Monday, March 29, 2010

Oh Boy, Oh Boy!

Meet Raphael!!Congratulations to my brother and his wife who gave birth to their second son this morning, Raphael.Weighing in at 7 and a half pounds, both mom and baby are doing well and dad and baby brother, Santiago, are both over joyed with their new addition.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sky Diving Dog

I saw this picture in the paper the other day.
It intrigued me so much, I did a little Internet research to find out more.
Check it out.
"This has to be the ultimate in walkies ... a four-legged recruit to the special forces joining troops on a parachute jump in one of Europe's biggest training exercises in Norway.
The explosives sniffing dog, which is a member of Austria's version of the SAS, took part in operation Cold Response along with British Special Forces and Royal Marines Assault Teams. Securely strapped to his handler and with a muzzle to stop him damaging his mouth on landing, he plunged 10,000ft from a transporter plane over Norway.
'It's something he does a lot and he's very comfortable with. He has a much cooler head than most recruits,' said one special operations trooper.
Far from panicking at the experience of hurling themselves out of a plane from such a great height, the Austrians' Belgian Shepherd dogs appear to be perfectly calm both before and during the jump.
One handler explained: 'They don't perceive height difference the same way humans do, so that doesn't worry them.
'They're more likely to be bothered by the roar of the engines, but once we're on the way down, that doesn't matter and they just enjoy the view.
'It’s something he does a lot. He has a much cooler head than most recruits.'
He was also eager to point out that the dogs, like their human colleagues, are regarded as valued team members and aren't put into situations that could prove unnecessarily dangerous.
Special forces troops from 14 countries, including Britain, took part in the Nato exercise."
I'm not sure if I believe the fact that dogs perceive height differently. I can guarantee you my dogs know when they are standing on the edge of something high and I would be hard pressed to jump out of a plane without them freaking out.
That dog may have some serious BALLS, but he was also really well trained to be able to do something like that!
That muzzle is not there to protect the dog on landing, it's there to protect his handler from getting chewed out when they land.
"I can't believe you made me jump out of a perfectly good plane AGAIN. What is the matter with humans. Now I'm going to have to bite you!"
courtesy of The Daily Mail.

End Of An Era

It is the end of an era.
"Lexus has changed the stereo in the 2010 SC430 convertible, adding a new six-CD player. This replaces what appears to be the last factory-installed cassette tape player on the market"
I have to confess, in my 2000 VW Golf, I have a cassette player and six-CD player. I haven't used my CD player in years, and I have never used my cassette player to play tapes, but I use it to play music from my MP3 player.
Info courtesy of the Toronto Star, image courtesy of Google images.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sao Paulo Grand Prix: Live Blogging

Round two of my Race Sunday, the Indy Car Grand Prix of Sao Paulo is about to begin.

No surprise, Dario Franchitti is on pole.
Big surprise, (not to me) Former Champ Car drivers, Canadian Alex Tagliani P2 and Justin Wilson P3 and Will Power P5.
Tagliani is driving for his own team, FAZZT Race Team, Wilson is driving for Dreyer and Reinbold Racing and Power for Penske. No problem here telling who the players are.

Start on hold. Light rain falling. Race control trying to decide if they should let them go on dry tires or change to wets.

Let them go. Lets get this party started.

Engines have started. Here we go.

Green! Huge crash into turn one. Immediately goes yellow. Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves invloved in the midpack crash caused by Takuma Sato. Mario Moraes coming from the end of the line trys to avoid the carnage and ends up on top of Marco Andretti`s car.

Back from break still under caution. Still trying to get things cleaned up.

Castroneves gets a new nose in the pits and is back out.

Marco climbs out of the car and walks to the safety car on his own. Wow. Nice to see after such a big crash.

Several cars into the pits under the yellow to get checked out. Dixon back out as well. Everyone still on the lead lap.

After all that only 3 cars out, Sato, Moraes and Andretti.

Very weird watching the Penske cars in their new colours. Gone is the red and white Marlboro car and replaced with black and white.

Lap 9 restart ... everyone gets through turn one clean. We are finally racing.

Really tight street course. Its going to make passing tough, but at least they know how to do that in Indy Car.

Dixon moving through traffic. Makes it look easy.

Nice bumper back from break. These guys at Versus have their shit together. Nice montage of the opening dust up on lap one with music. Indy car sets the standard on in-car cameras.

Lap 17 ... Nice racing between Hunter-Reay in 3rd and Tagliani in 2nd for position. Tags holding him off.

Lap 20 ... Ryan Hunter-Reay gets by Alex Tagliani for 2nd position. Tags tires are starting to go off.

Lap 21 ... Now Tony Kanaan is all over the back of Tagliani.

Lap 22 ... Milka Duno brings out the full course yellow. Stalls it in the racing line. Tagliani breaths a big sigh of relief.

Lap 24 ... Pits are open. Everyone comes in. Only car to stay out is Rookie Simona De Silvestro in her first Indy car race, who takes the lead and Franchitti, Hunter-Reay, Kanaan and Tagliani slot in behind her. Simona is not on an alternate pit strategy, she pitted on lap 20 and is on the same cycle as everyone else.

Storm clouds looming in the distance.

Lap 26 ... Restart. Simona holds them off and puts a gap between her and Francheitti. Hunter-Reay takes Franchitti for second in the last corner.

Lap 28 ... Hunter-Reay is flying. Passes Simona for the lead and is not looking back.

Lap 29 ... Contact. Kanaan taken out in the corner by Tagliani who was punted by Dan Weldon. Tags ends up the loser and is out of the race.

Lap 30 ... Ryan Briscoe comes in for rain tires. Great call by the Captain. It is now starting to rain. Everyone else dives into the pits for rain tires.

Danica spins. Cars are beginning to slip and slide everywhere. Full course caution has come out as it begins to pour. Alex Lloyd hard into the wall and his day is done.

Back from break. Everyone is behind the pace car. It is coming down hard. No timing and scoring. No one really seems to be 100 percent sure who is leading, but its Hunter-Reay, Power, Franchitti and Conway.

Red flag. Race is stopped to clean up the track and get everything sorted out.

After a 30 minute rain delay (enough time to walk the dogs) we are back to racing. Rain has stopped, but track is still wet. It is now a timed race. Everyone comes out behind the pace car with their rain tires on and no one elects to pit for slicks.

A lot of the front runners come in for slicks. Order gets shuffled. Pace car is still out. Order is Franchitti, Dixon and Conway.

Green flag. Back to racing. 38 minutes to go. More shuffling as the leader who are still on rain tires dive into the pit. Ryan Hunter-Reay is back on the charge.

Vito Meria is doing everything he can to keep the car off the wall. He is pushing hard. Hunter-Reay P1, Briscoe P2 and Power P3, Matos P4 and Miera P5.

Briscoe gets by Hunter-Reay for P1, who is suddenly having to conserve fuel to make it to the end. Hunter-Reay falls in behind to take advantage of the draft. Smart thinking.

Briscoe goes wide and into the tires and Hunter-Reay goes to P1 again. Fuel issue is solved as full course yellow comes out. Horse shoes for Hunter-Reay and heartbreak for Briscoe.

Back to green flag racing. 6 minutes to go. Hunter-Reay P1, Power P2, Matos P3, Meria P4.

Vito Meria takes Matos for P3. Injured last year at the Indy 500, this is Merias first race back and he is on fire.

Will Power takes Hunter-Reay for the lead. 3:30 left to go. About one lap to go.

This is some great racing all the way up to 10th place.

White flag.

Will Power wins. Ryan Hunter-Reay second and Vito Meria third. What a race. Talk about a world of difference between F1 this morning and Indy this afternoon.
My vote goes to Indy, rain delay and all.
pictures courtesy of

Grand Prix of Bahrain: Live Blogging

Watching the first race of the F1 season, the Grand Prix of Bahrain.

And for the first time in a long time I am actually looking forward to this season.
New rules, particularly the no refueling rule should make for an interesting year. This is supposed to generate more passing in the actual track and not in the pits. They estimate that pit stops will be around 3 seconds for tire changes instead of the 8 to 10 seconds for tires and fuel.

The front wing is much smaller, it no longer looks like the blade of a snow plough. And the bigger capacity fuel tanks, have many teams adding a shark fin wing behind the drivers head that makes the car look like a rolling billboard. Overall, I like the look of this years cars. A lot more sexier then last years.

Schumacher is back after 3 years away. Can he dominate like he once did or is he too old and too slow. I think he can do it, can you say drivers championship?
Lots of driver changes, and new teams to learn as well.
Alonso at Ferrari with Massa. Hamilton and Button both at McLaren. Schumacher at Brawn, which is now Mercedes. Barrichello at Ford Cosworth.

Sebastian Vettel in the Redbull has picked up where he left off last year qualifying P1. Ferrari seems to have gotten their shit together as well and qualified P2 and P3 on the grid.

3 second pit stops are not going well so far for the new teams. Top teams as usual are on their game. Passing on the track? Nope, top teams still using pit stops to pass slower cars.

Massa looking no worse for wear after his head injury. Fernando Alonso now driving for Ferrari is driving it like he stole it.

So far still F1 of old. Two groups racing, top teams and the back markers ---BORING.

Lap 19 ... finally someone -- Hamilton, is making a race of it. Passes Barichello on track for 5th position. But there is so much space between the front runners right now it might as well be a parade.

This race is so boring the are showing us replays of the leaders passing back markers.

Lap 34 ... starting to get interesting ... Vettel's Redbull in P1 having problems. Alonso and Massa in the Ferrari's are chomping at the bit. Alonso passes Vettel for P1.

Lap 35 ... Massa goes by for P2.

Looks like Vettel is slowly going backwards. Hamilton in his McLaren is closing the distance.

Lap 37 ... Vettel pleading with his team on the radio to see if there is anything they can do to fix the problem.

Lap 38 ... Hamilton makes the pass and now sits in P3. Vettel back to 4th with Nico Rosberg and Button closing.

5 laps to go ... Vettel still holding off Rosberg and Button for 5th.

3 laps to go ... Rosberg is all over Vettel's ass.

Last lap ... Alonso wins in his first race for Ferrari, followed by Massa in second and Hamilton in 3rd. Vettel survies in 4th, Rosberg in 5th and Schumacher in 6th in his first race in three years, and Button 7th.

Looks like Ferrari and McLaren are back on top. Next up, the IRL season opener in Sao Paulo, Brazil, later this afternoon.
Ferrari picture courtesy of, Top picture courtesy of

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Golden Goal Heard Across Canada

This was Vancouver Harbour on Sunday February 28th. The day Sidney Crosby cemented his status as Canadian hockey legend.
Go to 1:20 on the video to hear Vancouver and the rest of Canada's reaction when Sid the kid puts it into the net in OT to win gold for Canada in men's hockey at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Toronto's Reaction

And this is how Toronto celebrated Canada's hockey gold.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

You Decide...

Beach Shot

Storm coming...taken with my iPhone.

A Birthday To Remember

My wife's grandmother turned 90 earlier this week, and yesterday they had a great big party in her honour at her farm in Ilderton. Here are some pictures from the festivities, enjoy.
The cake!Singing Happy birthday!Blowing out the candles!Cutting the cake.Present time! Flying ninja baby round house kick! Enjoying the party.

Birthday Brunch

My sister was out of the country on her birthday, so when she got back the family all went out for brunch to celebrate. Here are some shots from the brunch, enjoy.

Working Hard

The television station that I work at was an Olympic broadcaster, which meant we covered all 17 days from start to finish. It was pretty cool to be a part of this, but damn it was a lot of work. Here are some shots of the guys and gals I work with "hard at work" in Toronto.Even Captain Canada stopped by before the big gold medal hockey game.
I gotta say, as much as I love my job, it was a lot more enjoyable to watch it from the comfort of my couch at home -- less work and stress, and more beer and cheer!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


The Canada-US gold medal hockey game was the most watched TV event in Canadian history.
26.2 million people watched some or all of the game.
With a population of 33,311,389, that translates into 80% of Canadians who watched the game.
That begs the question though, what were the remaining 20% of the population doing??

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Thank You Note From NBC

A Note from Brian Williams, anchor of NBC Nightly News..."Thank you, Canada:
For being such good hosts.
For your unfailing courtesy.
For your (mostly) beautiful weather.
For scheduling no more than 60 percent of your float plane departures at the exact moment when I was trying to say something on television.
For not seeming to mind the occasional (or constant) good-natured mimicry of your accents.
For your unique TV commercials -- for companies like Tim Hortons -- which made us laugh and cry.
For securing this massive event without choking security, and without publicly displaying a single automatic weapon.
For having the best garment design and logo-wear of the games -- you've made wearing your name a cool thing to do.
For the sportsmanship we saw most of your athletes display.
For not honking your horns. I didn't hear one car horn in 15 days -- which also means none of my fellow New Yorkers rented cars while visiting.
For making us aware of how many of you have been watching NBC all these years.
For having the good taste to have an anchorman named Brian Williams on your CTV network, who turns out to be such a nice guy.
For the body scans at the airport which make pat-downs and cavity searches unnecessary.
For designing those really cool LED Olympic rings in the harbor, which turned to gold when your athletes won one.
For always saying nice things about the United States...when you know we're listening.
For sharing Joannie Rochette with us.
For reminding some of us we used to be a more civil society.
Mostly, for welcoming the world with such ease and making lasting friends with all of us."