About NHL Lockout

Current music: Metallica - King Nothing

Who of the hockey fans don’t know Bill Daly? He is the vice-commissioner of the League, the second person officially. Unofficially he is one of the worst scumbags in the world of sports. It’s looks like some weird time paradox brought here russian gangster from 90s (era of “primary capital accumulation”) to solve the financial and sport problems in NHL. They were just like that: no hair, no comprehension, no willing to discuss anything without the use of force.

Yesterday I read his latest statement about the negotiations:

Have we continued to move toward them (repeatedly) when we have said we wouldn’t? The answer is ‘yes.’ We obviously have stretched to try to make a deal. But at some point, enough is enough.

Then I thought what did league actually gave to NHLPA during negotiations? Where did they move towards the wishes of players? The only thing they “stretched” to is easing their own ultimatums.

– We demand to lower the salaries on the current contracts by 20%.

– Players reject this ultimatum.

One month passed.

– Well, let’s lower the salaries by 10% but another 10% will be paid in few years.


– We demand to limit the contracts duration to five years.

– Players can’t agree with that.

Another month passed.

– Alright, we’ll do you a favor allowing clubs to sign their free agents for seven years.


– We demand to limit change in salary during the contract to 5% maximum.

– We agree this field needs regulation but not such a strict one. We believe the minimum salary should be at least 25% of the maximum salary during the contract.

Even more time lost here.

– That’s unacceptable. The position of NHLPA is unreasonable.


Seriously, I’m not exaggerating here. I just translated the whole story from the language of the diplomatically correct official statements to the language of simple constructive dialogue. Now let’s try to imagine how NHLPA could “move forvard” to the league and club owners.

– We demand to double the salary on all current contracts.

– O_o?!!!!!!

– Maybe we can give you more, let’s add 50% to all salaries.


– We demand to cancel the players draft system.

– WTF?!!!

– Okat, only because we love hockey so much and have respect to hockey fans, we will change our proposal. The draft will stay but clubs’ exclusive rights to the players will expire in one year after they were drafted.


– We demand to remove the salary cap.

– We are disappointed…

– That’s the hill we die on. Regretfully we are nowhere near the signing of new collective agreement.


Is it funny? Then why doesn’t anybody laughs about NHL bosses except Alexander Ovechkin?

WinFast 8800 GTX

Current music: Reverend Beat-man - Fuck You Jesus Fuck You Oh Lord

WinFast 8800 GTX is probably the most unique video card I ever possessed. It is well-known and you can even call this piece of hardware legendary. GeForce 8800GTX was ruling the gaming world six years ago. For six months (until 8800 Ultra was released) it was not just good but the best gaming video card available on the market. nVidia won that stage of rivalry with ATI by knockout leading the way in sales as well as in benchmarks. This current edition branded WinFast by Taiwanese company Leadtek was packaged with two free games (Spellforce 2: Shadow Wars and Trackmania Nations) and small pack of software, the most usable of which was PowerDVD (nowadays this player dropped much in popularity due to high price).

winfast 8800 gtx8800 GTX was the first video card of the new era – it supported DirectX 10 in games. Even though mid and lo-end models of 8800 line also were technically capable of DX10, they lacked processing power and practically could not run very demanding heavy games like Bioshock at reasonable quality and framerate.

winfast 8800 gtx back sideAnother interesting feature 8xxx line had in comparsion with older cards was CUDA. This technology allows to compute resource-intensive processes by GPU instead of CPU. While motherboards with two CPU slots are rather rare and expensive you could freely use up to four video cards and each of them alone (with 128 CUDA cores) is more effective in some tasks. That’s where budget mainframes begin their descent from.

A bit of specifications:

GPU Clock: 575Mhz
Memory: 768MB, 384bit GDDR3
RAMDAC: 400Mhz
Minimum recommended power supply: 450W

winfast 8800 gtx box rear side

One mighty tomato

Current music: Vanessa Mae - Contradanza

This tomato is from the summer cottage of our family acquaintance. Its weight is nearly one kilogram or something like 1.7 pound. Now that’s really one mighty tomato. USB flash drive near is for the comparison.

The scales itself is too quite unusual thing. It’s a very old thing that was produced in 50s I guess in USSR. Many had those because that was the only model on the market at the time. Very few have it now in possession. Even fewer people use it. I myself found it in the depths of larder where it waited for years without use. This scales are not as exact as modern electronic ones but still give quite trustful information.

tomatokilogram of pure tomato

Newer for sure but is it better?

Current music: Пикник - Через 10000 лет

operance upon a time, in a galaxy no so far away there was a relatively young, very fast and highly customizable web browser. It was with no doubt the best of its time and came to taste in many countries where users prefer the functionality to the fruity gloss. Years past and one day Opera 12 came out. It was assured to be newer and better and as developers were respected for their long-term good work many people believed and upgraded from previous versions. This is where the real story begins…

I may be mistaken by not seeing great improvements in depths of the code, but as user the first thing I’ve seen changed was the font color of address field drop down list. It was black and turned to light blue. Guess how awesome it’s looking on the white background? I searched for solution how to make it back but found nothing. Then I wrote on Opera forum asking for help but no one responded. Nearly two days later during experiments I found that font can not be changed by opera:config panel nor by user interface of course. You need to edit standard theme to make that. That’s what they call “even easier personalization” in their slogans on opera website. The second big fail is adobe reader plugin. I mean it worked fine but newer version doesn’t work with it properly. Dozens of users on opera community support forums (me included)  still are unable to open pdf files as earlier. What is the reason? Bad design? Indian code (in Norway)? Lack of testing?

The only thing I can say for sure, it takes me more and more time with every newer version to get back what I used to get from my favorite browser. It started lightly from removing buttons and tabs I don’t need at all. First time I had to get to opera:config was when speed dial came out and I wanted to remove that questionable “invention” from my sight. Why you may need that thing if there were bookmarks and the list of recently visited sites already? Then one day the button that opened address bar drop down list of the recently visited URLs disappeared. On another pretty evening it became as surprise that double clicking on the window top opens new tab instead of maximizing it. List may go on and on… I’m afraid that one day I will buy a new PC, download the latest Opera and won’t be able to make it the browser I liked to use for long years.

What I wanted to say is if you work on new version of software just add something new and usable to it. Don’t destroy or alternate what had already worked good.

my blogAh… almost forgot about describing the actual way to get font back. Here is the instruction:

1. Open your Program files\Opera\skin\ folder

2. Make a copy of standard_skin.zip file and rename it as you like.

3. Open that new archive and copy skin.ini file from there somewhere you can edit it.

4. Open skin.ini in Notepad and find string [Address DropDown URL Label]

5. Edit next four strings like that

Padding Left = 0
Text Color = #000000
Link Color = #000000
Colorize = 0

6. Save edited skin.ini and copy it back (with replacement) to archive you took it from.

7. Run Opera 12 and go to Main Menu->Appearance

8. Choose altered theme and click OK.

Back side of the moon

Current music: Apocalyptica - Faraway

What do you think when you hear word pornography? And what about porn models?  It’s ok if you see them as sexual objects – their job is done well then. They show you glossy image filled with sex and sex only. Nothing more is needed to release unsatisfied sexual energy. There is no point in effort to add something more to that image. It just doesn’t pay off. Therefore, it was quite interesting to find a website which can give you something besides the good xxx content. Comments, notes and even memoirs are not written single-handedly (you know what I mean, right?) by some pornographer for your amusement but by model herself. I’ve seen many different things on the Internet during long years but seeing that I was somehow surprised and touched at the same time.

Woman, who supposed to play depersonalized lust-extracting tool, tells about her childhood, parents, college years. She describes things that could turn life another way (better or worse – who knows). You also get some light on who and what stays behind the scene. To say more, all this facts draw the big picture as you see everything in developing for more than ten years history of website. Her boyfriend and partner gradually becomes girlfriend during that time. Here and there pithy notes let you know how the shootings were made and if they left pleasant memories or pure disgust. I was nearly shocked by the paragraphs about model (or “web whore” as she calls herself) trying to get pregnant. It was on the same page with another set of pretty exciting photos. Such an unprecedented candor is not always a turn on for the erection or wild fantasies. Though it is very unique and have the unusual, fetish-like attraction. Maybe that’s the reason why she didn’t become popular for the wider masses despite respectable long career slowly moving to the so-called milf cathegory (she doesn’t like the term). Once this beauty wrote near the hot-looking posing pics that she had been wearing “last pair of socks her father wore”. Could you enthusiastically indulge in masturbation after reading that? However, the website captured my attention for three long nights. It turned out to be kind of interpretation of the Scheherazade’s myth with the sweet temptress and fairy-tales about wild american west of present day.

Those nights I witnessed the changes in appearance, sets and costumes as well as in tastes, spirits and the life itself. WWW also evolved from humble pictures the size of post stamp to first minute-short muddy videos which you may download. It’s comic and heartworming to remember how webmasters always wanted to be assured that user was able to open downloaded file. Everywhere you could see links to banal Windows Media Player or QuickTime Player (as if somebody who came to the site didn’t have either of them). Picture resolution and quantity grew with time passing by just like duration and quality of the videos. It became a rule of etiquette to pack photo sets in archives. Flash players and video-chat for the most devoted admirers firmly established in the pages. Plain, smooth and completely noninteractive HTML3 turned to blog. During the surf I found many links to other porn industry personalities. Some of them keep going the way they once chose. Websites of others are defunct long ago and Google forgot their incendiary aliases forever. Tasty Trixie lives that life at its fullest. The newest update came few days ago for those who understand as always because ones love blonds while others inevitable prefer brunettes.

That’s how I watched porn online once )

P.S.  I’m sorry for those who searched by tags for something hotter than text above ) You may click on this photo to get more.

Tasty Trixie

Making business trustfully

Current music: SnakeSkin - Recall II

Would you trust the ultimate password from complete root-level access to all of your business actually to the person you never met before and who doesn’t consist in any kind of official relationship with your company? Well, this may sound funny but today I got it on my new job. I can only guess what was the reason: my prepossessing application, critical need in new staff (my precursor suddenly left the job because of the some reason unknown to me) or my employer’s absence of the negative experience. Anyway I’m ok with it. There will be some time to see how everything works on the server before I actually start to work monday.

My personal experience shows things are always worse than you thought they were. However,  so far I’m glad to get this new job because work conditions seem to be better that on my last one. Beside that, the work itself demands higher skill. So I will see how it goes…

Clarkson scores, Kovalchuk punches!

Current music: Against Me - Occult Enemies

At the moment there is a plenty of games to be played in regular season but at the same time we all have seen enough hockey to sum up the observations and analyze the situation around the team. I speak about New Jersey Devils of course.

plusMistake in choosing the head coach and loosing too much time to correct it was the main problem of the last season. In fact it wasn’t resolved even with calling back good-old Jacques Lemaire who put great effort in the team despite missing playoffs in final. Devils just get some more time to make a right decision. This time team management was making the choice more carefully what took a lot of time and not so long before the start of training camp we got Peter DeBoer as head coach. At that point he looked like a man you don’t know what to expect from. As for now DeBoer achieved at least two major feats. First, Devils are fighting to keep the place in the top eight instead of running to cut the trail in desperation. Second, there were no unexplainable healthy scratch among the core players this season. He also didn’t start to transform Devils into some different team maintaining the traditional mentality generally.

minusInjuries were another painful (literally) problem burying team’s chances. In 2010/2011 it took the form of epidemic of some kind. More than ten players (regretfully not of a star caliber) got an NHL debut in New Jersey Devils because of it. This year traumatism again becomes an important factor. Travis Zajac, with no doubt top-two liner, still can not get in play because of what Dainius Zubrus have to move from line to line. Andy Greene, Jacob Josefson, Anton Volchenkov and Ilya Kovalchuk were forced to skip games due to injuries. Adam Henrique, who’s no less than Calder Trophy level of  play was big asset to the team during december, is in disturbing condition. Henrik Tallinder is out with very serious health issue. Reports about his situation are quite optimistic but I doubt he will be a serious contributor in this season even if he is able to get back before summer. Adam Larsson, first round draft pick in 2011, didn’t dress for last game after taking two severe hits from Montreal. Although in last few years frequency of injuries raised in all the league, it won’t get any better for Devils.

plusNevertheless, New Jersey have at least one line you can be proud of. Elias-Zubrus-Sykora, when those three play together – hold your breath and watch. This trio is perfectly balanced and showing great chemistry. Also, line combinations with Ilya Kovalchuk and David Clarkson proved to be very effective. Team with such guys in roster surely have a strong spirit which for example helped to tie the game three times against Rangers and take two points in last meeting. New Jersey Devils also shows perfect support for each member and everyone making his best every moment. David Clarkson who was never considered as a sniper scores in every opportunity while Patrik Elias punishes opponents with hard hitting and Ilya Kovalchuk fights to defend the team’s honor.

minus3rd and 4th lines deserve the big bold minus. Coach is always changing players there trying hell knows who else, but all attempts end with the same result – nothing good. There is a gaping statistic chasm between the Peter Sykora and Ryan Carter or Brad Mills. Picking up the experienced and physical players with decent attacking ability like Ponikarovsky is a wise and well-timed decision but it alone will unlikely change the whole situatuion to something better.

plusDavid Clarkson deserves personal mention. He have most penalty minutes while there are Cam Janssen, Eric Boulton and Brad Mills in the roster. At the same time Clarkson was leading the Devils team by goals scored and now he is just two goals shy from Ilya Kovalchuk. This player fights well, fearlessly hits everybody around, shows magnificent forechecking and scores! scores hard-worked, tough and important goals. Last year I wrote that Jason Arnott is an ideal power forward in my russian blog. Now I must say that Clarkson is an ideal tough guy every GM would gladly add to the roster.

qustionThere is no need to be hockey analyst to see not everything is alright in the Devils’ net. Martin Brodeur was 40th from 42 regularly playing NHL netminders in december. This fall was followed by several good wins where legendary 30 who is referred by everyone as hall-of-famer corrected his stats a bit. However his consistency and confidence you may earlier feel in his eyes shining through mask is no longer presented. One moment Marty is staying on his head in great effort to keep the pucks away and next moment he is allowing limp goals one by one. Without knowing what’s going on in the locker room I can not say what causes problem. Maybe it is inevitable aging and losing quickness of movement or recurrence of injury. Thankfully Brodeur avoided injuries for years but from 2008 this lucky streak ended. What I can say now Marty needs a couple of shutouts to get his confidence back or else he may fall in playoffs. By now Johan Hedberg plays no worse at least though swedish veteran is too far from being Vezina Trophy nominee. Let’s hope things will be fine because now it’s too unclear.

plusAs I said earlier Brodeur may be not the most reliable goalie in the game but he is still among the best in one on one challenge. That’s just kind of skill you’ll never lose. Add to this fact the fantastic scoring percentage from Kovalchuk and here you get the perfect result in shootouts. New Jersey won 9 games in SO, more than any other team. Players are not afraid of ties, they don’t run for winning goal at the expense of defense. I consider it as a good sign.

qustionLast but not least. This point is not connected with play directly but may affect players’ thoughts. The fact is Devils have too many UFAs at the end of the season. Will Lou resign them by the cost of free space under the salary cap? Or will he fill roster with free agents from other teams? You’ll never guess when old fox is making his business. Though spontaneous changes are not traditional for the franchise and rarely become effective. We may also witness some transfers before the trading deadline.

Shoes for the shoemaker

Current music: Marilyn Manson - Posthuman

As long as my life is deeply connected to the computers and the IT industry, I regularly get requests of help with various digital devices from different people. Though I am not an IT god, I always try to make my best. Regretfully, sometimes I  need an advice or assistance from well-qualified person myself and… It suddenly becomes problematic, I may look through the half of Internet for the help but find nothing. Surely, my questions won’t be the easy ones like “how do I install this application?” or “how can I set controls for this emulator?” I always google for the solution first, read all manuals and faqs could be found before asking. As a result, all people who would like to help are incapable to do it while those who can are somewhere out of here.

I wonder if medics or hairdressers for example experience such difficulties?

New Year…

Current music: Макс Ильин - Новогодняя песенка

One more year becomes part of the endless time flow losing somewhere in the past.

All vintages and works of art will add one year of exposure tomorrow. All calendars will become useless and there will be even more people whose date of birth that drastically differs from yours. So, I can not just ignore this moment. I wish a happy new year to everybody who is celebrating now and silently support those who doesn’t count this day as a holyday. Anyway I hope the coming year will be at least a bit better that previous one for both of you.

new year 2012


Edible Masyanya

Current music: Пикник - Телефон

Masyana is a character with long and complicated history. It started in early 2000s as a joke showing the possibilities of Flash technology on the homepage of Oleg Kuvaev. He is an artist from St.Petersburg who previously worked in Animation Magic which developed Zelda games for CD-i console, NASCAR Racing and unreleased Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans. Animations with Masyanya at that time were very short and silly but soon became popular in russian segment of Internet as they presented not only new technology making web 1.0 more interactive, it was possible the first appearance of something connected with young and informal russian internet-community. Though Masyanya kept her simplistic and deliberately distorted nature all the way the quality of drawing improved much for couple of years. Animations became longer showing humorous story with exaggerated characters taken from real life instead of lonely gags of first ones. Masyanya, Hryundel, Lokhmaty became the collective images of advanced youth of their time and were understood and accepted by most of Internet users. Moreover they looked even more realistic because of “spontaneous speech” principle. Oleg Kuvaev who made all the voice acting also, didn’t just read the lines. He brought the idea speaking it by his own words “on the fly” like we speak it in real life. With all this things popularity of Masyana grew much and finally reached it highest peak. In 2002 Masyanya became the part of Leonid Parfenov’s TV show. New series came out weekly and were presented on russian federal TV channel for almost the whole season. Regretfully due to the financial problems contract was discontinued in 2003. Not much time later show itself was closed because of the political conflict inside the NTV company.

Masyanya under the yellow press PC game screenshot
“Masyanya under the yellow press” screenshot

Though TV business just could not let Masyana go and some time later that year she appeared on TV again. Without the consent of the rightful owner one cheap local analog of MTV started “Visiting Masyana” show with russian pop-musicians. It was not only copyright violation but distorted the whole idea of nonconformist and anarchist character Masyanya infact was (you may see it in “Russian punk rock”  and “Show business” episodes). Сourt proceedings took years but after all Oleg Kuvaev defended his rights officially. This case became first public precedent of copyright lawsuit in Russia.  During this time there were very few new episodes (some of them were pretty angry about the pop-music) also because of side-projects by mult.ru – “Bo’s shop”, “Six and a half” and “Ezhi & Petruchio” series. However Masyanya was destined to have another youth (also known as “Third Life”). The quality of drawing raised up to another level. Soundtracks were created by friendly professional musicians. That period starts commercial animations with Masyanya as well. Some of them were not that bad as you may think commercials are. For example, “Archives of the Russian Internet” in 9 episodes sponsored by ZyXEL is rather interesting and historically true most of the time while ZyXEL really had great impact on IT in Russia. The point from where it all went downhill is 2006 when Oleg Kuvaev left mult.ru studio. He kept rights to Masyanya and even mult.ru domain though had no financial freedom to produce new episodes so they came out more and more rare. Low budget forced to find another ways to express the creative idea. That’s why there were short episodes, episodes with no speech at all, episodes combined from old episodes, comic strips… In the last one Oleg Kuvaev tried to gain interest from wider audience by making Masyanya pregnant (not literally of course)) but that action had opposite effect. By now almost two years passed since that without new episodes.

masyanya cookies
Cookies with Masyanya’s face

Thankfully, Masyanya found new niche – casual flash games. At the moment there are four of them. “Masyanya under the yellow press”, “Masyanya in a complete Africa” and “Masyanya. Eurotrip” have similar gameplay, something like downgraded (to be simple enough for anyone) traditional russian quest mixed with “hidden object” concept and arcade mini-games. Other one, “Masyanya and the beach stuff”, is a decent clone of “Farm Frenzy” series with few jokes and mere plot. I don’t know if she will become the competitor to Nancy Drew but I hope Masyanya will live long for those who still remember her triumph no matter the form. Not so long ago I found nice cookies with her mischievous face on. That’s actually the cause I wrote this post. I doubt that small local bakery paid something to the author as it was in many small cases when Masyanya suddenly appeared here and there (she took part even in campaign by russian road police once while Oleg Kuvaev was unaware about) but it’s good to know that such a colorful character is not forgotten yet.

P.S. Sorry if I occasionally translated some titles wrong, it’s not easy for something that was never widely known outside of Russia.