bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
This weekend [personal profile] gmjambear and I have been busy exhuming the pond in the backyard. The pond was constructed of a Rubbermaid 150-gallon stock tank, a length of drain pipe that goes we know not where, a whole lot of dirt (backfilled against the fence, which is why it all has to come out) and a retaining wall. We'd gotten most of the retaining wall removed over the year or so since we made the decision to replace the fence.

Yesterday we managed to get most of the remaining bricks from the base of the retaining wall moved, and the dried mud and gravel out of the tub itself. As we worked I noticed a tall and muscular young dude at the house behind us across the alley, who was wearing a pair of really tight, stretchy gray shorts and no shirt; and also a small poodle-mix dog (perhaps a cockapoo) who left us a present in the small patch of lawn between the temporary fence and the alley.

After sifting a few wheelbarrow loads of dirt and rocks, we were done for the day and decided to have dinner at Buzz Inn on Evergreen. We saw a number of cute daddybears and their kids passing by our table as they left. Cue Gary: "aw, hell no." After dinner we finished up some laundry and surfed the net a bit before I decided to call it a night.

I woke up about quarter to six to find Gary had made an excursion downtown. When I came downstairs for breakfast around nine-thirty, I saw Gary was back, but had been up all night, so I gently encouraged him to get some sleep. After breakfast I picked up the present the dog had left, and while doing so had a nice chat with Eric, the young dude with the tight shorts, who had come to retrieve the dog (his name is Puddles) as he'd wandered into our yard. They are busy building a new back porch to go with the addition on their house.

After that I swept up the tub and sifted another wheelbarrow load of dirt, then went inside and caught up with Dad by phone. My sister Sheila's youngest son was scheduled to graduate from high school this afternoon, and my sister Colleen's youngest is preparing to move to Boston in the next month so she is managing separate parties for his friends, for our side of the family and for her husband's side. She had to work this evening so I guess I'll have to call her later tomorrow.

Once I got off the phone with Dad, I decided to pick up a few more buckets from Home Depot, grab lunch, and pick up some groceries at Costco. At Home Depot I asked a cute ginger otter if he knew of anyone who deals in bulk dirt, as we'll probably have 4 or 5 cubic yards left over when all is said and done. He suggested Craig's List because if people are desperate enough for fill dirt they'll come over and dig it up. Another possibility he suggested is the sand and gravel place a couple doors north on the same side of Highway 99. I ended up picking up three 5-gallon buckets and two 18-gallon plastic planter tubs with rope handles. I checked out beside a cute daddy bear with a wife and two girls. He had some nice ink on one arm.

Lunch was at Heaven Sent Chicken on 112th Street. I had the three-piece special with corn and an extra side of collard greens. As I ate I texted Gary to relay the results of the morning so he could read them when he got up, and he suggested I pick up some fruit at Costco as well: grapes, blackberries, and bananas. I was surprised he was awake. At Costco there were at least two cute daddybears shopping; one I kept crossing paths with was tall and dark, perhaps Native American or Hispanic, with elaborate, somewhat faded ink on both arms.

After I got home and got the groceries put away, Gary and I watched part of the Memorial Cup (Canadian Hockey League) final between the Erie Otters and the host team, the Windsor Spitfires; then we started in on the sifting and sorting. Toward the end we traced the PVC drain pipe to an elbow in the middle of the back lawn well outside the perimeter of the retaining wall, and decided we should dig no further but rather get a plumber to trace the pipe so we don't ruin the lawn unnecessarily. Then I fixed dinner: bratwurst boiled in beer (a local microbrew called Scuttlebutt) and finished off under the broiler (unfortunately, we have construction debris piled up too close to the outdoor gas grill to use it at the moment), and fresh coleslaw. After dinner we sort of vegetated in front of the TV until Gary decided he'd better get to bed and catch up on sleep.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (closeup)
Christmas was fun. [ profile] gmjambear and I each got some video footage of the family's "Jingle Bell Rock" gift exchange (everyone stands iin a big circle and you pass packages to the right on "Jingle" and to the left on "Rock") and hopefully we'll get some more from my sister and edit them all together.

Boxing Day brought a significant snowfall, after which we went outside and played in the snow with my grand-niece Alyssa and grand-nephew Aiden; there's a big hill behind my dad's place and they had sleds already waiting for them in Dad's garage. After Alyssa's mother came by to pick her up (as she got off work early due to the weather) we headed out for chili for lunch.

Thursday we had lunch at White Castle and did some grocery shopping with Aiden in tow, and that evening Gary and I headed for downtown Cincinnati to see the Cyclones play hockey against the Elmira Jackals. As usual, lots of bears in the stands and a few on the ice. Unfortunately for the 'Clones, Elmira won 4-3. As a promotion, they had the Stanley Cup out on the concourse so we got our pictures taken with the Cup.

Friday I went to get my hair cut and beard trimmed since I was done with my Santa impersonation for another year. Later we did some photo processing on Dad's computer so he's got copies of our Christmas snaps, and then hit the YMCA on Winton Road which I'd visited last time I was in town. We were pleasantly surprised to find our ActivTrax accounts work there too, since the old FitLinxx system was specific to the facility where you signed up. Unfortunately one of my contacts washed out in the pool so I have to wear my glasses until we get back home.

Yesterday we attended my nephew Andy's wedding. A good time was had by all, even if there was a slight misunderstanding when it came time for family photos, but that was cleared up by the time the party was over.

This morning I took Dad to church, where a very nice-looking otterish/bearish fellow was the lector (reader). Afterward we had breakfast at Dad's favorite restaurant, First Watch, did a bit more shopping and came home to watch the Bengals beat the Ravens, 23-14. The late game is still in progress and I'll catch up when I finish this post.

We return to Everett tomorrow evening just in time to ring in the New Year. Wishing you and yours a happy and prosperous New Year!
bigmacbear: Me in a white dinner jacket, no shirt, gold chains around my neck, in front of the RGMC (disco)
• I am rapidly coming to the realization that I'm not going to come anywhere close to the NaNoWriMo goal of 50K words by November 30, given my other commitments this month. I will, however, continue writing as time permits, see how far I get, and maybe try again next year.

• Our neighborhood association is inviting Zack Dailey from the Everett Silvertips (see post) to speak to us next Tuesday the 24th. Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend since I have dress rehearsal for the show that night. Rats. [ profile] gmjambear LOL'ed and said he'd try to get a picture.

• Speaking of the show, our first performances are only a week away: Saturday, 11/28 and Sunday, 11/29 at Benaroya Hall, Seattle. These will be our headline performances with Betty Buckley. We will be using the magnificent pipe organ this year! Also we have A Very Special Christmas Special, a piece adapted from Little Shop of Horrors (in which I play a harried grandpa), a Bollywood number complete with an Indian dance troupe, and a tribute to Michael Jackson. Further details and a link to tickets here.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
[ profile] gmjambear and I went to the Everett Silvertips game vs. the Seattle Thunderbirds at Everett Events Center. The game was rather full, the ticket seller noted there were only tickets in pairs in about five sections of the arena, most of them upstairs and in the corners. He then recommended seats in the club section, which for a few dollars extra permitted use of the Club Lounge at the top. We went for those seats, then settled to wait in line for entrance to the arena to get our promotional cowbells sponsored by Monster Energy Drink. Cowbells in hand, we went to find our seats. They were about halfway up on the aisle.

With an hour to face-off, we decided to check out the lounge. There was a large bar with tables around it. There was also a separate door for folks with club and skybox seats to enter from Wall Street at the top of the hill, and we picked a table right by the door. So I sat facing the door and pointed out the many bears that caught my eye to Gary. We ordered dinner: Gary had linguine alfredo with chicken, while I had a cup of chili and a French dip sandwich. It appeared the kitchen was backed up as we did not receive our food until just before face-off, so we missed much of the first period. It was very good food though so I had no complaints.

The game was not as exciting as the previous game we attended, although there were a few moments: the Tips' goalie scoring an own-goal in the middle of the second period (which is credited to the last T-bird player to touch the puck), a couple of fights (not nearly as many as last game, and two of them occurring at or after the period-ending whistle), one of the T-birds charging after one of the Tips, checking him a bit high, losing his balance and sailing head over heels before landing flat on the ice, and watching Zack Dailey use some fancy stick work to try to dislodge the puck from the corner nearest us.

By the way, it does not matter who the Tips are playing, the opposing team is still treated to a rousing chorus of "AND THEY STILL SUCK!" whenever it is announced they are back to full strength. Even if, as was the case tonight, they are beating the snot out of the Tips, who ultimately lost 4-0.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
[ profile] gmjambear and I went to see the Everett Silvertips play the Portland Winterhawks at home at the Everett Events Center. This was our first visit to the arena and our first Silvertips game, but not the first time we'd seen the Winterhawks as we'd seen them play Seattle at KeyArena.

The game got off to a rather inauspicious start as the Winterhawks scored three unanswered goals, two on power plays, in the first period. But the Tips' fortunes turned around rather rapidly once they scored their first goal with seconds remaining in the first period.

During the first intermission the scoreboard video captured a series of fans with signs, like the old Burma-Shave ones, that read "Portland/is now back to/full strength/and they still suck!" Sure enough, every time thereafter that the announcer mentioned that Portland had returned to full strength (after their last player completed his turn in the penalty box), the crowd roared back in unison, "AND THEY STILL SUCK!" ;-) Conspicuous by its absence was Gary Glitter's "Rock And Roll Part I" (or was it II?) over the PA system, as every time we attended a game in Seattle (whether Portland was playing or not) that would always elicit a chant of "Portland sucks! Portland sucks!"

During the second period one player grabbed the stick out of another player's hand, which prompted one fan to shout, "I bet that's not the first time you've grabbed another dude's stick!" A few moments later Silvertip #21, Zack Dailey, ended up falling down, sailing across the crease completely into the net. Reactions included "You're supposed to get the puck into the net!" and "Good thing it was Dailey, he's the only player who could fit!" Like the first period, the second period closed with an Everett goal in the final seconds.

Zack Dailey, courtesy Everett Silvertips (

[Edited to add: [ profile] gmjambear remarked that this picture reminds him of his younger brother Vince.]

There were a lot of fights in this game, particularly in the third period as the score mounted in Everett's favor. At one point Dailey got entangled with a Portland player with close to a foot of height on him (Dailey is only 5'6" tall), and pretty much gave as good as he got. Several Portland players left the ice on 10 minute misconduct penalties. The fellow next to me said that Portland always plays dirty and usually ends up regretting it.

Toward the end of the game Everett broke a franchise record by scoring their tenth goal of the game, ultimately winning 10-4.
bigmacbear: Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin, with superimposed caption "It's all about the Benjamins!" (benjamins)
Kind of funny, an announcer on Hockey Night in Canada used the phrase "it's all about the Benjamins" in reference to a player from the Toronto Maple Leafs signing to play for the Vancouver Canucks instead. Now Benjamin Franklin does not appear on Canadian money; the $100 CDN note bears the likeness of Sir Robert Borden, whoever he may be. Go figure.

Anyway, the whole thing inspired me to create the attached LJ icon. Yes, I know Richard Benjamin's wife, Paula Prentiss, does not use her husband's surname, but I think a bit of poetic license is in order here. ;-)
bigmacbear: Me squatting naked in the Miller River (naked)
Where: Desk at Home
Wearing: Nothing
H Factor: 6
C Factor: 8

Last night [ profile] gmjambear and I shuffled off to Buffalo to see the Sabres vs. the Ottawa Senators. We parked out at the U.B. South Campus in Amherst and took the train from there to the HSBC Arena. I like the train, and wish Rochester had a light-rail system again (they had one in the 1940's and '50's but removed it to build Interstate 490).

At the game itself we got a warm welcome from Sabretooth (the mascot) who tried to give us both a hug at once. ;-) The game was a very defensive one -- the first point wasn't scored, by the Sabres, until the middle of the second period -- but suddenly turned in the third as the Sabres scored a second goal, and then the Senators scored two within minutes of one another.

Just after that, the folks who run the scoreboard played a video clip of the lead character in Network (Howard Beale, played by Peter Finch) exhorting his audience, "I want you all to get up, get out of your chairs. I want you to go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell" -- and then they cut the video and put up a stock "Let's Go Buffalo!" animation. I think it would have been more appropriate at that point to let the clip run a little longer and get the fans yelling right along with Howard, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take this anymore!"

But it worked out in the end, as Buffalo scored once more in the closing minutes to win the game 3-2.

We're off to the Empire Bears' 8th Anniversary event at the Tay House. Catch you all later.

August 2017

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