CCC – Clay’s Canucks Commentary for January 31, 2011: Glass Half Full or Half Empty? (Edler’s Injury)

In this CCC I take a look at Canuck defenceman Alex Edler’s back injury and the effect it may have on the Vancouver Canucks and ask the question: is the glass half full or half empty?

It’s a big blow to the team for sure, but the optimistic approach shows that all is not lost…especially with the return of Sami Salo just around the corner.

I also comment on the NHL players’ poll that named the Canucks as the 2nd-most overrated team in the league. Doesn’t make sense to me!

Music is “Hockey Night in Canada” recorded by Naturally 7 on their CD “VocalPlay.” (

Great Anticipation: A Tale of a “Bored” Game of Monopoly

I had a crazy-busy week at work last week, spending a whopping 73 hours away from home (and my family) from Wednesday to Sunday, as we hosted the annual gathering of WCACYM (Western Canadian Association of Catholic Youth Ministers).  While it was a wonderful week of faith and fellowship, I was understandably excited to get home to Gail and the kids at the conclusion of the conference on Sunday evening.

The much-anticipated reunion was delayed by another hour as I attended Mass at St. Paul’s before finally walking into the house just before 8pm.  Thankfully, the 4 of them recognized me and allowed me to sit at the dinner table with them.

As we ate, I told the kids that we would do whatever they wanted to do before they went to bed.  To my pleasant surprise, the agreed that they wanted to play our brand new Monopoly (the NHL Collector’s Edition).  So after a quick meal and even quicker clean-up, we opened the game and started the slow process of unwrapping all of the materials:  the tokens (skate, puck and Zamboni instead of horse, hat, and car), the structures (arenas and luxury boxes instead of hotels and houses), the cards (Western and Eastern Conference cards instead of Chance and Community Chest), the property cards (Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens instead of Boardwalk and Park Place), and of course, the money. 

Kayla helped me painstakingly divide up $1,500 to each player (comprised of the traditional 2 $500s, 2 $100s, 2 $50s, 6 $20s, 5 $10s, 5 $5s, and 5 $1s) and then I re-read the rules as a refresher.  For the sake of simplicity, I decided against introducing mortgages into the game, and I even skipped the auction process for un-purchased property. 

As I explained how to play to the boys, I knew I could be in for a long night.  While Sean picked up the concepts quite easily, Jake seemed more interested in how to get thrown into jail.    

By the time I added in the “Rules for a Short Game”, it was just past 9pm.  Finally, we were ready to go.  And yes…I realize that it was a school night.

Things started off fine, with Sean and I buying up whatever property we could.  Sean was quite creative and clever actually, as he tried to negotiate and bargain with both Jake and me to trade properties (as part of the “short game” we each started with 3 title deed cards).  Kayla insisted on rolling the dice and moving the tokens for all of us, regardless of whose turn it was (at least she was working on her addition and counting skills).  Meanwhile, Jake inexplicably saved all of his money…perhaps because he didn’t understand how to win the game.  Or so I thought.

At exactly 9:11pm, a mere 10 minutes after starting, Jake yawned and said he was going to bed, signalling the end of the game.  Incredulously, I watched Jake go upstairs and Sean leave the table to set up NHL 11 on the Xbox, leaving me to clean everything up. 

Total set-up time = 30 minutes. 

Total playing time = 10 minutes. 

Total clean-up time = 5 minutes. 

Percentage of “Monopoly” time actually spent playing the game:  22%.

As I put everything back in the box, I gave a quick count of cash on hand at the end of the game.  I chuckled to myself as I realized that Jake actually won our mini-game of Monopoly.  Maybe there was method to his madness!

More importantly, I was grateful to spend some quality time with the kids after so much time away. 

Even if I lost to a 7 year-old who didn’t know how to play.

Getting to Know Sean Isaiah (Interviewed by Jacob and Kayla)

For Sean’s project for his grade 4 class at St. Paul School, he was to come up with a presentation that will help his classmates get to know him a bit better.  Hear Sean talk about his family, his favourite foods, his favourite hobbies, and his favourite vacation spots. He also reminds us why he’s the Ultimate Canucks Fan.

Special appearances by:

-Jacob as reporter Willy B. Funny
-Kayla as intern reporter Ima Shrimp
-Clay as host Dan Druff


Sympathetic, Empathetic, and Just Plain Pathetic: Looking Like a Fool with a Rip in my Pants

I was a cleaning machine.

For 2 hours on Friday afternoon I cleaned out and re-organized one of our OYYAM (Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry) storage rooms in our building at 150 Robson. As I moved the last few boxes, with the finish line in sight, it happened.


Fearing the worst, I looked down towards my nether regions. Sure enough, my suspicion was indeed a reality: I had split my pants below the zipper. Embarassed, I sheepishly walked back to my office holding a binder in front.

“Guess what?” I asked Gerard and Faye, who were doing some cleaning as well.


“I split my pants!” I proclaimed in a weird blend of embarrassment and pride. “Right down there!”

Gerard broke out into his trademark Gerard-Giggle and exclaimed: “I hope we don’t see your tighty whiteys!”

My reply was less-than-comforting: “Nah, I’m not wearing any underwear.”

Their laughter turned into horror.


Faye politely suggested that I had given them too much information.

“Well,” I answered, “I’d rather tell you that I have a hole in my pants than you finding out for yourself…not that you’d be looking down there.”

The conversation was quickly disintegrating.

“Besides, would either of you had told me that I had a hole?”

They unanimously answered: “NO!”

“Thanks a lot guys” I smirked, slightly hurt by their unsympathetic response.

“Yes, I’d tell you,” Gerard replied.

My chagrin turned into comfort upon hearing these words. Comfort turned back into chagrin as Gerard started singing (in an homage to American Idol) “Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, looking like a fool with your pants on the ground. Rip in your pants, rip in your pants, looking like a fool with a rip in your pants.”

Analyn arrived at the OYYAM during this debacle and asked what the commotion was about. I told her and then asked her if she would have told me about the hole if I didn’t tell her first.

“Of course I’d tell you…why wouldn’t I?” she answered. I smiled…until I heard Faye.

“Even if he’s not your go-to guy anymore?” Faye asked, referencing Analyn’s recent on-ice experience at Rogers Arena.

“Good point.”

I then solicited their collective advice: “Oh, by the way, I have meeting with Archbishop Michael in an hour. Do you think I should say anything about my pants?”

And so it went: we continued to clean, they continued to make fun of me, and I continued to walk around with a binder in my hand. Then came 4pm.

As I entered Archbishop Michael’s office we exchanged greetings and he asked me how my day was going.

“It was going great…until I ripped my pants while cleaning up.”

Trying to stifle his grin, Archbishop Michael said: “Oh that’s too bad. I hate it when that happens!”

Finally, an empathetic response!

“Thanks Archbishop Michael. Has it happened to you before?”


Scratch that…not so much empathetic…but certainly sympathetic.

I sat down, thankful that his desk was relatively high. We ended up having a great half-an-hour meeting, talking about the OYYAM’s plans for the upcoming year. It went so well that I completely forgot about my little dilemma. That is, until I was leaving the office after the meeting.

“Having a good weekend…and take care of that hole!” Archbishop Michael exclaimed.

I chuckled as I left his office as I reflected as to why I admire him so much. He’s certainly a suitable shepherd for our archdiocese and for me, whether it has to do with ministry or my wardrobe malfunctions. He was both sympathetic and empathetic.

As for me…I’ll just go with pathetic.

CCC – Clay’s Canucks Commentary for January 14, 2011: How to “Canuck” the Other Team

For my first CCC of 2011, I reflect on the Canucks’ incredible rise to the top of the NHL standings and ask the question:  “What is a Canuck?”

Most Vancouver fans know that Canuck is slang for Canadian, and that Johnny Canuck was a political cartoon character from back in the day.  But it’s quite a deviation from other NHL team names.

Of the other 29 team names, the most common themes are:

-scary animals & creatures
-weather & natural disasters
-war terms

I also examine how some team names are better than others when it comes to describing action.  You’ll see what I mean.

I end off the video by outlining 5 key reasons why the Canucks were so good for the first half of the season.

Music is “Hockey Night in Canada” recorded by Naturally 7 on their CD “VocalPlay.” (