Sunday, April 25, 2010

It was an eventful week in sports for my teams. Both my Ultimate teams played in championship games for the winter season, and we won both of them! Historically we've only won about five championships (doing the math, there's four Ultimate seasons in a year, and the core of us have played twice a week since 2004, so that's 5 winning teams out of 50-odd teams), so to win two in the same season is quite unusual for us.

On Sunday we had what should have been the more challenging game. We were up against the Spinners, who we beat in the previous season to win the championship. We were underdogs the previous season, having snuck into the playoffs with a .500 record and winning the final game in OT (the Spinners were undefeated until then). So they had extra incentive to come out with a strong game. Plus on paper they stack up pretty good against us. However, we played one of our best games as a team, scoring almost every time we got the disc. We won 25-16, although I would not have bet on a blowout before the game.

Tuesday we should have had an easier go of it. We were by far the best team over the regular season, and were playing the 6th place team, who we beat 35-15 the first time. Our bench was somewhat thin, with only 6 guys and 4 girls. Normally that would be perfect for us, but Trishia's back was still out and so she didn't play much, and then Mike landed funny on a jump, threw out his knee and sat out the rest of the game. So for most of the game there was only me, Craig and Nicole from the core team (who know our system and can read the plays the same). We fell behind early, 6-2, but then after a timeout scored 9 unanswered to go up 11-6, and then maintained the 5 point lead for the rest of the game, winning 23-19. It wasn't a pretty game (Craig said he felt like we had lost), but we won.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

We've been having some luck with the fish recipes from Loblaws. They have a chef that creates recipes based on what's on sale, and have a sampling station right in front of the fish section. A few weeks ago we tried a haddock recipe; the most recent we tried was a rainbow trout recipe. Both were mmm good.

Last weekend I was in a curling bonspiel with some people from work (Ram, Ryan, Marc). It was organized by the Southern Ontario News Association so there were a few teams from the Star. This year it was at the Royal Canadian Curling Club right near us at Queen and Broadview. Our first game was at 9am. I've only curled about three times before, at other bonspiels. Ram had never curled, and Ryan and Marc had in high school, so we really had no clue what we were doing. The first game got off to a slow start, while we figured out the hand signals and how to sweep without hitting each other. However, we got three lucky shots, all to win ends, and although we lost the game 10-3, we still won three ends (out of six). Winning an end counted towards the overall stats so that was good for us.

We lost our next game (and all six ends). The other team almost won one end 8-0, which apparently is curling's version of a hole-in-one, except rarer (and you don't want to have it happen against you). We lost our last game as well, although we did take two ends.

Overall it was a lot of fun, and a lot of drinking. I forgot about that part of bonspiels, that the winning team buys drinks. We had a lot of drinks purchased on our behalf.

Heather had dropped by for our last game because it was so close to home. The bonspiel included dinner, which the organizers invited Heather (a lot of other people left early so there was more than enough food). The dinner was actually quite good for a buffet, with roast that was medium rare and bottled red wine. Our team finished 22nd out of 24 teams, so there were slim pickings by the time we got to the prize table. Ended up with a ceramic plant pot.

Heather and I went to see Darlene and Fed's new place in High Park last weekend. It's a nice place with character, and lots of big trees around. The really cool thing is that Fed has dropped cable, and is just getting HD over-the-air. I have been thinking about doing that, and need to do more research into it. I'm looking at the Channel Master 8 bay antennae, hooked up to a Silicondust HDHomeRun networked digital tuner. Then we can ditch cable, my old Sony Triniton TV (which I bought in the late 90's), and just watch TV on any computer on the network. I'll likely need to get a different ISP because I doubt I can get internet from Rogers without also paying for cable.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

So we did the Queen St walk yesterday, from Roncesvalles to Fallingbrook Rd (a little east of Victoria Park). The 14.2km took us five hours, although we did stop for breaks and I took a few pictures.

We caught the streetcar out west at 11:45am, and arrived at Roncesvalles around 12:30pm. I haven't been out in Queen West west since I moved out of my condo. The area reminds me a bit of Leslieville. Heather wouldn't mind returning to check out all the vintage clothing stores. Roncesvalles isn't that far west; we were surprised at how quickly we reached the Drake. Passed by Dufferin where the construction project to tunnel Dufferin under the tracks and remove the Dufferin jig is well under way.

We were getting hungry and stopped in at The Prague, a friendly little sandwich place at 638 Queen W. Heather had a turkey sandwich, and I tried the perogies. Both were excellent, although after seeing other people's food I had a hankering for the chicken schnitzel.

Back on the walk, it got really crowded with pedestrian traffic between Spadina and University. East of Yonge the foot traffic really dropped off. By the time we got to the Don Valley (which is about the halfway point as we later looked up) there was hardly anyone else on the street.

We stopped in at F'Coffee for a washroom break (and had a beer while we were there). The place has a very nice vibe. We usually only walk by later in the evening, so it was one of the few times we've had a chance to try it out.

Decided not to drop in at home along the way because we wanted to stay on Queen St. Pedestrian traffic picked up through Leslieville, and then got very busy again once we crossed Woodbine into the Beach.

Once out of the busy central part of the Beach, it becomes a nice little neighbourhood again (although too far from downtown for our liking)

I had though Queen St ended at Victoria Park, but it actually continues three side streets east until Fallingbrook, where it ends / starts unceremoniously (there is a nice apartment building called Queen's End though).

We walked back to Quigley's which has a large outdoor patio and had a beer to celebrate. It was starting to get cold, so we caught the next streetcar back home.

I took pictures of all the independent coffee shops on Queen St. There were more independents than chains through most of Queen St, except in the Beach where chain stores abound. Most of them were on the north side of the street (23 out of 31), I guess to take advantage of the sun. I tried in include only coffee shops that were primarily about coffee (and not a bistro or pub for example), but we didn't stop in at them so it was more a guess. I was also surprised that there weren't more people sitting outside sipping their coffee (which would have made the pictures look better).

Now we need to look up another street about 10km long to do another tour.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

This has been one of the best Easter long weekends weather-wise that I can remember. In fact, it's better than most summer long weekends.

Yesterday Heather and I walked up to Little India for lunch. We've had too much of Lahore Tikka for our lifetime, and were looking for something less heavy. Ended up at Lahore Paan Centre, one of those places on Gerrard E that spills out onto the sidewalk. We both had the grilled corn on the cob (with a spice and lime rub) (lots of times after eating at Lahore Tikaa we've seen people wandering down Gerrard eating the corn, and it's always looked good except we were stuffed just having eaten); I had a pani puri and Heather had a chaat puri. After, we had some sort of sweet treat (nuts, spices and stuff in a leaf wrapper), and then split a kashmiri tea. It was all really good, and only cost $23 in total. I tried to take a pic of the place and send via SMS to Twitter but for some reason it didn't show up. Today I'll try using Twitterrific and see if that works.

Today we're planning to walk all of Queen St, from Roncesvalles to Victoria Pk. According to Google Maps, it's 13.9km and 2hr 50min. We'll likely take longer, because we're planning to stop along the way for lunch and browsing and maybe a patio. It will be a good test for Heather's back for when we go traveling again.

I downloaded a GPS tracking app (MotionX) which I want to test today on the walk. Unfortunately it's not the best demonstration because we're just walking a straight line, but at least I can see how it works. I don't know how it will handle switching out to the background if I want to use other apps, but I'll find out.