Saturday, January 30, 2010

Racing News


Former IndyCar boss Tony George has put his IndyCar Series team on ice for lack of sponsorship.
George was CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and founder of the Indy Racing League until he was asked to resign from his role last year. He resigned his remaining seat on the IMS board earlier this month.
The Vision team was formed in 2005 from the remains of Kelley Racing, and ran George's stepson Ed Carpenter from 2005-'09, alongside several teammates including Tomas Scheckter, A.J. Foyt IV, Paul Tracy and Ryan Hunter-Reay. The team's best result in its five years was Carpenter's second place to Ryan Briscoe at Kentucky last season.
The Indianapolis Star quotes Carpenter as saying of Vision: 'We're suspending operations, but I don't know fully what that means. We're still pursuing opportunities to resume operations.'
Sponsorship woes are also hitting longtime Indy car racing stalwart Newman/Haas/Lanigan
Racing, which reportedly is set to field only one full-time entry this year – for Hideki Mutoh – unless additional financial backing is secured."

When the guy who started the IRL can't find sponsorship and Newman Haas Lanigan only fielding one car, add Graham Rahal to the long list of drivers who will be looking for a full time ride just weeks before the 2010 season is set to go. And poor Paul Tracy's chances of finding a full time ride keeps getting smaller and smaller.

Formula 1 News: New Cars for 2010
New Ferrari F10
The McLaren MP4-25

IRL story courtesy of

In Your Face!

I read this in the paper this morning and it made me chuckle. I thought you might find it funny as well, enjoy.

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Revenge may well be a dish, or at least a pie, best served cold.
A People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) protest was on the receiving end of a pieing on Friday.
Emily Lavender stood outside a hotel where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was slated to talk Friday before meeting with Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams.
Dressed as a seal and protesting the hunt, Ms. Lavender was accosted by the dog mascot for Downhome Magazine who came up behind Lavender and pulled her around, tripping her in the process. Her seal head went flying and, as the dog mascot helped pull Lavender up, he pied her in the face and ran off down the street.
Ms. Lavender was fine. She wiped her face and went back to protesting, holding a sign that said: 'Harper Stop the Seal Slaughter.'
But that wasn't the only protest Ms. Lavender had to face. Earlier a man dressed in a large, fuzzy seal costume stood next to her and peeled off the outfit to reveal a T-shirt with a local radio station's logo on the front.
Ms. Lavender took the joke in stride. When asked how she felt about the prank, she said that Canadians were embarrassed by the seal hunt.
Earlier this week, PETA took credit for pieing Fisheries Minister Gail Shea.
Here is the actual video of it from YouTube.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Funny

courtesy of

Payback My Ass

Earlier this week I commented on how nice the weather was, even going so far as to call it payback for a crappy summer.Well, look who spoke too soon. God damn its cold outside! Just because there is no snow on the ground, doesn't mean that it's summer out there. It's minus 12 out there WITHOUT the windchill!
Thanks winter, for reminding me there is still 2 months left of you to go.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Just Another Day At The Office

I went to work yesterday and walked into this... all out production crew shooting a promo with the new play by play voice of the Toronto Blue Jays, Buck Martinez.
Buck played for the Jay's in the early 80's and managed the team from 2000 to 2002. He has also done work as a colour analyst for television.
And of course I had to get a picture....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tracy Still Looking

Paul Tracy currently holds the record for most wins as an active driver on the IRL roster and yet he still can't land a full time ride for the 2010 season.
Confirmed for this year, the Indy 500 and both Canadian races, Toronto and Edmonton with a possibility with one or two warm up races before the Canadian dates and that's it.
Why is it so hard for this guy to find enough sponsorship money to go racing for a full season when many other "no names" can?
What a sad state open wheel racing has become in North America.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mike's New Ride

If you needed a reason to watch the upcoming 2010 Formula 1 season, here it is.Micheal Schumacher is back from retirement and this is his new ride, the 2010 Mercedes-Petronas Formula 1 car.

Toronto Winter

How about this weather?!Plus 7 in the middle of January, I'm calling it payback for the crappy summer we just had. Beats the hell out of a mountain of snow and minus 28 with the windchill!

The Thinker

Friday, January 22, 2010


Our tax dollars hard at work.Good thing they increased the fares, or else we would never be able to afford such hard workers as this. Is anyone one even surprised? I mean REALLY!
That's why TTC stands for Take The Car to me.
courtesy of Jason Wieler, Twitter.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Crayola Colours

This is pretty cool, check it out:In 1903, Crayola had eight colors in its standard package. Today, there are 120, along with special packs like Gem Tones and Silver Swhirls. Here's a chart showing the growing color selection in the standard package from 1903 to now.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy Birthday!

That's right, The adventures of Mad Mal and Hobbes (and Calvin too!!) turns three today.
Can you believe that? Neither can I!
Thanks for reading and coming back for more...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jury Duty

I got a notice in the mail awhile ago telling me my province needed me and that my presence was required at the court house for jury duty. And like any good citizen, the first thing I did was try to figure out a way to get out of it. I came up with a legitimate plan which I thought would work. I got my employer to write me a letter.
Yesterday I showed up at the court house like everyone else, smug in the knowledge that I had an ace up my sleeve. Entering the room where all the potential jurors were kept was like walking into Ministry of Transportation office, only ten times worse. The room was packed with people, I would estimate about 200 or so. We were made to watch a half hour video and then given another half hour speech about what to expect of jury duty which basically boils down to this:
When you are called for jury duty, expect to be there for a full week, maybe more if you are actually picked to be on a case, which could be either civil or criminal matter.
The 200 or so people in the room are broken up into 4 groups, each group becoming a potential pool for jury selection to the many trials that are on going. Everyone from in a group then has their name placed into a drum and if a jury is required for a case, the names get picked from the drum. If your name is picked, you then go before the court and are asked a few questions by both the defence and the prosecuting attorney, who then decide whether or not they want you on the jury for this particular case. If you a picked, you then sit on the jury of that case, which usually last 2 to 5 days but in some cases even longer.
If you are not picked, you are sent back down to the jury pool room where you wait to be called again for another case and then the process begins all over again. If you are not picked for any jury you are still required to be there in that room and on call for the full 5 days, 9am to 5pm. I couldn't think of anything more mind numbing to do, then having to do that. It's literally like sitting at the MTO office waiting for your number to be called, FOR 5 DAYS!
But like I mentioned earlier, I had a plan, my letter from work. When the time came, people were asked if they had any legitimate excuses that they thought would get them out of jury duty. About 25% of us, put up our hands. We each had to hand in our summons and then get interviewed to see if our excuses were in fact legit. We were lined up and then interviewed one at a time.
When my turn came, I gave them my letter and my explanation. The court clerk took it all in and said "No problem. When can we reschedule...."
Long story short, my plan sucked. I didn't get out of jury duty, I just got it differed until April.

Surprise! (Well Sort Of...)

My brother and his family decided to move back to Canada from South Africa. They arrived on Sunday. The kicker though, was that he wanted to keep this all a secret from my mom so that they could surprise her. Well moving from one country to another without telling your mother is a little harder to do then he thought. Through no fault of my own, she knew they were coming. Her only surprise was not knowing exactly when they were arriving. Surprise!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Is Your Dog Left Or Right ... Pawed?

Saw this on Twitter this morning:
RT @OMGFacts Dogs and cats, like humans, are either right or left...pawed?

And I have to say it got me a little curious. So I did a little research, (Thanks Google!) and this is what I found...

Approximately 80% of the world population is right handers, so it’s without a doubt that many things and gestures (i.e. handshakes) are designed for the righties benefit. But when it comes to our dogs, does it matter if they are right or left pawed? If they are lefties, are they considered the minority or less desired companion dogs? Do we have to “force” train our dogs to use their right pawed like some parents did to those preschooler lefties so as to conform to the society standards?
The good news is no. As a matter of fact, left-pawed dogs are much favored when it comes to training police and guide dogs—according the faulty of Veterinary Science at University of Sydney.

“This work will explain the role of training and maturity on the handedness in dogs. It also improve the relationship between dogs and humans by exploring brains lateralization, one of the most profound individual differences between dogs and humans that influence dog temperament.” said Paul McGreevy, associate professor.
According to
a study in Neuropsychology, it seems that lefties use both sides of the brain more easily and faster than righties. From numerous sources, some experts claim that lefties tend to excel better in one to one combat sport such as tennis and baseball. Could this mean that a left pawed dog made a better fetcher than right pawers? Hmm…I’m guessing not since dogs catch flying things with their mouth!
Brain lateralization theory, developed by Roger Sperry and Robert Omstein, is to understand our behavior, our personality, our creativity, and our ability to use the proper mode of thinking when performing particular tasks. Briefly said, right brain processes information in an intuitive, integrated, simultaneous way while left brain processes information in an analytical, rational, logical, sequential way. Although the correlation between brain lateralization and handedness has yet to be proven, Paul Broca suggested that a person’s handedness was opposite from the specialized hemisphere.
Base on the theories and studies above, clearly a left pawer is a winner to have not just in working dog industries but will also benefit owners who want their dogs excel in agility, flyball, obedience, or even in canine freestyle (a.k.a. dancing with dogs) activities. However, on the less cheery side to this study, left pawers are at a greater risk to some diseases.
The study will also contribute to related areas of growing significance in humans. For instance studies show an increased risk of accidental injuries among left handers, and schizophrenia among mixed-handed patients. Left-handed people also have lower life expectancy than right handed people, reflecting the higher incidence of accidents as well as smoking and alcoholism. In addition, evidence indicates that left-handed women have a 39 per cent higher risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer.

How To Test If Your Dog Is Right or Left Pawed?
Fill the Kong toy with your dog’s favorite food.
Place the toy in the middle in front of your dog.
Record the paw your dog first used to touch the Kong toy until he has made 100 paw interactions on each of his right and left paw.
What’s Counted:
Left paw on Kong, right paw not or right paw on Kong and left paw not.
Left paw over right paw on Kong or right paw over left paw on Kong.
Left paw on top of Kong right paw underneath or right paw on top of Kong, left paw underneath.
What’s Not Counted:
If your dog repositions his paw or paws on the Kong without the paw or paws completely leaving the Kong.
If your dog uses either one paw or both paws to hold down the Kong for longer than 10 seconds.
The Result:
When your dog used more than 64 right paw interactions out of 100, he is considered a right pawed.
When your dog used more than 64 left paw interactions out of 100, he is considered a left pawed.
When your dog used less than 64 paw interactions out of 100 on either paw, he is considered an ambidextrous.
I will get back to you with my results....

Friday, January 15, 2010

Boom 97.3

Back in the day, when I was growing up, radio in Toronto was actually pretty good. My favorite station used to be CFNY, which is known today as the Edge 102.1
It was CFNY that introduced me to great Canadian bands like The Parachute Club, the Spoons, Martha and the Muffins, Jane Sibery, Corey Hart, Alannah Myles and National Velvet, Doug and the Slugs, Men Without Hats, Images in Vouge, the Northern Pikes, I mother Earth, just to name a few.
But it was also CFNY that introduced me to bands like Depeche Mode, New Order, The Smiths, Blondie, INXS, the Pretenders, Tears For Fears, A-Ha, Nirvana, Soundgarden and the Cure. When everywhere else in Toronto and the rest of North America was listening to the mass produced and mass consumed top 40 hits, CFNY was going in the other direction, and exploring the world of alternative and new independent music.
Sadly that time is gone and Toronto has become like the rest of the North American radio landscape churning out the same top 40 songs day in and day out, sucking the life out of any enjoyment you may of had in that one song by its sheer receptiveness.
If this is enough to make you want to crash your car into the nearest telephone pole every time Boom boom pow by the Green Eyed Peas comes on --- WAIT!
I may have just the thing for you.
It is called Boom and you can find it at 97.3 on your radio dial.
I've got to say, it sounds a lot like CFNY back in the day. I have been listening since Boxing day when the Light 97.3 changed formats and became Boom 97.3 and I haven't changed my dial since. They play hits from the early 80's and 90's. Songs that I used to love and haven't heard in years. Songs that bring back flashes of memories of my life when I was growing up.
And as an added bonus, Humble Howard and Maie Potts formerly of CFNY are now DJ's there as well. Did I go to sleep and wake up in 1989?! All we need now is Dave Bookman doing the evening drive time and I would be in heaven.
What a kick!
And just for the record, it gets the wife's seal of approval as well, (so its not just me).
So if you're tired of listening to the same 10 songs over and over again on the what seams like every radio in town, why not turn your dial to 97.3 and give it a try.
I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Writers Block

Sorry I haven't been blogging up a storm lately, been a little busy and a lot lazy. Sometimes it's tough to get inspired and come up with something new every day. Its easy to re-post stuff I see on other blogs and I do do that from time to time, but I really don't want to make it a habit. I mean if its funny enough to make me laugh, and I think you might enjoy it, I will re-post it.
But as far as for coming up with original blog posts every day, it can sometimes be hard. I don't want to make this a place where I rant about all the idiots out there and the stupid stuff they do that makes me crazy. Even I get tired of ranting about shit I have no control over.
There is one thing that I don't get tired of doing though and that is taking pictures.
Some say that there is only two really optimum times to a day to take pictures outside and that is at sunrise and sunset. The light at these two times of day is supposed to be perfect for taking photos. And because I have two dogs that need multiple walks a day, I'm usually able to watch the sunrise during my morning walk along the beach.
Can you believe people actually spend hundreds of dollars to go away to warm climates to see sunrises like this? Come on people! This is right out your door every morning of the year!
My mutts, always the posers.



Angel Saves Boy

Not sure if you caught this article earlier in the week about a boy who was saved from a cougar attack when his dog jumped in front of the charging cougar and fought him off. Today the Toronto Star takes a deeper look into what happened and why.
Check it out, its pretty cool.
The family dog is more family than you think.
When Angel, a golden retriever, attacked a wild cougar who'd been stalking her young master in British Columbia, she wasn't just acting on primal animal instinct – in her mind, she likely thought she was protecting a sibling, experts say.
"The reason dogs are willing to put themselves in jeopardy is because it's a family affair,'' said Stanley Coren, a University of British Columbia psychology professor and author of Why Does My Dog Act That Way?
"What you have to recognize is the number of times dogs tend to rescue people or help them to safety every year is very, very large and the vast majority are not reported."
One that was reported around the world was Angel's courage.
Last weekend, 11-year-old Austin Forman was collecting firewood about 5:30 p.m. outside his family's Boston Bar, B.C., home in the Fraser Valley. His 18-month-old dog began barking as Austin pushed the log-filled wheelbarrow back to the house. He said he was almost at the door when, horrified, he saw Angel intercept a charging cougar.
As the animals fought, rolling under the porch, and with Austin safely inside, his mother called 911. RCMP Const. Chad Gravelle – who was less than a kilometre away – raced over in his cruiser then ran to the back of the house. Flashlight in one hand, gun in the other, Gravelle looked under the porch at the entwined combatants, the cougar gnawing at Angel's bleeding neck. The officer shot the cougar in the rear end, then fired the fatal shot at its head. Angel was badly injured, requiring surgery and stitches to repair puncture wounds but is expected to fully recover.
Coren said dogs have been bred by humans through domestication to have dual bondings to their own pack and to human families. He's studied more than 1,000 reported cases of canine rescue and grouped them into four categories:
Alerting the family. It's the most common act in which the dog barks as an alarm, like when the home filling with smoke. This accounted for about 35 per cent of cases.
Finding help. The dog recognizes a problem, seeks another human, then barks and runs in the direction they want the person to follow.
Physical cues. This is when a dog will grab, push or pull a person to safety or out of harm's way.
Physical intervention. This is Angel's category, in which a dog risks its life to protect a human. Coren said this is the least frequent (18 per cent of the examples he studied) but the most dramatic in illustrating how strongly dogs are bound to people.
"A sensible dog is not going to take on a cougar . . . but dogs aren't going to do a risk assessment'' when sensing peril, Coren said.
"The cougar weighs almost as much as a dog (like a golden retriever) but in addition to jaws, it has claws. It's a better killing machine than a dog, which is essentially a running machine. But when a dog goes into that (intervention mode), it doesn't seem to make any difference."
Vancouver veterinarian Michael Goldberg said properly trained dogs are taught "bite inhibition" skills that prevent it from piercing human skin with their teeth. But when a hazard approaches, which they sniff out with remarkable acuity through noses hundreds of times more sensitive than a human's, they bolt like lightning to fight with their jaws.
"If a dog wanted to bite, the speed and ferocity with which they will attack in certain situations is extremely quick," Goldberg said. "(Angel was) a gutsy, gutsy dog."
Certified dog trainer Caroline Applebee said not only do dogs feel part of a human family, they recognize the different relationships in it.
"The dog will know who knows how to work the can opener, who opens the back door; they figure out who's important for what," said the McGill grad, who operates her Toronto-based Raising Rover business.
"But with kids, very often, they're almost like siblings or littermates. I'm not sure it's a question of loyalty, it's more like a bond
picture (of cougar boy and dog) and story courtesy of the Toronto Star, picture (bloody dog) courtesy of the National Post

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Two Thousand And Ten Or Twenty Ten?

Some of you may remember my ill fated attempt to get everyone to call the year 2000 and anything after it, the double O's. Well, it didn't catch on, but apparently, I wasn't the only one who was saying it wrong.
Check it out...

"The year is just three days old and already are some people bickering over the way to pronounce 2010.
Say the year '1810' out loud. Now say the year '1999' out loud. See a pattern? It's been easier, faster, and shorter to say years this way for every decade (except for the one that just ended) instead of saying the number the long way.
However, many people are carrying the way they said years from last decade over to this decade as a bad habit. If we don't fix this now, we'll be stuck saying years the long way for the next 89 years. Don't let that happen!"