Thursday, May 27, 2010

finals time

Over the weekend the Chicago Blackhawks won the NHL Western Conference championship and for the fifth time since 1967 the Clarence S. Campbell trophy which captain Johnathan Toews refused to hold knowing there was more hockey to play.

The trophy was initially given to the team with the best regular season record in the western conference which the Blackhawks had in 1971, 1972, and 1973 and later to the conference champion which the Hawks won on the same day Johnny Carson did his last show in 1992.

Knowing their opponent, the Philadelphia Flyers, were the seventh seed in the eastern conference and just like the NBA Chicago Bulls won 41 out of 82 regular season games including one on the last day to make the playoffs, people are already stating playing this series will be nothing but a formality. (Note: the Flyers record is listed as 41-35-6. The 6 stands for overtime losses and not ties as one point is awarded for an overtime loss since 1999 and a shootout was created in 2005 so no NHL game would end in a tie.)

It is not that uncommon for the team in the NHL playoffs without the home ice advantage to win in a seven game series as matchups and goaltending could make the difference. Since 2000, there have been 22 playoff series involving teams with a 10+ difference in wins and the lesser team has won 7 times including Montreal defeating Washington this year. Also, half of the 14 playoff series this year have been won by the team with the fewer regular season points including two by the Flyers and the Blackhawks in the conference finals even though they had more regular season wins than San Jose.

The NHL has a history of playoff upsets including Minnesota defeating the Blackhawks in the first round of the 1991 playoffs though the Blackhawks won 22 more regular season games.

Looking further back, this is the combined regular season record of the Blackhawks in the three seasons they won the title (1934, 1938, 1961):

When I posted about the Blackhawks in October, my concern about the team was goal tending. My initial thought was that if they could stop 90% of the shots in the playoffs, the team would be fine. Had that happened in the conference finals, San Jose would probably be up three games to one by Sunday afternoon. As long as Niemi and the rest of the team stays healthy, I do not see the Blackhawks needing more than five games to win the Stanley Cup. Hopefully, the team will play to their abilities and make this happen.

Friday, May 21, 2010

This is not what a Whammy Burger looks like on the menu

As I stated when I posted about problems getting fast food, I have tried to not create problems since the people who work at these places are mostly people who can't get a job somewhere else. However recent issues have changed that.

When getting a kids meal on Tuesday, I noticed the price on the order screen was different than the menu. When I got to the cashier, I mentioned it along with the fact that it was the third time at three different locations within the past two weeks that I was being charged more than it listed on the menu. Here is a chart showing them: (note: The same thing also happened to me at a place near Penguicon in Detroit on May 2)

Her first reply was, "It is the tax."

My instinct as it was the previous two times the person told me this is as follows: To reach out of my car, grab the person by the neck and scream in their face, "I can see the cost listed on the order screen that exists for me to check orders and can easily tell when it is more than what is on the menu board. Even if the screen was not there, I know that if I purchase an item costs $4.19 in a town that has a 7.75 percent tax rate, the total will not be $4.62!"

Since I really did not want to argue over eleven cents, I showed her the camera phone pic I took of their menu board and she promised to have her supervisor look into it. I will be back today to see if it was changed.

I know that if I decided to eat at these places less often I would not only have less dealings with them but also would probably weigh less than I do. Maybe my current disgust with these places is my body's way of getting me to lose weight.

Note: A couple of days after the third time, I stopped at the place and the menu sign was not changed.

Monday, May 17, 2010

LOL gaming

I initially wrote this in January but never posted it since there were topics on every week. As I did not think of anything this past Thursday, I was going to post this but did not get a chance. Here it is now:

While playing the last story in Left 4 Dead 2, (yes I finally got around to it) I noticed a jukebox that looked like it was working. I hit the action button and it took a disc and appropriately since I was in New Orleans the song "When the Saints Come Marchin' In." I tried it again and it changed to a couple of songs by the fictional group created for the game. The third time a very familiar tune started to play. "Re: your Brains". The Jonathan Coulton song I downloaded for Rock Band and have an autographed shirt with the lyrics.

I was laughing so hard, I needed to pause the game. Since the song is written from the point of view of a zombie and since the game was created by the same company that made Portal in which Jonathan Coulton wrote a song, I can see it happening. (I also discovered later that by hitting the jukebox, the Song "Still Alive" which was the song written for Portal will play.)

That got me thinking about other moments like that:

I enjoyed Grant Theft Auto before most people heard of it. The first two versions had an overhead view of the game and included a mission where you got a bus, picked up people, dropped them off at a hot dog processing plant, and delivered hot dogs among other new things like kill frenzies and finding out personally why someone was named El Burro (the donkey).

What got me was a mission where you had to show two hookers whose in charge. After getting the instructions on where to go and what to do, giant words appeared on the computer "Slap them Bitches". For some reason my wife did not think it was as funny.

When I was a kid, one cartoon I always watched was Wacky Races. It featured cars based on stereotypes such as cavemen, gangsters, soldiers, and a pretty but dumb woman. For some reason I liked the #9 car driven by Peter Perfect.

It was only recently watching the rerun on Boomerang at 7AM did I realize the car was shaped like a giant penis as it won a race as he was able to stretch out the front of the car after it was crunched.

Anyway, they created a Mario Cart type game based on the Wacky Races and I had to get it. When facing the 00 car of Dick Dastardly, as the time counted 3, 2, 1, it took off at the 2. I had always wondered since that car had a jet engine, why did he bother to try to mess up the other racers especially when he was in the lead anyway?

Shortly after the first Madden football game was made, EA created Mutant League Football. It was 7 on 7 featuring mutant replications of many current and past football teams featuring players like Reggie Fright, Joe Magician, LT Impaler and Bones Jackson. Players when hit too hard would break into pieces and even referees could end up as part of the carnage.

One of the plays allowed you to bribe the referee who would call phony penalties against the opponent. Of course it could be countered by killing the ref. One time after engaging the bribe ref, one of the players from the other team farted and the ref called a penalty for excessive gas.

Ok. Maybe it was not that funny or I guess you had to be there.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

still not diabetic

I have been told that I am diabetic for over 30 years though every blood test I have taken, including the three I have taken in the past twelve months, have stated that I am not. However, one ignorant person still insists that is the case.

Anyway, after explaining a couple of months ago that half the people on my cel phone contact list who are neither related nor work with me work in computers, I thought about making a chart to show it. It took me a couple of months to do so since sitting down on my computer has been painful with the muscles in my upper left leg initially injured in 1994 and reinjured when I had my knee surgery in July 2009. Having gone to the park district fitness center the past 6 weeks, the pain I had sitting down now occurs more while on the machines and not during the rest of the time.

Though the idea of running a 40 minute 5k in 2010 is still not likely, it was nice last Friday to be able to run past my daughter without a limp for the first time since I stepped on a hot dog in September 2008 or play kickball on Saturday without limping or stumbling around.

Anyway, here is the chart:

Computer people have jobs ranging from installing lines to writing software to the person you talk to when something goes wrong. Non computer jobs range from office to retail to performing music to one of Lord Farquaad's henchman at the Shrek 3D ride at Universal Studios Orlando.

Over the past 2 1/2 months, though I have added about 5 non computer names, the 50% claim I made in February was still not valid but the statement that I can contact someone who knows more than I do and possibly solve or diagnose a problem is valid. There are also people on my contact list who do not have a job with computers but are computer savvy including the people who put together the videos I have posted on this site and six music artists that use them to assemble and mix their songs.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Why I got a haircut

On Sunday April 25, I was waiting for a call from my best friends Luke and Carrie to record a segment for their audio podcast called "Luke and Carrie's Bad Rapport" ( as a feature titled "Let's Call Ken" is a semi regular part of each episode.

When I got the call, I was asked to go to Luke's house to record in person and to bring my daughter with me. Confused, I saved the XBox game I was playing and drove 25 minutes. When I got there I realized what was up and this is the finished product: (Note, there is some adult language in the video)

(The Let's Call Ken segment starts at the 1:50 mark; no adult language in that part. The puppet of me appears in another part of the video starting at 5:10. That part is the one with a bad word stated about five times.)

As it premiered on May 1st live at the Penguicon convention in Troy, MI, I realized it would be best for me to match the puppet's haircut so that is why I got my hair cut when I did since I usually go to conventions with as long of hair as possible.

I took a picture with the puppet on the 24th. Once I get a copy, I will add it.

Note: The day I posted this I had to write a commercial invoice and this came to mind: