Sunday, October 29, 2006

 

Pip-scapades

Florida Panthers' goalie Alex Auld was injured early Friday morning at his team's hotel in Uniondale, New York, after slipping on water when Ed Belfour dropped his bottle of water.

As reported in Sunday's Miami Herald, Auld needed stitches above his right eyebrow after the incident in the lobby and did not play Saturday night against the New York Islanders.

The Eagle has a history of treating the other goalie - much like many treat the other women - like shit.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

 

2nd Season

Another 9-9 season. No playoff home game. A fired GM. A lameduck coach.

Bring on the Playoffs for the Riders. Here is hoping the team rolls into Calgary and grabs a win next weekend.

Photo taken outside the Rogers Centre in Toronto before last weeks game.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

 

Discount Youth Green Fees

No this is not part of the Conservative Hot Air Act. It is linked to the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit - the one slated to take effect on January 1. Little Johnny can soon, if recommendations are acted on, get a break on his green fees.

The Conservative's Children’s Fitness Tax Credit has now won approval from a stacked deck - a three headed Committee appointed by Harper. The Committee has found that the credit is a good first step and should be expanded and enhanced. Expanded to include golf memberships for youth under 21, clubs that offer 50% of their activities as physical (think Chess?) and youth camps that have five consecutive days with 50% of more of the day designed around physical activity. Oh, and expand the value from $500 to $1,000.

The Committee did show some restraint. There will be no free ride, literally, for Go-Carters and Snowmobilers. The Snowmobilers Association did not do as good a job arm twisting as the Equestrian Federation and the Royal Winnipeg Ballot.

Yes, your party for smaller government has fallen in love with the tax credit. The same measure that actually costs a significant amount of money to administer. The Conservatives don't believe in smaller government, they believe in different government. Less money for women and minority groups, more for the Auditor General. More accountants in the national capital has been a priority for some time.

This shouldn't be a surprise since it is coming from the party that brought you GST on a single donut but not 6 donuts.

 

Worst Car Fads

The USA Today recently ran a short piece focusing on the 7 worst car fads in recent memory.

My vote goes to Faux Wood. Good Ole Woody on the Wagon.

The options are:

1. Phony Wire Wheels - Nice touch on a Buick Le Sabre.

2. Hideaway Headlights - One word. Fiero.

3. Body Cladding - Think late 80's Minivan.

4. Fake Air Scoops - Early pimped out wheels.

5. Faux Wood Panel - Wayne's World.

6. Vinyl Roofs - Poor man's convertible.

7. Half and Half - Pontiac Aztiak. Hmm, wonder why GM is in trouble. Camping in the car anyone?

 

New Lowest of the Low




As a Canadian, I often wonder what to do with my free time.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

 

Was Monster taken?

Jobing.com has acquired the naming rights to Glendale Arena, home of the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes.

Jobing.com, a Phoenix-based online employment service, will pay US$2.5 million per year in the 10-year agreement, the team said Wednesday at a news conference.

Anyone can put there name on things!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

 

Holy Smoke

Pope Benedict XVI used an address at a Roman Catholic university in the Vatican City on this past weekend to reiterate his criticism of scientists whose quest for knowledge leads them to stray morally by conducting research into areas, such as embryonic stem cells, that he said value discovery over life.

The Pontiff is a firm believer that progress only comes through divine intervention. If God wants it, the big guy makes or takes it. If not, pray for help or rain.

Benedict used the address to warn universities:

“Universities can reveal the fruitfulness of truth,” he said. But “the contemporary world,” he continued, “seems to give pride of place to an artificial intelligence ever more dominated by experimental techniques and thus forgetful that science must always defend man and promote his efforts towards true good,” according to excerpts of the speech posted on the Vatican’s Web site.

Then the pope called up an analogy that, 10 or 15 centuries ago, would have been unheard of for a pontiff to utter. Benedict, a former theology professor, likened the wayward scientists to Icarus, the figure in Greek mythology who fell to his death in the sea when arrogance led him to soar too close to the sun on high-tech wings of his father’s design.

Icarus, “carried away by the joy of discovery,” paid the ultimate price for “his illusion,” Benedict told his listeners at the Pontifical Lateran University. Professors, he said, have “the task not only to investigate truth, ... but also to promote knowledge of every aspect of that truth, defending it from reductive and distorting interpretations.”

Distorting interpretations like male, only priests forced into a life of celebacy are somehow given a free pass for fondeling little boys. Or, that homosexuality is abormal and there is a cure out there, maybe from those non-believer professors or reseachers.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

 

Say You, Say Me

Say me again, again, again..


Lionel Richie is hot in bed and wants you to know it. The father of Nicole Richie said that he's the hottest porn star he knows.

"I am a legend in my own mind, the greatest porn star I know. You can't be a love songwriter and not be the greatest porn star."

Let us get one thing clear - He is no Billy Ocean.

 

Insert word here.

If you could pick one word to sum up the Iraq situation for the United States, what would it be? For US President George Bush, it is TOUGH. As in the these are tough times.

My choice would be FAILURE. As in the abject. The US government has failed to articulate why this exercise was necessary. WMDs? 9-11? Us vs. Them? All fictional reasons that Tom Clancy could have done better with if the White House or Pentagon would have bothered to call.

 

The Dog Days

A busy week has come and gone in Ottawa. Some of the low-lights include October's three stars:

Peter MacKay. REAL women will rush to his defense to spin the issue as feminist propaganda.

Garth Turner. He is too red for the blue machine.

Clean Air Act. Nice that change will occur from a minority government in 44 years. Skipping a generation wise. Kyoto may have been a failed effort, but at least it was an effort. Touch of class for Harper to take a dig at Rick Mercer. He is such an arrogent SOB. If only one could believe the polling numbers from The Strategic Counsel. SES is the only group that has an credibility of the issue.





Saturday, October 14, 2006

 

Hogwash

On Thursday, Maple Leaf Foods announced a major restructuring that had been in the works for months (often rumoured due to the dislike for the Saskatoon union work place - more later). Maple Leaf Foods cancelled plans to build a new $110-million pork processing plant in Saskatoon and will wind down operations at an existing plant over the next three years.

This is news for three reasons. One, it will have short-term and long-term implications for the Saskatoon economy. Obviously, a new plant would have created jobs, retained or recruited skilled labour and added more individuals to the tax roll. Without it, local residents will look elsewhere and many will cast their eyes west.

The second reason is, like most governments, the Government of Saskatchewan made a series of concessions over the years to encourage Maple Leaf Foods (Mitchell’s)to stay and operate (maybe expand) their operations. The concessions may have paid off short-term, but long-term they can be debated. It is the classic case of subsidize one large business or foster a climate that allows many to prosper.

The last reason is that it exposes an obvious division in the labour movement. So much for solidarity. How so you ask? Well, follow this thread.

Maple Leaf Food purchases the Mitchell operations (including the soon to close plant) and very shortly the unionized employees fear for their job security. Maple Leaf Foods (operated and controlled by the McCain family) are, not to put too fine a point on it, anti-union. The family is well known for the monumental struggles to ban any activity on their property. Not allowing union representatives on their property for fear they would share the working conditions with their "brothers and sisters."

This is often part of the business cycle. Companies and unions clash. Unions try to flex their muscle. Companies, fearing what a unionized workforce may mean, flex back.
The McCain's are no different than many, however, they are bigger and often more vocal of their disdain for organized labour.

The curve, however, is this. One of the largest shareholders in Maple Leaf Foods is a labour union. The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (one of the country's largest investors) holds a great deal of sway inside a largely anti-union company. So it would stand to reason, if solidarity was alive and well, than the OTPP would be concerned about "supposed" anti-union bent and the closing of shop in Saskatoon.

Well, not exactly. According to the OTPP, the move receives their blessing. Brian Gibson, senior vice president of public equities at Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Maple Leaf's largest shareholder says:

“We are very supportive of the strategy and highly confident of management's ability to execute this reorganization and to improve profitability."

Translation. Solidarity, when convenient. Business before Brothers and Sisters.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

 

No More Economic Pies

Belinda has come a long way since her grand entrance into Canadian politics. George had her on the "lukewarm" seat on the Hour and she was pretty well-spoken.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

 

Memories

Watching CBC Newsworld's coverage of the fascinating results from 2006 Yukon General Election brought back all kinds of memories of the old Student Union election(s).

With 5 of 7 polls reporting....

Candidate X is declared with 300 votes.

The Premier (Yukon Party Leader Dennis Fentie) appears on national televison wearing a Carhartt coat and a t-shirt.



The Leader of the NDP is also classic. Union leader and Karate instructor.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

 

Peak Cola

Eni Italian Oil Executive Paolo Scaroni wants the world to know that oil is not the expensive when compared with a logical other product - Coca-Cola.

"Today, a barrel of oil is worth half a barrel of Coca-Cola. So you should put things into perspective," he said, adding that the fact that consumers had not significantly changed their behaviour proved that they were not particularly feeling the pinch.

Until I can fill a car with Crystal Pepsi or Vanilla Coke, this means nothing to me. The same logic could be applied to bottled water. Except that cars don't run off Coke, water or cabbage.

Scaroni went on to point out these nuggets:

The western world can live with oil above $30, $40, $50, $60, $70 a barrel and have economies expand;
Inflation is low;
Consumers continue to drive SUVs; and
Air-conditioners are so high in American restaurants that you have to put on a coat otherwise you get sick

The last two are particularly insulting. Just because individuals or organizations engage in a certain type of behaviour or activity does not make it correct nor does it not present a need to make modifications.

The sooner alternative fuels are developed the better. The arrogance of some of the car makers and oil executives is galling.

I would like to buy the world some diesel and live in perfect harmony...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

 

Parent's do the darndest things

Sporting parents are a challenging lot. Hockey parents fighting with referees, other parents and coaches is nothing new in many Canadian communities. The action is not limited to only hockey fathers. In fact, some of the more vocal and abusive activities can be attributed to hockey Moms - not to be confused with soccer Moms. Now, comes word of the lowest of low - Football fathers (relatives).

A fan's video camera was rolling when a man was shot with a Taser gun after an altercation Sunday at a youth football game in O'Fallon, Tennessee.

It was the Titans versus the Spartans as 7 and 8 year olds took to the field. As it turns out, the real action was on the sidelines. Brothers Garrick and Darrick Shelton became angry with a referee's call. The amateur video shows them as they begin cursing and shoving other parents. Then, an off-duty sheriff's deputy -- who also had a son playing in the game -- took quick action with a Taser.

As Darrick Shelton lies on the ground, his brother Garrick continues to curse at the deputy and at a second man who was also an off-duty officer. Parents step in, reminding him children are present. He still doesn't stop.

Friday, October 06, 2006

 

Uncontrolled Guns

A Wisconsin State lawmaker, worried about a recent string of deadly school shootings, suggested arming teachers, principals and other school personnel as a safety measure and a deterrent.

Republican Representative Frank Lasee said Wednesday that it might not be politically correct, but arming school personnel has worked effectively in other countries.

The examples that Lasee holds up: Thailand and Israel. Not exactly the authors of sound public policy.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

 

The Anti-Volpe

Minneapolis-St. Paul and area City Council canadidate Paul Herold is pleading with people not to vote for him. In fact, like Bob Rae supporters, he is offering to drive them to the polls to vote for anybody but him.

Herold entered the primary for a seat, but then he landed a new job that he says would not leave him enough time to do a decent job for his constituents. He missed the deadline for removing his name from the ballot, so he wrote a letter to a local paper pleading for non-support.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

 

Amazing Kreskin

Another season of fun and exciting NHL hockey is upon us and it is time to make the fearless predictions.

Eastern Conference

ATLANTIC

NY RANGERS (3)
NEW JERSEY (5)
PHILADELPHIA (7)
PITTSBURGH (13)
NY ISLANDERS (14)

NORTHEAST

OTTAWA (1)
BUFFALO (4)
MONTREAL (8)
TORONTO (10)
BOSTON (12)

SOUTHEAST

CAROLINA (2)
TAMPA BAY (6)
ATLANTA (9)
FLORIDA (11)
WASHINGTON (15)

Western Conference

CENTRAL

NASHVILLE (3)
DETROIT (5)
COLUMBUS (9)
ST LOUIS (14)
CHICAGO (15)

NORTHWEST

CALGARY (2)
MINNESOTA (6)
EDMONTON (8)
VANCOUVER (10)
COLORADO (12)

PACIFIC

ANAHEIM (1)
SAN JOSE (4)
DALLAS (7)
PHOENIX (11)
LOS ANGELES (13)

Shaky's Fantasy picks

Forward: Jason Spezza OTT, Eric Staal CAR, Alexander Ovechkin WAS
Defense: Scott Niedermayer ANA, Chris Pronger ANA
Goal: Miikka Kiprusoff CAL
Rookie: Evgeni Malkin PIT

Shaky's individual award winners:

Hart: Scott Niedermayer ANA
Ross: Jaromir Jagr NYR
Richard: Alexander Ovechkin WAS
Norris: Scott Niedermayer ANA
Vezina: Miikka Kiprusoff CAL
Calder: Evgeni Malkin PIT
Selke: Brad Richards TBAY
Byng: Jere Lehtinen DAL
Adams: Barry Trotz NAS
Pearson: Sidney Crosby PIT
Smythe: Scott Niedermayer ANA

President's Trophy: Anaheim

Western and Stanley Champs: Anaheim

Eastern Champs: Ottawa

First coach fired: Joel Quenneville COL

Cross posted at the only site that matters in the new NHL: Puck This

 

Bringing sexy back

It is all about the music.

 

Liberal Leadership Musings

A few thoughts on the "Super Weekend" developments.

The ticker is pure genius. Full marks for those that tapped into today's instant culture.

Joe Volpe is truly a national embarrassment.

Ken Dyrden proves that name recognition is only worth so much. The Game has no mojo.

Scott Brison. Maybe time to set goals that are attainable and figure out it is not necessary to run for every vacant position.

Martha Hall Findlay. She keeps helping her cause for the next election. She will have a leg up in the next general and the little red bus shouldn't have to travel so far.

Gerald Kennedy. The tale of two campaigns. English Canada shows strength and in Francophone Canada he sucks the hind tit. The equivalent of one step forward, two steps back. Stick to the French lessons and maybe, just maybe next time. He will need to go to Dion since he once ran against Rae and that seems a stretch.

Bob Rae. Samsonite is heavy. Rae Days cast a long, long shadow. The Liberals need Ontario like Paris Hilton needs Canon. He has become, literally, a paper candidate. Hat tip to Michael Valpy. He will need to go to Dion.

Stéphane Dion. Dion finished worse than third in seven provinces or territories. This is hardly a ringing endorsement, however, it his performance in QC, BC and ON that should matter and allow him to fight another day. He is likely to emerge as the ABI candidate and that could get him the title.

Michael Ignatieff. The stereotypical Canadian political outcome, first with a solid minority and in position despite being the candidate of choice by less than 70 percent of the delegates. Jean Chrétien should be proud.

Ignatieff has the largest contingent of "super" delegates and that should give him another 5-8 percent. He only needs about 12-15 percent from the convention floor. Difficult, but by no means impossible.

An Ignatieff v Harper election could make for some fantastic debates. Maybe Jack Layton could debate with Ed the Sock and Elizabeth May on the small stage.

Monday, October 02, 2006

 

411 on the RPS

With the 2006 World Rock Paper Scissors Championships coming up in November in Toronto and $10,000.00 on the line (not to mention bragging rights of being able to call yourself "World Champion of RPS"), trying to get some sort of edge on your competition is becoming a focal point for a lot of players.

1 - Rock is for Rookies

In RPS circles a common mantra is "Rock is for Rookies" because males have a tendency to lead with Rock on their opening throw. It has a lot to do with idea that Rock is perceived as "strong" and forceful", so guys tend to fall back on it. Use this knowledge to take an easy first win by playing Paper. This tactic is best done in pedestrian matches against someone who doesn't play that much and generally won't work in tournament play.

2 - Scissors on First

The second step in the 'Rock is for Rookies' line of thinking is to play scissors as your opening move against a more experienced player. Since you know they won't come out with rock (since it is too obvious), scissors is your obvious safe move to win against paper or stalemate to itself.

3 - The Double Run

When playing with someone who is not experienced at the RPS, look out for double runs or in other words, the same throw twice. When this happens you can safely eliminate that throw and guarantee yourself at worst a stalemate in the next game. So, when you see a two-Scissor run, you know their next move will be Rock or Paper, so Paper is your best move. Why does this work? People hate being predictable and the perceived hallmark of predictability is to come out with the same throw three times in row.

4 - Telegraph Your Throw

Tell your opponent what you are going to throw and then actually throw what you said. Why? As long as you are not playing someone who actually thinks you are bold enough to telegraph your throw and then actually deliver it, you can eliminate the throw that beats the throw you are telegraphing. So, if you announce rock, your opponent won't play paper which means coming out with that scissors will give you at worst a stalemate and at best the win.

5 - Step Ahead Thinking

Don't know what to do for your next throw? Try playing the throw that would have lost to your opponents last throw? Sounds weird but it works more often than not, why? Inexperienced (or flustered) players will often subconsciously deliver the throw that beat their last one. Therefore, if your opponent played paper, they will very often play Scissors, so you go Rock. This is a good tactic in a stalemate situation or when your opponent lost their last game. It is not as successful after a player has won the last game as they are generally in a more confident state of mind which causes them to be more active in choosing their next throw.

6 - Suggest A Throw

When playing against someone who asks you to remind them about the rules, take the opportunity to subtly "suggest a throw" as you explain to them by physically showing them the throw you want them to play. ie "Paper beats Rock, Rock beats scissors (show scissors), Scissors (show scissors again) beats paper." Believe it or not, when people are not paying attention their subconscious mind will often accept your "suggestion". A very similar technique is used by magicians to get someone to take a specific card from the deck.

7 - When All Else Fails Go With Paper

Haven't a clue what to throw next? Then go with Paper. Why? Statistically, in competition play, it has been observed that scissors is thrown the least often. Specifically, it gets delivered 29.6% of the time, so it slightly under-indexes against the expected average of 33.33% by 3.73%. Obviously, knowing this only gives you a slight advantage, but in a situation where you just don't know what to do, even a slight edge is better than none at all.

8 - The Rounder's Ploy

This technique falls into more of a 'cheating' category, but if you have no honour and can live with yourself the next day, you can use it to get an edge. The way it works is when you suggest a game with someone, make no mention of the number of rounds you are going to play. Play the first match and if you win, take it is as a win. If you lose, without missing a beat start playing the 'next' round on the assumption that it was a best 2 out of 3. No doubt you will hear protests from your opponent but stay firm and remind them that 'no one plays best of one for a kind of decision that you two are making'. No this devious technique won't guarantee you the win, but it will give you a chance to battle back to even and start again.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

 

Coming soon to a fair near you


The Corndog taken to new heights.

 

Business on top, slob on the bottom

The Businessbib is set to revolutionize the way men do business at home. The telecommute just got a whole lot easier. Individuals can slip from the bedroom to the boardroom and back again in a flash with the introduction of the Businessbib. The Businessbib is a halfsuit with a split back Velcro-sealed design and is short-sleeved.

The piece just slips it on over a tee shirt and shorts. Gone are the days of showering and putting on the suit to work from home. The Businessbib means that no one will ever be the wiser. You will appear to others in your video domain to be fully prepared for the business at hand with little to no preparation may soon be considered the most important freedom of all.

If you want sleeves, buy a suit.