Friday, January 30, 2004

So it was a rather odd soccer game last night. We've been hunting for a new goalkeeper, in order to allow the current one to play out and bring her formidable shot into play, and we finally found one in an older woman (like, she's 50 years old) who played a wee bit for us last year. She was more than willing to come back and play for us again, and this time she brought along her daughter, who's 17 and apparently an excellent player.

We got off to a terrible start. My two all-star defenders were back, but one of them's still semi-injured, and the other one just looked like she was lost. The oppo scored on us off a free-kick, before My Friend From PG (our ex-'keeper) scored with a typically powerful effort. Then they got another close-in free-kick, and buried it, and we went into the half down 2-1. In the meantime, however, I'd made progress in getting my "lost" defender back on track (mostly by getting her to start hitting people, which she seems to genuinely enjoy doing, and which brings out the best in her). We had a much better time of it in the second half. Our supremely talented young midfielder from Calgary (hereafter and forever known on this blog as "The Calgarian"), scored on a , for her, routine shot, and then MFFPG scored again, this time on a billiard shot off the boards that their 'keeper turned into her own goal (I felt for their goalie, I really did; she made some wonderful saves, and let in some awful goals. I've had games like that, and they just drain you). I was have expecting them to tie it back up, but instead we got some insurance through one of our more productive scorers with about three minutes to go. They put some pressure on us, but there was still time for their 'keeper to let in another horrible one, and we ran out 5-2 winners in the end.

A good result, after a two straight losses. Both our new 'keeper and her daughter looked awesome, and with MFFPG prowling around up front, we should be OK. However, the injury bug still lurks...

My old team was playing right after we finished up, and I nearly got drafted into playing goal for them, which would have been a blast, but with none of my gear there (and not being registered to play for them, besides), it didn't happen. Next time, maybe.
Actually, I just noticed something rather interesting about that map - the little red dots scattered around the various oceans seem to indicate that I get credit for visitng Guam simply because I've been to the States and the Falklands, on account of having visited Britain. Just think, soon the Turks and Caicos may be coloured red simply because of my presence in Canada! What a crazy world we live in...

create your own visited country map

Ok, that's just fucking pathetic. That's it, I'm gettin' a new passport next week. Actually, I do have high hopes that I'll be back doing archaeology in Italy this spring, but nothing's absolutely certain yet. Maybe I'll get to update this map soon?

Thursday, January 29, 2004

More Anti-Youth Bigotry in Edmonton

Yup, the stultifying forces of fear and hatred of young folks are in full cry this week. I was going to write pages and pages of exciting prose about the appalling sentiments offered up by Jim "Dickhead" Taylor, head of some cabal of downtown businessmen, but the Edmonton Journal beat me to the punch in an excellent editorial that ran yesterday. The only improvement to their piece that I can offer is that I can actually call Jim Taylor a dickhead. Anyway, here ya go...

Downtown without kids poor idea
The Edmonton Journal
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

When the head of Edmonton's Downtown Business Association unashamedly admits he doesn't want young people in the city's core, something is seriously amiss.

What is becoming increasingly clear about this whole situation is that Taylor's hatred of kids (and make no mistake, it is hatred), is based not on any of his claims of drug-use, vandalism, theft, etc., but on the fact that the kids who come downtown are not making him richer. In short, he's a pathetic, whiny, greedy piece of shit who deserves every bit of "hassling" (his term) that the youth of Edmonton can hand out.

CBC News Online
New Zealand writer Janet Frame dies

WELLINGTON - Janet Frame, whose three-part autobiography became the award-winning film Angel at My Table, died Thursday. She was 79.

This is sad news. I actually saw Angel at My Table a long time ago, and quite enjoyed it. Janet Frame went through a lot in her youth, surviving a mis-diagnosis of schizophrenia (which resulted in electroshock treatment), and actually very nearly being lobotomized. Sad to hear that she's gone.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Judge approves CART's team owners bid

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP-CP) - Canada's three Molson Indys appear to be saved.

A bankruptcy judge rejected a bid by the Indy Racing League on Wednesday in favour of an offer by CART team owners to bring the open-wheel series out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

I cautiously optimistic about this - I do hope it turns out to have been the right decision. Open wheel racing in North America could use a boost. Here's to a revivified CART series!
I played an indoor soccer game last night, for our workplace team. We lost it in the end, 4-3, and unfortunately because of that it's the last game of the season for us. Just when we were beginning to get things together!

Actually, it was a very frustrating evening for me as a 'keeper. We were up against a nice mob of Latino lads (one of whom I know from other soccer-related endeavours), which boded ill for us from the start. To add to our troubles, I simply couldn't get my head in the game in the first half. Their first goal came on a curling free kick from far enough out that I should have had it easily, and right after that they scored again after I'd handled the ball outside the penalty area. Their third, still in the first half but after we'd pulled one back, was not my fault, as one of my defenders ignored my frantic calls to clear it wide and sent it into the middle of the pitch, where one of their strikers was gratefully waiting for it.

The second half was much better. We put them under quite a bit of pressure, and got the score to 3-2 before they scored again, this time on a hard shot from a narrow angle. Right after that, we scored again, and then carried the play to the final whistle without being able to score. I did get to go on one "mazy" run into the opposing half (and nearly died trotting back to my net), and generally felt more with it, but still, I hate losing when I've let in bad goals.

However, the season was a fun one, and I managed not to end up in hospital, unlike the last time I tried to play soccer. Hopefully another opportunity to play will come along soon, and in the meantime I've still got the coaching. Tonight I'm off to watch a friend of mine (a girl I've been training to be a 'keeper) play, and tomorrow my girls play. As a bonus, tomorrow night I'm going to get to watch my old EDSA team play, as they had a match rescheduled, and it starts right after my girls are done. I'll let 'chall know how it goes!
Johnny Rotten Update

The best ever picture of Johnny Rotten. I have no idea who the fellow on the right is, but he seems to have something stuck to his forehead. However, awesome pictures aside, all is not well in Rotten-land, at least as pertains to his career as a celebrity reality-show contestant...

Timmy Mallett could replace Johnny Rotten

Timmy Mallett could replace Johnny Rotten in I'm a Celebrity.. Get Me Out of Here.

The former children's television presenter is already in Australia as a stand-by contestant.

Lydon has reportedly been "surly and uncooperative" since arriving in Australia for the show, sparking speculation he could quit.

Ok, so the other guy in the picture above is somebody named "Timmy Mallett." Is he related to Jordan? Anyway, the big shocker in this story is that Mr. Rotten has been "surly and uncooperative!" I mean, who possibly could have anticipated that? It's not like they could possibly have known about his reputation before they selected him for the show, could they? But, all is not lost...

Johnny's not so rotten, says his wife
Jan 28 2004
By Beth Hardie, icReporter

John Lydon's wife Nora has asked the public to back her husband, claiming I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here would be boring without him.

Although the former Sex Pistols singer and anarchist has repeatedly refused to tow the line, arguing with producers and spitting and swearing while on camera, his other half is backing him all the way.

I would anticipate that Mrs. Rotten is a fairly formidable woman, given that they've been married for more than 20 years. The producers of IACGMOOH (Awesome acronym!!) should probably listen to her, and have no further dealings with this Mallett person. And look! It's a happy ending for everyone, at least for now...

Lydon the new I'm A Celebrity favourite

John Lydon is the new favourite to win I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here.

He is the 2/1 favourite with Ladbrokes after a string of bets in the last 24 hours.

More bulletins as events warrant.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

This isn't Edmonton, but a reasonable facsimile thereof. It still very very cold here, and I gather that the rest of the country is experiencing much the same thing. Here is an interesting article from the CBC on what exactly 'windchill' is, when it's at home. Anyway, it's supposed to start warming up after tomorrow, but we shall see. In the meantime, we lost another soldier in Afghanistan yesterday, to a suicide bomber. It's saddening, but I don't feel the same anger about it as I would had the soldier died in Iraq. At least in the case of Afghanistan, we know why we're there, and we should be there. Scant comfort to Cpl. Murphy's family, I suspect.

Monday, January 26, 2004

I've been slaving away on my breaks here at work today trying to get the final touches on the D&D game I'm running tonight, hence no big update today. One thing, though - it is bloody cold here today. I seriously mean that I cannot recall the last time I felt cold this biting (it's quite windy out, too, which isn't helping). Anyway, more tomorrow.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Well, I'm working on this thing in a little internet cafe run, I believe, by Jehovah's Witnesses. Odd choice of locale, you might say if you know me, but they make a nice cup of coffee, and pretty much leave one the hell alone (heh, heh, I said "hell"). However, this evening there is a very intense-looking fellow in a suit stalking about, and they have put on the Christian rock (one of the few hazards of being in here - all together now, "Ouuuur God is a Miiiiiighty God, etc. ad nauseam), so soon it's going to be time to head off and meet up with The Coach and My Friend From PG. Beer will probably be involved in some way.
Off on a Quest...

... was where I was today. And what was I questing for, you ask? Well, for this:

You see, long ago, when we played D&D at my brother's apartment every Tuesday, we used to amuse ourselves beforehand and during breaks with hard-fought rounds of Worms: Armageddon. For those of you who've never had the pleasure, remember the old DOS game that involved gorillas chucking bananas at each other? Well, W:A is basically just that taken to extremes (and featuring worms instead of gorillas, obviously) - multitudes of weapons to chose from, customizable teams of combatants, and just buckets of fun. Well, my brother got married and moved into a house, the computer got moved into the bedroom, and now we play D&D on Mondays. And it struck me, rather suddenly yesterday, that I missed those little worms. So it was off to the used computer game stores (I know of two here in town) this afternoon, to see if I couldn't track it down. I couldn't, although the happy wee clerk at one of the stores indicated that they did get it in on occasion, so I bought Neverwinter Nights instead, but the quest shall continue!

Oh yeah, and I got my head shaved, since I was starting to look like a damned hippy. I have no problems with the fact that I'm going bald, but I think one of the worst things in the world is balding guys who let what hair they have left grow long. It's just not on...

Friday, January 23, 2004

File Under "Victories, Moral"

So I help coach a women's soccer team here in town, and you'll be reading more about them as this blog continues. Anyway, last night we had our toughest test of the season, against the first-place team in our division (we're currently sitting third). To top it all off, we have a mounting injury list, and it looked like we were going to be short players.

Now, before I go any further, the coach of this first-place team is a known quantity to us, and we're not that fond of him. He's one of those coaches who thinks that his team's playing for the World Cup, and it's just not necessary at this level. He coached the all-star team for our division, and was really nasty to our representatives at the game, which just added fuel to the fire. Anyway, suffice it to say that we would very much have liked to beat his squad.

We didn't, not surprisingly. In the end we had 9 players, including our keeper (a fine player, and a fine person - on this page she is AKA My Friend From PG), which meant that there were a grand total of three subs available to us, while they had a full bench (Indoor Soccer in this town is played in basically the same formation as ice hockey). The other team ran out 3-0 winners in the end, but man, oh man. I have never seen a group of players work like ours did last night. They ran their asses off, to the point where we had players throwing up on the bench between shifts. They ran, and fought, and battled, and scrapped, and did everything they possibly could to stay in the game, and in the end I couldn't be more proud of them. Our reward? As we walked away at the end of the game, we heard, from the opposition dressing room, the dulcet sounds of their coach going absolutely balistic on his team for being held to three goal by nine players. It had to be one of the best nights of coaching I've ever had.

My favourite moment of the game? Well, one of their players went down hurt (no, that was not my favourite moment, I'm not that big an asshole), and while she was receiving treatment, our keeper strolled over to the opposition bench area to chat. She does this often, during stoppages of play, and I think it's a good idea; it keeps the games friendly and loose, for one thing. Well, their coach noticed her presence, and off he went, straightaway, to the ref to protest. Even though the ref wasn't having any of it, I called our keeper over to our bench area in order to defuse things, and we had a good chuckle about it... To be honest I felt a bit sorry for their players, and I wonder how many of them will stick with that coach through the years.
Teen plunges to death in courthouse elevator shaft

EDMONTON - Homicide detectives are continuing to investigate the death of a 16-year-old who fell six storeys down an open elevator shaft at the Edmonton courthouse Thursday.

In the place where I work, we have a freight elevator. It is nearly 40 years old and, as elevators go, a fairly primitive beast. However, in order to tumble down its shaft, you would have to seriously vandalize the doors. Now, I've never seen the prisoner's elevator in the Edmonton courthouse (Not a word from any of you!), but I'm having a hard time believing that it is less secure than our wee freight elevator. No, I smells a big ol' rat on this one, but I'm not optimistic that we'll ever find out what really happened.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

This here may be the best political blog I've read in a long time. They like people I like! They hate people I hate! It's peachy! Seriously, though, check it out...

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Not-so-late-night clubs may be on the way

Edmonton - Customers of late-night clubs who leave the establishments in the wee hours of the morning are disturbing the neighbours, council says, and should close hours earlier.

Complaints have prompted several councillors and Mayor Bill Smith to ask for a bylaw change that would see the clubs, which don't serve alcohol, close at the same time as bars that do – 3 a.m. They are now allowed to stay open until 8 a.m.

How is this a dumb idea? Let us count the ways:

1). The Whyte Ave. phenomenon. Do they really want the rave kids and the hardcore drinkers all mingling around the downtown streets at the same time in the middle of the night? Seems like they might some complaints about that.

2). The impressionable youth factor. Since a lot of the clients at the all-night, no-booze clubs are underage, does city council think it's a good idea to force them out of these establishments, where at least they can be looked after, and onto the downtown streets in the middle of the night? At, as mentioned above, the same time that the bars tossing their patrons out? Actually, I can answer that one. City Council doesn't give a fuck. Which brings us to the next reason...

3)...The pissant factor. I've always kind of held that one should not give in to the wankers of the world, such as the good folks who get so worked up every time they see a kid with weird hair or odd clothing that they have to go and phone the mayor's office to complain. I sense this nefarious group behind this latest attack (and believe me it's not the first) on youth culture, and it galls me that city council is falling over itself to accomodate these assholes. I mean, even Michael Phair was getting in on the act, and I'd always thought better of him.

4). The what-the-fuck-is-downtown-supposed-to-be-for question. For years there's been whining in all quarters about the deadness of downtown. And now city council wants to make sure that downtown is emptied earlier every evening? Swell.

Anyway, I'm not a patron of rave clubs, or even a real big fan of that scene, but these kids are getting shafted. City council is trying to take away from them a relatively safe haven, and their doing it on behalf of some of the city's most useless citizens. And, if you are one of those who felt the need to phone council and whine about the kids in the after-hours clubs downtown, please move back to the suburbs. You'll be happier there, I promise.
Ok, well that will do for now. Hopefully this is legible to everyone! If not, get a better fucking monitor - it's perfectly legible to me! Anyway, minor tweaking shall continue over the next little while, of course, and hopefully I'll get around to doing something with the archives eventually - archives are a bitch, as I moaned about many a time on the old blog. Ok, well, several times. And now, to actual writing. Let's begin with some spoil-sports...

Jordan and Lydon told: 'No swearing'
Jan 21 2004
By Beth Hardie, icReporter

John Lydon and Jordan have been warned to keep their language clean by bosses of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!

Up until yesterday, when my brother e-mailed me, I was blissfully unaware that Johnny Rotten was even going to be on a celebrity reality show, and I must admit that I'm probably not as appalled as I should be. I'm actually rather looking forward to the various forms of mayhem that may be unleashed upon the unsuspecting 'celebrities' during this show. And that's what puzzles me about this "no swearing!" edict that seems to have come down form the studio higher-ups. I mean, you don't invite Johnny Rotten onto your reality show in order to hear him not swear, do you? It would be like having Rush Limbaugh on your show and ordering him not to say anything stupid and offensive. Anyway, with fond recollections of Rotten's hilarious appearance on Judge Judy echoing in my mind, I still await with some glee the shenanigans that hopefully will accompany this latest attempt at TVing reality.

I really have no idea who this 'Jordan' person is, but according to the article she's a mouthy drunk.
Today, the quest for aesthetic perfection continues. Bear with me, there will be actual "content" soon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Ok, it's still not perfect, but we have spiffy new colours!
So, what you're probably noticing right now, is that this thing looks a hell of a lot like the previous blog. This, too, will changel, although I'll probably more or less stay with this layout, since I like it. Look for new and exciting colours soon!
Right, over the next few days, I'll be tinkering around with the settings, etc., for this, attempting to get it just so. So, be ready for some exciting changes. I'll also be putting up some links, and messing around with things a bit. Then we'll get down to work. With everybody and his dog having an election this year, and all sorts o'crap going on in the world around us, and a European Championship of Soccer coming up, and the whole deal, there's gonna be lots to talk about. Oh yeah, and the punk thing too...
Well, now, this is my second attempt at hosting a wee blog, and hopefully it'll go better than the first. I kinda petered out on that one in early November, but you can still find it here. Anyway, I'm anticipating a bit more time to work on this one, so here goes...