Archive for March, 2011

The Royal Buck and Doe

Posted in People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2011 by Jordan

With warmer temperatures in the air, buds on the trees and snow all but gone from the forecast; all signs are indicating that the start of Buck and Doe season is upon us.  After several disappointing campaigns, this season is poised to be one of the most promising seasons in more than half a century. Buck and Doe coordinators have exhausted all marketing strategies and have learned from NASCAR schedulers who place their biggest race of the year at the start of every season.  Consequently, this year’s Buck and Doe season will kick the year off right with The Royal Buck and Doe on April 2, 2011.

Set to wed at the end of April, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s will hold their Buck and Doe this weekend at the Royal Ag Hall. The Royal Jester Wicky will be in attendance and spinning tracks for the Royal Affair while demanding that, “Every guy grab a girl and get out on the dance floor huah huah huah!”  It is also expected that Wicky will increase the Royal Volume to 11 as the night progresses causing the Royal Conversations to adjust to a Royal Yell.

Rumor has it, the Royal Party Shop has already processed an order for two Royal Helium Balloons that will be placed on the Royal Belt Loops of the Royal Couple.  This will allow all in attendance to clearly identify the Royal Couple from across the Royal Room should they care to seek them out for a Royal Handshake or Royal Hug.  Sources also indicate that a Royal Shopper was spotted buying several loaves of Royal Wonder Bread, several dozen Royal Eggs, and 5 jars of Royal Miracle Whip.  With this type of purchase, one can only anticipate that the Royal Wedding Party has settled on Royal Egg Salad Sandwiches as the Royal Midnight Snack.

It is expected that there will be a Royal Tuppence Toss for a Royal Box of Royal Melba Toast and a silent Royal Auction with Royal Prizes that include an empty Royal Cooler and homemade Royal Garden Art.

The Royal Bar will be fully stocked with four types of Royal Beer including; Royal Bud Light, Royal Coors Light, Royal Blue Light and Royal Crystal. For the harder Royal, there will be a Royal Hard Bar complete with Royal Potters Vodka, Royal Black Velvet Whisky, and Royal Bacardi White Rum.

Royal Festivities will conclude around 1:00 AM with the majority of the Royal Crowd expected to take the party to the Royal Anchor while the Royal Couple sticks around to help stack the Royal Chairs and dry mop the Royal Floors.

All in all, it should be a Royal Good Time!

A Band of Brothers Like No Other

Posted in People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2011 by Jordan

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother…

Henry V – Act 4, Scene 3

These words from King Henry to his men before heading into battle in Shakespeare’s Henry V epitomize the bond that few occupations posses.  Firefighters are among these few.

Today, my home town of Listowel laid two of its finest firefighters to rest after they gave the town their lives while responding to a massive downtown fire on March 17, 2011. The joint funerals of Ken Rae and Ray Walter at Listowel Memorial Arena not only celebrated the lives of these two remarkable men but accentuated the unique brotherhood that all firefighters share.  Thousands of fireman from across the continent congregated in the tiny community to pay their respects to their fallen comrades. They created a sea of black that snaked for several kilometers down Main Street as they filed behind the hearses destined for the arena.

As I watched the funeral procession and service online today, I was overwhelmed with feelings of both sadness and pride. The feelings of sadness are obvious but the pride that filled my chest as I watched thousands of men and women in black uniforms flank the streets of Listowel was incredible.  I was proud because nameless firefighters reached out to a shaken community in a time of need. I was proud because I knew this overwhelming support helped the people of Listowel stand on their feet during a time when many wanted to lie down. I was proud to see the international firefighting community stand together and pay their respects to their fallen brothers.  And finally, I was proud to know that their are literally thousands of men and women that are willing to put it all on the line to protect their communities the same way Ken and Ray did should the fateful call arise.

The risks firefighters face on a daily basis are often mitigated and overlooked by their remarkable skills; however, the events in Listowel on March 17, 2011 are a humbling reminded of these risks.  Firefighters stand together, succeed together and grieve together.  They truly are a remarkable band of brothers.

Addiction to Bad TV is a Bad “Situation”

Posted in Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2011 by Jordan

I don’t know what’s wrong with me but it has become apparent that I am addicted to shitty T.V.  The cold months of winter have kept me indoors and watching some of the most mindless and numbing television that exists.  I am honestly one episode of America’s Next Top Model away from ending up on AE’s Intervention.   In the past month I’ve found myself watching the over-hyped Oscars, religiously following The Biggest Loser and even live tweeting the events of The Bachelor finale.  To top it all off, I watched The Roast of Donald Trump on the weekend featuring “The Situation” from Jersey Shore as one of the roasters.

I will admit up front that watching Jersey Shore is also part of my addiction.  That said, I do find the odd episode to be outrageously funny. The MVP combo of Mike, Vinny, and Paulie are typically the driving force behind the laughs on the show but after watching Mike (aka “The Situation”) attempt comedy during The Roast of Donald Trump I think it is pretty evident that the cast of Jersey Shore are funny because they are the joke not because they make good jokes.

Warning:  This video will make your skin crawl with second hand embarrassment.

Chara vs. Pacioretty

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2011 by Jordan

The NHL and the sport of hockey has received a lot of negative attention this past week because of Zdeno Chara’s questionable hit on Max Pacioretty. This incident has spawned public outcry from many fans and sponsors including; Air Canada who threatening to pull its league sponsorship unless the NHL took more drastic actions to protect players, Prime Minister Harper who offered his two cents for those who thought it was of value, and half the city of Montreal who called 911 to report Chara’s “crime” to police. The whole situation has become a ridiculous soup opera that has energized the emotions of fans and caused a widespread epidemic of overreaction. What uber-emotional fans need to understand is that the play Chara committed on Pacioretty was a hockey play that occurs in every game. The only thing that sets this play apart from any other type of neutral zone hit or obstruction interference experienced in hockey was the severity of Pacioretty’s injury.

The idea of labeling Chara’s play as one with “intent” to hurt Pacioretty is an asinine accusation for two reason. First, there is no possible way to determine Chara’s “intent” unless he confirms after the fact what his “intent” actually was. Chara has clearly stated that he had no “intent” to guide Pacioretty into the stanton at the end of the bench; consequently, “intent” to injure has to be dismissed from the equation because this play was a common hockey play that occurs in every game. Second, any hockey player will tell you that at least 50% of hits delivered to an opponent contains “intent” to hurt that player. If players start getting suspended or charged because they have “intent” to hurt someone, I would wager most hockey teams would have a difficult time icing a team because so much of the physical aspect of hockey correspond with “intent” to hurt one’s opponent.

I don’t doubt that Chara knew where he was on the ice but hockey plays unfolds too fast to think “I’m going to drive this guys head into the stanton at the end of the bench.” The instinctive play to make in hockey when you are being beat wide with speed is to do what you can to slow your opponent down. This is essentially what Chara did but with an unexpected and extremely unfortunate injury resulting from the play.

I have scoured the web to find example of hockey plays that set out to accomplish three objectives. The first is to show that hits into the stanton or bench occur all the time and that sever injuries have happened from these plays before with little public outcry. The second is to show that there are far more obvious examples of “intent” to hurt one’s opponent than what the Chara hit demonstrates. The final objective of these clips is to show that hockey is a fluky and dangerous game where injury is often chalked up to luck.

This clip demonstrates that hitting is part of hockey and sometimes players end up in the wrong spot at the wrong time. The result of this hit is an unfortunate outcome but it’s the result of a hockey play. Jack Johnson has to make this hit regardless of where the glass starts/stops. The interesting thing about this play is that it happened about three years ago and there was no public outcry like what we are experiencing now despite the fact that Ryan Smith sustained a serious injury on the play. Perhaps the debate over this hit was less because it occurred in the US and it was between two American teams or maybe because the hit was deemed a hockey play with an unfortunate result.

This hit shows Tyler Ennis about a foot away from possibly ending up in the same state as Pacioretty. Note that the announcer says there was nothing wrong with the hit except where it occurs. There was no speculation of “intent” on this play despite the hit occurring in essentially the same spot as the Chara hit.

This hit is in the exact same spot as the Chara hit. These types of hits occur all the time in hockey and almost always get a huge cheer out of the crowd. However, Patrik Burgland is fortunate and doesn’t get hurt when he flies into the bench despite the fact that there is a ton of physical danger one can experience when getting hit into the bench. As a result, fans and the public don’t care. Would public opinion be different on hits that see player’s get hit into the bench if someone ended up with broken vertebra like Pacioretty?

This is another example of a hit that results in a player going into the bench. In this case it actually gives the announcers a laugh.

This hit is in the exact same spot but on the penalty box side of the ice where the glass is all the way down the boards. This hit shows the flukiness of hockey but also how the exact same hit Chara made resulted in no injury. The interesting thing about this play is to speculate whether there would be public outcry to change the glass used in arenas if Al Iafrate had been seriously injured.

To me this clip demonstrates more “intent” to injure a player than the Chara hit. Sergie Gonchar clearly tries to hurt an unsuspecting Cal Clutterbuck by blindsiding him when he doesn’t have the puck. The Chara hit on the other hand looks more like two players jockeying for position and one guy getting rubbed out in the worst possible place and experiencing the worst possible result.

These last two clips demonstrate the risk of hockey and how fluky of a game it can be. People get hit all the time and the difference between sustaining an injury and not is often chalked up to luck.

The point of all these clips is to show that hockey is a contact sport and that there is always risk. Some areas are more dangerous than others but even the so called “safe” areas are dangerous. Because hitting his part of the game players do not take into consideration what area of the ice they are hitting someone. If the hit needs to be made, it needs to be made. In the case of Chara, the play was interference so it was technically a penalty. The result of that interference play was at the edge of extreme. If Pacioretty wasn’t severely hurt I find it very hard to believe that anyone would even care. In fact, if Pacioretty was not injured the clip would have likely ended up on the bloopers reel for the week. In my opinion, the idea of taking legal action against a hockey player and charging them for making a hockey play that resulted in an injury is ridiculous. Hockey is the fastest contact sport in the world that incorporates a hard playing surface and hard equipment; consequently, injury is inevitable and often the result of misfortune. Hockey fans need to check their emotions and evaluate future situations with a less emotional and more rational perspective.

Charlie Sheen’s WINNING RECIPES

Posted in People, Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2011 by Jordan

Up until about a month ago I started to find that my meals were becoming stale. It seemed like the LC and I were eating the same five or six meals over and over every night.  Luckily for us, my brother joined us in Halifax at the end of January and with him he brought his Chef at Home cookbook by Michael Smith.  This cookbook is filled with a host of tasty dishes that are actually fairly easy to make.  As much as I’ve appreciated swishing up our meals I’ve determined that Michael Smith himself is not necessarily my style.  Consequently, I started scouring the Food Network for a cooking personality that I could claim as my own.

I was immediately drawn to Giada De Laurentiis (because she’s hot) but her recipes are a little too fancy and a little to time consuming to prepare on a daily basis. Bobby Flay was initially a strong candidate but he’s a bit of a poindexter so I dismissed him.  Rachael Ray didn’t even get considered because she’s just too irritating to listen to.  As a result, I found it difficult to find my “Michael Smith” and thus new and exciting meal recipes. Luckily for me, the Food Network added a new program this past week that fits into my lifestyle perfectly.  It’s called Winning Recipes and it incorporates a dash of “duh” and a splash of “tiger blood” resulting in complete #winning.

Enjoy!

Charlie Sheen’s Winning Recipes from Charlie Sheen

Shirley Temple? I’d Rather Have a Beer

Posted in History, Television with tags , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2011 by Jordan

Sometimes I think back to times past and reflect on what life must have been like during certain time periods. One of those time periods is the post-WWII era and the years of the baby boom. During this time period, economic growth and prosperity was like never before, all the while the fear of communism and the constant threat of nuclear war constantly weighed on people’s minds.  Economics and politics aside, I think the worst part of living during this period had to have been the programming on T.V.  All signs indicate that Shirley Temple was the best thing to watch during the late 50s and early 60s with Howdy Doody coming up a close second.  I have no ideas what Howdy Doody is but I do know that Shirley Temple has an entertainment value equal to that off a Darryl Sutter monologue.  If T.V. was this bad when I was a kid growing up in the 80s and 90s I probably would have become a better speller. I truly feel sorry for anyone who grew up looking forward to this show.

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