Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Canada's Soon To Be Old Government

Well, that didn't take long. Six weeks into the new job, and Stéphane Dion is under attack from Canada's New Government.

Let me get this straight. You want me to vote for you, and the best you can do is blame everything on Canada's Old Government, and attack the new guy? Seems to me that after a year, you're not so "New" any more, and you should be able to tell me all the great things you've been doing, and what you plan to do in the next year.

If the best you can offer is a lame attack, I'm left thinking you're a desperate government running scared of being thrown out.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Coverup at the Ontario Scotties

Isn't this the stupidest thing the Ontario Curling Association has done recently...

Krista Scharf's Thunder Bay team are playing this week in the Ontario women's curling championship with strips of duct tape partially covering their team jackets. The problem is, they have seven sponsors, and the OCA only allows four to be displayed. The team's sponsors are all local to Thunder Bay.

As you can imagine, it's quite expensive for a team to come all the way from Thunder Bay to Southern Ontario to compete in the provincial championships. Airfare alone was $1,900, and the team is playing their own way at the hotel.

I don't know what the crowds are like at the Dixie Curling Club this week, but it wouldn't hurt anyone to see three more Thunder Bay businesses supporting their team. The only televised coverage of this event is the last three games, which Scharf's team may not even make.

I'm not sure what this rule is meant to do, but it strikes me that discouraging competition in events where some zones have no entries, or only one or two teams, is not a smart marketing move for the OCA.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies

I'm sitting here, trying hard to get some work done, and out of the corner of my eye I see a hawk circling the parking lot. He (or she) swoops low over the cars, then returns to a perch at the top of the highest tree on the lot. After a few minutes he takes another tour around the lot.

So far, the pickings are pretty slim. Not many mice driving to work today.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Is it me?

Blogger has a nice feature to help cut down on comment spam. It's called "word verification", and it's supposed to separate the man from the machine, so to speak.

However, I seem to have a problem using it today...

Headline of the day

"Saddam Hussein's half brother decapitated in bungled hanging".

I don't know what part of "bungled" I'm missing, but if the end result is the same, does it really matter?

To me, a bungled hanging is when they hang the wrong guy, or when they forget to tie the rope to something...


Monday, January 15, 2007

Holiday Inn Challenge

Things started well for us in this year's Holiday Inn Challenge on Friday night, even with the game getting underway well past my bedtime, at 9:30pm. We ended up winning a low scoring affair 4-2. Normally, hitting is not a game we like to play, but it turned out alright this time.

Saturday was a different story. The first game started poorly, when we had a hit to score five, and ended up wrecking on a guard to give up a steal of one. We walked that off, and played well for the next few ends. Playing the sixth end, we were up by three, without the hammer. The plan was to give up one, score one (at least), and then run the other guys out of rocks in the eighth end, up by three. The plan started well, we gave up one in the 6th. Then they stole one in the 7th. Not bad, we figured. We're up one coming home, with the hammer. What could go wrong? Well, they stole another one. Ok, now we're fine. We're tied, with the hammer in the extra end. What could go wrong? Well, they stole another one. Crap.

Now we come off the ice with a whole twenty minutes to kill before the next game. We were looking forward to a four hour layoff, but instead we have just enough time to down a couple of Advil and off we go. That game went better, but we still ended up in another extra end game. Once again, twenty minutes to kill before the next game. I'm going to petition the nice folks who make Advil to sponsor a curling team...

In the evening game, at least we didn't go to an extra end. I think we'd had our fill by then, and we only managed to keep our heads above water for six ends, and we got pasted.

It's interesting how much this event has changed since we won the zone two years ago. There were some damn good teams playing this weekend. It looked a lot more like the Colts than the Holiday Inn Challenge. I think if we'd taken our second game we would have had a decent chance in the evening game to make it to the A final. Who knows what would have happened then, but we'll have to wait until next year to find out, I guess.

The ice in Fergus was not too bad - fairly quick, with some curl, although less than we're used to. The only bad thing I can say about it was how many picks there were. Every team in the event had each player with at least two picks through the first couple of games. I think I've had one rock pick all season in Elmira.

Worst thing I saw all weekend was the guy who screamed at his sweepers the entire length of the ice, then when his takeout whiffed by the rock he was aiming for he slammed his broom on the ice, then threw his broom, then sat down and started crying. Buddy, two things: 1) You're the lead - nobody will remember that shot two minutes from now. 2) It's a game. Walk it off.


New year, new look

Those of you who read this blog in a feed reader won't appreciate this, but I've tinkered with the template a bit. Let me know if something looks more than normally strange.


We've had hours of freezing rain in Waterloo Region today. Everything is closed - elementary schools, high schools, both Universities.

But wait! Conestoga College is open! A school where 95% of the students, faculty and staff drive in. A school on the 401, a highway that is littered with cars in the ditch, that has portions closed because of the weather.

Somehow the weather is nicer at the south end of Kitchener today. Or maybe someone's afraid of losing some funding if the school is closed.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

And now for a few words

I don't usually veer into the personal on this blog, except for the occasional story about my stupid dog, or the funny things my kids do, but I'm going to take a moment to call your attention to an extremely worthwhile cause.

This September, my wife is going to participate in the Princess Margaret Hospital's Weekend to End Breast Cancer. It's a two-day, 60-kilometre walk through the neighbourhoods of Toronto. The proceeds benefit Princess Margaret Hospital, funding important breast cancer research, education, services and care.

Participants are encouraged to walk to honour lives lost, celebrate survivors, and help bring breast cancer care to those who so desperately need it. My wife is walking for our daughters, to help find a cure so they can grow up without having to fear this devastating disease.

Donations are accepted online, at Jennifer's personal page, with much thanks.


Having a bad day?

The next time you think you're having a bad day, give this a read.


Monday, January 08, 2007

100 Wonders

Here's a list of 100 places you must see.

I've been to three of them:

Banff National Park - absolutely agree. Moraine Lake, in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, is spectacular. I've been there twice, once in early July when it was cool but beautiful, and once in June, when it was mostly frozen over. I recommend going in July. My daughter was not impressed, considering how cold the wind blows down the peaks, but she cheered up a bit when she was able to throw snowballs at me when we got to Lake Louise.

Niagara Falls
- yes for the falls, no for the city itself. The falls are something to see for sure, but if you turn your back on the falls you will notice how tacky and cheap the city is. I've been there many times, most recently last week, when we took the girls for a mini-vacation. They spent most of the time jumping on the bed and swimming in the hotel pool.

San Francisco - not so much. I don't know if I'd call it a wonder, but it is a nice city, and the Napa Valley is only an hour away. I've been twice, both times for work, so I didn't get a great chance to look around. Other cities I'd put higher on my list? Vancouver, Halifax, Chicago.