Friday, February 29, 2008

Reflecting on Courage

This past week has been the Chapel Week for my Residence of boys at school. Needless to say, it was a busy one (thus my lack of blogging), and our theme was courage. I was asked to deliver a short lesson on the topic, as one of the house faculty members. Like last time I spoke in chapel, I decided that it would be good to post my lesson here on the blog, in case anyone was interested in a little divine inspiration.


I'm reminded of a quote by Mark Twain, “Courage is not absence of fear”. Brave, courageous people all have their fears, everyone from soldiers, to sports icons, to people in this room, we are all afraid of something.

Even the bravest person, I can imagine, Superman, has things to be afraid of. We all have our kryptonite, ranging from heights, to spiders, to public speaking. In preparing for this, I asked a number of people what they are afraid of. They gave me a wide range of answers, and a number of guys in Colley told me that they were afraid of clowns and sock puppets, I don’t know what that means…, but there was one answer given that stood out above all of the others, and it also happens to be one of my biggest fears, loneliness.

After giving this a bit of reflection, I realized something; Franklin Delano Roosevelt lied to us many years ago. The only thing to fear is not fear itself, no it is something much scarier and much more tangible than that, the only thing to fear is being alone. With the love and support of your family and friends, you can look off that cliff, shoo away that spider, or even face that scary clown.

I myself have been inspired recently to take a courageous step. Next year, I will be leaving the comforts of Colley House, the City of Oakville, and even the entire Western Hemisphere, as I have accepted a teaching position in China. The thought of uprooting my life, and career, quite frankly, scares me to death. I am worried that I won’t fit in, that things will be too different, or worst of all, I am worried that once I get there, I will be alone.

But when I stop to think about it, I know that I am not at all alone, and I never will be. The world today is a much smaller place than it ever has been. Thanks to the wonders of technology, even though I will be on the complete other side of the planet, the people I love will only be a dial and a call, or a click and a wall post away. And that makes the challenges of moving so much easier to bear; I know that I can face my fears and trepidations.

To be able to truly face your fears, it is not just courage that you need, but company. If you take a second to look around the room, you’ll find all of the courage that you need. Whenever you are faced with any adversity, no matter how bad, you will always have each other.

I know that wherever life leads me, I will have the family that I have gained this year with me, maybe in person, maybe on my computer screen, or maybe just in spirit. I, like all of you here today, will never have to walk alone, and that gives me all of the courage that I need.


For our anthem, we chose "You'll Never Walk Alone" by Gerry and the Pacemakers, demonstrated here.

Now the main reason they chose it though, was because it is the anthem of both the Glasgow Celtic and Liverpool FC, here is an amazing version with both clubs singing it. Maybe it's the Scot in me, but I am a bigger fan of the Celtic version.

Until next time,


Monday, February 25, 2008

Live Blogging the Trade Deadline

The NHL Trade Deadline is less than 20 hours away, and I have decided to venture into something that I have never done before. The dreaded live blog. Tune in the next day or so for some thoughtful thoughts and insightful insights into the latest happenings.

Monday, February 25, 2008

(all time EST) In the past week we have seen two huge blockbuster deals both featuring the Philadelphia Flyers as they acquired Jaroslav Modry from the LA Kings for a 2008 3rd round draft pick, and then sent Jim Vandermeer to the Calgary Flames for a 2009 3rd round draft pick. Yes, the words "huge" and "blockbuster" probably should have been replaced with the words "irrelevant" and "forgettable".

There have been some big stories however. Yesterday it was revealed that Mats Sundin refused to waive his no-trade clause, and he will be sticking with the Blue Shirts. Also, Calgary GM Darryl Sutter has stated that he will not be trading Alex Tanguay after all, as he likes the make up of his team. It must have been the Vandermeer trade.

By removing these two big impact forwards it really ups the value of the other big names on the rumoured list. I expect there to be a lot of calls about Brad Richards, Oli Jokinen, and Marian Hossa over the next little while.

Also, a solid 20 or so minutes ago, it was reported that Petr Forsberg has indeed decided to return to the NHL, and has signed with the Colorado Avalanche, the team that he had the most amount of success with in the late 90's/early 00's. I think that this is the first shot in the Western Arms Race, as the other big teams are going to try and Keep up with the Jones's. I expect any of Vancouver, Dallas, Detroit, San Jose or maybe even Calgary to make a big trade or two, anything to stop Colorado, or the other Western Powers from getting ahead.

10:10pm: I was about to write a "nothing has happened" post, but low and behold, my prayers were answered, as TSN reports that the Philadelphia Flyers have acquired one of the bigger forwards out there in getting Vaclav Prospal from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for prospect Alexandre Picard and a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick in 2009.

This is a big move for the Flyers, as they needed some scoring on the wing after it was announced that Simon Gagne would be out for the season, plus there have been a number of other injuries to Lupul and Richards. They need this, especially since they have lost 10 straight games, and are currently, somehow on the outside of the playoffs looking in. I think that this helps them get back into the hunt in the East, and I expect to see them move back up in the standings sooner as opposed to later.

Also, in the "guys that won't be traded" category, we now have Barrett Jackman, whose name was surfacing in the odd trade rumour, due to his status as a UFA, and the fact that many teams could use a depth defenseman to get over the hump. But well, it turns out all that speculation was for not as he resigned with the St. Louis Blues.

Man the Not Traded list is looking like the longer, and better one right now...

10:30pm: Add Dan Boyle to the Not Traded list. It was just announced that he signed a 6 year, $40 million contract, with a no-trade clause for the first four years...well we can hope for another bit Jim Vandermeer type trade.

10:58pm: Nothing is happening, I'm going to bed...hopefully I'll have stuff to talk about tomorrow morning. Here's hoping that Vandermeer gets traded again, lightning can strike twice you know!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

So after going to bed, waking up, teaching a class, I still find nothing new on the trade front. Again, the Not Traded list grows as Rob Blake has made it very clear that he wants to stay in LA. There is talk that maybe he would accept a deal to go to Colorado, but that seems like it may be a bit of a long shot. Also, you can add Adam Foote to that list, he said that he wants to stay in Columbus, but would potentially accept a deal to his former team, coincidentally the Colorado Avalanche.

According to Bob MacKenzie on, the Chicago Blackhawks have sent out an e-mail saying that the following players are available: Nikolai Khabibulin, Martin Havlat, Robert Lang, Tuomo Ruutu, Marty Lapointe, Yanic Perrault, Andrei Zyuzin, and Rene Bourque. Obviously, Khabibulin, Havlat, and Lang are the big names on that list, but Ruuto, Zyuzin, and Perrault would make solid additions to a contender. There were rumours earlier in the season about Khabibulin going to Ottawa for Ray Emery. I'm not sure how I feel about that one, but I will wait and see what the trade is before I pass judgment.

Speaking of the Sens, apparently they join Montreal in the list of favourites for Marian Hossa. And on the left side of the continent, San Jose is trying to put together a deal for a puck moving defenseman, as they have targeted Brian Campbell, and Pavel Kubina, Kubina has that infamous no-trade clause, and the Sabres are in playoff position, so it is unclear if they are going to trade Campbell, unless they get some immediate returns.

Either way, I hope that something happens, because all of this speculating is getting a little boring!

10:54am: The New Jersey Devils have acquired defensemen Bryce Salvador from the St. Louis Blues for known agitator Cam Jansen. Leafs fans will remember Jansen for his dirty hit on Kaberle last year in that infamous "Why didn't we dress Wade Belak?" game. The Devils get to add some depth to their defense, which really has lost a lot of star power in recent years, but somehow is able to roll on.

Maybe somewhere, someone is planning a Marian Hossa for Oli Jokinen trade, just to give me something to talk about...

11:20am: Speaking of Wade Belak, the Leafs have traded him to the Florida Panthers for a 5th round draft pick. Looks like bringing Cliff Fletcher in to rebuild the franchise is paying off, because lord knows JFJ would have offered Belak a no-trade clause.

Also, apparently Hossa has been told by the team to skip the practice today, and stay in the hotel. Word on the street is that Ottawa is offering the Thrashers Vermette, Schubert, and Foligno, while the Habs are offering Michael Ryder, Mikael Grabovski and Maxim Lapierre. Please Senators, don't go for Hossa, he was a huge part of the "chokers" label that we got in the early 00s...

11:26am: I forgot to mention earlier, that the Isles have resigned Mike Comrie to a one year extension, which pretty much takes him off the table. Quite the shame, I miss him in Ottawa.

11:29am: These lack of trades disturb me...I'm going for lunch, something awesome better happen by the time I get back.

12:02pm: Ask and thy shall receive!!! In the past 33 minutes there has been a flurry of activities involving some big names.

Let's start with the biggest name on the market, as the Dallas Stars have acquired centre Brad Richards and goaltender Johan Holmqvist from the Tamp Bay Lightning in exchange for goalie Mike Smith, centre Jeff Halpern, and winger Jussi Jokinen. This is a huge coup for the Dallas Stars. They have been a surprise of sorts in the West, mostly due to their lack of scoring, but it seems that fear can be resolved, as they added one of the top playmakers in the league, with a proven playoff record. I think that Holqvist will probably spend a good portion of his time in Dallas on the bench, as Turco has been playing very well lately. The Lightning get Mike Smith, who looked like he was going to usurp Turco for the starting spot earlier in the season, and they may have finally solved their goaltending woes that they have been suffering since Khabibulin left a few years ago. Halpern, and Jokinen are solid forwards, who will give the Lightning something that they haven't had since before the lockout, depth. All in all, I think that this was actually a good trade for both teams. I expect Vancouver and/or Columbus to do something big in the next few hours since they were in the hunt for Richards.

Next, it looks as though Brian Campbell's days in Buffalo are over, as he has gone to San Jose in exchange for forward Steve Bernier and a first round draft pick. The Sharks, get a high priced rental player, who should help their surprisingly anemic offense, especially on the power play, and the Sabres get yet another promising young forward in Bernier. They apparently were trying to shop some of their young scorers, including Kalinin and Afineganov before the deadline. I wonder if they are done dealing or not.

Lastly, it appears as though the Carry Price era in Montreal is going to begin today. Upcoming UFA, Cristobal Huet has been traded to the Washington Capitals for a 2nd round draft pick. I'm pretty surprised that they got so little for a starting goalie, as I thought a few more teams would be in the running. Also, I thought that the Habs were going to be buyers instead of sellers at the deadline. Maybe they needed to get another draft pick so they can trade a bunch of them away. Also, I had mentioned Washington as a potential home for Dwayne Roloson, but I guess that's out of the question now. Perhaps he'll end up somewhere else.

Well I'm glad something happened.

12:20pm: Also worth noting, for lunch I had a tofu stir-fry with rice. Yes, I am attempted to corner the ever-elusive "Vegan-Sports-Fanatics" Demographic.

12:29pm: Looks like the Florida Panthers have got quite the appetite for trades after the Wade Belak Blockbuster. They have sent Ruslan Salei to the Colorado Avalanche for Karlis Skrastins and 3rd round pick. Also, the Hurricanes and Hawks have swapped Tuomo Ruutu and Andrew Ladd.

I'm not sure who wins either of these trades to be honest, as the Panthers-Avs trade looks to be a legitimate hockey trade, as neither man's contract is expiring (shocking, I know...). But the Avs get the veteran for a younger model. Good one for both teams.

As for the Canes-Hawks, I really thought that Ruutu would go to a contender looking for some grit for the stretch run. I think that Ladd is the better player, I'm not really sure why the Canes did that one. Well done Chicago.

For the record, the 2nd round pick that the Habs got from the Capitals was in 2009...still a rip-off.

Alright I need to go to a meeting now, hopefully something else good will happen! (Hey it worked last time....)

1:23pm: Well it worked this time, as the Columbus Blue Jackets have shipped out a pair of veterans, who are approaching UFA status. Sergei Federov joins his Russian counterparts Alexandre Ovechkin, and Alexander Semin in Washington for prospect Theo Ruth. Also, the Jackets sent their captain, Adam Foote back to Colorado for a conditional first round pick either this year, or next.

These are some interesting moves, as Columbus was one of those teams that could have gone either way on the buyer/seller spectrum, but seems to have decided to sell, and not make the push for the playoffs. Ultimately, I think that this was the right decision, as this team has too good of a young core to temper with. The Caps on the other hand, appear to be making the push to topple the Carolina Hurriances and take the South East Division title...not that that's hard or anything.

Also, a day after the Avs sign Petr Forsberg, they seem to be trying to turn back the clock, and get another player who was a big part of their 1996 and 2001 Cup titles. How long until they bring Patrick Roy back from retirment?

Lastly, it seems that the Ottawa Senators have acquired gritty journeyman Martin Lapointe from Chicago for a 2008 6th round pick. I think that this is a good pick up for the Sens, as they need another solid checking forward, especially one with a few Cup rings from his time in Detroit. This could be extra important if they are going to trade Vermette and/or Schubert for a big name player.

Speaking of big names, nothing has happened thus far with Marian Hossa, interesting...

1:32pm: BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!!

Fresh off the Brian Campbell coup, the San Jose Sharks have made another huge deadline aquisiton, as they receive defenseman Rob Davidson from the New York Islanders for a 7th Round Draft Pick. Sure it's no Vandermeer trade, but the entire hockey world watches on as the Sharks become a Western power house.

Stay tuned for more reaction on this massive deal.

1:39pm: I just checked Jay Onrait's Trade Deadline Blog, and he made the same crack about Patrick Roy as I did 20 minutes before...I swear I didn't steal it.

1:42pm: It turns out that the difference in numbers between Adam Foote and the Columbus Blue Jackets was less than $500, 000. For normal people like you and me, that's a lot of money, but for sports teams and players, that's chump change. I'm pretty shocked the Jackets would through in the towel and ship out their Captain with such a little difference. They had best not Daigle that pick

1:49pm: Another hour, another meeting...then I have to teach, then I have my co-curricular to go to...I probably won't be back on until this evening, when it'll be time to wrap things up.

This is probably for the best, interesting things seem to happen when I'm not there to post about it. I can only assume that Jokinen for Hossa deal is coming any minute now. It should be of note though that Detroit has been suspiciously quiet...

Alright, back to my meeting.

2:04pm: Alright one more...Washington has added some grit for their push to the playoffs, as they got their third rental player of the day, getting Matt Cooke from Vancouver for Matt Pettinger. Pettinger has struggled this season, but is a former 20 goal scorer. The Canucks, hope that they can get him back to form as they desperately need some secondary scoring.

6:22pm: I leave for a few hours, and this is what happens! Wow...

First off, I'm not going to talk about many of the small trades, as there were a lot, but I just want to talk about the big ones here.

For starters, let's look at the biggest trade of them all, Pittsburgh acquires Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis for Angelo Esposito, Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen and a 1st Round Draft Pick. This is a huge deal, and the Penguins are really, REALLY taking a gamble with this trade. For starters, much has been said about Hossa's playoff record, but then again, he's never played in the playoffs with Crosby and Malkin, so I'll wait and judge that part of the deal until the spring. But the real gamble, has been giving away two of their solid depth players in Armstrong and Christensen, and a potential impact (or bust) prospect in Esposito. Remember, Esposito was the guy that was supposed to go near the top of last years draft, but his rank continued to drop, and drop, until the Penguins snatched him near the end of the first round. He is one of those players that will either be a superstar or a huge bust. I guess the Pens are banking on him being the later.

Speaking of the Pens, they also added Hal Gill from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2nd round pick this year, and a 5th round pick next year. This is a solid deal, as the Pens need a hard hitting defenseman to compliment the offense that Sergei Gonchar, Darryl Sydor, Chris Letang, and Ryan Whitney. I think that the Pens may have overpaid, especially if they gave up their first pick for Hossa. This is going to be a solid draft year, so to not have any picks in the first two rounds is a bold, bold move.

Speaking of the Leafs, I need to mention that they also traded Chad Kilger away for a 3rd Round Pick. So Fletcher's grand rebuilding leads to a collection of 4 draft choices, none of which were first. Well at least it's better than trading away the 1st round selection that became Roberto Luongo for an aging Wendel Clark, like he did back in 1997. Fletcher says that there have been some "preliminary discussions" with teams for trades to make in the early part of the summer, and that the "Face of the Maple Leafs will be different come opening day"...we'll see about that...

An interesting, but minor trade comes as the Minnesota Wild acquire Chris Simon from the New York Islanders for a 6th round selection. Simon has a proven track record as a goon, and joins a very rough and ready Minnesota team. Remember, this was the team that got beaten up and outclassed by Anaheim in the first round last year. Do you think that they are trying to send them a message?

Back to something bigger...the Detroit Red Wings have added Brad Stuart from the Los Angeles Kings for a few draft picks. I have always liked Stuart, and I thought that he would do really well in LA, but I guess I was wrong on that one. He should be a great fit in Detroit, as their D just got a lot scarier, especially when Kronwall, Lidstrom, and Rafalski return from injuries.

Speaking of defense's getting scary, the Anaheim Ducks added Marc-Andre Bergeron from the New York Islanders for a 3rd round pick. While Bergeron is a not a typical Brian Burke tough guy, that may make him the best addition that they could have done. This gives the Ducks a 5th top level defensemen, as Bergeron joins Pronger, Niedermayer, Beauchamin, and Schneider. I wonder how much time they can give all of these guys, especially on the power play. Who knows, maybe they will just give Getzlaf, Perry, Selanne, et al. a rest for the two minutes, and put all five defensemen out there...that'll work.

Now as far as assessing the day, I think that the key winners (in the short term) are the Stars, and Sharks, with the Penguins as the distant bronze, and the Capitals and Avalanche rounding out the top five. Getting Brad Richards and Brian Campbell, respectively, while not giving up a lot in the short term, may just help put the Stars and Sharks in the same category as the Ducks and Wings in the "Western Conference Teams That Nobody Wants To Face in the Playoffs".

The Caps really have made a big push for the South East title, as Federov, Huet, and even Cooke should help them pass the Hurricanes and give the superstar Alex's a chance to show their stuff in the spring. Lastly, the Avs won big by signing Petr Forsberg, and have addressed their most obvious needs by getting tougher on defense with the additions of Salei and Foote. That being said though, the West is still scary, and the Avs will have a tough time competing with the Wings, Ducks, Sharks, Stars, Flames, and Wild in the West, but they have probably distanced themselves from the Canucks, Predators, and Blue Jackets as far as the top mid-range Western teams go.

As far as the big losers, I think they are the Blue Jackets, the Canucks, the Senators, and the Canadiens. All four of these teams had been mentioned as possible teams to make a big splash, but did pretty much nothing. The biggest losers are definetly Columbus and Montreal as not only did they fail to gain any major assets, they lost some big ones. The Blue Jackets still had a reasonable shot to make the playoffs, but they sold Federov and Adam Foote and got nothing tangible in return. And oculd they have traded their starting goalie away for a 2nd round pick? They are putting way, way, way too much pressure on Carey Price heading into the playoffs. It just doesn't make sense to me. I know that they keep mentioning Price in the same sentence as Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy, but you can't count on Price to win the Cup and Conn Smythe just because those two did. If they were going to trade Huet, I was fully expecting them to bolster their roster for a stretch drive. The East really is wide open, especially as Ottawa struggles, and Philadelphia falls apart, so why not the Habs? I guess Gainey didn't think so as well. I would also like to point out one thing, in my deadline wrap-up last year, I put both Anaheim and Ottawa on my list of Top 5 Losers, and they both made it to the finals...shows what I know...

Alright, it's 7:32pm right now, making it almost 24 hours since I started this post. I need to stop now. Even though a lot of the big names such as Sundin and Jokinen, didn't move at all, there was still some interesting activity going on around the league, and the last few months should tell a lot about how successful they will's quite an interesting time to be the hockey fan!

Until next time,


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Shades of Wrestlemania -- 5 Weeks in Advance

A few weeks and months ago I posted my thoughts and projections on the card for Wrestlemania XXIV, and as you can see from this title, it is only a few short weeks away now. A few matches have been announced, but there is still plenty of room left on the card. Today, and hopefully a few more times, I am going to try and review the current matches, and make my best predictions (i.e. wild guesses) at the remaining.

Already Announced

WWE Title Match:
Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena vs. Triple H

What I said in October: Randy Orton (c) vs. Triple H... "The WWE had wanted this to be their big Wrestlemania Match 3 years ago, and you know that they want it to happen again."

What I said a few weeks ago: John Cena (c) vs. Triple H..."I wouldn't be the slightest bit shocked to see Triple H win the Chamber match and Cena walk away with the gold. "

What I'm saying now: Looks like I had the three main actors right, I guess I just never thought that they were going to throw the three of them together at once. It seems that we will have another Triple Threat Title Match come Wrestelmania XXVI, since they had one at XX and XXII. I have a feeling that the WWE wants to have another great Triple Threat Main Event to hopefully make people forget about the fantastic one at XX, since it was won by you know who. Either way, I think that this is going to be a great match, and I'm going to go for a Triple H victory.

World Title Match: Edge (c) vs. The Undertaker

What I said in Ovtober: Edge (c) vs. The Undertaker..."When it comes to Mania matches, they usually come in two varieties, fresh, exciting “Dream Matches” and age old “Grudge Matches”. This one is oddly a bit of both."

What I said a few weeks ago:
Edge (c) vs. The Undertaker..."I think that this one has been penciled in since May or so"

What I'm saying now: NOT MUCH!!!! I think that this will be a Wrestlemania Title Match for the ages, hopefully they give them enough time to work their magic.

Money in the Bank Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Ken Kennedy vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. 5 other Superstars

What I said in October: Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk vs. Umaga vs. Kane vs. Santino Marella vs. Finlay vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Carlito..."Of the potentials I have listed, I think that Punk, Hardy or Umaga would be the most intriguing winners."

What I said a few weeks ago: Jeff Hardy vs. Ken Kennedy vs. Umaga vs. John Morrison vs. The Miz vs. Kane vs. Chuck Palumbo vs. Jamie Noble...."I really hope that Hardy pulls this one out and ended up getting his title opportunity later on in the year."

What I'm saying now: First off, I think that the remaining five wrestlers will be: Kane, Umaga, Chris Jericho, Chuck Palumbo, and Batista. I know, Jericho in the match feels so wrong, but I suppose he is the man who "invented it" according to the WWE Canon. Batista feels even wronger, since the WWE has done a great job showcasing him in recent years, but I really can't think of a better place to fit him, unfortunately. As for the winner, I think that it should be Jeff Hardy, then in the shock of the night, have him cash in his title shot after the Main Event and win it then. I've been hoping that the WWE would do that ever since the MITB thing started, and Hardy would be the perfect choice with his crash and burn style.

Suspected Matches

Disclaimer: Theses matches are only born out of my twisted mind, and may or may not have a basis in reality.

Boxer vs. Wrestler -- Big Show w/ Shane McMahon vs. Floyd Mayweather w/Rey Misterio.

What I said a few week ago: The Great Khali vs. The Big Show... "When I read that The Big Show was resigned, I just knew that someone, somewhere in the WWE Office wants to do this match."

Well it hasn't been announced officially, but the WWE has a press conference coming up, Monday at 3pm, and I would be shocked if they don't announce this match. Apparently it was going to be a tag team match, but Misterio's bicep tear has changed the plans and they need to go with a one-on-one showdown. Thankfully the WWE did not listen to my idea, an untrained celebrity is far more interesting of an opponent for the Big Show than The Great Khali.

Career vs. Career -- Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels

What I said in October: ECW Title Match: John Morrison © vs. Ric Flair..."Flair winning the title could help it out, plus he would be the only wrestler in history to win the NWA, WCW, WWF, and ECW Titles" AND Shawn Michaels vs. Rey Mysterio..."If the WWE gives these two 20 minutes to flat out go, we should have Wrestlemania moments for years to come."

What I said a few weeks ago: Career Threatening Match: Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels..." could be a cool story to see if Shawn would try his hardest against Flair, and Flair constantly trying to get Shawn's best out of him."

What I'm saying now: This matches seems like it was destined to happen ever since they first announced their plans for Flair to go on his win or retire kick, and Shawn and Flair started having the occasional backstage segment together that teased some sort of a dissension between the two. Also, remember last week it was Shawn that announced that Flair was going to be joining the Hall of Fame. I'm not sure how they will do it, but I think that they will also end up putting Shawn's career on the line, otherwise he would just lie down for his good friend, Ric Flair. As much as I would rather have them put over some new talent, I think that Shawn will give Flair the best match on his way out, and all of the other young talent have beaten Flair over the past few years.

ECW Title Match - Extreme Rules: Chavo Guerrero (c) vs. CM Punk

What I said in October: I had Ric Flair vs. John Morrison for the ECW Title, I put Punk in the Money in the Bank match, and I didn't even think of putting Chavo anywhere. I already quoted myself for those two matches, so see above in case you've forgotten.

What I said a few weeks ago: Chavo Guerrero (c) vs. Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk..."...perhaps we can even have Mysterio try to get revenge on Chavo, but end up costing Punk the title, setting up some hatred between those two. Either way, this match would be bad-ass good."

What I'm saying now: I really hope that this gets a spot on the card, as the ECW Title was just a prop in a RAW match last year. Both of these guys have had really solid years and should get featured on the card. I think to make things different, they will make it an Extreme Rules match, that is CM Punk's last chance at Chavo to add some drama.

No DQ Tag Match: Vince McMahon and JBL vs. Finlay and Hornswoggle

What I said in October:...not a damn thing about any of these guys! I had Finlay penciled in for the Money in the Bank Match, and I hadn't even considered any of the others!

What I said a few weeks ago: Chris Jericho vs. JBL Finlay, Hornswoggle and Mick Foley vs. Vince McMahon, Mark Henry and Big Daddy V..."This would be a fun bathroom break match" AND Bull Rope Match:..."There is still a ton of mileage left in this feud"

What I'm saying now: Looks like I was wrong about there being mileage in the Jericho-JBL feud, as Jericho got a clean pin on Bradshaw on RAW a few weeks ago and nothing has come of it since then. But who didn't get some sort of a perverse car-crash enjoyment out of JBL beating down Hornswoggle in the cage last week? I'm not really sure why they chose JBL as the one to help McMahon, but I'm sure it'll be explained somehow. This match has potential to be pretty horrible to be honest, but if they make it no DQ and add a bunch of interference and over-booking, and keep it short, then it could be pretty decent.

United States Title Match: MVP (c) vs. Matt Hardy

What I said in October: MVP © vs. Matt Hardy..."I think that if there is any current feud in the WWE that can be stretched out for another six months it is this one! I love the dynamic between these two, and feel that it deserves a huge blow-off match at the grandest stage of them all."

What I said a few weeks ago: "
This feud oddly benefited from Hardy's appendix bursting."

What I'm saying now: This match has to happen at Wrestlemania. I don't know how far along Matt is to returning, but to see him show up and absolutely level MVP to set up the title match that was supposed to happen at SummerSlam would be fantastic.

Women's Title Match: Beth Phoenix (c) vs. Candice Michelle

What I said in October: Beth Phoenix © vs. Kelly Kelly..."...there are rumours of an Extreme Expose edition of Playboy coming out in March. The WWE loves to reuse the idea of having the Playboy gal go for the Women’s Title..."

What I said a few weeks ago: Beth Phoenix (c) vs. Candice Michelle..."Candice should be ready to return soon, setting up this big rematch."

WWE Tag Title Match: John Morrison and The Miz (c) vs. Tommy Dreamer and Colin Delaney

What I said in October: Khali and Big Daddy V © vs. Harry Smith and Ted Dibiase Jr...." [Khali and Big Daddy V] could run rampant over the Tag Division for months before a new tag team “The Next Generation”, consisting of the sons of The British Bulldog and The Million Dollar Man, step up and challenge the dominant champs at the biggest show of the year. Come on, it practically writes itself!"

What I said a few weeks ago: Nothing! I put Morrison and the Miz in the Money in the Bank match, and didn't even mention Dreamer and Delaney, leaving the WWE Tag Titles off the show again.

What I'm saying now: This is a huge stretch I know, but this feud has been developing so well on ECW/Smackdown that they need to save the big showdown until the big show. Delaney has really been channellings the spirit of Mikey Whipwreck, as the "guy who gets the crap kicked out of him and gains a ton of sympathy", did you hear the cheer when Delaney landed a punch last week on ECW? Now can you imagine how huge it would be when he pins Morrison or The Miz to win the title? Come on that would be amazing!

That leaves it at 10 matches, if I were to add more, it would be something involving Santino Marella/Carlito/Maria in a Playboy promotion match, but I could see that just taking up a segment of some sort and having Santino get beaten up or humiliated by Maria and someone coming to her rescue (Cody Rhodes perhaps?).

Anywho, I expect a lot of these questions and conjectures to be addressed tonight, and in the coming weeks as we take another trip on this Road to Wrestlemania.

Until next time,


Some Random Videos to Share

So I haven't done one of my random YouTube-Trollings-for-Blog-Content-so-you-can-Save-Time-and-I-Don't-Have-to-Think-Up-New-Content style posts in a while, but my lord, there is a lot of great stuff on this thing called the internet.

I'm going to start out with one of the best goals of this century, scored by Future-Superstar-of-Tomorrow, Jonathan Toewvs of the Chicago Blackhawks. I'm sorry for the annoying commentators, but just revel in the awesomeness that is this goal.

On the spirit of such awesomeness, here is the video by, with Barack Obama, for "Yes, we can". Man it's inspirational...

On the other end, we have Hilary Clinton, saying "Shame on you", I guess she's going for a different kind of inspiration to get people to vote for her, the kind that you get when your mother is nagging and guilting you and you have no choice but to do what she says...I guess that could work...

For the record, Hilary says that she doesn't support NAFTA, yet she claims to be part of the other Clinton administration, which you know, signed the thing into last political video comes from the site "Barely Political", promoting their YouTube Channel, I must say "I'm not paying shit for this" is possibly the funniest line I've heard in a while...

The most logical transition from American Politics is to religion! Well sort of, because the following clip really makes me believe in reincarnation. See it is a National Geographic clip of a group of the Japanese Giant Hornets attacking a hive of regular honey bees.

Why does this make me believe in reincarnation? See, I'm fairly certain that Nazis, rapists, and people who don't recycle will get reborn as honey bees that anger these hell-spawn wasps who extract their karmic vengeance by ripping them in half en mass. The last thought running through their brains as they watch their torsos fly away, is knowing that their freakin' children will be fed to baby Hell-spawns, who will grow up and rip you apart in your next life...that'll teach them for not sorting their garbage.

To lighten the mood after that thought, here is a 3 year old retelling the story of Star Wars!

Adorable eh?

And I'll end this off with my latest musical crush, move over Lily Allen, you've got some competition in the name of Ingrid Michaelson.

Until next time,


Saturday, February 23, 2008

It Ain't Easy Being Green - Take 3 - Pesticidies, and Poo, and Pus, Oh My!

Well it certainly has been a while since I posted, and even longer while since I made any vegan related postings. Truth is, I want my pro-vegan posts to be well done so I tend to devote large amounts of time to writing them, and well large amounts of time are sometimes at a premium, what with life and what have you. Anyway, enough excuses and preamble it's time to get to the meat...errr tofu, of the post here.

I have already scratched the surface about the ethical, and environmental reasons being a cruelty-free lifestyle, but today I am going to talk about a far more disgusting, but more selfish reason that I have for being a vegan. The simple fact that meat, eggs, and dairy are a regular shmorgazborg of toxicity.

In my title, I outline three of the major contaminants to animal products, I will break them down one at a time. Keep in mind that I am just focusing on the three Ps, but there are a lot more contaminants out there, ranging from mercury to hormones, but I think that those will wait for a later post.


I know what your first reaction is. "They only put pesticides on plants, so vegetarians should have to worry about these more than an omni". Well that is both right, and very wrong.

For starters, they do indeed put pesticides on vegetables, but one needs to remember that cows, pigs, and chickens all eat vegetables. Also, since food fed to livestock undergoes far less screening than food fed to humans, the pesticide level in what your cow eats can be really quite high. Now I know that you're probably wondering what Bessie's diet has to do with you, but in actual fact, it has a direct result.

You see, there is this funny scientific term called "Biomagnification", and well the gist of it is that the concentration of toxins amplify as you raise the trophic levels, or in English, pesticides (and other pollutants such as arsenic) that get eaten by a cow, stay in the cows system, and then get worse when that cow gets eaten by something else (i.e. you).

In Diet for a New America, author John Robbins mentions that the breast milk of meat-eating mothers had 35 times the amount of pesticides as that of vegetarian mothers. Yes, you read that right, 35 times the amount of pesticides in the breast milk from eating meat. So not only are you harming yourself, you could be harming your children. Keep in mind, that infants and children are far more susceptible to the adverse affects of toxins, since their internal organs are not fully developed.

So while the saying "You are what you eat" has its merits, perhaps we should be saying "You are what your food eats."


" Animal products such as red meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and dairy products are the foods most likely to cause human illness.Further, because feces are the vehicle for transmission of pathogens to humans who consume animal flesh, the true cause of foodborne illness related to the consumption of meat or poultry is the presence of feces infected with pathogenic bacteria on that meat or poultry. " - Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) petition to the USDA, August 29, 2001.

Read the last sentence of that quote as many times as you need to in order for it to sink in. I don't know about you but "the presence of feces infected with pathogenic bacteria on that meat or poultry", really doesn't make me want to rush out to buy a burger.

The same survey above also states "Current regulations allow fecally contaminated poultry and meat to be passed at inspection, as long as the feces are not “visible” to the naked eye. "

So really, your chicken could be dropped into a bunch of feces, whipped off, and then away it goes, direct to your stomach...appetizing, eh?


Click for Embedded Video

With the mass production of dairy, far beyond what their bodies were designed for, many cows produce blisters and boils, which inevitably burst. Now when these things burst, they produce a great deal of puss, which has to go somewhere, right? Well it goes right into the thick, white fluid that looks just like pus, which cows make tonnes of every day for human consumption.

The dairy industry classifies milk as "abnormal" and states that it should not enter the food supply, if it has a pus count of more than 200, 000 cells per litre. Now, I don't know much about puss, but 200, 000 cells still seems like a lot of pus to fill up a litre, I for one don't want to drink any pus.

To make it even more disgusting, in the United States, Hawaii is the only state that can meet this standard, with the majority of states passing 300, 000. The worst offender, was Florida which had an average count around 548, 000. I'd like to point out, that this is an average count, meaning that about half of the milk in Florida would have MORE than 548, 000 cells per litre.

Love them, or hate them (which I vary between on almost a daily basis), PETA conducted a "Got Pus? Milk Sure Does" campaign to try and raise awareness on this issue. Now, as you would understand, the Dairy Council would be pretty upset about it, and have threatened PETA with legal action on the issue. Are they charging them with libel for spreading false information? Oh no, they are charging them with copyright infringement, since it is too close to the "Got Milk?" campaign.

Now, parodies are protected under US Law, so really they don't have a leg to stand on, but it raises an interesting point. I find it curious that PETA is not getting charged for spreading false information. This tells me that the powers that be in the Milk World know that PETA is right, and they can't prove in a court of law that their products are pus free. Obviously if they could prove this, they would go for it and get a very large libel suit out of PETA and anyone else who makes such claims.

Now I know that a lot of you out there looking for pesticide, poo, and pus free alternatives out there, are probably thinking about organic food. Well, the USDA is looking to expand their already weak regulations on what counts as "organic" to include more toxins. Sure that leaves out their rules on poo and pus, but I really can't help but wonder how long it will take them to lax out on those rules too.

So if you really want to have a diet that doesn't have those three Ps, I can recommend one for you, it's a little tough at first, but remember, it ain't easy being green...

Until next time,


Take 1 - Pacifism
Take 2 - The Environment
Take 3 - Pesticides, and Poo, and Pus, Oh My!
Take 4 - Distribution of Resources

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Deal or No Deal?

Glen Says:

Welcome one and all to a super-special live on location (Troy's mom's basement) edition of the Puck Stop. Hockey fans out there will be counting down with excitement, as there are only 9 days left until the NHL Trade Deadline. Well in order to help guide through the chaos, Troy and I are here to save the day (as usual), and provide some facts and opinions on all 6 Canadian teams as they head into this big day.

I am going to start out by looking in the Western Conference, and the Vancouver Canucks in particular. Currently in 9th place, the Canucks find themsleve in a dangerous position. Do they make a play for a big name, to get themselves over the hump, or do they dump upcoming Free Agents Marcus Naslund and Matt Cooke to shore up for the future?

Last season, the Canucks took their division, and made it to the second round, and realistically they could very well do the same again this year. Injuries to Salo and Bieska have crippled their blueline, but they have still been able to stay in the hunt. As such, I see them trying to do some tinkering to their line-up and make a play for something that they have been missing for the past two seasons, scoring. They are rumoured to be in the Peter Forsberg derby, but I really don't think that he'll end up on the West Coast. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Forsberg goes to Philly, and the Flyers (looking to free up some room) ship Jeff Carter or R.J. Umberger off to Vancouver in exchange for Kesler, and maybe some draft picks. Other than that, I don't see them doing much else.

Your thoughts, my hetero-life-mate?

Troy Says:
Vancouver has potential and although they're not known as a scoring team I still feel they could make some noise in the playoffs if they make the cut. But the bottom line is that they need some help up front. I would hate to see this team trade away their UFAs because I feel they're very close to being quite competitive.

Next we turn our attention to the Edmonton Oilers. This team is right on the cusp of making the playoffs but the reality is that their chances are not good. This is due to the fact that they play in the toughest division in hockey and making up ground against their divisional rivals will not be easy. Although Edmonton only has two UFAs, Geoff Sanderson and Marty Reasoner, they may want to consider making some of their RFAs available to teams in order to continue building towards the future. There are rumours that Dwayne Roloson may be available if the right offer is given. Roloson may not be a top-tier goalie in the NHL but he has shown that he can handle the number one role and fulfill it quite well.

Any thoughts Mr. Glen?

Glen Says:

The Oilers are unquestionable sellers this year, and I would not be at all surprised to see Roloson end up in either Ottawa or Washington, and the other name is Stoll, who would add a fair amount of grit to any team. Also of note, the Oilers are in desperate need of restocking their draft picks after the debacle that has been the Dustin Penner signing, keep an eye on these guys.

If we turn our attention slightly further south we see an entirely different situation as the Calgary Flames consider themselves to be Stanley Cup contenders, and it really is hard to argue that they don't have a chance of causing some damage in the Western Conference, where anything can really happen. I think that the Flames need an added boost in the middle, and Oli Jokinen's name keeps coming up. There have been lots of talk of the Flames shipping Tanguay, plus prospects and picks to Florida for the Finnish Centre, and while I would think that trade doesn't bode well for the Panthers, this is the team that traded Luongo for Auld and Bertuzzi, so anything is possible really.

They also have to be considered a strong possible location for Darcy Tucker if he waives his no-trade clause. Either way, I expect this team to make a big splash for a gritty forward, one way or another.

Troy Says:

Due to the depth of Calgary's younger players the Flames should be in the mix for all the big names available out there. If he were to wave his no trade cause Mats Sundin would be a great fit for the Flames because not only would he add offense but he would also add a little bit of grit which would definitely help Calgary. Either way, look for the Flames to make a splash.

Switching focus to the Eastern conference we will starts with the Toronto Maple Leafs who are currently sitting in last place in the conference. What Toronto SHOULD do is blow up this team and start fresh but this will not happen. Sundin, Tucker, Kubina, McCabe and Kaberle all have no trade clauses in their contracts which will seriously hamper Interim GM Cliff Fletcher's ability to do what he should. The Leafs would be able to get a lot for Sundin but it doesn't seem as though he wants to leave Toronto. McCabe would be good trade bait but no one wants him with the money he's currently making. The bottom line is that Toronto is a tragically flawed team right now and they need to rebuild. I know Leafs fans hate this thought but in the long run looking towards the future is what Toronto needs.

Glen Says:

Ahhh the Leafs, the team that I love to loathe. This is probably the most interesting team to watch over the next week and a half. As Troy mentioned, their best bits of trade bait have those infamous no-trade clauses, but I think that Fletcher will be able to convince at least 2-3 of those 5 players to accept a trade to a contender. Out of all of those guys, I think that Kaberle would fetch the biggest prize, and you have to think that the Sharks have some interest. They tried to swing a deal for Redden, but he vetoed it, and they are hurting for a puck-moving defenseman, and they are a Cup Contender. As, I mentioned before Tucker could very well end up in Calgary, and I think that he would be a good fit in Detroit or Dallas for the stretch drive. Either way, I expect Cliff Fletcher to be getting a lot of phone calls in the net few days.

As for the other Ontario team there are my beloved Senators, who unofficially kicked off trade season by acquiring a second line winger in Stillman, and a stay at home defensemen in Commodore. They still have a scary question in between the pipes, as Gerber has a history of choking, and Emery has a history of exploding, neither of which are good things to have going into the playoffs. There was talk of the Sens flipping Emery for Khabibulin, but now that the Russian is hurt that doesn't seem very likely. I wouldn't be surprised to see them make some sort of a play to Edmonton to get Roloson, since there really isn't much else available in net, other than Raycroft, but he sucks...

Ohh and one bit of free advice for Bryan Murray from a concerned fan...stay the fuck away from Marian Hossa!!!!!! He is the poster boy for playoff chokers, as he showed during his first stint in Ottawa, and lord knows we don't need another guy who can't get it done in the spring...

Troy Says:

Ottawa is a very good team and right now the only questions about them surround their goaltending as Glen mentioned. I believe Emery can handle the load but he has to get his act together, and fast. Without decent goaltending, which right now Ottawa is not getting, the Senators will have basically no chance at the cup.

Now to my favourite team, the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal has surprised pretty much everyone this year. The goaltending has been great, the young players have really stepped up and perhaps the most surprising point, Kovalev has finally decided to be useful. Montreal can score goals, but a little help up front couldn't hurt, but Montreal could definitely use a solid, stay-at-home, tough hitting defenceman. Adam Foote is a UFA in Columbus and I would like to see the Habs make a run for him. Other names out there are Derek Morris, and Barret Jackman. Another big defenceman with interest is Brad Stuart. He could fit in well with Montreal. Look for Gainey to try and add a big name to the defence. Traditionally Montreal doesn't make big splashes at the trade deadline and I don't see that changing much this year.

Glen Says:

Montreal really is in a tough spot right now. They are happily sitting 4th in the East, and should have no trouble holding onto a playoff spot. However, it would be shocking if they were able to compete with Ottawa, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, or Philadelphia in the spring. So do they make a play for a Marion Hossa or do they play things more patiently and build up for a solid run in a few years? I think that they will make a small move or two, and add some help on D, and maybe some grit up front. They seem to be willing to part with the slumping Ryder, and I'm sure that he would return to form with a change of scenery (i.e. the John LeClair syndrome) . They do have some tough decisions in goal as they wait for Price to emerge, especially since Huet is facing Free Agency. Do they ship him away for some help up front and rely on Price and Halak for the playoffs, or do the ship Halak for some help up front and risk losing Huet in the off-season, leaving Price all by himself at such a young age? Surely this must be costing Gainey a few hours of a sleep every night.

As for the 24 teams that play south of the border, I see Dallas and San Jose making the biggest splashes. For whatever reason there seems to be a bigger history of Western teams going for broke than their Eastern counterparts. Anaheim has already added some players from retirement, and Detroit is already really solid (even if they are losing a bit at the moment...), and this leaves the Stars and Sharks to make a big move. I already mentioned San Jose with Kaberle, but I could see them having some serious talks with Tampa for Prospal and/or Boyle, as they could use somebody on their team to score that isn't Joe Thornton. Dallas is in need of a superstar to play with Ribeiro, and I see them as most likely to land Hossa, and have to deal with him crashing and burning in the playoffs much to my delight.

I also see the Sabres shipping Campbell out, and possibly one of their forwards such as Kotalik or Afinegenov. However, I don't see them swapping them out for prospects, but instead for a player with a few years left on a contract like Marleau or Tanguay, plus some picks and prospects. Also out East, never underestimate New Jersey, Lamoreillo will do something big, you can count on that.

This season has been really quiet as far as trades go, but I really expect it to change in the coming week and a half, as GM's get asked the same question that Howie Mandel asks people every week, "Deal, or No Deal?". For our interest, I hope that people take the former.

Until next time,


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lover's Music

Yes, it's that time of the year were we need to be all gooey and romantic. Now last year, I made a post called "Music to Swoon To", that was dedicated to a new relationship, and was focused mainly on avoiding that dreaded L-Word. Now, here we are a year later, and I have decided that I am going to move forward this year and not avoid dropping the L-bomb, if you are at the point where you are using some these songs to get romantic with your special somebody, then sub out a few of the songs (i.e. all of the ones with "Love" in the title), and take a few from last year's list, namely "Ambulance", "Baby This Night", "Crosses", and "Safe and Sound".

While last year's post included some classics like "Wild Horses" and "Wonderwall", this year I am instead going to focus on being Indie-ish as possible. The main reason being that if you have been with someone for a long time, it's good to try and expand their horizons a bit and music as an easy and great way to do that.

Now that the preamble is over, here we go...

1. New Radicals -- "Mother, We Just Can't Get Enough". This may just be my favourite opening song off of any album, any time. It's simply an amazing burst of energy to kick off a romantic album. It really captures the emotion that it's title suggests, as you can really feel the passion in Greg Alexander's voice as he tells his mother how great his new girlfriend is.

Most Romantic Line: "There's something about you that makes me fly/You're a heart attack, just the kind I like"

2. Wolf Parade -- "This Heart's On Fire". Another great, energetic song that really captures the feeling of being madly in love and having your heart feel like it's on fire.

Most Romantic Line: "And you're my favourite thing/ tell it everywhere I go/ I don't know what to do/ This heart's on fire"

3. The National -- "Slow Show". And here we start to slow things down, with this beautiful song by this fantastic band. This song is all about getting tired of playing for a crowd, and just wanting to put on a "slow show" for that special person. Like all of The National's songs it sounds so very intimate and personal, and the bit at the end about dreaming someone up, is so eloquent and gorgeous, a must for lover's everywhere!

Most Romantic Line: "I wanna hurry home to you/put on a slow, dumb show for you and crack you up"

4. Peter Bjorn & John -- "Paris, 2004". From the opening notes right down the beautifully simplistic lyrics, this song is not afraid to take a refreshingly juvenile approach to love. The chorus line of "I'm all about you, you're all about me, we're all about each other", describes the butterflies in one of the sweetest ways imaginable.

Most Romantic Line: " We need this precious time just to comprehend"

5. Amy Milan -- "Skinny Boy". It's no secret to followers of this blog that I LOVE Amy Milan, she's amazing, beautiful, and incredibly talented. This song is so very personable, and maybe as a skinny boy, I think that maybe she's singing it to me...a boy can dream, can't he?

Most Romantic Line: "You've got lips that I could spend a day with"

6. Michael Franti & Spearhead -- "Firefly" (Sorry, that was the only stream I could find). This song has some powerful imagery, as it describes a couple as firefly's, who are busy glowing. Plus Franti does have a sexy man voice (I'm not ashamed to admit that) so it helps to throw this out there on a Lover CD.

Most Romantic Line: " I’ll be your firefly, so you can see/Your way to me at midnight"

7. Bloc Party -- "Tulips". Now the pace starts to pick up again with this track from the oft-forgotten Little Thoughts EP. This is a great song for recognizing that special someone and realizing that you two are meant to be together. This is also the part of the CD where the L-bombs start falling all over the place.

Most Romantic Line: " It's as pure as fire/It's as pure as snow/I knew that I'd found you"

8. Ryan Adams -- "Gonna Make You Love Me". Now that we've established that you love them, you need to get them on board. This is a great song about doing all sorts of romantic gestures to prove your love.

Most Romantic Line: " They say love is hell, /But I've only been laughin' ever since I fell/It's only gonna make me love you more"

9. Cake -- "Love You Madly". I simply love this song. It's lyrics are both adorable and profound, and the upbeat tone really adds to the excitement of being in love. Simply a must for this CD.

Most Romantic Line: THE ENTIRE SONG!!!!!!! But if I had to choose, I'd take... "I don't want to hold back/I don't want to slip down/I don't want to think back to the one thing that I know I
Should have done"

10. Guillemots -- "Made Up Lovesong #43". If this song doesn't melt your heart, I really don't know what will. It is so cute and sweet, and just makes me feel very warm and gooey. The repeated chorus line of "I love you through sparks and shinning dragons, I do" is proof that sometimes less really is more.

Most Romantic Line: "The best things come from nowhere, I can't believe you care"

11. Feist -- "New Torch"(Stream unavailable...sorry). Sure, everyone loves Feist, but few people have heard her songs from before The Reminder, and even fewer have heard them from before Let it Die. However, this song from Monarch is well worth looking into. This song is so enchanting and beautiful, the lyrics make is sound so very personal and intimate, but the orchestral accompaniment makes it sound epic and grand, a very rare feat to say the least.

Most Romantic Line: "Be mine through time /This way leads into the garden green"

12. Iron & Wine -- "Waiting' For a Superman" (It's no stream, but hopefully the free download will do...). The one cover to make this list, as Iron & Wine reinvents the Flaming Lips classic. I can really take either version, but the Iron & Wine version just sounds so very wispy and surreal, which fits into the concept of being "saved" by "Superman" (i.e. you). This song is great at describing how overwhelming (but exciting) this kind of thing can be.

Most Romantic Line: "It's getting heavy/Well I thought it was already as heavy as can be"

13. Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- "Porcelain" (Man this is a bad stream, trust me the studio version of this song is amazing). This song picks up where "Waitin' For A Superman" leaves off, as it describes overcoming your fears of a commitment and relationships and being able to move forward.

Most Romantic Line: "Baby I'm afraid of a lot of things but I ain't scared of loving you"

14. Sufjan Stevens -- "To Be Alone with You". I was half tempted to just put the entire album of Seven Swans up here and call it a day, but I figure that would be cheating. Sufjan's amazing voice describes all that he would do to be alone with someone special. What follows is like The Notebook...only for your ears (and not depressing).

Most Romantic Line: "To be alone with me you went up on the tree"

15. Stars --"My Favourite Book". Surely you must have known that at least one song by Stars would make this list. They are wonderful, I love them so much. This is an Amy Milan song, as Torq doesn't sing in this one, but it's still fantastic. It's a great song about the comfort of a relationship, or really, it's just a great song period.

Most Romantic Line: "Because I never knew a home, until I found your hands"

16. The John Butler Trio -- "Seeing Angels". Another sweet song by the JBT, this one talking about someone who is so amazing that they don't seem real. Hopefully that describes your other half.

Most Romantic Line: "For I'm transparent in the light of you. /And look inside, see that fire burning bright"

17. Wilco -- "I'm the Man Who Loves You". This is another of those ones that you may want to avoid if you haven't dropped the L-Bomb, and I'm sorry that this song really only fits if you are a guy giving it to a woman, if not perhaps add "Inside and Out" by Feist, it should do the trick. Anyway, the purpose of this song really is self-explanatory, a song about showing someone how much you love them.

Most Romantic Line: "But if I could you know I would, just hold your hand and you'd understand/I'm the man who loves you"

18. Travis -- "Flowers in the Window". This song is a great at describing that indescribable feeling of having someone make a profound change on your life, perfect for a lovey mix, everyone likes to feel special after all.

Most Romantic Line: "But there are many seasons to feel glad, sad, mad/It's just a bunch of feelings that we have to hold /But I am here to help you with the load"

19. Joseph Arthur -- "Echo Park". I know, I used this song on another playlist, but it really is an inspiring bit of a poetry. This song captures so much of the special bits of a relationship that make it worthwhile.

Most Romantic Line: "The fire never understands the spark/The way it is for you and me"

20. Broken Social Scene -- "Lover's Spit". This is one of the all-time great BSS songs, and it is a great one to end this list with (If you would rather, there is a great Feist version from Beehives, since I already included Feist, I figured that I would give Drew a chance to shine here). It's a fantastic song about growing up both personally and within the confines of a relationship. It's a great one to end it off with because it gives a great sense of moving forward

Most Romantic Line: " You know its time that we grow old and do some shit"

And on that note, I'm off...I hope that all of you out in blog land are having a happy V-Day, I'm stuck on library duty romantic...

Until next time,


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Xavier Rudd in the Danforth

This past Sunday, I had the incredibly pleasure of seeing one of the most talented and versatile musicians play in one of the most interesting venues in Toronto, as Australia's Xavier Rudd came to rock out in the Danforth Music Hall.

Now I was first introduced to Xavier about a year ago and I have always thought that he was good, but in all honesty, I had no freakin' idea as to how great he was until this past weekend.

For starters, the Danforth Music Hall is a simply amazing venue, it reminded me completely of a 50's era movie theatre, which makes for interesting acoustics, and an even more interesting vibe. It was probably the most interesting group of people I've ever seen in one place, as the outfits ranged from sports coats to ponchos, and the hair styles ranged from cru-cuts to dreadlocks.

The show opened up with an interesting performance by a man named Mishka, now his sound was very Bob Marley-rastafarian-boy with guitar, and it was simply amazing. He said that his new CD was coming out March 21, so be sure to check it out. All that I could find of his was this video...

Impressive stuff, eh?

Anyway, after wards the show opened up with a large aboriginal man coming out and playing the diggerydoo, and explaining some of the ways to play. It turns out, he was Xavier Rudd's uncle, and he accompanies him on a variety of shows.

Anyway, the uncle was telling us about how he blows the diggerydoo, and then made a joke about how diggerydoo players make the best lovers. He then left and introduced the main event.

To say Xavier was impressive would be an understatement. Me, being ever so ignorant, I always assumed that when I heard the drums, guitar, diggerydoo, and other instruments in Xavier's songs, I assumed that he had an accompanying band. It turns out, he only had a drummer, who played only a few songs. At various points Xavier Rudd played the drums, guitar, diggerydoo, harmonica, and a variety of symbols, all in the same song. To say it was breathtaking would be an understatement.

Now keeping track of a setlist was very challenging, since a) I hadn't heard his new album before the show, and b) there were intense periods of random diggerydoo and drum jams in between the songs. But I know that I freaked out when I heard my favourites like "Messages" and "Let Me Be" (videos below)


"Let Me Be"

The show included the requisite encore, I got the video of him playing "Clean Air" which went for an incredible seven and a half minutes, with various teases of being finished. The video ends early because the security guard came to yell at me, but the song only lasted a few more seconds afterwards. (EDITOR'S NOTE: The video wouldn't post, expect it soon)

Needless to say, I have a new favourite artist, and I could not recommend him enough to any of you out there. This ranks only behind the Stars concert I saw in November as my favourite concert ever, and judging by the clientèle at this show, no matter who you are, I think you would have enjoyed it.

Until next time,


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

News on the Glen Front

Hey all, sorry I haven't been posting much this week, but you know, such is life...

I just wanted to make a quick update for anyone out there who is curious. I spent this past weekend at an International School Job Fair, and needless to say it was a crazy, crazy time. I went overboard and signed up for 9 interviews, for schools in Japan, Korea, China, Thailand, U.A.E., and Turkey.

It was a crazy time, as I ended up running all over the place, and talking about myself for hours, and hours on end. After it all ended, I found myself getting offers for 4 different positions. I weighted my options carefully, and I ended up deciding on a school in Suzhou, China! I am super-dee-duper excited about this, right now. I have committed to a two year contract, so needless to say I plan on doing a fair amount of traveling in the next few years. So for next year, I expect this blog to be a bit more travel focused next year, as I try and share my adventures through this wonderful medium.

In the mean time, I am going to post a few pictures from my day trip to Suzhou that I made when I was in China back in the spring. Hopefully, this will make you all jealous enough to want to come and visit :)

So...should I be making room on my couch for anyone?

Until next time,


Monday, February 04, 2008

Overanlyzing the Superbowl

Like millions of other people around the world, I tuned in and watched the New York Giants shock the world last night, and like many of them, I couldn't be happier. I have spent most of the day digesting unhealthy (but of course animal free) food and digesting the history that we witnessed last night. It's kind of a strange thing to think about just how happy everyone is that the Patriots lost, and to be honest I think it says a lot about the strange relationship our society has with sports.

But before I get going, I'd like to point out one thing...I was RIGHT. That's right, back before the Pats even played a playoff game I predicted that they would not win the Super Bowl. I'm not going to lie, when the Colts went down, I was ready to eat my words, but low and behold the other Manning backed me up and made me right all along.

Please allow me a moment to bask in my unlikely glory....

....still basking....

...and I'm spent....

Where was I? Oh right, basking in my glory...

....right. So I have to ask, why were so many of us rooting for the New York Giants heading into this game? Do people not realize that we could have seen the Patriots go 19-0, and be only the second team in the history of the NFL to go undefeated for the entire regular season and playoffs? Do you realize just how amazing of a thing that would/could have been? Do we even care?

There is something deep in all of our psyche that delights in watching people fall flat on their faces. How else could people be so obsessed with watching Britney Spears self-destruct in front of our very eyes?

There is something rather morbid with this part of our society. Why can't we just be happy that something historic is happening, and instead hope to see it get tainted? Can we not just be happy for someone succeeding? Are we harbouring some sort of deep jealousy that we will never be as talented/rich/successful/good-looking as Tom Brady, so we want to see him get knocked on his ass?

One of the biggest complaints about modern sports is that with salary caps and free agency, there are no more "Great Teams", and that dynasties may just be a thing of the past. Well, here we had a chance for a modern-day dynasty as the Patriots could have gotten their 4th Super Bowl in 7 years, which is damn-near as good as the Oilers were in the 1980s. But yet, whenever a team gets poised to achieve dynastic heights, everyone turns on them. Does nobody remember how happy everyone was when the Patriots were when they won their first Super Bowl by defeating the 14 point favoured St. Louis Rams in 2002? And maybe their second Super Bowl win was completely overshadowed by Janet Jackson's nipple, so I guess it was only their third one that people really started to notice how great of a team this was, and then then they started hating them.

Completely lost in all of this Giants love is the simple fact that Eli Manning is a douche bag. He joins Eric Lindros and Steve Francis in the club of players who blatantly refused to play for the team that they were drafted to and demanded a trade, without ever having played a game at the highest level. Eli was drafted by the San Diego Chargers and for whatever reason (oh right, because he's a douche bag) demanded a trade to the Giants, rather than fight with him, the Chargers made the trade, and I guess the rest, as they say, is history.

Back when I first reflected on the Chris Benoit tragedy, I mentioned that "We all have such a strange relationship with our media stars. We are usually able to forgive people if they are still able to entertain us.", and I guess that holds true for Eli Manning. The man put himself over his (rightful) team, and should be decried as a result, but yet, here he goes and pulls off the unthinkable, and is all of a sudden a hero. It really is a sign of the short-term memory that is prevalent in our society. I wonder, if the Giants go on to win a few more Super Bowls in a row, if people will all of a sudden start to hate them to.

Maybe there is an important lesson to be gained from all of this. None of us are perfect, and if we try to be perfect then we will only fail in the most spectacular of ways. Who knows, if the Patriots hadn't been so obsessed with getting a 16-0 regular season, and decided to rest Tom Brady than maybe, just maybe, he could have made that last throw and we would have seen some very different news in the papers this morning. But alas, Bill Belichik's reckless pursuit
of perfection, even at the expense of league rules and ethics caught up to him. I can't help but think it was karma slapping the Patriots in the face for trying just a little bit too hard.

But as they say in sports, there is always next season, and who knows, maybe people will rally behind the Patriots and cheer for them to be the unlikely of heroes. Or maybe not, even I wouldn't predict something that unlikely...

Until next time,


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Shades of Wrestlemania -- 2 Months in Advance

Today is indeed a big day for sports fans, as the New England Patriots seek perfection against the New York Giants. While, I am excited to watch the game, I don't feel that I know enough about football to talk about it too much. But what I do know something about is wrestling! And well, that "Super Bowl" is coming up on March 30. A few months ago, I made my predictions here for Wrestlemania Card, and looking back I am not sure how accurate I will be, so now that we are in the stretch drive going into Mania, it is time to make another prediction for the upcoming card...


WWE Title Match: John Cena (c) vs. Triple H

How awesome was Cena's return at the Rumble anyway? Nobody saw that coming at all!! It reminds me why I am a fan of this pseudo-sport after all. I love to be surprised like that!!! Now, after Cena returned, and won the Rumble I was looking for a slow and steady blood feud between Orton and Cena to resolve the injury angle from a few months ago. But, colour me shocked when we find out that Cena is using his title shot a month early and they are going to make an Elimination Chamber match to determine the #1 Contender. I wouldn't be the slightest bit shocked to see Triple H win the Chamber match and Cena walk away with the gold. Apparently the plan for last year was to do a rematch of their Wrestlemania XXII Main Event, but H's injury ruined that one. While it appeared that Cena's injury would make this into a pipe dream, but I guess sometimes in life you get a second chance.

World Title Match: Edge (c) vs. The Undertaker

I think that this one has been penciled in since May or so, when Edge jumped ship and won the title from The Deadman. I would be shocked if Taker didn't win the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match, thus sending this feud into the closing chapters that it deserves.

Inter-promotional Match: Orton vs. Batista

This is honestly a match that I am penciling in because I don't have much else planned for either of them. Both of these guys could be easily very pissed off about not being in their respective Title Matches, and have some sort of "Evolution Explosion" match, as they have been referencing that former faction a fair amount in the past few months.

Career Threatening Match: Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels

Apparently the WWE had plans of doing Flair-Kennedy at Mania, but they have since changed their mind and want to go with HBK being the one to retire Flair. I'm not sure if it is for the best or not, but it could be a cool story to see if Shawn would try his hardest against Flair, and Flair constantly trying to get Shawn's best out of him.

ECW Title Match: Chavo Guerrero (c) vs. Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk

See Edge helped Chavo win the title from CM Punk, so it seems obvious that Chavo would help Edge retain his title against Mysterio at No Way Out. Of course, Punk's issues with Chavo shouldn't be down played, and perhaps we can even have Mysterio try to get revenge on Chavo, but end up costing Punk the title, setting up some hatred between those two. Either way, this match would be bad-ass good.

United States Title Match: MVP (c) vs. Matt Hardy

This feud oddly benefited from Hardy's appendix bursting. He can now return at some opportune moment (i.e. to cost MVP his shot in the Elimination Chamber) and set up the closing of this feud with a brutal (and no doubt excellent) one on one match.

Women's Title Match: Beth Phoenix (c) vs. Candice Michelle

Another feud that oddly benefited from an injury. Candice's spill back in the fall in her match against Beth looked scary, and Candice is lucky that she only hurt her shoulder and not her neck. Candice should be ready to return soon, setting up this big rematch.

Bull Rope Match: Chris Jericho vs. JBL

There is still a ton of mileage left in this feud. These two are probably going to eliminate one another from the Elimination Chamber Match, setting up some more ultra-violence between the two. A Bull Rope Match seems like a logical conclusion since they seem to have this tendency to hang one another...

Six Man Tag: Finlay, Hornswoggle and Mick Foley vs. Vince McMahon, Mark Henry and Big Daddy V

You know that some sort of a show down between Finlay and Vince McMahon is brewing, so this seems like a logical one to have happen. I was thinking about a Finlay & Horny vs. Vince & Shane Match, but that leaves Mick out. Foley has already aligned himself with Hornswoggle, and he always likes to stick it to Vince. This would be a fun bathroom break match.

Giant Showdown: The Great Khali vs. The Big Show

When I read that The Big Show was resigned, I just knew that someone, somewhere in the WWE Office wants to do this match. Hopefully they keep it short.

Money in the Bank Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Ken Kennedy vs. Umaga vs. John Morrison vs. The Miz vs. Kane vs. Chuck Palumbo vs. Jamie Noble

Yup, the annual tradition of throwing a bunch of mid-carders with nothing else to do in a match. The first two Money in the Bank Matches featured 6 wrestlers, but then last year they added two more to "Super Size" the match. While I think that I preferred the 6 man format, I am alright with the match either way. If the WWE decides to trim two wrestlers, look for it to be Chuck and Jamie. However, I think that these two have worked hard enough and gotten their feud over enough to deserve a spot on the card here. I listed the participants in order that they would be likely to win the match. I really hope that Hardy pulls this one out and ended up getting his title opportunity later on in the year.

******************************************** matches, that's a lot! But two years ago they had 12 matches, and last year they could have easily added at least another 2 if they had cut down on the video-recap and general filler that really dragged the show down. Continue to check back in a few weeks as I start to countdown even more to the Super Bowl of Wrestling...until then, try to enjoy the Super Bowl of Football.

Until next time,