Thursday, December 23, 2004

Posted by Mark at 11:45 PM


This will probably be my last entry of 2004. Merry Christmas..remember the reason for the season and the Birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Light of the World....And may your new year be better than this one, and may God watch over our troops and bless the United States....

The Iceman Cometh...

I am reporting from the TIB Central Command after relocating upon the cessation of power at Echo Base due to an ice storm that hit my neighborhood. There were powerlines down in the street, not from anything else than frozen trees that were completely frozen and whose branches broke off and took out powerlines....This is conclusive evidence: THE TREES MUST DIE!!!! They pose a health risk to people and their electricity, so we should see that they are strictly regulated and taxed....Just kidding....See, don't those ideas sound out there, you lefties who love the nanny state and overregulation?

Seriously, it is very cold and make sure to button up and wear layers. Even then, don't stay out anymore than you have to. Make sure your cell phones are powered up and are ready to be used. If you are travelling by car, make sure you have flash lights and provisions if you are travelling in the Midwest to Northeast, as this system has been brutal....

More Ducks Games Robbed

To Near Sellout crowds in Anaheim, the CINCINNATI (did you hear that?) Mighty Ducks won two of their three games against their AHL opposition over last weekend. Of course there would be sellouts in Anaheim, what else do they have besides Disneyland, which I am sure gets old after the 10000000th time? The games were moved because our parent NHL club, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks were upset their 5 season ticket holders were complaining about there being no NHL season so far. Therefore, they take games we, the ticketholders of Cincy, paid to see and move them to Anaheim. And, they are talking about moving up to THREE MORE GAMES to Anaheim! Where were all these fans and interest when the Ducks sucked so much during the 1990s? Where were the sellout crowds in the Pond in Anaheim? And why are we being punished by taking dates on our biggest selling times (around Thanksgiving and Christmas), deflating our attendance and fan interest?

Another thing that hacked me off about this was the usually logical Cincy Ducks radio announcer chiding fans in Cincy for being upset that the games were taken to Anaheim. What? Yep, he said we should be understanding and appreciate the hockey we have in Cincy because Anaheim is not getting any hockey right now. Well, my friend, some might say Anaheim hasn't had hockey in most of the last decade given the record and genuine interest in the team (other than as a cruel joke with punchlines like : knucklepuck, and form the V!). I am sorry, I am not at all understanding considering this was not disclosed to most fans until after season tix were already bought, and then options were limited for exchange purposes.

First the Cincy Ducks had the ingenious idea of eliminating 5 dollar game day tix, and removing the 9 dollar price range for adults, leaving only double digit ticekt prices. Real attendance booster, this so-called "simplification" of ticket prices, right? Nope, attendance has been nosediving ever since...Even Rupert from Survivor generated no buzz to boost attendance, and the team eliminated the other booster of attendance, the team bobblehead giveaway....Marketing geniuses, I swear, especially this new clown from Detroit who was brought genius, really....

Fortunately, I still love the guys who play for the team and respect their efforts, even if the organization resembles more the Milwaukee Brewers or Cincinnati Reds rather than the Red Wings or New England Patriots....

Speaking of Sports

OK, Commissioner Selig, how many hints did you need that baseball was in trouble? Was it when Sammy Sosa turned from 150 lb weakling to homerun god in two seasons? Was it when we saw Barry Bonds hat size INCREASE each year for three years running (no ego jokes, please)? Tell me, was it when Jason Giambi showed up for spring training 30 lbs lighter and joked that he cut out evening snacks?

Bud Selig is a joke. The man has done more to embarrass baseball and destroy its legacy than to help it. He has systematically allowed these druggie punks to cheat, while continuing to talk about the sanctity of the game as the reason for not allowing Pete Rose to be voted into the Hall of Fame. Sanctity? Sanctity? What sanctity is there in the game when a juiced up, egomaniacal, cheater will have the hallowed homerun record, stealing it from those who did it with their God given, not Juicegiven, talents? What sanctity is there in the game when this cheater is going to be revered over a man who fought racial strife and being in the shadows of other greats to beat the Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth?

And then there is Basketball....Don't Get Me Started

First there was the rapist Kobe, then there was the Pistons/Pacers brawl, now there is Cartergate. Vince Carter, formerly known as HalfMan/HalfAmazing, heir apparent to Michael Jordan; is now being known as a fixer. Apparently, Vince was so upset that he was being paid ungodly sums of money to play in the No Balls Association in Toronto that he revealed to his team's opponents, the Seattle Supersonics, what plays were being called in the last minutes of a close game.

You see, Vince is another symptom of the disease in the NBA-spoiledthugitis, I call it. You have these people who left college early, being babied their whole lives because of their athletic skills, who think they are gods. The NBA is merely the most populated of these morons. You have the Terrell Owens's and Randy Mosses in the NFL, the Barry Bonds and such in MLB, and the Artests, Sprewells, Iversons, and Carters in the NBA. So what does Vince get for his possible sabotage? He gets his wish--he gets traded to a team more in contention, the New Jersey Nets--a team whose former star player, Jayson Williams, shot his chauffeur at his residence. And to think, this is the same league that loved its cleancut image with Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan. Kiss that goodbye, Commish Stern.

Basically, in sports, it comes down to this--until we, as fans, band together and take back our pastimes, you will have the idiots like Artest, who crazily go into crowds, the psychos like Sprewell, who choke coaches and demean women, the selfish asses like Kobe who destroy a dynasty because "I want to be the man"; and the Bondses and the idiot national hockey league who are still on strike. These people consistently think: we can do what we want, the fans are suckers, they will come back. Unfortunately, they have been right. Why don't we fix that, eh?


I have ranted long enough....back to your regular state of inactivity....Seriously though, thanks for stopping by, and thanks for reading.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Posted by Mark at 1:17 AM

Have a Few Extra Minutes Between Poker Games...

I've got some time between poker games with the guys (love that Texas Hold'em, especially when I come out ahead), so I figured I would blog some....

Ducks Having Rough Year, Ilja Takes a Holiday

The Cincinnati Mighty Ducks are having a rough year. They are full of youthful players with a few holdovers. Cory Pecker, Casey Hankinson, Chris Kunitz, Shane O'Brien, and others returned....However, the team has not lived up to the promise of last year, where they lost high into the playoffs against the eventual champions, the Milwaukee Admirals.

As is typical of the Ducks, Defense remains a main problem. Continuously, odd man rushes are occurring that leave the goalie alone against one or more shooters. Unfortunately, compounding that problem is a lack of scoring punch. There is just not as much scoring as it seems there was last year.

To top it all off, Ilja Bryzgalov, the team's star goalie and most decorated player, has been loaned to a Russian team in the Russian Federation Cup. Of course, I cannot blame Ilja for playing for his country, but it might say something about the Ducks chances if they are willing to part with him in the middle of the season.

Another thing which is BS is the Anaheim organization stealing 3 games from the loyal Cincinnati fans because the dozen or so Anaheim fans who show up to the Pond are crying because of the lockout. The games taken were big dates, around thanksgiving and the games closest to Christmas, traditionally big for attendance. Thanks, Anaheim! And now I hear that Anaheim is going to steal two more games! This is not what I payed my money for!

In happier news, my sister won the opportunity to go on a date with a Mighty Duck. She gets a spa makeover, and a limo ride and dinner with one of her favorite Ducks. She is a junior and is a fantastic student, sister, and person.

Other Goings On

The year has been interesting, reflecting on it. There have been disappointments and sorrows, but there have been tremendous blessings. Matt and I continue to be surprised by the wonderful response to WMD. The show has grown in popularity, and we are thinking of some new ways of presenting it (stay tuned over at WMD for those goings on). I have worked on a successful political campaign and met hundreds of new people, and found several new friends.

Team America

This is a very racy (language and content) movie, but it is quite funny. It pokes fun at everybody, equally, but I enjoyed it. Adults only, however, as the language and some of the content is not suitable for children under 16. Let me say this: you will never view marionettes the same way again....Those South Park boys are at their bawdiest and funniest...

The New Ride

As I stated in an earlier post, the T Bird is in drydock, pending highway inspection after being refitted after the encounter with the crazy Jeep Cherokee. However, I have a new (to me) ride--a 1997 Mercury Sable. It has a power sunroof, power driver seat, lumbar support, keyless entry, aluminum alloy wheels, a six disc cd changer. It is fun to drive, but of course, I still hold a special place for that old Thunderchicken. However, some of my compadres like it because it is four door, and that means no jumping over seats. My sister likes it because of the CD player.

New Fun and Old Haunts

Some of the new folks I have met have started a semi-regular Texas Hold'em card game. It is fun to hang with them and strategize in this version of poker. Playing poker with these guys reminds me of my childhood hanging out with my wonderful Grandfather Buggs who was an ace cardplayer and pool shark. If he were alive today, I think he would be successful on the poker tours. Unfortunately, I am not as good as he was. I can still see him sitting at the felt table, in his black zip boots and fishing hat, bluffing and strategizing his way to victory. It helps keep me connected with him, and sometimes I can hear him whispering in my ear when I play.

My other friends and I recently returned to an old haunt after a very long absence. We weren't missing much. The service has declined, (even with Bad Katie, a stalwart from back when we were regulars, still working there)but the food was still good. It was nice to talk to Katie again, and we had a good time....

Well, I just heard "oh ****!" which means the last two guys have played out the last hand, which means its time to play again....Well, until the next unknown time I blog here again,
thanks for reading.....