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, October 31, 2011

Men in Stripes

This cartoon seems apropos following last evenings 'stellar' performance by the Men in Stripes!

We just love to hate them.
Whatever they do, however they call it... they get yelled, or worse,  at.
When MY team or YOURS gets the penalty, it does not matter - they get boo'ed.
They seem - just take a minute to think about that - perennial caught between an
on-ice Scylla and Charybdis:

On the surface it looks like a neat job.
One skates,  blows a whistle, travels in style (no bus rides - he),
and has THE power to stop fleet hockey players on their skates!
In short, a dictator on skates!
And their salaries are nothing to sneeze at, as well.
In the NHL $110K for starters and $225K for veterans. Averaging the numbers salaries fluctuate between $105K to $233K.
But, don't we often  get that sneaky feeling that some of them are actually failed hockey players?
Failed, due to lack of real talent. But with the desire to skate in any case.
And so it seems that they take out their frustrations on certain teams they identify with - in an anti-sorta way.  While overlooking (accidentally on purpose) infractions by a team they favor.
Which, of course, they should not. Being supposed impartial judges.
And enforcers of rules and regulations.
Of which there are so many cropping up annually that we must show them some tolerance.
They, too, are only human and fallible. If we don't remember them all, they too may forget a one or a two..yet,  they ought to know them all...that's their job!
BUT...to err is human, right?

So let's compare them to art/opera/classic music critics.
These, too, are often musicians or singers who did not cut it --- lack of real talent, lack of great agents, lack of opportunities.. whatever the cause.
Although in the case of art/etc. critic they sit back tuxedo clad in free plush (or so) seats while listening, watching ...or meander, in casual flannels, unscathed through galleries - then go on-line or whatever, to compose their 'professional' raves or slurs. To be read avidly, or not, by the general public. Of course, their salaries are much smaller! And they need only drive/walk to the venue where they are ask to judge. Sometimes, they do fly (to a summer musical event)! And get per diems.

On the other hand, Hockey referees take to the ice in a striped shirt,  black pants and a red armband,  which they wash often - it's hoped ! Plus a black helmet and a number on their back (making them an easy target - lol - hopefully JUST for jeers).
No pads or any other kind of protection against hard slapshot pucks,
colliding players (accidentally on purpose maybe;-)! 
And not to forget the occasional stick between legs... :-)
They also need to be sprinters, jumpers and duckers.
It really does take some guts to be out there!   And they wish, I am sure, that they had eyes on their backs lol!!
Happy Halloween for the last time!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

20 ways of creative officiating?

No, really I mean that.
Between the officiating of the two Referees (Meyer and Croft) nothing resembled the Van Ryn Motto:"Keep It Simple (usually followed by Stupid-KISS)".

I lost count of the many three on five penalties both teams endured.
And some were called rather innovatingly:
  • Delay of game BEFORE puck drop in Third? Duh? 
  • Closing Hand on Puck? Double Duh?
  • Others were the usual offenders.
At least in the end they were evenly divided 10 and 10, and both teams made two of them count!
Both Cuma of the Aeros and Pistilli (looked like) of the Checkers went down on the ice and needed attention from the teams' athletic trainers. Thankfully both came back to skate some more.
Neither incident was (apparently) severe enough for a penalty on the other team, this time!
Action around Murphy
Now after an unsually hectic fast paced first period in which the Aeros managed 5 Sogs to the Checkers 13,  the score was 1 Aeros - O Checkers..
Eyes-on-the-Puck Endras :-)
Endras simply making save after save - seemingly in most incredible ways...deep butterfly, stretched body, high glove catches, hard blocked shots (you could literally hear the puck striking his pads!)...

Just to recap Aeros Goals:
Taffe, Chenoway, DiSalvatore (1. period).
Foucault, Fontaine, Ortmeyer (2.)
Wellman, Taffe, DiSalvatore, Unassisted goal by McMillan, and finally empty netter by McIntyre, Fredheim all in the 3.
To the far right Ortmeyer and Foucault Goal 2
After Goal 1. PP by Taffe

Samson still looking (for a Delilah, perhaps? lol)
Soryal, Faulk, Staal;
Matsumoto, Samson, Faulk;
and Samson, Terry, Matsumoto all in 2.
Di Salvatore, Foucault chasing after puck

Soryal goal

Sutter (C) consoling Murphy after Houston goal 3
 McMillan=Number 1 Star with unassisted goal.

I truly believe this was one of the worst officiated games I've seen.

And the "Third Period Aeros" DID show up again to win this game against all odds...truly!

Almost unbelievable officiating (all those 3 on 5 calls) plus some less than stellar playing by several Aeros (Cuma, Bagnall (he ought to know better after all the years), Broda, Medved).
Did they, mayhap, mishear Van Ryn's "Keep It Simple"?

Well, whatever the case.
Aeros kept Checkers in check - but only by the skin of their teeth - especially in the second period.

Warming up in the 1. (as we now know they like to do).
Barely making it in the 2. (aided perhaps by ref's calls!)
And roaring back as the by now - almost expected  - AEROS OF THE THIRD!
Win with 5 to 3 vs Checkers.

Still leading the Pack in the West

Houston Aeros, after 9 games played, are still top dog in the West.
Even after that sad loss on SO vs OKC Barons, who are nipping at Aeros heels.
I was not AT the game, but listened to the announcer on the drive back from a fun Potluck.
And tuned it out after the 3-0 First Period in  favor of OKC. 
Puttering around later, tuned back in and WOW.. Hackett pulled - Endras in.
Aeros came (deja vu) again from behind to draw even with goals by
McMillan (WELCOME BACK Mac!!!) , Fontaine (hey I like this kid) and Palmer.
And in the third a 4th one  made by Welman.
OT scoreless.
SO... OKC win that war.

Some time earlier heard the Wild 'goalie' coach stating (unfavorably) Endras seems another Khudobin in his style of playing.
And saying 'he' (Endras) may need to work on that.
Well, what I have seen so far of Dennis Endras (admittedly he only got the nod the once at the TC before) - I LIKED.
Quick reflexes, athletic, fast on 'skates', sure with glove and blocker..

So. why with 2 (3 if you count Darcy Kuemper-the Darcy Vader of that other Calder Cup run) obviously talented goalies...why let Hackett play back to back?
IMO (no expert - moi) alternating goalies seems the smarter solution.
One plays, one rests... but is ready to become an "Einspringer" at last resort if needed.
Anyway playing with the numbers from last evening's game:
OKC   3-1-0
Aeros  0-3-1
O - being, once again for the Aeros, the number during 'the warm up period'.

I just realized I used here  several operatic terms ... Einspringer... Warm Up
Probably because I came from Opera in The Heights Potluck for "Cosi fan tutti"
(composed by 'my guy' Mozart, BTW) Singers. 
No, they did not sing for their supper..(Sure would have been nice!)
Which was one of the funniest attended
Instead they all told of a funny thing that happened to them on the way onto the stage -
or off the stage,  as the case may be!
And some were  - indeed - most funny.
I really think, baritone Kevin Wetzel, could easily make it as Stand-Up Comic, should his operatic career go South, which it will not, I'm pretty sure, but judge for yourself.. here he is in a short clip..

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A chair of my dream...

I dream of having MY PERFECT CHAIR.
A chair, that rocks -so beneficial for nodding off.
Swivels, making sitting down and getting out easier!
With a high back, that's easy on back, neck and head!
Maybe has this  built in  to sleep against (lol).
And a seat height not lower than at knee level. Not one that forces me to squat to get onto it!
With an ottoman to elevate tired legs!
A chair that is easy to sit in, and sleep in. And rise from without contortions.

I have looked, looked and looked - in my quest for this perfect chair.

I have seen chairs that offer one or two of such.
But never all together.

I have seen chairs deliciously enticing.
I have seen chairs so decadently sumptuous - one wishes to sink into one with abandon.
(only to find the rising would require assistance of a crane).

Seen others that could make a sculpture bow its head in awe. And yours truly, too!
  At least that one rocks- indeed!

Awesome and elegant - really - to look at!
And some do make me laugh... but on a daily basis ?

BUT never a one that makes me want to sit on it and relax.

As it's coming on Halloween....
here's this:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Athlete turned opera singer......

In case you don't remember I posted about him and other athletes turned opera singers some time ago!: Ta'u Pu'pua sang at OH, and at the recent Bravissimo Event in June this year!

This is just too precious...and here a little taste of what he can do on stage :-)!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


celebrates today its 56th National Day.
Seinen 56. National Feiertag!
the Four in a Jeep-Vienna 1945-55
Am 25. Oktober 1955 zogen die letzten Besatzungmachtsoldaten aus Oesterreich ab.
Austria 1945-1955-
"Fleckerlteppich Oesterreich"
Please rise, and gentlemen remove your hats!
The real Austrian Anthem!
In Anerkennung des Feiertages hiermit:

And let's celebrate with:
Sachertorte, Einspaenner
und Sekt!

And for Julie Andrews Fans:
And for those, that still think this is the real anthem
(I only wish it were - really.
One could dance  it LOL)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Amygdala Moments...

have really nothing to do with Senior Moments (SMs).
And SMs have nothing to do with the SM of De Sade (Quote he: Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen, atheistic to the point of fanaticism, there you have me in a nutshell...)
Wait, maybe they do!
Think on it ..LOL.

As is well known Senior Moments occur when we forget, mislay, misname or otherwise confuse things. Also known variously as Alzheimer's, Senility..etc.
Old Age in short!

Amygdala Moments (AMs) occur when we are scared by 3 Sss: sounds, smells, and sights.
When irrational fear wants to make us run as fast we can even before our rational brain tells us to do so! 
Commonly referred to as that gut feeling!
What that has to do with gut, I don't rightly know,
since the Amygdala is actually situated within our brain.
Perhaps the fact that digestion shuts down when fear takes over, LOL?
At least that's what most experience.

Me, it just make makes me hungry.
And there is that rather pleasurable exhilaration during MY Amygdala Moments.

Pulse races, Adrenalin pumps.
Thrills chase away boredom.

So does that make me a risk taker?

Was that the reason for the adventure that brought me to the USA mumble years ago?
Is that why unknown foods lure me?
New things tempt me?
Matt Beaudoin as a Texas Star
Adrenalin pumps fiercely through thrills and drama such as Hockey (and hockey players ;-)!

Los Toros  (and Matadors ;-)
Houstonian Tracy Viser
Suspense Novels set in foreign sites.
Opera  (some of those singers will do that,. too)
"Tower" by Haddid
Visual Arts

Tried twitter (dislike); Facebook (OK);
Worldwide Internet (much liked).
Haven't you ever watched a foreign program and tried to guess what;s being said watching facial and body language? Quite a challenge.
And such fun - For a while.
Then the rational brain takes over and warns of potential overload!

I just have to try newfangled stuff in arts and music - like it or hate it.
Try I must! Well, I admit - at least the once :-)!

Lately those AMs seem faded into the background in "favor" (grrr) of  SMs.
Risks are less risky. Adrenalin only just oozing.
Any and all thrills are not quite what they used to be.  :-)!
Yes, indeed! Any kind!
Ah well - alas, a lot MORE boring!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

You better enjoy this..

as of  about 7:25 PM Tonight, the Houston Aeros are in First Place in the West!

Considering that recently they need the first period of game to 'warm up',
raise SOGs during the second period,  they, finally, are fully present and accounted for in the Third. Quite a progression! Hail The 3. Period Aeros!
Of course, I am kidding, but a speck of truth seems to be there after all.
But  - Consider tonight's game.
Better Half and I missed 2/3 of the First period, since we could not tear ourselves away (as originally planed) from the very amusing (and still oh, so buusssyyyy-see earlier post), Barber of Seville at HGO!
But while hurrying to the Game, we heard the Voice of the Aeros announce with minutes to go, the game is scoreless.
Well, we did NOT miss anything, other than watching speedy Griffins and a busy Endras stopping all 16 pucks.
Aeros Goal 1
During the 2. period - despite an earlier 8 SOGs, Aeros revved up their play with 11 SOGs one of which became the First Goal for the team by Fontaine (Wellman and DiSalvatore). That gave Fontaine his 2. goal for the season, which should please the youngster who turns 23 on November 6 during the Marlies game at the TC.
But...the Griffins made it 1:1 just 2 minutes later (BTW the ONLY one Endras allowed in)
with a goal by Nestrasil and Tatar.
Nestrasil tries again...stopped by Endras and aeros Defense
Then comes Period 3. in which the heat is on!
Aeros shooting 15 on Pearce and getting 2 into the net (Foucault's FIRST of the season) with Ortmeyer - kinda nice: the youngest player (turning 21 in December) gets a helper by the  oldest player-not that Ortmeyer is thaat old (but at 33...kinda oldish :-) for a  hockey player).

And the 3. goal by McIntyre (now that trade seems to have worked FOR the Aeros) with Fontaine and Broda.
Fontaine interferes with Pearce?
At the close it became a nail biter, Fontaine sits for goalie interference (see photo above), while Pearce gets pulled for a 6th  attacker vs 3 then 4 Aeros.
Traffice Jam at Endras Net

Save by Endras-even though it does not look like it!
And this is where Endras earns his salary ( lol )...and the Aeros defense is truly effective, as well!
Aeros win 3-1 over Griffins!
we want  Bullshirts - yeah!
At home - after a long weekend of back to games- in front of about 5,000 who all seemed to cluster in sections 106 - 107, Lol!
Rotkappchen Hackett :-)!
While the opposing sections were sparsely occupied!

But by died-in-the-wool Aeros fans.

And a bench sitting Hackett (red cap).. wonder how that felt
Yes, well...
the Griffins had speed and power, but faded from a heavy bombardment of Endras (16) to a mild one (6) in the third despite the extra attacker and ONLY 3 Aeros on Defense - for a time.
The Aeros, on the other hand did the reverse...tentative (8) in the 1. 
Better (11) in the 2nd and full speed ahead (15) in the Third for "The 3. Period Aeros"!

I noticed that Kyle Medvec,
on his first game  on ice, walked out limping favoring one leg over the other!
Hope it is only temporary.

On the other hand Cuma showed his mettle, as did DiSalvatore (we almost expect his flying moves) and Wellman (seems to be in the middle of a lot of in-front-of-the-net action).

Jamie Koharski called only a few penalties- which sure is the reason that the game seemed so fast and furious! Of  the 4 PPs for The Griffins and the 3 for Houston, none resulted in a goal.
Both team's penalty killing was adequate.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Goalie or Ghoulie? Trick or Treat?

Having read
this I ask you, chers readers, to chime in IF you love hockey. IS tall better?

But just as a reminder, Ben Bishop, one of the tallest goalies in the nets currently, is not infallible :-)! as we have seen several times
The Big BEND by Ben Bishop-Jerina

A Flying Save for the Bruins!

A deep butterfly split - a ballerina could become jealous, eh?
Do you prefer watching offensive plays?
Or prefer defense moves (and I do NOT mean fights)?
Do you agree with 4 on 4 5 minutes OT followed by a SO?
Are you a goalie follower?

Do you believe that having one's body structure artificially altered as it seems Tim Thomas (of Bruins fame) did is an ethical thing to do?
Yes, he had it done after suffering from hip problems for a part of a season.
But, when the results seem to give a wider range of movement, better flexibility and longer playing seasons can the time when this kind of surgery may become part of a goalies' training be far behind?
A cosmetic kinda thing to enhance, not one's looks :-), but one's prowess instead?
Of course, the talent will have to be there first, but...enhancing it via 'surgery' seems rather tempting, eh?
Dr. Frankenstein seems alive and well in orthopedic hospitals.

In one of the comments following the article a couple solutions were suggested:
  • Make rink and net larger.
  • Limit size of pads and other equipment.
  • Even shrink them
  • Develop better and more effective offense
  • More emphasis on players who can score
  • Change the way to scores
  • Discard shoot outs
  • Go back to overtime - no ties - until the puck {or all players :-)} drops!
Do you think that would solve the problem of so few goals scored lately?
Meanwhile in the Spirit of the Month: