Well it’s official. Winter has started in Canada. Know how you can tell? Snow Flurries – perhaps. Temperatures that start with a ‘minus’ – maybe. The official start of winter is the building of the rink in the front yard. Yep. you know it’s official when you drag out the boards, hammer in the stanchions, and fasten the end boards in the quintessential Canadian experience – the backyard rink. Bring on the cold weather!
You know what else in Canadian – the Grey Cup. Congrats to the Saskatchewan Rough Riders who dominated the game.
So what is it about Canadian football that is different from the glitzy marketing machine of the American game? Sure, there is the wider field dimensions, 12 vs. 11 men per side, a bigger ball, and a few other assorted rule differences. But here are the real differences between a CFL championship game and a Superbowl game.
1. Cheerleaders in snowsuits, gloves, and warm hats – just like their mothers always told them to wear in the cold. Won’t sell calendars but is truly Canadian.
2. A halftime show that features – get this – flying snowmobiles!! Sure, super group Headley was playing (and were great by the way), but it was the flying snowmobiles in the background that were the all-Canadian show.
3. Team Horses that walk into a local hotel, right up to the front desk. How cool is that. The Stampeders rode their horse Justin into the Beer Bros. bar, a Bank of Montreal and the Ramada hotel on Thursday as part of Grey Cup week festivities. (not to mention that only in the CFL are there ‘team horses’!)
note this tradition started way back in 1948 at the Royal York in Toronto no less. Calgary fans imported their infectious Western football hysteria and it has continued ever since. Gotta love it.
4. Part of the opening ceremonies include branches of the Canadian Forces of course – nothing unique about that. However, part of the Forces include the Canadian Rangers. The red sweat-shirted troop are a volunteer force operating exclusively in the far north, with a significant portion of the force made up of Inuit, Metis, and other First Nations men. Reconnaissance, search and rescue, and military presence is handled by a group of hardy men that know how to survive in conditions so harsh that you and I might last 5 minutes.
And of course, Dilbert on sports…..
How was everyone’s Remembrance Day? Can be emotional can’t it? It brought tears to my eyes seeing a 90 year old man openly weep for people that died almost 70 years ago. Good friends and comrades that did not return. In a breaking voice this veteran said that he’ll always remember them as young, cocky, good looking men, that never grow old – unfortunately. For those young men, today, a country weeps for you.
The weekend in general was a good one, with inevitable leaf raking of course. “Baba” turned 90 on the weekend, so we had a nice little birthday party. Oh, the things she has seen! From those early beginnings in a one room stove-heated cabin on the Saskatchewan prairie, through the rationing of the war years, the optimism of the 50’s, “Trudeau-mania in the 60’s (the first Trudeau, not the current one), the oil crisis fueled inflation of the 70’s, and on, and on….oh, the things she has seen!
Hmmmm, so over the last 90 years are our lives better? Look no farther. the list is here!
1. Refrigerator – Baba started out with an ice box, and probably didn’t have a refrigerator till after 1950. Is life easier because of this? Is your beer cold?
Beer Food was stored in an insulated box with a shelf for a block of ice. Refrigerators became widespread in Canada in the 40’s. Of course this put Ice delivery men out of business, but created a market for MayTag repairmen.
2. Television – the boob tube, the idiot box, the babysitter – it comes by many names, but nearly everyone watches it. When Baba was born women had an average of 3.5 babies, Canadian women of today average less than 2. Why? because men are watching TV. Ladies, you’re welcome.
3. The television remote. Brilliant, brilliant invention! The first TV remote control by Zenith corporation was marketed under the name “Lazy Bones” – and that says it all!! The TV remote of today requires an advanced degree in theoretic physics to use. The “Lazy Bones” changed channels and volume – ahh the good ‘ole days.
4.Credit card – the first widespread card was “the Diners Card”, still in use today. In Baba’s day, if you needed a cute frock to impress a lad, you saved up and bought it. Today, you decide which of your 5 credit cards you will charge it to. There are 71m credit cards in Canada, almost 6 per household. A good thing for those of us who work at Banks!
5. Air conditioning – now Baba never did get air conditioning till she moved to a retirement home. But then, folks of her generation are made from hardier stock than the rest of us young’uns. Air conditioning in its current form was first made by Willis Carrier (yep, the Carrier company that makes Air Con to this day). Office air conditioning was thought to be wasteful and promote employee laziness. Then, a test showed that typists increased their productivity by 24% in an air conditioned office. And voila, fast forward to today – folks won’t go outside if it’s too hot.
Well, that’s enough for now…there are many others…the calculator, penicillin, antibiotics, the internet, and on and on….
But for now, it’s happy 90th birthday Baba!
Update….It was noted that the Bud “Wassup” commercials were left out….hurummpfh…mere pretenders in my humble opinion (although I will admit the Superbowl does provide its share of commercial entertainment).
This Bud commercial was better. Bud Light “The Elevator” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gq7p86ZpgM
If you’re really want to relive the “Wassup” phase of your life…. here is the famous “Wassup” http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UDTZCgsZGeA
Welcome to Monday! Another week closer to old man winter. Snow shoveling, scraping, shivering….uhh….I hope everyone had a great Halloween last week. A couple of our house decorations are included below. We had the regular troupe of cute little princesses and wizards, and a couple of teenagers with nary even a wig – and still expecting treats. What’s up with that? The lazy louts.
Now, I like to watch TV – I freely admit that lounging on the couch with the clicker in hand is a bit of a guilty pleasure. We PVR most of the TV we watch these days, which is great. However, because of it we miss some of the best that TV has to offer – the TV Commercial.
Below are some of the favourite TV commercials through the years. Are yours on this list? (drop me a line and give me the youtube link to your favourite and I can include it:)
Here they are:
1. Joe Canadian – doesn’t this commercial give you just a little tingle up your spine? From March 2000. This is one of my alltime fav’s….This went viral big time. Canadians everywhere swelled with pride. I especially love the little, oh-so-Canadian, “thank you” at the very end of the rant. Everyone loves a Canuck!
2. “Albert” – Canadian Tire. Ran sometime in the late 80’s I think…Pure Canadiana – every little boy’s fantasy. This was so popular at the time, the actor who played the adult “Albert” made appearances at the Leafs, Calgary, and Winnipeg NHL games as a celebrity – even though you never see his face in the commercial.
3. Canadian Tire Bike commercial – yet another classic from Canadian Tire. Ran sometime in the 90’s.
4. Now for something a little bit more recent…How about this Heineken delightful spot? Appeals to both men and women doesn’t it? I laugh every time I see it.
5. “You’ve got Bankers”. One has to be able to laugh at themselves, and even though I work at a bank, this is hilarious. From the credit card company Capital One.
That’s it for now….let me know if I’ve missed a great one!!