Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Live Blog

With the weather and the illness it looks like a slow night for Trick or Treaters. Ginko is down with the flu.
6:00pm - 3 kids so far
6:15pm - 5 more
6:30pm - wow 9
6:45pm - 6 in a spurt
7:00pm - 8, wind is down, had time to make coffee
7:15pm - another 9
7:30pm - 5, gonna be looking at tootsie rolls and doritos for ever
7:45pm - 8 again, Habs are dressed up for the occasion
8:00pm - omg 13, finally broke 10 in 15 min., big ones are out now
8:15pm - 0, I guess it's over
8:30pm - 6 more and I'm closing up shop
72 kids in total

Best costume, I was going to say Leafs as an NHL hockey team or  Toskala as a goalie but I have to give it to the young guys dressed in the old sky blue Hockey Night In Canada blazers. Habs do look ridiculous in the jailbreak unis though, and they have a maple leaf on them?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Goodnight Coach

Just finished talking on the phone with Mom and landed in Peterborough. One more hop and I'll be in Toronto. This was a long week or so it seemed. Inventory is all but done and seems so anti-climatic as compared to the stress filled days we used to spend getting ready. Now things are much quicker and logical. We don't take everything out of the computer, count and put it back in. It always seemed to me that more mistakes went back in than were there in the first place.Why not just fix what was wrong?

I had three game on the clock at Grandview last night and the first two went pretty well, a great Atom AA contest with one of Northwood's stars of last year putting on a good show. Next up was a PeeWee AA game that was good and close without any real silliness. And then came the NorthEnd PeeWee AA's. The same team that had the box full last week and with DW wearing the bands again. Coach started off yapping with the first penalty and never stopped even as he made his way out of the rink with just over 10 minutes left in the game. While some guys try to have their team learn when a penalty is called he insists on saying "that's not a penalty that's hockey" and of course the kids keep doing the same thing and then coming to visit me. His team played better without him as they tied the game with about 3 minutes to go but ended up losing with just 3 ticks left on the clock. Thanks again for new timekeeping experiences, never had misconducts before and definitely never two at the same time with a few other minors added in. And he said he was going to give me an easier game.

And what a lovely day for a bike ride. I never got caught in any real downpour but Eyowen is covered in sand and mud from the construction around the shop. At least I broke 300km for the month.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Better sleep

I got some paperwork and cleaning done this morning and headed out for a longish ride this afternoon. Bridget and I went out Mountain Road, 61, Riverdale and then in on Hanna, 130 and Broadway. Bridget likes to roll around in the leaves after a long ride.

The Northwood schedule is done and posted to the website so I have a few days off there but inventory is coming up Friday so work will be a bit hectic. Tonight is going to be a nice peaceful evening, I hope.

I tried tightening the straps on my CPAP mask last night as it has been comfortable but leaking around the seals and possibly not working 100%. I felt great this morning with just over 6 hours sleep so maybe there's something to it.

Fingers Crossed

On Monday I was off so I spent the morning putting together the teams for Northwood. After four hours I had six teams and one big headache. I emailed a pdf file to each coach and a note to all the parents and went up to lie down. Now I just hope that the effort will result in fairly equal teams. We have one very young goalie that everyone was worried about. I knew I could beef up a team around him but how much? On Saturday we had scrimmages for final evaluation and he looked shaky against the youngest line and I was dreaming up combinations that would give the team a chance. On Sunday he faced the two older groups and held his own against the older kids and goalies. Now I just hope that if he continues to improve rapidly that I didn't make the team around him too strong. That's why I get the big buck I guess. Keep those fingers crossed everybody.

I couldn't sleep so I watched a Discovery Channel program about a British Airways flight the nearly ended in disaster. On the way from England to Australia the 747 passed over Indonesia and as it crossed the southern coast the pilots saw what looked like an electric snowstorm through the windshield. The wings were glowing and the engines looked to be covered in electric energy. The engines began trailing about 30 feet of flames. They lost one and then all four engines at 37,000 feet and started gliding. They could not restart the engines and began losing altitude, one mile for every 15 traveled. They determined they could not reach Australia so turned back for Jacarta. Air traffic control had trouble receiving their Mayday calls. The cabin began filling with smoke and they could not find any source. As the cabin lost air pressure the oxygen masks dropped into the laps of the passengers. The mask for the co-pilot was broken so the pilot dove the huge plane to keep his partner conscious. The strange effects they had seen stopped. As they neared the Indonesian coast the engines finally responded to their attempts to restart. They lost one again but had enough power to land in Jacarta. As they approached they went through more of the weird lights and electrically charged air and lost one engine. On final approach they found they could not see through the windshield and to top it the ILS was down at the airport. As the co-pilot read out the glide slope the pilot brought the plane in safely. The nose, windshield and leading edges looked as if they were sandblasted. Rolls Royce did a complete forensic teardown of the engines and found the problem. They had flown through volcanic ash from Mount Galunggung. Clouds of ash have no moisture so they don't appear on radar and at night are virtually invisible. The ash is basically a very fine sand that caused the 'St. Elmo's Fire' effect they saw, resulted in the smoke in the cabin and also caked the inside of the engines in a layer of molten soot that clogged them enough to flame out. Turning back actually put them through the cloud a second time. Once it cooled during the glide the material hardened and enough dropped off the engines to allow restart. The passengers had resigned themselves to certain death but instead they gather as the Galunggung Gliding Club on the anniversary of the memorable flight.

In the evening I headed out to the First Nations Rink #2 for a few games. I should have brought a parka and an ice scraper. The midget Kings practiced prior to the games and they gather around the timekeepers box to talk and sweat. The glass was totally frosted over and I had to use a puck to scrape it off so I could see even the lights of the clock. They sure have let the rink get run down.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Reader Locations

mouse over the stars for location names

Call Me

I came home from the rink after 3 1/2 hours and was tired. Every player's parent was given a personalized schedule for this weekend last Saturday. Those missing were all contacted. I must have had 1/3 call or email wondering when they practiced next. Everything fell into place as we secured a 6th goalie and the last player that had to be moved up did so without a fuss. I had a long time coach storm out because there's no team for him as he refuses to work with anyone else. The flu has about 10% of the kids at home so evaluating is difficult.

I put a pan on the stove with some olive oil to brown Italian sausage for sauce to go with pasta. As the element heated up I checked my email. We all know what happened next. I went back to a room full of smoke. I opened the windows and then grabbed a chair as the smoke detector went off. I was surprised that the ADT fire alarm didn't make any noise, "have to get that tested," I thought. I put a fan in the kitchen window and got back to supper and then the fire alarm went off. I hit 'silence' and put in the bypass key. Minutes later a fire crew was at the door. My neighbour from across the street came next as Sal had called there. ADT had called her sister at the club who called her at work and she called the neighbours thinking I wasn't home. Then Jen called because her friend who lives across the street had seen the pumper's light show.

I get so many phone calls that I don't want, why couldn't they just have called here instead of letting the world know I was having a bad day.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Now Thats' a Jersey

The Kingston Frontenacs junior team recently wore these jerseys in support of Soldier On. Don Cherry made an appearance and the game-worn jerseys autographed by Grapes are being auctioned off on E-Bay in support of our troops. I looked at a few of the auctions and they were all in the $500 range. The players would probably pay that much not to have to wear them again. You can hate Donald S. and his many opinions but you can't deny his support of the troops and their families.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Rambling

Walked over to the library as the last book I picked up had me snoozing in a couple of pages. It was an attempt to explain Stonehenge. I grabbed a National Geographic video on the same subject and even that was good for a nap. The mysterious rocks weren't dropped by aliens, just stoneage man making a house for his gods. Quite an engineering accomplishment but no where near as exciting.

I found a nice addition to windows that can minimize your windows and keep them visible but smaller. Just drag them to the edge of the screen and the scale themselves. Scalable Fabric is a free download from the good folks at Microsoft (How often do you see those words in the same sentence?), give it a look if minimizing windows confuses you. 

I finally got the developer version of the Google Chrome browser running and got back the ability to run user scripts. They allow modifications to Gmail and other parts of the browser which are very useful. I had them running under firefox and missed some of them.

The weekend sees the last of evaluation for Northwood players. This has been a tough year for getting things finalized. A shortage of ice, kids not wanting to be moved from group to group and an older coach who doesn't have the drive to fit in anymore still hanging around and a shortage of goalies are making life interesting.

Full Pension @31

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


   Bonked is the biker's technical term for what I did on Sunday, rhymes with and basically means zonked. I had only planned on about 40km or 2 hours. I had eaten a couple pieces of toast and coffee. I took one water bottle, a granola bar and some cough candies. I ran out of gas plain and simple. It was really weird to have my legs still spinning but not really feeling anything but a sore butt. Note to self: you can't starve yourself when riding for 3 1/2 hours.
   I did another couple of AA games tonight, I sure am disappointed in the level of play. I think some of our old Pee Wee A teams could have given the teams that I saw tonight a good game. And thanks to DW for filling the penalty box up for me. 3 on one side and another pair on the other. It's a good thing there's no hair left to pull out.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Long Cool Ride

With everything from a touch of rain and snow, sunshine and strong winds I managed a good long ride this afternoon. Jill and I headed out Oliver Road and went as far as Murillo before heading back through Kakabeka. We rolled down the hill into Stanley and up River Road and then back in on 130 and Broadway. It's been over a month since Jill has been out and I haven't put on my riding gear in that time either so 70km was pushing it a bit. I was done as I approached the Neebing Arena. My legs kept going but they were on their own. My mind was on nothing but getting home. Sal had a good hearty meal ready about an hour later and it was devoured.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Time for a Change

   After months with the orange theme I've gotten a bit bored with the whole blogging thing as I guess you could tell from the limited posts. I decided after coming across an article from 'Make Use Of' that it was time to update not only the look but the content of my blog. Things are very strange between my ears lately.
   I know I'm putting on weight and seem helpless to do anything. I've started more than a few times to get back on the smarter eating path and quickly gotten off track. I lie in bed at night and tell myself "tomorrow I'll start" and I can be good all day and then throw the day away by snacking in the evening. I know that once winter gets here and I start walking to work it will help but with just three days a week I need more than that. For the last two years I knew to finish the cancer ride I would need to stay in better shape. Maybe I just need a goal. For now my goal is the picture on the left, when I fit that Swobo jersey and am able to wear it on a ride I'll have achieved my goal. I'm not going to worry as much about numbers or kilometers and just try to get into that jersey. I've had it for over a year and put it on briefly but never left the house in it.
   While we seem to be keeping things together financially even with my reduced work schedule, I still worry about the future. Payments are supposed to start coming in next week from UI and I'll see a bit at month's end from timekeeping. Once we're done with the truck lease that will be the last of the big monthly payment but there's still tuition to work on. These were supposed to be the years to save for that future now that the mortgage is finally paid off. Neither of us need anything extravagant but it would be great to be able to look forward to retiring, right now it scares me.
   And who the hell is that guy I see in the mirror every morning. I don't feel like it's me. I don't feel that old or that fat. But it is and I am, I can't do anything about the old but I am going to do something about the fat. Today.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Just landed in Montreal. Made my way from Quebec City with just the radios, VFR and no GPS. Speaking of frogs I picked up a pair of lights on the weekend as riding in the dark has become the norm. They're called frogs and made by an Australian company, Knog. Yes Knog Frogs. Just a simple led in a rubbery body that can wrap around any part of the bike or helmet. Easily transferable from one bike to another, cheap and very bright. One red on the back and a white on the bars and I'm blinking along.

Liberal GPS

Friday, October 9, 2009

J'ai juste débarqué à Québec

   For those of you that don't parlez, I just landed in Quebec City and am heading for a bike shop to check out the new Lapierres. Not really but then what is real? It was a long bumpy flight again and the roughest landing to date. One big bounce after nearly getting lost in the low cloud. Almost zero visibility until I got under 500 feet.
   Timekeeping last night was good, three AA games with one of the old hands and he shared plenty of tricks. There is alot going on and the games move quickly. No time to stumble around looking things up. By the middle of the second game I was comfortable, except for being frozen. Lesson 1: dress like you are walking to work, (except for the ski mask.)
   Off for another 4 days now but have to remember to stay more active. A few of the endless things around the house, a ride or 2, read (Emperor series (Julius Caeser) book 3), design a rack for Eyowen and a few hours at the rink. Supper with the kids on Sunday and maybe with mom and dad on Monday.
   And if you want to look like you speak another language, give Google translate a try. 它确实有效, Funziona davvero. Paste that in and see what it says. Pick chinese or italian to english.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Wouldn't Have Believed This One

The Heart Does Grow Fonder

After 5 days off and feeling like c**p for the most part I was back at work this morning. I only got out for a spin around the school parking lot with Ginko and a short trip to the library in the 5 days. Bridget felt like a million bucks this morning. As the day went on the pain in my hips and lower back went away so I guess the lost 5 days were my own fault, and Boston Pizza's for whatever ailed my stomach. I did manage a lot of reading.

Last night was Ginko's last here and we spent it playing cards by candlelight. What can you do with a 5 year old when the power goes? I was up reading this morning and the juice went again, he came down for a bathroom run and then headed up in the dark. After getting Bridget out of the basement I came through the living room and was just pulling on my jacket when I saw him sitting there in a chair. The lights were back on by this time but it still scared me silly. And he giggled.

Made my way from Fredricton to St. Leonard Quebec in a rainy, windy flight in the Beaver. Maybe I should stop using the real weather feature. Lord knows how I'll manage to fly into Thunder Bay.

I get my first taste of timekeeping tomorrow night with a 4 hour training session at Grandview. Should not to be too tough as I've done it before just never with the added pressure of a pay check down the road. Just like the refs, once there is money being made you are supposed to be perfect.