Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Convient Sanctions

This year marks the 12th edition of the exciting head to head match up of the best Canadian and Russian junior hockey players. The Subway Super Series began in 2003 with Re/Max as the title sponsor and Nick-name Canada-Russia Challenge. The series was very tilted in favor of the host with a series score of 30-9. It was a big enough blow out that some accused Russia of not bringing their best.

The series is six games between three all-star teams from the CHL (a representative from the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL) and the Russian Selects. Each team from the CHL plays two games in selected CHL arenas. The winners of each game is awarded points; the team with the most points after six games is declared the winner.

Since 2003, the series has taken off.  Although Canada has been mainly dominant (winning 9 of 11 series), it has rekindled one of the biggest international hockey rivalries of all time. 

Sounds exciting, doesn't it? 

There is only one issue, numerous economical and political sanctions imposed on Russia by the international community over the past year. In March 2014, sanctions were instated after the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and included a travel ban for Russian and Crimean politicians, officials and prominent members of the business community to the United States, the EU, and Canada. There were two more rounds of sanctions imposed on Russia and Russia retaliated with sanctions of their own.

The issue at hand here is allowing representatives from Russia into the country as it is of benefit to us. This sets a precedent that we, as a society, are willing to look the other way when a country invades another so long as our entertainment isn't impaired.

Now, to be clean: I am not against these young Russian men who are stepping into the international spotlight. This is a great opportunity for players on both sides to get the attention of professional scouts and earn a spot on their national Junior teams for the World Jr. Tournament. My issues is with their Jersey and politics that comes with it. I am not against the players and would like to see another event that doesn't involve the promotion of Russia.

If the international community was serious about putting an end to Russia's invasion of the Ukraine, the international community would include sporting sanctions along with the other sanctions that have already been imposed.

As for me, I have/will not be supporting the series although I am a huge fan of the sport. Unlike the Canada-Russia '72 series, where at least the Canadians believed the game had huge political implications, this series has little to do with politics, pride or hockey supremacy and therefore is unnecessary.  

Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Birthoween

My Mum's a witch. I'm sure there have been lots of people to call her this; former employees, people she has spoken the truth to, and me in this story.

I say Mum is a witch for her ability to strike fear in her teenage employees with a simple smile and hello, because of her ability to use the maximum number of tabs in her Google browser at the same time, because she gets more rest in a ten minute nap than I do in an entire night, because she never complains in the toughest of situations (or at least not when I'm in ear shot), because she can make two different meals simultaneously to meet dietary choices, because she refuses to say a bad word about anyone (who is on her good side), because of the effort she puts into every task she comes across, her ability to think critically, and the fact that no matter how hard the Sudoku puzzle is, she will solve it.

When I say my Mum is a witch, I mean it in the spirit of the television show Bewitched, Sabrina the Teenage WitchI dream of Jeannie and The Wicket Witch of the West of the perspective taken in Wicket.

My Mum has this type of magic to her. It can't be really explained but I assure you it is there. If you haven't experienced it for yourself, then you obviously haven't met her. And if you have met her and still haven't experienced it, you are probably one of the teenagers who works in the summer and is scared stiff when the boss is around.

Now, I will admit that there have been times that I haven't seen eye-to-eye with my mother and there have been times that I have been critical of my Mum. There have been times where I have disappointed her (or at least have felt like it, and those are some of the darkest moments of my life) and there have been times when she's been embarrassing to me. But regardless of these feelings, we've always come out the other side like nothing has happened.

And today is her birthday.

Thank you Mum. Thank you for everything you've done for me in the past 25 years. Thank you for the support, the confidence, the sacrifice and the love. Thank you for being strong through all my tears and breakdowns, and sharing advice and laughs. Thank you for supporting my adventures, from driving across the country to flying to Malaysia. Thank you for for convincing me to complete my degree and teaching me there is always value in education. Thank you for staying by my side when I was sick; you don't know this, but when I'd wake up in the hospital in a panic, I knew it would be alright cause you were there day and night. Thank you for being my mentor. And thank you for being you.

I know today is a milestone birthday and it kills me to not be there, but I wish that it is the most excellent day. It still amazes me that you have mothered two sons (age 31 and 25) and you're only 29... still.

Happy Birthday Mum! I love you so very much!

And to everyone else, be sure to get out of the house tonight to Trick or Treat and wear your best costume; it is why Mum loves her Birthday.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Cough, Cold and Flu Season

'Tis the season. Right?

Let me be frank. I am going to suggest some pretty obvious stuff in this article and I will be honest in that I did battle with a flu this season. I am feeling a little hypocritical, but you need to trust that what I say works in preventing the common cold.

Before I get started I must disclose that I am not a doctor. Any advice I give you is of my own and not backed in medical research. If you are concerned about your health, you should consult a physician.

Okay, there are four things you need to do to prevent getting a cold or the flu: good personal hygiene, exercise, sleep, and drink lots of water.

Allow me to explain.

1. Personal Hygiene

Wash your hands! Before you eat, after work, after you get home, etc. You really need to wash your hands until they are raw. Along with washing your hands, make sure you take daily hot showers, change your clothes and brush your teeth. Twice a day at least, brush your teeth. You also should be flossing every night as well as using mouthwash.

These tips are to reduce bacteria you may have picked up.

That tip is rooted in fact; these next few are theories I tend to use myself. These tips I believe boost your immune system.

2. Exercise

I don't mean you should be spending hours in the gym pushing yourself to the limits. When I say exercise, I mean go outside and get some fresh air. This is a great time to enjoy some sunshine, moments with friends or family members, or walking your dog. Go for a walk or dust off your bicycle or something! You don't have to go out for long; however, you need to do some light exercise.

3. Sleep

Be kind to your body. Recharge your body. Sleep at least seven hours at a time. Come on, common sense.

4. Drink Lots of Water!

We know that your body needs lots of water anyway, but my theory about drinking water goes like this. If you drink enough water, it starts to flush out your system. Any bacteria or virus in your body might just be washed out of your body before it sets in. 

Full disclosure, these may not work for you but this year was the first time in years that I caught a cold and I was able to shake it after a couple days. 

Now, if you did catch a cold, try finding this tea: It made me feel better while I was drinking it and it kept working for about eight hours. Also, try taking shots of honey - natural liquid honey.

Good luck out there and stay healthy.