Saturday, November 25, 2006

Glen and Troy's Quarterly Predictacular Vol. 1

Hey all, this shall be the first of a hopefully many part installment on my NHL season predictions. Now my friend Troy and I are both avid hockey fans and like to yammer on and on about the NHL in the nerdiest possible manner. So since I now finally have a forum in which I can pass these yammerings on, I am taking advantage of that.

Before the season started Troy and I e-mailed each other some predictions for the season (like I said, HUGE nerds), and we decided to update those for this very special Predictacular.

Just a quick summary, of what we picked:

Glen's Playoff Teams (in order): West: Nashville, Calgary, Anaheim, San Jose, Detroit, Dallas, Edmonton, and Phoenix. East: Buffalo, Carolina, NYR, Ottawa, New Jersey, Philly, Atlanta and Montreal

Troy's Playoff Teams: West: Anaheim, Calgary, Nashville, San Jose, Edmonton, Dallas, Detroit and Vancouver. East: Buffalo, Carolina, NYR, Ottawa, New Jersey, Montreal, Philly and Toronto

And in the Finals, I said it would be Calgary over Buffalo and Troy said it would be Ottawa over Calgary.

So let's see how much we have decided to stay the course 20 odd games into the season.. my comments will be in Red while Troy's will be in Blue.


Glen Says:

The story for me out west this season has been a changing of the guard. gone are the days when Detroit, Dallas, and Colorado would be guaranteed the top three seeds and everybody else was fighting to see who they would sweep in the first round. While last year, there was a lot of change, especially in the playoffs, two of those three powerhouses still took their divisions. This year, things are different. The three division leaders, Anaheim, Nashville and Minnesota are three of the six most recent teams to enter the NHL. I see no reason why two of those, Nashville and Anaheim won't hold onto their division for the whole season. Not to knock Minnesota, but I think that Calgary has finally started playing like they are capable of and should have a solid grip on first in the division by Christmas. Of the rest of the Conference, you still need to watch San Jose, Edmonton and maybe even Vancouver to make some noise. Also, keep an eye on the LA Kings, while they won't make the playoffs this year I think with Crawford behind the bench and Jack Johnson in their system, they are two years away from being really good. Watch them to play the spoiler this year.

Now Troy and I did this sort of a thing for the heck of it at the start of the year and I predicted Phoenix to sneak into 8th spot and maybe even cause some damage in the playoffs, how wrong I was. They have been playing absolutely terrible of late, and I wonder how long it will be before Wayne Gretzky either fires himself or realizes that it is not 1998 anymore and Curtis Joseph just can not get you into the playoffs anymore. And just so it is not only me who looks like an idiot, Troy predicted Minnesota to finish dead last in the Conference, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. What a fool.

So, like I said I see Nashville, Anaheim and Calgary taking their divisions, San Jose going strong, Detroit and Dallas returning to the dance as usual, Minnesota slowing down but not enough to miss the playoffs, and Edmonton getting another shot at what they missed out on last year. I think that when it comes to the top teams the key difference is going to be the schedule, remember everyone plays people in their division 8 times each. This gives a huge advantage to Nashville and Detroit who get to beat up on St. Louis, Columbus and Chicago, while it really hurts Calgary who has to grind it out with Edmonton, Vancouver, Minnesota and Colorado.

Biggest Surprise: Minnesota
Biggest Disappointment: Calgary

Troy Says:

This conference is so sweet, and it's nice to finally see a serious changing of the guard. The top seed in the conference will be a battle between two teams, San Jose and Anaheim. I think Anaheim will pull it out because of two words. Neidermayer, and Pronger. Done and done. These two teams are just gonna keep getting better for the next couple years. Nashville I think is finally going to put an end to Detroit's run -- Losing Yzerman and Shanahan was a big hit. They have some major young talent but they're a year or two away. The Northwest conference is going to be a battle of attrition and I think in the end Calgary will pull through. Dallas should hang on and Edmonton and Minnesota will be in for sure leaving Vancouver out. Luongo is the best thing to happen to that team in a long time but their off-season losses hurt them a lot more in the scoring department than I originally thought.

Biggest Surprise: Minnesota. (What kinda dumbass would pick them to finish last, sheesh)
Biggest Disappointment: Phoenix


Glen Says:
1. Nashville
2. Anaheim
3. Calgary
4. San Jose
5. Dallas
6. Detroit
7. Edmonton
8. Minnesota
9. Vancouver
10. Colorado
11. Los Angelas
12. Phoenix
13. Chicago
14. Columbus
15. St. Loser

Troy Says:
1. San Jose
2. Nashville
3. Calgary
4. Anaheim
5. Detroit
6. Edmonton
7. Minnesota
8. Dallas
9. Vancouver
10. Colorado
11. Los Angeles
12. Chicago
13. Columbus
14. St. Louis
15. Phoenix


Glen Says:

Meanwhile, in the NHL's less exciting Conference, there are a number of teams playing well below expectations. In particular, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Boston Bruins, the Philadelphia Flyers and my beloved Ottawa Senators. I don't think that everyone in Ottawa somehow thinks it is May and therefore time to choke. The drop off of these teams has made room for a few surprises out East, the Atlanta Thrashers are currently able to lead their division, the once lowly Penguins are sitting in 8th and Toronto and Montreal are fighting over 2nd place in their division. Interestingly enough, if the playoffs started today (at least November 23rd as I write this) then Toronto and Montreal would meet in the first round. How sweet would that be?

When it comes to this Conference, my bias could not be more obvious. I still believe that Ottawa will make the playoffs (although not nearly as high as I once thought) and I still believe that the Leafs will miss out. I'm sorry, I just can't see things happening otherwise. So when Sundin is golfing in April I will be sure to say "I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!" And love every minute of it. But on the brighter side, I think it is only a matter of time before the Leafs Nation gets to be officially recognized as a seperate entitiy within a united Canada.

Oh yeah, I don't really see all that much changing out East from last year. The East is known to stay fairly even from year to year, so I see Buffalo running away with the Conference (and more than likely the league), Carolina should bounce back and take their division for the second straight year, I think that it's stupid to bet against New Jersey, also Ottawa will get in (they had better...), Montreal and the Rangers will represent the Original 6, Atlanta will be in the playoffs for the first time ever and Pittsburgh will sneak ahead of Tampa Bay for 8th.

Biggest Surprise: Montreal
Biggest Disappointment: Philadelphia

Troy Says:

Aside from Buffalo, this conference is usually a yawn fest even though my favourite team, Les Canadiens, call this conference home.

The team which will take this conference is a no brainer, Buffalo all the way. Seriously, how sweet is this team? And they're gonna be good for along time. In the SouthLeast division I see Hotlanta continuing some butt-kicking and I see them taking their division with relative ease. Fun team to watch but also fortunate that they play in probably the weakest of the 6 NHL divisions. As far as the Altantic goes I think slow and steady wins the race and I think New Jersey will stay ahead of the pack although the newly inspired Rangers will be nipping at their heels. As for the rest of the division I definitely see Montreal making it and I believe Ottawa will get their feet under them soon and they will be there. Carolina will be good enough thanks to leadership and of course one Eric Staal. I think Toronto does have the stones to make it however that is more so based on Pittsburgh's inability to maintain eighth thereby defaulting the last playoff spot to Toronto.

Biggest Surprise: Montreal
Biggest Disappointment: Boston.

Predicted Standings:

Glen Says:

1. Buffalo
2. New Jersey
3. Carolina
4. New York Rangers
5. Atlanta
6. Montreal
7. Ottawa
8. Pittsburgh
9. Tampa Bay
10. Toronto
11. Boston
12. Washington
13. Florida
14. New York Islanders
15. Philadelphia

Troy Says:

1. Buffalo
2. Atlanta
3. New Jersey
4. New York Rangers
5. Ottawa
6. Carolina
7. Montreal
8. Toronto
9. Boston
10. Tampa Bay
11. Philadelphia
12. Pittsburgh
13. Washington
14. Florida
15. New York Islanders


Glen Says:

Now when it comes to the playoffs, I see the Western Final coming down to a battle of California as Anaheim and San Jose come head to head in the West Finals. Make no mistake about it, these two teams are good. The scary thing, they both have two starting goalies, meaning they could easily trade one away for some quality skaters. Let's take San Jose in an upset in 7.

Out East, things are a lot tougher to call. I originally had Ottawa in the Conference Finals, but I just don't see that happening anymore, so I'm going to take a cop-out and go for a rematch of last year's Eastern Final in Buffalo and Carolina. However, unlike last year, I think that Buffalo will not have 4 of their top defensemen injured and should walk away with the series in 5.

That leads us the to the finals we probably should have had last year, San Jose and Buffalo. I really don't know who to pick, so I'll go with the trend, the last 3 Stanley Cup Champions have been Eastern teams, so let's assume that they will make it 4 in a row. Buffalo wins in 6.

Troy Says:

Ok, I see the Eastern Final coming down to Buffalo and Ottawa and although Buffalo is amazing, I'm going to take a leap and take Ottawa over Buffalo in7. I think the early season hardships will be good in the long run for Ottawa and their playoff experience, mostly disappointing, will help them against Buffalo.

The Western Final (I hate to agree with Glen, but this one seems too easy)will be played entirely in California. However I'm picking Anaheim over San Jose in a tough 6 game series. Pronger owned Thornton when he was with Edmonton and I don't see that changing.

This gives us an Ottawa, Anaheim final. Something we could have seen in2003 if it wasn't for stupid Jeff Friesen scoring with less than 3 minutes left in game 7 against Ottawa. But I digress, this would be a really good series and keeping with my undying, and perhaps naive love of Canadian teams, I will take Ottawa in 7.

Let the games begin my friend.

So that concludes the Predictacular, I hope that you enjoyed it (or skimmed through it quickly to not waste your time). We shall revisit these picks in January at the half way point so we can see how much more right I am than Troy.

Until next time,


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Just a Quick Update

Hey all, sorry I'm not posting, blame my father and his insistence on living in the stone age.

Just wanted to say that all is going well for moi. Teaching is a blast, I was observed last week and that went super dee-duper well. I gave an exciting lesson on Adding Fractions and I got to use Fraction Tiles for the over head (I was actually excited to use them!!!). For the marking there is a scale were everything about us is lumped into 4 categories (Exemplary, Proficient, Adequate and Does Not Meet Expectations). He said that I would be marked as Proficient overall, with all of the categories as either Exemplary or Proficient, and nothing below that. Moral of the story, I'm amazing. I am God's Gift to Education remember.

A quick funny story, last week we had school mass (I'm at a Catholic School...yeah I know weird if you aren't from Onterrible) which was fine. But I was talking to a student afterwards and he told me "The communion tasted bad, someone should really check the date on the Jesus". I lost it laughing...I guess I do have something to learn here.

I hope that I will soon get a chance to do some more posting here in the blogosphere. I would like to add some more "Random Acts of Glenness", my first crack at writing about music, my thoughts on the Borat movie (which I am seeing tomorrow!!!!!!!!!), some talk about hockey with my friend Troy, and whatever other stories happen to come my way. I know, so much blogging, so very little time.

I hope to get some more time soon. I hope that all is going well, special props to my NipFriends out there in the trenches like me. Hope all is going well for you!!!!

Until next time,


Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Slight Glen Holiday

Just to let you all know I'm heading back to the booming town of Trenton, Onterrible to do three weeks of practice teaching. I'm super excited to get to see my Grade 8 students again, but as such the Blogeroo here may just suffer. I'll try and sneak a post or two in here when I can but I can't make any promises.

So If I don't post for the next three weeks, then I swear to you that I am not dead!!!

For any of my NipFriends out on placement, I hope all goes/is going well for you. To everyone else have a great three weeks!!!

Here is a random Youtube video that I first saw on Travis' Blog and he puts it best when he says "If you don't find this completely hillarious then I probably have no time for you." I'll second that. Hope you enjoy something compeltley random...and brilliant!!!

Until next time,


Lest We Forget

Last week I wrote about Guy Fawkes Day, but now 6 days later there is another day that should never be forgot. The far more popular Remembrance Day.

I hope that you are all wearing your poppies and showing respect to those who died in the name of our country. While I do not necessarily agree with the current conflict in Afghanistan, I still include the current soldiers in my thoughts.

Last Spring I was fortunate enough to go to Juno Beach in France. For those of you unaware, this is were the Canadian soldiers landed On June 6, 1944, in the invasion that began the end of the war in Europe.

A mere stones throw from the beach is the Juno Beach Centre, a museum of sorts talking about Canada and World War II. It outlines Canada in the build up to the War, then about how Canada was during those years, then finishes with information on Canada today. It includes a variety of first hand accounts of people's experiences, including a section where you can hear letters from soldiers read a loud.

As you enter the museum you are escorted into a small room that has televisions lining the wall. The room is made to be the exact size and dimensions of one of the boats that the soldiers landed on the beach with. The televisions began to play a battle scene as you feel that you are really there. It was hard to look all 360 degrees that were required for me to absorb all of the information. I hope that I only have to imagine what it would be like to have those bullets be real instead of virtual.

While I have a very good memory, it is not good enough to give a detailed play-by-play from eight months ago. Also, this is really something that should be experienced.

But there is one thing about that experience that really stuck out to me. Near the end of the exhibit there was a television on display above a small hallway. The screen had a scrolling display of the names of every Canadian who died during the war. Nothing fancy, just a simple white font on a black screen moving up at a reasonable speed for people to read it. When I arrived, they were just finishing showing those whose last name began with A. I have heard stories of my great-uncle, Raymond Dolan, who was shot down over North Africa, and I thought it would be good to try and take a picture of his name on the screen to show some members of my family.

I wandered around the rest of the museum and occasionally checked the progress of the screen to try and estimate how long I had to wait until it made it's way to the D's. I wandered around the museum for a good 20-30 minutes and I thought that I may have missed my time. How wrong I was. After all that time, the screen was at 'Be'.

This really him me. I took a second to figure out how long it took to go through a portion that small of the alphabet and I figured that it would take at least 12 hours to go through the names of all of the Canadian soldiers who died in the war. As a history major, I have read the facts and figures many times. This, however, put it into real terms for me, each of those people had a name, a heart broken mother, and possibly some descendants like me coming to that very place and realizing the same thing that I was.

At this point, I realized that my bus was leaving shortly so I needed to head on out without seeing the name of my great-uncle. Since I didn't have several hours to kill.

All in all, Juno Beach was a fantastic experience and if any of you happen to be in France I really recommend it. I stayed in the small town of Bayeux (a cool place in its own right!!!) and it makes a great place to go and relax a bit after some frantic times in Paris.

Here are some of my pictures from Juno Beach, hoep you enjoy, and more importantly, get a chance to show me some of your own!!!

Look just like any other beach doesn't it?

One of the many abandoned bunkers that have been left as a grim reminder.

Not sure if you can read that sign, but it says "Here On the 6th June, 1944 Europe was Liberated by the Heroism of the Allied Forces" . Just to the right of the pillar you can see people playing in the ocean. Fitting isn't it?

Until next time,


Friday, November 10, 2006

Only Us...

Last night I was diligently working on some math homework that was due today. I hated that I was working. All of my friends had gone to the local Irish pub, Fionn McCool's, sticking with the Thursday tradition. Worst of all, we are heading off to be on teaching placement for three weeks, so this would be my last chance to spend some social time with everyone for a while. After I finished the fourth of my five math journals I had an in depth conversation with myself.

I said to myself "Self, you have been focusing too much on work you should really go out. You are not only the life of the party, you are the whole f'n party. Right now, you are robbing all of your friends of some quality Glen time. How can you be so selfish?"

Well it was hard to argue with that logic, so the next thing I knew, I was on my way across town to Fionn's.

I arrived to a chorus of cheers from my group of friends, sitting in our usual area. I met the group with a series of high-fives, but as I made my way around there was an extra hand to slap. It belonged to a forty-pluser named Greg. I didn't really think too much of it and sat down and told everyone about how and why I decided to come out.

After a moment, Greg got up from his seat. All of a sudden, the entire group pulls in close for a huddle. They ask if they are doing the right thing or not. They decide that they are. I am really confused.

Apparently, this Greg fellow, saw one of my friends at the bar and decided to randomly buy her a pitcher of beer. He then proceeded to sit over with our group and kept buying pitchers all night long.

So, my spidey-senses began to tingle a little bit as I heard this story. But none the less, I went to the bar, grabbed a glass and poured myself a glass.

As the night went on, he kept buying us more and more beer. He did not divulge much information about himself, only that he was in North Bay for business, and that he had a bad day, but would not say why. Whenever we asked him about what he did for a living, he just casually joked it off. Also, he was not wearing a wedding ring, so take that for what you will.

At one point, Phil, one of the guys in my group insisted that he would get the next pitcher of beer. Greg was insistent on getting it himself. The two then raced to the bar. Phil came back to our table empty handed and wide eyed. He told us that Greg had a stack of $100 bills in his wallet. This guy was loaded.

All of a sudden, people didn't feel so bad about taking his beer.

As a side note, it was at about this point that the group of us went up to help the band sing "Home for a Rest", despite nobody really knowing the words.

The night went on, and the beer continued to flow, and words continued to slur. We attracted a large group of other Education students eager to give the free flowing river of beer a place to meander.

As Greg kept getting up to either buy some more beer, or talk to some other people, he left his coat with us. At various moments, certain people in our section contemplated walking off with it, but thought the better of it.

The drunker everyone got, the more my spidey-senses tingled. I had a bad feeling about where this was all going.

Since I was the Designated Driver, I decided to round up my car load of people (me plus three more) and get out of there. Another load of three from my group decided to posse out too. I have to all but pry a few certain people away from the bar in order to get going. We finally get out of the bar and I breath a sigh of relief, however, I relaxed too soon.

We get out into the parking lot and who should we see? Give yourself a pat on the back if you guessed Greg. Just in case some total stranger carrying thousands of dollars buying a ton of beer for a group of (mostly female) twenty-somethings wasn't weird enough for you, here is where it gets better.

He tells us that he has a plane at the airport and wants to know if we want to go and party in New York.

I'll give you a second to read that line again and soak it in.

In their drunken state, some people seem to think that this is a great idea. At this moment, I take some executive action. I figure my role as Designated Driver is not enough, I needed to take on the role of Designated Decider. As tempting as it is, I think the better of this crazy idea. I wrestled my friends away from this temptation and we hop in the car and drive off relieved.

Now I've spent the past twenty odd hours thinking about this Greg character and I have a couple of theories about him.

The most obvious one to me, is that he is a hit man. Don't believe me? It really makes the most sense, he was in town on business (the mob brings in outsiders to do the dirty work), he was having a bad day (because he had already whacked someone), and he had a mad pile of cash (I don't think that hit men pay taxes). For very similar reasons, there is the argument that he is either a drug dealer or a pimp. But I like hit man better, far more daring.

Also, I got thinking, and maybe he worked for some really dirty porno distributor, and this was their version of the Bang Bus. He was trying to entice some to all of us to do something very naughty so that he could get it on tape and sell it.

There is also a chance that he is some lonely millionaire who was having a really bad day and we cheered him up for a long time. Until we shot down his New York idea.

Either way, I will spend a good portion of the rest of my life wondering about Greg and his exact story. If shows up at a bar near you, try and find out for me.

Until next time,


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Post Mid-Term Cram Session

As many of you either know last night was mid-term election night south of the border. The American people got to exercise their democratic rights, as all of the seats in the House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the Senate were all up for grabs. Both the House and the Senate have been under Republican control since 1994, and since there has been a Republican President since that infamous night in 2000, then the US government has been under total Republican control for a while.

Darth Bushdar and his Evil Empire have been running the show for a long time. That was until last night, when the Democrats blew up the Death Star.

As of this writing the Democrats have won 228 of the 435 seats with 11 of the seats still being counted. While this is a great victory the real interesting things are happening in the Senate. Of the 32 confirmed seats (Virginia is still pending) the Democrats won an astonishing 23 of them. They knocked off Republican incumbents in Montana, Rhode Island, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Missouri. The Virginia seat that is still being counted is leaning towards the Democrats. If they get that one then the Democrats will end up with 51 of the 100 seats, enough for a majority. This is simply astonishing since they started 13 seats behind the Republicans, of the 67 seats that were not contested, 40 are Republican and 27 are Democrats.

Since I do not have any form of television here I kept checking last night for results. While this was going on I kept msning super political nerd Ryan McNutt (Who has FAR more in depth coverage of the issues right HERE) and we went through every possible emotion rooting for the Democrats. First we were hopeful, then scared, then felt defeated and then finally elated. If felt like we were watching the nerdy playoffs.

I am simply amazed by all of this. It gives me a bit of hope in the American people, and subsequently the world. We have been living under the Bush tyranny for far too long, and now just maybe with a Democratic House and Senate things will change. Like I mentioned in my last issue, the biggest swing state was in fact, Iraq. The American people have spoken, they are sick of this war, they are sick of the lies, they are sick of the corruption, and it is time for a change.

That being said, this could all be wishful thinking due to that pesky state of Virginia. As I type, they have 99% of the voting precincts in and the Democrat is leading by less than 7000 votes. That's mighty tight. If the Republicans somehow take that state then it will be back to Republic rule, since a 50-50 split gives the tie breaking vote to the Vice-President, and I don't see Trigger Happy Cheney switching sides any time soon. According to the constitution of Virginia, if the difference is less than 1% then there will be a recount. Right now the difference is less than 0.3%, so expect this to take a couple of days. I guess this is the time for Luke to use the force to guide himself into the Death Star to deliver that one shot.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the breaking news going on down there. Donald Rumsfeld, the Defense Secretary is stepping down. Rumsfeld has been criticized very heavily for just about everything to do with the Iraq War. I am not all that shocked at the timing really. The American people just showed how little they approve the war and all of a sudden the figure head for the invasion steps down. Can we say scapegoating?

As a little retirement present for big D, here's a great picture of him from 1983 giving props to an old friend.

Well at least ol' Rummy now has something more in common with his best buddy Saddam. They are both taking the fall for Bush. It's a tough job, but someone has got to do it!!!

Until next time,


Monday, November 06, 2006

"And though the news was sad, I just had to laugh..."

Yesterday evening I was eating dinner at Pizza Hut with my buddy Josh, and the TV came on with breaking news. Saddam's trial was over and he was to be hung. I shook my head, 'they did it again', I thought. That's right, two days before the U.S. Midterm elections, there is some measure of 'success' in the Republican Party's greatest failure, the Iraq War and subsequent occupation.

A similar thing happened a mere three years ago. Let's flash back to December 2003, shall we? The Democratic Party was lining up its candidates for the 2004 Election. Such fine individuals as John Kerry, John Edwards, Al Sharpton, and of course Screamin' Howard Dean, were debating issues in preperation for the first primary in a mere months time. The focus of the country was on the Democratic Party, and the party's approval rating showed it. While the candidates were opponents with one another, their focus remained on ol' G-dub, with the top criticism being the War in Iraq. Then what should happen you ask? Well, the Republican Party gets sent a gift from the heavens in the form of a bearded, dishevelled captive. That's right, they captured Hussein and the attention went right back to the Republicans and how great their little war was all along. The worst part of all this, it worked.

So here we are yet again, they couldn't very well stretch the trial out until 2008, and the next stolen election, so this is the best that they can do. Finish the trial two days before Congress and some of the Senate get voted. Support for the Republican party has fallen drastically, so they realized that they needed work done in the number one swing state, Iraq.

Think that I'm a crazy, paranoid, cynic? You're probably right...but if Osama bin Laden, or some other high ranking Al-Qaeda members are captured or killed in the fall of 2008, then I'll be here to say I told you so.

Before I sign off, I would just like to point out that while most of the world is opposed to this sentence, there are two high profile figures who are expressing a huge amount of support. George W. Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that's right the Iranian President agrees with the Great Satan on one thing! I guess maybe, just maybe there is some hope that they can solve the nuclear issue without going to war.

If I were him, I wouldn't be agreeing, he should realize that he's next.

Until next time,


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Random Acts of Glenness, Version II

So, due to the large amount of comments I got on the first section of this (either on the blog, or in person) I decided to update this again. So here are Glen Facts #68 - 105

68. I am a vegan (like you didn't know that one!!!)
69. Favourite Food: Falafel
70. If I could go anywhere in the world it would be Angkor Wat, Cambodia
71. If I could go to a second place after that, it would be the Amazon Rain Forest
72. I worry a lot about Global Warming
73. Sometimes I have trouble sleeping and I don't know why
74. I recently got 126 lines in a game of Tetris
75. I still hate those Live Strong bracelets
76. I love my red fake Converse High Tops...a lot
77. I have a Homer Simpson comforter
78. I'm really afraid that the Conservatives will get rid of gay marriage
79. Every time I listen to the album Funeral by The Arcade Fire, I find something more that I like about it
80. I am really good at cribbage
81. I have been trying to learn how to play guitar for two years
82. I can do a one handed cartwheel
83. I have a Superman towel
84. Song I'm listening to right now: "Miss Alissa" by The Eagles of Death Metal...highly recommended
85. I share a birthday with Tiger Woods
86. I feel completely lost without my Nalgene bottle
87. I remember the day that my parents split up like it was yesterday
88. I use an Oral B, Crossaction, Vitalizer tooth brush
89. I think that "Lost Cause" by Beck is one of the saddest songs I have ever heard
90. I don't think that I made the most of my undergrad years
91. I think that John Mayer is a tool
92. Tool, on the other hand, I quite enjoy
93. I once saw Micheal Jordan play
94. My rank of the Star Wars movies: Return of the Jedi, Empire Strikes Back, Revenge of the Sith, New Hope, Attack of the Clones, Phantom Menace
95. Every time I watch Empire Strikes Back I like it a bit more
96. I've been told that I think about Star Wars way too much
97. I disagree
98. Song I'm listening to right now: "New Slang" by The Shins...highest possible recommendation
99. While the above song didn't quite change my life like Natalie Portman said it would, it's still pretty freakin' great
100. I almost took a Business Degree
101. I am so glad that I didn't
102. Favourite Spice: Cumin
103. I make awesome sweet potato fries
104. Best concert I ever went to: Franz Ferdinand
105. Boxers all the way

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Day that Should Never be Forgot...

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
Gunpowder Treason and plot ;
I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
'Twas his intent.
To blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below.
Poor old England to overthrow.
By God's providence he was catch'd,
With a dark lantern and burning match
Holloa boys, Holloa boys, let the bells ring
Holloa boys, Holloa boys, God save the King!
Hip hip Hoorah !
Hip hip Hoorah !
A penny loaf to feed ol'Pope,
A farthing cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down,
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar,'
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head,
Then we'll say: ol'Pope is dead.

-- British Nursery Rhyme

Hello everyone, glad that you lasted past that long introduction, and welcome to today's blog entry-apalooza. Tomorrow, November 5, is one of my other favourite holidays of the year, Guy Fawkes Night!!!!!!

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about (i.e. have yet to see V for Vendetta), allow me to explain. On November 5, 1605, a man by the name of Guy Fawkes (And his conspirators) were captured in an attempt to kill King James I and both branches of the British Parliament, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. They attempted this by hiding large amounts of gun powder in the cellar of the House of Parliament and planned on detonating it while the King made a joint address to both Houses.

Guy was of course found, convicted and killed. Since then, every 5th of November, has been an annual celebration in Britain. They celebrate the day by having massive bonfires, igniting fireworks and burning effigies of Mr. Fawkes. You can wiki the man HERE and the night HERE.
In the years that followed, the English public became increasingly anti-Catholic, worrying that it was all a huge plot by the Pope to eliminate Anglicanism (thus those last several lines of the poem, which do not tend to be repeated in recent years). The people of England entered a huge state of fear, dreading another strike by an invisible enemy. Sound familiar?

As many of you know, I spent last year living in Scotland, so I was in Britain last 5th of November for the festivities. This happened to be the weekend that myself, and four of my fellow Canadians rented a car to go and take a road trip up to Inverness.

As we are driving on this Saturday night we see a series of bonfires with crowds of people gathered around them. We look around and think that this is a pretty cool thing and admire their resilience for staying outside on a cold Highlands night. As the night drags on, the sky lights up with fireworks. Every July 1 I see fireworks, but nothing like this. It seemed as if every town, hamlet, and farmer's field purchased enough gunpowder to declare war on a small oil Emirate. There was even a point when we were driving past a small town (who for the life of me I can't even remember the name of) and we saw three separate fireworks displays competing to illuminate the sky. It was unbelievable.

After a while we decided that we should stop and enjoy the bonfire, fireworks, and culture. So we pull over in the small town of Baxter, and this is what we see:

This pictures does not even begin to do it justice. Now I was a good hundred feet away from this bonfire and it looked like that. I was warm facing this fire the size of a house. Of course, there was more than just this gigantic fire, as there were fireworks going off as men, women, and children gave their collective ooo's and ahhhh's. Of course, in typical Scottish fashion, there was a beer tent full of inebriated locals.

After the fireworks died down we got back into our rented car and continued driving towards Inverness. I decided to call my grandmother (who left England after WWII) to wish her a happy Guy Fawkes Day.

I assume many of you have seen the aforementioned V for Vendetta. If not, I sincerely hope that you do, it is simply brilliant. In that movie, the main character V is a Guy Fawkes inspired anarchist. We spend the movie not even seeing his face, but rather a mask of Guy himself. He leads a revolution against a future government that is almost Orwellian in its approach, by serving as a symbol for hope and change...oh and by using a ton of explosives and sweet martial arts moves that Hugo Weaving must have learned from his time as Agent Smith.

Four-hundred years ago Guy was a villain, accused of the vilest crime of treason, and the even more vile crime of Catholicism. Yet, now a character based on Fawkes is treated as a hero for his commitment to individual freedoms, and sticking it to the man. What a difference a few centuries make!!!

So I can't help but wonder just a little bit. If Guy Fawkes can go from villain to hero, even to the point of ranking #30 on the 2002 list of all time greatest Britons, what can happen to the villains of today? Is it so far out of question to imagine a day when Osama bin Laden is given the same amount of respect? Fawkes was considered a vile terrorist at the time, seeking to disrupt social order for his own purposes. Sounds a lot like what people say about bin Laden now doesn't it?

Just an interesting thought to ponder...

Hope you all celebrate Guy Fawkes Night somehow!!! If you can't have fireworks, please find some way to stick it to the man. Do it for ol' Guy.

Until next time,


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Only me...

So the other day, I was sitting in my Curriculum Development and Evaluation class listening to a presentation on Behaviourism. They were talking about some of the key behaviourists, mainly Pavlov, Watson and Skinner.

Anyway, my buddy Josh is in the middle of a talk about Watson, and some people at my table pass a tiny little note over to me, it reads:

"Whenever someone says 'Watson' stand up and say 'Elementary my dear Watson!' and sit back down.


I ignored the fact that they disregarded the last line of the paper. I figured that they were just uncomfortable with standing up and shouting so they passed it off to the one person in class who has no inhibitions what so ever. I gladly took the paper, laughed a bit, and got ready. Since Josh was in the middle of his spiel about Watson I realized that he had said the name a good five times by that point. I felt really bad, I didn't want to let him down, so I figured I would make up for it by being extra enthusiastic in a way that only I can.

I wait for a bit and he finally says 'Watson', I take the opportunity to get up and say "ELEMENTARY MY DEAR WATSON!!!!" at the top of my lungs to a chorus of laughter from the classroom. I sit back down, thinking I have somehow helped their presentation, although I wasn't sure as to how exactly. Josh came over and pretended to slap me on the head and said 'There, negative reinforcement' (something that they were talking about). I didn't quite get how that was relevant, but none the less, he was the expert here not me. He goes to repeat the line and mentions Watson once more, I stand up and bellow out my line once more. The group presenting gives me the old "What the hell are you doing?/Are you on drugs?" look that we as teachers are trying to perfect.

Then it hit me...the class that was in our room right before also did a presentation on Behaviourism, this note was from their class, not mine. The presenters really had no idea as to what I was doing. I thought that random outbursts didn't fit with their presentations.

So as usual I:
a) try to be helpful but end up making a jackass out of myself.
b) am completely incapable of sharing the spotlight.
c) am an absolute magnet for random ass things.

Only me...

Until next time,


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Some Insights Into My Twisted Mind, Volume II

So here I am at school trying very hard not to do any work and I realize that there was still another non-serious personality test on Similar Minds that I haven't done. The classic movie test. So I sit down and give it a go, the questions are very similar to those on the Famous Leader Test, but yields less predictable results.

And the verdict is.....

Hmmm...I always prefered The Last Crusade

Looking through the other options I would have much rather have been The Godfather or Apocalypse Now. Those would have been cool. I am a little surprised that I was A Hollywood Story, it says "You are all about fame and success and avoiding being seen as ordinary". And it's a good thing that Star Wars isn't an option, or that would have been me for sure. I solve all of my disputes with light sabers, I use the force to manipulate people, I do have droids follow me around and my arch enemy is my father.

Editorial note: That last one is a joke, I do get along great with both my step-dad and my bio-dad)

I don't mean to knock Raiders of the Lost Ark, I do look for fortume and danger at any chance I can. I'm rather thankful it's Raiders of the Lost Ark and not. The Temple of Doom, because vegans and mokey brains don't go so well together

Sorry I don't have any videos of Fox News reporters making asses of themselves to go along with this personality test, but here is the best scene of the movie told by lego characters:

Alright time for me to find some new way to slack....

Until next time,


Hallowe'en -- The Critical Analysis

First off let me start by wishing everyone a happy belated Hallowe'en to everyone. Whether you went trick or treating, stayed home and gave out candy, went to a costume party or watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show, I hope that you celebrated my favourite holiday of the year in style. Secondly, I was planning on posting this blog yesterday and was almost finished typing it all up and then the power went out and I lost it all. At first I was worried about the power going out on Hallowe'en of all days, I assumed foul play. I narrowed my list of suspects to: Jason Voorhees, Ichabod Crane, An American Werewolf in North Bay, or Tim Curry in drag. I was relieved when the power came back on and nobody in my house was found murdered or doing the Time Warp. Thirdly, I'd like to wish all Catholics out there a Happy All Saints Day!!! The religious holiday invented to counter yesterdays pagan activities. As a non-practicing Catholic, I pray to Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, often. So if you happen to be praying at all today, give me a shout out in your words to the big guys upstairs!!!

So after that long winded and non-sequitur introduction, I'd like to get into the topic that I was intending all along, my night out for Hallowe'en, which through the magic of hyper-linking by clicking right here if you haven't already given that a once over.

In that entry, I alluded to the fact that I had my ass grabbed a number of times throughout the evening. Most of the grabbers were women, and most of them complete strangers to me. Now, I'd be lying if I said that my more egotistical side completely loved the attention, but the more critical side of me got to be thinking. What if I were a woman? If a man grabs at a woman that he doesn't know then he is a complete creeper and would more than likely find himself on the receiving end of a beat down by some chivalrous goon. Yet when a woman is the groper instead of the gropee, it is somehow ok. How is this different?

About a year ago we were all treated to Debra Lafave saga. For those of you unfamiliar with her story, she was a teacher who had an affair with a 14 year old male student. She was sentenced to a mere three year house arrest and a seven year probation (You can read her Wikipedia entry by clicking right here). So I have to ask, what if she was a man having an affair with a 14 year old female student? Whenever a male teacher or person of authority has sexual relations with a student then there seems to be no charge harsh enough. How is this different?

I have to be honest with you on this one, when you first heard the Lafave story, I first thought "Good for him!!!" as I'm sure many of you did too. When I was a horny 14 year old I would have been thrilled to be:
a) Had a sexual partner other than a stack of magazines
b) Had one as attractive as Lafave
I can understand where the teen was coming from, hell I'd probably take either of those two opportunities as a horny 23 year old, but that's a story for a different entry. But I have to also ask, how many 14 year old girls have crushes on any of their teachers or other male authorities? Probably a lot. How is this different?

Somehow a woman grabbing a man is different than the man grabbing the woman. Somehow a woman abusing her authority to have sexual relations with a teenager is different than a man doing the very same thing. There is a clear double standard on the issue here. Many would say, it is against men, but I would turn it around and say it is in fact against women.

A man in a tutu getting randomly groped, and a teenage boy having sex with his teacher are seen as being willing participants. Consent is implied based on gender. Men are pigs after all, and want sex at any time. Where as a scantily clad woman getting randomly groped, and a teenage girl having sex with her teacher are seen as victims. They are seen as meek victims under the oppression of some predatory male. In all scenarios it is the man who is empowered, either as a free sexual being or a fulfiller of the fantasies. And the women, who are disempowered, preyed upon by a grabby man or manipulated by some tyrannical educator to perform their sexual whim. How does this view favour the woman?

I find it sad that in our so-called modern, advanced, equitable society that we can still have such a glaring double standard when it comes to the perception of women. Women are not just meek, tame creatures being preyed upon by men everywhere. There are some women out there who are just as capable of violating someone as a man is. However, in order to recognize this you need to give women the same amount of sexual empowerment that a man has.

I just looked back at how much I have written and it seems like this is getting long. I feel like I could go on about this topic for quite a bit more. So, in the interest of everyone I’ll just stop right here. If you want to talk more about this issue please hit me with a comment.

Until next time,