Tuesday, April 24, 2012

baseball season

i started to get the first confirmations of baseball games to ump yesterday and already much of May is full of games for me to do. seriously, i think that maybe i have 5 days in May where there is absolutely nothing on the schedule to do and i expect that i'll likely fill those nights in also. baseball season is my favourite time of year. i ref football in the fall and i ref basketball in the winter and early spring but its the months from May to August that i enjoy most because i get to go out on the dusty field entering a space that expands my own personal borders as an introvert. i'm pretty good at this too. i've gotten some really good training over the years so that i've numerous Provincial AAA Championships and two Western Canadian AA Championships. you just watch a place blow up when you make a mistake though. seriously, there's nothing like an "oh, it appears i got that one wrong" moment to put all of your efforts into perspective. the intensity of baseball in a hockey culture is also an interesting thing to see. you see there are things that you CANNOT say to an umpire and there are all sorts of things that are definitely said to an official in a hockey environment so often people assume that it's fine to treat a baseball umpire like they treat their local hockey ref. i've actually had to throw PARENTS out of the park at a baseball game on two occasions. one guy was a guy who i had called a friend and he went so far over the top that i had embarrassed him by throwing him out that he didn't want anything to do with me after that. despite those stories it really is a good space for me to be in. it teaches me to be judicious, to be honest, fair and respectful of everyone around me ... even if i think they don't deserve it. i bought some equipment off of a retiring ump this year. i figure i've gotten $400 worth of stuff for $150 and now all i need to do is make sure that the chemical sensitivities of my wife aren't affected by the stuff and i also have to purge our life of the old gear that i won't be using now. i'm sure that there's a young kid out there who's just starting out in umping who will be willing to take me up on a GREAT deal for my used gear. seriously, it'll be a great deal because i want to encourage young kids to take it up and keep with it. anywho, it's my favourite time of year.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

minus 8

that's the temperature outside as i set out for work this morning. it was day one of my commute to work by bike and i was thrilled to finally be able to pedal my way to work again. there have been some major developments on the bike front though.

my bike guy BUILT me a bike. he had an old hybrid style frame and he added some parts that he had laying around, including a bunch of parts from my last 2 bicycles, and he put together a forest green beauty that rides clean and smooth. forest green is my colour and i couldn't contain my excitement when i realized it was going to happen. i had taken my old garage sale bike in for tuneup and i inquired what it would take to do something like this if i managed to find the cash i needed for it. Colin didn't bother to tune up my bike, he just built me a new one. as i stood there in his garage and he explained to me what he had done i very literally said, "y'know i've resisted the urge to hug you several times". he appreciated the love but i don't think he was that interested in the hug.

last year one of my biggest complaints about my commute was how i would always freeze my fingers in the morning. my big heavy winter gloves were too sweaty to wear and wearing nothing on my hands would mean that i'd spend half the time with one hand in a pocket trying to warm it until it was the other hand's turn. on one of our trips into MEC (that would be Mountain Equipment Co-op) i decided to get some riding gloves so that i could address this constant problem that i face in wonderful Winterpeg Manitscoldout. my new riding gloves sat and waited for me to break them out of the package this morning for our inaugural ride. i had also broken out one of my longed sleeved riding shirts, a T shirt, a sweatshirt, my riding jacket, long johns, my workout pants and a thin touque under my helmet. I STILL FROZE MY FRICKING FINGERS! seriously, i wandered around work for 10 minutes trying to warm my hands up. i was thinking that maybe i'd have to cry as the circulation returned to my hands.

and it was only minus 8 outside. i can do minus 8 in my sleep, in fact i have done minus 8 in my sleep. it wasn't comfortable but i had a decent sleeping bag so i made out just fine.

well, i'm at work now. i have a hot cup of joe and i'm about to start my workday.
i had a great ride to work other than the frozen problem.

by the way, Andrew if you're reading this i don't think i can sell you the mountain bike after all, it seems that Wendy wants to convert it into a winter bike for herself. how crazy is that? she'd be so much more careful than i would be in winter so i'm much less worried about anything dismal happening than i would be if i were winter biking.