Friday, January 30, 2004

Nope, i'm up this early because Laura's first day at the hospital is today.......
James...were you up playing EverCrack again? ^_~ 5:06AM??? Tee hee.
Oh yea, and more GREAT news is.....Only 21 days till pitchers and catchers report to sunny and warm Ft.Myers Florida! :::mutters::: 5 goddam outs away....Grrr
:::Standing ovation::: Grats, you kept your cool and said what you needed to say and got it off yer chest! Well my dear friend it's a brave new world and how you proceed from here is all up to you! Everyone needs that certain sideways pressure valve to release the anger so may I suggest a nice stiff drink and a little loud music....and go from there! :::shrug::: But then again what the hell do I know?!?

Thursday, January 29, 2004

By the way, I think this should be a good time in your life because you are finally dealing with the issues and hopefully putting them behind you so that you can truly enjoy the future, without looking at the past with deep discomfort.

Good shit Sul' --- it's about due too! I hope that this has given you some of the closure you've been looking for. Huzzah to for keeping your cool throughout the conversation. That's not easy to do when there has been sucha history of hurt and resentment. I hope that it gave her some material to reflect on too.

Here's to fully functioning home-made lightsabers! Salut!
Unless you build your own, it doesn't count.
New form of matter discovered
Cool stuff... I guess they managed to get supercooled fermions to act like bosuns in a condensate similar to Bose-Einstienium. It could have some really wild applications if it leads to breakthroughs in superconductor research... levitating trains and shit like that.

Until I can get a fully functional lightsabre, I don't care. ^_~ WAH!!!
I saw Whale Rider last night. Good flick.
>I feel really "free" right now. Huge weight is gone.

New form of matter discovered
Cool stuff... I guess they managed to get supercooled fermions to act like bosuns in a condensate similar to Bose-Einstienium. It could have some really wild applications if it leads to breakthroughs in superconductor research... levitating trains and shit like that.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

No Comics Today.

I got serious business I gotta attend to.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004


Drinking style
Impulsive Aries people like to party and sometimes don't know when to
call it a night. Their competitive streak makes them prone to
closing-time shot contests. They're sloppy, fun drunks, and they get
mighty flirty after a couple tipples. Getting Aries people drunk is a
good way to get what you want out of them, should other methods fail.
Aries can become bellicose when blotto, but they will assume that
whatever happened should be forgiven (if not forgotten) by sunrise. They
can be counted on to do the same for you -- so long as you haven't gone
and done anything really horrible to them last night, you sneaky

Drinking style
Taurus prefers to drink at a leisurely pace, aiming for a mellow glow
rather than a full-on zonk. Since a truly intoxicated Taurus is a
one-person stampede, the kind of bull-in-a-china-shop inebriate who
spills red wine on white carpets and tells fart jokes to employers, the
preference for wining and dining (or Bud and buddies) to body shots and
barfing is quite fortunate for the rest of us. This is not to say
that the Bull is by any means a teetotaler -- god, no. A squiffy Taurus
will get, er, gregarious (full of loudmouth soup, some would say) and is
extremely amusing to drag to a karaoke bar when intoxicated.

Drinking style
Geminis can drink without changing their behavior much -- they're so
naturally chatty and short-attention-spanned that it's just hard to tell
sometimes. They can amaze you by conversing with finesse and allusion,
then doing something to belie an extremely advanced state of
intoxication, like puking in your shoe. Geminis possess the magic
ability to flirt successfully (and uninfuriatingly, which is very
tricky) with several people at once. They like to order different
cocktails every round -- repetition is boring -- and may create a theme
(like yellow drinks: beer, sauvignon blanc and limoncello) for their own

Drinking style
Cancer is a comfort drinker -- and an extra wine with dinner or an
after-work beer or six can be extra comforting, can't it, Cancer
darling? Like fellow water signs Scorpio and Pisces, Crabs must guard
against lushery. Cancers are brilliant at ferreting out secret parties
and insinuating themselves on VIP lists -- and, in true Hollywood style,
Cancers are never really drunk; instead, they get "tired and emotional"
(read: weepy when lubricated). But there's nothing better than swapping
stories (and spit) over a few bottles of inky red wine with your
favorite Cancer. Even your second-favorite Cancer will do. The sign also
rules the flavor vanilla, and you'd be adored if you served up a vanilla
vodka and soda.

Drinking style
Leo likes to drink and dance -- they're often fabulous dancers, and
usually pretty good drinkers as well, losing their commanding dignity
and turning kittenish. Of course, they're quite aware they're darling
Leos will be Leos, after all. They generally know their limit, probably
because they loathe losing self-control. When they get over-refreshed,
expect flirting to ensue -- and perhaps not with the one what brung
them. But Leo's not the type to break rules even when drunk, so just try
to ignore it (try harder, Cancer) and expect a sheepish (and hung over)
Lion to make it up to you the next day.

Drinking style
Cerebral Virgos are compelled to impose order onto their bender. Their
famously fussy quest for purity could lead to drinking less than other
signs, sure -- but it could also lead to drinking booze neat, to sucking
down organic wine or just to brand loyalty. They rarely get fully
shellacked -- but, oh, when they do! Virgo's controlled by the
intellect, but there's an unbridled beast lurking within, and they let
it loose when walloped. It's dead sexy (and surprisingly unsloppy). As
one Virgo friend used to declare, "I'm going to drink myself into a low
level of intelligence tonight." A toast to the subgenius IQ!

Drinking style
"I'm jusht a social drinker," slurs Libra, "it's jusht that I'm so damn
social?" Libra loves nothing more than to party, mingle and relate to
everyone. Whether dipped in favor of Good Libra (with Insta-Friend
device set to "on") or heavier on the Evil Libra side (they are little
instigators when bored), the Scales can really work a room. Charming as
they are, Libras are notoriously lacking in self-control, however, which
can get them into all sorts of trouble -- including wearing their wobbly
boots waaaay too early in the evening, flirting with their best friend's
beau or even blacking out the night's events entirely. Oops!

Drinking style
Don't ever tell Scorpios they've had enough, for they'll smirk at you
and quietly but intentionally keep tippling till they're hog-whimpering
drunk, out of 100-proof spite. Scorpios like to drink, and screw you if
you have a problem with that. Most of them see the sauce as something to
savor in itself, and not as a personality-altering tool -- though if
depressed, self-loathing Scorps seek total obliteration. But generally,
they're fascinating drinking pals, brilliant conversationalists and
dizzying flirts. They also remember everything -- especially what you
did when you were blitzed. Only drink with a Scorpio who likes you.

Drinking style
In vino veritas -- and, for Sagittarius, in booze blurtiness: When
buttered, they'll spill all your secrets and many of their own.
Tactlessness aside, Sagittarius is just plain fun to drink with. This is
a sign of serious partying (what else would you expect from the sign of
Sinatra, Keith Richards, the Bush twins and Anna Nicole Smith?). They're
the people who chat up everyone in the room, then persuade the entire
crowd to travel somewhere else -- like a nightclub, or a playground, or
Cancun. Good-natured hijinks are sure to ensue (including a high
possibility of loopy groping; spontaneous Sag is a brilliant booty

Drinking style
Capricorn is usually described as practical, steadfast, money-hungry
and status-thirsty -- no wonder they get left off the astrological
cocktail-party list. But this is the sign of David Bowie and Annie
Lennox, not to mention Elvis. Capricorn is the true rock star:
independent, powerful and seriously charismatic, not too eager to
please. And if they make money being themselves, who are you to quibble?
But just like most rock stars, they're either totally on or totally off,
and they generally need a little social lubricant to loosen up and enjoy
the after party, especially if they can hook up with a cute groupie.

Drinking style
Aquarius and drinking don't go together that well (except for water,
that is). They have an innate tendency toward know-it-allism, and if
they get an idea while sizzled, they're more stubborn than a stain or a
stone. If they're throwing a party or organizing an outing, however,
they're too preoccupied with their duties to get combative -- and they
make perfectly charming drunks in that case. Fortunately, they're
usually capital drink-nursers. They also make the best designated
drivers (if you can get them before they start raising their wrist):
Aquarius is fascinated by drunk people and capable of holding
interesting conversations with soused strangers while sober.

Drinking style
If you're a Pisces, you've probably already heard that you share a sign
and an addictive personality -- with Liz Taylor, Liza Minelli and Kurt
Cobain. Not only do Pisces like to lose themselves in the dreamy,
out-there feeling that only hooch can give, but they build up a mighty
tolerance fast. Who needs an expensive date like that? On the other
hand, they're fabulously enchanting partners, whether in conversation or
in crime. With the right Pisces, you can start out sharing a pitcher of
margaritas and wind up in bed together for days. The phrase "addictive
personality" can be read two ways, you know.
Jiggle Bowl again for me this year... pre game drunken flag football followed by the feast and game.
Talking Hockey with Rev. Sully and finally nothing to say...

Dany Heatley will play!!! He plans to play Wednesday against St. Louis.

Uhhh…nuthin’ doing sides Bruins at NYI tonight. Game 1 of a home-at-home series. You got some Hockey to Talk…I don’t. ^_~
Courtesy of my favorite ex-girlfriend, Jen Levin. MWAH, Tink!!! ^_~

Here's a dilemma for you....

With all your honour and dignity what would you do?

This test only has one question, but it's a very important one.
Please don't answer it without giving it some serious thought.

The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation, where you will have to make a decision one way or the other.
Remember that your answer needs to be honest, yet spontaneous. Please scroll down slowly and consider each line - this is important for the test to work accurately.
You're in Florida... in Miami, to be exact. There is great chaos going on around you, caused by a hurricane and severe floods. There are huge masses of water all over you. You are a newspaper photographer and you are in the middle of this great disaster. The situation is nearly hopeless. You're trying to shoot very impressive photos. There are houses and people floating around you, disappearing into the water. Nature is showing all its destructive power and is ripping everything away with it.Suddenly you see a man in the water, he is fighting for his life, trying not to be taken away by the masses of water and mud. You move closer. somehow the man looks familiar.
Suddenly you know who it is - it's George W Bush!
At the same time you notice that the raging waters are about to take him away, forever.

You have two options.

You can save him or you can take the best photo of your life.
So you can save the life of George W Bush or you can shoot a Pulitzer
Prize-winning photo, a unique photo displaying the death of one of the world's most powerful men.
So here's the question (please give an honest answer):

Would you select colour film or rather go with the classic simplicity of black and white?
Wickid retahded. Matt, where you doing Soooper Bawl?
Unfortunately, they scheduled it for Superbowl Sunday... retahds.

Monday, January 26, 2004

I just got this URL from a local dive shop... It's the same $20 dive introduction Kiwi did with me.

February 1st


Hey Sul - you should consider this - it was a fun day and no stress or anxiety! Definitely got me in the mood to learn. Just take your swimming trunks with ya and your beautiful self they'll take care of the rest - and for that price you won't get any betta!
Sorry kids --- I did go missing for this past week. It's been busy... Amber started school today, so the last minute parties and causing trouble were a must. Also her father is due in for his first operation this week (I believe I may have posted earlier - he has lung cancer) so I've been around there a lot. Also, this past weekend, aside from being her birthday - celebrations took place last weekend - it was also Chris and I's (grammar??) first anniversary. Officially my longest term romantic relationship.

We started the day doing crosswords then went to the museum for a couple of hours --- then outside were we happened upon a Jazz festival that at some stage turned into Gospel singing, which wasn't very good. Came back home for a change of clothes and then out to this years current outdoor cinema in the viaduct harbour where we saw Jazz on a Summer's Day by B. Stern. A brilliant little doco set in Newport during the 1958 Americas Cup and they just so happened to have a Jazz fest on at the same time. Anita O'Day, Dinah Washington, Louis Armstrong, Chuck Berry, Mahlia Jackson...(now there's gospel music and that's what it should sound like!). From there we headed hope to sleep in very late the next day... or something to that effect!

Well looks like I got some reading to catch up on!...
Squawking Hockey:

Jagr got traded alright.

Yet another reason to hate Blueballs.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Talking Hockey Breaking News:

It appears the population New York City is being increased by ONE MORE ASSHOLE.

Rumor has it that last placed Washington Crapitals are trading super winger Jaromir Jagr to the Blueball. Yes the Fuck the New York Rangers. a fourth place, might-not-get-into the playoffs kinda team. Great...the NYR has always been the place for slumming superstars looking to get paid way too much. At least it's consistent and you know what...I wouldn't want him on the Bruins anyhoo.

It ahsn't happened yet...so until it happens, Jagrs a Crap. If it does...he's got blueballs. Anyway you look at it, he's still overrated and overpaid.
News Link:

Captain Kangaroo died. Sniff, sniff.

Talking Hockey with Rev. Sully:

So the Bruins lost. I applauded them at the end. Classic Bruins losing grip on the game. Never had the lead all night. Tied the game at 1-1 and then the 3rd period gave up the go-ahead and then an empty netter to make it 3-1. BUT the B’s kept the goalie out and scored one goal with about 5 seconds left to lose the game 3-2. Kudos for being tenacious enough to get the goal. Also some fisticuffs last night. Buffalo snapped the Bruins six-game home unbeaten streak. The Bruins started off slowly with 5 shots on goal in the 1st, 7 in the 2nd and 13 in the 3rd. At least they died with their boots on. ^_~


Razor Raycroft still sharp after stopping 26 of 28 shots against the Sabres last night. As of last night the Bruin’s rookie goaltender is ranked 12 among the NHL’s goalies.

Bruins captain Joe Thornton survived being out under the knife yesterday to repair a fractured cheekbone after Monday afternoons Marquis de Queensbury rules altercation with Eric “The Big Dummeh” Lindros. He will be back after Saturday.

The Flyers win against the Rangers. That’s right…FUCK THE RANGERS. I refuse to chant “Yankees suck” with the rest of the hoi polloi but I still don’t like NY sports teams so… Funny side note. Big Dummeh Lindros did not play last night due to the Flu. Against his former team where he was captain of a sinking ship and perhaps the worst thing ever to happen in the world of sports and uppity draft picks demanding where they play. The guy who injured Cam Neely with the nigh-legendary knee-on-knee hit, Ulf Sammulesson used to get “Garden Flu” when whatever team he was playing on when they came to Boston. I was at a Bruins/Rangers game a few years back when Cam had one of his comebacks and Ulfie did decide to play…Cam dropped gloves off the faceoff, Ulfie turles, Cam beat the snot out of him and was asked to leave the ice and the game. Revenge is sweet. But I digress…

The Recchi Ball stops here.

JR might get mad enough to throw a water bottle at Anson Carter someday.

Mike Dunham meets Johnny Powerforward…guess who won?

The Flyers acquire ex-Bruin Matthias Timander from the NYI for a skate sharpener and a bucket of pucks…actually a seventh-round draft pick in the ’04 Draft but who knows what’s more valuable.
The Bruins are beefing up their defense with acquiring Jiri Slegr from Vancouver but also defenseman Craig McDonald off of waivers from the Florida Panthers. The Bruins can’t let the Flyers pick up all the available defensive talent can they?

Bruins defenseman Nick Boynton was named to the NHL Eastern All-Star team. With Boyton having a terrible season with lackluster play, who’s myopic idea was it to name Boynton and not say Sean O’Donnell?
I just got this URL from a local dive shop... it's the same $20 dive introduction Kiwi did with me.

February 1st

Yeah... you're awfully quiet down there girly. I'd call, but I no longer have a land line, and the discount rate doesn't work on my cell.
KIWI!!! I MISS YOU!!! MWAH! Hope you're up to no-good, luv! ^_~ Send us a line lest we lose hope that Chris somehow TAMED you. ^_^
Of course! You go through several classroom and pool sessions, and practice all the basic skills before you ever go to open water for your certification test dives.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

In the mean time, if any of you are interested in learning to dive, my pile of loaner gear is growing rapidly as I upgrade to the no-bullshit good stuff.

You know...that sounds interesting. I'd of course have to learn the little things in a pool...that's my speed!
Yeah... it's nice that I've been able to make myself so many good contacts in tech diving before really even getting myself trained to do it.
It must be tough to get a foot in the door otherwise... it's a pretty small subculture even among divers.

Most of the recreational certification agencies train divers to go no deeper than 120'.
I hear OSHA won't allow commercial operations to use scuba at depths over 150' without a decompression chamber onsite.
As far as I know, no dive rescue teams operate below 140' without a submersible or ROV.

The guys I'm learning from consider 200' a 'fun' depth... not even a serious dive. It's some pretty groundbreaking stuff... it'll probably be popular in about 5-10 years.

In the mean time, if any of you are interested in learning to dive, my pile of loaner gear is growing rapidly as I upgrade to the no-bullshit good stuff.
Joe "Cremepuff" Thornton is getting his face operated on today because of the Big Dummeh.
It's exactly what I want, and shouldn't ever need to be upgraded.
Yee ha!

That's so cool!
Scarlett from Crimson is now in the pantheon of Comics Chicks I'd Like To "Get To Know"....it's a comic I know I know!!!

Now that the diving website some buddies and I set up is becoming highly regarded, I'm starting to feel the perks of being a founder. I mentioned that I needed a new manifold to connect my tanks together into a doubles rig for my new class, and the President of Abyss Diving Systems made me the following offer personally:

Thermo-W Twin Manifold 300 BAR DIN outlet,
¾-14 NPSM Inlet, with Center Isolation Valve,
5000 psi safety assembly for 3,000 psi Service NITROX
MSRP = $204.00
Your cost = $129.00

It's exactly what I want, and shouldn't ever need to be upgraded.
Yee ha!
OK, so you wanna talk hockey eh??? Well you failed to mention that "Creampuff" got his face bashed in by Lindros! :::head in hands::: How does that happen???

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Talking Hockey with Rev. Sully:

Original Six Beatdown Part 2!!!

The Blueballs…aka the FTR…the Bruins vanquished 4-1 at MSG last night with the Bruins tasking both games in a home-at-home series. The B’s finally got to bust out their White Throwback jerseys.
Rookie call-up Carl Corazzini scored two goals last night filling in for the injured cap’n Joe Thornton.

WTG Carl! #52 BTW.

Getting beat by the Canadians is becoming a HABit to the Flyers. What an awful pun. The Phleagles are beat 4-1. Actually the Flyers won last time 2-0 against the Habs. I thought I’d make a funny.

But welcome Danny Markov #55 in Flyers Black.

Johnny Powerforward and a day in his office.

Speaking of Montreal…Michael Ryder of the Habs is in 1st in Rookie scoring with 36 points (14-22-36, 47 games played), Trent Hunter of the NYI is in 2nd (15-14-29, 42 GP) and our very own Patrice Bergeron is in 3rd (13-15-28, 48 GP) for the Calder Hunt!!!

Stormwatch by Warren Ellis, Various Artists. Issues Vol. 1 Issues #37-50, Issues Vol. 2 #1-12, et al. TPB Vols. 1-5

Earlier in OCHO, I had extolled the virtue of “The Authority” as perhaps the best superhero team ever in comics. I still will defend that with your life…seriously. But before the Authority became the standard, there was Stormwatch. It was an on-going series by the renegade, pirate boat called Wildstorm Comics. Feature: 1996. Where were you in 1996? Who were you in 1996? Can you remember? Remember the clique of friends you had when Wannabe by the Spice Girls was on the radio? Were you talking about how Baz Lurmann's Romeo + Juliet changed your fucking life? I hope you’re not that gullible. Well the soundtrack was really cool.

But that clique of friends. I’m trying to remember 1996 and what I was buying. It wasn’t comics I can tell you that much. Warren Ellis became so notable that it seems his entire catalog under the DC/Wildstorm contract is being republished. I sense a theme at the Funny Book Bodega in the shelves of trade paperbacks. My bodega has the decency to categorize not only by title & press but also by scribe. Literally “prolific” in the amount of material Ellis seems to produce…maybe they’ll give him the Shakespeare treatment 100 years from now and Warren’s actually had Mark Millar and Brian Bendis in a box in his basement.

I’m trying to remember who I hung out with in 1996. It was a veritable cadre of mates. Cavorting, raising hell, being debaucherous…but we were all good people. Mine and hopefully yours revolved around a “circle of friends” and a kick to you in the junk from behind if you mention Minnie Driver, ya dirty tooker. The superhero team in any “Universe” or press inevitably seems to remind me MOST of my own circle of friends at anytime…different incarnations through the years, et al. Which friend is your Flash? Who’s GL? Who’s Batman. Who’s Hawkgirl or Black Canary? It invokes that sense of…sigh…super friends. There I fuckin’ said it.

Let’s go. On with it. Warren Ellis, who up until then was up and coming. 1996. He’d just got signed on to write for Stormwatch, the “Super Friends” of the Wildstorm Universe. The United Nations Superhero Team. Created by Jim “Cue Angelic Choir Here” Lee himself. Seeing that Ellis went on to pen Transmetropolitan for DC’s Vertigo and the Authority for Wildstorm when Stormwatch was finished, this could be where it begun. Ellis has a copious amount of material out there and Stormwatch so far on my meter has been registering on the more “Early” work. Orbital, Planetary, Global Frequency, the out-of-print/hard-to-find Wolverine story arc, I haven’t gotten my paws on them yet. Yet. There’s more than that…lots more.

What are the facts? The facts are that you need no prior knowledge about this huge esoteric world to “get” this. After a while you’ll see where “Sleeper” fits in but I digress… Comics repeat themes and background knowledge. Any issue can be a jump-on spot for a new reader. New writer means new readers, it happens. I can spill this much…most of the old team was either dead or fired by halfway through Ellis’ first issue. Just like that things change. And we’re ready to read. That’s your issue #0. Huzzah!!! It catches you up real quick and then it’s clobberin’ time. I don’t think I can use that here. Copyrights and all.

Things change. The world must change and so we must change with the world. But what kind of world? Merely a “better” one? Change…some call that paradigm shift. I’m not down with the Covey…not in the White Collar Industrial sense no…common sense is common sense. If “paradigm shift” rings a bell in your pop cultural literacy it’s his fucking fault. It means to see the world with new eyes…new perspective. Be ready to change and adjust. Like I say and I’m usually ripping off something I read but “like the reed I will bend in the wind”. Put that in your sax and blow.

Stormwatch has all the elements of the classic superhero team. Fraternization rules being bent here and there. Bald genius and charismatic leaders. Not the everyday kind of bad guys. Only the big ones that need the combined effort of the world’s greatest and strongest. Great panels, featuring art by Tom Rainey and Bryan Hitch. The backgrounds sometimes teem with esoteric references for the fanboy. See which X-Men parody is in the background on a Tuesday night at Clark’s Bar, the tavern for superheroes. Stormwatch is the product of archetypes found on Saturday Morning living room rugs and the reader’s tastes growing up reflected in the product. Superteams are not new. The Iliad had a clash of two super powers and their mightiest heroes…ancient equivalents of our comics.

Ellis elevates Fahrenheit to the girl you most want to bang in the coatroom when nobody’s looking. Keeps giving Fuji new containment suits. Winter doesn’t know what to wear this spring or even tomorrow. The ever-changing uniforms are perhaps a comic in-joke. Ellis also creates some of the most feared and urban characters with Jenny Sparks and Jack Hawksmoor. Later on in TPB Vol. 4 (vol. 2, #4-9), he gives us the gift of Apollo and the Midnighter, the result of 40 years of civil rights awareness and maybe a joke on the World’s Finest Team but the more I read of them the less I’m convinced that’s the case. Ellis ultimately ends the Stormwatch team. He breaks the hearts of the fans at the end…but then every end is a beginning. I wasn’t around for Stormwatch before issue #37. The Trade paperbacks “volume 1” starts at issue #37 as I said reveling in Ellis’ celebrity.

Ellis sows fertile land for the Authority to blossom from. You can see him building and laying down a foundation. As Ellis tears down one superteam, he builds another. The ending of Stormwatch is actually sad. The ending of Stormwatch came from a Dark Horse Comics crossover in where Aliens

Yup…those kinda Aliens end up in Stormwatch’s “Hall of Justice”, the Skywatch Satellite. It’s a very creepy ending. The WildC.A.T.S./Aliens Crossover written by Ellis is the fist half of Stormwatch TPB Vol. 5 “Final Orbit” and the second half closes the book on volume 2 of Stormwatch. Stormwatch: Team Achilles is now available from Wildstorm, I haven’t yet given it a chance but buzz says it’s good. Or was it the advertisement in the Authority, Vol. 2, Issue #0 on the checklist page?

By the end, a question is posed about “proactivity” as a superhero team. “Proactivity” is another Covey-ism to rip off of rich, white people. About what calls to take. If, as superheroes is there any calls for help they shouldn’t take. There is no Hippocratic Oath among the Super Powered. Why not? There are Issac Azimov’s Rules for Robots. No Universal Code of Ethics to hold the “Ubervolk” accountable to. Maybe I’ll make up one and call it the “Sparks Rule”…be good, behave. Stormwatch and ultimately The Authority seek to make not a better world…but a finer world. There is a difference but only if you’re able see it.

All roads here lead to one place:

See you at the Funny Book Bodega on Wednesday, kids.
Caper Issues 2 & 3

I thought I’d check back in on this one since the first issue was really good. The story so far has us tied up in murder and power struggles. The plot isn’t thin and seems to play backdrop to the building character relationships, the jaunting dialog and the art that acts as a “way-back” machine. The focus is the Brothers Weiss, Izzy and Jacob. Their realization of taking advantage of a situation.

Recently I was reminded about the secret of opportunity. It is a synthesis of timing and chemistry. Being aware of ones surroundings. Reading the situation. Flowing with the chi of life…but I digress. The Weiss boys do their best to read then perhaps write the outcome. But as the Scotch poet Robert Burns wrote, “the best laid plans of mice and men, aft gang aglee” “Aft gang aglee” translated from its Scots Gaelic means “often goes awry”. Steinbeck names his book “Of Mice and Men” after the Burns quote. Caper so far being a “Steinbeckian” quest for the land of manna and honey. And you can’t get more Israel than manna from heaven.

Interesting side stories of building alliances. The boys get in kahootz with a practical trade union of women of the night (who themselves look like a knockoff of Alex and his Droogs)

The boys set in motion their plan for getting a place at the table but the best laid plans of mice and men…a brother’s promise. A whole lot of blood and trouble.

Is this title worth it? Yes. I’ll be buying this come some Wednesday in its serialized format. Perhaps I’ll randomly gift the Trade Paperback to someone. There is a real thrill when you randomly gift someone with an entertaining piece of geekdom whether it be a buyer or a loaner. In the hopes of proliferating knowledge about the goodness and portability of comics especially on a commute, Caper is a keeper. It’s well written by one of the best in the business. It’s chock full of the little things that make a comic the collaborative effort it is. Lettering…the colors of the pages seem a little washed out on purpose as to convey this sense of an old photo. The pencils render a great turn of the century San Francisco. San Fran circa 1907 looks authentic. There not might have been a Golden Gate Bridge at the time but I remember San Francisco, as one of the three other cities I would live in…the others being Toronto and Montreal, as a huge blue sky with Mt. Tam making Marin County known from its Urb. The dialog is really the best part showcasing a landslide of Yiddish insults, put-downs and exclamations. The building tension with the character interactions using this landslide is also key story crafting that makes the reader anticipate the next installment.

There are 12 issues of this so I’ll keep it short and just keep to the particulars of what I’m getting to. This will be a trade paperback in about say 15 months from now so I’ll cap it off at #12 when it happens. It still is nice tuning into a good comic that has nothing to do with superpowers and years of continuity. It’s good to read comics other than the tights and big muscle/big tit category. There are lots out there for entertainment and pigeonholing comics as heroic can be misleading because I find nothing heroic about Jacob and Isadore Weiss. They’re still the bad guys.

Issue #4 wraps up the first story arc…where the story goes, I dunno but I’ll keep tellin’ ya about it. ^_~

Bangkok on Vertigo POP! 4-issue run

A delightful 4-issue romp. Scene: two white kids on vacation to Thailand. Check it out: we’re talking Mighty White of you to drop by and help us indigenous folks with our problems. Maybe it’ll save our relationship…or at least someone to fuck on the road. A vindictive girlfriend saving elephants and hookers and not her relationship...talk about priorities and being just darned mean, huh? Even the Ugly American can be Kind. The hapless boyfriend dutifully does what’s asked while not being able to read her mind and know what’s really going on up there. We do though. It’s all in the caption. It’s about the caption in this one. The way the story’s told. It’s great. Snide and gaining wisdom it the caption’s tone.

Vertigo Pop! is a subset of DC’s Vertigo press. I think one would argue Vertigo being a stand-alone press now but it never was Wildstorm was it? Warner Bros. owns DC, by the way. Think about that when you think movie rights, OK and then point fingers at the one who cut the cheese on the next Batman movie or sigh…Keenu as John Constantine but I digress…hey. All I gotta say about movie rights and doing it right is David Cross for Spider Jerusalem. ‘Nuff said on that. But it’s a showcase for cooler things I guess. Vertigo Pop!’s Tokyo is something that’s been on my wish list. Eclectic, clever titles. A funny book fan’s funny book. Vertigo Pop! is an attempt to have coolness within cool. Yet another secret easter egg for being “tuned in”.

Were the dancers of legal age I would have tipped them more. But really…I came across a random, dirty, fucked up thought in my head and I get this from reading too many fuckin’ comics. The kind of comics like the one here. There’s this guy I work with who’s bailing water out of the canoe of a Thai mail order marriage he’s got with a shot glass. He’s a complete asshole to boot. Well…this fucker just come back from Thailand and I wonder in the back of my head where the sun don’t shine much often and it says…if you was in Bangkok would you pass up a Thai Stick and an illegal but inexpensive, cheap piece of ass. This guy’s been there many times. Hmmmmmmmmmmm…

But really. The book is about sex culture and where it exists and the motive for why its there. Tuze and Marz…what’s their reason and motive for still having sex, huh? It’s “SUGGESTED FOR MATURE READERS”. Of course because it’s Vertigo. It’s got nothing to do with future action figure rights, movie tie-ins, Happy Meal cross-overs, franchising, et al. It is a simple short story, illustrated and well presented. It has cuss words. It has morally objectionable things going on. It has nude and love scenes. It’s pretty cool. Like a cable TV series on Sunday Night cool.

Elephants are cool. They are worshiped and revered in some cultures. They are also used for ivory. Hmmm…I have no opinion about ivory yet but maybe I will someday. An elephant with its trunk up is an icon wishing good fortune in Hindu culture. I used to have a PEZ like that over a doorstop. His trunk was “up”. It only worked kinda half-assed in my opinion with hindsight being 20/20. With that said as a man, I can totally feel for Marz. He does have no clue.

One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster. I get my kicks about the waistline sunshine. This line has come with me through life. Given to us mere mortals by Benny & Bjorn of ABBA, “Chess” is the musical about Bobby Fisher, infamous and notorious chess master. Here’s your interesting bit of trivia for the day, dahlin’s. A hit single came from the cast recording, “One Night In Bangkok”. It was sung by Murray Head. Murray Head is brother to Anthony Stewart Head, Giles of TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The brothers apparently come from a very talented musical family, deep within Britain.

Bangkok ends without much mercy but mercy is for humans to decide when to give it. Mercy is brokered and given, not assumed is it? There can be little mercy on occasion when the Wheel of Life is simply rolling along and all you can do is wait for it to pass or run over you. Life being fair or merciful is moot. Life in Bangkok is judged unfair by these intrepid, young and idealistic American tourists. But what were they expecting? As an American though I do love being associated with intrepid and idealistic regardless of what age we are…we do have good points. This title just seems to poke fun at the naivetĂ© that one must shed to live with ethics. Bangkok makes for an excellent read. It should be a Trade Paperback someday. You’d never know. I’ll tell you if it does. But check it out if you have the means and the time. It’s not a bad medium for a good story.

I gave it out to a few friends of mine and I’m waiting for the sonar echo to come back on this one, kids. It’s like a Petrie dish of entertainment…to see if I can get non-comic reading folk to read it. It’s not like other comics. Funny books are associated with flying and costumes, etc. This is not. This is slice-of-life. It addresses a certain suspension of disbelief because it’s set in the real world. This could happen…this might have happened. Issue #3 has a great write-up in the Comics checklist page. This page used to have the fan letter. If a Marvel fan caught a continuity error and if they successfully proved their point then they were awarded the highly coveted “No-Prize” in print as a letter to the Editor. This space is now used to inform you of upcoming events and goings on in the press. But it’s used wisely as the writer Johnathan Vankin gets to elaborate on his creation so if it falls in your lap…

See you Wednesday, Comics Gnome.

Got Crimson #1!!! Woo hoo!!! What a good ride so far. I'll check back on this later with you with the full treatment.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Breaking Hockey News:


Flyers trade F Justin Williams for Carolina Hurricanes D Danny Markov...

as specualted earlier on OCHO!!! ^_^

Hockey Talk with Rev. Sully & a whole lot of Olde Style Hockey:

Not only was it 70’s vintage jersey day on MLK Day at the Vault, it was throwback/throw punches day.

Bruins versus the Blueballs. Original Six getdown!!! Whoo hoo!!!

Fight, fights, fights…it’s still a part of hockey. The Big Dummeh Eric Lindros fractured Cap’n Joe Thornton’s cheekbone during fisticuffs. Trooper Thorn our Cap’n is out tonight. Give him some Advil and a Fishbowl (aka Itech or face shield) and he’ll b fine. ^_~ But really Joe…come back soon…he is the starting Center for the Eastern All-Stars this year. CONGRATS!!! I will put out a $3.50 bounty for the first Bruin to knock out and give me his eye tooth.

Happy 43rd Birthday, Mark Messier. Razor Raycroft gave you a save.

And it’s a true home-at-home. Tonight the Blueballs will play the Bruins again in NYC! FUCK THE RANGERS!!!

Rollie lighting the lamp!!!

Bruins fans, welcome new defenseman Jiri Slegr (traded from the Vancouver Canucks 1/17/04 for Future Considerations).

Lots to talk about. As expected the Flyers are dropping like flies. Desjardins out 8 weeks. Hackett diagnosed with Vertigo. Seidenberg out. Magnus Ragnarsson out. Who is next??? Will it be Johnny Powerforward and his Yearly Injury? Will Mike Comrie want to fit in so bad he’ll pop his own Achilles Tendon? ^_~ Just kidding there. But really…to say they’re dropping like flies is misleading but it seems to happen every year. Word is that Bobby Clarke, Phiily’s GM is looking to trade for a defenseman now. He was a day late and a dollar short for Jiri Slegr, lemme tell ya. The Flyers have their handful tonight going against the red hot Habs de Montreal.

Rarer than Dane’s Quality Steaks is a penalty shot in OT! Milan Hejduk scores to win in OT!

Fighting doesn’t make Hockey look bad…this does. Stick fighting is best left in the streets of Third World countries and Kung-Fu movies…this is embarrassing.

The Bruins are within 2 points of second placed Ottawa and 3 points of Toronto right now. The Bruins are 7-2-1-0 in the last 10 games and are surging. The Northeast Division is still some of the best hockey and has been that way all year. The Cup belongs in the East this year.

38 year young forward and someone who always burns the Bruins…Cliff Ronning joined the NYI as a free agent.

Happy Birthday Paulie…the old goalie’s home is right around the corner for you!!! ^_^

HOW ABOUT THEM PATS??? Hopefully see some of y’all at James’ Super Bowl Sunday!
I just put the letter in the mail after some minor revisions. I also mailed out a package of information to my new dive instructor... I'll be getting trained to dive to 50 meters using custom blends of oxygen (up to 50%), nitrogen, and helium with planned decompression obligations of up to 15 minutes. In other words, deeper and longer.
Talking Comics: X-Men Snikity Snak Style.


Great X-Men resource. Check out the Crossover part. It'll catch you up on 15 years of crossovers and building modern continuity post-Claremont.

Talking Comics:

I think I'm gonna pick up Crimson Vol. #1 today after work or at lunch. Kiwi...don't pick up TRANSMET Vol. 2 ^_~ Tee hee. But I love Ramos and...sigh...keep an eye on yer mail, sweetie. ^_~ I'm sending it out tomorrow morning. I got it with me now but I rather go to the Post Office in the morning before work...no lines. But the Comics Gnome comes International Air Mail again. I'll be happy to take the risk of buying something new especially seeing the sterling reviews Kiwi's giving it.

I like enabling Leah...I always have and I always will continue to do so until my dying breath or until her restraining order comes through. ^_^ Someone's gotta make sure she's keeping cool. ^_~

What else have you gotten to, cherub of where the toilet water circles the other direction? Batman: Long Halloween? Batman: Dark Victory? How ya like Wolverine: Origins? Sets up his pathology for red heads, huh? ^_~ In the Mega Crossover foolishness of the 90's, it was revealed that Wolverine's claws were always part of him and not a bionic enhancement given to him by the Weapon Plus program (and if you thought I was gonna say the Weapon X program then you got soem catching up to do! ^_^). The Fatal Attractions storyline, in the X-Men's assault on Avalon (formerly Asteroid M, Magneto's orbiting base)

The TPB Cover

In an attempt at bring ing Magneto and his Acolytes down, Magneto royally screws up Cable,

Peter "Colossus" Rasputin gives up on Xavier's dream and joins Magneto

and seeing Magneto leetch the adamantium from Wolverine's bones. Wolvie later does a painful "SNIKT" to show his claws were his bones all along.

Each one of these issues had a hologram where the black strip on the cover is.

Repercussions / lasting effects of the Fatal Attractions crossover :

- Fabian Cortez went to Genosha to recruit new followers, starting a racial war on the island nation. [Bloodties crossover]
- The Acolytes continued to live on Avalon until the space station was attacked by Holocaust, who caused the station to fall down to Earth. The survivors were rescued by the X-Men. [X-Men (2nd series) #42-43]
- Colossus tried to be a light in a darkened team, while becoming a hardened mutant with a different agenda from the Professor?s. Until they get separated during the Fall of Avalon he cared for Magneto?s catatonic body. No longer having a place among the X-Men he moved on to join Excalibur.
- Magneto?s fate for a long time was a mystery. At first believed to have somehow been rejuvenated and adopted the alias of Joseph (actually a clone of him), it would later turn out that with his mind slowly healing, he went into hiding in one of his bases. [Uncanny X-Men #350, Magneto War]

- The team no longer trusted their one-time friend Valerie Cooper for her betrayal of them, in keeping the Project: Wideawake sentinel program secret. Instead Forge became new governmental liaison. Later, Val and X-Factor were able to reconcile their differences and she has a more prominent role on the team again.
- Because of the incident with Magneto, a secret agency started Project Polaris. At first Lorna was ambushed by Random, which was to be a test of her powers, and later she would have been brainwashed to serve as the government?s secret weapon against Magneto. [X-Factor #95, 102]

- Having his adamantium ripped out of his body allowed some questions about Logan to be answered, for example there being bone claws underneath the metal ones. With his healing factor kicking into overdrive, Wolverine became more of a savage beast and for many months seemed more animal than man. When offered the chance to have the metal back, Logan rejected [Wolverine (2nd series) #100], but years later an encounter with Apocalypse forced him to accept it once more and it was bonded back onto his skeleton. [Wolverine (2nd series) #145]
- Xavier mind-wiping Magneto caused dramatic repercussions later on in the life of the professor, such as the birth of the Onslaught entity, which was half Xavier and half Magneto. The sacrificing of a great number of Earth?s non-mutant super heroes would eventually destroy Onslaught, and left Xavier without his telepathy for several months, during which he also went in governmental custody. [Onslaught crossover]

the rest:
- Cable was able to retrieve the Professor?s program from Avalon and it helped him and X-Force in several occasions. Eventually, the Professor?s sentient mind is able to claim a host body and merging with X-Force?s transport ship, he departed to explore the universe.
- The incident with Colossus was a turning point in the life of Excalibur. Instead of continuing the endless battles of a superhero team, they permanently relocated to Muir Island to serve as an extension of Moira MacTaggert?s mutant research center. Excalibur, the blade, then stood as a metaphor for a scalpel used to heal rather than a sword to destroy.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Talking comics

Sul - I read TRANSMET #1 - sorry did I not say - Actually I think I read while away camping so I may not have. Very good and I do look forward to the others... some of Transmet is very funny and witty. The alien assmilation thing was a wee bit weird but I grok the connections and current day application of the thread.

Crimson ---- I highly recommend it ---- REALLY. It has vampyres (obviously), werewolves, half-cast werewolves, archengels, fallen angels, Lucifer himself, dragons, templar knights, references to Dante and so much more. The plot is thick and at times Augustyn has 5 or 6 simulatenous story lines happening at once. You keep having to double check if you missed a page. The ending is a little abrupt, but satisfyingly so. As the author states himself there really was no where else to go. The artwork is detailed, at times disturbing, and occasionally a little confusing - (I found myself turning the book around to see if I was seeing the panel right). Not for the weak stomached. This is nothing like Buffy - so if your into seeing some Vamp action but don't want to get overloaded with the same old plot - pick this up. The mythology and pure uniqueness of Augustyn's approach to the material he was taking on is refreshing and will make you want to think twice about some of the things you may have taken for granted... especially in the religious sense.

Happy birthday. How's the frostbite treating you?

I was up in Canada for the weekend. I had hopes of renting and racing ice sailboats with some friends, but man... after a short stroll down to the lake, staying indoors and having some hot soup seemed like a much better plan. I may try again next weekend... it's only a 3.5 hour drive to lake Memphremagog so long as Franconia Notch isn't a white-out.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

just turned the big 3-0 yesterday:

have to figure out where i go to apply for social security...my reward? spent the week at mt. sunapee helping teach disabled veterans to ski with adaptive gear; yesterday at the summit it was 22 below zero WITHOUT the wind chill.

Friday, January 16, 2004

WAH! Sorry to hear that.

Maybe you can read some funny books over the weekend and post what you think.

Kiwi suggests Crimson on Cliffhanger! Press drawn by one talented whore hopper; Humberto Ramos. There are 4 trade paperbacks and ya know...#1 is an excellent place to start! ^_^ WAH!!!

I suggest Cherry Poptart.

An "Adult" comic drawn in the tradition of the Archie Comics. Senseless fun and tomfoolery and watch Cherry and her girls get filled out like applications. ^_~

Cherry is only available at fine Funny Book Bodega like Comicopia in Kenmore Sq. or the Million Year Picnic in Harvard Sq.
Not for me... working on monday.
Happy MLK Day kids...try to avoid the radio and U2's Pride (In The Name Of) if you can!!!

It's definately not about entitlement... it's about not getting people killed. Of course, a refund would be nice.
I made one significant change in the final draft... I left out the part about George talking about being fired. He was great, and I don't want him to get in any more trouble over this. I place the blame on the captain.
Maybe you should hack their web page and post your letter on the Norwegian Cruise Lines homepage. ^_^
Matt...way to go with the Riot Act there. Whew! But eloquent. I hope that you are refunded the entire trip amount! I was gonna bust your balls about American Entitlement in a Third World Country et al, but seeing as though you're trying to save lives in the future...I'll let it pass. ^_^ j/k
Very good.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Here's my letter to Norwegian Cruise Lines' customer service rep. Let's see what it does...

January 15, 2004
Norwegian Cruise Line
Customer Relations – Norwegian Sea
7665 Corporate Center Drive
Miami, FL 33126

Attention: Karen Hansen
To Whom It May Concern:
As a passenger aboard the Norwegian Sea during the January 3rd through 10th “Texaribbean” voyage, I had the misfortune of having signed up for the Belize scuba excursion (boat #1). As first mate on a diving charter vessel, a founding member of a prominent and highly regarded scuba diving website (www.thedecostop.com), and a certified Rescue Diver, I cannot stress emphatically enough my surprise and dismay at the numerous shortcomings of the operation you chose to guide an NCL excursion. As this operator, ‘Aqua Dive’ I believe, endangered the health, and indeed very lives of the divers under their charge on no less than three separate occasions, I also want to make it clear that I found the onboard excursion offices offer of refunding half of the excursion cost to those of us who voiced our concerns to be woefully inadequate. The initial price of the excursion was well above the going rate for a reputable private dive charter, and for a premium price, I expect premium quality service, not jury-rigging and negligence. Please find following my recollection of the events that transpired on the excursion in question.
The Norwegian Sea stopped offshore in Belize, and the cruise excursion folks had arranged for a dive boat to come and pick divers up. There were occasional rain showers as we motored away from the ship, but no signs of any problems until it became clear that they hadn't received my cabin mate's (properly submitted) request for rental equipment, and so did not bring several critical pieces of equipment for her, including a regulator and buoyancy control device. They had some extra gear onboard, and rather than apologizing for the oversight and adhering to conventional safety standards by not allowing her to dive, outfitted her with a too-small BC (she needed an XL), and a belt that came within an inch of not being able to fit around her, and which could not be securely fastened. In addition, the poorly maintained regulator that they had brought for one of the other divers on board had a broken mouthpiece, and would not have been safe to use had I not personally provided the dive master with necessary repair materials from my own kit.

We were given an overview of the first dive during the onboard briefing, then suited up and exited the boat. As I was the first to enter the water after the lead dive master (the captain of the boat acted as the second dive master, leaving his helper in charge of the boat), I was in an excellent position to watch over weighted divers crashing down onto delicate fan coral, then over inflating and rocketing back to the surface before finding a happy middle ground that approximated neutral buoyancy. While I cannot reasonably hold NCL accountable for the abundance of inexperienced and out of practice divers on the cruise, I was genuinely amazed that many of them had been able to pass certification tests at all. The dive master was nonetheless able to assist them, and we settled into a brief but otherwise largely uneventful dive. Uneventful, that is, until we surfaced and divers started grappling for/with the exit line that had been trailed out aft of the boat.

The exit ladder was on the port side of the dive boat, and in order to get to it, the divers on the line (I didn't use it, as there was no current) had to pass within a foot of the outboard props, which were still engaged! One of the less experienced divers was nearly pulled into them by the thrashing of those behind her on the line, but the props were disengaged in the nick of time thanks to the frantic shouting of an alert diver who was right near her. Again, I’d like to stress that leaving the boat’s drive engaged in the presence of exiting divers, especially inexperienced divers, is absolutely not something that a responsible dive boat operator would do. Somehow, everyone managed to make it aboard safely despite this, and we had an hour-long surface interval on a sandy patch of a deserted caye.

Dive two was to be what was described as a ‘Belizean Drift Dive’. Apparently this meant drifting in low current without a surface marker. I again entered the water immediately after George, the dive master, and my cabin mate Margaret followed. Although she was an inexperienced diver using ill-fitting equipment, the dive master/captain on board appears not to have gone through pre-dive checks with her, and she entered without her weight belt. As she was unable to descend without it, she signaled for help from George, who asked me to descend to the ledge below us so the other divers could rally there and wait for him to return while he assisted her. I did so, and wrote 'George (DM) asked us to wait here for him' on my wrist slate. It was largely met with shrugs from divers who read it and swam off anyhow... into a reef they didn't know. Jeremy (my dive buddy) and a father/son team were the only ones to wait as instructed, and it was several minutes before George, Margaret, and Jeremy’s fiancĂ© Ashley joined us. The other DM/captain swam off moments earlier to find the stray divers.

George was very accommodating, and literally held Margaret’s hand through the remainder of the dive so that he would be close if there were any more problems. It was a nice reef dive, but when we surfaced the boat was nowhere in sight. Neither were the other divers. It was just the seven of us floating in the Caribbean in about 3-4 foot seas, maybe a mile and a half from Goff's Caye, a tiny island which was the only land we could see. George assured us that the captain was the best in the business, and that he'd be right with us. I began to inflate a yellow marker bag, but he assured me it wasn't necessary, so I stowed it again. 45 minutes later, the father and son were getting seasick, and fatigued, and kept drifting away from the group. We were all getting tired of floating, and decided to descend 15 feet for a brief dive with our remaining air, just to get some relief. After about 10 minutes, I had breathed my tank down to 500psi, and reluctant to exhaust a safe reserve, I decided to ride it out at the surface.

George, who again had been very accommodating and had done an excellent job of keeping the group's morale high, began talking about how likely it was he'd be fired, and was considering going back to Guatemala to get his old bartending job back. As it was clear to me that the dive master was ill equipped to effect a rescue or signal our distress, I inflated the previously stowed visual marker at this point, and started blowing my never before used, but always carried signal whistle. Two of the other divers also started whistling, and waving, and the others shouted, and about an hour and a half after we initially surfaced, we were spotted and picked up by the boat operator... who had seen neither the other divers nor the captain. To date, I have no idea why he was so far from the rendezvous point described in the second briefing, and can only assume he was grossly under qualified to be left to operate the vessel on his own.

It turns out that the captain had caught up with the remainder of the group shortly after they had run low on air, surfaced, and realized there wasn't a dive master with them. He led them to a sandbar where they could stand, and they were picked up by another boat. They caught up with us after we spent about 10 more minutes scanning the waves for any sign of them.

The divers were returned to the ship without the promised lunch, and several of us submitted "comment cards" to the excursion desk. We were never contacted in person, but several days later we received notes on our cabin doors informing us that we would be refunded half the cost of the excursion. Again, as the initial cost of the excursion was nearly twice the going rate for a typical dive charter, to pay nearly the going rate in order to be put in harm’s way by a poorly run operation is hardly adequate reparation. Being told that this is the best that could be done for us moments after watching a large ‘BINGO’ prize giveaway gives the impression that your organization is far more interested in small profits than it is in the safety and well-being of your passengers and guests. Unfortunately, this impression has soured me somewhat toward future NCL cruises.

I’ve posted a trip report in the ‘Diving Accidents and Incidents’ forum on my web site, and have received the following among the replies from the more than 325 divers who so far have read it:

· Sounds like a half-assed effort (the refund) to make up for a half-assed operation.
· That is incredible, I don't know what else to say, except that I'm glad you made it back alive.
· Your post has made it even more glaringly obvious why I never want to set foot on a cruise boat!
· Glad everyone is okay. This could of turned ugly if the weather had gotten worse.
· That’s absolutely terrible! I'm glad everyone is OK. What was the dive op called so I can avoid them in the future.
· I made a couple dives with a land based tourist operation in St. Lucia in May. I thought we had problems but geez Matt, your story makes them look like a quality dive op.
· Holy f*ck. I was getting nervous sitting here just reading that. Floating in the ocean for 1.5hrs is scary. They need to have the DM tow a float if its going to be a drift dive.

Your shore excursion web site claims that my safety and security are your primary considerations, and ensures that you strive for the highest quality tour operators at competitive prices. Your emphasis on service and customer satisfaction is also stressed, and I will be looking forward to seeing how these claims are borne out by your actions. Thank you for your attention to this matter. I hope that you’ll be able to assuage my concerns, and give me a positive note on which to end my online report and any future reviews I may write of my NCL cruise experience.

Matthew Silvia

Matty, I alwayze new you wuz wickid smaht. ^_~
New England Temperature Conversion Chart

60 degrees F: Southern Californians shiver
uncontrollably. People in New England sunbathe.

50 F: New Yorkers try to turn on the heat. People in
New England plant gardens.

40 F: Italian & English cars won't start. People in New
England drive with the windows down.

32 F: Distilled water freezes. The water at Moosehead
Lake in Maine starts getting cooler.

20 F: Floridians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves,
wool hats. People in
New England throw on a flannel shirt, buttons open.

15 F: New York City landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in New England have the last cookout before it gets cold.

0 F: All the people in Miami die. New Englanders close
the windows.

10 below zero: Californians escape en masse to Mexico.
Girl Scouts in New England sell cookies door to door.

25 below zero: Las Vegas disintegrates. People in New
England rummage around
the attic to find some winter coats.

40 below zero: Washington DC runs out of hot air.
People in New England let the dogs sleep indoors.

100 below zero: Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Some New Englanders are frustrated when they can't start their "kahs".

460 below zero (absolute zero on the Kelvin Scale): All
atomic motion stops.
People in New England start saying . . . "Cold 'nuff
for ya?"

500 below zero: Hell freezes over. Red Sox win World

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I didn't take the online test, but back in the day I had to take the Stanford-Binet and some other IQ test... my teachers were concerned that I might be stupid because I never did homework. Funny... I thought they might be stupid for expecting me to waste my time on it.

At age 11 I had an average score for a 16-17 year old, so they were forced to conclude I wasn't being sufficiently challenged. You'd have thought they might have figured that out when, a year before that, they had my parents in for a conference to discuss the possibility that I had trouble reading (again, because I didn't do the homework). My parents left laughing... for the week leading up to that they had a problem getting me to stop reading Tolkien and go to bed.
Aaron's been prescribed TRANSMET (he's onto TPBs Vols. 6, 7 & 8), Garth Ennis/Steve Dillon's The Punisher TPBs 3 & 4. He's got his paws on Batgirl: Year One which I gave to Emily but he's been tearing through the Portable Cartoons. I also gave him JLA Obsidian Age...that's a really good jaw dropping series. Also DragonBall manga too.
Did you even get to TRANSMET Vol. 1 yet? ^_~
OOohhh! I just started rereading 100 Bullets. And Stormwatch (watch here next week for the full write up on that!). Dane and I got my bro Aaron reading comics like us now.
Kiwi...also fabulous...Preacher and John Constantine Hellblazer on DC/Vertigo. John Constantine is the original Spike from BTVS. He's that funny and cruel for a good guy. Preacher is TWACKED and the art is sinfully delicious. Warren Ellis calls Steve Dillon "the best" in the intro to Hellblazer TPB Vol. 3.
WEEEE!!! Origin of Wolverine is good. but what isn't and it's hard to say...fuck it...I'll say it. The Loeb/Sale Wolverine & Gambit teamup "Victims". Miserable. The colorist of inker totally mired Tim Sale's work.
I also have 100 Bullets on order but they didn't have #1 so had to order it - hoping to get it next week!
Ahhh...the certificate didn't work. I was an Insightful Philosopher.
Nah - haven't picked up #2 yet but my gotham (my comic book store) does have the series. I've been too busy finishing off the 4 Graphic novels of Crimson --- then I have Origin (Wolverine) to go.

I'd rather be a cunning linguist! ^_^ Tee hee! Hiya sweatheart! ^_^


How's it going Kiwi? Did you go out and buy TRANSMET Vol. 2 yet?
Although only 40 questions long that IQ test took me forever... apparently I can be categorized as an "Insightful linguist".... go figure.
WAH!!! Hi kiddo
Sale = West Virginia
Apparently I have an IQ of 124.

Talking Hockey with Rev. Sully:

[ Wed Jan 14, 11:05:31 AM | Pumpkinhead ! ]
OMG how bad does Hackett suck

Hackett? What about JR Superfool?

"Roenick, who was high-sticked earlier in the game by a teammate, caught another high stick to the face in the third, but this time by a Sabre.

Angus told Roenick he did not see the play, which caused Roenick to erupt. His mouth bloodied, Roenick threw a water bottle at Angus and was ejected.

``NHL, wake up!'' Roenick said. ``Blaine Angus is standing right in front of me and he says he doesn't see it. What is he looking at? The National Hockey League has to step in and tell these guys to open up their eyes.''

Roenick continued by calling the officiating ``terrible, absolutely terrible. Blaine Angus did an absolutely terrible job.''


JR has a point but deserves every cent fined and every second suspended. The NHL President can review the tapes and judge accordingly. Throwing water bottles at the Ref...who does he think he is??? A Bruins fan in the Balcony Section??? ^_~
This coming from the guy who plays like this:

The Flyers are 2-4-2-2 in the last 10 games. Frustrated and snake bitten their momentum is waning a bit and they are catching flak from coach Ken Hitchcock who puts the blame squarely on the veterans like JR, Johhny Powerforward, the Recchi Ball, et al.
They'd better watch out. New Jersey is surging and three points behind in secnd place in the Atlantic Division.

Mario Lemiuex at 38 yeard old is officially out for the season with hip surgery. It's time for Super Mario to call it a career. Let's start an agressive email campaign to get him to retire. He plans to play next season...there is nothing for him to prove. 2 Cups and Hall of Fame bound, Mario will be remembered as a huge player with a bigger heart and an ever bigger mean streak...he always could take care of himself.

Congrats! Gary Roberts and Tom Fitzgerald both celebrated their 1,000th NHL career game last night. First time ever two teammates have done that.

The Dallas Stars have no fingernails left after climbing out of the cellar and into the light. The Stars are currently in second place of the Pacific Division 5 points behind San Jose. Billy Guerin (who broke the hearts of Bruins fans everywhere after we gave him a second Harley aka 2 misguided 7th Player Awards) scored his 300th NHL goal. I'd congratulate him but I really don't care for the "go-off'er" anymore. "Go=off'er" is what we called the kids who we hung out with who we caught hanging with other cliques. ^_~

It is 3 degrees above Zero in Boston today...who wants to find a pond and play Shinny!!!
Hockey Rules! Take that to your graves you scurvy fucks! ^_~
You probably won't make it past the front page of the site, as you have to provide diving credentials to register as a member, and most content can only be read by registered members... we just broke the 3,000 member mark by the way, and have only been around for half a year! I mostly just cut and pasted my post into what I posted here though, so you won't miss much but the replies.

As for the game, I'll be at a cabin on lake Memphremagog in Canada this weekend... maybe doing some ice-boat racing, so I don't think I'll be able to make it.
And welcome back Matt. Wow...I read that and I'll check out the "You Better Belieze" article on your site later if I can access it. If I can't I'll give you a head's up. ^_~
Pumpkin head!!! WHADDUP??? Hey whaycha dune for the Pats game? My Bro Billy got something brewing and he's got an HDTV. Matt? I dunno how many people I can bring he might have a fool house...tee hee!!!
Hiya and Welcome back Matt!~! :::scratches head::: OMG how bad does Hackett suck......Words can't discribe!
>How was the trip?

The trip was good, excepting that being on a cruise ship is somewhat like being sequestered in a luxury hotel, except with a room the size of a modest closet. After a while, you just want to get the hell off the ship. I don't think I'll ever pay for one of those trips again... lame activities (BINGO anyone?), lots of old folks, and everything grossly overpriced "for your convenience". Maybe a windjammer cruise though!

That notwithstanding, Cozumel Mexico was fantastic, and I'm hoping to get back there before too long. The Mayan decendant people were very friendly, the diving (with a boat which my friends and I chartered ourselves) was superb, and the dollar goes a nice long way (two beers and two shots of tequilla cost $5 total). It's of course also nice to be lounging under a palm tree listening to Cuban jazz and watching the sun set knowing that you're missing out on record low temperatures at home.

Roatan, in the bay islands off Honduras initially struck me as being the most impoverished place I've ever been. There was trash in the streets and canals, and most people had dirt yards, tin roofs, and walls made of plywood if they were lucky. It made me a bit uncomfortable to drive through communities like that to arrive at Antony's Key Resort, which was of course the picture of commercialized paradise, with hammock-slung air-conditioned bungalows nestled among the palm trees and crystal blue water. This was my first "shore excursion" arranged by the cruise ship, and I was really amazed by how poorly qualified most of the divers on board were. Many of them couldn't even set up their gear without help from the crew, and their skills in the water told me they hadn't ever really learned to dive safely. I kept a healthy distance and enjoyed the reef, only surfacing (with the divemaster and one other diver) once everyone else was already nearly out of air, aboard the boat, and changed out of their gear. After stowing everything back aboard the ship, my friends and I went out into the town (such as it was) to try to find some bottled drinks and a meal. We were pleased to find the local folks happy, friendly, sociable, and excellent at preparing local seafood. We enjoyed several bottles of "Salve Vida" the local Honduran beer, and feasted on red snapper, rock lobster, and a healthy portion of jumbo shrimp with an amazing hot sauce. I couldn't help but pick up a conch-shell horn from one of the local shops, and regret not being able to stay longer and sample the "finest ganja" the shop keeper offered.

Belize, as I described it on the diving website my friends and I own and operate (www.thedecostop.com), was a total clusterfuck. Naturally, it was another "shore excursion" of the sort the cruise line offers.

The cruise ship anchored offshore in Belize, and the cruise excursion folks had arranged for a dive boat to come and pick divers up for one of their 'official' trips (for a whopping $110). There were occasional rain showers as we motored away from the ship, but no signs of any problems until it became clear that they hadn't received my shipboard cabinmate Margaret's request for rental equipment. They had some extra stuff onboard, and outfitted her with a too-small large BC (she needed an XL), and a belt that came within an inch of not being able to fit around her. In addition, a regulator that they had brought for one of the 10 or so other divers on board had a broken mouthpiece, and he would have been SOL had I not had a spare and a zip-tie to fix it with.

We got the briefing, entered the water for our first dive, and as I was the first in after the first DiveMaster (the captain was the second, leaving his helper in charge of the boat), I was in an excellent position to watch overweighted divers crashing down onto delicate fan coral, then overinflating and rocketing back to the surface before finding a happy middle ground that approximated neutral bouyancy. The dive was a bit of a clusterfuck as a result of there being so many inexperienced and out of practice divers, but settled down into a brief but otherwise largely uneventful dive. That is, until we surfaced and divers started grappling for/with the exit line that had been trailed out aft of the boat. The ladder was on the port side, and in order to get to it, the divers on the line (I didn't use it, as there was no current) had to pass within a foot of the outboard props... which were still engaged! Margaret was nearly pulled into them by the thrashing of those behind her on the line, but the props were disengaged in the nick of time thanks to the frantic shouting of my friend Ash, who was right near her. Somehow, everyone managed to make it aboard safely, and we had an hour long surface interval on a sandy patch of a deserted caye.

Dive two again saw me entering right after the DM (George), and Margaret followed. She entered without her weight belt and signaled for help from George. He asked me to descend so the other divers could rally there and wait for him to return while he assisted her. I did so, and wrote 'George (DM) asked us to wait here for him' on my slate. It was largely met with shrugs from divers who read it and swam off anyhow... into a reef they didn't know. Jeremy (my buddy) and a father/son team were the only ones to wait as instructed, and it was several minutes before George, Margaret, and Ashley joined us. The other DM/captain swam off moments earlier to find the stray divers.

It was a nice reef dive, but when we surfaced the boat was nowhere in sight. Neither were the other divers. It was just the seven of us floating in the Carribean in about 3-4 foot seas, maybe a mile and a half from Goff's Caye off Belize... the only land we could see. George assured us that the captain was the best in the business, and that he'd be right with us. I began to inflate a yellow marker bag, but he assured me it wasn't necessary, so I stowed it again. 45 minutes later, the father and son were getting seasick, and fatigued, and kept drifting away from the group. We were all getting tired of floating, and decided to descend 15 feet for a brief dive with our remaining air, just to get some relief. After about 10 minutes, I was down to 500psi (out of an initial 3,000), and decided to ride it out at the surface.

George, who had been very accomodating and had done an excellent job of keeping the group's morale high, began talking about how likely it was he'd be fired, and was considering going back to Guatemala to get his old bartending job back. I inflated the marker and started blowing my never before used, but always carried whistle. Two of the other divers also started whistling, and waving, and the others shouted, and about an hour and a half after we initially surfaced, we were spotted and picked up by the boat operator... who hadn't seen the other divers or the captain either.

It turns out that the captain had caught up with the group shortly after they had run low on air, surfaced, and realized there wasn't a DM with them. He led them to a sandbar where they could stand, and they were picked up by another boat. They caught up with us after we spent about 10 more minutes scanning the waves for any sign of them. Said the DM, "I told you he was the best."

We returned to the ship without lunch, and submitted "comment cards" to the excursion desk. Several days later we recieved notes on our cabin doors informing us that we would be refunded half the cost of the excursion. I'm planning to escalate that to the cruise line's customer service dept.

As a result of high seas, we were unable to tender people in to Cancun from the offshore anchorage, so we spent the final two days at sea... getting nicely drunk.
Wednesday is new Comics Day!!!

But No new comics today, kids. Sorry...what can I say. But getting into a journalistic vein, I did some e-digging looking for more info regarding the prolific comics comics writer Warren Ellis. His name comes up often on the Comics Talk and rightfully so. He's got one of the best minds out there for the genre.
In my search for info, particularly I was going for who he was, where he lives, what he has done, when did he come on the scene. Run Warren through the journalistic "5 Dubyas". He lives in England, he ain't much older than me. He's been getting paid for his craft for over a decade and there's a virtual library of material he's got out there in addition to the library I got at home. He's got a "Dot Com" that's more of a web presence than a web site to go ga-ga over but it has links to very cool stuff. http://www.warrenellis.com/
He dutifully publishes his own Blog at: http://www.diepunyhumans.com/ . The Blog initself was pretty funny. An also an email link there too so since he Blogs I got the idea to...

Send him an email:

Dear Warren,

I came back in from the "cold" due to Grant Morrison &
Frank Quietly's work on New X-Men #114 in 2001 and
have been going to the Funny Book Bodega every
Wednesday since at least this past summer. So I got
about 10+ years to make up for...I help keep my store
in business. ^_~

I had no clue who you were until last year. Thank you
for Spider and the Authority not to mention everything
else that I can think of.

May I throw 20 Questions at you for my Blog? I write
comics reviews every Wednesday. I really don't talk
about the comics too much but how they make me feel.
So what if I'm a hack, it keeps me off the street

if you're interested but hey, I thought I'd ask.
The archive from 10/2003 talks comics. If you like
hockey and theology your'e in luck.

Thanks for your time.

Best regards,

Eric O'Sullivan
Boston, MA USA


He who knows best knows how little he knows. ?Thomas Jefferson

And the muthalovin', whore hopper emailed me BACK!!!

In a message dated 1/13/04 7:19:16 PM GMT Standard Time, Rev. Sully! writes:

---May I throw 20 Questions at you for my Blog?

I really don't have time, but thanks anyway.

-- W

Sure...say it was one of his Filthy Assistants and burst my bubble why don'tcha. ^_~

But the guy is pretty much a Web Head like you and me so I thought it be cool to share that with you. Probably thinks my pedestrian reviews are and meager request for an interview were cute if he looked at OCHO. ^_^
Warren's Blog is pretty cool though...I've already ripped off images he's ripped off. ^_~ Like this one:

The Daily Nation, released an image of one of the two suicide bombers who tried to assassinate President Musharraf. The force of the blast detached his face from his head and it flew up and fell of the roof of the nearby police station. He was identified as a bomber from the amount of explosive material on the face.

Ain't it cool to be a Blogger, kids. ^_~

But it's a cool comics story to share anyhoo. Next comics icon to annoy.
Garth Ennis!
^_~ But really...I've been reading a TON of Garth Ennis work lately. His work on the Punisher is great and funny and I just started reading PREACHER. Now PREACHER is where its at.

As I told Warren...I got over a decade of making up to do. Especially with enticing Vertigo title EVERYBODY's known about for years...PREACHER, John Constantine Hellblazer to name two that we've been voraciously devouring. The Comics Gnome been leaving TPB of "old" stuff around lately and blowing our minds with this great material. Look for write-ups on PREACHER and Hellblazer coming to OCHO soon.

On tap for next week and beyond:
Stormwatch TPB 1-5...all Ellis, all the time. Warren Ellis recrafts Wildstorm's Super Hero Team and paves the way for The Authority.
Caper Issues #2 & 3.
Vertigo Pop!'s Bangkok. A four-issue run, a great story, no tights and flying...just humans.
NYX: a new Marvel mutie X-Title set in Manhattan. Issues #1-4 are now out I believe and I'll get them at the Funny Book Bodega later on today.
I'm also going into detail about stuff you may have over looked and classic things. Trade papberbacks are great for this.

So...buy a funny book. Have a serial. Enjoy your commute. ^_~

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Welcome back Matt!!! How was the trip?
Hockey Squawk!!!

Congrats to Brian Boucher of the Phoenix Coyotes for breaking the all-time modern shutout record with 5 straight.

Kara Yorio of the Sporting News said this:
Trent Hunter, Islanders. This winger has a lethal combination of size and skill. He hits, he scores, he plays with enthusiasm, and he'll be the rookie of the year when it's all over.


Wherein I used her email link to say...
"Dear Kara,

Who's cooler than you? I just started reading your
articles via Yahoo's NHL page. Don't tell Kevin
DuPont but I think you're better. ^_~

But really...I find your projection of NYI's Trent
Hunter for Calder to be interesting. Being biased in
Boston I wish I could shake your hand and bet you $20
that a Bruin will have the Calder be it the amazingly
mature and patient Pat Bergeron or the currently
ranked in 11th place out of all NHL goalies (1st in
Rookie goalies) Andrew Raycroft.

Cheers and I look forward to your articles.

Best regards,

Eric O'Sullivan
Boston, MA

PS Maybe next week we can hear from you if you think
Cam Neely was worthy enough to have his number retired
by the Bruins? (IMHO...no. Blashpemy around these
parts!). "

Bruins win on Cam Neely Night.

Flyers lose to the hapless flightless cross-state rival Penguins!!! Esche was in goal for that one!


Monday, January 12, 2004

Nice pic! Looks like a great place for a kegger...only if it had more oxygen.
9:33AM for you?
^_~ Heya Squirt.
New Nasa release - 360 degree view of Mars
Check it out...Fat Ass Roger Clemens joins his homosexual lover Andy Pettitte in Houston for a one-year deal.
Hockey Talk with Rev. Sully:

More a little later but this caught my eye. 9 time Stanley Cup coach Scotty Bowman on The Philly Flyers chances on winning:

Yahoo Source.

Last weekend in Tampa, Fla., Bowman was asked for his take on coach Ken Hitchcock's Flyers. Most of the questions concerned goaltending because that is the one area in which some NHL scouts say the Flyers are vulnerable.

Question: What's your overall impression of the Flyers?

A:The Flyers have a nice team. They seem to have hustle, and they work hard. They play in their own end a lot better than a lot of teams. Very tight. They have depth, and they have good balance. They seem to be a pretty big club. They are well spread out with their stars. The question is if all the stars play together. They seem to have a lot of spirit. It's going to be where you end up and the matchups in the playoffs. If Philly and Jersey stay up [in the Atlantic Division standings], the best the other can be is fourth or fifth [seed in the playoffs], and you could get caught [playing against a tough goalie right away].

Q:Are the Flyers missing the one piece - a goalie - that can win them a Cup?

A: It's hard to tell. If you look at the East - Ottawa, Toronto, New Jersey, Philadelphia - they seem to be a cut above the other teams right now. But there might be more changes this year because of the new [collective-bargaining agreement]. There might be players available with fewer buyers than sellers. [Martin] Brodeur does stand out. That is the one edge New Jersey has. They have a lot of very average guys. You wonder sometimes, how does [New Jersey] get it done? Brodeur doesn't have very many bad games, gives up very few bad goals, and he has a lot of exceptional games. That makes a big difference. Toronto, with [Ed] Belfour, he has been good for them. Ottawa, I am not sure. Their guy [Patrick Lalime] has never done it. It doesn't mean Lalime can't do it.

Q:Your impressions of [Flyers goalie] Jeff Hackett?

A: Hackett has been a pretty good goalie on some teams. He was good on San Jose and good in Chicago. Then he started getting injured. If he could stay healthy - he is a battler, and I think he is underrated. In playoffs, you need a goalie on the roll. If he doesn't wear himself out in the [regular] season, he might be ready.

Q: People say the Flyers have never had the goalie who could make a difference in the playoffs since Ron Hextall, and even he didn't win a Cup.

A: It's hard to tell. Hextall was a good goalie - really good in Philly. It's a tough situation some nights when you are on a team like Philly, where you don't get a lot of work. It takes a special type of goalie to fit into [Hitchcock's] team. Philadelphia doesn't get a lot of teams that try to play run-and-gun with them, so their goalies have to stay very focused. Some goalies get a lot of shots and stop 90 percent, but it's 50 shots they face. Over the course of a year, you judge how your goalie plays, and it's not easy if he is not getting shots.

Q: You won two Cups with average or slightly above average goalies in Mike Vernon and Chris Osgood. They weren't in Brodeur or Dominik Hasek's class.

A: Vernon was a good goalie, and Osgood was young. Osgood was better than average when he reached his maturity. He has come into his own. It takes a goalie a while. Vernon had been a good money guy with Calgary. He beat [Patrick] Roy with us and with Calgary. The problem is, when you get into a playoff and go head-to-head with a team for seven games, especially if they have an experienced goalie, then the pressure mounts on your goalie. That is what I always felt. We had a hard time with Roy until we got Vernon. Osgood - it was asking him a lot him [because he was younger]. Hasek - now he had beaten Roy a lot. It's asking a lot of a young goalie to go head-to-head every night against a legend.

Q: It looks like Robert Esche, a young goalie, could be the playoff starter for the Flyers. He'd have to go against a legend somewhere along the line if the Flyers went deep. Can he do it?

A:You never know. If it's Philly and Toronto, it's going to be Belfour and your guy [Esche]. You might have a better team, but you've got to get the goaltending to win.

Q: You know how good Ken Hitchcock is with defensive systems that limit chances. Can you win a Cup with above-average goaltending and an outstanding defensive system these days?

A: It hasn't proven that way lately. We had Hasek. Maybe you can say that when we won with Osgood, but that was maybe 10 years ago. Patrick Roy won. Belfour won. Hasek won. Brodeur has been in on three Cups.

Q: Do you find yourself watching games and still thinking as a coach instead of a consultant?

A:I watch the matchups - lines against the lines. I like to watch how teams play in their own end. I still like to do the analyzing.

Quotable. The Flyers' Jeremy Roenick, who caught a puck in the face in practice last week, on suggestions that he wear a protective shield: "The only shield I am using is the windshield on my car."

Friday, January 09, 2004

The Triumphant Return of Hockey Talk with Rev. Sully:

Dig this: CuJo is here to stay for Team Geritol??? Apparetnly Dominik Hasek’s groin pull isn’t healing as quickly as hoped unless the Wings doctors can figure out how to graph youthful healing genetic traits onto a 38-year old body. There is no time table for the Dominator’s return. The Yahoo news article summarizes what I’ve been talking about all season long regarding the “CuJo Sweepstakes”. Will The Red Wings win their own drawing?

Bruins rookie Patrice Bergeron is still lighting the lamp. Baby Bergie is 3rd in rookie scoring (11-13-24, 42 Games Played). Michael Ryder of Montreal (9-18-27, 42 GP) and Trent Hunter of the NYI (15-10-25, 36 GP) in 1st and 2nd respectively. Also keep an eye on Philadelphia’s Joni Pitkanen for Rookie of the Year Honors. This first-year defenseman might be 11th in overall rookie scoring (4-11-15, 36 GP) but being on defense puts him in a different grading curve than the wingers. Pitkanen is averaging 16:51 of playing time per game and is the highest rated rookie defenseman. Don’t forget that Bruins goalie Andrew Raycroft is in the Calder hunt leading all rookie goalie with 28 games played and a record of 11-10-6 with a 2.04 GAA. Razor Raycroft is ranked 16th with the rest of the NHL Goalies , 6th in GAA

Rookie Nathan Horton of the Florida Panther became the youngest rookie in NHL history to score on a penalty shot. It looks like the Flyers goalie couldn’t Hackett on this deke. ^_~

FYI: Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco has played in 41 games this season.

The Bruins have cooled off and look for equilibrium. First place go-getters early in the season, the press now chide for being in third place in the talent packed NE Division. Montreal nipping at the Bruins heals being one point behind, Ottawa finally surging as expected with being 8-0-2-0 in the last 10 games and Toronto cooling off a bit…the NE Division is a good as it gets in hockey. The Bruins are still playoff worthy.

KUDOS!!! To Brian Boucher of the Phoenix Coyotes. 3 straight shutouts. He’s chasing the modern shutout record of 309:21 (1949, Dill Durnan, Montreal). Boucher has 265:45 and has stopped 119 consecutive shots on goal.