Tuesday, February 03, 2009

i'm here, in london

oh, hey, erm, i made it!

i've been here for two weeks, and life is wonderful.

i might start using this more, or I might not. we'll see.

I hope you hadn't been checking this daily to see if I posted.

Monday, December 15, 2008

why the khl is not a threat to the nhl.

okay, so i've decided to write about more things than just my trip.......

Recently in the news there has been much hullaballoo about how much impact the newly formed Kontinental Hockey League(KHL) will have on the National Hockey League. Due to a variety of factors including dropping commodity prices and severe mismanagement the league will not be a threat, or even much of a competitor to the NHL for plenty of years to come.

As of now, there are 21 teams in the league, spread out across Russia, Latvia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The teams are owned by Russian oligarchs who have recently become supremely wealthy because of a surging oil price. The league was seen as an opportunity for the super rich to flaunt their wealth by placing teams in their home towns with little regard for their fanbases. Plenty of teams are in small markets that would seem "risky" to north american experts, or there is too high a concentration in a large city. In the NHL, the largest concentration of teams to a city is in New York with the Rangers and the Devils(I'm not counting the Islanders, they have their own fanbase, on Long Island). Whereas, in the KHL, CSKA Moscow, Dinamo Moscow, Soviet Wings and Spartak Moscow are all fighting for the support of Moscow's citizens. When the league was started the price of oil was around $150/barrel, now it goes for $43, the money that the KHL was founded upon has disappeared. Already, in some cases owners have not been able to pay their players.

Aside from the tragic incident that occured at an Avangard Omsk game that ended in the death of Alexei Cherepanov, there are plenty of examples of poor management in the new Russian league.Further, none of these teams are playing at the two year old 14,000-seat Khodynka Arena that was constructed for the World Junior tournament, this leaves the historically formidable CSKA Moscow(Red Army) playing in the same crumbling stadium as they had in the communist era. The league is not being marketed nearly as well as it could be. The televised broadcasts are mismanaged and no where near the standard of the NHL.

These flaws could be just a part of a growing period for the KHL. But, without the obscene amounts of money expected from oil, there is not nearly enough money to lure away the NHL's superstars. It seems as though it could be an option for Europeans who cannot adapt to the culture shock in North America and fringe NHLers who cannot crack a roster spot and do not want to play in the American Hockey League.

In the case of it growing to become a competitor to the NHL, then fair play to them. I would love to see a sort of Champions League or Club World Cup for Ice Hockey. It would be great for the sport. But, as of now, it looks as though the NHL's prowess is here to stay.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I'm no longer waiting for an appointment.

Tuesday at 1230, I go to give my fingerprints to the British government. I feel like I'm giving a bit of my soul up at the same time. I never have had a reason to give my fingerprints to anyone, and now the Brits want them. I kinda feel like I'm giving away a piece of me. It's kinda ridiculous, I know, but I feel nervous.

The other kind of scary part is that if I have any cuts on my fingertips my visa application is delayed and needs to be delayed until they're fully healed. Working in a kitchen isn't exactly conducive to healthy fingers, so in a roundabout way the condition of my fingers determine the length of my visa application.

So, here's hoping I don't nick my finger on any knives tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

the british high commission.

Well, all the forms are in and ready to go.

All that I'm waiting on now is for the jolly old British High Commission to let me know if they'd like me to come hang out with them for a while. It's not until then that I can start with flights and whatnot.

But, if you could, please start praying for me, that this trip would be safe and a wonderful experience for me.

Thanks all!


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

it's underway.

Well, the wheels are in motion.

I went to the travel agent in Langley that specializes in Working Holidays, specifically, SWAP(Student Work Abroad Program www.swap.ca).

I've decided to go with SWAP, it's significantly more money than doing the application on my own, but honestly, I'm willing to spend the extra $250 for the security of a refund in the case of a mishap during the time of me acquiring the visa. SO, it ended up being a rather exciting, but costly trip. I left with my wallet 623 dollars lighter, having decided to go for it. This is happening kids, I'm going to spend the majority of 2009 overseas.

On my visit, it quelled most of my doubts and fears surrounding the visa application process. It's looking like acquiring the visa is not as challenging as I had originally thought. Also, I was afraid of losing $425 dollars due to a failed application.

I'm returning in the next few days to decide on a flight date, and it's looking like I'll be flying away at the beginning of January!

I'll keep you posted.


Kirk Anderson

Sunday, November 02, 2008


I've discovered via forums and threads, that if you are ever renting a flat and the renter asks for anything to do with Moneygram or Western Union, it's a scam.

I read that a couple weeks ago, and today I was following up on an apartment and they asked for Western Union, and instantly I recognized it as a scam, thank goodness I've been doing lots of research on this plan.

btw, never rent from a Frank McGowan. Ever.


the plan

Okay, so, some of you, aka none of you because no one has read this blog yet, know what I aim to do with my year without school.

As of now, I've just been working at good old Wendel's. I've been there for about a year now, and it's not bad. I could easily do that for the rest of the year. BUT, I want to do something big, something that I will not easily forget. Something that when people hear what I am doing, they don't think of it as a waste of a year that could be spent at school furthering my life and career and whatever.


1. Secure a UK Working Holidaymaker visa
2. Move to the UK for 6months to work/live/travel/have the best time EVER!
3. Go to Poland in late June to work with missionaries at a summer camp.
4. Come back to the UK, then either return home to start school for September, or keep going and start school in January.

Everything seems to be falling into place really well as of now,

Keep me in your prayers,



once every year

it looks like i'm doing great with this blogging thing.

you seem to get like 3 sentences every year out of me.

I'm very reliable. I promise to update this weekly until I leave, maybe more, but once I'm out of here I'll update daily.

Thanks gang!


Friday, September 21, 2007