Archive for July, 2008


As I am prone to do, I was thinking about Crackers and Salty Pete today.

Crackers and Salty Pete


The reasons to like Crackers and Salty Pete are obvious and plentiful. (There are two of them [presumably BFFs], one is a pirate and one is a parrot but they are both the same size, Salty Pete’s badass beard, and of course their names are “Crackers” and “Salty Pete”.) What’s not to love?

While I tend to like mascots, not all mascots are as awesome as Crackers and Salty Pete. Some mascots are totally wrong.

Key Bank Key

I just hate him so much.

Now, I’m sure Key Bank is a fine establishment, but this Key Bank mascot makes me angry. How is he supposed to walk with his legs all wrapped up in a key body? Look at his TEETH! Look at his weird lopsided eyes! Look at how he appears to be holding a freaky mascot-sized SYRINGE in this photo! LOOK AT HOW THE “KEY” PART OF HIS KEY DROOPS PATHETICALLY! ARGH! I can’t even DEAL with this guy.

The Phillie Phanatic is the undisputed greatest mascot ever.


My kind of man mascot

First of all, the Phanatic is all-around hilarious. Second of all, he goaded Tommy Lasorda into writing what might be the greatest unintentionally funny blog post of all time. (Thanks to andrew for the Lasorda link) Third of all, I have a good story about him. I’ve told this story many times, but I told it the best in the IPB threads last summer. Because Schnookie rocks, she tracked it down for me so that I may republish it here:

True Story:

One time I was playing a gig with a boys choir in Philadelphia. I think it was a fundraiser for their group, because the show was very gimmicky and chock full of local “celebrity” guest stars (think weathermen and local politicians). We were clicking along, nearly to the end of the show, when out of no where, without any sort of reasonable warning, the Phillie Phanatic comes barreling through the orchestra. And I mean barreling. Stand and musicians were flying everywhere. I didn’t even really see the Phanatic until his hulking green furry body knocked over my music stand on his way to the podium. It was utter chaos. The musicians were giving absolutely no warning that the Phanatic would make a destructive appearance. Many of us were holding valuable instruments that could have been easily damaged, so a lot of musicians were pretty peeved, but the audience thought the whole thing was hilarious (which it was). A friend of mine told me later that one of the highlights of the entire debacle was hearing me say loudly onstage “Oh my God, it’s the Phillie Phanatic” in a tone tinged with both horror and reverent awe.

I’ve always wondered if the Phillie Phanatic somehow knew he could dramatically (and to great comedic effect) navigate himself through a cramped orchestra without doing any real damage, or if he was just drunk that day.

In closing, mascots are a hoot.

NFL “Contracts”

As most of you know, I’m fairly new to the world of sports intricacies. Until this week I didn’t know a single solitary thing about football contracts. I still know almost nothing, and this post will surely reflect both my level of knowledge and my research on the subject (zilch).

This Jason Peters stuff is puzzling.

Jason Peters

Um….please go to work.

There are two things that are blowing my mind about Jason Peters “holding out”:

1. How can a person under contract demand a new contract? Isn’t that….the point of a contract? Two parties agree on something and then they write it down on paper, sign it, and then both parties are CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGATED to fulfill the terms of the contract. It’s a good system. I myself work with a contract, and while I don’t love every little aspect of my contract (seriously BPO, I should be able to wear open-toed shoes for concerts), it also benefits me in a variety of ways, the most important being that I can’t just be fired for no good reason.

Which brings me to the second reason my mind is blown…

2. Apparently, football players can just be fired for no good reason. Now, I assume a really good football player wouldn’t be fired for no good reason, but still, NFL contracts are not guaranteed. This is confusing to me. Isn’t the point of a contract that all parties are CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGATED to fulfill the terms of the contract? Don’t these football players have a union? Let me tell you, this crapski would NOT fly with the American Federation of Musician. No siree.

Apparently, in the NFL this is how things are done. Players and management are constantly renegotiating in the middle of contracts. This system seems quite silly, but what do I know? I’m but a simple violist. So, I really don’t know what to think about the Jason Peters thing.

All I know for sure is that someone needs to sit the NFL down and (slowly) explain (in simple terms) how contracts are supposed to work. I don’t think they get it.

Moving Tips With TWC

I’m taking a break from packing to tell you guys that if you are trying to pack and you really really really don’t want to pack, you should turn on the television and pray that ABC Family is showing Overboard. That movie kind of rocks and it will help you pull your shit together long enough to pack half your apartment.

The Offseason is Stressful

The fantabulous Patty (in Dallas) wrote a great post the other day about how the offseason makes her feel all wobbly and unanchored. It got me thinking….

I have a bunch of legitimately stressful things going on right now, namely, I’m moving (but not into my dream lair, into a friend’s house because my landlord is LAME and wouldn’t give me month-to-month), and my job is busy and stressful. So, I’m about to be homeless, and I have no time to pack. Now, this will pass. I will somehow get out of this apartment and my stuff will go somewhere and I won’t be living on the street. Things have a way of working themselves out, especially when you’re willing to throw money at the problem until it goes away (which, I am).

I realized last night that I am uncomfortably stressed out. I’m having a hard time dealing. For the last year or so I’ve enjoyed a good little stretch where I really haven’t been stressed at all, ever. If something annoying was occurring I could pretty much count on keeping a level head, and going all Tim Gunn on myself (“make it wooork”) and coasting through the situation. I have attributed this inner calm to hockey. My theory is that I have been burning through all my unnecessary angst on hockey, leaving my real life relatively unblemished by needless worry.

Take this move for example. Suppose, just for the sake of my argument, Ryan Miller were still unsigned. If Crunchy were holding out, I bet my apartment would be all packed and ready to go right now. With an external (and totally stupid) issue to fret about, I probably would have calmly and deliberately packed this whole place up, with nary a frenzied thought about whether or not I was going to be able to get it all done. I’d just do it. My angst about Crunchy would not only distract me from my real stress, it would propel me through the task. I’d turn on WGR, listen to people freak out, nod in approval or scowl in disgust at the calls, and get this whole damn apartment packed.

I love hockey for providing an outlet for my stress that doesn’t really stress me out. Oh sure, I like to wail and carry on during the hockey season, but come on, that’s just good clean fun. I suppose some might say that worrying about hockey when there are real problems to worry about is dumb, but here’s the thing: for the most part, I think all worrying is dumb. Thinking about a problem, mulling it over and finding a solution is great. Sitting around stressing? Totally dumb. I figure I have a certain amount of “dumb stress” that must be expressed and I’m better off spending it on the Sabres than spending it on real problems. It’s way easier to handle real problems without stress, right?

All I know is that this stress that I am feeling right now? The stress that is causing me to sit down and write a post about stress when I SHOULD BE PACKING?…IS TOTALLY LAME AND UNHELPFUL.

To review:

1. Moving is annoying, especially when you are moving into a temporary situation.
2. Hockey is good for distracting.
3. I can’t believe I just spent 40 minutes writing this post when I could have been packing.
4. After this move I’m going to try to revert back to Buddha-on-the-Mountaintop Katebits. Panicked Katebits is a tool.

10 Silly Things I Can Worry About Now That Ryan Miller Has Been Re-Signed

In no particular order….

1. That Stephen Colbert periodically gets “stuck” in his television persona.

2. That I will someday fall in love with a dog person.

3. That anti-bacterial cleaning products are creating Super Germs that will one day rise up and enslave us.

4. That Crunchy and Lalime will both call in sick on the same day and Toni Lydman will have to play goal.

5. That I left the oven on.

6. That someday, somewhere, I might have to rush. I hate rushing. (This is not to say I like to be pokey. I hate dragging too. I like to move at exactly my own pace.)

7. That the Western Conference will always be better than the Eastern Conference.

8. That someday the Coca-Cola company will get rid of delicious Diet Coke in favor of lame Coke Zero.

9. That I will throw up on stage during a concert.

10. That despite my years and years of high level musical training, I have already reached my full Guitar Hero potential.

Hello, Bills

I’m listening to WGR right now and it’s all “blah blah blah Bills blah blah football blah blah.”  It seems that it’s football season again.

I’m really not so sure how I feel about football this year.  I’m wary.

Thank You Miss A!

A few weeks ago I got the BEST little note in my locker at work from a high school student whose orchestra was playing at Kleinhans. This girl noticed my locker and took it upon herself to write an incredibly sweet note (written on back of a “tuning tendencies” worksheet) for me to find the next day. I’m in the process of reorganizing my office stuff, and I found the note on a stack of papers. It was just as lovely to read today as it was a few weeks ago. I should have done this sooner, but I want to send a hearty thank you to “Miss A” (I’m not going to publish your name on my blog because I don’t have your permission and because I know you are in high school. I’ll err on the side of caution here, but I assume you’ll recognize yourself!) Your note made my day. There are a lot of reasons I love writing a Sabres blog, but getting awesome notes in my locker from badass-hockey-loving-musicians is very near the tippy top of the list.

Thank you, kind reader!

2 Tidbits

I am ca-RAZY busy over the next week, so things might get a little tumbleweedy around here.  I’ll do my best to post a little something every day, but I can make no promises.

I have two tidbits for you this afternoon:

1. Ryan Miller and the Sabres Gang had the cuddliest press conference in NHL history this morning.  It was all, “I love you, Ryan Miller,”  “No, I love you Darcy Regier”  “We just want to be the best professional hockey team we can be.”  I know that as soon as the Sabres take the ice I will stop being this sentimental old Crunchy-lovin’ fool, but dang it, it practically brings a tear to my eye to listen to him speak right now.  I am so excited about next season that I’m having a difficult time reconciling that it is mid-July.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE mid-July, but I am so psyched about hockey that if it snowed this evening it would fit my mindset perfectly.

2.  I still feel kind of scared of tomatoes even though I know they have been declared cootie-free.  Remember a few years ago when spinach had e coli cooties?  Well, that happened during a particularly oblivious time in my life when I wasn’t watching much tv or paying much attention to things occurring beyond the ten feet surrounding me.  As a result, I ate a lot of the EXACT spinach that had e coli.  So, while the rest of the country was burning their spinach at the stake and freaking out in general, I was happily munching on a daily e coli salad.  When I finally clued in, I did a little research and learned that whatever happens to you when you eat e coli has a seven day incubation period.  So, I had to sit around for a week, waiting to find out if I was about to experience a terribly gruesome fate.  I didn’t. I must have lucked out and eaten only cootie-free spinach, but that week I spent fretting was no fun.  Food cooties are lame.  Shop locally, people!

10 Random Things I Don’t Understand (And Therefore Fear)

In no particular order…..

1. Shoes that come to a sharp point.  Feet aren’t shaped like that.

2. Married people with joint email accounts

3. That episode of Arrested Development where Tobias keeps entering the scene by coming out of the fireplace.  Whaa?

4. Whether or not eggs are healthy

5. Pi

6. Facebook

7. Why a person would want to eat “fudge” when perfectly delicious, non-gross chocolate exists.

8. Deal Or No Deal

9. Which fish is safe/environmentally friendly for eating

10. The phrase “the exception that proves the rule”.  I understand what people mean when they say it, I just don’t understand how an exception proves a rule.  In fact, shouldn’t the exception prove that the rule is bullhonky?

10 Random Things I Enjoy

In no particular order…….

1. Tall old ladies

2. Standing at line at Spot Coffee and telling the woman behind me, “I like your baby” (as if I were talking about a jacket or a haircut), and getting the good-natured response, “Thanks. He’s new.”

3. Absolut Mandarin and soda

4. Texting

5. Making jokes on the way to Artpark about stopping at Fantasy Island, eating funnel cake and going on some rides, and then calling in sick dizzy to work.

6. Three-legged dogs

7. Men who think robots and monkeys are funny/scary.

8. Egg McMuffins without the egg

9. Freshly sharpened pencils

10.  People who not only understand that some jokes get funnier with repetition, but who also agree with me about WHICH jokes get funnier with repetition.

…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

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

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