Support Jacks up

10/08/2018 Posted by admin

by Mike Drolet

Welcome to the ‘Can’t Get No Respect Tour, Election 2011 Edition.’ Playing the role of Rodney Dangerfield, complete with crazy backflips off high diving boards, is Jack Layton. Quite a feat considering the bum hip that was supposed to knock the NDP down a few pegs.

When the election began, the Libs and Tories tried to make it a two-way race. And while Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff sparred openly, Jack Layton seemed relegated to the sideline. He kicked and screamed, but he couldn’t get in the game. So what happened? Thousands of journalists and pundits in this country are collectively scratching their heads on that one.

My theory (and a few share this one) is that Jack came back the very next day after the leaders debate. Forget the “Twitter hashtag fail” quote — it’s a fun line, but gimmicky. No, the point where Jack knocked his Liberal rival down a peg was when he called out Ignatieff on his voting record. No doubt Layton had been holding onto that one for awhile because the NDP released a slick ad the next day. Jack seemed buoyed, Iggy seemed floored.

A week later, the first polls came out showing the first signs of the NDP surge.

NDP leader Jack Layton heads to a campaign rally in Kamloops, B.C. on April 29. Photo by Andrew Vaughan, The Canadian Press.


The first few weeks of the campaign, the NDP had its problems finding its election legs. Certainly the election machine was far better oiled than it had been in the past, but there was something missing. We (the media machine following the NDP) pointed it out often — where was the energy? Where were the crowds? Only once (on the first Saturday in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia) did Layton lose his temper. I asked once again about the sparse crowds and lack of energy. He barked “C’mon!!!”

What could he do to convince us, and in turn convince voters, that he was for real? That his agenda, once described by a famously surly scribe as “old time socialist crap,” was finally tailored for regular Canadians?


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Every poll that’s come out the past two weeks has shown an increase for the NDP. First it was at the expense of the Liberals, which had us thinking Harper would cruise to a majority. Let the left split the vote, while the right cleans up. That could still happen. But another possibility has emerged in the past few days. The latest polls have showed a continued NDP surge and Liberal decline, but the Conservatives now seem to be bleeding votes as well. And they’re going to Layton. And even more remarkable is what’s happening in Quebec. The Bloc, the dominant party of the past decade La belle province, is at risk of being an also-ran. Last week in Gatineau and Montreal, Layton drew NDP record crowds. Local journalists say they hadn’t seen anything like it since the height of the Bloc’s influence.

Nobody predicted any of that — nobody. Privately, even NDP insiders admit they didn’t see this coming in their wildest dreams. So where do we go from now? Harper famously spent two years attacking Ignatieff with ad after ad trumpeting the fact he once lived outside the country. Somehow that’s turned out to be a bad thing. But while the Conservatives spent millions on Liberal bashing, they left the NDP alone. Only in the past few days has Harper and his MPs turned their sights on Layton. They’ve attacked his economic strategies and his candidates at every turn.

Even Bay street, not exactly an NDP ally, has weighed in to strike fear into the minds of voters. Vote orange, they crowed, and you’ll be sorry.


When Layton unveiled his party’s platform after week two, there were few believers who weren’t already wearing orange. The document was strangely thin, the numbers curiously vague in spots. Cap and Trade? How was that going to work? Credit card limits? Wasn’t that potentially disastrous for a country already more indebted than any other in the G20?

Layton strode to the microphone with confidence as we in the media pool sharpened our sticks. We poked holes here, disputed numbers there, but Jack didn’t flinch. There was no “c’mon” moment.

And then that famously surly scribe opined, “Jack, why do you go through with this? You’ll never be prime minister.”

Do you think he’d say the same thing today?

Mike is one of Global National’s correspondents based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @MDroletGlobalTV.

New words out west

10/08/2018 Posted by admin

One of the most interesting things about moving around is getting to know the lingo, the slang, the jargon of a new place. Different words mean different things in different places, and it’s always an adventure figuring them out, so I thought I would share some of my experiences:


When I moved to Los Angeles from Toronto, my vocabulary started to revolve around the words “yo”, “dude”, “hella”, “totes” (aka totally).

The laid-back feel of Southern California starts to get to you after a while and, at least for me, I noticed I started to shorten words…even if they were already short to begin with!

People in California are notorious for not really having an accent. They tend to speak very flatly, though surfer twangs pop up every now and then.


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When I crossed the country and started a new life in Kentucky, I noticed a southern drawl slowly creeping onto my lips. “Y’all” became a norm as did “sir” and “ma’am”, “do what?” stands in for “what did you say?” or “pardon me?” and, for some reason, athletes score in basketball goals instead of basketball hoops.

Kentucky may be the northernmost part of the South but the southern accent was there and it was strong. Don’t get me wrong, I love it! I sometimes wish we talked like southerners up here in the Great White North.


And that brings me to Kelowna. In Canada, we have our own words: “eh” and “poutine” are the first words that come to mind. And for some reason, people in the U.S. say we pronounce words such as “roof” and “about” like “rough” and “aboot”. But even in the same country, slang differs out here than back east.

For those of you from B.C. or who may have lived your whole life in the Okanagan, this may be news to you that some of the things you say…made no sense to me at first, but they are starting to cotton on:

“Buddy” – someone who you don’t know the name of, a random stranger – e.g. I was driving along the 97 when buddy cut me off

“Hooped” – screwed, caught in a situation where you don’t know what to do – e.g. My computer crashed and I didn’t save my files, I’m hooped

“Choked” – angry, really upset – e.g. I got into a fight with my best friend, ah I’m so choked right now

What other slang am I missing? What words do you think I need to know so I can fully assimilate into life in the Okanagan?

My first visitor

10/08/2018 Posted by admin

I’ve been in Kelowna for almost six months now (wow, six months!) so it was due time to get my first visitor: my mom.

It is always exciting to show someone around your new home: this is where I buy my groceries, this is the restaurant I like to eat at and so on and so forth. She was only here for a few days but I feel like it was quite the whirlwind while she was here. Also, getting visitors gives you a valid excuse to visit the places you mean to see and explore but don’t really get around to.

We had great meals at a few places (RauDZ Regional Table, Mabui and Twisted Tomato) and she even mentioned how she thought the food tasted fresher out West than back East – Kelowna: 1, Toronto: 0.

I took her to Mission Hill for a wine tasting one day. It was also my first time there and both she and I could not believe the view! It was a gorgeous day: the sun was shining…the lake was sparkling…the air was crisp – Kelowna: 2, Toronto: 0

And of course, her trip wouldn’t have been complete without visiting the CHBC News station. Taking her through the station and introducing her to everyone reminded me of when I went to her workplace for “Take Your Kids to Work Day” back in the day. Except this was “Take Your Mom to Work Day”…a little different but not bad.

As we walked around downtown Kelowna and along the lake, she said she understood why I was enjoying my time out here, simply put, it’s really pretty! With the mountains all around and lakes surrounding the city, she was impressed, which made me feel so proud of my adopted hometown – Kelowna: 3, Toronto: 0.

Then she said she would spread the word back East about how great her visit was. So watch out Kelowna, you might get even more visitors this summer.


Notes from Afghanistan: Saying goodbye

21/09/2019 Posted by admin

by Francis Silvaggio

We said goodbye to our fixer, Noor Khan, today. He’s the local Afghan journalist who has been helping us get the Afghan perspective throughout much of our time in this country. He risks his life every day gathering information for us, and diligently provides us protection and guidance every time he takes us into the city and various districts.

Over the years, he has been directly threatened, received cryptic night letters from the Taliban, mistakenly attacked by coalition soldiers and almost blown up twice.

His family no longer lives in Afghanistan. He could have left with them but instead chose to stay. I’m not sure I would have made the same decision.

Noor Khan, though, has always said he has a duty to his country. By helping shed light on the Afghan story, he believes more people will understand why his homeland still needs help.

Francis, Noor Khan, and Global National photojournalist Mike Gill. 

There are a handful of men, just like Noor Khan, who have risked their lives with the hope their sacrifices will someday help make Afghanistan a better place. The photos of two of them hang on the wall at the Kandahar Press Club. I recognized one of the men. Javed Yazamy used to be our fixer before we met Noor Khan. We called him Jojo. He was gunned down, execution style, in 2009. He was just 23 years old.

The men at the Press Club say they’ve accepted these risks because they don’t want to leave their country’s future entirely in the hands of the international community. They say Afghans must participate in order to ensure real change.

As Canadian journalists leave with the conclusion of the Combat mission, Afghan journalists will need to play an even bigger role. The American media interest peaked during last year’s surge, but has since fallen sharply. Those journalists who do come are confined to a restrictive two-week embed program that gives them access to the fight in the field but very little of the plight of the people.

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It’s a scenario that worries the Afghans who have risked so much to help Canadian journalists in the past. Some will continue to help tell the Afghan story to the world, others aren’t yet sure. Noor Khan has made his decision. He’ll leave when we leave and rejoin his family. He’s been named tribal leader of his village and will use the same passion he had to help his country to now help his immediate community.

Kandahar will remain in his heart and in his prayers just as Noor Khan will remain in ours. The reality is that we said goodbye to more than just Global’s fixer today…we said goodbye to a friend.

We wish him well, and hope his dream of a better Afghanistan finally comes true.

Thanks Noor Khan.

Francis is Global National’s Alberta correspondent based in Calgary. He is currently at Kandahar Airfield, reporting on Canada’s withdrawl from Afghanistan. Follow him on Twitter: @FJSilvaggio. 

Vancouver riots: Two sides of the Incredible Hulk

21/09/2019 Posted by admin

by Rosa Hwang

He is a towering physical specimen, yet mentally, he is fragile. Prone to bouts of blind and destructive rage — he literally transforms into a green-eyed monster. But at the core of all that anger, there is a compassionate superhero, with an altruism that can’t be denied.

On the night the Vancouver Canucks lost game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, I was explaining the concept of the Incredible Hulk to the young son of my colleague Dawna Friesen, our anchor and executive editor. Since we were stuck at the station working — on what we thought was the very “remote” possibility there would be a riot after the game — a few of us at Global National set up a Stanley Cup viewing party in the station lounge. Dawna’s son had never heard of The Hulk. With apologies to Stan Lee, I simplified the Marvel Comics superhero, explaining him as a tragedy of sorts — a man so incapable of controlling his anger, he manifests it in an extreme and physical way.

By the time it became clear the Canucks were going to lose, the six-year-old in the room had the most insightful and prophetic comment of the night: “Those Canucks fans are going to be really mad.”

From the mouth of babes.

And of course, we know now the rioters on the streets weren’t really true fans at all.

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Just as the third period was winding down, we got word from the newsroom. Street fights breaking out. Cars flipped over. Cars on fire. Looting. We all had joked about the possibility of a repeat of 1994, but nobody, not even us cynical news folks, predicted how hooliganism would quickly descend into sociopathy-run-amok. Hundreds, if not thousands, blinded by rage — kind of like a certain green-eyed monster.

When it became clear the rampage was not dying down, we broke into regular programming — knowing full well the impact that would have on the city we all lived in and loved. Vancouver can — and will — recover quickly from the physical scars of a riot. Bouncing back from a scarred reputation will take much longer.

A police car burns during the riot in downtown Vancouver on June 15 following the Canucks’ 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Photo by Geoff Howe, The Canadian Press.

By the time we were off the air — and our friends at Global BC took over with provincial coverage only — I decided to try to make my way home. “Home” is downtown Vancouver, not far from the epicentre of the riots.

As I drove into the city, the bridges accessing downtown were closed off, but I convinced one officer to let me through. I worked in the media and I’m a downtown resident, I told him. I just wanted to get home, not cause trouble.

As I drove toward my neighbourhood, I could see and hear the rioters a few blocks away, but a small group of them had made its way onto my road, blocking my access. They appeared to be drunk on their own stupidity — so I thought it’d be best if I remained in my car. Eventually, several hours later, with the help of a couple of brave officers, I made it home.

It wasn’t until the morning after — when hundreds rallied to renounce the rioters and clean up the city’s downtown — that I felt like Vancouver was back to being its true self.

The night that shocked and appalled so many, the green-eyed monster emerged — unable to control his emotions or destructive urges. But as I told Dawna’s son, there are two sides to The Incredible Hulk. The other has a desire to do good, to help justice prevail.

Inspired by a rage that was neither blind nor destructive, Vancouver’s compassionate superhero reclaimed the city.

Rosa is a senior producer at Global National, based in Vancouver. Follow her on Twitter: @RosaHwangTV.

Anthony Weiner: Liar, liar, pants on fire

21/09/2019 Posted by admin

by Rosa Hwang

Before you read this, prepare to despair for humanity.

In just one week, the online exploits of a U.S. congressman and his schlong got more press than Syria’s violent civil uprising, now entering its fifth month. Google News estimates about every 0.09 second — in the time it takes you to say “Weinergate” — the web already generated 14,000 results on the subject.

Congressman Anthony Weiner — a seemingly smart man, a seven-term Congressman — taking pictures of himself in various states of undress, then texting the images to women he met online.

The indiscretions are embarrassing, but a politician getting caught in a sex scandal is hardly new. Although in Weiner’s case — unless there are more sordid revelations — his may be the first sex scandal in U.S. political history that doesn’t technically involve actual sex. Nevertheless, good leaders have been doing bad things since the Bible was written. So what makes this story — and others like it — so irresistible?

For the answer, I’d like to take you a back to a politician, once touted as the “next big thing.”

Before he ever ran for president, or for the title of “Worst Husband in the World,” John Edwards was as close to a rock star as you can get on Capitol Hill. I attended an event in 2003 in Washington when the young senator from North Carolina came in with his thousand-watt smile and perpetually sunny disposition.

I watched Edwards work the room and it was a sight to behold. The ladies swooned. The men sucked in their stomachs. In one fell swoop, he had them hooked. I was reminded of a quote from my favourite book, Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice: “He is as fine a fellow as ever I saw. He simpers; he smirks and makes love to us all.”

Former presidential candidate John Edwards makes a statement to the media following a federal court appearance in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on June 3. Photo by Gerry Broome, The Associated Press.

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Today, of course, Edwards is just another cheating politician. He’s been labelled a creep who fathered a child with his mistress, while his ailing wife was dying of cancer. He’s been accused of being a crook, who allegedly misused campaign funds to try and cover up the affair. He was recently indicted by a grand jury on six felony charges. If convicted, Edwards faces up to 30 years in prison.

But all those dizzying events aside, I was struck by an interview I saw with legendary Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, right after Edwards publicly confessed to the affair. He aptly pointed out Edwards was guilty of the one crime that was truly unforgiveable by the media and the electorate: hypocrisy.

Portraying himself as the son of a poor mill worker, who stood up for the little guy, Edwards’s story couldn’t have been scripted better. He fell in love with his law school sweetheart, stood by her through the death of their son, through her successful fight against infertility, and her bouts with breast cancer.

The truth hurts.

Rep. Anthony Weiner is questioned by the media near his home in New York on June 11. Photo by David Karp, The Associated Press.

When a public figure is exposed as a liar, there is an unspoken agreement between the news disseminators (us) and the news consumers (you). The real story is not about sex — it’s about the lies we tell ourselves. Licentiousness breeds corruption, so it’s our responsibility to give you all the sordid details and your responsibility to take it all in, right? We all hop on that bandwagon faster than a fairweather hockey fan during the Stanley Cup Finals. The titillation is merely a side dish, served alongside the main course — kind of like vegetables, bathed in an oily, greasy coating.

As unsavoury as that meal sounds, it will likely remain on the menu. Why? Because “Anthony Weiner” is the most popular search term on Google right now by a country mile — and “Weinergate” is the top trend on Twitter too. Oh — and probably because you read this blog, with the subject matter, “Anthony Weiner.” Admit it. You were interested.

I’m getting indigestion.

Rosa is a senior producer at Global National, based in Vancouver. Follow her on Twitter: @RosaHwangTV.

It’s TGIF everywhere

21/09/2019 Posted by admin

by Melanie de Klerk

Some people collect spoons, or T-shirts and various other mementos of travelling abroad. I, on the other hand, appear to be collecting memories of all things fried eaten at TGIF. This American restaurant franchise, like Starbucks, appears to have infiltrated some of the most unlikely of places.

I have never once set foot in a TGIF restaurant in its birthplace in the U.S., and yet I always seem to find one in a moment of hunger in the most unlikely of places. I’ve dined on burgers and fries in Vienna, Austria in the basement of a 17th-century building. I’ve eaten chicken burgers and fries at TGIF in The Hague in a historic hotel overlooking the North Sea. I’ve even chowed down on beer-battered shrimp, and, yes, fries at Moscow International Airport.

In all of these locales, the music playing was distinctly American. The décor was distinctly American with album covers adorning the walls and the tell-tale candy striped logo on the menus and placemats. The cuisine is also distinctly American.

So it wasn’t a huge surprise to walk into yet another TGIF and see the same wall art, the same menus and the same food. Only this time I would say it was probably in the most unusual of places — the middle of southern Afghanistan on a military base.

The TGIF at Kandahar Airfield looks like any other. Only here, weapons are not just allowed — they are required.

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Here, the food is the same, only you have to start the ordering process by asking the waiter or waitress, “What don’t you have available on the menu?”

This is because of difficulties in re-supplying as convoys heading into Afghanistan are often being hit by insurgents in Pakistan bent on disrupting NATO supply lines into the country.

Although the menu and décor don’t change from one place to another, the ambience does.

In Austria, despite the Beach Boys album covers on the walls and the burgers and fries, I knew I was in Vienna as I looked up through the half-windows onto one of Vienna’s main streets.

In Amsterdam, the waves crashing onto shore in typical winter storm fashion reminded me that I was definitely at the beach in the Netherlands in winter.

In Moscow, it was the server with the thick Russian accent asking if I wanted “soup, salad or ‘freeze’ (fries).”

In Kandahar, it was definitely the sheer number of men and women with weapons slung over their shoulders or holstered at their side while dining on American-style foods that I will remember as the most distinctly unique TGIF dining experience.

Melanie is Global National’s research supervisor, based in Vancouver. Follow her on Twitter: @emmyjd2.

Notes from Afghanistan: Final embed

21/09/2019 Posted by admin

by Francis Silvaggio

I arrived in Kandahar on Sunday for my sixth and final embed. The Canadian fighting mission ends here next month and will transition to a training role based in Kabul.

We landed on what’s become the world’s busiest runway in a commercial charter. Six years ago I hitched a ride, with the same company, in a galley seat on their old Russian Antinov Cargo plane. Today, the company runs a 737 charter twice a week. This is just one small example of how much life has changed here since the coalition first arrived.

The rocky roads that wove through the rustic base have been replaced with asphalt; hard concrete structures now sit where tents were once staked; and the small army that built this base has swollen to a number in the tens of thousands.

Without a doubt, Kandahar Airfield has changed significantly since my first visit in 2006 and so has this country.

There are now more schools, better roads, improved health care, governance, military resources and access to water and irrigation. Change has been slow, and security issues present daily challenges, but make no mistake — change is happening. Like a good guest, Canada will leave this place better than it found it.

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Does that mean this mission has been a success? That’s not an easy question to answer. If we measure progress by a North American bar it would be easy to dismiss many of these changes as small and incomplete. This, though, is not North America.

Throughout much of its recent history, Afghanistan has known little more than chaos and conflict. The result was a country divided and a population without guidance. The events that followed 9/11 rocked the country but also presented an opportunity to a people that had the will, but knew no way.

At the end of the day, this mission turned out to be less about creating peace than creating opportunity. Yes, Canada and the international community fought to beat down the enemy but the intent was ultimately to beat down the barriers that prevent this country from standing up for itself.

It’s still a work in progress but as Canada transitions into its new role, Afghanistan does have more tools to build a better future than it did before the mission began. On paper, that seems like a success, but with so much work left to do and 156 Canadian soldiers’ names now written on a memorial here in Kandahar, many people say it doesn’t necessarily feel like it.

Francis is Global National’s Alberta correspondent based in Calgary. He is currently at Kandahar Airfield, reporting on Canada’s withdrawl from Afghanistan. Follow him on Twitter: @FJSilvaggio.

A ceremony to remember

23/08/2019 Posted by admin

by Melanie de Klerk

Today, I had my first taste of Afghanistan outside Kandahar Airfield, suiting up in a bullet-proof vest, joining other journalists to take a trip to Ma’ Sum Ghar aboard a Chinook helicopter transport. This too was a first for me as I had never been on military aircraft before.

As we approached the loading ramp, a wall of searing heat hit me as the rotors turned. Sitting firmly in my seat I watched out the back at a gunner who sat at the ready while we slowly lifted off. I was surprised at how low to the ground we flew, traversing lush green fields interspersed with stunning sand dunes framed by mountains. As we approached our ultimate destination, the gunner got up and removed something from a container. He unfurled a Saskatchewan flag as another helicopter pulled up from behind and snapped a photo. Undoubtedly an amazing picture from the other side. I was told that apparently the pilot of the chopper was from Saskatchewan and I suspect it was a bit of a show for the media on board.

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The excitement of my first Chinook flight soon dissipated as the occasion was one of remembrance and sorrow. In 2007 American and South African Soldiers built a rock mural in the shape of a Canadian flag to commemorate the sacrifices Canadian soldiers had made in the area around Ma’ Sum Ghar. It was Ma’Sum Ghar where the blood of many Canadian soldiers have soaked the earth. It is also the place where the first NATO led offensive in Afghanistan, Operation Medusa was launched from.

As the sun set, bringing relief from the heat of the day, the names of 72 Canadian soldiers were slowly read out, while stones representing those fallen soldiers were taken from the rock mural by colleagues and buried. Nearing the end of Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan, today’s ceremony was a touching way to mark the sacrifices that Canadian soldiers have made on Afghan soil.

A view of the Rock Mural at Ma’Sum Ghar

Chinook helicopter on the ground

The vidw out the back of the Chinook

Melanie is Global National’s research supervisor, based in Vancouver. Follow her on Twitter: @emmyjd2.

Culture shock: my first impressions of Kandahar Airfield

23/08/2019 Posted by admin

by Melanie de Klerk

For years working on the assignment desk at Global National, dealing with correspondents and public affairs officers based at Kandahar Airfield (KAF) in Afghanistan, the picture I had of the base did not prepare me for the culture shock I experienced when I arrived here in early June.

Stepping off the plane for the first time I was greeted by a wall of intense heat laced with fine talc-like dust particles. While I was warned, I was still a little taken aback by just how hot and dusty it is here and how the soldiers decked out in full gear, cope with such extreme heat.

Despite the dust and extreme heat, everyone is hard at work all around Kandahar Airfield. And it runs like a well-oiled machine with constant activity.

It is fascinating how thousands of troops call this place home, working, eating and living together, in what can only be described as less than ideal conditions.

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In one area you may be walking by a barracks housing Dutch, British, Slovakian, U.S. or Canadian troops. In another, you are on a boardwalk with shops and restaurants like TGIF and KFC. Save for the noise of planes and heavy machinery when you are here, it feels like you are strolling around a tropical destination, shopping for souvenirs. The only tell tale sign that you are not in a holiday resort is the sheer number of NATO soldiers browsing through the shops, at their side.

Throughout the day I slowly acclimatized with the new surroundings, feeling a sense of calm that there were thousands of soldiers and civilians living their lives on this base —I relaxed feeling more at ease with the new surroundings. However, getting some much needed rest was a different story. I wasn’t prepared for the incredible amount of loud noises, from the whirr of jet engines to the dull thumps of distant explosions. Needless to say I didn’t get much shut eye listening to a world of new sounds orchestrated throughout the night.

Melanie is Global National’s research supervisor, based in Vancouver. Follow her on Twitter: @emmyjd2.

UFC 131 Dos Santos vs Carwin Picks and Predictions

23/08/2019 Posted by admin

Been real busy around these parts with all the hoopla surrounding  the return of the NHL so things have been neglected around here a bit lately.  But that said It’s gonna be a real exciting UFC 131 card on Saturday night in Vancouver.  The card was actually much better about a month ago but injuries have forced numerous good fighters off the card.  (Brock Lesnar, Court Mcgee, and Mac Danzig)  But there’s still 4 Canadians on the card including Winnipeg’s own Krzysztof Soszynski.  I’m picking the odds on favourite in all but 2 of the fights, only going against oddsmakers for 2 of the Main Card fights.

UFC 131 Picks

Shane Carwin Def Junior Dos Santos via TKO – Really torn on this one and think it can go either way.  But as I say when in doubt go with the guy with one punch knockout power.

Kenny Florian Def Diego Nunes – Short and Sweet for K-Flo who’s moving down a weight class.

Demian Maia Def Mark Munoz – Upset in the making.

Dave Herman Def Jon Olav Einemo – The Norweigian is making his UFC debut.  He has a 6 and 1 MMA record but yet to beat anyone really good.

Donald Cerrone Def Vagner Rocha – Rocha an injury replacement and we’ll find out why on Saturday.

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Sam Stout Def Yves Edwards – Stout the Canuck will have his hands full but I’m giving him the nod.

Chris Weidman Def Jesse Bongfeldt – Bongfeldt also Canadian but he’s out of his league in this one.

Krzysztof Soszynski Def Mike Massenzio – This is the 3rd fighter scheduled to face KSOS on this card with the first 2 dropping out with injuries.  Massenzio was cut by the UFC and brought back for this fight.  Should be an easy payday for the Winnipegger.

Nick Ring Def James Head – Ring a Canadian looked awful in his UFC debut and would have lost if not for some horrendous judging.  But I’ll give him this one.

Dustin Poirier Def Jason Young – Poirier 9-1 and won UFC debut over Josh Grispi.

Aaron Rosa Def Joey Beltran – Beltran on 2 fight losing streak.

Michihiro Omigawa Def Darren Elkins – Omigawa a japanese legend but he’s been unable to adapt to the UFC style.  He’s 12-9 overall but 0-3 in the UFC.  He’ll finally get win #1 in Van City.


Good Luck with your picks


Also in the news Josh Koscheck has filed a lawsuit against fellow UFC fighter Stephan Bonnar.  The suit relates to Bonnar’s use of Koscheck’s image in his T-shirt line dubbed “Trash Talking Kids”. (A take off Garbage Pail Kids)  Here’s a link to the shirt in question…


Also need to mention the UFC recently changed their rules and beginning next month all main event cards will be 5 rounds in length.  Great decision for 2 reasons.  Much less chance of a draw and 5 Round fights have a much higher stoppage rate.  And the less fights that go to the judges the better!!!


Enjoy the fights ! ! !

A Game Day Hail Hoopla!

23/08/2019 Posted by admin

So, I just returned from Alberta from a camping trip yesterday and on my way through was noticing some extreme convection occuring south of me in the northern part of Montana and the southern part of  Saskatchewan. I drove on anticipating that we were going to see a booming thunderstorm or two when all of the sudden the Severe Weather Watch went up for most of south Sask with Environment Canada.  I drove back to Regina and with one hour til the Sunday football game I raced into town to find parking to meet Tom Vernon (Global News Reporter) and the wife of Rob Vanstone (Leader Post’s Sports Editor) to watch the Rider Home Opener. I noticed while driving downtown Regina the instability that was directly above me now.  I parked at the Cornwall Center (perfect parking spot out front on 11th Ave) when these clouds I saw rolling in started to produce. Did they ever. The hail that came down was the size of ping pong balls!! I had a small leopard print umbrella that was not doing a real good job at repelling these aggressive ice balls. I was walking down the street under my pointless umbrella, being blown around by some significant  wind gusts, while tweeting the severe weather updates on my iphone. I walked into a wall. Yup.

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The game was great after that first round of thunderstorms (even though they lost to the Eskimos), but that was not all we were in for this humid Sunday. I watched as one picture perfect cell after another blew north of mosaic stadium. The extra cool part of it was that I was way high up in the stands at about 150 feet to get a great view of it all. I felt as if I was being rude by constantly looking at radar and tweeting updates on my phone throughout the entire game…but I coudn’t help but stay tuned to local storm chaser Greg Johnson while he was out chasing as I watched the cells that were building all day in the SW part of the province move slowly north of Regina.

The second round of weather was the making of a classic Mesoscale Convective System aka MCS. This is a complex of thunderstorms that become organized on a scale larger than the individual thunderstorms…kinda like a big blob of storms all linked together feeding off each other. Needless to say when this happens a storm chaser’s day is finished. No chance of tornados…just rain and lots of it. The US plains get a great majority of their rainfall due to these large circular shaped weather blobs!

Here are a few pics from my view at Mosaic stadium yesterday. Some of these cells look like they are out of textbook visually speaking. Also- look at the Mammatus cloud that I saw while walking back to my car before the second large system moved in to the city.

Samsung’s Central Station Offers Cordless Portable Computing

23/08/2019 Posted by admin

Samsung Central Station automatically adjusts dual screen modes – gets wireless Internet for you, right. 

Check out my Monday Morning News Tech Untangled GlobalTV segment with co-host Mike: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活globaltvedmonton杭州夜网/video/index.html?releasePID=ar8CmeXNAH7oCEIzbh3rgPg_W4xqXPns

Samsung’s Central Station SyncMaster C27A750X, $646.99, is a 27-inch LED/LCD monitor with wireless written all over it. 

The only cable it needs is the power cord. It has a built-in hub which essentially hooks up to your laptop wirelessly with a brilliant 1920 x 1080 display resolution. The base, which features a unique dual-hinge stand, has two USB 2.0, two USB 3.0, HDMI, Ethernet, headphone and 1D-Sub connections. 

Once you plug the tiny wireless connection dongle to your laptop’s USB, the Central Station takes over. After installing the connection software, you ignore your laptop’s connections and plug your extra mice, keyboard USB sticks and cameras to the Central Station hub. You now have two monitors, the laptops’ and the Central Station gorgeous 1920 x 1080 resolution. The Central Station automatically configures the resolution when connecting to the laptop.  

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Instead of your laptop’s WiFi, you can get your Internet connection through the Central Station. This allows you to use your laptop with no other connections since the Central Station becomes your wireless hub. There is also a wired connection from the hub to your laptops for the fastest connection.  

You can check out the working details of the Samsung Central Station at:  


Once you get your head around to how it works, the Central Station could become your way to mega screen computing with your laptop, sans cables. 


I liked the ability to quickly charge your devices via the hub’s USB and the three auto power-off eco settings.   

Does it work? Yes and no. It does everything it’s supposed to, but don’t expect smooth wireless HD movie playing on videos bigger than average quality 720p  or full screen YouTube. Connected digi-cams directly to the HDMI of the Central Station work well.  

I tried Samsung’s newest ultra thin and fast series 9 laptop and older Lenovo Tablet on Windows 7 laptops with similar results. It’s more a convenience thing for working with a second blue-ray quality screen and hub freeing your laptop of cables.  

I also found the dongle to get annoyingly hot, heating up my older laptop, but a short USB extension cord solved that.