Open letter to the NHL original 6 and “traditional market” fans

Pull your heads in.

Something that has really bugged me about NHL fans, announcers and “experts” in general for a while is the overwhelming bias towards original 6 teams Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers,  Toronto Maple Leafs and also teams from “traditional hockey markets”.

My team Anaheim Ducks are currently in the middle of a terrific series with the Blackhawks. The Ducks are the #1 seed in the NHL having had a brilliant season and they are currently leading the series 3-2. This series has had it all, great goals, tight finishes and big hits. Even a triple overtime game that broke the record for the longest Blackhawks playoffs game.

While watching the games it’s hard not to notice the  tone of the announcers voices and even outright disgraceful comments towards the Ducks (see Mike Milbury on Corey Perry:

No Matter what the Ducks do, virtually no respect is forthcoming from the hockey media. Most still predicting the Ducks to lose this series and have done so at the start of each series, despite the Ducks being the #1 seed. (how is that working out for you Jets and Flames?).

The fans are even worse. Just look at any comments thread on Facebook regarding this series and it’s all, “I hope Hawks and Rangers win then we will have original 6 teams”, “I wont watch the final unless one of the original 6 are in it”, “The NHL will hate the Ducks and Lightning making the final”, “Ratings for the Ducks and Lightning will be terrible”, “It’s bad for the NHL to have the Ducks and Lightning in the final” etc etc etc.

My message to these people is: If all you want is to watch original 6 teams, maybe you should form your own little 6 team comp and play each other 16 times a season. You can all wear your old lace up jerseys…. oh and forget helmets.

Chirp me all you want about my team and how they are going etc, I love some good trash talking. Some of those Flying V and Gordon Bombay jokes are pretty funny. Especially the one where there was a shot of real life ducks players in that formation (by accident). But please try to move on from your old time hockey bias and realize that we are now in the 21st century and none of your teams have a god given right to be in the playoffs or the final.



Intro to Ice Hockey

In an earlier post I talked about how I had been doing ice skating lessons. The object was to move into Ice hockey at some point.

Well some point arrived.

I have been doing the Intro to Ice Hockey programme at the Ice house in Melbourne ( It is supposed to be a “from zero to hero” programme over 10 weeks.

I have enjoyed this much more than just the ice skating classes. I really don’t have any need to know how to do advanced figure skating things. Puck handling, checking and of course scoring is what I’m interested in!

I have always been a big fan of the NHL and my team the Anaheim Ducks. But since starting ice skating I have become much more interested and involved. I’d love to travel back to Anaheim and go to a Ducks game at Honda Center.

The into to ice hockey programme has been great way to get into a sport that is not well supported here in Australia. It is a very steep learning curve to go from useless at skating to ice hockey hero. The programme is run by some players from the Melbourne Ice organisation headed by defensive player Matt Armstrong who is a Canadian import and forward Tommy Powell.

It takes 5 weeks of skating before we actually get a stick or any protective equipment other than the gloves and helmet. This helps to get us to concentrate on actually skating properly rather than stuffing around with the stick and puck.

In that 5 weeks we need to at least improve on our skill in the following:
– falling down and getting straight back up
– forward skating
– backwards skating
– c cuts
– skating on our outside edge
– crossovers
– hockey stops on both sides
– switching from forward to backwards skating
– turns

I was ok at most things apart from crossovers, backwards skating and hockey stopping on my left foot.

After week 5 we got to put on the equipment and grab a stick. That was interesting and felt quite strange when we first went out on the ice. Suddenly with a stick in my hand and some extra bulk I was useless (or more useless) at skating again.
This is what we were here for though so it didn’t take long to get into it.
I think my puck handling skills are better than my skating skills I just now need to be able to skate fast enough so I can actually get the puck!

Falling over is actually more like fun with the pads on. With this in mind; me and a friend ordered some stuff online.

I now basically have an Anaheim ducks uniform minus shoulder and elbow pads, a helmet and a stick. I can’t wait to try them out on the ice. We are going to be doing casual lessons at Oakleigh this semester starting Friday so I’m looking forward to it.


Andy Carroll to Liverpool, my 2 cents

I went to bed the other night,  happy that Newcastle were in a good position in the premier league. We were unbeaten for 2011 (2 wins and 2 draws) and we were doing it without our best striker in Andy Carroll. Both draws should have been wins too with heartbreaking injury time equalisers coming from the opposition. So things were only going to get better right?

Wrong. This is Newcastle United after all.

Fat Cockney Bastard

Fat Cockney Bastard

Mike Ashley AKA the Fat Controller, AKA Fat Cockney Bastard etc etc. Doesn’t seem to enjoy success, in fact I am almost convinced he bought the club because as a Spurs supporter he hated us and wanted to destroy us. Now he has discovered there is money to be made selling off your best players and that also serves his purpose of killing the club. Next will be Nile Ranger, he will get more game time now and will eventually hit some form. FCB will see us as player factory for the big clubs and like his sports direct company the hard workers get paid a pittance only to be shown the door (CH).

I put most of the blame for this on FCB but Andy Carroll is not blameless in this either. He had a 5 year contract with NUFC. He could have dug his heals in. At least could had ridden it out till the summer. I’m not sure I believe what has been written about how he didn’t want to leave and was pushed etc etc. In the end it all comes down to money. Both parties wanted it more than they cared about the club.

So I have a AC #9 shirt for sale, really cheap, only wore it once (down to the pub to watch us draw with the Mackems). I think from now on I’ll have to keep them blank, or maybe get my own name on it.

It will be hard to watch him running around in the scouser red. Lets just hope he doesn’t score against us. Life goes on and NUFC will go on long after FCB leaves (hopefully it can survive him). As has been said on twitter, at least we arn’t Mackems.


Ice Skating

For the last 5 weeks I have been doing Ice Skating lessons at the Ice House in Melbourne

Before the lessons, I hated ice skating. I was one of the people that would stumble around the edge hugging the wall. I had 4 year old kids zooming past me and getting annoyed that I was in their way, pretty soul destroying.

First we learnt to fall down correctly, I thought I had plenty of experience at that, but it was good to learn how to not hurt myself doing it. I then finally learnt how to properly balance on the ice, it’s kind of like learning to ride a bike for the first time, it seems impossible until it just clicks. It still requires concentration (and bending your knees!!) but I’m getting better every week.

After 5 weeks I can now skate forwards and gather up some fairly good speed but not quite ready for speed skating competitions. I can turn, glide and kind of do a hockey stop (that’s a work in progress).

I bought these last night, they make a massive difference:

Reebok 2k Hockey Skates

Reebok 2k Hockey Skates

Sharper blades, more comfortable and light. I’ll be ready for Ice hockey in no time 😉 (that’s the ultimate plan but I have quite a way to go).


IBS, Gut Permeability and Naturopathy

Have you been diagnosed with IBS  (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)? If you have you probably like me have been frustrated to learn that the doctors have no idea what to do with it and give virtually no assistance whatsoever.  It could actually be gut permeability, but don’t expect a doctor to suggest that or even know what it is.

I have struggled with IBS for nearly 3 years now and I have finally found some very good help and I feel much better for it.

I went to Melbourne Natural Wellness centre and saw Deanne Linde about 3 months ago after it was recommended by a work colleague of my wife. I had tests done for food sensitivities and was started on a de-tox program. The test produced a list of foods that my body sensitive to (not allergic). Mine came up with gluten and dairy, even though I am not coeliac.

What Deanne explained was that my problems were related to a condition known as gut permeability (or leaky gut syndrome). This means that the lining of your digestive system has been damaged and is allowing food to go straight into your blood stream.  This gets worse and worse over time and causes further problems like allergies (I am now allergic to Calamari). The de-tox program is designed to remove all the toxins from my system that are causing the problem and then help my body to repair the damage. You get to take some very bad tasting medicine during this time as well as a very strict diet, it’s probably easier to list what you can have than what you can’t, fresh fruit and veggies, water, lean meats and certain nuts.

I have now completed the program and I feel much better, I have virtually no symptoms at all and much more energy, I have lost 15 kgs and I am much more confident when eating.

I still have to steer clear of gluten and dairy for the time being but they will gradually be re-introduced.

If you have IBS and are struggling without help, I certainly recommend seeing a Naturopath.


Oh what a feeling! Collingwood, AFL Premiers 2010

Premiers 2010

After 20 years of heartache, disappointment, a little joy and plenty of insults from opposition supporters, finally we again can say we are the premiers!!!

It just feels so good. Nothing can spoil my mood this week. The party will continue for quite a while I think.

What a great year it has been for everyone associated with the mighty pies. We beat the bulldogs twice, thrashed Essendon on Anzac day and then again in the return match, flogged Carlton twice, then beat St Kilda and Geelong in the second half of the season to finish minor premiers for the first time since 1977. What an omen that turned out to be with the drawn grand final 4 weeks later. Luckily the replay result went the other way this time.

I was very lucky to be able to attend both grand finals. What an experience. I will remember them for the rest of my life. Such great moments. Such great heroes. Like Alan Didak, with his pectoral muscle torn from the bone; kicking a miraculous goal in the drawn match from over the boundary, then the brilliant smother and goal on his non preferred right foot in the replay. Heath Shaw’s unbelievable smother to deny St Kilda their first goal of the match. Dale Thomas was brilliant in both matches and kicked a great goal from 50. Pendle’s Norm Smith medal, Jolly dominating the ruck and kicking some great goals. Maxwell now a premiership captain; lead by example, saved the game for us in the draw with a desperate dive to deny a St Kilda goal and then later a brilliant mark deep in defense when the saints were pushing of the winning score. What a special player Steele Sidebottom will be, close to best on ground in the grand final in only his second year. Ben reid playing on with a fracture. There is just so much more to talk about. I will do a full wrap up in another post after I have watched the dvds a few hundred more times.

The after match celebrations were sensational and for me very emotional. I had tears in my eyes quite a few times during the last quarter and then after the game. I hugged complete strangers and also family members. We went over to the Westpac centre and enjoyed a few “quiet” beers and reflected on what the boys had achieved. Then it was off to Aami park to see the team and the cup. Lionel Richie was great (and I usually like death metal haha!) I think our celebration song will now always be “dancin’ on the ceiling”. We got to see the “shimmy” again and some great dance moves from Harry O and Daisy.

I went home about 10pm so I could be ready for the family day the next day and get to the newsagent nice and early for 2 copies of every paper. I even bought the Herald Sun which I had previously vowed never to buy again after the “Didak killed my son” front page a few years ago.

The family day was huge, so many people, so much money being made by the club selling merchandise. This is what I have collected or bought so far:

– 3 “knight” premiership posters, I plan to get one professionally framed
– 2 of the posters handed out at the game
– Grand final records from both games still in the plastic, as well as records from every final.
– 2 copies of each paper from Sunday morning
– The dvds of both the drawn grand final and the replay
– The souvenir magazine
– The sticker from yesterday’s Herald Sun
– A premiers t-shirt
– 2 of the premiership cup pins

I’m sure there will be plenty more to come.

I’ll try to catch up with as many of my pies supporting mates as possible in the next few weeks. It will be great to have a few beers and cherish this wonderful year of football.

GO PIES!!!!! AFL PREMIERS 2010!!!!!!!!!!!



Recently I have been watching youtube videos of bands I used to listen to in high school.
It made me realise that the period from 1990-1995 (my high school years) was an awesome time for music if you were into metal/hard rock.
So I thought I would take a trip down memory lane talk about some of favorite bands and their albums from that time.


Phil Anselmo: Vocals

“Dimebag” Darrell Abbott: Guitars RIP
Vinnie Paul: Drums
Rex Brown: Bass

They were massive, They changed Metal in the early 90s, they were the self proclaimed loudest and heaviest band in the world. I went to see them live in 1994 at Festival Hall in Melbourne, then again in 1996 at the Entertainment centre. Cowboys from Hell, Vulgar Display of Power, Far Beyond Driven and The Great Southern TrendKill were all brilliant albums and they just got heavier and heavier. This was of course the bands plan as often stated by the band in interviews and at the gigs I went to. I still regard Dimebag as being one of the best guitarists ever. Phil had an awesome stage presence.

I still remember that 1994 concert as one of the best I have ever been to. Certainly the best I have been to at the dump that is Festival Hall!
It was all black t-shirts, black jeans and flannel back then. I waited for my mates on the steps of Flinders Street station along with what seemed like half the teenage population of Melbourne. I had never seen so many bogan metalheads in one place before.
It was like a march towards festival hall from then on with people randomly singing Pantera songs and screaming “Fucking Hostile!” at passers by.
Once in Festival Hall, I bought a T-shirt of course and put in straight on over my older one. Then found my seat and thought about how dissapointing it was that I wasn’t down in the pit. The good news is that back then they only had a half metre high barrier that was really just more of a marker to stop us from getting there. We decided we would make our way down once Pantera started.
They played Metallica’s Master of Puppets as background music and the crowd got right into it. Most of the crowd was singing along at the top of their voices, anyone would think we were actually at a Metallica concert.
Mantissa was the support, as expected they were ridiculed, water bottles were thrown at them and the band cracked the shits and walked off the stage at the end of their set, while the crowd was chanting PANTERA!, PANTERA!.
When Pantera came on they just blew us away. The energy of their set was amazing. Security tried in vain to stop people from the seats getting to the floor but they never had a chance. The whole place went nuts for the entire set. The band was just like I had expected after watching the Pantera home videos, I would have given anything to hang out backstage. Although looking back on it, I probably would have been far too soft to handle the sort of stuff they got up to.
My parents were a little freaked out afterwards as they came to pick me up and copped some insightful comments from some of the less than savery concert goers.

Here is a video of that 1994 concert:




Recently I have been inspired to rebuild and restore my old Lego thanks to a friend of mine putting the idea into my head.

I loved Lego as a kid. Those days I didn’t have a care in the world. The biggest problem I had to worry about was when I was getting my next Lego set. This has partly brought that feeling back to me and it has been a really enjoyable experience.

I found a brilliant site called BrickLink which is a marketplace for new and used Lego and is the best place on the net to find old obscure missing pieces that most likely ended up the vacuum cleaner. There are plenty of Lego enthusiasts around and their creations are very inspiring for me and have made me want to create something special myself. Although I have no plans to quit my job like this guy: Quit job to play Lego

So I started with my vintage Shell Service Station set from 1986. Set number 6378

After fighting with my younger brother and claiming ownership, I brought the pieces home and with the help of a downloaded PDF of the instructions I began to rebuild it and log the missing pieces. I found that I had most pieces and I have ordered the rest from various stores on bricklink. I just need the stickers and one more order to come to complete it.

Here is a picture of what I have so far. I intend to re-print the stickers from a hi-res scan that i found on the internet.

So me being me, I guess it couldn’t stop there. Anyone who knows me would know that if I find a new interest I can get a bit carried away. Mrs Punkologist was just happy I wasn’t collecting porn or getting into drugs.

I am also a big Star Wars fan, as is Mrs Punkologist. So obviously the Star Wars Lego was of big interest to me. Luckily a birthday was coming up and Lego is celebrated 10 years of Star Wars Lego in 2009 with some of the older sets re-released (I have no interest in the episode 1/2/3 or clone wars ones). Mrs Punkologist kindly bought me Darth Vader’s Tie Fighter.

I love it. It is now proudly displayed in the lounge room.

I have also recently bought some other bits and pieces and got some from my brother and sister, the best being the Police Station.

I have been really inspired by the creations of buildings and trains I have seen on the net. Eventually I plan to build a nice display in a cabinet of some sort with a train and scenery. It will include some custom building creations. I think all this will have to wait until I don’t live in a small 2 bedroom apartment though.

Here are some of the best things I have found:


I guess eating just isn’t for me….

So I had an eventful Labour day long weekend.

On Saturday after spending the day visiting my 3 year old niece, I was a little tired but my darling wife had the idea of going out for Greek. I love Greek food and decided why not? What’s the worse that could happen right?

Well we went out to the restaurant in Niddrie. We were lucky to get a table as we hadn’t booked, so we were up the back in the corner (I would prefer this anyway).

Mrs Punkologist suggested the banquet and I liked the look of it, so we went with that.
First came out the dips and bread, and it was great, then sausages which were brilliant, then the Calamari which was delicious….. for 5 minutes, until all of a sudden I went bright red, my throat closed up, my temperature skyrocketed and I felt like I was going to throw up. I have never felt worse in my life and I have experienced asthma attacks before.

So we paid for the entrees and left straight away, I threw up on the way to the car but that was nothing compared to how I was feeling, my legs had turned to jelly and I felt like my head was about to explode from the pressure on my eyes and ears. It did help though. We went home and I tried in vain to lie down and calm down before I developed a rash that covered most of my upper body.

At this stage we decided it was probably best to go to the hospital. So the closest to us is Royal Melbourne, Mrs Punkologist drove me there. It was one of the longest drives ever. After navigating the corridors leading from the car park to the emergency ward, we waited in line and I felt like fainting. They took one look at me and I was rushed out the back while Mrs Punkologist filled out the paperwork. The doctor later suggested an ambulance would be the best course of action if this should happen again.

So I was on the oxygen and had a heart rate monitor which showed my heart was racing. Talk was going on about whether I should be having an injection of adrenalin. The nurse prepared me for that by sticking a needle in my arm but hitting 2 veins! That area was abandoned and then I was lucky enough to have a needle in my wrist to insert the needle thingy for easy and fast needles later if needed.

From that point on my health started to improve. I was moved to another room by another nurse and a few hours later I was groggy but ok.

I’m sure I was faring far better than the guy in the room next to me that was constantly throwing up, or the 4 people who had fallen off their roofs during the storm that day.

So evidently I now have developed an allergy to Calamari to go with the IBS I developed a bit under 2 years ago. I guess eating just isn’t for me…