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Three Pistols

I am terrible with dates but somewhere in the early 90’s Ratte and I scooped up our first pair of rollerblades. Mine had the removable chassis and weighed about 70lbs. The first summer we had them we burnt through a set of wheels cruising the streets and playing 1V1 in the picnic shelter at St.Vital Park. The water fountain was our goal.

We got word that a roller hockey league was starting up at Grant Park arena so we put our names in to see if there was a team looking for players. We ended on a team called “The Leftovers” that was made up of guys like us who wanted to play but didn’t have a team. It was there we met the kid versions of JP and Timmy G.

Back then we played with a ball, and that was just fine for Ratte and me who grew up playing street hockey in old St. Vital. We ended up winning the season that year with a bunch of guys who barely knew each other and were just thrown together by the league. We knew at that time we had to get the guys together a make our own team. What we didn’t know is that most of us would play together for the next 20 years!

We grew up together playing roller hockey (Three Pistols), eating wings at Manhattans, and drinking to the Tragically Hip. When we weren’t playing league we were skating at “Saints” or “Wheelies” after hours. The friendships will last a lifetime.

One of my most memorable games was against the Wildcats. We had a bitter rivalry with this team and I remember it was a big game going in. It was back in the day and JD was our coach. I remember my dad was also at this game with Trish and he didn’t come many so I came to play. I had an end to end goal early that started behind our net but for every goal we scored the Wildcats fired right back. It was a rough game and they had this one guy who was a cheap shot artist that was always taking liberties with our guys. We had a scoring chance in front of their net that turned into a pile of guys and I got cross-checked down from behind. On the ground I saw it was this same guy so I gave him a chop to the skates. I was in a compromising position with this guy about to come down on my when Ratte swoops in with a high cross-check to stand this guy up. It was an awesome moment for me because Ratte liked a clean game and took pride in not getting involved in those kind of shenanigans. To see him step up for me really meant something at that moment.

With about 5 mins left in the game Wildcats are up by a goal and as I am watching my pass I get run by their monster enforcer. This kid was twice my size at the time and he drove me into the floor hard enough that if it weren’t for my helmet I might not be here today. All I heard was the gasp of the crowd and the first thing I thought of was that my dad was in the building so I got up right away. I had the wind knocked out of me as I skated back to the bench where JD gave me a pat on the back. They were sorting out the penalties and I think Ponch went after the guy so we got 2 and I think they got 4 which was more time than was left in the game. We were going on the powerplay down by a goal and JD looks at the bench to see who is ready to get out there. I motion that I am good to go and he gets me out there for one last shift. We win the face-off and move it around a bit in their end. The puck comes back to me at the point and I fire off a high wrist shot into the crowd in front that finds it’s way off of someone or something and into the net and the game ends in a tie. There was no overtime or anything back then so it ended in a tie but it sure felt like a win to me.

Three Pistols

I have so many great moments playing the game but that one stands out the most. Maybe because I can still picture JD standing on the bench. Maybe it’s because Trish told me after that my dad had a big smile on his face when I scored that goal at the end of the game.

I think that last season was the final chapter for the Three Pistols as far as roller hockey goes. I was out a couple of years ago but that team, that group of guys, will always feel like mine.

I think this was 2010.

Pinawa, damn!

I have been looking through my photos so that I could post some memories here and came across this beauty. It was taken by a digital camera with a timer because I am sure I wouldn’t set my phone on those rocks.

In this picture I was just 3 days into my marriage and coming down from one of the most incredible nights of my life. Shan and I booked a cabin at Otter Falls for a couple of days, the poor man’s honeymoon in my eyes. I still feel kind of bad for her in that regard. We had a great time, and it was exactly what we needed, but she would have loved to be on a beach somewhere tropical. A trip you could tell your girlfriends about when they get all drunky and ask “So…where did you go on your honeymoon?”.

Girls be like, Pinawa…damn!

It was a shitty little cabin, with a shitty little hot tub in it that I think pumped in water from the lake. We drank, we laughed, and we slept. Most of all we just loved hanging out together and that is a memory I want to keep around. We still love to hang out together but it’s not the same. Those were just simpler times and they are memories that I cherish. One day I will take Shan somewhere nice and even though she is paying for it I will declare it our second honeymoon! The way things are going I would settle for a little Blue Lake this summer. Fingers crossed.

PS: I still wear those dumb Elvis glasses 14 years later but my oldest just rolls her eyes at me when I do.

My 40th

This picture was taken on my 40th birthday.

I should really remember more about this night because it wasn’t that long ago…was it? I know that Shan went hard to the paint planning this celebration. It was themed to be all of my favourite things and people all wrapped into one amazing night. Shan made cookies, there was a nacho bar, and everyone who showed up brought Jager or a gift card for Five Guys! It was heaven.

I remember at one point Gould and Shan did some kind of 80’s themed karaoke. I will have to search for that photo of them all dressed up and delivering the Bon Jovi! Joel and I did Humpty Dance on camera too and I remember talking to Evelina about it the next week at work! She was telling me how much she loved my friends.

Ratte came in for it and him, Al, and I went out looking for “snaps”. The day of any big night it wasn’t uncommon for us to go to Value Village and scour the racks for snaps (shirts with snap buttons). Drinking shirts basically. As you can tell by the photo on this particular day we were hugely successful. Ratte also spent like $80 on groceries to build Caesars that night. I remember they had veggies and wings hanging off them!

At the end of the night, close to when this picture was taken there was just a few of us left. Shan had taken the kids to her mom’s so it was just me and few guys. I remember she had made this Batman themed birthday cake that we devoured at 2am with our bare hands like animals.

Ah, to be 40 again.

Brahma Beer

I have gone through some photo albums in isolation and have decided that I am going to post some memories here.

I found this beauty from Ponch’s stag. I can’t even tell you the year but I do remember starting this night with BBQ, beers, and poker with friends. The rest is a little blurry.

From what I recall Drew chartered a bus (driven by his aunt) that picked us up at Ponch’s house. She took us on a bar tour and we able to drink on the bus and it was a gong show. I mean music, and guys dancing and yelling. Ponch was wearing some rubber breasts on top of his shirt. That kind of night.

This picture was taken at a bar downtown somewhere. I don’t know which one but at the time there was a salsa bar on the second floor. I know this because Tyler and I went up there and I remember dancing with a group of people up there and getting unnaturally sweaty.

I love this picture because:

  • Porter looks like Steve Fewster was there.
  • My “I love Humpday” shirt still fit.
  • I had a Brahama in my hand.
  • Timmy G, Gilles, Ponch, Tyler, Porter look as drunk as I do.
  • Tyler made it to this particular stop.

The last stop of the night was Teasers and I don’t remember much other than returning to the bus at closing time and realizing Tyler never even got off the bus. There he was sleeping in the idiot seat. A term I would soon come to learn as a bus driver.

What a great night.

The Pause

It’s April something 2020. Everyone I know is working from home. School is canceled and all non-essential services have been shut down. Parents are home-schooling and parks that we spent the last 10 years fundraising for are closed to the public. The MLCC doors remain open and busses full of people are still running. Not even white privilege will get you Lysol wipes and Giant assholes are hoarding all toilet paper! Hockey season is cut short and nothing makes sense in the world. We are all told to “stay home” and help flatten the curve as COVID-19 spreads like hives on a ginger.

But don’t worry, one of the cool things about humans is that we are made to adapt. The symbolic line in sand has been drawn except it’s tape on the supermarket floor. We make masks out of our socks so that we can we can go to the store for milk and Doritos (just the essentials). We talk to strangers through plastic windows and encourage our children to connect with their friends on devices with little plastic windows of their own. Forget everything you know about social graces.

Business has adapted as well. Restaurants converting their focus to ordering online and takeout only. Large companies operating from home thanks to VOIP systems, virtual servers, and virtual meetings.

Thank god for the internet.

Thank god for the internet? Think about the irony behind that statement. After 1 week in isolation combined with homeschooling Mother Mary herself would trade in her bible for a tablet of some kind. She’d be texting the Wise Men asking for crafty links on how to make a simple banana bread or how to turn water into wine.

At home we are adapting as well. Amidst all the chaos right now we are trying to stay focused on the positive and adapt. There is a new appreciation for teachers in the world and I hope it stays that way. Shan is still expected to work from home while homeschooling our own super-learners. I may be going mad but it seems to me like our kids are starting to get along better than ever before. They seem to be talking and playing more as they are starting to realize they have each other to depend on through all of this. Don’t get me wrong, they still fight over who gets to sit in the good movie spot but overall it’s been an improvement.

Thankfully With regrets I am still going into the office daily. It’s just Gary and I there on any given day and we are very separated so the risk is very minimal. Very thankful to still be employed as I know many people have been hit by the closures.

I am connecting with friends a couple times a week through poker online. Toph invited me to his game and I loved it so much I started a weekly one of my own. You can read about that on SpiteClub.org

More positives…

  • 7-11 is essential
  • Gas is cheap
  • We have cable for the first time in 10 years
  • Movies going right to streaming
  • Our favourite artists putting on live performances
  • We have dogs, get a dog
  • It’s getting nice outside

I have also been enjoying “Some Good News” with John Krasinski. If these don’t give you the feels I don’t know what can.

People are doing some good in the world right now thanks to “The Pause”. The world will never be the same but we will be OK…I think.

Still Alive?

That’s what my Mom says when I call her…”Oh you’re still alive…”! Looking back at the last time I updated this website and you might wonder. It made me think that I need to give my login credentials to Nolan so that if something ever did happen to me he could add some content for me even when I am gone. That would freak some people out but at the same time I could see him getting a kick out of that.

Ever since the leaves fell off the trees and the girls went back to school we have been officially in “Winter Mode”. We seem to just put our heads down and plug away at work, school, kids activities, eat, sleep, and repeat.

Joon

Lexi is still going hard at gymnastics and has recently started indoor soccer. She works hard and you can see her improve each time she goes out. Ashlyn is now taking skating lessons at Southdale in a program that is run by our old neighbour from Stranmillis. I love it because she is learning to skate and at the lessons she listens to the instructor and tries new things that she will never try with me during a public skate.

Ashlyn & Riel Skating Lessons

Over the summer I accepted a new job with GB Agencies Ltd. I have been doing some website work with them over the years and an opportunity arose to join their team on a full time basis. It’s a great opportunity for us as a family and I love the job and the people I work with.

The kids don’t love the idea of not having me around in the summer but I think we can make it work. Strange to think that the girls are now 11 and 8 and have never been without both parents during those summer months. We have always been able to pack up and go on camping adventures on a whim, even in the middle of the week!

In the meantime Shan and I stay busy on the weekends with our own sports. Shan is still playing soccer and I am at Nolan’s hockey on Sundays. In between we hang with the kids, walk the dogs on the river, and find excuses to go for a Slurpee.

Somewhere in there I am hoping to find some time to write again so that a year doesn’t slip away between posts!

Father’s Day

This picture is one of my favorite pictures ever.

I think that the reason I love it so much is that it represents this idea of fatherhood that I want so badly to emulate. I imagine this man and his daughter were just hanging out one day on a camping trip and come across this serene little river and just can’t help themselves but explore it. No second thoughts for this little explorer as she sheepishly enters the water waiting for her dad to object at any moment and it never comes. Instead he embraces this moment to connect with his daughter on a level that is fiction for most of us. She is looking at the river like “this is the best day ever!”, and he is taking her in like he doesn’t want to miss a second. This man gives zero fucks about his wallet, his job, or his sweet ass Adidas shoes. The watermark on his jeans are proof that this is no accident and I love him for that. You can bet she does too!

I want nothing more than to be this father for my girls and yet at times I have so much trouble getting there.Turns out being a parent is a little more complicated than updating your Instagram feed with images of your kids always living their best life. #NOFILTER

I will get there though. This summer I want ALL THE FUN! Bring it. I am surrounded by all the girls and we are going to have ALL THE FUN. I plan on taking it all in. ALL THE LOVING. This year Ashlyn hit the nail on the head with this father’s day card…

Find Shade My Brothers

Oh thank God, and Patron Saint Blythe Hunter, for confirming for us once and for all that we are now seeing a steady decline of sexual allegations against our male role models in Hollywood. So much in fact that Ms. Hunter is inclined to attack Bill Murray for assumptions he confessed toward Selena Gomez before meeting her in person. Pardon me but is it OK to assume the title of Ms. and not Mrs., or Miss, as I would hate to offend and be deemed a part of the problem. I have the privilege of only one title (Mr.) so I need to try harder to be sensitive to these things.

It’s been months since I have heard anything about a high profile man pleasuring himself at a dinner party or making suggestive comments to a female coworker in the workplace. Mind you, I don’t look very hard for this kind of thing but when I do come across an article like “Bill Murray’s Comments About Selena Gomez Are All Kinds of Bad”, I feel sad for rational women all over the world. It’s this kind of recreational outrage that gives women a bad name. That’s just my opinion, but that is what this article is…just an opinion piece.

You can have Bill Cosby, and maybe Louis C.K. but I still think his standup is the best. I am not sure about Franco and Anasari but you can’t have Piven, that lady just wanted money. What I can’t figure out is why Bill Murray?

Ms. Hunter quotes an interview where Murray answers a question about working with costar Selena Gomez who is most known for her work as a singer.

In an interview at the movie’s NYC premiere on June 10, Murray said that he had wrongfully judged Selena before working with her. “I learned that whatever preconception I had about someone that had 55 million, billion followers [or] something… I probably thought she was different than she turned out to be.” Then he said that, “if my mother were alive, I’d bring [Selena] home to her—‘Mother. I want you to meet Selena.’” Excuse me while I gag.

“Excuse me while I gag…” seems a bit harsh. Perhaps if that was Bill Murray’s response to what he thinks about working with Gomez he would take less fire from Ms. Hunter. Murray also made jokes that he would be Selena’s boyfriend if she wanted which Hunter deemed “Cringe Worthy” and assumed a “semi-sexual tone”. But what bothered her the most was how “totally condescending” Murray was being. Hunter wrote…

Okay, but *why* is Bill Murray shocked that Selena Gomez is talented and professional?

Hunter perpetuates the belief that as a Male Bill Murray automatically assumes his dominance over Gomez and assumes she is “vapid and untalented”. Moreso that she pines for his approval. She tries to further her case by reporting that Murray made similar comments towards Miley Cyrus when he worked with her on A Very Murray Christmas.

“…Miley Cyrus is really fu**ing good. She can sing. I thought she was a knucklehead crazy girl that you’d want to go on a road trip with, but she can sing.” – Bill Murray

Wonder what would make him think that after Hannah Montana took off all of her clothes, stuck out her tongue and started humping stuffed animals on stage. Not like she invented twerking or anything. I love Miley too but I arrived there through her music…just like Bill did.

In the end, the message that gets pumped out over and over again in the industry seems to be pretty clear: an older, more established man is pleasantly surprised when he meets a young woman who he judges capable of doing her job well! What a nice guy.

Well Ms. Hunter that is both presumptuous and condescending. Of course Bill Murray was surprised that Gomez could act because he knows her as a pop singer. My wife and I went to see A Star Is Born and both of us were shocked to learn that Bradley Cooper could sing like an angel. We were also pleasantly surprised that Gaga could act! Not because as a man I assumed she was a one trick pony, but I have always related to her as a premier singer. It’s not that I figured she couldn’t act but it still strange to see her on the big screen as someone other than Gaga, sorry. I think that would be the same for anyone, male or female. Sorry not sorry.

There was a time when a man could hold a door open for a woman and not worry about unintentionally insulting her. A time when you could refer to a girl as “the type you could take home to your mother” and it came with an essence of purity and well regarded as a compliment. Today Men are under the magnifying glass and women like Ms. Hunter will do their part to tilt their hand to the sun and burn everything in their path. Even Bill Fucking Murray.

Here is another writers take on Murray and Gomez that seems a little more rational.

All Grows Up

All parents love to let you know that “they grow up so fast”. Just last year we bought Lex a bike off Kijiji because she had physically outgrown hers and passed it down to Ashlyn. It was a nice little orange bike with the words “Daisy Diva” written in really cool urban writing. We dusted the rust off the chrome and tuned it up for her and for about 10 mins it was awesome.

This year, just one spring later I am out biking with her and her friend and I realize that her “Daisy Diva” bike looks really young next to her friend on her mountain bike. I noticed it before she said anything but later she came to me to let me know that she needs a new bike and I had to agree. How did this happen so fast?

We are not a family who just replaces bikes like that, especially after committing to replacing her roller blades that no longer fit. We did however remind her of some birthday money she still had kicking around and if she NEEDED a new bike we could help her find one. She decided this was important enough and we saw a couple before arriving at the beauty in the picture. The seller met us at St. Vital Park so that Lexi could take it for a test ride. She did one quick lap and came back ready ready to bargain! She rolls right up to the guy and offers him $20 less than his asking price! It was awesome, and a done deal!

Penny & Joon

See what we did there? A little Johnny Depp tribute.

So this is Joon, the latest addition to the Peever Zoo…I mean crew. She is a little boxer, sprig terrier cross we adopted from Winnipeg Giant Breed Rescue. She came to us a little bit sick so it was a bit of a rocky start but I was super impressed at how dedicated the rescue was to making sure we had everything we needed for Joon. I highly recommend WGBR to anyone looking for a new dog.

I have to admit I was dreading another puppy. It’s like having another baby in a lot of ways. Eat, sleep, poop, and constant supervision. Double the food, double the hair, double the poop. In fact Timmy D got a puppy last year and specifically told us not to do it. But when Shan sent me a picture of this one there was something telling me she belonged with us and we decided to go and see her.

We were so confident in this that we took the kids with us, which we would never do if we were on the fence. Even still we told them that we were going to look at a new couch! We said we were THINKING about buying a new couch and were just going to LOOK at it. It doesn’t mean we are coming home with it, we are just going to have a look. We went over this a couple times until the kids repeated after us “…just looking”. Curious as to why we were prepping them so hard for this couch they asked if they could see it and I showed them a picture of Joon. She arrived next week.

Except for a little tummy trouble at the beginning it’s been an awesome experience. She seemed to know to bathroom outside (mostly) and goes to the door to let us know. She can sit, shake a paw, and lie down when told. She of course walks on a leash better than Penny (not amazing). Speaking of Penny, she is love. She is so intentionally gentle and accommodating to Joon that you would think they were siblings. Whenever Penny lies down along comes Joon and snuggles right in. Sometimes right on top too!

We are working on independence. We are kennel training during the day but she won’t have it at night. We tried to let her cry it out but it’s relentless. She sleeps on her dog bed at the foot of our bed and knows she is not welcome up unless invited. I was amazed at how quickly she has adjusted to this sleeping arrangement and she is good through most nights.

Oh ya, and don’t get a puppy in the spring if your backyard is a swamp.

   Joon Photos