Sunday, June 19, 2011

Vancouver loses Stanley Cup finals, riots, fires, stabbings, looting downtown. Black eye on Vancouver again, 17 years later

Vancouver, CANADA - Vancouver Canucks lost the NHL Stanley Cup final game to Boston Bruins and after the game serious fires were lit and all kinds of looting downtown while police try to disperse the crowd with tear gas. Although a very few may be responsible for the violence the bottom line is it affects the whole city of Vancouver and isn't great for welcoming visitors, especially if they are from Boston.

Vancouver's mayor said it was a few bad apples and yet watching the local news it looked like young men who thought it was fun while they laughed and took tons of cell phone pictures. A snitch facebook page has already been created to post your pictures and tag them if you recognize anyone doing criminal activity. Very sad indeed and this could go on all night.

It was reported that there were over 100,000 people downtown cheering on the Canucks but after the game the mob mentality grew as people joined in and started throwing everything and anything at the police and setting fires and tipping cars. All downtown transit was cancelled and bridges to the city were closed to prevent more people from entering the downtown core.

PHOTO - Richard Lam -  It surprised me to see there was not enough officers to control the situation and what really amazed me was that there were police without any type of protective head gear, what were they thinking. And all of this happened 17 years ago and still they were not prepared? What was the deal with the police dogs, were they searching for something or were the police using them to intimidate the crowd? There was a guy in a blue shirt on some stairs confronting the police for about 15 minutes on the local LIVE TV news and the police held back, but did they finally arrest him.

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Daniel ... Toronto, CANADA
My take on everything

Friday, June 17, 2011

Women’s Roller Derby hosting International Tournament Dec/2011

 LOOKING for the dangling KEY, scroll down, and make sure you copy the number to get the $25 credit to the account you open with no fees EVER, yes I said NEVER.

Toronto -Toronto Women’s Roller Derby League (TORD) will be hosting an International tournament in December 2011, venue location is still to be announced. There are just over 100 leagues in North America with 13 in Canada.

Photos courtesy of Sean Murphy
“We just won the bid to host the first ever World Cup of Roller Derby in Toronto, December 1-4, 2011 with 13 International teams from all over the world” said Krizsanta Muerte (Santa) a member of the Gore-Gore Roller Girls and defending champs of last years fifth season. Santa is also on the organizing committee for locations and on the Board of Directors for the league.
On Saturday night match at The Hanger at Downsiew Park, Santa’s Gore-Gore Roller Girls defeated Chicks Ahoy 132-83 and said “The Chicks are always super hard to play against but we did it Saturday night.”
The crowd base of just under 1000 were not disappointed by all the action and it cuts across all demographics, because in the beginning “Back when the league started five years ago, the fan base was mostly women 18-45 but now it has mushroomed into an all different crowd, since people are realizing there is a lot of strategy involved in the game, and Roller Derby is the only game in the world where both teams can score simultaneously,” said Santa.

The scoring is a little complicated and here is a summary of how the teams score points. There are five players on the track at any one time and the “Jammer” is the only one who can score points. “The Jammer gets points every time she laps an opposing blocker. A blockers job is to stop the other Jammer of the opposing team from getting her points and at the same time your Jammer is trying to get points” said Santa.

The rules are 44 pages long but there are really only about 10 major rules. Players violating the rules can accumulate minors and four minors will get the player one minute in the penalty box.

The draw for a lot of fans is that it is so hard to get tickets for major sports like hockey that they like to find something completely different and possibly win some championships.

The rules of Roller Derby are evolving all the time and they test the new rules in one game and then introduce them into the league rules if they are working. “Points can only be scored 20 feet in front of the pack.” commented Santa.

The league has an “All Star” team (CN Power) that travels all over North America and may be planning a trip to the Minnesota area in the near future.

Action get’s underway again this Saturday, April 16 at The Hangar at Downsview Park (Even the TTC stops at their front door) at 6:30pm and more info can be found at the Toronto Roller Derby website. Seating is limited, so it is recommended you bring a chair.

Some of the proposed teams attending (as reported in Blood and Thunder Magazine) the first ever International World Cup of Roller Derby include, England, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden and USA, and of course Canada, the Host team.

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Daniel … Toronto, CANADA
My take on everything

Hockey fans – National Hockey League (NHL) chatter about the playoffs.

Toronto, CANADA – We’re right into the semi-finals now and there is all kinds of “NHL chatter” about everything.
First off, it was just announced this weekend that the NHL has become involved in the “GreenMen” at Roger’s Arena (formerly GM Place) in Vancouver, where these jerks in green spandex suits sit in their season ticket seats next to the visitors penalty box with the full body spandex suits on (head to toe) and taunt the players while they touch, punch, kiss the glass during a penalty. The current opposition actually made a formal complaint.The NHL has contacted them and said they are “not allowed to touch the glass” any longer. I don’t like these guys either, but you cannot touch the glass in NHL arenas any longer? Does that just mean at the penalty box, or the glass anywhere in the stadium? What do you think?
The issue of linesmen throwing players out of the faceoffs, for no reason, has really got my goat. It has, and will continue and it could cost a team a win/loss in a very important playoff game. Has anyone ever seen a second player get thrown out of a faceoff after the regular centre has been thrown out?  Not likely, I haven’t either and I think the reason is the rules say (from what I know) that if it happens a second time, the referee will be forced to give the offending team a penalty? So which is worse, getting a penalty or being thrown out for no reason, and losing the game over such a stupid situation. It happened to Montreal Canadiens in the last round.
Another thing that is prevalent is the ongoing problem of the player changes at the benches, and it always becomes an issue during the playoffs. Last year there were over 20 penalties for too many players on the ice, and this year there has been penalties already.
I like the idea of Don Cherry of  Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC)  fame, that there should be a “change free zone”  just outside the players benches, where they are allowed a five foot zone to change freely, of course unless the extra player is touched by the puck.
And then of course we come to the age old question about the touch icing, and the possibility of a player being injured while they race down the ice to touch the puck first. The NHL did the right thing recently, by changing the rule that the players could NOT touch each other while they tried to touch the puck first, but why did they do that. Are they concerned that someone might get hurt? If that is their reasoning, why not just make it an instant whistle as soon as the puck crosses the goal line, a no-touch icing?
But then that would make sense, and keep everyone safe, but no, the NHL wants the excitement of two men racing down to the end boards to touch a puck.
Makes no sense to me, what about you?

Daniel … Toronto, CANADA
My take on everything

Review of Bell Fibe TV/internet service is nothing but problems, yet very cool, until you get setup.

UPDATE – May 5/2011 - Bell has been, and can be very arrogant, if you look at this flyer we received this week telling us the service is available in our building. And the fact that they say the service is good quality, “Best TV picture?” We are still experiencing problems six months later, although it is better than in the first week in November 2010, it is still pixillating, and sound-outs. To say “This technology is the BEST”  is really a stretch. When it’s working, is is excellent, but that has not been our experience.
One Bell techie told us “You can’t expect it to be 100%” but Bell expects us to PAY 100%?

UPDATE - November 29/2010
It's almost a month since I had Bell Fibe TV/internet installed and I must say I am very impressed by Bell Canada, and especially Ryan the techie who dropped by on Sunday and did a thorough and excellent job fixing my TV signal.
I have had some complaints and they have finally addressed them, however I am still annoyed with the sales practices of the in-lobby sales people. But with that put aside, after talking with the Bell Executive Team in Montreal (they called me) my pixillating and sound problems have been resolved. The picture quality is absolutely excellent, no pixallating (where the picture takes a burp,) or sound outs.

UPDATE December 12/2010 - Still getting the pixillating and sound outs but not as bad as it was when we first got it, they "say" they will resolve the problem?
My next question is, will this corrective measure be addressed to "everyone" that has problems? I hope so, and suspect it is in Bell's best interest to do so, and will people just give up and switch back after the first few weeks of pixillating picture.
On another happy note another service techie called and was able to fix the Bell anti-virus software that I was told was a "known issue and would not be resolved for a few months." The internet side was not a problem other that the anti-virus situation since it was excellent speed since the beginning.

UPDATE - November 11/2010 - The original date of this BLOG posting is documented as Monday, November 8/2010, at 10:25am and was first posted on my OPERA BLOG and then posted here earlier this week....

Have you had PROBLEMS since you signed up for the new Bell FibeTV (Internet Protocol television-IPTV) service which allows you to get TV through the internet? One of the first things someone does when they get an internet service provider (ISP) is to load, download, a virus protection software usually provided by the ISP.

Click READ MORE below to read on about Bell FibeTV/internet....

Driving in Toronto, can it be dangerous, costly, frustrating and just plain madness. Do we have enough enforcement?

Toronto, CANADA - An excellent article in the  Toronto Star   today prompted this blog, and writer  Ian Law   was concentrating on the four driving offences that "drive him crazy" and he could issue tickets (if they game him a title and a car) to drivers, under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA.)  He covers his worst, distracted drivers, running red lights,aggressive driving, and illegal turns.

These are all good points and although many residents would say "We have enough enforcement, too much,in fact" that is not the case. Recently the Province of Ontario added a new traffic law which makes using any hand held electronic devices illegal and subject to over $100 fine and points. This is mainly targeted at people texting and driving, or stopped at a traffic light, and are not using a hands free device. And since the start of this new law, about a year ago, has this eliminated the safety hazard? Not a chance, it's a wee bit smaller than in years past, but it still continues to this day, and I see people texting in backed up traffic all the time. If caught, I think a more realistic fine should be imposed since they are only catching about five percent, so let's make the fine $500 and see how the public reacts to that.
This texting and driving has been responsible for so many accidents since texting started, and now with everyone having a smart phone, and traffic snarls all over the city, people think they can do both. Studies have shown that someone texting and driving is very similar to the conditions of an impaired driver and in Ontario that is a criminal offence.

I just don't get it, people can't wait to answer their phones and for some reason are aware of the dangers, but continue to use their hand held devices while they try to manoeuvre through the heavy traffic of downtown Toronto, and I suspect other major cities across North America. It's getting so bad, it's not even safe in a wheelchair.

So what do you think? Are there other things that DRIVE YOU CRAZY about Toronto Drivers? Let's hear what you have to say.
If you need a good safe driving school, check this place out, it's Ian Law's school just north of Toronto.
(Car Control School - CLICK HERE)

People who liked this BLOG post, liked these, remember the women who walked into a fountain while texting check her video out.
Walked into water fountain while texting.
What's the rule for parking VALET giving keys to drunk drivers?
Can car companies eliminate the bar on the drivers side that blocks view when turning?

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Daniel ... Toronto, CANADA
My take on everything

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UPDATE – Casey Anthony Trial: George Anthony smell of death, ‘smell like that out in the woods’ evasive to defense cross examination

Orlando, Florida - Today the Casey Anthony murder trial entered day 15 although it is only the fourth day of the actual trial in Orlando, the other days were spent picking the jury. Casey Anthony is charged with murder of her two year old daughter in June 2008, and is facing the death penalty if found guilty.
Her father George A. Anthony  was called to the stand again today for the third time, and went into battle with his arch enemy, defense attorney Jose Baez, after Baez had made some hefty accusations during the opening statements alleging George had sexual relations with Casey when she was a child. He also stated that the defenses position was that Casey did not kill her daughter, Caylee, it was an accident as she drowned in the backyard swimming pool. Baez also alleged George had pulled Caylee’s dead body out of the pool, and scolded Casey for not watching her.
While Georges time on the stand was difficult for Baez, he kept trying to get him to answer questions about the smell of a dead body in his daughters car when he went to the towing yard to pick up his vehicle. The towing company had indicated they sent a notice to them about the car, but they never came to pick it up until about 10-11 days after it was sent. Baez didn’t let the smell in the car go away, he kept pounding at it and George kept evading the question.
He asked if he could smell “death” in the car and George would answer what he saw. He finally came to the point where he said “I had a smell like that outside in the woods, in the house, in a car, I mean it’s” and then a big frown on his face while Baez responded, “And this is six months before your granddaughter is found in the woods?”  And then the prosecution called an objection and they went to a sidebar.
To view the courtroom video yourself you can go to WFTV and view any parts of the trial. WFTV is covering the trial LIVE  online.
The trial starts again Tuesday, May 31/2011 9AM (EST)

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Daniel … Toronto, CANADA
My take on everything

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UPDATE: Casey Anthony murder trial - Cindy Anthony (Grandmother) of Caylee, takes stand for most of today, jury sympathizes?

Opinion street
Orlando, Florida - I'm no lawyer, but sympathy, emotions, and non-facts, should not be part of any murder trial. Today's evidence in the murder case of Casey Anthony was not evidence, but pure emotion, speculation and sympathy for the grandmother. It has been reported that the whole family is dysfunctional and it was very clear today this may be true, and although it is only the seventh day of trial this is a very dysfunctional family in my view. In previous testimony by George, Casey's Father, he would never answer the defense attorney's questions, and today it was the same approach from the mother, Cindy.
Let's face it, Casey Anthony is not the poster child for Mother of the Year,  but this is just so, so slanted, since everyone has been coached to hate her and that is not right. How she acts in the courtroom to her mother, how she dresses, how she looks at anyone, these are not reasons for convicting someone of the worst crime ever. Innuendo, speculation, looks, clothing they are not evidence.
Caylee Anthony

I agree, I suspected she was guilty from three years ago, and she may well be, but we must let the trial play out. From what I understand as a layman, people get convicted on evidence and we have seen very little so far. Yes, computer checks for chloroform, checks for neck breaking, hair in the trunk, these are all circumstantial evidence and no one has placed Casey at the desk of the computer, or putting her daughters hair in the trunk.

 Tonight on Nancy Grace show on HLN, where she is in true form, she has said such things as "Casey placed her daughters dead body in a pet cemetery with duct tape over her mouth" is just all conjecture and not based on any real facts. She even had a veteran New York City lawyer Paul Batista as a guest on her show tonight and he spouted the same as me, and she said, "cut his microphone, he's not answering my questions"  which means he is not in lock step loop with Nancy Grace's view, and can't be heard, doubt if he will be asked back on. I have read that the duct tape over the mouth of young Caylee was probably done by the person who killed/or covered up the death, to make it appear that it was a kidnapping.
Defense team

It appears that everyone from CNN - HLN shows, seem to have  closed minds, and think/demand that Casey is guilty. Thank goodness we even have trials, with people thinking like this, and spewing their biased opinions. I have not decided yet, if I think Casey is guilty, it looks very bad for her if I just listen to the main stream media, but I have my doubts, but they may be addressed later in the trial. But I have not decided to take her out and finish her off before she gets a fair and unbiased trial, what is happening people, there must be evidence, proving these things especially in a murder trial, it must be beyond reasonable doubt. Are people saying, they have no doubt in their minds after the revealing opening statement at the beginning of the trial by Casey's defense attorney Jose Baez?  Maybe not, but I sure do, have all kinds of doubt in my mind and I'm just a regular guy.
Casey is the one everyone loves to hate, and "string her up" mentality, but that went out, back when cattle rustlers were hung, not today.

It shall be very interesting in the next few days, when George and Cindy's son Lee takes the stand and maybe then, we will see we have a package deal of a fully dysfunctional family, and it also appears they may all be liars, just as they programmed their daughter Casey.

Check out my pics

TRIAL CHATTER: I thought it was just me mixing up Casey, Caylee, Cindy, all such similar names but I heard Cindy today on the stand make the mistake herself, at least twice?

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Daniel .. Toronto, CANADA
My take on everything

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UPDATE: Casey Anthony murder trial – ‘Dick Tracy Orlando’ was discussed, in the absence of the jury this afternoon, but the jury heard it

Orlando, Florida - The fantasy world touched the Orlando courtroom murder trial of Casey Anthony today as they spent almost an hour discussing whether they would allow defense attorney Jose Baez   to introduce information about the Orange County Sheriff’s Office detective nicknamed “Dick Tracy Orlando.”
Not sure which is more REAL, Dick Tracy Orlando or the stories told by Casey Anthony on her way to this murder trial of the millennium. The prosecution indicated to  Chief Judge Belvin Perry   today that they are only half way through their witnesses.
Today was day seven of the trial and there are few “facts/evidence” so far, and now that we are hearing Casey’s stories, it is clearer that her stories, were never true.
But just as the country was shocked when Jose Baez startled everyone by saying “Caylee Anthony was not murdered, she downed in the backyard swimming pool”, we should have learned to never take anything for granted in this trial. It may well appear that Casey has been lying all along, but we have not heard the whole story yet.
Lee Anthony was the only family member on the stand this morning and never really revealed anything exceptional, but did confirm he is part of the same dysfunctional family tree, with his little sarcastic laugh. And he did mention that he had to “roll play  to get a story across to his sister Casey. It appears, not only do these Anthony’s, all of them admit to lying, they all seem to be great actors as well.
One of Cindy’s admitted lies was when she called the police on Casey and told them she “smelled a dead body”  in the car, to get them to arrive faster, another mysterious lie, was when she did not know Casey was pregnant, but a picture of the two at a local wedding make it abundantly clear she was seven months pregnant. Click the picture to the left to see a larger view of the pregnant Casey, but her mother could not tell she was pregnant even though she is a health care professional.
Lead Detective, Yuri Melich of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office took the stand late this afternoon and he is the one that Jose Baez says is called “Dick Tracy Orlando”   after he admitted posting some comments about the case on some local blogs prior to the trial. Melich, has created, or trying to create a fan club of sorts, and at the time back when he first arrived on the scene at the Anthony home at 3:50am on July 16/2008 he was a Detective Corporal but now is working in the Professional Standards division which is internal affairs. As Melich was giving his testimony today about Casey’s statement, Baez asked him “did you ever go by a different name than Yuri Melich?”  The prosecution made an objection and the Judge sustained it, and then Baez went ahead and said quickly, “did you ever go by the name of Dick Tracy Orlando?” to which he received no reply, and the Judge said “sustained” again, and then “next question” and then Baez asks for a sidebar and the Judge refuses, but then allows it, and they remove the jury and have a hearing over “Dick Tracy Orlando.”  He sure has a smug, arrogant/smart ass attitude while he is on the stand at the trial. I hate to see him in person.
Jose Baez   has some information that Melich overlooked during his investigation, and feels he is biased towards his client and unprofessional, but the Judge didn’t buy it, but it took up almost an hour of valuable court time. Melich claims he was only at the house to do an investigation about a missing child, and although he admits he smelled the human remains in the car, he never called CSI or made a report about the suspicious smells.
He also talked about what Casey told him, as to where Caylee was at the time, and he spoke about Zenaida Gonzalez (Zanni the Nanny) and he didn’t say this, but apparently she was being paid $400 a week to babysit Caylee, and Casey has been telling so many stories, she even made up a dog and friends for Zanni, since Caylee came home one day and had been scratched by the made up dog, but maybe, that was made up too.
The trial continues again tomorrow at 9am.

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Daniel … Toronto, CANADA
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