Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6)

Another Thankful Thursday for me to count my blessings and thank God for His goodness to me :-)

1) I thank God for strengthening me and enabled me to attend the evening service last Sunday. I was unwell in the morning and the Lord is good to order providence so that I attended the evening service and heard the message that I needed most to hear on that day!

Brother Linus shared from the above verse from Philippians 1:6. He spoke about the good work that God is doing in our life through saving us and the good work that He is continuing to do in us daily. I am reminded afresh that God is doing a good work in my life daily.

Sometimes I get discouraged when I felt that I am not accomplishing as much as I desired to do for the Lord daily. Sometimes I feel that I failed the Lord miserably and failed others and myself. But in reality my expectations of myself is too high and unrealistic at times. This is part of the perfectionist trait that I seemed to have and I am trying hard to change as it is not good for me. I think I am trying to do too many things and in my own strength.

So I was quite broken halfway through the worship when God's Words spoke to my heart. I was uplifted at the reminder that God is the One who is doing a good work in me and not myself. I do my best at what God wants me to do daily in His strength. I don't have the strength to do these things on my own. When I feel that I have failed or not done as good as I want, I need to learn to let go and remember that God is doing a good work! And God is daily sanctifying me by revealing my weaknesses so that I may learn more and more to depend upon Him for strength, grace and wisdom to do His will.

We are weak vessels in the hands of a mighty God and God is working in and through us to make us a blessing to others and to share His love with a perishing world so that they too may know Him.

2) I thank God for seeing a dear church aunty, Aunty Ruth, through her surgery on Tuesday and enabling her to return home yesterday to recuperate at home. I thank God for Aunty Ruth's love and prayers for me, and her many kindness.

3) I thank God for bringing two dear friends and their children home from a long overseas trip and for delivering them from a difficult trials.

4) I thank God for the joy of ministering to a group of elderly people at the evening service in my church. These group of needy elderly are mostly living on their own in very poor condition. Thank God for opening their hearts to come and listen to His Words. I have a soft spot for elderly people and they seemed to enjoy my friendship too. I pray that they may all come to know the Lord savingly.

5) I thank God for giving me His Words to guide and comfort me as I seek to walk with Him. I thank God for giving me my family, Church, friends and blogging friends, and providing tremendous support and encouragement through them.

6) I thank God for sustaining and strengthening me as I wait upon Him daily. I am still learning to manage my condition, the stress and strain of work, family, etc etc. I am finding much joy and contentment in the Lord now as I learn to let go and let God work through me :-) Praise Him!

How about you? How has the Lord blessed you through the past week?

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a blessed and thankful day!

This Ain't The Sean Avery Show

(☝ ☝ YIKES - THANK GOD!!! ☝ ☝)

Okay, so now that we know that IFHSA™ is going to be okay, let's get our focus back where it should be - on OUR Boys of Winter! I have the perfect way for us to do just that.

Good Friend of The Show Pensgirl sent me this video from PensTV. It shows the guys at today's optional practice. Expect to see a few of them playing a game of soccer with the Saint in some DANGEROUSLY tight pants (seriously, I'm worried about the circulation to his bright-yellow Croc clad feet), the team getting dressed to one of the best U2 songs ever, and BGL talking about his HUGE goal last night. Enjoy!!! :)

Thanks to Pensgirl for sending in the link!

Lhasa Anecdote (3) - The friendly Tibetan people

This was a half finished post from my Tuboh trip almost a month ago. I did not think there is much insight I could generate from these anecdotes. I finally decided to share it after I read this essay by "Chairman Rabbit" ESWN translated (scroll down as he copied the NYT article first), I thought I could share a few data points to (illustrate) "what the Tibetan really want". Esp Re: this question

  • The article also said:
    Students argue that China has spent billions on Tibet, building schools, roads and other infrastructure. Asked if the Tibetans wanted such development, they looked blankly incredulous. “They don’t ask that question,” said Lionel Jensen, a China scholar at Notre Dame. “They’ve accepted the basic premise of aggressive modernization.”

  • It is not hard to see that the reporter was skeptical about the views of the students. I have participated in many forums on Tibet, and I never heard any westerners questioned the Tibet independence supporters or sympathizers: ""Do the majority of Tibetan people need and care most about independence, religion and culture?" I have never heard anyone asked this kind of question. Here, most westerners' assumptions are: These lofty political rights, culture and pursuit of values are obviously more important than the quest for basic economics, existence and materials!" Of course, they have never done any public opinion polling in Tibet. Instead of being supported by facts, their ideas are propped up by their belief values. With these beliefs, they will obviously give even more sympathy to the Tibetan independence movement.
In my rather short trip I tried to talk to as many Tibetans as I could. I went into (rather shabby looking) Tibetan tea houses. I tried my best talk to every Tibetan I met. When I finially got into a lone Tibetan driver cab, I asked him to take me to the airport the next day but 'dumped' the Han driver who I had asked the previous day because I want to talk to Tibetan.

People who have read this blog know that I do not trust the state propaganda (and am critical on any media in general), I also assume the Han Chinese I met are biased to a certain extent (what they said are pretty much in line with the official lines, which is not surprising. Though I was able to extract some inference myself -- more later). I wanted to hear with my own ears what the Tibetan think of me (a Han Chinese), Han Chinese in general, and if possible, what they think about the issues of D-L, T-I, and more specifically, the event from March 10-15.

Of course, what I observed in this short trip is only illustrative. In Chinese we call it "viewing a leopard view a pipe" (管中窥豹). i.e. If it is indeed a leopard what I saw could extrapolate reasonable, but if what on the other side of the pipe is an elephant then I might have only shown you its trunk. (瞎子摸象). I think my observation is more of the former (as I did try to triangulate and I viewed a few different part of the animal's body) but I really do not have enough data. Since I am a Han myself and spoke Mandarin to them (even though I managed to "speak" to a few people who could barely speak Mandarin) they should be naturally careful when speaking to me (I made it clear that I am not from mainland so better my chance to gain their trust, and I know I suceeded in a couple times -- see below). Nevertheless, I could still be the photon which might have unknowingly killed Schroedinger's cat in a few of my 'interviews' (i.e. my data point was changed because of who I was).

From the extremely small (and insignificant statistically) sample of interviews. Here is what I gathered:

1) People are friendly in general, to me and to Han people

  • I tried to look into all Tibetans in their eyes. Occasionally I met a few looks which seem to be suspicious or hostile (a couple young / middle age men). Many people are, of course, indifferent to a curious (and perhaps stupid looking) tourist like myself. So I would also assume a similar proportion of these people are "hostile". My estimate is perhaps 10-15% of the Tibetans detest the presence of Han Chinese there. The rest do not really care (or accept the fact that there is little they could do, or just wanted to mind their own business) -- overall, they are in general friendly to me

  • Of those who gave me a suspicious look. I tried to smile at them, about half of them actually smiled back

2) Most people are willing to talk about 3-14 briefly, but stopped when I inquired further (eg the taxi driver who told me about how his car was spared in the riot because he has hada on the side mirrors). Nevertheless, from what they said nothing contradicts with what I have understood or what has been reported by Kadfly and James Miles. I heard nothing that supports the pro-Tibetan claim of a crack down or death of protestors/demonstrators, i.e. include those who told me they love DL and they had sent their kids to India (Dha-lam-saaaala). (But my sample is small and they may be afraid to talk)

3) (Now Re: Chairman Rabbit's question)

  • I cannot answer for those in Lhasa city. I have seen both people who care about only improving his live and also a few who are DL followers. It seems (from both Tibetan and Han) that people from Kham/Chamdo area tend to be more loyal to DL. However, the caveat is that DL follower are not necessarily TYC-ideology supporters, though among the youth I suppose there is a high correlation.

  • In the rural area (and the more recent migrants from rural into Lhasa), I can pretty comfortably say that most people care only about their livelihood

  • This is hardly surprising. You get the same answer when you ask about how urban and rural people think of democracy in 1990 (as we know, % who care about propserity is much higher today)

Below are pictures related to some of my interviews.

Taxi driver who said, "[3-14] is not to be talked about". Before we talked a bit about everything, and how his car was spared of the fire/etc. Picture show we drive into 2_bridge_1_tunnel (the newly built bypass which cut through Lhasa River, Yaluzangbu River and a mountain and shortened the trip to airport by 30km.

Couple have a home under glacier. They don't speak Mandarin. They only care about selling me a small box of crytals they gathered to me for 50RMB. Very friendly people, and honest traders.

Girl under the glacier - who was eager to sell me a couple crystals, invited me into their little hut. Very friendly, and quite industrious. (in selling stuff. The way she behaved and talked was still pure and innocent, even when she was asking for money/candy you never feel the greediness you see in the businessmen in Lhasa or other Chinese cities)

Lady turning dharmawheel north of Jokhang Monastery Wall in N. Barkhorn Street. Amused at a lone tourist who ventured into thsi forbidden area.

Lady turning dharmawheel north of Jokhang Monastery

Tibetan old man (one of those in this picture) - who did not hesitate to reveal his support for DL. A lady (also in this picture) showed me a photo of her two sons, said "India". When I asked "Dhalam-s-aa"? They nodded with happy approval.

Then the old man muttered to me, "You from HK, HK also minority people"

I could only smile back.

Inside this Tuboh Tea-house in the same block of Barkhorn, the owner told me he spared his own shop and a few shops next door owned by Han people by hanging Hada (white scarf) outside. When I asked how he knew about hanging Hada he was going to join his friend, not sure he didn't hear or he pretended not to. He is one of those from rural area (Gangtze) and made a living in Lhasa. He manage the teahouse in low season, and hire waitress and let his wife manage during peak seasons, when he become a driver to make extra bucks. He is probably sympathetic to the Tuboh cause (not necessarily independent) but care more about a stable and prosperous life. He told me the latter explicitly but I suspect the former is also true.

Near the lake I also met 2 Tuboh businessmen in a brand new Volkswagen SUV. They talked to me more along the government lin and condemned the "minority rioter". It is possible that they faked because they are suspicious of me (perhaps more about my driver who stood next to me). But more likely they supported the government because they benefited from the status quo.

BREAKING NEWS: Avery In Cardiac Arrest Has Lacerated Spleen

This is NOT a joke. Per

New York Rangers forward Sean Avery was rushed to a Manhattan hospital on Wednesday morning in cardiac arrest just hours after his team's playoff loss, the New York Daily News reported, citing unnamed sources.

Avery was unconscious and not breathing, the newspaper reported.

A source at St. Vincent's Medical Center said Avery, 28, arrived at about 3 a.m. Wednesday morning. Hours earlier, the Rangers lost 5-3 in the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden.

A source close to the team confirmed Avery had been rushed to the hospital, but declined to offer any specifics, the Daily News reported.

More on this as I get it.


Sean Avery has a lacerated spleen and will be out the remainder of the season, sources tell TSN.

The source went on to say that the laceration was detected with a CT scan after Avery was taken to hospital following the Game 3 with the Penguins.

The New York Rangers expect Avery to make a full recovery in the off-season.

LATE EDIT 2: I found this article that discusses spleen injuries:
The most common cause of injury are car accidents. The spleen can either be injured directly by the impact or by a fractured rib on the left side. Less commonly, in contact sports such as ice hockey, during a body check or slamming into the boards, the spleen can also be injured. The impact of the injury can actually cause the spleen to rupture, resulting in massive amounts of bleeding into the abdominal area. [← snoop: Which explains the cardiac arrest...] This situation is potentially life threatening and is considered a medical emergency. The only treatment is to remove the spleen and repair any other damage surgically.

So, yes people can live without a spleen. However, they are more prone to certain infections, and will need to receive vaccinations or even preventative antibiotics.
LATE EDIT 3: An update from suggests that reports of Avery being unconscious may be inaccurate:
The team also denied a published report in the New York Daily News -- which first reported Avery's hospitalization -- that the forward had been taken to a Manhattan hospital while unconscious and in cardiac arrest.

The Rangers said Avery was admitted to St. Vincent's Medical Center following a CT scan and is expected to make a full recovery. Avery walked into the medical facility with team doctor Andrew Feldman, and the two took a car to the hospital, not an emergency vehicle, the team said.

Michael Fagan, spokesman for St. Vincent's Medical Center, said Avery is in "stable" condition.
Whether Avery was taken by ambulance or walked in to the hospital under his own power, a lacerated spleen is a life threatening injury.

Avery, whose spleen was not removed and isn’t expected to need surgery, likely will be hospitalized for a few days, team spokesman John Rosasco said.

Rosasco said it’s unclear when Avery was injured, but the forward complained during the game of pain that got worse. Following the game, Avery went in a car from Madison Square Garden to the hospital with team physician Dr. Andrew Feldman.

“He walked into the hospital,” Rosasco said. “He was never in a life-threatening situation.”

Avery’s mother, Marlene, told the Toronto Sun that Avery’s spleen had not ruptured, but he had suffered internal bleeding.
For the record, I dislike the man, but I really do hope he's okay.

Thanks to Good Friend of The Show Cassie C. for the initial heads up on this with the ESPN link.

More Stuff from Game 3

This is why Empty Netters is a daily read:

(Thanks also go to Clare for leaving the link to the video in the comments section.)

I got an email from Friend of The Show Allison Y. last night at 9:20pm:
So, in the third period, around the 14:00 mark...with Flower's legs in the net, the possible fight and scary looking possible goal on the Rangers power play...a ref told Dubinsky to go f*ck himself. I'm totally not lying...we rewound that sucker five times to make sure and then laugh hysterically. It was awesome...there was no way Versus could censor that.

I thought you might like to know.
Since I was watching it on FSN Pittsburgh, I totally missed that. But this is why is a daily read:

(Thanks go to Allison for the heads up about the incident.)

And finally, Friend of The Show Bobby T. (← the infamous creator of IFHSA™) went to the game last night. He got some great photos. Here they are with some brief intros in Bobby's own words:
Let's just say it was unreal. My first "away from Pittsburgh playoff hockey experience." ...There were about 10,000 Ranger fans to every 1 Pens fan. I counted about 5 jerseys. It seemed like everyone had a "Crosby Dives" shirt or something to that affect. The Blue bastards even printed out signs that said "Crosby's Dive 8.7". The worst was a guy who had a "Sidney Diver" outfit on:

[snoop: WOW.]

Nonetheless their were a few Pittsburgh diehards that dealt with the onslaught. I'd say I say about 20 fans total (half wearing Crosby, a quarter wearing Lemieux and Malkin, and the rest random including a Ron Francis, a Fleury, old Jagrs, and of all things an Ulf Samuelsson).

The National Anthem

Inside the arena was basically the same. Older guys were yelling at children and girls (most of which had Crosby jerseys). [These] two 20-something Pens fans sat 2 rows below me (I was in the 3rd level of 4):

They were taunting the Ranger fans at every chance. Let's just say that got what they deserved, which included nachos, pretzels, beers, and debris all being thrown at them, along with a slap in the face and a few punches. You can't go into another playoff arena and talk shit. [snoop: Especially in NYC!!]

The Opening Faceoff

On a side note, I should have known we would win. When the man came to sing the national anthem, apparently it wasn't the guy who always does it. Rangers fans knew this and seriously were booing during the anthem. Very classless.

The Final Score

Here were the other shirts of stupid Ranger fans I saw (by the way the Avery jersey is massively popular and I don't understand why):
  • Avery is My Dad
  • Fleury Blows Malkin
  • Crosby is a Bitch [snoop: Oooooh. That's a good one.]
  • Put It In My Hossa
  • Sidney Diver
Nothing too original. One other thing - The Ranger fans booed their own players. If they didn't like what was going on they booed. I guess I just didn't understand it, maybe they are frustrated, but I (and think most Pens fans) would never do this to our own playoff hockey team.
Thanks so much for the pictures and the recap, Bobby!!!

If you thought last night's game was nuts, tomorrow's game is going to be an absolute asylum! The Rangers will very literally be fighting for their playoff lives. If Jaromir Jagr can figure out the Flower, we're going to be in trouble. He played like classic Jagr last night, and I expect nothing less tomorrow. This is what the Pens have played for all year. This is why we are fans of this sport. This is what we say to the Rangers:


GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday

(This photo is taken by my friend, Sau, at Saipan)

Very often in my life, when I go through very difficult time, I have wondered how I will ever get through the days as I felt I have no strength to go through that particular trials. But God in His mercies and faithfulness have always given me strength to go through these difficulties. And many times these difficult experiences have drawn me nearer to God as I experience His sustaining grace and strength equal to my tasks. I realized that when I am weak then His strength is made perfect in my weaknesses. It always encourages my heart when I see how the Lord is helping me and strengthening me.

I am thankful to God that though I have been unwell recently, God has been the strength of my heart and my joy daily. I am learning to slow down and to rest in God's love and sufficiency. I am comforted by the knowledge that though my flesh and heart may fail at time, God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.

Thanks for stopping by and for your prayers and encouragements.

May this verse encourage you too and God will be the strength of your heart and your portion for ever.

Hope you have a blessed day!

Round 2 Game 3: Pens v Rangers (W 5-3)

WOOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!! WHAT A GAME!!! Before the game even started, FSN Pittsburgh addressed the questionable yet unpunished behavior of IFHSA™ throughout this series. They showed a replay of the face scrap, the slashes, and the fight with Giant Hal Gill in front of MAF at the end of Game 2. Upon seeing it again, IFHSA™ actually took a swing at Gill with his stick as Gill was dropping his gloves. This guy needs to be dealt with. That's another difference between Jarrko Ruutu and IFHSA™ - Ruutu wants to irritate people; IFHSA™ wants to hurt them.

Right away, the boo-birds returned the captain-booing favor to Sid. (Surprisingly, there were no audible chants of "DIV-er!!!" I thought for sure they'd jump all over that.) But remember what I said after Game 2? Sidney doesn't get mad, he gets even - in points. He stole the puck to create an amazing play. He passed the puck to Pascal Dupuis, who then centered a pass for Sid. Henrik Lundqvist was able to shut the door on the Saint, but Marian Hossa was there to shoot the rebound into the net to give the Pens the lead 1:02 into the game. [Pens 1, Rangers 0]

Immediately following, Marc-Andre Fleury made a big save on Jaromir Jagr. The teams came out swinging with a lot of big hits early. Then, somehow, someway Martin Straka missed a wide open empty net after Jagr faked and MAF bit. MAF was out - WAY out - and I think my Grandma could have put the puck in that net, but Straka missed. It was good for us, though! Captain Crybaby went down after getting checked. The fans demanded a penalty, but it was a clean hit so no dice. Seconds later, Double J (or Double C, haha) hauled Hossa down to prevent Hossa from getting a breakaway. But the refs believed that Hossa embellished the fall a bit too much (whatev) and so both the Crybaby and Hossa went to their respective boxes. Evgeni Malkin and Ryan Malone dominated the 4-on-4. Marc Staal destroyed his little brother Jordan with a huge hit. Neither team would score on the 4-on-4.

MAF made an unreal glove save on Crybaby with such confidence that he almost had a swagger - if that's possible on skates, haha! Straka missed yet another wide open net a bit later. The curse of the open net would strike the Pens after Geno and Petr Sykora had a 2-on-1 rush, and Geno had a rare miss on an open net. MAF froze the puck on a later play, but Nigel Dawes kept chopping away at the puck because the whistle hadn't blown. He paid for it, though, when he was shoved head first into the goal post for his efforts.

The Pens had a few chances before Ryan Whitney came in and completely fanned on a shot. This left him trapped down low while the Rangers developed a 3-on-1. MAF made the initial save, but the rebound bounced strangely and went to Straka. He fired it right back on goal. There was a mess in the net with Jagr getting sandwiched then pushed on top of Flower. The puck appeared to cross the goal line, but the net was coming up off the moorings. The ref doesn't make a call, the light doesn't go on, and fights break out EVERYWHERE. The play went under review while roughing penalties were handed out to Whit, Bugsy, Kris Letang, Crybaby, Brandon Dubinsky, and Paul Mara. After we're shown a replay that shows that the puck actually crossed BEFORE the net came up, bounced out off MAF's pad, then back in as the net came up, so IT'S A GOAL. [Pens 1, Rangers 1]

Ryan Callahan and the Saint got a little pushy with each other. Just afterwards, Big Georges Laraque was sent out on the Steel City line in place of the penalized Bugsy. In a reversal of roles, Syko found himself behind the net while BGL was in front. Syko sent a pass out front that got redirected slightly by a Ranger's skate. BGL coolly pulled the puck in and set himself up for a shot that hit the crossbar and went in behind Lundqvist. [Pens 2, Rangers 1]

About 30 seconds later, Callahan got his stick WAAAAY up and caught 6'7" Gill. Callahan was given a double minor because there was some blood. Following a great pass from Sergei Gonchar, Geno fired a wicked one-timer that Lundqvist probably didn't even see until the red light was already on. [Pens 3, Rangers 1] Incidentally, this was Geno's first goal at Madison Square Garden!

Congratulations to Geno for his nomination for this year's Hart Trophy!!!!!!!!

The Pens still had an advantage with Callahan's second penalty but were unable to score on it. The 1st period ended with the Pens ahead by two. During the intermission, FSN reporter Dan Potash interviewed BGL about his big goal. An obviously ecstatic BGL then gave Potash a kiss on the cheek before returning to the locker room!!! (← If anyone can get a screen shot of that, I'd really appreciate it!)

The 2nd period began with a big save by Flower. Then the Penguins had a series of concurrent penalties. Okay. Stay with me here: Syko got the first penalty for holding. With 42 seconds left in his penalty, Dupuis took a penalty for hooking. On the 5-on-3, Crybaby was somehow left unchallenged on the left wing. He fired a wicked shot, but MAF absolutely stoned him. Syko came back to the ice. With 33 seconds left on the Dupuis penalty, Brooks Orpik took a roughing penalty after Callahan's exaggerated embellishment fooled the refs. On this 5-on-3, Rob Scuderi, who's silently dominating the team with a +7, went absolutely nuts. He blocked shots with his body. He got hurt, but stayed out. Finally, he got an opportunity to clear the puck. UNREAL. What a warrior! Dupuis rejoined his team on the ice while Orpik had about 33 seconds left on his penalty. Mad Max Talbot pulled a monkey-see-monkey-do by blocking shots with his body. SOMEHOW, the Pens held the Rangers scoreless throughout this mess.

Geno later gave the puck away in his own zone which would have led to a goal if the man to take the final shot was anyone but Straka, who tripped this time and couldn't take a shot at all. We were told that Gary Roberts is well enough to play again, but that Coach Therrien is reluctant to change the line up since the current lineup is so damn hot. Sid stole the puck and set up Dupuis, but Lundqvist blocked the one-timer. Then the Rangers got the puck and took it the other way. Scott Gomez was behind the net and centered a pass for Callahan. He put it in behind MAF with a quick shot. [Pens 3, Rangers 2]

Only 1:04 later, Crybaby was left unchallenged AGAIN. He took the puck behind the cage, came around the corner, and fired a shot. It went high and over MAF's shoulder. [Pens 3, Rangers 3] Bob Errey described the shot and mentioned that Crybaby used the "illegal curve" of his stick to make the shot curve the way it did.

At this point, it became a new game. The Rangers began dominating possession. They opened up a can on the Pens and were probably about to make something happen when Ryan Hollweg, who is always one to take stupid penalties at the worst times for his team, did it again when he hit Syko from behind. He was given 2 for boarding. On the ensuing Penguins power play, Sid faked a shot then passed it to Geno for another one-timer. The puck flew into the back of the net with 3 seconds left on Hollweg's penalty. [Pens 4, Rangers 3] The Pens would take their one-goal lead to the third.

The 3rd period began with Orpik getting slashed by Gomez, who got away with it. About 2½ minutes into the period, the MSG announcer actually had to get on the loudspeaker to try unsuccessfully prompt a "Let's Go Rangers!" chant. In fact, it backfired. The teams were ready for the faceoff. Gomez was thrown out of the faceoff circle, so Callahan came in against Geno. Geno used his big body to cheat on the faceoff for the win to Syko. He passed it to Letang, who fired a shot on goal that Bugsy was able to tip into the net for the insurance marker. [Pens 5, Rangers 3]

Even though there was nearly a full period left to play, not a whole lot happened. The Pens took and killed a few penalties; Gronk was a complete beast (← his importance to this team is unreal); Lundqvist was pulled at 1:35; IFHSA™ tried to start something at the end of the game again. At the end of the game, though, the Pens emerged victorious for their 7th straight playoff game!!!!!!!!!!!

These two teams are set to meet at least one more time on Thursday at 7:00pm.

GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!

"I'm working on that right now."

Those are the words of our fearless leader, Coach Michel Therrien, regarding IFHSA's™ slash on Sid on Sunday. From Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review:
Nobody asked Crosby about the incident, either, which means a lot of people probably didn't see it. ...I asked Crosby if he thought Avery was trying to injure him.

"He wasn't going for the puck," Crosby said. "He was going for my wrist." ...How's the wrist? "I felt it," Crosby said, smiling. "It's just sore, nothing major."

Penguins coach Michel Therrien said he was well aware of the incident and added, somewhat cryptically, "I'm working on that right now." Asked if that meant he was going to send a tape to league headquarters, Therrien said no. I asked NHL spokesman Frank Brown if the league was reviewing Avery's actions.

"We review everything; every play of every game," Brown said. [snoop: Hey, Brownie, did you happen to notice the face wipe Sid got from IFHSA's™ stick in game 1?]

But is the league reviewing that particular play for the purpose of possibly suspending Avery? "If there is any action that is needed that would cause this person not to play (tonight), it will be announced before the game is played," Brown said.
So why is IFHSA™ such an incredibly immature attention whore? Giant Hal Gill thinks he knows the answer to that:
NBC analyst Pierre McGuire, stationed between the benches, said, "Hal Gill just said to Avery, 'You just weren't hugged enough as a child. That's why you've got issues.'"
Exactly. But truthfully, who could blame his parents? They probably don't even like the guy. Thanks go to both Ali & XDancexxforxxmeX for posting the link in the comments. :)

Now on to happier things: our good Friend of The Show Mike H. (aka Mike @ Japan) was stateside this past week. He was lucky enough to score a ticket to Friday's Game 1 against the Rangers. He was so lucky that he got an AMAZING seat in section A21, row C! Mike is actually visible in this Getty Images shot of the Pens celebrating Marian Hossa's tying goal in the 5-4 comeback:

Mike is in the left half of the crowd.
(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

By now, you all have figured out how much I love your shots of the games. (← Hint, hint!) Mike got some ABSOLUTELY STUNNING shots of the game which he has graciously shared with us. All photos in today's post are Mike's photos, unless otherwise noted (like the photo above). We'll start out with some great closeup shots of Sidney:

Heeeeeerre's GENO!

Now for my favorites: He got a picture of the Saint with his arms raised like Rocky Balboa at the top of those stairs after Sid fired the shot that banked off Geno's leg for the win. First, a refresher of what Sid looked like from the front:

(Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

...and this is the photo Mike captured at what appears to be the exact same time as the shot above:

The rest of the guys bum rush Sid to celebrate, again starting with the professional shot:

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

...and here are two shots from Mike's view:

Go raibh mile maith agat, Mike!!! (For all the non-Gaels, that means "A thousand thank yous!!!")

Monday, April 28, 2008

Thou art my hope in the day of evil - Jeremiah 17:17

Thank you, dear Reader, for stopping by.

Thanks, Bpd, Michelle, Mari, Preciousrock, Jena, Marissa, Paula, for your prayers and encouragements. It's so good to have you back, Mari. I hope you have had a good rest. Thank you, Preciousrock, for stopping by. And welcome to my blog :-) I had a quick look at your blog and will return to read more.

Thanks all for your concerns, prayers and kind words which touched my heart. Thank God for all of you. It is encouraging to know that others care and are praying for me :-)

Jena has kindly suggested that it may be good for me to write a short post to update all of you and I think that's a great idea. Thanks for suggesting that, Jena :-)

Thank you for your prayers. Thank God for strengthening me. I am feeling better and learning to rest in God and depend more on His strength. I am learning to slow down and not try to do too many things. I am still feeling tired and experiencing mood swings but learning to cut down on my activities and rest whenever I can.

So dear friends, please take care. Try not to overstrain yourself too. Thank God that writing is therapeutic to us all. I am keeping you in my prayers too. And thanks again for coming by and leaving me such sweet encouraging notes :-)

May God bless and keep you near to Him. Have a blessed day!

This morning I read this encouraging devotional note from CH Spurgeon and I cut and paste it from a free Bible software "e-sword". e-sword is free and have many version of Bible, Commentaries, Devotional notes, etc etc. You can download and install on you computer. It's very useful.

Thank God that He is our hope in time of difficulties. Though we are weak, He is strong. Praise Him!

Thou art my hope in the day of evil - Jeremiah 17:17

The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine; he has his seasons of darkness and of storm.

True, it is written in God’s Word, “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace;” and it is a great truth, that religion is calculated to give a man happiness below as well as bliss above; but experience tells us that if the course of the just be “As the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day,” yet sometimes that light is eclipsed. At certain periods clouds cover the believer’s sun, and he walks in darkness and sees no light.

There are many who have rejoiced in the presence of God for a season; they have basked in the sunshine in the earlier stages of their Christian career; they have walked along the “green pastures” by the side of the “still waters,” but suddenly they find the glorious sky is clouded; instead of the Land of Goshen they have to tread the sandy desert; in the place of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to their taste, and they say, “Surely, if I were a child of God, this would not happen.” Oh! say not so, thou who art walking in darkness. The best of God’s saints must drink the wormwood; the dearest of his children must bear the cross.

No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his harp from the willows. Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb, but now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God’s full-grown children.

We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ.

The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.

(taken from CH Spurgeon's Morning and Evening, 29 Morning.)

Rate Sid's Influence

It is that time of year again. No, I'm not talking about the playoffs, so hold off on the "Captain Obvious" jokes for a second... Time Magazine has an online poll asking who their readers think are the 100 most influential people. Last year, Sidney came in at an impressive number 5! Not bad considering hockey allegedly isn't important in this country! He was the highest placing sports star, behind only Korean pop star Rain (#1), Stephen Colbert (#2), American Idol castoff Sanjaya Malakar (#3 ← I hope that was a big joke), and comedian Dane Cook (#4). Click on the picture of Sidney below to cast your vote. Heads Up: Don't just hit the submit button! Use the slider right next to the submit button to rank Sid at 100 (most influential) then click the submit button. :)


And now I've got the Photo of The Day. It comes from Friend of The Show Ron D.:

Cry me a river.

Friend of The Show Mike H. found this site, It has caricatures of hockey players representing their teams. They have a clean shaven picture for Sid on their April 3rd entry, but I'll let Mike describe the site's drawing of the Saint for the playoffs:
...the entry for April 16 shows him with a beard that, frankly, I doubt he'd ever be able to grow himself.
Maybe in 20 years, Mike... though I doubt it would even be that thick when he's 40!! HAHA!

Finally today, Friend of The Show Stephanie S. sent this to me a while ago. George Johnson of ESPN Online built the perfect hockey player using attributes from players today. Sidney is the only player to appear on the list twice. :) And there's a surprise: IFHSA™ makes an unwelcome appearance on the list. Johnson loves to hate him for his, well, his Averyness. UGH.

IFHSA's™ taunting extends to the fans in Philadelphia. What a class act.

Big thanks go out to Friends Ron, Mike, and Stephanie for their contributions to today's post. :)

Game 3 happens tomorrow at MSG at 7:00pm Eastern. Brace yourself for the "DIV-er!!!" chants. Let's beat these clowns and move on, already!!!!

GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chinese patriotism will backfire, and already does (爱国护奥活动的误区)

I will write this in Chinese, because I intend this as an appeal to the Chinese people, domestic or overseas.




误区A) 当LVMH和JLF出了声明,法国总统派了特使送了信之后。已经绝对是不应该再缠着JLF不放了。理由如下

  • JLF本来就无辜的
  • JLF显然已对其国内的政治家施加了压力,因此才会有总统特使访华
  • 应该把精力集中于如何惩罚公开宣扬种族歧视的“西嗯嗯”(咖啡提先生)。这有点难度,因为中国人本来就不准看西嗯嗯,有何来杯葛?不过,也不是没办法。比如:
    • (1)"以本伤人"法:已有海外华人对西恩嗯提诉,每个人都可以在提诉。(而且赢面不低)(2)"围魏救赵"法:罗列并定期更新其广告客户及其投放量,选择性杯葛其客户在中国的产品,对戏嗯嗯的客户施加压力,就像让JLF对法国政客施加压力一样。当然,对于其产品不在中国销售的西恩嗯客户,产生不了作用。不过,在意中国市场的西恩嗯广告客户在戏嗯嗯的客户表列里也已挺可观了。




            误区B) 观众的错位

            中国人民,特别是留学生,犯了一个极其严重的错误。他们要告诉世界,奥运和政治需要分离,奥运是人民的,不是政府的。他们(中国的普通平民)是支持奥运的。不过却偏偏把护炬集会变成一片红旗海洋。 政府和国内网站,竟然会公开支持邮寄国旗到国外去,难道1960年代印尼的教训都玩的一干二净了?


            本来一直想写,想不到已经太晚了(而且相信区区一小博也改变不了最多热血青年)。日本韩国,都是同属亚洲文化的邻居,已经开始对这些留学生产生了反感。 人家北朝鲜的难民,因为亲人被遣回北朝,抗议不合理吗?这里是人家韩国的地方,你们不能就对人家表示一下同情,希望人家的体谅吗?人家没有打砸抢啊。


            海外Z人只有二十来万,加上一些好莱坞Scientologists的“同门”兄弟(Richard Gere们)和Hippies,缺乏人才,常犯一些低级错误(如,夸大伤亡数字,120万种族灭绝等损害本身公信力的蠢事),非战之罪也。 我们这些海外留学生,可都是13亿人里通过高考挑出来的精英中的精英。看来我们国内教育的确需要改革了。 留法学生李洹巴黎演讲本来已把握到了要点,可惜得不到一众旅外华人行动的配合,对于法国民众李洹的苦心就只成为一纸空谈。

            It is time to claim victory and call off the boycott... and why boycott is often a bad idea

            Update: regarding my previous query of quantifying Carrefour's loss, here is some sampling -- seems not insignificant.

            Sunday, April 27, 2008

            Planning for more Down Time

            Okay, I need a BREAK!

            I have over-strained myself physically and mentally again :-(

            I was unwell yesterday and I rested. I do feel better today but realized that I REALLY REALLY need to SLOW DOWN :0

            Thanks all for stopping by, for praying and all your encouragements :-)

            Sorry that I need to take a break now. I will not be posting as often as I did previously. But I will still try and visit your blogs whenever I can. I am going to plan for more DOWN TIME :-) Not sure how to do that, but I will try ;-)

            For several weeks I have been working from home on some freelance work. I am thankful to God for providing these works for me so that I can provide for my mum and myself. Freelance really works well for me because it allows me to work from home. But the problem with me is I am some kind of a perfectionist and workaholic. I tend to take on more projects than I can manage and I tend to overstrain myself physically and mentally. And even when I don't have too many freelance projects, I am still occupied daily with so many things. I spent quite a lot of time blogging. I love to write as you probably notice :P. I will visit my blogging friends almost every day. I am making bookmarks, writing to friends, corresponding with penpals who has found me through my blog, etc etc.

            These recent weeks I am beginning to feel the physical and mental strain. Thank God for sustaining me day by day. But I realized that I am getting more stressed up easily, more tired easily and sometimes I get panic attacks or anxieties attack. My mind seems to be working overtime. I can't stop thinking. So many things go through my mind daily. Do you have such experiences?

            Being so unwell yesterday is a warning sign from God! God made our bodies in such a way that when we are over-straining physically or mentally, our bodies sent forth signs. We are forced to slow down and rest.

            I am becoming more aware nowadays of my mood swings and I do notice that I have been experiencing a mixture of manic and a little depression. In the past, I went through these without awareness and after some weeks or months, I will plunged into severe depression that will last for months and I will not be able to function much. Now I am learning to be more aware.

            Recently, a brother-in-Christ asked me how I am coping. I told him I am trying to slow down. He said, Good, try harder! Okay, so I am going to try harder ;-)

            Maybe I will take breaks in between my freelance work and go out for briskwalkings. I need more of the sun and fresh air. Maybe I will bring my mum out sometimes or visit church friends or have tea with some friends. Maybe even go to the library. And I hope to have opportunities to take some photos of nature, of trees, plants, beach, etc. I missed the beach :-)

            I am going to spend more time to read the Bible, to pray and read some books. Maybe I will also try to memorise some Bible verses. And possibly catch up with my cross-stitch.

            Opps! I thought I am planning more Down Time! Am I overloading myself again ;-)

            Okay. That's all for now.

            I wish you a wonderful and blessed week. And I am going to leave you with this sweet portion which my brother-in-Christ, George, just emailed me:


            Look back and "Thank" God.
            Look forward and "Trust" God.
            Look around and "Serve" God.
            Look within and "Find" God!"

            I asked God, 'How do I get the best out of life?' God said, 'Face your past without regrets. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear!'"

            "Without God, our week is:
            Mournday, Tearsday, Wasteday, Thirstday, Fightday, Shatterday and Sinday. So, allow Him to be with you every day!"

            "Life is short, so forgive quickly. Believe slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably. Never regret anything that makes you happy. And have a wonderful journey!!

            God Bless.

            Have a blessed week! And take care. See you soon, God willing :-)

            Round 2 Game 2: Pens v Rangers (W 2-0)

            From an email from Pensgirl that was sent to me at 1:08pm today:
            I really think [Friday's] game showed the kind of corner Fleury has turned. ...I'm hoping he just stones them today, just a huge "Eff Ewe."
            NICE!!!!!! :)

            Before I recap the game, I'm going to address those "Sidney's a diver" allegations. Calling Sid a diver is the singular thing that gets him rattled. Of course other teams see this and pounce on it. The Rangers are no different. But I have to say it's kind of sad that they think it's the only tool they've got against the best player on the planet. That doesn't say much about their level of confidence in themselves to get the job done. It's even sadder because they've definitely got some elite talent in Jaromir Jagr, Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, and Henrik Lundqvist, but evidently they believe that's not enough to beat our boys in black and gold. Oh well, we've only got to win two more games and we're done with these tools. WOOOOOO!!!!!! :)

            The game began with a close up of Jagr's face. That playoff beard-patch thing is creepy. Every time I see it, all I can think of is that skeevy paparazzi guy Britney Spears was dating. Check it out:

            In addition to booing Jagr, the fans at the Mellon today were booing Straka, no doubt in response to the fit he threw at Friday's game after getting penalized for interfering with Sid then calling Sid a diver. Speaking of that, Sean Leahy of Going Five Hole has taken the video of the incident and broken it down frame by frame to give CONCLUSIVE PROOF not only that Straka did in fact interfere with Sidney, but that Sid didn't even see him coming to plan for an embellishment. Remember that Sid just fell down briefly and popped back up to his feet. He had planned on continuing the play. (Credit goes to Empty Netters for the find.)

            The day's first penalty went to Ryan Whitney. Evidently the refs saw Wolverine trip Gomez, but I think Gomez was embellishing. ;) On the ensuing Rangers power play, Jordan Staal nearly stunned the arena with a shorthanded chance right off the faceoff, but Lundqvist shut the door on him. Fans began a taunting chant aimed at Jagr. Then just as Brooks Orpik lined Gomez up for a big hit, Gomez put on the brakes to avoid it. Gomez wrapped his free arm around Orpik in the process and, as a result, was called for holding. Neither team scored on the 4-on-4, and despite some unbelievable chances by Marian Hossa, the Saint, and Evgeni Malkin, the Pens didn't score on their power play.

            Jarrko Ruutu took a penalty later for hooking, but the Rangers didn't capitalize on their advantage. Just as Ruutu came out of the box, Mad Max Talbot sent the puck to him for a one timer that went just wide of the goal. Kris Letang took a shot after the whistle blew a little while later. A scrum exploded between the teams. After the dust settled, Letang and Paul Mara went to the box for unsportsmanlike conduct and roughing, respectively. About 20 seconds into the 4-on-4, Sid was flying down the ice when Fedor Tyutin grabbed Sid's jersey and shoved him down to the ice. He was immediately assessed a penalty for holding, to which the Rangers bench erupted in cries of "SID EMBELLISHED IT!!!" Embellished? Nay nay, nixxydoodle! We got the proof that the call was a good call because NBC felt the need to replay the incident no less than 5 times in a row. It was a clear cut hold. Jagr and Ryan Malone had words from their respective benches as the crowd began another taunting "JA-gr! JA-gr! JA-gr!!" chant. The Pens didn't score on the 4-on-3, nor did they score on the 5-on-4 after Letang and Mara emerged.

            Near the end of the period, Ruutu was called for high sticking. Giant Hal Gill, who's long been a thorn in Jagr's side, ran over Jaromir during the Rangers' power play. I don't know, to me Jagr's fall looked a bit embellished. ;) The Rangers didn't score on their power play, and the period ended. Then we were shown in a slow motion replay that Sean Avery (who will henceforth be known simply as IFHSA because I can't even stand typing his name) slashed Sid across his hand right after the last faceoff. Of course, he got away with that one, too.

            A Getty photo catches IFHSA, um, "taking in the scenery" at the Mellon before the game.

            Before the second period started, we see Ruutu getting in Jagr's face and having what I'm assuming was a friendly discussion of what each was doing for dinner tonight. Well, okay. I suppose it could have been about something else, haha! Rangers coach Tom Renney, who is leading the "Sid's a diver" charge these days, threw a fit when no penalty was given to Gronk for playing Jagr while still clutching his broken stick. No word if Renney threw a fit and demanded that IFHSA get penalized for the aforementioned slash.

            Then Ruutu, Gronk, Letang, Tyler Kennedy, and Rob Scuderi had an absolutely AMAZING shift. They dominated the Rangers for several minutes and fired shot after shot after shot on Lundqvist, but the goalie stood his ground. After the Rangers finally went on the offensive again, Jagr fired a quick shot on goal. Marc-Andre Fleury made the blocker save and then had the presence of mind to leap out and cover the puck to shut the door on any attempts on the rebound. WOW.

            Big Georges Laraque did the entire world a favor and drilled IFHSA into the boards. Drury was called for hooking. On the ensuing Penguins power play, Bugsy missed two glorious chances. Sid missed a great chance. Finally, nearly 35 minutes into the game and a minute and a half into this power play, Geno got the puck to Gronk, who was at the front of the net. Gronk went from his backhand to his forehand and popped Lundqvist's waterbottle up. [Pens 1, Rangers 0] It was a beautiful goal by the hardest working, most important, most underrated, lowest scoring guy in hockey right now. It's good to see him get rewarded for all that he does for this team. His face was priceless!!

            Following the goal, both teams turned it up. The Pens were running off the momentum of the goal, while the Rangers were desperate to get the tying marker. In the frenzy, Hossa ended up taking a penalty for holding. This was an insane Rangers power play. There was ANARCHY in front of MAF - so much so that the refs had to blow the whistle because there were bodies piled up in the blue paint, and the puck was MIA. Scuderi had lost his helmet in the mess. But was the puck really missing? NO! Flower somehow found that puck in the madness and covered it up. It really was incredible that he was able to keep up with the location of the puck through all of that action in front of him. The Rangers were unable to score on their advantage. The period came to a close with Gronk's goal giving the Pens the lead.

            The third period began with Dan Girardi taking a delay of game penalty for hitting the puck up and over the glass. Hossa got a fantastic chance right off the faceoff on the Pens' power play, but the Pens didn't score on their advantage. A scary moment happened during the power play: Petr Sykora plowed feet first into the boards ala Sidney Crosby circa 01-18-08. My husband and I both gasped. But, while Syko did seem stunned, he recovered after returning to the bench and returned for his next shift.

            Both players were asked by reporters about this confrontation. Both players had little to say about it. When asked what Jagr was said, Sid replied, "Just ask him. I wasn't the one talking." Jagr claimed that he simply said, "Just play hockey." Somehow, I think it was a little more than that. It doesn't matter what Double J said. Sid got the last laugh with the win - again. WOOOOO!!!!!!

            Kennedy played like the Energizer Bunny. (Then again, he always does.) He drew a penalty when he got a great scoring chance but was slashed by Blair Betts. Oh, but the Rangers dominated this Penguins power play. If not for Flower, we'd be talking about a shorthanded Rangers goal right here. The Pens (nor the Rangers) did not score on the Betts penalty. The Rangers continued to dominate puck possession for several minutes after Betts came out of the box.

            Later, Gomez held Hossa for several seconds, but no call was made. A delayed offsides call didn't sit well with Geno, who slammed his stick on the ice in frustration. After returning from a commercial break, NBC showed Ruutu on the ice having a, um, "conversation" with (I think) Drury as he was on the bench. Ruutu was smirking and having a good time getting under (I think) Drury's skin.

            Then this happened: You want to talk about embellishment, you need to talk about Girardi's head snap following a supposed high stick from Syko. Admittedly we only got to see this happen from one angle, but even if Syko's stick connected with Girardi's helmet, he snapped his head back like he'd been shot. I'm not saying it didn't hurt, and I'm not even saying whether it's right or wrong - he got the power play for his team - but what I am saying is that if you're going to whine and bitch and moan about the other team doing something, DON'T BE A HYPOCRITE AND DO IT YOURSELF THEN. Karma has a way of dealing with things like this, and it did this time, too. The ref behind MAF lost sight of the puck and blew the whistle. Look at where the puck was as the whistle blew:

            It continued sliding over the goal line, and the Rangers thought they'd had the tying goal. The refs, however, felt differently about it. NO GOAL. The Rangers didn't score on their advantage. With only 2:20 left in a one-goal game, Gill was called for cross checking. With 1:12 left in the game, Lundqvist was pulled in favor of the extra attacker. The Rangers couldn't squeak one past MAF on the 6-on-4. Just as Gill came emerged from the box, Adam Hall was in the process of clearing the puck. He sent it high off the glass up and over Michal Rozsival's head. Gill was chasing after the puck to take it to the empty net, but it soon became clear that the angle of the shot was enough for the puck to make it to the net without further intervention. It rolled over the line giving the Pens the insurance marker with just 16.7 left in the game!!! [Pens 2, Rangers 0]

            The Rangers were unable to break Flower's groove. He got his second shutout of the post-season!!! :) But it wasn't all celebrations at the end. IFHSA was whacking MAF's legs with his stick during the last ditch effort from the Rangers. MAF finally had enough and took a page from Marty Brodeur's book and used his goalie stick to tap IFHSA to get him to knock it off. IFHSA then made what could have been his last decision on this earth and charged MAF. The Pens' two towering heavyweights were right there to defend their goaltender. Gill dropped his gloves (he was closest) and took IFHSA to the corner. BGL wasn't far behind. If the refs hadn't shown up as fast as they had, we'd be talking about the plans for IFHSA's upcoming funeral. The only reason he did it was to get attention and get his name in the papers. That guy is an embarrassment to the NHL.

            The teams take a break tomorrow. They meet again on Tuesday at 7:00pm Eastern at Madison Square Garden. No doubt Sid will be greeted by the crowd with chants of "DIV-er! DIV-er! DIV-er!!!" But that might actually work out in our favor... We all know what happens when Sid gets mad. He gets even - in points. :) :) :)

            GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!