There is no time for a proper post tonight. Every single staff member is preparing scones and tea for a viewing party for the royal wedding today. We saw Becks and Posh arrive a few minutes ago. Now here comes Elton John and his Canadian partner. Man, who knew large, view-obstructing hats were the order of the day?

See you at the palace!


Wow, it’s a been a while since we had the last “brush with greatness” post. Anyways, I was walking along Robson this evening because I heard there was some store selling clothes. I was crossing Burrard when going the opposite way was actor Danny Trejo. I didn’t realize he was 5’7″ but he sure looks like in real life. In the movies he looks a lot taller. He was on his cell phone, talking to someone. Trejo was wearing a track suit, not a like flashy one but more of practical, normal one. A few people recognized him but everyone just left him alone.

On my way home, I saw him again. He was standing near a Roots store, still on the phone. I then saw him take a photo of a window display. I think he was trying to buy something for the person on the other end of his conversation. I really have no idea why he is in town. I looked at his IMDB page and there doesn’t seem to be any projects listed that would be filming in Vancouver. Perhaps he’s doing a cameo that no one knows about. I certainly don’t think he’s here on vacation. It’s still freezing here in Vancouver. Machete!!!


The first step..

I have to give the Vancouver Canucks credit, they somehow found a way to win tonight. They did, however, also find dozens of ways to flirt with disaster all throughout the evening. Though the Canucks dominated the latter stages of the game, Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford was unbelievable in net. He single-handedly kept the Hawks in the game. The more chances the Canucks got and the longer they they went without capitalizing on those chances, the more worried I got. In ice hockey, not taking advantage of your chances while dominating usually means the other team will eventually turn it the other way and get a goal going against the flow of play. Chicago did exactly that. They used the brilliant goaltending of Crawford to weather the withering Canucks’ attack and then in a opportunistic play, they tied it up.

If I was worried in regulation time, I was doubly so in overtime. Anytime a game goes into OT, it’s essentially a dice roll. A stupid harmless play can turn into a series ending goal. So despite the domination that the Canucks had in regulation, I knew that OT meant either team could win it just easily as the other. Then the Canucks took a penalty in overtime. It easily could have ended there as well. They some how managed to kill off the penalty and even Bobby Lou managed to make a decent save off Sharp.

So how did the Canucks win it exactly? For starters, some of the Canucks came to play with the intensity that a game seven demanded. In particular, Kesler and Burrows raised the level of their game to do the things that were necessary to win. I was especially impressed with Kesler’s effort. The defensemen were also very good tonight. They stood up opponents in the neutral zone and on the blueline. They took away time and space from the Hawks. As a team they also blocked shots and cleared rebounds. This leads to the next key point in the victory. The forwards and defensemen were good enough in their own end so that they didn’t need Roberto Luongo to be anything but average overall. They just needed him to not let in a soft goal and he delivered on that. So despite walking a very thin line at times, they were able to capitalize on a huge error on the part of Chicago and now escape into the second round.

Now this may come as a surprise to some fans here in Vancouver but they actually didn’t award the Stanley Cup to the Canucks tonight. The Canucks will now face Nashville in round two. There are several items that have me slightly worried as the Preds roll into town. First, Nashville has now had two more days of rest than Vancouver. The Canucks will be coming off a huge emotional high, so the risk of coming down from that high and not being able to focus again is a real concern. Second, I can guarantee you some of the Canucks are banged up and walking wounded. Hell, Sami Salo is outright injured. It’s unclear how much gas some of the Canucks used up in the first round. How their epic battle with Chicago will affect their game going forward is to be seen. Last but certainly not least, you have to wonder if some of the leaders on the Canucks team are going to show up against Nashville. Luongo’s troubles in games four and five are well-documented now. Will he suffer another meltdown in the next round or will he have settled down now? It’s a huge question mark on the horizon. Then there is the situation with the Sedins. The two highest scoring players in the league in the last two years had exactly two points between them in the last four games of the series. Let me say that again. After playing games four, five, six, and seven, the brothers had just two points. For players who are supposed to be the top offensive threat on the team and also leaders for the rest of the players, coming up dry in the most critical games of the series is unacceptable. For years, the criticism against the twins was that they were good regular season players but they could not perform in the playoffs. Is such criticism warranted now?

The second round will probably start either Friday or Saturday. The Predators will be another tough test. They have an excellent defensive core led by Shea Weber. Their goaltender, Pekka Rinne has given the Preds a chance all season. For now, the Canucks can rejoice in the fact they avoided a disaster by the narrowest of margins.


Bobby Lou couldn't perform under pressure! What a surprise!

On Tuesday evening, the Vancouver Canucks and the Chicago Blackhawks will meet in game seven of their opening round series of the 2011 NHL playoffs. After having won the first three games of the series, the Canucks have lost the last three in spectacular fashion, getting soundly massacred in two of those games. Should they lose game seven, and it’s looking like they are almost assured of losing, they will become only the fifth team in NHL history to have gone up three games to none, only to lose the next four games and the series. This failure on the part of the Vancouver Canucks cannot be overstated, it is an epic collapse not only in hockey terms but in professional sports as a whole. In general, losing a series in this fashion would be embarrassing and shameful but the circumstances surrounding this Vancouver team makes the failure several orders of magnitude greater. The Canucks were the best team in the entire league in the regular season by a wide margin, thus winning them the President’s trophy. They scored the most goals while giving up the fewest. They possess two players who were the back to back Art Ross trophy winners, as the player who scored the most points in the league. It is also generally accepted that they have the Selke winner, a forward player who shows the most skill in the defensive portion of his game. The Canucks also have, most ironically, a Vezina nominee, the goaltender deemed as best in the league. On paper, they have all the tools necessary to be successful at the game of ice hockey. So if you add in the fact they were the President’s trophy winner and that they have won or are going to win several individual league accolades, the manner in which they are about to lose makes the failure grander than any failure the NHL has seen in decades. In fact, I am having trouble finding words to accurately describe the magnitude of this failure. This would be one of the greatest examples of choking in the history of all professional sports.

Now some of you might be wondering why I’d be writing all of this as a foregone conclusion even before the game is played. While the results of a sporting event is theoretically unknown before the game is played, in practice, the Canucks are essentially done. Having won the last three games (some in devastating fashion), all the momentum is on Chicago’s side. The momentum I write of is of the speeding freight train kind. It will be nearly impossible for the Canucks to regain the momentum before it’s too late. The Blackhawks know in their head and their hearts they can beat the Canucks. They have nothing to lose. The Canucks on the other hand, I am not sure if all the players believe they can actually win the next game. They can give out all the sports cliches they want but I’m suggesting that some of them have some genuine doubts as to their abilities to perform now.

Also, they just haven’t been able to raise their game to that level that playoff hockey requires. The Canucks have been atrocious since game three. No one player seems to have taken upon himself to elevate his play to do what is necessary to achieve success. Though this might mean scoring a timely goal, it can also involve key defensive plays like blocking a shot, preventing a pass from going through, or winning a key faceoff. The players who understand what needs to be done in the playoffs and then can make those crucial plays are “playoff warriors”. You can always identify these guys during the playoffs. At the end of the game, their name sticks out because everyone can see they made key plays that turned the game in his team’s favour. The Canucks currently do not have a single player who can be called a “playoff warrior”. The last Canuck player who truly deserved this title was Trevor Linden and he retired in 2008.

Last but certainly not least, is the issue of goaltending which is the major reason why the Canucks are in the situation they are in right now. Goalie Roberto Luongo has been terrible since game three. He has given up 11 goal on 53 shots in the last three games for a goals against average of 3.67 which is unacceptable. His save percentage in the last three games is 79% which is good if you’re a five year-old pee-wee player but for a man making $10M this year, he is essentially stealing from his employers. Luongo is apparently starting game seven even though I believe putting in Cory Schneider is the right choice. Yes, Schneider had two miscues outside of the net that directly led to Chicago goals. While he was in the net, however, he was solid. He looked sharp and more importantly, he didn’t give up a horrible soft goal that Luongo is now famous for. Fixing Schneider’s problems in game six is easy, just don’t leave the net that often. The problems with Luongo cannot simply be fixed before game seven and I’m not even sure if he’ll ever get over this massive setback.

It will be an extremely painful end to the Canucks’ season. The fans in Vancouver will be stunned and asking themselves what went wrong (the answer to that is above). Oh there will be much heartache in the city. The 2010-2011 version of the Vancouver Canucks will go down in history as one of the greatest failures in professional sports. It will be a long, sad summer in the city of Vancouver.


If you don’t live in Canada, you might not be aware that there is a federal election campaign going on here. The general election is being held on May 2nd. I am going to vote tomorrow in the advance poll. My voting strategy in this election, as it was in the last election, is to prevent Stephen Harper from being Prime Minister. Unfortunately, I know that even before I cast my ballot, Stephen Harper will continue to be the Prime Minister no matter who I vote for.

Because of our parliamentary system, I cannot vote directly for who I want to run this country. The most I can do is to help deny the Conservatives the seat in my riding. It’s not even a question of who is the best candidate in my riding now. I will vote for whoever has the best chance to defeat the Conservative candidate. My riding isn’t one of those exciting ones however. The incumbent is an NDP party member who has held onto this seat with election wins in 2004, 2006, and 2008. In each subsequent election, he has won with an increasing wider margin, with the last one by nearly 7000 votes.

I expect him to win comfortably again in this election. He has even tweeted that voters are aligning with him with the express purpose of opposing Harper. I’m not sure if he even cares that people are choosing him just because they hate Harper. A vote is a vote I suppose. In the end, it won’t really matter. The left has been fractured as people are splitting their allegiances between the Liberals and the NDP. If you’re on the right, you only have one place to go, which works in Harper’s favour. The only question now is how much control will Harper have after the election. The realistic, best-case scenario now is that Harper wins another minority government. The opposition can then hopefully keep him in check, preventing him from doing more stupid things like spending billions on fighter jets without tendering offers from other companies and then lying to the public about how much they’ll cost. The worst-case scenario is if Harper wins a majority. I cannot even begin to imagine the stuff he’d ram through Parliament. I’m pretty sure some of it would involve passing laws that would kick the environment in the balls. Maybe he might take away a social freedom here or there. Perhaps, he’d go for a contempt of Parliament repeat.

Anyways, I’ll vote and do my part tomorrow but it’s one of those cases where my vote honestly doesn’t matter this time around.


Though I might be jumping the gun a bit early this year (but probably not), like clockwork I bring out the above video every single spring when invariably Bobby Lou has a meltdown of nuclear proportions in the NHL playoffs. And every year, it makes it really easy for me to write that Kirk McLean still remains the best goaltender ever to play for the Vancouver Canucks.


If you think it’s been freezing cold in Vancouver for the month of April, your frozen ass hasn’t been lying to you. According to reports, this month is shaping up to be the coldest April since they kept weather records. The average temperature for this month is not even 7 degrees Celsius when it’s usually at 9 degrees. April has been downright chilly. There have been times where I’ve considered bringing my winter coat back out. The low for the next several days will hover just 3 degrees above freezing.

We’ve got a less than ten days left until May and we’re still dealing with temperatures just above freezing. The first summer blockbuster movies come out in less than a month and I still see people wearing scarves, gloves, and heavy coats out. I’m tired of the cold weather!


If you’re a fan of the Terminator mythos, then you might know that tomorrow is theoretically Judgement Day. This is the supposed day where human civilization comes to an end as Skynet starts its war against humans with a massive worldwide nuclear strike. This is the third such Judgement Day as the events of more and more movies and one TV show alter the date and push it forward.

The first date, the one I refer to as the classic Judgement Day was August 29, 1997. This date was the one mentioned in first two Terminator movies. It was also the date that people had to wait the longest to get to, as the first movie came out in 1984. Of course on that day, nothing happened, mostly because we’re talking about a movie and not reality. I do remember that day myself as I was aware of the significance. I recall being really bored that day (I wasn’t working) and it was an uncomfortably hot day.

Because the Terminator franchise turned into a terrible mess after T2 was released, there have been several mentions of new Judgement Days occurring 2003, 2004, and 2005. I’d say most fans ignore all that crap. The most recent Judgement Day date comes from the highly underrated TV series The Sarah Connor Chronicles. In one of the episodes, the delightful Summer Glau as Cameron tells the viewers that the new date is April 21, 2011.

I hope everyone enjoys the latest Judgement Day! Remember, if you see something that looks like a shooting star in the sky, it just might be something Google launched.


After I moved into my apartment I decided to buy an air purifier. The reason for that wasn’t because of smog or automobile pollution, it was because of construction. I had moved into the first of three new apartment high-rises. The other two towers were still being constructed and all the construction dust from that building activity was being sucked into my building’s air in-takes and distributed to all the units. I would arrive home and I could smell the construction materials hanging in the air.

The air purifier I bought did the job and dutifully removed all the construction particles in the air. It’s been about a year now since the last building was completed, so all the construction dust is now a thing of the past. I still have the air purifier and I plugged in and on automatic mode. I still use it because I feel it would be a waste of money if I didn’t. The automatic mode just sits there and operates on three speeds depending on what the sensors detect in the air. The low speed is whisper quiet and about 90% of the time, it’s doing this. The medium speed is still quite quiet, about the low setting on a fan you’d use to cool your living room. The high setting is something I rarely hear these days. It’s the most powerful setting that the purifier uses when it detects the air is particularly unclean.

On Thursday night, I was sitting at my desk at home. The purifier was about six feet behind me. Now, I will freely admit, I was quite gassy at the time. Not only was I gassy, the apparent sulfur content of my gas was quite high. After one particular “gas excursion”, I surprised even myself at the potency of the release. It was no more than thirty seconds after this that sensors in the air purifier picked up the flatulence molecules in the air. Not only did it detect those particles, it decided the air was so unclean it need to operate at the maximum cleaning setting. The purifier’s fan roared into action. I looked back in somewhat surprise because I had not heard it go into that mode in several months.

I have absolutely no doubts about the strength of my gas now. Machines don’t lie, they know the score.


Blinded by homerism

The screenshot you see above is from a message board post from a Chicago Blackhawks fan after the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Chicago team in game 3 of their 2011 NHL playoff series. The poster is essentially saying the reason why Blackhawks lost the last three games is because they’re a bad team, as opposed to the Canucks having some great players (and thus having earned the victories). And they say Vancouver has the worst fans in the league.

I understand it doesn’t feel very good when your team loses but the poster above just shows you that there are complete morons in any city that has a professional sports team. Just because you’re butt-hurt from the loses doesn’t give you any excuse to take a break from reality. The “nothing special” Vancouver Canucks currently have on their roster the Art Ross trophy winner for the last two consecutive years. They have the almost assured winner of the Selke trophy. They have a world-class goaltender who is most of the time, world-class and certainly stole the game 3. This team also scored the most goals in the league in the regular season and also surrendered the fewest goals in the same span (thus leading to the Jennings trophy). It would have to complete blind homerism for anyone to declare the Canucks as “nothing special”.

Even though the Blackhawks are down three games now, I would never say their team is “nothing special”. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and Patrick Sharp are among the best forwards in the NHL. They can be dangerous every shift. On defense, they have Duncan Keith (Norris trophy winner), Brent Seabrook, and Brian Campbell. All of them good d-men that would be welcomed on any team. I don’t let team allegiances get in the way of seeing reality. Good players are good players no matter what team they play on.

I would like to add that while the Canucks certainly collected a fair number of accomplishments in the regular season, that is absolutely no guarantee they’ll win it all. I am one of those rare hockey fans who is a realist. The road to the Stanley Cup is long, arduous, and contains surprises and sadly, sometimes disappointments. Anything can happen. I just hope that fans on both sides can “keep it real”.