Thursday, October 23, 2014

Imagining NHL Players at Disneyland

So this happened.
Photo taken from DisZine
Living in Orange County, California, its hard to ignore Disneyland.  Especially at night with fireworks going off nightly at 9:25 pm during the summer, or so I hear.  From my house.  Every.  Single.  Night.

The other week Yahoo Puck Daddy's own West Coaster Jen Neale mentioned on twitter how she likes looking for hockey references while at Disneyland.  Here's how I imagine NHL players at Disneyland and what they'd be doing while there.

Setup:  At the conclusion of the NHL season, all the players head over to Disneyland for a private post season party.  Everyone shuffles into the park after a small issue with checking everyone's identification which is quickly resolved after Coach Joel Quenneville tells the staff something to effect of I've got your identification right here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2014-15 NHL Predictions

Well, the 2014-2015 season is underway as I type this, so that means I'm probably the 25,002,019th person to throw predictions out there.  I've traditionally avoided doing season and post-season predictions because you might as well just pick teams out of a hat and pencil Stamkos and Crosby in for at least half of the awards.

Biggest Regular Season Drop-off: Anaheim - Here's a team that rode above average goaltending (9), below average shooting percentage (30), and an awful power play (22) to a Number One berth in the ultra competitive western Conference and then benched their starter in the playoffs.  With Hiller now in Calgary, I don't see Andersen and Gibson being ready to shoulder the load of an 82 game season.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Features I'd like to see in Future NHL Games

The release of NHL 15 is just around the corner, which means I should've written this about a year ago, just in case someone at EA reads this blog and was thinking about what new features one fan wants.

No matter what a developer does, there's always a desire for more (to go along with endless gripes).  Video game developers might even have a worse job than sports referees. At least the vitriol they experience is keyboard-based nerd rage as opposed to 15,000 plus hockey fans screaming "Ref you suck!" at every penalty called.  But overall, the overworked and underpaid developers rarely get the kudos they deserve.

So thank you for all that you do so I may live vicariously through pixelated avatars.

What are some features that I'd like to see added to a future version of the NHL games?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Types of Drivers as Hockey Players

This is actually a movie, not a picture (Photo by LA Times)
I live in Southern California, a place where you describe how far something is in time it takes to get there, not in actual distance.  In that way, I sort of get Han Solo's unit gaff when he described doing the "Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs."  (Though if you read this, it makes more sense, but kind of ruins my point, so don't click on the link).

As I drive, I often attribute personalities to cars near by.  Most of the time it's like a Fish Called Wanda, but not always.  And since I like hockey, I thought I'd compare the stereo-typical hockey players, by roles, to those of the people on the freeways.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Beer Intangibles

Tonight is the first night of the NHL entry draft where besides statistics players are often rated by various intangibles.  Intangibles, by nature, are intangible and therefore hard to quantify. Things like "desire", "clutch", "winner" are terms that are tossed around, as if the kid further down the bench loves losing and hates being on the ice, since that takes, like, effort.

In the world of craft beer people are always talking about IBUs, specific gravity, nose, color, taste, alcohol content, and other descriptors.

Does beer have intangibles?  I'm glad you asked; of course it does.  Here's some intangibles of beer being discussed as if it was a potential draft pick by a scouting staff and a general manager.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Wishlist for Untappd Badges and Features

I'm a sucker for achievements/badges/pointless recognition for non critical things like video games and apps like Untappd.  And while it feels like you can't have three beers without triggering a new badge, there's some items that I think deserve a badge.

Also, like everything ever invented, more features are better.  Of course, features cost money to develop, take memory, and generally make things less reliable.  But don't worry, we'll be drinking, so that will probably help slow us down too.

Here are some of my ideas...

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Guide to Hockey Player Sign Language

There's more to hockey sign language than this, really.
Many hockey players can speak several languages so it shouldn't be a surprise that many know a specialized form of sign language.  This isn't your typical American Sign Language but rather a version that all hockey players know. 

Obvious things, like the picture of the Bruins' Andrew Ference (via showing the Montreal fans where they rank in his heart are well, obvious. 

Below is a handy guide to hockey player sign language with the gesture and what it really means. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

What Homebrewer Excuses Really Mean

A home brewer may use a lot fancy words to describe their beer to help their friends understand what's being handed to them.

While most beer drinkers get "hoppy", "malty", and "bitter" there's a lot of other terms that home brewers will use to try and accurately describe their beer, while trying to hide that it probably wasn't exactly what they were going for.  And much like a haircut, it's bad when it's not what you wanted, no matter how much everyone else raves about it.

So here's some common excuses (not saying I've actually used some to most of these) and what they might really mean.  If you're not sure, ask "what were you going for?"

Sunday, April 13, 2014

First Game Back

As a fan, I've endured three lockouts that have wiped out 150 regular season games and one entire post-season.  After the first two lockouts, I ran back to the NHL with open arms, and more importantly to them, screaming "take my money, all of it."  I bought tickets to games, video games, jersey's, hats, and t-shirts.  At one point in the early 2000's, I was probably rarely without one piece of hockey related garb at all times.

My attitude during these lockouts has also changed.  In 1994 I put a photo of Gary Bettman on my dart board as I vilified him as the culprit (without understanding the spectrum of the issues of the game).  In 2004-05, I found myself taking the owner's side and was hopeful that the salary cap would bring parity and prevent rich teams like the Rangers and the Maple Leafs from backing dump trucks full of money up to UFA's who could never match the hype.  Well, at least the former happened.  Meanwhile, if any NHL GM's are reading this, you might be able to get a slightly used David Clarkson for a pretty reasonable price from Toronto if you ask.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Review: Brewery Tours of Temecula

Tour Buses. Photos from Brewery Tours of Temecula
The other week my wife and I went to wine country for our anniversary and then promptly went on a brewery tour.  We (and by that I mean she) made reservations with the good folks at Brewery Tours of Temecula.  This is a review of that tour of some of Temecula's breweries.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Brew Day Timeline

Wort trying to survive our attempt to make beer.
Brew day is a big deal for every home brewer as all of your planning for your latest beer goes into action.  To help those who haven't tried homebrewing, I thought I'd help out by putting together a rough timeline for my friend's and my first all grain home brew.  We purchased a clone recipie for Bear Republic's Red Rocket from Austin Homebrew,

Beer is supposed to be fun and so we weren't really on a huge timetable, so you can probably be more efficient if you want.  Also, if you've never brewed, I'd recommend doing an all-extract beer first and then play with a mini-mash (half extract, half grain) before jumping into all-grain.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Puck n Beer's Guide to the Really Big Football Game

Today is one of the biggest sports days of the year as the NFL holds its annual championship game.  The Super Bowl... wait, am I allowed to write Super Bowl, or do I now owe the NFL a million dollars?  So, the Big Game almost transcends normal sports and has become a thing that millions around the world gather to watch.

Here's some things for hockey fans to help them understand the subtle differences:

Friday, January 3, 2014

Drinking (Video) Game: NHL 14

Two of things I really enjoy are video games and beer.  Sometimes these are enjoyed together.  Other times the games can drive you to drink.  I find this to be the case for EA's NHL 14 game.

As a disclaimer, I generally don't play drinking games as I like to savor the beers I drink, but I found myself take sips of beer after many of the items on the list below, which was the inspiration for this post.

Most of my time has been spent in the Live the Life mode and the Anniversary mode (which is just simple fun).  I may expand this later for GM mode after I get some time playing with that.