Saturday, November 24, 2007

Our office only has jeans day

To celebrate a successful launch of a new camisole line, a Taiwanese lingerie company named November 21 "Camisole Day" and encouraged female staff to wear camisoles to work. About 90% of female staff went along to the delight of the male staff.
I'm guessing a guy came up with the idea.

Try locating David Green from high school

While I've been away...

I see it's been very peaceful back in Toronto.

A 19-year-old was shot dead in a volley of gunfire in the parking lot of a small east-end plaza over the lunch hour on Friday just steps away from a high school, a townhouse complex and apartment building with a daycare centre. The schools were locked down for about 90 minutes. Homicide number 75.

Police found a gunshot victim in a parkade in the northeast end of the city. Homicide number 76.

Man was stabbed to death at an east-side apartment complex on Friday night, Homicide number 77.

Police are looking for bizarre perverted couple who gave a woman a lift. The male tried to sexually assault her while his female companion tried to perform a sex act with him.

Can't wait to get back home.

Hey, they're sorry

Light Blogging Weekend

I'm in Ottawa at a hockey tournament. Cold and snowy. Glad I don't live here.

Bachelor Winner Arrested for Assaulting Fiance

Mary Delgado, a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader who was proposed to on the reality TV show "The Bachelor" was arrested on charges she punched a man she lived with in the mouth. How's that for displaying your love.

She received a proposal on the show in 2004 from professional bass fisherman Byron Velvick. Delgado was taken into custody just after midnight Wednesday on a battery charge and was under the influence of alcohol when she was arrested, according to a police affidavit. Story is here.

I can see a new reality TV show coming out of this. OK, maybe it needs some work.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hey Ladies, Mark Ruffalo Turns 40 Today

Detroit malls hand Canadian shoppers $20 on Black Friday

On Friday, November 23, anyone heading into the U.S. at the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel will receive a $20 gift card that can be used at four Detroit shopping malls.

The day after American Thanksgiving is called Black Friday (stores are are no longer in the red) with door-crasher deals and big sales.

Winter Storm Warning for Toronto Called Off

As is usually the case, Toronto was spared the worst of the winter storm. Outside the city, things aren't as good. Two sections of the 400 are closed because of accidents and the slush is going to freezed as temperatures drop.

Speaking of dropping temperatures, the City has called its first extreme cold weather alert of the season. The alerts usually start in December (and when temperatures hit -15 or lower) but the fact most street people aren't yet acclimatized to the cold led them to initiate the early warning. Readings overnight are expected to hit -10C (14F) but it will feel much colder with the wind.

It's getting really windy out there.

Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey For President 2008

Tired of the same old faces running for President? Have you considered voting for a satanist, vampire or witch in the 2008 Presidential election?

The Vampires, Witches, and Pagans Party was founded by Jonathon Sharkey in 2005. It is officially recognized by United States Federal Election Committee.

Feel free to check out his website.

Some Unusual Street Names

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I saw a 'Baby on Board' sign today

It's been a while but today I saw a "baby on Board" sign in a car. I remember when they first came out in 1984 and caught on like wild fire. What boomer parent would dare to drive their Dodge Caravan without one in the back. Like it was going to provide your child with extra protection while riding in the family van. It's as if we normally drive recklessly and only slow down or drive with care because someone has an infant in his or her vehicle.

Then just as quickly the fad died out. Partly because of all the parodies that came out afterwards like "Mother-In-Law in Trunk". So one made a lot of money on those signs.

November 22, 1963

First Snowfall On the Way

City of Toronto
5:30 PM EST Wednesday 21 November 2007
Snowfall warning for City of Toronto continued ..10 to 20 centimetres of snow likely by Thursday night..
A low pressure area over southern Illinois will bring the first winter storm of the season tonight and Thursday. While rain heavy at times is falling over most of southern Ontario there are signs that a change is imminent.
An off duty Environment Canada meteorologist reported wet snow on highway 400 south of Barrie around 5.15 PM. This is the first sign that a changeover to snow is starting to occur.
As the temperature falls to near freezing the rain will quickly change over to wet snow and ice pellets this evening and then snow heavy at times later tonight. Near 10 centimetres of snow is expected to fall tonight with an additional 10 centimetres to follow on Thursday. Higher snow amounts are expected to fall over higher terrain

Just Another Fart Joke

Happy Thanksgiving my American friends. Don't lose the turkey.

Will Andrew Raycroft become the next Tom Kurvers?

Looking at Tuukka Rask beating the Maple Leafs last night in his NHL debut reminded me of the Tom Kurvers trade.

Early in the 1989-90 season, Leaf GM Gerry MacNamara brought Kurvers to Toronto from New Jersey for a future 1st round pick. As you may note, trading draft picks has been standard Leaf practices for decades. Kurvers at the time was a pure offensive defenceman and good on the powerplay. Management of the day thought that they had a pretty good collection of players and that someone like Kurvers would put them over the top. That season he scored 15 goals for the Leafs and 52 points. But in the playoffs he was a bust and the Leafs were knocked out of the first round in 5 games.

Management decided the team was too offensive minded and couldn't get through the grind of the playoffs. So the team was dismantled the next season and Kurvers was shipped off to Vancouver. He retired 2 years later. The bottom fell for the Leafs that season and they finished second last which happened to be the year the Devils had the Leafs' first pick. Quebec drafted Eric Lindros first overall and the Devils followed with Scott Niedermayer. He turned out to be a pretty good player. Last time I checked he was on 4 Stanley Cup teams and had won the Norris Trophy and the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Jump forward to the 2005-06 season. Leaf GM John Ferguson thinks he has a pretty good team but needs more consistent goaltending. He trades a Finnish goaltending prospect, Tuukka Rask to Boston for Andrew Raycroft. The Leafs don't make the playoffs and management concludes that Raycroft doesn't appear to be the answer to their goaltending problems.

This story is beginning to sound familiar.


Neil Diamond Tells Secret About 'Sweet Caroline'

At a 50th birthday celebration for Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, the daughter of the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Neil Diamond made a surprising admission. She was the inspiration for his hit song Sweet Caroline.

Diamond was a "young, broke songwriter" when a photo of the president's daughter in a news magazine caught his eye.

"It was a picture of a little girl dressed to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony," Diamond recalled. "It was such an innocent, wonderful picture, I immediately felt there was a song in there."

The actual song was written years later.

Another interesting tidbit about the song, it is played at every Boston Red Sox home game.

Jets Fans' Bad Behaviour

The New York Times report a disturbing ritual during the halftime at Jets games. Several hundred men line one of Giants Stadium’s two pedestrian ramps at Gate D shouting obscenity-laced chants, demanding that the few women in the gathering expose their breasts.

The Times reported that some women oblige, generating a more energetic response than the team does during the game. Others risk getting groped, being spat on, or having beverages hurled at them. The article also quoted a Meadowlands official as saying that the management is aware of the bawdy behavior but can’t figure out what to do about it. After all, there are hundreds of fans, and guards can hardly catch all of them. So, instead of trying, they threaten to arrest a reporter at the scene.

This behaviour is pretty disgusting and degrading in public facility where parents bring their children. Unless the Meadowlands intends on competing with Scores. Women who oblige the crowd are approached by security staff while the instigators continue on their merry way.

Poll Shows Conservatives Recovering

The latest Harris-Decima poll seems to suggest that the Mulroney effect on voters appears to be short-lived, for now. In one week the poll shows a 3% rise for the Conservatives who had been holding at close to 40% support for the last few months. The Liberals haven't been able to exploit the Mulroney-Schreiber situation. It is likely that the quick announcement of an inquiry helped the government. Should be interesting to see if other pollers observe a trend.

Conservatives: 36% (last week 33%)
Liberals: 28% (29%)
New Democrats: 17% (17%)
Greens: 11% (12%)
Bloc Quebecois: 8% (8%)

7 People Shorter Than Me

The seven surviving Munchkins from the 1939 movie classic "The Wizard of Oz" received their star on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame.

2019 World Series Champions

It's looking like A-Rod and the Yankees will continue their relationship for another 10 years as A-Rod seeks to become the new Barry Bonds. Given his stellar post-season performances so far, that should put the Yankees back on top in about 11 years, the year after Rodriguez's contract expires. So get your 2019 World Champion T-shirts today.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

14 Year Old Buys Car, Crashes It, Kills 2

This story is both incredible and tragic.

Last Friday a 14 year old Ajax boy somehow bought a 1991 Mazda MX6 privately without his family knowing about it. He drove it up to his private school, Jaamiah Ajax, to show off to his friends on Saturday night. The next morning, he returned to pick up two boyfriends. He crashed the car on a rural road killing both 15-year-olds less than a kilometre from their school.

No one knows who sold him the car. No one knows who taught to drive. He was also able to leave the school residence without permission on Sunday morning.

The victims were identified as Ahmed Omar of Etobicoke and Awais Awan of Laval, Que. The driver has been charged with two counts of criminal negligence causing death.

Certainly, the driver's parents, the school and the registered owner of the Mazda will subject to legal action in the near future.

Tense Moment for Hilary Duff boyfriend Mike Comrie get hammered into the boards.

Another Cheerleader Controversy

Six of eight Ripon High School cheerleaders were suspended from school for two days over a cheer performed at a football game. The girls danced to a Britney Spears song and lifted their skirts at the end to spell out the school's nickname, Indians. This story seems to have legs because there are those who believe what the girls did was harmless and the school over reacted. On the other side, some think that the suspensions were deserved because what they did was inappropriate and they intentionally kept the ending of the cheer from school administrators.

No one's civil rights are being violated here. Schools are expected to set rules and community standards for youths (which some parents fail to do) and apply sanctions when they aren't followed. That's how the world works outside of school.

Hollywood Writers' Strike

The LA Times has a comprehensive grid detailing the current status of basically every show on television. They also suggest that many shows normally go into reruns in December because viewership is low, and the networks will save new episodes until January, in case the strike continues. So no one can say when a show is going to run out of new episodes.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Top Ten Favourite George Bush Moments

For American Thanksgiving

...enjoy your dinner!

I would think this is worth a 15 yard penalty

May the Farce be With You

A bizarre bit of theatre was acted out in the streets of Toronto last night. About 2,000 people got together in front of the Royal Ontario Museum to take part in a giant Lightsaber Battle. I somehow doubt anyone who took part was over the age of 17.

It has been suggested that the biggest battle for most part was at the start of the event, attempting to obtain one of the 1,600 blacklight-reactive, meter-long cardboard tubes that NewMindSpace -- the organizers of this endeavour -- created for the event.

Reports from the scene say six large, black-light cannons were situated in the middle of the crowd, aimed at lighting up the hand-painted tubes. After a few sword fights, a light sabre mosh pit emerged and people went a bit nuts. Arm kids with hand-painted pieces of cardboard and tell them they're acting out Star Wars and they'll have a tendency to go a little ballistic.

Stuck Santa

Here is how it goes down:

Santa makes an appearance at a Texas mall over the weekend.
No chimney so he rappels down an 80-foot sign.
Beard gets stuck in rope about 30 feet off the ground.
Children watched tearfully from below as emergency crews rescue stuck Santa.
Once rescued, shoppers continue with their shopping.

Full story and video here.

Hospital Loses Detached Finger, Sends $3,000 Bill

A Brooklyn man claims the hospital, noted for its surgical prowess in reattaching limbs and digits, inexplicably lost his sliced-off pinkie, and then handed him a bill for $3,000.

He claims he showed up at the hospital last February with his digit packed in a plastic ice-filled baggy, ready for reattachment by the acclaimed surgical team. An hour later, a nurse showed up in his room and told him they lost the digit. She apologized for the screw-up and tried to get him to sign a waiver saying he no longer wanted the finger. He said he refused. Then the hospital sent him a bill for $3,000.

If this story is accurate, I would guess the insurance company might want to settle.

Final Lineup for Celebrity Apprentice

The final list of "celebrities" has been released for Celebrity Apprentice and it doesn't include any names that were originally being mentioned. Donald Trump at one point decided to walk away from the reality TV show because of poor ratings but the opportunity to be in the spotlight was too great so he is returning.

Celebrity Apprentice starts January 3, 2008 on NBC. The top prize this year isn’t a job with Trump, but a quarter million dollars for the celebrity’s favourite charity. So I'm not quite sure why it can still be called The Apprentice but I guess its the brand recognition that he needs to draw some audience. I'm only watching if its as bad as I think it might be.

So here are the celebrities with a brief bio in case you forgot why they are famous. It seems no business acumen needed, only previous reality TV experience:

Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth - popular former Apprentice contestant (season 1) who played a great villain

Vincent Pastore -played “Big Pussy” on The Sopranos, supposed to be on Dancing with the Stars but dropped out last minute

Stephen Baldwin - one of the Baldwin brothers and veteran of reality TV

Gene Simmons - Kiss lead singer, married to Shannon Tweed, star of TV show Gene Simmons Family Jewels

Nely Galan - former entertainment president of the Telemundo network/executive producer of The Swan (yeah I never heard of her either)

Marilu Henner - appeared in one of my favourite all-time sitcoms Taxi but that was a quarter-century ago

Carol Alt - former supermodel and sometimes actress who is dating former NHL star Alexi Yashin

Trace Adkins - country music singer

Nadia Comaneci- former Romanian Olympic gymnastics gold medalist

Tiffany Fallon - 2005 Playboy Playmate of the Year

Jennie Finch - 2004 Olympic softball gold medalist

Lennox Lewis - recently retired heavyweight boxing champ with a great accent

Piers Morgan - judge on America’s Got Talent, former editor of British tabloid News of the World

Tito Ortiz - Ultimate Fighting Champion, boyfriend of Jenna Jameson

Maple Leafs After the 1st Quarter

Saturday's 3-0 win against the Senators can be read in many different ways. The Leafs have turned the corner. Ottawa was flat. This is what the Leafs can do with a full lineup. Paul Maurice is getting through to the players.

But as a colleague of mine often says, "even a blind squirrel will come up with the occasional nut." Bad teams can have great games and great teams can play some awful games. And the NHL season is made up of 82 games.

When looking at the Leafs over the first 21 games, they have been the model of inconsistency much as they have been for the last two seasons. They swing between good and bad games without any predictability. They did everything right on Saturday night but against the Bruins on Thursday, they did everything wrong. Without an extended winning or losing streak, the Leafs will likely repeat the scenario played out in the past two season which is fighting for the last playoff spot right to the last weekend of the season.

Leaf management is reluctant to change the core of this team because on paper it looks good and frequently during the season also looks good on the ice. As well, with the salary cap and structure of teams today, changing your core is not easy. But this team will never succeed because the team chemistry isn't there. Five years ago the Leafs were a tough team to play against. Ask the Senators. Back then they has Roberts, Corson, Domi, Green, Belak and chippier versions of McCabe and Tucker. Today they are playing soft and the only tough guy Belak sits because he can't play a shift without taking a penalty.

During the 1st quarter of the season, some Leafs have had strong starts. Sundin is having his best start in 5 years and has been close to the NHL scoring leader all season. Antropov is having a break out season and has not yet missed a game with an injury. And he is doing it without been on a line with Sundin. Steen and Stajan have begun to develop the makings of a shutdown line that can score on occasion. Wellwood has only played a few games but has shown how important he is to a team that lack much creative play. Kubina has bounced back from a terrible season until he got hurt.

But that's about it. Blake has been unable to find the back of the net. This could be blamed on his health problems but for the fact that he leads the team in shots on net. Toskala has been unable to win the starting job that was his for the taking. McCabe leads the team with a -6 and has made rookie mistakes that get him on the sports news' highlights.

Specialty teams have been awful. Third periods for the most part have been a disaster. They might as well concede games that go into a shootout. If teams carry a designated fighter (who rarely wins games for you) then why don't they carry a designated shootout specialist? Certainly the Leafs need one and a few more shootout wins are all that the Leafs needed the past 2 seasons to get into the playoffs.

Most Expensive Condo in Canada

The Toronto Star reports that a Hong Kong businessman bought the penthouse at the One Bloor East condo development at a price of $25 million. This beats the purchase price by $5 million at Trump International Hotel & Tower.

These prices dwarf those in London and New York. Four 20,000-square-foot units at One Hyde Park in London, England, are rumoured to be up for grabs at $160 million each. And reports that the most expensive condo in the U.S., a $70 million penthouse perched atop New York City's landmark Pierre Hotel, overlooking Central Park.

The One Bloor East penthouse takes up the entire 80th floor of the $450 million skyscraper and provides a spectacular" 360-degree view of the city. You can still grab another penthouse in the building. There are two penthouses on the 79th floor have been the subject of $9.5 million offers. Down on the 78th floor, three penthouses are still on offer for a mere $5.5 million to $6.5 million.

Polling Shows Mulroney Having Impact on Canadian Voters

A recent Ipsos Reid poll indicated that the federal Conservatives were close to majority territory but other polling firms suggest that there would be no clear winner if an election were held today. SES Research released these numbers recently:

Conservatives: 35%
Liberals: 34%
New Democrats: 17%
Bloc Quebecois: 9%
Greens: 6%

This poll is different than some of the others because it shows the Greens at traditional strength. Other polls having them higher reflect a "parked" vote which may have gone back to the Liberals at least when it comes to this sample of voters. The latest Harris-Decima poll also shows no clear winner:

Conservatives: 33%
Liberals: 29%
New Democrats: 17%
Greens: 12%
Bloc Quebecois: 8%

Strategic Counsel polling numbers have the Conservatives and Liberals even.

Conservatives: 32%
Liberals: 32%
Greens: 13%
New Democrats: 12%
Bloc Quebecois: 10% (an estimate since not provided)

The numbers are a sudden shift in popularity since the Conservatives received quite a nice bump following the release of their mini-budget which was loaded with tax cuts. The only explanation is that the allegations against former prime minister Brian Mulroney are influencing voters.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bottled Water

in a can?

NHL Bargains and Busts

When you look at the number of goals scored by top line players and their salaries you can begin to understand how difficult it is to be a general manager in the NHL. With the salary cap there is little room for error but much to gain by finding a inexpensive gem.

For example, on the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jason Blake has scored only 2 goals in 21 games which works out to $500K per goal. Ouch! Nik Antropov has scored 9 goals but since his salary is one-half of Blake's, it works out to $51K per goal. Any GM could live with that.

The NHL goal scoring leader with 16 goals is Ilya Kovalchuk and he is earning $92K per goal. The biggest busts in the NHL are Sergei Sampsonov and Doug Weight. Both are earning $3.5 million but have yet to score. Other busts are:

Michael Handzus $930K/goal

Chris Drury $569K/goal

Jarmor Jagr $512K/goal

Scott Gomez $445K/goal

Patrick Elias $365K/goal

Sergei Federov $359K/goal

Glen Murray $300K/goal

Marc Savard $263K/goal

Patrick Marleau $262K/goal

And the best bargains in the NHL are:

Cory Perry $14K/goal

Patrick Sharp $18K/goal

Mike Richards $19K/goal

Paul Stastny $22K/goal

Lightning Hitting Eiffel Tower

Not a great clip but interesting nonetheless.