This is Life

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Bits and Pieces

The main purpose of this entry is to get you up to speed on the past couple of months. Naturally, it will be all over the place.

I suppose the most important thing that has happened is that I became an uncle for the second time in 6 months. I went back to Calgary from June 9-16th, hoping to time it right for the birth of my brother Devon and his wife Erin's first child. I think Erin's due date was June 7th give or take a day so I didn't think it would be a problem seeing the baby. Well, as it turned out, the baby was 12 days overdue and arrived the day I got back in Tokyo. Come on! What are the odds of that? I suppose I was lucky in January when Janna had her baby because she was about 10 days or so early and the baby popped out the day before I returned to Japan, so I guess you can't win 'em all. Anyway, I am now the proud uncle of Rhys (Reece) Darin Kirkness. I think that is spelled correctly.

Obviously, I haven't met the lad yet, but I predict he will be a great General one day because he is destined to be a master in the art of war. You see, his father is a true and loyal fan of the Calgary Flames hockey team, while his mother is a misguided, yet sincere follower of the Flames' most bitter and hated rival, the Edmonton Oilers. So, the battles are sure to be heated in this household. Will Rhys follow all that is noble and good in the Calgary Flames or will he fall under the influence of the dark side, the Oilers. This, my friends, is a spiritual battle so please pray that Rhys will see the light - and that the Flames will continue to dominate the Oilers. One other thing worth noting is that Rhys will be growing up in the Oilers' stronghold of Innisfail, Alberta. This doesn't help the Flames' cause, but at least he should be a decent golfer and wakeboarder.

Now, while we are on the subject of sports, I must rant about the recent World Cup. For the most part, the football has been really exciting and great entertainment, but there has been one notable exception - England. Last night I watched soccer from midnight until 6 am only to witness not one, but two of my top teams get knocked out of the tournament. First, on paper, England has easily got one of the most talented lineups. Why they can't score is beyond me, but I lay a large share of the blame on Sven-Goran Erikson's head. When you have a team good and are the highest paid coach in you profession (over $10 million CDN per year) you should be winning and winning impressively on a regular basis. England only has themselves to blame and it looks like they are eager to repeat this performance next time around, as they have named Steve McClaren as the incumbent manager. Granted, he is a good coach, but not a manager skilled enough to produce success at this level. They need to stop taking shortcuts and just high someone with a proven record on the world stage (ie. Scolari or Hiddink). Sometimes I just wish I wasn't so darn loyal. England have the players to win in 2010, but this was as good a chance as any. Oh, I suppose the only positive I took from England's performance was that of Canadian (and Calgarian, I might add) Owen Hargreaves' performances, particularly in the Portugal game. The man was a machine in the midfield and was indisputably England's best player for that game. He was also the only "Englishman" to score in the penalty shootout. Speaking of which, for all those teams out there who will play England in the future, the key to beating them is just to get the game to penalties because England will always, always choke.

As for Brazil, well, they are the perennial favorites anyway and are a virtual factory in producing world class players. I am sad they lost, but not angry like I am with England. Besides, I am a big fan of Zidane and his recent performances have been virtuoso and show that he still has what made him the best player in the world a few years back. If you want to see a complete footballer then he is your man. Absolutely brilliant stuff. Anyway, he is retiring at the end of the tournament so every victory for France prolongs his career by one game. While I would almost never cheer for France under normal circumstances, Zidane makes them the sentimental favorite. Nevertheless, I think Germany is going to win because they are playing at home. I can't stand any of their players, but I like their coach Klinsmann because he is enthusiastic about the game and tries new things. He also really seems to care for his players and I respect him ... but I still want them to lose. Forze Italia (although they usually choke)!


At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats to you all.


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