On Wednesday evening the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs begin. Sixteen NHL teams will begin their battle for Lord Stanley’s revered mug. This year, the Vancouver Canucks are once again back in the post-season.

I want to make one thing very clear. While I will root for the Canucks, I am very much a realist when it comes to being a hockey supporter for the Vancouver club. There have been local polls asking if the Canucks will win it all. While the majority are grounded in reality, a fair number of respondents clearly don’t know a lot about hockey, especially the Vancouver team. The Canucks have been dreadful at times, especially in January when people thought the season was over. Sure, they’ve been great at times as well but the championship teams are never this bipolar. Sure champs slip once in a while, losing a game or three but they manage to maintain a championship demeanor. The current Detroit Red Wings are a classic example of such a team.

Having said that, we have to throw in terms like “Cinderella” and “dark horse” so let’s “expect the unexpected”. In other words, anything can happen but just don’t bet on it happening for sure.

The Canucks will be in tough against the Blues. The Blues have a great team and easily have the capacity to win four games against the ‘nucks. Expect a gritty and bruising series.

Before I end this post, I’d like to point you to two bloggers who’ll be writing about the playoffs. The first is a guy named Kevin Smith. Yeah, that Kevin Smith. The NHL forced him not to swear in his posts, so he’s had to insert Wayne Gretzky related words where naughty ones might go. For example:

“I know what you’re thinking: ‘Listen to this fat [Gretzky] braggin’ about all the money he’s got! Big man, with the pregnant-lady gut and the [Gretzin’] arm flab! Hey, Fatty – you’re gonna die alone, you morbidly obese [Great One]!”

Look for more Kevin here.

The other blogger is Jason Reitman. He directed Juno, a movie some of you might have seen. You also might know his father Ivan, he directed a movie called Ghostbusters. Jason is a Canadian and a Canucks fan. It gets even better. He’s actually in St. Louis directing a movie and promises to go to games four and five while wearing ‘nucks gear. Jason is an alright guy. How do I know? He wrote this:

“Sundin has never won a Cup… Now he’s on the Canucks. The Leafs didn’t even make the playoffs. Ha ha. Only downside? Would have been fun to watch the Canucks beat the Leafs in the Stanley Cup Final and prolong Sundin’s jersey retirement in the Air Canada Centre by a decade.”

More from Jason here.

Ok, it all begins Wednesday night. Let’s cheer for the good guys but don’t be stupid about it.


Welcome to another edition of the popular “Did You Know?” series of posts! Thanks once again to Kathy from Medford, Massachusetts for suggesting the topic for our previous post. Now, let’s get to our topic today!

Did you know there is an actual town in New Mexico called Truth or Consequences? Yes, it’s absolutely true. Once called Hot Springs, NM, the city decided to officially change its name to Truth or Consequences after quiz show host Ralph Edwards asked his viewers if there was one city who willing to do this. Edwards, the host of the show Truth or Consequences, stated the first city or town to do so would be the site of a future broadcast. You can read a much more detailed account of the name change here. Fascinating stuff.

Edwards would continue to visit the town every year for the next fifty years. Residents of New Mexico usually now refer to the town as T or C, New Mexico.

Did you know?


Given the amount of packing and unpacking I’ve been doing lately, I’ve gone through a lot of my possessions that date back to several years. In one stack, I found old bus transfers, restaurant bills, and movie ticket receipts.

Among the movie tickets, I found one for Wild Things, the 1998 “erotic thriller”. I’ll remember that movie for a long time for namely two things: seeing Denise Richard’s breasts and Kevin Bacon’s penis. I’m not sure why I’ve kept that movie ticket for going on 11 years now. That’s probably the oldest ticket I have. What’s your oldest that you can remember?


It’s been quite a while since my last post in my “brush with greatness” series, so I am pleased about its return. Tonight I had dinner with a good friend at Joey’s at their Burrard and Pender location. Even though there’s another Joey’s a few blocks up on Robson, I prefer the Pender one. The atmosphere is slightly more laid back and I seem to get better service there.

Anyways, as my friend and I were leaving, we passed by a table close to ours. There were four young gentlemen seated, dressed casually but nicely. I noticed one of them wearing a baseball cap. To my surprise, it was current Vancouver Canuck, Steve Bernier. Seated next to him and also in a ball cap was Alexandre Burrows who is having a stellar season. Across from Burrows was Kyle Wellwood. The fourth in their party was facing completely away from me so I couldn’t see who it was. He appeared to be of average height. We weren’t sure if he was a Canuck or not. My friend thought that if it was a Canuck, it looked like Rick Rypien. My bet was on Mason Raymond.

In any case, they were all being very low-key. Wellwood still has a giant shiner on his face near his eye. A large area of his face is just purple and black. I have to say, it’s difficult not to like Wellwood. He just seems like an average dude who just happens to possess an amazing amount of hockey skill that unfortunately doesn’t shine through every game. In every situation though, he looks very humble.

At this point I realized I was probably staring at them too much so I decided to keep walking towards the exit. While walking up Burrard, my friend and I debated who the mysterious fourth member of their group was. We decided there was only one way to find out and that was to go back to the restaurant. None of us was willing to go that far.

If only I had tickets to tomorrow’s game against LA. I’d go to the warmup and yell at Burrows, Bernier, and Wellwood.

“Hey, who was the fourth guy at dinner last night?”

Oh hey, if any of you are going to the game, could you ask them for me? Yeah, thanks.


When I was in my mid-20s I knew that when I got older, my body would betray me in ways that I would not like: I’d get wrinkles, my hair would turn gray, my hair might even go away, I’d forget things, I’d forget things, my wang would stop working, and so forth.

There is one thing that I didn’t account for and that thing didn’t even wait until I turned 30 to happen. When I was about 25 years old or so, I noticed that my nose hairs started growing crazy long and thick out of nostrils. Yeah, that’s a pretty picture, isn’t it? It got to the point where I’d be just sitting there and then I’d exhale and then out would pop this thick, black, dark as midnight nose hair. It wouldn’t just sit barely outside my nostril, it’d be hanging out there, waiting for small children swing on.

It got to the point that I had no choice but to start trimming my nose hairs, lest they get in the way while I was eating. Again, try picturing that in your mind. I know you guys love details, so I’ll let you know that my left nostril seems to be more prolific than my right one.

For you younger whipper-snappers out there, let this be a warning of what wonderful things await you in old age.


I had a lengthier post all lined up tonight but I lost track of time to write it properly. Unfortunately, all my time tonight got sunk into playing Saints Row 2 on my Xbox 360. I shouldn’t even be playing it at this point. I “finished” the game yesterday, as in I completed the parts of the game that tell the whole story. As far as plot goes, I’ve seen all there is to see.

The sad part is that the game contains all these frivolous collection side quests that really add nothing to the story. They really are all trivial. One set teases me to find all these CDs that scattered across the city. Another asks me to find all the graffiti locations in the city. There are two additional sets which are essentially the same “go look for these things” type quests. Some people would just forget these inconsequential parts to a game but not me. I have to find all these items. Sure, I get a few lousy achievement points for some of them but I’m really doing it because I’m slightly neurotic when it comes to these type of things.

I know we live in a wonderous world when I can even suffer OCD in a virtual environment.


As a followup to my previous post, Shaun HH, the prankster from yesterday sent out another e-mail this afternoon. He told the team that Timbits were again in the kitchen but this time “fer reals”. When I went to the kitchen, there was a box (not a plate) of Timbits on the counter. Three hours passed and the box went unopened. What a costly and salty lesson was learned yesterday.


With the ubiquitous use of the Internet, April Fool’s pranks and jokes have found a new life. Why bother to set up a prank that might catch a dozen people locally when you can post a fake news story on a web site and get thousands to fall for it?

So today, I waded through about dozen fake stories on the web. Actually, I found one that I was really, really hoping to be true. The tauntaun sleeping bag is intended to be a joke but I believe the majority of the people who look at would actually buy one if they could.

Anyways, with the stories behind me, I thought another April Fool’s was over. Then just after the lunch, there arrived in my inbox a team-wide e-mail. It was short, simple, and to the point:

Timbits in the kitchen.”

The message had come from Shaun HH, one of the concept artists on our team. The e-mail itself was not out of the ordinary. People on our team regularly buy sugary treats to share with the rest of us. I myself have bought dozens upon dozens of Timbits for others, especially during crunch time when it can help keep morale up during a late night.

Now usually, I tend to nearly run to any free offerings of doughnut-related snacks. Just last week, one of our designers, CK bought a box of doughnuts to share and I made sure I got there before the last one was taken. This time, however, I didn’t get up to a get Timbit right away. I was very busy getting some stuff done for another designer, so I didn’t want to pull myself away from my code.

As I lost myself in my work, I nearly forgot about the Shaun’s treats. Well over an hour after his e-mail got sent out, came another team-wide response to his, from Scott, an engineer:

“Ah, you got me! They were covered in salt!”

I made my way over to where the ‘bits were. There was a single one left on a paper plate. Upon closer examination, it looked just like a regular Timbit that had been heavily rolled in plain sugar. I’ve had many of those before and to me, this one didn’t look any different. One could not tell by looking that the crystalline material on it was not sugar and in fact, salt.

It was a clever trick that Shaun had pulled on the team. If I were to have just one suggestion, is that he should have kept the Timbits in its usual, more familiar packaging, which is the standard Tim Hortons Timbit box and not the paper plate. That way, the right packaging would not raise anyone’s suspicions.

I later found out that Scott was not the only one who fell for it. Others had eaten the salty balls but kept quiet in order to let more people fall Shaun’s sodium-based trap. How dastardly!

Watch out next year!