Monday, September 15, 2003

FINALLY some actual hockey! ... and other news

Last weekend was pretty cool. On Friday night, my parents, Mark, and I went to the surprise 50th birthday party for my cousin Joe's wife, Christine. The only negative was that the drive down was terrible... we had to drive from Philly to Smithville, NJ (in the general vicinity of Atlantic City) at rush hour, in twilight, in rain and fog. UGH on the commute. We got there quite literally about two minutes before the guest of honor. The hostess at the Smithville Inn shooed us into the side room where the party was being held, and we arrived just barely in time to avoid being seen prematurely and spoiling the surprise.

I remember having visited The Historic Town of Smithville when I was in high school. I really enjoyed it. I think I'd like to suggest it to my friends for our next group day-trip outing. In fact, I also think I'll look it up online and if it's accessible to deaf-blind people, maybe we can have THAT group of friends make a visit there, too. In either case, I'm certain Hat Trick will like it. :o)

Saturday rocked: it was the first (and probably the only, this year) visit I was able to make to the Flyers/Phantoms training camp. How great it was to see our boys on the ice again! :o)!!! They were using both ice surfaces at once for drills during the morning session; in the afternoon, there was a scrimmage on the Flyers' rink, mostly consisting of the kids from juniors and guys from the Phantoms. The rest of the players, primarily Flyers guys, returned to the ice to do drills on the Phantoms' rink. Neil Little and the two baby goalies from juniors (Rejean Beauchemin and David Tremblay) were on the Flyers' side for the scrimmage; since there were three of them, they each took part of the scrimmage. Neil let in two goals during his portion of the game... the first one was an impossible save, but he looked pretty miffed about the second one. The final score was 2-0, but since the goalies switched around I forget if it was team black or white that actually won, lol. Oh, well.

Speaking of baby goalies: during the morning session, I was in the Flyers' rink watching the drills where Neil Little, Robert Esche, and Rejean Beauchemin were the goalies. Neil is a big nutball... he stood behind Rejean during the "huddle" where everyone was gathered around the coach for instructions. He kept poking Rejean in the back of the leg with the tip of his goalie paddle. Poor baby goalie, he's probably used to being around SANE people. He kept turning around to see what was touching him, but of course by then the goalie paddle was nowhere near him. LOL... as one of my fellow fans describes it, they're all little boys in grown men's bodies. ;o)

When the scrimmage was over, I wandered over to the other rink, and watched the Flyers' goalie coach, Rejean Lemelin (boy, we like guys with that name, don't we? :o) ) working with the two Flyers goalies, Jeff Hackett and Robert Esche. The guys looked good overall. It was interesting to watch some of the situations that the coach was giving our netminders to deal with. The seven players who were assisting by taking the shots on goal were having fun with it, and so were the goalies. :o) That was my first sight of Jeff Hackett in a Flyers uniform. Out of the goaltenders who were available this summer, I was hoping that he would be the one we brought on board. I'm looking forward to watching him play here.

AACK on the weather we had on Monday, btw... we had an absolute freaking MONSOON all afternoon, particularly during the rush-hour drive home. MAN, was that horrible. Norristown's streets were under water for the entire distance from here to the Blue Route (I-476). It wasn't until I got to the highway portion of the drive home -- the part I was most worried about -- that the roads improved and the rainfall eased up until it was a NORMAL "heavy rain" situation. Blah... and we are supposed to get weather from Hurricane Isabel in a couple of days? YUCK and double yuck, we're already waterlogged and we need more heavy rain like we need a hole in the head. :o( Here's hoping the hurricane heads in whatever direction will cause it to affect this region as little as possible, because we already had flooding in this region on Monday night. More heavy rainfall will only cause us more of the same.

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