All aboard the S.S. Raptoronto

Certainly like the 'Northern Uprising' branding
Certainly like the 'Northern Uprising' branding

As far as Toronto sports teams go, I’m really just a fan of TFC. Yes I’ll hate watch the Leafs. I don’t care about baseball, so I’m indifferent to the Jays. But the Raptors have been intriguing for quite a while. I’m by no means a big basketball fan… I’d certainly be classified as a bandwagoner but the Raptors story has been pretty compelling this year. The underdog, lonely Canadian team that everyone counted out, not only make the playoffs but win (an admittedly) weak division’s title. I’ve watched the occasional bit of Raptors ball this season. I can watch basketball and enjoy it. Unlike baseball which bores me to tears. The few games I’ve seen made me think the Raptors were a pretty hard working team. It was easy to get behind them. So now they have drawn the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs. An older highly skilled team in a favourable market for the NBA… The teams split the first two games and area now going back to Brooklyn. I was listening to 590 this morning and the talk show host was wondering if the Raptors will get any breaks from the refs in Brooklyn. We shall see. Go Raptors!

Speaking of breaks from referees… It is pretty funny the trouble Ron MacLean got himself into by suggesting a French Ref shouldn’t ref a game in Montreal. As a Sabres fan, I’ve heard many Sabres’ fans complaining, for years, about CBO “Canadian Biased Officiating”. Especially with the Leafs and Habs. I don’t know if it is sour grapes or true. But it is a thing that has been kicked around for a long time. I find it funny that a lot of comments on this issue are saying Ron was being more like Don Cherry than Don Cherry. It does seem pretty logical to not have local refs calling a game in their local city. Just because Ron worded it awkwardly doesn’t mean he isn’t right.

Ahh, the hockey pool. The land of upsets, underdogs and WTFs. So I backed the Kings with four players, which at the time seemed like a great idea. All the pundits picked them, they had a great season but now they, likely my playoff pool hopes, are in the toilet. Last night they had a chance to make their series interesting but they lost in overtime and are now behind three games to nothing in the best of seven. Le sigh. At least the only Canadian team, the Habs won, sweeping the Lightning. I was surprised, and jealous to hear a buddy JoeyJoe was at the game. The atmosphere looked like it was amazing on TV, and it was a very intense and exciting game. I wonder if I’m the Hockey Pool kiss of death… My number one pick, the first pick of the draft, Krejci from the Bruins… Zero points. My FOUR Kings picks have a combined two points. Yup, when you pick the wrong teams in a pool, it can get ugly. I guess there is still hope for Krejci…. so far

Ugh. I had physio again this morning. My arm feels like it came out of a vise. Had acupuncture needles in my arms for the first time. Which is odd… the slightest movement is a big HELLO. The arm does appear to be improving. The range of motion and area of pain seems to be slowly diminishing. Very slowly.

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Rogers sucks

Nothing shocking
Nothing shocking

No it isn’t news. Rogers sucks. Their ‘customer service’ is notoriously bad. Frankly the lackadaisical, fsck the customer attitude is shared by all three of the major Ontario cell providers. Why? Because they can. I’ve been reading about alternatives. Because I HATE HATE HATE that if I want Internet and Cable I have two shitty options that I can OVERPAY for.

This tirad is inspired from today’s 12h outage. I get few days off (as do most North Americans… but that is another story) so I was hoping to get some gaming in, perhaps do some surfing. Research for a review. No… of course I would be denied. Today… of all fracking days Rogers is DOWN THE ENTIRE DAY… No Cable. No Phone. No Internet and of course…. no explanation that I have found anywhere. No point calling because the clowns on the phone can’t help you and won’t connect you with someone who can.

If there’s a new way, I’ll be the first in line. But it better work this time.
-Peace Sells by Megadeth

It has been a quiet few days off… We both had ridiculously exhausting work weeks. There was some talk of getting together with family for Easter… But there was no way. Sometimes you need some down time and that was what we had this weekend.

MMM.
MMM.

Heh, and Bdot brought home a 1KG bag of these last Thursday night. The bag is practically gone. Phew. Also enjoyed a bunch of baked goods from gourmandissimo.

Finally defeated Diablo in Diablo 3. It was really easy with the Demon Hunter… Continuing play on hard level.

I guess I broke Google. Sorry folks.
I guess I broke Google. Sorry folks.

A rare google error. Thought the drawing was funny.

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Woodys Rock!

Rock win! Hello playoffs!
Rock win! Hello playoffs!

Not sure if I mentioned it before… but something was clearly wrong with the front left suspension in the Vibe. Last oil change they dismissed it as ‘ice build up’ but I thought that was BS. It was. My mechanic looked at it again this weekend (when there was clearly no longer any ice) and lo and behold, found the sway bar was rubbing against my break pads. It could have been dangerous. *sigh* Also the shocks are completely shot. Replacing the shocks is big money. So, the sway bar was fixed but the shocks were not. The car is on its last legs. We are trying to get as much time out of it as we can but…

Saturday evening was a get together with ‘The Boyz’; my oldest friends. The plan was to meet downtown then head to the Toronto Rock game. I went over to nivek’s early to attend his son’s ball hockey game. The game was pretty fun to watch, the ages and sizes of the boys seemed to vary dramatically… they were all under ten years old. I was pretty impressed with their grasp of hockey at such a young age. The game was tied up late. Nivek’s son made several key defensive plays. We eventually made our way South after the game. Traffic was ridiculous. The original plan was to park at Yorkdale and take the TTC down… but Yorkdale was a zoo. Quelle surprise! So we drove a little further (what a nightmare) and parked closer to the next stop at Wilson. Living well North of Toronto, I rarely ever take the TTC… So I always find it pretty interesting to watch how it bends and twists, and all the metal on metal ( \m/~ ) sounds you hear screeching from beneath the cars… I like it though. It is fairly clean and gets you downtown pretty quickly. Union station is a gong-show right now however as it undergoing a major renovation. But once we arrived, our meeting place the Loose Moose was only a very short walk away.

When KK and I arrived, Mike and Pat had already acquired a great table with a view of the TFC game. Immediately they tell us about their bus ride up to Toronto from Niagara. They said the ‘crazy white chick’ behind them on the bus was really loud and talking about how she just got released from jail. Well somehow she asked them if she could use one of their phones. Don’t know why, but MikeMike said yes. Well it sounds like her phone convos degraded into a series of wanna-be gangster f-the-police tirades. Oh joy… Now they have MikeMike’s number. *eyeroll* Eventually Ding joined us for lunch. It was lots of laughs and good times as we had lunch. Yes. We all ordered Woody’s. They are an awesome burger. The beer selection at Moose is impressive. Every time we are there I get to try new beers. I tried a Lake of Bays Spring Maple Belgian Blonde Ale which I eventually warmed to, and a Turtle Irish Red which I quite enjoyed. Unfortunately with Defoe and Bradley, TFC dropped a one nil game to Colorado. Ho-hum.

The 'legendary' Woody from the Loose Moose in Toronto
The ‘legendary’ Woody from the Loose Moose in Toronto

Ding was out for the game so the four of us walked down to the ACC to see the Rock. Admittedly I don’t follow the NLL. While I enjoy the game, I don’t have any real loyalty to the team. It was just something fun to do with the guys. It was an entertaining and close game. I loved that the goalie’s name was Miller. Miller stops ‘em cold! The Rock held on to win 10 – 9, the win getting them into the playoffs! Draft beer was $13 at the ACC. So we ordered zero beers. Instead, we went back to the Moose for another round. It was a great night. Lots of laughs and good times… we really need to get together more often.

While I was out, bdot was focused obsessed with finding a new knitting pattern. She uses a website called ravelry which is staggering. The vast volume of information on the site is beyond anything I’ve ever seen. The hunt is still on I believe.

I also finished a few Acts of Diablo 3 with my high heel wearing female Demon Hunter. I find it really silly that the graphic designers have the character running around killing monsters in sand (etc.) IN HIGH HEELS. Dupid. I’m however enjoying the class a lot and the game improvements have made it significantly more enjoyable to play…

Thank Gawd the Sabres season has mercifully come to an end. They were a bad team to start the season. Then they became a bad team decimated by injuries. I believe they dressed eight goalies this year. Their record was embarrassing, and their inability to score was record setting. I eventually just got behind the tank for last. Not doing so ensures only mediocrity, and I’m willing to suffer for awhile to achieve good results. We shall see… the next two drafts are crucial. The Sabres have acquired a ton of picks. This years draft they have potentially three first round picks! So as bad as the Sabres were, and they were really bad, I’m still optimistic with the current plan and the future.

Sabres suck. Final season stats.
Sabres suck. Final season stats.

The NHL playoffs start this week! I may be in two playoff pools. A lot has been made of the fact that there is only one Canadian team in the post-season. So… I guess it is all aboard S.S. Habs. There are Sabres all over the league as well… so pulling for Miller and Ott in St.Louis, and Pominville in Minnesota.

2014 NHL playoff breakdown
2014 NHL playoff breakdown

Game of Thrones spoilers ahead!

So wow… Does George R.R. Martin have wedding issues? What is now being called the Purple Wedding ended in a dramatic manner. The King being killed by pie? Or was it wine? And who? And why? Pretty much every character in the series would have a reason to kill the little douchebag. It will be curious to see how this hunt for the murderer unfolds. Judging by the jubilation on twitter it seems about time the King got his comeuppance. One character I won’t miss. Incredible job by the actor. I wonder if it was easy to play such a hated character.

Update:

Due to weather I opted out of driving down to St.Catharines for my Dad’s hockey pool. :/ Hopefully he got some good players! I did enter the pool with the ball hockey guys. I picked first for the first time ever. Which is both good and bad. Here is what I ended up with:

  • Krejci – BOS
  • Eriksson – BOS
  • Hossa – CHI
  • Subban – MONT
  • Williams – L.A.
  • Richards – L.A.
  • Gaborik – L.A.
  • Vatanan – ANA
  • Brassard – NYR
  • Voynov – L.A.
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