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Archive for June, 2010

How do you fail Kindergarten?

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Poor eyesight, allegedly, is one way to fail kindergarten.  A Rock listener said his brother was held back in kindergarten in the 60s simply because he was blind as a bat and no one diagnosed that he needed glasses. 

In other school news, more students are finishing high school in our province.  The Alberta Government and School Districts are patting themselves on the back and rightly so.  The key has been ”motivating students and keeping them engaged.” 

I can’t help but wonder if reduction in oil sector jobs also played a role.  When things are boomin’ in Alberta, it’s difficult to stop students from ditching books for big bucks.  As the oil industry ramps back up, here’s hoping the stats for students completing high school stay consistent.

Kids, if you’re pondering dropping out, consider this:  Burton Cummings of The Guess Who just “graduated” from grade 12 at the age of 62.  It’s been something that’s bothered him his whole life.  Most drop-outs will tell you the same.

So as you wrap up another school year here in June, just remember to return in the fall.

Iron Maiden Review

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Two years ago Iron Maiden returned to Canada for the ‘Somewhere in Time’ Tour playing nothing but their hits from the 70s and 80s.  This time around they delivered the favorites off their post 80s albums Brave New World, Dance of Death and A Matter of Life and Death. 

I admit, I’m a Maiden worshiper of their 80s catalogue and not overly familiar with the albums mentioned above.  Maiden rocked Sunday night, no doubt, and you could really feel the energy jack up tenfold the moment they veered into the final handful of classics which began with THIS SONG.

My only criticism isn’t even of the show itself, but moreso the songwriting from the new millenium albums.  There was an overabundance of tunes that began with a mellow intro-then jump into a rockin’ riff-verse-chorse-repeat-ellaborte (and awesome) guitar solos-chorus-mellow extro.  I’m a big fan of that formula… but not when it’s overused.  A lot of songs became predictable, unfortunately.

Here is the setlist from the Calgary show & a look at the giant EDDIE who roams out during ‘Iron Maiden’ on this tour.

Congrats to those who nabbed free tickets via Rock 106.  Next up = Kid Rock July 16th and Scorpions Aug 9th, both in Calgary.

Why it’s tough to watch the NHL draft

Friday, June 25th, 2010

To explain why I find it difficult to be captivated by the NHL draft, let me explain why I LOVE the NFL draft. 

The players drafted in the NFL you will be watching the very next season.  This is because they’re older - in their 20s - and more mature physically to play the pro game.  

Yes, there are a few 18 year old stand outs in the NHL and I do like their addition to teams but many guys drafted will have to wait, on average, 3 years before we see them in an NHL uniform. 

In truth, the majority of players drafted in the NHL, even in the high rounds (1 – 3) will never make it at all.  It’s just too tough to gauge how these kids will develop when they’re only 17 or 18.  Case in point: Duncan Keith. 

This Stanley Cup Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist and Norris Trophy recipient is considered the best defenseman in the NHL.  Chicago chose him 54th overall.  There were 15 other defenseman selected ahead of, thereby deemed ‘better’ than, Duncan.  Some of those names include Dan Sprang, Anton Kadeykin, Kirill Koltsov, Tomas Linhart, Ondrej Nemec and Martin Vagner.  None of them played a single game in the NHL. 

That’s the one thing I DO find interesting about the NHL draft – looking back through the years at all those busts and teams that missed out on great players.  To think the Oilers could have taken Duncan Keith instead of Matt Greene.  ”Whoops,” says Kevin Lowe.

The BEST part of the NHL Awards Ceremony

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

I’ll add more comments about the great show the NHL put on last night after our show this morning, but I wanted to post a link to the best part of it right away:  Check this out.

As healthy as a 60-year-old Chain Smoker

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Professional video gamers.I’m not much of a gamer at all but I can appreciate the idea of being paid to play video games.  It would sure beat jobs that consist of physical labour or customer interaction.  However, it comes at a cost.  Pro gamers, who play up to 10 hours a day, are as healthy as a 60-year-old chain smoker.  On the bright side, they possess the reflexes of a fighter pilot.  Fair trade?For all you gamers who are also obsessed with Star Wars, you’ll be interested in this crazy new preview of The Old Republic: Hope For Alderaan.  Plus, the full article regarding unhealthy pro gamers.

You Brought This Upon Yourself

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

In life we make choices and must live with the consequences of those choices. 

Jonathan Toews is the face of the EA Sports NHL 2011 hockey game.  With that honor comes “the curse.”  Unpredictably bad things happen to said coverboys.  Look no further than Blackhawks teammate Patrick Kane last year who got into a brawl with a Cab driver.  Of course, he went on to win the Cup so for a better example let’s use Dany Healtey who appeared on the cover for the 2004 edition and then proceeded to vehicularly manslaughter his good pal and teammate Dan Snyder.  Jonathan, any nastiness you suffer within the next calendar year, you brought upon yourself. 

Same goes for you, Portugal.  If you’re going to hammer a team Seven-nil at the World Cup of Soccer, make sure it’s not a nation who is currently disregarding all stern warnings and stockpiling nuclear weapons.  North Korea was planning to wallop South Korea, but guess who is first on their list now.  Portugal, whatever nuclear strike may result of the 7-0 victory, you brought this upon yourself.

A Lasting Image

Monday, June 21st, 2010

For thousands of people, the lasting image from this past weekend will be the Old Man River swelled up from the 70mm of rain that fell late last week.  For me, the lasting image from this past weekend is the two guys I spotted on pedal bikes enjoying the Sunday sunshine, taking a break from exercising by lighting up a couple of smokes.  Now THAT is a balanced lifestyle. 

As for the Old Man… it had shades of ’95, though not nearly as high this time around. 

My thoughts are with the farmers and the soggy fields.  Here’s hoping Environment Canada is wrong about the “up to 50mm” of rain in the forecast across the next two days.

Guess who is coming to town

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Lord Stanley’s coveted Cup is Lethbridge bound.  This isn’t the biggest surprise seeing Chicago Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg is a ‘bridge boy.  When the actual day the Stanley Cup will be here is unknown but Kris has already sorted out what he’s going to do with it.  He plans to gather friends from childhood and, like they did in their youth, gather for a game of street hockey and play for the Stanley Cup one more time.  This time, whoever wins will get to hoist it.  LOVE this idea.  I imagine people will be scramblin’ to Versteeg’s neighborhood to get a glimpse of the game and, moreso, the Cup.  In the words of Kris, “the Stanley Cup is a dream…”

PHOTO-FINISH!!

Monday, June 14th, 2010

$3500 was raised for the 8th annual Wheels in Motion event which happened Canada-wide Sunday.  In Lethbridge we met at the Exhibition grounds Main Pavilion, strolled/rolled over to Henderson Lake to soak up the nice breeze and +30 heat, then returned to the Ex to take on the obsticle course designed to give us without Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) an idea of what everyday life is like for those who are in wheel chairs.  First thing you notice upon entering said event is the positive attitudes of those with SCI.  Some, I sure, naturally fall into that ‘nothing is gonna stop me’ mentallity.  Others, including Rick Hansen himself, were encouraged by others with SCI and flipped the switch as it were to turn a negative into a positive.  If someone asks you to pledge them next year or donate prizes for the 9th annual Wheels in Motion, please oblige.  All the funds raised go to help improve the accessibility of every life for those with SCI.  Next year I plan on WINNING the Media Sprint.  Carly from The River squeezed me out at the line.  Check out the photo-finish:photofinish.jpg

Rosie and I had the honor of not only being nominated for but also recipients of the Dr. G.R.A. Rice Memorial Award for Media Excellence.  Behold our acceptance photo (Rosie on the left; me on the right).img_1586.JPG                                                                                                                                      We attended the St. John Ambulance Award afternoon at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton.  Far more formal than I expected and 1st class all the way.  There were about 16 award recipients and by luck of the draw I ended up sitting in the Honorable Ed Stelmach’s Legislature seat.  At first glance, that meant very little but upon sitting in the seat the perks of being Premiere start to surface.  The chair was taller than the others – better neck support.  It was cushier than the other chairs and a bit wider, like a lazy boy.  In fact, it was exactly like a lazy boy.  I commented to Rosie how ‘awesome these chairs’ were as I reclined back at a 45 degree angle.  Rosie, always prompt to complain, bellyached, “My chair doesn’t do that!”  Everyone else’s chair slipped back about 20-25 degrees.  How are you supposed to nap during a boring Legislature meeting when your chair only dips back that far?  Honorable Ed has got it made.  Moreso, I liked to think of it as Ralph Klein’s seat and tried to picture where the 17 year old student whom he whipped a book at was standing when it connected with her melon.  The possiblities were countless and I never did get a chance to ask.  BIG thanks to St. John Ambulance for the kindness and recognition they have extended with us.  We repay that by encouraging everyone to go learn CPR.  Go.  Learn.  Then, save a life.  If you do, you’ll be at a future Legislature gathering like we attended.