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Listen To Your Sports Gut Click Here To Comment!

I spent a significant chunk of time in the first half of 2009 working on the concept / development of a hockey skills reality TV show. My job was to produce draft after draft of the concept and to lead the pitch of the concept to lawyers and production companies.

I didn’t say much about this at the time as I had a gut feel that it wasn’t going to go anywhere. And I was right. I thought I’d learn a few things and meet some interesting people. Can’t say that it was a terrific return on investment so maybe the learning is to listen more carefully to my gut.

I did get to wear Mike Krushelnyski’s championship rings one night in a bar. That was fun. 🙂

Krusher's rings

Iceland Is … Click Here To Comment!

… a country that should rightfully be called “Rockland”. There are way more lava rocks – entire fields of them – than ice. At least as of October 2010.

… a country that knows about water. You can be assured of a hot shower anywhere on this island as all the hot water is geothermal. I’d be surprised to learn if there is a hot water heater anywhere on Iceland. The slight downside is the odour of sulfur that comes along with the hot water. After a while, like when you are standing under a waterfall at The Blue Lagoon, the hot water pounding down your back and neck, one ceases to notice the sulfur odour. All the buildings – all of them- are heated by hot water rads with water FROM THE GROUND.  Oh, and the cold water? They have cold springs, too. You can be assured of completely cold, tasteless, wickedly perfect cold water right out of the tap. Which makes me love this country.

… not sure what to make of a bunch of loud, funny, energetic, smiling, laughing Canadian dykes and dyke-loving womyn. After a few seconds, they “get” us and laugh along even if they don’t completely understand. Icelanders have been welcoming, accommodating, helpful, amused, and generally good-humoured sports. Except for the bitchy, bizarrely-dressed flight attendants.

… certainly not suffering from over-population. During the truncated Golden Circle tour on Thursday, there were moments on the road out in the countryside in which we could see for miles and miles. And there was not another vehicle or a house in sight. It is baffling to imagine that a country the size of Kingston (population wise) has the extensive infrastructure that it does. One does wonder how a population of 318,000 can have several tv stations, multiple airports, including a domestic airline, an extensive highway system, and all the other trappings of a modern European nation. Interesting … and it makes me a bit frightened for its future as the global recession deepens.

… quirky. And I mean that with affection. As accommodating as they have been, there are some odd bits. Like the switch in the hotel room that cuts off power to the entire room – even the outlets. Like the cleaning staff who smilingly informed us that we didn’t get clean towels on day two because “all the rooms are full and we have run out. Oh well!”

… beautiful in places. And not, in places. Photos of the beauty may follow. Then, there was the moment on one of the tours in which the Icelandic tour guide drove us around some desolate looking industrial sites with endless single-storey aluminum buildings. The tour narration went something like: “And this building on the right, it was a fish plant. But now it is a Viking museum. And this building on the left, it was a fish plant. But now it is a library. And this building, straight ahead, it was a fish plant. But now it is a monastery.” There are no photos of this part of the tour.

… the female population – at least the ones we’ve come in closest contact with – are as follows:

  • tall
  • blonde
  • young … apparently, one opposition player is 13 yrs old. They are all approaching or over 6 ft tall.
  • strong … So, there I was in front of the net with my stick on the ice. Soon, it was up to me to go into the corner for the puck. I turned and skated – boom! – directly into some tall blonde creature who was like a brick wall. Maybe it was the 13 year old.
  • momentarily taken aback when they first are exposed to our team and our on and off-ice antics – which include dancing and laughing at inappropriate moments, wearing De Valkyrie horned helmets, and using a 3 ft length of garden hose as a trumpet – but soon quite willing to “play” along with us. They soon were butting into our team photos and videos, laughing along and generally getting a kick out of us.
  • really going to develop into good players. Turns out that we were playing members of the Icelandic Olympic team in every game. Each team has coaches, some imported from Russia. Keep an eye on Iceland, people. Some of our laughter was sort of reckless hysteria, like during the game we lost 8-1.

OK – we are about to watch the video of our games over take-away burgers.  Some might watch such a video for skills development. This team is in it for the yucks. Although there was talk of the team starting dry land training IMMEDIATELY upon our return so that we can at least keep up next year.

Day In The Life 1 comment

Tuesday was an interesting day. I should probably write this all down. Nothing truly extraordinary to it, but the day had an interesting rhythm. When I do my dysfunctional projection of "what people think of me", I imagine those who give it any thought at all think I sit in front of the computer all day, playing Scrabulous.

Context – Monday: The overwhelming theme of the day was that I was overly sensitive to, well, everything. It was one of those days where I took Absolutely Everything to heart, and if there was room to interpret anyone's actions, I chose the least positive interpretation. Let's just say that I have one or two of these days every month, fairly regularly, and leave the rest to your imagination.

On the upside, Monday almost always brings the promise of hockey. This particular Monday night game was the last of the season BB, meaning a presence at the pub was essential, so I went early. Summary: Our team was pretty short-handed. Hard skating … hard won victory … we only had two spare forwards, so I played about 35 minutes at centre. That'll get the ol' heart rate up … our defense rocked (they only had one spare player on D) and our goalie (rounding out her first session in the position) played extremely well. I decided to head back to the pub after this late game, so I didn't get home til after midnight.

6:30: Woke up. Tired and a bit creaky. The cat I'm in charge of heard me stir and jumped on the bed, tickling me with his whiskers, staring at me with his big orange eyes. He has no sense of personal space so he gets right in my face with his. His parents come home tomorrow, thank goodness. As with most mornings, after jumping up, staring at me, nudging me and kneading me, he then sneezed on me. Specifically, on my face. A wet sloppy sneeze. He is one of these pushed-in-face cats and his face, in general, is kinda watery. Yuck.

Time to get up.

Computer time while coffee brewing. I skipped the hot water/lemon thing Tuesday for some reason. Made breakfast – pasta omelette with mushrooms and cottage cheese. Considered briefly going to Tuesday shinny then realized that my body needed some down time after last night's game before meeting with Ivan, the Personal Trainer, at 1:00 p.m.

Neatened up apartment in prep for Saint Mavis, my cleaner. She comes every two weeks to make sure I don't wallow in my own spew. Decided to take kitty back next door prior to Mavis' arrival. Decided NOT to bring kitty back over here after Mavis finished. The timing of this cleaning is particularly excellent as I'm having two rounds of visitors this week and I had trouble keeping up with kitty's fur, upchuck, litter distribution, and "let's knock things over" activities. Deities of choice, bless Mavis.

Finished second draft of some client work, sent for approval. Happily received payment for invoice directly to bank account. Paid bills and completed the requisite shell game to ensure money is where it needs to be to complete mid-month auto payments.

Cleaned out e-mail box, responding to many, archiving most. I'm an e-mail pack rat.

Mid-morning there was a crash/bang … Mavis had knocked over a crystal candle holder. My least favourite one, which I tried to reassure her of. She was unhappy with herself, I couldn't really have cared less about this particular item. First time she's ever broken anything, as far as I'm aware.

Worked on some business planning stuff. Made some calls. Left a belated birthday message for Amy @ her work. Realized that I have some new potential business leads that are pretty cool, one of which is quite motivating in terms of just generally getting my sh*t together regarding my Big Secret Project. Unlike Monday, which was quite dark, Tuesday sat on a foundation of excellent potential and possibilities.

Ate apple.

12:00ish: Left for gym. Did 25 minutes cardio on cross trainer before meeting up with Ivan just before 1:00 p.m. This is not the type of personal trainer situation in which I'll meet with him all the time. Basically, it is a service offered by the Y to set up a personalized training program. I have to self-motivate to follow it but I think I'll do ok since I'm pretty motivated at the moment.

Ivan was terrific. The last couple of times I've had someone at the Y set up a program for me, I felt the trainers were just going through the motions. I had one guy spend more time chatting and cruising than actually paying attention to me and my goals. Ivan was FOCUSSED and he has me doing almost entirely brand new stuff for me … circuit training.
10 minutes cardio (cross-trainer)

Gravitron (pulling up, then pushing down)
Fly (x2)
Cable Machine for two arm curl things
Squats with ball
Back Extension
Abs (x2)

10 minutes cardio

repeat weight routine above

10 minutes light cardio

He has me doing stuff I've never dreamed I was capable of, like the back extension and the ab crunches. The ball/squatting thing looked hard but I actually managed 15 reps. I particularly liked the gravitron machine. My muscles felt challenged during and quite "awake" afterwards.

(Aside: I'm writing this on Wednesday a.m. and a few of my muscles, esp. glutes, are grumbling. I must get more disciplined about stretching.)

Ivan and I are going to meet up in early June to see how I'm doing. He'd like to see me 10-12 lbs down and having progressed to heavier weights. If I've met these objectives, then I guess we are going to change things up.

Spent a few minutes in the hot tub @ the Y afterwards. Maybe that is why I'm not sore today!

2:50: Home in time to carry on with some work I started in the a.m., or so I thought. Went to turn on the computer to let it do its warm-up thing while I made something to eat (Home-made burger pattie – no bun + salad). Took my lunch over to the computer to find it stuck and unresponsive at the very opening of its boot cycle. Uh oh. Disconnected the power supply (twice) to see if I could essentially shock it back into life. No luck. Uh oh. Called CG, world's most pleasant computer tech guy. He offered to swing by after work to take a look and perhaps take it away for repairs. UH OH – all my client stuff is on there, last back-up was Sunday, stuff is due this week. But, what choices do I have?

Fired up the laptop, scrambled to find the phone number for the person I was scheduled to meet at 5:00. Tracked him down around 4:00 and decided to have the meeting here at my now clean and neat apartment while CG tinkered on my computer.

CG calls and suggests I find the original Windows disk and try a rescue boot. Good idea. I'm to call him back when I've put my hands on the disk. Mad scramble through piles of disorganized CDs and file folders. Actually, it isn't that bad … but I recalled that I do not have an original Windows CD as XP was loaded at the store. I do have a Compaq recovery CD. Without calling CG back, I pop in the CD that is cheerfully labeled "Compaq recovery Oct. 05" and see what happens. The computer boots back into its pre-hibernated state, and then re-boots properly. It does a check disk and finds nothing wrong. It is back up! I call CG and report back. He wants me to do a scan disk, which I try to do but nothing much seems to happen.

I immediately set up and run a full back-up to my external drive.

Aside: Everyone who works at home and relies on their computer needs a CG. Happily, he was just here last week doing some maintenance work on my unit so he was up to date with everything. I ask him to come by about every six months to just take a look and fix whatever weirdness has arisen, as it does. It is worth the small amount of $ to have things stable and backed up, in my opinion.

Meantime, as all this is going on, I'm concerned about my 5:00, now 5:15 appt. It gets on to 6:00 ish and there is no one arriving. Phone rings, finally, at 6:15. He has had a bad afternoon, too, just generally running late and then having made it all the way to my building but forgetting the instructions to ring in so I could let him in the gate. And he didn't bring my phone number with him from his workplace, so he went all the way back to his office to find my number. We agree that he will send me his materials and that we'll re-schedule for sometime next week.

I had been looking forward to this. I've agreed to mentor a couple of U of T students as they launch their very interesting wireless enterprise. This has really excellent potential, but neither of them have any business experience or acumen of any kind. It is fun to help them, and on this particular day I was planning to help them prep for a presentation to one of Canada's major wireless providers.

6:30: Re-group. The mentoring session is off, my computer is back on, however I seem to have temporarily switched to the laptop, at least for the evening. I need to finish the current phase of the Big Secret Project, which isn't that big a deal. I just need to sit down and do it. I also have to make a pan of my "healthy" (i.e. diet-friendly) lasagna. I bought half the ingredients over the weekend and they will go off soon if I don't get on it. But I'm missing some of the ingredients so head out to the store to pick up cottage cheese, low fat mozzarella, and frozen spinach.

There is a hockey game on tonight, several actually. So the rest of my evening is spent bouncing between the kitchen (chopping, layering, shredding), tinkering away on the laptop, and yelling at the guys on the ice.

I'm not cheering for any of the Canadian teams currently competing. I like the SJ Sharks. I like their style and attitude. I like Ryan Clowe, the big Newf. However, I have a huge soft spot for Jarome Iginla and an even bigger one for Curtis Joseph (CUJO) who truly saved Calgary's bacon the other night, stepping in for Mr. Perfect, Mikka Kiprusoff. So, for me, this is the series to watch. Montreal is going to take their series, and the Sens are toast, pretty much.

Wednesday … finish off everything for my big client before my out of towners arrive …

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Winds of Change 2 comments

Identity … a fluid, amoebic thing. Or maybe a "same old, same old" security blanket for some. Something to keep the boogeyman of change away. So far, 2008 seems to be the year of multiple identity shifts for me. For example, I'm apparently shifting away from being a person who opens my blog entries with complete "Queen's English" sentences to someone who does not.

I'm enjoying some of the identity shifts but it does make me feel like I'm on quicksand. I can't get much of a toe-hold in this state of re-definition. It ties me up emotionally. Apparently, I can't even blog properly when I'm in flux like this.

Of course, I've had the obvious struggles in the distant past around sexual identity and politics. Straight or lesbian? Or queer (whatever that means)? Out, or closeted? A little bit out, or a LOT out? Monogamous or poly? At the moment, I've settled into happily well-adjusted single lesbian who doesn't take every overture as something that needs to be responded to. I'm not resistant, I'm just pickier. Now I can clearly see when I'm choosing between "potential heart-wrenching dramafest" and "quietly harmonious single life", and I prefer the latter.  I fear this also means I'm becoming "set in my ways", as my mother used to say. If "she" does come along, will I get cranky when she gets up earlier, or later than me, or if she likes her eggs done differently than I do, or if she is vegan when I am clearly not?

Now that I'm 44, I'm suddenly noticing the vastness of the generational gap between myself and those who are 15-20 years younger than me. They make me feel old, or definably older, and this is the first time I've been quite sensitive to it. There are dozens of times when I have no idea what they are talking about, or what the joke is. I can feel my face freezing into a

wide-eyed, glazed look that I've seen on the faces of those older than me when they have no idea what is going on, but don't want to be excluded. Although I gave up several years ago on being able to recognize the blond celebrity-singer-actress-flavour of the month, and I've completely lost my ability to be fully abreast of the latest musical trend, I usually mostly know what is going on. Except … sometimes … apparently … I really don't.

On the upside, I'm shifting from a largish-person to an almost regular-sized person. I've lost a total of 48 lbs and it is nice to see photos of me now, esp. when I can compare with a year ago. I have 42 more lbs to go and am adding lots of cardio to achieve the next phase. I'm meeting with a trainer at my gym on Tuesday to add some weight training to my routine. So, hockey three-four times a week plus cardio plus weights. Plus diet. Should do the trick.

The angry feminist in me has an issue with the fact that as I lose weight, I'm getting more – um – attention. I'm the same person, after all. Aren't lesbians supposed to be more "evolved" (HAH!) and generally avoid judging people by their exterior size and shape? Someone pointed out to me that as I've lost weight,  I move differently, and I present to the world with more confidence and energy … that the attractiveness shift isn't entirely about the visual. I buy that. In any case, where my anger makes me particularly uncomfortable is in the realization that I am not especially attracted to large women myself. Given this, any self-righteousness I may have about finding myself to be more "in demand" rings a tad hollow.

Just an aside about this business of lesbians being more "open" with regard to the type of women they are attracted to … a quick trip to Womanline will dash all remnants of this belief. Women there are incredibly specific about who they want to have sex with  date. Only femmes need apply … only butches need apply … only into cute sporty types … must not weigh more than me … must be fit … would prefer a woman who likes to go mountain biking three times a week … I like blondes with long hair … I'm into ultra skinny goth-types and Shanes … it can be jarring and depressing. Whatever happened to "Hey, let's meet up for coffee. If we click, we could have dinner …" ?

I seem to be morphing from a cumbersome, slow awkward hockey player who could, between bouts of collapse on the bench in search of the oxygen tank, occasionally show off some decent stick skills and display an impressive wrist shot to a faster skater who can often get to the puck in time to do good stuff with it. I still collapse on the bench and search for a hit of oxygen, however my recovery time is way faster. Hockey is way more fun this way, I reckon.

Finally, I'm struggling with my workplace identity. Self-employed consultant … business owner … hit'n'run help … leader-for-hire … productivity facilitator … marketing consultant … technology consultant … business planner/strategist … some days it all fits and some days none of it fits. I think it is going to take me the better part of the next few months to really settle in, or even to find a way of thinking about this shift. I'm trying not to push it and am praying for patience but, of all the shifts, this one gives me the greatest trouble. I have always identified closely with whatever I'm doing for a living. When my profession-du-jour has been a bad fit, then I've been profoundly uncomfortable and motivated to change. When I am having a hard time defining my career direction at the most basic level, then I feel like I'm walking around with a giant question mark tattooed on my forehead.

Unresolved, this is.
I make my way, gingerly.
Do stay tuned for more.

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Busy = Celebrating? Click Here To Comment!

I'm not sure "busy" equals "celebrating", but it feels like it a bit to me. 🙂 This is a busy, wonderful weekend.

I'm playing in this. The team I'm on is great fun, but seems to lack that winning edge, that je ne sais quoi. We played last night (lost) and this a.m. (lost). So we are in the "total loser" game later this afternoon, right before the championship game. Great fun, tho … 🙂

So, in between games, I've rushed to the grocery store and picked up what I need to make brunch for a bunch of people tomorrow. I'm making a version of this brunch strata. Mine will have spinach and ham in it. It is best made a day ahead of time.

Then, I have to walk my poor doggie who will feel mostly abandoned today as I rush off to the loser tourney game and then rush off again to my league game that takes place @ 7:00 p.m. So, in a 24 hour period, I'll have played four full games of hockey. 🙂 By the way, today is "Hockey Day In Canada", so four games seem appropriate. The four games is what is allowing me to eat my face off tomorrow @ brunch.

Tomorrow, I have to clean the doggie footprints off the floor, and then make a lite version of this ginger carrot soup which I am making by request to start the brunchness tomorrow.

Damn – I forgot to buy wine …

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It Doesn’t Matter … 1 comment

… if you win or lose, it is all in how you play the game … right? 🙂

Well, our hockey team won the house league finals on Saturday. There are 14 teams in the Saturday house league, unlike the "beginner" house league on Mondays that has only six teams. The Saturday league is much more competitive. And, in some ways, more satisfying.

This has been a terrific season for the Saturday team. We've been through some rough patches around attendance as injuries and family commitments have interceded with some of our team mates. However, there has been no nastiness, no carping, no crabbing and no back-biting. No sniping on the ice. Lots of laughing and support, even through the losses we had mid-season.

To use an oft-used phrase, we "gelled" late, just before the playoffs and started to play a team game. Lots of passing, improved positional hockey. We learned to appreciate good defence along with strong offence. The forward and defensive lines solidified. Somehow, we managed to take this group of two-three very strong and talented players, a very strong goalie, and the rest of this mottley crew to the finals. And – we won! I think I'm still in shock because there are teams that, on paper and occasionally on the ice, should have been able to kick our butts. But … they didn't.

This season is likely to turn into something I can use in the classroom about team play versus individual achievement. I'll work on the "script" for this … but it really illustrates the role each person, even the garden variety non-star players can have in a win.

Very satisfying indeed. 🙂

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Three Fav Moments From Yesterday Click Here To Comment!

One might think I'm almost as obsessed with hockey as I am with Really Good Coffee. Soon(ish), I will move onto a new topic … three fav moments from Hockey Day In Canada …

Wearing The Sweater: All the women playing in the tournament used the same curtained off area as a "dressing room". So, you were just as likely to be sitting beside someone who was about to be your opponent – this certainly added to the fun and the spirit of the event, especially before the "Championship Game". There are no uniforms for shinny but, in order to tell teams apart, the convenor provided really nifty "pinnies" to wear over our sweaters.

However, no one seemed to want to go with pinnies for the last game. A coin was flipped and the other team got to decide about pinnies or colours. They decided they wanted to be "dark", which meant we all had to find shirts that were "light". Most women had a selection of shirts – I didn't bring a light coloured shirt. I brought a blue one and a green one.

However, I heard from across the room, "Hey, Venus, you wanna wear this?" It was GW, holding up her prized replica old-style Toronto Maple Leaf jersey. It is made of thick wool, unlike the light nylon jerseys worn these days. I'd seen her wear it earlier in the day and covetted it. But, more important, GW is – head and shoulders – one of the best female hockey players I've ever had the pleasure to watch – graceful in movement, smart, focussed. Furthermore, she is a fine and generous person who is far happier celebrating a play that results in a newbie scoring her first goal than she is tooting her own horn. I really admire that, and am a bit in awe of her.

Did I mention that GW was playing for the other team in the Championship Game, and that I took the opening face-off against her? Wearing her sweater?

I *did* give the sweater back … after we won. 🙂

"… but, your other arm still works, right?": During the last game of the day, the "real" game, someone on the opposing team fell awkwardly into the boards. I was on the bench at the time and the play was on our side of the rink, so I didn't quite see what happened. Play was whistled down and the player lay writhing, in obvious pain, on the ice for several minutes. It looked like a shoulder injury, perhaps – something amiss with her left arm. She did get onto her feet and, although she favoured the arm, she appeared to be not as badly injured as it first looked. As she skated by our bench towards her own, my good friend (and brand new Voxer) Thumper, always ready with the bon mot, said, "You can still hold your beer in your other hand, right?" which made the injured player laugh out loud.  Laughter is healing, they say … I believe I saw that player back on the ice fairly soon after.

Overheard in the dressing room: After the last game of the day, someone asked a player what happened to result in her getting a penalty …

    Someone: Hey, DC, how come you got that penalty? What happened?

    DC: Well, I was trying to force her to the outside so she couldn't shoot, and then our sticks got crossed, and somehow our legs got tangled and we fell into the boards …

    Me and JK (in unison): Ah … the passive voice! … (laughter) … Sometimes, shit just happens.

OK … it really is time to move onto a new topic … um … how 'bout those terrible Leafs?

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Scorecard Click Here To Comment!

Venus 4 … Fear of Failure 0


Game #3 (Saturday afternoon): 12-7 (for us)

This put us into the finals.

Championship Game #4 (Saturday dinner time): 8-7 (for us … everybody sing … We Are the Champions, My Friend …)

We each won a cool black baseball cap with the tournament logo stitched on it. In pink. 🙂 That would be a stylized female face with hockey sticks for hair.

Quick cranberry juice at the pub with shinny teams, convenor (Great job, Hockey Witch!), and volunteers …  then leaping into car and driving across town for the "real" game …

Game #5 (Saturday 9:00 p.m.): 2-0 (for us … launching our team to the top of the standings)

Holy moly I'm tired … but very very pleased …

A fellow hockey fanatic read these last few entries and sent me an e-mail today – here is an excerpt … "[I'm] thrilled that you, on the most sacred of all days, get to play pond hockey in an all women's tournament. Is that something like xmas, easter and pride day all wrapped into one?" Yes, yes indeed it is. 🙂

Happy Hockey Day In Canada!

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Quick Hockey Update … Click Here To Comment!

Coat and boots on and I'm about to head out to Game #3 … waiting for hockey laundry to dry!

Game # 1 (Friday p.m.): 13-10 (for us)
Game # 2 (Saturday a.m.): 14-12 (for us)
Game # 3 yet to be determined!

There was a request this a.m. for me to print this off for posting on the bulletin board at the arena, which was very nice.

OK – long johns should be dry now … gotta run! 🙂

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Hockey Day In Canada! 2 comments

January 13 is Hockey Day in Canada! (Seriously.) In fact, if all goes well today, I'll be playing in a total of three hockey games myself, with the outside possibility of playing in four. Doesn't that just rock? The term Hockey Day in Canada is a small twist on the legendary Hockey Night in Canada, the now-defunct theme to which many Canadians of my generation can hum in its entirety.

Warm up began for me last night when I played in Game #1 of the 2nd Annual Women of Winter Outdoor Shinny Tournament. The weather for the games last night was not optimal for shinny …drizzle and absurdly high temperatures. Many women had to take outer layers of clothing off by the end of the first period and were playing in single layer shirts. Because of the on/off rain and persistent high temps, the ice was pebbly – it was like skating on gravel. The puck was sticky and hard to manage. HOWEVER, a good time was had by all … our team won our first game, but no one is really paying too much attention to the winning/losing part. It is about playing and having fun.

I have a game this morning, then again this afternoon (early). If we win these, we'll likely make it to the championship game, late afternoon. Then, of course, I have my regular Saturday night "real" league (not shinny) game at 9:00 p.m., in a proper arena with proper gear.

What is the difference between shinny and "real" hockey? Well, some would argue that shinny is "real" hockey and that stuff we see on TV is a mere shadow of the original game. I won't get into that debate here. Here are some of the key differences between organized hockey and shinny:

  • shinny is usually played outdoors on ice that has not got painted lines on it. A pond, for example. In fact, shinny is often referred to as pond hockey.
  • because there are no lines on the ice, there are no pesky rules like offsides and icing. It is a free roaming game!
  • players wear minimal equipment -  in real pond hockey, some play just with a stick and skates and a puck.  I'm more comfortable with my helmet/cage, mouth guard, and gloves. Last night, some women were adding shin guards and elbow pads as they anticipated going for some spills on the rough ice. However, full gear is actually prohibited in this tourney.
  • no goaltenders and, in fact, "goaltending" is against the rules. In real pond hockey, the goal posts are usually someone's boots – which they don't need, of course, because they have their skates on. In our tourney, there are special shinny nets – 17 inches high, normal goal width.
  • no raising the puck
  • when a goal is scored, the team that scored has to clear the ice to half way and allow the other team possession of the puck

That is pretty much it. Basically, give us a sheet of ice and some boots, sticks and pucks and we'll show ya a game!

Power breakfast for three-four hockey games in a day? Mango juice, pasta omlette with spinach and romano, luscious coffee. The weather today is much closer to optimal … temps just below freezing, less enthusiastic drizzle that will likely turn to snow later. Drop that puck and let's play!

PS – Don't forget to de-lurk!

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