Teamoakville.comComments?Blog archive


Feb 27, 2007

Hey, it's trade deadline day. What are you doing here?

Gary Roberts' agent says the veteran forward has (finally) agreed to be traded to Pittsburgh. He was holding out hope for Toronto or Ottawa.

Um, Pittsburgh is the place to be right now. Crosby. Staal. Malkin. Fleury. If you have to be talked into Pittsburgh, maybe you need to take up a new sport.

- - -

Pad and the minor bantam A Rangers, by virtue of eliminating Burlington last weekend, have won a luxurious, all-expenses-paid-by-their-parents weekend in Windsor. They open the OMHA semi-final Saturday night vs. Riverside and then play them again Sunday afternoon. The next three games (or as many of them are needed in the best of five series) would be the next weekend in Oakville.

Yay! OMHA semi finals. Windsor.

 - - -

The very talented son of a guy who I played hockey with back in Nova Scotia is playing for Team Nova Scotia at the Canada Winter Games. He apparently is also a straight-A student. His father was a star on some very good teams I played on and he played in the OHL for a time before deciding to chase his dream of becoming an Olympic paddler. While he made the national team he never got to the Olympics, which doesn't at all distract from the fact he was one of the best athletes I ever competed with or against. On a team where everyone had a nickname, he was Squid. It's nice to see your friends' kids do well. It also makes you feel old.

- - -

My Chris continues to post Gretzky-like numbers in the Ranger hockey pool, opening up a lead of more than 40 points. Pad flirted with the top of the board for a few weeks but has steadily slipped, dropping back to 8th, which is still pretty good and better than me -- I'm way, way, way back. No need to quote numbers or embarrass the elderly here.


Feb 25, 2007

Had a good time at MOHA Day at the Marlies today with Pad, Chris, two of their pals and lots of Eagles. Saw lots of kids and parents we knew. Marlies lost to the Moose 3-1. Oh well.

- - -

The semi final participants are pretty well set for the minor bantam A OMHAs. Oakville will travel to Windsor next weekend for the first two games of their semi final against Riverside.

Quinte West defeated Cobourg (Ranger fans will well remember Cobourg from our Peterborough trip back on Thanksgiving weekend) and they will take on the winner of Stouffville and New Tecumseth (TNT).

Should be interesting.

- - -

My Eagles got the result we deserved Saturday, losing 3-0. Meanwhile both the first place and second place teams from the regular season also lost, so how this will sort itself out remains an open question.


Feb 23, 2007

I would never condone fighting in minor hockey. But it's part of life in the NHL.

Last night, Ottawa goalie Ray Emery proved he's the only guy on the Senators with a spine. When the Senators have to leave it to their GOALIE to take on the other team's goon, what does that say about your team's heart?

A few minutes of fairly entertaining video from the Sabres 6-5 win over Ottawa can be seen here.


Feb 23, 2007

In addition to the minor bantam A Rangers, there are several other Ranger teams still slugging it out in OMHA playdowns. From the OMHA web site -- which is sometimes up to date, sometimes not -- here's the best data I could find on who is still competing in the playdowns.

Oakville Atom AA -- to play Tecumseh-Shorline in semi finals.

Oakville Atom AE -- leading Whitby 2 games to 1 in quarter finals

Oakville Minor peewee AA -- tied with Flamborough one game each in quarter finals.

Oakville minor bantam A -- to play Riverside or Welland in semi finals.

Oakville Bantam AE -- playing Brampton in the quarter finals. No update yet.


In addition, the AAA teams are just beginning their playoff seasons or winding down regular season play. While anything can happen in the playoffs, regular season standings would suggest the strongest Ranger teams at AAA are minor atom (21-7-4), minor peewee (28-2-2), and midget (25-3-4).


Feb 23, 2007

I was up at 5a for a rare Ranger 6a practice, a lovely way for all of us to lurch into a very busy weekend. But it had been 10 hours since the last time I was in a rink and I was happy to get back to ammonia and Zamboni fumes.

Patrick is almost always in a good mood after practices and today was no exception and he obliquely muttered that "he felt like McDonald pancakes." So off we went in search of a drive through and rare, sort-of, weekday treat.

Tonight his school basketball team has a game and then two more tomorrow followed by a Ranger practice in the highly coveted 9p time slot. The Abbey Lane Public School hoop team won unprecendented back-to-back games this week -- one on Wednesday afternoon without Pad in the lineup (he was sick), and the other yesterday with Pad in the lineup until he fouled out late in the game.

Then we went to shooter pad practice and then he took the rest of the day off.

Chris and the Eagles practiced last night too, in preparation for their first playoff game tomorrow morning. I'll be on the bench and then convening the rest of the day's atom white activities. No power skating tomorrow!! A rare Saturday afternoon off. Maybe I'll finally get my nails done, or get to work with Hans on my ice dance routine.

Sunday afternoon brings "MOHA at the Marlies" day at the Ricoh Coliseum and our clan and a bunch of atom Eagles and their families will ride the GO train and make some noise and have a fun time cheering for people we've never heard of.

Sunday night is Oscar night so Laura will put on a slinky, sequined gown and heels and walk around the house with gold statuettes on a silver serving tray. Or jeans and a spatula. It could go either way.

- - -

Pad and another teammate work out on a shooter pad at Twins Rinks most Thursday night, schedules permitting. To protect the innocent, let's just call the other kid Mr. J.

"Mr. J's" mom is away and I asked if she was away on business.

"Mr. J" is not the most loquacious orator in the room at the best of times. He is a man of few words, economical with his prose.

He said nope, mom has a friend who bought a condo in a warm climate and she and some other friends went to visit.

"That's great," said I.

"It's not great for me," said Mr. J. "I'm still here."

Cracked me up.


Feb 22, 2007

In my business we constantly remind ourselves that context matters. Don't just tell people that something happens -- explain why it's newsworthy and relevant.

For the benefit of the parents (and fans and interested bystanders) of the minor bantam A Rangers, I think some context on the team's advancement to the OMHA semi finals is important.

The Rangers are in the final four of the OMHA minor bantam single A championship tournament -- a process that started more than a month ago and involved 39 OMHA-sanctioned minor bantam A teams. For every 10 teams that competed, only one gets to move to the semis. That's no small accomplishment.

As far as I can tell the Rangers are also the first to claim a semi-final berth.

I've seen -- at home, and in the dressing room and rink foyers -- kids show up to play sick, tired, road weary, and injured. I've seen them with school books in their laps in between tournament games. I've seen them come together, I think, unlike I've ever seen another bunch of kids I was around.

Little brothers, friends, little brothers of friends, look on and imagine the day they might wear Ranger blue and compete in a game for such a team with something on the line.

Hats off to the players and coaches. It's been pretty cool to watch them become something more -- something better -- than their individual component parts. I can assure you it hasn't been easy. On that, the parents would all agree.

The steps get harder with each game. Good luck, guys.

Go Rangers.


Feb 22. 2007

A big 3-0 win last night for the minor bantam A Rangers over Burlington, in Burlington, to win their OMHA quarter final three games to one. It was a nice bounce back for the boys who were really flat in their loss on Monday night. Jack Gillis was outstanding and Jake Cussen scored twice, one of those into an empty net with 10 second left. Chris Germano fired the game winner in the first period on lovely shot.

The Ranger now await the winner of the Riverside (Windsor) - Welland series in the semi-final round, so they will be practicing through the weekend. Riverside leads that series 2-0. Game three goes tomorrow night in Riverside -- they will play Saturday and Sunday if necessary.


Feb 21, 2007

About five weeks from now the MOHA will be thick in the throes of the Hockey MOMS Awards week -- almost three dozen championship games over seven days and nights at Twin Rinks. It really is an electric experience.

The orchestration and co-ordination behind this event is staggering. Through Laura and others I've seen up close the amount of planning and attention to detail that goes into making the week THE highlight of the house league hockey calendar.

All the kids are made to feel special. Those lucky enough to get to a championship game get an experience beyond anything most rep players experience. Last year, my Christopher got to play in a championship game and by the time the matter was settled in double overtime, more than 1,000 people were crammed into the rink watching. I can assure you that rarely happens in rep.

The vast majority of people in hockey in Oakville "get it." They understand what the moms bring to the event. In fact, without the moms, there would be no event. Most everyone appreciates the enormous volunteer commitment put forward for the kids.

For sure, they get support from MOHA in terms of some logistics and influence. But the moms do everything from arrange game sheets, dressing room assignments, and organize on-ice award presentations to simply helping make sure the rink and dressing rooms are clean between games.

The moms order the trophies and medals. They look after the engraving. The write the speeches for the presentations. They put the trophies back in the cases at the rinks around town.

In short, they volunteer at the speed of light.

And, they pay for it all.

They pay for the trophies. They pay for the engraving. They pay for all of the ice time. They -- NOT registration fees -- pay for it ALL. The costs are north of $20,000 for the week. Gate fees account for slightly more than half that.

Nothing that happens during awards week is paid for by hockey registrations. Nada. Zip. Nil.

Which is why the moms charge a gate fee of $3 a head (excluding ALL MOHA players, coaches, bench staff, team MOMS and conveners). That money offsets their costs. They budget to break even. So, if a volunteer politely asks you if you paid, smile and say yes, and show your stamp on your hand. They're just looking out for the kids. Thank them for volunteering.

Like I said, the VAST majority of people in Oakville "get it." The MOMS also pay for all those rep championship banners you see in rinks around town. They are not cheap.

But it's only February and I've heard of isolated grumbling already from some about the $3 gate fee.

Frankly, the self-absorbed "woe-is-me" wailing scorches my pads.

It's not a cash grab -- it's cost recovery. For more than two decades the moms have footed the bill for awards week FOR YOUR KIDS.

And yet, you can bet that during awards week, some deadbeat will park his $70,000 SUV in the parking lot, lurk up the stairs to the restaurant at Twins Rinks and try to sneak into a game through a side door to avoid paying $3. And that same guy will smile when his kid gets a medal.

If you see that guy, ask to see his stamped hand, showing he paid. Embarrass him. Ask him what he volunteered for lately.

Rather than worry about his $3, that guy should hand the MOMS a $5 bill and tell them to keep the change.

He won't. But awards week isn't for him anyway. It's for his kid.

- - -

OK, now for something lighter. If you ever got a new piece of technical hardware at the office or at home and really didn't understand what you were supposed to do, imagine trying to cope with the first book. You will laugh. Norwegian with English subtitles. Suitable for all ages!

- - -

Minor bantam A Rangers trundle back to Burlington tonight for Game Four of their OMHA quarter final, leading two games to one. Let's finish this one tonight, guys.


Feb 20, 2007


The Rangers lost 4-0 to Burlington last night, letting them off the ropes in their best of five OMHA quarter final. Burlington played well, the Rangers did not.

Game four goes Wednesday in Burlington.


Feb 19, 2007

The minor bantam A Rangers look to complete the OMHA quarter final sweep tonight at home (River Oaks B) vs. Burlington. It won't be easy. The first two games were tight and physical and there's no reason to expect otherwise this evening. Late start -- 9p.

The winner advances to the semis against the winner of the Welland-Riverside (Windsor) series. As luck would have it, Riverside leads that best of five series 2-0 by virtue of 3-0 and 4-3 weekend wins.

- - -

Christopher came home Saturday night from an event where he saw lots of people on spin bikes and announced that he wants a personal trainer. Those aren't the words he used, but that's what it amounted to. OK. I'm all over that one.

- - -

I thought the "Welcome Back, Kotter" celebration for Dave Keon was a little flat Saturday. It was warm but maybe the guy should have gotten over his issues about 15 or 20 years ago.

- - -

I saw a good chunk of the peewee A Rangers last night, playing Woolwich. A 4-1 win for the home team, who dominated what I saw of the game.


Feb 17, 2007

My atom Eagles lost a 7-6 shootout today to the LJs, a team I expect to be very tough in the playoffs. And the Sharks clinched first overall with 3-1 win over the Vikings. So, given that my guys beat the Sharks and tied the third place Vikings last week, and lost a squeaker to the 2nd place team today, I think we're ready to compete in the playoffs, which start next weekend. I think everyone else is too, actually. It will be close.

Interesting footnote to the first-place Sharks season -- in my experience they are the first team I've seen to win first place for the season and give up more goals than they scored (41-43). They have strong defence and terrific goaltending. They won 11 of 19 games this year -- nine were by one goal. Amazing.

- - -

Meanwhile, Pad and the minor bantam A Rangers went to Burlington for game two of their OMHA quarter final after winning game one Thursday. It was a tough, close game with the Rangers scooping a 2-1 win. Matt McLaughlin potted the winner to the top shelf shorthanded in the third. Blair Weyersberg was outstanding in goal for us -- it may have been the best game I've seen him play this year.

The Rangers are at home Monday night at River Oaks B, looking to complete the sweep in this best of five series.


Feb 16, 2007

Minor bantam A Rangers beat Burlington 5-2 last night to take a 1-0 lead in their OMHA quarter final. Game two goes Saturday afternoon in Burlington. Jack Gillis played great, as did the Burlington goalie, actually. A late empty net goal made the score sound more in the Rangers' favour than it was -- all things considered, it was a pretty close game.

- - -

Last weekend of the regular season for atom white house league and first place is still on the line. Unfortunately, my team isn't in the hunt, but you can't have everything. After that game we get a quick break then toddle off to Burlington for game two in that series for the Rangers. The Rangers then practice Sunday night. So all things considered we've had more hectic weekends scheduled.

The Blue division also plays its last game this weekend, although they have declared a first place winner, while the red players have one playoff game under their belts already.


Feb 15, 2007

It was a snow filled Valentine's Day if you are inclined to celebrate that sort of thing. With the schools all closed, the snow still falling, the road unplowed and general mayhem ensuing, I took advantage of the portable technology and worked from home, as did many others.

Today we return to the grim reality of commuting to Toronto when its -20 outside and everyone dresses like they're on an Antarctic expeditionary force.

I will say this -- no one know how to enjoy a snow day like Chris. Sleeping in followed by snow shoveling followed by snow fort construction followed by playing at a friend's house followed by hours of tobogganing.

- - -

My personal highlight from Snow Day 2007 was not being able to find the snow shovel. We had a short-handled shovel, but the long handle one has apparently disappeared. Luckily, we have a gas-powered shovel, which I fired up and used to clear my driveway and walk as well as a couple of others. Chris and Pad used the push plow and short shovel to clear the drift from the front door and walkway.

- - -

In case you missed it, Pad's latest video game review is here. FYI, he's been in journalism two weeks and he's complaining about editors already, noting that he never used the work "gnarly" in his review but the editor suggested otherwise in the headline.

- - -

The minor bantam A Rangers open the Battle of Halton tonight, hosting Burlington in game one of a best of five. Burlington went 5-1-1 en route to winning their side of the draw to get here, while the Rangers went 4-0-0. This series is an OMA quarter final, or so we're told.


Feb 13, 2007

One of the tools I have with this Internet thing is I can see where blog readers are. Because I use a free program it only shows me those from the last hour or so. But It's still cool to check sometimes. Like the guy in Florida reading the blog in between golf games or water skiing with his kids. Generally I can't tell who is who. If someone logs on through a corporate server I can sometimes match the IP address to a person -- Fred the trainer works for Acme Chainsaws, the IP address is routed through, and there ya go. But since most companies outsource their IT services (unless you're like a bank) it's all just gibberish to me. and to be honest, I rarely look at it for this very reason.

But anyway, say hi to our readers in New Jersey -- I think I know who that is. Ottawa, Montreal -- not sure. Windsor? Could be Steve Yzerman on a long lunch.

And on this next map, it's good to see I continue to hold the interest of readers in western Africa, Washington, DC (Hi George!), Connecticut, and Calgary. The Calgary one is a travelling Oakville hockey dad -- he's got a home game tomorrow night. I hope he's back in time!


Feb 13, 2007

The forecast is for snow -- a lot of snow -- across much of southwestern Ontario. The forecast warns of up to 55 centimeters of snow in the western end of Lake Ontario. We'll see. Sometimes a good old-fashioned snow day reminds us all that we're Canadian. Maybe someone will call out the army! Maybe I'll get to fire up the snow thrower!

- - -

The dust is starting to settle on the round-robin first-phase of the OMHA playdowns. I don't have info on how all the Ranger teams at all the levels did. Given that my kids are minor bantam and atom ages, and have pals littered throughout the hockey system, I know those divisions pretty well.

I know in minor bantam, the AE and AA Rangers didn't move on (the AA team lost a 2-1 squeaker Sunday night to end their chances after a big win against Georgetown a couple of days earlier.) The A team went 4-0 and now play Burlington.

The Atom A Rangers rolled through the round robin play unbeaten and then were swept by Brampton after finishing first in the regular season.

The Atom AA team went 4-0 and is waiting to see who is next for them.

The Atom AE team went 4-0 (giving up only three goals in the process) and moves on, too.

The teams eliminated from the OMHA tournament return to the Tri County loop to crush their rivals there. Good luck to everyone.

- - -

Bobby Orr's dad died this week. He was 82. I heard Bill Waters on he radio today talking about what kind of guy he was. He said that when Bobby was growing up, it wasn't unusual that the young Orr would play most of every game he was in. Unlike some latter day Type-A parents, Mr. Orr wouldn't rant about why his son wasn't getting even more ice. He was more worried about the kids who missed shifts because the coach kept putting his son on the ice.

An excellent track athlete and hockey player who passed up pursuing a professional hockey career to serve his country in the Second World War, he sounds like he was a good guy. His kid sure could play hockey, too.

There's a story here.


Feb 11, 2007

It's been a busy 24 hours.

The minor bantam A Rangers beat Guelph 4-3 in overtime last night to clinch their side of the initial OMHA round robin bracket. They will move on to play Burlington in a best of three series in the next round. Frankly, they were lucky to get out of Guelph with the win. All the Rangers needed was a tie so Guelph was forced late in the OT to pull their goalie (after 10 minutes of OT the game would have been declared a tie.) Oakville scored an empty net goal to win it but Guelph was the better team for much of the night. The Rangers have some work to do if they're going to go much further.

Meanwhile, my atom Eagles continue their resurrection. On Saturday we outshot the Vikings 23-11 but settled for a 1-1 draw after giving up a late goal on a truly horrific line change. And this morning we took down the first place Sharks 4-1. I told the boys before the game that today was the day to send a message to the other teams that we were ready to compete in the playoffs. We still have tons of work to do, but so far, so good.

Both my boys have practices tonight and then we're off for the rest of the weekend.


Feb 10, 2007

I'm late with this week's weekend tee-up -- I wasn't near a keyboard yesterday.

In a moment of spontaneity, we decided to take a day off and go skiing -- and what a good decision that was. I've never seen better conditions at Mount St. Louis and considering that they received 85 centimetres of new snow this week our decision wasn't much of a gamble.

Pad snowboarded, the rest of us skied, we all ate bad cafeteria food, and fell asleep early last night.

Chris and the Eagles play today and tomorrow, Pad and the Rangers are in Guelph tonight where a win or tie propels them to the next round of the OMHA playdowns and both boys have practices tomorrow night -- back-to-back at Glen Abbey as luck would have it.


Feb 8, 2007

Minor bantam A Ranger players/parents/season ticket holders: Burlington beat Milton 3-2 last night to clinch top spot in that side of our draw. They await the winner from our side. A win Saturday night vs. Guelph sends the Rangers to a best-of-three series against Burlington. See ya Saturday!


Feb 7, 2007

Not that  Pad is Grizzly Adams or anything, but I observed last night that maybe (maybe) it would be a good idea if he ran a razor over his face to get rid of the sprouting underbrush. Not really a big deal, but, you know, maybe . . .

Anyway, as soon as I suggested it, he didn't miss a beat, promptly replying, "Hey! It's the playoffs!"

His mother and I practically doubled over laughing  and truth be told so did Pad.

But there had obviously been talk in the Rangers' dressing room on this matter. It's the playoffs. No shaving. Playoff beards are mandatory.

I think I'll tell my atom house league team the same rule applies to them.

- - -

Leafs win their fifth in a row last night in St Louis and everyone in front of them for a playoff spot also won. But winning is good. After consecutive road wins in Carolina, New York, Ottawa and St Louis, is anyone else thinking maybe the Leafs should play the rest of the season on the road? Nashville tomorrow night will be very tough and then they return home Saturday for a game with the Pens.


Feb 6, 2007

Momentous things happened 48 years ago this week, the most momentous being the Day The Music Died on Feb 3, 1959. Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J.P. Richardson (the Big Bopper) died in the crash of a small plane in an ice-covered Iowa corn field. The events of that day were immortalized in Don McLean's song, cleverly titled "The Day the Music Died."

So why do I mention this?

Chris and I were driving to his weekly power skating and hockey skills session at Twin Rinks on Saturday when that song came on the radio and I was humming along. When the chorus came up (you know it -- Bye, Bye Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry . . .)

But CHRIS started singing. He was singing a version of the song I'd never heard, which was a Weird Al Yakovic version that used the American Pie music to lyrics written around the Star Wars saga. I laughed pretty hard, and so will your office mates when you start singing Weird Al's version of the chorus.

So, here's the thing -- everyone in Hockey Blog nation (both of you) have to sing this chorus out loud. You know you want to. Let me know if you got fired, disciplined or got a raise.

Here's Weird Al's version of the chorus:

He was singin' ...
My my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later - now he's just a small fry
And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin' "Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi"
"Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi . . ."


If you want to sing the complete lyrics, you can see them here. Management and staff at teamoakville assume no responsibility for how your office/friends etc react to that.

And a footnote to the whole Buddy Holly thing -- there was a much larger air crash the same day in 1959. 65 people died when American Airlines flight 320 crashed into the East River on approach to New York. Seven survived.

As far as I know that accident didn't inspired any popular music or subsequent satire. But that's show biz I guess.


Feb 6, 2007

A significant change in the balance of power in the OMHA minor bantam A draw -- not the Oakville side, the other side. The Milton AA team -- which has been moved to the A draw for the OMHA playdowns -- won their first two games but have since lost two in a row -- losing 5-0 to Brampton and 4-1 to Brampton.

This leaves Burlington in top spot at 4-1, followed by Brampton at 4-2, then Milton 2-2, and Woolwich 0-5. Milton plays Burlington tomorrow night and must win or Burlington clinches. If Milton wins and then beats Woolwich on Sunday, Burlington, Milton and Brampton will all be 4-2 and Helen Ford will have to guest blog to explain the tie breaker.

On our side of the draw, if Oakville wins or ties Saturday in Guelph, the Rangers win their bracket and await the winner of the Burlington-Milton-Brampton thingy.


Feb 5, 2007

People complain when I don't blog enough. And I know people like the funny stuff more than the informational stuff and the Ranger updates and the tidbits from atom house league. I promise to try to be funnier soon.

In the meantime the cold, cold weather has inspired a memory from my youth playing hockey in rural Nova Scotia.

One night on a particularly cold January or February evening, the parents were huddled in one of the few heated corners of that barn waiting for players to emerge after the game. It was about 11:30p in the Middle of Nowhere, NS. My dad was deep in conversation with someone so I said "Give me the keys. I'll start the car and warm it up."

This seemed like a good idea to dad and he gave me the keys to the Volkswagen Beetle. It was REALLY cold. Easily in the -30s with wind chill. I got in the car and inserted the key, flush with power (I was only 15 think.) The key didn't seem to slide in smoothly so I jiggled it a bit. Hmm. Now it seemed stuck.

I jiggled some more. It was definitely stuck.

OK. Don't panic -- just pull the key straight out. Whatever you do, DON'T SNAP OFF THE KEY.

So I evenly but firmly pull the key straight out. Cool. It did not snap or break or bend.

But, the entire ignition mechanism came out of the steering column, attached to the end of that key like an apple on a stick. In retrospect. I'd pay a lot of money to see the look on my face at that moment.

Freezing cold outside. In a community with only one service station and it closed hours ago. And the car, for all intents and purposes, dead in the water. Or, the parking lot in this case.

So at a moment like that, a young man ponders his options as his life races before his eyes.

I could just walk off into the woods relying on my wiles and wilderness skills to carve out an existence. (I would have been dead within two hours.)

I could take my hockey gear and walk towards the highway, hitching my way toward New Brunswick where guys I knew from high school played senior hockey and worked at the McCain's potato processing plants. (I don't think so.)

I could wait in the car for my dad, throw myself on the mercy of the court, face the music and go through life with a Volkswagen ignition assembly shoved up my nose.

My dad is rather famous in our family for the creative and inspiring ways he can use variations of the Lord's name in colourful, original word strings to express his surprise, anger, dismay, frustration, etc. It's really quite a talent and I'm a rank amateur by comparison.

That night he said not a word. Nothing. I handed him the ignition on a stick and he assessed the situation in a quiet, reflective way as I awaited exclamations of "thundering blue" this and that.

A skilled machinist, woodworker and handy-man, MAYBE the technician in my dad was challenged by the circumstances. Or maybe he thought there would be too much paperwork and expensive legal wrangling attached to shoving the key through my forehead.

Whatever the case, my dad pulled the key out of the assembly in one piece. He then successfully reinserted the ignition in the steering column. And then he started the car. He looked at me and smiled wryly.

I have never, before or since, been more relieved to hear an engine in my life and I doubt such a time will ever come.

The short postscript to this item is that a year later when I was agitating to learn to drive, my father happily instructed me, supplemented by a few "professional" lessons. He also told me that if I wished to use my driver's license, assuming I was going to be able to secure one, I would first have to widen the driveway and then get my own damn car.

I did eventually do both those things. But the legend of the 1972 Datsun 510 will have to wait for another day.

In the meantime, stay warm.


Feb 04, 2007

A week ago I wrote here about my house league atom squad's losing streak and the need to work hard, keep trying even when the breaks don't go your way, etc. etc. And I said that after that practice last Sunday night I felt things change.

We won 8-2 yesterday. The game was closer than the score would tell you, but my guys just kept trying. It had been a long time between wins and they really enjoyed the moment.

More importantly to me they looked like a team out there. Lots of different numbers on the score sheet and big contributions from the people who should make big contributions.

We -- and they -- have a lot of work to do yet, but at least we got the monkey off our backs. Now for the next step.

- - -

In OMHA minor bantam playoff inaction, Hespeler lost 4-2 to Guelph, which means Oakville has to beat Guelph next Saturday night in Guelph. As I understand it, if Oakville loses, both teams will be 3-1 and the tie breaker is to play one more game.

- - -

I dropped Pad off at Glen Abbey today for public skating and three of his teammates were there selling hockey tape as part of a team fundraiser. All three have possible careers in sales. I'm not sure how much tape they sold but no one got in or out without hearing about a great deal on tape! (Buy one, get another for the same price!!)

- - -

The Leafs have now won four in a row. Ordinarily that might push them back up into a playoff spot. But everyone else seems to keep winning too. So, the Leafs are in ninth, but only five points out of fourth. The race to the end of the season is going to be wild.