Saturday, April 19, 2008

Booshoe37's 50 things

Some YouTube users are putting up lists of 50 things they've done... Here's Booshoe37's:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Idol Chatter for April 17, 2008: "Who's going home?"

American Idol's Top 7 became the Top 6 last night after a female contestant was voted off the show. Most reviewers, including myself, had predicted an all-female bottom three this week - and we were indeed correct! But exactly which gal went home after making a valiant attempt to sing a Mariah Carey song? Click here to find out.

Crossman and Kay made Lewisville what it is

Hump Day
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Moncton Times & Transcript, page D6

Standing in the new Crossman Community Centre - Kay Arena this past Sunday for its official opening, a flood of memories came back to me as I remembered the iconic old Kay Arena and how much time I'd spent there as a kid.

I played in the Lewisville Minor Hockey league from 1972 to 1980. Playing minor hockey was just what kids (well... boys, at least) in the neighbourhood did.

In my own minor hockey days, the old Kay was a bustling place. Hockey games were a major neighbourhood event. Getting a hot chocolate at the canteen was a treat. Mothers and daughters brought in cushions and blankets to remain reasonably comfortable while watching their kids play. Men often stood to smoke, talk and analyze what was happening on the ice. Boys, meanwhile, when they weren't playing hockey, were usually running around the boards or otherwise getting into all kinds of trouble.

I consider myself a socially progressive guy - really progressive, actually - but I'm still getting used to the fact that girls and boys are playing on the same minor hockey teams these days. Minor hockey back then was one of last bastions of sexism. The males played. The females watched and cheered. Life was good.

I'm more than a bit ashamed to admit that I wish it was still that way. I fully admit, though, that there's absolutely no logical reason why girls can't play on the boys' teams, especially in the younger years when they're more physically matched.

I hate thinking in this sexist way because I'm the one who usually spends time rolling my eyes (at least in my mind) at people's sometimes dinosaur-like attitudes toward society. If it were up to some, the highest level that girls could achieve in post-secondary education would be a Bachelor of Toilet Scrubbing, Master of Cupcake Decorating or a Diploma in Making Crustless Sandwiches for Baby Showers.

Like I said, I like to think I'm much more progressive and forward-thinking than that, but I still wince with Neanderthal-like annoyance whenever I see boys and girls playing on the same hockey team. Don't bother writing. I'm admittedly ashamed of it because I know it's not fair. I guess that even as a supposedly progressive guy, I thought that it was just the way it was supposed to be. Equality in all things: pay, education, health and sports - except minor hockey.

The old Kay was a special place to many in the eastern part of Moncton who frequented its aging wooden benches. The smell of the ice. The echo of the coaches' yells. The parents' cheers. The pucks hitting the boards. The roar of the Zamboni's engine. The loud buzzer when time ran out.

When the community rallied to save their arena after the municipality decided to close all city rinks in favour of a multiplex, Lewisville residents stood up and made sure that the Kay would not go the way of the dodo bird. After all, with Lewisville Minor Hockey still a going concern more than 30 years after Lewisville ceased to be its own village, it was clear that the local minor hockey league had the support base for a campaign to build something bigger and better.

With the help of the community and all three levels of government, the Kay was reborn as a community centre and arena. Following the death of long-time city councillor Norm Crossman in March, the decision was made to name part of the complex after him, while the rest of the facility would maintain the old Kay name, as the community was obviously attached to it. Thus, the Crossman Community Centre - Kay Arena was born.

Thankfully, Norm lived long enough to see the new facility built and operational. From what I understand, there were no plans to have the new Kay renamed, however upon Norm's passing, the decision was rightfully made to rename part of the building after him in honour of the work he did to get the facility constructed and as a legacy for his more than 40 years of work on behalf of Lewisville.

Had he lived three more days, the opening of the Kay would have happened without having had it renamed for him. People I've talked to say that he would have loved to see his name on the building. It took his death to finally convince officials to do it. Another job done by Norm - even though it was done in an unconventional way. From what I've heard, he got his way no matter what. I guess people weren't kidding.

On the day Norm died, I went outside to tell my neighbour the surprising news when I saw her drive in. Norm lived above the park across the street from us and everyone in the neighbourhood knew him. She was surprised, having earlier in the day seen a fire truck, two police cars and an ambulance at his home. "I saw the ambulance drive away slowly," she said. "I thought he was OK." But this was no false alarm.

We all know by now that Norm wasn't OK that day, but hopefully the naming of the Crossman Community Centre - Kay Arena has put a smile on his face "up there" in that great city council chamber in the sky, where he's no doubt lobbying St. Peter to rename the Pearly Gates into the "Lewisville Arch". Expect a news release on that soon.

With the death of Norm Crossman, Lewisville lost its champion, but his name will live on in a project that was near and dear to his heart. And in years to come, when little boys - and girls - enter the Crossman-Kay for the first time to play Lewisville Minor Hockey and ask their parents who "Crossman" and "Kay" were, their parents can tell them that they were the two men who made Lewisville into what it is today.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Today's Hump Day column: "Crossman and Kay made Lewisville what it is"

Just a quick reminder to check out today's Hump Day column on the editorial page of today's Moncton Times & Transcript. Today's piece is about the opening of the Crossman Community Centre - Kay Arena and my memories surrounding the old Kay. I also talk about late Ward 1 councillor Norm Crossman, who was a driving force in Moncton's Lewisville area for more than 40 years. The column will be posted here online tomorrow.

Idol Chatter for April 16, 2008: "Top 7 take on Mariah"

American Idol's Top 7 took on the songs of the great Mariah Carey last night. This was one of the few shows this year where no one completely tanked, so choosing who would be in tonight's bottom three was a bit difficult, but I managed to scrounge one up. Please note one correction in the column: Tonight's results show airs at 10 p.m. TONIGHT, not 9 p.m TOMORROW. Sheesh!! I must have been tired. My apologies for the error. Click here to read the online version of the column.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This week's Hump Day column...

... is all about the memories that came flooding back to me on Sunday when I attended the official opening of the new Crossman Community Centre - Kay Arena. I played in the Lewisville Minor Hockey league for nine years and hanging out at the Kay was a big part of my childhood. Read all about it on the editorial page of tomorrow's Moncton Times & Transcript. It will be posted here online on Thursday.

Monday, April 14, 2008