Monday, November 29, 2010

For Gramma

Come on in and watch the fire, thought I'd share one of my Gramma's favorite singers with y'all.

This first one was her favorite.  I love Don Williams as well, and can't help but think of Gramma and Granpa when I hear this song. 

And this ... this is just one fantastic song for everyone today. 

That's one thing about Gramma, she was always thankful.  She had the thunder and the rain, and all she ever wanted was that one good day.  She certainly gave us lots.

One year ago

Come on in and grab a seat, don't mind me I'm just talking with a loved one.  Yeah, that shadow right there that keeps shaking her hips. 

It's one year ago today that she passed.  And while the world could be said to become a little less rich for some people, those same people are the ones who will carry forward the beauty and strength that was my Gramma.  And so to celebrate the wonderful woman that she was, again, this day I will share a story or two about who she was.  And anyone who reads, I invite you to share one you might have of her. 

I ever tell you folks it was because of her that I was able to get my Little Bear back and keep her?  I mean sure, I did all the fighting and legal stuff, but the practicality of it was that I worked a job with weird hours, and LB wasn't quite 18 months so couldn't get into any daycares.  So she came into town and stayed with me for the while I needed her to so I didn't have to worry about it.  And because of that Little Bear and Gramma became very close very fast.  And it's a bond that's important to this day.

LB comes up to me the other day and says 'Can I skip school on Monday?'  and I asked why and she explained the anniversary and I asked her to think about her Granny and what she might have done.  Last night LB said to me, 'I'm going to school and in choir I'm going to sing my best, my loudest, and every single note I'm going to dedicate to Granny.  I'm going to be happy she's still with me.'  She floored me with that last line.

After that initial stay with us to get LB to 18 months, Granny would come in every month or so for a week and hang out with LB.  She would make her 'Special Granny Mac'n'Cheese' which was Amber's favorite lunchtime meal, and Granny made it somehow that was just a little different and tasted perfect.  She never did share that sooper sekrit one with me so if anyone knows? 

Anyways, those weeks, LB would rush home to play snakes'n'ladders with Granny, and later learned how to play Cribbage.  Little Bear loved and cherished every single moment she got to spend with Granny, and I'm sure if it were ever an option, the only person she might live with beside her Dad would be Granny. 

Part of that was just that LB loves to love her family, but most of it was that Granny loved her great grand children, loved that she had created this legacy and got to enjoy it and love it and teach it.  And that love was something that just flowed from her.

By the time Little Crow was born, Granny was pretty wizened, and LC would have been about 2 or so, and of course had that first initial reaction of 'Whoa old!'  But then, she crawled into Granny's lap and while my youngest isn't the cuddliest girl some times, she just curled up and snuggled into Granny.  Was one of the strangest reactions I've ever seen a kid go through. 

So today, if you don't feel like sharing a story, or you didn't know my Gramma, I want you to do something for me, and for her.  I want you to love someone.  I want you to show that love with such intensity all they can do is just enjoy it.  I want you to let that love guide you to actions that solidify that love you're showing.  And I want you to take one moment to just hug them, and say 'You're important to me and I love you.'  Just to make sure they know.  Because these are all things my Gramma did in her life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

UFC 123 Thoughts

Come on in and watch the shadows fight... got some nice chicken soup to enjoy.

So I am a fan of martial arts, and mixed martial arts as s sport and having watched the last PPV I'm a little dismayed at the response to a few of the fights.  Particularly the main event.  I'm unsure what people want or think or if in the end the only idea is to continue to make controversy rather than adequately report on the event.  Either way quite a few of the MMA media sites I go to are all up in arms about Machida losing a split decision.  And there are a few other points I'd like to go over.

First off, let me explain something to Mike Goldburg and Joe Rogan, the two colour commentators for the UFC.  Your job should not be to continue to hype the fights once the PPV is bought.  I mean, seriously guys, if I'm watching, I've bought it, provide some insight or some interesting things on the techniques being used.  To continue to sell the fight just makes you seem cheap and whorish.  Still better than Strikeforce's commentators.  But not much.  I think our refrain when it's all the guys together to watch is something along the lines of 'STFU Joe!'

If anyone thinks that because Blow Job Penn knocked out an aging Matt Hughes, someone who has not fought a quality WW since his fight with GSP, somehow proves Penn deserves another run at the title, let me correct that thought.  Hughes is susceptible to big strikes because he doesn't know how to move his head.  Penn came out, caught one, and then set up the big right, and Hughes did nothing to defend it.  If it's true that Penn is going to fight Fitch next, we'll all see how unlikely it is for Penn to make a title run.

Now let's look at the main event.  It was slow.  Jackson has knockout power, especially when it comes to counter punching, and Machida is an avoidance fighter who counter strikes when opponents get over extended chasing him.  I don't know why anyone thought this would be a big exciting fight because for both fighters, they rely on the other fighter for their style to work and in this case, neither one sets the other off nicely.  Jackson's style works best against brawlers, as evident in his crushing knock outs of Liddel and Silva.  Jackson himself is not a balls out brawler.  He prefers to take a few shots and then unload when opponents are startled that he's still standing, and have their guards wide open after throwing a series of blows.  Dude is tough.  Machida on the other hand requires a fighter to come at him.  He is the least engaging of fighters out there.  He dances away continually, waiting for his opponent to tire or expose themselves and then he strikes.  So right there, bad bad style match up.  There was no way this fight was going to not go to the judges. 

Now let's look at the complaints as to why people think the judging fucked up the decision.  Lots of folks feel that since the only significant portion of the fight occurred in the third when Machida did indeed dominate Jackson with a flurry of blows, followed by a take down and mount, he should have won the fight.  Some others point to Fight Metric's analysis of the fight, that Machida landed more significant strikes in round one and two, and that their score cards show either a draw by ten point must or a win by Machida for being more effective. 

Normally I'm a big fan of Fight Metrics but I'm going to have to disagree with their win for Machida because A) The judging is on a ten point must system, and B) scoring a round a draw should only happen if NONE of the criteria for judging is viewed as being in favour for either fighter.  What are those criteria you ask?  Effective striking and grappling, aggression, and octagon control.  Those are the standards they are given and what they must score the fight on.

So the first round folks agree was Jackson's, and the third everyone agrees was Machida's so let's focus on that tricky second round, which FM says is a draw, and some folks are crying for Machida to have won, and one judge did award to him.  According to FM, of the five categories they track for striking, three went to Rampage, with the biggest difference coming in the total strikes.  As far as significant strikes?  Machida had one more than Rampage, but total strikes?  WOW, 28 to 11 for Jackson.  That's a lot more activity.  Of course, let's be honest, in a five minute round, a total of 39 strikes thrown by both fighters is pretty fucking tame, and striking could almost be seen as non-existent.  So let's look at the grappling.  Oh wait.  There wasn't any.  There was one clinch attempted by each fighter, and only Jackson succeeded in his.  So effective striking and grappling could be fairly muddy to determine.  So what does that leave us?  Aggression and octagon control.  Having watched the fight, Machida was backing up a lot, Jackson was keeping the center of the ring and dictating Machida's movements, and for the most part, Jackson was the aggressor.  I mean c'mon 28 to 11 strikes total?  Cut me loose here folks, aggression, as little as there was, was in favour of Jackson.  The appearance through most of the fight was that Jackson was stalking down Machida and Machida was continually dancing away.  So yeah I woulda scored the round for Jackson myself.

The point here is that if your style requires you to continually back up, dance away, and wait for the other fighter to engage, guess what chumly?  You're gonna lose a lot of decisions once people figure out how to take advantage of that.  And why by garsh, someone did.  As well it's utterly hilarious, that these same people who are bitching for a draw are the same folks who bitched when Cecil Peoples, the dumbest MMA judge on the planet, said that Machida dictated the first fight against Rua because he backed away.  He just ignored aggression.  Let's have some continuity people.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One of the funny things about youth ...

Come on in and grab some celery, good tasty snack.  The fire is really stoked up and the skins down, that wind is getting to be a real killer out there.

So I guess most of us in this little story would've been 18 or there abouts.  And we decided to be 'adult' and start a weekly poker game because someone found a copy of Hoyle's card games.  Yeah we were nerds even back then.

And there we are all talkin', and four of us had recently started dating regularly and well, young men being young men, and having regular sex, suddenly a few folks started bragging.

2 sez, "So I'm the god of two!"

I sez, "How you figure?"

2 sez, "Well last night, we did it twice!"

3 sez, "Oh whatever, that makes me the god of three then."

6 sez, "Then I'm the god of six, because we did it six times last night!"

I start to laugh, "Well I'm happy with the once I did it last night.  'Course, that's all I needed to satisfy her."

Ahhh youth.  And me being a complete asshole.  :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A video lesson in why it's a bad idea to act like an ass hat before a fight

I've certainly had a busy fire these past couple of days.  Stare in it again and find out why acting like a cocky SOB can backfire on you.

Not that I condone the assault of a ref or the continued beating of a downed opponent, but c'mon, did you see the way he was acting?  It was kinda like when Perez Hilton got his red carpet right hook.  Sure, no one should be assaulted, but sometimes they still deserve it.

Another nice one

Come on in and watch the fire.  I'm not sure how many out there know about Joshua Radin, he's a buddy of Zach Braff's and this song was featured on an episode of Scrubs, so maybe a few of you have heard it.  But I love the song. 

And I'll take the blue ones every time too. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Time and tides

Come on and grab a bit of food, we've got some left over pizza, and some tasty Royal Gala apples.  I sure do love the taste of those apples.  I thought I might pontificate a bit on the nature of teenagers and my experience with my Little Bear.

I love my Little Bear.  She's one talented girl, very caring and wonderful.  She's funny, charming, beautiful.  I don't doubt that I couldn't have gotten any luckier than I have to be able to raise such a fine young lady.  Of course, the Little Crow is turning into another pure miracle, so maybe I'm doing something right.  Probably just finding the right chick to knock up.  Ha ha.

And that's why these teenage years or so frustrating.  Because on one hand I totally understand the reasons for what she's doing, why she's acting the way she is, and why it is necessary.  Doesn't make it any easier to deal with the emotional aspect.  In fact it almost makes it worse.

I understand that she is testing the limits of who she is and what she wants to be.  I know that she is attempting to redefine herself amongst her world, her peer group, herself.  She is taking those first steps to be a lone individual who will stand on her own.  And I like that, I want her to learn all the things she needs to so she can be that incredible woman I know she will be.

The flip side of that is the petulance.  The distrust.  The view that somehow, by my mere existence, I am somehow holding her back, or unfairly restricting her ability to be who she is.  Which is kinda funny since I don't put those kind of restrictions on her.  In fact, she's rather free to do what she wants, as long as she fulfills her obligations.  I advise, but I don't lay out what she can and can't do, she has the freedom to do her chores in a fashion she feels is best, so on and so forth. 

And for the most part, she's actually pretty good at making those decisions.  I'm very proud of her and she knows it.  But let me be honest here folks.  There are times when I've got the most delicious desire to club her like a baby seal.  I tell you there is this pose she strikes, and this look in her eyes she gets, when I ask a rather benign question like 'So what was with that status update?' or 'What are you and your twinaroo doing tonight?'  And it's like a switch, POW, she's off into justification mode.  So I calmly listen to her berate me about what is 'really' going on and how I don't understand, and then I nod and explain, 'Just curious, I'm not saying you were wrong, just wanting to know what's going on.'  And rather than a, 'sorry for flying off the handle,' I get, 'Yeah well...'

Lotsa fun with a teenager.  Don't get me wrong, this isn't a lament, I'm not troubled by this.  Well that's not entirely true.  My kidlet can be a little hurtful in the way she treats good old dad, but the fact is I'm proud of her and her Independence because that's the kind of daughter I was hoping to raise.  A strong, capable person, who is comfortable taking care of herself.  It's kinda cool.

'Course, I still get the urge to kick her ass so hard she poops shoe leather for a week. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The payoff

Come on in, the den is a bit chaotic, it's a busy day today.  Grab some garlic sausage and mini dill pickles and pull up a stump.

So I had trouble sleeping and I decided to ramble on about the price of football, and it was significantly personal, but it also made it sound rather dark and foreboding.  And that should really be explained.  You see football is just like anything else, and what it comes down to is the equation of what you put in is what you get out.  And more than that, the payoff is huge.  Bigger than it should be really.

Part of that is the team.  That concept that allows you to understand how important it is that working together creates results that are far beyond the combined efforts of individuals.  It magnifies itself.  It's a gestalt.  Love that word, go look it up.  And the payoffs, for me personally were huge.

I went into high school a very out of shape, terrified grade nine student, and when I graduated, I felt confident and capable.  I learned to trust myself and the people with me.  I have repeatedly said, and will continue to say it, that without the experience of football, with the way my life had been heading, I would be in jail, dead, or both.  So here is the payoff.

The payoff is the ability to expect more than you thought you could do from yourself.  Football is a very physically and mentally demanding sport, and at times it may seem like more than an one person can do.  But that's just it, the team can elevate you.  But as an individual you are called upon to do things you never thought possible, and that realization, that expectation of better than you were before will find its way into other parts of your life and drive you to do better each time.

The payoff is the concept of team over self, where self is still responsible for themselves yet the welfare is about the team.  Something I often coach is the reality that in football, when you screw up, you miss a block, you drop a pass, you miss a throw, you blow a tackle, you lose coverage, it is very rarely the individual who made the mistake who pays for that mistake.  There is a give and take within football that requires the team to be one large cohesive unit that supports and drives one another to bigger and better things.  It is both micro and macro in its application.  Miss a pass block, the quarterback gets hurt, not you.  The offense doesn't control the ball and put points on the board, the defense is tired and on the field too long.  If the defense is unable to shut down the opposing teams offense, the offense has less time to try to score and must play a more desperate game to catch back up.  To win, both sides have to do their job, to do their job each unit has to do their jobs, and in each unit for each of those jobs to be effective every single individual has to do their job right.  I could ramble on endlessly about all the little examples but I'm hoping you get the point.

The payoff is the respect for opposition.  Learning that you don't want to win at all costs, you don't want to belittle your opponent, you want to respect and challenge yourself.  You can't do that if you think too little or too much of your opponent.  You must see them as an equal and be willing to win or lose, but even more than that, you have to be willing to lay everything you can on the field.  What respect do you show an opponent when you play soft?  When you play cheap?  You must see your opponent in the same light you wish to be seen.  There is no animosity, instead a respect born of mutual challenge. 

The payoff is the family.  The people you play football with will forever be attached to you.  I run into past team mates and it's like they're old friends or long lost cousins.  We are genuinely interested in each other's success and what we've been doing.  We ask after our kids, we share funny moments, and we talk football.  We may have nothing in common beyond that shared sport but it is enough to create a bond due to the intensity of the sport.

The payoff is the control.  The body control, the mental control, the emotional control.  You learn quickly on a football field that without an incredible amount of discipline you will not succeed.  You need to know exactly how to use your body, exactly what to do and the techniques involved, you must never let your emotions get the better of you, and that sometimes your mind gets in the way, and to let it wander while your body, that knows what to do due to hundreds of hours of practice, goes to work.  This isn't about tightly weaving yourself into an automaton, but instead to find the control through careful practice and release.  Zen if you will.

The payoff is the release.  The emotions involved in football are intensified because of the seriousness, the potential for bodily harm, the investment of every single player, coach, parent, fan, and official.  You think the officials aren't invested?  How much vitriol gets spewed their way?  They care too.  But the release of that emotion.  Be able to release it and understand even outside of football it is acceptable to release it.  You will scream for joy, for triumph, you will worry, panic, stress yourself out.  You will cry.  You WILL cry.  And it is something that is perfectly allowed first inside, then outside of the sport.

The payoff is undefinable.  Even without a championship, you will find yourself reflecting on life, on where you are, and what you do, and why you do it.  And some little piece of something said somewhere on the field will come back and you'll smile.  You won't always know where it will come from but it will help define you.  For good or ill you will forever remember those team mates, those games, those moments, those joys, those pains, and know it was all worth it.

Why do I share this?  So you know that even with a price that will forever affect you, the payoff is just as great, if not greater, than the price.  So you understand why parents enroll their kids in football, encourage them to risk their bodies and health, why the parents put up with all the time, why the coaches spend not just the time in practice and games, but hours upon hours working on strategies and plays.  The payoff will always be reaped.

Late night ramblings

So here we are in the den.  It's dark out, darker than normal.  The shadows are very playful, even the big mean ones.  And I can't sleep.  Sometimes it happens.  Well it happens a lot actually, but usually I just read through it.  Sometimes that works, most times really.  Right now I'm all antsy and my tummy is upset.

So in case it wasn't painfully obvious from a bunch of other places, I love football.  A LOT.  It is easily one of my biggest passions and something that continues to fascinate and enthral me after all these years.  I love the game, and will most likely continue to coach and participate in it for years and years.  Probably until they cart my body off to the nearest medical school to be hacked up by medical students.

And I want all of you to consider having your child play football.  Kinda.  I read an interesting article by Chris Schultz on the TSN website when he talks about how he feels when parents ask him if their kids should play football, and he's pretty honest about it.  I rather liked what he had to say.  It's very true that football comes with a very heavy price.  But he's somewhat short on what that price is beyond the physical, mostly because he was speaking very specifically to the violence he witnessed in that week of football.

And trust me I understand that price.  I have:
1)  Two completely fucked up knees that make all kinds of interesting noises, the right one more so than the left.  The right will also swell up to roughly cantaloupe size when the weather changes. 
2)  A shattered elbow that never healed correctly.  It was literally shattered, but because of how physically built I was it held together but now under x-rays looks something like a school of blow fish. 
3)  A blown out set of tendons in my right ankle.  It was my usual starting foot and took the majority of punishment on initial contact.  It creaks audible. 
4)  Very messed up nasal passages.  Bone crunching hits in my second year with a helmet that didn't fit properly caused broken noses.  A lot.
5)  Last and certainly not least, over a dozen medically recorded concussions, two of which were serious enough to require medical supervision, and which research has now made a tentative link to my depression.

This is not to mention the litany of injuries I've witnessed.  Some I caused, some I watched happen, and some I still get queasy about when I remember them.  That guy who I knocked out?  Guh.  That one still makes me feel bad. 

But he didn't talk about the price you pay for failure.  For those times you still come up short.  The moments when you doubt yourself because you thought you did everything you could and you still didn't win, and for the rest of your life you think about it and wonder what else you could have given.  The nights when you're thirty five and thinking about that city final game when you shattered that right elbow in the first series of the game, and then had it taped up and played out the rest, and wonder if that might have made your performance worse, and even with that sacrifice of your body that you're still paying for you didn't win, and was it worth it? 

He didn't talk about the drive that comes from wanting perfection and never getting it.  That perfection that other people can't even imagine but you can see it, you can feel/taste/smell/hear it and know exactly what has to happen but you always come up a little shy.  How that desire for perfection seeps into the rest of your life and hounds you to do things no one else will for that exact reason.  You will step up, you will take the hit, and you will like it just because it's nice to be known as that unstoppable guy.

And he didn't tell about the vanity.  The pride that comes from being a part of a true team, of having brothers who are a part of your heart and will never ever leave you.  How you remember those you fought with in the trenches, in the open field, in the end zone, and how when you meet them all you can talk about is football, past/present/future and how it pulls at you still.

He doesn't talk about how no one who is a true football player ever gives up the game voluntarily.  Sure, guys say they retire, and it is made to seem as their choice, but it is usually a forced issue, one where it is one thing or the other and no matter what you say, you would always give up just about anything to strap on those pads one more time and head out onto the gridiron and test yourself against the very best you could.  You can close your eyes and still remember the first time it took hold of you and your entire body bent itself to become the best football player you could be and how you will never give up that goal, even after twenty years, it still drives you.  You want it more than a junkie wants his fix, more than new lovers want to sink their desires in each other, more than a mother wants to see their newborn's face. 

Why do I tell you all this?  So maybe you'll think of those of us who still talk of our glory days as more than an Al Bundy joke.  So maybe those of you with children who will wish to play football can properly council them on what they're getting into.  So maybe when you see me out there coaching a new generation of football players you'll understand why I seem so harsh, why all us coaches seem so harsh.  And finally, when you see us passionate about it, when you see us give up so much of ourselves for it, you will understand why we have that passion and why we are willing to give up so much. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Come on in and grab a stump, time fer some rantin'!  Oh here's some Pc Greek Flavoured potato chips too.  Tasty!

Alright, now I'm pretty sure very few young people (Teenagers) read this blog, but that doesn't mean you don't know some teenagers.  Also there is another aspect of this that I want to talk about that is related.  But let's get right to the meat of the issue.

So being a good parent I look over (spy) on my kid's effbook page.  And I click on the pictures that her friends put up and I check them out from my page.  Meaning they are not my friends on effbook but I can view their entire album.  And what do I find in these albums?  In almost every single case I looked into, I found pictures of underage drinking, with a whole fucking page of comments that all translate to this idiotic statement:  'Dooood, I was so wasted that time!' 

Why do I know it's an idiotic statement?  Because I've said it.  Anyways.  All of you may be saying to yourself now, 'Why does Coyote give a shit about underage drinking?  I'm pretty sure he was drinking fairly young.'

And you would be right.  I was.  I was getting into bars at about the age said daughter is now.  Which is 14.  But here's the difference.  I DIDN'T PUBLICIZE IT!  Admittedly, we didn't have the tech then that we do now to instantly publicize yourself, but it's not like I had t-shirts made up to proclaim my underage drinking, nor did I brag about it in front of teachers, or coaches, or parents. 

Which is WHAT YOU'RE DOING WHEN YOU POST THAT SHIT ON FACEBOOK!!!  You are essentially bragging in front of a bunch of people, some of whom may actually be a cop, that you're engaging in illegal activity.  and it's not really you that will pay, it'll be your parents or the owners of the house where you got wasted. 

Let me explain the deal here so you fuckers won't ruin it for the next generation.  There is an agreement, that we all know the teens are going to drink, and so we as adults let it slide as long as other precautions, like asking for a ride, or a safe place to sleep, are observed.  We're down with that.  And the cops are down with that too, they'd rather let the parents handle their drunk stupid kids.  But when you make that shit PUBLIC then they're going to have to come down on you.  So knock it off you fucking morons!

And that's not to mention the whole 'memory of the Internet.'  Don't know what that is?  Essentially it's the theory that anything put on the Internet will remain there forever.  It will always be there, always accessible.  do you know what that means?  It means if the job market again turns into the scary dog eat dog of the '90s, the people who hire for the really big jobs will have people on staff who will dig up this shit.  How will that go, sitting there, third interview, thinking 'Yah, got me a killer job!' and BLAM!  There is a picture of you 14, with a bunch of comments underneath about how you got drunk, so drunk you made out with some one, and you woke up without your panties and OH HOW FUN IT WAS!  Get it?  That shit follows you.  It's not fair but it is what happens.

Speaking of Internet memory.  All you fuckers that go everywhere with your camera and take pictures at the bar?  Knock it the fuck off.  Ok?  Not everything needs to be recorded.  Sometimes it's fun to be able to tell the story without a damn pictographic essay.  And if you REALLY need to keep the damn camera going, or are one of those assholes who can't stop pulling out the camera on your phone, do two things out of consideration and respect for other people.  A) Ask the people you are photographing if it is alright.  B)  Try to situate your pictures so you don't have a bunch of people in the background who DID NOT give you permission to take their picture.  It's just a matter of respect people. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Craziness, judicial style!

Come on in and enjoy the fire. Brought some eggs with me today, and some green onions and turkey and plan on making up some really tasty scrambled eggs, how many you want? Two, three?

So a friend of mine did one of his 'I'm busy talk about these subjects' posts. And we weighed in and of course, when the talk is of justice, I tend to go my own way compared to a lot of folks. It's because I have a hard time seeing the point of what we do now and how it is of any help or use to society in general. Anyways, go check out that post, come back here, your eggs will be ready by then, and we'll dive into this idea of my perfect 'jail.' So to speak.

First off there are a lot of different styles of justice.  Right now in Canada we use a mixture of punitive and corrective justice.  The idea's when mixed are kind of strange and send mixed signals and for the most part, I don't find that either really works.  The reason they don't work is not because they are necessarily wrong, or completely ineffective but because they are completely removed from the events which caused the incarceration.

So if they don't work because of their separation, what do I advocate?  Restorative justice.  What exactly is restorative justice?  Justice based on the ideal that the individual who committed the crime must now restore what was taken or fix the issues created by the crime.  It means direct involvement by the criminal to actively understand and face the issues created by their crime.

There's a lot more details to work out but here's how my 'ideal' jail would work.  First off, it wouldn't be a jail, it would not be some place just to incarcerate individuals as punishment.  I'm sure we can mostly agree that punitive justice doesn't work for the most part.  I would rather have a remote compound that was set up more like a university.  But that's getting ahead of the overall concept so let's take a step back.

First off, the trial process, that makes sense.  But I think as part of the sentencing I would incorporate a much further application of victim's impact and I would make the victims an active part of the process, where they could speak to the complete nature of how the crime affected them, and would have a hand in setting certain marker posts that would make them feel that the crime was made up for.  Those limits are not necessarily monetary, but wouldn't preclude them. 

But the biggest part of this would be multiple encounters that would make the criminal fully understand and face the impact of the crime in an ongoing and comprehensive way.  To fully participate in this idea you have to understand what you did and how far reaching the effects of crime can be.  And then actively come up with ways in which you can attempt to rectify the situation.

So here's the deal, the person is guilty of their crime, and they face their victim(s) and are sent off to this complex that is fairly remote.  And the length of their sentence is 'until they feel comfortable back in society.'

And here is where I get all the 'whuuuuuuuaaaaaaat's?  Yeah, different right?  OK let me explain this part. 

You have to participate in the standard assessments of skills and abilities as well as profiles in both medical and mental health, as well as stay long enough for on going meetings with the victim(s) of the crime.  After that you are given a space in the complex to sleep and are given any opportunity you have to help yourself with the same programs available to the general public.  Obviously there will be suggestions for future endeavors and counselling but the main thing here is to explore yourself and your situation and how you got to be where you are. 

The place will have a basic farm where they will explore different complimentary growing methods, and different workshops to keep the farm running as well as teach those skills, and everyone will receive a taxable wage for the work they are performing.  They will be expected to pay room and board from their wages, and in general the only real difference between being at the complex, and being out in the 'normal' world will be the general remoteness and the availability of counselling opportunities so the individual can come to terms with themselves and learn to fix the problems they create.  This is of course including dealing with continual sessions with the victim to ensure that the situation is restored. 

You can leave at anytime.  With the understanding that continued violation of other people's rights will result in your being shipped off to an island up north to help solidify Canada's claim on it.  this should not be viewed as a threat to you, it is more an aspect of society protecting itself from those that choose to not play well with others. 

That's my crazy perfect jail, in a thumbnail sketch that requires a lot more definition and overall thought but that's the general premise.  Poke holes at will.