Monday, September 17, 2012

I'm Canadian, of course I have an opinion

This photo perfectly describes my Sunday.

Any questions? Well, if you insist. Slept in big time, which means about 7. Read. Browsed internet. The big moment of activity was cleaning the labels off some wine bottles and ironing shirts for work. Lots of sitting around reading, providing a lap for cats. Peace and quiet.

Swam this morning in a crowded pool. The public had a pair of lanes, one of which was taken up by swim club wannabes. The person organizing this said I was ok to swim up the lane rope and down the middle. So there I was getting ready to do so, and join the guy that was already doing that. When he saw me there he switched to swimming up the middle and down the rope. So I joined him. Then realized the people in the other lane couldn't stay there. The lifeguard asked us to switch, so I did, waiting for the other guy. He got a bit pissy, but did it.

Swam 35 minutes or so, typical workout, feeling pretty good.

Home, and on the bike fairly quickly. It felt much better today, and I was warming up much quicker. At the end of 12 minutes I'd gradually worked up through the gears to 200 watts. Took a brief bit of easy spin, then settled in to 15 minutes at 205 watts or so. It felt pretty good, legs were comfortable with the level of work, heart rate was pretty steady at the mid 130's, and breathing was deep and even. Took a 5 minute easy spin, then tried 125 watts. This didn't work out so well. My legs could feel the work, my lungs were really working, though my heart rate wasn't much above where it was. I found it hard to stay steady and my pace kept dropping off. Stayed there 5 minutes and dialed it back. Easy spin for 15 to cool down.

Stretched and a bit of core after. 6 slow really good pushups. Lots of bicycle elbow to knee thingies.

Now for the promised opinion. Big surprise, it's about the hockey lockout. I'm not a big hockey fan, at least not a pro hockey fan. I stopped watching about the time Bobby Orr was invalided out of the game, which I thought was disgusting. Without him the game was boring, and then it got worse.

The owners pushed for the deal last time and the players were reluctant, but it turned out better than they thought. Bettman says the deal was "too fair" meaning the greedy pig owners didn't get as much as they wanted. Now they want even more, and unlike most other industries, are not willing to carry on under the terms of the old deal. They are giving up too much money, of course. Not willing to share the proceeds from the golden goose with the people that help take care of it.

You can see I don't have any sympathy for the owners. I have no more for the players. In one year of working a few hours a week, most of them will get paid more than what almost anyone watching the game gets paid in their entire life. Hmmm, I wonder if Mitt Romney is a hockey fan, he could be an exception. Lots of other places they could play, since that's their avowed desire, to get out and play a game. They all have huge Mcmansions on a huge lot, they could flood a regulation size rink in their back yard and invite over their buddies to have at it. Oh, they aren't getting paid? Boo hoo.

The only people I begin to feel sorry for are those connected to the industry, taking tickets, ushers, food and merchandise vendors, rink maintenance people and the like. The media people are vultures that will get assigned something else to do, so no skin off their nose. Note of course that I do not include that buffoon Don Cherry and his CBC sidekick whatever his name is. If a hockey lockout keeps them off air I'd say that was an unintended win.

So as far as I'm concerned the owners can keep the players locked out till hell freezes over enough to play hockey there. There is lots of other hockey to watch. I don't even know what the leagues are called. Junior A? Western Canadian Hockey League? AHL? There's a local team called the Hitmen, get out and watch them. I was working out of Medicine Hat once when the Tigers were in the playoffs, and there was no other topic of conversation till that got dealt with. Those people aren't going to miss the NHL. There is hockey in almost every arena in every town and city at almost every hour of the day or night. There are many other sports to watch on TV, if sports you must watch on TV, and some of them aren't even female beach volleyball.

Once people get used to there not being NHL games, we will find other things to do with the space and time they used to take. It might be other sports, or it might be something else entirely more worthwhile. Like getting off your fat ass (none of THEM in my blog reading company, I expect) and playing sports yourself. Like spending time playing with your children. Imagine that. Or even, (gasp!) talking or doing stuff with your spouse.

As a bonus, you get a second related rant, entirely free. Up in Edmonton there is a billionaire trying to build a hockey area. Poor sad man, he can't quite talk the City into paying for it, and threatens to go elsewhere. Let him go. It should be against the law for tax money to build a pro sport arena. The billionaire owners and the multi million dollar players can easily afford such things. They just don't want to. After all, one doesn't get to be a billionaire by spending your own money. They could sell bonds if they wanted to raise capital that way, and the public could buy them if they thought it was a good deal.

Building an arena, or other recreation facilities for amateur usage is something else entirely. That is quite properly the decision of the local municipalities to decide how best to spend the provincial funding. There is always something that needs funding, roads, water systems, municipal employees, the list doesn't end and recreation facilities belong on it. I think playing sports is an integral part of childhood, and I don't really even care what the sport is as long as they enjoy it. Hockey, lacrosse, soccer, basketball, cricket, baseball (even though it's the most massively boring "sport" ever invented) all have their fans, and the kids learn good stuff from being involved. Don't even get me started on football, as that leads inevitably to Mayor Ford, and he is easily the topic of any number of rants.

Here's two photos, just because, the original and the Snapseed version.

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