Why do I cheer for Buffalo sports teams? I do so, because I get double the fun out of it. Since watching my first Super Bowl game in 1990, I’ve been a fan of the Buffalo Bills. For 23 years I’ve seen highs and lows, in fact, I started cheering for them at their peak, and have watched them go slowly downhill from there. Now they are the perennial underdog and for the last few seasons, always seem to gel as a team the moment they are mathematically eliminated from the Wild Card spot. It is because of this fact, that as a fan of the Bills, I also get to cheer for another team, my “play-off team”, the Green Bay Packers.
Yup. See the Bills haven’t made the playoffs since 1999. That’s a drought older than my oldest child, who’s now a teenager. Pretty sad. Regardless of their on-field performance, I am just not ready to give up on them, wont ever unless the team moves. However out of tragedy, comes opportunity. The Bills can’t make the playoffs, haven’t made the playoffs. So I get the opportunity to cheer for another team, one that actually does get into the playoffs year after year, the Packers.
Should the Bills finally make it to the playoffs, I can cheer for them both, as one is AFC and one is NFC. The only time I really have to worry about having to choose, is if they both made it to the Super Bowl. Given Buffalo’s team last season, that’s going to be a while.
Moving to the Sabres. Cheered for the Oilers until Gretzky went south. Cheered for Boston after that until Ottawa got a team (Toronto’s still waiting for that0. However, I’ve been a fan of the Sabres since going down to a few games when I went to college in Oakille back in 1996 and 1997. That was a great time. Dominick Hasek in goal, Mike Peca playing center, great hockey. Ted Nolan behind the bench too. It was a great atmosphere in Buffalo, fun hockey to watch. Not overpriced nonsense like Toronto’s dogs-breakfast of a team that fans are stupid enough to shell out money for. Buffalo hockey was fun and affordable. It had personality, grit.
Fast forward to ’99 and their run at the cup. Buffalo had a great season, made it to the finals, they were the underdog (I always cheer for the underdog), and they were robbed by Brett Hull (Screw you HULL!). The team was still the underdog and didn’t do bad under Lindy Ruff, not bad at all. But they haven’t made the playoffs, in a few seasons, and so, I have a backup team too, or a “playoff team”, the Ottawa Senators. The Sens have made the cup finals, they also had Hasek on their team, and are a small-market team where they make an effort to put a good product on the ice (unlike the Leafs).
So with that I get the best of both worlds, I can cheer for my fun, teams, my die hard teams, which if they make it to the playoffs, great. But then I get to cheer for teams that actually try to go somewhere in the playoffs (sorry Toronto).
In reality, I wish I only had to cheer for one team, but so far the Bills and the Sabres haven’t made that easy for me.
I am a libertarian. I believe in minimal government intrusion in our lives. I believe that government should only do for us what we cannot do ourselves. With that being said, I think it is now time for automatic and semi-automatic weapons, to be banned.
In 1783, the founding fathers of the United States crafted the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment reads as follows:
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
The typical gun in use was a “Brown Bess” musket. It would take a skilled solider 15-30 seconds to reload this gun. The average farmer, it would take a minute.
A semi-automatic 12-round hand gun can empty it’s magazine in under 15 seconds. If the weapons we had now, were available in 1783, the Second Amendment would look at lot differently.
What reason does any person, who is not military or police, need a semi-automatic handgun, or an automatic rifle? There is no reason.
A libertarian believes that government should only do things when individuals cannot do it themselves. Since Americans cannot stop buying semi-automatic and automatic weapons, it is time for the government to step in and ban them. Not just ban new sales, remove them from those who own them.
I have no issue with people having rifles if they hunt, but there is no hunter who’ll hunt with a Beretta 92S or a Sig Sauer 9mm. No one needs these. Time for them to go.
In Canada, we got rid of the long-gun registry. I think the opposition to the gun registry was mostly based on the fees to register. I have to register my car, I should have to register my gun.
Registered guns don’t stop people from committing crime, so we need more officers everywhere stopping gun running. But if there is a ban on Automatic and Semi-Automatic weapons, the companies will stop making them. Which means they’ll be less available and therefore, less crime, hopefully.
It’s often said that Guns don’t kill people, People kill people. No. Guns don’t kill people, but they are efficient tools that makes killing people a lot easier.
This summer was going to be the summer that would drag on. We had no plans to go anywhere, much to our kids’ dismay. Only day trips and park visits and soccer.
But the summer has moved fast. Soccer on the weekends and twice during the week made the weeks blur together with no real end or beginning. The kids, or at least 3/4′s of them actually did what they were tokd and played with their toys. Not just for five minutes, but for five hours. The other 1/4 is a work in progress.
The only failing point from my perspective is not getting more done to fix up the house. The siding still needs a coat of paint, the front door hasn’t been replaced and I still need to put the new baseboards into the oldests room.
Still summer is almost over. With all of the things I didn’t get done this summer, I’ll be very busy this fall.
Recently I sent a letter of inquiry off by email to a company about an issue. The reply struck me odd because it was entirely in French. At no point in my email did I use any word of French, nor was it to a French business. It was to a business that didn’t even have a French language section on their website. However the person who replied felt the need to answer me in French. Then the light bulb went off, my last name.
My last name is Blancher. It has been spelled that way for nearly two hundred years. The branch of the family I am from is from Eastern Ontario and very much a United Empire Loyalist area. Yes there are variations of the last name like Blanchard and Blancherd, but I didn’t spell it with an “erd” or an “ard”.
“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” – Alexander Pope
It’s not hard I guess to mispronounce my last name, but it’s also not hard to get it right either. Blancher. Blanch – er. When you pronounce it properly, there is no “D” sound at the end. Blanch-er. Nope, no “ard” sound either.
When it comes to assuming my last name is French (and not an Anglicized French name which is common throughout North America), I guess that means it is also OK to assume I speak/read/write French.
I don’t. I took French up until Mr. Goddard’s Grade 11 class, and did use it in college a little when I’d hop on the train from Toronto to Montreal in search of cheap booze, awesome concerts and bagels. But that was over 15 years ago and now, I speak only French curse words when driving on Autoroute 20 in Montreal. So why did this person assume I spoke French?
There are Blanchers in Eastern Ontario, Nova Scotia, Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba. There are Blanchers in New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Arkansas, and of course that bastion of French enclaves, Ohio.
So why did the person who replied think I speak French, sheer ignorance and a lack of thinking. If I were replying to an email, and the writer had written in English, I would think that the writer’s first language is infact, English and that all correspondence should be in English. Just as I would think that if I had received an email in French, German or Swahili. But I used that word again, common sense. Tsk Tsk.
I could even forgive the person if it was a phone conversation and I introduced myself, and the person heard my last name with a D because of the phone quality, or perhaps I was being lazy when speaking. I could understand that.
So to Ronald Smith in Ottawa, I am sorry that I wrote your company that has an English name and you having clear Anglo-Saxon birth and given names, in English. That is my problem for assuming and making an ass out of u and me.
Maybe I should start writing emails in Klingon.
I am not a fanboy for our current Conservative government by any means, but by no means should the failures in defense procurement be pinned solely on this government. The Conservatives did get it right with their contract procedure for acquiring new vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy, it was independent, devoid of politics, and absolutely fair. In fact the opposition parties, the NDP and Liberals, are holding this as the gold standard to which all procurement should be awarded.
The F35 though is a failure. The failure is not the Conservatives alone to bear. One of the misnomers that comes from this is that the F35 was sole-sourced. Wrong. If one takes the time to read how the F35 project came about, you’ll see that the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) program had two competing planes from two different manufacturers. The Boeing X32 and the Lockheed-Martin X35 were prototypes pitched to the powers that be on the JSF project. The two competed on cost, materials, features, performance and timelines. X35 won as selected by the partners which include countries like the United States, Canada, Norway, Austrailia, Great Britain and others. Then those countries pooled their orders and that’s where we are. The JSF program was first proposed in 1993 by the US Government and in 1997 the Canadian Government first signed on as a partner. Who was Prime Minister of Canada in 1997?
This guy, Jean Chretien. Liberal Prime Minister of Canada from 1993 to 2003. Chretien signed on to the program as a replacement for the CF188 fighters (yes, I used the real name for the Canadian F18′s).
The decision on which plane won the competition was announced in 2001. The X35 outperformed the X32 and so it was chosen. Who was Prime Minister during that time? Jean Chretien.
This is the same Prime Minister who cancelled a program in 1993 to replace aging Sea King helicopters, paid $500 million in cancellation fees only to buy the same helicopter in 2001 for search and rescue duty in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Sure, there have been screwups and personally, I think we could do without the F35′s, the F18 Super Hornets would be a good fit at a much lower cost. Defense analysists state we should have an airforce of about 200 fighter jets for the population and support we need in Canada. 65 F35′s or 200 F18 Super Hornets. I’ll go with 200 planes.
And what about the subs?
Canada bought four used diesel-powered subs from the British Royal Navy in 1998 for 750 Million Dollars. Since then they have seen literally no service. The HMCS Chicoutimi disaster epitomizes the poor defense policy it was to buy some other navy’s junk. 14 years after purchase we still have no subs that operate, except for scraping the bottom of the ocean floor in military accidents.
Who was Prime Minister when the Victoria-class subs were purchased?
Yup same guy.
So who is to blame with the failures of Canadian military procurement? Who is to blame for the F35 being chosen? Who is to blame for the method that the F35 was chosen? Who is to blame for junk submarines that wouldn’t even make it on to an episode of Canadian Pickers?
Yup. That guy.
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