Eric on The Road

Journeys into the offbeat, off the beaten path, overlooked and forgotten - by Eric Model

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Medal ceremony: Men's hockey (NBC Sports)

We're based in NJ - so here is the US feed following that incredible gold medal game.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dreams of a Unified Northwest Are Halted at the Border (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

The Winter Olympics have made for strange days here in what many call Cascadia.

In a region that has spent decades trying to transcend its international border, the Games increased optimism that British Columbia and this northwest corner of the United States would draw closer, deepening environmental, economic and cultural connections. Yet the Olympics have been a reminder that since Sept. 11, 2001, the border has become more rigid than ever, and dreams of a united Cascadia remain just that.

“The place is a whole,” said David McCloskey, a retired professor of sociology at Seattle University and one of Cascadia’s earliest advocates, “but it’s chopped up.”

Friday, February 26, 2010

Narrating Canada’s Quest for Gold in Men’s Hockey (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: February 26, 2010

Like platooning goaltenders, the Canadian hockey announcers Chris Cuthbert and Gord Miller are taking turns behind the microphone, their voices providing the soundtrack for Canada’s Xanadu production.

As broadcasters for TSN (The Sports Network), they are providing an oral history of the men’s competition at these Winter Games that is destined to be passed down to future generations. More than half the country’s population has tuned in to hear Cuthbert and Miller describe Canada’s rocky run to Friday’s semifinal against Slovakia.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

On a rare night, Canada gathered to watch one game (Globe and Mail)

From The Globe and Mail:

By Stephen Brunt,
The Globe and Mail

VANCOUVER - There aren't really that many hockey nights in Canada, at least not in the way we imagine them.

One country, gathered ‘round a game; perhaps it was true every week way back in the mists of time, in the one or two channel world, television on Saturday night as the national hearth, a place where friends and families came together, the way they came together to worship other gods the following morning.

But that world long ago was blown to smithereens, and now we live in a time of vast and near infinite choice; when you can watch anything from anywhere anytime, on your television, your computer, on your phone, and when nothing is really special there is not much reason to assemble anywhere anytime.

Except on rare nights like this, except for a game like this, when you want company, when it feels so much better to be with your tribe.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Passing: John Babcock, Last Canadian World War I Veteran

From The New York Times:

Published: February 24, 2010

He joined the Canadian Army at 15 and ultimately became the symbol of an embattled generation.

More than 600,000 Canadians served in World War I, and the Canadians’ capture of the Germans’ Vimy Ridge outpost in France in April 1917 is considered a milestone in forging Canada’s national identity.

Mr. Babcock died Thursday at his home in Spokane, Wash. He was 109.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Podcast Posting: Journey into Canada - Expo Rail

Operated by the Canaidan Railroad Historical Association and using the brand name ExpoRail, this museum near Montreal maintains the largest collection of railway equipment in Canada with over 140 pieces of rolling stock. There are also over 250,000 objects and documents from Canada’s railway history in the collection which is maintained in an archives on the property.

The museum operates a heritage line around the grounds as well as a heritage railway which pulls a small passenger train on a former freight spur to Montee des Bouleaux. The streetcar operates daily during the spring, summer and fall while the railway operates every Sunday during the same period.

In this Conversation, we speak with speak with Josee Vallerand about Expo Rail, and a unique exhibition which helps chronicle the important role the rails have played in Quebec and Canada.


Podcast Posting: Wise Economies & Smart Community Narratives

We like to share these “Journeys into” stories with you. We find them unique and entertaining. Good stuff. We hope you agree.

At the same time, this “good stuff” can mean dollars – especially to communities. These stories and narratives can be “smart community stories and narratives” – specifically as much needed catalysts for economic development – whether in the from of travel and tourism, or Main Street quality of life.

Morerover, these smart narratives can be part of a broader contenporary approach to community and communties in the 21st century – part of a “Wise Economy”

In this Conversation, we speak with Della Rucker. Della has over 17 years’ professional experience in economic development, community planning, entrepreneurship development and public involvement. An area of expertise is the preparation of comprehensive plans, market analyses, economic development strategies, community participation initiativeand other project for dozens of communities.

She adeptly can help make these important principles understandable and something that communities can use ofr both immediate and long-term tangible results.


Podcast Posting: The Canada Cup of Table Top Hockey

The Vancouver Winter Olympics are grabbing most of the headlines these days (and rightfully so). The hockey competitions there are expected to be lively in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

But there is another major sporting event taking place in Canada over the coming days. It is the Canada Cup of Table Top Hockey – bringing together top players of the game from Canada, the U.S. and the world. It will be taking place in Ottawa, starting this February and finishing in April.

We speak with John Cooke of the Canadian Table Top Hockey Association about the upcoming Canada Cup – who plays and what’s it all about.

Podcast Posting: Navajo Code Talkers Remembered

Code Talkers is a term used to describe people who talk using a coded language. It is frequently used to describe Native Americans who served in the United States Marine Corps whose primary job was the transmission of secret tactical messages. Code talkers transmitted these messages over military telephone or radio communications nets using formal or informally developed codes built upon their native languages. Their service was very valuable because it enhanced the communications security of vital front line operations during World War II.

The name code talkers is strongly associated with bilingual Navajo speakers specially recruited during World War II by the Marines to serve in their standard communications units in the Pacific Theater. Code talking, however, was pioneered by Choctaw Indians serving in the U.S. Army during World War I. These soldiers are referred to as Choctaw Code Talkers.

Other Native American code talkers were used by the United States Army during World War II, using Cherokee, Choctaw and Comanche soldiers. Soldiers of Basque ancestry were used for code talking by the US Marines during World War II in areas where other Basque speakers were not expected to be operating.

In this Conversation on the Road, we speak with Jeremy Boucher and Zonnie Gorman from Gallup, New Mexico about the Talkers and about an exhibit at the Gallup Cultural Center that chronicled this unique and important part of our nation’s history.


Podcast Posting: The Fever Season

Over the past few months, there has been much written and spoken about the H1N1 flu.

In a hockey sense, parallels were immediately drawn to a season a long time ago that was impacted by the flu.

The year was 1919 and the epidemic was that of what became known as the Spanish Flu. Millions died. In the hockey world, one of its victims was Joe Hall of the Montreal Canadiens. In fact, after Hall’s death the Stanley Cup final was cancelled.

Eric Zweig is our guest.

He has written a fascinated historical novel of the period called “Fever Season”. He speaks with us about that year that the flu hit, and about what happened both on and off the ice.

Eric Zweig is Managing Editor with Dan Diamond Associates (consulting editors to the National Hockey League), he has written about sports and sports history for many major publications including the Toronto Star and the Glober and Mail. He has written non-fiction sports books for young people.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"We Are More" (Vancouver Sun)

From The Vancouver Sun:

Transcript of opening ceremony poem by Shane Koyczan.

Vancouver and the 2010 Games

The Opening Ceremonies - Vancouver Sun: and Mail:

Hotels, restaurants adjust for round-the-clock service (Globe and Mail) -

Friday, February 12, 2010

Let the Games begin (Globe and Mail)

From The Globe and Mail:

After seven years, after billions of dollars, Canada's Olympic dreams take shape tonight in the flicker of a flame and the roar of a crowd in Vancouver's cavernous BC Place.

The lighting of the Olympic cauldron is the start of the 21st Winter Olympics and the beginning of a 17-day odyssey for Vancouver, British Columbia and the country, which will change them all.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The other Vancouver (Chicago Tribune)

From The Chicago Tribune:

By Wendy Donahue, Tribune Newspapers
February 7, 2010

Don't confuse this Washington beauty with the host city for this year's Winter Olympics; it may not have a luge course, but there's still plenty to do and see in the other Vancouver.,0,1763771.story

Beyond Bourbon Street (Chicago Tribune)

From the Chicago Tribune:

By Josh Noel, Tribune Newspapers
January 17, 2010

Looking past New Orleans' premier path for the most memorable Mardi Gras.,0,7981495.story

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Igloos heat up on Valentine's Day (Montreal Gazette)

From The Montreal Gazette:

By David Johnston, The Gazette

Tourists from France and Germany account for a large number of bookings of igloos in the two Quebec provincial parks that rent igloos from late December until early March - Parc national du Bic, near Rimouski, and Parc national des Monts Valins, near Saguenay.

Young couples curious about making love in an igloo are also high on the list of client categories, as are expert winter-adventure tourists.

Valentine's Day and the weekend before it are the busiest periods for igloo bookings, followed by the Christmas holidays, weekends in general, and the school break in early March.

Hannibal, Mo., gets ready to celebrate the Year of Mark Twain (McClatchy-Tribune News Service)

From The McClatchy-Tribune News Service via

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death, the 175th of his birth and the 125th of the publication of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."

Parading Around New Orleans (Ntl. Geographic Traveler)

From National Geographic Traveler:

By Janelle Nanos

The best of New Orleans’s annual celebration isn’t in the French Quarter but out in the neighborhoods, where the good times go local.

Passing: Northwest Airlines (Detroit Free Press via USA Today)

From The Detroit Free Press via USA Today:

By Ellen Creager, Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — If you haven't tried Northwest Airlines' Web site this week, you mignt be in for a shock: It's gone.

This week, it vanished as the final step for consumers in Delta's takeover of the once-mighty Northwest Airlines.

Those who try to log onto automatically are switched to All Northwest flights are now Delta flights.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Talk About a Party ! Saints Super Bowl Win & Mardis Gras (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

Super Sunday leads into Mardis Gras and the partying goes on and on - and for good reason.

After the storm, there can come the sun.

Start at:

Friday, February 05, 2010

Bowl's in Miami, but the party is in N.O. (USA Today)

From USA Today:

By Rick Jervis, USA TODAY

It's typical for fans to fly into the host city of the Super Bowl — this year, Miami — to watch the game. Fans typically don't flock to the participating teams' cities, said Steve Swope, chief executive of the Rubicon Group, an Atlanta-based market research firm for the hospitality industry.

But in a week that typically finds New Orleans hotels half-empty, most hotels in the French Quarter and surrounding downtown area are nearly sold out. The Saints, playing in their first-ever Super Bowl just a week before Mardi Gras, have ignited a mass rush to town.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Looks at Vancouver

The Olympics are coming to town, and locals are heading out of town.

Those remaining will host the world. those coming to town will find a world of cultures.

From time to time we'll priovide some of what folks are writing about Vancouver. Here are two takes via the New York Times and USA Today:

Ethnic Neighborhoods Around Vancouver -

If Meals Won Medals (Critics' Notebook)-

In the Shadow of the Olympics - "In this urban oasis widely considered one of the most livable places in the world, the Downtown Eastside is about 15 square blocks of something else...." -

Passing: Dick McGuire, A NY Knicks Fixture for More Than Half a Century (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: February 3, 2010

Dick McGuire, whose deft ball-handling and passing wizardry led the New York Knicks to three straight National Basketball Association finals, and who then coached and scouted for them in a Hall of Fame career that lasted more than half a century, died Wednesday (2-3-2010) in Huntington, N.Y. He was 84.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

National Trust names Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2010 (USA Today)

From USA Today:

By Ben Abramson, USA TODAY

Travelers in search of umbrella drinks on warm beaches have plenty of appealing options across the USA. For those looking for a different type of trip, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has just released its 2010 Dozen Distinctive Destinations list, highlighting "cultural and recreational experiences different from those found at the typical vacation destination."

David Brown, executive vice president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, says the list is targeted to travelers seeking an authentic American experience: "Instead of traveling to Disneyland to see Main Street, USA, they can travel to Ft. Collins, Colorado, to see the real thing that was the model for Disneyland."

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

This Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil Goes High-Tech (WSJ)

From The Wall Street Journal:

By Jennifer Valentino

He might not be using sophisticated technology in his weather forecasts, but famous groundhog prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil will take a step into the 21st century Tuesday morning when he sends his annual prediction by text.

UPDATE: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow Tuesday morning, predicting six more weeks of winter.

Is Punxsutawney Phil Hogging the Spotlight? (WSJ)

From The Wall Street Journal:


Rivals Work in Famed Groundhog's Shadow; 'We Don't Fake It Here'