Friday, July 29, 2005

The Swedish FireSteel is cool, but not $16 cool. I have a different version of the classic flint and steel in my bag-o-life, essentially the except that mine cost less than half that and comes with the flint set into a comfortable wooden handle. On the opposite side is a bar of pure magnesium... a few shavings of that will really help your tinder ignite with gusto!

I used it on Memorial Day weekend to light the fire I used to roast a chicken on the rotisserie spit I built. Mmmm... best chicken ever.

It has a certain retro charm, but not much more than starting a friction fire with sticks. Having had the satisfaction of doing it once, I'm content to use a match. I'm really far more impressed by my Victrinox CampFlame... a swiss army knife with a built in butane torch. They've discontinued them, and they were never intended for sale in the US to begin with. If you want one, order it from your favorite European knife shop before they're gone!

STARLARKING!: Horny Little Thing, eh?

This is Darth Sidious' lightsabre...an elegant weapon for a more civilized MURDERER! ^_~

Notice the little "horn" at the base. My inner fanboy wants Palpatine to have taken a horn from the corpse of Darth Maul, have it gilded and put on the hilt of his sabre but I digress...

Image Pirated courtesy of: Luukesabers -The Lightsaber. Pretty cool lightsabre site.
I gotta get me one of these...but Kiwi can't have one (the 'lil pyro! ^_~)

Swedish FireSteel

A survival tool for creating a tool of survival

Originally developed for the Swedish Department of Defense, Swedish FireSteel is a flash of genius. Its nearly 3,000°C spark makes fire building easy in any weather, at any altitude. Used by a number of armies around the world, Swedish FireSteel's dependability has already made it a favorite of survival experts, hunters, fishermen and campers. It has also found its way into cabins and backyards as a fool-proof way to light stoves and gas-barbecues. Amazingly enough it also works equally well when wet. We think geeks will appreciate the power of being able to start a fire with such a simple tool.

A metal blade is slowly moved across the Firesteel, generating sparks that can easily be thrown onto a small pile of dry grass, leaves or paper to start a fire. When the fire is becoming established, thin sticks of wood can be added, gradually increasing to thicker ones.

The Swedish FireSteel has these great features.

* Lights campfires, stoves, gas-barbecues
* Uses a magnesium alloy that consists of 7 metals
* Lasts for approximately 12,000 strikes
* Produces a spark temperature close to 3,000°C (5,500°F)
* Bright spark – can be used as emergency signal
* Functions in rain and snow
* Dimensions: main component is approx. 3.75" long
* Weight: approx. 1.9 ounces

THANK YOU ThinkGeek Dot Com!

This is one of my favorite Spider scenes among MANY in the TRANSMETROPOLITAN series. It was given to Warren and Warren gave it to us for LiveJournal icons.

Courtest of Warren Ellis Dot Com (in the featured links).

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


NHL Schedules Actual Games! They must be Serious about playing this season.
aka Original Six???...Original SIN! What the HECK do you mean they’re not playing each other this year!!!

By Rev. Sully
July 27, 2005

The 2005-2006 NHL regular season schedule was released the day after I asked in the last Smoking Puck “when the heck the (new) schedule is coming out”. Go figure, huh? Before I go on to bemoan a thing or two, here’s the link to the explanation of the new season schedule design. It is a Division Rival based format. The Bruins play their Northeast Division rivals Montreal, Toronto, Buffalo and Ottawa EIGHT TIMES each this season (4 home, 4 away for 32 games). We start the season at Home against “Les Habitants de Montreal” on Wednesday, October 5, 2005 and also close out the Home portion of our season April 13, 2006 against them (then to finish the season the next game on the road in Atlanta). The Habs are the Bruins natural “Original Six” rivals having met an NHL record 30 times in the Post-Season (only second to Detroit v. Toronto who’ve met 22 times in the Playoffs). We face the other Eastern Conference teams FOUR TIMES a season (for example: we get to play Philly twice here and twice there which is pretty cool). Do the Math and you’ll figure that there are Ten Games remaining to play against FIFTEEN teams in an 82-game Season. So a revolving system was set up regarding Inter-Conference games that a team will play 2 out of the 3 Division in the opposing Conference.

This year, the Bruins will not face the Western Conference’s Central Division.

What does this mean to you? We will not get to play the Columbus Blue Jackets and their phenom Rick Nash (who was Bruins Cap’n Joe Thornton’s linemate during the 2005 World Championships for Team Canada). The Bruins will not face the Nashville Predators and their World Champion goalie Tomas Voukoun who stymied Cap’n Joe & Co. in the Gold Medal game earlier 2005 in Austria. But here is where the Hankies come out. We will not face off against the St. Louis Blues, the Chicago Blackhawks or the Detroit Red Wings. That also means denizens of Toronto will not get to see their natural “Original Six” rivals the Detroit Red Wings all season long. I’ve gone to almost every Chicago and Detroit game the Bruins play on Home Ice in the perhaps the past decade. I am a huge fan of watching the Original Six teams play one another. Even the NY Rangers...I hate going to the Garden when the Rangers are in town. It is the same creepy feeling when the Yankees come to Fenway, it really is. Their bellicose, annoying and mouthy fans actually show up in DROVES! There are so many Rangers fan who come to the NYR/Bruins games in Boston that the crowd is really 50-50 and it neutralizes our Home Ice Advantage crowd-wise. But when Toronto, Montreal, NYR, Detroit or Chicago come to town, I’m probably up with the rest of the “Gallery Gods” wearing the Throwback jersey and the Original Six hat I got at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

I see the merits in the Rival based formula and it must have been a hard decision having that glaring scheduling gaffe stare in the faces of the Ones in Charge. Boston, Toronto and Montreal do not get to play Detroit and Chicago at all this season. The NY Ranger will get to face all five of their “Original Six” brethren. I don’t think it is a conscious snub at Hockey’s history in this time of reaching for the future, just one of the many sacrifices made this year in order to get Hockey back in the Rinks. The Bruins will get to see Detroit & Chicago in the next two seasons so it’s not as the “Original Six” will never get to face-off against the other ever again. In this season, there could always be the Cup Final but I digress...

Here is a link to the 2005-2006 NHL Season Schedule page at NHL Dot Com. You can select the team using the Drop Box up top.


Rev. Sully

Come to Channel OCHO

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

For the Jedi bored at Work...

Check out the lightsabre game Star Wars Clone Wars: Planetary Forces.
Friday, May 20, 2005, Kiwi Said:
Overall I really enjoyed the third portion of this six part saga. Though unfortunately I still question Geoge's choice in Hayden. There were quite a lot of scenes he just didn't quite pull off. It was unfortunate. And there are a number of things that George could have done to avoid this and make the turn to the "dark side" a littel smoother for an actor with Hayden's skills.

Really...now I was doing what I tend to do when I got the proper amount of alone time and sometimes that time is spent reading the archive on OCHO here. Seeing I was hungry today STARLARKING (the OCHO act of talking Sci-Fi) about Star Wars, this thought caught my mind.

I thought that Hayden was great in Episode III but also in Episode II. I've just watched Episode II clinically with the subtitles on and the Commentary on the sound track. He's supposed to be a bit like...that in Episode II. A little whiney, a lot of cocky. He's an 18-year old who's a bit pampered and also treated like a high school jock. He's talented, powerful and also a bit of the Y.D.F.O.C. (that's Young, Dumb, Full o' Cum). He's in love for the first time in his life (the carrier scene when Padme falls out onto the dune) and his heart literally is pulling him by the sleeve. He gave into his hatred by killing the camp of Tusken and the scene in "Luke's Garage" at the Lars homestead with Padme showed not only that rage but the pain on finding and losing his mother. With losing his arm in the duel with Dooku and what is chronicled superbly in the Clone Wars Animated Vols. 1 & 2, he's a hardened veteran by the openign scroll of Episode III. Episode III is only 3 years after the Battle of Geonosis and the start of the Clone Wars. Click here for a GREAT Star Wars Timeline.
Peter Keough of the Boston Phoenix said in his review of Revenge of the Sith great things about Anakin's character; his neediness, his attachments. Check it out, it's a good and thoughtful read.

Now I know most of the problem is with their delivery. Was Ewan playing Obi-Wan or was be playing Alec Guinness? Portman...did she even show up at the set? That's a joke & a jab but you know what I mean but Hayden...the rage that fills his face as he's confronting his wife and dueling with Obi-Wan on Mustafar is great. Hayden got good when he got evil. I dunno...

Have you seen it again? Do you still have a problem with the acting?

The Icemen Cometh...and I hear they’re bringing beer.
aka REVERSE SKATE...Free Agents ONLY!”

By Rev. Sully
July 26, 2005

The Icemen are indeed bringing beer because beer is the petroleum of the Sports Industry but already I digress...

The “Icemen” of the NHL Competition Committee for the past month have been making the list of rule changes in order to open up the game. These “Icemen” are...
”The Competition Committee is currently comprised of four NHL players, four General Managers and one owner and is supervised by Colin Campbell, NHL Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations. The players are Rob Blake of Colorado, Jarome Iginla of Calgary, Trevor Linden of Vancouver and Brendan Shanahan of Detroit. The General Managers are Bob Gainey of Montreal, Kevin Lowe of Edmonton, David Poile of Nashville and Don Waddell of Atlanta. The owner is Ed Snider of Philadelphia. NHL Players' Association Director of Business Operations, Mike Gartner, also will provide input to the Committee.”
-NHL Dot Com, July 22, 2005
Quote source and a full list of upcoming changes including great images can be seen here. The visual aides are a great help.

Compared to the former Rink style, the newer game surface area-wise isn’t getting larger just the painted lines under the ice are moving. Did knowing that the face-off circles are being adjusted make or break your day? Are you scratching your head over what’s the “Tag Up” Offsides Amendment then you need the NHL’s concise primer on what could be the Rule Changes. Maybe the ESPN Dot Com version can help.

The few Hockey fans I’ve spoken to over the Ice Melting have been very wary. We Hockey Fans are a protective bunch. We are so protective that we allow & enjoy fisticuffs in the gameplay in order to ensure that sense of overall “protection”. There is no greater “sticking up for” than by having a chance of protecting a teammate or one’s own self martially. Football might have more protective equipment but then look at the Goalie. Regarding fighting though, there is a new Instigator rule with stiffer & culminating penalties. It appears as though the days of the Tie Domi style of player are done. I am interested in the new NHL. I think the Rule changes are needed and will be beneficial. I still do not like the level of hardball played in having a season go unplayed. It took me four years to return to Fenway after the 1994 MLB strike. What I remember I missed most was the smell of Lansdowne Street on gameday. I look forward to nights in Hooters before and after the Game. In the days of the Old NHL, the pre-game warm up was at Boston Beer Works and the Post-Game Report was slurred at Porters on Portland Street. I also like coming back to the “Garden” and watching Detroit, Chicago, Philly and Montreal. So to my “brethren” I say unto thee...GET OVER IT! Come to the Garden with me and we’ll get some cheap seats. That’ll help you out more than dissecting the problems.

As much as there is talk of the change of NHL Hockey, I’d personally like to know when the heck the 2005-2006 regular season schedule is coming out. The new Shield logo looks nice although I will miss the color orange. The new logo is proudly displayed on the NHL Dot Com’s banners and on celebratory apparel such as the “Coming 10.05” hats & shirts.

The “New” NHL Shield Logo. Who made this sample hat...Industrial Light & Magic???

Coming in the new season are great players on different teams. Free agency is now going to be successively lowered from age 31 to 27 over the next few years with all teams only able to spend a maximum of $39 Million per season on talent. Derian Hatcher (D, DET), John LeClair (F, PHI) and Tony Amonte (F, PHI) are three of the biggest available free agents already in the first few days of the new and improved NHL. The Lockout is Over. It’s time to lace the skates up. Did you know that contracts signed in time for the 2004-05 Season will be voided? Does that make Mike Knuble still a Bruin seeing that’s when he signed with the Flyers or Bruin Brian Rolston’s deal with the Minnesota Wild? This Rodeo starts August 1, 2005 when the Free Agency Floodgates open and teams can start signing who’re available. Check out the details of the NHL’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement at their CBA FAQ Site.

By the way...the Bruins are going to be offering $10 tickets for games this coming season.

“(Charlie) Jacobs said the club was still fine-tuning what he said will be an across-the-board drop in ticket prices. There will be a load of $10 seats (a price not offered at a Bruins game since 1987) available for every game, and up through Thanksgiving children 12 and under will be admitted free. The club also plans to offer family packages to games post-Thanksgiving.”
-Kevin Paul DuPont, Boston Globe, July 22, 2005

Also DuPont mentioned that Season Ticket holders held on,

“Season ticket-holders, said Jacobs, have hung in to the tune of 92 percent -- a stunning figure, given the fact that pro hockey hasn't been played on Causeway Street since April 2004. To keep them interested, of course, the Bruins paid them 7.7 percent on their deposits for the first seven months and, according to Jacobs, boosted the payout to 15 percent May 1.”

Ain’t that sweet! It looks as though the “Gahhden” should be full for the Black & Gold. Lowered ticket prices means that it’s just not Rev. Sully who’s coming back this season...mark those words. I just hope the $10 tickets don’t sell out online before I can get to ‘em. Back in the Daze, I was one of those odd people playing Wiffle Ball under the now-gone MBTA Green Line “El” at 4AM in the middle of Causeway Street, queuing up for the Box Office to open with a pocket full of cash. I purchased my most wanted tickets for the season but I was there just because I’m a Bruins Fan and it was fun. That line was replaced by a modem. We were always part of the first 20 people there.


Rev. Sully

Come to Channel OCHO
The Spoilers I was referring to now though are Harry Potter spoilers, not SW.

Star Wars Musing...aka Starlarking

I'll bite. There is no more spoiling to the Canon. The story is told. Episode III is done and Palpatine's "Big Picture" falls into place. From the first hints in Episode I when Lord Sidious proclaims to his ordered invasion of Naboo, "I will make it legal..." to the close up of Palpatine's sinister (literally sinister, left-sided...as opposed to "dexter", right-sided or handed) profile at Qui-Gonn Jinn's funeral. To the behind the scene's machinations one has to see between the lines after Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas was murdered and then "ordered" the creation of a Clone Army for the republic which took 10 years to harvest. Did anyone in the Senate actually notice that once the Military Creation Act that Senator Padme Amidala was fighting came into being (thanks Jar-Jar...those who hate him understand he was the "fall guy"), the Clone Army was "pret-a-porter"? To Dooku's pleading look to the "captured" Palpatine on the bridge of the Trade federation cruiser in Episode III and the stark imagry comparing the bound Chancellor's in the huge Control chair to the Emperor's own on the Second Death Star in Episode VI. Also with the Jedi being cast by the Chancellor as the Generals of this Clone Army while Palpatine kept "Order 66" as a planned ace in his sleeve.

But I remember when I was a kid. I got through Scholastic TAB, the monthly or quarterly book order form when TESB came out somethign called the Jedi Master's Quizbook.

The author, Rusty Miller wasn't that much older than me I remebered. He was published at the age of I think 12 years old. I had to be 9-10 in 1982 when his quizbook came out. There were answers in the back of the book and I hated referring to them but one had to. One question was "what is the title of the next Star Wars movie?" and the answer was "Revenge of the Jedi" so that I hope puts the Jedi Master's Quizbook fitting into a linear timeline. Also for the Star Wars savvy, we already knew that the Emperor's name was Palpatine. It was on the action figure, for Pete's Sake. That the Galactic Capitol was on a planet named Coruscant. How did one even pronouce "Coruscant" I didn't even know until Qui-Gonn Jinn uttered the word in a Naboo Hangar bay.

I'm also into watching the "Making of..." for Episodes II & III via Star Wars Dot Com. Check it out.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith will be released on DVD November 1, 2005 according to Star Wars Dot Com. Source:

Matt / Leah - thanks for the well wishes.

Sully - I know exactly what you are going through with the EIII not being shown in theaters still. About 2 weeks ago I was in Virginia for work and wanted to go see it again since I actually had a few evenings to myself without having to change diapers. I couldn't find it playing anywhere near my hotel (Williamsburg, Newport News, Norfolk area). I was pretty bummed, so I went to Hooters instead.

Oh well, looks like I will have to wait until the DVD comes out.

I did get the new Harry Potter book though. Pretty good stuff. Jai got me into Harry Potter years ago before the huge craze. She had to read it for one of her classes when she was in school (she's an elementary school teacher for those who don't know)and then she passed it to me knowing that I liked Tolkein, etc. I put it on a shelf "yeah right...I am not reading a dumb kids book". One day I needed some bathroom reading and just grabbed it - I couldn't put it down. Anyhoot - if you guys haven't read it, it's a pretty good read. It fun and entertaining enough for adults.

It also now fills the SW void of "debating" what happens next. Rather than wondering about if Palpatine really is Darth Sid, and who erased the archives. You can think about if __________________. (Keeping it Spoiler Free in case any of you are reading it).

Monday, July 25, 2005

Star Wars Episode III already gone from Boston movie theaters.

I was hot and bored. I had the day off and was all alone so I decided to check out and see when Star Wars was playing. I looked and looked but its initial release has come to an end. I wasn't playing anywhere I wanted to go at least. But Star Wars Episode III is no longer playing in the two major Boston theaters. It is playing a few of the bad and tiny full priced theaters still in Somerville (not the good & cheap one in Davis Sq.) and Cambridge at Fresh Pond. Randolph, Danvers...but I can't get there by T. ^_~ So I found this at Star Wars Dot Com...

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Chris and I - as always - have been adamant this season about making an effort to see films on the big screen this winter. Luckily we have a discount card to our local Berkeley Cinema giving us $9 tickets instead of the usual $14, so it doesn't hurt the pocket quite so badly. This season we saw Batman Begins, an excellent rendition that is very well told and has strong continuity with the ongoing tales of our Dark Knight ~ thanks to executive producer Frank Miller (bless his heart and soul).

More recently we also saw the also comic book series brought to the big screen called 'The Fanatastic Four'. An impressive story but one with too much 'plot' and not enough action. As we all know you've got to appeal to the short attention span of the Generation-X'ers and their kin. Good flick, but it can wait for the DVD.

Just this past Friday night though I was pleasantly blown out of the water by one movie called "the Island" starring Ewan McGregor (previously seen as Obi-Wan in some other mundane series) Steve Buschemi (the guy that's in everything but usually yelling "you can DO it!") and a new up-and-comer, Scarlett Johansson. I'll be honest - she's hot... pretty much all the time.

Now I walked into this movie knowing nothing about it, so the plot progression was a complete and utter surprise to me. I jumped about a foot from my chair within 10 seconds of the opening credits and stayed there on the edge for the entire film. Being a film set in the future there was an excellent array of really cool chase scenes not too mention a range of excellent motor vehicles that any man, or red blooded woman for that matter, would find sexy. (The jet bike I have to say was a highlight).

Do yourself a favour - ask no one about this film and ignore all the reviews. Go and check out this film, you can beat me up in just four weeks if you hated it!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I'd love to take Chris out for a dive if he's feeling like it would be safe for him, but if there's any question I don't want to risk him getting barotrauma.

If we have good luck fishing on my bachelor party, I might even be able to offer him some fresh shortfin mako steaks. No promises of course, but either way, you can assure him he'll be well fed.
15 kilos. You certainly have your work cut out for you. You probably don't remember how much I can get down me in one sitting.
Chris is starting to look forward to the trip I think. More than anything a little nervous about meeting my older brothers.
BTW: Hooters is definately a GO! We already had that on our list of things to do. And I'm offended you thought I would be offended... but then again you guys haven't met the idiot I'm dating and what I go through and have to put up with on a daily basis. Gernerally Chris is just weird. Until he met me he only had to moods, happy and hungry (occasionally horny too according to his ex-girlfriend).
Matt - Chris was hoping he would be able to dive with you on our trip but it doesn't look like it will happen. He's had problems with on of his ears since last year and it feels blocked. He went to a specialist and they couldn't find a cause. Though he's happy for Chris to fly he told him diving might be out of the question until it resolves. He's keen to get stuck into the seafood while we are there. I don't eat it much (though I'm not allergic to anything like Jill) but he loves the stuff. Maybe you and he can do something while Jill and I get soem pizza...
Also Sul, I tried to book those Sox tickets but it wouldn't let me do it. It seems that those tickets aren't yet available. Which seems a little weird but I'll try again in a couple of weeks.

Anyway - that's all from me for now - Still working my way through the Clone Wars. Catch you on the flip side. Ciao.

Before Matt gets hitched...we gotta break in Scotty's house with a great big BBQ. Mario, think you, Jai and Dom can come (I mean is he old enough to travel and be out for a few hours). We can always make a "nap room" for the kids. I haven't seen Billy's "new" daughter yet and Nicholas is not yet two so he might need a doze. Throw that ball to the Missus (and as part of the deal she HAS to drive home ^_~) and tell me whatcha think.

Not yet to be counted are any and all nights Leah & Chris just wanna hang in and get fed great American homestyle food. Leah, tell Chris to bring a spare Kiwi stomach to transplant...I'm making you guys Pan-Fried Chicken soaked in buttermilk 30+ hours with ALL the sides...yes Bacon Cheddar Biscuits and mebbe some Country Gravy. Ribs to be an expatriate for...^_~. Oh yes...working at the Temple Bar has really given my culinary style & competancy a quantum leap. Ask Dr. Hooey. AMERICAN FOOD! Chris and you will gain 15 kilos!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

That's a handsome kid Mario. Congratulations!
Hi Sully - thanks for making the announcement and posting the pic of Dominic!

He was a month yesterday and doing great! Very strong boy...he managed to flip himself over (tummy to back) at two weeks. We thought it was a fluke, but he does it from time to time.

He's also got pretty good control of his neck muscles and doesn't have a floppy head as seen in this pic. (This is one of my favorite pics. He was sleeping and raising his head and chest and was making the most funny facial expressions.)

You guys need to get up to visit soon. (Plus beer and bocce).

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

TD pipe

TD pipe
Originally uploaded by MSilvia.
Here's the pipe I found. It needs more cleaning, but it's in remarkably good condition.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Upon closer inspection and additional cleaning, I found a "T D" mark on my pipe. Since that's what my dive buddy Jimmie's had too, I now figure it for a maker's mark.

I just did a little more research, and it turns out TD stands for Thomas Dormer, who was a well known maker of quality pipes in London. He was so well known that demand for his products greatly outstripped his ability to produce them, and "TD" pipes have since been manufactured by a number of different makers. Lower quality "TD" pipes are still made today.

The markings evolved though, and the ones like we found that have the T on one side of the stem and the D on the other with no circles, garlands, or other decorations was common among London manufacturers in the eighteenth and into the nineteenth centuries.

I think there's a good chance we found imported pipes that could well have been manufactured right around the time that Romance went down.

When I get a chance, I plan to measure the spur at the bottom of the bowl, and determine the width to length ratio. Apparently, a spur with a width to length ratio of 0.75 or higher on a "TD" pipe would mean it wasn't manufactured after 1890. I expect it will be smaller, as I now believe the pipes came to rest where we found them as a result of the sinking of the Romance, and since it seems unlikely any pair on board the Romance or involved in her rescue would have been smoking out of 46+ year old pipes.
I had a couple of great dives saturday in the outer harbor, on the wrecks of the passenger steamer Romance and the cargo ship City of Salisbury. Both ships went down in the mid 1930s, the former when it collided with another vessel in the fog, and the latter when it hit an uncharted rock pinnacle while coming into Boston with a cargo of zoo animals.

I found a discarded clay pipe of a type popular in the colonies in the early 1700s while looking for (and finding) scallops at about 75' depth near some anemonae just off the wreckage of the Romance, and have a nice souvineir to add to my collection of maritime artifacts. We had an anxious moment though, as the distant thrumming of prop cavitation grew increasingly louder over the course of the dive. We had hooked up to the mooring line just outside of the shipping channel, and a LNG tanker came in while we were under. It must have passed within a few hundered yards, and while I couldn't see it, at it's closest point the sound of it's props was literally bone-shaking. I felt like a freakin' submarine was about to pop out of the gloom and buzz us.

On the second dive, we hit the City of Salisbury wreckage with catch bags, and high hopes of a fruitful lobster hunt. We decended to about 15 feet, and were immediately blown away by the abundance of fish of all sorts swimming around us. Cod, black bass, and cunner were everywhere, and a flounder the size of a bath mat swam by as we were getting our bearings. The other team had splashed first and run a line for navigation, and we decided that since we were hunting and they were not, we'd follow their line and save ourselves from having to occupy hands with spools and what-not.

The wreckage of a 400+' ship takes up a lot of space, and provides an abundance of the sorts of hiding places lobsters and fish love. Since both are also attracted to rocky outcoppings, you can well imagine that a steep rocky outcropping draped with the remains of a 415' ship makes for a busy and productive hunt. Somehow, a lobster caught 'mano a langosta' tastes better to me than one pulled out of a trap and sold for more than the cost of the license. Unfortunately for Jill, she's allergic to crustaceans (possibly arthropods in general, but she hasn't really pushed that envelope) and so I usually get to keep what I catch. I dined on twin lobster rolls, she had pizza. The scallops never made it back to the dock... they're too good raw not to eat when they're that fresh.
It was a very nice wedding, set at Habitat in Belmont, a beautiful Audobon reservation. It was a record-setting quick ceremony, just as the couple wanted. Seriously, a two paragraph welcome, a two paragraph address, the exchange of vows, the exchange of rings, the pronouncement, the kiss, a quick introduction, and we were all off to the reception.

Several hours later, we all adjourned to the Cambridge Brewing Company for several 3 liter beer towers.

Friday, July 15, 2005

So Matt...

How was the wedding you performed? Got pics to share of you in the "OCHO Family Hitchin' Vestments"?

Got your wedding invite too BTW. Will return promptly. ^_^ Leah & I are already talking transit/lodging plans. ^_~

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The NHL is almost back...almost but does that mean I can afford it???

What is the Internet nomenclature for "Grassroots"? Matt & I know the pain of loving to go to a game but having to pay through the nose. It's like Crack. We know we'll be broke & hurting tomorrow but I digress...

So I decided to do something futile:

This is going to fall on "deaf ears" but the ticket prices need to be lowered. I've had several seasons with a 10-game Pack so I've "paid" my fair share and can contribute to this opinion. Once one gets in the door, the mad prices do not stop. A night at a Bruins game is quite an expensive affair for those of modest means, especially in "today's" economy. It's as if you still can justify having 1990's ticket prices when the job market was a bit better an on the whole, regular folks could afford an extravagence such as a B's game. You need more fans to show up. I know, I've been there since the new Garden was opened. The people who buy the shirts, hats and jackets should be your bread and butter, not just the executives who bring a business suitor for two periods. I've seen a few AHL games in Providence and Manchester, NH and they seem to have it "right". There were kids everywhere on a weeknight. The concessions were reasonable. Parking was affordable. We the Fans want to come back but freezing your ticket prices at the 2003-04 level isn't enough. Lower the ticket prices, bring us back.

Rev. Sully

Wanna throw your own thought at the Boston Bruins about this?


Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Monday, July 11, 2005

The Bruins have committed to maintaining 2003-2004 price levels? Well gee... that's big of them. Nothing draws me to games like $50 cheap seats.

Friday, July 08, 2005

the Comics Gnome shakes his head in disapproval...

The Comics Gnome, who usually brings the weekly stack of FunnyBooks every Wednesday, has been on Summer Vacation, leaving me on my own to get the fresh funnies mid-week. The Gnome sent me a scathing email wondering why I have not been dutiful in getting my comics. 2 months and nothing new. I had to call Matt @ NEC to "check in" and not to cancel my subscription. Well...I'm on Summer vacation too. The Gnome was concerned that I had "fallen off the wagon" again like I did in the early 1990s when the Comics industry imploded since the Big Two are going with Event Driven titles this summer such as DC's Countdown to Infinite Crisis and MARVEL's House of M. Not the case, old friend...I simply cannot eat my copy of Ultimate Spider-Man for dinner.

I am keeping in the game so to speak with a fabulous collection for the 21st century. An affordable and HUGE amount of funnybooks...

40 Years of the Amazing Spider-Man.

501 issues of the Amazing Spider-Man. From Peter Parker's first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 and collecting the Amazing Spider-Man issues #1-500. From Stan Lee & Steve Ditko to Jim Aparo to Todd Macfarlane to J. Michael Straczynski & John Romita, Jr. All scanned actual funnybooks; covers, advertisements and letter boxes in Adobe PDF format on 11 CD ROMs. 20% off at NEC to boot making it a great purchase. So it does NOT include other congruent Spidey titles over the years (and their over-lapping story arcs) such as Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, Web of Spider-Man, Spider-Man's Tangled Web, et al. but this is a great collection. I get to see an evolution in print publication from 1962 to 2003 from storytelling, art technique even to advertising paradigm & design. I am still up to my eyeballs in funnybooks. As I'm fond of saying, it's still "new" if you haven't read it.

So in the spirit of loving life seen through the Panels and rich stories of adventure & fiction I offer OCHO's FIRST Comics Gnome Pooting (originally titled "Tawkin' Comics") from 9/24/2003. I hope you enjoy this story and hope you stay tuned for more new things right around the corner.

Rev. Sully

Originally Published on OCHO 9/24/2003:
I’ve always loved comics as a medium for stories. It’s really primal you know. Like drawing on the cave’s walls but with onomatopoeia, bulging muscles, fantastic powers and spandex suits.

I had an impressive comic book collection when I was a kid. Spent years of time, money and imagination on it. I actually did not purchase much Green Lantern then. I was into Batman, the Big Blue Boy Scout occasionally. Definitely into the Uncanny X-Men. Spider-Man titles. Ghost Rider. G.I. Joe. The Transformers. Justice League. Daredevil. Even crappy comic adaptations/continuations like “V”. So many issue #1s. So many Mylar plastic bags and backboards. One of my darkest childhood memories was when I was failing in school about 6th grade. I wasn’t failing…just “underachieving”, “not applying myself”, “not using my potential”, “distracted” et al. Sound familiar to you? Has this song sung to you? Well…I got busted with reading funny books while I should have been paying attention to class. And my mother threw them out. All of them. All. I sat there on garbage day and watched the neighborhood dirt neck kids fall on my collection like carrion and kites. I felt a piece of my imagination was stripped from me…I felt lobotomized…traumatized…powerless…castrated…it taught me something I’d relearn later in life about how your opinion and wishes do not matter in the face of the power of someone else’s choice. That something you work so hard on and put so much love into, time and respect and wonder all can be erased without someone else’s decision and you have to sit there and watch the whole damned thing. No return on an investment and front row seat for madness and misery. But I digress…^_~

But I always had a space in my heart for comics. I wasn’t allowed to collect them again until I was well into my teenage years. Being a proto-latchkey key, I would kill time by hanging out in my favorite comic book store. It really was the only one of its kind at its time…before the market became saturated, before New England Comics started popping up. Back when you could still get back issues at Newbury Comics, before it was a CD/kitsch store it really was a comic store. The store was called “Super Hero Universe III”. I had no clue where or when 1 & 2 were. It was located on the corner of Washington Street and Winter Street in Downtown Crossing. I’d visit my grandfather who worked at Jordan Marsh across the street. He’d always give me a handshake like a lobbyist to a politician. So I always had a little pocket scratch…and a secret stash too. Today there’s a Sam Goody there. But then…you could see it from the street level but how the hell would you get in…it was like the Batcave entrance. The stairs were about three doors down Winter St in one of those old office buildings entrances. A rickety Otis not worth the wait seeing it was on the second floor. A maze of hallways and finally you would hear the music…then see a hallway littered with cardboard long boxes…you know…for storage. It was my Fortress of Solitude. It was My Refuge. It was sad to see it go. It moved three times before it went the way of the T-Rex and Macarena.

So now…early in the 21st Century, comics have survived their brush with self-destruction by creating a renaissance in the medium with bold styles, mature storylines and going back to a reader focused paradigm and abandoning a collector’s market based one. Apparently nobody did care when two competing comic companies crossover with different foil covers when there is no quality in content. Both Marvel and their “Distinguished Competition” have accepted the place of their new competition in the indies and what they bring to the table. Both Marvel and DC have gone to printing trade paperbacks and reissuing reprints of multiple issues in one-issue formats. It is about the story now and not necessarily about having a first-printing, direct edition, mint condition, Mylar bagged Issue #0 available only through the Wizard.

With the surge in popularity of movie adaptations of these comics, now is an excellent time to jump on board or even rekindle interest in things you grew up reading. Marvel dropped the Comic Code giving more latitude for direction without constraint. DC bought Wildstorm and published cutting edge, mature stories. Heroes are no longer being deconstructed…they’re being reconstructed and not with new locales, sidekicks and an obligatory new costume. It’s going back to basics with grittier stories, better art and great dialog. The art direction and leaps in quality of publishing is astounding. You should see what is being done with just colors and graphics of the printing these days.

I’ll be “tawkin’ cawmiks” more and more. I hope I can suggest things you will pick up. I am so thrilled that Leah has GA: Quiver and will eventually get to Batman: The Long Hallowe’en. Serialized entertainment is not a lost art form. It is alive in well and waiting on the shelves of your local comic book store. Cliffhangers will keep you coming for more. Movies cannot do that in a consistent fashion for demand. Television can but only lately with the advent of the Cable Station being able to provide mature, cutting edge shows but there is something that the French refer to as “Je ne sais quoi” about a comic. It’s portability, it tactile nature, getting lost in the panels, rereading them at a whim…it provides something that the televised medium lacks.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Change em up! aka what do you do when an irate player guns at you...

by Rev. Sully
July 7, 2005

And these children that you spit on as they try to change their world are immune to all your consultations, they're quite aware of what they're going through..."
-David Bowie

Red Line??? Smaller goalie equipment? Shootouts? What does this mean to you, Oh Hockey Fans. Yea I say to thee Lords of the Boards, change is the essence of the Cosmos. Preparing for and understanding change as part of life will grant you clarity and you won't be too disappointed when NHL Hockey returns to a rink in a major city. What's new is that Reebok will be the sole producer of NHL sweaters, giving them a slimmer, tighter fit to replace the traditional vestments. C'mon, chief. There's nothing sexier in the world than a cute chick wearing just your oversized hockey jersey and nothing else. Hockey jerseys are the coolest looking Sports uniform; that's just a fact of life. Also what is new is that the dreaded CBA will be hashed out in time for a 2005-06 season with the players really getting their sweaters pulled over their heads on this one. Changes in the gameplay and the goalie equipment to come. Goalie pads will be reduced from 14 inches wide to 11. This gives a half-foot more shooting room for the mouth breathers who can't keep up. The Red Line will be dropped. That means no more stoppage in play due to two-line offsides passes. How about shootouts after the 5 minute Overtime period. Hey, people hate ties. Tied Games are called "kissing your sister" for a reason. No-Touch icing? Does that one confuse you? Well, look to the opening of the 1977 Sports classic movie "Slap Shot" for the best explanation ever spoken in the English language. In very broken English, French-Canadian goaltender Denis Lemieux explains "Icing" as, "Icing happen when da puck come down the ice...BANG!...before the udder guy, my arm come up like this and play stop & start up again". This perhaps is the saddest change in this opinion. Many a good goal I've witnessed due to a mad rink-long race into the corner with a centering pass or a wrap-around to light the lamp but I digress...
Now when it comes to changing the goalie's equipment, a buddy of mine gave me food for thought. Thanks Pat for passing the biscuit. With wanting to slim down and make smaller what essentially protects the goalie, why not make a similar adjustment for the forwards. How about no aluminum sticks. Pros should use wood only. Major league baseball players cannot use aluminum bats. I'll let you use that brain of yours and let me know what you think if you are able to pull on my sleeve. Aluminum sticks are lighter of course but flex more before the puck is shot. The curve on the blade is only one part in the evolution of the Hockey Stick and how it becomes a better tool but the aluminum & composite sticks available in this Modern Age make ordinary shots into "wickid" ones. As I said...food for thought.

"Everything I have today is from the game of hockey."
-Cam Neely

Boston Bruins prototypical power forward of the 1980's & 90's Cam Neely has been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. I was at the FleetCenter one day when Cam on a Comeback beat up a turtleing New York Ranger Ulf Samuelsson and got the Gate for Instigating. Ulfie gave Cam the terrible, career-shortening knee hit years before that and Ulf had finally gotten over his condition of "Garden Flu", a sickness known by sprouting feathers and clucking. Cam had his #8 jersey number sent to the rafters & retired. Cam Neely had a shortened career, I know this but I was scratching my shaved dome on "why". Great player, but worthy of Number Retirement? I mean...even Wade Boggs had his number retired by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. This is the Bruins we're talking here. Boston Sports Massacre's Brian asked me about the selection process and I was afraid I had to go look it up. Here I was, concerned about lifetime stats, longevity of career and the such which are factors in the Baseball Hall of Fame but then I realized why Hockey is the King of Sports. It's the most feared Sport with a genuine heart. Cam's retired number and Hall of Fame selection had to do with his on-ice prowess but also to do with his off-ice philanthropy. Cam and his brother lost both their parents to cancer in the past ten years. His devotion to the Game, its fans and giving back to regular people in the Cam Neely Foundation earned him the right to be among the Greatest. As I said, Change is the essence of the Cosmos and I am happy to have changed my mind about Cam's honors. As with all good things, there is a moment of Enlightenment.

"(Jeremy Roenick) Flyers center was shown answering that those fans could "kiss my ass," and went on to say that he didn't want them in the arenas when the game resumed."
Source: Yahoo! Sports

Speaking of Power Forwards...we come to J.R. BlunderStar. There also was Ron Artest. No Sport needs this or Randy Moss mooning the fans either. Or Gary Sheffield getting some poor palookah's Season Tickets revoked for being a jerk. This was a rare case of Player-On-Fan violence. There hasn't been a case like this in NHL Hockey this bad since Boston Bruin Mike Milbury climbed up into Madison Square Garden's stands in 1979 to beat a man with his own shoe. People in "real" jobs get fired when this sort of mess happens. Roenick himself is a hard-nosed player and talks the same way as he plays: with reckless abandon to score. I almost bought a Roenick jersey at the Hockey Hall of Fame the year he signed with Philadelphia. Good thing I got the Bruins Old Time throwback sweater instead.

And by the way...what are NHL teams going to do about ticket prices after this debacle? Wouldn't you think they'd want to fill the house. I'd personally would go to more games and promise to buy more beer if the Bruins drastically reduced their prices.


Rev. Sully

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