Saturday, December 15, 2007
City of Toronto
Friday, December 14, 2007
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.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
LICENCE SUSPENSION: 2
SPEEDING TICKETS: 10
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.
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.
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.
The car was recovered during Williams' arrest.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
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.
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.
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
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.
In March, four limber women took to the subway in a quest to win $10,000 from DareJunkies.com. 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.
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.
Monday, December 10, 2007
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.
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.
Female graduate student,
studying kaballah, Zohar,exorcism of dybbuks,
No weirdos, please.
Jewish businessman, 49, manufactures Sabbath
candles, Chanukah candles, havdallah candles,Yahrzeit candles.
Jewish male, 34, very successful, smart,
independent, self-made, looking for girl
whose father will hire me.
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.
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
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,"
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.
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.