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Archive for February, 2010


Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from criticism; feast on praise.
Fast from self-pity; feast on joy.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.
Fast from jealousy; feast on love.
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
Fast from fear; feast on faith.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
 

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I’ve read several reviews of the gold medal game between Sweden and Canada.  None of the reporters come out and say exactly what happened.  The Canadian skip choked!  Clear and simple.  Cheryl Bernard succumbed to Broadway stage pressure and choked her final stone in the 10th and 11th ends.  The gold medal was there waiting for her and her teammates in the 10th.  All she had to do was blast the yellow Swedish stone out of the house, running her out of rocks.  As I watched her set up her line, preparing to deliver what was surely the gold medal winning shot, I’m sure the Swedish skip knew she would be settling for silver.  I mean all Canada had to do was throw that rock down the ice with a vengeance.  Terminate with prejudice.  Just get rid of it.  Yet she jams the yellow and leaves it in the house, Sweden throws their final stone and scores two.  OK, Canada still has the hammer in the extra end.  And sure enough, it all comes down to the final rock again.  Bernard has a double takeout, not too difficult an angle, a shot she’s made how many times before.  And she leaves it short!  Sweden steals one in the 11th and steals the gold.  You could see from the delayed Swedish reaction they could hardly believe what happened.  And neither could I.  Sure, I tip my hat to Cheryl and her mates for getting through the preliminary rounds and making it to the gold medal game.  That is a fantastic and Olympian achievement.  But when you are given two chances to win at the end and cannot capitalize on even one, that’s a choke.  Had those opportunities been there earlier in the game and the same outcome transpired I would not be so critical.  But that is what separates the “men from the boys”.  Sorry Cheryl, but you choked.

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After their fantastic victory over arch rival USA, some of the Canadian women’s hockey team celebrated the win by returning to the ice at Canada Hockey Place and swigging some “Canadian champagne” aka, good old Molson Canadian.  Oh, and some of them even puffed on a cigar.  The fans had all left the hockey arena.  The team had it to themselves, except for some press types who then reported this egregious transgression of Olympic protocol to the IOC.  Oh, and one of the skaters was only 18 years old, below BC’s legal drinking age of 19.  So now the IOC is going to “investigate” this terrible event.  Give me a break!  It’s not as if the team went berserk in the athletes village, falling down drunk, smoking pot.  They engaged in a very subdued victory party, trying to prolong and savour what must surely be the apex of their sporting careers.  Olympic gold on home ice!  And now these stodgy, coddled old farts in the IOC turn a wonderful celebration into some kind of international shame?  It is remarkable that “current” sports like snowboarding and freestyle skiing are even part of the Olympics when you consider the bureaucratic hoops those federations must have had to jump through to get considered by the seniors who rule the IOC.

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As tragic as it is, the recent death by killer whale of a trainer at Florida’s Seaworld must be added to the pantheon of stupid things humans do in trying to control nature.  This is the third time Tilikum the orca has been involved in death of a human.  The third time!  And here are some of the insightful comments by trainers at Seaworld.  “We recognized he was different”.  “We have no idea what was going through his head”.  Just so you don’t miss the obvious, they are talking about the killer whale, not the dead trainer.  So let’s recap.  Here we have one of nature’s most powerful and deadly killers, who has killed three times previously, yet the operators of Seaworld continue trying to domesticate this mammal.  When is man going to understand that you cannot leash a killer whale?  It’s like trying to teach a polar bear to sit and stay.  Or trusting a tiger to baby sit a 4 year old child.  Or kissing a pit viper.  Or trying to stop a tsunami.  Or repairing earthquake faults with cement.  What an example of man’s hubris.  I say close all these ridiculous marine parks that display nature in a sanitized environment.  You can’t put a cap on nature.  It’s been here long before humans.  If you want to see killer whales, go on a whale watching cruise.  It’s one thing to view dangerous animals confined to pens in a zoo.  (And that’s a topic for another day).  But when you think you can domesticate a mammal that lives to kill and eat its prey, and teach it to jump through hoops, then you are truly stupid and will suffer the consequences.

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Our federal government is crying penury and wants business and the public (that’s you and me folks) to pick up a projected $11 million shortfall in funding for the “Own the Podium” program.  That is the anticipated decline this year in business revenue and funding from the provinces.  So let me get this straight.  We can blow more than $1 billion on a completely ineffective, no that’s too mild, on a totally useless gun control registry but we can’t find a relative pittance to keep our elite athletes at the top of the podium?  And what about the future savings to our health care system since there has to be some positive impact on the physical and mental health of the general population!  Don’t you think our kids will strive to keep fit when they see their role models going around the world and excelling in their chosen sport discipline?  Never mind what it does for national pride, spirit and all those non-dollar quantifiable positives.  Oh, here’s another comparison.  We wasted how many hundreds of millions of dollars (and still counting) on a misdirected e-health strategy.   I realize this is a provincial program, but you get the point.  Every year the auditor general reports on some new way the federal government wastes our tax dollars.  Yet something that provides an obvious physical and emotional benefit like funding athletic programs is squeezed for every penny!  Bureaucrats.  What a pathetic bunch of non thinkers!

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The interesting thing about blogging is trying to find novel things to talk about every day.  It’s not enough to just put words to paper.  They have to be entertaining words.  Phrases that capture the reader.  Otherwise it just becomes white noise.  Background.  You can stand in an elevator going up 40 floors and zone out to the music or ads that intrude into your ear-space.  Or watch reality TV.  But the point of blogging, at least for me, is to bring new ideas into your lives.  Thoughts that spur new connections between unused synapses.  It’s certainly a terrific exercise for me.  God knows my grey matter needs more work.  Maybe it’s a by-product of aging, but my mind is nowhere near as sharp as it was even five years ago.  I do find the entire process of writing encourages action, both mental and physical.  How active are you?  So if my blog spurs you to action, even if it’s to pause for a moment and think a little more on a particular issue, then hooray for me.  And hooray for you!  Hey, did I just spend a few minutes penning white noise?  Cheers!

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Ice dancing. Is it sport?


 Ice dancing.  Is it sport?  Probably not.  But, it has been a part of the Olympics for many decades, so keep it there.  (Especially now that Canadians Virtue and Moir have achieved gold!)  But what’s with the whacked out costumes?  Those frilly, silly dangling shreds of fabric and flotsam really drag this “sport” into ridicule.  How can anybody treat this “sport” with any seriousness when the participants look like they are about to go trick-or-treating?! The only thing missing is a loot bag!  If ice dancers want to remain a credible part of the Olympics, there should be a dress code that bars ridiculous costumes.  It was so puke inducing watching some of them prance around the ice looking like piñatas on blades I had to change channels.  Having said that, hats off to the Canadian and American ice-dancers who saved the competition and hold out some hope for its future.

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