Monday, February 28, 2011

NHL Trade Deadline

It's weird - we're coming into the trade deadline for the NHL and I don't feel like the Leafs are going to do anything, after they were easily the most active trading team in the opening weeks. I guess today we find out if Burke can lock up Clark MacArthur to a contract, or if he gets swapped for something good.

I've heard that Leafs could get Ryan Ellis out of Nashville for MacArthur, which .... would be cool, but ... well, it would definitely be cool.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Teaser for Tomb of the Undead

Here's another update for the last scene, "Who says you're going alone?" After not posting anything for ages, it's nice to get a few done in a row.

Scene: "Who Says You're Going Alone?" for Tomb of the Undead. Evelyn closes the emotional distance between her and Dr. Miller hoping to influence his life in an exciting new direction. Read more at www.tomb-of-the-undead.blogspot.com
So here we go - now that the scene's done, you can check it out in its completion.

Can you guess the city?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Check out my "Vince"

I wrapped up the next scene for Tomb of the Undead called Stealing Hope. Check it out and see what you think of it.


Check out my "Vince."

You know the Hondurans make good stuff!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tomb of the Undead update

I know it's been ages since I've updated the Tomb of the Undead - but I've got another page ready to post up - a second almost done, and a third begun. So there should be some updates shortly, if you even remember that thing anymore.

Let me know if you want regular updates to the project, I can add you to the Facebook group where you can ask to be made aware of updates.

Good Leafs game last night - exciting and fun. If you're a Bell subscriber, be sure to check and see if you have TSN 2 on trial subscription on ch. 401 till the end of February, too - that's where I caught That's Hockey 2 Night with Steve Kouleas.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No dinosaurs for a while

which means my wife starts sending me dinosaur news. Yikes. In any case, here is some interesting dinosaurs news in case you've been missing it.

Dinosaur Fighting Fun In The Terra Nova Super Bowl Trailer
Remember in the first season of Lost when we all thought maybe the Smoke Monster might be something cool like a herd of dinosaurs? Steven Spielberg’s new TV series Terra Nova is a lot like that, except there really are dinosaurs. Or maybe it’s more like Avatar, without the cat people. It does have that guy who played Colonel Quaritch, playing what seems like almost exactly the same character. This could be a lot of fun.



And here's the trailer for the show. Looking forward to it!

Single-finger dinosaur discovered in China
A new dinosaur species related to Tyrannosaurus rex has been discovered in China. It's the first known dinosaur to have only one finger. By Simeon Bennett Bloomberg News


A new dinosaur species related to Tyrannosaurus rex has been discovered in China, helping shed light on the evolution of the ancient animals, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers led by Xu Xing at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing found the partial skeleton in rock formations on the border between Mongolia and China, they wrote in the January edition of the science journal.

The researchers called the species Linhenykus monodactylus after the city of Linhe, near where the skeleton was found.

It's the first known dinosaur to have only one finger, Xu said. The digit is smaller than that found on related species with three fingers, confounding expectations that the middle finger used for digging would become bigger over time while the outer two would get smaller and disappear, the researcher said. This discovery shows evolution can be a combination of adaptive and random processes, he said.

"The middle finger is not as large as other species who still have two small lateral fingers," Xu said in a telephone interview. "We don't see this very often in dinosaur evolution."

The new species belongs to the theropod class of dinosaurs that also includes the T. rex, Xu said. The dinosaur probably was about 8 inches, weighed no more than 1 pound and may have fed on termites or ants, he said.

Sneak peek at Primal Carnage
Chris Leggett, Monday, 7th February, 2011
(my buddy's brother is named Chris Leggett)



Lukewarm Media has released the latest trailer (comprised of Alpha footage) for its upcoming first-person shooter Primal Carnage, which showcases some human players co-operatively battling against a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex and other dinosaurs.

Game Console's Hamish Bode is involved in the development of Primal Carnage, which he describes as "an FPS that gives the player the ability to play as both Humans and Dinosaurs in a fast-paced, team environment".
Nice. Not enough outstanding video games with dinosaurs in it.

Looking forward to a new week

I was disappointingly ill from Sunday on this long weekend, but looking forward to having a better time this week. Monday, Sunday and Monday all sick this week, not good.

Still not 100 per cent today, but significantly improved. This week starts off my wife's hockey game tonight. I've missed pretty much all the games since new years, if not more, so it'll be nice to get back out there and watch a few.

Looking forward to the final days up to the trade deadline, too. Should be exciting!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Old Kaberle and Burke pic

This is an image I've been saving from a January 12, 2009 edition of the Toronto Sun. The photo was taken by Craig Robertson for Sun Media.

In any case, we were all hoping (as Maple Leafs fans) that this deal was going to go down way back then. Rather, the deal didn't go down for more than two years later. That's how long I've been holding onto this piece of newspaper.

Hope you like it.
[click image to enlarge]

Monday, February 14, 2011

Outstanding Onomatopoeia

Click to read more.

This is a classic - even though it's just new. After all these years I'm excited and inspired to know that Cyanide and Happiness can still make a joke that rises above and beyond the rest.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Trade time is off an running | Versteeg deal coming out of the woodwork

The Leafs swapped away F. Beauchemin for their first trade before the deadline - picking up three assets in return, including 20+ goal-scorer J. Lupul (although oft injured), defensive prospect Jake Gardiner and a fourth round pick in 2013 (a long ways away).

Gardiner was Anaheim's 5th highly touted prospect, and first defenseman after Cam Fowler, who's a regular NHLer, not really a prospect at all. he's 20, drafted 17th overall in 2008 and is slated to possibly make the jump to the NHL in 2012-13.

Expect him to move to the AHL next season before contending for a spot in the NHL.

Latest on Versteeg:
The chances are growing very strong that the Leafs will find a great return for Versteeg according to sources..."Versteeg brings last year's playoff experience and his ability to score big goals at clutch times. People remember his huge goal in game one of the Finals particularly." There are quite a few teams interested, but the Canucks are the most likely and are apparently willing to part with a player "Brian Burke really loves."
First of all - I LOVE that they're mentioning the Canucks because this brings us one step closer to acquiring Cody Hodsgon.

Second, the cryptic part where Brian Burke "really loves" the player they may get in return could mean a few things. First off, everybody would "really love" to get Hodgson, and Vancouver is happy to have him. Obviously Burke didn't draft Hodgson, I don't think, but there may be players on Vancouver that he did draft - though they obviously wouldn't part with the Sedins.

Burke was GM between '98 and '03, drafting the following forwards (We've seen him actively acquire players that he's managed in other franchises like B. May, F. Beauchemin, J.S. Giguere, etc.)

Alexandre Bolduc
Ryan Kesler
Henrik Sedin
Daniel Sedin

Frankly, only one of these players is American - that being Kesler, who just scored his 30th goal the other night with 20+ games remaining in the season. Frankly, Bolduc doesn't fit the mold Burkie's looking for, the Sedins are obviously not available - and I HAVE to think that Kesler isn't, either.

BUT - he's someone Burke would "really love," is American, and he drafted. Those are three things that Burke would definitely be interested in.

HOWEVER, I'm still fighting for Burke to continue to pick up prospects instead of big names. Kesler is 27 as well, which puts him in his prime - not quite what the Leafs need right now. They need prime in 2013-14.

I still contend that they should get Cody Hodgson, someone the Canucks don't have in their regular lineup, and someone they can use to get a "prime" player in return for. Versteeg on Vancouver's second or third line would be AMAZING. And they know that.

Hodgson was acquired in the 2008 draft, was a huge factor in the Canada Junior team and has had a nagging back injury for a long time. Bringing in a player of this calibre at this age is IMPERATIVE. And I'm thinking it's getting closer and closer to being a reality.

And I started looking around, the disreputable source The Bleacher Report is reporting that the Canucks are offering Hodgson for Versteeg.

The most recent rumor suggests that the Vancouver Canucks may be willing to part ways with young prospect, Cody Hodgson. Due to the excellent play of the Canucks, Hodgson has only been able to find his way into four games thus far this season.

108787102_crop_340x234 Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In those four games, he has notched a goal and an assist for two points, and has a plus/minus rating of plus-1. Comparing numbers, however, does not suffice when considering this trade possibility.

A simple swap will mostly likely not happen considering that Versteeg is at best a pivotal second-line forward, and Hodgson is projected to be a top-line center for years to come.

On the other hand, Versteeg has won a Stanley Cup, while Hodgson's young career has been plagued with back injuries.

Regardless, any trade scenario involving these two players would more than likely involve additional pieces, of which are hard to determine beyond speculation.

But this potential trade is a win-win for both teams.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Zombie Dinosaurs update

I haven't linked to any updates on the Zombie Dinosaurs blog about graphic novels and information of that nature - so here are some links.

Dinosaurs in Gantz, Vol. 12, Harbor Moon and How to write graphic novels

page 27

ShamWow parody (page 28)

tough week for updates

Shame on me

I've got two more pages for Tomb of the Undead that are ready to scan. I may scan them tonight - I've been dreadfully slow in updating that project.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Leafs trade rumors

I've heard that the LA Kings could be interested in a sniper like Phil Kessel - I seriously doubt the move would be made, but ... imagine!

Here is how Eklund sees the defensemen at the deadline moving:
Chris Phillips, Tomas Kaberle, Francois Beauchemin, Bryan McCabe, Sergei Gonchar, Sheldon Souray. It's exciting to see that two of the top three are Maple Leafs. That means the Leafs are almost certain to be active!
According to my sources, Chris Phillips is the first defensive domino this trade deadline...

Teams interested include three majors: San Jose, Boston, and Washington...with an outside shot of the NY Rangers. Essentially these teams like Phillips more than Kaberle..."slightly."

The Bruins look to hold the power here. The word on the street is Boston is where Phillips would most like to go (Chiarelli connect) and Phillips does have a NTC with reports saying the Sens want a list of teams by the end of the week.

Kaberle also holds a NTC and there are mixed reports as to whether or not he would play in the Western Conference, and if the Sharks can't attract Phillips, they may be out of luck.

However, the other player the Sharks have been linked to is Gonchar. While Gonchar has 2 more years on his contract, there are some who feel Gonchar is a much better player with a solid cast around him than either Kaberle or Phillips. Those people in Pittsburgh would agree I am sure.

Meanwhile, the other solid D man who the Sharks could turn to could be Bryan McCabe or Beauchemin.

Both McCabe and Beauchemin have also been mentioned to the Capitals in conversations today...

Also, Mark Spector of Sportsnet.ca, and frequent Hockeybuzz Podcast guest, tweeted today that the NY Rangers aren't interested in Sheldon Souray because they haven't liked what they have seen at the AHL level.

I have mentioned this more than once, from talking to scouts, that Souray hasn't impressed in Hershey. The Devils also scouted him.
Again, it appears that San Jose is willing to part with Devon Setoguchi to get Beauchemin.

Also - it appears basically anything off the Senators' roster is up for grabs, and Florida will be dropping everything they've got when and if they drop out of the playoff race.

(and the Leafs totally won tonight, awesome)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cody Hodgson for Kris Versteeg?

hard to know what the Leafs are going to get up to leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline - but it's always interesting to theorize.

The big names that are associated with the Leafs right now are F. Beauchemin and K. Versteeg

Beauchemin is $3.8
Versteeg is $3.1

The Leafs have also been very vocal about taking on salary when it seems like it might make sense. There are a few major players that teams are obviously trying to get off their rosters / payrolls, being namely Sheldon Souray and Wade Redden. Do I think the Oilers will deal with Burke? No. [Would they deal with assistant GM Claude Loiselle, SVP of hockey operations Dave Nonis or VP of hockey operations Dave Poulin instead? I think they might.]

Do I think the Rangers would come up with a fancy package to take Kaberle in exchange for Redden? I do! They're crazy enough to do it - plus they'd have to move some youngsters and picks to make the deal fit under their cap. But I don't know necessarily that Kaberle is going to waive his no-trade clause to go anywhere, though I've heard

Will Kaberle move?
In Toronto, Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke expects to hear from defenceman Tomas Kaberle’s agent, Rick Curran, this week about a decision on the player’s no-move clause in his contract. If Kaberle finally decides he is ready to accept a trade, Burke will get a list of acceptable teams, which is expected to have just two or three Eastern Conference teams on it thanks to Kaberle’s aversion to leaving Toronto.
- Source
Kaberle's list includes New York, Boston, Montreal and Washington, according to the list. That link also feels that F. Beauchemin for D. Setoguchi is a positive trade for everyone involved.

The rumormill has it that the Blue Jackets are the most likely to make a big more to add depth to their team with only Canadian Junior super-star Ryan Johanson (sp?), RJ Umberger and Nash.

I'm still confident that the Red Wings wouldn't be able to move enough salary out of Detroit (all of their contracts are solid and well valued - they aren't interested in shedding a bad contract) to bring on the big $6 m Giguere contract. Although, they might have banked enough $ banked from their injuries this season to carry it? I'm not sure. I wouldn't expect Giggy to head to Motown.

All of that aside - some players with big salaries that might move

Atlantic Division
NJ - P. Elias at $6
NYR - Redden
PHI - (I'd take Briere in a heartbeat, but I don't think they're moving him for any reason) - though they're looking to move somebody because they've got to resign some big rising stars, like Leino soon. If they move Briere, expect it over the summer, I think.

Northeast Division
BUF - C. Rivet (they aren't using him, for whatever reason)

Southeast Division
TBY - M. Ohlund is a $3.8 m 5/6 defenceman. They might want to move him.

Central Division
CLB - M. Commodore is a $3.8 m 5/6 defenseman as well.
NSH - D. Legwand is a $4.5 m third line centre right now. Might want to move him?

Northwest Division
MIN - C. Barker is a $3.1 m 5th defenseman, doesn't seem imperative, though.

Pacific Divison
ANA - L. Visnovski is a $5.6 m 6th defenseman. The Ducks might want to shed that salary.

So, there are some teams that might be looking to unload some expensive players to save some cash by year end, OR dump salary so they can make a bigger move closer to the deadline.

Here's my big suggestion: I think Vancouver could really use Kris Versteeg, and if they packaged Cody Hodgson straight up for Versteeg, that'd really fit both teams. Hodsgon doesn't really fit their lineup right now, he's been slow to develop due to injuries - the Leafs need a decent front line prospect, badly. Versteeg could certainly bolster Vancouver's chances by making an impact on their roster, and returning to a third line role similar to what he did with Chicago, where he had much more success than he has here in Toronto.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dinosaur round-up

Time for more dinosaur news!

'Sarahsaurus' discovery shows opportunistic nature of dinosaurs

By Randy Boswell, Postmedia News


Synopsis: discovery indicates sauropods migrated further north than previously believed.
A new dinosaur species is forcing a major rethink about the early evolution of the species, suggesting they were more opportunistic in their northward migrations as they spread to North America some 200 million years ago.

Robert Reisz, a biology professor at the University of Toronto, has co-authored a paper about the discovery with University of Texas paleontologist Tim Rowe and Hans-Dieter Sues, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Rowe's research had been stymied because the bones he collected didn't include anything from the specimen's head. Remarkably, the fossils Reisz and Sues were studying included a sarahsaurus skull.

The combined remains revealed a creature about 4.3 metres long and weighing about 110 kilograms. Sarahsaurus is classified as a small, early member of the sauropod.

The sarahsaurus discovery shows the animals moved from their original southerly habitats into the future North America in "several separate dispersal events" rather than in the "sweepstake" style rush of an unstoppable competitor, Reisz told Postmedia News.

"Until recently, we've viewed dinosaurs as very successful animals that outcompeted other species wherever they went," Reisz stated in a summary of the team's findings. "But this study puts dinosaurs in a very different light — that they were more opportunistic creatures that moved into North America only when a mass extinction event made eco-space available to them."
Click to read more.

New Strong-Handed Dinosaur May Shatter Assumptions

Were gentle, plant-eating giants also scavengers and opportunists?
Brian Handwerk for National Geographic News


Synopsis: Sarahsaurus might also indicate that some sauropods were omnivorous scavengers.
The discovery of Sarahsaurus aurifontanalis, which roamed North America about 190 million years ago, boosts the idea that at least some dinosaurs became masters of their domain by opportunistic behavior and a bit of good luck.

The newly identified creature boasted strong teeth and an unusual clawed hand, that, while only human size, was clearly built for enormous power and leverage, according to paleontologists.

"The dogma is that these animals were herbivores, but these hands and massive claws reopen the door to what they might have been doing with them," said study leader Tim Rowe, a paleontologist at the University of Texas.

"Looking at the teeth, I think they could have eaten anything that they wanted, so they may have also been scavengers and not pure herbivores."
Click to read more.

Oldest-Ever Footprints Scrambles Dinosaur Origin Theory
Posted by CBSNews.com staff

Synopsis: Polish tracks indicate dinosaurs are 9 million years older than believed.
Walking through mud in what is now Poland, a dinosaur thought to be about the size of a domestic cat left behind footprints that paleontologists believe constitute the oldest footprints on Earth.

The footprints date back 250 million years. If the findings hold up, that would mean dinosaurs existed about 9 million years earlier than previously believed.

The researchers who made the discovery in the Holy Cross Mountains of central Poland - Grzegorz Nied?wiedzki, Stephen Brusatte, and Richard Butler - detailed their findings.

The footprints left behind approximate a period in the Earth's history in which most life had been wiped out during the so-called Permian-Triassic extinction event. it was generally believed that dinosaurs made their appearance on the world's stage some 15 million years after that tumultuous event. But the footprints date to only a couple of million years after that mass extinction.

"The biggest crisis in the history of life also created one of the greatest opportunities in the history of life by emptying the landscape and making it possible for dinosaurs to evolve," said Brusatte.
Click to read more.

Dinosaur jawbone found in Laurel
By Washington Post editors

Synoposis:Child finds earliest carnivorous predator in Maryland.
A 7-year-old boy from Elkridge has found a fossil at a dinosaur park in Laurel that appears to date back about 116 million years.

Aidan Isenstadt found the approximately 1 1/2 inch jawbone fragment last month while fossil hunting.

Curator of dinosaurs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History Matthew Carrano says the fragment is part of a juvenile meat-eating dinosaur. He believes the find is the first jawbone from a meat-eating dinosaur ever found in Maryland.
Click to read more.

How's the weather treating everybody?

I didn't actually see it snow all that much, but we sure knew it was coming overnight - Peterborough was supposed to get hit this morning at 7 a.m.

In any case, I think most of us at the office have planned to work from home today - which is a great idea. Now on my breaks I can catch up on shoveling the driveway.

So - how much snow did you get?

We have some windy spots where the drifts are up pretty high around here.