The Daily Bongo

March 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011 -- Evening

Pens Lose
Now as things are starting to count more, the Pens haven't been winning. On Tuesday, they lost to the Flyers. Tonight, the Pens were in Tampa Bay to play the Lightning. The Lightning scored first, collecting two goals in the first period. Mike Rupp scored a goal for the Pens. Unfortunately, even have a rally at the end of the third period, Dwayne Roloson, kept any more pucks out of the net. Final score: Pens 1 - Lightning 2.

Book cover for Predictably Irrational

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 -- Afternoon

How Irrational Are You?
See my review of Dan Ariely's book, Predictabley Irrational. I really enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it for all.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 -- Evening

Pens versus Flyers
The Flyers were in town to play the Pens this evening. This was an important game because the Pens are only two points behind the Flyers for first place in the Eastern conference. The Pens and the Flyers stayed close to each other in the first two periods. However, in the third period, the Pens had a collapse, allowing the Flyers to score two unanswered goals to get a 5-2 win. The Flyers now have four points and one game in hand to the Pens.

Monday, March 28, 2011 -- Evening

Looking for a New TV Show
Poster for Psych TV show Now that I've caught up on Bones, I'm looking for a new TV show to watch. I've been searching around on Netflix to find something appropriate. i want something in the mystery genre with compelling stories. I started to watch Veronica Mars, but I'm not sure how i feel about it. So now I am watching Psych. The main character is Shawn Spenser. Shawn has really good observational skills, but he pretends it's psychic ability so he can work with the police. Shawn's best buddy, Gus, is an unwilling participant in Shawn's detective activities. The two form a detective agency, and get called in by the police to help them solve some really tricky cases. The thing that I like about Psych is the humor. It's a hilarious mystery show. I like how Shawn and Gus get along. Great fun!

Sunday, March 27, 2011 -- Late Afternoon

Pens' Awards
The Pens handed out the team awards before this afternoon's game against the Florida Panthers. The awards were:

Baz Bastien Memorial "Good Guy" Award
Presented by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association to the player who the local media of the PHWA want to acknowledge for his cooperation throughout the year.
Mike Rupp

NHL Masterton Nominee
Each NHL team selects a Masterton candidate from which the overall winner is chosen.
Deryk Engelland

A.T. Caggiano Memorial Booster Club Cup
Presented in memory of A.T. Caggiano, long-time Penguins' locker room attendant & Booster Club supporter, the award is presented by Penguins Booster Club members, who vote for the three stars after every home game and tally votes at the end of the regular season.
Marc-Andre Fleury

Rookie of the Year Award
Mark Letestu

Players' Player Award
The players hold a vote at the end of the season for the player they feel exemplifies leadership for the team, both on and off the ice, a player dedicated to teamwork.
Brooks Orpik

Edward J. DeBartolo "Community Service" Award
The award recognizes the player who has donated a tremendous amount of time and effort during the season working on community and charity projects.
Max Talbot and Mike Rupp

Defensive Player of the Year
This award honors the defensive skills of an individual player on the team.
Brooks Orpik

Most Valuable Player Award
Based on the overall contribution the player makes to the team.
Marc-Andre Fleury
Pens versus Panthers
Marc-Andre Fleury has been earning his award as most valuable player on the Pens with his actions in the game. He has consistently been holding back the goals to allow the Pens to potentially win games with little goal scoring. This afternoon's game was an example. The Panthers scored first with a goal in the second period. A little over two minutes later, Ben Lovejoy tied things up. The rest of regulation was scoreless for both teams. The Panthers pulled Tomas Vokoun to put Scott Clemmensen in goal for the overtime. There was no score in overtime, so we had a shootout. Fleury stopped both Panthers, but Clemmensen let Alexi Kovalev and James Neal score to give the Pens the win. Fleury registered his 34th win of the regular season. The final score: Pens 2 - Panthers 1. The Pens sealed a playoff berth when the Carolina Hurricane lost on Friday. So the Pens are playoff bound, which we all knew for months now.

Friday, March 25, 2011 -- Evening

Grown Ups
Cast of Grown Ups I love Adam Sandler, and I finally had a chance to see Grown Ups through Netflix. Granted most of his movies have that stupid quality, but there's always that inner message that goodness wins out in the end. Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider play the main characters. They were the members of a middle school (7th-8th graders) basketball team who won a championship because of their coach's leadership. 30 years later, they all get the call that the coach has died. The group gathers for the funeral, and then decide to vacation together for a week in the old hometown vacation spot. Sandler's character is a rich man who feels that his family has lost touch with common folks. Hence his eagerness to spend time with his old school friends. The movie is hilarious. Selma Hayek, Steve Buscemi, and Tim Meadows are also in the movie. If you want to have a few good hearted laughs, this is the movie for you!
Pens and Devils
The New Jersey Devils were in town to play the Pens this evening. Well, I suppose you can call it "play." There were a total of four shots in the whole of the first period. The Devils had one shot on goal, and the Pens had three. Martin Brodeur and Marc-Andre Fleury kept the game scoreless through overtime, so both get credited with a shutout. The game had to go into a shootout. Fleury was able to stop all three shooters, but Brodeur couldn't stop James Neal, who gets another shootout goal to give the Pens a win. Final score: Pens 1 - Devils 0.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 -- Evening

Pens Beat the Flyers
The Pens were in Philadelphia to play the Flyers. Since the Pens are so close to the Flyers in the standings, they wanted to get a win in regulation. But you know what they say: "the best laid schemes of men are often gone astray." Regulation was close with both the Flyers and Pens scoring a goal. The game went into overtime, and then a shootout. Finally, Chris Kunitz scored a goal in the shootout to give the Pens the win and two points. Unfortunately, the Flyers also got a point for the OT loss. Final score: Pens 2 - Flyers 1.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 -- Afternoon

What Do the Robins Know?
Tornado in Greensburg, PA The weather took a turn for the cold and snowy over the past 24 hours. Yesterday in the late afternoon and early evening, we had violent thunderstorms with hail the size of golf balls. Just outside of Pittsburgh, several people saw, and photographed, a tornado as it whizzed through the area. It wasn't that bad in my neighborhood, but as I was on my way home on the bus, the skies turned a dark black and purple. At 5 p.m., it looked as if we were in the dead of night. Within seconds, huge drops started to splatter the bus window, and hail clunked off the metal roof of the bus. Unfortunately, the hail was still coming down when I had to get off of the bus. I made it to the bus shelter without getting coshed by the hail.

Today, the temperatures are at least 30 degrees colder than yesterday. As I was taking my lunchtime walk, I noticed that a slew of robins, maybe 20-30 were scattered throughout the Scheneley Plaza lawn, just sitting there, with ruffled feathers. It definitely made me wonder what the robins know or don't know. They looked as if they were hunkering down for a massive storm. On the other hand, I wondered how silly they were to make the northward trip when it has been so chilly. Obviously, they are just following the location of the sun in the sky, and they didn't realize that the weather gods might not have gotten the message that spring is supposed to be sprung.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 -- Evening

Bones: Season 6
Not only have I been devouring the Kathy Reichs' books, I have been having a Bones marathon every evening. I have gone through almost all of the seasons. Right now, I'm on episode 12 of the current season, season 6. I still find that I'm enjoying the series. I like all of the characters. The only one that I don't like is Seeley's new girlfriend, Hannah. I think it's because I'm like many of the Bones fans out there who would love to Seeley and Brennan. I'm hoping that there will be a breakup between the pair.

Monday, March 21, 2011 -- Evening

Cooke Out for the Season
The NHL cracked down on Matt Cooke today. For the elbow to Ryan McDonagh's face, Cooke will be suspended for the rest of the season and the first round of the playoffs. That means that Cooke will miss a minimum of 14 games (more if the Pens play more than four games in the first round). This was a bad situation for the Pens because now they will be one man down. It's also a bad situation for Mario Lemieux and Ray Shero because they have been very vocal against head shots. It seems the Pens have been trying to work with Cooke to get him to change his behavior, but it hasn't been working. After the ruling, Shero said:

The suspension is warranted because that's exactly the kind of hit we're trying to get out of the game. Head shots have no place in hockey. We've told Matt in no uncertain terms that this kind of action on the ice is unacceptable and cannot happen. Head shots must be dealt with severely, and the Pittsburgh Penguins support the NHL in sending this very strong message.

Pens Win in a Shootout
The Pens were in Detroit to play the Red Wingstonight. Brent Johnson was in goal for the Pens, and he was a lot less porous than Jimmy Howard in the first two periods. Howard was pulled after the Pens scored four goals on him. Pascal Dupuis scored two goals, Chris Kunitz, one, and Tyler Kennedy, one. After Joey MacDonald replaced Howard in the second period, Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit. With the start of the third period, the Red Wings went on a scoring frenzy and tied the game at 4-4. The game went into overtime. No scoring in overtime, so we had a shootout. James Neil scored in the shootout to give the Pens the win. Final score: Pens 5 - Red Wings 4.

Monday, March 21, 2011 -- Afternoon

Fatal Voyage
Book cover of Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs I have been enjoying Kathy Reichs' Temperance Brennan series, and this morning, I just finised reading Fatal Voyage, the fourth book in the series. This book has a rather somber plot. A plane crashes in the mountains of North Carolina. Tempe is on her to way to speaking engagement when she gets the call to lend a helping hand with the identification process. The plane had a slew of young students of the University of Georgia soccer team on board and Andrew Ryan's partner, Jean Bertrand. Of course, this brings Andrew Ryan onto the scene, and we get to view more of the conflict that Tempe has with letting Ryan into her heart and bed. Things take a turn for the worse when Tempe finds a foot with a pack of coyotes. After fighting off the coyotes to regain the foot, Tempe finds herself questioning the existence of the foot. It seems to be from an older black or Native American. However, no one fitting that description is on the plane's roster. Also, the decomposition of the foot leads Tempe to believe that it occurred before the crash. As press rumors circulate that an explosion caused the plane crash, Tempe finds herself being unfairly accused by the state lieutent governer of obstruction of the process and possible collusion with Ryan and Bertrand in the plane's explosion. Tempe finds herself banned from the crash site and morgue and battling for her reputation. The mystery of the foot must explain it all, and Tempe finds herself in a race against a killer to find out the who, how, and what of the foot and the allegations.

Did I enjoy this book? You betcha. It's more of the same. As I commented with some of the earlier books, Reichs has a formula, and she brings it out for every book. Tempe finds herself battling against those in charge of the situation or case to prove a point. In this case, she is trying to prove 1) that the foot did not belong to the crash, 2) that something funky is going on in the hunting lodge that no one seemed to realize existed, and 3) that she is innnocent of any allegations of wrongdoing. Family and friends come into play too with Tempe being concerned that her daughter is on the plane, then finding out that Jean Bertrand was on the plane. A new addition to the action is Boyd, the chow that Tempe has to watch for her erstwhile husband, Pete. Boyd finds himself in the thick of the action since it appears he knows how to sniff out dead things.

I can understand some of the complaints that I've seen from reviewers on Amazon about this book and others in the series. Reichs goes into excruciating detail about numerous aspects of her work. In this book, we learn everything we would need to know about plane crash explosions and reconstructions. Reichs seems to love to expand on her knowledge of forensics, and I guess, assumes that we all want the nitty gritty of every little aspect of her job. It can make for tedious reading. In Fatal Voyage, it was noticeable enough to make me want to skim over the facts to get to the story. I suppose that it doesn't bother me as much as others, but I will readily admit that out of the 363 pages of this book, maybe 163 were devoted to this type of minutia.

I've already started book five, Grave Secrets. This one is set in Guatemala, and I'm going to be interested to see how Reichs works in Andrew Ryan and "family member in danger."

Sunday, March 20, 2011 -- Late Afternoon

Cooke Should Get His Goose Cooked
The NY Rangers were in town for an early afternoon game against the Pens. The game was tied 1-1 into the third period, when Matt Cooke brought his goon act onto the ice. Cooke elbowed Ryan McDonagh in the face, getting a 5 minute major and game misconduct. McDonagh was not injured, but that doesn't really matter now does it. After all, it's the action that counts. I am really disturbed and disgusted by this behavior. Since Cooke is a repeat offender, he should get a 10 game suspension. If Mario Lemieux and Ray Shero are not hypocrites, they should publicly speak out against Cooke and maybe even add to the suspension. Do I think that either the 10 game suspension or the Pens' management speaking out will happen? Nope! I hope that I'm pleasantly surprised, but I'm not holding my breath. If I did that, I'd be turning blue as I write this! The Pens lost the game with a final score of 5-2.

Saturday, March 19, 2011 -- Late Evening

Full Moon
Super Moon
Tonight the moon was in its closest approach to the Earth. And it was a full moon. This is a picture of the moon from my house. As you can imagine, it really didn't look much larger than usual. I think that most people assumed that they would see a huge moon hanging in the sky. It's pretty much the normal size that we see anytime we look at the moon. Because the moon wasn't as close to the horizon, it might have ruined the optical illusion. However, the moon rise wasn't visible from my house.

Saturday, March 19, 2011 -- Evening

Pitt Ain't It
Over the past several years, the University of Pittsburgh Panthers basketball team has under-performed at the NCAA tournament. This year, things were supposed to be different. Pitt was the strongest team in the weakest bracket. This evening in the second round, Pitt was paired with Butler. Well, just as last year, Butler came to play. They beat the Panthers with a final score of 71-70. This is really a huge disappointment for Pitt and its fans. All the sports analysts were saying over the past week that if Pitt did not make it to the final four, it would be a huge embarrassment for the team. Now, the players and Jamie Dixon will have to come home, hanging their heads in shame. What I wonder is if the Big East as a conference is really overrated. Eleven Big East teams made it to the tournament this year, supposedly because the Big East was so strong. Only seven of the 11 teams made it out of the first round. I still have hopes for UConn, but they are fading with every game.

Friday, March 18, 2011 -- Evening

Blooming Flowers and Blooming Spring Fever
Yellow tulips bloom in Schenely Plaza On my walk in to work this morning, I saw several groupings of blooming flowers. One was a sort of lily. I thought at first it was a lily of the valley when I saw them from a distance yesterday, but it doesn't really have the right sort of flower shape. There were also several blooming yellow tulips in Schenley Plaza, here in Oakland. The weather was in the upper 60s today, and there were several people outside enjoying the warmth and sunshine. There aren't many days like this in Pittsburgh. We seem to rival the Portland and Seattle area with the amount of cloudy days we have. I'll enjoy it while it's here. It's definitely hard to concentrate on work when it's a Friday with warm, sunny, breezy weather. It's especially hard when I realize that tomorrow, although sunny, will not be as warm. Well, I suppose that means that I can stay in and read.
Java Ain't Just Coffee
I'm job searching again. After making the career change from computer support to technical writing, I thought that I would still find myself intellectually and creatively challenged. Well, I soon found that's not the case. Technical writing jobs are hard to come by in these rough economic times. When it's time to pinch pennies, corporations tend to do the pinching by eliminating the communications type jobs. After all, the programmer can document his product, right? Right now, my job falls in the "professional writing" category. That means that I write memos, emails, and edit my boss' words. That's not very challenging. And it's doesn't produce a copious amount of work. I'm definitely feeling the boredom sucking away any joy in the job. It's a paycheck, so I guess I can't complain too much. However, the job search is on. I talked to a headhunter about a possible opening at a company in Pittsburgh, and realized that I may want to expand on some of my computing skills. I've gotten rusty with some technical things because I don't get the opportunity to do anything. It's very true that if you don't use it, you lose it. But I also want to learn some new things. My goal for the next few months is to teach myself some Java. It never hurts to expand your skill set. I'm going to start by watching the Introduction to Computer Science Programming Methodology lectures from Stanford. It uses Java. Also, I have the O'Reilly Learning Java book on request at the library.

Thursday, March 17, 2011 -- Evening

Spring is Sprung?
I was struck with a bad case of spring fever today. On my walk to work this morning, geese were honking as they started their northbound journey. Lilies of the valley nodded their flowered heads as they peeked out from the muddy ground. It definitely looks like winter is ebbing away. Let's hope there's no rebound. All I know is that I love the 60 degree days in March.
Deadly Decisions
Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs book cover As I was reading the third Kathy Reichs book, Deadly Decision, in a week, I noticed a definite trend. This book dealt with a outlaw motorcycle gang, think Hell's Angels, war that tied in with both Montreal and Charlotte. Tempe was called in to help with the identification of twin brothers who were killed in a bombing. Then Tempe learned that a 9 year-old girl was killed in a retalitory drive-by shooting, Tempe volunteered to be a member of Carcajou, a police team formed to deal with the motorcycle gangs. As a member of the team, Tempe investigated the murder of two gang members several years earlier. When Tempe and company dug up the bodies, they found another set of unidentified bones, skull and leg bones. What did Tempe do? She tried to figure out who the other set of bones belonged to. She found a connection between the bones and a missing girl cold case from Charlotte. Of course, the bones were found in Montreal were found to belong to the girl from Charlotte. How improbable was that?! More murders happened; Tempe was threatened; action intensifed toward the end; and things were somewhat wrapped up. The only thing left hanging was Andrew Ryan. Ryan was found to be dealing drugs and thrown off the force. Well, that was just a cover to allow Ryan to infiltrate the gang. At the end of the book, when Ryan helped Tempe avoid death, did he blow his cover? We don't know, and are left hanging on that point.

So what was the trend that I noticed? In every book, Tempe gets emotionally involved in a case. Detective Claudel thinks that Tempe is a loose cannon and a thorn in his side. They work against each other by not sharing information. A family member is in danger. (In this case, it's Tempe's nephew, Kit, who starts to hang out with the motorcycle gangs.) Only Tempe can save her family member.

What did I think of the book as a whole? Reichs definitely knows how to weave a story, and getst the reader involved and caring about the characters. I want Tempe to figure out the mystery, save the world (and family member), and find love with Andrew Ryan. As an aside, when I picture Andrew Ryan in my mind, I see a Seely Booth. The formula doesn't detract from the story, even though I know where things are going. The books, so far, are a thrill ride and great page-turners. I've already started number four, Fatal Voyage. I would recommend Deadly Decisions, and I would recommend reading the books in order. I find myself wanting to know what will happen next in Tempe's world, and I will definitely keep on devouring the books.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 -- Evening

Big Moon
Keep your eyes to the skies on Saturday, March 19. We should have a full moon that night, and on that night, the Moon will be in its closest approach to the Earth in two decades. Of course, the Moon won't really be larger in the sky, but it will appear to be larger because of optical illusions. Some folks are claiming that event will cause problems on Earth because of the Moon's gravitational effect. However, that will really be minimal. It does play into the whole end of the Earth crowd since this is happening near the spring equinox, and the Earth is supposed to end in 2012, according to the Mayan calendar. I just suggest that you go outside and drink in the beauty of the Moon.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 -- Evening

Beware the Ides of March
Here we are, back in March, and it's time to beware the Ides of March. I remember hearing about it but didn't make the connection to its meaning until I read Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. Caesar was warned by a seer to look out for someone betraying him on the Ides of March (the 15th of March) and causing him harm. That turned out to be the Senate stabbing him in the back and front.
Crosby Skates, Again
Sidney Crosby skated again today. That's a good sign because it means that he was able to participate in physical activity two days in a row. It's all about the baby steps though. I don't think that anyone wants Crosby to rush and perhaps cause greater damage to his brain cells.
Pens Play
The Pens were in Ottawa this evening to play the Senators. This marked Alexi Kovalev's return to Ottawa. Unfortunately for the Pens, Kovalev has been performing at his usual level, which means crappy. Brent Johnson was in goal for the Pens, and he did a great job with keeping the puck out of the net, letting in only one Senator goal. The Pens, however, were on a scoring jag. Chris Kunitz, Tyler Kennedy, Dustin Jeffrey, Jordan Staal, and Paul Martin all had multiple points and assists. The Pens won with a final score of 5-1.

Monday, March 14, 2011 -- Afternoon

Have Some Pi
Today is Pi Day. You know, Pi: 3.14159265. Maybe not so surprisingly, Albert Einstein was born 132 years ago on March 14.
Death du Jour
Death du Jour by Kathy Reichs book cover I mentioned earlier that I was going to have a reading marathon, and this past weekend, it started with Death du Jour by Kathy Reichs. Reichs wrote Death du Jour as the second book in the Temperance Brennan series. This book was very much like the first in the fact that it presented a mystery that Tempe had to piece together just as she pieced the bodies together. The action switched between Montreal and Charlotte, North Carolina as Tempe investigated the deaths from a house fire. The house showed distinct signs of arson, and two babies, twin boys aged four months, were among the dead. As Tempe examined the bodies, she discovered that the hearts had been removed from both babies when they were still alive. Disgusted and sickened by the violence of the crime, Tempe put her efforts into solving the mystery. As the investigation continued, Tempe started to think that a cult, with members in both Charlotte and Montreal are involved in the house fire deaths and some other unexplained deaths. Things became personal when Tempe's younger sister, Harry, got involved with a group that may be tied to the cult. I really enjoyed reading this book. The thrills, action, and plot twists were great. I read through the book in less than a day because I couldn't put it down. Reichs knows how to write a page-turner! My favorite part of the book was the make-out session between Tempe and hot police officer, Andrew Ryan. I'm not one for unrequited love, and even though Tempe has some misgivings, she became an active participant on the couch with Ryan. I just started the third book, Deadly Decisions, this morning, and it looks like another winner. I would definitely recommend the book to any lover of mysteries.
RIP Dr. Richard Drisko
I found out today that one of my favorite physics professors at the University of Pittsburgh, Richard Drisko, died on Saturday. Dr. Drisko taught my Physics 3 class. He made a huge impression on me because of his humor and his ever present cigar. At times, I was sure that he had forgotten that he was in the classroom and that he was going to light cigar as he chomped on it. His staccato presentation style added to the humorous stories. Dr. Drisko did not appreciate slackers. You had to hand in your homework as soon as you came into the room and BEFORE you sat down. If you sat down, then tried to turn in homework, he wouldn't accept it. Dr. Drisko helped me to love physics, and he will be missed.
Crosby Skates
Sidney Crosby skated for the first time since January 5. Now, don't get too excited! Crosby only skated for 15 minutes with full gear, but it was a promising sign. It will probably take a few weeks before Crosby joins the team and plays a game. Over the past few days, the rumors have been buzzing. In fact, there was a report in Toronto that Crosby's parents were trying to talk him into an early retirement to prevent any future problems. I think they have seen the reports on long term concussion, and they are concerned. However, those reports are far from true. It's good to see Crosby back and to hear that he has been symptom free for a few days.

Sunday, March 13, 2011 -- Late Afternoon

Pens Win
The Pens played the Edmonton Oilers in a late afternoon game today. Chris Kunitz scored with only seconds left in the first period to give the Pens an early lead. The surprising thing is that the Pens held the Oilers to only two shots on goal in the first period. I'm sure that Marc-Andre Fleury appreciated the break to allow him to get some playing time under his belt since he was pulled in yesterday's game. Max Talbot and Jordan Staal scored for the Pens in the second period. In the third period, Kris Letang was hit with a brutal hit by Gilbert Brule. Brule was given a charging call after he hit Letang up high. Letang was dazed for a few minutes, and later on the bench, you could see a bruised mark on Letang's cheek where his visor must have whacked him. The unnecessary violence of the NHL again on display. The NHL leadership really has to do something to stop this spiraling decline before someone is even more seriously hurt than Max Pacioretty. Letang did not leave the bench after the hit. Zbynek Michalek got a goal, and Kunitz got his second in the last four minutes of the game. The Pens won with a final score of 5-1 against the worst team in the NHL.

Saturday, March 12, 2011 -- Late Afternoon

Déjà Dead
Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs book coverI finally finished reading Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs late last night. Déjà Dead was the first book in the Temperance Brennan series, and it won the 1998 Arthur Ellis award for Best First Novel. The award was well-deserved. The book was a page turner, but don't expect it to be a written version of the Bones TV series. This Temperance is older, divorced, and has a college-aged daughter. The book is set in Montreal, where Temperance (and Kathy Reichs) spends time as a forensic anthropologist. As in Ms. Reichs real life, Temperance splits her time between Montreal and North Carolina. At the start of Déjà Dead, Temperance is examining bones from a body that was chopped into pieces, and left in garbage bags in a vacant lot. Temperance is troubled by the similarities between this discovery and the body of a young girl found several months earlier. As Temperance began tying together the pieces that show a serial killer is in action, she found opposition for Detective Claudel and a possible connection with Detective Ryan. Would Temperance find prove that a serial killer is in action before it leads to her possible death when the serial killer starts to stalk her? The book was fast paced, thrilling, and a real page turner. I found myself sneaking in pages at work because I couldn't wait till lunch or the bus ride home to find out what was going to happen next. Shortly after I started the book, I requested the next four in the series from the library. I can't wait for the reading marathon!
Pens Play Canadiens
The Pens had an afternoon game against the Montreal Canadiens. By the middle of the second period, the Canadiens had a 3-0 lead, and Dan Bylsma pulled Marc-Andre Fleury. Brent Johnson was able to hold off any more goals, but the Pens weren't able to score. Final score for the game: Pens 0 - Canadiens 3. Alexi Kovalev showed his former team that they are well rid of him.

Thursday, March 10, 2011 -- Evening

Do you like a good, homemade looking and tasting burger? Then Burgatory is your place. i went to the restaurant with some friends this evening and had a great time. Burgatory is in the Waterworks Mall and serves, you guessed it, burgers. They also have milkshakes, chicken, crabcakes, fries, and homemade potato chips (made from Russet and sweet potatoes). I chose the "Create a Burger" option. Pads of order sheets are available at every table to build your own burger, picking the type of bread, meat (beef, chicken, bison, sausage, crabcake, or veggie), rub, cheese, sauce, and toppings. Mine was a beef burger on a brioche bun with cracked peppercorn rub, guacamole, Dijon mayo, house-made relish, iceberg lettuce, red onion, cucumber, and bread & butter pickles. The burger was huge with the patty around an inch thick. Boy, was it tasty, messy, but tasty. By default the burgers come with the chips, but you can upgrade to really tasty rosemary seasoned french fries. I didn't get a shake because I figured I had more than enough calories, but if you can down 3000 calories in a single meal, go for a shake. I would definitely go back to Burgatory. It was worth the half hour wait, which was unexpected for 6 p.m. on a weekday night. Come on, how can you not want to go to a place called Burgatory?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 -- Afternoon

Hockey Violence
Yesterday evening, Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins put a viscious hit on Montreal Canadiens' Max Pacioretty. Back in January, Pacioretty scored an overtime goal in a Canadien win over the Bruins, shoving Chara in the back prior to the goal celebration. Chara tried to start a fight after the horn, and of course, was marched off the ice. Well, yesterday, the Bruins and Canadiens met up again. Chara gave a viscious hit to Pacioretty, causing Pacioretty's head to bounce off the glass around the Canadiens bench. The hit happened as part of an interference call against Chara. Pacioretty was knocked out. The doctors came out, strapped Pacioretty to a stretcher board, and carted off Pacioretty. Today, we find out that Pacioretty has a severe concussion and a fractured vertebrae in his neck. So what penalty did Colin Campbell divvy out to Chara? Nothing. "What?!?!?!" you say? Yep, no penalty. According to Campbell, it was just an accident that happened in the ordinary play of hockey. Based on the earlier incident in January, I find that hard to believe. This is the problem with hockey. Head shots, regardless of injury or intent, should be penalized. That is going to be the only way to the players to change the way they play. No, instead, we are doomed to seeing images of fallen players on the ice. Hockey doesn't care about the well-being of its players. Until the league leadership takes these things seriously, we will just see more and more players out of the game because they have suffered serious injury.

On that note, Sidney Crosby is still not skating or practicing with the team. Chances of him coming back this season are slowly turning from slim to nil.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 -- Evening

Pens Win
The Pens were back in town to play the Boston Bruins. For the first time since rejoining the Pens, Alexi Kovalev was playing for the Pens. There has been plenty of talk, both nationally and locally, about Dan Bylsma getting the Jack Adams award as NHL coach of the year because of the Pens winning without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Well, the Pens beat the Bruins this evening with a final score of 3-1.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 -- Afternoon

Survivor Burnout
I admit it; I'm a reality television junkie. Well, at least I watch some of the shows, like Big Brother and Cake Boss. Survivor used to be on that list. Notice the "used to be." The last season, which ended in December, really turned me off the series. The survivors were a lame bunch. For the most part, they were an irritating, annoying, and whiny bunch. I just couldnt' find a person to like, and I found myself not caring if any of them survived to the end. I thought that ennui was a one time deal. After all, Russell, evil, cunning, and charismatic, was to return. Yeah, annoying Boston Rob would be there too, but maybe Russell could salvage my interest in the show.

The concept of Redemption Island was interesting, but a rehash from an earlier Israeli version of Survivor. I liked the Israeli version because the remaining survivors had no idea that those voted off were still in the game. When the winning contestantss from the Israeli Redemption Island returned to the game, it was a huge game changer.

I did not watch last week's episode, and I gather that Russell was sent to Redemption Island. Even though the show was on my DVR, and readily available On Demand, I find that I really don't have an urge to catch up on the show to see what happened. My interest is gone. I don't think I'm alone. From talking to other friends, it seems that quite a few of them became bored with the season last time and now have no interest in the series. I guess that everyone has a saturation point when it comes to whiny, immature individuals. Perhaps 22 seasons is just two seasons too many. Maybe we just all need a Survivor break.I don't know how I'll feel about Big Brother come July, since it also has a high quotient of whiny, immature individuals. I think the once a year format, only in the dog days of summer, has something to do with its success in my books.

Monday, March 7, 2011 -- Evening

Where is Spring?
On Groundhog's Day, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow. We all know what that is supposed to mean: an early spring. Well, someone should have told the weather gods. Although we have had a few days with slightly warmer weather, the snow is still with us. Yesterday, the temperature was in the 20s, and there was fresh snow on the ground. There may be some warmer days ahead, but it seems as if spring will never arrive. As with most of the folks in the snow belt, I am so over with winter. It's nice to have a good snow storm, but when March rolls around, I just want to see daffodils blooming.

Sunday, March 6, 2011 -- Evening

Writing More
I realize that over the past few years, I haven't been as active with writing about things on The Daily Bongo. That is going to change because I need to get more practice with my writing. Now, my only exposure to writing over the past year has been limited. With my current job, my writing is limited. My boss really doesn't know what to do with a technical writer, so I spend my time doing menial secretarial work. Of course, I am paid a very good salary to do the work, but I really have to find something that is more challenging. Teaching professional and technical writing and public speaking has added some diversity to my life. And I enjoy teaching. But that doesn't mean that I should neglect writing. So I will do more writing, come hell or high water.
Addicted to Bones
Bones publicity shot In January, I was sick with the flu. I did not feel like doing anything except lying in bed, watching TV. Since I had an iPad and a subscription to Netflix, I hunted for something to watch. Bones, the FOX series based on the books by Kathy Reichs, jumped out, and I started to watch. In the past month and a half, I am now into season five. I really liked the first three seasons. There were good episodes in season four, but the last episode in season four was totally stupid. I love the forensic anthropology aspect of the show. I feel like I'm learning something, and the science does seem to be realistic. Kathy Reichs is associated with the show and keeps it scientifically honest. I also like the interactions of the characters. The only thing that gets to me is that I don't understand why Temperance "Bones" Brennan and Seeley Booth don't admit to their attraction and get together. i guess that they learned from Scarecrow and Mrs. King. When Mrs. King and the Scarecrow got together, the series went down the drain. I read ahead to find out how season six is going. It seems that Bones and Seeley move even farther apart. I was also a bit disappointed that Zack turned out to be the Gorgomon's apprentice. I just couldn't imagine Zack falling for it. The only problem with just starting to watch the show is that I haven't recorded season six on my DVR, and the episodes obviously aren't on DVD yet. I suppose that I will be able to catch up with season six once I finish season five. That should happen in the next week or two.

Another thing that Bones has inspired me to do is to start reading Kathy Reichs books. I just started Déjà Dead. I'll have to write more on that once I finish the book. I'm half way through, and I'm enjoying the book immensely. Temperance "Tempe" Brennan in the books is not at all like the Temperance "Bones" Brennan of the series. For one thing, Tempe is older, working in Montreal, and has a former husband and daughter. I do like the details of forensic anthropology that Reichs puts throughout the book. But more on the book when I finish.

Saturday, March 5, 2011 -- Evening

Pens in OT for Fourth Straight Game
The Pens made it into yet another OT game tonight, this time against the Boston Bruins. This was the fourth straight game that the Pens couldn't finish in regulation. Zdano Chara scored first for the Bruins. Then Jordan Staal and Dustin Jeffrey got goals for the Pens to give them a lead which held until the final minute of regulation, when the Bruins tied things up. Jeffrey was the hero of the night when he got his second goal of the game in OT to give the Pens a 3-2 lead. Final score: Pens 3 - Bruins 2.

Friday, March 4, 2011 -- Evening

Another OT Loss
Brent Johnson was in goal for the Pens 2-1 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils. The Pens have been lucky that the goalies have been keeping them in the games so they can get at least one point for an overtime loss. The Devils, on the other hand, have won nine of their last 10.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 -- Evening

Pens Lose in OT
The Pens were back in Toronto to play the Maple Leafs. Tonight's game followed the same outline as Saturday's game, but had a different outcome, with the Maple Leafs winning. The game ended in regulation with a tie of 2-2. Unfortunately, 42 seconds into overtime, the Maple Leafs scored for the win. Final score: Pens 2 - Maple Leafs 3.
Crosby Still Not Symptom Free
Dan Bylsma said today that Sidney Crosby is still not symptom free from his concussion. The Pens are hoping that Crosby will return this spring, but at this point, they have no clue of when Crosby will be better. The rumors just might be true, and Crosby might just be out for the rest of the season.