Friday, February 29, 2008

Our first DNF

But I still love geocaching :)

Me and my maaaaan spent forever today looking for a micro in the Botanical Gardens in Bath, but to no avail

But do we care? Nah, we had a lovely time anyway, found lots of fab statues, and made friends with the squirrels.

And quite frankly, I just love spending time with him, finding the cache would have just been a little bonus :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bye Bye Matty

I liked you, thousands didn't

Traded to the Caps for another Matt - Pettinger

Least he'll get to play with Vech now, lucky Cooker :)

I hate trade day, I'm hoping that's the worst of it over with, but I bet it won't be (watching from behind a cushion with fingers and toes tightly crossed)

Monday, February 25, 2008

more geocaching...

Darbs and I went to see this lot <----- , Sum 41, in Southampton last night, and very good they were too.

Darby was a little the worse for wear by the end of the night (although the delicious cheesy chips helped sober him up a little :)), so I wasn't sure how well he would react to me waking him at 8am with an enthusiastic cry of "it's geocaching time!!!!".

But to give the lad credit, he got up, and came tramping through the woods with me in good spirits.

We made a TOTAL cock up of finding the actual parking spot for the cache, before we even started the hunt on foot. It was 3 miles from Ian's house, according to We managed 21 miles in the car :D

We were literally going round in circles, we could see on the GPS where we needed to be, but we just couldn't find a road that went there!

In the end we had to get onto the motorway, come off at the services, and then drive illegally up the authorised access only route at the back. I'm sure there must have been an easier way :D

Compared to all that faffing about, the actual cache find was a doddle, from getting out of the car to taking this picture ------> took about 10 minutes.

We had fun though, and Darbs is now keen to tackle some of the fiendish puzzle-type caches, because he likes a mental challenge :)

At least, after my trip to Hawkins Bazaar this afternoon, I have enough cache stuffers to keep us going the rest of the year, lol:


And he's called Ryan too.


Wonderboy had a great game!

Ryan Kesler's only job was to shut down Detroit's top line of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom.

Scoring - especially twice on great individual efforts against the team he grew up cheering for - was, in Kesler's words, "awesome."

Kesler scored twice on individual rushes in the third period and Roberto Luongo stopped 28 shots, lifting the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-1 win over the injury-ravaged Detroit Red Wings Saturday night.

"I'm playing with some confidence but I know first and foremost my job is to shut down the other team's top offensive guys and being able to score a couple is just a bonus," Kesler said. "Those guys are hard to shut down, they're really shifty, great one-on-one guys and to have them on the minus side of things was awesome."

Defensemen Alexander Edler and Sami Salo also scored as the Canucks won their fourth straight for the first time this season, moving into a tie with San Jose, Calgary and Nashville for fifth place in the Western Conference, four points ahead of ninth-place Colorado.

“We’re getting rewarded for our hard play, and again tonight we had a real solid effort form our whole group," said Coach Alain Vigneault who was clearly impressed with the effort. "Obviously Kesler did a great job on their top line and was also able to contribute offensively in the third, and Roberto made the key saves that he had to make, it was an all around a solid effort.”

Kesler stripped defenseman Brett Lebda of the puck at the Canucks blueline and raced the other way, tucking the puck between Jimmy Howard's legs on the breakaway 3:31 into the third period. He rounded out the scoring with three minutes left, keeping the puck on a 2-on-1 break and beating Howard between the legs again.

"It worked the first time might as well try it the second time," said Kesler, who grew up in Livonia, Mich. "Playing against a team I watched growing up, there was a little extra motivation."

Datsyuk scored the lone goal for the Red Wings, who are 1-7-1 their last nine games and have had their lead atop the Western Conference trimmed to six points over the Dallas Stars.

"We've gone through the same thing, we know what they re feeling right now and it's a dog-eat-dog world I guess," Kesler said. "So we tried to jump on them right away and put them on their heels as much as possible."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

More addictive than heroin...

After weeks of thinking about it, and some significant investment in kit (and wellies, and little toys), and many many hours spent in preparation, Connor and I finally bit the bullet
and went geocaching today.

And wow, we had an even better time than I thought we would (and I was expecting it to be fun!) - we are totally hooked after one go!! Can't wait to go out again tomorrow.

We were pretty rubbish at it to start with, to be honest, I had no idea how to work the GPS (and no, I hadn't read the manual, and yes, that might have helped, and yes, I've read it now :))

We walked about 4 times as far as we needed to, because I couldn't work out which way it was telling me to walk. Still, it was great exercise :D

The GPS keeps a record of the route you have taken on screen, like a little trail of breadcrumbs, and ours was hilarious, lots of wandering around in confused circles and retracing of steps.

But we got there in the end :)

Having said that, getting to the co-ordinates was one thing, finding the (bloody huge) box was another.

I walked RIGHT PAST IT at least 4 times, how I managed to not spot it, I have no idea.

I almost gave up at one point, but the knowledge that 170 people had found it before me (without a single DNF - did not find - get me and all the lingo :D) kept me going :)

Now I know what I'm doing, I'm pretty sure the next one will be easier :)

The good thing about making such a bloody pig's ear of finding the cache, was the pure elation once it was spotted :) I don't think I'd have been anywhere near that excited if we had found it more easily.

Connor took this pic of me emerging with the cache, totally unstaged, that's pure joy, that is :)

And then Connor had the fun of rooting through the box and choosing which little toys to take (there was tons of stuff in there, he chose a little Macdonalds teddy bear and one of those plastic frogs that jumps when you flick the tab on its bottom), and deciding what from our own swagbag to leave (a tub of bubbles, a parachute man and a spinning top :))

I can thoroughly recommend this hobby for anyone who struggles to motivate either themselves or their children to get out and about for a walk just for the sake of walking. The whole treasure hunt element is just so exciting, but you also get to see some lovely parts of the outdoors that you might never have come across otherwise - we didn't even know about the section of Coate Water that this cache was hidden in, despite having been to the park a hundred times.

And if you do take it up, and you ever see this in a log book:

That's us!! :)

The Chaos Crew, otherwise known as me and Cons, and anyone else who fancies tagging along at the time :D

Let's invite the dads along to every game :)

Two games with their dads watching intently from the stands, two wins, coincidence? I think not.

I would be scared to upset Mr Bieksa, that's for sure, to quote some of my fellow bloggers, the man is badass!!! :D

(Actually I think he looks cool, bet he would be fun to hang out with, and he'd have a few tales to tell about our Kev)

Taylor's dad looks like a laugh too (2nd from left):

Mason Raymond's dad is kinda cute ;) wonder if Mrs Raymond is still on the scene? :D

Canucks lensman Jeff Vinnnick was along for the ride on the 4-day dads' road trip, and as usual he took some great photos (you know I'm sure he fancies Kes and Roberto, but you won't see me complaining!!)

You can see the whole photo diary here

Here are a few of my personal favourites

Kes first - some proper wibble-inducing pics in this lot:

Now Bobby (I'm feeling the Luuuuuu at the moment :)):

And more of the best team on the planet (yeah yeah, I know other teams have more points, and more silverware, but they're not my Canucks):

Thanks for coming along on the trip, dads, you inspired your boys, moms next?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pity about Patrick Eaves - sob

but I'm going to see the Sens anyway!!!


just got my tickets for the Sens/Pens in sunny Sweeeeden in October.

Stockholm here we come!!!!!

See, Sid the Kid was cute once, when he really was a Kid :) --------->

(I wish Alison and Malc could come too , sulk :( )

How to look cold and hot at the same time....

... be Ryan Kesler :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Official photos of Connor's big night

I love this pic: with his home jersey on and his own stick, Connor really looks like one of the team. Click on it to see it full size if you want a closer look at the boys.

I need to get a print/unwatermarked copy of the team shot.

And also this lovely shot of Cons and Lee:

Also, thankfully, the official pic of him getting his unbirthday card from Willie Wildcat was quite nice, unlike the one I took where he looked positively traumatised :D

We are off to the 'cats bingo night this coming Friday evening, it's cool how this institution has gone from being "just" the local ice hockey team to a huge, important and extremely enjoyable part of our lives.

Dreading the off season!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Blog candy winner!!!

Sid? tis you :)

Please PM me your addy over on the UKStampers message board, and I will get your box of goodies off to you ASAP


It's not only the Queen who has two birthdays :)

Connor does too.

As do all Willie Wildcat fanclub members whose birthdays inconveniently fall in the hockey off season.

This weekend was Connor's official in-season birthday, and we celebrated it in style by beating the Romford Raiders :)

I'm still waiting for the official pics of his stick presentation etc etc to pop up on the Wildcats site - he also had a pic taken with the whole team that I can't wait to see.

In the meantime, here he is with Willie, getting his unbirthday card (I have no idea why he looks so scared lol), having his stick (signed by the whole team!) presented to him on ice by his fave player, and terrorising old ladies outside after the game...

A nice article from the Province about Kes and his Dad:

Kesler and dad make a good team
They're always there for each other, especially this week as fathers join Canucks

Ben Kuzma, The Province
Published: Monday, February 18, 2008

Last spring, Mike Kesler lost a portion of his small intestine to cancer. Last fall, he lost his job of 37 years with a medical services company mired in Detroit's major economic recession.

This week, the father of Vancouver Canucks centre Ryan Kesler -- and a hockey coach for 34 years -- has won what he considers the trip of a lifetime. He'll join 18 other Canucks players' dads today on the team charter for games in Minnesota on Tuesday and Nashville on Thursday.

"It's going to be a great opportunity and it's going to bring back some real good memories," he said.

"I remember one summer when Ryan was 12 or 13 and played on an all-star team in Toronto. Fifty-per-cent were from the Detroit area and they had Rick Nash on his team and Ryan played against Jason Spezza. We made a lot of those trips together, stayed in the same room and haven't done anything like that in years."

These days, father, 60, and son, 23, converse regularly. They talk after every game and the bond is obviously stronger with what Mike has endured as a cancer survivor and Ryan as an emerging Canuck.

Before his father underwent surgery last April, Kesler thought his own world had crumbled. After recovering from hip surgery, the centre excelled in the opening game of the Dallas playoff series. He also broke a finger that night and when X-rays confirmed the worst, he was more stunned by a call from his mother, Linda, back home in Livonia, Mich.

He knew his dad needed surgery, but was floored when cancer was discovered.

"Breaking my finger was a blessing in disguise," recalled Ryan. "It enabled me to go home and spend time with him -- even though he told me that he didn't want me to come and be with my teammates and support them. When I got there, he was overjoyed to see me."

Mike had 18 centimetres of his small intestine removed. He had a scan in September and another of his stomach area in January showed no return of cancer. He has another test in July.

"My health is really good right now," Mike Kesler said. "But I had a restriction for four months and the most I could lift was 20 pounds and that was really scary."

It also forced him to slow down.

A non-stop dynamo, Kesler now scouts for the U.S. national team, NHL agent Kurt Overhardt and has coached a high school all-star league. He also coached NHL players Chris Connor (Dallas), Tim Gleason (Carolina), Jim Slater (Atlanta) and T.J. Hensick (Colorado) as well as about 200 kids who advanced to Division 1 college.

In one eight-year span, Kesler coached two teams in the same season. But he only guided Ryan for one year as a head coach because he doesn't favour the coach-son dynamic.

Now he vows to take up woodworking, get better at golf and ease up on those critiques of his son.

"What [the cancer] makes you do is get off the merry-go-round of life," he said, joking that it's easier with a four-year severance settlement from his job. "Working on a Saturday, working long hours and trying to get home to cut the lawn before the sun goes down -- you're pushing to get everything done and it just seemed like there weren't enough hours in the day.

"Now I'm still driven, but I get off the merry-go-round a lot more."

As expected, Kesler watches all Canuck games on television and awaits a call from his son that may not come until 1 a.m. EST. And when Ryan calls, is Mike more father or coach? After all, he was also a forward at Colorado College.

"He knows that I won't pull any punches," said Mike. "With time and age, I've tempered it a bit."

"He stressed perfection," Ryan said. "He was probably the hardest on me and I didn't understand it at the time. But now, you look back and understand why; he had to be."

As a five-year-old, Ryan scored in his first game and saw a rapid rise through the Detroit minor hockey system, under-18 national program and Ohio State.

"I love the way he's matured and has a better appreciation of the fans," said Mike. "He didn't want to be bothered when we were there [visiting] and I said you can never forget them -- they support you and help pay the bills.

"He's genuinely taken that and he's become well spoken. But the best part of his game is he comes to play with intensity, passion and a real love for the game."

Just like dad.

I have been seriously slacking....

....with the GPP Street Team crusades.

But this month's is a quick and easy one so my frantic busy life is no excuse for not playing :)

Michelle wants us all to take a pic of our "journalling kit" - ie our art essentials box/bag, and its contents.

Well, here is mine. Not as pretty as most people's, but it does the job :)

It is an ArtBin, and it is the one that I keep all my can't-live-without them tools and gadgets in, along with other basics such as a couple of acrylic blocks, some inks, tons of adhesives, sandpaper, pens a-plenty, paintbrushes, etc etc.

Here it is out and in use as I made my last journal entry:

....and I finally got around to signing the 'Where In The World' guestbook too - only about 3 months late :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

C is for Chaos

This symbol might look familiar, as I used the chaos star a little while ago for a CJ entry also.

but hey, I was a huge Hawkwind & Moorcock fan in my youth, so old habits die hard, I guess :)

This is another entry for my A-Z journal, a quick one this time, trying to catch up...

And no, the state of my work table (original pic below) isn't a set up, I really do work in that mess :)

Pic printed on plain card, cut with the Cricut and treated with Judikins microglaze to protect the inkjet inks from spills.

Then all I did was stuck it on a square of black card,painted around it roughly with interference paints in blue, red and violet (I looooooooove interference paints!!!), and wrote/stamped the title in black

Easy peasy

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Just going to miss him, sob....

Ed Ved and me, both in Vancouver, a couple of weeks apart.