Monday, October 29, 2007


Just got off the subway - a middle-aged African lady caught my attention as I was standing waiting to exit the train. What was so beautiful about her was her smile. If she hadn't been smiling, I'm sure I have have ignored her and gone about my day and not written this blog. But her smile was infectious. She just looked so happy in conversation with a friend.

The other smile I saw today in the paper was Paris Hilton. I don't have a lot to say about Ms. Hilton and I don't find her that attractive. But the picture in the Post this morning was a very unusual shot of her, she was smiling, a big open-mouthed happy smile (not her usual smirk). I almost didn't recognize her. It was a beautiful photo.

So, looking elsewhere today, see how many people you see smiling, ignore the others (unless they're the customer on the other side of the table, your boss or someone in need). Look at those smiles, those happy faces and let it put a smile on your face. Just think how nice it would be to ride the subway or sit in traffic and everyone around you was smiling.

I heard a few weeks ago about the positive tone in your voice when you smile (even recognized when you're talking on the phone). So, smile when you're on the phone today too !

Friday, October 26, 2007

I think Canada may be a little too focused on hockey

For those not close to the current sports setting in North America right now, the biggest event currently happening is the World Series. Game 2 was last night.

Now I'm not a
big baseball fan, but as stated on previously occasions, I can get pretty interested and excited about the finals of almost any sport (ok, maybe not curling).

I'm also not a huge fan of hockey, sure I'll watch the Leafs play now and again in the regular season (painful as that might be) or when local rivalries occur against Ottawa or Montreal. And of course, I get excited following the months of playoffs in the spring.

Canada as a whole has a very diverse population and I'd assume any sports fan would have their home sports, their new city interests and pay attention to the big sports events happening across any world, especially those in North America.

With all that context, I must say I've been surprised at the priority of sports coverage here over the last 18 hours.
After my ultimate game a few of us went to a local sports bar for a beer and something to eat. We walked into the relatively busy bar and every TV I could see was showing the Leafs v Pittsburgh game (and the volume was very high). I did glimpse a TV showing the baseball game in another room later on in the evening. The Leafs actually scored a lot of goals last night, but interestingly the folks at the bar didn't appear to get that excited. I went home and watched a few innings of the baseball game, but got a little sleepy around 11 and headed off to bed. This morning I get up and I'm looking for the highlights. It's 7:50ish, ok, I'll wait to the top-of-the-hour...ok, missed 8:00 but I switch on the TV at 8:03 and TSN is already wrapping it up and moving on to the Leafs game (which is still continuing when I give up). Come on people, don't you think you need to spend a little more time on the biggest sporting event in North America ?

I get into the office the, I wonder what the Canadian web sites look like, phew...turns out baseball is story one on most sites, and #2 on CBC and The Star (not surprisingly).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Canadian Anniversary

I am Canadian.

I came to Canada 29 years ago today.

I am glad we came and made our new home here.

I am very proud to be a Canadian, proud of our heritage, our tolerance and civility, and the difference we make in the world.

I am happy I met a fantastic Canadian woman and I love her family. I'm very happy to be raising two wonderful Canadian children.

[End of gushy sentiment, on with controversy]

[photo courtesy of Pardeep Singh]

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A picture tells a thousand words

Canadian soldier in Afghanistan (Reuters). I tried to find this on Reuters, no luck, but I did come across lots of great shots on their web site - see:
and I found this shot from The National Post's web site - it was the front cover of the paper this morning.

The other football

This blog topic came up quite a few weeks ago when I had the oh-so-familiar discussion regarding the merits of football (soccer) in world sport today. You've heard a lot of my views on this in the past, but let's sum up by saying football is such a great sport because of the physical demands, the dexterous skill level, the ebb-and-flow of the attack, control and defense, the difficulty in scoring and last, but no means least, the passion and history of the world's teams and their fans.

The discussion was with a Californian who loves football (American Football). paraphrasing his argument and my post-thinking - football is the ideal TV sport - short sound bites, lots of time for replays and commercials, but most of all, every play is a mini drama. In soccer, the excitement of a near miss, a hard or controversial tackle, a big save, a penalty or a goal is obvious. In North American football you are almost guaranteed one of these types of exciting plays in every snap of the ball !
(On a side note, there's even some new technology available that condenses the football game to even smaller gobble sizes, see Cyberlink MagicSports.)

I haven't watched a lot of American Football yet this season, but each time I do, I try to watch it from this new perspective and it may make sense and it may even be enhancing the viewing experience. I do like football, but I've only been a big fan of the big games (post-season, college bowl games etc.) in the past. If I'm looking for new reasons to enjoy TV sports (especially in HD), this may be one of them.

On a related note and why I chose to complete this blog this morning is my son's victory in their semi final conference game yesterday. Before you ask, this is touch football (no tackling), but the elements on yardage gains, passing patterns and 3-down strategies (Canadian rules) all apply. Yesterday's game was also a fall classic as it was played in pouring rain on a soaked field against a formidable opponent. There were big plays (including a fabulous 20 yard gain by my boy), big hearted defense and must-make intensities. It was absolutely fantastic. I love this game.

Now if only the Detroit Lions could put a few more wins together.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Blood Diamond

Great story telling. Full of emotion. Leo - a completely believable performance.

Some of the quotes that really stood out to me...

On good versus bad...
"Would you say that people are mostly good ?"
"No, I'd say they're just people"
"exactly, it is what they do that makes them good or bad"

On the value of life...
"People here kill each other as a way of life, it's always been like that"

On humanity...
"How can my own people do this to each another"



Links: Blood Diamond. Sierra Leone - Conflicts in Africa.

According to UNICEF: Recent developments in warfare have significantly heightened the dangers for children. During the last decade, it is estimated (and these figures, while specific, are necessarily orders of magnitude) that child victims have included:

  • 2 million killed;
  • 4-5 million disabled;
  • 12 million left homeless;
  • more than 1 million orphaned or separated from their parents;
  • some 10 million psychologically traumatized.
  • There are an estimated 120,000 child soldiers in Africa.
It's really a shame that movie makers feel they need to splatter in scenes of brutal violence (although the occurrences here were minimal) to make a point. I think, the film can be just as effective using elements of cinematic tension. I wonder how many people (beyond SRS) miss these feelings because the subject matter is too disturbing (or worse too Hollywood). I feel it's important to feel this and for me, it's a way to feel connected to the world. Although, taking action on what I see, feel or read still seems difficult ?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Why space missions are still out-of-this-world

Murray provided this link from a secret source at NASA. Simply beautiful photos.

More on Keith: The Sun Tan Guy

I saw Keith (previously referenced in Is it just me) this morning. I had to stop and say hello and comment on what Suzanne and I had witnessed in the neighbourhood recently.

Suzanne saw Keith picking up garbage out of one of the large concrete tree planters up near If you know Keith or heard talk about him before, you'll know he's this guy that's always chatting with people in the neighbourhood and when he's not chatting, he's looking for the best sun tan spot on the street. He has a real job and all, but manages to have lots of time for his extracurricular
activities. Sporting Life the other day. Then I see Keith sweeping the sidewalk outside Pizza Pizza a couple of days ago. So I ask Keith this morning - what's up ? He says he's been doing it all over the neightbourhood recently - working up and down Yonge street as well as over on Mt Pleasant, picking up garbage etc. He says you've got to do it yourself it if no one else is going to do it.

I said thanks and bye. Nice guy. Nice story for the day.

In a related doing my part to clean up the street, this morning - I wheeled an incredibly noisy Future Shop metal shopping cart from just outside my house (left there by fun-loving teens I imagine) about 3 blocks to it's parking lot origin. My ears are still ringing and my hands are still vibrating !

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Weird weather and golf at the edges of the earth

Yonge and Dundas Streets, Toronto. A few minutes ago.

Olympic View, Victoria, BC. Last week.

Hurst Family, beach on Strait of Juan de Fuca, Victoria, B.C. Last week.

Rocky Crest, Muskoka, Ontario. Summer '07.

A few pics snapped using my low-res Blackberry Pearl camera. I'm finding I snap quite a lot of everday pics with the convenience of always having a camera with me, but it would be nice to up the quality a little. Franky had a nice new Sony (phone) model that seemed to produce some great shots, plus it was super swank.