Sunday, November 19, 2017

Hockey Fans

Today we drove to our local ice hockey rink and watched Zane Edwards play a game. Hockey is a sport that Linda and I have watched, but are not what you would call knowledgeable fans. The fact is, this game was our first venture into the world of youth hockey and we had a great time.

When we arrived at the rink Zane and Ryan were in the locker room and Holly and Anika had yet to arrive. We wandered around watching the end of the previous game. Within minutes Holly and Anika arrived and the education into youth hockey life began. We found seats out near the ice under the heat machine. Heat machine seats are very coveted. The rink is very cold and there are extremely limited seats under the heat machine.

The players entered the ice and started their warm-ups. The age group was made up of 8 to 10-year-olds. Zane is 10, but this is his first year on skates. As you might have guessed, the player's skills covered a wide range. I had to laugh because no matter what the skill level the players knew all the little things that the pros do while on the ice. Most notably, they all slapped their sticks on the ice telling everyone that they are ready for the puck. Even if they are on defense, they call for the puck by slapping their sticks to the ice.

The game began. Zane started playing the defenceman position. The whole game was so fun to watch. Players followed the puck and swarmed the boards. The puck slid around the ice and every once in a while would go in the direction that it was hit. Players followed, randomly falling down and always flailing with their sticks.

Away from the puck, you could see the players hitting the ice with their stick calling for the puck. Then suddenly, for no apparent reason, they would slip and fall down. Immediately after hitting the ice, they would pop back up no worse for wear.

The swarming continued for three periods. Zane's team scored four goals and their opponents scored two. The goalie for the opponents was very fun to watch. He really liked to fall down on his knee pads protecting his goal. He did this all the time, even when the puck was on the opposite end of the rink.  On one occasion, he went down into the perfect goalie position on the right side of the net but the puck was on the left side. Zane's team scored. The goalie stood back up, shrugged and grabbed his water bottle, not a bit concerned about the goal. 

During a hard fought period, one player was smashed into the boards. As the player laid on the ice in pain and the officials came to their side, all the other players took a knee and watched. It looked so cool to see all players watching the officials and coaches assess the player's condition. The player was fine, and when they finally got up, all the players, while still kneeling, smacked the ice with their sticks showing appreciation to the injured player. It was the cutest moment of the game.

We had a really good time. We hope to get to watch more of Zane's games. Thanks so much to the Edwards clan for including us. Congratulations on the big win. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017


Over the last few weeks, there have been reports of moose wandering our neighborhood. Each morning when Linda goes out to run I say something like "Be careful out there and don't go chasing the moose!"

This morning Linda came running back into the house and said "MOOSE!"

Now, for my birthday Linda gave me a new camera. This camera was a replacement for the one I dipped in the ocean when I was sailing with John Karpenko down in Mexico. The last few weeks I have been studying the camera, reading how to be a better photographer, and working to learn what this new technology can do.

Every day I go online and read articles from well-known photographers. These articles explain principals that I need to follow to create the best photos possible.

When Linda yelled "MOOSE!", everything I have been reading left my mind as I grabbed my camera and ran out the door.

First I used the wrong setting on the camera. Actually, it was the right setting. I just used it all wrong. After I changed settings to the one I was more comfortable with, AUTO, I was ready to shoot photos, but the moose was through posing and decided to move off. At this point, I got a couple good close up shots and then a vehicle drove by spooking my model.  Oh, the perils of the amateur photographer.

I walked back into the house grabbed my coffee and looked at the pictures I did get.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Date Night

Getting my pre-concert cowboy on!
Man, what a show! Garth Brooks really lives up to his CMA Entertainer of the Year status. I was impressed with his vocal talent. His guitar playing was amazing!

Normally, every night is date night with Linda, but this was a special night because of the friends we were with. Holly and Ryan Edwards arranged for the tickets and then Rayelle and Mike Anderson joined us for this party. We also met a really nice couple, Tim and Laura, who are friends with Holly and Ryan.

Everyone met at Timbers Gastro Pub in Post Falls where we had a great meal.  Then it was off to the concert.

All went smoothly in Spokane. We haven't been to a concert for so long that we really didn't know what to expect. The news and Facebook had been warning everyone to be prepared to stand outside in lines for a couple hours to get into the Coliseum, but we walked up, went through the search line and were at our seats in about ten minutes. We took photos and went to the beer lines for refreshments.

The opening acts were good, especially a young new artist named Mitch Rossell, but of course, everyone wanted Garth. When the show started the whole place erupted! The crowd was so loud that your ears hurt. From the moment Mr. Brooks entered the stage area he was moving and egging on the crowd. He played all his old stuff and only played one song from his new CD. His thing was "give em what they came for, the old ones!"

Halfway through the show, his wife, Trisha Yearwood came on stage and they sang a love song together and then a few on her own. I have never followed her, but I recognized most of the songs she sang. It was laid back and fun.

View from our seats.
My only negative observation was that the sound system didn't do his voice justice when he was singing the louder songs. When he took it down a bit and during the encore, he sounded amazing.

The Encore! Wow, Linda and I agreed that this was our favorite part of the show.  He came out and sang with no one else for about 30 minutes. Everything was just his guitar and his voice, and he was great! The wait was worth it!
Mike, Rayelle, Linda and I.
Holly, Laura, Tim and Ryan.
Opening warm-up performer Mitch Rossell.
Second warm-up act.

Trisha Yearwood and Garth.