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Archive for the tag “Sports”

How The Winter Olympics Brings The World Together

Image result for north and south korea winter olympics 2018Up until a couple of months ago, the world was on the brink of a cataclysmic war, with North Korea holding regular nuclear tests and threatening to annihilate the US and South Korea. It seemed like only a matter of time before it escalated to a point of no return.  Then the Winter Olympics happened.

In an ironic twist, not only is North Korea taking part in the games, BUT they are also teaming up with their long-time enemy and neighbor, South Korea, to form a Korean hockey team! In the opening ceremonies, North and South Korea marched in under a unified flag!

The Winter Olympics has done something that no US President has been able to do.  No negotiating or threats were able to do.  It’s a diplomatic breakthrough.  Now let’s this could be a springboard for healing.

Go Canada!



On The Ray Rice Issue

Let me first say that after watching the video of NFL player Ray Rice striking his wife so hard in the face that he knocked her unconscious, I have to say that the man needs immediate anger management but right after his jail term. It was one of the most disgusting things that I’ve ever seen.

Today, I read that his wife is defending his callous actions and blaming it on the media. Oh my goodness, woman! You were knocked senseless by the man who pledged to love you and protect you. He lied.  He almost killed you.  He dragged you from an elevator like a dead animal.  How could you stand there and defend the criminal?  Sorry to say but women like you are who promote this sort of behavior from men like Ray Rice, are helping to promote it. You protect him, shield him and lied for him, allowing him to continue his behavior.

Yesterday a broadcaster was suspended for saying exactly what I’m saying here. He tweeted, “How does she marry him after that? How does she go in front of Goodell (stand by him)? That’s pathetic to me.”  Yes Ted, it’s pathetic to me too.  How could she?  Ted also added, “The *victim* here … bares some of the responsibility … for not speaking up … that to me is the saddest part of it.” As harsh as this may sound, I do agree again.  It’s the responsibility of victims of these crimes to come forward and finger the perpetrators. Don’t let them roam free.

Why do we keep suspending people when they speak the truth but applaud lies?  The NFL should be suspended, not Ted.  In trying to protect their investing, they were willing to turn a blind eye.  And that my friend…

is My Take.

It Should Be All Fun And Games

thI find it ironically interesting, or is that interestingly ironic? that the Olympics which is supposed to be the moment that brings the world together, be it only for a couple of weeks, is always shadowed by those with ulterior and selfish agendas.  As athletes bask in the glow of representing their country at the highest level, distractions lurk around every corner.  The games are not about Putin, not about gays and lesbians or who got killed in wars, it’s not about whether a country is suitable to play host based on their history.  The Olympic games transcend all this.

Watching the various competitions and seeing the smiles on the faces of the athletes and fellow countrymen is priceless.  The stories of sportsmanship make one think for a moment that the world is not such a bad place after all.  Speed skater Gilmore Junio giving up his Olympic spot  to Denny Morrison who had failed to qualify after falling just short of the finish line in the qualifier. Gilmore thought that Canada’s chance of getting a medal in that field was better with Denny.   That unselfish move is what it means to put ones country first.  (Denny did went on to grab silver).  Patriotism at its best.  Read it here. How about the Canadian cross-country coach who lent a ski to a Russian skier who had broken his?   Or those three Dufour-Lapointe sisters from Quebec competing in the same sport.  Two ending up with the gold and silver.  Olympic glory indeed!  How about 15-year old Russian figure skater Julia Lipnitskaia?  Still only a little girl but sharing the spotlight with her adult contemporaries and thrilling the crowd with her excellent moves?

For two weeks, I am Canadian.  I am also Russian, American, Swedish, German, and a lot more.  Why? Well isn’t that what it’s all about?  Or is it?  It’s just my take.  If you have an agenda that can’t wait until after the games is over and you feel the need to rain on the athletes parade, go for it.  After all, the world IS watching.

But for me, Let the games reign!

Caution: Men Chasing Rubber

imagesI am a big fan of the game of hockey. Love it!  But while watching a game a few days ago, I had a sobering thought.  “I can’t believe that these grown-ups are chasing a piece of rubber around an icy surface with the goal of getting it by another grown-up blocking a netted receptacle.”  It seemed rather trivial and foolishly funny at the time, so much that I broke out grinning.  How could they take themselves so seriously?  Granted, there is a real risk of injury or death but that’s just because they put their lives on the line to get the little black thing past the netted-box blocker.  Maybe if they played it like it was just a game then no one would get hurt.  That would make for a real boring game of hockey.

About the money…so these mature, at least in age, adults, chase this black circle around the ice with bad intentions.  For their efforts, as some of them get really adept at this, they are paid quite handsomely.  I mean QUITE handsomely.  Don’t think about it though as it doesn’t add up.  So you are telling me someone gets paid a million dollars to chase that thing for a few hours a week?  No, try millions, not a million.  Do they put on a good show? Sometimes. Some do, some don’t.  Some take the money and play like the fat cats they are. But who cares?  As long as we can eat concessions that we pay quite handsomely for, who cares if our team of grown men, chasing a barely visible black object, on an icy surface, trying to get it past a playing guarding a netted box, gets overpaid for playing? It’s only a game, right?  And last time I checked, dental work was expensive! Again, it’s just my take.

The Art Of Running

Art in motion

Art in motion

I admire runners.  I am glued to the tv when there’s a track meet on.  The Olympics is like my fix.  Ever since I could remember, I’ve always been mesmerized by the human body moving in sync as it glides down a race track or just on the road effortlessly.  Or at least seemingly so.  Fast or slow.  It’s an enjoyable sight to me.   Maybe the runner might not share my sentiments.

I have tried to imitate or maybe I should say impersonate, a real runner.  Lacing up running shoes bought for the occasion, stretching then heading out for a nice casual evening jog.  It doesn’t take long for my trickery to be exposed.  Within a couple of minutes, I am reduced to a panting gasping excuse for a runner. The thoughts swirl through my head. “I guess this is really not for everyone.  It sure doesn’t feel as good and enjoyable as it looked”.

On Sunday, the Manitoba Marathon gets underway.  My wife will attempt to run the half.  I will choose to watch real runners ply their hobby instead of getting in their way so I will stand on the side of the road and cheer them on.  They will look at me without breaking their rhythm and smile.  Yes, they could still muster a smile even at mile 10!  What artistry!

Ah, the art of running…too bad I’m such a poor artist.  Go runners! Run!


Yes, that’s me struggling to the finish line on my first marathon. I ran the last leg of our relay team.

Maybe Your Kid’s Not Ready For Soccer

Sport in childhood. Association football, show...

Soccer season is in full swing.  This is the time when parents run around ferrying the precious little ones all over the city trying to find which field they play on.  It could be very stressful, especially if you are a parent with more than one kid playing soccer.  In my case, I have 3 and each of them.  On different teams.

Last week it was my turn to take my 3-year old to his second game of the season.  My wife told me that he was doing really good and even scored a goal so I couldn’t wait to see him in action.  Unfortunately he seemed more attentive to daddy on the sidelines than he was on the ball.  He took regular timeouts to wave at me, inspect the grass and even running off the field prematurely to tell me a story.  I kept urging him back to the field of play.  When the ball happened to roll his way, he at least ventured to kick it.  Not so with some of the other kids.

Soccer is a great and cheap tool for young kids to learn team sports and social skills.  I am not sure it is effective if the kids spend the hour standing around inspecting the grass,  crying to get off the field or just showing a total indifference to the game.  Granted, a few kids do change as the season progresses but in most cases they don’t.  I for one would not think it is money well spent to watch my kid wander around a soccer field.  For free, I could take the little one to a park and kick a ball around.  If he doesn’t like it, we could come home and call it a day.  Sometimes as many as three parents are on the field urging their little ones on. Holding their hands and guiding them to the ball like a seeing-eye dog.  At my last game, there was a mom with a baby attached to her in one of those baby knapsack things running around the field with her soccer-playing son who was the least bit interested in being there.

Maybe I expect too much.  Maybe I’m one of those parents you read about.  (No, I’m not!).  I just think that there are cheaper ways to get your little ones to get out, play and socialize with other kids.  But maybe it’s actually for the parents to socialize with other parents…Maybe the parents need the exercise more than the little ones do.  Some parents have taken the hint from their kids and stopped taking them to soccer.  “I am not sure he likes it so we don’t bother taking him anymore.  Plus, I don’t enjoy chasing him around on the field.”   By their actions, the kids have spoken.  Maybe they are just not ready for soccer.  At least that’s what I think.

That Soccer Season

The dreaded soccer season is here again!  Amie and I have a love hate relationship with it.  We love that it gives the boys a chance to get out and play with other kids but with three boys who are on different teams, it makes for crazy evenings.  Mikhail and Treyton have their games on the same day, same time but at different venues so mommy and I have to decide who takes who where.
The soccer season was to have started about two weeks ago but with the lingering winter the fields were not ready.  So Monday was the first game and Kenyan was the first to play.   Unfortunately for me, it had to be on my busiest day of the week as Amie works the evening shift on Mondays.  Kenyan and Treyton have no classes on Monday so my mom watches them and I repay her by giving her a ride home when I get home from work.  The trip usually takes about an hour and Treyton usually gets car sick.

When I got home, I immediately set about getting this ready as I didn’t want to take mom home then come back then leave.  I got Kenyan dressed in his soccer uniform and got snacks for everyone.  Then we took my mom home.

Everything was fitting into place nicely and I was proud of my efficiency as Mr. Mom.  We were about one block away from the playing field with about 5 minutes to play time when my evening went sour, no pun intended.  Treyton, the hurler, decided it was a good time to puke.  In the new car.  Mikhail said,  “Daddy!  Treyton is puking!”  and I looked back to see poor Trey projecting puke like the niagara falls.  From his mouth and nose.  I was mesmerized.  I couldn’t do anything but watch in horror.  The new car!  Kenyan’s first game!  Treyton’s clothes!  Drat it!  I called Amie at work to let her know what happened and that I would not be taking Kenyan to soccer then I turned around and headed home as fast as I could drive without attracting the cops.  Poor Kenyan would have to miss his first game. He was so excited too…

I pulled into the driveway, hustled the boys out of the car, half dragged and half carried Treyton to the bathroom, cleaned him up and got him into some clean clothes.  Then I got to cleaning the car seat.  I saw that most of the stuff was on his clothes.  Great!  Maybe we could make the game after all!  We made just as the team was having their pre-game huddle.

Like I said, it’s a love hate thing. I am glad for the chance to get some outdoor exercise but I can’t wait til it’s over.

Related posts:

Treyton’s 3!!  But I want to talk about puke

Soccer Lessons: Unselfish play

There’s no such thing as ‘Writer’s Block’ when you blog about kids

Street hockey! Note cell phone in Alex' hand.

Street hockey! Note cell phone in Alex’ hand.

Last week I did not attempt even one blog.  I couldn’t come up with anything that was interesting enough to share.  Yes, the boys were still cute and said and did funny stuff but nothing that I considered blog-worthy.  At least, so I thought.

I read and follow some mommy and daddy blogs that have daily posts.  Where do they find stuff to write about every day?  I have three little ones and two teenagers yet I can’t find stuff to write daily.  And, their posts are still interesting!   Maybe I am expecting too much instead of just writing.  So I did. Last weekend was a springboard, no pun intended.

Spring finally decided to show up in Winterpeg!  It was awesome! Because it was so long overdue, it was more like a summer day than a spring day.  On Saturday, both younger boys were sick and unable to go outside to play.  I felt bad watching them standing at the window looking out at the other kids playing in the street.  They knocked on the glass to get the kids’ attention.  It worked as one of them came knocking on our door asking if the boys could come out and play.  Mikhail was able to as he was not sick but us ‘boys’ decided that it wouldn’t be nice if he went out while his brothers couldn’t and he took one for the team.

On Sunday, we more than made up for it.  Both boys felt a bit better and we hit the streets early.  We played a spirited game of street hockey, net and all.  The two little boys who recently moved into the house across the street also joined us for a while.  Then we played a game of soccer with our student, Alex.  Finally it was time to come in.

Inside the boys were surprised and excited when they realized they couldn’t see properly.  “Everything looks pink, Daddy!” I explained that it was too much time spent in the sun.

See? So there is always something to blog about when kids are involved.  No matter how insignificant it seems, it would be looked upon fondly years from now.

(As I published this blog, winter has decided to pay us another visit and outside does not look like it does in the photos).

Treyton doing his thing

Treyton doing his thing

Re-inventing The Wheel

th (3)A few days ago, I was reminiscing about ‘back home’.  With this prolonged winter, I do that a lot.  One of the things I had fond memories of was playing with ‘rollers’ as a kid, also called Hoop Rolling. A roller was basically any wheel-like object we could get our hands on.  A bicycle rim was the Cadillac of rollers and was a rare possession.  It was shiny and it went fast! and with less effort that it took to ‘whip’ a tire.  With the rim, you only had to place your stick in the groove and run with it.  No hitting required.  It also had a braking system which is applied by putting the stick on the top and pressing down on it. th (5) Having a roller was an ideal way for us boys to get our exercise.  It was pure cardio.  Not like we ever needed it.  We ran errands with our trusty rollers, maintaining top speed for almost the entire distance, sometimes a few miles away, to the store and back, trying to keep up with our wheels.  You couldn’t really walk with a roller or it would stop rolling. Duh! th (1)   Today, bicycles are parked outside shops and homes but years ago our rollers could be seen resting on the steps of the local stores as we pick up sugar and bread for our parents. th   Maybe a roller wouldn’t be a bad idea for me to get myself some much-needed exercise. th (4)

Neverending Winter Causing Chaos In Home

thThis extended cold spell is wreaking havoc on the family.  Our kids are going stir crazy and we are at the end of our ropes.  Ok, maybe it’s not that bad.  Maybe Mommy and Daddy are the stir crazy ones and we are just so sick with the long and drawn out winter that we are irritable and the poor innocent kids suffer.

We were telling the boys on the weekend that we needed a break.  We suggested leaving them with our parents while we  spend a night at a hotel.  They were not in agreement, understandably.  “We don’t want you to go.” They said in unison.  “Well it’s either we go or you go.” I ventured.  We were joking of course.  Just a bit.

Our indoor games are all used up.  Board games pieces are under the couch, on the table, all over the house.  Open video games litter the entertainment center.  Toys are everywhere.  It’s like Christmas morning.  The Wii console is broken.  (I tossed out two good games thinking they were damaged).  We, well the kids, are now playing outdoor games inside the house.  Hockey on our hardwood floors with real hockey sticks but at least with a tennis ball.  Soccer on the carpet in the basement.  Well it was until one of the teens stepped on my cd disc changer and destroyed it.  I allowed them to play in the garage.  But that was until the ball hit the sensor and messed up the mechanism.  Now they play in the street while wearing scarves and toques and gloves.  A funny sight indeed.

A cold game of soccer

A cold game of soccer







I feel bad for the little ones all cooped up inside.  They are like fish out of water.  Daddy hates cold so he doesn’t venture out much either.  I tried sending them outside to play but we haven’t landscaped yet so where the snow has melted, it’s all mud.  You know what that means.  Kids don’t notice that they are dragging in a yard of mud into the house.

Yesterday morning saw the temps dipping to -31 with the wind factored in!! The forecast for the next few weeks doesn’t look better either.

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