Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It seems fitting that with Pat Burns passing, the rumour mill is churning about another possible trade for an underrated NHL centre: Brad Richards. The similarities between Doug Gilmour and Richards career to date are eerily similiar. Each a Cup winner, with Richards being a Conn Smythe trophy selection as playoff MVP also. In the final series against Calgary, he led all forwards in ice time and played almost 27 minutes in one! Many of the Flames Cup winners from '89 say that Douggie was the catalyst for that team, just as TB players say Richards was the true hero for the Lightning. Politics and a huge Lecavalier contract played into his trade to the Stars.

Anyway, Cliff Fletcher pulled off the deal of the century with Calgary in 92 and is still an advisor to Brian Burke. Based on the Kessel deal, Burke is old school. He thinks, as I do, that if you have chance to add a top 10 NHL centre for a shutdown defenceman (who is still a prospect at 21 although looks like a long-term stud), you do it. I like Schenn, but to be successful, you have to have a number one and Richards is a good one. Faceoffs, PK, PP, rises to the occasion (Conn Smythe) and a consistently better player (when healthy) than Lecavalier, Spezza and others. His teammates love him, he's an earthy PEI boy and reminds me of where Gilmour was in his career when he joined the Leafs, without the sex assault on the babysitter in St. Louis rumours. Some players will rise to playing for the Leafs, some will crumble but I think Richards is one of the former.

Kessel and Kadri would thrive with Richards in the one hole. For one thing, how about a centre that wins more faceoffs than he loses? The Leafs rarely have the puck to start with and probably lose out on 2-3 good scoring chances a game because of it. Bozak is just too weak to fight through DMen in the NHL right now. He should be in the minors, getting stronger or send him in the Schenn deal. Throw in Komisarek or Beauchemin (take your pick). They are dependable top 4 DMen (at least Komisarek is being paid like one....but that's another debate) and Dallas has holes on defence. Stephan Robidas is their top D man. 'Nuff said.

On to the Vancouver Island weather......which more closely resembles the frozen frickin' tundra of Green Bay's superbowl era. Believe it or not, driving a golf cart at work loses its lustre when the windchill is -14! Forecast is calling for normal, high single digit temps by Saturday but the ground here by Schwartz Bay is mostly white and shiny with ice. Definitely not in any brochure pictures I've ever seen!

'til next time....

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Watching Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block live on the American Music Awards right now. There is something wrong about 30 something white guys lip synching to each other while gyrating around an elevated stage. Whenever I play them in the future...I'll have that horrible image in my mind.

Something even more wrong....Justin Bieber! I can just imagine the angst among Katy Perry and Lady Gaga who had 8 number one hits among them. This is kind of funny considering I've played music live in front of a couple thousand people this year and haven't played one Justin Bieber song. How can he be the artist of the year? I guess I just don't play tunes for enough 14 year old girls.

We start our busy Christmas season next Saturday at the CFB Esquimalt Wardroom and roll from there. 6 shows and then New Years Eve at the Air Force Base in Comox. I guess this is as close as we will ever get to 'going on the road with the band....'

'til next time.....

Saturday, November 20, 2010


This might be premature....but the Habs fans are already singing the Ole song. We're gonna score 3 unanswered......hopefully:)


Best memories for me in my drab life as a Leafs fan.....93, Doug Gilmour, Pat Burns, Gretzky, Borechevsky, Kerry Fraser and the drama that was. It seemed that was when Leafs Nation galvanized itself behind a steely ex-cop, ex-Habs coach who brought out the best in players who had not up that point, and didn't afterwards play at the level of those Leafs. Manderville, Zezel, Osbourne....plummers all. Wendel, Douggie and Andreychuk dominating.

It seems sad that Mr. Burns passed yesterday. He was a smoker all his life...but battled four separate forms of cancer for 9 years, winning a Stanley Cup along the way. An amazing and courageous battle.

I hope the Leafs win tonight, and I hope Pat is looking at it all with that smirk of his. He coached the two greatest franchises in the world, yet won his Stanley Cup in Jersey and nobody cares.

Thank you Pat for fantastic memories. I hope there are more to come.

Monday, November 15, 2010


New job is fast, strenuous, tiring, all-encompassing and a great classroom to learn all kinds of new stuff. Coming from a guy who thinks he knows everything, that's an achievement!!!

Do ya like my new picture? Reflects the way I probably looked this morning standing in the middle of the lot with vehicles, trailers and air hoses flying all around me. Discombobulated! I'm a beancounter for gods sake!

Getting better as I become more familiar with the equipment, staff and whereabouts of everything. I think Karen and I are going to love it there.

Leafs are still not winning BUT, they did look semi-competitive for at least 1/3rd of the game against the 'Nucks. That's a whole lot better than the Florida debacle.

'Til next time when I have more energy to rant about other things.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Started a new job today. Karen and I are the new management team at a service outlet here in Victoria, involved in storage and hauling equipment. I'll provide more details once I know what the heck is happening. It all happened really quickly and was totally fate that we even found about it. The newspaper, which we NEVER read, was falling out of the mailbox. I brought it in and it fell open on the add for a "Management Team" Wanted.....that was Thursday before Remembrance Day ceremonies. Karen impressed the hiring team so much that we are already on the payroll!

It's kind of exciting as I haven't actually worked since June of 2008. That's not totally true since I've certainly 'worked' hard on upgrading my education and skills, completing:

the Canadian Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) certification
the Canadian Investment Funds Course (I was working with Investors Group post-military)
the Life License Qualification Program (Life Insurance)
and finally an undergraduate degree in Commerce at Royal Roads University, where I and my classmates were subjected to 2 years of curriculum jammed into 44 weeks of full-time school with one week breaks between semesters. I haven't really had a chance to breathe until now.

All this to say, now that I've got these 'skills' it's time to put them to work. I'll keep you posted about our progress and daily follies as we complete our training, get to know our staff and kill rodents, which, unbeknownst to me are quite rampant in storage facilities because people actually store FOOD in their units! Apparently, all part of the job description.

Gonna be a blast! I know Karen is excited for the opportunity to manage and be creative. She's already picked up some really sexy steel-toe shoes for work:) Me, I'm just excited to have a bit of focus, a chance to try and learn new things and most of all, get to do it with Karen by my side. I also have picked up some pretty smokin' steel toes shoes! Gotta look good.....

All that and power tools, a golf cart to get around the compound in! It's almost heaven for a jobsite!

'Til next time. The Leafs are just about to destroy those hated Vancouver Canucks!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Poppies are on, we're off to the cenotaph in Sidney for ceremonies.

A good day to reflect....not only about lost and injured Canadians in the past conflicts, but also the state of our world now, how we got here and where we are going.

My friends in Tanzania right now are having eyes opened I'm sure. I wish more Canadians could see the abstract poverty in Africa, and other parts of the world....mostly caused by conflict between powerful, greedy men sponsored by nations or corporations intent on raping the land of whatever scarce resource offered for sale or bribe.

When I hear the annual refrain about how Canadians should be thankful for everything our veterans have done for us, maybe a higher power (by no means the ineffectual UN) should ask the question:

"What are YOU doing to make sure their sacrifice was not in vain?"

The world has never seen as much conflict or turmoil as we are seeing now and thank goodness for the USA and their ability to be in so many places at once, patching so many holes in the infrastructure of our planet. Politics and historical events aside, we must all thank the US for doing what it does.....especially given the abysmal state of their own economy. Believe me, in many of these places they are the ONLY thing between semi-peace and total anarchy. The Tea Party or whatever they purport themselves to be....would put a stop to these policies and 'close the barn door' to the developing world. Heaven help the rest of us if that should happen.

Any UN that has terrorist sponsoring nations on it's security council is a joke and I'm ashamed of Canadians for blaming our inability to 'win' a seat on the Council as a Harper mistake. Who wants to be part of a totally ineffective and inefficient, notwithstanding hypocritical, UN sponsored council? Libya, Algeria and Syria have been members of this council in the past.... It will probably save taxpayers 10 million a year or so by not having to augment staff etc with additional responsibilities.

Put the 10 million towards entrepreneurial ventures in Africa, and in Canada, that can "show a man how to fish, and not just give away a fish..." which has not only been our foreign aid policy to date but our domestic one too....thank god for oil, eh Maritimers? Building a sustainable replacement industry for fisheries was never in the offing....more handouts. I say now, that you possess valuable resources other than menu items...you hold the Feds for ransom....oh wait, that's what Danny Williams is doing now! Good on him!

If history has shown anything it is this: What goes around, generally comes around...

Remember our fallen, their efforts and not let it all be in vain....

'Til next time