Friday, December 7, 2007

Another two wins for the Canucks!

With goals from Brendan Morrison, Mattias Ohlund and Byron Ritchie, the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday night, 3-2. Markus Naslund added his assist to Ohlund's goal, giving him 725 points with the Canucks and edging him past Trevor Linden as career scoring leader.

Roberto Louongo made 25 saves against the Hawks, despite him saying he'd not felt his sharpest during this game. I'm sure if we were as sharp as Luongo on a bad day, the world would be a much better place to live and play. Way to go Bobby Lou.

Thursday night saw the Canucks fell the Predators in a 5-2 victory over Nashville. With this win, the Canucks reclaim their rightful place at the top of their division.

Goaltender Curtis Sanford saved an amazing 26 shots on goal out of 28 made last evening, with the powerhouse combination of Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Markus Naslund giving crushing opposition to the Preds with Alex Burrows, Taylor Pyatt, Trevor Linden scoring a goal a piece, and Daniel Sedin with two in the third period.
Vancouver's next game, against the Pittsburgh Penguins, will be this Saturday at 7PM.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Shutout streak ends...

Well, folks, the Canucks' shutout streak is over.
Sunday night, Vancouver lost 2-1 to the Minnesota Wild, and I can't say as I'm terribly disappointed in our guys; it was a great game between two very talented and capable teams. What does disappoint me is the level to which they allowed themselves to be drawn into penalties throughout the game. I'm too damn poor to be able to watch my Canucks play ($160 just to watch online, jeesum crow, being an aficionado of any sport is becoming the purview of the rich, but that's another topic for another post and another day), so I listen to the games on Team1040 online, and hence, don't really "see" the action, but from what I could hear it sounded like we fell into some fairly petty penalty draws.
Also, watching the highlight footage after the fact, I could have sworn I saw the Wild commit several penalties for which they were never called on...hmmm. Maybe I'm just a biased, die-hard fan, but that's what it looked like to me.
I'd give 3:1 odds for the Canucks in a rematch with different officiating. What really gave the Wild a perceived advantage was the seven bloody power plays they had against us, and I certainly think there was slightly biased officiating Sunday night, possibly originating from the fight between Cowan and Foy just three seconds into play.
The defeat certainly would have been a great deal more sound were it not for Luongo, who stopped 28 shots on goal (with our boys only managing 20 shots on goal, even with Luongo pulled for the final minutes of the game).
When all is said and done, however, this was not a resounding defeat for the Canucks, rather, it was a learning experience.
If this were my team I coach playing Sunday nights game, we would definitely give more polish to our defensive game, but really begin to work towards an even more successful penalty-kill strategy. Above all that, though, it seems to me from a coach's point of view (however inexperienced that POV may be) that there needs to be some psychological conditioning happening now, along with the superb physical conditioning the team already receives. Hockey is an emotional game, probably more so than any other out there, and when we let our emotions rule us too much during play we begin to act outside of our team strategy; we focus on "getting" the other guy, or getting ourselves so fired up or tense that we mishandle routine situations during game play.

Anyways, there's my very amateur take on Sunday's game.
Our boys play Chicago on their ice Wednesday night with some time to rest up before.
I'm confident that if Vancouver sticks to their defensive guns and avoids pulling stupid penalties, Wednesday's game will be a repeat of these two teams' last encounter.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Another shut out for the Vancouver Canucks!

Last night the Vancouver Canucks produced their third shut out in as many games (Chicago, Anaheim), closing the door on the Columbus Blue Jackets and establishing a 2-0 lead during the second period.
Roberto Luongo again validated my belief that he is, indeed, one of the best damn goalies (if not the best) in the NHL.
I mentioned in a previous post that it's entirely possible for a goalie to carry an entire hockey team; well, we definitely see that from Luongo. Not that the team plays badly, mind you, but Roberto picks up more than his share of slack when the team is having a bad night; when the team has a good night, playing to their full potential, shut outs like these past three occur.
If our beloved Canucks continue to play on this level, not only will they guarantee themselves a playoff position but will be serious contenders for Lord Stanley's Cup.
If they keep playing the way they have been, they'll definitely deserve to be there in the finals, and I have every confidence that Markus Naslund and Roberto Luongo can lead them there.
Head Coach of the Canucks Alain Vigneault said of Luongo, "We all know what he means to our team. In the third, our guys I think understood what was at stake and they buckled down. We're playing well defensively but when we're not - the first period against Anaheim (also 15 saves) and second period tonight - the goalie is real good." source

And here's a great big F**k You to all those fans who booed Luongo during the earlier games this season. Get a life, fracking bandwagon junkies.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sorry for the hiatus

I owe an apology to my friends and family that follow this blog; I haven't made a post in ages and I'm sure you all think I've fallen off the earth. I guess working 40+ hours a week and going to school full time will do that to ya, eh?
No, dear constant readers, I am still alive and kicking and working hard towards my goals.
Several things have happened since I last posted, most of which are for the better.
Aside from being back in school this year, I've also decided to take up playing ice hockey again and get my fat ass back in shape; I miss the slim, fit and strong me I was four years ago. I've been hitting the gym at work on a regular basis and eating better foods. I've noticed only a little change so far, but taking it off is much harder than putting it on.
As I mentioned, I've decided to jump back into playing ice hockey. There's an adult rec league here in the valley that offers different levels of experience ranging from novice to expert (I'll probably have to start my fat ass back down on the novice level, because I've lost a great deal of the skill I developed as a young man).
Back in October I went over to my parent's place an dug out my old hockey gear. I used to have two sets, one of which was rather old, but my father sold one of the sets while I was in Canada. Thankfully he sold my old-an'-busted gear instead of the new stuff I bought my senior year.
I pulled all the pads and accessories out to make sure they still fit; shoulder pads, elbow pads, helmet, and knee pads all fit. The trousers were the only things that didn't fit anymore, and chances were that I'd never fit into them again, no matter how much weight I lost. Hey, everything else fit, and that's better than a stick in your eye, eh?
I went to try on the skates...and, well, there were no skates. I searched through all the little places my folks store things to no avail; I did find my dad's old skates that he's only used once or twice in the last decade, and my little sister's hockey skates my dad bought her a few years ago, but my nice new Bauers were nowhere to be found.
So, I supposed, I would have to put off playing in the rec league a while until I could save up for another pair. Oh well. One more goal to work towards I suppose.
Well, as it happens now and again, life had a pleasant surprise in store for me; I received a nice bonus check from my company that came along with the promotion I'd recently received, and my wife donated $100 to my gear fund (that was, of course, my Christmas present for the year, he he). I was in I thought.
I looked up my old haunt for hockey gear, Skate n' Score, that used to be run by one of my old coaches from high school, and found that it's no longer there; it is, in fact, no longer anywhere. Hmmm, that was odd, it was an extremely successful business if I remembered correctly.
So, then began me research into a new place to buy gear locally. I didn't want a used pair of skates, because used skates are already broken in on another foot, and that can get uncomfortable (especially with my mutant Fred Flintstone feet). On top of that, skate technology has come so far over the last decade that losing my old skates, as expensive as they were at the time, was probably a blessing in disguise. Most skate boots made now are constructed out of a special material that, when heated in a special oven, can be custom formed to your own foot. This drastically reduces break-in time. For leather skate boots, the break-in period was between 6-8 hours of ice time, depending on how much different your foot was from the generic skate boot shape. Now, break-in periods are as short as three hours of ice time. For someone who's feet and ankles are already in shape, that's simply a long public skating session at the rink.
Long story short, I found a couple of places not too far away from home; The Player's Bench, which is a large North American chain store, and another mom n' pop operation just down the street from it called Breakaway Hockey.
I checked both places out. I wasn't terribly satisfied with the service I was receiving at Player's Bench, though their prices were acceptable, so I went over to the mom n' pop place, which was literally just a hole-in-the-wall establishment hidden behind a few well known businesses.
The fellow who operates this store was very service minded, and worked hard to find me a skate that would suit my needs. It also turned out that he knew two of my coaches from high school; Al Weidner, who still lives two doors down from my parents and who I still see from time to time, and Gary who used to operate Skate n' Score.
Turns out, I learned from this gentleman, that Gary passed away last year of a heart attack.
This old fellow at the store gave me a rather generous discount on my skates, and allowed me to use my old trousers and my dad's old skates as trade-in credit, even though he doesn't usually deal in used gear. He also gave me a good discount on a new pair of CCM pro-grade trousers.
So, I finally had a complete set of gear, now to look at rec league...uh oh, clashes with my school schedule...rats. Just one more incentive to bust through school I suppose. Oh well, there's always drop-in games at the ice sheet, eh? it happens again, life had one more little nice surprise in store for me.
My boss at Parks and Rec Adaptive contacted me and, as he knew of my love of hockey, asked me if I wanted to be an assistant coach for the sledge hockey team. And not only would I help coach, but I would be suiting up and strapping myself into a sledge to play and get experience too. I was going to be getting paid to play hockey...dream come true, eh? Hey, who cares if I'm only getting paid a paltry hourly wage to play, I was going to be getting paid to play. There's a word for that, and I think it's "Awesome."
I've also decided that I'm going to start saving for a set of goaltender gear, too. I played goalie in high school for a few games when our goalie busted his arm, and though it was the most difficult position I'd ever played, it was one of the funnest as well. When I get into rec league hockey, I'll probably go in as a goalie, because they're in demand more and have more opportunities to play. Besides, one can only be a fan of Roberto Luongo for so long without wanting to be a goaltender one's self (by the way, here's a big shout out to Luongo for shutting out the Anaheim Dorks on Tuesday!!! Awesome, dude!)!
So, anyways, dear constant reader, that's just a little of what has been going on in this little life of mine. I promise I'll be a little more consistent in the future.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Well, it's been an awfully long time since I've posted here.
Quite a bit has been happening since my last posting.
My little sister finally had her baby, a wonderful 7lb 9oz little girl.
I went back to school to complete a Bachelor's Degree in Computer science.
I bought a new bass, and have been thrashin' on that for a while.
The band I was with decided to disband without telling me.
My buddy who's been the drummer in most of my bands since middle school found a guitarist that he jives with well; now if he can only find some time to get away from work long enough to jam...
I haven't been to Lodge in months, and I feel shitty about that, but what with school happening at the same time of day, it's tough to do both.
My daughter Elena turned two on May 6th, but we've been full-swing into the "terrible twos" for almost the entire year now.
I've resolved to get my fat ass back into shape (at least a shape other than
Bought a new set of hockey skates, and dug out my old ice hockey gear from my parents' basement with the resolve to get into a league (ok, that happened a little late to get into a league this season but there's always summer league).
I tried to put a hex on the Anaheim Ducks for beating my Canucks last season in the playoffs, but it didn't seem to work very well.
I don't care what anybody says, I still say "Slap Shot" is one of the funniest damn movies ever made ( "puttin' on the foil!").
I got promoted to Account Manager a couple of months ago, which means I don't have to be into work at 5AM anymore, I get my own office, and a (slightly) heavier paycheck. I also work twice as hard...
I'm gonna stand fast behind my Canucks no matter how bad they do this season, however, I don't think they'll do very bad at all this season, despite a long list of injuries and a few other challenges. Roberto Luongo seems to have found his niche with Vancouver, and to be honest, there are times when he's single-handedly carried the team through rough spots, but I guess that's what one does when one is one of the best goaltenders in the NHL.
The wife and I have decided for sure that we're emigrating to Vancouver within the next five years. We're sick and tired of the bullshit and the melodrama, we're sick of lobbyists and corporate special interests that drive our cost of living up but return little to nothing. Life in Canada was better, easier, more affordable, and healthier, so I'm going back.

I know that's not all that 's been going on, but it's pretty close.

I'm also going to try to get back into doing the "My Favorite Canadians" series as well.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Rush in SLC

Last evening, Canadian rock band Rush played at USANA Amphitheater in West Valley City (Salt Lake City suburb).
These photos of the concert come courtesy of the Salt Lake Tribune.

Monday, August 6, 2007

My Favorite Canadians

I've decided to highlight some of my favorite Canadians in a weekly or bi-weekly series called "My Favorite Canadians."

This week we'll have a look at Canadian hard rock band Rush!

Rush is a Canadian rock band comprising bassist, keyboardist, and vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. Rush was formed in the summer of 1968, in the neighbourhood of Willowdale in Toronto, Ontario, by Lifeson, Lee, and John Rutsey. Peart replaced Rutsey on drums in July 1974, two weeks before the group's first U.S. tour, to complete the present lineup. Since the release of the band's self-titled debut album in 1974 Rush has become known for the instrumental virtuosity of its members, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrical motifs drawing heavily on science fiction, fantasy, and individualist libertarian philosophy, as well as addressing humanitarian and environmental concerns.

Musically, Rush has changed its style dramatically over the years, beginning in the vein of blues-inspired heavy metal on their eponymous debut to styles encompassing hard rock, progressive rock, a period dominated by synthesizers and, more recently, modern rock. Rush has influenced various modern artists such as Metallica, The Smashing Pumpkins and Primus, as well as many notable progressive metal bands such as Dream Theater and Symphony X.

Rush has been awarded several Juno Awards and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994. Over the course of their career, the individual members of Rush have been recognized as some of the most proficient players on their respective instruments with each member winning several awards in magazine readers' polls. As a whole, Rush boasts 23 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records, making them one of the best-selling rock bands in history. These statistics place Rush fifth behind The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Kiss and Aerosmith for the most consecutive gold and platinum albums by a rock band. Rush ranks 76th in U.S. album sales according to the RIAA with sales of 25 million units. Although total worldwide album sales are not calculated by any single entity, as of 2004 several industry sources estimated Rush's total worldwide album sales at over 35 million units.

The band is currently promoting their latest album, Snakes & Arrows. An intercontinental concert tour began June 13, 2007.,

from Wikipedia

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Something to think about...

"The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so sure of themselves while wiser people are so full of doubt."

- Bertrand Russel

Friday, July 13, 2007

Something to think about..

"America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free"."

- The American President (1995)

Friday, May 18, 2007

There's always room for Wheaton!

I've mentioned here before that I'm a fan of the writing of Wil Wheaton. He shares a lot of insights into life that people usually take for granted. Whether it's his Geek in Review summary or little snippets he shares from his life, every time I tune in to the Wheaton channel I find something entertaining, enlightening, challenging or pensive which is why I try to make time every day for a visit to Wil Wheaton's blog; it's one of the few highlights of my life I can enjoy while at the drudgery of my employment.

Here's just another reason why I enjoy his blog.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Homesick for Vancouver, B.C.

It's raining again here in Salt Lake.
Whenever it rains I'm reminded of my second home in Vancouver, British Columbia.
I only lived there for two short, wonderful years, but I left my heart there behind me when I moved back to Utah.
I took my wife and daughter along with my mom and dad back to Vancouver with me last June. We were only able to spend a week there, not nearly enough time for me. When the time came to travel home, I insisted I drive the Suburban across the border so as to give me something to think about; left to my own idle recognisance I would have cried in grief at having to leave my second home behind again.
I would have gladly stayed were it possible, had I not a mortgage and a position of responsibility at home.

One day I'll get back there for good.

I've still to finish school, and that will occupy the majority of my time until 2010; maybe I can get done in time to see the Winter Olympics there.

This looks familiar, vaguely familiar,
Almost unreal, yet, it's too soon to feel yet.
Close to my soul, and yet so far away.
I'm going to go back there someday.
Sun rises, night falls, sometimes the sky calls.
Is that a song there, and do I belong there?
I've never been there, but I know the way.
I'm going to go back there someday.
Come and go with me, it's more fun to share,
We'll both be completely at home in midair.
We're flyin', not walkin', on featherless wings.
We can hold onto love like invisible strings.
There's not a word yet for old friends who've just met.
Part heaven, part space, or have I found my place?
You can just visit, but I plan to stay.
I'm going to go back there someday.
I'm going to go back there someday.
From "The Muppet Movie"

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Space...with an attitude.

"To celebrate 6209 days in space, the European arm of the Hubble science community has released the extraordinary image above. It’s of the Carina nebula, a vast complex of gas, dust, stars, forces, and energy sitting 7500 light years away. The image is a mosaic of 50 frames from the Advanced Camera for Surveys onboard Hubble. It shows a region only 50 light years wide… and yet there is so much to see!

"In 17 years, Hubble has taken a half million images of 25,000 astronomical objects, producing 30 terabytes of data in the process. If everything goes as planned, NASA will service this magnificent instrument yet again in 2008, and it will have many more years of service. What other images will it take, inviting us to peer farther into the Universe and add even more to our already considerable knowledge?

Or will the Universe itself have something to say about our hubris?

I don’t believe in signs… but I do believe in humor, and if the Universe has a sense of one, it has a funny way of showing it. But you can find everything in that nebula. Even an attitude."

Friday, March 30, 2007

Bass for sale

I've got an Ibanez AEB10E Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar (black finish) with onboard tuner that I'd like to trade to someone for a six string electric of equivalent value or to sell.
Bass is in great shape, only one year old, hardly ever played. I bought it to add bass tracks to my solo project work and then set it aside; hasn't been played much since.
All electronics work perfectly, pickup/tuner powered by 9 volt battery.
List price is roughly $400 bucks ($350 at Guitar Center and about $300 on eBay)

I would rather trade it to someone for a decent electric guitar than sell it, as I've recently joined a new band as rhythm guitarist and am in need of a second guitar.

See the specs on this bass here.

Leave a comment if you're interested.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

New band, McKinley's Revenge

For those interested, I'll be stepping back from my traditional place at the keys to take up a tentative position as rhythm guitar for the new Celtic punk band McKinley's Revenge.
This marks my return to band life after a hiatus of several years, and as such, will be a very steep re-learning curve. Most of the other members of the band are joining right off the heels of the breakup of another band, and so are quite a bit more ready for the challenge of putting a new group together.
This also marks my return to the world of guitar playing; I haven't actively practiced my guitar in over a year, so the re-learning curve will be steepest in this department. Upon first strum in more than a year of my Epiphone SG P.O.S., I could tell it was going to be a long road; my brain knows what needs to happen in order to do what I need to do, but the hands have forgotten and need to be retaught.
Right now I'm really pissed that I had to sell my kickass Jackson with the Floyd Rose bridge two years ago to pay for medical bills, because it was by far a better instrument. I progressed more on the Jackson than on either of my two previous guitars. Oh well, I'll just have to save/sell some shit in order to pay for another.

At any rate, despite the challenges ahead, I'm excited as hell to be a part of McKinley's Revenge.

Check out the band's myspace page (link at the bottom of the graphic)

Click to view profile

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Big News from the Land of Wheaton

Wil Wheaton has announced on his blog that he will be a contributing writer for the second volume of STAR TREK: The Manga .
This is big news for us unabashed geeks and Trekkies (or Trekker if you prefer), and commemorates Wil's first foray into the realm of fiction writing.
On his blog, Wil states:
Initially, I was terrified at the prospect of creating and writing this story, but this voice in my head kept saying, "Dude, this would be so cool! Come on, man, let's do this!" Ultimately, I decided that if I'm going to truly call myself a Writer, and if I'm truly going to write that novel someday, I've got to tackle fiction sooner or later . . . and what better way to test myself than with characters and a universe that I already know?

Wil's previous works include Just a Geek and Dancing Barefoot, as well as his Geek in Review collumn. Wil has spoken about his interest in writing a fiction novel in the future.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Super Freakin Mario Bros.

Who doesn't love a little Super Mario Bros. now and then?

From having been a relatively active gamer in the past (up until the PS2 era, dunno if I just got bored or if other responsibilities interfered), I've always loved sitting down to an entertaining game, whether that game was a console based RPG like the Playstation era Final Fantasy games, or a racing game like Need for Speed, but my favorite game of all time still has to be the original Super Mario Bros. game for the old 8 bit NES console. Recently (read, in the past months) I've felt a hankering to play that old classic, so I began a search for a working NES and the old SMB/Duck Hunt cartridge.

I first tried thrift stores like Deseret Industries and Savers, but the only ones I'd find didn't function upon being tested (cheap motherfrackers, give broken shit to thrift stores!) and looked like they'd been put through hell in a koopa shell.
I tried eBay next. Buying electronics on eBay is a gamble (and not the kind I like to make, where I can't know and play the odds). You shop on eBay for electronics enough and you're bound to eventually buy some piece of shit that had been advertised as "great working condition" or "like new" only to find out later the reason for that seller's 100% feedback score is because he and his buddies built up a bunch of sock puppet accounts and conducted bogus "Buy It Now" sales...but I digress.

Long story short, at the time I was shopping the only NES that seemed to be in any good condition was a refurbished one that some joker wanted sixty bucks for (SIXTY FARKING DOLLARS FOR HELL'S SAKE, I can buy a refurb SNES with two controlelrs and a game or two for that!). There was another viable alternative available on ebay, something called Yobo, that's a top-loading console that accepts USA NES cartridges. They want something like $25 bucks (shipping included) for them; not what I'd exactly call a fantastic deal, but definitely something to keep in mind.
I thought I'd next try emulators downloadable for free to my laptop (can't beat free, after all). Many of the available NES emulators I'd found didn't work well with XP for one reason or another, or I'd have problems with the ROMs working properly.

I finally settled for the ZSNES SNES emulator, and downloaded the Super Mario All Stars ROM. Not exactly the same experience, but hey, you can't argue with free.
I already had a Saitek USB paddle (one of the ones modeled after the Playstation controller) that was about four or five years old that would work nicely. The cool thing about the ZSNES is I can input multiple controller designations, so if I want to switch button patterns to better suit the game I'm playing, I can do so with little hassle.
Anyways, back to Super Mario and Co.
I just love the sublime simplicity of Super Mario Bros. Easy enough to satisfy a breif session of game play, with enough little things to do to keep you ocupied for a longer one; no fancy controlls, just directions, select, start, A, B.

That's not to say that the other Mario games for the NES weren't great, though. Super Mario Bros 2 is like a mild acid trip, and hey, you can pick stuff up and fly in the third installment, but neither can beat the original.
After Super Mario World on the NES, I sort of lost interest in the series; too flashy, too campy, too...too...well, to be honest, I thought they were too childish.
I haven't tried the New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo D.S., so I'll reserve comment, but from what I hear, it combines the silliness of the newer Mario games with the classic feel of the old ones.

Now you wanna talk about wierd acid-trippyness, lets look at the Super Mario Bros. Movie...

Anyways, I'll leave you all with a funny cartoon I found on the Intertubes...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Why Wil Wheaton Frackin' Rocks

From Wil Wheaton's kickass blog

When we were waiting to clear customs, a young girl came up to me and told me how much she loved my work. She asked me if I'd take a picture with her and her drill team, who were there for a competition or something.
I did my best to be patient and kind, but I told her that I was exhausted, and I looked and felt like hell. She was visibly disappointed, but said that she understood and apologized for bothering me.
"You know," Anne (who had been barfing her brains out the entire flight, and surely felt worse than me) said, "that girl was really excited to meet you, and even though you're exhausted, it only takes a minute to give her a good memory, or a lousy one."
This began a pattern of Anne being right, and me saying, "You're right."
I found the girl, who was with her team, and I told her that I was really sorry for blowing her off. I told her how exhausted I was, but I really appreciated her kind comments about my work, and if she was still interested, I'd be happy to take a picture with her and her team.
She blushed, her friends giggled, and I ended up posing for pictures with most of them individually, all of them as a team, and signing a few autographs. It ended up being really cool, and was a moment that profoundly changed the way I dealt with that "celebrity" thing that I was never really comfortable with: though I always thought "celebrity" was bullshit, it was one of the first times I realized that, even though I didn't think of myself in those terms, there were some people who did, and with that came a certain amount of responsibility.
It's . . . interesting . . . to me that I have that moment so clearly burned into my mind. I wonder if those girls even recall it, or if they even have those pictures. But I'm pretty sure that if I'd just gone to my hotel and taken a nap, they would recall that time I was the asshole, and I wouldn't recall it at all.
I know that there were lots of moments in my teenage years and early twenties when I really was the asshole. There were times when I was extremely selfish, immature, unhappy, and uncomfortable in my own skin. These were not good times to meet me, and though they are over a decade in the past, I occasionally recall some dick move I pulled somewhere, and I seriously want to find some way to apologize and make whatever dick thing I did right.
I know that I can't travel back in time to change those things I did that I regret, but as I've written before, I really like who I am now, and I have a wonderful, wonderful life. Like Picard said in
Tapestry, "There are many parts of my youth that I'm not proud of... there were loose threads . . . untidy parts of me that I would like to remove. But when I pulled on one of those threads . . . it had unraveled the tapestry of my life."

Wil, you frackin' rock, dude.
There's lots of reasons we geeks from and around your age group look up to you, and this is one of them. It takes a lot of guts to even turn the human perception inward and discover, acknowledge and eviscerate our own faults, but to do it in a public forum takes guts.
From having worked in the high-ticket security industry and from having met many celebrities through work, I can say with some small authority your humility and down-to-Earth nature are rare.
That's why you frackin' rock, Wil.
Thanks for bringing your insight and wisdom into the lives of lowly geeks like us.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Trent Wade, part 3

It's still very difficult for me to express in words my sorrow and grief at the passing of my friend. For now I'll publish the obituary his father put together, which was published in the Salt Lake Tribune this morning.

Trenton James Wade 7/1/1978 ~ 3/7/2007 Our free spirit, Trenton James Wade beloved son, brother, friend, companion and Mason left his family and friends suddenly March 7, 2007. Born July 1, 1978, in Salt Lake City to Kelly James Wade and Mona Johnson. Trenton had a very tender and sincere heart and gave love to all that he met unconditionally. He loved the outdoors and was an avid snow boarder and skater with all of his many life long friends, such as the Wasatch Stallions and the Subi crew, for over 20 years. Survived by his parents Kelly and Lynda Wade and Mona and Chris Johnson, sisters Tasia Edwards and Bridgette Burkman, brothers, Peter Johnson, Blake Edwards, Jered and Josh Burkman, grandmother, Ya-Ya Jean Lamproproulos, his nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, friends all of his Masonic brothers and his love Miristi Gee. Trent was a Member of Progress Lodge #22 F. & A.M and was serving as Senior Deacon. Trent became a Free Mason Oct. 25, 2003 and was a very active and dedicated member. He was a member of both the Scottish and York Rite, becoming a 32 Degree Mason on Nov. 20, 2004 and a Knight Templar in September 2006 of the Colorado River Fall Festival, Laughlin, Nevada. Your time with the craft was short here on earth and served well and I know our supreme Grand Master of the Universe will receive you well with open arms and welcome you with kind words. Well done thy good and faithful son. You will be missed companion sir Knight. As I loved you unconditionally with all my heart, your dad. Your message to all your brothers and be upheld. My beloved son, we will never forget the love and support you always expressed to all of us. We will all miss you deeply and will forever while here on earth. As your mother I have asked Kid Charlemagne and the Angels to look over you until we reunite again. I will forever have you in my heart, we all love you, your mother. My little Trentie, I love you so much. You were respected, admired and loved more than you'll ever know. You always stayed true to your heart, your sport, your friends and your life. You will be missed. "Looked at you last!" Love, your sister. A viewing will be held Sat., March 10, 2007 at the Cannon Mortuary, 2460 E. Bengal Blvd. (7600 S.) from 2-4:30 p.m. A Memorial "Celebration of His Life" will be held, Tues., March 13, 2007, 2 p.m. at the Masonic Temple, 650 E. South Temple. In lieu of flowers donations will be accepted by the America First Credit Union "The Trenton Wade Memorial Trust Fund" set up for support groups of grieving families in need. Memorials may be sent to

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Trent Wade, part 2

Trent Wade, Senior Deacon, Progress Lodge #22
(shown with Worshipful Master Kelly Wade, Father)
Viewing will be held Saturday, March 10th,
Cannon Mortuary, 2460 E Bengal Blvd Sandy, Utah map
((801) 942-6301), 2:00 - 4:30 PM
Masonic funeral services will be held
Tuesday, March 13th,
Salt Lake Masonic Temple,
650 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT map
2:00 PM.
A reception will be held in the banquet room afterwards.

Trent Wade, RIP my friend.

Yesterday afternoon I received word that my very dear friend, Trent Wade, had committed suicide early that morning.
I knew he was going through a rough patch, and I tried so hard to be there for him whenever he needed an ear to chew (a little bit of background: his fiancee had been two-timing him for about a month, and he found out about it about two weeks ago). I just don't know what more I could have done.
I loved him like my own brother, and he was as good and kind a man as any who've walked this earth. He'd walk with you two miles if you asked him to go one, and he'd give you the shoes off his feet right after he gave you the shirt off his back. He was a good, moral and upright man who never missed an opportunity to perform service to his fellow beings.
He was one of the few real jazz junkies in my age group around here, and one of the ones could understand my deeply rooted interest in it, and many a late evening we passed listening to the jazz program on KUER (90.1 FM), discussing the intricacies of life.
He was my brother and my friend and now he's gone, by his own hand.
I've had friends die before, but never in this manner, and I'm finding it very hard to deal with the pain and the anger I'm feeling.
Anger at him for leaving, anger at myself for being so close and not seeing he was in trouble and not doing more to prevent this tragedy, anger at the situation and people that may have driven him to do what he did. Whatever good vibes/thoughts/prayers you can send for myself and for his family would be most appreciated.
I'll post an obit once one is printed.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

It's Official! Star Trek XI

Well, folks, it's official. Star Trek XI will begin filming later this year for a Christmas day 2008 release. According to the press release (see above link), J.J. Abrams is going to direct as well as produce the film, so we should be in for a real treat if any of his past successes give us aught with which to judge (Lost, MI:III, Alias, The Office) .

Star Trek XI will be a series re-boots as Batman Begins, and will feature Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Matt Damon is rumoured to have accepted the role of Kirk, which should be awesome. Damon is a fantastic, dynamic actor; I'd be delighted to see him in the Captain's chair of the Enterprise. The rumour mill has also generated Gary Sinise as Doctor Leonard McCoy. I think Sinise is a little old for the part, however, like Damon, is also a fantastic and dynamic actor who would bring nothing but positive traits to the roll of the transporter-hating doctor from Georgia.
Paramount has also released the official teaser poster for Star Trek XI:

Also, for those interested, it's rumoured that J.J. Abrams will be directing the screen adaptation/s of Stephen King's Dark Tower series.

For now, I'll leave you with this...because it's cool.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Pale Blue Dot

"We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space, Voyager I, 1990], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

"The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

Carl Sagan, 1996

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"Reduction in NASA's budget could prolong the gap in human spaceflight after the shuttle retires."

From Astronomy Magazine
Proposed cuts to the NASA budget could prolong the gap in manned spaceflight capability from 2010, when the shuttle program is slated to end, to 2014, when NASA had planned to start operating a new launch system, according to NASA chief administrator Michael Griffin.

"The FY07 appropriations, if enacted as the House has resolved, will jeopardize our ability to transition safely and efficiently from the Shuttle to the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle and Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle," Griffin said at a press conference February 6. "It will have serious effects on people, projects, and programs this year and for the longer term."

This really REALLY cheeses me off.
The benefits society receives from the space program are myriad.
On top of that, our Turkey in Chief encourages and challenges the space program to achieve higher goals, to return to the moon, and to send a manned mission to Mars with one hand and cuts NASA's funding with the other.
NASA's funding is already less than 1% of the national budget for crying out loud! We spend NASA's budget every three weeks with our ill-founded and costly war in Iraq. How does the Turkey in Chief expect his challenges and goals to be fulfilled on an already tightened budget, let alone one that will be stretched further if the FY07 budget is enacted as stated?
Our society advanced more during and because of the original space race of the 1960s than at any other time, and we have reason to believe our society will again advance at a rapid rate if the space program is properly funded and motivated.
The cost of our misadventure in Iraq is already in excess of $360 trillion dollars. NASA's annual budget is less than $16 billion. Think of the advances in science, health care, computer technology and material productions that could have been made (not to mention the thousands of lives saved) if that $360+ trillion had been spent in a more productive manner.

Shame on us for having been seduced by the dark side...twice.
Okay, a little bit of back story...
My wife's 2000 Mazda 626 has been having cooling system problems for a while now, and like a good little mechanic I try to track them down and repair them as soon as possible (and if I can't solve it myself, I pawn the problem off on my good buddy Kim Conover who's a veritable genius when it comes to cars).
So, on Friday my wife tells me her car is steaming coolant a little, so I let her drive my Suburban and I pull my 67 Mustang out of mothballs for the weekend while I try to figure out where the coolant leak is.
It turns out I didn't have time to get to it until yesterday, so I drove it to work with me. I figured the ten minutes I live away from work would give the car enough time to pressurize the coolant enough to show me where it was leaking from. I get to work about 4:45 AM Monday morning and the parking lot lights are off.
Okay, no big deal, I thought to myself, I'll catch it on the way home.
So, on my way home the car does start to steam a little, then it stops. Hmmm, ok, must not be a terribly big leak, I think.
Odd thing was, it would start start steaming whenever I came to a stop. So, there I go, looking good while I was moving, steaming a bit when I'd stop for a light.
I get about a mile or two away from home and the temperature gauge starts to creep up, so I pull into the Reams parking lot to let the engine chill for a while so I can add more coolant.
Now, mind you, the steam coming out from under the hood of my car wasn't much, not enough to alarm me for sure.
I pulled out my iPod and book and prepared to camp out for fifteen minutes or so. After a while, when the temperature gauge read normal, I went to the trunk and retrieved a jug of coolant I keep there. As I'm adding coolant to the engine and reservoir out of the blue and into the parking lot screams a West Jordan Fire Dept. engine.
They pull along side me and the passenger rolls his window down, "Your car on fire?"
Huh!!?, WTF? I think, "No, just a coolant leak; it's a pressurized system and I have to wait for it to cool down before I can add more coolant."
"Oh," replies the firefighter, "okay, someone just phoned in that your car was on fire."
Ok, major WTF factor in play now. How on earth does someone interpret a little steam (a LITTLE, not bellowing, not belching steam) as fire? I've seen engine fires before, and they look NOTHING AT ALL like what was happening to my car.
an aside I'll have to get some photos scanned of the greatest car fire I ever saw. It was while I was living in Surrey, B.C.. Some asshat doused his girlfriends car, which happened to be parked next to our building, with gasoline and set it ablaze.

Back to the matter at hand...
I wonder what little stimulus it takes to send the 911 caller who thought my car was on fire into a panic. Did it ever enter their head that I sat in my car for almost 20 minutes because I knew I was in no danger?
Yeah, okay, they were concerned citizens and if my car really WERE on fire, I would have been grateful for the gesture (though, if my car was on fire, I'd have called the bloody fire department myself), HOWEVER I'm still confused at how anyone could mistake a little steam for a full blown engine fire.
I can understand being helpful and being a concerned citizen thinking of the well being of others, but in cases such as this doesn't common sense say one ought to double check if one knows diddly-squat about [_________ insert topic here] instead of trying to be a hero and making an ass of yourself (and me) in front of the firefighters and the general public?
I can only assume that the jumpy Samaritan fled the scene after they realized their mistake, because the caller was never located.

Just another day in the life...

Friday, February 9, 2007

Vancouver, B.C.

"When the lights go down in the city

And the sun shines on the bay

I want to be there in my city

Ooh, ooh"
Lights by Journey
Photo by Gordon L Wolford
I miss living in Vancouver. Every time I listen to "Lights" by Journey I think of my old home. I don't know what it is, if it's one thing in or many things generally that make me miss it.
I miss being able to listen to CBC Radio 2 without having to have an internet connection at hand.
I miss riding on the SkyTrain and visiting Chinatown.
I miss Stanley Park, London Drugs, and a little Chilean deli called Santa Teresita.
I miss the many cultures, the availability of live jazz music, walking along the Strait of Georgia and seeing the Coast Mountains rising from the water.
I miss the temperate climate and the smell of trees everywhere.
I miss my old crackerjack box apartment above the Dominoes Pizza on Joyce Street near Kingsway.
I miss the constant stream of cars hissing below my bedroom window.
I miss my friends and the people I knew there.

The last time I was in Vancouver was this past June, and only for a week. I was able to catch up with a friend or two and visit Capilano bridge, Stanley Park and Chinatown, but one week isn't nearly enough.

I fell in love with Vancouver while I was there. There hasn't been a day that goes by in the four years since I moved home that I don't think about it.

One of these days I'll make it back for good.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Rush Limbaugh is a racist, not to mention an ass.

Rush Limbaugh, asshat extraordinaire, has turned his obvoiusly powerful intellect [insert brash sarcasm here, with a good dose of eye-rolling] back towards football:

From Media Matters :

"On the February 5 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh, responding to media coverage of Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman, stated "they're dumping on this guy -- Rex Grossman -- for one reason, folks, and that's because he is a white quarterback." Limbaugh later insisted in conversation with a caller that, "they just want this guy not to do well 'cause he's a white quarterback," and that Grossman was "targeted for destruction." The Bears lost to the Indianapolis Colts 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI.
Limbaugh was forced to
resign from his position as a football analyst for ESPN in 2003 after he claimed that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because "[t]he media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well." The following season, McNabb led his team to the Super Bowl."

I've got a real problem with you, Rush. You're a bigot and a fool, neither of which I suffer gladly. First those lousy comments about McNabb, then your tirade about Michael J. Fox (which you pretended to be sorry for), now this (on top of your usual asinine buffoonery).
Nobody's born a bigot, Rush; it's a conscious choice.

Didn't you get the message when ESPN canned your ass? Get a clue and grow up already.

The Bad Astronomer

I'd like to give quick props to Dr. Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer and his blog .
Dr. Plait always has some of the most informed and easy to understand information about astronomy and related science, but he's most famous for his debunking of scientific asshattery (read antiscience).
If you're in any way interested in astronomy, I highly recommend his blog.

In the beginning....

Alrighty then!
This is my first foray into real blogging after having done so for a while with a MySpace blog, so you'll all have to bear with me while I figure things out.
I suppose I ought to introduce myself and explain why I felt the need to start my own blog.

My name is Tyler. I'm a musician, writer and photographer from Salt Lake City, Utah. Where I live I'm both part of the religious majority and the political minority. No, I'm not a Democrat, but my views are considered "lefty" by the local population, and according to them, that's just as bad as being a member of the Democratic party. I consider myself to be something akin to a social progressive centrist.

I spent my years growing up in this highly conservative state.
I'm married with one child who will be turning two this year. This also has an obvious influence on the way I see our State, our Nation, and our World.
I also spent two years living in Vancouver, British Columbia (western Canada, for the geographically impaired), which also has influenced my views and opinions.

I see many things going on in our society that I feel are fundamentally wrong, many of which I hope to comment on as this blog runs it's course.
I also intend to use this blog as a means discuss some of my hobbies and recreational parts of my life, which include reading, music, ham radio, gadgetry, astronomy, movies and television, my 1967 Ford Mustang and automobiles in general.

We'll see how this takes shape...