Monday, February 28, 2005

Million Dollar Speech

"And thank you of course to Miss Hepburn. The longevity of her career I think is inspiring to everyone. But most important importantly and on behalf of everyone I know in The Aviator, thank you to Martin Scorsese. I hope my son will marry your daughter. Thank you."
- Cate Blanchett, after accepting her Oscar for best supporting actress.

I liked Million Dollar Baby, but I also liked the Aviator. And I love Martin Scorsese, I think he is brilliant, and I think the academy should stop passing him over in the Oscars. Thats my two cents worth.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Awakening my Senses

I have found my new favourite place. I finally have a hair dresser of my very own again - only took two winters in this place but Edmonton is starting to be like home.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Last moments as life draws to a close

John and Jackie Knill were on vacation together in Thailand when the Tsunami struck. Sadly they were both killed by the tsunami wave.

We will never know what was going through their minds in those last few seconds of life, but they chose to take pictures of the approaching wave and leave us something of the end to their story.

As humans we often muse about our own ending, about how it might unfold, what we might think at that moment, how we will face it, or perhaps, if it will mean anything... John and Jackie Knill have left a unique illustration of their final moments and circumstances for us to see.

Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello

It's a moment that will come to us all, in one way or another. In the end there is a certain peace to that reality.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

"Cup belongs to Canada"

Governor General Adrienne Clarkson is my new Hero. She says the "Cup belongs to Canada" and that she's already petitioned Paul Martin and his cabinet about the possibility of a challenge cup outside the auspices of the NHL, saying that she feels it's her duty to fulfill the wishes of her predecessor Lord Stanley of Preston (to have the cup awarded in a challenge annually).

Clarkson further suggests the Cup be contested in a challenge between the world's best women's hockey teams – the Canadian and U.S. national squads. I guess who issues the challenge matters a little less to me, I just want to see the Stanley Cup played for and hoisted this year.

Markus Naslund is a Jerk.

And that's Jerk with a capital "J".

The apparent master of all cheap shots, Canuck Captain Markus Naslund (aka elitist bully) took the Bertuzzi/Moore escapades to a personal and dirty level yesterday when he decided to attack Ex-Avalanche Steve Moore's character (and credentials) over his recently filed lawsuit, stopping just short of calling him a crybaby.

"He's suing everyone so he can make money. I've got no respect for him at all, this is just a guy who's trying to hit a home run (financially). Someone who wasn't good enough to play. I'm not saying what (Bertuzzi did) was right. But if it was me, I'd be doing everything I could to get back and play and show everyone the character I have."
- Markus Naslund

Hold on a minute here - if it wasn't for Naslund cowering behind his own team members, rabidly enciting an out of control mob like revenge attack (for a hit the NHL deemed legal) then Bertuzzi never would have delivered the hit that ended Moores career "a la broken neck."

Never mind that Moore might be lucky to ever skate again, let alone play hockey, that Bertuzzi plead guilty to intentional assualt on Moore in a criminal court, or that Naslund himself is well and playing hockey in a swedish league.

Sadly, there does seem to be some compelling evidence that several people conspired to the eventual attack that stole Moore's livelihood (and perhaps the only life he ever wanted) away from him.

Bertuzzi, Canucks forward Brad May, former Canucks general manager Brian Burke, Canucks coach Marc Crawford, the Canucks and the Orca Bay partnership that owns the NHL team are all named as defendants in the lawsuit.

How is it though, one wonders, that the Captain who started it all managed to escape from the defendants list? And how is it fair that he remains to snipe cowardly from his percieved moral high ground while the team mates, that he tasked with defending his honour, suffer alone?

Saturday, February 19, 2005

It's the game at the heart of what it means to be Canadian

World's Longest Hockey Game  Posted by Hello

On an NHL sized homemade ice rink in the town of Strathcona, just east of Edmonton, Alberta, a game is being played. It's a game that was meant to be played with heart, with joy, and with a passion that exceeds all other games.

It's called hockey. And 40 guys have been playing in shifts non stop since Feb 11th, regardless of the weather, temperature or aching body parts.

They play for many reasons... they played to shatter the Guinness Book of Records for the longest ever match by playing 203 consecutive hours of hockey. Having reached that goal at 11:13 PM, they continue to play to raise money for cancer research. For inspiration the players have encased photos of loved ones lost to cancer underneath their ice.

But something else stirs them, deep down. They're playing hockey, pure and simple. The way the game was meant to be played.

"[It's] Canadiana at its finest" said Dr. Brent Saik, organizer and player.

When the final buzzer sounds at noon on Monday (Family Day here in Alberta) the players will have skated 240 hours and raised more than 80,000.00 for pediatric cancer patients and research.

The NHL and the NHLPA could learn a little about real hockey from these guys.

Long Weekend Poker Fun

"The most common mistake in history is underestimating your opponent; it happens at the poker table all the time."
~David Shoup

full house  Posted by Hello

If my camera was working I would post a picture of us playing with these cool new see/through invisible cards I found today. But it doesn't, so instead I will tell you a story from our first hand.

Raven is easily distracted at times can will sometimes take her time laying down her cards. This is somewhat understandable seeing that she is just learning to play and she likes to be careful as well. Duncan is waiting with undetectable impatience for her to show her cards and I sense that he is pretty sure he has the winning hand. He encourages her to show us by saying "what do you have in your hand Raven?

She looks at them again with moderate indifference (gently fuelling Duncan's optimism) and as she lays them down she says

"I only have three of a kind and a pair..."

Amidst my laughter Duncan throws in his cards, muttering something indistinguishable. I have to laugh, I can't help myself.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Today is...

My Blogiversary! Summer's Daydreams is two years old!

I guess I should change my template soon...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Sending the NHL to the box: The Day After...

Empty...  Posted by Hello

The NHL season may be dead but it really didn't just happen yesterday or even 155 days ago. It died slowly, somewhere among overexpansion and teams folding, economic bickering and jacked up prices, lower scoring, slower gameplay, rule changes and too much neutral zone traffic, too many defense oriented coaches and of course, fading fan interest in a deteriorating industry.

It might be too harsh to say the NHL sucks, but it certainly isn't working anymore (literally). They anticipate that the NHL is so screwed up that it might not even play next season either. How much are we to be deprived of before we demand something better? The NHL needs major changes and restructuring in order to heal itself as a league. It needs a new Commissioner (lets get Wayne Gretzky and send "Take-it-or-leave-it-Bettman" packing) and it needs to recapture the hearts and minds (and faith) of countless fans. But what if it doesn't?

We really need to make hockey well and good again.

Until then, let us not waste this opportunity. Let us not disrespect the Stanley Cup by letting it collect dust this year, forgotten somewhere like a distant dream or a lost hope. Let us not have 2005 remembered as the year that the Stanley Cup was left behind. Let us see hockey, and a challenge and the cup awarded!

There is something we can do about it. Write letters to the Trustees of the Stanley Cup (Ian "Scotty" Morrison and Brian O'Neill) and demand they allow a challenge for the Cup. You can email the Trustees or send them a letter to:

Stanley Cup Trustees
Hockey Hall of Fame
BCE Place
30 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5E 1X8

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

It's Driving me CRAZY!

What the HELL is wrong with Hotmail? I can't send anything, it has page errors so, it has run errors, it loses messages and it isn't sending them, it keeps making me prove I am not a webot by forcing me to type silly annoying text in a confirmation box. I mean, I know it is free, but what the hell is going on with it? Time to move up my plan for my own webmail account...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Happy 40th National Flag Day

We love our flag!  Posted by Hello

Did you know?

That the flag at the top of the Peace Tower is 457.2 cm long and 228.6 cm wide?

That Canadian flags are always twice as long as they are wide?

That the maple leaf represents the contributions of Canada's Aboriginal Peoples to our current traditions?

That the specific design of the maple leaf was developed so that, as the flag waved in the wind, it would look like a real leaf?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Our Valentines Play, Act Five

Happy Valentines Day!  Posted by Hello

This has been a "Valentines Day Weekend" for us, our kids are away and we both took Monday off to be together. With 5 V-Days under our belts now we have artfully concocted a Valentines Day tradition that keeps the occasion from being too tedious, too commercially inflated and too one sided; we take turns each year making the holiday about each other. This year it was my turn to make it all about Duncan and I couldn't wait to give him his gift so I gave it to him this morning. I so love giving Duncan gifts (it is my weakness) and it is hard to contain myself at times!

I hope everyone is having as wonderful and romantic a Valentine's Day as we are!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

His last words were "I love you"

Darrin Morley Browatzke, age 30, was killed in northern Alberta when the SUV he was travelling in crashed head on into a semi trailer truck.

"I'm coming home Mommy. I love you."

Those were the last words he said to his Mom (Ivy Browatzke) before he left.

I can't count how many times I have wished I could have brought myself to say "I love you" to my brother instead of arguing with him the last time we spoke. It's not that I didn't mean it, I just wasn't thinking that would be the last time I ever talked to him.

Since then I have wrestled with myself to only leave my loved ones and friends with happy words and feelings, because you never know what is going to happen. And Darrin's story tends not to be the most common one, mine does.

One Big Party for Alberta!

Minister Gary Mar, who is charged with planning our centennial celebrations, proposes making September 1 2005 (Alberta's 100th birthday) a one time statutory holiday.

That means a five day long weekend for Alberta. Bring it on!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Tempting Fate! Limited Availabilty! Book Now!

Perhaps it is just that my imagination is biased by years of disaster films but reading an advertisment for an Alaskan Cruise today brought me pause at the grandiose description of the ship:

"... among her spectacular features are the 10 storey glass Centrum, glass elevators facing the sea, and the highest percentage of outside cabins in the Royal Caribbean fleet."


Hello, I'm a big ass wave Posted by Hello

Maybe it's just me (and my overdeveloped sense of humour) but I want more than mere glass between me and the forces of nature, especially when it comes to copious amounts of fluid that I can't breathe in...

Maybe it's just that familiar human arrogance (you know the kind, it prompted Bruce Ismay to declare of the Titanic that "even god himself could not sink this ship")...

Maybe it is the all too recent memories of Tsunami devastation...

Or (more likely) it is the maniacal laughter of an overactive imagination situated in the far reaches of my mind that I can't seem to quiet when picturing this ship as described...

What ever it is, it just seems intrinsically wrong to me. Ten storey's of glass, glass elevators facing the sea, and the most outside cabins of any other fleet. Whose idea was that?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Happy 100th Birthday to Alberta's Students

"My message tonight to Alberta's universities, colleges and technical institutions is this: If you must increase tuitions, don't send the bill to your students. Send it to us."
- Premier Ralph Klein

I love that sound bite. It's perfect. And it makes me feel good inside.

Much celebrating was done tonight, after the media was appreased and Duncan stopped working. Beginning with beer at the Sugarbowl and ending with Earl sized Bellini's filling my bloodstream with cozy happiness.


With the NHL Season now officially gone (RIP) it is time to start the process to get a challenge for The Cup underway.

It is Free Stanley's Firm belief that the Trustees of the cup are duty-bound to award the cup each year to the best team in the Dominion of Canada. We think that that could be you. To be counted in, you simply have to contact the Stanley Cup trustees and issue a challenge for the Cup.

Download a draft challenge letter.

Never doubt the extent of my vocabulary

Me (observing our bus driver aggressively "merging" into traffic): I'm not sure the correct term for this is "merging." It's more like we are "melding."

Duncan: Melding? That's not a word. You're making words up again.

Me: Melding is a word. You know (hand motions for emphasis indicating two things coming together), "melding."

Duncan: (mocking me) I'll bet you 10.00 that it's not a word.

Me: (perplexed) O.K.

Duncan: (more mocking)Is ok for our results?

Monday, February 07, 2005

Only a month to go

until my birthday...

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Happy Groundhog Day Alberta!

I specify Alberta because dualling groundhogs across North America seem to be at odds with their contradictory predictions of when spring will make it here.

Balzac Billy makes it a Happy Groundhog Day for the people of Alberta by being so kind as to NOT see his shadow, and therefore predicting an early spring.

Thank-you Balzac Billy.

For the interested, the begginings of today's traditional Groundhog Day apparently began in 1887 in Punxsutawney, Pa, where early settler's believed that if the sun shone on February 2 then winter (and their misery) would continue another 6 weeks. This belief is based on the mythology surrounding the Catholic feast of Candlemas (Purification of the Blessed Virgin, Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple).

"If Candlemas day be sunny and bright,
Winter again will show its might.
If Candlemas day be cloudy and grey,
Winter soon will pass away."

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Month of Love

Is it February Already? Where on earth did January go? I guess time flies when you are having fun!