Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Memory Monday – The Coldest Hockey Game Ever

Growing up in rural Iowa I really didn’t have much of a connection to the sport of hockey.  The closest I really got was seeing a random game on television… and playing floor hockey in gym class.

That changed my junior year in high school.  I was working part-time at a local radio station and our sports director was also the public address announcer for the Waterloo Blackhawks.  He knew there would be times he’d have to miss a hockey game due to covering high school sports on the radio so he asked if I’d fill in for him.

The idea of being on the mic in a sports arena was appealing… but I was a little nervous since I knew absolutely nothing about hockey.  He assured me that I’d do fine and pointed out there would be two guys keeping stats and running the scoreboard that would help me out.

He also explained that the job wasn’t that hard.  Announce the starting line-ups.  Mis-pronouncing an opposing team members name was fine but he gave me a crash course in the hometeam’s names so I had that down.

Whenever there was a score I’d announce the time of the goal, who shot it, and who assisted.  The only other part to the job was calling out program winners.  “Blackhawk fans, turn to page “whatever” in your program. If you have a red star in the pizza ad bring your program to the announcer’s booth to get your prize.”

Yep.  I passed out prizes.  That’s also how I got paid.  I didn’t make any money.  My payment was getting to keep any prizes that went uncollected.  Over the course of the two seasons that I filled in, I walked away with lots of free pizzas, movie passes, bowling, and similar freebies.

My favorite part of that job was at the very beginning of every game.  After warm-ups, the team would leave the ice, have a little pre-game meeting/pep talk and then come back ready to play.

As they skated back on the ice, Gun’s N’ Roses “Welcome To The Jungle” would blare from the loudspeakers and I’d take to the mic. “Here come the Blackhawks!”  The crowd would go wild.  It really was quite a rush.

By now, you’re probably starting to wonder why this post is titled: The Coldest Hockey Game Ever.  It all goes back to my very first hockey game and my very first time announcing.

I wanted to fit in so I thought I’d wear team colors.  I chose a red t-shirt and black vest to go with my jeans.  Go ahead and laugh but vests were popular then.

Perhaps you noticed the flaw in my wardrobe selection.  I forgot to take into consideration that I’d be sitting on a slab of ice for two hours!  Adrenaline kept me warm for the first part of the game but by the 3rd period, I was frozen.  I got in my car and blasted the heat at the end of the night.

It was a lesson learned and after that, I dressed warmer.  A lot warmer!  That was one of the most interesting and fun part-time jobs I’ve ever done.

What’s a fun/interesting job you’ve had?

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What I’m Into Right Now – October 2017

Falling temps, leaves changing colors, pumpkin spice everything… it’s officially Autumn.  It’s also October which means it’s time for me to share a new list of things that I’m into.

What I’m Into Right Now – October 2017

My new backpack – I’ve been wanting a new backpack with a spot to fit my Chromebook.  After researching for quite some time on Amazon I settled on this one.  It’s perfect.  Not too big. Not too small.  The perfect amount of pockets to keep me organized. Plus, it has a USB charging port that I use my RAVPower portable battery charger with.

Thomas Rhett’s Life Changes album – I’m a big fan of this album and have listened to it a lot lately! You can check out my review here.

Dual Survival – If you saw my Tony Tries It: Survival Bracelet Fire Starter post you already know this.  I really like learning different ways to tackle survival scenarios.  This show has them.

Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix – Eating this in May just wouldn’t be right but now that it’s officially Fall I’m all about this tasty treat.   You can keep your lattes.  This is how I like to get my pumpkin spice fix. My recipe is in this post.

Football Friday Nights – It’s been fun cheering for our hometown team.  They’re having a great season.  We’ve got an awesome band and cheerleaders too.

What are you into right now?

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Tony Tries It: Survival Bracelet Fire Starter

My family has been testing out Hulu Plus with their free month trial offer.  I’ll probably share my opinions on that in a later blog post. What I will say now is that I love their assortment of survival shows.

I’ve been binge watching my favorite, Dual Survival.  If you’re not familiar with the show… it puts two guys in different situations and locations that require survival.  They, of course, have different techniques and tactics on surviving.

One of the things I enjoy seeing most on the show is the many ways they fulfill a basic survival need… starting a fire.  One of the ways is with a ferrocerium rod.

As luck would have it, I recently got a survival bracelet from Bass Pro Shops that contained one.  It has that and plenty of other useful tools for survival including an 8-10 foot length of paracord, a whistle, and a compass.

I wanted to see how well the fire starter worked so I decided to put it to the test to see how quickly I could start a fire.

Having watched many hours of survival television I knew that preparation is key when making a fire.  I gathered some downy, milkweed seeds and dry gas for tinder.  Then some smaller sticks to add once the fire got going.

So, how did it work?  I have to say I was surprised with the results. Check out this video to see for yourself.

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