Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Thursday, June 14th, 2012
Went to Operation Come Home today for a ceremony honouring students who graduated from the Rogers Achievement Centre. Four students got their high school or GED diplomas, and many more earned credits through the classroom at OCH downtown. It’s a great event every year, and watching the kids celebrating their success after overcoming enormous hurdles is always terrific. One of the best things about the ceremony this year was a video they showed, a little documentary made by two students at Ashbury College about Operation Come Home, the kids, and the charitable work they do. Check it out:
Way to go, Alexa and Cindy!
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
I’m being silly. Of course the “sexiest woman alive” is subjective. But it’s also an excuse to put up some pictures. People went the safe route (from six years ago) and chose someone famous, Beyonce.
Then FHM had to get in on it – although they did it in better style, actually hosting a party where many of their nominees showed up, including the eventual winner, Tulisa Contostavlos from N-Dubz. You know, Tulisa.
Also in attendance at the party was one of my personal favourites, Jessica Jane Clement, who despite this attire didn’t even crack the top 30! This voting must be rigged.
She, along with three others (and my wife – heh), are in my personal top five. But then, it’s subjective.
Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
Everyone has noticed the trend in this year’s NHL playoffs. There are more head-shots, more players carted off, more serious injuries than in any playoff season I can remember. There are also more fights. A LOT more fights. There was a time when Zenon Konopka would never have stepped out of the press box for the Senators during the entire playoffs.
But then, game 2 of the Ottawa-Rangers series and there he is, skating around menacingly and glowering at people while Matt Carkner beats the crap out of Brian Boyle, making the most of his 40 seconds of ice time before leaving the game and being suspended. But Carkner was just standing up for little Erik Karlsson, right? Who got punched a couple of times by Boyle in the previous game? And that’s what hockey is about, right?
Well, let’s look at that premise for a second. Karlsson is roughed up, but not injured. Boyle takes a penalty, Karlsson stays in the game and runs the power play. A full 48 hours later, Carkner is going to send a message – you don’t rough up our stars! Boyle takes his pounding. Stays in the game. Then joins the Rangers on their 5-minute power play while Carkner leaves for good. But Boyle will know better than to go after those Senators players now, won’t he?
Strange, it almost seems like the 6-foot-7 Boyle didn’t get that message. He hit every Ottawa player in sight on Monday night. Oh, and scored a goal. The only goal. While Carkner served his suspension in the press box.
But the REST of the Rangers were intimidated after Ottawa came out fighting, right? Well, except for Carl Hagelin, I guess. I suppose he wasn’t too worried about Carkner, cause he was out of the game. And maybe he knew, after his elbow to Alfie’s head, that he would be ejected and therefore wouldn’t have to worry about Konopka either. Now he’s gone three games, but if Alfie’s gone three games also, it seems like a pretty good trade for New York.
It seems to me that it’s time to retire this old, tired, cranky-old-man adage that fighting prevents cheap shots. It doesn’t. Not even a little bit. We have seen more fighting AND more cheap shots than ever before in these playoffs, and the fighting comes solely as a result of the cheap shots and does nothing to prevent more of them.
Witness last night’s brutal headhunting hit on Marian Hossa of the Blues by Rafi Torres of the Blackhawks. No question about the intenet to injure. In the immediate aftermath of the hit, Brandon Bollig goes after Torres. You know, to fight him. Problem solved, right? Two messages have been sent – one, there are consequences. And two, you can’t intimidate us!
OK sure. But now, the Hawks are killing back-to-back penalties, while their star player Hossa is being taken out of the rink in an ambulance on a stretcher. And what will actually prevent Torres from doing something like this again? Only the suspension that comes along with the hit. And what will prevent another Blues player from taking a run at another star? Nothing.
I’m not saying take fighting out of the game. I AM a fan of hockey fights, and I think there’s a place for them in the game. What I’m saying is, shut up about this nonsense that fighting prevents cheap shots and dirty play, which NO true fan likes. It does nothing of the sort.
It’s the same mentality that looks back to the Broad Street Bullies and Boston Bruins of the 70s and says “those guys played the game right – tough, but not dirty”. Which is revisionist history at best, and completely insane bulls**t at worst. What was Bobby Clarke most famous for? Some goal, or his slash that broke the ankle of Valeri Kharlamov? He was the star, AND one of the dirtiest players of all time. Does your memory of the Bobby Orr Bruin glory days completely forget Wayne Cashman? And the myriad of injuries inflicted by both of those teams on opponents all over the league?
So keep fighting around. The crowds love it, the players want it, and it can serve a useful purpose – giving a team that emotional boost that comes from watching their guy land more punches than the other guy, or just getting out some frustration (which leads to the funny fights, like Crosby-Giroux the other day). Just stop pretending it’s anything more than it is, or that it prevents the really bad stuff. The days of Semenko creating a bubble around Gretzky are long gone.
Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
Due to a scheduling conflict with current tour dates, Eliades Ochoa’s April 27th show has been postponed to a later show in the fall. Date and time of the fall show is yet to be announced, I will keep you posted on all the details.
For all of thsoe who have purchased entries in the CHEZ Nation draw, your points will be refunded.
If you’re still looking for something to do Friday the 27th, though, I can recommend coming to see me at Kanata Honda from 2-6…fill out a ballot and get a really great shot at one of TWO keys for Toys For Boys! I’ll also be at Chinook Hot Tubs this Friday from 3-7.
Monday, March 12th, 2012
Has it really been 20 years since this classic baseball brawl? The 20-something Robin Ventura charges the mound so that he can have his ass kicked by 46-year-old Nolan Ryan. I bring this up because the Rangers have officially announced that they will no longer be showing the video on their jumbotron. I guess they have actually been playing and replaying the fight for TWENTY years now.
I guess it WOULD be a little unseemly if, when the White Sox were in town, the Rangers played a video of their current team president beating the crap out of the visiting team’s current manager. And maybe, after 20 years on the jumbotron, the thing has actually run its course.
Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
Seven years ago, I joined three intrepid souls outside on the William Street mall for the 24 Hours of Homelessness event for Operation Come Home. Since then the event has grown enormously, with corporate sponsors like Scotiabank on Rideau helping out with major donations, and the number of people participating has increased as well.
This year, there will be 13 of us all told – eight placement students (who work at Operation Come Home as part of various school programs) and four Katimavik volunteers taking part in the event. It begins at 4:00 this afternoon on the William Street mall (right beside the Scotiabank on Rideau) and goes until 4:00 tomorrow afternoon…of course it does, it’s 24 hours. I know.
In past years, I have used this blog to post comments and thoughts and to keep track of our progress. This year, that will not be the case. The internet-hookup thingy we use is too finicky to be trusted, and they won’t let me have it anyway because I apparently “broke” it last year. Or something. Instead I will have the promo smart-phone thing which I think does Twitter. So follow me on Twitter here for updates.
In the meantime, you can make donations to OCH here, which would be greatly appreciated. Those donations go toward funding social enterprises (like Bottleworks, which recently announced a partnership with Beau’s beer and now provides home delivery of Beau’s for the charity), the OCH education program which has many graduates every year, and of course addiction services, the reunite program and all the other things OCH does.
Thursday, January 26th, 2012
We’re getting ready to head off to Vegas. Doc has put ME in charge of making sure we don’t get roofied. I’m torn between pointing out to him that The Hangover was fictional, and being offended that he doesn’t consider me to be the likeliest candidate to actually put roofies in his drink. I don’t think that’s the biggest worry though – I’m concerned about accidentally ordering a hooker by saying the wrong catch phrase to the wrong person.
At any rate, this will be my last post for a week, and I’d like this one to be up for the week – the 24 Hours of Homelessness event is coming up next Thursday. On the William Street mall (near the Sugar Mountain, just off Rideau Street), from 4:00 Thursday to 4:00 Friday, I will be sleeping outside to raise money and awareness for Operation Come Home.
I don’t know who’s going to be joining me this year, but usually some college kids and intrepid OCH volunteers join me, and I’m sure this year will be no exception. We spend the 24 hours outside, trying to draw attention to the fact that on any given night in Ottawa, 100 street youth will have to do the same, whether it’s wet, snowy or bitterly cold.
Any donations to Operation Come Home can be made by clicking that link, and be sure to tune in to the Doc and Woody show Friday morning, as I will be waking up on the street, trying to gather my thoughts and doing my best to speak through the cold in order to make sense on the radio.
Monday, January 9th, 2012
Frederica Sagor Maas (Freddie Maas in many of her credits) died just before New Years at the age of 111. One hundred and eleven. Years old. She was maybe the last survivor of Hollywood’s silent movie era, where she was a screenwriter for films such as Greta Garbo’s Flesh and the Devil and Norma Shearer’s His Secretary and The Waning Sex. She also wrote The Rolled Stockings, The Way of All Flesh and The Plastic Age.
Weird how silent movie titles from the 20s could easily work as porno titles today, huh?
Anyway, I think the coolest thing about Maas, (and the reason I’m writing about her at all) is that she was pretty badass! She had to write mostly “flapper” comedies with Clara Bow and Betty Grable because the studio honchos figured that was all a woman could do. She and her husband, Ernest Maas, became a fairly prolific writing team, but studios wouldn’t take anything of substance from them.
They continued writing after the silent era, doing a few talkies through the 30s and 40s. Finally, in the late 40s, Maas wrote a deeply personal, powerful movie script about womens’ struggles. Hollywood took that script and turned it into the fluffy, utterly vacuous musical The Shocking Miss Pilgrim starring Betty Grable in 1947. Freddie Maas had had enough, gave the finger to the whole industry and quit in disgust.
The industry was a little sour about that. So even though she was out of Hollywood by 1950, they still had her interrogated by the FBI for suspected communist activities, and she and her husband were placed on the Hollywood blacklist. This is 1950 now, she was already fifty years old. And she had another 61 years to live.
So what do you do? Well, she wrote. And in 1999, at age 99, she published her autobiography, called The Shocking Miss Pilgrim: A Writer in Early Hollywood. It was a tell-all book about Hollywood in the 20s, a scathing indictment of the vapidity of the industry, and a series of anecdotes about famous people that by then, almost no one remembered.
Clara Bow once danced nude on a tabletop! That would have been huge news in 1925…Jeanne Eagels pissing out in the open right there on the movie set…Louis B. Mayer being an insecure, pompous douchebag who was apparently disliked by every person he ever met…all of this was great – but sort of irrelevant as everyone else who had co-existed with these people was long dead.
I just love someone who finally decides, at the age of 99, to unleash all of her bitterness toward the industry in a book. And it makes me think that perhaps anger, bitterness and resentment are some of the keys to a long life – the other Hollywood writer-director that comes to mind when I think of centenarians is Leni Riefenstahl, the controversial Nazi film-maker who bitterly raged against her critics until her death at the age of 101.
By this logic, I think a couple of people who post on our facebook page will live a heck of a long time!
Thursday, October 20th, 2011
The overwhelming opinion, everywhere around me, is that the people demonstrating on parliament hill, the people demonstrating on Wall Street, and everyone associated with this movement is a psycho, a lunatic, a lazy ass not willing to work for a living, or a silver spoon sleazeball with an outsized sense of entitlement. I think almost all of that is a load of knee-jerk stupid bunk from people who have the same reaction to all protesters.
Next time you hear someone complain about the bums hanging around downtown, and the “sense of entitlement” from people who ought to just get off their asses and get jobs, ask them about another protest. Any other protest. Darfur. Falun Gong. The G8, world hunger, Greenpeace, the seal hunt. Whatever. Do those people have the same opinion of those protesters? Nothing better to do, get a real job, go have a shower, sense of entitlement. Right?
Wrong. I will say this – a lot of these protesters ARE wingnuts. They dress up in weird clothes and do interpretive dances and shout poetry and in many ways are very, very irritating. But the thing is – they are RIGHT. There is a serious problem when 1% of the population controls 95% of the economy. Does anyone really believe that people are protesting this disparity because they don’t have a yacht and think they should get one for free? How the hell do you get that out of these protests?
And then there’s the argument that sure, the banks ARE to blame for SOME of the economic meltdown. But so too are the PEOPLE who bought houses they couldn’t afford. Okay. How much of that blame would you put on the banks versus the individuals who were sold something through a massive, pervasive corporate fraud? Maybe…99%? Sounds familiar…
The real complaint people might have about this 99% occupy Wall Street thing is that they have no coherent, real message. That’s the very thing I like the MOST. Sure – some are angry specifically at the widening income gap. Others are mad about the lack of bank regulations. Still more are furious because none of the corporate fraudsters that ruined the economy have been held accountable. Their messages are incoherent, impossible to categorize and stick into a neat little box, and inexplicable.
But is’t that completely appropriate? I, too, am very angry at the bankers and corporate tycoons that screwed up the world. But I, too, can’t explain why. I can’t explain credit default swaps. Neither can the protesters. Neither can you. There are like nine people alive who can explain them adequately, and eight of them became rich by using them to screw over the middle class. The other one is Warren Buffett.
So I love this spontaneous burst of rage. I love the incoherence and the fact that it makes little sense. I love the fact that some of the protesters are anti-capitalism and others aren’t. This is a protest that can’t possibly have an overarching controlled message. There just isn’t one to voice. But anger is approprate here, and voicing it at all is what matters.
In a way, this is the anti-Tea-Party movement. Both movements have maniacs who dress up in stupid costumes and do idiotic things. Both movements thrive on rage. And both have a number of detractors.
But the Occupy Wall Street movement is anger against right wing policies and corporations, whereas the Tea Party is an astroturf group started by right wingers and corporate money. The 99%ers are disjointed and chaotic, with no agreed-upon purpose. The Tea Partiers mostly agree on their main complaints and goals – and they agree, for the most part, on many other things as well (no separation of church and state, anti-abortion, pro-death-penalty, and Obama is the Devil).
And finally, the biggest difference is that the Tea Party has this amazing ability to conjure up fury and fight against their own best interests, at least financially. They fight FOR the banks, AGAINST regulation, and in the end against the middle class and the poor. Which of course make up at least 99% of the Tea Party.
The 99% movement, on the other hand, has just one thing in common, and one thing that unifies their purpose in any way. And that is the fight FOR the poor, and FOR the middle class, AGAINST a gigantic myriad of things that are currently ensuring that the income gap will get wider and wider and the economy will never recover. It may be a fight against an unknowable and invisible and impossible-to-identify-specifically enemy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a fight worth having.