Saturday, May 29, 2010

Flyers vs. Blackhawks

The first game of the Stanley Cup finals is about to begin. I have no idea which team to cheer for. On one hand I want Chicago to win because it has been since 1961 since they have last hoisted the cup. 1961 is the year of my birth but it also means it has been longer than my beloved Leafs since they have won the Cup.

I also have a sentimental thing for the Philadelphia Flyers. I remember clearly the first time they won the Stanley Cup in 1974. It was the May long week-end and we couldn’t believe NHL hockey was still playing. I remember my Dad taking us all out to Sauble Beach for a tour of the beach before heading back to watch the hockey. It was very exciting the Flyers were in the finals as they were the first “expansion” team to make it that far. Until then only the original six had ever won the Stanley Cup.

In 1975 the Flyers won the cup again, beating the Buffalo Sabres. That was the first time it was an all expansion team final. It was also the last time the Stanley Cup championship team was comprised solely of Canadian-born players.

So, I still haven’t decided which team to support. It is almost June. It really should be time for me to be thinking of the cottage, not hockey………..but I can’t take my eyes off of the TV waiting for the game.

Well which team is it going to be?????????????

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bonding Week-end

Today I woke up and the first thing I did was check my Facebook page. I would like to say this was an unusual occurrence, but pathetically this has become my normal routine. One of my facebook friends, although actually she is more of a facebook acquaintance has the same astrological sign as me. I am afraid to sign up for certain “apps” as I have enough spam sent to me as it is, so I was very excited to discover a few weeks ago that through Pamela, my Cancer sign horoscope gets posted each day. Today stated:

Family is what is really important today. Some of your family members are feeling a little neglected. If you've been a bit too busy to give your family the time they deserve, take today to give them the attention they deserve. Catch up on what's happening in their lives. Let them know what you're up to. Do something together. An outing to the beach or park picnic or nice family dinner would be enjoyable for all.

I immediately thought of my daughter Jennifer as I have been feeling guilty lately that I have not communicated with her enough. As she is living three hours away and is busy with her life, and I am busy with mine, it has been hard to connect. However, today who should appear at my door, my middle child Kaitlin and we spent a glorious day together.

It was fabulous weather, being the May long week-end and Kaitlin and I spent the whole day inside on opposite couches……….. on the internet. It did not take long upon her arrival for Kaitlin to admit the reason for her visit was because I have internet while her internet was cut off when her roommate moved out last week. The nerve of Bianca to move out just prior to the week of all the season finales!! So while Kaitlin caught up on Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill, I watched a few episodes of “Nurse Jackie”. Can you feel the emotions of the mother-daughter bonding????

The icing on the cake of this sentimental visit was when Kaitlin asked me what song I wanted to be my ring tone when I called her on her iphone. Of course I immediately said…….a “Backstreet Boy song!!” We listened to a medley of BSB songs while we reminisced about the concerts we saw together when Kaitlin was in grade 7 and 8. Good times remembering Howie, AJ, Kevin, Brian and Nick at Darien Lake and Copp’s Coliseum………..when she still thought I was kind of cool………..times have changed!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I was on my way to work the other day when the guy on the radio said the man who invented the ATM had passed away. Apparently back in 1965 or so, John Shepherd-Barron devised his ATM machine while lying in his bath. The grandfather-of-six had arrived at his bank too late to cash a cheque, and wondered why banks couldn’t operate a system more like chocolate vending machines. The first ATM was installed at Barclays’ Enfield branch in north London on June 27, 1967.

I remember clearly back in the late 60’s and early 70’s when banks were open from ten in the morning until 3 in the afternoon. A short day was referred to as “Banker’s hours.” Money was something you planned. If the week-end was coming up you had to get to the bank by three. Once you were out of cash, you were done. Things were much simpler then. There were no debit cards, no PIN numbers and the only credit card I ever heard of was “CHARGEX”. Credit was used by “those kind of people”.

In my first year university I opened up a bank account at the Royal Bank because it was the only bank close to campus. It was actually right across the street so I am sure all of Wilfrid Laurier were their clients. I remember having to have your pass book with you or you could not deposit or take out any money without it. Let’s face it, I only remember taking out, I have no recollection of depositing. Then near the end of the school year I distinctly remember a bit of construction going on at the front of the bank. Within a few days this machine has appeared. It was a cash dispenser! I can’t remember what we really called it; I know the letters ATM didn’t come along for awhile later. I just remember the thrill of being able to take out $5.00 to go to the pub at the last minute even if it was late at night. The fact five dollars was more than enough for a night out is a topic for another blog.

I also distinctly remember the pressure of choosing a suitable PIN number. It had to be four numbers but not your birthday and you weren’t allowed to write it down anywhere. I remember thinking it had taken me all year to remember my new telephone number and now I had to put another number in my head to memory? That’s when I decided to just use my telephone number as my PIN. So even to this day the last four digits of my telephone while living in first year university is still my PIN number on my personal banking account. I can remember details of so many things, birthdays of people I knew in Kindergarten (Gail Whitendorf – June 6th) but I can’t remember my cell phone number. Now my new credit card has a PIN number assigned with it. I went to use it the other day and it was declined because I couldn’t remember the number. The sales clerk over-rode the system so I was still able to make my purchase – I hope she didn’t get fired for that one!

So while we marvel at all of this technology and the convenience, maybe my mind would be less cluttered and my bank account much fuller if Mr. Shepherd-Barron hadn’t had a bath that night!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Say It Ain't So

The NHL play-offs are in full force. My beloved Leafs did not even make the play-offs this year…..again. With the Maple Leafs out of contention I had to pick a new team to cheer on. I chose the Washington Capitals because in a six degrees of separation sort of way I kind of know the coach. (Although he wouldn’t have a clue who I am any longer)

So along comes the Montreal Canadiens. This is a team that only made the play-offs because they managed to tie the Leafs in the final game and then relied on New York losing their final game! When you only make the play-offs because another team is even worse than you, you don't really deserve to be there.

Everyone assumed it would be a short series with the Capitals having an easy time of it. But as any kind of sports fan now knows, the underdog Canadiens came through and some how beat the powerful Capitals.

All through the series as it became apparent Montreal might some how win, you could hear the thumps of everyone jumping on the band wagon……..including my dear Jen living in Kingston. Because of her proximity to Montreal I can almost forgive her for becoming a Habs fan, but not quite. As much as I always like to cheer for the underdog, I just cannot bring myself to cheer for the Habs.

The next round brought on Pittsburgh. As last year’s defending champs, everyone was saying, the Habs somehow beat Washington but there was no way they could beat the Penguins. Well you guessed it………that is exactly what they did. It took a game seven win in the Penguins arena but they did it! There was literally a riot in Montreal that night in celebration of the victory.

That band wagon is getting very crowded right now. But I still can’t do it. No way, no how, can I cheer for the Habs. Now they are playing the Philadelphia Flyers. They are down in the series two games to none. They are definitely the underdogs. They are the only Canadian team left in the play-offs. But they do have GTA boy Mike Cammelleri who is really cute. Can I do it? Can I actually start cheering for Montreal?

Me….a Habs fan? Say it ain’t so.