An Update…

My interest in using this blog as an outlet for spreading the world according to Ken has been more ebb than flow over the past couple of years. Is that about to change, I don’t know but I have things to say.

The past couple of weeks has been about asking for help in coping with a recurrence of serious back pain. Part of me wants to rail against our American pull your self up by the boot straps, do it yourself independent value and while another part says leave me alone, I have this taken care of. The truth is that so called value is a load of you know what. None of us arrived on the planet by ourselves and we don’t live on the planet by ourselves. There’s evidence of this independence in everything. Who made the computer I’m using to write this? Who grew the beans for this mornings coffee? Why is there so much relief when I confide my pain to a friend? I think you get the picture.

I think the Buddha was right when he encouraged his followers to take a middle path in life. What this means to me is taking responsibility for helping others where I can and asking for it when I need it myself, life is a 2 way street for those opting in.

An amazing amount of gratitude has come out of a brief update on this blog. Yes, I have serious back pain and I’m crossing my fingers that it’s not another pinched nerve but my vision has been broadened. My gratitude list starts with being able to breath in and out and extends to the coffee I drank this morning, family and friends that I’ll be connecting with later today, and a host of other things.

End the Hockey Strike Now Rant

Well, have to say the lack of NHL hockey has me rather bummed and I’m not so sure the league lockout combatants have any idea what the real stakes in this fight are.  Watching millionaires fight over their fans, mine included, hard earned money got old quick and know every passing day rubs salt in the wound, they need to resolve their differences now.  The last time they did this in 2004-05 it took a full 2 years for me to attend another NHL game.  I picked up where I left off in years gone by and returned to college hockey rinks.  College level play is not only high quality but the players are on the ice, for the most part, out of love of the game and the thrill of competition.  This current state of affairs has this hockey enthusiast contemplating other plans…

Meet Seamus the Puppy

I haven’t posted since the start of the NHL season back in the fall of 2012. So much for the measuredly optimistic, cool aid drinking, prognosticator I turned out to be. The eventual playoff run the Caps made was certainly exciting but getting there was fingernails down the blackboard painful. A coaching change a midstream, a less than stellar regular season performance by the Russian, and any number of distractions had me checking out from time to time. With that said, meet my new roommate Seamus, he’s going to help with next season’s predictions.


I’ve Happily Gulped Caps Cool Aid…Again

The level-headed, long view, one game at a time rational approach to following the 82 game Washington Capitals regular season schedule is half way to the street after exiting via the window. Alex Ovechkin shows up on America soil in what is reported as the best shape ever, pot belly rumors be dammed.  Nicklas Backstrom spent the off-season training with a world-class speed skater in his native Sweden. Caps GM George McPhee picked up veteran goaltender Tomas Vokoun in a deal that can only be had during the last hour the neighbor’s yard Sale and there’s been a steady stream of early arrivals to a training camp being touted like it should be on hosted on Parris Island …why shouldn’t I be excited?

I know, I know, last week’s measured expectations based on past playoff performance.  Another year with stunned silence at the last game of the playoffs serving as the tip-off to start planning beach time, I know…

This happens to me after nearly every Labor Day and this year is no different.  The nay saying is pushed aside; the countdown to game 1 is in full anticipation mode that this could be the next year we’ve been waiting for.

Measured Optimism for the Caps

I’ve experienced more pre-season hype, regular season glory, and post season disappointment with the Washington Capitals than I care to share.  After being outclassed by Tampa Bay in the second round of last spring’s playoffs I just moved on.  Talk of super talented young guns and a solid core group of players was for someone else’s conversation.  Don’t take this the wrong way because I’ll still be in my seat cheering them on this year, it’s just that my expectations and hopes for the Caps took another in a series of season ending beatings.

My hiatus was interrupted when I lifted an eyebrow towards the Caps in early July when free agent players hit the open market.  GM George McPhee made a number of solid acquisitions combined with re-signing existing talent that few would argue make the Caps a better, more mature hockey team.

These offseason personal moves combined with veteran players showing up early for training camp talking about heightened commitments to conditioning and team attitude is encouraging, but not overly so.  This year I need more than just preseason talk; I need to see how this talk translates on the ice.

I usually greet the early fall and impending hockey season with enthusiasm for what’s to come, but for this year’s Caps it’s more measured optimism.

Related Story from the WP Capitals Insider:

Alex Ovechkin returns to Washington

The Renovation continues…

Costa Rica by ken.nickell
Costa Rica, a photo by ken.nickell on Flickr.

If your viewing a picture I took on the beach in Costa Rica last April than I’ve successfully linked my Flickr account with this blog, another small victory.

I Have Spare Change for the Renovation

I haven’t posted since last March and it’s time to renovate the site.  Please bear with me during construction and watch your step.  My expected completion date is the end of the weekend give or take a weekend or two.

In the mean time, I took this picture last week in California.  Redwoods are amazing.

Wonderful trail through a Redwood Grove