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Silicon Valley veteran doing Technical Community Management. Photographer with a strong interest in birds, wildlife and nature who is exploring the Western states and working to tell you the stories of the special places I've found.
Author and Blogger. They are not the same thing. Sports occasionally spoken here, especially hockey. Veteran of Sun, Apple, Palm, HP and now Infoblox, plus some you've never heard of. They didn't kill me, they made me better.
Person with opinions, and not afraid to share them. Debate team in high school and college; bet that's a surprise.
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Monthly Archives: November 2010
Mike Modano has undergone surgery after suffering a laceration from a skate blade on his right wrist during a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night. The veteran will be out of the lineup indefinitely depending on the progress of his recovery.
This is a sad situation, and probably ends his career. It’s not the way Modano wanted to leave the game, and not the way he deserved to go.
But what really worries me is the increasing incidence of skate cuts in hockey. When Clint Malarchuk almost died 20 some years ago, it was horrific not just because of the cut, but because of how rare skate cuts were in the game.
Even five years ago, skate cuts were fairly rare. The last couple of seasons, however, have seen multiple cuts each season, some of them quite serious. Achilles tendons severed, significant cuts to the quads — this seems to be a growing problem in the NHL and one that NHL has a chance to grapple with before it becomes a crisis.
What isn’t well known is that this is the second skate cut on an arm this season. The Sharks Jason Demers is currently on injured reserve, and while the Sharks have been typically quiet about the cause (all we know is “day to day”, not even which body half), the incident happened in front of us at the game in a scrum around the crease, and Demers immediately skated off holding his arm near the glove cuff — it looked to me like a skate blade came up and nicked him in the same general area that Modano was cut. Fortunately, though, the damage seems much less serious to Demers.
Why is this happening? I’ve thought about this a while, and I think I understand what’s going on. Players are now big enough, fast enough and strong enough that hits are becoming violent enough that they no longer are able to control what happens when they get hit — so body parts flail and legs are starting to kick up more frequently, with those razor sharp blades on the end.
This implies that this isn’t a situation calling for rule changes or a fix to enforcement, but we need to improve safety equipment. More and more players are wearing kevlar sleeves in the socks, which prevents the blade from penetrating the flesh. Many levels of amateur hockey are requiring similar protection for the neck.
My hope is that the NHL sees this as the problem it’s becoming and the union doesn’t get stupid about making this a “personal choice” issue they way they’ve fought visors, and that the league starts mandating kevlar protective sleeves on the legs and arms. I’d love to see manufacturers look into whether this protection can we woven into hockey pants to protect the quads and hamstrings.
This really shouldn’t be a hassle for players or a controvesial safety call (but I bet it will be) — I’ve seen no sign that players adopting these leg sleeves have complained about it impacting their performance the way they kvetch about visors. And since we seem to be up to 4-6 incidents a year causing an injury that causes a player to lose at least one game — it’s in the league’s best interest to get on this before someone gets their career terminated or they die from a cut to a sensitive location.
(and for what it’s worth, I’m in favor of the league making neck protection encouraged but optional — injuries to that location are exceptionally rare (twice in 25 years), but when they happen, they’re catastrophic, but the hockey players I’ve talked to that use those protectors invariably hate them as uncomfortable. Perhaps this is another place manufacturers and research, but as nasty as Malarchuk’s injury was, I’m more worried about the more common skate cuts we’re seeing on arms and legs and protecting players from those — unless you’re a goalie, and if you are, I hope you’re smart enough to already be wearing throat protection….
Debate continues over hit that brought Sharks’ Joe Thornton a 2-game suspension – San Jose Mercury News
Sharks radio analyst Jamie Baker wrote in his blog on the team’s website that the Blues themselves had some responsibility, citing among other things the pass from defenseman Alex Pietrangelo through the neutral zone that put Perron at risk. Baker, as well as several Sharks players, also accused Perron of embellishing the damage by lying prone on the ice, noting he quickly returned to action once penalties were determined. The Blues forward, however, missed his next two games because of headaches.
There is a continuing controversy over the ejection and suspension of Thornton after his hit on Perron. It’s devolved somewhat into a lot of sub-arguments, including whether Perron embellished the injury and whether the Blues erred in letting him play later in the game.
My feeling was that given the hit to the head rule and that referees don’t have instant replay or slow motion to evaluate a hit with that the penalty and ejection were fine. The speed and angle of the hit was such I don’t blame a referee at all for making that call. I was convinced, however, that there wouldn’t be a suspension. I don’t understand the two games off. Still don’t.
There is a legitimate issue involving larger players hitting smaller players, and the larger player has to work harder to not hit the smaller player in the head. Player safety should be a priority, my recommendation on this is that larger players get used to it. Believe it or not, they’re not stupid, and they’ll figure out how to make the hit without hitting the head once players realize they’re going to get penalized for it. A few hits will end up called — but I’ll take healthy players here over a few unfortunate hits.
The whole diving/embellishment thing is a thorny problem. How do you solve it? the league hasn’t figured it out yet. But — combine it with the question of whether Perron should have been allowed back into the game, and I think you have an angle towards a solution.
It’s simple. If a player is injured on the ice to the degree that a trainer has to go out an attend to them, that player is not allowed back into the game until seen by a doctor and the doctor clears them to play. That means they have to go to the locker room and be seen. Period. That prevents a player from going back to the bench and convincing a non-doctor he’s okay. It also is a strong disincentive for that player to — embellish. No more “he’s dead! he missed a shift!” and the trained personnel has a chance to evaluate the injury and make sure he really is okay before coming back. In the case of an injury where a player goes down to a hit to the head — the player can’t come back until the doctor and referee talk and the referee approves him back into play (in other words, in between periods). That way, hits to the head have time to be carefully evaluated AND the referee has a chance to be sure proper procedures were followed in evaluating.
The one exception to this rule are goaltenders, but the referee in that case should be given the authority to send the goalie off for evaluation if he goes down and has to be attended to.
Player safety becomes a higher priority, and in a way that discourages diving. Seems like a no-brainer to me.
If you follow me on twitter the other day, you probably saw that I had an “oops!” moment. It’s a great example of “best laid plans….” situation.
I was doing some work on the server we host our sites on, and I ended up in a different location than the one I thought I was in, and did a “rm -rf *” in it. And as soon as I did, I went — “oops!” because I realized I wasn’t in the right place.
The NEXT thing I realized was I hadn’t synced up my backup before starting work. So that’s “oops!^^2″, I guess.
And yes, the folder I deleted was the one with all of the web site files in it.
Now, the good news. The blogs are all database driven and the database wasn’t touched. the backup existed, it just wasn’t 100% up to date. So it was a minor annoyance instead of a major catastrophe. I had pretty much everything restored and the sites back online in about 20 minutes, and I spent the evening looking at things and cleaning up. My blog lost some patches (which I put back in tonight) and as it turns out, the graphics for two of my postings went poof, and I’m going to have to recreate them.
So all things considered, it becomes a teachable moment instead of a gut-wrenching disaster. And I love teachable moments.
This is the classic reason why people use say things like “I don’t need to wear seat belts, I’m a careful driver” are fooling themselves. “careful driver” doesn’t save you from being rear-ended by the guy on a conference call with the sales team in Cleveland, “careful driver” doesn’t save you from the bee that flies in through your open window and stings you at a stop light, and “careful driver” doesn’t prevent that carefully timed sneeze just as you’re reaching for the brake pedal.
In other words — “careful” is no protection from Lord Murphy, and Murphy’s Law will win, sooner or later. In this case, I made two mistakes that cascaded. One was I skipped a step in my safety process for working on the hosted server (“step 1: back it up. Step 2: BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN YOU HAVE NO NET”), and then I made a simple mistake, which I realized just after doing it. Nobody’s perfect. I’ve spent more years dealing with servers as a root-capable geek than many of you have been programming — and I still make mistakes. Rarely, but I make them.
Which is why I love backups. And because I wasn’t pristine in doing them, this went from being a 20 minute pain in the neck to being about a six hour cleanup, and I have about two more hours rebuilding the missing graphics. That’s a hell of a lot better than “oh my god, it’s gone”, so even though the backup wasn’t perfect, it saved me major troubles.
How are your backups?
Well, mine are now pristine. Both copies (because I immediately made the old one read-only and set it aside, just in case i need a file in a week or a month. Don’t you?)
Some days people give you a gift without even realizing it. Here is a gift I am pleased to pass along to you.
This gift started out as a tweet from Vonda McIntyre, noting that Ursula K. Le Guin is now blogging. That in itself was enough to make my day; back in the ancient of days when I was involved with SFWA and writing a bit I got to know many of the authors in the field, but Le Guin is one of those rare writers that changed how I viewed the field, and through her non-fiction and criticism also changed how I thought about life. She is one of those rare people that I bestow the “I will happily read your shopping lists” honor on (the others I’ve given that award to being Ray Bradbury, Gene Wolfe, Terry Carr, and Damon Knight — each of which deserves its own discussion point at some point in the future). She is also one of the most gracious and nice people you’ll ever meet.
It turns out that Le Guin is blogging at a site called “Book View Cafe“, which describes itself as an online consortium of writers; effectively, it’s a shared blog and publicity resource that somehow I hadn’t discovered before today. That’s my loss, because there are a group of really interesting people involved with that site, and the blog looks to be chock full of Interesting Stuff You Probably Want To Read. A quick glance at the authors involved with the site shows a long list of names I can recommend to you as well worth your time, including not only McIntyre and Le Guin, but Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, Brenda Clough, Katherine Kerr, Laura Anne Gilman, Phyllis Radford, Judith Tarr (and her horse), Sarah Zettel, and Sherwood Smith. All of which are extremely nice and interesting people to spend time with as well as writers worthy of your time.
So please consider wandering on over to the Book View Cafe blog, and attach your eyeballs to it for a while. Your eyeballs will likely thank you and ask for a return visit.