There is a saying among Sailors: different ships, different long splices.  Not quite a lost art, a long splice is method of splicing a line (rope) so that the diameter does not change and it will still pass through fairleads and blocks (pulleys).  There is no one right way to do it, except perhaps the Boatswains way if you happen to be working aboard.

I've been on one team my entire Curling career (2 years, 4 months and 19 days, calculated from my first "league" game).  Sure, I've done a few drop-in nights, and played in a 'spiel with a "put together" team, but pretty much, I've been on "Hot Buttons" for my whole curling career.

We've had our ups and downs, but we've enjoyed the journey -- and that journey continues.

We're winding down to Finals in the OCC Summer League, and somehow, we've been way down in the standings, but have avoided rock-bottom.  Last night was our first solid win this League.  Our opposing skip made an impressive showing against Edith Loudon (Nagano 1998) at The Crush.

Trouble is, one night of Curling per week just isn't enough, but the demand for Hockey time makes ice hard to get.

My recent move to a few miles from our Saturday venue puts Curl San Diego a bit out of range (and they play Saturdays too), but it brings the Hollywood Club to within an hour, one way.  They curl on Sundays.

So, I'm not only a "Hot Button" but I'm a "Natural Born Curler."  Their team names all have movie themes, being Hollywood and all.

My first league game as a Natural Born Curler was a week ago.  It's different. 

We were playing against Team Zissou, one of the better Hollywood teams, and we played short by 1.  Different tactics, and even slightly different calls for sweeping (Hot Buttons, the vice or skip calls sweeping, Natural Born Curlers only call line, while the person sweeping calculates weight).  I got to throw more rocks -- three per end, basically as lead.

Different ice.  Slower than Orange County, but subject to some of the same oddities.  Warmer so less frost, but also a bit more slippery under the shoes, and I have a bruise to prove it.  No broomstacking because most everyone works on Monday.  I'll be home by 10:00 pm.

Different long splices.  I'm learning the ropes.

I'll start the long trek to Panorama City in about 45 minutes.  I'm looking forward to meeting my missing teammates, and getting to know a whole new group of previously unmet friends.

Posted October 7, 2012