Monday, February 27, 2006
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Here's today sport column from Bill Lankhof,Toronto Sun.
Sat, February 25, 2006
'Incredibly big thing'
Transplanted Newfoundlanders in T.O. add their voices to the cheers from the island
By BILL LANKHOF, TORONTO SUN
Rocks make 'em rock on Rock
To the people in the rest of Canada it might have been just another Olympic medal but to Newfoundlanders the victory in Turin by the Brad Gushue rink goes closer to the heart and holds a meaning that runs deep.
"When they close all the schools in Newfoundland it shows how big this is. A lot of people here (Toronto) say what's all the fuss about," Cal Head said, watching the TV screen at the Eton Pub on Danforth Ave. "But this day is as important to Newfoundlanders as 1972 and the hockey is to the rest of Canada."
Head, like many other transplanted Newfoundlanders, gathered in pubs across Canada.
"But I'd like to be in Newfoundland tonight," Fred Layden, watching the game with friends at Noah's Ark on Dawes Rd., said. "There'll be a three-day hangover after this back home. This is the big time for Newfoundland."
Yes, this was more than just about curling. It's about vindication for a people and a province that are isolated from the rest of Canada geographically -- and often politically and socially.
Tom Adams left Concepcion Bay 40 years ago. But his soul never left The Rock. "We've never won anything before. This is the first time I think someone from Newfoundland has even made it to the Olympics.
"We always seem to get the raw deals. Quebec gave us a raw deal on the hydro. We've got offshore oil, but instead of us getting benefits, it all goes to the U.S. None is refined in Newfoundland. They took away the fisheries but nobody can take this away from us," Adams said, watching Gushue raise his arms on the podium.
Gushue has given the province validation, Newfoundlanders in Toronto said. It shows that, given an opportunity, they can compete with the best in the world. So when Gushue put up a six-spot, Layden, who left Lewisport, Nfld., 25 years ago whooped: "We're kickin' ass now."
Fortunately for a black-hearted columnist who dared use dark humour in praise of Gushue when he won the Canadian championship -- raising the ire of Newfoundlanders -- it wasn't his own.
But many e-mails and telephone messages -- suggesting I should die of AIDS, deserve to be shot and fired, and am a racist who must be the spawn of Hitler -- indicate that others are not about to forget this without a colourfully written letter or a telephone message that would make a sailor blush.
But at the bars, there was only one discouraging word amid the jubilation. It came as the TV screens showed Gushue taking the podium for the national anthems. "They should burn the Canadian flag now and jump on it. Then we should join the United States," said Adams' fellow patron, jamming a hat over his head and heading for the pub door -- leaving his invective without his name.
Probably best that way for everyone.
A DAY OF JOY
Mostly, though, this was a day of joy, happiness and pride.
"This is a big day for Newfoundland. Maybe you have to be (a Newfoundlander) to understand how big," Layden said. "I can't think of any other Newfoundland athletes who've made it this big.
"The thing with Newfoundland is that it's pretty isolated and there isn't a lot of sponsorship, which makes it difficult for any athlete. What's the point in training for something only to reach a point and have to quit and get nothing out of it?"
Cal Head skipped work to watch this final. "I was talking to my sister back home and watching the CBC and all the crazed curling fans at the stadium in St. John's."
He grew up in Glenwood, hard by the Gander River, and knows how starved his home province has been for international heroes. "I hope this makes everyone feel proud. We have Rick Mercer, who is the greatest since sliced bread, and Harry Hibbs was famous -- but he just played the accordion. For anyone to make it internationally or at the Olympics as an athlete is an incredibly big thing for us.
"You've got to remember the whole population of Newfoundland is less than half a million, less than Scarborough," Head said. "We don't get many chances and because of that we probably appreciate it more than other parts of Canada."
Not that we'd be able to comment on that, considering the next medal someone from Toronto wins at these games would be the first.
Not that that's likely to happen.
Bill ol buddy,your off the hook. After that little piece, i don't wish to kick your ass and would have a drink with you anyday. Preferably beer,because despite what you or other mainlanders may still believe, we don't sit around drinking Screech all day.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Brad Gushue Wins Gold February 24, 2006
Brad Gushue has won an Olympic Gold Medal! Gushue beat Finland 10-4 this afternoon in Italy. Team Gushue played hard throughout the game picking up 6 in the 6th end to push ahead 10-3. Finland picked up one in the 8th end, but soon conceeded the game. This is truly an historic day for Newfoundland and Labrador and the entire country. It's Canada's first Olympic Gold in men's curling and the first gold medal in any sport for Newfoundland and Labrador. Cheers rang out at locations around the province including Mile One Stadium, the St. John's Curling Club, and O'Donel High School in Mount Pearl. The Brad Gushue Rink will be bringing home an Olympic Gold Medal!!!!!
Education Minister Joan Burke is shutting down schools in Newfoundland and Labrador this afternoon!Team Canada's curling team is going for Gold in Torino at one o'clock island time.Team Canada is made up of four from our province,Brad Gushue,Mark Nichols,Jamie Korab,Mike Adamand Coach Toby Mcdonald.Russ Howard from New Brunswick makes up the other member and im sure now is considered part of our province. It's been a bitter sweet battle for our curlers since they got selected to travel to Torino to represent our country.A story in The Toronto Sun,Dec.14/2005 caused quite a stir and was considered by many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians as hate literature against us. Its opening line says it all,"It's the biggest thing to happen in The Land Cod Forgot since the inventionof the pogey cheque -- Newfoundland's native son Brad Gushue will represent Canada in curling at the 2006Olympics in Turin."Hopefully after tommorow the editor of that piece of hate literature will apologise publically to the whole province. Good luck Brad,Mark,Russ,Jamie,Mike and Toby.
todays story on VOCM NEWS:
Brad Gushue Rink Playing for GoldFebruary 24, 2006
It is already being described as a defining moment in the province's history. Brad Gushue and Team Canada go for the Olympic Gold in curling today at 1 p.m. Newfoundland time, and everyone wants a part of it. Schools, including the College of the North Atlantic, will close at lunchtime so students can witness the event. Education Minister Joan Burke declared the half holiday, saying she wants students to remember exactly where they were when Brad and his team played for the gold. Not everyone is happy with government's decision. Callers to VOCM Niteline with Linda Swain agreed to a one that they back Brad, but some lashed out a the holiday idea. Teachers president Kevin Foley fully supports the decision and feels students will get a lot out of it. He feels it will increase students' pride in the province and their interest in sports.
Brad's high school alma mater is O'Donel in Mount Pearl. The game will be showed on a big screen in the gym and principal Mike Sutton says it will be a great afternoon. Student Council President Kathy Balsom says Brad is a big inspiration.
The St. John's Curling Club will be the backdrop of one of many big parties for Team Gushue today. Manager Peter Russell told VOCM Niteline he is confident the team will make us proud. Fans in the metro area can view a live feed of Gushue's gold medal game today at Mile One Stadium but, due to the World Curling Tour, organizers advise there will be no sound available. Masters of Curling chairman Gary Stamp says the top curlers here for that event, are pleased they'll be able to show Brad their support too. The Memorial University Alumni Association and The Works have also arranged for the game to be shown on a big screen at the Field House. The event is free and open for students, alumni and the university community. Several members of the Gushue team are MUN alumni. Harbour Grace mayor Don Coombs says all are welcome to their town for a big celebration during the game. Coombs says many residents will gather together and enjoy fish and brews while watching the game and he says anyone is invited to share in the excitement.
Labrador City Mayor Graham Letto says residents in Labrador City and Wabush are invited to the local curling club to watch the game on a big screen.
Sport Newfoundland and Labrador president Tom Godden says win or lose, the Gushue rink has made the province proud. Godden says the fact that amateur sport can bring the entire province together in such a manner, is true testament to the impact sports have in our lives.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
One kilometer East of Cape Ray you enter The Big Pond area and the beginning of the Wreckhouse area. At that point you may notice a natural occuring phenomenon called the Wave forest on the side of a mountain. A wave forest occurs when alternating strips of live and dead trees extend across some of the higher forested ridges and mountainside. If you take the time to notice you can see why the term "wave" is used. In front of each dead wave of trees you will find fir trees and the scatter spruce tree. When the mature trees die off at the front of the wave the light starved balsam fir seedlings finally start to grow and become the next mature trees and continuing the cycle. It occurs in this area because of the Wreckhouse winds that can gust as high as 200 kilometers per hour.The wave of each new forest moves no more then 100 yards every half century.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Ocean temperatures in the North Atlantic hit an all-time high the past few years and the sea ice off the coast of Newfoundland below normal compared to data taken years ago. We have called it global warming and no one seems to question it anymore. It's not a question about whether these changes are happening anymore, it's a question of the speed at which these things are changing. The photo is of a Ruby Throated Hummingbird i shot through my window last summer. We started seeing them a few years ago and now they reappear every summer here in Cape Ray like clockwork. On the way to work each morning during summer i slow and watch Great Blue Herons feeding in the industrial park region of Port Aux Basques and their numbers increase yearly. Over the pass few years i have captured photos of Snowy Egrets in my community. The Humming birds,Herons and Egrets where not part of my fathers world here nor mine until a few years ago. I can only wonder what mother nature has in store for my grandchildren as they grow here in Newfoundland?
Monday, February 20, 2006
A few years back we discovered some plants growing wild along the roadside and wondered if we could transplant them in our garden at Cape Ray. The next summer and every following summer they flourished and even spread to our neighbours properties. After asking around and looking on the internet we discovered that this Perennial that grew to heights of three feet are called Musk Mallows. They flower from late June to September here and really give the garden a wild look.(Photo: my granddaughter standing by a bed of them) They seem to only come in pink or white but never seem to blend together.Over the years we have dug up quite a few wild flowers while travelling along the highways including lupins,foxgloves and the wild dog roses. none seem to prosper as well as the musk flower. We have found other flowers growing wild and still have not found the proper name for them.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Recently got my hands on a program called Photographic Edges and i was looking forward to using the darn thing. This morning i decided to give it a try and started producing great results but could save none of the images i created. I now discover that i can't use my Adobe Photoshop and i figure there may be a conflict somewhere. Im hoping my kid can take control of my computer and fix it without me having to uninstall/reinstalling both programs. The edge program takes up to 20 minutes to install and that's about the limits of my patience here lately.
Lately i have been going online and looking at some great tutorials. If anyone is interested, this site, seems to be the better of what i have found so far.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Just saw the preview to a film called "Looking for comedy in the Muslim World." I don't know any Muslims so i have never been able to see for myself what they are like. Most of my views into the Muslim World comes from my television screen and those images don't exactly show me humor. All i get to see is rampaging ones burning flags,doing the scatter beheading and beating the living hell out of women who don't cover their heads. Surly there has to be more then this! Muslim kids must be learning something besides the three R's in school there. Readin,Rittin and Rioting can't be all they teach them kids.
OK,all jokes aside.There are some Muslim comedians and the guy posted here is Azhar Usman who sports a a bushy beard and black skullcap and his first joke on stage is usually "I'm Osama bin Laden's cousin," he says. "They call me 'Bin Laughin.' "Thank God or that Allah fellow for at least having one Muslim comedian,but im sure he won't be getting any bookings in the Middle East anytime soon. A few days ago i blogged and i guess Bin Ladens other cousin Bin Plottin must of Bin Googling and found my blog with the kid full of explosives. Ben Plottin told me Satan was urinating in my ears and a few other things. I guess i must of peed in Bin Plottins corn flakes because he went on a bit more and now i moderate my comments before publishing. Bin Plottins IP addy was from Cyprus and i must say it's great having the world view the comments of a little guy from Cape Ray. Sorry guys,we don't have a flag of Cape Ray so you'll have to burn the Canadian one i guess. Click here for a movie preview.
Friday, February 10, 2006
OK, forget that,besides im not Catholic so i don't have to confess.Been doing a bit of painting and other things lately.My self esteem was down a quart, but yesterday i received some advice on something and today i feel on top of the world.
Watched a bit of rodeo riding on tv last night and saw a few cowboys land on their ass and a few others land on their head. I know one of those cowboy hats look great but right now im figuring El Kabong here is wishing he wore a helmet.
Anyway back on the Catholic thing......someone is offering $1,000.00 for anyone who can prove the Earth revolves around the sun. They claim that good Catholics really do have to believe that the earth is the center of the universe. Im not making this up!Even my mind works better then this.Click here to see.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
So far over 30 foreign journalist have been kidnapped in Iraq and more in other Middle Eastern nations.I often wondered why Christiane Amanpour has not made it to that list.I first caught my view of her in the 1991 Gulf War and have been quite the fan since then. Without Christiane a guy like me just wouldn't be able to sitdown and watch a war.I just love that British-educated accent of hers and the way she controls those who are asking her questions. This girl looks great even without sleep and i wonder sometimes does she go over and party with the rebels all night. It was rumoured recently that Bush had her wiretapped and i can see why if he did. George and i probably have a lot in common. We both have our fantasies about Christiane. Mine is curled up in a fox hole somewhere with her and George's is about...?? will! i dunno,can't speak for George,hell he can't even speak for himself. I do hope however, if the Iran thing escalates my Christiane will be over there covering the story of the mushroom cloud from a safe distance. Keep safe honey!No one can do a war justice like you can.
Monday, February 06, 2006
It's high time to realize were in the mists of a cultural war on this planet which is growing into a violent stuggle with Islam? Canada is no different and not immune. Here we can even put a name to it,"Suicide via multiculturalism."Recently we saw a cartoon controversy in Denmark which seemed to portray the prophet Muhammad as a terrorist.The Muslims deem images of prophets disrespectful and caricatures blasphemous but yet consider public beheadings of those who drew the cartoons ok and justified. Some Danish cartoonists have gone in hiding,fearing for their lives and Islamic groups have place bounties on them. Freedom of the press those days seem to be only for the editors who bash the U.S.A. and Bush. Dalil Boubakeur,The imam of the Mosque of Paris and president of the French Muslim Council said "The prophet did not found a terrorist religion, but on the contrary a religion of peace."I think it's high time for that guy to tell it to the Muslims. Convince them first,then come tell the rest of us in the civilized world. The photo above is that of a Muslim child with explosives attached.Ready to do Allahs work!I don't know what that little guy is going to do with his 72 virgins in Heaven.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Billy not only has the talent to amuse us nightly but he has made a few musical accomplishments as well. Many Moons ago(pardon the pun) Billy wrote the song "Newfie Girl." That song was made popular here by Dick Nolan and we have Bily to thank for that one. Billy has had quite a few jam sessions with other popular Newfoundland and Labrador artists over the years including Nolan,Harry Hibbs,Eddie Coffee and others. I got the chance to chat with Billy a few years back. Billy use to phone VOCM Niteline and tell the late George MacLaren that he had a bubble for Premier Roger Grimes. I became quite amused at the going ons that night between them both and photoshopped the premier in a bubble and added a poem about Billy giving it to him. I emailed it to Mr. MacLaren who told Billy.Billy then asked for a copy so i mailed one to him. Sitting at home one evening with a few friends the phone rang. It was no other then the MOON MAN wanting to talk to me. After thanking me for the photo he said goodbye and signed off with his YABBA DABBA DO. My wife asked who it was and i said that was the Moon Man! She replied and said she thought it was Santa Clause by the way i was acting and grinning. I told her,"my dear woman there is no Santa,but there is a Moon Man!" YABBA DABBA DO!