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CHOKE

Published May 14, 2013 - 3 Comments

How do you blow a 4-1 lead with a little over 10 mins remaining in Game 7?  Just ask the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Yes… after 9 years of waiting for their triumphant return to post-season play, the Leafs are once again practicing their golf swing.  And Leafs fans everywhere are trying to answer that seemingly unanswerable question… HOW?!?

It may have only been Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but any Game 7 involving the Maple Leafs is bound to stir up a lot of excitement in Leaf Nation.

And so it was last night, as I watched my dreams of a second round playoff series slowly implode before my very eyes, I could feel the collective weight of Leafs fans everywhere bearing down on me.  It was painful.

I personally don’t feel that the Leafs are guilty of sitting back and trying to protect their rapidly dwindling lead.  I think that it was simply their inexperience that left them unprepared (and scrambling) when the Bruins Juggernaut finally got rolling at full speed.  They panicked.  They fell apart.    They choked.

This Toronto team is young.  As heart breaking as last night was, I think that there is a good lesson to be learned here.  I predict that this small taste of Stanley Cup playoff success (Hey, they did better than Montreal or Vancouver) will light a fire inside of those young players, and the experience will translate into greater confidence and winning.

For now I’m forced to pin my hopes on the Ottawa Senators.

Another Leafs’ Season Comes to an End…

Published March 29, 2012 - 6 Comments

I’m pretty sure that I can just go back to last year and copy the same post… or the year before that.. or even the year before that… It’s not that the Leafs’ season has come to an end… but their playoff hopes certainly have.  (OK, let’s be honest… any chance of the Toronto Maple Leafs making the playoffs died long before they were “mathematically eliminated from playoff contention”)

It’s not to say that there haven’t been sparks of hope at various points throughout the season.  I can remember the day that I exclaimed to anyone who would listen “Toronto is #1 in the League!  Toronto is #1 in the League!”  Yeah… that was a good day.  I should have taken a screenshot of those standings.  As I look at the standings now, I see that Toronto is second last in the Eastern Conference.

The only consolation is that the Montreal Canadiens are in last place!

For now…

Memorable Edibles

Published June 4, 2011 - 1 Comment

I’ve talked about this in other posts, but when I go away somewhere I prefer to eat someplace that I can’t normally eat at when I’m home.  It doesn’t have to be any place fancy.  I just want to experience something new… which when you think about it, is a little uncharacteristic of me… but, that’s how I am.

Being in Ontario for a week provided me with plenty of opportunity to check out some places that I can’t eat at here.  Some of them, like Kelsey’s, were places that I have eaten at in the past… but it’s been a very long time.  I used to love Kelsey’s when I worked in Kingston many moons ago.  I have fond memories of Murph stuffing his trench coat with the occasional Kelsey’s glass… until we had an entire set!  I don’t know what ever happened to those glasses, but when Karen and I stopped at Kelsey’s on our first night, I asked our waitress if they had the same kind or not.  Turns out that their glasses don’t look the same as they used to, but the waitress was kind enough to give me one, so I didn’t have to steal it.  🙂

We went to a couple of other restaurant chains while we were in Ontario too.  I remember Chili’s from when I was in San Diego, but it was much better than how I remembered it.  I was worried that everything was going to be too spicy, but that wasn’t the case.  I guess that my tastes are maturing.

The Keg is one of those places that I’ve never eaten at, and wish that we had one around here.  After eating there, I don’t know if I could afford to frequent their establishment if they had a local one!  I had a great steak, but I also paid dearly for it.  But hey, I was on vacation, and that’s part of it.  At most of the meals, we made sure to try an appetizer, but we also skipped dessert.  It still adds up, though.  No regrets!

Applebee’s was another of those places that I’ve seen on TV, but had never been to.  Somewhere I have a pile of receipts, and wish that I could remember what I had ordered here… but I can’t.  It was good though!  I really never had a meal that I wasn’t happy with at any of these places.

Baton Rouge was one of the fancier places that we had eaten at (until my birthday dinner at the top of the Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls).  It’s one of Karen’s favourites, and someplace I’d never been to.  We decided to go there just before going to see The Lion King.  I was a little worried that we weren’t going to get to eat, because we didn’t have reservations, and this seemed like the kind of place that you would want to have a reservation… but the hostess asked if we were seeing a show afterward and what time that was… I think that helped us get in.

The Old Spaghetti Factory is a restaurant I’d never even heard of until going to Toronto.  I assumed that it was a local thing, but after a little searching, I see that it’s part of a chain of restaurants that started on the west coast.  Ah well… I think I liked the idea of it being a local thing more.  It was an interesting place to eat.  And how can you go to a place called The Old Spaghetti Factory and not try the spaghetti?  You can’t!  I was a little skeptical that I wasn’t going to feel full because I normally don’t order spaghetti in a restaurant,  but it filled me up quite well!  Or maybe it was all the free bread that our waiter kept bringing us.  As a side note… when a waiter calls you “bro”… it’s annoying.

I am sure that there were other places that we ate that should also be included in this post, and at some point I am going to think of more… but I think you get the idea…  I don’t like going somewhere and eating at McDonalds, even though I risk eating a fantastic meal that I might never be able to experience again…  or worse, pick something horrible from the menu… that’s not likely to happen since I stick to the same types of food, even if they are prepared somewhat differently.

Case in point… I don’t know how many different kinds of spinach dip appetizer that I tried, but there were several… each one was a little different from the last, and all equally good!

Pool Time

Published May 19, 2011 - 0 Comments

Just got back from the pool. Yes, you read that correctly. I was at the pool. In the water even! No, not swimming. I still have that on my list of things I’d like to learn. Someday. But I was floating on those noodle thingies while Karen pushed me around. She even abandoned me in the deep end to go get her sunglasses. I calmly floated around until she got back. It was actually fun. I’ve been here for a week and leave tomorrow. Had I realized I would have liked it, I should have gone there sooner.

We’re getting ready for one last trip into Toronto. Karen wants to meet up with an old friend and I want her to take me to the Ikea store so I can see what all the fuss is about. I never get the jokes about not being able to find your way out of one of their stores.

I’m glad that the sun finally poked through. Here, and home!

Still Resorting

Published May 18, 2011 - 2 Comments

I will have to write some proper blog posts when I get home, but I just wanted to fire something off quickly this morning.

It’s been a great getaway, even if the weather has been horrible! I’m almost happy to see that it’s just as bad at home as it is here! 🙂 We haven’t let the rain stop us. It’s actually been a bit of a help. Our outdoor activities have been coolish but we’ve avoided anything worse than a light rain. The zoo was almost empty of people! It was great!

Last night I saw my first theatre show. The Lion King. What an amazing performance! I will dedicate a post to last night at a later time, but I just needed to get it out there. The Lion King… Wow. $110 per ticket… And worth every penny!

Today is a scheduled relaxation day. I think the weather today is supposed to be the worst of the week, so we’re going to stay close. Doesn’t bother me at all. My feet hurt from all the walking. But I’m still having a great time!

My one disappointment… With my iPhone out of commission I have been unable to checkin via Foursquare at all these amazing locations! I have the iPad back in the suite but it’s just not the same. I would have loved to have been able to share some of my trip as it unfolded. Ah well…

Life goes on…