Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Olympics Are Over...

Sigh. I'll admit, I'm super sad it's all over.
From the opening to the closing ceremonies, from skiing to skating to sliding to curling to hockey, I think I watched it all. My television hasn't budged from CTV/TSN/Sportsnet for the past two weeks. I'm not even sure I remember what numbers the other channels are.
There was certainly something special about these Olympics, due to their location in my home and native land. Everyone on the street, in the malls, at work, at school, and online via twitter were all focused on the same thing - enjoying the games.
I've got friends who don't watch the Olympics. They don't get it, don't understand it, think it's stupid, whatever (sometimes I think this is how they feel about me too, but that's a rant for another day). I think they are missing out.

(Did you miss out? Catch up via CTVOlympics.ca and their youtube channel.)
It's about shared experience. It's about emotion, elation as well as disappointment. It's about achievement. It's about family. It's about national pride. It's about singing the national anthem at the top of your lungs and cheering until you lose you voice for gold.
I'm not sure how to describe what this week has meant to me. I am thankful I got to be a part of it, experience it with friends and strangers alike. I am thankful for all the chatter over twitter (including tweets and pics from all the athletes and people who were in Vancouver experiencing it live), as it certainly made the whole experience much more fun.

I am thankful for the athletes who shared their stories and abilities and joy. I teared up more than once watching those 'I Believe' montages CTV put together. The emotion on their faces was priceless.
I am proud to be a Canadian.
And I hope this feeling of Canadian pride continues for a long long time...

(Don't forget, the Paralympic Winter Games start March 12!!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

#Curling Comics

There was not one, but two curling related webcomics in my Google Reader feeds yesterday:

(click to enlarge)

Savage Chicken, by Doug Savage


GraphJam: Popularity of Curling 


Not overly flattering, so I'll leave you with a couple better ones from Mixed Brood by Kent Vaughan.




UPDATE: Here's another Savage Chicken curling cartoon, posted Feb 26/10:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My First Lockdown

As part of my incredibly-stressful-library-grad-school-experience, I work as a Research Assistant (RA) on a particular project being conducted by a few professors and academic librarians.

Part of my RA duties recently have included spending far too much time in high schools administering an online skills test.

First of all, going back to high school has not been so much fun. I hated high school.

Second, going back to a school period has not been so much fun. I used to be the teacher, but am not anymore for whatever reasons that I don't need to be reminded of.

Today, however, proved to be rather interesting, if not absolutely terrifying.

So I'm just sitting in the computer lab working on my homework, waiting for students to show up to write the test, when all of a sudden this message comes over the intercom:

"LOCKDOWN. LOCKDOWN. LOCKDOWN."

Seriously.

Fortunately, the secretary had given me a timetable with the lockdown procedures on the back, which I followed as best I could. I shut the door (which was locked anyways), turned off the lights, made sure the blinds and the windows were closed, and retreated to the far corner of the room, out of sight of the door's window.

The school went silent. Then intercom came on again and just kept repeating "--- SCHOOL IS IN LOCKDOWN."

And I sat there in the dark.

At one point, someone came and jiggled the door handle, and by their shadow I could tell they were looking in the window to see if anyone was in the room. The lockdown procedure sheet said I was not to move, regardless of commotion or police presence in the hallway. Cell Phone use was also prohibited.

The whole time I'm thinking "Is this real or is this a drill?"

Not lying, my heart was racing.

The intercom kept repeating the lockdown message. For like 5 minutes. Then the intercom switched from the recorded message to the secretary saying about how it was a drill and thank you for participating and mostly the school passed the test.

Good freakin' grief!!

I did go later to the office and remark to the secretary that they could've warned me, but she said no one knows when these drills happen, which was echoed by a teacher's aide later that day. The TA said that the drills happened once a term or so. I guess the students are expected to sit on the floor so that they can't be seen from the door/windows, and that if they are wandering the halls they have to either go to the nearest classroom, or lock themselves in a bathroom stall and stand on the toilet so they can't be seen. She also mentioned that the cement walls were pretty thick, so it was ok to sit against them as they'd block 'debris'. She said it's good for  the school to get used to the whole procedure in case anything bad really happened.

What kind of world do we live in if our kids have to go through lockdown drills at school?!

It must be terrifying to students the first few times, particularly those who are younger or sensitive. I wonder how they do this drill in elementary schools? There must be tears.

Lockdown drills never happened when I was in school/high school/teaching. I remember doing Tornado drills as a kid, but that's it. While teaching in the UK, I used to remark that I was a prison warden, because the schools were always locked up and surrounded by high chain link fences that didn't let anyone in while school was in session. It's not like they had fields or wide open spaces to play on anyways. Regardless of their high fences, my UK schools never had anything like lockdown drills and besides so-and-so punching so-and-so safety was never an issue.

Schools used to be safe. I supposed that's changed. That makes me sad.

And a bit paranoid...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Music Monday: Mumford and Sons

How about a non-Olympic post for Music Monday?

Sometime last fall, I came across an awesome English folk band via one of the music blogs I follow.  They released a CD in the UK in September, and I've been waiting since then for a North American release.

Which happened last week.

I bought it. And it's awesome.

Let me introduce you to Mumford and Sons...



Fan-freakin-tastic. I love 'em - they're British folk at its best. The banjo is awesome. The CD rocks. "Little Lion Man" is my current favourite song.

They're getting a bit of buzz on the blogosphere - likely because they were just on David Letterman (another version here via The Audio Perv, or here with weird subtitles via Letterman's Youtube page).


Their performance on Letterman was good, and his bits with them quite funny, but the clean chorus doesn't have quite the same impact as the NSFW album version.

You should definitely buy their CD. Fingers crossed for a Canadian tour sometime soon.

You can find the band at:
Mumford and Sons official (something going on with their site, it's up then it's down, might be better to just Google them)
Mumford and Sons myspace

If you like this band, you might also like:
Elliot Brood
Seth Lakeman

Friday, February 19, 2010

Letterman Does #Curling Top 10

Via Bob Weeks (@bwoncurling) on twitter:


Meanie. I'll take Colbert any day. Or Ferguson, can we get @CraigyFerg to try curling?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Olympic #Curling Widget Fix

The curling librarian is awesome.
I figured out how to fix the broken Olympic curling widget that I described on my blog this morning.



VANOC made a spelling mistake. And I fixed it.

As a reward, I think someone should fly me out to Vancouver for the curling medal games...

...or at least send me a free pin or something.

Olympic Widgets = Fail

So the chatter on twitter alerted me to the official Vancouver 2010 widget page.

You can embed a medal count on your website:


Ok, that's kinda neat, but what I wanted to embed on my blog was the curling results/schedule:


But guess what? The code is screwed up and even though it says curling, what really gets displayed is the cross country skiing results.

Sigh. That makes me sad. It would've been such a cool addition to my blog.

This is the second time the Olympic media has failed me. I signed up with CTVOlympics.ca to get text updates of the curling scores - but they went to my email instead. And I didn't get updated on all the scores, just random ones.

Well, it was a good try, but...

Check out Al Cameron's latest post: Rules? We don't need no stinkin' rules for more curling fails from the Olympics (including some twitter trouble for @chrisplys - who has been a delight to follow throughout these Olympic games - please don't ban him from twittering!!).

Interesting, if not controversial stuff coming out of Vancouver!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Olympic #Curling Crowd

After one day of Olympic curling - the Canadian teams are unbeaten. There have been some unbelievable shots, and it's been fun to watch.

The crowd in the venue however, hasn't impressed me like the shot making has.

Yes, it's super loud, louder than I've ever heard. Yes, the atmosphere is electric. Yes there are some pretty nifty curling cheers and cowbells.

But it's not a curling crowd. They are not knowledgeable about what's going on. Basically, they'll cheer for anything.

Including opposition misses.

Come on people, that's just not respectful. This isn't hockey. You're supposed to cheer for good shots on both sides. You're not supposed to cheer misses (a simple group "Oh!" will do). You're not supposed to get tanked off expensive venue beer and then make a loud nuisance of yourself. You're supposed to be quiet when the curlers are getting ready to throw. And you most certainly are not supposed to take flash photos as the curler is throwing.

This was bound to happen with the way the ticket lotto worked. I do think it's great people who have never seen curling live are getting the chance to appreciate the support. I do think it's great that the Canadian crowd is cheering on our teams.

But please, please, show some respect and stop cheering for misses!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympic #Curling Starts Today!

Curling starts today!

While I've thoroughly enjoyed watching all the Olympic action thus far (especially Alex Bilodeau's gold medal performance and subsequent heart warming interviews) - I'm ready for some curling action.
Twitter has been fun to follow so far, both the curlers and the curling media have been posting pictures, so I sort of feel like it's started already.

The hot curling story seems to be the Norwegian pants (watch this video too). I'm all for white or pink belts, but I think those pants might prove to be a bit distracting! Reminds me of how team Koe got 'told' to stop wearing their nifty grey plaid pants and vintage red sweaters. Apparently those same officials aren't in charge of the Olympics.

My picks for the medals? Gold/Silver/Bronze:

Mens: Canada/Great Britain/Norway
Womens: China/Canada/Sweden

Keep in mind I haven't picked a winner all year!

Let's get this party started!!

My Olympic curling tv schedule is here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Music Monday: MacMaster & Leahy Concert

Before I became the curling librarian, I used to be a fiddle fanatic.

I was obsessed with fiddles, fiddlers, fiddle bands...

Seriously. I used to stalk this family fiddle band around Alberta. Not lying. I saw eleven shows in three years. I drove around the province (ok, and once around Ontario). I saw shows back to back night after night. I once drove through a snow storm in the mountains. A couple of the sisters used to remember me show after show. The manager knew me. I used to be active in the online community. I met people I knew online in person and made friends. More importantly though, I truly loved the music.

(Athabasca, AB - 1998? That was the concert I danced with the Hutterites.)

I loved Leahy. They were my most favouritist band.

And I had a huge (*huge*) crush on the youngest brother. *sigh*

(Edmonton, AB - 1999/2000? See, I met them! That's my used-to-be-future-husband in the middle. He's probably married now to someone-who-isn't-me.)

Then I moved to the UK, and distance deflated my obsession. Sure, I once tried quite hard to go see a Leahy concert in Belgium, but that never worked out. I got the manager to ship me over the newest live dvd/cd. But circumstances during the London Years sucked the spirit out of me. And upon returning to Canada, I found my musical tastes had shifted. Sure, I still on occasion check the Leahy tour dates, but they only usually play a few shows a year now, and mostly in the east. (I think that's about to change, read on.)

Anyways.

If ever there was a match made in heaven, it's Donnell Leahy and Natalie MacMaster.

(Promo Photo)

When I heard they had gotten married, I was super excited. Canada's king of fiddles married Canada's queen of fiddles. Perfect.

And on Saturday night, I saw them in concert.

It was magical.

(So magical it couldn't be recorded on camera secretly from second row centre.)

They were in fine form. Natalie is cute and funny and bouncy and great to watch. Donnell is animated and genuine and uber talented. They had with them two pianists, Mac Morin (who I've seen at Folk Fest as part of Beolach), and Erin Leahy. That's right. Surprise surprise, another Leahy, and Erin - one of the sisters who used to remember me! Awesome.

The music was fantastic. They played some MacMaster songs, some Leahy songs, some other songs, and I loved them all.

(Watch till the end - that's my favourite Leahy moment.)

One of the highlights was the 'Olympic Moments'. Early on in the first set, Natalie was dancing and faked skiing by using her bow and fiddle as poles. Then, as Mac was dancing, he mimiced ski jumping. Natalie explained the challenge was for them all to do an Olympic sport before the end of the first set. Later on, Donnell did a bit of figure skating, including and jump and a spin. The last song of the set came up, and Erin was stuck at the piano, so I wondered what she was going to do, but suddenly she bolted up, ran around the stage and then 'shot the puck' at Donnell. It was hilarious. During the second last song of the night, Erin and Mac once again jumped up from the pianos, Donnell threw a 'curling rock' across the stage and the pianists swept it while he yelled "Hurry Hard!"

Priceless.


Natalie and Donnell told a lovely story about their first date. And throughout the night, you could tell they were all having so much fun. The music was so wonderful, and the energy - gosh, I just don't know how to describe it. It brought back all the memories of back in the day. They were good times.

It was a great night. 

(Always genuine, sincere and down to earth. Lovely people, the whole family.)

Donnell did mention they were recording a new Leahy CD. Maybe one day we'll see a Donnell/Natalie CD? Afterwards, Donnell and Natalie came out to sign autographs and meet people. I told Natalie I'd been waiting ten years to see her, and she was very lovely. Then I told Donnell I used to stalk Leahy back in the day and had seen a dozen shows. He was quite surprised. I said they have to come back and he said they will - they are.


We'll have to wait and see what Leahy does next. I'm willing to bring the old obsession out from the back of the closet. I'm willing to drive around the province to see a bunch of shows. They'll be good times.

And maybe Angus Leahy is still single...

More links to enjoy:
MacMaster & Leahy - TED Talks
MacMaster & Leahy - Fiddling with Parenthood

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Best #Curling Idea Ever: HACK Radio

One of my favourite things: watching curling live while listening to the commentary on the radio. That's how I enjoyed the Roar of the Rings. That's how I plan to enjoy curling events in the future.

Well, they've taken it one step further at the Vancouver Olympics...

Introducing HACK Radio!

You can listen to the commentary (by Luke Coley, Don Westphal and the Lord of the Rings herself - Jackie-Rae Greening), and even text in questions to be answered on air.

All for the low low price of $20! That's totally worth it. I'd buy it.

In fact, the precedent will be set at Vancouver, and it will work so well (unlike the the opening ceremonies torch cauldron pillar thingy) that they will offer HACK radio at all future curling events.

Just because I said so.

(Via @coleysnotes, I think? It came from a curling tweeter anyways. Photo stolen from VANOC.)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympic Poem - Inspiring

Did you watch the Olympic opening ceremonies?

Pretty cool, eh?!

Check out the words of the poem that was read out:

We Are More

(video link - not of the ceremonies though.)

I like it!

Now bring on the curling...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Olympic #Curling TV Schedule

The Winter Olympics start today!!! I'm so excited!!


Here's your Olympic-Curling-On-TV Schedule (all times Mountain). I haven't included the channels I don't get on my cable subscription, or the French channels, except where APTN is airing French games, because I didn't know they had coverage in French, so maybe it's a typo?

Tuesday Feb. 16
10am: Men - Can vs Nor (CTV)
10am: Men - Can vs Nor (APTN-French)
3:30pm: Women - Can vs Swi (TSN)
8pm: Men - Can vs Ger (TSN)
8pm: Men - US vs Nor (APTN)

Wednesday Feb. 17
10am: Women - Can vs. Jap (Sportsnet)
10am: Women - Swi vs Swe (APTN)
3pm: Men - US vs Swi (Sportsnet)
8pm: Women - GB vs Swe (TSN)
8pm: Women - China vs Swi (APTN-French)

Thursday Feb. 18
10am: Men - Can vs Swe (CTV)
10am: Men - Den vs US (APTN)
10am: Men - GB vs Swi (Sportsnet)
3pm: Women - Can vs Ger (TSN)
8pm: Men - Can vs Fra (Sportsnet)

Friday Feb. 19
10am: Women - China vs Den (Sportsnet)
10am: Women - ? vs ? (APTN)
3pm: Men - Can vs Den (TSN)
3pm: Men - Can vs Den (APTN-French)
8pm: Women - Den vs Can (Sportsnet)

Saturday Feb. 20
10am: Men - Nor vs Den (Sportsnet)
10am: Men - Swe vs US (APTN)
3pm: Women - US vs GB (TSN)
3pm: Women - ? vs ? (APTN-French)
8pm: Men - Can vs GB (Sportsnet)

Sunday Feb. 21
10am: Women - Can vs US (CTV)
10am: Women - ? vs ? (APTN)
3pm: Men - Can vs Swi (APTN-French)
3:30pm: Men - Can vs Swi (TSN)
8pm: Women - Can vs China (TSN)

Monday Feb. 22
10am: Men - Can vs US (CTV)
10am: Men - ? vs ? (APTN)
3pm: Women - Can vs Swe (Sportsnet)
3:30pm: Women - GB vs Den (TSN)
8:30pm: Men - ? vs ? (APTN-French)
9pm: Men - Ger vs GB (TSN)

Tuesday Feb. 23
10am: Women - US vs China (TSN)
10am: Women - Can vs GB (Sportsnet)
10am: Women - Can vs GB (APTN)
3pm: Men - Can vs China (TSN)
3pm: Men - Can vs China (APTN)
3:30pm: Men - GB vs Nor (Sportsnet)
8pm: Women - Can vs Rus (Sportsnet)

Wednesday Feb. 24
10am: Tiebreakers (APTN)

Thursday Feb. 25
10am: Women - Semi (CTV)
10am: Women - Semi (Sportsnet)
10am: Women - Semi (APTN-French)
3pm: Men - Semi (TSN)
3pm: Men - Semi (Sportsnet)

Friday Feb. 26
10am: Women - Bronze (Sportsnet)
4pm: Women - Gold (TSN)

Saturday Feb. 27
10am: Men - Bronze (TSN)
4pm: Men - Gold (NONE???)
4pm: Men - Gold (APTN - "presented in Aboriginal Language")
4pm: Men - Gold (ctvolympics.ca)

What?!

Wait...let me check again...

...THEY'RE NOT TELEVISING THE MENS CURLING GOLD MEDAL GAME ON THE MAIN NETWORKS!!!

Who's freakin' stupid idea was that?

It'll be on the main coverage that swaps sports periodically (also listed are skiing, snowboarding, speed skating, figure skating, hockey and on and on...), but why the freakin' heck wouldn't they dedicate prime tv time to the Mens gold medal game?? That's the most important game!!

Maybe I missed it. Maybe it's a mistake. Maybe it'll change.

I sure hope so. It's a darn shame, that's what it is...

(I just thought of something, you could watch the game on APTN or the French channel on mute, and listen to the commentary online...)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Korab's Olympic #Curling Video

The Olympics start tomorrow!!!!

Get in the spirit by watching this video by Newfoundland curler Jamie Korab, who won an Olympic gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Curling Science Part II

Remember my previous post about curling science?

Well, it's in the news again.

Has snub hurt Canada's prospects?

Apparently a Canadian researcher tried to market his curling research to Canada but they didn't care so he went to Scotland and then also helped out the Europeans. Now Canada is actually behind on the curling science front.

Sounds like a) high school, b) failed politics, and/or c) a big screw up by Canada.

Read the article, it's very interesting.

And makes me a little sad...

Al Cameron has another take here.

And that makes me happier.

Olympics Censor And Go Green

Here's a couple Olympic links for you, via Twitter tweets...


Apparently athletes are only allowed to blog/tweet/facebook/post pictures of personal moments - nothing about the actual event, and nothing about nonsponsors. Except no one appears to understand the policy. And what a shame really, I'd love to be able to hear what it's really all about. None of the athletes on my twitter list tweet very much anyways. It's quite a harsh policy though. What happened to freedom of speech and expression? This is Canada, not China.


Winter Olympics Have Too Much Green And Some Snow
Right, so shocker there's not enough snow in Vancouver. Shoulda held the games in Northern Alberta. Apparently the medals are made of recycled circuit boards of old computers. That's cool.

(photo via engadget)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Another #Curling Rumour

As I reported on twitter yesterday morning, the latest curling rumour is...

...wait for it...

Ferbey might join Team Koe!

No kidding. It's in the Edmonton Journal.

This assumes:

  • Most members of Team Ferbey are quitting to concentrate on their families.
  • Blake MacDonald is quitting to concentrate on his family.
  • Kevin Koe, Carter Rycroft and Nolan Thiessen aren't quitting.
  • Randy Ferbey, the oldest member of Team Ferbey isn't quitting.

Wow. Interesting rumour, but I still have one question, if indeed it is true...

...who gets to skip?

Monday, February 08, 2010

Happy Meal Goes To The Olympics

Via Tinkerblue - McDonald's Happy Meals now come with Olympic toys. Who knew?


There's hockey, figure skating, skiing, bobsleigh, snowboarding, ski jumping, sledge hockey and luge.

No curling. Shame.

Weekend #Curling Wrap Up

Well, how do you like that?

Jennifer Jones comes from behind to win the Scotties...

...and Team Koe is going to the Brier!!

Ok, ladies first. The Scotties was a bit...less than consistent this year, but entertaining nonetheless. I figured it would be a McCarville/Jones final, but O'Rouke and the PEI crew snuck in there. Sure everyone likes an underdog, but I'll admit I was cheering for Jones because PEI would've been eaten alive at the Worlds in Swift Current. And like usual, Team Jones played less than stellar, but came from behind with the win. Hopefully they can better last year's fourth place finish at the Worlds, on home turf nonetheless.

(Photo: The Canadian Press, nicked from TSN)

On to the Alberta Men's Provincials. I was mad I didn't get to see the final. Apparently Team Koe played really really well and pulled out a win - they're going to their first Brier! I am very excited for them, because well, they're one of my favourite teams, and they deserve it! It's very fitting timing considering the media is reporting they're splitting up next year (likely Blake is quitting, maybe Kevin, I'm trying not to believe the rumours though, that's called 'denial'). Congrats team Koe!

(Photo borrowed from the 2010 Boston Pizza Cup event page)

I am so excited for them. They deserve it.

The Brier will be interesting this year - Koe (AB), Howard (ON), Gushue (NL) have qualified so far along with Richards (BC), Fitzner-Leblanc (NS), Gratton (NB), and MacDonald (PEI). More provincials will be played next week. Likely we'll see Stoughton (MB) added to that list, maybe Jamie Koe (YUK/NWT) too. It's going to be tough to pick a winner

How awesome would it be if Jamie Koe and Kevin Koe (brothers) got to play in the Brier together?!

I've got to get the week off school/work...

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Trialing CurlTv.com Live #Curling - Or Not

I mentioned previously that I was 'trying' to watch the 2010 Alberta Men's Provincial Curling Championship on CurlTv.com. I've been watching the free daily news on CurlTv.com for awhile, and have always wanted to trial a paid subscription to an event. Since I couldn't attend the competition in Olds this year, and because I figured it would be a Koe/Ferbey final, I figured I could cough up the $10 for five days of curling videos.

Unfortunately, trying out a subscription didn't go too well.

Actually, it sucked.

A lot.

Often.

First of all, the first few games on Wednesday weren't recorded due to technical difficulties. Fair enough, they did put up a warning on the home page. I appreciate that wiring up and taping a game in a small town curling club, then streaming it to the world isn't very easy. I also tried to watch an archived game from that day, but the game wasn't in the Games Vault, so I had to settle for an archived game from 2008, which was actually rather entertaining.

Then, on Thursday, I tried to watch a game on a PC at the university, with no luck at all. The video was extremely choppy and constantly stopped to buffer. I could only get through about 15 seconds, so eventually gave up and just followed line scores on the 2010 Alberta Men's Provincial Curling Championship site.

On Friday, I came home from a long day with hopes of watching the latest game but I had tons of troubles. The video wouldn't work, and when it did it kept freezing and stopping. Refreshing didn't help. I had stuff to do and the Scotties was on so I didn't pay too much attention anyways.

Saturday, same difficulties. The live streaming is obviously the problem. I could get a few minutes, then the video would pause, load new footage, play again for a few minutes, pause, repeat, repeat, re-frickin-repeat. Annoying as all hell. The afternoon game was a blow out, but the evening game was Ferbey/Koe so it would've been nice to watch. I could get second and third stones choppy as above, but missed most of the lead stones (*sigh*), and never did get to watch any skip stones. Grr. Argh.

A little bit of sunshine though, the Ferbey/Appelman semi was working perfectly for me on Sunday morning. No freezing, no jumping, and the video covered all shots from lead to skip. I thought things were looking up and I was reading to publicly apologize to CurlTv.com after 3 hours of a blissful semi.

But the Sunday final, don't even get me started on Sunday final. I paid my $10 for this subscription because I couldn't go to the final game. I wanted to see a (likely) Koe/Ferbey final. Even more so because the teams are probably splitting up after this season.

Right, so I've heard in the past that the Alberta Mens Final was shown on Shaw tv. I never watched this because I went to the final the past couple years.

I do not get Shaw tv where I am currently living.

That is why I bought a CurlTv.com subscription, figuring it was the only way I could watch the final. I knew I would have to miss the last half because I was curling myself, but they had to push the start time back an hour due to ice problems, which means I would be missing most of the game anyways.  I figured at least I could count on archived video in the games vault.

They are not taping the final.

NOOOOOOO!!!

Viewing rights, Shaw contract, whatever. I paid to see the final, I didn't get to see the final. No one warned me about this. I am pissed off.

There's a slight chance it'll show up in the game vault later this week, but that's not the point.

I'm kinda mad at CurlTv.com. I didn't know I would get these sort of difficulties. I didn't know I wouldn't be able to watch the final. Sure, I only paid $10, but what if I had gotten the years subscription for $60?

The problem is CurlTv.com's live streaming does not like my macbook. I could watch games vault games fine, just not the live streaming. There's a support page, but it's mostly for PCs. It's possible it's the wireless internet connection at my house, but that's never been a problem before. I've never had any troubles whatsoever with cbcsports.ca or tsn.ca videos, whether they be live or archived. My macbook is not that old, and I've got the latest operating system and the latest updates for all my software and plugins.

I can watch the archived games in the games vault with no problems (mostly). And I can also watch the free daily (ish) curling news (mostly). And the live semi on Sunday worked wonderfully - curiouser and curiouser.

So, would I pay in the future?

To watch a live event - no, absolutely not.

To get access to the games vault - maybe.

I like watching archived games. I like listening to the games while I potter on the internet or do homework or read or whatever. The curlers are good company; it's like really nice curling music. I could potentially see myself paying for a years subscription and just using it to watch the archives, and even could watch live events the next day.

But, I can do this for free on cbcsports.ca or tsn.ca. Yes, CurlTv.com covers different games/events. And yes, it does super-annoy me when CBC or TSN pull the games off the video archive without warning after a specific amount of time (what that is I don't know, it seems to be 6-8 months usually, but not always). But $60 is $60.

Maybe all the teams will split up and curling will suck next year and I'll give it up for some other obsession.

Likely not.

I do still love the free curling news on CurlTv.com so I've forgiven them for any annoyances (and I *might* just drop this whole thing and not send them a nasty grumpy-old-woman email). I should probably also apologize for slamming CurlTv.com all weekend on twitter. Forgive me, I was frustrated - your live streaming wouldn't work and I just wanted to watch the Ferbey/Koe final (read my archives, team Koe is my favourite and they're splitting up soon).

Can we still be friends? No hard feelings, eh?

Saturday, February 06, 2010

My #Curling Weekend

How I will spend my weekend:


Breakfast of Champions (Maple Mini Wheats, juice and curling)




If you look carefully you might be able to spot my wii-motes and a couple textbooks. 

So yes, I'll be spending the weekend watching the Scotties on TSN, and the Alberta Men's Provincials on Curltv.com. Throw in a couple Wii Fit breaks, my own curling game and a crap-ton of homework and that'll sum it up nicely. 

Friday, February 05, 2010

#Curling Shake-Up On The Horizon

This headline greeted me early this AM as I read the Edmonton Journal:

Koe quartet likely to split up: Family concern; Olympic qualifying pressure take toll.

NOOOOOOO!!!!!

They're my favourtie team (this side of Ontario).


Ug. I vaguely remember hearing that a bunch of teams might split up after this year (on The Curling Show, a Ben Hebert interview I think) - but was in denial.

Rumours have been swirling about team Ferbey packing it in, and maybe Kevin Martin if he gets Olympic gold, but Koe? They're a young team, a good team, a team that I always thought would one day be kings of Canadian curling.

Ok, I know these guys have lives, but to me, they exist on my tv, and I'm a sucker for routine. Suffice to say, I'm disappointed and a bit sad.


I wonder how it'll all work out? Maybe some awesome new teams will form? Maybe some talent will disappear and be wasted? Maybe I'll have to find a new curling crush?

Well, there's always online video-on-demand archives. At least I'll have all summer to prepare for the end of an era...

(my photos, from the Roar of the Rings)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Library Overdues On Display

Today, as part of a research project, I got to go on a field trip to a high school.

As we were waiting in the office reception area, we were watching the display on one of those electronic screens that seem to be so popular these days. You know, those flat screen monitors on the wall that flash up news and photos etc?

Well, as we were watching, the screen changed to show "Library Overdues" and then listed a dozen student names.

Seriously. How's that for public humiliation?

We joked about how the university should do that, but it would take a hundred screens to showcase all the library delinquents.

Plus, that's got to be a break of some sort of privacy rule.

I guess high school really is a whole different world.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Curling (Not) on TV: Alberta Men's Provincials

I really, really, really wanted to go to this year's Alberta Men's Provincial Curling Championship in Olds (only like 4 hours away). I went in 2008 and 2009, thoroughly enjoyed myself, and was looking extra forward to attending this year. Check out my reasoning why, and a couple blurry pictures from past events here.

Alas, grad school (and it's accompanying stress/burnout/poverty) will keep me at home. Next year it'll be in High River (I think) and that's too far to go so I'm very sad it was so close, yet so far.

Anyways, the 2010 Alberta Men's Boston Pizza Cup has a spiffy website where you can follow all the action. There's no gallery though (blah).

I'm rooting for Koe for the win (shocker).

I'm also trying something new this year. I've been a 'Free Friday' member of CurlTV.com for awhile now. Mostly that means I forget I'm a Free Friday member and never watch any games, but I do faithfully watch and read their curling news reports (the host of 'the news from the ice' actually curls in my league). Though the site is sometimes buggy, I've always been impressed by their technical support (as per my thank you letter last year). In that letter I did say I would buy a subscription if they covered this year's men's provincials.

So I did.

For $9.95 I theoretically should get access to all the games they tape, as well as access to the rest of the videos in the Games Vault for the month of February.

I say theoretically because they are having 'technical difficulty' and haven't posted videos of today's games. Perhaps they were shown live as promised, but I was working and couldn't watch. Perhaps they'll show up in the games vault later.

Perhaps perhaps perhaps.

All I'm saying is I had a super terrible day that started way too early in the am after a fitful nights sleep which then included a less than useful 3hrs of class, a long shift at work and an almost mental breakdown in public. All I wanted to do was come home and watch the Koe vs. White game.



Unfortunately the 'technical difficulties' did not help my state of almost mental breakdown. Luckly I could still access the Games Vault, so here I am, watching a Koe vs. Gushue game from some event in 2008, consoling myself with a pizza pop and a toblerone bar. I need a holiday.

We shall see if CurlTV. com get their 'technical' act together or not. We shall see who ends up in the final on Sunday (which will also be shown on Shaw, but I have Bell so boo to that too).

Regardless, if you follow this blog you know I quite enjoy watching vintage curling games in the corner of my computer screen, so that in itself will probably be worth me signing up for a full subscription in the future (like $60 a season?).

So the Alberta Men's Provincial's will be in Camrose in 2012, maybe I'll make it out there then. Until then I shall follow along and watch whatever I can get on CurlTV.com. I'll let you know how it goes next week.

Sorry for the rambly post, but I must go now and finish watching the Koe/Gushue game. Gushue is leading 3-2 in 7th...

Meet Team Martin Thursday Night


From the Saville Sports Centre:
"In order to show our support, the SSC will be hosting an Olympic send-off party on Thursday, February 4 at 8:00PM in the Balmoral Lounge. Wear your red and white and join us as we wish the team good luck in Vancouver.
Team Canada, which includes Kevin Martin (skip), John Morris (third), Marc Kennedy (second), Ben Hebert (lead), Adam Enright (alternate), and Jules Owchar (coach), will be on-hand to meet and greet, and light snacks will be served."
I can't go because I'm working, so if anyone else goes, be sure to wish them an extra 'good luck' from me!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Curling on TV - Shuster Meets Leno

John Shuster, America's 'regular guy' and member of the USA Olympic curling team, talks to Jay Leno:


And Canada gets a shout out too...

Curling CA$H

I've developed a bit of a reputation.

Pretty much everyone at library school knows. And most of the people I work with regularly do too.

But my reputation has reached a new audience. A librarian I've known for a couple years, but who I see or talk with only on occasion, worked me recently and was very excited to give me a present. She said she saw it and thought of me. How sweet! Here it is:

No kidding! That's a curling themed scratch ticket!! 
Though I'm normally against gambling and buying lottery tickets, I scratched it and won $1! It's the usual "find three matching pictures" game, and the pictures to choose from included a broom, shoe, glove, rock and curlr (yes, that's how they spelled it). I bought another one with my winnings, but didn't win anything on it. But I was so close! That was pretty good fun for gift.
Actually, I just remembered that when the gift-giving librarian was my professor, I gave a speech about curling to the class for a toastmasters thingy. And that was a few years ago. So I guess my reputation really is fitting: I've been working on it for awhile.
The curling librarian - it has a nice ring to it. And there are worse reputations to have. I don't plan on giving up my little obsession anytime soon, so the curling librarian I shall be...