Guess who has 100 Votes? (NO MORE MOOSE!)

Just after 10 p.m. on February 22 Stupid Animal Battles gained its 100th vote and is sitting pretty a full 13 votes ahead of second place Pictures and Stories for Each Year of Your Life.

This leap in votes (35 in three days!) could be to some determined campaigners, who will not rest until they force me to write about Stupid Animal Battles for 30 days.

Or maybe it’s because it’s a great idea and people loved The Canadian Moose theme so much in January they just had to bring the animals back…maybe.

At least, that’s what I figure because the 16th suggestion in the “Other” category was The Canadian Moose, which is crazy.

Literally crazy. I can and will NOT write about moose for an entire month again. You can’t make me! I have veto power!

NO MORE MOOSE!!!

Moose Meese? Meeser Meeses? Mooser Moose?

Moose or meese?

Moose or meese?

>Now we have come to the end of The Canadian Moose and I thought we could talk a little bit about grammar. Don’t stop reading!

The #1 comment I’ve heard over this month of mooseness is “Why isn’t the plural of moose meese?” So after showing much restraint, I have patiently waited until the last day to indulge my little grammar fetish and answer le question.

Unfortunately, it’s not very interesting. But I’ll do my best. Don’t stop reading!

The roots of the word “moose” (as we learned at the beginning of the month) are from a native word meaning “twig eater.” As well, earlier this month, we learned moose in Europe are called “elk.” Why this is of any consequences, is apparently because the original language moose comes from doesn’t do plurals.

But that’s stupid. No amount of Googling could find any research behind this answer and other people in Internet-land have just copied and pasted this same, probably incorrect, answer instead of doing the work themselves.

So I went away from the Internet (bye bye) and towards my new favourite podcaster: Grammar Girl.

Of course she had something to say. Actually she has a lot to say and it gets a bit convoluted. In order to cover what she does, I suppose I have to go over all the other weird animal plurals out there (ox-oxen, goose-geese, sheep-sheep, mouse-mice) and find explanation/roots for them but I wouldn’t want to label myself some sort of grammar nerd…

So instead let’s just say the word “moose” in English falls into the category of a collective noun, so it is the same singular and plural. The reason, if you care, is because we’ve brought some of the Ye Olde English rules with us from the motherland and they don’t make a ton of sense, but it’s something we just go with.

But mostly we say moose when we mean one or many because it’s comfortable. It wouldn’t feel right to say “meese” and we’d probably get all twitchy and start resenting moose and stuff.

In the end, if you can’t accept the moose-moose phenomenon, you can just call them by their group name—herd.

You know, like that time I saw a herd of moose and it was awesome. Or, did I see a moose? I sure did! A whole herd!

Anyway, it doesn’t really matter since moose don’t like to hang out with each other much so you probably won’t run into this problem unless you live in Smithers.

Which is a moose story I never got to and couldn’t find photos from so you’ll just have to email me about it because…

This now ends the moose portion of the blog. Thank you for your patience.

Take a Look at This!

In what can only be described as a sudden weekend voting splurge, Gifts under $5 has not only taken the lead over Conversing with Strangers, but it has broken 100 votes!

Stats as of 11 p.m. January 30, 2011

In all my one month of doing this challenge I never expected this sudden flip-flop. How exciting!

This is set to be our most amazing finish ever. Who will win for February’s blog topic? You decide! Vote now or forever wish you did!

Today’s the last day! Poll closes at 23:59 January 31, 2011.

Moose Migration in New Zealand

It has been so long since my Moose Proposed Plan of Action that I’ve forgotten, lost, or misplaced much of the research I so painstakingly gathered in order to write about The Canadian Moose for a whole month.

This is probably because I’ve travelled to both Medicine Hat and Edmonton this month, plus I’ve had to research and write on a variety of computers for various reasons. It has all been quite complicated.

Unfortunately, the intro for my story is one of those forgotten pieces, but I’ll go for it anyway.

Back in the day, when world travel was relatively new, people thought it would be great to introduce new species to areas, like evil fat grey squirrels to western Canada, and the Canadian Goose to Europe.

And, interestingly enough, moose to New Zealand.

This was ages ago and a moose hasn’t been seen on the Islands in decades. However, there are people who firmly believe there is still a small herd of moose hiding out somewhere in the New Zealand bush… like the elusive North American Sasquatch, who roams the Pacific forests. Apparently.

Knowing of this New Zealand sasquatch-moose, Mark Sadgrove of The Canadian Moose travelling hockey club used this to get some attention on one of their tours down under.

“We call it moose-migrations,” said Sadgrove. They decided to advertise the team’s travelling hockey schedule by making posters saying the moose had been spotted and could be seen at the game that night. Sneaky.

The Canadian Moose down under

The tour schedule of the Moose is a bit confusing, but basically it involves free hockey clinics at local clubs in the day, and then paid showcase games for spectators to enjoy in the evenings. In the first years of the tours, there was varied interest but then a local hockey enthusiast Dr. Ashley Lye got involved and everything changed.

Dr. Lye first crossed paths with the Moose several years ago when he volunteered to billet a couple players. He was asked to take four and he said, no problem. By the time he left the airport he had six Moose in tow and by the second night he was hosting 11. They had a great time but he decided the team needed a bit of logistics help and volunteered for the position. He has been a part of the Moose ever since.

“I’m helping out any way I can,” said Dr. Lye. “I know the land very well, I have some skills at organizing. I know a few people, Mark (Sadgrove) knows a few people and it seems to work.”

With someone on the other side to help keep things organized, venues began to see increased patronage and games soon sold out. Word of the great hockey quickly spread and now games are sold out before the tour even begins.

And this year a promotional company in New Zealand has stepped in to organize and promote three professional-level games: Canada vs. U.S. They’re expecting 8,500 people to fill the stadium for each of the games.

Dr. Lye now lives in Newmarket and helps organize the tours, as well as plays for the Old Timers team on the Moose. He knows it’s only time before hockey in New Zealand catches on.

“New Zealand likes fast, powerful team sports. If people start to understand hockey, it will be a real natural for them. The key is to make it accessible for them.”

Dr. Lye said the best way to make hockey stick in the south pacific is education. And that’s what The Canadian Moose travelling hockey club is all about.

“It’s hard to duplicate this concept, but Mark has it working,” said Dr. Lye. “This is a great opportunity for hockey players to travel and play the sport.”

Past teams have included past and future NHL players. To find out more about The Canadian Moose, visit canadianmoose.org.

(Click here for Part One)

Have Skates Will Travel

Yes you heard me.

And no, I’m not talking about myself here. I’m talking about The Canadian Moose travelling hockey club out of Newmarket, Ontario.

As soon as I heard about this team I emailed my friend Ty who lives in Newmarket to confirm this was a real team worth writing about.

Email Secrets shh

Turns out they check out. Not only is their name, literally, The Canadian Moose, but they’re a Canadian hockey team who travels. But it doesn’t end there. Not only was the team’s founder, Mark Sadgrove, drafted into the NHL for Montreal back when they made their run for the cup, but he was inducted into the hockey hall of fame a few years ago and has received letters from two different Prime Ministers! But not at the same time, obviously.

Of course, Mr. Sadgrove is quite humble and didn’t give me any of this information when we spoke a few weeks ago. No, another player for the Moose gave me the dirt. This is why we get multiple sources people!

But before we get into the dirt let’s talk about the team a bit, because it’s truly fascinating.

The Canadian Moose logo

As we speak The Canadian Moose is recruiting for hockey players with Junior experience or higher to join them for a two-week New Zealand hockey holiday! I wish I played hockey!

The travelling team tours each year and has a passion to bring the sport of hockey to countries who treat this as a “minor” sport.

“Here’s an opportunity to give back and go to a country that’s underdeveloped in the sport and could use a handout,” said Sadgrove referring to past trips to Australia and New Zealand. “I get such a kick out of watching someone go to an ice rink for the first time. They’re in awe. They get on their hands and knees and touch the ice, can’t believe we can get on the ice and skate around—rugby’s their national sport. These huge guys with no necks watch us skating around crashing into the boards going ‘You alright mate? You’re mad!’”

To which Sadgrove replies “No you’re mad! You don’t wear padding!”

He said a lot of players don’t know how good they have it in Canada until they have a chance to travel to a country where hockey players lack ice time, coaching, and even equipment.

If you play hockey and think this would be something you’re interested in, check out The Canadian Moose online. There you will find an application form, photos from past tours, and more information.

You don’t have to be the best player on the team, but you do have to have the right attitude.

“Bottom line is it’s not about what we can do for you, it’s what you can do for The Canadian Moose and hockey down under. We are ambassadors for Canada and for the sport.”

(Click here for Part Two)