Sunday, February 19, 2006

Zamboni guy

It was my night to run the zamboni. I'd signed up for the shift a couple of weeks in advance, picking a choice time when hockey boy would be at practice and I'd be at the rink anyway.

As always, the hubbub of life ensued that day and I was running close to late as I wheeled my car up outside the machine room and dashed inside to get things ready to go out on the ice for the first sheet of the evening. I got on the ice on schedule and the grooming went well as I trimmed a little less and put down a little more water as is custom cleaning up after the high school boy's practice.

I get the machine off the ice, scrape off the slush, close the rink gate and open the outside door to drive out and dump the tank of collected snow. It's at the point I'm exiting the building and I think I should turn ever so slightly to the right to get a good angle on where I was going to dump the snow.


What the...? I stopped and stood up looking for what in the world had happened. And there, on my right just in front of me was my faithful old car. My sinking disbelieving heart, I'd run into my own car with the zamboni.
The car has a nasty gnaw on the rear passenger side door and the zamboni didn't even notice.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Not winter

I was rather enjoying our not winter. Back in January a farmer told me his winter wheat had started growing and he wasn't sure how that could be good.

Still, the mild temps made it easier on the heating bills, getting around, doing stuff.

So on Thursday we get a foot of snow which is now followed by the predictable cold. Sub zero stuff with wind. Waiting for a late bus was no fun this morning. Sub zero temps and wind can suck the life out of you. Flesh freezes in less than 10 minutes.

Breathing is scary. You can feel the cold being pulled into you with every breath chilling you from the inside out. The pain of heating bills comes later.


Monday, February 13, 2006

Playoff bound

The kids had two hockey games over the weekend. They had to win one out of the two to qualify for the state championship tournament in March. Winning both would produce a high seed.

So to make it exciting they lose game one. Nasty game played under nasty conditions. The teams didn't take to the ice until 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night. Right out of the gate you're starting with kids tired from a week of school and in this case the opposition came with a reputation for cheap shots and fighting.

To add to the drama, the head ref was incompetent. It's really interesting the role refs play in a hockey game. The really good ones know how to maintain control. Keeping everything safe and under control are far more important than making all the right calls. The worst of the refs can actually contribute to a bad situation and can even make matters worse.

Fortunately there were no injuries.

In game two, our guys pulled together and even looked impressive. We had the best refs we've had all season. The game stayed close and went back and forth until the third period when our kids pulled away, finishing off a rival and earning a spot in the state championship tournament.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Blind rage

So I take the bus to do some errands. It's crowded and I find a seat toward the front and get out of the way. People get on and off, on and off, on and off. At one stop this blind guy starts up the stairs tapping his way along with his stick.

The blind guy gets to the top of the stairs and turns into the aisle giving me a tap on the leg with his stick. Then a whack. Now it dawns on me I've plopped down in a handicap seat and I'm spazzing around trying to get to me feet. Whack, he hits me again.

"Hey. I'm trying to get out of the way," I say. Whack. By now I'm on my feet and pretty much out of the way. A lady gives me an evil look and takes the guys by the shoulders and directs him into the seat where I was once comfortably seated.

Everybody is staring at me like I'm an evil troll. The blind guy is sitting there and he's still waving that damn stick back and forth.

At the next stop I just get off.