Saturday, July 12, 2008

WWE Smackdown Match: Brian Burke vs. Kevin Lowe

Why does NHL Commish Gary Bettman want to shut down the fued between Burke and Lowe. It's the most interesting and enjoyable event going on in the NHL right now. You know Vince McMahon would be promoting this like crazy. He would have the two in a ring going at each other as an opener before the next Duck-Oiler game with Don Cherry calling the fight. But prior to that he would have the two mouths yapping at each other just to make sure the pay per view numbers were there. Just shows the NHL knows nothing about marketing.

It all started last July when the Oilers made a US$21.25-million, five-year offer sheet to restricted free agent Dustin Penner and the Ducks did not match it. Burke was immediately critical of Lowe and has never let up. Burke has repeatedly blamed Lowe and the Penner offer sheet for spiralling salaries on young restricted free agents.

Lowe finally shot back at Burke last week during an interview that included some stinging comments about the Anaheim GM on Edmonton radio station The Team 1260.

"I mean, if he wants to debate what our offer sheet did to them or to the salaries, any time," Lowe told the radio station. "The reality is, Rick Nash's contract a number of years ago, (Patrice) Bergeron's and (Ilya) Kovalchuk's; that sets the standard – that's been going on for decades. I'm sick and tired of it. I know everybody in hockey is."

But then Lowe added: “Corey Perry is a hell of a player. What I really want to say about his (Burke’s) bickering about parity and the salary cap is if you’re unhappy about them, then trade him (Perry) our way. We’ll be glad to have him.”

Burke shot back (despite the league gag order): “It is our understanding that NHL member clubs are not entitled to express interest in the services of a player belonging to another NHL organization. Our understanding is that such an expression of interest constitutes tampering. We have asked the league to investigate whether a tampering episode has taken place. We’ve asked them to make a full investigation into that. We will have no further comment on this, and whatever the league’s decision is, we will abide by that.”

This is not going to end real soon.

Roy Halladay is working his way into Cy Young contention

Roy Halladay pitched an absolute gem last night. (There is an excellent description of the game by a Yankee fan who was there last night). The best game I've seem him pitch in several years. He dominated the Yankees going 9 full innings and giving up only 2 hits while striking out 8. And one of the hits wouldn't happened if Wells or Rios were playing centrefield. Both were out of the lineup so reserve fielder Brad Wilkerson was filling in. The only other hit was by A-Rod in the 9th.

This was his 7th complete game this season which leads all major leaguers. He is 8-1 in his last 12 starts and his record now stands at 11-6. He is near the top of all AL pitching stats - tied for third in wins; 5th in ERA; 1st in innings pitched; 2nd in strikeouts; tied for first in shutouts; and 1st in complete games.

His win total would be better but Blue Jay pitchers do not get much run support. There are other great pitchers on better teams but Halladay is making a strong case for another Cy Young.

Hamas is working on a new terror weapon

...exploding cigars.

Do you get the feeling our private space is being invaded?

China prepares for the Olympics

Dog meat will be off menus during the Olympics. Sorry.

Mascot Failure

When are the Argos bringing back Leo Cahill?

The Maple Leafs have brought back 73 year old Cliff Fletcher to rebuild the hockey team. The Blue Jays have placed the the baseball team in the trusty hands of 64 year old Cito Gaston.

So it's only a matter of time before the Argos drag 78 year old Leo Cahill out of retirement. Sure he hasn't coached since 1978 but I think he is still on their payroll. Supposedly he is a goodwill ambassador. The Argos might as well join the bandwagon and put their future in some old guy.

The impact of high gas prices

Not sure what the threshold was but the rapid rise on gas prices in North America has has brought about sudden lifestyle changes. With gas prices in Canada at about $1.35 per litre and at over $4 per gallon in the U.S. people and prices still going up, drivers have been hit with sticker shock. Here are some of the changes already observed.

We are buying smaller cars. GM has already announced that it will discontinue the ridiculous Hummer - the symbol of driving arrogance. Meanwhile truck and SUV sales have plunged. GM is looking to introduce a line up mini cars to win back market share.

Price pain isn't just at the pump. Businesses that consume a lot of gas are raising their prices and that includes florists, taxi and limo services, pizza delivery, and towing companies.

Gas prices have impacted on one popular form of entertainment: racing. While major racing circuits have sponsors to help defray fuel costs, the smaller racing circuits are feeling the pinch. The cost of high-octane fuel for the racecars is up to $8.25 a gallon. And that is not the worst of it. The truck-and-trailer rigs that log long miles to haul the cars to tracks generally have miles-to-the-gallon averages in the single digits.

In the suburbs, the 2 and 3 car families are feeling the pinch. People are ditching the 4 wheelers for 2 wheelers. Motorcycles, scooters and bicycles are on the road in bigger numbers.

GO Transit says high gas prices have led to an increase in ridership, and the transit company plans to expand to accommodate the extra commuters. Other commuter systems are also reporting an increase in ridership.

Police are reporting that drivers have been slowing down and their radar guns are catching fewer speeders. Slowing down from 120 km/hr to 100 km/hr can save as much as 20% in gas consumption. While towing companies are reporting that the number of calls from drivers who have run out of gas has skyrocketed. Drivers are waiting until the last minute to fill up in hopes of finding cheaper gas.

Slower highway traffic is expected to save lives. Today's high gas prices could cut auto deaths by nearly a third as driving decreases, with the effect particularly dramatic among price-sensitive teenage drivers, the authors of a new study said.

There has been an upswing in online shopping as consumers cut back on their trips to the mall. One consumer noted that he reduced his grocery bill by shopping online because it eliminated impulse shopping in the supermarket.

It's not just online shopping but online classes. A growing number of students trying to save gas money by enrolling in online classes. Online enrollment has been steadily growing for years, but college administrators say the spike in gas prices — to more than $4 a gallon in most places — has fueled a surge in students seeking classes without the cost of commuting.

A leading real estate firm says soaring gas prices are forcing some cottagers to consider reducing the strain on their wallets by selling their summer properties. A poll by Royal LePage says almost one in five cottage owners surveyed say they would consider selling their properties if gas prices continue to rise. The real estate firm says the number of potential sellers is up seven percentage points from last year. Meanwhile, a third of respondents said rising fuel prices had already crimped their cottaging plans by reducing the number of trips they planned to take this summer.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Call me Shoeless Beauchamp

Kash Beauchamp, the manager of the minor-league Wichita team lost his mind—and his shoes—while arguing with the ump over a checked-swing call the other night. The clip is a classic but the best part is Beauchamp was drafted first overall in 1982 by the Toronto Blue Jays, ahead of Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett. No JP Ricciardi was not the GM back then.

There is a possibility that the Iranian missile pics were photoshopped

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Are the Toronto Maple Leafs really getting younger?

When Cliff Fletcher took over as manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, he vowed the team would look drastically different by the fall and it would be younger. Certainly a lot of changes have taken place with the departure of Belak, Kilger, Gill, Pohl, Raycroft, Wellwood, Tucker and mostly likely Sundin. But are the Leafs younger?

I worked out the average age of the Leafs on the day Fletcher took over in January and compared it to what I anticipate to be their roster when the season opens. I excluded McCabe from the roster, anticipating that Fletcher would be successful in trading him. I also didn't include Schenn who I expect to be returned to his Junior team in the fall. So in January the team average age was 27.8. And today it is 27.6. That doesn't seem younger to me.

January roster
Sundin 36
Antropov 27
Ponikarovksy 27
Blake 34
Wellwood 24
Tucker 32
Stajan 24
Steen 23
Devereaux 29
Moore 27
Belak 31
Bell 27
Kilger 31
Tlusty 19
Pohl 28
Kaberle 29
Kubina 30
McCabe 32
Colaiacovo 24
White 23
Stralman 21
Gill 32
Raycroft 27
Toskala 30 ---avg. age 27.8

Current roster
Antropov 28
Ponikarovksy 28
Mayer 33
Kulemin 22
Stajan 24
Steen 24
Devereaux 30
Moore 27
Hagman 28
Bell 27
Grabovski 24
Tlusty 20
Kaberle 30
Kubina 31
Finger 27
Colaiacovo 25
White 24
Stralman 21
Kronwall 25
Joseph 41
Toskala 31 ---avg. age 27.6

Day 4 at Pamplona: Bulls 27, Runners 0

So, today seven people were hurt during the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. It was the fourth day of the event. Twenty-seven people have been hurt so far, and three gored (none fatally). The event goes through Monday. Both today and Wednesday, runners were gored by bulls.

How did I spend my summer vacation in Spain? Undergoing emergency surgery after being run over by a bull while drunk.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

One Hit Wonder

Sugarloaf - Green Eyed Lady (1970)

My daughter's favourite show has always been Full House

I actually was never a fan of the show but must have watched it hundreds of times with my daughter. Everyone of her generation is still a huge fan. Like me and Leave it to Beaver.

Wow those kids started off in show business so young.

Hard to believe how much those kids grew up.


Never found Kimmy funny. And she hasn't changed a bit. What happened to DJ? Notice how no one but the Olsens and Saget had much of a post-Full House career.

Though I always thought Lori Loughlin as Becky was incredibly hot. Not sure if she was a good fit for the show but what the heck.

Don't you just love John Stamos' hair back then. Sort of like Lori Loughlin's.

I think my favourite character was Jodie Sweetin as Stephanie. Hmm nice cleavage there Jodi.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sacha Baron Cohen is at it again

Lured by $1 beer and the prospect of "hot chicks" and "hardcore fights," thousands of Arkansans were duped last month into appearing as extras in comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's latest staged mayhem. Cohen and his confederates organized cage fighting programs on consecutive days in Texarkana and Fort Smith. Both cards ended with two male grapplers (one was identified as "Straight Dave" and wore camouflage) tearing each other's clothes off and, while in underwear, kissing down their opponent's chest.

This man-on-man action triggered Fort Smith fans to throw chairs and beer at the ring, according to one cop present at the city's Convention Center. [Click here and here to read bulletin board messages posted in early-June by miffed mixed martial arts fans who attended one of Cohen's Arkansas productions.] Cohen is currently filming a follow-up, of sorts, to his smash 2006 film featuring Borat, his fictional Kazakh journalist. The new film stars another of Cohen's creations, Bruno, a gay Austrian journalist who favors mesh t-shirts and interviews subjects about fashion and entertainment.

The June 5 Texarkana promotion was adverstised as "Red, White, and Blood." The June 6 matches in Fort Smith were dubbed "Blue Collar Brawlin'" as seen in the below poster. Ads on Craigslist--like this one--noted that attendees had to be over 21 and suggested that fans arrive early "for $1 BEERS!" Cohen & Co. underwrote the cost of beer, which usually sells for $4 at the Fort Smith facility. "Blue Collar Brawlin'" drew about 1500 fans, who were greeted by signs stating that the event was being filmed. Attendees were also not allowed in with cameras or cell phones and some were asked to sign releases. The "Blue Collar Brawlin'" web site ( was registered two weeks before the event in the name of "Peto Philer" of Algeria. The site, which remains live but has been stripped of all content, appears to be currently hosted on servers in Los Angeles.


Man Killed by Lightening at Christie Pits

Although my neighbourhood was finally spared, parts of Toronto was hit by a major thunderstorm. Downtown, the rains first started to pound the city a little before 8pm, springing into a torrential downpour a short time later.

A man reportedly struck by lightning inside Christie Pits at Christie and Bloor and was found without vital signs under a tree that had been pierced. He was taken to hospital, but couldn't be revived. His identity isn't known. I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often considering the number of thunderstorms we get.

Police sniffer dogs to wear bootees in Muslim homes

Police sniffer dogs in England will have to wear bootees when searching the homes of Muslims so as not to cause offence.

Guidelines being drawn up by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) urge awareness of religious sensitivities when using dogs to search for drugs and explosives. The guidelines, to be published this year, were designed to cover mosques but have been extended to include other buildings.

Where Muslims object, officers will be obliged to use sniffer dogs only in exceptional cases. Where dogs are used, they will have to wear bootees with rubber soles.

Ibrahim Mogra, one of Britain’s leading imams, said the measures were unnecessary: “In Islamic law the dog is not regarded as impure, only its saliva is. Most Islamic schools of law agree on that. If security measures require to send a dog into a house, then it has to be done. I think Acpo needs to consult better and more widely.

“I know in the Muslim community there is a hang-up against dogs, but this is cultural. Also, we know the British like dogs; we Muslims should do our bit to change our attitudes.”

What does fungible mean?

This house is listed at $10 million

A real estate company called Prestige Living has some impressive listing including 2400 Doulton in Port Credit, Mississauga which is currently listed at $10 million.

Mats Sundin signs with Toronto

Desparate for some hitting, Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi made the pitch to a big free agent early yesterday morning and signed Mats Sundin to a 2-year, $20 million dollar contract. The contract matches the offer made by the Canucks that Sundin had neither accepted or rejected.

Sundin is expected to be in the Blue Jay lineup before the all-star break as a DH and the cleanup hitter. Ricciardi commented that the big Swede who is listed at 6'5" and 230 lbs. has the makings of a great power hitter. Since Sundin can't field, he will strictly DH but Ricciardi feels that his prowess with a hockey stick can be transferred over to the baseball diamond. Certainly he felt that potential was confirmed in a batting practice session set up for Sundin yesterday which was on off day for the Jays.
Reaction from the Maple Leafs and Canadiens was shock and disappointment. Leaf GM Cliff Fletcher commented that he was glad to see Mats stay in Toronto but thought that the hockey club was a better fit. He suggested that maybe the 37 year old would be interested in playing 2 sports. Montreal GM Bob Gainey was dumbfounded and suggested Sundin had given up a shot at a Stanley Cup to play a "boys' game". Sundin indicated that what motivated him was a desire to play in the venerable Yankee Stadium. The Yankees move into a new stadium next season.

Monday, July 07, 2008

All talk and no action?


Yo Harper....wassup?

U.S. President George W. Bush kept up his tradition of informal relations with fellow world leaders by calling Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper with a "Yo Harper!"

What a dufus.

Ringo turned 68 today

...I wonder if Paul called to wish him a happy birthday?

Idiot tries to fake heart attack in court

After the "attack," during which medical personnel checked him out and found nothing wrong with him, Keison Wilkins sat in a chair, pretending to be unconscious. When a deputy put an ammonia stick under his nose Wilkins responded, opened his eyes, then went back to feigning unconsciousness.

Guys with 8th grade educations shouldn't try to represent themselves in court. He got 42 years.

How Not To Fake A Heart Attack - Watch more free videos

Bulls 13, Runners 0, in Pamplona Bull Run

Spanish authorities say 13 people have been injured during the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

Hundreds of thrill-seekers were chased Monday by six half-ton beasts through 850 meters of the town's cobblestone streets, the highlight of the centuries-old San Fermin festival.

It was not immediately clear how the injuries were sustained. But accounts from the scene say no one was gored and that several of the bulls became separated and disoriented during the four-minute run. The injured are mostly drunken tourists who are up all night drinking.

Since 1924, 13 people have been killed in the running of the bulls. The last victim was a 22-year-old American gored to death in 1995.

...and here is the video....

You think gas prices are high?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Vain model convicted for lying about her age in passport

An aspiring model who shaved eight years off her age in a bid to make it big in America narrowly escaped jail this week.

Vain brunette Saskia Porter, then 35, was convinced she had to recapture her late twenties - at least on paper - if the Hollywood job offer she had received was to result in a signed contract.

Excited by the prospect that it might lead to a TV presenting job, Porter forged her birth certificate - changing 1971 into 1979.

Porter then used this to get a replacement passport, telling the authorities that her dog had dined on her old one, London's Southwark Crown Court heard.

Porter, now 36 pleaded guilty to making an untrue statement for the purpose of obtaining a passport, and to possessing false identity documents.

Wayne Gretzky's daughter Paulina is all grown up

Summer of the Knife

The summer of 2005 was called the 'summer of the gun', but it seems this year may be known as the 'summer of the knife.'

Three separate incidents overnight Sunday left several men sent to hospital with stab wounds.

The first occurred when police were called to a house on William Street for a noise complaint at around three o'clock in the morning. By the time they arrived, a fight had broken out. An 18-year-old man was taken for treatment of chest wounds, while three other men turned up for medical help later on, all having been knifed in the back. No arrests yet.

In a second altercation, a 24-year-old man suffered life-threatening injuries after being stabbed in the neck at around midnight in East York. The victim underwent emergency surgery, and is listed as being in serious, but stable condition. Police have arrested an 18-year-old man, and charged him with aggravated assault.

Back on the city's west end, at a gas station on Trethewey near Jane, a man was attacked with a knife and received two wounds in his back. Police are hoping the victim will shed some light on the event.

This comes after several other attacks involving knives this season already. Here are a few of the most recent:

Jun. 14 - Downtown Stabbing

Teen Arrested In Stabbing Near Whitby School

June 16 - Stabbing Suspect Sought

Green Shift Polling

Angus Reid has conducted some polling on the public reaction to the Liberal Carbon Tax. Although the public is generally supportive, there is little understanding of how the Green Shift will operate.

Putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions is a good idea:

47% support
36% oppose

The proposed carbon tax will ultimately lead people to be more mindful of their carbon consumption and change their behaviour:
65% support
26% oppose

As you may know, Liberal leader St├ęphane Dion presented his carbon tax proposal—also known as the Green Shift—last week. Which of these statements comes closest to your own point of view?

70% Support
19% Oppose
The proposed carbon tax will increase the price of gasoline across Canada:

66% True
8% Not True

The proposed carbon tax will be revenue neutral—the money generated by the carbon tax will be given back to Canadians in the form of personal income tax cuts and business tax cuts:

15% True
54% Not True