A few ideas for a poem

Ideas for a poem

First day of school
Last day of summer break
That popular band from Liverpool
Cheeseburgers at Harlem Shake

The soft skin of a maiden
Why love conquers hate
Our vacation in Aspen
Why buses are always late

The greatest book ever written
A pirate captain with a wooden leg
How Great Britain became just Britain
Eleven ways to cook the perfect egg

iPhone battery issues
My brand new haircut
What to do with used tissues
Jabba the Hutt

(Inspired by “Grownups read things they wrote as kids”)

King Salming’s 1000 games

Every journey to 1,000 games begins with, well, the first game.

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Borje Salming became the first European to play 1,000 NHL games on Jan. 4, 1988, against the Vancouver Canucks. But when he made his NHL debut on Oct. 10, 1973, he wasn’t the first European-trained player, nor was he even the first Swedish defenseman in the League. Forward Ulf Sterner played four games for the New York Rangers in 1965 and defenseman Thommie Bergman made his NHL debut with the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 7, 1972.

Börje turned 38 during the 1989 World Championships in Stockholm and his teammates surprised him with a cake in the face.

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Year updated to “2017”

NEW YORK – It was worth all the hype. Just hours after its launch, “2017”, the latest version of Year, a life experience interface, has collected over seven billion users, making it the most popular Year in history.

Year has managed to add new users in most of its existing markets, a feat not many analysts thought was going to be possible. Also, while Year has dominated the global marketplace, it hasn’t always been embraced by the Chinese, leaving one of the biggest markets untapped, but “2017” seems to have broken that barrier.

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Nick of Time

It was just another Friday night. Or late afternoon, to be exact, but all I had on my mind was Friday night. It had been a rough week, and I had managed to put together a real nice string of them lately. It was the eighth rough week in a row – not that I was counting.

My landlord was, though, which is why I was trying to get out of the office in the afternoon, and hit the downstairs bar before he’d show up to collect the rent. He says it’s six weeks late. Some people have no patience.

Merry Xmas, punk!

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Santa may be coming to town

Lately, Son’s gotten into politics. He’s dashing off to all kinds of meetings, and he’s arranging events and moderating debates, so much so that it’s hard for me to keep up. I do know, though, that he’s a smart and caring boy and that his politics are very warm and that he’s out to change the world for the better. He wants to help people, which is nice.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to me that he wants to get out there and make things happen. A few years ago, maybe around five or so, he ran a one-man one-cause campaign at school as he paraded the schoolyard with a sign that said, “BELIEVE IN SANTA – He is real.”

Now there’s a message I can get behind.

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Walk this way

Today’s my birthday. It’s good day, a happy day, it makes me feel special. Today’s my day all day long, so there’s a little more spring to my step, and my posture’s a little better than usual.

Some time ago, about ten years ago, I decided that I’d never work on my birthday again. Since everybody else was always telling me how it was my day, why not then make it my day for real. On December 8, I don’t do work – writing this isn’t work, this is just me talking to you – and instead, I do whatever I want.

(Almost. I mean, I do have to run Daughter’s ringette practice, and those garbage cans don’t move themselves onto the curb, do they?)

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Break on through

He wasn’t a religious person. He was, however, “a spiritual person”. His words.

It meant that he was snacking on the big buffet table of different faiths and beliefs. Some days he believed in reincarnation, other days in nothing, and on yet some other days, he believed in everything from astrology to God to magic and other dimensions. Those were the days he was at his happiest, although, it was difficult to see cause and effect there.

In short, the happier he was the more he believed in everything and everybody but effect could have also gone in the other direction.

And he was never happier than when he walked through town early in the morning in the summer after a long day and night in his favorite bar in the middle of the said town.

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His Izzyness

 Open the door, Homer
 I’ve heard it said before
 Open the door, Homer
 I’ve heard it said before
 But I ain’t gonna hear it said no more
— Bob Dylan, “Open The Door, Homer”

On the south side of town, there’s a small one-room office space that looks like a living room. It’s on the street level, in the corner of a big building, and with its big windows opening on two streets, it would be perfect for a small store. It’s not a store, though, it’s a folk music center. Or, rather, a Folklore Center. Or, even more accurately since we’re in Sweden, a Folklore Centrum.

It used to be called Folklore Center, way back in the 1950s when it was located in the Greenwich Village in New York, and when Bob Dylan used to hang out there. The founder, Izzy Young, produced Dylan’s first concert at the Carnegie Chapter Hall in New York in 1961 and when he moved to Sweden in the 1970s, he took the center with him and turned it into a centrum.

Basically, Izzy’s been a folk music legend for a good five decades, but up until last winter, I had never heard of him (and that says everything about me). Then I got a new colleague, Danny, who told me stories about Izzy – he helps Izzy run his small concerts in the small space – and we laughed, and then I forgot about Izzy and folk music again.

And then Bob Dylan got the Nobel Prize in literature.

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Cherry picking

There seems to be at least two Hardy Åstroms. There’s the clog-wearing Swedish chef who can’t catch a beach ball, introduced to the world and kept alive by Don Cherry who’s been using Hardy material for decades.

Have you heard the one about Hardy when Cherry he pulled his goalie in the final minutes of a game to try to get a goal with six skaters on the ice. Åstrom, the backup, saw the starting goalie racing towards the bench so he grabbed his equipment, hopped the boards and raced to the crease, the story goes, to make a goalie change on the fly.

“Funny,” says Åstrom, “but not true.”

And then there’s the Hardy that played in the first Canada Cup in 1976, represented Sweden in two World Championships, was one of the first European goaltenders in the NHL, and who played for Cherry in Colorado for a year.

Before Cherry was fired.

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