Friday, September 30, 2005

September 30th

Today is going to be news day .. Links to articles that impress/shock/scare or thrill me.

Toronto City Hall is becoming a den of corruption or so the Globe&Mail and the Toronto Star are trying to tell us. Hold on a minute here, can anyone truly say that they don't think this has happened before and will continue to happen. What is sad, is that they got caught doing it.
Are our elected politicians this stupid, or is there something else hidden in the bill that they didn't want to let pass. (is the bill I linked to the same one? update .. thanks to Darcey .. Bill c-313 is the right bill ) And how stupid are British politicians. In a country that invented tabloid journalism, they would do something like this. These are the people we are allowing to run our countries. God help us.

More shootings in the GTA .. This was only a couple of blocks from my office, I wondered why Steeles was so slow yesterday morning.

Wife had a good comment about this story, "what about the responsibility of the people who are still smoking/starting to smoke. Why shouldn't they be paying for this also. Why should non smokers bare the brunt of the cost to our health care system. Big tobacco shares the blame, but where is it written that when you become a addict that you wave your right to carry any responsibility for your actions." She never smoked, I did. It took me over 10 years to quit completely, when I started smoking I was 12, I didn't know it was addictive, I just thought it was cool. God did I learn .. If you've started smoking in the last 25 years its your own fault, you have no excuse.

Such a wonderful and wondrous world we live in. We have to stop screwing it up.

A thrill of a life time. Oh to be 19 again.

This is a great read if your a Blues fan .. B.B. King interview. New CD "80"

Wife and I are going to watch two shows this fall .. The Amazing Race and Lost.

The "Media" is a interesting and powerful tool. It tries to do two things .. Make money (nothing wrong with this, Tanstaafl). This is the primary focus, to get you to read/watch/listen to their publication/news cast/entertainment so they can sell more advertisements. Then get you to listen to their take on the news/information, they have an agenda that is past down by the owners (who or what are these shadowy creatures .. Paranoia time). Media wants to change the way you look/think about the world and bend your outlook to their bias.
We all know this we don't need to have it spoon feed to us, but we (bloggers) are doing this ourselves now. We have right wing blogs, left wing blogs, non partiasan blogs, entertainment blogs and just plain good open journals for the voyeurs that we are. Are we just copying/competing with the largest Media organizations to get our viewpoint out, but if your already preaching to the faithful, why are we doing this?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

September 29th

Just to make you happy over at "a day in the life of a terrible mother",

23rd post, the fifth sentence
"It really felt good to take some stress out by kicking things."

I truly am not violent, I'm really not. My son really did break his leg on his own... Believe me I'm telling the truth.

Here's the rules for any five people that I now have to tag.
Delve into your blog archive.
Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
Tag five people to do the same.

The first five who choose to do this please go ahead.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

September 28th

Today's topic is kind of interesting. Sexism, Women, families and kids house league hockey. (this all happened last Saturday)

Middle is a goalie. She can be really good and she can have really bad games, just like every other kid. We registered her in the spring with our club as always .. When you're registering 3 kids you want the discount for registering early, she has advanced to house league PeeWee (11, 12 year olds) (mostly boys but who cares, girls can compete with boys, right!) . I told wife that it looked like there would be too many goalies in PeeWee in the fall and that we would probably have fun getting a spot for her. (two of the PeeWee goalies from 04/05 would stay PeeWee and all four of the Atom goalies from O4/05 were moving up to PeeWee) Well didn't my prediction come true? (it was even worse than I thought, Midget had 6 goalies, Bantam had 2, PeeWee had 6 and Atom supposedly had 6.) We received a call from the PeeWee coach, Middle will need to share a team this year because there are six goalies in PeeWee. On top of that we would have to work out with the other parent how we would have the kids divide the ice time. WTF! was wife and my reaction. In my opinion, even in house league hockey it’s the coach's decision, not the parents and second why wasn't this worked out before.

Anyway we got there for Saturday morning. Wife got middle dressed, (girls are supposed to have their own locker, When we got one I asked where she could get changed, one of the male executive replied that they don't have to supply a locker unless she was 13, screw that, she is no longer a little girl. I got Middle a room where she could at least get changed some what privately), and her coach intro'd me to the other goalie on the teams mother (does that make sense?)(note .. Hockey Mom). He walked away saying we would have to look after it. I was for the kids splitting a game. Either Middle or the other guy would start, and then switch half way through. She wanted her son to play a whole game. She had just gone and bought him new equipment, it cost her so much and she wanted him to play (inside my head, I'm going wtf, so did and do we! .. she made me feel that it was my daughters fault that we had two goalies on the team) So as not to make waves, I agreed to her way.

Then someone in club executive came up to me and asked if middle wouldn't want to move back to Atom (9, 10 year old kids) and play out (not in goal) because a lot of girls who should have moved up to PeeWee didn't and middle would probably be more comfortable with this. (by the way this was a woman saying this). My reaction, no, because Middle is and wants to be a goalie, but, I said I would talk to Middle and Wife. In our club there is hitting in PeeWee, but Middle is in the net anyway so she isn't going to be hit. So why the problem.

Wife came out of locker, Middle was sick and the other goalie would have to start. I told the coach, his response was, Its nerves .. I said no, she's sick, he walked away saying its nerves. WTF! Am I paranoid/protective or am I starting to see a trend here?

The next day we go to practice, they have a coach/father working with the goalies, seems to know what he is doing, after a while I had to mention to wife .. "Am I nuts or is that guy only taking a couple of shots on Middle and spending more time with the boy goalies." Wife agreed with me, we watched the practice even closer. We were right; he would take a few soft shots on Middle, and then drill the pucks at the boys. I'm getting more pissed off as it goes along. I'm proud of my daughter, she has no fear, she can take a shot off the face mask/chest protector/whatever and not flinch. We don't have her in girls’ competitive hockey because the cost and time involved. Middle wouldn't be able to do the other things she loves, dance lessons, swimming lessons, guitar lessons and extra Math classes (the thing she hates). We don't have her in girls’ house league because it isn't competitive enough (See below for explanation), and we always thought that our club was excepting of female players .. Boy was I blind.

The sexism from the male coaches and male executive bothered me, but it is unfortunately expected. The fact that the women in the club did not support our daughter in her right to play and in fact tried to have her play down a level and out because "it would make her feel more comfortable", when she wasn't uncomfortable, she wanted to play. The women didn't seem to think a girl could compete with there sons or they didn't even want to let her try to play. They expected her to play out and down. I'll lay you bets that the female executive didn't ask any of the other peewee goalies parents if they wanted to play out and down an age group. Then the Hockey Mom, who didn't want her son to have to share a position with a girl. My wife and I were okay with Middle having to share with the boy, so what is the difference for this woman.

It seems to have worked out, PeeWee supervisor called .. He wanted to move one goalie up to Bantam (13,14 year olds - Eldest is Bantam) and he wanted to know if Middle would be interested in moving to Atom as a goalie, as one goalie quit and the other has decided not to join the club. We asked Middle, she took two days to make the decision, is somewhat upset, said that she would like to have played one game as a PeeWee just to see what it was like, but she would go Atom.

Thank good Middle ignored most of this. She just wants to play hockey.

No insult intended to Canadian Girls House League Hockey .. We called the local organization, they explained to us that because of Middles age group she would be playing with 6-12 year olds in a junior division on a buzzer system. A (better players)line and B (learning players) lines. This means that there would be the rare shot that she couldn't stop, not very much fun for her or the kids trying to shot on her. Middle herself said that she didn't want to play for the girls league until she goes into the senior grouping.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

September 22nd

You Are A: Bear Cub!

bear cubBears are strong and independent creatures who roam in the forest in search of food. Bears are usually gentle, but anger one and be prepared for their full fury! You're big, you won't back down from a fight, you have a bit of a temper -- classic attributes of a bear. Intelligent and resourceful, though lazy at times, you are a fascinating creature of the wild.

You were almost a: Frog or a Monkey
You are least like a: Duckling or a LambWhat Cute Animal Are You?

Well J.D. Fortune is the new lead singer of INXS. He won the job on Wednesday night. I had planed a whole Wednesday post to preview the final show, I had grabbed links from Jam:Canoe, Channel News Asia, the Herald News in Australia, Metromix from the Chicago Tribune and even Reality TV Magazine. Each article runs down the final three, J.D., MiG and Marty. It was going to be a great post. Well things came up and I never got to post any of this. So Wednesday night I watched RockStar:INXS, and as we know J.D. won. I did a bunch of searches to get Canadian reaction to the win, Calgary Sun, Halifax Herald and Chart Attack reported on it. It's a Monkey, Passionate About Sports, Everything Skylar, A day in the life of a terrible mother and Goddess Girl all had something really interesting to say to say about the win. Once again, I could not get the time to post on the win by J.D., because I've spent the last two days at the hospital.

Tuesday at 11:00 am I get a call at work from Eldests school, "Mr. 42yearoldloser, could you come down to the school and pick up your son, we don't want to call a ambulance, but we think your son has broken his ankle". As soon as I could clean up what I was doing, I was out the door and jetting down the 400. Got to the school, there was Eldest in the office with a grin from ear to ear. He was in gym class, they were running around the track and his ankle had slipped off the raised side. Got his things together and headed to the hospital. Two hour wait for Triage, then another two hour wait to be treated. Yes I know that in Canada we have a socialist medical system, everyone has a right to medical help and no one can jump the line (at least they aren't supposed to). In that two hour wait for triage, I had to politely stop people from butting in front of my son. Even though it was clearly marked to wait in certain seats and that you would be helped in order, people expected to walk in and be helped right away. Hell even people brought in by EMS have to wait. To give you an example, a older women, with a bleeding head wound, is brought in by her son, he goes right into the traige room and kind of pushed to the front of the line. The triage nurse was nice, checked the woman quickly and asked her to got to the back of the line. If the nurse put the woman at the front of the line fine, if you in bad trouble you'll go first, but if not wait like everyone else.

So anyway, after x-ray's and a wait, the ER doctor says that he can't see anything, but for Eldest to use the crutches and come in the next day for a appointment with the Fracture Clinic. The next morning I told Eldest to stop depending on the crutches and try to walk on it. It hurt to much, ok fine, he has a very low pain thresh hold so I didn't push him even though I believed that if he tired he could do it. We head back to hospital and the fracture clinic, his appointment was for 10:30 am, we got in at 1 pm, and then had to wait another half hour to see the doctor. The doctor said there was nothing visible in the x-ray, but because the pain was so centralized in such a small area, Eldest probably has a cracked growth plate. He smiled at me a goes "I told you so" .. So he now has a air cast on his foot for the next 5 weeks.

Poor guy, he is supposed to go for his green belt in TaeKwonDo next week, his house league hockey starts this weekend and tryouts for select and his school hockey team are next week. He won't be able to do any of it. Kind of proud of him though, I mentioned to him this morning before he left for the subway, that I was going to class tonight, he said that he would come and do all the excersises except for the kicking.

Back to RockStar, its not the end .. The rockstars have a CD out, supposedly the contestants are going on tour, we have the new INXS CD due out on Nov. 29th, a INXS tour to look forward to, Marty was asked to open for them ont the world tour and as Brooke Burke closed the show she mentioned for people to send in their tapes .. What band could be looking for a new lead singer?

Monday, September 19, 2005

September 19th

The Great Canadian Blog Survey. Take it, what do you have to loose.

Guess I'm not going to be a hockey coach this year. The meeting to pick teams is tonight and no one has asked me to attend. Part of me is hurt, brain to me "did you suck that much as a coach that no one wants you back?". Other part is going, "thank god, I don't have to worry about all those asshole hockey dads and moms."

My main worry is did I do more damage to my sons ego by being his coach. He had such a bad year last year, what with bullying, me being his coach?, just life in general that I worry about him. He is fitting into school life, he's already joined the archery club and is looking forward to joining more clubs. So maybe this year will be better.

Friday, September 16, 2005

September 16th

I really do sit right on the fence ... thanks to The Last Amazon for finding this.

Your Political Profile

Overall: 35% Conservative, 65% Liberal

Social Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

September 14th

It's strange but sometimes you're forced to wonder about the world in which you live and your place in it.

The 15 year old kid that I talked about in my post on September 1st turned himself into the police. What made him do it? Was he afraid of being caught? Was he remorseful for what he did? Will we ever find out? Or will we even care in six months as to what drove a 15 year old boy to kill someone? To make matters worse there has been two more shooting deaths in the Jane/Finch corridor. These shootings are a bit farther from home, but to close for comfort. Wife won't let me drive along Driftwood at night, can't say I blame her.

But for the Grace of God go you and I, as my parents always say. Paul Croutch was beaten to death by 3 Canadian Forces Reservists. Why did they beat a defenseless person to death? Was it mob mentality? Were they just drunk assholes? From the news reports Croutch was a sick, mentally ill man who once had a loving family, but his world fell apart. This could have been me/you/anyone. I don't want to disparage the Canadian Reservists they have had a long and proud history of serving this country. Anyone of us could have been on either end of this .. As I said, but for the grace of god go you and I.

I was out getting lunch today and met a person I used to work with at CBC Radio, our oldest kids were born around the same time. She is on permanent disability from work. She has a disease that makes it almost impossible to work, but at the same time she gets to stay at home and see her daughter grow up. The world just is a strange place.

Friday, September 09, 2005

September 9th

Trying something new with the post title, Wikipedia is a incredible tool, but tools can be only as good as the users. Here's hoping that Wikipedia will be around for a while.

My blog title calls me a 42 year old loser, but I'm not really. I have just about everything going my way. Or at least I think it is. I've got a great wife and three wonderful kids. I'm finally making good money after a very long time. We can afford to send our kids the school we want. We can even afford to take a vacation outside of Canada. We can even (almost) dream of retirement. But, why do I feel that this a just a house of cards that is just balancing on the edge of a cliff and its all about to fall right out from underneath me, because of past history.

I dropped out of college in my 3rd/2nd year ( I had to repeat a year because I had mono in 2nd year). I wanted to be a radio announcer, but since I have almost no sense of humour or at least such a dry sense of humour, I realized this was not the career for me. I went to work at a radio station as a audio tech, while taking night school art classes at OCA. I really believed I could make it as a artist, until I realized that OCA night school marked on a bell curve and that a certain percentage of students/people were being set up for failure and no one (teachers, other students or the school) really gave a shit. That kind of took the luster off of being a artist. Also I realized that I can't produce something on command. Anything I can draw/paint/sculpt comes from inside my mind, not from the "real world" and its hard as hell to get it out. How do you make a living off of that when your looking to get married and raise a family. So I stayed on at the radio station, for 3 years. One day at we were told to go to a meeting, I had tapes to edit for the weekend so I didn't go, listening to the noon news cast as I edited tapes I heard the station master say that the station was going off the air. Wife and I had just bought a house, we were thinking of starting a family.. all put on hold. Well that was the first time I was out of work.

I have been working full time (as a adult, sometimes I even act like one) since 1985, in that time I have worked for eight different companies (3 different Industries)(one was my own, I tried to be a freelancer, what a failure)... almost everyone of them has gone under/downsized or done what's called temporary layoff so they don't have to pay benefits, leaving me to find another job and putting my/our life on hold. The longest I have ever been with a company is five years. While everyone my age got on with their careers, wife had to put up with me constantly looking for work. Each and every time she was fantastic, supportive, giving me a reason to get up each day (I wanted to please her).

Now things are mostly ok. Other than:
a) I live in my mother-in-laws house
b) I drive my father-in-laws car (he's dead by way)
c) my skin is turning white (I already am white, but I mean fish belly white, because of vitilago (try going through life being two face)
d) wife almost makes double what I do, not really bad but hard on the ego sometimes.
e) making less money each year because the company I work for is constantly changing the bonus plan, making it harder to meet your quota
f)constantly living on edge, because your not happy doing what your doing, but need to do it so you can have the life style you want. (when I was 14 my Dad told me that a job was not something to be happy with, you just did it because it had to be done)

So this is a rough idea of why I call myself a 42 year old loser, I'm not, but sometimes it sure feels it.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

My City

Ok, These are images that I took of my city, you don't get to see this unless you head out into the Toronto Islands, buy a postcard or do a tour cruise of the harbour. Wife and I were lucky enough to be invited on a evening cruise of the harbour by one of her clients, we had a great time.
Toronto has over 3 million people, from a multiple mix of cultures, trying to live together and hey I think we do pretty good. Its a beautiful place with a lots of parks, entertainment, cultural activities, sporting events and even though non Torontonians call it a cold place it has a lot of heart .. We still are Toronto the good.

But, and it's a big But things are happening lately that are just down right scary. There has been over 30 murders this year by gun violence .. I know the NRA and gun people say ..."Guns don't kill people, people kill people" ... That's crap, I grew up learning to shoot. I just don't feel a need to own one or use one. I've used target guns, shotguns, hunting rifles and even a fully auto FN (that's the Canadian version of the M16). Guns in the hands of people kill people, that's it. It's simple, make it harder to get the guns, harsher punishments for caring guns, harsher punishments for using guns to commit a crime and you won't have people driving around and shooting up the fucking city. I know, the Canadian government screwed up the gun registry, I know you have the right to own a weapon to protect yourself (hell in some of the states south of the border it's still legal to carry a concealed weapon), but it's not right to take another persons life. Our laws, most religions, and morals tell us this. Its also not right to put a city in fear because they are not sure when/where something horrible is going to happen. Look at this google map ..
Jane and Sheppard, a man was killed here a few days ago. I live a mile away. Oldest will be riding the TTC by himself this year to get to school, I'm worried about some asshole taking pot shots at buses. Middle and Youngest go to school very near our house. It's locked down, thank god, no one can enter without buzzing in at the front door, but what happens if there is gun play at the apartments beside the school.
I am scared, and I don't like feeling this way.
The Argos, private companies and community groups are helping to set up what seems to be a good organization called "Stop the Violence", lets hope it works, but will it be enough. I don't know, and I don't have a answer.

Quick note, Ty is gone and RockStar:INXS is suddenly getting very real. I don't like the clips/editing/sound bites of what is happening back at the house. Its two fractured, at least what we see in the half hour on Monday nights. The producers and editors are creating a bad vibe, it probably does exist but I think they are spending to much time on it, putting more emphasis on something that don't really matter, just to make good reality television. Part of me feels that J.D. is being kept around because he does stir up so much shit, even though he would make a good lead singer for INXS. J.D. is a asshole, but so was Ty, so is MiG and Marty. So are Jordis and Suzie, have you seen Jordis roll her eyes or curl her lips. These people are artists .. self centred, creative and demanding...What do you expect them to be.
INXS was right though, Ty, J.D., and Jordis each gave uninspired performances last night. The show has gotten very real and in a few weeks only one of five will remain. That kind of sucks, when you like everyone.