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On Her Way

August 31, 2007 @ 09:20

Yesterday, my friend Iain Grant responded to the Lauren Caitlin Upton posting with this.

It's an indication of how things work in the United States. Because of Lauren's horrific few moments at the Miss Teen USA pageant over the weekend she will probably become a star.

Already she's been a guest on several talk shows and I'm sure she's already acquired an agent to handle the calls that are coming in.

It's all part of the American star system and something we really can't relate to in Canada.

Up here we tend to eat our own and I'm sure a similar situation in Canada would result in someone like Lauren being banished to Wawa in shame.

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The Steven Truscott Story

August 29, 2007 @ 08:01

I felt as good as I could for Steven Truscott yesterday. He was justifiably acquitted of the murder of Lynn Harper yesterday, but it was a long and grueling, horribly unnecessary road.

He was acquitted, but not found innocent.

I've always had a special interest in this case because of a book I read in 1971 called the Steven Truscott Story written by Bill Trent after several interviews with Truscott.

I wanted to read the book because I had heard my mother talk about Steven Truscott on many occasions when I was a kid, and when I got the book I was precisely the age Truscott was when he was sentenced to hang.

Fourteen years old. Still a child.

When the book was published Truscott had already been in jail for 12 years and he was only 23 years old, unheard of in today's justice system but even more bizarre after you read this book, or any other book for that matter on the Truscott case.

Steven Truscott was the victim of a bungling local police force and one detective in particular who was more concerned with solving a case than he was putting an innocent kid behind bars.

To even consider that a 14 year old could be capable of the deplorable things that were done to Lynne Harper is ridicilous.

There was no case against Steven Truscott but that didn't matter to those who wanted accolades for solving a murder and the kid never stood a chance. And to make matters worse, the Crown took over after that and badgered Truscott long after he was released from prison and through several attempts to clear his name.

It became an embarrassment for a justice system and there was a long line up of people more concerned with saving face than they were serving justice.

Yesterday Truscott wasn't found innocent because it's literally impossible to do that without DNA evidence. But he was acquitted and in this case that's just as good because looking back there's no doubt that Steven Truscott had nothing to do with the murder of 12 year old Lynne Harper.

The only questions left to be asked are these, one of which will never be answered.

We'll never know who really killed Lynne Harper because there's a good chance whoever did is dead and buried.

The other question is this. How much does the Province of Ontario owe Steven Truscott?

Compensation is more than justified and considering that David Milgaard go ten million for spending 23 years in prison for nothing, Truscott definitely has to be in that category.

Although he only spent 10 years in prison, his life has been a living hell for close to 50 years and someone has to pay.

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The Mink

August 28, 2007 @ 08:01

Last week I wrote about a mink that had decided to live in my goddamn boat.

He loves to eat and shit in my boat and by the middle of last week it became a major problem. I could hardly keep up with the filthy bastard and I wanted to play long ball with his head and my boat paddle.

It's disgustingly unsanitary and unsafe because when threatened these buggers can get nasty.

On Thursday I noticed that there was an opening up under my steering wheel and a similar one on the other side so I soaked some J-clothes in Javex and stuffed them up there with a pile of moth balls. I thought this might force him out and avoid a violent confrontation.

It didn't help. If anything he became more determined to lay a freakin' claim to my Thundercraft and he ate more and he shit more.

By Sunday I was at my wits end but my two kids had come north and they wanted to go out in the boat.

Well didn't we crap our pants when halfway through out ride, right out in the middle of the lake, Mink the fuckin' weasel sticks his head out from the ass end of the boat where the battery is.

When my son Danny made a move to grab a paddle to smear the bastard, he runs towards the front of the boat where my daughter Melanie is driving.

But Mel didn't care that she was driving. It didn't stop her from screaming and standing straight up momentarily losing control of the watercraft.

After yelling at her to calm down and get back to navigating the skiff, I asked Danny if he saw where the mink rat went. He said it went back towards the battery compartment, so we flipped it open only to see nothing.

The son of a bitch had found another place to hide and we couldn't see him anywhere. But at least we knew he was in the boat.

This prompted a quick stop over at my friend Gus's who has all kinds of neat shit in a huge shed and among the neat shit is a series of traps, one of which is suitable for catching dirty rotten filthy varmints like weasel rats.(picture)

We got back to the dock and Danny quickly went into action. He loaded the trap while I pulled back the cushions in the bow-rider portion of my boat. I thought he might have gone up there by slinking up the ski well.

Man oh man. What a wonderful life this prick was leading. There are three compartments in the front of my boat and in short order this guy had moved in and made himself at home.

One compartment was for eating. It was covered in crawfish shells. The other compartment was for shitting, there were several piles. And the third was filled with soft stuff and leaves for his bed.

No wonder he loves my boat. How many mink weasel rats get a three room apartment rent free. Unfortunately was he was nowhere to be seen. He was still in a crevice, hiding like some Osama Bin Laden of rodents.

Danny had gotten some fresh fish guts from my neighbour Gerry and he loaded the trap which we put back near the battery and we waited.

And we waited and we waited.

Finally Danny had to leave about seven o'clock and he was disappointed that we hadn't trapped the animal - because like me, he was frustrated and he was in total agreement with my verdict - the mink had been sentenced to death.

Danny went home, but I left the trap in the boat fully expecting him to come out of hiding during the night and enter the trap that would be accidentally dropped off the end of the dock once he was inside.

I couldn't believe it when I got up this morning. There was no mink in the trap and there was no sign that he had been there.

No shit, no shells and the fish guts that had been placed in the trap were still there in all their aromatic glory.

I thought at the very least he would have attempted to eat the fish. But he hadn't.

In fact I quickly got the impression that he hadn't been there at all, like he had decided to move out without giving notice or taking his belongings.

What a prick. In some respects he had stolen my boat, and now he had robbed me of revenge.

But as I sit her in Brampton you should know, I haven't given up. The trap is still baited and from time to time another good friend named Papa Doug will check on it.

And if for some reason between now and Friday it captures the mink, Doug has promised to keep him in the cage and keep him alive.

I'll look after the rest.

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Stung Again

August 24, 2007 @ 10:32

Check this out. I was playing a little bocce ball last night preparing for tomorrow's Jeff Laird Memorial Bocce tournament when I was bitten by a wasp.

I was bending over to pick up a ball, and wham, the son of a bitch hit me like a bullet on one of my left hand knuckles.

At first I didn't think much of it, then I started to get mild itching behind the years and a weird feeling of indigestion. The same feeling I got last year when I got bitten on the foot.

Anyway, I popped an antihistamine late last night and that seemed to help, but I awoke this morning to find my left hand like that of a barehanded pugilist.

As you can see, my hand is puffed up to twice its size and goes right up my wrist.

As I speak the swelling and aching is subsiding, but admittedly I must investigate whether I've developed an allergy to wasp stings.

Thank goodness it's not my throwing hand because tomorrow I will attempt to wrestle back the bocce championship I held in 2004 and 2005.

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Soldier On

August 23, 2007 @ 11:32

I had a great day yesterday. I took part in a golf tournament called "Soldier On" with proceeds going to injured Canadian soldiers who want to get on with their lives.

Money will be used for all kinds of things with an eye towards prosthetics for athletics.

"Soldier On" would like to see injured Canadian soldiers provided with the necessary to equipment to train for the Paralympics and close to 200 people gathered at CFB Trenton, or 8 Wing yesterday to help make sure that happens.

I was designated as a "celebrity" which is amusing because the group that I was assigned to had no idea who I was.

But that was OK because by the end of the day, it became abundantly clear who the celebrities are in this situation.

It's the great Canadians who commit to serving our country on so many levels. Like Will, and Brad and Marc and Chips, the four young men I golfed with yesterday.

They aren't soldiers per say, but they still serve the Canadian Armed Forces in a very important and stressful way. They are designated as Supply Technicians and their particular job is parachute riggers.

They spend eight hours a day, five days a week packing and checking parachutes for our soldiers. It takes three years of training, and obviously carries a responsibility that few of us would want.

A grueling schedule that involves ninety minutes of physical training every morning before they even start their jobs. And just to make sure that these fellas stay on top of their responsibilities, every so often they have to jump out of planes wearing the parachutes they have packed.

Sometimes from as high as 12,500 feet, which is almost to the point where you need oxygen.

I felt proud to be around these guys yesterday. Not only for what they do, but also for what they represent - the unity that can and should be Canada. They are four men from different parts of the country who became great friends and colleagues.

Chips and Marc are French Canadians - Chips from New Brunswick and Marc from Quebec. Brad is from Newfoundland and Will is from Ontario.

All four of them plan to make lifetime careers out of the military and they're unbelievably committed to what they do.

Given the pressures of their job, they also enjoy their time off and yesterday they all took a vacation day so they could pay 125 dollars each towards the cause.

And they had fun.

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Lest We Forget

August 23, 2007 @ 11:31

My golfing buddies weren't the only ones who didn't recognize me yesterday, neither did Mike Bullard.

I've met Bullard several times over the years, in fact right after the launch of MOJO Radio, Humble and I appeared on "Open Mike."

Bullard also appeared on the Humble and Fred Show a few times, but when I went up to Mike yesterday and said hello, he treated me like someone he was meeting for the first time.

Admittedly it was a big awkward but hey, Mike Bullard had a national television show and still does the comedy circuit, which means he meets thousands of people every year.

Why would he remember a goober like me?

Just when I was going to move on and say hi to Johnny Bower, Bullard said "Do I know you?"

I said "Yes, Fred Patterson from the Humble and Fred Show."

"Freddie!" he said. "Man, are you ever getting grey."

Chew me Bullard.

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I Am Honoured

August 22, 2007 @ 09:03

I'm off to Trenton this morning to take part in the inaugural "Soldier On" Charity Golf Tournament.

I was invited to take part as a "celebrity" by Mark Hebscher of CH TV. Mark will act as MC for this fantastic event at the "8 Wing Golf Course" at CFB Trenton.

"Soldier On" is a sports recovery and rehabilitation program aimed at introducing soldiers to the paralympic movement to help them recover from injuries.

The program helps regular force and reservists who have been injured on or off duty to maintain an active lifestyle.

But such a lifestyle requires resources and "Soldier On" helps offset the costs involved with competing in the paralympics like custom prosthetics, specialized wheelchairs and sledges for hockey.

It's a shotgun start scheduled for one o'clock and I'll be there will the likes of Mike Bullard, actor Harvey Atkin, Sandy Hawley, Johnny Bower and my favourite hockey player while growing up, Dickie Duff.

I'll take by camera with me and post some of the festivities on Friday.

I may not be able to post tomorrow because I'll be in Trenton sharing a room with Hebscher and we plan on golfing again on Thursday morning.

All I can say is check in.

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I Wear Crocs

August 21, 2007 @ 09:26

I enjoyed my debut on the Hawk yesterday morning. I joined Mcarthur and Face at 7:15 on a new segment they've entitled "the bloggers"

We talked about a few things including "Crocs."

I'm new to the croc world. I first noticed them a couple of years ago when a lot of kids were wearing them. Then I noticed a lot of women wearing them. And then last summer I noticed a lot of men wearing them.

To be honest I wasn't comfortable with the man thing. Crocs almost look like toys for your feet. A goofy little novelty thing that I assumed would come and go.

The real turning for me was when neighbour John started to wear them. John is a guy's guy who is a lot like living next to Fred Flintstone. He likes beer, sports and big hunks of meat.

Late last summer I noticed John wearing crocs and when I called him on it, he said they were the most comfortable shoes he'd ever worn.

Comfortable? How the hell could plastic shoes be comfortable?

Well the winter came and went and this spring I saw men wearing crocs everywhere. Including a few at the trailer, but I still didn't bite.

My good friend Darren kept me in check by claiming that crocs were for gay dutch guys.

But then last week my wife walked in with a pair. A pair of authentic crocs, not a pair of the cheap knockoffs a lot of people are wearing, these were the real thing.

But they were beige, and when I put them on I immediately thought of Darren's description.

I felt girly and refused to wear them, even though after putting them on for a few minutes I did not how bloody comfortable they were - like walking on a cushion of air.

Delyse (my wife) told me I should give them a chance. I didn't have to wear the sissy beige pair, she'd go back and exchange them for a dark blue.

And that's what she did and since I slipped them on last Thursday, I keep looking for excuses to put them back on. As crazy as it sounds, wearing these crocs feels better than wearing no shoes at all.

They feel so bloody good I'm going to buy Darren a pair. But probably a pair of the cheap knockoffs because John claims they're just as comfortable as the real thing.

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Rat Shit

August 21, 2007 @ 09:25

There's a rodent shitting in my boat. I'm not sure exactly what it is, a mink, an otter or some breed of rat, but it keeps shitting in my boat.

It started earlier this week when I noticed a "crawfish" head on the carpet of my boat and a small pile of reddish shit beside it.

I cleaned it up only to discover the same thing the next day, and then a royal pile of shit in two places yesterday. The attached picture is the pile I found under my steering wheel.

I don't know what it is about this rodent, but of all the places he can kill and eat his prey and then shit it out, he's chosen my boat.

But I will get the last laugh. The same thing happened a few years ago and I addressed the situation with a bottle of cayenne pepper so I went out and bought some more yesterday.

The little bugger is going to get a major shock tomorrow when he jumps into my transom, which is now coated with cayenne pepper. It's the only way he can get in so he's got to run through it.

At that point he'll probably feel the heat on his paws and lick them, and then his eyes will roll back in his head and he will immediately identify my boat with major discomfort and never come back.

This may sound cruel, but it's not. Michael Vick is cruel, I like to think I'm clever.

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Any Scotch Any Time

August 20, 2007 @ 08:32

Last Thursday I co-hosted the new Bill Watters Show with Jeff Marek on am 640.

I was filling in for Bill who was up at his cottage hosting a birthday party for Cliff Fletcher, who was general manager of the Maple Leafs during their "glory" years of the early 1990's.

Bill wasn't expected to be on the show but in the six o'clock hour he opened the line from his cottage in Orillia and he joined in.

It was fun to share some time with Wilbur and during our conversation, we got onto the topic of Scotch. Watters is a scotch drinker, by he only likes the expensive single malt stuff, and he especially enjoys a brand called Macallan's.

When I told Bill that I loved scotch as well, but my taste wasn't that discerning he made me an offer.

When I told him my favourite scotch was a blended type called Bell's, and it cost only 35 dollars for a 40 pounder, he said he could fill a whole desk top of blended scotch at his cottage and I was welcome to have it all because he doesn't like it.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good expensive single malt scotch, but I don't have to have the best stuff all the time. I can compromise.

Jeff Marek is completely different. He told me on the show he can't bring himself to drink a blended scotch at which point I called both he and Watters "scotch snobs."

They refuted the label but the fact remains there's a whole whack of scotch sitting in a cottage in Orillia that nobody will drink.

It seems like a huge waste to me, and now I'm in the position of wanting to take Wilbur up on his offer, without actually having to ask or remind him.

It would be embarrassing.

But I have two goddamn tiki bars and I have a lot of friends who are willing to drink any scotch of any brand of any quality at any time of the day or night.

But in such situations, how do you re-visit such an offer without sounding like a snivelling weasel. I need an intermediary.

Maybe I'll get Marek to remind him.

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