Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Agony of Defeat

Playing sports is to learn about losing. No matter how good your team and how many games you win, you will almost certainly lose more big games that you will win. It hurts. A lot. But after the hurt comes the knowledge that you were part of an intense competition and that you did your best.

The boys lost a very closely played contest last night. In the fourth game of an evenly played series, they lost 1-0. There were tears afterward, but hopefully, this morning, they realize how much they accomplished.

I thought it was a very weak team at the beginning of the year, but they improved so much that I am almost astounded.

Job well done by players, coaches, helpers and the parents, who were great sports. Even the grandparents, if I may say so. /wink/

Onto the photos beginning with a few of Jonathan — in the middle of both photos.

Action photos.

I like this for the reflections.

The dagger: only one goal was scored. He shoots in the first frame, and the puck rolls into the net in the next photo.

At the end, the coach had the team take a victory lap to acknowledge an excellent game and season.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Actual Penultimate Game

It's déjà vu all over again.

Last year in the playoff finals (see Heartbreaker post), our boys had won 1 game, lost 1, and tied a third for a total of 3 points, with 4 points being necessary to win the title. Sadly, they went on to lose in a last game in double overtime.

What were the odds that it would happen again? Seemingly low, but it did. Just like last year, the teams split the first two games and tied the third on Thursday evening.

The boys were somewhat fortunate to gain the tie in this game because the other team dominated play. Nevertheless, they had a 2-1 lead with about 3.5 minutes remaining before Osgoode was able to score their second goal to even the score.

So, despite calling the previous game the penultimate one, it wasn't. This one was.

And so, they will play the ultimate game later today. This one will be at home and not an hour away. Hopefully, that will help.

On to the photos.

JJ (on the left in blue) amused me on this one. In the heat of the battle, I caught him looking at the camera.

I had trouble with the light this time around, so I did the following shot in both colour and bw. I like the moment, and it might be my favourite photo of the game.

From the same sequence, I think.

This was one of two goals that Osgoode scored. The puck is just about to enter the net behind our goalie.

Two more shots, and off I go. They are both with the Kings on the offence, which didn't happen all that often in this game.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Learning to Trust

Lacey has now been with us for more than a month and is learning to trust, and we now have our cuddly moments.

We do know that, at least before she was surrendered to the humane society, she was alone a lot. We don't know how long she lived like this in her 8 years, but we feel badly that she lived like this for whatever amount of time.

We don't know how she was treated for most of her 8 years, but we surmise that it wasn't always the best. She cringes when she sees a hand coming to pet her and isn't happy when we encroach on her personal space . . . although she will now encroach on ours.

But, she loves treats and we have been able to exploit that. Lacey will invade my computer desk (below) and on my chair (above) to get as many treats as possible. I'm sure that I overdo it, but when she purrs like a fool and head butts me, I can't seem to resist.

I have put treats on my shoulder and on my chest, and she has retrieved them. Eventually, she began to actually settle on us but only in that chair, not other chairs in other places.

To continue to gain her trust, I would just let her rest on me without trying to pet her, but lately, we have been able to add some petting. I still like to keep the petting sessions brief, and she will still tend to startle on first pet, but we are coming along.

I doubt that Lacey will ever be a traditional lap cat, but we are now getting our cuddly times together. That is a good thing, for if she lives a normal cat life, we will probably have her for another 8 years or so, and we want everybody to be happy and comfy in the relationship.

Addenda: Just as I posted this, she got back on the desk and positioned herself on my arm. This makes it difficult to type and mouse, but cats don't like mice anyway, so I guess it's quite alright.

And then I realize that I am writing this on the anniversary of Bella's arrival to our house. She was already 16 and not terribly healthy, but we had 7 very nice months with her.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Penultimate Game

When I attended JJ's game, on Monday evening, I thought that it would probably be the final or ultimate game of the season. The team made it to the finals of the consolation playoffs. The first team to reach 4 points in up to 4 games would be the champions. The Kings had lost the first game by 1 goal, so the other team was up 2-0 in points. If Osgoode had won Monday's game it would have been all over.

What happened is that the Kings came out flying and scored two goals in the first few minutes. After that, it was a very even match with Osgoode scoring the only goal until the last few minutes. Then the Kings scored with just a few minutes remaining to go up 3-1. When the other team pulled the goalie for an extra attacker, the Kings sealed the deal with an empty netter to win 4-1.

What a game! The guys played so hard with such intensity.

The boys will now play what should be the ultimate game tonight way over in Osgoode. While we all hope for a win, whatever happens is has been a great season by a team that seemed quite weak at the beginning of the year.

I think this was my fave photo of the night. I just keep shooting and don't know if they are good or bad until I get them up on the computer.

Two scrums follow where everyone battles for the puck.

You fly as fast as you can when you get the puck with the other team in hot pursuit.

The goalie sprawls to make a save as Jonathan (first and only sighting in this post) pursues the puck.

A Goal followed the the obligatory raising of the stick in celebration.

Maybe I will make the effort to go to the actual ultimate game tonight as far out of town as it is.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

A Little But Meaningful Gesture

It could have been Jonathan's final game of the season on Monday evening, that is if they had lost. But they won in a very exciting match and will have one more match on Thursday. Actually, there could be one more game after that but only if the teams play to a tie, and that is unlikely.

I was taken completely by surprise when the team called me into the dressing room pre-match. They had JJ present me with a travel mug to thank me for my photographic contribution to the team.

It was just a travel mug with a little inscription pasted on the surface, but it was such a nice gesture.

Carleton Place Kings 2018-2019, Official Team Photographer

There was even a little speech by the coach.

Card (not shown): Dear John, Thank you for the gift of your talents through our
season. It was Greatly appreciated. Atom B Kings

In the past I coached girls softball for about 7 years, sometimes head and sometimes assistant in both house league and travel. I can't recall ever being thanked even though it was a major commitment . Same with mentoring high school chess for 10 years or more, which was even more of a commitment. All I did this year was take photos as part of my little hobby, but the folk appreciated seeing them on FB, and I appreciate being appreciated.

It doesn't take much to acknowledge people and show a little gratitude. I wonder why we don't all do it more often.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Birthday Finale

Yesterday was a finale of Sue's protracted birthday celebrations. After the gifting and partying of the day before, you'd think we were at an end, but we weren't. No siree bob.

It was just the two of us. We had decided on another drive to Arnprior just to get chips/fries. Our fave chip truck of the many that adorn the region is up there, a half hour away. It's a long way to go for chips, but they are the best, and it is the only truck open this time of year. In point of fact, most others won't open for another two months.

It was another cold but sunny day, so the trip was enjoyable, and the parking lot at Wes' Chips was full. It was windy, so we ate in the car, and Sue took this photo with her phone. She was able to set it up, compose the shot, and click remotely with her watch. She thinks this is quite wonderful.

After consuming our fries, we headed to Robert Simpson Park but couldn't get past the parking lot. The Ottawa River is still frozen solid or almost solid. I'm sure that will change shortly and rapidly.

We then headed to Gillies Grove but didn't go past the entrance as we didn't feel in need of a snowy and slippery walk in the park. I did take a photo that didn't work out very well, so I turned it into more of a sketch.

In the afternoon, friends dropped by to wish Sue well.

Come evening we headed to Jonathan's hockey game. It could have been the final game if they had lost, but they won. It was a very exciting match, so enthusiastically played by both teams. (More to come in another post, I expect.)

JJ is #6 in the centre

And so ends the birthday month for this year.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Edit and Addendum

In my haste to post of Sue's birthday gift earlier, I posted this candid portrait.

It was fine, but as I contemplated it further, I decided that it required a little more brightening and contrast. I like it better anyway.

Here is the colour version.

The card that I made. Since I knew it was going to be a watch, I tried to incorporate the idea of time in the card. The first photo is the front (right) and back (left).

The inside.

The Big Surprise

The birthday party was yesterday, and there was a big surprise. Sue got an iWatch. We usually don't get this extravagant for presents, but since it will be our 50th anniversary in two months, I was looking for something a little beyond the ordinary. I pretty well knew that she would love it, and she did and does.

I'll post some more photos below, but needless to say, the kids were also very excited and very keen to help grandma figure things out. The batteries in my flash were failing me towards the end, so I had to do a little rescue in Lightroom, but it worked pretty well.