Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"Curling Recap #2"

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It's curling time again!

Did Amber and I do any better this time? Well...maybe a little bit, but there wasn't any huge improvement. Then again, it was the first time in a month. There isn't going to be a lot of improvement until we start playing every one or two weeks (or a bunch in one day), two things which we should have opportunities to do in the coming months. The hardest thing to pick up is judging the weight of the throws, because the ice is always changing during each match. And, I don't have my release perfected from a mechanical standpoint to be able to compensate for anything. It's pretty much just a guessing game. It's actually a lot like judging the speed of putts in golf. With putting, I've been able to judge the speed fairly well by controlling how far back my "swing" goes. Maybe I should do the same kind thing with curling, and as I play more, I'll start to develop a "feel" more akin to what I have on the putting green. And now that I have two games under my belt, I know more of what to expect with respect to the ice conditions next time. So maybe then, I can start concentrating more on the line, which admittedly has been kind of an afterthought up to this point. (Which, being the lead, you don't have a bunch of other stones in the way, so the line isn't really that important.)

The people who organize the "pickup" curling do a good job of evening out the teams. So, that's why Amber and I haven't been on the same team yet, instead being the leads of opposing teams. So now, here's your half-assed match recap, where I only remember numbers, not actual throws:
- Amber's team, with last rock in the first end, scored two in the 1st and one in the 2nd to take a 3-0 lead.
- My team scored in the next four ends, with two, one, one, and one (not necessarily in that order), to take a 5-3 lead with two ends to go.
- Amber's team scored one in the 7th, setting up my team with last rock and a one-point lead heading to the 8th end. But instead of "holding serve" (which doesn't happen as much here as it does in Olympic-level curling), Amber's team scored 3. And since we had extra time, we went ahead and played a 9th end also. (Two hours is usually just enough time for 8 ends, but I guess we played abnormally quickly.) But my team only scored one in the 9th, resulting in a final score of 7-6, with Amber's team winning. So, with two nights of curling under our respective belts, each of us have a one-point win.

On our end, Amber and I each had some good throws once again. Our best throws were often kind of lucky, usually consisting of at least one "bounce" off another rock. It was frustrating at times, because as soon as I thought I figured it out, I throw one right past the target. I don't know if it's like this every time, but early on the ice is slow, and then it picks up speed as the match progresses. I'll have to remember that for next time.

Curling was Friday night, and on Sunday, my arms were sore, particularly my upper arms. But I don't think that's from throwing the stones, but rather from sweeping. You only throw two stones per end, but you sweep six times. (At least, the leads and the seconds do. The thirds sweep four times, and the skips never sweep.) It's a good workout, especially for someone with weak, girly arms. (I'm referring to me there, not Amber.)

Future curling events: two more pick-up curling sessions this summer, followed by the "summer mini-bonspiel", an all-day event on August 18th. (That's the same event that I went to last year just to see what it was all about.) There's also going to be a fall league (13 weeks, with each team playing in 9 of those) that Amber and I intend to sign up for. Maybe by the time that league is over, we'll be a little bit better.

Last Year: "Raleigh Disc Golf, Part 2". Many of the "predictions" I make in this blog don't hold any water, but the ones I made in this blog have. I have played the Cornwallis Road course many times after work. And, I haven't been back to the Buckhorn course since then. See, sometimes, I'm not full of crap. Regarding to the random thought on the colors of milk at different grocery stores, Kroger is another store that uses light blue for skim and green for 1%. I've yet to notice what colors they use for 2% and whole.

Tomorrow: "How To Shop At Best Buy". Best Buy used to be the coolest thing ever. Now? Well...you just have to know what you're doing in there.

Today's random thought:

- While at curling, someone gave us a couple of free tickets to see the Goo Goo Dolls in concert on Sunday night. (With "special guest" Lifehouse!) But, we didn't feel like going. Can you blame us? Part of the problem was that on the Walnut Creek Amphitheater web site, it said that due to the heavy crowds that most concerts attract and the resulting traffic delays, you need to plan on arriving 1½ to 2 hours before the concert begins. Yuck. That just isn't worth it, at least not for the Goo Goo Dolls.

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