Thursday, March 29, 2012

Journey for Justice

About two weeks ago, I delved into Journey for Justice, a book that chronicles the murder of Candace Derksen and the trial of her killer, Mark Grant.

The book has works very well for the first half, but when Mark Grant is introduced, it takes a turn that I am not a fan of.

Not knowing a lot about Candace Derksen's disappearance, part one was easily the most enjoyable section of the book. Mike McIntyre does a superb job re-telling the events of the day when Candace went missing. This, along with exerts from Wilma Derksen, round the story out very nicely.

The one major aspect about the first part that was intriguing was MBCI and the Redi Mart. It struck a small nerve with me, because I used to live in that area and I have been to that Redi Mart hundreds of times as a kid.

I think that it made the book much more relatable and even though this happened almost thirty years ago, it happened in a "safe" neighbourhood and a place where I would feel comfortable raising kids.

The part of Journey for Justice that I did not like was part two, when we were given about twenty-pages of psychologists describing Mark Grants problems. There first few reports were alright, but they seemed to drag on after the fourth report.

The inclusion of Winnipeg Free Press articles didn't work well for some of my classmates, but I fully enjoyed them. It gave the last section a fresh outlook. However, like the Mark Grant section, McIntyre went overboard with the use of articles.

When comparing Journey for Justice to other pieces of non-fiction, it has a style that I haven't read before - which may be because I read a lot of war books. The use of the 3 parts in Journey for Justice works very effectively, and is much easily to accomplish then trying to create a weird transition in time.

We had the pleasure of meeting Wilma Derksen and Mike McIntyre during our seminar class last Thursday. While McIntyre was very interesting, speaking about the journalism aspect of the book and his career, I would have liked to hear a full hour of Wilma. She spoke with such great poise and it was a pleasure to hear her side of the story in person.

Overall, I'd recommend this story to anyone from Winnipeg/ greater Winnipeg area or someone who is interested in crime novels. It definitely has a unique quality about it and while it does have some flaws, it is a very educational and enjoyable read.

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's early March...that means playo...uh...draft talk

Well, it is abundantly clear the Leafs will be missing the playoffs for a 6th or 7th straight year. Who is counting anymore?

Although we are far out of 8th, Leaf Nation is still watching the standings. Sitting in 5th last, and having a chance (a real small chance that is) at possibly moving up to 1st, it is hard not to look forward to the draft in June. So who will be on the Leafs radar?

#1 - Nail Yakupov...okay okay. The Leafs aren't getting Yakupov, but I can dream.

#2 - Mikhail Grigorenko...A big centre with a ton of skill. I'm holding out some hope that we can land Grigs. He'd look real good between Lupul and Kessel.

#3 - Filip Forsberg - Big, strong, talented winger. Has already been playing against men. Doesn't fill our need of centre, but he is the next best forward.

#4 -Alex Galchenyuk - Another centre with a ton of skill. The only problem is that he has been hurt a lot this yr. Still a good pick for Toronto, though.

After that, there is a large group of dman who would be alright picks, and then the 2nd tier of forwards. Not sure what happens between now and the last 8 games, but Leaf Nation should be hoping for losses.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Leaf Nation Divided

Even after losing 13 of their last 14 games, the Maple Leafs could be a point out of a playoff spot by tomorrow evening if all goes well. This losing streaking has divided Leaf Nation into two parts.

Part one makes up the group who are stilling holding out for a last ditch playoff effort. They believe that sooner or later, the losing streak will end and open up to a winning streak. The two games this weekend will determine a lot for this group of fans. Two loses and they may change their opinion. Two wins and it's business as usual.

Part two is known as "Tank Nation." A group that largely believes this team is not playoff bound and would benefit greatly if they finished in the bottom 5 and drafted a highly touted player.

As of this moment I fit in Tank Nation. I can't see this team going on a big run to end the year and the high end talent in this draft is too much to pass up. If Toronto did go on a long run and made the playoffs, I would be ecstatic.

For now though, I will keep my expectations low. 15 games left. Lets see what happens.