Monday, June 20, 2005

I'm back. :o) It's no longer hot enough to fry eggs in the computer room, so it's time to reminisce some more on the events of the past week.

On Monday night, there was a rally at the Wachovia Center to celebrate the Phantoms' win. It was nice to see them all clean-shaven again, rather than looking like a bunch of lumberjacks.

I'm still working on posting the pictures from the Cup-winning game and from the rally to Albums can only have a maximum of 100 photos apiece, and I took over 300 shots on those two nights combined. It's going to require me to split the photos into several separate albums, to say the least.

That's OK -- that means I get to look at the pics again. There's no such thing as too much of that! ;o)

I was able to get DVDs from a fellow poster at of games 3 and 4 (the two games in Philly. Comcast in CHICAGO broadcast all the games, which is good because freakin' PHILLY'S Comcast didn't bother to show either of those games. Nor did they air Game 1 (which took place in Chicago). I'm still working on getting copies of that one.

Yes, I did write "copies", with good reason. During the previous playoff round, when we were facing the Providence Bruins, people on who were going to be attending a particular home game posted where they'd be sitting. I not only posted the location of Mark's and my seats, but I mentioned that I'd be wearing the green Neil Little jersey.

During the first intermission of that game, I was approached by a lady who asked me if I was Gabey8. When I said "yes", she introduced herself to me and thanked me for posting about the Phantoms, since it's hard to come by information about the team in Canada. I thanked her for the compliment, but I must have looked a little puzzled because she explained further: "I'm [player]'s mother".

Aha! THEN I understood. (And also made the connection between her last name and the player in question.) We talked about how the team was doing, and which discussion boards she visits for information. I knew the ones that she listed, plus a couple of others whose URLs I didn't have memorized. So I wrote my email address on the first bit of paper I could get my hands on, and told her that if she sent me an email, I could send her links to all the AHL-related news or discussion sites I visit.

She did, and I did. :o) We exchanged some emails during the Finals, which was when I told her I had made an extra tape of Game 2 (which Philly's Comcast *did* air). She thanked me but said she'd seen Game 2 since it was replayed on a Canadian channel... but did I happen to have a copy of Game 1?

Well, I didn't have Game 1, and still don't, but I'm working on it. Hence, my wish to have COPIES of Game 1... one for me, and one to send along.

I already sent along copies of Games 3 and 4. Or at least, they'd BETTER either be sent along, or on their way even as I type. See, after the rally, Karla and Al and Mark and I waited around the back of the building where the players drive out (which I believe I mentioned in my previous post). One of the players who pulled over to sign autographs for fans was Our Hero, so I waited my turn. Then I handed him the DVDs and told him, "I've been exchanging emails with your mom". (At which point, he grinned. :o) ) "These are copies of Games 3 and 4 of the finals. Give them to your mom". He promised to.

When I got home, I sent out another email to let her know that he had those DVDs for her. "So if he doesn't get them to you, hound him. Um, I mean remind him". :o) Like I said... those DVDs'd better be in Canada right now, or on their way in the forseeable future.

In other news, work has been STUPENDOUSLY BUSY. It sure makes the day disappear quickly, but BOY do I come home tired. I don't mind, though -- busy = job security, plus it's just plain mentally stimulating. I'll take it.

I had a bit of a laugh this afternoon. It came about because we had a doctor calling in to get his wife an appointment with one of our Higher Ranking Doctors. When someone wants to become a new patient of any of our Higher Ranking Doctors, we can't just add them to said docs' schedules. We have to fax a form to the would-be patient's refering physician; and once it's filled out and faxed back, we give it to the requested Higher Ranking Doc so he or she can decide whether they'll see the patient themselves, or assign it to the Fellows Clinic.

Normally, once this procedure is explained, would-be new patients are willing to just get the first appointment with the first doctor that's available. Personally, that makes everyone's lives easier... the patient's, the doctor's, and the office staff's.

But some people are insistent that they want that Higher Ranking Doctor and no one else. That's what today's call boiled down to... this caller wanted THAT PARTICULAR rheumatologist for his wife, and no other. Fine. I got the form ready so I could fax it to his wife's referring physician.

The caller gave me the physician's phone and fax numbers, and mentioned that said referring doc was located at [nationally famous clinic]. I'm not sure if this was intended to make me feel impressed or intimidated... possibly both. But since I have to follow our office's procedure no matter WHO the referring doctor is, I have to admit that it made little impression on me.

Now... most fax machines will display the name of the fax machine that they're connected to, when you're sending a fax. I presume that's how you know that you've called the right number. Imagine my surprise to see that the fax machine in Nationally Famous Clinic's Rheumatology Department is named... RHEMATOLOGY.

I spent a few moments trying to identify the source of my "What's wrong with THIS picture?" sensation. Then I realized that Nationally Famous Clinic had spelled their own department's name wrong on their fax machine, and I had to stifle a burst of giggles. LOL... someone, somewhere needs a reminder that proofreading is their friend!

I still wish that the caller in question would've just gone with the first available appointment, though. If he had, his wife would already HAVE an appointment. As it stands now, she's unlikely to get an appointment with the doctor they're trying to request until OCTOBER at the earliest. And that hinges on our getting the form faxed back to us promptly, as well as requiring our rheumatologist to take prompt action to schedule this new patient. Personally, I don't think the delay is going to do anybody any favors, but hey. It's their appointment. I can't tell other people what to do.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Well! It's certainly been an EXCELLENT past-few-weeks in these parts.

Let's start with the BIGGEST news of all, and say: Congratulations to the 2004-05 Calder Cup Champions, the Philadelphia Phantoms!

The header on the main page

Our Captains present the Cup to the fans

One of the smaller Wachovia Center scoreboards, along the side of the arena

OMG. The experience of being at the game when we won was just too wonderful for words. I'm SO PROUD of our boys! They worked so hard all season long, and they earned this championship as a TEAM.

The game was won on Friday, June 10, 2005: exactly 7 years since our previous Calder Cup win. Over the weekend, I figured that as the Phantoms Phan Club's secretary, I should make sure that we send the team a congratulatory note. So I bought a congratulations card, signed it with a brief note from the Phan Club's board and membership, and included this letter:

Date: 6/11/05

To: Coach John Stevens
Assistant Coach Kjell Samuelsson
Assistant Coach Craig Berube
The Philadelphia Phantoms Players

The Board and Membership of the Philadelphia Phantoms Phan Club are delighted to congratulate you for capping an outstanding 2004-05 season by winning the Eastern Conference Championship and the Calder Cup Championship! Furthermore, we would also like to acknowledge Antero Niittymaki for earning the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs.

It’s a pleasure for us to see how all of your hard work and unfailing dedication has been rewarded by such success. We can now proudly declare ourselves to be fans, not only of the best hockey team in the AHL, but of the best hockey team in all of North America.

You truly have proven yourselves to be the best of the best, and you’ve earned it with heart, courage, and unselfish teamwork. From seeing you set the AHL record with 17 consecutive wins, through cheering as you won the Calder Cup in a sweep, this has been a magical, memorable season. Words can’t adequately express what a joy it’s been to watch you and support you through it all.

We rejoice with you all for your achievements, and send our absolute best wishes for you all to have a safe, happy, and healthy summer. Long may Purple Reign!

Sincerely and with great pride,

The Board and Membership of the Philadelphia Phantoms Phan Club

[list of officers' names edited]

There was a celebration rally at the Center on Monday night, and afterward, Mark and I headed around to the area where the players drive out of their parking lot. (Karla and Al stayed too, for a while.) My intent was to hand the card/letter to whichever one of the coaches or one of the captains came out first.

That role fell to John Slaney, one of our assistant captains. He pulled over to sign autographs for waiting fans. I waited my turn in the line of fans, presented him the card, told him what it was and whom it was from, and asked him to present it to the coaches and team. (The team's exit meetings with coaches were to start on Tuesday, and continue for I'm-not-sure-how-many-days.)

I am going to have to post more stories and pics later. It's about 10,000 degrees in this computer room.

But rest assured, there'll be plenty of photos from the Calder Cup Finals games that were played here (Games 3 and 4), plus the postgame on-ice celebrations and the rally on Monday night!