20 minutes before the trade deadline ended, the Edmonton Oilers & the New York Islander agreed on a trade that shocked the entire NHL & it’s fans. In exchange for two young prospective players, Kent Nilsson & Ryan O’Marra, and a first round pick in the 2007 draft, the Islanders got Ryan Smyth! Ryan Smyth, the guy who all of Edmonton and their fans thought was irreplaceable and who gave it all for his favourite team while growing up in nearby Banff.
While the Islanders’ management are boasting about acquiring ‘Captain Canada’ as Smyth is known, the Oiler’s website is trying to cover what is now the third big player move away from Edmonton. In less than a year, Chris Pronger, Mike Peca and Ryan Smyth have left the team, although both Pronger & Peca wanted to leave and Peca was at the end of a one year contract. It seems that the Oilers & Smyth could not come to an agreement on his contract which ends in July and so the trade was made. The Islanders have till July to get Ryan to sign on or he could still come back to Edmonton. Whatever happens Edmonton is in shock and even honouring Mark Messier on his jersey retirement night cannot bring the city out of the gloom.
Read more about it from MasterMaq’s Blog, here & here. Other people who have commented on it – here & here
Song for the day – “Complicated” – CAROLYN DAWN JOHNSON
*** Dainius Zubrus traded to the Buffalo Sabres for Jiri Novotny and a 1st Round pick.
*** Pascal Dupuis traded to the New York Rangers.
*** Yannic Perreault traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Brendan Bell and a 2nd Round pick.
*** Todd Bertuzzi traded to the Detroit Red Wings for Shawn Mattias and a conditional draft pick.
*** Brad May traded to the Ducks for Michael Wall.
*** Oleg Saprykin and a 7th Round Pick traded to the Ottawa Senators for a 2nd Round Pick.
*** Aaron Ward traded to the Boston Bruins for Paul Mara.
Michael Leighton picked up off waivers by the Montreal Canadiens.
*** Dominic Moore traded to the Minnesota Wild for a 3rd Round Pick.
*** Bill Guerin traded to the San Jose Sharks for a 1st Round Pick, Ville Nieminen and Jay Barriball.
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*** Georges Laraque traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Daniel Carcillo and a 3rd Round Pick.
*** Ty Conklin traded to the Buffalo Sabres for a 5th Round Pick.
*** Martin Biron to the Philadelphia Flyers for a 2nd Round Pick.
*** Gary Roberts traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Noah Welch.
My apartment building is getting cleaned & painted and that is a good thing. Our smallish 7 storey building, other than being dwarfed by the 10 storey apartment (by a bigger & more lavish construction) building opposite it, was also looking like the ugly sister. The teal & while gorgeous building opposite mine is the pride of it’s dwellers and the envy of people who live here and me in particular. It is just so much more spacious and cleaner looking and it is newer than this one. You always see small kids playing on the side of it in a small playground sort of thing that they have. We don’t have that, although I do appreciate the quietness of my building.
There are even newer apartments being constructed near us and it is making us really miserable just to look at it. The only consolation is that we aren’t the ugliest building on this residential road; that honour falls on an almost empty complex that looks ready to be demolished.
So the cleaning and the painting is a much welcome push in the right direction. Only thing is I hate the invasion in privacy. Wherever I look – out the balcony or the window – I can see ropes & ladders and men painting and shouting at each other! They r so loud and obnoxious. When I go to shit I can here them. When I shave or take a bath I can hear them. When I watch tv or read or have my breakfast & coffee, I can usually see a couple of them hanging onto ropes nearby. And sometimes these buggers start singing songs. We just had to endure many weeks of carpenters and painters in our apartment during the building of the cupboards & shelfs & the kitchen stuff. Hardly a few days went by when this thing started. I can’t wait for it to get over.
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Song for the day – “Roughest Neck Around” – CORB LUND
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Saskatoon native Brent Sopel returns back to the Vancouver Canucks as the Canucks try to stick to their top three placing heading into the playoffs. Finishing as the best team in their division & thus one of the top seeds ensures them with home ice advantage, which any NHL team will appreciate. For getting the defenceman, Vancouver traded rights to a second & fourth round draft pick to the Los Angeles Kings in the upcoming draft pick. The Canucks also traded a draft pick for Bryan Smolinksi, a center from the Chicago Blackhawks. Sopel, who had missed 14 games in December due to injury, had previously played for the Canucks from 1998 till 2004 when he was traded to the New York Islanders. The following year he was headed for Los Angeles. The puck moving defenceman has 4 goals & 14 assists in 44 games this season.
1. No one will kill you for not drinking beer.
2. Beer doesn’t tell you how to have sex.
3. Beer has never caused a major war.
4. They don’t force beer on minors who can’t think for themselves.
5. When you have beer, you don’t knock on people’s doors trying to give it away.
6. Nobody’s ever been burned at the stake, hanged, or tortured to death over his brand of beer.
7. You don’t have to wait 2,000 years for a second beer.
8. There are laws saying that beer labels can’t lie to you.
9. You can prove you have a beer.
10. If you have devoted your life to beer, there are groups to help you stop
And since I usually do an eleventh one, here is one I made up myself
11. You can believe in all kinds of Beer ….and Beer does EXIST
- Ten – Pearl Jam
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- Riot Act – Pearl Jam
After 6 extremely uncomfortable days of training a batch of 17 agents in the totally improper facility and heat, I needed this day to be one of relaxation & quite fun. But I woke up so late that I almost gave up and was about to sleep the day in. But better sense won over and I quickly brushed my teeth and took a bath. A change of clothes later, I was off to Cafe Coffee Day for a lovely blueberry muffin & a choco frappe. Refreshed and relaxed, I decided to check out some cds at the two places nearby but found their stocks depleted and dull. I think I must have mentioned the raid that took care of most of the “pirated” dvds & vcds that used to be displayed on their shelfs.
I saw a copy of Riot Act which I grabbed in an instant. I have a copy on tape but I hadn’t heard it in a while and I hate tape now. I needed a copy of this, their weakest album in my humble opinion, to complete my Pearl Jam cd collection and I have already ripped it into mp3s and listened to them.
I went to the used book sale and grabbed a Stephen King & a Sidney Sheldon novel each and after paying for them I felt hungry as it was 1:50 pm by then. So I went to have a couple of beers and some noodles and relaxed as I read the Sheldon novel. By 4 pm I was home and took a little nap.
Song for the day – “Given To Fly” – PEARL JAM
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After the previous shootout loss to the same team, which also saw a lot of fisticuffs, Ottawa dished out a similarly tight 6-5 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Thursday night saw the divisional rivals go at each other in a shoot-out win in Buffalo. This time, in the Canadian capital, the Sens came out winners when Jason Spezza scored his second goal of the night on a power play with 4:07 remaining in the third period. The match also saw Dany Heatley score his team leading 36th goal and goals by Christoph Schubert, Chris Kelly & Daniel Alfredsson. The Sens’ Mike Comrie had a shoving fight with Sabre’s forward Derek Roy (who ironically is a native of Ottawa), while Chris Neil duked it out with Adam Mair. Ray Emery came out the winner against the tandem goalkeeping of Buffalo’s Martin Biron & Ryan Miller, who came on in the 9th minute of the second Period. The standings in the East after the match were Buffalo 1st with 87 points and Ottawa 4th on 76 points.
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Leaving from work back to home at the late night hour that I do, I tend to let my thoughts drift to the imaginary world that I have created in my head. One of these days, I must put that world into words that can describe it for all my friends. It is difficult to put it in text all the ideas and fantastic happening that I have constructed in my brain for the past 5 years since I first dreamt up this world. It is a futuristic world, approximately 5000 years in the future.
I think I shall start my new venture of typing up a ‘blue-print’ of my imaginary world, so to speak. Only thing is there is no way that it can be even 1/6th as fantastic as it is in my mind. If only I could make it come alive and separate from my mind.
The night brings a new world to our eyes, illuminated by the different coloured lights that lit up my city. Even as I sat and had my dinner, the night beckons my thoughts to drift into this imaginary world. Soon!
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Song for the day – “No Cars Go” – ARCADE FIRE
One of my favourite hockey players & nomad Anson Carter is on the move again. The well travelled Carter is joining his 8th NHL club in his career, as he got traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Carolina Hurricanes. Carter, a native of Toronto and a draft pick of the Quebec Nordiques, has previously played for Washington (twice), Boston, Edmonton, New York Rangers & Vancouver before joining Columbus this past off-season.
The defending Stanley Cup champs Carolina are in need for a scoring forward as they look to defend that title. Carter lives in Los Angeles during the off-season with his wife & daughter & a pet dog. So now he makes his 8th move. I hope he does well with the Hurricanes.
Away from the ice, Carter founded the Big Up Entertainment label in March 2005. The label’s first release was from Richmond, Virginia natives Main & Merc. Big Up Entertainment hopes to release apparel and movies in addition to music.[
Glasses, spectacles….I have been wearing them since I was 10 & a half years old. This month (can’t remember the date) will mark the 20th anniversary of me being a four-eyes boy. I can remember thinking that it was a huge deal for me to get glasses. Why? Cause my dad had glasses, my mom had glasses & my sis had glasses. We were the friggin’ glasses family. When the eye doc said to my dad that “your son will need to start wearing glasses”, I went “Whoo hoo”!
So I started wearing them and the first day it felt like I was wearing a ton of bricks on top of my nose. I hated them! I thought they looked cool but it felt weird having something on top of my nose although it made me see better. I wished at that point that it would only be temporarily…and here we are two decades later.
But I was excited about it; I thought it was so grown up. Yeah, I was 10 what do you expect me to be? So excited that when my parents & my sister were out the next evening and I was bored at home, I decided to call my grandma and tell her the news! What’s so nutty about that you say? I lived in Kuwait at the time and my grandma was back home in Cochin! Yeah, so fucking sue me already.
Anyway, I hear about these Lasik surgery; laser surgery that can rectify, among other eye problems, myopia. And I read about Zlanth from Ottawa (Canada) getting it done to get rid of his glasses. He seems very happy about it and is quite pleased to be spectacles-less. I have been thinking about doing the same myself, probably towards the end of the year but then I think : What will I push towards my forehead when I want to emphasize something I am speaking!
Song for the day – “Save Your Scissors” – CITY & COLOUR
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“Ironic isn’t it?”, said Roshan to himself! He ran away from the heat & humidity from one place and landed up in another with a similar setting. Hot nights, sweat poring down his skin and causing him discomfort and misery. Sapping away at his energy and his will to work & causing his body to balk at the situation!
Lol, my attempt to think of myself like a character inside a novel. The fact is that the training conditions are so terrible at my new job. Picture this, 18 trainees squashed inside a room with very little ventilation, two fans that vainly try their very best to dispatch cool air to the occupants. Computers blocking their view to the front of the room, wires & cables all haphazardously (is that a word?) taped to the floor and the sides and the desks. If you are not careful you might trip on said wires or pull them out of their sockets and the monitors could conk off. To walk from one end of the small room to the other is like going through a maze!
My only consolation is that this is a temporary office that was signed on at the last moment, as none of the other available centers had enough rooms or had the infrastructure or allowed our company to arrange for such infrastructure. Feeling of irony is all over the stratosphere. And the heat saps away at our energy – most breaks we trainers head straight for the nearest stores to drown ourselves in their coldest soft drinks.
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Song for the day – “Temptation” – THE TEA PARTY
The Ottawa Senators prevailed over the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in a shootout victory that also marks the 600th NHL win for Ottawa coach Bryan Murray. Dany Heatley started off the scoring with the lone goal in the first period. The second followed in the same vein with Mike Fisher knocking in a wrist shot, assisted by Daniel Alfredsson & Chris Phillips. The Oilers came back strongly in the third period and scored three goals – two by Petr Sykora and one by Tom Gilbert. Oiler Ales Hemsky had two assists. Captain Alfredsson also scored and the game was headed for over time. No one could break the tie in OT so on to the shootout. Former Oilers Dean McAmmond & Mike Comrie scored in the SO to give the victory to the Sens. Murray reached his personal milestone in 1,199 games. He earned his first win on Nov. 18, 1981, with Washington and holds the distinction of being the longest-serving coach without a Stanley Cup.
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Song for the day – “Back To Me” – KATHLEEN EDWARDS
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The round of 16 in the Champions League started last nite with a loss for my team. Arsenal lost away at Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven 1-0 on an Edison Mendez goal. They face a nervous return leg in a fortnight but are also being optimistic since it is a very slender margin. However their domestic rivals, Manchester United, won 1-0 away to Lille, in a match that saw Sir Alex Ferguson vent out his ire at the Lille players. Ryan Giggs scored from a free kick, which was taken before the Lille goalie could arrange his wall. The players reacted against the controversial goal and almost walked off. Fergie says that he has never seen such a display in all his career. Real Madrid made life somewhat easier for their under-pressure manager Fabio Capello, by seeing off Bayern Munich 3-2. Raul scored two and Ruud Van Nistelrooy scored the other. Lucio had earlier scored for Bayern and in the final two minutes before time, Van Bommel also scored to lower the scoreline for Munich. The slender lead that Madrid will take with them to Germany in two weeks will be boosted by the form of David Beckham, who was included in the lineup for the first time in a month. In other games, Gordon Strachan’s Celtic drew 0-0 at home with Italian side AC Milan. This leaves the Milan club with all the odds in their favour.
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Most people know that I am a huge Jim Carrey fan. I try to catch all of his movies and I have seen several of them multiple times. My favourites 11 have been chronicles in my previous blog here. There is just a couple that I have not seen of his and I plan on getting them on dvd if possible, though I found out two days ago that those movies are also slated to be shown on cable next month. So perhaps I shall wait instead. The latest movie to be released is the thriller The Number 23, which stars Carrey in a more dramatic role than he is used to. The film also stars Virginia Madsen (as Carrey’s wife) & Rhona Mitra and is directed by Joel Schumacher. It represents an obsession with the number 23 (I suppose they titled it that instead of just ’23’ to avoid confusion with the hit tv series ’24’) which can be found all throughout our lives.
Examples frequently cited include that each parent contributes 23 chromosomes to the DNA of a child, as well as that the Mayans believed the world will end on Dec. 23, 2012 — 20 plus one, plus two, is 23. Schumacher realized The Number 23 would be his 23rd film. Or that the letters in Carrey and Madsen’s first and last names add up to 23, as do the combined letters in Schumacher’s and Carrey’s. Jim’s character Walter, comes across such ‘relevant’ things like Kurt Cobain’s date of birth and death and the number of times Caesar was stabbed and the time and day of birth and numbers on his ID’s all come to the number 23. The paranoia will tend to rub on audience members, suddenly seeing ’23’ wherever they go. And ofcourse, The Number 23 began filming on January 23, 2006 & opens in theaters on February 23rd, 2007.
The world spins on an axis of 23 degrees. Kurt Cobain was born in 1967 and died in 1994. 1+9+6+7=23 and 1+9+9+4=23. The invasion of Iraq began on 3/20, 2003 at 2:30. The Hiroshima bomb was dropped at 4:19 – 4+19=23. The Titanic sank the morning of April 15th, 1912 (4 + 1 + 5 + 1 + 9 + 1 + 2 = 23). The Mayans believed the world will end on December 23, 2012 (20 + 1 + 2 = 23). In humans, the 23rd chromosome determines gender. It takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate throughout the entire body. Each parent contributes 23 chromosomes to the DNA of a child.
Immediately when I was reading it, I realized something. 1976 -> 1+9+7+6=23 – that’s the year I was born!
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There’s nothing like relaxing to music when you are tired and worn out after a day of work. Being on your feet is not the most pleasurable thing in to do but as a trainer I have to do so. I tried to rest my feet whenever I can but when I sit down, the agents can’t see me clearly and most importantly, I can’t see them due to the stack of computers on each desk that blocks my vision. I have reservations about a few of them and I don’t know how well they are gonna do in today’s assessment. I have my fingers crossed again. And I ripped a few cds to relax me and listened to quite a lot of songs from them :
- Lost Dogs – Pearl Jam
- Guitar Virtuoso – John Williams
- Big Ones – Aerosmith
- Adrenalize – Def Leppard
- Awake – Dream Theatre
- For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge – Van Halen
Song for the day – “Top Of The World” – VAN HALEN
I am just wondering, if the dark & overcast cloudy look outside my apartment window is symbolic of what is to be later on today? Today I start my first day of “actual work” at the new company. The past one month was an induction & training plus guiding process for me and my colleagues. We were being prepared & prepped for training and managing the new batch of joinees in the company’s call center. If you want to have an idea of the sheer number of people that we are going to have to handle – it will start at 400 and they have plans to make it 1000 by June-July! Yeah, man!
But that is still to come. About 400 is what they will be starting on and the 30 of us will be taking care & training & hand-holding this lot. Like me, there will be around 10 product & process trainers, perhaps 20 to 30 Team Leaders and a group of Quality Analysts. Then there are HR & Admin guys and all that stuff. I won’t have much of a clue about those people until our new office building in completed by mid-March.
I have a copy of the vast training material in a cd and I went through the Day 1 files and hopefully it will flow smoothly without much of a hitch. I spoke to Akhil, who will be taking one of the three batches (Sajith is the third guy) and we plan on being there at the new venue rented out for this very purpose by 2:30. We need the hour and a half for preparation, installing the files in their systems, checking and seeing if all the files are playing properly, getting print-outs if necessary and engage in a bit of support for each other. Of the three of us, I think Sajith is the calmest and I have never seen him getting rattled or agitated so hope that rubs off on the both of us.
I am keeping my fingers crossed.
Song for the day – “West Of Crazy” – LISA BROKOP