All posts tagged: sports

Not Fueled by Chocolate

As I slide towards another birthday, I am reminded that increasing age diminishes my ability to shed those extra pounds that cluster around the part of my body that makes me look like a pear. An unfortunate side effect of getting older is that it is getting harder to maintain anything remotely resembling an hour glass figure. A brisk thirty minute walk in the morning and forty-five minutes at the gym after lunch just isn’t enough exercise to make my clothes feel ‘less snug’. I’ve been forced to cut calories too, starting with the ultimate sacrifice – no dark chocolate snacks until the pudginess is brought into submission again. For some indefinite amount of time, my blog writing will ‘Not Be Fueled by Chocolate.’ There are any number of articles and advertisements that suggest how to lose weight (many are for bogus diets or are designed to drain your bank account), but it is only in the last few years that researchers have identified how our body fat makes us fat. With the rise in …

Super Bowl Quiz – The Winning Answers

We were invited to a Super Bowl party. I knew it was going to be a good one when the hostess pointed me in the direction of a really well stocked snack counter. Then she handed me the first of the number of glasses of wine it takes to drink a half bottle or so. With my beverage in one hand, and a plate of munchies in the other, I commandeered a front row seat on the soft couches. “Before the game starts,” said the hostess, “You are all going to take a Super Bowl Quiz. There is a prize for whoever gets the most right answers.” She handed each of us a single page of questions, which I dutifully read. I only knew three answers. I had no idea about the rest. Not a clue. That wasn’t a surprise, since I didn’t even know which teams were playing in the game I was about to watch. (In my defense, I am Canadian, and the last time I really paid any attention to football was …

Golf Carts and Corn Stalks – After Flood Perspectives

Our eyes are side by side – we just naturally look at life in a horizontal perspective! In the aftermath of the Flood at Hidden Valley, Alberta, a few things that were once vertically aligned are now in a horizontal position. This golf cart near the 4th green has become a little greenhouse for what looks like a sunflower plant! I turned the camera and took a vertical shot of the 4th fairway. It is now a lush forest of new poplar saplings and – a few more sunflower plants. I continued walking along the 4th, past the Half Way house, then to the 6th green and bunkers. In addition to much more beach area, I found a corn plant. This vertical photo shows the lush green growth of the grass – and a few more of the many corn plants in that area! The Car Guy and I think that bird feed must have been scattered by the flood waters. The wet, nutrient rich silt encouraged the seeds to germinate and grow very quickly.  …

Messages – Muddy and Otherwise

There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud. – Carl Sandburg – A slippery, gooey, contaminated mud coated just everything in Hidden Valley. When it dried, it formed sheets that cracked as they hardened. Such was the case at Kevin’s house, where his mailbox announced You’ve got mail – a Letter from your Mudder! _______________ Hidden Valley was a unique little place – a community on a First Nation’s reserve but with mostly non-First Nation residents.  Many partnerships and friendships were formed between the two entities, and these should have been enough to ensure a new lease. It wasn’t. The “No to a Lease” group continued to grouse about our existence, even after we had been obliterated. Lately though, some members of Siksika Nation have voiced their disapproval of the people who “bash” us. It takes courage to speak the way they have and we thank them for saying the things we will not say ourselves. _____________ An entire …

After a Flood – Responding to Stress

I read a study the other day that looked at post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in flood victims. The study observed the long term effects on residents of a flood in Poland in 1997. I was struck by the similarities between that flood and the floods here in Alberta – a sudden and huge water level rise; lack of adequate alert time; little or no time to deploy preventive measures; the permanence of disruptions and the lack of social and psychological support. Little or no financial compensation from any source was also a factor, and I expect that may be a reality for many of the residents of Hidden Valley too. Now, I’m not going to make light of this, because I think it is important for each and every one of us to think about why we might be feeling the way we are today, and understand why we might still be feeling ‘off’ years from now if we don’t actively seek solutions. We didn’t just lose our cabins or homes – we lost …

Unique – Fountain Hills Arizona and Disc Golf

This is a ‘two for one’ unique photo. The fountain in the background is in Fountain Hills Arizona. When it was built in 1970, it was the world’s tallest fountain. It is now the 4th tallest. When it is running with two pumps, as it is here, it rises to about 300 feet. If the third pump is used, it is 560 feet high. (91 meters and 170 meters – but that doesn’t sound nearly as impressive.) In the foreground – a group of Disc Golfers prepare to throw.  The Fountain Hills Park is home to an 18 hole Championship Disc Golf Course, but it is also a public park. We spent a whole afternoon watching the golfers throw their specialty ‘frisbees’, but also watching all the other users of the park wander about. Some, like us, were actively trying to skirt the course and stay out of the way. Others either didn’t realize, or didn’t care that they were in the direct path of an incoming object that is moving at 50 to 75 …

As the Crow Flies, so Goes the Pink Ball

If you think it’s hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball. – Jack Lemon – They call it ‘One Tough Nine’. It is the Golf Course my friends and I play once a week when the weather allows. Three large ponds bring water into play on seven of the nine holes. (Water hazard is just another way of saying mosquitoes.) Large flocks of Canada Geese patrol the fairways and greens – leaving fertilizer calling cards. There is  ample habitat for gopher holes, which are always the right size to lose a golf ball in, and will sometimes grow big enough to take your foot or leg. Sixty eight sand bunkers (most clustered near the greens) provide ample beach time if you tire of trying to find your ball in the grass of the long rough. Yesterday I discovered yet another hazard. I had an extra good drive off the 5th tee and could see my nice pink golf ball sitting on the top of a small rise at the top …

Canada – 144 Years Old and Going Strong!

Tomorrow is Canada Day! It will be our nations 144th birthday! Just about every community across the country will have a Parade or a celebration of some sort, often ending in fireworks. Expat Canadians all around the world will celebrate too! And if you are not Canadian, be sure to phone your Canadian friends and wish them a Happy Birthday. For many, many years, we invited all our friends to our house for Canada Day. We had an afternoon of games and then a BBQ. Some years we played baseball or croquet or badminton. When we moved to the Red House, the most popular game was golf. We set up a 9 hole mini course that snaked around the grassy area of our property. We used 7 or 9 irons and plastic balls. The course was always challenging. There was usually a small child standing right in the middle of where your ball needed to be. A strange dog would sometimes stop in, often retrieving a ball or two while bouncing from one foursome to …

Riot in Vancouver – It isn’t a Hockey Story

There was rioting in the streets of Vancouver last night after the Vancouver Canucks were defeated by the Boston Bruins in the final Hockey game of the Season. Here are a few of the headlines this morning: CTV, Canada – ‘Hooligans’ give Vancouver black eye with post-Cup riots The Toronto Star, Canada – ‘Small group of troublemakers’ embarrass Vancouver The Globe and Mail – Embarrassment, shame in aftermath of Vancouver riot USA TODAY – Vancouver hockey riots highlight need for traveler awareness The Telegraph (UK) – Vancouver Canucks fans riot after team’s surprise loss to Boston Bruins – Tens of thousands of angry ice hockey fans in Vancouver rioted yesterday after their team’s surprise loss to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals series. Now, I don’t want to downplay how terrible this riot was, but I do want to put a few things into perspective: – The scale of the incident increases in direct proportion to the distance the reporter lives from Vancouver. In Canada a ‘smaller group of troublemakers and Hooligans’ are …

When you are Vertically Challenged – Hope for a Shopping Cart

I am Vertically Challenged. Years of Hope did not make me taller than 5 ft 2 inches. At least, I tell myself I was once 5 ft 2, but every visit to the Doctors office suggests either my memory is faulty, or I am shrinking. In the photo below is our Vertically Challenged toy shopping cart at the cabin. I parked it between the two golf carts. I could imagine the little cart saying, “Wow, when I grow up, I hope I am as big as them!” It’s a new era at Disney. From now on, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be known as Person of No Color and the Seven Vertically Challenged Individuals. – Argus Hamilton –