Monday, July 31, 2006

Everybody wants to rule the world with more muscle mass

Everybody wants to rule the world with more muscle mass, to be much leaner, and to be majorly fit. Sadly, just because one wants something does not make it so, rather one must have an internal drive to do the external work that makes it happen. Whether professionally or personally, academically or athletically, one must find balance in life, a moderate approach to the maintenance and administration throughout towards fitness.

Yet it goes well beyond fitness, into deep recesses of the body, mind, and soul, an innate discipline, responsibility, and strong work ethic that can only be found unfathomably within.

It really is there in you or not, it can be hidden or buried under lots of laziness, incompetence, and weak immature behavior, one that can be aged out by wisdom and experience. With both wisdom and experience being gained over time and events, one can learn slowly by matriculating through our worldly school of hard knocks, by switching up your seat at the desk in your classroom for officespace and transitioning from marks and grades to deals and trades. So indeed fitness goes well beyond the gym, the engrained theory and practice of which can last a lifetime of health for a better built body that rarely sees the doctor and their hospital, which in the end allows one more muscle mass to perhaps not rule the world but work well within it.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

T.O. versus Steel City: A Tradition Continues

Whether its football, baseball or another sport altogether, Toronto and Hamilton simply don't get along, with good reason. The eastern side of the Queen Elizabeth Way is the preppy, white-collar administration side of Ontario (quite like Ottawa) while the western side of the QEW is the ungroomed, blue-collar workers side of Ontario (quite like the rest of Ontario outside of Toronto), neither have much in common except for their discord for one another. Which is exactly why both cities will continue to hate the other, their separate histories, cultures and heritages with a passion, and is also a nice microcosm as to why the Province of Ontario isn't all one flavour, colour or way of life as many claim which it's obviously not.

Represented in the Eastern Division of the Canadian Football League, both Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger Cats are the two teams you love to watch play the other team you love to hate (other than Stamps of Calgary and Esks of Edmonton) as both perennial rivals were traditionally pitted against one another whether it was the Labour Day Classic which exclusively gives Hamilton home-field advantage at Ivor Wynne Stadium, or even the rare Thanksgiving Day Classic (Canada's Thanksgiving Day is the same date as the United States of America's Columbus Day) that might allow Toronto to gain the edge with play at either Varsity, Exhibition or Skydome stadiums.

Between both clubs, these games were not exhibitions, campaigns or battles, nay they were real wars. Though interrupted 19 times, including the inexcusable 1995 agreement to play Week 11 with the Baltimore Stallions at Hamilton where the Tiger Cats lost 41-14 while Week 12 would be played with the San Antonio Texans at Toronto where the Argonauts lost 47-28 (ironically also the same year Baltimore beat Calgary 37-20 at Taylor Field in Regina to take the Grey Cup down south) under Larry Smith-John Tory's watch, the war would live on with the Tiger Cats holding the belt with a wonderful record of 27-8 and one tie in 2004 at 30 after regulation and shootout play. Yet in the Grey Cup department, the Argonauts rule the roost with 15 wins and 22 when you include the Varsity Blues, Beachers and Hurricanes versus the Tiger Cats who only have 8 wins and 15 when you include the Alerts, Tigers and Flying Wildcats including one classic in 1912 where the Alerts beat the Argos 11-4 at Hamilton's Triple A (Amateur Athletic Association) Grounds!

Even in the Ontario University Athletics (formerly the Ontario Universities Athletic Association) division of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (formerly the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union), a strong antagonism survives between these two tug-of-warriors in the form of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and the McMaster University Marauders, with Toronto leading the row 26 to 4 Yates Cup and 2 to 0 Vanier Cup victories (Toronto had 22 Yates and lone invitational College Bowl win against the University of Alberta 14-7 at Varsity Stadium, before McMaster even got to its first though their lone College Bowl 9-10 loss against those same Golden Bears at Varsity in 1967 was the first to officially go national).

Now the independent Inter County Major Baseball League is a different story between them which is why the Toronto Maple Leafs (unlike the hockey club) and Hamilton Thunderbirds (formerly the Cardinals, who I was asked to workout and tryout for, before leaving for junior football in 1998) rivalry hasn't been as hot since their fight for the right to have Damon Allen on their roster to pitch (those Redbirds won that round in 1992 thanks to the Ti-Cats and the City of Hamilton, while the Buds wouyld later take on former World Series champion outfielder Rob Butler, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Paul Spoljaric and current Atlanta Braves designate Pete Orr to make up for it in recent years), but I have heard that Bernie Arbour Stadium up on Upper Kenilworth and Mohawk road east still has its good nights after the club changed ownership in 2005.

Inter-County used to be Canada's amateur baseball league operating since 1919 in Central-Southern Ontario where back in the day future hockey great Wayne Gretzky fielded for today's Brantford Red Sox and future Prime Minister Lester Pearson pitched for today's Guelph Royals (also whom the Pearson Cup was named after, for the winner of the annual mid-season major league baseball exhibition between former Canadian rivals, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Montréal Expos-Washington Nationals), but since the Canadian Baseball League (Major League Baseball star and Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame member Ferguson Jenkins being its Commissioner) folded in 2003 many of its players with professional baseball experience from Mexico, the Caribbean and South America like ex-Brave Francisco Cabrera, ex-Expo Floyd Youmans and ex-Blue Jay Rich Butler have made it into a semi-professional AAA International, Northern or Frontier League.

Seven times a champion are the Leafs, winning the ICMBL championship in from the early 1970s onward and in 2002 were undefeated with a perfect record at home, while the Cardinal-Thunderbird past isn't quite so illustrious in the glory file, which makes this year's near top Maple Leafs (also unlike the hockey club ones, is known for its fan-friendly free admission at the Christie Pits ballpark, on the corner of Bloor and Christie streets) and near bottom Thunderbirds likely possible first round series, after a 36-game regular season that began in May and concludes in August, for the Jack and Lynne Dominico Trophy playdowns not as important as it once was, yet still important enough when one remembers the Canadiana magic behind it.

Back to an add-on for football, while Toronto has arm and hammer problems with Ricky Williams for the upcoming Labour Day Classic, one sees Hamilton's woes will continue to haunt them if they keep releasing the good guys and hold on to the rest, as Assistant General Manager and Interim Head Coach Ron Lancaster announced after dropping 5-foot-7 import slotback Craig Yeast that "this was a step backward". The 1-6 Ti-Cats need a 5-foot-6 over/under electrifying explosive all purpose diminutive returnman like current Argos Head Coach Michael "Pinball" Clemons or a Henry "Gizmo" Williams who enters the Canadian Football Hall of Fame as an Edmonton Eskimo this year, yet after Week 7 this club seems destined to go out at worse a one win wonder and at best tie up the laces to find a couple more for three without any star power, I mean August isn't even here yet and already they are out of contention for a playoff spot. So perhaps that Flutie brothers idea floated back in 2003 was just the thing those Tabbies there needed, perhaps Hamilton's chain of command starting with Bob Young is looking into this right now unless the future option really is Richie Williams, does he just need Doug's and Darren's cell phone number to make it happen?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Canada's Caledonian Conscience

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's the start of the World War Three as we know it

Armageddon and its countdown has begun declares the main-stream media as Hezbollah kidnaps two Israeli soldiers in cross-border raid then Israel responds by sending in tanks and bombing the bridges and roads in Lebanon in the south to try to prevent the hostages from being taken to the north, behind the scene some are calling this the marked act of an Iran-Iraq-Syria-Saudi-Hezbollah-Hamas bloc against the Israeli alliance which is made up of the hawks within the Coalition led by the United States and the doves within the Union led by the United Nations, the battlelines now have gone westward from the desertsands of the East starting with al-Qaeda's New York City 9-11 attack in 2001, the attempted Paris 11-9 tower bombing in 2002, the Madrid 3-11 train bombing in 2004, the London 7-7 subway blitz in 2005 and ending with a recent attempt in Toronto for 6-6-6 to blow-up the Canadian parliament and behead the Canadian prime minister this June which has taking the action right into the heartland of the West.

A friend of mine from the Mac campus who is both openly Muslim and Communist predicted in 2003 that World War Three would be fought between the Communist-like Muslim-friendly nations and the Capitalist-like Judeo-Christian-friendly nations, interestingly I asked him as the final theater would be in the Middle East where the final battleground would be in his own very humble opinion and he stated solidly that Jerusalem would be it as all three of us in Judaism, Christianity and Islam claim it to be our Holy City quite like how Abraham or Ibrahim as the founding patriarch of the Israelites whom God chose to bless out of all the families of the Earth has claim to Jews and Christians through his son Isaac while Muslims regard him as the father of the Arabs through his son Ishmael as written within the Tanakh, the Bible and the Qur'an but differ on who the offered son on the alter really was.

While the United States Coalition is quite firm in its very conservative strong convictions, the United Nations Union has always traditionally held somewhat liberal passive-aggressive traits which have now just become that much more interesting quite like how they generally use the term "Occupied Palestinian Territory" now yet back in 1947 their United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine or United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 used "Samaria and Judea" for its terminology of the old United Monarchy, which is the exact weak link the IISSHH Bloc use to this day to defeat those in the USC or Friends of Israel which is why the UNU has been able to under the inept leadership of Secretary-General Kofi Annan bring us right into this mess that we see on our front pages today even with the positive Liberal politics on his side being practised by "Road Map for Peace" softballers Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Kadima and Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah who take over from old hardballers Ariel Sharon and his Likud and Yasser Arafat and his Munazzamat al-Tahrir al-Filastiniyyah.

Personally I come from it remembering old film clips of the Canadian Brodcasting Corporation's Greatest Canadian, Baptist minister and McMaster alumnus Tommy C. Douglas urging his followers towards building the New Jerusalem here in this green and pleasant land of Canada paraphrasing the poetic lyrics of William Blake, we can all coexist and build our very own Jerusalem in peace as Israel did when it recently withdrew from Gaza in the north and the south of Lebanon without absolute force but as Israel is bordered to the north by Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the West Bank in the east and Egypt and the Gaza Strip in the west and to the south by Mediterranean Gulf of Eilat-Aqaba, it would seem another Six-Day War of 1967 is just around the corner where Jordan's West Bank and Syria's Golan Heights, Egypt's Gaza Strip and Sinai will be re-captured again and another crossing of the Jordan River will spur up yet another holy war toward one final conquest of the land and the divine promise to it at the end of their final walk in the wilderness.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Marshall Plan not in effect in Hamilton

The first day I ever got to know Greg Marshall was back when the Guelph native sent me a recruitment letter of interest sometime in the winter of 1997, I had already decided McMaster University was the Canadian university I would be going to and that the Marauders would be the program in the sport of discipline I would be actively participating in at the inter-university football level, but the letter was so well set and succiently to the point that it made all of those years of watching the Maroon and Grey on CHCH in the snowy reception of Grandpa and Grandma Eriksen's house in Williamsford on Saturdays rather than the other Game of the Weeks like CKNX's Purple and Silver University of Western Ontario Mustangs or CKCO's Purple and Gold Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks much more clearly at home as a kid worth that extra mile.

The man who won the 1980 Hec Crighton Trophy single-handedly took a Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union losing-streaked football program from 1996's last place 0-8 to a middle of the pack 2-5-1 in 1997 then a 4-4 and its first playoff berth in 12 seasons losing the semi-final 34-32 to Western in London for 1998 then named Ontario University Athletic Association Coach of the Year after a 6-2 and another semi-final loss 42-27 to Laurier in Waterloo for 1999 and finally after 7-1 made it to the conference final winning 48-23 in Hamilton against Laurier yet lost the Churchill Bowl to the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees also in Hamilton 20-15 in 2000 but still both the OUAA and CIAU Coach of the Year award for the effort.

This created the base for his dynasty which would see Mac go on to four consecutive Yates Cup victory wins in Y2K, 2001 (7-0-1, Churchill Bowl loss at University of Manitoba Bisons 27-6), 2002 (8-0, Churchill Bowl loss versus Saint Mary's University Huskies 36-25) and 2003 (8-0, Mitchell Bowl loss versus Université Laval Rouge et Or 36-32) equalling the standard set by their traditional rival University of Toronto Varsity Blues from 1908 to 1911 and subsequently matched by Queen's University Golden Gaels from 1922 to 1925 and the UWO Mustangs from 1978 to 1982, which Marshall himself was a player for the first three of those seasons which led to his 53-18-2 overall record and incredible 30-1-1 streak during his dynasty.

Just like Mac, Greg took over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and brought it from 2003's last place 1-17 to 9-8-1 in 2004, its first playoff berth in since 2001 losing the semi-final 24-6 to Toronto Argonauts at the SkyDome and then went on to win the Canadian Football League CoY award in his first season, but instability within the professional operation between the interim roles of Bob Young, Rob Katz, Christopher Dean, David Sauve and Ron Lancaster led to was been chaotic at best and didin't seem to allow some key aspects of the game to gel within the organization so finishing out 2005 5-13 and starting in 2006 0-4 seems quite academic internally as most would agree.

So where does it go for Marshall from now on, Mac just filled up its head coaching vacancy as has the current arch-rival Golden Hawks and home-town University of Guelph Gryphons but the rumour out there remains that Ottawa's CFL franchise next year will snatch him up or that his alma mater UWO will bring him in as a co-head coach with the current winningest football coach in Canadian university history Larry Haylor who hasn't won a national title since 1994 which Greg actually helped assist in then wait a year or three until Haylor can move up and replace Mike Lysko as the athletic director and bring them back to where they have been, but looking back fondly at his quality actions in the past with Mac and how professional the coaching staff there was during his era such as Recruitment and Special Teams Coordinator Ted Goveia I believe perhaps he will be able to recreate that magic with another program or maybe there is still hope to bring that spirit back to Mac and make it happen all over again.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

In the beginning, Man created God, then heaven and the earth

For those who do not believe in a God or Creator, a Bible or Book, a heaven, a earth or a life after death, I ask you to just think about the idea of such a place where reality began as "In the beginning, Man created God, then heaven and the earth." Is that really the kind of world that we as humanity can believe in? Or do we not believe as one people that indeed there is deeply a higher power behind mankind that makes the individual secular parts of us on our own greater as the collective divine sum He added us on up to be!

Friday, July 07, 2006

First Dominion, then Independence and now To Day

Happy 139th Birthday Canada and 230th United States of America!!! First Dominion, then Independence, and now To Day, it has been a lot of fireworks, barbecues and just overall partying for any all around duel citizen of this sweet continent on Earth (our Third rock from the Sun).

I actually wrote two historical op-eds on the national birthdays, "In God We Trust" in 2001 for the United States of America's 225th Independence Day in select Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota daily newpapers and weekly publications then later "From Sea to Sea" in 2004 for Canada's 137th Dominion Day in select Ontario daily newpapers and weekly publications, both had been well-written so to capture the exact feeling one has for the best of each nation as only those of both can feel.

So party on Canada and United States of America, because with Mexico, this 1/7th of the World needs to be the Grand Old North American Continent of days past and reclaim the liberty, freedom and democracy we all once stood for or else we may never return back to it ever again.

Getting back into the motions, I was offered admission into the degree program at Redeemer (University) College at Ancaster as a full-time student for the 2006-07 academic year, so this September will change once more from getting up early to the office for the first real estate deal of the day to getting up late to go to the classroom for the last university studies course of the night.

As Redeemer provides a Top Three Theological Seminary College (similar in style to the Christian classical clerical Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf which Pierre Elliot Trudeau had attended) for quality liberal arts and science in Canada fighting with the Pacific's Trinity Western University in Langley for the Gold while various other institutions across the Atlantic fight it out for bronze, I suspect the broad based arts and sciences curriculum, its degree program for the under and graduate aren't the hook though since their new students party-hardy on a vibrant, ever-growing and expanding co-ed campus, but as RUC doesn't even have track and field, I'm not looking to Royals athletics even if I can hit a mean trey so it's hard-core academics from a full one year straight.

My faculty advisory is led by Dr. David T. Koyzis who is the Professor and Department Chair of Political Science, is committed to excellence in teaching, learning and assessment which will engage the mind, heart and soul so we will just have to see if getting back into the saddle of academic scholarship will allow me the time to adjust to the academic rigor, tolerance and discipline of interuniversity studies.

Finally, as this is my first post in a web site log that is my own personally, I can't believe that a decade less a year after we launched my web site (1997) that we have been reduced to little pea in a pod journals where it's just about me, me and me, so the intent here will be at least once a month, making that a dozen times in a year, I will have to speak about us making that quasi artificial me into a definitely real we.