Archive for February, 2006|Monthly archive page

Air guitar brush rocks

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

Courtesy of Tiger. It is perfection, …dude!

Olympic Wrap-Up

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

Watching the Olympics lifts me up and makes me a complete and unadulterated red-and-white wearing optimist. 24 medals and something like 12 fourth-place finishes later, I’m sad to see them go again. Mind you, my version of optimism features lots of swearing, hexes and pacing.

Thankfully, our athletes aren’t of my ilk. No, on a world stage where comparisons among national stereotypes are easy to make, we come across as sincere, embracing, funny, team-oriented and determined. Qualities that make us internationally huggable yet formidable opponents (and competent peacekeepers).

At this Olympics, we seemed to be very Nordic somehow. That sense of a small community with a quirky sense of humour and love of strange sports involving dangerous equipment and snow. Look at our successes: if you didn’t know better, you’d say we are a nation of speed skaters, of lugers and bobsledders, of skeleton, of cross-country skiers. More than that, we are a nation whose female athletes reign (and some of them have thighs that could crack your skull!)

So, as I await the closing ceremonies (watching the gold-medal men’s hockey game right now, of course), here’s what I’ll remember from Torino:

  • The passion of the women’s hockey team. And hoo-girl, do we have some great young players for 2010. The contrasts between the women’s and men’s hockey teams are numerous. Of all of the “sure-fire” winners the media foisted on us, I had most confidence in our women hockey players. They said they would deliver, and they did. For the men, it is the media that built up the men’s team to be easy gold-medalists. The top 6 teams on the men’s side were full of NHL players, and all of the quarter-final teams have placed somewhere in the top 3 at World’s or the Olympics in the past. So, part of our disappointment can be blamed on false expectations. Of course, we can and should ask about who was selected to go, lines, plays (Quinn?) and such. In the end, they tried but didn’t gel. Humph.
  • Our skeleton guys are hot and sweet. Duff and Jeff on the podium, and Paul a close fourth. They’re all working guys who trained their butts off. Talked all about each other, best of pals, much of braun, strong of mirth and truly humble.
  • Figure skating is so yesterday. Elvis was on the CBC last night blasting the whole figure skating competition that happened at Torino–more fluff than athleticism for his taste, and I agree. And with the new judging system, it was somehow possible for a chick with “snow on her ass” to win the silver. Here’s what I think: figure skating was this incestuous community that had a stranglehold on people’s attention and money in Olympics gone by, but it’s a darling no more. More girls and boys are flocking to speed skating or hockey. On a completely separate note, I had a sudden epiphany that I know of a workplace that is run by a group of metaphorical pre-reform skating judges ;)
  • Our “unknown hero” story – Chandra Crawford. That crazy smile as she crossed the finish line was priceless. And she was so not expected to do anything, that the CBC site had to post a line drawing on their site because they had neither picture nor profile of her until after she won the medal. To be sure, if I had to deal with that level of perkiness in real life, it would probably lead to fisticuffs, but if that’s what it takes to come out of nowhere and win, so be it
  • Crazyass sports are cool. The snowboard cross, skeleton (seriously, have you *seen* what this is?), and most of all, short-track relay are edge-of-your-seat wonders. And you fall here, it’s because you were going balls out or someone gave you a cheap shot or your face hit the side of an ice wall. The gold-medal short-track relay for the men was bittersweet, in that we won a silver, but holy crap was it cool–and the Koreans pulling in front at the last lap was wild. w00t.
  • Everyone loves a Newf. Schools and businesses were shut down so that people across Newfoundland and Labrador could watch the men’s curling final. And having old-timer Russ Howard in the mix just made it more entertaining for those who like the curling. Brad Gushue is a sex object, for Pete’s sake. And Nichol’s shot-making in the finale was sweeeet. The number of drinking/celebration references post-game are so, well, Newf. Just made me smile.
  • When did Kelly Hrudy start to make sense? I’ve found myself nodding more often than not with his analysis. While this frightens me somewhat, I’m pleased that I don’t have to mute every time he’s on…
  • Selfless and good. Cindy Klassen builds houses in South America. Clara Hughes decided to give $10,000 of her OWN money to charity. I like that in a girl. Of course, we need to be discussing why Canada doesn’t give any money to its winning athletes while most other countries do–it’s not a moral high road when most of our amateurs have day jobs. Let’s help them have a life after they’ve given so much to sport.

Anyway, I look forward to the closing ceremonies–where Klassen will carry the flag–I need to see how one ‘trumps’ big plastic cows.

<i>Subject lists Limbaugh AND Moore – interesting</i>

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

If you are look for a job and are any good at data mining, looks like the FBI is hiring.

More information on a FBI program (under the auspices of Homeland Security) to collate and analyse aggregate AND individual Internet profiles, including data sources such as Amazon “wish lists”:

We can fight back. Go to and pick the most oddball combo of items that you can think of. You *might* experience new and interesting questions while crossing the border, but you’d be screwin’ the man!

I feel warm and fuzzy inside!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

When the Canadian Women’s Hockey team won the gold yesterday, there were enough Canadians in the audience that I could hear their voices singing the national anthem as the flag went up. It’s a gold medal, and it’s our anthem, and it’s hockey and… trite maybe, but it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

A team who worked their butts off to win. A team that wanted, more than anything else, to win. A team that deserved to win.

…and some very pretty goals.


Sunday, February 19th, 2006

Was chatting with Melle and pondering, dunno, life, age, stuff. At one point, I said that I sometimes wonder what I’m doing here and not there. She asked me where there is, but I couldn’t really say at the time. I guess I have an idea now…

There is sometimes a very solitary, invisible existence in a small flat near library or bookshop or research facility where I work. I don’t go out much. Don’t socialize. But I have an extraordinary internal life. This place is in another country.

There is sometimes the turn I might have taken about 10 years ago. I sabotaged a relationship whose progression would have been living together in Toronto, I think. I wouldn’t have pursued my second Master’s degree, so I might be teaching, or maybe I would have found my way to IT anyway.

There is sometimes a Professor in English Literature. Large and imposing 1920s home with many rooms but no permanent partner–maybe a string of TAs who do more than mark papers for me. Lots of conferences.

There is sometimes a power-driven Director in Software. All business and ball-bashing as necessary. Golf. Networking. Squash. Whatever the boys do.

I suppose a little of each lives in my here, and “what if” is an endgame. And it’s not about “would I have been happier?” and such–I’m far too pragmatic in my understanding of myself for that. More like, how curious it is that this is the forking path I’m on…

“the most important game in the history of women’s hockey”

Saturday, February 18th, 2006

I don’t particularly like Brian Williams, but he’s right on this one. Sweden’s win over the USA to advance to the gold-medal game is the tolling of the bell for North American dominance in the sport–and as much as it must be crushing for the Americans (I mean, I feeel for them), it’s a good thing.

And, ehem, GO CANADA GO.

it’s the little things

Saturday, February 18th, 2006

like coming home at the end of the day to a clean driveway, when you know you left it with 5 inches of snow on top. And I don’t even know which neighbour did it, cuz there are three who might be the nice guy.

thanks, neighbour nice guy!

I love you, too

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Generally, when I get home from work in the winter, I hunker down with a blanket on the couch for a wee nap. JeanLuc usually cuddles in beside me, and he insists that my hand is touching him. He’ll paw the blanket and dig it out otherwise.

So, he’s cuddling and cleaning and, well, he felt it was a good idea to give his ARSE a good cleaning, close enough to my hand for me to feel his cold, wet nose with each swipe at the area.

Um, yeah. Comfortable, buddy?

just wait 5 minutes…

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Today is the kind of day that makes one pause and think about environmental issues.

Woke up this morning to about 4 inches of snow on the ground, followed by periods of freezing rain most of the day, followed by downpours of rain as I drove home, followed by (and I’m not kidding here) a thunderstorm about half an hour ago. It is going up to +8 overnight with continued rain showers. We’ll start tomorrow at +8 and be at -9 by the afternoon, and, of course, more snow.

Now where are those plans for my apocalypse shelter???

Matters clean and matters cynical

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

Matters clean
I have a new vacuum. Well, really it’s a second new vacuum. See, I bought a new vacuum on the Internet a while ago and last weekend I was vacuuming the living room and there was an acrid, electronics-burning kind of smell. So I turned it off and bent down to smell it and poof! a little fire and then smoke. With just the packing slip to show for my purchase, I thought I’d have to hunker down to customer service battle. Called HBC. They told be to bring it back to the Zellers where I picked it up and I got a full credit to my account. Just like that. Huh.

The newest vacuum goes vroom and sucks like the wind! I didn’t know my carpet has nap.

Matters cynical
Enough with Gretzky. He ain’t got nothin’ to do with it. Get over it. And why aren’t you following Tocchet to the ends of the Earth? And then the Bertuzzi suit gets filed today of all days – when he’s starting at the Olympics. They are saying that it’s due to a quirk in the legal system whereby they had to file by the second anniversary of the causative incident (in this case the thumping that Moore gave that led to the thumping that Bertuzzi gave). Regardless of whether or not he should be sued, the timing is manipulative. Bullcrap.

This is NOT sports coverage. This is ET Sports.