Monday, November 18, 2013








F Jan Eberle (Seattle, 2006-08) has been loaned to Berounsti Medvedi (Czech Republic, 1. Liga) by Kladno (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season, Eberle had four assists in 18 games with Kladno. . . .
D Burke Henry (Brandon, 1995-99) has signed for the rest of this season with Nikko IceBucks (Japan, Asia HL). Last season, Henry had 20 points, six of them goals, in 49 games with Orli Znojmo (Czech Republic, Austria Erste Bank Liga).
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Taking Note is fading to black for a few days as my wife, Dorothy, and I embark on the next stage of our journey.
Doctors on the post-transplant team at St. Paul's Hospital cleared her to return home on Monday, eight weeks after she underwent a kidney transplant.
There were a couple of speed bumps along the way, but things have been great of late. So we will hit the road and head for home on Tuesday morning. We have been hanging out on Robson Street for nine weeks so it is time.
Living, walking and driving in downtown Vancouver has been an interesting experience. As I write this, I am within a few hours of escaping without having had even one other driver honk at me. Honking, if you aren't aware, is the first resort of  unhappy downtown Vancouver drivers.
Of course, there are times when a driver here has every reason to lean on the horn and aim it at pedestrians who scurry into a crosswalk seconds after the 'Don't Walk' signal has begun flashing.
That is one thing I won't miss after leaving here.
But I will miss strolling along Robson, Burrard, Davie and Denman Streets, my senses being tickled by the scintillating aromas emanating from so many restaurants. I will miss walking around downtown and hearing all of the different languages being spoken by so many people of different ethnicities. I will miss sitting in or outside a Starbucks that is located less than a block away and watching the people.
My late father, who was born, raised and lived in northern Manitoba for almost all of his life, would sit in the concourse outside the Safeway in a mall in Brandon, look around, and ask: "Where are all the people going?"
As I have watched the hustle and bustle on Robson Street for these past weeks, I often have thought of him.
What I won't miss are the pedestrians who race along at high speed while looking down at their phones, obviously believing that others will do the dancing away to avoid collisions. Nor will I miss the pedestrians who, obviously caught up in whatever it is about those phones that hypnotizes them, suddenly come to dead stops right in front of you and right in the middle of the sidewalk. (After walking around here for a while, you come to realize that it really is the phones that are smart because it sure isn't the users.)
Nor will I miss those people who, as they do whatever they're doing on the street at 3 a.m., feel the urge to yell and holler as though they are the only people left on the face of the earth.
I also will miss Perry Mason, Steve McGarrett, Matt Dillon, Miss Kitty, and Ben Cartwright and his boys. I reconnected with those old friends while Dorothy napped away more than a few afternoons.
And it was great to be within walking distance of the seawall at Coal Harbour. How marvellous it must be to walk there on glorious summer days! I will long remember seeing the Nova Spirit tied up there. (Go ahead, Google it).
It also was nice to be close enough to Stanley Park to enjoy its pleasures. There is nothing like sitting on a park bench under a deep blue sky, while watching float planes landing and taking off, and freighters loaded with containers gliding under the Lions Gate Bridge and making their way into Burrard Inlet.
Most of all, Dorothy and I will miss the terrific caregivers with whom we have been dealing at St. Paul's Hospital. There are some wonderful people on 6A and 6B, and who knew there were doctors in this world who prefer to be called by their first names?
It has been quite a ride for the last four years and it's hard to believe that the transplant we have long thought about and only sometimes dared to dream about is behind us. Not only that, but the healing process is well underway.
The next stage begins today with the drive home.
To those of you who sent so many messages, texts and emails over the last while, thanks so much from both of us. You have no idea how much weight each of your words carry until you are on the receiving end. You all have played a part in Dorothy's healing to this point.
Thank you! A thousand thank yous!!
And we'll see you back here in a few days.
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You may have noticed — or perhaps you didn't — that I recently disabled the function that allowed readers to leave comments on this blog.
I have learned a couple of things over the last few weeks: 1. Life really is a day-to-day proposition; 2. As such, it is too short to waste time dealing with those who love to throw darts while hiding behind the cloak of anonymity.
Thus, the comment function no longer functions.
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NHL
Former Buffalo Sabres players Danny Gare and Andrew Peters are undergoing testing at the U of Buffalo in an attempt to see if it can be determined whether they have CTE, the degenerative brain condition that has been linked to head trauma. There is more right here.
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The Vancouver Giants have dropped F Andreas Eder, 17, from their roster and he has returned to his home in Munich, Germany. He had three points, two of the goals, in 19 games with the Giants. Of late, he had found himself a healthy scratch. He was pointless in his last six games and last played on Nov. 11. . . . The Giants selected Eder with their second pick in the CHL's 2013 import draft. . . . Last season, the Giants dropped F Ales Kilnar, 19, in the early going. Kilnar, from Czech Republic, got into one game before departing.
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The Brandon Wheat Kings are expected to have D Ryan Pilon, 17, in their lineup tonight when they meet the Broncos in Swift Current. Pilon, who was acquired Saturday from the Lethbridge Hurricanes, practised with his new teammates on Monday in Brandon. . . . Pilon was the third overall selection in the 2011 bantam draft, but left the Hurricanes and asked to be traded. . . . “I couldn’t wait to get here . . . I’m real excited to be here and it looks good,” Pilon told James Shewaga, the Brandon Sun's sports editor. “I think I feel really comfortable. The guys on the back end have been really good to me. (Ryan) Pulock, (Eric) Roy and (Rene) Hunter, they have been nothing but great for me and the coaching staff have really brought me in good, so I am really excited for (tonight).” . . . Pilon had been at home in Duck Lake, Sask., and was skating with the midget AAA Beardy's Blackhawks.
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From Hartley Miller (@Hartley_Miller) of Prince George radio station 94X: "Frustrated over a lack of ice time, 2nd year forward Carson Bolduc (17) has left the @PGCougars. Bolduc has 2 goals in 17 games. @94XFM"

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