The Daily Bongo

May 2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008 -- Late Evening

Things are definitely looking bad for the Pens. Tonight was game four of the Stanley Cups, and although the Pens were the first to score, the Red Wings came out to win. They tied things up immediately after the Pens scored, and then went on to get the winning goal in the third period. Evgeni Malkin played like he was tired, which he claims he is. He was out of position on some of the plays and made shots like someone's grandmother. The next game is Monday, and the Pens have to win to bring the series back to Pittsburgh. Most of the fans at the arena were not very optimistic, and after seeing how the Pens played during a five on three advantage, I don't hold out much hope for the Pens. You have to shoot at the net in order to get the puck in, and the Pens have had problems with putting the puck near the net all season. The Pens aren't known for being a high shot team. The real star of the game for the Pens was Marian Hossa. He was all over the ice and playing hard. I should have my pictures from the game ready tomorrow. Come back to look for them then.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 -- Evening

Finally! The Pens finally go a goal in the first period of the third game this evening to be the first to score. Sidney Crosby scored on a pass by Marian Hossa. The same pair scored a second goal in the second period. Today's game was much different than the first two games. The Pens obviously came out to play and to win, and they did just that. Now if only they can keep this up, all might not be lost. I have to admit that I thought that the Pens would lose this evening, especially after most of the first period. But the third period was the most energetic that I have seen the Pens play lately. The final score Pens 3 - Red Wings 2.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 -- Late Afternoon

Controversy in the 'Burg. Mark Madden, controversial sports shock jock, has been fired because of comments that he made about Senator Edward Kennedy's recent brain tumor diagnosis. Madden commented that he was hoping that Kennedy would be assassinated first, and mentioned the Kopechnes, the parents of the girl who was killed when Kennedy drove his car into a lake and left the girl to drown. Bob Smizik, local sports reporter for the Post Gazette has had it in for Madden and brought up the comments in his column. Madden was suspended and then fired. The thing that gets to me is that Madden apologized for the comment. However, in this day and age, we just want to punish someone for the words they speak by making it impossible for them to earn a living. Whatever happened to "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me?" Yeah, Madden may have stepped over the line, but suspend him for a period or fine him. Madden had the most popular radio sports show because he was what he was--a person who spoke his mind and had a put down for most of the sports here in Pittsburgh. The only team that Madden didn't blast was the Pens. I hope that Madden finds some work soon because I loved his obnoxious and abrasive personality.

Monday, May 26, 2008 -- Evening

The Pens and the Red Wings played in the second game of the Stanley Cup this evening. Michel Therrien had played around with the lines abit in the hopes that doing it would generate some goals. However, the Pens weren't able to generate any sort of offense, and for the second game in a row, they were held scoreless. There was some controversy before the game when Evgeni Malkin was quoted as saying he was tired. Boy, the guy needs to take some sort of energy pills because to be tired at his age is unacceptable. So the Pens come back to Pittsburgh on Wednesday two down. Marc-Andre Fleury has been doing a great job, but there is only so much that he can do. He can't go down the ice to score.

Monday, May 26, 2008 -- Late Morning

NASA had another success yesterday when the Phoenix Mars Lander made a successful touchdown on Mars. Phoenix landed in the northern polar region of Mars and will be looking for evidence of frozen water. NASA TV had the live telecast of Phoenix entering the Martian atmosphere and the countdown to the landing. Everything seems to be fine with Phoenix, and the pictures of its feet and solar panels all seem to show that things are 100%. Phoenix has been sending back pictures from Mars, and the scientists will be analyzing them for digging locations. Phoenix is a stationary device, and it will be reaching out with a scoop to pick up and analyze ground. The landing location was selected because it was thought to be a good location for Phoenix to find some underground water or ice.

Sunday, May 25, 2008 -- Evening

I went to see the latest installment of the Indiana Jones series. This movie is called Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. There have been rumors that movie wasn't all that. I can understand why that has happened. The movie is basically a throwback to the original 80s movies. The special effects seem to be right out of the 80s. The new villians in the movie are the Russians. The movie is set in 1957 so they couldn't continue to have Jones against the Nazis. Some of the plot was very preposterous. The Russians are after alians that landed in Roswell. Jones was needed because he had been called in by the US government to investigate the matter. Gosh knows why the government would have called in an archaeologist! Anyway, aliens figure heavily into the plot. Cate Blanchett does a great job of playing a villanous Russian agent trying to get put the alien element into the hands of the Russians. Harrison Ford plays an old Indiana Jones. Surprisingly, he's active for a 65 year old. The movie was like visiting with old friends. Enjoyable, but you can see the aging process having an unkind hand with them. If you like the Indiana Jones movies, I think that you won't be disappointed, especially if you expect it to be similar to the other 80s movies.

Saturday, May 24, 2008 -- Evening

Tonight was the first game in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Pens had opened up Mellon Arena for the fans to watch the game televised on the jumbotron. They charged $5, and $2 of that went to the Mario Lemieux Foundation. The game started out with alot of charging of the net and pushing and shoving. The Red Wings had the disadvantage of taking some bad penalties, but the Pens weren't able to make anything of the opportunity. The Red Wings scored first with a goal late in the second period when the Pens made a bad line change and left tired defensemen on the ice trying to stop the onslaught from a poorly dumped puck. The Pens were unable to generate any sort of opportunity for a score, even though they had some good chances and power play advantages. The main problem was that the players weren't helping Marc-Andre Fleury clear the puck. Before the second goal, Fleury tried to reach out to clear the puck and Evgeni Malkin knocked the puck right back in front of Fleury, and the Red Wings took advantage of it. The Pens just weren't able to get shots on goal in the second and third periods. They had only four shots in the second and three shots in the third. The Red Wings took full advantage of the Pens and won the game with a final score of 4-0.

Saturday, May 24, 2008 -- Morning

Yesterday evening, I noticed that a film crew has setup show in my neighborhood. They were filming My Bloody Valentine in one of the houses here in Squirrel Hill. We talked to a few of the crew members and found out that the crew had been filming around the Pittsburgh area for a few weeks. The house had been found by one of the locations guys who was looking for a house with a manly interior to be the house for the leading man in the show. Supposedly, they were paying $10,000 to rent the house for the night. The movie has a budget of $20 million. The filming went on all night, but there wasn't much for us to see because all of the filming was done inside of the house. The filming is being done with 3-D cameras and will be in digital format. The one guy told us that with the new 3-D you don't have to wear the red and green glasses. Any polarized lenses will work. I don't know if moviegoers will have to bring along a pair of their own sunglasses, but it will be interesting to see the movie since it is Pittsburgh setting. The movie is set for release in January/February of 2009. An interesting note: one of the guys told us that they were trying to rush filming because of a possible actors strike at the end of June.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 -- Morning

Tickets for the Stanley Cup games here in Pittsburgh go on sale this morning. The Pens will be playing the Detroit Red Wings for the Cup. The Red Wings were number one in the Western Conference so they have home ice advantage. The games start this coming Saturday in Detroit, and will come back here to PIttsburgh for Game 3 on Wednesday and Game 4 next Saturday. The tickets will probably sell out quickly, and then the scalpers will be selling them for much more than face value. Some folks in the area where I sit are selling the tickets for ten times face value on Ebay. Just goes to show you that folks are always willing to make money. I am probably only going to go to one of the games because the costs have been so high for the playoffs even when paying face value. Right now, I am planning on only attending game 4.

Sunday, May 18, 2008 -- Early Evening

The Pens played the Philadelphia Flyers this afternoon in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals. I didn't go to the game today because the costs have become more than I can afford, and I am saving money to go to the Stanley Cup games. The Pens came out flying in the first period and got a two point lead within the first ten minutes of the game. The Pens were really playing like they wanted to win the game, and the Flyers were playing like they had already given up. The fans were so noisy that you could barely hear the announcers because of all the noise from the fans. Ryan Malone, Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Marian Hossa, Jordan Staal all contributed to goals and Marc-Andre Fleury was stellar in goal, making some really great saves. The game ended in a shutout for Fleury, and the Pens are headed for the Stanley Cup! What a great moment! Final score was Pens 6 - Flyers 0.

Saturday, May 17, 2008 -- Evening

Today was the 133rd running of the Preakness Stakes. Big Brown was the prohibitive favorite. Considering that the only horses running in the Preakness were not huge stake winners, it was not surprising. The race was predictable. Big Brown laid back in third and fourth place at the start of the race. Then he easily took the lead on the last turn and galloped away easily to win the race. Big Brown won by 5 1/4 lengths, with Macho Again finishing in second and Icabad Crane finishing third. The time for the 1 3/16 mile race was 1:54.80.

Thursday, May 15, 2008 -- Evening

The game betwwen the Pens and the Philadelphia Flyers did not start out well for the Pens. The Flyers scored three, yes three, goals in the first period. Poor Marc-Andre Fleury was under attack with Daniel Briere getting in between Fleury and Hal Gill. What's a goalie to do? In fact, the Flyers had 17 shots in the first period after having 18 shots in three periods in the last game. The Pens couldn't seen to get anything going in the second period, and the Flyers continued to have their three goal lead. Jordan Staal came on in the third period to try to tie things up, but it just wasn't enough. The Flyers won with a final score of 4-2, and we will have a game five here in Pittsburgh on Sunday. I don't be at the game this weekend, but I will be watching on television and hoping for a win!

I just finished reading the latest book by theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku, titled Physics of the Impossible. It was an entertaining book, and you can read my review for more details.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 -- Evening

Tonight was the third game in the Eastern Conference final between the Pens and the Philadelphia Flyers. The game started out in the Pens' favor with Ryan Whitney and Marian Hossa with only a little over two minutes between the goals. Both got an assist from Sidney Crosby. RJ Umberger got a goal in the first period to make things closer. There weren't any scores in the second period, but the Pens sealed the deal when Ryan Malone scored off of a feed from Petr Sykora. Sykora got a late hit that knocked him to the ice, but he was back in the game later. The Pens put the nail in the coffin with an empty net goal from Hossa in the final minute of the game. Final score: Pens 4 - Flyers 1.

Sunday, May 11, 2008 -- Evening

I did not go to tonight's second matchup between the Pens and the Philadelphia Flyers. The cost for the tickets is high, and I'm saving for a possible Stanley Cup run. Max Talbot was back in the game with his broken foot. Talbot has missed a few games because of the foot. The game started where the other left off, with both teams coming out with physically agressive play and fighting/roughing. Tyler Kennedy and Scottie Upshall. Sidney Crosby scored the first goal. With less than four minutes left in the first period, it looked like Crosby got another goal in. From the things that they were showing, it looked like it crossed, but Martin Biron covered it with his glove, and the refs were too scared to give the goal to Crosby. After a four or five minute review, they called off the goal, but anyone seeing some of the replays would know that the Pens were robbed! The Flyers tied things up at the beginning of the second period. The Pens got a power play with abit over six minutes left, and Marian Hossa scored to give the Pens the lead. The Flyers came back to tie things up with only seconds left in the second period, and while they were short handed. In the third period, Talbot showed why he is needed on the team when he scored a goal to give the Pens a 3-2 lead. With less than a minute left in th egame, the Flyers pulled Biron, and Jordan Staal sealed the deal with an empty net goal. Final score of the game: Pens 4 - Flyers 2. The Pens are the first team to go 10-1 in the playoffs.

Saturday, May 10, 2008 -- Late Morning

I finally have my pictures up. I hope that you'll enjoy them. :-) I've been abit on the slow side in posting in the last week because it was finals week at CMU, and because I have had a killer headache for four days. It's probably stress, and I hope that it goes away soon!

Friday, May 9, 2008 -- Late Evening

The Eastern Conference Finals returned to Pittsburgh when the Pens met up with the Philadelphia Flyers this evening. There were tons of fans outside Mellon Arena to watch the game for free on the giant screen while those of us inside dressed in white for "Whiteout night." The game was a nerve-wracking one. The Pens took the early lead, but then the Flyers tied and then took the lead. However, the Pens came back to tie and then take the lead themselves. Evgeni Malkin played like a man possessed, and he scored two of the Pens four goals. His second was a short handed goal that put the nail in the Flyers' coffin. The Pens take a one game lead in the series, and the team celebrated with fireworks after the game. It was quite a night. The final score was Pens 4 - Flyers 2. I should have my pictures posted tomorrow morning.

The only annoying part was the "Statue of Liberty" guy. He's this tall goober who sits two rows ahead of me. For some reason, he thinks that because he bought a ticket, he can stand to watch the game, even when no one is standing in front of him. It was really annoying because the guys sitting in the row behind me couldn't see any of the play in the Flyers end during the first period because of this guy. So I asked him during the second intermission if he would do me a favor and try to limit the standing when there wasn't anyone standing in front of him. The guy became quite a jerk and said that if I wanted to see the game, I should stay at home and watch it on Versus. Hmm, obviously the guy doesn't have all his brain cells functioning because that's why I bought a rather expensive ticket to the game. Through the next two periods, he kept on commenting on how people couldn't see, how they should watch on Versus, and randomly standing up. Granted he did sit more when the play was in our end, but he was acting like a really a$$hole. The woman and man right behind the guy were also acting jerkish--I guess because they like the loser--and would stand too. I thought that was stupid because the woman is shorter than me, and if she's in the row immediately behind him, she isn't seeing any of the game. I guess some people are stupid and want to pay money without actually watching the game. Anyway, here's a photo of the jerk who makes my Hall of Shame.

Sunday, May 4, 2008 -- Late Evening

What a day and game! I went to game five of the Pens and Rangers series. Everyone in PIttsburgh hoped that the Pens would seal the deal, and win today. When the first period went by, and there was no score, I was getting nervous. The Pens came back in the second period to score two goals, and things were looking up. At the second intermission, people were starting to plan the next series against the Philadelphia Flyers. Well, the Rangers came back to tie things up in less that 90 seconds at the start of the third. The game went into overtime, and everyone was nervous. But then Marian Hossa showed why he was a good deal when he scored his second goal of the game, winning the game in OT with a final score of 3-2. The Pens are now moving on to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Flyers. There was so much excitement in the stands and outside the arena. You would have thought that the Pens won the Stanley Cup! Check out my pictures of the game, and my video of the end of series handshake.

Saturday, May 3, 2008 -- Early Evening

Today was the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby. The favorite for the race was Big Brown. He's a horse who has been lightly raced, three races in total, and is undefeated. Even though Big Brown was the favorite, there were several who thought that his changes were slim because Big Brown was in the outside, number 20, post position. Few horses have won from that position because they either wind up at the back of the pack or they have to go around the whole pack, increasing the distance they have have to run. The race wasn't the fastest run race, and that worked in the favor of Big Brown. He ran on the outside for most of the race, never falling lower than fifth place. Big Brown made his move as they came around the final bend, and galloped easily to win the race by 5 lengths in 2:01.82. The filly, Eight Belles, finished second, and Denis of Cork finished third. The race ended in tragedy, however, when Eight Belles collapsed shortly after the finish. She had broken both of her front ankles and was immediately euthanized on the track. It was really sad because the film crew briefly showed the horse lying on the track. This is the second injury on the track in the past week. Chelokee broke a front leg on Friday in the Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs. Back to good news. Big Brown barely broke a sweat in his win, and I'm starting to get a good vibe about a Triple Crown win this year. We will have to see.

Thursday, May 1, 2008 -- Evening

It was game four between the Pens and the New York Rangers. The Rangers had a do or die attitude, and they definitely came out to play. They took the early lead, and Henrik Lundqvist did a good job of keeping the Pens' pucks out of the Rangers' net. He even held off a penalty shot by Evgeni Malkin. Granted, Malkin came at the net at a snail's pace. I think my grandmother could have stopped that puck. Marc-Andre Fleury did a great job and managed to keep the Pens in the game. However, the Pens couldn't seem to get anything into the net and kept on taking really bad penalties. The Pens were shutout, and will be back in town on Sunday to play in game five. Final score was 3-0 in favor of the Rangers.