Carpe Diem, The Series: Your Daily Dose of Competition

Paul Stevens

Carpe Diem (but in a relaxed sort of way)!

So here we are at April Fool’s Day and as I’m sure we all know, any prank pulled after the noon hour is to the detriment of the perpetrator. One of the best April Fool’s gags I remember was one served up by a local Toronto radio station several years ago. The radio came on with the 6 A.M. alarm, as it did with every other weekday morning at our house and at many others I’m sure who became the unsuspecting audience.

The opening news story that early morning was that Canada, which had already joined the rest of the world by making the leap to metric measurements and recording temperatures in degrees Celsius was now going to take it one step further by introducing metric time. You read that correctly – metric time. We were going to have the 10 hour day and the 10 month year. I don’t recall if we were somehow going to massage time so that we had a 10 day week or not but with the switch to metric time, everything was going to be nice and clean and easy to do any quick in-your-head calculations that would pop up from time to time; everything being a simple multiple of 10. All this was delivered by a sober-sounding newscaster who finally broke out with the revelation that this was strictly an April Fool’s gag. Well, that resulted in a Homer Simpson-like “D’Oh” from me once the truth came out now leaving me deeply suspicious of anyone who wants to fiddle with the clock and calendar.

Hockey season is winding down and my Monday night group is now officially done until September. There may be a summer group/league to help keep up the edge but this is just an option as there are plenty of things to do otherwise. Lots of cycling and touring of the area to be done.
Our Thursday night group is into playoffs and as outlined in my previous article, the ‘Pylons’ were sure to make a quick exit. Finishing below the bottom of the standings, we were obliged to play the first place team who had schooled us on more than one occasion over the course of the season. We did not disappoint Las Vegas odds makers but we at least managed to keep the score to single digits and even countered with a few goals of our own. Every dog has its day I guess. That leaves us with the consolation game next week and we at least should have a pulse in that game as we have beaten the team we are scheduled to play. We’re expecting a sell-out for that game so there may be as many as three or four people in the stands, not including arena maintenance and cleaning staff.

Until then however, this weekend will see the Pylons travel to Niagara Falls to participate in an ‘Over 55’ tournament. This event draws teams from all over southern Ontario as well as the northeastern U.S. I’m not sure if the guys are pulling my leg or not because I’m the newbie to the team but they tell me they won the tournament last year. Unless the other teams are from nursing homes, I find that a tough one to swallow.

I’m not sure how ladies teams work but when you are with the guys, there is absolutely no chance of getting a swelled head. “You call that a pass?” “Skating lessons will be provided at the local rink next week”. “You shoot like a girl!” (My apologies to the ladies since I’ve watched them play at the international level and quite frankly, I would aspire to shoot like a girl, at least some of the ones I have seen.) And those are the kinder comments. All in good fun of course and no one takes it seriously or to heart. I guess there must be some in-bred desire to be dissed because we keep coming back for more.

We’ll get a game on Friday evening, two on Saturday and then a final on Sunday if we make it that far. I’ll need the better part of next week to recover and I’m hoping that the weather cooperates so I can get out on the bike to work out the kinks and the lactic acid that is sure to be there as well.

With our older house, I have previously mentioned that the arrival of spring means that the ‘to do’ list is now in full swing. Sunlight that now extends into the evening pulls you to the jobs that need attention in the and around the yard. Inside, we just got air conditioning installed which will be a welcome addition to our comfort. The house is three stories and you don’t need a degree in nuclear physics to understand that the upper floors can get unbearably warm (OK – hot!) during the summer. Not having a comfortable night’s sleep I find to be very draining the following day.

Our on-going battle with squirrels in our attic seems to have taken a turn for the better. I picked up a live squirrel trap and stocked it with walnuts, thinking that they are too big for the likes of mice to carry away but squirrels would love them. Apparently however, the squirrels around here don’t appreciate the finer points of the larger nuts as they left them untouched for the first few days. “Let’s try peanuts” was the family decision and did those little rodents thank us for that! We have caught four so far but none for the past few days however there are no sounds of squirrels in the attic either.

I like squirrels, I really do. They’re cute little critters and one summer many years ago, I even befriended one at the house I grew up in. That squirrel would hang around looking for its daily treats and I was only too happy to oblige but it never made an effort to get into the house. The squirrels around here are cut from a different cloth I guess as they had no compunction against entering our home. Once the squirrel was in the trap, I would take it to a large park a couple of kilometers from the house and release it into the woods. Unless that wee rodent has built-in GPS, I have to remain convinced that there is no way it will find its way back to the old ‘hood.

Squirrels can move pretty quickly under normal circumstances but when the trap door opened up to effect release, I swear light speed was attained. I have not yet mentioned that I took our dog on these little freedom junkets and that no doubt provided an added incentive to make a hasty get-away.

I’ll report back to you about how the Pylons made out this coming weekend as I’m just guessing here but I don’t think you will be able to catch any of the game action on the major networks or sports publications. Do they have an ESPN 32 that might cover this stuff? I think not.
Also coming up will be my report on taking a comprehensive fitness test that I expect to complete with a couple of area universities. This should be done in the in the next week or two. In the meantime, let’s all try to shake off any lingering cobwebs from the past winter by getting out there and enjoying ourselves.

Your friend, Paul.

And remember – Carpe Diem (but in relaxed sort of way)!

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