the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Joni Pitkanen to the Rescue... Again

i'm getting really tired of the attitudes of all hockey commentators. specifically i'm sick of hearing how the flyers can't score without peter forsberg. granted, he's the best player in hockey, which i don't think anyone will refute, but he is not the heart and soul and key to scoring for the flyers. it isn't like they've lost every game that peter the great has missed (and he hasn't recorded points in every game they've played - and won). captain keith has been their heart and soul for the past few years, but thank goodness they can actually win without him this season (two years ago, primeau missed 30 days, and the flyers did not win a single game the whole time he was out). i honestly think that some of the "philadelphia can't score without forsberg" talk played a role in their atrocious performance against tampa bay. i was scared to death that i'd see a repeat last night against the rangers, and if it weren't for my boy joni pitkanen, i might have.

pitkanen has been my favorite flyers' skater all season (though i haven't devoted as much blogging time to him as i have, say, antero niittymaki or ben eager), and earlier this season when chad asked who my favorite flyer was, i said pitkanen. i was impressed with him his rookie season two years ago, and he's greatly improved since then. pitkanen has become philadelphia's top scoring defenseman (an honor previously bestowed upon kim johnsson), but he makes smart defensive plays too - obviously, a must for a defenseman. he also has a knack for bailing his team out when they're sinking, as we all saw last night against the rangers (did you watch that one, nessa? they actually won on OLN!). it was a repeat of his performance in boston the night brian eklund (the eks man) made his NHL debut. the team is down a couple of goals in the 3rd, pitkanen scores to put his team back in the game, richards scores to tie it up, then pitkanen buries the game-winner in OT. how can you not love this guy? he can score, he can skate, and he plays pretty good D. he missed a good chunk of time (about 6 weeks or so) after abdominal surgery to correct a sports hernia, and he didn't look so good his first couple of games back, but he is certainly in top form now and showing the NHL what he's got. i hope bobby clarke hangs on to pitkanen for a long time.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Disturbing Behavior

dudes, what is up with the hockey world? are they all just out to give me a freaking heart attack? the first big hockey shock of the weekend was discovering that chris freakin' heid has been named the ice pilots captain since corey was traded to florida (personally, i'd have given it to bryson busniuk and left heid with the A). and today i find out that freakin' derian hatcher has been named the flyers captain with captain keith's long-running head injury. have i mentioned recently that i don't think primeau will be coming back for the flyers? i guess they aren't comfortable naming rookie mike richards to the job just yet, though from everything i've heard all season he was the guy everyone thought would be the next flyers leader. how much more can a girl take, huh? the flyers are in a downward spiral, and they all need to get rid of the suck bug they've caught. or they just need to start working for their wins again. after they kicked ass on that monster road trip, they figured things would just fall into place at home, not seeming to realize that winning means working. oh well. at least the pilots managed to squeak out a shootout win last night (i say it's because they went back to blue jerseys - enough of this red and black crap, let's get back to the blue angels connection and wear their colors). that was exciting. i thought they'd lose again. but anyway... let's hope things start looking up for both my teams.

derian hatcher... damn.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

ECHL All Star Game

let me start by saying that anyone who can should watch the echl all star game when it reairs on OLN tonight if at all possible. it was an incredibly entertaining hockey game, particularly for me, and it took my mind of philadelphia's embarrassing loss to montreal last night (jan bulis scored 4 goals on robert esche! yikes!). however, i think that anyone who enjoys hockey would do well to watch this game and scout some of hockey's up and coming stars.

now that i've said that let me warn you that i am about to discuss this eventful game, so if you don't want to know what happened in the all star game, STOP READING NOW.

ok, i spent much of the all star game laughing my freaking ass off, but maybe it wasn't really funny. the majority of my laughter was at luke fulghum and his hat trick. oh yeah, that's right. pensacola's one and only all star player scored a hat trick for the american conference. crazy. absolutely crazy. i swear, i have never seen luke (jedi, chad's uncoordinated monkey) accept passes the way he did last night. my reaction to his 3rd goal went something like, "holy hell! there is no freakin' way i just saw that! you couldn't pay him to do that in pensacola! oh wait, they do pay him." he's pretty good at parking himself in a good place, he just misses the puck all the time instead of shooting it into an essentially wide open net. obviously, the boy's got skills. unfortunately, we don't really see them shine like that in pensacola, since he (along with the rest of the team, let's be fair) always finds some way to screw things up. seriously, we know he can shoot and score, so why the hell doesn't he do it more often? is he pissed off because he plays for a losing team? whatever. now i think it's going to piss me off even more when he flat out misses a great pass or doesn't shoot when he's got the chance.

anyway, the other surprise for me in the game was stockton's players. yeah. stockton. as in, the worst team in the league by a pretty wide margin. their goalie was the only one of the six who saw ice time to record a shutout for his period of play, and their other all star, mike lalonde, scored a goal for the national conference. so, why exactly do they suck so much?

the game was of course filled with familiar faces (well, names anyway), despite the lack of pensacola players. i recognized the guys from the south division, you know, the ones pensacola plays a ton. one of gwinnett's players, guillaume desbiens (whose name the PA announcer totally butchered, which was obvious from the way he shook his head and laughed when they announced him), missed the net on a great scoring chance at least once, but his teammate jeff campbell managed to put one in the net. of course, a florida everblade also had to score, so ernie hartlieb scored the first goal for the american conference. well, that was all well and good, but they still lost 7-6 (though it was 7-4 with only a couple of minutes left).

the other part of the game i really found funny was charlotte's goalie, jeff glass, and the way he got lit up in the third period. i was like, "there's the charlotte goalie we know and love!" i found it even funnier since the funny OLN announcer guy kept talking about how his contract is with damn ottawa. 4 goals on 8 shots. that's not so spiffy, eh? maybe i should have felt a little bad for him, but no. didn't happen. i thought it was funny.

anyway, even if i've totally ruined things for you, go watch the game. like i said, it was highly entertaining.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Still Procrastinating... Sort Of

still haven't practiced the presentation for tomorrow. today is an HPLC day (translation - a day where i live in the life sciences building from 8 am to roughly 6 pm and consume 2 meals and an afternoon snack in the lab - don't tell OSHA, k? eating in the lab is a no no), and due to my own strange psychological makeup won't be able to practice for real while i'm here. i find it much easier to talk to myself when there is no one else around for me to talk to and without the fear that someone will wander in and think me a freak because i'm in a semi-dark lab adjacent to the lab where i'm actually supposed to be working, talking to myself. i did print out the power point yesterday and make notes next to all my slides so i remember what to say while i practice, so if it comes down to it, i could go in there and wing it tommorw. not that i've ever done that. seriously, i've never done that. i must be prepared when doing the public speaking thing, lest i become one big bundle of muttering, stuttering, uncontrollably sweating and shaking, no eye contact making, uh-spouting nerves. i do ok when i've practiced, though. and i don't use notes when i give the actual presentation. if i did, i'd just read them, lose my place a few times, get really nervous, and turn into the woeful thing i just described. the notes just help when i'm practicing... which i really do need to do. i should have an extra hour in the morning, though, so really it's no big deal. and i could always run down the hall and get valerie and katie to listen to my talk so i wouldn't feel like i was talking to myself in a public place. nah. i'll make do with running through things in my head... though i tend to get distracted if i'm not actually talking.

oops. the HPLC calls - time to inject another sample. adios.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Procrastinating Again

instead of practicing my presentation for wednesday, i am playing on the internet. i know i promised in an earlier post to cut it out with the quiz things, but it's been a while. i'm telling myself it's my reward for finishing the presentation (even if i haven't walked around talking to myself yet).

You Are a Sprinkled Donut

Flamboyant and flashy, you're easily distracted by shiny things.
You're definitely a snazzy number, and you usually catch everyone's eye in the room.
And you've got the goods to back it up your colorful image.
(Though too much of you gives people a stomach ache!)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

At Least They Made A Game Of It

i find it oh so sad that i take comfort in the fact that at least last night's ice pilots game was close. they could have gotten completely blown out by gwinnett, but they really made a game of it and managed to only lose by one goal. maybe that should make it worse since they at least had a chance to win and couldn't pull it out. oh well. braff finally scored a goal, so at least it was a happy night for someone. we can all finally see that all of the recent changes to the team haven't really helped. at least the flyers won yesterday afternoon... finally broke that losing trend. esche looked really good in his first outing since reaggravating the groin injury. i still think that he and niittymaki are going to have to duke it out for the #1 goalie position, though. in my humble, niittymaki loving opinion, the rookie has had a much better track record and looked much better overall than esche this season, and he has proven himself worthy of the #1 position. i'm going to be pissed if hitchcock doesn't at least rotate them. not that i don't like robert esche or have confidence in his abilities. it's just that he's been having kind of an... off sort of season. maybe he will continue to put on performances reminiscent of yesterday, and the flyers will finally have two really solid goaltenders.

as for my plans for this week, i have a presentation on wednesday for my plant physiological ecology class, so i have to finish the power point for (and practice) that before turning my attention to the 35-40 minute presentation i will be giving shortly after valentine's day in my seminar. i'm not sure yet whether i'm going to use it as a basis for the outline of my prospectus or as an excuse to finally delve into the wide world of indirect chemical defenses in preparation for the paper i'm working on with anne and her doctoral advisor. i also have to write a review of the paper i'll be discussing in wednesday's presentation, but that shouldn't take too long. i also have the usual lab stuff and readings for classes. the department chair is giving a guest lecture in my fisheries oceanography class since the prof is in alaska this week, and the three papers he assigned for discussion are all his. i'd better read carefully and really pay attention since he of course knows them inside and out, being one of the authors and all. aside from all the work, it will also be a hockey-filled week since either the flyers or the lightning play every day monday-thursday, there's the echl all-star game wednesday in addition to the flyers game, the ice pilots play friday and saturday night, and the flyers and lightning play each other saturday afternoon. whew. so many games, so little time...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

New Link

hello all. i've been muy busy over the past week, with all of my reading for classes plus lab work, so i haven't really had the time for a good post. i still don't, really. i just wanted to alert you all to the fact that i have added a new link under "blogs i dig" - ron kiene's antarctica trip 2006. ron is a prof at the sea lab (he taught me chemical oceanography), and he does a lot of work in antarctica. he has started keeping a blog of his trip this year, and it is actually quite interesting... plus, there are tons of pretty pictures. so, go check out what ron is working on, and see some shots of a cold trip and some nifty penguins. if it weren't for the fact that i would quite literally freeze to death, i might have been tempted to join them.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Next One

wow. someone out there shares my opinion of sidney crosby. go read this highly opinionated article (or just the first part where he talks about crosby), and see how closely this guy's thoughts mirror my own.

my pals thought i was a little blunt a couple of weeks ago when i called sid the kid a whiny assed baby in mcguire's, but he is. i am not going to deny that the kid has talent (because he does, and anyone who has seen him play knows this), but he seems to have the attitude of your typical spoiled brat who thinks he's entitled to special treatment and that anyone who deigns to lay a hit on him automatically deserves a trip to the sin bin. but maybe i'm just one of those flyers fans who have pegged him as a diver - which he is. i'll admit that derian hatcher deserved the penalties he took for roughing up crosby, but as i've said before, derian hatcher is a twit, and crosby sure was bitching a lot for a guy who drew several penalties against hatcher. not to mention all those times when crosby was the victim of a perfectly legal hit (some that weren't even that hard) and went sprawling, lying there looking at the ref, who obviously wasn't going to call anything (as he shouldn't). it's hockey, kid. you are going to get hit sometimes, and you need to learn to take it better. if it's an illegal hit that doesn't get called, bitch about it. if you had the puck and just freakin' got laid out by a great check, well, you've played this game long enough to know that it happens.

maybe crosby just isn't a physical enough player to suit my tastes (i'm sure you all know that i go for the guys who can hit - and get hit), but for now i'm sticking to my story that he's whiny... and i'm not the only one who thinks so.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Oh My God - They Won

so, i'm at the lab today, and since the ice pilots game was moved to 9:30 this morning i decided to listen while i work... i tuned in during the 1st intermission when the pilots were down 3-0 without much hope for the rest of the game. from the sound of things, the pilots really sucked it up during the first period (thus going down 3-0), and apparently schulz got his ass kicked in a fight again... badly. but man, did those guys ever pick it up in the 2nd and 3rd periods when they totally dominated the south carolina stingrays. steven later scored on a power play in the 2nd, then rooneem and cook scored for the pilots in the 3rd to tie the game 3-3, and then, miracle of all miracles, todd ford held off the stingrays during the overtime and the lovely adam courchaine scored the game winner for the pilots. all i can say is wow. i hope that this is a sign of things to come for pensacola hockey. it sounded like the guys worked really hard the last two periods (and overtime) of the game, and they have finally acquired two more points in the standings. mouthpiece boy (vukovic, a recent pensacola acquisition from florida who repeatedly drops his mouthpiece every game) didn't play due to "family problems" but lehun was there and, though he didn't participate in the pilots' scoring, he seemed to play pretty hard for us. i'm impressed. i really didn't think that this team had it in them to come back from a 3 goal deficit... and not allow the opposition to score after the 1st period. like i said, i hope this is a sign of things to come.

Monday, January 09, 2006

A New Day, A New Semester

this first day of the spring semester finds me in a better mood than when i wrote my last entry. today started off with a beautiful 50-something degree, mostly sunny january morning and is progressing toward a cloudy (blah) 70-something degree (yay) afternoon. i'm not crazy about the cloudy, but i am so loving the high-60's/low-70's forecasts for the next week or so. i absoutely hate the cold, and the windy, 29 degree friday night we just had made me want to hibernate. but that was redeemed by a gorgeous 73 degree sunday afternoon... with more of the same for the next week or so. :) also contributing to my good mood is the feeling of doing something worthwhile with my time and the fact that the flyers are presently leading the NHL in points. a win over the devils tonight will assure that they stay on top.

before heading to my first class of the semester, i arrived at the university an hour early to set up sample extractions for me to run on the HPLC tomorrow. spending some quality time at the lab at least makes me feel like i'm one step closer to a Ph.D.... and i have a meeting scheduled with dr. v. on thursday, which makes me feel like i'm one step closer to getting a prospectus written (a goal that's a little closer than finishing the Ph.D.). that feeling of being stuck in a rut with respect to my career seems to have evaporated for the moment, for which i am eternally grateful.

my one class of the day also seems promising... plant physiological ecology. that might seem like the most boring topic of study in the world to some, but a brief overview of the lecture topics leads me to expect to enjoy the course thoroughly. it also gave me a goal for the next couple of weeks - i have a presentation/paper review to do in two weeks (as usual, i signed up for the first spot), so now i have to find a paper to discuss. i have a couple of topics in mind already, so now i just need to look up an article.

of course, i can't post about a fresh start without a little hockey talk, especially considering all the changes the ice pilots have made recently - firing the coach, losing some players, and finally acquiring some new ones and a new assistant coach. i'm excited about the new players from florida, and i hope they help us out. i'm getting really sick of this whole losing thing they're doing. of course, i miss my jacquo banging the hell out of guys on the ice in pensacola, but i'm really glad he's doing well up in toronto. maybe he'll even get to stay there. they've taken notice of his physical style (despite the small size) up there, and he scored his first goal there in the marlies' last game. hooray for jacquo. maybe the pilots will get it together on the road over the next couple of weeks so the next home game will be better then their last few.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Belated New Year Post

does the thought of a whole new year put anyone else in a funky mood? i sort of feel like i didn't accomplish much of anything in 2005, and that really depresses me. i guess this is just some kind of post-holiday blues thing (with perhaps a touch of pms in the mix for kicks), but i really hope that i can do a little more that matters in 2006... like finally get my prospectus written. i swear, i am absolutely going to die if that thing isn't done this spring. i have the distinct feeling that i've just been... floating, stationary, neutrally buoyant, whatever you want to call it for a year, and i hate that. i've always felt like i was going somewhere, and now i feel like i'm stuck on some fly paper and not going anywhere.

bleh. enough with the wallowing. i did actually have some fun on new year's eve (despite the pilots' disgustingly horrible loss to charlotte that night), just hanging out with chad, vanessa, and deva at steak n shake for 3 1/2 hours reliving the past. maybe the memories contributed to my current funk. oh well, we had a good time then, and that's what matters, i guess. and i still have vanessa's birthday festivities after the pilots lose tomorrow to look forward to (yes, i'm assuming they're going to lose, because of their heavily depleted roster and the fact that they're playing the best team in the division, who they can't seem to beat this season). we always have fun at mcguire's, and it's a birthday tradition for our little clique.

ok, as you all know, i don't really do the down in the dumps posts (but the angry posts are always good ones), and i don't think that they're all that entertaining. so, since i am thinking about disturbing things (like the disturbingly high number of people i have known in my 23 years who are now deceased, etc.), which put me in this kind of mood, i'm going to stop writing before you start to think i've become marvin the paranoid android (you know, from the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy). also, i need some distraction from my thoughts (chad is busy reveling in the cotton bowl in high definition). it's a good the thing the flyers play an early game today.