Sunday, March 9, 2008


Oh what a great week it’s been! The sun has been out just a whole bunch and it makes ya think that spring might be around the corner. And ya know what that means ehh? Hockey Playoffs.

Yup, they’re just around the corner. I’d figure that most teams have got less then fifteen games to play this season. My Kings couldn’t wish it to last any longer. Sad, I gotta tell ya. But I’m a blue sky kinda guy and man, the only way’s “up” for them.

I’ve got the Caps versus Penguins game on the tube right now. Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin in the same game. Yessirreee! This is some good shit this morning.

Fifteen or so games can change a lot of things. So can four rounds of playoffs. But I’m going to pick Detroit versus Montreal going into this year’s Stanley Cup Finals. What do you guys think?

Hey, what do you guys think of hockey fund raisers too? I like to help out with the local club team and we had our fund raising breakfast yesterday morning. Seems like just last week or so my Norris’ Nightmares had their fan appreciation weenie roast. I like to call the Nightmares kids, but they’re really young adults, you know. But the breakfast was for the rink’s club teams – Mites to Midgets. All are really good kids, with great parents supporting them and a good staff of coaches bringing them along. I pretty much expect every one of my Nightmares to participate by helping coach two to five practices a year with the rink club. Hell, that’s where their roots are, ehh. It actually helps them too, because they begin to think about the game from a different perspective.

As usual when I help out with these things I get put on the grille. I cook way better then I serve or cleanup I guess. Yo – Breakfast Chef Deluxe – that’s me. Ok, ok … greasy-spoon fry cook would be a more appropriate title. But I do a good job and enjoy it too. I’m flipping pancakes, scrambling eggs, crisping up bacon and turning sausage links like a dad-burn breakfast factory. And I didn’t hear a complaint from a single soul. Nope, not even any whiny kids today. Everybody chowed down like there was no tomorrow.

I got a chance to take a break around 10:00 when my good bud Jason showed up. He threw in some coin for about a hundred breakfasts or so I figure. Said he had just closed a big business deal and was feeling philanthropic for his home town community. He never played hockey, was a baseball and football dude through college, and now does his share of fine boarding out in the western states through the winter.

I was curious why he was in town and he let me know that it was really to follow up on some business with me. Earlier he had told me that he had a lead on some narrow box culvert precast concrete product that would work for my tunnel from the basement to the barn. Seems as though my price has dropped again because the plant needs the yard space that this stuff is taking up. It didn’t move last year and the plant has some sort of big contract for something else that they’re going to start producing and store until shipment starting in June. I could probably get what I need for the price of shipping alone.

Damn! I think that I just got myself one hell of a good deal. I’d need to take delivery by mid April so Stinky and me have got some work to do before then with finishing the excavation of the basement and trenching between it and the barn. Yup I hope the thaw is coming soon now.

Jason asked me if I could use a vault too. Said the plant also had a big old leftover vault setup with an HVAC unit to allow for underground occupancy. Said it was built for a phone company or something and I’d need a crane to offload it and set it in the ground. He said if nothing else you could put it in line with the box culvert and use the HVAC system as ventilation for the tunnel. He mentioned that I could look into writing off the crane cost as adding a tornado shelter to my property or something. I’ll have to look into that, I guess, but this is what I’m thinking … This is on the hush you guys (keep it a secret, ehh) I could maybe convert that vault into the new Crossed Sticks Society secret storage facility for all of our prized hockey antiquities and meetings. Hmmmm. Maybe. I’ll have to think about this and try to work something out with the Outlaws.

That’s just like Jason, being able to mix business with pleasure. Dude’s walking with wood for sure. And he sure mac’d on those pancakes and sausages I’d made. Between mouthfuls he says, “Jasper ya gotta see this stuff. It’s the greatest thing since spray cheese. The call it Batter Blaster. It’s pancake batter in a pressurized can like Redi-Whip. You just shoot it out on the griddle, no mess, no fuss. Damn you can really easy like make shapes, animals, spell things you know it’s really cool. And the dang things taste every bit as good as these ones you made.

You’ve gotta try it.

You know I’ve got that place out in Tahoe and I hate having to clean up and shit, would rather be out on the slopes, in the sack, or in the clubs right? Well I’ve been using this Batter Blaster all this winter for a quick hot breakfast before going out snowboarding. It’s great!”

“Your yanking my chain, ain’t ya?” I quizzed.

“Nope. Check out their website,, when you get home. It’s for real. Some boys out in San Francisco came up with it. Supposed to be natural stuff too. I’m telling you, you’ll like it. Beats toaster waffles by a long shot.”

“Damn, it sounds like the ultimate road trip breakfast if it’s for real. I bet you could fix pancakes on the burner plate of those little coffee makers they put in the hotel rooms. This could really be the shit, ehh? Damn, maybe they’ll come up with a bacon shooter too, huh. Or maybe some sorta way to shoot mashed potatoes that could fry up crispy like hash-browns. Wouldn’t that just beat all, ehh Jason?”

“Wheats, you’re just nuts with your flamin imagination. You ought to be a fuckin inventor or something. You just take a good idea, dress it all up and make it better. You ever start up a company, I’m investing in ya. Can’t lose! What’s that ya say? Your walking with wood – you old fart!”

He finished his breakfast, made a mess as usual, talking between mouthfuls, and got syrup all over his signature orange t-shirt. Yep, that’s Jason – business with pleasure, eat and run. Probably won’t see him for a month or two, now, but sure glad he stopped by.

He’s the shit, walking with wood and all!

Wheats here until next time. Remember: Skate hard!

Sunday, March 2, 2008


There is a place on the other side of town that provides sand for the county highway department. We just call it the gravel pit. I guess you could say that it’s a working business that is mainly busy on-site not during the winter. I’m not saying that nothing goes on out there during the winter, but there ain’t no excavating going on. They dig up and sort the sand and gravel during the warmer months to stockpile during the winter. The highway department comes by and loads up sand to put down on icy sections of road. The county keeps one of their front loaders over there next to one of the sand piles.

The gravel pit is a pretty barren part of the area. I guess the glaciers ages ago dumped all this sand and gravel here and the excavating process has pretty much scraped away most of the vegetation. So it works out for a damn good spot to do some high speed snowmobiling. You could say that it’s been set up sort of as a winter race track over there. I’ve been over to watch a few times but I’m not too much into racing. Lots a folk do, I guess, and it looks like a lot of fun – I just got other things to spend my money and time on.

Way back, when I was in high school we used to have the homecoming bonfire over there. Hella good time! I figure the kids still do that. Hell, we even used to pull off the road over there and cut the lights at night with our dates and make-out. Sure for shit the kids are still going over these days to hook-up. Don’t want to be doing that right now unless you got a pretty heavy-duty four wheel drive. Get your ass stuck in there tonight and you and your honey are gonna be walkin home. Prolly be the last little piece you get from her for pulling a dipshit stunt like that.

Yesterday, after our morning game, Norris’ Nightmares held a weenie roast over there for our fans. We had gotten permission from the owners to have our own bonfire and they closed it off from public snowmobiling – so we sort of had it too ourselves for a great party. Some of the folks brought their own snowmobiles, sleds, saucers, toboggans and stuff like that, but we kept it kinda mild. Stinky came by with his get-up and towed kids around. We held a little raffle too and gave away some nice stuff that our sponsors had put up. I really think everybody had a great time and it didn’t hurt that we had won the morning game.

The honey had made about five gallons of her hot-fire-kick-ass chili and there wasn’t any left at the end of the day. It’s some good shit! But I gotta tell ya, there’s a damn good chance that half the town has got themselves some burning bung holes today. Yup.

These kids are the best damned bunch of hockey players that I’ve worked with in awfully long time. Sure, on occasion each and every one of them pulled some damn assed stupid thing. But what the hey? Been there, done that!

Some of them flaked on the ice on occasion but they really worked well as a team. They have had enthusiasm and heart all season long. They jelled way before I thought they would. It makes me feel good just thinking how far they have come. At the beginning of the season I had just a whole bunch of scatter brained selfish puck wangers. Now, I think I’ve got a TEAM.

These kids have tied-on to something that’s going to hang with them for a lifetime. Friendships, skill sets and a sense of belonging, all enduring. They did it themselves. My complements to them and every team out there that has been able to do the same thing. They’re all walking with wood, ehh!

It hurts to think back to tryouts. I had so many dudes and dudettes show up that wanted to be a part of this team and not enough room on the roster. I hope that those that didn’t make it on my team, found another club to play for. I hope that they didn’t give up on the great sport of ice hockey. I wish I could clone myself so that I could do more things at the same time and that I could run more then one team.


You think about it …… with all the traveling I did this season, I got to thank my bro’s, Jingles and Bronzy, for all the help they did covering for me too.

Yep. I certainly love ice hockey. Best damn game in the world! Ehh?

We must have had about four hundred people at the weenie roast. And I know that each and every one of them loves hockey too. Even though my kids are just an amateur team, it still adds a lot to the economy and entertainment for our small little community here. If it wasn’t for the bars, a couple of restaurants and Wal-Mart, there wouldn’t be too damn much other shit to do around here through the winter. So, I’m telling you, that’s why we had a descent crowd yesterday.

The gravel pit owner, Jack Snyder, came by for a bit too. He got real interested in the get-up that Stinky had brought and chatted with him some. Seems Snyder could use someone with a good mechanical aptitude. Offered him a job yesterday if he could drive a dump truck too. Well, Stinky can drive anything. Yup. He can fix anything too. Regular old McGyver.

Snyder, hired him on the spot and said that even though tomorrow being Sunday (today). He needed a load of gravel taken over and spread on that long drive up the hill from the highway to Miller’s place. Old man Miller has been parking down the hill cuz of the ice. He can’t get up the hill to his house, even with his four wheel drive.

Stinky, I’m telling you guys, was in heaven. A real job. Working for somebody, in the winter yet. Not hustling for snow plowing excursions. Shit he’d still be able to do those in the evening.

Looked like a good deal for him.

Yup. Looked like it. But it didn’t pan out that way. He’s gotta have the worst damn luck of anybody in the world.

Here he is making that first run of gravel using Snyder’s dump truck when the gate accidently opens just enough for him to drop a speck a gravel; but more than enough to bust the windshields of three cars that were following him.

Dabnabit if that ain’t the shits.

Snyder’s insurance would pay for it all and Miller did get a load a gravel on his drive-way but Stinky lost his job before two o’clock this afternoon. I don’t know if it was his fault or not that the gate of that dumper didn’t stay shut but he caught the flack for it. I’m sure that if it’s a mechanical problem, that Stinky’d be able to fix it for sure, if given the chance. But Snyder wasn’t up for any of that after his Sunday early dinner I guess. Maybe he’ll read this and give Paul back his job. Maybe not. But Stinky’s pretty damn handy and I’ve never known him to be malicious. For the kinda work that Snyder does, I think that Paul’s the man for the job.

I guess we’ll see.

But Stinky was pretty broke up over this whole shit, lost opportunity and all, when he showed up at my cabin around 3:30 this afternoon.

Well the honey’s got some spaghetti about ready for our dinner. Figure that she probably spiked it up a bit with some of that chili that she set aside from yesterday. Have to wake Paul up to partake of this feast, I guess. He got a little snockerd over the whole ordeal and passed out in front of the TV earlier.

He’ll be ok. He’ll be walking with wood again in no time at all. I’m sure of it. If anybody can bounce well, he can.

Jasper here, just capping off another one of Jingle’s home brews and retiring until next time.

Skate hard, keep your elbows up when you go into the corners and keep your fool ass sticks on the ice, ehh!