Monday, November 27, 2006

Six years ago

Six years ago today, right about now, I was donning a set of OR scrubs to watch the birth of my first daughter.

Let me tell you, if you're expecting, and you haven't seen the Cesarean episode on The Learning Channel, you might want to check that out before the big day. It played out right in front of my eyes, exactly the way it went on TV. The only thing I didn't remember from the TV show was the tiny stool they gave me to sit on. It was about six inches off the floor. I guess they were assuming I was going to take a nose dive, and the short fall to the floor wouldn't hurt that much. Far from nose-diving, I was watching the entire thing in amazement. It was far more dramatic than the birth of my second daughter, which took about five minutes, and was over almost before I knew it. Way less messy too. :)

Happy birthday, V!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Home Hardware Bonspiel, Day Four

Team JugOrNot got off to a good start last night, jumping out to a 4-1 lead after four ends. The next four ends did not go so well, with some (uncharacteristic) bad strategy calls and some tricky ice. We gave up seven unanswered points over the next four ends, to bring our week to a crashing halt. Oh well, back to regular league play on Tuesday, where we remain undefeated.

The ice at the Galt Curling Club was really fast - by far the fastest we played on all week, which was great. It also curled four to four-and-half feet, which is ok for a guard or a draw, but the normal weight hits were curling two to three feet.

I was watching with some interest the game on the sheet next to us, where a fellow Elmira team was playing the guys that creamed us on Monday night. It was a really close game, back and forth the whole way. The Elmira guys were up one coming home, without the hammer, so they're playing to steal the whole way. Lots of rocks in play, draws and taps and guards - very cluttered.

When it came down to skip rocks, the Fergus team had two rocks at the back of the button. With his first rock, the Elmira skip tried to draw down right into the pocket, which would probably have given him the win, if not at least forced an extra end. The rock rubbed a guard and stopped just outside the house.

After much discussion, the Fergus skip decided to throw up a long guard, which he made perfectly. The only thing left for the Elmira skip to do was try a runback on the guard, onto his rock just outside the house, into the pocket on the button. It overcurled on him, drove the guard onto his rock, taking it out. The raised stone spilled into the house.

The gloves came off for handshakes, when one of the Fergus guys starts counting. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. "Holy shit," he says, "we're sitting seven right now!" The skip looks at it, says, "I gotta try this," heads back down the ice and draws the four foot for the eight-ender. Nice way to lose for the Elmira guys, you're up one playing the eighth end and you give up eight. It's going to take a little while for the swelling to go down.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Home Hardware Bonspiel, Day Three

Team JugOrNot seems to like winning the coin toss, and we jumped out of the gate with another three-spot in the first end last night. We stole singles for the next four ends, and went into the 6th end up 7-0. We played a fairly open end, and gave up two. The "velcro snap" was heard, and there were handshakes all around.

The ice in Arthur was fairly quick, decent curl, and predictable. By far the best ice of the week so far. Tonight we're at the Galt Curling club. This is the fifth year in a row I've played at one or the other of the Galt clubs. If we win tonight, we're on home ice the rest of the way.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Home Hardware Bonspiel, Day Two

Day two of the Home Hardware Bonspiel went much better than day one, with team JugOrNot finally getting on the scoreboard early, taking three in the first end. We hung on for dear life the rest of the way, delivering a fatal blow of 4 in the 7th end.

We were in Stratford last night, and there was plenty of curl to the ice, although it was really heavy. Tonight we're in Arthur, and we're down to sudden death.


Curling trivia answers

Recently, we asked:

1) Eve Belisle was attempting to become only the second team skipped by a woman to win the Mixed championship. Who's the only woman to accomplish this?

2) This was New Brunswick's second Mixed win. Who skipped the team to the first win?

Shannon Kleibrink was the first (and only) woman to skip a team to a Mixed championship.

Terry's brother Grant Odishaw was the first New Brunswick winner.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Home Hardware Bonspiel, Day One

The Home Hardware Bonspiel kicked off last night, with 100 teams dueling at clubs all around Waterloo Region and the surrounding area.

Team JugOrNot was in the quaint two-sheeter at Plattsville. I've always wondered why, if you were going to skimp on a curling club and only put in two sheets of ice, you wouldn't at least leave more than one inch of space on the side between the ice and the brick wall, and why you wouldn't splurge a little bit on lighting. The next time we play there I'm going to bring a flashlight for the skip to shine on the house when he's making the call.

We ran into some bad luck, some bad ice (although it was nice and fast) and some good opponents last night, and team JugOrNot suffered our first loss of the season. And what a loss it was. I guess we've been saving up for that, because that was the worst beating we've taken in eleven years together.

At one point, a friend of mine who was playing on the sheet next to us came over, looked at the scoreboard, winced, and said, "What? No goalie tonight?"

I answered, "No goalie. No forwards. No defence. Just four guys with their pants around their ankles, their Johnsons in their hands, pretending to be a curling team."

Final score: good team 9, bad team 0.

Our vice says there are two good things about this. Number one, it's the skip's name in the paper today, not his. Number two, people will assume it's a misprint, since nobody gets blown out 9-0. They must have left the "1" off the front, and we really won 10-9.


Monday, November 20, 2006

2007 Canadian Mixed curling

It was nice to sit down Saturday night to watch the first televised curling event of the season, the 2007 Canadian Mixed Championship.

Too bad it wasn't a better game. Quebec looked nothing like the team that went 9-2 over the round robin. Eve Belisle (you may remember her from last year's Tournament of Hearts) was way light on the New Brunswick steal of 2 early on, and way heavy on a draw in the next end. The sweepers seemed to misjudge the weight several times during the game, at one point calling out that a shot was just a high guard - it ended up in the four foot with no sweeping at all.

Here are two (somewhat easy) trivia questions for you.

1) Eve Belisle was attempting to become only the second team skipped by a woman to win the Mixed championship. Who's the only woman to accomplish this?

2) This was New Brunswick's second Mixed win. Who skipped the team to the first win?

Interestingly, our last trivia question also had a Mixed twist to it.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sticking it to the man

Garth Turner refuses to turtle for the party bosses.

I've never been a Conservative, and probably never will be, but I would vote for Mr. Turner if I had the chance.

I wonder if anyone in the PMO is listening, and if they're worried. They should be.

After all that talk about making and keeping promises, we've seen what's happened with David Emerson, the income trust lie, and now this. In the London byelection the Conservative candidate is doing her best Rona Ambrose impression, and keeping her mouth shut.

You have to wonder, if these are the best people for the job, why aren't they allowed to talk?


My degree? It's from Fisher-Price University

This is the coolest application of children's entertainment to the development of software that I have ever seen.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Voting day

Ok, Ontario, get out and vote today. The last municipal election had a turnout of somewhere between 25 and 30%. Let's at least hit 40% today.

I'll be voting after work today, for the three positions in my area that were not acclaimed.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I get around

Well, just a little.

I have visited 11 countries, 4% of the world.

In the Excited States of America, I've visited 16 states, or 31% of the country.

These guys need a map of Canada on there. I've been to 8 of the 10 provinces, and none of the territories, so I'm sitting at 62%. Not bad.


This month in curling, in Waterloo Region

This promises to be a busy few weeks for curling fans in Waterloo Region.

First up is the 2007 Canadian Mixed, which begins tomorrow, at the Westmount Golf and Country Club. Lots of good teams, and I hear it's almost sold out. The few times I've played there, Westmount has always had great ice. The final game will be televised next Saturday, November 18 at 8 pm on Rogers Television stations throughout Ontario (Cable 20 in Waterloo Region, Brantford, Guelph and Stratford).

Also on tomorrow, and certainly nowhere near as big a deal, is the third annual Conestoga Cup. This is a "Continental Cup"-style head-to-head competition between the Elmira Curling Club and the KW Granite Club. This will be the first time I've played in the Conestoga Cup, but my wife has been in both previous years. We'll be playing together on one of the mixed teams this year. Hopefully we can carry on the winning streak - Elmira has yet to lose.

Later in the month, Waterloo is hosting the first Grand Slam of the year, starting on November 29th. More on that when we get closer to the date.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

As 2006 winds down...

It's time to pick out a nice calendar for next year.

Let's see, we could find something with airplanes, or Dilbert, or maybe puppies. We could go the demotivational route.

Wait! Remember this one from last year?

Oh, yeah. That's the stuff.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Recently in the News of the Weird

Recently, in the News of the Weird...

Surgeons have reattached many penises (in the cases of accidents, self-mutilations or angry wives' vengeance), but the first successful transplant of the organ, to the point in which blood and urine flow were regenerated, was performed this summer in a 15-hour procedure at Guangzhou General Hospital in China. Although the patient was left functional, he and his wife, two weeks later, citing "psychological" reasons, ordered the new organ removed. (A formal report is to appear this month in the journal European Urology.) [The Guardian (London), 9-18-06]

This story reminds me of a joke. [disclaimer - I don't make these up, I just pass 'em on]

A guy goes to the doctor to ask about fixing his stuttering problem. "I-i-i-it's the w-w-w-worst, d-d-d-doc. Y-y-y-you've g-g-g-gotta fix it!"

The doctor tells the guy that the first thing he needs to do is a complete physical exam. The guy drops his shorts and the doctor immediately sees the problem.

"Young man, you have this stuttering problem because you have such an enormous Johnson. It's so big that it pulls on your vocal cords, and makes you stutter. I can take several inches off, and your stuttering will completely stop."

The guys says, "O-o-o-ok d-d-d-doc."

The operation is a success, and the guy goes home. A couple of weeks later, he returns to the doctor's office, with a complaint.

"Doc, I want to thank you for the hard work you did to get rid of my stutter. I haven't spoken this clearly in years. It's really a miracle. The only problem is, my wife is really unhappy with the, uh, shortage, if you know what I mean. Is there any way to, you know, reverse the operation?"

The doctor thinks for a moment, and says, "N-n-n-n-no, that's n-n-n-not p-p-p-possible."


The most obscene letter

Scott Adams tells us all about the most obscene letter.

Home Hardware steps up

Home Hardware is leaping into curling this year, signing on as the title sponsor for the first Grand Slam of the season, to be held right here in Waterloo at the end of this month.

This is the second curling sponsorship of the year for the St. Jacobs-based chain, as they've agreed to carry on a local curling institution, the bonspiel formerly known as the "Clarica", and more formerly known as the "Mutuals". This spiel features 100-120 local teams, playing at OCA Zone 12 clubs over a week. The event is being hosted by the Elmira Curling Club this year, as part of the club's season-long 50th anniversary celebration.

I've played in this thing for the last ten years (except the year my daughter was born during the spiel) and maybe home-ice advantage will play a part this year. I've never made it as far as Friday. The bad news is the two times I've played in Elmira, I've been just smoked. Some home-ice advantage...


Friday, November 03, 2006


My team has been playing with a whoopie cushion all day. It's inspired me to knock out some haiku.

Whoopie cushion farts
The team has not one woman
We all wonder why


Thursday, November 02, 2006

I'll drink to that

Well, that settles it.

No more three martini lunches for me. Now it's all about red wine.

You see, "Researchers have discovered that a compound in red wine called resveratrol caused lab mice to live longer."

Who would have thought that the fountain of youth would turn out to be a bottle of wine?


About last night

I did something last night. Something, um, er... something that ten years ago I never would have done. I would not even have thought it possible.

You see, I... uh... went to a Wiggles concert. In fact, this is the second time I've seen the Wiggles. The first time was a couple of years ago, in the Skydome. Last night was in London.

If you have any young people in your house, you will likely be familiar with the Wiggles. Let me just say that this was a terrific show - the mosh pit of three- to six-year-olds in front of the stage was hilarious to watch. My girls were right in the middle, doing the Monkey Dance.

Now I've seen the Wiggles twice, Rolling Stones twice, and Pink Floyd twice. Still only once for AC/DC and Van Halen though. Man, I'm getting old.


Bug-free software

Think you write bug-free software?

These guys have to.