farthest point away from my house that I could be. With a baby, and a dog, still in tow. It's not like I can dash into a washroom (or as they say in an America, a bathroom, where I would have considered bathing). Nope. I gotta walk all the way without thinking about it.

And that's not the worst part. Ever tried to not think about the dog poop on your finger? Go ahead, try it. Try not thinking about dog poop on your finger. Impossible.

It's now 7:44 PM. Autumn has been fed. Bathed. And she's down. We bathed together, and I paid extra attention to my hand. I now plan to lay on the couch and watch mindless TV.

How ideas are generated

So, here's the deal. As writers, we come up with ideas. Ideas are inspired from somewhere. I use magazines to come up with ideas. The web. Other ads. It turns out, I use more. Watch this:

I wonder if they did this test a few times, or if it worked once. Still, cool.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The politics of the right, today

In today's Wall Street Journal, HARVEY C. MANSFIELD, a Professor of Government at Harvard (a liberal school, don't you know), argues that the US isn't a place where the rule of law should exists, but a place where the rule of "One man, or, to use Machiavelli's expression, uno solo," (I swear, he wrote that) should be encouraged.

His argument: this Country, the beacon of democracy, should not really be democratic. Deep down in the argument is this nugget:
"A free government should show its respect for freedom even when it has to take it away."
This is the Wall Street Journal. The paper of record for conservatives. Other conservatives have labored to explain that Bush doesn't break laws because spying, torture, rendition, launching wars without congressional authority, indefinite detention, aren't happening. You've heard probably a million times the line, "The US doesn't torture." They end up looking a little dumb since it's kinda clear the US does in fact torture, and do some other things.

But not this guy. He's not claiming that Bush didn't break laws, he's celebrating it. He wants a tyrant (in certain times he pains to explain), because only a tyrant can protect him. This is, without question, not what the US is all about.


Sabres run still going

There's nothing more nerve-wracking than the NHL playoffs when one has a rooting interest in the outcome. Nothing. There isn't a moment where you're not on the edge of your seat, or couch. Last night, we watched the Rangers 'hold serve' in the series. That's a tennis term to tell you that they won both of their home games. It's series, the people say, somehow implying it wasn't a series at the beginning of the series. Even though, it should be noted that they call it a series at the beginning.

But I digress. The Sabres are better on home ice because they can match better. Will they be better? Evidence shows they will be. Were they bad last night? The first goal for the Rangers was a pinball goal, off Jagr, then Numinen. If Roy doesn’t hit a post, if Vanek stretches, if Connelly can finish, if Briere’s goal holds up....yes all ifs. However, there’s no if about this: it’s a best 2/3 and two of them are at home.

I’ll take that.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007