Old Red Jacket Talker

Just an old RCMP dispatcher’s ramblings . . .

Poppy Time

It is that time of the year once again when we can ‘officially’ wear a poppy.

The Royal Canadian Legion dictates that the wearing of a poppy should only be worn during the Remembrance period, starting on the last Friday of October and ending at midnight on Nov. 11, or at other veteran-related special events. Of course civilians can and do wear poppies whenever they want. There is no law against this and to some people they feel it shows respect for our military all year long.

A few other reminders for ‘Poppy’ time as reported by CTV News in 2008 are as ‘quote’:

Poppy protocol:

– The poppy should be worn as close to the heart as possible or on the left lapel of the outermost garment.

– The poppy should only be worn during the Remembrance period, starting the on last Friday of October and ending at midnight on Nov. 11, or at other veteran-related special events.

– The poppy should never be defaced in any way including replacing its pin.

– An old poppy should never be reused. Appropriate disposal of the poppy is left to the discretion of each individual.

– Any poppies found lying on the ground would be best placed lying at the foot of a war monument or in a local cemetery.

Little known facts:

– Until 1996, poppies were handmade by veterans in Vetcraft workshops in Montreal and Toronto. The work provided a small source of income for disabled ex-service persons.

– While the traditional lapel poppy is the most popular, car models, large table varieties and metal pins are also available at most Legion branches.

– The centre of the poppy was originally black but was changed to green more than twenty years ago to represent the green fields of France. In 2002, it was changed back to black to reflect the actual colours of the poppies that grew in Flanders, Belgium.

– The poppy is an international “symbol of collective reminiscence.”

– Poppies have been associated with those killed in combat since the Napoleonic Wars of the 19th century, more than 110 years before being adopted in Canada.

– Prior to the First World War, few poppies grew in Flanders. Trench warfare enriched the soil with lime from rubble, allowing “popaver rhoes” to thrive. When the war ended, the lime was quickly absorbed and poppies began to disappear again.

– In 1915, Guelph, Ont. native John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Canadian Forces Artillery, wrote about the poppy explosion in his famous poem In Flanders Fields.

– An American woman inspired by McCrae’s poem wore the flower year round and exported the idea to Madame Guérin of France who sold the handmade poppies to raise money for poor children. Guérin later convinced friends in Canada to adopt the symbol as well. ‘unquote’

The monies that local Legions make from the sale of the poppies and wreaths are used for the betterment and welfare of Veterans and their families in your local area. So the main thing is to purchase a poppy (or two, or three, or more), and wear them proudly during this time of the year (or all year if you are so inclined).

Lest We Forget

October 30, 2009 Posted by | Legion | Leave a comment

Military Death

The CBC recently released a press report of the death of another soldier in Afghanistan as per Canadian soldier dies in Afghanistan and confirmed by the Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada.

This is the 125th death since the mission began in 2002 and is the 5th death this month.

We Will Remember Them

July 16, 2009 Posted by | Legion | 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

Remembrance Day

I finally get to take a breath once again after the November 11th Remembrance Day ceremony is over. You would think as the President, I should get to sit back a bit and have others take care of the business. Of course in a small town Legion Branch this just doesn’t happen. We need all the members we can to work towards putting on anything we do. Normally, there is a core of 10-15 members who do the majority of work and then a few more that will jump in and help at the last minute. It would appear that many of the same people are working at the various events over and over again. It does show that some of members are getting a bit tired and would like ‘new blood’ to take some of the load. Heck, I’ve only been a member of Hanley Branch for 4 years and I already feel a bit of that. Just think of the members that have been doing it for 15-25 years. Of course the veterans are not getting any younger and so it is hard for them to take up much of the load. They have had their time, now the torch is being given to the younger members. The trick is to get these members to take up the torch.

The ceremony did go off without too many glitches. Well, at least glitches that the local citizens would recognize. But all in all it did go over well. This was my first opportunity to be the chairman of the ceremony and of course I had a few anxious moments. Our member who was running the sound system was sort of impressed that I had no problem with the microphone. Some members are a bit shy of speaking into the mike, etc. I explained to him that after 30 years of yapping on radios through a microphone, I most definitely was not intimidated by them.

The local RCMP Detachment did not have anyone present at the ceremony (nor was there any contact with myself regarding my enquiries). However, we were very fortunate in that a member who was originally from Hanley was home for the service. As luck would have it she showed up in her red serge and after I approached her and plead my case, was more than willing to serve as our Canadian flag bearer and lead in our colour party. Thank you Bobbie Jo, you made our day.

The amount of local military members were a little shy this year as well. It would seem that most of the Dundurn establishment went to the Saskatoon ceremony. You can’t blame them in that it was billed as the 2nd largest indoor Remembrance Day ceremony in Canada in the city. We did have 3 members show up, with two of the members having their families along. The third member’s family travelled into Saskatoon for that ceremony.

The guest speaker was Lew Dudridge who was a long time member of the Hanley community who has now moved to BC to the warmer climate. He served in WWII as a pilot, is a former mayor of Hanley, a writer and a successful businessman. During his talk he drew from his experiences in the war and related it so there was a local flavour. Everyone I spoke to was more than happy with his talk (albeit he was a little long winded). The thought that he had a tendency to go over his allotted time is nothing new for Mr. Dudridge. He is well travelled, well spoken and more than willing to expound on many, many matters. After all, a fellow that is pushing 91 has many a thought to pass on to the younger crowd 🙂

After our service we had the Frank Ball orchestra come in and entertain the folks from 3:00 pm until 7:00 pm. The crowd was a little less than last year, but those that were present tried to make up for the shortage of people with their dancing. In an estimation we likely had around 100-125 people in attendance for the dance.

At 7:00 p.m. the Ladies Auxiliary put out a scrumptious ham, baked potato and all the trimmings supper. There was a small decline in folks attending supper as well. I believe there were 138 plates that were used where normally it is around 160 or so. Part of the decline would be because of the wintery conditions that were prevalent on November 11th in our area. Freezing rain, blowing snow and just blustery weather does not make for a very conducive driving situation. Of course a lot who normally attend are getting up in years and with conditions such that we had it is understandable they didn’t tempt the highway conditions.

A final count hasn’t been made, but it does appear that we didn’t go in the hole for the ceremony and may have made a few dollars. Not as many as some years, but then this has never been a ceremony where we were out to make money. The thought is to honour our veterans (old and new) and have a ceremony to ‘remember them’. I do believe we accomplished what we wanted to do.

‘We Will Remember Them’

November 16, 2008 Posted by | Hanley, Legion | Leave a comment

Just A Bit Peeved :(

I’m normally a fairly understanding person and usually take the middle road in most things.

This last Friday, October 31st, was the first day of the local Poppy campaign for 2008. Here in Hanley we have a group that sells wreaths to business people, companies, and individuals. We normally have 3 teams that take care of our community and area. They are usually chomping at the bit to get out and sell poppies and wreaths for our Remembrance Day ceremonies and are very dedicated.

So on Monday morning my Poppy Chairman comes to me and advises that all is going well with the exception of the local RCMP Detachment. The members responsible for the RCMP tried all day Friday and all day Saturday at the Detachment to contact a member with no success.

I informed the fellow that we don’t have any normal business hours for our local Detachment any longer as the RCMP has cut the Detachment to only two members and right now they are short one member. Of course this member works mainly nights when the request for service are the most. The Poppy chairperson asked that I attempt to get a hold of the Detachment and see if they wanted to purchase a wreath this year for our Poppy campaign.

Monday morning I called the local number for the Detachment and after numerous no answers I finally let the call go through to Saskatoon (knowing that member normally works nights). I explained to the clerk who answered who I was and why I was calling. She appreciated the call and replied that normally the Detachment does purchase a wreath, but I should talk to the member at the Detachment. The clerk then gave me the local number (duh I just called it a bunch of times) and also the cell phone number of the member in the area. She also advised that the member was working this evening and to give the Detachment a call after 6:00 pm. when the member came one duty.

I waited til about 5:55 p.m. hoping to catch the member before he hit the road. No answer. So I called at 6:00 p.m., 6:10 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. with still no answer. So the next call I made I let go through once again to Saskatoon and was answered by a member in the Detachment in Saskatoon. He assured me that a Hanley member was working this evening and just must be busy and to try my call again.

So I waited for an hour and tried the Detachment again. Still no answer (which is understandable if the member is out on a call). I then gave the cell number a call that the clerk had provided and actually got an answer from the member. I identified myself and the member acknowledged who was calling and then the phone went dead. Hey, this is a cell, so bad coverage etc, etc.

I thought that the member would give me a call back as he knew my name and must have my number from call display or a phone book to look up the number. After 10 minutes and no call back I again called the cell. It rang and rang and rang and no answer. I re-tried thinking maybe I had a wrong number, but nope, ring, ring, ring and no answer. So I thought maybe the member got tied up and would give me a call later. After a couple hours I again called the cell and just received a ring, ring, ring with no answer.

I then waited for another hour or so and tried again with still no answer. So I then tried the Detachment again and still no answer there. Then all of a sudden the police truck heads out of town past my living room window. I think that of course the member is heading out on a call so I don’t expect him to give me a call for the evening and that he must have been busy.

The next day I tried the Detachment and cell again and still no answer at either number, yet a few minutes later the police truck drives past the house heading out of town. So I call the members cell phone again and I still don’t get an answer.

Being an ex member I figure the member is heading to a call and is tied up and has no time to give me a call back so I send the Detachment an email message with a request for a confirmation on there attendance at our Remembrance Day services. A couple days later and still no answer.

So today I tried the Detachment again and still no answer on the local phone. There is no sense in going through to Saskatoon as they just tell me to keep trying the local number. Getting a bit peeved here by this time 😦

I typed up a letter and faxed it to the Detachment this afternoon hoping that when the member comes to work he would at least check out his fax machine. I received nothing back this evening, but I figured that maybe the member is on days off now and won’t likely see the fax until probably Friday.

What I really hate is that when I have to get up in front of a group of 20-30 people and tell them I have had no luck in contacting the local RCMP and everyone shakes their head and agrees with me and say this is normal. Ashamed just doesn’t cut it.

I then think that maybe I should tell these folks to just call 911 as numerous of our folks in the province do and that way an incident is created in Regina by DOCC and a member always gets back to these people as a complaint has been generated and the member is more or less compelled to do something.

Sorry, I just can’t do that after sitting in DOCC and hearing the sad tales on the 911 line that a person’s 12 year kid won’t go to bed and she requires the police attendance to make the child go to bed, etc. A bit later I then hear the member booking 10-23 (at scene) of the caller. Just a bit of disgust on my part on hearing this. But better that than continually calls to 911 complaining about lack of police attendance.

Gosh I wish I could get my kids tucked in by a $70,000 + per year police officer whenever I wished 😦

I do realize that this most definitely is not an emergency call, but there are still many, many calls to the police that are just a routine complaint/request for service that eventually end up in something more serious or need to be answered. It would appear that either the member(s) are so overwhelmed with the calls in the area that they just do not have the time to return calls or they just don’t care. If it is the previous then the Force should be definitely looking at getting more members in place. If it is the later, then the Force should be looking for a better Detachment for the member rather than a small town Detachment.

For our local Remembrance Day ceremony, if the member shows up great, if not then we’ll just go on with our service without them. The sale of one small wreath certainly is not going to break our bank.

It just is not a very satisfactory method of doing business in my mind though. . .

November 6, 2008 Posted by | Hanley, Legion, RCMP | Leave a comment

RJ and the Boys

I was recently advised of a video that was uploaded to YouTube by the musical group, RJ and the Boys.  Both Ray (singer) and David (drummer) from the band are members of the Hanley Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and have played for our annual Curling Bonspiel the last couple of years.  Both times they did a terrific job of entertaining the curlers and guests. As well, the band plays at Saskatoon Legion Branch 63 on a fairly regular basis.

Unfortunately, embedding has not been allowed on the video, so all I can do is insert a URL link to view the video. 

RJ and the Boys

For anyone from Saskatoon you should recognize a few local of the local landmarks from the video. The band does have 2 or 3 CDs out and do a great job of singing/entertaining.

March 12, 2008 Posted by | Hanley, Legion | Leave a comment

Rocks In My Head ?

As I was sitting here reading a few blogs, I got to thinking that it was nice to have a nice quiet sit down behind my own keyboard for awhile.  It seems like I’ve been just going flat out for the last while.  So then I got to thinking what I’ve actually been doing of late… Curling, Legion, fixing computers, more fixing computers, more curling, and on and on and on . . .

My term as the Treasurer of the local Royal Canadian Legion is up this month after a two year term.  I thought that it would be nice to sit back and just help out when needed.  So then we had our monthly meeting last Wednesday and after it was all said and done, I end up as the friggin President for the next year.  Our previous President is moving away so we needed someone to sit in for a year to finish up his ‘tour of duty’.  I know for a fact I did not put my hand up (I just don’t do that any more), but it didn’t matter, in the end I got elected to fill the shoes for the next year.  I think I have to invest in some good tape to put over my mouth in the future so I don’t get to reply to some requests.  But as normal, I’ll do my best and try my hardest to do a good job.

Then last night I came home after putting in another strenuous curling game after I had been out all afternoon fixing a couple computers and remarked to Sandra that I felt like I was running up and down the ice all night long and I was tired.  Getting old? I really don’t know, but I do know that I had my daily workout during that game.  But heck in the end we won the game and this old guy got some exercise.

I did get to thinking ‘was it time to slow down a bit’ and take life a bit easier?  Yah, good thought.  Then I walked down to the local hall and submitted my application to take over as the caretaker for the building which entails a hall, club room, washrooms, work offices, and a few other odds and ends.  It doesn’t really entail a lot of time (somewhere around 10 hours or so a week).  Just mainly keeping the joint in semi clean state, making sure the snow doesn’t plug up the entrances, etc.  It only takes a few minutes walk from the house and I’m there, so I thought ‘why not’.  Then I sat back and thought, ‘This is taking it easier?’ I’ve got to be nuts.

One small consolation, maybe, just maybe they won’t accept my application (too old, too young, not enough hair, not enough anything) and then I can get on with my plan to slow down some in my retirement time.

Naw this isn’t going to work.  I just get bored too easily 🙂

February 8, 2008 Posted by | 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

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

I haven’t been real active in the blogging of late. It just seems like there is so much to do and not enought time to get it done. The least of my time has been tied up getting ready for the local Remembrance Day ceremonies. I’m not sure how I got rooked into doing what I get to do, but it looks like I got elected when I wasn’t looking. Note to self: “No more pee breaks during Legion meetings”!

Of course the latest death of a very junior RCMP member in Nunavut also doesn’t put me in a great mood especially as we near November 11th. I just don’t know if I agree with sending such junior members to the North, but today is not the day to debate that one.

Today is a reminder to all about November 11th and what it entails. There are many, many books and internet sites out there letting us know about this important day and what it entails. However, I did come across a few links that put it all together (for me at least).

Here are a few links that remind me what November 11th and Remembrance Day is all about:

Remembrance Day Letter – 2007

Canadian Forces Tribute Video

Watch or listen to the “Terry Kelly” Remembers song & video

Watch the “Peacekeeper’s Letter Home” video

A List of Fallen Canadians since 2002

Canadian Forces Casualties in Afghanistan

Lest We Forget

November 10, 2007 Posted by | Legion | Leave a comment