Archive for June, 2009

Day Six

When I lazily titled my post a few days ago “Day Two,” I didn’t really consider that numbering the posts would make me feel obligated to post every day while at Apple Hill.  If you ever want to further understand the kind of crazy I am, just know that I’m the kind of crazy that feels obligated to write on “Day Six” if I’ve written on days one, two, three, four, and five.  I don’t really care about the quality of the posts (good heavens, NO), only that I write every day.  It’s a sickness.


Here’s a little story: 

Today I ate lunch with the six-(almost seven)-year-old daughter of an Apple Hill participant.  We discovered that her birthday is on July 23, and my birthday is on July 22nd, which makes us soul sisters.  Elise’s birthday is on July 26th, and the six-year-old has a friend whose birthday is on July 24th.  So, what we need is another friend whose birthday is on JULY 25TH and then we could have BIRTHDAY PARTIES ON FIVE DAYS IN A ROW.  (This prospect made my young friend literally squeal with delight.)  If you, or someone you know was born on July 25th, please contact me IMMEDIATELY.

Day Five

Sometimes you wind up having a really good rehearsal on the night you think you’d rather die than rehearse.

Day Four (No Goal-eriffic)

Day Four at Apple Hill is the last taste of relaxation before everything gets all topsy-turvy and busy.  Until today I’ve just been rehearsing with the other faculty in preparation for our concert on Tuesday, but tomorrow the coaching begins.

So, in celebration of my soon-to-be-over freedom, I drove into town to sit around in Brewbakers for a few hours.

I was cruising around on the interwebs when I made a shocking discovery.  Today is the 10 year anniversary of No Goal!  Ten years ago I was living in Philadelphia (dude, it’s crazy that that was ten years ago), and I had never seen a hockey game in my life, so the No Goal anniversary has no particular emotional significance to me personally.

But, I imagine some of my Sabres-loving brothers and sisters look upon the event with a frown in their heart, so, in an effort to cheer you up, I will now make an embarrassing No Goal-related confession for your amusement.

Reason #48,937 that Katebits is a num-num

I first saw the famous picture of “No Goal” when I got really into the Sabres in 2007.

HullIt burns!  It burns!

I read the story about Hull’s skate in the crease, and of the grave injustice, and learned that Lindy rose to (nearly invincible) power in the aftermath by dubbing the play, “No Goal”.

“It’s a TRAVESTY!” I declared.

The thing is though, while I was perfectly willing to hop aboard the “BUFFALO HAS BEEN ROBBED” train, I didn’t really understand how Buffalo had been robbed.  You see, I had made a terrible mistake when I first looked at the famous photo of No Goal.

I….looked at the wrong skate.

Hull 2I know.

In my defense, when I looked at the photo, I was looking for something controversial. I was looking for a “close call”, and I thought the photograph was the “smoking gun”.  The skate that I thought was Hull’s skate is the only skate in the picture that is both visible and even slightly open for interpretation.  I didn’t occur to me that Hull had literally been STANDING in the crease.  My eyes just went to the skate that looked the shadiest, and that’s where I assumed all the controversy lay.

Of course, had I deployed even one or two brain cells, I could have pick up on a few other “clues” in the photograph.

Hull 3

Katebits is an idiot, case closed.

Oh, but I’m not done.

Here is the true scope of my stupidity: I didn’t just hone in on the wrong skate in that photograph back in 2007, I honed in on the wrong skate for two years. I didn’t realize the truth until APRIL OF 2009.  I had been writing a Sabres blog for a YEAR AND A HALF at that point. A few months ago I saw the photograph for some reason, and like a bolt of incredibly slow moving lighting, it occurred to me, “Heeeey…..waaaait a minute…”

Dear Readers, I have many times thought about telling you this story, but I always stopped myself because honestly, it’s really embarrassing.  For some reason I LOVE to tell the internet all about how I’m a complete idiot.  Telling stories about my near inability to function without protective headgear has been a staple of my blogging from day one, but this one is humbling, even for me.

When I turned on the computer and realized today was the ten year anniversary of No Goal, I couldn’t resist.

(I’m NOT having mini-strokes.  This is just how I AM.  I know it’s hard to believe.)

Day Three

It’s raining.  It’s raining and it will not stop, and it’s never going to stop raining, and I’m going to drown in the woods. (But at least I don’t have to watch the NHL Awards tonight.  Thank God for small favors.  Heh.)

At Apple Hill I get to see many of my favorite friends, including frequent commenters, Elise and Piece_of_etc.  The Apple Hill Chamber Players is a year round organization, and both Elise and Piece_of_Etc are wonderful musicians and people.

They are also lunatics.

Piece_of_etc  gets comically peeved when I bitch about the sub-human accommodations here, but I feel it is my duty to TELL THE TRUTH.  I’m living in a mouse infested shack and it will NEVER stop raining and it’s a MIRACLE I’m still alive.  If Piece_of_Etc wants me to stop whining, well, maybe he better get to work building me a fully equipped bungalow (PLUMBING INCLUDED) with cable television and a hot tub.

Today, while gazing pathetically out into the torrential rain, I suggested that we begin building an ark so that this doesn’t happen to us:


Totally realistic depiction

Piece_of_Etc was unimpressed with my apocalyptic vision of our near future, but he agreed that we should build the ark.  Here’s how he sees our situation:

Mike's arkTotally UNrealistic.  This could never happen.

Day Two

I’m still alive!  And I’m slowing coming to terms with nature.

Is anyone else getting ants in their pants about the Sabres?  I keep breathlessly checking the computer for news that Darcy has traded Lindy and Jochen Hecht for Bylsma and Malkin.  Or, maybe Darcy will trade Yo-Yo and the rights to Andrew Peters to the Islanders for their first round pick, and then we get Tavares! ….that would rock.

Too Much Nature

Well, I’ve arrived at Apple Hill and I am about to embark on the scariest night of the year- The First Night in the Shack. I’m currently huddled in my shack trying to convince myself that bats/mice/monsters could NOT fit through the crack at the base of my shack’s door.

My computer has no Internet service in the shack (there is service in the office area), but the phone seems to be humming along just fine. I’m tapping out this post on my phone. It’s an annoying way to write, but not as annoying as sitting around in the eerie silence waiting for a nature induced death. (Which is what I usually do on my first night here.)

So, every year when I arrive here, I go through a process of reacclimation. First I’m horrified, then I’m scared, then I’m resigned, and tomorrow I’ll be happy as a clam. I need a few minutes to make my peace with nature before I can move on with the experince of making music with some of my very best friends, but every year, after a brief inner temper tantrum, I fall back in love with this place.

Even though I’m still in the “scared” phase, I’ve already begun to remember how pretty nature can be. Just a minute ago I stepped out of my shack and gasped outloud at the amazing sky full of stars. It’s so beautiful outside that I thought, “I wish the internet could see this,” so I pointed my phone up at the sky and took this photo so you could see.

(stars not pictured) (but they’re there)

Right after my brush with the beautiful stars I scurried back into my cabin where I intend to remain for the rest of the night. I think I’m going to watch some Columbo DVDs on my laptop in an effort to distract myself from my extreme nature-y situation.

Time To Trade all the Sabres!

Hooray!  The hockey season is FINALLY over, and now we can get down to the delightful task of trading away all of the old sucky Sabres, for NEW sucky Sabres!  WOO!

I read something interesting on Kukla’s Korner today.  John Madden is going to test the market on July 1st.

I want him!

john_madden footballEw, gross!  Not him!…..


…..HIM!  (disclaimer: he’s only slightly less gross than the football John Madden)

Before you get all uppity and, “He’s old! He’s never been that productive!  He’s on the decline!” I say to you, “I know, but gather ’round and listen to me.”

Seven reasons the Sabres should sign John Madden:

1. Have you EVER seen a Sabre look like John Madden looks in that picture?  No.  No, you have not.  Because most of our  players are little wusses.  I like how beat-up John Madden is willing to get, and I like how he’s got a respectable playoff beard- like a man.

2. The Sabres are in desperate need of a leader, and John Madden seems like one of those “I REALLY WANT TO LEAD” eager-beaver types, like Briere was, only with credibility and a cranky disposition.

3. John Madden has won two Cups.  Two.  And a Selke.  I used to poo-poo the idea that Cup experience is all that valuable, but then I watched two seasons of a team with zero Cup winners, coached by a guy with zero Cup wins and I changed my mind.  The Sabres really need SOMEONE around who knows what it takes to win it all.

4. Here’s what Pookie said when I emailed her about him:

I think his leadership could be really good for a team like the Sabres.  He’s a hard-ass and I suspect he has absolutely no qualms about telling younger players to shape up.  I think he’d love to see himself as a Scott Stevens for a rudderless group.

We HAVE a rudderless group here in Buffalo!

5. Here’s the OTHER thing Pookie said:

You know what his biggest strength to you guys would be?  Coach killing.  He’s been a key player on a lot of classic coach killing teams!

Now, I know that most of you don’t want Lindy to be fired, but I feel strongly about this one.  If Lindy comes back next year, and the Sabres are good, and they all start listening to him again, GREAT!  Lindy’s an awesome dude, and super fun to have around, and it would ROCK if the Sabres stopped sucking.  BUT.  If Lindy comes back, and the Sabres still seem disorganized, disinterested, and all around sucky, SOMEONE needs to be fired, and that someone is usually the coach.  One of the things I HATED about last season was that the players seemed to be coach killing, BUT THEY COULDN’T EVEN DO THAT RIGHT.  If coach killing is what we need, John Madden’s got the experience to get it done.

Hopefully we won’t need a coach killer next season, but if I have to watch another season of Derek Roy TRYING to kill Lindy and FAILING, I swear to LINDY RUFF I will lose my effing mind.

5. His nickname is Maddog.  The only dog nickname the Sabres currently have is “Pommerdoodle.”

6. According to the Ookies, John Madden is totally humorless and his interviews are all-dour-all-the-time.  Perfect.  Hopefully he’s like that in practices, and on the team plane, and on the bench, and in the workout room, and in hotel rooms, and EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY.  The Sabres could really use a dour asshole around.  They certainly responded to Chris Drury, didn’t they?

7. I really believe the Sabres HAVE to pick up a grizzled vet, and we could do a WHOLE lot worse than John Madden.  (See: Guerin, Bill)

(Thank you to the Ookies, fabulous Devils fans, who obviously greatly influenced this post.  By “influenced” I pretty much mean “told me all of this stuff, exactly”.)

…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

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

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