Tuesday, December 30, 2008

As much practice as I can get.

I went to the club today at 6:30 pm. I worked on a smooth delivery and throwing guards.

Had Beth take a couple of videos. My back leg is moving around just a little bit. Not sure if that is normal or because I was thinking about the camera. *sigh*

Will have to worry about that later.


video video

Monday, December 29, 2008

Yay for practice!

I was worried I wasn't going to be able to practice today. No one who had a key posted on the calendar they were going to open the club.

However, I lucked out, and my husband pinged me to let me know Steve L was going to practice at the club. Beth and I showed up at 6:30 pm on the dot and got a chance to throw some rocks.

More exciting news, there will be practice ice available tomorrow at 6:30 pm as well! Yah!

After practice, I picked Jeremy up from bridge. They were still in the middle of a game, so I pulled up, managed to get the car stuck in a snow and ice drift, and then unstuck. I also helped ingest Joe's gingerbread house. May not sleep so well tonight.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Too much snow!








The roof over our deck broke this morning.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Working from home.

We've received a ton on snow and the weather has continued to stay cold. I can't remember getting this much snow since high school.

They closed the office down. Most of us are working from home. Jeremy and I made a quick run to the grocery store. There's so much snow, you can see the scrape marks from where the underbelly of the car scraped the snow off. As it was, it was close. Jeremy had to get out and rock the car so we could get out.

Jeremy's making beef stew, and Gravity is taking a nap in the couch next to me.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Officiating Class






Yesterday, Jeremy, myself, and a few other club members took the officiating class offered at Seattle Granite Curling Club. The price was $15 per person, IF they chose to apply for certification.

It was a great class filled with lots of interesting bits of information. As a member of a team going to its first regional playdown, it was great to know before hand, how much practice time we will have, and when the clocks start and stop for each team. Knowing this before the regionals can keep us from losing a game because we ran out of time.

This class is also excellent for curlers who AREN'T interested in officiating or curling competitively. It showed us how to measure rocks. Starting by setting the device behind the hack so it cools down and doesn't leave marks in the house, to properly holding the device and entering the house.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gravity seem to be okay, but the everything else is just yucky.

After her seizure on Tuesday, and the 2nd seizure on Wednesday, Gravity seems to be doing well.
I stayed home on Tuesday to keep an eye on her to make sure she didn't have any seizures during the day. Wednesday, just after midnight she had a second seizure.

I spent a couple of hours working from home, and then I took her to the vet. She whined and cried the whole visit there. She definitely needs to get more exercise. Gravity has gained 2 pounds since last year, weighing in at 29 lbs. The results came back, her red blood and white blood cell count were fine. Her kidney tests were fine. Her liver however was a little elevated. I need to get back there for a fasting blood test.

Yesterday they closed the office down due to snow. They still went through with the release. It took me awhile, but once I figured out how to edit my host file and tunnel to work, I was able to assist. Other than that, I've just been writing test cases.

Today I feel a little lame. I worked from home again. I was one of only three people who didn't make it in. I don't drive well in snow, and I was once trapped on a Metro bus for 6 hours in crappy weather. I'm not too keen on repeating it.

I also received a phone call today, letting me know that a compressor fan at our curling club froze and that there's water on our ice. I find it amusing, because the heater has been broken for a couple of weeks and its been almost as cold inside (26 degrees) as it has been outside. Not sure how that creates water. :D

The ice should be ready by mid Sunday, but that ruins our last 2 team practices before women's regionals. *sigh*

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Post-Ictal Dog Seizure

This morning just after 4 am, Gravity, my 6 year old beagle had a post-ictal dog seizure.

Gravity likes to sleep under the covers, and there was a lot of motion. I flung off the covers, to find her on her side, with her legs moving like she was running. She was panting heavily and foaming at the mouth.

I'm not sure if she was hyperventilating or not, but she was breathing heavily. There was lots and lots of drool/foaming. She really managed to scare Jeremy and myself. I was in a panic. Afterwards, she spent a lot of time pacing and sniffing around. I feel like she was scared to go back to sleep, but the documentation says being disoriented for the 1st hour afterwards is normal.

She seems to be okay now, but I'm working from home to keep a close watch on her. The emergency vet said to keep an eye out for a 2nd seizure.

Monday Night Leage, Dec 15, 2008



Finally,we were able to show off the Neil shirts! No more secretive planning and whispers. :D

The "I survived Neil Enns and his tutu (er, I mean petticoat)" made their debut at the Seattle Granite Curling Club three minutes before the late draw.

I'm sure Neil was wondering what was up. I sent him an email earlier that day, pestering him about his petticoat. "You should wear your petticoat! Make sure Andrew gets the full Neil Enns experience." And the response,"Andrew worked for me for 9 months, I'm pretty sure he got the full experience."

Additionally, Neil was running around all over the club last night. Upstairs, downstairs, upstairs. I was thinking he knew what was up. Andrew finally got to the club and I managed to get him away from Neil. Just before we went on the ice, we hid in the stairwell and then came out wearing our ice blue Neil shirts.

I'm pretty sure they were a hit. I had a couple of extra ones made, and sold one on the spot!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

All day at the Seattle Granite Curling Club

It was a very long, cold day at the Seattle Curling Club. The heater is broken, and it was practically colder inside on the ice than it was outside.

Gabrielle and I spent an hour and a half attempting to get to the club. Her rental did not navigate our icy hill very well. It took close to 45 minutes to get to Juanita Drive.

We finally made it, and spent a couple of hours with our team practicing. We went through our 10 minute practice routine. That went fairly well. Then our team continued to work on our line of delivery, that we had started in Richmond. We all still have a few quirks to iron out. At the end, we had our draw to the button, and I finally won, with a draw of 3 1/2 inches away from the button!! The next closest was 6 inches.

I then subbed for Steve L in the mixed doubles league. After women's practice my draw weight was pretty good, and I feel like I played well. Our team beat Jake and Betty (who subbed for Emily) by 4 or 5 points. I got a great compliment from Steve, who said I was his first choice when he needed a sub for mixed doubles. I still have a lot of work to do to, but its always cool to get the warm fuzzy compliments.

Our Mixed League game - Calcagno vs Benson also went well. We won easily and shook after the 6th end. It took time for me to readjust to the ice. The first two ends were super heavy compared to earlier in the day. It took something like a split of 3.28 to make the T Line. One of my 'take-outs' ended up as a 4. The first end set the tone of the game with us taking 4 points with hammer.

My inturn is getting much better. I had two phenomenal shots, but again, still needs a lot of work for consistency.

Snow!!



Yesterday my women's team drove up to Canada for a team practice at the Richmond Curling Club.

On the way there, we made a stop up at the Langley Curling Club for supplies. I had to exchange a right gripper that came down with my left sliding shoe. What was really funny, is that Nigel came back out with two right grippers.

I said, "Nigel, I need two left grippers."
Nigel, "You're both right handed."
"Yes, but we need left grippers. The sliding shoe is on the left foot."
I got another puzzled look, and then he headed back into the room with the grippers. In the end, I left Langley with 3 performance broom heads for a friend, a new broom head for myself, two grippers, and a Langley curling baseball cap.

We then struggled through some traffic to Richmond. The Olympic ice facility opened across from the Richmond club and were allowing visitors onto the ice. In the end, we made it just a few minutes past 1 pm.

We worked on a timed 10 minute practice, to simulate the practice time we'll get at the regionals playdown. After a 3 or 4 of those, we switched to working on our line of delivery. For the most part, we worked on our out turn. It was a good practice.

Afterwards, Beth came with me as I drove as quickly as I could back to Seattle, to assist in a rental at the Seattle Granite Curling Club. It had started to snow, so the usually 70 MPH drive was brought to a mere 50 MPH for safety. We also ended up taking a detour from Peace Arch to Blaine, as Peace Arch had been closed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Great practice session today!!

I felt like I had an excellent practice session today. I threw about 16 rocks by myself, when my teammate Beth arrived. I threw another 16 rocks or so after she showed up.

My line looked pretty good. I felt more comfortable in the hack today than I have in awhile.

I ended up subbing on Elizabeth Booth's team tonight. We ended up beating the Richard team 7 to 3. Turns out it was Elizabeth's 1st win of the season on women's league. I asked her how my line of delivery was, and she said I was spot on. My weight however, was a little off. I was a little heavy, and ended up with some rocks in the top of the house, instead of guards.

I'm still more worried about line of delivery than my weight at the moment. I would like to continue to be consistent with how I threw tonight for the next month. I will be practicing in the Richmond club in Canada this Saturday, and I have practice on Sunday along with 2 games.

Yay for curling!!!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Holiday Spiel 2008

My women's team, minus our skip Gabrielle participated in the Seattle Granite Curling Club 2008 Holiday Bonspiel. Our substitute skip was Clare Cloutier.

We did fairly well. We won our first game by one point Friday night against a Canadian team from the Peace Arch club, the Renner rink. We continued in the A bracket and won against the Booth rink 8 to 3. That was very impressive, because we stole points in 5 of 7 ends.

Finally, we lost 9 - 4 in 7 ends to Wes Johnson's rink. A very respectable team to lose to. That ended our time in the Holiday spiel. I make the side note : we started in the A bracket, and finished in the A bracket . :D

Jeremy's team should be finishing their game. His team is in the B bracket. He's playing the Canadian team we played in our first game. His team should beat them, which means he gets to get up and head back to the club for a 10:30 am draw.

The Holiday spiel was a lot of fun, but seemed quite a bit more subdued than last year.When we got off the ice around10:30, the upstairs seemed fairly empty. However the participation for the ugly holiday sweater contest seemed to be in full swing. There were lots and lots of ugly sweaters out there. We missed seeing who one, because we were on the ice playing our third game...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I don't think all Asians look alike.



A few weeks ago, an article about Betty Kozai and her family of curlers appeared in the Seattle Times. Said article can be found here: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/living/2008336412_curling01.html .

That same weekend, I volunteered for an open house at the Seattle Granite Curling Club. I volunteered as the greeter and assigned guests to the available groups. As I assigned people to their groups, I received the occasional comment "Hey, you're in this weekend's paper!!" Only to reply, "No, that wasn't me."

This weekend our club hosted the Seattle Granite Cashspiel. I was looking forward to saying Hi to Bart Sawyer, a drop in instructor from the Four Foot Training Camp last summer. We dropped in on Friday, just in time for the 2:00 pm draw. Bart's team was playing against Beighton on sheet 1. The team that Emily Good was playing on was sheet 2. Emily also had attended Four Foot.

I took a few photos, and noticed sometime in the middle of the game, they had a short conversation with each other. Emily pointed up at the windows, Bart looks up, I wave at them, and Bart and Emily wave back. Last night, I was talking to Emily, to find out that Bart had thought she was ME!! LOL. Bart started talking to her about all of the photos I uploaded on Facebook. Hence, her pointing out that I was the one watching the game behind the glass. It was very amusing to see the tables turned.

Just for the record, here is a photo of Emily and myself. Emily ->Half Japanese. Cyndy (Me) -> Full Chinese. No relation.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Black Friday

Woke up at 4 am today (I'm a total crazy head).

I went to the Bellevue Old Navy, and picked up 3 pairs of jeans for $50. I got there early enough to get their free MP3 player. Not that I wanted or needed it. I'll probably end up donating it, as I have an iPhone and a nanopod that I use.

From Old Navy, I walked over to Circuit City. Circuit City wasn't nearly as crowded as last year. Last year, after the store opened, there were still lines wrapped around the building. I contemplated getting a couple of DVDs and another thumb drive, but the lines to check out were way too long.

I walked from Circuit City to Sports Authority, and picked up a new pair of tennis shoes for $50.00. When I drove past the store in the morning, they had a small line outside. The store was fairly empty when I was looking around.

From Sports Authority, I went to Joann's and rummaged around all the crafts and fabric. I picked up a little fabric, that I hope to work with tomorrow. Afterwards, I made a disappointing trip to Macy's - they didn't have anything, and then to Kohl's. I picked up a few items, including a couple of zip up hoodies.

I drove up and took a luxurious 2 hour nap, before going the the curling club to watch the 2:00 pm draw for this weekend's Cashspiel.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Deadspiel, a movie about zombies curling.

Stumbled across this via Google.

Deadspiel, a movie about zombies curling recently debuted in the Toronto After Dark Film Festival.

All I can ask is, "When does it play in Seattle?"

http://www.deadspiel.com/site/

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Name is Bruce...

All of these cool events popping out of the woodwork. Unfortunately, I can't go having committed myself to becoming competitive in curling.

This is a film produced by Bruce Campbell, actor in the famous series Evil Dead I, II, and the sequel Army of Darkness. He'll in in town Dec 12th at the Varsity with a Q&A.

http://www.bruce-campbell.com/

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two seconds of fame

This evening, at 9:5o pm, there was a quick blurb about the annual 2008 Seattle Granite Curling Club Turkey Shoot on the local Q13 Fox station. A quick clip showed me delivering the frozen turkey before heading to commercials. After that, there was a cameo from Doug K. Some footage of Jeremy and Barry sweeping, and then of Barry and myself sweeping.

The winners, Chris Pleasants, Jeremy Dinsel, and Barry V were all shown together. A cute side note was made about (Jeremy) the guy who took 2nd place picking the wine over the frozen turkey.

Evergreen Interleague Spiel 2008


This past weekend was filled with curling for me. I think I spent maybe 10 hours away from the Seattle Granite Curling Club. I spend so much time there, I wonder if I should change my mailing address.

Friday night, was regular league night. It is comprised of Darryl P, Jon W, my husband Jeremy D, and myself. I played an okay game, Jeremy played fairly well, and our skip kept us in the game to win.

We lucked out and ended up in the late group for the Evergreen Bonspiel. After dropping my beagle off at daycare at 8 am, everyone in the house got ready to grab breakfast at a little breakfast nook in Bothell. Biscuits with sausage gravy is always a favorite.

We got to the club in plenty of time before our noon draw to socialize, get dressed and warm up. Our mentors Ken Mabbatt and Leslie Frosch came out to watch, critique, and get some stats for us. My women's team was comprised of the skip: Gabrielle Coleman, 3rd: Beth Coffin, 2nd: Sara Skulec, and Lead : myself, Cyndy Eng-Dinsel. We not only won our first game at noon, we also won our 4 pm game and our 9 pm game.

Definitely some ego boosting with the three wins. I felt like the 2nd game was my best game, but Leslie said that my percentage was the best with the 3rd game. The criticism that has been haunting me for the last couple of weeks is my in turn is really off, and was in full force this past weekend. I did manage to work on it and felt a little better by the 4th game. However, it is definitely something in the front of my mind that needs to be worked on. We came away with 3 wins and a tie. Pretty good for our 3rd bonspiel together.

As Leslie said, Skip, 3rd and 2nd can all throw 80%, bu the Lead MUST throw 90% or better. I have lots of practice in front of me to get to 90%. Thanksgiving weekend is coming up, and the Seattle Cashspiel is in town. I am going to rest up until my Monday league game, and try to get some other kind of exercise, to let my muscles get some rest.

Jeremy played the same time I did, so I only have a couple of photos of random people playing.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Too much curling?

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been getting headaches on a regular basis. At first, I thought they were caused by changes in my eyesight. The headaches have especially been flaring up when I've been at the curling club, while I have been playing.

Last week during Monday league, I got there early to throw a few rocks. Three rocks later, I had a headache. I got off the ice, had a few Advil, and had my team mate work on a tight spot on the back of my neck.

Thursday afternoon I went to the club to throw some practice rocks. With my third rock, I practically saw stars. Instant migraine. I went home and slept. It hurt so bad, it eclipsed my elation at receiving my new Balance Plus 3oos with the 1/4 inch slider. It also managed to overshadow my irritation at receiving a right gripper for my left sliding shoe. Grrr.

Friday I made an emergency trip to my LMP (License Massage Practictioner) to get my neck worked on. Turns out, migraine was caused by tension in the neck area. I still feel bruised by the work needed to open that area up. To fix that problem, I am doing lots of stretching for my neck, before, during, and after my games. I also have a heat pack that I purchased (and now spend time fighting with my husband as to who gets to use the heat pack). I will also probably start going to the gym, to do a little cross training, work the opposite muscles and such.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Curling practice and a draw.




Yesterday, Ken M came out and worked with my team on release point. We spent just under 2 hours working on it. I spent almost all the time working on my in turn. I'm just not comfortable with it for some reason.

Mike C was supposed to come out and practice with Jeremy, but bailed on him to watch the Masters. Sadly, there was no email notification or phone call. Jeremy would rather have stayed in bed. However, he did take some video of us, which was very helpful.

There wasn't enough time for me to run home and back after practice, so I was going to hang out until Jeremy's Mixed Doubles league finished. Jeremy's team was playing the Pleasants.

Luckily, I managed to snag a ride home with Derrick. We grabbed a late lunch at Pen Thai. Pen Thai, as always had tasty food. Yum, Phad See Iew. We spent the entire time talking about my favorite subject: curling.

I managed to get 2 loads of laundry done, wash some dishes, and hang out with Gravity before Jeremy got home. Heated up some leftovers for him, and then watched most of an episode of Numb3rs.

In the evening, our team played Derrick's team and we won, 8 to 7. We started off well, and then missed 6 shots in a row to give up 4. As my skip said, my in turn is still weak and wonky. I will continue to work on my in turn and the come around shot for the next few weeks.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Practice, practice, practice

I turned down 3 requests to sub last night, and one offer to join today's Thursday afternoon game.

I'm playing lots of games and not practicing enough. It allows my bad habits to continue or get worse, and not get any better. Because of this, I decided to spend today practicing.

I started off by asking my Sunday night skip, Mike Calcagno for things he'd like to see me work on. He came back with a lengthy email, which boils down to working on my in turn, which is much weaker than my out turn. He also mentioned to work on my come arounds (drawing around a guard).

My husband also chimed in that I've changed my delivery (not for the better), and that I needed to get back to basics.

I made sure to get back to the basics. Put my rock in front of the house and clean the rock. Put my foot in the hack, line it up with the broom. Bend down, knee in front (lined up with the rock) over the rock. Slider foot heel lined up with the toe of the foot in the hack. Small forward press(rock forward, foot forward), rock back, foot back, rock forward, foot forward.

I threw 40 rocks, 36 of them working with my in turn. I then spent about 10 minutes working with my balance. Sliding out of the hack without a broom or rock, and then 5 of Leslie's angels.

Ended my practice on a positive note. I felt like my in turn is better and my delivery on my in turn much more stable.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Autumnspiel 2008





Autumnspiel 2008! What an event we had this past weekend.

It was the 2nd time my women's competitive team played together. We're starting to learn how to work with one another as a team. There are still years of work and learning in front of us.

We won our 1st game as a team at the Friday 8 pm draw against the McBrooms. I was almost taken out when a broom came flying in front of me from sheet 2. I was in the middle of sweeping when I got a blur out of the corner of my eye. I jumped over it and continued to sweep. It was amazing that I didn't fall down or burn the rock.

Winning our first game, put our next draw at 12:30 pm Saturday, against the Richards. It was a valiant effort, but eventually the Richard were victorious against us. We played well against them, and the Richards went on to take first place in the A bracket.

We had the unfortunate luck to pull the draw right after dinner, playing the Melton rink. Its never fun to play on a full stomach. We all tried to eat light in preparation. It was an entertaining and distracting game. Jeannie subbed for one of their players who had been drinking too much. He sat at the window watching us. In the beginning, he would rate us on our shots, plastering paper that said +10 or -10 against the glass. I also saw a line of people doing the wave.

Near the end of the game, there was a large crowd watching us on our sheet. Not a death match, so why so many people? When a few people came to change the keg, we discovered the answer. They were betting on who was going to win. Saturday evening, 6 pm draw, the Coleman rink (yay team!) won their second game. We apparently also disappointed someone who needed us to throw our last rock (hammer).

Sunday morning, our fourth game was at 8 am. We played and lost against my husband's team. I won't candy coat it. I was very disappointed in our loss. It wasn't close. We didn't play as well as I had hoped. Jeremy's team had a very good shooting percentage and a much better strategy.

Jeremy's team went on to play 2 more games on Sunday before losing to the Radmer rink in the final C bracket game. That game was fun too watch, and it was a very close match.

By the time our Mixed league game came at 6 pm, I was very glad that t was Jeremy and not myself that had played 3 games previous.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sub anyone?

It's a good thing I'm only playing in three leagues (Sunday mixed, Monday and Friday social). Being available to sub on other days makes me very popular.

We're not even in our first full month of the season and my inbox is being pinged left and right. I subbed for the Women's league yesterday, on Marj Y's team. Amazingly, I was asked by three different teams to sub last night.

I've been asked to be the 5th (wo)man on one team, a perma sub on another/joining the women's league. Last week I was a sub for the Thursday afternoon league. The week before that, I came back from a bonspiel in Langley BC to sub in the Mixed Doubles league. I love being a sub, but I need to spend some time just practicing. I have many things to learn and improve on. The hardest thing this year for me to improve on, may be in saying "No."

Last season, the only time I ever said No was when I was already subbing. Which meant I participated in quite a few back to back draws in the last couple of months. This season, unless I playing in a bonspiel, I'd like to keep it to just one draw an evening.

We need to get the word out to have people sign up for subbing. And for them not to be afraid if its their first year. How else will they get experience? Or meet all the other great people out there that can only play in one league on a regular basis?

I am trying to step up to the plate and help out with curling outreach as much as I can. Sometimes its as little as mentioning that women's 'competitive' practice is open to all the women in the club (part of your membership, no additional fees). Other times its getting on the ice a little earlier and working with someone on their delivery. I tend to want everyone to be as excited about curling and to enjoy it as much as I do. Which of course, is tough, because, as you all know from reading my blog, I'm obsessed.

Anyways, time for some sleep. I hope to visualize myself coming out of the hack at least 10 times before I fall asleep......its all about the basics.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

US Women's Nationals/2010 Olympic Trials Qualifiers



Today, my women's team registered online for the US Women's Nationals/2010 Olympic Trials Qualifiers. Now that the paperwork has been filled out, it seems so close.

We're only in the first half month of the season. My women's competitive team has been to one bonspiel, has one coming up next weekend, and another one two weeks after that. January is just around the corner. There was a brief moment of panic, that I am not getting enough practice in. I'm just not sure where I can fit it in.

A great article came across my Google Reader feed:
http://icing.org/coaches/advice/tschir3/tschir3.htm

Lots of visualization and sports imagery to come.

Space Travel Supplies?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween 2008, Friday Night League











While my Friday night team lost their game, we had a great time looking at everyone's costumes.

Learn to pebble






Yesterday, Jeremy and I attended the Learn to pebble class, taught by Doug Williams and Joe Fox. There were 8 of us that attended. 4 women : Linda C, Christina, Katie M, and myself. There were also 4 men. Jeremy, Ethan, Jon W, and a man whose name I don't remember, but he plays on Monday night.

It was a very interesting class. Pebbling takes quite a bit of coordination. You have to walk backwards carrying a 30 to 40 lb container of hot water and ensure that your arm moves back and forth faster than you walk. Also to keep the nozzle above the water to keep it from spraying all over the place. There is no on or off switch.

We all had a great time and it was a fun learning experience. I wish there was more time to practice. I also wish it was easier to avoid feeling self conscious.

Here are some photos.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's The Great Pumpkin!!!





So many things to do, so little time.

I left work at 4:30 pm today. Since the, I have been to the grocery store, washed one load of laundry, hung clothes up, washed dishes, gotten pumpkin bars cooked, made a second trip to the grocery store, and a trip to the pet store for treats with Gravity. I've also sent an email out to harass my women's team about entering the Evergreen Bonspiel.

To do: Clean the main bathroom, wash more dishes, make the frosting for the pumpkin bars, put the second load of laundry into the dryer, and try to find time to write a blog entry from this past weekend's trip to the Langley Curling Club for their Witches Broom Bonspiel.

I also have to remember to put my curling gear together, as I am a sub in the Thursday afternoon league for Andrea, and send an email to John R about picking my new curling shoes (Yah!) from Langley when he goes up for a spiel in mid November.

I am seriously contemplating having a house cleaner come by once a month to clean my bathrooms, kitchen, and dust. *whew*