Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Two weeks from today the boy and I are heading north for three days to help my old man close up the camp. I haven't done this in years, maybe since I was a kid, but Dad is getting up there and needs the extra hands.
Should be an interesting trip, nothing like northern Ontario in the fall, the colours are brilliant, the days are crisp and lovely, the nights ... well the nights are going to be cold and of course we're talking a wood stove so heat will be intermittent, dependent on one of us getting up and feeding the fire.
I'm interested to see how the boy handles it. He's excited and intrigued and my old man is over the moon. Not sure how long that will last when he starts to complain about stacking wood and fetching th etwo old guys another beer.
Thing is its going to be hard work. We have to haul up the boats and stow away the canoe and tables and chairs. The floating dock has to come out, Dad went with a flaoting dock because every few years he'd come up in the spring to find that the ice had carried away portions of the dock. He'd build another (I helped him do this once, you want to talk about a bastard of a job) and then a few years later it would be gone as well.
The biggest job is disposing of a poplar that the beavers took down sometime last winter. It was a massive tree, probably a hundred and fifty years old or more. So we're turning that sucker into firewood. Of course I have the typical hands of your twentyfirst century urban Canadian, I don't put lotion on them or anything but they're softer than Lupul, by the end of the three days they'll likely be hamburger.
Jenn is a little nervous about the idea of the boy being up there, he'll have just turned six, never mind that my old man is pushing eighty. What happens if something happens, she says, and you can see the wheels turning. I shrug and say that we will be careful (we will) and that if something happens we will deal with it.
This is the McLean way and it makes her mental. We're not dopes, its not like we do things like you see in those annual lists that people use to point out that natural selection exists but we like our good times and part of our good times include removing ourselves from civilization and any possibility of prompt medical care. And if something happens, such as the time lightning struck and the camp caught on fire, true story I will tell you some day, then we figure it out In that case Mom and Dad ran up and down the hill, naked (it was the middle of the night), and hauled up buckets of water until they put it out. They then had a beer at which point we realized the neighbour's camp was also on fire, this one too big to put out so Mom took us next door to our other neighbour and then returned with the men from there and Dad took the boat across the lake in a huge thunderstorm to get the fire pump and rouse folks from other camps. They ended up saving the camp althought the damage was immense.
So shit can happen, hell I could get hit by a bus or drop dead of a heart attack tomorrow, and our attitude is to be careful (of course) but you can't live in fear or what the hell could you ever do?
If we had a family crest it would be a couple in a boat on a lonesome lake in the background, maybe a moose and a wolf with a fish jumping over them, the moose would have a paddle, the wolf a hockey stick, a bottle of wine and a case of beer and the family motto underneath:
Num Me Vexo?
It would be a bit busy but very apropos.
I think Steve Tambellini must be related to me somehow, my goodness you look at this roster and the fact that its been five years out of the playoffs and two straight last place finishes and you have to wonder, why man, why? You know you have only two top four guys, one with a chronic injury. You have a bunch of great kids up front and some dandy prospects coming on D who are going to take a while. So the D is not going to be fixed anytime soon.
Why would you not shore things up a bit? The Thin Blue Line indeed, even before Smid and Chorney and Fedun were hurt (and lets face facts the latter two weren't going to help the big club, at least this year, maybe never). I can just see my Dad having a beer with Steve saying 'we'll play it by ear' and 'it will work itself out', two of his favourite sayings (mine too) and Steve nodding with that vacant grin.
Its tough being an Oilers' fan, patience, patience right? I understand it and really at this point unless they were to add two top four guys this club wasn't going anywhere near the playoffs anyhow. Take your lumps, get another high pick, see what Lander and Hartikainen and Omark have and then next year winnow out some of the forwards for the D you need and you should be on your way as long as you make the right choices.
This has to be the plan, it certainly cannot be the case that they look at this D corps and goaltending and figure its enough, right?
Has to be although then again until last year this club was a cap team for four seasons that management expected to compete so maybe the disconnect between reality and what management has actually assembled is really a chasm. Which is terrifying.
And with rumours (and they are just rumours) that Lowe is coming back at some point in the next couple of years one wonders if Tambellini might want to actually worry a bit and maybe, maybe, try and get things moving along or his career as general manager is going to make John Ferguson Jr. look like Sam Pollack.
The thought of Lowe coming back actually sickens me a bit. He is the guy who got us into this mess and I keep thinking Bob Pulford all over again. Pulford was Bill Wirtz's righthand man for thirty years and in those thirty years the most success the club had was when he was least involved in the early nineties. Despite the franchise falling to pieces Wirtz stayed loyal to his man. When Dollar Bill died one of the first things his son did was cut Pulford loose.
Three seasons later Chicago won their first Cup since 1961.
Not a coincidence, friends, not a coincidence.
What does Pulford have to do with Lowe? Well Lowe's years as GM did not exactly bring much glory except for 2006 and even then the season almost died on the vine for the obvious want of a goalie. And his moves after June 19th 2006 bordered on the unfathomable.
If the rumours are true and Lowe returns then we are in for a long dark winter imo because it means the owner is tied to this guy despite the evidence.
And that worries me.
They are rumours though. Lets hope that they remain nothing more than that.
Posted by Black Dog at 6:40 PM