27 January 2008

Hockey...at last!

I finally got some hockey in this weekend. Yesterday I went up to the woods and cleaned off our pond with my wife. It was the third time that I've cleaned it in the past couple of weeks, and the ice had finally smoothed out some. I skated for about an hour, working primarily on stickhandling skills. Later in the afternoon I went over to a friend's house and six of us played for about an hour and a half. It was a long time coming, but well worth the wait. There's not much better than a good game of hockey.


I read this article in the New York Times Magazine today about the Ankole-Watusi cattle of Rwanda. It was a very interesting discussion of modernization, loss of culture, loss of genetic diversity, and economics.

To be honest, sometimes I question whether I should go ahead and start raising sheep and/or cattle. My wife is constantly telling me how we already don't have enough time to get everything accomplished, how could we do so if we had more responsibilities? Still, when I read an article like this it really makes me want to start a herd of Dexter Cattle or Soay Sheep. Not only do I want to help preserve the ancient bloodlines, I still feel that Indo-European desire to raise animals -- wealth in livestock.

First a few movie reviews...

First I want to talk about a few movies that I've seen recently. In the past week I've seen:

Lords of Dogtown
Reservoir Dogs

I had seen Amistad when I was much younger, but I was able to appreciate it more this time around. It's an excellent movie that, at various times, made me want to cry in sadness, shout at the television, cheer, jump for joy, and cry in jubilation.

I borrowed Lords of Dogtown from one of my students at school. It's about some of the early skateboarding pioneers from southern California, and I thought that it was a pretty good movie. It's the first movie that I've seen in a long time that I was pleased with when it was over. If you think skateboarding is cool, you'll enjoy this movie.

I've heard about Reservoir Dogs for years, and a VHS copy happened to be on sale at the local video store the other day. It was only a few cents more to buy the movie than to rent it, so I went ahead and got it. I couldn't get all of the way through it in one sitting, but I finally finished it a day later. What can I say? It wasn't a gripping movie but it was interesting. I didn't enjoy it but I was glad to have seen it. If you're into movies that contain graphic violence and marginal plotlines, maybe you'll like this one.

Weather Update

Through A.D. 2008 January 27:

Days with snow cover: 64
Days with complete snow cover: 29
Total snowfall: 70 centimeters
Maximum snow depth: 20 centimeters
Maximum low temperature: -17ยบ Celsius

08 January 2008


As indicated in my previous post, I'm following the primaries this year. It appears that The Alternative won New Hampshire today...ugh

All I'm asking for is:

Environmental protection/Responsible development
Fiscal conservatism
Personal freedom

Is that so hard?

Sabres Skid!

Wow, the Sabres have lost seven games in a row (including three overtime losses). They are having a heck of a time this year and I'm starting to worry that they won't make the playoffs. If they do make the playoffs they probably won't win a series, but, for some reason, it still feels a heck of a lot better to lose in the playoffs than to not even make them.

...I'm really getting sucked into the 2008 U.S. presidential election campaign. Usually I'm a casual observer, but the lack of a quality* Republican candidate (other than Ron Paul, who has no chance of winning the nomination) has me following the primaries and caucuses. I'm paying attention to find out which candidate the Grand Old Party will send against Barack Obama or...shudder...The Alternative. I don't have a problem with Barack Obama. My impression of him is that he is a decent and honest human being. While I disagree with many of his political stances, I'd much rather have an honorable left-of-center president than a dishonorable right-of-center president.

*I like the political stances of Fred Thompson, which are primarily based on his strict constructionist interpretation of the United States Constitution. However, Thompson has the charisma of a frog (which, unfortunately for him, he resembles) and he has no chance of being elected. Therefore, he does not qualify as a "quality" Republican candidate.

I briefly mentioned Ron Paul. His libertarian tendencies fit very well with my own views, but he's a little bit of an odd duck. I don't see him pulling a Ross Perot and making an impact in the 2008 election.

I'm discouraged by the fact that no Republican OR Democratic candidate seems to have any interest in the environment. I had hoped that global climate change would become an important topic in this election, but it appears that that will not happen.

...I'm really on an ecovillage kick right now. Often I find myself daydreaming about getting out of the rat race, moving to a low-impact community, and spending the rest of my days gardening and raising small animals with my family. Subsistence agriculture has always attracted me, but I imagine it would be quite different from how I picture it...

...I'm also getting on a pre-Cromwell Ireland kick. Like many Americans, my wife has a lot of Irish blood and I thoroughly enjoy piggy-backing off of her heritage. I especially love Gaelic-Irish culture, Norman-Irish culture, and "traditional" Irish music. I can't get enough of it!

...To come full circle...it appears that our extremely warm weather [20 degrees C. today - 20 degrees C. (35 degrees F.) above normal] is coming to an end. Though I love the cold weather, I must admit that it was beautiful today. Nonetheless, more seasonal temperatures are scheduled to return this weekend. It looks like next weekend (Jan. 19-20) would be the earliest that I could get some pond hockey in. Everyone keep your fingers crossed for me!

01 January 2008

Winter Classic

Well, the N.H.L.'s Winter Classic was held in Orchard Park, New York (outside of Buffalo) today. To be honest, I completely forgot about the game and didn't turn it on until the second intermission. (That makes me a bad hockey fan!) I was able to watch all of the third period, both overtime periods, and the shootout, which was won by those pesky Penguins from Pittsburgh.

If you didn't know, the Winter Classic was the first outdoor N.H.L. game played in the United States of America. The game pitted the Buffalo Sabres against the Pittsburgh Penguins and was held at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the home of the N.F.L.'s Buffalo Bills.

Three things stood out in my mind after the game:

01. N.H.L. hockey played outside is not something to do regularly - because of above-freezing temperatures and snow squalls, ice conditions were terrible.

02. Sidney Crosby is really good - he made some incredible moves in the game, including single-handedly setting up Pittsburgh's only goal in regulation.

03. Pittsburgh's vintage jerseys are hideous - teal and yellow do not complement each other!