Creativity of a Hockey Lover

My son was invited to a birthday party from a fellow teammate. The family celebrating rented out a facility that consisted of a cool miniature “3 on 3″ hockey rink that kept the kids engaged. While many father’s huddled in packs, sipping on the heated spoils of winter, other fathers were amazed at the level of sustenance required in running such an establishment.

As temperatures slithered below a tolerable level, Ken (the goalie’s father) and I whisked away to explore all the other facilities the “hockey loving” owner had brewed up. Unfortunately, besides the rare jerseys encased up, there weren’t anymore headline news coming from this place.

However, the two of us kept roaming around like two lost mules where Ken finally caught this from the corner of his eye. (See below)

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The “Hockey Bench”

Creatively, the “hockey savvy” owner recycled many sticks and amassed them into a neat little bench. He didn’t deduct any reputation of Canada’s favourite pastime and even tossed in the “goalie’s touch” and utilized a netminder’s paddle as a unique sidearm. Ken and I were left jaw dropped and couldn’t stop appreciating this bench. I gave it a test and hesitantly sat down. It felt like I was on a park bench but was more comfortable, maybe the number of sticks involved hugged the curves better. Regardless, it was a hit! This bench can be found at the “Rink of Dreams” in Milton, Ontario.

Have you ever encountered something uniquely crafted?

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Wordless Wednesday: Winter Freeze

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January 22, 2014 · 12:40 pm

Daily Prompt: But No Cigar – The Chase for Perfection

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(Image From: Google Images)

Tell us about a time things came this close to working out… but didn’t. What happened next? Would you like the chance to try again, or are you happy with how things eventually worked out?

I partake in an ethic ball hockey league called “i-Slam Ball Hockey.” It’s a fabulous non-profit organization that dumps the remainder of the proceeds into various charitable societies, after paying all the arena rental/jersey fees. For example, some years ago, our organization kindly handed a lumpy $12,500 in donations to the Hospital for Sick Children here in Toronto.

This league is segregated into two tiers; tier one and tier two. Tier one is for the adept and “mostly” young at heart, whereas tier two is more recreation and caters to the seasoned, plus some newbies. Regardless, both tiers are full of cheers. I’ve been around the block with this league and have committed my fall activities within their realms. The league’s hallmark season starts in September, but we’ve recently begun a spring season that commences subsequent to the fall.

Last year I felt the heat from many players that insisted I GM (General Manager) a team. Makes sense doesn’t it, since I knew most of the movers and shakers since the league’s inception. I swayed the idea for some time and buckled, only thing was that I needed to have a partner to GM. There wasn’t anyone smoother to tandem with than my buddy Haris Mallick. Our friendship originates back from the days of Sunday Hockey (pick up), we fountained and shelved the “Blade Runners” (our own hockey team) and I knew that working again with Haris would be awesome.

Eventually we drafted what we had a perceived a “competitive” team. Week in and week out, our team managed to collect a handful of wins and ties that eventually had “Yaqeen” (our team’s name) residing in first place. Mind you that every team plays 10 games and the top 4 out of 6 qualifies for the playoffs. The conclusion of the season quickly approached and many teams were in, “desperation mode.” Yaqeen was unbeaten in nine and was craving to notch ten. However, our last regulation match was against a team that was hungrier than us, a challenge bigger than one can imagine. Though many rival GM’s and teams stuck around to watch the last match of regular season, many wondered if Yaqeen would finally sip the cup of defeat or if Zuhd could do the unimaginable.

I wasn’t in the greatest of moods since many of my teammates were absent; on top of that there was this raging pressure to finish the year perfect, but how? So many key weapons were absent that my roster was cut down to half. A loss would knock my team for a first place cushion to second. We had 9 guys and a goalie, ready to give it our best and for the first time ever our bench looked thin. We sucked it up, prayed for the best and dived in. Mind you, the remnants of that night’s roster were still character guys, gents that knew the game and competed themselves to the final second.

The game went back and forth as both teams were adjusting to the pace. After many chances, my boys got Yaqeen on the board. Playing as defensive minded as possible, the guys managed to hold the fort as the first of two periods finally halted. Enter the second period. Zuhd got back on the board to even things out. My team never gave up and utilized their energy wisely. Momentum swayed like a pendulum till Yaqeen popped another one in to take a 2-1 lead. Zuhd’s troops didn’t give up as their urgency finally dictated the remainder of the game. The opposition scored the equalizer and pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. With a mere 19 seconds left in the game, our goalie was tumbled over by player (who was pushed) and was late in smothering a loose ball infront of him. The rest was history as Zuhd shovelled the ball in a yawning open net. Zuhd’s roar spoke volumes. It was a nasty feeling since we weren’t used to losing.

So close to the 10 game unbeaten streak, but no cigar.

I was overwhelmed with our team’s success. Despite losing in the playoffs, we’re still heroes that’ll maintain our heads high in pride.

Have you ever come close to achieving something?

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Daily Prompt: Happy Happy Joy Joy – Test Day

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(Image From: Google Images)

What does “happiness” look like to you?

There are immeasurable facets in life that instigate happiness. Whether it be seclusion on a deserted island, a mere moment on the patio during the sunset, or even achieving a personal goal. That’s happiness!

My kids are my life. As a parent, we harbor every step they take, every move they make, but when they dodge the obstacles with your guidance, there isn’t an instance I wouldn’t be happy.

The other week, my son and I consumed some time cogitating in concert for his math test. Learning to familiarize himself to new aspects of math were vital, then I amused him with some shortcuts that, “ooo-ahhed” him into conceiving that it wasn’t too bad. A slightly oppressive experience, but then again, their kids, and if we don’t hold their hands along the way then how will they bloom into successful beings. Fast forward to “test day” and I found out that my son earned a bountiful “B+” that ultimately tickled my ribs with happiness.

How do you derive happiness?

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Ice Storm Aftermath

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One of the many trees damaged in Toronto’s ice storm. This across my street.

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A Dummy’s Tale

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Many times, random kids called me “ugly”. Teenagers plaster me with haymakers for their hilarity. Once in a while an elderly pair will braze by me with a frightened gander. This is a conventional day for me. I’m always a witness to everything. Arguments, confessions, loving sentiments, I “hear” it all, straight and simple, being a dummy is not fun.

The other day, I overheard the assistant manager and head manager discussing Bill’s termination. I didn’t want Bill to go, he had a family and always paced by me with a smile on his face, unlike the other employees. A true employee, Bill was always glued to his work and never foul mouthed anyone. On Friday, during a lunchtime rush, Bill trolled from pillar to post, serving customers and eventually succumbed to fatigue. He hadn’t had lunch, so he gingerly sat on the treadmill, which is situated in front of me and bellowed a hefty breath of air. Though Bill was young in spirits, his rickety body couldn’t handle the exertion.

“Go big or go home Billy, gotta meet the weekly quotas,” harped the head manager. Bill planted his feet firm and attended some customers that we’re waiting on him to get some sizes. Unfortunately, the frustrated clients lost their patience with Bill and hastily exited the store.

My sympathies went out to the veteran, who was striving to keep his family from drowning in the deep end of life. Despite many tongue lashings from his superiors, Bill was eventually relieved of his duties. The seasoned salesman pleaded for a second chance after assuring his manager that, “it wouldn’t happen again.” However, the boss stood firm on his decision and played deaf. I vividly recollect that day as the veteran had a tear in his eye, yet held his head high in repute. Bill croaked that same smile but made this difficult eye contact with me whilst exiting the store, as if he was saying good bye.

Ironically, I was sold to a karate school the next day and bid farewell to my makeshift home. Those gloomy days and dark nights of solitude expired. I was boxed in a temporary grave and eventually greeted by a group of tenacious individuals, only to absorb my duty of marinating abuse. Bill’s world of torture in the store was done with. He didn’t have to be paranoid of “surviving another day.” Conversely, my torture of enduring blows just started. Being a dummy is not fun.

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Daily Prompt: Safety First – A Close Encounter

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(Image Source: Google Image)

Share the story of a time you felt unsafe.

In November 2006, I ventured into Calgary after accepting an employment offer. I was keen on living in the wild west since the job market in Toronto was extremely sapless. Due to the distance, the company I joined granted me with a decent condo for a two month period, until I found permanent residency.

At first blush, the weather in Calgary was atrocious. Despite the flaky barrier, our flight landed punctually and were immediately prompted by a driver in dropping us off at our temporary nest.  The snow was mountainous and the roads were so slick it felt like we were driving on ice with small patches of drivable road. “You should’ve put some skates on this car instead of winter tires,” I joked with the driver. The driver was navigating so leisurely that I could feel myself aging. Slowly but surely we made it “home” as we neared the downtown core. We approached the ancient behemoth, unloaded our luggage and swiftly picked up our keys from the management office. We made it to our floor and located the suite (inset scary music here) which was located in the end of the hallway, snuggled against a flight of stairs.

Jostling the keys in my hand, I finally managed to find the correct match. I put the key inside and noticed that door unlocked, but the lock felt tampered. We slowly slithered into the condo as if Scooby Doo and gang we’re entering a haunted house for investigation. The obvious suspicion of intrude was labelled not only from the door but the entire carpet. There were mild footprints all over the living room and bedroom, and the unit had a unorthodox odour to it. Despite the staining, the home strangely appeared neat and tidy.

Regardless, we were on high alert and managed to sideline the issue until the superintendent was contacted. A call to my fellow Human Resources employee was placed for an explanation, since she had made arrangements for this unit. I gave here a piece of my mind as she convinced me that the “super” would make dialogue with us and rectify the situation.

The time was around 7pm and we were amidst our dinner. We were chatting about the origin of the tampered lock? Why is it so cold here? What’s there to do? Answering all the queries of a tourist without the convenience of “smartphones”. I whipped open my dell laptop, hit the google button and got to work.

All of a sudden there was a jingle of keys coming from outside our door. My wife raised her eyebrows in fear and clouded my son. We remained silent in anticipation of hearing any voices from the opposite side. There was no whispers but a buzz of someone putting a key in and struggling to enter inside. I slowly crept towards the door with my fist in the air. “Who is it?”, I yelled.

The music of keys vanished, and a thunder of footsteps followed. With cold chills, I gambled and pierced the front door open. There was a roar of feet scrambling down the stairwell as the stairway door closed. A thousand pounds lifted off my chest as the shivers slowly tapered away. “Damn guy took off,” I whispered to myself. While examining the door, I noticed (mind my lack of terminology) that the lock bar wasn’t fully locking. Using kitchen instruments, I attempted to correct the problem but to no avail we headed to bed knowing that we weren’t safe.

We slept the night in unease and thanked god the incident didn’t repeat itself, indeed that was a long night. The next morning we hunted down the superintendent and had him replace the lock promptly. As I discussed the incident with him, he mentioned something about homeless people gaining access to a few units. I gulped in fear but thanked god that nothing serious transpired from our incident.

Has anything of this nature ever happen with you?

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