Blackhawks Game Review: Nov 9th, 2017 vs Flyers

Chair near fireplace

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a poor passing game!

The Blackhawks had some good looks but some of their shooters need to stop thinking so much. By that, I mean the milliseconds of over-thinking are costing goals. Passing is in the absolute shitter right now. A lot of these guys resemble Solo 3s in Rocket League, chasing the puck and not thinking about their teammates or rotating in the D zone.

  • Kane looks like a body on the ice who’s without his spirit animal (Panarin). There was even a time where Toews and Kane entered in the zone (2 on 2 I think) and Kane was wide open, tapping his stick, ready to fire, and Toews shot at the goal instead. Now, it’s possible that the Flyers defensemen were in the way of a pass, but they certainly were in front of Toews’ shot.
  • Toews seems like he’s really frustrated that things just aren’t falling together like they should. He’s out there, trying to make sure his positioning is picture-perfect, and passes aren’t connecting, a stick is always in his way, or he doesn’t win a battle. And even if he does win, it looks like nothing is done with the puck so it must be very mentally draining to try to win every battle only to have your team not step up and do something with the puck.
  • I’m back to the point where, whenever the opposing team takes a penalty, 2 free minutes just got subtracted from the game for the opponent. It’s so hard to watch a team with so much talent have such a hard time getting goals.

The last handful of games I’ve watched, where we lost, it looks like those teams just have us figured out. They don’t even seem afraid when we have scoring chances. “What’s that? Patrick Sharp has a breakaway on our goalie? Eh, we’ll get to him in a minute. I want to ask for this girl’s phone number first.” (Sharp didn’t score on his last breakaway in case you were wondering)

Sure, on one hand it’s just the start of the season. The team is figuring things out and our schedule isn’t helping us at all. Games are too unevenly spaced where it seems like our guys are having a tough time playing enough to develop consistency in the first place. It seems like either we’re doing very well, either outright winning or shutting out the opponent, or we’re starving for any offensive chances and our passing is abysmal.

 

Proposed solution:

Passing plays for 3 days. No exceptions. Q, quit fucking with the lines. Can’t get consistent chemistry if you keep stirring the bowl.

Rant: Political xenophobia on the bus

This morning I got a dose of “assholism” on the bus, on my way to work. After I sat down, I noticed a much older man talking to a woman who was across from him toward the front of the bus. He is White, she is Black. He was saying something along the lines of “I am an [unintelligible] and I’m from America” and the woman responding, in a very, very thick accent said “I am from America too!”

He went on a mini-rant talking about America and “Obama” but I couldn’t make out what he was saying. She was yelling back at him to leave her alone. He then tried to point out that she had dropped something on the floor. I think at that point all she expected was more harassment because her responses were “Stop talking to me. Leave me alone!” but then she realized when he said “Shut the fuck up, god dammit. You dropped your [unintelligible] on the fucking floor!”. She picked up the item and didn’t say anything to him.

He then cocked his head back, eyes widened, and said something along the context of her not appreciating his “kindness”. She responded and said “You are drunk! You are not well!” while she got up to exit the bus. He started slapping himself and said “Hit me again. HIT ME AGAIN!” and then started mumbling to himself.

A moment before this point, I was teetering on my chair about to stand up and tell him to shut up. Initially I thought this guy was harassing her for being Black, but I couldn’t tell exactly what he was saying to say with 100% certainty. But my gut says he was being xenophobic. He was 100% an asshole, for sure. When the next stop came up, she got off the bus. Then he departed a few stops later, but not before rambling to the people around him. He looked like he was searching for some kind of approval, like “You see? These foreigners have no appreciation for people like me! You get me, right?”

No, man. I don’t get you.

After he got off the bus, I let out a big audible sigh and said out loud “Boy, what an asshole!” No one looked up. No one said anything. The passengers were just as still as they were when the man and woman were arguing. I almost wondered why no one closer to the couple said anything. Maybe the same thought that was going through my head was going through theirs: “Don’t escalate the situation. Sure, this guy is being a prick, but what will confronting him solve if he’s drunk or deranged?”

I certainly didn’t want to escalate the situation. When things like this happen I always try to remember an old police story in which the lesson is similar to “the best situations, the ones you can walk away from, are the ones you can deescalate”. I felt like any outside stimulation would agitate this man, and as long as he wasn’t touching anyone or acting threatening, then it wasn’t my place to intervene.

Still though, fuck him for being a prick to that lady.

Death at Every Size

I saw a post about “Fat, but fit” in a fitness community I follow and I wanted to write up a summary on how the “Healthy at Every Size” community (from which the “Fat, but fit” myth likely spawned from) and why it presents a danger to the fitness community, and the public at large.

No, you fat. Stop eating so much.

The “Healthy at Every Size” (or “HAES”) community has all the elements of a movement that has good intentions: Promoting awareness that people have feelings and some people don’t like feeling ashamed for being obese, short, deformed, or tall, etc. But what’s wrong with this movement is that it was hijacked by the Identity Politics movement. Some people refer to them as “Social Justice Warriors”. Some call them “special snowflakes”. But no matter what you call them, at the root of the activism has become a circus of mental gymnastics, identity politics, and a victimhood state.

Mental Gymnastics

What these people have done, is taken the HAES movement to include a militant style of *”if you disagree with me, you’re a \*-phobic person. Therefor you’re disgusting and it gives me the right to verbally abuse you.”* The philosophy of the movement has now morphed itself into it’s own self-fullfilling prophecy, where if a person is morbidly obese, the world must accept them and conform to their own perceptions of health and beauty – and if the world does not, it only proves to them that their paradigm is correct: “People are inherently bigoted against [obese] people, therefor I need to remain diligent.”

Identity politics

It’s probably safe to assume that most of you are well aware of the in-fighting that happens within modern political activism groups. If you aren’t of a certain social status, race, or religion, for example, then you aren’t allowed to have an opinion about a socio-polital issue, or you aren’t awarded the same respect that another person might have. This has the same effect on the HAES community, where if you don’t list dozens of other afflictions, or identify a certain way, then you won’t be taken as seriously, or people might view you as a fraud. IMO this causes people to branch out as far as they can to become as unique as possible. Think “Level 5 Vegan”: https://youtu.be/RtuMIaOGRy8?t=14

Victimhood state

It’s also safe to assume that most of you are aware of the meme about how “kids these days” are handed participation trophies and are coddled to avoid having any hurt feelings. There’s some truth to be found in these skin-deep perceptions about today’s youth. Some elements are found in these political activist groups, where as long as you cry victim, other people will listen to you. So if crying victim guarantees to yield an audience, then you’ll find fraudulent victims within activist groups to promote their political agenda. This might be the worst and most harmful elements of these kinds of activist groups, because the victimhood state creates a danger in delegitimizing *real* victims in the eyes of the public, causing real victims (e.g. people who suffer from depression or have an eating disorder, etc) to lose their audience, or causing real victims to feel like they aren’t worthy to seek help because they don’t have dozens of other afflictions or don’t identify a certain way.

I’d say, the best way to combat the “Fat, but fit” myth, is to stay diligent in showing people that will, exercise, and diet, are some of the best tools a person can use to get into a more healthy lifestyle, to link to peer-reviewed studies, and to show kindness and respect.

Do you even Google, bruh?

“John” from an IT department in another city had a pressing question that required him to go through multiple channels of esteemed IT professionals, only to fall into my lap so that my immense experience could thrust into action and help this poor soul.

John:

Hi, [Name of person who’s responsible for Mac IT in another city] gave your name to me as someone who might be able to help. I have a [VIP] who wants a Mac but needs Project and Visio. Do you have any suggestions?

Me:
Hi John. If a user needs Project and Visio they need to run Microsoft Windows, as I’m sure you know these pieces of software have not been ported to the Mac. A remote Virtual Machine would solve this problem.

I then go to Google and start searching for “MS Project Mac alternatives” and see a list of software that might help this person. Eh, there’s some software that might help, but whoever is requesting this Mac probably has no business owning one.

It’s common for a VIP at my work to want a Mac because, well, they look pretty and “important” people just love having a Mac with them.

John:
Thanks.  I understand that, but a VM won’t work for this Officer and I know there are project and visio alternatives out there, just need to find the right ones that can export into Project and Visio themselves.

OK asshole. If your VIP needs to have this software, and you know it’s not available for the Mac, and if you know there are alternatives, what the fuck are you doing asking me? Do all IT managers have their abilities to do Google searches revoked?

Me:
I’m sorry, I thought you said they need Project and Visio.

Which is correct. I was so irritated with him I couldn’t help but splash this back at him. As in “Dude, you just told me your customer needs this software. I went and did a Google search for you, and now you’re shifting the goal posts.”

Me:
I’m unaware of any alternatives at this time.

A few minutes go by. He’s probably bitching to his coworkers about me not being helpful. I want to help this guy about as much as I want to help an ex-prostitute get hooked back on heroin. I can’t stand it when lazy people reach out to me for questions they could easily research themselves, in about a fraction of the time it takes me to have this conversation.

John:
thanks!

Fucking idiot.

My email is my passport, verified.

“Sally” over in Finance wanted to know if I’m still receiving a monthly stipend for my work using my personal phone as their virtual leash to my life.

“Zan,

I am trying to make sure my records are updated. Are you still receiving a monthly stipend of $20 for number 666-420-6969.”

 

“Hi Sally,

Rest assured, your records are correct. However, I’ve upgraded to an Apple iPhone 9,001 and I’ll be needing 5x the stipend for this new phone, as it’s gas-operated and the maintenance costs on it alone are over $100 a month for its immense thirst for power. Please let me know what my options are, as I have about 1 gallon of gas left and I have to choose between calling my mother, or eating.
-Zan”

I hovered over the “Send” button on this email, but decided not to fire it off, because I don’t know her that well, and in the back of my mind I felt like she wouldn’t understand either a) a wisecrack, or b) the fact that it’s April 1st tomorrow, and today is a Friday; which means I only have today to be professionally silly.

Jake’s got a gun.

Sometimes I get a little playful at work. The corporate environment can sometimes beg for a break in the monotony of politeness in emails, etc. Today I invited my friend Jake to take on some silliness.

From: Me
To: Jake
Hey Jake. Were you able to test those scripts last week?

 

From: Jake
To: Me
I meant to tell you about my progress the other day but then the other team hasn’t yet responded. I’ll prod them a little bit and let you know how it goes.

 

From: Me
To: Jake
Aren’t there tests you can conduct from your end? Do you have a gun you can use to persuade them?

 

From: Jake
To: Me
well, I actually ran the modified versions of the scripts and it sorta worked but there were discrepancies between what the new script and the old script were pulling when it ran on schedule. I’m hoping someone from the other group can tell me why

 

From: Me
To: Jake
Would you please expand on what you mean by “sorta”?
 
I’m also going to need an answer on the gun issue.

 

From: Jake
To: Me
I was trying to send you zip files of the new scripts and the report results of both old and new scripts so you could see for yourself but my email client keeps crashing when I try.  The short version is that the new script is only pulling a very small subset of the data.

And yes but that would violate my parole.

Then Jake decided to IM me.

Jake: you want me to bring over copies of the data?
Me: No. Just give me the gun. I know what to do.
Jake: that would also violate my parole
Me: Jake, you gotta stop getting in trouble man.
Me: You're killing me here.
Me: FIGURATIVELY.
Jake: with a gun?
Me: The data can wait. Let's take a look at it tomorrow.
Jake: sounds good
Jake: I'll be remote tomorrow
Jake: but we can figure something out
Me: There's always a way.
Me: Especially with a gun.
Me: Unless your name is Jake.

 

 

 

Dammit.

How it’s spelled:

  • God dammit
  • God damn it
  • goddammit
  • damn it

How it’s not spelled:

  • damnit

When you spell it like “damnit” my brain thinks you’re saying “dam-n-it”. It’s one of the most frustrating pronunciations my brain tries to perform when it’s spelled this way because the word has to slow down to pronounce the “n” and speed back up to say the “it”. Stop it, God dammit.

Nostalgia Entertainment System

NES Classic then and now

Welcome to the era of nostalgia! Kids born in the late 70s to the mid-80s are now reliving their childhood with the help of Nintendo. Now you too can earn mythical internet points for spending money on a console and taking a picture with said console, when you can download NES ROMs and an emulator for free.

I’m not the gatekeeper to fun. If this dude wants to spend his money on a NES Classic to re-live some old games, more power to him (Nintendo power?). However, there feels like there’s a sheen of pretentiousness to the Nintendo Classic. No one gave a fuck about old NES games for the last 10-15 years, except vintage gaming enthusiasts. There have always been NES consoles available to the public. So what’s up with the hype?

Well, I’ve got a theory.

We are in full swing into a nostalgia era. Think about it, we’ve been bombarded by nostalgia in the movie theaters in the last 5-10 years. Pixels, Jurassic World, Star Wars: A New Hope II: The Franchise Awakens, The Karate Kid, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Total Recall, RoboCop, X-Men First Class (sort of), Star Trek, Star Trek II: Into Fartness, etc. It was only a matter of time before video game manufacturers got an idea in their head to reap the benefits of people’s nostalgia. I hear SEGA also released a “classic” version, but it’s been reported that their re-release wasn’t really well thought through (no HDMI output, etc).

I can’t wait for this era to be over. It’s so fucking boring. Thank goodness I’ve got my video games. If you need me I’ll be playing Call of Duty 16: Space Ghost Recon Warriors and Battlefield 10: 1776.

Instagram bots: cease all motor functions

For a long time I resisted Instagram as a medium for sharing photos. The interface and the constant stream of photos with retro filters reeked of pretentiousness.

“HURR look at me and my friends. We look like we’re out of some old photo album from the 70s.” Every Instagram user, ever.

It wasn’t until earlier this year that I finally decided to sign up so I could subscript to a cool car decal account and follow a few other people. Hell, I kind of wanted to join in on some of the fun with sharing some non-serious photos (no coffee/food photo rule still applies though). I also figured it would be a good way to connect with some people with similar photography interests.

Holy fuck was I wrong.

Instagram is mostly filled with “like” and “follow” bots that randomly interact with your account when you

  • Follow someone popular
  • Use a popular tag
  • Sign in

The other day I decided to follow all sorts of fitness icons that I also follow on YouTube. Within a day my account started getting “followed” by other, smaller fitness Instagram accounts. I don’t post fitness photos. I don’t post fitness motivational posters. I mostly post pictures of me and my dog or random shit from around Chicago.

Of course, using popular tags was the most understandable way to receive bot traffic. I mean, that’s how a lot of articles try to trick search engines to funnel traffic is to flood their pages with popular tags. I get it. Social media is a “numbers game” and you want to get as much exposure as possible. But at some point there is an apex of diminished returns. There are only so many tags you can throw on a photo before people will ignore your shit regardless.

I’ve noticed that just merely signing in will get bots to “like” one of your photos in order for you to check out their profile page, which 99% of the time is a business or an Instagram “personality”. I found this out after going a week or two from signing into Instagram, then after signing in and browsing my subscriptions, within a minute later an account would “like” one of my most recent uploads. This could be confirmation bias, but the pattern keeps reinforcing itself all the time.

This seems to be a growing trend among lots of social media platforms. A lot of them seem to cater to the same vulnerability of being subject to bot farms, of which a lot of people feel like they need to buy “likes” from in order to stay afloat and relevant among these platforms’ popularity algorithms. This is what it feels like to be afloat in the sea of banality with sensational titles and tags.

I want to look at “real” people’s photos. And not pictures of fucking restaurant meals, latte foam, or the same tired old selfie mirror style shot, or stupid memes. They’re more boring than studying the mating thrust depth of insects. I want simple beautiful photos of people just being people. Or nice thought-out photos of environments. Or clever themes.

But then again, it’s not my right to say what I want on a free platform. On a free platform, I’m not the user, I’m the product. It’s my information that’s being used and sold. If I’m so fucking hip, like I’m the Sheriff of photographs, then it’s my job to do something interesting, right? Maybe.

Maybe I just need to find more quality people to follow on Instagram. If I come up with a good list I’ll post a follow-up to this blog post.

Hold the door.

“Why is this door always locked? Do you have to insist on locking the screen door as well?” I’d always ask my dad when I would visit. He was a real stickler for home security.

Weapons near every door and large window. A gun near his nightstand. You know, just in case a crazed intruder decides to kick open the door while my father is finishing his 5th glass of Scotch while watching his baseball game. Or Football game. Or hockey game. Or while passed out in his bed.

Every time I would come over for a visit, I’d have to wait for him to unlock a series of deadbolts, handle locks, and of course, the fucking screen door. Of all things in the holy name of home security, the aluminum screen door is just a few ounces more of a deterrent than those wretched “Neighborhood watch – we call the cops!” signs I would see in the windows of old folks’ homes.

It wasn’t too much of an inconvenience. If anything I was mostly bothered by the absurdity of the situation. I would poke fun at him. “Gee dad, I can see the newspapers now: Crime foiled by aluminum screen door, thanks to diligent ex-cop.” He never found those jokes very funny. I mean, he’d smile and take a little bit of his annoyance out on me with an extra-hard hug. Dad’s do these things, I suppose. But I always persisted that it was time to drop the charade. “You don’t live in a crime-ridden neighborhood, dad. Lock the doors when you leave, sure, but there’s no need to be locked up while you’re home. No one’s going to invade your home with you in it. Surely not in the middle of the day on a Sunday when everyone is outside walking around.”

The logic just never set in. He had his ways and I would not be successful in ever persuading him.

Then comes this morning. I’m reminded of the absurdity. The jokes. The fake newspaper headlines.

I have come home from my morning walk, settled in, fed the pets, ate some breakfast, and took a shower. The girlfriend had gotten up to get ready for her day. She walks down to the front room and I hear the click of the deadlock. “Did you just lock the front door” I said. We live in an apartment building that has a buffer of one locked front door to the building and locked back gate. “Yes.” she replied.

“Why?”
She says “I don’t want anyone just walking in.”
“But no one will walk in. Our apartment is locked down.”
She says “The locked door will prevent it anyway.”
I respond sarcastically, yet annoyed “Just because it’s true doesn’t mean that’s not crazy.”
She says “I just like the door locked.”

Fine. I’m an unwilling participant in, what may be the most pedestrian magic trick of all time. Ladies and gentleman, come witness the unbreakable fortress that no one wants to get into at 7AM: my apartment. Thanks to the bravery and diligence of my girlfriend, and my father before her, I will never have to worry about an intruder during my brief periods of visitation occupancy.

Thank goodness for useful idiotic behavior.

“Attention passengers. The risk has of intrusion has now been reduced to near zero. Instead of 15 locked doors a person must get through, now 16 locks have been engaged. You are welcome. You are safe.”

Just like people who suffer from OCD, or people who just have to make sure the oven is turned off, even though they just checked 5 minutes ago, they are making their world, not mine, safer one inconvenience at a time.

“Attention shoppers. There are armed guards outside of the grocery store. A Brazilian armada might attempt to invade the store. In a land-locked state. You’re safe at Corporate-Co Shopping.

We’ve stocked emergency gas masks behind the Customer Service desk just in case our relationship with Canada goes south and they decide to use biochemical warfare on our store. We’ve got your backs.”

Turning a light switch on and off. Meditate. Celebrate. You’ve ensured that the flow of electricity has stopped. You are one with the universe. You are in a warm blanket. Disengage the lock. Engage the lock. A happy reminder that no one can breach your fortress. Click. Clack. Your childhood innocence will surely come back.

“Attention all patients. You must wear this jacket to prevent your own hands from harming yourself.”

 

You can never be too safe.

Under the hood

More power!