Monday, November 09, 2009

The Mustache Rides, Again. Also Pat Quinn, Fernando Pisani And Other Anachronisms

I work from home a couple of days a week. When my wife is working I need to ferry the kids about from school and daycare and all of that good stuff. Luckily I have a job where I can work from home and do this.

When my wife's maternity leave ended and school started I began this new routine. I don't mind it. I prefer the office but overall its not bad. The one thing that I can do while working at home is listen to music.

I've talked about music a few times here. With the exception of a few Hip CDs I haven't bought a CD in over fifteen years. I'm hopelessly stuck in the eighties and early nineties. My Youtube account, concerts I (rarely) attend, everything about me musically died when grunge did. Or went into a holding pattern anyways.

So right now I am listening to some Midnight Oil. This is the last of about a hundred CDs I own. I have listened to every single one since Labour Day, one by one, and this is the last of the bunch.

I saw Midnight Oil once. Your man is one big scary bald fucker. Intense.

Pretty good shit.

This morning I listened to some G&R. Metal has been dead for a while now. In Sudbury, like mostly everywhere in Canada, there was a time when it was the music of choice. Hell even the preppy guys in high school listened to Guns and Roses. Terrific stuff, even if Axl was a total douchebag.

This morning I listened to Lies, haven't listened to that in a million years. One of the songs - I Used To Love Her But I Had To Kill Her.

When this came out I remember a mild outcry but nothing compared to what you would get today I suspect. I would guess that sucker might not see the light of day now. I could be wrong, of course. For all I know there's worse stuff out there.

Its funny how social mores change and how your persepctive changes as you get older. I'm sure everyone read these gems, you did if you dropped by Lowetide's yesterday.

A couple of things. As you get older you truly give less and less of a shit what other people think. Take the big fellow as an example. When he was young he'd piss on the floor and get up on the furniture and get into the garbage and hump peoples' legs. Then we cut off his balls and he mellowed out. We had a decade where he was a good dog. No trouble at all. Now, as the end of his days near, its as if someone has turned back the clock. As soon as the front door closes he clambers up on the couch. He'll saunter into the dining room as we eat and sit beside the baby waiting for the inevitable men overboard. If the cupboards are open he'll proceed to the buffet and eat his fill out of the compost.

My wife shouts and swats and stomps and he looks at her like a bored teenager just in from a bender, rolls his eyes and drifts off.

Doesn't give a damn.

And I'm cut from the same cloth. Now I'm not that old, really. Forty one isn't old. But I'm getting there. I've gotten far enough that I don't care about what other people think about my clothes, my haircut or what I say or do. I really was never into that deal, to be honest, but as far as I ever was is now long gone. Don't get me wrong. I'm polite. I'm not a dick. But if I'm at a party and I think of a funny joke that involves assfucking then you had better believe I'm telling the assfucking joke.

Part of it too is that there is already a disconnect between me and what passes as the normal in society these days.

I don't have a cell phone. I refuse. I don't like most of the movies or the music or the television. I think that the salaries that athletes and actors and brokers on Bay Street are ridiculous. My generation, while softer than Joffrey Lupul in high traffic areas, still had to earn our dues. We didn't grow up in a depression or fight the Germans or Japanese. We can't build a house with our bare hands, wire it, plumb it, shoot a gun, dress a deer, rebuild an engine, play guitar, skate like the wind, hit a baseball, throw a fine right jab, drink a case of whiskey at a sitting or any of the other hundred things our fathers could but nobody I knew had their shit handed to them. When we got out of school we struggled like bastards, most of us. Tweren't easy.

Nowadays I look at my kids' generation and I struggle, oh my God. There is a boy in my son's class. The kid is hopped up on sugar and dim from all of the TV he watches, I am sure, although its likely just hereditary because his mother is about as smart as that coffee cup you threw into recycling earlier today. Dense.

So dumb she spells dumb without the b. Dum.

So this kid ran into some problems last year because he used to chase other kids with a stick in the schoolyard. The schoolyard is small and yet his mother was oblivious to it all. Just didn't see it when the other parents told her to get her head out of her ass.

So this year the boy has to deal with him. So far no problems but there was a hint of it the other day. He'd been hassling the boy and so we asked him what he did about it and he said that he had told the teacher. Fine and dandy.

And my wife says 'if he bothers you again, you make sure to tell us'.

And I look at him and I say 'listen, if he gives you a hard time, starts pushing you, I'll tell you what to do'

And my wife gives me the 'you shut up now' look about I keep going.

What I want you to do, see, is tell him to stop. And if he keeps at you then you tell him one last time. And if he keeps at it then ...

OK who wants ice cream?!

As if that's going to stop me.

The problem is that this kid is stupid and he's a bully and his mother lets him do as he pleases. The first time I see one of my kids pick on a smaller kid will be the last time I see it, let me tell you. My folks think we're easy on our kids but we're amongst the strictest parents we know.

And that says a lot about how times have changed.

My best friend in grade school was a big kid but just a real gentle guy, always smiling, not a mean bone in him. And some other kid, one of these big mouthed kids, was at him all of the time, just all of a sudden, picking at him, teasing him, threatening him. And one day this kid says to my buddy that he is going to get it after school. And my buddy says alright.

So its after school and we all march over the the pathway that runs from the school to one of the streets and there's probably about fifty kids and your man who called out my buddy is all talking talking and he has a rep of being a tough kid and then they say lets go (we were eleven at the time) and my buddy grabs him and he punches him once, hard, right in the face, and the kid just collapses onto the ground and there's another three or four shots and that's it. He's up and running for home all blood and snot and tears.

Problem solved.

No guns or knives or lawyers or cops or zero tolerance this or any other shit. The bully met his match and he kept his distance after that and that was that.

That long witless ramble brought to you by Pat Quinn.


A win, a win, oh finally a win.

I only caught the last half of the victory over the Avs but it was pretty clear to me that the flu bug certainly had an impact over the past few weeks. The club had some jump, finally, and while they did get outshot, again, they took the game by the scruff in the third and took it home pretty nicely. Haven't seen that in a while.

Other than the ridiculous display by the power play another very interesting thing I found about last night was what Pat Quinn said in his post game presser.

Quinn, if anything, has outshone the erudite and hirsute MacT in terms of providing us with entertaining and enlightening commentary on the games.

What he spoke about last night was the type of game that Liam Reddox and Ryan Potulny played and how it helped the Oilers win.

He got open, he won faceoffs, he didn't get into trouble with the puck. Guys like Ryan, guys like Reddox, they're not going to turn it over. They put the pucks by people and they go to work

Now its fashionable to slam Liam Reddox and Fernando Pisani, amongst others, as guys who do nothing. They don't score a lot and they don't hit a lot and in this video game age, well, for many that is all that counts.

These are the fans who called for Rob Schremp to be installed as the first line centre when he was eighteen years old because Schremp, wait for it, scored a lot of points in junior. You know who else scored a ton of points in junior? Here's a few names: Jamie Matthews. Todd Simon. Max Middendorf.

These guys were all stars in junior. Big stars.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

This isn't meant as a shot at Schremp who is healthy scratched for one of the worst teams in the NHL right now. Schremp is Schremp. He had a nice junior career and that is probably what he will be remembered for. He will probably carve out a nice living in Switzerland or something. Good for him. Far better than 99.99 percent of the population.

But trick moves and sick hands don't get you an NHL job. I played hockey with a guy who had a cup of coffee in the AHL. He could hit the crossbar from centre ice nine times out of ten during warmup, no word of a lie and here he was playing in a summer beer league.

I have a buddy who was a scrub for one of the worst OUAA hockey clubs back in our day. This guy is the best player I have ever seen. If he played in my league he'd score five or six goals a game. And he could barely crack a shitty OUAA lineup.


Very few guys can score, I mean really score, at the NHL level. If you cannot then you had better be able to do other things and do them well. Things like killing penalties and checking your man and winning faceoffs and coming out of the corner with the puck. Liam Reddox does these things. Does he do them well enough to have an NHL career? We're not sure yet but if he can then he will stick with this club. It was only one game but he and Pisani flanked Cogliano and were a bright spot on a club which very often sees the ice tilted the wrong way.

And that counts for something. Actually it counts for a lot, especially on this club.


Coach pb9617 said...

That Pisani - Cogliano pairing has always worked, no matter how brief their time together. Mac was never interested in it, but maybe Quinn will stay with it.

Scott Reynolds said...

Not to be a downer on the win but the first two periods were just bad and the team got bailed out by lady luck on the PP. Not that I'm complaining. I've seen the Avs do that four or five times already this year.

And as for the age thing, pfft, I'm 26 and don't have a cell phone. Or cable TV. Or Facebook or iTunes. So get off your high horse old man :)

To add: my father is a broker (though not on Bay Street) so I enjoyed that little quip being thrown in.

Black Dog said...

coach - Pisani is just gold with younger players, I remember in 06/07 he played with Torres and Stoll and they were terrific and then the following season he got some time with Gagner and probably it was Cogliano and lo and behold they suddenly looked a lot better too.

A healthy and effective Fernando helps this club immeasurably. Even though he doen't score thirty and knock guys around

Scott - ah yeah no doubt about luck playing its part but they hung in there and by my eye looked like a much different club than the one from the last few weeks. Add Souray, Smid, Horcoff, Hemsky and Stone to the mix and I think the Avs might not have their way so much either.

Its just one game but the play of the 13 line in the third showed what a difference having two solid two way players (for one game at least) could make for a young centre.

It will be interesting to see how things suss out once the sick become healthy. Quinn liked Reddox and Potulny last night. Its obvious he's tired of guys beating themselves.

Er, so to speak.

As for all that techno stuff or lack of it well good for you, sonny. When everyone's brains fry out from the cell phone use, we'll start a new society out in the woods. Or something. ;)

Anonymous said...

Awsome blog BD you are my favorite bloggers I truly love reading your stuff. Keep up the great work bud.

macaotim said...

Am I old? Mid 30's, one child, wife begging for another!? Well, I ride a skateboard to work and I feel young for a few minutes each day ...especially today when I had the Macao authorities chasing after me. SKATEBOARDING IS NOT A CRIME...especially if you are over 30.

Anyway, you love Pisani too much and Reddox just enough. R's game is simple and effective. I was at a lot of games in E-town last year and he appeared to be a sound player...not very effective in x-box, but holds his own, rather than beating his own, in real life.

Halfwise said...

I think of MacT as not so much "hirsute" as "tonsorially advantaged". Those hairs were all in place, all the time. Simply being hirsute won't get you that...

As for the wife's attempted intervention at that critical moment, isn't it good to have ice cream AND the talk about feeding the bully what it takes to shut him the fup?

hunter1909 said...

When your kid comes home and tells you about what to do with a bully, you tell him to punch him as hard as he can in the face.

That's how kids don't get bullied.

I used to know a guy from Glasgow, from the roughest part of town. When he was six years old a local kid hit him and he goes home and tells his Dad. The Dad hands him a fucking hammer and tells him to go and hit the kid with it.

Afterward the bully's father turns up at the door. Dad, standing there in his socks, flattens him too.

The Oilers? They're hardly worth mentioning.

Arcanas said...

Dude, since when is Metal dead? I think we need to have a the very least, hit the Sirius site and get in on the one week free and check out Octane, you'll like it ;)

Swabbubba said...

Peter Garret the guy is just the 1st enviro rock guys. he reminded me of lurch but what a band..I think he is a lawyer... not sure he may gotten elected to Aussie gov.
Which CD 10-1, Diesel Dust, Blue Sky Mining
I hear ya on Bullying thing I am not sure but appeasement never worked in WW2 and the only way to shut him down is by telling the bully off and if it gets physical well make sure u get throw at least one.
Pies really is doing well, 44 is in Ottawa, maybe we will get this ship turned.
Since I live in Calgary just an update on the Flames. The average joes on the street are pissed about them jumping the queue. The 150 shots H1N1 flu that they got in private clinic. Couple AHS workers fired and if I was a Flame I would lay low.

Go Oilers

Black Dog said...

swabb - yeah he was an MP or whatever they are called there, that's right iirc

Thanks anon

My God Hunter that is hilarious

Black Dog said...

halfwise - ice cream is good at any time, I think

macaotim - be careful you don't want to end up all Brokedown Palace and all that

arcanas - um, I'll take your word for it, you'd have a more intelligent conversation about today's music with the dog, to be honest

but in the 70s and 80s metal was pretty well mainstream, I'm not talking the hardcore stuff of course, but what I call metal - Kiss, Black Sabbath, G&R, all of the great hair bands of the 80s.

not really out there anymore

hunter1909 said...

Black Dog: I find the Oilers hilarious myself.

Crazycooper said...

I've been lurking for ages loving your stories and things. As an Aussie who is half Canadian it's great to get some Canadiana, humour and best of all hockey all in one place.

Being Aussie, and a fan of Midnight Oil I can tell you that not only is Peter Garrett one scary looking bastard, he is also possibly the worlds worst dancer. Youtube him and see.

He is also now the Federal Minister for the Environment. Crazy stuff. A couple of years ago when he was on the opposition the Treasurer used the lyrics of one of his songs to attack him. Hilarious stuff.

Black Dog said...

Crazycooper - thanks for the Peter Garrett update, that's terrific.

I do seem to remember him being a shining example of white guy dancing, I'll have to check it out.

Marc said...

If I remember correctly Midnight Oil actually toured with the Hip in the early Nineties. It was one of the first gigs I ever saw. I was up near the stage and remember Peter Garrett not only being terrifying, but huge. He's at least 6'6".

The Hip are playing a small club in north London at the end of the month. I guess one of the benefits of their having almost no profile outside of Canada is that you can see them in really intimate venues. It should be a great show.

Black Dog said...

Marc, was that the Another Roadside Attraction tour? I was just talking to a parent at me kids' school the other day about Midnight Oil and he said the exact same thing. Turns out we were at the same shows. It was a Friday and Saturday, a dozen bands or so.

It was amazing.

I've heard plenty of similar tales about folks catching the Hip in bars in Europe and California and Texas.

Great stuff.

Marc said...

That's the one. I think it was in the summer of '92 or '93. I caught Edmonton leg of the tour and I think Hothouse Flowers and Daniel Lanois were part of it, but I can't remember who else played. Midnight Oil and the Hip were definitely the highlight. they are both great, great live performers.

Black Dog said...

Yep, that's it. The Toronto shows (there were two, Friday and Saturday afternoons/eveings) featured those bands, Andrew Cash, The Pursuit of Happiness, Crash Vegas and about another half dozen bands.

What a weekend that was.

Anonymous said...

"Used to love her" was purportedly written about about Axle's childhood dog. I remember him saying in an interview that she was the first bitch he ever loved and that it broke his heart to put her down. I was probably 13 at the time and laughed my ass off.

Black Dog said...

Anon - yeah that was the story, I remember it.

G&R, what a band.