As I settle in at work I thought I would throw a few thoughts down in this space in order to keep me upright. The guys don't get up for another hour, and as I am feeling a little under the weather and sleep deprived I need to fight off any and all thoughts of sleeping until it's time to start the morning routine. Shall we?
-As I type this, the NHL mucky mucks are probably still hammering out the details of the details so they can get ready to miraculously end the lockout by tonight or whatever. I am going to be more then happy to welcome back a shortened season as it feels like the sports networks have talked hockey just as much in it's absence as they do when it is actually happening.
-The Canadians flamed out at the World Junior Hockey Champs. I wasn't all that upset really. When I watched the Semi-final where we were thoroughly dominated I noticed a few big differences. The USA had a great goaltender and depth through the forwards. The biggest difference was the ability of most of the American defense to join in on rushes and scoring plays, something that was lacking from the Canadians. The Canadian boys were much too reliant on the powerplay to generate offense.
-While my parents were visiting and helping with the kids over New Years my mom, dad and daughter were able to take in one of my hockey games. This was my mom's first game in 12 years, and she hadn't seen my brother Ian play for about that long either. I had just recieved a new stick from Santa Claus, a fancy Easton one made even flashier looking by its white color. For the hockey playing readers, I went from a Pavel Datsyuk curve to a Taylor Hall curve. I have owned about 5 composite sticks since returning to hockey last year, and I have now had 2 Datsyuk's, 2 Hall's and an Iginla curve. The major difference with this stick is I am pretty sure it's the first time I have gone to a 100 flex instead of a 85 flex. I had been hoping to try one, but was unwilling to splurge until my 30 dollar Datsyuk stick had broken. Of course, because I didn't care for it (my wrist shot seemed limp and my slap shot inaccurate) the stick had proven to be mighty durable. Back to the point, I had promised to curb the goofy stuff and play hockey for my mom. Well, it seems the fan support and new stick propelled me to a great game. I got my 4th and 5th goals of the year, recieved tons of love from my teammates for the moves I made, but in the end we blew a few leads and ultimately lost 7-5 to the second place team. Our team sits in 6th out of the 8 teams. To make things worse, a pretty serious donnybrook broke out at the end of the game. Provoked by one of our guys brushing past their keeper in the dying seconds, 3 of their guys stormed after him, our team followed and a fight broke out. In the end while we "won" the fight, we lost our top scorer to suspension for the next 3 games. So ma got her fight anyway, even though Ian and I were on our best behaviour (we happened to be on the bench when the rumble broke out). The best part was how excited Jasmine had been about the part my gift had played on the night. "Santa must have put some magic in your stick for you Daddy!" Oh, and I will tell you I play for the exercise, but damn it feels good to score once in a while.
-I started my poker year off right. Two sessions this past week for about $400 in profit. The first session I played decently, mostly benefitting from the presence of a beginner who changed the whole table dynamic. My wins weren't coming from him, but his presence made others loosen up and I was able to adjust nicely to the tune of a $380 win. A couple nights later I tried again. It was an up and down ride where I could have easily ended up a big loser. I battled through some bad luck and if I hadn't lost a ~$300 pot with AJ<Q10 on a J93 2 club board I would have walked away up that amount. In the end I settled for a break even session but will be looking to keep the momentum going when I am feeling up to it.
-My plan to be much more proactive about taking care of repairs and chores around the house and what not has gotten off to a bad start. My vehicle has been without heat for a few weeks, and though I know it is an important thing to have fixed I can't bring myself to get it done. Cost be damned, my kids need heat when they ride in my vehicle and I do to for that matter. Please let this task be done by the end of this week.
-My back and neck have been a source of problems for a while now. I lift weights and I often try to chalk the soreness and sharp pains up to muscle fatigue. At this point, I know I am kidding myself and need to get some help. Here is me thinking once again about establishing a proper relationship with my Doctor and asking him for help with my situation. Besides, I should do the turn to the side and cough thing as I never really have and it's stupid not to.
-Sheila has been absolutely on fire in the kitchen. She has embraced the wheat-free movement and has been pretty devout since August. It has led to her experimenting a lot in the kitchen with some great results. Who knew that chocolate chip cookies didn't need wheat flour? Or that nearly every dish can be made without wheat for that matter. While the rest of us haven't joined on full force we have been enjoying all the dinners that are now made without wheat, essentially for us that cut out pastas (easily replaced with corn or bran or rice pasta), perogies (no replacement yet), breads (just a side of the plate filler anyway) which was pretty easy to do. The biggest surprise had to be the Lasagna Sheila made the other day without wheat. Not sure what type of noodles she used instead, but the Lasagna turned out great, possibly it was Sheila's best ever. That's saying plenty as this is one of her signature dishes.
-I like to dabble in sports betting for fun. I never bet enough to change my life in either a postive or negative way, but merely to enjoy it. I take a little satisfaction in winning, and of course enjoy telling the odd horror story about losing too. I have had a decent little run, working off of the same 50 dollar deposit for what must be at least 6 months now. I don't bet every day, often going weeks without making a bet. The last 18 weeks I have not taken a break longer then a week as it has been NFL season. I am no expert, but I have been having some reasonable success betting football. Last weekend I made about $50 by scoring on a 6 team parlay and a 4 team parlay. Yesterday, the first day of the playoffs I correctly played the Bengals +10 and under 48.5 for the game, then in the late game I took the Packers -4.5 and under 50 for the game. I made about $60 yesterday. Of course I am going to gloss over how I went 0 for 3 midweek on the basketball games and told myself once again to stay away from betting that sport, but I am trying to be a glass half full kind of guy.
-No movies this week. Sheila and I were rewatching "Cedar Rapids" the other night before I succumbed to my sore back and we went upstairs to bed. It's a great low budget comedy flick made last year about an extremely nerdy insurance salesman that comes out of his shell. Starring Ed Helms, John C. Reilly and Anne Heche it is well acted and well written, it had me laughing a few times while rewatching it. I got Sheila watching a few episodes of the brief 7 episode run of "Life's Too Short" starring Ricky Gervais, Steven Merchant and Warwick Davis. It's really funny stuff based on Warwick Davis' real life as a dwarf in show business.
That's my time for now, i've managed to stay awake while typing this, mission accomplished.