Mario Lemieux back out of retirement, Paul Kariya and Teemu both on Colorado, and Detroit needing to prove themselves makes this a season of ice hockey to watch. Whether you are still a Mighty Ducks fan, a die-hard Detroit fan, or even a Blackhawks fan (as if) then read on (or do it anyway)...
For all the U.S. Ice Hockey fans out there I have created a Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey League for E2 Noders.

Hey Noders! You have been invited to join bane221's Custom League in Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Hockey. In order to join, just go to, click the Sign Up Now! button and choose to Join a Custom League. Then, when prompted, enter the following information...

League ID#: 714
Password: everything

The draft is set for Sunday, September 28 at 9:55 pm EDT. You have until then to sign-up (like a month so don't start-up panic mode yet, but don't forget either). I specifically set this league up for all you E2 Noders so come on and get in on this!

Hopefully the impact of this node won't make a dent on the E2 servers. Although, it would be understandable if sheer momentum carried this node well passed the day logs and into another, completely unrelated node. Today was the end result of years of dawdling.

For three long years my beliefs have been wedged apart by this continuing question. One that has slowly taken over my life due to the inner turmoil which it presents. The question is fascinating because so many quantifiable variables can be considered while evaluating it. The cost, the monetary value of time lost, the time spend, the negative and positive effect its availability will have on my life. All of these variables were carefully considered before I finally caved in and answered yes to the question that surely haunts millions of others every day:

“Should I get broadband Internet?”

I know, I know, it’s a difficult question to ask. Friends and colleagues have unsuccessfully tried to salvage my sanity by telling me to leave the issue along, but I couldn’t. For three years my parents have asked me if it was a worthy investment, and for those three years I’ve said with ease that it isn’t. There is no justification to pay $43.95 per month simply to send email faster. The premise is nearly a contradiction, since an email message is such a negligible size. In reality I wasn’t sufficiently considering the unwieldy nature of using Hotmail, as well as the fact that I was only at home three months in the year, spending the rest at my University’s T3. My thought process was selfish but reasonable. They didn’t use the Internet and merely asked because everyone else seemed to be jumping on the bandwagon.

This morning I woke up and was no longer able to reasonable dispel the notion that $43.95 was simply too much for something as menial as an Information Superhighway. Today that was no longer true. I’m not sure if that had to do with the fact that the past few days have been an exercise in patience because I've had to download driver files (Possibly my next issue to ponder. How merely wanting a 40 kb driver has turned into an ordeal of searching through a graphic intensive website, only to realize the driver is located within a 10 mb setup, installation, and documentation file), or if it had to do with the sudden realization that I wasn’t going to college this September.

There is no high-speed access in my definite future, leaving me to wonder what I was waiting for. The time will eventually come, why not now? It happened and it’s an absolute godsend, although I do feel a bit cheated. While my connection is not exponentially greater than my U.S. Robotics fax/modem could ever handle, I sit here mulling over what my next step should be. All this bandwidth but with nothing to download. There’s a distinct possibility that I’ll resort to simply viewing the large movie trailers online, instead of those incorrectly labeled “small” when they actually meant, “you’ll hear it but won’t see crap.” I’m torn. On one hand I’m convinced of its utility, but have been inable to realize its potential day. This new connection speed won’t decrease the amount of time spent on net at all; it will merely increase the amount of crap that is seen.

Well, I must move on. I’ve completed this node in the same amount of time that it would have taken prior to spending $43.95. I’m off to download large, arbitrary files simply because it’s possible. Hopefully some gold or significance will be found in the rubble. Farewell my fellow cable modemers. I’ll see you tomorrow - same time, same place, faster browsing speed.

Dear Dana:

Sorry to hear about your scallop trouble. Any allergy that results in such violent illness that a shiitake mushroom pops out of your nose needs to be respected. Scallops are funny, though. Did you know that the scallop has fifty eyes, and that they're blue? They are very simple eyes, naturally, just tiny bluish light-sensing neural dots arranged around the edge. They can "see" predators approaching and shadowing them, and they clap their shells together and fly away. I used to see them do this in their tanks at the Seattle Aquarium when I volunteered there. It's been on some nature shows, too. The part of the scallop that humans eat is the strong, lean muscle that does the shell-clapping. That's why you don't see any weird, greenish-black guts in there, like you do with other bivalves.

There's no point in mussels having eyes. That would just be cruel. Mussels are screwed, when it comes to predators. Mussels attach themselves to rocks and piers by producing byssal threads, those dark or amber-colored, really tough, ... thready things that are always stuck on their shells. Byssal threads are such a good adhesive that adhesive companies have tried to reproduce that material. Maybe they've already succeeded. Try to stand up now, as an experiment. If you can't, you're a mussel. But you can always cheer yourself up by buying some stuff. In fact, that's what the adhesive companies had in mind. Mussels look sort of like female genitalia. To me, anyway.

Clams escape from predators by digging. When you find a clamshell with a neat round hole drilled in it, you'll know that one didn't dig fast enough. Predators that can't steam clams open, or bash them on rocks or pry them apart with their beaks, usually have raspy tongues they use to drill right through the shell, and then they suck them out. You could really wear out your tongue if you try this. It's a bad idea. And don't try to suck them out, if you do. There could be sand in there. If you buy live clams in order to murder and eat them, put them in a bucket of water with some cornmeal for "a while," don't ask me how long, and they will oblige you by eating the cornmeal and expelling the sand. You'll still be eating clam shit, but it won't be sandy. The foot of the large Pacific Northwest clam known as the geoduck looks sort of like male genitalia. To me, anyway.

Oysters are the ones everyone thinks of as an aphrodisiac. It must be the zinc. They don't look like anyone's genitalia. Except to another oyster. I can't tell you much about them, except that large-scale oystering is done with dredges and is pretty destructive; it's strip-mining for food. Also, something about pearls. If your life is crappy (say, you're vomiting so hard that a mushroom comes out of your nose) and some idiot tries to tell you that the wise old oyster takes life's little irritations and turns them into lovely pearls, remember: there's nothing in it for the oyster.

rustling noises

crash with loud thud sound at end

/me screams choice profanities.

That summed up some occurences from about 5:30am till 5:47am this morning when I fell out of bed! Yes, repeat fell out of bed. How you ask, I ask too that in 22 plus years of my life my mother prided that her daughther never fell out of bed, I was cold and had fallen asleep reading a book on my bed and went digging for my blanket to loosen under my pillow while digging madly and half asleep I proceeded to tumble off my bed onto my head and shoulder onto my bookcase. (note I ended up falling asleep onto of the blanket, the idea was to curl up under it)

Crackle, pop - scream an loud OUCH! Hearing my neck and shoulder crackle I was worried while still upside down that I may had rebroke my shoulder which I broke a few years ago in a sporting accident or even my collar bone. After pondering what to do I untrapped myself from the half somersault position and kneel at my bed assessing the damage. Pain, and more pain I didn't know should I go wake someone up or deal with it till morning. Looking at a clock it was almost time for people to wake up anyway so I opted to somehow lay in bed till I hear people rustling about.

beep, beep, beep - alarm - slam Sitting up I noticed stiffness and continual pain - I drag myself out of bed and head out to the kitchen to find my father still at home, luckily, and asked him to assess the damage from his view, "well it looks a little swollen I guess, but I don't understand how you could tumble off you're bed, now that's funny."

Myself not finding it funny have taken several hundred mgs. of ibuprofen, that's all we have, but several hours later still lots of pain and can not move my neck side to side well. Carrying a million pounds of textbooks is going to be interesting while hiking about with a full day of classes on campus. Let's hope this heals soon.

On a lighter note, happy 22nd birthday to Briglass!!

I was on a vacation of sorts last week and had the opportunity to spend a week or so of uninterrupted time with my kid. Strange how time seems to move by so quickly. We didn’t really do anything that could be deemed “special”.

There was the movie that we went to see in which she got to see her dad bawl like a baby at some of the more moving parts of the film. I remember sitting there trying my hardest to stifle a sniffle or two and her tossing me a sideways glance. I guess it kinda took her by surprise to discover that her dad is a sentimental old fart when it comes to things that tug at my heartstrings. I cry easy and I cry often and I hope she thinks I’m a better person for it.

I took her out to the driving range one morning and tried to teach her what little I know about the finer points of golf. For any of you who are aficionado’s of the sport, you can probably feel some of my pain. Once again the sport of golf has taught me something about myself. I’m not cut out to be an instructor, no way, no how. Mind you I wasn’t expecting an Annika Sorenstam or Nancy Lopez type of performance out of my little one but I thought if she made solid contact with the ball she might show some further interest in the sport. I know that was all it took for me. The first time I hit a golf ball and didn’t feel it come of the face of my club was almost an indescribable feeling. It’s a shame that feeling (for me anyway) doesn’t happen more often. Anyway, after going through a bucket of balls I asked her what she thought of the “game”. At first she said it looked easy but then when she tried to hit the ball it was much harder. I thought to myself, “Amen to that little one” and she expressed her preference for team sports. Oh well, even though we didn’t give it much of shot, we at least gave it a try.

And so it was that as the week was coming to an end, she went off to the local swimming pool with some of the other neighborhood kids. I decided to take advantage of the quiet and write down some thoughts. Here’s what I came up with….

Man, there’s nothing like an ice cold beer on a hot summer night.

Mind you now, I’m not talking about the one or ones you might have in some air conditioned, smoke filled local watering hole. You probably know the kind of place I’m talking about. It’s where the conversation often runs deep and the subject matter usually runs the gamut from sports, to ex’s to religion to politics to unions and finally, to some asshole sittin’ at the end of the bar.

No, I’m talking about the one or ones you might have when the quiet comes. When, after a hard day of trying to do all the right things like getting new outfits and back to school supplies comes to an end.. When the time of making breakfast, lunch and dinner for yourself and your kid is over and you’re exhausted and her energy knows no bounds in quest of the latest source of amusement.

And so it was this evening. After doing all of the aforementioned things that go hand in hand with parenting I decided to let my little one go off to the pool with some of the neighborhood kids. I guess I coulda said “No” and that I’d have preferred that she spent what little remaining time we had together. She probably wouldn’t have complained either but I figured her idea of fun was, well, fun.

So I decided to sit down on my porch, light a smoke, crack open a beer or two and take note of my surroundings.

It’s funny. I never quite noticed how quiet the neighborhood got on evenings such as this. The day itself started off hot but as night came on a cool breeze began to filter its way onto and through my porch. There hardly seemed to be sound to disturb me and my mind wandered to the places where it tends to go. Occasionally a flock of starlings would dot the sky and I even saw a small flock of geese flying in formation headed to who knows where .There was the chirping of crickets, the clicking of cicadas and the glow of fireflies all around me. The sound of a television from somewhere off in the distance seemed out of place.

There were a couple of neighborhood folks either out walking their dogs or making their nightly pilgrimage to the Cup o’ Joes at the end of the block. Little if anything was said between us as they passed me by. An occasional nod of the head to those of them that I know acted as a sort of silent acknowledgement of our existence.

A brush of the mosquito on my arm, a dog barks a block or two away and a cat makes it nightly rounds…

All of sudden, a van pulls up and dispenses the neighborhood kids. I listen as they make their plans for tomorrow or riding bikes and playing ball and countless other things. My kid remains strangely silent. I can tell by the look on her face that she had a good time at the pool but something is amiss. She comes up the steps and I ask her how things went even though I probably already know. Her face lights up and she tells me about diving off the board and doing flips and playing games and other assorted adventures.

She asks me if there is “anything wrong” and I tell her “no”. There must have been the look of something on my face that she has detected because she promises to spend the “whole day” with me tomorrow. I say “thank you” and smile to myself, faintly recalling the same promises that I made when I was her age. We go inside, we have a snack, we go through our usual bedtime routine.

I come downstairs, the house is quiet. I go to the fridge, open the door and the light beckons…

Man, there’s nothing like an ice cold beer on a hot summer night.

I discovered something this morning, this being that all the smart people use the drive-thru at the bank. This is because only idiots go inside to wait in line for a clerk.

This goes directly against the now widely-accepted evilkalla's law of fast-food drive-thrus, which basically states that only idiots use the fast-food drive-thru. As this law proves that only the lazy and stupid will wait 20 minutes in line for a chicken sandwich, for a long time I held the belief that it would be true that the lazy and stupid would also wait 20 minutes in line to deposit a check.

But see, this is not so.

The lazy and the stupid go inside the bank and indignantly stand in front of the clerk with their empty, hollow stares trying to think of what to say for no less than ten minutes. Maybe it's because the lazy and stupid comprehend the chicken sandwich more easily than the bi-weekly payroll check. Perhaps their regular bank refused to deposit a check and they think a bank that is not theirs might do it instead.

I think that there might be a sub-corollary to this, that being that the quantity of available clerks is inversely proportional to the number of lazy and stupid customers in line.

I dunno, maybe it's because the #1 at Chick-Fil-A is $5.05 with tax, and the contents of the clerk's drawer is $5005.

God damn it.

I believe that more research into this is required. Please enlighten me if you have any first-hand empirical information.

If I were back in school I'd do much better

I'm 28. I just had my 10 year high school reunion. High School seems a long way off. So does college. When I was 16, or even 20, I didn't care. I didn't think about the future, about what my life would be like in 10 years. Maybe I did think, but I didn't think with the clarity of someone that is actually there.

If I could go back I would do better, much better. I'd work my ass off in school, make the grades needed to give me more choices. My grades weren't bad, but they weren't great, and getting an invite to MIT or Harvard or some fancy school abroad would be most flattering.

I'd do better socially as well. I wouldn't hide in the library in grade 8, knowing that I was safe within the walls of books from the bullys outside who would love to throw lunchmeat on my glasses and then have a good laugh at it. I'd still read as much as I did, but I'd know why bullies are the way they are, how one gets respect in school and not be afraid of doing what was needed to get it. I'd wear what I wanted without being afraid of showing up in something other than the same jeans and t-shirts I did every day. I'd manipulate the system against itself.

I now know what women want, and how to manipulate them. If I could just back into highschool now I'd have more girlfriends. I'd have a girlfriend. I'd go to the school dances. I'd have more interesting experiences. I'd still go out with the friends I did before, and I'd still get stuck out in the backwoods after playing mailbox baseball when the car broke down and we all had to walk back to Drew's place in the middle of the night.

When that girl kissed me at Dans party I'd be sober enough to kiss her back well enough to pop her shoes off, regardless of if she really knew what she was doing at the time. I wouldn't hear about how I drooled all over her" in the morning.

I'd see what my choices were before accepting the first program in college that accepted me. I'd see if maybe I could have made it as a creative writer, or a photographer, instead of being a Computer Guy. I'd still learn all I could about computer and technology, but I'd not restrict myself to that.

I'd make less mistakes with online relationships, but I'd still have them, and I'd still fall in love. I'd fall in love more. I'd love more.

I'd still cry for lost love.

I wouldn't get myself stuck in a job with no future. I'd take the knowledge I have now of business and the business world and start early to make something amazing. I'd build something that would allow me to sit back in a big office, with a nice car that's not still three years from being paid off, and not require me to do real work.

I'd change the world.

If I could jump back ten or fifteen years I'd travel the world. Not just to England but all over. I'd probably still do it with the girl I did the first time, if my earlier antics still led us to meet up. I'd also go alone. I'd be a euro teen.

I'd backpack in Italy.
I'd walk through Stonehenge.
I'd learn to speak Russian and spend time in Moscow in the winter.
I'd eat sushi in Japan.
I'd learn to scuba dive much earlier and dive the Great Barrier Reef.

If I couldn't afford these things I'd work as I went along. I'd grow strong and lean. I'd roam from town to town and country to country without a care other than which direction to go in the morning.

I'd do all these things before I got old and had a (almost) wife and three cats tying me to one place. I'd be single for longer, or I'd love and leave.

I'd climb harder. I'd work on it and never stop. I'd live in Squamish instead of just going there every weekend, and then every other weekend, and then eventually a few times a year, if that. I wouldn't let the computer take over my life and I'd live again. I'd feel alive again.

I would know that the anchor was bad and stop Lawrence from falling, and he'd be completely uninjured instead of injured, and we'd complete the day in joy instead of getting him to the hospital to get his busted up ankle and compression fractures in his back fixed up.

When I think about how I'm doing today, with a girlfriend that loves me, pets instead of children, a decent job as a programmer and a nice car that is almost paid for I can't complain that much, but this 20/20 hindsight keeps bringing me back to everything that could have been, if only I'd known a bit ahead of time.

Is it too late to start?

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