Friday, April 30, 2010

Favourite Things Friday

For Favourite Things Friday this week I've decided to post 3 of my favourite articles of clothing.

This hoodie is amazing.  I wear it in the winter, I wear it in the summer.  (It's more like a jacket I suppose)  It blocks the wind, it keeps me dry, and it's indestructible.  I bought it almost 10 years ago, and spent about $100. (My mom thought I was crazy)  

But in those 10 years it's travelled through Europe, gone on numerous camping expeditions, and survived many a beatings.  

I remember longboarding home one night last summer and normally I walk down the big hill heading into downtown Barrie, but this time I decided to ride it out.  Bad idea.  I caught a bit of a speed wobble and down I went.  I managed to throw my shoulder into the pavement, saving my beautiful face, but I was worried about my beloved hoodie.  Surely this thing was shredded after my belly flop and subsequent slide.  I picked myself up off the ground and unzipped my hoodie.  Nothing.  Seriously, no breakage in the fibres, never mind a rip.  It's bombproof.

Last summer Crystal made me go through my collection of boardshorts and count how many I had.

13 pairs.

We weeded through them and managed to dispose of 5 pairs, leaving me with the nine you see here.

Each pair has a specific purpose.  I have 5 pairs I'll wear to the beach.  1 pair for pool swimming. 1 pair for hot tubbing.  1 pair that goes in my glovebox, "just in case".  And 1 pair for everyday "normal shorts wear".  Some of them are "fat shorts," for when I feel chubby.  Some of them are "skinny shorts," for those times the other other shorts might be too big.

I know I'm starting to sound like a girl, so I'll stop there.

LEVI'S 501'S
These jeans are a recent addition to my fashion arsenal.  I believe they are my first pair of Levi's as well.  You see in the past I'd always bought whatever jeans were cheap.  Old Navy had a jean sale?  I bought there.  PacSun usually has a 2 for $40 sale when I go to the U.S.  But after wearing through the thinner denim (with wipeouts like the one above) I decided this time I wanted "real" jeans.  Jeans that would last.

So I made my way down to the Levi's outlet in Cookstown and tried on a couple of pairs.  I had the 501, 507, 514 and 527 fits in the room with me.  It took a while (I actually bought the 527's and then went back 10 minutes later) but I eventually settled on the classic 501's.

This is my first pair of jeans with a button-fly which was annoying at first, but now I look down on my other pair of jeans with its zipper.  Those things are dangerous, are you trying to hurt me?  Button-fly is where it's at.

So there are 3 of my favourite articles of clothing.  What are yours?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Does He Read The Wonderblog?

Think Brooks Laich reads the Wonderblog?

Last night I posted some thoughts from Matt 25.  About being the hands and feet of Jesus.

Last night the Washington Capitals lost game 7 to the Montreal Canadiens.  (Experts are calling it the biggest upset in NHL history.) 

I just read THIS STORY about Brooks Laich (a Capitals player) stopping at the side of a busy highway to help fix a lady's flat tire.

He had every reason to keep going.  His team blew the series, his season is over, he was probably in a bad mood.  Yet he stopped to help this woman out.  Pretty amazing.

Just one final question: Would he have stopped is she was wearing a Habs jersey?

Here's the story (courtesy of Puck Daddy at Yahoo Sports)
Two weeks ago, Mary Ann Wangemann ordered a Washington Capitals jersey for her hockey-crazed 14-year-old daughter Lorraine: Forward Brooks Laich, No. 21, whose blue-collar approach to the game has made him a fan favorite.

The same Brooks Laich who was emotionally devastated on Wednesday night, after the Capitals were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in a Game 7 loss at home to the Montreal Canadiens. Washington was the NHL's best regular-season team, and failed to advance after blowing a 3-1 series lead. It's been called the worst series defeat in franchise history.

Laich, so often the team's unofficial locker room spokesman, didn't speak to reporters after the game.
The same Brooks Laich who, on the night his season ended prematurely, stopped when he saw Wangemann and her daughter stranded alone on Washington D.C.'s Roosevelt Bridge and then fixed a flat tire on their 2008 Acura while cars sped past him.

"You know how some athletes can strike you as real jerks? I think [the Capitals] are genuinely good people. He could have driven by like everyone else did, and he didn't," said Wangemann, who was headed home to Ashburn, Va. after watching the Capitals fall in Game 7.

"I was so touched by what he did. I was praying. I was that worried [about our safety]. The fact that he came up out of nowhere ... he was like an angel that night."

As first reported by Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post, Wangemann and her daughter were driving back from the game when their car hit a pot hole and the tire went flat:

So Mary Ann pulled over to the side of the bridge, and called Triple A. They said they had a heavy volume of calls, and that they weren't sure how long it would take to send help. Mary Ann and Lorraine, still wearing their Caps gear, got out of the car and watched the traffic whiz by.

"We were getting a little spooked," she told me. "You feel pretty vulnerable right there."

Finally, an SUV slowed down ahead of them and pulled over. And then Brooks Laich got out and asked if he could help.

Wangemann was eager to share her story about Laich after Game 7's undeniable depression.

"I felt like there was such negative news about the Caps that I just wanted people to know what the real players were like. It was such a nice thing for him to do," she said. "Here's a player that wasn't having the best of days. He could have driven by like everyone else did, and he didn't."

Laich emerged from his car wearing an expensive-looking suit and walked over to the mother and daughter, both having donned Capitals sweatshirts on a chilly evening. Lorraine had become a Caps fan two-and-a-half years ago; her mother began following the team last year, the first time she had ever taken an interest in sports fandom.

They both recognized Laich. "The first words out of his mouth were, 'I'm sorry we lost.' And he stayed with us for an hour," said Wangemann.

Wangemann simply wanted him to stay with them until help arrived, but Laich asked if they had a spare tire. He got down on the ground and began working on the car.

The bridge carries I-66 and U.S. Highway 50 over the Potomac River to D.C. Wangemann said changing the flat there was "putting his life at risk."

He kept calling the ground "the ice," she said; as in, "We have to get this tire off the ice." Her car also had a special widget on the tire that made removing it difficult. She said Laich exclaimed at one point, "'Wow, it really protects your tire here but it's a pain in the neck to get off.'" At another point, the car fell off the jack, and Laich placed it back on.

After about 40 minutes, the tire was changed and Laich offered some parting advice to take it slow and stop to call AAA if anything rattled.

Wangemann's last words to Laich: "Can I hug you?"

The NHL player hugged Wangemann, and then hugged her daughter, who immediately updated her Facebook status with "he hugged me."

They expect they'll see Laich again at one of the many fan functions the Capitals hold during the season and into the offseason. Wangemann is considering asking for a specific autograph.

"Next time I'll bring the tire. He'll know who we are."


I personally have not tried ChatRoulette, but have heard a lot about it. (Some good, some bad)

The good usually involves people thinking of creative ways to entertain whomever is on the other end.  Some people write songs about the people on the other side.

Some people draw.

Ben Folds has used it in a concert.

Pretty sweet stuff.  Amazing the creativity that is out there.  Still unsure if I want to dive into the world of ChatRoulette. 

Although I hear it has gotten a lot better lately... more worthwhile content, and less..."junk"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Food For Thought

I was reading through Matt 25:34-46 today and I got to thinking... Am I doing any of that?

Seriously... When was the last time you took that homeless guy to lunch?  When was the last time you gave that single Mom a gift card so she could take her kids shopping for new clothes?  When was the last time you took some homemade food to the terminally ill in the hospital?

Don't try to blame your church... You are the church.

Just a little something I was challenged with today. 

I mean, I'm free until 3pm during the week.  What can I do to make my life count for something?

Maybe this week you could look for 1 way (you can do more if you want) to offer food to the hungry, clothe the naked or visit the sick.

Who knows, maybe if you take the focus off yourself and focus on others your problems will fade away?

See The World, Without Leaving Home

Yesterday I posted a link to a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel. 

Today I was sent this video (thanks Aaron)... You know, cause I won't be travelling for the next little while.

How cool is that!?!?

How long until we never have to leave home to see the world? 

I think I'd still like to physically travel.  Experience the culture, smell the air, touch the ground and feel the crowds.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

OK, So This Is Cool

THIS is pretty sweet.  Since I'm not going to be travelling in the next little while, this will have to do.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

As Seen On TV

I'm not sure if you've seen the latest "infomercial" commercial for Subaru, but I think they've got some genius writing these commercials. (The first in the series started off with the Snuggie commercial) The latest features the "Lap N Snack" before we're told we need to get out more. I love it.

What makes infomercials so amusing are the idiots that struggle to do everyday things like eat chips out of a bowl, take their arm out from underneath a blanket to answer the phone, or pour a drink. If someone actually struggled with these tasks in real life, they would be sent to an institution. So in honour of our soon to be institutionalized friends, I thought I'd share this beauty vid.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


As you have no doubt heard, the recent volcanic activity in Iceland is causing travel headaches for people across the globe.  Seeing as how I'm not trying to fly anywhere, I think it's actually kind of cool.

I was first exposed to the volcano when Scott and Justin from Departures travelled Iceland and hiked the volcano.  Their guide said it should blow its top some time in the next 5 years (this was in 2007).

I'm not sure if you've seen the pictures posted over at, but they are breath-taking. 

Iceland has now moved to #1 on my "must travel to" list.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

10 Things Jesus Did NOT Say

I read a blog today that I thought was quite good, so I thought I'd share it with you.  (Originally posted on

Jesus made it pretty clear in John 13:34-35 as to how the world would know we are His disciples…notice He did NOT say, “They will know you are my disciples…

#1 – By the way you forward really stupid, ridiculous emails to one another…and if you refuse to forward them to everyone you have in your contact list then you don’t love me.

#2 – By the way you yell at people who don’t know me for living as if they don’t know me.

#3 – By your T-shirts and bumper stickers!

#4 – By the music you listen to!

#5 – By the political party you support.

#6 – By the denomination you belong to.

#7 – By the way you protest.

#8 – By the products and companies you boycott.

#9 – By the way you look down on those whom you perceive aren’t as good as you.

#10 – By the way you take from one another!

Nope…John 13:34-35 is clear, Jesus didn’t mix His Words…we are called to live this out.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Couchsurfing - The Aftermath

This past weekend Crystal and I made the journey to Erie, PA to knock #11 of her 30 By 30 list.  Instead of staying in a hotel, we decided to Couchsurf.  I found a married couple that agreed to let us crash at their place, and we were set.

We arrived in Erie a couple hours early, so we drove around a bit and found the venue and some places to eat, and made our way to the house. 

Turns out I copy and pasted only part of the address, so we initially ended up at a sketchy apartment building that smelled like... well... a mix of marijuana, B.O. and pet urine.  We realized our error when we went back to the car to check for the phone number, and continued on the the REAL address.

We arrived and walked up the steps to a small bungalow, a couple blocks up from the waterfront.  We were greeted by our host, and her very excited and friendly dog, Levi.  She explained that they only have 2 bedrooms, both of which were being used, so we'd be sleeping in the living room on an air mattress.  (No problem, that's cool with us).  She also said they'd leave the door unlocked for us, since the concert will likely go late.  Things were looking good.

The concert ended around 11:30, and we made our way back to the house.  We opened the door to see an air mattress, sheets and pillows laid out for us.  Not too shabby.  We set an alarm for early the next morning so that they wouldn't feel like they were trapped in their room. 

The night went by without too much excitement, other than the cat walking across my face a couple of times.  We got up early, deflated the mattress and folded the sheets and got ready to head out.  Our hosts were still sleeping so we left a quick "thank-you" note and slipped out.  A successful stay.

Overall it was a good experience, I think it's safe to say we'd probably do it again.  It also gave me some ideas for what I'd do if we hosted some weary travellers.  It was nice to sit and chat for a bit when we first arrived.  Find out why she left Montreal and decided to settle in Erie.  Find out what her interests are, what she does for a living, and how she met her husband (who was napping in the other room).  The only change I would make for next time would be to find a place where we get our own room.  Sleeping in the living room was awkward.  We felt like we were in the way, and I can't imagine feeling like they had to stay in their room the entire time was fun for our hosts.

Overall a good experience and one we might do again.  (I haven't confirmed that with Crystal yet)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Late Nights

It's playoff hockey time, and that means late nights for the Wonderdog. Last night I stayed up to watch San Jose choke (no surprise) and see the Hamilton Phoenix Coyotes beat the Red Wings.  What can I say, I have a hockey addiction, and playoff hockey is addicting.  Once you start, you can't stop.

The dilemma I faced last night was a tough one.  Both games were on at the same time, one on TSN and the other on CBC.

Which game should I watch?  The Red Wings game was more entertaining, but I could get the Sharks game in HD.  (It looks SO GOOD in HD)

I decided to go with the Red Wings, until I got frustrated with the lack of a high definition picture, and then switched over to the CBC feed. 

Best of both worlds.

Tonight Vancouver hits the ice in the late game, but I won't be staying up.  Early morning tomorrow, so I need to be disciplined and go to bed...

... but maybe I could stay up for just one period?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Trust... It's An Issue

This weekend Crystal and I are travelling to Erie, PA to knock #11 off her 30 by 30 list. Seeing as how we just bought a house, we need to be frugal with our spending, so I took it upon myself to find accommodations for very little money.

So where did I start? Hotwire? Expedia? Travelocity?


Here's how it works:
1 - People sign up (for free) and provide some info on the accommodations they have available. (Couch, air mattress, futon, etc)
2 - Other members can search for a "couch" and contact the host through the website. In this case I contacted people in Erie, PA.
3 - The host can accept or decline the request.
Simple huh?

Well, Crystal was a little freaked out by it all. Staying at a stranger's house, who I contacted through a website, and have never met before. She afraid we'll be murdered as we sleep.

That possibility hadn't even crossed my mind.

I agreed we won't stay with anyone who is single (nothing against single folks), no students, and no people with creepy profile pics. I managed to find a married couple who has agreed to let us crash at their place, (even invited us to their vegan potluck) and Crystal felt better about it.

I still had to promise we won't be murdered.

I think this is an awesome way to travel. Not only is it cheaper, you get to meet people and maybe build a friendship in the process.

Crystal (and my parents) think I'm too trusting. What do you think? Would you do it?

Monday, April 12, 2010

In The Enemy Barn

(To add to my Friday post) Mike Modano played, most likely, his final NHL game in Minnesota on the weekend.

He was cheered.

Got a standing ovation... in the enemy barn!

A classy guy all the way, and that's why we love him.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Favourites Things Friday - Encore!

As a Dallas Stars fan, this has been a tough year. Yes, they missed the playoffs last year, but they were ravaged by injuries. This year they would be better, or so I hoped.

Up until last week, the Stars were the only team to not win 3 games in a row this year. (Even the Leafs won 3 in a row) They were out of the playoffs by the Olympic break, and the team is reportedly up for sale. It has been a difficult year.

The Stars have one final game this season, Saturday in Minnesota (the city they left in 1993), and that will likely be the final game in the career of my favourite player, Mike Modano.

Mo was the 1st overall draft pick of the Minnesota North Stars in 1988, I was still a Leaf fan at that point in time. Although I was cheering for the blue and white, there was something about this Modano guy. Every time he touched the puck, it was like a bolt of electricity went through the crowd. Something amazing was going to happen. His skating was effortless, he seemed to hit top speed instantly, his shot was wicked fast, and he was a classy guy.

In 1993 the Leafs broke my heart, and I swore it would be the last time I would be hurt. So if I have to choose a new team, why not cheer for my favourite player? The team had just moved to Dallas and my allegiances moved with them.

The Stars went on to win the cup in 1999, and lost to New Jersey in the finals in 2000. Mike Modaono was a key piece to their success. The Stars added a young stud between the pipes by the name of Marty Turco in 2002, and he quickly became my #2. Now both Modano and Turco are set to play their final game for Dallas. Modano will most likely retire, and Turco will likely not be brought back by Stars management.

They played their final game in Dallas last night, and what a way to end it. Modano scores to tie the game, and then scores the winner in the shootout. Turco makes some big stops to keep his team in the game, and Jere Lehtinen (also on his way out of town) scores the clincher. WOW!

I watched this video and lost it. If you don't cry, you're dead inside.

So what do I do now that my 2 favourite players are gone? Sure I still like guys like James Neal and Brad Richards, but Modano and Turco had a special place in my heart.

Mike Modano - a class act all the way. He will forever be my favourite player.

Favourite Things Friday

After the beauty weekend we had last week, I thought we could finally put the winter boots, hats and coats into storage. Well this morning I got up and Twitter was abuzz with flurries in Toronto, and this afternoon Barrie got a healthy dose of April flurries. So, seeing as how I had to bring the warm layers out of the basement today, I thought I'd give you my favorite warm weather activities.

I can't remember how I first discovered skimboarding. (Maybe it was on Laguna Beach, or maybe it was through my buddy Kent) It is a little-known sport, but it seems to be growing in popularity. Skimboarding on the coast is very different from skimming in Ontario. We don't have an abundance of shorebreak or big waves, which makes the more surf-inspired skimming difficult. Instead we ride what's known as flatland skimming, more like skateboarding.
The idea is to run, drop the skimboard, jump on the board and then perform tricks, ride rails, or just cruise. (see video at the end of this post)
I love the feeling of cruising on top of the water, plus it's exercise! A win-win.
When you first start out there's a lot of falling, scraped knees/arms and it can be frustrating. But stick with it, and it becomes like second nature. Driving up to my secret skim spot for dawn patrol is a beauty way to start off the work day.

Cliffjumping incorporates 2 of my favourite things: rock-climbing and jumping into water. In college we used to drove to Elora to go jump the cliffs into the old quarry. We quickly learned that if you wear shoes, it makes the entry into the water a little more comfortable.
Last year on the Wonderdog's Wakeboard Weekend I asked if there were any cliffs we could session before heading back to camp. Our driver found us this 45-foot beauty in Port Sydney. It was such a rush. I had jumped 25-footers before, but this was almost twice that!
I volunteered to go first, so I inched out to the edge, and looked down. (Bad idea) Our boat looked like a toy, bobbing in the water below. I managed to muster up the courage to huck myself off this cliff face, and after what felt like an eternal free fall hit the water. It was a beautiful thing.
I quickly swam back over to the rock and climbed up again for a second jump. What a rush! Definitely going to have to scout out some more cliffs this summer.

Let me start off by saying golf is not an old man's game. It's a slower paced game, but it's not necessarily for the elderly. After college I worked in the kitchen at a golf course for 2 reasons: 1-I got free golf, 2-I learned to cook. Playing everyday I actually became pretty good too, regularly shooting in the 70's.
But what I love most about golf is the social aspect. 4-5 hours of uninterrupted time with my Dad is always fun, and with our busy schedules doesn't happen nearly enough. Business gets done on the golf course, because you develop a bond with your golf buddies. You talk, you joke, you build a relationship and that relationship can lead to a business deal. It's a beautiful thing.
If you're ever looking for a fourth, give me a call!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Do Or Die

Tomorrow night it is the biggest hockey game of the year for the Estonian team. The past 2 years we have domnated the Baltic Cup, and emerged victorious when the final buzzer sounded.

We were expecting more of the same this year. Maybe that was the problem.

We lost a close match to the Latvian team we beat 8-2 a couple weeks earlier, meaning tomorrow night's game takes on a whole new meaning. It's simple really, win and we're in. If we beat Lithania we face Latvia in the finals. Lose or tie, and we're done. It's an unfamiliar position for our squad, but I remain confident we'll bring our "a-game" and have a chance at redemption in the finals next week.

The epic battle begins tomorrow night at the Mastercard Centre at 6:15. We're hoping for a solid turnout of fans wearing the blue. black and white.

Win, lose or draw, I'll post the result tomorrow night. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The “Is that contestant on American Idol a Christian?" Scorecard

Jon Acuff from Stuff Christians Like has agreed to do a guest post on my blog today. (Actually he's doing it on a bunch of other blogs too) So join in the fun, discover some new blogs and see if your favourite contestant on American Idol is in fact a Christian!


The “Is that contestant on American Idol a Christian?" Scorecard

101. They keep requesting Amy Grant or Sandi Patti as their musical mentor instead of Usher. = +2 points

To add up your score with over a 130 other ideas on this scorecard, visit

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Crazy Love

What a beautiful couple of days we've had in Central Ontario. I wore shorts today! But this post isn't about my pale white legs being exposed to all of humanity today.

It's not about Francis Chan's book either.

It's about a song from the Robbie Seay Band. I'm sort of a fan of Robbie Seay, (I liked Rise and Song Of Hope off his last album), so when his new album arrived at the radio station I decided to take a listen.

I like it.

In fact, I've had Crazy Love playing non-stop in my office, my car and my home. Why do I like it? I'm not really sure. It's got texture to it, I like that. He throws in a change of pace and intensity halfway through, that's always welcome. I really like the line: "it's never been easy/never safe/but it's enough/it's enough", I feel like that describes my spiritual walk so far.

Take a listen and let me know what you think.

I still need to read Francis Chan's book. Maybe that'll be my next read.