Archive for October, 2016


Die Hard Cubs Fan

Die Hard Cubs Fan


Jay Sedlak


What is a die hard Cub Fan? Has the die hard Cub Fan changed over the years or is it handed down generation to generation? Is every Cubs Fan a die hard Cub Fan?

I think there are some distinct characteristics that make up a die hard Cub Fan that distinguishes them from your run of the mill Cub Fan or baseball fan. Don t get me wrong or misinterpret that I am putting down any Cub Fan. I am merely saying there is a difference. And some Cub Fans are die hard Cub Fans and might not really know it.

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But here is my take on what makes a die hard Cub Fan, in no particular order:


. Time as a Cub Fan is necessary. You can t become a die hard Cub Fan right off the bat. You have to have some time invested in this. Exactly how much time is a matter of interpretation but it takes a least a few years. It takes that long to feel the frustration that goes down deep;

Wrigley Field.

You must have attended a home game at least once but the more the better. A Wrigley Field visit is necessary to feel the crowd, the excitement and the beauty and down home feeling that can only be felt at Wrigley Field;

World Series.

A die hard Cub Fan must envision the Cubs going to the World Series. Not just hoping for it but actually believing that it will happen. This is especially true at the beginning of the season;

Personal Story.

Every die hard Cub Fan has a story to tell. An experience that has made a difference in their relationship to the Cubs. Something personal that brings out the passion that just doesn t go away no matter what happens.


This goes along with longevity but you must know the history of the Cubs and how they have gone this long without going to (and winning) the World Series;


Die hard Cubs Fans have felt the heartbreak of coming so close but to have their hopes and dreams of a World Series dashed right before their very eyes;


A die hard Cub Fan must believe that this is going to be the year. Many years of disappointments not with standing, you must believe, hope and dream that this is going to be the year. You can be critical and outspoken regarding the team and players etc, but a die hard Cub Fan believes at least at the start or some time during the year that this is going to happen. You may falter during the year and realize at some point it just isn t going to happen, but at some point in the year you must have that glimmer of hope however small and however short.

Jay Sedlak has more details on the

Chicago Cubs Roster of Players

and their great fans at

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American swimmer Michael Phelps laments “bad judgment” in marijuana controversy

Monday, February 2, 2009

U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has apologized to fans following tabloid pictures of him smoking a marijuana pipe.

The 23-year-old multiple gold medalist was pictured yesterday in the British Sunday newspaper The News of the World apparently using a “bong” at a University of South Carolina party he attended whilst visiting a friend on November 6, 2008. He released a statement on his Facebook wall, saying “I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment.”

The statement said “I’m 23 years old, and despite the successes I have had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner that people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public – it will not happen again.”

Marijuana is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) when athletes are actually competing, but not outside of that. Phelps therefore is unlikely to face sanctions from WADA because of the incident. However, US swimming officials and Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), the international swimming federation, will comment later on their thoughts about the incident. FINA banned Gary Hall for three months in 1998 for marijuana use.

Phelps has never failed a drugs test in his career and has previously volunteered for extra testing as part of the sport’s campaign against performance enhancing drugs. He does, however, have a conviction for drunken driving gained when he was 19. Phelps was named as the U.S. Olympic Committee‘s male athlete of the year last week and was also Sports Illustrated magazine’s “Sportsman of the Year” in 2008. He has endorsement contracts with Speedo, Visa, Guitar Hero and Frosted Flakes.


Fans jumping for Juno tickets

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The stage has yet to be set, the lights haven’t even been hung, but Juno fever is already starting to grip Canadians.

The 34th annual Juno Awards honoring Canadian music is scheduled to take place at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada April 3 and it appears that people want to be a part of the action.

Five hundred advance ticket packs that went on sale Friday at 10 a.m. (Canadian central time) sold out almost instantly. Tickets for the event will officially go on sale Saturday February 12, also at 10 a.m. Those tickets are expected to cost anywhere from CA$40 to CA$116, depending upon seating.

Tickets for the show have sold out quickly in previous years. The music awards show has gained popularity ever since private broadcaster CTV began broadcasting it live in 2001. Last year the broadcast attracted 1.51 million viewers, making it the most-watched show of the evening.

This year Brent Butt will host the show with K-os, Billy Talent, k.d. lang, Neil Young, and The Tragically Hip already confirmed to perform. Earlier this week when nominations were announced Avril Lavigne led the pack with five nods. The rebel pop star was followed closely by Diana Krall who received four nominations for her album The Girl In The Other Room.


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At least 45 killed in new wave of violence in Kenya

Sunday, January 27, 2008

At least 45 people have been killed in a new surge of violence that began after Kenya’s disputed December 27 presidential election. Some sources have said that there have been over 80 deaths in the last 3 days. The latest deaths come as former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan is in Kenya to try to broker a compromise.

Police had imposed an overnight curfew in the city of Nakuru, about two hours north of Nairobi, after new violence broke out on Friday. The killings appear to be ethnically motivated, as Kikuyus seek revenge for attacks against their fellow tribesmen in recent weeks.

Officials estimate that nearly 800 people have been killed since the vote, which saw President Mwai Kibaki, a Kikuyu, defeat opposition candidate Raila Odinga by just 230,000 votes. Odinga supporters from the Luo, Kalenjin and other smaller ethnic groups claim the election was stolen, and international observers say the vote was flawed.

Widespread anger at the election results sparked violence in Nairobi’s slums and parts of the west, and tens of thousands of Kikuyus fled their homes. The violence had largely died down in recent days, but has erupted again in Nakuru.

Police also said Saturday that at least 15 people have been killed in the town of Molo, west of Nakuru. The two towns are in the Rift Valley, an ethnically mixed area that has seen violence in the past over land and resources.

The Kalenjins had already pushed and got the Kikuyus earlier so what they are doing is the Kikuyus are trying to revenge and get back their places, get back their houses

“The Kalenjins had already pushed and got the Kikuyus earlier so what they are doing is the Kikuyus are trying to revenge and get back their places, get back their houses,” said Jimmy Mucheru, who is a local safari guide in Nakuru. “There is not much hope for peace because the two groups are really after each other.”

The new wave of violence came as former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan was in Kenya trying to resolve the crisis. In a news conference on Saturday, he urged followers of the two leaders to remain calm. He said he saw several camps for people who have been displaced by the crisis.

What we saw was rather tragic

“What we saw was rather tragic,” he noted. “We visited several IDP camps, we saw people pushed from their homes, from their farms, grandmothers, children, families uprooted. And I think it is important that all Kenyans respond with sympathy and understanding and not try to [seek] revenge.”

On Thursday, Mr. Annan managed to secure the first face-to-face meeting between Mr. Kibaki and Mr. Odinga, a move hailed as a breakthrough. But the two sides have shown no willingness to negotiate issues of substance. Mr. Kibaki insists he is the legitimate president of Kenya, while Mr. Odinga is demanding a new vote.

Mr. Annan urged people to give more time to Mr. Kibaki and Mr. Odinga to work out a solution.

“No one should take the law into his or her own hands,” he added. “Allow the leaders the opportunity to resolve these issues – and as I said – including the long-term issues. And we are here to help them, that was the purpose and objective of that meeting.”

Mr. Annan told reporters it is unacceptable that no one has been held accountable for the violence, though he did not apportion blame.

Earlier this week, the New York-based Human Rights Watch reported what it said was evidence that the opposition had organized some attacks. Mr. Odinga’s team has denied those claims.


Strong earthquake hits Pakistan, north India, Afghanistan

Saturday, October 8, 2005

The strongest earthquake (7.6) that South Asia experienced in the last century caused widespread damage across Pakistan, North India, and Afghanistan this morning. Strongest hit was apparently Kashmir. Tens of thousands of people are feared dead. The epicenter was close to Muzaffarabad, 138 km to the north of Islamabad, and also caused severe damage from both shaking and from landslides to Balakot, Garhi Habibullah and one village in Rawalakot.

Reports on fatalities are conflicting, but even the most conservative estimates put the toll as high as 20,000. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told the BBC he knew of 20,000 people that were killed but added: “I wouldn’t be able to make an accurate assessment for days.” He also asked for international help and specifically requested large cargo helicopters to supply remote areas. The US has come forward to assist by providing eight military helicopters. The communications minister for the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, Tariq Mahmmod, said on Sunday, that “more than 30,000” died in his region alone. Aside from Kashmir most of the deaths occurred in the North-West Province of Pakistan and other northern areas. The estimated death toll has now reached 35,000.

Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, a spokesman for Musharraf, said the scale of the devastation was the biggest Pakistan has ever seen. As emergency workers searched for trapped people and helped the injured, an international relief and recovery effort geared up.

A U.N. disaster relief team was due in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, on Sunday. Britain, Germany, and the United States were among countries offering aid. India, Pakistan’s neighbour and longtime rival, also offered aid (details). A British team from the International Rescue Corps was assisting in the operation at Marghalla Towers on Sunday, equipped with heat-seeking detectors, portable oxygen bags, and advanced slab and metal cutters. According to Pakistan Television this meant that “rescue efforts are picking up pace, and lot of time is being saved.”

The tremors began at 8:50 am (03:50 GMT), and continued for two minutes, followed by several aftershocks over a period of ten minutes. Initial reports said that they were felt in Delhi, Islamabad, Lahore, Quetta, Kabul, Punjab, Jammu, Kashmir, and other areas. A magnitude 6.3 aftershock occurred seven hours later just to the northwest.

The earthquake caused several apartment buildings in Islamabad to collapse, trapping hundreds of people.

250 children were killed in Gari Habi Ullaha between Mansehra and Muzaffarabad when their school collapsed.

The Pakistani Interior Ministry reports that several villages were “wiped out.” Pakistan’s army has been directed to extend all out help to the civil population in the quake-hit areas. All civil and military hospitals have been directed to deal with the situation on an emergency basis. The President and the Prime Minister have appealed to the nation to stay calm in the face of the calamity, and asked the authorities concerned to carry out an immediate assessment of the extent of the damage.

The Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz talked by telephone with authorities in four provinces and Azad Kashmir. He directed them to utilize all machinery, and make all possible efforts to help the victims. He said that the whole federal administration, civil and military authorities had been alerted and relief goods had been provided to them for the victims of the quake.

Most of the roads are closed in the Northern Sector near the earthquake, and some have been completely washed out, so the Pakistani army is flying supplies in by helicopter. Telephone and electricity connections have been cut to towns such as Muzaffarabad, making logistical operations much more complex. The heavy rains have also contributed to the suffering of the many thousands who are now homeless.

Across the line of control in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, officials said Saturday that more than 465 people, at least 34 of them soldiers, were killed in the quake.

Worst hit in India was the town of Uri, close to the border with Pakistan, where four in five of the town’s buildings were leveled, and at least 120 people lost their lives. Officials in India have been criticised for the slow pace and lack of organisation in the relief effort[1].

  • Magnitude: 7.6
  • Region: North India, Pakistan, Afghanistan
  • Time: (UTC) Sat Oct 8 03:50:38 2005 (08:50:38 local time)
  • Epicentre: 80km (50 miles) north-east of Islamabad, Pakistan
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Cheapest Residential Land In Australia, $65000, And Located Near Australias Third Largest City.

Cheapest Residential Land in Australia, $65000, and Located near Australias Third Largest City.


Dominic Alberth

There is a secret hidden in South East Queensland Australia. This secret is called Russell Island. Situated just 20 minutes off the coast of Brisbane (Australias Third largest city), and within commuting distance of the Brisbane CBD, is an island paradise.

The biggest secret is that land over here sells for around $65,000. Looking east we have beautiful views of North Stradbroke Island and looking south you can enjoy the magnificent views down Canaipa channel all the way to the Gold Coast.

Now with about 1000 people a week moving to South East Queensland for the weather and relaxed life style it is only a matter of time before this secret is out. Vacant land adjacent to Russell Island but situated on the main land sells for a minimum of $300,000. This means that for the inconvenience of a pleasant 15 minute ride on the water taxi, you could buy land at just a fraction of the mainland price.

The last 12 months have seen some major infrastructure coming to the island. These include:

6. An island police station and police residence.

7. Construction of a new soon to be completed shopping centre which will include a super IGA supermarket and half a dozen specialty shops.

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8. Construction of a public swimming pool.

9. A proposed $150 Million resort is in its final approval stages.

10. Plans for a $4 Million hotel was submitted to council.

For simplicity purposes I have listed some of the attributes of Russell Island in point form:

Situated in the fastest growing region in Australia;

Land sells for around $65,000;

15 minutes from the mainland by water taxi running approx. every 30 minutes all day everyday;

Water, telephone, electricity available;

Currently septic but Sewerage implementation proposed by council for the not too distant future;

Bus connection from water taxi to Brisbane center;

Proposed bridge to Stradbroke Island via Russell Island;

Water Views to Stradbroke Island and down to the Gold Coast;

There is a primary school on the island and access to a high school on the main land;

Many shops including corner stores, hardware, bottle shop, bowls club, doctor, Service

Station, chemist, library, gym, etc;

10 minutes by small boat to the beautiful sandy beaches and open surf of North

Stradbroke Island;

Population is about 4000;

Largest of the Southern Morton Bay Islands approximately 11km long.

With housing affordability at crisis point in Australia this is an ideal place for people to enter into the market and choose to build now or hold on for future capital gains. This means that there is no excuse not to enter into the property market.

Resource/About Author of has a wealth of information about Russell Island including property listings, photo album and an updated local news page. Article Source:


A Brief History Of Gardens In Containers

A Brief History Of Gardens In Containers


Jimmy Cox

Gardening in pots and other containers is apparently as old as civilization, for the practice can be traced to the very early use of medicinal and edible plants. In time, pot gardening developed to a high degree, and there are numerous records which reveal its importance in China, India, Egypt, Assyria, Greece, and Rome. Since ancient days, it has been particularly enjoyed in countries with hot, dry summers and low annual rainfall.

In tracing the history of pot gardening, we can go to paintings from the Middle Period in Egypt to see formal gardens with “beds marked out in squares like a chessboard.” In one illustration of a garden at El-Bersheh, there is a long “row of pot plants, an early example of ornament that became common later on.”

In Greece and Rome

In Greece, the so-called Adonis garden marked the beginning of pot gardening there. In midsummer, when Athenian women celebrated the Festival of Adonis, they placed around the statue of Adonis earthen pots filled with soil in which they sowed fennel and lettuce as well as wheat and barley. As time went on, the simple pagan custom became a children s game and boys who, “sowed quick-growing seeds in great pots,” were delighted “when the green began to show.” In the writings of Theophras-tus, too, there are references to pot gardening.

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In Imperial Rome, the court of Domitian at the Palatine was “adorned with flowers just as the Assyrians plant them on the roofs in honour of Adonis” and Domi-tian s palace was decorated with tubs placed all around the roof of the pillared court, a practice adopted later in Pompeii. Boxes for growing plants were also placed on roofs.

Through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Though medicinal and edible plants were favored in the gardens of the Middle Ages, they were also ornamented with pot plants. Exotics were frequently planted in containers to make them “objects of beauty,” and gardeners practiced “the curious custom of placing pots and growing flowers on beds already planted with flowers,” particularly carnations, which were favorites.

During the Renaissance in Italy and later in France, England, and elsewhere, pot plants became common garden features. In Spain, in a sense, pot gardening came into its own in the gardens of Spain. Under the Moors, life in Spain was Oriental. The gardens, with their fountains and ornamental flower pots, were open living-rooms. Similar outdoor living areas developed in Portugal, which was also occupied by the Moors.

From the time of the Renaissance, when the Italian style of gardening was adopted in northern Europe, potted plants and decorative urns were important. When Versailles set the fashion for the rest of Europe, its fabulous gardens, with their tubbed orange trees and elegant urns, were also copied.

Through Germany and Holland

In Germany, there was a strong trend toward pot gardening. According to a sketch of the seventeenth-century garden of Christopher Peller in Nurenberg, urns and pots were lavishly scattered about. Around the beds, “there are lower stone borders with ornamental pots set on them: these contain plants of many kinds, with orange-trees and other costly foreign plants that have to pass the winter in a hothouse.”

In the Orient

Pot plants were always much used in the East, especially in Chinese gardens, where the emphasis is on pines, foliage plants, and decorated vessels. Commonly grown in vases and containers were dwarf trees, “a main occupation of Chinese gardeners.” In China, and elsewhere in eastern countries, the houses adjoin courts, which are given character with “flowering trees and shrubs, or pot plants, which are liked still more.”

In early as well as advanced cultures, growing plants in containers has been a universal practice, a symbol of man s innate love and need for growing things. Wherever soil was lacking or the climate was unfavorable, containers made it possible to enjoy the beauty and inspiration of plants. Today, the practice continues to grow, ever changing to fit the needs of the time.

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Oil leaking container ship might cause environmental catastrophe

Sunday, January 21, 2007

In the United Kingdom, an anti-pollution operation is under way after the stricken ship MSC Napoli started to leak dangerous heavy fuel oil.

The heavy fuel oil that is leaking from the beached Italian ship is extremely dangerous for the environment. Fear of pollution increased after the ship was further damaged during storms last Thursday. MSC Napoli was beached by Devon coastguards after it suffered heavy structual damage in the gale force storms of Thursday, 18 January 2007, that wreaked havoc across Northern Europe. The ship, which contains 160 containers of hazardous chemical substances, is listing at 35 degrees.

The entire 26-man crew was rescued by navy helicopters Thursday after severe gales. Cracks were found on both sides of the ship, but the current oil leak was not expected.

Around 2,400 containers were carried by the 62,000 tonne ship, some of which contain potentially dangerous hazardous chemicals.

The Coastguards have reported that up to 200 of the containers carrying materials such as perfume and battery acid are loose from the ship and they are looking for missing containers. South African stainless steel producer Columbus Stainless confirmed on Friday that there was at least 1,000 tonnes of nickel on board MSC Napoli.

A hole in the ship flooded the engine room and there’s now fears that the ship will break up. Saturday MSC Napoli was towed to Portland when a ”structural failure” forced the salvage team to beach it. As the storms have continued MSC Napoli has been further damaged.

The authorities have warned people about the pollution, which already has reached the beaches at Devon, but many want to see it on their own. Police have closed Branscombe Beach as more than 20 containers have broken up scattering their contents along the beach.

Sky News reported Sunday that the costs of the accident might be very high as thousands of pounds worth of BMW motorbikes, car parts, empty oak barrels and perfume might get lost in flooding containers.


Firefighters battle fire at Los Angeles International Airport

Thursday, June 1, 2006

A fuel storage tank at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) caught fire today.

The 1-million gallon storage tank caught fire at about 8:30 a.m. local time (PDT) according to Ron Myers, a spokesman for the LAX fire department. Myers said that planes were not at risk and no flights were cancelled, delayed or diverted. No injuries were reported and no evacuations were ordered.

The fire is said to have been caused by a spark from a welder performing work on the tank. Reports say the fuel container was mostly empty, but authorities are still investigating.