Saturday, December 01, 2007
The sandwiches are huge and that's just the regular ones. They have a list of oversized sandwiches. The heartiest sandwich is definitely Number 13—or "Jeff's Tatalah." This thing has three pounds of turkey, corned beef and Swiss and served on pumpernickel with cole slaw and Russian dressing. You can't get it in your mouth. Of course it comes with a big price too - $21.95.
Friday, November 30, 2007
History might've unfolded differently if those first few users had known that the site's hipster co-architect was already well into his 30s. "Young people don't want someone their dad's age running a site they think is cool," says Pete Cashmore, the founder and editor of Mashable.com, a blog that covers social networking.
The case of the British woman in Sudan convicted of insulting Islam after students called a stuffed bear `Muhammad' further points to the large cultural, moral, and religious rift that exists between the West and Islam.
A Sudanese court convicted a British teacher, Gillian Gibbons, yesterday of insulting Islam for letting her students name a teddy bear Muhammad and sentenced her to 15 days in prison, avoiding a heavier punishment of 40 lashes. The poor woman never meant to offend but that really doesn't matter.
The outrage can be heard across Europe and North America. Meanwhile, Muslim clerics have been drumming up public outrage against what they called a Western plot to insult Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
Gibbons' boss at the school thinks the verdict was fair because she could have gotten a half a year in the slammer and 40 stinging lashes. Which makes me wonder why westerners continue to take jobs in the Middle East where they are so intolerant of the West. There isn't enough money in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates combined to get me to work there, for even a month.
Meanwhile, in Sudan, a centre of "piety and respect", genocide is ongoing led by the Sudanese military and the government backed Janjaweed militia group. What do the Muslim clerics have to say about that?
Thursday, November 29, 2007
He claimed he couldn't have done it because he was too embarrassed about the size of his manhood to expose himself to women. He even showed the jury photographs taken by his wife to prove his claims. No report on how small though.
However, the court also heard he had already been convicted of sexually assaulting five females in his local area while out jogging.
Not surprising, the jury didn't buy into his defense and found him guilty.
Canadian Business magazine is out today with the ninth annual rich list and Ted Rogers is now the richest Canadian. No wonder since like many other consumers, I am forced to purchase TV, Internet, phone, and mobile services from him. In some cases there is no alternative. Bell doesn't operate in my neighbourhood so I'm even forced to purchase Internet and phone services from Rogers.
Any way, he is scooping a growing portion of my pay cheque each month because of the lack of competition out there. He'll also collect money when you click on this 680news link to the story about him so if you hate sending monopolies money, just believe me on this one.
The Thompson family is actually worth more than Ted but he is the richest individual. And RIM co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie appear to be rapidly moving up the list.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Best of all, THE ACTION FIGURE TALKS! Press the button, and he delivers a portion of his Press Conference...
The Smoking Gun has documentation of the case and the pages of the Enquirer's story. The story the Enquirer weaves is a sordid one involving "hush money."
On the morning of March 11, 2005, the judge was presiding over a slate of domestic-violence cases when he heard a phone ring. He told the roughly 70 people in the courtroom that “every single person is going to jail in this courtroom” unless the phone was turned over.
After a brief recess, Judge Restaino returned and asked the defendant who had been standing before him in the front of the courtroom when the phone rang if he knew whose it was. He said he didn't know nonetheless, the judge scrapped plans to release the defendant, set bail at $1,500 and sent him into custody.
He was the first of 46 defendants to be sent into custody that day because of what could be called the case of the ringing cellphone. The judge opined at length about his frustration over the phone.
More recently, he is running around telling the media Ferguson was unqualified for the job and it was a mistake to hire him. This is coming from a Ferguson supporter. Yeah who needs friends like this. Harold Ballard also enjoyed humiliating his employees and one that bother me the most was his treatment of Roger Neilson, one of the best coaches in the last 30 years.
In 1978 a reporter approach Ballard following a loss regarding his thoughts on the coach, Neilson. Ballard just blurted out that he was fired. Which is how Neilson found out, through the media. This was Thursday evening and the Leafs had a game on the Saturday. The Leafs had no assistant coach so there was no one who could even step in on an interim basis. GM Jim Gregory approached a few people but was turned down, including his assistant GM and previous Leaf coach Johny McLellan. McLellan had stepped down as coach in 1973 because of health reasons and wouldn't step back behind the bench.
Meanwhile, Neilson was still running practices. The coach was extremely popular with the players and Leaf captain Darryl Sittler approached Ballard about reconsidering. He agreed on the one condition that Neilson start the game on the Saturday with a paper bag over his head. Neilson refused and went to speak to Ballard. They reached a compromise and Neilson didn't step behind the bench until after the national anthem was sung. He received an extended standing ovation and Ballard go to play out his little drama.
Back to the present. Richard Peddie is likely the biggest liability right now within the MLSE organization. Replacing the GM and coach is pointless unless responsibility for the hockey team is taken away from Peddie.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
It is being suggested that the "Bullies" are back. Last night with the Flyers trailing by 5-2 in the second period, forward Scott Hartnell came across the ice to hit Bruins defenseman Andrew Alberts with a head shot that left another Bruin injured.
There were multiple hostilities in the game, no doubt stemming from Randy Jones' dangerous check on Patrice Bergeron in Boston last month. Bergeron remains sidelined with a concussion and other injuries; Jones was suspended for two games.
Now factor in Jesse Boulerice's hit on Ryan Kesler in Vancouver and Steve Downie's hit on Ottawa's Dean McAmmond during the preseason, both of which drew lengthy suspensions.
The Flyers have earned a reputation as a dirty hockey club this season. Now consider the number of fights involving Anaheim last season and they won the Stanley Cup. Is the NHL returning to the turbulent 70s? Not likely because the rules were changed to discourage all the brawling. You need to be concerned that teams go back to favouring large physical players over the small skill players.
The winner Dave Downey spent three years in training to be a Santa. So is Dave now over qualified to be a mall Santa?
The event was planned and the bears donated to charity.
Monday, November 26, 2007
OT/SO losses: 2
goals against: 2.68
saves percentage: 0.899
So whats really going on? Here are some questions and answers that I've put together that reflects my uninformed perspective.
Is it true that MLSE doesn't care about winning a Stanley Cup and only cares about the bottom line?
I don't think so. Sports leagues have many owners who want to win but have no clue how to build a winner. They are also all owned by business people who like to make money. And some have no clue how to make money owning a franchise. That isn't a problem here. The Leaf owners were one of the top spenders before the salary cap which conveniently papered over years of weak ownership and management. The Chicago Cubs haven't won the World Series since 1908 but not from lack of trying.
Are the Leafs really that bad?
Definitely. They are near the bottom of the league in most statistical areas. No matter who is in their lineup, they play the same sloppy hockey that every team in the league hungry to play the Leafs. Don't be fooled by the occasional strong game. As they say, "even a blind squirrel finds the occasional nut."
Why are the Leafs so bad?
Hard to know but like everyone else I have my theory. Five or six years ago they Leafs were tough team to play against with Gary Roberts, Tie Domi, Shane Corson, Travis Green, Wade Belak, Darcy Tucker and Bryan McCabe. They were dirty, mouthy and irritating. Pat Quinn was an offensive minded coach who hated the trap. So he directed an offense oriented team that had lots of irritating players and great goaltending (Joseph and then Belfour) to cover up all their defensive mistakes. Today they are a soft team that plays the same likes to play wide open with just ordinary goaltending. Even the defensemen are offense oriented. It's a formula for disaster.
Who is to blame for this mess, Ferguson, Maurice or the players?
Everyone has to share in the blame. The manager doesn't have the right mix of players to win but thinks he does. No physical players, no strong defensive players. After the lock out he stated that he would hanging onto draft picks because young players were critical to building a winner. He has failed to keep that commitment. But even worse, the assets he has received in exchange for younger players and picks have not helped the team. The coach seems to have lost the players despite their vocal support. If he has a defensive system he isn't evident. Every expansion team coach goes with trap to survive until the franchise develops some good players. It's easy to execute with marginal players and keeps the scores down. Finally, the Leaf players seem to be unable to respond to their coach. I can't explain it. You need to be in the dressing room itself to understand.
But if you want to know where to start, its moving Richard Peddie out of the president's position. It was his idea to bring in an inexperienced GM and he continues to stand by him. The same thing happened to the Raptors when Peddie hired Babcock until they both pushed aside with the hiring of Bryan Colangelo.
Why hasn't Ferguson and/or Maurice been fired and players traded?
I can understand why there has been no firings yet. The most qualified candidates already have jobs. You can get permission to approach them in the off season but not during the season. Still the papers have bounced around all kinds of names and something may still happen. The worse the team does the more likely the organization will have to do something, even if it means bringing in some people on an interim basis. Also, the ownership doesn't need to act quickly because every ticket for the remainder of the season is sold. So that isn't a factor to consider. Which also feeds the perception among fans that the ownership is not interested in winning the Cup.
What would fix this team?
I think only blowing it up will work. The chemistry is all wrong here. Trade away players with big salaries for draft picks and use the money to buy some good free agents next summer. But this is a difficult thing to do in the Toronto market because their is a perception that you need to always ice a competitive team when you are charging the highest ticket prices in the league. However, once the team sinks to the bottom of the standings, the option of tinkering to maintain a competitive team is taken away from you. Also, trading players in this market is a real challenge. High priced players are virtually untradeable until the trade deadline. And the Leafs have at least 4 players with no trade contracts. The next guy has his work cut out for him.
So who would you keep?
Well no one is that good on this team to make them untouchable. The theory for rebuilding under a salary cap is keep underpaid players which provides more money to work with in the future. Not too many players on the Leafs fall into that category.
They first told police that they dropped off Holloway at the hotel, where she was staying. However, Van der Sloot later acknowledged that this was a lie he and the brothers initially agreed to tell to the authorities. Van der Sloot also states he was alone with Holloway on the beach about 1 km from her hotel, where the three say the two were dropped off. However, he insists that he did not harm her, and that she was fine when he left her on the beach (he says she wanted to stay, while he wanted to go home because he had to go to school later that morning). Accounts differ on how Van der Sloot got back home from the beach: Van der Sloot said that Satish Kalpoe picked him up with the car. Satish Kalpoe denied this.
Lots Of Similarities Between Leafs and Cowboys
John Ferguson GM Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club
Nov 23, 2007, 3:20 PM EST
Thursday was the American Thanksgiving. Our team spent the afternoon at Texas Stadium, watching the Dallas Cowboys beat the New York Jets. It was a great time. Many of our players had never seen an NFL game before, let alone one at Texas Stadium. But it was also a great point of comparison. The building was sold out and there is talk the new Cowboys stadium will cost over $1 billion. Everywhere there were signs of the tradition and excellence the franchise has enjoyed. It was a great chance for our group to see that type of fan excitement from within. The excitement, the passion, the anticipation, the spotlight and even the media coverage is very similar to what our players experience in Toronto. Playing in Toronto isn’t like playing anywhere else in the NHL. We think it’s the best place in the league; you’re on the big stage every night, playing in front of a sold-out crowd. We work very hard on making sure that the player’s entire family experiences everything the city can offer, from first class medical coverage to access to the best fit in schools. All that said, we know that playing in Toronto isn’t for everyone. The level of fan interest and the expectation of performance are intense. We are very open in our discussions with players and agents. You need to be excited about the possibility of playing here. When we signed Jason Blake as a free agent this summer, we talked a lot about our commitment to the players and their families and how we support them away from the rink. Jason was attracted by the challenge of playing here and by how we as an organization welcomed and helped families. Those things, as well as the excitement in the market are what make Toronto unique in the NHL. It was fun, for a day, to compare the life of a Cowboy with that of a Maple Leaf.
Note: The only similarity between the Cowboys and Leafs are the cost of tickets. Any others are a product of JFJ's creative mind.