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The Boston Bruins are back on the sports map in New England. An 8-3-3 start, combined with their gritty yet skillful style of play, will do that for a team, especially on the heels of last season’s epic playoff showdown with the long time rival Montreal Canadiens. logo_1024768

Tonight, the Bruins take their show to he road, squaring off against another up-and-coming team, the Chicago Blackhawks. Both teams are stacked with young talent. Both teams also have great goaltending. Tonight’s game should be a classic, as two Original Six teams square off for the first of two meetings this season.

The problem for the Bruins comes tomorrow night, when they are scheduled to play Montreal back in Boston. As usual, Montreal has the night off tonight. They will spend the night resting in their plush hotel accommodations in Boston, no doubt watching the game on television. While the Bruins take the red-eye,flying through the night, Les Habs will be sound asleep, dreaming of tomorrow nights important divisional game on Causeway Street.

In a story in today’s Boston Globe, Bruins coach Claude Julien spoke about the challenges of playing back to back games against top notch opponents. He did not make any excuses or play the “why me” card (that’s for the fans and writers). However, he did touch upon the fact that certain teams (the Canadiens) seem to get the better of the schedule when to comes to Bruins-Canadiens match-ups.

“It’s ironic that it’s always them waiting for us at home.”

“So be it; we have to deal with what we can control. I think the best way to control that is to have all 19 guys going tomorrow, and being able to stretch your bench as much as you can and getting the results that you want, then trying to get home as quick as possible and getting a rest for the following night.”

To make matters worse, Nov. 22, the next time they play each other, Boston will once again be on the tail end of back to back games. This time, the Bruins will travel to Montreal after entertaining the Florida Panthers, as Montreal enjoys a night off, resting in the comfort of their homes. Read More »

According to multiple sources, the Colorado Rockies have agreed, in principle, to deal slugger Matt Holliday to the Oakland Athletics. In return, Colorado would get starting pitcher Greg Smith, closer Houston Street, and outfield Carlos Gonzalez. 20081110__78877438ed074_79th_mlb_all_p1_200

The deal is pending a physical, and is “still a work in progress” according to sources with close to the situation.

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said of the trade: “It leaves a big hole and we are going to lose a lot.

He’s one of the best players in the league and by far the best player on our team.”

First baseman Todd Helton, too, said the team lost one of the league’s best.

“He’s a great player and a game-changer,” Helton said. “So of course we’re going to miss him.”

So,  with this trade, one of the winter’s biggest off season prizes has officially been taken off the market. It seemed inevitable the Rockies would trade Holliday, especially after he rejected a reported four-year $72 million contract extension. Teams thought to be in the running for Holliday included the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, and St. Louis Cardinals.

The fact that Oakland was able to sneak in under the radar and rein in such a precious jewel is not surprising. Oakland GM Billy Beane is know for his ability to evaluate top notch talent, and when he finds a player he wants, he usually pulls the trigger. Losing a number of expensive free-agents over the years, while rebuilding the core of the team through young players with cheap contracts allows Beane and the Athletics a chance to make a splash in the open market this winter.

And boy did he ever make a splash.

The good news for Red Sox fans, Holliday is not going to the Yankees. The good news for super-agent/the devil himself Scott Boras, his client (Mark Texiera) just lost some competition to teams looking for a power hitting outfielder.Texiera was going to get paid either way, but now teams such as Boston or both New York teams have one less option in the power hitting market, making Texiera priority number one.

So with today’s move, the hot stove season can officially begin. Oakland started the action, showing they mean business this year. Rebuilding or not, they just made their team a lot better today.

Thanks to a malfunctioning digital camera battery and terrible picture quality on my cellphone (ie: no flash), I do not have any pictures or videos to go along with my place blog entry. However,  I will do my best to accurately describe/give play-by-play to the scene around my apartment complex throughout the election process Tuesday night. 800px-umass_amherst_web_dubois_library_night_2

I live in the BrandyWine apartment complex right outside of campus. I decided to watch the coverage and results at my apartment, due to the fact that I a) wanted to watch everything in a quiet environment where I could hear all the analysis and b) I needed to be able to hear everything due to an obligation for another class.

The night started with me and three of my friends sitting on the couch watching CNN. Now, my friends are not the kind of people who enjoy watching politics, especially something as “boring” (their words) as sitting and waiting for voting results. But, I convinced them to at least give it a shot.

I switched back and forth between CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and PBS, while frequently checking various web sites such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe. About 20 minutes into the coverage, we lost one of my buddies to boredom, as he bolted out the door, looking for anything better to do.

Twenty minutes after that, we had our second causality, leaving just me and my roommate.

Minutes turned to hours, as the results kept pouring in. At the time my roommate began snoring (around 10 p.m.), the suspense was over, and it was more when Barack Obama would get enough votes to win the presidency.

Then, at 11 p.m., with the closing of most western time zone polls, Obama was officially awarded the presidency, winning the 2008 Presidential Election.

(Crickets) Read More »

It’s interesting to hear all the negativity coming out of the McCain camp regarding Sarah Palin today, one day after John McCain lost the election to Barack Obama.

Like most of the general public, many people in the McCain camp questioned not only her credentials for the job, but also her basic middle school geography. As stated in the video, and I find this pretty hard to believe, Palin was not aware Africa was a continent, rather she thought the giant land mass was a country.

It just shows that everything is not as peachy behind closed doors as some people may make it seem. If picking Palin as his vice-presidential choice was one last hail mary for the McCain camp, I think it’s safe to say the pass fell incomplete, ending the game and presidential hopes for the Republican party.

Placeblog to come tomorrow.

election_2008-400x300While watching the election coverage on television last night on CNN, I bounced around a few different news sites on my laptop.

CNN’s website was basically a shadow of their television coverage. It provided interactive maps, electoral vote counts, projections, polls, and other interactive feeds.

The New York Times and The Washington Post also provided many interactive feeds: maps, polls, projections, etc. They also provided a number of blogs, which featured columnists analyzing the election process, giving their two cents, while providing commentary from both campaign’s headquarters. Read More »

php491135b5e7ad8Last night, at 11 p.m., Barack Obama won enough electoral votes to defeat John McCain in the 2008 Presidential Election, effectively becoming the first African American president in United States history.

The results were not a surprise for most people, as polling favored Obama greatly over the last few weeks and months.

The news was met with both great happiness and sadness.

Happiness for Obama supporters, especially African Americans, who battled oppression and racism for many years. The Rev. Jesse Jackson was captured on CNN camera’s multiple times, tears streaming down his face, as he faced the stage in which Obama would eventually give his first speech as President-Elect, looking so proud, like a father holding his first born child moments after the delivery.

Sadness from the McCain camp and supporters. Like him or not, John McCain is a stand-up man. His concession speech was both inspirational and classy, quite possibly the best speech he gave over the course of this long, historic election process. He took defeat with both grace and dignity, urging his followers to embrace our new president, in hopes of turning American around.

Being a supporter of Obama, I was quite pleased with the results, not to mention the other Massachusetts Ballot Questions. McCain supporter or Obama supporter, one has to come to the conclusion that this was the best thing that could happen to our country.

The scene at both candidates headquarters told the whole story.

McCain’s station in Arizona was serene for most of the night. Perhaps they all knew he had no chance, or perhaps not. It almost seemed as if his supporters were afraid to talk. It seemed like they were at a funeral, paying their respects for a lost campaign. And at the end of the night, that’s exactly what they were doing. Read More »

338580879As everyone already knows, tomorrow is election day. With this year’s election extremely important, not only for the present state of the nation-but also the future, it is imperative everyone who is eligible to vote, does in fact vote.

According to an article written by the Office of Strategic Influence, just 537 votes decided the 2000 election. Whether or not you believe those numbers, your vote does matter. As stated in the article:

“This leads to the next point: if your state is a solidly red state, one blue vote brings the race closer to being a swing state. When a state becomes a swing state, then the constituants of that state are given much more attention in the future, which leads to people making solid future choices, as opposed to just voting for whoever their neighbor votes.”

This year’s election also features a number of important in state ballot questions: lowering the income tax, decriminalizing up to an ounce of marijuana, and banning greyhound racing. There are also a number of  senate, gubernatorial, and other local governmental races up for grabs.

The article also boldly states:

“It’s important to remember that if you don’t vote, you don’t have the ability to discuss anything political. Not because there is a constitutional rule that bars you from being able to speak, but because your opinion doesn’t carry any weight if you were too apathetic to vote in the previous election.”

So wake up early tomorrow and head to the polls. Contrary to popular belief, your vote does matter.

Phil Kessel is finally playing like the player the Boston Bruins envisioned when they drafted him with the fifth pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Kessel has started the year on fire for the Bruins, with six goals and one assist in the teams first 10 games, helping the B’s off to a 5-2-3 start. However, in this instance, the points don’t tell the whole story. He’s been a constant threat to opposing teams, buzzing around the ice like a hedgehog, providing the B’s with a spark, striking fear in teams across the NHL.

Phil Kessel and Marco Sturm share a light moment at practice

Phil Kessel and Marco Sturm share a light moment at practice

ESPN hockey scribe John Buccigross recently wrote about how good Kessel has been this year for the B’s in his weekly column. He even went as far as to say,

“If the 2006 draft were redone today (I like playing this game), I say the draft would look like this:

1. Blues: Jonathan Toews
2. Penguins: Phil Kessel
3. Chicago: Jordan Staal
4. Washington: Nicklas Backstrom
5. Boston: Erik Johnson

Pretty good praise for a player management, and most fans for that matter, thought about trading a few times over the course of his first two seasons. Read More »

A blog titled Franklin Matters is the blog which best represents the town of Franklin. The slogan under the title states: “What what Ben say about the current events in the first town that was named for him?” I’m sure, if still alive, Ben Franklin would have more pressing needs and issues to deal with other than the town of Franklin, but I digress.

Although not really well written and appealing to the eye, the sight is able to capture the basic issues surrounding the town of Franklin, which is located on the border of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, halfway between Providence and Boston.

The first feature which jumped out at me was the local events calendar. Located on the right side of the page, the calendar seems to be updated daily, and gives a list of the upcoming major activities and events.

In any town, one of the biggest issues facing the town as a whole is the schools. This site gives a summary of every school committee meeting. This is a great feature for parents unable to attend the meetings for various reasons. The site also gives summaries of financial, town council, and other important town meetings.

Another great feature is the flickr photo application, which displays a variety of pictures taken around the town, from the newly renovated Honey Dew Donuts to the signs displayed in front of Parmenter Elementary School.

The blog posts also revolve around other town happenings, such as the dispute involving the police force and their labor union. My favorite post is about the newly opened Andro’s Pizza, which is a stone’s throw from my house, and a good spot for a quick bite.

Most posts, but not all, are accompanied by pictures. The picture of Andro’s is said to be taken with a mobile phone.

However, the site does not seem to have many followers, as most of the posts I clicked on did not have any comments. Also, most of the flickr pictures only had a few views, most ranging from three to five views. Perhaps this person should start networking their blog more, as they provide information that would be useful for past, future, or new residents looking for more information about the great town of Franklin.

Great combination commercial, features the old wassup commercial from 2000 with the new one from 2008. Good satirical commercial focusing on the issues of today in the backdrop of the 2008 election. With the election coming up, I’m sure more commercials like this will be hitting the airwaves.