Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ice Hockey on the Pond

After the recent cold snap, more then a week well below zero, i was invited by a guy from work to head down to the local pond for a little ice skating/hockey during lunch. Having never skated on a frozen piece of water before (only ever in a rink) i was a little sceptical when he was saying "it should be thick enough". He called me last night and let me know there were people skating on it so we were 'green for go'.

I was really happy when we came into sight of the 'pond', i'd call it a small lake, and saw heaps of people on it and also areas where no one had been so the ice was nice and fresh. So we parked the car, doned the skates and jumped on. I was very cautious at the start as I could see the thickness of the ice and was struggling to believe that only 10cm was required for skating. It just looked soooooo thin. Anyway after a few minutes i was feeling very confident and up to speed.

I was told that the ice was thinner on the edges so be careful when retrieving the puck from the edge. Well after a minute or 2 about 5 kids and few other adults came over and we started playing. At one point i had a big stack and heard a VERY LOUD cracking and was thinking i would be swimming but it was all good. Another bloke took a ENORMOUS fall where his skates went in the air and he fell strainght onto his arse on the ice. There was an almighty crack but again nothing. It was only when it was cracked that you could see just how thick it was. Where this bloke fell over it must have been 20cm + thick and totally safe.

Anyway we played for an hour or so they put the shoes back on and went back to work. What a great way to spend a lunch break
Anyway hope everyone has a happy new year

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cross Country Skiing

So with the recent cold snap (has been below zero day and night for 6 days) and a little snow in the mountains near Michaela's parents place we decided to head for my first x country skiing experience. We went with one of Michaela's school friends partners and i was borrowing some of his gear.
They had to explain to me that there are 2 types of skiing. Traditional style and skating style, and we were doing the skating style as the skis are set up differently for each type. I figured I can ski and I can skate therefore i should be able to skate on x country skis ..................... WRONG.

What an interesting sport and damn hard to get used to. After the first 50m i had been on my face or arse about 4 times and was starting to get really annoyed. So i took it slowly and started to gradually get used to it. It think my biggest issue was the different in ankle support. My ice skates have heaps of support (very stiff boot) where as these x country skis have almost none (comparitively speaking) and the ski has no metal edge which took me some getting used to.
Anyway after a hour and a bit we had done our 6km and was time for a soup. I had been sweating profusely, had taken my beanie and gloves off and was now sporting a frozen mo hawk as the -10 degree temperature had frozen my sweaty hair almost instantly. Classic.
Anyway, i wasn't great the first time but i was getting the hang of it by the end so perhaps i will give it another go.

Later this week i might be trying my first ever pond ice skating as the ice is really thickening up and some of the guys at work want to play hockey in our lunch break. Here is my xmas present from Michaela, a thermometer unit for indoor and outdoors. So in this image it is 17 indoors and -7 outdoors (has a sensor outside which transmits the temperature reading into the unit).

until next time

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The pig kill is coming

This weekend I find out if I am a man or a soft stomached weener boy who vomits at the first sight of blood.

I am hoping I am 'a man'.

Although I am concerned the pig kill is the day after the work xmas party where I am expected to consume alcohol. Perhaps I will be weener boy??????

Only time will tell

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Inconvienient Truth

As a youngster I was lucky enough to have parents that thought it was a good idea to send me skiing ans snowboarding as often as possible. Perhaps it was so they could have some "alone time" (wink wink) but I don't want to think about that. Anyway over this period I began to think that snow can only be associated with skiing, snowboarding and trips to Canada to visit the family ................ oooohhhhhhh was I in for a nasty return to reality when I walked outside to go to work to be met by a heavy snow storm.

I don't want to have to go to work in the snow this is depressing!!! I should be in my snow clothes frollicking through the fluffy powder making snowmen and pelting snow balls at unsuspecting old ladies. It appears this is my inconvenient truth .............. "Even when it snopws you still have to go to work"

Lesson 1
Getting leather souled business shoes to take traction in snow on a slight uphill gradiant is harder than getting peadaphelia charges to stick to Michael Jackson ................... its just not going to happen and the most likely outcome is either a torn groin muscle or a busted tail bone.

Lesson 2
In the Czech Republic, "no" means "yes" (seriously). In hindsight this has no revelance to snow but interesting none the less

Lesson 3
Despite looking totally ridiculous using an umbrella in the snow shower is very effective

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Inter-racial relationships WTF

I have been noticing a pretty significant trend over here and even when in Australia. It seems that Aussie men are choosing Czech women but Aussie women aren't choosing Czech men. When you meet a expat in this country you make one of 2 assumptions about HIM.

1. He is married to a Czech woman or in a registered gay domestic relationship (defacto status isn't recognised in this country for hetero relationships)
2. He is on a lucrative expat contract and is being paid in GBP or Euro or USD and living it large in this country

I believe there are 2 reasons for this lack of Aussie women with Czech men.

1. The first and most obvious is i reckon Czech men really dove into the shallow end of the good looks pool. I am not trying to make out I am a Don Juan or Fabio, I am certainly not but i really think there is not much to choose from for the ladies. I had a really good joke with a gay Canadian bloke at work. I asked him why he was here, because he is a gay man living in a country were the men are ugly and the women smoking hot (my wife included :D) ................. surely there would have been a better country to choose from. We had a good laugh about this.

2. The second is that Czech women are phenomenal cooks (yes a big generalisation) and they spoil their sons rotten with good food. Michaela used to tell me stories about when she came home from school her mum would say the food is in the fridge. Yet 5 minutes later when her brother arrived home she would jump up from the seat and rush to the kitchen and make him some snacks. You just don't get this sort of treatment from Aussie women, especially girls from my generation. I was chatting to a friend the other night and his girlie tried to cook him a chicken and ended up shorting out the entire apartment block and undercooking the chicken. I SAY GIVE ME A CZECH WOMAN

Anyway, it is an interesting trend and out of the 10 Aussie women i know in this country not one of them is married to a Czech guy.

I will keep you updated on this observation

Monday, December 8, 2008

Night in the village pub

Well on Saturday night Michaela and I went to the pub in her parents village (300 person village). Good times in respect to the alcohol prices. $1 for a beer, $1 for a wine and $0.70 for a shot of Slivovice (damn nasty stuff). Well upon arriving I had every set of eyes on me as the whispering said "that's the Australian bloke that the Moukova girl married". I started getting asked questions about whether I sleep in a beanie/tuke because i can't handle the cold?

I had to quickly reply i only sleep with a beanie when my kangaroo won't let me sleep in it's pouch ............................ BLOODY REDNECKS HAHAHAHAHAHA (although they enjoyed the joke as well).

Anyway i started playing a czech game that resembles pool but there are no pockets and only 4 balls but the concept of angles etc is all the same.
Anyway about half way through the game against one of Michaela's friends husbands (Jirka), the peanut gallery of local redneck losers start making comments like "She couldn't find a bloke in this country so she needed to go overseas to find a husband". I thought it was quite hilarious the idiots didn't realise they were only putting shit on themselves by saying they weren't good enough, but there was nothing i could do to help the inbred hillbillies understand. That was fine but Jirka took it as an insult aimed at him and got all fired up. Unfortunately I doubt the 47 beers he had drunk would have assisted his fighting abilities so I had to quickly ease the situation with a mix stupid czech and pats on the back all round :D.
Obviously due to Jirka's intoxication and my perfect amount of "aiming fluid" i whooped his arse in the game ..................... TWICE (payback for a previous billiards flogging he handed me on his playstation).

Other then the idiots we had a great night and I got on great with most of the locals (with the assistance of my translator wife). The pub is an interesting place with a deers head mounted on the wall next to porn centrefolds which was a combination of pub memorabilia i have never seen before.
Before leaving the village to return to Prague i went to Czech on the xmas pig which is fattening up 'just nicely' and now weight in at a considerable 150kg and should put on another 10-15kg in the next 12 days. Good times.
Until next time

Xmas markets are here

Well about bloody time, I have been stinging for a Svařák (aka Gluhwein aka spiced red wine). The other night, the bride and I went to the city because the markets had begun and we had a great time. Prague's center is pretty at the worst of times but with a few markets, a cup of spiced wine and a sausage and you simply can't go wrong.

We strolled from stall to stall czeching (oh oh bad pun) out all the offerings and having a nibble here and there. Michaela had me try the roasted chestnuts and seemed quite pleased they weren't to my liking because she could then eat them all :)

We had a relaxing evening, if you call being amongst thousands of people crammed into the small city centre relaxing! They lite the Xmas tree but we didn't hang around for that. Of note was the fact that in Australia the big tree in the city centre is plastic where as here it is a real tree, I was pleasantly surprised by this.

Anyway thats it for this one, short and sweet just like the Svařák. I did try a Mead but from the look on my face you can tell what i thought of it

cheers until next time


Monday, December 1, 2008

It's Hockey Time

Well at a 30th B'day i was chatting to one of the Americans who plays AFL with me and he told me he plays pick up ice hockey on Sundays. For the Aussie's who read this, 'pick up hockey' is just social hockey where any one can play, all you need is a stick and either hire skates or buy your own.

Well, Sunday i went to the local sports store and purchased the cheapest stick i could get my hands on, about $20 worth, and headed off to the rink with my skates, stick and shin/knee pads (all bought 7 years earlier during my 6 months in Canada during the Hockey season). The great thing about pick up hockey is that it is non contact (heavy blows anyway) and there is a huge mix of talent so all are welcome. There were some seriously talented guys and some awesome kids about 8 years old that were skating rings around me....................literally.

Well to say i was rusty when i first hit the ice would be an understatement but after about an hours i had my skating improving and i was again comfortable defending while skating backwards. Defending is all i did as the teams were a little uneven and there appeared to be a team of NHL draft picks up against the local rag tag team. Obviously i was in the rag tag team.

It soon became known to all on the ice that the clumsy bloke was an Aussie so whenever i intercepted a pass or really did anything at all there would be a cheer come up from the subs from both teams. I think they appreciated a bloke from a non hockey country giving it a good go. Well the roof nearly came off when i got around my American AFL mate and scored a goal .................. then i did 3 victory laps then fell on my arse and slid into the boards. Instant Karma for being a dumb arse I guess.

Well I am really glad i found somewhere i can renew my hockey passion even if i am being blitzed by the locals. As an aside there was one bloke from Russia who did this fancy stick work and picked up the puck from the ice with his stick before flicking it from waste height straight at the goal. I had never seen anything like it and was in awe (along with everyone else there) for about 5 minutes. Anyway i gave him a good hit during the game and knocked him on his arse. He obviously didn't read the sign plastered all over me saying "Caution, Aussie who can't stop"