Category Archives: made of awesome

Two must-reads for your consideration

The Lighthouse Hockey Blogfather, Dominik Jánský, has written up a wonderful essay on former New York Islander Brad Dalgarno, inspired partially by a piece written by Johnette Howard for The National, that late, great daily sports newspaper.

Both essays, in my opinion, are much more than just ice hockey stories, and even non-fans will get a lot out of them.


Good dogs

I’m taking a break from being angsty today.

©2011 Barcroft Media; click for source article

Dear Tara, shown above, is one of the nearly 100 dogs who worked tirelessly amid the rubble of the Pentagon and World Trade Center, attempting to retrieve survivors, and finding only more vicitms.  Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas travelled to take portraits of these brave dogs to commemorate their role in the recovery efforts.

“The dogs are now old and they will soon pass away. Even during the time it has taken since my first work on the ‘Retrieved’ portraits to now, three of the final 15 have died,” said Charlotte.  “These portraits are about how time passes, and how these dogs and their portraits are offering us a way to deal with the things that happened as well as relying on them for comfort.”

 And they do it for the love of their handlers and owners.  What surprises isn’t just that so many of them followed their masters without hesitation, but that many of our own unassuming pooches have similarly-loyal hearts.  Hug yours if you got one… or a neighbor’s. 

(via Ace)

Guess what today is, mateys?

No, not that.  Well – ok, yeah, THAT, but not just that.  (Scalawags.)

Today is the birthday of this bundle of weapons-grade cute:

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Because I am a giver

This is a little something-something for Laura, the propriotress of Fetch My Flying Monkeys.*

* I originally typed that as “Monkees,” and am now alternately amused and terrorized by the vision of Mickey Dolenz and Davey Jones gliding about the rooftops like Mary Poppins.  They get the strangest looks, indeed.

No, it’s not George.  I haven’t got that kind of pull in the world.  But I can link a website, and this is that website: Dinosaur Comics.  It’s a proven scientific fact that a comic must be awesome if it features a Tyrannosaur calculating how fast he’d need to spin the Earth to levitate a person via magnetism – just to get that person off his couch.  Exhibit A: the Tyrannosaur explains this by yelling, “That’s right, tiny woman, I noticed you hanging out on my couch; it weirded me out and I started doing Math!”

So – you’re welcome.

(Via Zoopraxiscope, who clued me wise with this Dino strip about the odds of the occurance of Batman.  I am truly in his debt.)

If I gave out Quotes of the Day, this would win it

I mean, the entire column would win, but in particular, I’d like to highlight this gem from Morgan K Freeberg:

People who have chosen not to take a stand, do not have neutral feelings toward others who decide to take the same stand. It’s no different from stopping a mugging, or helping to put out a house fire. You decide to leave well enough alone, someone else decides to do it differently — he makes you look bad, and you hate him for it.

The whole thing is a standout.  I put Peek in the Well into the blogroll for a number of reasons, and one is that Morgan, whom I’ve never met or spoken with, is able to describe my own mental and cultural development better than I can.

For geeks, wheresoe’er they are found

There’s a reason I have a “geekerie” tag on this blog, and Lee Ann has reminded me of it.  That’s one heck of a picture, and I have to admire the World of Warcraft coders for thinking of a way for players to have sharks with frinkin’ lasers on their heads.

To me, the sine qua non of geek nirvana is the enterprising party that put together the video below the fold.  Just think – they had to find (or create) every last one of those items in the inventory portion of the song.  And of course, the chosen medium of the video is itself a fitting tribute to the work of the artist…

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No-one cares how your bracket looks

But just in case – 13 of 16 so far.  Lost MSU (had them in the Elite Eight).  But I don’t care because Gonzaga was the Instrument of Cosmic Basketball Justice, defeating St. John’s handily in the opening round.  I consider that a tournament win for Rutgers.

More happiness wishes, and a quick blog note

First the note – I have the Idol recap written, but events have taken precedence.  To wit:

Wednesday’s Happiness Wish is very personal to me.  One of my longest and dearest friends, whom I’ve known since college, suffered the loss of his youngest child over the weekend.  She was born with Trisomy 18, so it wasn’t entirely unexpected, but it still tears one up to hear of it.  So so sad for him and his wife.  They have two older children as well to think of, both of an age to be aware and form lasting memories of this hard time.  My Wednesday wish is for them, for healing and consolation.

For Thursday, my wish is happier.  We have a number of mothers who work in my building, and one was picked up here by her   husband, and her two young daughters came rattling through.  They were sunshine in dresses – happy, curious, friendly.  They borrowed some dry-erase markers from a few people around the office, and when I left they were in one of the conference rooms, doodling on the big board while Mom finished up her tasks.  I wish them happiness.

Today – how can it be anything but the terribly-suffering people of Japan?  The aftershocks from the quake are approaching 7.0 on the Richter Scale, with the main quake last night (our time) hitting 8.9.  The video has been wrenching.  I’m stretching the premise here because happiness is not the proper wish, but I wish them well – I wish their safety and protection and that their loved ones will be found alive and unhurt when it’s over.

All this wishing has had one good tangible effect thus far.  I came into the office this morning and found that the two girls had returned my dry-erase marker.  To be honest, I would probably not have missed it for a while, nor blamed them if in their excitement they left it in the conference room.  That’s what kids often do; their minds fill quickly with the immediate, with the next exciting thing, and they lose what was just past.  It was somehow so dear to find the marker back in its place, and it really made my morning.

Hockey players rock. That is all.

One thing we hockey fans enjoy a great deal about our sport is the players’ lunch-pail ethic.

I’m sure that fans of all sports have their favorites, and think of their players as hard-working and approachable.  No doubt all the fans have good examples of it as well.  I’m still partial to hockey players, however.

Over at Lighthouse Hockey we have said some tough things about various players at many times, but we’ve also rallied behind our favorites.  Frans Neilsen has been Big Dane on Campus for a while; we have a #grabsisfast thread for Michael Grabner.  If you click to that thread and scroll down, though, you find something interesting… an entry in our fan thread about Grabner from his teammate, Matt Moulson, based on a Twitter to-and-fro they had about a week ago.

It’s nice to think that people on the team are aware in some way of what we’re writing.  That, of course, could just be a coincidence – Grabner is well-known as a very fast player, even before winning the NHL’s Fastest Skater Competition at the All-Star Skills events.  And several Isles have Twitter accounts and regularly jibe back and forth with each other.

They also keep fans in the loop on things like this, a public autograph event at an Entemann’s.  I twittered back that he should sign some boxes of donuts for other fans, and kind of smiled to myself, and went about my business… until about 45 minutes later, when this showed up:

Yes I did forget the time 12 till 2PM tomorrow…I will buy next 10 after 1st person donuts for being loyal fans

Donuts on request!

And THAT’S why hockey fans love hockey players.  They’re awesome.

Here come de Judge, here come de Judge

Robert Going, a man of many talents – lawyer, civil servant, fellow blogger, Catholic, and all-around good egg – had a radio show up in Amsterdam NY, until his station’s management decided, without warning, to shut down the show.

I’m pleased to be able to announce that The Show with No Name has returned as a podcast, with Bob and his co-host Mike Chiara.

This is one of the great, great things about the level of technology and access now available to the average citizen.  You don’t need to have a printing press, or a mimeograph machine, or even a soapbox in the village green.  You just need a computer, some software, a couple of cheap microphones, and a message.  The only one of those that represents extra expense is the software, really: the computer is practically standard household gear, the microphones cost less than a tank of gas, and everyone’s got something to say.

Now, it’s easier than ever to say it.  Oh, there are still gatekeepers, but the fence has been tunneled through and climbed over.  The leaflets or pamphlets could be gathered and pitched in a Dumpster, and the police could pull you off your soapbox as a public nuisance.  The standard media outlets could just ignore you if your message was inconvenient.  News could be filtered, spun, sanitized, exaggerated – even outright made-up – with impunity, under a pretense of perfect objectivity.

Maybe this is why repressive and controlling people want a giant “OFF” switch for things like Twitter and the Web.  They never could assume complete control over the thoughts of your mind, but they could exercise a great influence over the kind of input your mind could get.  That influence wanes.  An event they refuse to cover shows up on YouTube in a half-hour: someone records it in high-quality on a device no larger than a pack of cards, literally beams it up into space and back down to the servers that record and display it, and anyone else can watch it as they please.  They don’t even need to be in their homes: their own gizmos will tell them something is happening, and they can keep up with it while getting their coffee, or on the subway, or sitting on the beach on vacation.

And the process has even begun to repeat with the new media giants – if YouTube pulls something, the owner can sling the clip to Vimeo or host it themselves.  If Google acts creepy with its information-gathering, people can bypass it; if they don’t like Windows they can use Mac or Linux or other OS.  It’s beautiful.

Best of luck, Judge.