Booktoots

NHL Officiating Concerns

First of all, let me say that prior to this season I have been on the side of the NHL officiating and referees. That is a tough job and I sure would not want it. It has to be difficult to be skating while keeping your eye on such a fast-paced sport. Plus, you’re in harms way. Kudos to the refs, was my previous opinion.

Now…this season I have seen (as I’m sure other hockey fans have) such stupidity I find it appropriate to buy that blind referee costume for Halloween. Well, I’ll have to wait for next year now. 🙁 Anyways, there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to the ref calls.(I’m trying to make light of a situation that is turning the NHL into a laughing stock, in my opinion).

Something needs to be done about the NHL refereeing inconsistencies. How can one play, which involves a purposeful “dirty shot” from behind WITH A REF WATCHING THE PLAY WHILE STANDING THREE FEET AWAY receive a two-minute minor penalty while another play is called “hooking” (which was nothing of the sorts) receives the same penalty minutes? How can two players be in a fight and the non-instigator receive an instigating penalty while the other player receives nothing? It makes no sense. There was a time when fans would be complaining about the officiating at NHL games with the feedback of “oh, it happens”. Well, it has to stop.

Some cases in point:
This just happened last night, so it’s fresh in my mind. A Montreal Canadien player (Laraque) placed his foot directly in front of Nicklas Kronwall’s (Detroit Red Wings) left leg and trips him. The trip just happened to be on the leg that had undergone knee surgeries. Coincidental? I don’t think so. Called a “leg on leg, open-ice collision”, this play was uncalled for. What did Laraque receive? A two-minute tripping penalty. He already had a delayed penalty against him for high sticking a Red Wing (Helm). We don’t know how long Kronwall will be out as of today (early am Sunday 11/22).

There have been goals scored which have blatantly been revealed via replay tape. The goals didn’t count because the ref didn’t see it first hand. So, the ice-side ref doesn’t see the play. How can the goals not be seen by the Toronto “officiating headquarters” team, but be seen by the fan watching the replay on television? Something is definitely wrong there. Or, a goal is scored and the whistle is blew before the play is completed. The goal didn’t count. When that happens…and I have seen it on more than one occasion…what is the restitution? It just doesn’t cut it for a refereeing official to say “we made a mistake and apologize”. Get real. Once or twice is acceptable, but it is becoming increasingly common.

Here is the statement from Mike Murphy, the NHL’s Senior Vice President for Hockey Operations. He was quoted as saying: “It’s not when you hear the whistle blow, it’s when he (the ref) intends to blow the whistle. There is a little bit of a gray area there between when he intends and when the whistle sounds.” YOU THINK?! GREY AREA?! How are we supposed to know the “intention” of a ref? If that’s not the stupidest thing I have heard. (Well, other than the balloon boy story).
Here’s a link for those interested: http://redwings.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=506758

There have been plays when one line ref will have his hand up with whistle in mouth while the opposing line ref (opposite parallel side of rink) will let it slip by. So, the call is not made. Inconsistent? Yes.

With such rampant stupidity and inconsistency within the NHL refereeing ranks lately, it has me wondering if it really isn’t ruled by the green back (dollar)? Is the NHL losing its impartiality?

Solution:
1)I say for every miscall, take it out of the ref’s pay. Monetarily penalize the refs. Maybe that’ll get some consistency going.
2)Revamp the NHL officiating rules and regulations. Take out the “gray areas”. Gray areas only lead to confusion and miscallings.

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What About Green Drinks?

Green drinks are becoming popular as energy drinks to enjoy after working out. They are low in fat and cholesterol. A good greens drink will be low in calories and sugar. The drink will be rich in phytonutrients (antioxidants, I.e.) and healthy enzymes. Plus, the products can contain a wealth of plant-based protein and plant sterols, both which can improve our overall health. I have noticed these drinks to be natural appetite suppressants, also.

The ones I have been enjoying come in powdered form. My favorite consists of kelp, cholorophyll, wheat grass, spinach and beet greens (I’m probably forgetting other ingredients). The sweetness comes from licorice and beet. The drink is refreshing, since I mix it only with water. It goes down easy and is a great pick-me-up.

There was a bottled, liquid version sold in the marketplace that looked good. So, I purchased it. Big mistake. It was nowhere like what I was used to. The label claimed it contained all of these healthy greens, but the taste was otherwise. It contained far more fruit juice and natural sugars than anything else. It was a huge disappointment. The label made it look good, though. It has me wondering if there is any regulation on the manufacturing and labeling of greens drinks. 😕

If you’re interested in drinking some green mixtures, they can be purchased in the nutritional products department or in health food stores. I’ve also seen them sold among the weight management products.

The green drinks are not cheap. They are definitely worth the price, however. Plus, they last a long time since one serving consists of only one teaspoon (or less). Not bad.

Another drawback to the drink….they stink (meaning, they smell like the ocean…strong seaweed and fish smell). I’ve gotten used to it. At first, though. Yikes!

No, I’m not getting paid to write this review. Just sharing information that others were interested in learning more about.

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A Quick Thank You

I wanted to take a quick moment and, once again, thank everyone who has ever participated in my blog. Without you, this blog would not be the success that it has become. This blog has recently reached over 78,000 readers…that is an accomplishment that is due to you and your input.

Booktoots’ Weblog has become a welcoming support community where others can come and express their ideas and concerns about undergoing a total knee replacement (tkr) and/or hockey. It is a treasure to be able to see how we all encourage each other and provide inspiration.

Thanks for bringing a smile to my face and spirit, my online friends. 🙂

Positive Heart Health Update

Well, I can’t resist sharing the news with everyone and anyone who reads this. Six months ago I was diagnosed with high total cholesterol. My harmful cholesterol, LDL (low density lipoprotein) was in the scary range. My nutritionist game me a meal plan to follow. It basically involved monitoring my saturated fat intake and eliminating (or severely limit) trans fats.

Background: My entire life I have prided myself in eating healthy and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Then, I tried to fit in and began eating foods I normally wouldn’t. I ate out regularly. I didn’t care what I ate. Most of the food was new to me since I had only eaten “healthy” foods previously. This included cream sauces, larger than usual portion sizes, sugary and fatty foods and all the fun stuff. That tastes great. I even drank whole fat egg nog, something I wouldn’t dream of previously. (Have you ever tasted that stuff?! Yumm..)

After receiving the shocking news, the you know what was scared out of me. Cardiovascular disease runs in my family. I absolutely refuse to be put on heart medications for the rest of my life and that is what I may have faced if I didn’t change my eating habits. So…I got back to my “old” way of eating. And..it has paid off…

Yesterday I received news that my total cholesterol level has decreased by 60 points. 🙂 How cool is that?!!

I’m not saying this to brag. I’m just saying, it was done through diet and exercise. No medication. And…I’m as happy as a clam in mud. lol

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Remembering our Veterans…

Today is Veterans Day in the United States and Armistice Day in Canada. It is a day to remember our veterans who sacrificed their lives for our countries.

We would not have the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted if it were not for our veterans. Remember that. Pay respect. And….say “thank you”.

Historical note:
Today, November 11, is the birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Started in 1775, their motto is “The Few, The Proud, The Marines”. Semper Fi. Blessings to all…

A Different TKR Exercise Perspective

I’m sitting here looking at my exercise bike and suddenly realized something. Things have changed from when I first started using the bike after my tkr. Now I can actually ride it without almost tipping over. Why is this something to write about? It’s a world of difference. Here’s why…

What is interesting about undergoing a total knee replacement, I feel, is the importance of doing regular exercise. Only, when we start doing the exercise, it’s not called that. It’s called rehabilitation, physical therapy or recuperation. In my case, instead of thinking I was doing exercise, I thought about how much more flexibility I could get that day, how I could move my leg just a quarter of an inch more than the previous day at times, etc.

Even to this day, almost 21 months post tkr, I am concerned about increasing my flexibility. See, if I sit for an extended period of time, my tkr gets stiff. I need to stretch. If I don’t ride my stationary bike daily, I feel hindered. It’s not complaining, just a fact.

Now, I find myself thinking …”I need to exercise”, not “I need to do 10 reps of isometrics in order to get muscle strength to move my leg”. It’s quite different. Anyone going through the same thing will agree, I am sure.

So, it’s time for me to go exercise. That’s so much fun to say for me. 🙂

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Healing A TKR Scar.. Naturally

I just got done reading an interesting article on how to best heal a scar. Knowing what a doozy I have (it’s about 10 inches..I haven’t measured it), I thought it would be fun to write a post about foods that can help heal a scar. Personally, I like my tkr scar. It’s healed just fine. In part, I believe, is the fact I eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. There’s a reason I mention that. 😉 Anyways…

Vitamins that can benefit scar healing are high in antioxidants. The antioxidants are essential for healing of wounds. These include Vitamins C, E and A. I’ll talk about Vitamin C now, for no particular reason other than it’s fresh on my mind. Here goes…

Vitamin C is found in more vegetables than you probably imagine. It is found in dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, mustard greens, collard greens and various dark-colored lettuces (like red leaf). The vitamin is also found in winter squash, green peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts (or mini-cabbages as some know them 🙂 ) and cabbage varieties.

If you have a sweet tooth which fruit can satisfy, you’re in luck. Vitamin C is found in berries such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, marionberries, blueberries and huckleberries. Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes are also rich in the vitamin. Mango, watermelon and pineapples are other sources that contain more than ample amounts to help in skin healing. Snacking on a mango..oohlala! Mixing some fresh fruit into plain yogurt…:)

I’m talking about the fresh varieties of fruits and vegetables. Personally, I’m not a fan of canned foods (other than the masses of canned tomatoes I use for my minestrone soup base). It’s nice to have some canned food on hand for emergency power outages or the like. In everyday eating, though…no. Nothing beats a freshly steamed pot of veggies and serving of protein. 🙂

Well, hope this helps others going through the same thing about wondering what’s best for their tkr scar healing. You are what you eat. 🙂

Find interesting? I hope so. 🙂 Kindly share…

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Happy Halloween to All!!

Today is one of the best holidays around, in my opinion. Forget all the blood and gore…give me the carved pumpkins, pumpkin-based food and beautiful fall colors. 🙂

We can’t forget the costumes, either. Some are just a hoot! For the hockey fans among us…

A Zamboni rider at the Bruins game today was dressed up as an “accountant?”. He was wearing a black suit and tie, greased back hair and black-rimmed glasses. He was waving to the audience as he drove by. “That guy’s never gonna get a date,” was the announcer’s response. Only a hockey fan could appreciate seeing a Zamboni driver in suit and tie.

Another fan came to a game as Don Cherry, aka “Grapes”. He was at ScotiaBank place during HNIC. It was hilarious! The camera flashes over to him as he’s descending the stairs while waving at the audience. Him and his brightly, color-coordinated outfit. lol

Then there was Jonathan Toews dressed up as part of the “Dumb and Dumber” duo. He was in orange, complete with hat. “Apparently his concussion has come into play,” was the announcer comment. lol

We can’t forget all the fans dressed as Superman, Batman or some other super hero. Too cool.

This is one reason it’s so much fun watching hockey on Halloween. 🙂

Even if you don’t watch fun-filled hockey, have a great holiday!!

Worried About Scars? Try This….

In an interview on the NHL Network today, Johnny Bower a retired NHL goaltending legend, gave his secret for getting rid of his scars and wrinkles….

“They sell this stuff called cocoa butter,” he said. Then, he went on to say how he had huge scars around his mouth area. (He received 45 stitches from when a puck hit him in the face. He played goalie before the mask was developed.) “Eddie Short said, “Hey..you’ve got a couple of bad scars there. Why don’t you try using cocoa butter?”

Bower went on to say, “I had never heard of that before and was kind of skeptical since no one liked Eddie Short.” He then tried the stuff and it worked. “My scars have disappeared and so have my wrinkles,” he said.

Bower was talking about something during this interview, then said…”I forgot what I was saying. Sometimes I forget my wife’s name.” Funny stuff. 🙂

Very cool interview from NHL Live! And the NHL Network. There’s a show on the NHL Network on Sunday titled “50 Years Behind the Mask”. It’s about the history of the goalie mask. Can’t wait!

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Saunas in an Executive Suite?!

There was a recent comment about NHL executive suites and it reminded me of an episode on the NHL Network while this pre-season was underway.

It was during the games in Sweden. The Detroit Red Wings were playing the St. Louis Blues. Fun game to watch.

The camera shot to the arena’s executive suite area. It turns out that the team owner has a sauna in their suite. There is reflective glass surrounding the suite, so no one can see in. How cool is that?!

A thought in passing…..

Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille and Brian Leetch are all being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 9, 2009. Kudos!

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20-Month Post TKR Update

  • Hi everyone. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. Anyways, I thought it would be a good idea to give a 20-month post tkr update.

I have been very fortunate in that I have not had any complications, infections or negative results from my total knee replacement. When I read stories about those who have these concerns, I definitely count my blessings.

Findings:
When I sit for an extended amount of time, like 15 minutes, my knee gets stiff. It takes a few seconds to stand up and get ready to move.

Stairs are not the least bit fun. There is no pain in my joint (cause I don’t have a joint…:)) so that I can climb stairs more easily than prior to my tkr. However, I usually take stairs one at a time due to my “good” knee being sensitive.

Going downstairs is a bite. This is when I’m glad someone discovered and invented railings.

I have difficulty with stairs that are deeper than the standard six-inch height. I need to find something to hold on to in order to make the ascent. Sometimes that’s not a pretty picture.

Or, maybe someone should video it and put the clip on YouTube. It could be labeled, “Climbing the Nontraditional Step After A TKR”.

Speaking of my “good” knee, it has started to making crunching sounds when doing elevational walking (going uphill or climbing stairs). It mildly swells up after exercising.
That’s another, future  comment on my part.

SWELLING: My tkr still swells up after a bout of riding my stationary bike or walking. The swelling is above my knee cap. It’s not a pretty picture, either, but could be much worse.

While stretching my knee during my exercise bike workout, it can still be painful at certain points. I just keep plugging along.

Here’s another 20-month post tkr update occurrence: My nerve alongside my outer leg still lets me know it’s there. The pain level is much better than earlier, though. Plus, the duration is less.

My tkr leg has settled upon a length. During the earlier stages of my tkr recuperation, my leg length would change throughout the week. Some days, when the swelling was greater, my leg would be shorter. Other days, when there was not so much swelling, my leg would be longer.

It was very strange. And, it made it extremely difficult to determine what amount of shoe lift I needed. (My tkr leg has been shorter than my nonaffected leg for 34 years due to my fractured femur).

It stings a bit when a 40-100 pound large dog smacks its strong tail against my knee. Nothing personal, Sadie and Molly.

Let’s see, what else is worthy of noting in my 20-month post tkr update?…
* I can get into a number of poses without pain. Touching my toes is no big deal anymore. Stretching my hamstrings is not painful. That’s a HUGE relief.

STANDING: I can stand up for longer periods of time than ever before without experiencing any discomfort. Nice.

BALANCE: As I work on my balance, it is improving daily. Standing on one leg can be accomplished easier than ever before. Nice. 🙂

STIFFNESS: When I do not exercise daily, my tkr knee gets stiff. I like to exercise, so that’s no biggie.

I do isometrics throughout the day and it helps improve my blood circulation and muscle strengthening. Plus, there’s no pain now. 🙂

CLICKING: My tkr does not click anymore. It only did that a handful of times throughout my recuperation.

Most importantly……I can perform daily activities without pain. That is worth more than words can describe.

There’s probably more, but I’ll come back when I think of them. Hope this helps others going through their 22-month post tkr stage. Can you share your story here for others to benefit from?

Find this tkr blog post interesting? Kindly share….

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

This site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author, tkr blogger, and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Soupy Sales Has Died

A part of my childhood just died. Soupy Sales has passed away at the age of 83.
Every day before school, I’d watch him and his cheerful bunch of characters on WXYZ in Detroit. They were always so entertaining.

Soupy used to always get a pie shoved into his face. It was always funny. We never knew who do the shoving, but we knew it was going to happen.

Some of his jokes were so stupid, they were funny. 🙂 He used to do and say the stupidest things, but they were funny. I remember moaning and laughing at the same time. He was great.

For instance, this is an example of what his humor could be like. I found it on MSNBC and I brought back memories….”he would tell his tiny listeners to empty their mothers’ purse and mail him all the pieces of green paper bearing pictures of the presidents.” I don’t remember if I did that or not. Probably not since my mom had a 24-hour stranglehold over her purse. Anyways, he was suspended for a week because of that.

I remember always looking forward to him answering the door when someone knocked on it. We never knew who it was going to be. It was always such a delight to find out who the mystery guest was.

I remember Soupy doing a dance called “the Soupy Shuffle”. It’s strange how that’s not mentioned in articles I have read regarding his death. That was killer dance. It was a mini-version of the moonwalk. Only Soupy never grabbed his crotch.

I remember that ridiculously large bow tie he would wear over his sweater. It always brought a smile to my face. I loved watching that stupid tie bounce up and down as he did the Shuffle.

And Soupy’s expressions were priceless. They were entertaining by themselves. He’d tell a stupid joke and laugh at it himself while looking in the camera. He’d say something stupid and look in the camera with a bewildered look. It was great entertainment.

I remember his side kicks, two dogs with opposite personalities:
There was White Fang. This hand puppet (a large paw) couldn’t speak and would just grunt his answers to Soupy’s questions. I loved White Fang. He was always getting mad over nothing. He was introduced as the meanest dog in America. I remember his white fur was always in disarray.

There was Black Fang. Black Fang was so syrupy sweet he sometimes got me sick. He was a wimp in my opinion. I was always curious to see what he was going to say that day. Black Fang was known as the nicest dog in America. I used to love when Black Fang and White Fang would meet up. They’d fight to the end. It was so entertaining.

I liked Soupy better than Captain Kangaroo. Captain Kangaroo could be a such a wimp at times. Soupy wasn’t a wimp.

Soupy was better than Kukla, Fran & Olly (other kids’ characters) too. Those three characters were a bore, in my opinion. Soupy wasn’t boring in the least.

I am very saddened by the death of my beloved Soupy Sales. He was a definite bright spot in my childhood.

Soupy Sales Has Died

A part of my childhood just died. Soupy Sales has passed away at the age of 83.
Every day before school, I’d watch him and his cheerful bunch of characters on WXYZ in Detroit. They were always so entertaining.

Soupy used to always get a pie shoved into his face. It cracked me up every time. We never knew who do the shoving, but we knew it was going to happen.

Some of his jokes were so stupid, they were funny. 🙂 He used to do and say the stupidest things, but they were funny. I remember moaning and laughing at the same time. He was great.

For instance, this is an example of what his humor could be like. I found it on MSNBC and I brought back memories….”he would tell his tiny listeners to empty their mothers’ purse and mail him all the pieces of green paper bearing pictures of the presidents.” I don’t remember if I did that or not. Probably not since my mom had a 24-hour stranglehold over her purse. Anyways, he was suspended for a week because of that.

I remember always looking forward to him answering the door when someone knocked on it. We never knew who it was going to be. It was always such a delight to find out who the mystery guest was.

I remember Soupy doing a dance called “the Soupy Shuffle”. It’s strange how that’s not mentioned in articles I have read regarding his death. That was killer dance. It was a mini-version of the moonwalk. Only Soupy never grabbed his crotch.

I remember that ridiculously large bow tie he would wear over his sweater. It always brought a smile to my face. I loved watching that stupid tie bounce up and down as he did the Shuffle.

And Soupy’s expressions were priceless. They were entertaining by themselves. He’d tell a stupid joke and laugh at it himself while looking in the camera. He’d say something stupid and look in the camera with a bewildered look. It was great entertainment.

I remember his side kicks, two dogs with opposite personalities:
There was White Fang. This hand puppet (a large paw) couldn’t speak and would just grunt his answers to Soupy’s questions. I loved White Fang. He was always getting mad over nothing. He was introduced as the meanest dog in America. I remember his white fur was always in disarray.

There was Black Fang. Black Fang was so syrupy sweet he sometimes got me sick. He was a wimp in my opinion. I was always curious to see what he was going to say that day. Black Fang was known as the nicest dog in America. I used to love when Black Fang and White Fang would meet up. They’d fight to the end. It was so entertaining.

I liked Soupy better than Captain Kangaroo. Captain Kangaroo could be a such a wimp at times. Soupy wasn’t a wimp.

Soupy was better than Kukla, Fran & Olly (other kids’ characters) too. Those three characters were a bore, in my opinion. Soupy wasn’t boring in the least.

I am very saddened by the death of my beloved Soupy Sales. He was a definite bright spot in my childhood.