Friday, December 31, 2010

May 2010

Got laid off
something that happened early in the month was me getting laid off at work. I detailed it pretty specifically at the time. I had my severance package reviewed by a labour lawyer who said it was generous and above what was required of the business.

There are a lot of good people at CLB Media, but that job wasn't for me - and ... as it turned out, not for them either, after eliminating the positions that had been created in early January.

I've heard that the magazine business is still struggling and that they are making more moves around the ownership of the magazines to see if they can make more money off of them in a sale rather than in operation. But that's just a rumour.

Second inspection on the house
After the sale for the house went through in late March, we got our closing date of June 17 - which we were in no hurry to do anymore because we were living together again. I moved back to Peterborough with my wife shortly after losing my job and we were no longer separated.

Besides all of that, the second inspection was nice because we finally got to see the house for a second time. Imagine buying something you'd only looked at once? Crazy - but that's how this business goes - if you see something you like, you get it, book it, and then write in a condition that if you find something wrong with it, you can back out of the purchase at any time.

At the same time, I suppose, the seller could back out at any time, as well.

We were excited to hear that the inspection of the house turned up very positive with good results from our inspector. He liked the place.

King of the Road series
I found (and posted) a series of old single-panel comics that I thought were lost and gone forever. I knew that I'd given them away, I just didn't know where or to whom I'd given them. I wrote 50 of these things in about a day.



Tomb of the Undead
I had unofficially had the working title of "zombie dinosaurs" for this right until about this time. I worked on the scene capsules to get the settings and characters all prepared before digging into actually writing everything out.

Golfing 2010
Yes, the golf season began in May. I recall on my way back to Peterborough for the last time after working in Aurora, I stopped at a driving range and absolutely sucked. I thought it would be a good chance to unwind and get some fresh air, but all I did was shank a bunch of shots, and then blow the head off my driver. A little embarrassing watching the head of your golf club go further than the ball.

Helping granny
My grandmother moved into a new home and I helped her move while I was on my work furlough. It was a little awkward moving all her stuff around, but my aunt and mom were there to help, and my sister was there, too. They had a lot of cassettes of big band music. That's what old people have in their drawers, audio cassettes of big band music.

She and her husband celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary this new years and much of the family was visiting to celebrate it just yesterday. It officially marked the second time I've ever been in her new home. It's a nice place in Brampton.

Lost

For the first time since I started watching Lost I was able to have "Lost parties" where people come over to watch them. I made pizza for my pals who also live in Peterborough and watched Lost. It was always a good time. Home made pizza! Yum.

The End
The final episode of Lost aired on the Victoria Day long weekend, and it was long-awaited. It's special to have a show 'run out' instead of get cancelled. It was good television, even if it didn't get to answer all the questions posed of it. Looking back on it now, it's interesting to see how much the producers actually wanted people to not have answers. They decidedly wanted to leave things unexplained so that people were always guessing - they didn't want there to be a historical explanation for many things. Which is weird - but there were enough clues that you could piece together a strong theory for yourself.

(baseball)
These same folks got me into my one and only official softball game in the past two years thanks to that ungodly City of Windsor strike that made a bloody abortion out of our baseball season in my last year in Windsor, and then we had/have nowhere to play in Peterborough or Port Perry (which segued into my more zealous interest in golf than before).

Victoria Day Weekend

My buddy Rob came to visit for Victoria Day weekend and we did everything. Went to the zoo, had some drinks, went out for a while, watched the Lost Finale, went to the Canadian Canoe Museum, sang the Canoe Day song, hiked along trails, put in 18 holes of golf in the sun, and probably more stuff than that, that I can't think of now. We did a whole lot - those three days almost seem like they were a whole week. And it was great.

MacGruber

I don't go to the theatre to watch many movies. Simply, we don't watch a lot of movies in the first place - but I went out of my way to see MacGruber. It was hideous, heinous, disgusting, and absolutely hilarious. If you like the 22-second scenes on SNL then you'll be pleased to watch the film. Also, it's rated 18 A, meaning, it's even worse than being rated R - and it's all because of language and shitting. There was one love scene, but it's with a ghost, so you can't see the second person - and it's in a grave yard. And the ghost is pregnant, I think.

Warhol's Portrait of Gretzky
While unemployed, I did what I imagine most people who don't have a job do - listen to CBC Radio 2. They played classical music while you work on your creative projects, give you a brief news update, and then more un-intrusive, lyric-free compositions for the rest of the afternoon. I liked it. Yet, somewhere in there, was Hawksley Workman's Warhol's Portrait of Gretzky song.

It's fantastic. It took me a while to figure out the chords, but I like it a lot. The acoustic version I posted on the blog was especially touching, seeing the keyboard accompaniment for the baseline was fun. The snazzing guitar licks are pretty great, too.

I think I listened to this song 30 times in about a two-day period, to my wife's chagrin.



Lastly, the story of Mugabe
I conceived and even drew some of this little comic when I lived in Windsor, did a bit more while I was living at my parents, and after becoming unemployed, was able to finish up those comics and get them posted. Here's the first page.


And that was May - other than being unemployed, sounds pretty good.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

April 2010

Opening the cottage
My wife and I ran up to the cottage in early April - not sure what the occasion was, but we got it into our hearts to do it, and so we did. There was no hot water heater and we showered with a pot of water boiled on the stove top - which wasn't as inconvenient as you'd think.

The mold all over the bathroom, though - that was as inconvenient as you'd imagine it to be.

Lost Season 6

It was winding down and after coming out of the storyline at the Temple, the characters all face their destiny and begin to work together toward their final destination. We were lucky in Canada that the Sunday-night finale in May actually fell on a long weekend.

Tomb of the Undead
It was in early April that I finished plotting out the story for Tomb of the Undead, and began writing it, too. It took a while to put words and dialogue to all of the plot points I had in mind, but in the end, I think it turned into a producible story - and I've begun to do it anyhow.

NHL Playoffs
We were having a great time watching the playoffs last spring - but things didn't really pick up until we purchased a new bigscreen. I'm getting ahead of myself, because we didn't get that until May.

Evan's first birthday
My first nephew's first birthday was celebrated toward the end of the month down in Windsor - and I was able to do some videography, which was nice. I didn't catch the highilght of the night, though - after the little guy exploded all the cake and food he'd eaten over the course of the day all over the place.

It was like a mogwai spitting in a Gremlins movie. It shot a clear meter (I don't want to exaggerate, but he might have spit further than that!) Lesson learned: a cupcake for their first birthday is all it really takes - a child can't fit a whole cake into their belly.

My mom's birthday, too
I can't recall exactly when we celebrated this, but we were down in Toronto (down-town proper) for my mom's birthday at Morton's. It's a special spot and you even get a family photo when you go.

My wife's birthday
And I snuck out to Peterborough after work (a 2 hour drive) to catch my wife for her birthday at the Pizza Factory. She was surprised.

It was nice - yet I'm glad I never had to commute two hours for a job. That next morning was long and tiresome.

Review:
Looks like there was a lot of travelling in April - what with commuting to Peterborough each weekend to see my wife, going to-and-from work, a trip to Tobermory and Windsor, as well as dinner in Toronto. No, it's not going to break any records or win any awards, but still a lot more travelling in any given month than I'd usually get up to.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I tend to agree with your partner - scene 6

Here's the latest update for Tomb of the Undead - sorry it's been a while, but of course with the holidays there is a lot of traveling and visiting. I've had this week off, so I have had a chance to catch up with this project.



I hope you enjoy the next scene - I hope you find the story moves forward fast enough.

Monday, December 27, 2010

March 2010

March was another interesting month - many things happened that set up the rest of my year, including struggles at my job and purchasing a house. Both instances led to where I am today almost directly.

But let's start with something more fun ...

Birthday dinner at Copa Cabana?
Not quite sure what the place was called, but we had meat served to us from skewers directly onto our plates. It was exciting. I remember at this time we were receiving calls from our real-estate agent about a house we had an offer in on.

Offer on our house
We were on pins and needles for a full month waiting to see if the sellers were going to be able to find a house to move into after they sell the house to us. There was a peculiar stipulation that, after they accepted our offer, they had to close a deal for a new house for them to move into, or else the offer was nulled. It was a very odd and unusual stipulation ... but we held tight.

McMichael Art Gallery
We took a tour of the McMichael Art Gallery to see all the Canadian and Group of Seven paintings - it was very nice. A lot of different stuff and interesting stuff. Then we took a small tour of the grounds - and while we were out there and away from celluar signals, we received a message from the realtor that the deal had closed. We were very happy to have closed the deal and finally found ourselves a home.

We were a bit unhappy with having to wait until mid-June to get possession, but at least this was another step in the right direction. What we didn't know at the time was that we wouldn't be apart for as long as we thought we might, courtesy of the movers and shakers at CLB Media.

Lost
We inched closer to learning what each character's final destination was going to be on Lost - while we continued to be unimpressed with the flash sideways. Having all the stakeholders on the show finally all come together and join up on the Island after all these years was really excellent to see.

S_eedy Ca$h
I helped write some jokes for a play called S_eedy Ca$h and had a lot of fun helping out. True, I did it all from home and never met the cast of saw the play, it was still fun to be a part of.

My wife and I in fact did travel out to Windsor for the express purpose of seeing the play, but one of the actors in fact broke a leg and was unable to perform, so it was cancelled that day, and we never ever saw it. It was a real shame - we rented Where the Wild Things Are instead - which I liked. It was a shame to have missed it - I know that at this time I wasn't really working on any creative projects - and was personally disappointed with how The Extent was working out - so I was really looking forward to this production.

Derek McGrath
This is a highlight, no doubt any time you meet a celebrity, no matter how famous, it is exciting. Fresh off of our run-in with Terry O'Quinn, I was happy to meet Derek McGrath at the Cogeco studios where he was promoting his latest album. It was fun, and he was quite the raconteur.

[For the record, this may have happened earlier than March - while it only became March by the time I posted it. It did, however, come in 2010.]

Thursday, December 23, 2010

February 2010

House hunting
The big highlight of February was searching for a house to buy for my wife and I. After moving from Peterborough to my folks' place for work, we concluded that somewhere in the Durham/Scugog area would be the best spot between Newmarket and Lindsay.

We saw a LOT of houses, and it's true, when you find one you like you know it right away. We put an offer in on one house, they countered, and then we let the offer time-line expire (they try to keep these things open for like 24 hrs at a time - which means you've got to drive back and forth to this town to put your signature on the offers.

Playing that kind of tag wasn't much fun - but it came out for the best because we found a really great home.

Now, kudos to my wife because she found all the homes, not our agent, if I recall. The agent had great advice, making sure that we got the deal and the offer finalized as fast as possible when we were sure that the house was right for us. So, for his shortcomings in being able to find houses to show us, he had the right moves when it came to getting the deal done.

The Extent | Exodus pts 1 and 2
Yes, the finale for the first season of The Extent was released. But the final episode was set to private and you had to be a friend of "The Extent" on Youtube to see it. That was fine, but then the video was set even more private so people couldn't watch it - which sucked.

Now the entire series is gone from the Internet, so you can't watch it anyhow - and as I've said, even I - a co-creator, writer and "executive producer" can't get my hands on a copy of the episodes - so they're pretty much gone. Which is too bad.

Lost
The first four or five episodes of Lost were exciting - but the alternate reality was too infuriating to be worth watching. The creators said this was a "character drama" with some sci-fi in it - but coming up with a "sci fi" reason to introduce us to the same old characters over again wasn't exactly what people thought was in the works.

The pacing was fast, the characters on the Island were doing awesome, and the show really challenged their characters to do awesome things in emotional and interesting ways. There was still some magic left on the Island, which I think everyone was excited to see. They just weren't thrilled with the side-ways stuff.

One of the best Lost items that came out in the final year was what Jimmy Kimmel did with his show to celebrate Lost. He had outstanding interviews and skits - just wonderful, hilarious stuff. It was a lot of fun to watch the ABC Machine get those two shows to collaborate and hype the series finale.

The new job
The first few weeks at my new job were pretty awful, looking back. I had no idea what I was supposed to do so I was told "to just make yourself familiar with things." I was really disappointed with the orientation (a WHMIS test and a tour of the building) and generally was left to stumble and struggle with all the things that had to be done.

Once we got into the swing of things, I found the work difficult to handle. There wasn't a very big portfolio of things to handle, but there were hundreds of details to micromanage - it was overwhelming in some cases, and there was no room for mistakes.

I'm glad I'm not there anymore - that's for sure. The job wasn't what I was looking for, and perhaps them cutting me loose was the best for both of us. I was most eager to get my hands on internal job postings while I was there. I needed to get a few months of good service under my belt and then apply for some other internal listing - we just never got that far together.

Indiana Jones
We obviously had a good time raising our cat up, as well. She was tiny and nervous and scared to even come down the stairs - now she races you up and down the stairs and likes to attack and pounce all the time. She's sure come a long way.

Morton's
Also - my brother and sister had us all downtown Toronto to go to Morton's, a fancy dancy steak house. It was pretty cool. It as tasty, and we even got to have menus with our names on them, and a photo to commemorate our time there.

February still seems like a lifetime ago - weird how far away only 10 months ago feels.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

January 2010

Almost a year ago today looking back at 2010, it was January. How far have we all come in only 12 months?

The Extent
In early January I was still waiting for the release of the final episodes of The Extent. Those videos have all been taken down now and you can't watch them anymore. Try as I may, I can't get the series creator to burn me a copy of the episodes for my private enjoyment, either.

I still have a huge "series bible" full of good stuff for the show - maybe some day it will be worth something and the show can go on?

No doubt, there's a big post of interesting things I got to experience, people to meet and things to do related to this show. It was rewarding in many way - and I'm glad for it.

By the end of January we had still only rolled out episode 12 of 14. We had started in mid-August, and the 14 episodes were supposed to roll out over the next 14 weeks. That obviously didn't happen. I think the ratings and following suffered from the inconsistency - but consistency costs money - money that we definitely didn't have.

Lost, season six
Let's not forget how big a deal this was for me - the show didn't come out until earlier February and I was posting on the blog all about it. I worked very, very hard to keep myself spoiler free for the show. Now that it's all said and done, Lost was a great inspiration to me creatively, and no doubt, Season 3 of Lost (especially the Ben Linus character) had significant creative influence over my book, Lefevre's Redemption, believe it or not.

I can honestly say - my wife may be the only person who has seen both Season 3 and read my book.

Windsor
I was still blogging a lot about Windsor and thinking about how that city had gone wrong. My mom thinks it was because I missed the city, and maybe she was right. Whenever I return, the area seems the same - granted I haven't really returned to the west end where I spent most of my time there.

I imagine that my old stomping grounds will appear quite foreign if and when I ever get down there.

Entertainment

Rick Gervais was amazing at the Golden Globes in mid-January and it made me laugh very hard. I enjoyed it a lot - thank you, Ricky. You were a January highlight.

He gives Mel Gibson no quarter. ;)

Tomb of the Undead
I was still deep in the throes of researching my hot story idea for Tomb of the Undead. I was only beginning to realize at this point that my inspirational idea for having zombie dinosaurs required a much more in-depth mythology that could have fascinating historical relevance to stories we already know.

I think Tomb of the Undead will be exciting when it's all said and done. I've only begun to develop the first act of the second story that picks up where the first left off. I've found that working on the sequel while I'm drawing the first has added important levels of detail and back story.

CLB Media
January 22, another important date for Team 22 - I started a new job at CLB Media. The job was brief, but I did learn a lot of interesting stuff, mostly about myself, but some things about corporate organizations, I guess.

I got half-Fridays, entry-level pay, and had to work over-time on Thursdays to no one's advantage but theirs.

Nobleton

After Jan. 22 I was living back home with my folks during the week - leaving my wife all alone with our new cat through the week. It must have really sucked for her. Living at home with my parents again was a bit awkward as well - it was weird, but nice as well.

Best films of 2009

I listed the top 9 scary movies of 2009 - by this point, I have now seen four of them: District 9 (awesome, very awesome); Paranormal Activity (neat ending); Pontypool (pretty good, considering it's all done on one set - and there's a scene where a guy gets eaten by a zombie over the telephone, and it's amazingly well done!); Zombieland - hardly scary, but good nonetheless.

I honestly only saw three of these movies because we had a free introductory package to HBO way later in the year (late June?)

Outlook for January 2011?
A lot of stuff happened last year. I'm not sure I expect so much to happen this time around. I'd like to think that I'll have lots of cool stuff going on -

First off - I will be employed for more than eight days, I hope. Second, we're heading to Mexico for a little more than a week. That should be very cool. And one of my groomsmen is having twins - and I have the good fortune to live and work near enough to check in on them every once in a while - which should be awesome.

I hope that my Tomb of the Undead project has more life, as well. The Extent was cool - but I'd like to see more creative updates with more creative control.

Next up ... February 2010. [For the record, my notes and details will be greatly improved beginning in May - not sure why I started then, but they are pretty thorough.]

Monday, December 20, 2010

Before it can be 2011

In my week off between Christmas and New Years, I think I really want to stop and look back at the past year in more detail. It's definitely been one that's been unlike any others.

I've lived in Peterborough, Nobleton and Port Perry, I've worked in Aurora, Port Perry and Peterborough, been layed off for the first time in my life, been unemployed, worked two kitchen jobs, and finally wound up working at a new company that's basically exactly what I was looking for.

And of course there's so much more than that - there might be a hundred new people I met, and of course, a new house.

A lot has gone on in the past 12 calendar months - and I think I want to stop and really think about it all. Stop and think what I've learned from all of it. Or, not stop, but keep going forward and see what can be applied from all that's happened.

Maybe rank the top three highlights from each month and try and make a highlight reel for the year or something. It's a year worth remembering, and I'd like to try and understand it better. Try and understand all the things that brought me to where I am now. It's been a long one - it's been an odd one, and .... considering where it's all wound up - it's been a rewarding one.

But - there's more to be said and more to be understood. I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dec. 27 will be MY Dec. 25

Seems like a long week - and really, it's still almost just beginning with seasonally festive weekends still up-coming. I've got one more week of work, then a holiday - which will be awesome.

I have the date that I can sleep in on circled on the calendar. I'm looking forward to it.

Tonight there's a work party, then travelling down south for a Christmas weekend, just in time to get back for work (and have no laundry done) and start another week right up until Christmas day on the weekend, which will be more travelling and ... then back for Monday, when I'll be free of any early morning obligations.

That's .. 10 days from now. Looking forward to it. Dec. 27 is my Dec. 25!

Stay tuned for communique's about me going on tour the week leading up to New Years - with a week off, it seems like a good time to travel and "have coffee" with people I don't get to see often anymore.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hat tricks, horned dinosaurs and bone puzzles

Lookin' forward to the Leafs game against the Flames tonight, but ... gotta somehow catch the latest episode of CSI and Fringe tonight, too. I'm desperate to get some sleep as well - it's been a while since I've really felt rested.

Plus I haven't caught up on what happened on Fringe last week - so I might just skip it tonight anyhow.

Also - I haven't looked too closely into this, but it looks like there were a bunch of hat tricks in the NHL last night. From just skimming the box scores:

D. Stafford vs. Boston
N. Lidstrom vs. St. Louis
T. Fleischmann vs. Chicago
R. Kesler vs. Columbus

That's a lot of hat tricks in one night.

A bunch of two goal games last night, too.

I. Kovalchuk had 2 vs. Phoenix
J. van Riemsdyk had 2 vs. Philadelphia
T. Ruutu had 2 vs. Florida

Dinosaur News!
Worker assembles dinosaur dolphin fossil piece by piece
Sify News
London, Sep 27 (IANS) For the likes of Mike Harrison, a part-time worker, it represented the ultimate prehistoric jigsaw.

Harrison's discovery of a piece of the skull of an ichthyosaur soon after a landslide along the Jurassic coast in 2008, a World Heritage site in southern England, sparked the 47-year-old's mission.

Ichthyosaur were giant marine reptiles that resembled fish and dolphins. They first appeared 245 million years ago and disappeared about 90 million years ago, 25 million years extinction of dinosaurs. Built for speed, they could swim up to 40 kmph.

After some six months of digging, Harrison managed to discover every part of the dolphin-like creature's five-foot head, reports the Daily Mail.

Then, in his spare room and on the kitchen table, he pieced together the head, which is 190 million years old and weighs 158 kg. Read more!
10 spectacular horned dinosaurs
by TyB
Listverse


Medusaceratops

This year has been quite productive for dinosaur hunters, and probably the most spectacular fossils found recently belong to the group of ceratopsians, the horned dinosaurs. Triceratops is, of course, the most famous example, but there were plenty of other genera, some of them as spectacular as their popular relative, and often much more bizarre-looking. Check it out.
Huge possible dinosaur graveyard in B.C. northeast
Dirk Meissner
The Canadian Press (Toronto Star)


VICTORIA—You might call it a paleontologists’ playground.

A team of researchers has discovered a field of untouched fossilized dinosaur remains near Tumbler Ridge, B.C., proving that giant plant- and meat-eating prehistoric animals roamed northeastern British Columbia millions of years ago.

But the elation over the dramatic discovery — much of which was just sitting on the surface — is dampened by the provincial government’s Stone Age attitude toward protecting and promoting heritage lands, artifacts and projects.

Paleontologist Richard McCrea and his four-person research team made the discovery last month during a three-day expedition into a remote forested area in B.C.’s Peace River area.

The results were promising, McCrea said, with up to 150 kilograms of fossilized dinosaur remains found on the surface, there was no digging required.

“We have bones from plant-eating dinosaurs and we have some bones from large meat-eating dinosaurs, probably a tyrannosaur,” he said. Read more.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hair cuts

For the record, my advise on haircuts is this:

IF you're going to go to a quaint little barber shop with an endearingly old proprietor to get your hair cut ....

BE SURE to go at the beginning of the day. By 5 o'clock in the evening, that old bastard stinks like salty minestrone soup.
Leafs win! See the NHL highlights at this link. And let me say this, the Colton Orr fight with Stortini (does Stortini ever win a fight? He sure fights a lot, but he seems to get whooped every single time) sounded WAY better on the radio than it did on t.v.

However, on the radio, you didn't get the impression that every fan in the stands was wearing a Leafs jersey out in Edmonton. While I'm expecting there to be lots of Calgary fans at the next game, I wonder how many Leafs fans will be there, too?

You can see a few of the updates i've had at Zombie Dinosaurs - I don't link there too often, but it's more of a project that lists the news of graphic novels, including more frequent behind the scenes updates on Tomb of the Undead.

And now I've got to get ready for work. Have a good day.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Videos suitable for work

I haven't posted much, and it's not for a lack of things happening lately. Snow tires, visiting parents, visiting friends, celebrating the holidays, driving in the snow, shoveling the driveway, and watching cartoons have taken up a lot of time lately.

But it's not that I'm too busy to blog, either. I'm not sure what the absence of posting is about. In any case - this is the result, a blog about nothing, with a few videos at the end.

here's the cure to child obesity, child abuse, cholera and arson.




Gary Busy on Family Guy on Sunday evening



and later on in the episode, probably the most original sequence with a stereotypical Canadian I've seen yet.



Pow, new post. Too bad you probably can't watch videos while you're at work.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Nothing new

The Pete's game was awesome - there was a totally little guy that stunk, but at least he could really ... nah, just kidding. He just stunk.

More details - and I was teasing when I said this - but he is literally under 130 lbs!

Lino Martchini is 5' 1/2" tall, weighing 126 lbs. from Switzerland. I know the Swiss are neutral, but this guy should surrender before he gets killed.

There were more than 60 PIM over the game, which is kinda cool. The first period was awful, the second period was bad for the first 7 or 8 minutes, then Barrie scored, then there was a bunch of fights, then Peterborough scored, and a Colt mugged a Pete while all the charity teddy bears were being tossed on the ice. That cost them a major penalty and the Pete's took control from there, scoring a go-ahead goal.

Third period was pretty quiet - like the first period, except with fewer fights (there were three or four fights in the first). Then with six seconds left, Barrie ties the game, sending it into overtime.

When the Pete's scored. Pretty cool game.

The highlight for me was this guy who had a chance to win gift certificates during intermission. You had to shoot pucks from all over the ice into the net for coupons to some restaurant. He hit some, and missed most, but he was dressed in trackpants, which I thought was hilarious.

Because of this video


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hockey for theP ens and Petes

Leafs highlights - I didn't watch any of this game, and only listened to the first two periods on the radio. However, watch that highlight package - no, it doesn't have the three fights from the game, nor does it show the 11 penalties that were assessed in about 40 seconds of game time.

I don't know what happened, but for some reason at the 3-minute mark of the third period, this happened:
03:03 PIT Michael Rupp : Boarding - 2 min
03:03 PIT Michael Rupp : Fighting (maj) - 5 min
03:03 TOR Mike Komisarek : Roughing - 2 min
03:03 TOR Mike Komisarek : Fighting (maj) - 5 min
03:43 TOR Jay Rosehill : Charging - 2 min
03:43 TOR Jay Rosehill : Fighting (maj) - 5 min
03:43 PIT Sidney Crosby : Cross checking - 2 min
03:43 PIT Sidney Crosby : Roughing - 2 min
03:43 PIT Eric Godard : Misconduct (10 min) - 0 min
03:43 PIT Eric Godard : Fighting (maj) - 5 min
03:43 PIT Eric Godard : Instigator - 2 min
Yeah, there are seven goals to highlight, and a few good saves, but I think these two plays are worth recapping as well. Eve Crosby gets a 4 PIM on the play. Crazy - you'd have to think they were fighting over protecting the captain? You can only guess with no highlights.

For the record, watch these highlights. Bozak's goal on the power play is great, and Grabo's goal is a remarkable wrist shot. He comes over the blue-line and catapults the puck into the top corner, it's pretty awesome.

Sportsnet has coverage of the big play - check it out while the video's still up.

Peterborough Petes

Pete's game tonight - I'm trying to find a tasteful way to incorporate Graham James jokes into the heckles, but ... I don't think there's anything tasteful about it.

My favourite thing about OHL / minor hockey is that the players are very young, they aren't pros and they make mistakes a lot. That's the good part - broken plays, missed assignments, interceptions and short tempers. Those things make hockey unpredictable and exciting. Anything can happen because none of the teams are necessarily consistent on any level. And that's for the very good teams.

When you look at the teams at the bottom of the standings, the consistency and predictability is even less, which means the tempers, broken plays, missed assignments and dirty checks are all the more likely. I'm really, really looking forward to it!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hype for the Pete's game!

If you want to see any of the Leafs highlights (except any fights - NHL doesn't seem to share fights with the world) you can catch them here.

More on hockey - looking forward to the Petes game this Thursday. Should be a lot of fun, I haven't been to an OHL game in about a full year. Petes are second worst in the league, and they're playing Barrie, the only team in their conference that's worse than them.

When you get two teams that don't perform at a high level consistently, you get lots of unpredictable happenings all in one game, which should be exactly what I want to see. This is going to be real exciting!

Neither team has a player in the top 20 scorers in the OHL.
Head-to-Head:
Colts
Mark Scheifele (25th) with 34 points
Colin Behenna (26th) with 34 points
Darren Archibald (32nd) with 30

Petes
Matt Puempel (29th) 33 points
Alan Quine (67th) 24 points
points Austin Watson (79th) 23 points

Goalies
BAR - Peter Di Salvo (28th) with 93 GA, 0 SO, 4.91 GAA, .879 s% (20 GP)
PET - Bryce O'Hagan (21st) with 59 GA, 0 SO, 3.61 GAA, .893 s% (18 GP)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tomb of the Undead - No guts, no glory

After the last scene was so long - this one is tight and brief. It's called "No guts, no glory," and is pretty simple (though, the next scene will be a little longer, too).


So check it out - and if you missed the update of the scene from before - see it first, at this link (The Relics of Lazarus).

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tomb of the Undead - The Relics of Lazarus

It's taken a long, long while - but I've finished the next scene for Tomb of the Undead. So, please, follow the link and check it out.


Check out the new update here. Once again, you can click on the top, right-hand corner to "Follow" along, which just shows me that you're interested - and leave a comment or a thought if you'd like. I'd like that.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Broadcasters in Toronto

I have to say that the toughest job in the world right now has to be Toronto broadcasting. They are the centre of the Canadian sports landscape - the hub for Sportsnet and TSN are located here, and the radio market here is even syndicated across the country in both radio and cable! Lots of sports - and when you've got that much coverage, you draw the very best broadcasters to you.

So Toronto has the most apt and charismatic sports broadcasters in the country, and they have to (and they HAVE TO) cover the Toronto Maple Leafs. They HAVE to spend their time and attention watching everything the Maple Leafs do because they CANT ignore them.

So, all of this talent, all of this experience, and it's being absolutely wasted on the Maple Leafs. These guys, I guarantee, would prefer to watch any other NHL team play. Maybe they're Leafs fans after all - but they know what they're watching, they know what's good, and you'd think they are desperate to work on better material.

It's got to be a tough job when you have to spend all your time on effort on something so unworthy. It's really disappointing. This isn't just a disappointment for the fans - it's actually ruining careers in the media.

.... I don't know, maybe I'm off-base here. What a disappointing situation.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nano's over, the final word

This will be the last I say on Nanowrimo for probably another 10 months or so - here are some others' thoughts on the month of November. It's a drag to get through it - and here are some of the good and the bad of getting involved.

National Novel Writing Month inspires two professors and their students to engage in a month-long writing marathon
Jenny Thai
The Stanford Daily

It’s that infamous time of the quarter: the hazy, dizzying weeks of tackling midterms, grinding through p-sets and churning out coherent thesis statements for papers. As the quarter reaches its peak in bustling activity, a small fraction of the Stanford community is taking deep breaths before plunging straight into their writing. Those people will breathe easily only after generating 50,000-word novels.

National Novel Writing Month, known as NaNoWriMo, is a now-worldwide writing event that takes place during November. Organizers promote it as “30 days and nights of literary abandon.” Aspiring novelists register online and undertake the daunting task of writing an entire novel from scratch in one month.

“Fifty thousand words,” said creative writing lecturer Scott Hutchins. “That’s the definition of success.”

Hutchins, along with creative writing lecturer Tom Kealey, co-teach English 190T, “Special Topics in Intermediate Fiction Writing: Nanowrimo.” This quarter is the first time the course has centered on preparing students for their writing marathons in November.

One key component of preparation is the reading of several novels that are of NaNoWriMo length, including Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse Five,” Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” and Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart.” [What up! I've read two of these!]

“We’ve analyzed what has made them work and that has been interesting,” said Aaron Peterson ’13, a student taking the course. “It shows how much you can do with writing.”

What sets the course apart from other creative writing classes at Stanford is its unique way of providing feedback early in the quarter.

“We reverse the model of typical workshops,” Hutchins said. “Usually you read a lot before writing and getting feedback. Here, we’ve been giving people a lot of feedback on their outlines before they start the novel writing.”
12 reasons to ignore the naysayers: Do NaNoWriMo
Carolyn Kellogg
Los Angeles Times

What's wrong with an enthusiastic amateur class of writers? Who says they're not readers, anyway? I've yet to see anything more substantial than a dinner party anecdote.

Here's a quick rundown of Salon's Laura Miller's argument:

1. " 'Make no mistake,' the organization's website counsels. 'You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create.' I am not the first person to point out that 'writing a lot of crap' doesn't sound like a particularly fruitful way to spend an entire month, even if it is November."

2. "And from rumblings in the Twitterverse, it's clear that NaNoWriMo winners frequently ignore official advice about the importance of revision; editors and agents are already flinching in anticipation of the slapdash manuscripts they'll shortly receive."

3. "Why does giving yourself permission to write a lot of crap so often seem to segue into the insistence that other people read it?"

4. "The last thing the world needs is more bad books."

5. "NaNoWriMo is an event geared entirely toward writers, which means it's largely unnecessary."

6. "I recently stumbled across a list of promotional ideas for bookstores seeking to jump on the bandwagon, true dismay set in. 'Write Your Novel Here' was the suggested motto for an in-store NaNoWriMo event. It was yet another depressing sign that the cultural spaces once dedicated to the selfless art of reading are being taken over by the narcissistic commerce of writing."

7. "I say 'commerce' because far more money can be made out of people who want to write novels than out of people who want to read them."

8. "There are already more than enough novels out there -- more than those of us who still read novels could ever get around to poking our noses into, even when it's our job to do so."

9. "I know that there are still undiscovered or unpublished authors out there whose work I will love if I ever manage to find it. But I'm confident those novels would still get written even if NaNoWriMo should vanish from the earth."

10. "I'm not worried about all the books that won't get written if a hundred thousand people with a nagging but unfulfilled ambition to Be a Writer lack the necessary motivation to get the job done. I see no reason to cheer them on."

11. "Rather than squandering our applause on writers -- who, let's face, will keep on pounding the keyboards whether we support them or not -- why not direct more attention, more pep talks, more nonprofit booster groups, more benefit galas and more huzzahs to readers?"

12. "Why not celebrate them [readers] more heartily? They are the bedrock on which any literary culture must be built."

Authors spill ink for writing month
Local write-ins staged to help encourage creative word flow
Emily Schettler
Iowa City Press-Citizen

In the small conference room at the Capanna Coffee & Gelato on the pedestrian mall, six aspiring writers sat huddled around their laptops with one main objective -- to knock out 50,000 words by midnight Tuesday.

They are some of the 500 Iowa City-area participants involved in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo is a yearly creative writing program that encourages people to get over their fear of the daunting task and just write.

For 30 days, participants have an excuse to put other responsibilities on hold and let household chores fall by the wayside.

Marie Raven, who serves as the municipal liaison for the Iowa City area and organizes events like the "write-in" at Capanna Coffee, has been participating in NaNoWriMo for six years and has successfully completed the 50,000-word goal, which is equivalent to a 175-page book, three times, she said. This year, she's aiming for an even longer novel and hopes to reach 70,000 words.

Raven said the event is about proving to yourself that you can complete something substantial, like a novel.

"It's about not copping out and quitting," she said. "It's about getting outside of the usual process. ... Like anything, it takes practice to get good at it. Everyone has a story to tell."

NaNoWriMo is sponsored by Office of Letters and Light, a nonprofit organization that works to encourage creativity, inspiration and writing in the classroom.

The event began in 1999 in San Francisco and has grown to more than 65,000 participants, according to its website.

Although she appreciates the effort that goes into completing the event, Raven said there is more to the month than just writing.

"It's about getting over it and writing a book, but there's a whole social aspect, too," Raven said.

She organized a kickoff event Oct. 31, and people gathered to celebrate and begin their writing at midnight. Since then, she has organized meetings about twice a week where participants can write, hang out and bounce ideas off one another.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This is pretty disgusting

Man, now it's December. Only a few weekends left before the holidays come up - cool. We get a week off at work after Christmas, which will be nice as well.

This isn't how I'd like to start December, but imagine you were Pat Burns's widow - your husband dies and people rob him anyhow. Awful.

Pat Burns's property stolen from widow's car
Hours after funeral, thieves steal autographed jerseys meant to raise money for Stanstead arena
A heartbreaking crime was committed against the family of former NHL coach Pat Burns within hours of his funeral in Montreal.

Not long after the hockey world gathered at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral in downtown Montreal Monday to mourn the death of Burns, someone broke into the vehicle belonging to his widow, Line.

Montreal police say someone smashed one of the car's windows while it was parked overnight a few blocks from the cathedral and stole some possessions belonging to the Burns family that were inside.

The stolen items include 30 autographed hockey jerseys, which were supposed to be auctioned to raise money for an arena in Stanstead, Que., recently named after Burns.

Montreal police spokesperson Const. Anie Lemieux said more than jerseys were stolen.
Items stolen
* Thirty National Hockey League jerseys signed by star players from each NHL team.
* A men's Movado watch.
* Several family photos.
* An Apple iPad.
* Pat Burns's credit cards.
* Two suitcases containing clothes belonging to Pat Burns and his widow.
* Women's jewelry.
* A blanket Pat Burns used during his palliative care.
"There's two suitcases with clothes belonging to Pat Burns and his wife," Lemieux said. "There's a Movado watch for men. There's also family pictures, credit cards, iPad, jewelry belonging to his wife."

Lemieux said the thieves found Pat Burns's wallet in the car and rifled through it. She said the thieves might try to sell some of the items.

Police say they will launch a public appeal to the thieves, asking them to leave the stolen items in an agreed-upon spot where they could be recovered. Police are asking anyone who comes in contact with any of the objects to call Info-Crime Montreal at (514) 393-1133 immediately.
'It's never a good time to do this'

Burns's widow discovered the crime Tuesday morning, and his family urged the thieves to return the items — especially the jerseys.

"It's a good thing to bring it back so we can do the job we wanted to do with the shirts," said the late coach's son, Jason. "There were a bunch of hockey jerseys that were going to foundations for needy people."

He taped a plastic sheet over the Volkswagen SUV's broken window Tuesday, while police investigators snapped photos of the vehicle and dusted it for fingerprints.

The downtown Montreal parking lot where Burns's widow's car was broken into early Tuesday morning.The downtown Montreal parking lot where Burns's widow's car was broken into early Tuesday morning. (CBC)"It's a sad event. It's not the greatest timing to do a thing like that," he said at the outdoor parking lot. "It's [never] a great time to do this, but we think that the person should bring back the valuables."

Burns's cousin Robin, who delivered a eulogy at the funeral, was disgusted by the crime. He said the late coach's widow had already had a tough day.

"Then to have personal effects taken out of your car [after the] funeral reception is absolutely deplorable," Robin Burns said.

He urged the thieves, if they have "any type of conscience," to leave the items with a TV or radio station or with anyone who knows Burns — and no questions will be asked.

"I'd only say to anyone listening, if you think you can sell them or do anything about them, then I think the police and the policemen's brotherhood and friends of Pat might have different ideas."

Asked if he thought it was possible the thieves specifically targeted his dad's SUV, Jason Burns replied: "I don't know, I really don't know."

Burns, an award-winning coach of the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils, died Nov. 19 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

At his funeral, people remembered the gruff ex-cop as a tough but fair man who cared about his players and knew how to motivate them.