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Sochi Olympic mascots

January 30, 2014

The winter Olympics are just around the corner, the teams are preparing to travel to Russia, and I am looking forward to watching as much of the events I can on television.  It is a grand time for Olympic mascots, they are busy promoting the games in Russia.  In past years, many mascots did not have much following before the games and were more or less ignored, but as the games began they were much sought after souvenirs.  That was especially true of the Snowlets in Nagano, Japan 1998 Olympics.  People went crazy for them a few days into the games, while before they were ignored and criticized.


This time the Sochi Olympics are following the trend of multiple mascots.  The Snow Leopard, the hare and the polar bear were selected by a democratic poll throughout Russia.

183616311 I agree with one writer who sees the irony in a democratic poll taking place in a communist country.  Maybe that is why there was some criticism on how it was held, as the voting started, the Prime Minister announced that his favorite was the Leopard, and it affected the results.

I am a bit confused about the names of the mascots.  When you go to their official site they are simply, the Polar Bear, the Hare and the Leopard.  Other sites have names for the hare; Zaika  Dore, and the bear; Bely Mishka, but none for the Leopard.

Despite not having a name, official or not, Leopard is bringing attention to the plight of  the snow leopard, a resident of Siberia, far away from Sochi in the south.  “It is extremely endangered throughout it’s range.”  says  Dr. James P. Gibbs, a conservation biologist.  They are being killed for their pelt and to protect livestock.  Maybe the Siberians could learn from Richard Turere, a Maasai young man in Kenya who figured out how to keep lions away from his and his neighbours cattle without killing them.

I love watching the winter Olympics, and interest in the mascots is a fun pass-time for me.  I wish there was an easier way for international customers to get souvenirs from the games.  Shipping is very expensive and when I had questions about the website the phone number to Russia didn’t work for me.  Looks like I will just have to rely on EBay.

I hope to have fun watching the games, and will try to stay warm and cozy while I see all those  athletes in the ice and snow.  Good luck to our Canadian squad, and I wish everyone stays safe and has a terrific time in Sochi!



Hamster psychic?

December 9, 2013

Next year in June is the World cup of Soccer. It is a world wide obsession, and now it has come to include hamsters as well. What, you say that you don’t have time to watch? You will be pleased to know that Mini-Merv, a psychic little hamster living in a tackle shop in England can make predictions for the Cup. Given slips of paper with names of team countries their little ham deliberated and made her choices. Ahh, now we can relax and enjoy Christmas.

While you are contemplating Christmas, don’t pin your hopes on getting that vanity plate from British Columbia’s public car insurance program reading, “Hamster.” It exceeds the 6 character limit. Also rejected: SUX2BU, HOT24-7, BEER ME, STOLEN, WHIP ME and CARGSM.

And finally, Christmas is the time for being kind to one another, and not eating your room-mate. Easy to say if you have a nice turkey in the oven, or if you are a snake and your room-mate is a hamster. Not a problem for this Ao-Chan the snake and Gohan-Chan in a little zoo in Japan. The keepers ran out of the usual meal of small mice and put hamster in the snake’s enclosure. But instead of making a meal of the sunflower seed eating fuzzball, the snake simply slithered around him, taking no interest in making him into a meal. For a while they were an attraction, but people became concerned and they were finally separated into individual enclosures.

Such Christmas spirit should warm our hearts.










Christmas Hams

December 6, 2013

Christmas is coming and you can never prepare too early. This year I spent a few hours and prepared my festive stuffed Christmas Hams to enjoy throughout the month of December.


No, no. I don’t mean that kind of ham. I am talking about hamsters!


I bought these cute little stuffies at the night market this summer, and vowed to make them into a sweet Christmas wreath. I added the decorations of hats and trinkets to make them jolly, even the grumpy hamsters.  Happy holidays everyone!

Finally it is time for the big game.

November 24, 2013



All the festivities come down to this.  The 101st Grey Cup is in Regina today.

The horse has marched through the hotel. Watermelons by the truckload have descended on the city from all parts.  The team parties were packed with many fans.  The parade went on, even in weather that was more than chilly.

The pregame shows start at 1000 Pacific standard time.  The big game starts at 1530 Pacific standard time.

Chilli, beer, nachos, dip and other treats and the warmth of our house will be somewhere in the middle.  I would have liked to see the Grey Cup in Saskatchewan, but I can’t take the cold so well anymore.  I will leave it to the brave prairie souls, and wish them good luck. And I hope the bathroom is warm at halftime so they can keep watching in the second half without too much frostbite.



Grey Cup Preparations

November 19, 2013

If I were planning to go to Grey Cup in Regina this year I would have started stocking up on arctic mittens, hat, foot warmers, hand warmers, heated seat cushions, battery-powered underwear… as you can tell I have lost my  prairie edge for the cold.  Needless to say I will be watching the Grey Cup on television this year and letting the heartier souls have a spot at the big game.


Instead I am preparing for Grey Cup by making gingerbread cookies with a football theme.  I found some sport related cookie cutters on a cross border shopping spree and couldn’t resist.  Little helmets and footballs were fun to decorate.


I also have some gingerbread men cutters and thought it would be fun to make some little players too.  I decorated them for both teams, so if I wanted to I could chew on them like voodoo dolls if the wrong team started to pull ahead.

Time For A Grey Cup Showdown!

November 18, 2013

It’s less than one week away, and while many of my friends may be thinking I am writing about American Thanksgiving, or Black Friday super sales, most who know me know I am talking about Grey Cup.
The 101st Grey Cup will feature, from the East, the Hamilton Tiger Cats and from the West, the Saskatchewan Roughriders. It will be taking place in Regina, Saskatchewan on Sunday, November 24th, 2013. I will be watching, how about you?

Now for some interesting trivia!

The first time the Riders battled Hamilton for the Grey Cup was on Hamilton’s home turf in 1928. They were known then as the Hamilton Tigers and the Regina Roughriders, and it was the first time you could listen to a play-by-play broadcast on the Radio. Not that you would really want to listen as a Riders’ fan, they were blanked 30 to nothing. They met again on the Hamilton AAA Cricket grounds in the next Grey Cup in 1929, only to have a slightly closer score of 14-3 for Hamilton, and again in 1932 with the score of 25-6 for Hamilton again.
Fast forward to 1967, this time in Landsdowne Park in Ottawa, the Grey Cup is once again being contested by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Riders were looking for a repeat of their first Grey Cup championship the previous year against Ottawa. In the end it was a rout, Hamilton 24 to Saskatchewan 1. One player, after a fumble that led to a Hamilton touchdown, became so frustrated that he punched a couple of Hamilton players and was ejected from the game.
1972′s match-up, held in Ivor Wynne stadium in Hamilton, was a lot closer and came down to a final field goal from 34 yards with a score of Hamilton 13 to Saskatchewan 10.
And then it was 1989. A glorious day in the history books for Saskatchewan Roughrider Rider Nation. The game was once again with the Riders and the Tiger-Cats and became known as one of the greatest games in CFL history. The location this time was indoors, at the new SkyDome in Toronto. Late in the third quarter the teams exchanged field goals, and again in the fourth quarter and the Riders were ahead. With 44 seconds Tony Champion from Hamilton made a spectacular backward diving catch to tie the game. Then with 2 seconds remaining Dave Ridgeway lofted a 35 yard field goal to win the game finally for the Roughriders. I got a t-shirt to commemorate the win. I wore it out before they were able to win again and then I donated it to a friend to add to a quilt.

Welcome to the 21st century and a new Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs Saskatchewan Roughriders. This time it is going to be played outside of Ontario. This time it will be on Saskatchewan’s home turf. This time the place will be filled with Rider Nation, the ones that have a sign, “Sky of Blue/Sea of Green.” This time the temperature will be below zero. Hamilton hasn’t been in the Grey Cup since their win against Calgary in ’99. Saskatchewan won their 3rd Grey Cup Championship out of 16 appearances in 2007, this time will be their 19th appearance. For the third year in a row, the host city will be appearing in the big game, it can give the home team a big boost. The parties are beginning, the hotels are full even out as far as Moose Jaw. I am eager to see what will happen at the big game.


Prepare yourself for Ninja Hamster!

August 16, 2013

A pet owner in Japan with a talent for building put together a Japanese themed house for his hamster filled with mazes and trapdoors. Rocketnews explains it very well, better than I could since I don’t read Japanese.


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