Monday, July 11, 2011

Random (And I Do Mean RANDOM) Vacation Ramblings

I'm just starting my second week of two weeks off. It's wonderful, it really is. I wish I could vacation for 49 weeks and work for 3 instead of them other way around! I really can't afford a 'vacation', but taking 'holidays' are still good for the mind. For the next few minutes I'll let you know what I've been up to, and chat some sports.

- My last day of work was June 30th, and my next one is July 18th. July 1st, it was off to Simpson, SK for homecoming, which happens every five years on July long, and this one was special, being the 100th anniversary of my hometown.

- What's changed since 2006, the last homecoming?

- EVERYONE, almost everyone, put on weight (me included).

- I don't think anyone had a BlackBerry at the 2006 Simpson Homecoming. Very few DIDN'T at this one. Even most of the farmers have a Samsung flip phone. Some of them are texting. Not T9 or anything. When they need an 'S', they're punching '7' four times. My dad still can't really text, and he's turning 53 this month. He told me he texted me a couple weeks ago. I said, no you didn't. He also asked me, when trying to sell my grandparents' house, if "YouTube" is a good place to sell houses on the internet.

- The population of Simpson probably increased. It was at around 200 when I graduated in 2004, and there were a tonne of vacant houses. I'm told there are now very few, as the housing market in the province has led to people looking for a "cheaper" place to live. My grandparents' place sold for $105,000, and the realtor said it would have went for $240,000 in Watrous, 15 minutes down the highway.

- I consumed less beer than 5 years ago (probably even than the homecoming 10 years ago). Kids change you big time. On Friday, I was home at 8 and asleep by 10, after a couple losses in slo-pitch. I was 3-for-3 with 2 doubles and a triple if you're keeping score at home. Saturday though, we stayed in town until late, for fireworks and the street dance. But yes, I had trouble keeping up with my buddies, most of whom were on 3-day benders. Of my grad class of 6 people (4 guys, 2 girls), I'm the only one with kids, and/or married... and one of the girls recently got engaged.

- The people are still as friendly as ever. That won't ever change in a small town.

- Colleen's restaurant still serves the best Chester Fried Chicken anywhere.

- What beautiful weather... all weekend. Sunny and mid-high 20's every day. Looking forward to the 105th anniversary!

- After it all wrapped up Sunday, my wife and I capped off the weekend with a trip to Regina for the Riders' home opener. More on that in just a minute.

- The second half of my first week off, we went to Saskatoon to see my wife's side of the family. Played my first round of golf this year with my father-in-law at The Willows. I bragged about my slo-pitch stats, so I guess I can share my round of 48+54=102 with you too. Honestly, for golfing once last year and once so far this year... I was fine with that... but I'm sure many of you are giggling! Two pars on Par 3's... but I think a couple 7's and one 8. WAY too many 3-putts. Beautiful course though, and it was free... my F-I-L has passes through work.

- This week... we're trying something new. Staying in Yorkton for a week when we're not working! We figured a lot needs to be done inside the house, and in the yard. Not sure if "Marriage-Building" is the right term or not, but with my hockey schedule, and my wife teaching, and the arrival of a baby 9.5 months after getting married... things are crazy... so we thought it'd be nice to slow down for a week. We'll see if we can stand each other for that long. I told my mother-in-law we might be back in Saskatoon by Tuesday!

- OK... sports.

- The Riders are the talk of the province, and for reasons the team and their fans aren't used to. I'm going with the glass-half-full theory, that there are still 16 games left and LOTS of time to turn this around.

- I don't look at the Montreal game as an unacceptable performace. Anthony Calvillo was at his very best, and he shredded a Rider secondary that is nowhere near respectable right now. The likes of Nick Graham, John Eubanks, and Tristan Jackson have started at least one game at corner. Jackson was brought in to return kicks/punts... and I'm not sure even he expected to get this much playing time on defense. Eubanks played himself out of a starting role after Week 1.

- Could James Patrick play on the corner when he's healthy? He was an All-Star at safety last year, but rookie Craig Butler looked impressive against the Als, in Patrick's absence. I like Lance Frazier and Chris McKenzie at halfback... but the outside guys have to be better.

- Calvillo is BY FAR the best QB in the league. Burris might be regressing, and AC keeps getting better. I'm a big Darian Durant fan, but Saturday's game showed he's still got work to do before we can say he's THAT GOOD. Yes, who's playing receiver makes a difference, and no Fantuz hurts big time. Durant probably finds Andy on 3rd and 3 on Saturday, instead of trying to force a throw to Chris Getzlaf that really wasn't there. Jamel Richardson has size and speed and makes Calvillo better... but I think that's a 2-way street. Calvillo was good long before he had this current group of receivers, and he puts the ball on the money.

- All I know is, Saturday's game in Hamilton's a big one. I don't like their chances of winning IN Montreal. And this 0-2 start could balloon if they can't find the win column on Saturday.

- Sure are a lot of Bomber fans this year. Are they for real? Are the Edmonton Eskimos for real? Weren't the Riders and B.C. Lions (both 0-2) supposed to be the top two teams in the West? Questions... questions... questions!

- Locally... the Yorkton Cardinals and Melville Millionaires aren't exactly tearing things up. The Cards (9-19) rattled off four straight wins to get back in the picture, but then lost back to back games in Saskatoon, and the Yellow Jackets are hardly a powerhouse. The Cards' road-trip later took them to Edmonton, but rain washed out both games against the Prospects, and given the travel, the games won't be made up... and Edmonton's the worst team in the league (6-25). Melville has won 3 straight games for teh first time this season, improving to 14-and-15 as of Monday. They've jumped over struggling Weyburn into 2nd in the East Division.

- There's another Yorkton Terrier grad announcement that probably could be released... and I might even throw the basics on Twitter sometime soon. Just hoping to talk to the player and get more details, as he's going to Europe. Know the country, just now sure on the league or team.

- Probably a little-known fact since I haven't mentioned it here... but I've been the new webmaster for the Yorkton Terriers ( and Swan Valley Stampeders ( since June. Check 'em out!

- All for now... and might be all for another week or so. Enjoy another beautiful summer week!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Won't be surprised if the Yellow Jackets hardly lose a game from here on.

Take a look at their roster. Cole Bauml just added and hitting .571 in 3 games. Kyle Holmes played 6 games and is hitting .455, Bonczyk joined the team midway through and through 15 games is batting .446 (and goes to Gonzaga), Fanning is another D-1 guy and is hitting .364 in 7 games.

They also have a minimum of 9 division 1 players currently on their roster as well as some of the top players on the Regis Rangers, a decent D-II school. 2 guys from Cal State-Fullerton who was 41-17 in D-I play, 3 from Gonzaga including Marco Gonzales, who was a first team freshmen all American this past season. Gonzaga was something like 32-19-1 (ya, a tie...). in D-I.

So ya, up until they had some recent additions they were a run of the mill team. NOW however, they pose a threat to anyone they play and I will not be surprised to see them win the league.

Actually, I'll make them my WMBL dark horse to win it all.