About Me

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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Monday, November 30, 2009

It's done...

Vanille Kipferl are the season's cookies of joice-if one bakes!The list has been slashed, no more 185 x-mas cards to write... down to about 85 USA and 45 overseas. And already received an eager beaver early bird card with a cat on it!
Just hope the two to China won't end up 'on a slow boat' ;-)!
Austria/Germany are usually OK, but it has happened that letters came back to me after being delivered, ahem, trying to be delivered in Sidney AUSTRALIA. What an Odyssey those had! Completely around the globe and not in 60 days. Hey, Postpersons, there are NO kangaroos in AUSTRIA.
There are KRAMPUS and NIKOLO . December 6. is celebrated in Austria and some German areas in honor of St. Nikolaus.
St. Nikoluas was a real person. He was born in Patra in 286, ca. 350 nominated as Bishop for Myra, today known as Demre or Kale in Turkey, where even today ruins of beautiful church named after him are visited by many. He died ca. December 6. 351 in Myra, where he was interred. But 1087 his bones were stolen by traders and carried to Bari, Italy, where they still are. As a generous benefactor of the poor and protector of , especially, children, he is venerated for good deeds. It is said, he even re-animated 3 children who were murdered.The saga goes, that St. Nikoluas as NIKOLO, keeps visiting children and adults annually because of his deep love for them, and to remind them to be good, do good and to reward them for it with candies or fruit or small tokens.
Krampus, on the other hand, accompanies Nikolo as incubus demon, and acts as anti Nikolo to hand out warnings and punishment to children for their bad behavior. Some of the more memorable 'gifts' handed over by the Krampus are pieces of coal wrapped in black or red paper. As eager children rip off the wrappings they are sorely disappointed not find sweet treats within.
The word KRAMPUS actually is a derivative of the old High German word for claw - KRAMPEN..a similar word is still used today for mountaineer gear 'krampons' with which climbers in ice fields get traction.
Traditionally, on the eve of December 5th, young men dressed as Krampus with wooden face masks, horns and tails, are clad in fur,with rattling chains and carry bells. They have lots of fun going after young woman to 'birch' them on the legs with brooms made of birch branches.
Why, do you ask, am I posting this now?
Well, it's a slow day on the hockey and opera front and tomorrow we celebrate the monthly Stammtisch in the 'spirit of Nikolo' (that is with small gifts to be exchanged) even with spirits of the non-spiritual kind.
Toasts to Nikolo and the Krampus!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mit Heine......

Bin einfach betruebt. Warum weiss ich nicht ganz. Das geht nun mal so. Es wird sich bestimmt wieder legen. In der Zwischenzeit hoere ich mir die Damrau mit dem Lied an - und wuensch mir
Umaermelungen und Bussis .........

Advent and the coming of......

Aeros Earl and Sifers, fresh from NHL games ! And probably will skate on Thursday.
Does that mean, that maybe "Ironman" Noreau and/or others will get the morning off??? Just a thought..

December 1 starts the ADVENT period before Christmas. A wreath made of various evergreens with 4 candles is placed prominently in the home. The significance of the evergreens symbolize victory over suffering : Laurel; Immortality: pine, holly and yew; cedar: strength and healing. Holly also has a special meaning for Christians it reminds them of the crown of thorns and is often used for the cross.The wreath itself, an unending circle symbolizes eternity, immortality and everlasting life. Pine cones, nuts used to decorate the wreath carries this symbolism further to resurrection.The origin of the advent wreath is shrouded in mystery of the past, perhaps started with pre-christian Germanic peoples having wreaths with candles during cold and dark winter days as signs of hope for brighter friendly spring and summer days.
The 4 candles are signs for the 4 weeks of Advent symbolizing 1000 years each. Each Sunday before December 24th a candle is lit until all 4 burn brightly. Usually 3 of the candles are purple and one is rose. On Christmas eve a white candle is placed in the center of the wreath representing the birth of Christ, the light of the world.
During Advent songs are sung preparing for the coming of Jesus.

R@R'll do wonders for Aeros?

If a 'bus-lagged' Aeros team pulls off a win over more rested Marlies, and a freshly 'ramped up' Rampage, after a big win over the Admirals, meet on Thursday morning - ought we expect a fast and furious competition to the sounds of thousand 'screechies' in the arena?

Take this with a big dollop of humor.....

Only time will tell....Rumors has it that Andy Hilbert will skate with the team, so with all those great skaters: 'Ironman' Noreau, Rau-WOW, 'Scrapper' Daoust, 'Zip' Zingoni, 'Streak' Smith, 'Cowboy' Buck, and all the others plucky hard working guyz - Dubie or Dimples in goal?

Aeros 'ought' to have a winning game.

And never fear that there won't be enough noise to spur them on. Tee Hee...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Oh, Happy Day! Happy Dubie! Aeros 2 vs Marlies 1

No radio broadcast, rather bad AHL reception... report on AHL website after the game.. BUT WHO CARES: Aeros 2 and Marlies 1 in Overtime!!!!

Aeros won in Overtime with a goal by NOREAU, "Iron Man", assisted by Stoner (solid guy, that Stoner) and Milroy (nicely done, Duncan)
The other goal was by Rau-"WOW", Stoner and Daoust, "the Scrapper", in the 2nd which WAS actually the better period...'who'da' believed that after so many BLAH 2nd. periods.
Things are looking rosier, KC and staff -go ahead PAT yourselves and the guyz on the backs.

"Dubie" (now Nr. 11 goalie in the AHL) only allowed one goal of 21 shots on gaol.
Aeros now in second place, with 26 points, in the West Division, 8 points behind Texas Stars. Both teams have played the same number of games so far.
Happy Days are here again..
And next up Aeros versus Rampage in the MORNING at 11:05 AM on Thursday, Dec. 3.. just the perfect gift for Better Half's Birthday...;-) ...so look for us there - won't bother with cow bells, thousands of kids screaming their little hearts out will serve nicely as noisemakers, LOL.

A little "Morning Music"...

Baritone Jacques Francois Loiseleur de Longchamps shines in recent George Enescu recital in Paris.

The Video is not of the best quality, but...enjoy.
It IS always wonderful to hear that a friend has success. May it be in Opera, Lieder, Novels, Sculptures, paintings...hockey ;-). BRAVO... BRAVA...

Another chilly day up North.
WILD bench, I hope not!

ONLY 8 days till we head to a few days of R&R in San Antonio, including a game Texas Star vs Rampage game and the continuation of 'The Mystery of Helmet Nr. 25'...maybe even the conclusion of the tale? A winery visit or two. Serenity in my favorite mission chapel San Francisco de Espada (Espada is also used sometimes for a matador :-)Tanking up on arts at McNay Museum and.....Christmas illuminations everywhere not only on the Riverwalk.

And finishing x-mas cards for European and other widely dispersed friends and family. And planning the move to larger quarters when current lease runs out while my hard drive undergoes an updating. Tiny notebook will keep us connected to the world wide web ... IF needed.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Almost... but no go! Crunch win..

OMG...they lost
Aeros 3 Crunch 3 in the third. Game went overtime but no scores, Aeros could not convert a PP (4 on 3) into a goal.
Shootout: Crunch win shoot out 2 - 0. Did Khudobin neglect to wear his superman tee? ;-)
Aeros goals 1. by McMillan/Milroy/Zingoni, 2. Daoust/Rau/Gillies, 3. Kalus/Smith/Milroy. Bravo, Guys.

Aeros are on their way by night busride to Toronto for a game tomorrow afternoon against the Marlies.
A really welcome surprise: Maxim Noreau and Jamie Fraser skated.
Although Noreau seemed injured in the Bulldog game and was predicted to be out for a while. A resilient youngster, he did skate and skated well as far as I could hear from Joe O'Donnell.
Am also happy that McMillan, & Milroy ( 2 assists) stepped up to the crunch (pun intended) and skated better than previously seen.

No sparks from these NEW Aeros....

Just sitting here reading about Sifers' recall to Minnesota, Noreau injured and out for a while, and others also on the injured list and thinking back on the magic of last season...

Yes, there were awful lows, and then again incredible highs... there were sparks, oh so many sparks.
There were 'soft spots' for some of us, hopeless adoration by others.
Ups and downs, love and hate, cheers and jeers...but overall MAGIC.

The NEW Aeros player individually looks good to very good.

Daoust, from day one, had my attention and proved fearless with that intangible, a 'sense of ice' .
Noreau, a sweet youngster, has powerful, sharp, fast shot at goal.
Rau with his great feel for face offs, and Buck, aggressive and responsive, seem quite positive additions.
Zingoni just skates his heart out, IMO, and Smith seemingly has the touch to make his line work.
Kalus' lightening speed is impressive, DiSalvatore a sturdy player and good line mate.
Rogers, Irmen, Stoner, Fraser reliable mates holding the team together.
Falk and Kassian much improved over last year.
Gillies doing remarkably well as does Gunderson.
Lesser so Lannon, McMillan and Milroy.
Haven't really seen enough of Almond and Hilbert, due to injuries, to get more than an quick impression. Testwuide started out well, fulfilling the promise from last season.
Khudobin has a star-studded year, so far, and IS the reason for Aeros staying in the upper level of the division.
Dubielewicz seems a bit unlucky, but there is always hope for better.
Earl and now Sifers are with the Wild and, Earl especially, has become a fixture up there.

AND YET, none cause THE kind of spark that calls for dreams and wishes....
Unlike (however much some people tut tutted) Kolanos (not doing so well with the Phantoms), Locke (doing superbly in Hartford), Beaudoin (a Texas Star but so far not as impressive as he was here-alas), Love in Peoria, Rosa and Lammers as successful Moose, Brust doing well in Florida and others.

BUT NO SPARK from this AEROS team. Interesting to watch. Hoping for results.
Very pleasant, polite and professional guyz all around. But one feels not the urge to get really engaged with this team. AND defintely there is none of THAT magic. Just musing..others may feel differently. Maybe the experts see something more in the team that I've missed.. BUT MAGIC ????? Not so!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

No turkey in this house..

Since there is little to prepare for Thanksgiving Dinner...no family arriving hungry. And the preferred food by Better Half is Salmon and Asparagus, albeit with a BIG baked potato, salad and Ice cream.

Leaving more turkeys in the wild.

Finally, met Le Roi D'Ys or Lalo (much abbreviated from Lalloo!) and no, he did not remind me of Jericho, my all time favorite 'butterball'.
He's a big cat, slightly longer body, but has a nice roundish head, no pointy snout here, and he's solid gray and solid white, with (to me) bright blue eyes.
A quiet cat, did not hear him purr. When squeezed by his 'adoptive Mom'', he meowed daintily on a high note - a 'cattish countertenor' :-)!

Thus we were trying to re-baptizing him with an opera related name...and yet, Le roi D'Ys , IMO, still does not quite fit.

On the other hand, her Majesty, SHADOW (this photo looks almost like her)
has added some weight which was needed, IMO, and is a bit less shadowy and shy. She actually advanced to a few feet of me and stopped for a while before streaking back to her lair...big improvement over the previous visit. Both cats seem very happy and contend, as they should be, friend M. certainly treats them royally.

And much time to read. Better Half really is into Elmer Kelton's oeuvre, while I skip around among authors. We both like to have classical music in the background.

Later I'll play a DVD of 'Im Weissen Roessl am Wolfgangsee'...

Bulldogs muzzled...

BIG GOAL in Hamilton. After 2 scoreless periods by both teams, Aeros' The Scrapper' Jean-Michel Daoust with assists by Maxim Noreau and Nathan Smith slide home the winning goal (Tres bien, messieurs) and 'Dimples"'Anton Khudobin (he HAS a lot to smile about - Khorasho-!) collects another shut out, stopping all 26 shot on goal by Hamilton Bulldogs.
A Thanksgiving gift to the fans.
Well done, guyz.

Monday, November 23, 2009

News that may affect AEROS

Russo writes that Benoit Pouliot was traded to Canadiens for Guillaume Latendresse, born in St. Catherines ONT, in 1987 ,6ft2, shoots left, drafted#48 in 2005 in 2nd round. Stats below:
2003-04 Drummondville Voltigeurs QMJHL 53 24 25 49 66
2004-05 Drummondville Voltigeurs QMJHL 65 29 49 78 76 6 6 4 10 7
2005-06 Drummondville Voltigeurs QMJHL 51 43 40 83 105 5 3 2 5 8
2006-07 Montreal Canadiens NHL 80 16 13 29 47
2007-08 Montreal Canadiens NHL 73 16 11 27 41 8 0 1 1 19
2008-09 Montreal Canadiens NHL 56 14 12 26 45 4 0 0 0 12
2009-10 Montreal Canadiens NHL 23 2 1 3 4
NHL Totals 232 48 37 85 137

Which leaves me to wonder which of "our" guys will be flying North? Veterans Clayton Stoner, Jaime Sifers, or the youngster Justin Falk? Former Aeros John Scott (by the way also a St. Catherines boy would make Latendresse welcome) will be in the lineup to fill in for Burns.

Transplant to Florida, Barry Brust appears to have made good impression (he's out of Aeros uniform LOL)as he was reported back on the ice for practice , after missing Thursday, Friday and Saturday and seem to be full-go today with possibly in goal on Wednesday at Wheeling.
During and Everblades simulated shootout drill, Brust stopped eight of the nine shots he faced. And that shows real improvement for Barry.
This is for CatTrick, still a fervent Locke fan and others:
And former Aeros Corey Locke is now (as of Nov. 23) the leader in AHL , chalking up six points (2-4-6) in the three games, including two goals and two assists in Thursday’s win, to become the first AHL player this year to hit the 30-point mark (11-19-30 in 20 GP). They really love him in Hartford, here he is poster boy for tickets sales:
And of another AEROS: Nolan Schaefer: Team: CSKA Moskow #: 31 Position: goaltender Height: 188 Weight: 90 Born: 15.01.1980
Regular season 2009/2010 :31 8 4 4 182 21 161 88.5 2.83 1 1 0 444:41
Now to NON hockey happenings:
Am in the process of 'making an appointment' to be introduced to "CHAT, LE ROI" at friend M's....'Le Roi (Jericho) est mort, vive le roi (Lalloo)!" Per reports he is looking remarkably like an reincarnation of Jericho, just thinner.
This is not exactly LALLOO's song, but'll have to do ;-) ;-)

No more hockey until December 3 at 11:05 AM AEROS vs RAMPAGE. 1000's of screaming kids will be louder than any cowbells....LOL. Bring earplugs ...if you dare to come.
And no more opera, except for the HGO Studio Showcase performances Dec 11 and 12, or the recitals at RIENZI. Info on that via houstongrandopera.org

Sunday, November 22, 2009

'Aeros gone to Dogs' - Lesson of today...

an adult dog has 42 teeth, did ya know that?
Sure wish the Aeros could've sunk more teeth into their game against the Admirals.

Help is needed!

Briefly: The Aeros (26 SOG) lost in Overtime to Admirals (20 SOG) 1-2.
Scratches for the Aeros: Fraser, Rogers and the usual injured (Almond, Testwuide and Hilbert)
Scratches for Admirals:Cashman, Maaki, McKenzie, Van Guilder.
Ads Goalie, was again Chet Pickard, who stopped 25 of 26 shots on goal.
Aeros put Anton Khudobin in the net. AK allowed goal Nr. 1 at 4; 19 in the first period by Ryan Jones(28) Scatchard (36) and O'Reilly.
Maxim Noreau seemed rather visible in the center of things, slamming powerful shot after shot at the goal from 'miles' away ( did he take Soccer kicking lessons?), but alas, none made it 'home'.
IMO DiSalvatore (14) was not as effective as ususal, while Rau (20), Smith(8) and Stoner(7) shone in getting face offs.
Brandon Buck (16) skated remarkably well, considering it was ONLY his 2. game with the team. Good choice by the 'powersthatbe' in hauling him back from the Florida "swamp" ;-).
Kassian (42) was off ice more-so no 'fights to the kill', so to speak.
Some bumbling shooting and missed passes (hey, pass to white jerseys, please) made for less than entertaining sights.
Daoust, also somewhat uncoordinated at first, frequently 'overskating' the puck and looking round (where DID it go?), later seemed to have found his 'icelegs' again - 'The Scrapper' played more effectively.
Admirals newcomer #33 Colin Wilson on a 'reconditioning send down' seemed healthy to me, he was fast, made it to the Aeros net many times at breakneck speed (heart stopping moments for the fans) only to be thwarted by some defenders.
Periods one and two stayed 0-1 for Ads, UNTIL at 19:57 Petr Kalus (32) banged it in after receiving the puck from Maxim Noreau (26) - Aeros 1- Ads 1,
and so it stayed through the rest of regulation time.

At 2:39 into the 5 minutes 4 on 4 overtime, O'Reilly (16) with the assist of the RABBIT # 40 (no not Peter Rabbit-WACEY Rabbit) got the rebound into the net, after AK had stopped the first try, and made it 2 for the Admirals, ending this strange game.
Overall, less than stellar effort by the Aeros as a team, although individual players played well, but .... well individually!
Zingoni tries really hard, but..., Sifers tries hard, but..., Brandon Buck tries hard, but..., Rau tries hard, but..., Smith tries hard, but..., Irmen tries hard, but..., Gunderson tries, but...!
Falk, Milroy, Gillies, McMillan and Lannon try the best they can, but... Kalus, Noreau put in good work this afternoon, but...!
And yet...how to put it?
The guys skated fast, skated well, did ok in passing and defending... BUT... (someone like Corey Locke is definitely missing) .
Penalties called :on Aeros in 1.: Stoner(interference), Milroy (roughing) , Falk (hooking) which followed him into period 2. And on Ads : Scatchard (36) high sticking, and Olvecki (38) for tripping.
In 2.period: No Aeros penalties and only 2 on Ads #20 Matheson for hooking, Jones # 28 for holding.
In the 3. period: Jones #28 sat for the Ads for too many men on the ice.

The rumor mill grinds on.....

The news from San Antonio are not looking good. Are they really on a downward slide?
Better Half and I did attend a Rampage/Griffin game in October when the Rampage trounced the Griffins despite both teams looking tired. Was that the last flash in the pan for Ramage?Griffins have gone on to glory after that...LOL.
Direct quote from a Rampage blog "Should the Rampage struggles cost Ireland his job, everyone of the players who've worn the bull should take a long look at themselves in the mirror and ask the question "what did I do to help this happen?"
Regarding Goalie Al Montoya according to past record he ought to be at a higher level in the AHL, but...
However, he did show considerable 'histrionic talents' ;-), as in a recent game here in Houston.

Drastic measurements taken by frustrated team unhappy with their goalies? Just kidding....

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Irmen and Smith back in Houston..

does that mean that the line Smith, DiSalvatore, Daoust will continue, and Irmen will, too, produce some goals?
Sounded like Stoner is well enough to skate tomorrow, but Almond, Testwuide, and Hilbert still out, and Gillies may be too.Hopefully, after the wonderful food prepared by the Boosterclub the guyz are ready to roar out on the ice and trounce the Admirals this time.
We shall find out at 4:05 PM.

It'll be dogs' day at the the rink...barking fans, smiling fans?

Ah time to shutter this and head to my latest book"Necropolis" about funerals, gaves, and rites of passage in ye olde England-with H1N1 looming, reading about the Plague in days of no inoculations seems rather uplifting. We, right now, have protection against many bugs and germs and virus....aren't we lucky?
And to all a good night!

Irmen and Smith back in Houston..

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shuffleboard on Ice..

Aeros loose to Milwaukee Admirals 2 - 3. Having several injured players, others away with the WILD, and Zingoni out for 17 minutes due to several penalties, the coaches had to do some hefty reshuffling tonight. Noreau played Center, for instance.
Despite the fact, that the Aeros came out smoking, the fire was doused early in the first period.
With just 2 shots on goal, Admirals scored against Khudobin by Dietrich, Jessiman and Guite.While Zingoni sat for holding, the Admirals scored on the power play with goal Nr. 2 by Santorelli, Spaling and Jones. Then Gillies received 2 minutes for roughing and 5 minutes for fighting, with Admirals Yonkman the same, and Spaling 2 minutes for high sticking at 11:44. No PP goals for Aeros.
At the end of the first Kassian #42 and Yonkman #43 had a go at each other.
Ending counts for 1. period were: SOG Aeros 6 - 0 goals, SOG Admirals 9 - 2 goals. Khudobin pulled and Dubie sent in for rest of game.

Second period nothing doing for both teams, except 17 minutes penalties for Zingoni for instigating, fighting and misconduct with Jones #28 (an ex Aeros) getting 2 for roughing, 5 for fighting, and #18 Mueller also sat for a minor of 2. Several pile ups of players with Daoust on the bottom of the heap, but 'The Scrapper' came out, seemingly unscathed, and continued to, well, scrap!
Gillies had some good forechecking during this period. Fraser showed his quick reflexes in getting to the puck while enemy players 'corralled' Kalus in a pile up.
Second period ended with Aeros 0 (13 SOG) Admirals 2 (15 SOG).

Third period: at 1 minute and 5 seconds into it, Admirals' Jones, Yonkman and Santorelli scored goal Nr. 3 for Admirals. While on a power play (#36 Scatchard for croschecking) Aeros, however did show they could do some real good passing the puck, just NOT INTO the foe's net..;-).
Finally, Kalus (unassisted) scored the first Aeros goal at 7:32 into the Third.
At 8:32 Noreau went to the box for slashing.
With over 6 minutes to go "Dubie" was pulled and an extra attacker sent on the ice by Coach KC.
At 15:17 Chad Rau #20, wih assist of DiSalvatore #14(again) and Daoust #38 (again) pulled the rabbit out of the hat - ahem - SCORED Nr.2 for the Aeros on a Power Play while Scatchard #36 sat for boarding (the only time the ref actually whistled on a boarding incident!) Third period ended with Aeros SOG 24 and 2 goals, Admirals 21 SOG and 3 goals. Admiral goalie was young (19yrs) rookie Chet Pickard, fresh from Echl level!!!

Scratches: Aeros #7 Stoner, a last minute scratch, Testwuide, Almond and Hilbert, the usual suspects on the injury list.
Admirals: Maki #7, Cashman #10, Eaves #22, McKenzie #23 and Mark van Gilder #29.

Three Stars: #1 Kalus, #2 former Aeros Ryan Jones #28 and # 3 Santorelli #11.
Another former Aeros/Wild Olvecki did not feature prominently in this game.

During the game I felt that several players appeared injured. The Admirals' Teemu Lakso limped to the bench dragging a foot and did not skate for the rest of the time.

On the Aeros team, it appeared that Gunderson and Noreau had hard hits, but later both skated on.
Gillies, too, seemed a bit out of commission, if so that would be another incident for the gangly kid.

Brandon Buck in jersey # 16, recalled from Everblades, skated well, aggressively albeit unproductively during this game. But I am sure after more practice with the team under the 'shuffle strategy' needed right now, with injuries, call ups...etc. he may turn out a good addition, his junior record seems to predict that.

I wonder if the Aeros might recall 'Feisty Fergie' (Simon Ferguson) and/or 'smoldering' Dylan Hunter who both were sent onwards after the early games, to help out the club now?

Just wondering!
Or maybe some other talent from wherever? Like they did Mathieu Beaudoin at the end of December 2008?

Next game is Sunday afternoon, against Admirals again!
Bring man's best friend to the game, adopt a puppy or orphan dog, but arrive for a 4:05 PM Puck Drop.
See you at the game.

Revolving doors....players in - players out

Aeros report that NATHAN SMITH, Center, has been recalled to Minnesota, since Benoit Pouliot is on the injured list.

Brandon Buck, who participated in camp earlier and then was sent to the Florida Everblades, has been recalled to Houston. Buck is 6 ft 1, Left Winger, born in Ontario where he skated for the Guelph Storm (photo)

From the Rampage in San Antonio we hear that several players have been sent to another AHL (Festerling, Bodie and Beleskey, all relatively good players) team (MARLIES) and one (Donally-fast skater) to the Echl Bakersfield on the order of the Anaheim Ducks. The Rampage's Parent club are actually the Phoenix Coyotes, but since the Ducks have no AHL affiliate a deal was struck between the two NHL clubs.

In their place Rampage have called up four ECHL players, defenseman Robbie Bina, center Justin Bernhardt and right wing Matt Watkins from Las Vegas, plus defenseman Kenny MacAulay from Stockton.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Monks or Gypsies....

reading the lines, definitely between them, of some comments on T3I it seems that Fred Trask, Mr. Camera's pix are sorely missed. Yes, I, too, went onto aeros.com for their photos, trying to find a one or a two to include in my blog, but NO such luck.

All are only for sale....

Accessibility by fans to players - now that is another 'puckgame' all together ;-) One has to admit, that these 'guyz' may need protection from overly enthusiastic or mad fans of both genders.

We 'could' compare the guyz to a bunch of cloistered monks (except of course that some of them are married or have partners) with only the 'Brothers Gatekeeper' allowed to interact with the public. But, they do not chant sweetly... the sounds coming forth from the guyz are rather more raucous ;-). ;-). They may even bake and cook and wash dishes and do laundry...and even toil for NHL glory.

On the other hand we 'could' compare them to gypsies, always packed and ready to roll (wherever the bosses wish to send them).

Albeit not by "Dyana" .... airplanes and buses are much more likely the choices LOL....

What a life!

These guyz have to be 'totally hooked on hockey' to put up with that day-to-day, contract-to-contract, year-to-year kinda living.

And have saints for wives or partners. What a life !

And that reminds how much Hockey players and Opera singers, and to some extent los toreros, do have in common LOL...always packed, always somewhere in a hotel/furnished apartment...not really a home. Always afraid of injuries (bodies or vocal cords - all keep them from appearing, except, I guess, Hockey players get paid, while opera singers do not when incapacitated, plus they have to pay their own doctor's fees).

Now having posited on all the above, can we look forward to more goals on the next game days produced by the Trio : Daoust, DiSalvatore, Smith, or Smith, DiSalvatore, Daoust or DiSalvatore, Daoust, Smith.. or whatever configuration of those three? LOL

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Aeros win...

after 2 lackluster periods - yawn- yawn.. without a goal by either team,
Aeros #38 "The Scrapper"Jean-Michel Daoust
with assists by DiSalvatore

and Smith (that line does seem to be rather successful) managed a power play goal in the last period.

Both teams (Rivermen and Aeros) appeared well matched in defense, with Aeros defense a bit more effective, especially that time, when Smith (I think it was him) 'defended' with his body alone since his stick was smashed during a Peoria Power play...in the third period.

Overall, Aeros had 21 shots vs Rivermen 16 shots, so it was quite proper to give the 3rd Star of the game to Ben Bishop, the Peoria Goalie, also wearing Nr. 30!

Khudobin (#30, too) had another shut out game and received 2. Star of the game with Nr. 1 Star going to "The Scrapper" JM Daoust.
In the 1. period, Khudobin had a penalty for 'delay of game' (he fell and held onto the puck outside the proscribed area) which was sat out for him by Gunderson, while Peoria's Strachan and Drazenovic both sat for hooking.
In the second period, which was primarily remarkable for nothing, except that the puck seemed to spend more time IN the air than ON the ice :-) and 3 Aeros received penalties, Zingoni (who overall skated very well and tried very hard) for 'too many men on the ice', Falk for 'delay of game' and Gillies for 'high sticking'. Peoria played it safe and had none, or at least none the referees noticed and blew the whistle on!

During this 2nd period, a 'David versus Goliad' occurrence tickled my funny bone and had "Better Half" chuckling as much as I did... JM Daoust, "The Scrapper" facing down, ahem, that should be UP, Peoria Goalie Ben Bishop :-), ;-).
Afterall "The Scrapper" at 5 ft 7" bearding (he seems to have started a beard, too.. no, really I mean it) Ben Bishop at 6 ft 7" was a sight to behold. Maybe he was taking Bishop's measure....to good avail, as he did have the ONLY goal all night and on a power play, yet--
drum roll

accompanied by roaring laughter...
too funny, but hey it's a win for the Aeros.

In the third, THE period of the ONE & ONLY AEROS goal, Peoria may have become frustrated because, voila, 2 of their players sat for hooking (#10 Cracknell) and tripping (# 44 Junland).

Of former Aeros fans fave Mitch Love was little seen, he did not strip, he did not fight, he hardly bumped into any Aeros, he skated rather little, on purpose or due to different coaching, that IS the question.

Now I am sure, that the numbers of attendees will be quoted much higher than I felt were actually in seats. My guess: between 350 - 500? Have not seen that few FANS since sometime last year after a long dry spell (of losses)! :-D

News from the Rummel Front

Author Erika Rummel at a reading in Toronto...

For a bibliophile like me, the sight of all those books make my heart go 'pitt-a-patter' .
I 'wanna' read them, I 'wanna' read them!
So many books, and so little time left to read them...BIG SIGH.
For more info on the author visit her website www.erikarummel.com

And here's the author (seated) signing her books while her spouse Painter/Sciulptor Erwin Rummel looks on fondly (on left).
And, so I hear, she is hard at work creating a new novel, this one a historical one. I do wonder if she would include illustrations would they be done by her artist spouse?
Just an idea.
If you read this, Author Rummel.....give it some thought....make the project 'a family affair' :-).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mensch aergere Dich nicht...

das ist leichter gesagt, als getan.
Ich fuehle, frei nach Kafka, die Frustrierung mit "Nicht mein Bereich" - "Kollege kommt gleich"... das ganze Erlebnis am Telefon mit meiner privaten, teuren Krankenversicherung was fast surreal.
Der Telefon Dame 'war es nicht erlaubt, mir ihren Familiennamen zu sagen', noch 'durfte' sie mir (wusste sie es eigentlich wirklich nicht?) weder die e-mail Addresse, noch eine Faxnummer noch die direkte Telefonnummer' einer Kontaktperson angeben, an die ich meinen EINGERSCHRIEBENEN Brief, mit der Bitte um genauere Information, richten sollte.
Sie 'wusste auch nicht wo der Herr zu erreichen waere, der sich als Vizepraesident und Vorstandsleiter unterzeichnete. Der den Originalbrief mit der Ankuendigung , dass meine Versicherung ihren Betrieb ab 31. Dezember 2009 einstellen wird, absandte. Dass ich aber, laut Kontrakt, doch noch bis 31. Mai 2010 versichert sei.

Nun, um eine neue Versicherung zwischen 1. Juni und 30. Juni 2010 einzugehen, braeuchte ich Verschiedenes von der Versicherung, und zwar schriftlich. Und das wollte ich per Telefon anfordern.
Aber nein, die erste Telefondame konnte nichts versichern, sie leitete mich weiter an eine zweite. Diese wusste gar nichts und wollte mich an eine dritte weiterleiten. Nach langem Hin Und Her, gab' sie mir endlich den Namen einer sogenannten "rechtlichen Sekretaerin" - was das fuer ein Titel ist, ist mir nicht klar.
Ich fragte, " ist diese Dame (namens Smith - hoert sich so an, als ob es ein "ALIAS sein koennte) die Assistentin des Vizepraesidenten, der meinen Brief unterzeichnete"?
Nein, das durfte sie mir auch nicht sagen..... wie schon erwaehnt - KAFKA-ESK!
Und es war nicht einmal ein Amtsschimmel, der da wieherte.

Was wird es werden, wenn die NEUEN Versicherungsgesetzte (Obamacare) in Kraft treten?
Das Wiehern der diversen Amtschimmel wird wohl alles lautstark uebertoenen! ;-) :-)

Tja, so wie ich es lese:
Entweder man schreibt sich ein in die NEUE Regierungsversicherung und findet dann eventuell keine Aertze, denn die NEUE Versicherung zahlt den Aerzten nur wenig.
Oder man schreibt sich nicht ein, und darf dann 'Strafgeld' brandeln, was fuer junge und gesunde Leute viel billiger ist als die Regierungsversicherung . Muss halt seine Kosten aus eigener Tasche zahlen, wenn was anfaellt! Oder schreibt sich nur dann ein, wenn sich eine Gesundheitskatastrophe einstellt!

Da singt man am besten gleich mit Hans Moser .. wenn der Herrgott net will...und man aergert sich weniger ...tee hee :-D tee hee!

IF ONLY.....

IF ONLY ...those little words speak lots.
If I only were rich.... !
If I only were young again..... !
If I could only... !
If I only had ...!
Well, IF ONLY has had its time, now just let go of it.
Start over.
When I will, when I can, when I do.....

Say NEVER will I...
Never stop dreaming..., never stop hoping..., never stop wanting..., never stop learning ....!

I will always dream, learn, want, hope, do, try .....
You can also WISH...... but be careful what you wish for.... LOL

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A night best NOT remembered..

Aeros lost to Chicago Wolves 1-2. Second loss in a row, the LUCK of 13th died for sure this Sunday afternoon.

The lone goal went in at end of 1. period by Smith #8, assisted by DiSalvatore #14 and Daoust #38,"the Scrapper".
Wolves goal Nr. 1 by Krog #10 assisted by Sterling #29 in the 1.
Nr. 2 by Machacek #8 with Kulda #20 and Krog assisting.

Both 1. and 2. periods were mostly notable for the many penalties incurred by both teams and fights: Kassian #42 vs. Wolves' Gratton #4, McMillan #27 vs. Wolves Vernace #12 who also got a 2 minute for instigating which was sat out by #13 Stewart.
Earlier Kassian got a 'embellishment' penalty? Maybe because he kind kept his opponent on his rear ;-)?

This is NOT Kassian.. it's two goalies having at each other! A tribute to goalies everwhere..you need not stay out of a fight, guyz and gals!

Just a few seconds after Stewart sat for Vernace's instigating, he received a 10 minute for misconduct and was 'sent' out.
But Aeros could not capitalize and the second ended 1 Aeros with 21 SOG and Wolves 2 with 20 SOG.

Rookie goalminder Peter Mannino for the Wolves proved his mettle by stopping all but 1 of the Aeros 27 SOG.
Khudobin was pulled for an extra attacker, but Aeros had to scrabble even to prevent several empty nest goals by Wolves in the last few seconds.
Ice seemed a bit soft, perhaps, since several players in both teams took falls. Both teams showed signs being tired.

Scratches Aeros: the injured Hilbert and ALmond, Fraser, but I did not see Testwuide skate as well(did I miss him being scratched?.
Wolves scratches: The much anticipated (and feared?) Chelios, Anderson, Esposito, Oystrick, Lehman and McCarthy.
Krog amd Machacek of the Wolves
Nathan Smith Aeros (for his lone goal).

I did feel that Goalie Mannino deserved some kudos!
But the powers that were decided otherwise

Luck of the 13th fizzled...

Aeros lost to Lake Erie Monsters on Saturday.. maybe the timing of the game at one o'clock had something to do with it? A lame excuse is better than NO excuse ....??? Monsters took the big loss of 11/13/09 in stride and rushed back strongly showing resolve and resilience.
Or maybe the dumb (to say it politely) remark and behaviour by one Petr Kalus had them see red and pow, they won out?

Just a little 'sunshine' from the game on Friday, November 13th, 2009 for fight loving fans!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday 13th was a good day, a very good day..

having had a 'night at the opera', so to speak, I arrived home to the stupendous news of the AEROS winning 6-0 on the road with Khudobin in net. Goals made by seemingly just about every player ;-).. WOW
Either a goal or an assist. But not this time by RAU=WOW.
So just a general WOW to the guyz who did :-D :-D great big smiles all around...The list, gleaned from the AHL site, below.
NOTE the 4 goals in the second period - the dreaded slow 2nd has turned active.
NOTE the increase in PP goals ....

1. HOU Smith, (2) (DiSalvatore, Daoust), 18:24 (PP)

2. HOU Irmen, (6) (DiSalvatore), 1:39
2. HOU
Stoner, (3) (Zingoni, Noreau), 5:46
2. HOU
Noreau, (3) (Milroy, DiSalvatore), 8:10
2. HOU
Rogers, (2) (Gillies, Irmen), 19:27 (PP)

3. HOU Kalus, (2) , 12:25

Can we hope without jinxing that AEROS are on their way to a great season .... (play offs) ???
Aeros to play again at noon (Houston time) and back home on Sunday with a 4:05 PM start.Can they keep the momentum?

And Ms. C from T3I reports on a successful game for Barry Brust with the Florida Everblades...
his reported re-conditioning time! She must have watched with 4 eyes... Aeros and Everblades...all last night.

Lohengrin, again a huge success. Former HGO 'Boss' David Gockley was in the house last night. He is now serves in that capacity at San Francisco Opera, Hugs all around.. he has not changed an iota and still looks so young. Was he scooping out the tenor, the soprano??? For a possible SF OPERA Ring???
Brunnhilde,as perceived by most, but if Gockley has his say, not this kind...;-)
Well no one knows, or if they did, are not talking..so we can speculate to our heart's content LOL.
And tonight the final performance of MANON at THE OH!....with the same cast as Thursday which will wow tonight's audience as it did others before. I am back again for more of the luscious music by Massenet. Surely there will be many opera lovers soaking it in for one more time.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Revolving doors at the AEROS ...and more stuff...

another player called up to the WILD.. Robbie Earl, currently a leader in points with the Aeros. so will most likely not skate here on Sunday for the game against the Chicago Wolves with Chris Chelios, the veteran VETERAN ;-)..with a start time of 4:05 PM! in case you were NOT aware of him at all.. here's a "tribute" video, ;-)

And more news.. outdoor hockey? From an article by Lindsay Kramer/The Post-Standard
"It's virtually certain now that the Syracuse Crunch will play the Binghamton Senators on Feb. 20 at the State Fairgrounds, in what will be the first outdoor game in AHL history".
"The game will cost in the $700,000 range to put on, which the Crunch footing much of that bill, about $400,000-$500,000. The Crunch's costs will vary depending upon how much needs to be spent on marketing The team has already rounded up a lot of sponsorship commitments, as well. If the event goes as well as expected, it's been estimated that it could be worth $1 million to the local economy".
Dolgon is going for the AHL's all-time attendance record (20,672, Kentucky at Carolina, Jan. 18, 1997). The tentative pricing has premium seats going for $50, regular seats for $30 and $25, and standing room for $20.
Dolgon thinks the spotlight on the game will be brighter because the NHL will be off for its Olympic break"

I doubt it would be as exciting as a game played in RED SQUARE in MOSKOW!

Saw MANON again at the OH! - no glitches in the orchestra, soprano Thompson recovered and sang and acted beautifully, the cast got even better. Too bad, that there will be ONLY one more performance by that cast on Saturday.. I'll be there again. Hope to see many of my readers as well LOL.

LOHENGRIN at HGO - tonight with a last performance on Sunday afternoon.
Also a MUST see/hear opera... get tickets IF still available. People are flying in from all over to see Wagner!!!

Just finished an interesting read. Gregor Dallas' "Metro Stop Paris", an underground history of the City of Light. He follows the various Metro Stops and discusses what happended there and nearby during Paris' history. Very easy to read and quite informative as well, with some illustrations of 'old'. To make your mouth water for a trip to PAREE!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Head and other Hits...

Several recent head hits, injuring hockey players, have made the news. The call is out to set stricter rules in order to prevent such long term injuries which sideline players for much longer than is wanted. A more detailed discussion and charts at http://www.fromtherink.com/2008/10/27/647656/counting-concussions
It appears that heavier pads, all designed to protect the wearer, are actually more dangerous to the other players. And the helmets are less protective than previously thought.

Also linked from James Mirtle's article - a short quote:
"Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Garnet Exelby has become an expert on head shots, having suffered three concussions during his career. And when he learned of a new helmet designed by Cascade Sports and endorsed by former NHL great Mark Messier, he didn’t hesitate to become one of just seven NHLers wearing one this season

“I heard about it and I liked the direction they’re going as far as trying to force helmets to get better, as far as protection and technology,” Exelby said yesterday after practice. “I compare it to skates – you take a skate from 30 years ago and a skate from today and there’s a lot that’s changed, but with a helmet, from when they started wearing them until now, not a lot has changed.”
Aside from appearance, the biggest difference with Cascade’s M11 helmet is its one-piece shell, which Cascade says will offer more complete protection of the head than a traditional two-piece design. The padding on the inside of the helmet has also been substantially reworked, which the company says will reduce the probability of concussions after impact."
Aeros to play Chicago Wolves on Sunday at home! Veteran 'Veteran' Chris Chelios skates for the Wolves...ought to be an interesting game!

In other news, the long awaited premiere of the complete Symphony by Wynton Marsalis was again postponed. Conductor Spano said after the first postponement, with a laugh, "I'm glad he's not rushing. Wynton told me, 'I've missed deadlines, but I've never been late!' I understand what he means: The piece is still gestating in his head, and when it's ready it'll come out and it'll be great." A HIT?
There have been major works composed and/or completed over a long period of time which ended up grand and powerful works still appreciated by music lovers. If one likes Marsalis as jazz and classical musician, the wait may well be worth it.
Below Marsalis playing Michael Haydn-one of the highest trumpet pieces.

Marsalis interpretes: Cherokee

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Erinnerungen an...

je älter ich werde, desto mehr erinnere ich mich an meine Kindheit in der Nachkriegszeit in Wien.
Ja, wir haben jetzt alle möglichen technische Erfindungen zur Verfügung, die uns das Leben erleichtern sollen, aber..und das ist ein GROSSES aber....
Mir kommt's halt so vor als ob vieles, was das Leben verschönern kann, uns verloren gegangen ist.
Ich denke an das langsamere Leben, das Spazierengehen im Walde, den Geschmack der kleinen Walderdbeeren, wilden Himbeeren, Ribisel und Stachelbeeren, die von der Sonne geküsst, sauer, aber dennoch suess schmeckten.
An die kleinen Waldveilchen, die so starken Duft ausströmten, dass man fast davon schwach wurde, oder an den Duft der Maiglöckchen. Und nicht zu vergessen, den schoenen herrlichen starken Duft des Flieders, lila oder weiss.

Schwammerl... Eierschwammerl mit gesprudelten Eiern als Mittagsessen und Vogerlsalad dazu.
Steinpilze, als Pilzschnitzel eine Abendspeise mit Erdaepfel- und gemischtem Salad. Als Nachspeise, 'Muellirahmstrudel', Haselnusstorte oder einfach Kastanienreis mit Schlag! Und immer ein Achterl Wein dazu, einen Heurigen oder Alten.
Mit Johann Strauss.. Wein, Weib und Gesang.. das war Wien in meinen Erinnerung

Genug, mir wird es geradezu unheimlich, was wir damals gegessen haben und mit keinem Gedanken an Cholesterol, Herzanfälle, udgl. Aber man ging damals halt mehr, nicht nur gleich Autofahren, wenn bloss ums Eck ging.

In den Nachkriegstagen gab es an fast jedem Eck einen Strassenmusikanten, Musik war in der Wiener Luft!! Ja, ich weiss jetzt, dass viele damit ihr Einkommen machten, als Heimkehrer von der Kriegsgefangenschaft, oder weil sie ihre Posten verloren hatten.
Nicht jeder war echt begabt, aber damals war es noch üblich, dass die meisten irgendwann eine Musikalische Erziehung hatten. Gesang, Geige, Mundharmonika, Trompete, Akkordeon...oder Handorgel...man sah sie an allen Ecken, mit ihren Hueterln vor ihnen für Geldspenden. Und da man damals ja täglich einkaufen gehen musste - ohne Kühlschrank - war es so Gang und Gebe, ein paar Groschen ins Hueterl zu werfen.
Andere arbeiteten als Lavendelweiber, Scherenschleifer, Topfreparateure, usw...
Eine verschwundene Zeit..die nur mehr ein paar von uns in Erinnerung ist, und wenn wir davongehen, wer wird noch daran denken. Mir kommt es vor, als ob der Zeitspann der Erinnerungen stets kürzer wird. Was vor 5 Jahren passierte, ist den jüngeren Leuten bereits unerklärlich geworden...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The joys of....

.....being a senior.
Please note, senior, not senile! Well, sometimes that too. Forgetting things, and even names lately. Used to be a font for names , now more like a sieve!
Two days ago, I could not remember for the life of me, who composed West Side Story!

Tried to stick my tongue out at me in the mirror in hopes I'd be able to read the name off it-you know the old saying:"It's just on the tip of my tongue".
No go.

Now, who was it again who composed the 'Love story of the West Side'??? HUH???
Leonard Bernstein, that's who, may he rest in peace.
And here is my favorite song from it:

Girlfriends and I went gaga over George Chakiris, the Leader of the Puerto Ricans. Wow, could he dance and act...LOL.
Even sing, unless it was dubbed for him.
Uschi even taped a paean to him on a cassette (well, reel more like it, then) and actually mailed it off to him in the USA. Natch she never heard a peep from him, but that didn't keep her from mooning after him for months! And after that a new heart throb occupied her days and nights...and he lived much closer!

At which point ... well, never mind!

Now why did I start this, thinking of times way back when everything was new and exciting. We always were ready to do and go and have fun. I guess having had a telephone chat with one of those 'old' girlfriends got this train of thought going ;-).

Dancing the nights away at a Ball or Gschnas, during the carneval/Fasching season, arriving all decked out in our best ballgowns at 10 PM, dancing with gusto, finally leaving for home at 6 AM with a quick stop at a Wurst seller for a hot cup of Gulyas soup or a Debrezin sausage with a Wachauer Laiberl and Kremser Senf, hot and spicy, both. Followed by several cups of strong espresso to keep us going through the day of classes and/or work. Soaking dance sore feet in Epsom Salts before heading out again into the winter day.

And could not wait for the next ball to start. Ah, well YOUTH and resilience!

Waltz we did, just not quite like these Wiener Staatsopern Ballet Dancers... :-)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hate the man, love his music...

Richard Wagner does call forth such reactions.

In the case of HGO's LOHENGRIN (seen Sunday 11/8) it was LOVE at first sound for me. Better Half following suit in claiming"That's the best performance of an opera at HGO in some time"!
The five principals, were simply outstanding, and HGOStudio Alum Ryan McKinney as Herald appeared to have absorbed some of that magic. He sounded and looked impressive. A Wagner singer in the making?

Guenther Groissboeck, Bass, as King Heinrich, had a warm, rich voice and endowed the role with a humanity rarely seen. He gave strong dignity to his portrayal, that was truly astounding.

Simon O'Neill came out, and there it was, that sound of a real 'Tenor" as Heldentenor, burnished, clear, brimming with beauty, ringing with shining high notes. He held onto that magical power to sway hearts and ears throughout the performance.

Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, an Elsa of unsurpassed beauty in sound and looks (yeah, she did combine the two) has an agile and flexible voice allowing her to switch between 'sound and fury' and 'sound and sweetness' with nary a glitch., projecting a glorious sound into the house OVER the strong orchestra.

Long time ago Studio Alumnus Richard Paul Fink, whom I've seen/heard as Telramund in a previous HGO production, was back. His portrayal of the ambitious, greedy, and, alas, hag ridden by his even more ambitious wife Ortrud, to become oblivious to honorable behaviour, gave a striking performance although, to my ears, his voice has lost some of the warmth for which he is admired.

Christine Goerke, Mezzo, sang Ortrud, witchy, ambitious wife of Telramund, with a very strong, albeit rather metallic sound, which may have grated on some ears. For me, her voice failed to sound out Ortrud's evilness. A woman who dabbles and tries to use black arts against Lohengrin's white power. But that is strictly my feeling.
The majority of the audience present (and it looked like a sold out house !) were rather more vocal in applauding Goerke and O'Neill, than Pieczonka and Fink.

Maestro Summers and the HGO Orchestra triumphed with Wagner's music. The winds did an out standing job. Having the orchestra pit fully open, unlike the real Bayreuth pit, also made a huge difference in the way the audience heard the music. Since the lead singers were equally strong they were able to project their voices almost effortlessly above the huge orchestral sound.

Say what one will about the human being Wagner with his biases, the musician Wagner must be admired.
An opera of over 4 hours with 2 intermissions, which flew by, leaving the audience wishing for more .... That is a marvellous experience.

Alas, ONLY 2 more performances, Friday Nov. 13 and Sunday Afternoon, November 15.
Leaving you with a snippet of music from Lohengrin.