From sports

Exploring Saskatchewan with a 2016 Ford Explorer

For the weekend, Ford Canada lent Jordon a 2016 Ford Explorer and sent us to the 2016 Ford World Women’s Curling Championships in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

2016 Ford Canada Explorer

Since I was working this weekend at Safeway, I got some co-workers to cover my shifts at around noon on Friday, Jordon showed up at my work and picked up essential supplies like some Pepsi, Diet Coke, iced tea, granola bars, and some Twizzlers for the trip.  After a short bit we were off.

As I climbed into the 2016 Ford Explorer, I couldn’t help but notice that there were seats where there were none before.  The back area has two seats and Oliver was in the third row of them.  He was buckled up and pretty pleased he had to share space with no one.    That left the middle row to Mark who was just as happy.

The third row of lay flat seats in the 2016 Ford Explorer

The Explorer is really nice on a road trip like this.  Oliver played his Nintendo 3DS XL in the back seat and wasn’t heard of for three hours.  Mark chilled out and read in the middle row of seats and never said a word.  Beside him was a small cooler we had that was full of ice and goodies.  He distributed the pop and the treats.

Up front there was a lot of room.  I wasn’t feeling good on Friday and had a sore lower back.  While Jordon was fiddling with his seat, he found the control to the seat massager.  Combine that and some heat, I was in a much better frame of mind.  It really made a big difference.  There is a low and high function for the massager.  I found the high a little too much but the low was perfect.

Interior of a 2016 Ford Explorer

For the ride down, we had ESPN Radio the entire way.  There are all sorts of charging jacks in the Explorer which are perfect for iPods or the iPhone but once with Sirius Satellite radio, what more do you need?  There are so many options.

Ford booked us a hotel at the Motel 6 in Swift Current.  The hotel is gorgeous.  We had a suite and kitchenette.  We didn’t really need one since we were only there for a night but I took the drinks out of the cooler and put them into the fridge and the ice back into the freezer.  Jordon wrote that the room felt like an Ikea showroom.  He was right.  From the color to the platform beds, it looked and felt like an Ikea.

Oliver on the bed in the Swift Current Motel 6

The beds were comfortable, the room was quiet until about 3 a.m. when a parade of loud drunks wandered in but all things considered but that only loud for a couple of minutes.  The hotel has fast wifi, the lobby had free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.  All things considered it was a really nice hotel.  I’d not only stay again but it would be my go to hotel in the area.

For dinner, everyone suggested Tong’s Wok.  It is gorgeous in there and I recommend you eat there if you are in or passing through Swift Current.  We ordered the meal for four.  Instead it looked like a meal for 8.  We were all hungry and ate exactly half of it.  The portion sizes are out of this world.

Oliver working on his angry face

Saturday morning we got up really early so we would have some time to explore a bit of Swift Current.  We grabbed breakfast at a packed Humpty’s and then went to Cypress Motors Ltd. where we picked up our tickets for the 2016 Women’s World Curling Championships.

After that we explored downtown Swift Current and saw the gorgeous First United Church and the downtown core.

The Imperial Hotel in Swift Current, SaskatchewanInnovation Credit Union in Swift Current, SaskatchewanInnovation Credit Union in Swift Current, SaskatchewanFirst United Church in Swift Current, SaskatchewanFirst United Church in Swift Current, Saskatchewan

At noon was the opening ceremonies at the Credit Union iPlex.

Heading into the Opening Ceremonies at the 2016 Ford World Women's Championships

Our tickets were split up so Oliver and Mark watched from a row higher than we were while Jordon and I sat below.

Opening Ceremonies at the 2016 Ford World Women's ChampionshipsThe M.C. was talking and all of a sudden he was interrupted by 13 bag pipes going all out and a squadron of drummers as the teams marched in.  It totally drowned out the iPlex’s sound system which was both funny and awesome.  There is nothing like 13 bag pipers marching in athletes from all over the world to get your heart beating.

Opening ceremonies of the 2016 Ford World's Women Curling Championships in Swift Current

Opening Ceremonies at the 2016 Ford World Women's Championships

Of course Canada came in to a large and loud cheer.  There were many short speeches and the World’s were underway.

There was about 90 minutes to kill between the opening ceremonies and the first draw.  Instead of leaving for a bit and rushing back, we saw the food selection at the iPlex and ordered there.  Such a better food selection than what SaskTel Centre has in Saskatoon.  I was happy, the boys were happy, my wallet was happy.  This is what stadium food should be.  Of course is was right beside the souvenir area.  Jordon wanted to buy me a toque that looked like a curling stone.  I vetoed that but he did get me an event shirt and some curling rock earrings.  Oliver was adamant that he got a Canadian Flag to wave.  How could one say no to that request.

2016 Ford World Women's ChampionshipsOpen Ceremonies at the 2016 Ford World Women's ChampionshipsOpen Ceremonies at the 2016 Ford World Women's ChampionshipsOpen Ceremonies at the 2016 Ford World Women's Championships

Our tickets were right beside the house for the Canada-Denmark game.  I had no idea what was happening at the far end but you could hear everything that was said in the Canada-Denmark game.   The seats next to us were empty so Mark and Oliver moved down to where we were.   Watching four games at once is challenging but as the Canada-Denmark game went on and went into extra ends, the entire stadium was full of tension.  When Canada won the game not only was everyone happy but relieved as well.

2016 Ford World Women's Championships2016 Ford World Women's Championships2016 Ford World Women's Championships

Now we need some shots of Canada.

2016 Ford World Women's Championships

Sitting in a stadium seat for several hours didn’t help my back that much.  After leaving, stretching and heading north up Highway #4, I turned out the heat on my seat and it felt amazing.  I know heated seats are sold as a winter feature but on a day like yesterday, they are worth so much more than helping the car stay warm, they really make a big difference when  I wasn’t feeling great.  It’s a great SUV and made this trip a lot of fun.

How A Michelin-Starred Chef Makes The Perfect Burger

Chef April Bloomfield — of The Spotted Pig and The Breslin fame — has a brand new spot opening up in New York’s Midtown this week. It’s called Salvation Burger, and The Meat Show Nick Solares got to go behind the scenes to see how it’s namesake menu item comes together.

Mother’s Day

I woke up early and went with Jordon to Saskatoon City Hospital while he got treatment and some tests on his foot.  It gets better for a while and then it gets way worse.  Today was a way worse kind of day.  The good news is that they did the test on his leg that he has been dreading and the results were amazing.  The leg is messed up but the long term prognosis is getting better.

After that ordeal was over, I had a nice brunch with  Mark and Oliver who then along with Jordon took me for a walk with our cameras along to Wanuskewin Heritage Park.  We got out there and it was closed for a special function (doh!).  We had been out on Sunday’s before but didn’t realize they also close on Sundays in the winter.

So we decided to go out to Pike Lake and check it out and The Gift of Green Nature Trail.  We walked the promenade but the trail wasn’t open yet and was still barricaded.  We will return to hike it for Oliver’s birthday (it was his idea and was excited about it).

The boys gave me a three disc frisbee golf set that I can use at the frisbee golf course in Diefenbaker Park.  I will try them out next weekend.  Jordon and Sean are tossing the discs once in a while (Jordon is terrible at it) so I may join them.

Frisbee Disc SetThey also got me a grip for my Olympus OM-D E-M10, some lightweight gloves for when we go to Grey Owl’s cabin, and some new headphones from Panasonic.   I must thank Hilary for introducing all of us to the joy of higher quality headphones (and reviews in The Wire Cutter in some tweets a couple of years ago.  My ears thank her.

Jordon had some photos of Mark, Oliver and Marley framed for me.  They look great.  Well the photos of Mark and Oliver look great, the one he picked of Marley was of me after I had to run after her after she bolted.  I look mad, Mark looks indifferent, and Marley looks defiant.    

I hope you are having a wonderful Mother’s Day as well.  

All.I.Can

The Walrus has more on the making of the film and this segment here.

MOSSOP WAS HOPING for rain when I visited him on location in Rossland, British Columbia, a small town plastered to a Kootenay mountainside. The film studies grad had spent most of the past two years living out of a truck stuffed full of cameras and tripods, a homemade crane, and several pairs of skis, and his hair was shaggy and unshampooed. While the rest of the town was out on the ski hill, revelling in the fresh snow, Mossop and J. P. Auclair, a darkly handsome ski pro from Quebec, sat forlornly in an empty coffee shop.

A few days earlier, they had begun filming a sequence that would make Auclair appear to be casually skiing through Rossland’s alleys, popping backflips over parked cars while an enormous nickel smelter at the foot of the mountain belched smoke in the background. To Mossop’s delight, it had been raining when they started, turning the snow grey and lending the scene a post-industrial gloom perfect for his purposes; to make it look like one continuous scene, however, the conditions had to hold, and unfortunately the temperature had dropped a critical few degrees.

“It’s puking,” said Auclair with a sigh, gazing out the window at the enormous flakes drifting down.

“Horrible,” Mossop agreed, raising an eyebrow. “We must be the first skiers on earth to be praying for rain.”

David Feherty: The Golf Channel’s Wild Man

David Ferherty & Tiger Woods out on the golf course

David Feherty is a bipolar recovering alcoholic and former touring golf pro who also happens to be one of the best interviewers on TV.

When Feherty debuted on the Golf Channel, did you purposely decide to be vulnerable and talk so openly about yourself?

None of it is planned. Like when Jack Nicklaus was on. He was talking about his father. My father has Alzheimer’s now, and I don’t know what to do for my mother, or how to approach my father. So I asked Jack for advice. He said, “Just love him. Just be there for him.” And it was a powerful moment. I’m at an advantage – all of my skeletons are out of the closet. I’m as fucked up as they come. I have to take 13 pills a day to be this normal.

What did you learn from your years of alcoholism?

It didn’t work for me when I was drinking. Nobody knew I had a drinking problem, until I showed up one day and was sober. A good drunk is worse than a bad drunk, because it’s going to kill you and people aren’t even going to notice. When I wrote my first book, a novel, I was hammered. I wrote it in a whiskey-induced coma. At one point I set my swimming pool on fire. Shot a tree in half in the backyard. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to write once I sobered up – that that’s where creativity came from. But if I hadn’t gone through that, I don’t think I’d have the viewpoint I have today. Now nothing matters other than the time I have left. I don’t live one day at a time – I live 20 minutes at a time. It drives my wife Anita crazy because I can’t think of what I’m doing tomorrow.

What turned you around?

The feeling I was failing my wife and daughter. Eight years ago, when she was seven, my daughter climbed on top of me and put her forehead on mine. I was on a La-Z-Boy with a bottle of Bushmills on the table beside me. I was half-man, half-mattress. And she’s smiling and says, “Dad, you need another bottle.” And I sent her to get one. Because I wasn’t where I needed to be yet. I’ll never forget her saying that to me, and it was part of the turning point.

He speaks about his depression in a 2013 interview

There’s no mystery to Feherty’s behavior. Six years ago, in a widely read Golf Magazine profile, the retired tour pro admitted to years of alcoholism and prescription drug abuse — a dance with clinical depression that had him drinking more than two bottles of Irish whiskey per day. The underlying diagnosis is Bipolar I disorder, a form of manic-depressive illness. Hypomanic symptoms consistent with Bipolar I include “inflated self-esteem, flight of ideas, distractibility, and decreased need for sleep” — which pretty much describes Feherty’s forgetfulness, his rants, and his four-in-the-morning trips to the garage to cut rifle-barrel threads on a lathe.

“Everybody’s brain chemistry is different,” says Feherty, freely conceding that his resembles the formula for Sara Lee lemon-meringue pie. Along with a daily regimen of antidepressants and mood-stabilizers he takes “an enormous dose” of amphetamines. (“They make other people hyper, but they make me relaxed.”) He wears his pharmaceutical leash grudgingly, but it’s way better than the despondency that engulfs him if he doesn’t take his meds.

“And occasionally I don’t,” he admits. “I have the brilliant idea that I’m all right now, that I’m no longer depressed.”

Asked to describe his depressive episodes, he stares at his hands. “I feel a hollowness inside that I wouldn’t wish on anybody.”

There’s no punch line. No kicker. That’s unusual for Feherty, who has been making people laugh since he assumed the “class jester” role at his school in Bangor, N.I., a Belfast exurb. Bangor is where he began, as he puts it, “playing the part of me.”

Here, for instance, is how Feherty, playing “Feherty,” talks about his alcoholism:

I would go for my annual physical once every three years [arched eyebrows] and my numbers were all right, until the last one. My doctor was looking at the chart, and he said, “How much are you drinking?” And I thought, Oh god [slumped shoulders], here we go. I said, “Well, you know, one and a half, two and a half bottles a day.” He said, “Of wine?” And I said, “No, Irish whiskey.” The doctor said, “My god [mouth agape], these numbers should be in Cooperstown! They’re Mickey Mantle’s! Have you ever thought about getting help?” And I said, “No! [bewildered look] I can drink it all by myself!”

You can’t help but laugh. But if you’re Feherty, you’re wondering what kind of damage the whiskey and pills did to your ruminative organ. And you’re asking Anita why, in a country where Debbie Does Dallas can be overnighted with a single click of the mouse, there’s a two-month wait to get a brain scan.

Make sure you watch this amazing interview with Tom Watson where Watson talks about his own addiction and the intervention that he held that saved David Feherty’s marriage and life.

CrossFit’s insecurity is showing

Good article in Outside Magazine about the founders of Crossfit not really being team players.

I’d spent the past two-and-a-half years reporting on obstacle racing, a sport whose meteoric growth was greatly fueled by CrossFitters looking for a place to test their strength. I wanted to see what a straight-up CrossFit competition was like. Instead, my press pass was denied.

“Outside Online has published headlines and articles about CrossFit and the CrossFit Games that lead us to question Outside Magazine and Outside Online’s editorial intentions,” said the email from CrossFit Press, which arrived after we reached out to Greene. The email listed four Outside articles to which CrossFit had taken offense: a report on a Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research study that suggested CrossFit has a 16 percent injury rate, a report on the subsequent lawsuit between CrossFit and the journal (published by the National Strength and Conditioning Association), the NPFL story, and another story digging deeper into injury statistics.

No mention was made, however, of the stories we’ve published trumpeting CrossFit’s stars like four-time CrossFit Games champion Rich Froning, pointing readers to the regimen’s best boxes, or even promoting CrossFit-inspired training plans. Outside has covered all aspects of the fitness trend since it began.

With that in mind, we asked CrossFit to reevaluate its decision. CrossFit is important to us and to many of our readers. We were eager to cover the games. Again, we were rejected. This time, our email didn’t even elicit a response.

Denying our press pass is like the NFL writing, “Dear ESPN, We can’t let you cover the Super Bowl, because you covered the traumatic-brain-injury concerns of NFL players.” By CrossFit’s logic, every major media outlet in the United States should be blackballed, from the New York Times to USA Today, because we’ve all covered CrossFit injuries.

Keith Olbermann on How the NFL Encourage Violence Against Women

For years Jordon has been talking about how professional sports encourages violence against women by minimizing punishment and the actions of athletes who do violent acts.  Keith Olbermann agrees and broadcast this much watch segment on how women are treated by the media, by their colleagues, and by other athletes and how that leads to violence.  Even if you are not a sports fan, watch the video.