Pony Party: Curling

Curling. Not this is not about the styling of hair.

A few words about Canada’s second favorite sport and also a hit in northern states where winter is long and there is ice around. If you live in a climate with endless winter you need to have a winter sport or activity. Your other option is not to go outside for several months, sit around, brood, and drink. Some people chose that option. They end up shooting somebody or needing a stint on a psych ward.

I favored hockey and cross country skiing. When I went to university our institution sat on several acres of undeveloped land owned by said institution. Several of us used to leave our gear in a near by student lounge. My cousin Chris who hails from  the gateway of northern Ontario, likes ice fishing and the ski-doo.

I am only a casual curling fan. I watch the big events and know a few of the top names.

Canadians love curling and they do pretty well at it at international events.

The biggest event tend to be the Brier Cup which is for the men, although women’s curling also gets good attendance and TV ratings. Curling events in Canada get huge television audiences.

It can resemble “bowling on ice” or tiddlywinks and is highly strategic.

Here are some instructions on how to deliver a rock….

Apparently about 2.5% of Canadians are actively involved in curling and a majority of them live in rural prairie areas. If you had ever been to a rural prairie area in the winter you would gain great understanding as to why it has appeal. There is fuck all else to do. Another interesting fact 20 percent of those in curling have a bachelors degree. Curling likely originated in Scotland and was made popular in Canada by immigrants.

A team is composed of four players and the captain is the “skip”, generally the skip is a good strategist. The first throws a stone down the ice. There are multiple strategies, generally the first few stones thrown act as guards. The first will sweep for the second, the second and first will sweep for the third and so on. The skip will advise his/her teammates on how to sweep and when to back off. Teams will compete by both trying to set up good blocking stones and to knock out an opposition stone while laying their own closest to the center of what looks like a target. So, you can’t win just by throwing hard. A game consists of eight “ends”, essentially each team has eight “turns.”

I have made it seem far less complicated than it actually is.

Another thing about curling. Although it has some colorful figures. Russ Howard was known for serious enthusiasm, shouting jumping, talking loudly, poor sportsmanship just doesn’t exist. It is considered embarrassing and tacky. Crowds don’t boo or hiss.

The Canadian Curling Association has a pretty extensive website if you want to know more.

So what is your winter-chase-the blues-away activity? Remember don’t rec pony party, hang out chit chat, and then go read some excellent offerings from our recent and rec’d list.


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  1. Today’s agenda: exercise, make some stew, engage in massive organizational/housework stuff…

  2. Have a nice, relaxing day, everyone. I’ll just be here WORKING for the rest of eternity. There must be a better way to earn a living than sitting alone in a room, typing for hours on end. Maybe the bomb squad is hiring.

    Okay, no more self pity — going to the gym, then back into the computer shackles and daydreams of beaches, warm breezes and a night sky filled with stars (sob). Later…      

  3. … though some will already know the answer … riding my bike.

    And despite the fact that some at the warehouse think I am insane to ride my bike in the winter time, in reality it was crazier to ride it in the middle of summer.

    Now if I can just persuade myself to go out into the chilly garage and fix my chain … I fixed it once, but threaded it through the derailleur wrong … oops.

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