battery back up

Okay, guys. I’m officially out. I have no idea what the power and/or wifi situation will be on the other side, sooo maybe see you in a couple of days, maybe see you in a few weeks? Hopefully I brought enough battery back up to at least get pictures the whole time. That was really my only power goal. Ha.

  • America: 9:01! Germany is officially late for the first time ever. All right let's do this, who's got theories?
  • Japan: Uh... his alarm didn't go off.
  • America: All three alarms? All with battery back up? Come on, who wants to take this seriously?
  • Russia: Ooh, he was taken in his sleep.
  • America: That's what I'm talking about. Super dark, Russia, but way more plausible than Japan's idiotic alarm clock theory.
  • Italy: I bet he tucked himself into bed too tight and got stuck.
  • Romano: Hmm, maybe he fell into another dimension where he’s interesting?
  • [Britain sees the group huddled around the door.]
  • Britain: It's 9:00 AM, why hasn’t the world meeting started?
  • America: Germany is a few minutes late, and we're all trying to guess why.
  • Britain: I'd like to play. I'd say he’s... in line at the bank. This is fun.
  • America: It is fun. But you're all wrong. He clearly slipped through a subway grate and is having terrible sex with a mole man.
  • [Germany runs into the room.]
  • America: There he is! Germany! Where have you been? We've been worried sick, do you care to explain yourself?
  • Germany: I'm just 70 seconds late. It's not a big deal, don't worry about it.
  • Britain: Germany, you will tell us, and you will tell us now.
  • Germany: …There was a problem at the bank.
  • Britain: *claps his hands together* HOT DAMN!
  • Chanyeol: 9:01! Kim Junmyeon is officially late for the first time ever
  • Chanyeol: All right let's do this, who's got theories?
  • Jongin: Uh... alarm didn't go off
  • Chanyeol: All three alarms? All with battery back up? Come on, who wants to take this seriously
  • Yixing: Ooh, he was taken in his sleep
  • Chanyeol: That's what I'm talking about. Super dark, Yixing, but way more plausible than Jongin's idiotic alarm clock theory
  • Sehun: I bet he tucked himself into bed too tight and got stuck
  • Jongdae: Hmm, maybe he fell into another dimension where he's interesting.
  • {Minseok sees the group huddled around the practice room door}
  • Minseok: It's 9:00 AM why is no one practicing?
  • Chanyeol: Kim Junmyeon is a few minutes late, and we're all trying to guess why
  • Minseok: I'd like to play. I'd say he's... in line at the bank
  • Minseok: This is fun
  • Chanyeol: It is fun. But you're all wrong. He clearly slipped through a subway grate and is having terrible sex with a mole man
  • {Junmyeon runs into the room}
  • Chanyeol: There he is, Junmyeon! Where have you been! We've been worried sick, do you care to explain yourself
  • Junmyeon: I'm just 70 seconds late it's not a big deal, don't worry about it
  • Minseok: Junmyeon, you will tell us, and you will tell us now
  • Junnyeon: [Quietly] There was a problem at the bank
  • Minseok: [Claps his hands together] HOT DAMN!
  • Chaeyoung: 9:01! Myoui Mina is officially late for the first time ever
  • Chaeyoung: All right let's do this, who's got theories?
  • Jihyo: Uh... alarm didn't go off
  • Chaeyoung: All three alarms? All with battery back up? Come on, who wants to take this seriously
  • Momo: Ooh, she was taken in her sleep
  • Chaeyoung: That's what I'm talking about. Super dark, Momo, but way more plausible than Jihyo's idiotic alarm clock theory
  • Tzuyu: I bet she tucked herself into bed too tight and got stuck
  • Nayeon: Hmm, maybe she fell into another dimension where she's interesting.
  • {Jeongyeon sees the group huddled around the practice room door}
  • Jeongyeon: It's 9:00 AM why is no one practicing?
  • Chaeyoung: Myoui Mina is a few minutes late, and we're all trying to guess why
  • Jeongyeon: I'd like to play. I'd say she's... in line at the bank
  • Jeongyeon: This is fun
  • Chaeyoung: It is fun. But you're all wrong. She clearly slipped through a subway grate and is having terrible sex with a mole man
  • {Mina runs into the room}
  • Chaeyoung: There she is, Mina! Where have you been! We've been worried sick, do you care to explain yourself
  • Mina: I'm just 70 seconds late it's not a big deal, don't worry about it
  • Jeongyeon: Mina, you will tell us, and you will tell us now
  • Mina: [Quietly] There was a problem at the bank
  • Jeongyeon: [Claps her hands together] HOT DAMN!
The Ghost in Black

In June 1980, 38-year-old Robert Davidson was driving his motorcycle down the I-74 in Acton, Indiana, when an unexpected storm rolled him. Unable to see due to the extremely heavy rain, Davidson pulled over at the side of the road. Almost immediately, he was struck down by lightening. A witness called 911 but by the time they arrived, it was already too late - Davidson wasn’t breathing. Paramedic Kim Cobb said, “When I got there and saw this man, where the lightning struck it was actually smoldering. It looked like steam was coming out of his wound.”

Bizarrely, the ambulance suddenly lost power; even the back up battery appeared to have died. As if this wasn’t strange enough, a woman wearing a long black dress that looked to be from the Victorian era, appeared from the crowd that had gathered around the commotion, proclaiming that she had to touch Davidson to bring him back to life. She knelt down beside him, placed her hand on his chest, and began to recite verses from the Bible before speaking in tongues. Randy Neibert, one of the paramedics on the scene, noticed that even though it was raining very heavily, the woman appeared to be bone dry. The woman then departed back to the crowd from which she appeared and into obscurity forever.

Miraculously, Davidson then began to breathe and the power in the ambulance came back. When Davidson awoke from his coma, he had no recollection of the accident or the woman in black. Many people who witnessed the bizarre event believe that something otherworldly had taken place. Oddly enough, there was a vacant meadow near the accident site that was once Acton Campground, a 19th Century Methodist spiritual retreat. Many people believe the mysterious woman had been a member whose spirit now resides in the surrounding area.


The power has been out for about two hours. That is 1:55 longer than I can ever remember not having electricity in 21 years at this house.

When the storm was here it was very dark. I couldn’t even read the paper. Which was fine because the thunder scared the dogs and they jumped in my lap.

Now it’s just raining lightly. Still no power so I’m bored. The newspaper is on the table but the dogs won’t leave me alone for long.

Because the power has never been out for more than a few minutes I’ve never bothered to get a back up battery for the sump pump. It’s very wet where we live and now I’m getting a little worried about the basement.

You Want me to Sleep Where? bbrae day 1

Rated Teen for some mature themes. 

It had been a really long day, even longer than what any of the team members were use to. With the mission taking a turn for the worst the Titans were going on two days without sleep. Raven didn’t remember if it was actually Gars excessive whining, Cyborg’s computer alarms constantly going off, or Kori quiet pleas into the boy wonders ears, that sent the raven hair man over the edge or not. He was turning purple or well his face that is as he spun around and shouted. “Look around were on a deserted planet miles away from our ship and your telling me you want to sleep?!” His eyes were blood shot as he looked from each person. Out of all of them Dick needed the sleep the most.

Raven sighed. “We did past that hut thirty minutes ago…” her tone dry and low monotone as she clearly was drained.  

Richard blinked as Kori looked like she was on the verge of tears she was always more emotional than normal with lack of sleep. “That tiny hut?!?!” He cried out.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Okay florist!v anon here! I got like a million hc for our tragic blueberry, but how about traveller!v? Like, him settling down in a small cafe on his trips, listening to his surroundings and taking it all in, enjoying the little moments of peace before noticing his next inspiration (bonus points if that's you/MC ;))

buy traveler by f(x) on itunes

  •  v has a small journal with a checklist for things to do when he’s travelling
  • 1. souvenirs! he has to buy at least one thing with the country/city’s name on it. the weirder, the better.
  • 2. eat authentic food! and with that, he must try the bread and the wine. if the wine is good, he shares the word with jumin.
  • 3. go to non-touristy places! he really wants a feel for wherever he is and thinks that the best sights are those lesser known. he has much more photos of random spots than landmarks
  • 4. make at least one friend and get a photo with them! v knows a lot of people from all over because of this. he tries to keep in touch as best as he can, but he’s not the best at it
  • his journal is filled with checkmarks, tiny stickers from bags of food, notes about the places, and small doodles
  • he carries around a somewhat-heafty backpack with things like camera batteries, lenses, back up cameras, underwater camera, his journal, water, bag of mixed nuts, tissues, etc. it was stolen once :^(
  • he tries to not carry around so many things and leave them wherever he’s staying but he always fails
  • since his backpack is on the heavy side, he tends to have back pain :/ (masseur!v enters the building)
  • he always likes to have his cardigan with him no matter the weather, and since his backpack is filled to the brim, when he’s too hot he ties it around his waist
  • and when he takes photos, he puts his sunglasses on the collar of his shirt. so that’s an image :^)
  • so one day he’s at a local cafe, fiddling with his camera and checking his journal, enjoying the sound of the soft sounds of the chit chat from other customers and the door bell ringing every so often
  • while reading his journal he realizes that he hasn’t made a friend!! this is his last day in thailand so he should probably say hello to someone…,
  • right on cue, the bell rings. new friend: Spotted
  • there’s some people in the world that just radiate Something (v included ha), and if this person was a lighthouse, then v was the lone sailor trying to find his way to shore
  • (kudos to myself for that poetic attempt)
  • anywhoms, v was enthralled by them so when he finished his coffee he put on his charming pants (that he’s always wearing) and made his way to them
  • he wasn’t trying to come off strong or anything, but he’s naturally quite flirty so, who he now knows to be MC, was heart eyes real quick
  • so they spend the day together!! they show him their favorite places, recommends him food, and he takes Loads of photos of them
  • he first one he took was without even asking and he didn’t realize it till they looked at v with wide eyes
  • the next day, unfortunately, v is on a plane back to south korea
  • but v has found a muse! a friend! and…maybe something more?

hope these are good!! ty for sending the idea in 💌

Moving Out Checklist

Living Room:
TV stand
DVD/game console
Coffee table and end tables
Curtains or blinds (whole house)

Office chair
Mouse bad
Landline phone
Filing cabinet/folders
Ink cartridges

Coffee Maker
Measuring cups
Can opener
Garbage can
Trash bags
Mixing bowls
Casserolw dish
Hand mixer
Baking dishes
Drying rack
Knife set
Cutting board
Spoons, spatulas, ladles (you need more than you think)
Plates and bowls
Mugs and glasses
Hand towels
Salt and pepper shakers
Oven mitts
Ziplock baggies
Aluminum Foil
Wax paper
Plastic wrap
Cabinet Liners
Cooking Oil (vegetable, canola, olive, w/e)

Dining Room:
Chairs or stools
Place mats
Table cloths

Toilet Paper
Toilet brush
Tooth brush
Soap (bar and hand)
Body soap
Shower curtain and rod
Nail trimmers
First aid kit
Any other bathroom items you may need (like face wash, contact solution, so on)

Bed (mattress, box spring, frame)
Sheets (multiple sets)
Blankets (multiple)
End tables
Coat hangers
Alarm clocks
Waste basket

Utility Room:
Hanging rack/clothes organizer
Table for folding
Iron and ironing board
Laundry hamper
Laundry baskets
Waste basket
Dryer sheets
Laundry detergent
Fabric softener
More clothes hangers
Stain removal pen or detergent

Trash bags
Rags and hand towels
Dust pan
Rubber gloves
Multipurpose cleaner
Oven Cleaner
Air freshener
Toilet Cleaner
Glass cleaner
Antibacterial wipes
Wood polish
Paper towels

Light bulbs
Flash Lights
Matches/lighter/light fluid
Emergency Kit
Fire alarms
Fire extinguisher
Power strips
Extension chords
First aid kit
Back up chargers and cables

Note: You do not absolutely need every last thing on this list. This is just what I believe to be a pretty good list of what someone might possibly need in a new home. You can cross out whatever doesn’t suite your lifestyle.

Alright, I think that’s about it. I probably forgot some things, but I tried to be as thorough as I could. This is roundabout everything I had before moving in. It honestly made living on my own so much easier. Not only that but I cut back on costs by not having to run to the store every five seconds because I forgot something.

My bathroom closet (featured in the picture above) is just one of the placed I keep my stock. I stock up like crazy, on everything. What I bought before moving in lasted me a whole year before I had to stock up again. It was amazing and I’ll be breaking down where/how I found the best deals to do this.

I wish I was an extreme couponer (have you seen their stock rooms?!?!?) because they just do it better.

Any questions or comments (like “Hey! You forgot (blank) and I’ll add it to the list) are super welcome!

as most of you have probably noticed, i haven’t been as active as i normally would be. this is because my computer’s battery is on it’s last legs, and it won’t hold a charge for very long before it’ll turn off. given this, i can’t really get a lot done. my mom’s got the day off work tomorrow, so we’ll go to get it looked at then. hopefully it won’t take too long to get a new one. 

Constructed Go Bag.

Constructed Go Bag.

by Liam Newton-Harding.

      What is a Go Bag? A Go Bag is a backpack or bag containing supplies that are supposed to last you approximately 72 hours in the event of an emergency. Kept by the door this bag allows you to leave your home, town, city or state with some comfort. Generally containing changes of underwear, toiletries, basic first aid and emergency supplies the idea behind the Go Bag is to allow you to reach a place of safety with more than just the clothes on your back while making your life a little bit easier.

     Go Bags come in two basic types. The pre-packaged types (with an expectation that you will add items to suit your situation) or the type that you will build up from scratch, tailored to your own wants and needs.

      This article will be dealing with the Constructed Go Bag. Built up from the very bag or backpack itself, each item bought separately, even replaced if a lighter, better piece of equipment comes on the market. For me the construction of my Go Bag, and the one for that of my wife, never actually stops. Adding some items, taking away others, the replacement of expired food and batteries, and adding better items when funds become available.

      My use and development in purchasing and then creating Go Bags came first with the purchase of an Emergency Tube from my local drugstore. This was a plastic tube, approximately the size of a pencil case, that contained such items as a flashlight, dust mask, thermal blanket, and light sticks. This minimal Go Bag was meant to be kept in a car, in your your every day bag (I now keep a SOL Scout Survival Kit in my shoulder bag at all times) or thrown into another bag you have packed or were packing to deal with an emergency. This then led to the purchase of my first backpack with the idea of building my own, more comprehensive Go Bag. That first backpack was a camping style pack which was replaced, after a few years and a little thought about what was needed for my circumstances, with what is marketed as an Assault or Tactical Pack.

     The backpack I settled upon (and I make no promise that at a later date it will not be supplanted by a different style) is the Condor Medium Assault Pack (available from This is a military style MOLLE (MOdular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment) backpack. This means that the pack itself is criss-crossed by many straps to which other forms of pouches, sheaths and packs can be mated. The backpack features three main compartments with a fourth to hold a Camelbak water pouch. There is a capacious main compartment with two smaller compartments of different sizes on the outside of the pack. The Condor Medium Assault Pack features a lumbar support belt (this can be removed) which combined with the shoulders straps, offers comfortable weight distribution. The molded back plate also means that the contents of the pack will not dig into your back as you carry them.

      I am a great believer in redundancy in Go Bags. Multiple flashlights, different ways of keeping warm, and protection from the elements. The items are lightweight and take up a minimal amount of space. Doubles can be taken from the Go Bag and carried in pockets. I have taken this to a rather extreme form in my B.D.U. Go Bag System of which the Condor Medium Assault Pack is an integral part.

      This Go Bag was built up with a very specific goal in mind. To get me safely and in good health to a destination some one hundred miles from the city in which I reside, on foot. Once at that location I can rest and recuperate, and build up the supplies again and think about the next step.

      What should also be included in your Go Gag is a reasonable amount of cash ($10 or $20 bills for preference), copies of important documents (Birth certificate, passport, social security card), copies of ATM, credit cards and medical insurance cards. These items will be able to help you access your funds, prove your identity and help you start any medical or insurance proceedings you need.

Condor Medium Assault Pack.


Using MOLLE straps to directly attach equipment.

Binoculars : This is a heavy duty, military style, pair of binoculars. Waterproof and featuring a built in compass the strap means that they can be easily slung and carried from around your neck.

Red L.E.D. Flasher : Fitted to the back of the Go Bag this is a high visibility, bright L.E.D. Flasher that can alert people to your presence. The fact that it can be removed means that you can place it above or near your position, increasing the range from which it can be spotted.

Signal Light : With a run time of 200 hours this is a single use signal light (the battery can not be replaced). It can be used as a flashlight or as a signal light. The main body houses a small storage area with a signal whistle at the tip.

Light Sticks (12 Hour) : These chemical lights give out light without heat and do not need batteries. Reasonably bright they can not be turned off and are one use only. They are tough, cheap, lightweight, and readily available.

Light Stick Holder : Designed to accommodate most light sticks. This device allows light sticks to be clipped to belts or packs. It also features a twist/turn system that can hide or expose more or less light as needed.

Can Opener : P-51 style can opener. Lightweight and tied off to a lanyard.

Right Side.

Using MOLLE and compression straps to directly attach equipment.

Rope : Climbing style rope rated to 500lbs. For use in constructing shelter, rescue operations or scaling obstacles.

Clip Holster : For carrying either your primary or secondary weapon, this holster is a single point system that grips the body of the weapon, holding it firmly in place.

Left Side.

Using MOLLE and compression straps to directly attach equipment.

Machete : I chose a Gerber Saw Backed Machete because I have always been impressed by Gerber camping and survival products. The blade is full tang (meaning the blade runs into the full length of the handle, creating a stronger tool). The saw back feature works very well as a simple saw and is useful in camping and path clearing situations.

Drag Line (500lb) : Para-cord. Dedicated drag-line already fitted with clips allowing items to be raised or lowered over obstacles.

All Outside Contents.

A view of what is carried on the outside of the Condor Medium Assault Pack.

Top Compartment.

Information and power.

Radio : Crank handle radio with battery back-up, Staying informed during an emergency is vitally important. This radio is primarily powered by a dynamo hand crank system that does not rely upon batteries (though they can be installed). This radio is able to receive radio stations from farther away and across a broader spectrum than the scanning radios to find information that is relevant and important to you and your family.

Piezoelectric Flashlight : This was just a simple addition. Attached to a lanyard this small, not very powerful light allows me to look inside the backpack without searching for a flashlight.

Batteries : Enough batteries to replace spent batteries for each separate item that needs them within the entire Go Bag and the weapons systems. Make sure you have the right sized batteries for your powered items (batteries do have a shelf life so remember to rotate them out regularly).

Bottom Compartment.

Hygiene and First Aid.

First Aid Kit : A more comprehensive first aid kit than those designed to be slipped into a pocket or shoulder bag, this kit allows treatment of more severe injuries. Without proper medical training this is, quite frankly, all you will need or be able to use. Added to this kit are a number of toiletries to make life a little more comfortable.

Toothbrush : Physical and dental health is vitally important during an emergency. It will keep your spirits up and give you a routine. Toothbrushes like this can be purchased from any drug store.

Toothpaste : A supply of your own. No hunting, no sharing. Keep those teeth clean and keep your morning and evening routine.

Towel : A compacted, dehydrated towel. Light and easy to store. This will come in very handy (“There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.”)

Water Purifying Tablets. : Iodine tablets. Yes, they make the water taste funny but they are light and safer to use than bleach and are very useful if you can not boil your water supply.

Strike Anywhere Matches : A second source of fire. The strike anywhere feature of these matches means you simply need a rough surface on which to lite them. The waterproof containers fight against rain, flooding or immersion and feature a small flint upon the base that can be used with a knife blade to start a fire.

Surgical Tools : For the treatment of more severe wounds and injuries. These tools allow you to extract debris or close off wounds (Emergency Suture Kit, available from

Main Compartment.

Shelter, comfort, and survival.

Poncho with Grommets : A heavy duty poncho, already fitted with metal grommets to help make a shelter or to offer protection from the elements. Large enough to cover you and your backpack. Snaps down the side allow you to close it up.

Poncho Liner : A quilted blanket that can be tied into the poncho, can also be used as a separate blanket and means you do not need to carry a separate sleeping bag.

Hammock : A lightweight hammock that means you can rest and sleep out of the dirt and the damp. It can also be used as a net to hold and drag items, should you need it.

Para-cord and Drag Line (500lb) : Para-cord. Incredibly useful. Can be used to help make a shelter (combined with the poncho). To tie or repair items.

Emergency Rations : Maritime style emergency rations. Each block contains enough calories for a 72 hour period of reasonable exertion. These generally have a five year shelf life but should be checked on regularly as they can lose their airtight seal.

Thermal Blanket : A light, disposable Mylar blanket for the treatment of shock, for keeping out the elements and for keeping warm by reflecting your own body heat back at you (I pack multiple blankets. They are light and can be purchased cheaply in bulk). Kept at the top of the compartment for easy and quick access.

Disposable Poncho : A light weight plastic disposable poncho that can be used in lieu of a raincoat. Kept at the top of the compartment for easy and quick access.

Underwear : Lightweight, not as good as a full change of clothes, they will however help you keep clean and feel clean.

T-Shirts : Able to be layered for added warmth they will also help you keep clean and feel clean. A great psychological boost during emergencies.

Wet-wipes : Hygiene, health and comfort. Sometimes just being clean gives a huge amount of psychological comfort.

Pain Killers : Separate from the first aid kit(s) these are a true boon. Purchased over the counter, these pills will relieves aches and other pains. Kept within easy reach so you do not have to unpack the entire Go Bag to get a hold of them. Again, they should be replaced regularly as they will lose their potency.

x5 Dust Mask : Easy to use and disposable. Offering limited protection against smoke these are mainly to stop particulates entering your lungs. They can be ordered in bulk and are incredibly light in weight. They come in different styles and the more money you spend the smaller the particle they will block. It is possible to obtain anti-bacterial and anti-viral masks.

Duct Tape : Duct tape, Duck tape, Waterproof tape. There is nothing that this stuff can not do. Repairs, patches, seals. With enough you can build a boat or repair the body of a car (Mythbusters). Handy and strong this item will be a boon to your Go Bag.

      A great addition to any Go Bag are Ziplocs. They can be used as extra containers for food or tools, to keep things waterproof or even as emergency booties. Incredibly light and versatile a handful can be stuffed into your Go Bag at any point for what ever might occur.

      This list is in no way definitive. This simply works for me and I just wanted to post this as a starting guide to anyone thinking of putting together their own Go Bag(s). There are also many publications out there to help you start or to refresh your own ideas for buying or constructing your Go Bag(s).

Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit by Creek Stewart and Jacqueline Musser.

Build the Perfect Survival Kit by John D. McCann.

The Prepper’s Pocket Guide by Bernie Carr.

The Way of Arles: Chapter I

After her ex-fiance, Costia, passes away suddenly whilst travelling through Europe. Lexa must travel to Arles, France to bring her body home. It’s there she learns from the contents of her rucksack that Costia was walking the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage from the south of France to the shrine of St. James in Santiago, Spain.

Some people walk the Camino in search of God. Others walk the path for spiritual fulfilment. Every winding road is different and after a wasted life stuck behind a desk, Lexa will discover hers as she and Costia take one final walk together.

On the road of travellers, spreading ashes on the way, she meets a girl who reminds her of Costia in all the ways she’d rather forget.

Keep reading

((so there’s a thing called “free tattoo day” tomorrow, and my friends and i are gonna camp outside the parlor tonight, since the event is a first-come-first-serve sort of thing. needless to say, i’ll be on mobile for most of tonight and into tomorrow, but i’ll have my back up battery so i can maybe sort of reply. i should probably take a nap and have a shower before heading out…

((i’ll post pics if anyone’s interested. :D

((and yes, this is even after i got a tattoo, like, three days ago. don’t judge.))

Tropical Storm headcanons because Erika (with a K) is raining hard and thundering super loud right now

Jay is actually the one who stocks up on all the supplies as soon as hurricane season starts, and he regularly checks on them to make sure everything is in date and stuff

Carlos has far too many battery packs and back up generators because it would SUCK if he lost power 

Dude doesn’t like thunder, so Carlos has to make sure to comfort him

Mal and Evie just build a blanket fort and watch movies and drink hot chocolate until the storm passes. So long as what’s important to them isn’t in immediate danger, they don’t really think about it.

That doesn’t mean they don’t have weather alerts on their phones, though.

Ben has to be on King Duty because the people’s welfare is his number one concern, but whenever he gets any time, he’s texting Mal and she fills him in on what show or movie they’re watching, and as soon as he can, he speeds off to their room so he can hang out with them.

It means Victory: Nikita Kucherov lives up to the name, goes beyond the mark

Nikita is not Russian for Nicholas, it does mean Victory/Victorious

Killorn and Johnson were not wearing shirts, but they were listening to censored Drake

I was supposed to do this after Christmas, but he let me do it before. This was tuesday. 

the quote came in a fax machine, I don’t know who said it, but I’d like to kick his ass. 

“Though he has skill, he lacks dedication. He is willing to wait for a shot, he is lazy, careless, and a novelty. A player trying to play like Ovechkin but failing horribly. Riding the coattails of former players and faltering on his own. A second round pick would be a stretch.” –European Hockey League scout #124 post U18 Tournament (Released to writer from a confidential source n/m not released)

           Nikita Kucherov is a lot of things: he is a play maker, he is a sharpshooter, he is reserved and concerned about his English. He is not the talkative player that his centreman is, nor is he the quiet leader that his fellow winger is. Kucherov is put perhaps best in the words of fellow forward Vladislav Namestnikov; “Kuch is Russian”. Nikita Kucherov is not by any stretch of the imagination anything less than a Hall of Famer in the making. Night in and night out, Kucherov is moving up in the +/- standings, though some analysts will tell you +/- and Corsi have fallen out of relevance in the last few years. The thing Kucherov is perhaps most obviously is a beloved player, his name is just as seen as Stamkos’s, Johnson’s, and Palat’s. Kucherov is not “Lazy”.

           “I used to not talk. To me if I couldn’t say how [what] I wanted to say, I don’t [didn’t] say it.” That is one of the first things he tells me. His voice is softer than I expected to hear, he speaks quietly, as if I will chastise him for improper grammar. He looks at me with blue eyes that are only enhanced by the blue of the Tampa Bay Lightning long sleeve shirt he wears, the logo pulled a little and stretched with love. In his hands he holds a nearly empty water bottle, over his right shoulder sits a translator a few seats away, listening just in case. There are a few times I ask him something that doesn’t translate into Russian, that makes his eyebrows knit together as I try to find another word for the one I was going to use. The humour I use sometimes doesn’t hit the mark, but he smiles anyway when I do, maybe not truly understanding the joke but understanding that I mean to ease the tension.

           He is nervous. That is what I get when I first start talking to him, he’s nervous that there is a language gap between us. When he introduces himself, his voice and his hands shake a little, he looks around the conference room like it might be a jail cell. I realize that this is not where Nikita Kucherov likes to be, this is not his element. Having come back from a Pacific Division road trip that resulted 2-1 (taking 4/6 possible points) against the Ducks, Sharks, and Kings, he’s done his job. He’s been where he is most comfortable, in the presence of his teammates and on the world’s stage playing in the NHL. He’s not used to this, this  room with its painted walls. Overhead the fluorescent bulbs hum and the sun shines in over Garrison Channel. He looks like a trapped deer. He rubs his hands on his shorts, the fabric making a noise reminiscent of a faulty zipper as his calloused hands catch synthetic fibres. He rolls his shoulders and watches me. He never stops watching me as I set up my recorder, my back up battery, my notes and my pens. The battery catches his attention: “What’s that?” “This [I gesture to the battery]?” “Yes. What does it do? Why do you bring it here?” “It’s a backup battery for my recorder.” I show him the light and the beep that signifies the device being fully charged. He finds it interesting, it makes him smile as he looks at it light up on different levels as he talks, then I, showing frequency.

           “Johnny is more patient than Pally. Pally was learning English too, so when I say something he didn’t get, I say [it] to Johnny and he say to Pally. That’s how it was.” While playing Slavic telephone seems like a fun idea for all, I asked Johnson about Kucherov’s English “He is very shy about it. They both are, when we first started playing together it was kind of hard, he didn’t want to say more than ‘yes’ or ‘no’, sometimes I’d do something he didn’t like and he’d be mad. He’d just glare at me from across the ice, or in the room. I was scared he’d walk up behind me, or I’d have a horse head or something in my bed. That didn’t last. (offside) Stop laughing, Killer, I’m being serious!” As I walked back to the conference room and away from the sound of crashing weight plates and laughter  only broken up by “Horse head”, I thought how concerning it must be to not be able to tell someone what you really want to say. This has been an issue in the NHL for as long as players have been coming from Russia and Eastern Europe.

           “Do you wish that the NHL taught players and journalists Russian?” I somewhat shock Kucherov as he’s slipping his phone back into his pocket. “How you mean? Like school? I know some, but I don’t speak it at home”. ‘Home’ to Kucherov is Russia, more specifically the city of Maykop. When he was playing in the KHL, he played in Moscow, in 2011 he was drafted in the second round by the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was then sent to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). The young Kucherov went from speaking primarily Russian, to a region of Canada where the top language is, French. He was sent to the QMJHL to transition to the style of North American hockey he’d play in the AHL and eventually the NHL.

           Russian hockey is played on a bigger scale. In North America, a regulation rink is 200ft long by 85ft wide. An International Rink, like those used in the KHL is 200ft long by 100ft wide. I’ll save you the math, and tell you that is a 15ft difference across. When you watch any NHL game, your announcer will tell you that one of the keys to the game is a “North-South game”, up and down the ice to reduce opposition scoring. It’s one of the main reasons your forwards play such short shifts. If you’ve ever watched Pavel Datsyuk or Evgeni Malkin, or ‘The Great Eight’ Alex Ovechkin, you’ll notice they like to move laterally. It’s something that you have to know how to do, you cannot teach the Russian style of play. Regardless of how many years Kucherov would spend in the Q, you cannot stop playing like you were taught to.

           At this point Kucherov is still looking at me like I just said “You and I are getting married, we’re going to go to Mars and start the human race on a planet outside of our own” So I rephrase my original question. “Yes, I kind of do. I have people who can help me [he gestures to the translator who has been watching a Brady press conference on his phone], I have Vladdy, we talk to each other, but some don’t. It’s hard, the languages are different.” If you look at the numbers of players in the League, you’ll notice that there are more and more European players coming in year after year. Mostly they come from Russia, from Sweden, the Czech Republic (It is not Czech-Slovakia, it hasn’t been for decades, stop saying it), a select few from Finland, Switzerland, and smattering from Norway. The names on the back of jerseys are becoming less ‘Crosby’, ‘Smith’, ‘Orr’, ‘Shanahan’, ‘Boyle’ and ‘Callahan’, and more ‘Panarin’, ‘Kuznetsov’, and ‘Tikhonov’. Gone are the days of ‘John’, ‘Bobby’, ‘Steve’, and ‘Jack’, and here are the days of ‘Viktor’, ‘Artemi’, ‘Pavel’, ‘Nikita’, and ‘Alexander’. If we’re being serious, it’s ‘Aleksander’, but that’s fine.

           We’re becoming better at saying names that would’ve stricken fear into the hearts of our Grandparents years ago, but we’re not treating the players any better. The players still have to rely on someone who might know the language they speak, and given the spread of European players in the NHL, you don’t have to look hard to find a ‘Henrik’ or a ‘Pavel’. Still, I am sitting here across from a man who can’t say what he fully wants to say; someone representative of the rest of the NHL in the last 20 years with the new class of players coming over from Russia. He thinks a little more on the subject “Maybe if we taught you some phrases you should know to make it a little bit easier for me.” If it really only took a few phrases to learn to make it easier for your favourite player to talk to reporters, wouldn’t you want them to do it?

           I turn to the impressive season Kucherov is having. I tell him how fantastic it is to net your seventh and eighth goal of the season on the same night, and his ears turn red. He looks down at the shiny table and I can see a smile spread across his face. I decide to make matters worse and talk about the ASTOUNDING turn around he made between the 2013-2014 season and the 2014-2015 season. In the 2013-2014 season, Kucherov netted 9 goals and 9 assists in 52 games for 18 points. In the 2014-2015 season that culminated with an Eastern Conference Championship and a run at the fabled Stanley Cup, Kucherov more than TRIPLED his numbers scoring 29 goals, 36 assists for 65 points in 82 games. With his numbers being mentioned, he looks towards the ceiling, smile now visible on his face,  eyes a little misty over his breakout season, and says just loud enough to be heard, “it was a good season.”

           ‘A good season’ is how the future looks for Kucherov, sitting right behind Steven Stamkos with 17 points spread across 10 goals and 7 assists in 29 games. If this is anything indicative of what the season with Kucherov in your canon looks like, then I think that despite a disturbingly slow start, the Tampa Bay Lightning are going to be okay. Kucherov follows me out of the conference room, I shake his hand once more, his shake a little less, and as he passes the weight room, Killorn and Johnson still inside, I can hear him ribbing his teammates for not lifting the heavier weights. Maybe Kucherov is lazy, but it’s not on the ice.