Monday, December 31, 2007

Something that resembles ice...

Boot Hockey
Originally uploaded by Big Swede Guy

As you may have noticed (Thanks Steve!), I haven't had a chance to update much over the past month. Life, in all its frantic, hectic, turbulant joy left me with little to no time to work on the rink as I would have liked...

The initial fill went off smoothly, although by myself it took 45 minutes to lay out the liner properly...

Not long after the big fill was complete, we received a heck of a snow fall, followed by rain, sleet, hail and more rain. It was a disaster... And all of this while I was out of town for a week and a half before Xmas on training.

So finally.... FINALLY, I had enough time this past day off to shovel off some of the piles of ice crystals/snow that had settled and formed on the rink. My biceps, back and shoulders would testify to the time spent doing this... Ouch.

2007-2008 Fill

After I had removed the majority of the shards, I hooked up the kitchen tap to the hose (after making multiple trips to Canadian Tire to acquire the right size of hose/faucet attachment) and let the hot water flow!

2007-2008 Fill

The next day, the rink was still in subpar shape (by my standards) to skate, so the kids and I (and Tony, the neighbour) spent a couple of hours playing some boot hockey...

And just before we went out to watch a hockey game last night I did another hot flood... I'm thinking 3 or 4 more hot floods and the majority of the bumps/ridges should all be one, and we should be skating on glass ice once again *knock on wood*

Sunday, December 9, 2007


2007-2008 Fill
Originally uploaded by Big Swede Guy

So today, after an hour and a half of snow removal from the rink and 45 minutes of laying out the liner, I've finally got the water flowing. The tarp isn't as smooth as it was last year... but not bad, all things considered.

Life just got a little hectic, and then mother nature threw the big snow storm at us... and well.

So the lights are on outside, and the water continues to flow.

Will post pics tomorrow for an update!

Monday, November 26, 2007

And now for something... cooler?

Weather has been too warm here the last couple weeks to even think about filling the rink. Hopefully after we get back from the Twin Cities this weekend (we're going to watch the Minnesota Wild play the Vancouver Canucks) things will change for the better and we'll get some colder nights.

I still have that liner issue to deal with as well... *sigh*

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Home Ice - 2007/2008

Home Ice - 2007/2008
Originally uploaded by Big Swede Guy

There we go, the frame is up, the soccer netting has come down. I just have to pound a few more 2x4 stakes in and she's set.

I did cut back the hedge on the left hand side about a foot, but I'm thinking of trimming it a bit farther. I had to replace a few screws that pulled out over the summer, but other than that, the boards held up admirably.

I'm a bit concerned over a liner though. I bought mine last year from Home Depot, and it was a 40x60. A bit of overkill on the 25' side, but I needed the 60' on the length. To my dismay, Home Depot is carrying a different liner this year, and it only measures 40x50.

I picked it up anyways, just in case I can't get my hands on another bigger liner. If need be, I'll use the 10' I end up cutting off the sides and some how glue/caulk it to make the full tarp long enough.

Now just waiting on the cold weather... it was 9C today and overcast.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

First things first...

So I recently purchases a "new" truck. New to me. Its a 2000 Chevy LS Z71 extended cab 4x4. And its in mint condition. It has high miles, but the guy I bought it from (a friend) babies his vehicles like you wouldn't believe.

And less than 24 hrs after I bought it, someone keyed the drivers side door. Asshats.

So anyways, I headed out to my dads place and picked up all the boards/wood for the rink, and transported them to town. Now they sit in my back yard, waiting to be assembled. The weather forecast looks favourable tomorrow, so thats what I'm leaning towards.

I've got to visit Home Depot again to see if their rink liners have come in yet... Should be any time now. If I don't get my hands on one, I might be in for some trouble. I'm contemplating buying TWO liners this year, to make sure I have a spare for next year so my anxiety doesn't sky rocket again.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

October rolls around...

The chilly winds of October are on the horizon... in fact it has fallen below 0C a few times at night lately... It's only a matter of time now.

So, that being said, I think it's time to go out to dad's place and pick up all the boards for the rink and bring them back into town.

I would like to do a bit more preparation painting on them. I'm going to paint the bottom 12" yellow to simulate the kickplates in real arenas... And I'd love to paint some logos on the boards as well.

I am also planning on putting up 2' side boards this year as well...

and maybe some more lighting...

and some more netting...

and maybe some lines...



This year, I anticipate that the rink is going to get a lot more use... You see, my girlfriend Laura and her almsot 4 yr old son, Parker moved into my home in August... And he's starting his skating lessons today, actually, at a local rink. So, ya, exciting :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

The off-season...

Board Work
Originally uploaded by Big Swede Guy

I had procrastinated enough... time to get some work done on the boards. Laura and I went out to Pearl and each board received a frontal white coat, or a back coat of green preservative. I'll be going out in another week to do the other side of the boards... and I'm also going to paint the bottom 8"'s of the boards a nice bright yellow... the same as the "kick plates" on NHL boards.

See, who says you can't do anything in the summer?

Friday, June 8, 2007

Soccer goal!

Soccer goal
Originally uploaded by Big Swede Guy

With hockey season now caput for a few more months, I finally got around to erecting the soccer goal for Hannah... I did it though, with consideration of the hockey rink.

the 4x4's (10') are sunk exactly 16' feet apart. While a tad smaller than the regulation goal for her age group, the 16' works perfectly with the hockey rink in the fall. 16' just happens to be the exact width of the end boards. So these 4x4's will anchor the ends of those boards into place... AND, I'm going to put halogen lights on the top as well.

Yay. So even in the "heat' of the spring, we can still look forward to our hockey rink this winter!

Sunday, April 1, 2007


Originally uploaded by Big Swede Guy.

It's neat how something that took you 4 to 6 hours to assemble and put up can be taken down in under half an hour.

But there we were... Jay and I and my trusty drill... and *POOF*

All the boards were down. I did number them to hopefully make reassembly a breeze next fall. Of course, we know that won't really go as planned...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mr. Ducky!

Mr. Ducky!
Originally uploaded by Big Swede Guy.

Mr. Ducky likes the water!

Sometimes it's hard to believe that just last week we were playing hockey on this surface.

Have fun Mr. Ducky! But come November you'd best be off....


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"That'ssssss all folks!"

Last Skate of 2006/2007
Originally uploaded by Big Swede Guy.

A beautiful, warm Saturday afternoon allowed us a final skate on the old ice rink before it melted. A few of the girls off of Hannah's hockey team dropped by for a few hours to shoot some pucks around the rink.

2 days prior to this, it was cold enough during the night (-10c to -20c) that I was able to get two solid floodings in - which provided a pretty decent ice surface for Saturdays skate. Even though the temp Saturday was about +5C or so (the girls were taking off coats because they were too warm) the ice held up for about 3 hours. By the end of it though, it was pretty chewed up, and one end had become a wading pool.

In the end, goals were scored... saves were made, and smiles were had by all. I'm glad we were able to say goodbye to the rink in a more fitting fashion.

Last night we had a pretty good thunder shower, with temps well above freezing. Put a fork in it, we're done for the season.

Big thanks to Jeff, Tony, Laura and Jay for helping out with the rink this year. Big plans for the summer and next fall for next year. I can hardly wait!

See you then!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Brief but Cold

The rink was in horrid shape. The far end was slush the other day... But thanks to a full solid 24 hrs of -18C, it has all refrozen. Looking at the forecast, (showing highs of -2C and lows around -10c for the next two days) I decided to flood once more in an attempt to have one final day of skating.

I checked this morning, and the ice was actually skatable again. Yay!

Hopefully it stays that way until Saturday when we go to use it... I'm going to invite some of the girls over from Hannah's hockey team if they're around.

Monday, March 12, 2007

"I'm meeeeeeelting..."

Part of my yard is under water... This would be the area right around my shed, and the far end of my rink. About a foot in some places, thanks to the warm temperatures the last 3 or 4 days.

It looks like it might get a bit cooler over the weekend - but I fear too much ice will be lost by then to salvage anything. I may be wrong, cross your fingers. Maybe I can get one more skate in Saturday afternoon...

Friday, March 9, 2007

For Posterity...

I thought I'd mention Hannah's hockey games last weekend, for posterities sake. She was recruited again to play for the Canadiens, as they were short on players due to some of their girls playing in another hockey tournament. In the first game, Hannah scored 5 goals as the team went on to beat the Sabres 5-0. Immediately after that game, she played for our own team and scored 2 goals, 3 assists in a 6-5 win over the Bruins. On Sunday, the Canadiens beat the Sabres 3-1 (Hannah had 1 goal, 1 assist) and then the Leafs tied 3-3 (Hannah had all 3 goals).

Just before the first game, I promised her I'd pay her a dollar for every goal she scored.

She kept track, and daddy paid up.

Nearing seasons end?

It's always hard to tell up here when Spring has truely arrived.

In the next few days, it's going to be mostly above freezing... Forecast is as high as 11C next Tuesday. For me, that's shorts weather.

In preparation for this thaw, I shovelled off the rink yesterday. 2" of snow may not seem like much, but when it accumulates over the size of your rink... it adds up. My neighbour joined me near the end of my ice clearing to lend a hand, so that was nice.

Why am I shovelling? SHouldn't I just pack it in? Well, following the 11C day - the chinook will pass us and it looks like we'll be back in -10C for a few days after that. So I guess we'll just wait and see what Mother Nature brings us.

When the thaw does come, I've got a few things on my list to accomplish.

o Mark boards so I know where they go next year
o Paint back of boards with wood preservatives to prolong their life
o Repaint the front of the boards white - with a 10" strip of yellow along the bottom
o Finish the netting for the back boards

I'm not looking forward to the deconstruction and transportation of the rink/boards to my dads property, about 40 minutes east of town. But it beats storing the stuff in my yard. Besides, I have to make room to build our full size soccer net for Hannah! :)

Current Temp: -3C

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Trophy Time!

Originally uploaded by Big Swede Guy.

Last weekend Hannah was asked to join another girls team (The Canadiens) in a hockey tournament in Fort Frances, as they were short players. The girls played well, finishing up the round robin with 2 wins and 1 loss (a 4-3 decision). Our goaltending was solid, but couldn't quite put the puck in the net in the semi-final game (lost 2-1) or in the Consolation final (lost 2-1) and the girls ended up a respectable 4th out of 6. The trip was a blast, and all the girls had a great time!

That's it for tournaments for this year!

Can't type more atm, I have a rink to go out and shovel!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Oooh! Video!

I saw one of my fellow rink makers with some video of his kid skating on their rink... Figured out how to do it - so here's a test one I made last year -Hannahs first year of hockey.

Expect more soon! :D

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Cold Continues...

unabaited. Although we are no longer hovering in the -40C area, we're still in the low -20c's.... It's really the windchill that is the problem....

That being said, I could no longer keep Hannah off the rink this week... Twice after I picked her up from school she BEGGED to go put on the skates and hit the ice. I relented, only after she was thoroughly bundled up. Even then, it was only for a brief period of time - 30-45mins max.

We did flood on Friday the 9th- it was about -20C outside. That's about 5-10 degrees colder than what I normally flood at - but the rink needed water. There were 5 sizable cracks that ran through the rink caused by the extreme cold the last few weeks - and they needed to be filled. Unfortunately, the flood wasn't the greatest. The temp was cold enough that the water was freezing before I was able to complete a full pass (across the rink). This basically caused some ridgelines to develop - the first time I've had that problem. The rink itself the next day, was in much better condition overall though.... And we did skate on Saturday.

Lesson learned:

If its around -20C do not flood unless a)perhaps using HOT water or b) fill large buckets and dump them to get a complete coverage to avoid those ridge lines. Personally, I'll stick to flooding between -10C to -15C. That way, I get a nice, even layer of ice!

Oh, and Hannah has another hockey tournament this weekend... She was picked up to play on another team for a tournament in Fort Frances. Wish us luck!

Current Temp: -18C

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Waiting on some warmth...

Night Time in Canada
Originally uploaded by Big Swede Guy.

The last few days it has been cold here. Yes, I know I live in NW Ontario. And it is supposed to be cold in February. But -40C to -50C is a bit much, even for us hardy Canadians.

So we wait for warmer temperatures to arrive, so that we can spend even a few minutes upon the ice without worrying about frostbite.

Current Temp: -42C (-48C overnight)

Monday, January 29, 2007

To The Victors!

Originally uploaded by Big Swede Guy.

Go the spoils. Or something along those lines.

Last weekend was my daughters hockey tournament in Dryden, Ontario (about 3.5 hrs west of home). Our girls went undefeated (4-0) before capturing the championship during a nail-biting 3-2 win in the final against a very good Dryden All-Star Leafs team!

Congrats to the Leafs and to Hannah! Everyone is proud of you!

Friday, January 19, 2007

To be, or Not to be...

Originally uploaded by Big Swede Guy.

A goalie... That is the question.

With our regular goalie out sick, my little defenceman decided she wanted to try and play goalie tonight... So before the game, we got her all dressed up in the goalie gear and spent 1/2 hour shooting the pucks around and having fun.

It was really too cold to be out much longer than that - it's been very cold and windy here the last week. Fortunately, the ice is in perfect condition, and with the little snow fall we've had... I haven't even had to shovel. :)

Current Temp: -12C (-20C Windchill)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Hockey Day in Canada

Hockey Day in Canada
Originally uploaded by Big Swede Guy.

What an awesome day... For my American friends who are unfamiliar with "Hockey Day in Canada"... it's basically a celebration of hockey that the CBC promotes. All 6 Canadian NHL teams play each other over the course of the day - an afternoon, an evening and a night game. There are highlights and stories and such all during the day - which is telecast from a "host city" chosen by CBC. This year, it was the small town of Nelson BC. I thought this would be a great day to invite folks over to spend the afternoon playing boot hockey and watching some NHL games. The weather was perfect (-12C, no wind and sunny), plenty of beverages were consumed, food was eaten and almost no one was hurt in the process (Paul who had a hard time standing on the ice).

I'm definately going to make this a yearly event!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Starting to look like a rink!

Finally got around to putting up the other end boards today! Thanks to Jeff, it only took about 2 hours to get everything done. We had to chip away at some of the ice around the frame to get enough clearance to make sure the boards were all level.

I borrowed a friends compound mitre saw, and I bought a new circular saw today - both were put to good use. Its amazing how easier a job can be with the right tools! :D

I'll be flooding tonight, and putting up some more puck fencing on the new end boards tomorrow...

Oh, and its COLD here again for the next couple of weeks anyways!

Current Temp: -7C (Overnight -14C)

Saturday, January 6, 2007

A Week goes by...

and what a week it was. I think it included two rain storms, a snow storm and mostly temperatures at or above freezing.

That being said, I DO still have ice, but I've lost a fair amount along one side... And it's as bumpy as a curling rink again. I did throw a thin coat of water on it last night (only -3C overnight) to try and get it a bit slippery again - I'm having a boot hockey game Sunday with the guys/gals... so hopefully it'll be adequate.

Although temperatures have been above normal this year, starting next week it looks like we're dipping back down to the lovely range of -10C to -20C for a week or two! YAY! *claps hands, jumps up and down with glee!*

I also picked up the wood and supplies to put up the boards on the far end... Jay and I cut and framed those 4 board sections, and I'm looking to finish them with help from Jeff and have them up on Sunday.

Oh, and we did skate a few times over the last week, so all was not lost.

Current temp: -3C (-1C today)