Ugh.

Updates, because you care. Actually, because I like to occasionally dump what’s on my mind (at least what I’m allowed to dump) out into a list to make things seem less stressful than they feel. Usually a list seems small or I can look at the positives on there.

Reading

Done reading Towers of Midnight, good stuff. I still don’t really see how it can end in one book unless it’s really abrupt.

I haven’t started the other book I bought yet but managed to steal some time to read up on the changes Pathfinder made to classes.

Computer “Crisis

Computer is at the shop (Future Shop) awaiting on the manufacturer (Gateway) to send them (FutureShop) a new part (video card). Dude said it could take about a week or so as I was eyeballing the video cards on the shelf. I contained myself, letting the warrant I purchased do its thing even if it would have only taken about ten minutes to replace the card myself.

The old computer is working well enough though I hate the set up on the kid’s table and the lack of a second monitor. Keyboard on top of the table slides while I’m playing which may have made me miss an interrupt of Arcane Storm… or two. *cringe* Cataclysm is playing fine on it, when I get a chance to log on.

WoW

Tank gear is getting there though it pains me that I’m not getting a chance to earn some cash, level some alts, farming some mats, doing the TB dailies, running dungeons with guildies trying to gear up for heroics/raids and running the daily heroic dungeon. Missing the daily heroic makes me feel a little like I’m letting the guildies down because I’m one of a few tanks in the 10-man guild so that means most of them are stuck in sucky long queues and facing bad tanks.

The guild seems happy with raiding and want MOAR. I want to help deliver that but at the moment, it’s going to be too costly for me. I’m definitely having fun.

We just got Maloriak down on Tuesday after two-shotting Magmaw and Omintron (those will be one-shots soon). Maloriak still needs some work. We would have had it sooner but we kept losing a DPS which meant hitting the enrage timer not once, not twice but thrice! Last time we were down to a Mage (Sjae rocks!) and a Holy Priest in Angel of Shame mode (I’m so happy he ditched Discipline and went back to Holy!). Sjae managed to finish off the last 100k or so (for a good time click here).

DC Universe Online

I haven’t touched it for almost two weeks. Kids haven’t asked about it. I think I’m going to cancel when I get my main computer back. I suppose I could cancel sooner if I figure out which email I created the account with.

Minecraft

Stop it Tim!

Pathfinder

The shift to Pathfinder is complete. Everyone was assimilated and we had our first session last night. It was fun, nice changes.

I flipped over from a Half-Orc Fighter to a full Elf Rogue. It was an interesting switch and I have to admit the rogue changes look good so far. The hit rolls are a little low, but they’ve compensated by adding in more bonus abilities which allow you to, optionally, pick up more combat related feats. Short of it, Rogues are a lot more flexible, not just in skill points as was the case in 3.5e.

First session was interesting. We tripped over a few of the mechanics but otherwise it went well enough. I don’t know if it was just a matter of me being tired but it seemed louder than usual – lots of people talking over each other. It was more of an enthusiastic loudness though, with people going on about some new ability they got.

Things should be interesting.

Hockey

This year my hockey viewing time has plummeted significantly. I simply haven’t made the time to watch any of it at all. That’s probably a good thing because Ottawa isn’t doing so hot this year.

I’ll leave work and family out of this post. Happy Birthday to TheWife… that’s all I’m going to say.

On Dany Heatley Asking For a Trade…

My first thought was, “Holy shit!”

Why? He’s accounted for a fair portion of Ottawa’s scoring over the last few years. I also can’t see getting equal value back because there aren’t too many 50 goal scorers left in the league… well, aside from Ovechkin and I seriously doubt Washington will give him up.

Do I feel betrayed? No. He’s a hockey player, he does that for a living and he wants to be happy with what he’s doing. He hasn’t said he hates Ottawa and doesn’t want to live here, in fact, he said the opposite. His complaints and reason for moving has been ‘hockey related’.

Do I think he’s a selfish asshole like a lot of people have been saying? Nope. He’s doing what he thinks is best for his career. He’s not chasing the money, he already has that, and he has openly said that if a trade doesn’t get done he’s going to honor his contract, show up for camp (in Ottawa) and play as an Ottawa Senator.

I do hope he stays in Ottawa and the coaching staff can resolve his sense of having a “diminished role”. The interesting thing is that he said it was an issue even before Clouston that after the first couple of years here (under Murray), his role has diminished.

What does that mean?

I’m not entirely sure, but I can make some guesses.

Alfredsson plays it all. He’s on for five on five (first and sometimes second line), four on four, penalty kill (whether we’re down one man or two) and on the powerplay – sometimes even as a fourth forward hanging back on the blue line.

Dany Heatley is on for the first line and the power play. People think he’s complaining about being moved to the second line power play late last season but he’s no idiot, he must know that Clouston was trying to open up some more offence from multiple lines. Previous coaches were attempting this by moving someone onto the first line while keeping the Spezza and Heatley combo going. Maybe Spezza can work with others on the first line and Heatley can bolster the second line to the point where it actually has some offense and Ottawa stops being a one line team.

No, I think it’s simply that he’s being pigeon-holed as a goal scorer and he doesn’t like it. How many of you would like to be pigeon-holed as some very specific role when you feel you have a whole lot more you can do? Back when he first got here, he was seeing a lot of ice time which included the penalty kill.

Why did that change? Was he a liability? I don’t think so. And when you trade off a guy like Vermette, you’d think he might end up on the PK again.

I don’t know, maybe the coaches were trying to ensure he was rested for each of his shifts so they used him less.

The guy wants to be more involved in the success of a team (apparently he has been talking to the many different coaches Ottawa has had over the last couple of years) so fans are blasting him for it?

My thoughts are: good for him. He’s tried talking to them and that didn’t work so he should do what he can to ensure he’s happy with what he’s doing for a living.

I know the fans and media are making a bigger deal out of it than anyone else.

As an Ottawa fan, I hope he doesn’t get traded and things get resolved so he’s happy here. I honestly don’t see what we could possibly get back in exchange for him and if it ends up being more than one player (which it will have to be), we’re going to have fun with that because our roster is already pretty damn full.

Founder’s Box

For once I don’t mean WAR in any way, shape or form. I was at the Ottawa Senators pre-season game against Philly last night but I wasn’t in the common stands, no. I was in the Founder’s Box which is way up on the penthouse level.

I want a seat like they have there for work. The pull down seat was leather and about 5-6″ thick and softer than a cloud. I’m 6’2″ and I could barely touch the floor with my feet, but still, so comfortable. Oh, I should get one for the desk at home too!

The bird’s eye view was good. We were behind the away net to the left (if you’re looking at the front of it), long side just after the corner.

Before that, we had a preview of the food that will be served to the box seat ticket holders. Wow, was it good. The Angus Sliders were my personal favorite. I regret having found them too late in the mingling because I probably would have camped them and KSed anyone that tried to get one (I’ve got to add some MMO lingo in there).

The game itself was not too bad. I felt a little out of it watching but I usually feel that way when I’m at the game. I’m a bit of a people watcher so I sometimes see something interesting and miss the puck being dropped or something. I also find that I miss the commentators (even Bob Cole and Harry Neale… but only a little..) and replays. I also miss the HD and rewind (PVR, DVR.. what ever). I know, HD vs. real life, but there is something to be said about having a pause button.

Philly looked like they weren’t really into it, at least not offensively. I think they managed about 15 shots on goal in the whole game. I would have thought with so many young players trying to earn a spot on the roster they would have played harder – unless the Philly roster is already decided? It was also their first pre-season game (so the radio said).

On Ottawa’s side Phillips, Schubert, Ruutu, Donovan, Fisher and McAmmond were missing.

I have to say I liked the look of some of the rookies. Despite what Dean Brown (I think it was?) was saying on the post game last night, #60 (Greg Maulden -sp?) played well. I thought he showed some skill though I do have to admit he looked unwilling to hit out there.

I was impressed by Jesse Winchester (#18) on the first line with Spezza and Heatley, but we’ll have to see how he does in the real season. Any Sens readers remember Bochenski’s pre-season awesomeness with Spezza and Heatley? Yeah.. let’s see how he does. That said, he showed a lot of fire on the ice. He played hard and to the hilt, throwing hits and back checking and making some decent plays. He even scored a goal from a bad angle by putting it to the front of the neat as Foligno was crashing the net and it went in off the Philly Defenseman. I have to admit, I was skeptical about putting him up on the first line but it’s looking good now.

Nick Foligno (#71) looked good as well. There was one point where I thought he was trying to be too unselfish and passed instead of shooting, but there ended up being a goal anyway. I thought his focus on the puck and willingness to throw the body was a good combination. He’s looking good on the line with Bass (#58) and Neil (#25).

I really wonder what the lines will be like when everyone is in the line up? Will that line (it was the 3rd line last night) be the 4th line? If so, it’ll be good to see that the checking line has is a scoring threat.

Defense. I thought Smith (#21) was solid again and Kuba (#17) did well enough. Bell (#9) had a little issue that cost them a goal – but I’ll give him credit for not screening Gerber, who probably should have stopped it. He might have been a little surprised. Bell didn’t let that hold him back though and he kept at it. I’m not going to talk about the A-Train (#24), he seemed a little quiet and I was waiting for him to lay someone out. Lee (#55) look alright but a little unnoticeable.I was a little surprised to see Richardson (#2) on the ice. I didn’t think he got a contract with the Sens? Maybe he’s still trying to break the line up anyway. He actually did pretty well. I didn’t see him make any mistakes but I didn’t see anything spectacular.

Honestly, I think they’re really going to miss Redden and fans that hated him will see what he brought to the team. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. You know that stretch pass Bell tried from behind the blue line? That was the kind of pass Redden would pull off multiple times per game. Notice all the bobbling of the puck on the attack line during the power play? Again, Redden was awesome there. Did you see when, I think it was, Lee slipped into the open slot from the blue line and missed the back door play? Redden usually hit the net there.

Really, people were too hard on Redden and I was disappointed to see him go.

It’s going to be tough to get a spot on the blue line (defense) for anyone looking to make it. Here’s what they have:

  • Chris Phillips
  • Anton Volchenkov
  • Jason Smith
  • Filip Kuba
  • Christoph Schubert
  • Brian Lee
  • Alexandre Picard
  • Brendan Bell
  • Matt Carkner
  • Luc Richardson

Likely in about that order.

There you go, some hockey talk.