January 14, 2012

Lost Pride

It's not easy being a fan of the Montreal Canadiens this year.

Like most Habs fans, I have always been proud of my Club. I even have a little Habs flag that flaps in the wind from the rear window of my car.

This year however, is different.

This past week I got a taste of just how hard it can be to have this passion of mine.

When Mike (Camshaft) Cammalleri got traded the other night, I will tell you that my shock meter barely twitched. Might have jumped a little higher at the fact that it happened mid-game though. I have always been fiercely proud of the Canadiens, and their rich heritage, their history, their passion for integrity and honour in a game that is often sullied by contracts, crybabies and criticisms.

This one however, sort of stinks.

Not that he got traded mind you, he mouthed off to the press instead of his locker room, where such remarks ought to stay, and he got what he deserved and wanted, but that he was pulled out of a game and sent off.

Pierre Gauthier, and more than likely owner Geoff Molson, were trying to send a message to the team. Call us losers and get on the bus.

But the only message I got from this atrocity was that PG and Molson didn't care whether or not they won a game against the Bruins. By pulling out a player before the 3rd period, they basically told all Habs fans that they are in charge, they won't brook any insubordination, and they don't care about seasonal consequences.

My thoughts are pretty much neutral on the trade itself. Not bad, but had Gauthier done a little bit of his job, he would have gotten more.

But the next day, I went to work. I work for the post office, and I am lucky enough that my Canadiens hats pretty much fit in with my uniform, so I wear one every day to work. As a result, I get to talk a lot of hockey at work. In particular, I razz on a coworker about his love for the Bruins.

This day however, he found me first, and the first words out of his mouth were, "What kind of team do you have there, Rene? Who does that?" As I prepared my defense, I realized he was right. NOBODY does what Gauthier did. He accompanied the team to Boston. Why? He pulled Camshaft out? Why? He said the trade had been months in the making (a thin and paltry lie).

The answer is, Gauthier doesn't care about the quality of the Canadiens reputation. He couldn't do the kinds of things he continues to do if he understood what the Canadiens mean, not only to Quebecers, but to all of the Habs Nation.

My response to my coworker was a shake of my head, along with a meagre, "I have no idea."

I was given a book by my sister Tyg for Christmas, called "The Montreal Canadiens: 100 years of History". If you get the chance, this is a wonderful read.

It puts you in the mind of the players, the coaches, the fans, the GMs...
Without doubt, I would hold that Gauthier is probably the worst GM the Canadiens have ever had, given that he truly doesn't seem to know how to do his job, and that he truly doesn't seem to care to learn how to do it.

Perhaps the best example of why is so hard to be a Habs fan this year is not how bad they are, it's not how horrible the team is being managed, it's not the language debacle. The best example of how hard it is to be a Canadiens fan is from my mother.

Mom is a Canadiens fan. Bigtime. She loves Cammy (past tense I wonder?) Plekanec and all the boys. She has her own jersey, and watches games with us.

She drove my car the other day. After she returned, I got in my car to go home.
Once in my car, I noticed something.

The Habs flag had been removed from the window, and was lying on the floor beside me.

October 20, 2011

Tygs Tribulations

It has been a long time coming, but Hockey is finally here, as you all know.
And as you all know, that means more weekends at @Tygerlylly 's house with alcohol, high volume, and usually some chips and laughs.

However, this has indeed been a season start of ups and downs.

With Cole held to a single point, Cam out with a cut, (he came back for their last game verus the battered Penguins but the Habs lost anyway), Subban playing like my 2 yr old son and Price watching pucks pass him by for a few games, nobody could use a few laughs more than a Habs fan.

So with that in mind, I intend to relate to you a few things that happened last week. I will make no apologies to my sister Tyg .

She bought a new computer. A nice large laptop HP. But like all laptops, its has one of those little touchpad mouse thingys. Which personally I hate. Apparently so does my sister since she decided to connect up a mouse, for ease of use.

Well, here is the mouse she hooked up to her computer.

Now as you can see, its a cordless mouse, which of course, needs a receiver, which looks like this:

Well after plugging in the receiver, Tyg then proceed to use it as the mouse. That's right. She put it under her hand and attempted to navigate.

This was despite the fact that the mouse was right beside her. This was beside the fact that the receiver has NO buttion, trackball or IR.

Well, in frustration, my sister proclaimed that the mouse thing was broken and threw the whole shebang in the trash.

Fast forward to my arrival later to beef up her computer programs, and I immediately wanted a mouse.

Mom explained what had happened, not knowing quite what Tyg had done, and fished out the mouse and receiver for me. After inserting batteries in the mouse, which they had neglected to do, I plugged in the receiver.

At this point, Tyg became upset with me. Specifically since she didn't want two things plugged into her new computer at all times.

I refer you again to the above image, and the fact we were installing a cordless mouse.

Turns out, the damned things actually DIDN'T work, so she got off the hook there.

The rest of the evening went well, especially since the Habs were playing.

Needless to say, we all indulged in a little libation, and when we began to get low on supplies, my sister demanded someone go on a booze run, to get her some Clarnadian Club. No, that is not a typo.

Turns out, she meant Canadian Club. Mom decided she was off her tree, and refused, but then began to think....always a bad sign.

"What is Canadian Club anyway?" she wondered out loud.

"Booze?" I offered up.

"I know that you jerk! I meant is it rum or whiskey or what I cant remember..."

At which point my sister confirmed suspicions that she was adopted by responding in slurred speech, "CLUB SODA!"

The game wasn't much better than that.

Love ya Sis, haha

July 9, 2011

Travelling with a Tyger

Over the last year, most of you who know me by my Twitter name @Hfxhabby, also know my sister TygerLylly. You probably also know that she has often taken time to include me in her blog.

Well its time for a little revenge on the Tyger.

Most recently, my sister and I went with our Mother to Montreal to watch the Habs lose a playoff game against Boston. While the game was a total bust, I hadnt been to a live game in 30 yrs, and enjoyed every second of the Bell Centre. (to the point of losing my voice for 3 days after I returned home)

But we also took the car for the trip, which is a good solid 16 hour drive. So teamwork is essential on a long drive like that. As we drove through New Brunswick, The women fell asleep whilst I carried on like the trooper I am, and with the GPS unit turned off (I do know my way to Quebec) I made good time.
Once the ladies woke up, the first question was our location.
"Just past Moncton, about 2 hours from Fredericton" came the reply.

"WHAT?" my sister and mother cried.."Jesus Rene, thats a 7 hour detour, why didnt you head towards Saint John? thats only an hour or so?"

They basically went apoplectic, screaming at my navigational skills. They also took every opportunity to deride my decision to turn off the GPS.

"I know which way I'm going, I swear, i have NEVER gone through Saint John to get to Quebec...I always go towards Quebec City...ALWAYS" I retorted. In truth, I was pretty pissed. After all, they had both napped a mere 4 hours into our trip, AND seemed to think I was adding a quarter day to the trip.

After a pulloff to obtain the advice of the GPS, which proved to be as helpful as a match in an oilwell, we (meaning they) decided we would press on in my chosen direction.

I suffered every abuse known to man until we passed a road Mom recognized. At which point, both of my sideseat drivers sheepishly admitted that the Saint John detour they remembered so vividly was from their trip to the United States. Needless to say, I then turned the tables, criticizing two of the worst navigators since Bill and Ted.

I wont even go into the return trip, in which the Mom-unit and I had to team drive as a twosome, thanks to Tygs remarkable stamina for long road trips. (see photo)

This is but one incident in years and years of knowing my sister. I could mention the time she was a younger lady who popped out of a closet to scare the bejeezus out of her 80 odd year old grandmother.

Or the time she had a bug in her car on the highway, and pulled over screaming...(a personal favorite story of mine)

Or even the time, way back when we were kids that she came out of her bedroom on her hands and knees practically crying, due to a cramp in each of her big toes.

But would I do that to my big sister? Would I embarass her online?

Fuck yes

June 21, 2011

What Will We Get?

September 22nd 2011.
NHL Preseason Montreal vs Boston, in my hometown of Halifax Nova Scotia. I, along with about 9999 other fans have tickets to what I expect to be one of the biggest stories of the NHL season.

Anyone who follows hockey knows what happened on March 8th in Montreal. Zdeno Chara pulled off the what became as the Revenge Hit heard by everyone except the NHL. (In case you want to review, here is the link of the hit.

Most, if not all of the Montreal fanbase , myself included, know that this was intentional. And most Boston fans feel differently. And we all know Chara got away with it.
But whatever your feelings on the hit, we cant deny that this was a brutal hit.

But When you follow it up with this and Nathan Horton spraying a fan with a water bottle, one would expect that the NHL would do something to rein in the brutal and vicious tactics of the most disrespectful team in the league.

Nope. What they got instead is a fine of a couple thousand bucks in Hortons case and less than that for Ference. Pretty much 15 minutes work isn't it?

Well, in my opinion, this season ought to be better. Colin managed to get what he wanted in the end. His sons name engraved on the Stanley Cup. I know some Boston fans are going to tear me up for this, but its simply a fact. Now, Boston WAS the better team against Vancouver. No doubt. But really, neither team should have been there.
Vancouver walked through their division all year, getting a third of their season wins against bottom feeders. No wonder they had the Presidents trophy. Calgary, Edmonton and the like? Nobody else in their division even MADE the playoffs.
As for Boston, well they broke a neck, broke a back, concussed I don't know how many players, threw water at fans, and flipped off the Bell Center. But very small calls, no calls or suspensions all followed. I said all along the fix was in for them to win the Cup. And when, in game 7 versus Montreal, every Montreal player was waved out of every face off, when not one Bruin was, I knew where the game was going. And in game 7 against Tampa, with not ONE penalty called, that gave advantage to Boston again. (Best 5 on 5 all year) And it killed Tampa. And I'm sorry but the Rome-Horton hit was much cleaner than the Chara-Pacioretty hit and Rome is out for the series?
How could this coming season get worse?

But I think the biggest story of the 12 season will be the first meeting between Chara and Pacioretty. Much like it was after the little tap Chara took to heart, we are all left wondering what the next chapter is going to turn into. Will it turn into a good show, a good story? One where you take a pair of good players, and put them on the ice and watch them play the best hockey they can?
That is my hope.
But maybe it will be the third chapter in one of the ugliest stories written in recent hockey memory.

Personally, I think Pacioretty will do what he always does. He will come to play hockey and I will love watching it.

But I wish I knew what Chara will do .

April 15, 2011

50 Things about me PART 2

Ok here is the second installment...wont give you a big preamble, I'll just get to it.

50 - I cant put my hands in dirty dishwater. It makes me gag

49 - I like pistachios. Pretty much the only nut I like.

48 - My favorite muppet is Uncle Deadly. Look him up. Or the dude with the Muppaphones

47 - I have a really really bad memory for knowing whats recycling and composting and garbage.

46 - True to my wedding vows, I have never changed the toilet paper roll in the 4+ yrs of my marriage

45 - Favorite motorcycle is a Harley Davidson Iron 883. Look this up also.

44 - I want roller skates.

43 - I am a six fingered typist.

42 - I wear contacts for the main reason that I get to wear sunglasses when i go outside. I like sunglasses.

41 - I have a penchant for reading abut arctic exploration, like the Franklin Expedition. Look this up.

40 - I am on my second marriage.

39 - I am a fan of single malt scotch. Especially Glen Breton.

38 - I want to go to Ireland. thats the only place I want to go.

37 - I am scared of marionettes. Creepy fucks.

36 - When I was a kid, I wanted Tootie SOOOOOO bad. Or Jo.

35 - I have never been able to ice skate.

34 - Im a pretty handy guy to have around. When I'm in the mood to work I suppose.

33 - I was once trained by my company ( a survey company) on how to read people by their actions and words. Most of the time, it's pretty accurate.

32 - I used to be bilingual. Still am, just really rusty.

31 - Favorite all time movie is a tie of Band of Brothers and Airplane.

30 - I like to dance.

29 - I play Fish Wrangler on the Facebook. Tis the only game I play.

28 - My favorite dog is a bulldog. Real one, not those pussy little french ones.

27 - I love steaks, wild game, meat in general. I am a carnivore. After all if we are supposed to be vegetarians, why are animals so delicious. That said, my wife is a vegetarian. Sorry luv.

26 - I dislike most people.

25 - I have not been to a live hockey game (on any level) for 31 yrs.

There you go. If you got through this, then you can call yourself my friend. Now go buy me some scotch.

April 11, 2011

50 Things about me PART 1

Keeping with the theme of the month, it seems that Twitter people, or Twits as I like to call them, are putting up random facts about themselves. My sister did this on her blog (http://www.tygerbythetail.com/) so I figured why the hell not.

So here goes

25 - I am a tall skinny dude, 6ft2 and 180 lbs.

24 - I am living my bucket list. It had one thing on it. A Family.

23 - I love playing pool, specifically 8 ball, and am pretty damned good at it.

22 - I also love playing golf, and am no damned good at it.

21 - I smoke. Yes I know, I have shame. but its a work in progress.

20 - Pink Floyd is my all time favourite musical group. Recently discovered Pearl Jam, so they are coming up second.

19 - When I was a kid, I wanted to be a surgeon. My guidance counselor tested me and told me I didn't have good hand eye coordination, and to abandon my dream. So I did.

18 - I can drive 18 wheelers. And forklifts.

17 - I hate crunchy food. Except chips. Chips are not food, they are therapy.

16 - I can swim, but choose not to. Ever

15 - I like video games.

14 - I have 2 tattoos, and want one more.

13 - I have indeed kissed a girl, and like it very much

12 - I like working with my hands. Have been a printer, a carpenter, a truck driver and a landscaper.

11 - I have met most of the Sutherland family (Donald, Keifer, Rogue) when i worked as a landscaper in Quebec. Also Julia Roberts but she was a bitch so I usually leave her out of the story.

10 - I have a crush on Christina Hendricks, Julianne Moore and Jodie Foster

9 - I have a lot of hats.

8 - Pursuant to number 9, I am going bald. I dont care, I'll save on shampoo, but thought you should know

7 - I am a Montreal Canadiens fan.

6 - I read a LOT. Historical, Biographies and non-fiction these days.

5 - I like writing blogs in bullet forms it seems.

4 - Im a pretty good Rockband drummer, but a shitty keyboardist. (keyboarder?)

3 - what couldnt i live without? Company.

2 - My hero is Maurice Richard.

1 - I like women with short hair. Dunno why, but thats what does it for me.

So there is installment number 1 of 2. I will update the other half when time allows, probably after my trip to the Bell Center for the playoffs.....

Until then, have fun, but not too much.

April 3, 2011

Voting 101

I don't really want this to turn into a blog about just hockey, although that could be easy to do. But I want to try to push my opinions and points of view down your throat and try to make you see things my way. Not just in hockey, but in any aspect of life that currently holds an interest or some importance to me.
Having said that, if you are a Canadian citizen, you should not, and CAN not vote for Stephen Harper.
Now don't get me wrong here, I hate the guy. But there are actually legitimate reasons to get this nutball out of power. There are several things about him that have been a kick in the teeth to all citizens.
Here come the bullets.
1 - He has been found guilty of contempt of Parliament. This is the only ruling government in Canadian history to have done this. He was found guilty of lying about expenditures and the costs in his party. This from the same man who, during the last election, promised "Transparency in Government".
2 - Bev Oda (i THINK thats who you spell her name). This is a member of his house who was found guilty of falsifying federal legal documents. If I had done such a thing, i would be in a prison cell right now, not sitting in my office chair with the full support of my boss.
3 - The Coalition threat. Now I could go on for days about this, but what you must understand is that yes, its a potential. But so what? Do you think Harper would have gotten ANYthing done with a minority government without teaming up with at least one of the other parties? Thats what a coalition is, its a government of 2 parties working together to institute policy in House. And how soon Harper forgets that when he ran the Reform, he held press conferences asking for the same damned thing! which he now of course denies, despite having it out on newsreels all over Canada.

Listen, Harper is a poor PM. He doesnt like his government to be called the Government of Canada, he prefers The Harper Government. Whats wrong with this picture people? Its power, power power.

Now Elizabeth May is a very nice woman, but shes obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Without a seat in House, she goes up against Peter Mackay and gets clobbered. So THIS time, she takes on Gary Lunn, another PC house member who has held his riding for nearly 20 yrs. Why would anyone vote into House someone who apparently doesnt know what shes doing? Jesus woman, go to Sticksmash Saskatchewan or something and run against a cow! GET IN THE HOUSE! dont try to make statements about your party if youre not sitting at the dinner table.
In my opinion, she has no place at the Debates either. Get someone in the House and then maybe. otherwise, the Marijuana party, the Marxist party, the Blue flying nuns with shorts party will ALL want to debate. Actually that sort of sounds fun.

Duceppe. Not a national party. No place at the debates as such, but they have a voice in the House, so what can you do?

Layton. I think this is Jacks last pull at the pork. He will not win, and without a fair showing, the party is mired as a third of fourth place team. They are important, as they always have an impact, but they are not THAT important.

Ignatieff. Hes the only real choice. Now this is a very very smart guy. And he has enough smarts and enough backbone (seen recently in his comical attacks on Harper) to get in. As long as we dont split votes.

So there you have it folks, now you know who to vote for in the upcoming Federal Election. Make sure you do as you're told, like good Canadians :D