Better Late than Never…

Distractions, Being Reminded You’re Old…

With a three week break between events I’d hoped to catch up on Broomgate and a few other odds and ends, curling and non-curling. It’s what happens to a competitive curler in real life.  You step out of reality to play in an event, then catch up with the world for a few days or weeks in between, all while prepping for your next spiel. Continue reading “Better Late than Never…”

Oct. 15-17, 2015 Kamloops Cash

The Teehead is a Lonely Place, Karmic Chicken Wings

I initially started this entry like the ones for the Cloverdale and Vernon Cashspiels. The idea of a daily recap with insights into different aspects of the sport at a competitive level, both on and off ice.  As the weekend unfolded, and we exited far earlier than hoped for in a manner unexpected, all I came up with were lengthy, dreary recounts of how we lost games we should have won against opponents we are far better than (IMHO of course).

The resulting effort was so depressing I would have had you looking for sharp objects to end your suffering. Continue reading “Oct. 15-17, 2015 Kamloops Cash”

Vernon Cash-Day 3

A Missed Opportunity, Feeling Bad for the Skipper, But That’s the Nature of This Stupid Game

Sunday began with another feline alarm clock going off before my own. At least this time she let me sleep 30 minutes longer than Saturday.  After the ritual I got to work making a good, greasy breakfast for Shawn, Brant and myself.  One 500G package of bacon, two large Russets chopped into hash browns and fried in most of the rendered bacon fat and, lastly, 8 eggs scrambled in the remainder of said fat with a bit of Grand Padano grated in at the last.  Coffee (whatever’s on sale.  I am not a coffee snob) for Eklund and I, Earl Grey tea for Brant. Continue reading “Vernon Cash-Day 3”

Saturday, Day 2 of the Vernon Cash

A Very Good Day and, WTF? Another Footlong Falafel?

I have two alarm clocks, three-if you count the one on my phone. One is an old clock radio beside my bed.  The second is a small, red-furred, female feline who seems to know precisely when its 15 minutes to wake-up and wishes to deny me that last few moments of snooze time.   My cat is cute and she was chosen as a kitten by my daughter (christened with four names: Star Princess Sparkle Sexton), but I like those 15 minutes.  Nevertheless, it’s hard to get pissed off at a little purring furball poking your nose with its cold one saying, in effect; ‘time to get your lazy ass out of bed.  And, BTW human slave, did you clean out my litterbox  yet?’ Continue reading “Saturday, Day 2 of the Vernon Cash”

Vernon Cash Sept 30-Oct 2, 2016 Day One

How to Almost Win a Game Playing Lousy

It’s just before 9am on Sunday morning in my home in Vernon. Coffee steaming in my Tweetie Bird mug beside the laptop, I have a few extra minutes before the front end rouse themselves from their stupor and our day begins.  Time enough for a quick recap on the events of the past two days in the Vernon Cash.

The boys arrived late Thursday night, driving up from Vancouver in Stephen’s Kia. Our front end, Brant Amos and Shawn Ecklund, are staying with me while Stephen basks in luxury at the Prestige Inn.  I only have three bedrooms in the condo and he’s a notoriously light and poor sleeper.  The snoring that Shawn and I allegedly make would keep him up, so he opts for a room of his own.  No biggie, we want a rested, non-grumpy skip after all.  Continue reading “Vernon Cash Sept 30-Oct 2, 2016 Day One”

Broomgate-History Part 2: WTF Happened to The Curl?

(Warning: Part 2 of contains some technical stuff that no matter how you dress it up might be boring. But it’s important. So go get a coffee and try to keep your eyes open)

During the 1980’s a strange happened. Ice gradually began to become straighter and faster. Rocks were curling less and in some cases not at all-even going backwards (or ‘falling’)-and slow ice suddenly became lightning quick. Now quick ice wasn’t really considered a problem. But ice where rocks wouldn’t move? With curl disappearing, you couldn’t draw around a guard to hide your stone and force a miss from your opponent. Continue reading “Broomgate-History Part 2: WTF Happened to The Curl?”

Broomgate Part 1-How Did We Get Into This Mess?


Originally I had hoped to neatly sum up this ridiculous mess called Broomgate in one blog. Unfortunately, there’s detail and depth YOU need to know to truly understand what’s transpired.  And it has to start with what I hope will be a brief (because I’ve edited the hell out of this thing all summer) and enjoyable history lesson.  So sit back and enjoy the first segment of a (hopefully) short series on Broomgate…

A Spanish Philosopher, Drunk Scotsmen and this is all Paul Gowsell’s fault…

‘…those who ignore the lessons of history are fated to repeat them…’ Georges Santiago, 20th Century Spanish Philosopher

What? You thought this blog was about curling? It is.  Santiago is a hero of mine.  I first heard this quote while zoning out in a Grade 8 Social Studies class (for you Americans in the audience, that’s Canadian for History Class).  Basically, my teacher was explaining to us how we continue to ignore events of the past and then repeat them, over and over. I immediately came to attention and began to listen-because the old guy was right. The world is full of examples of the human race committing the same mistakes made thousands of years of years ago.  Look around you, it’s true. Continue reading “Broomgate Part 1-How Did We Get Into This Mess?”

Cloverdale Cash-Day 3

My Car, Another Former Schneider Teammate, Team China Again and a Falafel Footlong

After a short social visit with Team Geall, Stephen and I headed to his place. Our quarter-final game against Wes Johnson was at 9 Sunday morning so we wanted to be home and lights out before 1am.  As usual I was up first and into the shower, moving quickly-in addition to the regular routine, I also had to pack up.  Regardless of how far we advanced in the final round, I was headed back to Vernon when we were done.

My car had been parked at Stephen’s since Thursday enjoying, if cars do, a few days bathing in Lower Mainland rain. A quick word about my little beast. It’s a 2005 Toyota Corolla CE with over 240,000 kilometers on it.  It’s had a few, lol, rock chips and dings in its time, but this thing is a virtual tank.  I’m on a pretty tight budget so what maintenance it get’s is strictly the mechanical parts.  Yet everyday she fires up like a champ, doesn’t burn oil, sips fuel like a teetotaler and gets me and my kids wherever we need to go safely. Say what you like about other manufacturers, for my money no one engineers tougher power trains than Toyota. Continue reading “Cloverdale Cash-Day 3”

Cloverdale Cash-Day 2

Spoilers, a Nice Rebound and the Evil Twins…

One blog back I mentioned how we had to be on our toes going up against Andrew Bilesky. If you recall, he was 0-3 with no chance of advancing to the money.  That made them a very dangerous team when you’re in a round-robin qualifying format.  Nothing to gain, yet also nothing to lose.  With zero pressure on them they could play spoiler, come out loose and not miss a thing.

While that didn’t exactly happen, we did lose to a team we should have beaten. Sadly, the score was once again 8-1.  The game started well for us.  We had last rock advantage in the first end (I’m 3-0 in coin tosses so far) and had a great chance for two in the first end.  Unfortunately, we didn’t take enough ice on Stephens last shot-a quiet take out that maddeningly over curled a millimeter, rubbed our own stone and then was redirected just enough to miss Bilesky’s shot stone and give them a steal of one. No biggie, we thought, a good end that just went sideways and it’s only a single point steal.

In the second we had another end built to score two and again just missed-but scored a single to tie the game at one. So we were, at least, outplaying our opponents.  Then the wheels fell off in the 3rd and we gave up a horrible 6.  True, it’s not as bad as giving up 7 or the ultimate 8.  But it effectively ends the game.  Coming back is possible when you still have another 5 ends to play (this event was the usual 8 end games most cashspiels have become), but it’s rare.  You need to bounce back the next end with a big score (think 3 or more) to give your team a lift and make the comeback appear attainable. Continue reading “Cloverdale Cash-Day 2”