Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don't matter, and those who matter, don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss
Girls just wanna have fun ~ Cyndi Lauper
Make some fun, happy time ~ Alex Ovechkin

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Twitter Etiquette 101?

Time for another social media rant post. I read the latest blog that’s going around, you know, the one about 11 ways you can stop pissing me off on Twitter? While I agree with the points listed in that post, I think a few more need to be added. So I’m gonna play the role of Emily Post and offer my usual unsolicited advice.

12. Don’t be a Twitter snob. Twitter is supposed to be about being social. It’s ok if you don’t follow me back; I don’t follow everyone one back either. But it isn’t okay to ignore followers when they directly @ you, (especially if their @ reply is pertinent to your tweet, discussion or opinion). The point of twitter is to interact and be social. Yes, you may have a website/blog/product you are focusing on promoting, but if you don’t even @ reply to a follower, you are treating them as if they are not worthy of your attention. As a matter of fact, people that are tweeting to promote a website/blog/product should feel a greater need to interact and respond to @ replies, so ignoring could lose you followers if you act like a Twitter snob. Kinda counter-productive, dontcha think?

13. Retweet with care. My twitter feed is full of sports tweeters. We all follow some of the same people, especially sports writers and sports insiders. When big news breaks, I will see the same tweet retweeted at least 10 times. Stop and look in your tweet stream before you retweet. If we all follow the same people, we’ve all seen it. If it’s already been retweeted 5 times, we really don’t need to see it again and again. Comment to the big news? Yes! I want to hear what you think about it, but retweeting it verbatim is just annoying.

14. Read the bio, people! How many people do you follow that you have absolutely nothing in common with? I hope that there are only a few, if any, unless they are celebrities, of course. Seriously, before you start to follow someone, read their bio and give it some thought. I live in the Greater Washington DC area and mostly tweet about hockey, so naturally I expect to have people who are at least interested in sports to follow me, but I actually once had a follower who is birthday party clown in the Midwest. First reaction when I saw them on my follower list was: “Huh”? (I still wonder how they even found me in the first place.) Before I follow anyone, I read their bio and also scroll through their feed. If I see tweets I find interesting, or that the Tweep seems like-minded, I’ll follow them. And, believe this, I will look at who else is following you. If they are some of the same people as my own followers, and you have great conversations with them, I’m in. Which brings me to a secondary thought here: please use the bio field on your profile. It will make it a whole lot easier for people to want to follow you if you give at least a little information about yourself to begin with.

15. Learn what to expect when you have locked your account. Lots of the people I follow have locked accounts, some of them have always been private, some went private after a while for a myriad of personal reasons. It’s cool; I used to have a private account myself. But if you do have a private account, please realize that those of us who read bios and tweet streams before we follow back can’t get the full impact of who you are. Also, if people are not following you back, they will not see your @ replies to them. So if someone doesn’t answer you, don’t be insulted and tweet ad nauseam that they are a Twitter snob; it’s because you locked your account.

16. Don’t beg for followers. It just makes you look insecure and desperate. Say something interesting, have an opinion, have fun with Twitter, and before you know it, you’ll have more followers than you ever imagined. It’s not the quantity of followers; it’s the quality that matters most.

17. If you are going to participate in Follow Fridays, tell us why we should follow someone. Before I continue, I would like to say, I really appreciate people recommending me on Twitter with an #FF. I hope they do this because they feel I am interesting or funny and an asset to the Twitterverse. When you want to recommend fellow Tweeps by giving them an #FF, if you tell me why you think I should, then I probably will. Tweet a huge list, I’ll probably scroll right past, (and you probably do this as well). Sorry, but it’s true. Yes, I realize I may never get another #FF again, but I gotta be honest here.

18.When you first get started on Twitter, stop, look and listen before you dive into the deep end. I like getting new followers who are also new to Twitter. If I can help someone learn the ropes, I feel like I am also contributing to the Twitter community as a whole. So, when you first get started, treat Twitter like a large cocktail party where you don’t know many people. Find the conversations that are interesting and politely butt in to ask questions. Make your questions or comments thoughtful until you learn who these Tweeps are, what kind of opinions they have or jokes they make. Pay attention and you’ll become the life of the party. Ignore this advice and you might find yourself at the punch bowl alone.

19. Count to ten before you jump in. If someone tweets something you do not agree with, whether it’s a political opinion, religious belief, personal trait or just a joke in possible bad taste, sometimes it’s best to just scroll on by and forget about it. Remember, all of the people you follow are PEOPLE. While Twitter fights can be fun to watch, they can be agonizing to be involved in. Followers may take sides and drop you like a hot potato. Unless you feel so strongly about a topic that you absolutely must jump in to rebut a tweet or you’ll explode; remember this - your reputation on Twitter stands and falls by your tweets. Unless you’re just itchin’ for a fight, do yourself and all your followers a favor and at least count to ten before you type.

20. Pay attention to how people respond to your tweets. If you get tons of @ replies that are telling you to STFU, you need to heed that advice. Please, please, please heed that advice and immediately STFU. How much simpler can I make that?

One final note, if you have zero tweets and less than 5 followers and follow hundreds of people, you not only will not be followed back, you will most likely be blocked. That goes for people who only tweet to promote some product or have a feed full of retweets with nothing personal said…Any questions?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hockey in BlondeSpeak - The Trapezoid Rule

In the course of your hockey reading, you may have heard discussions about revoking the trapezoid rule. Didn’t happen as of today, but maybe you aren’t clear on the rule to begin with. The rule was instituted as part of the post-lockout 2005 rule reformation package, and it was designed to stimulate more opportunities by the offense. It was nicknamed the “Marty Brodeur Rule” because he can play a puck so well; even outside the crease, it was felt it gave him and other goalies like him, an unfair advantage. To be honest, Brodeur wasn’t always a goalie; he started playing hockey as a forward, so having this “exceptional” skill is no surprise.
Many people who have watched hockey for more than 5 years pretty much hate this rule. Most newer fans don’t know what it was like to see goalies in action prior to the rule change and just accept it as a rule of the game. The rule is not imposed by the IIHF and there was no such restriction during the Olympics. If you can remember back to February, you saw hockey games without the trapezoid. (Personally, it’s something I would prefer to forget, but not because of the no trapezoid rule.)

Anyway, let me break the trapezoid rule down into BlondeSpeak for you:

What the NHL rule book says:

1.8 Goalkeeper’s Restricted Area - A restricted trapezoid-shaped area behind the goal will be laid out as follows: Five feet (5') outside of each goal crease (six feet (6') from each goal post), a two-inch (2") red line shall be painted extending from the goal line to a point on the end of the rink ten feet (10') from the goal crease (eleven feet (11') from the goal post) and continuing vertically up the kick plate (see diagram on the page iv preceding the table of contents). (Paint code PMS 186).


How it was interpreted by a sports writer:

''A goaltender may not play the puck outside a designated area behind the net. This area is defined by lines that begin on the goal line, six feet from each goal post, and extend diagonally to points 28 feet apart at the end boards. Should a goalie play the puck outside this area behind the goal line, a minor penalty for delay of game will be imposed. The determining factor will be the position of the puck.''
The New York Times/ Jason Diamos/ September 16, 2005





BlondeSpeak:
Goalies are not allowed to color outside the lines!

No, seriously, all this rule does is create two patches of ice, in the corners, where the goaltender can't play the puck. But even seasoned goaltenders rarely ever played the puck there anyway, it's way out of position and out of many younger goalies comfort zones.

In my opinion, if a goalie is skilled enough to be able to play the puck far from the net but still get back into the crease to make the all important saves, I say let him do it. It adds real excitement to the game and additional thrills to goalie fans like me.


(Editors note: Once again, I would like to point out that I am not an expert, I did not see the replay. The purpose of this post is to simplify hockey stuff for those with who want a simple explanation but don't want to look stupid by asking. If you already know the ins and outs of the trapezoid rule, and it insults your intelligence, my most humble apologies, you must obviously not be blonde.) 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

#NeedsMoreBradley

Five years ago today, Matt Bradley became a Washington Capital. The then free agent; who's previous NHL gig was with the Pittsburg Penguins, was signed up for one year, with a paycheck valued at $475,000. Man, what a bargain that turned out to be! He may have paper-thin skin and will start bleeding at the drop of the gloves, but we love him.

So, here's to you, Matt Bradley, with much love and appreciation for your bull-doggedness and the hash tag you inspired.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Young and Younger

Reading a few blogs lately on the prospects coming up to play with the Caps this coming season got me to thinking. So much talk of Johansson and Perreault, my first thought was; “They’re so young!” And my second thought was; “and they are soooo small!”

So, I went on the Caps website to look through the roster and compare our players by height, weight and age. Now, I’m not a statistician. I just found some of this kinda interesting.

(editors note: while I was there the rumor of the Flash/Belanger trade hit the tweet stream. At the time I was looking at the roster, and I noticed Flash wasn’t on it. But boy, did the proverbial shit hit the fan when I pointed that out on Twitter! Thank goodness for Eric (aka @emcerlain, thanks Eric!), for catching a screen shot of it before it was corrected as shown below:

So originally Flash was not included in my chart but now I am including Flash with the caveat that he may or may not be an applicable to this list at any given moment.)

Starting by height, everyone on the “current” roster is 6’ 1” or more EXCEPT Perreault and Johansson. At 5’ 10” and 5’ 11” respectively, the rest of the team must look like giants to them. Imagine one of them next to 6’ 6” Schultzy, he has a good 8” on little Matty! It’s like the difference between a full grown oak tree and a sapling. “Hello, down there!”

Now, let’s look at weight. 18 of 21 players on the “current” roster weigh 200 lbs or more, with Ovi topping the list at 233. Then there’s little Matty Perreault at 174 lbs. That’s 59 lbs difference between Ovi and Matty. 59 freaking lbs! I sure as hell would be scared to see the Great 8 gunning for me if I were Matty, thank goodness they are on the same team. But, I’m willing to bet, the majority of NHL players weigh in between 200 and 225 lbs. Kinda gives you an appreciation for the heart and guts it takes for kids like Johansson and Perreault to get out there and play, doesn’t it?

Ok, now to age. On the “current” roster, only 5 players are 30 or over. Think about that; 16 guys are under the age of 30. Talk about Young Guns - this team is full of kids (figuratively). Now, in that category, Marcus and Matty fit right in. I like that about our team, lots of young players = lots of enthusiasm and energy, and a sprinkling of some more mature men = wisdom and heart.

One other thing struck me while I was perusing the “current” roster. I get the impression many people think our team as the team with all the Russians. Maybe in the past; if 5 counted as “all the Russians”; but no more. If you include Johansson and Perrault in the list, we have 13 Canadian born players. Doesn’t sound like a Russian army to me. Does it to you? (Not that I expect fans of other teams to lay off that crap.)



Anyway, after looking at all this information, just the fact the Marcus Johansson and Mathieu Perreault; if he gets signed up to play full time; would be the smallest and lightest players on the roster just confirms my initial thoughts: “They are so young and soooo small!” Still, I love ‘em anyways!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rumors Spreading Like Soft Creamery Butter

More silliness to combat the summer doldrums. C’mon, it isn’t hockey season yet, so let’s get that rumor mill spinning:

Breaking News: Scott Hartnell shaves his head and donates his hair to Locks of Love. Locks of Love promptly returns the donation due to infestation of lice.

This just in: Chris Mason of the Atlanta Thrashers traded to the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL. Thrashers receive a Tim Horton’s franchise and new Zamboni driver in return.

Have you heard? Jonathan Toews decides he’s tired of explaining to non-hockey fans how to pronounce his name and legally changes it to Jon Doew. But Marian Hossa, in a similar situation, decides the simple name of “Mari” would be less subject to ridicule without having to change his monogram. After all, who wants to order all new bath towels? Being as it’s Marian Hossa, no one comments, lest they piss him off.

Press Release: Sean Avery is signed by the Ford Modeling Agency. His agent reports that Sean will be featured in an upcoming issue of Glamour magazine titled “Sean Avery – Deity or Just Disturbed?”

Online today: Tampa Bay Lightning change their mascot to a dolphin, pissing off the Miami NFL team; war is declared. Tampa declares victory after stick checking Miami’s players and facewashing Chad Pennington. Sensing weakness, the Florida Panthers also declare war on the Miami Dolphins just so they can warm up for the new season.

More Breaking News: After watching Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dany Heatley is inspired to steal a Great White shark from the San Diego Zoo’s shark tank. Police decide not to press charges because, after all, he IS Dany Fucking Heatley. Dany’s new pet will be on display at the hp Pavilion during the regular NHL season. For a small donation, fans can throw sushi from the concession stands into the tank during the hours of noon and ten pm. All proceeds will be donated to Dany Fucking Heatley (since he went to all the trouble to steal the shark in the first place. To quote Mr. Heatley; “You’re Welcome, San Jose.)

Our Top Story Tonight: Ted Leonsis; owner of the Washington Capitals, convinces President Obama to finally attend a Washington Capitals hockey game. Due to the extreme demands for security for the President, all tickets for the game will be reserved for the Secret Service. Season ticket holders will be compensated for their loss of tickets with free tickets to a Washington Wizards game and a complimentary pointy wizard hat.

Press Release: Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins signs endorsement contract with DuWop Cosmetics to promote their product; Lip Venom.