Sunday, February 28, 2010

Do I hear Oh Canada?

So that was an awesome game Canada and USA played. A true hockey game.  Lots of intense moments and great ups and downs.  For those of you who haven't watched hockey before or think its such a violent sport- if you watched that game, thats the essence of Hockey. 
Hockey has been a part of Canada since 1875 where the first organized indoor game was played.  It had till then been played on many outdoor rinks before then.  

The ultimate goal of any hockey player is the Stanley Cup- which is the most impressive trophy I have ever seen.  Its was first awarded in 1893 and the cup has from then been awarded to the winner of the NHL.  Winners names are placed on the base of the cup.  Its really impressive.

I love watching Hockey, live and on tv.  I remember when I was a kid going down to the local rink and watching our very own Canmore Eagles play.  When I was in college we would watch the Red Deer Rebels play.  Watching those teams we could be watching future NHL players.  It was always very exciting. When I moved down to the States tho- not many people watched hockey- or even knew what it was!!! 

There is nothing like watching a live hockey game to get the feel of the fans cheering for their team and players.  The feeling especially if its an important game, is electric!! Nothing beats  hockey fan.

So I am very, very excited about our win!!! Canadians are going crazy right now!!! 
And I have to say Im relieved that Im not going to have to sing the USA national anthem!!! Saved in OT!!! Phew!!!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

There are Heads on my Wall!!!

So you know how you have something thats completely normal in your house, but other people think it really weird?! Well I grew up with my moms collection of heads.  Before you think she's a serial killer, the heads are called Bosson heads.  They were made first in England by Mr. Bosson- in the early 1940's.  They were made up till the 1990's when the factory burnt down.  So for those planning a collection there are pre- factory burning and post- factory.  (Pre are better- FYI).

So I grew up with them not thinking they were anything really weird.  I remember sitting at the dining room table when we lived in Canmore, looking up at the heads and thinking that they are watching me.  Which they were.  When they made the heads- if you hang them the right way their eyes move with you as you move by them.  Thats always a little eerie.

So- My mom has quite the collection.  When she came here last Christmas she wanted to goto yesterday books that has a huge collection of Bosson heads.  She happened to notice that one was missing- because she notices things like that- and inquired about it and the told her that they were selling the heads for $20.00.  I thought my mom might pee her pants with excitment.  She came home with 5 heads, and kept thinking about it for the whole time she was here.

Well, not all those five heads were for her.  I now have my collection started.  She went back over the three weeks they were here and bought me another 4 more.  So they are now hanging in my itty bitty hallway- with their faces pointed away from my bedroom.  They don't need to be looking in there...

I have proudly shown off my collection to my friends thinking they would get the same kick out of it- and to my somewhat surprise- not so.  Most of them felt it was a little weird.  And I agree- it is a little weird, but everytime I see them I have fond memories of my home in Canmore, and knowing that my mom loves them so much I am happy to display them.  Beady eyes and all.

Just recently, because my mom can't stop thinking about having them, I had to go back to Yesterdays Books and acquire some more.  So I now have 6 more to give to my mom.

Something that I know makes her very happy.  And when I inherit them I will display them proudly and show them off for my mom.

She reminds me of my Grandmother who's family is from Russia.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Uh-oh....How does the national anthem go again?

So tonight was THE game in Olympics between the USA and CANADA Hockey teams.  It was a great intense exciting game and unfortunately not won by Canada.  So what does that mean to me?  That I may have to sing the States national anthem at work- decked out in whatever a certain co-worker decides.  Not sure I should have made the bet......not that I'm chicken or better win!!
So I thought I would look in to the national anthem of the States, I have heard it many times at the same places that the Canadian national anthem would be song at in Canada. Hockey games, football games, etc... I would start the anthem off and then muddle thru the middle and chime back in at  "...home of the free.....".  So I am preparing myself for having to learn it- (because Murphys law follows me around, if I learn it I may not have to sing it).
So if you see me please don't quiz me- my little bit of pride I have is being pricked at!!

So here are the words:
O! say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Now upon looking this up- I have found out that there are many more verses just like Canada has too.  And I suppose if I did a general questioning of americans they would either not know there were other lyrics and/or not be able to recite them.  Funny its like that in Canada too.  The difference with Canada is that there are verses in English, French and Inuit.  The Inuit is new to me- I don't even want to begin to try and pronounce the way it is sung.  So I am very happy that the States is only in English....for now......
So hoping not to sing, TTYL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What the heck is Curling?

Brier 045.jpg

So now that the Olympics are on, there is one sport that inevitably some also asks me what the heck is Curling? They throw rocks to the other end of a sheet of ice and then what?
So I am going to explain the game so you all know! 

Curling is thought to be started in medieval Scotland- first coming to ice in 1541.  They actually found what looked to be a curling stone inscribed with the date 1511 when a old pond was drained in Scotland.  The game is known as the "roaring game" because of the sound the stones make on the ice.  The name curling was added later because the stones curl as you throw them.  Curling came over with the Scots in early 1800's to Canada where they use to play it on the frozen lakes.  it came to the  United States in 1830, 30 years after it had been in Canada.  Curling has been an Olympic sport since 1998.  

The Ice:
The ice is called a curling sheet. It is 146 to 150 feet long, and they try to make it as level as possible.  A key part of the preparation of the playing surface is the spraying of water droplets, called "pebble," onto the level ice. Because of the friction between the stone and pebble, the stone turns to the inside or outside, causing the stone to "curl". The amount of curl can change during a game as the pebble wears.

On the sheet there are 12 foot wide set concentric rings called the house.  They are placed at each end of the rink.  The center is called the button which is the goal to get your stone to. There are two lines the stones must cross as the reach the house, these lines are called the hog lines.   At the very end of the rink are also foot holds called hacks.  This is where the players push off of when they are throwing a stone.

The Shoes:
There are special shoes used in Curling.  There is a slider shoe with a thin teflon surface that allows you to slide on the ice.  The other shoe has a rough surface that gives its wearer traction on the ice. 

Side note: when we played back home, we wore our running shoes, and had this slider we slipped over our shoe.  It was like a thong with out the toe strap.

The Broom:
The Curling broom is used to sweep the ice surface in front of the stone.  The broom use to be made out of corn strands- kinda like the old household brooms.  Now they are are made out of carbon fiber or something- not like the old school brooms at all!!!
Brooms are also used as balancing aids during the delivery of the stone.

The Curling Stone (Rock):
The Curling stone is a big granite stone with a handle on top.  It weighs between 38-44 pounds it has a circumference of approx. 36 inches and is 4.5 inches in height.  The handle allows the stone to be gripped and rotated upon release. Depending which way you turn it will determine the spin and the location at the other end of the rink- hopefully landing near or on the button.

An Old Scottish Stone.

How to Play:
So basically you want to get your stones to the button and knock out your competition.  There is actual strategy to the game, so you aren't just throwing the rocks and hope for the best! There are four team members- each has their own roll.  The Skip shows you where he wants the rock placed in the house, there are two sweepers, and a vice skip, who is at the other end when the skip throws his rock.  
When throwing the rock, it must make it past the hog line to count, so you have to throw it hard enought to make it past the line, but not to hard to have it go out completely.
Sweeping is done for two reasons, to make the stone travel farther, and the change the amount of curl- thats why when you watch they yell "HARD! HARD" or "HURRY! HURRY!" they want more sweep to speed the stone up and get more curl.
Once a stone touches another stone the stone it touched is out.  If the stones hit the edge or the back hog line it is out as well.
Each game is 10 end long and each player throws 2 stones- so 8 for each team.

So thats Curling.  We use to have fun playing tackle curling where we would throw a rock and the chase down the sweepers and tackle them.  Yeah we are weird.  Its a fun game tho.  The rocks are actually hard to throw then you think- to get any sort of accuracy.  They go really fast- and if they jump the edge hurt if they land on your feet.

So thats it!! I hope you watch it and don't think- I cant believe Lisa Likes this sport!!!!
(Got most of my info from wikipedia History of Curling)

Living in the States

So I have been living in the States for almost ten years now. That seems a little surreal to me that I have been in one place for ten years. The only other place I lived for ten years was Canmore, AB where I grew up. But Im not counting that because I didn't have a choice to live there. Here I have a choice of staying. Why have I stayed for so long Im never quite sure. I had first thought when I moved here that I was only going to stay for two years and go back home. 8 years later Im still here. Looking back over the last ten years there has been so many times I thought about returning to Canada, but I never have. To be truly honest- at times it was pure laziness- who wants to pack up a whole house rent a big truck you can't even drive and go back to a country that you may or may not have a job at! Laziness seems to win a lot with me.

I have mostly enjoyed living down here, with a few exceptions. The first being- and because its the most recent thing in my life- is that I miss watching all the sports we get in Canada. I have not seen on the networks or even the sports channels- any of the sports that lead up to the Olympics. How are we to know who the competition is unless we have seen them? Most weekends you will see (when in season) Football- NFL and College, NBA, and very rarely on the networks- hockey. Golf is always there too!!! I miss watching the other sports. Rugby and the CFL I miss the most. The whole Olympics is another blog!!!

Second exception is the money- although I have gotten use to it now- its all the same color!!! and has nothing distinct about it!!! Canadian money is very colorful and its easy to tell how much you have, or don't have!! If you have a blue bill, purple, green- 5, 10, and 20. Here theres green, green, and green!!! I guess if you have it it doesn't matter what color it is!!!! And then we have the toonie and loonie- I hide my eyes in shame- those names seem to say alot....- the 2 dollar coin and the one dollar coin. The coins are cool looking tho.... hehe. I will leave that one alone.

Another exception is the freeways. I never knew what aggressive driving was till I moved here!!! Wow. Thats all I can say is wow! I had never seen so many roads together, so many lanes and cars all going at 70 miles/hr! I thought I drove well enough back home and then come here, it was a quick lesson. Now when I go back home and drive I think I freak people out there- they drive so slow!!!! I remember when I was first driving down here and came to Sacramento at rush hour. I was freaking out that I was going to miss the 99 exit- and with all the cars...geez. Apparently I made it.

Another exception for my friend Jason there is no milk in a bag. Nuff said.

So I can't think of anymore exceptions for the moment- but I will be sure to add more if I think of them.

I have loved the people I have met. My first week here the people at work were so welcoming and I settled in pretty fast. I started going to church at Three Rivers Christian Fellowship and have been there ever since- on and off during the past 10 years.

So I will leave this blog for now saying I think I like living here eh?!