30 March 2010

Rockets Move on to Round Two!

It was a game well-worth staying up until 1am to listen to via the radio via the Internet. A hard-fought, hang on by the skin of their teeth victory for the Rockets propels them past the Silvertips to round two against the Tri-City Americans. This is the second straight year they'll be meeting in the playoffs, and again I wonder if Josh Gorges and Carey Price have a small wager on the outcome.

40 saves for Mark Guggenberger, including 33 in the final two periods. Hopefully he'll get the opportunity to carry the Rockets the rest of the way and earn some redemption for the Memorial Cup Championship game last year, where he was shelled for 3 goals in the first ten minutes of the game against Windsor. Few expected that team to go so far, and probably even fewer predicted this victory. But hey, it's the playoffs, where anything can, and does, happen!

26 March 2010

Democracy in Iraq

Wow two political science posts in one day.

I read with great interest that the Iraqi people have spoken and that there will be a new government in their country, with incumbent Nouri Al-Maliki coming in second to Iyad Allawi in the latest election. The peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark of a slowly maturing democracy, so hopefully that is exactly what will transpire. Elections on their own do not signify a legitimate government; that the results are viewed as legitimate and therefore accepted by the people are a key cornerstone of what constitutes a democratic society. Saddam used to get between 99.9% and 100% of popular support in his "elections," which were mere shams to give the outward appearance of a democratic state. Truly, things have changed in Iraq, and very much for the better.

A simple truth is that more than 40 countries have invested significant amounts of blood and treasure to ensuring a successful transition towards democracy in Iraq. The hope is that by kicking out the corrosive and rotten structure of governance in much of the Islamic world and replacing it with a system of government based on respect for fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, the region will become more peaceful and more integrated vis-a-vis the rest of the world. Gone are the days of Saddam's torture chambers and hopefully the inspirational message that societies can make the transition from fear societies to free societies will carry over to Iraq's neighbours.

US-Russia Nuclear Arms Reduction Pact


Can I be an unnamed foreign policy analyst that "hails" this accord? Cuz I just did.

Nuclear weapons are the most destructive weapons ever created by man. Any attempt to reduce the number of them in existence is a step towards a more peaceful and secure world. The two powers will each retain 1500 nuclear weapons, still plenty enough to destroy every living being on Earth several times over. The verification mechanism is of huge significance, as there have long been concerns about the security of Russia's nuclear stockpile and fears of them falling into the wrong hands. Again, any step to secure existing weapons to prevent non-state rogue actors to proucre them is a step towards a more peaceful and secure world.

23 March 2010

Megadesk! Update + Random Thoughts

A friend in the States has purchased the shirt for me and shipped it yesterday. Hopefully it will arrive before my birthday. Ugh, 29 this year. Last year my awesome fiancee made me a cake styled like a Habs jersey with my name and the 28. This year, a Ken Dryden mask cake would totally rock the house.

I am presently 4-for-33 on this year's Roll Up The Rim to Win. I say "presently" because there's a coffee right beside me as I type this. I'm just happy for a donut at this point; no sense in having delusions of grandeur this one has cash money, right?

I was very happy last night to see Bret Hart give what could be the farewell promo speech prior to the WrestleMania match against Vince McMahon. Hearing Bret recount the great matches of 'Manias past, including mentioning Owen, made me smile but also got me to thinking about all the WrestleMania matches that could have been. And that's what makes this build-up with Vince so great - it's a reminder of everything that Bret was robbed of by the circumstances that led to the Screwjob. Some way, some how, I will find a way to see Bret's last match where he gets the closure and final send-off that he deserves and was deprived of 12 years ago.

We're in for 2 straight days of rain & fog. Must be springtime in Halifax.

Rockets desperately need to win tonight. I want their playoff run to still be alive when I get the new hat!

Added thought:

Reading this from Andrei Markov this morning made me a little bit loopy in the head:

"No question they [Mike Cammalleri and Marc-Andre Bergeron] are good players, but it doesn't matter who plays on the power play," Markov said. "We have to realize it is a huge opportunity to score. We just can't play like that."

Are you kidding me? Is he honestly trying to say with a straight face that Cammalleri = Mathieu Darche and Bergeron = Roman Hamrlik on the power play? Get real! Cammy's got 15 of his 48 points (including 4 PPG) on the PP, while Bergeron has 6 power play goals to Hamrlik's 2. Not to mention that Cammy's a super-skilled playmaker and Darche...um, isn't. A lot of talk pre-season had Markov as the next captain of the team - between this and some of his other statements (not to mention the brouhaha with Carey) I really hope that's not the case.

19 March 2010

WHL Playoffs

Tonight is opening night of the playoffs for my Kelowna Rockets. They'll be up against the "missed 1st by that much" 3rd place Everett Silvertips for the first round. I'm hopeful I'll be able to stay up late enough for one or two of the games during the series. Here's to hoping that the hometown boys will be able to go on another magical run like they did last year!

15 March 2010

Take It From a Constitutional Scholar...

Re: Misunderstanding Canadian Law - March 13 letter to the editor

Aaron Piecowye's attempt to "clear things up" with regards to search and seizure of property does anything but provide clarity on the issue. Canadians do not have a "right to unreasonable searches and seizures" provided in Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Section 8 actually states that Canadians have "the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure." The two statements are drastically different. While the word "unreasonable" provides a certain grey area, as what one person deems to be reasonable will differ from another's perspective, what is not a grey area is Mr. Piecowye's assertion that other laws can never override that particular Charter right. Sections 7-15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are subject to Section 33, the notwithstanding clause, which states that Parliament can enact laws which contravene the rights of Canadians in the applicable sections.
While I'm sure that Mr. Piecowye's effort to provide clarity was genuine, perhaps he should do a little bit of research to ensure that his statements are accurate and factual.

**Update** Godwin's Law makes an appearance in the discussion here

12 March 2010


"Tweedledee and Tweedledumbass have been away on maternity leave, and now Tweedledumbass is back and we have a problem. Yes, getting hooked on Megadesk was my own damn fault, but I don't care about assigning blame. All I care about is Megadesk." -- Dwight

I've been thinking of a way to make this happen all day at work today. It would be so easy:

Move the filing cabinets out from behind my desk.
Rotate the empty desk around the corner in that place for the surveillance position.
Move second empty desk / rotate neighbour's desk into front (gaming) position.

I'd be enclosed and would have to jump over the gaming desk to get into Megadesk. This would not be a problem.

Also, I need somebody to make a t-shirt of this pronto.

Power Outage

So last night, 10 minutes after the hockey game ended, as I was in the middle of writing my mother a message on Facebook, the power went out for about two hours. It was very strange - the power does go out here in Halifax semi-regularly but usually only during the day. I don't recall off the top of my head the last time it went out at night. What made it so strange was that it was out for a good 2km radius and EVERYTHING was out. All the houses. The Sobeys. Even the street lights. Pitch black until you looked over at the areas (anything from the Commons to the waterfront was still online) on a different power grid. I'm glad that the flashlight was still operational - comes in handy when wandering around a small, dark apartment building. Because Tasha was out last night I didn't really feel like sitting around in the dark so I decided to go for a walk and see how widespread the outage was. On my way back - FYI, all the way up to Cedar Ave. across the street from the hospital - I looked up at the Atlantica Hotel and all of a sudden I Am Legend popped into my head - must have been the visual of all these buildings without any lighting whatsoever - and I decided very quickly that it was time to go home before the dark-seekers came and ate me alive. So it was back up the 17 flights of stairs to just oversee all the darkness until Tasha got home.

And this morning my computer is fried.

10 March 2010

Don't Look Now

But the Habs are only 7 points out of first place in their division. Sure they only have 14 games left but they were able to do it back in 07-08...not that I'm comparing this team to that one.

However pessimistic I've been about this team this season, I'm seeing a glimmer of hope here. The team is clicking right now. The best players are playing like best players. Pleks, Pouliot, Gomez, Gionta, Markov, Halak, and company are even being bolstered by the third and fourth line guys. It would be nice if Pricey were more integral to the overall success of things, but hey, his only loss post-Olympics was still a heroic 37-save effort against the top team in the West.

Consider that there are two games remaining against the Sabres and one against Ottawa. Those will be the crucial elements in deciding whether this team makes a run at the division crown or has to settle for the middle of the pack. Take 2 of 3 and it could be close, take 3 of 3 and it will be real close, but anything less and they'll have to focus more on the teams behind them instead of chasing the teams ahead of them. It won't matter what they do against the likes of the Islanders, Hurricanes, Oilers, and Leafs - they must beat those top divisional rivals or else it will be a dogfight to the end.

But hey, isn't it nice to think positively for a change?

02 March 2010

Trade Deadline

For some reason I can't shake this gloomy feeling that Carey Price will be traded either today or tomorrow. I've never had that sense before - maybe I've spent too much time around too many negative Habs fans - and I hope that I'm wrong about this.