Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday 31st January 2014…. a very interesting Pearson day!!!

Friday so that means a day with no appointments and a day to myself…..started with ordering propane for the casitas….I called and 30 minutes later the truck was here..it is an easy task to get gas into the tank on the roof…One guy goes on the roof top throws a rope down to the guy by the truck he attaches the hose and they pull it up and 2 minutes later the tank is filled!!

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I took my car in for an oil change and service today so it was a bit of driving on the scooter to get the car and then get home and then get the scooter again to go get the car..still with me!!!!

Anyway I decided to go for my big hike and finish  picking the car up and that is what I did.

Now I have done many hikes and seen some amazing things and I think the most special was the one that you can read about if you go back to the archives on my blog and read the blog for 5th August 2012….well today there was one event that is right up there.

I left the highway and went into the hills and this was a view of down town my camera has a great zoom!!

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I was soon in the country

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The X is where I am heading you cannot see it yet but there is a cross up there

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Interesting wall..

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It was a good steady climb but soon came to the cross and the views…

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This was my lunch spot…

Met only two other hikers on the trails

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So I climbed up to this rock face and there was a drop of about 70 feet into a small canyon with a pool and this is where it got really special…

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See the dash of red in the middle of this shot….

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This lady was doing her washing and her two kids were with her..let me tell you I was in the middle of now where at least 5km from any houses how on earth did she get down there and back up with two kids and her laundry!!!!!!

I did a circular hike and came out at the top of the town where there is a large new mall and I know they had this store and I needed an ice cream cone!!!

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I then walked back towards town and into the park where they have transformed it into a huge plant and flower market celebrating

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This is the story of the candelaria…

 

 

Dia de la Candelaria: Marks the End of the Mexican Holiday Season and Heralds the Arrival of Spring

 

In a country that loves its celebrations, the observance of Candlemas, February 2, is the official closure to the Mexican holiday season.  After the family gathering, it’s time to take down all the Christmas décor and welcome the spring season. It is also ‘payback day’ for those who found a figure in their portion of the Day of Kings cake (January 6): this person is obligated to host a party of atole and tamales for all their family and friends. The Mexican celebration of Día de la Candelaria is an acknowledgement of both the European and prehispanic traditions, as tamales were used as offerings to the god of water, Tláloc, to ensure abundant rains for a plentiful harvest.

Religious Roots:   February 2nd falls forty days after Christmas, which date Catholics observe as the "Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin" or as the "Presentation of the Lord." According to Jewish law a woman was considered unclean for 40 days after giving birth so it was customary to bring a baby to the temple after that period of time had passed. It is believed that the infant Jesus would have been taken to the temple on February second. On this day, believers honor "the rising of the Baby Jesus," which consists of people carrying images and figures of baby Jesus to be blessed at the church.

Another important custom in Mexico, particularly in areas where traditions run strong, is for families to own an image of the Christ child, a niño Dios. At times a godparent is chosen for the niño Dios, who is then responsible for hosting various celebrations between Christmas and Candlemas. First, on Christmas Eve the niño Dios is placed in the Nativity scene; on January 6th, King's Day, the Christ child is brought presents from the Magi; and on February 2nd, the icon is dressed in fine clothes and presented in the church.

Other cultures around the world also take note of February 2nd as it marks the point between the winter solstice and spring equinox. This date is regarded as a superstitious day in various cultures. In many places it is traditionally a time to prepare the earth for spring planting.  In the United States February 2 is observed as groundhog day- with the groundhog’s shadow predicting the arrival of spring. Even if the groundhog sees his shadow, there is still a long winter ahead. On needs to remember that these traditional parties originated before North America had the Super Bowl as a reason to party with friends during the worst of winter. But in Mexico, the mid-winter party is “Día de la Candelaria” (Day of the Candles), a celebration based on religious influences, pagan traditions and weather superstitions that celebrates spring’s arrival.

 

The colors were magnificent

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I walked to the garage and the car was ready full service a new filter and ready to go I decided to drive back to the park and buy some plants..it is well organized many kids there with wheel barrows so you get your plants and put them in the barrow and the kids wheels it to the car this fine bunch cost me 300 pesos!!!

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So I finally got home at 6pm and had hiked 12 miles and it felt good but those boots….I really need to get some cross trainers…. will work on that next week.

So another good supper, hot bath and now for a change I am watching a hockey game….blessings and I wish all my readers a wonderful start to February!!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday 30th January 2014……a quiet day!!!

Yesterday I placed an article on the blog about a rising 19 year old superstar of Canada..below is another story about another rising 19 year old superstar of my country…take your pick of the stars for our children to emulate and look up to!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Justin Bieber charged with Toronto limo driver assault

 

Justin Bieber was led by police through a crowd of reporters and fans

 

 

Canadian pop star Justin Bieber has been charged with assaulting a limousine driver in Toronto last month.

The 19-year-old handed himself in at a Toronto police station where he was mobbed by TV crews, news photographers and screaming teenage fans.

The charge comes a week after he was arrested and charged for a separate incident in Florida for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

A lawyer for the singer said his client was innocent.

Toronto police say that Justin Bieber was one of six people picked up by a limousine outside a nightclub in the early hours of 30 December.

Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber performs on a quad bike at the beach as he takes a break in a resort in Punta Chame on the outskirts of Panama City January 27, 2014 The latest charges come two days after the singer was pictured relaxing on the beach near Panama City

Justin Bieber (R) exits from the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on January 23, 2014 A week ago Bieber was in Miami, Florida, charged with drink driving and resisting arrest

Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber performs during his "Believe" concert at the Olimpic Stadium in Santo Domingo in this October 22, 2013 file photo. The pop star lately has drawn more attention for his brushes with the law, than his music

"While driving the group to a hotel, an altercation occurred between one of the passengers and the driver of the limousine," a police statement said.

"In the course of the altercation, a man struck the limousine driver on the back of the head several times.

"The driver stopped the limousine, exited the vehicle and called police. The man who struck him left the scene before police arrived."

After surrendering to police on Wednesday, the singer was charged with one count of assault and is scheduled to appear in court in Toronto on 10 March.

Howard Weitzman, Mr Bieber's lawyer in California, said the entertainer was innocent and that he expected the case to be treated as a summary offence, which is the equivalent of a misdemeanour in the United States.

Online petition

Earlier on Wednesday, a petition requesting Mr Bieber's expulsion from the US attained 100,000 signatures.

The petition was filed on a White House website by a member of the public.

Justin Bieber appears before Florida judge by videolink. 23 Jan 2014 Last week Justin Bieber appeared before a Florida judge by videolink from jail

The US president has no power to order an individual's deportation, and it is unclear whether the White House will respond to the petition.

Justin Bieber has had several run-ins with police over the past year.

In the early hours of last Thursday, he was arrested in Miami Beach after a police officer pulled him over on suspicion of racing a hired yellow Lamborghini on a public street.

 

Bieber's encounters with the law

  • 30 Jan 2014 - Charged with assaulting a limousine driver in Toronto in December
  • 23 Jan - Charged with driving under influence of alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs
  • 15 Jan - LA police investigate claims he threw eggs at neighbour's house
  • Nov 2013 - Charged by Brazil police with illegally spraying graffiti in Rio de Janeiro

Suspecting he was intoxicated, the officer arrested him. The singer was also charged with resisting arrest and driving on an expired licence.

Mr Bieber was later released on bail of $2,500 (£1,500).

Earlier in January, police in California searched Mr Bieber's home after he allegedly threw eggs at his neighbour's house, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

The outcome of that search is still unclear but one of the singer's associates was arrested amid the search and charged with drug possession.

The singer's manager tweeted on Wednesday evening asking people "to be kind and hope for the best in people. not assume the worst. Thanks."

 

When I left for tennis this morning just after at 8.30am it was so cold had on my long sweats and jacket and gloves and a scarf around my mouth by the time I got to the courts the sun was shining and I was down to T shirt and shorts…a great two hours of tennis and I came home and had a sandwich then got to work……..the clothes don’t clean themselves!!!!

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Washed Little Blackie

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and then decided to do my lesson planning for tonight on the roof in the sun of course after I had watered all the flowers.

Went and had a visit with my land lady Sharon and paid my rent and at 6pm I was at class…again another good class after we did work from our books we had a spelling test and then the 20 questions game with chocolates as the reward.

I have done the class three times this week and it just makes me more in awe of these seven wonderful people who take so much time out of their busy family and personal lives to attend class and for most of them this is the fifth year doing this.

Back at home had some lovely pea soup thank you Linda and  now relaxing watching some TV.

Yashi Kochi!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday 29th January 2014…what makes an old guy happy!!!!

Different format on the blog today……today in my English class, which I must say was the best class ever, I asked the students to come to the front of the class and tell the rest of the class 10 reasons why they are happy…..it was a good task for them to think and talk without any preparation and they did such an awesome job……so…..

Here are my 10 reasons and in no particular order!!!

1.  Had a wonderful sleep.

2.  Won 170 pesos at poker.

3.  I spent time with Paola.

4.  Had an awesome healthy breakfast.

5.  I saw my students.

6.  I have wonderful health.

7.  My friends…what can I say!!!!!

8.  I live in a wonderful country.

9.  My family!!!!

10.    what else……oh yes I remember…

I SAW MY DANILEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I was going to class after dropping Paola off at home and there was a bit of a traffic jam and I was passed by this passenger van which I knew was from Casa Hogar and out of the side window I saw some girls waving at me…I pulled alongside and there at the window with her hand out was Daniela….. I was so thrilled I touched her hand and told her I loved her she smiled and told me she loved me and then the van drove away.  Will not get into the reasons I cannot see her anymore but it made my year to see her this afternoon!!!!

 

I think this is an interesting article..

Eugenie Bouchard: Courting the golden girl of tennis

By Bill Wilson Business reporter, BBC News

Eugenie Bouchard Eugenie Bouchard is a former junior Wimbledon champion

 

She may not have won a major tournament yet, but emerging tennis star Eugenie Bouchard is being tipped as the next marketing face of the women's game.

After an Australian Open in which the 19-year-old Canadian unexpectedly reached the semi-final, there is as much debate about her career off the court as on it.

Her appearance and composure, not to forget tennis talent, have seen her touted as the next Maria Sharapova, the world's highest-paid female athlete, and four times Grand Slam winner.

The teenager's agent, Sam Duvall, says the player known as "Genie" has the personality, game and looks to surpass the Russian's commercial success.

And the global boss of the women's tennis circuit agrees about the financial potential.

'Media exposure'

"She is an incredibly talented athlete, and a very marketable brand ambassador for any company that wants to get involved with her," Stacey Allaster, chief executive of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), tells the BBC business website.

 

Eugenie Bouchard facts

Bouchard with a baby wallaby

  • Born Montreal in 1994
  • Named after Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson
  • Junior Wimbledon winner in 2012
  • Voted WTA Newcomer of the Year in 2013
  • Second female Canadian Grand Slam semi-finalist, after Carling Bassett in 1984

"I do believe that with her winning form and continued success that many brands will look to Genie for partnerships."

At present Bouchard has only a handful of brand associations, mostly tennis equipment-related, albeit of a high-profile nature.

Last year Nike asked Maria Sharapova which other WTA player she wanted to wear the clothing line she had designed for the firm, and the Russian chose Genie.

Ms Allaster says her fellow Canadian's attributes - "gracious, humble, confident, smart and funny, she is the whole package" - make Bouchard an ideal fit for partnerships in marketing "categories that play well for our athletes" such as:

  • fashion
  • entertainment
  • lifestyle
  • cars
  • financial services
  • consumer packaged goods

Bouchard shot up from 31st spot to enter the top 20 in the WTA rankings for the first time this week, in 19th place. This time a year ago she was ranked 137th.

"One of the exciting things of my job is to see the juxtaposition between established stars such as Serena [Williams], Maria [Sharapova], Li Na, and the rising stars such as Genie, Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens, Taylor Townsend - without question they will be the future faces of the WTA," says Ms Allaster.

"It is nice to see her stepping forward on the Grand Slam stage, where we have the most fan interest and maximum media exposure, with both groups now set to follow Genie on to future events."

Fan attraction

One of the features of the Australian Open, was the self-styled Genie Army of Australian young, mostly male fans, who attended her games decked out in the red and white of Canada, and showered her with presents of cuddly toys.

During the Australian Open, Bouchard also added some 100,000 new "likes" to her Facebook page, taking that total to 243,000. In addition she has 107,000 followers on Twitter.

Genie Army The Genie Army was an unexpected feature of the Australian Open tennis

"Genie is giving something back, interacting with fans," says Allaster. "That is why she is going to be a massive success.

"And the Genie Army is going to continue throughout the rest of the year.

"It is great for women's tennis as a whole, because it is all about the fans - we are only in business because of the fans."

 

Eugenie Bouchard sponsors

  • Nike clothing
  • Babolat racquets
  • Rogers IT and telecoms
  • Tourna Grip accessories
  • Tennis Canada

When she was 12, Bouchard was the recipient of the Stacey Allaster Tennis Scholarship, set up when the tennis administrator moved from Tennis Canada to the helm of WTA.

"I said to her then I wanted to see another Canadian on the tour, and even then at that young age she assured me that she was going to be be on it," Ms Allaster says.

She adds that when the WTA signed a new three-year partnership deal with Usana sporting supplements in October 2013, the firm asked for Bouchard to be one of the brand ambassadors, even before her breakthrough success in Australia.

'Marketing-savvy'

One sports marketing expert believes more commercial opportunities will soon by spinning Bouchard's way.

"There is not a huge pool of female sporting talent in the world which is globally recognised," says Nigel Currie, of agency Brand Rapport.

Russia's Maria Sharapova (L) shake hand with Canada's Eugenie Bouchard after winning their French Open match in May 2013 Eugenie Bouchard (right) is being compared to Maria Sharapova

"There is a big of a void in that area. Anyone who can get into the top two or three tennis players is of appeal."

He also believes Bouchard has the talent to back up the image, unlike 1990s icon Anna Kournikova, whose commercial deals and celebrity status were never matched by her winning a WTA title.

"I think things are different now, brands want to be associated with winning athletes, and there is no doubt that Bouchard has playing ability," says Mr Currie.

And according to WTA chairman and chief executive Ms Allaster, Bouchard also has one very important attribute for a modern sports star.

"She is very marketing-savvy."

 

Hopefully one day my special tennis star Ashley

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will make the same headlines!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday 28th January 2014…..Happy Birthday Janet!!!!

My wonderful and special sister in law is turning…whatever age…..today and I want to wish her a great….she and Malc are holidaying in Europe for two weeks but I did call her on Saturday….she is a remarkable woman and one I admire and love…bless you and see you soon!!!!IMG_2635_thumb1_thumb[2]

 

Well my Internet troubles seem to be over it was strange every time I went to post I lost connection.

So yesterday was my really busy day with yoga, driving Paola to an appointment and then to and from class and finally to my English class but I manage well and class was a fun one we did are usual work and then had some fun games and then Paula, Jill, Jerry and Andrew came for a visit and the class had fun with them.

We all went out for dinner at my favorite restaurant and we all agreed the meals were wonderful!!!

This morning it was my food delivery to the school at 8am and then off for 2 great hours of tennis you would think that after watching hours of tennis these last two weeks it would elevate my game…not so!!!!!  lots of fun though.

I then went to my friend Rita’s house for tea and a visit..I have not seen Rita since the new year and I really enjoyed the visit she also is a special lady who suffers some breathing issues but does so well and never complains.

Then went to book an appointment to have my car service  ..Guy and I use the same mechanic and when I went there it has been at least 5 months since my last visit I was greeted by my first name…you just have to admire service like that!!!

So I am in the middle of doing some serious planning for my summer expedition……I think in a couple of days I will devout a separate blog and tell you what I have in store…..have a great evening.

Yashi Kochi!!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday 26th January 2014 ……sporting heroes!!!

Woke to a sunny morning and I had poached eggs and toast and tea and relaxed with an old English newspaper……and at 11am settled down to watch the below…no need for me to add anything!!

 

BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka won his first Grand Slam title with victory over an injury-hit Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final.

Wawrinka withstood a fightback from the world number one, who was struggling with a back problem, to come through 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3.

The 28-year-old becomes only the second Swiss man to win a Grand Slam singles title after 17-time champion Roger Federer.

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"Nadal could have easily walked off court but he didn't and it added to the match. I was impressed at how Wawrinka had the mental capacity to finish off the match. For a while it looked like he was getting nervous, tired, missing easy shots and screaming at his team. It is hard to beat an injured player, especially an injured Rafa. To beat a Rafa at 60% is not easy. It was a fantastic gutsy effort from both of them."

And he is the first man outside the 'big four' of Nadal, Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to win a Grand Slam since Juan Martin Del Potro at the 2009 US Open.

Fortunes fluctuated wildly over the course of two hours and 21 minutes as Wawrinka opened in scintillating form before a tearful Nadal appeared close to quitting at two sets down, only to stage a remarkable recovery in the third.

The Spaniard, 27, showed great spirit to hit back once again from a break down in the fourth, but a forehand winner gave Wawrinka the decisive break at 5-3 and he served out the biggest win of his life with a love game.

"I still think that I'm dreaming," said Wawrinka. "It's a strange feeling. I saw so many finals. I always try to watch the finals of Grand Slams because that's where the best players are playing.

"Before today, for me it wasn't a dream. I never expected to play a final. I never expected to win a Grand Slam. And right now I just did it."

Nadal, who revealed he felt the back problem in the warm-up, said: "It is a tournament that I really had some troubles physically in my career and is something that is painful for me.

 

"But that's part of life. That's part of sport. It's not the end of the world. Is just another tough moment."

"The last thing that I wanted to do was retire. No, I hate to do that, especially in a final.

"It's not the moment to talk about that. It's the moment to congratulate Stan. He's playing unbelievable. He really deserved to win that title."

Wawrinka had never won a set, let alone a match, in 12 previous attempts against Nadal, and was making his Grand Slam final debut against a man in his 19th.

But Nadal's travails in the second half of the match should not overshadow what was a magnificent performance from Wawrinka for much of the contest.

He coped brilliantly with the Spaniard's fizzing forehand in the early stages, using his backhand to return the fire, and 12 winners almost helped him to a 5-1 lead.

Some nerves were finally revealed when he tried to close out a set against Nadal for the first time, failing to make a first serve as he fell 0-40 down, but the 2009 champion could not get a return in play as Wawrinka hit back to seal it with an ace.

Three sweeping forehands helped the Swiss break at the start of the second on a run of 12 straight points, and it was when serving at 2-0 down that Nadal first appeared to feel the problem with his back.

After leaving the court for treatment, to the annoyance of Wawrinka and boos from some sections of the crowd, Nadal returned unable to serve at anything like full speed, and at one stage was close to tears.

 

"Wawrinka's first-set performance was of such a high quality that we may have been deprived of a classic duel - and who is to say that the man who took out Djokovic wouldn't also have been able to take out a fully fit Nadal. The world number one at half speed was a more perplexing conundrum, but when given the chance to serve for the title, Wawrinka illustrated the self-belief that has underpinned his surge up the rankings."

Another visit from the physio followed after game five, and when Wawrinka took the second set almost unopposed, the 13-time Grand Slam champion appeared close to calling it quits on a long walk back to his chair.

What followed was remarkable, with Nadal staging the unlikeliest of fightbacks - possibly as the pain killers kicked in - while Wawrinka completely lost his rhythm with victory apparently his for the taking.

The Swiss made 19 unforced errors and, despite still not moving freely, Nadal managed to increase his service speed just enough to keep the misfiring Wawrinka at bay and clinch the third set.

It now appeared to be a test of Wawrinka's nerve as much as Nadal's fitness, because the Spaniard was clearly not about about to give up, and he clung on magnificently.

Two break points were saved at the start of the fourth, and a break recovered at 4-2 down, but Wawrinka made the decisive move with a brilliant forehand into the corner to break for 5-3 and raced through the final game.

 

Still on the subject of tennis another not so famous Canadian tennis player, Daniel Nestor won yet another grand slam title in mixed Doubles..if you have time Google him and see all the titles he has won in his 22 years in the sport he truly is a Canadian hero and I know doubles especially mixed doubles does not great coverage but I know first hand how much fun the mixed doubles can be.

dani

After tennis I put my hiking boots on and for a change hiked all around town it is nice to walk and see the sights, stores and things I do not normally see as I fly by on Little Blackey!!!

Enjoy the shots!!!

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A famous birthday today!!!

 

 

In the history of the game, no one was better at creating scoring chances and goals than Wayne Gretzky. And really, it is not even close. Wayne Gretzky's ability to think the game, send the puck to isolated places where the shooter had daylight and an angle was breathtaking. 

 

When Wayne Gretzky was  6 years old, his father built a rink in the family's backyard. On that lonely sheet of ice, the young Gretzky honed his skills and worked for many hours on becoming a better hockey player. He became so good at it, playing against kids his own age was deemed unfair. At six. 

Wayne Gretzky became famous as a child for extraordinary feats of goal scoring. He began playing against older boys--at six he played against 10 year olds and scored just one goal--but he quickly became the best player even against much older competition. The phenom scored 378 goals at the Pee Wee level in Brantford. He became known as "the White Tornado" and each season of hockey saw him step up a level of competition and then beat it down as though it were a walk in the park. 

From the age of 6, Wayne Gretzky of the Brantford Steelers had the following goal totals in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association:

  • Age 6: 1
  • Age 7: 27
  • Age 8 104
  • Age 9: 196
  • Age 10: 378 (in 85gp)

By 1975, Wayne Gretzky had moved to Toronto (played for the Nationals of the legendary Metro Toronto Junior "B" League) and scored 60 points in 28 games. In 1977-78, a decade after he began gaining fame, the teenager skated onto OHA (modern OHL) ice as a regular to show the boys what he could do. 

He was 16. In his one full season in the OHA, Wayne Gretzky scored (regular season and playoffs) 76gp, 76-132-208. He finished 2nd in scoring that season, to 19-year old Bobby Smith (he turned 20 in February of that year). 

At this point in NHL history, Wayne Gretzky would be three years from being draft eligible. Although his talent and drive clearly screamed higher levels, the rules of the game at that time meant NHL teams could not find a way to retain his talents and for Wayne Gretzky to turn pro. 

BRIDGING THE GAP

 

Gretzky at that point was too good for junior (or at least it looked like we would be) and the youngster also had an urge to play at the highest possible level despite his youth. The NHL approached the issue as "the rules are rules", but the outlaw World Hockey Association had been flirting with the idea of drafting underage players for at least a year--in fact, they had drafted Ken Lineseman as an underager in 1977.

Its important to understand the climate at this time (this is spring 1978). The player has expressed interest in signing a pro contract--perhaps in Europe--in order to further push his skills. The WHA made overtures in the spring, and in April 1978 Gretzky's agent (Gus Badali) was quoted as saying the young man would forego the final three years of his junior eligibility and sign with the fledgling league  should he be drafted. THIS brought forward more hell than a little bit:

  • Iona Campagnolo, federal minister of fitness and amateur sport meets with Ben Hatskin, CEO of the WHA in May and tells him the federal government would object to any signings of underage players. Campagnolo: "Mr Hatskin indicated to me that the league has no intention of signing underage players. However, he also said member clubs may have other ideas."

On June 12, 1978, Nelson Skalbania of the Indianapolis Racers announced that he had signed Wayne Gretzky to a 7-year, $1.75M personal services contract. The gifted youngster had slipped through the fingers of the OHA, and the NHL. This began a long series of idiotic quotes from respected hockey men about Gretzky's ability--altough offsetting this was Jim McAuley, the owner of the Sault Ste Marie club--who said his first thought was to shut down the club (hyperbole and overreaction became commonplace during this period). 

Del Wilson--long the Montreal Canadiens scouting director and an exceptional judge of NHL talent, was quoted as saying "this is a complete disaster. He's a great hockey player, but he's not ready for the pro's. He'll be playing against guys 30 years and older." This was followed by other extraordinary claims, like the whopper that got a lot of play during this time suggesting the young Gretzky didn't have enough talent to make the 1950 Maple Leafs (don't ask me, there was some weird stuff going on about Gretzky before he flattened the NHL in 79-80).

YEG

Nelson Skalbania sold Wayne Gretzky on a Thursday (Nov. 2, 1978--34 years ago today) and was the first of two men who should have known better. Gretzky, whose motivation was to play hockey at the highest possible level, expressed frustration at the move:

 

Once Gretzky arrived in Edmonton, it didn't take long for a bond to form between  player and his new city. Gretzky got off the plane as an impact player, and in his first season in Edmonton (and the final WHA season) #99 posted 72, 43-61-104 totals. That single WHA season gets overlooked a lot, but it was very important in establishing Gretzky as a player who could compete at that level. Gretzky himself wasn't sure--he told his agent Gus Badali that he'd score 20 goals and 40 assists--and probably gave him the confidence to enter the NHL in 1979-80 confident of success.

On January 28, 1979, Wayne Gretzky signed a 21-year contract with Peter Pocklington.

EARLY NHL CAREER

From fall 1979 through his departure from Edmonton (Peter Pocklington, the second man who should have known better, sold his contract to Los Angeles), Wayne Gretzky provided Edmonton and Oiler fans with the highest "peak value" of any player in NHL history. There are no words strong enough to describe the dominance: he was so far beyond what had come before it took years to adjust to the point totals. Even today, Gretzky's peak seasons look like some kind of fantasy, some impossible misprint in the book of hockey's past.

Gretzky's most effective skill was his ability to see the ice, the players and their position and to find the best option for scoring chances. When I was a young man, I’d go to Oilers games with buddies or my wife and watch from the bleeders. Some think it’s a horrible place to watch the game but for me it was an education in the talent and vision of Wayne Gretzky. I’ve said this before, but the beauty of his game was knowing where the open spaces were and who could get there. Many of his passes looked seeing-eye or lucky, but he had a sixth sense and would send the puck to places where Kurri or some other player was heading. Walter Gretzky has spoken many times on this subject and that ability made defending #99 impossible on many shifts.

The gift of Gretzky was that all of his efforts were dedicated to finding the best offensive opportunities that ran counter to the coverage rules of the game.

He was a beauty and it was a privilege to watch him play. I absolutely hate it when old guys (like me) say things like "we'll never see his equal" but in this case it fits. The Great One? That doesn't begin to tell the story.

 

This man has been my hero ever since I saw him live in 1980 when I moved to edmonton….a super star on and off the ice…I even have his number 99 as a tattoo and if anyone wants to see where it is send me an e mail!!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday 25th January 2014….sports day!!!

Well Saturdays usually revolve around sports and today was the same…breakfast with a soccer game from England and then off to see if I could play tennis as well as Rafa and I can tell you now the answer to that is a resounding NO!!!!   but the two hours were great fun and eventually the sun came out.

I then went to the organic local market and bought some nice pastries and bread and then went to the rental apartment where later today Paula and Jerry and their daughter and SIL were arriving for a quick weekend visit.

Then it was to my casita for lunch and then went and picked up Paola and we went and got the car and went bike riding this time she wanted to go to the huge sports complex just out of town and she rode for over an hour before stopping for lunch and a drink…..  we then went and did some grocery shopping and then stopped in to see the new arrivals.

It is the first time I have met the newly weds Jill and Andrew and they are a lovely couple and I wish them many years of happiness…we had a great visit!!!

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I then took Paola home and then went out to visit with Linda and Guy have not seen them all week so it was great to catch up and a lovely surprise when I was leaving Linda had made more pea soup…so now the freezer is stocked….

So I eventually got home around 5 o clock after a busy day.  I Skype my Brother Malc and sang Happy Birthday to my wonderful SIL Janet..it is her birthday on Tuesday but they are leaving tomorrow for two weeks in Spain.

So now after supper and after a long hot soak in the tub relaxing watching hockey.

The tennis final is being shown live at 2.00am but they are also going to replay it at noon tomorrow so that is my plan.

Have a great weekend everyone blessings les

This was sent to me today!!!

 

 

> Take my Son.....
>
> A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art.
> They had everything in their collection, fromPicasso to Raphael.
> They would often sit together and admire the great works of art..
>
> When the Vietnamconflict broke out, the son went to war. He was
> very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another
> soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only
> son.
>
> About a month later, just before Christmas,
>
> There was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with
> a large package in his hands..
>
> He said, 'Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom
> your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was
> carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and
> he died instantly... He often talked about you, and your love for
> art.' The young man held out this package. 'I know this isn't
> much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would
> have wanted you to have this.'
>
> The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the
> young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured
> the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so
> drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He
> thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture..
> 'Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a
> gift.'
>
> The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors
> came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son
> before he showed them any of the other great works he had
> collected.
>
> The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction
> of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over
> seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase
> one for their collection.
>
> On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer
> pounded his gavel. 'We will start the bidding with this picture
> of the son. Who will bid for this picture?'
>
> There was silence...
>
> Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, 'We want to see the
> famous paintings. Skip this one.'
>
> But the auctioneer persisted. 'Will somebody bid for this
> painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?'
>
> Another voice angrily. 'We didn't come to see this painting. We
> came to see the Van Gogh's, the Rembrandts. Get on with the Real
> bids!'
>
> But still the auctioneer continued. 'The son! The son! Who'll
> take the son?'
>
> Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the
> longtime gardener of the man and his son. 'I'll give $10 for the
> painting...' Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.
>
> 'We have $10, who will bid $20?'
>
> 'Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters.'
>
> The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the
> son.
>
> They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.
>
> The auctioneer pounded the gavel.. 'Going once, twice, SOLD for
> $10!'
>
> A man sitting on the second row shouted, 'Now let's get on with
> the collection!'
>
> The auctioneer laid down his gavel. 'I'm sorry, the auction is
> over.'
> 'What about the paintings?'
>
> 'I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was
> told of a secret stipulation in the will... I was not allowed to
> reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the
> son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would
> inherit the entire estate, including the paintings.
>
> The man who took the son gets everything!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday 24th January 2014….a day to myself!!

Recent Friday’s have been days when I do not schedule anything and just hang out quietly on my own and today was no exception….I went to town early and bought some veggies and came home and spent 90 minutes cooking and now have dinner for tonight, tomorrow and two freezer meals…..if you must know Bangers and Mash with carrots and mushrooms!!!

I must be getting wiser in my old age because instead of staying up till 2am last night to watch Rafa V Roger I arranged my day to watch the relay at noon today…I kept away from the news so did not know the score and really enjoyed the game which Rafa took quite easily.  In case you may live in a cave I am talking tennis!!!!!

Then put on my hiking boots and set out for the hills and walked 8 miles or 13 km and was back home by 6pm.

Enjoyed my supper and then a great long bath and now relaxing doing some research on Iceland.

So another day goes by and I did not interact with anyone..did not see anyone and just spent the day doing some thinking about “stuff” and as always being thankful for my many blessings !!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thursday 23rd January 2014…….a slower day!!

9am tennis this morning played in wonderful sunshine and a nice way to start the day..from tennis I went into town and did some errands and then came home for lunch and then off to my friend Carol’s house and she gave me a lesson on how to use my new Nexus 7 tablet….I am hoping this will replace my laptop on my summer trip ….Carol was very patient with me and with more lessons I think it will be very handy for me much less weight!!!

From there I went back to the foot doctor and he did some more scraping and cutting on the callous between my toes and then home to get cleaned and showered and off to my friend Jecka’s house for supper and to meet her English friends….it was a really nice visit and the fish that was served so so good.

It is warmer tonight and I have to decide if I am going to stay up till 2.30am and watch the live tennis match Rafa V Roger or stay away from the news and watch the repeat at noon tomorrow…I think the repeat show will be the one I watch.

Just want to say today that I am so blessed to have so many wonderful friends in my life, I am also thankful for great health and being able to live my life in this town…….

Yashi Kochi!!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wednesday 22nd January 2014…….something I have not done for years

was to stay up till 4am watching live tennis from Australia…….it was some wonderful tennis and slept till 9am and have not felt tired at all today……did some chores in town this morning and then went to poker this afternoon where my long winning streak came to a grinding halt and I lost 200 pesos!!!!!

From here I went to get Paola and drove her to her dance class and I went home got my lesson ready for class and went back to get Paola and took her home we stopped at the chicken take out restaurant and got her a full chicken to take home.  She is really enjoying these classes and seems really happy.

I know I do not mention Daniela any more and it pains me to write that I have not been invited back to Casa Hogar or to see her…I cannot say anymore!!!

After I took her home I went straight to my English class and as always we had a great class their homework from Monday was to write a story on yesterday’s parade and I was very proud of all of them they did a lovely job…we did some reading and talking and finished off with the 20 questions game for chocolate….great class.

Came home and had a good soak in the tub and just finished watching the up and coming Canadian tennis star loose at the semis in Australia but she is one to watch out for in the future.

Time for bed!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday 21st January 2014…another birthday!!!

This time it is the Birthday of the founder of SMA

blog

Ignacio José de Allende y Unzaga (January 21, 1769 – June 26, 1811), born Ignacio Allende y Unzaga, was a captain of the Spanish Army in Mexico who came to sympathize with the Mexican independence movement. He attended the secret meetings organized by Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, where the possibility of an independent New Spain was discussed. He fought along with Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in the first stage of the struggle, eventually succeeding him in leadership of the rebellion. Allende was captured by Spanish colonial authorities while he was in Chihuahua and executed for treason.

They have a huge parade in town but as I have been to the last 5 year’s of celebrations I gave this one a miss…also I was playing tennis this morning.

After tennis did a few chores in and around town and then was home for a few minutes before I went for a visit with my friend Sharon, who is also my land lady…we have not seen each other for a while so it was nice to catch up on things in our lives…..then into town to buy some veggies and fruit and home in time to cook some potatoes before I left for my evening yoga class which I always enjoy…..

Now home enjoying watching more live tennis from down under….still a bit cool in the evenings and before the sun comes up but during the day very pleasant.

Yashi Kochi!!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday 20th January 2014….here there and everywhere!!!

I knew that today was going to be a really busy day and it was compounded by having another flat tire on the scooter…..so this morning it was up early to get the house cleaned up because by now you know Monday morning my lovely cleaning lady comes.

Then into town to the tire shop where they told me that the reason I am getting so many flat rear tires is that the rim is badly damaged and suggest I get a new rim…..so the fixed the tire for 40 pesos and I went to the Honda dealership and ordered a new rim which won’t be here till next Monday fortunately I can still drive the scooter.

So then it was off to yoga class and again another good session and after class I came home and had lunch and then went and picked up Paola and took her to her appointment and went and did some chores in town and then went and got her again and took her up to her dance class and dropped her off there.

Came back home got cleaned up and got my class materials ready and went and got the kid and took her home…she really enjoys her classes especially now as she is with the kids a couple of years older than her.

I went straight from her house to my English class and got there on time and my seven students were great tonight we did a couple of different things and then I gave them a hand out of some funny facts about England including one which I did not know which was for 300 years many years ago French was the official language in England!!!

After class I went to get the car as I need it for the school food delivery tomorrow morning at 8am it is easier to get the car tonight.

So it was a busy but good day and now after a long bath, some nice soup that was left over from what Linda made for me last week I watched a Canadian girl get into the quarter finals of the Australian tennis championship the first time in nearly 30 years..way to go Canada!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hay Birthday!!!

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“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

 

Yashi Koshi!!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday January 18th 2014…..hiking day!!

Was up early to go to meet the hiking group at 8am and a small convey of us went about 15 minutes out of town and up into the hills overlooking the city…it was sunny a little bit cool but I soon got up a sweat…..the path was a steady accent and as you can see the views of the town and the lake was quite spectacular..the lake looks so big and spread out from on high.

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It was a good hike and it was nice to see friends I had not seen for a few weeks.

The rest of the day was a lazy day catching up on things and getting ready for the busy week ahead. 

Oh and maybe I watched some live tennis!!!! 

Yahsi Kochi!!

Sunday 10th December 2017......the big FIRE!!!!

California wildfires: Santa Barbara threatened by Thomas fire Image copyright SANTA BARBARA COUNTY FD Image caption The Thomas fire ha...