Monday, July 28, 2008

VBall Road Trip to Colorado

Heading out today to take my daughter to a college prep volleyball camp at Colorado State University. Good program at CSU. They finished last season with a Mountain West Conference championship and an NCAA tournament bid. We're also scheduled to check out CU Boulder and the University of Denver on this trek. I want her to look at New Mexico, but she doesn't dig Alboocracky. She's ready to get out of the desert.

I'll be on the Frankie K watch all week.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Steely Dan in Tucson

I really wanted to hear Don't Take Me Alive

Big nasty storm on the way out to the casino/amphitheater last night cleared up right as the show got started. The Joey Defrancesco trio started the night off with some free-form jazz. Not a big fan of that stuff. Every so often, Joey sounded like he was about to break into that ballpark organ riff that goes, dah, dah, dah, dah, dadadadundadaaaahhhh...Chaaarrrrge!! A buddy of mine who attended the show last night called it Zamboni music. Seemed an amiable bloke, and he and the boys finished strong with an audience participation number about getting my mojo on. Shagadelic baby.

So the rest of the crowd starts filing in, and for the first time in a long time, I don't feel so old. Scores of Tommy Bahama guys in the Hawaiian shirt, microfiber shorts and leather sandal ensemble. Other than wife-of-Tommy Bahama guy, not a lot of women at the show. Oh yeah, there was a grandma who passed in front of me pushing her walker to the extreme of its performance envelope trying to get to her seat before Fagan and Becker made their entrance. And a nice mix of dads and sons. I dig that. Raise 'em right. It's never too early to teach them to just say "no" to Rap and those Flaming Lips people.

Becker and Fagan didn't look like they were ready to be fitted for portable oxygen tanks and scooters, but the boys are looking very seasoned. The other night towards the end of that VH-1 Who tribute, Roger Daltrey closed with something along the lines of: If we're still playing when we're 90 we may look like shat, but we'll still sound great. And the Dan sounded great last night. It was almost deja vu-2000. My concert-going shipmate, Captain Dan, recalls this as the set list:

  • Royal Scam-Love the jam session that segues into Walter and Donald making their appearance from opposite sides of the stage. Becker kinda waddles and Fagan has this gangly, stoop-shouldered scarecrow swagger thing he does. He's mastered how to look really cool when you don't have lick of motor skills beyond your hands.
  • Everything You Did
  • Show Biz Kids-Best of the night for me. Re-arranged from the studio version. Less machine-like, more jazzy. Fagan and the gals hit the Show business kids making movies of themselves, you know they don't give a F_ _ k about anybody else line twice. Very cool
  • Two Against Nature
  • New Frontier
  • Hey Nineteen
  • Glamour Profession
  • Godwacker
  • New Frontier
  • Gaucho-Ever heard Walter Becker sing? He's more Tom Waits than Tom Jones
  • Home at Last
  • Parker's Band
  • Aja
  • Josie
  • Peg
  • Love is Like an Itching in my Heart/band introductions
  • Kid Charlemagne
  • (encore) FM
As they came out for the encore, Becker complimented the audience and called us all M-Fers. Made me all warm and fuzzy. Musician of the night honors go to drummer Keith Carlock. Dude looked like Howie Long with a chili bowl haircut, but I felt that thundering in my chest most of the night-especially on Aja.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Steely Dan 2008-Make tonight a wonderful thing

The Early Years

That's David Palmer on lead vocals, Denny Dias on guitar and I think Jeff Baxter on bongos.

Interesting summer for music in the Old Pueblo. A few weeks ago, Journey came to town with their new Philipino Karaoke singing Steven Perry sound-alike. Tonight is Steely Dan at the AVA Amphitheater. Great venue for a show, provided the monsoon gives us a night off. I've been a Dan fan since high school back when the movie "FM" came out. I spent the summer of '79 driving around in my dad's Dodge Omni with Aja cued up in the 8-Track player. Aja, when all my dime dancing is through, I run to ratchet, ratchet, bzzzzzzz-click youuuu....oooh.

This will mark my third Dan show-the first in Manassas was way back when, in 2000. Saw them again during a virtual sandstorm in 2006. The second show wasn't nearly as tight as the first. Let's hope Donald's voice is silky smooth.

Perusing YouTube, the boys seem to be dropping in some more obscure tunes on this tour. Here are some songs I wish they'd include:

  • Midnight Cruiser

  • Don't Take Me Alive

  • The Caves of Altamira

  • Doctor Wu

  • Time Out of Mind

  • Tomorrow's Girls

  • H Gang
In Florida earlier this summer, this was their set list:

  • Royal Scam

  • I Got the News

  • Everything You Did

  • Show Business Kids

  • Two Against Nature

  • What a Shame About Me

  • Babylon Sisters

  • New Frontier

  • Hey Nineteen

  • Black Friday

  • Green Earrings

  • Glamour Profession

  • Parker's Band

  • Josie

  • Peg

  • Kid Charlemagne

  • FM

No Cuervo Gold. No fine Colombian. Just a few Stella Buds and lots of ear candy.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Possible Hurricanes third sweater?

This just in from an "inside source" close to the guy who knows the guy who changes the urinal cakes periodically at the RBC. There's just something fishy about this design.

Here's another take from The NHL Tournament of Logos site.

I still like Ingmar's Whale-themed sweater the best.

Thanks Jack Pittman

THN Proteau the Five Worst Signings

This Adam Proteau (Pro-tea-eeeew?/Pro-toy?/Pro-Tow?/) piece from 10 July is a good read-especially the dig on the Jackets signing of Mike Commodore:

This O'Neill nonsense and other stuff

Wizzinator News
The word the other day from Luke that JR was speaking with Jeff O'Neill about a two-way contract to bolster the Canes depth at center makes me think that Matt Cullen's melon may not be ready for prime time, or that he's one Brooks Orpik experience away from Eric Lindrosville. UPDATE: Oops, just saw that Wufie already had the same take. Snooze you lose.
Speaking of Luke. I'm beginning to get a bit worried about his follicle future. This haircut has all the signs of a imminent descent into Trumpian come over syndrome.

Thrash and Kitties go ugly late
These two squads successfully scooped up the leagues UFA sloppy seconds...or maybe thirds. When asked about his new deal with the FLACats, Cory Stillman waxed Zach Mayo squealing, "I got nowhere else to go!"

Tampion Bay triples down
Vinnie is worth the cash, even if he plays into his fifties. I saw Gordie Howe playing in his fifties, but it was the WHL. How about Radim Vrbata for $3 mil and seven years of Ryan Malone just a few months out of a perpetual doghouse and with one good season under his belt?

Anniversary #3
Thanks to DLee and Team Carolina on Ice for reminding me of the third anniversary here at C/B.

  • Here's a link to my first post from July 15, 2005-when I fancied myself a serious homer/analyst
  • Here's the most visited post in this blog's history. Right before game seven of the 2006 Cup final. When the going got tough, I got whiny.

Thanks to all who find their way here or back here even when I have little or nothing to say. At the end of the Canes season, I started thinking that my energy for riffing on things Hurricanes was about used up. Now months later, I'm getting excited again about the upcoming season.

Despite being an Arizonan now for four years, I still haven't become much of a Coyotes fan. This despite the possibility that the Dogs could be very good this season. On February 7, the Canes come to Phoenix. At least on that night, I'll be wishing pain and suffering on Skelator Olli.

In Uthuh News
Welcome aboard Eye of the Storm. Another take is always welcome.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Frankie Kaberle-Destination Unknown?

As the dust settles on the first week of free agency, looks to me like moving Kaberle and his modest salary might not be that big of a deal. I'm sure some clubs will leave roster space open for rising prospects, but there are a few clubs who might need a veteran puck-moving defenseman who scored the winning goal in the 2006 Stanley Cup final. The LA Kings only have five blueliners on their active roster. Bret Hedican might end up a late addition to the Kings roster now that San Jose has both landed Rob Blake and Miami University's own, Danny Boyle.

The Canes bestus trading buddies, the Ottawa Senators, have three defensemen on their active roster with Andrej Meszaros an RFA. Right now they don't have an offensive-minded defenseman. RFA Antoine Vermette is still dangling out there as well. Might Bryan Murray be fleeced again? He let Mike Commodore go. He let Cory Stillman go. The Canes still have Joe Corvo and Paddy Eaves-at bargain prices....not to rub it in.

The Buffaslugs are also short on blueliners. They're also trying to unload Maxim Afinogenov.

Denis Seidenberg had a pretty solid year last season. He'd be a nice 5th or 6th defensemen on some squad this October. If JR keeps him. That would be fine with me. If he could be part of a deal that moved Kaberle or helped the Canes re-stock the system, that would be fine as well.

So I think there are some easy deals to be done that would involve moving Kaberle for prospects and/or picks. There also might be the possibility of a more complex deal that might bring in a solid forward. Such a deal might mean packaging the recently signed Tuomo Ruutu or possibly Chad Larose. I think the fun has only just begun.

Other UFAs I like:
Pavol Dimetra
Jason Williams

RFAs I somewhat covet:
Jay Bouwmeester - dream on C/B
Patrick O'Sullivan

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Benefit of Covetatiousness

Happy Trails Erik Cole!

With a hearty "click-it or ticket," the Canes resident daredevil blasts off to Edmonton

Howdy pards. Back from a family trek to Cali. Seal Beach south of Long Beach is a fantastic beach destination in the SOCAL. Nestled between the Seal Beach Navy weapons facility and the poorly disguised oil derricks of Long Beach Harbor, Seal Beach is clean, parking is easy and the quaint little downtown is only about 50 yards off the strand. We also visited the San Juan Capistrano Mission, toured the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and spent an evening on the grass at the LA Arboretum listening to the California Philharmonic. It was good to escape Tucson's annual triple digit June for a couple of days.

So JR now has both of the blueliners he's coveted longtime. Joe Corvo and Joni Pitkanen will man the point on the PP. And the love fest continued yesterday with Pitkanen signing a three-year deal for team captain cash. Now JR has the guys he wanted. We know Corvo is the real deal. Lets see if Pitkanen is more than a big porcelain doll with a sliding upside. You look at Joni's page on TSN and you see a lot of missed games with knee, back and hip maladies.

Trading Erik Cole, an older catastrophic broken bone-guy, for a younger chronic sore joint-guy, looks like a pretty good deal. Younger guys heal better and quicker, so with Brind 'Amour and Williams both coming back from knee injuries, I'm glad the Canes were able to move Cole before his next Evel Knievelesque collision with an endboard. Not that I don't love everything Erik Cole represented to this team. He has the heart of a lion, and from today's N&O piece, he had a huge influence on the development of Eric Staal. Good luck Erik. Rip up that Western Conference. Make sure you take that click-it or ticket message to the ice road truckers.

As far as JR's big deal goes, I'm with DLee. Cole was a guy clubs like Ottawa and Edmonton had repeatedly expressed an interest in, and in a marketplace where everybody wants to upgrade on D, the only way the Canes were going to upgrade without truly breaking the bank ($7 mil a year for Campbell? $6.5 mil for Redden?) was via trade.

I bitched all last season and into my last post that the Canes needed to get bigger, meaner and more athletic on the blueline. Babchuk and Pitkanen are both big boys who can play angry. I'm actually more intrigued by the pending return of Anton the Refusenik than the acquisition of Pitkanen. A more mature Babchuk might be the real gem of this signing period. And he returns for cheap-Josef Melichar cheap. If Josef Melichar is worth a cool mil, I bet Pavel Brindl could be had for a fraction of that kinda cash! Boom that gaping hole at wing is immediately filled. In one off season, the Canes forward corps gets smaller, quicker and more enigmatic.

That leaves Nic Wallin and Frances Kaberle on the bubble. Wallin didn't want to go anywhere last season, and both are signed thru next season. I'd rather see the Canes hold on to Wallin. His poise and experience might come in handy if Corvo and Pitknanen get too pinchy.
And I'm really glad to see the club resign my boy Tim Conboy. Watch your back Josef Melichar, there's a psycho killer waiting in the wings. Qu'est-ce que c'est?