Old Red Jacket Talker

Just an old RCMP dispatcher’s ramblings . . .

Curling Just About Done

Today the Seniors had their last curling day of the season. It has been decided to close down the plant after this coming weekend and the Mixed Curling Bonspiel. The Parks and Recreation have an auction slated for April 4th and they are going to hold it in the curling rink (on the ice surface). Now it takes a good 10 days to get the ice out and the cement cleaned up before the auction can be held. Hence the closing down of the curling plant this coming Sunday evening/Monday morning.

Now I’m not sure if I’ll be curling in the Square draws on Tuesday or Thursday this week. If not, then that will be all for my curling season. One nice thing is that today I was handling the Skip job and we actually went out on a winning note. We were tied up coming home with the other team having last rock. I threw my first rock and missed a takeout, but on my second rock I hit what I wanted to hit and had a bit of a roll behind cover. The opposing Skip was narrow on his takeout attempt so we ended up counting 1. Overall, I curled 11 games in the Seniors league and had 7 wins and 4 losses. This was the first year I curled as a Third so I was happy with the outcome.

It is interesting talking to a few of the curlers after today’s game though. A lot of the people are getting up in years, so their comment normally is whether or not they will be taking part next year. One due to availability (ie live or dead), and another is if they can due to knees, legs, etc. I haven’t reached that limit yet (thank goodness), so hopefully I’ll be able to get my weekly dose of exercise in about 9 months 🙂

March 16, 2009 Posted by | Curling, Hanley | Leave a comment

What a Bad Blogger I Am :(

I have had so much on my plate of late, I just haven’t been able to get my fingers around the keyboard to put up much on this blog. . .

I got involved with the beta of the new Windows 7 and have it installed on one of my computers. Then I decided to pick up a new computer (8 GB RAM, 1 GB video card, etc), so then I had to try and transfer all my files etc to the new computer and get Sam set up on my old one (the one with Windows 7 on it). There was a learning curve for Sam as she had recently been using the XP system. So she missed Vista and the new 7 is very much based on a Vista computer. Actually if I read correctly, anyone upgrading to the new Windows 7 and using XP, will have to format and do an install. There is no upgrade available from XP to 7. If you are using Vista, then you can upgrade to 7 though. Now I’m not certain of the XP thing, but that is what I have read a few times. Anyhow, computers have been taking up a bit of my time of late.

Then because my days are not busy enough as it is I was convinced to take on a new task of creating a website for the Town of Hanley. The Town wanted to get their presence out on the Web. I did some work on the site and now the powers to be have to decide if they want to go ahead with the site or just what.

I also created and run another blog for the Hanley Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and it decided to get corrupted the other day. So I have been frantically trying to get it back up and running. I tried and tried, however, I couldn’t retrieve previous posts so I just started over. The feeling is that I’d rather get the blog up and running and I can always try to recover previous posts later on.

Add to the above, I have been very busy with computer repairs of late. Lot’s of new customers which is nice.

Of course I’m also into curling at this time of the year. Predominately I enrolled in the Senior curling for Monday’s. But then I was used as a spare on Tuesday evening and on Thursday evening on a fairly regular basis. So lots of time has been spent at the curling rink.

My Tuesday mornings have been taken up with the Seniors Center and playing pool. There is about 7-8 fellows who go down and shoot 3-4 games every Tuesday morning. I missed as I was so tired after papers I went back to bed. They called me and insisted I come down for a few games. So if I’m home I try and get down for 9:00 a.m. and keep my shooting skills up.

Of course I’m still delivering the Saskatoon Star Phoenix every morning. Thankfully that usually only takes an hour or so. The bad part is that the papers are supposed to be deliver prior to 7:00 a.m. Monday to Saturday. I usually get up between 5:30 a.m. and 5:45 a.m. and get them done. The cool weather has not been nice lately, but at least I do see a warm up in the weather forecasts to come.

Then just because; I also was convinced to take on the caretaker position of the Centennial Hall effective today. The person currently in the position wanted to move on as they had held the position for quite awhile and their life was getting so busy. The feeling is that it should only take me 15-20 hours a week out of my time. Of course that is once I get used to doing what I have to do on a daily basis. Then when there is something going on for the weekend (ie curling spiel, etc) I’ll have a few more hours. I’m not really sure of the time commitment, but I’ll definitely give it a go and see what I can do.

So all in all, I just haven’t had a lot of spare time to actually sit down and compose something for the blog. Lot’s of thoughts, but just not the time to get it submitted. Hopefully my time will start to slow down just a bit as it seems like I’m running out of steam just about every day.

That is not what retirement is supposed to be like, is it? Hope not anyway . . .

March 1, 2009 Posted by | Computers, Curling, Hanley, Legion | Leave a comment

Time Just Flying

It appeared that I just got over the Remembrance Day ceremonies and then I was getting prepared for the Legion bonspiel on January 2nd, 3rd & 4th. Trying to get bartenders lined up (impossible task), ordering the liquor & beer, picking up the orders, purchasing items at the store, etc. etc.

Before I knew it, Friday the 2nd was here. I started going just after lunch and picked up all my orders and got them delivered to the Hall. The fridge stocked up and got everything ready to go for 5:00 p.m. This year I really didn’t want to curl as I just run out of time as it is. Having to curl at least 3 games only impacts the time shortage more. But, because of the weather for the weekend, I did indeed end up curling. We had hoped for 32 rinks, but had to settle for 24 (ours included). This is still a respectable number of rinks though. I did hear that a town east of Regina also had a bonspiel scheduled for the same weekend as Hanley. They could only muster 7 rinks. It certainly is hard to run any kind of a bonspiel with that few rinks.

Back to our spiel though. At 5:00 p.m. we got the bar open and everyone was getting ready to curl. Our team had to hit the ice at 7:00 p.m. so I got a couple guys to man the bar and out I went. Of course we got our butts kicked, but we scared the other team for the first couple ends when we scored. After that we just were not strong enough to keep up. Go figure 🙂

Then it was back to helping out in the bar area, picking up more beer, etc. All in all I got home at 3:45 a.m. Saturday morning. My head hit the pillow at 4:00 a.m. and I tried to get some rest. At 5:45 a.m. my alarm went off and I was up and at em to do my papers. Of course it had snowed and blew overnight and the temperature was sitting near -55 C when I headed out. Slogging through the snow just about did me in. Within 3 blocks my legs felt like they had lead weights on them.

However, I did manage to get the papers delivered. Got home and took a few hours of rest and hit the hall again near 11:00 a.m. We curled once again and of course got severely beaten. That meant we had to curl again at 9:00 p.m. Saturday night. We were able to get in a great roast beef supper though. This was in between watching the bar and sitting at the door selling tickets. But the supper was delicious.

The team headed out for our 9 p.m. appointment and immediately felt we were in away over our heads. Chalk up another loss. That’s three strikes (games) and your out. So it was back to the hall and watched/listened to RJ & the Boys. We got to close the place up earlier than Friday though and we were home by 3:30 a.m. The nice part was no papers on Sunday so I got to snooze a bit longer. Even so, we were back at the hall shortly after 11:00 a.m.

Throughout the whole weekend, the cold was just brutal. I really appreciated all the people that came out and curled, watched, or just visited. Without them, the bonspiel would not have been a success at all. Sandra and I made it home right around 9:00 p.m. A whole lot tired, but not overly so. As I said earlier, it had blew and snowed all weekend and of course I did not find the time to shovel or snow blow the driveway out. I was dreading trying to plow through the drifts when we got home. To my surprise, one of my great neighbours had snow-blowed the sidewalk and the driveway, so it was clean driving into the garage. You just have to love super neighbours like that!

Monday morning of course is the senior’s curling, so I was up early doing the papers, then down to the rink and some more curling. At least I ended up on a winning rink for a change. Prior to heading off for curling I had already received 8 computer repair calls though. After lunch I returned my supplies to the various stores and fixed up two computers. Then I got to rest at home for a bit. Of course I had laundry to do, but heck that is just loading up the washer and then folding after drying. Nothing too tasking other than time.

Onto Tuesday and off we went to the city so Sam could get her INR checked. I also had a computer to look at in the city and a new HD TV to hookup for a fellow. Got that all done and home by supper time. Success both with the TV and with the computer.

Wednesday I got a couple more computers done and not much else. Thursday the same.

Then the weekend hit and I could hardly believe it that here I sit typing and it is already January 11th. Half the darn month is just about gone.

Seeing as today was a nice quiet day I got back to doing my normal laundry today, and decided to clean the oven. It had gotten a bit dirty from cooking over the holidays. Of course yesterday I finally got around to taking down the Christmas tree and putting the decorations away. As I was pulling down the tree, I must of turned the wrong way or something as I must of stretched something in my back. It hurts like all get out. Every time I rolled over last night in bed I woke up from the pain. It almost seems like a ‘stitch’, so I’m hoping I can work it out. And actually after reaching in and doing the oven it does feel a bit better. Hopefully that is a good sign.

Tomorrow, we have curling in the morning and then as expected we have to head back to the city for Sam’s INR. With last weekend being so screwed up, her levels are out of wack, so we have to go in and get it checked again. Hopefully they are back in sync once again after a more normal week.

I normally don’t make any New Year’s resolutions as you just never seem to keep them up, however, I do want to try and hit the blog a bit more often this year. I have been trying to set up a new blog for the Legion (which seems to be working fine) and a web page for the town. The town still hasn’t decided whether they want to go with what I set up or not. If not, then maybe we can get something else set up for them. I told them I was no pro, but I would do what I could for them. We’ll see.

Even with the month tearing by, I do seem to be finding a bit more free time. Heck, I actually sat back and read a book for a couple hours the other day. That doesn’t happen too often as I just don’t seem to get the time. So maybe we are on a roll and I’ll find a bit more free time to spend on the blog.

Hope so 🙂

January 11, 2009 Posted by | Computers, Curling, Hanley, Legion | Leave a comment

What A Weekend

Last weekend was the annual Royal Canadian Legion bonspiel in town. The bonspiel is held every year and normally about the first weekend after the new year. Like all other things, of late the curling numbers have been decreasing. Last year we had 24 teams and we sure were hoping we could at least get that many again. We actually were up to 35 teams that were interested in coming at one time, however, we ended up with 32 teams. This makes for a nice even bonspiel on a 4 sheet curling rink.

The fun all started on the afternoon of Friday, January 4th when the bro-in-law and myself started getting the bar ready for the weekend. We had to pickup cups from our local Legion Hut and then onto to the local watering hole and picked up an assorted variety of beer. This was to be only one of many trips we made to the local hotel for a ‘beer run’ throughout the weekend. Then to satisfy the other thirsty folks, we stopped at our local hardware store and picked up an assorted variety of hard liquor.

We then took it to the community hall and commenced to get the hall set with tables and chairs, the bar area ready to go and just trying to get organized. At precisely 5 p.m. the bar doors were opened and the weekend was on.

Our first curling draw didn’t start until 6 p.m and my first game was not until 8:00 p.m. so I was able to get a little more straightened away prior to my game. We had a great game and were tied up coming into the last end. It came down to final rocks and then we had to do a measurement to find out that our rock beat out the oppositions by about 1/4 inch. You can’t get better than that.

After the game, it was back into the bar area and then off to the hotel for another load of beer. Then it was just generally help out where you could type of thing for a few hours. At 11:30 p.m. I got to take my turn as a bartender. The bro-in-law and I held down the fort until 2:30 a.m. with last call being at 2:00 a.m. Like normal, about 1 a.m. we had a few thirsty folks in the bar who decided to do some power drinking, however, credit to them, no one got out of hand or caused any problem whatsoever.

After the bar closed we then had to clean up the tables, wash the floor and just generally get everything ready for Saturday. Sandra and I walked in the house at 3:45 a.m. and got into bed in short time. Of course I also had my papers to do on Saturday morning, so at 5:30 a.m. I was up and out on the street getting the papers delivered to the good folks of town. When I got done with the papers at about 6:30 a.m. I climbed back into bed for a few more hours snooze time. Then it was down to the hall and making sure everything was ‘good to go’ there.

At 11:00 a.m. I was back on the ice again trying to play the curling game. We definitely did not have a superb game this time around. Actually we got our butts severely kicked by the other team. This of course dropped us into the next level which meant we curled again at 5:00 p.m. that evening. So then it was back in the bar area to ensure the tills were kept clean and the beer supply remained constant. Of course there was another trip to the hotel to replenish the beer and ice supply once more.

By the time our curling time came around, most of the team were tuckered out from the running around we had been doing either in the bar, the kitchen or just helping out wherever. Needless to say we also didn’t do too well on this draw either and by 6:45 p.m. we were done like dinner. Speaking of which, it was time for the supper which was running from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

A great hot roast beef, mashed potatoes, salad, etc meal replenished the nourishment that we needed to carry on. Then it was time to get the hall ready for the evenings entertainment. We had a live band, ‘RJ and the Boys’ on hand to once again supply some superb tunes starting at 9:00 p.m. Of course there was another ‘run’ to the hotel for a resupply, but we were ready for the dancers by the time the lights were dimmed.

RJ and the Boys were a little late starting in that they were on the ice curling, but they got right into the swing of things when they got on stage. The crowd was a bit smaller than we had hoped, but the people that were there were definitely supportive of the band and enjoyed the tunes.

Once again I got to work the bar but this time it was at 12:30 a.m. until closing time at 2:30 a.m. The band continued playing until shortly after 2:00 a.m. so the bar was hopping for most of my shift. At the 2:00 a.m. last call, the bar emptied fairly well and we had things cleaned up relatively quickly. Sandra and I made it home shortly after 3:00 a.m. I got my float ready for the next day and quickly hit my pillow for some shut eye.

We actually got to sleep in a bit on Sunday morning and didn’t get to the hall until around 11:00 a.m. A couple of the other Legion members had gotten the bar area all set up and ready to go, so it was just a matter of filling the till with the float and we ‘good to go’ for our customers starting at 1:00 p.m. As I (and the rest of my team mates) were out of the running in the curling, I was able to put in a bit more time in the bar (cleaning tables or whatever needed doing). My turn as a bartender didn’t come until 7:00 p.m. so I actually got to sit around and visit a bit with the folks.

On the dot of 9:00 p.m. we had the bar closed, the tables all folded and the placed squared away and out the door we went. A short visit with the brother & sister in law and then it was home to get some of the cash sorted out. I got my cash organized and my deposits were done by 12:30 a.m. and then it was bed time once again.

Of course now we are onto Monday and once again I had papers to deliver. After papers I also had curling in the town league starting at 10:00 a.m. While I was out curling, the bro-in-law and one of the other Legion members returned all the empty beer bottles and other sundries. They were all done by the time I got off the ice. So once the curling was done I was able to come home, have some lunch and then head for the city as Sandra needed to get her blood checked as her levels were a bit wonky.

On our return to town I got out and started to pay some of our bills that we had accrued over the weekend. I also had a couple computers that needed working on that were sitting waiting for me, so I got a start on one of them before I climbed into bed later in the evening. On Tuesday, I paid a few more suppliers and finished off setting up a brand new laptop for a local fellow who was heading out to Mexico on Wednesday. With an hour or so tutorial on his new notebook, the fellow was off to the warmer climes. I was then able to work full time on the other computer and get it back into running shape. I finished that up Wednesday at noon and returned it to the customer with paying a couple more bonspiel bills on my travels.

Then tonite my neighbour called and asked if I could curl for him as he had hurt his foot and couldn’t get his shoe on. As I needed to wear myself out some more, I agreed to curl for him. Mind you I was going to hit the curling rink tonight anyway as I wanted to pay for our ice rental from the weekend and I knew the Curling Club treasurer would be curling tonite.

So down to the ice I went at 7:00 p.m. and did my part to keep the ice clean. Nope we didn’t win, but we tried hard. We came up a bit short and ended up in second place though.

As I walked in the door at 9:15 p.m. I thought, “you know, I think our lives are starting to get back to normal once again”. I’m not overly tired, I have no computers waiting to be fixed, and for tomorrow, I have nothing really important to do. Well other than return a few things to the Legion hut, deliver my papers and a few other little things, but nothing really important.

Gee it’s nice to be retired and have all this free time 🙂

January 10, 2008 Posted by | Curling, Hanley, Legion | Leave a comment

Done For Another Year Yesterday was our windup cu…

Done For Another Year

Yesterday was our windup curling for this year. It was a funspiel type of curling with the whole team staying together for the day rather than always changing after every game.

We played 3 four end games with points given for each end scored and then extra points for a win or a tie. As typical of my curling this year our team just didn’t do too well.

Our first game we really stunk up the place and got totally skunked (ie we didn’t score in one end). I think the final score was something like 7-0 so the score wasn’t totally bad. It was just that we couldn’t even get a point in the 4 ends.

The team then had an hour off prior to the start of our second set. Of course this was the noon hour so when we got back on the ice we all were ready for a snooze rather than curling. However, we managed to score in 2 of the ends, but we still came out as losers once again.

It is interesting in that we were scheduled to play all 3 of our games on the same ice which was sheet 2. After our second game we just stayed out on the ice waiting for the opposition. When the opposing team came out we were advised that we had been moved to sheet 1 to play on. This sheet had not been played on for about 2 1/2 hours whereas sheet 2 had played 3 games in a row on.

So we moved over to sheet 1 and commenced the game. Wow was the ice ever heavy. You had to throw take out weight just to get the darn rock into the rings. For the first end only 3 rocks actually got past the hog line. That’s out of 16. Not a very good percentage. However, we played on and the ice did start to keen up some.

At the end of the game, we were up by a point on the last end, however, the other team had last rock. Their skip had a fairly decent shot for a take out to sit two. But he must have choked a bit and they only managed to count 1. So we ended up with a tie game.

I didn’t even bother to look at the scoreboard as I knew that we had the least amount of points of any team. This was not exactly ending the year on a winning note, but at least I (and most everyone else) enjoyed ourselves.

For now, most of the members from the curling will be moving over to golf to see if they can do any better wacking the little white ball around. Many of my curling friends are trying to get me to ‘go out’ and give it a try. As they say, it is just as enjoyable as the curling.

Who knows, after a week or so of nothing to humiliate myself with, I just might take them up on their offer to show me the ropes in golf. I have only been on a golf course once in my life and that was probably 25 years ago or so.

Stranger things can happen.

March 27, 2007 Posted by | Curling | Leave a comment

No Curling As tomorrow is Monday, I was gearing m…

No Curling

As tomorrow is Monday, I was gearing my mind up to the second last curling game of the season. However I received a phone call from the fellow who is looking after the league and he advised that we were going to have to cancel the draw this Monday.

It appears there is a funeral in town and the hall was going to be used. Mind you he also said that there were already 12 people that had called to advise that they would not be able to curl at any rate. I’m not sure if they are sick, away, or just what. Only that they wouldn’t be there. It is darn hard to run a league when that many people are not going to show up.

So our next (and I believe) last draw will be held on March 19th. However, if I remember correctly, last year we also had a sort of funspiel type of thing. But I could be getting it confused with some other curling. At any rate with the weather turning a whole lot nicer of late, I’m sure that most people are going to turn their minds to other things than cold ice and sweeping.

It is always sad to finish up the year though as it is a very nice way to get a bit of exercise and also get out and mingle with a few of the towns folks. Oh well, it is only 9 months or so until next December when the league starts up again.

March 11, 2007 Posted by | Curling | Leave a comment

Another Big W Beside My Name We tried our hardest…

Another Big W Beside My Name

We tried our hardest to give it away today at the Monday curling draws. We kept letting the other team fill up the house with their rocks. The only good part was that we were fortunate to only allow them to score a single point for the most part.

On one end we did fall horribly apart and gave them a 4 ender. It looked like our luck was fading away, but we fought back and got a 2 ender the next end. The following end we then stole another 2 to get our 4 points back.

It took us to last rock and then our skip came into the house and knocked out one of the opposing teams rocks to allow us to count a 4 ender. We ended up winning the game on that shot.

The nice part was I was playing against the lady that was just a shade better than I was in the standings. With this W under my belt, I can move into second worst curler rather than just the worst curler. But then heck we still have 2 more games to go so anything can (and likely will) happen.

For now I’m just going to savour the extra W beside my name. At least until next Monday.

March 5, 2007 Posted by | Curling | Leave a comment

The Wins Keep Rolling Along It’s a Monday so ther…

The Wins Keep Rolling Along

It’s a Monday so there was curling once again. The long and short of it was that we had the game in the bag but allowed the other team to come back and tie it up eight all on the 7th end. We had the hammer for the 8th but it was not looking too good coming up to skips rocks. The other team was able to tuck a rock in the four foot and then surrounded the darn thing with other rocks.

Our skip was going to try a ‘TV’ shot but we really didn’t think he would be able to make it. Even he didn’t think so. But as it happens in curling at times ‘Plan B’ came to the forefront and bing, bang, bong and we were sitting with a counter sitting on the edge of the four foot and their rock had moved out of the four foot. We also had lots of surrounding stones guarding the button. The other skip tried his best to get a rebound and knock us out of scoring, but he came up a couple inches too short.

Our skip didn’t even bother throwing his last rock (in case we hit something we shouldn’t be hitting). The final score was 9 to 8 for us. That means another big ‘W’ for me in the standings.

I just didn’t have the will power to look at the other curlers to see how they made out today. If the other curlers had prevailed and won their games, then I would still be sitting on the bottom with the worst record. Mind you, I just may have the worst record, but at least I don’t know that at this point in time.

I think I’ll just savour the win for another week before I actually look at the individual listings for the players.

Reality will be here soon enough 😦

February 26, 2007 Posted by | Curling | Leave a comment

WhoooHooo It’s A Win!!! Even though it was a holi…

WhoooHooo It’s A Win!!!

Even though it was a holiday in Saskatchewan today, we still had our curling go ahead as normal. I played the late game today, but was at the rink early as I was on lunch detail. When there were no customers waiting for lunch I got to looking at the curling board and the wins/losses of all the members.

As I glanced through the list I saw that I probably had the worst record of anyone who regularly curls. I have only had 1 win under my name since we started curling. I did notice that one other lady only had 2 wins under her belt. She was curling the early game and it looked like she was not going to get another “W” beside her name. So I had some hope with our upcoming game.

We actually had a very good game going for us even though we had given up a 3 ender to the opponents. On the 7th end we actually scored a 4 ender and tied it up coming home. Of course the other team had the hammer, but we were going to give it our best.

Lo and behold we stole 2 on the 8th end and we were victorious. That also meant that I got another ‘W’ beside my name. I was just thrilled as all get out, but then I looked over at the other lady to relish that we were even in the standings. Wow was I deflated, her team pulled off a tie today so she was now sitting at 2 W’s and 1 T with the rest being L for losses. My total is still only showing 2 W beside my name with all the rest being L.

That means that once again I have the worst record for all the main curlers in the Senior Curling League. You know, I just might get a complex soon. But I do have 3 more weeks to go so hopefully I can pull out at least a tie to add to my list. A win would really be great though 🙂

February 19, 2007 Posted by | Curling | Leave a comment

One is a Lonely Number This is Monday so it was c…

One is a Lonely Number

This is Monday so it was curling day once again. As per normal the team I was on gave it a valiant try, however, we came up a couple points too short. It was 7-6 for the other team going into the last end. We had the hammer which should have allowed us to at least tie the game. As per normal, the team didn’t bring it to the forefront and we gave up a steal of 1 in the final end. The final score being 8 to 6 for the other folks. Mark that down as one more ‘L’ beside my name.

That makes it 7 L’s and 1 W for my record in the league so far this curling year.

But of course it is all for fun and exercise, so I certainly don’t take it personally. When you are playing with different people on your team every week, anything is possible. In my case it is just a bunch of L’s beside my name.

So be it 🙂

February 5, 2007 Posted by | Curling | Leave a comment