Plog #3: “Weight, Weight … Don’t Tell Me!”

It’s been a couple weeks – but to make it worth the weight wait, this plog is twice as long! (Hopefully not twice as boring…)  In this week’s drive home, I’m talking about weight control. A few weeks back, I had what I thought at the time was a breakthrough in finding better control over my weight.  However, when this idea struck me one night while practicing on the ice, I wasn’t quite sure if what I thought I was seeing actually what I was seeing.  So I decided to sit on this thought for a few more weeks/games just to test it out… and I think I’m on to something. 🙂

Also, I apologize profusely in advance for the background noise of this plog. My car’s ashtray decided to come loose, and the vibration of driving at highway speeds makes it rattle quite a bit. I thought at the time of recording this that it would be mere humble background noise… but as it turns out, my cell phone does quite a nice job of picking up all noise within range as if it were right next to the thing. I’l work on that for next time.

-Eric 🙂

(Eric Reithel is a resident blogger and budding plogger for Windy City Curling Club. He also works part-time at an NPR-affiliated public radio station as a weekend news anchor. If you get how the title of this plog is a pun, you’re the kind of person he wants to talk to, so hit him up via his Twitter @TheCraftyCurler.)

Plog #2: “When It’s Good, It’s Good.”

This week’s driving home plog is rooted in joy. Last week was a tumultuous time of getting lost “In the Tank.” This week, not so much. And in an effort to start honing in on answers to the very questions I ask about mysteries of curling life that can lead to a beginner’s improvement, I offer this plog. Why? Because something I tried working on this week seemed to go well, and – even if it doesn’t work for everyone – I’m making an effort to share. Who knows? It may lead to someone out there chasing this idea with their own thoughts into finding something that works for them.

So what was this whimsical idea of mine? Simple: I became my own cheerleader.

That sounds really corny (amongst other descriptors one could use), but for those of you who know me, it’s completely my style. And it kind of worked in a weird way! I think we all find methods to cheer ourselves on, or to raise our own confidence, and there’s nothing wrong with that. So this week’s plog details my efforts of surfacing out of the tank, and finding my own inner-cheerleader in the process.

-Eric 🙂

(Eric Reithel is a resident blogger, continuing plogger, and now-former self-flogger for Windy City Curling. His musings are his own and do not reflect the views of anyone with a remotely normal sense of humor or thought process. Watch him cheer on life via his Twitter @TheCraftyCurler.)

Plog #1: “Forgiveness”

So I’ve been meaning to do a podcast for a while now. I mean, it’s been three months since I’ve written a blog, for which I can only apologize and say, “God, my life…”(Windy City curlers know the details. And no, my turning thirty a week ago, despite my joking about it, is NOT one of the reasons. I happily accept my progression of time here on Earth. Usually.)

One of the biggest hurdles I’ve recently found myself facing is this weird state of writer’s block where all of my “Oh, this would be a great blog!” ideas turn into “Actually, that would make a better podcast topic!” As such, I’ve written nothing. And since I fail at technology and WordPress plugins, the podcast has also yet to surface. But that is something I’m still hoping to work on moving forward into 2015. (By the way, Happy New Year!) To those of you out there I requested an interview of for said podcast – I’m still game if you are.

But I digress…

In an effort to rectify my lack of authoring new material, I humbly offer this placeholder: a plog.

“What is a plog?” you ask.

I have no idea. It’s a word I made up as a portmanteau of “podcast” and “log” in the same way a vlog is a mash-up of “video” and “log” (only I greatly lack whatever the Hell it is that drives people to spout their musings on YouTube in sweatpants and morning hair. You’re welcome). But, since I have a face for radio, you get this instead. Enjoy!

-Eric 🙂

P.S. – Yes, I know in the plog itself I called this whole thing, Into the House. I may not have any answers, but if there’s one thing I learned on the drive home, it’s that my ability to title something on the fly is utter sh*t. That mistake has since been remedied in favor of something much simpler.

(Eric Reithel is the resident blogger, brand-new plogger, and self-flogger for Windy City Curling. His musings are his own and do not reflect the views of anyone with a remotely normal sense of self-esteem. You can find more of them over on his Twitter @TheCraftyCurler.)

Watching Curling: World Women’s Curling Championships




The World Women’s Curling Championship will take place in Sapporo, Japan, from March 14th-22nd. The field consists of twelve teams, with each team playing each other once in an 11-game round-robin format. Barring any ties (which will be decided by tiebreaker games), the top 4 teams will advance to the playoffs, which use the standard page playoff system. Medals are then awarded to the top three teams.


Here is the field for 2015:























United States



Team rosters can be found here:


World Women's Curling Championship Trophy

World Women’s Curling Championship Trophy


Without a doubt, the favorites for this event (in alphabetical order) are Canada, Russia, Scotland, and Sweden. Japan is a dark horse to make the playoffs, and the fact that they’re playing in front of home crowds will most certainly give them a boost. That being said, don’t count any team out in this event. All the teams have fought hard for the right to represent their country, and none of them are going to go down without a fight.

Of course, at the end of the day there can be only one champion. Here are my thoughts on how the top four teams will finish, in reverse order:


Russia-  For such a relatively young team, they have a lot of experience, and they’ve been playing together for some time now. They had an excellent run in the round-robin last year and ended up winning bronze. Since then, they’ve played well in several tour events, won silver at the European Championships back in Novemberm and most recently won gold at the Winter Universiade last month. I think they’ll have a solid run in the round-robin, but will ultimately find themselves playing for bronze and unfortunately coming up short.


Sweden-  This team can play, but often flies under the radar. After winning a silver medal at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, they’re playing a more relaxed schedule this year. It hasn’t seemed to hurt them any as they’ve had a solid year on tour and continue to play to top form. Experience, consistency, and skillful shot making should have them easily making the playoffs. I wouldn’t be surprised if they won the whole thing, but I think they’ll end up taking bronze.


Canada-   After winning the gold medal in Sochi, they’ve had some ups and downs this year. Of course, all of that seemed to come to a halt at the Scotties last month where they came out on top at the end of the round-robin and ended up winning gold. No strangers to playing on a world stage or under pressure, this team can make shots and win games. Coming off their Scotties performance I expect them to be fired up and coming out swinging from the get-go. I would be surprised if they miss the playoffs, but I just don’t think they’ll win it all.


Scotland- After winning gold in 2013, they missed the event in 2014 due to a scheduling conflict…the Scottish Championships conflicted with the Sochi Olympics, so they weren’t able to qualify. To say the least, skip Eve Muirhead was upset with being unable to defend her title and has been determined ever since to reclaim her title. Like Jones (Canada), they’ve had some ups and downs but have been playing at the top of their game the past several months. They took bronze at the European Championships in November, won the Canadian Open in December, and most recently they won the Scottish Championships last month. Given their skill, experience, and motivation I have a feeling that they’ll be the dominant team all week and end up at the top of the standings at the end of the round-robin. I don’t expect them to let up in the playoffs either, and while it won’t be easy I think they’ll best Canada and come home with gold.




Unlike events in Canada or the United States, watching World Women’s live will require dedication and/or an alarm clock for some of the games. Sapporo is in the Japan Standard Timezone, which is 15 hours ahead of Central Standard Time. The World Curling Federation will broadcast a featured game from each draw, as well as full coverage of the playoffs via their WorldCurlingTV YouTube channel. TSN will broadcast all of Team Canada’s games, and the playoffs as well. Presumably the TSN coverage will be available on ESPN3 in the United States.

World Curling Federation Broadcast Information:



Draw Information & Schedule:




Phil Darin is Windy City’s resident armchair curler, and he has too much free time on his hands. Rumor has it that he also actually curls every now and then. Do you want to hear more about curling, whisky, or gambling? Are you Eve Muirhead?


Curling in Shorts Can Help Your Game

So, I'm not in shorts here ...  but the article needs at least one picture.

So, I’m not in shorts here … but the article needs at least one picture.  And yes, Elvis was the alternate for our team.

I started curling here in Chicago around April.  I picked up curling shortly after the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and found a learn to curl southwest of Chicagoland at Waltham Curling Club.  I immediately fell in love with the sport.

My third-ever curling experience was at a curling club that will remain unmentioned.  It was a pick-up game, and I curling with several people with a lot of years of experience.  When I mean a lot … well, yea.  Anyway … there are a few ho-hum experiences that I’ve come across:

  • Getting in a fender bender on my way to curling (ended up costing about $2,500)
  • Totally choking in front of a pretty woman at an important game
  • Getting grief for dragging my knee and causing imprints in the ice from this one guy

As a new curler, I’ll admit my form was a bit to be desired.  Now, keep in mind, the other curlers were trying to help me out and pointing different things that I was doing.  This guy was just an angry man, muttering under his breath the whole day.

Fast forward to May.  Just a little bit of a back-story, I am the Marketing Manager at Raging Waves Waterpark … and May is my busy time.  I spent most of the day working to get the park ready for opening day, so I was in shorts.  I would leave the park to head off to curling, just grabbing my windbreaker.  And, the first time I did this … I didn’t even think about it.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 5.24.06 PM

Another picture that really isn’t related … but blogs need photos!

I pull into the club, and realize that all I have to curl in are shorts.  But, with the temps being warm and being outside all day.  I figured, why not?
Honestly, it wasn’t that bad either.  I have about 15 years of hockey experience under my belt as well, so I’ve spent plenty of time on the ice.

The one thing I noticed, I wasn’t dragging my knee.  It was almost instinctive, I didn’t want to set my kneecap down on the ice.  Even popping myself up after a delivery, I wasn’t setting my knee down.  My delivery improved, and I was getting better at the game.  I did it for a few weeks, until the waterpark was officially opened (and I spent more of my time in the office in dress pants).

The bad habit was broken!  I kept delivering without dragging my knee.

If you want to try breaking this habit, and don’t mind the cold, try this technique.  See if it works for you!

Dan Mulka is a member and guest blogger for Windy City Curling.  He’s also a member of Chicago Curling Club.  He’s found out that its a lot less painful to curl than taking pucks to the head as a 15-year-plus amateur beer league hockey goalie.

We will be holding a FREE Open House on Saturday, April 4 from 5:30pm to 8:00pm.  Come learn more about the sport of curling, including your chance to get out on the ice!  Click here for more information and to register.  LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE!