30 Jul 2010

Doggy days definitely

I'm not sure where this week went, but I'll bet it took off to the same place my brain did in this heat.
Anyway, I'm keeping it short again today as I get ready for tonight's game at Commonwealth. Suffice to say, I don't expect to see any miracles tonight, like BC losing.
Can't wait to see what the long weekend brings from the Esks management. Who will stay? Who will go? Here's hoping Ritchie stays and the others take a nice long walk.

Nothing really to report on the job hunt....it still goes, but promises to be looking up as many of the gigs I applied for had deadlines of today. Next week could be a good one, here's hoping.

And lastly, the whole city of champions chatter and arena/northlands debate can simply by chalked up to politics...there is a municipal election later this year and the names (and no-names) are working on their campaigns.
Here's what I hope happens -
  1. Katz ignores everyone, gets the zoning and then builds his own rink to end this silly debate;
  2. Northlands figures out they need to do some soul-searching so they can find their niche in this city again - plus changes the stupid fair (and those dumb commercials) to something that will attract people back (including those of us with families that can't afford to shell out the kind of coin they're asking);
  3. The local media find something of substance to chase after instead of inane question about the slogan on the entrance sign being somewhat relevant;
  4. That it cools off for me on the field at tonight's football game, that I don't fall on national tv and that somehow, some way, I find one of the Caramilk bar keys....
Take care all, have a great long weekend and may this monkey get off my back.

27 Jul 2010

Too hot

Let's just say it's too hot to be indoors doing a blog....check back tomorrow.

26 Jul 2010

What press conference??

From time to time, the classy Edmonton Eskimos organization shows me exactly why Danny Macoicca has ruined the once proud Hugh Campbell-operated club.
Today was another one of those times.
You must have heard by now about this afternoon's non-announcement press conference where Rick LaLecheur confirmed "everyone's job is not safe, including mine" after a dreadful 47-21 loss in Winnipeg on Saturday. Excuse me? But when did you call the media throng together to tell them and the fans what they already know - we suck and the only thing we MAY change is some players.
Note to LaLecheur - Everyone knows how bad you are...and the only thing fans want to hear about is if someone is getting turfed or if you have great new player signing.
Perhaps before the BC game on Friday, LaLecheur and Macoicca will hold another Captain Obvious sham and let fans know that the club will resign Jessie Lumsden so Ricky Ray will have another running option that won't get used in Strassers offensive (and yeah, it stinks too) scheme.
That isn't to say the offence is totally to blame - although when you think about how many more giveaways can the Esks hand to their opponents, you must admit it is almost all about them - Ritchie Hall needs to find a way to get a secondary that can cover AND tackle receivers as well as find some people to replace the pylons that are on kick cover special teams.
Sound like sour grapes? Nope, only a rant from someone that sees a lot of talent going to waste in an offensive (okay, already made that inferrence) scheme devoid of a running game, a defence that still isn't up to CFL standards and special teams that make the Argos of last year look like CFL champions.
With BC on the plate this week, the Esks have a lot to answer for and the fans will be looking for a few heads if the effort Friday matches what they have seen in the first four weeks.

Well, back on the blog this week after some family time in addition to a bit of baseball umpiring on the weekend. I had planned to hit the Indy, but I couldn't pass up the chance to umpire in a peewee provincial championship in Camrose.
It was a wonderful, hot and sunny weekend where I caught up with some umpire buddies I haven't seen in a long time and meet a few new guys. The experience was made even better with a great host who treated us wonderfully. Even the family enjoyed things on Sunday - the kids said the water spray park was the best - as I work first base in the second semifinal and then got the plate for the final, a great honour for me since I hadn't work a game all season (due to a partial mcl tear in early May) until this tournament.
And the best thing was my kids yelling during the final - Go daddy's team, Go

One last thing - I have to send out a few kudos to some friends out there that you should check out.
First is Rougeradio run by a fellow football official Jason Sperling. It may be internet radio, but the show has a great insight and some wonderful guests. A can't miss for CFL fans.
And secondly, a man who I hope to meet in person sometime soon, is Mitchell Blair (aka The Blair Necessities). I find his opinions a bit cheeky at times and other times way-out-there (and that's not because he's a Rider fan), but he's always informative and entertaining. It's too bad he's also out of the media (with the exception of guest hosting another friend's show on CKRM in Regina).

Well, that's for now. I've got a lawn that needs mowing and the rest of a beautiful day to enjoy with the family. Take care

21 Jul 2010


Today will be short...since it's mid-week and my brain has decided to take a bit of a holiday. For those of you that know me - you can stop laughing now.

Anyway, as the title states, optimism is reigning at my home right now.
We are optimistic I will find a job sooner rather than later, that we can confidently pay our present bills until that time, that the sun will shine long enough to get the entire lawn mowed, that the kids will get to enjoy the spray park again soon and that a phone call I recieved earlier today will at least provide another friend to bounce things off of - if not a job.

On the sports side, there are plenty of teams and people that need some optimism right now:
  • the Eskimos are positive they can get a win on the weekend because they have improved their ball-carrying and their fourth quarter collapsing. Only thing they won't mention is the game is against a Blue Bombers squad that is nearly as hopeless as they are and are without a proven quarterback;

  • Ilya Kovelchuk and the Devils believe they did the right thing and are optimistic their wildly outrageous and supremely idiotic 17 year-$102 million contract will eventually make the grade with the NHL. The only problem is that this contract is totally suspicious, underhanded and couldn't pass the mustard of the stink test with anyone with half a melon - of which the NHL office and any court should be able to muster up if this becomes a fight.

  • Tiger Woods can still look forward to his weekly matching of the wits with other golfers on the PGA tour. He can also be positive that the more he loses, the less Elin gets to take what's left.

  • Oilers owner, and I must admit is a bit of a bumbler when in the public eye, Daryl Katz is positive his complete turnaround on any number of issues behind the new downtown arena will win the day of the current Edmonton city council. Heck, his display today puts him right up there with most of them - who flip and flop more than a fish out of water. In the end, I think the arena gets built, Northlands is left on the outside, AEG comes in to operate the place at a huge profit for both the city and Katz, while the poor and those that are shut out of buying tickets now will forever be left out. That is, until they move to Winnipeg where the Jets will return to in the next couple of years.

  • And lastly, Lebron, Wade and Bosh are optimistic they can win an NBA championship very soon. Meanwhile, everyone else is extremely confident that Kobe and the rest of the other clubs will be able to keep the Heat cool since there is only one basketball allowed on the court and the Heat trio won't be able to keep from fighting over who wants it more....allowing the other team the chance to score on the rest of the Heat no-names.
Well, like I said, short....lol...
Take care all.

19 Jul 2010

The Five (six) W's

Yep, it's the weekend's who, what, where, when and why today.

If you aren't a golf fan, you won't have a clue what I'm talking about.
Louis Oosthuizen cruised to a huge victory at the British Open Sunday - becoming the latest no-name on the PGA tour to make a name for himself this season.
Maybe instead of this being the Year the Tiger sacked himself - or should that be Just Club It - the 2010 golf season should be proclaimed the Year of the Who's it's. Hey, they may make a great Dr. Seuss book title. Only thing is, to make it child friendly we'd have to leave out any references to Lefty, tigers or John Daly.

Finally, according to the respectable Dan Barnes at the Edmonton Journal, common sense has prevailed in the childish power struggle over control of the Alberta Soccer Association. (check today's Journal for the indepth story)
Costly lawyers for both sides have worked out an agreement (yet to be finalized) on an interim group to run the ASA until the two bullies in this playground argument have their time in court and the dispute finally put to rest. The two sides are back in court this week, but it likely won't be settled soon.
As Barnes put it, the only real way to solve this is with an election of a new board - complete without the idiots (my word, not his) that were responsible for the current mess in the first place. None of the people on the board now should be allowed to run for fear of this happening again sometime down the road when one of them gets their nose bent out of joint because they didn't get their own way.
It might also allow for the ASA to keep some of the great staff, or attract new and qualified people, as they have lost several employees due to the power struggle.

Are the Eskimos when the fourth quarter starts??
That's the big question, which no one seems to have an answer for, about the Alberta capital's CFL squad so far this season.
The 0-for the season to date club has imploded the final quarter of each contest this year and have been out-scored 29-0 in that last quarter over the three games.
It hasn't helped that normally sure-handed receivers have dropped several balls that would have been touchdowns and fumble-itis seems to have hit others on the team.
While some sources in other CFL jurisdictions have heard rumours of Ritchie Hall being on the chopping block, I have yet to hear them in this area. And I don't think changing Hall would help one bit, since I believe it's a matter of personnel not strategy.
I'd say the one who needs to be changed, is the blame-it-on-anything-else-but-me general mangler (yes, I meant that). He ruined a good team when he coached and now he's doing it from upstairs.

Will this rain stop and I can get my lawn mowed, the kids to the spray park and a job for me?

But you don't ask why? (lol...I love that commercial.)
Okay, for real, why can't people who say they love animals admit that if it wasn't for rodeos, zoos, aquariums and the animals shows that tour around....you would have no idea about what those animals were in the first place.
The reason many of these things came about was somewhat for fun (rodeos were an outlet for cowboys at the end of a hard work week) and for informing people about how intelligent the animals really are. Not like some of the nuts campaigning for 'animal rights'.
We still need these things, okay sure some of it's entertainment, but the other benefits I believe out-weigh the possible negatives.
Kids and even a lot of adults these days will never know what some of us that were brought up in a rural lifestyle 30-40 years ago. They will never experience, other that on a computer, what it's like to be upclose and personal with an animal.
These activities are the only way to make the public aware of what they are literally killing by further development and nature destroying way of recreation they persue without a care on their atv's, rv's and needless hunting.

Alright, that's it for now. Catch you all tomorrow.
And remember . . . that's just MY observation.

16 Jul 2010

Have a great weekend

Starting today, I'll have my fill of football - on tv and on the field - plus spending time with the family and some friends while celebrating my 12th wedding anniversary. Here's hoping you all have as much fun as I will...and I won't even be doing any job searching the next couple of days so you know I will be enjoying things.
That being the case, I'll leave any of you readers (if there are any) with some thoughts and opinions to consider until I return Monday.

The same thing that occurred last season when the winless Eskies walked into Taylor Field (sorry, can't convince myself to call it anything but) and put the Roughriders on their butts won't happen this season. In fact, I'd be surprised if the Esks score more than 20 points tomorrow.
This season's Roughies won't take the Esks for granted (like they did last year) and Edmonton's lack of offensive (and it really is offensive, trust me) finish will hurt in what looks to be a poor weather game if the forecast I've seen is correct.
And no, Ritchie Hall won't be on the chopping block....you'll just see more players in and out in an attempt to find the right mix.
On another CFL note, Barker is beginning to find everything falling into place for the Argos. Calgary is no slouch (granted, they're over-rated too) and the boys in blue showed they have the skills and attitude to fight back and win a tough one in the final minutes. I'm thinking the East might be as tough this season as the West, so the third team in the West may have to look over their should this year, instead of the other way around.

Okay, I know I wasn't going to dwell on hockey until at least September, but I have to weigh in on what the Oilers have gone and done with their coaching staff this week.
I'll acknowledge right now, I am not and never will be an Oilers fan (they came well after I had been indocrinated into Canadiens folklore, even though I grew up near here).
However, bringing in the likes of Steve "I like to score on my own team" Smith and the return of Kelly "Deja vu - where have I seen this before" Buchberger as assistants to Renney (after bumping Pat Quinn upstairs to a role with likely little to no input - a bad move IMO) will I believe further a similar attitude that persisted prior to the big supposed "change in direction" imposed when Pat and Tom were brought in to look after the young guys upbringing.
This move has all the imprints of Kevin "My look at the future take in the past" Lowe and not Steve Tambellini, as was supposed to be the case when Lowe said he would hardly be involved in the management decisions.
Oiler fans (of which one of my kids is - where did I go wrong?) better hope that Renney can get his assistants to follow his way of thinking and foster the attitude of the future instead of resting on the laurels of the past.

My heart goes out to the four Fort Saskatchewan Minor baseball teams that will be participating in the provincial playoffs over the next two weekends.
From all accounts, the ones playing starting today may not get in their tournaments due to rain (which is falling today and forecast for Sunday). After such a short season, and dealing with Baseball Alberta's confusing and mostly insane tiering and schedule-making, here's hoping the teams can bring it all to a successful end.
I may have photos to run next week, depending on how things turn out.

Despite the district that rules soccer in this neck of the woods and their bailing out of all provincials because the board's politics couldn't find the right butt to kiss, it's great to finally see the two ASA factions come to grips with the fact their power squabble was hurting the sport, and most of all the young kids, and let someone else run things while they fight.
As you may have been following with Dan Barnes in the Edmonton Journal, the ASA split has been running for months at a huge cost to both the ASA's bottom line and to the kids. Today it was finally announced that the two court filings - one from each side - have been adjourned until the middle of next week as the lawyers from each side work on an agreement to have an independent third party run the ASA until the dispute is settled one way or another.
It's great, since now that provincials that are left can be run without a debacle (unlike the ones earlier this month). However, it's still going to be a costly fight. Here's hoping the kids and parents don't get hit with an expensive price hike next year simply because the adults weren't the ones playing fair.

Okay, that's all from this side of the fence. Take care and have a wonderful weekend, regardless of the weather.

15 Jul 2010

A taste of the good stuff

Good thing I took yesterday off unexpectedly, since there was nothing to write about anyway.
That said, today is another day and I have a few thoughts to express.

First off, it's looking Jim Barker has a lot of great elements come together quickly - meaning Toronto may actually have a reason to follow professional football for the next few years.
The best thing was they played a relatively decent team (okay, the Stamps over-achieved in their first two games) on a night where they was nothing going on and engineered a old-fashioned come-from-behind victory on home soil.
If that doesn't renew interest for fans that figured this to be another season of debacles, I don't know what will.

Speaking of former Toronto professional sports franchises, the Blue Jays have taken more steps backward in their attempts to get more butts in the seats at the SkyDome (it's a lot easier than typing give-us-your-cash-or-we'll-hold-your-phone-and-life-hostage Centre).
They let Roy go without so much as a baseball, now they practically give away a wonderful shortstop.
It might just be me, but the Jays may want to rebuild using bricks and mortor instead of trying to selling the house and live in a barn that leaks.

This just in . . . Sportsnet football analysts recant Eskimos Grey Cup prediction in light of results from CAT scans.
In other news, Bombers fans waken from drunken stupper and ask where Mike Kelly went.

Can't believe the rain we've had here in the Alberta capital region of late. Make me remince about the storms I experienced while living in northeastern Saskatchewan.
The only difference is the trees here break branches, and it would where we used to live - if it had trees.

That's it for today.
I'm outta here, more job hunting awaits.

13 Jul 2010


After nearly two years of bondage to a desk and computer, I have been released (unfortunately not of my own free will) and will now have time to devote to this long neglected forum of opinion, satire and thought-provoking commentary.
Okay, yeah right. You can all stop chuckling now. Yes, I'm now among those looking for a job in the less-than ideal economy which we call Alberta, but I'm also one of the fortunate ones that have seen some options open up that weren't available before.
Plus, beginning today, I will be providing regular updates to my blog on topics ranging from all things hockey to the woeful Eskimos as well as some local sports with photos. Heck, I might even get some friends to supply me some photos for the blog.
And now, down to business......

As you doubtless know already, the pundits at Sportsnet predicted the Esks would be in the Grey Cup. You also have seen them put up a horrendous effort against BC and then implode in the final 23 minutes last Sunday versus Montreal.
That has everyone I know wondering where those pundits had their heads when they made that decision.
My feeling, especially after witnessing up close and personal the loss on Sunday, is that the Eskimos atmosphere has to change and loosen up somewhat. They seem uptight and either far too focused or trying too hard, which causes mental mistakes - like the second interception Ray threw as he was about to be sacked.
If you don't agree, feel free to comment. And I may even agree with you too.

I'm not sure what more has to be done, but the Edmonton Capitals presence around here seems to be non-existent. Lately, it could be the buckets of rain the area has received, but it could also be the lengthy stretches between homestands. I'm still planning on getting to a couple of games, but only when I can get back on my feet and have the cash to take the family.
On the other hand, I heard the Capitals are drawing 600 more per games than last season. It's good to see them making progress, but it could be better if they took time to help grow the game and their audience by reaching out to the youngsters outside the city limits. Fort Saskatchewan has seen huge growth this season in its numbers, something that could help both the Capitals and minor baseball if some more outreach were extended by the professional club.

Speaking of my local sports organizations, Id like to thank everyone in Fort Saskatchewan for their support and kind words following by unexpected exit from the spotlight last week. It is all very much appreciated and I'll do what I can on my blog to help deliver things that may not make it out to the public.
I'm hoping that you continue to get at least some coverage in the local media, but with the way it looks that might be wishful thinking considering the situation.
Be seeing you out and about over the next while. And if you want to let me know about something, feel free to leave a comment or fire me an email.

That's it for today, I'll be back tomorrow.
And as always . . . That is just an observation.