Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Friday the 14th

Disgust.  I was mulling that word over yesterday.  I guess it breaks down to something like "distaste."  It sounds like other things too.  "To diss," as in "to disrespect."  "Gust" is almost "gusto."  So disrespect for gusto?  That could apply to an NHL lockout.  So could distaste, a response to a vomitous bad taste.

Friday the 14th isn't a significant date in itself, it was just the day of the last Captain's Practice at Sharks Ice before the old CBA expires, the last practice before the lockout begins.  I don't know if anyone doubts it will come now.  I feel like someone should throw a party, the way some people throw divorce parties.  I'm not going to throw that party.

Finally some waiver news from the Sharks:  Jon Matsumoto, Bracken Kearns and Danny Groulx were put on waivers, presumably so they can join the Worcester Sharks.  Seems like they were slated to play there all along but at least it's a sign of life from the Sharks.

There was no party at Sharks Ice this morning.  There were a few quiet fans looking on while a whole bunch of Sharks skated. I didn't count how many.  There will be fewer later, and harder to find since they won't be skating with the team's official blessing.  I think their schedule will be less predictable.

There were no orange jerseys, all black or white.  Havlat was in black, which I thought fitting since he was in orange this time last season.  It would be all wrong for him to be in white instead of the black D-men usually wear.  Lots of forwards were in black, they were scrimmage colors.  Still, Havlat was not in regular forward colors.  Familiar.

Yet not familiar at all, nothing was normal about it.  They way everyone looked so fit and healthy was a knife, see how ready they all are to start, and yet they won't start.  Bleak and stinging.

I think Team Greiss won.

As I left Sharks Ice, I almost ran over a bicyclist.  He was crossing against the light and there was a pickup to my left, blocking my view of this ecologically-responsible ninny who thought traffic lights didn't apply to him.  He didn't look left or right as he pedaled along.  He wasn't even going fast, it wasn't like he couldn't stop at the red light.  I couldn't help but think of the NHL strolling casually towards the lockout, without fear of repercussions.  They're going where they're going.  To heck with the rest of us.

I turned on the radio, tuned it away from NPR which had entertained me on the way down.

"...just like the one winged dove..."

I remember someone over at Fear the Fin suggesting the start of that song as the Sharks intro music.  It does have a nice beginning.  But what a completely horrible image, a one-winged dove.  What do you do with such a creature?  Take it home and give it a cage to live out its flightless life in?  Hit it with a shovel?   At what point do you admit something is too sick to heal?  What is a reasonable investment of time, money and energy for something that is ailing?

I took a cat to be put down a couple of weeks ago.  It was very sad, though there was no other option.  He could not recover, he was in pain, etc etc.  On my way home, I got pulled over for speeding in the carpool lane during carpool hours without a passenger.  I think I got off pretty easy considering how the penalties could have racked up for that.  Having tears and a sob story at the ready did help.  A lot, I think.  It still felt like being kicked while I was down.

Is it too horrible to talk about giving up on some teams?  Ones that are failing financially, though the League and various owners have invested enormous money, have perhaps just found new owners for them?  Is it too cruel to ignore their mighty efforts to ice a good team?  I don't know.  Some of them look pretty near gone to me, but I'm no expert.  I suspect the NHL is bracing itself to plug some into life-support, which in the long run doesn't benefit any of us.

Traffic slowed to a stop at the intersection of 101 and 880.

As I waited in a line of stopped cars spilling into traffic, waiting to get on 880 from 101, I thought the traffic must be slow on 880.  No, I could see it was flowing nicely.  So what was the problem?  Why do these interchanges always get clogged up like this?  

Does the NHL have similar problems?  Is stopping the season the only way to fix it?  No, I had to correct myself.  The comparison would be more apt if 880 and 101 had no traffic all summer, if no one used them for three months out of every year.  Then people would have a fit if the improvements (which are not happening as far as I know) were scheduled for high traffic times instead of during the off-traffic-season so to speak.  The NHL doesn't have the same excuse as Caltrans has for gumming up the works on occasion.

Almost home, I passed a cow pasture that was blackened by a grass fire about a month ago.  The black is getting blotchy.  Maybe the cows walk across it and stir the ash down into the dirt.  Maybe the surviving dried grass has popped back up and shaken off the black.  Maybe the evening wind just blows it off the high spots.  This surprised me, that the field should be showing signs of recovery even before the first rains.  It looks a little less gloomy than it did before.  It's still a reminder of a very minor calamity (I don't think even cows were injured), but resilience is there too.  By the time the rains come it will look like the fire never happened.  

Here in California, the real rain doesn't start for a while, but it will come.  Maybe everything will look better when the rains come.

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: captain's+practice, cba, lockout, sharks+ice

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About Petshark: Talking Stick

Native of Northern California.  Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.

I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle.  I watch, I react, I write it down.

My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked.  I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind.  When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom.  It hasn't, I don't think it will.  At all.

Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.

I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.

I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at talkingstick@petshark.net