Monday, February 16, 2009


Today’s a great day. Plain and simple. Yup!

I woke up again, still breathing and hungry for hash-browns, bacon and eggs.

That kind shit tells ya that I’m still alive and well. Ehh? What do you expect? No matter no how the back woods and winds coming down from the great north ain’t gonna knock my socks off today. No sirree!

You folks up for that? Ya gonna be kickin it again with me today? Hope so cuz I ain’t loopin in no slackers. Hear me? Me and my pals, we’re walking with wood big-time!

“Why?” you guys ask.

Who gives a rats ass why. It just don’t matter none. Not at all.

Nobody’s gonna knock the wind outta my sails and nobody’s gonna glue a chip on my shoulder.

Uhh uhh. Not today.

So Saturday was Valentine’s Day and it followed a Friday the thirteenth this year. No biggie. I spent both days with my honey, treating her just fine. She loved it. Uhh huh! Did ya do the same? Shoulda if ya didn’t and shame on you too.

Oh, what else?

Well Bronzy and some of the Outlaws went over to Wisconsin to the Labatt Blue Pond Hockey Tournament. I tried to get a hold of him Friday evening to see how they were doing but no luck so I left a voice mail on his cell phone.

I worried about those boys and that night I had a fool dream that they lost their first game like 34 to 1. Crazy dream. I know those boys know how to lose but not that bad ehh.

So Saturday evening Bronzy finally calls me back. They had had two games earlier in the day. Lost both and he says that they lost on Friday too. All tolled they were out scored by seven goals in their three games. Sucks but I’ll be damned if they hadn’t just partaken in the very grass roots of our fine sport. Pond hockey! Ya can’t beat it for nothing!

He says to me, “Jasper, we’re in a bar, it’s kinda loud. Let me move to a quieter spot.”

I asked him who all skated and he told me that Woody, Blummer, Terry, Gordie and Warren were there with him. I said, “So you boys going to drink that bar dry?”

“Nah, I don’t think so. Wisconsin folks can drink really well I think and they were prepared for our partying. Besides that, Woody’s gone on the wagon and he’s just drinking O’Douls.”

“Well there goes half the consumption that you’d normally have then, ehh”, I responded. “Say did ya bring along any of those ‘Polka Til Ya Puke’ t-shirts and try to sell them?”

He laughed and said “Oh fuck no Jasper, I’d a probably been run outta town if I’d tried to hawk them puppies. Thought that they were a crazy idea once but not so sure now. These cheeseheads really don’t take highly to folks ragging on their favorite form of dance. Ha-ha.”

He continued with some more comments about the tournament. “You and Jingles shoulda been here. Brings back old memories of when we were kids skating on the pond in the neighborhood back there in Wayzata. Way too much skating going on here, though, and the ice was really pretty rough. Couldn’t make decent passes and woulda been hell on your hip Jasper.”

“Yup,” I said. “I told ya that it would be rough and sharp skates weren’t gonna be any advantage. And right now, it ain’t my hip I’d a been worried about. It’s like my whole body is just like one over stretched rubber-band right now since I’ve had my brain injury. Nothing seems to be loose. I’d a probably snapped every ding-dang tendon in my body. Damn, though! I really miss it and wish I coulda joined you guys.”

After that he put Woody on. He’d moved outta state and I hadn’t talked to him in a while so that was a real treat.

We made the old times chit-chat and then he says “Hold on Jasper” as he steps outside the bar. “I’ve gotta ask you something kind of private. Inside, behind the bar on the wall is a wooden plaque that’s heart shaped and it’s got a golden cross on it and a couple silvery crossed hockey sticks below. No words, nothing else. I asked a couple of the barmaids what it meant but they didn’t know, said that they had only come in to help out for the extra tournament crowd. I’ll tell ya, it’s kinda eerie. Do you know what it means? Could you look into it Jasper?”

I told him that I’d research it a bit cuz I wasn’t real sure what the plaque meant. I told him that it might be the symbol for another chapter of the super secret Crossed Stick Society.

Enough said we signed off.

Yeah, it got me wondering though. You guys remember my tale from June of 2007 where I wrote about ‘Hockey’s Secret Society’ after having read some revealing news articles about Yales’ Skull and Bones secret society? Remember that I told you guys that we had some very exclusive hockey relics including (You can’t tell anybody this shit!) Hobey Baker’s kneecap?

You remember that shit, ehh?

Well, I started investigating. I started looking at the symbolism first.

First of all I looked into the heart shape of the plaque. We know that the heart is a vital organ of the body. It pumps the life blood that sustains us. Symbolically it stands for character – compassion, love, intellect, courage, affection and ardor. Something of deep concern. In association with friendship and camaraderie it can symbolize blood brothers or brothers-in-arms.

Companions, huh? Could it mean team-mates? Team-mates to the end? Maybe.

Now the cross immediately brings to mind the association with Christianity. Christ on the cross at Golgatha (the 'skull') or Calvary. This symbol was made more popular as the standard for the knights that went off to fight in the crusades. It carries not so much the image of Christ’s death on the cross but more so his resurrection and salvation for those that believe in him. Here than we could say the cross indicates to remember the old but be inspired and renewed by that remembered wisdom.

And those crossed hockey sticks. They too are symbolic of the cross. But are tied to a specific cause. Here being hockey.

But as I said above, the knights in the crusades carried on their flag or standard a symbolic cross. And no more famous are those knights than those of the Knights Templar and their association with the order of the freemasons. The freemasons may have been the first to have used other objects crossed (or overlapping) as one of their symbols. They have used the crossed Masonic square (like a carpenter’s square) and compass to create one of their symbols.

The skull and cross-bones symbol that we so readily associate with pirates (and Yale’s secret society) also is of Christian origin. A skull (or several) with a pair of crossed bones were placed at the entrance to cemeteries. It is a symbol therefore of death. On a pirates flag the crossed bones are positioned below the skull. As a symbol for poison the skull is over the top of the crossed bones – meaning the skull is in the foreground and the bones in the background. As with motorcycle gangs and tattoos the skull and crossbones is now an indication of being a bad-ass.

Another common symbol found in cemeteries is marked upon the grave markers or tombstones of soldiers killed in combat. Here the symbol is that of crossed swords or sabers. To “cross swords” is metaphorical to fighting. And to fight can be as equal to - to compete or to be in competition. That being so than our symbol or logo of crossed hockey sticks indicates that we are in the business of hockey competition.

Some other examples of crossed objects used as logos, emblems and badges that I discovered in my research include the following:

Crossed Hammers – symbol for miners, also a hate symbol used by the Hammerskin Nation – a racist skinhead organization
Crossed Keyes – keys to heaven or St. Peter’s keys
Crossed Oar and Saw – the oar symbolizes travel and the saw symbolizes martyrdom – for Saint Simon Zealotes
Crossed Arrows – Native American symbol for friendship, also included in the badge of the bombers of the RAF
Crossed Rifles – military infantry, etc.
Crossed Pistols – used on cowboy belt buckles, etc, also included in the badge of military police
Crossed Drum Sticks – drummer or drum corp
Crossed Baseball Bats – oh yeah you guys know that sport
Crossed Hatchets – the pioneer insignia for the Union Army during the civil war, also used quite often in ancient coat-of-arms, used by the Chicago Blackhawks, and may be found in combination with a skull as a biker symbol
Crossed Hammer and Sickle – symbol for Communism
Crossed Hammer, Hoe and Brush – Korean Worker’s Party
Crossed Pickaxe and Hammer or Mallet – also a miner’s symbol
Crossed Knife and Fork – symbol for a feast (I love this one, ehh – just put it with a beer mug and ….)
Crossed Knives – symbol for impending death
Crossed Tennis Rackets – ahh-yup another summer sport
Crossed Golf Clubs – oh that’s gay, sorry excuse for a sport – but sometimes combined with a skull that has golf balls for eyes (I guess that means that you’re a killer golfer – whatever ….)
Crossed Clubs - a symbol of the exploits of Heracles/Hercules
Crossed Flags – an emblem for the color guard
Crossed Checkered Flags – a racing symbol – the race winner being shown the checkered flag
Crossed Checkered and Chevy Flag – a Chevy Corvette logo
Crossed Lacrosse Sticks – a lacrosse logo – interesting: the sticks are also known as crosses
Crossed Skis – a skier’s logo (don't do that when you're skiing because it'll really mess ay up)
Crossed Mallet and Shepherd’s Staff Behind a Cross – the symbol of a White Shrine high priestess
Crossed Lipstick, Ciggie and Flickknife – symbol for a female prep school delinquent – found on a “bitch blazer”

So, how many other “crossed” symbols, logos or badges can you think of? How many hockey team logo’s can you think of that include crossed hockey sticks? Bunches, ehh?

Are we all tied to the same brotherhood? It seems as though there is that implication with ‘all’ of these crossed symbols.

But how does that heart shaped plaque, the golden cross and the silvery hockey sticks all tie together? Is it a talisman of a remote Wisconsin chapter of the super secret Crossed Stick Society? Or is it something else? Who made it? When was it made? These are all questions that I’m going to have to investigate further. I can only surmise its importance. It is definitely a mystery to be resolved and I’ll have to get back to you guys when I know more.

Jasper here until next time. Skate hard, walk with wood, and take that friggin shot, ehh!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


A week or so ago we had the NHL All Star weekend. I was home the whole weekend so I put my eyes on the tube and watched all the activities. The skills competition used to fascinate me. This year, not so much.

My disappointment started with the fastest skater competition. The electronic timing system didn’t even work. Sheeeet! What’s up with that? And still nobody gets close to Marian Gaborik’s record time of 13 seconds.

The highlight of my disappointment here culminated in Alex Ovechkin’s dalliance with two sticks, a hat and tourist sunglasses. What a mess. So what if he scored with his off-hand. I thought it sucked. I want to see skill that you would find extraordinary if it was performed in the course of a game, not this horseshit. Gee, I’ve got one of my new friends over at myspace, a spif puckhead from Germany, whose profile photo shows him balancing an upright stick off the palm of each hand. Regardless of the fact that he’s in street clothes and maybe in a rink parking lot instead of the ice, I’m sure next year will see Ovechkin pulling this stunt in the skills competition for no useful hockey purpose. Ha, ha!

The Young Star’s game is a pretty neat thing most of the time since they started it. It gives the first and second year stars a chance to be recognized for their seasonal on ice accomplishments. But, in my opinion, their regular season play is way more exciting than this four-on-four showcase event. Again, I’m disappointed.

So, that was on Saturday and then we move to the big event on Sunday.

I guess that the Hollywood types that produce these things think we need something other than hockey. I’m mean why does the NHL think it needs to create an event along the lines of the Super Bowl. Come on it isn’t even the same and besides who watches football anymore anyway. Well, these producers, they’re fools. I’ve seen Cirque du Soleil once, even paid for it, but once is enough. I want to see hockey. I want to see the best damn hockey ever.

Won’t happen in an all star game, ehh.

These guys that get chosen to play in an all star game are definitely all qualified to walk with wood in my book. But they sure don’t strut it in this game.

Defense? What’s that?

Aggressive? What did we have only one penalty?

And to be picked to play this game as a goalie? Whoa-dogs! That’s got to be the most em-bare-assing thing in the world. Why would ya wanna show up?

But, I watched the game and I’ve got to say that the city of Montreal and the Habs deserved this event. It was their time and their show. And as worthy as it was, it was their MVP too.

In my opinion, the best part of this whole weekend was during the main game, when time was taken out to acknowledge and showcase, live, some of the past Canadian greats. Kudos to Montreal and its great hockey heritage. Now that impressed me.

I’ll tell you though, that no matter how much I complain about this NHL show piece there is one really major quality that is portrayed every single year. And that’s the camaraderie that these normally opposing combatants display during this weekend. They have fun together. Yessirree! I’m always impressed by this aspect of my favorite game. It isn’t just shown here but I tell ya to take a look sometime at the handshakes at the end of a Stanley Cup playoff series as the winning team advances and the loser sadly goes home. Sometimes to me, getting to see that handshake is just as important as seeing the game. This element of hockey is instilled in players from the time that they are kids and the mandatory handshake at the end of every game.

There are those of you that don’t think too highly of this, but even in beer leagues, I never had a real problem partying along with vile opponents after the game. Not to say there wasn’t the occasional turd-ball that I’d just as soon wail on no matter the time or location. But that too is what makes this sport of hockey so great.

NHL rivalries. They are the best. And that’s the part that goes omitted from the All Star games. That’s why this specific game lacks the polish that interests me.

I don’t recommend that this game be scrapped but it sure lacks the luster of a regular season game and hands down is a loser to the Winter Classic. Now that is the best thing that the NHL has come up with in years next to reducing the size of goalie equipment. I love it!

There, you’ve got my biased opinion of things important.

So, here’s the shit that’s going on here.

Last writing, I was invited to do some super sledding over at the hill on D-Pitty’s property. With my injury and all, you may recall, that I deemed it best to just watch. And that I did. Unbeknownst to me, D-Pitty had hired Stinky to groom some channels into the slope and iced them up almost to the point of becoming luge runs. Damn it all anyway if those makeshift sleds of Stinky’s didn’t just haul ass. On the Saturday afternoon that I went to watch, D-Pitty had gotten a hold of Jingles and Bronzy and had them invite all my kids on Norris’ Nightmares to join in the action. Now I don’t know if ya remember from last year that these slobagons that Stinky built were made from the halves of an RV’s holding tank and had partial goalie stick outriggers for steering and that one of these had fallen apart last year about killing us. Well, he beefed these babies up and they were the shit. Most of the kids brought their own gravity operated snow vehicles but opted to stand in line to ride Stinky’s slobagons. Damn I wished I’d a taken some movies of this blasted-ass good time. Would be a U-Tube hit, shit for sure. Luckily the bros recommended almost full hockey gear to anybody shooting the slope or we’d a been hauling kids to the hospital all afternoon.

I’m telling you guys that you shoulda been there. Yup!

I think it was Tuesday or Wednesday that the Sherriff stopped by to give me some news. He said that Tidwilly and the Wanker boys had done their time and were out of jail now. Said that Tidwilly, though, had been commissioned for another six months in a halfway house down in Winona and the Wanker boys had been furloughed to work for an uncle over in North Dakota. He said that it was just a warning, owed me and my bros that, even that these no-goods weren’t back in town you never can trust them to honor their obligations now that their out of the hoosegow. No telling that they might hookup together and show up around here to give us some trouble again. Well, we’ll see about that. I sure don’t need any trouble right now given the shape that I’m in.

I gave the news to Jingles and Bronzy that same day. Jingles said that he’s gonna start carrying that Colt 45 replica that he got at Cabella’s and Bronzy said that he was sticking under the seat of his truck that Ruger 22 mag single six that Dad had given to him. Me, ahh yup, I ain’t in good shape but I think I can still swing a tire iron pretty good, so I’m keeping one handy in the pickup. Hope nothing comes of this but ya never know what those ass-wipes might do. I’ll have to fill D-Pitty in on this action. Don’t think he knows these boys or their nasty rep.

What else???

Oh yeah, really interesting game gonna be on TV Tuesday. Sharks against the Bruins. Should be good being played on Boston ice. Ha-ha and the Sharks have lost three in a row for the first time going into this.

Damn, and what’s going on with that favorite team of mine, the LA Kings? Have they finally turned their game around? We’ll see, ehh.

Well that’s it for today my puckbuddy friends.

Jasper here calling it another one.

Skate hard or get off the ice, ehh!