Monday, August 27, 2007

Frank Kaberle Recovering From Surgery

Could it be? Can it be...actual Canes news?! Woo...oh, crap.

I normally would be very delighted to post Canes news, considering that it has been almost two weeks since I last updated this here blog, lack of Canes news very obviously not helping. But unfortunately, this news pertains to a particular key part of the Canes' already weak Frantisek Kaberle.

"According to Luke's blog, Kaberle had surgery on Saturday to remove torn cartilage from his right knee. He's expected to miss the first week of camp. I was in the "we'll be OK on D with a healthy Kaberle and Hedican" camp. Now, I'm not sure Frank will ever be healthy."

I am not sure, meself. IIRC, he was not all that healthy this past season, which was one part of the Canes' D woes.

I sure as heck hope the season gets off to a better start than this...maybe this will work out to be a reverse mojo thing: Bad news to start the season, GREAT news to end it.

In the meantime, since it is still the off-season and all, 'pop in' to my new webbing/writing project, Epitaph: A Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) Network when you get the chance. It's where my writing has gone over the last couple of weeks with it being all quiet on the Canes front, at least until today. Who knows...perhaps I can win at least one or two of you over to the R&H(D) franchise's tiny fanbase.

Current Music: Ryu's Theme - Street Fighter Tribute Album

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

eBay Has Everything AND the Kitchen Sink!

Jerry Garcia's kitchen sink, that is...SERIOUSLY!

If you ask me, eBay is *really* missing the boat on a great ad campaign idea, or at least a slogan centering around that particular item.

Current Music: "Milk and Cereal" by G. Love and Special Sauce

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Oh, The Things I Have Been Doing Lately...

You know you've really neglected a blog when you can't even remember the last time you did a 'miscellany post'...though, I'm sure in my instance that it was not super long ago. Just a couple of months, worst case.

But, as noted previously, it does not help that the Canes have not had a ton of news during this off-season. AND because of that, I've had one of my busier off-seasons project-wise since...hmmm...probably 2003, when I was constantly working on my now defunct (as in I can't provide a link) Canes fandom website...

- Music geek I am, I have been constantly working on improving the audio quality of my computer/Gigabeat music collection. Originally, I was converting my files from 96 KBPS quality WMAs to 96 KBPS* quality MP3s, because I found out the hard way that RockBox, my semi-new firmware for "Stanley", does not like WMA files. Well, I was nearly halfway through that project, when curiosity got the better of me, and I started to explore the world of Ogg Vorbis files after reading so many other music/audio geeks proclaiming the said format to be the best they've ever worked with AND THE overall format they use for their computer/MP3 player music. So, I went and found a freeware Ogg Vorbis converter (
BonkEnc, to be precise), and started playing around with a couple of tracks from my current most beloved concert albums, King Crimson's Absent Lovers and KISS' Symphony-Alive IV...


I used to think that Ogg Vorbis was so freakin' could I be so, well, deaf? I cannot describe how ecstatically amazing the tracks I tested ("Discipline" and "Heartbeat" from AL, and "Let Me Go, Rock and Roll" and "Sure Know Something" from S-A4) sounded through Ogg Vorbis. And normally, I would be ticked off about having to repeat what I did last year right before I got the Gigabeat/"Stanley" in going through all of my CDs and files to convert them to the preferred format. But in this instance, it's like having presents to open almost every day.

And for the audio/techno/etc. geeks in my audience, I am converting my files to 65 quality Ogg Vorbis...which I find to be perfect in not only quality, but also the space taken up by the files. Any higher, and way too much space would be taken up...something one has to mind, especially with a 40 GB player.

- My other huge project, which I just started late last week, is finally getting pictures up on
my Ron Francis collection site. Completed the Book section this past weekend, and am now working on the Apparel section. I plan to go down the list, with the exceptions of the Card, Multimedia, and Newspaper sections, which I plan to tackle last, as rather extensive as they are.

All of that said, for those of you interested, be sure to check back every day or two or three...I'm trying my best to update as frequently as I can, given that the pictures of my collection have been a long time in coming.

- Last, but certainly not least for now: I cannot stand it anymore. I have GOT TO GET Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) on DVD. Especially after happening upon
this site when I was telling a friend about the series (spawned from our discussion of The Saint and similar shows). Even before I came across the site, I had been looking up various things about R&H on and off, because I absolutely adore the series that was shown on BBC America during the summer of 2004. That particular series was not the 60's original, but instead the 2000-01 remake starring the then infamous British comedy team of Vic (Reeves) and Bob (Mortimer), and I thought it was a damn good the point that it was EASILY the show that I looked the most forward to every week that summer. The acting was not bad, especially considering that R&H was Vic and Bob's first (and probably only) "serious" acting deal. Not to mention that the supernatural aspect was pretty darn unique for a detective show. Even as a remake, I found the R&H idea of a ghost of a detective getting back up with his living partner and helping to solve crimes rather outstanding and just downright cool.

And to think that my happening upon the show was somewhat an accident...usually, on the Monday nights I would have BBC America on for my dinnertime viewing (back when they showed Blackadder, Monty Python, and/or Benny Hill from 7-8:00 in the evening), I would immediately turn away before they would start their big "Mystery Monday" deals. Well, it turned out that one night, I didn't turn away quick enough...and the title that was uttered by the host of MM, particularly the "(Deceased)" part, caught my interest. And that interest only further grew with the opening sequence and its rather haunting, no pun intended, theme...and thus began yet another television addiction.

All of that said, as a lover of the Vic and Bob treatment of the series, it kind of broke my heart at first to read a great chunk of the franchise's fanbase say that the 60's original was so much better. But the more time passes, the more such comments, along with the aforementioned fan site, *really* make me want to see the original, which is available on DVDs playable here in the US of A. And easily the one I will get, most likely sometime this week. Unfortunately, the Vic and Bob remake, along with the final thirteen episodes of the original, is only available on European/Australian DVDs...but if the price is right, I may eventually get those to play on my computer, which is certainly better than not having the entire original series AND remake at all.

As the saying goes, you never get over your first love...and best case, I will end up liking both versions of R&H equally. From the descriptions I have read AND what I know of the remake, it is my observation that the original series seems to have focused on actual mysteries and crimes more than the remake, which took the supernatural element and ran with it in the cases presented on that.

Current Music: "Hockey Night In Canada Jam" (Live) by the Jimmy Swift Band

* - I have found that in terms of minimum size AND sound quality preservation, 96 KBPS is what works best...despite now having found a better format.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bored "Fan" Writes A Letter To the Raleigh News and Observer...Film At Eleven's been over a week already?! Time *really* does fly when there's hardly any Canes news...of course, in my instance, it helps to have a couple of rather ambitious projects to do, which I will touch upon here later.

You know it is *very quiet* on the Canes news front when
this is the biggest thing to have caught my eye lately...

"Canes' inaction over Staal's arrest is sad

So no disciplinary action will be taken by the Carolina Hurricanes in regards to Eric Staal's arrest for disorderly conduct?

That's a great message the Hurricanes are sending to the young people in this community -- if you are popular, young, rich and athletically talented, and you act like a jerk and get arrested, the team you are the public face for doesn't think it matters.

It is obvious that the attitudes of the NBA, NFL and other sporting organizations have carried over to the NHL: "You are better than everyone else because you are a professional athlete. Go on out there, have a good time, drink, party, get arrested, no problem! We'll look the other way!"

Pathetic. I would have expected better from the management of a Stanley Cup-winning team. I'll think twice before going to a Hurricanes game this season."

Definitely one of those types that need to be within five feet of a giant megaphone blaring "Boozefests happen in hockeydom...GET OVER IT!!".

I was not all that approving of what happened to the Staal brothers...BUT, unlike the bozo cited above, I take into account that...

1. It *was* a bachelor party...the only way a bachelor party would NEVER have drinking is if its participants were a bunch of Charles "Chaz" Finster* clones.


2. Something that the N&O and quite a few sources failed to pick up on about the Staals' big bachelor bash gone wrong is that according to at least one or two other sources I read (and posted here...just scroll a little further down), the Staals weren't the ones cutting up. Instead, it was two or three of their friends who did not heed the resort's request to stop partying and go to bed. And therefore, just like 27-29 students in a classroom having to put up with a class clown or two or three, all of the other participants of the party, including the Staals, were punished for the actions of an overwhelming minority.

Apparently, Jim Rutherford and company (along with the Pittsburgh Penguins honchos in regards to Jordan Staal) heard about #2 too...because if they did not hear about AND apparently believe it (along with me), there probably would have been a reprimanding of some kind by now.

In closing, I think someone has a lot of damned gall to call what is quite a minor incident NFL/NBA/etc.-like, when the said big leagues are dealing with far bigger problems than a bunch of bachelors being spoiled by a few rotten apples.

Current Music: "Boom Boom Out Go the Lights" by the Pat Travers Band (Live Version)

* - [TV geek]For those of you who aren't Rugrats (at least before Dil Pickles came along) fans, I am way more than willing to bet that a guy who would rather watch a chess tournament than the Rugrats universe's equivalent of the Super Bowl probably does not imbibe, even just a little bit, too.[/TV geek]

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