And apparently i was so excited i completely neglected to invite Jamie, my dad, or anyone else who would appreciate seeing Phil Keaggy play with half of Chagall Guevera (and half the band that played on his amazing “Crimson and Blue” album) with some of the other best musicians in Nashville.
So, i’m a jerk.
Not only that, but i neglected to adequately test my Canon S3IS’s ability to record REALLY LOUD music. It handled it better than my Sansa, but not quite as good as the old tape recorder in my pocket used to when i bootlegged every show i saw. Oh – and i also didn’t think to take two SD cards, just a single 2GB job that could hold about 70min of video tops.
But at any rate, i recorded what i could. But i missed the last 3 tunes (including Rick Cua’s one and only amazing bass solo) and the audio quality is poor.
However, even though the audio is fairly trashy, it unfortunately gives you an accurate feel for the sound that evening. REALLY LOUD and unbalanced. The drums and organ were way too loud, and you could barely hear Phil Keaggy’s or Dave Perkins’ guitars, or Phil Keaggy’s and Mark Williamson’s vocals. But all-in-all it was still pretty amazing.
I recorded video when i felt like i could. I didn’t have a tri-pod and i wasn’t sure they really wanted the whole thing video taped, so i just left it sitting on the table recording the lens cap and sound most of the show, and occasionally would pick it up and pretend to take still photos and shoot video of the band. I realized after the fact that they probably would have been fine with me setting up a tripod in the corner and recording the whole thing… lessons learned.
Anyway – here’s a rough version of them covering the Beatles’ “Get Back”. I’ll try to clean up the audio and post the whole show later.
Note about the band name: They were the Faux Brummles…named after the Beau Brummels, a ‘fake’ British Invasion band that was really from the ‘States. Since these guys weren’t really a band, they figured they’d be a fake-fake-band. I took the misspelling of “Brummles” from the marquee out front, but who knows if that was a typo or intentional. They said if they ever play again it’ll be under a different name, so don’t look for them too hard in the future.
In yet another shining example that the Predators new ownership, management, and marketing teams clearly “get it”, they just released this fabulous video for Mother’s Day (which i think was clearly filmed a few weeks ago while everyone was still in town).
Many many words will be written about this team and this series. I’ll chime in with a few of my own shortly, but first, i think this video says a ton all by itself.
This is the final 4.8 seconds of the Predators season on the ice, followed by the fans thanking the team for the crazy ride this season turned out to be. Then the team returning the favor, saying ‘thank you’ to a city that rallied behind the them.
This team never gave up, just like their fans who refused to give them up to outsiders who called us ‘unworthy’. Many said this team wasn’t capable of finishing above 10th in the conference, and many of the same people said this city couldn’t and wouldn’t support a hockey team. We proved them all wrong.
Thank you Predators! See you back at prospect and training camps this summer :-)
“Breaking News” – not only did the Preds win game 3 tonight, but the Metro Council finally has the new lease out of committee and looks ready to vote on it today (tomorrow…er…Tuesday the 15th). Good timing!
I’ll leave it to those smarter than me to dissect the game fully (or you can just watch highlights below). Sufficed to say, Trotz made adjustments, something he hasn’t done well in the past. The adjustments in lines and match-ups freed our players to do what they needed to do, and they got the job done.
You will also hear much regarding the crowd tonight. Once again, there were several long standing ovations, and the final 3-4 minutes was probably the loudest i’ve ever experienced at a sporting event of any kind (and i’ve been to San Antonio Spurs games in the NBA Finals, etc). I’m not going to say it was the loudest ever in history…but it was pretty nuts. To put it in perspective, i’m a drummer, and i was afraid of having some serious hearing damage.
Major kudos to the arena crew once again for knowing when to let the crowd go. There was more than one time that the crowd started a “Lets Go Predators” or other chant and the arena crew quickly muted the techno or whatever music they were playing in favor of letting the crowd feed off the natural hype. They also finally traded the commonly used red lights during pre-game for blue and yellow (gold) ones. You’d think this was a no-brainer, but it hasn’t always been. These ‘little things’ did not go unappreciated!
I’m also uploading all the pictures that Christy took at tonights game. She’s been grabbing better shots than me lately, so i’m letting her have the camera from here on out i think (besides, we win when she’s shooting).
Of course, i took this shot during pre-game warm-ups: They always show the pretty girls in the crowd ya know :-)
I also have to apologize to David Legwand. During warm-ups i took this picture of his skates (right), which to me showed he was clearly a decoy and not going to actually play. Thank you for proving me very wrong, Leggy.
(If the video isn’t working, that’s because it’s still converting on Vimeo’s server…check back a little while…)
The crowd rose to give the team a standing ovation during a TV timeout after a great effort in the 3rd period. And they wouldn’t stop. For a solid 2:30, the crowd just stood and cheered and waived their t-shirts* (think about it…just sit in your chair and do nothing for 2:30. That’s a long time). The arena crew was smart enough not to interrupt with any videos or music. Just let the crowd thank the team. It was amazing. The game wasn’t even over at that point. Gave me the chills.
Detroit vs. Nashville will start sometime next week. Let’s go Preds! * By the way, the t-shirts look great and are way cooler shirts than past giveaway shirts
Actually, it is a PR stunt. Pay directory service 118-118 and some charity no one has ever heard of (“Living Streets”) teamed up to provide this ‘service’ and get mentioned in the news (and posted on blogs) around the world.
UPDATE: We just traded for Jan Hlavac (pronounced hull-A-vich)(formerly of the Lightning, Rangers, Hurricanes, Canucks, and Flyers). Only had to give up a 7th round pick to do it too. Not too bad. He comes on the super-cheap (he was on a one-year $700k deal and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Don’t know much about him…but he is certainly not a star player. Will probably be able to spell Gelinas well enough. He’s 31 years old and has obviously been around the block, though it doesn’t look like he’s ever been a great producer and only has 5 games of playoff experience with Vancouver. His best year was his second in the league in 2000-2001 when he racked up 28 goals and 36 assist in 79 games with the Rangers. It was quickly down hill after that though as his performance has been a consistent 20-something points per year in and average of 60-70 games annually. More concerning is his plus/minus (-9, -8, -10 for the last three years). So…we’ll see…
UPDATE 2: and now we’ve picked up Brandon Bochenski from the Ducks. Barely worth commenting on here. He’s played in a whopping 32 games this year, and just 113 games in his 3 year career. High point for this guy was last year’s 13 goals, 11 assists in 41 games. Meh. Good news is that we only gave up “future considerations” which i’m hoping is the proverbial “bag of pucks and a 12th round pick in 2010″ :-) Interestingly, he is a restricted free agent (as opposed to the typical un-restricted free agent “rental players”) at the end his whopping one-year $600k contract this year, so we could conceivably re-sign him if he turns out to be some sort of wonder.
Now back to my previous comments.
I have to say i’m pretty disappointed that we missed out on Prospal, especially given how cheap he went for…but i’m not at all regretting Poile not going for the high-priced guys like Hossa, Richards, Campbell, or even Federov, Ruutu, Simon and others.
We “need” to pickup another forward (update: see above), but given what teams are giving up, and given how insanely beefed up Dallas, San Jose, Colorado, and even Anaheim and Pittsburgh are looking…i’m content to just see what we can do with what we have, draft well next year, and grab a few free agents in the off season (update: which we basically did).
The Preds are still a team on a budget (though thankfully not Leipold’s) and Poile knows he’s going to be able to put a better team together with ‘value’ veterans, prospects, and role-players. As has been discussed before, Trotz does better with those types than the superstars anyway.
So… for all you Predator fans looking for something entertaining on Trade Deadline Day…i leave you with Jordin Tootoo, doing his thing for Jack FM (yet more marketing efforts from new ownership that we never saw from Leipold)
Some of you who know me and have heard me talk about the Predators, have heard me tell the story about the night the Predators Flying Tiger (seen in its normal state here) got stuck in the rafters at a playoff game. It was actually the first every home playoff game for the Preds on April 11th, 2004 (a game we won handily by the way).
Basically what happened was this: The Flying Tiger was doing its usual thing, flying around and dropping passes for free stuff to fans. Then all of a sudden the crew directed it down over the ice, which it never does. They flew it lower and lower until someone went out on the ice and grabbed its “tail” (mooring cable i think) and began to lead it gingerly to the zamboni entrance floating about 6 feet above the ice. Then, all of a sudden, the whole fan/motor system on the bottom just fell off. Of course, all the weight of the fans, batteries, etc was the ballast for the balloon, and now it weighed far too little. The keeper holding the cable was unprepared and the whole thing shot straight up in the air and jerked the cable out of his hand. It flew straight up and jammed itself in the catwalk and remained there for the rest of the evening (probably a great view from there actually).
Well, i was just digging through a whole bunch of old pictures in my archive folders, and i stumbled upon video that i actually shot of the occasion on my old Sony Clie UX50. It’s not pretty, but it’s proof! You can definitely see the Flying Tiger motionless at the top of the arena, stuck in the rafters above the ice.
First off, here’s your promised list of all shows currently on Hulu (* denotes a show currently on air):
24 30 Days * 30 Rock The A-Team Adam-12 Age of Love Airwolf Alfred Hitchcock Hour Alfred Hitchcock Presents Alias Smith And Jones * American Dad! Andy Barker P.I. * Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? Arrested Development * Back To You Battlestar Galactica Battlestar Galactica Classic Big Ideas for a Small Planet * Bionic Woman The Bob Newhart Show * Bones Boo! Breaking Away Brother’s Keeper Buck Rogers Buffy the Vampire Slayer Burn Notice Chicago Hope * Chuck The Comebacks * Cops Cover Me The Crow: Stairway To Heaven * Damages Doogie Howser, M.D. Dr. 90210 Dr. Steve-O Dragnet Eco Biz Eureka Exosquad Family Guy * Firsthand Flipping Out * Friday Night Lights * Ghost Hunters * Heroes Hill Street Blues * House Inside the Actors Studio * It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Jack of All Trades * Journeyman * K-Ville * King Of The Hill Kitchen Confidential * Kitchen Nightmares Kojak L.A. Dragnet Land of the Giants * Las Vegas * Late Night with Conan O’Brien * Life The Loop Lost in Space Lou Grant The Mary Tyler Moore Show McHale’s Navy Miami Vice Monk Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Murder One My Bare Lady * My Name is Earl Nanny and the Professor Night Gallery * The Office Over There Peacemakers * Phenomenon Picket Fences The Practice The Pretender * Prison Break Psych Queer Eye The Real Housewives of Orange County Remington Steele The Riches Rob and Amber: Against the Odds Saturday Night Live * Scrubs Simon & Simon * The Simpsons Sitting Ducks Sixth Sense Solitary St. Elsewhere Stacked Standoff The Starter Wife Swamp Thing * Talkshow with Spike Feresten Tequila & Bonetti * The Tonight Show Total Recall 2070 Vanished Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea WKRP in Cincinnati Woody Woodpecker (New)
And here are the full-length movies that are avialble (yes, that is the Arnold Schwarzenegger version of “Conan”):
The Breakfast Club Conan the Barbarian The Blues Brothers Bulworth The Jerk Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World October Sky Sideways Weekend at Bernie’s
Interesting thing about the movies: some of them are ‘edited for TV’ (like “Master and Commander”) – pan-and-scan and edited for content… …while others (like “Conan”) are show in their ‘original format’ or at least close to it. They just cram the super-wide cinemascop into 16:9 TV format, which means the whole full length movie is all squishy. Note: You can also see on the screen shots above how often the commercials happen – they are the little gray dots on the timeline at the bottom of the screen. Each one represents a single 30-second commercial. Not too bad considering the movie is 2 hours and 16 min long.
Another really cool thing about watching some of the longer content: it apparently sets a cookie. If you watch a movie (or show) on one PC – stop – then come back, it remembers where you left off and starts at that point. Pretty sweet, i think.
Oh, and here are a few other random things they have on the site…
Fox Movie Channel presents “Casting Session” Fox Movie Channel presents “Making a Scene” Fox Movie Channel presents “World Premiere” IGN Videos
…as well as clips (not full shows) of a few other programs like soap operas. Whatever.
And now, what i think is the single best part – here’s an embed of the Lost In Space pilot for your viewing pleasure (complete with the theme music stolen from Bernard Herrmann’s score for “The Day The Earth Stood Still”):
And to really show things off, here’s a clip i created out of the pilot for Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century which i think qualifies as the first mention of a “Stargate” on TV.
Last night I was finally granted access to the semi-public beta of the new online video-on-demand service, Hulu. There have been many other reviews of this service already, but I just wanted to throw my two cents in, since I think that’s one of the reasons I was granted the beta.
For those not familiar with Hulu, it is a joint venture between Universal (NBC) and News Corp (FOX), so a large number of shows that belong to those networks is available, and a few full length movies to boot. There is even speculation that Warner Brothers TV will be adding it’s shows to the fold (maybe i can finally catch up on Smallville). It works pretty much the same as ABC’s and NBC’s websites when it comes to streaming existing shows. They are occasionally interrupted by commercials, and the quality of the image depends on your internet speed.
First: Huge advantage to Hulu over other similar sites: it works in Firefox! I’m not sure, but I would assume it also works for Apple users. This is huge for me personally, and I think gives it a big leg up. Being browser agnostic means just that many fewer people that have a frustrating experience with streaming media sites that can be finicky at times.
The other awesome thing about Hulu you have to notice right away is the HUGE and I mean MASSIVE amount of content it has compared to other sites. My hope is that this is just the tip of the beta ice berg. They already have not only many full episodes from current running shows on NBC and FOX, but also a huge catalog of older shows. Simon and Simon? I forgot that show even existed. Remington Steele. Classic. Mary Tyler Moore, The A-Team, Airwolf, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, …on and on and on. It isn’t every episode by a long shot, but some of the shows go back pretty far.
And it’s not just TV shows – there are a few full-length movies on here too. Master and Commander among others right now. Curiously, the TV shows are in wide-screen high-def were applicable, but the movies are 4:3 pan-and-scan and edited for content – clearly the ‘old’ TV versions, which I find curious.
No doubt though, with this amount of content available, Christy and I are thinking about cancelling Netflix and going straight to the local library and Hulu for our entertainment for a while.
The ads were also pretty tolerable. Not the same ones over and over and over again the way some of the other VOD services can be, and the always-up ad banners aren’t an issue as long as you make the video full-screen, which is simple enough. I really don’t know why anyone would watch anything on here and not have it full-screen. Quality was also very good. We watched a few episodes on our projector and everything looked great. At least as good as SD cable if not better.
If you want to sign up for the beta yourself, you can at www.hulu.com, but I think it will be open for everyone by the time you get access to it at this point (it took them 3 weeks to process my beta application). When I get back home, I’ll put a full listing of the shows currently available up here for reference (Hulu, like most streaming media sites, is blocked at work for me).
I don’t even remember if i’ve written about the impending double-strike on my blog before. Basically i’ve been following the news over the past couple of months via Cinematical regarding the Writer’s Guild strike (that started today) and a possible/probably director and actors guild strikes looming early next year. If you don’t know anything about it…just know that most entertainment as we know it is probably going to grind to a halt, or get really sloppy as studios rush things through production to avoid the total blackout.
Point of that is to then show you this video. Very funny. Pay attention to details.
Preds lose another tough one. Put 40 shots on net, you expect more than one to go in. but from what I saw (the later two periods) the Flames did a good job of limiting the Preds real quality scoring chances. In the 3rd we finally had some spark, but it wasn’t enough to compensate for a horrible 2nd period that was full of turnovers and shots from the point with no rebound.
The rough part of this is that a lot of Preds fans, unable to watch the game, will probably be coming down hard on Chris Mason when they see the box score. I hope Pete and Terry were singing his praises because the defense left him out to dry. Repeatedly. The final two goals in particular were 100% Greg deVries’ fault. They were both breakaways to begin with, and deVries just escorted the Calgary players down the slot, not playing the shooter or the pass. Just skating through, looking confused, and letting passes go between his legs. Mason never had a prayer on either goal. The Calgary TV crew kept talking about how great Mason was playing all night, and repeatedly compared the Predators to Calgary’s experience last year – a hard working team that deserved to win more games, but were being stoned by a hot goalie.
I just hope we can get things along on the right track soon.
In less specific hockey news from around the world…
Here’s what the game looked like for me last night:
I was once again watching online. Can’t see the players numbers, much less the puck most of the time. But at least I could roughly see what was going on. Better than Pete and Terry’s “simulcast” stuff. The site i get my feeds from has just been redone, so here’s the new link for NHL feeds.
Also, I just got added to the blog roll for the 2 Man Advantage. A really funny blog/show put out by a couple of hardcore hockey fans up in New York. Fun stuff. These guys are crazy hockey nuts (especially for NY teams, but they aren’t real bad “homers”). Very funny videos. ESPN and Fox Sports Net had better be watching these guys, because they are putting out better content than most pro hockey shows i’ve seen lately. If you’ve never seen them, i advise you check this out as a good example. They are funny, irreverent, but have somehow managed to get interviews with NHL players, gotten into camps, and done interviews with former NHL GM’s. The longer they go, the bigger their rep will grow and i have a feeling they could well have a special segment during someone’s coverage of the playoffs/finals this year. Well, if someone decent covered the games anyway.
Lastly, All hockey fans need to go check this guy out right now. He has somehow managed to figure out a way (and amass the money) to see all 30 NHL teams play a home game in 30 days. 30 Nights, 30 cities, 30 teams, 30 games. Wow. He’s just a few games in so far. He’s coming to Nashville on Thanksgiving night to see the Preds play Detroit (remarkably, the only time he will see the Preds play during the whole 30 days). Of course, he has a blog going to cover the trip. I also love that he’s from Orlando.
Lastly, there’s apparently some news about a potential new financier from Canada coming in to help out the “local” group trying to buy the Preds (which is looking less and less local). Interesting. At this point, i just hope the drama ends soon. Heck, i’d take Balsillie owning the team at this point if it just meant the uncertainty would be over and the team could get itself together on the ice. I really think the off-ice elements are effecting the on-ice product. Trotz’s job, trades, waiver moves, call-ups…with us at the salary-floor it really limits what Poile can do and what the options are for the on-ice product. Not to mention the absolutely horrendous lack of marketing (waaay worse than it usually was, and that’s saying something) is killing attendance. The only thing filling the building even to the 12-15k we’ve been seeing is word-of-mouth and 104.5 FM’s efforts to keep promoting the team. It really won’t take much to give this team a major shot in the arm (on and off the ice), if only the ownership deal can get settled.
Here it is, video of our awesome new scoreboard. Wow. This thing is amazingly sharp and huge!!! I think it must be even higher than HD resolution (1920×1080). It looked amazingly sharp, even right up close. That’s the other thing – it is so huge that it looks up close no matter where you are.
Best of all, replays are actually worth something. You can actually see the puck! For some reason the horn/music after goals was off all night. Hope they get that fixed soon. Ditto for the shot counter. It was off all night (3 shots to 5 in the 1st, 0 to 0 in the 2nd, 6 to 2 again in the 3rd…).
For all my friends behind firewalls, you can download the mpeg2 video here.
Also got a bit of video of the one fight. Tootoo and McCarthy did more than just scrum. McCarthy had Tootoo down and was wailing on him, the refs were moving in to break it up, just about then Tootoo regained his feet, and body slammed McCarthy over his shoulder, then started wailing on him. That dude is strong.
Many of you may not have seen this yet. It is amazing. It is cute. It is amazingly cute.
Its name is Keepon. It is a very simple robot, but with cameras for eyes, a microphone in its nose, and programming to react to its environment and dance. It is currently being used to study non-verbal play/dance behavior in children. As my wife said, it should be used to study the ability of cute japanese products to suck money out of people’s wallets. $30 on ThinkGeek.com and we’d have placed an order already.
This video was put together by Wired, as a promotion for Nextfest, a Wired-sponsored technology fair that has a big robotics push this year. From what i understand, the vast majority (if not all) of Keepon’s reactions to the music and people around it are genuine and a result of programming, not pre-scripted.
See the first test/dance video that was posted here.
Christy had some time this morning and swung by the open, informal practice session today. Mason, Fiddler, Gelinas, Erat, Hordichuck, Legwand, and Dumont were there today. They played light 3-on-3 most of the day, and Christy took a lot of pictures. Also some new news about the practice facility and what they are doing for the fans during open training camp session… go read about it at Christy’s “Hockey Wife” blog.
Only thing she told me that she didn’t put in the blog was the Hordichuck and Gelinas were hanging out talking together most of the time she was there. Makes sense to me. From what i understand they are both fitness nuts and seem to be cut from the same cloth.
Oh – and it looks like Mason does indeed have a new mask design and new pads for this season. I think it is interesting that Mason, who has been very pro-Nashville through the ownership mess, chose not to go with a mascot theme, but rather plaster “NASHVILLE” and the old Nashville Arena symbol on his mask.
Christy also shot a TON of pictures and some good video. Video below. Pictures are here.
Oh – and if you watch closely, and about 2:06 into the video, someone actually gets checked lightly into the boards behind the net :-)
Got to watch a bit of the Nashville Kangaroos take on the Louisville Kings game this afternoon. Much fun.
It was pretty hot, but i managed to hide under some of Elmington Park’s nice shade trees for most of the game, so it wasn’t too bad. I used to watch Aussie Rules on Fox Sports World years ago. I was hooked. So much so that when FSW stopped airing games and i was desperate for a fix, i actually downloaded the demo version of EA Sports Aussie Rules game, AFL 99. I couldn’t get the controls right, so i just set players to zero and watched it play itself. Repeatedly. Yes, i am a loser.
It is a really cool game though. I always describe it to people as the closest thing in the world to real Calvinball. The ball and field are both oval/oblong. You have to dribble the ball on the ground every 15 meters as you run, you can only get the ball to your teammates through an underhanded punch (like vollyball) or kicking it. You score by kicking through tall uprights at the far end of the field. The umpires throw the ball in the air like a basketball jump-ball, except they throw it about 30-40 feet in the air. It is pretty much chaos.
By now i have to admit i have forgotten many of the specific rules, and things were a little hard to follow. Probably would have been better if i could have heard the announcer they had on a PA system calling the game – but he was on the other side where there was no shade. But today was mostly about going out a supporting the teams a bit…and of course for the photo opp. Nice sunny day + violent sport + no face masks = really cool shots. At least i think so.
For those of you who have never actually seen a game, i shot video of one quick segment. Normally there is more time in between a starting toss and a goal, but thankfully it made for a good, quick demo. And it was pretty indicative of how dominant Nashville was in the game.
Next ‘Roos home game is Sept 8th against the Milwaukee Bombers. According to the website, they have never beaten Milwaukee in 4 tries, so the game should at least be more interesting than this blowout. And the weather should be cooler.
For the record, the Kangaroos club also has an associated Netball team (sort of Australian version of basketball). My friend Matt and his wife played on that team for a while just for fun. We got to see them a while back at one of Nashville’s Australian Festivals. Don’t know if they still play or not.
Oh, and for those keeping track at home, i uploaded this video to Vimeo. Going to start switching over. It looks like video on Flickr may be a while in coming, if ever. One nice thing about Vimeo – you can download the original source video if you want to see a higher quality version of anything. Much better than Google Video or YouTube.
Last random note on that topic: Google just closed down its Google Video store and is supposed to be getting out of the video business somewhat. Blogger just added ‘upload video’ to the editor where you can not just embed video stored somewhere else, but now upload videos straight to Blogger (like it has always done for photos). Google owns Blogger. Explain that one to me.
Fantasy Sports I’m going to start up another just-for-fun Fantasy Hockey league this year. I assume my awesome Hockey Wife will participate. Probably several guys from work too. Anyone else? No cash, just for fun and bragging rights. I don’t know much about the league beyond the Predators, and this is my way of making myself know what else is going on. I’ll probably also run a no-cash basketball league, and end up signing up for someone elses football league. We’ll see. If you’re interested in hockey or basketball, comment here or drop me an email.
Movie stuff… Cinematical, the movie version of Engaget, had news last week of The Scorpion King: Rise of the Akkadian. That’s right. A prequel of a prequel of a sequel of a remake. I loved the Mummy and Mummy Returns, but never saw The Scorpion King. Probably get around to it one of these days. I am very excited about them doing a 3rd Mummy movie with Brendan Frasier (with Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh!). Too bad they couldn’t get Rachel Weisz to come back to play Evelyn O’Connell. I guess she’s too dramatic to do horror/comedy now.
Online Videos Up until now i’ve been using Google Video for posting all my videos of friends, etc. It was easy to use, etc. But i’m really becoming unsatisfied with the features and quality.
I was going to switch over to Vimeo, but then i heard that Flickr is going to start doing videos. that would be great of course. I could put the pictures and videos from events all together that way. Anyone else heard more about Flickr and what kind of quality/features the video service would offer? Extra charge beyond pro accounts? Or should i just start uploading everything to Vimeo?
(I was going to ask this question last night on Facebook Questions, but it was down. Doh!)
Ok… i think that’s it. If not…i’ll…post again i guess. That’s how this works huh?
First, the quick news that the Predators picked up the first new additions that may be said to be ‘real’ players. I think it is also safe to assume that David Poile saw what the Ducks did in the playoffs with their size and decided to follow suit.
Defenseman Greg de Vires (ex-Predator) is a 6-2 220lbs defenders defenseman. Low on scoring, but high on ice time last year for Atlanta (22+ minutes per game, played in all 82 games). Looks like a huge presence on the blueline to go with our young core.
Forward Radek Bonk is 6-3 213lbs, played for Montreal and appeared in 74 games last year, registering 23 points. He was once a 70-point man with Ottawa back in 2000-2001 and has solid playoff experience.
We also signed a few more prospects, though they are unlikely to see any ice time at the NHL level anytime soon. For pictures of them at practice yesterday, see here.
Also, courtesy of Rob over at Think Train, here’s a cool new video with none other than Pete Weber, encouraging everyone to come down to the Sommet Center and support the team on July 19th.
It is easy to get caught up in all the soap opera and debate and forget that we still have a really good hockey team in Nashville, and it is not too long until they will be playing the game that we have all been working so hard to defend.
We will still be able to put a very competitive team on the ice. Offensively we still have Sullivan, Arnott, Dumont, Erat, Legwand, and Radulov coming into his second year in the league. Defensively we still have Weber, Suter, Zidlicky, Zanon, Hamuis, Nichol, and Mason in net.
And GM David Poile has proved himself a master at doing a lot with a little. We won’t have the amazing team we had last year, especially depth-wise. But if we can stay healthy, i think we are still a playoff team, and could even surprise a few people. Predators fans know very well that the team that is supposed to be the best doesn’t always win. I’d like to think that this year we can be on the good side of that coin, considering we’ve seen enough of the bad.
So, now to the updates: First, a quick round-up of some of the player/contract updates to this point. The Predators have (as expected) laid pretty low as far as going after free agents. Only signing as of right now has been forward Jed Ortmeyer as a free agent (formerly of the Rangers). Don’t know much about him, but his bio lists him as a ‘defensive forward’. We also resigned Scot Nichol, Jered Smithson, and Alex Henry. Nichol, Zanon, and Smithson ensure that we’ll have a solid penalty kill again. Henry is as big a defender as we’ve had for the Preds in a long time, and his chances of seeing some NHL time this year are increased thanks to a thin roster. We’re also about to sign Chris Mason to a much needed pay raise/extension, keeping him with the team for the next 3 years total. We also inked his ‘new’ back-up Pekka Rinne to a new deal as well.
Last but not least, I finally got a chance to drop by prospect conditioning camp this morning. (9:00am on a Sunday. What are you thinking Trotz? Check here for my comments on that.)
Pictures are scattered through this post with many more here. Video is here:
The video on Google turned out rough. It is actually much better quality. The horribly scratched-up glass wrecked havoc on the flash video codec. If you really want the high-quality video, let me know and i can post it.
It was great to get to watch hockey being played again. The session was run by assistants, but Trotz and Poile were both there (photo proof here).
As for players:
Hornqvist is a Radulov-type firecracker with even rougher edges. Scoring touch, but is a goofball. Good skills but looked silly (even tripping a few times) trying to show off a little. You can see in this in the video pretty well, actually. The whole session was blue vs. white. Hornqvist was going last for blue and only needed one goal to beat white for that session. When he got it, it cheered and stuck his arms up in the air – even though he had several more session of the drill he was supposed to do. He forgot this was practice, not just a contest. So…good competitive fire, but i have to wonder about discipline and control.
The other players looked pretty good. Only other one that stood out a lot was Atte Engren, a young goalie from Finland. He may have just been having a good day, but he looked the best and most under control of the goalies. The rest made the occasional cool-looking save, but he looked the most like Mason and Vokoun in my limited experience.
Oh and best mullet in camp (and there weren’t many) goes to Antti Pihlstrom. I think as much as anything because it’s bright blonde hair against dark blue sweater and helmet. Runner up goes to Viktor Sjodin, but he gets the award for looking the most like a caveman from a car-insurance commercial. At least in this picture.
No word yet on when big-kids training camp starts. It’ll be mid-September. I’ll be sure to let you know the dates when it is announced.
You are also all here on notice that i am not going to keep posting on every little off-ice thing that happens. Just the big stuff. Try watching Kuklas’ Korner, TSN, or the Nashville Post for that kind of news (heaven knows you shouldn’t look to the Tennessean for it). I am going to try to focus on on-ice related news and comments when it comes to the Predators from here on in.
One of Nick’s friends was getting married, and asked him to play for the wedding. Nick called us up, we practiced a few times, and played the reception. Much fun! This time we also were able to add a bassist (Allan Douglas) and it really helped our sound. (Getting our piano tuned for practices didn’t hurt either). So the Nick Hilscher Trio, grew into the Nick Hilscher Quartet.
I was really really happy with how this came together. We actually only had one practice with all four of us present, but we were able to establish a really good groove (it helps with the bassist grew up obsessed with Stax Records and Motown). This is a really good group of guys and i’d love to play with them more.
Nick is obviously an amazing talent but also a really good friend. I’m always blown away when we play – he’s a great vocalist but an amazing pianist. I think he’s a lot like Nat King Cole (or maybe Diana Krall): make a career out of singing, but all the musicians and jazz fanatics love his piano work just as much. I really wish him well in getting his band going, though i want to put out the vote again for him to really work on the smaller combo stuff. (For those that don’t know, Nick used to sing and play piano for the Glenn Miller Orchestra and recorded an album with them.) It might be my personal preference, but as much as he’s great in front of 20+ people, his personality and amazing talent are better showcased in a small combo setting. But maybe that’s just me.
Jamie is a great friend and a great musician. We were just talking and realized that he and i have known each other about 10 years now. The longest i’ve known anyone outside of my wife and blood relatives. He has an extremely wide breadth of musical knowledge that overlaps mine quite a bit, and we’ve known each other and played so long together i feel like we can really mesh well together, but we also know what we are capable of and when and how to push each other. We (almost) always have fun playing together too. It only takes one of us playing a few notes to start right in to a song like we’ve practiced it. He’s also a better improviser than he’ll usually admit.
Allan i haven’t known nearly as long, but our first conversation was about obscure early 90′s alternative Christian music bands and their production style. And it went up hill from there. He grew up playing and listening to Booker T and the MG’s (who you will find in my playlist on the right panel of this blog) – which is exactly the background i would want any bass player to have. He also has an album of his own about to be released. Go check out his MySpace page for details and clips.
So anyway, back to the gig.
Christy took some pictures and videos during the wedding. Unfortunately, due to an strange accident with a network attached storage drive that decided to go wonky on us, only one video survived. It’s really a pity because Christy took some great photos and captured some good video too. Fortunately i think the one video that survived is one of the better ones, as it was recorded near the end of the reception when we were more relaxed. For the record: the strange off-beat splash cymbal stuff i randomly start doing at the 1:15 mark was in response to someone who was being goofy and doing the can-can. Gotta work the crowd.
So, here’s that video. Don’t judge too harshly: the piano was horribly out of tune and we were there to be a dance band, not putting on a jazz concert (in other words: having fun, not making art).
We all want to play together more, and we already have one invitation to play for a friend’s parents’ anniversary party coming up in another few months. Hopefully Nick moving to Atlanta won’t prevent us from playing some more. I think (hope) they are planning on coming back to visit occasionally, so hopefully we can jam some and keep our chops up. Who knows, i might actually practice and feel confident enough to use sticks instead of brushes on more than one song this time :-)
(Note: the phrase “Nick Hilscher” is already the most popular search term people hit my site with)
Another blogger recently posted about a scene from the Mary Tyler Moore show being the funniest in sitcom history. It was very funny, and no doubt would have been funnier in the greater context, but not the best i’ve seen.
Bar none, the best episode/moment in a sitcom i have ever witnessed was the opening episode of season 3 of the Dick Van Dyke show, “That’s My Boy“. The basic premise is that Rob and Laura (played by Mary Tyler Moore by the way) have just had a baby and Rob is absolutely convinced that the hospital gave them the wrong baby. Much hilarity ensues, but the ending scene is absolutely priceless – and ground breaking. I don’t want to spoil the end for you, but it was one of the first of its kind (if not the first) on US television.
Without further ado, here it is:
Reportedly the audience laughed for several straight minutes when the gag was finally pulled, and it had to be edited out. Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke both said in the DVD bonus content that it was by far the longest laugh they’ve ever gotten.
For those that haven’t checked out Nashville is Talking yet, it is one of the few professional blogging sites in Nashville that i know of. It is owned by WKRN (channel 2) and is run by Brittney Gilbert. It is about as well run as it could be given its impossible mission of trying to make interesting and legitimate news and entertainment out of a bunch of amateurs ramblings on every topic that passes in the space between their ears.
Anyway, once every few days she gets to do an on camera piece. I think its on the afternoon news broadcast. I pretty much never watch the news (i listen to NPR in the car and read online) so i’ve never seen it (sorry guys). She reads on-line quotes from blogs on a given topic. Yes, even here everything has to be a sound bite.
Her most recent on air piece was about the Predators. I got quoted:
I couldn’t help but notice she didn’t pronounce the title of my blog. Don’t worry Brittney, i don’t really know how to pronounce it either.
I think i’m going to have to start sending Brittney some talking points and suggested clips the way politicians and musicians do, though. I think i’ve had much better lines than what she quoted:
“The marketing, especially to businesses, needs to improve. Can you think of someone better to market to businesses than a billionaire…who happens to be the head of the Blackberry empire?”
I’d also quibble with the first quote she picked, simply as inaccurate. As there has been much discussion around lately – money is not all that is required to move the team. It takes the consent of the other owners, the league office, and a city – and oh yeah, a lack of support here. I guess that was the point i made, huh? Good choice Brittney. :-)
I was really hyped about it before. But if they are going to have this sort of content surrounding the game, then this is just fun on top of fun (not blood on top of blood the way so many games are now).
Cry some more.
The amazing thing about this is that it is all in engine. This looks like something out of the Incredibles and it is being rendered live, in a video game! If the characters really react to going on a killing spree like that, i am going to be horrible at this game because i am going to be laughing so much.
First, a quick update with more pictures and media.
I have to say i’m a little concerned about the color clash between the Sommet groups color scheme and the Predators, but i’m sure it will work out.
Here’s a full video of the press conference of the announcement.
Oh – and as for many of the doubters that complained about the city not getting any of the money from the naming rights deal: I don’t recall many of them complaining about the Titans stadium. The Titans keep all the money from their deal. Tax payers funded that stadium too… so lets compare the two.
Between now and September, LP Field will host 7 events (1 four-day concert series and 3 Titans’ games). In total, LP Field has 14 events listed on its calendar until the end of 07.
Between now and September, The Sommet Center will host 40 events including concerts, graduation ceremonies for local high schools, Kats games, and 3 pre-season Predators games (assuming a schedule similar to last year). IN total, assuming no more concerts or events are booked for the rest of the year, but the Predators schedule goes toughly the way it did last year, there will be 57 events held at the Sommet Center between now and the end of ’07 .
So which of these two centers do you think is generating more revenue for the city? And for that matter, which location is going to get more exposure to more people? Even with the extra TV viewing audience that the Titans draw over the Predators, that is a big difference. I’d really like to see a break down of the numbers. More visiting team cities fans watching, etc.
Biggest deal for the Predators and more importantly fans like me is that this is a local company, stepping up and sponsoring the team, practically guaranteeing that it will stay around for many more years to come.
Oh – another interesting note: no one has parked www.sommetcenter.com if you want to cybersquat it and get sued. Vision3, a website design company that lists the “Gaylord Entertainment Center” website (whatever that is) as one of its clients, has parked www.thesommetcenter.com though. But it isn’t pointing to anything yet…
Here it is. Our 3 minutes of fame. Christy and i running around on the ice in front of 17,113 fans during game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
We were selected at random as we walked in to the arena. It was pretty cool.
FYI: The Predators crew felt so bad about the way things went (we were clearly ahead when the official got in my way) that they loaded us up with as many things as they could find and cram into two Predators duffel bags. So we have bobble heads, towels, trading cards, and drinking cups galore now – all of which went into the bathroom downstairs that was already decorated in 90% Predators / 10% Spurs :-)
I was also able to snag the puck that Christy played as we left the ice. Quite an experience.
And a special thanks to Paul McCann, the Predators PA announcer (and fellow Dell employee during his day job) who was able to secure us the DVD of the “show” – it is a raw feed from what was shown on the scoreboard.
I have to admit, i started this after being frustrated reading more posts from stuck-up Canadians claiming that Nashville doesn’t deserve a team and hockey belongs in Canada. Not sure what my point was going to be. Maybe that since 1926, the NHL has had more teams in the US than Canada or something. I don’t know. Anyway, i’m not going to bother to turn this in to a rant defending hockey in the southern US.
I think the this video shows that the NHL isn’t a league for Canadians or for any ‘one’ (except maybe the northeast US, but most sports are that way, because that’s where the population centers are (and have been). At some point later i am planning on doing one for other sports too, just for fun. Then probably layer them over each other so it will be easier to see that the NHL lost its chance during the infamous “Original Six” era when other sports were growing and they decided to be stagnant.
Just a quick note to all – on the left side of the page i have made several recent additions, including a new link to “My Videos“. This will take you to a list of all my videos that i have uploaded to Google Video.
All sorts of random things, but like most of my dealings lately, much of it is Predators related for now. More non-Predators stuff is coming shortly though, i assure you.
Real Update: Tim Duncan was fined $25,000 for his critical comments about Joey Crawford to the media. This was expected. As you can see from my post “Better Fines”, the NBA fines players and coaches when the publicly critisize game officials. This is the best spent $25k Duncan has ever paid out, and i’d be willing to bet that most of the players and coaches around the league would jump to pay the fine for him for helping to get Joey Crawford throw out of the league, if only for the playoffs.
Rant Update: Per request, i will rant a little more… (warning: this is a particularly rambling, disconnected, random rant)
Joey Crawford is basically one of the worst refs to ever call a pro sports game by most accounts that i know of. At least in the “modern era”. Certainly by my opinion. He tries to show up players and coaches, and obviously loves the camera being focused on him. If you skim the comments on the Blog Maverick post above, you’ll get some idea what others think (though that is hardly an unbiased forum)
He does a decent job, occasionally, of actually officiating games. There are times when he calls games and there are no stand out problems. The calls seem reasonably fair, and nothing major happens. But then there are other times when he is a loose cannon. He has a dangerous temper and it goes off. That is just not something you can have in a referee. He makes ridiculous (or at least questionable) calls, and if anyone protests, they get a technical foul and are usually ejected shortly thereafter. You can see him giving someone a technical foul in the picture above – it wasn’t very hard to find.
In many ways and to many people he is a good ref. He has called more playoff games than any other, and according to the way the league reviews calls, rates very highly on ‘accuracy’ and making the right calls.
But that comes down to one of the major problems. The NBA and David Stern (the commissioner) have a major problem with the way games are officiated right now. The calls are too inconsistent, and the refs play far too large a part in the game. Some of it is the way new players are playing the game. I think a lot of it is that players are figuring out ways to ‘work the system’.
Example: Players normally do not want to foul someone. If you do, then the person gets to shoot free-throws (if they were shooting) and each player can only foul someone so many times. However, there are now many examples, the most famous being Shaq, where it is a clear and obvious strategy to intentionally foul someone. Most teams only use their top 6-7 players very much during the game. Of those 6-7, only 2-3 usually are in a position where they regularly pick up fouls. So – rather than actually try to play defense against Shaq (which most teams are not equipped to do well) they just foul him – because he is a horrible foul shooter. There are 5 players sitting on the bench with 6 fouls each, plus a few from your main players – that is 34-40 times that you can foul someone and if they aren’t good at shooting free-throws, you will likely get the ball back. The better average free-throw shooters in the NBA shoot 75% or so, and many players that shoot more like 50%-60%. This is the great strategy known as “Hack-a-Shaq” The bad part is, it works really well.
The NHL has the great “delayed penalty” rule – if one team commits a foul – a penalty is called. However, if the team that was fouled still has the puck and could potentially do something good with it, they get to keep trying. In the NBA, if someone has a good shot at the basket and is likely to make it, most teams just foul the person now and prevent the shot. This makes the game boring, frustrating, and also frustrates the players which usually leads to more real fouls.
So part of this rant is against the broken system of NBA officiating…
But back to Joey Crawford. He is worse than most.
Where most reffing crews call an average of around 35-45 fouls per game and average less than one technical foul – Joey Crawford’s crew has the infamous distinction of calling two of the worst games in history during the 2003 playoffs between the Spurs and the Mavericks. Joey Crawford himself called 4 technical fouls on Dallas coaches within the first 10 minutes of the game! I am a Spurs fan and can clearly state that this was completly and utterly unwarranted. His crew went on to call 120 fouls and 9 technicals. During the playoffs. And these were two teams that were not known for having attitudes or problem players. This was two of the classiest coache/player sets to play the game in recent history. Joey Crawford became the story of the series (rather than the play on the court) and as a result was warned by David Stern that if it happened again, he would have consequences. Well, here it is.
I’ve shot a good deal of video at recent Predators games. As a result, i have a series of them uploaded to Google Video that, when strung together, may give you some idea what attending games can be like. (All of these can be viewed much larger by clicking on the Google Video logo instead of just hitting play)
First, we have the occasional open practice the day before a game. The Sportsplex is open to anyone that wants to watch the players run drills or sometimes even have a full practice.
Second, we have the pre-game warm-ups. Anyone is allowed to go down near ice level (or to the glass if you get there early enough) and watch the players up close. If you are lucky, you may even be one of the many fans that J.P. Dumont or Vern Fiddler flips a puck to over the glass.
Next we have the visitor starting lineups. In Nashville we have the tradition of yelling “SUCKS!” after each visiting players name is called out. After the coach, we yell “AND HE SUCKS TOO!”
After that, the Predators mascot, Gnash, is introduced. Sometimes he just comes out on the ice riding a four wheeler. Sometimes he comes straight down a rip line. But for really big games (first and last games of the year, playoffs, etc) he will come down the rip line swinging.
Then of course we have the Predators starting lineups as everyone skates out for the game.
Once the game gets starting, it usually isn’t long before someone on the opposing team is whisted for a penalty and has to go to the penalty box. For this, we all yell “AHHHHHH…SIT DOWN YA LOSER!”
Once we are on the power play, it usually isn’t very long until we get to go through one of the many stages of our goal celebration with our own creative lyrics to “The Hey Song”
During intermission, there is usually some sort of silly contest featuring some people in tennis shoes trying to run around on the ice. This is my favorite flavor:
After a while the opposing team gets tired of being pushed around and they may start a little fight or two…and then someone may throw a catfish on the ice…and sometimes they happen all at once
So see, it is so much fun – everyone should come out and watch all the hockey games they can in person!
Just a quick update on lots of new pictures I’ve posted to Flickr I’ve included some of my favorites below, but as usual, just go to my main Flickr page to see the latest pictures.
Also – I now have VIDEO! I’m starting to upload videos shot with my new camera (and probably some other random ones eventually too) to Google Video.
As a demonstration of the exciting videos you have to look forward to, here is a video that Christy shot at the Predators open practice recently. It is Vitaly Vishnevski doing puck drills. Thrilling i know.
Well, ESPN continues to notice and cover the Preds. We still top their Power Rankings. Terry Frei just did a feature story on the team (main story on the espn.com NHL section right now) . Though i will say his story is yet another story talking about Trotz talking about that the Canadian media aren’t talking about us. It’s getting a little old.
However, someone is actually talking about our hockey playing: Barry Melrose (ESPN’s main hockey analyst) just answered the question “Are the Predators for real?” in a cool video clip. I like his answer :-)
The Ottawa Senators are famous for doing their postgame interviews during their cool down process on exercise bikes — something New York Rangers winger Brendan Shanahan had a little fun with when the Rangers were in town last month.
For those of you that are not hockey fans i hate for you to see these videos. You think hockey is about fights. You have no respect. But for those that understand that what you are about to see is not all hockey is about, enjoy:
First is the fight from last night’s game. Tootoo vs. Mayers. The really strange part…they took their sweet time setting up to fight, and Tootoo even asked the linesmen if they could fight before going at it. Strange. Good fight. Toots took a lot of hits, but Mayers went down first. Call this one a draw.
Second video is what will soon be known as the most embarrassing play in NHL history until someone does something similar in the playoffs. In a huge game between Edmonton and Dallas (fighting for position in the western conference), Dallas has a chance to close out the game with an empty netter and then it all goes horribly horribly wrong.
Just watch. For the record, Dallas won in the shootout, but gave Edmonton a free point in the standings.
Lastly, The New Jersey Devils and goalie Martin Broduer just shut-out Montreal and win 3-0. Broduer made 28 saves in the effort. According to the box score, the 3 stars for the game:
Brian Gionta, 2 goals (Devils)
Scott Gomez, 2 assists (Devils)
Chris Huet, 34 saves (Canadiens)
Now Huet may have played a great game, but how do you make the loosing goalie of a shut-out one of the three stars and NOT include the goalie that got the shut-out? Is Broduer that great that he is taken for granted that much?
You remember that DVD i was putting together for my cousin? Well, the release date just got pushed back a bit.
I was installing another new hard drive in my machine (because 3 drives and over 500GB is not enough, you understand) and was having problems with it. It was an older drive and i was having issues with the partition on the drive. Well, i was moving too fast and accidentally nuked the partition of my video project drive. 117GB and a couple of months of work – poof!
I tried restoring the partition with PartionMagic and some other tools but no luck. Fortunately i have the raw footage backed up on another drive, so i can start all over again. This also isn’t all bad, since i was probably going to go back and re-do a lot of it anyway. I had gotten some new ideas and was going to re-cut most of what i had already done.
For oh, the last many months i have been working on an off (mostly off) on a video for my cousin. More accurately, for my aunt. My cousin Kelly got married, and my aunt ‘hired’ me to come down and be the videographer. Well, unfortunately i can’t say too much for my skills with the camera (or the camera itself), but i am pretty happy with what i am being able to do on the post-production side. (FYI: I use a great set of programs from Pure Motion)
Well, today i had the day off, so i decided to put together a teaser trailer for all my relatives down there to see over Thanksgiving. My goal is to have the full DVD in time for Christmas.
For those that haven’t seen this, you need to check it out. It is from a presentation at TED back in Feb of ’06. This tech is still a little way from reaching the market, but i think the guy in the video is right – this could have a major impact on GUI’s and the way most users interact with common non-PC devices. And even PC’s when you think about some of the 3D elements Vista’s Aero interface coming down the pike.
As a side note, these guys make awesome technology, but they have horriblewebsites.
So the company i work for just posted this on thier corporate blog. Wow. That’s all i have to say. To give you an idea of how “wow”… Warning: this clip is not for little kids or the overly pure of heart.
So a while back i posted the night of blogging and hockey. In that post, i wrote a funny paragraph about Hordichuck getting in a fight. I said that when they started fighting, they didn’t just throw their gloves down, rather it looked like someone had set off a grenade in an equipment locker. Gloves and sticks when flying in every direction. The fight itself was pretty poor, but the start looked really funny. Later i actually found video of that fight online and added it to the post.
Today i just realized that the video was still there but the paragraph describing it is gone. Just poof. No idea how that happened.
Anyway…i just took it out of the original post and am going to put it back in here on its own. Enjoy.
This is a very interesting flash animation, which is supposed to show the history of the middle east over the last 5,000 years or so.
In reality what it shows is the major imperial power that ever controlled Canaan/Palestine/Israel/Judea and roughly when they came to power, etc. Its not terribly accurate (shows the Roman Empire taking Jerusalem in about 200 A.D., instead of 63 B.C.). It also doesn’t give a very good impression of how long various groups controlled regions. The flow of time through the video is not constant. Egypt and the Kingdom of Judah (incorrectly labeled in the video as ‘Kingdom of Israel’) both lasted much longer than Byzantine control did. It also looks like the Ottoman‘s took control in about 1700. In reality, they invaded in 1516, and didn’t leave until (1917).
But hey, it gives you the idea and it looks very cool.
For the record, i know this land has been fought over for thousands of years, but the specific problems we have today i still blame on the British. When they setup the “British Mandate of Palestine” it just made everyone upset and no one happy.