Archive for July, 2010

Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp 2010!

July 31, 2010 2 comments

The third annual “Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp”  is nearly upon us.  And yes I did say that with Christmas-Eve-ish excitement. 

I’ve been really fortunate to have been absorbed into the organizing team, and to have had the opportunity to partake last year and this year.  Basically an all-inclusive hockey vacation, our registrants are granted the opportunity to 1) golf Shannon Lake Golf Club in West Kelowna 2) board a houseboat cruise of Okanagan Lake, provided by The Boardroom including an open bar, and being catered by Original Joe’s Restaurant, where Clark Gillies may or may not do this again:

3) play three days of hockey practice, scrimmage, and a final showdown for the VT Cup (a replica Stanley Cup, complete with engraved names of past winners) in a charity game 4) be accomodated at 5 star The Cove Resort in West Kelowna, and participate in all our social activities (hint: the event is also sponsored by Okanagan Spring Brewery and Ex Nihilo Winery), where Bryan Trottier may or may not shave his signature moustache as part of an impromtu midnight charity auction again to the tune of a karaoke’d rendition of Sweet Home Alabama:

Oh, I forgot to mention, they get to do all these things with NHL Hall of Fame Legends Bob Bourne, Clark Gillies, Dale Hawerchuk, Billy Smith, Dave Semenko, Bryan Trottier, Larry Melnyk, Steve Shutt, Ron Flockhart, and Doug Bodger, who by the way, are all still really good at hockey.  Our players also recieve 2 personalized jerseys (home and away, with choice of number), a free stick and gloves, and various other freebees of all kinds.  For a hockey fan, it’s a pretty big deal. 

While it’s too late to sign up or sponsor for this year, you my loyal readers, can still purchase tickets for the VT Cup Championship game, of which 100% of ticket sales will directly

to the victor go the spoils...

 benefit the Rick Hansen Foundation.  Tickets are $7.50, pretty freaking decent to see that amount of NHL caliber in one game.  The game is a lot of fun for players and fans alike; we’ll have some local personalities provide in-game entertainment, so bring your friends, family, kids, and of course yourself for a great afternoon of entertainment.  Puck drops at 1:00 PM at the Royal LePage Place Arena in West Kelowna on August 7th.  There will be an open autograph session for any and all fans to get all the pros to scribble on whatever you want at noon as well.   

Hope to see you all there!

Stuff That Sucks 4: FAIL Edition. Fake Grass, Creme Eggs, Twitter, and Fat-Cats

July 19, 2010 6 comments


So in an effort to lighten the mood around here after recent events,  I’m returning to my blogging roots, and  presenting you with some moderately humorous pictures and observational commentary on said pictorials, in hopes of getting a few snickers out of you (the laughter, not the chocolate bars.  Unless you feel like sending those too).  Without further adieu, the 4th installment of “Stuff that Sucks” is here, with a special FAIL edition! {editors note: I’m not in anyway affiliated with FAILblog, though I find it hilarious.  I’m too lazy to send these in to them, and I doubt they’d post them anyways}


So Syn-Lawn and other artificial turf installation companies have come out with a product that eliminates the need to water, cut, or generally maintain a lawn.  Great for the lazy guy– until they discover that weeds have adapted to their attempted extinction, and found a way to grow right through their imitated sworn enemy.  Um, refund, anyone??


 Cadbury Creme Eggs are hands down the greatest Easter chocolate product on the market.  There isn’t a bunny, marshmallow chocolate, or any other cocoa contender for this title.  I recently found out a friend of mine from high school became a Cadbury Rep since high school, and when I met up with her, she gave me a whole pile of my coveted treats.  So as excited as I was to bite into the current Creme Egg I had corralled into my possession, I was equally deflated when I bit into it — only to discover IT WAS FREAKING EMPTY.


Ok Twitter, so you’ve got nearly 200 million people “tweeting” through you every month.  You’re sweeping the nation.  You’ve found your way into popular culture vocabulary.  Can you please freaking figure out how to keep yourself open already???  How does a site with this amount of fanfare and popularity have such incompetence at its helm?


When the top of your couch, futon or other living room sitting aparatus goes from parallel with the floor to a modified “U” -shape from your cat sitting on top of it, it’s probably time for kitty to cut back on the Whiskas Temptations.  My friend Jeff‘s cat, Harley (pictured) doesn’t seem to mind so much.

Goodbye, My Friend. Remembering and Celebrating the Life of Colin Burritt.

July 14, 2010 2 comments

To follow up my last entry about my friend Colin’s terminal battle with cancer, here is a cut and pasted obituary:

Colin’s brief but impactful life was cut short after a courageous battle with cancer (Burkitt’s Lymphoma). Colin went to be with Jesus on July 5, 2010 at the age of 29 years. Colin was a loving and patient husband and father who was anxious to begin his Policing career. Colin leaves to cherish his memory his faithful and devoted wife Melissa, their two little boys, Corban (age 4) and Keegan (age 2). He is also survived by his parents, Neil and Darlene Burritt; his brothers, Brad (Taegen) and Kris (Jennie); one sister, Nicole (Simon) Cripps; his parents-in-law, Glen and Sue Motz, and a brother-in-law Andrew (Natalie) Motz, as well as grandparents and numerous nieces and nephews. Colin will be dearly missed by family and his many friends whose lives he touched along the way.”

I was honoured to have attended the celebration of his life on Friday, July 9 at Hillcrest Evangelical Missionary Church in Medicine Hat, Alberta.  At Missy’s (and Colin’s) request to all in attendance, I wore no black, but as bright of nice looking and appropriate attire that I had.  It was no “Dumb & Dumber” tux, but khakis with a shirt and tie never hurt anyone.  It was to be a celebration, not to be a gloomy occasion.  I believe this event accomplished this goal better than any I’ve seen before it. 

As a fresh Medicine Hat City Police graduate, Colin had what seemed to be the entire police force in attendance; and deservingly so.  As surreal as his whole battle had been, it brought reality to my perspective very quickly to see him lying in uniform in his casket.  My friend was really, actually gone from this life.  Some outstanding and incredibly brave speaking by the church’s pastor, a police staff member, Colin’s father –in-law, and finally Missy herself, was given.  I was honoured to have been quoted in Missy’s dad’s speech, regarding some final thoughts and memories I wrote to Colin before he passed, and that he had been able to read himself.  As Colin exited the sanctuary via the police force pallbearers, the finality of it all set in completely, and my emotions got the best of me.  I cried.  I was lucky that my friend Mike Wall and his wife, who I sat with, had extra tissues.  As happy as the occasion was to be (and it was), it wasn’t possible to not be sad, at least for a few moments.  I know I’ll see him again in heaven, but really knowing that I’d no longer see him again in this life was certainly worth the tears.

The “fun” part was the reception afterwards at the church.  It was fun because it was designed to be.  I got to reunite with 9 or 10 Briercrest hockey ex-teammates and staff members over a BBQ Beef and coleslaw luncheon; and we all had plenty of Burritt memories and stories to recall, reflect on, and to smile and laugh about.  They came from all over: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, the US, and other places.  There was no shortage of people that Colin’s life had impacted, and we all did our best to show our gratitude of that by being there for him and his family in that time.  Many others wanted to be there, but couldn’t due to extenuating circumstances.  All in all, I know Colin would’ve been happy with it. 

If you are willing and able, please consider supporting Colin’s wife and children financially through this difficult time.  Donations in honour of Colin’s memory can be made to their children’s education fund that is set up at all T.D. Canada Trust banks in Medicine Hat (and anywhere in Canada, I was told) – inquire on an account set up for Melissa Burritt; or you may direct your donations to A.J.’s Loan Cupboard c/o Box 45006, McKenzie Outlet, Medicine Hat, Alberta T1A 0B1; or the local chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society #102 Crestwood Square One, 1865 Dunmore Road SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1A 1Z8. To e-mail an expression of sympathy, please direct it to: , subject heading: Colin Burritt, or you may visit or and leave a message of condolence.  If you’re a praying person, I’m sure they would appreciate your ongoing prayer as well!

Thanks for reading, praying, your comments and support through this tough time.

1 Peter 1:3-9; “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

In Tribute to My Friend, Colin Burritt.

July 3, 2010 17 comments

I know I usually try to make this blog at least semi-entertaining (I think it is, anyways), but do forgive me if I take a variance off the standard course this time to blog about the biggest thing on my mind these days.  All my little “witty observations” (are they witty?) don’t seem to hold a candle to what’s been on my mind lately.  It may not be the funniest or thought-provoking blog I’ve written, but bear with me, I at least have to write it for my own therapeutic value. 

Bottom right, one of the proudest Clippers to ever have donned the "blue boat".

As a walk-on rookie for the Briercrest Clippers college hockey team in 2002, I was fortunate enough to make some good and lasting friendships with some of the older players on our team.  One of them was a guy named Colin Burritt, affectionately (and perhaps ironically) known as “The Rat”.  Whereas a lot of veterans can make the existence of a rookie quite miserable, our team was a lot different in that aspect, and Colin was one of the guys that made that happen.  Don’t get me wrong, there was fun to be had at our expense, but the kind where you don’t end up hating your oppressors afterwards (I think only hockey guys will understand this).  He was a guy that made me feel comfortable, valued, and respected on the team, and in life.

Him and his now-wife Missy were an instrumental element in my now-wife and I ever getting past a salutation phase.  We were fortunate enough to attend their wedding, and they have been inspirational models of how a married couple should operate.  They’re two people that after seeing them together for 5 minutes, you know were soulmates destined to find each other from the start.  They’ve got two young boys, and are awesome parents.  Ever since college, Colin has been an honest, hard-working man, loving and providing for his family.   

Beyond those avenues, Colin is a strong man of God.  He whole-heartedly and devotedly walks with God in the Christian faith every day of his life, including God in every aspect of his being.  Not that he’s ever presented himself this way, but in terms of his faith, he’s one of those people that Christians like me could only aspire to be like. 

In 2009, after nearly completing police training in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Colin got sick, and was eventually diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a form of cancer.  Fighting for almost a year while in and out of hospital and away from his family, Colin beat it and was cleared 100% of any cancer.  It was an absolute answer to prayer, and some might say a miracle.  A while after being sent home, there were follow-up appointments, and it was discovered that the cancer had returned, this time in his brain and spinal fluid.  After more aggressive treatment, Colin was again sent home, but this time because the doctors could no longer do anything to help, and would be unable to remove the cancer.  As of this writing, Colin is still at home with his loving wife, kids, and family, living out the rest of his remaining days.

Obviously, there are people closer to him that are having a hard time with this (that’s an understatement, I know), but as a friend, I am as well.  Everyone hears about how cancer affects other people, but it always hurts more when it’s someone you know.  I’ve lost three people in my family to various forms of cancer.  Colin is my first friend who has faced it.  It’s just hard to deal with – what to think and say, how to act, what’s appropriate, etc.  After so many people have prayed for so long for him to be healed, and to even have him restored for a time, for him to be facing this situation seems utterly unfair.  I mean, no man should ever have to plan his own funeral and say goodbye to his wife and children, right?  Well, Colin is. 

You couldn’t convince them of any wrong-doing though; they remain strong – if not stronger than ever – in their faith.  Of course it’s the source of a lot of tears and sadness on one hand, but on the other there’s an unwavering belief in Colin’s pending journey to heaven, and that he’ll soon meet our Creator; this in addition to cherishing every available moment he has with his family.  When it comes to Christianity, these two are the real deal.  How many of you could say that they would feel that kind of peace in their last days?  I know I’d have a hard time with it, and I believe in God as well. 

Where a lot of people might feel justified in blaming and being angry at God for either giving him, or not healing his cancer, they have an unparalleled peace about it.  I really wish God would take away his cancer, to be honest.  It breaks my heart a little more each time I read about how his condition deteriorates; especially knowing there’s nothing I can do to help.  It just seems like another case of bad things happening to good people; but I think we have to have faith in God that there is something better for Colin just over the horizon – something that most of us really can’t fully comprehend.  I know they do.    

As a Christian, husband, father, man, and a friend, Colin has inspired me to be better.  I hope that I can operate on that level myself someday.  Scroll through some of the comments on their blog ( ), and you’ll soon see that his battle has touched many, many others in much the same way.  There are already talks of scholarships, tournaments, and trophies being named after him; I hope they all come to fruition, because his legacy is worthy of them all and more.

Colin, if you happen to read this, I love you, and I am deeply blessed to have met you; I cherish our friendship.  I know I will see you again.

The Burritt’s gave away wristbands some time ago, with the following verse imprinted on it:

” The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want… he restores my soul.  He guides me… Even though I walk  through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear not, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD  forever.”  Psalm 23 (Paraphrased)

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