Rumblings, Ruminations, and Retrospectives

Musings from the mind of the Beast.

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SEAHAWKS!

Yes, it’s been a while since I posted. Not much to talk about lately, but I’m going to try and fix that.

As a newly-minted NFL fan, especially a fan of the DEFENDING SUPER BOWL CHAMPION Seattle Seahawks, I would totally not be doing my duty if I didn’t mention it was the opening night of pre-season Thursday night.

We face – once again – the Denver Broncos, and I look forward to posting mocking tiny horsie pictures that will definitely upset some of my Twitter followers, but it will be worth it.

I’m looking forward to being a member of the 12’s again this year, and cheering the team on to a repeat Super Bowl Championship. GO HAWKS!

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The Iron Sheik: Iranian Legend

Anyone that knows me know that I’ve been a pro wrestling fan for as long back as I remember. I did a story for A1-Wrestling.com on the Iron Sheik, one of the legends of the business.

Check it out here: http://www.a1-wrestling.com/blog/2013/07/17/the-iranian-legend-iron-sheik/

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My Hockey Sh!t List

My Hockey Sh!t List

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m one of those hockey junkies that needs it to live, like blood, or oxygen. I have some great loves in hockey and some all-time favorites; Gretzky will always be my favorite player ever. The Detroit Red Wings will always be my favorite team. I’m totally immersed in the return and rebirth of our own Winnipeg Jets.

But, as I have some great favorites, I have some things in hockey that I depise with as much passion as the things I really love in hockey.

And here’s my Top 5:


#1: The Toronto Maple Leafs

Why, you ask? Yes, I know they’re a Canadian team, but when you’ve grown up in small-town Manitoba and one of the three channels you got on TV was CBC and your hockey was limited to Hockey Night In Canada for nearly 20 years, you get sick and tired of the CBC’s constant shoving of the Maple Laughs down our throats pretty quick. That, combined with the TSN’s (aka Toronto Sports Network) doing the same thing as well in recent years, and my Maple Leafs Suffrage-Meter has peaked out, nay, exploded, and I’ve had quite enough.

Oh yeah, and they suck.

They suck so much, their name has been taken OFF the Stanley Cup because they haven’t come close to it in almost 45 years.

It’s a shame, too, that Nazim Kadri and James Reimer (OPTIMUS REIM!!) got stuck in such a shitty organzination. The only times I watch Leafs games is if I get to enjoy my Wings whipping their asses, or if the Jets happen to be playing them.

#2 The Montreal Canadiens

Why? See #1 above. The only reason they get the #2 spot and aren’t tied for #1 with The Bugs is that they have P. K. Subban. PK is AWESOME. Finally, a talented kid that has the guts to stand up to the vets and play like he can every night. Love his attitude, and he’s fun to watch.

#3 Philadelphia Flyers Fans

Screw you, you bunch of disrespectful assholes for booing the Canadian National Anthem at the 2012 Winter Classic. The least classy fans in the NHL.

#4 NHL Officials

Normally, I’ve been a proponent of the officials in the NHL. They’ve done pretty excellent work, raising their game over the past several years from the mess that we had in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

But what in the HELL is happening this year? I have never seen such inconsistent application of the rules in the NHL, not only from official to official, but by the SAME official in the SAME GAME! One guy mows an opponent over from behind, and gets a penalty. Awesome! Next period, another guy mows an opponent over from behind, and there’s no call.

Blatant, blatant, obvious, calls are being missed. Calls SO bad that my mom, who really doesn’t even watch hockey since I stopped playing nearly 20 years ago, could make these calls. Things happening right in front of an official that are not being called. And to think, this is why they put TWO officials on the ice in the first place!

Come on, folls. You really need to sharpen up.

#5 Daniel Carcillo

Nah, he doesn’t deserve his own logo.

The guy gets suspended for an unreal *10TH* time for boarding an Edmonton Oilers player. $775,000 for 11 points and 82 PIM – almost two minor penalties per game so far this year? I’m glad he’s on a one year deal and maybe not only Chicago will not re-sign him for next year, but the rest of the league will smarten up and no one else will sign him either.

So there you go. The Top 5 Craptastic Things About The NHL right now.

If the list changes I’ll update it, but for now, there you are!

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GO JETS GO!

FINALLY…. I HAVE GONE BACK… TO AN NHL GAME!

It’s been 16 years since I’ve last seen a live, regular season NHL game.

Sure, I went to one of the exhibition games when the Phoenix Coyotes played the Edmonton Oilers here in town a few years ago, but that was exhibition. Not since October 15, 1995, when the Detroit Red Wings came to down and played to a 5-5 OT draw had I seen a regular season game.

Tonight, November 17th, 2011, that all changed. The Winnipeg Jets made their return to the NHL this season, and even though I didn’t purchase season tickets, I was fortunate enough to be drawn in the public ticket lottery to purchase tickets for one of six November games, and since Alexander Ovechkin was coming to town with the Washington Capitals, why not take the chance to see one of the best as I cheered on the Jets?

All I’ve heard through the first bunch of home games this year from fans, family, and friends who’ve attended is that it’s not just watching a hockey game, it’s an experience. Even though we have a smaller arena at 15,000 seats, I’ve been told it’s LOUD. The fans are crazy. The city has been bitten hard by the NHL bug, and we’re all just happy to have the game back in town.

So, I prepared for that. I’m like the fans I’ve heard talking… “So what if they lose? The NHL is back, baby!”

Stephanie and I got to the game and took our seats – excellent seats, by the way, first and second row in the middle level. Yup, we sat one behind the other, because there’s so few tickets available to the public, so pickin’s were slim. But at least we got to sit together. As the teams stepped onto the ice for the start of the game, man, you could FEEL it. When the announcer bellowed out “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome… YOUR… WINNIPEG JETS!!” the place… just… went… NUTS. It was awesome!

From even before the opening faceoff, when during the national anthem the crowd SHOUTED out the words “TRUE NORTH!” during the “true North strong and free” in Oh Canada, the crowd, all 15,000 strong, was in to every single moment. From cheering and letting out huge “OHHHHHHH!’s” every time a Jet laid a hit, made a good shot, or came up with a close play around the net, to cheering good saves by our goaltender or nice offensive plays, to giving the officials shit for questionable calls, to booing the absolute HELL out of Alexander Ovechkin, the crowd was HOT.

And to sidebar about Ovechkin… well, I lost a lot of respect for him tonight. Love or hate him, the guy is an amazing offensive player, but that’s ALL he does. When he’s on the ice, he doesn’t play defense. He just cherry picks in the high slot or the blue line waiting to take off with the puck. If he gets hit, he cries about it. He will start shit and get both teams in a scrum, but then he’ll turn and skate away from it all. When he’s losing or getting mad, he gets all upset. There was one play where he got his stick lifted by a Jet, and he thought there should have been a slashing penalty called on the play. The play continued on, and he left the ice. *Half a period later*, when the second was over, he came back on the ice and straight to the official to bitch about it, but the ref would have nothing of it and even demonstrated to Ovy how the Jet was just trying to lift his stick. It was awful. And that’s a bit sad, since he’s so talented and I was a fan of his, but now after watching him play for a full game and not just seeing highlights of greatness on TV, I have to say that he’s a big whiny bitch and I really don’t care for that all that much.

Anyway, back to the game and the crowd.

OH. MY. GOD… when the Jets scored a goal – when they lit the lamp 4 times during the game, the response from the crowd can only be described as an ERUPTION. It was that nuts. I found myself LEAPING out of my seat when we scored, it was that awesome.

It goes without saying, the fans in this city are hockey fans, and they are Jets fans. The crowds are amazing, and to be part of 15,000 people screaming “GO JETS GO” at the top of our lungs all in unison is just something that has to be experienced. It’s incredible. If you get a chance to go, don’t even worry about winning or losing. Just go and be part of that atmospshere. It is simply INSANE.

As for the team itself, we’re a young team that’s starting to come together. We have a lot of offensive talent. We have a fantastic goaltending core with starter Ondrej Pavelic and backup Chris Mason. I will even go so far as to call Pavelic an elite goaltender. He is that good. He’s solid, he moves side to side very well, his positioning allows him to stop pucks he can’t see and has no business stopping, and has great reflexes and ability under pressure. Our defense is solid. If this team can stay together for three or four years, we could seriously have a playoff team that makes the second and third rounds.

We do have to fix a couple things though. As a team, we have to take the body more. We don’t finish a lot of checks, and spend a lot of time skating with people and trying to play the puck, swinging our sticks at them or poke-checking instead of just playing physical game and then taking the puck after we’ve taken the man out. The other thing we need to correct defensively is making deadly cross-ice passes, or trying to make a long pass up the middle. We end up turning the puck over more often than we do making the play, and that is *extremely* costly in our own end.

If we can correct those two major issues, the smaller things will iron themselves out as this team grows and some of the younger players get some more experience. Bfyuglien and Enstrom are solid D-men, while Flood and Oduya show signs of excellent play as well. Up front, Nik Antropov is an offensive force, while Glass, Wellwood, Wheeler, and Slater all are young guys playing well and will become excellent players with more experience. Evander Kane is simply exciting to watch, and at 20 years old, is poised to be a superstar with the right supporting staff, and that staff is growing right in front of our eyes.

This team is going to finish well this season, and in 3 or 4 years, could very well be a force in the NHL. I can’t wait to see it happen. What a fun night of NHL hockey! I can’t wait to go back! Some pics are below!

 

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Changing My Tune

When it comes to sports, and especially hockey, I’ve always been pretty opinionated. I’ve followed the NHL as far back as I can possibly remember. I used to have hockey cards pinned up on the kitchen wall. I used to know the name of every player in the league, what team they played on, and their stats for the last several years.

As a hockey fan, I’ve always been a Wayne Gretzky, Detroit Red Wings, and Edmonton Oilers fan.

Maybe you’ve heard the buzz around Winnipeg lately, you might have figured out we used to (and now once again) have this little NHL team called the Winnipeg Jets.

So, people used to ask me… why aren’t the Jets your favorite team? You should support your local team! You’re a traitor if you don’t like your local team!

Well, sorry to disappoint everyone, but back then, the Jets sucked. They got whipped from pillar to post by Mr. Gretzky and the Oilers on a yearly basis, and never came close to a Stanley Cup.

Now, it’s 15 years later. The NHL has returned to Winnipeg. And, you know something?

I’m really cheering for this team.

Win or lose, I’m a Winnipeg Jets fan.

I was originally one of the skeptics. I used all the same old excuses. Tickets are going to be too expensive. We didn’t support the Jets before, so why would we now? They’re just going to leave again.

The return of the Jets to Winnipeg has become the talk of Canada, even North America in hockey circles. The work that Mr. Chipman and Mr. Thompson, along with all of True North, has been phenomenal, and the buzz that has gripped this city is nothing short of unbelieveable.

And I’m caught up in it 120%.

It doesn’t matter if they’re called the Jets. It doesn’t matter if the logo has changed.

NHL hockey is back in town.

I follow some hockey players on Twitter, and all of the transplanted Atlanta Thrashers that are now Winnipeg Jets have been nothing short of excited to be here, stoked to play hockey in Winnipeg, and have carried themselves with a whole ton of class. Especially Evander Kane, who is now officially my favorite Winnipeg Jet.

Don’t worry, Mr. Gretzky. You’re always going to be my favorite player of all time. Don’t worry, Detroit Red Wings, you’re still my favorite team.

But, you’re going to have to move over, because the Winnipeg Jets have claimed one of the spots in my hockey heart.

I support my local team.

Winnipeg Jets Logo

I’m a Winnipeg Jets fan.

GO JETS GO!

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Me? On iTunes? You Bet!

Alright everyone, I need to make an announcement.

*stands up and addresses the crowd*

My name is Jarret, and I’m a pro wrestling fan. I have been for an awful long time.

I watch wrestling on television. I’ve participated in fantasy wrestling federations where we role-play as wrestling characters and developed our own wrestling tv shows. I’ve been to many live professional wrestling events, and for a while, I wanted to BE a pro wrestler, and even started training to do just that.

<begin plug>I own a professional wrestling web site that amalgamates wrestling and mixed martial arts news from around the world, and the site also features an awesome message board with a fun community.

Make sure you check out A1-Wrestling.com!<end plug>

A few months ago, some members of the site and I began a new project. We were going to venture into the world of digital media and internet content, and such was born the A1-Wrestling.com PODCAST.

Each week, myself and four friends from the web site get together over Skype, and we talk primarily about the world of pro wrestling. What happened over the last week? What do we think is going to happen in upcoming storylines and shows? We dissect the art of pro wrestling. Our most recent episode delved deep into the art of the wrestling promo. The trash talk. The interview. We played clips of our favorite promos and talked about why we loved them.

But we don’t just talk pro wrestling. We have an awesome Buy Or Sell segment, we talk tech, gaming, current news, pop culture, and anything else that comes to mind.

But now, the whole point of this post.

I’m pleased to announce that you can find the A1-Wrestling.com Podcast on iTunes! Check out the iTunes store to subscribe for free, or check out our iTunes web page, or the A1-Wrestling.com Podcast page to stream the podcasts in your browser.

Announcement Part 2: The A1-Wrestling.com Podcast, in just a few short months, has already reached over 5,000 downloads!

Thanks for all your support! You can be part of the podcast! Leave us a voicemail at 206-338-2228, email us at a1wrestlingpodcast@gmail.com!

If you’d like to join us as a special guest, we record the podcast Tuesday evenings at approximately 10 PM, and is available Wednesday afternoons for downloads. You can hit me up on Skype @ octopusprime99 and join in on the fun!

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Life In The Center of The Universe

Or, “Our Quick Excursion to Toronto”.

I used the phrase “Center of the Universe” to describe Toronto because that’s the way most of us in the West of this great country feel about Toronto; they get everything, the government caters to them, we’ve been assaulted with FAR too many Maple Leaf games on CBC… everything in this country seems to revolve around Toronto, or at least, that’s the way it feels sometimes.

Didn’t feel like that when we traveled there, though.

Stephanie and I went to Toronto for what turned out to be three really fun-filled days from the 15th to the 17th of July. Just a quick break, a reason to get out and do something.

Who am I kidding? We went because I’m a giant geek and I wanted to go to TransformersCon. We just added a couple extra days and did stuff that didn’t center around what *I* wanted to do. :)

We left super early on Thursday morning (the 15th); our plane took off at 5:45 AM, so that brought about the now-ingrained custom, well, now, tradition, of Stephanie and I rushing to do everything at the VERY last moment the night before we left, getting two hours of sleep, and then stumbling to the airport.

Thankfully, some brilliant human invented web check-in, so we checked in a day ahead of time, and showed up at the airport with boarding passes already in hand. All we had to do was check our bags and get abused by airport security before getting on the plane.

The flight was great – it’s awesome now that we’ve lost all this weight (crossed the 80 pound mark today!) and airplane seats are SO much more comfortable! After landing in Toronto around 8:45 AM, we headed over to pick up our rental car.

I’m wondering at this point if these guys ever get anything right.

We get to the rental desk inside the airport, and the guy can’t find our reservation (we booked through Air Miles). Finally, he finds it after a few minutes, and says our car is waiting. We take our papers over to the parkade where the cars are, and the car we were assigned was already given to someone else.

So now, while I’m waiting for another car, I have to endure an East Indian gentlemen (who I’m sure is otherwise a very nice man) screaming at the desk clerk because he was apparently given the wrong price, yet he was given all the paperwork and just didn’t understand. I think the guy wanted a SUV, and ended up leaving with his family in a Dodge Charger because of the mix up.

And did I mention the young woman, with her husband and baby, desperately trying to pick up their reservation, but didn’t have her drivers’ license with her? No ID, no rent-y, sister.

So, we were supposed to get the Charger, but the lovely East Indian man drove off with it.

Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound quite right.

I don’t mean anything by it, really.

So now I’m waiting for another car. We end up with a Ford Fusion.

I’m deathly allergic to Ford.

Something about them breaking down and leaving me stranded. We load our suitcases up into the trunk (which was quite spacious, I might add. You could store several bodies in there comfortably. Something to keep in mind next time work pisses me off) and get into the car, which was actually quite nice. None of my allergies were kicking in.

Where to? Let’s go to the hotel and check in.

So, off we go. We’re confident. Stephanie has a map and is doing a fantastic job at navigating. She’s bound and determined we’re not going to get lost. (Unlike last time I drove in Toronto, where I somehow ended up on the QEW and in Mississauga.) Stephanie plots a course and lays it in, and I take the helm and we’re off. Everything checks out. We pass all the correct streets. I don’t turn off onto any major freeways.

A few minutes later, something’s not right.

“We’re on the 401,” I say.

“How the hell did that happen?” asks Stephanie.

A giant feeling of deja vu kicks in, and 15 minutes later, we’re nowhere NEAR where we should be.

Our hotel was back beside the airport.

I get us turned around after being stuck in traffic for almost an hour (damned closed roads!), and find a familiar street. Stephanie plots us back to the hotel, and we get there around 11 AM.

Check-in is at 3 PM.

Dammit.

So, let’s go downtown and meet our co-workers for lunch. We hop back in the car, and Stephanie plots another course. We’re perfect this time, and make it downtown smoothly. But on the way and navigating we’re all “that street looks familiar” and “so does this one”.

Turns out that when we got “lost” (and I use quotes cause we weren’t really lost, we just took the scenic route), we were about two minutes from where we’re going now. We just drove in one gigantic circle.

Figures.

We finally get downtown and park at a subway station, and take the subway deep into downtown. My first ever subway ride. We meet Adeel and Steve from our Toronto office (Adeel used to work with me here in Winnipeg) and Steve takes us to the Friar and Firkin, an English pub. The food was tremendous (even though it was just pub fare), and talking with Adeel and Steve was a fun time. On the way back to the Toronto office to meet everyone, I got a great picture (forthcoming) of the CTV building with a truck sticking out the side of it a couple floors up.

Back to the office to some other co-workers, and then it was off to the Hockey Hall of Fame. I’d finally get to go here and spend more than 45 minutes there. On the way there, we got a free ice-cream sandwich from in front of Union Station.  We went through the whole building in a few hours, and saw everything from the net filled with 802 pucks (Gretzky’s goal record), to the double-sized Gretzky exhibit, to a ton of Red Wings stuff both new and old, international hockey exhibits, to a live game where I played goal and had virtual Messier and Gretzky shooting at me.

Stopped all five shots, by the way.

Then we went over and walked through the Montreal Canadiens dressing room, and checked out the stalls of all the greats like Lafleur, Roy, Geoffrion, Richard, and the like. I even sat down at Roy’s stall and put on his goalie pads. That was pretty cool.

And no HHOF trip would be complete without a trip upstairs to see the Stanley Cup. We’ve seen it before, but ya just gotta do it, you know? I took extreme close up pics of all the Edmonton Oilers’ engravings. Neat-o. Heck, even Steph liked it.

From there, it was off again on foot (in 32 degrees C) to the CN Tower. What else can you say about it? It’s tall. Really tall. We got the full pass, and went to the Look Out, the Glass Floor, and the Sky Pod. You can get all the heights from the web site, but I think the observation deck is like 1,100 ft up. What a view of the city. Amazing. One level down is the glass floor, which – you guessed it – is a glass floor. You can stand on it (or lay on it, or jump up and down on it) and see right to the ground. Now THAT’S a view you’re not going to forget. It’s a little intimidating to begin with, but you soon get used to it, and it offers quite the perspective. Then it was up another 300+ feet to the Sky Pod, and the view just gets better. I remember looking down next door into the SkyDome (or Rogers Center, currently) and seeing the crew prepping the building for the upcoming soccer exhibition, and the vehicles in there looked like ants. Tiny ants.

After checking out the CN Tower store, we decided just to walk around downtown. Picked up another ice cream sandwich (free, of course), and ended up at East Side Mario’s, one of Stephanie’s all-time favorite restaurants. The food was good, but the server was not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so that took away from the experience a little bit, but it was still enjoyable. A little more walking around and then back to the hotel and lovely air conditioning with a chance to rest our feet, and sleep.

On the way into the hotel, I dropped my suitcase, and I jammed the pull-out handle you use when you’re rolling the thing around. This presents a problem for the flight home.

Friday brought about a slightly-later-start-than-we-wanted, but at least we got up in time for the free continental breakfast! Then it was off to Toronto Zoo. Stephanie had been there before, but I was going for the first time. Now, we’re getting used to the place and driving there was much easier.

We get to the Zoo around noon, and get to exploring. We jump on the ZooMobile, a giant multi-seat and multi-section golf cart, complete with tour guide that drives you around on a tour of the zoo. The zoo is broken up into pods, and each pod deals with animals from a different geographical region of the world. You can either stay on the ZooMobile for the entire tour, or you can get off at a particular pod, walk around that area, and then come back and catch a different ZooMobile that will take you to the next pod. Explore that pod, and then jump back on to head to the next one. It’s very efficient and allows you to see a lot of the zoo in a short amount of time.

The enclosures/exhibits are so much bigger than what we have here in Winnipeg. It’s like our zoo is a Lego model and theirs is the real deal. It’s incredible how big this place is. And they’ve got everything, from cats to sea creatures to insects to jungle animals.

Lions and tigers and bears! OH MY!

I’ve seen a lot of these animals at the Winnipeg Zoo as well as the Minneapolis Zoo, so I’ll touch on the highlights, but the first thing we saw was a giraffe. A GIRAFFE! What a way to start the day off!

I’ve seen giraffes on TV and in documentaries, of course, but it’s NOTHING like seeing one from less than 50 feet away. These things are MASSIVE! Gorgeous, gorgeous creatures. We saw rhinos, red pandas, macaques, cheetahs, Komodo dragons, I mean, sheesh, it’s a zoo, but there’s some cool stuff here. The gorillas were awesome.

We’ve seen the gorillas before, actually. We used to watch a show called Zoo Diaries on Animal Planet, and it featured animals from the Toronto and San Diego zoos, so we saw a bunch of these animals live that we originally saw on TV, and the gorillas were a mainstay of the TV program, so to see them up close and personal was very cool.

We toured the zoo for about 4 and a half hours before hitting up the gift shop and heading out.

Stephanie again does a great job at plotting a course to our next destination, a subway station near downtown where we’re going to meet up with Rebecca and Mark. Rebecca is an old friend of Stephanie’s, and we decide to take a walk through the Greek area and find a restaurant to eat at. The two are very fun to talk to and hang out with, and after a great dinner, we walk up and down the streets just exploring. We stop at a book store where we find Rebecca’s recent work published in a few magazines (she’s a writer – check out her site here). Rebecca is extremely talented and I enjoy her work.

Following dinner and walking, we hit up the Stone Cold Creamery for some FANTASTIC ice cream. Sorry Jason, I know it’s not on the approved list, but hell, I’m on vacation! All said, it was a very fun day, some time spent with good folks, and some good food.

We drive back to the hotel, but we kind of stay off the main drags; except for Bloor, the “fashion” area. Only on this street, can you find Winners across the street from Prada.

Tremendous.

We drive through an area dedicated to what seems like auto repair. There’s lots of small “areas” like this (well, not auto repair, but small sections devoted to a particular segment of society) on the way back to the hotel. It’s great to see that all these small businesses are open at midnight on a Friday night – the bay door to one garage was open, and we saw a team of guys underneath a car trying to get it fixed – when businesses here close at dinner time, unless they’re a restaurant/fast food/pizza place, bar, gas station, Walmart, or Shopper’s.

Saturday brings the aforementioned TFCon, and if this place isn’t the last great bastion of geekery on this planet, I don’t know what is. We went to check out the dealer floor, with me looking to score some rare Transformer that’s been the object of my geeky desire since childhood. This dealer floor was HUGE, and it was crowded. We’ve been to ComicCons and stuff before, but at those the floor is divided up with geekery from all fandoms spread around; sports, comics, toys, movies, the works.

This place was ALL Transformers.

I think my brain exploded at least 7 and a half times.

After working the room and seeing what was out there, I picked up an original Predaking which is like #2 on my Holy Grail of Transfomers list, so I was a happy camper. I also got a print from Lil Formers artist Matt Moylan.  Stephanie picked up an awesome Superman t-shirt (the vendor sold shirts for EVERYTHING), and a tiny Optimus Prime pin, so it was win-win all around.

From there, it was off to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM),but not before we stopped to shop at My Pet Boutique to pick up some treats for the fuzzies, and then we stopped for some photo ops and street hot dog (which was fantastic!).

The ROM is cool. Enough said. There’s a really great exhibition on China’s Terracotta Warriors that will have you looking at them all day if you’ll let them. There’s all kinds of artifacts from 2,200 years ago, and the Warriors themselves are amazing. If you’re going to go, spend the extra $7 to see it. It’s awesome.

From there, we went to check out the DINOSAURS!! HOLY SHIT! These things are huge, amazing, awesome, huge, and crazy all rolled into one. Did mention they’re HUGE? Some of them are partial recreations, but there’s a lot of REAL dinosaur stuff from millions of years ago right here in North America. VERY cool, and an awesome exhibit.

We also checked out the bat cave, bird area, Saumrai exhibit, the Greek exhibit, and some other stuff, before we met up with Rebecca again, and this time it was off to Chinatown for food and exploring.

Chinatown is this: lots of Chinese signs, markets, import business, and restaurants. It’s actually much more, but it’s a LOT of these things. And it’s awesome. Only in Chinatown can you walk down the sidewalk and find a cooked goose with his head still attached looking down at you OUTSIDE.

We passed a place selling suitcases on the way to the restaurant. Note to self: check this out on the way back.

We go and eat at one of Rebecca and Mark’s favorite places, and the food – even though I stuck to chicken balls and fried rice – was excellent. A lot more fun conversations were had, and then we picked up and walked around a bit before I bought an orange and black suitcase for $25. Problem solved!

We jumped on a streetcar (also my first time!), which, unfortunately, Rebecca is deathly allergic to like me with Fords. But, she toughed it out like  a Champ, and we went back to the subway station to get back to our car to get back to the airport.

We JUST made it to the airport in time after returning our Fusion (which I now would probably buy if it were just a LITTLE bigger), only to find out our plane has been delayed for an hour and a half due to lightning storms in Montreal. While we’re waiting for the plane, a couple of teenage girls were entertaining us by running, skipping, jumping, and whatever else the wrong way down the moving walkway. Good times.

Thanks to the delay, we got back home around 1 AM-ish. It was another good flight home, although there was a little turbulence because of all the storms.

After about 20 hours of walking around various parts of Toronto and a real late flight, we slept in on Sunday. :)

As usual, I’ll get pics up when I can. I know you’re all still waiting for pics from Vegas, but I’m almost there. Just getting everything organized/cropped/presentable, and then I’ll post everything.

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Practice makes perfect…

Or in this case, a lot of practice makes you a bit better.

Nah… just some fun video of my puppies (and Stephanie) navigating the agility course. Enjoy!

 

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Here We Go Around…

Run, run around, yeah…

Ah, good old Van Halen.

But that’s not what I’m talking about today. I use the “around” word literally here. For those of you that know our dog, Kira, you know that she likes to run around in circles when she gets excited.

You know, like she’s herding something.

We long thought Kira had herding instinct in here. When she was younger, she used to circle around Cola in the backyard and lie down in the grass, waiting for her moment to spring forward. Or, she’d run miles around the coffee table.

So, while Kira’s active in agility and flyball, we thought that finally she’d might like herding, so we gave it a try. Stephanie took her to her Herding Instinct test two weeks ago, and she passed. Certificate and all!

Yesterday was her first real class, and like a proud dad, I went along to check it out, video camera in hand. The instructor Faye said Kira has a very strong gathering instinct, evident by her running circles around the sheep and keeping them all together.

I think she’s going to do well. Thanks to Faye at 4uFarms for teaching a great class, and we’re looking forward to more! We saw Faye’s dog Ben at work, and lemme tell you, this guy is AWESOME. If Kira gets half as good as Ben, I’ll be very happy.

Anywho, if you’d like a decent laugh from watching Kira run around at about 417 MPH for a few minutes, then have a look at the video!

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Greatest Jerome Iginla Song EVAR

I was going to entitle this "The Greatest Thing Ever", but then I’d have to keep reusing that title as the next awesome thing I’d find on the internet would become the Greatest Thing Ever, and you, my faithful blog reader, deserve a little more variety in my post titles than that.

Anyhoo… my buddy Ryan posted this on his Facebook, and this indeed rivals the Ukranian Katy Perry polka.

I’m not the biggest Flames fan ever, but I DO like Jerome Iginla, which makes this video all the more awesome.

So, without further ado, I present to you, the Jerome Iginla Please Stay In Calgary song.