Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Best I've Ever Seen

The Dallas Stars announced today what we saw coming 4 months ago.  22 years after being the first overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft, the 40 year-old Modano has played his final game in a Stars uniform.  He still wants to play, but the Stars announced today that he is not in their plans for next season.

I remember watching a much younger Mike Modano skating up the ice with so little effort, his jersey flowing in the wind behind him, making it look like the opposition had stopped skating to admire his skill.  He made the game look so easy.  He quickly became my favourite player, and I quickly became a fan of the Dallas Stars.

Come September I will not be seeing the great #9 suit up for the Stars.  Even in the past couple years, despite his age and declining skills, he still sent shivers up my spine when he'd take the puck in his own end and lead a rush up the ice.  I'm going to miss it.

He has said he'd like to keep playing, possibly in San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim or Phoenix.  I hope not.  4 division rivals?  Come on Mikey!  That's like Doug Gilmour going to play for the Habs or Sens.  Or like Steve Yzerman ending his OHL career with the Oshawa Generals. It's just not right.  Modano was (and still is) the face of the Dallas Stars.

Mike, it pains me to say this, but please retire.  Don't ride off into the sunset in a Sharks or Ducks jersey.  Please?

Although... if he signs with Phoenix, and they move to Hamilton, maybe I could get him to sign the #9 Stars jersey I have?


Monday, June 28, 2010


In case you haven't heard, Wipeout is coming to Canada! (Sort of.  It's filmed in Argentina)

The call has gone out for Canadians who want to take on the craziness that is Wipeout.  Anyone can apply, fill out the questionairre, send in a couple pictures and put together an audition tape. 

Naturally I threw my hat into the ring.

After some planning, story-boarding and dreaming, we shot the footage this past weekend.  We got kicked out of a number of places (apparently jumping onto a floating ball is dangerous) but we managed to put together what I consider to be a solid effort.

We didn't want to make it too wacky, (that screams desperation) but we wanted it to have a humourous tone.  I think it was a success.

Now I wait to see if I made the cut.

Friday, June 25, 2010

NHL Draft

The NHL entry draft took place in LA tonight, and our 3 OHL teams were well represented in the first round. 
Burmistrov (Barrie) going at #8 to Atlanta.
Hishon (Owen Sound) going at #17 to Colorado
Watson (Ptbo) going at #18 to Nashville

My attention was on the #11 pick, belonging to the Dallas Stars.  Who would they draft?  They need some help on defense.  They are also losing Marty Turco, their #1 goaltender, this off season, so maybe a goalie would be a wise choice?

They elected to go with the guy who helped the U.S. beat Canada at the World Juniors this past year, Windsor Spitfire: Jack Campbell.

I was hoping they'd go with a defenseman, but Campbell seems to be a solid pick.  I say 3-4 years and he's making an impact in the NHL.

5 years and Crystal will be taking me to Hawaii after Campbell leads Dallas to the cup!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

In The Shadows

Wonderjam is coming up on July 3 at Canada's Wonderland with Switchfoot, Hawk Nelson and Starfield all set to take the stage.  While I'm pretty pumped to see Switchfoot play, I think the surprise of the show might be a guy by the name of Kristian Stanfill. 


The guy standing over there in the shadows while Jon Foreman and Switchfoot blow your mind.  Yeah, we haven't played him on LIFE yet, but he's pretty freakin sweet! 

Kristian will be opening up the show next Saturday, and will likely be playing for a lot of empty seats.  (Unless it's raining)  It's kind of a shame, because he's good.  REALLY good.

Here are a few samples of what you can expect:
Lord Of All

Happy Day

Beautiful Jesus

So get there early and check this guy out!

Get your tickets HERE

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Moving & Shaking

There I was, watching an episode of Lost, when all of a sudden the house started to slide backward and forward.  My first reaction was "what are these construction guys doing now?" but after going outside and seeing the light posts swaying I realized it wasn't construction.

It was an earthquake.

I'd never experienced an earthquake before, and this was not what I was expecting.  It was more of a sliding than a shaking.  It wasn't very violent, wasn't very scary.  It was actually kind of fun.

But what a weird weather day huh?  Earthquake, Tornado (touching down in Midland) and some serious Thunderstorms. 

Kind of makes you want to be a stormchaser.

***The Toronto Star has a good explanation of how earthquakes can occur nowhere near major fault lines.***

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

All Good Things Come To An End

Like Nelly Furtado says: "All Good Things Come To An End."  And such is the case for my favourite tv show: Departures.  Currently in its third season, the travel show has developed quite a loyal following. 
Scott Wilson, the series co-creator, tweeted this yesterday: "Thank you ALL for the support. Although Departures comes to an end, I assure you that you haven't seen the last of us."


This show has connected with me in a special way.  There's something about dropping everything you're doing to travel the world that ignites something inside of me.  That would be my ultimate dream!

I have been living vicariously through Scott, Justin and Andre, and now that the show seems to be coming to a close I'm not sure how I will feed my dietary need to travel.

Sure there are other travel shows, but Departures was special.  It was on a whole other level!

At least I can say I was at the season premiere party for the final season.

Monday, June 21, 2010

City Chase Toronto

How many times have you sat in front of the tv watching The Amazing Race and said "I wish I could do that"?

On Saturday Crystal and I got our chance.  It's called City Chase, and it's sort of like The Amazing Race: Toronto Edition.

We arrived at Nathan Phillips Square at 7:30 to register.  Checked in at the registration tent, picked up our shirts and race number, and got ready to be challenged.  The preshow included breakdancers, parkour and a group fitness/dance class to get the 1500+ racers ready.  With just over 45 minutes to race-time a marching band introduced the race president, who rode in with 2 Sunshine girls in a Mitsubishi convertible.  It was the 100th event worldwide, so there was some special programming prior to the race.  The tuxedo-clad president finished off his speech announcing we could pick up our clue sheets in the 4 corners of Nathan Phillips Square, and the race was on.

A mass of people dispersed to the far corners of the square, pushing, swearing and grabbing in an attempt to grab a clue sheet and get a head start on the competition.

After a short wait, we got our clue sheet and started to plan our day.  41 total challenges, each team required to complete 10 of them to win  After deciphering some of the clues, we elected to head to Trinity Bellwoods Park and work our way North from there.  Apparently we weren't the only team with this strategy as we ran into a long line and about a 1 hour wait to attempt our first challenge.  They had strung up some tie-downs in the park and created a sort of ropes course.  One team member had to complete the course without touching the ground, while the other partner helped them balance.  We had a couple close calls, but managed to make it through and collect our first point.  1 POINT

(Crystal completing the ropes course)

Next we ran over to the station where the challenge was supposed to be a paintball one, (You take 3 shots at a pyramid of cans, and the number of cans remaining is how many paintballs your partner gets shot with), but the city put a stop to that before it started.  (Something about scaring the dogs in the park)  So you had to throw a bocce ball into a bucket about 15-20 feet away.  I nailed it on my third toss.  2 POINTS

Next we hoped back on the street car and made our way to Dufferin Mall for the next challenge.  For this one you partnered with another team to pull a car and park it, without using the engine.  We got lucky and arrived at the same time as another team, so we partnered with them.  I got strapped into the front of the SUV, and the guy from the other team took the rear to push.  Crystal volunteered to be the one giving directions, and the woman on the other team got to steer.  There was some confusion as to exactly what we needed the car to do, but we managed to complete the challenge in a relatively short period.  3 POINTS
(Strapped in and ready to pull)

Our next stop was The Monkey Vault (a parkour training centre) on Geary Ave.  To complete the challenge both partners had to complete a parkour onstacle course, or jump off their 15 ft balcony onto a foam high-jump mat.  I love jumping off stuff, so we decided to try the balcony leap.  After some hesitation Crystal hucked herself off the ledge and landed softly on the mat below.  I let her grab the camera and then I followed suit.  4 POINTS
(Leap of faith at The Monkey Vault)

Our next challenge was outside the gym.  After a short wait in line one partner had to take a blindfolded taste test, and try to identify the 5 items they are fed.  For each incorrect answer, the other partner had to eat a cricket.  Crystal is a picky eater so she didn't want to do either, but ended up picking the blindfold.  She correctly identified the cranberry, banana, chocolate chip and corn pop, but missed on wasabi (we think).  So I got to mow down on one cricket.  It actually didn't taste too bad, but the legs go stuck in my teeth, and they were hard to dislodge.  5 POINTS
(Not sure what that was)

Next up was a trip east on the Bloor subway line.  We exited at Yonge and St Clair and made our way over to Fionn MacCool's to take a World Cup Quiz.  We partnered with the same couple we met at Dufferin Mall, and divided the quiz in half.  They actually ended up doing most of the quiz because they had a Blackberry, while Crystal and I were calling friends who might have access to a computer and would be able to look up answers for us.  We got a perfect 10/10 on the quiz and left the pub with 6 POINTS.

Next stop was Good Life Fitness at Yonge & Bloor.  Upon arrival each team had to choose a chocolate bar, and then would have to burn off that many calories in the gym.  Outside Fionn MacCool's another competitor told us to pick Crispy Crunch because it was the lowest... They lied.  240 calories stood between us and our next point.  Crystal jumped on the eliptical and I started to run on a treadmill.  About 20 minutes later (including a short wait for a machine) we finished and left the gym sweaty and tired.  Would have been nice to be able to eat the chocolate bar, but no such luck.  7 POINTS

We got lost on our way to the next challenge.  (Seems we got some bad directions to Balfour Park.)  After a quick check of our map we realized we were on the wrong side of the park, and decided to trek through the woods instead of going around.  30 minutes later we arrived at the next challenge: Boot Camp.  It was an intense circuit, consisting of a ladder run, sideways shuffles, a slalom course, sled pull, bicep-curls and bucket carries.  It was made more difficult by the sore legs after Good Life and our off-road trek, and the fact the humidex was 40+.  We managed to complete it and move on.  8 POINTS

Our next challenge was in the park as well.  On partner wore a bucket on their head, while the other partner tried to throw hack-sacks into the bucket at distances of 5, 10, 15 & 20 yards.  Crystal's aim was dead on and we completed this challenge very quickly.  9 POINTS

Needing only one more point to finish we elected to head to the Rogers store at Yonge and Davisville to complete our last challenge.  Upon arrival we were handed a list of 10 tasks, we needed to complete 6 of them.  After a quick tutorial on how to use the camera on the Blackberry, we were sent off to tackle this challenge.  We headed for the Davisville/Yonge intersection and started to harass ask people on the street to help us out.  We helped a lady across the street, traded shirts with a stranger, sang Life Is A Highway to a group of strangers, got a stranger to do a handstand, played leapfrog with a stranger, and took a picture of something that represents the number 100, all documented on the new Blackberry Pearl.  (Cheap plug)  10 POINTS

(Still smiling and enjoying each other's company)

Having scored the mandatory 10 points, we jumped on the subway and made our way back to Nathan Phillips Square and the finish line.  We crossed with a time of 5:21, 39 minutes before the course closed.  Before the race we decided our goal was to complete the required 10 challenges and finish before the course closes at 4:00.  We did it.  Next year we'll aim to finish in 4 hours.

Overall a great experience, and while we didn't get to rappel down City Hall (didn't want to wait that long), we had a great day and can't wait to do it again next year.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Favourite Things Friday - Remixed

Not necessarily 3 favourites, but 3 things I am most looking forward to this summer.

Tomorrow Crystal and will take part in City Chase Toronto.  It's as close to the amazing race as we're going to get.  We get to rappel down Toronto City Hall and compete in a number of "challenges" with the hopes of coming in the top 100.  There are over 750 teams competing. I've watched the Amazing Race and have dreamed of competing, so tomorrow is my chance.  I'll let you know how we did on Monday.
On August 6th, along with Shawn Chiasson and Karlie Shewfelt, I'm heading to HorizonX in Quebec to tackle the rapids of the Ottawa river.  This is another one of those things I've wanted to do, and come August I can knock it off my bucket list.  I'm secretly hoping we get tossed a couple times and encounter some seriously sketchy stuff.

Last year we went to Tobermory, and it was possibly the best weekend of the summer.  This year the girls want to go somewhere where we can swim (Tobermory is COLD) and maybe get a tan.  I just want to spend a weekend with some of our best friends.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Man's Best Friend

Growing up I always wanted a dog.  I'd ask my parents for a dog, and every time I'd be met with a host of excuses (that were probably accurate).  Things like "I'll be the one taking the dog for walks" or "Who's going to clean up the poop?  Not you."

So I never had a dog growing up.

A couple months after we got married Crystal came to me asking for a dog.  (Apparently she gets lonely when I'm at work.)  She promised to do all the research and find a dog, I just had to agree to let her get one. 


That was over 3 years ago, and since then Snax has become a member of the family.  She's always there to greet me when I drag my half-asleep butt through the door after work.  In the morning when my alarm goes off she's right there to greet me with a kiss.  When I grab my towel and skimboard, she is right there to accompany me to the beach.  She's become my weekday best friend (weekends belong to Crystal).

Well, I have been dogless since Saturday.  Crystal wasn't going to be home for the first couple days this week, so we decided to be fair to our little dog and send her someplace where she'll actually see peoplen and be taken care of.  So Snax is hanging out with my parents in Mississauga this week.

I miss her.

A lot.

There's no dog there to give me a good morning kiss when my alarm goes off.  There's no dog there when I come home from work.  There's no dog there to go for a walk with.  There's no dog there to talk to.  (Snax is a great listener)

Saturday night we get her back, and I think I might throw her a welcome home party.

The New Swagger Wagon

Is the Kia Soul the new "swagger wagon"?

This is the second car ad in recent weeks to use hip-hop/rap music.  Is rap more mainstream than we think?

I could watch this over and over and over and over and over....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You Want Talent?

Um..... WOW!

I have never seen America's Got Talent, but I'd say these guys have talent.

I'm still trying to figure out exactly how this was done.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


News out today that Jesus Christ has been struck by lightning. 


A six-story statue of "Touchdown Jesus" in Southwest Ohio was struck by lightning last night.  The $400,000 statue was built in 2004 and had become a major tourist attraction in the town north of Cincinnati.

The church plans on rebuilding the statue, saying it is a "beacon of hope for the community," and that they won't "let the enemy win this one."

I may be wrong, but I thought God was the one who controlled the weather, not "the enemy".

Monday, June 14, 2010

Walking On Water

I know this isn't real.

It's not real... right?

Think this is actually possible?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Reminisce With Me

Last Sunday I was speaking to a group of Jr Highs at the Connexus Orillia Campus, and had the group of grade 6, 7 and 8's try a Magic Eye picture.  But when I mentioned "magic eye" they looked at me with blank stares, and better yet, had no idea how to see the picture.


I have now reached the point that my parents were at when I was in Jr High...  I am obsolete.

How could they not know what a Magic Eye picture is?  Has it really been that long?  I remember people having these things all over the walls of their room.  I remember staring at these stupid pictures for hours and NEVER seeing the 3D image.

I quickly name dropped a couple Justin Bieber songs to try and save my street cred, but to no avail.  I'm officially a fossil.

So for my fellow old folks, I present a post to lift your aging spirits. Tyler Stanton's 17 Things I Miss Most About Nintendo


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Funny Thing About Grace

In my daily travels around the blogosphere I read somewhere in the neighbourhood of 150 posts.  I don't go in alphabetical order, nor do I browse in chronological order.

I have a grading system.

There are A-level bloggers that I make sure to read first.  (Just in case I don't have time to read them all)

Pete Wilson is one of my handful of A-level writers.  He's usually got something good to say, isn't overly wordy, and his writing often challenges me.

Today he wrote about "Grace Killers." 

He was tipped off to a religious group that was planning on picketing outside his church, and he was ready.  Ready to let them know they are judgemental, insensitive, self-righteous, prideful pricks jerks people.  I was totally with him.  But then he remembered something he had heard another pastor say...

"We must be gracious to the grace killers"

Oh crap.

Grace for sinners? No problem

Grace for screw-ups? That's pretty easy

Grace for new believers still trying to figure it out? Yup

Grace for someone who has never had a relationship with Christ? Yessir

Grace for the judgemental, dogmatic, intolerant person?...

(AJ?  You there?)


Guilty as charged.

I have grace by the truck load for people who have never encountered Jesus.  I have a ton of grace for someone who has made a mistake.  (Haven't we all?)  I have free refills of grace for someone who has been dealt a bad hand, or someone who had their trust violated by someone who was supposed to be safe.

But I tend to lack grace for people who claim to be Christians and protest at rock concerts, or throw rotten food at people during Pride week, or stand on soapboxes on street corners with bullhorns.  (I've actually never seen someone like that)

But you know what makes it worse?

My lack of grace for the judgemental, "holier than thou pharisee" makes me one of them.  In some sort of sick and twisted way, I AM the judgemental, "holier than thou pharisee" I rail so hard against.

Thankfully God has enough grace for the sinner, the pervert, the drunk, and the pharisee (me).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Back On The Horse

Yeah, it's been a while.

Last time I posted my brother was single, my dog didn't have an ear infection and we didn't have grass at our house.

We still don't have grass, but it looks like we'll get curbs and maybe a driveway soon.

It's been a while, and I'm sorry for the lengthy absense.  Regular posts will return... Tomorrow ;-)