Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Olympic Hockey Roster

Canada's men's Olympic hockey roster came out today at noon ET. I was thrilled to see the names of some players that I'd hoped would make the final cut (including, Shea Weber and Duncan Keith - both former Kelowna Rockets players - as well as Brent Seabrook and Scott Niedermayer, all four from BC). I was less enthusiastic about some other names, but it seems like the coaches and executive director put a lot of thought and planning into making the final roster. I think there is a good blend of experienced older players and energetic younger ones and hopefully the team is a recipe for success. I'd love to see a repeat of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics where both our men's and women's hockey teams won gold!

Some team stats:
Captain - Scott Niedermayer (Anaheim Ducks)
Youngest player - Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings), 20
Oldest player - Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils), 37
Most experience - Scott Niedermayer is the only player to win all six of the major North American and International championships (Olympic gold, World Championship gold, World Junior Championship gold, World Cup, Stanely Cup, Memorial Cup)
Most Olympic experience - Martin Brodeur and Chris Pronger (Philadelphia Flyers) will be competing in their fourth Olympics while Jarome Iginla (Calgary Flames) will play in his third Olympics
Province most represented - Ontario with eight players

According to, "Canada will go for the country's seventh gold and 13th medal overall in men's hockey since 1924. In addition to the likes of Russia, Sweden, Finland and the United States, Canada is going up against recent history — the last team from a host country to win the men's tournament was the United States at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Airline Security Measures

Yesterday a passenger on a Northwest Airlines plane flying from Nigeria via Amsterdam to Detroit tried to blow up the plane. His attempt failed but now, because of him, all travelers flying internationally to the U.S. have to deal with new security measures. I hate that right after an air travel terrorist attempt, the airlines have to go crazy about implementing new security measures. It's ridiculous really because very rarely do these terrorists seem to do the exact same thing right after it has just been attempted. But the airlines all jump on the bandwagon to try and control the situation by inconveniencing the lives of all air travelers. I thought air travel was supposed to more hassle-free, not more hassle-full.
According to, "The U.S. has asked all airlines to take extra precautions on flights worldwide that are bound for the United States. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority said all passengers on U.S.-bound flights will require additional security screening in light of the incident."
I went to Alaska/Horizon Airlines Web site and found their travel advisory, which says, "
  • All passengers flying into the United States will be searched at the departure gate, in addition to normal screening at security checkpoints.
  • From Canada or Mexico, carry-on luggage will also be searched at the departure gate and may be limited to one carry-on. To minimize boarding delays, passengers are encouraged to check all their luggage. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air will waive baggage fees for items checked as baggage that the passenger otherwise would have taken aboard as carry-on baggage from Canada or Mexico."
The travel advisory also strongly suggested passengers traveling internationally to the U.S. arrive at airports a minimum of 2 hours before departure, although they encourage getting to airports at least 3 hours ahead of flights. Three hours! Sounds like my siblings and I will have a great time trying to fly back down to the States in a week. Our flight is a whole whopping 50 minutes long. Who wants to wait at an airport for 3 whole hours for a measly little 50-minute flight?
WestJet and Air Canada have also similarly revised their security measures. I found it most interesting to see that, "Air Canada said it would also like to see passengers limit their carry-on items to 'the absolute minimum' or even travel with no carry-on items if possible." Just a few weeks ago the airlines - who now charge passengers an exorbitant amount for bringing even one piece of checked luggage along on their trip - encouraged people to check less items and try to fit as much as possible into the two carry-ons allotted per passenger. Now all of a sudden they are changing their minds and even waiving the fee for extra checked baggage, instead encouraging passengers to limit themselves to one carry-on or even forgo that privilege and fly carry-on-less. I am not impressed. I used to love traveling by air, but more and more I am wishing for alternate methods of travel. Personally, I'm waiting for the return of the passenger train (only I'd rather they be high-speed like the ones Japan has).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2010 World Juniors

The roster for Team Canada at the upcoming world junior ice hockey championship was finalized today. When I first read the headline I thought it was the men's Olympic roster so I was searching through the defence section trying to see if Shea Weber made the cut. Words cannot convey my disappointment when I didn't see his name, but then I reread the headline and all was made clear. When I gave it more thought, the middle of December is rather early to be making the roster for the Olympics in February. In any case, I went back over the list to see if any Kelowna Rockets players made the Canadian world junior team and was pleased to see one representative, forward Brandon McMillan. Yay, for Kelowna having at least one player make the team in the past six years! Ever since the 2002 world juniors when Weber represented my hometown, the Rockets have had a player on the Canadian roster. That was also the first year the Canadian's won gold for the first time since a five-year run from 1993-1997. If the U20 boys can manage to win the gold this year it will break the record. I'm willing to bet that the teams that will try to keep us from that record will probably be Sweden, Russia and the United States. I can't wait to get home and watch some great hockey once again!

Saturday, December 05, 2009


Jonathan: Hmm, I got a little scrapey while we were caving.
Ali: Scrapey?? You got a scrapey? That's what you call a small scrape? A scrape-y??
Jonathan: What? No, I meant I got myself a little bit scrapey from caving. I don't call my scrapes, scrapies.
Ali: (laughing) OK, I was wondering when you started talking like Bryn.