Saturday, March 29, 2008

Why why why?

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been eliminated from the playoffs again for the third straight year. It has been 41 years since they last won the Stanley cup. Yet to me, and their fans everywhere, we are not switching teams--- we will continue to love the victories and get a sense of disappointment with the losses.

Maybe its the tribal tendencies coded into my DNA but I can't shake the Leafs. I live in Calgary where the Flames have a much better team than the leafs, better personalities, more exciting playing styles and a much more community minded ownership group. But I can't shake the Leafs-- I have tried but in my heart I want them to win, to beat the Flames, and to have that parade in downtown Toronto.

When I play hockey this Sunday the men in the dressing room will all get after me as they see a Leaf fan as an ideal opportunity to make themselves feel taller...(this is for the odd chance that one of them reads this blog) I will take it with a smile and pine for next year when the Leafs will rise again. I will stomp around and boast that next year we will be back and that we were a playoff team from Christmas on... It will be complete bullsh*t but when you are in the tribe you are in the tribe.

For those who are Leafs fans or for you out there who have backed losers for a long time ...

Have Faith -the Leafs will rise again and once more Lord Stanley`s cup is going to be ours!!!

Go Leafs!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I don't get it........

I sat beside a guy on the plane from Houston to Orlando this week and I confess I really don't understand. He was with his wife and two children on their way to Disneyland

We are talking about the picture of the all american boy- short haircut lean (we Canadians might call it nerdy ) good job in the engineering world, father was a professor of engineering. Obviously successful money not an issue. Blond wife, fit, well behaved kids etc etc

Very "Christian" ... donates money regularly to the homeless shelter. Very republican

Talks about God in his life and how God will show him the way. How much of our destiny is preordained.

Claimed to want to pursue a career in politics.

So I asked him the questions..

So what about immigration? Send them back. Let them apply for citizenship once they are back in Mexico. You can't just let them live here and not pay taxes.

So what about Universal healthcare... It would bankrupt America and run taxes through the roof. Our taxes are too high already.

Soooo.. it just doesn't square with me -- How can the Christian right expouse these things but bypass the love one another theme of Christianity.

In our zest to read the bible do we get bored before the new testament?

Happy Easter.......

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Basketball ya gotta love it...

I did not grow up with basketball. We played ball hockey, baseball and football. We constantly played sports but there were no courts when we were kids and it was not really part of my upbringing. My Dad has no favorite team and would rather watch curling. ( I was shocked to drive by a grade school in a poor area of Longbeach California and at least see forty courts set up in the schoolyard) Our school yard ---well.....
I did play for the school team in grade nine where I was a fat (ok stout) guard who had more fouls than points. But that was really just a sideline between other sports.
Some where along the way I started watching US college basketball and it hooked me. I loved Christian Laetner's 1.7 second left shot against Kentucky. I love that there are no perfect teams and many many good teams. That it will depend on the day and the game as to who wins. That even stout guards with sweet shots can make a big splash . That Duke and their lack of size can win if they play tough and sink threes but can lose.
The championship tournament for US college BBall starts tonight with the play in game. 65 teams start and its a one loss elimination tournament. You have to win 6 straight games to be the national champion. Of the 750 or so players in the tournament less than 40 will get drafted by the NBA. It will be four weeks of entertainment. (ok for Blessed it might not last that long) With the rest of the boys at work we pick the winners of the tournament. Last year I went for all underdogs and got slaughtered (I think across the US I was in the 9th percentile of 4 million players) but the year before I pulled a rabbit out the hat and ended up in the 91st percentile.
Yes you can all pick your winners ((((
It makes you want to go out and shoot a few hoops.. Come on... lets play some basketball. March madness and the tournament grows on you.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Madrid brought me back...

Ok.... so I have never been to Europe before. Almost fifty and never having experienced history. Work sent me to Madrid for a week and I loved it.

Yes I worked but I also walked the streets - took pictures, tried out my very limited Spanish to find my way. The architecture is fabulous... street after street of attractive apartments, colours, finishing features. NO large stores (I am sure they exist but not in the areas I went to)...

Interesting things...

Every bar has snacks... fancy snacks like prosciutto like ham on a piece of bread with a slice of melon on top... or fancy cheeses or salmon on hard biscuits, or these sandwiches that an artist must have designed.. so you order a cervesas and they give you a snack....they are fabulous.. typical 2 euros or 3$ for a is less..

The food was much blander than I had imagined.. I thought it would be like Mexican food.. no.. bland.. beautifully prepared and smaller portions - the Mexicans with us..bring their own spices or they go crazy..

The subway... at least 10 lines criss cross Madrid..maybe 3 or 4 times the amount in Toronto.. fabulous system

I felt safe but I was with a coworker who got pickpocketed... a little blocking from the subway car exit and a few "policia!!!'s" later the wallet mysteriously appeared about 10 ft away. But he was an idiot.. wearing running shoes???? and keeping his wallet in his back pocket..

There are few overweight people there... very few... its noticeable..

The architecture is gorgeous... beautiful parks all over...

The big thing was that it was a pick me up. It makes you want to go back...