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Bye Bye Doubles

Bye Bye Doubles

It would be remiss of me to not take a moment to speak on the Darian Durant trade this past week. I’ll go on record as saying I don’t like it. I’m not even sure I understand it, and depending on the replacement, I may even hate it.

First off, if it was the Chris Jones’ stragegy to move on from DD, why do it so late? There is no reason he couldnt have moved on during the season when we were in the midst of another horrible season and DD had more trade value (I would assume) to a team trying to make a run. Instead he held on to Durant risked the off season we got. We also have no real good option internally ready to take over. There is a huge risk there. It appears as though the true desire may be the backup they have in Edmonton that doesnt happen to be a free agent. So are we going to give up big assets to get him (far more than we got in return for DD) or are we playing a year in limbo. If the latter, given CFL contracts arent guaranteed, we could have had DD for that one more year. I don’t even think he was asking an outragous amount, he would have been paid in the bottom tier of CFL QBs.

It was last year at this time the #ridernation had our heart ripped out by the departing Chick and Dressler. I love them both, but those made a bit more sense. The contracts were just too outrageous to keep. I love Dressler to pieces, but I know he doesnt fit the Chris Jones style, and at his point in his career you have to think about finding alternatives. You can’t say the Riders didn’t find suitably replacements at receiver. Chick is a tougher pill to swallow as he is still playing at a very high level, we haven’t found a good replacement, but he just made to much that we couldn’t keep him. Again, both made some sense. But DD wasn’t making a huge amount of money for a QB, so I don’t see why this wasn’t done, and done much earlier in the season.  Even if a 1 year stop gap to let him open the new stadium and get us to Franklin time, if that is indeed the plan.

I still am unsure how DD in Montreal works out. They were in cap trouble last year so I don’t see how they can pay the ask, but we shall see. I do think out East that DD is gonna make that team very competitive this season. But with Reed in charge, I expect personal issues to start showing up very quickly. With Kavis running personnel, I just don’t see it.

Which takes me back to the Riders and the guy currently in charge of the Riders, Chris Jones. With this move, I think he has officially put a clock on his time with the Riders. If they don’t make playoffs this year, I think they have to consider a change, regardless the expense. It may even spell the end for Reynolds.  The CFL is a 9 team league and only 3 teams DON’T make playoffs. Long term rebuilds aren’t a necessity. Shipping off the big names is less of a big deal if you replace them, but I haven’t seen us do a great job of that. I keep hearing about how successful Jones is and we have to be patient, but to be accurate you must say that he has been success as a coach. As a GM, he is a rookie, and so far… we are still finding out how successful he will be.

I’m still trying to be positive about the new regime, and I’m hopeful they have a plan. But after the move last week, at least at QB, I have no idea what that plan is. And for a team that seems to chew up and spit out QBs, I’m worried about the future.

Another tough off season in Ridernation. Thanks for the Grey Cup Doubles. My favourite memory will always be the Western Semi Final game vs the BC Lions. You took the team on your back and pretty much won the game on your own.

All for now,
J

Back from the Banjo Bowl

Back from the Banjo Bowl

Well, we made it back from another Banjo Bowl trip.  This year we took most of the week to make a family vacation of it.  We traveled by way of Weyburn to break up the long drive and to have a visit with Grandma & Grandpa Siwy.  Our first stop on the way was to see Grandma Janice and check out her fancy bird hotel. (She was featured in a full page article in the Indian Head newspaper!)  After a quick visit, some snacks and a care package we continued on our way.  We tried catch up with some cousins too but the timing didn’t work out… so on to Weyburn for the night.    Home cooked meal, a good nights rest and off we went to Winnipeg.

We spent a couple nights in the Holiday Inn – Winnipeg Airport West.  The place was under a bit of construction but it was quiet and the staff was very friendly. The place had a nice suite for us that gave us a separate room for bedtime (perfect for putting Cole down for the night while we stayed up to watch a movie).  It also had a nice pool area with an awesome play structure that Cole enjoyed.   We spent a fair amount of our time those two days enjoying the facilities, but we did manage to venture out to check out the Lego store!  Cole was in heaven, so much so that he had trouble narrowing down a choice to take home.  He opted to go with a Lego Batman Car.

On checkout day, we planned to meet out friends at the Manitoba Children’s Museum to spend the day.  To our surprise (and sadness) the museum was closed for most of the week.  Apparently they close this week every year to do a massive clean, but I suggest they revisit that.  There were a LOT of parents that made the same mistake we did.  At least there was a fun playground there to kill some time.

Next stop, and our home for a few days, was the Johnson residence, just outside of Rosenort, MB.  I always enjoy going to the football game, but this is always our highlight of the trip, catching up with old friends.  They have 3 boys around Cole’s age, so it was adventure city for our time there.  They spent a bunch of time playing outdoors and then back inside for some Lego building sessions.  Erin was even able to sneak in some family photos.  I also took a few hours to travel to Steinbach to catch up with an old friend from my high school days.  We had a quick bite and had a chance to catch up on the families and what is new.  Happy to hear he is still a Rider fan!

On the Saturday, we were lucky enough to get a sitter (2 actually) that would watch the boys while we were off the Winnipeg to watch the banjo bowl.  There was a bit of nervousness going as this year our beloved Roughriders are in the tank.  We got there and I was surprised to find out Brendan had hooked us up with some *premo* seats.  We were sitting at the 55 yard line, and had food and beverage service in our seats.  We were surrounded by fans in blue, but only took a beat of good-natured ribbing and had some good conversations with the locals.  Sadly the game was pretty bad, too many penalties, far too common of the new CFL lately.

Sunday we hit the highway and headed back to Weyburn.  The timing was a bit better this way and we were able to catch up with the cousins this time.  I got to meet the little ones and we had a little backyard playtime before heading back to Weyburn to take in the KFC All You Can Eat Buffet!  I always joke about going there and this time the in-laws had it planned for us to coincide with the Customer Appreciation Week.  I can say, I don’t KFC as much as I used to.  That probably is a good thing.  Another nights sleep and back home to close out the vacation.  It went WAY too fast and WAY too much time on the car, but it was great to catch up with old friend and get the see another Roughrider road game.

Upon my return I heard about an incident involving a young fan getting beer poured on them at the game.  I took to twitter to voice my opinion that all the Winnipeg fans shouldn’t be painted with the same brush as the offenders that did this.  We had this happen a few years ago when some manure was dumped on a players driveway (or neighbors driveway to be more accurate).  It is not representative of the fans, and that we were treated very well.  That led to my second CBC interview on the radio in a couple weeks as CBC Manitoba interviewed me for the noon show to discuss our experience and as my thoughts.  You can listen to the interview here:

 

For those that didn’t hear my earlier interview, it was with CBC Saskatchewan regarding the Khalif Mitchell signing.  I never did get an audio version of it, but you can read a bit about it on the CBC Saskatchewan website.  It was a neat experience making it on to the radio a couple times… hopefully I can do it again some time.  And I’m happy to say Mitchell’s time with the Roughriders is already done.

That’s all for now,

Jared

Five bucks… five bucks… five bucks…

Five bucks… five bucks… five bucks…

I’ve had a few people ask me about my “Family Guy” style profile photo and where I got it done.  At the time I was looking for something fun/creative to use for a profile photo when I stumbled across the website Fiverr.com.  The website is essentially a portal of people willing for do work for $5 (US, with a small service fee tacked on).  Services range from people willing the vector-ize and clean up your artwork, do small pieces of translation, record voice overs, and in my case, do caricatures.

I found a seller that did Family Guy style portraits (seller Virtues, whom I highly recommend), bought a few gigs (the credits you use to pay for services), uploaded a picture, and waited.  I liked the result so much that I re-ordered in the style of the Jays (my new coed slopitch team as well as my favorite baseball team) and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Sellers will also offer up-sells, where they will add extra features or customizations to an order for an extra few bucks.  This year for our anniversary I wanted to do something a bit special so I had a Disney style portrait of our wedding photo done for an anniversary card.  It was a few up-sell credits from $5 but I was very pleased with the results.  It made a fun, unique anniversary gift.

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So if you are looking for a small little service done for a few dollars, I suggest taking a look at Fiverr.com and I’m sure you will find something neat to try.

Hello?  Is it me you’re looking for?

Hello? Is it me you’re looking for?

I’ve noticed a couple things lately, I have the urge to write and that my personal website is stale as stale can be. So I figured this would be a good opportunity to fix them both. I’m not sure where the urge the write came from. It isn’t often that I pick up a book to pass the time. I often have to pause and really think about my their/there/your/you’re and other intricacies of the English language. I’m sure my writing will be filled with no-nos like spelling errors, acronyms and winky faces. But I think writing can be a bit therapeutic, a good tool to clear your mind and focus which I admit has been a challenge of late.

So what will I write about? What shall I *blog*? Well, anyone who knows me knows I’m a passionate Saskatchewan Roughrider fan, I’m sure there will be lots of that. I’m also an avid slopitch player and curler, I’d bet I’ll banter about that. But I want to share more than just my passion for my sports. I’m also a bit of a techy guy. I often get asked questions about how my home media is set up, what apps I run on my phone, do I have any tips or tricks that I can share? So I figured this would be a great place to start. I’m primarily an iOS guy when it comes to phone/tablet and a Windows guy when it comes to the home computer, but I also have plenty other cool like gadgets and such that I will blog about. I hope to share enough tidbits to keep you entertained.

And yes, I have an amazing family, so you will definitely be hearing about that. My wife is a wonderful photographer (see Finelite Photography & Design), so I’m sure I will steal the odd photo to keep things looking pretty around here.

And lastly, there are a few random website links I visit often. I have included them all here, partly for you to explore, and partly so I don’t lose them. Either way, it is useful to someone 😉

Talk Soon,
J

PS – Notice the winky face?

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