Monday, June 30, 2008

Canada - 1: NH - 0

Following the camp my fellow instructor and myself went to the gym, got a good workout in and then game back and decided on a friendly game of tennis here at the hotel (yes, they have their own tennis court - though I don't think anyone has played on it in a while before us). He won the set, 6-3. He may be up 1 set to none, but I'll get him tomorrow, I have age on my side!

Manchester, VT: Day I

Turns out, the other instructor came in late Saturday night, well after I had gone to bed, and ended up getting a hotel. I was able to pick him up there and we took off for Manchester, VT after a little breakfast. He's a great guy, very laid back and personable and knows the sport so well. He's a middle aged guy from Calgary, Alberta, Canada who played several years of professional hockey and has even coached a professional team - a farm team for Montreal - for a couple years. The car ride was enjoyable and quick, mostly due to the stories I heard from his days on the pro circuit and other hockey stories that are insightful and just interesting. Outside of the car ride, yesterday just consisted of meeting the local coordinator for the camp and then exploring the town to see what was there. It was good to get out of the hotel room to keep my mind off the camp I was about to run.

That brings me to my next topic - the first day of camp! There wasn't much to say about Monday's camp. I was head instructor of the goalies and had to run that end of the camp, while my fellow instructor was running the player camp. I only had 6 goalies, this made my job much easier for the day in terms of keeping track of kids, but that meant I only needed two stations to rotate them through. Unfortunately, only having two stations means that I have to stop after every drill and explain the next drill. Thankfully the shooters understood the drill and were extremely willing to help - this is key to a successful camp - so when one goalie didn't understand I didn't have to hold all of the others back. This also allowed me to roam more openly and watch every kid. We did the "Fusion" style camp, this week, which means that the players and goalies will do drills together for an hour or so, allowing both goalies and players to see "game situation" style shots. Most of the camp was mostly skating, for both groups, so technique on saves wasn't great, but that will be resolved tomorrow.

Following the two on ice sessions (skills and fusion), it was time for lunch and then dry land conditioning, finishing off with video analysis of the kids performance at the "video" station. Here we record them performing a couple of drills so that we can then bring the video off the ice and pause the video, allowing the kids to see their own performance and mistakes so they can correct it in the future. This has to be one of the greatest teaching tools in any camp. Dry land was interesting... the kids were wild (they'll need to skate harder tomorrow) and only wanted to play games. They said all of the previous years they played tons of games... but that's why my fellow instructor was called in - he comes when things are bad... he's the one man cleanup crew. It'll be a long week, but we got through to a lot of kids today - tomorrow is a new day; we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

First Day

Today was finally my first day on the job for Rick Heinz. Although my first camp doesn't start until Monday, I had to pick up a fellow instructor from the airport in Albany, NY. About 1pm I left my girlfriends house near Syracuse, NY (where I had arrived at 11pm last night) and hopped on good old I-90. I must say I hated the thought of leaving her... we have spent nearly everyday since our college graduation together... well over a month... it seemed like that was how it was supposed to be. Sadly, though, I had to do this trip alone. I'll get to see parts of Vermont, Connecticut, and New Jersey (woo hoo for Jersey) without her... something I would truly rather do with her. I'd much like to see America with her, and not on my own.

Anyway, 2 1/2 hours after leaving Syracuse I arrived in Albany to find that the instructors plane was delayed, which I half expected due to the weather. So I hung out at Starbucks, drinking tea and reading a play required for Dartmouth - for orientation that is - on research ethics. It's actually an interesting play, in fact I normally do not enjoy reading plays, but obviously I can relate to this one and it is interesting how everything transpires. It's called "A Stampede of Zebras", by Robert C. Martin, if you're ever in the mood for a story on ethics. Yeah, no worries, I know you're not.

Finally, the time came to pick up the other instructor. I went to the airport and found his flight had arrived, so I waited by the luggage carousel for a man of his description wearing a Rick Heinz shirt. After about a half hour of waiting I saw no one that looked anything like his description. Still, I waited longer, until the lights identifying carousel 3 as the one for his flight dimmed and began to read "Welcome to Albany International Airport". The sign saying Chicago never reappeared - he was not going to show up today. I went to the United counter to see if I could trace him; maybe he missed a connection? No, it turns out he had to be rerouted and was not arriving until tomorrow morning. What was I to do? I was expected to arrive with him at our hotel in Vermont this night! I got a hold of the hotel and informed them of the change and found refuge with family friends near Saratoga Springs. I shall return tomorrow to find him - if he's there.

100 Mile View

Yesterday, my girlfriend and I returned to NY after a brief stay in NH. She worked from "home" and I did a whole lot of nothing... well, I stacked wood for 5 hours two days before we left, but that was all. It was a relaxing time in which we accomplished barely anything and had time to spend together and enjoy each others company. I did get her to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy though, which was quite a feat; she even liked it! The girl who was once bored by such tales found the story suspenseful and interesting. Next trilogy to get her to watch: the original Star Wars; but that is for another time.

The ride back to NY was the same trip as usual. We started out talking about this and that until she grew tired and dozed off. It's always near the end of the road, just outside of Bennington, VT that she gets sleepy. So for an hour or so she dozes off and I have time to think on my now solitary journey - until we get to the first rest station on I-90. This time I thought about something that was spurred by my watching of Lord of the Rings. Now, it is by no means meant to be taken as deep philosophical thought - but I contemplated Tolkien's view of technology; that it is evil. Now it may seem like the thought of a radical hippie, but technology might lead to the fall of Man. The progression of technology invades nature and steals its wonder from us. I could go on and on about my thoughts that I was having at that point, but I won't... I need to further think everything through and decide how I really feel on the issue.

We did get to see a most wonderful view, a 100 miles view (though the fog may be hindering that full view) from atop Hogback Mountain along Route 9 in Vermont.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Holy eBay!

Well, so much for hockey today. My usual M-W-F pick up hockey was apparently canceled, or at least the one of the women in the office didn't care to answer my call. I could have just went, and not called ahead to reserve my spot, but I would hate to drive 40 minutes only to find that they had enough goalies and that I wouldn't be able to play. So instead, I'm up early trying to keep myself occupied. I would go back to bed to get some more sleep, but I've already had my cup of morning coffee - which reminds me, I need a refill!

As an alternative to hockey this morning, I have decided to check up on my first sale item on eBay. Yes, my first one. I know many of you have sold tons of items, or have at least tried it before, but I have only bought a few things, but have never sold anything. My father is a big eBay guy, so I normally just leave it to him. The other day, though, I was going through my old toys from when I was a kid and found my old Might Morphin Power Rangers toys. Thinking I would keep them for my kids, I never really thought of the fact that my kids probably won't be interested in the original Power Rangers, so why am I keeping this stuff? I brought out the toys, got them all organized and collected the pieces to each figure and started taking pictures (with my new digital camera!) Before I listed, though, I did the smart thing and research Power Rangers toys on eBay to decide what was selling and what wasn't. To my surprise I found two of the toys that I had were selling between $50-$100! For items that cost $10 in 1993 I'm not sure if this is a great increase in price, but these items really are hot. There is a major bidding war of the original toy morpher and power gun. Luckily, mine are in great shape and are catching a lot of attention. I have already had a couple of offers for people to buy it and forgo the auction, but I think I'm going to let the auction take it's course for a little while. I also have the original Deluxe Megazord listed which has fetched a price over $100 when complete, even outside of the box! I'm missing one tiny piece, which is frustrating the crap out of me, because I know I have it somewhere! So if you're interested in Power Rangers toys, check it out. I should be posting more items soon.

So long for now.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Goodnight Birds

I have found, recently, that I am failing at this whole "sleeping" thing. You see, I tend to go to bed late, for example, last night, at approximately 4:30am I was saying goodnight to the birds that were saying good morning to me. My shades were beautifully lit by the early morning sun and the birds were singing a very pleasant good morning song, had I not been trying to sleep I might have enjoyed it, but instead I was contemplating a way to either tell them to go back to sleep for 5 more minutes (actually more like 5 hours) or reverse the Earth's rotational spin so that the sun would go back down. Neither worked. I guess tonight I'll try the whole going to bed early tactic people rave about. I don't have high hopes for that one.

Ode to the Windshield Wiper

The 5 hour journey from NY to NH is a trip that I have come to enjoy, despite having driven the route countless times. It's a simple route: I-90 to I-87 until you hit route 7. This turns into route 9 in Vermont which is followed all the way to NH. See, simple.

On this trip my girlfriend joined in the fun, taking a ride to NH where she'll stay for a while, right up until before I have to travel to my first goalie camp - which actually involves returning to NY in order to pick up a fellow instructor in Albany. I always enjoy her presence on the trip. She keeps the mood light and helps to keep me awake while on 90. Aside from the great conversations, she's always singing no matter what song is on the radio... and she always seems to know the song on the radio... it's really quite amazing. Unfortunately, as we travel East, every radio station seems to only last for a few minutes and with no way of knowing what stations lie ahead, most of her time is spent searching for clear signals. In fact, we actually found that John Tesh (or however you might spell his name) is on all the time... and each station, as we moved out East, was slightly behind the other. Hence, we heard the same segments of his show over and over. Quite funny if you ask me, but really annoying! Several trips ago we decided that we should create a list of every radio station, or as many as we could find, in each area along 90 and the subsequent roads that we encounter. We believe every rest area should contain a list of the stations along 90 so no one needs to search the radio, every station would be listed with musical genre, easing the frustration of that annoying static.

The trip, otherwise, was fairly monotonous, filled with the usual twists and turns. There was a lot of rain, though, particularly in Vermont. Seeing as my wipers are in perfect shape they left wonderful smears right in my line of sight... no where else on my side of the windshield except right in my line of sight! Why is it that wipers always know where you're looking? They know right where you need to see so that they can distort the image you're trying to develop in your mind as best as possible. I'm pretty sure wiper blades hate people, plain and simple. Could I get new blades you might be asking? Yes... mine are quite old, nearly a year old in fact. Still... new blades would last, what, two weeks? and then proceed to laugh at you as they smear rain water and dead bugs right in the middle of the windshield.

There isn't much else that happened today or this evening. Just settling in at home and relaxing, enjoying the presence of my lady and my puppy (who just turned 14).

P.S. ~ To my windshield wipers... beware!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Further Introduction

For those readers who may not know me, I feel that I should take some time and give a brief introduction... well, it may not turn out to be brief. The first and most obvious question, would concern the title of the blog itself, "Adventures of a Northeastern Man". Yes I am really from the Northeast, a small town in New Hampshire, in fact. I can not, though, claim to have spent my entire life in the town which barely represents a dot on a map of the state. I began my existence in Saratoga Springs, New York. This is where I lived over half my life, thus far.

Following New York I had a stint in the Midwest, 6 years in small town Illinois, actually. Fate finally drew me back to the Northeast, a location where I feel I truly belong. My parents moved to New Hampshire when I was 16, and although I spent time in Illinois for one more year to finish high school, I returned to New York for college.

I attended a medium sized university in Central New York... and now, not the City. And no, it isn't Upstate New York as much as those city folk like to think... Upstate New York, in my mind, is the North Country by Canada. I won't get into my feelings on those from the City or their thoughts on us cow milkin' folk (though I have never actually milked a cow... I'm such a bad redneck apparently.) Oh, in my rambles I forgot to mention the University; it was SUNY Oswego, in Oswego, NY... you know... near Syracuse? Yeah, that normally does the trick, if not, Google Maps does wonders!

So here I am, 21 years since birth, getting ready for an exciting summer of goalie camps and preparation for graduate school where I will be returning to New Hampshire to attend Dartmouth College. I suppose I should take some time aside to explain my educational background... and don't worry, I'll start with Oswego.

At Oswego I met my wonderful girlfriend while tutoring her in Calculus. This was, I believe, the best thing Oswego had to offer me. I'd like to take this time now to thank the tax payers of New York for my scholarships which payed for me to meet the most wonderful girl anyone could have imagined. I was a physics major with an astronomy minor... and I actually earned a mathematics degree but didn't declare it, oh well! I also did a bunch of research at Oswego and the University of Rochester with almost the entire extent of my research focusing on astronomy with brief stints in Wind Power, Vibrational Characteristics of Tennis Rackets, and Nuclear Physics. The details of all my research would take too long and put too many people to sleep, so I will resist the temptation to ramble at this point - but I will continue if I ever feel inclined, no worries!

Anyway, 4 years of Oswego and 2 and a half of my wonderful girlfriend culminated in my acceptance into Dartmouth College for graduate school! Unfortunately, my girlfriend will be attending Oswego for graduate school, so we won't be close until she finishes her masters program at which point she can join me in NH as I finish my PhD program - very exciting!

I really have no idea what I was going to write at this point... I found that I went off on far too many tangents and lost my train of thought. Oh! How could I forget! I play hockey... have since I was 8... and I'm a goalie... hence the goalie instruction job. I can get into that on a later date. Maybe tomorrow? I need to write a lot and often at this point while I still have motivation to keep up on this thing!

Hope I didn't lose too many of you... for I think I lost myself.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Story of Creation

Welcome! The Adventures of a Northeastern Man will document not only my travels over the next few months, but ideally, it will record the events and travels occurring in my life over the coming years. The idea, I must admit, was not my own - in fact I have been of the mindset that blogs are a waste of time and resources, especially as a college student... well, graduate student as of last month.

The idea came from a my girlfriend's father's girlfriend. She was aware of my upcoming summer job as a goaltender instructor for the Rick Heinz Goaltender Camp where I would be traveling throughout the Northeast. "You should blog it," were her exact words. Dismissing the notion at first, I later thought, "You know what? That would be an interesting story to tell." I figured she and my girlfriend would be the only ones to read it, but even if two people are entertained then the blog has served it's purpose.

So here I am, my first post on my first blog. The camps don't start for a couple of weeks, but if I didn't begin the blog now, I probably would have pushed it off and never have done it. Hopefully people will find it enjoyable to read; it might not be a deep insight into the human psyche, but the locations may turn out to be of interest and something funny always happens at camp!

So long for now.