MITCHELL’S MUSINGS: Meanwhile, 365 days later…

As the sun shines down on our Victoria Day weekend, at least the first half, it seems like a good a time as any to take a look at how much difference a year makes as we quaff a beverage or two and barbecue a smokie or three to mark the unofficial kickoff of the Canadian summer….

…..and in 2011 this weekend will double as the kick off for spring as well as the cold, wet weather was beginning to get on everyone’s nerves.

However, remember last year at this time when local authorities were threatening to turn the taps off on pool owners due to a perceived lack of water at the source.

It turned out to be a whole lot of sound and fury about not much and was eventually called off but it had some people scrambling to fill their pools while other jealous neighbours were half-jokingly threatening to turn in their former friends if they heard the hose on in the middle of the night. Ah, good times.

Well, now that same water is in great supply, thanks to aforementioned crappy spring and snowy winter (but it still costs even more to the average homeowner this year) and we’re concerned about flooding and the availability of sandbags instead of onerous water restrictions and the possibility of a catastrophic forest fire season.

Now these days all of this is fodder for musings on our weather, it’s either ammunition for global warming or it’s proof positive for a looming ice age, consult your favourite conspiracy website for further information that favours your cause.

In reality it’s likely just the varying degree of weather in this region and part of what makes life interesting and wonderful at the same time.

What? That’s crazy talk, whatcha talking about, we’re all doomed, we need to do something about it, sign up here…….

……speaking of the coming apocalypse, it was supposed to be yesterday so if you’re reading this, phew, we dodged another doomsday bullet.

Just another reason to get out there and enjoy this beautiful long weekend in the greatest country on Earth.

Well, get out there right after the Canucks-Sharks playoff game live from San Jose starting at noon today.

Arrgghh. The reason it’s at noon is so NBC can broadcast it to the several hundred hockey fans in Mobile, Alabama waiting for NASCAR to start so they can then turn the channel.

Never mind that millions of hockey fans in Canada, especially on the west coast (you know where the Canucks play, but then who cares about them cause really it’s only the Eastern time zone that counts), have to sacrifice a long-weekend Sunday afternoon (maybe it’ll rain) to watch history, hopefully, unfold as it should.

Heavy sigh.

However, it’s a minor annoyance when you acknowledge the fact that the Canucks are still playing hockey this year and how grateful us fans should be, especially, again, compared to last year at this time.

Last year the Canucks penalty kill couldn’t stop an Atom House League man-advantage situation and lost to the Blackhawks in the second round. This year, they disposed of the Hawks in a seven-game OT thriller, thank you Alex Burrows, and could well be on their way to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 17 years.

There’s still a lot of hockey to play, as they say, but hey we’re still watching it and enjoying it and the dream continues, making a noon start a fairly minor annoyance in the scheme of things…..

…..and speaking of dreams, Winnipeg may officially have NHL hockey back at Portage and Main, a frustrating 15 years after the Jets left Manitoba for the hotbed of hockey known as Phoenix, Arizona.

Now the Coyotes are staying put for another year, for some reason, so they can go to Quebec City next year, but some media reports on Friday said Atlanta’s Thrashers are set to take flight northward any day now.

That’s very cool for Winnipeg, Canada and the sport of hockey (with some apologies to all those Thrashers fans) and another startling and dramatic change from this time last year. Who knows, maybe these are signs of the world as we know it ending? Or maybe it’s more evidence of the one constant in life: change. Might as well celebrate it……

—Glenn Mitchell is the managing editor of The Morning Star…