Friday, December 10, 2010

Barons Embarrass Moose 4-0

The Manitoba Moose were put shorthanded for the first time in the game when Tommy Maxwell was called for hooking at 13:30.  The Barons first power play was ineffective, registering only one shot on net.
After Maxwell’s penalty was killed, the moose went on their first powerplay when Jordan Bendfield was sent to the box for interference at 8:54.  This was extended to a five on three four seconds later, when Barons defenceman Taylor Chorney was caught for slashing.  The Moose registered seven shots with the man advantage, but unfortunately, Barons goaltender Martin Gerber was able to stop each one.
Barons forward Ben Ondrus dropped the gloves with Moose defenceman Ryan Parent with five minutes left in the first period.  The fight was short lived and there wasn’t a clear winner, both men still stood on their feet as the refs broke them up and sent them to the box. 
The Moose dominated the Barons in shots on net and scoring chances, but had nothing to show for it, the score was tied 0-0 at the end of the first period.
Moose left winger Shawn Weller was sent to the penalty box for tripping 5:10 into the second period.  The Moose continued to dominate on the penalty kill, on the Barons second powerplay they didn’t register a shot on net.
The first goal of the game was scored by Barons left winger Matt Marquardt 8:06 into the second period.  He rifled the puck from the point and beat Moose goalie Eddie Lack who was screened by traffic, to put the Barons in the lead 1-0.
It was all downhill from there for the Moose.  At 17:38 into the second period the Barons scored their second goal of the game when center Ryan O’Marra beat Eddie Lack’s outstretched legs, adding Oklahoma City’s lead to 2-0.
After a promising first frame and an unimpressive second, the Moose were unable to claw their way back in third, but were given enough opportunities to do so.  They had a man advantage at 2:18 when Barons defenceman Shawn Belle was sent to the sin bin for holding.  Barons center Milan Kytnar was sent to the box for interference at 5:52, shortly followed by teammate Linus Omark at 6:31 for unsportsmanlike conduct.  The Moose were on a five on three powerplay for 1:24 and managed a flurry of shots at the net, but poor blue line puck handling saw them loose possession of the zone twice, forcing the Moose to regroup and sent the frustrated crowd of 8, 506 into a series of mild boo’s.
Moose fans began to book it out of the MTS Centre to beat the traffic after the third goal by Barons forward Omark, 13:58 into the third period.  The game was essentially over at 16:51 into the third frame, when on the Barons man advantage Alexandre Giroux put the puck past Manitoba goaltender Lack.
Moose Head Coach Claude Noel took some punches for his team’s lack of production on the powerplay “Certainly, I have to take some responsibility for the execution.  If it isn’t working, obviously, accountability starts with me.”
Normally 18 scoring chances and 37 shots on net are enough to score at least once, but Barons goaltender Martin Gerber stopped all of them and earned the first star of the game.
Moose leading goal scorer Cody Hodgson, had six shots on net tonight, “We had lots of shots and he (Gerber) was great, but we were getting quality opportunities that we really needed to burry.”
This is the fourth time this year the Moose have been unable to score a goal.  They’re now fourth place in the North Division standings at 12-8-0-3, even with the Abbottsford Heat at 27 points, two back of the third place Lake Erie monsters.

There is a Dead Horse on Orchard Prairie Road

There Is
     Dead Horse
Orchard Prairie Road

The horse smelled putrid, its lifeless corpse had given way to maggots and disease, on Orchard Prairie Road.  They both knew the task at hand.  It wasn’t going to be easy but they had to do it. “C’mon Hannah, we got ta’ move him.”
“It looks like he’s been like this for a while, I can’t stand the smell anywhere near it.”
“Just suck it up, geesh.”
Hannah stepped back a few steps, as if she was blown back by his words.  Maybe it was the rotten flesh of the horse that urged her to step back.  It was then that Charlie noticed her nose curl, and scrunch up so much it nearly resembled a schoolyard ball.  “Can’t we get someone else to do this; I really don’t think I can handle this.”
Charlie was at least five feet from her, but he could still hear her stomach tremble like a tremor.  He moved slightly closer to her, to try and comfort her by his presence; the aroma from the carcass growing in stench as time passed.  “There is nobody else, we’re the only ones here and we’ve got ta’ do this.  Listen, we have to decide what we’re going to do, ‘cause standing here watching it rot is not working.”
A faint smirk appeared on Hannah’s face, as if she noticed the hint of humor in his voice, but her smirk quickly disappeared.  “Let’s forklift it out ta’ here.”  She struggled to find her words.  Her sentences had become short and choppy.  Charlie realized this might be harder than he first thought.
“I don’t know anyone with a forklift, do you?” He said.
“Then let’s drag this thing out ta’ here.”
“There is no way that I’m touching it.  Not a chance.” snapped Hannah.
Charlie knew this would happen.  She didn’t have a strong stomach and he knew that, but she was his only hope of help at this point.  “Listen,” began Charlie, “I can’t stay here much longer, my band is playing a show tonight, and I got ta’ go soon.”
He brought out a box of plastic gloves.  “Here.”  Hannah gave him an evil eye.  The kind Charlie’s momma used to give him when he snuck into the cookie jar.  Resentfully, she took the pair of gloves and put them on.  “Alright, If I have to…”
 The displeasure in her voice was apparent, but those four words were enough to make him crack a bit of a smile.  With that, they both grabbed a hind leg of the fallen beast, and began to drag it down Orchard Prairie Road.

The Night

The night is dark, the night is cold
The night is your friend when you’re alone
Right now I’m alone, the night is my guide
It walks beside me, never leaving my side
It won’t give me bullshit, won’t put me down
Won’t tear me open, throw my heart to the ground

It walks the lonely road, gives advice to travelers by
‘Cause everyone walks that path one time in their life
When you’re all alone and there’s no one to hold
The night wraps around you, gives you warmth through the cold
I’m walking down that road, trying to forget the scars
Running away from bad memories, but they’re never too far

The night makes me feel better
Cause it’s the only one that’s lonelier me
It’s never had a real friend, similar to me
It’s never had to remember the good times with the bad
It helps me appreciate the few good times I’ve had

The Night.

Stressin' Out

The issue over extreme test anxiety has attracted a lot of media coverage since the situation at the U of M, regarding a doctoral math student and Prof. Gábor Lukács.
Dr. Jay Doering, Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Dr. Mark Whitmore, Dean, Faculty of Science released a statement on the U of M website to help clarify the issue.  “In this case, the disability was real, and the implication made by certain individuals that the student is not being genuine is both irresponsible and uninformed.”

Under the Manitoba Human Rights code, it is a proven, professionally-diagnosed disability that the U of M, as well as RRC is obligated to accommodate.

Laureen Janzen is the Coordinator of Counseling and Disability Services for RRC and thinks that extreme exam anxiety is misunderstood because people aren’t informed as to what it really is. “People do get nervous when evaluated, that’s a normal thing.”
But there is a difference between normal anxiety and a disabling case, which can result in physical symptoms. “It’s not about being unprepared, it’s about being so anxious that you blank out.  Maybe you’re running to the bathroom all the time or have a migraine or are sweating profusely.  You can’t focus and make very irresponsible mistakes.”
The type of accommodation a student would receive based on test anxiety at RRC would include additional time of a half hour per hour, with a maximum of 1 hour additional time, and a writing environment that would include a small group of other students.
Not just anybody who gets nervous before an exam can receive accommodations. It varies with every person, and is individually evaluated by a RRC councilor who is trained to determine if a student meets the criteria for disabling exam anxiety. 
The maximum amount of time allowed for these accommodations is four months, in which the student has responsibilities, such as meeting with a councilor on a regular basis.  During this time the student is given techniques to reduce their anxiety, and depending on the case can be recommended to meet with a psychologist, with the expectation that the student should be able to re join their class and write in a larger test environment within the four month period.
Last year, the U of M's disability services office registered 136 students diagnosed with extreme exam anxiety.  At RRC there are currently 39 students that receive exam accommodations based on test anxiety, 17 percent out of a total 221 students who receive accommodations.

Paint That Wall

After a year of painting interior and exterior surfaces for a professional painting company, I like to think I know a thing or two about how to paint. It may seem simple, but there's so much more to painting that I see novice painters do wrong due to lack of knowledge, so I feel the need to explain how to paint properly.
                First, we have to establish what we're painting. For the purposes of this tutorial let's assume we are painting a regular four wall room with one door. The drywall has been primed and is ready to be painted. Lay down a tarp right next to the wall to protect the floor from any splatter. Wear clothes you don't mind getting paint on, because you will get paint on yourself, and carry a rag with you to keep your hands and brush clean.
Open your can of paint and pour it into a cutting can, which is a cleaned out empty paint can. Painters use old paint cans to carry smaller amounts of paint instead of carrying a full can in their hand. If you don't know, 'cutting' is a term painters use to describe the action of painting the outline of the room like corners and the trim of doors.
                When you're painting it is vital that you have music. Bring your iPod or mp3 player and relax, try to have fun with it, and play your favorite songs. Now that your head is nodding to some tunes, it’s time to start cutting. It's important to have a still hand because cutting is an art of precision. Beginners may find it difficult to cut a straight line, so if you feel like you're going to get paint where you don't want paint, it's a good idea to tape the trim of what you don't want to be painted with either masking tape or painter’s tape. Hold the brush by its head and not the handle; this will give you more control than it would by holding it by the handle. Soak your brush in paint and slap it on the wall. Push the bristles until they spread next to the edge you're cutting, using the pressure as you cut along the wall to work your way closer to the edge that you’re cutting. When there's less paint in the brush, stroke it back and smooth out the area you just painted until the brush strokes aren't that noticeable.
                Once you're done cutting the room, it’s time to roll it. Grab your tray liner and slide it into the tray. Use a paint can opener to open your can of paint and pour it into the tray. Be careful not to spill the paint! There are plastic pouring funnels you can clip onto the lid of the can to make it easier, but either with or without it you should have a brush in hand to capture any drips.
                Attach the roller to a pole. I can't tell you how many times I've seen someone waste time by rolling a wall holding the cage in hand; it’s much more efficient to use the pole to roll up and down the wall. Now dab the roller into the tray and start rolling the wall. Start from the top, work your way down, and then back up until the roller runs close to out of paint. When it does, back roll over what you just painted, and then back. Make sure what you rolled is smooth and there are no runs or flakes of dried paint. If there are runs in the paint, it's not hard feather them out with a dry roller. If there are any flakes of dried paint, just pick it off with your finger, and feather the area with your dry roller same as you would for a run.
                Once your done it's time to clean up your work area. This is what master painters are always aware of while painting. Being neat is essential to saving time by not having to clean a mess up when you're done and just want it to be over already. To wrap up the tarp first grab it by its four corners, forcing all the paint and dirt to the center of it, and keeping the floor clean.  Now that your area is clean, it’s time to clean your equipment.  Run your brush and sleeve under water.  Work with the bristles of the brush and get as much paint out as you can, you can even squish the brush against the sink itself to speed up this process.  Take your sleeve off the cage and run it under water as well.  A tool that is handy to have is painter’s tool shaped perfectly to clean rollers, found in five or six in one tools.
After a year of painting professionally, I shake my head when I see people not do it properly.  It sticks out to me like white on rice when it’s not done right and I hope that you learned how to paint a wall properly.

Reality is White Noise, Symphony is a Dream

Music is powerful, it’s universal and transcends all cultural differences; it’s one of the things we all have in common.  Not everyone likes the same music but there is music for every emotion. When I’m happy or want to feel happy, I listen to music that sounds cheerful and happy to me. When I’m sad I tend to like music that has a sad tone with lyrics that are relatable to how I feel. 
As a child growing up in rural Manitoba, my source of music was very isolated; I listened to what my parents listened too.  I loved The Beatles, I used to sing along to their songs while I made my bed in the morning, and again when I went to sleep.  I had their greatest hits tape in my walkman player (remember those?) for the longest time.  My dad was a drummer for a few band’s in the past, and toured Canada with them, never making any real money but just doing what he loved to do.  As a child I used to dream of being in a band, even took the time to draw us on stage during a big show.  When I was eight years old my dad bought me my first drum set, and I was so excited.  I played it all the time and he showed me how to do a few rolls, and keep rhythm with the beat. 
Through elementary school we learned how to play the recorder for music class.  In grades seven and eight however, this changed to a much more exciting instrument.  The school had purchased enough classical guitars for an entire class, as well as a few new electric guitars and bass’s.  It captivated me; the guitar, that is.  I even started taking lessons outside of class with a personal guitar teacher.  His name was Dennis, and he was a cheerfully old, bald, man who really knew how to play the guitar.  I continued taking lessons through the beginning of high school, where I would finally live out my dream as a child; to play in a rock and roll band. 
Chance played guitar, and James played the drums.  They were both inspired to start a band after they went to a Good Charlotte concert in Winnipeg, they went out and bought their first ever instruments.  Chance and I were on the same bus that went to school, so we talked and hung out a few times, and he knew that I played guitar and was taking lessons.  He asked me to come to a practice to jam and I couldn’t refuse.  It was in Chance’s basement which was crowded with all of the equipment in the room and was the first band practice I had ever been to.  The jam went great and I added some new parts to some songs they wrote and they loved them.  After that I was practically a part of the band.  We thought we sounded good already, but our sound was missing two things: vocals, and bass.  We asked friends and people around school if they’d want to sing but nobody jumped up to the plate.  One of us had to try singing and learn as we went along, it just so happened to be me. 
One of our first shows was at an old church transformed into a youth center called The Basement beside our high school.  The show went alright; I thought the crowd liked us, but they seemed somewhat unimpressed in comparison to some of the better acts.  It might have helped our sound if we had found a bass player by that point.  Something good came out of playing that show though; we finally found a bass player.  His name was Deagan, a quirky fellow, but talented on the bass.  Our band was finally complete and we spent weeks practicing so we’d be better next time. 
One of the things we wanted to improve was our name, Fatal Intent.  It sounded kind of tough so we liked it and was better than our last name ToneDeff (people thought we were actually tone deaf), but we wanted something that sounded slick, simple, and memorable.  We found it unexpectedly.  James and I were just walking to my house for practice, talking about band names.  He thought a cool name would be Alchemy.  I told him it needs something in front of it to sound complete, like ‘Days of’.  In a flash, we were ‘Days of Alchemy’.  We were surprised how fast the name just popped up, but to my knowledge this is a common story of many bands.  When weeks of practicing turn into months, and we rocked our next show, we wanted to be huge.  “How do groups get huge?” we thought; merchandising.  We put our name on two different pins, t-shirts, and even socks.  The band was great, I thought anyways.  It didn’t matter that much to me what others thought, because we were just a group of guys hanging out playing music.  Some of my best times with the band were when we weren’t even playing.  We would go out for breakfast before gigs, went camping, paint balling and became the best of friends. 
But as we all grew older, Chance and James graduated from high school, and their passion for the band started to die out.  They were more interested in drinking and going to clubs on the weekends rather than practicing.  We all still talk but a part of me died when the band did.  My childhood dream was fading as my future became a task of finding a well paying job after high school, rather than doing what I love like my dad used to do.  My parents stressed that I needed a career and not a hobby.  I do however; still play my acoustic guitar on occasion.  I go through phases but there’s no question I don’t play as much as I used to.  And that makes me sad.  So I’ll listen to music that speaks to my sadness, and writing lyrics I relate with, encompassing myself with sadness.  When I want to feel happy, I will listen accordingly.  Music is universal.  There’s always another day to pick of the guitar.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Being: A Hiking Guide Through Life

In the corner of McNally Robinson in Grant Park Shopping Centre on November 30, 2010, there was a podium, and in front of the podium were at least 100 people crowded around trying to find a seat for Dr. Philippe Erhard to read his book titled "Being: A Hiking Guide Through Life", a self help, personal and motivational story.  Dressed in all black, Erhard took the podium, and thanked the crowd for attending.
"I wasn't sure how many people would come tonight, they said I should have a Facebook page for anyone to show up".

He talked about what inspired him to write the book, such as Mark Twain.  His French accent gave character to his English words, both humorous and inspiring.

He spoke about practicing a positive attitude and living in the now, rather than living life on autopilot.  After a brief description of the book, what inspired him to write and what he hopes the audience will take from it, he read chapter seven from his book.

The book is very simple, clear and practical.  At the same time, it addresses thought provoking ideas and questions such as "who are we?" "What is our life goal?". 

Being instead of doing, it's about living life moment by moment and not being on autopilot, develop your feelings and managing them.

After the reading, he thanked his wife, for being the only one who believed him while writing the book, she actually named it.

"I did reach serenity, but my wife is here and she may have a different opinion of the matter".