Danish Burnt Rock Vs Homan

I think one of the curiosities about the Olympics is the interrelationships among athletes. I enjoy witnessing the camaraderie and encouragement and empathy. Tonight, gold medal skater Hanyu dispossessed from his achievement expressed kindness toward the fourth place skater who was bumped from the bronze position. Snowboard cross women exchanged hugs at the bottom in spite of competitive ire and national difference. A cross country ski coach in Sochi aided an opposing nation’s skier with substitute equipment during an on course equipment crisis.    

However; sometimes the heat of a competitive moment can supersede the spirit of the occasion thereby tainting judgment.  Unfortunately, this was the case when Rachel Homan decided to eliminate a Danish stone after a broom knick burning the rock just as it came to rest in the house.  It was within her rights via the rules, but curling decorum and good sportsmanship dictates that best judgment is utilized in the spirit of fair play. Curlers overwhelmingly in such a situation defer to the option of placing the rock as it would have rested in absence of the incidental and accidental foul. 

With a Homan rink rough start to the 2018 Olympic tournament, CBC commentator Mike Harris aptly remarked that to date performance could have impacted her decision. I suggest that her youth may have also played a role in her hasty decision. She is a talented curler who has virtuously battled her way to the top and appreciably upon arrival that instinct is not easily dismissed in delicate spots. I’ll cut her some slack and I’m certain the experience will groom her for better decision making going forward. It’s not the black mark on the Canadian flag which some pundits postulate. 

One Big Stock Market Caution

It’s called “short selling” and 95 per cent of investors have no clue what this legal form of trading is and what it can do to them. You see -investment professionals have an inside track on the markets. Unlike yourself, they watch the “ticker” by the minute throughout the trading day. They are more interested in short term fluctuations and any newsworthy event that can spark blips on the chart.

Regulators have also provided traders with a mechanism to keep markets liquid. When bids are few, “market makers” can jump in to facilitate trading activity. Short selling can be viewed as a component of market making whereby investment brokerages “borrow” securities from somebody’s portfolio (even yours) and sell them into the market looking to buy back later at a lower price.  Sound dodgy? Well – completely legal. Apply this apparatus to the professional investor’s inside track and suddenly you the naive holder of stock position without a stock certificate in your possession becomes the conduit of an investment brokerage’s profit.

Every year around this time, folks invest more in the market irrespective of the quality of stock in the market in order to qualify for an RRSP deduction. Yes, some utilize GIC’s but most will invest in mutual funds which are completely exposed to the market’s peculiar system of operation. Hence; you need to monitor your financial advisor.    


The Passing of Warren Miller

Without question, Mr. Miller and his annual ski movie editions were tantamount to the excitement circulating through the halls of Kamloops’ Sahali Junior secondary as friends and I anticipated the first snow and trips to local Tod Mountain (now Sun Peaks Resort). The thing most distinct in my memory of his adventure movies was his calm yet drama filled voice and perfect annunciation fitting of the exuberant spirit of the sport. This self proclaimed “ski bum” grew his audience from modest beginnings by sharing with friends scenes captured from his eight millimetre camera taken at Sun Valley Idaho while working as a young ski instructor.

Over time, with success and a growing budget, he moved his sets world-wide and depicted wondrous winter landscapes as backdrops for elite skiers stunting or careening knee deep in breathtaking unmarked fresh powder. Now, I marvel at the planning which would have went into acquiring the miraculous footage when factoring in winter travel, weather, procuring skiers, cooperation from resorts and heli-ski operators. As teenagers, these things didn’t cross our minds while mystified by the possibilities of where our ski interests may lead along with the upcoming ski season.

In anything we do, there needs to be particular seeds of inspiration which compels us to move and to actualize the joy freedom offers. To this day, Warren Miller and his movie making team play a definite role in inspiring yours truly to seek winter solace and athletic prowess in the mountains ranges of Western Canada and to them I say thanks!