Monday, February 27, 2006

Feel Good Story of the Year

You may have already seen this story in the paper, on TV or floating around the Web, but it's worth as many mentions as it can get, here's another link.

The links are video about Jason McElwain, a 17-year-old senior at Greece Athena High in Greece, N.Y., a Rochester suburb. Jason, who is autistic, serves as the manager for the boys' basketball team. The coach let him suit up for the last regular-season game on Feb. 15, then put in the 5-foot-6 McElwain for the final four minutes, with the game well in hand. Jason threw up an airball the first time he touched the rock. Then he hit six (out of 10) three-pointers and one more long two on which his foot was touching the three-point line. In all, Jason scored 20 points in less than four minutes before his wildly ecstatic fellow students swarmed the floor and carried him off the court on their shoulders. It's really amazing to watch.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Olympics: Week Two

More highlights from the second week.

On the same day as the Daytona 500, there were several spectacular NASCAR-like crashes in Ice Dancing (shouldn't that be on Fox?). If people crashed like this more often, no one would question whether or not this is a sport. Incidentally, a Canadian, competing for the US, wins the silver. Nice job, eh?

Taking a page from the "Jeremy Wotherspoon: How to NOT compete" manual, Francois Bourque leads the first run of the GS, only to get too nervous and fall way off the pace in the second run. Finishing, in classic Canadian style, fourth.

The Canadian women defend their gold medal in hockey. There are some many Canucks in the building that when the anthem is sung, the singing overpowers the music. Very awesome.

Last week I mentionned the Canadian who won gold for Australia. As far as I'm concerned, the land of Oz can keep him. Turns out that he and his brother are millionaires, they own an internet company. Every day they send out over 20 million spam emails. That's right, he's a crook. Fitting that Australia, founded penal colony, would gladly adopt a criminal. Good on ya Oz.

Cindy Klassen blows away the field to win gold in the speed skating 1500. She wins by 1.5 seconds, a veritable eternity in this sport. It is her forth medal of the games (1 G, 2 S, 1 B). Klassen then cranks out her fifth medal, a bronze, of the games in the 5000 m. She wins the most medals of any athlete in Turin. Her fifth medal, sixth overall in two Olympics, also makes her the most decorated Canadian Olympian ever. How awesome is that?! And she's only 26. Good thing our hockey program is so deep and she got cut from the 1998 team, otherwise we might never have known about what great a speed-skater she is.

So Canada ends with 24 medals, our best ever. But still one short of the goal the Canadian Olympic committee set, thanks NHLer's for your choke job! I heard some impressive numbers that aren't reflected in the final totals: Canada got 42 top five finishes, 14 of those were fourth place. Of the 15 sports in the winter Olympics, Canada won medals in 10 of them, more than any other country. The US won 25 medals in nine sports and Germany won 29 medals in seven sports.

Vancouver 2010, here's to turning those forth places into gold, silver or bronze.

I'll miss the Olympics.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Memo to Chris Pronger:
You are an oversized useless oaf. Thanks for nothing.

I'm not surprised Canada lost to Russia, in fact I called it before the game started. This team didn't appear hungry or desperate until they were behind and it was too late. Disappointing, but not surprising.

ps: I wonder which way Janet bet on this game?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Being a Superhero

When I was a kid I wanted to be a Superhero, I mean who didn't? Superman: The Movie had come out, the Super Friends were on TV, Adam West was Batman, Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk were all in their original and prime forms, even Wonder-Woman (to an extent) was pretty cool. An invisible plane? That's pretty cool. On some level, I'm still holding out hope that I just haven't yet tapped into my super-powers.

A couple of weeks ago we watched The Incredibles. When I say we, I mean that Darcy was in bed and Sue lasted 28 minutes before falling asleep. We tried it again recently and she made it the whole way. Sue's aunt saw it last year and emailed to tell us that Elastigirl reminded her of Sue. It was true, if not a little creepy, how similar they are. Having Darcy around has really put a cramp on how many movies we watch. We used to go see all the Oscar contenders and have a pretty good idea of who was going to win the awards. Slowly but surely we're catching up, we're still working on last years movies, but we're getting a bit of a life back, if "a life" means crashing on the couch at 8:30 pm Saturday night...

The movie was really good. I like the fact that they can make cartoons that aren't totally geared to kids. The premise of frivolous law suits forcing the government to ban 'supers' into hiding was pretty smart. There were some silly moments, but the makers did a great job of recreating that 70's spy movie feel to most it. In fact, the campy music and some of the plot lines were practically right out of the Bond flick "You Only Live Twice". For example, the egg shaped monorail system and the dasterdly evil mastermind that was going to launch a rocket out of a mountain, but it was that sort of device that I liked. It brought me back to those warm-fuzzy feelings of childhood imagining that I was going to be a Superhero one day.

I've realised that my dream has come true. According to the welcome Darcy gives me everyday, I am a super-hero. While I don't have super-human strength, I can't fly, disappear or spin webs out of my wrists, all I have to do is come in the door and she'll scream out, "DADA!" Then while she's running over, arms pumping, hands waving frantically, she'll keep saying, "Dares (there's) Dada. Halllooo Dada, haallllloo Da!" When she does get over to me, she asks me to take off my coat and boats. After all, once a super-hero comes into your house, you want them to feel welcome and to stay a while. Then she'll stand at my feet, with her arm stretched out above her head saying, "UP UP UP!" She will wait like that until I pick her up and she gives me a hug and plants a nice slobbery kiss on me.

Can it feel much more super than that?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Olympics: Week One

Here are some things of the highs and lows that I noticed during the first week. You decide if they are highs or lows.

Norwegian cross-country skier, defending Gold Medalist, breaks a ski at the beginning of the 30km. He loses 45 seconds before getting a replacement, only to come back and win the silver medal, missing the gold by 0.6 seconds.

Chinese pairs figure skater falls badly on a throw landing, like her hip should have snapped. She skates it off and skates the rest of the routine, somewhat tentatively, but good enough to capture the silver.

American downhill skier crashes badly in practice. She comes back two days later to do the race with a badly bruised hip and back. She finished 8th.

Canadian cross-country skier breaks a poll, loses the lead and falls way back from the pack. A Norwegian coach sees this, runs on to the course and gives her a replacement. Canada wins the silver, Norway finishes forth.

A Canadian born mogul skier, competing for Australia, wins the gold medal and in the process, knocks the top Canadian from third to forth place. Way to go Canada, push those winners as far away as possible!

The US woman's hockey team calls out Canada for running up the score, calling it selfish and only for short term gains. The US, heavy favorite to meet Canada for the gold, lose to Sweden in the semi-finals.

A US woman snowboarder has the gold medal locked up with a three second lead and about 200 metres to go. Then she hotdogs on the last jump and crashes. The Swiss boarder passes her and wins the gold. To add salt to the wound, half a dozen people mob the Swiss girl at the bottom of the hill, leaving the US girl all alone. Included in the people celebrating is the men's snow board champ, from the US, who is currently dating the Swiss boarder.

Canada wins gold, silver and almost bronze (4th by 0.25 seconds) in Skeleton.

The Swiss mens hockey team upsets Canada 2-0 during round robin play.

Jeremy Wotherspoon, apparently one of the greatest speed skaters ever and favoured to win at least one medal, finishes 9th and 11th in his two "specialties". Way to show up when it counts!

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Streak

It's Friday morning and I'm at home. I wish it was a regular long weekend, but no, I'm just sick.

Remember the Seinfeld episode where he goes on about his streak of not vomiting for 13 years? Mine was 6 years, 1 month and 21 days or 2246 days (you've got to love the internet, that someone has put together a list like this!). I remember it well. It was Christmas of 99, Sue and I had taken the train to Montreal from Toronto and for lunch I bought a ham and Swiss sandwich. Later that night, for my birthday, we went out and had a huge meal at Le Vieux Port and the then went home for cake. Stef had made a wonderful chocolate cake covered with crushed candy canes. But it was about then that the ham and Swiss came back to get me. I spent that night sleeping on the bathroom floor and the next two days laying on a couch with a bucket.

Yesterday my streak was broken. I will spare you the details, but I did lose almost 5 pounds yesterday alone. That can't be good. It took me ten minutes to get downstairs last night and then twenty more to summon the strength to go back up. I couldn't believe how thirsty I was, but drinking was pointless. A small consolation was that in between naps, I was able to see Canada win four medals. Today I've made it downstairs again and ate a little too.

Do you have a streak going?

Monday, February 13, 2006

One Sick Family

Aside from the throat infection that Darcy has, and graciously passed on to me, since Friday night, this whole family has been down with a wicked fever, Olympic fever baby!
Admittedly, we are Olympic-junkies (2 medals so far!). It's way worse then just being addicted to them, it is all we watch, all day long for 16 straight days. When the games are over, there is some serious detox that happens. I would bet that I watch more TV during the Olympics than I do the rest of the year combined. Friday, for the opening ceremonies, we all wore Canada shirts. Darcy wore the hockey jersey she got from her Uncle. It fits really well now.

Darcy seems to have a natural love for the games. We were watching ski-jumping the other morning and every time the jumper would be in the air, she'd yell, "Weeeeeeeeeeeee!" Yesterday morning we were watching in our room and the gold medal ceremony for Canada came on. After Jen Heil got up on the top of the podium, Darcy pulled out the scale and stood on it (her own little podium), at attention, while the national anthem was played.

As has been said before, what a little nut.

Friday, February 10, 2006

"Say it ain't so"

Gambling in sports. It seems to be the hot topic in the news.

This latest hockey gambling ring in just the latest in a long line of sports teams and players getting in trouble for gambling. Have you heard about "the Black Sox Scandal"? Remember Pete Rose getting banned for life? Even Michael Jordan got into hot water with gambling, but then he retired and his trouble disappeared.

According to the news, it looks like Rick Tocchet could easily serve some time for organizing this illegal gambling ring that involves some current and former NHL players, as well as Janet Jones (Wayne Gretzky's wife).

So, is The Great One involved? I'm willing to believe just about anything Gretzky says, so I'd sure like to think that he has kept his hands clean. If he had never married that "Yoko Ono" in the first place, he'd still be winning Cups for the Oilers.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Stretching works.

I've been fairly diligent in stretching my legs. I admit, that I thought my knee was going to hurt yesterday. I ran well until the 5 km point, at which I could start to feel the ITB tightening. It was never painful, but it would have been if my run had gone any further. I also ran on the opposite side of the road. I've read that continously running on the same side of a cambered road will cause problems for your legs.

So I'll keep stretching and switching sides. Hopefully I'll be able to get back up to where my mileage was in a few more weeks. Injuries stink.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Proof of an Existing Parallel Universe?

Do you read Dooce? If are a parent of a child who is two years old or less, you should. If not, you should. She is just plain funny. Probably not the best things for kids to read, but her takes on parenting are dead on.

In fact, her accounts of raising a toddler apply so directly to our house that there have been many times that I've said to Sue, "Are you and Darcy Dooce and Leta?" or "How did she get into our house?" or "Where are the cameras?"

Recently she posted about being in the grocery store and catching someone singing along to "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." A day later the very same thing happened to me. Elmo-Mommy is a commonly heard in my house. But the one fact that obviously proves the relationship between Sue and Dooce is the fact that Leta and Darcy have the same bath toys. I mean, practically every kid in the developed world knows who Elmo is and worships him, but the same bath toys? It's not like we went out to Wal-Mart or Zellers and bought them. My cousin in Switzerland sent them to us. That's down right freaky.

The only discernible difference, other than the "recovering mormon" part, is that they have a dog.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


In case you haven't heard, Super Bowl XL is this Sunday in Detroit. Windsor also gets to host a few events, we're going to a fan fest thing this weekend. I was in Detroit, for work, today and came back through downtown Detroit to take a peak at how the city looks. Wow. They have done a great job getting this place ready.

I think it gets a bad wrap from some pretty generalized stereotypes. Yes, there are some pretty nasty areas, but every big city I've been to has those. Anyway, the Super Bowl planning committee and the City of Detroit have done an incredible job cleaning things up. The downtown core is immaculate. There are banners everywhere, tents the size of city blocks to host outdoor activities, several sky-scrapers have 20 story bill boards on them. It felt pretty exciting to be down where all the action is taking place.