A friend of mine told me the other day that a mere 2″ of shaft can make all the difference in the world, so I took her advice after buying a new stick to replace the one I broke last Thursday. I’m used to playing hockey with a short stick, as it gives much better control at the expense of a little power and reach. That was fine when I was playing forward, but I play D now and reach is really what it’s all about.
I was having problems poke-checking, passing, and making life difficult for the opposition, so decided to try a longer stick. Instead of cutting it down a couple inches below the chin (while on skates), I left an extra 2 inches or so on the length of the shaft this time. What a huge difference it made this eve. I was pissing everyone off by stopping them at the blue line, my passes were on the tape the majority of the time, and the extra reach let me deflect shots and grab pucks that normally would have sailed on by.
Tonight was the first game this season where I felt good about my play. I had a goal and three helpers, and the goal was a no-look give and go which we pulled off perfectly. I’ve got my wind back, and I’ve figured out how to tie my skates without crushing my feet. All-in-all, a very good way to end the day. Of course, now I’m totally wired and won’t sleep until 1 or so.
I stopped off at Patty’s for a pint and some soup, and talked to Hope (our friendly neighbourhood bartender) and her boyfriend Jim. Jim and I talked about self-employment, and he made a very strong case for it. It’s a lot of work, but it’s something I could probably sink my teeth into. His biggest recommendation was to work nights to begin with while you’re working full time, and understand the first 6 months would be lean. I knew this in theory, but it was nice to hear someone who has done very well tell me my assumptions were pretty much spot-on. Thanks, Jim, I owe you a beer.
I also managed to get onto the “I’ll get you list” of two of the servers. While talking to Jim, Mel decided to water my hat with a water pistol from 15 feet away or so. Hope lent me her water weapon, and mentioned that Mel wasn’t paying attention and now would be a good time for some payback. Instead of firing from my seat, I walked over to Mel on the premise of asking a question, and let her have it.
She got more than a little soaked. Cindy was laughing at Mel’s predicament, so I let her have it, too. Then the ice cubes and ketchup came out (but only the ice cubes were used, there was no way in hell I was going anywhere near someone with a ketchup bottle). Mel’s closing comments were “watch your back”. Did I mention she teaches Thai boxing?
A good end to a fairly crappy day. Oh yeah – it was my two year anniversary at my place of employment today. Whee.