Sunday, January 02, 2011

Sunday Potpourri: Warm Up, Grog's Story & A Wedding

It's another 12 long days before the team hits the ice versus Colorado College to begin the 2nd half of the season. There is much reason to anticipate success and be excited. But there are many potential pratfalls that await as well.

First, I should mention the rumor posted over the holiday break (um ... thanks for the Christmas present anon) that Kane Lafranchise is again academically ineligible to compete.

That isn't fun. Kane is a talented and versatile power play quarterbacking blueliner who would no doubt improve the team's chances. We'll have to wait at least a few more days for some sort of confirmation. My sense of anonymous rumors tells me whoever left that comment had some knowledge of the situation. But that doesn't mean it's a done deal until we hear something official.

So I guess we can keep our fingers crossed. If it turns out to be the case then it isn't so much a negative as it is a lack of a positive addition. The team performed pretty well without Kane in the lineup. Players stepped up and filled in more than admirably in several cases.

The break should have been long enough that the majority of injuries are by now close to or fully healed. In particular, I'm hoping Jade Portwood can return to action soon. I haven't heard (email me someone eh?) for sure that will be the case.

I'm sure I'll be using the phrase "down the stretch" often from here on out. And so down the stretch let's hope the seniors recognize they are wrapping up their careers for two reasons. They should each and every one cherish the last semester of their college careers and enjoy every minute on the ice. If they each have fun then I'll be they'll each perform at their highest possible level. The team will need that. They've done a good job in the first half ... we'll need more of the same in the 2nd.

Lastly, I enjoyed my break from my own daily focus on all things Seawolf. I don't want to characterize what I try to do here as some sort of grind but ... sometimes it's a grind. The mental break should allow me to bring the necessary focus and enthusiasm here for the best possible coverage. I hope your holidays were pleasurable.  Happy New Year to all.


I'm going to tell you a true story today.  It's about some ancestors of mine 75,000 years ago; sometime before a dramatic bottleneck of humanity's population dropped to around 15,000 people worldwide.  In Archeology, Anthropology and Biology circles this bottleneck is known as the Toba Catastrophe. 
It is theorized and fairly well accepted throughout science to have been a supervolcanic event which created a 10 year volcanic winter across the globe.  We humans were once much more vulnerable to such things than we are today.  But this story isn't about that difficult period in pre-history.  It's about the good times. 
Not many of us were living in caves anymore.  The weather was good and the bountiful plenty of nature was at it's height.  Language was progressively becoming enriched with each generation.  And for the first time during our evolution, humans had a bit of time on their hands now to use their bigger brains in order to ponder their existence. 
You may reasonably question the veracity of this account as non-fiction however ... I assure you the probability of these events as I describe them are exponentially more likely truth than fiction.  Now onto the story.

Chapter One
Grog had no idea that the bright lights he was witnessing in the dusky western sky were a result of a dramatically higher output of charged plasma from the sun.  Hell, he didn't even know what the fuck "west" was much less plasma.  All he really knew of the sun was that it bright, warm and chased away the sometimes cold night.  But ever since these patterns began appearing in the sky when he was a young boy he began dutifully recording them with his father by carving their images into stone.  

They were mesmerizing whenever they appeared; they were dynamic and fluid; and recently they weren't as frequent as when he was younger.  Grog recognized this and on this evening it encouraged the most faithful and artistic rendering of these patterns he'd ever done.  When he looked down on his finished work in the fading light of day he felt a sense of pride.

During past displays, like his father before him ... Grog performed these duties with his oldest son, 17 year old Sjok.  Sjok was quite the young specimen of male humanity.  Six feet tall, healthy and muscular he was becoming the small family village's primary meat provider.  With his atlatl, strength and cunning his efficiency as a hunter meant shorter, less frequent and more productive hunting trips.  

As Grog finished his stone carving, he looked up to see his young confident son returning to their encampment with his two older cousins Stel and Smuk, thier arms full of small game.  A broad proud smile came across Grog's face at the sight.  He was thankful for Sjok's skills and as he rose to greet him he heard his mate Curs loudly announce Sjok's return and call to the extended family for dinner with her customary shrillness.  Sometimes the damned shrieks from that woman grated on his nerves but this night he let out a little chuckle.  He loved her and all but damn, sometimes that voice of hers was just so irritating.

The day's booty of game would be cleaned after the evening meal.  Sjok, Stel and Smuk hung the carcasses over some poles erected just for such tasks.  Grog greeted Sjok and together they made their way to the center of the small village where the rest of the band was gathering next to the communal fires.  

Curs and her sisters had been busy through the late afternoon preparing the usual meal.  Typical starchy roots and tubers cut up and then ground into a paste, cooked on a hot stone and served with various cooked meats brought home earlier in the week.  This was the way Grog and his extended family had eaten dinner for as long as he could remember.  He'd really never experienced any sort of extended time of famine or shortages since his father had led the band to this abundant broad valley in what we now call central Spain.  The broad clear stream next to the village provided sweet water for all their needs and of course there was always lots of game.  At various times of the year the gathering of various greens, fruits and berries supplemented their diet. 

Grog patted his son on the back in that fatherly way we still do.  It was an acknowledgment to Sjok of his prowess and the pride his father had.  As the family sat and ate Sjok, Stel and Smuk related the days hunting events with some minor dramatic descriptions.  At one point Smuk extended the story with a reenactment of how he and Stel chased two of the sloths they'd killed up to the top of a tree and then broke the lower limbs off causing the sloths to virtually fall right into Sjok lap and their demise.  Everyone had a good laugh.  Smuk often made everyone laugh with his antics and descriptions of events even with their limited vocabulary.  Tonight was no different in that sense. 

What more could people want than full bellies, laughs and good kinship?  For a simple people blessed with abundance you'd think that would be enough.  For all these things Grog was thankful but something was gnawing at him internally.  He couldn't pinpoint it.  But more and more often he had this feeling, this sense of incompleteness that he didn't even realize was incompleteness.

Chapter Two
The summer night was comfortable and pleasant, it had been a fairly hot summer and the respite from the heat of the day was appreciated by all.  It was a dark moonless night as those with the need trod the couple of hundred yards off to the small rocky hill nearby with the pit where the villagers all relieved themselves.  Some peed in the usual pit while others squatted and did .. well you know what they did right?  Such descriptions aren't really that important.  The "bathroom's" location (as it were) was decided upon long ago by his father and uncles.  Grog remembered why.  If it wasn't far enough away; the flies attracted to the waste would inundate the village.  Sometimes Grog didn't walk all that way for a piss ... but everyone always went there for their crapping needs.

Back at the camp Grog laid back on a grassy embankment near the streams edge.  The sound of the gentle waters and the beauty of the endless number of bright stars in the sky was a great comfort and relaxing for him.  It was his routine to repeat this activity nearly every night during good weather.  As he lay there this night, that undefined and unknown sense that he'd been unable to pinpoint returned.  

Grog didn't know he was self-referentially experiencing his conscious existence.  He was a pretty bright fella as things go but esoteric thoughts and considerations were somewhat beyond him.  He wasn't really troubled at all by this unknown sense going through his head.  It just was what it was.

Sometimes as he lay in his spot he'd see a shooting star.  He attached no real significance to such things.  They were what they were.  It was cool to see them but they happened frequently enough to as not be significant to him.  This night as with most others, a distant green glow persisted in the northern sky.  

This glow of Aurora Borealis had been a constant in his life even before the daytime patterns he recorded on stone.  Some nights the green glow would migrate from the north to higher in the sky.  It was nothing special to Grog.  Just the way things were.  They were all comforting to him nonetheless.  He didn't know why.  They just were.  But on this night, with the unknown gnawing feeling growing in his brain, something struck him.  A why.  It was an inspiration  

The undefined and gnawing that had been slowly manifesting itself in his head now burst forth as this why.  He had no idea the points of light in the night sky were stars but why were they there?  This sudden surge of esoteric consideration was completely new.  Grog was now pondering.

Chapter Three
After returning to his primitive hut and snuggling up to an already sleeping Curs, Grog finally fell into an unrestful sleep.  The why was whirling about in his head.  His dreams that night were unlike anything he'd ever experienced.  He'd had nightmares from time to time that often related to a near drowning event from his youth but these weren't nightmares.  The why was dominating his unconscious and bouncing back and forth between his skull like some ping pong ball.  He awoke in a fitful sweat trying desperately to understand what was going on.  Eventually though pure tiredness took over and he sleep well until morning.

As the days went by Grog's routine led him to the same place each evening.  He'd eat his supper at the end of his day, lay on his grassy riverbank peering up at the night sky and return to sleep.  More often than not the why asserted itself and woke him.  Then after a time he'd drop off.  After about two weeks of this unsettling new nightime routine, Grog awoke one night with a desperate need to go have a pee.  

He didn't know it of course, but his prostate was beginning to act up in his now older body.  He rose and quietly made his way out of the hut.  Unwilling to walk to the pisser he wandered over toward the stream to relieve himself.  As is the case with every modern man, when Grog took a leak he looked up.  Yes my dear feminine readers, for some reason we men look up when we take a leak outside.  It's just something we do. 

As the urine flowed on this occassion and Grog looked up in the sky he took note of the bright moon.  Now this wasn't an ordinary moon.  It was a moon that seemed brighter and bigger than any moon he'd ever seen.  It was fucking gigantic.  I'm not talking just typical full moon on a dark night.  It was somehow tangible to him in a way that it had never appeared before.  

It looked so close that for a moment he thought he could somehow touch it.  So he reached out.  He covered it with his hand and then moved his hand to reveal it again.   And damnit if he still didn't think he could touch it.  He extended his arm and jumped up but couldn't reach it.  He was now in a state of full on awe. 

He climbed a tree until he could get no higher and reached out.  No luck though.  So he climbed down and stood there staring until it occurred to him to pick up a rock and throw it.  No luck with that.  He picked up another rock and tried again with all his might and when that didn't work out any better than the first he returned to his hut and grabbed Sjok's atlatl.  With every bit of strength he could muster he launched the dart at the moon.  125 meters later the dart failed to reach the target.  And so Grog's new why now had a focus.  Why couldn't he hit that moon?  It damn sure was close enough.

Chapter Four
Grog soon realized that as the dawn approached he'd been up all night pondering the moon as it crossed the sky.  The eastern horizon began to glow a promisinly warm red as the sun approached and high in the sky the daytime plasma displays returned.  The appearance was at first typical to him, but as with the bright moon he'd pondered during the long night; this morning's display was somehow brighter and more well defined.  

Today we called this ancient ubiquitous archetype that our ancestors recorded Squatter Man.  And as with the moon, Grog began to wonder why he was seeing what he was seeing.  It wasn't until recently that we advanced humans came to realize that some greatly increased period of Coronal Mass Ejections and general solar activity created these high altitude plasma displays.  We can thank a plasma physicist named Anthony Perratt for that. 

In any case, Grog's new interest with why began to grow day after day until it became a literal obsession.  He could no longer devote the time to his responsibilities but instead spent the majority of his time pondering.  His family and members of the village couldn't understand what was going on with him but as he was their respected elder they picked up the slack.  Sjok continued to be an excellent provider, Curs and her sisters kept camp up to snuff and it didn't take long before Grog had little or nothing to do other than ponder.

to be continued ... why?  Because that was a shitload of shit to belt out this morning.  The rest of the story is more or less in my head.  If you think it sucked then I probably won't bother with more here.  If you want to know what happens with Grog ... tell me.


Really? This was in Atlanta at a Thrashers game the other day.  I'm wondering if Chris Kamal's dad did any play by play for this?


Anonymous said...

I spoke with Jade tonight and his shoulder is doing fine. All the kids went home with the exception of Dusan Sidor who stayed in town. Practice has resumed and the kids appear to be in good spirits after the holiday break and are anxious to get back to the game.


A Seawolves Fanatic said...

Anchorage born William Wrenn signed with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. He left his ever diminshing role on DU to go play Junior hockey. He would've been an intresting add to our team if it is true that Kane Lafranchise is not able to play in his final semester here at UAA.

Also good to see former UAAer Jay Beagle playing in the Winter Classic for the Washington Capitals. He did get interviewed after the game but I can't find any vid of it.

Donald Dunlop said...

Dipietro out tonight injured against Calgary ... Lawson is playing his 2nd game. Do we cheer for Glencross to score on him or Lawson to come up big?

Anonymous said...

The NHL guys called him Larson, LOL. Idiots.

Anonymous said...

kane will not be playing this semester.
sad to see.

Donald Dunlop said...

I have a trusted but anonymously sourced confirmation that the chances that Kane will play in the 2nd half are slim. But there apparently is some small chance that it could happen. It sounds like it's only a very small chance.

In any case, it is not 100% at this time that he won't.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Lawson get to play an NHL game in his hometown. He had to be pumped.

A Seawolves Fanatic said...

Lawson again to start tonight, he faces Edmonton. Soo do we root for former Aces part owner and play-by-play announcer Jack Michaels or "Nate the Great"? Laws gets the nod tonight for me

Anonymous said...

"Nathan Lawson got the start in net, but after giving up goals on the first two of three shots on net, Capuano made the decision to pull the goaltender to “change the momentum of the game.”

Rough one for Laws.

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