Monday, Feb. 20, 2006
Dear Diary:

For the first time in the 29 years I've lived in this house, I was afraid to walk home.

The weather forecast had been for very extreme winds on Friday but that morning when I headed out the door for the gym it was warm and still. I decided that yet again the weather man was wrong.

Things seemed fine until a few hours later when I was almost home and then I noticed that my car was slewing in the road. I put that down to the fact that it had been warm and that there was probably a layer of slick melted mud over the more deeply frozen section of the dirt road I live on.

I thought wrong.

I realized how wrong I was after I parked my car and walked out of the garage into the strongest winds I have ever experienced. It was all I could do to keep on my feet.

At first I looked forward to getting into the shelter of the quarter mile driveway up to our home. I reasoned that the woods would break the wind, give me some shelter. I rounded a curve and saw that all the way up to my home the trees were swaying so hard I wondered if they might break. Ahead of me the driveway was already littered with branches, many of them sizable.


It normally takes me about ten minutes to hike up home. Because of the wind it took me over 20 minutes and they were 20 very long minutes. The wind tormented our house until well after dark. And all the while I waited for the spousal unit to get home safely.

As it got colder, the once wet snow started to dry out and the wind whipped it into whiteouts. I couldn't even hear the roar of the snowmobile over the wind. The first I knew he was home was the haze of the skidoo's headlight in the snow filled air. It was a good sight, indeed.

The electricity was out when I got home. We originally built this house to live off the grid, so even without power we have water thanks to a nearby spring and the wonders of gravity. A wood stove keeps us warm and kerosene lanterns abetted by several battery powered LED lamps kept the dark at bay.

At 2 a.m. we saw lights across the valley, but our home, a neighbour's home and my mom-in-law's home were without power for 25 hours. A tree fell on the line at the home farm and cut the three homes off the grid. Hydro crews didn't get back to our relatively isolated homes until they'd mopped up bigger problems.

So what did I miss most while the power was out?

Why Olympic women's curling, of course.

As if you had to ask.

Thursday night was unspeakably painful. The Canadian women's team defeated my beloved Dordi Nordby which has left the Norwegians in a relatively dicey position. It was a must win for the Canuckistanis who are also teetering on elimination from the play off rounds.

Quite frankly, the Canadian women's team has been a disappointment to me. They're not playing particularly well and the fact that they drubbed Dordi breaks my heart because it doesn't bode well for her. And then I had to spend 25 hours not knowing whether or not Dordi had been eliminated from the medal round.

So far two teams have qualified for the finals: Sweden and Switzerland. The one bright spot here is that the only team that's handed a loss to the Swedish juggernaut is Dordi and Team Norway.

Dordi plays two games today and if she wins them both, she's in the finals, too. If she can just hang on and get to the finals she has a great psychological edge knowing that she's already whupped Sweden once.

Say it with me: Go Dordi, Go Dordi, Go Dordi.

I was watching some Canadian colour commentary about this Olympics and they said that out of nowhere Italians have gone crazy for curling. This cracks me up no end. The night the Italian men's team beat Canada, 23 per cent of Italian households watched the game. The following night the numbers jumped from 4.5 million people to 5 million people.

Ice, rocks and questionable fashion sense � what's not to love about a sport like that, eh?


Dordi just qualified! Let the party begin!

Mileage on the Marnometer: 198.42 miles. 10 per cent rubber duckDuckage! There was a time I ate my stress. Now I burn it off in motion.

Goal for 2005: 1,250 miles - 2000 kilometers

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