Can8ianben's Blog

This is a blog about me. I'm sure it will at some point talk about the things that I love... that being, my wife Meredith, family, friends, EMU, the Jays and baseball, the Maple Leafs, music, art, TV, biking, and whatever else is going on in my mind.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Poker Night was cancelled for this

Tonight was great -- there is nothing like celebrating Marti Gras and the birth of a housemate than frying things and setting off fireworks (at least until an unseen stranger told us to quiet down a little bit).

Included in the festivites were some German-style doughnuts filled with apricot jelly. They were delicious, that is excluding the one filled with mustard :) Thanks to Kurt for being such a good sport on that one!

We also fried up some delicious sweet potato fries, some makeshift cheese sticks, and some battered mushrooms.

Happy birthday Bengine!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Olympic Update

Final Medal Standings...

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Canada's best medal count to date, hopefully more in Vancouver 2010. Germany led the medal standings for the 4th year in a row. Congratulations to Cindy Klassen, a Mennonite from Winnipeg, for capturing 5 Olympic medals to give her the most medals in a single winter games ever by a Canadian. She is also the most decorated Canadian Olympian ever with a total of 6 medals having won a single medal in the 2002 games.

An interesting article on Canadian Speed Skaters, a little luck, and their success can be found here -- Lucky Leaf Paces Canadian Skaters

Sunday, February 26, 2006

weekend update....

This weekend was great. I got to spend it with the lady I love, and enjoyed getting to know more of her family as well. We updated our Sears registry, and just enjoyed each other's company.

I concluded an enjoyable weekend at Meredith's home with an interesting website find, courtisy of my buddy Mike Jones. You can either check it out with this link here -- -- or you can click on it at the right side of this blog. Its pretty sweet!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Olympic update

On a positive note, Team Canada is now tied with the USA and Austria for second place with 19 Olympic medals - 5 Gold, 8 Silver, 6 Bronze.

On a very negative note, the Men's Hockey team was tossed out of the tournament by Russia by a score of 2-0. Canada failed to score a goal in 3 of their last 4 games in this year's games! So no medal for the defending gold medalists. It's a good thing that Women's Hockey had such a good tournament for the supposed global hockey power.

Spring Training Article...

"You don't hear much wood do you?" said Blue Jays hitting coach Mickey Brantley, who was sporting a wide grin as he darted between the two diamonds where live batting practice was taking place on Wednesday.

The problem wasn't with Toronto's hitters, though. The quiet bats had a little something to do with the fact that Roy Halladay was throwing off one mound and A.J. Burnett was firing away on the other. It was the first time this spring that Jays pitchers threw to batters, and the top two hurlers on the roster were the first to take the hill against some brave volunteers.

"It's not fun to see that first," Russ Adams said after facing Halladay.

Batters would rotate in and out after seeing five pitches, and the hitters weren't required to swing, but it didn't take long for the first attempt. Catcher Mike Mahoney, who had never faced Halladay before, swung at the former Cy Young Award winner's fourth offering, which promptly shattered his bat.

"He throws fast," was all Mahoney could muster as he shook his head and went to retrieve a new piece of lumber.

Read the rest of the article here --

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

two updates...

my bike is now famous and can be found on Fixed Gear Gallery --

And Monday was a sad day, not only did I get rejected by a few applicants, but my family's dog died. Russet was 14 years old.

Ball Pool

Along with baseball season comes fantasy baseball season. It's kind of hard to understand if you have never been a part of a baseball pool, but it gets inside your head like little else does. This year I'm planning to be in 3 pools, maybe more.

While each pool is a little bit different, they all basically involve selecting players from major league teams and then getting rewarded with points for the individual statistics they put up. Most leagues involve trading, picking up new players, and dropping those who get injured or retire. Pretty nerdy, right?

I've been a part of the Markham Menno's pool for quite some time. Never the less, I've never finished higher than 6th out of 12 teams. Its pretty sad, but I really like it. I'm thinking this is a pretty good pool, because other's I have been in I have done quite well. It is based in my home area, so I rarely get to attend any of the meetings, but it is still a good way to interact with some guys from home.

For the first time this season I will be joining a pool that has been running for 5 years and will include 16 teams. It has it's quirks (each pool is different) and should be another great experience. It includes people from all over the USA, which makes for some interesting communication.

Anyway, that's about it. I'm sure I will post my teams when they are selected.

Wait, I just wanna start this over....

Congrats to my boys in Grand:PM who will be playing in the Canadian Music Week festival in Toronto. Best of luck gentlemen, I hope it goes well! I can't wait to be the first one to buy a copy of your first major US release (whenever that happens).

Toronto New Jay

Like driving a solidly hit liner to the gap, Lyle Overbay made perfect contact with the spring theme for Toronto baseball. "It's a great time to be a Blue Jay," Overbay said with a smile.

This great comment and the rest of the article about the Jays can be found here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Unbelievable..... I found this on another site, it's hilarious. Apologies if there is any copywright infringment.

Kircher’s Cat Piano

cat piano.jpg

Athanasius Kircher first described the cat piano in his landmark 1650 work Musurgia Universalis.

In order to raise the spirits of an Italian prince burdened by the cares of his position, a musician created for him a cat piano. The musician selected cats whose natural voices were at different pitches and arranged them in cages side by side, so that when a key on the piano was depressed, a mechanism drove a sharp spike into the appropriate cat’s tail. The result was a melody of meows that became more vigorous as the cats became more desperate. Who could not help but laugh at such music? Thus was the prince raised from his melancholy.

From one of our favorite books, with several chapters on Kircher’s inventions, Instruments and the Imagination, by Thomas Hankins and Robert Silverman.

More pictures from this weekend courticy of Matt Styer.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Alleycat:Eros day in review.

This weekend's alley cat was great. It was supposed to snow and be really cold, so we were all pretty excited when it was just cold... with no snow.

As usual, the starting point was Court Square, right downtown in Harrisonburg. I always enjoy the moment when all kinds of people and bicycles show up at the same time. Some people come with $3000 tricked-out road bikes, some on busted up old bikes that they have had their whole life. Some people were in love/lust-themed costumes, some were not, but a good sized group turned out.

Another great moment is when every rider gathers to be givent their manifest - a document which contains all of the checkpoints they must visit on their ride. When everyone has recieved their list, the word is given and everyone runs back to their bikes and starts pedaling.

The race ended up at hair house. They were gracious enough to host the final stop and the moment which every rider was waiting for - the prizes. As you can see, the front lawn ends up turning into some kind of bicycle yard sale.

Finally the day ends with the awards, a final lap around town as a group, and some much needed food and nourishment. All in a days work. Keep your eyes posted for some info on the next Harrisonburg Alley Cat, probably to follow in April.

Oh Canada....

I haven't posted how team Canada is doing in a while... They are now sitting in 5th in the medal rankings with 11 medals. 2 gold, 4 silver, 5 bronze. Yesterday was a bit unconventional with men's hockey, and both curling teams losing, but all are still alive in their quest for gold.

Alleycat photos will be posted soon.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Jays/Sox commercial

This video was found on the Blue Jays message board. If you are a Red Sox fan, you might not be to pleased, but it sure did bring a smile to my face.

Go Jays Go.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hackensaw Boys

Thanks to Bengine and his dad, several of us were able to see some amazing blue grass tonight. The evening was set off perfectly with some Calhoun's (only drawback being that I was charged full price for my half price nachos), followed by the Hackensaw Boys at Court Square Theater. I don' t think I've ever seen a bad show there, and tonight was no exception. It's always good to be watching some fine music with people who know what fine music is. Two sets followed by an encore, and the crowed was chearing and clapping the whole time. Great night.

who's keeping score?

Tough day...
Bike 1 - Pants 0.

Alley Cat Rescheduled...


Rain or Shine
Sat. Feb. 18th 3:30
Bicycle race/scavenger hunt

Court Square, Hburg, Va.

Registration: 3:30 pm
Race starts at 4:00 pm

Seek out checkpoints and clues on your bike all over downtown Harrisonburg. Answer the most questions and complete the most checkpoints in the shortest amount of time and you might just win. More about cunning and fun than all-out speed Bring: $2 entry fee, pen and bike.

Helmets, lights, love/lust themed costumes. All riders and bikes welcome.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Final pictures of my fixie...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Team Canada's olympic medal count is up to 3 - 1 each of gold, silver, and bronze.

Michael, ole' Pete, and your's truly

Here is one of my favourite pics. It was taken in our second year at EMU, third floor of Oakwood, dressed to kill. I forget why we were dressed up, but boy do we look good.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Team Canada's medal count is at 1 after a gold in women's moguls last night.

The Life Pursuit

I'm smitten with Belle and Sebastian's new album. If you are an adventurous music lover and have a few extra quid, visit your local record store and snag one. It is pure ear candy! Enjoy.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Snow place like home

Wham, snow hit the 'burg. After a flake free January and first week of February, it has snowed all day. Supposedly there may be 8-10 inches by the time it stops! Growing up in Ontario makes me feel like when warm weather arrives it is supposed to stay warm. Oh well. I do have to admit that it has felt nice to be watching the snow fall again.

Meredith was nice enough to pose for a picture in the howling wind :)

Friday, February 10, 2006

My Jays.

The Blue Jays took my heart in 1993. I specifically remember sitting on the couch with my buddy Mike Jones as Mitch Williams threw that memorable pitch that Joe Carter launched out of SkyDome to give the Blue Jays their second consecutive World Series title. It was at that moment that I became a true fan. I was only 11, but I knew without a doubt that day that the Jays were my favourite team and I would never chear for anyone else when watching them play.

I've seen my team many a time in Toronto. There was a week where I attended four games in a row, including three straight against the Cleveland Indians with my aunt. What is now known as the Rogers Centre, formerly the SkyDome, is one of my favourite places in this world to just hang out and socialize. To be realistic, the Dome is not one of the best parks in the Majors. It does have many amazing convienences and attributes that have been coppied all over baseball. But it is a multipurpose facility which lacks the character and quirkiness of the best parks in the game.

Since their last championship season baseball has had a labor dispute that cancelled the World Series and the team attendance has gone from setting league records over 4 million/season to dropping well below 2 million/season. The play on the feild has been less than thrilling as well. In the 11 seasons since 1993, the Blue Jays have only finished with more wins than losses 4 times, and have never finished higher than 3rd in the talented American League East.

This offseason has changed a few things in my mind and in the minds of many fellow Blue Jays fans. Managment and ownership have brought in much more talent, have increased the payroll, and have spent money on the ballpark. For the first time in a long time, baseball is being talked about in Toronto. What has become a franchise who believes that there is always next season has started talking about this season as being the one.

I'm excited. I'm anxious. I can't wait for it all to begin.

In most years, living in Virginia has restricted my ability to attend a game. This past year was the first time since 1992 that I did not attend a single game in Toronto. I was able to see the Jays play in DC against the Nationals, but that was it. This summer I'm already planning to head to see by boys play in Boston, and have hopes to see them play in Baltimore as well. We will have to see if I make it home for a game or two.

Go Jays Go.

Monday, February 06, 2006

c'est la weekend

Interesting weekend...

Friday was the start of honors weekend here on campus, many great prospects. It was a nice full day, enjoyable to see our vball team do so well.
Saturday included a trip to Costco with Michael, Steph, and Joel, a wheat themed birthday party for Troyer up at Hair House, as well as a bluegrass fundraiser dinner for a child with cancer with Benjine in Timberville (we were definitely about 40 years below the average age in the room, but it was still pretty fun. Lots of great bluegrass music). The concert even included a duet by a 80+ year old couple, Valley Mae and Sparky, that have been singing together for many, many years.
Sunday started off well with some great blueberry pancakes, followed with a long fixed gear bike ride with Matt, concluding with a really fun Superbowl party with tons of great food, and lots of leftovers. Bettis got his championship and promptly retired.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Maple Syrup....

It's almost time for maple syrup to be made... well, maybe not quite yet, but here are a few pictures I took last year while home for that sweet time....

When will we be able to post smells on a blog? There is nothing quite like the aroma of boiling maple sap.

Meredith and I

Its about time to have a picture of one of the most important things in my life on this website! My girl. Here we are at the wedding of our good friends, Mike and Nora. Don't we look gooooood?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Moto-fixie, almost there.

It is now basically done. The things that I'd still like to do would be to put on some handle bar tape, and maybe get a new seat. I originally thought this would be more of a procedure... something that would take several days of assembly, and something that I could continue to post about... alas, thanks to the great people at East Coast Bicycle Accadamy, its pretty much done. By all accounts, it looks like a million bucks. Just as hot, if not hotter than I thought it might become. Very, very cool. I'll attempt to post a final shot, outside sometime.


My host family in Pheonix, South Africa just sent me a picture of their newest addition to the family. He would definitely qualify for one of the cutest kids of all time! I especially like the team England football outfit. Really sharp.

Thanks for the pic Miten and Judy.

wheels keep on spinning round

Last night I witnessed a bicycle wheel being built... I feel like I now know what its like to have a child being born (just kidding). But seriously, it was really sweet.

Matt and Kurt put it together and Matt picked a pretty gutsy pattern...

(Thanks to Rowland Cook for the pic

Anyway, it was pretty satisfying to see it come together, and I didn't even do anything! More pictures, courtisy of Matt, can be found here --

Parts for my fixed gear should be in today, then more fun will begin.

Today there was a posting on that I think was pretty solid... it definitely fits the way I feel -- "All apologies to the rightfully grouchy messengers who had their subculture hijacked by a bunch of yahoos like me. Wanna race?"

That's enough for now.