Grab Bag o’ Humour: A Hockey Sandwich

The Florida Panthers banned playoff ticket sales for the first day to non Americans in the 2nd round of the playoffs. This in a series where they were playing the Toronto Maple Leafs. Such blatant prejudice would likely have been condemned if it were the other way around. Imagine the Maple Leafs banning Americans from a series in which they were playing Boston. Imagine the outcry.

But this is only the first day of ticket sales, you might point out. This is the playoffs. The tickets will likely be sold out in the first day.

Since there was not even a peep out of the NHL brass, I guess we know what the National in National Hockey League stands for. America, of course. I guess Canada can now expect if any of its hockey teams are in trouble that they will find a new home in the U.S. of A. Good luck having any new franchises coming up here.

There is a Canadian Hockey league and that is the juniors. I guess that’s where we Canadians will have to be happy. In the Juniors. Soon everyone will call us America Junior.


Don’t believe the hype. Francesco Mutti hates tomatoes. He claims it’s the opposite but actions speak louder than words.

In this ad, Francesco Mutti notices a tomato about to fall onto the ground from the top of a tomato trailer. He leaps forward and “saves” the tomato by catching it in the air.

What’s wrong with this? Well first of all the tomato was going to fall into a soft bed of grass. Mutti stops it with his hard hand. Not only this but Mutti’s hand is moving upward as he catches it, creating a greater force when his hand hits.

Mutti could have done the tomato a favour and missed catching it. This is also a big problem in superhero movies. If superman catches an airplane just before it hits the ground, it is as bad as if he hadn’t been there at all. He’s got to catch it say 100 meters from the ground and decelerate it so the passengers live.


The Seattle Kraken and Las Vegas Golden Knights were given golden entries into the hockey world. In only its second season, the Kraken have made it to the final eight. In only their 6th season, the Golden Knights have made it to the final 2 for the second time.

Why is it necessary to give expansion teams such strong players? Why must they start in the top half of the NHL in skills? While the NHL may not want losers for expansion teams, this is going too far in the other direction.

Soon the rest of the NHL will know that the Stanley Cup is out of reach because there is an expansion team that year. Maybe we could start each new expansion team by just giving them the Stanley Cup that year, forgetting the playoffs.

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Which Kind of Zoomer Are You?

Lately I’ve been seeing Gen Z-ers being called Zoomers. First of all bravo you namers. You named Gen Z-ers after their most hated generation. The one they keep getting compared to, negatively of course.

Secondly you didn’t check with other parts of the world to see if someone started calling Boomers, themselves, this. They had. ZoomerMedia is an entrenched Canadian company that began in 2007, (ten years before people began calling Gen Z-ers this). Shortly before, Boomers that were more active in older ages than their parents and other generations coined the term Zoomers. As this was a positive portrayal of the generation, Canadian media pounced and Zoomer Magazine and Zoomer Radio were born.

It’s not for a lack of names that some call you Zoomers, Gen Z. Pick any of the following: iGeneration, centennials, post-millennials, and Homelanders have all been used. Why not pick one of these? It’s easy.

Otherwise we name our generations thusly: the Greatest Generation, the Silent Generation, Zoomers, Gen X, Millennials, Zoomers. So maybe the new naming convention should be every third generation is named Zoomer.

However, Zoomer Media you aren’t helping your case. Now you say a Zoomer is anyone 45 and older. I will not sit by silently while you have attempted to wipe out Gen X and all they have fought for. Do you think a swipe of the pen can erase our non-identity identity?

It really doesn’t help your case when this is on the Zoomermedia page:

ZoomerMedia focuses on Canada’s most powerful audiences — the 17.2 million Baby Boomers and Gen Xers over the age of 45 (which we coined Zoomers) and the 13.2 million Millennials and Gen Zs under 45 (which in the US have recently also been coined Zoomers). The term Zoomer now represents the whole family, from old to young.

Now everyone’s a Zoomer? I don’t see generation, I only see Zoomers?

I might give up on deciding which side to land on. But I for sure do not agree that Gen X and Millenials should get wiped out by an all encompassing Zoomer tag.

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Cane and Able

I don’t really pay much attention to the bible factually because some of its “facts” don’t jibe with science or history. I don’t agree with the morals the bible espouses because it blatantly turns a blind eye to slavery. So can I read the bible symbolically, and agree with it?

I don’t have to go any further than the book of Genesis to test the symbolism of the bible. Yes, I’m going to talk about the story of Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve’s sons. Yes, I believe the symbolism of writing Cane and Able only exists in English but that is the only language I’m fluent in, so I think it’s real. Cane and Able might very well stand for the able and the disabled .

Cane is a farmer type and grows food to survive. Able is a hunter and kills animals to survive. This might also represent the tug of war between vegetarianism and meat eating. This might be fine until Cane offers up a sacrifice of some of his food. Able also gives an offering of some of his food.

God is pleased with Able’s offering and shows it. God is not pleased with Cane’s offering and shows it.

Later, a jealous Cane kills Able because of Able’s in with God.

Couldn’t Cane’s offering be frowned upon because God believes that Cane is fundamentally lesser than Able? Is that how God views the disabled?

Does God view eating animals as pious and vegetarianism as much less than pious? Then why are we made to naturally be omnivores? We want to consume both animals and plants. Indeed if we eat all meat diets, we die. Similarly, vegetarians have to watch their diets to make sure they are getting all the right vitamins and nutrients.

And I won’t believe in an all knowing, all powerful God that makes its people with varying abilities, then snubs one for being less capable.

The Cane and Able story does not jibe with me symbolically. You’ll have to excuse me while I ignore the bible again.

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Canadian Michaels and China

A few years ago, Canada arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on behalf of the US and our agreements with that country. In retaliation, China arrested the two Michaels, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, two Canadians who were in China at the time. I thought it odd at the time that both men were named Michael but it is a common name and could just be a coincidence.

Now, we have found out that a Chinese diplomat, Zhao Wei, had been allegedly gathering information to target Canadian Conservative MP Michael Chong’s family back in China. Zhao Wei has been expelled but one of China’s motives are clear. They don’t like Canadian Michaels.

Perhaps it’s because they know this will receive press in China. By targeting Michaels, it is an attempt to make us look like a political backwater, where all our people are named Michael. Like the bumpkins on the Newhart show in the eighties. “I’m Larry and this is my brother Darryl and my other brother Darryl.”

But maybe, just maybe, China feels put upon by one of our famous Michaels.

The two Michaels that comes to mind right away to me, are Michael J. Fox and Mike Myers. Lately Hollywood has been taken to task for the lack of representation. Indeed I can’t think of a film where Michael J. Fox had Chinese costars and I can think of just one for Mike Myers – Tia Carrere.

Even Tia Carrere is only partially Chinese. She has Filipina and Spanish roots, too. Anyhow, she played Michael Myers love interest in Wayne’s World. Perhaps this would have been okay if Micheal Myers’ career stopped there.

But he kept having love interests in later movies. The Austin Powers movies, the Shrek movies, etc.

I think the Chinese government wants the world to think, once you go Chinese, you never go back. Maybe, just maybe it’s not just a relationship slogan. They might want to have it so once you make a deal with China you never go back.

Especially at this juncture when the west is eroding Chinese successes Huawei and TikTok. As well, the west is not manufacturing everything they use in China anymore. The west wants other options. China, indeed, wants a world where once you go Chinese, you never go back.

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The NHL and Roid Rage

I want to cheer on Alexander Ovechkin as he gets closer to Wayne Gretzky’s lifetime goal scoring record. I really want to cheer on Joe Pavelski since he is with the Dallas Stars (my favourite team) and continues at 38 to be better than he was in his “prime” years.

It’s just that older players remaining vital long after some thought they would be, can be an indication of steroid use.

Pavelski is playing better than teammates Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. Both are younger than him, and Benn even won the regular season scoring race, once. What is the secret to this apparent finder of the fountain of youth?

Then I also think of previous heroes. Joe Nieuwendyk won the most valuable player in the playoffs the only year Dallas won the cup. He said his heroics were induced by extra conditioning the summer before but perhaps it was a chemical that made him better that year.

Chris Chelios remained in the NHL until he was 48. That is unsurpassed in the modern era. Why was he thriving a decade after normal players thrive?

Am I losing my heroes? Shouldn’t there be evident roid rage in these players? Well sometimes there is. As with all players in this league. Was the normalization of fighting in the NHL proof that their players were doing steroids?

The Broad Street bullies were the culmination of violence in the NHL. Otherwise known as the Philadelphia Flyers, that team won the Stanley Cup two years in a row in the 1970s. They also led in penalty minutes.

Perhaps that fighting wasn’t an example of real emotion as the commentators like to call it. Was that an era of unchecked roid rage in the NHL?

Were steroids first tested on NHL players? How far back could this go? As much as I would like an answer, I’m unlikely to get one.

That’s the biggest problem with steroids and sports. We might never know the full truth.

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Clones, Replicons and Exactoids, Oh My!

A clone is essentially your identical twin. You can differ quite a bit from your identical twin, especially the older you get. You will have had different experiences and people of importance in your lives.

A replicon and exactoid are much closer than a clone.

Replicons and exactoids have existed for a long time in science fiction. It’s just that I have named them in my book, Fabricated, and linked them together.

You could guess what a replicon is from its name alone. It is you, brought into existence by a replicator. Your replicon is exactly you at the moment of replication. You might start diverging as soon as you are replicated but you can be 30, 50 or 120 years old when this starts to happen. Obviously a replicon is closer than a clone.

Have you ever known of a time travel adventure where the character(s) end up at the same event a bunch of times? These near identical characters I call exactoids. They are exactly the same except the latest time traveler has a bit more of their brain filled up.

I’ve heard horror stories of would be science fiction writers making clones too much the same. Like the clone knows the original’s memories up to a point. Notice that with replicons and exactoids you can solve this problem. Although you’ve likely made replication and time travel a relatively easy thing to do in these stories. So maybe this won’t save these stories.

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Book Launch

Here I was last Sunday for my official book launch at the Stratford Book Fair.

Get my book Fabricated. To order, go to the right column at the top. Click the image to go to the Amazon site it’s available at.

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Late April 2023 Grab Bag o’ Humour

Few things are as opaque to see as the day of the week that Jesus died and the day he rose again from the dead. I was brought up in a Lutheran church and heard that Good Friday was the day that Jesus died. I assumed that he rose again on Sunday which is why Easter Sunday was such a big deal. But the one thing that is in agreement is that Jesus rose again after 3 days.

Did Christians make an easy counting error? Jesus was dead on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Therefore he rose on Sunday after 3 days being dead,

Or is it likely that the big celebration is on Sunday because Christians believed something was afoot? Jesus would be found alive on Monday after the obligatory 3 days. But because of their belief that Monday was in the cards, they celebrate on Sunday.

An enlightened religion would celebrate the most on Easter Monday. That’s the day we lowly earthlings were given “proof” that Jesus had risen from the dead. It makes me wonder why proof is so lowly regarded in organized religion. It’s almost as if those in power want to make their own rules.


We’re always told to keep our music down because it may disturb other people. Especially late at night when many people need to rest up for an early work day.

It seems the only place to escape this is the country. Farmhouses are generally far enough away from each other that farmers can generally play their music on 11, anytime, all the time.

But they don’t. Farmers are some of the earliest risers in society and start work before the majority of other workers. So they end up going to bed at about 9 in the evening, to get up with the sun in the summer.

But surely they crank their music (even if it’s country music!) at times during the day? Well if you can find a farmer with music equipment that goes to 11, then maybe. It’s just that I have never seen that music equipment. What a waste of a perfectly good opportunity, farmers!


In a 2015 post I noted that the most popular female name in a song was Sherry. It was in the song Sherry by the Four Seasons and Oh Sherrie by Steve Perry.

But I have since realized there are two other contenders for most popular female name in a song: Virginia and Jane. Meet Virginia by Train , Virginia Don’t Go by Prism, Jane by Starship and Jane by Bare Naked Ladies present two new contenders.

In 2015 I said Sherry was popular because the songwriters were talking in code. Sherry was popular because it is also the name of a type of alcohol.

Virginia could also be code for something, most likely a virgin. Virginia reminds the songwriters of virgins, either real or imagined.

So what about Jane? There aren’t any easy other meanings of Jane. If Jane were a more popular name I would say it wins this popularity contest.

But maybe, just maybe it reminds people of the fictional Jane in Tarzan stories. Possibly the male songwriters thought of the part where Tarzan and Jane try to communicate. “Me, Tarzan. You Jane.” Maybe that’s what the songwriters felt their conversations with attractive women were like.

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Fabricated Diagram

My new book, Fabricated, links together fundamentally different fantasy machines. The following diagram lists these fantasy machines and the story in Fabricated that contains the link.

Notice how the arrows connecting the machines only go one way. This is because these aren’t straight equivalences. Going the other way between the machines is different. The other way is shown on the other side of the half arrows.

You can already get my book in paper or electronic form, from Amazon. the link is given at the top right. Sunday, April 23rd, I will be at the Stratford Book Fair for the hard launch of Fabricated. If you’re in southwestern Ontario that day you can see me there from 1pm to 6pm. Admission is free.

Notice that the bottom right corner of the diagram gives a tease of what the Interstellar Flit is about. It will be the first novel and second book in the series. All books in the series can stand alone.

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April 2023 Grab Bag o’ Humour

As two letter abbreviations for Canadian provinces become more and more common in Canada, I looked up Newfoundland. NL is the two letter abbreviation for Newfoundland. This is way better than the four letter, Nfld., we were taught as kids.

Why is this much better? Well NFL – D means that Newfoundland is on the D list of football. The NFL or National Football League, is of course the A list of football. The CFL or Canadian Football League is the B list of football.

Going down by the same amount, the C list of football is any amateur game of football played anywhere. So the D list is usually reserved for places where they call soccer football – and, of course, Newfoundland.

Newfoundland is probably happy that we no longer rub it in their faces that they are on the football D list.


If I were a lead guitarist that used mainly a Fender guitar, like a stratocaster or even a telecaster, I would like to have the nickname Fender Bender.

But instead I am a rhythm guitarist that prefers non Fender guitars. So, if you see a good lead guitarist that does play a Fender, feel free to bestow the nickname on them.

I wonder if Frank Zappa used a strat because of the song Joe’s Garage which has the line, “it was a stratocaster with a whammy bar”. Maybe we can give the moniker to Zappa. There should be bonus points for the Fender Bender using a whammy bar, which bends the strings even more.


I have a brother, Lance, and a sister, Liana, who do realist art. They don’t have an obvious gimmick as with surrealism or impressionism. They just make paintings that are more or less how someone else would see or even how a camera would see.

As such, I call them realists. A tiger mom would call them completely nonrealists. They must be doctors or lawyers or engineers or scientists to get the realist moniker from her. Most artists are quite unrealistic according to this narrow view.

So how do I defend my point of view to those tiger moms out there and their allies? My brother and sister are realists enough to know that having a part time job at the same time while doing their art careers, is a good thing. This is why they’re realists.

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