Friday, June 26, 2009

Home Sweet Home

The big news here is that I'm going home to PEI on Saturday!

I am not looking forward to the usual crap at airports but it will be worth it to get home in the summer. Christmas is for family but summer is for fun and easy living.

Take a look at these pictures! Now imagine me in them. Nice. Especially considering you can fry an egg -- nay, roast the chicken -- on the sidewalks in St Louis.

if you are on The Island, I'll see you soon!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Peace and Quiet (and Speed)

I've been tempted to write recently about how much noise there is in the city. Between equipment at work, and insanely loud AC at home, I am constantly bombarded with sound.

So, it was interesting to read this article about Ashley Fiolek.

She is 18 years-old, 5'2" and 105 lbs. She is winning motocross races left and right: as a rookie she won the championship for the Women's Motocross Association.

Oh, and by the way: she's deaf.

This may seem stunning but especially when you read the details about riding a motorbike. It has been years since I've been on one, but riders rely intimately on hearing for knowing when to shift. This is especially true when they occasionally 'catch neutral'. This young girl does have some trouble with neutral (a helluva problem), but her coach says she is uncanny at shifting at the right place in the powerband.

A terrific story.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Quote of the Week

Burt and Verona are two characters rarely seen in the movies: thirtysomething, educated, healthy, self-employed, gentle, thoughtful, whimsical, not neurotic and really truly in love... For every such character(s) I’ve seen in the last 12 months, I’ve seen 20, maybe 30, mass murderers.

-- Roger Ebert
From the review for Away We Go.

I saw this flick last night. Not a great film, but fun in several places, profound in one or two. Worth seeing. Some reviews harp on the 'superiority complex' among the main protagonists, but I think it is more of a commentary that we all see everyone else as slightly crazy and just "not getting it" (and vice-versa).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Here is a Happy Father's Day wish to my father and all the Dad-readers (and Dads-to-be) of the blog.

My one-line summary of motherhood, as is well-documented, is that there is no stronger force in nature than a mother defending her young.

For fatherhood, I think my summary is that, aside from primal elements like hunger, nothing occupies a man's mind more than trying to live up to his father's example and legacy.

There are countless examples in history, sports, and film where a guy is driven to formidable heights, all predicated on just trying to make Dad proud. From Tiger Woods to Mozart, I'd say it is one of the motivating forces of civilization.

Personally, my father set the bar extremely high, and I'm grateful.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pushing Up Daisies

Click here for a great (implicit) commentary on the print media....

This is actually a sincere idea for old news boxes. But, the imagery is too good to pass up. Pushing up daisies, indeed.


ps. I realize those may not be daisies!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Baby Train

One dear group of friends has had a lot of weddings in the past couple of years, and now, you guessed it, here come the babies! They aren't all here yet, but the train is steaming toward the station. At a recent baby shower/BBQ/party, there were several expectant couples.

(Ed's note: I'm playing it super-safe, and not naming names because I don't know who is truly 'public', and I shy away from that kind of thing in general.)

Naturally, one is excited both for the individual couples, and also collectively. This is quite a special, tight-knit group. I wonder if the children will play together -- grow up together?

Artifacts of a Move

Over the last few weeks, I've found the following stuff:
  • A photo of me standing next to Herbie, the Miata, in either PEI or South Carolina (the soil looks quite similar). The photo was taken circa 1998. In the photo, I was wearing the same t-shirt that I was wearing as I stared at it, here in 2009. Though I don't wear this shirt to public functions, I think I need to update my wardrobe.
  • I found a hand-written letter in a 'memory box'. I couldn't imagine why I had kept it, until I saw the sign-off at the bottom. The author was my cousin, who has passed away.
  • For years, on my fridge, I have had a print/drawing of our church, celebrating its 150(?)-th anniversary. I turned it over and found a note from my mother. Nothing particularly dramatic, though she mentioned the wedding of a next-door neighbour. It was dated 1994. (Due to wear, this print did not survive the move, though I did take a picture of it.)
Just some of the things that make one stop and think.... There was a lot more, but it is too difficult to summarize, or much too personal (even above the bar I have revealed here).

One of the many issues with moving is that every box has the potential to stop you in your tracks with a blast from the past, and its concomitant introspection.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Stanley Cup!

Game 7 was awesome! A great game.... Here are some thoughts:
  • Talbot (sp?) for the Penguins, scored 2 goals that were just as a kid would dream, skating on a flooded backyard as a lad. One was a massive giveaway right in front of the net; the other was a strong slapshot to the top corner of the net (also known as "he roofed it").
  • Congrats to Pittsburgh, but everyone in Canada knows that Sidney Crosby's home town and province will be wild with jubilation. He will never have to wait for a retaurant table again (though if he is smart, like Steve Yzerman, he will insist that he queue up with normal folks).
  • It is true that Detroit beat Pittsburgh last year. This is unconfirmed but I heard a player left Pittsburgh this year for Detroit, for the express intent of winning the Stanley Cup. i.e. He has lost in the finals 2 years in a row, with the same 2 teams playing. This is a classic tragedy that is part of the Cup legend.
  • I ran 6 miles for part of the game and watched the rest with some cool peeps. A great evening.
  • Detroit really pressed in the final minutes. Every 20 years or so, a rookie goalie will win the Cup (Ken Dryden led Montreal to the Promised Land many years ago). Late in the game, there were some VERY close calls for the Penguin netminder, Fleury. I thought for a minute that the crossbar would win the MVP award.
I'm just delighted with that game.....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stephen Colbert Cannot Be Stopped

Stephen Colbert is 'guest editor' of Newsweek magazine this week. It is a fun issue and a rather bold move by the magazine. I'll be very interested in seeing the Letters to the Ed next week.

(I imagine most know this, but if not: Stephen C hosts a satirical TV news show. It is brilliant.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Game 7

Earlier today, I wrote a sentiment (in email), identical to the following quote (from this article). Because of the coincidence, I had to blog it.

"You would spend your whole life as a kid, at least in Canada...when you don't even have a net but you had little snowplows on the street, and you're dreaming of scoring the game-winning goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock.

Friday night is the ultimate in the NHL: Game 7 for The Cup.

I suspect much of eastern Canada is rooting for Pittsburgh, partly due to the underdog status but also because wunderkind Sid Crosby is from Nova Scotia.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


2009 has been fairly rough. My detractors are never small in number but it seems like a lot lately, and probably with justification.

I remember hearing a young George Clooney say once that his father (an eminent journalist) would offer this advice:
You're never as good as they say, and you're never as bad as they say.
I guess this presumes no laws have been broken (e.g. a felony charge would put a kink in it). At times like this, we thank the senior Clooney for the perspective.

How To Reclaim 21,000 Miles

Great news! I am back in black with American Airlines: 21,000 miles.

I called them some time ago (when I received the dire expiration message), and received some ideas. The agent told me that if I had used one of their partners (and everyone is a partner) since the last flight, that would count. I just had to call the partner and attach my AA number to the transaction.

I used a rental car last September in Detroit, and bingo, 6 weeks later, I am ready to roll.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Minor Update

I had my first workout today since the move.... My gym is a 5 minute walk (if that). Very nice indeed....

Still no internet yet and no cable TV. Working through options on that one... Plus it has been a busy week so I essentially just have the bed and bathroom set up. Everything else is still in boxes.