Saturday, December 15, 2007

The First Tim Horton's Donut Shop

It all started back in Hamilton in 1964. Back in the 1970s you could get a coffee and a donut for 50 cents and a dozen donuts were $4.25. Although the chain is a Canadian icon, it is owned by Americans (Wendy's). There are over 2750 locations in Canada and over 350 locations in the United States.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

Oy Veh! The Beatles, A Hard Day's Night in Yiddish

Oh Shit!


City of Toronto

8:40 PM EST Friday 14 December 2007

Winter storm watch for
City of Toronto continued ..

Major winter storm with heavy snow and blowing snow threatening Saturday night and Sunday..

This is an alert to the potential development of dangerous winter weather conditions in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..Listen for updated statements.A major winter storm is threatening southern Ontario Saturday night and Sunday with significant amounts of snow as well as strong winds causing blowing snow. Freezing rain is also possible.

Latest analyses this evening show that the low pressure system is over southeast New Mexico and western Texas with some snow and freezing precipitation already developing across the plains states to the northeast of this low.After the low becomes better organized over Texas tonight it will then move northeast along the Appalachians and is expected to intensify into a major winter storm as it gets closer to the lower Great Lakes Saturday night.

Significant snowfall accumulations over the regions are likely Saturday night through Sunday across much of the district. Winter storm warnings may be required for some regions due to snowfall accumulations of 25 centimetres or more in less than 24 hours. The highest snowfall amounts may be in the Hamilton into the Niagara Peninsula areas where cold northeasterly winds picking up extra moisture from Lake Ontario will help enhance snowfall amounts. Parts of eastern Ontario especially near the St Lawrence river Valley may also receive snowfall amounts in excess of 25 cm as these districts generally are closest to the track of the storm centre as it eventually gets into New England.

Significant blowing snow is expected to be a problem in all regions with freezing rain also possible especially near lakes Erie and Ontario depending on the track of the storm centre.

Current indications show that snow heavy at times will spread northeast across most of southern Ontario Saturday night then into eastern Ontario by Sunday morning and then continue for much of Sunday.

Travellers should be prepared to change plans accordingly. This winter storm will cause driving conditions to quickly deteriorate with dangerous winter travelling conditions expected Saturday night and Sunday. All motorists are advised to use extreme caution Saturday night and Sunday and plan for much extra time to reach their destination.

There is still uncertainty as to the exact track of this major winter storm. Changes in the track will affect how far north the heavy snow will reach into southern Ontario. It is important to note that this type of winter storm is easily capable of producing total snowfall amounts of more than 30 cm.

Environment Canada continues to closely monitor this situation. Appropriate weather warnings will be issued as required as this potentially dangerous winter storm evolves. Stay tuned for further updates.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Pot Smoking Teen's Christmas Gift Sells for $9,100

The Toronto Star reports about a weird eBay auction, where a dad caught his son smoking weed and decided to sell off his Christmas present — a copy of Guitar Hero III for the Wii — as punishment. Well, the auction ended earlier this week, and the final bid? $9,100. Of course, we’ll have to see if the winner of the auction actually pays. Also, in a section below the original posting, the seller addressed a lot of questions and comments he has received from people. Most interesting of note is his statement that if the winning bidder doesn’t pay, he’ll just go ahead and give the game to his son; and that’s most likely what’s going to happen.

Hockey's Monster Contracts

Mike Richard's huge deal, 12 years, $69 million, from the Philadelphia Flyers surpasses the 15 year, $67.5 million deal the Islanders gave Rick DiPietro. At the time everyone laughed at the Islanders.

It used to be that you lock up your good talent before they become unrestricted free agents. But after the Edmonton Oilers' attempted steal of Thomas Vanek and the successful swipe of Dustin Penner, everyone wants to lock up young talent before the can become a restricted free agent. So what's going to become of all this?

Well obviously teams will need to be very selective with who they back huge commitments. It will have to be players that they see being core to their teams for years to come. There isn't much risk for players, they get paid more early on but risk being underpaid later in the contract. The risk is mostly with the teams. Many blue chip studs become spent forces before reaching age 30. Eric Lindros, Owen Nolan, Sergei Samsonov and Todd Bertuzzi come to mind as a result of injuries or/and diminished intensity. Jose Theodore at one time looked like the next Patrick Roy and Andrew Raycroft won the Calder and both can't stop a beach ball today. If you locked any of these guys for 10 years you would be stuck because the collective agreement does not allow you to buy them out. It's all guaranteed money.

For suffering Toronto Maple Leaf fans, the prospects are so good. The Leafs trade away draft picks and prospects with great frequency. In the past Ferguson has mused about grabbing a big name free agent which the team can build around after Sundin is gone. Well it looks like there aren't going to be those types of players available. The free agent lists will be populated with mostly underachievers, injury prone players and senior citizens.

I'm developing a real hate for the salary cap. I can't see how it has helped the NHL. It has only created some practices that may further damage the league and the viability of weaker franchises.

There is always regifting


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Alex Rodriguez's New Contract

It's now official that A-Rod signed a new 10-year contract with the Yankees worth $275 million so he now holds a new record - the biggest baseball contract. And for A-Rod, that's what it's about - personal glory.

So how much better did A-Rod do? Remember Hank Steinbrenner at point said that he wanted A-Rod to pay for the $21.3 million subsidy from Texas that the Yankees lost when Rodriguez opted out of the last 3 years of the previous contract. That contract was worth $252 million and Rodriguez had earned $185.45 million. That means he would have earned $66.55 million in the last 3 years.

According to reports under the new contract he will earn $27 million next year and $32 million in 2009 and 2010. He will also get $4 million of his signing bonus in the first 3 years. If he hits 142 home-runs in the next 3 years (which is quite possible), he will earn a $6 million bonus for equaling Willie Mays' home-run level. That would earn him $101 million over the next 3 years. A raise of about $35 million.

Yeah those Steinbrenners are really tough negotiators. Like there were so many other teams in the running for his services.

Can you beat a car insurance rate of $104,566.63?

AGE: 19

GENDER: male



ACCIDENTS: 2 minor "fender benders" and 1 rear-ender that totalled car

Let me see....Mr. Towers your annual premium will be $104,566.63.

Alberta introduced a new grid system in 2004 as part of a package of auto insurance reforms. There are three factors on the insurance rate grid: number of years of driving, accident claims and convictions. The insurance industry has opposed the grid so they refuse to cap rates which means outliers like Jason Towers either pay up or stop driving. It's hard to feel sorry for this kid because he is a bad driver but the industry's attitude is terrible.

NHL Secretly Testing Thermablades

The Canadian Press reports that the NHL is testing the "revolutionary" Thermablades on four anonymous players. The four teams they play for asked that their names be kept secret so the Thermablades on their feet didn't draw media attention and their use become a distraction.

Thermablades use a rechargeable battery and microprocessor to maintain a blade temperature of 5 C. The slight heat is enough to increase the thickness of the water layer between the blade and the ice surface, and the company says its tests have shown this reduces gliding friction and starting resistance for skaters. The batteries last for about two games. And the blades retail for about $400.

The secret testing is atypical for the NHL Normally new rules and equipment are tested in the AHL. If you are showcasing the NHL as an elite league then you don't want to be using it as a testing lab. Also new technologies that give players an advantage is unfair if access is limited to only a select few.

Just another example how the NHL damages the integrity of their game - like the new jersey fiasco, 3 points awarded games that end in ties, shootouts during regular season but not playoffs. But don't get me started.

Natalee Holloway Case Hits Deadend

Just about a week or so ago, it looked like Aruban officials might be on the verge of a breakthrough in the Natalee Holloway case when they detained some key suspects in the American teen's disappearance. Now, it seems like that may have been a last-ditch attempt to force a confession out of Joran van der Sloot, Deepak Kalpoe, or Satish Kalpoe, who were some of the last people to see Holloway alive.

Now it seems Aruba's chief prosecutor will close the case of Natalee Holloway by the end of December unless his office finds that there is enough evidence to charge someone with a major crime. And that isn't about to happen. A tough situation for parents who at least want some closure and justice.

Gore Mentions Hockey in Bali Speech

As reported by CP:

Al Gore has delivered a blistering message on climate change that seemed custom-designed for a Canadian audience: he talked hockey.

The Nobel Prize winning environmentalist earned a standing ovation at the UN summit where he exhorted the world to act, even if his own country – the United States – does not.

And at that precise moment, the former U.S. vice-president mentioned two of the greatest Canadian hockey players ever to play the game. Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Hull were great, he said, because they saw the play where it was going – not where it's been.

Where America is going, Gore said, is a future without George W. Bush and a future White House that will be serious about tackling climate change. He earned another ovation from the international audience when he noted that Bush will be out of office in precisely one year and 40 days.

Gore heaped scorn on the idea that the world can only sign a climate deal if the U.S. does – which is a position firmly held by Canada.

He urged the world to proceed toward a new climate-change treaty with a sense of urgency befitting the gravity of the challenge.

We have a nominee for the Darwin Awards

When security officers told a 64-year-old airline passenger he couldn't take his bottle of vodka on board a flight, the man decided to drink it instead. One small problem, he almost died of alcohol poisoning.

The incident occurred at the Nuremberg airport on Tuesday, where the man was switching planes on his way home to Dresden from a holiday in Egypt. He was told he would have to pay to have his bag checked into the luggage hold, or else dump the offending booze. However, the man decided upon a third option -- and chugged back the liter of alcohol.

He will complete his trip in a few days when he is released from hospital. Not sure if he will have any carry-on luggage.

I understand that most people hand over their liquor (see below).

Don't steal a car in front of TV camera and police

If I was going to steal a car, I don't think I would heist one on the street in front of a police officer let alone live TV cameras. But that is what Anthony Wayne Williams did in Raleigh this week.

The car was recovered during Williams' arrest.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

NEW Best Christmas Lights Display Ever

Well i discovered another excellent Christmas light display to replace the incredible Newmarket house (not up this year). And this one is minutes from my house in Thornhill, Ontario.

They have there only blog and until their webcam went down they had live streaming. Haven't checked them out yet but I will be posting pictures.

Iceland Teen Calls Secret White House Phone

A 16 year from Iceland calls up the White House, introduces himself as Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the actual president of Iceland, and almost gets through to President George W. Bush. Seems he called using an alleged secret telephone number.

Vífill Atlason just wanted to talk to the President and invite him to Iceland. Vífill claims he was passed on to several people, each of them quizzing him on President Grímsson's date of birth, where he grew up, who his parents were and the date he entered office. He had Wikipedia and a few other sites open to help respond.

He didn't get an appointment but did get a visit form police. No one is saying what tipped off the White House. Maybe they caught on when he kept referring to the President as the Dude.

Pink Shirts and Chain Gangs for DUI Offenders

Acknowledgement to Barry Green for finding this AP story.
The picture shows members of the Maricopa County DUI chain on a work detail as deputies guard them in Phoenix, Az.. Men convicted of drunken driving will don bright pink shirts and perform burials of people who died of alcohol abuse as part of a new chain gang in Phoenix. It appears to be the first chain gang ever that's dedicated to one type of crime.
Not sure if this is an attempt to heap further shame on DUI offenders (not a bad thing) or just a publicity stunt by the sheriff's office (not a good thing). You gotta love the pink shirts though. Ex-Premier Mike Harris never got around to chain gangs in Ontario.

Aqsa Parvez was not a victim of radical Islam

It's always disturbing to hear about the sad case of Aqsa Parvez who it appears was killed by her father Muhammad Parvez during a fight regarding her refusal to wear a hijab and desire to assimilate into western culture. This clash takes place in many homes in Canada and not exclusively in Muslim homes. It took place in my home when I was growing up without such tragic consequences.

Even more disturbing was what I've heard over the last few days on radio call in shows in the city. Repeatedly I hear callers describing this incident as symptomatic of radical Islam. But their descriptions are nothing more than bigotry. So often the callers quickly goes on a tangent to vent about their personal perception of Islam.

This poor girl didn't die as a result of radical Islam. She was not the target of a honour killing that you hear about in other regions of the world. Aqsa was the victim of domestic violence. Domestic violence exists in all cultures, economic levels, and races. No group is immune. Using religion as an excuse for violence or to explain for violence by the perpetrator or others is wrong.

This girl had already left her home for a women's shelter to try to escape the violence only to be lured back. How is she different than any other woman who is caught in this type of abuse?

Shame on those who use this as an excuse to dump on Islam.

Driver Ed Programs produces bad drivers. Who would have guessed?

The Ontario Auditor-General's report was released yesterday revealing the usual list of poorly run government programs. The media love to jump all over it but the system works because you typically never see the same program cited in the next report.

Anyway, one particular item is particularly fascinating and baffling. The report noted a "significantly higher" collision rate for motorists who sign up for Ontario's voluntary beginner driver education program compared with those who don't take the course. Auditors found that 55 per cent of first-time drivers enrolled in the program but crashed their cars about 62 per cent more often. The Ministry of Transportation was unable to provide an explanation.

Now everyone has always assumed that these programs produce safer drivers. I would guess that actuaries at auto insurance companies would see the same trends. Yet, all the companies still provide discounts to young drivers who complete driver education programs. So don't think that just the government is dumb on this issue.

Driver education programs are delivered by the private sector and the schools are regulated by the Ministry of Tranportation. So expect to see changes to the programs in the near future. Because who ever is teaching the 45% who don't take the programs are evidently doing a better job.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Parliament to force the restarting of unsafe nuclear plant

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission found serious safety concerns last month at the 50-year-old reactor at Chalk River, Ont. So they shut it down.

The only problem is that the Chalk River reactor is North America's only source of the base isotope used for most medical diagnostic tests systems. The isotope is used to create images and treatments for a range of illnesses including heart problems and cancers.

So the federal government with support from the NDP and Bloq Quebecois are passing a bill in Parliament to bypass the nuclear watchdog. It is potentially a dangerous precedent if you ask me. But what choice does the government have. The bill forces politicians to make an unpalatable choice between the immediate health concerns of Canadians who can't get life-saving medical tests and the potential health concerns that could arise in the event of a nuclear accident. I'm glad I don't have to choose which way to go.

Merry Christmakkah from Laura Bush

NY Subway Pole Dancers

In March, four limber women took to the subway in a quest to win $10,000 from The website offered the prize to the best public pole dance. The scantily clad women were hogging the poles for twirls and using the overhead handles for other dance tricks - one of them even did a split on the subway floor! While there was at least one rider unhappy with the stunt, several other riders seem pleased with the dancing, especially one male rider who received a lap dance. Some riders even missed their stops by six stations to continue watching the show!

The MTA wasn't too pleased but the rules don't specifically state lap or pole dancing is disorderly conduct." Found on the Gothamist.

Oh and I consider the video to be NSFW.

This thing is creeping me out

I found this illusion on Firestarter5 and it always knows what number I select even if I intentionally do not follow the instructions.

Can anyone explain how it works?

Fun Taser

A Japanese electronics website is selling a "toy" taser. The promotional material is so weird. "Give Electric Shot to Crazy Japanese Businessmen! Pink Seal Charm "Ouch!" Lovely Pink Seal TaserThe most Kawaii Stun Gun ever!" Yeah I would be laughing my head off after being zapped.

"Who imagines this lovely seal is a stun gun? It gives an electric shock to a naughty guy trying to touch you. "

Now the website claims it is a toy and it operates on single battery.

"Please note that electric seal is a funny toy, not a strong weapon. Try its effect before you use it as a self-difference tool. Use it as a funny toy just to make your friends surprised and laugh!"

So why do they have to provide the following warning:

:: Important notice ::
Don't use it to a person who has a heart disease.Don't put it on the delicate part of body.

Like I think ever part of my body is "delicate" when subjected to electric shock. I'm thinking this is not a great stocking stuffer.

Don't Hit That Button

A curious kid just couldn't resist temptation and hit an emergency button that triggered a sea of fire suppression foam at a Philadelphia airport hangar. The white foam not only filled the hangar but it spilled out onto the tarmac where it was spread around by the wind blew.

The incident at Northeast Airport occurred during Agusta Aerospace's family day outing. Authorities said an employee's child hit a button that said "Don't hit button unless in an emergency" WPVI-TV in Philadelphia reported.

The Philadelphia Fire Department was called out to to clean up the mess. There was no word on any damage to the helicopter inside the hangar.

Check out video of the foam here.


I'm thinking the afternoon drive home will not be too pleasant.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Jewish Dating Ads

These are actual personal ads that have appeared in several different Israeli newspapers. I lifted them from Laurie Kendrick.

Shmuel Gabbai, 36.
I take out the Torah Saturday morning.
Would like to take you out Saturday night.

Couch potato latke in search of the right applesauce.
Let’s try it for 8 days.
Who knows?

Divorced Jewish man seeks partner to attend shul
light shabbos candles, celebrate holidays,
build Sukkah together,
attend brisses, bar mitzvahs -Religion not important.

Sincere rabbinical student, 27, enjoys Yom Kippur,
Tisha B’av, Taanis Esther, Tzom Gedalia,
Asarah B’Teves, Shiva Asar b’Tammuz. Completely kosher
Seeks companion for living life in the “fast” lane.

Yeshiva bochur, Torah scholar, long beard, payos.
Seeks same in woman.

Nice Jewish guy, 38.
No skeletons.
No baggage.
No personality.

Female graduate student,
studying kaballah, Zohar,exorcism of dybbuks,
seeks mensch.
No weirdos, please.

Jewish businessman, 49, manufactures Sabbath
candles, Chanukah candles, havdallah candles,Yahrzeit candles.
Seeks non-smoker.

Jewish male, 34, very successful, smart,
independent, self-made, looking for girl
whose father will hire me.

Do not incite the loud and fed up


Major Trials Come to an End

Over the past couple of days some significant trials have come to a conclusion. First there was the Robert Picton who after a 10-month trial and 10 days of deliberations, a British Columbia jury found him guilty second-degree murder in the deaths of six women in the killing fields of his pig farm. Then Atlanta Falcon quarterback Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison for running a dogfighting ring and lying about it. Finally, Conrad Black was sentenced today in Chicago to 78 months in jail for fraud and obstruction of justice.

Obviously, the Picton trial has to be the most disturbing as it has become apparent that he is likely the worst serial killer in Canadian history. Part of the reason that he was able to get away with it for so long was that he preyed on women at the bottom of society - prostitutes and drug addicts. Was was so disgraceful was that the police took so long before investigating the women who kept disappearing. What scary is putting away Picton has had little impact. Women are still disappearing off the streets of Vancouver and other cities in Canada.

And the Picton saga will continue since there will most likely be an appeal and additional trials. This trial dealt with only 6 murders. There maybe 20 murder charges to go to trial.

Michael Vick will likely pay the biggest price for his discretions. He was convicted in a federal court which I understand means that his ability to get out early is limited. He will lose at least 2 years of a great NFL salary. That is money that will be lost for ever because an athletic career is so short. His endorsement contracts are gone too. Regaining his career will be a challenge but at 27, not impossible.

The most gratifying has to be Conrad Black. Black could be out of jail in five years and six months with good behaviour. Any jail time he does is great to me. He could have done a lot more jail time as much as 20 years. Although he plans to appeal, I don't see him being successful. He was also fined $120,000 and must forfeit $6.1 million. In my opinion, insufficient restitution. They should have drained his assets dry.

Yoda Pizza?

...why not a Darth Vadar pizza?

Laurie Partridge, I mean Susan Dey is 55 today

Winona Ryder Sex Tape funny.

Snowblower Duel

Police in Levis, Quebec had to break up a snowblowing duel that escalated to blows. It's the only violence outside of hockey during winter in Canada .

It started on a snowy night last week when a woman cleared snow from her front walk but blew it onto a neighbour's entrance. Her neighbour saw it and got his snow blower to send the fluffy stuff right back her way. The woman grabbed her snow blower again and blew it onto her neighbour. Next thing you know they are both blowing snow on each other. It was a real battle of the blowers.

The man jumped the woman who was assisted by her husband who came running outside to help her. As wise neighbour called police. I think an appropriate punishment would be to require both to remove snow using a shovel the rest of the winter.

Jets Fans Still Behave Badly

Two weeks ago 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. I had commented that this behaviour is totally inappropriate in a public setting that is supposed to be family friendly.

Well yesterday was the first Jets game following this story hitting the news wire. The Times report that the crowds at Gate D were larger than usual which shows that there is no shortage of disgusting football fans in New York. In some spots fans were 12 deep. However, the security contingent was also larger and included uniformed state troopers. Not surprising there were some women who were ready to oblige the unruly crowd if not for intervention by security.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Mama is Santa Claus

Bring Your Gun to School Day

I found this scan from a 1950 New Jersey high school yearbook in My Sick Mind blog. Things have changed in schools just a little bit over the last half century. I dare say that even in Texas they no longer allow you to bring guns for show and tell.

One of a kind Christmas gift

Mary Carey, the former California gubernatorial candidate and star of the upcoming VH1 show “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew,” is giving holiday shoppers an opportunity to take home what could be the seasons’ most stocking stuffer - her recently removed breast implants. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own these autographed implants, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting various breast cancer awareness and research organizations

Carey said the size 36-D implants were taken out two weeks ago and replaced with larger 36-DDDs. "The doctors asked me what I wanted to do with them and I said, 'You know what, I'm going to keep them and try to sell them. Because my grandmother had breast cancer,"

The autographed implants have been placed on eBay so if you're interested (and who isn't?) you can check 'em out here. As of Sunday morning, the bid was $15,100 (plus $12 shipping). Hurry, because bidding ends on December 13, so I'm sure Mary can get them to you in time for your Christmas celebration.
Yeah, the image is disgusting but she is raising a chunk of cash for a good cause.

Don't Insult Mom's Cooking

Judges in Spain have ruled that a 36-year-old man who insulted his mother's cooking and physically pushed her must move out of her home and find his own place to live.

José Luis Ortiz's 71-year-old mother grew so desperate about her abusive son's presence in her home, in the northern region of Cantabria, that she filed a suit against him.

Mr Ortiz admitted to regularly insulting his mother, Carmen, pulling her by the arm and threatening to beat her. He also conceded that he repeatedly called his mother's cooking “s***”. In his defence, Mr Ortiz said that his comments were a mere statement of fact; “an observation on the culinary ability” of his mother.

Darryl Sittler's 10-point game

Every Leaf-Bruin match up reminds me of the greatest hickey game I ever watched. That had to be the game Darryl Sittler scored 6 goals and recorded 4 assists for incredible 10 points.

In the excitement of that game what was lost was how bad the Bruin goalie was. It was Dave Reece's last game in the NHL.

As the Toronto Maple Leafs faced the Boston Bruins on Feb. 7, 1976, the Leafs had only won once in the previous seven games. The Bruins, coached by Don Cherry, were hot. They had won their last seven games and lost only once in their last 17 games.

One Hit Wonder

Afroman - Because I Got High (2001)