Monthly Archives: December 2011

Christmas 2011


There’s all kinds of emotional tripe that can boiled, salted, fried, poached, braised and grilled at this time of the year.  Most is as insincere as the greeting you get at any retail outlet.  Essentially “the holidays” is humans knee-jerking to what we are told Christmas should be like, as defined by greeting card companies, advertisers and a translucent egg tempera wash of pale blue religiosity with twinkly elves, lights, bows, reindeer and garlanded shrubbery.

Ignore it all and embrace the humbug.  This season is not about presents and turkey.  It is about rebirth.  Change.  A chance to start over.  To undo some of the bad things we’ve all done in the year. 

This holiday season is an oppourtunity to remind ourselves that living meaningfully, with purpose and generosity of spirit is the true story of the holiday.  It is a chance to try again to bring a moments’ grace to everyone.  Not just family or friends, but to those we don’t know and will never know.  To give what we wish we were to others, in the hope that they will respond in kind, perhaps to another stranger, combining our individual acts of kindness to all of us who live on this little blue planet.

That is our wish to you.  That you live meaningfully, with purpose and generosity of spirit. 

Merry Christmas.

Mason Baveux–Concussions


Like many businesses, we get stupid busy around Christmas, so I tapped our pinch-hitter Mason Baveux to consider Concussions in Hockey while I dig out from under a pile of work, at work.

I thinks why Davey wants me to write on the whole head shot thing in hockey is Davey don’t give a five pound corn on the cob crap about Canada’s Game.  This makes me suspect his citizenship, but since his family’s all Canadian, I think I’ll let’er slide.

So’s Sid the Kid spent most of last season ridin’ the sofa as he took one too many to the skull and was feelin’ cattywampus all over.  He comes back for two games then reaches for the yellow handle again and is back on the sofa for “an indeterminate amount of time” while he tries to find out where the horizon is again.  Or at least narrow it down to only two or three horizons at any given time.

I did some that research on that concussion thing and here’s what she said up the wikitickitavi.org.  You got your mild brain injury, mild traumatic brain injury, mild head injury and minor head trauma, which you can use for any of the others as the term for what ails ya.  We’ll just call’er concussion.  Or Hockey Head.

Down in the fine print she says what happens is yer brain bounces off the inside of yer skull and doesn’t know boo from woo for a while.  It could be a minute or two, or a week or two, depending on how hard a wallop you took.  Do that enough times and yer brain starts a forgettin stuff, like what’s a yellow light mean at the corner?  Drive’er like you stole’er! is the right answer.  Pass the effin’ ketchup Maureen! is the wrong answer.  Which is what be affecting Sid the Kid. 

Some medical folks have been studyin on this for a while, using sporty types in sports what have serious contact.  Football is one, Boxing another and Hockey.  Seems the medicos have been cuttin’ open the brains of dead players to look for problems.  They do have to wait till they pass, as the cuttin is a bit drastic for the walk-in clinic and tends to leave some marks.  Fortunately, the sport types have been quite obligin’ as the older ones are dyin off naturally, and the younger ones get all messed up on the pills and booze, then do themselves in.  So’s the medicos got lots of brains to work with and what they’re findin is lots of permanent injuries to the brain what are causin all sorts of wrongs.

Like Muhammad Ali (dammit, I still remember when he was Cassius Clay from Louisville, Kentucky) whose got the shakey jakes from what’s called Pugilistic Parkinson Syndrome.  What the science boys and girls figure is that he got the Parkinsons from too many shots to the head in his career.  Well, that took about five seconds to get ahold of those facts from the Department of Too Effin Obvious. 

Anyone crazy enough to stand within arm’s reach of Joe Frazier or Leon Spinks, two lads who could knock a CP westbound freight train off a track by looking at it hard, is gonna get some kind of side effects from bein on the receiving end of a solid punch.  You’d have to have headgear the size of Manitoba to get away with that kind of beatin.  Which Cassius Clay never had.  Which is why he’s retired and can’t speak, nor move too well no more and is a damn shame.

Now think about the hockey.  There’s plenty of roughouse, as that’s part of the game and if you’ve played even a little bit on some rink somewhere, you know there’s a lot of stuff around that can rattle your head.  The puck for one.  The other guy’s elbow for another.  Or you could try just fallin off your skates and doin a quad spin face plant on the ice herself.  The ice don’t move much.  Nor do the boards, or the posts, or the glass. 

We’re not even talkin about some dirty defenceman who thinks he should coldcock you one when you’re settin the box on the power play and are lookin away for the forward at the point.  Then all you see is the rafters, some shiny lights and finally remember what the coach said about “Keep yer head up!”

We’re talkin before helmets here.  Back when Punch Imlach coached.  When Don McKenny was part of the Uke Line on the Bruins with Bronco Horvath, Johnny Bucyk and Vic Stasiuk.  Those days when you’d see Gordie and Jean go into the corner and watch your rum and Coke shake along with the whole friggin Forum.  Not many of the lads got their frontal lobes all scrambled, as nobody wore a helmet and you were entitled to give as good as you got, but it was clean hits.  No attempt to maim the other guy, even if he was from Montreal, or Detroit.

Today, decapitation gets you five.  Maybe a game misconduct and that’s about it, assumin’ you didn’t go over to the house and piss on his sofa, or cross-check his missus into the washing machine after buggerin the family dog. 

The helmets and visors the players are wearin are important, but the side effect of all that armour (and this is true of the football too) is that the grinders and journeymen players feel they can dish out the hardest possible hits they can to make a name for themselves, even if it means puttin someone in the hospital for a long time.  But what goes around comes around and we’re findin out that givni the big hits like you’d see on Rock Em Sock Em Hockey 37, will also cost you. 

Speakin of costin you, we do know of a lad whose hockey career was what you call a small fish in a pond.  He never made the Big Show, as he took too many shots to the brain in Junior and couldn’t focus enough.  His job now?  He drives the Zamboni up to the arena for the Central Junior.  We call him Slappy, as he’s not quite sure what day it is and has to slap himself upside the head to remember it.  Sometimes he gets ‘er near right enough.  If you bet him five dollars, he’ll eat a stick of butter on a dare.  He lives in a part of a sheltered workshop for those what you would call ‘uncomplicated’, or we call Retard Park and Ride, as you can see most of them waitin for the taxi or the ParaTransport to get to where they’re goin.

He still wears his helmet most days as the doctors have said one more pop to the head and he’s likely not even going to remember how to drive the Zamboni.  He’s pushin fifty now and never had a home, or a wife, or kids.  All he knows is the hockey and how to drive the Zamboni. 

Now, just so’s you don’t think I haven’t thought this around the rink between periods, look at two other sports what don’t have body armour:  Rugby and Soccer.  About all you get is a cup and some cleats for protection.  You don’t see a lot of those careers comin’ to an end because the players can’t tell what month it is?  Blown out knees?  Sure, that’ll get you. 

But because your opponents don’t have all the gear on either, they’ll hit you hard enough to get you off the ball, but not hard enough to end your career.  And if you tell me that Rugby and Soccer players aren’t as tough and hard as Hockey and Football players, then I’d suggest you’re speakin out your arse and should go squat on the shitter to think that one through a bit more with some Metamucil to clear your talk hole. 

What she comes down to is the armour the young ones wear, be it football or hockey.  Makes them feel invincible and think they can dish it out without no consequences.  Sid the Kid is their poster child.  A great career lost because refs don’t call penalties and the gear they all wear makes’em feel like Superman.  They’ll all wind up like Slappy and that’s not what the consultants would call a Career Arc.

Breaks my friggin heart.

Movember Update V – The Final Product


Again, we caution those with bladder control issues, as this posting does contain a photograph of my Movember moustache at 30 days’ cultivation.

IMGP0004

There have been a few questions in the mail bag on this particular example of the facial floral arts that we will attempt to answer. 

First from Betty Windsor, SW1:

My good man, are you daft? No ma’am, I’m not daft, but I did grow it to support Men’s Health for Movember.  We raised a touch over $600 to support a worthwhile charity.  That would be 414 pounds and 34 ounces or 483.49 Euros.  Please say hello to the corgis for me.

From E Presley in Grand Rapids, MI:

Izzafineone y’all got on.  Whachacallit?  I call it a moustache, but  some days I call it “Bad Henry”  How is the job at the Burger King anyways?

From A Nonymous, location unknown:

You have the sartorial style of a blind retardate and a facial structure that shows you have been hit with the ugly shovel repeatedly.  Why are you inflicting this visage on innocents?   Because I can Mr. Vidal.  Unlike you, I am alive in every way possible, whist you are merely dead.  Quite a mundane accomplishment I might add, being dead.  Very common and very much like you.

From Nkumbe Okomo, Bank of Nigeria, Lomo, Togo:

Mister Smeeth please to be accepting our offer of $18 million dollars US currency for the expatriation of the reserves intestate of your relative Estes Smeeth from the Receiver General Bank of Nigeria, Lomo, Togo, for your Moustage:  If I understand your missive, then you are donating money to me?  I regret that I cannot accept your kind offer.

From Stoner Bob near the convenience store:

No, seriously duude, whaat kind of ‘stache is that? It totally pins the awsomeness meter like right up to eleven maan!   Thanks Stoner Bob.  It’s a hybrid Teutel Senior – Hyneman that came in nicely at 30 days.  With another two months of growth and a five gallon drum of “Just For Men” in black, it would totally score!

From J. Stewart, somewhere in Scotland:

Although it is a fine day for moustache growing, do you find the aerodynamic effects of the facial winglets affect your straight line speed on the Mulsanne straight?  A fair question Sir Jackie, but we only found a few points of increased drag from the moustache.  There were two days of testing this week, on the O-Train platform at Greenboro, where you would occasionally feel cross-wind drift from the follicles, but the boffins in the wind tunnel assure us that the drag is more than compensated with increased downforce at Arnage under braking.  Plus, I wear a full-face helmet.

From Major Amos B. Hoople, Boarding House Way

Fap! Awp!  Kaff!  We are taking your somewhat cartoonish onomatopoeia as admiration for the moustache.  Coming from a personage august enough to rock the fez, it is a fine compliment.  Thank you.  Compliments to Martha as well as Clyde, Mack and Buster.  

From The Gumby Family, Walthamshire, Kent

Eiii-aie,  By gum, there’s troubles up t’mill!  Oh, hullo.  My brain hurts!  We suspect this missive was misdirected, as the attached photos illustrated a family of uncertain lineage, all wearing Fair Isle sweaters, gumboots and knotted handkerchiefs as head gear, standing in front of a fish and chip shop somewhere in the Algarve.  The youngest is clutching a stuffed toy prawn on a stick.

From Anthony S., address unknown:

You know da ting wid da guy from dat udder ting?  He’s the guy what says it’s good, for the other ting.  Your message is somewhat cryptic, but we’ll consider it a positive endorsement.

From Mercey, “Windows” Security Support (by phone)

We are receiving many virus alerts from your computer sir, you are causing much damage to your internets connection at this present time sir and we are going to help you to resolve your virus alerts by cleaning your computer of viruses of trojan type. sir.  We are determining your CLSID is 888DCA60-FC0A-11CF-8F0F00C04FD062 is that correct sir?   No, my CLSID is 666PLEA5EG0-F0CK-Y0UR-53LFA55HA7.  Douche…

From Mason Baveux, The 905:

Not bad lad.  I’s especially liked the writin’on takin’ one for the team in the tube.  Good hockey that!  Thanks Mason.  Much appreciated that you took the empties back and donated them to Movember. 

From M Scott, Ottawa.

Much better!  Yes, I shaved it off .  You are welcome dear.  Thank you for letting and encouraging me to participate in Movember.