Thursday, March 28, 2013

skate surgery, aka WHAT HAVE I DONE

I removed the faulty plate from my skate boot.  It was slightly terrifying, by which I mean COMPLETELY TERRIFYING.  It appears that the bolts were cut down from an original longer length, which means I can't reuse them, which means if I don't find EXACTLY THE SAME BOLTS TO USE I AM IN BEEEEEG TROUBLE.

Hopefully it won't take them too long to replace the plate, so's I can get it back on before our next bout.  Gonna use my old skates in the meantime.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


SureGrip will replace the plate!  I just have to send the broken one to them.  Yay!

talking about my equipment

Yesterday I took apart my skates.  Cleaned my bearings (Bones Swiss; they were FEELTHY), checked my pivot cups (they were fine), tried to get my bearings back into my wheels.  Radar Diamonds, man, I love you so much but why do you have to be so difficult to put bearings back into?  I spent about half and hour working on them and only got six wheels done.

So I'm kinda sorta toying with the idea of getting new wheels.  Ideally I'd be able to get the same width (31mm) with a metal hub and possibly even a narrower diameter (< 61mm) but I get the impression that is a mystical unicorn.

Also toying with the idea of loosening my trucks over time. Mine are crazy mega hella stiff and I'm wondering if that should change or if it's a IF IT AIN'T BROKEN DON'T FIX IT sorta thing.

I called Suregrip about my plate (the right one is okay now - weird).  I sent the guy a picture of the piece that came out; we'll see what happens.

I need to get toe covers that cover the entire toe of my skate, not just the very front. I've burned through so many shoelaces because the side will catch on the floor.  (My old ones with the green crowns on them don't work with the Avenger plates.)  All the ones I've seen that fit Avenger plates are kinda huge and weird and I don't like how they look, though.  For now, I just skip the first holes when I lace them and that seems to work.

I use plain foam insoles in my skates, but I wear through the heels of them in about thirty seconds.

I have no idea what sort of cushions I use for my trucks.  I know that one is blue and one is yellow, but hardness?  softness?  I HAVE NO IDEA.

I'm liking the hockey helmet so far (I have a Bauer 7500).  It makes me feel more athletic.

My knee pads are Pro Derby 187's with purple trim.  They work well for me.

My elbow pads are 187's that I got from a teammate that are too big for me.  I wear cut-off white tube socks under them, though, to add bulk and reduce the irritation that they gave me.

My wrist guards are just typical 187 wristguards that the plastic part pops out of so I have to tape them in place.

My mouthguard is a Sisu 1.6, with a 2.4 as a backup.  White, of course, so I don't look weird in photos.

Monday, March 25, 2013

so we had a bout on Saturday

and this is how it went

it was a little touch-and-go at first when they had a power jam early on and it was 35-20, but then we did our THANG and won 239-132.

The chick who runs the skate shop in Buffalo was sick so she didn't come to the bout, so I wasn't able to give her my skates and say FIX THESE I NEED NEW PLATES.  So I have to figure out a time to get to Buffalo and get it taken care of.  Right now I can crank my toe stops all the way in and they'll stay, but I don't like having my toe stops cranked all the way in.  I AM NOT A BALLERINA.

Friday, March 22, 2013


Good practice last night; even if I did have to spend the first hour of it tallying up ticket numbers and money and whatnot.  But it's exact to the dollar, and everyone did what they were supposed to do, which is a relief.

Had a few good moves; best of which was knocking the jammer out of bounds and then she cut the track.  I love when that happens.  Only went to the penalty box once for a clockwise block.

Tonight I have to sew my WFTDA patch on my jersey.  I think I know where my patches are.  I hope.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

my name is Queenie and I'm a one-trick pony

B team practice last night.  Whee! When all was said and done, I'd spent 26% of the previous 36 hours at the rink.

Positional blocking is getting a bit better.  I'm concentrating less on GETTING ALL WIDE and more on STAYING IN FRONT OF THE PERSON.  I picked up a trick from one of my teammates that helps (always looking over my left shoulder to the inside of the track - if I can't see the person I'm blocking anymore, it means they're going to the right, so just go right).

When I'm the one being blocked, I've developed a trick of spinning around them on the outside. It's tricky, though, because when I'm spinning my chest is facing them on the right, so if they time a hit right, I'm toast.  Fortunately most of the time they're not expecting it so I can pull it off.  I *need* to work on it on the inside, though, and that's tough for two reasons: a) usually there's not a lot of room on the inside so I worry about cutting the track; and b) I'm not as comfortable spinning clockwise as I am counter-clockwise. 

The inside part of my right heel really hurts when I put pressure on it (this happened on Sunday during a particularly intense drill of "skate to catch up with someone, then hang onto them and plow stop until they stop moving", which is not fun when I'm trying to push off on it while skating.  Hopefully a day or two off-skates will help remedy it.

Monday, March 18, 2013


So the Crisis on Infinite Helmets is resolved.  I went to one of the local ice skating rinks and bought a proper helmet.  It was a few model levels higher than the one I originally wanted, but the guy knocked a few bucks off it 'cause he didn't have what I wanted available.  Sweet!  I just have to return the original helmet, but it's in my car all boxed up and properly labeled, waiting to be mailed off.

Saturday was the St. Patrick's Day Parade and OH MY GOD IT WAS FREEZING OUT.  It was so cold the duct tape we used to put posters on the wagon Maverick pulled wouldn't stick.  It started to snow and the pavement was getting wet so a lot of us didn't skate (myself included).  It was still fun, though; I really like doing it every year.

Sunday I went to practice (mostly because the A team was having a team bonding session and the B team was having practice - alts were told attendance at one or the other was mandatory - I felt more comfortable going to the B team practice because I would've felt like a hanger-on suck-up at the A team bonding session, but, well, dress for the job you want, I know that now).  I tried out the new helmet and discovered one flaw with it - there aren't any holes in it that are finger-width, so if I need to scratch my head I have to take the whole thing off.  Other than that it works pretty well, and I had people tell me I can work it pretty well.  I also managed to fall directly onto my left knee from a derby-stance height because I screwed up one of my 180 degree transitions.  It hurt for a while but it's okay now.  My poor knees.

Sunday afternoon I slept, because, well, that's what I do after Sunday morning practices.

Sunday evening was Boot Camp Help - four hours this time. Guh.  Even though I didn't end up really doing that much - helping out with pace lines, wrangling my wards from one station to another - I was like I DO NOT WANT TO MOVE, YOU CAN HELP THIS SKATER WITH THIS DRILL INSTEAD I'M GOING TO SIT HERE AND EAT DIPSY DOODLES.

So in happier news, it's Bout Week!  yay!  I have to sew my WFTDA patch onto my jersey, which won't take too long but it's something I have to remember to do. (I also want to sew some sort of crown on it, also, but that will take longer.)

Friday, March 15, 2013


helmet confusion resolved - I'd tried on the helmet of a teammate, and it was a hair too big.  She said she'd ordered a small, so that's what i ordered.

Turned out she actually had a large.  ERPS!

I don't know if I do an exchange on the helmet, if I'll get it in time for next Saturday's bout.  There're a few local places I can go, so I'll probably end up buying another one and then returning the incorrect one.

Last night's scrimmage went well - had a few people tell me I kicked ass, and my team captain told me that I've got the right ideas when it comes to strategy and to keep yelling it out when we're on the track.  I had to jam twice - didn't get lead either time, but the second time I did get one point.  "You worked really hard for that one point," the coach said to me as I went back to the bench - it was true - I was trying SO HARD TO GET MY HIPS AROUND THE HIPS OF THIS ONE OTHER BLOCKER, and apparently I did it to the ref's satisfaction.

The weather is looking not-too-good for the parade tomorrow.  Sigh.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


I did not go to practice on Tuesday because life conspired to throw a lot of crappy things at me at once (one of which was the fact that the hockey helmet I bought I couldn't fit on my head) and my response was to just take a nap.

The chick from Turnaround Skates is coming to our bout on the 23rd; I'm going to ask her advice on new plates.  I am thinking the aluminum version of the ones I have now (DA 45 Avengers in magnesium), because I really like what I've got now except for the whole breaking part.  I also need to get toe guards that cover the entire front of my skate because I go through shoe laces like whoa.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

and I say to myself, "what a (fill in the blank) world"

so it's like any time I try to do any cardio on my own (like jogging a mile or doing random hopping stuff) I SCREW UP MY RIGHT ANKLE.  Moral of that story (again, you think I'd have learned it the first time): DON'T DO CARDIO OUTSIDE OF PRACTICE.

Anyway.  Where did I last leave things?  The A team captain told me she'd heard I'd done well during the practice where I scrimmaged with them.  That may very well be true, but I think now my odds of ever getting rostered for an A team bout are pretty much nil, as they now have 14 people on the A team.  I'll still go to practice, though.

Boot Camp Class #2 went well; most of my group is really on track to awesomeness.

I ordered a hockey helmet for travel season (we want to be matchy-matchy with glossy black helmets, I didn't want to paint over my crown, and I wanted to get as head-protecty a helmet as I could) and supposedly it is out for delivery right now.  Whether it shows up in time for tonight's practice is anyone's guess.

St. Patrick's Day parade is on Saturday and the forecast does not look that great (cloudy and cold with some snow, high 34).  Somehow I don't think we'll ever repeat last year's weather (sunny and in the 70's).

First home bout of the season is the 23rd, yay!  Ticket Queening isn't that bad this time around, since the college we're holding it at handles all the online sales.  April is when things pick up for me (LUCKY ME).

Friday, March 8, 2013


I did not, repeat, NOT, throw up on Tuesday.  But I suspect the warmup was a bit easier than usual.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I'm not gonna lie - tonight is gonna suck

I haven't been to an A team practice the last three weeks, I haven't done any exercising outside of practice.  I fully expect to vomit and die; my only hope is that they don't happen simultaneously.

I had an epiphany last night about positional blocking - you don't have to get wide and low.  If I do that, it just makes it harder for me to get where I need to be.  A moderate stance is easier to move from, juke-wise.

I was really horked off for a lot of last night's practice, but I honestly don't remember why anymore.  I suppose that's a good thing.

Monday, March 4, 2013

and so on and so forth

I really, really, honestly and truly intended to go to practice on Sunday.  But, my mother-in-law died (she'd been sick for while, so it wasn't a shock, but still) and I needed to keep an eye on Maverick while Roy went to the funeral home.

But I did help out with Boot Camp!  There were about a dozen or so skaters there, and my group is the awesomest.  They picked up the hang of everything quickly and I am confident they will do amazingly.

Friday, March 1, 2013

in which I realize YET AGAIN I really should probably exercise outside of practice

yesterday afternoon I got a text from the coach of the A team - some (previously injured) skaters were finishing up their tryouts at scrimmage, and they were going to be skating short - would I be willing to skate with the A team during scrimmage night?

Um, sure!

Usually during scrimmage night we do B team vs. A team.  Last night was a black/white mixup for the first half, then B team vs. A team.  During the mixup I ended up jamming twice, which went okay - I got lead jam once but had to call it off before I could score, second time I had a bit of a problem getting through.  I could hear the A team coach yelling at me to KEEP MOVING MY FEET while I was jamming, so I tried doing that.

Then came the second half, when I skated with the A team.

I really need to do more (read: some) core work.  I kept falling.  A lot.  It was frustrating and I got really annoyed at myself for being such a slacker.

But there were some cool parts, too.  One lineup I was in, everyone else was an A team jammer. I made a comment like "one of these things is not like the other," and Captainness Awesome was like "what are you talking about?" and I said "you guys are all jammers" and she said "so are you," which isn't true but it was nice of her to say.

Then in one of the last jams of the night, the jammer on the B team jumped the apex, and I made sure to be RIGHT WHERE SHE WAS GOING TO LAND.  BLAMMO.  It wasn't a hit; it was a full-force collision.   I think I landed on my right ear.

But she got the penalty, so it was all worth it.

So yeah, more actual working out is in order.
I was asked to help out again for the upcoming Boot Camp, as sort of a "den mother" to new skaters - lead them through the stations, cheer them up when they need encouragement, that sorta thing.  I'm looking forward to it.
 I don't remember where I left things, but both my plates are screwed up with regards to my toe stops.  On my left skate (my primary stopping foot), I was able to pull out a bit of plate that is supposed to surround the hex nut that holds the plate together so the toe stop doesn't move.
this is bad, right?
 And then something happened with my right plate so the same thing's happening, although there doesn't seem to be any corresponding metal that I can yank out.

I went the hex nut route for a while, but I was still having problems with the nut coming loose and all that (which kept happening to me with my old nylon plates).  So I switched to Blue Loctite, slathering the bejesus out of the threads of the toe stop and the inside of the plate and whatnot, but I think it's still loose.

Maybe I should just weld the suckers in place and be done with it.