Saturday, December 02, 2006

Just 10 days before my scheduled tonsilectomy, I've come down with a head cold that includes a very sore throat. It seems somehow unfair to have to endure THIS sore throat, when I already have one scheduled for most of the month of December.

I got my first Christmas cards in the mail yesterday. I do love Christmastime, even though I'm not particularly celebrating it this year. It's nice to hear from people you haven't heard from all year. My cards usually feature Wally in some sort of holiday attire, reindeer antlers, etc. I haven't had time to take the annual holiday photo yet, so I should really get off my ass. Of course, it would help if I had a day off, which I don't have this weekend OR next.

Today I'd like to pass on a story. It's about kids playing ice hockey in India. My friend, Rob Armstrong, a coach for the Los Angeles Junior Kings, discovered this phenomenon last year. It happens in the town of Leh, the capital of Ladakh and the largest city of the high Himalayan mountain region in the northernmost part of India. It started many years ago with military personnel trying to figure out a way to fight the boredom of winter in India. Eventually, the locals in Ladakh picked up on the sport, improvising skates and pucks with blades strapped to army boots.

Now, thanks to the New Delhi Sacred Bulls, a team consisting of Indian-based Canadian businessmen and diplomats, hockey has gotten even more popular in the area. The NHL Players Association has donated 50 full sets of hockey equipment, and when the Bulls come in January, as they have for the past 6 years, they don't just play a game of hockey with the locals - they help teach them more about the sport.

Rob took the time to go to India last January to play with the Bulls and to help spread hockey awareness and learning with the youth of Ladakh. He also took along as much donated hockey equipment as he could carry. This year, he's trying to help bring a small team of the Indians here to Los Angeles for a clinic with American hockey players to learn about the game and American culture. These photos are from his trip. Soon, he'll be looking for host families for the kids to stay with for their short stay, and sponsors to help pay for their trip. If anyone is interested in helping with this cause, let me know. I'll update their story here as it happens.

The song for today is "Life In A Northern Town" by The Dream Academy. For some reason, this song always reminds me of winter. It has a certain cold, airy quality about it. I'm pretty sure these guys were a one hit wonder. I don't remember them having any other hits, but this one makes up for it. The album came out in 1985, and the single peaked at #7 on the US charts. I always liked the part where they sing, "In winter 1963 it felt like the world would freeze, with John F. Kennedy and the Beatles..." and they fade in the roaring sound of a Beatles crowd at a concert.


Blogger Diane said...

very cool story about hockey in India . . . If I get my tree up his weekend, I'll be trying to take a photo of the dogs (properly decorated/attired)in front of it for my holiday cards!

12:12 PM  

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