Flames Arena Deal Iced

Once again your tax dollars have been wasted. This time on a fantasy gone wrong. The Saddledome is a relatively new building built for the 1988 Olympics but for many it was already outdated because it wasn’t good enough for particular musical acts and there wasn’t enough luxury revenue generating suites for the liking Flames brass. For the wrong reasons, Calgarian’s tax dollars intended to meet the needs of every Calgarian were committed toward a special interest and a sport represented by players and management whose salaries far exceed those responsible for contributing funding. It was odorous from the beginning and the rightful ending has arrived but not without costs. The Flames Arena Deal is Iced but count on continued deliberations.  

You see….back when community rinks were established in the 1940’s and1950s all over Canada, these rinks were built with the pretext of bettering communities because all taxpayers would have access to them for figure skating, hockey, and recreational skating. Community programs could be advanced through the utilization of the facility. The health and wellness of all Canadians could be advanced in lieu of a community investment. This model is a good representation of a budget line item worthy of public funds given the direct benefit to tax payers.

You’ve all heard the economic argument of “spin offs” from building bigger and better. The trouble is that there is simply too much risk in postulating “economic benefit” from the standpoint of the magnitude of investment. Canadian cities are becoming more diverse with an aggressive immigration policy attracting new citizens who have not been acclimatized to the sport of hockey.

The NHL and its teams are financially successful evidenced by published salaries earned by players. In a capitalist model which Canada is barely retaining, corporations should be looking to the markets or investors for funding and not the public purse. 

Ironically and yet to be confirmed by rumours it may become evident that the nixing of the deal had much to do with a matter relevant to a reasonable Flames request associated with public funding of roadways / public works associated with the vicinity of the arena.

This has been a fiasco and could have been avoided. My sense is that prior Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi had his instinct correct in the beginning about this project but then ceded his position from variables which I’ll allow you to speculate.          

Will Gondek Be Recalled in Calgary?

Will Mayor Gondek be recalled in Calgary? The question is becoming a viable one in lieu of the recent passage of Bill 52 in Alberta regarding “recall” and Calgary Mayor Ms. Gondek’s apparent propensity to overreach in jurisdiction. Firstly, it was her declaration of a “climate emergency” and now it is her suggested $100,000 deployment  of Calgarian tax funds for the purpose of challenging Quebec’s Bill 21 legal fight. 

Bill 52 requires 40 per cent of the populous to vote in favour of recall and terms also require a 60 day window to collect signatures. Eligibility to begin collecting signatures starts at 3 months of tenure by the official. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is “urging” the mayor to use her own salary for the Quebec challenge. Undoubtedly, Calgary taxpayers are watching closely to see if Ms. Gondek’s apparent zeal for politics beyond the municipal will yet again post up Calgarians as soldiers toward causes beyond the city limits.    

Ski Gear Safety Tips

Now that we’re “gearing up” for the new ski season, I’ll give some gear tips to help keep you safe this winter. With many seasons under my belt while reading the occasional review on mountains and gear, I seldom see gear safety write ups…..so here goes my take.

Not all ski brakes are designed equally. Some fold up nicely while clamping in and others may not. If brakes do not elevate and wrap inward, then protruding brakes can catch on your snow pants or boot buckles. This could send you tumbling. Upon stepping in, check on your brake alignment with feet apart. If they don’t fully wrap, you can manually bring them in with a squeeze in order to save a trip to the pro shop. However; do have a technician tend to them in advance of your next outing.

Ski poles are still sold with straps. When you insert your hand into a strap, you don’t want your pole to catch on anything while whizzing by….like boundary netting. Never put your hands through pole straps in advance of disembarking from a chair.

Binding settings – this is one that you do think about. The settings need to be adjusted to your weight and proficiency level. If there’s a change in these two variables, your settings need to be changed accordingly.

Boot grips – there are none so buckle down when walking around the base area and mid-mountain lodge. This way your more nimble gait will lessen the chance of a slip. Smaller steps when walking in boots.  

Sun screen for your nose and lip balm. Ha ha.

You Think You Have It Tough?

Yes…it’s a provocative title. Poverty and hardship comes in many different forms. There are those who choose not to pursue success. There are others who blame others for their circumstances. There are the addicted and the depressed. There are the swindlers and the slovenly. There are those without a conscience. There’s the combination of variables aforementioned. Then there are also those who have had every bit of bad luck hoisted upon them. It’s true. There are those in difficult circumstances because they never had a chance. It is these people whom I think of when I awake at 3AM and their plight in the context of the socio-political climate.   

The “Chosen Won” at youtube has been profiling the downtrodden from Detroit.  I think of him today and his interviewees as I read today’s headline grappling with the emergence of a potential Roe v Wade challenge. Unfortunately, first world democracies deal with the complexity of homelessness. Administrators will be the first to admit that it’s difficult. One would think that an advanced civilization should be able to extract someone from utter despair and provide meaningful support to aid an individual in becoming self sufficient. In lieu of failure in this regard, I propose that such a variable deserves consideration within the abortion debate among the most obvious variables well known.

I bring your attention to Penny. The youtuber “Chosen Won” in his video entitled “Penny. The Women That Started An Interest”. I won’t give it a link since it’s graphic and for adult audiences only. You can find it if you want. It is the most compelling evidence that I’ve ever seen which showcases that there are those who deserve help from society. It would be very difficult in good conscience to derive an opinion that this woman deserved her fate.

As we go into the Christmas season in 2021 having witnessed more recent evidence that there are some more impacted by the pandemic and weather events than others, there’s cause for reflection on individual circumstance in which some people find themselves.  They are under the radar. Not all of them are panhandling with a sign. Many will need encouragement. Others may need a tougher form of love. I propose that there are some which require absolute intervention not well served here in Canada by our enshrined “Charter of Rights and Freedoms”.       

Into The Groove with Madonna

Although “Like a Virgin” was the launching pad for Madonna, “Into The Groove” in my opinion was the sounding board epitomizing her stellar career in music. It also showcased her surprising talent on screen in “Desperately Seeking Susan”. I ponder how many incredible 80’s songs were inspired by the successes of Madonna and Michael Jackson. It was such a phenomenal time to have an ear to the radio irrespective of over played hits.

There’s nothing particularly interesting about the chord combinations but the changes are very well timed with the beat amidst a synth sound reverberating throughout. The coolness of the track melded with the rawness of her character in the movie. There is nothing cerebral about it. It’s all feel. It’s all vivacious no holds barred fun. How much of the free-wheeling Susan Thomas from the script was inherently Madonna? Enough I suspect to give the movie that intrigue value eliciting commercial success. The spirit within the groove certainly featured the movie fully and composer Thomas Newman had his hands full filling in.      

Good Biomechanics of Running

I’ve been running recreationally my whole life with a particular hiatus during period of some knee discomfort. Today I comment on good biomechanics of running. My experience in running combined with my undergraduate degree in sports science compels me to evaluate good running form. My component coach during my fundamental course work in “kinesiology” in first year was Gabor Simonyi. This Hungarian master of hammer and shot put technique has a storied history in Canadian Athletics typified by the seven of eleven conference championships won by my Alma Mater the University of Alberta during his tenure and coaching leadership. He was a quirky slight fellow more adept at the intricacies of biomechanics than of the administrative side of sport as testified by former athletes.

Gabor had two primary focal points around the stride. I remember him incessantly referring to angle of attack and center of gravity. In my mind, I see him to this day demonstrating the foot hitting the ground in a backward propelling manner appealing to his students. One never gets set up properly without the necessary forward lean. We need to want to go just like the skier looking down the escarpment looking to attack versus cautiously navigating a path. Naturally, good mechanics also require stability in the pelvis and relaxation in the ankle. With a mind keen to move forward rather than up, we limit the impact as the foot lands. Arms work productively with balance and thrust.

Fatigue is a reality in running and the heroic propensity to overdo is ever present. People should take breaks when fatigued. Endurance arises from repetition and practice. Us mere mortals are always in a continuum of fitness due to schedules and lifestyle demands cognizant that exercise is our own responsibility to ourselves.    

Brain Function and Exercise

Not only does the heart need to often pump blood against gravity to the brain, but it does to so with the goal of extending supply to vast regions of the brain. Strong brain function requires exercise. In the event of arteriosclerosis due to a sedentary lifestyle, the carotid and vertebral arteries may be forced to work less efficiently thereby impacting oxygenation at receptor sites. Exercise increases heart rate and circulation speed thereby increasing the probability that distant receptor sites receive nourishment potentially starved during the sedentary state. Athletes have reported states of euphoria upon hitting the Max V02 threholds. Others have collapsed not being able to endure heightened levels of physiology having not trained sufficiently to reach such states.

As we grow older, there is an increased probability of plaque deposits building on the arteries in absence of exercise. COVID-19 has become an added variable leading to exercise reduction arising from the supposition that facilities’ access have been restricted.

Now it’s going to be winter in Canada and you can increase your “screen time” or get out into the great outdoors with some heavy breathing and fun. Nakiska’s opening date is scheduled for November 11th due to the best snow making capability in Western Canada.    

Platitudes from Houston City Officials RE: Deaths At Concert

What is it about a civil society that you can’t go to a music concert in peace expecting law and order? Is it just Texas – that gun wielding state which through its leadership has scorned COVID precautions? How do otherwise law abiding citizens turn to gate busting hooligans because a rapper takes that stage? Houston city officials offer platitudes. Why is it that law enforcement is now in this passive mode of complicity when witnessing misdemeanours and regulatory infractions? What’s happened to our moral compass of heeding the regards of others?

I was aggravated while listening to a Houston city official reference the notion that nobody should be concerned that a love one’s life would be in jeopardy upon attending a concert. YET IT HAPPENED! Had these city bureaucrats learned nothing from the Las Vegas massacre just two years ago!  Then there was the MSNBC news anchor reporting of the tragedy in an almost enthusiastic tone as if she was looking for ratings instead of expressing events indicative of solace and grief.

Something is amiss in the conscience of man. Something has happened. I’ve taken notice and theorize with respect to the cosmic source. However; a case can obviously be made that evil has always been with us and manifestations of such are simply now readily highlighted through the mechanism of mass multi-media. As our experience unfolds in the human race at a time when we can now commercially send people to space…how is it that we can’t effectively administer occasions of culture?  

Vancouver Sun Edit Reposted Here RE Trump Signage

The big “Trump” sign still persists in his closed hotel on Vancouver’s West Georgia. This is my Vancouver Sun comment which was struck due to an apparent breach of guidelines in context of article questioning the sign: “Pure sign (pun obviously intended) of a dysfunctional society incapable of doing the right thing at the right time (sign removal) in good faith with honour and integrity. Put the tomahawk chop to this sign.” Could it have been the “tomahawk chop” reference (Trump reported to have exhibited the chop at Chiefs game on Sunday) which produced the guideline infraction without the editor’s knowledge of Trump’s weekend conduct. Perhaps. What do you think? One more example of political correctness gone berzerk?

Sean Chu on Hot seat

New Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek appears to be grandstanding right out of the gate with an indignant exclamation that she won’t swear in city councilor Sean Chu on Monday. I’ve heard the details from Chu regarding the specifics pertaining to the under aged woman whom he thought was of age since they met at a bar. He passed a polygraph test and claimed that he drove her home when it was determined by the woman that advances became uncomfortable for her. Now you’ve just had an election and you want him to resign. You might as well just stone him like it was the 14th century. This guy seems like he sincerely wants to serve Calgarians and he’s been convicted of no crime. Yet, it’s becoming clear that in this era of political correctness that some are starting to believe that a mere distaste for someone else’s conduct is in and of itself grounds for abrogating judicial discourse. It certainly will not look good on Gondek if she follows through on her apparent decision not to swear in her councilor thereby instilling dysfunction at city hall right at the administration’s outset and precisely at a time in the city’s history that it needs improved performance.