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January 2007 Archives
January 31, 2007
Back on the ice next year?

I'm planning -- tentatively -- to play shinny hockey next year for the first time in, oh, 16 years. Helping Gareth's team out this year has given me the bug again -- to play, not to coach (I'm not that stupid). Doing some research into equipment -- since I have skates, and gloves that are completely trashed, and that's it -- I found this handy guide to fitting hockey gear, from the Tuck Dartmouth intramural hockey league. reprinted without their permission -- but I link, so, hey, take what you can get. Oh, and good luck printing that bad boy -- it crashed all manner of apps and operating systems in my house trying to get it out:

Fitting Notes for Hockey Gear

• Bauer and CCM have different fit – CCM is closer fit...little more streamlined – many women like it
• Helmet should fit just above the eyebrows
• Chin should fit comfortably into cup of facemask
• Should not have any pressure points from pads. Foam pads can be shaped to a limited extent
• Adjustable even within sizes with screwdriver
• Clear shields are available, but tend to fog and price would be more

Shoulder Pads:
• Both lines were selected for lack of bulkiness, important in a non-check league
• Shoulders should fit directly into shoulder caps without adjustments or straps
• When lifting arms, pads should not dig into the neck of the player as this may cause injury.
• Arm pads should extend to just above the elbow to ensure full protection

Elbow Pads:
• With elbow in cup of pad, bottom should extend to top of glove cuff
• Check that straps do not cut off circulation
• 452 is basic and will be sufficient to protect against falls, but has soft shell vs. hard plastic of 652
• 652 line is designed a little more ergonomically – strap positions mean that you will have less chafing from the elastic

• Try a pair out while gripping a stick
• Fingers shouldn’t swim, but shouldn’t be snug either (hey you want to be able to throw them off and start swinging!)
• Padding on the back of the glove should absorb all shock. Check this by pressing on the back of the glove. The player should not feel any pressure on the backside of the hand.

Hockey Sticks:
• Proper height of stick after being cut down is when end of stick is at nose height in street shoes or at chin height when player stands on tiptoes (to simulate skates) Toe of stick should be on ground and stick is vertical.
• Sherwood is a solid stick with firm flex good for intermediates and strong players. Solid core, but lighter than most wood sticks at that price point. Shaved handle for easier gripping when taped
• Need to be able to flex stick to get rebound for slap shot
• Koho Jr model is only good for people up to about 5’5”; softer flexing, fiberglass construction means it’s a little more durable
• Specify Right or left models

• Fit according to waist size; should not be tight
• Bottom of leg should extend over shin guard by 1 or 2”
• When fitting pants for females, fit hips first, then check the length of the pant.

Shin Pads:
• If possible, wear loosely fitting skates in order to get the proper length of the shin pad.
• The cap of the shin pad should be centered on the kneecap.
• The bottom of the pad should meet top of skate.
• If the pad is too short, it leaves an unprotected area above the skate will be exposed.
• If the pad is too long, it will restrict movement and create discomfort for the player.
• 12” – 4’4” to 5’0
• 13” – 5’0 to 5’4”
• 14” – 5’4” to 5’9”
• 15” – 5’9 to 6’2”
Garter & Supporters:
• Men need this. Women generally do not need cup but some do to have pelvic protection
• Jock shorts are great – well worth it in terms of time savings. Keep cup in shorts; just slip shorts on and off. More comfortable and also allow Velcro garters which are much quicker than regular hook and button.
• Lot of guys switch and buy the shorts during the season
• Sizing is according to waist size

• Estimate large – if possible, try on with shoulder pads, elbow pads and gloves
• Fitting sizes – S, L, XXL, but actually 5 sizes available (XS-XXL)
• Material is breathable mesh – no shrinkage

• Players shorter than about 5’6” may want to consider Jr size (only Bruins avlb)
• Very little shrinkage with the material
• Fitting sizes: Jr, Sr

• Bags are good – don’t be one of those guys that shows up at practice with a ripped garbage bag
• At $25, Supreme 1000 is good basic bag – Cordura rip stop nylon material
• Step up to Supreme 3000 for side and end pockets good so not everything gets lost in main compartment

• Throat protector: Not necessary – but adds extra protection. Soft, doesn’t really get in the way. Jr and Sr sizes
• Mouthpiece – Very important in not only protecting against injuries to the mouth and teeth, but head injuries such as concussions. Soften with boiling water and mold to your teeth. One size
• White tape - good for general equipment repairs and wrapping end of your stick
• Black friction tape – protect hockey stick blade and makes it stickier to control puck a little easier. Beginning players tend to lean on their sticks and need to replace the tape or else the blade starts wearing down
• Blade covers – Keeps your skate blades from ripping up your bag and other gear and also absorbs water to keep blades from rusting. Terry cloth, green or black.
• Pucks – always good to have a few pucks available for pond hockey, open-stick sessions, or just practicing on the lawn. Official 6 oz weight

[From the 'Lincoln' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 11:29 PM
January 23, 2007
Getting To Know You Games & Icebreakers

Many that know me know I've spent a really, really long time doing volunteer youth work in the United Church. Over that time, I've developed a list of games and such for icebreaker situations, many copied from other locations, other people, other resources, etc. Great artists steal, and all that. I wanted to compile it all in one place and make it available, since I have lots of people who ask me for resources, so I'm putting a PDF up here. It's got appropriate games, activities and such for youth groups, school classrooms, and even for adult icebreakers too. We don't spend nearly enough time getting silly as adults – well, I do, but most don't – and I think a lot of people would be in better shape if they got in a daily game of Elves, Wizards & Giants:
Elves, Wizards, Giants
A team version of the old game of `Scissors-Paper-Stone,’ but has funnier actions and noises which each team has to act out. Each character (Elf, Wizard, Giant) has a specific action or noise.
Elf – Squatting down and imitate pointed ears by holding two fingers up by your ears (similar to making bunny ears). Make "Eeeking" noises while doing this.
Giant - Standing on tip toe, arms raised in frightening posture making growling/roaring sounds.
Wizard – Standing normally but with arms outstretched as if casting a spell. Make appropriate spell casting noises.
As with Scissors-Paper-Stone each character/icon can win against one character or loose against the other. In this case if wanted teams can make the appropriate actions for winning or loosing.
Winning team Actions:
Elves shoot Wizards: Elves win
Elves pretend to shoot an arrow, Wizards make dramatic gestures as though struck in the heart.
Wizards frazzle Giants: Wizards win
Giants pretend to shrink.
Giants squash Elves: Giants win
Giants pretend they are squishing something small.
Each team finds a quiet corner and decides on a character to be as a team, after choosing their character each team stands facing each other with hands behind their backs. On a given signal (e.g. the count of three) the whole team acts out their character with the points going to the team that chooses the winning character. If both teams pick the same character there is a draw.

Here's the PDF -- enjoy.

[From the 'Miscellany' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 11:34 AM
One Hip Bullfrog

My source for most that is intellectual and not computer-related is, of course, CBC Radio, one of the few non-Christian-rock stations available in the Rainy River District. This morning, the day after the Tragically Hip played in Thunder Bay, there was a brief piece on their sponsor for the Ontario leg of their tour – BullFrog Power.

Bullfrog calls themselves the "the first 100% green electricity retailer in Ontario." Their gig is, switch your electricity service to them – as all of the door-to-door electricity sales dinks keep trying to convince me to do – and they will pump the equivalent usage amount into the grid from renewable energy generation facilities, made up of 20% wind power, and 80% low-impact hydro generation.

The only catch? Their price is higher – 9.1 cents per Kwh. Ouch. That's close to double our base rate.
I love the concept, and have'd it for next year, when we actually can afford to pay more for electricity. Smaller eco-footprint sounds good to me. I was a little concerned about the scamminess of the idea, but given TTH's cadre of supported nonprofits, which includes the David Suzuki Foundation, I suppose they must be doing a little more than rubber-stamping their support for these orgs.

[From the 'Tech Bytes' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 10:28 AM
January 21, 2007
Holidays in the southern sun

We spent the week following Christmas this year in Palm Springs, and we were so surprised and pleased to find that, even though Lerrin, Kim and Alexis had made plans to spend the holiday with Kim's family, they still made time to be there.

Lerrin and Kim, sitting at the table, enjoying a game of Rummoli – and their favourite beverages – with everyone else.

More after the jump. If you're not a family member, move along -- this will be boring as hell to you.

Two of the three sistas.

We all made it to the Fantasy Springs Casino for a night of playing chance games. Everyone else lost, but Lerrin and Kim came away over $100 in the black.

The security guard was mad Kim and Grandma for this picture. "No pictures!" he yelled.

They pulled it off at the video poker machines. Sadly, Frances wasn't nearly as lucky.

And, really, what trip to Palm Springs is complete for Lerrin without a pilgrimage to Albertson's? (Note to Lerrin: maybe make the pilgrimage to somewhere other than a grocery store.)

Nothing better than dainties and white wine – just ask L2.

A nice surprise was the chance to visit with Uncle Murray, Auntie Dolores and cousins Nikki and Michael, who came by for dinner. They were so glad to be able to see Lerrin and Kim. Alexis was asleep, I think.

There she is – mugging with Auntie Lisa and her cheery cousin.

Aron and two of his siblings-in-law hanging out.

Even after Lisa and Aron headed home, the dynamic threesome made the trip with the rest of us to Disneyland for the day.

It certainly *is* a Small World.

These two lovebirds did really enjoy the ride through It's A Small World. Yet another security guard told them to knock it off – it's a family ride, for crying out loud.

End an exhausting day by staying – for cheap rates, thanks to Uncle Lerrin – at the Sheraton in Anaheim. The cousins all snuggled into one bed.

Back in Palm Springs, all enjoyed a festive New Year's Eve. Notice the fancy hats, original creations by Grandma. well as the party favours.

Minutes after this, Lerrin passed out. Too much New Year's cheer.

Alexis made it to midnight – as did her cousins – but was gassed by 12:05.

[From the 'Imagery' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 09:30 PM