Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, April 08, 2021

down to the wire
In lieu of the usual Special Teams Index, which I’m delaying until final stats come through tomorrow, I’ll jot a few quickie notes on the oncoming NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.

This 2006-07 National Hockey League campaign has been quite a ride. I can’t imagine a wilder finish to the regular season than this weekend.

Basically, none of the first-round playoff matchups (which start this Wednesday, April 11th) were set in either conference until yesterday. And now, all but one set of the head-to-heads and home-ice advantages are decided. The last piece of uncertainty will play out at 3:30 today, when the Islanders throw everything they’ve got at the Devils, for the honor of squeaking past Toronto into the East’s No. 8 postseason berth (where they’ll promptly get thrashed by Buffalo, of course).

More than enough intrigue in the rest of the playoff field. Like: Is the addition of Peter Forsberg enough for Nashville to prevail against San Jose, in a rematch of last year’s first-round action? Can Dallas finally get out of the first round? What will the Penguins do in their return to the playoffs? Can the Rangers maintain the hot streak that vaulted them to the No. 6 seed?

From the local angle, I’m glad the Rangers were able to hang onto that slot, yielding them a matchup with Atlanta. Not only because I think the chances for an upset are good, but also because the alternative — a series with New Jersey — would have been tedious, given how much they’ve already played the Devils this season already (yes, I’m bitching about the current hyperdivisional schedule again). I’m not sure how good my chances are of snagging tickets, but I’m definitely going to try to catch at least one Rangers-Thrashers game at MSG.

From here, it’ll only get sweeter. Looking forward to being entertained.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/08/2021 12:47:27 PM
Category: Hockey
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speak up!
I don’t know where I’ve been for the past 35 Easters. But apparently, I hadn’t been paying attention to the sales patterns regarding the iconic big-box chocolate Easter bunny, and how store-shelf quantities of said holiday treat drastically drop the closer we get to Easter Sunday.

To wit: Yesterday afternoon, I ventured out into my hometown on what turned out to be a foolhardy quest to pick up a couple of chocolate rabbits. I wanted to gift them to my two 4-year-old twin nephews; what kid doesn’t like chocolate? (Well, my other nephew doesn’t, which is why I got him some jellybeans.)

Somehow, I figured finding the ubiquitous chocolate critter wouldn’t be an issue, even though it was the day before Easter. I mean, we’re talking about candy here — it’s not a rare commodity, right?

But the rabbit-sculpted form of it is, apparently. I wound up driving to five stores — five! — and couldn’t find a single chocolate bunny in a box. There were plenty of other candies, like Peeps, and miscellaneous Easter decorations. But no long-eared chocolate figures. I was stunned.

I finally headed to the local mall, and managed to find a modest selection of bunnies in a CVS. They aren’t the kind I would have preferred, but they did the job, and by that point, I wasn’t going to push my luck in extending my search. So I got a pair, and satisfied myself that the little tykes would be getting sugared up nicely on these milk-chocolatey masterpieces.

So, what gives? Is it somehow common knowledge that Easter bunnies are in short supply the day before the holiday? I honestly didn’t think it was possible to just run out of something like this. I guess that, it being a purely seasonal item, a store wouldn’t want to overstock on them. But an actual shortage? Hard to believe.

One additional scrap of irony: I could have gotten a couple of freebie bunnies on the subway. A couple of days ago, some Lindt peddlers were giving away a palm-sized version of their holiday gold bunnies. I was in a hurry, so I didn’t bother swinging by close enough to be handed a couple. Not that they would have lasted until today.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/08/2021 12:10:22 PM
Category: General
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crank it
I usually wait a couple of months between blogworthy outputs of my iPod’s shuffle setting.

But I’m a couple of hours away from heading to a family Easter get-together, so I’m more focused on just getting through that. A couple of weeks is going to have to be a long enough stretch, this time out.

This five-song sampler, while entertaining — so much so that I have no qualms about presenting it — isn’t particularly Easter-oriented. At least not to me. If you can discern themes of resurrection and renewal here, that’s your business.

1. “Product”, Consolidated - Welcome to the cultural basepipe.

2. “Boys Wanna Be Her (Tommy Sunshine’s Brooklyn Fire Retouch)”, Peaches - So do you.

3. “Nighttrain”, Public Enemy - ‘Cause he ridin’ the train, you think he down for the cause.

4. “I’m Like A Bird (Digital Cutup Lounge remix)”, Nelly Furtado vs. Asha Bhonsle - You don’t know me that way.

5. “Feel It”, The Afros - Or else they’ll be callin’ me MC Baldy.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/08/2021 10:50:08 AM
Category: Pop Culture, iPod Random Tracks
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