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The Blanche Report: Ccccoollldd, Здравствуйте и прием

Most leaders of ‘normal’ countries have some kind of security around them. In the case of Obama – putting aside the fake sign language dude in South Africa – the secret service is over the top. Ah, but us Canucks – we’re a breed unto our own. It’s kind of like we live in Newfoundland where everyone says hello to each other and keeps their doors unlocked.

The case in point happened yesterday when Harper – our Prime Minister – was speaking in Vancouver. Two men decided that they wanted to hold up some kind of protest sign right behind where Harper was going to speak. So they went to a thrift shop and for $8 bought a black apron, black pants and a black shirt. They then walked right into the hall where Harper was about to speak. No one asked them for identification, who they were, did they belong there  – you get the point. They waited till Harper went up to the podium and then calmly walked right onstage and held up their sign an inch from Harper’s head. Let’s just say Harper is lucky all they did an inch from his head was hold up a sign. FYI – Harper never missed a step. The man chews nails and spits battleships.

Can someone please tell those guarding the prime minister that it’s not enough to look busy – hehehehehehe.

Obama finally left Hawaii and went back to work. However… His beloved, Michelle, (who insists on wearing sleeveless dresses all the time. It’s just not befitting a foist lady to dress this way, no matter how ripped she thinks she is. But we digress.) is turning 50 in a week or so. Guess what? Obama left her there with a few friends. Nice eh? Except that much of the cost is coming from John Q. Public – close to $100,000. They don’t care now cause they don’t have to run again. Your tax dollars at work.

Sometimes there is a bit of justice. JPMorgan Chase will pay more than $2 billion in penalties for allegedly failing to issue warnings about Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. The bank had no less than a 20 year relationship with him and never figured out what he was up to? Something smells here and it’s not garlic bread. Get this: the bulk of the money will go to the people Madoff ripped off, the rest to the US Treasury. He ripped off way more than $2billion.  Someone should tell the US Treasury to get a life.

While we are not hockey aficionados we were very happy with today’s news. Two Habs were chosen to be on the Canadian olympic hockey team – Carey Price our goalie and PK Subban one of our defenceman and showman extraordinaire. If nothing else, Subban will bring some joie de vivre to the home team’s dressing room (and plane ride no doubt). Two other Habs were also chosen, but they are of Russian descent ergo are playing for the Russian team. Booooo.

The Russian team is probably under threat of death if they don’t win the gold medal so we are certain they will put up a good fight. Na na na na na na na na hey hey goodbye. The weather is very special this winter. It’s no longer called Global warming cause that sure ain’t happening. It’s now called Climate change. (Some genius coined that phrase.) You wanna know how cold it is? Here goes: Fairbanks Alaska registered -52 without the wind chill factor. Many cities in North and South Dakota were around -40 with the wind chill. This is sustained cold for many days.

Now for some weather education brought to you by the weather lady – Blanche. All of this cold weather is caused by a polar vortex. Ah, you ask, what the heck is that?

A polar vortex is a large, frigid air mass located near the Earth’s poles. The vortex is a continually circulating a pool of cold air in a counter-clockwise direction. As the air is being circulated in place, it grows colder and denser. This vortex usually hovers around the Arctic, with two centres: one near Canada’s Baffin Island and the other near Siberia.

While it’s normal for the some of the vortex’s frigid air to leach southward during the winter, this year has proved to be exceptional. No kidding?  The vortex is normally present over Baffin Island and north-central Canada for the winter, with the cold air building up over time. But this year the jet stream has dipped far south, dragging a “piece” of the vortex with it through the U.S. prairies and beyond. Got it? In other words, it’s cold and gonna stay that way for a while. Bundle up or snuggle into your covers.

Can we talk? Why is it that even though it is absolutely freezing cold here – as cold as it is in Toronto – we did not shut our airport down for half the day today and Toronto completely buckled under the cold. And we mean completely. At one point either last night or this morning, there were 4,500 people stranded in that airport and they had to call in the police for crowd control.

This of course is brought to you by the same city who, after a snowstorm a couple of years ago, called in the army to help with the clean-up. While Quebec may be somewhat dysfunctional when it comes to our politics, one thing we are not – wooses.  If you didn’t get a flu shot yet, it’s not too late. Seems there’s a particularly nasty strain of the H1N1 virus again this year. You get that flu once and you’ll never miss another flu shot. It’s n.a.s.t.y.

We know that the Sochi olympics cannot be far off because the Russians have suddenly become totally paranoid about security. Tens of thousands of Russian police, security agents, rescue workers and army troops are being deployed for the games, which run from Feb. 7-23. Vladimir Puchkov, (Now is that a name or what? In Russian it’s pronounced Pukeov- feh) who heads the Emergency Situations Ministry, said all of his security units for Sochi were on duty as of tomorrow. In addition, no ‘strange’ cars are allowed in the area at all. What’s a strange car? Anything not registered in Sochi or without an olympic pass on it.

Now we ask you, how hard is it to have gotten a car registered in Sochi, say in the last year? Not hard at all. You can figure out the rest.

Putin himself has spent the past few days in Sochi. He said athletes, coaches and the media have all received their official accreditation and Russian volunteers and staff are waiting to greet them with the “warmest of welcomes.” In case you were wondering how to say hello and welcome in Russian, here ya go: Здравствуйте и прием.

We’ll talk..

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