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Guest Post: Tommy Thumb, Peter Pointer & Buttons

December 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Hi folks!

I was recently sent this article from my grandfather, Bill Cunning (inventor of “Panic! Crossword Challenge), and thought it was rather clever and insightful — and may even give you people some idea of where I get my knack for nonsense from. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

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Tommy Thumb, Peter Pointer and Buttons

I have always believed in paying tribute to deserving people and so the following missive is dedicated to three “unsung heroes”. It’s hard to believe that they have done up and undone more than 400,000 buttons so far in my life. This does not include many other unnamed buttonings.

Have you ever threaded a needle, or even peeled an orange? If so, did you pay attention to see what natural actions were in motion during the process? Well what actually happened was that your brain told your eyes to see the problem, and then your thumb and first finger grabbed the thread and aimed it toward the eye of the needle held by the other thumb and forefinger. A similar action took place to peel the orange, sometimes with the help of your finger nails. Our brain organized the whole procedure from years of practice of threading needles or peeling oranges or buttoning. All this activity goes on and we probably do not realize it. And what about those similar actions that take place automatically when lacing shoes, scratching your skin, putting on socks, flipping a coin, testing food, zippers, light switches, using a fork at meal times, counting paper money, opening and closing Venetian blinds, playing a guitar, and so on… 101 jobs for them.

Those fingers really do not know what they will do until a problem arises. For instance, when your finger touches a hot pot it doesn’t know it’s hot until it sends a message, via some nerves, to our brain. The brain then tells the finger that “the pot is hot, take your finger off of it”. So that may be how most of our bodily actions take place.

This story is about Tommy Thumb (our thumb), Peter Pointer (our first finger), and Buttons. My education in perfecting the art of doing up and undoing buttons probably began about 80 years ago, born in Regina in wintertime when I was about four or five years old, learning to operate the buttons on my long-john combinations. In those years my pants had three buttons to close the fly (If someone noticed that a button on the fly was undone, they would say, “It’s one o’clock at the water works”). Then came shirts, sweaters and winter coats. Shirt cuffs were quite tight in those days and the buttons had to be undone to be able to get your arm into the sleeve. Thank goodness that manufacturers eventually made a looser cuff. There were usually five or six buttons to close a shirt. My sweaters were also button up as zippers were not common then. Pants braces had six buttons and overcoats either winter or rain, had four or five large buttons. It’s amazing to witness those two digits on both hands go about their business of finding a button and locating a hole to place it in. In time I became proficient in that job and could even do it with my eyes closed.

Now to the point of this article – an estimate of how many buttons I have done up and/or undone on my clothing from age 4 until age 85.

Daily Routine:

Age 4 to 14 days years total buttons total done up
combinations-winter 90 10 900 4 3,600
sweaters-winter 90 10 900 4 3,600
shirts-daily 365 10 3650 5 18,250
pajamas-daily 365 10 3650 4 14,600
overcoats-winter 150 10 1500 4 6,000
Total 46,050         

 

Age 15 to 65     
pajamas-daily           365 50 18,250 4 73,000
shirts-at home           365 50 18,250 5 91,250
shirts-business          260 50 13,000 5 65,000
sweaters-weekly          52 50 2,600 5 15,000
overcoats-winter         150 50 7,500 4 30,000
Total 274,250

                                                 

Age 66 to 85
pyjamas – daily 365 20 7,300 3 21,900
shirts-at home 365 20 7,300 5 36,500
shirts-casual 182 20 3,640 5 18,200
sweaters-casual 182 20 3,640 5 5,200
coats-winter 90 20 1,800 4 7,200
Total 89,000

 

Grand total                      
Age 4 to 14 46,050
   15 to 65 274,250
   65 to 85 89,000
Total buttoned up      409,300

Then I had to unbutton all 409,300 of those buttons!!!!

The next time you are dressing, take a moment to watch the activity as  buttons are being done up. Then give your thanks to our “unsung heroes”.

Winter Classic and 24/7 Back, Leafs Alumni Jerseys Should Have Stayed Back; 2014 WC in LA?

April 7, 2013 Leave a comment

The 2014 NHL Winter Classic has been officially (re)announced, and so have the jerseys each team will wear for both the main event and the alumni game. Not everyone appears to be as enthusiastic about the choice for the New Year’s Eve alumni game’s uniforms as Gary Bettman does.

leafs wings WC

The jerseys for the real teams will wear on New Year’s Day are, on the other hand, phenomenal. The potential 100,000+ fans in attendance at Michigan Stadium will be far happier to see Toronto in these ones — both of Detroit’s look sharp.

WCJerseys

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Also announced was the return of HBO’s 24/7 series, this year following both the Leafs and Red Wings behind the scenes as a lead up to the Winter Classic game. I still would love to see HBO place this amount of cinematic drama on the Stanley Cup Final — which is far more important than the mid regular season game that the WC is — but my opinion continues to fall upon deaf ears. Either way, I love this show, and I’m glad HBO stayed on board post-lockout to put it back on the air.

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Also reported (albeit not confirmed) by multiple sources was that an outdoor game (assumably the Winter Classic) in 2014 will be played — get this — in Los Angeles. You know, a place where people tired of being cold retreat to in order to escape the most necessary ingredients for outdoor ice hockey — cold and ice. It seems environmentally impossible, but Dodger Stadium is apparently getting a $100 million face-lift, so who knows what it’ll be capable of. Seems like an odd thing to lie about, but I’ll wait for confirmation from the NHL before I believe it. If it’s true, I sure am pumped for the LA Kings.

Reports also hint at the return of the Heritage Classic, to be played at a Canadian venue.

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While all those games were be announced as happening, looks like the NHL’s Europe Premier games for 2013 have been dealt the opposite fate — reports say 2013-14′s version of the across the pond games are out, with much discussion to be had on the NHL’s future international presence.

A Message For The NHL’s 2012 Playoff TV Ratings Critics

June 16, 2012 1 comment

[originally post for www.betonhockey.com on June 11/2011]

If there’s one thing that chaps me about the NHL’s critics, it’s their constant evaluation of playoff ratings, and assessment of hockey being “boring” because of low TV numbers.

The Los Angeles Kings/New Jersey Devils Stanley Cup Final isn’t producing the numbers that Boston/Vancouver did last year, and it’s not beating the NBA’s ratings either (this year’s game 6 ratings were actually better than last year, and the LA Kings owned social media interaction, but those are just details).

Well boo f’n hoo.

Look, I get it — the NHL is a business that sells the product of hockey to fans, advertisers, TV networks and the rest, and thusly it has to put a show on TV that a lot of people watch in order to swoon money away from all the afore mentioned parties. Fine.

Back in the day, the league scrambled to regain its post-lockout fan base, and was desperate to lure them back. Fans, viewers, and advertisers alike drooled over the “new NHL” that they were rewarded with, and ever since the NHL has seen its ratings and fan base grow exponentially. New rules were put in place to allow players more time and space to score, and impeding their progress was heavily penalized for the slightest obstructions. Players were paraded to the penalty box, and special teams dominated ice time. Goalies had their pad size decreased, got confined to a trapezoid shape around their net, and rightfully started getting lit up. Fighting became increasingly criticized, and thusly enforcers who contributed nothing besides their fists were put on notice that their services were far less necessary. Fans who came to see boxing matches were disappointed when the only thing that broke out was a hockey game.

Supposedly, the game was fun to watch “again” (it never wasn’t), and everyone seemed happy — except for goalies, tough-guys, all non-elite scorers who had to make defensive adjustments in their game to survive in the league, and also some elite players that took the retirement option rather than the adjustment one – well, everyone except most of the players, that is. So basically no one in the game was better for it, but all in the name of increased ratings and entertainment; everyone from the ground up made adjustments to produce a more entertaining on-ice product because the agreed consensus was it was a necessary evil.

But here’s the thing: you can modify the rules of the game and try to weed certain aspects/players out all you want, but eventually hockey players will adapt, survive, and thrive. Very few players really care if you find them entertaining or not (save for Sean Avery, et al), they just want to play the game they love, not get cut, make tons of money, and win. But they are aware of how their inflated salaries are funded.

Goalies are probably the best example of all – in the 80’s, scoring was probably at an all-time high, as Wayne Gretzky and others were making a mockery of modern goaltending by scoring 200 points in single seasons. Eventually, goalies got hip to it, bought bigger pads, invested themselves in honing their craft, and developed new styles of goaltending (see: Patrick Roy) that became the standard to learn from. Goaltenders even started handling the puck as well as some players, and scored goals (see: Martin Brodeur, Ron Rextall, etc).

In short, goalies got really good at stopping the puck, and scoring went down. Goalies were so good, people started to prefix Gretzky’s scoring triumphs with an asterix, because apparently they were achieved under crooked terms (despite the fact that legends like Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau and Rocket Richard scored and set records on even worse goalies).

Talented goalies became a “threat” to the product of hockey; so almost as a punishment for getting so good at their position, goalies had to downsize their equipment, stay in a smaller space, and endure ongoing threats of making their nets bigger and other absurdities. All in the name of entertainment.

So they made the adjustments, scoring went up, and everyone was happy — for a while. That is, until goaltenders like Jonathan Quick, Pekke Rinne, Tim Thomas, and an apparently ageless Martin Brodeur were able to adapt, survive, and thrive — and stop a lot of goals from going in.

And once again, people complain that hockey is boring because they don’t get to see 20 goals go in every night – the same thing they criticize the last generation for being able to do — despite the fact that the stars of this generation like Sidney Crosby, Alex Oveckin, Steven Stamkos, Claude Giroux and others still score the way Gretzky, Lemieux, Yzerman, and Hull were able to in the previous one. Either you want today’s elite to score 50 goals in 50 games, or you don’t, pick your side.

The casual fan that the NHL tries so hard to entice into becoming a viewer/customer doesn’t get that every level of hockey player would kill to crack an NHL lineup, if only as a fourth line player whose job description is limited to getting the puck over the center line and dumping it in the other team’s zone and changing. They don’t get that playing defensive and positional hockey is as important as scoring goals in some scenarios,

They don’t get that the players they view as “boring” have been playing the game since they were able to walk, travelled a million miles through every small town in the world, had coaches bench them, been told they weren’t good enough, been cut from teams, put in 1000’s of hours in the gym, spent 1000’s of dollars on equipment and training, gave up summers to devote to self-improvement, studied the game, learned to get better at their position, fought, injured every bone and muscle in their body, and have basically done everything it takes to just be a “boring” player. Casual fans don’t understand why every player isn’t as flashy as Crosby or Ovechkin. They don’t get the thrill of skating down open ice on a breakaway, making a crisp pass that sticks where it’s supposed to, making a big body check, having anywhere from 20 to 20,000 people cheering or booing you, or just how electrifying it is to be better than the other 11 players on the ice for one brief moment and score a goal.

And they’re shocked and appalled when playoff hockey success becomes defined by grit, toughness, and will, rather than the finesse and freewheeling they see all year. They don’t like that prominent regular season scorers like the Sedin’s get roughed up in the playoffs and can’t score as often. This is the way the NHL has always been, and always will be. Through all the concessions of tweaks and modifications they make, the league works hard to protect its roots. The NHL’s regular season is a show, the playoffs are a showdown. Playoff hockey is the real version of hockey, played in the key that every young player was taught by every coach they ever had. Playoff hockey is about two teams battling through everything the other throws at them, and scoring more goals than them by any means necessary. Every pro, college, junior, and minor hockey player know that a switch gets flipped come playoff time.

They want more penalties called because they think it’ll make the game faster and improve its flow – because, you know, nothing keeps the game moving like 50 stoppages of play per game to call penalties. And if they don’t see the penalties called that they are assessing from the comfort of their couch, some have the audacity to claim hockey is rigged. Come on.

Casual fans don’t get it because they’ve never done it. They’ve never been in those situations, and likely never will. Heck, I’d wager a good number of people calling hockey boring can’t even stand up on skates. The NHL isn’t trying to appeal solely to former players, it’s just that people who’ve played know what’s really going on out there, and have a better grasp on how to emotionally engage the game.

To be fair, there are some great minds in hockey that never did ever lace up in the NHL – Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger, James Duthie, Elliotte Friedman, and plenty others like them know their stats and inside information, no question – but the thing about stats and averages is that they may tell a good story, they can’t ever fully predict the happenings of a game as unpredictable as hockey is from shift to shift. Again, hats off to the insiders, but guys that have been on the ice immersed in those situations insiders try to predict the outcome of – guys like Ray Ferraro, Kelly Hrudey, Jeremy Roenick, Nick Kypreos, and up and comers like Justin Bourne – are the ones I’m going to lend my ear to when I really want to know what’s going through players’ heads. But that’s just me.

Inclusion may be the root of the entire problem – hockey is far more difficult to get involved in than other sports; you have to buy a lot of pricy equipment, plus facility and registration fees are high, whereas participation in sports like soccer and others require very little besides a ball and a sunny day. If there were as many grassroots hockey players worldwide as there are soccer players, maybe we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

So many exciting storylines have developed through these playoffs: LA entered as an eighth seed and dominated top teams, their incredible road victory record, the emergence of Jonathan Quick as an elite goaltender, Dustin Brown’s prominence and then disappearance, Dustin Penner’s redemption, the Radulov and Kostitsyn debacle in Nashville, Phoenix going farther than its franchise ever has and the fall out of their elimination, Martin Brodeur being 40 years old and still making ridiculous saves, Washington’s ongoing Ovechkin/coaching saga, Claude Giroux leading the playoffs in scoring while his team was eliminated for an entire round, every Tortorella post-game interview, and many more beyond those.

In the finals themselves, the first two games were decided in overtime, saw Kopitar score exciting goals, and now is featuring aNew Jerseycomeback when it seemed at first sight that LA was going to sweep the series. If overtime isn’t exciting enough for you, there’s even a plethora of Hollywood stars and other famous people attending games if straight-up hockey isn’t good enough for you – heck, even TMZ is covering stars attending Kings games/events.

But beyond all that still, you have two teams of players and coaches who are playing through pain and doing whatever it takes to accomplish what they’ve wanted to do since they were kids: win the Stanley Cup. It’s still the most difficult trophy to win in sports, and the lifelong goal of every person who’s laced up a pair of skates. To capture it is nothing short of a feat.

Anyone who doesn’t find entertainment in this extravaganza just doesn’t get hockey, and probably never will. The NHL wouldn’t agree with this, but if you’re reading this and are still one of the people calling hockey boring, please by all means, go watch basketball.

Cranial Cleanse: Brain On Shuffle — Questionable Cerebral Activity.

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment

As per evolutionary theory, Nudists should either become extremely hairy to keep warm and technically devolve back into monkeys, shouldn’t they? The evolutionary theory, of course, being that creatures adapt to their surroundings to survive? Seems like instead of putting clothes on to keep warm (which they are refusing to do), their bodies/brains should automatically switch on the “grow more hair to keep warm” button. Maybe Sasquatch sightings are really devolved nudists? If they don’t devolve, maybe nudists will go extinct all together.

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Speaking of questionable brain functions, what’s the deal with the mass worm suicides when it rains? Who’s the idiot worm spearheading the campaign call for every worm everywhere to surface when it starts raining, and then shrivel up and die all over my driveway? These worms must be the cult leaders of the worm world. Also, who knew there were that many worms?

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From my freezer, 5 minutes ago. I could take this same picture of different bananas every month.

Why do people insist on freezing their rotten bananas? As good as your intentions may be, and as good as banana bread is, you know you’re never going to make it. So just throw them away when they go bad.

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Why do people want you to smell bad things? Why is it that whenever something smells bad, there’s always someone who says, “aww man, this smells awful! Hey, come over here and smell this!” It smells BAD, moron, what makes your brain think this is a characteristic I look for in things I wish to smell?

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How useless is the “let me know if you don’t get this” email message? How would you know you didn’t get it? Should I reply to a non-existent email to confirm my not having received the message?

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Yahoo! Answers might be the most useless page on the internet. Yahoo Wrong/Irrelevant/Speculative-at-best Answers would be a more accurate name for that website.

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anti-biotics, pro-biotics….. cripes, do I want biotics in my body or not??? Is there a neutral biotic?

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HD TV technology has made me realize how much makeup sportscasters wear on-air during broadcasts. Seems a little uncalled for, like when they make elementary school boys wear red lipstick and makeup to perform in school musicals.

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Quite the audacity by Shell, thinking they can change the index/middle finger v-shape peace sign to stand for their V-Power gas instead.  Look Shell, you’re worth a lot of money, but YOU CAN’T REPLACE PEACE WITH THE MOST EXPENSIVE GRADE OF YOUR GASOLINE.

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There should be a rule that u must have seen the movie “What About Bob?” before you’re allowed to use the term “baby steps” in conversation.

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Dear all news shows, just stop broadcasting and start syndicating The Daily Show instead of your stuff. It’s far better material.

Hockey, Sports, and Non-Sense: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things….

March 31, 2011 4 comments

Ok, first some shameless self-promotion…. I’ve been published! Like, in a real newspaper! “The View” in Lake Country will be printing my stuff every two weeks, both in ink and online. Here’s a link to the first one. If you live in the Winfield/Lake Country area, be sure to pick up a copy and have a gander. Check out their website too, and follow them on Twitter.

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Ok, some hockey…..

Wish as you might, you're no Gretzky's.

As much as I hate the Vancouver Canucks, I do have to be objective from time to time, and give them their due. They’ve had an unreal season. The Sedin’s are running things. Can you imagine how many points Daniel would have had last season, had he not gotten hurt? Nearly comparable to what Sid Crosby might have ended up with minus his concussion this season. That ‘C’ might even have ended up on his sweater, rather than Henrik’s. Well, enjoy your President’s Trophy win. And remember, that award is for REGULAR SEASON accomplishments. If you’d forgotten that the playoffs are a whole other world, I’m sure a first round meeting with the Blackhawks will jog their memories pretty quick.  For the past 2 seasons, the President’s Trophy winner has lost in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs (Bruins, Captials), and it has been a curse to many other winners too.  Vancouver residents, have you purchased your 2011 riot protection gear yet?

Also, Alex Burrows leads the NHL in all-time most “what, no call?” looks at referees.

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Speaking of Crosby…this is out of line, but it’d be funny if his returning to the NHL now because Mario Lemieux told him if he didn’t play again, he’d have to move out of his house and get a real job. Luckily for Sid, he’s been out of Mario’s for a while now. Supposedly.

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"Say you're sorry, Mark!"

I don’t get why a respected veteran like Mark Recchi would say something stupid like a guy with a fractured vertebrae was embellishing. He said it was to take some heat off of Zdeno Chara after the Pacioretty incident, but I mean come on man, that’s pretty low. Those who argue his “veteran savvy” in diffusing a volatile situation can’t possibly compare what Recchi said to Gretzky showing up at Marty McSorley’s trial and drawing the media to the front of the building while Marty made a slick escape out the back. This is more like Chara did something regrettable, so Recchi went all topper, and said something stupider than Zdeno actually performed.  Just seems unnecessary, unclassy, and disrespectful, especially coming from a 2-time Stanley Cup champ, multi-time all-star, and future hall-of-famer.  Whatever. The Bruins slaughtered the Habs in the rematch, and basically just pwn them all around now.

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TSN’s Oilers documentary, “Oil Change” seems like it was named with wishful thinking. They’re still awful, just like last year. What is it exactly, that changed? I’d still like to see more of this and HBO 24/7’ish NHL programming next season; and as I’ve mentioned before, it’d be unreal to shoot a show like this in the Cup finals.

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Sports Shorts….

With the baseball season underway, go ahead and try to justify why MLB teams need to play 162 games a season. No really, go ahead, I dare you. Can’t do it? Shocking.

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I loved this little quip from President Obama on the NFL labor dispute, especially the little smirk at the end: http://youtu.be/-x9NDSxGV90  Figure it out NFL.  Or your fans may be forced to endure a “New NFL“, too.

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Is it just me, or does Andy Roddick seem like he’s trying WAAAY too hard to be the John McEnroe of this generation of tennis, verbally? I guess pro sports are entertainment after all; I’m sure sports not included in the “big 4” need to try a little harder to compete for viewership and advertising/merchandise sales.

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Annnnnd, some non-sense……

I’ve purchased 3 Tim Hortons’ Roll-Up The Rim To Win Cups, and had one winner (coffee), leaving me with a .333 winning percentage. Could be better. But then again, it could be worse, and I could be addicted to coffee.

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If you can’t pay your debt to the mafia, and they break your legs, or whatever, does that clear your debt, or do you still owe? Do they keep breaking more things until your cough up the cheddar, or does the bodily harm cover it?

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If we all collectively start ignoring Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, & Justin Bieber, will they all go away and disappear from conversation?

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Piers Morgan is the worst interviewer on TV. And of all-time. Someone make him go away. Who thought he’d actually work out as a follow-up to Larry King?

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Scream 4? Come on….seriously? They actually thought it was a good idea to make another one of those?  The Arquette split must’ve been more expensive than either David or Courtney realized it would be.

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Instead of going on detox diets, why don’t people just not-tox in the first place? Wouldn’t that save a lot of time, pain, and money?

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Is it just me, or do most minimum wage jobs require a lot more actual, physical work than most high paying jobs?

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Whomever ended up with 555-5555 as their phone number must regret accepting those digits.

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The band Rush, to me, is as rap music is to my dad: Bothersome noise. Turn that crap off!

 

Cranial Cleanse: Reality Renormalization, Ben Franklin, Akon, Bowl Games Boggle, Catfish, Spelling, and Special Feature Shh’ers… You Know Who You Are.

February 16, 2011 8 comments

Can we just go ahead and properly rename “reality” shows like Survivor, Big Brother, etc as regular game shows, like they actually are?  In what person’s twisted “reality” do you get deprived of food and water for extended periods of time, purposely betray trust and stab people in the back, and generally do whatever it takes to screw people out of a large lump sum of money and obtain it for yourself?  What is the big difference between “reality” tv and a gameshow, that a “reality” show is not filmed in a studio, and sometimes they go outside? 

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When someone makes an ambiguous statement, and then follows it up by saying “You know who you are”, in reference to anonymously calling out people who do what’s being talked about;  sometimes that subject’s identification is a lot hazier than the speaker realizes.   It’s a lot like when someone that you don’t know is waving at someone behind you, but you don’t realize there’s someone behind you, and you think the mystery person is waving at you, and you question yourself whether you should point at yourself and mouth “me?” to the person, or not.  Then you turn around and realize there’s someone behind you returning the greeting.  You also conclude that, you’re an idiot that no one wants to wave at.  Moral of the story is that people need to be more specific; you people who are purposefully general, you know who you are…

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I hate every song Akon sings.

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The whole college football “bowl” season’s popularity boggles me.  It’s great when teams like my friend Adam’s favourite Oregon Ducks make it to the legit national championship; but for all the other bowl game’s whose participants are voted in rather than earning their spots, I have a hard time giving them much cred as they lay claim to the “prestigious” Godaddy.com Bowl Championship, and other such farce trophies.  I mean, are college football teams actually excited to win the godaddy.com Bowl? Can u tell someone you won that with a straight face and legitimately be proud of yourself?

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No disrespect to people out there who choose to use online dating services to find a mate, but if you do, do yourself a favor and see the movie “Catfish” first.  Please.  I won’t spoil the movie for you, but basically a woman grossly misrepresents herself through an online relationship and the guy calls her on it.  It’s pretty nutty.  On paper, you would think online matching services would be able to very scientifically and appropriately pair people, BUT that only has a chance of working when truthful data is entered.  Granted, the movie isn’t based on an online dating site (rather, an email/facebook connection), but the same premise still applies.

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I really enjoy the “Special Features” option on DVD’s; you know, deleted scenes and whatnot.  But the one thing I just don’t get why anyone would want to see/hear it is the movie’s audio commentary (usually by the director, actors, or people involved in the film) dubbed overtop of the show and drowning out the movie’s dialogue – I mean, who wants to watch a movie while someone’s talking the whole time?  Isn’t this just a “shhhh’ers” crowning moment?

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It’s a good thing electricity was invented; at this point, there wouldn’t have been enough trees left on the planet to burn for heat and light for the 7 billion people of today.  Well played, Ben Franklin.

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Accidentally misspelling “lose” as “loose” automatically makes your sentence twice as hilarious (laughing at you, not with you, hilarious), and makes you look like twice the idiot.

Counter-Productive Camo, Vanity Sanity, Taking Care, Dickfor, Invalid Validity & Demonizing Dog Punting.

December 17, 2010 1 comment

well, it looks like at least one guy can't see him.

Ok, so you’re in the military; I’ve legitimately got all the respect in the world for you. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but is it really necessary for you to be dressed in your camouflage fatigues at all times, even out in public, broad daylight, and basically anywhere you can’t hide and can be seen? Isn’t that technology supposed to help you blend in with your surroundings and keep you hidden and safe from enemies? Who are you fooling sitting in an airport LA-Z-Boy while reading the paper?

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The mindless things we say to each other… Why do we tell people to “take care” at the conclusion of an interaction? Sure, it sounds nice, and like you care about their well-being and all; but what are you really advising? Are people forgetting care at home when they leave? Is the notion of being careful lost upon a person unless they are reminded to take it with them? Are people noticeably more wreckless and accident/injury prone after wrapping up a conversation without this prompting?

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I recently heard some 10 year old kid using the classic “dickfor” joke on his friend, which I hadn’t heard since I was about his age.   Some juvenile gags never phase themselves out apparently.

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Is “Invalid” one of the most demeaning descriptive terms out there used to describe someone who is disabled?  I mean, so the person has some sort of physical limitation, now they’re no longer even a valid human being?  Come on, now. 

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I like it when people don’t BS and just call things the way they actually are. I took this pic of the Vanity Salon on Leon in Kelowna, because (in name, at least) finally there’s a salon that isn’t trying to fool anyone; this business promotes vanity, and is probably going to make you pay an exorbitant amount of money for something you could probably do almost as well by yourself at home. Beautiful.

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Gizmo (top left & snoozing bottom right) & Koko (top right/bottom left)

Why does everyone want to punt my dogs? Ok, so they’re small, yappy, and if there was such thing as a canine IQ test, I can’t say they’d score all that well. But I mean, come on, look at them. You’re telling me you’d actually, literally, line one of them up and try to put them through the uprights? You’re pure evil. Feel shame.

Cranial Cleanse: CCM Caught Copying, Soft Reassessment, Intentional Tears, Taliban Takeover, Christmas Shopping/Cute Female Override, & Rider Donuts.

December 10, 2010 8 comments

Bauer Vapor x:60's Limited Edition from 2009 (left) & CCM Crazy Light's from 2010 (right)

CCM’s new Crazy Light skates are just blatant Bauer Vapor x:60 rip offs, aesthetically, are they not? I’m sure they’re made different and all, but look at these pictures, and tell me the CCM guys didn’t at least once say to themselves, “well, if we can’t beat ‘em, lets copy join them.”  It’s an interesting move considering that Bauer has been running away with the skate popularity race for years.  It seems a little surrender-ish from a company that had a lot of people swearing by CCM Tacks for years.  I wonder if their Reebok owners had any input into the design?

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Is it a little disturbing to know that a “baby’s butt” has been determined to be the standard in smoothness, and that this fact is verified and supported by most people? Who’s feeling all these baby’s butts to compare? Potentially worse yet is the thought of a guy with a baby’s butt in one hand, and a comparative object in the other, saying to himself, “Nope, I’m gonna stick with the butt. Still the softness standard to me.” FIND SOMETHING LESS WEIRD TO BE THE SOFTEST THING IN THE WORLD.

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When it comes to shampoo, why is it that when you’re no longer a baby, you’re immediately subjected to the eye-burning formulation? Why can’t all shampoo not hurt when you accidentally get it in your eyes?

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If you’re in the Taliban and you keep hearing on the news about when the armed forces of the US, Canada, and other countries are planning on pulling out of the Middle East, aren’t you just saying to yourselves you’ll just keep hanging on until they’re gone?  Seems like an ineffective peace strategy when literally anyone can look up whatever information they want on the internet.  Hint to North American forces, they don’t all live in caves as you might presume…

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Christmas shopping overrides the importance of all other shopping outings of the year (birthdays, etc).  It takes place all year round, not uncommon to be heard of happening in mid-June, and sometimes Christmases in advance for the hardcore.  But honestly, the hype around that one hot item of the year that everyone wants…I mean, unless you need the Tickle Me Elmo (or whatever it is this year) in your closet for 8 months that bad, everything you need is available from somewhere, either in store or online,  right up to Christmas Eve. And when you pull in to the mall parking lot on Christmas Eve to get that one last present you need to complete your season’s shopping experience, signal to turn into the ONE empty spot in the whole lot, and then slam on the brakes halfway into the spot when you see this sign, how angry would you guess you’d be, on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 is clam happy, 10 is volcanic)?  I get the whole “green initiative” thing, but this really steams me.

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Speaking of override, once a woman gets the notion that someone or something is “cute” in their mind, there is no turning back. The female recognition of cute overrides all rational and logical thinking. Every man knows he’s heard lines from girls like, “Oh that baby’s so cute, lets buy everything in the world for him!” or “That Leonardo DiCaprio’s a terrible actor, but he’s just so…darn…cute… we should go rent all his movies right now, and tomorrow I’m flying to LA to stalk hi– wait, I mean for, um, business….” or any stereotypical story where a girl falls for a complete numbskull who ends up beating her, getting her pregnant and generally destroying her future all because she thought he was cute, to which all we can (legally) do as males is just shake our heads. Well maybe not all the scenarios are like that last example, but you get my point.

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And lastly… not even Tim Hortons’ special edition Saskatchewan Roughriders sprinkle donuts were enough to bring the 2010 Grey Cup back to Regina.  After all the over-hyping and pro Rider media, you gotta respect Montreal for repeating as Grey Cup champions.

Bieber & The Pop Star Perversion, An Ugg-Lee Merger, the Daylight Savings Time Deficiency, American Politics, Daytime calls, Allen Keys Annoyance, & the JW Halloween Costume Loophole.

November 7, 2010 4 comments

This daylight savings time thing really should be all all-or-none effort; it really makes next to no sense for only some provinces, states and cities to do it.  The city of Creston BC (where I played junior hockey) and the entire province of Saskatchewan (where I got my degree, played college hockey, met my wife, etc) don’t participate, why should the rest of us have to have it dark at 4:30 pm?

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The ratio of which American media talks about, prep for, & pre/post analyze polls, to the time they spend actually voting is extremely lopsided towards the former.  Immediately following whatever that mid-term election stuff was, there was already Obama vs Palin polls being taken for a potential 2012 presidential showdown (with Obama winning handily), instead of interest in what the newly elected governors/senate or whatever were going to accomplish.  Can somebody please focus on the present?  Did Jon Stewart Rally For Sanity in vain?? 

The ratio of which American politicians campaign/slander their opponents in commercials to the time they spend doing actual work is about of the same ratio.  Those TV commercials seem to be more about how bad the opponent is and what a horrible job they’ve done, and rarely mention anything about what the prospective candidate is going to do better.  What have we learned? Slander > function?

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Please go away, and don't come back. Cut your hair, and take your teeny bopper girl scout troop with you. Also, leave all your money.

I don’t even know who Justin Bieber is. What I DO know is that I can’t stand him. I hope the “Bieber Bus” somehow ends up in a fiery car wreck along with every Smart car ever produced, all at the same time. No casualties, of course, except for the vehicles.  And Bieber.  Okay, I do know who he is, and I’ll have to give the little …. guy some credit, he can sing.  It’s just the media over-hype/commercialization, and the screaming pre-teen girls that make me want to blow up my TV and stab myself in the ears when I hear that name.  I can’t wait until puberty kicks in, the voice cracks, and this whole charade comes to a grinding halt…

My wife raised an interesting point the other day about the Rihanna-Eminem collaborated songs “Love The Way You Lie” parts 1 & 2, to the tune of whether or not it’s appropriate for Rihanna to sing a song about domestic violence after the whole Chris Brown-domestically-violencing-her incident.  The duet is an interesting juxtaposition, because on the other hand you also have Eminem and his storied domestic dispute history with wife/ex-wife/wife/ex-wife Kim; and how his lyrics have never known any limits in regards to appropriation and are very purposefully presented that way; not all that different than the way Marilyn Manson was hung by the media for in the 90′s.

So then the question becomes, what is the the line between musical artists creating intelligent, insightful music and them creating for pure shock value, creating controversy just to get people talking and to sell records?  Interesting how you usually hear all the hubub right around when one of their albums is about to be released, isn’t it?  And further, as most of us would (at least morally) disagree with the commercialization of young, girl musical artists dressing scantily and singing sexually provocative lyrics (not even written by the artist),  who then is more skanky, the lip-syncing pop star, or the record producer endorsing promoting the act to even younger kids with the sole intention of turning a profit?

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If Ugg boots and Lee jeans merged, you’ve have an aptly named product.  Wordplay, FTW.  Imagine an ugly looking pair of boots sewn onto the bottoms of a low grade pair of jeans creating a one-piece waist-to-toe garment.  You’re welcome, upcoming spring fashion.

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If you’re a telemarketer, or anyone who works for an over-the-phone annoyance business, why are you phoning homes in the middle of the day?  You’re obviously targeting the unemployed, because they’re the only people that would be home during the day while everyone else is working; yet if they’re not employed, they probably can’t afford whatever it is that you’re peddling.  Seems counterproductive, no?  Further, the callers that come equipped with background info (know your address, and other info) and probably even know that you do work during the day; that seems like a complete waste of a call seeing as though you’re almost definitely not home, and even if someone was home, the people that the homeowner would actually want to talk to would  know they’d be out at that time of the day and wouldn’t be calling, so there’s no way it’s someone they’d actually want to talk to,  and thusly it would not be worth the risk of answering a day-time phone call without caller ID or if they didn’t recognize the number.

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There should be a law against manufacturing mechanical parts that require Allen/Hex keys.  If you’re working on a project in your garage/workshop, or wherever, and you encounter that one pivotal screw that requires that oddball L-shaped disgrace tool to remove it, you immediately curse its inventors, and wonder why making the screw fit a Phillips, Robertson, or any other conventional tool was just too much to ask.

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I wonder how many actual Jehovah Witnesses were knocking on doors on Halloween? Seems like a good night to get more than 2 seconds of people’s attention; as you tell the person at the house you’re not actually dressed up, it’s how you dress every day, that you don’t want candy but would like to come in and talk, and then…. SLAM.

Consequently, I’d be willing to bet anyone who dressed up as a Jehovah Witness for Halloween and attempted to trick or treat probably didn’t receive one single piece of candy from anyone.  In fact, I might even bet that the whole Halloween needles-in-apples scandal was probably based on one Jehovah Witness-trick or treat incident.  Thanks guys, thanks a lot.  Stop bothering people.  And if someone does let you into their home, don’t take that as an open invitation for infinite visits.

Sports Shorts: MJ-Favre, Shootout Trophy, Kings Colors, Goalie Chirps, and the Commonwealth Games Snub.

October 27, 2010 9 comments

 

 

Before (good) & after (not as good)

To me, it seems that the most recent incarnation of Brett Favre (that is, the Minnesota Vikings version) seems a lot like the most recent playing incarnation of Michael Jordan (Washington Wizards edition); both former superstars in their prime (Jordan best basketball player ever, Favre arguably one of the better quarterbacks in recent history), now playing in/beyond the twilight of their career, playing for an obscure team not likely of much success, putting up decent enough numbers to say that they’re contributing, but not in a “championship contender” kind of way.  Oh, and they both danced the retired/unretired/retired/unretired-legacy endangering sonata, with Mike finally bowing out, and Brett (supposedly) finally winding down after this year as well.  I know it’s gotta be hard to leave the game for a lot of different/mostly selfish reasons; it’s all they’ve ever done, all their friends are doing it, what else would they do, they’re really good at it, winning championships is fun, self-worth and identification, etc.  But I think the mark of a really great player in any sport is being good enough at it, and earned enough respect through the years to be granted the ability to leave their game on their terms.  Too many players who’ve had good careers abuse this right, lose the privilege, and are eventually told there’s no longer room for them (Mike Modano), or are told just to leave altogether (Chris Chelios).   Not that Modano nor Chelios possess the legacy in hockey that Jordan or Favre do in basketball or football, but you get the point.       

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How is there still not a side points bracket for shootout goals/saves in the NHL?  With such a pivotal interlude in the game that literally wins or loses games, you’d think the people responsible for the results could get some sort of recognition.  Their stats don’t need to count towards Rocket Richard or Vezina Trophy balloting, but why shouldn’t there be a trophy for most shootout goals in a season?  Or shootout saves for that matter?  The best rookie (Calder), defenceman (Norris)/ a forward ”being good at defensive aspects” (Selke), and most gentlemanly player (Lady Byng) all get one and have their acheivements recognized; you’re telling me the guy responsible for winning the most games in the season shouldn’t get something?

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Before (underrated) & After (looking sharp)

I have to admit, I like the retro LA Kings jerseys; they might even be my favourite throw-back uniform so far.  I think the purple and gold look better than they get credit for, and I also think they got way too much heat for looking bad back when they were the starting jerseys.  Also, nice work on the brown pads, glove and blocker.

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A few goalie chirps… how many 2nd chances on how many different teams is Jose Theodore going to get to be good again?  How long before the lustre/protection of a Vezina/Hart Trophy win in 2002 wears off? 10 years max?

Can you imagine if Cory Schnieder bumped $64 mil Roberto Luongo out of the Canucks’ starting goalie spot?  Lu should be careful with his “the team decided to give Schneids the night off” comments, they might just come back to haunt him, pemanently. 

I’m secretly cheering for Carey Price (not the Habs, just Price) to have an awesome year and shut everyone in Montreal up.  He’s got it rough playing in front of that kind of heat (Habs fans).  Obviously the fans wanted Halak to stay, and no one blames them.  Price getting traded probably would have been the best thing for him, but alas here he is.

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Speaking of heat, with all the hubbub about Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh over the summer, the Miami Heat pretty well have to win the NBA title this year if they’re going to show their faces in the league after this season, right?  Ok, good talk. 

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Do the Commonwealth Games seem a little snooty to anyone else?  54 countries are invited to participate, while at the Olympics, 200 are invited.  Do the results not seem a little skewed when you only compete against ¼ of the world’s sporting community?  Sure it’s nice to win stuff and be better than other people at sports, but I wouldn’t have too long of a parade when I get home for winning one of those medals.  Tough to brag much about winning when athletes from countries like China, Russia, Germany, and the USA aren’t invited or anywhere near the premises.  Congratulations, you beat competitors from a bunch of other average nations at this event….        


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