One thing I love about Vancouver is that it's always a race to see which comes first...the start of baseball spring training or the first real day of spring in the Lower Mainland.
Baseball spring training starts later this week. Spring came on Saturday when temperatures climbed to around 50 fahrenheit under completely sunny, blue skies. Got the first outdoor run of the year in and it felt great.
When I lived in Ontario, I always began pretending it was spring when baseball started up again but it could be more than a month into the real baseball season before the snow was gone. Here, we'll probably have a week of temperatures near 70 by the end of March and the kids will be playing baseball.
Meanwhile, the rest of Canada enjoyed temperatures last week that once again affirmed if global warming is such a pending calamity, it sure hasn't told Mother Nature about it yet. In Winnipeg, it got below -40 (which is the point at which Celsius and fahrenheit come together at the bottom of the thermometer where it's simply marked, "too freakin' cold for any normal person to live with"). Ontario was considerably balmier, reaching the minus 20s Celsius or around zero fahrenheit.
One news item out of Vancouver that I neglected earlier has been the birth of sextuplets to a Jehovah's Witness couple. Three of the six babies subsequently died and the other three were put under government control after the parents apparently refused or signified they would refuse needed blood transfusions.
I would just like to say, "good". An adult has the right to refuse medical intervention that would save their life because an adult, presumably, has the capacity to make decisions based on their own beliefs. Not so for babies and children. The babies didn't ask to be born into a sect whose tenets border on a cult and that are a mistranslation of scripture.
I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the entertainment world but it did catch my eye that tonight is the Grammy Awards. Can there be a dumber awards show? This is an organization that has never given an award to Neil Young but did give one to Manilli Vanilli. There's really not much else you can say.
It also caught my eye that Anna Nicole Smith died but only because my sister pointed it out and it somehow then made the letters page of every newspaper as writers pontificated on whether she was a tragic figure or not.
My favourite was in the National Post where a reader complained that Anna Nicole Smith was no Mother Theresa or Princess Diana.
Mother Theresa, no. But Princess Diana? Not too far off, really. Both were women who basically became famous because of who they married, suffered from numerous and largely self-induced public problems, had a string of men and then died in rather murky circumstances. Sorry, Royal lovers but Princess Di's legacy is really over-rated.
As for Anna...well, in her early days she was a stunning woman who looked like a woman and not one of the emaciated teenage stick figures that pass for "models" these days. Ask any real man and he'll take the curves of early Anna over today's runway prancers.
Apparently, the Spanish agree. They just banned five models from a show for being too thin, according to Yahoo! They did it for health reasons which is right and proper. But, it's also time the public stopped being fooled into believing the desires of male designers for models that look like pre-teen boys should be a standard for female beauty.
Finally, I liked the way US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates bitch-slapped Russian President Vladimir Putin today while responding to Putin's remarks about US actions destabilizing the world. Since Putin's regime has continuously funded rogue nations while throwing up roadblocks to the US attempts to reign in crazies like Iran and North Korea, it was nice to see the US remind him that the world doesn't need another Cold War. The Russians didn't do so well in that last one.
I still believe that of all the dumb things Bush has done, his dumbest may have been saying that he'd looked into Putin's soul and saw a man he could trust. Yeah, let's all trust autocratic, secretive KGB veterans with a vast network of spies and secret-ops types at their disposal and an established record of cracking down on freedoms and removing dissenters.
Have you ever actually looked at Putin? Those eyes contain no soul.
Gates is flying to Russia to hold talks with the Russian president. Hopefully, he can read people better than his boss apparently can.