October 2003

Cup of Soup

Wed, Oct 1, 2003

Washed Up

It's rare to see me express disdain over a hockey team. I always try to put a positive spin on sports and cheer the Leafs endlessly, but I consider it classless and a waste of energy to spend your time hating another team. However, it is even more rare to see me pleased about the Ottawa Senators winning a game.

That's why I feel a guilty pleasure about Ottawa's 3-1 win over Detroit in last night's exhibition game. Dominik Hasek, the biggest jerk on skates since Ron Hextall, allowed 3 goals on 18 shots. I hope he's washed up. I hope he goes crying back to the Czech Republic after two months of trying and finding that without his monster pads he just doesn't cut it in the NHL. I hope people laugh as he packs up and throws another classic temper tantrum. And, I hope the Czech police are waiting for him with the verdict on his little inline-hockey incident appealed.

Thu, Oct 9, 2003

Heard on the GO Train

The conductor's (almost) usual speech as the 17h13 train left Union Station on Tuesday:

"This train is making all regular stops to Burlington. Passengers are reminded that high-speed trains can pass at any time, so please stand well back of the painted yellow lines. Please remember to take all your belongings with you when you exit the train, and... if you think you've had a rough day, just imagine how the turkeys feel this week."

Sat, Oct 11, 2003

Picture Monologue

If pictures really do say a thousand words, than no picture speaks a monologue more full of sorrow and remorse than that of Dany Heatley at Dan Snyder's funeral. The cause of his friend's death sits squarely on his shoulders, and it's a weight he can hardly bear. The knowledge of what he's done is something he will paifully carry with him for the rest of his life, and that picture tells us all that he would immediately trade his own to save that of his friend's.

Wed, Oct 15, 2003


I'm not a baseball fan. I don't have any particular affection toward the city of Chicago; I've never even been there, other than a one-hour stopover at the airport. I am also not a superstitious man. I don't believe in luck, or curses, or any such thing. However, with both the Cubs and the Red Sox in post-season play, I can't help but watch and see if the so-called Curse of the Bambino or the Cubs' Curse would hold strong.

After last night's shocking eighth inning, I can't help but shudder at the cosmic intervention that turned a 3-run curse-breaking lead into an 8-run disaster. A fan preventing the inning's second out by stupidly getting in the way of Moises Alou's catch instigated two RBI-singles, an error, a pair of multi-run doubles and a sacrifice fly, squashing the Cubs' dreams of breaking their 58-year drought from World Series participation for another day. They have one more chance at breaking their dreaded curse, but should they fail tonight, that play will go down in the history books as pure curse fodder.

My advise to that fan: Run. Very quickly, and very far. Should the Cubs lose tonight, the blame will lay squarely on you, and don't be surprised if there are calls for your head on a plate.

Fri, Oct 17, 2003

The Tradition Continues...

Cursed. Definitely cursed. No doubt whatsoever.

This was the first time I intently watched baseball since the strike of '94. For the first time in over nine years, I could feel the drama and excitement in the game as the Cubs and the Red Sox attempted to break their curses and reach the World Series. Now it's over, and the final round will feature the Florida "Who-the-heck-are-they?" Marlins and the New York "Not-them-again" Yankees. In contrast to the pair of league championship series we just witnessed, could it be any more boring?

Only if the series goes seven games and the highlights continue to get in the way of hockey coverage.

Mon, Oct 20, 2003

Great Minds Think Simply

Scientists at the University of Alberta have recently discovered a new, clean, way to generate electricity, simply by running water over a solid surface. This is one of those really cool discoveries that takes a certain kind of genius to conjure. It's very much like the pet door.

Douglas Adams's character Dirk Gently considers the pet door to be one of the greatest inventions of all time because it is so simple. It's one of those ideas that, once explained, everyone will think "Well, that's so simple. I could have thought of it". You could have, sure, but did you? It takes a genius to think of something completely new and make it seem so incredibly obvious to everyone else.

With this discovery, running water over a piece of glass could light your home. Imagine charging fuel cells simply by putting them out in the rain. It may be a long time before a way is found to use this discovery to contribute to a city's power grid or run a car, but it may still have the oil companies - and Middle Eastern governments - shaking in their boots.

Mon, Oct 27, 2003

Who's Who?

Every Canadian of at least 20 years old will remember the old "Hinterland Who's Who" spots; one-minute clips shown on CBC about Canadian wildlife.

Well, in grand soap-opera I-wasn't-really-dead-I-only-wanted-you-to-think-that style, Hinterland Who's Who is back with new spots aimed at younger viewers. The segments are all online and even have an opening flute tune similar to the nostalgic pieces.

Along with the new and nostalgic pieces, the site also boasts some of the spoofs that have been created over the years. Some of these include promos for the Ottawa Senators documenting the life of a fan of the New York Islanders in its native parking lot, New Jersey Devils' fan in a typical swamp, and beer-bellied Philadelphia Flyers fan.

While amusing at first to people who don't fall into any of those categories, the spots irked me in the same way that every playoff meeting between the Leafs and Senators (all of which, by the way, the Leafs have won - Woo!) irked me. It's a take on sports that does nothing but ridicule other fans, something I witnessed many Ottawa-types doing through the course of those playoffs, and in these videos. Cheer your team; shout your lungs out, wear the colours with pride. Even jeer the other team a little bit, whatever. But, how low do you have to be to make fun of other fans? Can you find nothing positive about your own affiliation that all you can do is mock someone else's? It's only a few steps above the Islanders' fans' practice of burning the Canadian flag. Get some pride; get some class; get a life.

SPU, Leaf fan, not other-fan hater.

In other news, I have been first place in my hockey pool for three days now! Woo! It won't last, so I'm enjoying it while I can.

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