I just found out some really sad news. A really decent fellow I used to work with at iMagicTV, Stephen Wells, collapsed on the ice while playing hockey last night and died.
Steve was a really nice guy, never had a bad thing to say about anyone. Left a wife and two kids behind. Another sobering thought is that he wasn't much older than I am.
Goes to show that life can be short, enjoy it while you can.
My cousin Jeff sent this message, that says it all:
We always hear that you can't sweat the small stuff but most of us do. Even the stuff that seems big like relationships, money, jobs and houses doesn't really matter because you can recover from any of them. Every once in awhile, you get a real reminder of what final means.
Last night, I sat on the bench and played hockey with Steve Wells just like I have done most Wednesday nights for the past few years. I worked with him for many years at iMagicTV and he was his same even-tempered, dry humoured, super nice guy self as usual. He talked about how his 13 year old son was doing in his first year of playing bantam hockey as we sat there between our shifts. It was the exact same type of conversation I'd had with him many times at hockey or at work.
With about 10 minutes left to go, the puck was dumped into the opposing team's end and I skated up my left defence position and Steve skated up the middle of the ice on the right defence. Then he just dropped.
At first, I thought he had caught an edge and tripped up. When he didn't move, I thought he might have had one of those freak accidents where he blew out his knee or an ankle. As I skated towards him, I thought he might have been having a seizure of some kind. The other guys gathered around immediately, others went to call 911. The paramedics arrived but you could tell they knew what we were all thinking. After 20 minutes or so, the took him away in the ambulance as the remaining 18 of us stood and looked on. I still don't know what the cause was but it was sudden and catastrophic. And I know it all happened way too fast and ended way too soon.
It sounds like a cliche to say it, but it's the truth – I never met anyone who had an ill word to say about Steve Wells. Steve was in his early 40's and was active in sports. He's survived by his wife and two children.
It just makes you realize how important is to hug the ones we love when we see them. Every day is a gift.
From the obituary at the Funeral Home's site
Stephen C. Wells
The death of Stephen C. Wells of Quispamsis, NB, husband of Dorothy (Branch) Wells, occurred unexpectedly on Wednesday, February 15th, 2006 in Saint John, NB. Born in Moncton, NB, he was the son of Ralph (Bob) and Ellen (McWilliam) Wells. Steve loved his family dearly and always enjoyed spending quality time with them. He was an outdoor enthusiast where he enjoyed camping, especially at the beach and hiking, as well. Steve was always known to have a camera in his hands, photographing nearly everything in sight. He was actively involved in hockey and curling, becoming a longtime member of the Thistle-St. Andrews Curling Club over 15 years ago. He attended the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, graduating with a degree in Computer Science and most recently was employed with Alcatel.
Besides his wife and parents, Steve is also survived by his daughter, Emma and son, Sean, both still living at home; one brother, Scott of Hillsborough; Father and Mother-in-law Murray and Peggy Branch of Bathurst; as well as, ten nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by an infant brother, R. Gordon Wells.
Arrangements are entrusted to Kennebecasis Select Community Funeral Home, 152 Pettingill Road, Quispamsis, NB (849-2119), where visitation will be held on Saturday from 2-4 PM only.
The funeral service will be held on Sunday, February 19th, 2006 at 2:00 PM from Albert County Funeral Home Chapel, 4130 Route 114, Hopewell Cape, NB (734-2780) with Rev. Dean MacDonald officiating.
Interment will take place at a later date.
For those who wish, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of New Brunswick.
Bowser and Blue at the Imperial tomorrow night.
They are really more about baby-boomer humour, but I can almost relate, having been brought into this world at the end of the baby boom.
Should be funny.>
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Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear
Here comes the sun,
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right
Temperature supposed to jump back up this week, hopefully take this nasty white stuff with it! >
last year's adventure I was really looking forward to it, but it wasn't in the cards.
So, taking the bull by the horns, I booked JP for an entire week in August 2007. I am hoping the extra time will allow for some more training and preparation to do more serious explorations of the wreck.
More penetration drills, deco dives, deep water training can be nothing but good news. Plus, I have some ideas on how to improve comfort in the cold water and want to try them out. I will post any solutions that seem to work well!
Anyway, one of my dive buddies suggested having shirts made in preparation for the trip… I like the idea! Maybe even sell some shirts and hats to raise money for the trip… hmmm…
First – this is the Olympics, not league play. In league play, I would agree whole-heartedly, since the leaders are not determined by goal differential. However, because the Olympics has this barbaric system of goal differential to determine placement, it is only strategic to ensure you are in the driver's seat heading into the playoffs.
Second – this is the Olympics. This is not peewee house league. The teams entered in the tournament should know what they are up against. Do you really think that the Russians or italians would have let up if they had been in the lead against our women? Not likely, it is a tournament, and tournamenet rules win out.
Third – this is the Olympics. If the Canadian women had been seen to be obviously easing up, it would be an embarrasment to the other team. I once played a ball game in a tournament in a game where we were up by about 14 runs in the third inning, when some of my team members decided to start hitting their wrong way. It was disgraceful. My teammates were going up to bat, making fools of themselves by swinging at everything, laughing at the results, and very obviously making fools of our opponents as well. I think our opponents would have preferred to lose badly to a team that was trying than to a team that was goofing around at their expense. That was the last year I played with that team.
Finally – this is the Olympics.(have I mentioned this already???). These girls train hard to do their best, not to hold up and be unprepared when they face tougher opponents. If they had only beaten these teams by one or two goals, the armchair quarterbacks would be complaining they could hardly beat the weak teams.
Be supportive. The other teams are professionals. They know when they are outgunned and out-played. The Italian women were only there because they are the host team. They asked the Canadian players for autographs after the game. That's how it works.
CBC Story >
Maybe I'll take a hour or two and go get some photos!
As for the teenager in the driveway with the shovel, I better pay him extra today. That is enough snow to really make him weary. As a matter of fact, I'm getting tired just thinking about it…>
shot his hunting buddy while hunting quail… If Cheney were a Democrat, I would have wondered if he was hunting for Dan Quayle and spelled it wrong…
Interesting, I guess this is proof that just because you are a redneck, you aren't necessarily a good shot! Of course, the guy he hit was a lawyer, so maybe he IS a good hot…
All joking aside, the poor guy was 78 and got a face full of birdshot from Cheney's shotgun at a distance of about 30 meters. Not life-threatening, but likely to make him really cranky!
Having done lots of hunting and shooting in my younger years, I know what type of pattern he is likely to have been hit with at that range and I don't envy him. Let's hope they have banned lead shot in Texas or he will have even more serious problems, because they are unlikely to get it all out. I have known several people who still have birdshot in them because it was safer to leave it in than to operate.>
First purchase was the “Walk the Line” soundtrack. I liked the movie and was impressed with Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon's ability to pull off the vocals, and the soundtrack is just a nice added touch. $17 at HMV, I could have piocked it up at Amazon for about $15, but this way I didn't have to wait.
While there, I also picked up Pink Floyd's “The Wall” and “P.U.L.S.E.” for a combined price of $30. Not bad. I was replacing my Wall CDs which, years ago, walked away during a house party. Although I have had a burned copy of Wall for years, plus I have the re-make done after the Berlin Wall fell, I wanted to replace the original. P.U.L.S.E. was just a bonus. Of course, my interest in replacing that particular album has increased since listening to Luther Wright & the Wrongs and their bluegrass cover “Rebuild the Wall” (see previous blog post “Floyd Redux”).
In comparison, Amazon has that combo for $47.98 CDN, so I am happy with that price.
All of these have now been burned for “safe” play and added to my mobile collection for the road (The Supreme Court has agreed with my right to burn backups of my own music, and having had vehicles broken into before, I now make sure that any crackhead who steals my music collection will be hard-pressed getting any money for it – a couple of dozen burned CDs… >
Great scenery, the vistas really gave you the impression of being there in the mountains. Alberta really is a beautiful province (even if they vote funny…
Both cowboys were well-played, Heath Ledger really did embody that “speak little, grunt a lot, down-home wisdom” type of person you would expect from the time period and location. Jake Gyllenhaal was, in my opinion, a little less impressive, but not immensely so.
I can't really say anything was really bad in the movie, although I do have a few points about areas where it could have been better…
There were a lot of gaps in continuity that left you wondering. Much of that may have been Ang Lee's intention, since the story continued from Ennis' point of view and he was not always “in the loop”, nor always capable of understanding or communicating. I understand about it following Ennis' decline as his life progresses. It is not meant to be a sappy “happily ever after” story. But, I really think some of the scenes could have been done in a more efficient manner, giving a bit more time to filling in those gaps that most likely ended up on the cutting room floor once the film blew past the 2 hour mark. It wasn't exciting enough to make it a 3 hour epic, so I assume something had to give.
I could not imagine how Alma must have felt to see her husband kissing another man. The idea of seeing your spouse kissing someone else might be enough of a jolt, but to see them kissing a member of the same sex must be excruciating.
I had been forewarned about how quickly the initial encounter happens once the two started interacting, so that didn't catch me off guard. And I understand completely Ang Lee's reasoning for drawing things out at the start to show the solitude the two were working with on the mountain. Even today these types of liaisons would be beyond the norm, and therefore, it would take exceptional circumstances (i.e. a protracted amount of time alone) for them to occur in most cases.
It would be interesting to read the book and see how much was snipped.
Overall, I would rate it: 7.5 / 10>