Hockey Is War

I went to a hockey game Friday night and a brawl broke out. It was ugly, but it was some of the most entertaining hockey I’ve seen first hand. There were seven players thrown out of the game, 6 of them for the same big melee with a minute left on the clock. Everybody ended up with their helments and gloves on the ice, and Scott Hartnell came out of it without his jersey.

I’m talking about game 2 of the Predators versus Sharks. Every article I read on hockey this time of year says you have to “step it up for the playoffs”, and they apparently have. The Sharks were looking for payback because in game 1 Scott Hartnell made a nasty hit on one of their star players. There were skirmishes all night, but when it came down to the last minute of the game all pretext of playing hockey was gone. The Sharks were down 5-2 and knew the game was lost so one of their players just decided to go for it. He threw down his gloves (the first thing any hockey player does in a fight) and went for it.

I can’t figure out the referees. For most of the night they were in there busting up fights as soon as they started. But this time they just watched for a long time. I guess the refs either didn’t want to catch a fist themselves, or they were waiting to see how bad it got. They waited too long. It wasn’t like those big fights you see in baseball where there’s one big pile with the occasional arm or leg visibile. These guys just paired off and started swinging as they skated in all different directions. By the time the refs stepped in there were too many separate fights going on for the three refs to break up.

The Predators aren’t really a brawny team. They tend to get by on their speed and skill rather than shove people around. Despite all the fighting, game 2 was no exception. There was a lot of hustle, and the best play of the game was a break away where two guys stole the puck and got down the ice with only one defender.

I’ve been worried about Vokoun lately. He hasn’t been back up to his old goal-tending self since last year’s health scare. But Friday night he was saving more than Ben Franklin. (Sorry, it was in my head all night so I had to let it out.)

Let’s just hope the Predators don’t get caught by the Tennessee sports curse this time.


I Got Kirked

I’ve been following Katherine Koble’s troubles with JL Kirk. It’s the grand topic of the moment in the local blogs. And a few not so local blogs are picking it up ever since Instapundit mentioned it.

I’ll give the short version……… Katherine’s husband was job hunting and they cold called him after seeing his resume online. Katherine and her husband were unhappy with their experience and doubtful the company could/would deliver as promised so they declined to hire them. Katherine then posted about her experience on her blog and an employee of JL Kirk felt maligned in the process and posted a rebuttal comment. Katherine responded to that comment and then received a cease and desist order from JL Kirk’s lawyers. At last reading she was trying to decide whether or not to let them bully her into taking down her post. You can see lots of local reaction at Nashville Is Talking.

In the interests of blogger solidarity I’ve decided to post about a similar experience I had. I don’t like to tell people about it because I hate to screw up and I hate when someone takes advantage of me, and both of those things happened big time. I don’t remember the company name, and it probably wasn’t JL Kirk, but my experience was similar to the Koble’s (except the lawyer part).

I got my first engineering degree in 1995. The entry level job market wasn’t so good at the time so I was jobless when I picked up my parchment. Fortunately my parents are fairly generous and let me live with them during the job hunt. After all that blood and sweat spent designing dams, parks, and sewage treatment plants it was a huge ego blow to be unemployed and living in my parents basement. I went on dozens of job interviews but for six months I earned spending money stacking wood at the local furniture factory and substitute teaching for $25 per day.

So you can probably figure out what my frame of mind was like when I got a call from a ‘placement agency’ that wanted ‘to help me find a job’. Older and wiser heads told me it was shady to pay an agency before they got me a job, but I was desperate. And I had a refund from the IRS burning a hole in my pocket. Now that Katherine has pointed it out, it was really an amazing coincidence that the fee was almost exactly what my refund was.

What can I say, I was young and desperate. After the check cleared I received a list of names and addresses for companies who were ‘definitely hiring in my field’. And I never heard from a single person on the list. I hope they enjoyed spending my money.


Thanks for Nothing Bub

In the category of weird things that happen on the interstate...

Last week I had some issuses and ended up stranded during rush hour on the side of I-65 at the I-24 juncture. I didn't want to sit in the car, so I stood around for at least 1.5 hours waiting for the mechanic.

So I'm dodging traffic, obviously not by choice, and this trucker pulls up. He doesn't offer help, he just wants to know why his directions say take I-24 south, and the sign only says I-24 east or west.

Thanks for nothing Bub.


Are You Nervous Yet?

I was forced to watch an episode of Sex and the City once. It was traumatic, but the payoff was mildly interesting. Sara Jessica Parker realized that there are just always going to be certain questions you get during different phases of your love life.

When you are single: So are you dating anyone?
When you are dating someone: So is it serious?
When you are dating someone seriously: So when’s the wedding?
When you are married: When are you guys going to have kids?

And one I was unaware of until just recently…….

When you are engaged: Are you nervous yet?

It’s a rite of passage I’ve participated in many times. Give the nearly married guy lots of grief about the new ball and chain, etc…. (I even attended a bachelor party where the guest of honor was forced to wear a ball and chain made from a bowling ball, some chain, and a padlock.) My brother told me that as he was standing at the altar watching his bride come down the aisle the best man leaned over and said “It’s not too late to run for it.” (This is even better when you find out that his best man was our father.)

But I’ve never experienced it from the other side before. The last few weeks before the wedding all my guy friends and family, and even several guys in the office that I barely know, delighted in giving me a hard time about the upcoming nuptials. I got advice ranging from “Run for it now!” to “Enjoy your last days of freedom.” One woman said to me “At least you’ll have someone to cook for you and do your laundry.”

By far the thing I heard the most though was, “Are you nervous yet?”. Everyone from Mrs. W’s former fifth grade teacher to my own mother asked me that. Just the annoyance itself was probably enough to keep me from actually getting nervous until right before the wedding.

I’ve speculated a lot on why everyone seemed to take such glee in trying to make me nervous and uncomfortable. The main reason I think is just your usual hazing, but you’d think that people that have been through it would be more understanding about the stress of it all. I think those folks were mostly motivated by the idea of feeling more knowledgeable and experienced than I was. I’ve noticed that tendency in myself. On our honeymoon I had a lot of fun watching other people get married and disparaging them as newlyweds when I had only been married for 3 days.

People are funny. Mrs. W says she didn’t really have that problem. I blame her femininity. I give it another month before I hear our first "So when are you going to have kids?".

Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Posting

Well, that long silence you just read……… that’s the sound of me getting married, going on a Jamaican honeymoon, moving house, putting a house up for sale, and fighting a small war with Comcast (turns out if you have two modems you have to pay twice).

So now I’m chock full of things to blog about. I intend to be posting more as time permits.