Favorite Reporter

Favorite Reporter

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bonus Blog: Free tickets for the Grand Slam!!!

Hello loyal readers -

Due to the enormous popularity and notoriety of my blog - I have been offered a pair of passes for next week's Grand Slam in Sault Ste-Marie!
Here is a link to the event:

The tickets come to me courtesy of the good folks at HP - who might also be throwing me a prize for a future blog contest. HP is also sponsoring Brad Gushue's team this season.

(Note - I am talking about HP the computer/printer people not the steak sauce.)

I realize driving to the Soo might be a bit of a stretch  - as I suspect most of my readers are more likely from Quebec or Eastern Ontario - but if you are interested - post a comment on my blog saying why you are the perfect person to receive free tickets - and I will arbitrarily pick a winner and get back to you ASAP.

The Grand Slams are monster events - usually featuring better curling than you will see at the Brier or Olympics -and the parties around the events are pretty good as well.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why does my hotel room smell like a wet dog?

It was a big week in Quebec curling this week - with the Casino Lac Leamy Challenge held in Buckingham this past weekend.

Jean Michel Ménard won the spiel in dramatic fashion, stealing 2 in 8 and one in the extra end to snatch victory away from Brad Jacobs.
I was not there, but in general when I have given up steal of 2 in the last end - it was usually that my team screwed up as opposed to the other team making brilliant shots. But wow - pretty impressive comeback nonetheless.

For those keeping track - JM is on fire.
They are hotter than the first sip of Tim Horton's coffee that scalds you and leaves you with that pasty dead skin on your tongue and pallet all day.
They are hotter than the Women of Curling Calendar. (I think - I am eagerly waiting for mine to come by mail - side note - I hope the calendar comes in a discreet brown paper packaging - don't want the mailman knowing that I order curling porn).
They are arguably the hottest team in Canada right now.


How did we do? Lost the C-qualifier after playing some pretty good curling.
For those who do not know - losing the C-qualifier is the shittiest game to lose in curling (apart from a provincial final). The C-qualifier is the last game before you make money, which means you spent as much time as possible in hotels and out of town without winning anything. We lost to Rob Rumfeldt, one of the hotter teams in Ontario this season.


Speaking of hotels...we stayed at the luxurious Hotel du Parc in Buckingham. I believe we were the only customers of the hotel not driving an 18-wheeler.
The exquisite odour as we entered our rooms was reminiscent of wet dog. I am thinking that a wet dog might have in fact been part of the cleaning staff.
There was a $20 deposit in order to get a TV remote - but as an added feature our remote actually changed the channels in the other rooms of the hotel as well.
But it was cheap.
So for those of you who think the life of a tour curler is all swimming pools and luxury hotels - THINK AGAIN!!! (Although I am guessing not a lot of people thought that in the first place)
Here is our room:

Oh well, it will make us appreciate the Manoir Richelieu even more.


Speaking of hot teams...Mike McEwen won in Winnipeg this week, making him the new #1 ranked team in the world, unseating Kevin Martin who has been in the #1 position for as long as I can remember.
I am waiting to hear if Mike and team will be back in Charlevoix to defend their title again this year...


We received our draw for the SunLife Classic in Brantford Ontario in November.
We start against none other than K-Mart himself, the illustrious Olympic gold-medallist Kevin Martin. The field at this spiel is ridiculous, with most of the top 10 teams in Canada in attendance. Should be a blast.
Hopefully we can start off well in a game surely to be billed by organizers as "the Battle of the Baldies". My only goal is to get a shout-out from TheFakeKevinMartin on Twitter.



                                                 NOVEMBER 18 - Brant Curling Club

The women's final in Gatineau was also eventful, with MF Larouche losing to Jenn Hanna. Again, I was not there, but Hanna took 3 in 7 and stole 8 for the win. Ouch.
Without seeing the game, I am guessing that team Larouche (along with Brad Jacobs) will be practicing peels this week...

Next week I will talk about the upcoming Circuit Provincial Finals - played at my home club of Glenmore Nov 10-13.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chickens, Virgins and Curling Porn

What have I done to incur the wrath of the curling gods?
We lost out in the C-semis at the Mac Ice, tantalizingly close to qualifying, as my final draw to win in an extra end mysteriously picked up some piece of crap and spun haphazardly into the guard (despite the fact that my front end was sweeping it at the time).
Argh. (as I write this, I am flipping the bird to the curling gods).

I think my team needs to perform a ritual sacrifice of a live chicken or a virgin (although virgins are hard to find in a curling club), in order to earn the favour of those Gods of Curling that decide the fate of mere mortals.
The sad fact about curling is - that as much as we practice, prepare and perform, sometimes you lose anyway. And often in a seemingly unjust manner. I guess this is true in life as well as in curling.

On the bright side, we are curling pretty well. Results will come. I like to think that over the course of a season - good luck and bad luck always tend to even out.

The actual tournament was won by JM Menard. A good result for those guys - who are looking strong and determined so far this year.
Not a lot of strong performances from other Quebec teams - apart from Ferland and Kim Mastine who managed to make some money in Ottawa as well.

As promised, the draw for the weekend was horrible, we often had ridiculous layoffs between games. In the end, we played 5 games in 4 days, and had massive amounts of time to kill off in Ottawa. I keep swearing that I will not go back to this tournament, but the money is good, the competition is good and the ice is good, which is why it always seems to draw the top teams from Quebec and Ottawa despite the draw.

Next weekend is the casino Lac Leamy Challenge cashspiel in Gatineau, arguably the best and biggest event East of Ontario. Some notables will be there: Gushue, Matchett, Menard and all of the big Quebec, Ottawa and Maritime teams.
Should be a fun weekend. Dany Beaulieu and friends have done a great job building a top-notch spiel in a short period of time.

Draw and results are at:

The 2012 Women of curling calendar is out (  http://www.womenofcurlingcalendar.com/ ). This is a fundraising calendar that features relatively naked curling babes set in seductive yet tasteful poses.
I have not seen the content yet, but the cover features the exquisite Eve Muirhead of Scotland posed seductively in a tartan skirt, with a curling broom, golf clubs and - wait for it - a set of bagpipes.

(I am thinking the calendar will surely inspire some to play their pipes as well,  if you know what I mean.)

Definitely a must for those of you with a fetish for all things Scottish  - all that's missing from the pic is a bottle of single malt scotch, a big Haggis and some sheep.
Seriously, the calendar is for a good cause (which makes you  feel slightly less guilty about ordering curling porn for $30).


By the way - Dear Curling Gods: 
I sincerely apologize for my flippant remarks earlier - they were a joke! - and I sincerely hope it does not influence You to allocate any more bad luck in our direction.
I am currently searching on-line for a live chicken - and inquiring as to the sexual experience of people at our curling club in order to perform the necessary sacrifices to pay homage to You.
Thanks for your continued support!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Discount Viagra and Ottawa Tourist Attractions

Argh. My e-mail account was hacked today...My Yahoo sent my entire distribution list a link to get discount Viagra and Cialis, including most of my work colleagues, golf buddies and casual acquaintances.

I am attributing this e-mail intrusion to curling - as I am guessing the hackers scanned my PC and found the phrase "Hurry Hard" a few too many times, and figured I must be selling Viagra.


Not much curling to speak of yet...curling clubs around Montreal are opening their doors for open houses.
There was a spiel in 3-Rivieres, won by Phil Lemay who is having a hot start to his season.


Coming up on the Thanksgiving long weekend is the Mac Ice bonspiel at the RCMP club in Ottawa. It is the first real test for most of the Quebec and Ottawa competitive teams, as the field includes the usual regulars.
All of Quebec's top rated men's and women's teams will be there, including Ménard, Ferland, Lemay, Hemmings (or whoever fills in for Guy and his ailing back), Westphal, Desjardins and Larouche and  Mastine on the women's side. We will be there as well.

Here is a link to the draw:

This spiel is well known for its awful draws and unusual times; and this year is no exception. The spiel runs from Wednesday to Monday, despite having only 20 men's teams in the Elite section and a dozen women's teams. There are some ridiculous delays between games; you very often find yourself with a day off (or even more) in the middle of the spiel.

So I will likely be visiting Ottawa tourist attractions this weekend; I wonder if I can convince the boys to go visit Parliament! Or 24 Sussex! Or some museums! Maybe we can have a Beavertail along the Rideau canal.

Ah - who am I kidding - we will end up in a bar.

Either way, I promise some pictures for next week's blog.


Speaking of Ottawa - Golf Now (a travel show on the Golf Channel) just did a show on golf in Ottawa, and had a 3 minute segment with Craig Savill (lead on Glen Howard's Uberteam) teaching the foxy blond host how to curl. She is a far better golfer than curler, but she gets an A for Effort.


For the non-curling readers of this blog (and there actually are surprisingly quite a few of you, even excluding my mother):
Now is a good time to try curling, if you are so inclined.
Curling clubs are holding open houses, and are very accommodating to beginners wishing to try the sport. If you are looking to try - drop me a line I can point you in the right direction.

In the meantime: here are some tips for taking your non-curling friends out on the ice for their first time:

1. Make sure to tell them to never step on the ice with your slider foot first.
2. Make sure there is alcohol waiting when they get off the ice
3. If you are teaching some obnoxious doofus who insists on making fun of curling as you teach them (with such witty comments as "usually I get my wife to do the sweeping at home haha"), make sure to tell them they need to wear 2 sliders, one on each foot; "just like the pros".
4. Get them to follow a rock and yell at the sweepers at least once. And get somebody to yell at them.
5. E-mail them a cool curling clip before they try: like this one featuring Johnny "the Hammer" Chow
On Purpose!
6. For the love of God - tell them not to wear tight jeans.
7. Make sure you tell them one story about curling that involves a great curling party or a curling club sex scandal - anything to reinforce the idea that curling is not for geeks.