Archive for January, 2008

Dave and Adam’s Card World

I recently received a very exciting email. Kevin, the New Media Director from Dave and Adam’s Card World contacted me to inquire about putting up an ad on The Willful Caboose. At first I airily informed him that due to my X-treme integrity, I do not have ads on TWC, but then Versus started waving magnetic playoff trackers around, and the next thing I knew, I did have ads on TWC. It turns out that whoring out my beloved website is a slippery slope, because soon, I was agreeing to advertise for Dave and Adam.

In my defense, Dave and Adam’s Card World is undeniably fabulous. They’re a local shop with a good sense of humor, and they are, of course, the geniuses behind this ad:

Once I took a second to think things through, I realized that advertising for D & A is a no brainer. Dave and Adam are way cooler than me, and frankly, it’s hilarious that they would think there is some benefit to be gained from advertising on this site. I realized that in order to take full advantage of their mistake, I should quickly negotiate a long term contract, locking them into a serious commitment before they realize that this website is utter hogwash and unworthy of their esteemed advertising dollars.

The following is a transcript of my negotiations:

Katebits: So, Kevin. I’m ready to deal. While it’s an incredible compromise of my morals and values, I am now willing to put up an ad for Dave and Buster’s on my website.

Kevin: Um, it’s Dave and Adam’s.

Katebits: (narrowing eyes) Yes, that’s what I said, “Dave and Adam’s”. Listen, don’t try to confuse me. I wasn’t born yesterday. I may look like an idiot, but I’m a shrewed negotiator. I just want to get this deal done.

Kevin: Okaaay. Listen, until we can determine that your site is going to drum up some traffic on our website, I’d like to propose a merchandise trade. If, after a few months we find a pattern of business from The Willful Caboose, then we can negotiate a monetary payment for advertising.

Katebits: Hmm. That’s an interesting proposition. You sell all kinds of hockey-related memorabilia that I covet, plus, you guys seem to be friends with the Sabres. We might be able to work something out here. What are you offering?

Kevin: How about autographed pictures of the players?

Katebits: No. That won’t do it, Kevin.

(long pause)

Katebits: I have an idea. How about I make an appearance in your next Sabres commercial? Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “This chick is crazy if she thinks I’m putting her on television”, but Kevin, you’re overlooking one very important thing. You’re forgetting that I’m a professional viola player. I’m totally famous myself! I would be willing to put an ad on The Willful Caboose if I can be in the next Dave and Adam’s commercial. What do you think?

Kevin: What?! That’s ridiculous! No! I’m not putting you in a commercial!

Katebits: Oh come, on! Don’t be such a tight wad! Just give me a non-speaking role. I’ll simply wander around in the background while Dave and Adam do their shtick with whatever Sabre is in the commercial. I won’t say a word! I’ll just pretend to be shopping. Come ON! You KNOW it’s a good idea.

Kevin: No. That is out of the question.

Katebits: Okay, okay. How about I just attend the filming of the next commercial? I promise I’ll behave. I won’t say a word. You’ll hardly even notice I’m there. I can be, like, the player’s personal assistant for the day. I’ll toss treats to Pommerdoodle when he nails his lines. Pleeeease?! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?

Kevin: I am not letting you anywhere near Jason Pominville.

Katebits: Kevin, I need you to work with me here. So, what you’re telling me is that the commercials are off the table? You won’t bend on this issue?

Kevin: The commercials were never on the table.

Katebits: Okay, fine. I’ve got to hand it to you, Kevin. You drive a hard bargain.

Kevin: So, how about those autographed pictures?

Katebits: How about, NO?! The pictures are not going to cut it, but I do have another idea.

Kevin: (sigh)

Katebits: I did some poking around on the Dave and Adam’s Flickr photo sets. I was particularly interested in the photos of the players signing stuff. I noticed that in some of the pictures, there is a dude sort of hovering over the player. I assume his job is to whisk the items away as they are signed. I think this is a job I could perform. How about in exchange for the advertisement, you let me do that job?

photo courtesy of Dave and Adam’s Card World

Kevin: No way.

Katebits: WHY?!!

Kevin: Just… Listen, I’m not so sure this is going to work out. I don’t feel like we are really on the same page here.

Katebits: Nooo! Don’t give up! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! Please don’t leave. I’ll be reasonable. Okay? I’ll be good. I didn’t want it to come to this, but I’d be willing to settle for a “3”.

Kevin: What?

Katebits: I want one of these “3”s that Crunchy is signing.

photo courtesy of Dave and Adam’s Card World

Kevin: You want a three? But those are for jerseys.

Katebits: Whatever. I really like the threes. How about a three?

Kevin: The problem with those threes is that they become very valuable when Ryan signs them and we sew them onto a jersey. The markup on those is pretty steep. I don’t think I can give you a three.

Katebits: How about a Toni Lydman jersey?

Kevin: How about an autographed picture for each month?

Katebits: How about you get Crunchy to sign this picture? I want an autographed picture of Crunchy autographing a big stack of “3”s!

Kevin: How about the autographed pictures that we already have in stock?

Katebits: Okay, but only if they write a personal message on the photo. Like, “I love you Katebits”.

Kevin: No. How about the autographed pictures we already have in stock?

Katebits: Which Sabres do you have in stock?

Kevin: Well, I’ll have to check.

Katebits: Okay, fine. The price of my blogging integrity is one autographed Sabres photo per month. It better be a good Sabre, though.

Kevin: I’ll send you a good Sabre. I promise.


So that’s the deal! Kevin is going to send me an autographed Sabres photo per month during the duration of this experiment. If you guys click on the link and buy enough stuff from Dave and Adam’s Card World, maybe someday I’ll work up to a “3”!

In all seriousness, Kevin at Dave and Adam’s has been extremely cool and fun to work with. We really SHOULD buy our Sabres merchandise from a local company instead of from, and to make that easier, Dave and Adam’s have the lowest prices available in the entire known universe. I am happy to promote a company with such a good sense of humor. (Please notice that the ad contains the word “Pommerdoodle”. I know. They’re not messing around. Dave and Adam won’t be satisfied until they have both our money AND our hearts. Fork it over, people.)


It’s a Streak, Baby.

Ryan Miller, you sir, are a stud.

*high five*

I didn’t get to watch most of this game because I was sawing away on my viola at work.  It looked like it might have been a little stressful to watch.  Heh.  I bet it will go down nice and easy on a DVR delay.  I had a feeling that this one was going to make me squeamish, so I didn’t mind missing it, but it sure was nice to get out of work and get to see Crunchy capping off a 1-0 shutout.

Way to step up, John Jacob Crunchenheimer Smith!

Sabres Vs. Lightning 1/29/08


Mood: Whatevs.
Favorite Sabre: Goose. Word on the street is, Goose has the flu. You know who had the flu last week? ME! Goose has my flu. Cute! Also, poor Goose.
Least Favorite Sabre: Tim Connolly. This one isn’t really fair. It’s not his fault that he is made out of kleenex and pipe cleaners, but boy, I’m sick of wishing he was healthy.
Prediction: At least Vincent Lecavalier will be there.
Animal representing my hopes and dreams: Paper crane

Summary of thoughts: I kind of wish the A-S break was a full week. This return to hockey is a little jarring.

After 1st Period (2-0, Sabres)

Mood: I feel pretty decent.
Favorite Sabre: Pommers! Pommers! Pommers! Good boy, Pommers! (Although, Crunchy is looking kind of foxy tonight.)
Least Favorite Sabre: Soupy. Just cuz.
Prediction: Hmm. I am hesitant to relent on my pessimism because they seem to like it when I doubt them. I predict that I will have to watch that commercial with the guy who ignored his rotting, stinking foot. He’ll be standing on his one leg in the playground…..where he smoked his first cigarette. I’m not sure what smoking has to do with being too dumb to go to the doctor when your foot starts rotting off, but whatever. Smoking is bad, kids.
Animal representing my hopes for this game: Paper crane mobile. That’s right. The cranes are organizing.

Summary of thoughts: I kind of don’t hate them tonight. It’s confusing.

After the 2nd Period (4-1 Sabres)

Mood: Amused
Favorite Sabre: It’s time to stop this waffling. It’s time to commit to a Lydman Jersey.
Least Favorite Sabre: Soupy, but it’s not really his fault tonight. The Versus guys won’t shut up about him, and it’s getting on my nervies.
Animal representing my hopes for this game: actual crane

Summary of thoughts: The Tampa Bay Lightning are very bad at hockey. We’ll take it if your just going to hand it over Tampa, but, we might respect you a little more if you made us work for it a little. But, you know, whatever. I guess you’re just feeling easy tonight. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not complaining.

At the End (4-2, Sabres win!)

Mood: Buoyant!
Favorite Sabre: The Tampa Bay Lightning.
Least Favorite Sabre: I’m not even that cranky with Soupy, but still, for the sake of consistency, I’ll go with Soupenheimer Smith.
Animal representing my hopes for the future: Frasier Crane.

Summary of thoughts: Tampa Bay was so terrible that it’s kind of hard to feel too worked up over this one, but still. Two points. Yay!

All-Star Mascots

During the SuperSkillz competition on Saturday, I was delighted to catch a glimpse of Sabretooth galavanting around in the background during an on-ice interview with Jason Spezza. I’m so glad that Sabretooth got to go to the All-Star game! Seriously, of all the current Sabres, I honestly think he might be the person I trust the most to represent Buffalo. Plus, knowing that he was in Atlanta filled my head with all sorts of delightful images: Sabretooth on a plane. (Does he get to fly first class?) Sabretooth waiting at the baggage claim at the airport. Sabretooth in a swanky hotel room, looking for a good movie to watch on pay-per-view. (No, not porn! Sabretooth would NEVER!) Sabretooth splashing some water on his face in the morning before he pulls on his jersey.

And THEN, while visiting Full. Body. Transplant. this morning, I saw this amazing photograph.

By my count, there are 23 mascots here, which means seven teams were unrepresented.  Removing a few Marty Broduer-like “I’m having family problems, but, no, no, don’t worry, everyone is fine” diva mascots, I would say there are a few teams that either don’t have a mascot at all (LAME), or were too cheap to send their mascot (UNFORGIVABLE).

Of course, as wonderful as a picture like this is, it also raises a LOT of questions that I know will never be answered to my satisfaction. Do you think that when these mascots get together in a big group like this, that they talk, um, outloud?  Or do they all just stand around together, gesturing theatrically?  Did the Sabres send the good, repelling Sabretooth, or did they send the threadbare Hobo-Sabretooth that stands on the concourse before the games at HSBC?  Who is that weird bear/wolf thing in the upper left, and why is his tongue dangling out like that?  Why are there no female mascots?  Why the FUCK is the Hurricane mascot a pig?  Do the shoes come off of that pig, or are those just fake shoes designed to deflect attention from what I assume should be hooves?

And most importantly, what is up with this guy?

According to the Columbus Blue Jackets website, his name is Stinger, which I guess would make him a bee.  In his bio he lists “brushing his teeth” as one of his hobbies.  I’m really not sure how I feel about Stinger.

The Throne Series

So, there was an All-Star game last night. I thought it was pretty boring until the last three minutes, which were admittedly fun. It was interesting to see the players get competitive after 55 minutes of watching them skate around like little old ladies. Soupy got a bunch of points, sooooo, that should really help smooth things over in his contract negotiations. Mostly, I was underwhelmed with the All-Star weekend. It was fun to see the players acting like real people, having fun and joking around, but the hockey part was kind of lame. Hockey doesn’t really lend itself well to a watered down “let’s not get hurt” version. I like the idea of a midseason break, but I think the NHL should just give up the ghost and show us some kind of three-day reality show starring the All-Stars.

In spite of all of its flaws, the All-Star weekend did produce one truly awesome result: The Throne Series

King Joe

This situation with the throne is rife with unintentional comedy.

Photographer: So, okay guys, you’re Kings. Not L.A Kings, but you know, real Kings. Leaders of men. You are powerful and strong and virile. I want you to sit down on this red throne. You are a KING! You are a stud upon your throne. Now, I want you to hold this hockey stick. This is your scepter. This stick is a symbol of your power as a man. Got it?

Vincent Lecavalier: Done.

Daniel Alfredsson: I am uncomfortable with this game.

Zdeno Chara: I’m going to take this opportunity to make Katebits love me. She thinks she hates me now; in fact, she booed me the last time we were in Buffalo. But I’m pretty cute. She’ll see.

Brian Campbell: Where am I? Don’t let unsightly veins veins veins ruin your life. Sweat must be stopped! Seriously, though. Am I wearing a fanny-pack?

Patrick Kane: I am your Elvish Prince!

Ryan Geztlaf: I was born to sit on this throne. Ladies, remove your shirts.

Alexander Ovechkin: That’s right….dance, jester. Dance.

Tomas Vokoun: This is bullshit. Stop trying to make me pose with an obvious phallic symbol. I won’t have any part of this. Act like an adult. (Sighs dramatically) I hate you guys.


Tomas is right. Grow up, people!

I Gots Skillz

I’m wading through the SuperSkillz Competion on DVRed delay this morning. A few thoughts for your reading enjoyment:

  • What the hell? Zdeno Chara is kind of sweet and well spoken. I….don’t understand. Don’t make me like you, Charbacca. Please. That’s all I need: a confusing crush on Chara. Hockey is making me insane.
  • Soupy totally LOST that race. Why did he win? Great. Now Bucky is going to spend the next year writing about how we could have had the fastest All-Star in the East FOR PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR IF ONLY THE SABRES HAD LISTENED TO REASON. Soupy would have signed for $8.50 an hour and free lunches at the HSBC cafeteria if the Sabres had only bothered to send him the contract BEFORE the All-Star game! Now his price has sky rocketed! Now, no doubt we’ll be forced to overspend when Soupy walks and Lowe gives Goose a billion dollar, 100-year offer-sheet.
  • It’s really too bad they have to wear helmets in real life, because it’s very nice to see their faces. I also enjoy seeing who’s balding and who has a full, luscious head of hair. Just for the record, I actually really like bald guys, so I’m not judging.
  • Holy Cow. They weren’t kidding about the YOUNG Stars thing. DAY-um. These kids look like they are about fifteen. I am an old, old lady.
  • Um, Patrick Kane, your name is Patrick. Not Pete. I can write it down for you if you want.
  • Manny Legace is hilarious and I love him. Goalies should be mic’ed up all the time. I would love to hear Crunchy all dryly explaining his each and every thought and emotion during a game. *flatly* “Well. I thought he was going to go five-hole, but then he came up on me which isn’t really what you expect a guy on his size to do. Normally with a guy under six foot, statistics tell you that he’s going to keep it low. I’ve found that keeping a close eye on the stats has really helped my career. It’s also what has enabled me to branch out of hockey in to the business world. Shop the Refinery……dot com. Running a good hockey team is a lot like running a clothing boutique, you need a good solid business plan. I’m just trying to keep my head on straight out here. It’s important to me that I stay focused. I pride myself on working hard, even when we’re not getting the bounces. Life can’t be all about fun times and easy wins, sometimes you’ve got to win an ugly game. I dunno. I wish my fucking teammates would score every once in a while.”
  • I have bided my time on making a decision about Rick DiPietro and his controversial hotness, but I’m now ready to announce my official position. Pretty Ricky, is infact, hot. I might as well take this opportunity to admit that I have a little soft spot for the Islanders. I blame Margee.
  • This weird freestyle competition is totally stoopid. They all look like idiots, especially, Marty St. Louis, who is a Fancy Bit. Honestly, my fantasy team, the Fancy Bits, are such an embarrassment.

    Mr. Buffalo

    Nickname: Soupy
    Favorite food: Soup, of course.
    Favorite Band: Brian Campbell’s 100% Natural Good-Time Family Band Solution
    Catch Phrase: “Fucking Stupid Ice Bowl”
    Signature Move: Spinorama in front of own net.
    Salary: Lots
    Turn ons: life
    Turn offs: sweat, contract negotiations

    Make us proud, Soupy.


    Here are my mid-season grades for my first season as a fan:

    Stick-to-it-ed-ness: A+ (I believe I am earning my stripes as a real fan by not only watching, but writing daily about this particular team at this particular time.)

    Ability to recognize a “soft goal”: D+ (Frankly, I doubt the existence of the mythical “softie”.)

    Signage: C– (I am too bashful to hold a sign at a game, although I could probably make a pretty awesome sign if called upon to do so.)

    Appearance: F (I do not own a single item of Sabres clothing. I keep almost buying a jersey, but I simply CAN’T decide on a player. [Adam Mair is suddenly in the running, FYI.])

    Ability to recognize off-sides: B+ (I’m totally getting good at this one.)

    Ability to recognize/bitch about penalties: F- (I have no effing idea what is going on with penalties. All I know is that I consistently enjoy shouting, “HOOKER!” at the television.)

    Booing: A+

    Face-off Appreciation: A (I love me a good, clean face-off win. HONK!)

    Attitude: B (I am currently cultivating a “bad” attitude, which is serving me quite well.)

    Fantasy Hockey: D+ (I earn points for continuing to play even though my team is terrible, but I lose points for nearly every decision I have made all season.)

    Ability to properly place blame: A+ (I’m always right about who is a fault.)

    Yellow 19 is a Bright Shining Star

    Look! Yellow 19 has been named to the AHL All-Star game. How exciting for him! Three cheers for Mark Mancari!

    Although, I imagine the AHL All-Star Game is a lot like an Inner-Beauty pageant. If only he was just a little prettier…..

    Yellow 19, I want you to know that I can see past your inner AHL beauty to the brutish NHLer on the surface. I’m totally shallow that way.

    Godspeed, Yellow 19.


    No Goal! (That’s my prediction for the Sabres tonight, not a reference to the 1999 SCF.)


    Mood: resigned
    Favorite Sabre: Paul Gaustad
    Least Favorite Sabre: Brian Campbell
    Prediction: Lazy Sabres + Sturdy Stars = train wreck
    Summary of thoughts: I have never expected less from a sporting event than I expect from this game tonight. If had had to chose an animal to represent my hopes and dreams for the Sabres actually winning, I would choose an ant. I have officially adopted the IPB policy of assuming my team will never win again. I am defeated in advance. I am resigned to my fate. I barely have the emotional strength to type these words. I intend to poke my eyes out before the game starts….as a preventative measure.

    After 1st Period

    Mood: mildly non-suicidal
    Favorite Sabre: Still Goose
    Least Favorite Sabre: Andrew Peters, worst fighter in the world.
    Prediction: The Sabres, thinking the game is over, are getting drunk in the locker room right now. Oopsies! Still two periods to play, fellas! The good new is, we’re about to see Soupy at his finest. (He does his best spin-o-ramas when he’s wasted on champagne.)
    Summary of thoughts: I don’t want to hate Kevin Sylvester, so Rick needs to come back ASAP. I like the Dallas uniforms. I have not inherited the Buffalo hatred of the Stars. I should have some residual hatred for them from when they were the Minnesota North Stars, but I just can’t say I care. Recent history has taught me that the worst thing I can do is trust the Sabres not to suck. I am unrelenting in my pessimism.

    After 2nd Period

    Mood: tense, slightly confused.
    Favorite Sabre: Toni Lydman. (Goose lost some points for trying to get at the Dallas Ice Girls by opening that little door on the rink. Come on, Goose. Try to keep your feathers to yourself, at least during the game.)
    Least Favorite Sabre: Brian Campbell is back, and he’s better than ever! And by that, I mean he’s worse than ever!
    Animal representative of my hopes for this game: Hamster. An angry one.
    Prediction: Total annihilation. For someone.
    Summary of thoughts: Well, the Sabres have just played two whole periods of hockey at full speed. There is no way this can continue. I hate hockey. I hate it so much. Sigh.

    At the End

    Mood: Joyful! (for now) We seriously needed this.
    Favorite Sabre: Jochen Hecht with the foxy save in the waning seconds of the game! Nice one, Yo-Yo!
    Dead to me: Brian Campbell, and also all soups, stews, and bisques.
    Prediction: Thanks to the All Star break we can’t lose for, like, 5 DAYS! WhoooOOOOooOOOOO!
    Summary of thoughts: It was really nice to see them work hard and win a tight game. Good work, boys .
    Totally unrelated: During the game, I decided to sell out to Versus. They emailed me (along with all hockey bloggers) and offered me a free magnetic playoff tracker (whatever that is) if I promote the All-Star game. I, of course, decided that of all the things in the world, a magnetic playoff tracker (whatever that is) is probably the thing I want the most. So go click the banner, and watch the All-Star game. Do it for me.

    …A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

    Observations 2
    I can be reached at: willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com

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