Friday, February 24, 2006

GAT adventure ends in a bang!

My buddy Mike and I headed up to the GAT this afternoon for some x-c skiing followed by a hike/geocache. The sun was shining and although it was -19°C with the wind chill, it was only about -10°C in the shelter of the GAT forest.

The trails were very icy in some sections making the downhill stretches "interesting".

Hiking can be quite the task in 4 feet of snow.

We polished off the day by stopping in at one of the Chelsea pubs for a snack and an update on the Olympics. Then we headed for home where my family was waiting for me to take them to "Nanny McPhee".

As I was dozing off in the passenger seat thinking of excuses I could use not to have to see the ugliest nanny in movie history... BLAMO!! I was jarred awake by an SUV who decided to rear-end us in the fast lane on the 417 near the Greenbank exit. I only had enough time to yell, "F#@K-ing hell" before we were shoved into the rear-end of the SUV in front of us. BANG! Things weren't looking too good for Mike's (relatively) new Nissan Altima as my view was blocked by his now scrunched up hood. Damn.

The good part is nobody was hurt. The bad part obviously is the state of Mike's car and the headache he'll have to go through with the insurance company. Maybe now he can buy that new Subaru he was (coincidentally) talking about at the end of our ski trip.

As a sidenote, one of the main reasons Mike and I didn't walk away with black eyes and a bloody nose is because the airbags didn't deploy. It turns out that although Mike's engine was pushed back about a foot, his car actually went under the SUV and as a result his bumper never actually hit anything and hence no airbags. Strange set up. Once again it's not safe for the little guy what with all the SUVs and vans on the road.

And yeah, Nanny McPhee was cancelled for the evening but unfortunately it's only been postponed until Saturday night.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cindy Klassen

Just in case you live in a box (notably a box with a computer and internet connection), Cindy Klassen picked up a gold medal in the women's 1500m speed skating today.  This makes it her 4th time to the podium in the 2006 Olympics adding Klassen to the history books as she became the first Canadian to win four medals at a single Winter Games.

Although she is not favoured to hit the podium this Saturday in the women's 5000m, if she does she will become Canada's most-decorated Olympian with six career medals.

Needless to say, I hope to hear you all cheering "Go Klass go" on Saturday.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Winterlude 2006

This weekend we decided to invite family and ... well, just family... down for Winterlude's closing weekend. As luck would have it, Thursday/Friday's freezing rain storm covered everything in a thick coat of ice just hours before the temperature plummeted to -34 degree Celius (with the windchill). Ouch! Although it did limit our time outdoors it did not stop us from bundling up and enjoying the final days of Winterlude 2006.

Saturday we skated on the canal...

...and then huddled between the change room building and the canal wall while we quickly ate a round of beavertail. (holy wick it was cold)

Then we headed over to the Quebec side for some brokeback luge races...

...and half-melted snow sculptures. This one scooped first prize.

Strange french-speaking characters...

And Quebec really does have a nice view of Parliment's backside.

All and all it was a blast. Until next year...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cane Toads

Who out there remembers the 1987 documentary, "Cane Toads: An Unnatural History"? Well I do. I remember catching the last 20 minutes and thinking it was informative, weird, and hilarious all at the same time.

I can still remember the scene with a guy in a VW camper jerking the wheel left and right to run over the slow moving toads. While the "pop" sounded leaving behind another splattered toad, the driver continued to express his distaste for these creatures and the camera kept rolling with an eerie music playing in the background.

As you might imagine, the film has since picked up a cult following of sorts and I recently downloaded off the net (but have yet to check it out).

"Cane toads were brought to Australia in 1935 in a failed attempt to control sugar cane beetles.

First released in Queensland, they have since multiplied and marched across Australia, poisoning millions of native animals, including crocodiles in world heritage listed Kakadu."

Well guess what? Cane toads are back in the news. Australia is now looking to mash these monsters into a yummy soup to be used as fertilizer. Apparently one of the contraversies over this new idea is the method by which they will collect and kill the toad prior to grinding it up.

He (RSPCA's acting chief executive Lindsay Wilkinson) said hitting toads several times could be considered causing pain and suffering - and would be a contravention of the Animal Welfare Act.

"It is irresponsible and cruel to bash cane toads with implements like golf sticks or cricket bats," Mr Wilkinson said.

"Bashing rarely kills cane toads outright and can leave the creature to suffer a lingering death."

Hmmm, so what are the consequences should you be unlucky enough to get caught holding your favourite putter covered in toad brains?

TERRITORIANS face fines of up to $12,000 for killing cane toads with golf clubs and cricket bats

The ideal solution according the experts is to have a veterinarian euthanase them. However realising that this may not be very economical they have offered an alternative solutions. Hemorrhoid cream.

He said Territorians should don gloves and apply a strip of benzocaine ointment - better known as haemorrhoid cream - for about 25mm along the back of the toad.

"This quickly anaesthetises the toad and then it can be killed humanely by freezing while unconscious," he said.


"Put another toad on the barbie, mate."

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Dutch fans

Honestly, how can you not love the Dutch fans? They bring their own bands to sporting events, they sing songs in support, they smile and have a blast in the stands. No hooligans on "E" running around stabbing people and flipping cars, just plain everyday people enjoying their sport and encouraging others to do the same.

Here are some photos I found depicting the typical Dutch fan in their favourite oranje outfit.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Torino 2006

I love the winter Olympics. Aside from hockey, I enjoy watching the skiing, the ski jumping, and all the various toboggan events - luge, skeleton, bobsleigh. And now that I've got my first bonspiel under my belt I even enjoy watching the curling.

And having been born in the Netherlands, I especially love seeing the Dutch compete in the speed skating events. Day 4 and so far they have been to the podium 3 times. In Nagano they scooped an amazing 11 medals in the speed skating events, cleaning house with all 3 medals in the men's 10,000 metres and gold and silver in the men's 5,000 metres. Hup Holland hup!

Women's 3,000m:

#1 Ireen Wust
Netherlands Netherlands

Today I managed to catch the 500m women's race. Although no Dutch skaters nabbed a metal here, I did get to watch one "Manli Wang" (say that out loud... kinda reminds me of the famous "Long Duk Dong" of the movie Sixteen Candles) from China skate to a silver.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Haircut

This will have to go down in history as my worst haircut ever.  But to be honest it was my own fault for going cheap.

I had been to Magicuts only once before and although the hair dresser dude did spook me a little when he mentioned that his other job was at Kanata Auto Parts, he still managed to pull off a reasonable cut.  Today however I should have darted for the door.  Here's a snippett of the conversation that should have tipped me off.

"Where do you normally get your hair cut?"

"Ah, here and there but my last cut was by a guy here at Magicuts."

"Oh that must be Alvin.  Actually he was just starting to teach me about cutting men's hair before he quit on the spot last week."

"Oh really.  Where did he go?"

"I think he found himself a mechanic's job or something."

Great.  I was screwed.  By this time I was already half way through the cut and she had me trapped in the chair.

Here's another tidbit of information that she decided to share with me and the 90 year old lady that was getting her hair permed next to me.  I found it somewhat entertaining but unfortunately I think it distracted her somewhat from concentrating on my haircut.

"Tomorrow's my father's birthday.  He's been spoiled a lot lately, what with Christmas and all.  So yesterday I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, Whadda ya want dad, a card or a pack of smokes?  He said, shit that's easy, a pack of smokes."

I wish she had given me the same option, haircut or a pack of smokes?  At least then I could have sold the smokes on eBay and bought a real haircut. Oh well.

No photo will follow.