Odds n’ Sods

Only five days until Club Championship, the biggest event on my golf calendar and my game has once again gone into the gutter, especially with the putter (ha, that rhymes!).

Tuesday July 19th –
I went without a lunch today so I could leave work early to play some golf with Harris. We got to play the Copperhead Course at Rattlesnake Point GC in Milton, a pretty spiffy Clublink course. I somehow only got charged ‘junior rate’ (I’m 32 years old!), which was a paltry $50.00 on a course that normally charges $140.00. Sweet! The course was excellent and I played pretty well, scoring 81 from the back tees, which measure 7300+ yards. I was five over on my last four holes so I just ran out of gas near the end of the day. I’ve got some pictures of the course that I’ll put up soon.

Friday July 22nd –
The NHL Board of Governors ratified the new collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players Association today. Commissioner Gary Bettman also discussed the new rules that would take effect for the 2005-06 season, all designed to open up the game and help increase scoring. The hope is that these changes will make the sport more exciting for the fans; I am in favour of most of the changes (downsizing goalie equipment, moving the nets closer to the back boards to open up the neutral zone, tag up offsides) but still am not sold on the idea of shootouts. I will give it a chance though. After the news conference, the NHL held the 2005 Draft Lottery to see who won the right to select superprospect Sidney Crosby. They counted down in reverse order, from #30 to #1 in order to add some drama to the proceedings. The big ‘NOOOOOOOOOOOOO’ you may have heard around 4:12pm EDT was probably me crying out when Buffalo’s name was read at the unlucky #13 spot. Ah crap. In the end, it came down to Pittsburgh and Anaheim, with the Penguins getting the coveted #1 pick for the draft, which takes place on Saturday July 30th. GM Craig Patrick has already said that they’ll be taking Crosby…quelle surprise! As far as Buffalo’s pick, I’m hoping Darcy Regier is able to pick up a top defensive prospect; the team lacks a true #1 defenseman and it’s a pretty deep draft for blueliners.

Jacky and I saw the movie Spanglish, starring Adam Sandler, on Friday night. It certainly isn’t a typical Sandler movie: more of a drama then I was expecting and Sandler was pretty much a supporting character to his Spanish nanny in the film. There were some nice moments in the film but I can’t really recommend the movie wholeheartedly; I wasn’t a fan of Tea Leoni’s performance, for instance…she plays Sandler’s mentally unstable wife and I cringed almost every time she was onscreen. It literally was like nails-on-chalkboard everytime she spoke/wailed in this film. Paz Vega, the Spanish nanny, was charming and is quite gorgeous, a cross between Penelope Cruz (says Jacky) and Salma Hayek (says I). Her scenes with her daughter and to a lesser extent, with Sandler, made the film fun to watch in parts. Overall, two and a half stars (out of four) from this reviewer!

Saturday July 23rd –
Brought my pals Deron and Damon out to St. Catharines this morning for some golf. They enjoyed the course, both shooting 96 or so. I was pretty bad, somehow getting around in 78 despite missing a ton of five footers. Not good to lose confidence with the flatstick so close to Club Championship.

Later that afternoon, I went with Jacky up to Burlington to meet her old university roommate Danielle, her husband Rich and their 3 month old TWIN children…along with their very large and rambunctious dog Roxy and three cats. Oh boy…it was hard work just being their GUEST!!! I have all the admiration in the world for parents with twins; the whole night was just non-stop chaos! Fun chaos, but chaos nonetheless! The babies took turns crying the whole time and the dog continually kept getting into things she shouldn’t have causing much grief for our hosts, who handled everything with aplomb. Good people and a fun, yet hectic night.

Sunday July 24th –
Today was the least fun I’ve had on a golf course this year. I hit the ball pretty well, hitting 12 greens in regulation, but just couldn’t make a putt to save my life again in shooting an 81, with 39 putts. I kept my composure throughout the round but it must have been painful for my playing partners, one of whom was Toast, to watch me struggle with the five footers. It’s so hard to remain positive out there when you can’t hit the ball close enough to the hole to guarantee a make. Just a very depressing round for a guy who thought he had a chance to do something in the Club Championship. Very morose, I know. Ah who knows, maybe I’ll find the secret ingredient before Saturday.

How could I cheer myself up? Winning lots of money from the tourists at Party Poker! My bad day was to continue, however. Sitting at the same table as Toast, I proceeded to get stung for $100.00 at $25 N/L, my worst ever session online. Talk about biting into my profits! I decided to quit in favour of a long nap before the Panda’s 7pm hockey game, which we ultimately tied at six. Of course, I went right back to the well when I got home, joining Toast again for another online Party Poker session. The nap earlier must have been good for me, as I had my single largest winning session right after my worst, profiting $87.00. So all of that and I’m only down $13 on the day. What a silly game!

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