Wednesday, December 21, 2005

World Baseball Tragic

In March, the first World Baseball Classic begins. Finally, there will be a world cup-type tournament for baseball and Canada will field a pretty nice team. Jason Bay, Erik Bedard, Eric Gagne, Corey Koskie, Justin Morneau, Matt Stairs and others of note should be competitive. I mean, they'll probably be outmatched by the USA, Dominican Republic or Cuba. What's that you say? Cuba isn't playing? Why not?

In an absolutely bonehead move, the US govt will not allow Cuba into the country to play in the tournament. I don't even think it's entering the country that's the problem. The govt doesn't want Cuba taking its share of the profits from this tournament due to the ongoing embargo against that country. Castro must be loving this, as his country is the victim and the USA is being viewed as the evil guys who won't let Cuba play. The International Olympic Committee is saying that the USA will have serious trouble being considered for an Olympics in the future is they don't allow Cuba to play in an international tournament but, being the arrogant fools they are, the USA will not abide.

See, long ago, Cuba was the playground for the rich. The wealthy and the mafia ran the island at the expense of the native people. When Castro led the revolution and kicked the Americans out, the Americans in turn have held such a grudge against him that to this day, there is no communication between them and the island. Oh, they'll claim they won't speak with Cuba because their people are not free under communist rule, yet the USA does just fine with China. Sure, Castro isn't the nicest of guys (political prisoners and crushing dissent aren't at the top of Santa's good list) but it's all sour grapes for getting their collective ass kicked out. And now, 45+ years later, this harmless tiny island cannot play in an international tournament where they belong.

Any baseball tournament without Cuba is illegitimate.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Snow Day

I woke up to a beautiful winter wonderland this morning. But like most beautiful things, they hide a deadly layer underneath.

Blankets upon layers upon more blankets of snow covered the streetscape today. I went outside at 7:45 to catch the bus as I usually do. So I waited. And waited. And waited some more. A bus comes, completely empty and the driver opens the door. He tells me he's not picking anybody up, then he leaves. This puzzled me more than anything. Where could be possibly be going?

So I waited and waited and waited s'more. I waited so long till my feet were cold and sore. Another guy shows up and waits with me. Ten minutes later he says he's gonna work from home today and leaves.

So I wait. And wait...Is that a bus or a shimmering mirage? I hold my breath (because by this point, my lungs were frozen). It is a bus!! Huzzah! Wait, it appears very dark inside...from all the dark coloured winter coats people are wearing. It's also very dense looking. Hey, not good. The bus isn't slowing down, despite the presence of a stop sign. Hey stop! Where...what...? The bus zooms by me. F*** this! I'm going back home.

In the span of one hour, where around 10-12 or so buses should have passed, I get shafted. Why is it this always happens at the first big storm of the year? This happens every bloody year. Don't they know the boyscout motto? Prepare, people. Why is it so hard to drive a bus when there's snow outside? This blows.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Video games don't kill people, ignorant articles do

So in the paper the other day, yet again, someone wrote an article on how violent video games should be banned or restricted harshly because it leads to a violent society. I cannot stand it when some ignorant fool who's never played a game writes one of these. And they always embarrassingly mention Doom as the staple of violent video games.

Inevitably, these articles mention the Columbine shootings as irrefutable proof of the dangers of games. So I quickly scanned through..."Columbine, Columbine...where are you..." Bingo! There it was. 'The shooters in the Columbine shootings were obsessed with violent games like Doom.' Give me a goddamn break. How many millions upon millions of people play violent games and don't go around shooting people? It's like, all mass murderers in the last last century wore pants ergo pants are evil. Ban pants! Yes, I understand that's an exaggeration but it's not too much of a departure from the logic these ignorant people use.

Do these people know that violence preceded video games? It's true! There were World Wars...Europeans wiping out natives using early germ warfare...the nasty business of the Crusades. Humans are inherently violent. It captivates us. Banning games will not make people less violent. Kids used to watch cowboys killing Indians on tv 50 years ago and it was deemed suitable children's programming. How is that any better? If anything, that's violence with racism thrown in for good measure.

How about some parents do some parenting? Instead of banning things left and right, people should be to blame for their kids, I say. Is it ok for a 9 year old to play GTA? Probably not. But if he finds his hands on that game, it's not Rockstar Games's fault.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Concert etc

On Monday, I attended the U2 show at the Bell Centre. Having seen U2 before, I knew what to expect and they did not disappoint. They put on a tight, solid performance that had the crowd in encore-mode from the first song ("City of Blinding Lights"). I took a few videos and photos (the videos turned out better than the pics).

The big news was Montreal's own Arcade Fire opening. When I heard they were opening for U2, I was excited. I've listened to their CD a bunch of times and I'd heard their live shows were awesome and it's true. They were insanely good. I think it was only their third arena show but they owned that stage. Their presence was surprising for a new band on that type of big stage. Pretty gutsy of them to use U2's oval stage to their advantage and to get down off stage and exit the arena through the crowd. But all this did was win the crowd over more. I've never seen an audience appreciate an opening band as much as these guys. They stole the show. U2 even got on stage to one of their tunes. Bono lavished praise on them and even invited them out to join U2 in a song. It was a very fun evening of good music and good times.

****

Regular readers (if any) will recall I was complaining about the urinals here on the 10th floor. They're no-flush toilets and thus the restrooms smell like urine. Well, today we get the following email:

"Hi,

Gameloft has received many comments regarding the washroom maintenance on the 10th floor. We would like to inform you that Gameloft is not responsible for the maintenance, it is the building owner's responsibility. However, be assured that Gameloft has taken all necessary measures to have the situation rectified as soon as possible.

Thank you for your patience and understanding"

So I'm not the only one who noticed. Hopefully we'll get some urinals with running water up in here. I mean, what is this, freakin' Mexico or Mumbai or something? Bah!