Hockey: the drinking man’s game

February 26, 2008

Two things you ought to know about me: I like hockey, and I’ve been known to chug down a few pints at McKibbin’s from time to time.

On Tuesdays the Habs usually play at the Bell Center, and McKibbin’s holds this amusing little contest where waitresses stroll around the pub with a deck of large plastic cards right before the game. One of the patrons sitting at each table gets to pick a card; the card has a number on it, representing the jersey number of one of the Canadiens playing that night. The card is then fixed atop this tiny metal stand so as to identify the table; if that player happens to score at any point during the game (aside from shootouts), you and your friends are treated to a free round of shots.

I’ve been to McKibbin’s thrice on Tuesdays this season. On each occasion I picked the card for the table, and each time I ended up with #26, worn by Josh Gorges, a defenseman from British Columbia playing his second season in Montreal.

The odds on drawing the same number on three separate occasions seem a bit long, but I was willing to overlook any alleged irregularity. Problem is, Gorges hasn’t scored in two years, he racked up a whopping five assists this year, and his plus/minus stinks worse than Ryan O’Byrne’s purse-snatching skills.

I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll draw “lucky” number 26 tonight. So. Gorges. Buddy. If you’re reading this, how’s about you hustle yer ass off against Atlanta so I can get smashed on Tequila? Cool?


Don’t worry, that’s just my day job

February 25, 2008

I don’t usually pay much mind to Facebook adverts, but this one caught my attention :

FB Advert

Yowza! I guess employment in the data entry sector is a lot more interesting than I thought.


Sometimes, Cupid uses a crossbow

February 14, 2008

Quote of the day :

Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke.

-Lynda Barry.


For beneath the surface lies the future

February 11, 2008

bridger-s2.jpg

Roy Scheider, dead at 75

Always did like Roy. I saw him in Carcharodon carchariasas as a kid (those parts of the movie when I wasn’t hiding behind the couch). And later, in Blue Thunder (about a boy and his sentient helicopter) and 2010: The Year we made Contact, one of two movies in existence you’re better off watching in French, rather than in the original English.

Heck, I was even a Seaquest DSV fan for about five minutes. It was like Star Trek, but with fish.

He will be missed.


Apocalypse Pending

February 3, 2008

People who know me will tell you I’m not Ann Coulter‘s biggest fan.

That’s a wee bit of an understatement. I follow U.S. politics pretty closely, and I admit I’m a pretty liberal kind of guy. Still, I consider it a testament to the idiocy of extreme partisan politics that a poor excuse for a pundit known for outbursts of vitriolic garbage can remain in the media spotlight for so long. Although she’s currently a denizen of the Eighth Circle of Hell, the Fox News executives still find it useful to summon her for the odd panel discussion (rumor has it they dress in dark robes, gather in the studio, draw a pentagram on the floor, and chant her name three times ’till she appears in a cloud of fire and brimstone).

You will understand my complete shock upon learning that she would support Hillary Clinton against John McCain in a General election scenario :

Right. That’s it. Can’t ignore the signs any longer. I’m hiding in the nuclear shelter, cuz it’s Tribulation time, baby!


Hasta la Vista, Heisenberg

February 3, 2008

Toaster of the Week

“-I just saved a lot of money on my insurance by switching to Geico!”

 

***

So I’m watching ‘The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ the other day.

I can’t say I’m a fan just yet. I had heard of the show but wasn’t really planning on watching, since T3 essentially ruined (nay, completely screwed) the whole Terminator franchise, IMO. But what the heck, I channel-surfed in mid-episode and was curious enough to keep watching.

The premise of the show is essentially a reprise of T2 sans Ah-nold, with John Connor now whining his way through adolescence. Summer Glau (of Firefly fame) plays the “good” Terminator, sent back in time to keep the Connors from getting wacked by a T-800 not designed to emulate a giant-sized, muscled, thick-accented Austrian bodybuilder.

As stated above, the idea of microwaving the Terminator franchise back to life initially struck me as retarded, but the creators of the show do go on to say that the events of T3 occur in a separate timeline from the show; I must admit that endears me to ‘Chronicles’ somewhat.

I was intrigued by the fifteen or so minutes of the episode I did see. As one would expect, there is a lot of philosophical talk concerning the nature of extinction, morality (or lack thereof) in both humans and machines, the dangers posed by self-replicating A.I. systems, as well as the usual conundrums one encounters in time-travel stories — i.e. can history/destiny be changed or avoided? This was all covered in T2, but I’m always up for SF-driven intellectual reflections, especially when they occur between bouts of senseless violence.

The most interesting moment in the episode came when Sarah Connor debated whether or not to kill a young computer programmer destined to make a vital contribution to the advent of Skynet : she remembered Moe Berg, a catcher for the Boston Red Sox who was recruited by the American government during the Second World War and dispatched to a physics conference in Zürich circa 1943 with orders to assassinate Werner Heisenberg.

Okay, hold on a minute. A MLB player, sent by the O.S.S. to a physics conference in Zürich in 1943 with orders to shoot Heisenberg?? What. The. Hell?

So I do a little digging, and sure enough, an ex-major league baseball player named Moe Berg did in fact act as a spy and potential assassin during the war. Considered “the brainiest (and strangest) man ever to play baseball,” Berg was a magna cum laude graduate who spoke 10 languages, and reportedly “couldn’t hit in any of them.” Following a ho-hum career in the Majors, he was recruited by the Office of Inter-American affairs in early 1942, and was working for the O.S.S. by 1943. In early December of that year, after joining the top-secret project ASUZA (aimed at evaluating the current status of Germany’s nuclear weapons program) Berg went undercover to attend a lecture in Zürich given by Heisenberg. His orders were to determine if the Nazis were close to solving the theoretical problems associated with engineering a nuclear bomb, and to kill Heisenberg if that was indeed the case.

Berg wasn’t exactly assassin material to begin with, but being the only field agent with enough of a grasp of theoretical Physics to make the crucial determination, he apparently was the only choice. As it turns out (and much to Berg’s relief), the Germans did not yet possess the necessary knowledge, so Berg left the conference without taking action, and Heisenberg’s assassination never took place.

The whole incident (a minor historical footnote, really) struck me as rather surreal, perhaps because I’m trying to imagine how a similar scenario would play out today (can you imagine José Canseco being dispatched to Iran by the C.I.A.? No, I can’t either).

But the very amusing post-script to this odd (and rather long) note comes in the form of the East Bay View blog entry I came across while researching the incident :

Hitman? He couldn’t even hit a baseball

Fun fact from the recent Oppenheimer bio I’m reading: Worried the Nazis might complete the atomic bomb first, Oppie floated the possibility of kidnapping his opposite number, Heisenberg. The military began plotting Heisenberg’s assassination, and baseball’s most famous benchwarmer, Moe Berg, was dispatched to tail him. Berg ultimately didn’t proceed with the hit,as he couldn’t determine Heisenberg’s position and his speed at the same time

Man, I just about died laughing.


Verbatim – Year Zero

February 2, 2008

Welcome to my very strange blog.

In 1936, Salvador Dali gave a lecture at the London International Surrealist Exhibition while wearing a deep-sea diving suit. Throughout his life, Belgian painter René Magritte was obsessed with objects that weren’t pipes. Gérard de Nerval, a famous poet and figure of French Romantic movement, allegedly strolled the streets of Paris accompanied by his pet lobster, Thibault, tied on a blue-ribbon leash.

If you ask me, I think these guys were on to something.