Posted in Community, family, government, Life, Parenting, politics, urbandaddyblog

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Things We Should Not Lose Sight Of


I have a lot of stuff running through my mind and when I go to write them down so I do not forget, I forget them.  So I’m going to try to empty those items in a Thursday 13 post, whereby I list 13 items on a topic, and the topic this week is 13 Things Happening Around Us We Cannot Lose Sight Of.

13.  Uruguay has a player named Luis Suarez who is a pretty damn incredible soccer player.  He beat England pretty much by himself which must have sucked since he plays in the English Premier League.  Suarez, however, likes to bite his opponents.  He has done this a couple of times before and was most recently suspended 10 games for it.  He clearly has not learned, however, as he bit a player in Uruguay’s FIFA World Cup game.

Now what are they going to do with him?

Should he not have learned by now?

If FIFA were his parents, would biting him back be justified to teach him a lesson?  How about making him write an apology, or punishing him for the lie he told when he denied that it happened.

12.  Russia appears to be trying to re-assemble the USSR which is disturbing, but even more upsetting is the amount of anti-Semitism and gay-bashing going around.  This country clearly wants to remain a super-power by controlling its citizens, however the trampling of basic human rights places them back in the 1960’s and that much be stopped.  Shooting down planes is also not cool at all.

11.  Toronto Mayor Rob Ford return to work on June 30th after 2 months in rehab.  He immediately jumps to the top of the polls for re-election and I don’t know why.  Granted, John Tory has 61% of the popular support, but it appears that Torontonians are poised to make another huge mistake.

10.  In my day job, as a tax collections consultant, I have found the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is taking forever to process simple requests and have been quick to assess but slow to follow-up.  Where is the accountability? #inTAXicating

9.   Miami Heat star LeBron James has opted out of his contract either to become a free agent and join another team, or because he realized he cannot do everything and that Chris Bosh is pretty fragile and useless, like he was in Toronto.  So with a new contract at a cheaper price, the Heat can buy more / better players.  But with LBJ on his way back to Cleveland, and talks of Bosh wanting to go to front-runner and defending champion Houston Rockets, does it make the Bosh-o-saur seem like less of a player, who wants to go where he can get a free ride, not bang in the paint and play safely?

8.   Toronto sports teams suck, and sports fans here are perplexed.  The Raptors and Blue Jays were supposed to suck and be last place in their respective divisions this season, but the Raptors won their division and the Jays are just out of first place in the AL East with pretty terrible starting pitching.  The Maple Leafs, on the other hand, and the Toronto FC, made changes and were expected to at the very least, make the playoffs but both bombed.

7.   Starbucks Brezza coffee is fantastic!

6.   I feel bad for business owners who do not do their homework… In my neighbourhood, for example, a new restaurant just opened selling food which I’m pretty sure no one will eat.  Worse, it opened across from a religious centre where very few would have / have ever tried that food.  (Shaking Head)

5.   Did they find that missing plane yet?  Sad.

4.   5-years yesterday since Michael Jackson died.  I seem to hear more and more of him on the radio each and every day.

3.   Girls and Woman in countries all over the world are being kidnapped and tortured for no reason whatsoever.  This needs to be stopped, like yesterday.  Until each and every person in the world, man, woman and trans-gendered are allowed to live free and safe from persecution, we have a long way to go.

2.   Hate is taught.  For a child to grow up in a free and democratic country and think it is okay to vandalize something with hate messages which probably would have gotten him jailed, tortured or killed in his country, means his parents and community are breeding hate and that cannot and should not ever be tolerated.  Shame.

1.   Education is the key, my friends, to pretty much everything.  Education, exercise, never trying drugs, and using common sense will lead to a better human race and should be the corner-stone for a new way to bring up our children and judge others.

 

#DontBeALemon

#BeARoseBud

 

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Posted in hockey, news

Toronto Maple Leafs fire coach Ron Wilson! The Spotlight is now on GM Brian Burke.


English: Brian Burke, the current General Mana...

So the Toronto Maple Leafs have decided to fire head coach Ron Wilson late on Friday the 2nd of March.  I saw the news break first on CP24, then I took to Twitter and slowly the reports started to come in.

I thought Friday night was an odd time to fire the coach and announce the replacement, former Leaf Randy Carlyle – who was the head coach in Anaheim when Brian Burke was the General Manager and the Ducks won the Stanley Cup.  It was odd because, while expected, the Leafs are in Montreal tonight to play the Canadiens, and if there was ever a pressure situation it is tonight, and with Burke flying to Montreal to tell Wilson personally there was no one here to address the media.

Smart, some would say.

Conniving, I put forward.

Here are some of my thoughts surrounding Brian Burke and his bravado.

1) When Burke can to Toronto he inherited Wilson – who was hired by then GM Cliff Fletcher (of the Jeff Finger signing, ugh).  Wilson, like Burke are both Americans.

2) Burke immediately brought in Phil Kessel, an American forward playing with the Boston Bruins who after testicular cancer was made available because he’s moody and not viewed by everyone as being a team player.  The Leafs gave up two first round picks for Kessel at a time when the Leafs were terrible and though Burke thought the picks were going to be mid-round, they turned out to be very high picks including 2nd overall.  Burke sadly overestimated the talent on the team and I belive the ability of the coach.

3) Burke announced he needed “Truculence” on the team and proceeded to stock the roster with so-called tough guys who are not so tough, or are tough but cannot play a regular shift with the team.  Colton Orr, Jay Rosehill, tough but limited in their abilities.  Mike Komisarek in from Montreal as a high-priced free agent, Francois Beauchemin and Mike Brown in from the Ducks… It was time to raid the Ducks for their toughness and goaltending because that is what former GM’s do, right.  They take from their former team even when that team is performing worse that the new team.

4) With that not working, Burke started signing all the free agents from US colleges in hope of being able to stock the team and have assets to trade of fill holes since they were not doing it through the draft – recall, the B’s are getting quality picks from the terrible Leafs, like the #2 overall pick Tyler Seguin who in his 1st season with the Bruins won the Stanley Cup and in year 2 is second in scoring on the Bruins as of today with 50 points and a plus 33.  Sure Kessel has 68 points and Joffrey Lupul, another reclamation project from Anaheim has 66 points and  Kessel is only 4 years older than Seguin, but comparing the two, it might come down to character which the Leafs appear to lack.

So the Leafs brought in Tyler Bozak, Christian Hansen, the Monster, Colby Armstrong, Komisarek, and with that came and went the hopes of Leafs’ fans.  Kadri might be a bust, Kuliman went from 30 goals to 5 goals and Jake Gardiner was a throw in for the Leafs taking Lupul’s salary, not a shrewd move by Burke and don’t let him convince you otherwise.  With no talent, Burke has resorted to trading for injured players – Connelly, Lombardi, etc, signing college players and bringing in overpriced free agents which would be a great stop-gap if there were young players, but the scouting staff has let the Buds down for the last, oh, 35 years.

5) Burke brings in Tim Connolly from the Sabres – often injured, and slow skaters but great passer who has clearly lost a step, but still leaves the team without a true number one centre – the defense is strong and deep, but no secondary scoring and no number one centre hurts this team and was an issue in 2008 when Burke arrived.

6) Burke announces his intention to trade up in the entry draft to get a blue-chip prospect – like he did when drafting the Sedin’s in Vancouver, but doesn’t.  Instead he drafts more American players for Canada’s team. 

7) Scratching my head I think back to when Burke was hired and how he announced that he wanted players who could handle the pressure in Toronto, who are from Toronto and who would be proud to play in Toronto.  Now wondering how all these Americans feel being sent to a horrid Toronto team…

8) Burke brings in renowned goalie coach Francois Allaire who does nothing to help Jonas “the Monster” Gustavsson, or James Reimer – or J.S. Giguere who was a salary dump from the Ducks that the Leafs gladly assumed – Instead of turning them into the next Martin Brodeur, they both drop to their knees once a shot is taken and are at risk for collisions with their heads as has been witnessed by both players being hit in the head by other players.

9)  In an odd exchange, Burke did nothing at the trade deadline this past week and after doing so pronounced that the players were a little hesitant because of all the trade talk in Toronto and they should play better now that the deadline is over.  Burke even went so far as to announce that next year he is going to impose his own trade deadline a week prior so that he can mess up what has become Trade Deadline Day festivities in Canada.  Actually, he wants to impose this so the players don’t have to worry at deadline time about being traded.  So when Burkie mentioned upon his arrival in Toronto that he wanted to bring in players who could handle the pressure here I guess this was a #fail.  Then in startling fashion the next night after the Leafs lost it was the coach throwing the GM under the bus by stating that the team is not good enough and the GM didn’t bring in any new players.  Ouch.

10) Burke gave Wilson a one year contract extension on the hush hush, then announced it via Twitter a few days after it started to leak.  Nice golden handshake, eh? 

So to recap…

Wilson is 15 losses away from holding the record for the most losses by any coach in NHL history.  He has a gazillion wins too, lets not forget that, but he won’t set that record in Toronto.  The team has played on hot streaks which show good coaching but has been on crappy streaks which shows the coach in unable to motivate the players to play better.  It’s 50/50.  Is the team not up to par or is it the wrong coach.  The NHL’s youngest team is falling further and further out of contention and something had to be done.  Burke did not want to do this, folks, I guarantee this.  Now that the coach is gone, all fingers point squarely at Burke.

If the team falters from here on in, and I give the suits at Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment one full season to assess the Burke / Carlyle duo and it there is no progress, I guarantee you, Burke is out of here.  Off to save another franchise or more realistically he’s going to face the same fate of any player / goalie / coach or GM that leaves Toronto, meaning that he’s done in the league. 

Toronto Maple Leafs

Tweet Tweet.  Ride’s over.  Last stop, Toronto.

Mr. Carlyle.  Your stop.  Good luck.

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A distant memory (before I was born);

English: Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup Banne...