Thursday, December 23, 2004

Man, KISS Has Really Let Themselves Go

Gene Simmons looks a little sleepy. Posted by Hello

I'm Fixing the NHL

Todd Bertuzzi: Guilty, sort of.

Well it looks like being guilty of committing a crime doesn't really mean you're guilty; as long as you are rich, famous and a local hero. Not that it's a surprise that a plea bargain has been reached, but... wouldn't a trial have been a good thing this time?

The Crown says it didn't want to waste tax-payer dollars on a trial. Bert's lawyer probably felt he would lose (McSorely lost in a Vancouver courtroom on the same charge). However, the biggest influence was probably by the NHL.

By not having a big, showy, media-laden public trial, the NHL gets to once again, ignore the issue of gratuitous violence in hockey.

Now, the NHL isn't going to listen to me and my opinion probably doesn't matter. My kid won't play hockey so I'm not worried about the repercussions of this on him as a junior player. However, as a fan, the NHL does have a violence problem. Hitting has always been a part of hockey. Shoulders and hips are great for crushing a guy into the boards - when done properly.

The concern that I and many other fans have, is that issues like the Bertuzzi incident are becoming all to common. Kids playing junior see their NHL heros go out and deliver bone crushing blows from behind, ram guys head first into the boards and sucker punch players for "retribution". Junior hockey mom's and dad's are supporting this culture of overt violence when they push other parents around and abuse the coaches and refs. Kids see all of this. Add it to their own coaches' testosterone-induce quest for glory, because he's driving them to fulfill his own failed dreams and you create little stick-wielding, overly protected monsters. No wonder they grow up to be players that play dirty.

The newest move to prevent injury and curb the violence in junior hockey is to limit the age at which kids can hit each other. A good theory. Let the kids develop some skills at a young age and then, when they reach a "mature" point in their career, let them hit each other. Like a lot of theories it falls apart in practice. Forgive the bad sports pun.

It's at about age 11 kids can start to hit. What happens in an over-whelming number of cases is that the kids get so fired up about hitting, that's all they want to do. The skills take a back seat, the game takes a back seat and the parents get all frothy because the kids are so focused on hitting, it completely takes over.

So, how do we fix this? As you probably know by now, I'm not one to just whine about something and then walk away without offering my sage advice -whether you want it or not.

A few ideas. Blindingly simple.

1. The NHL must start enforcing their rules about unprovoked violence. Hand out massive suspensions and huge fines. If you play dirty in the NHL, you don't play. End of story.

2. Let kids hit. From day one teach them how to do it properly, and let them go at it. It'll get boring by the middle of the first season. Then, teach them to play.

3. Drop the same suspensions on the kids as on the pros. If you play dirty in junior, you don't play.

4. Take the NHL down to a 20 team league. Get rid of some of the deadwood. Take away some of the undercompetitive teams and you'll lose a bunch of player spots in the league. That will force teams to focus on hiring skilled players and losing their fourth-line goon squad.

5. Make every NHL player, handed a suspension and fine, spend his suspension traveling North America, coaching junior and apologizing to kids.

Everybody wins. The players in all leagues will be safer, the kids playing junior will have better role models, the NHL will help hockey evolve into a better, faster game and you and I will still get to see big guys crush other big guys.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

White White White

Oh, just ignore her. She's just being difficult.

It is in fact snowing here and I couldn't be happier. I love snow. I love winter. I love sledding, skiing, snowshoeing, skating, throwing snowballs at the dog...

I don't like shoveling. And, while at this time of the winter it seems like a small price to pay to get the white stuff, by April I'll have had more than my fill of pushing the shovel. Mostly. my back doesn't like to shovel. Push and bend at the knees is a good theory, but when you're tired and curling into a 30km/h wind to keep warm... let's face it, you're back does all the work.

But for now. I am a happy guy.

Let's just leave it at that.

Monday, December 20, 2004

"Use in a Well Ventilated Area"

These are the instructions apearing on the side of the paint can that one of my co-workers is currently using... the workshop with the door closed!!!

Where are all the fumes going? Into my office. I started the day feeling fine. I now have a headache from the fumes, rot gut from coffee and lack of food and a general lack of focus or initiative to work to day.

Oh well, deeol's in. She can A. Share the misery of the paint fumes. B. Sing Christmas carols or C. Eat paste.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

And we were like "Dude you're so not cool". Posted by Hello

Monday, December 13, 2004

Alberta Sea Life

"Daddy, what's that guy bein'?", asks my three-year-old. He's pointing to one of our fine youth in town who happens to be sporting a giant pink mowhawk.

"He's being different." I reply, feeling my own often shaved head and reflecting on my teenage days when my hair was often "different".

"I think he's bein' a sea horse." replies the wise child. That observation made, he returns promtly to kicking pebbles across the parking lot.

And so it goes, the continual non-sequitor that is my eldest child's mind. Rational thought seems so well, sad by comparison.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

O.K. It's A Month Late... Suck It Up

Hey Look. This worked(?) Posted by Hello

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Look A Picture - Maybe


we all know that I'm a technological moron. So... without further ado (adieu? adoo? addoo?) I present a picture.

Well... I screwed that up pretyy good.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I'll try tomorrow. It's only an anuyerism away.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Hey Torquemada, What d'ya Say?

I got to thinking last night. My fertile little mind churning away, solving the world's problems, was in fine form. And, as I was saying, I got to thinking...

Two of the groups of people most at odds in the world are frighteningly similar folks. They share similar values and world outlooks. They treat the society the rest of us live in with contempt. They will joyfully advocate the suspension of civil liberties if it furthers their own respective causes. They both wear blinders that would fit a Clydesdale, allowing them as narrow a perspective as possible. Finally, they hate you - almost as much as they hate each other.

Who are we talking about?

It's time for a shallow, and utterly without merit, comparison of The Muslim Terrorist (MT) and The Southern Conservative Christian (SCC).

Let's begin shall we.

They both believe in "one true God". They both believe that their guy is the main guy. Neither will acknowlege that it's the same guy.

The MT likes guns.
The SCC loves guns.

The MT distrusts his neighbours and will wage war to further his cause.
The SCC distrusts his northern and eastern neighbours and still refers to "The War of Southern Independence".

The MT wants his own state.
The SCC still flies the Confederate Flag.

The MT believes that women should be covered from head to toe and should be entirely accountable to the whims of any man.
The SCC believes that women should remain in their place and have no say as to what happens their own bodies.

The MT believes that he can beat or kill his wife/daughter if they disrespect him.
The SCC believes that a husband forcing his wife to have sex isn't rape and that battered womesn's syndrome isn't a valid defense for killing an abusive husband.

The MT wants a conservative, religious state, free from governmental interference.
The SCC... ditto.

The MT hates people who look and think different from him.
The SCC... ditto.

So all you Red State people. You're not so different from the people you fear. And, hey al Queda, you're not so different from the people that want to wipe you off the face of the earth. And the defining thing that makes you oh, so similar? You want to involve the rest of us in your hatred for each other. That, and you don't care if you kill innocent people to prove your point.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Another Icon Gone

Prisoners of the North
The Joy of Writing
Cats I have Known and Loved
Marching as to War
My Country
The Promised Land
The Secret World of Og
The Arctic Grail
The Great Depression
Flames Across the Border
The Invasion of Canada
The Last Spike
The National Dream
Welcome to the 21st Century
Worth Repeating
My Times

It's not all 40 books but it's a start. Their author? Pierre Berton.

I always wanted to meet him; even as a child. I just wanted to say "thanks". I vividly remember flipping through The Last Spike as an eight-year-old and to this day, The Secret World of Og is one of the finest children's books ever written.

Thank you Pierre.